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Issue 78 | FEBRUARY 2017

Also inside this issue


Plus One Gallery

La La Land’s iconic Route 1

REBIRTH OF AN ICON Aston Martin’s DB11


Hyperrealism’s showpiece

Chester Barrie



A service that brings you beautifully crafted bespoke engagement rings, created at our London workshop by master jewellers with decades of expertise.

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contents Issue 78 | FEBRUARY 2017


Plus One Gallery is widely recognised as the showplace for hyperrealism from all parts of the world. Founders Maggie Bollaert and Clive Pettit recently relocated the gallery to Battersea. Andrew Peters took a peek.

16 | Travel | CALIFORNIA



For those who believe California is just about Hollywood, they’re missing out, as travel writer Chantal Borciani finds out.

22| Garden design | ALLADIO SIMS

Advocate of


Emanuela Alladio advocates planning outdoor spaces from the beginning of any design project.

Plus One Gallery founders Maggie Bollaert and Colin Pettit were drawn to art that was precise and meticulous, rejecting the fashion for conceptualism. Having recently relocated to Battersea Reach, Plus One now seeks out artists from around the world and champions hyperrealism art. Andrew Peters peeked through the door of this innovative gallery. >>>

26| Motoring | ASTON MARTIN

The first product launched under the company’s ‘second century’ plan, DB11 is the bold new figurehead of the illustrious ‘DB’ bloodline and Euan Johns is suitably impressed.

30 | Men’s fashion | CHESTER BARRIE

Chester Barrie’s Spring Summer 2017 collection is designed to make sure men look great when it matters most.

Summer Passion, 91 x 204cm, Oil on canvas, by Francois Chartier


36 | Fashion | KALITA

Kalita al Swaidi and Raechel Temily have developed a resort wear brand that offers statement holiday pieces for women, a reflection of the duo’s personal style.

56| Finance | PMW

LaLa Land’s

ultimate road trip journey along the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) is one of America’s and the world’s most iconic road trips. Though much has been extolled about the rugged, natural beauty of the Big Sur’s cascading cliffs and towering redwood forests, the central coast’s fairytale towns and pastel shutterboard beach houses hold even more attraction. Cliff top restaurants, vast wineries and trendy coastal towns lie just a few hours from the Hollywood hills. So whether it’s a weekend away from Disney, or a week’s road trip adventure, the PCH holds the key. The secrets of Santa Barbara Backed by the majestic Santa Ynez Mountains, Santa Barbara (www.santabarbaraca.com) is a stylish oceanfront enclave filled with Spanish-style architecture, sweeping sandy beaches, fabulous shopping and exceptional restaurants. Just over an hour north of Malibu, it is the antithesis of frenetic city life and the ride in – cruising past sweeping golden beaches and capacious oceanfront pads – puts visitors right in the holiday mood. Iconic landmarks dot this well-heeled town and when not relaxing on the beach, it’s worth mooching around Stearns Wharf, the oldest operating wharf in California and the Mission – an ornate friary set in 12 acres of landscaped gardens. For many visitors, Santa Barbara’s artisan and art scene is a real draw. The 12-square block east of State Street is known as the Funk Zone and is peppered with sculpture studios, art galleries craft breweries and wine tasting rooms. With over 50 varieties of grapes, Santa Barbara County is one of the most diverse in California. There are six official appellations: Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley,


Mitchell Thompson, Associate at Mundays LLP, discusses how best to prepare for one certain aspect of life, death.

Travel | CALIFORNIA Bixby Bridge, California


Don’t keep sweet Bordeaux for dessert, this wonderful wine can be paired with more than just pudding. Food and wine writer Nick Harman goes to meet the makers.

54| Legal | MUNDAYS

FEBRUARY 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 9

For those who believe California is just about Hollywood, they’re missing a whole lot, as travel writer Chantal Borciani found out.

42| Wine review | SWEET BORDEAUX

Seasonal and local food comes in the form of kale and mussels with recipes to try.


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Simon Lewis, CEO at Partridge Muir & Warren Ltd, believes that 2017 is likely to be an eventful year for both the global economy and financial markets.


Rebirth OF AN ICON A new chapter in Aston Martin’s history began at the 86th International Geneva Motor Show with the unveiling of DB11 last year. The first product launched under the company’s ‘second century’ plan, DB11 was the bold new figurehead of the illustrious ‘DB’ bloodline and an authentic, dynamic sporting GT in the finest Aston Martin tradition. Euan Johns was suitably wowed.

58| Education | ACS EGHAM

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usually suffer an involuntary reflex whenever I see an Aston Martin, and it’s nothing to do with imagining myself as James Bond. Put simply, these cars send a tingle of excitement up, then down, and then back up my spine again: they are simply exquisite and beautiful things to behold. DB11 is, perhaps, the most important car Aston Martin has ever launched, at least in the judgement of Dr Andy Palmer, the firm’s president and CEO. Charged with repositioning Aston Martin as a luxury brand rather than just a carmaker, this vehicle goes a fair way towards that aim. If this car represents the first darts thrown in the gamble, than they’ve scored one hundred and eighty. DB11 showcases a fresh and distinctive design, pioneering aerodynamics and is powered by a potent, new, in-house designed, 5.2litre twin-turbocharged V12 engine. It’s the first Aston to have a turbo-charged engine and is there to meet increasingly stringent environmental concerns. Purists need not worry


Jeremy Lewis, Head of School at ACS Egham International School, discusses the importance of teaching children to be ‘global citizens’ from a young age.

60| Leisure breaks | VENICE

Despite crowds in summer, visitors are never more than a bridge or alley away from a secluded square in Venice, as Rebecca Underwood finds out.

64| Events | SURREY

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

72| Ceramics | BITOSSI

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The passion and skill of the hands of those who work the ceramics is at the heart of the renowned Bitossi Ceramiche.

78| Interiors | 1508

The London-based design studio 1508 is known for creating exceptional residences and interior spaces. Creative Director Louise Wicksteed shares her best advice.

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essence 78 COVER: Susan the Cow by Alexandra Klimas, Oil on canvas, courtesy Plus One Gallery

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 (supplements): telephone: 07971 937162 email: katie@ktmedia.co.uk Contributors: Andrew Peters, Euan Johns, Shirlee Posner, Mitchell Thompson, Simon Lewis, Nick Harman, Jacqui Casey, Rebecca Underwood, PJ Aldred, Jennifer Sutton, Linda Seward, Jane Pople.

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. Design and production www.domino4.co.uk

Route 1 With the inauguration of Donald Trump, a worldwide collective drawing in of breath appears to have been taken. Americans have, perhaps, (and unfairly), been regarded as being rather overly forceful, but I think the description would fit in this instance. Whilst in the business world, Trump was used to taking Route 1. He may not find it so easy this time round, but time will tell. America has another association with Route 1 and this one is well worth experiencing as essence this month takes a trip along California’s iconic Pacific Coast Highway. If all the political behaviour over the past year seems a little dreamlike and surreal, we offer a dose of realism through art, hyperrealism to be precise. This art form is championed by Plus One Gallery in Battersea which has become an international focal point for collectors and artists alike. Spring is just around the corner and Chester Barrie of Savile Row offers a welcome insight into its Spring Summer 2017 collection, whilst we look even further ahead with Kalita and its travel orientated designers: Kalita al Swaidi and Raechel Temily. Style is never far away in essence and Aston Martin has embarked upon a new chapter in its history, repositioning itself as more than a car maker with DB11, a simply exquisite and beautiful vehicle. If thoughts are turning back to the garden, we suggest planning your outside space from a different viewpoint with Alladio Sims. So, as we peer past the remaining gloomy days and forward into 2017, essence offers up beauty, legal, financial and educational advice, together with the pick of activities highlighting food and events to enjoy. The essence team

© Maple Publishing 2017

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Best traditions John Sterner is about bringing the heart and soul into garments. Pieces with a provenance that can be traced back to the source. Pieces that people connect with on a physical and mental level. The best knitwear in the world made entirely by hand using around a kilo of high-quality fleece. Each sweater will be a numbered piece and come marked with a yellow plastic ear tag, the same kind that sheep wear.

essence INFO



essence-magazine.co.uk | FEBRUARY 2017

Fashion | JOHN STERNER Marc Brady in the Antidote crewneck fisherman sweater PHOTO COPYRIGHT: MALIN LAUTERBACH/COURTESY OF JOHN STERNER


Ellen Wetterholm in Antidote turtleneck fisherman sweater PHOTO COPYRIGHT: MALIN LAUTERBACH/COURTESY OF JOHN STERNER

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Summer Passion, 91 x 204cm, Oil on canvas, by Francois Chartier

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Advocate of

hyperrealism Plus One Gallery founders Maggie Bollaert and Colin Pettit were drawn to art that was precise and meticulous, rejecting the fashion for conceptualism. Having recently relocated to Battersea Reach, Plus One now seeks out artists from around the world and champions hyperrealism art. Andrew Peters peeked through the door of this innovative gallery. >>>


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ow do you define the term ‘hyperrealism’ which is not universally understood outside the world of collectors and connoisseurs? Clive Head, British artist and curator of the first in a series of exhibitions at Plus One Gallery in 2008 christened the initial show ‘Exactitude’ and called it a figurative art form of “breathtaking precision and remarkable clarity.” Maggie Bollaert and Colin Pettit, who founded Plus One in 2001, travelled to New York to visit major galleries at the forefront of the movement showing photorealism, as it was then known. Here they met and discussed the art with such luminaries in the art world as the renowned Ivan Karp at OK Harris Gallery, as well as Louis K. Meisel, to learn from the experience and widen their own knowledge. Hyperrealist painters depict textures, spaces and detail with astonishing creative skill and technical virtuosity. Their subjects can be humble as a frankfurter, Coke can, choc bar or gaudy wrapper de rigueur, or as grandiose as a vast cityscape, underwater nymph or lifesize portrait, as cinematic as a downtown diner or a lonely automobile on a deserted highway. So how did hyperrealism evolve? Flashback to sixties’ New York City and east coast San Francisco for the birth of photorealism, and home to a series of twentieth century ‘isms’ echoing around the world. Photorealism led to hyperrealism and, as Maggie Bollaert affirms, the origin of this genre art goes back ‘in an unbroken line’ to the earliest realist masters of the seventeenth century Dutch Golden Age.

“Artists influenced photographers, photographers artists. The camera influenced everybody” LOUIS K. MEISEL

The late, great art dealer Ivan Karp and mentor to many originally spearheaded the movement with legendary dealer Lou Castelli and later in his own eponymous gallery in Soho, New York. For the next 45 years Karp was described by the New York Times as “New York’s deftest and most enthusiastic salesman of the new art.” He helped find, popularise and market Pop Art, including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg (currently winning raves for a retrospective at Tate Modern until April). Karp made the New York Soho district come alive, opening up a decrepit neighbourhood and making it world famous. He played a fundamental role in discovering and promoting hyperrealist painting, following on from photorealism. He actively promoted major exponents of the new art such as Ralph Goings, Robert Bechtle, Richard Estes, Chuck Close and John Salt.

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British Pound by Diederick Kraaijeveld Salvaged wood, 130cm diameter

Karp as scholar and historian attempts to analyse hyperrealism. What was the spark that set it alight, what do hyperrealist painters have in common, what direction are today’s realists taking? As he explained: “Hyperrealism is related to minimalism, but is bereft of intellectual pretensions. At its best it is starkly ‘matter of fact’, ‘anti sensibility’. Its realism records the previously unrecorded places and objects of everyday life. Humanity is rarely in evidence.” Over the past four decades, art dealer and author Louis K. Meisel has also worked assiduously to champion mainly American photorealism, a term he claims to have coined in the late sixties with it first appearing in print in 1969. In 1970, the first show of the decade at the Whitney Museum of American Art was ‘22 Realists’ and the catalogue foreword also used the word ‘photorealism.’ That was the beginning. Meisel describes the roots of photorealism as: “The photo realists made it legitimate to use the camera again after artists had rejected it, saying they didn’t need realism to document faces, places and things because the camera can record it. There were great realist painters before who recorded early twentieth century American urban life and landscape with emotional truth. Among them are Thomas Eakins, Edward Hopper, and Winslow Homer, who denied using the camera, or didn’t want to talk about it or admit it. It didn’t become acceptable for an artist to say, ‘Hey, the camera and photograph are tools, and we’re using them’ until the photorealists came along in the nineteen seventies. Artists influenced photographers, photographers artists. The camera influenced everybody.” The new genre became a movement and many of the first photorealists grouped together and became friends. Robert Bechtle took a picture of himself in the mirror with a car outside, and then painted it. A contemporary, Audrey Flack, used a picture out of a magazine and painted it. That was ‘Kennedy Motorcade’ taken from a 1963 news photo. John Salt photographed abandoned car wrecks and then made a painting of his image. Nobody taught them to do it. It all just evolved as they went along. The birth of the instant camera became a tool for artists to snap away at images from which they gained inspiration. How they turned that inspiration into a painting was each artist’s own calling. What they shared was the excitement of a new way of finding inspiration and depicting the world in which they lived at that time. The creation of work that is ultra perfection is labour intensive and to achieve this degree of high definition work means most of the artists could


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Painted fish. Panta rei, Oil on canvas 100 x 120 cm by Francesco Stile

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Macaroon Sensations, Oil on canvas, 150 x 150cm, 2016, by Pedrom Campos

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Profile: Plus One Gallery Plus One Gallery began trading in 2001 in Marylebone, moved to Pimlico Road in 2006, and last year relocated to the vast St George development at Battersea Reach. The gallery is built on several levels, in a dazzling modern design, with white walls, pale timber floors and large windows, creating an atmosphere of light and air. When owner-founders Maggie Bollaert and Colin Pettit started to plan their gallery, they did not have a strong focus on the type of art they wanted to handle. They were drawn towards art that was precise and meticulous: conceptual art held no attractions, only works with a lifelike quality. They knew they wanted to work with living artists and to sell only ‘truly contemporary art’.

When I Grow Up, Lime wood, acrylics, LED 55 x 65 x15.5cm, by Peter Demetz

only produce very few perfect paintings a year. Some, in fact, can and still do only produce work that can take much more than a year to produce a single work of art to the exacting standards they impose on themselves. Collectors bought them because they liked the paintings to look at, to take home, hang on the wall and view. To see a perfect image in paint is fascinating and although it is a ‘real image’, it possesses an almost surreal quality that stands the test of time and endures. The most fascinating aspect of hyperrealism is its return (perhaps not intentional) to the seventeenth century masters of the Dutch Golden Age. Most scholars agree that Vermeer, one of the most sublime painters the world has ever known, though he barely made ends meet in his own lifetime, used the camera obscura (a sort of precursor of the modern photographic camera) as an aid to his painting. Artists in that time also used perspective manuals, drawing frames and almost any form of technology or scientific knowledge which might help them achieve one of their prime objectives: the highest degree of mimetic illusion. Realism, with its roots so firmly embedded in Europe with the Dutch masters, and to Germany and Middle Europe, has a rich history of highly realistic art that almost defies definition. Plus One Gallery today has sought out the very best in European hyperrealist art, as well as American, and now shows art from all corners of the world, but always with the common theme of highly realistic perfect art. In short, Exactitude in all its many forms and widely ranging subject matters. But technical devices, such as today’s high digital cameras, computer graphics and virtual reality simulation, are only tools. The creation of a work of art is always, said Ivan Karp: “ineffable, a kind of miracle no matter what the process or equipage.” The extraordinary powers of these hyperrealist artists cannot be explained by training or apprenticeships, the most plausible and yet simple explanation is a ‘blessing of nature’. Critics have tried to explain the essence of hyperrealism in a few words, using neat phrases such as an “embellished, heightened sense of reality” or “a layer of vision that would otherwise remain unseen.” So, ‘exactitude’ with a small ‘e’ has played an important part in art history, ever since the discovery of perspective. Writer on fine art and

After crystallising their ideas by talking to dynamic far-sighted leaders of the New York modern art scene, those erudite gallery owners who brought Pop Art and photorealism to the world in the sixties and seventies, they have become dedicated to the discovery and promotion of hyperrealist artists, whom Maggie seeks out around the world. Maggie believes in the increasing importance of hyperrealism (could it succeed conceptualism as the Next Big Thing?) to investors and collectors. The Walker Gallery Liverpool, BBK Gallery in Bilbao and Museo del Tabac Andorra all held hyperrealist exhibitions in 2015. Three of Maggie’s artists are BP Award winners and are represented in the National Portrait Gallery: Craig Wylie, Philip Harris and Andrew Tift. Sculptor Paul Day won a competition to produce the Queen Mother’s Memorial in the Mall and his Battle of Britain relief has been installed on the Embankment. Hyperrealism has given the gallery a strong identity. Maggie explains that for her one of the compelling attractions of hyperrealism is: “the connection with different art movements of the past, such as Dutch still lifes of the Golden Age and American Pop Art.” Plus One Gallery is widely recognised as the show place for hyperrealism from all parts of the world. In stock is art from the best of the original American photorealists, as well as work from artists based in Europe, Latin America and the Far East. The gallery has remained pure in its endeavours to promote realism in all its many aspects and has become a destination point for artists and collectors alike.

cinema, John Russell Taylor, describing the origins of realism in the definitive book ‘Exactitude: Hyperrealistic Art Today’, reminds us that even before Vermeer, Aristotle in fourth century BC knew all about the camera obscura, so everything goes back to the Greeks, yet again. Plus One Gallery is still at the forefront of the ever growing and evolving movement promoting the very best of realism in all its forms and its list of artists continues to grow, as do the ranks of discerning collectors. It is a continuing project that constantly changes, can never be out of date and is a chronicle of life itself.  essence INFO Plus One Gallery B&C Trafalgar House, Juniper Drive, Battersea Reach, York Road, London SW18 1GY Website: www.plusonegallery Winter exhibition from 25 January to 25 February 2017 Plus One Publishing is responsible for Exactitude and several books dedicated to specific artists and their work.

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Major art trends | BARNEBYS



arnebys, the leading search engine aggregator for art and antique auctions, covering 1,600 auction houses and carrying half a million objects at any one time, has taken a snapshot of the 2016, highlighting trends. 1. The increasing importance of online bidding. Anecdotal as well as researched evidence with leading international auction houses shows that on average some 35% of bids now come in over the internet. 2. The widening of users of online bidding to include younger wealthy buyers. A new generation is logging on to buy instead of searching the high stree, so we can expect growth among the millennials. When it comes to the volume market, they will be central to its growth, motivated in part by quality and also the environmental aspect of buying on the second-hand (i.e. auction) market. Recycling is going beyond cans and bottles – and it has ever greater strength. Auction houses and antique dealers offer millennials qualities that appeal to them – environmental sensitivity as well as quality, durability and sustainability.

6. Emerging art markets: China, Africa and Latin America. Interest in Chinese contemporary art continues to grow, but the real excitement for new ‘investors’ rather than collectors is in contemporary African art, Latin American art, Indian contemporary art and Cuban art. There will be an increasing focus on African art, which will include sculptures, with some emerging regions more interesting than others to follow. Currently artists from South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana lead the market with auction results. The market will be more and more aware that Africa is not a country, it’s a continent of 54 countries. 7. Demand for twentieth century design has been growing since the late 1990s. But it is now really sought after and world record prices are being achieved. 8. The provenance of an item becomes ever more important as celebrity connections add value. During 2016 we saw a lot of ‘white glove’ auctions, especially celebrity-led sales or collections of famous people. That will continue to grow and increase in revenue. 9. Collectables such as watches, coins and classic cars, areas that win on globalisation and increased online bidding will continue to grow.

3. And partly as a result of this online revolution, auctioneers are cutting back on the numbers of catalogues they print – some are doing without catalogues at all, using online catalogues.

10. Female artists. The search for new names and the best works continues to grow. The high prices for female artists who have written the history of art in their own time will be central to future museum exhibitions. 

4. Art market fluctuates. The Chinese market is significantly down, while the US art market is stronger than it has been for some years. 5. While the very top of the market performed strongly, auction houses are increasingly looking at the middle and lower market where commissions are not under so much pressure to make up for losses at the top end. But, as always, the best and most unique items are still achieving huge prices not seen since 1990 and before the 2008 crash. The middle segment of the market is currently struggling. The lower end survives and grows as auction houses reach out to a whole new audience via social media and the internet.

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essence INFO As the world's leading auction search service (or aggregator), Barnebys features, at any given time, over a half million items for sale through auction houses worldwide. Its revenue is split 80 per cent international vs. 20 per cent US. Overall, Sweden (Barnebys' home country) represents one per cent of the global auction market (vs. 20 per cent for the UK and 38 per cent for the United States). Website: www.barnebys.co.uk

JEREMY HOUGHTON Contemporary art favouring themes of light, space, transience and change

2016/2017 Artist in Residence for Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing and the Americas Cup

www.jeremyhoughton.co.uk m 07981 655515 info@jeremyhoughton.co.uk

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Bixby Bridge, California

LaLa Land’s

ultimate road trip


For those who believe California is just about Hollywood, they’re missing a whole lot, as travel writer Chantal Borciani found out.

journey along the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) is one of America’s and the world’s most iconic road trips. Though much has been extolled about the rugged, natural beauty of the Big Sur’s cascading cliffs and towering redwood forests, the central coast’s fairytale towns and pastel shutterboard beach houses hold even more attraction. Cliff top restaurants, vast wineries and trendy coastal towns lie just a few hours from the Hollywood hills. So whether it’s a weekend away from Disney, or a week’s road trip adventure, the PCH holds the key. The secrets of Santa Barbara Backed by the majestic Santa Ynez Mountains, Santa Barbara (www.santabarbaraca.com) is a stylish oceanfront enclave filled with Spanish-style architecture, sweeping sandy beaches, fabulous shopping and exceptional restaurants. Just over an hour north of Malibu, it is the antithesis of frenetic city life and the ride in – cruising past sweeping golden beaches and capacious oceanfront pads – puts visitors right in the holiday mood. Iconic landmarks dot this well-heeled town and when not relaxing on the beach, it’s worth mooching around Stearns Wharf, the oldest operating wharf in California and the Mission – an ornate friary set in 12 acres of landscaped gardens. For many visitors, Santa Barbara’s artisan and art scene is a real draw. The 12-square block east of State Street is known as the Funk Zone and is peppered with sculpture studios, art galleries craft breweries and wine tasting rooms. With over 50 varieties of grapes, Santa Barbara County is one of the most diverse in California. There are six official appellations: Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley,

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Ballard Canyon, Los Olivos District and the Sta. Rita Hills – and this American Viticulture Area recreates conditions very similar to French growing regions such as Bordeaux, the Rhône and Burgundy, so it’s a great spot to test the tastebuds. Some favourite wine rooms include Municipal Winemakers (municipalwinemakers.com), Kunin Winery and AVA Santa Barbara (avasantabarbara.com). Where to stay Santa Barbara attracts a cool crowd, many of whom head for Bacara (meritagecollection.com/bacararesort), five minutes north of Santa Barbara in Goleta. From the hushed reception adorned with a bounty of white flowers to the 42,000 sq. ft. spa (the largest on the west coast) and the fairylit terraces, this five star hotel oozes coastal class. Low lying buildings sit in harmony with the coastal surrounds and the private slither of beach is picture-perfect. Many come to enjoy the spa – the Gaviota Herbal Therapy treatment is heavenly and uses a warm compress of regional herbs to soothe jet-lagged muscles – or to dine at the exceptional Oak Grill restaurant. Sip a pinot noir by firepits on the terrace before devouring the aged steaks and fresh seafood on offer. Gaviota coast While the views out across Bacara’s idyllic beach may whet the whistle, there is nothing better than getting out and enjoying the Pacific coast. Refugio beach is one of the few undeveloped coastlines to explore and lies 20 minutes north of the hotel. Learn about the beaches, wildlife, flowers and fauna on kayak tours, paddle boarding and surf lessons with the super friendly Santa Barbara Adventure Company (www.sbadventureco.com).

State Street, downtown Santa Barbara Old Mission, Santa Barbara


Perfect Pismo Past Santa Barbara, it’s a pick ‘n’ mix of picture-perfect towns, including sleepy Solvang, artisan shops and – of course – incredible scenery. Head north (www.visitsanluisobispocounty.com) to laid-back Pismo where visitors can fish, kayak, surf or simply soak up the views. Sunsets don’t get better than at Pismo’s Dolphin Bay Resort (www.thedolphinbay.com), which sits pretty on an ocean bluff. With capacious suites and family rooms, a large pool and enough to do for kids big and little, it’s a great place to relax for a few days. Forget Sonoma! Just over an hour inland from Pismo, Paso Robles (www.travelpaso.com) is a veritable nirvana for wine connoisseurs. Less crowded than Napa and Sonoma, the town (and its surrounding 200 wineries) is not to be missed. It’s easy to see why this is a weekend hotspot for Californians – days can be spent at the wineries, evenings sauntering around the pretty tree-lined avenues in town, dining at the farm-to-table restaurants, pretty shops and drinking cocktails alfresco overlooking the park. Niner Wine Estates (www.ninerwine.com) boasts a spectacular setting – overlooking its heart shaped valley – and a fantastic vineyard restaurant where the wonderfully engaging executive chef Maegen Loring delivers an exciting, seasonal and widely celebrated menu inspired by Niner’s kitchen garden. Wine tasting flights start from $15, and the vineyard now runs gourmet evenings and cookery nights.

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Dolphin Bay Resort pool at sunset

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Sign up to the free Hertz Gold Plus Rewards programme prior to booking and a car will be waiting with a range of free extras, deals and discounts.

The eclectic La Bellasera (www.labellasera.com) is a great overnight spot – ideally located between town and vineyards and with a pool for the oh-so-warm days and a revered in-house restaurant. The big one The stretch of coast winding around to Big Sur and the iconic Bixby Bridge is undoubtedly one of the highlights of any PCH road trip, and those in the know will tell you to time the weather and take it slow. The coastal road winds like a snake along the coast, past rugged cliffs, golden stretches of beach and redwood forests laced in mist. On a clear day, there isn’t much to beat the ocean-view patio at Nepenthe, sitting pretty on land once owned by Hollywood legends Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth. Charming Carmel Fortunately, the views don’t stop there. Cruising down towards the seaside, chocolate-box town of Carmel (www.carmelcalifornia.com) is another roof down, wind-in-the-hair, grins as far as the eye can see, moment. The beautiful ‘17 Mile Drive’ twists and turns around one of the most picturesque (and expensive) headlands in California, and the town is a chic hub of boutiques, independent restaurants (chains have been banned) and wine rooms. We stayed at Quail Lodge (www.quaillodge.com), a slice of heaven in the valley just inland from Carmel’s golden sands. Our suite overlooked the hotel’s Mallard Lake and as with all ‘lodges’ it boasts an exterior deck for quiet contemplation. For golf enthusiasts, Quail Lodge has one of the many excellent ranges along the PCH and for those who aren’t partial to a round, the views and open fires (it gets cool here out of peak season) and cosy snugs are perfect for some R&R. And so to San Francisco, under three hours north of Carmel, with its cosmopolitan neighbourhoods, cool cafés and fabulous shopping. This road trip may be bookended with two of the most exciting and vibrant cities in the world, but the real pleasure and heart of this holiday lies in the captivating vistas, beautiful towns and cliff top drives in between. Put the roof down (a convertible is a must if you can: www.hertz.co.uk), hit this magical road and don’t look back.  essence INFO Hertz Website: www.hertz.co.uk One week’s car hire in LA with Hertz starts from £301. PHOTO COPYRIGHT: VICTORIA PERKINS

View along Route 1, Big Sur

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3pp_Gardening_Layout 1 03/02/2017 08:57 Page 1

Box mentality

A broader approach to any design project can achieve a property’s full potential. Emanuela Alladio of Alladio Sims Garden Landscape Design Limited advocates planning outdoor spaces right from the beginning of any project.


hen planning a new extension or build, we tend to think inside the box. We visualise the house as the main box, sitting somewhat alone on a piece of landscape, and then divide this empty box into separate rooms, each with its own very specific function to fulfil – each a smaller, yet still empty, box (furnishings are often brought into action at a later stage). Once the main box is finished, we stop to wonder how the box relates to the space around it. Only at the end do we think of ways to soften the building and make it sit more naturally within the outside space. The result is that often the finished box doesn’t connect with the neighbourhood or the wider landscape, and the inside/outside flow is seriously compromised and its potential lost. Yet when we admire images of houses and gardens conceived with an integrated approach, we are in awe. So why consider the relation between house and landscape as an afterthought? Wouldn’t it be better if someone was in charge of thinking outside the box from the very beginning of a project? We could do so much more if we engaged the building with its surrounds from the very beginning. If, at the early planning stage, client, architects, garden designer and interior designer all sat at the same table the result would mean much fewer lost opportunities, well-integrated solutions and useful economies of scale.

This early diagram shows how important the connection is between house and landscape and how vital it is that the two communicate and flow in and out of each other. Sketch by Alladio Sims Garden Landscape Design, Farnham Glass House

We hire architects to create forms from interconnected spaces, focusing on concepts such as flow and aesthetic, we hire interior designers to introduce the right mood and texture to each and every one of these spaces. All our energy is spent worrying about what happens inside –

In big schemes with open views, it’s important to create quiet, intimate spaces for relaxation. Sketch courtesy of Alladio Sims Garden Landscape Design, Farnham Glass House

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Garden design | ALLADIO SIMS

Integrating the new box into the landscape at design stage throws up exciting opportunities

floors, furniture, curtains, light fittings, kitchens and bathrooms – forgetting that this beautiful flow will stop as soon as those brand new bi-fold doors open – and we are faced with an empty and alien back garden. Yet the solution is out there. Bringing in a skilled garden designer can continue the dialogue outside. A skilled designer will absorb information from all sources and develop the outside space to extend the link with the house. Your brilliant, new, glass-clad, sleek kitchen living area will no longer open to an uninspiring and empty back garden. You will discover a new world of potential and create a stunning outdoor room. Some tricks are simple: choose the same porcelain tiles installed in the kitchen for the patio area – in a different finish to add slip resistance outside – to achieve that instant, seamless, indoor/outdoor transition. Make the most of the expanse of glass walls in your new extension by controlling the views out, creating new ones, adding light and water for a touch of drama.

In this example, the angle projected by the terrace lines up with the view and intensifies the connection between inside and outside. The sunken seating keeps the view clear from the house. The outdoor kitchen frames a view to the surrounding ancient trees that can be appreciated both from the interior of the house and whilst dining outside. Sketch courtesy of Alladio Sims Garden Landscape Design, Farnham Glass House

Of course, just like a good architect or interior designer, a great garden designer will guide you through this process, looking at the ‘outside box’ and dividing it up into a series of meaningful layers each with a different function: privacy, drama, entertaining, framing the view etc. And the difference will be in the small details – identifying the best aspect for dining or enjoying a swim or a view, making the space feel much bigger >>>

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Profile: Alladio Sims Alladio Sims Garden Landscape Design Ltd was established in 2015 after Jon Sims and Emanuela Alladio collaborated on a Silver Gilt winning show garden at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. The two directors continue their collaborative approach throughout their practice with Jon’s background in interior architecture giving distinctive spaces and Emanuela’s passion for plants and photographic eye adding great texture and contrast.

The Community Gardening Handbook (Published in association with Big Dig and the Soil Association)

ISBN: 9781782404491 RRP: £9.99

Emanuela and Jon in the show garden they created for the Istanbul Flower Festival in 2016

and more inviting thanks to directional paving or the right materials and plant palettes, choosing the best plants for the site given the local soil, drainage and exposure to the elements. Once this process is complete, the indoor/outdoor flow will be seamless. Despite this enormous potential, so often garden designers are called to ‘intervene’ right at the end of the renovation, new build or extension, missing out on some earlier opportunities. Considering the outer environment can bring so many tangible advantages to any development, for example, by making the most of an existing level, framing a borrowed view from the landscape and creating a positive link between the building and its surrounds. This can be easily achieved if the garden designer is engaged from the beginning as a three-way conversation with the architect and client. It would often mean saving on costs too as later ‘interventions’ are minimised. This holistic approach to an extension or a new build is already very established across the ocean and is being adopted here too, producing some amazing results. Next time we admire a stunning new build if we ask ourselves why our eyes are so drawn by what they see it will no doubt be the very unique connection that the building has managed to establish with its surrounds, the creative use of local materials, the effective and functional use of space, the clever yet understated details. This very elegant product will be the result of clever thinking outside the box. 

essence INFO Alladio Sims Garden Landscape Design Limited Unit C Willow House, Dragonfly Place, London SE4 2FJ Website: www.alladiosims.co.uk Email: Hello@alladiosims.co.uk

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Community gardening is a growing revolution taking root in towns and cities worldwide. Groups of like-minded people are transforming neglected plots of land into green, flourishing spaces for everyone to enjoy. In The Community Gardening Handbook, Ben Raskin shares his expertise in an invaluable introduction to a new wave of collective self-sufficiency. A look into different types of inspirational community gardens from all over the world is followed by a practical guide where planning advice is laid out alongside essential etiquette tips for running a successful site and proven ideas for involving the whole neighbourhood. “For budding growers setting up a new plot, to experienced green thumbs looking for new inspiration.” – Maddie Guerlain, The Big Dig

A Family Guide to Growing Fruit & Veg (Published in association with the Soil Association)

ISBN: 9781782404514 RRP: £9.99 Have you ever wondered how plants work? Or why we eat the fruit of one plant, but the leaves of another? What’s the big deal about growing things – and how do we decide what we need to grow in the space we have? In GROW, there is all the inspiration and knowledge needed to get out there and start planting. essence INFO Both books by Ben Raskin, head of horticulture at the Soil Association Published by Leaping Hare Press Website: www.quartoknows.com/Leaping-Hare-Press

Baleno have been protecting the most demanding of countryside enthusiasts from all weather as well as wrapping style around their innovation in Fabric and design. Stylish, warm and made to last, Baleno fuses technology with classic country fashion in addition to controlling the entire manufacturing and design process, an undeniable guarantee of quality.


The Country Lifestyle range is specifically designed to meet the demands of a variety of country pursuits fused with a classy twist of British Heritage to offer both practicality and style when enjoying country life. Elegance and comfort is combined with the well known technical quality Baleno has been offering for around half a century. The Baleno Team


Classic clothing for countryside enthusiasts www.baleno.be



Ascot 773B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Beverly 799B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Cheltenham 790B. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Croft 796B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Dynamica 770B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Hepburn 769B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Hurricane 800B . . . . . . . . . . . . 23/25 Kensington 772B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Longfield 894B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Paris 798B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Sally 766B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Sarah 768B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Scarlett 789B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Sheringham 743B. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Shirley 795B. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Typhoon 801B . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22/24 Hamlington 802B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Anderson 557B. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Derby 754B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Drifter 797B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Dynamic 771B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Hamlington 802B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Harvy 757B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Hatfield 788B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Henry 774B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Hurricane 800B . . . . . . . . . . . . .23/25 Nottingham 747B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Sandown 744B. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Typhoon 801B . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22/24 York 786B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

ACCESSORIES Ashford cap 791B. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Headband 793B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Socks 778B/779B . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Stanford Cap 792B . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Waxed Hat 714B. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

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Rebirth OF AN ICON A new chapter in Aston Martin’s history began at the 86th International Geneva Motor Show with the unveiling of DB11 last year. The first product launched under the company’s ‘second century’ plan, DB11 was the bold new figurehead of the illustrious ‘DB’ bloodline and an authentic, dynamic sporting GT in the finest Aston Martin tradition. Euan Johns was suitably wowed.

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usually suffer an involuntary reflex whenever I see an Aston Martin, and it’s nothing to do with imagining myself as James Bond. Put simply, these cars send a tingle of excitement up, then down, and then back up my spine again: they are simply exquisite and beautiful things to behold. DB11 is, perhaps, the most important car Aston Martin has ever launched, at least in the judgement of Dr Andy Palmer, the firm’s president and CEO. Charged with repositioning Aston Martin as a luxury brand rather than just a carmaker, this vehicle goes a fair way towards that aim. If this car represents the first darts thrown in the gamble, than they’ve scored one hundred and eighty. DB11 showcases a fresh and distinctive design, pioneering aerodynamics and is powered by a potent, new, in-house designed, 5.2litre twin-turbocharged V12 engine. It’s the first Aston to have a turbo-charged engine and is there to meet increasingly stringent environmental concerns. Purists need not worry


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“Exceptional design and cutting edge technology lie at the heart of Aston Martin. We are extremely proud of the work that went into the design of DB11, so it is a real pleasure to accept the T3 award.” MILES NURNBERGER, CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF EXTERIOR DESIGN, ASTON MARTIN

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“This is not only the most important car that Aston Martin has launched in recent history, but also in its 103 year existence. DB11 rightfully places Aston Martin once again as a leading brand in the luxury automotive market.” DR ANDY PALMER, PRESIDENT AND CEO, ASTON MARTIN

though as the engine is a silent monster, taking the car from a standstill to 60mph in 3.9 seconds, so the quickest DB ever made. Built upon a new lighter, stronger and more space efficient bonded aluminium structure, DB11 is the most powerful, efficient and dynamically gifted DB model in Aston Martin’s history. As such, it’s the most significant new Aston Martin since the introduction of the DB9 in 2003. Dr Andy Palmer said: “We aspire to make the most beautiful cars in the world. DB11 is the absolute embodiment of what an Aston Martin should be and we have worked tirelessly to ensure that DB11 combines both exceptional design with the latest technology throughout. A brand new bonded aluminium platform, clever aerodynamics, a new characterful twin-turbo V12 and class-leading infotainment systems are just a few aspects which make this the sports car that will proudly spearhead Aston Martin’s second century plan.” Heralding a new design era for Aston Martin, DB11 is the latest landmark in a remarkable aesthetic journey; one that provided icons such as the DB2/4, DB5 and, most recently, the DB10 developed specifically for you know who. DB11 re-imagines the relationship between form and function with a series of fresh design features. Foremost amongst these are the fronthinging clamshell bonnet, distinctive LED headlights and accentuated lines of the iconic Aston Martin grille. The profile is stunning, in no short measure due to to the roof strakes that flow uninterrupted. The clean lines continue to the rear, with a sloping decklid that blends into sculpted taillights to create a new and unmistakeable look. The epitome of Aston Martin’s progressive design principles, DB11 is the ultimate partnership of design and cutting edge technology. In recognition of this, the car won the T3 Design of the Year Award presented annually for the world’s best technology products. The award seeks the “most pleasing looking device, or one that reimagines what a product of its type can look like”. DB11 became available in the UK at the end of last year, so for those whose New Year resolutions included buying a new car, then what are you waiting for? Above everything four things stand out: the engine, the looks, the steering and the ride. What more is there to ask?  essence INFO DB11 recommended retail price: from £154,900 in the UK Website: www.astonmartin.com

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Men’s fashion | CHESTER BARRIE

Gentleman’s world Chester Barrie is a quintessentially British brand. Based in London’s Savile Row, it was founded in 1935 and offers affordable luxury to the sartorially minded, bringing the style of Savile Row, and the cut of the best British tailors, to men who understand good dressing. The way men dress has changed dramatically and so too has Chester Barrie. Lighter fabrics, innovative blends and a far softer structure have ushered in a more relaxed form of dressing, which Chester Barrie has embraced and developed. The aim is to be the modern tailor to the modern man. Chester Barrie’s Spring Summer 2017 collection is designed to make sure men look great when it matters most. Whether it’s a wedding, a garden party or even Royal Ascot, there is clothing to ensure that gentlemen look their best. Highlights include tailoring in lightweight summer cloths including wool, silk, and linen blends, which feature in a sophisticated colour palette of ecru, mid blues and warm greys. Comfort and discreet elegance is key, with half lined jackets which are as easy to style with a fine knit as they are with a shirt and tie. Chester Barrie offers suits that can be broken down into separates, offering more choice. The new range of suit separates is designed to be mixed and matched for versatility and maximum impact.

essence INFO

Chester Barrie Website: www.chesterbarrie.co.uk


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Men’s fashion | CHESTER BARRIE


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Summer suitcase all wrapped up Kalita al Swaidi and Raechel Temily have developed a resort wear brand that offers statement holiday pieces for women. A reflection of the duo’s personal style, the aesthetic and vision is uncomplicated: modern resort wear that goes beyond the limited ‘holiday’ genre with desirable pieces to wear in any location. Kalita first started out creating beautiful, hand-made embroidered lingerie and quickly garnered attention from the London press. Celebrity clients such as Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Kylie Minogue and Poppy Delevingne all snapped up bespoke pairs of the pretty lingerie. After a hiatus from fashion design, Kalita has spent considerable time crafting her first foray into women’s ready to wear, entering the market with a clear, concise aesthetic that reflects both her personal style and what she feels women around the world will also love to wear. A lot of work goes into how the pieces are cut, how they fit, how the wearer moves in them. The silks all breathe and are very comfortable to wear. It’s resort wear, clothes to take away on holidays, for special weekends away or on trips to amazing locations for when the wearer needs to look her best, even if barefoot, still salty from the sea.

essence INFO

Stockist: Matches Fashion Marylebone, Notting Hill, Richmond, Wimbledon Websites: www.kalita.co.uk and www.matchesfashion.com

Fonteyn and the Slipper Apron Dress – Tomato Red £445

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Fashion | KALITA Tasha Maxi Skirt – Camille Reversible Maxi – Shark BlueBlue £390 Shark Silk Crepe £000 St Barths Tee – Tomato Red £170

Camille Reversible Maxi – Shark Blue Silk Crepe £390

Casablanca Beach Cover Up – White Silk Cotton £258


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Uschi and the Wild Sky Dress – White Silk Cotton £648

For the Love of Leonie Maxi – Washed Sky Cotton £390

Berenson Tunic – Caramel £258

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Valentine’s gift A recent survey revealed that a high proportion of women would appreciate beauty treatment, including anti-wrinkle injections or fillers, as a special gift for Valentine’s Day. Jacqui Casey of Epsom Skin Clinics found out more.


alentine’s Day is a perfect excuse to dress up and spend time with a loved one, whilst looking and feeling in tip top condition. Unfortunately, for some people, hearing the word ‘wrinkle-relaxing injections’ paints a picture of a woman with a frozen face. This is perhaps due to the obsession with ‘beauty’ within the media, causing certain celebrities to look ‘overdone’. To start, it is very important to research the clinic and therapist administering these injections and choosing a certified and experienced doctor is paramount. Our tip is to have a few different consultations with nurses and doctors at a recommended practice to really understand any procedure beforehand. Pucker up for smooth lips All Epsom Skin Clinics’ injectable fillers are based on a naturallyoccurring substance called Hyaluronic Acid found in the body which helps to lubricate joints, nerves, hair, skin and eyes. The ability to produce hyaluronic acid declines with age, making the skin drier and more wrinkled. Injected ‘HA’ is a crystal-clear, non-animal gel, helping to bind water and hydrating skin from within whilst maintaining a youthful, dewy glow to create a natural enhancement which is gentle and safe to the skin. The result is instant and longlasting, but not permanent: over time hyaluronic acid is absorbed by the body and gradually disappears. A favourite product to achieve super soft lips is Jane Iredale’s Sugar and Butter Lip Exfoliator/Plumper. The exfoliating side uses Turbinado Sugar to gently remove any dull, dry skin, while the tinted lip plumper infused with Shea Butter restores moisture to thirsty lips. Dare to bare, don’t forget the cleavage The effects of too much sun, lack of SPF cream and perfume can all contribute to a wrinkled, mottled cleavage. For those concerned with the décolleté area, don’t panic as there are changes available to prevent the skin from worsening and to bring back some life to the skin. Combination treatments are highly recommended, but there are only a few which can be combined effectively without damaging the skin. Enhanced Skin Rejuvenation is a revolutionary skin treatment using multiple laser wavelengths to eliminate and reduce pigmentation, broken capillaries, wrinkles and improve skin tone. It is most often performed on the face and neck, but the décolletage, hands and arms can be treated as well. A series of three to six treatments spaced two to four weeks apart is our standard recommendation. During a course of treatment for pigmentation, thread veins and the general mottled look to the décolleté or chest, our newest

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‘SupErficialTM Laser’ can be applied two to four weeks before or after Enhanced Skin Rejuvenation. This revolutionary laser is a gentle resurfacing laser ‘peel’ that offers a pearl finish to skin. Immediately after this treatment, the skin will benefit from a Dermalux. This light-based treatment uses three, evidence-based wavelengths of near-infrared, blue and red light which are absorbed into the skin at different levels. The wavelengths provide energy and stimulate a variety of natural processes within the skin to help produce vitamin D and serotonin, whilst encouraging cell growth and collagen rejuvenation to heal and repair skin post laser and minimise down time. Each treatment lasts approximately 20 minutes and is a pleasant, relaxing experience. To prevent further damage and protect the rejuvenating process, always apply a good sun protection factor every day as part of a daily routine. Heliocare was designed to protect users against damaging UVA and UVB sun rays and taking a supplement such as Heliocare Capsules will boost protection. The key ingredient is Polypodium leucotomos, a fern extract, which studies have shown helps guard skin from UV damage and even decreases redness after sun exposure. No supplement could ever replace the need for sunscreen, so it is advisable to use topical application to maximise sun protection. From within Skinade™ is the next generation liquid food supplement that boosts the body’s natural collagen production and improves the appearance of skin in as little as 30 days. Skinade™ has been developed by leading UK scientists and is manufactured in the UK using only the highest quality EU-approved ingredients. Skinade™ provides a perfect ratio of liquid ingredients working to create one of the most advanced, anti-ageing skincare products on the market today. So book with Epsom Skin Clinics for a consultation now to find out how to get the best out of skincare.

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

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Breaking the mould

Don’t keep sweet Bordeaux for dessert, this wonderful wine can be paired with more than just pudding. Food and wine writer Nick Harman goes to meet the makers.


he road sign emerges in the car’s headlights: ‘Sauternes’. A name previously familiar only from the labels on a bottle suddenly becomes a real place of bricks and mortar. Or to be exact, ancient stones. Sauternes village is a huddle of centuries-old houses unchanged by time. Everywhere are signs for its most famous product and it’s a must-see stop for anyone on the Sweet Bordeaux wine trail. And it’s a bigger trail than some imagine. There are in fact eleven sweet wines produced in the region, Sauternes, of course, but also Cadillac, Barsac and Loupillac to name just a few. The differing soils, microclimates and elevations provide a wonderfully wide variation of wine styles across the area and within individual chateaux, all of which can be explored at the Maison des Vins de Cadillac, a fascinating combination of museum and tasting centre. The unifying factor is the allimportant autumn fogs created by the nearby Garonne and Ciron rivers. “Folklore says that hundreds of years ago a white wine grower didn’t harvest before the fog came and his grapes got covered in a grey mould that made the berries shrivel up. Not wanting to lose all his money, he made wine anyway and it was a revelation: sweet, complex and delicious.” Jean-Christophe Barbe is telling me this as he offers me different vintages in the kitchen of his home, the vineyard Château Laville in Preignac. He isn’t just a winemaker, he is a professor at Bordeaux Oenologist University and his speciality is the fungus that the fog creates on the berries, the Noble Rot.

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Wine review | SWEET BORDEAUX

The differing soils, microclimates and elevations provide a wonderfully wide variation of wine styles across the area and within individual chateaux, all of which can be explored...

“The scientific name is Botrytis cinerea,” Jean-Christophe explains. “The fungus punctures the grape’s skin, so the water evaporates and that raises the sugar concentration in the remaining juice.” The downside is that it means you get a lot less wine from your vines. “About one glass per vine,” he says, as I leave, “which explains the high cost of the finished product.”

Ageing barrels at Château d'Yquem Grapes with the Noble Rot

I move to another kitchen, another ancient chateau, this time the home of Laure de Lambert Compeyrot, chatelaine of Château Sigalas Rabaud in Bommes. Here chef Olivier Straehli of La Maison des 5 Sens in Bordeaux is creating dishes to match Laure’s range of wonderful sweet wines. >>>

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The beautiful Château d'Yquem

Far from being heavy and cloying, the new breed of sweet Bordeaux from winemakers who, like Laure, are increasingly women, offer all kinds of expressions. The younger wines are a lighter golden colour, vivacious, clean and fruity, especially when served chilled. They haven’t yet the full honeyed complexity of age, but they bring a lot to the plate and the palate. This is amply demonstrated over seven courses and seven wines. Flavours are complemented, enhanced and balanced, from a dish of Shepherds Pie in a pumpkin with coconut milk, to one of cress risotto with parmesan and another of Soba noodles with cream of kaffir lime and roasted sesame. You’d not normally think to pair these dishes with sweet wines, but they work wonderfully. And for those looking for true nobility, there is Château d’Yquem. My pilgrimage along the sweet wine route had to end where some of the most expensive wines in the world are produced. This beautiful chateau on a hill has dominated the landscape since around 1477 and you’re aware of the wealth and power of the brand at every turn. Here Sandrine Garbay guided my tasting. She is the ultimate decision maker on each year’s production, and with bottles costing upward of £150 to £350 or even more, it’s a serious job. The more aged Yquems are complex and layered, tropical fruits with the marmalade finish that is the mark of the finest sweet Bordeaux. Balance is perfect, a velvet mouthfeel and an acidity so gentle it’s almost invisible, but which clears the palate. I feel bathed in golden sunlight even sitting indoors. So the message is don’t stop just at Sauternes, but instead explore the remarkable range of sweet Bordeaux wines and even try, as the sweet Bordeaux website suggests, mixing it for a cocktail. A few aged sommeliers may turn purple at the very idea, but there’s a new golden age for sweet Bordeaux on the horizon and just a short plane ride will have you in paradise. 

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essence INFO Nick Harman, writer Website: www.theculinarytraveler.net Maison des Vins de Cadillac, D10 Route de Langon, 33410 Cadillac, France Website: www.maisondesvinsdecadillac.com Château Laville, 6 Laville, 33210 Preignac, France Website: www.chateaulaville.com Château Sigalas Rabaud, Rabaud-Sigalas, 33210 Bommes, France Website: www.chateau-sigalas-rabaud.com Château d’Yquem, 33210 Sauternes, France Website: www.yquem.fr

2015 T OL D LIS


2015 SIL VER

2015 T OL D LIS

2015 SIL VER

BECOME A SQUERRYES MEMBER AND ENJOY A 15% DISCOUNT! Squerryes membership represents a journey of taste, celebration and friendship. With no membership fee and a minimum investment of just 12 bottles per year we will welcome you to enjoy private tastings and to host exclusive events within the house and gardens of the 17th century Estate. For further details visit www.squerryes.co.uk/membership @Squerryes (for instagram, facebook and twitter) Telephone 01959 562345

B R 2015 E ONZ

B R 2015 E ONZ

Squerryes Estate has a unique combination of rock, soil and microclimate, which produces some of the finest sparkling wine in the world.

2015 E MM END





2015 E MM END

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.

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Crates 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.

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





A member of the brassica family, this leafy vegetable is so packed with nutrients it is now often labelled as a superfood, and rightly so. Kale enjoyed a comeback following the wartime ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign, but it was one of the most common vegetables in all of Europe during the Middle Ages. Its origins stem right back to Ancient Greece and the Romans also enjoyed it, referring to it as Sabellian kale. Today, kale varies from plain-leaved through to curly kale, with colours from light green through to very dark green, such as cavolo nero – black cabbage. All kale is packed with vitamins A, C and K in addition to calcium, folic acid and even lutein, an antioxidant that helps keeps eyes healthy. This vegetable also packs a punch in flavour and is best following the first frosts of the winter.

The old saying of eating mussels only when there’s an ‘R’ in the month is not strictly true, but there is something in it as they really are at their best during the colder months. This is mainly due to them spawning in the spring, so they are usually of a far better size later in the year. Most mussels available today are rope grown resulting in plumper meat and less sand or grit than dredged mussels. Some people prefer wild mussels, but there is also a higher risk of them containing harmful toxins. It is not advisable to eat freshwater mussels as the quality of the water is likely to be very dubious. Of course there is a risk when eating any shellfish, but follow some simple rules and the risk is diminished, especially with farmed mussels. Discard any broken shells or ones already open before cooking and eat fresh mussels on the day they are bought, unless advised otherwise by a fishmonger who will know when they were harvested. The best way to cook mussels is to steam until they just open, as opposed to over boiling. The only difference between white and yellow mussels is the gender, with females being the latter.

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Kale & ginger juice www.crateslocal.co.uk

Cider mussels with bacon www.crateslocal.co.uk

Two servings

Serves two

Ingredients: Six to eight curly kale leaves Two apples Three stalks celery One cucumber One lemon Fresh grated ginger, small to medium piece Honey, optional to taste

Ingredients: 500g live mussels 150ml still cider 100ml single cream Three rashers of streaky bacon or pancetta Two shallots One tablespoon of rapeseed or olive oil One tablespoon whole grain mustard Two cloves garlic Sprig parsley Chives to garnish

Method: w Simply wash the kale leaves and chop the remaining fruit and vegetables. w For a juicer, simply add the ingredients and serve or chill. w Otherwise, blend all the ingredients and sieve, or ideally use an even finer mesh strainer. w Add honey to taste, if required.

Method: w Remove any barnacles or beards from the mussel shells, especially dredged rather than rope farmed. Rinse thoroughly under running cold water and discard any broken or open shells that won’t close if tapped. wHeat the oil in a large saucepan and add chopped bacon and shallots together with sliced garlic cloves. Cook until soft and add in the mustard. wTo this, add the mussels, then cider and cover with a lid. Shake and keep the pan over the heat, shaking occasionally for around three to four minutes or until the mussels open. wTake off the heat to pour in the cream, stir well and add the parsley. w Finally, serve in bowls with chopped chives sprinkled on top and a side of crusty bread or even french fries.

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

FEBRUARY 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 47

Art Food_Layout 1 03/02/2017 11:36 Page 1

A gourmet Indian food explosion from Surrey Spice Food writer Shirlee Posner of Eat Surrey introduces essence readers to Mandira Sarkar, the chef behind the innovative Surrey Spice, purveyor of Indian gourmet curries and fine dining.


management consultant, Mandira Sarkar, the creative force behind Surrey Spice, worked in the public sector for many years helping organisations become more productive. After her last large project with Guildford Borough Council ended, Mandira felt it was time to try her hand at something creative and more hands on. A love of her family’s traditional cuisine and treasured handed-down recipes inspired her to launch a calendar of pop up supper clubs. I was invited to one of the first Mandira hosted with some other local food writers. Her supper clubs are all themed by festivals and ours for the evening was Holi, the festival of colours. We were treated to a fabulous evening of Indian food and storytelling with dishes that were pure bliss: no overpowering chilli hit, absolutely no puddles of oil, just fragrant, aromatic spices and complementary textures. Desserts were amazing too. However, whilst the food was as good as anything I have eaten in Singapore’s Little India (perhaps even better), it was really the delightful rhetoric from Mandira during the meal that made the evening sparkle. A natural host, Mandira embellished the evening with background information on each dish: a family party, watching her mother in the kitchen or a snippet of information about the festival. Holi commemorates the victory of good over evil, which culminates in the burning and destruction of a female demon named Holika. Holi got its name as the ‘Festival of Colours’ from Lord Krishna, a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu,

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Mandira is inspired by traditional handed-down recipes

who liked to play pranks on village girls by drenching them in water and coloured powdered paint. The festival is always held at the end of February or early March which also marks the start of summer season. By the end of the evening, as the food entwined with vivid descriptions, we almost felt we had been there ourselves. If Dev Patel had danced into the room, none of us would have been at all surprised! This was in February 2015 and I have followed Mandira and her company Surrey Spice on social media as the business grew. Supper clubs, while

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Artisan food | EAT SURREY

Mandira’s chicken curry This elegant curry is easy to replicate providing there is an electric food blender or food processor to hand. The blended onions, ginger and garlic form the base of this aromatic dish and naturally thicken the sauce. Serve with steamed Basmati rice and fresh coriander for a satisfying dinner. Ingredients Two to three tablespoons vegetable oil One inch cinnamon bark Four cardamom pods, cut down the middle to release flavour Four cloves Two mild onions One inch fresh root ginger One whole garlic, skin removed One teaspoon ground cumin One teaspoon ground coriander One teaspoon red chilli powder; for a hotter curry, use more One teaspoon turmeric powder Eight boned chicken thighs, skin removed and each chopped into four to five pieces Four to five potatoes, cut into quarters One teaspoon salt Half teaspoon sugar Half teaspoon garam masala Two fresh tomatoes, chopped Half cup water

great for guests, are hard work and difficult to make a living from, but they are great for having your expertise recognised. Mandira had also started to offer take away food for pick up on Fridays from her home in Guildford. Surrey Spice supper clubs have popped up at local award-winning distillery Silent Pool with Bollywood-themed evenings and at Cellar Wines in Ripley, boutique wine shop and deli with a full events’ calendar. Cookery courses and bespoke catering are also on offer. In fact, this entrepreneur has been so active she has also been a finalist at the Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards for Food Innovation. More recently, Mandira decided the time was right to sell Surrey Spice freezer-ready meals to farm shops and delicatessens. Making these fresh to order, she delivers either fresh or ready frozen and already has a keen following. There are so many Indian ready meals in supermarkets that Mandira fully supports her retailers by offering tasting events. These are a huge success, as once bitten it’s difficult to resist the charms of these authentic dishes. After trying them myself, I was delighted to have the opportunity to see them being made and hopefully learn some trade secrets. I arrived on a cold morning to watch the magic happen in Mandira’s Surrey kitchen where she has managed to find a lady from Goa to help prepare her wonderful dishes, and another helper was on hand to pack.


Fresh chopped coriander to garnish Method Heat two to three tablespoons of oil in a large, heavy based pan and add the cinnamon bark, cardamom pods and cloves. This may sputter, but it’s important to release the flavour from these spices. Once an aroma starts to emerge, add the blended onion, ginger and garlic. Stir fry this mixture until it starts to brown slightly: if it starts to stick, add a teaspoon of water. Add the cumin, coriander, chilli and turmeric stirring continuously. Cook for a minute and add the chicken pieces. Cook the chicken in the spice paste until it starts to brown and is coated all over. Now add the potatoes and pan fry for another two minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to the boil. Simmer with a lid on the pan for 15-20 minutes until the potato is cooked through and the gravy has thickened. Serve with rice and garnish with fresh coriander.

• • • • • •

Shirlee Posner, eatsurrey.co.uk

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On arrival, the kitchen was in full production, huge wooden spoons were used to stir giant pans of dhal and Dhania Kaju Murgh (chicken with cashew nuts and coriander). A curious machine was whirring on the work surface and from the aroma I could tell I was in curry nirvana. I was astonished at the amount of detail that goes into the dishes. No jar of Balti curry paste has ever been welcome in this kitchen. Instead the dishes are all authentic regional recipes made exactly as they would be in Indian homes. Mandira explained that dishes such as tandoori chicken masala don’t exist in India, but her dishes of Xacuti chicken and Meen Moilee do. I watched the Dhania Kaju Murgh created from chopped, skinless chicken thigh meat, fresh coconut and coriander. Thigh meat is a preferred cut for traditionalists as it’s more tender and juicy than chicken breast (a sentiment I found when I lived in Taiwan too). The curious whirring machine it turned out was a stone grinder for spices. Used in modern Indian kitchens and powered by electricity, Mandira had the grinder brought to the UK by a friend in her suitcase. The only recognisable part of this machine is the name Prestige, but it is essential for the texture it creates when grinding ingredients. In the machine I witnessed fried onions being ground with fresh coconut with the resulting pulp seasoning and thickening the gravy. Using fresh coconut is essential said this chef, whose attention to detail was apparent. After this dish was made, a second went into production – Chicken Xacuti – for which a whole bowl of Kashmiri red chilli had been steeped in water and ground with coconut. A batch of Lehsuni Dal (yellow lentils cooked in caramelised garlic) was ready to portion up, but first we sampled a small bowl each. Satisfying, spicy, smooth and aromatic, it’s a delight to find such brilliant Indian food being made locally. Mandira sources her ingredients from a local Indian food retailer who also has a butcher’s counter, so Surrey Spice supports other local food businesses too. Currently there are ten dishes available in Surrey Spice’s ready meal range, one of which is a Paneer (Indian cottage cheese) cooked in spinach which is the best I have ever tried. I highly recommend these new freezer ready meals. They are beautifully cooked in small batches in a spotlessly clean kitchen. The effort and expertise that goes into their production is hard to beat and the recipes are totally authentic. In addition, these Surrey Spice meals are all gluten free and contain no preservative. It’s just really good food! Mandira’s amazing food is currently for sale in several farm shops in Surrey and a full list can be found on the Surrey Spice website.



Shirlee’s food reviews of independently owned cafes, restaurants, artisan food producers and farm shops in Surrey. A supporter of the local food movement with an aim to promote, support and champion their work. I always tell a personal story by taking the time to meet the people behind the products or the brand. Read my reviews here www.eatsurrey.co.uk Twitter: @eatsurrey Instagram: @eatsurrey Telephone: 07917 891881 Email: eatsurrey@gmail.com

essence INFO Websites: www.surreyspice.com and eatsurrey.co.uk Telephone: 07876 135096 Email: info@surreyspice.com Shirlee Posner is a food writer and blogger at www.eatsurrey.co.uk and provides social media management, web copywriting and food photography.

Member of the Guild of Food Writers

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A good vanilla cupcake, one that is soft and moist, with just the correct touch of quality vanilla extract and topped with a creamy buttercream is a must-have in anyone’s baking repertoire and a perfect, easy treat to make for a sweetheart this Valentine’s Day, or any other! Bake in a heart shaped baking cup and top with mini hearts or sprinkles – both can be found in some supermarkets or online – and top with a vanilla buttercream tinted pink or a chocolate ganache. After all, a way to a (wo)man’s heart and all that…

Makes around 12 Ingredients 120g plain flour 140g caster sugar One and a half teaspoons baking powder A pinch of salt 40g unsalted butter, at room temperature 120ml whole milk One egg Quarter teaspoon vanilla extract Vanilla icing 250g icing sugar, sifted 80g unsalted butter, at room temperature 25ml whole milk A couple of drops of vanilla extract Chocolate ganache 250g dark chocolate 235ml double cream Method w Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F). w Cream the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy. w Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each, and then add the vanilla extract. w Add the flour, baking powder and milk in equal batches until the mixture is smooth, but don’t overbeat. w Spoon the mixture into the baking cup cases until two thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 minutes, or until light golden and the sponge bounces back when touched. w A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely. w Whilst cooling, make the vanilla icing by creaming the butter until smooth then adding the other ingredients and beating until light and fluffy. If chocolate ganache is preferred, simply break the chocolate into squares and then heat the double cream until just simmering, add the chocolate and stir briskly until melted into the cream. Take off the heat, leave to thicken for a few minutes and then spoon or pipe on. w When the cupcakes are cold, pipe the vanilla frosting or chocolate ganache on top and decorate with whatever the heart desires!

essence INFO

TOP TIP: If the cupcake batter looks as if it’s curdling when adding the eggs, add a spoonful of flour after each egg.

Website: www.jenscupcakery.com Telephone: 07751 553106 Email: mail@jenscupcakery.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/jenscupcakery Twitter: @jenscupcakery Blog: www.ilovejenscupcakery.wordpress.com

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Literature | REVIEW

Venetian Chic Venetian art connoisseur, interior designer and hotelier Francesca Bortolotto Possati knows the intricacies of Venice. To have her as a guide is to experience firsthand her passion for the mythic city whose daily visitors outnumber its population. Join her to visit artists’ studios, elegant Venetian friends and to discover palaces’ secrets. Follow her on a gondola ride or through secret gardens, discover restaurants, markets and artisan shops. Everywhere one wanders, a sense of history saturates buildings and landscapes, harking back to the artists of the Renaissance and the chic masquerade balls of centuries past. The discerning eye of photographer Robyn Lea makes this book a revelation of the Venice of dreams. A sentimental foreword by Jeremy Irons perfectly complements this stunning volume. Francesca Bortolotto Possati is the chief executive officer of Venice’s Bauer Hotel group. A native of the city, she is greatly involved in its culture as a patron of the arts. Australian-born Robyn Lea moved to Milan, Italy to work as a photographer’s assistant. Over the last two decades, Lea has become an internationally renowned photographer, TV commercial director and writer. She has worked around the globe for clients such as Peroni, Kodak, Time, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. By Francesca Bortolotto Possati Photography by Robyn Lea RRP: $85.00 264 pages • Hardback 150 Illustrations ISBN: 9781614285380 Published by Assouline Publishing www.assouline.com

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REVOLVER 50: birth of an icon

A Spitfire Girl, Mary Ellis

The Grammy Anniversary edition of REVOLVER 50 features rare new photographs and tipped-in illustrations, with written contributions by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. The Collector copies include a signed and numbered book – hand-bound in buckram with gold foil blocking and gilt page edges – as well as a 12-page commemorative booklet and a unique Klaus Voormann pencil drawing. Telling his stories behind the making of Revolver and its cover design, each copy in Voormann’s Grammy Anniversary Edition will come with a signed unique, one-of-a-kind pencil drawn artwork. Limited to 500 sets, this is a valuable opportunity to acquire a piece of the Revolver narrative, as well as a beautiful piece of art. The original Klaus Voormann drawing is presented on a record-sized 29 x 29cm (approximately 12 x 12") acidfree mount, which is suitable for framing. Each book and unique drawing will be signed by the artist. As Paul McCartney says: “In the end, the Revolver cover was a classic and this book is another.”

We visualise dashing and daring young men as the epitome of the pilots of the Second World War, yet amongst that elite corps was one person who flew no less than 400 Spitfires and seventy-six different types of aircraft and that person was Mary Ellis. Her story is one of the most remarkable and endearing of the war, as this young woman, serving as a ferry pilot with the Air Transport Auxiliary, transported aircraft for the RAF, including fast fighter planes and huge four-engine bombers. In this authorised biography, the woman who says she kept in the background during her ATA years and left all the glamour of publicity to her colleagues, finally reveals all about her action-packed career which spans almost a century of aviation, and her love for the skies which, even in her nineties, never falters. Writer Melody Foreman is a qualified journalist and graduate with experience in newspapers and television documentaries, author of the bestselling ‘Bomber Girls’.

By Klaus Voormann RRP: collector edition (433 copies) £325.00; deluxe edition (67 copies) £845 (both prices pre-publication) Published by Genesis Publications www.genesis-publications.com

Author Mary Ellis as told to Melody Foreman RRP: £25.00 240 pages • Hardback 16 illustrations ISBN: 9781473895362 Published by Pen & Sword Books Limited www.pen-and-sword.co.uk

Dying For The Truth The Concise History of Frontline War Reporting The role of war correspondents is crucial to democracy and the public’s discovery of the truth. Without them, the temptation to manipulate events with propaganda would be irresistible to politicians of all hues. This book starts by examining how journalists have plied their trade over the years, most particularly from the Crimean War onwards. Their impact on the conduct of war has been profound and the author, Professor Paul Moorcraft, explains how this influence has shaped the actions of politicians and military commanders. By the same token, the media is a potentially valuable tool to those in authority and this two-way relationship is examined. Technical developments and twenty-four hour news have inevitably changed the nature of war reporting, with political masters ignoring this at their peril, and the author examines key milestones on this road. Using his own and others’ experiences in recent conflicts including Korea, Falkland Islands, the Balkans, Iraq or Afghanistan, the author opens readers’ eyes to an aspect of warfare that is all too often overlooked, but can be crucial to the outcome. The public’s attitude to the day-to-day conduct of war is becoming ever more significant and this fascinating book examines why. By Paul Moorcraft RRP: £25.00 376 pages • Hardback 100 black and white images ISBN: 9781473879157 Published by Pen & Sword Books Limited www.pen-and-sword.co.uk

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

MAR 17

APR 17



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achievements is


- Independent Schools Inspectorate

OPEN MORNINGS 09.30 -11.30

Saturday 4 March & Friday 28 April 2017

Assisted Places Available www.cranmoreprep.co.uk 01483 280340 admissions@cranmoreprep.co.uk West Horsley, Surrey KT24 6AT

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Contemplating the inevitable

Mitchell Thompson is an Associate in the Private Wealth Department at Mundays and here discusses how best to prepare for one certain aspect of life, death.


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. Mitchell can be contacted on 01932 590664 or at mitchell.thompson@mundays.co.uk.

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016 has passed and with it the death of many notables. It looks like a busy year for HMRC in terms of inheritance tax. I am told that the list for last year of lost stars is no more or less than the years preceding it, however, because I am getting older, the loss resonates more with me as the celebrities have earned their place in my own life memories. Who could forget Alan Rickman in ‘Die Hard’, Prince with ‘Purple Rain’, Carrie Fisher and her legacy of ‘Star Wars’ or George Michael with ‘Careless Whisper’? But because I am getting older, these deaths, particularly the more unexpected ones, make me consider my own mortality and how abruptly it can come to an end. We all will die, that is as certain as night follows day, yet not all of us think, or don’t like to think, what will happen once we are gone or what stress we may cause to the people we leave behind. Simple steps taken during lifetime may temper or even reduce the amount of problems caused. We have all read news stories of families squabbling over estates. Indeed I recall a surge in claims on estates I was administering around the time of the 2008 crash. At the time, people faced with an uncertain financial future and austerity considered all their potential sources of income. Compromise soon flies out of the window where hardship may be a real possibility. Similarly we all know of families where a large amount of Inheritance Tax was paid, sometimes unnecessarily. Isn’t it therefore a logical step to spend some time talking to a solicitor to make sure you and your estate do not become an anecdote?

So have you made a Will? Making a Will seems such an obvious thing to advise, but still much of the UK population does not have one in place because they think they don’t have anything worth leaving, they haven’t got round to it or they make assumptions as to how the estate will pass. By taking the time to make a Will you can: • Specify how you want your estate to be divided; • Make sure bequests to cohabiting partners, friends and charities are included; • Make sure, in the case of married couples, planning is undertaken to cap how much may be lost in paying care home fees; and • Make sure you can minimise the amount of Inheritance tax paid by your estate. The last couple of points are not guaranteed just by making a Will, but making a Will in conjunction with legal advice. Do you have business interests? Do you have children from a previous relationship? Have you adopted or have step-children? Why not take the time now to make sure you take appropriate steps to make sure everyone you want to benefits from your estate, you minimise the tax payable as a result of those wishes and at the same time maximise how much will pass to your nearest and dearest. Probate and beyond When the time does come and a loved one dies, sometimes grief is rudely forced aside whilst the administration of the estate is dealt with. This is, of course, the red tape associated with a person dying; drawing a line under their paper and digital life, gathering in assets,

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Best Private Wealth Lawyer UK 2016 Cobham-based law firm Mundays can announce Partner and Head of Private Wealth, Julie Man has been named Best Private Wealth Lawyer UK in the ‘2016 Women in Wealth Awards’ which showcases the very best women from across the financial environment. Julie joined Mundays as a solicitor in November 2006 and progressed to Associate, Partner and most recently Head of Private Wealth in 2013. The detailed knowledge and experience that Julie has acquired over the last ten years of continuous progression at Mundays has helped to establish her as a solid legal adviser in the private client arena, both internally within Mundays and externally. This has been complemented by an approachable and grounded style, which has earned her an enviable reputation for success amongst her loyal client base. Her ability to distil complex points of law and clearly explain them based on the nuances and practical objectives of each client has been highly praised. Valerie Toon, Managing Partner at Mundays comments on this fantastic achievement: “Julie believes that there really is no ‘typical’ client. It is important to be flexible and adaptable to the needs of the client. Julie leads a hand-picked team that are chosen for their exceptional abilities. Julie deserves this award for the commitment she has shown to her career over the last 10 years at Mundays.” Commenting on the programme, Awards Coordinator Daisy Johnson stated: “Women’s contribution to the finance industry cannot be underestimated, and as such this awards’ programme is showcasing the most committed, successful and professional women from across the market. I am truly proud to be able to highlight the hard work of every one of my winners and would like to wish them an even more prosperous future.” To learn more about all the deserving award winners and to gain insight into the working practices of the ‘best of the best’, please visit the Wealth & Finance website where you can access the winners’ supplement.

settling debts and distributing the remaining estate in accordance with the Will or statutory rules of Intestacy (where there is no Will). An executor is appointed under the Will; an Administrator under Intestacy (where there is no Will); together they are Personal Representatives or PRs. Normally these are family member(s) or close friend(s), occasionally it may be a bank, solicitor or other professional. In addition to dealing with asset providers, the PRs may also need to report to HMRC (Income Tax and Inheritance Tax) and apply to the Court for Probate (the Court order recognising who has the legal authority to deal with the estate). Dependent on the size and complexity of the estate, this can become an onerous task and comes at the worst possible time when trying to cope with loss. Reverting to a solicitor to assist can relieve the day to day burden leaving you to make the important decisions and sign documents. Too often we have seen PRs try to rush the process. We, of course, recognise that they want to move on following the bereavement, but they often end up falling foul of HMRC and can risk potential litigation by disappointed beneficiaries as the result of financial loss to the estate. Binding obligations set out in the Will are ignored, Nil Rate Band (NRB) or Life Interest trusts set up as part of tax or care home planning (usually on the death of a first spouse) are incorrectly dealt with, if at all, and can often lead to additional tax on the death of the surviving spouse, penalties, interest and massive delay. Everyone is different, not everyone wants solicitors to deal with the administration of their estates. However, recognising when professional advice is required is half the battle. If there is a legal document, such as a Will, which has plenty of jargon, why not take an hour to speak to a solicitor so you understand the implications rather than taking a chance? It could save more time, money and stress in the long run. 

essence INFO

Mundays LLP Cedar House 78 Portsmouth Road, Cobham KT11 1AN Telephone: 01932 560500 Website: www.mundays.co.uk

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Financial outlook for 2017 Simon Lewis believes that 2017 is likely to be an eventful year for both the global economy and global financial markets. The changes that are likely to take hold will have a profound effect on many investors.


am usually reluctant to make predictions and to do so might be considered a particularly precarious endeavour at a time of such uncertainty. Nevertheless, it is important for us to have a view of the world in order to shape both our investment and financial planning policy, so I am happy to share with you our current thoughts. Change is coming In many ways, 2017 could be the year that has been too long in coming. It will mark the beginning of the end for a world that has become unduly dependent upon the monetary policy of central banks. We have now endured over 8 years of financial engineering in the aftermath of the global financial crisis and, whilst there is good evidence that the first 4 or 5 years of monetary policy stimulus was necessary, it has probably now gone too far. It is all too easy to blame central bankers, but the reason they have been required to continue to act is that governments have generally failed to take the necessary measures to reform economies, encourage productivity gains and generate genuine economic growth. The absurdity of the current situation is illustrated by the fact that until recently, there was very little additional reward for investors prepared to lend money to both governments and business for the long term as opposed to the short term. This of course does not make sense. For example, Europe issued €242 billion worth of new bonds in 2016 that had an interest rate of zero. We are not just talking about government debt here; big companies such as Unilever and Sanofi have issued bonds with an interest rate of zero. Who would invest for a zero return? The answer of

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course is a central bank spending money that it has conjured up. But too many rabbits have now been pulled from the hat. For example, it has recently been forecast that by the end of 2017 the Bank of Japan will own 50% of all Japanese bonds issued and will be the largest shareholder in 55 blue-chip companies; paid for with ‘funny’ money. The change in direction for the US economy that will follow Trump’s policy of fiscal expansion (he’s planning to spend a lot of money) is likely to put some of these unhealthy trends into reverse, altering the fundamental attractions and risk of most classes of investment.

rest of the world. Nevertheless, it appears that the fall was a little ‘overdone’, particularly in relation to the US dollar. I expect sterling to remain volatile as sentiment inevitably swings with each new revelation from the forthcoming Article 50 negotiations. However, overall I think it will strengthen and I predict that it will recover to $1.35 by the end of the year. UK base rate Although the Bank of England seems prepared to look through short-term inflationary spikes it is likely to act by raising the base rate if it thinks there is a risk that higher inflation will otherwise prevail. For

“In many ways, 2017 could be the year that has been too long in coming. It will mark the beginning of the end for a world that has become unduly dependent upon the monetary policy of central banks.” Inflation The impact of sterling's post referendum devaluation is inflationary and has not yet fully fed through. Furthermore, it is likely the oil price will recover a little because the OPEC countries seem likely to agree a cut in production to reduce the current glut of global oil and support prices. UK CPI could be 4% or more by the end of 2017. Sterling The pound fell heavily in the aftermath of the EU referendum as a consequence of the uncertainly that now exists regarding the terms of the UK’s trading relations with the

example, if sterling was to depreciate heavily. It is however likely to remain cautious about increasing the base rate too quickly whilst negotiations relating to the UK's exit from the EU are in progress. Although I do not expect much movement in the first half of the year, I think UK base rate could be 0.75% by year-end. Bond yields As commented in my recent article, a Trump presidency is likely to lead to a short-term acceleration in US economic growth. This acceleration will result from an increase in government spending (on infrastructure) cuts

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Finance | PMW

to corporation tax and regulatory reform. This is likely to lead to higher US interest rates and higher US inflation and the impact of this is likely to be felt in the UK. One of the consequences is that bond yields are likely to rise, which means that bond prices will fall. The projected increase in UK government borrowing to 90% of GDP is also likely to push bond yields higher if we take the view that the Bank of England will no longer resort to quantitative easing. I expect the benchmark redemption yield on 10 year UK gilts to increase from around 1.5% to 2.5%. FTSE 100 share index Although I think there is much to be optimistic about in terms of global equity markets the FTSE 100 share index is somewhat peculiar in its construction. Something like 80% of the earnings of these companies are derived outside the UK and sterling's devaluation has therefore acted to inflate the value of such earnings. This has accounted for much of the index’s performance since the EU referendum. However, I expect sterling to strengthen a little over the course of the year and this will have the opposite effect on the value of those overseas earnings. Furthermore, the predicted upward trend in bond yields is likely to put pressure on the

share price of bond proxy stocks; those big companies (such as utilities) that have strong cash flow and pay a good dividend. On the positive side, the banking sector (see below) is likely to perform well and oil and commodity stocks might have further to gain after a successful 2016. On balance, I expect the FTSE 100 share index to breach 7,500 by the year end but it’s probably going to be a bumpy ride. UK banks High-street banks have had a tough time since the financial crisis and shareholders have been waiting patiently for a meaningful recovery in value. Although they were rescued from financial failure (either by Government or investors) banks have since struggled to rebuild their profitability. There have been many headwinds, most notably significant increases in the amount of regulatory capital they must hold and both substantial fines and compensation payments for a multitude of misdemeanours. Such headwinds have been faced at a time when low interest rates have compressed margins and stifled operating profits. However, rising interest rates and bond yields will act to both improve margins and reduce the cost of regulatory capital. This should lead to a substantial improvement in profitability

and share price gains that exceed the FTSE 100 overall. To conclude, investors will need to consider how to rebalance their financial strategies to best effect at this crucial time. If you would like some help with this we can add value to the process, please give us a call to discuss your options and find out how our ideas could provide your long term finances with a welcome boost.

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 48 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

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Education ACS Egham _Layout 1 03/02/2017 09:03 Page 1

A global outlook on education Jeremy Lewis, Head of School at ACS Egham International School, discusses the importance of teaching children to be ‘global citizens’ from a young age.

Learning to appreciate and absorb cultural differences is just part of everyday life in an international school.


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ould you like your child to emerge from education as a confident, independent young adult, with a full and life-long appreciation and understanding of other cultures? To possess invaluable, lifelong interpersonal skills, such as an ability to forge new friendships quickly and easily, network with confidence and communicate well with others, having developed into a caring, global citizen? Well who wouldn’t, I’m sure we all want this and more for our children, especially in today’s challenging, changing and uncertain world. But there is one form of education that can help deliver these attributes more so than perhaps any other, and that is an international education in an international school. Developing global citizens Learning to appreciate and absorb cultural differences is just part of everyday life in an international school. From a young age, students integrate with many different cultures, equipping them with the life skills to be global citizens and instilling them with a broad outlook. In a classroom with peers and teachers representing numerous different cultural backgrounds and roots, for example over 60 nationalities make up the ACS Egham school community, all comparing and sharing different perspectives and ideas, students cannot help but develop a deeper and broader understanding across complex subjects.

This diversity enables common themes, such as war and conflict, to be analysed from different viewpoints and cultural experiences. And while many students are expatriates, it is local, UK families who are joining in ever-increasing numbers as awareness of the life-long benefits a truly international education can give grows. Anyone looking for truly different perspectives on an issue could not do better than to step into an international school classroom! Different perspectives develop outward looking students Students also establish lasting friendships with peers from around the world and for them nationalities are not a label or a defining characteristic. They readily share their experiences from their home culture or places they have lived and celebrate their diversity. This naturally develops a global outlook which extends way beyond the classroom too – many ACS students have worked with international development projects in Nepal and India, for example, as well as getting involved with local community and environmental projects. Like all international schools, ACS is accustomed to looking beyond national boundaries to global horizons and this unique, multi-cultural learning environment beginning from a young age benefits children later on in adult life. It provides students with the global perspective and social skills necessary to

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interact with a range of people in a variety of academic, social and – further down the line – professional environments. Qualifications with a global outlook Qualifications and learning programmes that extend beyond national boundaries have to be central to an international education. Such programmes have international recognition not for their name alone, but for their academic rigour and as a positive indicator of the personal development of an individual. One of the leading education programmes in this respect is the International Baccalaureate (IB), a programme often referred to as the global educational passport. ACS Egham, one of three ACS International Schools in the UK, is the first and only school in the UK fully authorised to provide all four

International Baccalaureate Programmes from age three through to 18. The programme’s aims are outlined in the IB mission statement – to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people, and it is widely commended for its academic integrity, development of key skills, and the global awareness that it instils in students. Indicative of this, the IB is consistently cited by university admissions officers as the best preparation for higher education over other traditional UK curriculums. Admissions officers believe that IB students cultivate vital aptitudes needed to thrive at university including an ability for independent enquiry, self-management skills and open mindedness. IB students can go on to university anywhere in the world, with ACS students going to the US, UK and elsewhere across the globe.

International schools by definition have a unique advantage in helping students learn to see the world through others’ eyes, and this grounding in their formative years, alongside gaining highly regarded qualifications, sets them up for successful futures anywhere in the world. To find out more about ACS Egham, or to register for an Open Morning visit www.acs-schools.com/opendays. 

essence INFO

ACS Egham International School London Road, Egham, Surrey TW20 0HS Website: www.acs-schools.com Telephone: 01784 430800

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Mystery, awe and enchantment

Rebecca Underwood samples the delights of a city seemingly miraculously built on water. Despite crowds in summer, visitors are never more than a bridge or alley away from a secluded square in Venice.


enice was founded in the fifth century and is made up of 118 small islands on a lagoon. Isolated by canals and connected by bridges, the city remains one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. Parts of the city and lagoon were awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 1987. Most visitors begin their explorations at San Marco, the magnificent central square, which Napoleon Bonaparte called ‘the drawing room of Europe’. Here the atmosphere is lively, amid the hustle and bustle of the hoi polloi, street hawkers jostle for position and busy cafés serve frothy cappuccinos throughout the day. I headed for the Florian Café, located on San Marco under the canopy of the arcade. Established in 1720, it’s said that many members of Venetian society, including playwright Carlo Goldoni and author Giacomo Casanova, were regular patrons. Today, English afternoon tea is served on silver trays by sharply dressed waiters and includes a tasty selection of delicate sandwiches and delicious scones oozing with fruity jam and cream. As diners take in the grandeur of the neo baroque surroundings, harmonious strains of classical music played by the resident orchestra drift across the café adding to the ambience. After tea, a leisurely stroll around the square, and St Mark’s Basilica, one of Venice’s main attractions, towers above the eastern end. Five Byzantine domes and 24 carat gold leaf and glass mosaics glitter in the sunlight demanding the admiration of those passing by. It is recorded that in 828 the remains of St Mark were smuggled out of Alexandria, Egypt by two merchants and presented to Giustiniano Particiaco, the Doge of Venice. St Mark’s Basilica was duly completed in 832, along with St Mark’s Campanile. Soaring 323 feet into the Venetian sky, the bell tower is one of the most recognised symbols of the city. In 976, the church was destroyed during a rebellion when the Doge Pietro IV Candiano was locked inside and the building set on fire. Rebuilt over the next two years, it was consecrated in 1094 following the rediscovery of the relics of St Mark which were found secreted in a pillar

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The Grand Canal

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For a selection of tours or tailor-made boat excursions, Dogaressa Tours operates a fleet of original Venetian boats, including the Bragòzzo, which can accommodate a large group. For more information visit www.dogaressa.tours.

by the Doge Vitale Faliero. The Basilica remained the chapel of the Doges until 1807 when it became the seat of the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese and Patriarch of Venice. St Mark’s sarcophagus is now housed in the atrium within a golden altar decorated with thousands of sparkling gems, including rubies, emeralds and sapphires. Beside the Basilica and joined by a ceremonial entrance, the ‘Porta della Carta’ leads into the Doge’s Palace, a Gothic architectural masterpiece and major landmark. The building, erected in 1340, served as the centre of government and the official residence of the Doge of Venice. Today, visitors wander around the courtyards, the Doge’s living quarters, and the grand halls of the institutional chambers which feature frescoed walls, gold plated ceilings, elaborate murals and magnificent works of art, including Tintoretto’s Il Paradiso, completed in 1577 and located in the Sala del Collegio. For a first rate Venetian lunch, the Ristorante Al Giardinetto da Severino, located on Sestiere Castello, is only a five minute stroll from St Mark’s Square. The property dates back to the fifteenth century and has been managed by the same family since 1949. I opted for the scrumptious fegato alla veneziana (Venetian style calves’ liver), and the glass of Solaia 1988 complemented the flavours perfectly. Another famous landmark is the Bridge of Sighs, connecting the Doge’s Palace with the prison. The graceful Baroque arch features two intricately carved stone grills and it is believed prisoners on their way to cells would sigh as they snatched a brief glimpse of the lagoon. Records show that in 1755 Giacomo Casanova was sentenced to five years solitary confinement, without trial, for ‘public outrages against the holy religion’. Following a successful appeal, launched by an influential associate, Casanova was moved to a shared cell and provided with better food, bedding and books. Finding a piece of marble on his daily exercise walk he carved it into an implement for digging, and aided by a fellow prisoner, >>> PHOTO COPYRIGHT: FOTOTECA ENIT

St Mark's Square

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Dogaressa Tours, Venice

Casanova escaped and fled in a gondola. In 1787 Casanova’s book The Story of My Flight was published and he described his solitary confinement in ‘the worst of all the cells’. For those seeking an infinitely more comfortable and luxurious residence, and one which offers exceptional service and a first rate concierge, the elegant Londra Palace, which dates back to 1860, is located on the Riva Degli Schiavoni promenade, a short walk from San Marco. An associate of Relais & Châteaux, this hotel offers a selection of suites with large windows affording sweeping views across the lagoon and San Marco’s Basin. I stayed in a stylish junior suite with Biedermeier-style furniture and walls adorned with rich tapestries and brocades, soft carpeting underfoot and an ultra comfortable bed. The hotel’s fascinating list of past residents includes Tchaikovsky, who was inspired to write the first three movements of his fourth symphony as he gazed across the lagoon to the island of San Giorgio. He named his symphony Do Leoni, in honour of the Lion of San Marco and the hotel’s restaurant bears this name. I sampled the fillet of sea bass in a breadcrumb crust with a Sorrento lemon sauce, accompanied by a glass of the delicious Orto Venezia 2011: the only wine produced on the Venetian island of St. Erasmus. For visitors on a limited budget, the Hotel Gabrielli, which has been in business since 1856 and is also located on the Riva Degli Schiavoni, offers a traditional Venetian experience. The hotel comprises four inter-connecting houses and there is a roof top terrace which is the ideal spot for an afternoon tipple. The Restaurant Gabrielli offers a wide choice of dishes. To go further afield, head for the Bistrot de Venise, featured in the 2016 Michelin Guide. Located on Calle dei Fabbri, this restaurant offers historical Venetian cuisine with a contemporary twist, in addition to classic and modern dishes. The historical tasting menu, paired with a fine selection of Italian wines, presents a choice of six courses and includes a tasty almond crusted umbrine in a black grape sauce, served with a yellow garlic and almond pudding, which is divine and based on a fifteenth century recipe. After dining, take a gondola or boat ride along the Grand Canal: sail underneath the charming Rialto Bridge and along the meandering narrow waterways. It is a truly enchanting experience and provides an opportunity to fully appreciate the city’s exceptional examples of Gothic and Renaissance architecture. It’s recently been well reported that tourist numbers may have to be restricted, but visitors can avoid the crowds by travelling at this time of year, apart from, of course, if visiting during the carnival weeks in February. 

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Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Venice


Carnevale di Venezia


“Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go.” TRUMAN CAPOTE

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spotlight on... Colour! Print by John Hoyland and Glass by Paul Stopler New Ashgate Gallery, Farnham Until Saturday 25 February Colour! brings together two artists: John Hoyland, a leading British painter, and Paul Stopler, an exciting name in glass art. John’s latest works, Life and Love and Warrior Universe (pictured right) display the freedom of composition and powerful use of colour for which he is so famous. Each have a limited edition of only 100, all signed and numbered by the artist. Other New Ashgate Gallery exhibitions this month include: Trevor Price: New Print and Painting with Wire Sculpture by Jane Clift, David Mayne: The Sculptor and Craig Underhill: Maker in Focus, all ending on Saturday 25 February. And, finally, the Gallery’s Spring Craft Collection is on view until Saturday 29 April.

Information: 01252 713208 or newashgate.org.uk

Richmond Theatre Richmond Monday 6 to Saturday 11 February Million Dollar Quartet Hit musical starring Jason Donovan. Sunday 12 February Al Murray The Pub Landlord is back. Monday 13 to Wednesday 15 February Matthew Bourne’s Early Adventures A production celebrating the company’s thirtieth anniversary. Tuesday 21 to Saturday 25 February The Miser Moliere’s classic comedy starring Griff Rhys Jones and Lee Mack. Monday 6 to Saturday 11 March Gaslight Thriller starring Kara Tointon. Tickets: 0844 871 7651 or ambassadortickets.com/richmond

New Victoria Theatre Woking Monday 6 to Saturday 11 February Not Dead Enough The premiere of Peter James’ novel starring Laura Whitmore.

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Tuesday 14 to Sunday 19 February Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games Directed by Michael Flatley. Tuesday 21 to Wednesday 22 February Ellen Kent Opera A presentation of Puccini’s La Boheme and Verdi’s Aida. Saturday 25 February Mr Bloom’s Nursery Live A family show full of songs, play and interaction. Monday 27 February to Saturday 4 March Ghost the Musical A reimagining of the classic movie. Tickets: 0844 871 7645 or atgtickets.com/woking

New Wimbledon Theatre Wimbledon Thursday 16 to Sunday 19 February Cirque Berserk Described as ‘real circus made for theatre’, showcasing traditional circus skills, Cirque Berserk includes over thirty jugglers, acrobats, aerialists, dancers, drummers and stuntmen. Information: 0844 871 7646 or atgtickets.com/wimbledon

Warrior Universe by John Hoyland


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essence events Cranleigh Arts Centre Cranleigh Thursday 23 February Seann Walsh Observational comedy.

Guildford Gag House Comedy The Back Room of The Star Inn, Guildford

Information: 01483 278000 or

Saturday 18 February, 8pm The best stand-up comedy.


Information: gaghousecomedy.com

Dorking Halls

Guildford Shakespeare Company

Dorking Sunday 26 February Sean Lock: Keep It Light Comedian with new stand-up show. Friday 3 March Rob Brydon: I Am Standing Up... Comic returns to stand-up.

Holy Trinity Church, Guildford

Information: 01306 881717 or


Saturday 4 to Saturday 25 February Julius Caesar Shakespeare’s compellingly tense thriller has resonance today... Information: 01483 304384 or


Harlequin Theatre Electric Theatre



Saturday 11 February Lily and the Little Snow Bear Family show, perfect for half term.

Saturday 11 February Round the Horne: The 50th Anniversary Tour Experience the comedy classic live.

Ellen Kent Opera, Aida, New Victoria Theatre, Woking

Information: 01737 276500 or harlequintheatre.co.uk

Information: 01483 444789 or electrictheatre.co.uk

Rose Theatre

Epsom Friday 17 February Lady Chatterley’s Lover Passionate tale of a dramatic love triangle. Please note performance contains full frontal nudity. Information: 01372 742555 or epsomplayhouse.co.uk

Farnham Maltings Farnham Thursday 9 February David Starkey – Henry VIII Historian illuminates both the Tudor age and our own. Tuesday 21 February Andy Parsons Great stand-up comedian. Information: 01252 745444 or farnhammaltings.com

G Live Guildford Wednesday 15 to Thursday 16 February Half term Animation Nation Stop motion animation workshops.

To Saturday 11 February Silver Lining A new comedy by Sandi Toksvig. Tuesday 14 to Saturday 18 February Room on the Broom Another half term treat, a show based on the classic picture book. Saturday 25 February to Sunday 2 April My Brilliant Friend A two part dramatisation of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan quartet of novels.

Photo copyright: Darren Bell


Epsom Playhouse

Million Dollar Quartet, ensemble, Richmond Theatre

Information: 020 8174 0090 or rosetheatrekingston.org

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Guildford Saturday 18 to Saturday 25 February Guys and Dolls Romantic musical comedy containing the classic tune Luck Be A Lady. Monday 27 February to Saturday 4 March The Sound of Murder Gripping thriller.

Information: 01483 369350 or

Information: 01483 440000


or yvonne-arnaud.co.uk

66 essence-magazine.co.uk | FEBRUARY 2017 Cirque Berserk, New Wimbledon Theatre

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spotlight on... Butterflies in the Glasshouse RHS Garden Wisley, Woking Blue Morpho butterfly. Photo copyright: RHS/Katy Prentice

Until Sunday 5 March The butterflies return to RHS Wisley where visitors can see these exotic creatures take flight in the tropical atmosphere of the Glasshouse. The experience is a little like walking into a jungle: tree ferns, lush creepers and fantastic flower displays provide the perfect backdrop to butterflies, including the striking Blue Morpho (pictured left), giant owl, king swallowtail and colourful Malay lacewing. This is a chance to see butterflies feeding from fruits and sweet liquids at special feeding stations and the opportunity to learn more about the life cycle of these stunning creatures. During half term week (11 to 19 February), varying special activities will run every day, including the chance to create butterfly-themed weather crafts. In addition, sculptor Alison Catchlove returns with her animal sculptures. Normal garden admission applies.

Information: 0845 260 9000 or rhs.org.uk/wisley

music Epworth Choir

Guildford International Music Festival

Southern Pro Musica

Various venues, Guildford

Sunday 26 February, 1pm Family Concert A musical treat for all the family, with hands-on workshops.

Farnham Maltings

Friday 24 February to Sunday 5 March A ten day celebration of live music exploring the interaction between music and the arts with science and technology. Just a few of the performers will include a capella ensemble Apollo 5, National Youth Jazz Orchestra and a UK premiere of StopGap Dance Company’s latest work ‘The Enormous Room’. See website for details.


Information: www.surrey.ac.uk/arts

Trinity Methodist Church, Brewery Road, Woking Saturday 25 February, 11am–5pm Come and sing Rutter’s Requiem All comers are invited to a day’s workshop on Rutter’s beautiful Requiem, culminating in an informal performance of the work.

G Live, Guildford

Information: southernpromusica.org

The Electric Theatre Family Festival The Electric Theatre, Guildford Wednesday 15 to Monday 20 February Including theatre, film, workshops, puppetry, dance, arts and crafts and storytelling.

Vivace Chorus and the Brandenburg Sinfonia

Information: electrictheatre.co.uk

Guildford Cathedral

The Electric Film Festival The Electric Theatre, Guildford

Harlequin Theatre

Saturday 4 March, 7.30pm Performances of Mozart’s ‘Great’ Mass in C Minor, K.427, Howells’ Requiem and Barber’s Adagio conducted by Jeremy Backhouse. A free pre-concert talk takes place at 6.30pm in The Chapter House.


Information: 01483 444333 or

Saturday 18 February, 7.30pm Barbara Dickson Multi-million selling singer performs. Friday 3 March, 7.30pm Gilbert O’Sullivan in concert On his 50th anniversary tour.


Unravel...a festival of knitting, 2017


Farnham Maltings

G Live

Information: 01737 276500 or

Cranleigh Arts Centre



Tuesday 28 February to Saturday 4 March The Centre’s second annual Festival, coinciding with World Book Day on 2 March, includes live theatre and creative workshops.

Information: epworthchoir.org

Thursday 23 February, 8pm Fairport Convention Band celebrates fiftieth year. Friday 24 February, 8pm Judy Tzuke A special acoustic evening. Information: 01252 745444 or farnhammaltings.com

Friday 10 February, 7.30pm The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain A concert of all genres of music played exclusively on ukuleles.

Occam Singers St Nicolas’ Church, Guildford

Information: 01483 369350 or

Saturday 25 February, 7.30pm Arvo Pärt: Passio (St John Passion) With the New London Sinfonia.


Information: occamsingers.co.uk

Tuesday 21 February to Saturday 4 March An Oscar-themed film festival with showings of Gone With The Wind and The Lord Of The Rings. Information: electrictheatre.co.uk

Information: 01483 278000 or

Friday 17 to Sunday 19 February, various times The ninth year of this independent festival sees it creating a unique ‘Knit Aviary’ and asking crafters to donate a handmade bird to add to the special display being created. These will then be sold off after the Festival, with all money raised going to Step by Step, a young people’s charity.


Information: farnhammaltings.com

Cranleigh Literary Festival

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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

Dorking Museum Dorking Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays throughout February Medieval Betchworth An exhibition which depicts life in a medieval village. Information: dorkingmuseum.org.uk

Ramster Hall Chiddingfold Friday 10 to Sunday 26 March Embroidery and textile exhibition Over 200 pieces of embroidery and textile art will be on display and for sale. Visitors will also be able to explore the beautiful garden.

Watts Gallery To Sunday 19 February Untold Stories: British Art from Private Collections Great works of art usually kept behind closed doors. To Sunday 19 February Mary Wondrausch: A Return to Painting New paintings and collages from leading ceramic artist. Tuesday 28 February to Sunday 5 November Watts 200: A Life in Art: G F Watts 1817–1904 Marking the great artist’s life with a timeline highlighting key occasions in Watts’ career. Information: 01483 813593 or

Information: ramsterevents.com


The Lightbox Gallery and Museum

national trust

Woking To Sunday 7 May Henry Moore: Sculpting from Nature Featuring over 50 artworks from arguably the greatest British sculptor of the twentieth century.

Henry Moore (1898–1986), Head, 1984, The Lightbox

Compton, Guildford

Photo copyright: NT/Marco Cinnirella


© Reproduced by permission of The Henry Moore Foundation

essence events

Claremont amphitheatre, Claremont Landscape Garden

National Trust properties offer perfect venues to explore during any season. A few are shown here, but visit nationaltrust.org.uk for more.


Claremont Landscape Garden

The Art Agency



Information: 01372 466740 or

Saturday 11 to Tuesday 14 February Valentine Lovers’ Walk Enjoy a Valentine’s walk along a specially decorated trail and discover a regal romance.


Information: 01372 467806

Throughout February Featured artist: Parastoo Ganjei Talented painter’s works on display.

Photo copyright: Bocketts Farm

Information: 01483 737800 or

68 essence-magazine.co.uk | FEBRUARY 2017 Bocketts Farm, spring lambs

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East Clandon, Guildford Saturday 11 to Sunday 19 February, 10am–4pm February half term Explore, build a den, plus lots more. Information: 01483 222482

Polesden Lacey Great Bookham, near Dorking To Thursday 30 March, 10am–4pm Rules and Rollerskates: the perks of life in service Discover the work-life balance of Mrs Greville’s servants. To Tuesday 14 February, 10am–5pm The Love Tree Tie notes of love to the beech tree on the South Lawn. Saturday 11 to Sunday 19 February, 10am–3pm Secret servants: half term trail Discover Polesden’s secrets on this special half term trail. Information: 01372 452048

out & about Albury Vineyard Silent Pool, Albury Saturday 25 February Meet the vineyard manager Visit Albury for a vine pruning demonstration and a fun, informative and hands-on session at the vineyard. Ideal for gardeners and those interested in viticulture. Information: 01483 229159 or

Godstone Farm Godstone

Birdworld Farnham Monday 13 to Friday 17 February and Monday 20 to Friday 24 February Penguin activity half term Penguin-themed arts and crafts and trail around Birdworld.

Mane Chance Sanctuary Godalming

Hampton Court Palace


Hampton Court

Information: 01483 351526 or

Saturday 11 to Sunday 19 February, 11am–4pm Love at the Tudor Court A day out for the whole family with special activities for children including The Great Palace Quest. Collect a quest map, meet courtiers, solve puzzles and create a friendship gift.


Information: 0844 482 7777 or

Surrey Wildlife Trust


Furzefield Wood, Merstham


Saturday 11 to Sunday 19 February, 10am–4pm Historic meadows children’s trail Explore the history of the Runnymede meadows and popular pastimes across the ages. Sunday 12 February, 11am–12.30pm Snowdrop walk Tour Ankerwycke’s historic parkland and enjoy the spectacular show of snowdrops.

Saturday 11 to Sunday 19 February February half term fun Enjoy a day on the farm at the start of spring lambing. Birds of Prey will be on display Monday to Friday. In addition, activities will include pony and tractor rides, animal handling and pig racing.

Information: 01883 742546 or godstonefarm.co.uk

Information: 01372 363764 or bockettsfarm.co.uk

Haslemere Museum Haslemere

Brooklands Museum Weybridge

Saturday 11 to Sunday 19 February, 10am–4pm Children’s half term trail Discover and explore this beautiful arboretum following a special children’s trail. Friday 24 February, 11am–12.30pm Exploring the Arboretum Meet at the kiosk for a guided walk around the wintry Winkworth landscape. Well behaved dogs on a short lead welcome.

Information: haslemeremuseum.co.uk

Information: 01420 22992 or

Near Egham and Wraysbury


Saturday 11 to Sunday 19 February Woolly Week All the regular fun at the farm plus a new craft and play activity: Sheep Herding Hustle.

Make colourful jewellery and bow ties using recycled materials.

Friday 24 February, 7.30pm Mane Chance bumper table quiz Fundraising table quiz in aid of this fantastic charity which provides sanctuary to horses.

Bocketts Farm

Winkworth Arboretum

Half term car rides, Brooklands Museum


Runnymede & Ankerwycke

Information: 01784 432891

Photo copyright: Jason Dodd

Hatchlands Park

Monday 13 to Friday 17 February, 10am–4pm Half term family fun Take part in car rides, see Bertie the Brooklands Bear, try out the aviation family workshop ‘Build your own Race Car’ and take part in the children’s tours on Concorde. Sunday 19 February, 8–9.45am Brooklands Winter Classic Breakfast Served in the Sunbeam Café and Napier Room.

Information: 01483 208936

Information: 01932 857381 or



Tuesday 14 February, 10.30am–1.30pm Baubles and bow ties

Surrey Half 2017 Woking and Guildford Sunday 12 March, from 9am Take part in the half marathon race, kids’ race or 5km race. Information: surreyhalfmarathon.co.uk

Tuesday 14 February, 10am–3.30pm Wild explorers For seven to eleven year olds with games, den building and more. Information: 01483 795440 or surreywildlifetrust.org/events

farmers’ markets Camberley Saturday 18 February, 10am–3pm Cranleigh Every Friday, 9.30–11am Epsom Sunday 5 February and 5 March, 9.30am–1.30pm Farnham Sunday 26 February, 10am–1.30pm Guildford Tuesday 7 February and 7 March, 10.30am–3.30pm Haslemere Sunday 5 February and 5 March, 10am–1.30pm Milford Sunday 19 February, 10am–1.30pm Ripley Saturday 11 February, 9am–1pm Walton-on-Thames Saturday 4 February and 4 March, 9.30am–2pm Woking Thursday 2 February and 2 March, 9am–2pm

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The Reclaim Workshop team is dedicated to creating high quality, stunning kitchenware made solely by using reclaimed wood. Our team of craftsmen has refined their craft to offer the perfect piece for your kitchen. Walking into the workshop your senses are struck by the sights, smells and sounds. The sight of oak and mahogany in their natural state is a thing of beauty; the smell of different woods being sawn and planed is a delight. The quality of work is stunning, ranging from small chopping boards to large kitchen islands topped with end grain butchers blocks. It’s obvious these handcrafted products are lovingly finished down to the last detail. The end grain cutting blocks are arranged in random patterns giving each piece a unique signature not found in pieces that use uniformly sized wood. The larger kitchen islands contain over 1,200 pieces and are priced from £1,900 to £4,900 reflecting the craftsmanship and quality.

essence INFO

The Reclaim Workshop Unit 1e Oldknows Factory, Egerton Road, Nottingham NG3 4GQ Website: www.reclaimworkshop.co.uk Telephone: 0115 837 6161 Email: jeanjacquesedward@gmail.com

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www.vandapaint.com The V&A Classic Paint Collection, developed in close collaboration between Master Paintmakers and the V&A, uses the finest pigments to achieve the highest quality paint product available in its category. Full range available Spring 2017

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Rimini Blu Tortora and collection

Tradition and cutting edge Internationally known for its excellence and creative spirit, it’s the passion and skill of the hands of those who work the ceramics that is at the heart of Bitossi Ceramiche. Jane Pople takes a close look at the renowned brand.


ombining the traditional art of ceramic making with cutting edge style has been the aim of Italian brand Bitossi Ceramiche since the early 1900s. This prestigious brand’s long history is founded on a profound understanding of the material, and its natural propensity for experimentation. The brand’s roots stem from the productive ceramic tradition that existed in Montelupo Fiorentino from the 1500s. Tracing its beginning in ceramic production to as early as 1871, the Bitossi family business has centuries of expertise. Guido Bitossi was heir to this long ceramic tradition and established the ‘Manifattura Maioliche Artistiche’ in 1921, a centre featuring typical local craft works. Thanks to the art direction of Aldo Londi, traditional production methods and procedures were renewed, and really this was the beginning of Bitossi Ceramiche as we now know it today. Aldo’s meeting with the now iconic architect Ettore Sottass marked a significant turning point for the brand and this important encounter led to a close collaboration with Londi for many years. Together, this visionary duo created many successful designs and continued to expand their skills and creative genius. Bitossi Ceramiche is still in the original factory today, and it is still the go-to brand for leading designers fascinated by the historical value of the company, by craft production and the creation of unique collections. Since 1871, the Bitossi family has collected over 7,000 historical works, documents and material related to artistic ceramic production. This vast archive is an attempt to preserve and valorise the historic

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Aldo Londi



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Bitossi decorative vase

Rimini Blu Scimmia

Rimini Blu Toro

Rimini Blu Ippopotamo

The Bitossi workshop

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Iconic Italian ceramics from Bitossi Ceramiche

memory that the family has been collecting over the years. The Archivio Industriale Bitossi (Bitossi Industrial Archive) spreads over seven rooms in the historic Colorificio building near to the factory. This collection also includes important ceramics and documents from other factories, in particular those from the Florentine ceramics area. In order to safeguard the heritage of this important area and its work in ceramics, the Vittoriano Bitossi Foundation became involved in 2010. One of the Foundation’s statutory purposes is precisely: “the preservation and valorisation of the history of artistic ceramics in the Florentine territory.” The Foundation’s main sponsor is the Colorobbia Group and its chief purpose is the enhancement and dissemination of the ceramic culture, historical research and scientific research. It promotes cultural initiatives involving modern and contemporary art, also on the international scene. In addition, it performs supporting activities in the health sector in ceramics districts where the Group’s companies are located. In 2003, the MAIB – Museo Artistico Industriale Bitossi (Bitossi Industrial Art Museum) – was opened to house this collection. Temporary exhibitions offer various insights into production periods and styles linked to the talent of Aldo Londi, the company's historical art director, and also into design. The museum and archive are run by the Foundation, a direct offshoot of the Bitossi family. The Bitossi Artistic Industrial Museum opened in 2003, and is world renowned as an industrial museum that exhibits artistic ceramics productions of the twentieth century, and in particular, from the mid nineteen-fifties up until the present time. It currently covers two rooms in a historic 1929 building, which was the first site of the Bitossi factory. The Museum organises temporary thematic exhibitions mainly on the huge historical production heritage with displays of the factory's production. It also houses exhibitions of architects and designers who have worked with the company. The Foundation, the Museum and the overall winning identity of Bitossi Ceramiche is thanks to unprecedented entrepreneurial skills developed throughout the years and constant research for the utmost quality in each and every product. One of the strongest examples of Italian excellence, Bitossi Ceramiche’s business approach of focusing on craftsmanship has brought it to the attention of many outstanding designers who expressed in the medium of ceramic a special creativity well suited to the material, resulting in a number of timeless icons. One of the most renowned ranges from Bitossi Ceramiche is Aldo Londi’s Rimini Blu. These blue designs with ‘waived’ pattern continue to fascinate consumers across the world and there is a vast range of designs and sizes to choose from. Another highlight from Bitossi Ceramiche’s contemporary offering is Karim Rashid’s range, Symbolik. Comprising numbered vases, totems and bowls, it has been inspired by the colourful Sottass totems and it introduces the language of signs, one of the main features of the Egyptian designer. Invest in authentic Italian craftsmanship and discover the world of Bitossi Ceramiche now available at Amara.  essence INFO Bitossi Ceramiche is a new addition to the Amara brand portfolio. Websites: www.bitossiceramiche.it, www.amara.com This article first appeared in The Lux Pad, www.amara.com/luxpad

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Guadalupe vase, designer Bethan Laura Wood

Design specialists for bespoke faux floral arrangements, creating timeless elegance, sophisticated focal points and finishing touches to homes and offices. We know how important those finishing touches are and offer a service to cater for all types of room designs as well as offering seasonal arrangements and fresh flowers for all occasions. With our personal design consultation we will source the vases, planters and flowers and can advise on other decorative pieces for the home as well as offering a replenishing service to add or alter particular styles made for you. Please call now to order your faux or fresh flower Christmas arrangements and wreaths. “Truly inspirational and with a professional approach, Katie has class with a twist of edginess to her designs, that have made our house into a home and guests comment each time they visit.” Sarah and Thomas, Weybridge private client.

www.focalpointdesigns.co.uk Telephone: 07971 937162 • katie@focalpointdesigns.co.uk

FROM CONCEPT TO CREATION – PERFECT IN FORM AND FUNCTION www.aparattus.pt • info@aparattus.pt

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Project Pearl by 1508 London

From first principles

The London based design studio 1508 is known for creating exceptional residences and interior spaces. With a vast portfolio of the most remarkable interiors and architecture, the company has created over 35 projects with a combined value in excess of £226 million in more than ten countries across the globe. This year sees 1508 celebrating its eighth anniversary. To commemorate this, Jane Pople caught up with talented Creative Director Louise Wicksteed who shared her best advice and lessons learnt. Q What led to the inception of 1508 London and what was the hardest challenge you faced when starting the business? A 1508 was set up as a high-end design practice, working around the idea of a collaborative young design studio combining a multi-disciplinary team of architects and interior designers who could create and deliver great projects. We wanted to approach design from a set of principles rather than having a particular house style. Our hardest challenge is always to maintain a certain quality of design in our projects and learning to work with lots of different clients and different scales of projects. Q What was the biggest lesson learnt in your first years in the industry? A You are always learning so many things, be it about people – clients or working with other designers – about business and obviously about design. I think the biggest lesson is to retain a collaborative approach with both your client and within a studio environment. You can’t be too dictatorial.

Louise Wicksteed, Creative Director & Partner, 1508 London ALL IMAGES COURTESY 1508

Q Do you have a favourite or most memorable project? A I actually don’t have a particular favourite as each project is such a different experience. They all excite me in a different way – every project is an opportunity! Q What’s the best advice you have ever received? A Not to compare yourself to others.

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Interiors | 1508

Project Reuben by 1508 London

Project Reuben by 1508 London

Project Pearl by 1508 London

Project Reuben by 1508 London

Project Reuben by 1508 London

Project Pearl by 1508 London

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Q Do you think it is harder for women to get ahead in the design industry – and if so, how would you change it? A Within interior design, I don’t think it’s harder for women to get ahead when they first graduate. To give an example, we currently employ a 60:40 ratio of women to men and I have consistently come across lots of successful women at all levels throughout the industry. I think as women progress through their careers and start to have families, this is when discrepancies start to creep in, as this is when men pull ahead. With maternity leave and then after having a family, lots of women cannot work the same hours they did previously so they can be overlooked for promotion and development – which is wrong. I think these are issues that affect lots of different sectors and they need to be addressed at a wider level by government and business owners to help prevent this from happening by encouraging shared maternity/paternity leave, reducing child care costs and supporting women when they return to work. Q Can you tell us what a typical day looks like for you? A I try to get into the studio for around 8–8.30am as I like the quiet time to catch up before everyone starts arriving. Once everyone is here, I will spend my time either in design crits for the various projects we are working on, in design meetings with clients or working on presentations/designs myself. I like to set the concept and narrative for every project, so I will do a lot of work at the beginning helping to define the design direction.

Project Pearl by 1508 London

Q How would you describe your own interior style and what is your favourite room in your home and why? A My own style is relatively understated. I enjoy collecting furniture and artwork from antiques fairs and various travels so it is quite eclectic, but in a controlled way! My favourite room will be our large, sun-filled kitchen when it is finished (we are currently in construction) as it looks out over our garden and I like that connection to nature. Q If you could collaborate with any fashion design on a fashioninspired collection for the home, who would it be and why? A Probably Céline as they are very much design led, very understated, but the quality of craftsmanship is amazing and their products always have a quirky high fashion edge. Q If you didn’t work in the design industry, what would you be doing? A I would love to be a fine artist or a sculptor. Q Can you tell us about any current projects you are working on or what’s next for 1508? A We have some great private client projects in London, but our next exciting venture is moving into hospitality and we are currently working on our first full hotel project in the Middle East. We are also looking forward to the launch of the Lanesborough Private Members Club and Spa next spring, for which we did all of the interiors.  essence INFO 1508 London, Howick Place, Westminster, London SW1P 1BB Websites: www.1508london.com Telephone: 020 7802 3800 This article first appeared in The Lux Pad, www.amara.com/luxpad

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Project Reuben by 1508 London





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

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


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