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Good guy, bad guy Alistair Petrie interview

Also inside this issue: SURGICAL SUPERCAR McLaren’s 600LT BEYOND KINGFISHER AND COBRA Indian wine tourism THE POWDER AND THE GLORY Gstaad’s enduring appeal


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★★★★★ Mail on Sunday


tickets to the RSC’s comedy Don Quixote in the West End After a lifetime of reading books on chivalry, one eccentric old man heads off on a rumbustious quest to become a wandering knight accompanied by his faithful and equally ill-suited servant. “Riotously performed by David Threlfall as Don Quixote and Rufus Hound as Sancho Panza.” (The Times). Taking up a lance and sword, Don Quixote sets out on a hilarious journey across medieval Spain, defending the helpless and vanquishing the wicked. Hopelessly unprepared and increasingly losing his grip on reality, with each calamitous adventure the two hapless heroes experience, the romantic ideal of Quixote’s books seems further away than ever. Following its sell-out run at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-uponAvon in 2016 to mark the 400th anniversary of Cervantes’ death, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s “joyous” (Guardian) production of this legendary comic novel is told by a company of 20 actors accompanied by a band of live musicians. Adapted for the stage by James Fenton and directed by Angus Jackson, this “magical” (Telegraph) production has opened to critical acclaim at the Garrick Theatre where it is playing until Saturday 2 February. For a chance to win a pair of tickets for Don Quixote, simply visit and answer the following question: Who wrote Don Quixote: a) William Shakespeare b) Anton Chekhov c) Miguel de Cervantes Closing date Wednesday 19 December 2018.

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Book your tickets now (from £10) at Terms and conditions: One reader will win a pair of Band A tickets to see Don Quixote at the Garrick Theatre, London valid from Tuesday 1 to Tuesday 22 January 2019 for Monday to Thursday performances, subject to availability. No cash alternative. Travel and accommodation not included.

★★★★ Times, Telegraph, FT, Guardian, Metro, Time Out ‘Saddle Up for a Knight to Remember’ The Times



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contents Issue 97 | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018–19

6 | Interview | ALISTAIR PETRIE

Alistair Petrie is best known for his roles in Star Wars: Rogue One and the huge international drama hit The Night Manager. Andrew Peters spoke to Alistair about his outlook on his acting career, his likes, dislikes and his involvement with the Borne charity that researches into premature birth.

14 | Garden design | ALLADIO SIMS

Emanuela and Jon of Alladio Sims Garden Landscape Design look at the importance of applying the basic rules of geometry in the composition of a garden space.


16 | Fashion | PETER HAHN

Peter Hahn’s autumn and winter fashion comes in versatile and varied form, offering the stylish woman everything she could want from a skilled womenswear specialist.


Kevin Pilley discovers the burgeoning wine of India and asks could Aikya be the next Prosecco? Or the new Cava?

28 | Winter leisure break | GSTAAD

The enduring appeal of the exclusive and unthinkably pretty ski village of Gstaad only gets sweeter with time, as experienced by Chantal Borciani.

32 | Motoring | MCLAREN


The arrival of the McLaren 600LT marks the beginning of the next chapter in the McLaren ‘Longtail’ story and undoubtedly sets a new benchmark for supersportscar performance. Euan Johns looks at the car that purports to be Britain’s best value supercar.

36 | Theatre interview | DAN SNOW

Dan Snow is a well known historian, broadcaster and television presenter of history programmes. James Rampton talked to him about his forthcoming tour – Dan Snow: An Evening with ‘The History Guy’.

40 | Legal | MUNDAYS

Bethan Campbell looks at the alternatives to resolving family disputes other than through the courts.

42 | Finance | PMW

Simon Lewis, CEO at Partridge Muir & Warren, explains the reasons behind ‘Red October’ and why far more significant matters than Brexit are currently occupying the attention of global financial markets.


48 | Artisan food | EAT SURREY

Shirley Posner introduces readers to Sweet C’s – a new Surrey start-up making Colombian single origin, handcrafted chocolates.

50 | Food review | STEPHANIE BROOKES

Stephanie Brookes, BBC Radio London food expert, offers her pick of an eating establishment for this month, Galvin La Chapelle in Spitalfields.

52 | Education | CRANMORE SCHOOL

Michael Connolly, headmaster of Cranmore School, explores the requirements for a successful and balanced educational curriculum.


54 | Events | SURREY

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

60 | essence | PROPERTY

A selection of some of the area’s finest houses from some of Surrey’s best estate agents.

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APPEAL Disappearing Dawn Chorus A preparation for the 85th anniversary of Wild Birds Protection The Dawn Chorus is dwindling, and wild birds are rapidly declining in numbers; the planet may perhaps fall silent again. This was a concern for Eric Parker (1870–1955), pioneer conservationist whose work helped push through the Wild Birds Protection Act that came into force in May 1934, 85 years ago next spring. Parker lived and worked in Surrey, near Godalming. Parker campaigned vigorously for legislation against the indiscriminate gathering of wild birds’ eggs, alongside hunting and other destructive activity. He talks about the period that led to the passing of the Wild Birds act in 1934 as ‘that year of blessed memory’. David Lewiston Sharpe is a composer and has worked with the Royal Philharmonic. David has set verses by Eric Parker which give sad, soulful expression to the plight of song birds – his Song of the Nightingale. The plan is to present the new song cycle, sung by astounding mezzo soprano Phoebe Haines, in a programme with the Royal Philharmonic alongside works by Elgar, Delius, Butterworth and Respighi – all inspired by the natural world. The concert will aid the work of scientific research and practical activity to promote work towards avian conservation. I invite essence readers to get in touch –

please help to fund this concert and important conservation work.

essence INFO Birds on the Wire & the Waves Wild Birds Protection – 85th Anniversary Concert, Sunday, 12 May 2019, Cadogan Hall Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra Phoebe Haines (mezzo soprano) David Lewiston Sharpe (conductor) Programme: Lewiston Sharpe/Parker The Song of the Nightingale, Butterworth Banks of Green Willow, Elgar 3 Songs, Sea-Pictures, Chanson de matin & de nuit, Delius Summer Night on the River, On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring, Respighi The Birds Contact: 8362 9971



tickets to Shakespeare’s hilarious comedy, The Merry Wives of Windsor The Royal Shakespeare Company’s London Season at the Barbican continues with the hilarious comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor. Directed by Fiona Laird with more than a hint of reality TV, this is just the show you want to see this Christmas. Down on his luck in the suburbs, Sir John Falstaff plans to hustle his way to a comfortable retirement by seducing the wives of two wealthy men. Unknown to him, it’s the women of Windsor who really pull the strings, orchestrating Falstaff’s comeuppance amidst a theatrical smorgasbord of petty rivalries, jealousies and over-inflated egos. For a fat Englishman, a Welshman and a Frenchman, the only way is Windsor... For a chance to win a pair of tickets for The Merry Wives of Windsor, simply visit and answer the following question: Who wrote The Merry Wives of Windsor: a) William Shakespeare b) Oscar Wilde c) Harold Pinter Closing date Wednesday 19 December 2018.

essence INFO

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s The Merry Wives of Windsor will be at the Barbican from Friday 7 December to Saturday 5 January. For more information or to book tickets (from £10) visit the Barbican website. Terms and conditions: One reader will win a pair of tickets to see The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Barbican. Tickets are valid for Monday to Thursday evening performances until Thursday 3 January 2019 only, subject to availability. The tickets are non-transferable and there is no cash alternative. Travel and accommodation not included.

★★★★ “Ablaze with energy…a delight’’ Independent ★★★★ “Shakespeare meets The Only Way is Essex’’ Daily Telegraph


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essence team

Editor: Andrew Guilor Contributing editor: Louise Alexander Publishing manager: Rebecca Peters Production manager: Linda Seward Designer: Sharon Smith Digital design: Jason Mayes telephone: 01932 988677 email: Sales director: Debbie Pell telephone: 07836 565699 or 01932 834907 email: Commercial director: Jane Barnfield-Jukes telephone: 07795 206030 or 01932 834900 email: Contributors: Kevin Pilley, Andrew Peters, Euan Johns, Stephanie Brookes, Emanuela Alladio and Jon Sims, PJ Aldred, Shirlee Posner, Jennifer Sutton, Linda Seward, Bethan Campbell, Simon Lewis, James Rampton, Chantal Borciani.

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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 reaches 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 and all esa apartments throughout 17 locations in the south-east. Design and production © Maple Publishing 2018 Maple Publishing Limited, Howard House, 70 Baker Street, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 8AL

36 Good guy, bad guy Anyone who takes on the evil Empire surely has to be a good guy? Well perhaps not. What about George White in Deep State? Using someone’s children as leverage against them is something not everyone would resort to. It’s never something father of three and utterly good guy (General Davits Draven) Alistair Petrie would even dream about. Hollywood star Alistair has just about done it all and this versatile actor talked to essence about his career whilst filming in the Sahara. A career that spans A.A. Milne’s Toad of Toad Hall when Alistair was six to the Borne charity that means so much to him and his wife Lucy Scott. From the Sahara to Gstaad. This beautiful village is home to the rich and famous and for good reason, as Chantal Borciani found out. Talking about snow, Dan Snow, the history buff, talks to essence about his up and coming UK tour. For festive fizz, you wouldn’t really think beyond France or Italy, surely? Well, think again, as Kevin Pilley introduces readers to the Indian wine industry. Some cars are made to make jaws drop and the McLaren 600LT is one. Euan Johns experiences what is being hailed as the best value supercar currently on the market. Emanuela and Jon of Alladio Sims Garden Design look at the importance of geometry in a garden, whilst Peter Hahn offers seasonal fashion to suit all tastes. Stephanie Brookes visits Galvin La Chapelle in Spitalfields and Shirlee Posner introduces Sweet C’s Colombian sourced, artisan chocolate just in time for Christmas. As always, this issue of essence has a mix of legal, financial and foodie advice, alongside two great RSC theatre competitions. The diary of events offers places to visit during Christmas and New Year and there’s a pick of some of the region’s finest properties. The essence team



another job... Actor and producer Alistair Petrie is perhaps best known for his roles in Star Wars: Rogue One and The Night Manager. In 2019 he will star in Sex Education (Netflix) opposite Gillian Anderson and in the new Hellboy film, as well as returning to the second series of Deep State (Fox). Andrew Peters spoke to him about his outlook on his acting career, his likes, dislikes and his involvement with the Borne charity. Q Alistair, as your father was an RAF pilot this meant you had a variety of homes in the Middle East, Europe and West Africa and your mother took part in amateur dramatics. Did any of these experiences influence you to become an actor? A: I saw my mother on stage when I was six playing a small part in an amateur production of Toad of Toad Hall in Germany where my father was stationed at the time. She had a line which was: “He called me Fatface” and when she delivered it the audience roared with laughter. I remember looking around thinking what is this sorcery? That fired something in me. Moving every three years meant we lived a nomadic lifestyle which unquestionably informs my work. It meant having to constantly meet new people, discover new places, to be open to new things, being fully OK with having to be ‘somewhere else’ at the drop of a hat and not being intimidated or overwhelmed by it. Right now, I’m working in the Northern Sahara. It’s astonishingly remote, it’s beautiful and bleak and a great adventure. Q You began in theatre and your early career was very much centred around theatre work. In your heart of hearts is this still your greatest love? A I wrestle with this constantly. Finding the right part, in the right play, at the right place with people you really want to collaborate with can be a difficult alchemy to find and, of course, you need to be asked. I am looking though and trying to wave at the right people. I was shocked to realise recently that I have only done two plays in the last eight years, but that’s no reason just to grab the nearest piece of theatre you can wrench off someone. The process can and should be all consuming and time is so finite that it has be the right piece. Q Did (and do) you compare yourself to other actors? A I think most actors do, but the key is not to ever buy into the notion that the grass is always greener in someone else’s garden. Jealousy




is a destructive and tiring emotion. I’ve never watched a piece of work I was up for but not cast in and thought I would’ve done that better. Different maybe, but not better. I know I can do things that others can’t and vice versa and what I can do is what some directors are after and sometimes it’s not. That’s perfectly reasonable and OK. Q Have you ever regarded acting as ‘just another job’? A In our first lesson, on our very first day at LAMDA, the vice principal stood up and said: “Remember, acting is just a job”. We were dumbfounded. This was our life, our vocation, the thing that was most important to us. We were going to change how the world looked at itself, play parts to explore and reveal the ever-changing human condition. His point was that you must also find a way to pay the rent. Try to do all of the above, but keep in mind if you want to be able to do that you need a roof. You need to look after yourself and in the future others too. So yes, it does need to be a job. But after you acknowledge and look after that bit, the interesting stuff really begins. Actors also refer to getting a part as ‘getting a job’. Our work revolves around the word ‘job’: ‘I need a job’, ‘I’ve just got a job’, ‘who got that job?’... Q Confidence plays a huge role in life, especially in a publicfacing job such as acting – is that how you see it? A Confidence ebbs and flows. When you have opportunity and interest, your confidence can soar. When, sometimes inexplicably, opportunity and interest dissipate, the doubts appear. It’s very human and is certainly not restricted to my profession. Being prepared gives you confidence. It’s my trump card when nagging my children about revision for exams: I compare it to learning lines. Be prepared and you’ll actually look forward to the challenge as opposed to being somewhat terrified you don’t know it well enough. Give yourself every chance to perform at your best. >>>


“I just hope all the data and information algorithms don’t replace risk-taking in deciding on what stories to tell.”

Profile: Alistair Petrie


Q What have you found to be the worst and best thing about acting? A The best? The people you get to play with. The worst? It’s an industry based on rejection. There are no points for second place. The worst feeling I experienced was not getting a role that I wanted so desperately to play and I wasn’t sure how I was going to shake off the feeling of how much it hurt. I did a lengthy personal post mortem on it and tried to figure out whether it was simply not getting a great part or the losing out on further opportunities that playing the part may well have brought. What was heartening was that it was the former, not the latter. The latter is a road to ruin. I immersed myself in this person and got lost in him for quite a while before meeting the creative team; I was just so desperate to play this extraordinary, complex human being. Q As you take on a particular role, what’s your aim? How, if at all, does your attitude differ for the different disciplines of theatre, film and TV? A I don’t differ my approach to the work, but I acknowledge theatre is more an actor’s medium and screen a director’s. Either way, my first responsibility is to serve the story we are trying to tell. I try to understand the story first and then move into the more selfish phase of how who I am playing feeds into that story. You then turn outwards again and examine what your relationships are within the story. That’s the baseline work I do before rehearsing a play or going before the camera. Then you turn up to work on day one and that prep starts to feed in to everyone else’s notion of the story you are telling: you talk, you listen, you figure it out together. Then raise the curtain or press record and we’ll see what we have.


Alistair Petrie has enjoyed a stellar career starring in some of the biggest productions in film and TV. His recent roles include General Draven in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the multi-Emmy nominated The Night Manager and Fox’s original spy thriller Deep State, starring opposite Mark Strong and Joe Dempsie. The eight-part series, directed by the award-winning Robert Connolly (Paper Planes), is currently filming its second series. In 2019, Alistair will be seen in Netflix’s new original series Sex Education opposite Gillian Anderson and Asa Butterfield, out early in the New Year. He will also be seen in Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen. Based on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola, the film sees Hellboy caught between the worlds of the supernatural and human, battling an ancient sorceress bent on revenge. The film is set for release in April. His further film roles include Ron Howard’s Rush, The Bank Job, Cloud Atlas and The Face of an Angel. For television, his credits include National Geographic’s Genius: Einstein, BBC’s Undercover and the Emmy award-winning Netflix series Utopia.

Q Apart from your recent work in Sherlock, The Terror and Deep State, you also starred in what turned out to be a huge international success, The Night Manager. Did you expect this drama to be such a success? A You hope your story will reach as wide an audience as possible, that’s why I love television. You can put all the elements together that logic demands you should have a ‘success’: script, cast, other creatives, crew, budget to do the story justice, time slot, the list is endless. But how those things combine with the audience, who are the final arbiters, is a magical mystery. If we all knew, it would be bottled and available to sprinkle on every project. Great work can go absolutely unnoticed. But it’s all subjective anyway. Every project starts with the intent to make it the very best it can be; nobody sets out to make average work. Tell the story with as much truth as you can, send it out into the ether and roll the dice. >>>








Contact Annabel 0779 42 888 46

Registered charity no. 1167073

Quick five Dog or cat? Dogs. Adore them. Got two. We also have two cats. We just ignore each other. It’s a dysfunctional relationship. Favourite current TV programme? Succession on HBO. Guilty pleasure? Watches. Main inspiration? My wife and my boys. And late-night conversations with Alexander Siddig. Glass half full or half empty? Absolutely half full, hopefully with a cocktail umbrella perched at a jaunty angle. was ‘traditional’. It aired over six weeks and had enormous ratings which proves ‘appointment TV’ is alive and well and audiences enjoy talking about it together: a shared experience.


Q I hear you’re competitive at sport and were able to beat (Night Manager co-star) the competitive Tom Hiddleston at table tennis. If the mooted second series comes to fruition will there be a rematch? A No question. We’re both trying to figure out what’s the best brand of bat to use should it come to pass and trying to secure a ping pong ball sponsor. I’m definitely in training. Q Do you pay any attention to social media or a production’s ratings? A I’m confused about people who sit down with their devices and hit social media as soon as the opening credits roll. Watch something through then feel free to comment as much as you like. This may be apocryphal, but I did hear the first episode of Sherlock aired about the time Twitter really started to fly and by the end of the episode it was globally trending and Benedict Cumberbatch was suddenly a global star. In 90 minutes. Broadcasters will get a lot from the instant feedback. I just hope all the data and information algorithms don’t replace risk-taking in deciding what stories to tell. Ratings are an ever-evolving entity. Who watched it live, who downloaded it, who binged all episodes in one day. The Night Manager


Q Borne is the premature birth charity you are an ambassador for and appears to be going from strength to strength. Are you happy with what the charity has achieved so far? A The key for any new charity is to consider what its goals are and have a plan to achieve it. Borne, founded by the rather magical Professor Mark Johnson, is in a really good place with a brilliant, passionate team behind it, all with deeply personal connections to the cause. It’s just wrong we don’t know why premature births occur. We should. Lives will be saved and the money the NHS would save if we could extend early labour by a single week runs into the hundreds of millions a year. Seems like a no brainer. Q Your twin sons were born prematurely, how are they doing now? A Fabulously, thank you. Q On your charity fundraising ‘list of madness’, your wife Lucy Scott and yourself cycled from Paris to London and have the huge distinction of being the first married couple to swim the channel – anything from the list planned in the near future? A You should always have a caper planned. It doesn’t have to be some absurd sporting endeavour that requires discipline and mammoth training, but always have half a plan for a caper up your sleeve. Q Favourite actor – who would you pay to watch? A Matthew Macfadyen. Sophie Okonedo. Sam Rockwell. Leslie Mann. Anthony Hopkins. Olivia Colman. All in the same project please. Q Who would you walk across hot coals to work with? A How long do you have? People I haven’t but I’d love to are Marianne Elliot and Carrie Cracknell. About 10 years ago, I auditioned so badly for Marianne it’ll probably take a lot of convincing. People I have worked with and will continue to remove my shoes for? Marc Munden every day of the week, Susanne Bier, Ron Howard, Matthew Parkhill, Hilary Bevan Jones. I’m lucky, I’ve worked with some absolute marvels. And now I’m showing off. >>>

FINE CASTING & BESPOKE HAND ENGRAVED JEWELLERY Telephone 020 8769 4757 Mobile 07977 477 518 philippa_herbert Registered Charity no. 1167073


BORNE: PREVENTING PREMATURE BIRTH Alistair Petrie is an ambassador for Borne, a medical research charity working to identify the causes of premature birth. Borne brings scientists and doctors together to advance our understanding of pregnancy, and to find effective ways to screen women at risk of preterm birth and develop new treatments to prevent it. Premature birth is a cause that deeply resonates with Alistair and his wife Lucy. Their twin boys, Cal and Brodie, were born at 31 weeks in March 2003. Brodie weighed 4lbs and Cal just 3lbs. Cal suffered from breathing difficulties and the twins spent the first months of their fragile lives in the neonatal intensive care unit. Alistair and Lucy had many questions about why Cal and Brodie were born premature. “Why did Lucy go into labour when she did, when she did all the things she was supposed to do?”, Alistair said. “No one had the answers. This has to change.”

Q How do you feel about auditioning for people younger than yourself? A I have no problem at all with it. I am open and willing to learn from anyone. Bright and brilliant people can be twenty or 90. I’ve never gone in for a meeting and thought: “Oh God, please don’t be younger than me.” They will be more and more as time goes on anyway so just get on with it and embrace them. Q You’re General Davits Draven in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. What were your thoughts on reading the script for the first time? A We never received a script, secrecy around the story was very intense. Scenes were sent via an encrypted app before we shot them and as soon as the day was done, they self-destructed. Big budget films can feel like a very impersonal working experience. This was the opposite. It felt curiously like making an independent film, everyone was folded in and listened to. A lot of that was down to the truly wonderful Alli Shearmur, our producer. She sadly died this year in her early fifties. It’s a huge loss. Q Tell us more about your recently completed projects: Netflix’s Sex Education and Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen. A Blimey, they couldn’t be more different. In Sex Ed I wear ill-fitting tweed and get to dance. In Hellboy I get to wear armour and ride a horse. I’m hugely excited for the young stars of Sex Ed. They are so damn talented, they will have huge careers. My son in it, Connor Swindells, is astonishingly good. Q What’s next for Mr Petrie after those? A I’ve a film coming out called Sulphur and White directed by Julian Jarrold, I’m an executive producer on a new TV drama which starts filming next year and am donning a stiff collar for a period film set somewhere rather fabulous. I’m on the board of Shared Experience Theatre Company and we have just secured the rights to a really wonderful, timely play. We’ll be looking to produce that in 2019.v


45% to 50% of premature births are unexplained. Through its pioneering research, Borne aims to find answers to why some babies are born too soon. Since becoming an independent charity in 2016, Borne has transformed the way we think about pregnancy and labour and is breaking new ground by: w Trialling the first new treatment for the prevention of preterm labour in over 50 years. w Embracing Big Science to understand the causes of prematurity through a long-ranging discovery science study of 2,000 women who are pregnant for the first time. Borne believes that every child should have the chance of a full and healthy life, unaffected by disability. A baby’s first hours should not be its hardest, or its last. Through Borne’s pioneering research, the aim is to make this vision a reality.

essence INFO

Visit Follow Borne on social media: @BorneCharity. PHOTO COPYRIGHT: ANNABEL MOELLER PHOTOGRAPHY

A destination of discoveries Hop into town in the New Year and visit The Mayfair Antiques & Fine Art Fair. Find that something special for your home – or yourself – from the vast array of contemporary and traditional rarities to peruse and purchase.

Piccadilly Circus, London by George Hyde-Pownall (1867–1939), oil on board

Chanel fuchsia pink python skin wallet on chain with palladium hardware, 20cm model, 2015


f you have never visited The Mayfair Antiques & Fine Art Fair over the last six years, you have missed a trick. This event kicks off the antiques fair season in the affluent area of London’s West End at the five-star London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square. Boutique in size, the Fair boasts a plethora of rare and fascinating decorative items for the home or personal adornment. Amongst the traditional and Art Deco furniture, contemporary and antique sculpture and paintings, clocks, ceramics, silver, art glass, clocks and objets d’art nestles jewellery, vintage watches and, for the first time, designer handbags. A trip to London’s Mayfair between Thursday 10 and Sunday 13 January 2019 will open up a host of opportunities to add to a collection, purchase a statement piece for your home or as a unique present. The expert dealers are happy to share their knowledge and advise on starting a collection, or you can just wander through the treasures to make your own discoveries. Tickets are £10 per person and include admittance across all four days of the Fair. You can even treat yourself to a meal at Maze within the hotel or there are light refreshments in the Fair itself.

You can rest assured that all items in the Fair are vetted for quality and authenticity with the majority of the exhibitors being members of one of the UK’s professional associations – BADA and LAPADA, both of which are in turn bound by CINOA. Membership of CINOA is based on associations, which bind their dealer members to adhere to reputable standards of quality, expertise and integrity. essence INFO

The Mayfair Antiques & Fine Art Fair, supported by Wetherell and Bold & Reeves, opens at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square, Duke Street, London W1K 6JP from Thursday 10 until Sunday 13 January 2019. Enquiries and tickets (£10 each) through Eventbrite or The Antiques Dealers Fair Limited. Telephone: +44 (0)1797 252030 Email: Website:

Vintage gold bracelet, Portugal, 1940/50s from J Baptista


HIDDEN GEOMETRY and inner harmony Emanuela Alladio and Jon Sims of Alladio Sims Garden Landscape Design look at the importance of applying the basic rules of geometry to the composition of a garden space.


recent trip to Great Dixter a few weeks ago confirmed that winter really is the perfect time to look at the hidden geometry of a garden, when vegetation takes a step back and allows the existing voids to create inner harmony for the new season ahead. Despite a general sense of decay and emptiness in the garden, this time of the year is not one for relaxing and letting things happen, as it actually coincides with the start of the new horticultural year. If everything going on above ground may look as if plants are shrivelling and wanting to disappear – and many do, indeed, go on a long sleep or dormancy period to regain their energy before spring arrives – below the ground it’s a completely different story; plants are getting stronger and everyone working around gardens is or should be planning ahead and working frantically before the first of the frosts arrive: moving plants to create fuller, more pleasing displays, dividing and repotting, ordering bulbs and planting new shrubs and trees. This is by far the best time to look at the geometry behind borders, before the fluffy growth of new vegetation obscures and weakens it: it’s the time to take stock and examine lines and proportions carefully. After all, a garden can only feel right if its geometry is right. This was the overall message from the latest Society of Garden Designers Autumn Conference.

There is geometry in planting too, with colour patterns repeating in a specific sequence IMAGE COURTESY OF ALLADIO SIMS GARDEN AND LANDSCAPE DESIGN LTD, RESIDENTIAL SURREY GARDEN, 2018


Now the most exuberant flowers are gone, the long view framed by this yew arch sets the main scene whilst the yellowing vegetation brings harmony to the composition IMAGE COURTESY OF ALLADIO SIMS GARDEN AND LANDSCAPE DESIGN LTD, GREAT DIXTER GARDENS, 2018

Garden design | ALLADIO SIMS

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

Left: Evergreen clipped hedges and a surrounding sea of seasonal reds and autumnal hues create great harmony in this space. Unsurprisingly, nothing is left to chance, and looking closely the geometry and the proportions behind this picture are those of the Fibonacci sequence IMAGE COURTESY OF ALLADIO SIMS GARDEN AND LANDSCAPE DESIGN LTD, GREAT DIXTER GARDENS, 2018

This narrow path with its sinuous curve introduces a strong geometry that carefully shapes this informal part of the meadow creating a pleasing long view that disappears in the distant woodland IMAGE COURTESY OF ALLADIO SIMS GARDEN AND LANDSCAPE DESIGN LTD, GREAT DIXTER GARDENS 2018

That said, how do we know if the geometry is right? At the conference there was a general sense of ‘if it feels right, it’s right – you will instinctively know if a path is in the wrong place or not, if it’s too wide or too narrow’. Yet looking at some of the slides during the conference, I started to disagree with this approach and decided that in order to produce a pleasing geometry in a garden one might benefit from applying the basic rules of geometry to the overall composition – an example would be the Fibonacci sequence and the Golden Ratio allowing us to create pleasing proportions – and only once these are set are we allowed to disrupt the rules and balance by introducing a few unexpected and exciting ‘deviations’. To base our approach on geometry, following the principles that Fibonacci explained a few hundred years ago, we can be sure that we are mirroring the perfection found in nature – that of a fern unfurling, the curve of a shell, the structure of an artichoke – these are all perfect renditions of the Fibonacci curve and serve as a reminder that nature is based on its own very specific inner harmony. This is the perfect time to take stock of your garden, so go out and take a good look at those hidden lines and proportions, and make a note of any gaps that seem too big, or paths too straight or narrow, but above all don’t forget to enjoy the subtle beauty that a garden has to offer even at this time of the year.v essence INFO

Alladio Sims Garden Landscape Design Limited Regional office: Lower Bourne (Farnham), Surrey Website: Email:


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BEYOND Kingfisher and Cobra

Kevin Pilley discovers the burgeoning wine of India and asks could Aikya be the next Prosecco? Or the new Cava?


ill we be celebrating Christmas, birthdays and anniversaries by raising a flute of Indian sparkling? And toasting in the New Year with Indian shampoo? Two Indian businessmen who gave up their corporate careers to study at Oxford University are toasting the Make It India initiative with their own award-winning Soul Tree wines, and the only Indian sparkling wine sold outside India. Nashik-born Melvin D’Souza worked in poultry genetics, while Alok Mathur from Haridwar was employed by TATA Motors. “We were both searching for an entrepreneurial adventure,” says Alok. “Why not Indian wine? Soul Tree wines and Aikya were born, made at the Oakwood winery in Nashik which is the Napa Valley of India.” Wine and wine tourism are growing more and more popular in India. Indian wines are winning awards. The first time I invoked Varuni, the eighteen-armed Indian goddess of wine, was twenty years ago in Goa by opening a bottle of John Bir Blue. After regaining consciousness, I asked the deity to let me breathe. The next time I sampled Indian wine was on the Golden Triangle’s Palace on Wheels train. One mouthful made the train shudder, despite being stationary. Much has changed. India now has wine bars and restaurant sommeliers have begun offering pairing suggestions and consulting tasting notes rather than their insurance cover. India now consumes over three million bottles of wine a year. The annual market is worth over £5 million. It’s possible to stay in luxury vineyard resorts such as Soma Vine Village, surrounded by the Sahyadri mountain ranges, and the Garwar and Motewadi vineyards near Nashik. Weekend stays range from £75–200 during the harvest. >>> Soma Vineyards’ array of wines PHOTO COPYRIGHT: SOMA VINEYARDS





Pool at the beautifully-situated Soma Vine Village PHOTO COPYRIGHT: SOMA VINEYARDS

Once India’s largest market place and famous for its ‘wadas’ (courtyard houses), the Hindu holy city of Nashik, 200 kilometres from Mumbai and Pune, has over thirty mainly ‘boutique’ wineries. The Deccan Plateau accounts for three-quarters of the country’s total wine production. Approximately ten million litres of wine are produced a year and India grows more grapes than Australia. Most grapes in India are eaten fresh or sold as raisins. Out of a million tonnes of grapes, only 10,000 are made into wine. The UK market is worth £2 million per year and is growing at 50–60 per cent per year. Maharashtra state’s pioneer wine producer is Sula and its picturesque vineyards on the Godavari River in the north-west of the state, a three-hour drive west of Mumbai, are the main stop on the Indian viticulture pilgrimage route. It holds a major wine and arts festival every February where it’s possible to stomp your own, listen to bands playing in the vineyard’s amphitheatre and have your feet massaged while eating chocolate in the Bourneville Lounge. In the tasting-room and on its panoramic balcony, visitors learn from their wine guide that wine-making in India probably goes back over 5,000 years. Temple paintings depict ancient binge drinking and toddy tapping. Early wine made from rice, palm barley and saffron calmed Kashmiri soldiers before combat. Macedonians travelling with Alexander the Great probably propagated vines. The Portuguese introduced port to Goa. During Victorian times, the British established vineyards in the Baramati, Kashmir and Shirat regions. One of the earliest Indian wines was made by Shaw Wallace, the first importers of cars into India. The company produced a Golconda wine from the Bangalore blue grape. Named after an ancient ruined city in south-central India, the fortified ruby wine (port) is still available. Sula was founded in 1997 by Stanford University graduate, former Silicon Valley software engineer and self-proclaimed wine evangelist Rajeev Samant. The first grapes from the red, iron-rich soil of Dindori (a ‘taluka’ or administrative district of Nashik) were crushed in 1999. >>>


The Deccan Plateau PHOTO COPYRIGHT: MAX5128 | 123RF.COM


Psychology, psychotherapy, psychiatry and counselling For adults, young adults, children and couples We can all have difficulties in everyday life and encounter problems that we simply find hard to cope with alone. You may feel worried, anxious, low, confused, isolated or may be experiencing difficulties in relationships. These feelings and thoughts may persist and become overwhelming. In these circumstances it is difficult to know which way to turn. At times like these it can be helpful to talk things over in confidence with an experienced counsellor, psychotherapist or psychologist who will enable you to explore your concerns in a safe, contained environment, to help you develop appropriate strategies and techniques to cope with your life difficulties in a more effective way. We offer clinics in Weybridge and East Molesey.

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Bhairavgad Hillfort in Sahyadri mountain ranges PHOTO COPYRIGHT: SAMEER S | 123RF.COM


Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel followed. The first Riesling came in 2008. Sula also produces Mosaic, a blend of Grenache and Syrah, a sparkling Brut, as well as a dessert wine. The Soma Vine Village, a 23-room, ultra-modern, spa-like complex overlooking Gangapur Lake, bills itself as: “The perfect antidote for stressed-out city folk.” Yet another cork popped. We nosed. Our Sula host informed: “Our Dindori Reserve Viognier is a wonderful blend of fruit and minerality. The off dry wine has intense aromas of ripe apricot, peaches and white fruit on the nose, complemented with a savoury medium mouth feel of tropical fruit and hints of stony minerality. It goes down exceedingly well with curry.” Another must on the Indian wine trail is Chateau d’Ori vineyard at Nhera-Ori, twenty kilometres from Nashik. As well as a state-of-the-art winery, it has a four-bedroom farmhouse plus jacuzzi and pool which can be rented. Akluj, about 120 miles south east of Pune in Maharashtra’s sugar belt, boasts Fratelli. The Italian word for ‘brothers’ commemorates the collaboration of Andrea and Alessio Secci, Kapil and Gaurav Sekhri and the Mohite-Patil brothers, Ranjitsinh and Arjunsinh. Starting at £80, weekend and weekday overnight stays and tastings are available with a traditional Maharashtrian bonfire and cultural performance welcome and free use of the pool and ping pong tables. The signature red is Sette. The best white is Vitae. Master Tuscan winemaker Piero Frasi oversees. Roti has Four Seasons Wines (United Spirits Limited) Baramati winery which is housed in an imitation French château. Director and chief winemaker Abhay Kewadkar, who trained in Champagne, produces wines such as Barrique Reserva Shiraz and Sauvignon. Special packages are available, including harvest time stays (February to March), in which the hosts invite visitors to: “Surrender to gastronomic decadence.” Grover Zampa Vineyards, at the foot of the Nandi Hills near Bangalore, also holds a wine festival and jazz stomp in February. But, for wine fans, it all starts and ends at Sula. We clinked glasses and said: “Kai Ho!”, the Indian for “Cheers!” My tasting session and winespeak tutorial not quite over, I asked my guru what Sula means. I learned it means ‘peaceful’. It was exactly how I felt amidst the piquant and robust aromas of West India and vineyards of Maharashtra. Now that’s how I always feel when I am nursing a glass of Soul Tree or a flute of Aikya back home. I have moved beyond Kingfishers and Cobras.v


View from the Ahilyabai Holkar bridge on the River Godavari, Nashik PHOTO COPYRIGHT: BELYAEV VIACHESLAV | 123 RF.COM

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powder AND THE GLORY The enduring appeal of Gstaad only gets sweeter with time, as experienced by Chantal Borciani.


he Montreux Oberland Bernois railway first carved its way through mountain passes to snow-capped Gstaad in 1904. Today, the scenic journey from Montreux to the exclusive ski village is just as picture-perfect, but older carriages have been replaced with glassroofed vestibules that glide up past the Heidi-inspired scenery, snowcovered villages and alongside emerald glacial lakes. Gstaad has long since been the genteel sweetheart of the ski set with world leaders, artists and Hollywood starlets flocking to its snowy havens and picturesque slopes for decades. Even by Swiss standards, Gstaad is unthinkably pretty – snow frames its amber-hued chalets as if piped by hand and horse-drawn carriages frequently trundle into the village. Its pristine boulevards are flanked with Prada and Louis Vuitton stores (an indication of the bank balances of most of its visitors), but adventure is also never far and there’s a wealth of sports and activities for all visitors to enjoy. Swiss and swish

We are picked up from the small train station in a 1961 Bentley, which our driver explains used to belong to Roger Moore. While still reeling from this revelation, the car wafts up the drive of our hotel. Le Grand Bellevue must only be a three-minute walk from the station platform, but the hotel likes to set a tone of luxury right from the outset. Bond eat your heart out! On the face of things, Le Grand Bellevue looks classically Swiss and chic, complete with snow-dusted turrets and grand foyer, but on the inside the owners (who met and married in Gstaad) have used a rich colour palette and contemporary design to renovate and refresh. The lounge has a modern glass-fronted fire, plush sofas and a 17-metre long Chesterfield, while the bar is awash with jewel tones and two funky bird cage seats are suspended from the ceiling – surely one of the best spots in town for sipping cocktails. Rooms and suites enjoy magical views of the town and slopes and are located in the main house – some split level, others occupying parts of the tower – or in the chalet wing, where rustic wooden beams give a lovely Alpine feel. The tactile furnishings and fabrics are swoon-worthy throughout, but if we had to pick a favourite bedroom option, the chalet rooms pip most to the post thanks to the gorgeous wraparound balconies, snowy views and capacious bathtubs with views out to the slopes.


Six Senses Spa, Alpina Gstaad Hotel PHOTO COPYRIGHT: ALPINA GSTAAD

Striking an enviable balance between being relaxed, friendly and resolutely luxurious, the hotel bars and restaurants are perfect places to while away evenings. We dine at the excellent Michelin-starred Leonard’s for dinner and pre-dinner cocktails at The Bar before heading to Le Petit Chalet, a traditional, rustic chalet set in the grounds of Le Grand Bellevue which seats 18 guests and serves hearty Swiss dishes and oozy fondues.

Winter leisure break | GSTAAD Park Gstaad hotel and grounds PHOTO COPYRIGHT: PARK GSTAAD

Piste of the action

Set in a valley at the heart of the Bernese Oberland, Gstaad packs in 220km of slopes and though you’ll find mostly intermediate and advanced skiers swooshing down with enviable ease, I thoroughly enjoyed my ski school lessons and days out on the smaller runs. Skiing on the Wasserngrat is the most challenging in the area and where visitors will find the infamous Tiger Run, while tobogganing, sleigh rides, snow biking, ice climbing, snowshoe hiking and paragliding also offer fantastic ways to see the valleys. Snow-capped adventures continue for skiers and non-skiers at the Glacier 3000 at Les Diablerets. A 15-minute drive from the centre of Gstaad, the views on the ascent are extraordinary with the crowning glory the Peak Walk – the first and only suspension bridge to connect two mountain peaks. From the bridge, it is possible to see 24 summits over 4,000 metres, including Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn and the Bernese Alps. There are 25km of pistes for skiers on the glacier and thanks to the elevation they are rarely snow free. We book a snow bus tour from the summit and head off-road across the billowing fields of virgin snow – this trail can be hiked in around 30 minutes – and stop for lunch at Refuge L’Espace – a tiny chalet restaurant perched on a sheer precipice with jaw-dropping panoramic mountain views. Visitors chill in the sunshine on the small balconies and recline

in deck chairs in the snow out front – each vista as breathtaking as the next – before tucking in to plates of hot Tomme cheese of Rougemont with truffled oil and roasted potatoes. We spend our next two nights at Park Gstaad, a five-star chaletchic hotel known for its fairy-lit frontage and newly renovated spa. In the grounds of Park Gstaad and in the shadow of the surrounding mountains the hotel has created a little winter wonderland with a small ice rink, cosy fires for marshmallows and hot chocolates and an igloo bar. As night falls, the igloo bar is a hip hang out and has resident DJs. >>>



Glacier 3000 Peak Walk suspension bridge PHOTO COPYRIGHT: MIKE RABENSTEINER

Salt Grotto, Le Grand Spa at Le Grand Bellevue

Snow spas

Off the slopes, one of Gstaad’s great calling cards is its multitude of five-star spas. Le Grand Spa at Le Grand Bellevue boasts 17 sauna and steam rooms for guests, including an infrared sauna, a Himalayan salt inhalation grotto, a Laconium, Turkish steam bath and herbal sauna. Treatment rooms are decked in pine and soothing sage tones and outside there is a bone-jangling ice plunge, traditional sauna and heated mini spa pool. Equally heavenly is the Six Senses Spa, located up the hill at the Alpina Gstaad hotel. A new grand dame of the Gstaad luxury hotel clique, the Alpina opened in 2012 and is still very much one of the places to see and be seen. The Alpina’s lavish rooms have a moneyis-no-object feel with fur throws, rugs, exposed beams and generous balconies and its Six Senses Spa boasts a Himalayan salt grotto, a Turkish bath and magical indoor and outdoor pools. Foodies will revel in the innovative tasting menu at the Michelin-starred Restaurant Sommet, while the Alpina’s cutting-edge art collection adds interest around every corner – from work by Tracey Emin to the fascinating art of Roy Nachum who sculpts Braille poetry onto his canvases to create art that can be experienced by all, even those without the gift of sight. Fairy tales

It’s impossible to describe Gstaad without mention of the Gstaad Palace, mainly because its fairy tale towers can be seen from every part of town. The undisputed social centre of the village – they say if you haven’t been to the Palace lobby, you haven’t really been to Gstaad. And those who have been include the crème de la crème of Gstaad patrons including Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Roger Moore, Kofi Annan and Princess Diana. Built more than 100 years ago, this historic hotel still attracts the elite and rubber necking is something of an après ski pastime for us mere mortals. Head for dinner at one of five elegant restaurants, a favourite is cosy La Fromagerie, famed for its Champagne fondue and delicious raclette, and on to the legendary GreenGo club where Bono and many others are rumoured to have joined the band on stage. Much of what you may have heard about Gstaad is true – it’s exclusive, decadent even, and loved by the jetset elite. It’s picture-perfect and boasts Michelin-starred restaurants and patrons who wander the village decked in cashmere, fur-lined ski boots and Prada gloves. But at its heart Gstaad is still a village, rich in old world alpine charm. Alongside the glamour, it has a gentle buzz and its plethora of activities will keep all ages and abilities occupied. When you kick your snowshoes off, Gstaad’s spas are on hand for more R&R. It’s a world on another level, but why settle for normal life on holiday when you can escape to the ultimate winter wonderland and live like kings?v


The fairy tale-like Gstaad Palace PHOTO COPYRIGHT: GSTAAD PALACE

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For more information, visit Websites: Getting there: Swiss Air flies direct to Geneva.






McLaren has a habit of raising the heartrate and that’s even before getting into one of its cars. Euan Johns looks at the new McLaren 600LT, a car that purports to be Britain’s best value supercar.


Motoring | MCLAREN


aunched at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the arrival of the McLaren 600LT marks the beginning of the next chapter in the McLaren ‘Longtail’ (LT) story and undoubtedly sets a new benchmark for super-sportscar performance. This new offering from the McLaren stable epitomises the company’s philosophy to produce lightweight super-sportscars that deliver extreme performance. Its inspiration comes from the renowned McLaren 675LT models and their iconic ‘Longtail’ McLaren Fl GTR racing predecessor. This new addition to the LT family has all the physical hallmarks of a true McLaren ‘Longtail’. The car is all about sharpness; it’s crisp and responsive, handles brilliantly, will launch to 60mph in 2.9 seconds and to a little over 200mph in just over 10 seconds. This new pinnacle of the marque’s Sports Series range comes at a base price of £185,500 which, on the face of it, appears pretty good value for a carbon, track-optimised supercar. For those wishing to spend a little more, then the MSO Clubsport Pack adds £24,170 to the base price and features super-lightweight carbon fibre racing seats, a carbon fibre interior upgrade that includes extended gearshift paddles, steering wheel spokes and switch and IRIS display surrounds in lightweight material, carbon fibre roof and cantrails, visual carbon fibre fender louvres in gloss finish and titanium wheel bolts. >>>


‘”The new McLaren 600LT is only the fourth McLaren in more than two decades to be designated a ‘Longtail’. The 600LT delivers astonishing acceleration and outstanding track cornering speeds with a truly extraordinary dynamic connection between driver and car.” Mike Flewitt, chief executive officer, McLaren Automotive

The MSO Clubsport Pro Pack adds a harness bar and six-point harness for track use in black, blue, red or McLaren Orange and is priced at £28,480. The super-lightweight carbon fibre racing seats are available as a stand-alone option costing £4,990. Extensive use of carbon fibre is the outstanding feature of this vehicle and is obviously behind all the weight savings. The chassis is some 25 per cent stiffer than a comparable aluminium one and the new aerodynamic features help the 600LT achieve a dry weight of 1,247kg and resulting power-to-weight ratio of 481PS/tonne. Even at the starting price, the 600LT doesn’t fail to impress with its incredible grip and responsiveness. It’s certainly not a wolf in sheep’s clothing: its looks are unashamedly aggressive. As a package, the car will encourage the average driver in a way that seemingly more exotic cars will not. To put it simply, the 600LT is a road-legal track car that aims to combine the best bits of the 675LT and the 720S with the bonus that it’s cheaper than either. Under the bonnet is a 3.8 litre twin turbo V8 and as it weighs 100kg less than a 570S, you can get some idea of how this car moves. It’s tight, compact, lightweight and responsive – a driver’s car. It has a balanced steely precision that feels so precise it’s almost surgical. If there was a Strictly Come Dancing competition for cars, this one would win hands down. Production began in October for this strictly limited edition car. All the vehicles will be built in a 12 month window and around the production of existing models. The eyecatching carbon fibre body panels require specialist tooling and this is just one of the reasons that the new ‘Longtail’ will be rarer than its sports series brethren. Worth buying? Well, it’s probably the most agile supercar currently on the market and with that in mind it’s up to you. For those who do not like attracting attention, then, no, this is not for you.v


McLaren 600LT ‘stealth’ option The McLaren 600LT with bespoke personalisation in Stealth Grey features both MSO Defined and MSO Bespoke options to further enhance the track-focused character of the McLaren 600LT. As Ansar Ali, managing director of McLaren Special Operations says: “MSO Bespoke was established to help customers realise their dreams and allows an almost limitless level of customisation. With MSO Defined, we offer a range of personalisation beyond the standard factory options.”

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MODERN SPORTS and SUPERCAR DISPLAY PARKING in the HEIGHTS Parking in The Heights for ALL other vehicles

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CLUBS contact Donna Hopton on 01932 857381 ext 253 for details Brooklands Museum, Brooklands Road, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 0QN

IN THE BLOOD Dan Snow is a historian, broadcaster and television presenter of history programmes for the BBC and other broadcasters. James Rampton talked to him about his forthcoming tour – Dan Snow: An Evening with ‘The History Guy’. Q Dan, can you talk us through the motivation behind your first live tour: Dan Snow: An Evening with ‘The History Guy’ On The History Hit TV Tour 2019? A When you’re making television and podcasts, it’s very lonely. You sit by yourself and think: “Is anyone watching?” That’s why TV presenters take to Facebook Live. That gives you the number of viewers at the bottom of the screen. It might be only five people, but at least you know someone is there! Q Tell us more. A Doing live events at book festivals and book launches is a huge treat because you get to meet people. It’s an enormous boost to the confidence to know there are people out there following what you do! The tour is the first time I’ve done this in an organised way where we’ve been able to build a proper show. It’s a great chance to meet people and say thank you to those on whom my career depends. I’m really looking forward to it. Q What will you be talking about in the show? A A large chunk of the show will be about local history. It will have direct relevance to the place we’re in. That’s not difficult to write. Just looking at the list of venues, Alnwick Castle, where Scottish king William the Lion was captured by the English; Belfast, where I’ll be visiting HMS Caroline for the first time, the last survivor of the Battle of Jutland; Lancaster has one of my favourite castles and Liverpool is obviously stuffed with history, the Western Approaches museum is a hidden gem. In every location I try and visit some local history during the day and then share my experiences in the evening.

their family played in history. A huge number of people tell me stories about their ancestors. They will say something like: “My father was the first black RAF pilot.” Listening to them, you realise how many firsts there are. Q Is your hope that you can captivate audiences with your infectious enthusiasm for your subject? A Yes! History is not all about dead kings, old libraries and dust. It’s everything. It’s your parents’ eyes meeting across a crowded room and why we are who we are and why we are speaking English and why it’s acceptable for women and men to mingle together. I hope people walk out of the theatre having thought deeply about the past of their town, their country and their world. Q History has become fashionable again, hasn’t it? A Yes. In the 1990s history was very unfashionable. People thought that history was ‘finished’. But 9/11 changed all that. It was a huge wake-up call. It reminded everyone that many people around the world felt that history was not finished. They felt enormous resentment about the fact that some people thought that the hands of history had stopped.

Q Do members of the public help with your research? A Yes, they do. I get lots of messages on my Facebook page. There’s so much history out there it’s ridiculous and I find the stories that people send me fascinating. Also, it’s easier to become knowledgeable in an aspect of history. It’s not like physics where you need a $300 billion particle accelerator in the house to become an expert. I’m really looking forward to interaction with the audiences at my shows. Q Do people want to recount their personal histories too? A Yes, they often want to tell me about their family history or the part


Dan interviews Chelsea Pensioners for the 70th anniversary of D-Day PHOTO COURTESY OF DAN SNOW

Theatre interview | DAN SNOW

Dan on location prospecting for gold in Alaska PHOTO COURTESY OF DAN SNOW

Q Can you explain your passion for history? A I love history. It’s everywhere. It’s everything that ever happened to anyone who has ever lived on this planet. It also means that I’m never bored on a train journey. As you travel, you see names that echo from the past. Every place has a history – wasn’t there a siege in the Civil War there? Q Can you expand on that? A The first question I’m always asked at events is: “What’s the best place you’ve ever been to?” They expect me to say something like Angkor Wat. But perhaps weirdly, I just love this country – there is so much character and history here. Wherever you go in Britain there are so many stories. For example, you can visit a place just outside Manchester and find the perfect Industrial Revolution era textile mill where global industrialisation began. Q So history is constantly beckoning you towards it? A Absolutely. I drove up the M3 recently to interview a Second World War veteran. On the way I visited Odiham Castle in Hampshire. It was built by King John, it was besieged twice and various people were murdered there down the centuries. The M3 is a road I use all the time, and I had never heard of Odiham Castle before. There is so much

history on this island just waiting to be discovered. It’s such a treat. We may complain, but we do have a great respect for history. I’m half Canadian and in Canada they would simply bulldoze a historic site and put a new building in its place. We are so lucky that we have preserved so much in Britain. Q What do you think are the benefits of studying history? A It’s very good for your mental health to go to these places. When I went to Odiham Castle, for example, it was a beautiful sunlit morning – not a bad way to spend 20 minutes. Being a historian is a lovely job, but we can all do it at any time. Q Does studying history also help us to understand more about the present day? A Definitely. It explains so much about today. Why can’t you book a boozy holiday in Somalia? That is down to history. The country’s instability is the result of colonial interference, food scarcity and the interference of America. In the same way, why can’t you go to a pub in Armagh and sing God Save the Queen without being glassed, while 20 miles away it would be fine. That’s all about history. If you’re curious about the world today, history can help you understand it. It will also make you realise that we are so lucky to be alive today. It gives things a real sense of perspective. >>>


Q Can you give us an example? A I recently spoke to a 94-year-old Second World War veteran. He told me that Montgomery pinned the medal on his chest after D-Day. I said to him: “Let’s end this conversation. I’m coming to see you now.” The podcast is also so important for breaking news. When the story recently broke about the Bayeux Tapestry coming to the UK, I immediately got Marc Morris, legend of Norman studies, on the phone and recorded him for my podcast that evening. Q What do you do in your spare time? A We go on holiday and visit historic sites! The children are more manageable when you’re doing things with them. Looking around Winchester or Basingstoke is great fun. Walking around the Roman walls of Chester is a really good day out. You’re a better parent if you take your children out to these historic places. It will make them better citizens. We’re also on the water all the time. I often row with the children near our house. Q Did you inherit your love of history from your family? A Yes. My dad is fantastic on the heritage side. I inherited that from him. He has relentless energy and was always taking us to different places as children. Also, my Welsh grandma, Nain, was a huge storyteller. She taught me to give history a human element and to bring it alive. I hope my history is very real and vivid because of her.

Dan at Angkor Wat, Cambodia PHOTO COURTESY OF DAN SNOW

Q Is it important that children learn history at school? A Yes. History is a fantastic thing to teach kids. It teaches young people about the things they say and hear, and it teaches them to be profoundly distrustful of politicians – and also not to invade Russia! Literacy about history is vital. People are mad to believe politicians without checking the evidence first. Young people need to learn about the reliability of sources and sifting through people’s motivations and understanding why they are saying something. There is nothing more important than questioning those in authority. Q You go into schools and teach children about history, don’t you? A Yes. I try and help children to get a sense of why we bother studying the past. It affects the present, what we wear or our economic status or the fact that there is violence on some streets. All those things are products of history. Q Tell us about your channel, History Hit TV. A Life is very exciting at the moment. Our podcasts have a million listeners. It’s no longer about going to a publisher and waiting for a commission. It’s about going out there and making instant connections with people. I love doing the podcast because of its simplicity and speed.


Q So were you introduced to the joys of history at a very young age? A Yes. Every weekend as a child, I was taken to a historical site, a castle, palace or a museum. I got History Stockholm Syndrome as a boy, and now I’m inflicting it on my own children! I don’t bother asking them how they feel about it. They seem to tolerate it – they don’t know any better! Two weeks ago, I took my two-year-old daughter to HMS Victory. It was just another day in the office for her! Q You have a new book just published last month – On This Day In History – can you tell us about that? A Over the years I’ve learned people really connect with history on the anniversaries of particular events. The First World War Centenary, the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain or the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta are times when people pause and really connect with those events. So I decided to write a book with an anniversary for every day of the year. From Lennon meeting McCartney to the fall of Troy, I explore these events that have shaped our world through the prism of the day on which they happened. It has been a really fun way to tell stories from all across human history.v essence INFO

Advance tickets for Dan Snow: An Evening with ‘The History Guy’ are available from or on 0844 888 9991. Dan is at The Princess Hall, Aldershot on Wednesday 6 February, and The Hawth Crawley, Crawley on Sunday 17 March. Dan Snow also runs his own online TV channel, History Hit TV (, which brings audiences great history documentaries and podcasts, and has a regular ‘history’ slot on The One Show.

The Great Wall of The Great Wall of

China Trek China Trek

19 0 2 t p e S 12 - 20 ept 2d0ve1ntu9re! Sndraising a a fu on0 1Jo2in -us 2 adventure! draising Join us on a fun

£349 reg. fee, £2,880 min. sponsorship. For details visit £349 reg. fee, £2,880 min. sponsorship. For details visit

Cause for adventure

A growing number of people from all walks of life are signing up to undertake challenges to raise funds in memory of a loved one. One of the most tempting – and spectacular – is to trek the Great Wall of China.


he ideal challenge for those with a passion for history and a sense of adventure, the Great Wall of China trek is an opportunity to discover China’s hidden charms, astounding cultural past, traditions and mythology. The first leg of this amazing adventure is to tackle the Huangyaguan section of the Great Wall: built in 557AD, this section is renowned for its stunning water towers, restored to their former glory. The trek then leads to the start of Heaven’s Ladder – a steep, narrow climb of 300 steps which rewards visitors with stunning views over the Yanshan Mountains. Trekkers will then have a few days to take in further spectacular views and winding trails through fields, woods and villages – seeing the Wall’s original and restored parts, including impressive watchtowers. The final day of the tour culminates in breathtaking views from atop a section of wild Wall in Beijing. At the end of the trek, a day or so exploring Beijing beckons; from Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, to the famous Pearl Market and ancient Hutongs district.

Great Wall 2019 hopeful Maggie Hennessy has every good reason to join the trek. She says: “When I saw the China trek advertised by Princess Alice I thought what better way to help raise funds for this wonderful hospice and enable it to continue providing the high level of professional and loving care that was given to my late husband Bruce in 2016. I honestly don’t know how we would have managed without its help in those final challenging weeks and indeed helping me to come to terms with his loss in the months afterwards. The trek next year is giving me a goal on a personal level and I’m looking forward to making new friends and new memories.”

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Find out more at the information meeting, Tuesday 12 February, 6.30pm, at Princess Alice Hospice, Esher. RSVP: ADVERTISING FEATURE

Now is your chance to not just see the Great Wall of China, but also trek along it! Join a nine-day adventure conquering one of the Seven Wonders of the World, make lifelong friends in a country steeped in history while raising vital funds for Princess Alice Hospice. From the moment trekkers sign up, they are supported every step along the way. There’s a dedicated event co-ordinator on hand to help with anything from providing travel details to discussing fundraising ideas and what to pack. On the trip itself will be an experienced leader and UK doctor – as well as local guides whose job it is to help trekkers make the most of their trip safely and happily. Princess Alice Hospice has, for more than 30 years, provided free, high quality, specialist end of life care to tens of thousands of people.

© Princess Alice Hospice. Registered charity no. 1010930 and a company limited by guarantee in England and Wales no. 1599796 © Princess Alice Hospice. Registered charity no. 1010930 and a company limited by guarantee in England and Wales no. 1599796


Alternative Dispute Resolution – what are the options? Mundays solicitor Bethan Campbell looks at the alternatives to resolving family disputes other than through the courts. PHOTO COPYRIGHT: ANDRIANO | 123RF.COM

Bethan Campbell is a solicitor in Mundays’ family department. She practices in all areas of family law, including divorce and associated financial disputes, private children matters, cohabitation and nuptial contracts. Bethan is passionate about finding practical solutions appropriate for individual families in the most cost-effective way. Bethan can be contacted on +44 (0)1932 590589



he Court system is broken” is a phrase that is often heard in the family law world. There are a number of factors that have led us to this conclusion such as: w Long waits for a hearing date which could delay proceedings w The high costs of Court proceedings w The Judge doesn’t always have time to read the papers fully for every hearing w Court dates can be changed at the last minute resulting in wasted costs w It is often seen as an adversarial and acrimonious environment w A Judge will make a decision that no-one is happy with w The Court procedure encourages parties to adopt a more rigid stance which can make it hard to find a compromise w The press can potentially access and in some circumstances report the proceedings

What can you do when you have a dispute in your family, be it regarding who spends time with the children and when, or your divorce and the division of your financial assets that follow? Thankfully, there are alternative routes for separating couples that are able and willing to work together. Mediation The parties sign up to this voluntary process and appoint an independent mediator. The mediator will assist the parties to reach a settlement suitable for that family and confirm what is and is not possible from a legal perspective. However, the mediator cannot advise either party as to whether a settlement is fair as they must remain independent. This provides a forum where the parties can talk to one another and the pace is set by the parties determining how often they want the meetings.


The parties can and often do retain a separate solicitor to advise on the possible settlement in between mediation appointments. It is also possible to have each party’s solicitor attend the mediation, if necessary, to provide advice on the terms of the settlement and/or provide support. A further option would be to have ‘shuttle mediation’ where the parties remain in separate rooms and the mediator goes between the two rooms. This can be useful if one party feels pressured by the other but wants to proceed with this route. Collaborative Both parties will retain their own solicitor, but instead of dealing with matters by lengthy correspondence, the majority of the matter will be conducted over the telephone, between the solicitors, or in meetings with all parties present. This reduces the opportunity for misunderstandings and gives a forum for the parties to discuss what is most important to them. The process is open and honest meaning there are no tactics or trying to ‘win’. The parties sign up to resolving the issue rather than scoring points and are encouraged to work as a team throughout the process. As such, the negotiations will not be able to be shared with the Court in the event the process breaks down. This gives the participants the

ability to be open in their discussions. The meetings are client-led with the solicitors giving guidance allowing the parties to work through solutions. A key factor is that at the beginning of the process both parties write ‘anchor statements’ about what they want their life to look like after the divorce and are reminded of these throughout the process to ensure everyone remains focussed on the big picture. The parties are motivated to reach an agreement, as if the process fails then both parties must instruct a new solicitor. However, it is often a very cost effective and constructive process. Arbitration Instead of issuing proceedings in the Court, you can appoint an arbitrator to make a decision. The arbitrator is a specialist in the area of family law and will have time set aside to fully read and consider all of the papers in your matter before the arbitration. A decision made by an arbitrator is binding upon the parties in the same way as a Court judgement would be. The pace is set by the parties to suit them and the issues decided by the arbitrator can be wide (the whole dispute) or a very specific issue. This can be useful if you have come to an agreement on most areas, but a discrete issue is preventing settlement.

Private hearings As the Court system becomes more stretched, parties are more frequently using the option of private court hearings where a Judge (usually an experienced family law practitioner, often a barrister or Judge) is chosen and paid privately. They are often used where the parties want to be able to set their own timetable and keep the proceedings confidential. Of course, for some couples, the above may not work for a variety of reasons, for example, it may be that the other party is not honest. It is therefore important to understand that you will likely require some initial legal advice tailored to you as to what is possible, what your risks are in proceeding in a certain way, or to assist you to reach an agreement.

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Mundays LLP Cedar House, 78 Portsmouth Road, Cobham KT11 1AN Telephone: 01932 590500 Website: The contents of this article are intended as guidance for readers. It can be no substitute for specific advice. Conse uentl e cannot accept responsibility for this information, errors or matters affected su se uent chan es in the law, or the content of any website referred to in this update. © Mundays LLP 2018.


A rollercoaster ride Simon Lewis, CEO at Partridge Muir & Warren, explains the reasons behind ‘Red October’ and why far more significant matters than Brexit are currently occupying the attention of global financial markets.


has provided a rollercoaster ride for investors and following what pundits have now labelled ‘Red October’, the dips have comfortably outweighed the climbs. If you are looking at the world through the prism of the UK, you might be forgiven for thinking that this has everything to do with Brexit but the truth is that more significant matters are currently occupying the attention of global financial markets. The rise in protectionist rhetoric and geopolitical tensions has weighed on sentiment but the big story is that investors are finally coming to terms with the fact that the cost of money is rising. The ‘bumper’ years that have been fuelled by the huge financial stimulus provided by central banks around the world are drawing to a close as monetary policy stimulus evolves to monetary policy tightening; the future investment outlook is less certain as a consequence. By way of explanation, the purpose of making an investment is to acquire a future cash flow. Those buying company shares will be evaluating the future earnings of that company (whether or not paid out as a dividend), those buying bonds (debt) will be evaluating future interest payments and those buying property will be evaluating future rental income. If there is no change in what is expected to be received, the rational price paid for that cash flow is determined by the


anticipated ‘cost’ of money, often referred to as the ‘risk-free’ rate. Let’s look at a specific example. Please bear with me (I know this might seem boring!) but understanding the following concept is key to understanding whether an asset is over or under priced. If you believed interest rates would average 2% per annum over the next 10 years, the maximum price you would have paid now for a receipt of £100 in 10 years’ time was £82 (£100/(1+0.02)^10). If you now believe that interest rates will average 3% per annum, the maximum price you would pay is reduced to c.£74 (£100/ (1+0.03)^10). In other words, the current value of the same future cash flow has reduced by over 9% for an increase of just 1% in the expected annual ‘risk-free’ rate. The more hawkish view of future interest rates that crystallised in October was the primary driver behind the fall of 6.5% in one of the main US equity indices, the S&P 500. The one thing I constantly remind myself when selecting investments for clients is that all you need to do to turn a good investment into a bad investment, or a safe investment into a risky one, is to pay too much for it. So having a view of what is going to happen to interest rates over your intended investment timeframe is important.


The US Federal Reserve has previously signalled that interest rates are likely to increase again in December and perhaps, a further 3 times in 2019. That could take the upper level of the Federal Funds Rate range to 3.25%. Bearing in mind that it was 1.25% in June 2017 that would represent a 160% increase in two and a half years. Factor in that the US Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing (QE) programme is now in reverse (it is effectively shredding $50 billion a month), the European Central Bank is scheduled to stop printing money in September and also that the Bank of England will have some catching up to do with interest rate increases post-Brexit; the only sensible conclusion is that monetary policy conditions will be a lot tighter over the next 10 years than they have been over the last 10 years. Is that such a bad thing? Arguably, this day has been a long time coming; for too long investors have been clinging on to the notion that the good times would carry on, with the result that the value of most financial assets had drifted higher than was justified. The white knuckles are now clearly visible when you look at risk and volatility indices and the widening credit spreads in bond markets. But it is not all doom and gloom; in the long run, interest rate normalisation will encourage the more efficient allocation of capital by governments, corporates and individuals and this should help to improve the lacklustre

productivity gains that bedevil much of the developed world. Economic theory has proven that productivity improvement is the only sustainable way to improve prosperity for all. As for 2019, we should expect financial markets to remain volatile. However, there is plenty of opportunity for returns to surprise on the upside. The US and China are likely to reach a pragmatic accord regarding terms of trade because a long running dispute would have a heavy cost for both sides, particularly China. There is certain to be lots of bluster along the way but it is important to filter it out and keep an eye on the detail. For example, despite their protestations and indignation at the time (which received a lot of media air time), both Mexico and Canada came back to the table and negotiated a revised trade agreement (which was hardly mentioned by the media). A trade war truce would give financial markets a lot of encouragement. And let’s not forget that other governments are likely to follow the US example by prioritising fiscal stimulus over fiscal austerity; effectively putting back some of the money that higher interest rates will take from our pockets.

Now is not the time to flee financial markets. They will bear fruit for those who are patient, just as roller coaster rides always seem fun after the event.v

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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 49 years and as recentl voted amil Office of the ear 2018 at the City of London Wealth Management A ards. 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. o find out more a out 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: If you would like to receive similar articles by email please visit:

“The white knuckles are now clearly visible when you look at risk and volatility indices and the widening credit spreads in bond markets. But it is not all doom and gloom.”


At Haig Club we take a different approach to Scotch. It’s evident in everything we do, from the unique colour of our bottle to the smooth, light taste of the whisky and our partnership with David Beckham. But the real difference lies not in the colour of the glass, or the shape of the bottle. No, what sets Haig Club apart from any other Scotch is our firm belief that when it comes to whisky, there shouldn’t be any set rules, except of course to enjoy drinking responsibly. WWW.HAIGCLUB.COM


Christmas CAKE BARS

Come Stir-up Sunday, Jennifer Sutton of Jen’s Cupcakery can be found in the kitchen surrounded by scents of sugar and spice (and all things brandy!). Why not make Jen’s mini cakes as a festive gift or the perfect evening nibble for Boxing Day? Just cover with a rectangle of marzipan and use a stamp to add a cheeky message.

TOP TIP: If a boozier bake is preferred, leave the fruit marinating in the brandy overnight before baking the cakes. Ingredients 175g butter 200g dark muscovado sugar 750g mixed fruit (use one with glacé cherries and mixed peel) Grated zest and juice of one orange and one lemon 100ml brandy 200g plain flour Half teaspoon baking powder One teaspoon cinnamon One teaspoon mixed spice Three large eggs, lightly beaten 85g ground almonds 85g macadamia nuts (or hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts if preferred) Method w Put the butter, sugar, fruit, zests, juice and brandy in a large pan and bring slowly to the boil, stirring until the butter has melted. Reduce the heat and simmer for ten minutes, stirring occasionally and enjoying the delicious aromas. w Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool for 30 minutes. w Preheat the oven to C fan C and rease each rectan le in a 12 hole mini loaf tin.

w Toast the nuts in the oven for eight to ten minutes – keep an eye on them as they burn easily. When they are cool, chop roughly. w Stir the eggs, nuts and ground almonds into the fruit mixture and mix well, then sift the flour, baking powder and spices into the pan. Stir in gently until there are no traces of flour left. Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth each down. w Bake for around 35–40 minutes until the cakes are dark golden in appearance and firm to the touch. Chec the ca es are done inserting a toothpick into the centre of one: if it comes out clean, the cakes are ready to come out. w If not eating straight away, when cool, wrap each cake in greaseproof paper and foil and store till needed. They can also be frozen.

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Website: Telephone: 07751 553106 Email: Facebook: .face oo .com enscupca er Twitter: @jenscupcakery




At their best right now Crates Local Produce, located in Horsham’s historic centre, bursts with fresh, seasonal food offering taste, health and economic benefits.



Blue cheese

Famed throughout the world, Stilton is still considered the only English blue cheese to put on the seasonal cheeseboard. However, in Britain, we now produce more than 70 different blue cheeses. The blue mould or ‘roqueforti’ that cheesemakers encourage in their cheese is what gives blue cheese its distinctive sharp and salty taste. More traditional blues are hard, but there are some amazing soft and creamy blues. Surrounded by artisan cheesemakers, a really special blue is never too far away. Look out for Oxford Blue, Norbury Blue, Brighton Blue and the British supreme champion, Barkham Blue.


Red cabbage

A variety of brassica, the red cabbage has much more to offer than its very close cabbage relatives. With double the amount of iron and much more vitamin A than the green or white cabbages, this coloured vegetable packs a punch. A traditional accompaniment for Christmas dinner, red cabbage is also widely used raw in salads and is a perfect candidate for pickling. The red cabbage is one of the longest lasting winter vegetables and can be stored successfully for several months in a cool place.

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


In season recipes from our wineries to your glass Upcoming events 30 November Gift Box Presentation Blue cheese brûlée

Aromatic red cabbage and beetroot SERVES FOUR AS A SIDE

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

Blue cheese brûlée SERVES FOUR AS A STARTER

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

1 December Weybridge Christmas Market on Baker St 6 December Tasting Menus – Open Day 14 & 15 December Christmas drinks at Cellar One 23 December Mince pies & fortified wines 24 December Christmas Evening Celebration 30 December In celebration of New Year – Drinks at Cellar One

Cellar One Thomas Hardy House 2 Heath Road Weybridge Surrey KT13 8TB Telephone: 07469 408768


Sweet as chocolate

Shirlee Posner introduces readers to Sweet C’s – a new Surrey start-up making Colombian single origin, handcrafted chocolates.

I Caroline Hill

love a good back story and this one starts out differently from most. Interviews often begin with a tale of years of yearning for a more creative life after a job in the city becomes too stressful. Or, perhaps, a move to the county and a search for a job that fits around starting a family. But most often years of tinkering with a notion for a business that eventually becomes a reality. This one, however, starts with an unusual Christmas gift. When Caroline Hill of Sweet C’s opened a parcel from her husband a few years ago she wasn’t even sure what it was and remembers having to feign delight. Once it emerged it was a small commercial chocolate tempering machine, she was surprised and bemused at this unusual choice for a gift! Caroline did, however, rather like the idea of playing with chocolate, but it wasn’t something at this level she had ever done before. A mother of six children, Caroline had left her career as a BBC production assistant on shows like Only Fools and Horses and Bread to raise her growing brood. With the youngest off to university and the others all studying or working, she had some quality time to herself. While using a tempering machine designed for an experienced chocolatier was a little out of her comfort zone, she soon got the hang of it. For a couple of years after the arrival of her machine Caroline went on courses, talked to as many chocolate makers at food shows and events as she could and gathered a wealth of information, drawing on this to start her business. To make professional looking and tasting chocolate, the art of tempering has to be learnt. Some of it can be measured (temperature-wise), but lots of other factors come into play: where the chocolate is from and its composition play a part, as do outside temperatures, storage and chemical structure. These are all factors that chocolate makers have to get to grips with. Put simply, when buying chocolate, usually in chocolate chip form from a wholesale supplier, it has to be taken


through the tempering process to melt it and create the product range, individual chocolates, bars or shapes. If this process isn’t right (a succession of cooling and heating chocolate), the end product will set with a bloom which makes the chocolate look dull and sometimes flecked with white blotches. The aim is to prepare the chocolate so it sets with a shine and for bars in particular to have a snap: it shouldn’t immediately melt in the hand or mouth. It’s a complex business based on the crystals that form in cocoa butter. Luckily this can be controlled by knowing exactly what temperature to achieve during the tempering process. It’s not necessary to go into more detail here, but it’s something Caroline has perfected in her new profession. After experimenting for a couple of years, Caroline became a supplier to friends who encouraged her to take her new hobby to the next level. It was a leap she was ready to take. Having got her shine and snap just right and her products tried and tested, she felt confident about taking larger orders and not just from friends. This chocolate maker has not gone down the bar route, but specialises in small, six packs of individual chocolates. These, she says, are perfect for small gifts, to take to a dinner party or to buy for yourself, and I agree it’s important to recognise the competition to be successful in today’s fickle business environment.

Artisan food | EAT SURREY

Having researched the local market, Caroline knew there were other chocolate makers out there and the importance of having a point of difference. In her core range, Caroline produces three chocolates: a dark chocolate amaretto truffle, a white chocolate praline with a passion fruit filling (think passion fruit juice blended with a French butter ganache) and, finally, a milk chocolate caramel praline with Cornish sea salt. Caroline told me that a couple of years ago she changed her chocolate supplier and has now gone to a single origin supplier, CasaLuker from Colombia. Single origin is often discussed about coffee, but it’s less common to go down this route with chocolate. CasaLuker produces delicious chocolate from its growing region and also has a strong educational and fair trade philosophy for its growers. Since the business started in 1906, CasaLuker has had 30,000 farmers go through its training programmes which have a key focus on cultivation and sustainability; a unique selling point from this company producing a delicious chocolate.

Fresh date, cacao and coconut truffles

Love chocolate but hate refined sugar? Why not give these healthier treats a go. I try and make as much as I can around Christmas as I enjoy creating edible gifts: they sum up the essence of the season to me, plus you can decorate the bags and get all creative. This recipe has been influenced by all the raw energy bites hitting the shops, but with an added bit of glamour from some single origin dark chocolate making these truffles vegan if that’s required. By all means use any chocolate, I just happened to have some single origin Balinese chocolate in my baking drawer from a recent trip. The truffles make great table gifts in little bags and a label can be used to create place settings too. Ingredients MAKES AROUND 30 TRUFFLES 400g pitted fresh dates (don’t use dried for this recipe) 50g raw cacao powder One 200g pack of creamed coconut 300g of 75% dark chocolate A handful of raw cacao nibs to decorate Method w First boil a kettle and place the creamed coconut still in its plastic bag in a heatproof bowl. Cover with just boiled water and in the time it takes to remove the stones from the dates, the coconut will be at the right consistency. w In a stand mixer or food processor, place the first three ingredients together and mix until a smooth dough-like consistency has formed. w Put a little oil (coconut or vegetable) on your hands and form the mixture into around 30 balls. Place on a tray or plate in the refrigerator to chill. w Meanwhile, melt two thirds of the chocolate in a bowl over some simmering water. When it’s melted, stir in the remaining chocolate and mix while this melts too. Remove from the heat and carry on stirring. w Dip the truffles in the chocolate and sprinkle each with some raw cacao nibs. Allow the chocolate to set and they are ready to serve. w The truffles will keep for up to a week in a cool dry place.

Recently Caroline has collaborated with Dorking gin distillers The Gin Kitchen to create three chocolates using their Gutsy Monkey, Blushing Monkey and Dancing Dragontail gins. The Gin Kitchen featured in this column in October and is gaining a solid reputation for its gin and gin-based products from working creatively with other small producers. These chocolates are available from The Gin Kitchen and from Caroline when she sells at food fairs. As a small business, there is freedom to create bespoke products, one-off orders and customised corporate gifts too. Sweet C’s chocolates can currently be purchased from a few retail outlets in Surrey, Village Greens in Ockley and Dorking and The Gin Kitchen; they can also be bought direct at food fairs. Follow Caroline on social media to find out what she is making and where she will be next, or contact her using the details below. essence INFO

Sweet C’s Handcrafted Chocolates Telephone: 07973 529 025 Website: Instagram: @sweet_c’s_chocs Shirlee Posner is a food writer and blogger at and provides social media management, web copywriting and food photography.


The awe-inspiring interior of Galvin La Chapelle PHOTO COPYRIGHT: GALVIN LA CHAPELLE

MY MONTH IN FOOD Stephanie Brookes, BBC Radio London food expert, offers her pick of an eating establishment for this month, Galvin La Chapelle in Spitalfields.



would estimate there are only a handful of restaurants around London that can truly claim to have the ‘wow’ factor. It’s a term which I use sparingly, and for those authentic jaw-agape moments that happen perhaps once or twice a year. One such occasion was a recent visit to Galvin La Chapelle, a restaurant which immediately exceeds expectations on aesthetics alone. You instantly find yourself leaning back in awe at the magnificent vaulted ceilings of Grade 2 listed St. Botolph’s Hall. The building has a long and remarkable history and was originally built for the parish of Bishopsgate and the Central Foundation


School for Girls in 1890. This unique location was the perfect backdrop for acclaimed chef brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin to further cement their stellar reputations. The restaurant hit the ground running since opening back in 2009 with a menu of classic French dishes: their immediate success even garnered its first Michelin star in 2011. On our visit we were fortunate enough to be looked after by the superlative, maître d’hôtel Franco Becci. He was on hand to help with our every request. The menu was explained intimately and yet swiftly enough so that we weren’t waiting too long in eager anticipation.


Tagine of Bresse pigeon




To begin, we were served Pressed terrine of rabbit, ham hock and foie gras with an exquisite presentation of apple, quince and hazelnut. The smooth, marbled slice of terrine highlighted each individual meat component. The sweet and salty ham hock, earthy rabbit and the butter-soft foie gras was beautifully contrasted with the fresh tang of the crunchy apple and tart notes of quince. The dish was begrudgingly shared between two! The highlight of the menu (for me) was the Tagine of Bresse pigeon, couscous, confit lemon and a side dish of harissa sauce. The skin of the meat had been perfectly rendered revealing the generously plump pigeon breast. Although pigeon meat is incredibly rich, it’s also deliciously tender and melted into the fluffy bed of nutty couscous. I appreciated the addition of the confit lemon which added a tangy, citrus note which cut through the gutsy, meaty flavours. A well thought out harissa sauce (on the side) meant I could add as much or as little to the dish. I’ve always been a fan of smoky, garlic flavours and the sauce successfully matched up to the overall richness of the dish. The success of the main course meant I wasn’t exactly primed for dessert, yet on the rare occasion I spot Paris-Brest on the menu, it is an immediate “yes”. The last time I enjoyed this heavenly treat was actually in Paris, so not knowing the exact date of my next trip to the French capital, I was confident La Chapelle would do justice to this quintessentially French classic. The choux pastry had that distinctive crunch and sugary topping which it is famous for, with

an oozing praline crème centre. The addition of the lusciously sweet blackcurrant was the ideal fruit accompaniment as the dessert instantly took me back to happy memories at my favourite Parisian patisserie. For connoisseurs of true fine dining, Galvin La Chapelle goes above and beyond to create the most exciting restaurant experience. It’s that special kind of establishment where you feel your every culinary need is taken care of. I can think of no better restaurant to celebrate the festive season, or indeed kick-start the new year, in a place that has surely established itself as a true culinary icon. PHOTO COPYRIGHT: GALVIN LA CHAPELLE

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Galvin La Chapelle 35 Spital Square, London E1 6DY Telephone: 020 7299 0400 Email: Websites:;


AN ENRICHED CURRICULUM Michael Connolly, Headmaster of Cranmore School, explores the requirements for a successful and balanced educational curriculum.


e have all read newspaper articles on how far parents and teachers should allow young children to take risks. Unfortunately some high profile incidents do make the national press from time to time which re-opens the debate about equipping children to handle everyday risks from crossing a busy road to riding a bike. However, there is a growing sense that we must ensure that all children have the fullest opportunities to develop their skills by particpating in a wide range of activities. Much has been written about the “core curriculum” in schools and whilst that is certainly important, it does not tell the whole story. All good schools ensure that children have opportunities to participate in Sport. It is from the opportunities to try a wide range of sports that most children identify which ones match their talents and real interests as well as giving them a measure on how to handle risk. In this way children are most likely to develop a lifelong love of sport which will bring them all the benefits of healthy living as well as strong social skills. There is increasing concern that children have fewer opportunities to become involved with Music. We all know that very young children from nursery age onwards enjoy learning songs and playing with percussion instruments. It is vital that teachers can harness this energy and enthusiasm so that children will be able to progress with their musical education by engaging in more challenging and complex activities. The recent John Lewis television advert which features Elton John is a powerful expression of how an introduction to an instrument at a young age can literally change your life. Drama is also a key ingredient to a balanced curriculum. There was a time when pupils had to slavishly read through a Shakespeare play


in class, not the best way to inspire a life-long interest in Drama. Thankfully, good schools now seek different opportunities for pupils to gain confidence in public-speaking and performing in drama productions. Teachers know that some children who are reticent in class can really take on a different persona on stage and act with true flair and panache. The concept of Outdoor Education has evolved from the traditional school trip with a few nights away in a rural setting to a regular, managed, programme which can operate all year round. Educationalists recognise the dangers of children spending too much time sitting in front of a screen, either a TV or tablet, and therefore there is a need to inculcate a love of the outdoors at the earliest opportunity. With a Forest School programme children can have a regular visit to a dedicated woodland where they can engage in all manner of activities including science, art and even imaginative play. In conclusion, the very best schools ensure that their pupils have these opportunities, and more, as a fundamental part of a balanced education.

essence INFO

With an impressive academic record, underpinned by strong pastoral care, Cranmore School is a community where each individual matters and pupils develop a long lasting love for learning. Children study the standard subjects as well as a stimulating curriculum which includes French, Mandarin, Spanish, Latin, Greek and a wide selection of extracurricular activities. The school’s excellent facilities include a golf course, swimming pool, fitness suite and Forest School. Website: Telephone: 01483 280340 ADVERTISING FEATURE

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Your goals are our goals You want long term success for your child, whether that’s help with the next big test, or getting into the school of their dreams. We help get your child where they need to be by building a tailor-made plan that gets results. Contact your Local Office to book a free consultation Walton Weybridge Shepperton Hersham

01932 640103 Kingston Thames Ditton Teddington

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01737 479227

Spotlight on... Emma Dunbar: Colour in the Snow New Ashgate Gallery, Farnham

Friday 11 January to Saturday 23 February Emma Dunbar returns to the New Ashgate with her vibrant paintings in a solo show. Emma rin s to ether in uences from her home, travels and the landscape, usin colour and the decorative qualities in everyday objects. Other exhibitions at the Gallery include the Winter exhibition: Festive joy and unique gifts which runs until Saturda anuar and is an ideal opportunit to find a special Christmas ift from a choice of art and craft of the hi hest ualit . Lumiere: the beautiful light also runs until Saturda anuar and displa s irresisti le, hand crafted li htin and art or s perfect for the festive season. inall , don’t miss Maker in Focus: Ken Eardley, runnin at the same time as Emma’s e hi ition, ith his orld of colour and shapes.


Theatre Richmond Theatre

New Victoria Theatre Woking



Friday 7 December to


Sunday 6 January Cinderella

Saturday 8 December to Sunday 6 January Peter Pan

Starring Robert Lindsay as Captain Hook. Thursday 10 January An evening with Alice Roberts: Digging into Britain’s Past

Anthropologist, author and broadcaster delves into our history. Friday 11 January Go!Go!Go! with Rusty Firmin

A Richmond Theatre production, an account of the SAS’s hostage rescue mission during the Iranian Embassy Siege in 1980. Wednesday 30 January

Starring the a-maz-ing Craig Revel Horwood as The Wicked Stepmother. Saturday 19 January Circus of Horrors

The Psycho Asylum featuring bizarre circus acts. Monday 21 to Saturday 26 January Rain Man

Starring Mathew Horne. Tuesday 5 to Saturday 9 February Ghost The Musical

Based on the iconic movie.

New Wimbledon Theatre Wimbledon Wimbledon

to Sunday 3 February Moscow City Ballet


Productions of Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty.

Sunday 6 January Aladdin

Saturday 8 December to

Monday 4 February Ian McKellen on stage with Tolkien,

Perfect family panto starring Paul Merton as Widow Twankey.

Shakespeare, Others and You

Thursday 31 January to

The actor celebrates his 80th birthday with a new solo nationwide theatre show full of acting and anecdotes from this wonderful talent.

Saturday 2 February Russian State Ballet of Siberia

Performances of three ballets: Cinderella, La Fille Mal Gardee and The Nutcracker.


Spotty Friends by Emma Dunbar, New Ashgate Gallery

essence | EVENTS

the/diary / /diary DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018–19 | 55

Cranleigh Arts Centre

Guildford Spectrum



Saturday 8 to Sunday 9 December Sleeping Beauty

Friday 14 to Sunday 16 December Snow White on ice

Plenty of songs and slapstick.

Annual ice pantomime.

Dorking Halls

Rose Theatre Kingston



Saturday 15 to

Thursday 6 December to

Saturday 29 December Beauty and the Beast

Sunday 6 January Hansel & Gretel

Starring Peter Amory as the Baron.

Epsom Playhouse

A festive new version of the Brothers Grimm tale with witch’s curse and fairytale bandits.


The Electric Theatre

Cranlei h Wimbledon

Dorking Wimbledon

Epsom Wimbledon



Friday 14 December to


Sunday 6 January Jack and the Beanstalk


A family-friendly tale of adventure.

Saturday 22 December Peter Pan

Wednesday 23 January Stephen K Amos: Bouquets and Brickbats

A new tour from this comedian.

Thursday 20 to

A classic family treat. Monday 7 to Saturday 12 January January Film Festival

Farnham Maltings

Includes screenings of The Happy Prince and Cold War.


The Woodfield Entertainers


Thursday 20 to Saturday 22 December The Nutcracker

Wonderful family theatre.

Ashtead Peace Memorial Hall

ic ets: wood

Thursday 13 to Saturday 15 December Treasure Island

G Live

Traditional fun pantomime.


Wintershall Nativity Play

Guildford Thursday 6 December Tom Allen: Absolutely


Talented comedian on tour.

Wednesday 12 to

Wednesday 26 to Friday 28 December Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet

Performances of The Nutcracker.

Guildford Shakespeare Company Hol

rinit Church, Guildford

Paul Merton as Widow Twankey, Aladdin, New Wimbledon Theatre

Tickets: Kate Rusby at Christmas, G Live PHOTO COPYRIGHT: DAVID ANGEL

Sunday 16 December

A unique experience with a large cast of players and animals as the story begins in the open air and continues in the atmospheric barn.

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Guildford



Friday 7 December to

Sunday 3 to Sunday 24 February Measure for Measure

Sunday 6 January Cinderella

The Company’s 40th show explores expectations of gender.

Starring Michelle Gayle as The Fairy Godmother.


Stephen K Amos, Epsom Playhouse

essence | EVENTS

Spotlight on... Hampton Court Palace ice rink Hampton Court Palace, East Molese Until Sunday 6 January (except Christmas Day) S ate ac in time as the ice rin returns to the stunnin surroundin s of Henr ’s spectacular hames side udor Palace. h not oo an evenin session on the rin , hich has to e one of the most scenic s atin settin s, and see the Palace lit up after dar hilst s atin under the stars ith friends and famil Alternativel , ma e a da of it: e plore the Palace State Apartments, alleries and acres of formal ardens, visit the ce Rin Caf and ar for some delicious armin food and s ate at a time which suits. e recommend oo in earl for this festive treat ith special rates for familiies, students, pensioners and roups. he rin has a limited num er of penguin skate aids available during each session which can be booked on a first come, first served asis. rap up in arm outdoor clothin and don’t for et to ear loves. ou ill reall need to et our s ates on for this one



G Live

Guildford Tickets:


A programme including male voice classics, show tunes and popular songs, with some festive tunes included.

Exhibitions Dorking Museum


Monday 3 December Kate Rusby at Christmas


Traditional folk singer and band.

Southern Pro Musica

Tuesday 4 December Katie Melua & Gori Women’s Choir



Katie will be joined by Gori Women’s Choir, featured on her 2016 album In Winter.

throughout December

Friday 14 December A celebration of carols and

(excluding Christmas week) Rob Walker and Dorking’s part in

Christmas music

motor racing history

A performance for all the family.

Surrey Hills Family Christmas Concert

Remembering the Rob Walker Grand Prix winning motor racing team based in Dorking from 1953 to 1970.


Haslemere Museum

Throughout the year

A community hub showcasing music, events and the arts. See website for gig details.

Cranleigh Arts Centre Cranlei h Wimbledon

Wednesday 19 December The Overtones Christmas 2018


Vocal harmony group perform.

Friday 14 December Catfish

Tuesday 8 January Paul Jones and Friends

Band awarded a UK Blues Award as Blues Act of the Year.

Annual charity gig with secret guests in aid of The Prostate Project.

Friday 18 January Wilson & Wakeman

Featuring Damian Wilson on vocals and acoustic guitar, with Adam Wakeman (son of Rick) on piano, vocals and acoustic guitar.

Epworth Choir Christ Church,

o in


Monday 10 December

A Christmas concert showcasing carols old and new.

Guildford Choral Society G Live, Guildford


Saturday 5 January Handel: Messiah

An evening of sublime music-making.

Rushmoor ‘Odd Fellows’ Male Voice Choir Farnham Maltings


Friday 14 December

rinit Church, Guildford

Cranlei h illa e Hall

The Old Foundry, Dorking Information:

Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays

Saturday 8 December Family Christmas Concert

High Street, Haslemere

Something for everyone at this Christmas concert.

From Tuesday 8 January to

Vivace Chorus Normand


Saturday 2 March Historic Haslemere

The fascinating history of Haslemere.

illa e Hall


McAllister Thomas

Saturday 26 January Come and Sing ‘A Sea Symphony’

High Street, Godalming

by Vaughan Williams


Popular Come and Sing day costing £24 to include music hire, lunch and refreshments.

From Thursday 29 November The Winter Exhibition


Artwork by Gallery artists.


Cinemas Cranleigh Arts Centre 01483 278000 or Farnham Maltings

or farnhammaltin

Odeon Esher 0871 2244007 or fanatic film times s


Odeon Epsom 0871 2244007 or fanatic film times s


Odeon Guildford 0871 2244007 or fanatic film times s The Screen Walton

uildford or

The Ambassadors Cinema, Woking 0844 871 6743 or

Museum of Farnham West Street, Farnham Information:

To Saturday 22 December Behind Closed Doors: 300 years of Willmer House

Celebrating the anniversary.

The Lightbox Gallery and Museum Woking


National Trust National Trust properties offer perfect venues to e plore this festive season. e list a fe here, but visit for more.

Box Hill Tadworth

To Sunday 13 January Impressionism: The Art of Life

Information: 01372 220644

A rare combination of French Impressionist paintings and sculpture.

10am–3pm Crafts for Christmas

To Sunday 6 January Elisabeth Frink: A Collector’s Passion

Commemorating 25 years since Elisabeth’s death in 1993.

Thursday 6 to Friday 7 December,

Meet at Box Hill’s Shepherd’s Hut to make natural festive decorations.

Claremont Landscape Garden

Saturday 12 January to

near Esher

Sunday 31 March Cyril Mann: Painter of Light

Information: 01372 467806

and Shadow

Sunday 23 December, 10am–3pm Rescue Rudolph trail

An exhibition of the painter’s works.

Watts Gallery

Compton, Guildford Information:

To Sunday 6 January In Print: Making Impressions

With contributions from a dozen of the foremost British printmakers.

Portrait of Christina Rossetti, 1857, by John Brett, Watts Gallery PHOTO COPYRIGHT: PRIVATE COLLECTION

Saturday 8 to Finsbury Square by Cyril Mann (1911–1980), The Lightbox PHOTO COPYRIGHT: THE ARTIST COURTESY PIANO NOBILE

Christmas trail to find Rudolph and help him return home. Saturday 22 to Sunday 23 December, 11am–12.45pm Santa Paws

Bring your dog to meet Santa Paws and receive a festive biscuit. Wednesday 26 December to

To Sunday 17 March Christina Rossetti: Vision & Verse

Tuesday 1 January, 10am–3pm Party like it’s 1819 trail

Explore the Victorian poet’s connection with visual art showcasing paintings, illustrations, works on paper and photography.

2019 is the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth. Discover what it would have been like at a New Year’s Eve party 200 years ago.





essence | EVENTS

Hatchlands Park near Guildford

Information: 01483 222482

Saturday 1 December to Sunday 6 January, 10am–4pm Gulliver’s Travels’ children’s trail

Follow the trail in the parkland to find Lilliputian houses and ships from the classic tale. Don’t miss the carousel in the Victorian courtyard each weekend in December.

Hindhead Commons Surrey Hills

Information: 01428 681051

Out and about Albury Vineyard Silent Pool, Albury


Sunday 9 December, 12 noon–4pm Christmas wine tasting

With music from Godalming Community Gospel Choir.


Holt Pound, Farnham

The very beautiful Shetlands, Mane Chance Sanctuary

Saturday 1 , 8 and


Sunday 9 December, 10am–2pm Harvest your own Christmas tree

Selected dates in December Christmas at Birdworld

To Sunday 23 December Painshill festive illuminations

Cut your own perfect pine.

Don’t miss the winter wonderland.

Leith Hill Place

Bocketts Farm Park

Walk the glowing winter trail around the landscape garden.

A festive evening for all the family raising funds for this great charity with celebrity readers, Shetland ponies, carols and refreshments.

Information: 01306 711685


Godstone Farm

RHS Wisley



To Monday 24 December Wiglet’s Christmas adventure

Saturday 1 December to

near Dorking


Friday 7 December, 5.30–7pm A Tudor Christmas

Until Monday 24 December Father Christmas at Bocketts Farm

Join authors Alison Weir and Siobhan Clarke for a festive evening exploring Christmas traditions of the past.

Hop on the Express to see Santa.

Polesden Lacey

Brooklands Museum Weybridge


Tilburstow Hill Road, Godstone

Wednesday 2 January Glow 2018

Farmyard fun and see Santa.

Sunbury-on-Thames Tickets:

Thursday 27 to Friday 28 December Christmas holiday family fun

Wednesday 26 to

Information: 01372 452048

To Sunday 23 December 1930s Christmas Party

Christmas-themed family workshops and tours.

Meet glamorous guests and loyal servants enjoying seasonal festivities in style. Don’t miss the weekend horse and carriage rides and party animals’ trail. Wednesday 26 December to Wednesday 2 January Polesdenopoly

A life-size version of the classic Christmas game in the gardens.

Winkworth Arboretum Godalming

Information: 01483 208936

Saturday 8 December to Tuesday 1 January, 10am–3pm Mince pie hunt

Follow the clues around the Arboretum to claim a tasty festive treat.

Tuesday 1 January New Year’s Day Classic Gathering

Classic, vintage and veteran cars, motorcycles and vehicles. Sunday 27 January VSCC Driving Tests

The Vintage Sport-Car Club display some 60 pre-war cars.

Denbies Wine Estate Dorking


Follow a twinkling trail after dark with larger-than-life botanical illuminations accompanied by atmospheric music.

Kempton Park

Wednesday 19 to Friday 21 and

Great Bookham, near Dorking


Surrey Wildlife Trust

Thursday 27 December 32Red Winter Festival

arious locations

Grade 1 racing and festive cheer.


Mane Chance Sanctuary carols at Christmas

Various dates

Visit the Surrey Wildlife Trust website above for details of events taking place in December and January on the organisation’s 8,000 hectares of land.

St Peter’s and St Paul’s Church, Godalming Information:

Sunday 9 December, 5pm

Farmers’ markets Camberley Saturda

Decem er and

anuar ,



Cranleigh Ever

rida , .

Sunday 9 December, 10am–12noon 5K Santa Fun Run 2018

Epsom Sunda

Decem er and

Hundreds of Santas run, jog or walk around a beautiful course.

Guildford Tuesday 4 December and 5 February, 10.30am–3.30pm

Painshill Park

Ripley Saturda

Co ham


am anuar , .

am .


Farnham Sunday 23 December and 27 January, 10am–1.30pm Haslemere Sunday 2 December and 6 January, 10am–1.30pm Milford Sunday 16 December and 20 January, 10am–1.30pm Decem er and

Walton-on-Thames Saturda Woking hursda

anuar , am pm

Decem er and

Decem er and

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Finding your next home... rivate


Knight Frank

Keston Lodge £3,750,000

Downs Lane, Leatherhead Keston Lodge comprises spacious and versatile accommodation, extending in the main house to just over 12,000 sq. ft. Surrounded by countryside, the house sits in an elevated position within eight acres of mature landscaped gardens. The accommodation is of generous proportions with a number of living spaces facing the expansive view towards the Surrey Hills. The property features reception hall, drawing room, sitting room, snug, study, family room, conservatory, kitchen/breakfast room, utility, two cloakrooms, master bedroom with two ensuite bathrooms and two dressing areas, four further bedrooms (three ensuite with dressing areas), and substantial attics. There is a wonderful cinema room and bar area connecting to the leisure complex, this features an indoor swimming pool, hot tub, gym area, changing room, shower and studio. Additionall , there are t o ancillar cotta es. he first cotta e is self contained lin ed to the house with living/kitchen area, two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The second has two bedrooms and a bathroom. Further land available by separate negotiation.


John D Wood


Broadway and Parsons Green takes Grosvenor Billinghurst 17 minutes to Oxford Circus and just half an hour to Canary Wharf. Heathrow Airport is 32 minutes away from nearby Hammersmith Underground. Winkworth Fulham has a vibrant mix of shops, restaurants and bars, whilst Bishops Park and the river provide some peace and quiet. Nearby Ofsted ‘outstanding’ rated schools include Fulham Cross Girls School, London Oratory School as well as APW Lettings independent schools such as Fulham Prep School.

For further information please contact Octagon on 020 8481 7500 or Strutt & Parker on 020 7731 7100. Waterfords

Octagon 020 8481 7500 | OCTAGON.CO.UK

16/02/2018 17:22 60 | DEC/JAN 2018–19

The property sits approximately a mile outside of Leatherhead with its wide selection of shops for day-to-day needs, a theatre/arts centre and a railway station with direct access to Waterloo and London Victoria. The area has exceptional road links from both the A3 and M25, giving access to London, Heathrow and Gatwick. Guildford, Dorking and Kingston are all within easy reach. There is a wide choice of excellent schools in the area such as ACS International School, Danes Hill, Reeds School and St Johns, Leatherhead which are all close by.



8 High Street, Cobham, Surrey, KT11 3DY Telephone: 01932 588288


8 High Street, Cobham, Surrey, KT11 3DY Telephone: 01932 588288


A o


Woodlands ÂŁ1,750,000

Heath Ridge Green, Cobham A wonderful, five-bedroom, family home situated within a popular residential area of Cobham, and located just 0.9 miles of Oxshott train station. The property was constructed in 2008 and offers circa 3,489 sq ft of accommodation, which is arranged over two floors.

The family area is a sun room which overlooks and leads onto the southernly-facing rear garden. There is also a media room which has views to the front, a study and a drawing room which is double aspect and leads onto the rear terrace.

The downstairs accommodation consists of a large entrance hall with excellent storage, attractive carved oak staircase with glass balustrades and oak handles. The open plan kitchen/family/dining area has a stunning kitchen with integrated appliances, such as Gaggenau steam oven, microwave, conventional ovens and warming drawers along with Miele dishwasher and gas hob. There is an Amana American refrigerator with ice maker and a Liebherr dual temperature wine cooler.

The first floor landing has a full height lantern roof with electrically operated windows. There are five bedrooms on the first floor, three of which are suites with the master having an ensuite bathroom and separate dressing room. This room also benefits from access to a unique internal balcony enjoying views over the rear garden. The property is set behind electric gates and the generous driveway has been beautifully landscaped. The garden to the rear enjoys a mature, southerly aspect and is well screened on all sides.


A 4




Prices from £899,995 Walton

Prices from £379,500

A brand new development of five stylish 4 bedroom townhouses set over 3 floors, ideally situated just a short walk from the High Street.

A collection of 35 brand new homes all offering contemporary and stylish accommodation and set in an enviable location close to the River Thames.

01932 843322 ∙

01932 247777 ∙


Prices from £330,000 Weybridge

Prices from £895,000

A development of 1 bedroom apartments, 2 bedroom duplex apartments, 4 bedroom semi-detached houses and one 3 bedroom detached house.

Darlington House is an exclusive development of 4 luxury apartments close to the bustling High Street and nearby towpaths of the River Thames.

01932 843322 ∙

01932 843322 ∙

Help to Buy available - subject to terms and conditions. Please enquire for further details.

Essence Magazine December 2018.indd 1

19/11/2018 14:12:10

Contemporary in Warwicks Bench.




Guildford, Surrey GU1 Set close to the Downs and approximately 0.6 miles to the town. A unique contemporary style detached family house with stunning living accommodation and far reaching views of rolling farmland and Chantry Woods. Overall the accommodation extends to approximately 3,800 sq ft.

Your expert agent, James Ackerley, looks forward to helping you. 01483 665932

• Designed for ease of maintenance throughout • Floor to ceiling windows • Self-contained annexe

Guide price £2,350,000 Freehold

Connecting people & property, perfectly.

Iconic family home.




Castle Hill, Guildford GU1 The finest and most historically important private house in Guildford and just approximately 350 yards from the high street. With an expansive living space of approximately 5,848 sq ft plus gardens of over approximately half an acre.

Your expert agent, James Ackerley, looks forward to helping you. 01483 665932

• Central location • In close proximity to outstanding schools • Arranged over two floors

Guide price £4,500,000 Freehold

Connecting people & property, perfectly.

agle ouse,

imbledon illage

Make it a Christmas to remember in one of London’s most iconic buildings Deck the amazing historical entrance hall with holly, roast chestnuts in the meticulously restored, listed fireplaces and let it snow, let it snow, let it snow in the beautifully landscaped garden There s no denying Christmas is coming, and what better place to spend the magical big day than within one of the six remaining, completely unique apartments within agle ouse, imbledon illage. ow finished and ready to move into, the collection of two and three bedroom homes sit within the Grade II* listed building, which has sat proudly on the outh est London igh treet for over 400 years one of the few and finest examples of a acobean manor house existing in London today. Carefully restored and converted by Octagon s specialist espoke team over the past four years, the apartments feature an eclectic array of historical features, from soaring stained glass and leaded light windows and elaborately moulded ceilings to ancient

hammerbeam arches. erpetuating throughout is a prolific number of original fireplaces and cast iron grates. uilt in the early 00s, agle ouse was the second building to be erected in imbledon illage, a family country house commissioned by obert ell, the co-founder of the ritish ast ndia Company. The house changed ownership and names several times over the centuries, briefly called elson, following Lord elson s visit in 80 , and awarded a lue laque as the home of Arthur chopenhauer, renowned German philosopher, who was educated there in 803. inally in 8 0, the then renowned agle ouse chool took over the building, and the moniker and rooftop statue remained following the school s departure and subsequent purchases and

Broadway and Parsons Green takes Kim comments; “This is my first 17 minutes to Oxford Circus and just opportunity to work with Octagon half an hour to Canary Wharf. since founding my luxury interiors Heathrow Airport is 32 minutes away company, and to come on board at from nearby Hammersmith the concept stage is exciting, Underground. allowing us to create a truly Innovative outdoor space includes the aspirational home to show their Fulham has a and vibrant shops, over the many covered lower courtyard gardens, being that ceiling heights floorsmix hadofchanged potential purchasers. restaurants and bars, whilst Bishops landscaped space to the front and years of use, but this listed fireplace was carefully retained in its original position. Park and the river provide some “The Bishops Row townhouses are rear, as well as private balconies and peace and quiet. Nearby Ofsted surprisingly large inside, so we are terraces. The pièce de résistance in Originally launching eight rated apartments thisinclude summer, only six ‘outstanding’ schools focusing on creating free flowing outdoor living comes in the form of of these striking homes remain. ach finished to a superior Fulham Cross Girls School, London spaces within the show home to the roof top terraces from Plots 8 and uses. These included a Military Academy and, more recently, an specification, as befitting the Octagon name, apartments feature Oratory School as well as demonstrate how flexible the 9, which give residents unbeatable slamic eritage Centre, a peaceful history and culture library, underfloor heating or traditional cast iron radiators and with high independent such asdesigned Fulham to enhance different rooms and levels can be. views towards the River Thames. where along with academics and teachers, members of the public quality marble, carpet andschools timber flooring, School. Using sophisticated tones and and reflect Prep Plot 9 will also feature a lift to all floors. were warmly welcomed. the period significance of agle ouse. Apartment , textures, from greys, bronze finishes spanning three floors, features its own lift. For further information please Launching the Showhome Plot Through the original within acobean oak front is the main entrance anddoor woven leathers to herringbone contact Octagon only on 020 8481contact 7500 Octagon 1 in earlyhall, February, Octagon brought where the lofty ornately carved oak original fireplace tries the scheme Viewings are by appointment – please and geometric prints, is or Strutt & Parker on 020 7731 7100. Kim Harvey of Kim Harvey to scene steal from a Interiors full height stained glass window bay, contemporary andwhich elegant withon a 020 8481 500, or Knight Frank’s Wimbledon office on light onto the period polished chequerboard marble and 020 8946 0026. For more information, visit onboardfloods to create an aspirational tailored finish, inspired by classical flooring. Prices start from £2.25m. All homes come with two parking scheme limestone within thetiled London British style and history.” spaces on the private forecourt, and access to the communal townhouse. In addition to the high A rear oak door in the hall leads onto a private courtyard garden rear garden. Bishops Row offers exceptional quality finishes and specifications which is formally planted and provides a pleasant outlook for transport links in to the West End and synonymous withasthe name,to enjoy residents wellOctagon as somewhere outdoors in seclusion. City. Nearby Putney Bridge station each room has been given a personal eyond the entrance hall, linked by a the broad internal door, provides access to Sloane Square and feel, with bespoke cabinetry and hand a communal vestibule features an extraordinary cast iron fireplace, London Victoria, whilst Fulham midway from floor to ceiling. The explanation sourcedpositioned artwork throughout. 020 8481 7500 | OCTAGON.CO.UK The fourth floors are home to a family bathroom and the additional double bedrooms, each featuring built in wardrobes and two also enjoying en-suites.

Claremont Avenue, Esher KT10 • £1,795,000 • EPC rating: C

Wonderful, detached, family home of approx. 3,500 sq ft, which sits in a super plot and offers exceptional living accommodation including five bedrooms, three bathrooms, two receptions, fantastic kitchen/dining/family room, utility and spacious summer house/study. Esher town centre and train station are within close proximity offering routes in to London Waterloo, along with access to the picturesque West End village green with pond and Garsons Farm.

Heatherset Close, Esher KT10 • £1,595,000 • EPC rating: C

A superb, prestigious, detached family residence offering master bedroom with en suite bathroom, three further bedrooms (one with en suite shower room), family bathroom, impressive reception room with doors to rear garden, dining room, open plan kitchen/breakfast room, study, utility, wc, rear and side garden and detached double garage. Enviably situated in a sought-after and secluded cul-de-sac. Claygate and Esher train stations are within close proximity, offering routes in to London Waterloo.



PRICE £750,000

A superbly converted and presented, detached Victorian house with a fantastic 48ft open-plan ground floor kitchen, dining, living and conservatory, sympathetically re-modelled with a contemporary theme. OSP for two/three cars, 50ft+ rear garden. Short walk to shops and restaurants. EPC: E.



01932 864242

PRICE £920,000

A character, four-bedroom family home with three reception rooms, extended kitchen and further scope to enlarge. South-facing rear garden, double garage and off-street parking. In the centre of the village and walking distance to the station. EPC rating: E.


01372 843833


RENT £3,250 PCM

A most exceptional, extended and re-fitted detached house approximately half a mile of station. Large open plan living/dining/kitchen. Study. Utility room. Four double bedrooms. Two en-suites and bathroom. South-backing secluded garden. Available late January 2019. EPC: D.



01932 864242

PRICE £750,000

An utterly charming, detached, mid-Victorian, three bedroom, two bathroom and three reception room home. It has a double-length garage and parking, and 80ft cottage garden with verdant outlook. Situated within easy reach of the M25 and A3. Leatherhead town and station approximately two miles away. EPC: F.


01372 843833

Estate Agents in Cobham, Stoke D’Abernon and Oxshott for over 80 years

• Set within the heart of Chobham village this four bedroom, two bathroom, detached residence occupies a south-easterly facing plot and is well presented throughout.

Barley Mow Lane, Knaphill GU21 2HZ • This Grade II Listed detached property is situated on a quiet country lane, occupying a plot of approximately 0.30 of an acre and benefiting from a detached double garage.




Five Oaks is a wonderful six bedroom residence which sits proudly in a private and elevated position behind electric gates and gardens of approximately one acre. Six bedrooms, five reception rooms, six bathrooms, off street parking, double garage, secondary accommodation, 6,920 approx. sq ft. EPC rating: C.


Ashwan is a magnificent, detached family home completed to an outstanding level of specification, including Crestron controls, Chesneys fireplaces, Stepevi carpets and heated granite driveway. This luxurious, well-proportioned, ten-bedroom residence is set over four floors. Ashwan is approached through electric gates across a large driveway creating ample parking and leading to an underground ten car garage with remote control door opening. EPC rating: C.

SUNNINGDALE | 01344 291639


APW Lettings, Weybridge 134 Oatlands Drive • Oatlands Village • Weybridge • Surrey • KT13 9HJ t: 01932 857300 e: Office hours: Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm. Saturday 9am to 5pm Southfield Place, Weybridge, Surrey, KT13 £4,950 per calendar month Available: 19 December 2018 UNFURNISHED Five bedrooms, four bathrooms and four reception rooms Executive Octagon House located on slopes of St Georges Hill and walking distance to Weybridge station. Bright and spacious featuring modern/neutral décor, wood flooring downstairs, spacious kitchen/breakfast room with utility room, four reception rooms, ensuites to master and guest bedrooms, three further bedrooms and family bathroom. Landscaped garden and integral double garage.

Grange Place, Stompond Lane, Walton On Thames, Surrey, KT12 £5,950 per calendar month Available: 11 January 2019 UNFURNISHED Five bedrooms, three bathrooms and three reception rooms Walking distance to Walton station. Executive Octagon detached home, situated in a sought-after gated road. Spacious throughout, this property includes a large kitchen/breakfast room, separate utility room, family room, separate dining room and small study. Master and guest bedrooms both ensuite with three further bedrooms and family bathroom. Secure, landscaped rear garden and double garage.


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At Octagon, we have 40 years experience and an unrivalled reputation for building spectacular, one-of-a kind homes to the highest standard of luxury. Our discreet bespoke service takes clients on a journey from planning stages through to handing over the keys, with our in-house experts on hand every step of the way. Whether an Arts and Crafts country home, inner-city apartment or Georgian inspired townhouse, our team of architects, interior designers and project managers help clients realise their dream homes. Whether you have a piece of land already secured, wish to replace an existing property or completely renovate your current home, Octagon Bespoke can help you transform your vision into something truly unique. Bespoke projects start from ÂŁ1m.

020 8481 7500 | OCTAGONBESPOKE.CO.UK

Profile for essence magazine

essence issue 97  

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

essence issue 97  

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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