Page 1

Cover_79_Layout 1 05/03/2017 16:44 Page 1

essence Price | £3.95

Issue 79 | MARCH 2017

Angelo Galasso

Also inside this issue

Fashion icon


Caterham's sixties' throwback

LA DOLCE VITA Tuscan spas

BLACK GOLD Snuffling for truffles




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

9 6 H I G H S T R E E T, G U I L D F O R D 0 14 8 3 5 7 5 74 8

Ed_Cont_79_Layout 1 03/03/2017 16:38 Page 1

contents Issue 79 | MARCH 2017

8 | Interview | ANGELO GALASSO

Menswear designer Angelo Galasso is a creative force, once hidden in the world of banking. Andrew Peters meets the fashion icon.

16 | Travel | ITALIAN SPAS

Chantal Borciani on why it’s time to rethink la dolce vita and discover Italy’s finest spa secrets.



Watch word FOR STYLE

22 | Garden design | ALLADIO SIMS

Menswear designer Angelo Galasso is a creative force, once hidden in the world of banking, a force which may never have seen the light of day as Andrew Peters discovered when he met up with the fashion icon.

A path in a garden is often an expression of personality in the landscape. Emanuela Alladio of Alladio Sims Garden Landscape Design Limited explains why. Angelo pictured with guests at the launch of his Spring Summer 17 collection PHOTO COPYRIGHT MAREK BORYSIEWICZ


26 | Motoring | CATERHAM

To celebrate this year being the sixtieth since the first Lotus Seven, Caterham Cars has built a variant of its iconic vehicle. Seemingly planned in the mid-1960s, but never launched, it’s the Caterham Seven Sprint. Euan Johns looks at the brand’s enduring retro appeal.

32 | Fashion | KAREN MILLEN

The latest spring/summer collection blends minimalist trends, including safari and military, and gives them a modern take.

Angelo Galasso


Q Your ethos is tradition in evolution. Can you explain this? A I envisage tradition in evolution as a new breed of man enjoying a service that reinvents the tradition of classic tailoring – steeped in Italian craftsmanship and the unbridled creativity of the couture house, reviving a world of exclusive and unique garments with just one client in mind. >>>

Motoring | CATERHAM

Swinging sixties and a sweet spot


he Seven is the original and staunchly British lightweight sportscar and has always been seen to boost national sentiment. The car was the brainchild of the legendary Colin Chapman and originally launched in 1957 at the London motorshow as the Lotus 7. It achieved star status in 1967 in the cult classic ‘The Prisoner’ television series, a special edition appearing in 1989. The design embodied Chapman’s ethos of adding lightness to a vehicle and his philosophy of ‘less is more’ is still very much to the fore today. The low mass of the car makes it inherently agile, enabling outstanding performance and perhaps most of all providing a driving experience with an unparalleled sense of purity, control and reward. Caterham Cars has been selling the Seven since the late 1950s when it was appointed as a Lotus dealer. In 1973, Caterham purchased the rights to manufacture the car from Lotus and has been building and selling it ever since. The Seven is a continually evolving work in progress and Caterham has continued to refine and enhance the design whilst carefully keeping its DNA intact, respecting the brilliance and innovation of the original formula. >>>

40 | Gourmet food | TRUFFLES

Food and wine writer Nick Harman digs for black gold in Spain.

“It’s entirely fitting that the Seven 310, which we feel perfectly synchronises power and handling, has come out of the motorsport engineering process. It’s like an unplanned baby: a wonderful surprise that instantly becomes your favourite. We weren’t expecting it but, of course, we wouldn’t change a thing now. If Caterham was only going to make one car for the rest of its days, this could well be it.”



Seasonal and local food comes in the form of mushrooms and spring greens with recipes to try.

54 | Finance | PMW

Q How would you define style? A I have a classic style with a vision to the future.

A lot has altered over the past six decades, but apart from its obvious name change, the Caterham Seven remains true to its heritage. To celebrate this year’s milestone, the sixtieth year since the first Lotus Seven, Caterham Cars has built a variant of its iconic Seven. Seemingly planned in the mid1960s, but never launched, it’s the Caterham Seven Sprint. Euan Johns examines Caterham’s enduring retro appeal.

The original all-American material, denim, is worn this season from head to toe, surely no other fabric is as wearable or universal?

Sofia Syed, Senior Associate in the Employment Team at Mundays LLP, provides tips on hiring household help.

Q Angelo, you began customising your clothes at a young age. What was the reason for doing this and did it help to develop your sense of design and style? A I was born in Francavilla Fontana in Puglia. To keep me off the streets when I was a growing lad, my parents used to take me to the workshops of a number of local tailors and artisans. In an age without mobile phones, I could be found easily. So I began to absorb the two characteristic elements of my land: tradition and a spirit of observation. These experiences gave me a talent for transforming tradition into innovative, creating bespoke suits that make whoever wears them truly unique.

MARCH 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 9

36 | Fashion | PETER HAHN

52 | Legal | MUNDAYS

n 2014 ‘The Godfather of Italian style’ was a description attributed to Angelo Galasso by GQ magazine. From humble beginnings to international recognition and success, Angelo is the complete antithesis of the perceptions some would associate with an Italian Godfather. His warm and friendly persona greeted me in his Knightsbridge store on a very cold and dreary winter’s day. He laughed as I asked him what he was doing in London on such a day, answering: “I love London, it’s my home and has been very good to me.” As with many things in life, Angelo’s chosen path may never have happened, as growing up in southern Italy his parents wanted him to have a secure future. They pushed him to work in one of the professions: law, finance, or medicine. Sure enough, he ended up in banking where his creative spirit remained mostly hidden, coming to light after his father’s death. Only then did Angelo feel able to pursue his true calling and what he regarded as a game soon turned into a passion.

MARCH 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 27


Simon Lewis, CEO at Partridge Muir & Warren Ltd, considers the opportunities to legitimately organise financial affairs in order to pay a little less tax.

56 | Education | CRANMORE

Michael Connolly, headmaster of Cranmore School, poses a pertinent question: “Is social media toxic?”

58 | Leisure breaks | CINQUE TERRE

Cinque Terre, located on the glorious Italian Riviera on a rugged section of the Liguria region, is an idyllic haven, as Rebecca Underwood discovers.

62 | Events | SURREY

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

68 | Home accessories | CLARISSA HULSE

Clarissa Hulse is one of the leading lights of the British textile world, uncompromising in her passion to deliver the ultimate combination of colour, print and fabrics.


74 | Cutlery | FORGE DE LAGUIOLE

The master of knife manufacture, Forge de Laguiole is one of the most revered cutlery brands in the world.

Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

MARCH 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 3

P.4 Adverts_Layout 1 02/03/2017 15:06 Page 1


Egyptian Cotton from King of Cotton

Bologne 300 Thread Sateen Bed Linen from £15.00

We set out to provide not only the finest range of bedding but also those special lines that elevate a bedroom to a higher level. Like the Bologne range, hand finished in Portugal with coloured appliqué and one row cord embroidery along the edges, this 100% Cotton Sateen bed linen has 300 threads per square inch and has been yarn dyed. Our thread counts are guaranteed. An investigation by the BBC found that some retailers exaggerate these numbers but you can count on our thread counts, just read the label.

15 Disco% u

nt In store or o Use Co nline de: ESS 15

Visit the website and sign up for our newsletter to receive a £10.00 voucher. EST


KING OF COTTON The world’s finest linen and towelling www.kingofcotton.com L O N D O N

4 essence-magazine.co.uk | March 2017







Ed_Cont_79_Layout 1 03/03/2017 16:38 Page 2





essence 79 COVER: Angelo Galasso, courtesy Angelo Galasso

essence team

Acting Editor: Andrew Guilor Contributing Editor: Louise Alexander-O’Loughlin Publishing Manager: Rebecca Peters Production Manager: Linda Seward Designer: Sharon Smith Senior Designer: Jason Mayes telephone: 01932 988677 email: editor@essence-magazine.co.uk Advertising Manager: Andrew Peters telephone: 07980 956488 email: marketing@essence-magazine.co.uk Advertising Sales: telephone: 01932 988677 email: marketing@essence-magazine.co.uk Advertising Sales (supplements): telephone: 07971 937162 email: katie@ktmedia.co.uk Contributors: Andrew Peters, Euan Johns, Shirlee Posner, Sofia Syed, Simon Lewis, Nick Harman, Jacqui Casey, Rebecca Underwood, PJ Aldred, Jennifer Sutton, Linda Seward, Jane Pople, Emily Bird.

What have they done for us? Brexit still clings to the front pages as Britain attempts to extricate itself from its relationship with Europe. As an independent island shaped over many years, it’s worth bearing in mind the continental influences that have helped forge it. The Romans brought order, only for it to be cast aside until new masters arrived in the Normans. Looking back some 70 years ago, it was a close run thing and the current SS-GB TV drama reminds us of more sinister influences that Britain stood alone to thwart and defeat. So, the reasoning behind ‘leave’ was not one of Europhobia, but one of independence and an unwillingness to succumb to a seemingly relinquishing of control over Britain’s future. Brexit will now inexorably reach whatever conclusion it does, but close ties with our European neighbours are welcome and unavoidable as they always have been. In the last issue of essence, we interviewed Alexandre Meerson, a passionate Frenchman, at home in Surrey. In this issue, an equally passionate Italian, Angelo Galasso, is at home in London. They both love this country for what it is and has given them; we in return have gained Gallic and Italian flair and expertise. Whatever happens, we’ll continue to enjoy their native lands and in this issue we travel to Italy’s remote spas and rugged coastal villages.

essence magazine

Maple Publishing Limited, the publishers, authors and printers cannot accept liability for errors or omissions. Any artwork will be at owner’s risk. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the copyright holder and publisher, application for which should be made in writing to the publisher. The opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher.

essence is posted by Royal Mail to key addresses in Cobham, Oxshott, Esher, Weybridge, Guildford and outlying areas. Properties in all the major private estates, including St George’s Hill, the Crown Estate and Wentworth Estate, receive the magazine 10 times per year. essence is also distributed to selected estate agents and is available at city businesses, London hotels and Heathrow airport lounges. Design and production www.domino4.co.uk

Frost and gales apart, spring is just around the corner with Karen Millen and Peter Hahn fashion offering insights into their spring/ summer collections and, for motoring purists, Caterham has brought out a sixties’ styled Sprint to celebrate its sixtieth anniversary. As thoughts turn away from the armchair and in to the garden, take the scenic path with Alladio Sims Landscape Design. As we gradually shed the mantle of winter, essence offers beauty, legal, financial and educational advice, together with the pick of activities highlighting food and events to enjoy. The essence team

© Maple Publishing 2017

MARCH 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 5

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

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

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

T H E R I T U A L , R E I N V E N T E D.

6pp_Interview_Layout 1 03/03/2017 13:28 Page 1

Angelo Galasso

6pp_Interview_Layout 1 03/03/2017 13:28 Page 2


Watch word FOR STYLE

Menswear designer Angelo Galasso is a creative force, once hidden in the world of banking, a force which may never have seen the light of day as Andrew Peters discovered when he met up with the fashion icon.

Angelo pictured with guests at the launch of his Spring Summer 17 collection PHOTO COPYRIGHT MAREK BORYSIEWICZ


n 2014 ‘The Godfather of Italian style’ was a description attributed to Angelo Galasso by GQ magazine. From humble beginnings to international recognition and success, Angelo is the complete antithesis of the perceptions some would associate with an Italian Godfather. His warm and friendly persona greeted me in his Knightsbridge store on a very cold and dreary winter’s day. He laughed as I asked him what he was doing in London on such a day, answering: “I love London, it’s my home and has been very good to me.” As with many things in life, Angelo’s chosen path may never have happened, as growing up in southern Italy his parents wanted him to have a secure future. They pushed him to work in one of the professions: law, finance, or medicine. Sure enough, he ended up in banking where his creative spirit remained mostly hidden, coming to light after his father’s death. Only then did Angelo feel able to pursue his true calling and what he regarded as a game soon turned into a passion.

Q Angelo, you began customising your clothes at a young age. What was the reason for doing this and did it help to develop your sense of design and style? A I was born in Francavilla Fontana in Puglia. To keep me off the streets when I was a growing lad, my parents used to take me to the workshops of a number of local tailors and artisans. In an age without mobile phones, I could be found easily. So I began to absorb the two characteristic elements of my land: tradition and a spirit of observation. These experiences gave me a talent for transforming tradition into innovative, creating bespoke suits that make whoever wears them truly unique. Q How would you define style? A I have a classic style with a vision to the future. Q Your ethos is tradition in evolution. Can you explain this? A I envisage tradition in evolution as a new breed of man enjoying a service that reinvents the tradition of classic tailoring – steeped in Italian craftsmanship and the unbridled creativity of the couture house, reviving a world of exclusive and unique garments with just one client in mind. >>>

MARCH 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 9

6pp_Interview_Layout 1 03/03/2017 13:28 Page 3

10 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017

6pp_Interview_Layout 1 03/03/2017 13:28 Page 4


The groundbreaking Polso Orologio shirt

Q What was your first fashion venture? A When I was fourteen years old, in the city where I was born. There I customised clothing from neighbouring companies. My first venture was myself.

“I love London, it’s my home and has been very good to me.” ANGELO GALASSO

Q Is everything you produce Fatto in Italia? A Tutto fatto Italia! It would be impossible for me to create my menswear, from the smallest detail to the very best high-end, in another place. Italians are the only ones with the history and the hand to do it. Q What was the inspiration behind your groundbreaking Polso Orologio (watch cuff) shirt in the 90s? A Gianni Agnelli, former Fiat owner, was forced to wear his watch over his shirt cuff due to an allergy. My shirt combined elegant style with practicality and it was born naturally. Q Were you surprised the shirt was regarded as a work of art when it was exhibited at the Design Museum in London in 2004? A Yes, I was very surprised. My son visited the museum with his school and told me that my shirt was there. It was a big surprise and I’m really proud. Q What did this particular shirt design do for you as a menswear designer? A It created a sort of trademark for me along with the philosophy that my menswear was classic, but with a nod to the future. Q How did you react to the Financial Times naming you in 2002 ‘The Da Vinci of Shirts’? A I think there are no words to explain such a great compliment. With a parallel like that I leave my reaction to your imagination. Q When did you come to London and why? A I came to London because it is a modern city, it is where the miniskirt was born. Here there is the freedom to do everything: I needed to make the brand international. >>>

MARCH 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 11

6pp_Interview_Layout 1 03/03/2017 13:28 Page 5

“Angelo is one of the most important innovators of his generation.” SIR ROGER MOORE

Profile: Angelo Galasso In the beginning, it was a game, then it became a passion, now it is fashion. These few, short sentences capture how Angelo Galasso, born in Francavilla Fontana, in the Puglia region of Italy, has achieved international success thanks to his unique style. Growing up in a typical large middle class Italian family, Angelo’s father encouraged him to make friends with local artisans, where he became familiar with fabrics, colours, shapes, and proportions. It was then Angelo understood the immense value of these trades, passed down generation after generation. Those artisans helped him to find the way to express himself through a unique and personal style, breaking the rules of fashion. He moved to Rome with his family, where he soon developed a completely new style, and in 1990 launched Interno 8, a groundbreaking shirt collection that rewrote the rules of traditional tailoring. By the mid 1990s, Interno 8 had become a phenomenal success, with 80 stores across Italy. It was at this time Angelo created the exclusive Polso Orologio (watch cuff) shirt, inspired by former Fiat president, Gianni Agnelli. Angelo’s creation was showcased at the Design Museum in London, leading the Financial Times to dub him ‘The Da Vinci of Shirts’. In 2000, Angelo’s desire to explore new horizons led him to London. Another successful choice, as demonstrated by high-profile clients such as Al Pacino, Sir Paul McCartney, Roger Moore, David Beckham, P. Diddy, Michael Caine, Simon and Yasmin Le Bon, Rod Stewart, Beyoncé and Jay-Z. His innate curiosity – which the creative director had been nurturing ever since the old days in the town workshops – made Angelo understand the market was expecting something new. In 2005, he launched the brand Billionaire Italian Couture. This innovative and original concept allowed him to open boutiques worldwide and establish himself as one of the most talented designers on the international fashion scene. In 2009, The ANGELO GALASSO brand opened its first House in Knightsbridge with a collection that rewrote the codes of men’s style with subtle yet radical innovations, once reserved for the world of women’s haute couture. The Milan House opened in 2011, soon followed by the New York House in 2012 in the Edwardian room at The Plaza Hotel. Shortly afterwards, ANGELO GALASSO expanded to Moscow and, that same year, the Angelo Galasso Foundation was launched in collaboration with the Moscow State Historical Museum. In 2013, Angelo was voted, for the second year running, one of Britain’s Best Dressed Men by GQ, and in Spring 2013 he launched Unico, the exclusive made-to-measure service that meets every modern gentleman’s requirement.

6pp_Interview_Layout 1 03/03/2017 13:28 Page 6


Q If you didn’t live in London, where would you live? A If we are speaking about a city, I would say London, and after that London again, and if I have to say a third name, I would say London again. If we are talking about a location for a holiday, I would say Toscana or Caraibi, or maybe Formentera, not Ibiza. If not, it’s another London. Q How do you decide what to wear? A From my mood, I’m always positive, even if I live in a cloudy city. I am extravagant, but always with a particular piece: perhaps the shoes or the glasses... As the famous Italian actor Vittorio Gassman said: “You can just have one extravagant piece, more is not classy.” Q You created your own watch range. What was the reason for this? A I love design, and I love all that is crafted from zero. From my watches to the glasses, I try to design everything. Q Menswear fashion is continuing to show steady growth. What lies in the future for you? A I think my collections give great support and a boost to male fashion. Many others appear to follow my designs and thanks to that new generations look for more extravagant and glamorous pieces, as with women’s fashion. Q If you weren’t a menswear designer, what would you be? A Probably an architect, I like to design and everything is about building. Q What three words would you say sum up your fashion house? A Solidifiers of thoughts. Sometimes you want to create, but you don’t dare, but when you dream, you give shape to the thoughts. So I have solidified the thoughts of others.  essence INFO Website: www.angelogalasso.com Angelo Galasso Stores Las Vegas: The Venetian, The Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino, 3355 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89109 London: 8-10 Hans Road, London SW3 1RX T Telephone: +44 (0)207 584 3978 Milan: Via Montenapoleone 21/A, 20121 Milan Telephone: +39 02 255 466 33 Moscow: Bolshaya Dmitrovka 20/1,107021 Moscow Telephone: +7 495 650 4517

MARCH 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 13



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

Image used for purpose. Terms & Conditions apply.

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


4pp_Travel_Layout 1 03/03/2017 10:24 Page 1


A new tale for

Tuscany For those who have already immersed themselves in the piazzas and museos of Rome, Florence and Venice (and battled through the wince-inducing crowds of camera-laden tourists) it’s time to rethink la dolce vita and discover Italy’s finest spa secrets. Join Chantal Borciani as she explores.


t’s easy to see why so many of us harbour a love affair with Italy – the wines, the food, the hilltop villages, the ornate cities oozing style and history in equal measure all make for an intoxicatingly wonderful weekend or week away. The nippy, two-hour flight only adds to the appeal of a spring city break. Many regions in Italy are literally built on natural thermal springs, and it is this mineral-rich water that makes their treatments some of the finest in the world. With its picturesque villages and verdant hillsides, Tuscany is emerging as the new hotspot for pampering, ultimate detoxing, medi treatments and wellness. If this all sounds a little serious, fear not, two of the region’s iconic spas offer all the white-robed romance, massages and indulgence a visitor could wish for – along with bubbling pools of rejuvenating thermal spring water, of course. We visited two spas of note – Grotta Giusti and Bagni di Pisa – to experience the ultimate spa retreats, Italian style. The perfect weekend away Grotta Giusti is located a short taxi ride from the pretty town of Lucca and the nineteenth century villa is classically styled and elegant, set in rolling pastures and woodland. The hotel is built upon a deep underground ‘grotto’ said to be 130 million years old. The underground spring feeds the hotel’s many attractions, including a huge outdoor thermal pool that boasts 35 different hydro massage jets.

16 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017

4pp_Travel_Layout 1 03/03/2017 10:24 Page 2

Travel | ITALIAN SPAS Lucca from the Torre Guinig


MARCH 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 17


4pp_Travel_Layout 1 03/03/2017 10:24 Page 3


Grotta Giusti the natural thermal grotta

Akin to an alpine retreat complete with hillside backdrop, the glittering open-air mineral pool is a beautiful place to relax. There’s a second, smaller private pool sectioned away for hotel guests and even the bath water comes directly from the hot spring. The thermal waters are rich in bicarbonates, magnesium and sulphates and used in all the treatments, including the enveloping thermal mud wraps. The vibe is somewhere between country house and easy-going spa; robes are the dress code, and relaxation the order of the day. If you fancy getting out and about, there are myriad Tuscan villages to explore nearby and Lucca’s narrowshuttered houses and pretty piazza is a perfect place for a gelato in the sunshine. And for those in fear of missing out on their favourite Italian dishes, both Grotta Giusti and Bagni di Pisa feature delectable restaurants – we opted to enjoy Tuscan wild boar penne, fresh tortellini, white and velvety burrata, fennel salamis and wafer thin carpaccio washed down with Chianti classico reservas. Vegans and vegetarians are also very well catered for, and an ‘Equilibrium’ programme can be requested, which serves delicious but balanced meals for spa visitors focussed on weightloss and wellness. The wonders of Watsu One of the most unusual treatments at Grotta Giusti is Watsu – a form of shiatsu in water – that takes place in the thermal grotto itself. The subterranean cave leading down to the thermal spring is a wondrous maze of stalactites – guests can lounge on day beds here in the differing levels of the grotto amusingly named Paradise (around 30˚C), Purgatory and Hell (34˚C) – although hell was more like a relaxing sauna and the tinkling of droplets down the grotto walls (silence is observed in the grotto at all times) makes for a soothing atmosphere. There is a sliver of emerald lake open to the elements (although the lake

18 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017

The bioaquam, Bagni di Pisa


Grotta Giusti resort

4pp_Travel_Layout 1 03/03/2017 10:24 Page 4


actually runs so deep it is possible to scuba dive in its tunnels) and it is here the Watsu takes place. With one hand on my back, I’m lightly cradled, swished and moved around the water’s surface by Poalo, my Italian instructor. The water is body temperature so I hardly feel it, and it is this weightlessness – and the serene calmness it evokes – that has been celebrated by spa-goers and Hollywood celebrities alike. Bagni di Pisa Built as a summer residence for the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Bagni di Pisa is only 40 minutes from Giusti and a perfect twin stop. The luxury retreat is a showstopper with frescoed walls, palatial suites, gargantuan beds and a suntrap-tiered garden. Giant Dr Vranjes bell jars omit delectable scents that waft along the long corridors – so addictive, it is possible to purchase smaller bottles to take home from the spa. At its core, the spa is modelled on a ‘health through water’ philosophy. There are small inviting lagoon pools of mineral waters, the day pool sits under a blue vaulted ceiling while the open-air rooftop pool is perfect for a sunset swim. There are steam rooms and saunas to enjoy – including one on the roof – and a peaceful relaxation room filled with twinkling lights. Treatments are wide ranging to say the least; while many well-heeled Florentine guests visit to simply relax in the rejuvenating thermal pools, others partake in indulgent massages, full wellness programmes, detoxes and medi-spa therapies. Spa for two The Hammam dei Granduchi is the piece de résistance – a candle lit walkway leads to a private cave with romantic plunge pool and waterfall. After an hour under the twinkling lights with a special someone, chill out in the capacious neo classical bedrooms complete with four poster beds, writing tables and Carrara marble bathrooms. If Italy has your heart already, then a stay at Grotta Giusti and Bagni di Pisa will only feed the infatuation. For those planning a city break to Florence (or Modena, Bologna, Parma or Pisa), then take a breather and experience the unique thermal spas distinguished Italian patrons are praying we won’t discover!  essence INFO Website: www.grottagiustispa.com and www.bagnidipisa.com

Prices Nightly rates at Bagni di Pisa start from €208 per room per night in a comfort room on a B&B basis. Rates also include wi-fi and access to spa and fitness facilities. Deluxe room park view is €345 per night/per room HB. Nightly rates at Grotta Giusti start from €200 per night in a comfort room on a B&B basis. Rates also include wi-fi and access to spa and fitness facilities. A suite is €547 per night/per room HB. A spa Watsu floating treatment costs €100 per person for 50 minutes.

MARCH 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 19

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


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


Classic clothing for countryside enthusiasts www.baleno.be



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

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

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

Adverts Issue 68_Layout 1 03/02/2016 15:12 Page 4

3pp_Gardening_Layout 1 03/03/2017 16:47 Page 1

PATH to success

A path in a garden is often an expression of how an owner wishes to use it: an expression of personality in the landscape. Emanuela Alladio of Alladio Sims Garden Landscape Design Limited asks: “Which one are you?”.


path can be a straight line, following the most direct route to reach a destination that might be a seat, a sculptural element or a view; it can be a meandering route, allowing time to linger to take in surroundings, or an unpredictable route that leads out and then allows the walker to find his or her own way on to lawns, into woods or round ponds. Alternatively, a path can follow a zig zag route that opens on to unpredicted elements or reveals the next surprise, be it a view or another unexpected space. Gardens are all shapes and sizes and path options are as diverse, but they are key to a great design that delivers the user into a garden in a way that individually suits. A couple of years ago, Alladio Sims created a show garden for the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. It was called ‘The Secret Garden Party’ and set out to illustrate a community of gardeners. It became a study, investigating just how differently the paths crossing six equal sized and shaped front gardens could express a personality. The result was an eclectic mix of styles, atmospheres and solutions that was greatly admired by the public. While the spaces were small, the results were scalable and clearly showed how a path gives structure to the personality of a garden (see images 1 & 2). Our first garden welcomed a happy mix of softer and more formal elements – the rectangular stepping stones in a matte honed natural stone, chosen in two different sizes and spaced at regular intervals through the gravel connected the front door to the gate, while the surrounding gravel, in a complementing tone, let the path merge with the dry borders, softening and blurring the edges. Here the chosen line was straight, so quite formal, but with staggered ends showing the benefit of stepping stones that allow the movement to be more dynamic thanks to a mixture of stone sizes and offset joints. Stepping stone paths would work equally well across a lawn loosely or directly linking to spaces beyond. They are relatively easy to construct and look very naturalised once they are allowed to settle in. A wandering route is a great solution for those who prefer a more romantic or relaxed garden, and the materials chosen in our second garden show just how free its form can be: from a simple path mown out of long

22 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017

Image1: Gravel and planting soften the edges of this path. Image courtesy of Alladio Sims Garden and Landscape Design Ltd. The Secret Garden Party @ RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2015 Image 2: A happy mix of formal and soft elements. Image courtesy of Alladio Sims Garden and Landscape Design Ltd. The Secret Garden Party @ RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2015

3pp_Gardening_Layout 1 03/03/2017 16:47 Page 2

Garden design | ALLADIO SIMS

Image 3: Reminiscent of the Mediterranean. Image courtesy of Alladio Sims Garden and Landscape Design Ltd. The Secret Garden Party @ RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2015

grass or a meadow, to a loose, windy gravel route through a dry garden, or a chipped bark path disappearing into a wood, naturalising to perfection as it ages. Wandering along such a path one is often surprised by sudden clearings, or peaceful sunny corners perfect for a bistro table and chair set: a haven for contemplation and relaxation. In line with this relaxed approach and perfect for a sunny courtyard, the next garden used bricks laid across a diagonal straight line, cutting through the space and blurring boundaries with surrounding gravel mulch borders (see image 3). Laying bricks across the route makes the space appear bigger and slows one down, an invitation to take time and linger. This is quite an informal path that brings to mind the Mediterranean, and with it images of gardens in Italy or Greece where plants and hard materials mingle to soften te boundaries and delight the eye. The feel of our third garden was mainly determined by the way the path was laid (see image 4). Using standard stone slab sizes to create a staggered path gives a clear route, but with a more naturalised edge. This is a good alternative to a traditional red brick path. The soft pastel shades of the planting and picket fence complement the natural hues of the chosen paving stones in this contemporary English cottage garden. Spilling on top of the path, the dreamy planting softens the staggered edges and draws one in to smell the blooms.

Image 4: A staggered path in natural stone cuts through this very feminine romantic cottage garden. Image courtesy of Alladio Sims Garden and Landscape Design Ltd., The Secret Garden Party @ RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2015.

MARCH 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 23


3pp_Gardening_Layout 1 03/03/2017 16:47 Page 3

Image 6: Minimal chic: a contemporary curvy path. Image courtesy of Alladio Sims Garden and Landscape Design Ltd., The Secret Garden Party @ RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2015.

Image 5: Vintage dream: roof tiles reworked into a country garden path. Image courtesy of Alladio Sims Garden and Landscape Design Ltd., The Secret Garden Party @ RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2015.

Recycling can throw up some great solutions and in the next garden we reused clay roof tiles on edge (see image 5). Rustic upcycled materials with gaps left for the plants to colonise created a strong textural element that fits in perfectly with the exuberant nature of the surrounding planting in this garden. There are other options for recycled materials including bricks, broken slabs and even wine bottles, used bases up, could work. They do lend themselves to a loose, winding path given the mismatched nature of the materials. This style would make the perfect choice in a classic country garden. Overall, the paths in our first four gardens offered a certain degree of flexibility in the implementation of their designs and are probably the kind of creations that would appeal to a more informal ‘artisan’ type garden. The last two gardens, however, were aimed at showing paths that took control – with crisp edges that create strong transitions between soft and hard landscape. Garden five presented a curved path which showed just how the route may be soft in line, but unlike other wandering pathways, nothing here was left to chance: the slabs were perfectly cut, laid and grouted, and the finish is the same as would be expected on a kitchen floor (see image 6). When selecting a curved path, material choice is key as most hard path materials are rectangular. Here we selected large slabs so that the edge kept the cut pieces larger and the angled direction broadened the sense of width. The last garden really illustrates a path that takes total control of the space around it (see image 7). This straight and perfectly symmetrical path provides a very precise solution to a classic design. The planting falls in line to reflect the very high degree of precision and extends the mirroring effect to the left and right of it. Requiring a solid base and very neat edges, the paving slabs are consistent in size and tones complementary to the formal planting. In larger gardens straight paths are used to lead the eye to a special view or feature at the end, and are perfect for creating long views in line with windows or doors.

24 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017

Image 7: Eye pleasing harmony – a classic formal path. Image courtesy of Alladio Sims Garden and Landscape Design Ltd., The Secret Garden Party @ RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2015.

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.

In short, each path tells an interesting story – be it a reflection of a more artistic, free spirited or exuberant soul, or that of a style conscious minimalist spirit – and finding it is just one of the many surprises it will bring. Next time you wander down a garden path, the backbone of any garden design, notice its very own unique story, or perhaps even just think, if I was a path, which path would I be? 

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

IO FP March.indd 1

27/02/2017 12:12

4pp_Motoring_Layout 1 03/03/2017 10:25 Page 1

4pp_Motoring_Layout 1 03/03/2017 10:25 Page 2

Motoring | CATERHAM

Swinging sixties and a sweet spot A lot has altered over the past six decades, but apart from its obvious name change, the Caterham Seven remains true to its heritage. To celebrate this year’s milestone, the sixtieth year since the first Lotus Seven, Caterham Cars has built a variant of its iconic Seven. Seemingly planned in the mid1960s, but never launched, it’s the Caterham Seven Sprint. Euan Johns examines Caterham’s enduring retro appeal.


he Seven is the original and staunchly British lightweight sportscar and has always been seen to boost national sentiment. The car was the brainchild of the legendary Colin Chapman and originally launched in 1957 at the London motorshow as the Lotus 7. It achieved star status in 1967 in the cult classic ‘The Prisoner’ television series, a special edition appearing in 1989. The design embodied Chapman’s ethos of adding lightness to a vehicle and his philosophy of ‘less is more’ is still very much to the fore today. The low mass of the car makes it inherently agile, enabling outstanding performance and perhaps most of all providing a driving experience with an unparalleled sense of purity, control and reward. Caterham Cars has been selling the Seven since the late 1950s when it was appointed as a Lotus dealer. In 1973, Caterham purchased the rights to manufacture the car from Lotus and has been building and selling it ever since. The Seven is a continually evolving work in progress and Caterham has continued to refine and enhance the design whilst carefully keeping its DNA intact, respecting the brilliance and innovation of the original formula. >>>

“It’s entirely fitting that the Seven 310, which we feel perfectly synchronises power and handling, has come out of the motorsport engineering process. It’s like an unplanned baby: a wonderful surprise that instantly becomes your favourite. We weren’t expecting it but, of course, we wouldn’t change a thing now. If Caterham was only going to make one car for the rest of its days, this could well be it.” SIMON LAMBERT, CHIEF MOTORSPORT AND TECHNICAL OFFICER FOR CATERHAM CARS

MARCH 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 27

4pp_Motoring_Layout 1 03/03/2017 10:25 Page 3

“We have always prided ourselves on continually developing the Seven during the 44 years we have been custodian of the model. But we never wished to dismiss our heritage either and I know there are plenty of Seven purists and aficionados out there who will really appreciate the level of detail we’ve gone to with the Sprint to resurrect the spirit of those early cars.” GRAHAM MACDONALD, CEO, CATERHAM CARS

28 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017

4pp_Motoring_Layout 1 03/03/2017 10:25 Page 4

Motoring | CATERHAM

Motorsport is always at the heart of the Seven and it is the original ‘race car for the road’. In the 1970s, the car was designated as too fast to race by the authorities due to its overwhelming superiority over its rivals, and banned from competition. The ban inspired Caterham to be pioneers, minimising costs, and to make racing with strict regulations close and exciting. Caterham Cars is proud to be one of the remaining British-owned and British-based car manufacturers, with the majority of parts sourced from within the UK wherever possible. Now operating as part of the Caterham Group of companies, which includes technology and development, the focus is still on providing customer service and an unmatched driving experience. It is, quite simply, a motoring icon and the family is continually growing. The launch of the Sprint heralded the start of Caterham’s ‘60 years of the Seven’ celebrations, which culminate with a spectacular Caterham festival at Donington Park this summer. To reflect the anniversary further, only 60 Sprints were made for the UK and European markets. The retro detailing of the Sprint will delight Seven purists and provides the perfect scene-setter to the brand’s celebrations. Priced from £27,995, the car was launched at the Goodwood Revival last year, a fittingly retro setting for a car with one wheel firmly planted in the ‘60s. The interior and luggage space are fully carpeted, as befits a ‘60s connoisseur, and there are very few concessions to modern life. The Suzuki engine generates performance good enough to be considered beyond mundane, but perfectly capable of a more leisurely application as it does its best to mirror an ancient motor. The Sprint is a car happiest on smaller roads and


MARCH 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 29

4pp_Motoring_Layout 1 03/03/2017 10:26 Page 5

The Caterham Seven range

doesn’t go well over bumps. It has precise steering via the wonderful thin wood-rimmed wheel, all adding to the retro feel. Although much effort has gone into the looks of the Sprint, it’s certainly not a triumph of style over substance, wisely avoiding any sense of retro cheesiness, and is, frankly, a colossal amount of fun. Sadly, potential purchasers of the Sprint will be disappointed as despite the hefty price tag, all 60 were sold within a week. There is, however, an alternative… In the circle of dedicated followers of Caterham Cars, one model is spoken about in reverential terms, the R300. Launched in 2002, it was deemed to be the perfect blend of low weight, punchy performance and agile handling. So the introduction of the Seven 310 has come as good news for those who failed to hitch a ride first time round as this too hits a sweet spot. Harking back to the acclaimed Rover-powered Superlight R300 model, the Seven 310 has emerged from engineering developments made by Caterham’s motorsport programme. It’s priced at £24,995, fully-built, and for existing Caterham Seven 270 owners the upgrade is available for a mere £1,495. So, the formula is the same and the car has everything expected from a Caterham. The turn is sharp, steering agile and responsive and body control flawless. In short it offers the best pared-back driving experience for the money today. Various ‘essential’ add ons such as upgraded brakes, suspension, bucket seats and a six-speed gearbox will push the price close to other options. However, the 310 offers the ‘purest’ driving experience if that’s what is craved.  essence INFO Caterham Cars Limited Fleming Way, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 9NQ Telephone: 01293 312300 Website: www.caterhamcars.com

30 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017

2015 T OL D LIS


2015 SIL VER

2015 T OL D LIS

2015 SIL VER

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

B R 2015 E ONZ

B R 2015 E ONZ

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

2015 E MM END





2015 E MM END

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

British craft Karen Millen is known globally for beautifully crafted fashion for confident women. Each piece in the collections has been individually designed, handcrafted and perfected by in-house atelier designers. From couture-inspired techniques to luxurious heritage fabrics, every garment has a story to tell. Karen Millen has stores in over 65 countries across six continents including flagship stores in London’s Knightsbridge and New York’s Fifth Avenue. The latest spring/summer collection blends minimalist trends including safari and military and gives them a modern take. These are high-end yet understated pieces, with clean, lean jumpsuits and piped edging juxtaposing super-feminine ruffles and romantic detailing.

essence INFO

Website: www.karenmillen.com

Pyjama wrap jacket £199 Contrast piping trousers £130 Leather Brompton clutch £99

32 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017


Button down midi skirt tan £110 Pleated trim blouse £115 Lizard drawstring tote £215

Lily print pencil dress £170


MARCH 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 33

Super frill shirt £115 Mid wash stretch jeans £90 Suede and mesh boot £160 Stripe bucket bag £110

34 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017

New Lindberg Ads June 2016_Layout 1 01/06/2016 18:30 Page 4

Denim divas Now over 50 years old, fashion retailer Peter Hahn remains true to its motto: ‘Our fashion – your style’ and to its use of natural materials. Only available online in the UK, Peter Hahn has stores in Germany and Switzerland offering high quality fashion from over 250 international designer brands. The original all-American material, denim, is worn this season from head to toe and it’s softer and more beautiful than ever. Surely no other fabric is as wearable or as universal as the ever-popular denim? For that divine, cool look there are plenty of colourful prints to add a touch of class.

essence INFO

Website: www.peterhahn.co.uk

Day.Like ankle-length jeans £119 Peter Hahn denim blouse £85

36 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017

Fashion | PETER HAHN Fadenmeister Berlin multicolour pattern dress ÂŁ369

MARCH 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 37


Beauty_Layout 1 03/03/2017 10:27 Page 1


Let’s talk about skin…

Aesthetician Jacqui Casey of Epsom Skin Clinics poses essence readers some questions: “How many of us look in the mirror and think: ‘My skin looks dull’, ‘I look tired’ or ‘I wish I had a glow’”? Here Jacqui explains a few of the Skin Clinics’ favourite treatments to revitalise skin luminosity and boost confidence.


he doctor-led team of aesthetic professionals at Epsom and Surbiton Skin Clinics offer state-of-the-art treatments to enhance and rejuvenate the skin. Microdermabrasion To discard dead skin cells and return the skin’s natural glow, consider a microdermabrasion. This deep exfoliating treatment uses crystals to soften and even out the skin, whilst also improving circulation and bringing nutrients to the surface. After a treatment, I like to apply vitamin C serum with its antioxidant, anti-aging and brightening benefits, it is a perfect way to pamper the skin. Microdermabrasion can be a great one off treatment, used as monthly maintenance, or intense courses are available for more problematic skins and scarring. Skin peels Skin peels are another way to help brighten up skin tone and assist with problems such as spots or pigmentation. Expect a little flaking for a few days post treatment, but the effects can leave a smooth and clear complexion. Skin peels range from light to deep and therefore down time varies. A light peel will brighten and refine skin tone, whilst helping with surface congestion. Deeper skin peels really can help to rejuvenate: stimulating collagen and elastin production, as well as treating issues such as pigmentation. Why not combine a light skin peel with a microdermabrasion for an amazing result? After these treatments any home care products used will also penetrate deeper.

Injectables Epsom Skin Clinics also offer anti-wrinkle injectables, including Botox, which help to minimise muscle movement thereby preventing and softening wrinkles. Dermal fillers made from hyaluronic acid (a natural skin hydrator) help plump and lift the skin offering a return to a more youthful appearance. Both of these treatments create subtle boosts that can make a huge difference to confidence levels. I would allow six weeks for Botox and four weeks for dermal fillers to take effect before any event. After care Skin care products are important to maintain the results of treatment: without them skin would become dry, congested and dull. Agera Microderma System is a two part exfoliation that uses crystals, vitamin C and fruit acids to give the skin a bright and youthful appearance. Enriched with peptides, it also balances the skin’s collagen and elastin production. The mixture gently warms to pamper further. A good skin hydrator is very important. My favourite is Jan Marini Transformation Cream. This lightweight hydrator makes skin feel silky, even after only one use, and gives skin a youthful, dewy look. Packed with antioxidants and peptides, this cream not only adds moisture, but also helps to repair and prevent signs of skin aging. Visit one of our clinics to see how our skin experts could help enhance your natural beauty.

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

MARCH 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 39

3pp_Truffle_Layout 1 03/03/2017 10:28 Page 1

Snuffling for

truffles in Spain Food and wine writer Nick Harman digs for black gold in Spain.


e got bitten by a snake out here a few months back, he almost died!” The truffle hunter ruffles the neck of his dog affectionately, “but he’s okay now and happy back at work.” His dog looks up at him adoringly, keen to get on with his job. That job is to sniff out truffles because somewhere in this massive plantation of trees stretching out in all directions here in Spain, great treasure lies buried. The dog’s work is made a little easier by the fact that this is a truffle ‘farm’ where almost every tree is certain to have a truffle or two amongst its roots. That’s because the element of chance was reduced by a discovery back in the 1970s. “Scientists worked out how to inoculate the roots of tree saplings with truffle spores,” my guide informs me, as we stride out across the plantation, his dog running ahead and questing around busily. “When the trees reach around ten years old, truffles will begin to form.” Truffles are a form of parasite on tree roots, but a benign one. They can’t synthesise sugars and other carbohydrates themselves, they have to obtain them from plants. This means using the tree’s carbohydrates to make filaments that spread through the soil in an ever widening net and, as they do so, they send back nutrients to the grateful tree. At some point, late in the year, a few filaments combine to create a fruit, the black truffle. This then rapidly gains weight and when ripe puts out the odour which dogs scent.

40 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017

My guide explained that grass above a truffle also tends to die back, which gives humans a rough idea where a truffle might be located: “But we can’t tell if it’s ripe or not and certainly can’t risk digging it up and wasting it, only the dog’s nose knows for sure.” Our dog is directed to some likely looking spots and after quickly checking out a few he soon makes it clear where he wants his master to dig by scrabbling at the earth furiously. Using what looks like a medieval dagger, we make the hole bigger and uncover a truffle the size of a pingpong ball. My guide lets the dog sniff it, to reinforce training, then rewards the now deliriously happy canine with some treats he keeps in his pocket. I have a sniff of the truffle too and it’s gorgeous. Dimethyl sulfide is the correct name for what causes the aroma and it’s actually related to the smell of cabbage, which is why some people don’t like the smell, hard though that may be to believe. The truffle we’ve found, Black Truffle Soria (Tuber melanosporum), is named after the nearby town of Soria here in the region of Castilla y León, about three hours drive from Madrid. The second highest town in Spain, it loves its truffles and mushrooms, and the weather and geography are perfect for both. In a reasonable year, the region can see 5,000 kilos of black truffle collected from around 1,700 hectares of plantations. Much of the Soria truffle harvest is exported, >>>

3pp_Truffle_Layout 1 03/03/2017 10:28 Page 2

Gourmet food | TRUFFLES

MARCH 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 41

3pp_Truffle_Layout 1 03/03/2017 10:28 Page 3

as its quality is appreciated worldwide. Prices vary with the harvest, but a kilo of truffles might fetch around €1,000 in a good year, making it a major part of the economy. This, however, has not been a great year for truffles I’m told: a very dry summer with hardly any rain at all has depressed the yield. Last year, a massive black truffle won the size contest at the annual Soria Mycology Festival, this year there were no competitors at all. But in the town there are still local mushrooms aplenty this autumn, with every tapas bar and restaurant serving them in imaginative ways. The day before my truffle hunt, chef Oscar Garcia Marina, often labelled the best chef in Castilla y León, served me a mushroom meal of nine courses with witty plays on mushroom textures – infused, raw, fried, pickled, dried – as well as a wide range of mushroom varieties. The meal even ended with a mushroom-based dessert. So, with the dog happily bounding around us in the now increasing drizzle, we walk back to the car and begin thinking of lunch. It will be local Douro wine, plus scrambled eggs on bread topped off with, of course, a shaving or three of our precious truffle. My tail is wagging happily already. 

essence INFO Websites: www.spain.info and www.ineedspain.com The English Truffle Company runs experience days throughout the season, as well as providing truffle hunting teaching courses for owners and their dogs. See www.englishtruffles.co.uk. Nick Harman, writer Website: www.theculinary traveler.net

42 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017

How to get the most from truffles Wash the truffle under running water and gently remove any excess earth with a clean brush. Dry off and place in a sealed container, wrapped in kitchen roll. The truffle will naturally produce condensation: wipe this out every day and change the paper. A fresh truffle can last up to 14 days in this way. There is no need to use the truffle to benefit from its flavour, they infuse very well. Store the truffle in a container with raw eggs or cheese and when these ingredients are cooked they will naturally taste of it. You can shave a bit of truffle over the top, but there’s no real requirement to do so. Truffles have a strong flavour, so make them the star ingredient. Use them to liven up fresh pasta, a risotto or scrambled eggs or use a truffle shaver for fine pieces, which intensify the truffle’s taste, and stir them through at the last moment as too much heat will damage flavour.

Flavour 16pp_Layout 1 21/07/2013 10:39 Page 1

Food_Crates_Layout 1 03/03/2017 10:29 Page 1

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

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




Spring greens

Whether cultivated or harvested from the wild, mushrooms are far from being a vegetable but are the edible fruit bodies of fungi that grow from either above or below the soil. There are thousands of species, with many more believed still to be discovered, but only a small fraction are actually cultivated for our enjoyment. Such cultivation, however, has a long history going back thousands of years in all corners of the world from China, the Romans, Greece and even ancient Chile. Mushrooms are available throughout the year, but wild mushrooms do have their season, with morels being at their best in spring. Due to the many varieties of poisonous mushrooms, it is best to buy from a reputable source, unless you really know what you’re doing as they can kill. As well as providing a fabulous earthy flavour to any dish, the mushroom is a great source of important minerals and B vitamins.

There is much to be said for naming a vegetable in the most descriptive way possible, and these really are as so called. They are the first cabbages of spring and most definitely green, packed with taste and goodness. They are a welcome offering following on from winter with a softer texture than cabbages, a sweeter flavour and really fresh. They are best bought whole and resemble a head of cos lettuce with a darker hue. Spring greens are probably the closest to wild cabbage and truly lend themselves to being cooked rapidly, either steaming or adding in to dishes, soups and stews at the final stages. One transformation of spring greens is served from nearly every Chinese restaurant in the land and goes by the more deceptive label of crispy seaweed. However, it really works in this guise and can be very successfully deep fried or even roasted.

44 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017

Food_Crates_Layout 1 03/03/2017 10:29 Page 2


Blue cheese and apple Portobello mushrooms

Spring greens pesto

Serves two

Ingredients: 250g fresh spring greens Half cup dried mushrooms Half cup grated hard cheese such as Parmesan Quarter cup toasted pine nuts Three to four cloves of garlic Three tablespoons rapeseed oil or olive oil One teaspoon fresh lemon juice Salt and pepper to taste


Ingredients: Four large Portobello mushrooms 200g blue cheese Two large Bramley apples Two tablespoons water Zest of half a lemon Two teaspoons demerara sugar 15g butter Method: w Peel, core and roughly chop the apples. w Gently heat the fruit in a saucepan with the water and lemon zest until completely softened. Remove from the heat and mix in the butter and sugar. Set aside to cool. w Brush off or lightly wash any soil from the mushrooms and remove the stalks. w Spoon in a generous layer of apple sauce to the bottom of each mushroom and then crumble the blue cheese over the top. w Wrap each filled mushroom in tin foil, place on a baking tray and cook in the oven at 200ËšC for just 25 minutes. w Unwrap the tops only and finish under the grill to brown. Serve with the juices collected in the foil.


Serve with rustic bread or simple pasta

Method: w Soak the mushrooms in boiling water and allow to cool. w Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the garlic followed by the spring greens and cook just until they wilt. w Blend this together with the mushrooms, cheese, toasted nuts, squeeze of lemon and seasoning. In order to obtain a smooth consistency, start the blending slowly and increase bit by bit. w This pesto is fresh and more subtle than traditional basil pesto, but equally lovely served stirred through pasta or on simple rustic bread with grated cheese.

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

MARCH 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 45

Art Food_Layout 1 03/03/2017 16:28 Page 1

Foodie oasis in the Surrey Hills A seventeenth century inn with its own brewery, a local food menu and a carefully stocked village shop may sound too good to be true. Food writer Shirlee Posner of Eat Surrey urges readers to add The Plough Inn on to their ‘must visit’ list.


ne thing I’ve discovered since I started to write about food in Surrey is that the journey is often as good as the arrival. I am guaranteed that if I set out from Guildford to anywhere close to Dorking, I will take in gorgeous country views, bewitching country lanes, quaint cottages and palatial homes. On this occasion I had a good vibe about my destination as I had been given a tip off by a reliable source who promised this venue was right up my street. The Plough Inn, located in Coldharbour village, dates back to the 1700s, however, by 2015 it had lost its shine and most of its reputation. Put up for sale, the pub was bought by local entrepreneur Richard Eshelby who used it regularly during the shooting season. Forming a company to manage his new asset, he brought in John (an IT consultant) and his wife Becky to run the business: a great idea as they are also shareholders. The new team started in mid September 2015 and traded whilst they formed a refurbishment plan. They had a vision to re-instate the village shop and keep the on site Leith Hill Brewery open too. Today The Plough Inn has six attractively furnished rooms, a new kitchen and landscaped garden and the addition of a village shop. It is heartwarming to see the reinvention of the business, which is now central to village life. The Inn is also a tourist destination for walkers and cyclists on the look out for somewhere to relax. This is a story of three parts: the Inn, Leith Hill Brewery and the village shop, all intertwined and

46 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017

each lending additional purpose. The Plough Inn was already on the radar of CAMRA who say this is the only pub in the south east which brews its own beer exclusively for its customers. Made on site in small batches twice a month, 10 firkins (around 400 litres) are produced. This process takes around a month to brew, ferment and condition in cellars before it is ready to sell. There are three beers made on site by Antoine Josser from Westcott and local resident Mark Chapman. Not all are available all year round, but on the day I visited, Crooked Furrow and Surrey Puma (a seasonal stout) were on tap. There is also an American pale ale called Smiler’s Happiness, named

Art Food_Layout 1 03/03/2017 16:28 Page 2

Artisan food | EAT SURREY

Butternut squash pie with Feta and fresh thyme When I visited The Plough Inn, I was told its homemade pies are very popular. It’s British Pie Week from 6 to 12 March and when I spotted a butternut squash pie on Instagram, I felt compelled to give it a go. Here’s my version, which is as hearty and filling as any meat based cousin. I used a pretty maple leaf cutter for the top. The filling can be made a day in advance. Ingredients One butternut squash (approximately 750g), peeled and flesh cut into one to two centimetre chunks Two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil One teaspoon hot smoked paprika A pinch smoked Maldon sea salt Two medium red onions, peeled and finely chopped One 200g pack Feta cheese, crumbled Two tablespoons crème fraîche One tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme A handful of chia or poppy seeds to garnish One 375g pack ready-rolled short crust pastry. Feel free to make homemade here. I usually do, but being time poor on this occasion, I cheated! Method Pre-heat the oven to 1800C fan/2000C /gas mark 5. Prepare the butternut squash and place in the mixing bowl with one and a half tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper and mix well to evenly coat. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, using the leftover oil, pan fry the onions until softened and leave to cool. Mix the butternut squash and onions together in a mixing bowl, add the crumbled feta cheese, crème fraîche and herbs. Mix together and leave on one side while preparing the pastry case. I used a rectangular tin, measuring 10cm x 32cm, but a round or square tin works as well. Line the tray and fill with the butternut squash filling. Use the leftover pastry to create a lid using one whole piece to cover or cut shapes to create a pattern. Brush the pastry with egg or milk and sprinkle with chia or poppy seeds. Bake in a medium hot oven for 45 minutes. The top should be golden brown. Leave to cool slightly before serving with a tossed green salad.

• • • • •

Shirlee Posner, eatsurrey.co.uk

after a much loved local John Steele who died in March 2016. In addition to its own brews, this freehouse sells beers from other local breweries such as Falls Gold from Tillingbourne and a selection from Hogs Back. It also has an eclectic range of new wave gins such as Silent Pool, Brighton and Gutsy Monkey (made in nearby Dorking). The pub menu focuses on local and seasonal food. The core menu changes four times a year, but is supplemented with a specials’ board. This, John stressed, really is for specials and they often test run dishes before placing them on the new season’s menu. Much of what is on offer is made on site. What isn’t comes from suppliers such as local artisan bakers Chalk Hills of Reigate, with meat from award winning Rawlings of Cranleigh. Eating lunch with a friend recently, we shared a starter of game, apricot and gherkin terrine served with home made chutney and warm (great attention to detail here) Chalk Hills’ fig and walnut bread (£7.50). For mains, I went for local producer RaviOllie’s beetroot and feta ravioli pasta with a fresh cream and dill sauce (£10.95), while my dining partner opted for homemade chicken pie, gravy, mash and vegetables (£11.95). We loved the food: it was full of flavour, carefully prepared and with sensible portions. The pie was served with a selection of fresh vegetables and we felt the lunch represented good hospitality at a fair price. Although we were fairly stuffed, we felt it would be rude not to sample a dessert and chose the coffee >>>

MARCH 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 47

Art Food_Layout 1 03/03/2017 16:28 Page 3

crème brûlée served with shortbread and Caroline’s Dairy chocolate ice cream (£6.50). This combination was a huge hit, it was so delicious we ate the lot! All made on site, apart from the ice cream, this was a brûlée to remember for its presentation, taste and texture. After coffee from local roaster Coffee Real, we went to take a look around the shop. Outside we noticed there was some kindling wood for sale with little handwritten labels. This had a sign above as it’s chopped by a little girl who lives in the village and named Willow’s Wood after her as she earns pocket money by preparing the wood in her garden. Each pack has a handwritten message hoping you will enjoy your fire. It was hard to resist, so I bought a pack to take home. The shop was the final element of the business to open in October 2016 and was envisioned for both locals and visitors alike. The last village shop in Coldharbour closed its doors in 1982. Sadly, over the last few years, Dorking has become so busy that parking at times is a challenge. This shop stocks a wonderful range of products from basics (toothpaste and washing up liquid) to gourmet artisan cheeses, chocolate and seaweed mayonnaise. It’s amazing how much stock a small shop can carry, but this is a great example of how to do it. Becky’s mum, Sue, who clearly has a natural affinity for food retailing, is at the helm here. Energetic, lively and clearly passionate about her new venture, she has filled the shop with a superb range of complementary food and ingredients. In the freezer there are ready meals from Surrey Spice, pasta from RaviOllie and ice cream from Caroline’s Dairy. Gourmet pies come from Tom’s Pies in Devon and meat stuffed sausage rolls and pasties from Rawlings Butchers in Cranleigh. Bread is available from artisan bakery Chalk Hills and a craft bakery in Cranleigh. For cyclists and walkers, a couple of stools in the shop window are a great place to sip a barista coffee and enjoy a homemade cake for those who don’t fancy a full meal in the pub. I also met some walkers from Holland who were committed to returning for another visit. The positivity this business has given to the village and the wider community is evident and I left feeling uplifted. There may not be many small independents on Surrey high streets, but they can be found not far off the beaten track.



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

essence INFO The Plough Inn & Brewery Coldharbour, Surrey RH5 6HD Websites: www.ploughinn.com and eatsurrey.co.uk Shirlee Posner is a food writer and blogger at www.eatsurrey.co.uk and provides social media management, web copywriting and food photography.

Member of the Guild of Food Writers

48 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017

Baking_Layout 1 03/03/2017 13:51 Page 1



Treat mum this Mothering Sunday with some delicious chocolate and cherry cupcakes, all dressed up in elegant stripes: handmade purses optional! These fluffy chocolate cupcakes, one of Jen’s Cupcakery’s bestsellers, are dotted with cherries and topped with a rich chocolate buttercream. Sheer indulgence, but on such a special day, why not? For those who do not have time to handmake purses, top with little flowers or sprinkles, both of which can be bought at the supermarket, or even a chocolate dipped cherry!

Ingredients 80g unsalted butter 270g caster sugar Two eggs 190g plain flour 50g cocoa Three teaspoons baking powder 240ml milk Two teaspoons vanilla extract 100g cherries, fresh or frozen For the icing 337.5g unsalted butter 125g cocoa 700g icing sugar 112ml milk Two teaspoons vanilla extract Half teaspoon espresso powder Method w Heat oven to 200˚C/180˚C fan/gas 6. Line a 12 hole tin with cupcake cases or baking cups. The ones used here can be found online and can be baked on a tray as they’re stand alone. w Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy in texture. w Add the eggs one at a time, beating well in between. w Sieve the flour, baking powder and cocoa together, and then add a quarter followed by a quarter of the milk and so on until the ingredients are mixed. Then add the vanilla extract. w Chop the cherries into quarters and fold in by hand. w Spoon the mixture into cases and bake in a pre heated oven for around 18-20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. w Make the icing by mixing the butter and cocoa together, then adding the milk and icing sugar a little at a time before adding a teaspoon of vanilla extract and coffee to bring out the chocolate flavour. w When the cakes are cool, pipe or spoon icing on the cupcakes and finish with a decoration of choice.

essence INFO

TOP TIP: For more of a tipsy treat, soak the cherries for an hour in some kirsch, or buy a jar of soaked cherries from a supermarket.

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

MARCH 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 49

Lit_Layout 1 03/03/2017 16:17 Page 1

Paradise Lost A Drama of Unintended Consequences In an accessible exploration of one of the more testing Renaissance poems, first published in 1667, the reader is taken on a journey through Milton’s re-telling of the Genesis account of mankind’s Fall to reveal how he explores issues which confront the spiritual yearning of every generation. Author Duncan Baxter chose to write Paradise Lost, A Drama of Unintended Consequences in order to share his love of John Milton’s work. Using approachable language, readers are guided through Milton’s moral maze, to explore the power of human love and ambition to challenge obedience to God, the limitations inherent in human powers of reasoning and the doubtful reality of God’s grant of free will to mankind. The more Duncan read, it became clear to him that here was a complex and divided personality at work, whose poetry should be more widely read; it is this conviction which informed his teaching and this book. Duncan Baxter has spent his working life in education. He has worked as a headmaster and education consultant, and has written widely on education issues and on teaching literature, particularly Milton. By Duncan Baxter RRP: £9.99 ISBN: 9781785899027 Published by Troubador Publishing www.troubador.co.uk

50 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017

Eat Yourself Thin Would you set aside time each day for the next week or two if it helped transform your body and life and helped you lose the weight that you want? Diets come and go, but medical advice on what constitutes a good diet has stayed exactly the same and this book promotes changing a lifestyle for the better through positive reinforcement about how we view ourselves and food. It includes diets from around the world that influence our own eating habits, healthy lifestyle swaps, the triggers to why we eat and how to overcome any barriers we are feeling around weight loss. Eat Yourself Thin has been written so that readers feel good about themselves, through changing their mindset and how to think about foods and diets. There are facts, studies, healthy recipes and personal experiences with plenty of humour thrown in. Charlotte Carroll’s general interest in nutrition and health has grown into a passion. She is a health coach and blogger with a desire to motivate people to lose weight and change their lifestyles. By Charlotte Carroll RRP: £16.99 208 pages • Paperback ISBN: 9781473878792 Published by White Owl www.pen-and-sword.co.uk

I ME MINE Cherished by fans and collectors, I ME MINE is the closest we will come to George Harrison’s biography. This new extended edition has been significantly developed since the book’s first printing in 1980. In Harrison’s own words, I ME MINE now covers the full span of his life and work with lyrics to 141 songs (58 more than any previous edition), with new text commentary and additional photographs. The entire work is reproduced in full colour throughout and presented as a limited edition book and vinyl boxed set of only 1,000 estate-stamped copies. The Extended Edition will also be published in a hardback edition available in bookstores worldwide. I ME MINE first appeared in hardback in 1981, now, for the first time, it will span George Harrison’s songwriting from 1963–2001. Part 1 offers readers the story of George’s life and music in his own words, and those of his friend and collaborator, Derek Taylor. Part 2 is a treasury of George’s song writing. The musician’s songs are charted in chronological order, explored in handwritten lyrics reproduced in facsimile, typeset lyrics and a commentary narrated by George himself. As George said: “Writing a song is like going to confession... writing songs to try and find out, to see who you are.” Published by Genesis Publications www.genesis-publications.com

The History of Newgate Prison As the place where prisoners, male and female, awaited trial, execution or transportation, Newgate was Britain’s most feared gaol for over 700 years. It is probably best known today from the novels of Charles Dickens, including Barnaby Rudge and Great Expectations. But there is much more to Newgate than nineteenth century notoriety. Author Daniel Defoe imprisoned there for seditious libel, playwright Ben Jonson for murder and Captain Kidd for piracy were among its most famous inmates. This book takes readers from the gaol’s twelfth century beginnings to its final closure in 1904 and looks at daily life and developments in the treatment of prisoners from the use of torture to penal reform, as well as major events in its history. Caroline Jowett is a journalist and former arts and literary editor of the Daily Express where she has written about everything from badgers to ballet, etiquette to Italy. She’s been a fan of the eighteenth century since discovering the work of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. By Caroline Jowett RRP: £12.99 128 pages • Paperback ISBN: 9781473876408 Published by Pen & Sword Books Limited www.pen-and-sword.co.uk

Lit_Layout 1 03/03/2017 16:17 Page 2

Literature | REVIEW

Images from a Warming Planet One man’s mission to document climate change around the world with a foreword by Jonathon Porritt “A superbly photographed and researched record of the effects of climate change around the world. It is a book that captures the beauty of our unspoilt natural environment and the dreadful inroads against it from climate change, all too much of which is caused by man,” says Chris Bonington. “This book shows, like no other, our dependence on fossil fuels and why we have to open a new chapter in our history. We have the technologies to power our lives without the terrible pollution we have grown accustomed to. Do political leaders have the courage to take the new technologies to scale? Only if we bolster their resolve to act in favour of the future. Everyone should see this book and make their voice heard. It is a tremendous achievement by Ashley Cooper,” says Mark Edwards, Hard Rain Project. Size 240 x 300mm, 416 pages, 495 photographs. Cloth covered with matt gold foiling and de-bossing, encased in a scratch resistant dust jacket. £40.00 plus postage and packaging. Images from a Warming Planet is available to buy only through the website, or via Ashley Cooper at: ashley@globalwarmingimages.net ISBN: 978-3-89955-594-3 www.imagesfromawarmingplanet.net

Theatre review | ALADDIN

Aladdin, Prince Edward Theatre, Dean John-Wilson (Aladdin) PHOTOGRAPHER DEEN VAN MEER © DISNEY

Disney’s Aladdin, Prince Edward Theatre, London With nearly 350 stunning costumes, 84 special effects and 18 different scenic changes, it takes 180 people to deliver each performance of Disney’s Aladdin at the Prince Edward Theatre. Based on the Disney film, this show surpasses expectations, and although it remains faithful to the characters and lines we all know and love, it does not follow the movie slavishly. Editing of the story is effective without losing the plot: so much happens towards the end of the Disney film that would be impossible to recreate on stage. Some of the most iconic scenes are a triumph, with the Genie’s (Trevor Dion Nicholas) entrance being the stand out performance from the show. The set and special effects work well with a projector and voiceover recreating the sand dune cave perfectly, and the employment of an intricate turnstile floor system that seems to make the Genie and other characters magically appear. Jasmine (Jade Ewen) and Aladdin (Dean John-Wilson) flying on the magic carpet through the starfilled sky is a beautiful scene with the whole stage covered in twinkling lights. Fortunately, comedy from the original film script is not lost either and there are even modern-day adaptations referencing Internet sensations. The whole production – cast, costumes, scenery – is vibrant and colourful and choreography is top drawer. Favourite performances came from Don Gallagher as Jafar, who was made to play the villain and Iago (Peter Howe). Trevor Dion Nicholas as the Genie is larger than life and really steals the show. Disney’s Aladdin comes from a creative team with armfuls of accolades. Collectively, the show’s creators have won 20 Grammy® Awards, 19 Tony Awards® and 13 Academy Awards® – a total of 52 major awards! All in all then, hardly surprising it's a great family night out. essence INFO

Disney’s Aladdin - Prince Edward Theatre, Old Compton Street, London W1D 4HS Website: aladdinthemusical.co.uk Booking line: 0844 482 5151 Show booking until 30 September 2017. Running time is approximately two hours and twenty minutes, including an interval. See also essence Events spotlight, page 62.

Mundays_Layout 1 03/03/2017 10:20 Page 1

Can’t get the staff... Sofia Syed, Senior Associate in the Employment Team at Mundays LLP, provides some tips on hiring household help.

Sofia Syed is a Senior Associate in the Employment Team at Mundays LLP and is experienced in all aspects of employment law with a commercial background having previously worked at DLA Piper in London. She advises on all aspects of employment law, providing clear and concise legal advice as well as practical, commercial solutions to complex legal issues. Sofia can also advise on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious matters. She has particular expertise and interest in working with High Net Worth clients and Family Offices; providing advice to households on the recruitment, management and termination of household staff. Sofia’s general employment work includes providing strategic advice to board members in relation to company restructuring, including advice on shareholder/director disputes and mediation. Her work ranges from preventing employment claims by ensuring the correct documentation is in place, through to advising on employee management (disciplinary, grievances, sickness management) as well as advising on termination (re-structuring, dismissal, redundancy procedures, handling tribunal claims) or negotiating settlement agreements and packages. In addition to working closely with corporate team members on wider corporate transactions and family offices, Sofia has experience in advising employers operating in a variety of business sectors, including healthcare and technology. Sofia has extensive experience in developing and delivering employment law seminars on a wide range of issues including Data Protection, Modern Slavery, Stress Management and employment law updates. She is regularly invited as a guest speaker to CIPD and ACCA events as well as lead speaker/presenter at internal seminars or as a founding member of the Woking Diamond HR Forum. Sofia’s articles and contributions are often published in national or specialist media. Sofia can be contacted on 01932 590581 or at sofia.syed@mundays.co.uk.

52 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017


hilst technology may have made our lives easier, it seems it has, so far, made them no less busy. Kids still need ferrying, houses cleaning, laundry washing, food cooking and stock replenishing. There remain the same number of hours in the day and let’s face it – they’re never enough. We make choices on how much of our precious time we wish to spend on carrying out these basic jobs or how much we are prepared to contract out. You may have the need to enlist the assistance of household staff: whether it may be a housekeeper, a nanny, butler, private chef, close protection/security, chauffeur or house manager. They are employed to wave their wands and make tiresome jobs disappear from sight, keeping you and your loved ones safe and free to spend time on things you would much rather wish to do. However, whilst the chores may disappear from sight, this is not without a cost. I’m not talking just about the salaries these individuals may command, but rather the cost of having staff living in your house. They are aware of your every movement, your family table talk, your every need and reaction, your food choices, your spending decisions as well as those of your friends, family and guests; they are a fountain of all knowledge about you. Whilst this may make them invaluable to you, so too might they be to those who wish to get a glimpse inside your world. They are the gateway to the inner life of your private household. The work environment for such staff is like no other. For households, it is often difficult to manage a formal employment relationship with staff members, given the private and personal working environment that depends upon a much greater level of intimacy than a formal office. This is further intensified when the staff are ‘live-in’, in which case their work and their personal lives are also intertwined with yours. Given the level of intimacy, it is important to have provisions in place to secure a happy home

Did you read the one about the nanny who was jailed for nine months for theft? She was accused of stealing over £170,000 worth of designer clothes and jewellery from the home of her employer. During the trial of the well known family, the nanny made counter-allegations about her employer’s personal life, and what must have been particularly hurtful allegations regarding her behaviour as a mother towards her own children. This proved to be a stark reminder to families in similar situations to ensure they have adequate and watertight documentation in place to provide maximum protection to their family and reputation. working relationship. As we are fully aware, the tabloids seem to relish the idea of exposing reputable households for what they deem as ‘mistreating’ or ‘overworking’ their staff or divulging personal details about their private family affairs. So what provisions have you put in place? Have you conducted thorough pre-employment checks and given consideration to the terms and conditions of your staff to ensure not just that they fall squarely within the law, but also protect your household? Are their roles clearly defined? If you have provided them with accommodation in any outbuildings or privately rented apartments, are you sure they will vacate after the role terminates? Are your staff managers trained to protect your reputation by ensuring proper treatment (no discrimination) and rotas for all staff to ensure adequate time off ? There are specialist recruitment agencies who take time to understand the needs of individual families and ensure they forward shortlisted suitable candidates to reduce time. We work with a number of these agencies to provide an after care service with contracts

Mundays_Layout 1 03/03/2017 10:20 Page 2


The Cambridges were clear in what they were looking for in their nanny – among the ‘supernanny’ skill set were the ‘three Ds’: diligence, devotion and the utmost discretion. individually tailored to provide maximum protection to the client, confidentiality or other supplementary agreements and ongoing HR support to your house managers or personal assistants. This is invaluable to protect you from an employment claim where perhaps your house managers have not had experience of managing staff in the past. We also provide specialist household staff HR management training sessions and are able to coordinate all your staffing requirements from recruitment to contracts and payroll. We work closely with specialist providers to provide a seamless comprehensive service. Please feel free to contact us for more information. 

essence INFO

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

Top tips for hiring household staff Status: Household staff will usually be deemed to be employees of the household and therefore usual legal provisions in relation to employment contracts and tax will apply; Checks: When hiring household staff, it pays to ensure rigorous checks are undertaken on individuals. This includes not only a ‘Right to Work in the UK’ check, but also detailed reference checks and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal record checks. Where an employee will be caring for children or vulnerable adults, an enhanced DBS check will be required. If you use a reputable recruitment agency, they will often carry out a number of these checks for you. Clarity: Ensure you are clear what you are looking for. Carry out a thorough interview process: this could include observing how they work in the household or engage with the children. Mutual trust, confidence and compatibility are critical to the relationship. Use the opportunity to explain the details of the role and ensure both parties are on board before proceeding. Contract: Ensure you have the agreed details set out in a Contract of Employment for each staff member. This should be provided within two months of their start date. Whilst a basic statement may be provided by the recruitment agency, it is unlikely to cover full details regarding confidentiality, intellectual property, accommodation and security which would provide greater protection for your family needs. Sometimes additional agreements are required to provide fuller protection. Each contract and supplementary agreement should be based on your specific needs and tailored to the roles, as every family and role is different. Investment: Investing some time at the start of the relationship can provide you with the best chance of a longer lasting and loyal relationship; it can also relieve stress when the relationship comes to an end.

MARCH 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 53

Finance_Layout 1 03/03/2017 16:42 Page 1

Time is running out for year end tax planning Simon Lewis reminds us that the current tax year ends on 5 April and considers the opportunities for us to legitimately organise our financial affairs in order to pay a little less tax.


ith the end of the current tax year looming and what might prove to be a radical spring budget from the Chancellor imminent, time is running out to consider and implement last-minute tax planning opportunities. In recent years, popular debate has muddied the waters between tax avoidance and tax evasion. Regardless of moral considerations, the former is legal and the latter is illegal. It is perfectly legitimate to organise one's affairs in order to take advantage of tax reliefs and allowances. The precise purpose of such reliefs and allowances is for government to influence behaviour in a way that should be both beneficial for government finances and the wider economy; so it is important not to be duped by populist propaganda into paying more tax than you need to. The fact is that the UK tax system is incredibly complicated with the result that it is seldom truly progressive and there are far too many nasty pitfalls that can unfairly penalise the unwary or inexperienced. Here are some common pitfalls and opportunities to consider. Year end income tax planning Personal income over £150,000 is taxed at the rate of 45%. However, this is not the effective top rate of income tax. This is because the personal income tax allowance is reduced by £1 for every £2 of income over £100,000. As a consequence, the effective top rate of tax is 60% for those with an income between £100,001 and £122,000. Individuals with a level of income close to these thresholds can substantially reduce their tax liabilities by taking advantage of opportunities to reduce

54 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017

“The fact is that the UK tax system is incredibly complicated with the result that it is seldom truly progressive and there are far too many nasty pitfalls that can unfairly penalised the unwary or inexperienced.” their taxable income below £100,000. For some people it might be possible to defer income or change it into non-taxable forms. However, at this late stage in the tax year the most common methods are making pension contributions and/or making charitable donations under gift aid. Another important income threshold for many is the limit that governs entitlement to child benefit. The value of child benefit is cancelled out by the tax charge if the taxable income of the highest earning parent exceeds £60,000. There is no tax charge if the highest earner has income of £50,000 or less. An individual pension contribution reduces income for this purpose, so the tax charge could be avoided. Child benefit is worth over £2,500 per annum to a family with three children. The combination of higher rate tax relief on the pension contribution plus the child benefit tax charge saved, can lead to an effective rate of tax relief as high as 65% for a family with three children. For 2016/17 onwards, the new dividend allowance of £5,000 means that dividends up to this amount can be received free of personal tax, no matter which tax band the dividend falls into. For those who run their own business and have control over the timing and payment of dividends, it makes sense to ensure this allowance is fully utilised. Once

the allowance is used, the effective tax rate for company owners (allowing also for corporation tax deducted) is excruciatingly high at 46% for higher rate taxpayers and 50.58% for additional rate taxpayers. The rate of corporation tax is reducing in 2017/18 so there might be merit in delaying the recognition of profits where it is permissible. Over the years, many investors have invested money in both onshore and offshore investment bonds. One of the attractions of such investments has been their ability to defer personal tax by taking advantage of an annual withdrawal allowance set at 5% of the original investment. However, what is deferred usually becomes payable eventually and those with large gains accrued in such arrangements could be liable to a substantial income liability when they decide to cash in their investment. Top slicing relief can be used to amortise profits over a number of tax years, possibly reducing or eradicating a liability. The rules are complex so care is needed. For experienced investors, specifically those who have experience in making investments into businesses directly, it is possible, under the seed enterprise investment scheme, to claim income tax relief on investments in start-up companies up to £100,000. Investors can claim income tax

Finance_Layout 1 03/03/2017 16:42 Page 2

Finance | PMW

requirement to survive the gift by 7 years). It is possible to carry forward any unused gift exemption from the previous fiscal year so time is running out to utilise any unused exemption from 2015/16. Year end investment planning It is possible to invest up to £15,240 in an ISA for 2016/17. The tax benefit is that any future income and gains will be free of personal tax. Whilst the tax benefit might be marginal for basic rate taxpayers, it is important to bear in mind that often the cost of investing in an ISA is no greater than holding the same investments in another way. Furthermore, a modest ongoing tax saving might become a substantial ongoing tax saving as your circumstances evolve, your money grows in value, and the tax regime changes. What to do next Tax planning implementation can take time, and time to act in the current tax year is running out. The actions referred to in this article are by no means exhaustive and you should seek advice before proceeding. We would be delighted to assist with your tax planning needs so please contact us if you would like us help you make the most of your options for the current tax year and beyond.

relief at 50% (whatever their highest effective tax rate), but of course the risks are high and expert advice is necessary. It is also possible to invest in established unquoted companies (and also companies listed on AIM) through enterprise investment schemes to secure income tax relief, at a flat rate of 30%. Once again, such investments can be very risky so they are not suitable for most people and expert advice is essential. Year end capital gains tax planning It is possible to realise capital gains tax-free up to the annual exemption of £11,100 for 2016/17. Married couples and civil partners can transfer assets between them without crystallising a gain and this should be considered where it is possible to use both annual exemptions. It is also worth bearing in mind that for 2016/17, capital gains tax rates for individuals

have reduced (for higher rate and basic rate taxpayers) from 28% to 20% and 18% to 10% respectively. These rates are historically low and might well increase again in the future. There might therefore be merit in bringing forward crystallisation of large gains that have been accrued over time. Year end Inheritance tax planning Inheritance tax is paid on the chargeable value of your estate above the nil rate band, which is currently £325,000. One of the most effective ways to reduce a prospective inheritance tax liability is to diminish your future estate by giving away money before you die. There are many methods that can be employed to achieve this although the one that is tax year sensitive is the annual gift exemption of £3,000. This is the amount that can be gifted free of inheritance tax with immediate effect (usually there is a

essence INFO

Simon Lewis is writing on behalf of Partridge Muir & Warren Ltd (PMW), Chartered Financial Planners, based in Esher. The Company has specialised in providing wealth management solutions to private clients for 48 years. Simon is an independent financial adviser, chartered financial planner and chartered fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment. The opinions outlined in this article are those of the writer and should not be construed as individual advice. To find out more about financial advice and investment options please contact Simon at Partridge Muir & Warren Ltd. Partridge Muir & Warren Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Telephone: 01372 471 550 Email: simon.lewis@pmw.co.uk Website: www.pmw.co.uk

MARCH 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 55

Education_Layout 1 03/03/2017 10:30 Page 1

Staying safe in cyberspace In a sign of the times, Michael Connolly, Headmaster of Cranmore School, poses a pertinent question: “Is social media toxic?”


At Cranmore School we provide e-safety training for pupils from the age of four: it is never too young to teach them how to be responsible and safe with technology.

56 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017

he history of technology clearly indicates that when a new device or phenomenon appears it is a one-way process, we cannot turn the clock back. This is just as true for the mobile phone as an atomic bomb. The challenge, of course, is that we are always compelled to adapt and learn to live with any new technology, whatever rationale is presented for its merits. When mobile phones first appeared they were horrendously expensive, unreliable and cumbersome but, nevertheless, they served as a status symbol in some quarters. Many of us will recall Del Boy from Only Fools and Horses using his phone, which was the size of a brick, to secure the latest dodgy deal. In time, like most gadgets, mobile phones became smaller, more reliable and, crucially, more affordable to become attainable for almost everyone. The key selling point of the mobile phone is the convenience of being able to communicate regularly or simply stay in touch with friends and family from any location, day or night. Is this really a good thing? Is it really necessary? How many of us have been plagued by a noisy train carriage from Waterloo to Guildford?

Perhaps there was a golden age when commuters would tackle The Times’ crossword, or perhaps just flick through the Evening Standard, all in relative silence. Now we have the incessant chatter as fellow passengers compete with each other as they hold lengthy, banal conversations by mobile phone as a means of breaking the ‘boredom’ of a regular commute. Whilst this can be irritating, the more sinister aspect is that many employers expect their workforce to be at the end of a phone 24-7 and to respond to e-mails too. It has been well reported that this trend has had a significant effect in increasing stress levels to the detriment of an individual’s wellbeing and productivity. We have supposedly progressed from phones being used for conversations and texts to being, in effect, mini-computers. This has added to the expectation and pressure so that some people cannot switch off from work. However, this is not all. In recent years there has been a rapid development in social media so that Facebook has new cousins such as Instagram and WhatsApp.

Education_Layout 1 03/03/2017 10:30 Page 2


These social media platforms can offer tremendous benefits if used in the right way. Sadly, those who work in education are increasingly finding that they can be a burden on young people. The proliferation of sexting and cyber-bullying has made the journey through the teenage years additionally hazardous. All young people make mistakes whilst growing up, but now there is the real threat that one poor decision will be immortalised in the ether which might be an impediment to job prospects or future relationships. It is certainly true that young teenagers are more daring in the messages and images they exchange than they could ever be in real life. Unfortunately, this is quickly becoming normalised and some adults are resigned to the fact that the genie is out of the bottle. Can anything be done? Well, those working in schools must strive harder to educate their pupils to the inherent dangers

that lurk within social media. In addition, good schools also recognise the importance of getting parents on board too. At Cranmore School we provide e-safety training for pupils from the age of four: it is never too young to teach them how to be responsible and safe with technology. We also run sessions for parents so that they have a greater insight into how their children might use social media and have the essential knowledge to keep their children safe. As a species, we have evolved for some 200,000 years, and yet social media has been around for barely 20 years. It’s hardly surprising that this paradigm shift in the way many people communicate with each other might have profound consequences, yet to be determined. School children have been born into a digital world and educators must do all they can to ensure social media becomes a force for good rather than something which blights the

lives of our young. It has often been said that future generations will be amazed that smoking continued to be legal long after its harmful effects were known. Will future generations wonder why we allowed ourselves to be so transfixed by social media? ď ś

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 excellent facilities include a golf course, swimming pool, fitness suite and Forest School. Website: www.cranmoreprep.co.uk Telephone: 01483 280340

MARCH 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 57

3pp_LesBrea_Viva_Layout 1 03/03/2017 10:30 Page 1

Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre

Village people For those seeking an elusive, peaceful spot in which to unwind, a tranquil and charming place to escape constant demands of life in the fast lane, Cinque Terre, located on the glorious Italian Riviera on a rugged section of the Liguria region, is ideal, as Rebecca Underwood discovers.


inque Terre, (which translates to five lands), dates back to the eleventh century and consists of the five small medieval villages of Monterosso al Mare, Manarola, Vernazza, Riomaggiore and Corniglia. Recognised as a ‘cultural landscape’ and awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1997, the Cinque Terre is a protected national park, linked by a series of meandering paths and the railway line, built in the 1870s, cuts through a series of coastal tunnels. The area, known for its lush vineyards, citrus orchards and olive groves, is partly inaccessible by car and the best way to travel is by train from Rome, Genoa or Pisa, or drive to La Spezia and then board the local train. An area of outstanding natural beauty, the Cinque Terre attracts hardy souls keen to hike the seven mile coastal trail linking all five villages. Water babes seeking solitude will find a surprising number of coves and bays dotted along the coastline; a leisurely dip in the glittering waters of the Mediterranean is sure to soothe aching limbs at the end of a day’s arduous exploration. Riomaggiore is the Cinque Terre’s most famous village due to its prolific production of Sciacchetrà, a delicious sweet dessert wine with aromas of honey and white blossoms and hints of citrus. It is said that the origins of Riomaggiore date back to the eighth century when the inhabitants of La Spezia’s Vara valley relocated to the coastal regions in order to escape marauding pirates and to benefit from the milder climate in their cultivation of grapevines and olive trees. The town reflects its history and is characterised with typical pastel coloured houses perched along a vertical axe and a number of very steep staircases are the only means by which to move around the interior. Riomaggiore is also the main embarkation point for the Cinque Terre hike and the first leg along the Via dell’Amore, the ‘love walk’, which leads to Manarola is easy due to the width of the path. As it is level with the seaside promenade, the panoramic ocean views are simply breathtaking. Manarola, the oldest village in the Cinque Terre, is an ideal place to stay. Located only 200 metres from the town’s main square and a short distance from the train station, the Hotel Porto Roca holds a prominent position with the beautiful bay spread out below. The property offers a selection of suites measuring 44 sqm with double balconies furnished with comfortable sun loungers. Contemporary furnishings include walkin wardrobes, spacious bathrooms featuring Jacuzzis, and all amenities expected, including wi-fi. The hotel features a sea view infinity pool (open >>>

58 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017

3pp_LesBrea_Viva_Layout 1 03/03/2017 10:30 Page 2


MARCH 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 59

3pp_LesBrea_Viva_Layout 1 03/03/2017 10:31 Page 3

Cinque Terre: a hiker's haven


from June to September) which faces a small secluded bay. The hiking trail from Manarola to Corniglia is not for the faint hearted and although it takes only an hour, the trail crosses a promontory and dips down to the original railway line. Those who embark on this path will be richly rewarded with a view of the little houses perched on a ridge around 100 metres above sea level and surrounded by tumbling vineyards. To reach the town, visitors must negotiate the Lardarina consisting of 33 flights of steps. Local attractions include St Peter’s Church, built in 1334, which reflects the dramatic intensity of the Baroque style with Gothic and Ligurian elements. The fourteenth century façade is adorned with a white marble rose window and the interior features a christening font dating back to the twelfth century. The three mile hike from Corniglia to Vernazza and the section from there to Monterosso, offers the most challenging paths with uneven terrain, meandering and narrow walkways through vineyards and lemon and olive groves and, of course, the most spectacular views which demand attention at strategic vantage points along the way. During the Middle Ages, Vernazza, which has a natural harbour, prospered greatly as a fishing and trading centre and records show that the town was fortified prior to 1080 and was thought to be a departure point for naval forces defending the area from buccaneers. Local places of interest include Doria Castle, the oldest surviving fortification in the Cinque Terre. Built in the fifteenth century, it was used as a lookout tower to alert the village to foreign invaders. The Church of St Margherita d’Antiochia, which dates back to 1318, is located on Piazza Marconi, the main square. The small church, built in the Gothic-Ligurian style, features an octagonal belfry soaring 40 metres into the sky. Monterosso al Mare is only a 90 minute hike away, located in the province of La Spezia, and it covers an area of 11.25 kilometres. Considered by locals to be the unofficial capital of the Cinque Terre, it is divided into two areas: the old town and the new town of Fegina. Local attractions include the Cappuccini Abbey and the Church of Saint Francesco which occupy a site on the hill of Cristoforo. The church, dating back to 1632, features an aisle encircled by wooden altars and treasures including one of Anthony van Dyck’s masterpieces, ‘Crucifixion’, painted around 1630. Fegina also features the largest sandy beach in the Cinque Terre and the pedestrian tunnel which links the old and new towns can become very crowded in the summer months. Near to Fegina’s beach lies another local attraction which garners much interest: the Monterosso Giant is an impressive sculpture of Neptune looking out over the ocean. The imposing statue, sculpted by Arrigo Minerbi in 1910, stands 14 metres high on a promontory and although it was severely damaged during WWII, and subsequently by the unrelenting elements, it is clearly a masterpiece. Should the sea air awaken the appetite, an outstanding dining experience awaits at L’Ancora della Tortuga located on Salita Cappuccini. Sample some local specialities such as focaccia bread served with anchovies and olives and order a glass of Sciacchetrà. Whilst admiring the ocean view, make a toast to ‘la bella vista’ of Cinque Terre and reflect on the words of one of Italy’s most famous sons, Leonardo da Vinci, who once said: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” 

60 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017

Cinque Terre: a hiker's haven



The vineyards of Riomaggiore


For access to the hiking paths, purchase a Cinque Terre Pass prior to arrival. Local bus and train travel is also included. For more information, visit parconazionale5terre.it/Ecinque-terre-card.php

Island Adventure New Adverts May 2016_Layout 1 23/05/2016 15:15 Page 3

Looking for something different? Bespoke experiences in Sri Lanka

Create your own authentic, off-the-beaten-track, Sri Lanka experience with Island Adventures

www.islandadventures.lk info@islandadventures.lk

March 17 events_Layout 1 03/03/2017 12:52 Page 2

essence events

spotlight on... Disney’s Aladdin Prince Edward Theatre, Old Compton Street, London W1D 4HS Show booking until Saturday 8 July Travelling slightly further afield for this issue of essence events, Disney’s Aladdin is London’s newest West End musical playing now at the Prince Edward Theatre in Old Compton Street. The lead role of Aladdin is performed by British rising star Dean John-Wilson, Jasmine by Jade Ewen and the Genie by Broadway star Trevor Dion Nicholas. The musical has been lauded by both critics and public alike, and it really is a spectacular treat, with over 350 stunning costumes, a fabulous cast and orchestra, beautiful sets and great special effects. The musical features all the songs from the classic award-winning film, including ‘A Whole New World’ and ‘Friend Like Me’, so plenty for the whole family to enjoy.

theatre Richmond Theatre Richmond To Saturday 11 March Gaslight Suspenseful thriller drama starring Kara Tointon and Keith Allen. Monday 13 to Saturday 18 March Not Dead Enough Crime tale starring Shane Richie and Laura Whitmore. Monday 20 to Saturday 25 March Shirley Valentine Heart-warming comedy, on its 30th anniversary, starring Jodie Prenger. Tuesday 28 March to Saturday 1 April Gabriel Paul McGann and Belinda Lang star in this drama set in Nazioccupied Guernsey.

Sunday 12 March Omid Djalili: Schmuck for a Night Great stand-up on tour. Monday 13 to Saturday 18 March Shirley Valentine See Richmond Theatre listing. Monday 20 to Saturday 25 March Sister Act All new production starring Alexandra Burke. Tickets: 0844 871 7645 or atgtickets.com/woking

New Wimbledon Theatre Wimbledon Tuesday 14 to Saturday 18 March La Cage Aux Folles A lavish musical spectacular starring John Partridge and Marti Webb. Information: 0844 871 7646 or atgtickets.com/wimbledon

Tickets: 0844 871 7651 or ambassadortickets.com/richmond

Cranleigh Arts Centre Cranleigh

New Victoria Theatre Woking Tuesday 7 to Saturday 11 March RENT The Musical A new production of Bruce Guthrie’s award-winning rock musical as it celebrates its 20th anniversary.

62 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017

Friday 24 March A Regular Little Houdini A tale of hope, determination and magic set in Edwardian Newport, South Wales. Information: 01483 278000 or cranleighartscentre.org

Aladdin, Prince Edward Theatre, Dean John-Wilson (Aladdin). Photographer Deen van Meer © Disney

Information: 0844 482 5151 or aladdinthemusical.co.uk

March 17 events_Layout 1 03/03/2017 12:52 Page 3

March 17 events_Layout 1 03/03/2017 12:52 Page 4

essence events Dorking Halls

Guildford Fringe Theatre


The Back room of the Star Inn, Quarry Street, Guildford

Thursday 23 March Ross Noble: Brain Dump New stand-up performance. Sunday 26 March The Tiger Who Came To Tea A delightful family show. dorkinghalls.co.uk

Wednesday 22 March Jonny & The Baptists: Eat The Poor A musical comedy for our times exploring the gap between rich and poor, inequality, homelessness and revolution in modern Britain.

Electric Theatre


Information: 01306 881717 or

Information: 0333 666 3366 or

Guildford Wednesday 29 March to Saturday 1 April Volpone by Ben Jonson A satire on greed and lust.

Harlequin Theatre Redhill


Friday 17 and Saturday 18 March Pasha: Let’s Dance the Night Away Pasha Kovalev from Strictly Come Dancing performs in a new show.

Epsom Playhouse


Information: 01483 444789 or

Information: 01737 276500 or


Information: 01372 742555 or epsomplayhouse.co.uk

Farnham Maltings Farnham Tuesday 28 March Spillikin by Pipeline Theatre A story of a woman with Alzheimer’s and her robot companion. Friday 31 March Jonny & The Baptists: Eat the Poor See listing in next column for Guildford Fringe Theatre. Information: 01252 745444 or farnhammaltings.com

Gag House Comedy Clubs The Star Inn and Komo, Guildford Saturday 18 March, 8pm Guildford Gag House The best stand-up at The Star Inn. Wednesday 29 March, 8pm Komo Gag House The cocktail bar hosts its first Club. Information: gaghousecomedy.com

G Live Guildford Wednesday 8 March Richard Alston Dance Company An all new programme of work.

Rose Theatre

Jonny & The Baptists, Eat The Poor, Guildford Fringe Theatre and Farnham Maltings

Kingston-upon-Thames To Sunday 2 April My Brilliant Friend A two part dramatisation of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan quartet of novels. Monday 13 March A Funny Evening with Gyles Brandreth Award-winning raconteur. Information: 020 8174 0090 or rosetheatrekingston.org

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Guildford Wednesday 8 to Saturday 11 March Out of Order Award-winning comedy. Tuesday 14 to Saturday 18 March A Passionate Woman Liza Goddard stars as Betty who relives her long-lost youth. Monday 20 to Saturday 25 March The Verdict Clive Mantle and Jack Shepherd star in a powerful courtroom drama thriller. Tuesday 28 March to Saturday 1 April Nell Gwynn Winner of the 2016 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy starring Laura Pitt-Pulford.

Information: 01483 369350 or

Information: 01483 440000


or yvonne-arnaud.co.uk

Photo credit Matt Crockett

Friday 17 March Circus of Horrors Bizarre, brave and beautiful acts.

RENT The Musical, New Victoria Theatre, Woking

64 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017 Joo Yeon Sir, Guildford Symphony Orchestra, Charterhouse Hall

March 17 events_Layout 1 03/03/2017 12:52 Page 5

spotlight on... Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour Dorking Halls and G Live

Ines Papert, Senja Island, Norway © Thomas Senf

Tuesday 28 March and Wednesday 26 April: Dorking Halls Saturday 1 April: G Live The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour returns with more screenings and action. This time the Banff Tour features 14 diverse short films, starring the world’s top adventurers on spectacular journeys in stunning locations, chosen from hundreds of films entered into the Banff Mountain Film Festival held each year in the Canadian Rockies. This year’s selection features high-adrenaline action, environmental documentaries, women in adventure, along with escapades from athletes all over the globe. See daredevil kayaking in Papua New Guinea and four UK mums row the Atlantic Ocean. Truly inspirational films that make the viewer want to maximise the most out of every day.

Information: 01306 881717 or dorkinghalls.co.uk and 01483 369350 or glive.co.uk or banff-uk.com/films


Guildford Cathedral Saturday 1 April, 7.30pm Woking Choral Society A performance of Haydn’s Creation.

Thursday 6 to Saturday 8 April Competitions and concerts Choir competitions and concerts, including Southern Pro Musica. See website for details.

Saturday 25 March, 8pm Will Johns and friends, with Jasmin Rodgers Distinctive blues performer.

Information: guildford-cathedral.org

Information: lhmf.org.uk

Guildford International Music Festival

Surrey Mozart Players

Information: 01483 278000 or

Various venues, Guildford


To Sunday 5 March A celebration of live music exploring the interaction between music and the arts with science and technology. See website.

Saturday 25 March, 7.30pm Performances of works by Mozart and Sibelius.

Cranleigh Arts Centre Cranleigh

Epsom Chamber Choir St Martin’s Church, Epsom Saturday 18 March, 7.30pm Choral masterpieces Haydn’s Nelson Mass and Mozart’s Vespers.


Information: www.surrey.ac.uk/arts

Information: 020 8672 5495 or epsomchamberchoir.org.uk

Charterhouse Hall, Godalming

Guildford Monday 13 March, 7.30pm 80s Invasion Tour 2017 Performances from Paul Young, Martika, Toyah and China Crisis. Tuesday 21 March, 7pm The Stranglers The band present the Classic Collection, performing a catalogue spanning some 40 years. Information: 01483 369350 or glive.co.uk

Information: surreymozartplayers.com

Vivace Chorus and the Brandenburg Sinfonia Guildford Cathedral

Guildford Symphony Orchestra

G Live

The Electric Theatre, Guildford

Sunday 26 March, 7pm Spring Classics Violinist Joo Yeon Sir performs Sibelius with the GSO. The concert will support the Home-Start charity.

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

The Keep Pub, Castle Street, Guildford Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 April, 12 noon–6pm In celebration of English Tourism Week, The Keep hosts a very local food and drink festival with stalls from nearby brewers, distillers, wineries and food producers. Visit to sample and buy local produce and also enjoy an authentic English themed menu and drinks. Information: 01483 450600 or thekeepguildford.pub

Herald of Spring Festival Bourne Hall, Ewell

Saturday 25 March, 7.30pm Performances of works by Smetana, Prokofiev and Elgar. Information: wokingso.org.uk

Information: epsom-ewell.gov.uk



Woking Symphony Orchestra

Leith Hill Music Festival

H.G. Wells Conference Centre, Woking

Sunday 12 March, 7.30pm St Matthew Passion A performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s masterpiece.

Food and Drink Festival

Saturday 11 March, 9am–5pm Discover Epsom and Ewell’s parks and open spaces with this ‘Magic’ themed festival. See floral displays and a mystic garden from Ashtead Garden Nurseries and shows from local countryside groups, including the Beekeepers. In addition there will be appearances from Hobbledown Puppet Show, Close Up Magic and an illusionist.

Information: 01483 444333 or

Information: 01483 415847 or

Dorking Halls


MARCH 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 65

March 17 events_Layout 1 03/03/2017 12:52 Page 6

essence events


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

Dorking Museum Dorking

Ramster Hall Friday 10 to Sunday 26 March Embroidery and textile exhibition Embroidery and textile art on display.

Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays throughout March, 10am–4pm Medieval Betchworth Depicting life in a medieval village.

The Lightbox Gallery and Museum

Information: dorkingmuseum.org.uk


Haslemere Museum Haslemere To Tuesday 18 April, 10am–5pm Celebration Redesigned Recycled materials are used to create celebration art pieces.

Information: ramsterevents.com

To Sunday 7 May Henry Moore: Sculpting from Nature Featuring over 50 artworks from arguably the greatest British sculptor of the twentieth century. Information: 01483 737800 or

Information: haslemeremuseum.co.uk


McAllister Thomas Fine Art

The Art Agency


Throughout March Artist works on display include Parastoo Ganjei and Relton Marine.

Friday 31 March to Tuesday 18 April Form: Mark Demsteader Award-winning and much collected figurative artist.

Study for Dusk, 100 x 90 oil on board, Mark Demsteader, McAllister Thomas Fine Art


Photo copyright: Painshill Park


Mothering Sunday at Painshill, Park


Information: 01372 466740 or theartagency.co.uk

Information: 01483 860591 or mcallisterthomasfineart.co.uk

Watts Gallery

Farnham To Saturday 15 April Views of Farnham Introducing two artists: Fiona Pearce and Jan Gaska. To Saturday 15 April Rising Stars 2017 New and exciting craft by emerging artists.

To Sunday 5 November Watts 200: A Life in Art: G F Watts 1817–1904 Marking the great artist’s life with a timeline highlighting key occasions in Watts’ career. To Sunday 5 November Monumental Murals A showcase of G F Watts’ ambitious mural projects.

Information: 01252 713208 or

Information: 01483 813593 or



Photo copyright: Ashley Cooper

Compton, Guildford

New Ashgate Gallery

66 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017 Images from a warming planet, Ashley Cooper, WWF Living Planet Centre

national trust

out & about

National Trust properties offer perfect venues to explore during any

Beaulieu National Motor Museum

season. A few are shown here, but

New Forest, Hampshire

visit nationaltrust.org.uk for more.

Sunday 2 April, from 10am Simply Aston Martin See around 400 Aston Martins whilst also enjoying the grounds of Beaulieu Abbey.

Claremont Landscape Garden Esher

Photo copyright: Beaulieu

March 17 events_Layout 1 03/03/2017 12:52 Page 7

Simply Aston Marton, Beaulieu National Motor Museum

Sunday 26 March, 10am–5pm Mothering Sunday at Claremont Free entry for mums and children.

Information: beaulieu.co.uk


Ramster Hall

Information: 01372 467806



Hatchlands Park

Wednesday 5 April Easter egg hunt Crack the clues to claim an egg.

Sunday 26 March, 10am–5pm Mother’s Day celebration Mums go free along with children.

Friday 31 March, 6.45–8.15pm Bluebells at Cucknell’s Wood Discover bluebells, bats and more on this ranger-led walk in Cucknell’s Wood, Shamley Green.

Sunday 26 March, 10am–4pm Mothering Sunday Enjoy a treat with mum in the café.

Information: 01420 22992 or

Information: ramsterevents.com

Information: 01483 795440 or

Information: 01483 222482

Bocketts Farm

Stoke Fields, Guildford


Sunday 12 and Sunday 19 March, 7pm Screenings of ‘Sicko’ and ‘Hot Coffee’ Thought-provoking cinema.

East Clandon, Guildford

Leith Hill Place near Dorking Sunday 26 March, 11am–5pm Mother’s Day Listen to Leith Hill’s resident pianist whilst enjoying a cream tea.


Saturday 1 to Tuesday 18 April Easter eggstravaganza Baby lambs, chicks and bunnies, and an Easter quiz trail.

Surrey Half 2017 Woking and Guildford

Brooklands Museum Polesden Lacey


Great Bookham, near Dorking

Sunday 12 March, 10am–5pm Austin Morris Day Austin and Morris vehicles on display. Sunday 19 March, 10am–5pm Brooklands Mini day Hundreds of Minis, old and new, along with Test Hill in action. Information: 01932 857381 or brooklandsmuseum.com

Sunday 12 March, from 9am Take part in the half marathon race.

Whisk it up for wildlife: David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation Gate Street Barn, Bramley Wednesday 22 March, 10am–1pm A fundraising morning of coffee and cake with a baking demonstration from Great British Bake Off finalist Miranda Gore Browne. All proceeds support elephant orphans in Zambia. Information: davidshepherd.org

Information: surreyhalfmarathon.co.uk

WWF Living Planet Centre Surrey Wildlife Trust


Various locations

Wednesday 22 March, 6pm One Man’s 13 Year Mission: images from a warming planet Part of WWF UK’s Earth Hour campaign, photographer Ashley Cooper shares his inspiring images.

Saturday 25 March, 10am–12 noon or 1.30–3.30pm Newborns: Pond Farm See newborn lambs and calves at Pond Farm on Wisley Common whilst learning about SWT livestock.

Information: wwf.org.uk/whatson

Godstone Farm Godstone

Winkworth Arboretum

Saturday 1 to Monday 17 April Easter fun Baby animals and lots more.


Information: 01883 742546 or

Sunday 26 March, 10am–5.30pm Mothering Sunday Entry is free to mums when accompanied by their children. Wednesday 5 April, 2.30–4pm Winkworth’s Wednesday walk A guided walk around the Arboretum.


Information: 01372 452048

Information: socima.org.uk

Information: 01372 363764 or bockettsfarm.co.uk

Information: 01306 711685

Friday 31 March to Monday 17 April, 10am–3.30pm Cadbury egg hunt: carnival capers Help the Easter bunny piece together a festival outfit. Saturday 1 to Tuesday 18 April, 10am–4pm South American-inspired floral displays Floral borders will be filled with tulips and heucheras in hot colours.


SoCiMa Cinema

Painshill Park Cobham

Information: 01483 208936

Sunday 26 March, 10am–6pm Mother’s Day at Painshill Enjoy a relaxing stroll followed by a cream tea in the tea room.


Information: painshill.co.uk

farmers’ markets Camberley Saturday 18 March, 10am–3pm Cranleigh Every Friday, 9.30–11am Epsom Sunday 5 March and 2 April, 9.30am–1.30pm Farnham Sunday 26 March, 10am–1.30pm Guildford Tuesday 7 March and 4 April, 10.30am–3.30pm Haslemere Sunday 5 March and 2 April, 10am–1.30pm Milford Sunday 19 March, 10am–1.30pm Ripley Saturday 11 March, 9am–1pm Walton-on-Thames Saturday 4 March and 1 April, 9.30am–2pm Woking Thursday 2 March and 6 April, 9am–2pm

MARCH 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 67

3pp_Home_Access_Layout 1 03/03/2017 10:31 Page 1

Natural hues

Clarissa Hulse is one of the leading lights of the British textile world, uncompromising in her passion to deliver the ultimate combination of colour, print and fabrics. Catching up with Jane Pople, she talked about the secret to a work/life balance and what 2017 has in store for her brand.


larissa Hulse today produces beautiful and luxurious home accessories, wallpapers and fabrics, selling in both top-notch department stores such as Heals, House of Fraser, John Lewis, Liberty and Selfridges and across the world in exclusive boutiques. The beginning was a popular scarf business, from which she has evolved her brand to be one of the most respected in the UK textile industry. Taking inspiration from her childhood holidays travelling across Europe, where she studied the local flora and fauna, many of her designs have a botanical theme running through them. Clarissa was born in Prague and lived in many countries growing up including Spain, Italy, Greece and even Thailand. She cites this as a driving force behind her love of vivid colour and natural design which is evident through her collections. Q Clarissa, what is your favourite part of your job and what would you change if you could? A I absolutely love it when our designs become reality – when we start receiving the first samples of a new product – it feels like Christmas and is one of the most exciting parts of the job. There are so many aspects to running a business from designing, updating the website, photoshoots, sending out orders, it’s one big juggling act and I wish I had more time to spend on each area. Q You were brought up in many different countries; how would you say this influences your work as a designer today? A We moved a lot when I was little and each time we did my mother would like to make each house homely with beautiful textiles and accessories. We

68 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017

would visit markets and find items to decorate the home together. She would also fill the house with plants and that has really influenced the way I work and design. Q Do you have a favourite ever design or product you have created? A I am really loving our newest collection – Filix – a tessellating, geometric fern print. It was a design that came so naturally and is very versatile. It has been adapted in a range of colourways and products, including wallpaper, bed linen and cushions. Q How would you describe your own home style? What is your favourite room in your house and why? A My style is definitely maximalist! I love old pieces that are full of character – I have collected many over the years and enjoy the eclectic look they create in my home. We have recently just moved and wallpapered our kitchen/diner with our Filix green ombre wallpaper and it looks brilliant! This room leads on to the garden, so it feels like you’ve been transported into the Palm House at Kew Gardens. Q Can you tell us what a typical day looks like for you? A Every day is different. I get my two children up and ready in the morning, take them to school and head straight into the office. Then it can be anything from shooting a new collection, discussing updates to the website, printing and sampling or organising events in the studio – or I can be out meeting suppliers or retailers. My job is so diverse, which is why I enjoy it so much. >>>

Clarissa Hulse

3pp_Home_Access_Layout 1 03/03/2017 10:31 Page 2

Home accessories | CLARISSA HULSE

Filix coral bed linen and accessories

Here and above: Clarissa Hulse new kitchen textiles

Here and above: Clarissa Hulse new kitchen textiles

MARCH 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 69

3pp_Home_Access_Layout 1 03/03/2017 10:31 Page 3

Enchanted forest mug – Sunrise

A moodboard from Clarissa

Q What is the secret to a work/life balance, especially as a mother? A Running your own business with a busy family life can be difficult at times, but it really helps that I am so passionate about what I do. I have a great team around me and owning the business gives me the flexibility to collect my children from school if I need to, or they can come into the studio and sit up at the printing table doing their homework. Balancing it all is not always easy, but we make it work. Q Who or what inspires you most? A I am infinitely inspired by nature – the evolution of plants, the different seasons and the wonderful colours they bring. Artists from the past also inspire. I find Instagram an amazing tool for ideas and instant feedback. It’s great to have a community you can engage with, and who give such a positive response to new ideas and concepts. Q If you didn’t work as a designer, what would you be and why? A Photography is a real passion of mine – so either a nature or food photographer. When I have the time, I am always out and about taking pictures for our Instagram account: www.instagram.com/clarissahulse/.

70 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017

Clarissa Hulse cushions

Q You’ve just discovered a time machine that can take you to either the past or the future, what year do you go to and why? A From a visual perspective, I love the 1930s – all the incredible clothes and art deco. From a historical view, the 60s really interest me because of the massive social changes that took place. Q What does 2017 hold for Clarissa Hulse? A There is so much going on for 2017. We’ve just launched an exciting collection of kitchen textiles and mugs. It is so luxurious and features a striking metallic print running through the range. We have another collaboration with Harlequin launching in July – last year’s Callista collection was so popular, we think this will be another success. Two new bed linen collections were also launched in February, so we have lots of exciting things to watch out for.  essence INFO Websites: www.amara.com and www.clarissahulse.com This article first appeared in The Lux Pad, www.amara.com/luxpad

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

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

2pp_Cotton_Layout 1 03/03/2017 09:08 Page 1

72 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017

2pp_Cotton_Layout 1 03/03/2017 09:08 Page 2

Interiors | KING OF COTTON

Feel like Royalty in the Bedroom and Bathroom Any company that can satisfy the discerning needs of the best hotels in the world must have an outstanding selling proposition. In the case of King of Cotton the core of their offering is 100% Egyptian cotton. This wonderful material is transformed into beautiful pure white bedding with subtle differences such as Percale, Sateen and Satin Stripe, with multiple pin-tuck hem options.


ey to the creation of a bedroom is the bed itself and King of Cotton offers an extensive range of choices with colourcoordinated options for bed bases, drawers and headboards. Your choice of bedding may be determined by the thread count, this is the number of threads in each square inch of the cotton bedding, generally speaking the higher the thread count the more luxurious, dense and soft the product will feel. The quality of the yarn is also important, so thread count alone does not always tell the full story. 150 – 180 thread count is the sort of range you will find where the need for a more basic material is required. 200 thread is a light percale cotton mostly used domestically where cool crisp bed linen within a certain budget is required. 300 polycotton provides the feel of top quality cotton but with all the convenience of easy-care polycotton. 400 – 500 is a soft yet more substantial Egyptian cotton percale than the 200 count, favoured for its cool feel and durability it has a universal appeal and is what you’d expect to

find on the beds of the major hotel chains worldwide. 600 is where the exclusive end of quality begins. 800 – 1000, the ultimate in luxury and pure indulgence, a step above 600 thread count with an even greater lustre and fuller fabric. This is an amazingly robust yet silky weave and will always be considered beautiful, even after years of use. Once you have chosen the bedding and thread count that’s best for you, why not explore the websites large range of bedcovers across traditional and contemporary styles, creating opportunities for you to match or contrast using throws and runners. In addition, there’s a wide range of bathrobes and slippers, an extensive collection of towels and a sophisticated collection of toiletries to help you further that dream of a completely harmonious bathroom and bedroom. With their roots as a trade supplier King of Cotton’s prices are highly competitive and, in addition, if you sign up for offers with your email address you’ll receive a free £10 voucher. 

essence INFO King of Cotton Unit 1, Canada Road, Byfleet, Surrey KT14 7JX Website: www.kingofcotton.com

MARCH 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 73


3pp_knives_Layout 1 03/03/2017 10:34 Page 1

The distinctive bee motif appears on each Forge de Laguiole piece

Cutting edge The master of knife manufacture, Forge de Laguiole is one of the most revered cutlery brands in the world. The rich heritage of its knives began nearly 200 years ago starting with the Laguiole Droit (straight knife) in 1828, as Emily Bird explains.


onsieur Casimir Antoine Moulin established the very first forge and cutlery business in Laguiole, France launching a tradition of knife making that would survive until the present day. Beginning life with a ‘Bourbonnaise’ straight blade and a centred point, the now classic Laguiole shape was first introduced and refined between 1850-1860 which saw the blade curved upwards in the yatagan shape. Since the first forge opened, blades and springs have all been made entirely by hand from steel found in the Pyrenees and Tarn regions and later the Saint Etienne and Isère areas, with tempering of the metal carried out using olive oil over water in many instances. Knife manufacture was at its height in 1900 with 30 craftsmen employed in Laguiole. With the exception of crafting excellence, the area was also celebrated for the intricate carvings of handles and the very first bee, still present on each piece today, appeared in 1909. The first handles were made of

74 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017

ivory carved into various natural forms such as horse hooves, rattlesnake tails and rams’ heads. New carvings were created to appeal to each new design movement such as Edwardian and Art Nouveau eras, along with historic and mythological characters like Napoleon, Joan of Arc and Venus. As with many areas of industry at the time, the First World War marked the disappearance of the cutleries from Laguiole with much of the production moved to Thiers with just three craftsmen left producing knives in their birthplace. At the risk of being lost forever, in 1987 a group of councillors reintroduced the manufacture of the historic knife to its home in Laguiole and the Forge de Laguiole brand as we know it today was created. Taking each step of the manufacturing process back to Laguiole, the group of passionate visionaries brought about a renaissance in the knives and entrusted the new workshop design to Philippe Starck. Perfectly interpreting the philosophy of the brand, combining creativity with the rich tradition of the


3pp_knives_Layout 1 03/03/2017 10:34 Page 2


Project Reuben by 1508 London


Manufacturing at Forge de Laguiole follows traditional methods

MARCH 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 75

3pp_knives_Layout 1 03/03/2017 10:34 Page 3


Forge de Laguiole range in birchwood with stainless steel

knives, Starck’s vision entailed a glass and aluminium structure. The workshop was topped with an 18m blade pointing straight into the sky, representing the activity and dynamism of the firm. Forge de Laguiole knives take inspiration from the Aubrac region in which the town of Laguiole is situated and the complex manufacturing process requires many essential steps. Meticulously made from start to finish, the cutlers are akin to goldsmiths and watchmakers when it comes to sculpting, polishing, hardening, etching, riveting and stamping, and it is the cutlers’ hands that make each knife unique. The brand has worked tirelessly to develop every cutler’s manufacturing skills to be inline with traditional methods, maintaining the exceptional craftsmanship first established nearly 200 years ago. The knives themselves, traditionally just used locally, are now a cult object and design benchmark which have become a symbol of the French art of living and gastronomy. The steel is forged while white hot to ensure the legendary sharpness of the blades, with tempering carried out using oil to give both hardness and elasticity. Whilst the blades were originally made from carbon steel, they are now crafted from T12, a steel developed specifically for the brand. This steel combines durability, rust resistance and ease of sharpening which when matched with Forge de Laguiole’s unique methods of forging and tempering ensures endurance. The assembly stage is where the artisan gives the knife its final shape. Every knife takes hours, sometimes days, to complete, with the precise alignment of each element, from its spring to the bolsters, all aiding in the blade’s longevity and durability. The final manufacturing stage is polishing, carried

76 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017


Forge de Laguiole range in birchwood with stainless steel PHOTO COPYRIGHT: FORGE DE LAGUIOLE

Forge de Laguiole range in birchwood with stainless steel

out by hand using cotton or linen discs, before the blade receives one last sharpening. Each knife is crafted, assembled and finished by hand by just one artisan and to maintain the utmost quality control every piece is carefully inspected by several people before it receives the Forge de Laguiole seal of approval. A wide range of handcrafted Forge de Laguiole knives are available from Amara, to infuse any table setting with exquisite French design. essence INFO Websites: www.amara.com and www.forge-de-laguiole.com This article first appeared in The Lux Pad, www.amara.com/luxpad

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

2pp_Catchpole_Layout 1 03/03/2017 09:09 Page 1

Combining Heritage with contemporary design Catchpole & Rye was born from its founder Tony O’Donnell’s passion for restoring and maintaining antique baths. The company has been making luxury bathroom products in its workshop and foundry more than 25 years, and is the only bathroom company to manufacture exclusively in England.


ased in Kent, and with showrooms in Tunbridge Wells and London, the company combines heritage with a contemporary approach to design and premium quality, bespoke manufacturing. Today a vast collection of timeless bathroom pieces is available ranging from classic baths, to washstands and showers, using traditional craftsmanship and quality materials to produce the highest standards possible. At the core is a belief that in order to create something original, you must truly understand the past. For example, French craftsmen first made the iconic ‘Bain de Bateau’ bath more than 120 years ago, but to this day, Catchpole & Rye uses the same traditional techniques to cast the double-ended design. After the iron is cast, it is sent to the workshop, to be handpainted or for a polished finish to be applied. The unrivalled talent of the skilled artisans and decorative artists means that clients can customise their products – from the size and shape, to the finish and embossing. Personalised emblem logos, coats of arms and even addresses can be cast onto baths and toilet cisterns. Initially the design is carved by hand into a wooden plate to prepare a dedicated pattern, then sand moulded before it being impressed upon the cast iron to create a truly unique product. Committed to quality British manufacture, which it knows is synonymous with quality around the world, the company is ensures that the skills required to produce its products are nurtured within the UK. As such it works with the local Kent College to fund and train apprentices who study for three days a week, and learn on the job for two days.  essence INFO Catchpole & Rye Websites: www.catchpoleandrye.com Telephone London showroom 0207 351 0940

78 essence-magazine.co.uk | MARCH 2017

2pp_Catchpole_Layout 1 03/03/2017 09:09 Page 2



“Craftsmanship and design are intrinsically at the heart of our business, so that we can create unique design solutions to fit any client’s brief, no matter how unusual. To be able to achieve this, our craftspeople must have the required knowledge and talents” Tony O’Donnell

MARCH 2017 | essence-magazine.co.uk 79

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





L O N D O N • T U N B R I D G E W ELL S • A S H F O R D

T. 01892 526 996



Profile for essence magazine

essence 79  

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

essence 79  

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


Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded