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Issue 73 | JULY/AUGUST 2016

Smart Alex The CrockFit regime

Also inside this issue


Stuart Bowman interview

DRAG QUEEN The new Giulia

SUMMER FASHION Our designer selections

essence Issue 73 | JULY/AUGUST 2016 www.essence-magazine.co.uk

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contents Issue 73 | JULY/AUGUST 2016

6 | Interview | STUART BOWMAN

Period drama Versailles recently landed on our television screens and caused quite a stir. Season 2 is underway, actor Stuart Bowman plays Bontemps and is currently filming in Paris, Andrew Peters caught up with him.

14 | Travel | ORANGE COUNTY RESORT KABINI India’s Karnataka state is full of variety and this year celebrates its formation 60 years ago. Nature-based tourism has been added to the traditional attractions of the ‘Silicon Plateau’ and Mysore. Subhasish Chakraborty goes wild with this addition.

20 | Gardening | HTA


The Horticultural Trades Association provides ideas on how to attract butterflies by planting colourful flowers that can be enjoyed throughout the year.

24 | Motoring | ALFA ROMEO

The Alfa Romeo Giulia is a much needed, spectacular, and very welcome return to form for the Italian carmaker. Euan Johns looks at the new offering, which masquerades as a Ferrari in drag.

28 | Women’s fashion | SUMMER 16

We choose a selection of the best of this summer’s fashion with clothes from Jacques Vert, Marc Cain and Theory.

38 | Beachwear | PAIN DE SUCRE

This season’s collection draws inspiration from the beaches and forests of unspoilt Brazil with a palette of exclusive plain colours.



Crates chooses current seasonal offerings, blueberries and cider, together with recipes to enjoy.

44 | Artisan food | EAT SURREY

Shirlee Posner of Eat Surrey introduces readers to gorgeous, thick fruit and vegetable packed jars of preserves from a true cottage industry in Surrey, Jam Packed Preserves.

52 | Fitness | ALEX CROCKFORD

Alex Crockford is a businessman, food and nutritional expert, as well as a model. Louise Alexander-O’Loughlin met him to discuss life in the fast lane, working in the US and the creation of #CROCKFIT, an internationally recognised fitness programme.


56 | Legal | MUNDAYS

Alex Young, a Partner at Mundays LLP who specialises in all aspects of corporate law, summarises the important issues to look at when considering starting up a business.

58 | Finance | PMW

Following the dramatic EU referendum result last month, Simon Lewis, CEO at Partridge Muir & Warren Ltd, reviews the immediate impact for UK domiciled investors, and considers what the future might hold.

62 | Leisure Breaks | BATH AND LONGLEAT

The city of Bath offers visitors the opportunity to soak up some vibrant culture and colourful history, and to admire its Georgian architecture. The Roman Baths date back to 70 AD and Rebecca Underwood samples the waters.

70 | Events | SURREY

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


76 | Interiors | SIMS HILDITCH

Frequently featuring in top interior designer and design firm lists, Sims Hilditch specialises in a range of private, high-end residential and commercial projects in the UK and Europe. Founder Emma Sims Hilditch explains what she loves best about projects and how the team stay motivated.

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essence 73 COVER: Alex Crockford, courtesy Alex Crockford

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: Louise Alexander-O’Loughlin, Andrew Peters, Subhasish Chakraborty, Euan Johns, Shirlee Posner, Alexander Young, Michael Connolly, Rebecca Underwood, Simon Lewis, PJ Aldred, Jennifer Sutton, Jacqui Casey, Linda Seward, Emily Bird, Lucy Crossfield, Emma Roberts.

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


Baked potatoes WelI, I for one didn’t manage to get Glastonbury tickets, but having seen the festival described as the muddiest ever (wasn’t that 2005?) this tempered my chagrin at not having gone. Coldplay finished things off on the Sunday night, and after a traumatic week for the nation, we were intrigued to see the band’s performance likened to a baked potato. This was against the background of a referendum result that had wrong-footed everyone, even those (apparently) in the know. Was there really anybody out there who knew what would happen? So what was served up was a reassuring baked potato to comfort and provide the post-vote feel good factor. In this issue of essence we’ve plumped for some sauce rather than comfort food as Versailles’ Bontemps, alias actor Stuart Bowman, talks to us about the television series. We all want to have a healthy body and just in time for summer Alex Crockford of CrockFit explains how. Unlike the England football team, Alfa Romeo has found some form with its new Guilia and we have our selection of the best in summer style and beachwear. Unthinkable a few years ago, English sparkling wines are up there with the best as Henry Warde of winemaker Squerryes explains, and we demonstrate it’s possible now to go on a tour of English vineyards. On the money front, Simon Lewis unravels some of the financial implications of the country’s actions on personal finances. As usual, there’s health, legal, and education advice, together with the pick of activities highlighting food, events and a competition to win London theatre tickets to see the musical Exposure. Enjoy the summer The essence team

© Maple Publishing 2016

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Bontemps (Stuart Bowman), Madame de Montespan (Anna Brewster), Louis XIV (George Blagden), Marie-Thérèse (Elisa Lasowski), Fabien (Tygh Runyan), Chevalier (Evan Williams), Henriette (Noémie Schmidt), Philippe (Alexander Vlahos), Béatrice (Amira Casar) PHOTO COPYRIGHT: CANAL +/ BBC

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BONTEMPS IN VERSAILLES Period drama Versailles has just landed on our television screens and has caused quite a stir. Season 2 has already been commissioned for Canal+ and actor Stuart Bowman is currently filming in Paris. Andrew Peters caught up with him for essence.


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cottish actor Stuart Bowman stars in BBC2’s most talked about aquisition of the year, Anglo-French drama Versailles. Set against a backdrop of power, love, betrayal and war, the ten part period drama examines a defining period of French history. Cast in the lead role of Alexandre Bontemps, valet and closest advisor of King Louis XIV, Stuart joins an international roster including Brit actors George Blagden and Anna Brewster. Q Stuart, you trained in London and have a theatrical background having been a regular member of the Glasgow Citizens and Dundee Repertory theatre companies, so would you regard theatre as good grounding for aspiring actors? A Because theatre’s live, you’re immediately aware of the effect of what you do. With television, it can be very difficult to remember exactly what you were feeling when you watch a scene shot 16 months previously and therefore difficult to learn and adjust accordingly. I think acting predominantly on stage early in my career and regularly later has been invaluable with that learning process. Q What was your most enjoyable theatrical experience? A Ah, so many happy times; Trainspotting was, I believe, the most stolen novel when it was first published in 1993. I played Begbie on stage at the Citz in Glasgow about a year before the film came out, and to be one of the first people to represent a member of the underclass with the humanity and power that Irvine Welsh’s words had given us, and for the audiences to be largely made up of that underclass, was a real privilege. Shakespeare’s not bad too, so playing MacDuff at The Globe in a recreation of the space in which he wrote Macbeth was pretty special. Q You’ve acted in theatre, films and television. Which medium do you prefer? A My head’s very much in the world of television at the moment. As welI as being immersed in Versailles, my Netflix subscription is being used prolifically. It really does feel like a golden age of TV, and l’d love to continue being part of that. I did a fantastic Austrian play last summer at the Arcola Theatre in London which reminded me how much I love the process of theatre, and the joy of a live audience. The film world has yet to fully welcome me into its fold, but l’d be delighted if it did... Q You’ve played a very diverse range of characters over the years, what’s the determining factor in accepting roles? A lf a script is illuminating something that resonates with me, I’ll be interested.

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Bontemps (Stuart Bowman), Madame de Montespan (Anna Brewster) PHOTO COPYRIGHT: CANAL +/ BBC

Q Gary: Tank Commander was a great success. Has that made you prefer comedy above everything? A The comedy characters I play tend to be somewhat dark and foolish, but are painfully unaware of these facts, so the process of understanding character, which is what I enjoy, is not really any different from serious drama. Saying that, getting a laugh is a delightful thing and being on a show littered with funny folk is a joy! Q Versailles is filmed in France, produced by French company Canal+ and it has British writers David Wolstencroft and Simon Mirren. The dialogue is spoken in English (the first French historical drama to be so); how has this gone down in France? A It depends who you speak to. In my experience the (French) people who have seen it have loved it and have no issues with the ‘English question’, and the people who haven’t... have. David has said he believes that if Louis was alive today he’d have told his story in English because above all else he’d have wanted it to be seen by the largest audience. Q In Louis XIV’s time, French was the language of the elite. Do you think the series loses anything in English, or does it open it up to a wider audience? A Subtitled shows are watched by a tiny proportion of the people needed to recover a 30 million euro spend, so in order to make a show with such high production values English language was a necessity.


Q The character you play, Alexandre Bontemps, the King’s personal valet, was a very powerful and by historical accounts amiable figure, considering the power he held. Did you find it an easy role to play? A Good writing makes an actor’s life much more interesting. I’ve been given a nuanced, complicated person to play – a man who had to manage one of the most complex and powerful people in history – so I wouldn’t say it’s been easy, but it’s been enormously satisfying and I’m pretty sure they cast the right man for the job! >>>

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Montcourt (Anatole Taubman), Béatrice (Amira Casar) PHOTO COPYRIGHT: CANAL +/ BBC

Q Versailles is a lavish production and has a budget double that of Downton Abbey. Do you think that has guaranteed success? A Certainly not. The television industry is littered with expensive flops. I think the quality of writing, acting and technical expertise is what will make this a successful show. I’m very proud of it. Q You live in Hackney, has the area changed a lot following the London 2012 Olympic games? A We moved in about a month before the Olympics started and we’ve seen a lot of lofts converted and pubs renovated, the typical London ‘gentrification’ process. But the balance is good still where we are – there’s a genuine sense of community and pride in the area that us incomers would very much like to continue. Q How do you find the travelling between London and Paris for the filming? A I do very little of it. My family has moved to Paris with me for the whole of filming the first two series. My eldest son is at school here and the wee one’s at nursery, so we’re living a fairly typical Parisian life which we feel lucky to be given the chance to do. Q You are a very busy man, so what do you find to be your best leisure activity when not filming? A The boys are really enjoying each other at the moment, so messing about with them is wonderful. Q Do you ever see yourself going back to live in Scotland, and what do you miss most about your homeland? A I really don’t know. Scotland is an impressive country at the moment: the referendum engaged me politically in a way that made me feel very good about myself. I wish I’d been there with my countrymen when that was happening, and who knows, maybe, the next referendum will be irresistible... Q Would you encourage your sons to follow you into acting? A Actors at their best tend to be decent human beings with a wide periphery vision of the world, and I’d like them to have these qualities. Q Versailles has been well received and you are currently filming the second series. What’s the next challenge for you after this? A I am going to be in the stage version of Gary: Tank Commander at the 13,000 seater SS Hydro in Glasgow in October which couldn’t be more different from the intense minimal work l’m doing at the moment. Very exciting. v

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Marie-Thérèse (Elisa Lasowski), Louis XIV (George Blagden), Philippe (Alexander Vlahos) PHOTO COPYRIGHT: CANAL +/ BBC

Interview | STUART BOWMAN Bontemps (Stuart Bowman), Louis XIV (George Blagden) PHOTO COPYRIGHT: CANAL +/ BBC


Profile: Stuart Bowman Stuart Bowman was born in Dundee and his first brush with the arts was working at the Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh as a teenager. It was here that he got talking to Scottish actor Billy McColl who encouraged him to apply to drama school. Stuart eventually went on to train at the Mountview Theatre School in London before returning home to Scotland to become a regular member of the Glasgow Citizens Theatre and Dundee Repertory Theatre companies. Under the genius triumvirate of directors Philip Prowse, Giles Havergal and Robert David McDonald, Stuart began to catch the eye of top London directors and producers. He soon moved back to London to focus on television and film projects following a successful decade on Edinburgh’s top stages. Best known for his role in BAFTA-winning Scottish comedy Gary: Tank Commander as Sergeant Thomson, Stuart has also appeared in a multitude of television shows including The Musketeers, Taggart, Suspect, Doctors, Minder, River City, Holby City and The Bill. On the big screen, he’s appeared in Young Adam, alongside Ewan McGregor and Tilda Swindon, The Wisdom of Crocodiles, opposite Jude Law and Timothy Spall, and Slow West with Michael Fassbender. His most recent stage work includes Macbeth as MacDuff at Shakespeare’s Globe in 2013, The Marriage of Figaro at the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh and Pygmalion at the Garrick. Stuart has travelled the globe racking up a collection of once in a lifetime experiences from salsa dancing in Peru and surfing down the Pacific coast to hut building with Aid India after the 2004 tsunami. He has two sons Tavish and Solto and now splits his time between Paris and London’s Hackney.

essence INFO

Versailles airs on BBC2 on Wednesday nights. Previously aired episodes are available on BBC iPlayer.

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WILDLIFE AND WANDERLUST India’s Karnataka state is full of variety and diversity and in 2016 celebrates its formation 60 years ago. The mandarins of Karnataka Tourism were convinced that to attract international travellers they couldn’t stay with just two traditional attractions. Subhasish Chakraborty goes wild to look at the changes made.

Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis) PHOTO COPYRIGHT: AMRESHM | DREAMSTIME.COM

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ntil recently, Karnataka in south west India had two pivotal attractions: India’s Silicon Valley (‘Silicon Plateau’), Bangalore and the princely Mysore. Now a third attraction, wildlife and nature-based tourism, has been developed enabling the stressed out IT whizz kids of Bangalore to get much-needed r&r in nature’s lap. Karnataka Tourism Department was the catalyst and the private sector hospitality industry followed, investing in developing the tourist infrastructure in some of Karnataka’s virgin wildlife sanctuaries. The result? Karnataka today boasts some of India’s best wildlife resorts, attracting travellers from around the globe and winning accolades from the international hospitality industry. My first brush with Karnataka’s wealth of wildlife, its flora and fauna, as well as the incredible Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, began with a chance to visit the world famous Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary as a scriptwriter for a UK wildlife conservation trust there to make a documentary film. The crew arrived in Delhi from where I accompanied them on an early morning flight to Bangalore, and on by coach to Kabini’s pride: the magnificent Orange County Resort. The drive from Bangalore along the Mysore Highway shows the full beauty of the Karnatakan countryside. The resort is situated on the edges of Bheeramballi village, in acres of agricultural land. A shimmering river attracts hundreds of bird species and fascinating tribal hamlets of the exotic Kuruba tribe welcome visitors as honoured guests to the area. The resort’s architecture is entirely sympathetic to local tribal sensitivities and replicates the age-old architectural heritage of the ‘Kadu Kuruba’ tribes. Antique wooden furnishings, curtains and the overall ambience of each room reverberate with a rustic charm. Be it the ethnically designed Boat landing at Orange County ‘pool huts’ or the luxurious ‘jacuzzi huts’, Resort, Kabini the resort is a supreme reflection of local PHOTO COPYRIGHT: ORANGE COUNTY conditions. Attention has been concentrated RESORTS & HOTELS LTD. on creating art, as if one beautiful picture. Surrounded by tribal designs both unusual and minimalist – designs that celebrate heritage and do not necessarily conform to any set pattern, finishes that are playful – reflect the joy this resort breathes into its living spaces. Be it the floors, walls, ceilings, doors or even the simple framed windows, the resort manages to evoke vibrancy in the most mundane surroundings and happiness that reaches out to embrace the moment a visitor steps inside. >>>

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Coracle on Kabini River

Indian Gaur

Adrian Murphy, the experienced crew leader of the trust, hadn’t seen a resort like it before and he’d been on several safari tours in Africa. In the course of our dinner with the lights dimmed, the candles aglow, a cosy dinner served, Adrian emotionally remarked: “I feel architects tend to design interiors that are austere – decorators on the other hand produce interiors that are dramatic, often with no sense of discipline. Here though, the synthesis has been perfect, stunning and a dignified showcase that exudes an aura of ease.” From the quietly refined, comfortable residence, free of clutter and ostentation, we began our mission of unravelling the mysteries of the Nilgiri Biosphere. We were provided with a specially designed vehicle and expert naturalist named Manjunath, who would double up as a driver. As our vehicle meandered past the resort and hit the dirt road leading to the mecca of wildlife sanctuaries, Nagarhole National Park, a sense of euphoria engulfed the group. As it turned out, our naturalist cum driver turned out to be a very knowledgeable companion and he would briefly halt at places favoured by tigers and leopards. On one occasion, he parked the vehicle on a grazing ground, apparently the favourite haunt of the wild elephants of Nagarhole. More than half an hour went and there was no sign of any elephants. A few members of the crew became restless and wanted to go on, but not Manjunath. He was sure the elephants would make an appearance and they did! A herd of about 45 elephants with calves were retreating along the forest trail. At a distance, we could see the southwestward movement of the elephants being barred by a small contingent of staff from the Wildlife Wing. What was peculiar was the herd had left behind two calves which could not keep up with adult members as their energy flagged. More amazing was that the herd didn’t take the abandoned calves back. In a last ditch effort to reunite the calves, they were thoroughly smeared with fresh dung so they would assume a new smell and identity and thus be accepted again. Alas, the elephants were not to be fooled; only a huge one smelt them, rested its trunk for some time on one of the calves and moved slowly to allow them to keep up. But the calves weakened and were finally left alone. Unfortunately, one of the calves died the next day of calcium deficiency; the entire unfolding sadness captured on camera. Our spirits down, we proceeded until the forest cover became dense. Manjunath informed us that Nagarhole harbours one of the highest concentrations of wildlife species in India, around 108 animals per square kilometre. Deep inside the forest (we must have travelled a good 15 kilometres), the more frequent were our halts to film. The crew was elated with exclusive shots of Muntjaks, the Four-Horned Antelope, Langurs and even the Bonnet Macaque, but crestfallen at not having seen a big cat! The summer months are usually ideal for viewing tigers as Manjunath informed us.

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Pool hut, Orange County Resort, Kabini


Travel | ORANGE COUNTY RESORT KABINI Tusker elephants

Nonetheless, we spent each day filming with a great sense of achievement. Of course, the intermittent rain made our progress a little slower than anticipated, but the Orange County Resort staff were always at hand to provide for us: from weatherproof raincoats to hi-tech binoculars, from coordinating with National Park authorities to information on the latest tiger count census, they were exemplary. Some days we’d return by mid afternoon and after grabbing lunch would get busy editing on site. We were provided with a private room, large enough to accommodate the entire crew with equipment. The resort’s other 20 guests were mostly IT professionals from Bangalore who have made it a habit of spending weekends at Kabini. Some of the more mature guests were so interested by the filming and editing activity that they postponed their departure dates just to be with the crew, seemingly more interested in the progress of our work than their own personal encounters. For entertainment, the resort organised evening folk dance performances with native Kuruba tribal dancers. 350 species [of birds] Manjunath, our jovial guide cum naturalist, had done an are known to thrive in the admirable job showing us the secret corners of the park and marshy areas of Kabini and invited the entire crew for an impromptu tea session. Five of two of the crew were in us went on a walking tour to his village and this provided an opportunity to talk with the elders who shared aspects their element noting the of their rich heritage and culture. They took immense pride Blue-bearded bee-eater. in their ancestors who were the first original inhabitants of this rugged jungle and were reportedly hunters. The chief naturalist, Mr Nanjappa, explained that the resort has been pioneering the process of integration with the tribal Kurubas by way of providing employment and training in wildlife conservation. Towards the end of our tour, we had enough spare time to go bird watching and visit the tribal village of Bheerambali. There is a huge diversity of bird species in the area that few national parks in India can match. 350 species are known to thrive in the marshy areas of Kabini and two of the crew, John and Abraham from far away Nottingham, both avid bird watchers, were in their element noting the Blue-bearded bee-eater, the Malabar Trogon, Crested serpent-eagle, Crested hawk-eagle, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Indian Roller, Indian reed, Woodpeckers: this list went on. As a travel writer born and brought up in the north-eastern state of Assam, I was Traveller’s factfile: exposed from an early age to the grandeur and wilderness of the world famous Kaziranga Getting there: National Park. Every now and then India comes up with surprises even for me and this Orange County, Kabini is located approximately 245 kilometres from Bangalore by road. Travel via Mysore resort offers a harmonious amalgamation of the traditional tribal with the contemporary. on the Mysore Highway via places such as Ramnagaram As human beings we love being amazed by the magician, the astrologer, the faith – Maddur – Mandya – Srirangapatna. healer. Out here in Kabini prepare yourself to be challenged; I can assure you the Bangalore is well connected by air and rail. All the stimuli here are all positive. v leading domestic airlines, Jet Airways, Kingfisher, Spice Jet, Jet Lite and Paramount Airways, operate routine flights to Bangalore from some of India’s major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad.

International airlines such as Air France, British Airways, Gulf Air, KLM Northwest, Lufthansa, Malaysian Airlines, Royal Nepal Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Sri Lanka Airlines operate routine flights to Bangalore from major international aviation hubs.

essence INFO

Orange County, Kabini Bheeramballi Village & Post, H.D. Kote Taluk, Mysore Dist.- 571 116, Karnataka, India Telephone: +91 (0) 8228 269 100 - 7 Facsimile: +91 (0) 8228 269 108 Email: kabini@orangecounty.in Website: www.orangecounty.in/kabini-resorts

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IOTC DPS July.indd 2

07/06/2016 12:53

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Bring in the butterflies Add a new dimension to garden displays by not only planting colourful flowers that can be enjoyed throughout the year, but blooms that will bring in the butterflies too, says The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA).


wide range of bedding plants, perennials, flowering shrubs and bulbs produce the simple, open blooms that butterflies love. These act like fuelling stations around our gardens for butterflies, moths, bees and other beneficial insects, providing them with the valuable nectar they need to feed on for energy. That’s why the best flowers are often described as nectar plants, and there are hundreds of great plants to choose from to suit virtually any site or soil in the garden. One of the most popular is the Butterfly Bush, or Buddleja, a hardy and reliable shrub whose flowers act like magnets for butterflies, hence the common name. Many strong-growing varieties are available, including one with variegated foliage called ‘Harlequin’, but all can be kept within bounds by annually pruning in early spring. Several dwarf and compact varieties of Butterfly Bush are now available that are perfect for pots or tiny spaces, with flowers in colours from pink and white to blue, lavender, magenta and deep purple. >>> Peacock butterfly PHOTO COPYRIGHT: ADAM PASCO MEDIA

Cone flower (echinacea purpurea) PHOTO COPYRIGHT: ADAM PASCO MEDIA

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Gardening | HTA

Top tips for planning and planting Choose a range of suitable plants with different flowering periods to ensure there’s something in bloom throughout spring, summer and autumn for butterflies to feed from. Several butterflies hibernate through winter. Adults emerging from hibernation need flowers to feed on in spring. Others require autumn blooms to stock-up on nectar to help them survive during hibernation. While flowers are important to feed adult butterflies, do remember that different plants are needed for butterflies to lay their eggs on and to feed their caterpillars. Letting patches of nettles establish in wild or natural areas provide valuable breeding and feeding sites for four of our native butterflies. The caterpillars of Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Comma and Peacock all feed on nettle leaves. Avoid using pesticides around the garden that could harm butterflies, bees, ladybirds and other beneficial creatures. For more information, check out the website of Butterfly Conservation at www.butterfly-conservation.org.


Top plants to bring in the butterflies w Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii varieties and others)

including AGM (Award for Garden Merit) varieties such as ‘Nanho Blue’, ‘Royal Red’, ‘White Profusion’ and ‘Harlequin’. w Ice Plant and Sedum (including Sedum spectabile and Sedum telephinium). AGM varieties to consider: ‘Brilliant’, Atropurpureum Group, ‘Purple Emperor’and ‘Thundercloud’. w Cone Flower (Echinacea) – lots of varieties to choose from w Rudbeckia varieties, including ‘Goldsturm’ and ‘Pot of Gold’.

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Literature | IVY PRESS

Other favourite plants of the moment There are dozens of suitable flowering plants to choose from that can provide nectar in different seasons for butterflies to enjoy. Lists of the best can be found online, such as on the RHS website (www.rhs.org.uk), and here are just a few to consider:

w Aubretia w Bugle (Ajuga) w Ceanothus w Coreopsis w Cosmos w Cranesbill (Hardy Geraniums) w Dahlia w Globe Thistle (Echinops) w Heather

w Hebe w Helenium w Lavender w Michaelmas Daisy (Aster varieties) w Marjoram (Oregano) w Phlox w Scabious w Statice w Verbena bonariensis

Brunnera macrophylla with bee

Heirloom Plants

A Complete Compendium of Heritage Vegetables, Fruit, Herbs & Flowers

Plan planting carefully to choose a range of plants that flower right through the year, as these will both attract and support the widest range of butterflies in a garden. Some of the best flowering perennials provide long-lasting displays, with a succession of flowers opening over several months. These include varieties of Rudbeckia and Cone Flower (Echinacea), both valued for their outstanding garden performance. Lavenders provide welcome nectar for butterflies through the summer months, while planting a range of Ice Plants (Sedum) ensures more flowers develop into autumn to feed Small Tortoiseshell and other late-flying butterflies as they prepare for hibernation. With over 50 species of butterfly resident in the UK, and dozens more flying across from Europe, our gardens can play a vital role in ensuring their survival, and we can enjoy their antics too. v essence INFO

The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) is the trade association for the UK garden industry. Website: www.the-hta.org.uk

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This book is the perfect companion for every home grower who wants to fill their garden with old and interesting varieties while helping to save threatened or forgotten plants. Heirloom plants often have a charm lacking in commercially produced varieties. Unless these seeds are grown and saved, they will not only be forgotten, but lost too. Based on the seed catalogues of Thomas Etty, the book lists exciting cultivars, along with profiles and growing tips. Responsible gardening, certainly, but with more than a hint of romance; who could resist the lure of the splendid Hubbard Green Warty squash, or the Green Zebra tomato? Thomas Etty Esq is the UK’s only dedicated heritage seed company and was set up over twenty years ago by Ray Warner. The company name is inspired by Ray’s great, great, great grandfather who himself dealt in seeds in the nineteenth century. Ray is the dedicated seedsman behind this heirloom seed company with Thomas Etty Esq sourcing seeds dating from the seventeenth century to the end of World War II, all from small-scale seed suppliers from the UK and Europe. Lorraine Harrison is a keen practical gardener with a master’s degree in garden history. In addition to contributing to the gardening quarterly Hortus, she has authored a number of books, among them the bestselling Latin for Gardeners. “A strikingly produced compendium of heirloom vegetables, fruit and flowers” – The Bookseller By Lorraine Harrison & Ray Warner, seed catalogues written by Thomas Etty 224 pages • Hardback • Illustrations throughout ISBN: 9781782403173 • RRP: £18.99 essence INFO

Published by Ivy Press Website: www.ivypress.co.uk

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Motoring | ALFA ROMEO


Earlier this year the Alfa Romeo Giulia won the prestigious What Car? Reader Award for the most eagerly anticipated new car of 2016. It’s a much needed, spectacular, and very welcome return to form for the Italian carmaker. Euan Johns looks at the new offering, which actually amounts to a Ferrari in drag.


JULY/AUGUST 2016 | essence-magazine.co.uk 25


es, I have always had a soft spot for Alfa Romeos, as have many ‘enthusiasts’. Always stylish, just that little bit quirky (the off front centre number plate a classic example) and different. But I’ve never actually bitten the bullet and owned one. I looked on enviously when a friend bought one some years back on a ‘really good deal’. Well, this beautiful Giulia may well have me counting the pennies as in Alfa’s 106-year history this car must rate as one of the best. It has to be said in recent years Alfa has fallen short of its high standards and allowed other marques to gain a march. So why should Alfa’s German competitors now have to take it seriously? To match the Audi A4, BMW 3 series and not to mention the Mercedes C class saloons, it has to be special – well, put very simply, it is. Let’s start with the Giulia’s breathtaking looks: solid, stylish and powerful. It handles as well as any of its rivals and the full-blooded Quadrifoglio model is effectively a Ferrari by another name.

Built on an all-new, rear-wheel drive platform, with an emphasis on weight reduction, there’s perfect weight distribution resulting in great handling agility. The new Giulia is powered by a range of advanced engines, including a Ferrari-inspired 2.9-litre turbo-charged V6 in the Quadrifoglio version. Sporty underpinnings define the car’s shape and strongly influence its design with stylists wrapping mechanical components in a frame dominated by a long bonnet, short overhangs, strong haunches and a long wheelbase. Under the bonnet beats the heart of the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. The V6 produces 510hp with a resultant top speed of 191mph and a 0–62mph time of 3.9 seconds. Despite this, the Quadrifoglio returns a best in class CO2 emission level at 198g/km. This is largely thanks to its electronically-controlled cylinder disabling system and excellent aerodynamics. Transmitting this performance to the road is a sophisticated and advanced suspension system: the front employs a new double wishbone suspension with semi-virtual steering. This exclusive feature allows higher levels of lateral acceleration due to its always-perfect footprint.

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Motoring | ALFA ROMEO

“Alfa’s designers and engineers have pored over every detail of the new Giulia to ensure and deliver a class-leading car worthy of this iconic marque. I’m very confident that when people see the Alfa Romeo Giulia in showrooms and drive the car for the first time it will not just meet their expectations, it will exceed them.” Damien Dally, country manager, Alfa Romeo UK

At the rear is an advanced multi-link set up with electronicallycontrolled torque vectoring on the rear differential allowing the driver to explore the Quadrifoglio’s handling without hindrance from an invasive stability control system. A new Integrated Brake System (IBS) combines stability control and a traditional servo brake for record-breaking stopping distances – from 62mph of just 32m. The new Active Aero Splitter manages downforce and creates better grip at higher cornering speeds. All systems are governed by the Chassis Domain Control (CDC), a technology developed jointly with Magneti Marelli, which acts as the car’s ‘brains’ and coordinates all on-board electronics. There are four driving configurations available: Dynamic, Natural, Advanced Efficiency (a new energy efficiency mode) and Race on high performance versions. The same attention to detail is evident with the interior. All main controls, including the start button, are incorporated in the steering wheel, as they would be on a Formula 1 car, while the human-machine interface consists of two simple knobs for adjusting the Alfa DNA Pro selector and the Connect 3D Nav infotainment system. The Connect 3D Nav offers a sophisticated series of features and functions, including a next-generation HMI human-machine interface. The system is mostly controlled by means of the rotary pad and viewed using the 8.8-inch dashboard display, but it can also be controlled via an advanced voice recognition system and a gesture recognition system. So, the relaunch of the Giulia does represent a bit of a watershed moment following in the footsteps of the marque’s other handling greats such as the Alfa Sud and 75. The Quadrifoglio is probably the first family car from Alpha to offer this level of extreme performance and brilliant handling. It really is an impressive first attempt at such a car. Perhaps time to raid the piggy bank? I think so, but I’ll have to wait a little longer until September for final pricing (around £56,000) and exact specifications. v essence INFO


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Jacques Vert brand Precis Jacket £149 Jeff Banks for Precis Dress £129

Spring into summer 2016 Looking for something to wear for this season? essence has chosen three of the best designers to help. The Jacques Vert collection is curated by celebrated stylist Sasha Barrie, and brings a strong fashion-forward edge to label’s classic tailoring. Marc Cain’s key looks and silhouettes include tunics, blouses and dresses, along with new flared pants, tailored suits with fringed edges and A-line midi and mini-skirts. Based in New York, Theory makes comfortable, sophisticated modern clothing. The Theory woman is fashion relevant and conscious of quality: she keeps herself in shape and is confident about how she looks and feels in the clothes.

essence INFO

Websites: jacques-vert.co.uk, marc-cain.com and theory.com

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Fashion | SUMMER 16 Jacques Vert Top £59 Jacques Vert Bag £99 Jacques Vert Skirt £109


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Jacques Vert Jeff Banks for Precis Shirt £59 Jeff Banks for Precis Shorts £69

essence INFO

Website: www.jacques-vert.co.uk

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Questa_4pp_Layout 1 03/10/2014 12:32 Page 2


49 High Street • Cobham • Surrey • KT11 3DP t.01932 866636

f.01932 860635



Hooded jacket in soft cotton £147.90 Jogging style trousers £123.90

Ajour dress in cotton stretch £97.90

Jacket in fun velours £112.90 Cropped jeans £112.90

essence INFO

Website: www.marc-cain.com

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Fashion | SUMMER 16

Crêpe tunic dress £97.90

Short suede jacket £399.00 Top with leopard Jacquard £82.90 Skirt in velour £64.90

Knitted dress in mohair £162.90

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TOP / Izinna / Light Poplin / Classic Khaki £95 SKIRT / Saminta / Light Poplin / Classic Khaki £195

essence INFO

Website: www.theory.com

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Fashion | SUMMER 16 DRESS / Alisia / Benne Suede / Dark Honey £675 PANT / Halientra / New Chino / Classic Khaki £220 BAG / Post Saddle Belt Bag / Linden Leather / Rust £185

TOP / Eyodis / Pearce / White £70 PANT / Raoka W / Light Poplin / Classic Khaki £215

DRESS / Zizina / Light Poplin / Black £245

JULY/AUGUST 2016 | essence-magazine.co.uk 35



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On the beach Pain de Sucre has excelled in creating swimwear for over 30 years. Precursor of bikini jewellery, the brand offers a stylish range of swimwear combining sophistication and creativity. With innovation in the choice of shapes, Pain de Sucre expertise oozes French elegance that attracts an international clientele. Inspired by haute couture, Pain de Sucre also offers high-end lingerie, revisiting and reinterpreting classic cuts to extract creative sensuality and sophisticated subtleties. Beachwear has pushed the boundary between lingerie and ready-to-wear clothing to create fascinating pieces of couture. The 2016 collection draws inspiration from the beaches and forests of unspoilt Brazil with a palette of exclusive plain colours: indigo blue, pomegranate red, carbon grey, anise green, light rose, black and white.

essence INFO

Pain de Sucre 192 Kings Road, Chelsea, London SW3 5XP Website: www.paindesucre.com Telephone: 020 7349 0068

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Kamas bikini top ÂŁ90 Kamas bottom ÂŁ75

Beachwear | PAIN DE SUCRE

Laelle navy blue crochet beach dress £260


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Miles bikini top £95 Perine beach trousers £110

Diva bikini top £75 Diva bottom £50

Emie tunic £135 Nelise black pearled tankini top Price TBC Geane black bikini boyshorts £50

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Beachwear | PAIN DE SUCRE

Candice short white multiposition blouse £70 Anae bottom £60

Cristal: Long crystal print beach dress £250

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

At their best right now 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.



These little power berries certainly do pack a punch when it comes to nutrients, and whether or not branded as a superfood, they are pretty great. Full of very important vitamins, they also provide fibre and an abundance of antioxidants. Many firmly believe that by adding these small purple berries to a diet, consumers are more likely to fend off heart disease, some cancers and even improve memory. Originating from many North American species, our homegrown blueberries are usually the Duke variety. Wild blueberries were actually a vital food for Native Americans and were quickly discovered by European settlers in the early 1600s. Find British ones on the shelves from June until at least September and, to top it all, they taste divine.

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Craft cider is now certainly a growing movement following a well-trodden journey by small breweries and even local gin distilleries. It seems we are acquiring a taste for a decent cider, something more thought through and produced with care. Long gone are the days of pressing mushy windfalls, resulting in a rough and ready scrumpy. Good cider is wonderful during hot and balmy summer evenings, when they arrive. There are already plenty of specialist producers in our own area. Some making exciting still ciders such as Wobblegate, who have a well respected range of dry, sweet and strong ciders. Others create fine flavoured, sparking ciders such as the Garden Cider Company with a range that includes Elderflower, Plum & Ginger and Raspberry & Rhubarb, and it even proudly sources its apples from local gardens. For a cider that quite simply just ‘hits the spot’, look out for the uniquely named Silly Moo, a cider that comes from the fruit of a beautiful orchard in the Sussex countryside that is also home to their Trenchmore cattle.


jar and contents are completely cool, seal tightly and store in the fridge. They will last for at least several weeks, if not months, if properly prepared. w When ready, remove the sealed jar from the fridge, pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade and heat a roasting dish. Allow the duck legs to reach room temperature before roasting. w Remove the legs from the jar, wiping off most of the fat, but not all to ensure the skin doesn’t burn. If the fat has gone too hard, stand the jar in hot water for a while. w Roast in the oven for at least 30 minutes until they are golden brown. w The blueberry sauce is simply prepared by blending together all the ingredients until smooth. This can then be heated gently to serve hot or equally delicious served cold over the duck confit with a crisp summer salad.

Silly Moo cider and the Trenchmore cattle

Duck confit with blueberry sauce Serves two

Ingredients: Four fresh duck legs At least 500g duck fat Two tablespoons sea salt One teaspoon ground black pepper For the sauce: 200g fresh blueberries One tablespoon balsamic vinegar A sprig of fresh rosemary, finely chopped Salt and pepper to taste Confit is simply a method of preserving and it may be possible to source duck legs that are already confit. Failing this, it is easy to do, but preserve well in advance. The confit legs will last in the fridge for weeks in a glass or ceramic sealed container. This whole process is slow, but results are delicious and far less fatty than imagined.

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

Method: w Cover the duck legs with plenty of salt and seasoning and place them in the fridge for at least 24 hours. w Pre-heat the oven to 140 degrees centigrade, remove the legs from the fridge and allow to rise to room temperature, removing excess seasoning from the skin. w Place the legs in a covered casserole dish or similar, cover them with duck fat and gently warm over a low heat to ensure all the fat has become liquid and covers the legs totally. w Cover and oven roast for two and a half hours. Remove from the oven and allow the covered pot to cool down to room temperature. w Once cooled, put the legs into a large, suitable sealed container such as a Kilner jar. Pour over the fat from the pot ensuring the legs are completely covered once again. Add more fat if needed. Once the

Cider sorbet Serves two

Ingredients: 500ml medium sweet cider, still or sparkling One tablespoon caster sugar Half a lemon Method: w Gently heat the cider with the sugar. Once the sugar dissolves, add the juice of around half a lemon and stir well. w Allow the liquid to cool and refrigerate until really cold. w Put in a tub and freeze, but return every half hour to an hour (once the top layer freezes) to fork through and repeat until all of the mixture crystallises. Serve or keep frozen until ready to eat. w Be warned, many craft ciders are quite high in alcohol, so this sorbet will be boozy!

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Hand stirred in Surrey Shirlee Posner of Eat Surrey introduces essence readers to gorgeous, thick fruit and vegetable packed jars of preserves from a true cottage industry in Surrey, Jam Packed Preserves.


n the artisan food world there are many different styles of producers. Some who produce from their own kitchens with little or no start up budget or investment, and others who have investors, industrial units and can afford branding and marketing. Some companies of course have a bit of both. I am comfortable with any of these options providing the eating quality and provenance of the products is top notch. Like a lot of my new connections, my introduction to Jam Packed Preserves came via Twitter. I follow a food consultant and food product guru, Tessa Stuart, who sent me a link to Jam Packed based in Surrey. Tessa has written two best-selling books for wannabe food producers: ‘Packed’ and ‘Flying off the Shelves’ and has worked with top companies such as the Innocent smoothie brand. I went to visit Sue and Kevin Woodward at the Jam Packed headquarters in Epsom to record their story. I knew Sue and her husband had careers in the NHS where Sue was a lecturer in neuro nursing at Kings College Hospital, London and was also working on a PhD. Kevin worked in operation theatres within the hospital, but poor recovery from surgery meant he was unable to return to this role. Alongside a very full-on life, they had taken on an allotment eight years ago, inheriting a vigorous bed of autumn fruiting raspberries. Realising they couldn’t possibly consume all the fruit themselves, Sue rang her

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mum for her jam recipe. After that they turned to blackcurrants and redcurrants, packing as much fruit as they could into each jar of jam made. It didn’t take long for the jam-making bug to bite and the couple expanded into jellies and chutneys too. They decided to sell surplus stock and their first commercial deal was with a local butcher. He recorded how much he sold and Sue and Kevin received meat from him in return. This is a great example of good, old fashioned bartering. Friends also became regular customers and loved the products so much they encouraged them to take tables at local fundraising events. In fact, Sue and Kevin prefer to attend fundraisers with products rather than farmers’ markets as they can support charities whilst selling. In January of this year, Sue submitted her PhD, but the couple also became carers for grandchildren and decided to fit the jam business around this, shelving previous careers. So, whilst slowly building up their business over the past few years, they now want to take things to the next level. Not that they have been slouching since 2014: their products can be bought online from Big Barn, an online marketplace for small producers and farmers, and at West Green Fruit Farm, producing jam from fruit grown there for a couple of years which is sold in the PYO. What I really like is that Sue and Kevin pick a lot of the fruit they use for their jams themselves from their own allotment, garden, farms, friends’ gardens and contacts, many of whom are now customers. This is a sustainable model, which also takes advantage of fruit grown that would not otherwise be harvested. In addition, they know exactly where their fruit comes from and that it’s local (apart from Seville oranges and lemon for marmalade).

Artisan food | EAT SURREY

Fresh raspberry and almond tart This is a recipe I use a lot with different fruit, such as figs, pears and blueberries, as it is so versatile. The tart recipe works well with really fruity jam and it’s worth using an extra jam with at least 45% fruit content. Once the basic recipe is sorted, add flaked almonds or chopped pistachios on top. It’s really quick to make, especially with ready-made pastry. Individual tarts work well here too: just cut down the cooking time. Perfect for summer picnics and al fresco eating. Ingredients (serves 6) One pack sweet short-crust pastry 100g butter, softened 100g vanilla-infused caster sugar Three medium eggs 100g ground almonds 50g self-raising flour (gluten-free works well here) Three tablespoons Jam Packed Preserves’ raspberry jam 200g fresh raspberries Method w Preheat the oven to 170 degrees centigrade/ gas mark 5. w Roll out the pastry thinly and line a 20–24cm flan tin. Cover with film and place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes. w Now beat the butter and sugar together with an electric whisk or stand mixer for about four minutes until pale. Slowly beat in the eggs, almonds and flour until combined. w Remove the pastry case from the fridge and spread the base with the raspberry jam. Spoon in the almond mixture, spread evenly, and then scatter with the raspberries, pressing some gently into the mixture. w Bake the tart on the baking sheet for 35–40 minutes, until golden brown. Cover with foil if it browns too quickly. w Serve warm or cool with a dollop of thick cream or Greek style yogurt.

Provenance and sustainability are all good market hooks, but what about taste? All food retailers love products with a long shelf life and that’s exactly what you get with this style of preserving. Consequently, it’s also why lots of producers enter the market and why farm shops are stacked high with jars of curious and better-known concoctions. Interestingly, when I went to visit Jam Packed, I was thinking ‘not another jam producer’, but I was pleasantly surprised. Here is why it is different. In addition to the usual jams (such as raspberry and blackcurrant), Jam Packed also produce a range of jams from hybrid fruits such as tummel berries (similar to ay berries) and chuckleberries (a cross between a redcurrant and a gooseberry) giving this particular jam an interesting texture. Adding silvanberries, boysenberries and loganberries to the mix and I start to get very interested. We carried out a tasting session and all these jams, as the company name suggests, are made with a high fruit to sugar ratio so stand out with fiercely fruity flavours, each with its own personality. Jam Packed also makes a range of marmalades (all with hand cut peel) and Seville orange jelly. The jelly looks as glorious as it tastes, and I have my fingers crossed that one might come home with me (it does) as I can imagine it immediately as a glaze on duck breast, or as part of a chocolate and orange mousse. Kevin has also become a master of chilli-based jams, jellies and chutneys, recognised in The Chutney Awards. Jam Packed has, for a small artisan producer, a great range of seasonal products, some of which are traditional and others more contemporary in style. Recently added lines include Naga Chilli jam and chutney made with real ale from Surrey Brewery Hog’s Back. To sample their products, Jam Packed has a list of stockists on its new website, an online shop for retailers and for sale direct to the public. Sue and Kevin are also happy to attend ‘meet the producer’ events and tastings to share their handcrafted products. For fans of the local food movement, look out for this brand as it really is hand stirred in Surrey. essence INFO

Website: www.jampacked.co.uk Telephone: Sue Woodward 07941 932529 Shirlee Posner is a food writer and blogger at www.eatsurrey.co and provides social media management, web copywriting and food photography.

Shirlee Posner, eatsurrey.co

JULY/AUGUST 2016 | essence-magazine.co.uk 45

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.


Vineyard tour

Going on a wine tour is something to do on holiday abroad, isn’t it? The Dordogne, Hunter Valley, The Rhine, Stellenbosch? Emma Roberts finds one on her doorstep.


he Surrey Hills boasts some of the most wonderful landscapes and now some of the best vineyards in the UK. Its geology is a continuation of the swathe of perfect sparkling wine growing soil or ‘terroir’ found in Champagne. Even knowing this, I still wasn’t expecting our local sparkling wines to be quite as good as the French ones. How wrong was I? I drove into the Denbies Estate in Dorking on a beautiful June morning; momentarily I thought I’d suddenly been transported to the wine regions of South Africa. Mike Keeble from English Sparkling Wine Tours welcomed me with, of course, an obligatory glass of chilled sparkling wine. We commenced our tour, learning about every stage in the winemaking process. Finally, we step into the cool of the stone cellars and sample the Demi-Sec with its aromas of apples, pears and brioche, the Sparkling Rosé, perfect for drinking just about anywhere, the elegant Greenfields 2011, recipient of major international Gold awards, and last, but not least, the Cubitt Reserve 2010, a fresh, crisp wine with lots of delicate herbal notes and a flavoursome finish. Next stop was High Clandon, a small vineyard unbeknownst to me, high up the hills on the other side of the pretty village of East Clandon. Founded by Sibylla and Bruce Tindale in 2004, this small vineyard, nestled idyllically in the hills, produces an absolutely delectable sparkling wine. The 2010 vintage is now available and the Magna Carta Cuvée, with its hallmark character and crispiness is, in my mind, an absolute winner. Bruce and Sibylla proudly showed us the vineyard with their playful spaniels scampering around their feet. Pink roses edged the vineyard and according to Sibylla infuse the soil with their aroma adding to the fabulous tastes in the wines.  We reluctantly levered our fingers from our glasses, our gaze from the stunning Surrey landscape and left our hosts to head to The Queens Head pub just around the corner for lunch.  And so to Albury Vineyard. This lovely twelve-acre vineyard is run by the likeable and inspiring Nick Wenman. Ever since he could drink wine, Nick wanted to own a vineyard and now he’s an award-winning winemaker. His wines are drunk all over the world: the Queen and the Royal Family drank them on the Jubilee Barge. Albury

Nick Wenman, Albury Vineyard

is one of the few biodynamic vineyards in the UK. Many understand and embrace organic wines in this country, but less so the premise of ‘biodynamic’ wine growing. Nick explained how Albury does not use any chemicals, and more remarkably, how the vineyard understands and believes in the importance of the moon’s phases when planting and harvesting. We walk up to the ridge flanked by the four areas growing different grapes, the small office and tasting room dwarfed in the valley. From tasting the range of wines, Albury Vineyard reinforced the simple fact that the region is completely and without doubt on a par with the sparkling wines grown in and around the Champagne area in France and other parts of the world.  To top the day off, Mike and I walked a few yards around the corner and sampled the wide range of gins available at Silent Pool gin distillers. A perfect end to a perfect day. The English Sparkling Wine Tour makes for an ideal excursion with friends or a corporate day out. It demonstrates how wonderful English wines are in and around the Surrey Hills, certainly something to embrace and be very proud of. I think I love the Surrey Hills just that little bit more now!  essence INFO

English Sparkling Wine Tours, perfect for groups Website: www.englishsparklingwinetours.co.uk Telephone: Mike Keeble on 07968 981915

JULY/AUGUST 2016 | essence-magazine.co.uk 47

Sparkling success As English sparkling wine continues its ever-upward progression to rival the best France has to offer, the vineyard, estate and family home of Squerryes produces award-winning vintages. essence talks to owner Henry Warde about the Squerryes’ historic past, present and future. Q Henry, how does it feel to be part of such a long, historic and well-documented family history? A Most of the time it feels completely normal as I grew up at Squerryes surrounded by the family history, but when I stop and think about it, I realise what an enormous privilege it is.

Owner of Squerryes, Henry Warde

Q You own Squerryes, but having such an important history, do you feel you have an onus as a ‘caretaker’ to preserve it for future generations? A I feel it is important that each generation has the opportunity to make their own mark and for me the focus is now on the vineyard and the production of our sparkling wine. The wine is a long-term project and I take into consideration my children’s future when embarking on such things. Q The estate is run as an agricultural business with many original buildings renovated and rented as offices, and events held in the grounds and house. Are all these diverse activities hard to manage? A I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by a great team, each of whom has responsibility for running different parts of the business from the dairy farm, arable farm, vineyard and residential portfolio. I certainly couldn’t do it all by myself! Q You planted the first vines ten years ago this year. What was the reasoning behind the decision to produce wine? A In 2004 we had a visit from a Champagne house who wanted to buy some land to plant a vineyard. The land wasn’t for sale, but it triggered my curiosity to investigate the potential of planting a vineyard. On further inspection, I discovered our soil type was very similar to the Côte des

‘Licet esse beatis – permit oneself to be joyful’ Warde family motto since 1731

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Blancs region and perfect for growing the grapes needed in sparkling wine. Q The 2,500 acres of the Squerryes estate are given over to varied use. Are there any plans to increase the acreage of vineyard following its success? A Absolutely, we have the potential to increase the acreage by five times the size of what has already been planted, but we envisage that being a steady process as we gradually increase the market for Squerryes. Q The grape varieties planted are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. What was the reasoning behind these choices? A These are the three ‘noble’ grape varieties that are traditionally used to make Champagne. Q The proportions of these varieties are split roughly 45/35/20 per cent respectively. Is there any particular reason for this split? A Yes, when the Champagne house carried out soil testing it found the soil to be very similar to the Chardonnay growing region of Champagne. Initially, therefore, we planted over 50 per cent of Chardonnay grapes, but have since planted more Pinot Noir to balance the cuvée into our house style. Q The 2010 vintage has won two gold medals: did you expect to win any awards and was/is this a specific aim? A We were absolutely delighted to win our two gold medals. I’m incredibly proud of the product we produce here at Squerryes, so it’s always wonderfully reassuring to receive the support of an award and to bring validation to our terroir.


Squerryes vineyard

Q Was it difficult to obtain the necessary expertise to develop the vineyard? A Fortunately, my father John has been farming for over 50 years and he actually went back to college at the age of 65 to learn how to establish a vineyard and grow vines! I couldn’t have done it without him. Q Do you like wine yourself and what are your favourites? A Perhaps not surprisingly I am a great fan of Burgundy, as it is Pinot Noir and Chardonnay dominated. My current favourite red Burgundy is a Beaune Premier Cru and for white Burgundy it is a Pernand-Vergelesses made by producers I have known for years. Q We understand from other English vineyards that out of a ten year cycle, producers can expect four good years, four reasonable years, one outstanding and one bad year. Do you subscribe to this rule of thumb viewpoint? A There is certainly a huge amount of variation – we’ll have to wait and see how the stats come out! Q There are now over 400 vineyards in England, some quite northerly, but particularly in the south conditions are now likened to those of the Champagne region of France. Your family has lived here for almost 300 years: do you subscribe to the view that the climate has changed and is changing? A Yes, and my father has noticed these changes over his 50 years of farming. It’s certainly true that the climate in the south-east region of the UK is similar now to that of the Champagne region in France of 50 years ago.

Q Do you use modern technology in any of the activities on the estate? A Yes, we try to keep up to date with the most modern technology in all areas of the estate, as well as maintaining and valuing traditional farming techniques. Q The very fact that your family has been at Squerryes for so long represents stability and the successful management of change. Do you think managing change will be more difficult in the future as the world moves at an ever-greater pace? A There have been enormous changes over the past 100 years since the end of the First World War. Before the war, the family used to be able to enjoy a relatively quiet and comfortable lifestyle, but since then, each generation has had to work hard to maintain the status quo. I think the big opportunity in the next 20–30 years is to re-connect people with the joy of produce and terroir. I see that as a very important task, as I feel as a society we have been losing our connection with these. Q Can you see your family living here in 300 years time? A As a Christian family we believe we shouldn’t plan ahead or be too presumptuous about the future; we’ll just take each day and generation as it comes. essence INFO


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Adverts Issue 70_Layout 1 04/04/2016 15:34 Page 1

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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 Twitter: @eatsurrey Instagram: @eatsurrey Telephone: 07917 891881 Email: eatsurrey@gmail.com

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Lemon and blueberry stacked sponge You can’t beat a nice fruity sponge in the summer time, but for one with a wow factor, try making two deep six inch sponges, then split and stack them with fresh cream and juicy fruit. British blueberries are in season and delicious, but I always find a touch of tangy lemon works a treat. This is a perfect cake for a special occasion as it is a bit of a showstopper! Ingredients 375g unsalted butter or Flora Buttery 375g caster sugar 375g self-raising flour Six large eggs Two teaspoons vanilla extract Two lemons Big tub of whipping cream Two punnets of blueberries Method w Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade/ 350 degrees fahrenheit/gas mark 4. Grease two deep six inch cake tins. w Cream together the margarine and caster sugar and then add the vanilla extract. w Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. w Add the flour and mix in gently until combined. w Grate the lemons and add the grated rind leaving a tablespoon aside for decoration. w Carefully fold in one punnet of blueberries: be gentle, otherwise the batter will soon turn purple! w Spoon into the greased cake tins and even out with a spoon. w Bake for around 20 minutes (depending on oven). Insert a skewer or cake tester to check cakes are baked. w Remove the cakes from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack. w When cool, slice each cake into two so there are four halves. Sandwich together with fresh cream, blueberries and a sprinkling of the leftover lemon rind and then wait for family or guest “wows”!

TOP TIP: For a more even distribution of berries, gently coat the blueberries in a tablespoon of the flour before folding into the batter: this should help stop them falling to the bottom when baking.

essence INFO

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

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In the fast lane Alex Crockford is a businessman, food and nutritional expert, model, TV presenter and sponsored athlete/ambassador. Louise Alexander-O’Loughlin met Alex to discuss his life in the fast lane, working in the US and his creation of #CROCKFIT, an internationally recognised fitness programme.

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s I was meeting Alex for the first time, surely I’d dress appropriately: bright coloured lycra, appropriate running shoes, an armband to hold my mobile phone, a bottle of Evian water and possibly a sweatband – clearly I’d just run to the coffee shop in Weybridge to meet him? Well, that wasn’t ever going to happen. However, I did tell Alex I’d be the one with an essence magazine under one bingo wing and holding a green vegetable smoothie... Q Alex, how did your career start? A I left university in 2011 and started as a personal trainer at David Lloyd in Brooklands, becoming a premium personal trainer within a year. I looked at fitness modelling three years ago and achieved my first magazine cover (Health for Men). After that enquiries flooded in with people asking how I achieved a ‘fitness model body’. So I created #CROCKFIT so people could have the tools to achieve a lifestyle and body to be proud of. Q Have you always been a fitness fanatic? A I’d be lying if I say no, so yes. When I was young, I was relatively skinny and somewhat body conscious. I admired people in fitness and wanted to look like them. I understood the need for hard work, but more importantly wanted to know how they maintained their bodies, what they ate and what type of lifestyle they had. Q How often do you work out and do you ever allow yourself to have a blow out? A I make sure I move every day (never been one to have a slob out TV day) and exercise in the gym five times a week. I do have a feeling of guilt if I eat badly, but hey that’s life! When I do have days where I eat badly, I make sure I’m straight back to my normal routine next day. Q Are there any key foods you will avoid the next day in order to counteract what you did the day before? A First thing, I focus on my goals and bring back the required motivation; I need to remember why I do what I do! After a bad day of food, I focus on three things: lots of water, dark green vegetables (and/ or a Greens’ powder drink), and usually a lower carbohydrate intake which helps keep the calories down to counteract the previous day. Q Under the Alex Crockford brand, is your role as a fitness model? A I would love to continue with modelling. I’m ambitious and my vision drives my behaviour. My aspiration is to grow my brand. Through fitness modelling, I am showing people what I’m personally achieving, and hopefully this will inspire others to reach their own goals. Q Where do you draw the line as a model, as many of your pictures feature you rather scantily clad? A Oh God Louise, what have you found? I want to be respected as a fitness model and there are maybe a few old pictures, but we all have to start somewhere, don’t we?

Alex’s top tips for a healthy, fitter body 1. Choose an exercise you enjoy otherwise you’ll do it for a couple of weeks and give up. 2. Have goals offering motivation. Without motivation you won’t have the drive to get up and go to the gym or work out at home. 3. Eat ‘real, sensible food’. That means no low calorie shake diets and no fad diets otherwise you will yoyo. Look at what you eat and ask yourself if you’d be happy eating that food in five years time. 4. Change core habits. By this I mean one at a time. Take time to give up old habits and build new ones. 5. Go to bed early! This helps the body to re-balance. It is a known fact that sleeping more enhances the chance of losing weight.

Q Statistically many children are clinically overweight, most cases aren’t for medical reasons. How would you advise parents to motivate their children to get fit? A This is a topic I’m very passionate about. Most of the time it comes down to education and guidance. The first advice is to live the lifestyle you would like your children to live. Children follow by their parents’ example, so the foods cooked and eaten are very important, as children are always watching and learning. A step up from this would be to cook healthy recipes together so children learn to enjoy healthy eating. Q I know so many people who strive to get that six-pack – do genetics have a huge influence in this? A We all possess a six-pack, it’s part of our anatomy, some more visible than others. Mainly it’s an excuse to blame genetics. You can’t beat the ‘winning combo’ of training, nutrition and lifestyle/mindset. Balance all three to see results. Some people just train and expect to see a six-pack, but all three elements need to be combined. >>>

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Q Fad diets: what’s your opinion on them? A It amazes me how people still throw themselves into fad diets. They are short term: dieters will lose weight but it won’t be maintained. Statistics show when you finish a fad diet and go back to old ways, twice as much weight is gained. It’s about breaking habits. Follow a diet that you could still see yourself enjoying in five years time; that’s what #CROCKFIT is all about: teaching people life long, healthy habits. Q Tell me about #CROCKFIT? A It’s an online platform and community that gives people all the tools they need to train their bodies and live a healthy lifestyle, to obtain quick and sustainable results in fat loss, fitness and lean muscle. It’s suitable for everyone, which enables people to achieve their dream body. I have six plans: #GYMFIT (for men – stage 1 and 2); SHEFIT (for women – stage 1 and 2); #HOMEFIT (for men and women – stage 1 and 2).

#CROCKFIT details 12 week plan: £60 #HomeFit and #HomeFit2 – For men and women at home, bodyweight training. #GymFit and #GymFit2 – For men at the gym #SheFit and #SheFit2 – For women at the gym All plans include: w Twelve week training plan w Nutrition plan and supplement guidance w Discount codes for other brands w Packed full of tips, information and tools for success w Training diary and schedule w Optional social media pictures to use for your page w Support from the #CrockFitCommunity online w Online email/social media support from Alex and his team throughout.

Q Is #CROCKFIT for everyone and every age? A Yes, I designed plans suitable for beginners, medium level and advanced people who may be starting out or are experienced and looking for a new challenge. Young or older people can use the #HOMEFIT plans from home using their own body weight. Children can also do it. Teenagers tend to start with the #HOMEFIT programme and move to the #SHEFIT or #GYMFIT stage 1 programme. Q Can your #CROCKFIT followers contact you directly if they have any questions, or do your team answer on your behalf? A All members of my team are fully experienced in how to answer questions, however, I am a bit obsessive with my clients. I give them the personal touch and am fully accessible to anyone with any questions throughout their journey. Q Do you have time to personally train anyone? A Unfortunately not. I’m focussing on #CROCKFIT and modelling 100%. It’s just a time factor. I get calls from all over the place to do photo shoots, and my main focus at the moment is building #CROCKFIT to help as many people across the world as possible. Q You did a stint in the US as a television presenter? A Yes, it was live television and very different to the world I know. It was well received and I now have a huge interest from the US. Let’s say the accent worked!

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Q What sets you apart from anyone else in the industry? A I’m merging fitness modelling and the #CROCKFIT programme together. I have experience in training myself, and I don’t mean ‘look at me’; I want people to understand the mechanics of how I achieve the results I do. It’s my absolute passion to show and teach people how they can do it for themselves too. Q What are your plans for the future? A I’d love to see #CROCKFIT becoming a huge positive community. I’d like to be known as someone who is transforming people’s lives and bodies, teaching them how to live a happy and healthy life. I see the #CrockFitCommunity being a platform for like minded individuals to share stories, recipes, fitness programmes and for I/#CrockFit to become the glue between people. Q What would your dream job be? A Don’t laugh – James Bond. Not in a film, but in real life! Actually, I lie, in a film too! I was impressed to meet this extremely personable, non-egocentric young entrepreneur whose calm and collected manner proved he has not only been blessed with looks, but also with acute business acumen and genuine passion about every aspect of healthy living – I even signed up to #CROCKFIT (unfortunately the ‘before’ pictures are not available). essence INFO

So, if you're looking to gain fitness, drop body fat, gain confidence and feel fantastic, then get in contact or visit Alex's website for more information. Website: www.alexcrockford.com Email: alex@alexcrockford.com Mobile: 07957 212470 Facebook: @AlexCrockfordFitness Instagram/twitter: @alexcrockford YouTube: Alex Crockford Snapchat: @alex.crockford


Facing up to summer

Skin is our largest organ. We subconsciously put it through stresses and strains everyday, but do we really know what this is doing? Why is looking younger for longer so important to us? Is there anything we can do to reverse the ageing process or slow it down? Jacqui Casey of Epsom Skin Clinics explores the options.


here are three layers within our skin: the epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous layer; each layer distinct in shape, components and function. These layers work collectively to repair, protect and maintain the skin as a whole. The epidermis is a miraculous, self-renewing unit that continuously repairs itself. Skin changes are related to environmental factors, genetic makeup, and nutrition. The greatest single factor is sun exposure. This can be seen by comparing areas of our bodies that have regular sun exposure with areas protected from sunlight. In our twenties, our skin is typically functioning at its full potential. Great collagen support keeps the skin firm, with hydration levels at the highest to give a youthful glow. How skin is cared for within this decade will determine what kind of damage we may have to deal with in years to come. It is important to take the right steps to prevent DNA damage and premature ageing which can be irreversible. The face and neck change with age; around the age of 30–40 is when women notice a loss of muscle tone and thinning skin resulting in a drooping appearance. The outermost layer of our skin thins and changes in the connective tissue reduce the skin’s strength and elasticity. Sebaceous glands produce less oil and our hyaluronic production slows down resulting in a drier complexion. Muscles become less toned and able to contract; these changes often begin at around age 40 in women and age 20 in men. Education is key in understanding how skin is working and in taking the best steps to avert the signs of ageing. Two new treatments at the Epsom Skin Clinics are seeing amazing results. We often associate light exposure with skin ageing and damage, however light also has many positive influences. It helps us produce vitamin D and provides energy and serotonin. It can promote healing, reduce inflammation, pain and

prevent tissue damage. The differences between the effects of light are the amount and parts of the light spectrum we are exposed to. Ongoing exposure to UV is very damaging, controlled levels of Red, Blue and Near Infrared light are clinically proven to be beneficial. LED Photo Therapy is known for its regenerating and anti-inflammatory properties. Research shows increased collagen production, destruction of acne-causing bacteria (p. acne bacteria), reductions in inflammation, and improvements in skin tone, texture and clarity. Unlike more invasive procedures, LED Photo Therapy is a safe and year round treatment option for all skin types without discomfort or downtime. Dermalux™ instantly awakens a tired and dull complexion. After just one twenty minute treatment, skin is hydrated, plump and radiant. Light therapy also promotes a feeling of wellbeing, helping to relieve the stresses and strains of everyday life! A course of treatments offers dramatic and lasting improvement in the health of skin. Dermalux™ can be used in conjunction with other treatments that aim to lift, reshape and reform the facial structure. Silhouette Soft Thread Lift™ is the latest in non-surgical facial rejuvenation. The facial treatment appeals to those wishing to tighten sagging facial contours and increase the production of collagen. Specialised surgical threads made from polydioxanone (PDO) are injected into the skin using a fine needle. The threads are held in place by cones positioned in opposing directions causing a tension in the skin, delivering an instant lift. Silhouette Soft can be used on any part of the body, but its main use is on the jowls, cheek area and neck. The threads dissolve after six to eight months. During this time, they stimulate the production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, thickening and strengthening the skin from within and improving elasticity. The results will improve over time and last up to 18 months.


essence INFO

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

JULY/AUGUST 2016 | essence-magazine.co.uk 55

Starting a business? The ‘dos and don’ts’ Alex Young, Partner, and Georgina Mercer, solicitor at Mundays LLP summarise the important issues to consider in starting up your business. Alex is a Partner in the Corporate Department at Mundays, specialising in all aspects of corporate law. He has acted on numerous sales and purchases of businesses, shareholder arrangements and funding of joint ventures and acquisitions. Alex has particular experience in advising on shareholder arrangements for start-ups, and has recently acted on multi-million pound transactions, including the sale of a food procurement business and the merger of two accountancy practices, with particular emphasis on owner-managed businesses. He also specialises in transactions involving property joint ventures, financing and sales with offshore companies. Georgina regularly advises on distributorship and agency agreements, key sale and supply agreements, outsourcing and standard terms and conditions. She has experience as in-house counsel at Ricardo UK Limited.


he number of new business start-ups is rising and, according to government statistics, 99% of all businesses in the private sector are regarded as ‘small’ or ‘medium’ sized. Here are some important matters to consider before commencing a new business venture. What’s in a name? w Do check that someone else is not already trading with the same business name in the same sector. w Don’t forget there are certain restrictions to consider when choosing a company name – check at Companies House. w Don’t forget the legal requirements for business stationery, emails and websites. w Don’t forget to think about domain names too. Structure of the business w Do spend time deciding on the legal structure of the business, e.g. sole trader, (unlimited) partnership, limited liability partnership or company.

Company formation If you choose to set up a company then: w Don’t underestimate the importance of a shareholders’ agreement as agreeing specific provisions between the shareholders at the outset can save costly disputes later. Shareholders’ agreements regulate the management of the company and provide a structure in the event of deadlock, or a party wishing to exit, as well as clarifying the position in the event of the demise of a party. w Don’t overlook your company books and deadlines for Companies House filings – a company secretarial assistant or accountant can help with this. Shhh! w Do have a standard non-disclosure agreement setting out how you share sensitive information about your business for dealing with investors, banks, suppliers and customers.

Alex can be contacted by telephone on 01932 590635 or by email at alex.young@mundays.co.uk.


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You will need to consider the level of financial risk you are prepared to take and the level of control you want to have in the daily running of the business. The tax treatment is often a decisive factor and do speak to your accountant. You will also need to consider reporting, accounts and records that you need to keep and filing requirements.

Contracts w Do ensure that you have written contracts in place with key customers and suppliers. w Do invest time and money in preparing your standard terms and conditions of


trading. These set out the key commercial and legal terms on which you are willing to do business and help to create certainty and minimise legal disputes. Getting your terms and conditions right is also crucial to maintaining a healthy cash flow. w Do review long term contracts during their lifetime. Protect your assets w Don’t forget to protect/register your intellectual property. Make sure that you own it, and consider the terms of any licences that you may grant. w Don’t forget to organise insurance for your business, e.g.: Employer’s Liability Insurance – if you are employing staff; Public Liability Insurance – if you are dealing with members of the public on your premises to cover accidents or injuries; and Professional Indemnity Insurance – to protect against claims made against the company for professional errors. Data protection w Don’t forget about data protection. If you handle personal information about individuals, such as name, address, date of birth or other information from which they can be identified, you should register with the Information Commissioner’s Office, unless you are exempt. Taking on employees w Do assess the status of your workforce and ensure that you agree contracts based on their correct status, i.e. directors’ service agreements, consultancy agreements or employment contracts. w Do ensure that you have adequate noncontractual policies in place to minimise liability and maximise company protection, e.g. anti-bribery, data protection, equal opportunities, IT and communications, health and safety and social media.


Planning the exit from your business Once you have developed your business, there are various exit strategies. If you have entered into a Shareholders Agreement, this will often provide a structure which the shareholders have agreed on. Common strategies include: w Winding up the business and distributing the assets – although most entrepreneurs will look at continuing the business in some form. w Seeking entry to a recognised investment exchange (listing). w Succession planning, by passing the business to family members. w Selling your business to management or your fellow shareholders. w An outright sale to a third party. It is important to have a clear strategy in place many years before exit, in order to ensure a smooth handover with customers, suppliers and employees. This will also be important for your own tax planning. A clear strategy will also maximise the value of the business, and it is best to speak with your advisers as soon as possible. The most common mistake is lack of preparation or leaving things too late resulting in a rushed (and stressful) sale where a buyer is able to suppress the value of the business. If you are looking to sell, you should: w Put yourself in the shoes of a buyer and consider the pros and cons of your business. w Ensure you have written contracts in place with your key customers and suppliers, so that they are not vulnerable to termination. w Put into place robust financial management and reporting, including collection of debts. Business owners often do not have time to deal with some of these matters, but do invest in an adviser to review your business to identify key areas where value can be maximised.

Above all, take specialist legal or business advice if you are unsure. Taking advice early on should be viewed as an investment in your business to maximise value and minimise risk of issues or disputes arising. v

essence INFO

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

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Finance_72_Layout 1 06/07/2016 09:23 Page 1

Light at the end of the Brexit tunnel? I

0n 23 June the UK electorate voted to leave the European Union. Simon Lewis, CEO at Partridge Muir & Warren Ltd, reviews the immediate impact for UK domiciled investors and considers what the future might hold.

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t was Harold Wilson who said “a week is a long time in politics”. The domestic political landscape has certainly changed, on both sides of the political divide, since my last Brexit article. If management of the Houses of Parliament were ever contracted out to a third party, my recommendation would be Montessori; at least that way our politicians might learn to ‘play nicely’. The week following the EU Referendum was certainly eventful for investors; a game that was worth sitting out for those who are already fully invested because we witnessed some very wide pricing spreads. You might wonder why financial markets got it so wrong and having looked at the referendum result in more detail, I think I can see why. Since the last General Election the results of the pollsters have largely been discredited and markets have been placing more credence in the prevailing betting odds, which had begun to appear a more reliable indicator of voting intentions. The weakness in this hypothesis is that betting odds are often London centric

because of the weight of money in London and the correspondingly larger bets placed. London has generally favoured the vote to remain and this will have had a disproportionate effect on the odds, but as we have seen, the referendum result is markedly different across the regions of the UK. Investment markets therefore spent much of the following week re-adjusting to a position that better reflects the likely financial impact of Brexit, both for the UK and the Rest of the World. Despite this, I am pleased to report that our clients’ portfolios have behaved impeccably throughout, providing further vindication that investment diversification is an essential attribute. It is remarkable that clients’ portfolio values typically increased on Friday 24 June, demonstrating the effectiveness of some of the defensive characteristics hard-wired into PMW’s asset allocation strategy. For example, our relatively high allocation to US investments benefited from the strength of the US dollar relative to

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Finance | PMW

sterling; global bond holdings reacted positively to both the fall in sterling and increased risk aversion while index linked bond holdings jumped in anticipation of an inflationary impact within the UK. We were fortunate to have low exposure to UK and European banks in our favoured equity funds because the shares of many fell heavily; there is the prospect that interest rates will remain lower for longer and it is harder for banks to be profitable whilst interest rates are low. Over the course of a week, equity and bond markets consistently rose and in most cases, recouped any losses previously sustained. This shows that, counterintuitively, bad news can often deliver a good result for investors. This is because a rise in global economic uncertainty increases the prospect of central banks extending the already overstretched period of relaxed monetary policy. In other words, the patient (the global economy) is anticipating an extra dose of medicine (low interest rates and quantitative easing). Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, has already given a strong hint that UK interest rates will fall this summer. He qualified his statement by saying it would depend upon the views of the Monetary Policy Committee, but I don’t think he would be so unwise to hint without first canvassing opinion. In addition to a further relaxation in monetary policy there is also now more scope for fiscal stimulus because George Osborne (who continues as Chancellor of the Exchequer, at least for the time being) has announced that plans to balance the Nation’s books by 2020 have now been abandoned. With a reduction in GDP growth likely in the short to medium term, it is a perfect time for Government to increase spending on infrastructure. There are numerous worthy infrastructure projects that are ready to commence, not least a new runway for the South East. After all, if we want to trade more with far flung corners of the World, we had better think about how we are to meaningfully increase our capacity to get there. Much of the coverage about the likely financial impact of Brexit can be filed under the heading of ‘doom and gloom’. Credit rating agencies were swift to downgrade the credit worthiness of the UK Government,

with Standard & Poor’s reducing the rating from ‘AAA’ to ‘AA’. Fitch, who also downgraded the UK, stated that “uncertainty following the referendum outcome will induce an abrupt slowdown in short-term GDP growth, as businesses defer investment and consider changes to the legal and regulatory environment.” ‘AAA’ is the highest issuer credit rating assigned by Standard and Poor’s. ‘AA’ is deemed as “very strong capacity to meet its financial commitments” and differs from the highest rating only to a small degree. The change is important but it is not unexpected and not catastrophic. If we look at our closest peers as being other members of the G7, only Canada and Germany have a ‘AAA’ rating. The UK’s new rating is comparable with that of France, a smidgen weaker than that of the US and stronger than the rating for both Japan and Italy.

Over the course of a week, equity and bond markets consistently rose and in most cases, recouped any losses previously sustained. There is much concern regarding the likely impact on foreign direct investment, of which the UK has been a substantial beneficiary by virtue of its membership of the EU. This will certainly decline in the short term given the uncertainty that the UK will continue to be able to act as a bridge into the EU; but some of this effect might be offset by the fact that a weaker pound creates a more compelling investment prospect for overseas investors. Although there are certainly many negatives, now is the time to focus on gaining the advantages rather than dwelling upon the disadvantages. For example, a depreciated sterling will make the UK’s exports more competitive and this might actually help to both reduce the current trade deficit and rebalance the UK economy. Although we have voted to leave the EU it would, in my opinion, be damaging to our economy if we were to leave the single market. The obvious political and economic choice is to negotiate something along the lines of the Norwegian ‘model’, whereby we would be a

member of the European Economic Area (EEA). In this way we would retain all of the benefits of remaining in the single market (and crucially retain our passport in financial services) in return for accepting the free movement of people, goods and services. We would also be required to contribute to the EU budget. Some might say that this would be a retrograde step because we would still need to comply with the rules of the single market but not have any influence. However, as I have pointed out in my ‘Brexit’ articles, the reality is that the UK’s influence was declining in any event. This way, we would be outside the European ‘project’ and would be in a better position to opt out of the facets of ‘ever closer union’ that made us so uncomfortable as a nation. The negotiations will be long and arduous and one final point worth remembering is that the result of the Referendum is ‘advisory’ and therefore not binding. Only Parliament (not the Prime Minister) has the sovereignty to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and let’s not forget that the majority of MPs did not favour Brexit. There is therefore the possibility that Article 50 will not be invoked. In the muddled history of the European Union stranger things have happened. As the Eagles sang in their 1976 hit (only a year later than the last EU referendum), Hotel California, “you can check out any time you like; but you can never leave”. 

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Simon Lewis is writing on behalf of Partridge Muir & Warren Ltd (PMW), Chartered Financial Planners, based in Esher. The Company has specialised in providing wealth management solutions to private clients for 47 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

JULY/AUGUST 2016 | essence-magazine.co.uk 59

Overcoming the language barrier Michael Connolly, headmaster of Cranmore School, considers the importance of modern foreign languages in the school curriculum.


“There is no denying that educationalists feel the United Kingdom has fallen behind other European countries by not introducing another language into the curriculum at a young age.”

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s a child growing up in Glasgow, I had rather mixed feelings when I began learning French at school. Certainly it was exciting to learn an entirely new subject, but this was rather diminished by the fact that it did not appear to have any immediate relevance. There were neither foreign language programmes on television (except the Open University) nor videos on YouTube in the age before Sky TV and the internet. Of greater significance was that opportunities for international travel, even just across the channel to France, were more limited for those living so far away from Dover. However, we plodded on with learning irregular verbs but lessons were occasionally enlivened with the latest technology – a portable cassette player. It was many years later before I had cause to regret not working quite as hard on my French as I might have done. I was one of 13,000 applicants who wished to become the first British astronaut, or to be more precise, cosmonaut. The mission back in 1991 was to travel to Mir, the Russian Space Station. The

requirement was to be a science graduate and demonstrate a proficiency in acquiring fluency in a language as the successful candidate would need to learn Russian in double-quick time. You may recall that Helen Sharman was the lucky one who made that remarkable journey into space. So what is the take-up for modern languages within primary education today? A survey conducted by the CfBT Education Trust found that almost all primaries (97%) provide language teaching within class time to some of their seven to eleven year olds. However, the quality and quantity of provision varies across the country from a few words and a song to more rigorous teaching of grammar. In many cases the problem is a lack of specialist knowledge as nearly a quarter of these schools do not have a teacher with a language qualification higher than GCSE. There is no denying that educationalists feel the United Kingdom has fallen behind other European countries by not introducing another language into the curriculum at a young age.



There is an ambitious plan north of the border in which children will commence studying a foreign language in reception class and take on a second foreign language before they leave primary school. Turning again to the CfBT Education Trust report, it found the evidence shows that the independent sector is better placed to provide pupils moving from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3 with continuity of language provision. At Cranmore School we are fortunate to have several modern foreign language specialists. We have sustained a very high standard in teaching French, but in recent years we have expanded the curriculum so that our pupils can learn Mandarin and Spanish. In particular, we are one of a small number of schools which provides a two year programme of Mandarin for pupils in Years 4 and 5 which culminates in a formal external exam. There is no doubt that the number of schools offering this key language is likely to increase significantly in the years ahead. Business analysts feel sure that people who can speak Mandarin will have an enormous competitive advantage in the job market. Everyone knows that Spanish is also spoken by a huge number of native speakers throughout the world and especially in South America. We provide a two year programme in Spanish for pupils in Years 7 and 8 which is an excellent way to get them started. Most pupils find it relatively easy and it can offer immediate benefits if their family heads off to Spain for a summer holiday. Finally, one must not forget the importance of classical languages. At Cranmore we provide a foundation course in Latin and also in Greek for those who want a real challenge. We believe that the combination of both modern foreign languages alongside classics gives our pupils a tremendous platform for further study when they progress to their respective senior schools. As for me, I still wonder if I might have beaten Helen Sharman to that dream job if I had just done that little bit more on my French homework. We shall never know! v

essence INFO

Cranmore School has embarked on a programme of change progressing to full co-education for pupils aged two and a half to thirteen years. Children study the standard subjects as well as a stimulating curriculum including French, Mandarin, Spanish, Latin, Greek and a wide selection of extra-curricular activities. The excellent facilities include a golf course, swimming pool, fitness suite and also a Forest School so that the youngest pupils from the nursery onwards can experience real ‘outdoors education’. Telephone: 01483 280340 Website: www.cranmoreprep.co.uk

Tailored French & Spanish tuition

All ages and abilities, beginner to advanced Experienced in all areas including exam preparation, grammar workshops and general conversational learning Flexible times at the location of your choice Competitive rates Contact Natasha Saed M 07595 178139 Email: natasha@tutorinsurrey.co.uk Website: www.tutorinsurrey.co.uk “Excellent. Both of my girls are delighted to be working with Natasha at GCSE and A level for both French and Spanish. By far the most likeable, well prepared and helpful tutor they’ve had.” Lesley


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Rome built in Somerset Beside the River Avon the city of Bath offers visitors the opportunity soak up a vibrant culture and colourful history. Tourists come to admire its remarkable examples of Georgian architecture and the Roman Baths, which date back to around 70 AD. Rebecca Underwood tells us more as she also visits nearby Longleat.


ath was built upon natural thermal springs so over a million litres of steaming spring waters, at a constant temperature of 114.8°F, flow into the Roman Baths daily. Legend has it that Prince Bladud, king of the Britons, discovered the springs around 836 BC and after bathing in the waters he was cured of leprosy. The site quickly became a popular gathering place for the Celts, Legend has it that Prince and a shrine, dedicated to Sulis, the Celtic deity, was duly Bladud, king of the Britons, constructed. Between 60–70 AD an ornate temple was built discovered the springs on the site and the Romans named the town Aquae Sulis and constructed a compound of bathhouses located beside around 836 BC and after bathing in the waters he the temple and above the springs. At the centre of the complex lies the open-air Great was cured of leprosy. Bath, filled with steaming water and lined with lead, which of course is unsafe for today’s bathers, but just walking on the The Royal Crescent PHOTO COPYRIGHT: VISIT ENGLAND/ALEX HARE original paving stones, in the footsteps of Romans, is fascinating. The King’s Bath was constructed during the twelfth century and features a statue of King Bladud, then head for the Pump Room to quench a thirst with a glass of the mineral-filled spring water. For something stronger, head for the Roman Bath’s Kitchen, right next to the Abbey on Hetling Court. Service is excellent and the menu presents contemporary British fare focusing on local produce. For those with an insatiable sweet tooth, the Fudge Kitchen, located steps away on Abbey Churchyard, offers a slice of heaven on a plate. With thirteen different flavours, including sea salted caramel, chocolate walnut and strawberries and cream, to choose from, it took me an inordinate amount of time to make a decision. Whilst deliberating, take the opportunity to watch on-site experts in the art of fudgemaking: the home kits are splendid gifts for loved ones. To work off that calorie overload, visit Bath Abbey and take the Tower Tour, which is fully guided and takes around 45 minutes. Climb the Abbey’s 212 steps, arranged in two spiral staircases, to the top of the tower where the ringing chamber and the bell chamber are situated. Stand on top of the Abbey’s vaulted ceiling, sit behind the clock face and on reaching the summit, an eye-popping view of the city and countryside beyond awaits. For those who prefer to remain on terra

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Leisure breaks | BATH AND LONGLEAT


firma, be sure to view the beautiful stained glass window, featuring King Edgar, the first king of England, crowned on the site in 973 AD. The Thermae Bath Spa, located on Hot Bath Street, is an ideal place to unwind. The main spa offers bathers the chance to relax in two spacious baths and guests are welcome to use a series of fragrance diffused steam rooms. Take a dip in the open air rooftop pool and admire spectacular views over the city whilst soothed by warm bubbling water jets. The popular Minerva thermal bath features massage jets, a whirlpool and a peaceful lazy river, and it’s the perfect spot to reflect on the morning and plan the afternoon’s activities. In 1987, Bath was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of its best known Georgian treasures is the spectacular Royal Crescent, designed by John Wood the Younger. Built in the mid eighteenth century, the semicircular terrace of elegant townhouses is arranged around a lawn overlooking the tranquillity of Royal Victoria Park, which was opened in 1830 by Princess Victoria at the tender age of eleven. The park covers 57 glorious acres and features a bowling and The Circus PHOTO COPYRIGHT: EUAN GUILOR putting green, boating pond, golf course and fragrant botanical garden. For a first class lunch take a short stroll along to The Circus and turn onto Brock Street to find The Circus Restaurant. Listed in The Times at number 4 of ‘20 secret restaurants that foodies love’, it offers great >>>

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service and a wide range of dishes. Order a bottle of the 2014 Pinot Blanc and consider sampling the ‘fish of the day’, delivered overnight direct to the restaurant and line-caught by boats sailing out of Newlyn, Cornwall, Beesands, Devon and Lyme Bay, Dorset. After lunch, take a leisurely stroll along to The Circus, another of Bath’s Georgian architectural gems, inspired by the Roman Colosseum, and consisting of three curved sections of townhouses designed by John Wood the Elder and built between 1754 and 1768. Due to the death of his father, only three months after construction began, John Wood the Younger completed his father’s work and it is a masterpiece with elaborate stonework and intricate features of acorns, serpents and Masonic and nautical emblems. A number of heritage plaques are prominently displayed on some of the properties, where residents once included the explorer Dr David Livingstone, Major General Robert Clive known as Clive of India, William Pitt the Elder and the artist Thomas Gainsborough. Another of Bath’s famous past residents is Jane Austen, who featured Bath as the principle setting in her novels Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. Learn more about Regency life and visit the Jane Austen Centre, located on nearby Gay Street, where guides wear period costume and visitors too can dress up in the fashions of the day. Continue a relaxing afternoon by walking to the riverside mooring just below Pulteney Pier and embark on the Sir William Pulteney. Select a seat on the upper open-top deck and admire the captivating beauty of Bath, sailing sedately along the River Avon for an hour. We were rewarded with the sight of an elegant egret and a couple of swans escorted by their six fluffy cygnets, born the previous week, and visitors may be fortunate to spot the family of playful otters and a kingfisher known to frequent the route. Longleat is only 18 miles from Bath city centre and it is home to the BBC Animal Park, CBBC Roar. Celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, Longleat offers visitors the opportunity to experience a safari and view giraffe, rhino, zebra, cheetahs, tigers and two separate prides of lions and their eight adorable cubs, all roaming freely across hundreds of acres.

TRAVEL TIP For visitors to Longleat travelling by train, disembark at Warminster or Westbury and make a reservation for a taxi to meet at the station. For a prompt and efficient service, visit www.starlinetaxis.co.uk. For more information on GWR train services, visit www.gwr.com.

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Above: Longleat residents and safari VIP tours BOTH PHOTOS COPYRIGHT: LONGLEAT

Leisure breaks | BATH AND LONGLEAT

Travel Bath nirvana An Olverum bath is like a warm, comforting hug. Whether the bath oil is used to relieve stress, revive aching muscles and joints, rebalance dry skin, or simply to luxuriate in a blissful aromatic ‘me time’ moment, Olverum promotes a feeling of renewal. Created in 1931 by Franz Otto Klein, a wine merchant in the Mosel valley, who developed a keen interest in the beneficial properties of natural essential oils, Olverum Bath Oil is a highly concentrated and unique blend of eucalyptus, lavender, juniper, lavandin, lemon peel, Siberian fir needle, exotic verbena, lime, geranium and rosemary.


Key benefits w Deep relaxation and stress relief. w Inhaling the aromatic vapours released by a warm Olverum bath helps relieve tension and aids a deep and untroubled night’s sleep. w Soothes aches and pains. w Stimulates the circulation and helps bring relief to aching muscles and joints. w Beautifully soft skin: the light non-greasy oil is easily absorbed by the skin.

Visitors can also experience the ‘Monkey Drive Thru’ and watch their hilarious antics, but be prepared to be closely inspected and to pick up unexpected passengers on the roof, bonnet and boot of the vehicle. We watched a car aerial being chewed and note monkeys are very attracted to windscreen wipers! The Jungle Cruise is very popular and essence INFO SACO-serviced aparthotel, Olverum Bath Oil sails slowly past snoozing hippopotami and St James’s Parade, Bath is available from: a colony of bachelor gorillas bursting with www.olverum.com and energy. Passengers are encouraged to feed Harvey Nichols, Fenwick, fish to the very vocal and demanding sea lions Bathandunwind.com that follow the boat in earnest. and House of Fraser An ideal place to overnight is the SACOserviced ‘aparthotel’ located on St James’s Parade in Bath and within walking distance of all the city’s attractions. Accommodations are light and spacious with contemporary furnishings and include studios and one or two bedroom apartments with comfortable beds. Indulge in a late lie in, followed by a homemade breakfast, and relish the freedom of not being restricted to a timetable for meals. Relax in Visitors can also experience the a spacious open plan lounge and modern dining area and take advantage ‘Monkey Drive Thru’ and watch their of a fully fitted kitchen with all the amenities expected. hilarious antics, but be prepared to Or, if dining out, visit Hall & Woodhouse, on Old King Street. Housed within what was once Bonham’s auction house, this contemporary be closely inspected and to pick up restaurant, furnished with Chesterfield couches in spacious seating areas, unexpected passengers on the roof, covers four levels and features a very popular rooftop terrace, which is an bonnet and boot of the vehicle. ideal spot to sample a glass or two of their award-winning Badger cask ales. The service is outstanding and the menu features a tempting selection of dishes, including a succulent herb roast poussin and delicious homemade baked treacle tart. Treat yourself, visit Bath, and let the train take the strain. Avoid traffic delays and parking problems and hop on the direct GWR train service from London Paddington to Bath Spa. Sink back in the comfort of a first class seat, order a complimentary drink and snack and admire the views of the countryside whizzing past the window. The journey takes less than 90 minutes and for those visiting Longleat with GWR, Bath Spa to Warminster is less than 30 minutes, or Westbury is less than 40 minutes. v

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Serving the Nation

16–31 July 2016 Served: Royal Air Force Served: 1992–2010 Royal Navy 2008–2014

Served: British Army 2000–2012

Served: British Army 2001–2015

Served: Royal Marines 1992–2014

Serving: In the garden 2000–2100hr

When you BBQ, BBQ for Heroes! For your free fundraising pack visit www.bbqforheroes.org.uk or call 01980 846459


a pair of tickets to see Exposure The Musical – Life Through A Lens at St James Theatre, London A thrilling new musical of fame and celebrity excess that will capture your heart… and just maybe your soul. Young photographer Jimmy Tucker faces the biggest and most exciting challenge of his life when a stranger commissions him to find and shoot the seven deadly sins alive and kicking in modern London. A break-neck race through a night in London, a series of extraordinary encounters involving girlfriends, family history and the intoxicating cult of celebrity begin to reveal that there’s a whole lot more at stake than just money. Featuring David Albury, Natalie Anderson, Michael Greco and Niamh Perry, Exposure is an electrifying and brilliantly original new musical that is simply unmissable, weaving a breathtaking, contemporary score around a dazzlingly witty portrait of the price of fame. To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets to Exposure The Musical between 1 to 27 August, answer this question correctly: What is Jimmy Tucker’s profession? a) journalist b) painter c) photographer To enter, simply visit www.essence-magazine. co.uk with the answer, your full name, email address, contact number and the date (Monday to Thursday performances until 18 August) you would like to attend Exposure The Musical. Competition closes 29 July 2016.

essence INFO

Exposure The Musical – Life Through A Lens runs from 16 July to 27 August 2016. St. James Theatre 12 Palace Street, London SW1E 5JA Website: www.exposurethemusical.com Telephone: 0844 264 2140 Terms and conditions apply Subject to availability. Prize is valid on Monday–Thursday performances until 18 August. Prize is as stated and cannot be transferred or exchanged. No cash alternative will be given.

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Literature | REVIEW Martin Freeman

Strange Face

Alan Yentob

Adventures with a lost Nick Drake recording

This is the extraordinary story of how one man shared a recording no one knew existed. Since his tragic death in the mid seventies, Nick Drake’s haunting music has influenced countless artists. But how has the discovery of a previously unheard recording touched the lives of a very special group of people? This is the story of a discovered tape, a lost Nick Drake recording and how the man who found it chose to share it in an extraordinary way. Humorous and poignant, ‘Strange Face’ celebrates life, coincidences and the legacy of singer songwriter Nick Drake. In the 1970s, when working as a post boy at Island Records, television composer Michael Burdett rescued a tape from a rubbish skip. It was over 20 years before Michael played the tape. When he did, he was astonished to hear an unknown version of Cello Song, one of Drakes’s greatest works. Michael set off with a CD player and headphones and for nearly two years travelled the length and breadth of Britain with the aim of offering 200 random individuals an exclusive opportunity to hear the recording as he photographed them. Among the people he approached were some well-known faces, including Billy Bragg, Sir Tom Stoppard, Tracy Chevalier, Danny Baker, Alan Yentob, Martin Freeman, to name but a few. Michael photographed everyone who listened, people from the age of two to 96, and recorded their thoughts. Meet the people he photographed, hear their touching stories and how it felt to be in this most exclusive of clubs.

essence INFO

Strange Face by Michael Burdett RRP: £17.99 • 265 pages • Paperback ISBN: 9780957624610 Published by Empreinte Cordiale Website: www.thestrangefaceproject.com ALL IMAGES COPYRIGHT MICHAEL BURDETT

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Billy Bragg

Steven & Nikki Mauro


About the author Michael Burdett is a composer who has written music for television, radio and the theatre. His work is diverse and includes many theme tunes, ranging from Masterchef and Homes Under The Hammer to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s posing music for the bodybuilding documentary, Total Rebuild. He occasionally releases recordings under the name Little Death Orchestra.


Caring for computers

Louise Alexander-O’Loughlin talks to James Henville, managing director of fast growing, on-site computer repair and IT support company, CRUK, about how his expert team can help with tech troubles the same day.


omputer Repair UK (CRUK), with offices based in Weybridge, Guildford and Surbiton, could be the answer to all our technology prayers – personal ‘computer–busters’. The company’s clients include residential homes, small businesses and larger corporate companies as well.  A fully qualified CRUK technician aims to arrive the same day following an enquiry to one of its offices to either fix, clean up, cloud back up, de-virus or sync a client’s entire IT technology, so they can go about their business. Some customers employ CRUK to give their PCs a good system clean on a monthly basis. CRUK is equally at home with Windows, PCs and laptops, as well as Apple equipment such as MacBooks and iMacs.  The company is committed to fixing home and business computer problems on site wherever possible and has built up a strong customer base by adhering to very high standards.  Q James, why do you think your business has grown at such a pace?  A People are so reliant on technology and life is run at such a fast pace that most of our clients want their problems fixed as soon as possible, and in their own homes or offices. The old traditional method of leaving a PC in a shop to have issues fixed can cause frustration and unnecessary stress. Q What sets CRUK apart from others?  A We’re local and aim to be with a customer in a couple of hours. The beauty of what we do is people don’t often trust leaving their PC with ‘someone’. We’re on-site, literally sitting next to the customer, so we can talk through what we’re doing. Sometimes we do act remotely, accessing computers (with permission), from our workshops, allowing us to troubleshoot more quickly if there’s an emergency without the need for a visit. Q Give us an emergency scenario you had to deal with recently. A We had a phone call from a very distressed father. His daughter had been up late on a Friday night working on an essay for her A Level coursework when her laptop crashed and she had a deadline to meet on Monday. Unfortunately, nothing had been backed up. They gave

us a list of the most important files and we collected the laptop and took it to our workshop. We were able to recover all her coursework up until the hard drive had given up, including her essay. Within a few hours, we’d uploaded it to a secure link for her to download and carry on working and her work was handed in in good time. Their five star review said it all. We were able to underline the importance of backing up work and spotting viruses: advice we are happy to pass on to all our customers.

In a world where a cold sweat breaks out when something malfunctions on our phones, Mac, PC or other devices, we all need a trusted company to help us out. CRUK has a no fix, no fee policy, a friendly approach and bags of patience ensuring its experienced team can help with any query. Q Do you only repair computers? A No. We do also offer to discuss client IT requirements and will purchase, setup and install equipment. We have even custom built systems for clients. essence INFO

Computer Repair UK (CRUK) Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, Saturday 9am to 12 noon Website: www.computerrepair-uk.com Locations: Weybridge telephone: 01932 808577 Surbiton telephone: 020 8819 3279 Guildford telephone: 01483 338757

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spotlight on... Wings & Wheels, Dunsfold Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 August, 9am–9pm A welcome return of this exciting family event on August bank holiday weekend. Both days offer so much, including a five hour airshow featuring The Red Arrows (pictured right), the Royal Navy Black Cats helicopter display team, Typhoon, King Air, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and many more. In addition, for the ‘Wheels’ element this year, don’t miss the Brooklands motoring demonstration, a stunt zone featuring Steve ‘Showtime’ Colley showcasing amazing balance display skills on two wheels, and a new Monster Truck show which promises to be a real treat. The Arena will feature aviation and motoring simulators, interactive car shows, children’s inflatables, a fairground and retail village with over 80 stands selling a variety of products and gifts. Weekend passes, Grandstand tickets and camping facilities are available and this year’s show supports Brooklands Museum and Help for Heroes in their fundraising.

Information: www.wingsandwheels.net

Tuesday 6 to Saturday 10 September Little Shop of Horrors Cult musical classic returns.

Richmond Theatre

Tickets: 0844 871 7645 or



Monday 11 to Saturday 16 July After Miss Julie Thriller starring Helen George. Monday 25 to Saturday 30 July Shadowlands A tale of late-flowering love in the life of C.S. Lewis. Monday 1 to Saturday 6 August Present Laughter Plenty of humorous dialogue in this play starring Samuel West. Tickets: 0844 871 7651 or ambassadortickets.com/richmond

New Victoria Theatre Woking Monday 18 to Saturday 23 July Footloose Based on the 1980s’ film, this production stars Gareth Gates. Tuesday 26 to Saturday 30 July Guys and Dolls A New York musical tale of gamblers, gangsters and nightclub singers. Saturday 13 to Sunday 14 August Peppa Pig’s Surprise A new live show.

Chapterhouse Theatre Company Claremont Landscape Garden, near Esher and Hatchlands Park, East Clandon Saturday 16 July Peter Pan JM Barrie’s classic tale in the beautiful outdoor surroundings of Claremont Landscape Garden. Wednesday 17 August Sense and Sensibility Hatchlands is the venue for an outdoor performance of Jane Austen’s regency story. Information: 01522 569222 or chapterhouse.org

Cranleigh Arts Centre Cranleigh Thursday 14 and Friday 15 July Edinburgh Previews See four talented comedians prior to them appearing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival: Carey Marx, Andrea Hubert, Joe Wells and Peter Brush.

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Photo copyright: Euan Guilor


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essence events Friday 5 August Much Ado About Nothing Outdoor theatre staged at St Nicolas Church, next to the Arts Centre, by MadCap Theatre Productions.

Shakespeare’s romantic comedy set in the 1940s, as Sarah Gobran and Matt Pinches reprise the roles of Beatrice and Benedick.

Information: 01483 278000 or


Information: 01483 304384 or


Friday 2 September Jimmy Carr: The Best Of, Ultimate Gold, Greatest Hit Tours A selection of Carr’s best. Age 16+.

Friday 8 to Saturday 16 July The Railway Children Guildford’s Victorian bandstand is transformed for this outdoor event. Bring a picnic and enjoy.

Information: 01306 881717 or

Information: pranksterstheatre.org.uk


Rose Theatre Epsom Playhouse



Saturday 30 July Dinosaur Zoo Life-like dinosaurs, including a T.rex, in this imaginative live show. Saturday 6 to Sunday 7 August The Hollywood Special Effects Show Interactive family show discovering the science and secrets of creating movie action. Thursday 11 to Saturday 13 August The Battle of Boat An original new musical telling the story of a group of children finding their place in a world at war in 1916.

Information: 01372 742555 or epsomplayhouse.co.uk

Farnham Maltings Farnham Saturday 23 July Night at the Theatre Fun, family adventure.

Information: 020 8174 0090 or rosetheatrekingston.org

Information: 01252 745444 or farnhammaltings.com

Polesden Lacey Shakespeare

G Live

Polesden Lacey Open Air Theatre, Great Bookham

Guildford Wednesday 13 July Tiddler & Other Terrific Tales Based on the Julia Donaldson/ Axel Scheffler books. Saturday 23 July The Last Post An unusual piece of theatre, set in the last mobile sorting office in England. For age 11+.

Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 July The Tempest Picnic and enjoy Shakespeare’s mystical final play in the beautiful surroundings of Polesden Lacey. Children under 16 free of charge.

Information: 01483 369350 or

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre


Mill Studio, Guildford

Guildford Shakespeare Company University of Law Grounds Friday 15 to Saturday 30 July Much Ado About Nothing GSC’s 30th production sees

Jess Glynne, An evening at the races, Sandown Park

Guys and Dolls, New Victoria Theatre, Woking

Information: 01306 881717 or polesdenlaceyshakespeare.co.uk

Wednesday 27 July to Monday 1 August The Secret Garden Live music, puppetry and a bit of magic create a real adventure. Information: 01483 440000 or yvonne-arnaud.co.uk

Photo credit: Anne Kibel

Saturday 16 July The Railway Children Based on the novel by E Nesbit and requiring audience participation! Sunday 17 July A Midsummer Night’s Dream A production from Dandelion Theatre Arts.

Photo credit: Johan Persson

Guildford Castle Grounds


Photo credit: Simon Emmett

Pranksters Theatre Dorking Halls

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spotlight on... Tudor Joust and other events, Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey Photo credit: Steve Woods/newsteam.co.uk/HRP 28/08/10

Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 July Tudor entertainment and revelry as seen at the court of Henry VIII are on offer this summer at Hampton Court Palace. The East Front Gardens will demonstrate the spectacle and sporting prowess of the joust as fully kitted out knights compete for glory. The Palace will also play host to The Luna Cinema as open air screenings come to Surrey. The schedule is Friday 12 August: Pretty Woman; Saturday 13 August: Jaws; Friday 2 September: Robin Hood and on Saturday 3 September: Notting Hill. Capacity is limited, so book early. Finally, the BBC Good Food Festival takes place at Hampton Court between Saturday 27 and Monday 29 August for three days of fabulous foodie activity, including tasty artisan producers, a star line-up of cooks and chefs, entertainment, family fun and live music. Not to be missed.

Information: hrp.org.uk

music Always the Sun Music and Arts Festival Stoke Park, Guildford Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 September Guildford’s new community music festival featuring music from Mystery Jets, Turin Brakes and Hugh Cornwell. Tickets: alwaysthesunfestival.co.uk

Boileroom Guildford Sunday 28 August, 12 noon Street party Celebrating the best in local music, food, drink, arts and crafts, with a children’s festival and clothing stalls. Information: theboileroom.net

Farnham Maltings Farnham Every Friday through July and August Grills and Guitars Farnham’s popular Grills and Guitars evenings return with the best of local musical talent and great food straight off the BBQ. Information: 01252 745444 or farnhammaltings.com

Sandown Park

G Live Beer Festival


G Live, Guildford

Bike: a festival of cycling Farnham Maltings, Farnham Sunday 10 July A festival that celebrates cycling: see the latest kit and bikes, watch arthouse films, try workshops and competitions, plus lots more.

Information: sandown.co.uk

Cranleigh Arts Centre

Information: 01483 369350 or glive.co.uk

Guildford Fringe Festival

Information: 01252 745444 or

Various venues


Friday 1 to Sunday 31 July Acts and events from all genres of the arts: theatre, music, comedy, dance, exhibitions, talks, film, children’s workshops and lots more. See the website for details.

Esher Between Wednesday 13 July and Thursday 4 August An evening at the races... Three evenings of racing and live music at Sandown. On Wednesday 13 July, it’s Jess Glynne; on Wednesday 20 July, Busted and on Thursday 4 August, don’t miss Bryan Adams.

Friday 9 and Saturday 10 September Ales from some of the country’s top independent brewers, with live music, a hog roast and BBQ.

Cheese & Chilli Festival Shalford Park, Guildford Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 July A family show offering around 70 traders selling cheese and chilli associated products, as well as craft and retail shows. In addition, a children’s play zone and beer festival will run over the weekend.


Information: 07776 255199 or

Woking Town Centre


Monday 25 to Saturday 30 July Six films to be shown at The Electric Theatre during the week: Carol, Spotlight, Room, Youth, Brooklyn and The Hateful Eight.

Friday 2 to Sunday 4 September With over 80 food and drink exhibitor stalls, the Tante Marie Culinary Demonstration Stage, bake-off competition, cookery workshops and more. Reigning Great British Bake-Off winner, Nadiya Hussain, will be demonstrating at the festival.

Information: 0333 666 3366 or

Woking Food and Drink Festival


Weyfest Music Festival

Friday 12 August, 6.30pm Wine tasting and jazz fundraising evening A fun, social evening with chilled and mellow music, plus the chance to taste over 40 different wines, all to fundraise for the Arts Centre.

Rural Life Centre, Tilford

Electric Film Festival The Electric Theatre, Guildford

Information: 01483 278000 or

Friday 19 to Sunday 21 August Surrey’s biggest music festival returns. With four stages set in 10 acres of woodland, this is a festival for the whole family. Headliners include The Darkness, The Beat, Boomtown Rats, Big Country and more.

Information: 01483 444789 or

Information: 01483 743021 or


Information: weyfest.co.uk



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


Surrey Sculpture Society Trail

Photo credit: Marcus Wehrle


Wildlife at Wallis Wood, Surrey Wildlife Trust

RHS Garden Wisley, Woking

Guildford House Gallery Saturday 2 to Sunday 24 July North Surrey Artists Summer exhibition by local artists.

Saturday 20 August to Sunday 25 September Sixty inspirational sculptures, available to buy, by some of the south east’s finest artists.

Information: 01483 444751 or

Information: rhs.org.uk/wisley



The Big Arts Show Guildford Museum

Secretts of Milford

Quarry Street, Guildford

Information: 01483 444751 or

Saturday 10 to Sunday 11 September A showcase for a wide diversity of arts and artists which this year will include pop artist Stefan Knapp’s largest works entitled Flying 4.


Information: thebigartsshow.co.uk

The Lightbox Gallery and Museum

Watts Gallery


To Sunday 6 November Close up & personal: Victorians & their photographs See how the photography industry boomed and the culture of celebrity began. Friday 29 July and Friday 26 August, 5–9pm Watts at dusk Late night museum opening.

To Saturday 10 September The 60s and 70s in Black & White Images by John Walmsley.

Saturday 6 August to Saturday 31 December The Story of British Comics So Far: Cor! By Gum! Zarjaz! An interactive exhibition exploring the past, present and future of comics. Information: 01483 737800 or thelightbox.org.uk

Compton, Guildford

New Ashgate Gallery

Information: 01483 813593 or



Saturday 30 July to Saturday 10 September Tim Southall: Scenes in Print Painter and printmaker Tim Southall showcases screenprints, monoprints and etchings.

A Bark in the Night by Tim Southall, New Ashgate Gallery

Yvonne Arnaud Art 2016 Mill Studio, Guildford Wednesday 6 to Thursday 21 July Guildford Arts presents its 21st summer exhibition.

Information: 01252 713208 or

Information: 01483 440000 or



74 essence-magazine.co.uk | JULY/AUGUST 2016 Mane Chance Sanctuary, Big Summer Open Day

national trust

out & about

National Trust properties offer

Bocketts Farm

perfect venues in which visitors


can play and relax. A few are shown

Saturday 23 July to Sunday 4 September Summer fun on the farm Usual activities plus Little Grey Fergie in a live show on 20/21 August.

here, but visit nationaltrust.org.uk for more.

Claremont Landscape Garden

Information: bockettsfarm.co.uk

Photo copyright: Jon Buckle for Prudential RideLondon

1 Jul Aug 16_Layout 1 06/07/2016 17:50 Page 7

Prudential RideLondon

Esher Sunday 17 July, 7–10pm Lord Chamberlain’s Men: Much Ado About Nothing Bring a picnic and enjoy this fast-paced Shakespeare comedy. Information: 01372 467806

Hatchlands Park East Clandon, Guildford Sunday 7 August, 7–10pm Lord Chamberlain’s Men: Much Ado About Nothing See listing for Claremont Landscape Garden above. Thursday 11 August, 5.30–7.30pm Dotty the Dragon Blunderbus Theatre perform this enchanting fairytale. Tuesday 23 August, 6–8pm The Wizard of Oz Join Immersion Theatre for this outdoor children’s performance. Information: 01483 222482

Leith Hill Place Dorking Wednesday 13 July, 2.30pm and Saturday 23 July, 6.30pm Classical music recitals Indoor recitals in association with the Royal College of Music. Ticket includes refreshments. Information: 01306 711685

Polesden Lacey Great Bookham, near Dorking Saturdays 16 and 23 July, 6, 13, 20 and 27 August Pop-up theatre Pop-up theatrical scenes in the gardens from playwrights including Shakespeare and Sheridan. Information: 01372 452048 nationaltrust.org.uk

Brooklands Museum Weybridge Sunday 17 July, 10am–5pm Supercar day See Ferraris, Lamborghinis and more. Monday 25 July to Friday 26 August 10am–5pm Summer holiday family fun Monday to Thursday car rides up Test Hill or along Members’ Banking, with children’s trails and workshops.

with children’s entertainment and adventure archery.

three Sunday races on closed roads between London and Surrey.

Information: loseleypark.co.uk

Information: 020 7902 0212 or prudentialridelondon.co.uk

Mane Chance Sanctuary Monkshatch Garden Farm, Compton

Surrey Wildlife Trust

Sunday 14 August, 12 noon–5pm Big Summer Open Day Tours of the park and horses, stalls, entertainment and BBQ to aid Mane Chance provide sanctuary from suffering for horses, proving the value of the horse as a healer.

Painshill Park

Friday 5 August, 10.30am–12.30pm Wealden woodland, Wallis Wood A one mile walk across ancient woodland. Tel: 07817 166730. Tuesday 9 August, 10am–1pm Bay Pond Educational Nature Reserve, Minibeasts & Microscopes A family event for children aged over four. Explore wildlife in meadows, ponds and woodland. Tel: 01372 379509.


Information: surreywildlifetrust.org

Information: gattonpark.com

Saturday 16 July, 11am–4pm Painshill Pooch Day Displays and fun dog shows.

Theme Parks

Haslemere Museum

Information: 01932 868113 or



Information: 01932 857381 or brooklandsmuseum.com

Gatton Park

Information: 07512 363400 or



Tuesday 2 August, 11am Gardens Trust family picnic Celebrate Capability Brown’s 300th birthday with a picnic.

Thursday 28 July, 10.30am–1.30pm Beatrix Potter’s birthday A fun-filled morning of activities to celebrate the 150th anniversary. Information: haslemeremuseum.co.uk

Ladyland Farm Horley Open August school holidays (weekdays), 11am–3pm Hold chicks, rabbits and kittens; see and feed calves, lambs and piglets. Information: ladylandfarm.com

Loseley Park: The Garden Show Guildford Friday 22 to Sunday 24 July A range of exhibitors aiming to enhance home and garden, along

Various locations

Various locations

Prudential RideLondon London and Surrey Friday 29 July to Sunday 31 July A weekend festival of cycling with

Open throughout the summer With Legoland at Windsor, Chessington World of Adventures and Thorpe Park at Chertsey, we are spoilt for choice in our region. Information: 01202 666900 or merlinentertainments.biz

farmers’ markets Camberley Saturday 16 July and 20 August, 10am–3pm Cranleigh Every Friday, 9.30–11am Epsom Sunday 3 July and 7 August, 9.30am–1.30pm Farnham Sunday 24 July and 28 August, 10am–1.30pm Guildford Tuesday 5 July and 2 August, 10.30am–3.30pm Haslemere Sunday 3 July and 7 August, 10am–1.30pm Milford Sunday 17 July and 21 August, 10am–1.30pm Ripley Saturday 9 July and 13 August, 9am–1pm Walton-on-Thames Saturday 2 July and 6 August, 9.30am–2pm Woking Thursday 14 July and 11 August, 9am–2pm

JULY/AUGUST 2016 | essence-magazine.co.uk 75

Creative class Frequently featuring in top interior designer and design firm lists, Sims Hilditch specialises in a broad range of private, high-end residential and commercial projects in the UK and Europe. Founder Emma Sims Hilditch’s multidisciplinary team focuses on combining integrated architecture and interior design with traditional craftsmanship and bespoke furniture design. With never a dull day in the studio, Emma explained to Emily Bird her favourite parts of a new project and what her team do to stay motivated.

“Sims Hilditch has a natural empathy for space, light and proportion, which can clearly be seen in the finished interior...” HOUSE & GARDEN

Q Can you describe for us the Sims Hilditch signature style? A We don’t have one signature look that we roll out regardless – if I have done my job really well, the result should appear effortless rather than overtly designed. We were once described as the interior design practice “that those in the know turn to for a breezy twenty–first century take on classic English style.” I like to think this encapsulates the brand. We believe good design can truly transform lives, and a successful project is all about making our clients’ homes work for their lifestyle. Q How has your background in film production shaped your interior style? A When I was working with Ridley Scott, I developed a love for light, colour and detail. It was a brilliant opportunity to learn about space on a greater scale. Q How do you spend your perfect day off when away from the studio? A I love spending time with my husband and our three children. It’s wonderful when we can all be together. My husband loves to sail so we often spend our weekends together at our beach house in St Mawes. Q Who or what has been your greatest source of inspiration during your career? A I’ve always been inspired by the design work of Michele Bonan, an Italian designer who works for very chic hotels in Florence, Capri and Rome. I also admire Axel Vervoordt for his understated but eminently chic interiors. Q What is the most enjoyable part of an interior design project? A There are many enjoyable moments. I love it all! Presenting design

76 essence-magazine.co.uk | JULY/AUGUST 2016

schemes, choosing beautiful antique pieces of furniture or seeing the client’s reaction after installation, it’s difficult to choose one. Q And the hardest? A Working within strict timescales. However, we are fortunate to have a wonderful team who, at times, seem to achieve the impossible! Q Can you talk us through the interior design of your own home? A Our home is tucked away in a valley. It’s such a wonderfully peaceful place and I wanted the design to reflect this. We actually found our home by chance while driving around the local area; however, it was a dilapidated building. After renovating throughout, it became my dream home. I loved using natural materials throughout: in particular wools, linens, stone and wood. Natural materials have an innate quality and timelessness, they bring texture and depth to any home. Q What has been your most unusual/unique project to date? A We recently completed a sixteenth century manor house which had previously had purple padded fabric walls and emerald green carpet. It was quite a transformation! Q How do you keep your team motivated to ensure constant creativity? A I love to encourage the team to visit new hotels and restaurants for inspiration. We also attend design shows and have regular team lunches at the studio. Q What’s in store for Sims Hilditch in the next year? Do you have any exciting upcoming projects? A We have lots of exciting things coming up. We’re currently working on a few different projects, including Laura Ashley’s former home, a Georgian townhouse in London, a Worcestershire manor house and a Knightsbridge apartment. essence INFO

Websites: www.simshilditch.com and www.amara.com This article first appeared in The Lux Pad, www.amara.com/luxpad.


JULY/AUGUST 2016 | essence-magazine.co.uk 77

Dream properties In part 2 of our selection of the world’s finest homes, Lucy Crossfield continues her look at some of the most exotic, luxurious and unique houses money can buy and all outstanding examples of architectural prowess.

Villa Kogelhof, Netherlands and, inset, Croft House, Australia

Villa Kogelhof – Noord-Beveland, Netherlands

Croft House – Victoria, Australia

The Cresta – San Diego, California

Architect: Paul de Ruiter

Architect: James Stockwell

Architect: Jonathan Segal




Villa Kogelhof exceeds expectations in many ways. Not only is it an architectural triumph, with an underground level containing space for six cars, an office space and bathroom, and a living area atop two ‘legs’ with stunning 360 degree views, but the home is also leading the way in terms of sustainable living. Architect Paul de Ruiter designed the house to be entirely self-sufficient. Villa Kogelhof’s glass walls help to insulate the building, while solar panels on the roof provide more energy than is needed. The villa also boasts its own in-house cooling system, as well as a clever ‘water roof’ which enables the basement level to be flooded with natural light. Approximately 70,000 trees were planted in the surrounding acres of previously underused land, ensuring Villa Kogelhof is situated in the midst of a thriving ecological community.

Located in an exposed area of Victoria’s southern coast, Croft House draws its inspiration from the elements. Architect James Stockwell was asked to create a property that would offer protection from the wind, rain, sun and fire. Its winged structure lies low and flat in the ground, with its entrance and front garden sheltered from the strong prevailing winds. Exterior walls are clad in zinc to further shield the building, and as James explains, they require “virtually no maintenance”. A woodburning stove takes central position inside, efficiently heating the well-insulated home. Croft House is an emphatic example of how hostile elements can inspire exceptional architecture. 

This 5,300 square foot property is a sight to behold. Designed to achieve a sense of harmony and balance, as much care has been poured into the outside space as the interior. Glass walls are a prominent feature throughout: though not at the expense of residents’ privacy. Concrete façades have been cleverly positioned around the outskirts of the property to offer seclusion as well as visual appeal. A cut out concrete roof offers shelter to a portion of the outside space, while ensuring natural light reaches the main house in abundance. The beautiful pool that surrounds the property has zones for casual swimming as well as lengths, and creates an island-like oasis of calm in the central dining area. Inside, furniture is kept to a minimum, with simple, clean shapes used throughout.

The Cresta, California

78 essence-magazine.co.uk | JULY/AUGUST 2016


Edgeland House, Texas and, below, ARCA, Brazil

Malbaie VIII – Quebec, Canada Architect: MU Architecture

Edgeland House – Austin, Texas

Evans House – Mendoza, Argentina


Architect: Bercy Chen Studio

Architect: A4ESTUDIO



Edgeland House is a shining example of restoration and rejuvenation. The land was a former brownfield site that had been neglected following many years of industrial misuse. Architects at Bercy Chen Studio were tasked with creating a home that would heal the land, rather than disrupt it further. The best way forward? Create a modern re-interpretation of one of the oldest housing typologies in North America, the Native American pit house. Traditionally pit houses were sunk into the earth to offer shelter, protection and thermal regulation. Edgeland House looks to recreate this. The grass-covered roof keeps the home cool in summer and warm in winter as well as supporting local wildlife ecosystems.

Framed by the Andes Mountains and surrounded by Argentinian vineyards, there are worse places to be than Evans House. Architects drew inspiration from a fallen, hollowedout tree trunk, building a long and linear structure rather than one that was tall and invasive. Indeed, designers ensured Evans House was as unobtrusive as possible and aimed to complement materials and shapes with the natural landscape. The main façade is clad in rusty steel while the supporting structure is built from river rock. From a distance, the house appears to melt into the landscape as a mere shadow. Continuing the tree trunk resemblance inside, each room showcases beautiful wooden panelling. Other enviable features include an extensive wine collection housed in a purpose-built wine cellar, rooftop pool and large entertaining space.

This Canadian property sits majestically within its surroundings. It boasts spectacular views over the St. Lawrence River and the thousands of spruce trees that fringe its borders. Architects at MU Architecture drew much of their inspiration from the surrounding forests. The dark grey metal that clads three of the outer walls and roof forms a protective shell, while the final wall of the  exterior is stripped back to reveal a softer, wood-panelled finish. This, the architects say, represents the idea of a tree’s bark being peeled back to reveal its fragile inner core. Wood is a key theme of the property’s interior too. Ceilings and walls are almost entirely covered in wood and the entire property has a cosy chalet-esque feel.

ARCA – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Architect: Atelier Marko Brajovic IMAGE COURTESY OF VICTOR AFFARO

ARCA is a brilliant project hidden deep in the Brazilian forest, close to the beautiful Perequé waterfall. The structure is designed and built from a single shell of composite carbon steel, aluminium and zinc. This allows the home to be dismantled easily and rebuilt in different locations, with minimal impact to the surrounding forestry. ARCA has two bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom and a generously proportioned living space. Each room has unobstructed views over the rainforest thanks to the huge semi-circular windows that front the property. Atelier Marko Brajovic’s aim is to encourage families, professionals or couples seeking a totally immersive jungle experience to come and stay at ARCA for a short period of time.

Evans House, Argentina


Malbaie VIII, Canada

JULY/AUGUST 2016 | essence-magazine.co.uk 79

House Mouton, South Africa

Barn House, Chile

Barn House – Los Ríos region, Chile

House Mouton – Pretoria, South Africa

Leobo Private Reserve – Limpopo, South Africa

Villa Suluwilo – Vamizi Island, Mozambique

Estudio Valdés Arquitectos


Architect: Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens

Architect: COA


In 2010 when a large earthquake all but destroyed a large timber barn in Chile’s Aculeo Lagoon region, two brothers from architect firm Estudio Valdés Arquitectos saw an opportunity to resurrect the impressive building. Large portions of the original barn’s timber framework were salvaged and moved down country to Lake Ranco, where the brothers began their new project. Naturally, the architects wanted the reclaimed timber to become the focal point of the new building. They worked hard to design a structure where the timber trusses span the entire width of the building, with no internal columns to distract from the impressive feature. Large glass walls wrap the house in order to: “recreate the experience of being in the forest, but also of being sheltered,” the architects explain. Now nestled on the shores of Lake Ranco, this beautiful barn house has certainly stood the test of time.

House Mouton is full of rustic charm. Every aspect of the property has been designed with the environment in mind. The home is divided into four single-storey sections – for eating, sleeping, services and guests – to minimise visual disruption to the surroundings. Ceiling heights are kept low for the same reason and great efforts were made to use only natural materials in building House Mouton. Inside, the designers  aimed to create a ‘warm home for its dwellers without opulence’. Wood, rattan and stone in earthy hues are used throughout in order to achieve the desired look. House Mouton blends seamlessly into its bushveld surroundings.


Leobo Private Reserve is much more than an exquisite home. The property lies in the midst of a 12,000 acre private wildlife reserve and has been dubbed the most sought after safari lodge in Africa. The décor is rustic-luxe, yet no expense has been spared on additional features. The home includes an infinity pool and a world-class observatory centre that allows users to admire the night sky in complete privacy. All bedrooms are fitted with floor-to-ceiling windows throughout, and many include a stunning circular bathroom complete with freestanding tub. Until recently, the property was used as a holiday home for a British family, but it has recently become available on a limited commercial basis. Head over to the Leobe Private Reserve website for more details about this unforgettable safari experience.


Villa Suluwilo is nestled among  three acres of forest on one of Mozambique’s most exclusive luxury islands. The beachfront property can provide those staying with the ultimate getaway: relaxation is the name of the game at Villa Suluwilo. The stand-out features of the villa are the ‘dhow sail’ roofs, inspired by the Arab dhow boats that used to frequent the area in the fifteenth century. The roofs are carefully angled to encourage sea breezes to flow through the property, keeping it pleasantly cool even in strong sun. There is an Arabic edge to the interior décor too: guests can relax in the sunken Arab courtyard or dine amid the earthy orange and red hues of the living spaces. v

Leobo Private Reserve, South Africa

This article first appeared in The Lux Pad, www.amara.com/luxpad.

80 essence-magazine.co.uk | JULY/AUGUST 2016

Villa Suluwilo, Mozambique







delight The latest in Sofa design.


New radiators mean that keeping warm the old fashioned way no longer forces you to leave your style sense out in the cold.


BEAUTIFUL BASICS Designs for life you ought to own.


Fabulous things to give or recieve.


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Trends, ideas and inspiration for your home To advertise and for further information contact Katie Wood mobile: 07971 937162 email: katie@ktmedia.co.uk

Published Autumn 2016 and Spring 2017

Advert_Layout 1 06/05/2016 12:01 Page 1

Scented candles | RATHBORNES

Take a step beyond the pale

It’s been said that no home is complete without an array of scented candles to transform the atmosphere of any room. Founded in Dublin in 1488, Rathbornes is the world’s oldest candle making company. Emily Bird explores this innovative company.


stablished by John G Rathborne when he moved from Chester to Dublin to seek his fortune in 1488, the brand was formed at a time where all of life’s tasks and rituals were carried out by candlelight. Quickly becoming woven into Dublin’s social culture, it wasn’t long before Rathbornes candles were soon illuminating streets, homes, lighthouses and churches across the country, creating a safer environment for both residents and visitors to Ireland. Known for its pioneering candle making methods, Rathbornes has developed new formulations of wax throughout the years, moving on from animal tallow wax to a beeswax and stearin blend during the industrial revolution, which is still used today. The cleaner, slowerburning wax revolutionised Rathbornes candles making them more available to all. Despite the change in materials, the brand chose to maintain traditional methods of craftsmanship. The handpouring remained and the same techniques are still employed to this day as the smooth beeswax complex is blended with essential oils which release an intoxicating fragrance. Hand-poured

by generations of Ireland’s finest candle makers, Rathbornes candles have been made in the same location for over 500 years. It takes eighteen months for master blenders to create and develop each fragrance. Now led by creative director Tim Duggan-Rees, Rathbornes has made the leap into the modern world with the Beyond the Pale collection. A traditional Irish saying, beyond the pale refers to Ireland’s wild countryside experienced once an individual takes a step past the city fence or ‘pale’. Says Tim: “We always look for ingredients that are utterly unique and sophisticated when creating our fragrances. We love to maintain a story behind every one and with this in mind we can reflect the tranquillity and peace of mind each will provide in its own way.” The full Rathbornes collection is now available to shop at Amara. essence INFO

Websites: www.rathbornes1488.com and www.amara.com ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF RATHBORNES

82 essence-magazine.co.uk | JULY/AUGUST 2016

Tim Duggan-Rees and the Rathbornes creative team

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



1/6/16 12:25 pm

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

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


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