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November 2015

Cool it News about climate warming never appears to be far away these days. Perhaps it’s because of the exceptionally warm weather recently that seems to be turning autumn into the summer we never quite achieved. Amongst all the adverse publicity there are quite a number of scientists who are optimistic about our ability to change as people become more educated. essence features a case in point – The Karkloof Safari Spa – which now boasts a new property development, but which originally began as a series of game reserves. A new sports car is here: the road legal VŪHL 05, at the crest of a Mexican wave, and a true testament to Spanish style and international engineering. Further cool style is offered in the form of Chester Barrie and we interview Julia Brown, CEO of Upper Street, a design-your-own-shoe brand. Additionally, Mundays solicitors look forward to the possible overdue changes to the no-fault divorce and in finance Simon Lewis looks at the stuttering global economic recovery and what this might mean for financial markets. Finally, essence features the best of a variety of activities for the coming month as we highlight food and events to enjoy.

The essence team

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Euan Johns uncovers a jewel at the vanguard of a Mexican wave of sports cars coming to these shores. VŪHL is a highly specialist vehicle manufacturer that’s about to emerge from the shadows.

Overseas property

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Fred Wörner is a successful businessman who has a passion for wildlife based on his formative farming years in Mpumalanga, South Africa. This experience has provided the foresight and impetus for the development of Mahathunzi, a rare opportunity to live wild in the African countryside. 4 www.essence-magazine.co.uk


There’s not much to beat relaxing in a hot tub with a glass of bubbly after a hard day on the slopes. Hanna Lindon visits Meribel to experience the ultimate in winter opulence and shares her pick of the best luxury ski destinations from around the world.

30 Fashion

Chester Barrie reveals its autumn/winter collection, and there’s lots of style for the modern gentleman. The colour palette of earth tones, russets and teal, as well as classic navy and grey, takes the brand into a world of cosmopolitan elegance.

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Contents November 2015


Fashion interview

Julia Brown is CEO and co-founder of Upper Street, a luxury design-yourown shoe brand. essence caught up with Julia to ask about her career, inspiration and success.

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Crates Local Produce chooses current seasonal offerings, including leeks, rabbit, cox apples, stouts and porters, together with recipes to enjoy.

Artisan food

Shirlee Posner sources local niche producers and introduces readers to the delights of local produce. This month she discovers the buzz surrounding Mrs B's bees, and finds out more about the fascinating world of beekeeper Debbie Burton and all her bee products.



Eleanora Newbery looks at the prospect of a long-awaited change in the divorce law as a Private Member’s Bill has its second reading in the House of Commons in December.


Simon Lewis looks at the stuttering global economic recovery and what this might mean for financial markets. Are we going to get lift off, or will it fizzle out?

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Leisure breaks

Rebecca Underwood visits Dublin, capital of the Emerald Isle. Located at the mouth of the River Liffey, the city enchants visitors.


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


Jenny Allan from JCA Interiors offers advice on designing the perfect entertaining space and explains how a beautiful dining room should give a sense of occasion and grandeur.

46 Education

Michael Connolly, headmaster at Cranmore School, West Horsley, considers the importance of modern languages in the school curriculum.

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

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

Karkloof Safari Spa Buffalo, courtesy of Karkloof Safari Spa.

© Maple Publishing 2015

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WILD With a passion for wildlife, based on his formative farming years in Mpumalanga, successful businessman Fred Wรถrner has provided the foresight and impetus for the development of Mahathunzi, a chance to live wild in the African countryside.

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“My vision was to create an opportunity to live amongst wildlife, while leaving a minimal footprint on the landscape” FRED WÖRNER


he vision of creating an opportunity to live amongst wildlife, with a minimal footprint on the landscape, and no change in land use, became a reality for Fred Wörner in 2014 with his second property development following the success of the Karkloof Safari Spa. The creation of the luxury development of Mahathunzi on the edge of the five-star spa in the sub-tropical landscape of Natal, South Africa provides an opportunity for modern living in the midst of and in harmony with nature. Living in one of these luxury homes on 50 to 80 acres, giraffe, rhino, buffalo and many other game animals are all close by. Here is Africa at its best, the silence broken

by birdsong, the rustle of grass and the continent’s intoxicating scents. The development has won plaudits from environmentalists for its game-breeding programme, accommodation, hospitality and spa. The name, Mahathunzi, takes a cue from

the Zulu word is’ithunzi meaning presence, aura, confidence, spirit, wellbeing and shade – as well as the ancient Sanskrit word maha, meaning a powerful connection with nature. Mahathunzi forms part of a pristine game farm, the 7,400 acre five-star Karkloof Safari Spa, where big game species thrive in a predator-free area. There are 283 bird species, 43 resident mammal species and countless butterflies. On the hillcrests there is an indigenous mistbelt forest with a unique floral kingdom. Night skies sparkle with stars as there is no light pollution. The climate is temperate all year round, ranging from around 20 degrees in winter to 30 degrees centigrade in summer. >

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All images courtesy of Karkloof Safari Spa

Some 49 exquisite low-slung homes, designed to blend seamlessly into the landscape, are to be developed on freehold plots. Each plot comes to the market at £220,000. There is planning approval to build homes of around 800 square metres with three metre wide open-sided overhangs trebling that space, plus garaging and staff accommodation. Homes currently planned range from £500,000 to £2.5 million, depending on materials and finishes. So, at a

level of around £750,000, for land and house, the price of a modest home in London, purchasers can have a place in paradise. Bolted onto this is a concierge, staffing, travel and entertainment service, all on tap. Homes are designed to make them practically invisible to passing eyes, but offering unsurpassed views and the chance to watch game from the property’s

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deck. A 24-hour security service ensures privacy. Each home is unique and offers a retreat from the frenetic pace of the manmade world. Access from Europe is via a ten hour overnight flight from Heathrow to Johannesburg, then it’s a 45 minute hop to Pietermaritzburg. With a one-hour time difference, there is no jetlag. A short drive into the country and owners will be on their own deck for lunch and game viewing.

Contained within 2,400 acres of authentic African terrain, ranging from open grassland plains, plateaus, dolerite cliffs, forested valleys and water pools, Mahathunzi supports wellestablished populations of wildebeest, giraffe, reedbuck, eland, kudu, nyala, blesbok, zebra, warthog, jackal, caracal, bushpig, abundant bird life and many other indigenous species. The Umgeni and Karkloof rivers converge on the area adding the charm of water to an already verdant

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landscape. It’s a landscape that early man would recognise as home. Just minutes away is one of Southern Africa’s best private schools, Hilton College. The Albert Falls Dam sits two kilometres away on the Umgeni River. Despite the remote feel, Mahathunzi is just 20 minutes from the charming university town of Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu Natal, and close to the seaport and holiday resort of Durban.

Mahathunzi and Karkloof offer the best of both worlds: safari reality with access to city sophistication and broadband. Pietermaritzburg has some of the best schools as well as excellent medical care and a modern airport offering seven flights a day to Johannesburg. Residents will be able to use 46 kilometres of all-weather shale roads within the property for game viewing and the freedom to enjoy mountain biking, walking, fishing and running.

What will draw buyers to this haven? Its access to two of the world’s greatest luxuries: unspoiled landscape and a healthy wildlife population. Mahathunzi is situated at the heart of three distinct kingdoms of wonder, all just an hour away by plane. To the south are the incomparable mountain-ringed vineyards of the Cape; to the west the deserts of Namibia with their dune climbing elephants; and to the east lies some of the greatest deep sea fishing in the world off >

Karkloof Safari Spa Karkloof is one of Africa’s largest and best spas with 17 treatment rooms, saunas, steam rooms, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis and Roman baths, plus a wildlife retreat and five star lodge. Built on a high slope it affords sweeping views over the valley below taking in a river and the endless green hills of Zululand. It blends seamlessly into the landscape, often fooling the animals who wander in and around it. Dotted around the main lodge are sixteen spacious luxury villas, superbly designed and decorated with underfloor heating and huge viewing decks. The Spa attracts tourists who have heard of its special charms. Travellers and travel writers have described Karkloof as: “timeless”, “heaven”, “paradise”, “an absolute gem”, “experience of a lifetime”, “enchanting”, “words cannot describe its beauty”, “perfect peace” and “the best in the world”.

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Mahathunzi: about the architects DESIGNWORKSHOP: SA ANDREW MAKIN Believing the land of Mahathunzi is sacrosanct, its topography raw and emblematic, quintessentially African and far too important and valuable to be interfered with, Designworkshop: sa’s portfolio of projects includes the Constitutional Court building of South Africa, Singita Lebombo and Sweni lodges – both rated by Condé Nast and Harper’s as number one hotels in the world – and a range of houses in some of South Africa's most sensitive and magnificent natural environments.

the coast of Natal and out into the Indian Ocean off the islands of Mauritius and the Seychelles. Fred Wörner sums up the opportunity: “My vision was to create an opportunity to live amongst wildlife, while leaving a minimal footprint on the landscape, a place where time stops, an experience I and my guests have enjoyed and which has massively added to the quality of our lives. Interest in the development is coming from buyers who love Africa and love the idea of living cheek by jowl with wildlife in a green and sustainable way where wildlife will always have priority.”

essence info Website: www.mahathunzi.co.za and www.karkloofsafarispa.com

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NEIL HAYES-HILL With 30 years’ experience and a passion for safari, lodge and hotel developments, Neil Hayes-Hill focuses on design strategies sensitive to the immediate environment and its surrounds. Having designed in most renowned safari areas of Africa, as well as in the UK and Brazil, Neil is versed in design principles and offers valuable insight and creative solutions in building design. ELPHICK PROOME ARCHITECTS (EPA) – GEORGE ELPHICK George Elphick, co-founder of EPA, has undertaken a wide range of well-known projects in the Southern African subcontinent over 25 years. EPA enjoys extensive experience in creating bespoke private residences, placing emphasis on innovating individual, crafted buildings. EPA’s acclaimed residential work has been widely published in books and magazines globally including Dwell, Maison Française, Elle Decoration and Wallpaper.

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Fuel consumption 911 Carrera Black Edition: Urban in l/100 km (mpg) 12.4 (22.8)-11.3 (25.0); Extra urban in l/100 km (mpg) 7.0 (40.4)-6.6 (42.8); Combined in l/100 km (mpg) 9.0 (31.4)-8.2 (34.4); CO2 emissions in g/km 211-191 www.porsche.com/uk/



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Luxe on the slopes Hanna Lindon visits Meribel to experience the ultimate in winter opulence and shares her pick of the best luxury ski destinations from around the world.


here’s not much to beat relaxing in a hot tub with a glass of bubbly after a hard day on the slopes, luxuriating in the warm glow brought on by the combination of endorphins and Champagne. My skiing holidays usually involve squeezing into a basic chalet with a noisy group of friends, but for once my husband Guy and I had decided to swap solidarity for luxury. We were staying at the five star Le Kaila Hotel (www.lekaila.com) where beds are the size of boats and many of the rooms are complete with their own personal Jacuzzi and steam room. The hotel has a peaceful spa, a second-floor heated pool with superb views out onto the slopes and a fitness centre just in case you can’t work up enough of a sweat through skiing. Our stay so far had been accompanied by every conceivable form of luxury – and we were feeling on top of the world. Skiing is, arguably, an upmarket activity in itself. Lift passes are pricey, flights are expensive during the winter season and budget accommodation is increasingly hard to find in the best resorts. Yes,

it’s possible to keep costs slightly less extortionate if you’re happy to make some major compromises, but for those prepared to splash out, it’s far more fun to enjoy the full five star experience. For our no-holds-barred winter holiday destination we had chosen Meribel, an impossibly quaint collection of three neighbouring villages in the Three Valleys ski area with a reputation for opulence that almost rivals that of nearby Courcheval. It attracts an A-list crowd, with the Middletons, Beckhams, actress Emma Watson and pop star Natalie Imbruglia all holidaying here. As well as a scattering of luxe hotels, the resort boasts plenty of high-class private chalets and its après ski scene is top-notch for those who like the idea of partying with the jet set. But it isn’t just the gilded trappings that make Meribel such a sought-after winter destination. The skiing is world beating with 150 kilometres of pistes on offer, as well as access to a total of over 600 kilometres of skiing in the Three Valleys’ area. For perennial beginners like Guy and I, who enjoy hitting the slopes every

winter but never quite manage to push our standard, it’s ideal. The majority of pistes are blue, with only around 25% red and a further 10% green or black, and there are some gentle green slopes at Altiport that lend themselves to family skiing. Experts won’t be disappointed though, thanks to runs like the red Combe Vallon piste from the top of the 2,952-metre Monte du Vallon gondola and the Olympic Face run offering an unrivalled adrenaline rush. We spent a glorious week exploring the local slopes and rounding each day off with a dip in the heated pool or a slap-up meal. Meribel has more than its fair share of excellent restaurants, including Michelin-starred L’Ekrin at Le Kaila (www.lekaila.com/fr/restaurant-et-bar) and famous names such as Le Plantin (www.leplantin.com) and Le Grand Couer (www.legrandcoeur.com). For those who like the idea of excellent skiing, gourmet eating, luxurious accommodation and privacy then it’s the perfect base for a winter trip. There are, however, some even more opulent options dotted around Europe and North America to consider…>

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Image courtesy Aspen Skiing Company

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essence travel



Meribel’s near neighbour and the most famously glitzy resort in France, Courchevel is divided into four separate villages. The one to head for, if all-out luxury is the aim, is Courchevel 1850: the largest, highest and most prestigious of the settlements, where seriously swanky hotels rub shoulder with sprawling chalets and expensive boutique shops. There are more plush hotels here than in any French city other than Paris. Sixteen have five star status, three with the top ‘Palace’ rating, and there are five restaurants with two Michelin stars apiece so palates will be spoiled for choice. Gondolas head up in three different directions from the village, giving access to the 600 kilometres of pistes offered by the Three Valleys’ ski area, and the slopes back down are almost all accessible to beginners. The après ski scene is unsurprisingly flashy and there are plenty of other activities to indulge in as well, including massages, beauty treatments and helicopter sightseeing tours.

It may originally have been founded as a miners’ camp, but Colorado’s classiest ski complex has come a long way since the Silver Boom era. Today it’s a haunt of Hollywood stars and regularly plays host to A-listers such as Bill Murray, Melanie Griffith, Antonio Banderas and Jack Nicholson. The resort actually spans four mountains: Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass. The latter two are more accessible for families and beginners, with Aspen Mountain and Aspen Highlands providing the trickiest skiing in the area. Stay in Aspen town to take advantage of a glittering array of five star hotels, classy restaurants, and notorious nightlife spots including the iconic J-Bar at the Jerome (https://hoteljerome.aubergeresorts.com). Snowmass caters more for families, but has a similarly upmarket air.

Whistler-Blackcomb Voted the best ski resort in North America for eight years in a row, Whistler oozes class without being overpoweringly posh. Whistler Village is a picture-perfect little ski town with a wealth of five star accommodation, including the Fairmont Chateau Whistler (www.fairmont.com/ whistler), the Four Seasons Resort (www.fourseasons.com/whistler) and Nita Lake Lodge (www.nitalakelodge.com). Luxury spas and sports centres cater for those who want to hone their figure away from the slopes, and the après ski scene is one of the liveliest and funkiest in Canada. The ski school and guiding services here are top-notch too, and the skiing is virtually unbeatable; think 8,171 acres of pistes, 200 runs and 12 alpine bowls, as well as three glaciers for late season skiing. More intrepid snow junkies will find this is the perfect place to try out heliskiing.


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Is this the most exclusive ski resort in the world? It certainly has a famous pedigree: celebrities and royals from around the globe have been spending their holidays in St Moritz since the mid-1800s. As well as the ace skiing (350 kilometres of pistes divided across four major and six more minor areas) it is also known as being the home of snow polo. This gentlemanly sport began in the resort thirty years ago and is now played internationally, but crowds of more than 12,000 still gather in St Moritz every year to watch teams compete for the immensely prestigious Cartier Trophy. It will come as no surprise that the après ski scene is achingly upmarket. Enjoy an after-dinner drink at the Kulm Hotel’s Altitude Bar (www.kulm.com/restaurantsbars/bars/altitude-bar.html) or join a table at Casino St Moritz (www.casinostmoritz.ch) for a chance of spotting famous faces such as Liz Hurley and Ivana Trump.

St Moritz isn’t the only Swiss ski resort with a reputation for unadulterated luxe. Zermatt packs an almost equally posh punch, with the most well to do visitors transferring from the airport by helicopter or limousine. The resort boasts some of the most luxurious accommodation in the Alps, including the Chalet Zermatt Peak (www.chaletzermattpeak.com/en), a private catered residence with its own walk-in wine cellar, three HD cinema areas and wellness centre. It also reputedly has the highest density of gourmet restaurants in the world, with the most renowned dining spots being Zum See (www.chalet-altesse-restaurant-zumsee.ch), Chez Vrony (www.chezvrony.ch) and Cervo Restaurant (www.cervo.ch).

Background image: Zermat by Michael Portmann

St Moritz

Cortina Italy’s most chic winter destination is the best-kept secret of the luxury scene: a favourite haunt of Ferrari-driving Italian aristocrats, but woefully overlooked by the rest of Europe. The skiing is high quality, with 36 lifts serving around 175 metres of pistes, but it’s the après scene that makes Cortina so special. Michelin-starred restaurants such as Tivoli (www.ristorantetivolicortina.it) and El Toula (www.toula.it) share the charming streets with endless upmarket boutiques, and after-hours the fashionable crowd flocks to a range of sophisticated nightclubs and cocktail bars. If young, flush and ready to party, it’s the perfect place to let the hair down. l


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Divine inspiration


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essence motoring


WAVE VUHL, remember the name: it’s a highly specialist vehicle manufacturer that’s about to emerge from the shadows with an inventory of renowned suppliers and development partners that reads like an international who’s who of the performance car industry. Euan Johns uncovers a jewel at the vanguard of a Mexican wave of sports cars coming to these shores. >

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well known Top Gear presenter (no, not that one) got into hot water a few years back when he suggested the Mexican Mastretta sports car might be as feckless as its countrymen. Another Mexican export, the VŪHL 05, is very impressive, and for a first time effort by the makers, offers some good handling with impressive performance. VŪHL (the name is pronounced ‘vool’ and stands for ‘Vehicles of Ultra-lightweight and High-performance) is the brainchild of brothers Iker and Guillermo Echeverria, whose Mexican/American design agency, Etxe, penned the breath-taking 05. The first production example of the lightweight supercar was delivered to an arch Mexican enthusiast, who remarked at the recent VIP handover: “My supercar collection was simply not complete without an 05 – this car is serious fun and offers a uniquely raw driving experience!” Resplendent in all-carbon bodywork, the 05 is the first of several VŪHLs destined for international roads this year. This street legal


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road/track car can be bought in the UK following the recent appointment of the marque’s first European dealer – Bespoke Performance of Ware. The VŪHL 05 first hit the headlines at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed, where it was campaigned in the annual hill climb by Mexican-born F1 ace Esteban Gutiérrez. It was launched at this year’s Festival and brought a breath of fresh air to the premium track-day sector. Says VŪHL technical director Iker Echeverria: “We’re obviously extremely happy to have entered full-scale production with our 05 model, and experienced the delight of our first customer. 2014 was a consolidation year for us, during which we concentrated on appointing dealers, obtaining a foothold in various countries and taking orders from around the world. We’re now ready to sell the car in earnest.” Confirms VŪHL managing director Guillermo Echeverria: “It is naturally very rewarding to have a bank of orders for Mexico and the Middle-East, but we fully

VŪHL 05 specification • Six-speed manual Ford gearbox • High-ratio rack and pinion steering • Suspension by unequal length double wishbones front and rear • Braking by four-pot alloy calipers allround, operating on 310mm ventilated, cross-drilled discs at the front and 280mm ones at the rear • Sparco alloy wheels shod with Michelin tyres: 205/45x17 (front); 245/40x18 (rear) Interesting features and upgrade options include: • carbon bucket seats with water-resistant Dinamica suede trim • exposed carbon bodywork panels • 330mm quick-release suede-covered steering wheel • electronic data acquisition dash • built-in HD camera • a wide range of colours in matt and gloss finish • titanium bolt pack

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recognise the importance of the UK market and have therefore worked especially hard to ready the car for sale in this territory. This has included creating a special all-inclusive launch price of £59,995.” Born of motorsport heritage and weighing in at just 695kg, the VŪHL is powered by a mid-mounted 285bhp version of Ford’s award-winning 2.0-litre, DOHC turbocharged EcoBoost engine. This endows it with a highly competitive power-to-weight ratio of 400bhp per ton – sufficient for a 0–60mph time of three and a half seconds and top speed of over 150mph. Designed and built in Mexico, the 05 nevertheless has a truly international specification and 40 per cent of its components are sourced from the UK. The high-tech chassis comprises a threesection bonded tub constructed from aluminium extrusions and honeycomb – aerospace technology that provides the 05 with a remarkably high level of torsional rigidity. Bolted direct to the passenger cell is a chrome-moly steel subframe housing the engine and rear suspension. A three-stage forward crash structure and double layer sidewalls provide a matchless level of protection for occupants. The standard body is made from GRP, but carbonfibre is an attractive option – it saves over 30kg in weight and the exposed parts can be configured to taste. The sophisticated aerodynamic features include a flat underbody, front and lateral splitters, rear diffuser and rear spoiler. At just shy of 60K, the VŪHL is more expensive than rivals Caterham and Ariel, but more than makes up in the exclusivity stakes. So, as a plaything for petrolheads, it’s right up there with the best.

essence info Website: www.vuhlautomotive.com and www.bespokeperformance.co.uk

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essence interview

Move over Imelda essence meets Julia Brown, CEO and co-founder of Upper Street, a luxury design-your-own shoe brand where customers can create personal bespoke footwear. She herself possesses a collection of over 150 pairs that would surely even turn Imelda Marcos’s head! essence recently caught up with Julia to ask about her career, inspiration and success.

What was your ‘lightbulb’ moment when starting Upper Street? Three years ago I placed my house on the line for the perfect pair of shoes, but it was my sister and co-founder, Katy Chandler, who was the real inspiration. She always struggled to find shoes she loved in the correct size. When Katy married she had a pair custom-made, and on seeing the results I wanted my own shoe ideas to come to life. My vision was to make it possible for women worldwide to design their own perfect shoes and have them delivered to the door. An online business felt like the obvious way to achieve that.


Tell us about what the company offers Upper Street is a luxury shoe label with a difference. With over five million different combinations to choose from, shoe lovers can use the 3D online tool to create shoes. There’s a huge choice of different materials, styles, colours and heels. We’ve tried hundreds of options to make sure shoes not only look amazing, but importantly are comfortable to wear as well.


Does Upper Street offer different widths and cater for ladies with smaller or larger than average sized feet? Absolutely, we’re proud to be able to offer all our shoes and boots in sizes 3344 and in four different width fittings. The style and finish of the ranges has won us a loyal fan base with 91% of customers saying they would recommend us to a friend.


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Do you have any celebrity clients and fans? Yes we have! The brand has a host of celebrity followers including actress Helena Bonham Carter, super model Erin O’Connor, presenter Tess Daly, Britain’s current ‘first lady’ Samantha Cameron and pop star Mollie King from The Saturdays.


Do you think the fashion of ‘customisation is a fad or a market with momentum? I believe we live in an on-demand culture where we expect everything to be fully tailored to our needs. It’s hard to think of a retail category where there isn’t some kind of customisation. It’s no longer niche, it’s become mainstream, and the fashion industry is no exception. Wearing fashion designed by yourself is the ultimate expression of individuality.


How would you define the success factor when customising fashion? Upper Street continues to lead the revolution in the way women shop for shoes. With technology being an enabler I can only see customisation becoming even more prevalent in the future.


Upper Street is online but do you have any shops for ‘physical’ appointments? Our online design facility is easy to use and the fun part of the process. We do offer personal appointments at our Shoe Lounge in Fitzrovia. A complimentary glass


of fizz is offered whilst trying on samples and looking at material swatches. This service is by appointment only and available for one-to-one consultations or private shoe parties. Do you offer gift vouchers for anyone stuck for inspiration? Due to demand, we’ve created a new range of gift packages which include a complimentary VIP design appointment in Fitzrovia, with prices starting at £275.


Does Upper Street deliver its shoes nationwide? Shoes take three to four weeks to be made and delivered, with priority orders taking only two to three weeks. Shipping is nationwide and we also offer international shipping.


Do you accept returns on shoe purchases? We do, if for whatever reason the client doesn’t like the shoes, they can be exchanged for an alternative size or returned if not completely satisfied.


essence info Upper Street - to book an appointment at Upper Street, telephone 020 7148 7070. Email: iloveshoes@upperstreet.com Website: www.upperstreet.com

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Julia Brown, CEO and co-founder of Upper Street

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Elverton semi-plain three piece suit ÂŁ895

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essence fashion

gentleman’s A modern

WORLD Chester Barrie is a quintessentially British brand. Based in London’s Savile Row, it was founded in 1935 and offers affordable luxury to the sartorially minded. Bringing the style of Savile Row, and the cut of the best British tailors using cloths from Europe’s finest mills, to men who understand good dressing.


he Autumn/Winter 15 collection from Chester Barrie introduces a level of style and sophistication that emphasises its Savile Row heritage. The colour palette of earth tones, russets and teal as well as classic navy and grey takes the brand beyond the usual confines of English tailoring and into a world of cosmopolitan elegance. Chester Barrie has taken established forms and added colour and life to them, making them relevant to the modern gentleman. l >

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essence fashion

Elverton 4ply worsted two piece suit £995, waistcoat (sold separately) £225

Albermarle milled semi-plain suit £595

Double breasted shetland greatcoat £1,250

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essence info Uxbridge melange flannel jacket ÂŁ645

Chester Barrie Website: www.chesterbarrie.co.uk

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© quavondo | iStockphoto.com

essence health

Treat your skin to some

cold weather care Winter weather can wreak havoc on skin, so treatment begins where it is most important – at home, says aesthetician Naomi Diamond of Epsom Skin Clinics.

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

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e all know there is nothing nicer than a hot shower, bath or filling the sink with heated water before cleansing the face. However, this is one of the quickest ways to dry skin, especially at this time of year. My recommendation is to turn the heat down a notch: remember, warm water is just as good and it’s better for the skin. Another tip is to add a few drops of coconut oil to bath water to protect and calm skin, but remember to clean the tub! Exfoliating one or two times a week will help slough off dry and dead skin cells leaving a more even complexion; it will also allow moisturiser applied after exfoliation to target healthy cells and be absorbed. For those who may find this treatment too harsh, switch to a resurfacer such as glycolic acid which will digest dead cells without being abrasive on the skin. During spring and summer I mentioned changing skincare routines to something lighter for warmer months. Now it is time to moisturise up! Using a thicker moisturiser and upping the application to twice daily will offer skin more comfort and eliminate that tight sensation associated with dryness. The Obagi Hydrate Luxe complements the skin’s natural regeneration, whilst leaving it silky smooth as the name suggests: a luxurious, rich cream perfect for this time of year. Don’t forget, all moisturisers are suitable to use on lips to prevent them appearing chapped. Jane Iredale is a fantastic make up brand that specialises in mineral make up. It has a product called sugar and butter which exfoliates the lip area to rid it of pesky flakes and a plumping butter to rejuvenate and restore. Epsom Skin Clinics are now offering an incredible advanced facial treatment combining gentle micro needling to open channels in the skin, and Endocare Ampoules which contain a bio repair technology to deeply rejuvenate whilst adding radiance, plumping fine lines and

wrinkles and improving skin elasticity. This is a step up from regular facial treatments with very little down time. It will help to stimulate natural elastin production as well as improving cell renewal. To enhance results, purchase the 30 day Endocare ampoules to use after which will further transform skin and keep it looking youthful. Colder seasons offer the perfect time of year to recommence treatments halted during the summer. This means restarting laser hair removal, pigmentation treatments and those that encourage cell turnover. Unwanted pigmentation can make the skin appear uneven, especially after sun exposure. Various methods can be employed to treat it including laser as this targets pigmented lesions to encourage them to disperse and break up without damaging any of the surrounding tissue. The other option is a skin peel specific to pigment (such as Jessners) or homecare products which help to even complexion. Correcting pigment can take time, so be patient and keep in contact with a therapist to achieve best results. Last month I spoke about the detrimental effects of using alkaline soap when skin’s natural pH is around 4. Aestheticare have released a new glycolic peel that is available in three different strengths: 30%, 50% and 70%, with a pH of 2. As a result it breaks through the skin’s natural acid mantle to offer a more effective peel. The treatment is also combined with Taurine which minimalises redness and irritation and revives the natural moisturising process, rehydrating skin and increasing the thickness of collagen and elastin offering a firming effect. It can be used as a maintenance treatment or to treat specific concerns such as acne and pigmentation; it helps to close pores, dry up spots and reduces melanin activity, lightening pigmentation. Skin requires preparation first with a glycolic homecare product to reduce irritation and maximise benefits. l

© quavondo | iStockphoto.com

essence baking

Guinness (or not) cupcakes with Baileys’ frosting The title of this recipe means Guinness is not compulsory – any other good variety of stout can be used. Deliciously decadent chocolate sponge with a tang of alcohol is given a tipsy topping with a creamy frosting brimming with Baileys. Definitely one for the adults. Sláinte!

Ingredients (makes around 24 cupcakes) 250ml Guinness or stout 250g unsalted butter 75g cocoa powder 400g golden caster sugar 142ml sour cream Two large eggs One tablespoon vanilla extract 275g plain flour Two and a half teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

Frosting 500g icing sugar 110g unsalted butter Two tablespoons Baileys One tablespoon milk


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

l Preheat oven to gas mark 4/180°C/350°F and fill two 12 hole tins with cupcake cases. l Pour the Guinness (or stout) into a large wide saucepan, add the butter and heat until the butter melts, then whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla and pour into the pan. Finally whisk in the flour and bicarbonate of soda. l Pour the cake batter into the cases and bake for around 20-25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for five minutes then transfer to a wire rack. l For the frosting, beat the butter and icing sugar with a tablespoon of the Baileys until smooth. Gradually add the rest of the Baileys and the milk until there is a spreadable consistency. l When the cupcakes are cool, pipe a swirl of the frosting on top of each cake, sieve a touch of cocoa over the top of each and finish off with a chocolate coffee bean.

Top tip: For a whole slicing cake, grease and line a nine inch/23 centimetre tin and bake for between 45–50 minutes, topping with a layer of the Baileys’ frosting when cool.

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Food_4pp_Layout 1 02/11/2015 20:51 Page 1

essence food

At their best...


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

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


Leeks The flavour of this tall green vegetable certainly gives it away as one of the Allium genus along with onion and garlic. However, rather than forming a bulb, this milder tasting plant forms a long cylinder of leaves which proves a versatile addition to many dishes or even on its own. Leeks are delicious sautÊed, a great addition to any soup, stock or stew, work as the main event with a simple cheese sauce or even raw in salads. Leeks go right back to ancient Egypt and the Romans with Nero consuming many as he believed they improved his voice. In more recent times, and closer to home, Wales adopted this humble green vegetable as a national emblem. Legends differ as to the reason behind this, such as Saint David only eating leeks when fasting. The most appealing story has to be King Cadwaladr making his soldiers wear leeks on their helmets during a battle in a leek field against the Saxons. Image Š Alexander Pladdet | Dreamstime.com

Cox apples There are thousands of varieties of apples grown throughout the world and even English orchards are now producing hundreds of modern types including Gala, Charles Ross and Jupiter. They are all playing their part in knocking the good old Cox off the top spot as the most popular apple, but most are actually descendants of the Cox. They have all taken the best bits from the Cox which is sweet, juicy and full of flavour. Retired brewer and horticulturist Richard Cox first grew this small eating apple in 1825 at Colnbrook, Buckinghamshire, but it was not widely available until the 1860s. The Cox grew in popularity to become the most loved English apple, probably of all time, and although it may not be sweeping the popularity board now, most greengrocers will tell you this humble little fruit still holds dear with many and remains in high demand. Image Š Arenaphotouk | Dreamstime.com

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Rabbit Once a staple food for our country, especially during the Second World War, but has jumped off the demand table very rapidly in subsequent decades. This may have been due to the war itself and the association to food shortages, or even the use of Myxomatosis to control the rabbit population in the 1950s. Many people claim to not like the taste or just the ‘thought’ of eating rabbit turns them off, yet it is still enjoyed throughout much of southern Europe with Malta and Crete consuming the most per head. Rabbit is incredibly lean, especially wild rabbit, and many of today’s chefs are championing the meat once again. Farmed rabbit certainly yields more tender meat, but farming methods, especially those from imported rabbits, may not appeal to many consumers. Wild rabbit is far tastier, but avoid animals larger than one kilo unless you are cooking in a slow stew. Bones can be an issue, but the meat should just fall off the bone if kept moist during cooking by marinading or covering with bacon or pancetta. Image © Ruslan Nassyrov | Dreamstime.com

Stouts and Porters Very dark beers are often dismissed as too strong in taste or even containing far too many calories which could not be further from the truth. Most stouts have a wonderful malty flavour, very different to the big hoppy flavour of bitters, and actually contain less calories than many lagers. There is even scientific evidence that the old wives’ saying of stout ‘being good for you’ has a large degree of truth in it as dark malt beers do contain a high amount of iron and even antioxidants formed during the roasting process of the malt. Porters were first brewed in London in the eighteenth century from brown malt. They were strong and believed to have got their name from the river porters who enjoyed them. The term ‘stout porter’ was used to describe the strongest of porters. Many of today’s new brewers are bringing back these rich dark beers that deserve to be tasted again. Firebird’s Black Eyed Porter is a Baltic offering bringing together the best of English porter with Russian Imperial stout, whilst High Weald Brewery’s Charcoal Burner is a traditional English oatmeal stout. Image © Julián Rovagnati | Dreamstime.com


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essence food

Slow Cawl Cennin (Leek Soup) www.crateslocal.co.uk Serves four Ingredients: Four large leeks Three medium sized potatoes Two tablespoons oil, rapeseed or olive 250ml single cream 500ml vegetable stock One clove garlic Salt and pepper to taste Seasoning to include salt and pepper Crispy bacon, croutons, chives as required to garnish Method: • Slice the leeks, peel and dice the potatoes and finely chop the garlic. • Heat the oil in a large flat pan, add the leeks and potatoes with the garlic and cook for just a few minutes: long enough to brown. • Transfer the mix to a slow cooker or, if not available, use a large casserole dish to go on the stove or in the oven. Add all of the stock and seasoning. • Cover and cook on the low setting of the slow cooker for four to five hours, on a very low heat on the stove or in the oven at 140º for around three hours. • Once cooked through very slowly, purée (or blend) the soup to a lovely smooth consistency, add the cream and garnish as required.

Braised honey and mustard rabbit www.crateslocal.co.uk Serves two Ingredients: One whole skinned wild rabbit or at least four rabbit thighs 75g butter Five tablespoons white wine vinegar Three tablespoons Dijon mustard Two tablespoons raw or runny honey 500ml chicken stock 200ml double cream Four cloves garlic Two teaspoons paprika One tablespoon oregano Sprig fresh rosemary or one teaspoon dried Two bay leaves Method: • Pre-heat oven to 200ºC/gas mark 6. • If using a whole rabbit, chop into more manageable pieces by taking off the legs and breaking through the backbone to divide. This is quite easy, but if buying from a butcher, ask them to do this for you. • Season the meat with salt and pepper to taste and brown in melted butter in a large stove-proof casserole dish (Dutch oven or heavy pan) over a medium heat, turning to cover all sides. Put the browned meat to one side. • Add the vinegar to the same pan and bring to the boil. Once reduced by at least half, add in all the other ingredients and bring to the boil once again. • Return the browned meat to the saucepan with the liquid, bring to the boil, cover and move to the oven (or transfer to a warmed casserole dish). • Allow to cook for at least 90 minutes until the meat falls off the bone. Serve with potatoes, vegetables or even rice.

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Apple Porter cake www.crateslocal.co.uk Serves four to six Ingredients: Five small eating apples such as Cox 175g butter 200ml beer, Porter or Stout 175g light muscovado sugar One orange One teaspoon bicarbonate soda 300g plain flour Three eggs Two teaspoons mixed spice Method: • Pre-heat oven to 150ºC/gas mark 2. Butter and line a 20cm round cake tin. • Core and chop the apples into one centimetre cubes and pat dry with kitchen paper. Zest and extract juice from the orange. • Put the butter in a large pan with the orange (zest and juice), sugar and beer and bring to the boil stirring all the time. Once the butter has melted, simmer for 15 minutes. • Allow the mixture to cool for at least 10 minutes and stir in the bicarbonate of soda which will cause the mix to foam. • Beat the eggs and stir in, sift in the flour, add the spice and mix well. Fold in the diced apples and pour into the prepared cake tin • Bake for up to 90 minutes until brown and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes in the tin before turning out and serving (or storing).

Stout and espresso martini www.crateslocal.co.uk Makes two glasses Ingredients: 100ml stout 50ml rum 25ml vodka 25ml crème de cacao 25ml espresso coffee Handful crushed ice Coffee beans to finish Method: • Allow the espresso coffee to cool fully and chill a jug or large cocktail shaker. • Pour in the rum with the ice and add the cold coffee, vodka, crème de cacao and, finally, the stout. • Stir this well until the jug starts to feel cool, strain into two martini glasses and serve with a few coffee beans floating on the froth.

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

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essence artisan food



Shirlee Posner of Eat Surrey discovers more about beekeeper Debbie Burton and her bee products.


have been meaning to write about locally produced Surrey honey for a while. I only buy mine from various beekeepers I meet on my rounds of farm shops and farmers’ markets. They all taste different and it’s fascinating to know that the source of these unique flavours were wildflowers, chestnuts, heather or even oil seed rape. Luckily for me, a recent visit to Milford Farmers’ Market gave me the inspiration I needed for this article, thanks to beekeeper Debbie Burton. Her stall was stocked not only with honey, but also associated products such as beeswax candles, honeycomb and beeswax polish. Debbie lived in Romania for a few years where her first husband was teaching young men how to become farriers. Years of fighting and fatalities during the Ceausescu regime left many communities without tradesmen to pass on traditional skills to the next generation. Picking up the language easily, Debbie and young son Tex were fascinated by their neighbour’s garden beehives, particularly when the colonies started swarming. Beekeeping in Romania is practiced commonly and most gardens at that time, Debbie recalls, had at least one hive. Finding beekeeping really interesting, Debbie and her son learnt as much as they could and when they returned to the UK in 2006 they started to keep their own. They gradually built their colonies and now have hives in Surrey, Hampshire and East Sussex. In fact Tex is one of the youngest stewards in the UK to judge honey at events. Honey is categorised from where nectar has been harvested and has many classes and categories. Crystalline, runny or set, the resulting style is dependent on from which plant the bees collected the nectar. I noticed that Debbie has different types of honey for sale and asked how she could know if they were wildflower, heather or borage. It turns out that if you want different types of honey in your portfolio you take the

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bees on a gourmet vacation! Each season this enterprising beekeeper loads up 20 hives at a time onto a trailer and takes them to an area of woodland where there is a concentration of blossom or flowers. Debbie has permits to leave her hives in certain locations at certain times of the year. This practice is called migratory beekeeping and is a practice a lot of smaller keepers are able to manage. Because bees will only travel as far as they have to in order to collect nectar and pollen for the hive, if a large source is close by then collection is guaranteed. The colour and texture of the honey harvested will later confirm this. What it is difficult to do is to claim honey to be organic as bees are free flying agents and may not stick solely to one area of collection. There are three seasons each year for harvesting honey and a different style of honey can be collected each time. Borage honey is known for its light colour and runniness. Heather honey is darker, thicker and much harder to extract from the comb. Whereas borage can be extracted easily by centrifugal activity, heather honey has to be extracted by breaking the comb and then separating the wax from the honey. The wax can then be used for candles and polish. Sustainability is also high on the agenda for Debbie’s honey. I had heard that sugar syrup is given to bees which she agreed does happen in commercial production. For those who produce honey naturally, the key is to make sure of a healthy, large colony of hard working bees. If the hive is working well, the bees naturally produce excess honey which can be harvested without harming colony survival. This honey will be of a superior quality, texture and flavour. Experienced beekeepers know how much honey to leave for the colony, particularly over winter when activity in the hive is low. In commercial farming the majority of the honey is taken and the hives fed with sugar syrup. Evidence has shown that this is detrimental to bee health and leaves them more susceptible to disease.

Declining bee populations have been well documented over the last few years with the neonicotinoid pesticides identified as a possible cause in addition to disease. I asked Debbie her view as an experienced beekeeper who currently has many healthy honey producing hives. It’s this: farmers struggle to produce the yields required without the use of some pesticides from time to time or risk losing entire crops. With this in mind, Debbie feels it is better to continue with neonicotinoids which are now better understood because the replacement may be far worse. Of course, there are plenty of different views on this contentious matter and this is just one. If you like supporting local food producers, buying local honey is a brilliant way to do this. Buying from a market trader like Debbie means direct contact with the producer and for me it’s just a brilliant way to go shopping. The money goes straight into her pocket, and as she says making money out of honey production on a small scale is really tough. Last year, Debbie had high yields, but because of the unusual weather this summer, yields are a third of what they were. Commercial honey sold in supermarkets is no match for an artisan-produced product which is well worth the extra couple of pounds. My jar of heather honey has pride of place on my shelf.

essence info Find Debbie at all the Surrey Farmers’ Markets which are listed on the website. Websites: www.surreyfarmersmarkets.org and www.eatsurrey.co

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Honey and spice granola PROVIDER OF


always have a big glass jar of this granola in my kitchen. Made with honey seeds and oats, it’s perfect for breakfast. At Christmas I like to add cranberries instead of sultanas or apricots and mixed spice instead of cinnamon. But this is one of those recipes that provided the measurements for honey, oil and dry ingredients are followed, then play around with the rest. Pecans, apricots, cherries and walnuts are just some of the ingredients I swap around. The white chocolate stars just add a bit more Christmas sparkle! Pack it up in bags for friends – I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a bag of crunchy honey-sweetened goodness. Ingredients 600g rolled oats 50g raw pumpkin seeds 50g sunflower seeds 50g milled flaxseed 50g flaked almonds One 15ml spoon ground mixed spice 240ml clear honey 210ml sunflower oil 50g dried cranberries 50g crimson raisins 50g mini white chocolate stars (optional) Method 1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC. Place the first five ingredients in a large mixing bowl and combine. 2. Place the honey and oil in a plastic jug in the microwave and heat for 20-30 seconds or until runny (do not allow to boil). 3. Add the honey and oil to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. 4. Line two baking sheets with non-stick paper and divide the granola between them. 5. Bake for 25-30 minutes stirring occasionally or until the oats are golden brown.


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

Tips and tricks • Allow the granola to cool completely before storing for up to six weeks in an airtight jar. • Use cinnamon instead of mixed spice. • Stir the granola whilst it’s cooling otherwise it will set into a solid mass. • Once the granola has cooled, add dried fruit of choice such as apricots, raisins, cranberries or sultanas. • Never add fruit before baking as it will harden and burn in the oven. • Only add chocolate to the granola when it is completely cooled. • Try using different nuts, spices and fruit. I buy a lot of my Christmas wrapping in Tiger (branch in the Friary Centre in Guildford and Peacock Shopping Centre in Woking). Shirlee Posner

Member of the Guild of Food Writers

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essence legal

No-fault divorces at last? Eleanora Newbery, Senior Associate at Mundays, looks at the prospect of a long awaited change in the divorce law.

Eleanora Newbery is a Senior Associate at Mundays and can advise on the best route to reach agreement on decisions that need to be made during the breakdown of a marriage or cohabiting relationship. She works on a wide variety of financial cases from mid asset proceedings to highly complex cases involving trust and business assets. Eleanora also undertakes children cases and can assist clients in resolving disputes about where children will live and who they spend time with in a pragmatic and sensible way. She has particular interest and experience in Child Maintenance Service cases. Eleanora Newbery can be contacted on 01932 590589 or at eleanora.newbery@mundays.co.uk.

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o-fault’ divorce in England and Wales is long overdue. On 4 December 2015 a Private Member’s Bill by Richard Bacon MP for ‘No-Fault Divorce’ will have its second reading in the House of Commons. Mundays, like many specialist family law practitioners, believe strongly that it is high time the current divorce system was reformed and is fully supportive of the Bill.

What is the problem with the current system of ‘fault-based’ divorce? To highlight the problems, we will consider the case of Mary and Paul. Mary visits us as she and Paul have simply ‘drifted apart’ and do not love each other anymore. Mary says that she and Paul are more like brother and sister than husband and wife. They get on well, but do not have any shared interests or friends and they both feel they would prefer to separate. If Mary wants to obtain a divorce, she will have to prove to the Court that the marriage has ‘irretrievably broken down’. This has to be based on one of five facts, being either: l Paul’s adultery and Mary finding it intolerable to live with Paul; l Paul’s behaviour being such that Mary cannot reasonably be expected to live with him; l Paul having deserted Mary for a period of at least two years;

l Paul

and Mary having lived separately for two years and Paul’s consent to divorce; or l Paul and Mary having lived separately for five years. Mary and Paul are still living together, and Paul has not committed adultery, so the only options for Mary are: l Wait two years and separate by consent or l Petition Paul for divorce now on the fact of his ‘unreasonable behaviour.’ Neither of these are particularly attractive options. If Mary decides to wait two years then it may well be three years until she and Paul are actually divorced. This makes it hard for them to move on with their lives and means they are ‘putting off’ the problem for two years. Further, in the meantime, they may buy other properties, receive inheritance or bonuses, or incur debt. There is then much more scope for argument as to what the ‘matrimonial pot’ is to divide between the parties. Therefore Mary’s only option if she wants to deal with the divorce now is to divorce on the fact of Paul’s ‘unreasonable behaviour’. The examples do not have to be too severe but it will be hard for Paul to read these statements about him at his worst. The Petition will also in effect state that Paul caused the breakdown of the marriage, which in this case would be both unfair and untrue. The reality for most marriage breakdowns is that both parties are partly to blame.

© Macgyverhh | Dreamstime.com

Fraud doesn't pay By Graham Coy, Partner and Head of the Family Department at Mundays

Headlines were made in October when the Supreme Court set aside the financial agreements which were reached when Mrs Sharland and Mrs Gohil‘s husbands misled the Divorce Court about their true financial position. Lady Hale delivering the main judgment said the concept that “fraud unravels all” applies to family cases as well as commercial cases and divorcing parties should be subject to exactly the same standards. The cases will now be reopened and reconsidered. This was a victory for common sense and a defeat for dishonesty – it just goes to show that if you don’t put all your cards on the table when divorcing, it might come back to bite you further down the line. The decision could open the floodgates for more people to try and renegotiate historic divorce settlements. However, whether the money is still there and readily available for Mrs Sharland and Mrs Gohil is another matter entirely – they could still have a significant struggle on their hands to recoup assets which they are entitled.

For more information, please contact Graham Coy. We have witnessed cases in which couples have between them spent thousands of pounds arguing over which fact should be used, or about the wording of the examples given. It is all ultimately a waste of money and causes acrimony when actually both parties generally just want to be divorced.

The need for change In April 2014 Sir James Munby, the most senior family judge in England and Wales

called for an end to ‘fault-based’ divorce. His view was that ‘no-fault’ divorce would bring some ‘intellectual honesty’ to the process. At the moment a District Judge has to read the particulars and check that the examples show the marriage has irretrievably broken down for the reasons given. This process seems incongruous with the government’s drive to reduce the workload of the Courts to save costs and time. Critics have argued that ‘no-fault’ divorce might be open to abuse and divorce may

The reality for most marriage breakdowns is that both parties are partly to blame. increase, but that has not been the case with other countries which have ‘no-fault’ divorce systems. Our experience is also that couples do not get divorced lightly. The reality is (as it is at the moment) that if one party does not want to continue with the marriage, then it cannot continue. It takes two people to make a marriage work. The new Bill provides for divorce by separate declarations by each party that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, which would be an additional ‘fact’ on which to rely and would be perfect for people in Mary and Paul’s situation. A change would bring us into line with many other jurisdictions around the world and allow separating couples to concentrate on their children and on finalising financial arrangements. Our view is that it is high time such a fact was introduced, and we wish the Bill every success. l

essenceinfo Mundays LLP Cedar House, 78 Portsmouth Road, Cobham KT11 1AN Telephone: 01932 590500

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essence finance

Is the global economic recovery

about to fizzle out? Simon Lewis considers what is currently keeping investors awake at night.


well executed firework display is a captivating thing. It requires careful coordination of effects, must offer a few surprises along the way to maintain interest and must endure for longer than expected before building to a rousing crescendo that leaves a feeling of satisfaction, awe and elation. This time last year, the above sounded very much like the script for the recovery from the financial crisis. Carefully coordinated action by central banks dazzled with the help of soaring quantitative easing programmes and plunging interest rates and was instrumental in averting an immediate downward spiral. There were plenty of surprises along the way but central bankers remained calm and reacted decisively, and often words rather than action were sufficient to reassure. In fact, this display had got off to such a good start that it looked increasingly certain that the impetus generated by such accommodative monetary policy would enable the global economy to enjoy a sufficient growth spurt to dilute the deadly levels of debt. The story

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went on for longer than anticipated and faith remained that it would all end well. However, the mood has changed and fears are rising that the story will end with a whimper rather than a bang. There is now much less room for manoeuvre as the evidence is pretty clear that quantitative easing, after its initial beneficial impact, is no longer able to provide enough bangs for a freshly printed buck. The problems started earlier this year when co-ordination descended into discord. Greece started by throwing rockets around (Rouketopolemos, which literally means ‘Rocket-War’, is a Greek religious festival that takes place on Easter Sunday). Mrs Merkel and her allies responded with a resounding salvo. The sparks stopped flying but the acrimony and discord left investors feeling jaded rather than elated. The problems continued with the last minute disappointment of the Chinese firecrackers. China’s massive fiscal stimulus in 2008 encouraged a boom in commodity prices that drove higher levels of economic growth in the emerging world which enjoyed rising sovereign and consumer prosperity, spurred on by local currency

appreciation. This provided a ready market for ailing western economies. It seemed like the show would never end but the incessant cracking and popping became more hesitant and investors began to fret about a premature ending. The commodity boom was thus transformed into a commodity bust, with the result that the new found wealth of many emerging economies is going up in smoke. It is with some irony that the ‘mine’, a firework that is a popular choice for displays, is defined as follows: “The effect of the mine firework is shortlived but usually very spectacular: a sudden eruption or burst from the mine at ground level, shooting high into the air before ending abruptly.” The Chinese firecracker team feels a little hard done by. They would argue that the display relied too heavily on them and that other contingents should raise their game, particularly the Eurozone, who once again were late to light their fuses after yet another long lunch. To make matters worse, at a crucial stage of the beginning of the end, the Fed appeared to fumble. The US Federal

“Fears are rising that the story will end with a whimper rather than a bang.” Simon Lewis

Reserve had performed so well, at outset with a vigorous response to the crisis and thereafter with a carefully tapered exit from quantitative easing. The final task was to give lift off to interest rates, yet provide reassurance that a low arc rather than a high orbit would be the trajectory achieved. However, recent dithering has removed some of the sparkle. Although the sparkler is a delightful firework, it is often forgotten that for a few seconds after, what is left is a piece of almost red-hot wire. The Fed should be careful. There is a good chance that it will all end well but central banks will need to improve coordination and not be tempted to play the ‘competitive devaluation’ game. In the meantime, many investors have lost a little faith and this has tested financial markets since the summer months. Sentiment is generally negative and markets are susceptible to over reaction until it improves. It might be some time before the sentiment pendulum swings in a positive direction. Winter is fast approaching and it is always a good idea to wrap up warm if you don’t want to catch cold. If you need some help choosing a winter coat for your investments, come and talk to us. l

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

www.essence-magazine.co.uk 45

essence education

Overcoming the

language barrier Š Dmitry Rukhlenko (books) and Cybrain (keyboard), both Dreamstime.com

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


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.

46 www.essence-magazine.co.uk

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! l

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

www.essence-magazine.co.uk 47

essence leisure breaks

Main image: Dublin Castle

Soak up the music and Irish hospitality at The Temple Bar

48 www.essence-magazine.co.uk


nce a Viking settlement, Dublin became Ireland’s major city after the Norman invasion. Prior to the Act of Union in 1800 Dublin was the British Empire’s second major city and in 1922, following the division of Ireland, Dublin emerged as the capital. Its history is all in The National Museum of Ireland on Kildare Street which has a wonderful collection of Viking swords, dating back to 800 AD. Exhibits include finds from Irish settlements of the ninth and tenth centuries, which provide an insight into the harsh realities of Irish rural life. The fascinating exhibition ‘Medieval Ireland from 1150 to 1550’ documents life in Ireland in the age of cathedrals, monasteries and castles and the Treasury exhibition presents remarkable examples of Celtic and Medieval art, including the Ardagh Chalice, made up of two hundred and fifty components and the notable Tara Brooch. Both pieces date back to the eighth century AD and reflect the extraordinary talents of early medieval Irish metalworkers. Today, Dublin attracts visitors keen to experience the warmth of Irish hospitality. Temple Bar is a cosmopolitan area offering an extensive choice of galleries, restaurants, cafés, bars and shops.

capital of the ‘emerald isle’ Located at the mouth of the River Liffey, which flows into the Irish Sea and Dublin Bay, Dublin is an enchanting city where locals charm visitors with their infectious sense of humour and zest for life. Rebecca Underwood was instantly captivated.

A leisurely stroll along the pedestrianised cobble-stoned streets is a real treat and a tipple or two in any one of the many pubs will quench the most persistent thirst. There is no shortage of charismatic characters, and whilst sipping on an Irish coffee we were serenaded with a rendition of ‘I’ll take you home again Kathleen’ and another local risked breaking a limb with his idea of “what real Irish dancing should be and not what that young whippersnapper Flatley has exported!” For culture vultures and history buffs, a trip to Dublin Castle will not disappoint. In fact, the city of Dublin gets its name from the Black Pool – ‘Dubh Linn’ – which was once part of the castle’s garden. Dublin Castle stands on the ridge of a strategic site at the junction of the River Liffey and its tributary the Poddle, where, it is said, the original fortification may have been an early Gaelic Ring Fort. Part of a Viking fortress which once stood on the site remains and is on view to visitors at the ‘Undercroft’. The ‘south range’ houses the elegant state apartments that were the residential quarters of the Viceregal Court. Today they are used as a venue for Ireland’s presidencies of the European community, presidential inaugurations and state functions.

To learn about Ireland’s favourite stout, visit the Guinness Store House, Dublin’s most popular attraction, with over a million visitors every year. The ‘black stuff’ dates back to 1759, when Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease for an annual rent of £45 for the disused brewery at St James’s Gate. The world renowned Irish stout is made of water, barley, hops and yeast and visitors are welcome to ‘pull the perfect pint’ following precise instructions from a Guinness representative. The glass must be held at a 45 degree angle and the pourer must wait for an exact period of 119.5 seconds before topping off the froth. Be sure to visit the Gravity Bar and perhaps partake in a refill whilst admiring the panoramic view of the city in between sips. Clear the head with a brisk walk along O’Connell Street, named after the nineteenth century nationalist Daniel O’Connell, leader of the movement for Catholic emancipation. This will lead to the O’Connell Bridge spanning the River Liffey and the promenade known as Batchelor’s Walk. From here embark on a 45 minute cruise on board the Dublin Discovered boat and from calm waters admire scenes such as the charming Ha’penny Bridge, built in 1816, and known as the Ha’penny due to the half-penny fee once payable for crossing it. >

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Images, excluding hotels, provided courtesy of Fáilte Ireland

Delightful Dublin,

essence leisure breaks

Take a boat ride and enjoy views of the Ha’penny Bridge

Stop off for a coffee break at the Sweetest Thing, also on Bachelor’s Walk, and only a short hop and skip from the Ha’penny Bridge. Visitors are sure to be tempted by the elaborate display of fancy cup cakes and there’s an opportunity to people watch the multitudes crossing the bridge. Dublin Zoo, opened in 1831, is one of the city’s most popular attractions. A registered charity, focused on raising awareness of threatened species, it generates funds for conservation. Located in Phoenix Park, the zoo is home to over 400 animals including a pride of Asian lions, Asian elephants, giraffe, rhino, gorillas, chimpanzees and orang-utans. Daily feeding times are popular as is the zoo’s famous Meerkat Restaurant. Diners may become the centre of attention of inquisitive meerkats as they peer through a large glass. There are of course a lot of hotels in Dublin, but for those seeking the highest standards of comfort and service, the luxurious Merrion Hotel, birthplace of the first Duke of Wellington, is ideal. The property, which consists of four inter connected Georgian town houses, is located in the city centre on Upper Merrion Street.

: k in top tiinpgus offers a stwabiflet csheeacts and

ts Aer L mfor e. Fligh ure, co w proced board servic on Heathro n nd good o aily from Lo or more d .F depart ick to Dublin ngus.com. w rli t e a a G it r is o ion, v t a m r info

Enjoy afternoon tea at The Westbury Hotel

50 www.essence-magazine.co.uk

Shop and eat at the Powerscourt Centre

A stylishly furnished superior garden wing room offers a view of the landscaped eighteenth century style gardens and features ultra comfortable beds swathed in crisp Egyptian linens. This elegant and grand property reflects Dublin’s Georgian heritage perfectly and offers a relaxing retreat. Guests are welcome in the beautiful drawing rooms adorned with Belgian tapestries, sparkling chandeliers and priceless works of Irish art. There’s an indoor infinity swimming pool, steam room and spa, and for an outstanding dining experience, visit the hotel’s Cellar Restaurant, housed in the original eighteenth century wine vaults, which offers modern Irish cuisine. A little further afield, Hugo’s restaurant is a short stroll away on Merrion Row. The service is first class and the menu is inspired. Consider sampling the slow braised South Glenn beef, served with white onion, herb mash and a Guinness purée. For dedicated shoppers, browse along bustling Grafton Street and then head for the nearby Powerscourt Centre on South William Street which features over 40 shops and restaurants. The charming antique shops, crammed with glittering trinkets will demand attention and there is a selection of art and craft shops, including the Dolls Store

Hospital and Museum, housed in a ballroom, where a charming collection of Irish dolls, miniature Irish musical instruments and teddy bears galore are displayed. For those not wishing to carry bags too far and in need of some pampering, the Westbury Hotel, located on Grafton Street, is just the ticket. This luxurious, independent boutique hotel and member of the Leading Hotels of the World group provides outstanding standards of comfort and service and is owned by an Irish family. For a treat, opt for a luxury suite measuring a generous 603m², which includes a sumptuously furnished separate living area featuring original art works and sculptures. After an arduous day of exploration around the city, soothe those aching muscles and sink into the freestanding classic roll-top bathtub bursting with bubbles. For a tasty meal, visit the East Side Tavern on Leeson Street. Head upstairs to the main dining room and order the beer battered cod with a pea mousse and chunky chips cooked in goose fat. Select a tipple of whiskey from over 200 varieties and raise a glass high in solidarity to one of Ireland’s favourite sons: James Augustine Aloysius Joyce, who once said: “When I die, Dublin will be written in my heart”. l

Superior garden wing at the Merrion Hotel

You’ve planned for your retirement but what if you need extra care and support as you get older? Visit surreyinformationpoint.org.uk call 0300 200 1005 or text 07527 182861

Books1pp_Layout 1 02/11/2015 20:44 Page 1

essence literature



hanks to the authors’ painstaking research, The Fallen Few uniquely contains essential details about all 544 British and Commonwealth pilots who gave their lives during the historic three and a half month battle. Each entry contains a short biography and details of their actions and manner of their deaths, their squadrons and planes. Published to coincide with the 75th Anniversary of The Battle of Britain, the book also describes the course of the day-by-day campaign that lasted from 10 July to 31 October 1940 and saved Britain from invasion and possible Nazi occupation. The Fallen Few is a fitting record and timely memorial celebrating the courage and sacrifice of this select band of heroes. Nigel McCrery read History at Trinity College, Cambridge and joined the BBC graduate entry course. He has written or been responsible for highly successful BBC series and films including Silent Witness, New Tricks and over a dozen novels. Norman Franks is a respected historian and author who has written many previous titles. In total, he has authored or coauthored over 100 publications. He lives in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex. By Nigel McCrery & Norman Franks with Edward McManus 189 pages • Hardback • 500 b/w illustrations ISBN: 9781473827875 RRP: £19.99

52 www.essence-magazine.co.uk

Both published by Pen & Sword Books Ltd www.pen-and-sword.co.uk



ituated close to the south coast, near Chichester in West Sussex, RAF Westhampnett, now Goodwood Aerodrome, was at the forefront of the hectic combats of the Battle of Britain. It then became the base of Wing Commander Douglas Bader, until he was shot down over France, as Fighter Command took the war to the enemy with sweeps over occupied Europe. Those operations included the Channel Dash, the Dieppe Raid and, in due course, the D-Day landings. Packed with more than 250 wartime photographs and accompanied by a detailed history of the fighting as seen through the eyes of many of the surviving pilots and groundcrew, A Fighter Command Station at War not only brings to life those exciting but dangerous days, but helps to ensure that one airfield’s role in the Second World War is not forgotten. Mark Hillier is a chartered surveyor who has a deep knowledge of the history of the RAF, with a particular focus on the Second World War. He is also a qualified pilot, having flown for more than twenty-two years. Mark currently flies from Goodwood Aerodrome, the former RAF Westhampnett. He has previously co-authored three successful books on aviation and has written the biography of Wing Commander Thomas Murray DSO, DFC and Bar. By Mark Hillier 214 pages • Hardback •100 illustrations ISBN: 9781473844681 RRP: £25.00

essence competition

Win a family ticket to Holiday on Ice’s new show


at the Brighton Centre Holiday on Ice is returning to the UK for one week only in January 2016 with its new, spectacular show, Passion.


unning from Tuesday 5 to Sunday 10 January at the Brighton Centre only, Passion is an incredibly exciting entertainment experience focused around the lives of the show’s true stars, the skaters. Taking the audience through the journey that each skater experiences, from the passion of the ice to the ambition, challenges and beauty of this fascinating world, Passion follows the true-life stories of cast members, who every night bring the glamour of Holiday on Ice to life for audiences across the globe. Featuring top class performers, breath-taking costumes, great music, a spectacular wheel and kick line and fireworks, Passion will bring the true Holiday on Ice magic, which has been loved for over 70 years, back to Brighton.

To win a family ticket, simply visit www.essence-magazine.co.uk and answer the following question. Closing date is 30 November 2015. See essence website for details.

essence info Tickets for the show are on sale priced from £15 for children and £22 for adults. For more information or to book tickets, visit www.brightoncentre.co.uk or contact the box office on 0844 847 1538. Terms and conditions apply. The family ticket is valid to see Holiday on Ice: Passion at the Brighton Centre on Tuesday 5 January 2016 at 8pm only. The family ticket can be used by any combination of a total of four adults and children. At least one adult must be present. No purchase necessary. Tickets are non-exchangeable. Closing date for entries is 30 November 2015: entries received after this date will not be counted. The winner will be required to collect the ticket from the Brighton Centre box office on the night of the show. Any travel and accommodation will not be included in the prize. The winner should note that the family ticket will be available for collection at the box office on the night of the show.

What is the name of Holiday on Ice’s new show? a. Emotion b. Celebration c. Passion

www.essence-magazine.co.uk 53

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essence events

spotlight on... Winter collection New Ashgate Gallery, Waggon Yard, Farnham From Friday 20 November until Saturday 9 January 2016 The New Ashgate Gallery in Farnham is a great place to view and buy affordable and contemporary art and craft by established and emerging artists and makers. This Christmas period is no exception, with the Gallery hosting an exhibition of fine arts offering a wide collective of talented artists and crafts people. Artists will include printmaker Chris Pig and his large scale, black and white linocuts, associate of the Royal Society of Painter/Printmakers Gerry Baptist, Tessa Pearson, previous winner of Surrey Artist of the Year (her striking watercolour entitled Garden Dreams orange study is pictured right) and old favourite John Maltby who will be exhibiting his quirky sculpted figures. All works will be for sale, either as a personal treat or perhaps as a gift for someone special.

Information: 01252 713208 or newashgate.org.uk

Richmond Theatre Richmond To Saturday 7 November The Glass Menagerie A new production of Tennessee Williams’ first successful play. Monday 9 to Saturday 14 November Bad Jews A new comedy by Joshua Harmon, originally premiered in Bath to superlative reviews. Monday 23 to Saturday 28 November Handbagged Moira Buffini’s celebrated new comedy starring Susie Blake. Friday 4 December to Sunday 10 January Cinderella Richmond’s pantomime stars Hayley Mills and Matthew Kelly. Tickets: 0844 871 7651 or

Sunday 15 November Ruby Wax – Sane New World A new show from Ruby. Tuesday 17 to Saturday 21 November Annie Craig Revel Horwood stars as Miss Hannigan in this family musical. Sunday 29 November An evening with Noel Fielding Comedian on tour. Tuesday 1 to Saturday 5 December Glyndebourne Tour 2015 A week of exceptional opera. Tickets: 0844 871 7645 or ambassadortickets.com/woking

Cranleigh Arts Centre Cranleigh Friday 27 November It’s a Wonderful Life The struggles and joys of 1940s’ small town America. Information: 01483 278000 or cranleighartscentre.org


Dorking Halls New Victoria Theatre



Friday 13 November Codebreakers: The Story of Enigma A lecture and demo telling the story of the encryption device.

Monday 9 to Saturday 14 November The Shawshank Redemption Ian Kelsey and Patrick Robinson star in a new production of this favourite drama. For ages 15+.

54 www.essence-magazine.co.uk

Information: 01306 881717 or dorkinghalls.co.uk

Tessa Pearson’s Garden Dreams orange study 24x34cm watercolour


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essence events

Wednesday 18 to Saturday 21 November Jamaica Inn Daphne du Maurier’s classic tale. Tuesday 24 to Saturday 28 November Capulets and Montagues – Bellini’s Romeo and Juliet A dark tale of love and tragedy from Guildford Opera Company. Information: 01483 444789 or electrictheatre.co.uk

Tuesday 1 December to Sunday 3 January 2016 A Christmas Carol A heart-warming production for all the family of this classic tale. Information: 020 8174 0090 or rosetheatrekingston.org

Woking Fringe H.G. Wells Conference and Events Centre, Woking Saturday 28 November, 8pm Woking Gag House Comedy Club Top touring comics perform: for more details see website below.

Epsom Playhouse

Information: 0333 666 3366 or



Wednesday 11 November Ed Byrne Comedian with a new show. Thursday 12 November Jeremy Hardy Stand-up comedian on tour. Friday 13 November Blake BRIT Award-winning harmonisers. Information: 01372 742555 or epsomplayhouse.co.uk

Farnham Maltings Farnham Thursday 19 November Jo Brand: Work in Progress 2015 Comic returning to her stand-up roots and trying out new material. Information: 01252 745444 or farnhammaltings.com

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Guildford Monday 9 to Saturday 14 November King Charles III A new future history play starring Robert Powell. Monday 16 to Saturday 21 November Agatha Christie’s A Murder is Announced New production of this Miss Marple mystery starring Judy Cornwell. Monday 23 to Saturday 28 November Flare Path A production of Terence Rattigan’s epic wartime romance. Friday 4 December to Sunday 3 January 2016 Jack and the Beanstalk Favourite pantomime story with Dillie Keane starring as the Fairy.

Guildford Fringe

Tickets: 01483 440000

The Star Inn, Quarry St, Guildford

or yvonne-arnaud.co.uk

Saturday 21 November, 8pm Guildford Gag House Comedy Club For the full line-up, see website.

Image: Roslyn Gaunt


Ed Byrne, Epsom Playhouse

Image: Paul Coltas

The Electric Theatre

Craig Revel Horwood in Annie, New Victoria Theatre, Woking


Information: guildfordfringe.com

Cranleigh Arts Centre Kick Back Comedy Club


The Boileroom, Guildford

Wednesday 11 November, 7.15pm Classical Recital Series: Costanza Principe on piano Costanza has performed as a soloist with orchestras in Italy, France, the UK and South America. Saturday 21 November, 11am Frozen Sing-a-long A favourite festive sing-a-long extravaganza to coincide with Cranleigh village’s Christmas lights switch on.

Saturday 5 December, 8pm The best comedians on the circuit. Information: kickbackcomedy.com

Rose Theatre Kingston-upon-Thames Thursday 12 to Saturday 14 November Jeeves & Wooster P. G. Wodehouse’s iconic double act on tour.

56 www.essence-magazine.co.uk Costanza Principe, Cranleigh Arts Centre

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spotlight on... The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition Exhibition, Guildford House & Gallery

The Selfie-conscious 1 by Juliet Benini

Saturday 14 November to Saturday 2 January 2016 In its twenty-eighth year, The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition is the largest showcase for contemporary watercolour painting in the UK rewarding excellence and originality. Over 1,200 works of art were submitted for consideration by the judging panel which selected a shortlist of 90 works by 80 artists. Just one from the shortlist, Juliet Benini’s ‘The Selfie-conscious 1’ is pictured here (left). So, for those who missed the Competition on display in London, the show can still be viewed at Guildford House Gallery. This year, the first prize of £10,000 was awarded to Akash Bhatt for ‘Blue Room’, one of a series of drawings and paintings of the artist’s mother. Second prize went to Michael Williams for his landscape ‘Land, Sea, Island’, with the Cityscape prize of £1,500 awarded to Leo Davey for ‘Drip...Regents Canal, London’.

Information: 01483 444751 or guildford.gov.uk/guildfordhouse or sundaytimeswatercolour.org

Saturday 21 November, 8.30pm Dr Feelgood The band is now in its 44th year and still arguably Britain’s best rocking blues band. Featuring Robert Kane on vocals, Steve Walwyn on guitar, Kevin Morris on drums and Phil Mitchell on bass. Information: 01483 278000 or cranleighartscentre.org

G Live Guildford

Vivace Chorus G Live, Guildford Saturday 14 November, 7.30pm Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and Vaughan Williams’ Five Tudor Portraits With the Brandenburg Sinfonia conducted by Jeremy Backhouse, soloists will include Gareth Brynmore John (baritone), Alice Privett (soprano), Angharad Lyddon (mezzo soprano) and John-Colyn Gyeantey (tenor).

exhibitions The Art Agency Esher Throughout November Featured artists during November will be Scottish artist Rosanne Barr and urban painter Jo Quigley.

Guildford Museum Quarry Street, Guildford Saturday 28 November to Saturday 23 January 2016 Looking in Wonderland Illustrations from the two Alice books will be on show. Information: 01483 444751 or guildford.gov.uk/museum

Information: 01372 466740 or theartagency.co.uk

The Lightbox Gallery and Museum

Dorking Museum


Information: 01483 369359 or

West Street, Dorking

glive.co.uk or vivacechorus.org

Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays throughout November Dorking 1915: WW1 Home Front Second in a series of exhibitions commemorating the Great War.

Information: 01483 444789 or

To Sunday 17 January 2016 Quentin Blake: Inside Stories Curated by Blake himself, the exhibition includes sketches and original artworks of famous illustrations for his own books and collaborations with the likes of Roald Dahl, David Walliams and Michael Rosen. Saturday 21 November to Sunday 31 January 2016 The Ingram Collection: Bodies! The human figure as depicted by artists such as Henry Moore, Jacob Epstein and many more. Tuesday 17 to Sunday 29 November The Light Years: 15 years of Southbank Printmakers Original handmade prints.

electrictheatre.co.uk or

Information: 01483 737800 or



Saturday 21 November Guildford Symphony Orchestra The GSO presents the Beethoven Emperor Concerto. Monday 23 November Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel ‘Best Years of our Lives’ 40th anniversary tour 2015 Reuniting the surviving original band members from the seminal album including Jim Cregan (guitar), Stuart Elliott (drums) and Duncan Mackay (keyboards). Tuesday 24 November Go West and Nik Kershaw together in concert Along with special guests T’Pau, three acclaimed stars of the eighties perform at G Live.

Friday 27 to Sunday 29 November The annual Winter Beer Fest returns with a selection of 40 craft ales from around the UK. Most sessions include music performances, with one of Surrey’s foremost blues bands, The Lost Roberts, performing on Friday evening and The Embers on Saturday evening.

The Electric Theatre

Information: 01483 369350 or

Information: 01306 881717 or



festivals Dorking Winter 2015 Beer Fest

Information: 01306 876591 or dorkingmuseum.org.uk

Dorking Halls Guildford Various dates Art-venture Regular art exhibitions are to be launched with all works for sale. So, with the gift buying season fast approaching, why not pop in for a coffee, cake and a browse?

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essence events


Godalming Saturday 7 to Tuesday 24 November An Impressionist Landscape by Paul Treasure An exhibition of expressive paintings of the English landscape.

national trust National Trust properties offer perfect venues in which visitors can play and

Information: 01483 860591 or

relax. A few are shown here, but visit


nationaltrust.org.uk for more.

New Ashgate Gallery

Claremont Landscape Garden

Farnham To Saturday 14 November Surrey Artist of the Year Eleven selected makers from Surrey Open Studios look for public votes. To Saturday 14 November Rachel Mulligan Surrey Artist of the Year 2014 with her first solo show of stained glass. To Saturday 14 November Maker in Focus: Judith Needham Local willow designer displaying work from baskets to willow dens. Friday 20 November to Saturday 9 January 2016 Winter collection See Spotlight on page 54.

Esher To Sunday 29 November Claremont tree trail Learn about trees in their autumn splendour on this self-guided trail. Information: 01372 467806

Hatchlands Park East Clandon, Guildford

Information: 01483 222482

Information: 01252 713208 or

Polesden Lacey Great Bookham, near Dorking

Information: 01483 813593 or

Saturdays and Sundays 7 to 29 November Glorious glimpse tours Discover more about Polesden. Wednesdays and Thursdays 11 November to 3 December Wreath-making workshops Create an Xmas wreath using natural materials from the estate. £20 per person.


Information: 01372 452048

Compton, Guildford To Sunday 10 January 2016 Words in Clay: Prue Cooper A selling exhibition of slipware created by renowned potter Prue Cooper, including a design exclusive to the Watts Gallery.

‘Babes’ in the wood, Chinthurst pig, Surrey Wildlife Trust

Weekends 5 to 20 December, 11am–4pm How Wizard Wix saved Christmas Solve the trail, take part in festive crafts and book a slot to meet Santa.


Watts Gallery

Surrey Scorchers basketball

Chinthurst pig (M. Wehrle)

McAllister Thomas

Steve Porter

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

58 www.essence-magazine.co.uk Poppy panel, Rachel Mulligan, New Ashgate Gallery

1 Nov 15_Layout 1 02/11/2015 12:28 Page 7

Runnymede and Ankerwycke

Gatton Park


Sundays 29 November and 6 December, 1–3pm Santa’s Grotto Enjoy a golf buggy ride to see Santa. Pre-booking essential.

Sunday 22 November, 11am–12.30pm Expressions of freedom Art in the Runnymede landscape and a guided tour of memorials.


Information: gattonpark.com

Information: 01784 432891

Surrey Hills

Guildford Model Engineering Society

near Dorking

Stoke Park, Guildford

Saturday 5, 12 and 19 December, 10am–2pm Harvest a Christmas tree at Hindhead Commons Bring a saw and pair of gloves!

Sunday 6 December, 11am–3pm Christmas open day Miniature steam trains and more.

Information: 01372 220644

Guildford Cathedral

Information: gmes.org.uk

Stag Hill, Guildford

Winkworth Arboretum Godalming Sunday 29 November, 2–3pm Tree planting workshop Mark National Tree Planting Week by learning more about them. Information: 01483 208477 or nationaltrust.org.uk

Friday 20 to Saturday 21 November, 10am–4pm Winter market and fair Over 50 exhibitors in a heated marquee selling Christmas gifts and decorations, chocolates, jewellery and much more. Information: 01483 547881 or guildford-cathedral.org

out & about Bocketts Farm Leatherhead Thursday 26 November to Thursday 24 December Visit Father Christmas Hop on board the Santa Express to the hay barn workshop. No advance booking necessary. See newborn lambs, a craft area, Xmas trail and more. Information: bockettsfarm.co.uk

Brooklands Museum Weybridge

The Lightbox Gallery and Museum Woking Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 November Arts and Craft Fair Crafts including ceramics, jewellery, paintings and glasswork.

Festive walk, Painshill Park

Reed’s School Christmas Fair

The Living Planet Centre

Sandy Lane, Cobham

Wednesday 25 November, 4–7pm Festive fair Support local suppliers, buy a gift from the WWF shop, adopt an animal or make an Xmas card.

Friday 20 November, 12 noon–6pm Retail stalls selling gifts and more. Information: reeds.surrey.sch.uk

RHS Wisley


Information: wwf.org.uk/whatson

Woking Wednesday 25 to Monday 30 November Christmas craft and design fair Original Christmas gifts. Wednesday 2 December, 5pm Christmas glow light switch-on See Mary Berry switch on the lights. Information: 0845 260 9000 or rhs.org.uk/wisley

sport Sandown Park Esher Sunday 8 November Countryside Day Quality national hunt racing and other country pursuit activities. Information: sandown.co.uk

Surrey Wildlife Trust Various locations Saturday 21 November, 10.30am–12.30pm ‘Babes’ in the wood A woodland walk at Chinthurst Hill, Wonersh to see pig power help wage war on bracken and bramble.

Surrey Scorchers basketball Surrey Sports Park, Guildford


Information: 01483 795460 or

Saturday 28 November, 7pm See the Scorchers take on the Manchester Giants in the British Basketball League. Great Saturday night entertainment.

Thursday 19 to Sunday 22 November The Rural Crafts Association Crafts for Christmas Fashion, accessories, bags, belts, jewellery, soaps, foods and more.


Information: surreyscorchers.co.uk

Information: 01483 737800 or thelightbox.org.uk

Loseley Park

Wednesday 11 November, 6–9.30pm Torchlight tour A special tour as night falls. Tickets must be booked in advance. Sunday 15 November, 10am–4pm Military vehicles day Over 80 vehicles from across the decades representing the field of conflict from around the world.

Wednesday 2 December Festive walk (adults only) A magical moonlit walk in the eighteenth century garden.

Information: 01932 857381 or

Information: 01932 868113 or



Information: loseleypark.co.uk

Painshill Park Cobham

farmers’ markets Camberley Saturday 21 November, 10am–3pm Cranleigh Saturday 21 November, 10am–2pm Epsom Sunday 1 November and 6 December, 9am–1.30pm Farnham Sunday 22 November, 10am–1.30pm Guildford Tuesday 3 November and 1 December, 10.30am–3.30pm Haslemere Sunday 1 November and 6 December, 10am–1pm Milford Sunday 22 November, 10am–1.30pm Ripley Saturday 14 November, 9am–1pm Walton-on-Thames Saturday 7 November, 9.30am–2pm Woking Thursday 19 November, 9am–2.30pm

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essence interiors

Elegant dining

A beautiful dining room should give a sense of occasion and grandeur. Jenny Allan from JCA Interiors offers advice on designing the perfect entertaining space.


s dining rooms are typically used in the evening, there is an opportunity to use a moody, rich colour scheme in the interior design. Dark greys and taupes will always look elegant and provide the ideal backdrop for statement pieces of artwork or sculpture. Dining room furniture must be practical and comfortable, as well as stylish. Chairs should be high quality and comfortably seat diners for a few hours over the course of an evening. When planning a dining room design consider the maximum number of chairs required. Some designs suit a set of matching chairs, while others can be enhanced by adding an oversized chair at either end of a table to add flair. There is a multitude of beautiful fabrics to choose from when deciding on upholstery. Adding studded details or a spectacular fabric to the backs of chairs will create a very special design and take a room to the next level. For added flexibility in a dining room consider buying an extendable table. This will offer a good solution for entertaining six people of an evening and then twelve

at Christmas. Having options is always helpful, however, be sure to have enough stylish dining chairs so the look is cohesive whatever the occasion. Commissioning a bespoke dining table is the perfect way to make a dining room an incredibly special place. A stunning table made out of luxury materials such as beautiful hardwoods, possibly with marquetry or inlay, is the ideal focal point in a room and will be a great investment piece that can be passed down through generations. A matching credenza will also add to the luxurious style and is very useful for storing tableware, glasses, cutlery and table linen. It can also be an anchor piece within the room making the dining space feel more complete, rather than just having a table and chairs. To further enhance a design, effective lighting is essential. Mood lighting will help to create atmosphere, while statement lights such as crystal chandeliers hung over the table will create drama. Depending on the length of the dining table, consider hanging two or three statement light pieces above. This can work well and give the room an even more striking appearance.

When designing a room it is important not to overlook accessories and finishing touches that complete the design. Accessories are like jewellery and rooms can feel bare without them. Dressing the table in a stylish way is the icing on the cake and can transform the space. There are many choices of tableware and it is really down to personal preference. Just ensure it complements the overall design. Finish with a large, beautiful floral arrangement placed centrally on the table or perhaps place three smaller vases with roses down the length of it to elongate the room. A stunning dining room should be an uplifting, dramatic and elegant space: a place to invite friends and family, a room which can be enjoyed by all and which makes special occasions even more memorable. l

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

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SHOWHOME OPEN - VIEWING BY APPOINTMENT SHOWHOME OPEN - VIEWING BY APPOINTMENT Mulberry Heights is an impressive new development of two 2 bedroom cottages and seven 1, 2 & 3 bedroom apartments, close to development the town centre, with2 breathtaking views and of the Surrey Mulberry Heights is ansituated impressive new of two bedroomBY cottages seven 1, 2Hills. & 3 bedroom SHOWHOME OPEN VIEWING APPOINTMENT apartments, situated close to the town centre, with breathtaking views of the Surrey Hills. For further information, please call Patrick Gardner on 01306 877775.

Mulberry Heights is an impressive new development of two 2 bedroom cottages and seven 1, 2 & 3 bedroom For further information, please call Patrick Gardner on 01306 877775. Pricescentre, on application. apartments, situated close to the town with breathtaking views of the Surrey Hills. Prices on application. For further information, please call Patrick Gardner on 01306 877775. Prices on application.

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Humphrey Munson design and make award-winning and beautiful handmade kitchens. Each bespoke kitchen is handcrafted by a team of the finest cabinetmakers who combine a passion for their craft with expert technical knowledge. The Nickleby design (shown) embodies the true spirit of the classic contemporary kitchen. Using a combination of painted solid wood cupboards and natural wood accent units, this kitchen features touches of luxury throughout.



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Profile for essence magazine

essence issue 66  

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

essence issue 66  

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