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i DELIVEREDd TO THE ESSEX TOWNS OF THE CENTRAL LINE AND BEYOND d d d i e de d i i e e e d e i i d d d d ed i e i e e THE LOCAL MAGAZINE FOR LOCAL PEOPLE - ISSUE 5 DECEMBER 2014 d i i e

CENTRAL FREE

GIFT GUIDE

Presents For Everyone On Your List

GLITTERATI GLAMOUR Fashion For The Party Season

NORTHERN LIGHTS Book A Scandinavian Adventure

CHRISTMAS MAGIC Santa’s Coming To Essex

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MRC New Campus Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

n the 12th September 2014 Mont Rose College opened their O new building to the public in Ilford,

Essex, Greater London. The event was a themed afternoon tea, with a marquee outside in the car park replete with 1940s decorations. Vintage Catering provided delicious sandwiches, scones and cakes. The guests of the event were: the Mayor of Redbridge and his Lady wife, Redbridge councillors, staff members, tutors and various important people who were responsible for making the College the way it is today, from the design of the college to the funding and financing.

main entrance of the college. Then followed the afternoon tea served in the marquee by Vintage. After a tour around the new college, there was a performance by a Bulgarian dance group, two traditional Bulgarian songs and then a traditional Bulgarian Dance. Everyone who attended enjoyed the event and were very excited about the progress of Mont Rose College. The next intake at Mont Rose College for new students will be January 2015. There will be HND in Business Marketing, Business Accounting, and Hospitality Management.

The pink ribbon cutting was performed by the Mayor outside the

Phone: 020 8556 5009

To enquire about a new course call 02085 565009 today or visit us in our admissions office in Leyton: Mont Rose College, 2/A Ruckholt Road, Leyton, London, E10 5NP The new college where you will be studying will be in Ilford, the address: Mont Rose College, 267 Cranbrook Road, Ilford, Greater London, IG1 4TG

info@mrcollege.ac.uk

267 Cranbrook Road, Ilford, Essex, Greater London IG1 4TG


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COMMUNITY Le yto 6 Your nComments sto ne 10 Local News 49 Haven House Featured charityWan ste 51 What’s On a

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ell it’s that time of year again folks! Jingle bells, Rudolph, big old Santa Claus himself and “It’s Chriiiistmaaaas” playing on the radio! In this issue we look at different attractions and events to visit throughout the month and Christmas gifts to buy. Plus we travel all the way to Lapland in search of Santa and the Northern Lights! Our club focus looks at Mossford Table Tennis Club, and we get the inside information on the great work being done by Haven House as this months featured charity partner. There’s the usual mix of fashion, games, dad’s diary, local news, mum’s corner, what’s on and also a superb recipe from the new La Sala restaurant! Have a great Christmas everyone, see you next year!!

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Editor/Owner

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Darren Perry

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Although every care has been taken to ensure accuracy, 3 Blue Worldwide Ltd take no responsibility for any errors, or the advertisements within this magazine.

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ill SPORT 62 Club Focus

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46,000 copies distributed to homes, businesses and station locations, along the Essex section of the Central Line and surrounding areas: South Woodford, Woodford, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Loughton, Debden, Abridge, Theydon Bois, Epping, North Weald, Ongar, Wanstead, Redbridge, Ilford, Gants Hill, Newbury Park, Barkingside, Fairlop, Hainault, Grange Hill.

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PARENTING Ga Corner 56 Mum’s n

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Features Editor: Victoria Grace Journalist: Devon-Elizabeth Tabersham Design: Sharon Butler-Felby @SketchDesign, Lauren Brown, Matt Brace. Sales Manager: Dennis Hutton Contributors: Amanda Anastasiou, Toby Webster, Sarah Mackie, Victoria Robertson, Josie Stevens, Emily Talbut, Beverley Rumsey. Publishers: 3 Blue Worldwide Ltd Facebook: EssexCentralMag Twitter: @EssexCentralMag

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Editor: Darren Perry

Email: Darren@essexcentralmagazine.co.uk HEALTH & FITNESS Tel: 01279 319 318 23 Have you been suspended Advertising: advertising@essexcentral from the gym yet? magazine.co.uk

52 Puzzle Corner rk 60 Dad’s Diary

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HEALTH & FITNESS 23 TRX Training

N rFUN idg & GAMES ewb e Pa ury

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Cover image courtesy of Transun

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39 December Gardening Guide FOOD & DRINK 46 Recipe & Wine

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Lo ON THE COVER ug B hto uc 14 Christmas Magic kh n u 18 Christmas Gift Guide Hil rst l 25 Glitterati Glamour Ro 42 Walking In a Winter Wonderland d V all ing 53 Competition FASHION &eyBEAUTY Win a meal for two at La Sala 29 Dress to Impress


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We love hearing from you!

ach month we trawl through our mailbox and social media sites to see what you are thinking. Here are a few of our favourite messages that we have received recently. Keep your comments coming in for a chance to win £20 if we pick you as our ‘Star Comment’ and £10 for the ‘Reader’s Photo’.

READER’S PHOTO

n’ oughto L s m r’s Ar imm rdene a G anie S om h r p f e t w S ‘Vie

Missed getting my copy of the mag at Loughton station this morning  #commuter problems Sinead Fulton

Thank you so much for the copies, my son Devdoot was featured in the club focus section. Supratim Barman

Lol no worries, I did indeed, very informative and local #EssexCentral @Ian_Radio

Like the new issue of #TheLoop from @EssexCentralMag. It’s now a vital read! @AbbottsTravel

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Bumped into your Ilford distributor today. Lovely team  Yvonne Fletcher

Congratulations to Emma Lofthouse (right), from Loughton who was the winner of our Makeup Brush competition.

Loving the competition prize this month. Amanda Ramsey

Hi,

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hanks so much for the information on local fireworks displays in this month’s magazine. We were looking for one to go to locally and actually ended up

going to two of your suggestions! We live just round the corner from Redbridge College and hadn’t heard of their event until seeing your magazine, and the kid’s loved the Guy Fawkes festival at the Gunpowder Mills. We made a flask of your hot choc recipe too, delish! Sam Morgan

CONTACT US Address: Essex Central Magazine, Brickfield Business Centre, High Road, Thornwood, Epping, Essex CM16 6TH @EssexCentralMag EssexCentralMag editor@essexcentral magazine.co.uk


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NEWS

A short roundup of what’s been going on

IF Y HAVE OU A NEWS LOCAL CONTA STORY CT: essexc editor@ en magaz tral ine co.uk. .

Dylan and his mum Janie

A GIFT WORTH GIVING

Since 2003, Haven House Children’s Hospice, based in Woodford Green, has been providing specialist care for children and young people (birth-19) who have life-limiting and life-threatening conditions and who are unlikely to reach adulthood. This Christmas, please consider donating to Dylan’s appeal. It could be the best gift you give this year. Dylan, aged 10, lives in Wanstead with his mum, dad and 13 year old brother Callum. He has Partial Triplication 15, a chromosome disorder so rare that there are only ten known cases worldwide. Whilst there is little known about the condition, one thing is certain - his life will be shortened. Caring for Dylan is a 24-7 job. He was recently diagnosed with a very rare form of epilepsy where seizures

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can be virtually non-stop. In a particularly bad period, he had 400 in 13 hours; every one of these can be life-threatening. When Dylan is at home his family feel like hostages, held to ransom by the severity of his seizures. They are unable to leave the house. What Haven House offers them is a break. Without this they would not have coped as a family for so long. Janie, his mum, said: “As I know the experienced and highly trained nurses are able to care for all Dylan’s needs I am able to relax for a few precious days a year and get a full night’s sleep.” Dylan’s family don’t know what is going to happen next and having to watch their much-loved son and brother deteriorate before their eyes is heart-breaking. What they do

know is that Haven House will be there to help them have the best Christmas together, just like it will be for the other 150 families they will be supporting this year. To read more about Dylan and how Haven House supports him and his family, and to make a donation, go to www.justgiving.com/ dylansappeal, or call 020 8498 5841. You can also support your local children’s hospice by attending their Christmas Concert on 18th December at Wanstead United Reformed Church.


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REDBRIDGE COLLEGE FIREWORKS NIGHT Bonfire Night started off with a bang at Redbridge College as students, staff and local community members celebrated the evening with a bonfire and fireworks display. The college saw an excellent turnout for their first-ever fireworks event with over 500 people in attendance. Hospitality and Catering students organised a pop-up food stall selling homemade burgers, hot dogs, soups and sweets to the public. The surprise grand finale saw a specially created display with the words ‘Redbridge College’ set alight to cheers, applause and camera flashes. The event was organised by the

Enrichment Programme of Redbridge College in association with Lakehouse, the company responsible for managing the £7 million construction work being undertaken to expand facilities at the college for 2015. The Lakehouse site team volunteered to help plan the event, and Site Manager Duncan Ferreira, who is also a fire marshal, made sure that the public was kept safe from harm on the day. Duncan said, “It was a fantastic event, and I was very happy to lend a helping hand.” Siobhan Clouter of the Redbridge College Enrichment Programme said, “The night was a great success! We’ve had a load of positive feedback from attendees and are looking forward to hosting other community events in the future. Special thanks to Lakehouse; we are very grateful for all their support, including the health and safety advice.”

GOODBYE ROGUE TRADERS A new service is on its way to Redbridge and will soon be fully available linking older residents to trusted traders. The Age UK London Business Directory of Trusted Traders is an online service which aims to help reduce the risk of people in later life being exploited by ‘rogue’ traders. Tradespeople are checked by Age UK London staff and customer references are independently obtained by Age UK London for each trade member. Only traders that have been thoroughly checked by Age UK

London and deemed to be reputable and reliable will appear on the directory, helping reduce the risk that people in later life are exploited by ‘rogue’ traders. Older people in Redbridge will be able to search for builders, plumbers, electricians, roofers, locksmiths, homecare and more. As they receive enquiries, they will develop the directory to meet the demand for local senior citizens. With programmes such as Watchdog, Rogue Traders and Cowboy Builders on the TV, the majority of older people no longer trust traditional directories as a source of trustworthy traders and businesses; they are often looking for a name they do trust such as their local Age UK. The Age UK brand is one of the most recognised brands in the UK and trusted by many older people. The directory can be viewed online at www.aubdlondon.co.uk or alternatively you can call 0800 334 5056 for free and a member of the team will assist you.

Roy Powell

DRIVE CAR HIRE EXPANDS SERVICES f

Drive car hire was founded in July of this year by Roy Powell and Matthew Glassman to bring quality specialist car hire services to Essex and London. Due to high demand they have recently expanded their services and their vehicles are now available for hire to the general public as well as professional drivers. The Drive Car Hire team have over twenty years car hire and customer service experience, over the years they have provided thousands of businesses, local individuals and holiday makers with an extensive range of vehicles at competitive prices. Drive Car hires ambition is to become the country’s leading provider of specialist vehicle hire services for professional drivers whether you are a London taxi driver, driving instructor or any other professional driver, they have the fleet to keep you on the road for as long as you need them to. Roy Powell said, “Our aim is simple – to provide the right vehicle at the right price and at the right time, with the best service in the industry. We are always striving to serve our customers with a faster and better professional service, meeting the needs of businesses and individuals.” Tel: 0207 308 1360 www.drivecarhire.co.uk

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By Beverley Rumsey

There is so much going on at this busy time of year, so as well as starting the Christmas shopping and organising, take time to enjoy some of the exciting events on offer in the local area. We’ve picked a few to get the family warmed up for the festive season.

Fresh greenery wreaths provide the senses with many delights. Not only do they look beautiful, but also they perfume the air around them. Pine boughs, ivy, eucalyptus sprays, box hedge stems and ferns are just a few kinds of fresh greenery you can use to make wreaths. Work on a table when preparing your wreath form and later hang it up to add the decorations and final touches. It is easier to see where you need to add leaves, flowers, ribbons etc. when you are face to face with your wreath. STEP 1. Make a base using two wire coat hangers. Wire the hangers together and cover with floral tape. STEP 2. Cut several 8 to 10 inch long braches of greenery (redwood, pine, Douglas fir, etc). STEP 3. Use lightweight floral wire to secure the branches to the wreath base. Overlap the stems. Keep adding stems until the wreath base is fully covered. STEP 4. Secure decorations with floral wire or hot glue.

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Santa Claus is base d on a real per son, St Nicholas

Take a tractor ride down to visit Santa and his reindeer in the farm grotto at Ashlyn’s Farm Park in North Weald on weekends between Saturday 6th and Sunday 21st December. Tickets also allow you access to the farm, and need to be booked in advance. £10 per child (2 accompanying adults free per child). s Tel: 01992 523118

t On Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th December, Santa will be getting warmed up for the festive season and holding a Breakfast/ Brunch buffet and meeting children between 2-12 years old at Topgolf, Chigwell. Kids will get an opportunity to take part in Christmas cupcake decorating Chr and walk away with a small istmas tree gift. Santa won’t forget the adults - there will usu be pastries and coffee ally grow for available for them too. abo re ut 15 years befo Tickets cost £12 per child. Tel: 0208 500 2644, www. they topgolf.com/uk/chigwell. sold

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Epping Christmas Market will be held on Friday 5th December from 12 noon to 8pm. It will feature a mix of festive gifts and street food, singing from the children of Epping Primary Schools, dance and circus performances and festive music from the Epping Forest Band. Put the date in your diary! t

tIt’s all-aboard for Santa’s Special train at the Epping Ongar Railway as Santa hops on and delivers presents to the children as you take a leisurely ride along the line. Mulled wine and mince pies available for the adults! You can also buy a compartment for exclusive use by your party at an additional cost. Tel: 01277 365200, www.eorailway.co.uk

Santa will be in his grotto at Chigwell Nursery on selected dates in December, with carol singing on Saturday 6th December 2-4pm. Visiting Santa is free, but donations to their chosen charity would be gratefully received. The nursery is full of fabulous Christmas things and looks like a magical winter wonderland. Tel: 020 8500 2690, www.chigwell nursery.co.uk B

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times Get in the festive mood and book your chance to see Santa in his grotto at Lee Valley Park Farms. The farm-tastic Santa event takes place on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th December as well as Saturday 20th through to Tuesday 23rd December. The farms are open to visit even if you’ve not booked a slot to see Santa. You will also get to meet the reindeer and try your hand at all of the Christmas arts and craft activities on offer. Book online at www.visitleevalley.org. uk/farm or Tel: 01992 892 781.

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Go along and meet Santa in his cosy, twinkly Grotto at Redbridge Central Library by the A ztecs on selected dates between Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 24th December. His merry elves will be on hand to keep you amused and add some Christmas cheer. £3.50 per child with a gift included. Tel: 020 8708 2414

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The reindeer patterned jumpers are out, the cookie scented candles are back, and it is officially time to start Christmas shopping - if you haven’t already! However if the idea of walking around the bustling high streets right now, endlessly d searching for presents for the whole family, makes you feel as tired as you d f do after finishing Christmas lunch, we’ve compiled a few gift ideas to get you going. There’s something here for everyone on your list, and you won’t even have to leave your house to snatch t This relaxed fit t-shirt makes a these up! pyjama top, stating exactly f perfect what your teenager would want it to, preventing unwanted conversations in the morning! In comparison, ‘Football Manager’ is likely to lead to spontaneous bedroom cheers with impressive gaming graphics. T Shirt £20 www.notonthehighstreet.com, Football Manager 2015 (PC/Mac) £29.86 www.amazon.co.uk

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but easily foldable into a bag. For boys, this personalised wooden name train, compatible with existing tracks, will be treasured for years to come. Princess Castle Play Tent £29.95, Wooden Name Train £6 both from www.notonthehighstreet.com

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Is your Grandpa King of the couch? Then give him this quirky cushion with a personalised pocket! Perfect for storing his lounge-time essentials such as biscuits, glasses and of course the remote, it also reserves his space when he’s not around. Personalised Pocket Cushion £35 www.notonthehighstreet.com

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t Let your furry friend join in the festive fun with their own Christmas cracker! Filled with 50g of highly healthy venison treats, this will be naughty and nice at the same time! Also includes a hat and joke for added fun. Dogs Venison Treat Cracker £7 www.notonthehighstreet.com

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tThe perfect Secret Santa gift for the colleague who seems to always be away from the desk brewing their next cuppa! They simply have to insert batteries, press the button, and watch as their drink is stirred for them! Self-stirring Lazy Mug £9.99 www.gettingpersonal.co.uk

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The perfect gift for any gardener who also enjoys a tipple! 18 original cocktail recipes are included, featuring specially selected seeds to produce a variety of flavours. You don’t even need a garden bed - just a pot and some sunshine! Grow Your Own Cocktail Garden £13.95 www.notonthehighstreet.com t

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Does your Grandma have what it takes to be the next Mary Berry? Help her along the way to being ‘starbaker’ with this adorable set of ceramic stoneware measuring cups, each individually crafted to give a unique, personalised feel. Polly’s Pantry Measuring Cups £18 John Lewis

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Add a fun touch to breakfast time with this ‘Simpsons’ set. The eggcup brightens up any plate whilst Homer’s head is perfect for keeping your egg warm. Stamp-cutters will imprint trademark phrases like “D’oh’ and “Woo-Hoo’ into your toasted soldiers! Homer Egg Cup and Toast Cutter £7.99 www.iwantoneofthose.com

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Try TRX training for an all round workout

suspension training is a unique method of training equipment which allows the user to work against their own body weight as they perform functional movements. It is a fast and effective full body workout. Suspension training has been around for many years growing and improving on the original ‘rope training’ used in the 1800’s. The system we see today was developed by a former Navy Seal and transformed into TRX (Total Resistance eXercise) after he adjusted the training exercises and modernised the equipment. The TRX is comprised of two moveable handles that are attached to a secure fixed point. The handles are then moved to target different areas of the body, which increases and decreases resistance, depending on the positioning of the body. The unique thing about this type of training equipment is that you change your centre of gravity by leaning back and holding the handles, or placing your foot in them, this intensifies the work out as you vary the angle of your body with a reduced risk of injury to your joints.

SUSPENSION TRAINING SIMULTANEOUSLY IMPROVES: n Muscle endurance n Agility n Core strength n Balance n Power

CO-ORDINATION

Due to the way the TRX equipment and exercises are designed, it is suitable for everyone whether you want to lose weight, get in better shape or want to improve your general sports conditioning. Professional footballers use

“Suspension training can be d to the tailore person.”

suspension training, this includes Liverpool FC because it enables you to do exercises mimicking the movement that you would use when playing football, but with the advantage of not placing unnecessary stress on joints. This has reduced the level of training

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injuries being sustained. Using multiple muscles at the same time, it is unlike regular training regimes where you isolate one muscle within one exercise. Celebrities such as Mark Wahlberg, Mary J Blige and Jennifer Lopez all use TRX to keep in shape. It is also regularly used by a wide range of professional sports people including baseball players, athletes, cyclists and UFC fighters. Suspension training can be tailored to the person, adjusting the intensity of the resistance to suit the aspirational goal and ability of the individual means it can be used by people of all ages, gender and fitness levels. Michael Cowling, a sports specific strength and conditioning coach under the National Academy of Sports Medicine is the TRX instructor at Synergy Fitness, he is one of only four professionally and officially qualified TRX instructors in the UK. He has clients whose ages range from 15 to 63 who use the TRX for various reasons and are all injury free. For more information on classes or a free trial session at Synergy Fitness, please call Andrew on 07725544867.

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Join for 1 class per week and receive a FREE T-SHIRT! Join for 2 classes per week receive your third class FREE FOR 1 MONTH! Join for 3 classes per week and receive our unlimited membership upgrade FREE FOR 1 MONTH! *conditions apply

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Add instant glamour to any and every outfit with this statement geo collar from Fiorelli. With a smattering Statem of crystals it’s £40 F ent Collar iorelli bling enough for Christmas, but I guarantee you’ll still be wearing this well into next spring.

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GLAMOUR

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£89 M&Co

t Channel your inner pearly queen with this incredible vintage inspired clutch, sure to fool even the most fashionable of fashionistas!

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Josie Stevens e By www.notjustadress.com

Christmas! It’s the mo st wonderful time of the year, especially wh en it comes to getting dressed up for the fes tive party season. I’m sure your diary is alr eady celebrations and get-to full of Christmas gethers, all you need now is to plan something special to wear, ensuring you ou tshine all the glittering decorations. Here are some sparkling pieces that will work with items of clothing you may already have Pleat hanging in the wardr e obe, or Skirt d Metallic why not treat yourself £99 M to a onso whole new outfit, ca on ll it a present to yourself. Me rry Christmas everyone!

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Shine bright like a diamond in this all over ins sequin maxi y Perk dress - it’s the Doroth Maxi ultimate LBD! Sequin 85 Outfit £ This dress will Dress flatter most body shapes and the long arms are a god send for those who panic at the thought of sleeveless or strapless. Thank you DP!

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i Tux Ju m £55 N psuit ext

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Pocket squares don’t need to be boring, give your suit some individual style and personality with a vintage inspired print like this one from House of Fraser.

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The off-duty Bond look is easy to achieve by swapping your shirt for a roll neck. If you’re feeling brave opt for a colour clash with your jumper and jacket.

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If there is one time of year it’s ok to channe l your inner James Bo nd it’s definitely Chris tmas. If you wear a suit 5 da ys a week it’s probably the last thing you wa nt to wear outside of work hours, but the Christm as party mere season is the perfect h s a r oC opportunity to up yo Merin £75 Jaege ur style f r a c stakes and stick on a S tux. If you’re looking for so mething more casual there are lots of ways to wear tailor ing besides a boring old suit. So, here are my top Christmas picks to get you through tAdd some texture to the party your tux in this velvet season. jacket from BHS. It’ll also look great teamed with jeans for a look that’s shaken, not stirred.

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www.notjustadress.com

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tIt’s little things that count, and they’ll often be the first thing people notice if you’ve not got them right. Invest in a good pair of cufflinks; they’ll see you through Christmas parties, weddings and Christenings for years to come.

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Pied a T e £169 H rre Grey Coat ouse of Fraser

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Welcome to Vanity, an aesthetic and beauty lounge which prides itself in creating a haven for relaxation whilst presenting our clients with high quality treatments.

The Salon... Our fully qualified and experienced therapists bring their own skills and personalities to create a warm and friendly atmosphere. The shabby chic interiors of Vanity make you feel relaxed and at home whilst keeping professionalism at the highest standard.

At Vanity we strongly believe that everyone deserves to look their best and should not have to pay the prices to do so. Our motto is to provide you with Harley Street treatments at High Street prices. After extensive research into the various cosmetic houses and industry leading treatments, we have chosen to work with only the most effective brands in the market today. We specialise in fat & cellulite reduction, IPL permanent hair removal and anti-aging treatments, as well as many other beauty treatments.

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hinking of a way to change up your every day look? I’ve got the perfect solution for you clip in hair extensions. Clip in extensions can be a great temporary solution to achieve amazing length, thickness and volume while looking like your natural hair.   At Finesse we use 100% virgin hair of the highest quality, hand sewn and custom made to the size of the clients head. We colour match your exact hair colour and cut them in to match the texture of your hair. The result is natural looking hair with no tangling or matting. Once you’ve purchased your extensions they are yours to put in whenever you like, but some people struggle with getting them to look as good as how the hairdresser does. I’ve got a simple guide to help you with clipping in your hair extensions.

4. Placement of the first weft. The clips should be placed on your own hair below the section parting in a straight line. Start with the middle clip first and work your way round until the full weft is on. Before you start, back brush your hair a little and apply some hairspray to the section of hair, then clip in. 5. Preparing to place the second weft. This weft will be placed above the first weft.  Release all the hair that was clipped out of the way then slightly above the weft that was just attached, make another section parting, allowing some hair to drop down and cover the first weft. 1. Section your hair. Clip in extensions should be attached from the bottom of your head up. Starting at the lowest point on your hairline, and using a tail comb or your index fingers, create a parting where you wish to section off your hair.

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2. Separate the hair. Clip up the hair above the section you have created so that it is out of the way. 3. Prepare the first weft. It should be wide enough so that the weft is able to sit along back of your hairline. Then open all the snap clips so they are ready to be inserted into your hair.

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6. Add all wefts. Continue steps 1-5 until all wefts are in place. The final stage is to check that your clip ins don’t show at all above your hair. You can back brush your hair a bit right at the top of your head to add volume to hide any visible wefts. By Amanda Anastasiou If you would like to have your hair nails or makeup done by Amanda, Amanda please visit www. Anastasiou finessesalon.co.uk

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New Year Entertainment Fireworks ÂŁ55.00 p.p

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A first class venue for


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Now Open Located in Ilford and set in 18 acres of pure Essex green-belt, “The Willows” is the perfect destination for your wedding celebration. “The Willows” is an elegant and serene haven for all, offering contemporary luxurious furnishings and everything you'll ever dream of for your big day The venue is adaptable and can cater for celebrations for up to 800 guests.

Let “The Willows” take care of the details while you relax in the glamorous and unique setting and revel in every minute.

Memories made at “The Willows” will last a lifetime Tel: 0208 500 5580

Email: enquiry@thewillowsilford.com The Willows Banqueting & Events, Forest Road Ilford, Essex IG6 3SL

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WARM WELCOME IN YOUR HOME

Add some festive touches in preparation for the Christmas period.

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s the excitement begins for the festive celebrations ahead, now’s the time to start transforming your home into an inviting, comfortable space for guests to gather this Christmas. Dusting off your treasured decorations and hunting down the very best seasonal foliage is great for giving any room some Christmas cheer; bringing both tradition and character that will set the scene for roasted chestnuts and mulled wine. Your living room, in particular, will serve as a social hub to play, rest and retreat to after overloaded dinner plates, so be sure to your give your room a festive treatment that extends beyond just tinsel, crackers and baubles. With a few simple updates and carefully considered choices, you can create a comfy space that’s welcoming and magical. We’ve rounded up our tips, tricks and expert advice on how to get your

home ready for a flurry of guests and a fabulous, memorable celebration:

SNUGGLE INTO A SUMPTUOUS SEAT

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Nothing says Christmas like snuggling up on the sofa next a roaring fire, surrounded by festive treats that make it almost impossible to venture elsewhere. When it comes to accommodating extended family and friends, think about the number of guests that you expect and whether you have enough seating to cater for all. If a two-seater is your usual spot to sprawl, introducing an extra sofa or armchair is a must, but do remember to consider the level of comfort it offers as an uncomfortable chair will be instantly avoided. Multiyork’s new Dillon* range with its boxy, spacious style is a fabulous addition to modern schemes. The Atlas* with its gorgeous button-back detailing is ideal if you prefer a design that’s more traditional.

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HOME GARDEN

FABRICS FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON

Switching the appearance of your furniture with a new fabric is a wonderful way to put a seasonal spin on your dayto-day upholstery. With Multiyork’s loose fitted replacement covers, it’s never been easier to update the look and feel of your living room from season to season. Christmas is all about comfort, so swap lightweight textiles like cotton and linens with thicker fabrics like chenille and woollen blends. Don’t forget that larger pieces of furniture can also dress a room, so choose seating in statement shapes with distinctive details like beautifully bowed arms or a striking high back. Multiyork’s Venice Large Sofa in Belize Mushroom fabric* will warm up any space with its rich, tactile upholstery and festive berry-coloured piping and button-back detailing.

ADD EXTRA COMFORT

One of the easiest ways to add cosiness and comfort to your living room is by introducing cushions. Think about mixing and matching different prints and patterns as, after all, Christmas is the time for indulging in extravagant touches. No Christmas décor scheme is complete without a hint of red and green so opt for cushions with traditional flair like tartan or plaid prints. If Scandi-chic is more your style, choose delicately embroidered designs that are pale and simple enough to sit in keeping with a minimalistic, pared-back space. If you’re still lacking seating for guests, try stacking cushions on the floor for little ones to lounge on in between opening new toys and games.

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LET IT GLOW

Twinkling fairy lights and glistening candles that conjure up the smell of pine, cinnamon and spice aromas are an excellent way to create an inviting ambience that’s blissfully relaxing. Place along a mantelpiece, on side tables or alternatively bring in light at multiple levels with oversized lanterns that work beautifully on the floor. Their pleasing glow will assist with the function of your space and also help to highlight the design elements of your furniture.

SET THE SCENE FOR ENTERTAINING

Christmas preparations shouldn’t stop at the living space, as in busy households guests will tend to overflow into other rooms. Make sure that each area is ready; even if it means that you have to play around with your room’s usual layout. This Christmas, the dining space is another room that will become one of the hardest working zones in the home. Whether you want to bring sophisticated glamour to the kitchen or you prefer a more relaxed arrangement, you can completely change a room’s celebratory atmosphere simply by the way you dress your table. Aim to include personal touches for your guests such as a small present you know will delight each guest or handwritten name tags. For a super simple centre piece that is both cheerful and stylish, take vase or bowl like Multiyork’s silver hammered design and fill with a collection of colourful baubles. Remember that you can always dress your dining chairs too; experiment with sprigs of eucalyptus leaves or glitzy baubles tied and attached with decorative ribbon.

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MULTIYORK

LOUGHTON STORE: 165A High Road, Loughton, Essex, IG10 4LF T: 020 8502 4123, E: loughton@multiyork.co.uk EPPING STORE: 116 High Street, Epping, Essex, CM16 4AF T: 01992 579932, E: epping@multiyork.co.uk W: multiyork.co.uk

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*Delivery lead time for made to order upholstery is 6-8 weeks.

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Fitting Service Selling or letting | Free valuation

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“Consider a tree with roots so that it can be re-planted”

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WILDLIFE WATCH

Listen for the sound of the wren as you’re more likely to hear a wren than see one.They have a surprisingly loud song which consists Mistletoe grow of a series of clear, on rts be ing in a tree Victoria Ro but shrill notes. They also have a familiar scolding alarm call consisting of a rapid chittering.If you are lucky enough to see one it has a brown body and palecoloured line above the A seasonal guide to help you get the most out of your garden. eye. Sometimes people elcome to my vulnerable plants such as will provide frost protection often mistake it for a December succulents and alpines to the swelling buds further goldcrest, but the wren is much stockier and gardening by creating a frame with down the stems. heavier. guide. I hope a plastic sheet over the _ Are you thinking of

GARDENING WITH VICTORIA ROBERTSON

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you have enjoyed a fabulous gardening year which has brought to you many hours of colourful, fulfilling, seasonal enjoyment. The winter is now here! It’s that time of year when you may not feel like working outside in your garden, but luckily there’s not a lot left to do before you can finally put the garden to bed until the new year. Wrap yourself up warm, slip on your wellies and step outside in the refreshing crisp air with a nice warm flask and continue with my simple gardening to do list. _ Now is time to prune acers, birches and vines, do this before Christmas to avoid bleeding. _ Protect your most

top. Try this method if you need to cover a large bed area or cover each one individually with a plastic bottle or a mini cloche. _ For general protection apply a 2 inch layer deep of bark compost or mulch around herbaceous perennials but use a handful of grit around the plants themselves before applying the mulch. This will stop any moisture rotting the stems, the mulch will keep the plants warm. _ If you have a greenhouse, make sure your heater still works. _ Prevent your pond from freezing by floating a small ball on the surface.  _ Leave any faded flower heads on your hydrangeas until the spring, as they

buying a real tree for Christmas? Then why not consider a tree with roots so that it can be re-planted in your garden once Christmas is over? It will become a home for birds to nest in. _ Do you know where mistletoe grows? It grows in fruit trees, such as apple, as well as in lime trees. This time of year it is usually seen hanging above a doorway in peoples homes, especially as it has a festive kissing role to play. Wishing you all a very happy Christmas! Written by Amenity horticulturalist & gardening committee member of Copped Hall and Epping Horticultural Society Victoria Robertson.

PESTS AND DISEASE

Mice will be looking to nest inside a shed this winter, they will also be looking to feed on any winter stored vegetable or fruit produce. You can use peppermint oil to help get rid of mice. The strong smell drives them away. Peppermint is a great alternative to commercial pesticides, which contain poison. If you have small children or pets, using this herbal remedy is a smart alternative to traps and poison.

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352 High Road Woodford Green London, United Kingdom IG8 0XQ

0208 505 8999

www.marinamezegrill.com The Marina Restaurant quite literally brings a little part of the Mediterranean to Essex. The team behind The Marina are known for running successful restaurants across London serving delicious Mediterranean food, but The Marina has always been their dream… 10 years ago they opened the stunning Marina restaurant in the beautiful Mediterranean coastal town of Alanya. Customers were always happy and spent some of their happiest days there, serving them fresh, healthy food in the sunshine. The dream since then has been to bring some of that Mediterranean happiness to Essex so that people could escape the bustle for a few hours and take a ‘microholiday’ at The Marina. The Marina is a place where all the generations of the family can dine together, where professionals can meet to talk business, where couples can have a romantic meal and where every occasion can be celebrated. It is a firm favourite with commuters, the local community and visitors who have heard of The Marina’s reputation and want to experience its mouth-watering food and authentic atmosphere. Every visit to Marina, we will donate to help children in need at Haven House Children Hospital.

Live music – Monday to Thursday Set lunch menu Monday to Friday 12-4pm just £8.50! + Cocktail/Wine bar

Check out our rave reviews on TripAdvisor

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his month we bring you the ultimate in festive adventure - seek the unique Northern Lights in the Arctic or an audience with an enigmatic man on his home patch, in a brilliant three night Lapland adventure.

THE CLASSIC ROUND VOYAGE

Aurora Borealis

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The 12 day Classic Round Voyage spends six days inside the Arctic Circle, starting from Bergen in Norway’s south and sailing all the way to Kirkenes on the Russian border. It will call at no fewer than 34 ports, traversing fjords and sounds too narrow for large cruise ships. You will experience amazing sights such as the polar twilight, snow-covered mountains, and frozen fjords.

Searching for the Northern Lights is a major element of the winter journey. These winter voyages sail all the way up to the Arctic Circle and beyond, giving you a tremendous chance of witnessing one of nature’s greatest shows. Hurtigruten’s ships are still used as local transport for Norwegians living on the coast so you get a fantastic mix of guests on board. The locallysourced, seasonal cuisine and huge choice of shore excursions only adds to the experience that is 100% Norwegian. Explore the cities of Tromsø, Ålesund and Trondheim. A chance to enjoy a variety of excursions including dog sledding, the North Cape and visiting the Snow Hotel, plus spending some time in the world’s northernmost town,


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TRAVEL

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Husky experience

Reindeer sleigh ride

Hammerfest. Along the way, locals will wave at the boat as it passes just yards from their waterfront houses. It’s only polite to wave back! Your voyage includes: f Full board f Free North Cape excursion (valid for new bookings departing in 2014) Optional excursions at extra charge: f Husky Sledge Adventure, Kirkenes f Snow Hotel, Kirkenes (starting 15th December) f Snowmobile trip, MehmanKjøllefjord (starting 15th December) f Midnight Concert in the Arctic Cathedral, Tromsø f Polar History Walk, Tromsø f The North Cape, Honningsvåg Prices per person start from £999 without flights, or £1410 including direct flights. Northern Lights Promise from Hurtigruten: If you book the Classic Round Voyage trip by 31st December and the Northern Lights don’t appear, they will give you another 6 or 7 day voyage for free. This offer applies to all new bookings on the Classic Round Voyages, departing from 1st October 2014 to 31st March 2015, booked by 31st December 2014. The offer cruise must be booked within 28 days from your return date. A choice of departure dates will be given for travelling 1st October 2015 to 31st March 2016.

SLEIGH BELLS RINGING

Deep inside the Arctic Circle, Lapland is home to the nomadic Sami people. Oh, and Father Christmas! Far away from commercialised ski resorts, it rewards visitors with

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The North Cape

exquisite surroundings deep in the secluded wilderness. Lapland in winter is an incredible experience for all, particularly young children who wait all year to tell Santa exactly what they would like him to bring down their chimneys on Christmas Day. There’s little to match the thrill of your child’s meeting with Father Christmas so Abbotts Travel carefully organise these trips so that the search for Santa is the centrepiece of a wonderful stay. Of course, he’ll know your children by name and he’ll give them a present or two. Add in encounters with his reindeer, with his elves, a stirring sled safari pulled by a team of huskies, and all kinds of fun in the snow, and this three night break in Lapland is a Christmas holiday we’re sure you and your children will never forget. Every trip includes: f 40 minute Husky Experience f 40 minute Snowmobile Adventure f Reindeer sleigh ride f Search for Santa f Private family meeting with Santa f Three nights full-board accommodation f Gift for children f Snow activities: eg tobogganing, kick sledges (deposit payable) f Christmas Crafts f Festive Dinner f Return flights with hot meals on board f All taxes and government air passenger duty f Thermal suits and boots f Welcome meeting f Souvenir Lapland passport Prices from £799 per person. Abbotts Travel, 134 George Lane, South Woodford, E18 1BA Tel: 0208 989 9445 www.abbottstravel.com

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with Creamed Savoy Cabbage and a Blackberry Jus Head Chef, Alessandro Dinghile shows us how to make their Pan Fried Gressingham Duck Breast, the perfect dish for entertaining over the festive period. Method 1. Prepare a red wine jus to accompany the Duck Breast two days in

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over two days. 5. Separately sauté 1 onion, 3 cloves of garlic and thyme. 6. Add beef trimmings and the prepared liquid. 7. Add 1 bottle of port, Madeira and red wine. 8. Reduce the mixture to 1/3. 9. Pan fry one duck breast per person for 6 minutes

not from the famous Côte d’Or, but from more outlying areas such as the Côte Chalonnaise. François Lumpp makes some fabulously polished wines in Givry – we have a few bottles left of his graceful Givry 1er Cru Petit Marole 2011, a wine that would shame many from more esteemed appellations. Away from Burgundy, New Zealand has come on in leaps and bounds and is now making world-class Pinot. Isabel Estate in Marlborough planted the low yielding Burgundy clone early on, and is now amongst the most respected producers. Their 2011 is pure, subtle and mineral, yet intense, with great varietal expression. I find duck works well with some of the gentler wines from the southern Rhône, for here we can supplement aromatic intensity with weight and an element of sweetness from the Grenache variety. Dominique Ay of Domaine Raspail Ay in Gigondas is responsible for one of

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BEST SERVED WITH... Many would proclaim that there is only one wine to go with duck, and that is Pinot Noir. Our recipe from La Sala is a classic preparation for duck breast, and with its of ter bs Toby We intense blackberry jus will s ne Wi Black Dog need a wine that offers some combination of depth, intensity and aromatic lift. Pinot Noir is a notoriously capricious variety, and I am wary of some of the more commercial offerings from South America – it needs great care and attention to the small details, and is generally unsuited to large scale production. In short, it is rarely both great and inexpensive, but this is a recipe that requires time and care, so why scrimp on the wine? The best values in Burgundy come

advance. Firstly boil bones of veal with a selection of root vegetables. 2. Skim off the fat and continue to do this throughout the process. 3. Take out the bones and pass the liquid through a sieve. 4. Keep the liquid simmering when possible

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a Sala offers diners a unique social dining experience with honest portions of food, inspired by rustic homecooking but with an eclectic twist. They offer a varied menu with dishes from Mediterranean and international cuisines.

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INGREDIENT

Duck breasts,

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1 per person

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Madeira Red Wine with the skin side down. 10. Turn over for a further 2 minutes. 11. Make a buttery mash potato using 11/2 Maris Piper potatoes per person. 12. Sauté half a savoy cabbage and add a splash of vodka.

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13. Spoon the jus over the cooked duck breast and serve with Crème de Case and Blackberries. La Sala Chigwell, 692-694 Chigwell Road,  Woodford Green,  IG8 8AL Tel: 0333 006 3008 www.lasala.co.uk

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my favourite wines of this year and I believe that it would beautifully compliment La Sala’s recipe. Other wines to consider are Barolos, which work in much the same way as Pinot Noir, as well as wine based on the dark, smokey Mourvèdre variety, of which Bandol remains the greatest, and California a rare but rich resource, with several holdings of ancient vines. H 2011 Givry 1er cru Peit Marole, François Lumpp £28.90 H 2011 Pinot Noir, Isabel Estate £22.85, H 2011 Gigondas, Domaine Raspail Ay £21.20, also available in magnums. Discounts for 6 or more mixed bottles. Available from The Black Dog Wine Company at Ashlyns Farm Shop in North Weald www.blackdogwines. co.uk 01992 525009.

Enjoy La Sala 7 days a week, while we serve you with a mix of worldwide cuisine using regionally sourced ingredients of the highest quality. A place to celebrate in style or to meet with friends and family.

We have live music 7 days a week visit our website www.lasala.co.uk to find out more...

lasala

www. .co.uk To make a booking email reservations@lasala.co.uk Telephone 0333 006 3008 692-694 Chigwell Road, Woodford Green IG8 8AL

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Luigis Italian Restaurant, 5 Beehive Lane, Ilford, Essex, IG1 3RG.

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HAVEN HOUSE

CHILDREN’S HOSPICE A special place for special children

“Since opening, Haven House has cared for over 500 children and their families.”

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activities they may not able to do at home. Haven House also provides music therapy and therapeutic yoga which can alleviate distress in the body and have a very calming effect. Haven House offers day care as well as short stays, providing respite for families who need to take some time out for themselves or to focus attention on their other children. Since opening, Haven House has cared for over 500 children and their families. The hospice needs to find £2.5m each year to run, only around 30% of which comes from government sources. This means they rely on the generosity of their local community to help raise the additional income. On December 13th Haven House is hosting a Christmas Fayre in Wanstead which will give children the chance to meet Santa and make their own Christmas decorations.. On December 18th they are hosting the Haven House Christmas Concert, an evening of singing and enjoying the festive feeling while helping this vital charity. Both events are taking place at Wanstead United Reformed Church. For more information on them and other upcoming events or how you can get involved, please visit havenhouse.org.uk

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By Devon-Elizabeth Tabersham

ue Irwin started the Haven House Foundation in 1995 with the goal of creating a centre of excellence which could meet the needs of children with life-threatening and life-limiting illnesses as well as their parents and siblings. Haven House cares for children from birth to nineteen in North and East London, West Essex and East Hertfordshire. In 2000 Haven House secured the lease to The White House in Woodford Green after which they were able to open their doors in 2001 with a programme which loaned toys and equipment to life-limited children in their own homes. Haven House Children’s Hospice has five bedrooms which are provided for children for short-break and respite care. Each room has a specialist bed which can be altered to the child’s needs but has a homely feel with a television and toys. Haven House also has a bereavement suite and family room in which a family can say goodbye to their child in an appropriate and dignified environment. At Haven House, experienced health care professionals provide a nurturing and fun environment for the children while ensuring all their medical needs are met. With a fully accessible outdoor play area, craft room and a sensory room children are able to take part in

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WHAT: Chair Yoga: Come along and get some exercise and make new friends. Open to all Redbridge residents over 50 who would like to improve their health and fitness. £20 for a 10 week block, please book in advance on 020 8989 6338 between 9.30am and 3pm, Monday to Friday. WHERE: Allan Burgess Centre, 2 Grove Park, Wanstead E11 2DL

WHEN: Saturdays, 10am WHAT: Ladies Only Golf Lessons: Enjoy coaching with a PGA professional at your own pace. £10 for 2 hours coaching including use of driving range and on-course experience. Us Girls members only. WHERE: Fairlop Waters Golf Course & Driving Range, Forest Road, Hainault IG6 3HD

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a prize. Entry for the prize draw is 3rd January; the winner will be announced on 4th January. WHERE: Wanstead Village

WHEN: Friday 5th - Sunday 7th December WHAT: Christmas Tree Festival: Grand “switch-on” Friday 4.15 pm viewing till 7pm; Saturday 12 noon to 6pm; Sunday 12 noon to 4pm. Christmas trees sponsored by the community, musical items, bells, stalls, handicrafts, gifts, cards etc. Refreshments, lunches and afternoon teas. Admission £2.00. WHERE: St. Mary’s, High Road, Chigwell

WHEN: Saturday 6th December, 10am - 5pm WHAT: Meccano Exhibition: Yes, they still make it... Come and see a unique display of working Meccano models large and small, and win Meccano prizes in our competitions and raffle. Adults £3, children free. WHERE: Hainault Baptist Church, Franklyn Gardens, IG6 2UT WHEN: Until 24th December WHAT: Christmas Shopping Challenge: Inviting shoppers to pick up a Christmas tree from participating stores and decorate it by collecting colourful bauble stickers, which will be available when they make a purchase. Shoppers are then asked to present their completed tree at a participating store where they will be entered into a draw to win

WHEN: Saturday 6th December, 10am - 4pm WHAT: Wanstead Vintage Fashion & Brocante Fair: A fabulous onestop Christmas shop with wonderful vintage gifts. An affordable selection of genuine vintage fashion, accessories & homewares. Vintage Café offering light lunches, morning and afternoon tea. Admission: £2.00 (accompanied children under 14 free). Tel: 07860 214 009, www.lovevintage.co.uk

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WHEN: Wednesday 10th December, 7.50pm -10.15pm, doors open 7.15pm WHAT: East London and Essex Electronic Keyboard Club concert with Brett Wales: No tickets, just turn up, entry £7 adults (under-16s £1). For more details, ring 020 8530 3717. WHERE: The Churchill Room, Wanstead Library WHEN: Wednesday 17th December, 8pm - 9.45 pm WHAT: Chigwell Choir’s Annual Christmas Concert - A Babe is Born: With traditional carols and readings for all the family, directed by Alexander Campkin and accompanied by Chigwell Brass Ensemble. Retiring collection in support of our chosen charity, Vitalise. Tickets/programme available on the door include mulled wine and mince pies afterwards in the Church Hall to round off a great evening. Adults £8, under 16’s free. WHERE: St. Mary’s Church, High Road, Chigwell

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Match up the syllables from each half of the cracker to make 8 festive words.

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE

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Can you spot 6 differences between these two pictures?

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WORD SEARCH Find these festive words:

Family Santa Claus Feast Christmas Gifts Rudolf

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Elf Mistletoe

Snowflake Celebrations

Difficulty: Medium

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For puzzle solutions please visit www.essexcentralmagazine.co.uk

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PUZZLES COMPETITION

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12pm and 5pm Monday to Thursday. Limited availability in December. Must be booked by 31st January 2015. Includes one starter and one main each from the A La Carte menu (exclusions apply) and one bottle of house wine. * By entering this competition you agree to provide a picture for publication if you are picked as a winner. Website: www.lasala.co.uk

LA SALA COMPETITION NAME:

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W

e have teamed up with brand new restaurant La Sala Chigwell to offer Essex Central readers a fabulous prize. Taking inspiration from Mediterranean and International cuisines, La Sala offers a diverse eating experience, combining fun and vibrant flavours with the freshest ingredients. One lucky winner will be invited to La Sala with a guest to enjoy a starter and main course from the A La Carte menu and a complimentary bottle of La Sala house wine.

To enter simply fill in the entry form and send to: Essex Central Magazine, Brickfield Business Centre, High Road, Thornwood, Epping, Essex CM16 6TH or email your details to: competitions@ essexcentral magazine.co.uk. Closing date: One winner will be drawn at random on Saturday 13th December. Terms and Conditions: *Subject to availability. Available between

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ADDRESS: TEL: EMAIL:

 

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s we prepare to put our last metaphorical hat on of the year (Santa’s), will you be playing Scrooge or Fezziwig this Christmas? Are your stockings exuberant or economical? Is it magical or miserly under your tree? My daughter and I don’t watch much TV, and not because I’m holier than thou, but because she prefers films now, at the ripe old age of 3. And because the only kids’ TV channel we have is CBeebies, we don’t see many adverts, thankfully. But just the other day, she was watching one of the childrens’ channels at Nanny’s house when the toy adverts came on. And it started. She wanted EVERY toy on every single advert. And she was getting quite irate about it too: “I want, I want, I want…” was all we heard and it was quite shocking. Right there, the ever present mass marketing machine begun oiling its compelling cogs and it was coming for us! It’s rather double edged, the Santa sword, isn’t it. While it’s wondrous to have about 3 months of ready-made bribe and incentive (“Santa’s watching you”), I think we need to be careful not to encourage wildly imaginative requests and more importantly, not to instil the notion that Christmas, or any other time of year, is all about material gain. It got me thinking so I put it out there, I asked my lovely friends on Facebook how much they honestly spend on their children at Christmas… and why, and it would seem I’m in good company. The amounts ranged between £5 and £400, but most of us appear to budget between £100-£150 per child. What was interesting was that it seems it’s not only the kids that need curbing at Christmas; an 8 month old has no idea what’s going on and even a 4 year old could not distinguish the monetary difference between a bunch of balloons and a bunch of £50

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Sarah Mackie asks how much we should be spending on our children at Christmas time and if it really matters...

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notes. It’s actually us parents that get carried away. But why? One research study suggests that working parents feel guilty about being away from home for so much of the year, that they almost feel indebted to their children, and use Christmas as a way of making it up to them, making it magical. Other working parents are said to feel they want something to show for all their hard work, that being able to splash out is a deserved reward, and non-working parents don’t want their children to feel left out, so they succumb to the pressure too. I had an interesting chat with a girlfriend the other day, about present buying for our children throughout the year, and we decided that most of it was ‘mummy sanity’ buying. So, either things we think will help fill a rainy afternoon at home or things we think our children need developmentally (books, puzzles, paints, flashcards) or in some cases, as an incentive in exchange for desirable behaviour. I’m guilty of all the above. I’m going to try really hard this year to stick to my budget. Every year so far, I’ve had a panic in about midDecember, that she doesn’t have enough (ridiculous, I know), and have bought more, just to find that she gets totally overwhelmed and doesn’t even want to open them all on Christmas morning! Plus, I can’t think of anything worse than the child who barely finishes opening one present before it’s tossed to one side and they are on to the next. As thrilling and exciting as Christmas shopping is, I shall be keeping that image in mind!

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THINGS TO DO

As Christmas fast approaches, here are some lovely things to do with your little ones in the surrounding areas: DICK SANTA’S GROTTO WHITTINGTON AND ICE SKATING AND THE PIRATE AT VAN HAGE Children will be enchanted TREASURE Join lovable Dick Whittington and his loyal cat for a rags-to-riches magical pantomime extravaganza that’s purrrrfect for the whole family! Dick is off to London to seek fame and fortune, but he’ll need your help! Come cheer, hiss and sing along as our hero and his lovable sidekick Tommy travel to exotic lands and mystical worlds. 11th Dec-17th Jan Kenneth More Theatre. www.kmtheatre.co.uk Box office: 020 8553 4466.

POTTERY PAINTING DAY

Why not come and paint some pottery for that personal Christmas present? Your recipient will love something unique that they know you have made specially. £3.95 per painter, plus the price of your chosen pottery (from £2.95). Tea and biscuits included. 6th Dec, 11am-3pm Hainault Forest Country Park. Tel: 07852 152300 or 07982 170918, E:ceramic.magic@ yahoo.com

by the winter wonderland displays when visiting the Grotto. Each child will receive a surprise toy. Open on selected days from Saturday 8th November until Wednesday 24th December. Experience the magic of ice skating at Van Hage this Christmas, opening Thursday 13th November. Book online: www.vanhage.co.uk Amwell Hill, Ware, Hertfordshire SG12 9RP

COPPED HALL CHRISTMAS CAROLS AT THE MANSION

Listen to Christmas carols sung by the Copped Hall Choir, Harlow Chorus and Cantando. 6th, 7th, 13th and 14th December.

DISTRIBUTE ESSEX Leaflets | Flyers | Menu’s and more, Across the local area!

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WITHOUT A MAP T

his month he has been learning about different parts of the face, pointing to his nose, saying “Nooze”, then my mouth “Moof”, ears “Urhs”, all very cute, until he gets to your eyes... It’s as though he wants them as souvenirs. The last thing you see is him lunging towards your face with his fingers pointed and nails sharpened “Eyhs, eyhs!!”, “Yes son, they belong to me, leave them in my head, please!!” you open one eye, expecting to see the other being pulled away from your socket, on his finger. Like a lollipop. He tried copying me whistling the other day, half way through his dinner I whistled to gets the cats in from the garden, immediately he attempted to help... And whistled a mouthful of beans across my face, and then tried removing them from my “eyhs” as well. Not a great start to the day. He is becoming a fan of sharing his food as well (so there’s a small chance of getting the eye back), but unfortunately he’s often fully chewed his food, before the sharing comes into his

“He whistled a mouthful of beans across my face.”

head. This results in him reaching into his own mouth, before pulling out half a saliva ridden sandwich and trying to thrust it into yours. His eyes wide and sympathetic, giving you the food “ta, ta” asking you to thank him for his sharing. What do you do in this situation? One part wants to encourage him to share, but the rational side of me is yelling “That’s disgusting!

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No, son, YOU can enjoy it, have it back, please!”, and I palm it back towards him in the hope he goes in for seconds. Thankfully, more often than not, he does. A lot of this sharing happens first thing in the morning, he sleeps very well, 7pm7am, straight through, we (well, the Mrs in truth) managed to get him into a lovely routine, but at 7am the madness begins as he bounces around the bedroom like a Mexican jumping bean. Flinging himself off the bed whilst holding his drink and breakfast bar. The result being that drink gets the bed soaked whilst the bar crumbles across the sheets. We’re now experiencing a type of ‘I’m a celebrity get me out of here’ torture trial as we have bits of cereal stuck to us, whilst trying to get warm under a drenched duvet as he jumps up and down on our heads. We head downstairs for breakfast and the first chores of the day are to feed the fish, I calmly say “Let’s give the fish breakfast” and we each sprinkle some flakes into the tank. All very nice, until my mum stayed over last week. She was awake early and sat in the front room as the boy and I came downstairs “What does he eat in the morning?” she asked, “Oh anything really, he’s good like that” I replied, with that he pointed directly at the fish tank and yelled “Breakfast, breakfast!!” My mother’s jaw fell to the floor “Er, no, it’s not what it seems! We just, erm… ah forget it. Yes, I feed him live fish” (why fight it?). He is also still saying “uh-oh” for any mistake that happens, the only problem we have is there is no sliding scale in volume or tone to denote the seriousness of the mistake, each one, however big or small gets the same “uh-oh”. You hear him mumble it a

few feet away, then slowly turn your head, not knowing if his innocently dropped a baked bean or taken both the “eyhs” off the cats face. By far his favourite word of the moment though is still “No” ... or the French “Non” he keeps pushing ahead with. He throws this one out morning, noon and night. Quite often with no regard to what’s actually being said to him... “Where’s your shoes?”... “Non!”, “What’s

“Yes, I feed him live fish.” the name of this teddy bear?”... “NON!!”... and so on. It’s only when he realises he’s accidentally turning down food, or a chance to play on the new trampoline that he then reconsiders his answer! I will leave this month’s update with news on that trampoline. He had his own one, a little 1ft square thing with handle bar to bounce with and he loved it, at first. Recently it’s not had the same enticement. Then us adults decided to get a monster 12ft trampoline with safety net around the outside, his ‘eyhs’ lit up when he saw it and we both launched on, me chasing him with big bounces and him absolutely creasing up with uncontrollable laughter as he kept falling over, toddling around and bouncing about. It’s been great fun (and getting me fit!). Who knows, maybe he will end up bouncing high enough to poke the pigeons in the ‘eyhs’ as they fly overhead. Have a great Christmas everyone, and a brilliant new year. See you in January! ...TO BE CONTINUED


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CLUB FOCUS

MOSSFORD TABLE TENNIS CLUB T

By Devon-Elizabeth Tabersham

able tennis is one of the top five participation sports in the world and since its founding in 1948, Mossford Table Tennis Club have achieved a lot for table tennis in the local area. Mossford TTC received funding from the London Borough of Redbridge Olympic Legacy Grant which enabled their move to The Jean Brown Indoor Arena at Redbridge Sports Centre in 2012 which was also used as a training facility for Olympians during the games. They also receive funding from The Jack Petchey Foundation and each year they put forward six youth players for their achievements in the game. The season is between September - April and Mossford TTC compete in the Ilford League as well as the West Essex League, they have had immense success in the Ilford League and have won consecutively for the past three seasons. Participation in these leagues sees Mossford TTC travel to Chingford, Debden, Wanstead and Woodford. Mossford TTC also play in the British League for table tennis where they compete in Division 2. Mossford TTC hold club nights twice a week, on Mondays and Wednesdays in which members can practice as well as play competitively against other teams. Thursday nights are dedicated to coaching with

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youth coaching from 5-7pm and adult sessions from 8-10pm. Chairman, Dave Humble began coaching youth players in the back of his garden until they found a permanent site and Mossford TTC has a strong emphasis on youth table tennis. Ages range from 6-18 and there are a total of 13 teams in the two local leagues. A number of young players at Mossford have been there since they were children and have graduated into the senior teams. Mossford TTC have two professional coaches, Phil Ashleigh is a level three qualified coach and Tony Cantale is level two qualified. Like any sports club, Mossford TTC are always looking to grow and have seen this happen in their Thursday training sessions, they are also open to new members who play socially and are looking to improve. Mossford are keen to encourage more female players to join the game as table tennis in England is a predominantly male environment. While most members use their own bats, there is a stock if any newcomer needs to borrow one and Mossford TTC stock the balls, both the training ball and the regulation 3 star ball for matchplay. Mossford TTC wear blue, to avoid white so that the ball is constantly visible. Mossford TTC are a highly sociable club and welcome any new members with enthusiasm, in the past Mossford have had successful international players as well as Essex Champions. For more information please visit mossfordttc.co.uk


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Essex Central - The Loop - Dec 14  
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