DELIVERED TO THE ESSEX TOWNS OF THE CENTRAL LINE AND BEYOND
THE LOCAL MAGAZINE FOR LOCAL PEOPLE - ISSUE 21, APRIL 2016
LOVE LONDON Days Out In The Capital
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW With Local Actor Kevin Leslie
LOCAL NEWS Keeping You Up To Date
THE WOODFORD We Review The New Local Restaurant
...a meal for two at...
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CHIGWELL CARPET & FLOORING CENTRE PROUDLY SERVING LONDON AND ESSEX SINCE 1964 Retail & Contract Flooring Supplies And Fitting Services
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ON THE COVER 9 Local News 14 It’s a London Thing 16 The Rise of Kevin Leslie 29 Restaurant Review 47 Competition Win a Meal for Two
14 FASHION & BEAUTY 19 Denim Daze 21 Fake Tan Disaster?
16 COMMUNITY 6 Your Comments 45 Anna Kennedy Online Charity feature 42 What’s On Editor: Darren Perry Email: Darren@essexcentralmagazine.co.uk Tel: 01992 283 568 Advertising: advertising@essexcentral magazine.co.uk Features Editor: Victoria Grace Journalist: Devon-Elizabeth Tabersham & Ben Sneath. Design: Sharon Butler-Felby @SketchDesign, Lauren Brown. Contributors: Victoria Robertson, Amanda Anastasiou & Sophie Vowden. Publishers: 3 Blue Worldwide Ltd Facebook: EssexCentralMag Twitter: @EssexCentralMag
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. 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.
HEALTH & FITNESS 23 Zero Gravity Pilates 25 The Final Countdown HOME & GARDEN 32 Fire Kills 37 April Gardening Guide TRAVEL 39 The London Edition FUN & GAMES 46 Puzzle Corner 48 Entering Fatherhood Without a Map SPORT 50 Epping Forest Sportability Club
Hope everyone has had a great Easter. Thanks for all the feedback about our last issue, it’s always nice to receive so many positive comments. This month we are focussing on London, with some ideas for days out in the capital and also take a look inside West End hotel The London Edition, perfect for anyone wanting to turn their trip into a mini-break. We had the pleasure of reviewing the lunch menu of brand new local restaurant - The Woodford and will definitely be making a booking for a return visit very soon. Our usual mix of local news, event listings, fashion, beauty, fitness and charity are also included, as well as an interview with up and coming local actor Kevin Leslie.
Darren Perry Editor/Owner
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CORNER ANIMAL MATCHES Match these animals with their baaby names.
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Hot Cross Bun Chick Good Friday
Chocolate Eggs Religion Colourful Bunny
? ? PUZZLE
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’.
We love hearing from you!
STAR Easter Celebration Egg Hunt
Hi, Just wanted to say well done on creating such a fun ? ? for the March magazine issue. I always enjoy reading it every month and it’s clear to see a lot of hard work goes into making it so interesting. It’s not often you get something like this for free! My husband loves doing the puzzles and we always enter the competition (still not won yet, but we will keep trying!). I was wondering if it would be possible to get some copies delivered to my mum’s care home? I know the residents would love to read your magazine and stay in touch with what’s going on locally. I am happy to pay for postage if necessary. Kind Regards June Turner
s SPOT THE DIFFERENCE
Can you spot 6 differences between these two pictures?
s!’ t Hill ‘Seagull uckhurs B , t h ig r Paul W
Happy gardening weekend.In the @EssexCentralMag you can read some of my top gardening tips for March #roses #pruning @gardeningbyvr Keeping on track – the brilliant @EssexCentralMag Magazine features an Alpine rail adventure. @AbbottsTravel
Great article in @EssexCentralMag thanks very much @EssexGolfClub Congratulations to Max Shinett from Newbury Park and Christine Smith from Wanstead, who were the winners of our Chocolate Hamper competition. Max Shinett
We have made it in a local magazine. Thank you for the coverage. @FotoFameUK
For puzzle solutions please visit www.essexcentralmagazine.co.uk
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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A short roundup of what’s been going on
GB TRIPLE JUMP CHAMPION VISITS LOUGHTON SCHOOL
Great Britain Triple Jump champion Nathan Fox visited Hereward Primary School, Loughton as part of a fundraising event during ‘Health Week’. Nathan led the children through a fitness session, demonstrated some of his jumping and training routines and then spoke to the children about his life and ambition to compete in the Rio Olympics this summer. The school’s Physical Education co-ordinator, Liz Ladlow, said: “The children not only had great fun but were inspired by meeting such a great athlete. We will all be watching the Olympics avidly now we actually know one of the competitors.”
Joseph Mulvihill-Young and Jake Groce
WEST HATCH HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ‘SPEAK OUT’
Social Media and the changing face of football will be highlighted by two West Hatch High School students in the area final of the Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge. Year 10 students Jake Groce and Joseph Mulvihill-Young have been chosen from six finalists to represent the Chigwell school in the annual competition. They will be up against students from a number of other schools, with the winner going onto the national final. Jake and Joseph will also be West Hatch’s representatives at The Worshipful Company of Educators’ Public Speaking Competition at Gresham College in the City of London. Jake and Joseph were among 30 West Hatch students who attended a public speaking training day. They were then selected with four other students for the school final. Jake spoke about Social Media and the potential pitfalls of ‘Liking’ and ‘Following’ people with a talk entitled ‘Not So Social Media’ while Joseph highlighted the changing face of football with high wages for players and everincreasing ticket prices for fans. His talk was entitled ‘The Beautiful, Ugly Game.’ Jake said: “Now that I know that people have recognised this (social media) as an issue it gives me more confidence to speak about it in public.”
DEBATING COMPETITION WINNERS RECEIVE TROPHIES FROM EPPING FOREST MP ELEANOR LAING
EPPING ST JOHN’S SCHOOL STUDENTS ATTEND WOW CONFERENCE
Fifteen students at Epping St John’s School attended the latest WOW (World of Work) Conference held by the YES Partnership at the Marriott Hotel in Waltham Abbey. YES offers opportunities for students to meet and hear from adults representing a diverse range of employment sectors and career paths. The YES Partnership committee includes representatives from local businesses, schools, colleges, the Department for Work and Pensions, local government and youth workers, and has Epping Forest MP
Eleanor Laing as its Patron. Students take part in activities, workshops and hear from speakers drawn from business and industry. During the conference, they also have one-to-one sessions with business people matched to the areas of work in which they have expressed an interest. Student Lauren Mooney said: “I attended the Motivation Conference last year and was very nervous, this year at the WOW Conference I felt a lot more comfortable and was happy to work and sit with a range of different people.”
NEW CAFÉ FOR EPPING FOREST
A new café offering tasty, homemade treats has opened in Epping Forest, serving as a great local pitstop for walkers, cyclists, auction goers and anyone passing through. Cucina Benito Cafe is situated on the Forest Lodge Complex, Epping Road, a 2 minute walk from the Miller & Carter on the Wake Arms Roundabout. Formerly the Kids Corner site, it is now home to Boningtons Auction House, Forest Lodge Motel, Go Further Cycling and Cucina Benito Cafe. The cafe is a family run concern, offering good home-made cooking with a warm welcome and family atmosphere and of course not to mention the homemade cakes! They are open six days a week Monday to Saturday, serving breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea and cakes. Plus they also offer a daily special all homemade, fresh to order. There is ample parking and the added bonus of viewing the auction house, as the cafe has one glass wall which connects with
Top debaters at Roding Valley High School, Loughton, have been presented with their trophies after winning the 2015 Epping Forest Schools Parliamentary Debating Competition organised by Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing. Eight schools took part with the schools discussing the Motion:
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Boningtons, having full exposure to their current sale in action. They also offer reservations for early morning meetings, book clubs, mothers meetings etc. and have organised monthly evening events, with a set three course meal, music and entertainment. Private hire is also available and the Benito team are happy to create a menu to your taste. Why not pop down when you’re next passing through Epping Forest. Cucina Benito Café, Forest Lodge Commercial Complex, High Road Epping CM16 5HW
Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing with Roding Valley High school headteacher James Luck and competition winners Doncho Atanassov and Matthew Tinker (right)
“This House believes that it would be in Britain’s best interests to remain within the European Union”. The winning Roding Valley High School team of Doncho Atanassov and Matthew Tinker had spoken against the Motion. Mrs Laing, who presented the main trophy and individual cups to Doncho
and Matthew when she visited the Alderton Hill school, said: “Everyone is now talking about the EU issue with the referendum date now set for June 23rd so the Epping Forest debaters were ahead of the game!” Matthew said: “We were absolutely thrilled to win. It’s amazing to have won the debate on behalf of the
school. I would like to thank all the school’s research team who have helped us secure the victory.” Roding Valley High School will now host this year’s competition. Headteacher James Luck said: “I was so impressed with the overall standard of debating which makes the efforts of Doncho and Matthew all the more impressive.” Mrs Laing added: “I was extremely impressed by the exceptionally high standard of the debate. The arguments were intelligent and well-constructed.”
BACK ON PATROL BUT WITH LAWN TREATMENT
A former policeman is now treating lawns in an area where he used to patrol over 25 years ago. Bryan Horsley, who retired as a Superintendent from the Metropolitan Police in 2007, along with his wife Sally, now own two GreenThumb franchises in Barnet and Chigwell. Bryan said; “I had been in the Metropolitan Police for over 30 years and retired when I was a Superintendent of an East London Borough. I was looking for a complete change in direction and one that suited our personal plans for the future. “In fact the area we have taken over, Ilford, was where my last posting was and I was a sergeant in Hendon which is covered by our Barnet franchise so I am looking after lawns in areas where I used to patrol.” Bryan said that they had been looking at franchises for a few years and went to the National Exhibition
Centre to look at franchises and visited several but nothing ticked the boxes until GreenThumb. “GreenThumb were streets ahead of everyone and a very professional outlet so we invested in a franchise as it was a sound business with a good pedigree and was professionally run.” They now service a total of 3,400 customers and have eight employees, five lawn operatives, an operational manager and two office staff, including their daughter, Sophie, plus themselves. GreenThumb, which celebrates 30 years in business this year, is the largest lawn treatment company in the UK and has over 220 franchises all over the UK with more than 450,000 lawns being treated every 10 weeks. If you would like top quality, hassle free lawn care start with a free, no obligation, lawn analysis by contacting 01707 658856 or email barnet@ greenthumb.co.uk / Chigwell@greenthumb.co.uk.
FIRST-TIME MARATHON RUNNER SUPPORTING THE DREAM FACTORY
A first-time marathon runner has already received over delighted with. From now until the marathon I’ll be £2,000 in sponsorship pledges after he decided to run selling cakes, my mum’s homemade curry at work this year’s London Marathon to support The Dream every week to keep adding to the total.” Factory charity which makes dreams come true for The Dream Factory founder Avril Mills said: “We’re children and young adults with life-limiting conditions. delighted that William decided to support us and we William Locker, 21, from Danbury, near Chelmsford, says wish him all the very best with his training and, of his training schedule is going “really well” as he prepares course, on the day itself. for the 26-mile run through the capital on Sunday, April 24. “We rely on many individual supporters who raise William said: “I’m doing three runs a week - Tuesday money for our charity. Their efforts are vital if we are to and Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings. I also play continue to be able to make so many dreams come true.” football on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday evenings and kick boxing on Tuesdays. I’m pretty active throughout the week so I should be more than ready by the race.” William, who trained and qualified as an electrician and works in the family’s Chelmsford-based electrical wholesalers BEW, also run the Brentwood HalfMarathon in March. He hopes to complete the Virgin London Marathon in under four hours. William added: “I chose The Dream Factory simply because I believe that what they do is amazing and so heart-warming and I’m so proud to be raising money for such a great cause. William Locker “So far I’ve raised just over £2,000 which I’m
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Inside one of London’s most iconic buildings, tours of the Houses of Parliament offer a unique combination of 1,000 years of history, modern day politics and stunning art and architecture. Audio and guided tours include the route taken by the Queen at State Opening of Parliament; from the Queen’s Robing Room, through the Royal Gallery and into the majestic Lords Chamber. Tours then move on through Central Lobby, Members Lobby and one of the voting lobbies before entering the Commons Chamber, scene of many lively debates. Passing through St Stephen’s Hall, tours end in 900 year old Westminster Hall where Guy Fawkes was tried and where Nelson Mandela addressed Parliament in more recent years. www.parliament.uk/ visiting
THING Make like a tourist and head to the capital for an exciting day out
ST PAUL’S CATHEDRAL
Enter St Paul’s and enjoy the cathedral’s awe-inspiring interior. Take advantage of a touch-screen multimedia guide or join a guided tour to explore this iconic building, both now included with the sightseeing admission charge. Venture down to the crypt and discover the tombs and memorials of some of the nation’s greatest heroes such as Admiral Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington. Also visit Oculus, an award winning 270° immersive film experience. Visitors can try out the acoustic quirks of the Whispering Gallery and continue their climb to the Golden Gallery to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views across London. www.stpauls.co.uk
London’s Hyde Park is one of the greatest city parks in the world. Covering 142 hectares (350 acres) and with over 4,000 trees, a large lake, a meadow and ornamental flower gardens, there’s a good chance you’ll forget you are right in
Pictures courtesy of VisitLondon
u Old Spitalfields Market is one of the finest surviving Victorian Market Halls in London (built 1876). It provides a fashion, antiques and food offering vividly coloured, and with distinct and quirky creations of up-andcoming designers to bohemian, vintage and African designs. Niche shops and boutiques, Sniff and Fairygothmother, offer everything from hand-crafted wooden toys to todays must have design item. New restaurants Las Iguanas and La Tasca compete with the international food court as well as fresh food market stalls providing a gastronomic paradise for discerning food lovers and families alike offering high quality and affordable foods including deli-style dishes, fresh produce, artisan breads and plenty of organic and fair trade products. u Camden Lock is at the heart of Camden Town’s thriving markets area. Open 7 days per week, Camden Lock Market comprises stalls and shops selling everything from vintage clothing to hand-made jewellery and artwork to gifts, music and more. There’s also food stalls offering a large variety of cuisines. A former timber yard for ship builders TE Dingwalls, Camden Lock was opened in the 1970s as Camden’s original arts and crafts market. The original market hall was reopened in the 1980s and a steel and glass
the centre of London. Hyde Park in London has something for everyone. You can enjoy swimming, boating, cycling and skating. There are pitches for team games, tennis courts, tracks for horse riding and a spectacular children’s playground. The Park has two lakeside restaurants which are licensed and serve everything from a three-course meal to a quick cup of coffee. Hyde Park is home to a number of fascinating buildings and er Bridge Glass walkway - Tow monuments, such as The Serpentine Bridge, the Joy of Life fountain and TOWER BRIDGE the famous Archiles statue. And with Inside the Tower Bridge the Diana Memorial Fountain and open Exhibition you will learn air events throughout the year, there’s all about how the world’s always something to see and do. If most famous bridge you’re out and about on Sunday, head to works and the history Speaker’s Corner to hear London’s most behind its creation. vocal orators share their opinions with Enjoy the panoramic the world. views from the walkways www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/hydesituated 45 metres above park the Thames and visit the original Victorian engines. You will also be able to experience our biggest and most exciting development to the Exhibition since it originally opened: glass floor panels - a unique viewpoint of London life beneath your feet! www.towerbridge.org.uk canopy added to the East Yard in 2003. u Borough Market’s gourmet food market consists of more than 100 stalls and stands. Producers from all over the country bring a range of fresh produce to the market, including fish, meats, vegetables, ciders, cheeses, breads, coffees, cakes and patisseries. Other stalls specialise in produce imported from abroad. The market is open from Monday to Saturday. The full market operates from Wednesday to Saturday. On Mondays and Tuesdays, shoppers can find hot food traders, and fruit and vegetable stalls.
For more information or other London day out ideas please visit www.visitlondon.com
KEVIN LE THE RISE OF
Local actor picks up more than just awards
Marbella International Film Festival
atapulted into the limelight following his role as a Kray twin, Kevin Leslie was recently crowned Best Actor at the prestigious Marbella International Film Festival. Now his breakthrough film has been nominated for Best Action Movie at the National Film Awards, alongside the Hollywood blockbusters. “Most recently I’ve filmed the lead role of Reggie Kray in back-to-back Independent British feature films ‘Rise of the Krays’ & ‘Fall of the Krays’. This project has helped me make tremendous strides forward as an actor, getting into the mindset and hearts of one half of the most notorious gangster partnerships in the East End of London. The East End is rich in culture and history and I thoroughly enjoyed delving into
Left: Rise of the Krays Right: The Fall of the Krays the mighty will fall.
that world. Winning the Marbella award in October 2015 was the icing on the cake!” ‘Rise of the Krays’ has just been nominated for Best Action Movie at the National Film Awards in a
“Car brand Lexus of Woodford, have chosen to sponsor Kevin, who is based in South Woodford.”
category of nine blockbuster hits including Star Wars, Spectre and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. The prequel film shot straight to #2 in the official iTunes film charts and in
five years was the highest selling DVD release in its first week! ‘Rise’ is now being backed by film giants LIONSGATE for US and global distribution, while the sequel, ‘Fall of the Krays’, was released at cinemas in January. The need to arrive at filming locations and red carpet events in style: in response to his growing popularity and success, luxury car brand Lexus of Woodford, Essex, have chosen to sponsor Kevin, who is based in South Woodford, with a luxury car. Lexus has been a family run operation since 1905, and they have always supported their local community, notably the children’s hospice, Haven House. As part of a busy film festival schedule planned for this year the team was at the Berlin Film Festival to promote ‘Rise
ESLIE of the Krays.’ They took Lexus with them to film behind the scenes footage of the experience. Kevin tells us, “My love of acting both in film and theatre has been a passion since my early teens. “I’ve been a professional actor in London for five years since graduating from the Arts University, Bournemouth in 2010. “I’ve acted in and been involved with various British film, TV and theatre projects. The most memorable experiences so far have been my time at Shakespeare’s Globe in ‘Blue Stockings’ and playing Reggie Kray in feature films ‘Rise of the Krays’ & ‘Fall of The Krays. “My professional career started with my graduating show ‘Dracula’, playing the title role in an adaptation
of Bram Stoker‘s novel at the Lighthouse Theatre, Poole. After that I was in a number of fringe productions and short films, building on my acting, directing and producing skill-sets.
“The East End is rich in culture and history and I thoroughly enjoyed delving into that world.”
“My first big break through role in a British film came when I was cast as the lead in ‘Pearls of Africa’, which gave me the life changing experience of filming in Kenya as
well as England. “Since then I’ve worked on a number of interesting projects, including spending four months touring with the ETT/Shakespeare’s Globe in ‘Eternal Love’, when I was lucky enough to go on as the understudy lead in Edinburgh to impressive reviews”. Kevin already has a number of roles secured for 2016. As well as ‘The Bridge Encounter’ - which is his own original concept and is directed by award winning Corrie Greenop he is also currently filming for ‘The Rizen’, along with a strong celebrity cast including Ade Edmondson, Julian Rhind-Tutt and many more. For more information and to keep updated, go to www.kevinleslie.co.uk
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H E A LT H FITNESS
Top tips for anyone running the London Marathon
ell, it’s nearly that time of year again where for 1 day only, London is transformed into a sea of Charity vests, funky colourful trainers and crazy humans dressed in superhero, rhino and even Borat costumes! Yes, on 24th April marks the 35th London Marathon and here at SV Sports Therapy we couldn’t be more proud to be an Official London Marathon sports injury clinic! So what are my final top tips to get you in shape ready for this monumental achievement?
ORGANISATION - Make sure you are organised - plan, plan, plan! Do not leave anything until the last week. Make sure you know your travel route to get to the start line in plenty of time. I would suggest getting there 1.5-2 hours before the actual start time. Trust me, it is overwhelming the magnitude of people on race day. You do not want to cause any unnecessary stress for being late!
CLOTHING - Do not wear anything new on race day that you have not worn already in training. If you are running for a charity, make sure you have worn
the charity vest several times in your training runs before you wear it for race day. Is it too small? Does it chaff around your armpits or cause ‘bloody nipples’? (Yes, this is an injury we see every year!)
able to experience this amazing event and that your body is capable of such a fantastic achievement – well done to you!
PACE YOURSELF - At the beginning of the run, once the hundreds of people in front of you cross the start line, make sure you don’t let the adrenaline and nerves get the better of you and start out too fast - make sure you stick to your usual pace which you have been doing on all your longer training runs. Wouldn’t you rather finish the marathon strong instead of walking over the finish line?
RECOVERY - Make sure after the marathon, you look after yourself! Do your post running stretches, use your foam roller, eat nutritional food and don’t sit in one position for too long, trust me I’ve learnt the hard way after my first marathon! Come and see us at SV Sports Therapy for a post marathon sports massage to aid your recovery and stiff legs, it will really help you!
MOST IMPORTANTLY - Have a BLAST! Feel blessed you are
Don’t forget to look out for SV Sports Therapy on race day! We are stationed just after the Mile 25 mark, along the Embankment on the right hand side as you run towards the Houses of Parliament - we will be standing cheering you on and handing out FREE nutritional goodies for you - see you then! For more Sports Therapy and Marathon training advice, contact Sophie from SV Sports Therapy on firstname.lastname@example.org, www.svsportstherapy.com.
Contact me for info or order online: email@example.com www.wrapitwithvictoriagrace.itworkseu.com
H E A LT H FITNESS
PILATES ZERO GRAVITY
Bringing Ultra Dynamic Reformer Pilates to Loughton
ero Gravity Pilates, the innovative fitness thinkers and Pilates experts have opened their new Essex studio on Church Hill, Loughton (Unit 10, Enterprise house rear building, IG10 1LS). The space is bright, inspiring with shades of grey and minimalist design throughout. There will be a range of classes from Ultra Dynamic Reformer Pilates to Ballet Barre classes led by some of the UK’s best fitness experts. Zero Gravity prides itself on offering dynamic stretch based training which
“Stretch your limbs, sculpt your body and discover your best body yet ”
give fast results. Their studios are meticulously run with classes carefully designed to give their clients their best bodies yet. Their team is passionate about helping people reach their fitness goals by offering a range of dynamic, innovative and exciting classes (starting from £9 per session). Zero Gravity is known for its specialism in Ultra Dynamic Reformer Pilates a favorite among
A-listers including Elle MacPherson and Claudia Schiffer, who the founders have trained in the past.
WHY ULTRA DYNAMIC PILATES?
Each session focuses on stability, flexibility, posture and works to sculpt, tone and lengthen the limbs. With a maximum of 5 people in each class the teachers are able to give each student one on one attention throughout the class with adjustments and key advice where relevant. The new Essex studio is expanding its offering by introducing new Ballet Barre classes which is exclusive to its new Loughton studio. During the Barre classes you will get to use a range of equipment including ballet barre, gym balls, mats and hand weights to safely and dynamically work your key areas of the body including legs, bottoms and stomach. All teachers support you to safely and easily reach your optimum fitness levels in a relaxed, fun and inspiring environment. Expect to achieve leaner and more sculpted body by learning to move more intelligently and safely. Each trainer has a deep understanding of the anatomy and movement allowing them to teach a range of levels with
Chris Richardson (left) and Christopher Watson (right)
ease and confidence. Zero Gravity was launched by Chris Richardson and Christopher Watson, two fitness experts who had the same vision. They are inspired by stretch based movement, which allows people to sculpt their bodies and achieve fantastic results in a short space of time. Their knowledge, passion and dedication for creating boutique workout spaces in the suburbs has resulted in them bringing a fitness quality that was historically only available in central London. “Historically you can only get to enjoy really quality classes if you go into the West End, we wanted to change this and create a fantastic experience in the suburbs,” says Chris W. So if you are looking to stretch your limbs, sculpt your body and discover your best body yet pop into one of their studios in Loughton, Mill Hill and/or Potters Bar. Tel: 01707 654949 www.zerogravitypilates.co.uk
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REMEMBER YOUR WEDDING FOREVER 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.
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Michelin Michelin trained trained Head Head Chef Chef Ben Ben Murphy Murphy
THE W O O D F O R D
Restaurateur Steve Andrews | Michelin Trained Ben Murphy | Restaurant Manager William Yarney Restaurateur Steve Andrews | Michelin Trained Ben Murphy | Restaurant Manager William Yarney
A A FF II R R SS T T C C LL A A SS SS D D II N N II N NG G E EX XP PE ER R II E EN NC CE E
W W 159 High Road, South Woodford , E18 2PA e: email@example.com www.thewoodford.co.uk 159 High Road, South Woodford , E18 2PA e: firstname.lastname@example.org www.thewoodford.co.uk
Reservations t. 0208 504 5952 Reservations t. 0208 504 5952
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FOOD & DRINK
ocals will be very familiar with the venue, from the days of the White Hart pub, to the infamous Funky Mojoes, number 159 Woodford High Road has seen a few incarnations in recent years, but this one finally looks set to stay. Let us start by saying ‘The Woodford’ is simply stunning, the interior décor has been lavishly upgraded throughout, from the marble toilets to the rose tinted full length mirrors, no expense has been spared in making this venue truly eye catching. Was it going to be a case of all show and no substance? Not at all, the service and the food were exquisite, and matched the high standards of the décor to create an unrivalled dining experience. We began our lunch time visit by entering through the black drapes to the main bar area and led down to the seating booths. Different sized areas mean that all guests can be catered for whether your party is large or small. It’s clear to see the staff are exceptionally well trained, as they make you feel special without it feeling stuffy and cold. The small touches from classy West End restaurants such as having the chef come out and explain the dish before you eat, and the extras of canapés and petit fours are an added treat that takes your 3 course lunch up to a 5. The gentle jazz covers were playing in the background and there was a relaxing hubbub around the room, it was classy yet relaxed... perfect. The lunch time menu has purposely kept things simple, but deliciously creative. Each course has 3 options, vegetarian, fish or meat. For our starters we opted for Slow Poached Salmon with Beetroot & Horseradish, and Pressed Ham Hock with Pea Sorbet & Bacon. Each dish was beautifully presented and full of flavour. The cold pea sorbet was an exciting contrast against the ham hock and gave a very different taste experience than your average starter; it certainly wasn’t ‘soup of the day’. For mains we enjoyed Herb Crusted
Pressed Ham Hock
Herb Crusted Cod
Cod with Haricot Beans, Parsley & Chorizo, and Charred Chicken Breast with Peanut & Onion. Again both dishes looked amazing, and tasted incredible. The chicken was tender and juicy throughout and the peanut topping was lovely with each bite. The cod was a very good size and was perfectly cooked. The herb crust gave every bite a mouth-watering finish and the accompanying consommé presented in mini glass teapot added a fun element. To round off our lunch we ordered Calvados Savarin with Apple & Vanilla Chantilly, and Chocolate Mousse with Cucumber & Thyme. Each looked like works of art, and tasted sublime. The mousse in particular was creamy,
rich and unashamedly delicious. The meal then finished with a selection of delicately made petit fours, as well as an inclusive tea or coffee, all for under £30 - superb value for such a fine dining experience. It’s clear that Michelin trained Head Chef Ben Murphy and the front of house team have worked hard to create a dining experience with incredibly high standards of cuisine and first class service, that many local restaurants will have to raise their game in order to reach. The Woodford, 159 High Road South Woodford, E18 2PA Tel: 0208 504 5952 www.thewoodford.co.uk
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We now take babies 3months-1 year limited spaces available
We understand that leaving your precious assets in somebody else’s hands is a tough choice for a parent to make. Blossoms Academy provides a stimulating, caring and education based environment for children in which their natural curiosity is encouraged and their individuality is respected. Located between Forest Gate, Stratford and Wanstead, Our beautiful nursery features inviting playrooms, a large reception area and a large garden area in which children will have great fun playing and learning in a natural home environment with high quality care!
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Test your smoke alarms once a month
i Electronics - a UK market leader of smoke alarms and domestic home safety products - is pleased to be supporting the recently launched government Fire Kills campaign, which urges households to regularly test their smoke alarms and the alarms of those they care for, to prevent accidental death. The latest fire safety campaign, which features ‘friendly smoke alarms’, reminds households to make time for their home’s ‘unsung heroes’, by testing their smoke
alarms at least once a month. Some smoke alarms often get bad press, with annoying false alarms and low battery warnings beeping in the night, so it’s easy to forget the essential job they do and quite how many lives they save. But they just need a little helping hand. A simple press of a button, once a month, ensures that they are in good working order and are doing their job, which is to look after you. The latest government fire related statistics show
“A simple press of a button, once a month, ensures that smoke alarms are in good working order.”
that there were 188 deaths from fires in the home last year. Furthermore, research shows that, should a fire break out in your home, you are at least four times more likely to survive if you have a working smoke alarm. With this in mind, Ei Electronics is working closely alongside the latest government campaign to highlight the dangers of fire and the importance of regularly testing your alarms to keep yourself, relatives and other loved ones safe in the home. Working smoke alarms are essential as they provide vital early warning and allow extra time to escape if there is a fire in your home. They can also alert neighbours to the danger of fire. However, in addition to regularly testing that little guy on your ceiling, you can keep yourself and your family safe by: u Make sure you fit smoke alarms on every level of your home and test them monthly. u Make testing your smoke alarms part of your household routine in 3 easy steps -Test them by pressing their buttons once a month - Change your battery once a year (if it has a one year battery) - Clean the alarm casing to ensure dust isn’t blocking the sensor, twice a year u Whatever happens, never remove the battery in your smoke alarm unless you are replacing it. Fitting smoke alarms is the first crucial step in protecting yourself from fire. But what would you do if one went off during the night? Should a fire break out in your home at night, you need to have a well rehearsed escape plan. You may well have as little as 30 seconds to get out of your home, so you can’t waste a single second trying to figure out which way to go or where to meet your family. Make sure that everyone knows what to do in a fire and knows the escape route, along with a plan B in case the first way becomes blocked. Take a few minutes every other month to practise your escape plan and make sure children know exactly what to do.
Fire safety is common sense, and yet when we have other things on our mind, we can lose track of the basic precautions we are normally on top of. You can never play it too safe with fire safety. The most valuable things in the world - our home and our families - depend on it. Smoke alarms seem like such a small part of your home and get all too easily overlooked, but they’re perhaps the most important pieces of hardware in your home. Ei Electronics is an acknowledged leader in residential fire safety products. Established in March 1998, following a management buyout from GE, the company has achieved continuous growth through the development of a stream of innovative new products manufactured on state of the art process technology, delivered to the highest customer service standards. For more information on fire safety visit the Fire Kills campaign’s Facebook page at facebook.com/firekills or the Ei Electronics page on facebook. com/EiElectronics For further information on the Ei Electronics range, contact Ei Electronics on 0151 298 1588 or visit the website at www.eielectronics.com
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House sparrow nest and young
on Victoria Roberts
WITH VICTORIA ROBERTSON
A seasonal guide to help you get the most out of your garden.
ake the first steps towards smartening up your garden this month by cutting your lawn. Set your mower on a high setting for the first cut. Continue dead heading any spring flowering bulbs. Once they have completely finished blooming you will notice the foliage that remains will look quite untidy. You must keep the foliage on and let it die back naturally. This will help replenish the bulbs preparing them for next year. If you have snowdrops that have finished flowering now is the time to split and re-plant them around the garden - make sure you keep the leaves on. Hoe your borders to help get rid of weeds before they multiply and take hold.
CREATE A VEGETABLE PATCH OR BEGIN SOWING VEGGIE SEEDS IN POTS 1 Pick a sunny spot in your garden border and remove all weeds. 2 Dig over the patch well and remove any stones. 3 Spread a general granular fertiliser across the area and rake it into the soil. Leave the area to settle for a few weeks. 4 When you are ready to sow make a 2cm deep trench with a cane and drop in two seeds every 10cm. 5 Cover the seeds with soil, water them in well and label. 6 When the seedlings are about 2cm remove the weakest of the pair and leave one seedling to continue growing. 7 If you have a very small garden you can sow seeds directly into pots. Beetroots and radishes are relatively easy beginnerâ€™s seed to sow and grow! By Victoria Robertson, amenity horticulturist & committee member of Copped Hall & Epping Horticultural Society & Chairman of Epping in Bloom.
Birds are now breeding and you might be lucky enough to spot the babies. Nests can be seen anywhere in your garden but usually they are well hidden. Some birds like the house sparrow will prefer to build nests in trees. Robins make their nests much closer to the ground. Finches also like to be lower down inside bushes and low trees.
PESTS AND DISEASE
Adult flea beetles feed on leaves, stems and petals. Flea beetle attacks usually happen during dry weather spells. The larvae are known to chew through roots. They can be deterred by using a number of different companion plants such as catnip, thyme, and other kinds of mint.
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LONDON EDITION THE
We may not have travelled far for this month’s focus, but a step inside its doors whisks you to a different world, one we felt a need to share.
he London Edition is yards away from the city’s premier shopping spot, Oxford Street, in the heart of the West End. Maintaining much of the original beauty of the five classic townhouses from which a modern hotel evolved, it has authentic sophistication, extraordinary style and an exceptional level of service in a uniquely individual environment.
The 173 guest rooms and suites are devoted to the personal, the private, the intimate - an individual
experience of luxury and retreat. They feature oak floors and woodpanelled walls in either dark walnut or light oak, subtly lit and furnished with tactile textiles, traditional tufted slipper-chairs by George Smith and gilt-framed Dutch Masters. Bathrooms have enclosed rainforest showers, and the rooms also boast HD TVs with full cable access, high definition channels and movies on-demand, complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, specially programmed iPods and iPads (available upon request) with docking stations. Deluxe Rooms also offer some double-double beds. ç
ç The Loft Suites and OneBedroom Suites are incredible, but let’s focus on the Penthouse, a 195 square-meter (2,077 square-foot) custom-furnished space with its expansive wraparound landscaped terrace and 360 degree views of London. Featuring its own private dining room, full kitchen and living room, it is ideal for welcoming guests or simply enjoying an expansive sense of privacy, the Penthouse offers a unique one-of-a-kind retreat. There is walnut wood panelling throughout, custom furniture and hardwood floors. The master
The penthouse has a wraparound landscaped terrace.
bathroom features a large tub, free-standing steam shower, his & her sinks and a private terrace. The spacious penthouse can also be accessed privately to guarantee maximum privacy, and has the ability to interconnect with two additional guestrooms to create a three-bedroom suite.
British menu that is simple yet elegant and features the very best produce that the British Isles has to offer.
and Doo-wop to Ska and Blues as well as impromptu musical performances complete the experience.
Penthouse dining area
Berners Tavern at The London Edition is a new kind of gathering place. Open from breakfast through to late supper, there is a Parisian feeling to this interior, entirely in line with Edwardian London’s adoration of all things French. Under the direction of London’s own Michelin-starred Executive Chef Jason Atherton, this gastronomic gem offers a contemporary
Nestled at the back of the hotel is the reservations-only Punch Room, an oak-panelled den inspired by the comfort of manor house libraries and nineteenthcentury London’s private clubs, yet a modern reincarnation. Carefully curated music from vintage Soul
Nestled between high-end Marylebone, the energy of Soho and the grandeur of Bloomsbury, Fitzrovia is a perfect fusion of neighborhoods, home to many creative locals offering small authentic English pubs and many eclectic restaurants. Wide streets
lined with tall buildings in Victorian brick mingle with cosy side alleys, with a variety of architectural styles from the eighteenth century to the present day. The hotel is within walking distance of the main shopping areas of Oxford Street, Regent Street, Bond Street and the night life of Covent Garden and the West End.
The London Edition gives Abbotts Travel clients some excellent deals.
The ‘Shop Til You...’ package includes a £50 Liberty London gift card per stay and English breakfast for two daily at the critically acclaimed Berners Tavern. Stay overnight in one a sophisticated Loft, Loft Suite or Penthouse and enjoy exclusive access to Liberty’s Private Shopping service and afternoon tea for two at Liberty’s luxurious
The Basement Bar and Club
private suite per stay. Also, stay 3 nights or more in a Loft room or above and save up to 20%. Enjoy English breakfast for two daily at Berners Tavern. Book a Loft Suite or Penthouse and enjoy a complimentary in-room drink trolley. Abbotts Travel, 134 George Lane, South Woodford, E18 1BA. Tel: 0208 989 9445 www.abbottstravel.com
ESSEX GET OUT AND ABOUT IN
WHEN: Every Monday, 7.30pm-8.30pm WHAT: Zumba - Burn off those excess calories, tone those wobbly bits and get fit and healthy with my fun Zumba Fitness classes in Barkingside! The instructor is a professionally qualified Exercise to Music instructor. Includes toning exercises with hand weights. £5 per class. Contact Elaine 07961 365674. WHERE: St Francis Community Centre, 144 Fencepiece Road, Barkingside
WHEN: Every Wednesday (term time only), 9.30am-10.30am WHAT: Back2Netball - Get back into netball, all abilities welcome. Ladies aged 16+, £3. For more information contact Lucy Hantson 07854 090628 or email Lucy. firstname.lastname@example.org WHERE: Redbridge Sports & Leisure Centre, Forest Road, Barkingside IG6 3HD
WHEN: Every Thursday, 12noon - 4pm WHAT: Open Thursday Coffee Shop - We have real coffee and interesting biscuits, (or you might fancy toast). All are welcome to stay for 10mins or all afternoon. 50p donation to cover expenses. WHERE: Gants Hill Methodist Church, 18 Gants Hill Crescent IG2 6TU WHEN: Every Friday, 6pm-8pm WHAT: Hotstepperz Dance Class - Street and Freestyle dancing open to any level, ages 11+. £2 members, £3 non-members. WHERE: The Jack Carter Centre, The Drive, Ilford IG1 3PS
WHEN: Sunday 3rd April, 9am-2pm WHAT: Loughton Residents’ Association Farmers Market - Produce stalls and local organisations. LRA councillors on hand to respond to residents’ questions and problems. WHERE: Centric Parade, High Road, Loughton WHEN: Thursday 7th - Saturday 9th April, 8pm WHAT: Loughton Amateur Dramatic
Society Performance - An English Tragedy, by Ronald Harwood. Based on an extraordinary true story, An English Tragedy is a disturbing tale of wartime treason and conflicting loyalties. Following the wartime victory in Europe and a Labour landslide in the UK, English traitor John Amery is arrested in Italy and brought back to London for trial. If convicted, he faces the death penalty. But his father is a senior politician. Surely the Establishment will look after its own? Tickets, priced £10, available by ringing 07552 736110 or visit www.lads.org.uk WHERE: Lopping Hall, High Road, Loughton
WHEN: Saturday 9th April, 2pm-4.30pm WHAT: Buckhurst Hill Horticultural Society Spring Flower Show - Spring flowers, photography, cookery section, and junior entries. Plants for sale, teas and homemade cakes. Admission free for members (£1 for non-members). For more details, ring show secretary Jill Jones on 020 8257 8996 or email email@example.com WHERE: The Centenary Hall, St John’s Church, High Road, Buckhurst Hill WHEN: Sunday 10th April, 10.30am-1pm WHAT: St Clare Hospice 10k Run Hundreds of runners are expected to take part. Entry (booked in advance) costs £12 (£10 for nonaffiliated runners), or £15 on the day. Ring Jade Clarke on 01279 773756 or email jade.clarke@ stclarehospice.org.uk WHERE: St Clare Hospice, Hastingwood Road, Hastingwood
WHEN: Sunday 10th April, 11am-3.30pm WHAT: Best of Music Fest - A feast of musical pleasures will be provided by many high quality musicians and singers from in and around Redbridge, mixing folk and jazz, soft rock and classical, pop and country, and everything around and in between. A limited amount of seating will be available but you may wish to bring your own chairs or picnic blankets. WHERE: Walled Garden, Valentines Mansion, Ilford
WHEN: Monday 11th April, 1.45pm WHAT: West Essex Flower Club’s April Meeting - All about spring with the title of “Spring to Summer” demonstrated by Barbara Collins. There will also be a Spring Plant Stall. Come along and enjoy a most enjoyable afternoon in friendly company. All welcome, members free, visitors pay £5.00 on the door. WHERE: Thornwood Village Hall, Weald Hall Lane, Thornwood WHEN: Tuesday 12th April, 8pm WHAT: NE London RSPB Group Meeting - Talk entitled ‘A year on my local patch’ by freelance wildlife tour guide Simon Ginnaw. Admission £3 for RSPB members (£3.50 for non-members). For more details ring David Littlejohns on 020 8989 4746 or email firstname.lastname@example.org WHERE: St Mary’s Church, 207 High Road, South Woodford WHEN: Sunday 17th April WHAT: Guided Tour of Copped Hall - Tours start at 10am and last about two-and-a-half to three hours and cover the gardens, a large part of the mansion, the cellars and stables. Gates open at 10am with last entry at 11am. Tea, coffee and homemade cakes available in
the Racquets Court where there is a shop selling books about Copped Hall and a range of gifts. Second-hand books on sale in the mansion. There are also permanent exhibitions. Entry £8 per person. WHERE: Copped Hall, Epping WHEN: Monday 18th April, 8.15pm WHAT: St John’s Wives Group - A talk entitled ‘Soil, Sweat & Tears Advice for the Reluctant Gardener’ with Brian Carline. WHERE: St John’s Parish Hall, Church Lane, Loughton WHEN: Wednesday 20th April, 8pm WHAT: AGM & Talk - National Trust Woodford Green Centre meets for its AGM followed by a talk on Epping Forest by Judy Adams. Tickets, priced £3 for non-members of the centre. Refreshments available. For more details ring 020 8508 9541. WHERE: Trinity Lower School, Sydney Road
WHEN: Saturday 23rd April, 10am-3pm WHAT: Table Top Sale - For enquiries or to book a table ring the church office on 020 8418 7944 or email email@example.com. £10 per table payable in advance. Proceeds will go towards refurbishment work. WHERE: St Michael and All Angels Church, Roding Road, Loughton WHEN: Saturday 23rd April, 10am-noon WHAT: Young Artists Workshop -. Art sessions working in pencil, pastel, and paint, for children aged
eight to 11. First of three (others on April 30 and May 7). Cost £26.30 for three sessions (plus £4 membership fee). For more details ring 020 8504 6668 or email firstname.lastname@example.org WHERE: Buckhurst Hill Community Association, Bedford House, Westbury Road, Buckhurst Hill WHEN: Friday 29th April, 8pm WHAT: Ongar Music Club Concert - Marianne Olyver and her Gypsy Orchestra, a unique six-piece ensemble of virtuoso dash and sparkle. Tickets at the door, priced £10. WHERE: Budworth Hall, High Street, Ongar WHEN: Saturday 30th April, 7.30pm WHAT: Theydon Bois Singers with Davenant Community Choir and New Essex Choir - Performing Mozart’s ‘Requiem’, accompanied by an orchestra. Tickets, priced £12 in advance or £15 on door, are available by emailing email@example.com WHERE: St John’s Church, High Road, Buckhurst Hill WHEN: Saturday 30th April, 7.30pm-10pm WHAT: St Clare Quiz - Eight tables each with a maximum of ten players. Admission £7 per head. For tickets and more details, ring Dani on 01279 773738 or email Dani@stclarehospice.org.uk WHERE: St Clare Hospice, Hastingwood Road, Hastingwood WHEN: Monday 2nd May, 11.30am-5pm WHAT: Chigwell Village Fete This event is into its 11th year and continues to grow. Run by the Rotary club of Roding with Buckhurst Hill , Loughton and Chigwell club. There are arena shows, bands, choir, singing and dance, dog show, stalls, BBQ, PImms tent, beer tent, bouncy castle and more. WHERE: The green opposite Brook Parade shops, Chigwell
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ONLINE Forging a path to autism awareness By Ben Sneath
nna Kennedy OBE, who’s two boys are autistic, realised that they needed a local school that was specifically for children with autism. She decided that the only way to do it was to set up a Social Enterprise and remortgage her house to raise the funds. As a result the biggest autism school in the UK opened: Hillingdon Manor School in West London. The school was so successful another one called Baston House School followed in Kent. After this Anna set up Annakennedyonline (AKO) in 2009 with the specific aim of raising awareness about autism. AKO is dedicated to promoting the inclusion and equality of children and adults with an autism spectrum condition throughout society. The charity promotes its mission of disability equality by developing and sponsoring training, by raising awareness of the challenges faced by people with disabilities. Anna does a lot of work promoting the charity and has 80,000 followers on social media, while the AKO Charity Champions are also busy planning fun fundraising and awareness raising events across the country. Nicki Rodriguez is the Essex Charity Champion and she organises all the county’s events. There are a number of events at Grange Farm, Chigwell in April for Autism Awareness Month. The Awareness Day on 19th April will have talks about autism for parents, teachers and anyone interested in finding out more about autism. Then the Fun Day on 21st May will have entertainment for all the family, including a sensory bus, a conservation and animal tour, sporting activities and an ice cream and face painting bus.
One of Anna’s favourite fun events is Autism’s Got Talent which sees AKO hire a theatre to showcase the talents of those with autism. There will be 23 different acts and this year it’s being held at the Mermaid Theatre in London. But AKO also plans to do a nationwide roadshow - so it could be coming to a theatre near you! The charity’s celebrity patrons and supporters also get involved. The Wear it for Autism fashion show in London last year had famous judges including TV’s Denise Welch and Jane Moore. There is also an annual football match between Spurs Legends (a team featuring exTottenham Hotspurs players) and AKO XI (featuring AKO’s celebrity supporters) in Bishops Stortford. Another event in Essex will be this year’s AKO Autistic Ball in Wolvestone on 9th July, and Autism Hero Awards take place in March and October in London where those with autism can put themselves, parents or carers forward to win an award. AKO also does more serious awareness raising events where Anna and other experts on autism talk about the latest developments for those who have it. She has recently done ones in Bristol and Middlesbrough to large audiences and received great feedback, so now the charity is looking to gain a larger London audience with the AKO Autism Expo at the Brunel University where visiting families and carers can find out more about autism and its related conditions. To get involved, go to an event or to donate money see below. Tel: 01895 619 736 www.annakennedyonline.com /Annakennedyonline @AnnaKennedy1
? PUZZLE ?
Rearrange the letters to find 10 London landmarks
NRYAAC / RAHWF RBAMEL / RCHA MESORRIP / LIHL HET / PATONCEH EHT / RAHSD NNIGOWD / TERSTE RASDROH EBLOG / HTRATEE SOLENNS / UOLCNM LYOAR / TBELAR / LALH
s SPOT THE DIFFERENCE
Can you spot 6 differences between these two pictures?
Find these London Underground stations: Russell Square
For puzzle solutions please visit www.essexcentralmagazine.co.uk
WIN! Win a meal for two at table 7!
picked at random on Tuesday 19th April. Terms and Conditions: *By entering this competition you agree to provide a picture for publication if you are picked as the winner. *Drinks are not included. *Winner must contact the restaurant to make a booking. www.table7chingford.com
MEAL FOR TWO COMPETITION
his month we have teamed up with Table 7 in Chingford to offer one lucky reader a fabulous three course meal for two. Head Chef Victor Garcia and his team continue to make fantastically creative food and incredible combinations in their ‘expression of fine dining’. Mouthwatering dishes such as ‘Three Game Terrine’ and ‘Butternut Squash & Pinenut Strudel’ are sure to delight the senses. The restaurant may look small from the outside, but upon entering the venue you are greeted with a wide selection of drinks at the bar, then as you venture through to the main dining area, you can catch Victor creating his signature dishes in the open kitchen. There is also a pretty courtyard for al fresco dining in the summer months.
To Enter: Simply fill in the entry form and send to: Essex Central Magazine, Brickfield Business Centre, High Road, Thornwood, Epping, Essex CM16 6TH, enter online at www.essexcentral magazine.co.uk/competitions or email your details to: competitions@essexcentral magazine.co.uk. Closing Date: One winner will be
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his month as the weather has started to cheer up we decided to go and feed the ducks in Valentines Park. The poor things didn’t stand a chance as George started pelting food at them, more than enough to feed a herd of hungry elephants. Initially there was just one duck, who must have thought he’d hit the jackpot when George showed up with 4 loaves of bread. However, just a quarter of the way through loaf number one and Daffy was starting to feel a tad bloated, yet George was relentless. “More Daddy, he wants more!” but I felt George may be misjudging the situation, so much so that if Daffy had tear ducts I assumed he’d be crying at this point. “Maybe we should feed something else now George,” I said as the duck rolled itself back into the pond and gently sank beneath the waterline, “What about the squirrels?” I asked, changing target. As George focused his attention the squirrel quickly gathered it was in danger and practically flew up a tree. “Can squirrels fly Daddy?” he asked, “That one can”. After feeding the rest of the ducks, and half the pigeons in the south east (word seemed to have spread throughout the wildlife population that some crazy kid had turned up with enough bread to feed them all) we headed off to Redwings Horse Sanctuary on the outskirts of Epping. Both George and Jake calmly patted the horses, although Jake tried to remove the mane of one poor horse, and George was initially frustrated he wasn’t allowed to “drive them” as he put it. To end off the day we went round the corner to the Sun Inn pub, in Nazeing. Out the back George saw the climbing area, slide and goals and quickly ran over towards them with me in pursuit. There now seems to be a frustrating regular situation for myself
each time we go to a park, as he asks me to go down the slide. Normally this isn’t so bad, but when your being watched by 20 leather clad bikers drinking beer and you’re finding your waist stuck at the top of the slide whilst your child is yelling increasingly louder at you to, “hurry up and come down!” it can be a tad embarrassing. Once that was out the way we moved onto the football. Recently we have been playing in the front room, using the sofa and the door as goals, he has little concept of what an actual goal looks like and this became all too clear in the pub garden. I stood in the goal beckoning him to dribble towards me with the ball, he looked up with a big smile and started coming closer, I pretended to shimmy left and right in the goal, getting ready to ‘let one in’ for the lad. As he got near I noticed the angle of his run was slightly off and he began to run past the goal, “George, the goal is here?!” I yelled as a few of the bikers stood up out of curiosity to see where he was going. Head down he was now running at some speed, and we were now quite far from the
“After another 723 attempts we struck gold and manage d ” ot sh to get the
goal, the climbing area and the pub itself, yet still he kept running. I felt like I was chasing Forest Gump as we approached a field towards the back. He blasted the ball against the wire fence holding back the cows and yelled “Goooaaaal!” Aha, yes... the goal in the front room, now it makes sense. We looked back to where the pub used to be, beyond a hill in the distance, and started the long walk back. I expected that by the time we
returned, his younger brother Jake would have graduated college and perhaps have kids of his own, such was the distance we had to cover. Eventually we returned, the only regrettable change in my absence was that my burger and beer had decided to swap temperatures. The next day we had to get the kids’ passport photos done, and so we headed to a shop that does sit down photos. The man got Jake in the seat first, I stood behind the photographer and gave a quick click of my fingers. Jake looked straight to the camera and we got the shot. George was not quite so easy. “Let go dad, me can climb on my own,” he said as he got on to the chair, “me can do photos,” as the man stood behind the camera. I explained that all he had to do was look at the camera. As soon as I said camera he yelled “Cheese!!” The first shot was ruined, the man said “No problem, let’s try again.” “Ok George, don’t say cheese, just sit there and get ready to have your photo taken,” with that he unleashed a huge smile, bright white teeth, and huge eyes. “Sorry, but we can’t use that one either” said the man politely. “Now George listen to me, you need to keep your mouth shut...” as the words left my mouth I could sense the man about to click his button for the third time, within a nanosecond George’s eyes clamped shut, leaving his huge smile still open. It clicked for the 3rd time and the poor man didn’t need to tell me again, “I know mate, you can’t use it”. I dropped a gentle hand on his shoulder, I felt his pain. After another 723 attempts we struck gold and managed to get the shot we needed. It had taken a while and George had visibly aged from the first shot to the last, but it didn’t matter, the passport photos were done! ...TO BE CONTINUED
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EPPI N G FOREST SPORTABILITY CLUB Come and join the fun!
he Epping Forest Sportability club (EFSC) is a multi-sports club for young people aged 5 and up, with mild to moderate physical and learning difficulties. EFSC was established in 2005, as part of the Epping Forest District Councils’ sports partnership with schools in the local area and is now operating independently. The main aim of EFSC is to ensure the young members have fun, whilst participating in a wide variety of sports with their peers. Sport is seen as a great way of developing confidence levels and social skills, while keeping members fit and healthy! Current participants of the club have a wide range of needs and are of varying ages, making it suitable for a great range of participants. The sports played at the club include; benchball, boccia and dodgeball. To deliver sessions there are a number of coaches ranging from volunteers to the head coach, who holds a number of qualifications. All of whom are DBS checked and strive to deliver high quality coaching and sporting opportunities tailored to members’ individual needs. Alan Prentice, the Head Coach, has worked in sport for over 20 years, working with a variety of agencies.His sports life started in football with Leyton Orient where he worked as a community coach back in 1992. He then went on to work for a number of other football
clubs at community and Academy Level. Disability sport started for him in 2001 when he supported a multisport program that was set up by Uttlesford District Council. In 2005, he was appointed Head Coach of Epping Forest Sportability Club and in 2006 he worked on a disability football program for Harlow Council. Since 2007, he has supported a number of Harlow schools with their PE and after school clubs. The club is based at Oak View School, Whitehills Road, Loughton, Essex, IG10 1TS and takes place on Saturdays from 10am - 1pm, during term time. The club relies on grants to carry on. They have received grants from the Essex Community Fund and Loughton Town Council and are actively pursuing others. The club also receives great support from Oak View School who have let them use their facilities for free since 1995. The school also supports the committee in many other ways such as providing guidance and advice. If you know anyone that would benefit from playing team sports in a relaxed, fun and friendly environment, then get in touch! If you would like any more information about the club please contact: Head Coach Alan Prentice on 07592 878690, email email@example.com, visit the website www.efsportability.com @efsportability, /Epping Forest Sportability Club
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