PERFECT PRESENTS Christmas Gift Guide
ON TARGET We Visit White Dragon Archery
LOCAL NEWS Keeping You Up To Date
WHATâ€™S ON Events, Clubs & Attractions
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ROBINS PIE & MASH We would like to wish all our loyal customers a Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy 2019!
VISIT OUR CHINGFORD BRANCH ON STATION RD where you will be personally served and looked after by Junes grandchildren Claudia & Joseph
GREAT VALUE MEAL DEAL • Pie, mash & liquor • Orange Squash or tea • Apple pie & custard or ice cream – £6 • Poached Salmon, mash & Liquor – £6
OF OUR SUCCESS IS
Nothing is mixed with our meat – scotch beef in all our pies. Our vegetarian pies are full of fresh vegetables and cream sauce. Our meat has farm to fork traceability back to Scottish farms... We do outside catering, weddings and events, the secret of our success is pride, it's a family run business all our staff are treated as family, in fact, most of them are! All our shops are hygienically clean as they can be! The Robins family: June, Thomas, Melanie and Julie •Weddings •Anniversaries B • irthdays •Christenings Fully catered: we provide everything you need, including Pie & Mash, Desserts, Staff and Cutlery & Crockery
ion at the lt extens Allpress’ ’s i u b e r Come and see our specially ating Tommy Wanstead branch, commemors Pie & Mash / Robin ’ corner TA
Pie, Mash a & nd L iquor: o Delicious Froze n Read nly £ £ 3 y Me £ .80 als a vailable in each shop!
BRANCHES AT: WANSTEAD, BASILDON, ROMFORD, CHINGFORD AND SOUTHEND 14 HIGH STREET, WANSTEAD (Mon to Sat: 10am - 6.00pm & Sun: 10am - 5pm) 9-11 QUADRANT ARCADE, ROMFORD (TEL: 01708 752 552) 65-67 MARKET SQUARE, BASILDON (TEL: 01268 271713) 50 STATION ROAD, CHINGFORD (TEL: 020 8524 1824) 15 CLARENCE STREET, SOUTHEND (TEL: 01702 436 396)
TEL: 020 8989 1988
020 8508 1513 FOR ORDERS
HO, HO, HO!
Merry Christmas to all of our readers, advertisers and contributors from all of us at Essex Central. We hope you have a wonderful time over the festive period however you are celebrating. This issue we bring you our gift guide for those all-important presents on page 13 and over on page 17 our Home Trends page features some lovely festive items for your home.
email@example.com Tel: 01787 583152
We had the pleasure of visiting two fabulous restaurants last month, The George & Dragon in Epping which has undergone a wonderful refurbishment and The Ivy in the Park at Canary Wharf. If you are looking for somewhere get together with friends this Christmas then have a look at what we have to say about both of these.
Lauren Brown Designs
See you in 2019!
School Open Days Ltd
CONTENTS Local News Christmas Gift Guide White Dragon Archery Whatâ€™s On Competition
FOOD & DRINK 25 27
George & Dragon Review Ivy in the Park Review
Bringing the Street to the Slopes
Go Wild in Botswana
HOME & GARDEN
FUN & GAMES
FASHION & BEAUTY
A Country Christmas December Gardening Guide
ON THE COVER 8 13 35 37 39
Puzzle Corner Dadâ€™s Diary
Distributed monthly to at the following towns: South Woodford, Woodford, Chigwell, Wanstead, Chingford, Buckhurst Hill, Loughton, Theydon Bois, Epping, North Weald, Ongar. Although every care has been taken to ensure accuracy, School Open Days Ltd take no responsibility for any errors or the advertisements within this magazine.
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THE OAK-TREE GROUP OF SCHOOLS
ENTRANCE EXAMINA AT TION
Braeside School, Buckhurst H Hill- Girls 2½ to 16
Normanhurst School, North Chingford d- Girls and Boys 2½ to 16 11+ ENTRANCE EXAM S M T W TH F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
DA AT TE FOR R YOUR DIARY BRAESIDE SCHOOL
TUESDA AY Y 22 2 JANUARY 2019
020 8504 1133 |www.braesideschool.co.uk
NORMANHU URST SCHOOL
TUESDA AY Y 22 2 JANUARY 2019 020 8529 4307 |www.normanhurstschool.co.uk There will also be a 13+ Entrance Exam at both sites on Wednesday W 13 March. Please co ontact the schools to register for either exam.
Option for girls to sit 11+ paper at either site and be considered for both schools For more information www.oaktreeschools.co.uk
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Independent Funeral Celebrant The death of a loved one, whether sudden or expected, is always a heart breaking and difficult time for family and friends. When creating a meaningful funeral service in the days and weeks after a bereavement, it is important to remember that we are all individual and unique. No two lives have been lived in the same way and no two people will have created the memories and love that they have now left behind. A funeral service or end of life celebration, conducted by an Independent Funeral Celebrant, puts the emphasis on the true life your loved one lived; their achievements, passions, beliefs and values. It is an opportunity for family and friends to gather together to honour the memory and celebrate the life with tributes, readings, poetry and music. As your community based Funeral Celebrant, it would be my honour to support you and your family at this most difficult time in your life. I will work alongside your chosen Funeral Director and other professionals, to ensure that your wishes are fulfilled and the day runs as smoothly as possible. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to have a no obligation discussion on the planning of a heartfelt service for your loved one. Alternatively, please look at my website to see how I can assist while you are coping with your own grief and loss.
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Find perfect gifts this Christmas at Auroraâ€™s Boutique and Little Legs Santa Specials Last December, the staff and volunteers of the Epping Ongar Railway managed to run their Santa Special Trains and Buses, despite a huge snowfall which crippled the motorway network and Central Line. They were particularly proud and this year, whatever the weather, they are waiting to welcome you back by bus and train! So this Christmas, rather than going into London on the Central Line, get your family well and truly into the festive spirit with a trip to see Santa on his train. Along with his elves, musicians and magicians and lots of other things to do, youâ€™ll be part of a big friendly Christmas Party on a train. The 'Santa Special Season' is the busiest time of the year for the Railway and brings in a substantial amount of its annual income that supports the running and restoration work of the Railway. If you can't make the Santa Specials the Railway has a post-Christmas 'Mince Pie Specials' â€“ which are a great day out for all the family. A free mince pie for all adults will do little for the waistline. If thatâ€™s all too much for you â€“ the Railway opens for the last day of season on New Yearâ€™s Day. The volunteers will then take a rest and will then open for the February half-term when it will be â€˜Kids for a Quidâ€™. For running dates and fares visit www.eorailway.co.uk
We at Auroraâ€™s Boutique and Little Legs are a family owned and run business. Weâ€™ve lived in the local area all our lives and have combined our two shops to give the perfect mix of womenâ€™s fashion and accessories and childrenâ€™s wear and accessories. Our Little Legs shop specialises in Spanish designer childrenâ€™s wear and is an ofďŹ cial stockist of Silver Cross, MyBabiie and iCandy prams and accessories. We are always here to help whether itâ€™s purchasing your ďŹ rst pram or a new dress for your night out. We also offer payment plans on all items, you can leave as much or as little of a deposit and the item is yours once payment is complete. To see our full range of what we offer we recommend you visiting our shop in George Lane South Woodford. We are open Monday - Saturday 10am - 6pm. We look forward to seeing you! www.aurorasboutiqueonline.com
DEBDEN PARK HIGH SCHOOL WIN DEBATING COMPETITION The team from Debden Park High School were judged the winners of this year's Epping Forest Schools Parliamentary Debating Competition held by Epping Forest MP Dame Eleanor Laing. The winning team of Year 11 students Max Bolton and Amelie Ashton were presented with the trophy, and the school will host the competition next year. The West Hatch High School team of Year 12 students Hannah Saunders and Luke DrummondPoynter were runners-up while a prize for the Most Promising Newcomer was awarded to Epping St John's School student Lewis Martin. This year's Motion was 'That this House believes that global warming is a myth'. Both the winners and runners-up had to speak Against the Motion which left the audience undecided when it came to the vote with the 'Speaker' for the evening, Dame Eleanor, declaring the result a 'split vote'. Dame Eleanor said: "Once again the standard of debating was extremely high and everyone in the audience, myself included, learnt much about global warming thanks to the excellent research that the students had undertaken in their preparation work.
'Davenant Remembers' Every student and every member of staff at Davenant Foundation School paid their respects last month to those who died in conﬂict. Students researched and dedicated their crosses or stars to a member of their family or a local soldier who died in the First World War or more recent wars. Each student and staff member placed a symbol in the ground during the morning. At 11am the whole school gathered around the school's memorial lawn and the Last Post was played on a military bugle by staff member Tim Beaumont. There followed a two-minute silence which was observed by the whole school which ended with the Bugle call. Two students laid a wreath by the silhouettes of unknown soldiers in remembrance of those who fell. Davenant lost both staff and students in the Great War 19141918. Headteacher Adam Thorne said: "It was a very special morning. Many staff and students were lost in the Great War including the Headteacher’s eldest son in 1917. "The students were very respectful and it was very emotional when the Last Post was played." There are now more than 1,200 symbols of remembrance outside the front of the school, each with an individual thought or message.
"It was great to see some new faces, and to welcome back some students who have taken part before. "I am sure all the students will have learnt much from their experience of public speaking which will be of beneﬁt to them in their future careers perhaps even as politicians!"
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WOODLAND GROVE RESIDENTIAL, NURSING, MEMORY AND RESPITE CARE Woodland Grove is a purpose-built care home oﬀering the highest standards of personalised care in a warm, welcoming and cosy environment.
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To ﬁnd out more about Woodland Grove and to book a viewing, please contact us: 0208 508 9220 firstname.lastname@example.org Woodland Grove Care Home | Rectory Lane | Loughton | Essex | IG10 3RU Part of Oakland Care
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SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE ON YOUR LIST The Supreme Snoozer Pillow from Go Travel is great for catching up on sleep during festive travels â€“ a globetrotters dream gift.
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Protestâ€™s AW 2018-19 collection is a fusion between authentic design and technical performance. They deliver to every winter sports lover, what they are known for function with on trend design. This collection brings the street to the slopes and vice versa. Protest fully understand their customers and always focus on their main goal â€“ to help you to get there. Protest aim to incorpoate more eco-friendly fabrics and processes into their collections. Fusing cool design that you have come to expect from them with new technology. Its with this that they have developed the GeoGreen label made out of recycled products or sustainable fabrics. Protest, as always amalgamates the street and the snow in fantastic fusion. This season is no exception. This year they have taken their inspiration from old school tailoring and reinvented it.
ND DES E R T N O H IT W NCTION
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A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS
Imagine settling down in front of a cosy crackling ďŹ re with your loved ones on Christmas eve to admire your tree laden with sparkling red and gold baubles. This is the feeling that the country Christmas trend evokes homely and traditional with that spark of excitement that only the festive period can create. In practice, country styling is all about raw, rustic elements paired with classic forms and upcycled pieces. This creates a tactile and relaxing feel - can you think of a more perfect decorating theme for Christmas time? When it comes to decorating the tree, more is more with this trend - think large chunky baubles, ribbons and lots of twinkling lights. Hessian fabrics and beautiful linens help to create varied textures, along with raw unďŹ nished wood and industrial metals. Traditional Christmassy colours such as bright red and gold create the warmth that makes this a cosy styling trend, with shiny baubles, ornaments and tableware contrasting against more rustic elements and adding a modern touch. With a seasonal but rural feel, this is a a classic festive look with a farmhouse spin.
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UPDATE YOUR KITCHEN why pay Â£1000's on a new kitchen when you can work with what you have
FREE SURVEY BESPOKE FITTING APPLIANCES WORKTOPS OVER 300 DOORS
Updating your Kitchen is easy and straightforward Just call us and our experienced staff will be happy to come and have a chat to discuss the options available to you. We have a wide range of doors in a choice of colours. A vast range of worktops. Glass backsplashes. Building works can be undertaken if required.
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PESTS & DISEASE Fungus gnats are tiny greyish black non-biting mosquito like ďŹ‚ies with long legs and have one pair of clear wings. They emerge from house plants, especially when watering. Their larvae feed on fungi and organic matter in soil and they can damage tender plant roots. Stop fertilizing and reduce over watering your indoor plants during the winter, this will help prevent infestation.
WITH VICTORIA ROBERTSON A SEASONAL GUIDE TO HELP YOU GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR GARDEN. 2@HI=BCEHDI.DFAEI@GAICF= GDDB%H>IF=IBAIE@HIEB:HIEF <F%HDIF%HDIE@HIDFFEAIF.I7F;D GG?HGAIGC>ID@F>F>HC>DFCA 47IG66?7BC9IGIE@B<+I?G7HDIF. :;?<@IGDF;C>IE@H:8I(G+H A;DHIG??I7F;DI<?B:4BC9I6?GCEA GDHIEBH>IBCI=H??IAFIE@H7 A;D%B%HIGC7IAEDFC9I=BC>A8 Stop fertilizing your house plants and try not to over water them during the next few months. Keeping them wet can lead to an infestation of pests such as fungus gnats. Create a small indoor growing herb garden that will require little to no effort to maintain. All the herbs will need to ďŹ‚ourish is water and sunlight! The best herbs to grow in winter months are rosemary, chives and cilantro. Keep them in the kitchen on the window sill, that way you can snip them when youâ€™re preparing dinner for an extra fresh added ingredient to any meal.
MAKE YOUR OWN CHRISTMAS DOOR WREATH Wreaths bring a fabulous festive welcome to your front door. You will get more satisfaction if you create your own wreath this Christmas. It will only cost you around ÂŁ10 to make. Step 1 Buy a ring shaped piece of ďŹ‚oral foam online or in a garden centre. Step 2 Fill a sink with water and place the foam ring in. Allow it to soak for around 10 minutes. Step 3 Take the foam ring out and ďŹ ll the whole ring with ever green foliage from the garden. Step 4 Push some holly berries or pine cones attached to wire into the wreath. You could add some Brussel sprouts and chilli peppers these will look fabulous too. Use your imagination to create something totally unique. Step 5 Tie a piece of ribbon at the top so you can hang it on your door. Then create a bow at the bottom for a decorative effect.
WILDLIFE WATCH Look out this month for the return of Blue Tits and GreenďŹ nches. Suet balls will help feed the birds during this winter. They are jam packed full of nutritious and fatty oils that will give the birds energy. Donâ€™t forget to regularly change and top up the water in your bird baths. If you havenâ€™t got a bird bath put out a shallow dish of water.
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Townsend Family Law Solicitors, 2nd Floor, Trinity House, Sewardstone Road, Waltham Abbey, Essex EN9 1PH
Tel: 01992 892214 www.divorce-law.org
Is everything split down the middle on divorce? If you are getting divorced, it is wrong to assume that everything is split down the middle. How are assets split on divorce? How assets such as property, savings and pensions are shared depends on the individual circumstances of the case. Sharing assets equally might be a starting point but one partner may end up with more than the other in the end.
When is there a departure from equality? Meeting the housing needs of the children of the family is the ﬁrst consideration. The parent with primary care over the children will need enough money and resources to provide a home for the family. If the primary carer is the partner who has given up work to stay at home to look after the children and maintain the home, they are likely to have less resources available in terms of borrowing to put towards the cost of a new home which means they will need more cash to rehouse. A partner who has stayed in employment will usually have a better borrowing capacity and will need less cash to rehouse. However, the more a partner has to borrow to rehouse the less income he or she will have available for spousal ﬁnancial support. There are cases where you can’t have both cash and income and
separating couples have to weigh up what’s more important. Spousal support might be provided in the short term to help the parent who has been at home to get back to work and earn a salary so that he or she is less ﬁnancial dependant on their former partner in the future.
be considered as set out in legislation are all circumstances including:
It might be a case that there isn’t enough cash from the sale of the family home to enable a partner to rehouse herself and the children immediately in which case, the sale of the family home might have to be delayed until the children are older. This will give a partner time to get back to work and build on income to boost borrowing in the future. Alternatively, a sale might be delayed until a partner is ﬁnished caring for and supporting the children at which point he or she can sell up, downsize and the proceeds divided.
• the ﬁnancial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
If there are pensions or other investments, it might be better to offset the equity in the house against the pension and investment assets but it is always worthwhile taking advice from a pension’s expert to ensure that you are not selling yourself short giving up the pension and/or investments in exchange for the equity in the home. The ultimate goal of the Court is to take into account all circumstances in deciding a fair agreement and ultimately whether to depart from equality. Factors which may
• the income, earning capacity, property and other ﬁnancial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
• the standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage; • the age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage; • any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage; • the contributions which each of the parties has made or is likely in the foreseeable future to make to the welfare of the family and the conduct of each of the parties. The weight and relevance of each of these factors will depend upon the facts of the case. If you are thinking about separating and you are worried about your ﬁnancial position, come and see one of our friendly team of specialist family lawyers for advice. Our ﬁrst one hour no obligation consultation is half price.
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As former residents of Epping, weâ€™d frequented the The George and Dragon many times over the years, so we were intrigued to see what new changes had taken place since our last visit. The refurbishment has seen some great improvements, from compartmentalising a few dining areas (great for parties, or just a quieter dining experience) to having just two clear entrance/exit points, which further helps with the ďŹ‚ow of customers and the warmth being kept in the venue, which can be especially important on these colder winter nights! Sitting down in the newly created dining area, we ordered our starters, salt and szechuan pepper squid with aioli, these were deliciously crispy coated with tender, ďŹ‚avoursome squid inside. My partner had the duck liver and port parfait, with the most incredible prosecco and gooseberry compote, every single mouthful ďŹ zzed with delight in our mouths, it was a great combination. Next up, before the mains, we ordered a couple of cocktails, I decided on the Chocolate Orange, this was generously presented in a large glass, and comprised of crisp, dry Tanqueray mixed with exotic Tia Maria and dark, complex chocolate bitters. A splash of Fever-Tree tonic and a wedge of zesty fresh orange completes the experience. Whilst my dining companion had a delicious Candy Floss Martini, a childhood favourite mixed with a very adult measure of smooth Sailor Jerry spiced rum. Expertly ďŹ nished with lime and warming ginger to create a magical marvel. So, next up, our mainsâ€Ś roasted pork belly and seared scallops with
potato dauphinoise, butternut squash purĂŠe, green beans, toasted almonds, crackling and red wine jus. Whilst I went for the special of the day, â€˜Black angus and Surfâ€™, an aged black angus 6oz sirloin steak, with garlic king scallop and prawns, conďŹ t of tomato and twice cooked chunky chips. Absolutely superb, the steak was juicy and tender, the scallop and prawns where cooked to perfection whilst the pork belly and potato dauphinoise was rich and indulgent. Finally, we had the desserts, my partner went for a delicious chocolate bomb with the hot pouring chocolate gently melting the shell and showcasing the treasure inside, a lovely mix of peanut and sticky toffee, with a side of bourbon vanilla ice cream. I decided on the New York style cheesecake, with a forest fruit compote. The cheesecake was light and creamy, and the delicious sauce added a lovely sweetness to every bite. Overall, we were hugely impressed, the atmosphere in the venue was a gentle hubbub, a mix of locals, old and young, all enjoying the new surroundings and superb menu with faultless service. This is the upgrade that The George and Dragon deserved, the local residents (and those from visiting towns) are very lucky to have such a great venue in the middle of their high street. #I*B9@I0EDHHE3I566BC9I 1(/I' ===89HFD9HGC>>DG9FCH66BC98<F8;+
IT’S ALWAYS LOVELY HEADING FROM ESSEX INTO CANARY WHARF, AND TO VISIT SUCH A PRESTIGIOUS NAME MAKES THE JOURNEY EVEN GREATER. We arrived at Ivy in the Park, the latest opening of the Ivy Collection group, which now has over 30 establishments across the UK, from Brighton to Edinburgh, all building on the legendary original restaurant, started over 100 years ago in the heart of London, on West Street. The new location keeps a huge amount of that original, from the signature ivy green colour, to the diamond shaped windows and the artwork throughout, it’s a truly stunning location. Once upstairs, we could see out across the ice rink, and the lunchtime crowd started ﬁlling up the dining areas, it was soon a lovely level of chatter and cosiness as we all got stuck into our dining experience. For ourselves we started with roasted scallops, and tuna carpaccio. My scallops were different from standard restaurant scallops, they were not seared at the end and white across the edge, but instead they had been fully drenched in ﬂavour, roasted throughout, and given a beautiful crisp refreshing accompaniment with the apple slices. My partner’s Carpaccio had lovely delicate drops of avocado puree all surrounded with ponzo (citrus) dressing which made for a wonderfully light start to the meal. We were given a gloriously extensive cocktail menu, and I decided to go for the ‘Plum Tree’ comprising of Naked Grouse Scotch, Umeshu Japanese plum liqueur, Briottet crème de ﬁgue, Oloroso sherry & whisky barrel bitters which was delightfully refreshing. My dining companion had the delicious ‘Salted caramel espresso martini’ with Wyborowa vodka, Tosolini Expre liqueur & freshly
pulled espresso. “The best espresso martini” she had ever had! For mains, my partner opted for Monkﬁsh and Prawn Curry, with jasmine rice, coconut yoghurt, coriander and sweet potato crisps. This was lovely, the monkﬁsh was generous, sizeable chunks and the sauce was rich and bursting with ﬂavour. For my main I went for the big one, a huge Rib eye steak, which was arguably the best steak I have ever tasted. Sides included ﬁne green beans with roasted almonds, and sweet potato. Throughout all this, the manageress had expertly paired a delicious white wine to go with our meal, and as you can imagine, the wine list is extensive and offers something for everyone.
seeing the hot sauce poured across the cold shell, to reveal a honeycomb centre. My partner went for Apple Tart with vanilla ice cream and Calvados ﬂambé, again, a theatrical spectacle when the ﬂames are doused across the dish. It was a splendid way to end a brilliant lunchtime meal. I’d wholeheartedly recommend a trip here, whether it’s as a special weekend treat, or a midweek lunch, you will leave feeling great. These modern siblings of The Ivy are keeping tradition whilst also energising the group into the 21st century, and here’s to the next 100 years of happy diners! #I1GCG>GI0 ;GDH3I1GCGD7 @GD.3I)FC>FCI5/I ===8E@HB%7<GCGD7=@GD.8<F:I
Finally, we came to dessert, the Chocolate Bomb is always a favourite and I love the theatre of
THE GARNON BUSHES Traditional Family Run Pub
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13 Coopersale Common, Coopersale, Epping, Essex CM16 7QS
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"CHIF.I'.DB<GAI:FAE 4DHGE@EG+BC9I<F;CEDBHA3 !FEA=GCGIBAIGI?GC>?F<+H> 47I0F;E@I'.DB<GIEFIE@H AF;E@IGC>IAF;E@HGAE3 G:B4BGIEFIE@HI=HAEIGC> CFDE@3IGC>I B:4G4=HIEFIE@H CFDE@HGAE8 Incredible scenery, extraordinary wildlife viewing opportunities and a friendly culture means there are endless reasons to visit. From December to March, Botswana is at the height of the Green Season when its temperature is high, plant life ďŹ‚ourishes and many species give birth. The water recedes on the ďŹ‚ood plains and more of the land can be explored on foot or in a game vehicle. In April the inundation begins, transforming the land into ďŹ‚oodplains. The delta is at its height in June to October and Botswana becomes unlike any other landscape. Best viewed by air, visitors can marvel at the spectacular beauty when ďŹ‚ying from camp to camp. As many as 580 bird species have been recorded here, with 75 larger mammal species known to occur and more than 80 ďŹ sh species identiďŹ ed in the Okavango. But it is often the sense of wilderness and pristine
functioning ecosystems that has the most signiďŹ cant impact on visitors. It is an ideal destination for those who want to see sunsets that burn across salt pans, river deltas, long carpets of veldt (grassland) and some of the richest wildlife concentrations in the world. From the north west, the landscape shifts from the soggy, buzzing wetlands of the Okavango Delta to the dried-out crystalline cakes of the Nxai Pan salt ďŹ‚ats. In a country full of stunning natural beauty, the Okavango Delta stands out, perhaps because Botswana is such a thirsty, dry country, where much of the rest of the landscape ďŹ‚its between desert and semi-desert. Theâ€ŻOkavango is one of the last remaining unspoiled wilderness areas of Africa. It is fed by the ďŹ‚oodwaters of central Africa and covers an area of approx. 16,000 square kilometers. These waters fan out into the Delta forming a wetland system of beautiful palm-fringed channels, a myriad of twisting papyrus-ďŹ lled waterways, lagoons and palm-fringed islands where herds of elephants come to drink and that support a wealth of fauna and ďŹ‚ora. Nowhere on Earth that comes remotely similar to this wonderful ecosystem, so much so that it
became the 1000th site on UNESCOâ€™s World Heritage List in 2014. The exciting way to explore is by dugout canoe, locally called a mokoro. You are gently propelled through this magical wonderland by your own knowledgeable guide normally whilst sipping a gin and watching the sunset, a truly once in a lifetime experience. Game drives are another fantastic way view wildlife. Each day at sunrise and again in the afternoon, following a sumptuous high tea, you set out in open-top Land Rovers, which are durable enough to navigate the most rugged terrain and deep water. The
rangers and guides have years of well-earned experience and unsurpassed knowledge, what they don’t know about the bush isn’t worth knowing. In the drier season, December to March, nature walks provide a closer, ground level insight into the bush with more time to appreciate animal tracks and colourful birdlife. Vumbura Plains Camp - in the Northern part of the Okavango Delta - delivers an excellent high-end wildlife viewing experience. Stay in opulent raised chalets with outdoor showers, small pools and areas from which to observe the grasslands and wildlife. Just magniﬁcent. Besides the Okavango Delta, the most remarkable phenomena of the natural world, there is a neighbouring mini-delta system that ﬂows from the Kwando and Linyanti Rivers into northern Botswana. DumaTau, meaning ‘roar of the lion,’ is a luxury tented camp located in the private Linyanti Wildlife Reserve that borders the western boundary of Chobe National Park. DumaTau is understated, with its tents raised off the ground to take advantage of the dramatic views of the Osprey Lagoon. Each en-suite tent is spacious, spreading out under a canvas roof, with sliding doors. The Linyanti River runs in front of the Duma Tau Camp and at certain times of the year (August, September & October) is pulsating with elephant herds coming and going for water. Along the river it is green and lush while inland areas
appear dry and quite dramatic. The unobscured landscapes make for excellent wildlife viewing and photography. After seeing the wonders of Botswana, ﬂying to Kasane and onto Victoria Falls is a fantastic way to end your adventure. One of the world’s greatest natural spectacles, Victoria Falls is a massive curtain of water that tumbles over steep cliffs into the sheer drop of Batoka Falls.
international ﬂights from London Heathrow, staying at Wilderness Safaris – Chitabe Camp, Little Vumbura, Duma Tau and Royal Livingstone. You can choose Wilderness Safari Premier Camps Abu Camp & Vumbura Plains for a supplement of £2166 per person. For more information or to start planning your incredible Botswana adventure contact Abbotts Travel.
The Royal Livingstone is located on the Zambian side of the Zambezi River in the Mosi -oq -Tunya National Park. Guests can unwind in the cool shade of the travellers’ bar and sitting room while savouring a high tea or delight in a refreshing dip in the sparkling swimming pool. A truly wonderful end to a once in a lifetime holiday. Prices are from £8444 per person for a nine-night Botswana and Victoria Falls itinerary including light aircraft ﬂights within Botswana and
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Wishing you all a very
Merry Christmas and a happy & healthy 2019
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OPEN THROUGHOUT CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR, EXCEPT BANK HOLIDAYS
WHITE DRAGON ARCHERY
After being showed the initial technique, my colleague Simon and myself were each given a long bow, a quiver of arrows and a forearm guard, then given the chance to have some ﬁring practise. To our amazement we were both quite good, hitting the target on numerous occasions, although I confess to also needing a glove after a while as my ﬁngers were starting to become quite sore (perhaps I’ve become too ‘ofﬁce based’ over the last few years!).
We’ve all seen Robin Hood, we’ve all had those moments saying, “I could do that,” but not all of us have actually picked up a real long bow and tried. Well, that was the opportunity we wanted to explore and so we got in touch with White Dragon Archery in Bures, on the Essex/Suffolk border, and headed up for an initiation. We were met by Mark and his colleagues Samantha and Kim who showed us into the huge barn, with targets at the far end and a selection of bows and arrows.
The archery was great fun, but supplementing this experience was the incredible wealth of knowledge that Mark was explaining to us about the entire history of archery, from its origins to various war stories, how the bows and arrows are made, and the various differences between long, short and cross bows. I found myself often stopping to just listen intently and completely forget we were there to actually ﬁre some arrows. Both Samantha and Kim were also full of knowledge, and skill… Kim in particular has even managed to do the famous ‘Robin Hood’ technique of ﬁring an arrow, into the back of another arrow! I’m told this is a trophy like piece amongst archers and resides at her home. Once we had ﬁred off a lot of the longbow arrows (which Mark actually makes himself) we had a try of the shorter bow, this was much more modern looking and gave a different type of ﬂight and power,
shooting faster and personally I felt with a truer line of ﬂight. After this we were shown the outer grounds, where Mark and the team have a selection of different targets and ranges to ﬁre at, explaining that the distance people were originally expected to ﬁre a longbow was 220 yards (a furlong) and this was the length a farmer would measure each furrow to in his ﬁeld, so people in the middle ages would grow up knowing these measurements from childhood. Back in the present day though, we looked at the distance and it seemed incredibly far away, but we took aim, and I’m pleased to say, that with expert coaching and the right angle of trajectory, we were able to get… just over halfway! In fairness though, Mark had already explained that our particular bows were not capable of such distance, however hard we tried. After we had ﬁred at the various targets we spoke a bit more and the team explained how there’s actually quite a few archery clubs, it’s certainly a hugely popular sport and they often tour around Essex and surrounding counties at various shows and medieval events, its also good for dressing up they explained! This is a great sport for so many to enjoy, and they’ve had various people take part, from 4 year olds, to stag parties, it really does attract all comers. If you’re interested in taking part, or just ﬁnding out more, then get in touch. ===8=@BEH>DG9FCGD<@HD78<F:I
EPPING ONGAR RAILLW WA WA AY Y
VIS ISI SIT S S SA ANT A NT TA A ON NH HIS I SPECIAL SPEC L TR TR RA AIN A N
UN F E V I T FES BER DECEM
S Santa and h his fa ffantastiic team are comingg back baac tto the Epping pp p ngg Ongar Railway ay for the 2018 8 Sa Santaa Spe pecia cials! s We’lllll h have hav ha avve e tthe Redbridge Brass B Band d, Christmas h mas-th themed ed stalls and nd d of course o Santa ta o on n his special train. r
15 16 9 8 1 2 3 24 2 2 2 20 21
Don’t forrg D get! Mince Pie Specials 28, 29, 30 Dec Steam into tthe New Ye Year 1 Jan 2019
£17.50 £1 7 50 / £20 0.00 eorailway ayy..co o.uk Epping Ongar Railway
YOUR LOCAL EVENTS GUIDE
QUIZ NIGHT Cash prize to be won. Tel: 01992 572618. 5%HD7I2;HA>G7IGEI2@HI2@H7>FC "G+I,BCBC9I I;43I1FF6HDAG?H 0EDHHE3I566BC9I1(/I
THEYDON & ABRIDGE JAZZ CLUB Listen to and/or dance to live traditional jazz bands (different each session). Non-members welcome. Membership available. Members' children under 12 free. Bar, tea and coffee. Good seating, friendly atmosphere, free parking, disabled facilities. 0H<FC>IGC>I.F;DE@I H>CHA>G7IF. H%HD7I:FCE@IGEI'4DB>9HIB??G9H *G??3I"C9GDI&FG>3I'4DB>9H
LADIES RUNNING CLUB Come and join our social running group for ladies only. Set yourself targets and push yourself or just be comfortable running at your own pace plus Fairlop Waters is a perfect place to enjoy a run. Â£3 per session, no booking required. 5%HD7I2@;DA>G73I6:IGEIGBD?F6 GEHDA3IFDHAEI&FG>3I!GD+BC9AB>H I*
WILDLIFE TALK The English-Speaking Union (Epping Forest branch) monthly meeting, with a talk by Bob Johnson, an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society in the nature category and a semi-professional
wildlife photographer, on 'Big Cats of Africa and India'. Admission Â£4, includes tea/coffee. For more details ring 020 8505 9001 or 01992 812454. 2@;DA>G7IE@I,H<H:4HD3I/#8/G: .FDI/#8G:IGEI2@HI(;DDG7I*G??3 !FD>HDAI)GCH3I)F;9@EFC
MUSIC, MAGIC & MINCE PIES An evening of seasonal entertainment organized by Friends of Valentines Mansion. Booking & ticket information available on 020 8553 5940. Â£8 for FoVM members & Â£10 for non-members. 2@;DA>G7IE@I,H<H:4HD3I8#6: GEIG?HCEBCHAI(GCABFC3I?.FD>
CHRISTMAS DISPLAY Immerse yourself in our atmospheric Tudor Hunting Lodge festively decorated with holly and ivy and ï¬‚ickering candle lights in the traditional manner. Enjoy a Tudor-inspired glass of 'hippocras'style mulled wine and a mince pie as dusk falls from 3pm to 4.30pm each day. Free, no booking required. Suggested donation of Â£1 for mince pies and mulled wine. DB>G7IE@I,H<H:4HDIEFIDB>G7 C>I,H<H:4HD3I/#G:6:IGE ;HHCI5?BG4HE@AI*;CEBC9I)F>9H3 I&GC9HDAI&FG>3I1@BC9.FD>I 5I*
CAROL CONCERT By the Copped Hall Choir. Mince pies and non-alcoholic mulled punch are included in the ticket price and the Copped Hall shop will be open for last-minute Christmas presents. Licensed bar available. The concerts will be held in the South Room. Gates open at 2pm for 3pm start. 0;C>G7I-E@I,H<H:4HDIGEI1F66H> *G??3I566BC9
QUIZ & FESTIVE FARE Loughton Astronomical Society: The 2018 Christmas Quiz and festive fare. Guests welcome. Website: www.las-astro.org.uk 2@;DA>G7I/E@I,H<H:4HDIGEI0<F;E *G??3I)F;9@EFCI)GCH3I2@H7>FC !FBA
NEW YEAR STEAM DAY
Produce stalls and local organisations. Loughton Residents' Association councillors on hand to respond to residentsâ€™ questions and problems. 0;C>G7I-E@I,H<H:4HD3I -G:6:IGEI1HCEDB<IGDG>H3I *B9@I&FG>3I)F;9@EFC
Steam into the New Year with our steam only running day! What a treat. All our services will be worked by steam locomotives today and connecting heritage buses will run between Epping Underground and North Weald stations. 2;HA>G7I/AEIGC;GD7I#/-IGE 566BC9I"C9GDI&GB?=G7
For puzzle solutions please visit www.essexcentralmagazine.co.uk
WIN TICKETS TO SEE ALADDIN AT THE KENNETH MORE THEATRE
This year’s Pantomime at the Kenneth More Theatre, Ilford is Aladdin and upholds a tradition going back 44 years, ever since the Theatre itself opened. Kenneth More Theatre pantomimes are traditional and fun for all the family. This sparkling new production contains all their usual Pantomime ingredients; spectacular scenery, truly
magical effects, dazzling costumes and of course the return of everyone’s favourite Dame, Marc Seymour! The Pantomime opens to the public on Saturday 15th December 2018 and runs until Saturday 19th January 2019. We have teamed up with the Kenneth More Theatre to offer two sets of four tickets to the lucky competition winners to see Aladdin*.
TO ENTER Email your details to email@example.com
Closing Date Two winners will be picked at random on Wednesday 19th December.
T&C’s *Tickets have no cash value and must be booked in advance with the Kenneth More Theatre Box Ofﬁce: 020 8553 4466. Prize is for any public performance of Aladdin (subject to availability) as stated and cannot be transferred or exchanged
Photos from previous performances
Bluebird Care - Care visits at home
Our Services We provide the highest quality of care to keep you safe and comfortable in your home or setting of your choice. We see you as unique, respecting your own individual lifestyle and needs. We offer everything from personal care to shopping, cleaning or social visits. The care we provide can be tailored to your requirements providing you with the care that you want when you need it most. Our Bluebird Care office is local within your community; this ensures the management team are close at hand to give you on-going support and a dedicated team.
Essex West Phone: 01277 230763 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Maldon & Danbury Phone: 01621 851500 Email: email@example.com
Mid Essex Phone: 01245 263 962 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Liveâ€“in Care Live-in care is a realistic and affordable alternative to residential care allowing you to remain independent, comfortable and secure within the setting of your own home. Live-in care can also be a short-term care solution following a stay in hospital, to assist you in taking a holiday or to give your friends and family or regular carer a break or support.
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Epping & Harlow Phone: 01992 577 776 Email: email@example.com
Southend & Rochford Phone: 01702 474274 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
CORNER CHRISTMAS CRACKER Match up the syllables from each half of the cracker to make 8 words.
ANG TA BAU OLF B RO GAR CAN NEY
EL RUD LAND IN BLE DLE SAN CHIM
SPOT THE DIFFERENCE
Can you spot 6 differences between these two pictures?
WORD SEARCH Find these festive words: 5?.
For puzzle solutions please visit www.essexcentralmagazine.co.uk
WITHOUT A MAP... Last month we had ďŹ reworks night, we had agreed to lay on some food for people and they could bring some ďŹ reworks, we expected more than a few sparklers for the kids and perhaps a small colourful one or two to be lit for the sky. However, my friend Simon arrived with enough ďŹ reworks to launch a serious war against any nation. Indeed, I had to ďŹ eld calls throughout the night from UN peacekeepers, asking him if this could be resolved peacefully, and what his demands were. Never the less, off he strode, through our garden and into the ďŹ eld beyond and began what can only be described as the largest, brightest, loudest and petrifying ďŹ reworks display the children (and most of adults) had ever witnessed.
a hitch. Jake on the other hand decided heâ€™d try to test the ďŹ‚avour of the suit, and so as soon as the assistant's head was turned, he sat down and started eating the trousers, like some kind of angry goat (or â€˜kidâ€™ if you will, thanks, Iâ€™m here all week). I quickly wrestled the leg from his mouth and wedged a lollipop in there instead just as the tailor turned back round, â€œDo you have a clean pair?!â€? I said motioning at the leg, he apologised profusely and went off to get a pair as we hurriedly made our way out of the shop.
â€œWe needed sunglasses, radiation suits, and blessings.â€?
Personally, I was enthralled, as the sky lit up like we were standing armâ€™s length from the Hiroshima bomb. We needed sunglasses, radiation suits, and blessings. The ďŹ reworks just kept coming, â€œBang! Boom! Whizz! Bang bang bang!!â€? and so on, for 3 hours. Thatâ€™s not a typo, three hours. When the kids ďŹ nally came back into the house they were rocking back and forth, simply twitching and muttering â€œbang, boom, bangâ€?, Simon seemed unfazed by the carnage and simply yelled, â€œSame time next yearâ€? as he drove off through the smoke.
The next day, we decided to stretch the legs and go for a country walk, so we meandered our way down to the local river and started to walk by its side, through ďŹ elds of sheep and cows. Immediately Jake has sprinted ahead, and jumped two footed into a huge cow pat, then fallingâ€Ś face ďŹ rst into a second, even larger cow pat. â€œNoooo!!â€? thankfully the 2nd one was hard, which was certainly the better scenario, but it still resulted in a bruised red smelly face. I quickly picked him up, scraped his feet along the grass and tried to lose some of the smell of nature.
In other news, by the time this edition comes out, I will be married, and that being the case, we have had to arrange an absolutely insane number of things, one of which being the suits, for our two boys.
Further along, we came to a farmer, and decided to ask for directions (the path forked just beyond him). What followed was quite extraordinary, as he began to talk with such a thick accent (no idea where from) that was punctuated with the odd audible word, and these all came with wide eyed expressions and theatrical hand and arm gesticulations, â€œAh, well
With George it wasnâ€™t too bad, some running up and down at the tailors to test how â€˜fast he can go in a suitâ€™ but generally, it went without
glarble mik um tire rep no stass lee don,â€? points to the left and nods, â€œram bart nod fesh dargâ€Ś. massive cow!â€? Iâ€™m sorry, what? Is the massive cow an attraction or a danger?? â€œAh, dib no san wren tarâ€? he said softly, wagging his ďŹ nger and giving me a knowing wink and nod, like I had the faintest clue what he was talking about. We never found a massive cow, though we also never found any â€œglarble mikâ€?, so I guess we were lucky. We did however, encounter some rather amorous sheep, who we explained to the boys were, â€œpractising how to give each other a piggy backâ€?, to which George correctly remarked, they werenâ€™t very good at it, as they could only get halfway up. Indeed. We decided to leave the ďŹ eld of farmers and fornication and go shopping for some hair spray paint as the following day George had an event at his school were every child had to have â€˜crazy hairâ€™ to raise funds for Children in Need. We found some silver spray and thought heâ€™d look like some type of futuristic alien, however, the following day, before school, it actually came out grey, and he resembled a small Philip SchoďŹ eld. Never the less, he was happy, and headed into school. At the gates it became clear many other parents had similar experiences with their own childrenâ€™s hair, â€œI thought it would come out silverâ€?, â€œhe looks like Benjamin Buttonâ€?, and the school day began with most children looking older than the teachers. By the end of the day normality was returned as most of the dye had left their heads, although a few of them now had silver ears.
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