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SEVENOAKS LIFE

SEVENOAKS LIFE WESTERHAM, OXTED, BECKENHAM, CHISLEHURST, TUNBRIDGE WELLS AND THE EXCLUSIVE SURROUNDING AREAS w w w . t h e l i f e m a g a z i n e s . c o m

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FESTIVE PARTIES AND VENUES GUIDE WWW.THELIFEMAGAZINES.COM THE QUALITY LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE ISSUE 45 DECEMBER 2012

THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS TREE ARE YOU A DANCEFLOOR DAZZLER? GET INTO MISTLETOE MODE KENT EVENTS

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FOOD & DRINK • TRAVEL


Also in the Antique & Modern Jewellery auction An early 20th century pearl and diamond bracelet. Estimate £5,000 - £7,000

Silver & Plated Ware

Monday 10th December A turn of the century Chinese export kettle and stand by Luen Wo, Shanghai. Estimate £1,000 - £1,500

Auction of Antique & Modern Jewellery

Thursday 6th December at 11am

Antiques & Fine Arts

Tuesday 11th December A Victorian Tunbridge ware inlaid rosewood ‘teapoy’, circa 1850-60. Estimate £1,500 - £2,000

A set of ruby and diamond jewellery. Estimate £25,000 - £35,000

Visit www.fellows.co.uk/life for a complimentary catalogue Fellows Auctioneers | 19 Augusta Street | Birmingham B18 6JA | 0121 212 2131 2 DECEMBER2012


WELCOME

PUBLISHED BY THE FISH MEDIA GROUP LTD

The Ridings Woodfield Lane Essenden, Herts AL9 6JJ Tel : 0844 800 8439 Fax : 01707 655 718 www.thelifemagazines.com Email: peter@fishmediagroup.co.uk Editor Faye Manning Assistant Editor Katie Miller Sub Editor Alex Lux Fashion Editor Kitty Shead Contributors Maureen Cole John Ruler John Bly Bruce Edwards Jack Smith Design & Production Brian Conway-Smith Photography Adam Swaine Accounts Kathy Manning Ken Fleet Business Development Manager Lisa Westerman Sinead Shell SALES Lorna Ferrin Vanessa Lane James Marshall DIRECTORS Peter Smith Rory Smith Patrick Smith

All Rights reserved. All Fish Media Group Ltd magazines are copyright and cannot be reproduced in any form either in part or whole without written permission from the publishers. Whilst Fish Media Group Ltd takes every reasonable precaution, no responsibility can be accepted for any property, services or products offered in any of our publications and any loss arising. Whilst every care is taken with all materials submitted to all of our magazines the publisher cannot accept the loss or damage to such material. The Fish Media Group Ltd reserves the right to reject or accept any advertisement, article or material prior to publication. Opinions expressed are strictly those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of Fish Media Group Ltd. We accept no liability for any misprints or mistakes and no responsibility can be accepted for the content of these pages.

Hello and a very merry Christmas, successful and Happy New Year to all of our readers from everyone at the Fish Media Group. At this time of year all of our thoughts naturally turn to seasonal festive fun and entertainment, so we are pleased to include our Party and Venues guide for you to book, visit and enjoy some of the liveliest and best venues in your area. We also include some wonderful hints, tips and creative ideas on how to make the very most of your Christmas at home, with features on the best and most creative way to dress your Christmas tree and how to make your dining table look simply amazing. We hope that you will enjoy reading and trying our ideas to make the very most of your Christmas. Our excellent Local Life team have been to more local towns and places of interest. This month Maureen Cole visits Edenbridge and Tunbridge Wells whilst John Ruler our much loved local historian meets the Beckenham Concert Band and visits St Patricks in Chislehurst, a cinema that has become a church!

Party and Venues guide for you to book, visit and enjoy some of the liveliest and best venues in your area.

Once again our December issue also has all of your favourite features and articles including a seasonal Whats On guide. Bruce Edwards Books review. The Beauty pages help you to get into the Mistletoe mode and offers some lovely gift ideas . The Fashion section looks at you becoming a Dance Floor Dazzler. The December recipe asks you to Meat the Experts. Our Travel guide takes us to Paris and Regan Maloney reviews more local restaurants.

We also look at some more highly professional, recommended local businesses including Grange the unique furniture showroom in Croydon, Annabels Luxury English Gift Emporium in Chislehurst, Blackburn Bridal and Fresh Lifestyle Spa in Blackheath, Roundel the kitchen, study and bedroom design specialist in Cranbrook and Rowhill Grange and Spa who have launched their own brand candle collection. We hope that you enjoy the December issue and have a wonderful time over Christmas and the New Year. Until next year‌

You will be pleased to know that you and your friends can now read our magazines online at www.thelifemagazines.com To advertise contact Lisa on 07904 251984 or Peter on 077111 43342 or email peter on peter@ďŹ shmediagroup.co.uk

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Contents

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EDITORS LETTER

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WHATS ON

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LOCAL LIFE Tunbridge Wells – Living La Dolce Vita 12 Chislehurst Cinema - A Holy New Life 16 Edenbridge – A Lesson in Time 20 Beckenham Concert Band – A Festive Note 24 Celebrity Interview – Jake Gyllenhaal 28

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FESTIVE PARTIES, VENUES and RESTAURANT GUIDE 33 Regan Maloney’s Restaurant Review 34 Valentina Fine Foods 35 Eastwell Manor – The Joy of Christmas 38 Hotel Du Vin – Events with a difference 40 Fellbridge Hotel and Spa 42 Sea Salt – Christmas Fayre 43 Cinnamon Culture – Festive Celebration 44 Aqua Bar and Grill – Celebrate in Style 45 Recipe - Meat the Experts 48 Drinks – Mixing it up 50 FASHION AND BEAUTY Beauty All Wrapped up Fresh Lifestyle Salon and Spa Get into the Mistletoe Mode Annabel’s English Treasures Be a Dancefloor Dazzler

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HOME and GARDEN Alexander Hotels – Brand New Candle Collection 64 Go to Tinsel Town 66 Make Yours a Top Table 70 Grange-London – Gallic Charm 72 Roundel Design – Crafted with Care 74 Grants of Sevenoaks – The Personal Touch 77 The Bomber Command – Meet some of the Heroes 78 NSPCC – A Letter from Santa 79 TRAVEL Paris – A City for all Seasons

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BOOK REVIEWS with Bruce Edwards 82

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DECEMBER2012 7


LOCAL EVENTS 12 DECEMBER 20

WHAT’S ON... ✱ OUTDOOR ICE SKATING rink in the picturesque Calverley Grounds, Tunbridge Wells is returning, and this year it will be even bigger! This year families and children can have a magical visit to Father Christmas in his traditional Christmas log cabin overlooking the ice rink. Spectators can indulge themselves with a hot chocolate or a warming glass of mulled wine and watch the festive fun unfold on the ice at this fantastic town centre location until 7 January 2013. www. tunbridgewellsatchristmas. com ✱ SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS. A spectacular pantomime for Christmas 2012. Stunning sets, beautiful costumes, great music and plenty of comedy for the whole family. Sat 15 Dec-sun 6 Jan. Assembly Hall Theatre. 01892 530613 www. assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk ✱ SANTA SPECIALS. Take a steam train ride through the winter Wealden countryside, then meet Father Christmas in his magical grotto. All children receive an age-related gift from Father Christmas, and there are seasonal drinks and mince pies for the grown-ups. 10.00 to 15.30 Adult & child £12.01.Spa Valley Railway, West Station, Tunbridge Wells Kent TN2 5QY. Sat 8 Dec 2012 to Wed 19 Dec 2012. www.spavalleyrailway.co.uk ✱ COTMAN IN NORMANDY. For most of the twentieth century John Sell Cotman (1782 – 1842) was the most widely admired English watercolourist, surpassing even Turner in popularity. This major exhibition will look at the central chapter of the artist’s career featuring over

8 DECEMBER2012

100 watercolours, drawings and prints sketches setting Cotman’s Normandy studies against the background of his earlier architectural work. The exhibition will also feature a further 20 sketches by other artists including Turner, Samuel Prout and Henry Edridge who also visited Normandy. 10am-5pm Tues to Sat, 11pm-5pm Sun. See website for prices. Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, Dulwich Village, London SE21 7AD.Until Sat 22 Dec 2012 www.dulwichpicturegallery. org.uk ✱ FIELD TRIP – SEVENOAKS. All day Saturday visit led by Geoff Shoebridge, to a mixed habitat of ponds and lakes, seasonal flooded pools, reedbed and woodlands. Take waterproof clothes and footwear suitable for the season, binoculars and packed lunches. For meeting place and transport arrangements, email or phone a week ahead or ask at an indoor meeting. Highlights: woodland & water birds. 10 am to 4 pm Minimum donation: £2 Booking essential: phone 01732 365583. Bradbourne Vale Road, Sevenoaks Kent TN13 3DH. Sat 15 Dec 2012. ✱ CHRISTMAS CAPERS: Snowflakes. Come and see Ightham Mote decorated for Christmas and join in with our Christmas Capers. Festive fun for the whole family! Have fun making your very own snowflakes. 11am3pm. Free event but normal admission charges apply. Tel: 01732 810378 ext.100.Ightham Mote, Mote Road, Ivy Hatch, Sevenoaks Kent TN15 0NT. Thurs 13 Dec 2012 to Sunday 16 Dec 2012 www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ ighthammote

✱ WESTERHAM FARMERS’ MARKET. 1st and 3rd Sunday morning of each month. The organisers try to invite stallholders whose produce is as local as possible and doesn’t compete with existing businesses in town. Shopping in a market always seems more fun and it there is a chance to catch up on local gossip with old friends and meet new neighbours and help raise money for the Sea Cadets and other local charities. Sun mornings 9 - 12.30. Market Square, Westerham, Kent TN16 1AS. Sun 16 Dec. www. visitwesterham.org.uk/ visitors/v-farmers-market ✱ Exhibition ’In the Blood’. A fascinating look at how Churchill’s ancestors and how they shaped the man he became. Daily 11am4pm. Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Normal admission prices apply. NT members free. Chartwell, Mapleton Road, Westerham Kent TN16 1PS. Sat 17 Nov 2012 to Mon 31 Dec 2012. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ chartwell ✱ THE OXTED PLAYERS are presenting Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp, a traditional family pantomime telling the rags to riches tale of a young Chinese boy. Tickets, dates and times are available from www.barntheatreoxted. co.uk or 01883 724852. Barn Theatre, 25 Bluehouse Lane, Oxted Surrey RH8 0AA www.barntheatreoxted.co.uk ✱ Christmas Special: Jazz Singer’s Open Mic Night. Jazz Singer & Host, Sue Rivers invites you to sing with a jazz pianist and a bass player. Singers should bring a lead sheet for their songs. One song guaranteed. Singing lists

taken from 7:45pm. Listeners and singers are both welcome for this Christmas Special with mince pies and community carols in addition to the usual solo spots. Singing List taken from 7.45pm. Singing 8.15pm - 10.45pm. Singers and Listeners £5. Enquiries to John Levett 01732 460143.The Grey Lady, 70 The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells Kent TN2 5TW. Mon 10 Dec 2012. www.thegreylady.co.uk ✱ TOY TRAIN AND MODEL COLLECTORS FAIR. New and used railway, classic toys, model soldiers, Sci-Fi characters etc. Inc two running railway layouts Hornby Classic O Gauge and Hornby Dublo 3 Rail OO. Easy access from Orpington Station, adjacent to Crofton Roman Villa. £1 admission 10.30am to 2pm. Call Gerry 07739 998 012.Crofton Halls, Station Road, Orpington Kent BR6 8PR. Sun 23 Dec, Sun 20 Jan www.srptoyfairs.com ✱ TOWER OF LONDON ICE RINK. Outdoor ice-skating returns for its 7th year, to the historic setting of Tower of London. Located in the moat, the ice rink is set against the magnificent fortress, providing a magical setting for winter skating. Wrap up warm and take to the ice for fun and festivities with your friends and colleagues and kick start your Christmas entertainment. Ice rink bar. It’s never too early to book your session and advance bookings are highly recommended as skating sessions around Christmas and the New Year sell out fast. Off Peak – Adult £10.50, Child £8, Cons £10, Family £32 Peak – Adult £12.50, Child £8.50, Cons £11.50, Family £34 0844 871 8815 (See Tickets) / 0844 248 5044 (Ticketmaster).


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Tower of London, Tower Hill, London EC3N 4AB. Until Sun 6 Jan 2013.www. toweroflondonicerink.com ✱ SPITALFIELDS MUSIC WINTER FESTIVAL. The English Concert Laurence Cummings director Corelli Concerto grosso in G minor Op.6 No.8 (Christmas Concerto) JS Bach Cantata “Schwingt freudig euch empor” BWV 36 Magnificat BWV 243 Former Associate Artists. The English Concert return to Christ Church Spitalfields with a sumptuous feast of seasonal baroque music. A festive celebration not to be missed! 7.00pm – 9.00pm Christ Church Spitalfields. Tickets A £32 B £26 C £16 D £10 E £5. Christ Church Spitalfields London E1 6LY. Mon 17 Dec 2012. www.spitalfieldsmusic. org.uk/whats-on/winterfestival-2012/ ✱ 101 THINGS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT GARDEN BIRDS. Chris Ward is heavily involved in the RSPB, he is Group Leader of the North Bucks Group, leader of the Wildlife Explorers in Milton Keynes and is also a member of the MK Natural History Society. Chris is a keen photographer who specialises in bird and wildlife images. This talk covers a multitude of facts about many familiar species from robins and tits to finches and starlings, including their population fluctuations, breeding biology and adaptions of selected species. 7.45 pm. Tickets: RSPB member - £3.00, Non-member - £4.00, RSPB Concession - £2.00. St Philip’s Church, Salisbury Road, Cage Green, Tonbridge Kent TN10 4PA. Wed 12 Dec 2012. www.rspb.org.uk/groups/ tonbridge/events

✱ Carols in the Courtyard. Enjoy a warm glass of mulled wine on arrival, then sing along with the choir in the medieval courtyard. Followed by a 2-course supper in the Mote Restaurant. This is an outdoor event so please dress warmly. Meet at 6.30 pm Mote Restaurant. Assistance Dogs only are welcome. Accompanied children welcome. All booked events and openings are weather permitting. Please telephone in advance. 6.30pm-10pm. £29.50 inc carols and 2 course supper. Fri 14, Sat15, 21 and 22 Dec 2012 Booking essential. For more Information: Mote Restaurant, 01732 811314, john.beak@nationaltrust.org.uk Ightham Mote, Mote Road, Ivy Hatch, Sevenoaks Kent TN15 0NT.

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✱ fiona’s Legend - Concert by Candlelight. A wonderful festive evening at Nettlestead Place, with the spectacular ‘fiona’s Legend’ (as featured in the national press & on the BBC). fiona Wight is former BBC UK Choirgirl of the Year, lead singer with Riverdance, Excalibur, and Lord of the Dance with Michael Flatley. Her all-female show evokes the music and spirit of Britain & Ireland - with harp, fiddle, Celtic whistles, flute, drums and voices in perfect harmony. Experience their original, stylish and festive show in the atmospheric undercroft at Nettlestead Place. Profits go to the Roy Tucker Charitable Trust. 7:30pm-9:00pm. Tickets £15 on the door includes mulled wine & mince pies. Call 01622 892224 for further details. Nettlestead Place, Nettlestead, Wateringbury Kent ME18 5HA. Thurs 20 Dec 2012 www.fionawight.com

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ART We are specialists in Original Art and low numbered Limited Editions, by the country’s leading artists. A ‘Home Viewing Service’ is offered, to see artwork in the comfort of your own home.

BESPOKE MIRRORS We sell an extensive array of mirrors from traditional to modern . We also provide a bespoke service to help you create the perfect mirror for your home. FRAMING We provide an excellent Picture Framing Service from our onsite workshop, offering a wide range of mouldings sourced from across Europe.

10 DECEMBER2012


CHRISTMAS SPECIAL OFFER ÂŁ5 OFF ALL CLOCKS Transform your home, or give as a gift, one of our stylish clocks. Many clocks to choose from...

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DECEMBER2012 11


LOCAL LIFE

ELLS

W ROYAL TUNBRIDGE

Living La Dolce Vita WORDS: MAUREEN COLE PICTURES: ADAM SWAINE

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oday the rich and famous, who wish to be seen in public, may appear at big sporting events or in the audience of important live shows and it is likely that their faces will be televised on screens around the world. Four hundred years ago people seeking public recognition, were more likely to be seen strolling along The Walks and visiting the spa at Tunbridge Wells. Many visitors still come to the town each yea,r to wander its historical walkways and enjoy its beautiful setting. Lying just thirty miles south of London, it is surrounded by the spectacular Kent countryside. Tunbridge Wells gained significance as a spa town and resort, following the chance discovery of the chalybeate springs by Dudley, Lord North in 1606. The springs were believed to possess curative powers and over the next twenty years the town and the area around the springs grew in popularity. Coffee houses, lodgings, gaming houses and shops all sprang up in the area known as The Walks. Today this area is known as The Palisades and is full of interesting shops and boutiques, along with open-air cafes, restaurants and bars. Queen Henrietta Maria, the wife of King Charles 1, visited the town in 1630. Queen Anne gave money in the 18th century for The Walks to be paved with large clay tiles, known as pantiles. Along with this change, came a change in name and The Walks became known as The Pantiles. In the early 1800’s Tunbridge Wells had become a desirable place to live and many large villas and family houses were built12 DECEMBER2012

many of them designed by the well-known architect Decimus Burton. Some fine examples of these can be seen in the town today. The town continued to grow over the years and by the early 19th century it had become a fashionable place and attracted many affluent visitors. The Duchess of Kent, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert all made visits to Tunbridge Wells. Queen Victoria’s son, King Edward V11, officially recognised the town’s popularity in 1909, by granting it the, “Royal” prefix and making it Royal Tunbridge Wells. (A title held by only three towns in England). Royal Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding area have some of the most interesting and historically significant churches in Kent. The church of, “King Charles the Martyr” began as the first permanent building in Tunbridge Wells. Thomas Neale a London builder and entrepreneur purchased the site of the springs and The Walks and helped to design and build a chapel. His idea was to make the chapel serve not only as a place of worship but also as an assembly room or shelter. Significant changes have taken place over the years and with some exquisitely decorated plasterwork by John Wetherall. By 1688, with the growing popularity of the town, the chapel became crowded and needed to be extended. Along with the extensions that took place a beautiful second ceiling was created (1690) by Henry Doogood, one of Christopher Wren’s most celebrated plasterers.


During the 19th century Queen Victoria regularly attended services with her mother when she visited Tunbridge Wells and a plaque attached to the panelling commemorates her visits. The chapel continued to undergo extensive, structural alterations in the 1880’s and in 1889 it became a Parish Church with a small parish of sixty-seven acres. The Pantiles and chalybeate spring are the features most readily associated with Tunbridge Wells. There are however, substantial areas of woodland and park. The Commons of Tunbridge Wells and Rusthall are situated close to the town and comprise some 250 acres of wood and heathland. Calverley Grounds,which is located in the town centre, opposite the railway station, is a historic park with ornamental gardens. Dunorlan Park, which covers 78 acres, is the largest maintained green space in the town and was once part of the private gardens attached to the (now demolished) mansion, which was owned by the millionaire Henry Reed. The River Teise rises in the park and has two dams on it, which are used as a pond and a boating lake. The oldest park in Tunbridge Wells is Grosvenor Recreational Ground, which is located near the town centre and was opened on 1889. The park has a restaurant, a children’s play area, bowls club and a cycle track. It is adjoined by Hilbert Recreational Ground which, as well as having football pitches and a skate park, has some areas designated as a local nature reserve. Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery situated in the Civic Centre, Mount Pleasant, is also well worth a visit. The Museum houses some interesting collections, exhibitions and events. Upcoming events include “Friday Fun”, on December 14th. This is a drop in session for 2-5 year olds (with an accompanying adult) and includes art, craft and storytelling. Royal Tunbridge Wells can be regarded as a shopper’s paradise.

The pedestrianised Pantiles, is home to many small specialist shops, boutiques and antique shops and also houses the Pantiles Arcade, which is located in the old corn exchange building. There is a wide selection of cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars, to choose from in this area and in the summer, when shoppers and diners can sit outside; there is a relaxed, holiday atmosphere. The Pantiles Christmas Markets will take place on the weekend of 1st and 2nd December and the 15th and 16th December. Opening times are, Saturday 10am-6pm and Sunday 10am-4pm. As well as the many shops and eating places to visit, the Christmas atmosphere will abound with music and entertainment. An outdoor Ice Rink is also open to the public in Calverly Park. The Ice Rink will be open until January 7th 2013 and prices are £9.50 adult and £7.50 child. These prices are for a 1 hour session and include the hire of skating boots. For more information and to book a session please visit www.tunbridgewellsatchristmas.com. The rink will be surrounded by a number of chalets, selling a wide variety of goods and produce, along with activities to enjoy. Tunbridge Wells also boasts its own theatre, Trinity Theatre, located in the centre of the town. It hosts a diverse range of international performing arts, film and visual arts. From 12th December until 1st January 2013, the theatre will be home to a musical adaptation of John Barrie’s, “Peter Pan”. More information on this and other forthcoming events can be obtained by visiting www.trinitytheatre.net/Whats-On or by contacting the Box Office at 01892 678678. Few places can have so much to offer the visitor - elegant, historic buildings, classy, up-market shops, beautiful parks and a wealth of restaurants, pubs, cafes and hotels. This truly is a Royal gem of a town! maureenc411@btinternet.com

DECEMBER2012 13


REMAP

A Charity that really makes a difference REMAP IS A NATIONAL CHARITY, BASED IN SEVENOAKS, WHICH MAKES EQUIPMENT FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES. By working through local groups of skilled volunteers to help people with disabilities Remap helps people achieve independence and obtain a better quality of life. Remap make or modify equipment when nothing suitable is available through mainstream sources. Each item is tailor-made to suit each individual’s needs. This equipment makes a real difference to people’s ability, helping them to rise to a particular challenge and achieve something not otherwise possible for them. Remap has a network of around 1000 volunteers organised into 80 local panels across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Remap volunteers are professional engineers, craftspeople, technicians, healthcare professionals and skilled helpers, who freely give their time and expertise to improve the lives of others. The projects volunteers undertake a range from the very simple, such as a cat’s feeding bowl with long handle to enable a lady with arthritis to feed her pet more easily, to the more complex, such as a throwing frame for a serviceman who lost his legs in a landmine explosion. Using Remap’s frame, Derek Derenalagi won the gold medal at the European Championships in June 2012. Susan Iwanek from Remap said “Remap has a network of 1,000 volunteers working in 80 groups across the country. Many of them have a professional engineering background but increasingly the charity is attracting people whose passion is model engineering. Their skills can make a huge difference to the quality of life of people with disabilities, enabling them to 14 DECEMBER2012

manage better in their daily lives around the house, engage in a hobby or take part in sport. “We are hoping to attract more like minded volunteers from the show to help build on the total of 4,000 people we already help each year across the country.” When a referral is received by a Remap panel a visit to the client is arranged to discuss what it is they want to be able to do and what barriers stand in the way of their doing it. If possible, the visit will be a joint one with the client’s occupational therapist or other health professional, but in any event the panels have clinical expertise to draw on where necessary. The challenge will be discussed and solutions considered, drawing where necessary on the wealth of experience the whole network possesses. Equipment is designed and made to solve the client’s specific problem, or a standard product can be modified to suit. Remap will not be able to help if there is a suitable solution to the problem commercially available; we do not aim to replicate items available from other sources. For a more comprehensive collection of Remap’s work, go to www.Remapedia.org. uk To find your local panel and for more information on Remap visit www.remap. org.uk Note: Remap will be will be exhibiting at the 2013 London Model Engineering Exhibition which runs from 18-20 January, they aim to attract volunteers with engineering-type skills who can make a huge difference to the quality of life of people with disabilities.The show which is set in the prestigious Alexandra Palace, London will feature more than a thousand stunning models and attracts over 15,000 model enthusiasts and visitors. 10am-5pm daily. See http://www. londonmodelengineering.co.uk/ for further information or call 01926 614101.


DECEMBER2012 15


LOCAL LIFE

IN THE SECOND OF HIS SERIES ON LOCAL CINEMAS JOHN RULER LOOKS AT THE SMALLEST AND MOST INTRIGUING.

HOW THE ‘BUG HUTCH’ CINEMA TOOK ON A

HOLY NEW LIFE !

16 DECEMBER2012

Photographs by Adam Swaine

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ou could easily be forgiven into thinking that St Patrick’s, Members of Chislehurst Council and their wives were among Chislehurst, has more than a passing resemblance to a cinema. those at the opening ceremony at which Speedy, a Harold Lloyd You’d be right – the sloping floor and the film, was shown. green upholstered pop-up seats rather give the In 1960, when the cinema came up for sale, game away. it was promptly snapped up by the then priest These are not the only similarities to the at St Mary’s, Chislehurst, who was already former Chislehurst Cinema, a ‘ brick and rough seeking permanent premises for parishioners cast edifice’ known affectionately as the ‘bug living on the other side of the village. The cost: hutch’, which opened in January, 1930, seating around £11,000, plus £750 for the contents, around 300 people. The ticket kiosk window including the tip-up seats of which a writer now serves as a Holy Water stoup, the projection in The Catholic Herald later wrote: “There is room forms part of the organ loft and the altar little to remind one of the cinema, except of has replaced the screen. course the seats (168 remain), so every time the Originator of this local version of The congregation stand or kneel it’s “wham, wham, Smallest Show On Earth (remember the 1957 wham” as they spring back. But it’s surprising film with Bill Travis and Peter Sellers?) was how quickly one adapts…” Charles Cripps, a local builder, originally from One person who vividly recalls the heyday of Above: Memories, memories… Hastings. the cinema is 70-year-old Don Drage. ‘Though Don Drage relaxes amid the According to Roy Francis Evans, writing too young, at 13 to 14, to operate the twin familiar tip-up seats during what in The Cockpit, newsletter of the Chislehurst projectors, I had the menial, but quite important, has been his first visit since the Society, he planned to open the premises, which task to load up the reels, ‘ he told me at his cinema closed. ‘As I walked in he bought in 1929, as one of the first sound film family home close by. ‘Towards the end of the couldn’t believe how small it was.’ cinemas in Kent. first reel a small circle would appear at the top His wife. Gladys, known as Cheerio, worked in the ticket right hand corner warning that the reel was coming to an end. kiosk, and wore a long black dress and a black hat and neck scarf. Roy would then dodge round to the next projector and start the He, in turn, wore a black suit and white shirt with round collars. second reel which, for a few seconds. would run parallel with the The couple were aged around 70. first, so he had to be smack on. Their son Roy was a radio and TV engineer by day and a ‘My job was to take the first reel, run into another room, and projectionist in the evening. The ‘orchestra’ was reportedly provided rewind it by hand for the second showing. You had to make sure ‘ by an electrical amplifying device assembled by Mr Cripps.’ it was taut. If it was too slack little gaps would show which could


Old prints courtesy of the Chislehurst Society

cause the film to snap; such breakages were common even in the best of cinemas.’ As for the seats, the last two rows were actually benches. ‘ At 2s 6d (half a crown or 12.5p today) you had to be fairly well off. I wanted to see a particular film with my dad but he just paid for me to sit there, as he didn’t have enough for both of us at the time. That was the way it was in those days!’ Don was not the only family member to work there. An aunt was one of the two usherettes and his own brother worked in the projection room in his late teens ‘ before he got a proper job!’ Others have their own take. In 2003 Roy Pott wrote how, he, too, as a fanatical radio fan and a friend of the Cripps family, would, as a 13 year old, visit the cinema in the late ‘fifties to scrounge radio bits and try to help Roy out – once again by helping change the reels. ‘I remember, on one occasion, in the early part of the film (probably reel two or three) a woman had a baby but after the next changeover, some ten minutes later, she was still pregnant. Oops ! Who had put the films in the wrong order? Not me – I was still at school when the new films were delivered and the previously shown ones were returned.’ He also recalled keeping an eye on the arc lights in the projector lamp-houses; they could burn away quite quickly leaving the picture on the screen ‘ to become dimmer and dimmer and sometimes almost dark…’ Fortunately the Cripps had a unique warning system. The usherette would use a bell, wired to the projection room, to give a number of rings from ‘ sound not loud enough’ or ‘ poor light on picture’ to ‘ film broken.’ The last happened quite often, amid shouts of: “ Why are we waiting?”. Roy also helped remove some of the equipment when the

cinema closed. ‘ Because I was the smallest and probably the most agile person there, I had to climb to the top of the screen and untie it from its frame. I also helped take down the large screen curtains.’ Whether the last film shown was The Horse Soldier, starring John Wayne or Some Like it Hot, with Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, remains a matter of conjecture. More certain are that its closure did not go down well with some teenage cinemagoers. There was even an unsubstantiated rumour that one small group tried to replace two large altar candles with a firework in their centres. No doubt they would have been forgiven, provided they had used the confession box in what was once believed to have been a cinema cupboard… Footnote: A unsuccessful bid for a cinema, to be called the Orpheum, 70 feet by 11 feet wide, was proposed way back in 1913 for 6 High Street., Chislehurst. Apparently the plaque on the front wall was to have said: Our pictures are instructive and amusing without vulgarity. What, one wonders, would it say nowadays?

Champions for Chislehurst, a project to conserve the beautifully hand painted 1893 sale document of the Camden Park Estate signed by William Willett, he of daylight saving ‘fame’, has been launched by the lively Chislehurst Society. They aim to equip local ‘Heritage Champions’ in schools and the local community with the resources to champion Willett’s story. Readers are invited to e-mail support/interest to: joanna.friel@yahoo.co.uk

DECEMBER2012 17


wish you could speed up your divorce?

“My husband and I are divorcing and we would like to deal with matters amicably to maintain a healthy relationship for the sake of the children. We have been attending mediation but have been unable to agree on the issue of pensions and the family business. We both feel out of our depth and would welcome outside intervention but wish to avoid a long and expensive court battle. I have heard that a new family law arbitration scheme has been introduced recently, is this open to all couples and could this help us? Michelle Potts, accredited family law specialist and Family Law Arbitrator, says it is normal to be concerned about the fallout from a divorce or separation. A potentially long and expensive court battle is not the best way to help you achieve your aim of dealing with matters quickly and efficiently. The new family law arbitration scheme could indeed prove a suitable alternative and sits comfortably alongside other methods of dispute resolution, such as mediation. WHAT IS ARBITRATION? Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution. The parties enter into an agreement under which they appoint a suitably qualified person, “an arbitrator”, to adjudicate a dispute and make an award. CAN ARBITRATION BE USED TO ASSIST WITH FAMILY MATTERS AND DIVORCE? Yes. As in March 2012, the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators (IFLA) launched a scheme to enable family disputes to be resolved by arbitration. This means divorcing couples can agree to appoint their own arbitrator, or have the IFLA select one for them from its panel of approved arbitrators. WHICH ASPECTS OF FAMILY LAW DOES THE ARBITRATION SCHEME COVER? The scheme covers: financial disputes arising from divorce; claims on inheritance from a child, spouse etc; financial claims made in England and Wales after a divorce abroad; claims for child maintenance between unmarried parents; disputes about ownership of a property between cohabiting couples and civil partnership financial claims. Disputes will be resolved exclusively by applying the laws of England and Wales, in the same way as the Family Courts. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ARBITRATION? 1. SPEED Matters can be dealt with in an expedited way and the timetable is up to the parties to agree. This is in marked contrast to court procedures and is likely to be significantly faster. 2. CONFIDENTIALITY The entire process is confidential by its nature and this is reflected in the rules. 18 DECEMBER2012

3. COST SAVING In many cases there may be a saving of overall costs over court proceedings. 4. FLEXIBILITY Under the rules of the scheme the parties and the arbitrator will have considerable discretion about the procedure through which a fair result is achieved by applying English law. It will be for the parties to define the scope of the arbitration. In many cases they will want all their differences arbitrated. In others the arbitration could be limited to discrete issues. Matters can be resolved on paper rather than at a hearing. 5. CHOICE OF ARBITRATOR Parties to a dispute never have the right to choose which judge will try their case in court but they do have the right to choose their arbitrator. The same arbitrator deals with all stages of the case from start to finish. 6. REDUCED TRAUMA There will be less formality than in court proceedings and the arbitration will take place in less formal surroundings than a court room. ARBITRATION IS POSSIBLE EVEN IF YOU ARE CURRRENTLY INVOLVED IN COURT PROCEDINGS. Michelle Potts is a Family Law Arbitrator.  Please call her on 020 8468 1085 for more information or alternatively contact the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators (www.ifla.org.uk) for a directory of family law arbitrators and an application form.


DECEMBER2012 19 19 DECEMBER2012


LOCAL LIFE

A Lesson in Time he pretty town of Edenbridge is situated on a level stretch of land, just above the valley of the River Eden, on the upper flood plain of the River Medway. The town is situated in Sevenoaks district, on the Kent/Surrey border, along the route of the London to Lewes Road (B2026).The town grew at the point where the road crossed the river and from the town’s old stone bridge there are some beautiful views across the valley. The area is a walker’s paradise with fantastic views and medieval buildings. Edenbridge lies 9km south of Westerham, 11km west of Maidstone and 14km west of Tonbridge. The town is not mentioned in the Domesday Book but its name is thought to have derived from the Old English, “Eadhelm brycg”. Eadhelm being a personal name and brycg meaning “bridge”. Early Edenbridge grew in a vast area of forest land, dotted with clearings for pig pastures. In Saxon times these were known as,”dens”- which resulted in local names, such as, Shrenden,Crippenden and Den Cross. At this time Edenbridge probably formed part of the royal estate of Westerham, which stretched along the border with Surrey. At the time of Domesday the estate was held by Eustace de Boulogne and later passed to the Camvilles and Stangrave. It was acquired by The Earl of Gloucester and Lord of Tonbridge in 1340 and was known as the Manor of Edenbrugge and Stangrave. The Lords of Tonbridge remained in possession of the Manor until 1521 when the estates were forfeited to the crown. The original house of Stangrave 20 DECEMBER2012

Manor stood about 400m north of the parish church of St Peter and St Paul. The church is believed to be on the site of a Saxon church and there is also evidence of a Norman church. A large part of the church was rebuilt and it has also been extended over the years. Features worth noting include the church clock with only an hour hand and the font and Jacobean pulpit. The Medieval graffiti at the base of the “squint pillar” and the beautiful lynch gate, which was designed by a local carpenter, are also noteworthy. Inside the church there are also some splendid stained glass windows including a window at the east end by BurneJones. In 1225, Henry III granted a charter for a market to be every Saturday at the Edenbridge Manor of Robert de Camville, Lord of the Manor of Westerham. An annual fair was also held on St Marks Day (April 25th), which was probably a continuation of a medieval fair. The early market place was sited to the east of the Parish church, at the place where the original Roman Road crosses Church Street. A cattle market took place in the town until the 1920’s. Today a market takes place each Thursday in the car park behind the National Westminster Bank in the High Street. A variety of goods are sold including meat and fish produce, fruit, vegetables, clothing, plants and flowers, dairy produce, bread and cakes and household wares. For around five hundred years Edenbridge was closely associated with the tanning industry. Sadly the tannery closed in

Photographs by Adam Swaine

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WORDS: MAUREEN COLE


the 1970’s, when it was unable to compete with imported leather, taking much of the town’s industrial links with it.Tanyard House, which housed the offices and where the workers would go to be paid, still remains at the southern end of the High Street. Many timber framed medieval buildings can be seen in Edenbridge and one of these houses the Edenbridge Museum, which was once the farmhouse of Doggets Farm. The building had alterations made to it in the 16th century and the timber framed medieval house is now almost hidden by the Georgian brick façade. The Museum has exhibitions which display local history and is well worth a visit. The exhibitions are changed regularly so there is always something new to see. Admission is free during normal opening hours and further information is available by telephoning 01732 868102. The Museum as well as having static displays and short exhibitions also undertakes outreach work, runs courses and events and provides an archive for researchers. The timber-framed barn, which lies behind the Museum and across the courtyard, now houses Edenbridge Town Council offices along with the Visitor Information Point, which is open Monday- Friday 10am-2pm. Here you can get information on local events and attractions. (01732 865368). Edenbridge is served by two railway stations. The earliest was opened on 26th May 1842 on the South Eastern Railway route from Redhill to Tonbridge. The station known simply as Edenbridge is located in Marlpit Hill. The Edenbridge Town Station which opened in 1888 is on the London to Uckfield line. After the building of the railway stations, Edenbridge saw some expansion, with major growth taking place in the 1950’s and 60’s. Public and private housing developments sprang up and new industrial estates were created, helping to provide work for new residents. Edenbridge is well known for its annual Bonfire, which is held in November and is the largest of its kind in Kent. The event starts with a procession through the High Street, with people in fancy dress, wielding torches and accompanied by decorated floats. A 27 foot high effigy of Guy Fawkes, together with an effigy of a Celebrity Guy, is burnt on the bonfire. Past effigies have included Russell Brand and Saddam Hussein. This year’s effigy was of Lance Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France winning titles, for doping offences. The High Street makes up the main part of the town with several free car parks. The town has a good variety of high street retailers and independent shops, which make it ideal for Christmas shopping! There is also a good selection of eating and drinking places around. “Haxted Mill Riverside Brasserie and Bar,” is an award winning restaurant with a beautiful beamed dining room for winter dining. In summer, meals can be taken on the candlelight terrace overlooking the mill race and pond. The restaurant boasts an extensive menu with a wide variety of dishes and is a great place to visit for a special celebration. If a relaxed drink is more to your liking try,”Ye Olde Crown Inn,” which is located on the High Street. A family run bar, hotel and restaurant, it has been serving travellers and visitors since the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) and is reported to have been the haunt of the notorious gang of smugglers known as the Ramsey Gang. The well-stocked bar offers a wide selection of ales, lagers, spirits and fine wines and at weekends there are local bands and solo artists to entertain. There really are so many beautiful, old places to visit. Others worth mentioning include, “The White Horse Inn” (1574), “Edenbridge Bookshop” (1450’s) and “The Priest House and Church Cottage” (1600). With so many historic buildings to see and visit, Edenbridge is able to offer us a valuable insight into life in the past. It is a town which has preserved its history and beauty without turning its back on the 21st century. maureenc411@btinternet.com

DECEMBER2012 21


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LOCAL LIFE

Their musical tastes strike a festive note!

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sk clarinettist Phil Emery for his favourite choice of festive music and he will reply Leroy Anderson’s Christmas Festival. And he should know. He’s chairman, and, musically speaking, leader of Beckenham Concert Band whose repertoire of 700 scores have won them applause for their middle-of-the-road programme from The Beatles to Beethoven, Duke Ellington to Elgar. This easy on the ear approach no doubt stemmed from a meeting of like-minded ex- pupils of Langley Park Boys School, Beckenham, of which Phil was just one. ‘ It was 1977 when we started up.’ he told me at his Green Street Green home ‘ The founder, who really gave the band its ethos and raison d’être, was Ken Messenger. Though not a bandsman, but a brilliant violinist, his son, Roger, and I were among the first pupils to move to Langley Park from the old Beckenham and Penge Grammar School. The headmaster was the late Brian Phythian who went on to become chairman of Bromley Youth Music Trust. His passion was the school band, in which I played the clarinet and Roger the trombone.’ A critical start … but, with few outlets available after they left school, it was not long before Ken proposed the formation of a community band. Thanks to his connections a crop of keen musicians, including former pupils from the Langley Park girls’ school, held their first rehearsal at Shortlands Library ‘the only place that was hireable and financially affordable.’ They quickly struck up a relationship with St Barnabas, Beckenham, where they still rehearse today. The idea, stressed Phil, was ‘to set up a community band that would also be for our own enjoyment and self-improvement – and at the same time raise funds for charities.’ A repertoire of 700 musical scores, some second hand some 24 DECEMBER2012

new, was gradually achieved by Ken Messenger who died in 2008. His influence, both as conductor and latterly in his life as president, remains, with the now 40-strong band averaging around ten concerts annually, remarkably close to the same number they rapidly achieved just a few years after their formation. ‘ Though I was lucky to be at a school with a strong musical tradition, I can’t speak too highly of Ken.’ added Phil. ‘I probably learnt more from him than anybody else in music.’ It was thanks to the band, too, that Phil met his wife, Viv. His daughter Katherine plays the saxophone and also the piano. Though the band has travelled in Europe, they perform mainly locally, in London or in the Southeast generally; this includes summer bandstand sessions at Eastbourne.They have also played at Dover Castle and in the Royal Parks; paid for performances help towards running costs for a band which is strictly noncompetitive. ‘We try to be as inclusive as possible.’ added Phil. ‘We have players who are older and maturer, those who are stalwarts and others who are youngsters.’ The youngest currently is just 15 ‘ and is an incredibly talented trombonist.’ Another ‘ hung up his drumsticks’ recently at the age of 91. In 2009 the band was approached by an American Veterans group asking them, along with others, to take part in a special Remembrance Day concert at the Westminster Central Hall. They have also established a strong link with the Royal Free Music Society at the Royal Free Hospital, holding joint concerts with their choir. But then Beckenham Concert Band have plenty to sing about. They are widely known for their formal concerts as well as fun events, such as fêtes, shows and charity events. On Saturday, December 8, the band will once again be playing at Hayes Free Church, their concert proving an all time favourite event at the

Photographs: Courtesy of Beckenham Concert Band

JOHN RULER DISCOVERS A BAND IN TUNE WITH THE TIMES


annual Christmas Tree Festival. Particularly memorable was an outdoor winter session in a courtyard marquee at Hever Castle, Kent, which was covered in snow. ‘We were there for an evening concert, said Phil. ‘ It looked really good and was lit beautifully. It was like walking on to a film set.’

Opposite: Streatham Festival, St Peter’s Church, Streatham Above left: Phil Emery in action at rehearsals. Top: Outside the Tate Modern, South Bank, London. Above and below: Hever Castle, Hever, Kent. Bottom: Brighton Bandstand, Kings Drive, Brighton

www.beckenhamconcertband.com

PHIL’S TOP TEN SEASONAL HITS Christmas Festival by Leroy Anderson (The champion of light music and the musical spur for the likes of Eric Coates famous for The Dambusters March – though a bit more showbizzy…) Sleigh Ride by Leroy Anderson (see above) When a Child is Born by Zacar and Jay (featuring a memorable euphonium solo) Troika (from Lieutenant Kijé Suite) by Serge Prokofieff (Another sleigh ride favorite) White Christmas by Irving Berlin (This is a natural…) Silent Night (Still among the top carols) Once in Royal David’s City (The same applies) The Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky Overture to Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss Oliver by Lionel Bart (not strictly Christmas, but Dickens and Christmas seem to have a natural link).

DECEMBER2012 25


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CELEBRITY INTERVIEW

GYLLENHAAL’S DEVOTION TO DUTY

BY SHEREEN LOW JAKE GYLLENHAAL IS GIVING OFF A SLIGHT AIR OF WEARINESS AND HE’S MAKING PARTS OF OUR INTERVIEW FEEL LIKE A POLICE INTERROGATION.

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he 31-year-old looks ever so slightly delinquent in his Mike’s my other half, and he’s extraordinary in the role. I’ve casual jumper and trousers, mop of dark brown hair and been in films where my character drives the whole movie, and unruly beard. is required to carry every scene. This film is different. We’re two He’s cagey when asked if he would take a bullet for anyone, pieces of a whole, and this doesn’t work without either one of us.” offering simply a sheepish “um-hmm”, and bats away a question Despite his hectic schedule, Gyllenhaal says he’s at his happiest about Fifty Shades Of Grey (he’s been when he’s working on an all-consuming linked by the rumour mill to the part project. of Christian Grey in the upcoming film “I want to come home at the end adaptation) with a shake of the head of the day and be wiped out and feel and a curt: “I’m not going to answer I’ve torn my heart out from acting and The very first one that we that question.” feel fulfilled. At this point I don’t have Maybe he’s tired. He’s been throwing went on, someone was murdered the desire to do anything other than himself into his off-Broadway debut If projects that make me feel that way,” in front of me. It was a gang There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet, which he says. has enjoyed a two-month sold-out run End Of Watch certainly falls into shooting that was obviously and has been extended to December. that field. The first actor to be cast, drug-related. Either way, the police analogy is Gyllenhaal so impressed the director appropriate because he’s here to talk and producers with his dedication and about his latest film, cop flick with a passion that they gave him an executive difference End Of Watch. producer credit. In the film, which is written and “I spent five months preparing for directed by former US Navy serviceman the movie together with Michael for David Ayer, Gyllenhaal plays police officer Brian Taylor who, a 22-day shoot, which is the shortest movie shoot I did in my alongside his buddy and colleague Mike Zavala (played by career,” he says. Michael Pena), patrols his patch, talking about life and love in the While the shoot, which took place on location in one of the process, and springing into action when duty calls. mostcrime-ridden and violent neighbourhoods in the US, was “What sets it apart from all of the other cop genres that we’ve short, the consequences of what he experienced are far-reaching. seen in so many mediums is the real friendship between these two “I learnt a lot of things about policing and law enforcement guys and the fact that their relationship is potentially threatened,” and the world that a police officer lives and works in, and the explains the Oscar-nominated actor. sacrifices they have to take,” he says. “End Of Watch doesn’t exist without the bond between them. “I also learnt about commitment to the movie itself from my

“ ”

28 DECEMBER2012


job and the absurdity of my own job. How much work it takes to create something credibly authentic and real, and the devotion it takes from your own life,” he continues, before adding with a chuckle: “Do you want me to keep going?” Gyllenhaal says the easiness on screen between him and co-star Pena is real. “We had not worked together before this movie, but five months together was enough to create a real friendship. “We spent almost every day together. We did tactical training with live ammunition, we did ride-alongs with LAPD (Los Angeles Police Department). We did fight training and sparring five days a week in a dojo, and in between we were rehearsing the scenes with David - each one we did over 100 times each. And after five months we actually became real friends.” The ride-alongs were a harrowing experience. “The very first one that we went on, someone was murdered in front of me. It was a gang shooting that was obviously drug-related,” says Gyllenhaal. “We were the second car on the scene. I was scared at the time because it’s really easy to become complacent. What was actually scariest was watching these police officers and asking myself, ‘How will I function being an actor in the back seat of their car, which is an extra responsibility for them, to make sure we’re safe and protected?’” He adds: “You got some pretty incredible guys dealing with both things at the same time. It was really life-affirming. My three closest friends are police officers from this adventure and that’s more important to me than any movie.” As you would expect from Ayer, who counts Training Day, S.W.A.T and Street Kings among his projects and whose work is inspired by his teenage years on the most troubled streets of Los Angeles, End Of Watch is authentically gritty and violent. Gyllenhaal defends the brutal scenes, saying: “It is not in any way gratuitous, it is done in a way that is real and communicates something more about the heart of the movie than it does being indiscriminate violence.” As the son of director Stephen Gyllenhaal and screenwriter Naomi Foner, and the younger brother of Maggie, it was inevitable that Gyllenhaal would go into acting. His big screen debut was as Billy Crystal’s son in 1991’s City Slickers, before his break-out turn in October Sky in 1999 - but it was dark drama Donnie Darko that made people take notice. He has enjoyed starring roles in blockbusters such as The Day After Tomorrow and Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time, and been praised for his performances in Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain opposite the late Heath Ledger, war drama Jarhead and David Fincher’s crime thriller Zodiac. It is, therefore, understandable that with the choice of roles he’s being offered, Gyllenhaal is being picky about his projects. His future jobs include comedy Nailed with Jessica Biel, thriller An Enemy and vigilante drama Prisoners. “I think when you do anything, any endeavour, be it artistic or whatever, if you’re not learning something from it, you should stop doing it,” he says. DECEMBER2012 29


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Parties & Venues Guide 2012 T H E

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PA R T I E S VENUES

Restaurant Reviews

This month, Food Editor Regan Maloney has visited two restaurants in Kent to give you her verdict. Full reviews of both restaurants, along with other great recommendations can be found at www.whatiatelastnight.com

If you own or have a local restaurant that you’d like to recommend for reveiw, please email regan@whatiatelastnight.com

EAN AQUA MEDITERRAN REET, ST ST EA BAR & GRILL, BROMLEY

THE PICKHURST PICKHURST LANE, WEST WICKHAM

Building upon the success of its South Croydon and Banstead restaurants, Aqua Bar & Grill opened the doors to its Bromley restaurant just one month ago. Already a favourite with the locals and a slick new look, it provides a lively and buzzy vibe, giving dining in Bromley a well-needed lift.

Having undergone an extensive refurbishment, The Pickhurst is back at its best. Packed full with families and friends on a Sunday afternoon in both the bar and the restaurant enjoying the sport, papers and good food.

Service

Friendly and well-humoured waiters provide the efficiency that you’d expect to find in a top London restaurant and the manager, Dasos welcomes regulars and makes a point of overseeing and taking care of new customers. It’s hard to believe that they’ve only been working as a team for a month.

Staff are friendly and experienced, and all seemed pleased and proud of the new look restaurant and menu, pointing out old favourites and new editions.

Food

With Dasos’s Greek heritage and Antonella Tubelli (heading up the kitchen) from Napoli, the menu offers some of the best of the Med… think Greek mini Meze boards and Italian sharing platters. There’s also an array of salads, pastas and risottos, fresh fish, house specials and meat cooked on an open flame charcoal grill. Our favourites were the Filo pastry parcels filled with spinach and feta cheese, served with a sharp tomato and basil coulis. For main, the oven-roasted rump of lamb served with braised aubergine, gratin potato and rosemary jus melted in the mouth and was bursting with flavour, but our favourite was the succulent and meaty cod wrapped in pancetta and served with a pea and saffron risotto. For dessert, the creamy vanilla pod panna cotta with poached strawberries really hit the spot.

The main focus is on the carvery – hard to miss as you enter the restaurant with its long table of different types of vegetables, gravies and potatoes, and the three giant joints of meat to choose from displayed in front of the Chef with giant Yorkshires, mini sausages and stuffing balls. There are also other pub favourites such as pies, burgers and fish dishes, but we opted for the carvery because at just £5.95 (Monday to Saturday and £9.25 on Sundays) we couldn’t resist. I opted for a slice of each meat – stuffed pork, perfectly pink beef and an extremely moist turkey with all the trimmings, and then filled the plate to bursting with cauliflower cheese, cabbage, broccoli, oven roasted onions, parsnips, carrots and crispy roast potatoes, topped off with a rich meaty gravy. Dessert was whipped mascarpone with banana, caramel and cinder toffee.

Drink

A good selection of cocktails are available, along with a well put together wine menu starting at a reasonable £15.50 a bottle. We opted for a white Rioja which was fruity and accompanied the cod well.

A good selection of wines are available starting at around £15. We opted for a Malbec that was mid range in price and well worth the extra few pounds.

Overview

A great place for an after shopping cocktail or to enjoy a special meal… and I hear there’s still space for New Years Eve!

A nicely presented local that’s perfect for a family meal. Ask about the private dining room available to hire free of charge.

Ambiance

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PA R T I E S VENUES

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The Joy of Christmas QUALITY WITHOUT COMPROMISE, PEACEFUL SECLUSION – THAT IS THE EASTWELL MANOR EXPERIENCE. EASTWELL MANOR IS A PRIVATE, FAMILY OWNED HOTEL WITH ITS ORIGINS DATING BACK TO THE NORMAN CONQUEST.

et in the heart of the Kent countryside at the foot of the North Downs, the hotel has manicured lawns and beautiful gardens. Then step into the exquisite Manor house with its blazing log fires and discreet service. Dine in the award winning wood panelled Manor Restaurant or the less formal but sophisticated Pavilion Restaurant. Christmas and New Year are celebrated in a very traditional style at Eastwell Manor. From the beginning of December the ‘halls’ are well and truly ‘decked’ with a giant real Christmas tree by the imposing staircase which has hundreds of twinkling fairy lights. Guests staying on the Christmas Packages are treated to a ‘house party’ atmosphere with a local choir singing around the tree on Christmas Eve, a visit from Father Christmas and a falconry demonstration on Christmas morning before a delicious Christmas Lunch. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent in quiet relaxation, strolling around the grounds or using the spa facilities. Then the day finishes with a Country House Buffet. Boxing Day commences with breakfast in the restaurant before boarding the coach for a trip to Hythe for lunch at The Hythe Bay Seafood Restaurant and a stroll along the promenade. The evening entertainment following a special dinner in the restaurant is a ‘fun’ casino with prizes – great fun for all the family. New Year is also welcomed in traditional style with a choice of venues. In the Manor a gala black tie dinner is served in the restaurant followed by dancing to our resident live band and the piper takes over at midnight. At The Pavilion there is a more relaxed and family friendly gala buffet with music from our resident DJ which is great for groups of family and friends. Your stay can be in either an elegant Manor bedroom with perhaps a four poster bed or in a luxury Mews Cottage located in the grounds close to The Pavilion and all the spa facilities. All bedrooms have been individually designed and contain all the modern day facilities that you would expect from a first class country house hotel. During December both the Manor Restaurant and The Pavilion Restaurant will be offering festive specials on the menus. Our very popular Party Nights at The Pavilion are available for large and small 38 DECEMBER2012

groups but if you prefer a more sophisticated style of celebration, then our Private Dining option would be the perfect choice. The Pavilion Leisure Spa is one of the finest luxury leisure and spa experiences in the country. The spa area has a 20 metre swimming pool with steam room, sauna, Jacuzzi and hydrotherapy pool plus the Technogym gymnasium. ‘Dreams’, the extensive beauty salon, is also situated in The Pavilion and offers a full range of treatments from Clarins, Guinot, St Tropez, Aromatherapy Associates and Jessica. Silks Relaxation Lounge is available to clients of ‘Dreams’ to unwind and relax before and after treatments. The USPGA standard 2132 yard golf course has been created primarily for the use of hotel guests and offers a challenging game to visiting golfers. The course is irrigated using the specially installed re cycling system and no water is therefore taken from the local supply. There are seven delightful meeting rooms located in the Manor and in The

Pavilion that can accommodate from 2 to 120 conference delegates and the addition of the spa and golf course give an opportunity for relaxation and team building. Romantic weekend breaks or spa and golf breaks are available throughout the year. Traditional Christmas packages, fabulous weddings and private dining are a speciality as well as Conferences and Team Building Events. Complimentary Wi-Fi connection is available to all guests and Gift Vouchers are available. Eastwell Manor is within easy reach of London and the Channel Ports with excellent motorway links. It is ideally situated for exploring the beautiful Kent countryside with its many stately homes, magnificent gardens and historic towns. To request a brochure, talk to one of our Reservation Team or to make a booking, please call 01233 213000/020, email reservations@eastwellmanor.co.uk or visit our website www.eastwellmanor.co.uk.


DECEMBER2012 39


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PA R T I E S VENUES

Choose a meeting and events venue with a difference!

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reath taking, bespoke meeting and events spaces to inspire, to think, to bring great purpose, but most of all be fun. Hotel du Vin & Bistro is offering you just that. Offering high speed complimentary Wi-Fi, LCD projectors and a dedicated organiser, all for less than you ever imagined. Thinking of where to go for meetings and events? Think du Vin. Set in one of the town’s architectural landmarks, a Grade II-listed sandstone mansion built in 1762, Hotel du Vin Tunbridge Wells has four inspiring meeting and events spaces, Speyside Glenlivet, Havana, Ashe Park and Mouton Rothschild. Speyside Glenlivet overlooks the hotel gardens and Calverley Park. It has drawn its decorative influences from the famous mirrored room in the palace of Versailles. Both the Havana, a 1950’s Cuban style room and the Mouton Rothschild are flooded with natural daylight and have French doors which open out onto their own veranda and act as a perfect breakout space. 40 DECEMBER2012

Ashe Park is a classically furnished room adjacent to our bistro. During the warmer months there is also the terrace and stunning vineyard for a drinks reception or alfresco events. MAXIMUM CAPACITIES SPEYSIDE GLENLIVET • Dining seats up to 84 people • Boardroom seats up to 45 people • U shape seats up to 45 people • Classroom seats up to 35 people • Theatre seats up to 80 people • Drinks receptions up to 120 people HAVANA • Dining seats up to 36 people • Boardroom seats up to 22 people • Theatre seats up to 40 people • Drinks receptions up to 45 people MOUTON ROTHSCHILD • Dining seats up to 14 people • Boardroom seats up to 10 people

FUNCTION PACKAGES DAY MEETING Starting from £45pp Inclusive of the meeting room hire, data projector & screen, use of 1 flipchart, Wireless Internet access, mid morning Tea/ Coffee with homemade biscuits, Chef ’s Choice working buffet lunch, blast package for afternoon break, mineral water (1/2 bottle per person), meeting sweeties and a fresh fruit bowl. 24HR PACKAGES Starting from £195pp Inclusive of the day package plus a 3 course Dinner with Coffee, and accommodation within on of the 34 timelessly styled bedrooms and stunning suites, all featuring luxurious handsprung mattresses, fine Egyptian linen, deep baths and powerful drench showers, plasma TVs, DVDs and air conditioning. To find out more or book an event at Hotel du Vin Tunbridge Wells email info.tunbridgewells@hotelduvin.com or call 01892 526455 Amy Carey, Sales Manager HOTEL DU VIN & BISTRO TUNBRIDGE WELLS Crescent Road, Tunbridge Wells TN1 2LY E: amy.carey@hotelduvin.com T: 01892 526455 M: 07500 824462 Facebook: Hotel Du Vin Twitter: Tunbridge Wells Best available rates online at malmaison.com or hotelduvin.com


New Year’s Eve Masked Ball

2013 Events

A splendid evening has been arranged for you in our magnificent Grand Ballroom at The Felbridge Hotel and Spa, East Grinstead.

Valentine’s Champagne Dinner Thursday 14th February & Saturday 16th February

*Glass of Champagne & Canapés on arrival

Mother’s Day Lunch Sunday 10th March

*Superb 4 course dinner & coffee *Live entertainment from our superb 5 piece band LA Tour *Disco until the early hours. £109 per person or from £163.50 per person to include accommodation,

Easter Sunday Lunch Sunday 31st March Father’s Day Lunch Sunday 16th June

breakfast and use of the Chakra Spa facilities.

A Fantastic Take That Tribute Friday 17th May

Call 01342 337700 to book now!

Freddie Mercury & Queen Tribute Night Saturday 28th September

www.felbridgehotel.co.uk/maskedball

Spooky Halloween Murder Mystery Saturday 26th October

London Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19 2BH www.facebook.com/felbridgehotelandspa www.twitter.com/felbridgehotel

The amazing Rat Pack Tribute Saturday 23rd November Visit www.felbridgehotel.co.uk for further information. DECEMBER2012 41


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PA R T I E S VENUES

Events at The Felbridge Hotel and Spa The Felbridge Hotel and Spa in East Grinstead is well known for its amazing themed events. Our New Year’s Eve Masked Ball is a local favourite and always a fantastic way to see in the New Year! The Masked Ball is £109 per person or from just £163.50 per person to include the overnight accommodation, breakfast and full use of the Chakra Spa facilities. You will be greeted with a glass of Champagne and Canapés on arrival and then you will enjoy a superb 4 course dinner and coffee. Enjoy the live entertainment from our superb 5 piece band LA TOUR who are well known for their fantastic music and ability to get everyone on the dance floor!

2013 Events! We have put together a fantastic calendar of events for 2013:

FANTASTIC TAKE THAT TRIBUTE ON FRIDAY 17TH MAY!

SPOOKY HALLOWEEN MURDER MYSTERY ON SATURDAY 26TH OCTOBER!

Just £19 per person with a cocktail on arrival, live entertainment and disco. (What a good idea for a Hen Party!) The most sought after tribute band in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011 and the first Take That tribute in the UK - FAKE THAT! See and hear all the greatest hits of the most successful boy band ever. Fake That simulate the original 5 piece line up of Gary, Mark, Howard, Jason and yes even Robbie Williams! During the show the band also feature tracks from Robbie Williams such as his famous songs “Let Me Entertain You” and “Rock DJ” and “Angel”.

£39.00 per person or from £88.50 to include overnight accommodation, breakfast and full use of the Chakra Spa facilities. You are invited to witness the last gasp of our murder victim, decipher the clues and solve our fiendish mystery at our high quality, interactive murder mystery evening. Someone has been viciously murdered... but who is the killer...??? Gather together your family and friends to form a team of detectives to help solve this chilling crime! Set between a superb 3 course meal, our actors will stage the show whilst you piece together the clues and then continue the fun with our resident DJ who will be playing all your favourite dance floor classics.

8

MERCURY NIGHT ON SATURDAY 28TH SEPTEMBER £49.00 per person or from £98.50 to include overnight accommodation, breakfast and full use of the Chakra Spa facilities. After a decade on tour across the globe, Mercury have firmly established themselves as one of the world’s most authentic tributes to the legend that is Freddie Mercury and Queen. An evening not to be missed, these performers recapture the sight, sounds and emotions of queen with skilful instrumentation and perfect harmonies. As well as this fantastic live entertainment you will also enjoy a delicious 3 course meal and our DJ playing popular party music until the early hours.

8

THE AMAZING RAT PACK TRIBUTE ON SATURDAY 23RD NOVEMBER £49.00 per person or from £98.50 to include overnight accommodation, breakfast and full use of the Chakra Spa facilities. Rat Attack recreates the unmistakable singing talent of three internationally renowned entertainers - Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jnr and Dean Martin. Over the past years Rat Attack has brought songs such as The Lady is a Tramp, Bo jangles, My Way and That’s Amore to audiences across the country. Enjoy a glass of Champagne on arrival, 3 course meal, Rat Pack Tribute Band and disco until the early hours. For more information about any of our events call 01342 337700 or email events@felbridgehotel.co.uk

The Felbridge Hotel and Spa, London Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19 2BH www.felbridgehotel.co.uk

42 DECEMBER2012


Taking bookings for Christmas & New Year!!! CHRISTMAS DAY 4 COURSE £49.95 BOXING DAY 4 COURSE £21.95 NEW YEAR’S EVE 4 COURSE £59.95 CHRSTMAS FAYRE MENUE AVAILABLE THROUGHOUT DECEMBER LIVE MUSIC EVERY WEEKEND IN DECEMBER Function room available for corporate lunches, parties and weddings

Opening Hours Lunchtimes: Wed-Sat: 12.00-14.30 Evenings: Mon-Sat: 17.30-23:00 Sunday: 12.00-22.00

2 Southend Road Beckenham, Kent, BR3 1SD Tel: 020 8663 0994 www.seasaltbeckenham.com DECEMBER2012 43


‘Customer Restaurant of the Year 2012’ National Curry Week Awards 2012

Celebrate the Festive Season with us!

Christmas Day Lunch

New Year’s Eve 2012

Spiced pumpkin soup

Tomato Shorba

*** Trio of steamed lamb momo, grilled fish, organic chicken tikka Trio of spinach cutlet, Cauliflower 65 & tandoori mushroom V

*** Pickled tandoori lamb King scallops stirred in sweet chilli served with apple mint chutney Chicken marinated in traditional South Indian spices Cauliflower tossed with Greek yoghurt, chillies and fresh curry leaves V

*** Fish, prawn, scallop & squid in moilee sauce Tandoor glazed organic chicken with champagne makhani sauce Wild Boar Vindaloo (£4 supp) Paneer Gucchi Makhani V Served with Saffron Pillau, Aloo Gobi Daal & Bread Basket *** Apple Crumble Ice Cream Christmas Pudding Tea / Coffee & Mince pies

£40

(4 course dinner & DJ)

*** Tandoori baby chicken with Chettinad spiced reduction Veal Osso Buco in Malabari sauce (£3.25 supp) Grilled king fish with wilted spinach Baby corn, asparagus, broccoli, bell peppers in Konkan masala V Served with Kurkure Aloo, Kashmiri Pillau N Tarka Daal & Bread Basket *** Dessert Platter (Espresso martini, mango rasmalai, white chocolate brownie, gin & tonic sorbet)

£49 / £56*

(*glass of champagne to toast at midnight)

Advance booking and £20 non-refundable deposit per person is required when dining on festive menus.

www.cinnamonculture.com 44 DECEMBER2012

Reservations: 020 8289 0322 46 Plaistow Lane, BR1 3PA Bromley


Bringing taste of of the the Bringing the taste Mediterranean Mediterranean to Bromley. Bromley. From Greek to to Fromcontemporary contemporary Greek delicious Aqua Bar Bar&& delicious Italian, Italian, Aqua Grill fusionof of Grill offers offers an an exciting exciting fusion modern cuisine modernMediterranean Mediterranean cuisine and impressive cocktails and impressive cocktails ininaa relaxed relaxedand andfriendly friendly environment. environment.

Celebrate the festive Season in Style Christmas Parties Two menus to choose from (see online) Available from 1st until 24th December

Christmas Party Menu A 3 course lunch £18.95 available Monday-Friday 3 course dinner £22.95 Available Monday- Thursday

NOW TAKING BOOKINGS FOR NEW YEARS EVE!!!

Christmas Party Menu B 3 course lunch and dinner £25.95 available Mon- Sat

Christmas Day Lunch Menu 3 course meal £50.00 per person Glass of Prosecco on arrival

Boxing Day Menu 3 courses £22.95

New Year’s Eve Gala Menu Dinner and Dance with Dj until late. 3 course £60.00 Glass of Prosecco on arrival

Steak night every Monday 50% off all steak Let’s Do Lunch Mon-Sat lunch menu 2 courses £12.00 3 courses £15.00

Traditional Sunday Roast 2 courses £15.00 3 courses £17.00

±

4-6 Market Parade, East Street, Bromley, BR1 1QN Tel: 0208 4602346 www.aquabarandgrill.co.uk

Come Dine With Us Mon- Thur set menu 2 courses £15.00 3 courses £18.00

DECEMBER2012 45


46 DECEMBER2012


DECEMBER2012 47


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FOOD DRINK

MEAT THE

EXPERTS BY DIANA PILKINGTON

YOU DON’T EXPECT TO WALK INTO YOUR LOCAL BUTCHER’S SHOP AND SEE A GLAMOROUS TV STAR BEHIND THE COUNTER.

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ut Henry Herbert, one half of Channel 4’s Fabulous Baker Brothers, is juggling his TV career with running family business Hobbs House Butchery in Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire. And he has seen such a rise in people who want to learn some basic butchery skills that he’s in the process of opening a school to teach them. “There’s a thirst for people wanting to learn how to do it themselves,” he says. “They might not do it every time, but understanding the skill behind it helps you appreciate what the trade involves. It’s like when people want to do a bit of DIY at home but won’t necessarily do the whole house. “If you cook a leg of lamb that you had boned out yourself, there’s kudos in that.” There can also be financial benefits to getting handy with a knife at home. Herbert says: “A small chicken is about ¬£5. It’s about the same price as two skinless chicken breasts, but there’s quite a big difference in size. “It’s so quick to learn how to chop that chicken up and get two breasts, two legs, wings and a carcass to make a soup, so suddenly you’ve gone from two meals to five meals. I could teach someone that in five minutes and they’ve got that for life.” Even if home butchery is not your thing, the star is supporting a campaign to 48 DECEMBER2012

encourage people to use their local butcher and tap into their expert knowledge about which cuts to buy and how to use them. After all, trained chef Herbert took over his family butcher’s in the first place to help keep the trade alive when the shop became vacant.

If you cook a leg of lamb that you had boned out yourself, there’s kudos in that.

The number of butcher shops in Britain has declined sharply since the Seventies, dropping from 25,300 in 1977 to just 6,811 in 2006. However, according to Eblex, which represents the English beef and sheep industry, the drop in numbers is tailing off and there are around 6,600 today. “I felt it was a real shame to see another butcher shop that had been trading for 150 years close down and become a card shop or a charity shop,” he says. “I thought even if I can breathe some

new life into it and help inspire someone at least I’ve done something rather than watch it shut down. A BUTCHER’S AT HOW IT’S DONE I admit it, I love red meat. But I don’t think I’m alone in being a bit clueless about how a juicy sirloin steak or comforting Sunday roast correspond to the animals they start out as. With this in mind, I take a trip to the Donald Russell butchery in Aberdeenshire, proud holder of a Royal Warrant, for a tour of the premises and a crash course in butchery skills. Led by the aptly-named Steve Lamb, I wander through the ice-cold maturation room, where hundreds of headless carcasses hang side by side. Beef is typically hung for around 28 days to give it maximum flavour, and lamb, which I learn is anatomically very similar to a cow, is hung for up to 10 days. Throughout the factory are a staggering number of white-coated people hard at work, some carefully weighing and portioning the steaks, others chucking meat into a mincer, lining pastry with sausage meat or packing up the cuts. They all carry out their tasks with impressive speed and precision. And then it’s my turn.


HERE ARE SOME MEATY RECIPES FOR YOU TO TRY AT HOME.

In the demonstration room, I watch as butcher Dave Bergin uses a saw and various knives to break down the ‘roasting’ (a side of beef ) into the four main cuts of rib, sirloin, fillet and rump. It is quite a transformation, and what starts out as a generous, multi-coloured bit of fillet, for example, is trimmed down into a sleek piece of pure red meat that resembles a fish to look at. Next is the fun part. With my left hand encased in a chainmail glove, I have a go at cutting these newly-butchered slabs into steaks. It’s satisfying to sink the knife in, but my task - to chop them to an optimum 220 grams - is not easy, and I keep missing the mark. Fellow butcher Andy Grant, on the other hand, gets it right every time. There’s also a baffling array of words to come to terms with. As well as the familiar steaks, I hear terms like “pave”, “picanha” and “tafelspitz” bandied about. More confusingly, some are different words for the same thing, but the butchers navigate the language with ease. Despite a growing interest from the public in butchery, the team at Donald Russell tell me that they have struggled to find young apprentices to go into the trade. “Nobody wants to get up at 4.30am to come to a cold factory and cut up steaks,” admits Grant, who has done the job for 20 years. “But it’s given me a good life. It’s a job I feel passionate about and I enjoy it.” Impressed as I am by his skills though, I think I’ll leave him to it. For more information on Donald Russell, visit www.donaldrussell.com Henry Herbert is an ambassador for the Quality Standard Beef & Lamb Master Butchery campaign, helping people get the most from their butcher. For more information, or to find out about master butchery classes, visit www.simplybeefandlamb.co.uk/qualitystandard

SLOW-COOKED BEEF WITH GNOCCHI

SLOW-COOKED SHOULDER OF LAMB

Ingredients: 450g lean boneless shin or chuck steak, cut into 2.5cm cubes Salt and freshly milled black pepper 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 1tsp paprika 2tbsp sunflower oil 1 large onion, peeled and chopped 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped or crushed 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes 200ml good, hot vegetable stock 1 cinnamon stick, halved 1tbsp light brown sugar 1tbsp tomato puree 1 x 400g pack fresh gnocchi 2tbsp freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish

Ingredients: 1 whole shoulder of lamb (1.75kg) Salt and pepper 2tsp olive oil 20g butter 250g mushrooms 1 onion (chopped) 4 cloves of garlic (sliced) 2 sprigs fresh rosemary 6 sprigs fresh or dried lavender 5 tomatoes (cut into wedges) 125ml white wine 250ml chicken or beef stock

Instructions: Place the beef in a large plastic food bag. Add the seasoning, cayenne and paprika; seal, shake well to coat the beef in the spices. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Cook the beef for 4-5 minutes in batches until brown on all sides. Transfer to a 1.7l/3pint heatproof casserole pot. In the same frying pan, cook the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Spoon into the casserole pot. Add the tomatoes and stock, cinnamon, sugar and tomato puree. Bring this to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 2-21/2 hours. Add the gnocchi 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Garnish with the parsley and serve with crusty bread.

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Serves 4

* * * * * *

Tip: If preferred, substitute the gnocchi for freshly cooked pasta shapes. Recipe from www.simplybeefandlamb.com

Serves 6

Instructions: Allow the meat to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 140˚C/285˚F/Gas 1. Season the lamb shoulder with salt and pepper. Preheat a large, flame-proof braising pan. Add oil and butter and brown the meat on all sides until nicely caramelized. Remove the meat from the pan and leave to the side. Add mushrooms, onions and garlic and braise for 5-8 minutes. Return the meat to the pan. Add all the remaining ingredients to the pan and bring to the boil. Cover with the lid and place into the oven and cook for 21/2 - 3 hours. After 21/2 hours test the meat. It should be tender and sticky. When the meat is tender remove the pan from oven. Place the lamb on a warm serving platter and allow to rest for up to 20 minutes. Remove the remaining pan ingredients and arrange around the meat for a nice presentation. Use the delicious juices to make a gravy. To serve carve the meat straight from the bone and arrange on preheated plates. Serve with green beans and potato gratin.

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* *

Recipe from Donald Russell www.donaldrussell.com

DECEMBER2012 49


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Mixing it with the best

FOOD DRINK

50 DECEMBER2012

Whether you’re stirring, shaking, layering or muddling, with the soaring popularity of cocktails and the trend for complex infusions, there’s plenty of fun to be had by experimenting with these visual treats at home. In my little black book of cocktails, good quality vodka and gin are paramount to any bar, along with Angostura bitters and some basic implements such as a Boston shaker, a strainer, a long bar spoon and a jigger for measuring alcohol. Ice is the most important ingredient to any recipe, and you can never have too many ice cubes. Not only does it chill the glass, but it opens up the flavours in spirits and they should always be served ice cold. Beyond the timeless classics, here are some interesting cocktails to build as the nights draw in. And try not to skimp on stemware... cocktails should taste as good as they look. A Manhattan with a twist, this vintage cocktail hails from New York’s Manhattan Club and, traditionally speaking, rye whisky makes the finest Manhattan. But then, of course, that’s before you’ve started experimenting with a white spirit such as Belvedere Unfiltered Polish Vodka (£38.95, 70cl, www.thewhiskyexchange. com). Full, smooth and textured, the rich flavour married with sweet vermouth and delicate lavender creates a bittersweet seduction.

Chez Goose Couleur Cafe Ingrediedients 35ml Grey Goose, 17.5ml Toussaint, 30ml espresso, splash of sugar cane syrup, single cream Half fill a mixing glass with ice. Add the Grey Goose, Toussaint, espresso and sugar cane syrup. Stir and strain into a chilled coupette. Slowly pour the cream over the back of a teaspoon directly into the drink and sprinkle with a light dusting of chocolate powder.


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FESTIVE FASHION BEAUTY

Beauty

Wrapped Up BY LISA HAYNES

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eauty used to get a bad wrap at Christmas: soap on a rope, redundant bath salts and selection boxes of revolting mini fragrances. These days, Christmas lists are packed with pampering requests. From dazzling beauty sets and designer fragrances to spa-style toiletries, it’s like the 2012 equivalent of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Here’s what Santa Beauty has to offer your Christmas shopping list.

0 Forget Christmas trees, even

nail polishes have been sprinkled with bling. Presented in a gift box, Nails Inc’s limited edition polishes with crystal caps are the ultimate in decadence for manicured fingers, £15 each www.nailsinc.com

GLAMAZON 0 No party girl’s outfit is ready without a dazzling accessory, and

Estee Lauder delivers with its Swarovski Evening Bag Collection. The set contains a lipstick and crystal mirror for touch-ups in an eyecatching clutch, £38 House of Fraser www.houseoffraser.co.uk

0 Combine jewellery with fine fragrance by wrapping up Chloe’s Signature Solid Perfume Necklace. The precious locket houses a blend of rose notes that can be applied to pulse points on the go, £45 0800 083 6312

0 Make-up mavens with a penchant for labels will love Yves Saint

Laurent’s limited edition Pure Chromatics Collector. The palette is slipped into a sparkly sequinned pouch resembling a designer vintage dress, £39.50 www.yslbeauty.co.uk

52 DECEMBER2012


THE PAMPER QUEEN

THE GIRLY GIRL

0 What better gift for

0 Festive cuties won’t be able to resist The Body Shop’s Ginger

Switch her regular bubble bath for a more exotic pamper with these indulgent me-time treats. bathing beauties than a mini gold roll-top tub filled with festive offerings? Baylis & Harding’s Limited Edition Bath Gift Set includes Spiced Orange Body Wash, Plum Pudding Body Butter and Frosted Cranberry Lip Butter, £4 www.baylisandharding.com

Pink, fluffy and cute, these adorable sets are the next best thing to a puppy/kitten/bunny rabbit. Sparkle Shower, Scrub & Moisture Collection. The reusable tin houses four spicy ginger-scented limited editions, £15 www.thebodyshop.co.uk

0 Boudoir style and bursting with pretty products, MAC’s Divine

Desire Paramour Pink is ideal for fans of retro glamour. Containing Powder Blush, Cremesheen Lipstick, Lipglass, Technakohl Liner and Powder/Blush Brush, this powder pink bow pouch is sure to please, £45, 0870 034 2676 www.maccosmetics.co.uk

0 Keep the dentist happy and indulge a sweet tooth with 0 If she’s more concerned with keeping fine lines at bay than kicking back, look to Elemis’s regal Pro-Collagen Queen kit. Presented in royal purple vanity case, this gift of glowing skin is packed with Pro-Collagen anti-ageing gems, £195 0117 316 1888 www.timetospa.co.uk

Philosophy’s candy cane shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath. The whipped butterscotch and vanilla creme scents should satisfy cravings, £14 www.philosophyskincare.co.uk

0 With its polka dot shower cap and cupcake soaps, make bath

time the dessert of your day with The Pampery Bakery Tin Hat Box Set, £8 Asda

THE GROOMING GURU

Make sure the boys aren’t left out of the pamper action with a man-friendly kit.

0 Make him follow the North Star to the bathroom with Molton

Brown’s London Via The Stars set. The galactic-themed shower time box contains four body washes from citrus to spicy scents he can swap to match his mood, £49 www.moltonbrown.co.uk

0 Bring the spa to the bathroom with Sanctuary Spa’s Deluxe

Retreat box. There are five pampering essentials with puff to lather up with, £25 Boots

0 Guarantee silky smooth skin with some added Christmas

0 Fitness buffs and sports fans can (pretend to) work their biceps with every spritz of Davidoff Champion. The gift set contains eau de toilette, and hair and body wash for his gym bag, £38 www.areyouarealchamp.com

sparkle. I Love’s Nourishing Body Butter Christmas Collection contains four seasonal tubs, £4.99 Superdrug

0 Celebrate the Jubilympic year of 2012 with Wahl’s limited

THE FRAGRANCE FIEND

0 Let him dive into L’Occitane’s Verdon Men’s Collection. The box

Follow your nose to a sensational scent that will make her think of you every time she spritzes.

edition London print hair clipper and trimmer, £35.73 Boots

set contains eau de toilette, Fresh Water Shower Gel, Invigorating Shave, Energy Moisturiser and soap for an exhilarating freshen-up on Christmas morning, £42 0207 907 0301 www.loccitane.co.uk

0 If all that festive chocolate is bringing on the guilt, indulge in a

beautifying apple. DKNY Golden Delights Holiday Set includes DKNY Golden Delicious eau de parfum and Shimmering Body Lotion, £48 nationwide

0 Those who can’t be without their fragrance will adore the

handbag-friendly Angel Luxury Purse Spray eau de parfum. The gem embossed bottle is a star gift for on-the-go spritzes, £81.50 0207 307 6700 www.muglerstore.co.uk

0 Forget winter layers and indulge in fragrance layering - designer

style. Go for gold with Balenciaga Paris’s luxurious gift set containing eau de parfum and matching body lotion to intensify the scent, £63 0800 652 1615

0 The little black dress of perfumes, Guerlain’s La Petite Robe

0 TK Maxx Christmas beauty gifts, from £4.99 www.tkmaxx.com

t

Noire eau de parfum is made up of intoxicating notes of black cherry, almond and rose, from £42 (House of Fraser).

DECEMBER2012 53


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FESTIVE FASHION BEAUTY

LOOK GREAT, FEEL AMAZING!

W

ith Christmas and New Year fast approaching, Russell Blackburn owner of Blackburn Boutique in Blackheath London, has been working his fashion styling magic in conjunction with Hair and Beauty Salons, Fresh Lifestyle Spa in Blackheath and further afield in Brighton at Mosaic Hair and Beauty!! Russell loves to work with Hair and Beauty salons at this time of the year, as so many customers are looking to find a party dress for the Christmas and New Year season. So it is an ideal time for him to team up with salons to create stylish looks for both hair styles and that all important party frock!!! Fresh Lifestyle Spa & Salon held their Christmas party to say thank you to all their valued customers! Over 100 people turned out to join the celebrations on the evening and hair styles were created by the salons creative stylists to compliment the fabulous evening dresses which were supplied courtesy of Blackburn Boutique. Mosaic Hair and Beauty Brighton also held an informal evening on Thursday 22nd November for their customers in which they presented ideas and looks for party hair and styling for evening wear. Russell Blackburn from Blackburn Boutique was invited along to style all the models on the night in some amazing gowns from his current 2012 collections which again are shown in a selection of pictures supplied from the evening. For more information on how you can achieve these amazing looks contact info@blackburnbridal.co.uk or to view the collections call 0208 318 2333 To book to have your hair styled for any special event contact: Fresh Lifestyle Salon and Spa 0208 318 2666 www.freshlifestyle.co.uk Mosaic Hair Salon 01273 388838 www.mosaichair.co.uk

54 DECEMBER2012


New Spring/Summer 2013 collections arriving in December

www.blackburnbridal.co.uk

0208 318 2333 or email info@blackburnbridal.co.uk Brigade House, Brigade Street, Blackheath SE3 OTW DECEMBER2012 55


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FESTIVE FASHION BEAUTY

GetInt o Mistlet oe Mode BY LISA HAYNES

NATURAL BEAUTIES LOOK AWAY NOW, THE SEASON OF EXCESS IS UPON US.

56 DECEMBER2012


B

ut if you prefer to leave the glitter and sparkle for the Christmas tree, then look to lipstick for a festive beauty boost. “Lipstick provides an easy way to change your look, taking you from girl-next-door to sexy siren with just a swipe of colour,” says Jemma Kidd, make-up artist and author of Jemma Kidd Make-up Secrets. “It’s an instant pick-me-up.” Prime your pout for mistletoe kisses with irresistible statement lips. WEARING IT WELL The power of your pout should never be underestimated - it’s the main focus when we talk, laugh, drink and kiss, making lips a prime candidate for a party makeover. “A fully made-up mouth can be the finishing touch to your look, and some women feel naked without their signature lipstick,” Kidd says. “It is probably the safest way to go bold. The rest of the face must be flawless, with minimal make-up in neutral tones so that the statement colour really stands out and you don’t look overly made-up.” Take your lip size and shape into consideration when you’re choosing textures and colours. Satinfinish lipsticks are flattering for most due to their creamy coverage and slight glossy finish. “Matte colour can make a bold statement that looks stunning on fuller mouths, especially in classic Hollywood starlet red, but be careful if you are older, or if you have small/thin lips as matte finishes can look harsh and ageing,” Kidd warns.

LIP LONGEVITY All that prosecco supping and mistletoe pecking calls for extra staying power during the party season. With the right preparation, you can make your lipstick last longer. “Use a lip primer, or a dab of foundation or concealer,” Kidd reveals. “After outlining your lips, apply lip liner over the whole surface to provide a smooth, even undercoat of colour and a waxy base for the lipstick to adhere to.” It’s winter, so think layering. One coat of lippy isn’t sufficient so apply your lipstick once, blot with a tissue and then layer on another coat. If it feels too bold, blot with your finger for a pressed-in stain effect. Kidd recommends a light dusting of translucent powder or blusher patted on top of the lipstick for a matte finish and extra staying power. Pigment-packed lipsticks can be drying on the lips, especially long-lasting formulas. Use a lip balm under your lipstick to avoid the dreaded cracked look. POUT PERFECTION If you’re ready to take the pout plunge, Jemma Kidd has these golden lipstick rules: Dark colours are generally harder to wear than paler shades. They can be more draining and ageing, and you also need to be more accurate in your application as any slips will be obvious.

CREATIVE COLOUR Bright lipsticks will be more flattering if Unless you’re working a strong eye, give the nude you have a small mouth or thin lips. tones a wide birth if you want your lips to be the star attraction this Christmas. When you are wearing a dramatic, bold “For the most wearable brights on the mouth, go for lipstick, keep the rest of your make-up minimal. red, pink, purple or orange,” Kidd advises. If you have Clinique Chubby Stick porcelain skin, stick to cool pinks and blue-toned reds. Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm If you buy a shade that turns out to be too tree, £16 each 0870 034 6951 Those with olive complexions should opt for dark or bright, blend it with another lipstick or gloss to www.clinique.co.uk berry or plum tones, oranges and warm, orangeachieve a bespoke colour that suits you perfectly. toned reds. If you have dark skin, Kidd recommends experimenting with rich browns, strong oranges and deep plums. Oily lipsticks, liquid glosses and stains tend to migrate When trawling the lipstick stands in search of your perfect pout beyond the lip line, so choose thicker, drier and less greasy match, avoid testing on the back of your hand. formulas if ‘bleeding’ is an issue. Kidd explains: “If you can, try a lipstick on your lips to test the true colour (use a cotton bud to apply), or try on your fingertip, To achieve the illusion of bigger lips, use a lip liner in which is closer in colour to your lips because of the concentration a colour that matches your lipstick and outline your lips just a of blood vessels there.” fraction outside your natural lip line.

17 Mirror Shine Lipsticks, £4.79 Boots.

Dolce & Gabbana Animalier Classic Cream Lipstick in Iconic, £26 www.harrods.com

Burberry Lip Cover in Brick Red, £22.50 www.burberry.com

Liz Earle Signature Lip Colour in Cranberry, £14 www.lizearle.com

DECEMBER2012 57


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FESTIVE FASHION BEAUTY

M

Annabel’s English Treasures MIMI BERRY

imi Berry is a graduate of Central Saint Martins, and a regular exhibitor at London Fashion Week; she has acquired an international reputation for her commitment to classic craftsmanship and stylish understated design. Each season Mimi launches a new collection for both men and women, which includes everything from sleek weekend bags, sturdy satchels and gorgeous clutch bags, to a diverse selection of ladies leather purses. All Mimi pieces are made from exquisite Italian leather and are manufactured in the United Kingdom to ensure the highest production quality and ethical standards, Mimi Berry specialises in beautiful rich colours such as scarlet reds, deep browns and bright metallic’s. Mimi was founded in 2001 by London based designer Mimi Berry. The Mimi showroom is situated on Winkley Street

in Bethnal Green and is home to Berry’s studio where the entire Mimi collection is designed and housed. The Mimi showroom with its gilded mirrors, traditional English haberdashery cabinets and industrial light fittings, is an eclectic feast for the eye and a treat for any handbag collector. In 2007 Mimi Berry was commissioned by Tate Britain to design a unique collection of leather bags, purses and cardholders to be sold exclusively at Tate shops. The Mimi For Tate collaboration was so successful that the range remains ongoing with new styles launched seasonally. Mimi sells in select boutiques in London, the UK and Europe, as well as internationally in the US, Japan and Australia. You can buy Mimi Berry’s extensive handbag collection at Annabel’s in Royal Parade, Chislehurst.

ANNABEL’S

3 ROYAL PARADE, CHISLEHURST, KENT BR7 6NR TEL: 07714 189 674 WWW.ANNABELSLUXURYENGLISHGIFTS.COM

58 DECEMBER2012


DECEMBER2012 59


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FESTIVE FASHION BEAUTY

Dazzler BE A DANCEFLOOR

BY LISA HAYNES

DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT PULLING OUT YOUR TRUSTY LBD THIS PARTY SEASON. THERE’S FAR TOO MUCH IN THE WAY OF DECADENCE, GLITZ AND SPARKLE ADORNING THE RAILS TO RESIST. Even the traditional party dress is vying for attention with jaw-dropping maxi gowns, statement suiting and even dress coats that work for dancefloor and outdoors. This season, partywear is made for anti-wallflowers so don’t go for half measures. “Every woman needs the ‘wowzer’ dress,” says Marios Schwab, Edition designer at Debenhams. “It’s not about trends. It’s about what looks interesting and at the same time makes her feel totally gorgeous.” Whether you want to rock some baroque, go mad for metallics or indulge in sequin overdose, ‘tis the season to be outrageously OTT.

ASOS feather dress with lace top, £150 www.asos.com

BAROQUE ‘N’ ROLL Stand aside minimalists, excess and exuberance are this season’s buzz words. Return to an era of opulent luxury with Baroque period-inspired pieces that flaunt intricate embroidery, ornate brocade and gilded embellishment. A lustrous black and gold colourway dominates the Baroque trend making this the ideal update for those who can’t give up their LBD habit. If you want to opt for colour, think flocked fabrics and damask prints in rich jewel tones. The plusher the backdrop the better, so look for crushed velvet or glamorous satin. This is one trend where overBHS silver jacquard accessorising is perfectly acceptable so team dress, £38 with regal bling and a statement bag. www.bhs.co.uk METALLIC MEDLEY Gold, silver, or bronze; now’s the time to really celebrate Team GB’s medal tally with your favourite metal. Metallics are the most decadent party colour palette. Because the material is high-gloss, keep the silhouette clean and sleek to really outshine the competition. Look for sultry matte metallics if you want a sophisticated, grown-up feel. Separates are having a moment right now, so seek out a dress coat in pewter or gold that doubles up as both a cover-up and a dress when done up. Metallic cropped trousers will also look red hot teamed with pointy toe heels for their leg lengthening powers. Monsoon Olivia Shiny or matte, leather is a surprise metallic skirt, £69 hit in metallic tones if you’re looking for a 020 3372 3000 www.monsoon.co.uk rock chick edge with a hint of bling. 60 DECEMBER2012

GET THE LOOK

Myleene gives a masterKlass in sensational sparkle wearing Ariella Couture. Get your dazzle on in Ben de Lisi at Debenhams’s grey beaded maxi dress, £146.25 08445 616 161 www.debenhams.com

Coast Priscilla embellished dress, £295 www.coast-stores.com

Coast Elenore gold dress coat, £220 www.coast-stores.com

Debut at Debenhams red jacquard peplum shift dress, £90 08445 616161 www.debenhams.com


Fleur De Lys gold skirt, £35; jumper, £35 and necklace, £10, Awear www.awear.com

SPARKLE SAMBA Give the festive disco balls some competition in sequins. Don’t look to the Strictly Come Dancing contestants for inspiration; this look is more glitterati than glitzy. Guarantee yourself a sparkling entrance in a floor sweeping sequin gown. Choose a darker colour like black, gunmetal or deep purple for a more flattering look as sequins can add bulk to your frame. To achieve a tinsel effect, try super-sizing your sequins. Focus on separates like a top or skirt if you want to shimmer with subtlety. Low-key not in your vocabulary? Look for a dress with bold circular paillettes (spangles) in a bright gem colour to really make a statement. Swap sequins for intricate shimmering beading to channel Gatsby glamour. Think Twenties chic with a flapper dress that will swing as you show off your Charleston. LACE LAMBADA As the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton has proved so often, lace is a classic fabric for evening chic. But if you want to move away from super-safe black, inject a sprinkle of Christmas magic with festive reds, golds and sapphire blues. Contrasting materials and fabrics like flirty feathers will ensure you look dancefloorready. Also look to necklines and sleeves with eye-catching embellished details for lace with the festive trimmings. This season, the matchy-matchy trouser suit is the anti-leg baring answer to party frocks. Look for a lace or lace print two-piece for an edgy take on Christmas outfit traditions. Killer heels are the essential accessory if you’re taking on this glam tux look.

Coast Va Va sequin maxi gown, £395 www.coast-stores.com

Lace jacket, £28; trousers, £18; earrings, £12.50 and ring, £6, F&F at Tesco 0800 505555 www.clothingattesco.com

BUY IT NOW

Lend a helping hand with charitable arm candy. Topshop has teamed up with disaster relief charity ShelterBox to launch four friendship bracelets with engraved metal discs. Each bracelet is £2, with a £1 donation to ShelterBox, available now in Topshop stores and www.topshop.com

DECEMBER2012 61


ON THE CATWALK..... fashion show

An exceptional, fun evening was enjoyed by a huge crowd of happy guests who attended the fashion show hosted by the Glorious Trading Company and The Square Salon & Spa on 62 DECEMBER2012

Tuesday 13th November. It was an evening filled with excitement and glamour. Guests were first assembled in The Square’s luxury spa salon where they were treated to a live singing

performance by Joe Kaul. Drinks flowed, and the red carpet treatment continued when they were escorted a few metres away to the Glorious Trading Company, where, the fashion show began.


GLORIOUS TRADING

THE SQUARE

Lambourne House ∙ Riverhead ∙ Sevenoaks ∙ TN13 2DE 01732 463 555 info@glorioustrading.com | www.glorioustrading.com

1 The Square ∙ Riverhead ∙ Sevenoaks ∙ Kent ∙ TN13 2AA 01732 456 212 contact@thesquaresalon.com | www.thesquaresalon.com

Music was supplied by DJ Ryan Palmer. The place rocked and was full to capacity, and beyond, overflowing in fact! Hair and make-up was professionally executed by Ben Hards and his

team at The Square Salon. All the clothing and trends were the exclusive domain of the Glorious Trading store. The evening came to a close, with carriages leaving late into the

night. All guests were presented with amazing goody bags as a momento of the evening by Glorious Trading and The Square.

DECEMBER2012 63


FESTIVE GIFTS IDEAS

The scent of luxury Now available at Alexander Hotels & Utopia Spas Famed for their award-winning spas, opulent hotel designs and love of natural products, the Alexander Hotel Group is delighted to announce the launch of their NEW own branded candle collection. The group have introduced a selection of specially scented candles, hand blended and poured exclusively for Alexander Hotels. Each candle is born from carefully chosen fragrant oils that create a soothing ambience. Candles are made from 100% soya wax, have natural cotton wicks and are environmentally friendly – they even come with their very own candle care card; a thoughtful touch that advises proud owners on how to care for their luxury gift. The unique scents range from Ylang Ylang and Lavender to Lime and Black Pepper and traditional Cinnamon. Sizes and styles vary with prices starting from as little as £12.00 – hugely competitive for such an exclusive product! Alexander Hotels Candles make great Christmas gifts and are a wonderful way to introduce the scent of luxury into your home. To find out more, visit the in-house shops at Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa, Sussex or Rowhill Grange Hotel & Utopia Spa, Kent.

www.alexanderhotels.co.uk

Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa, East Grinstead, Sussex, RH10 4QD 01342 714914 Rowhill Grange Hotel & Utopia Spa, Wilmington, Kent, DA2 7QH 01322 615136 64 DECEMBER2012


ADAM SWAINE PHOTOGR APHY

07798 526 569

w w w. adam s w ai n e . co . uk a d a m swa ine@ro c ketm a i l . c o m I N T E R I O R S

W E D D I N G S

L A N D S C A P E

JUST INTERIORS Suppliers of fine furniture and home accessories

Christmas decorations start from as little as £3.00 each Just Interiors Petts Wood Ltd 172 Petts Wood Road, Petts Wood, Kent BR5 1LG Tel. 01689 870970 Open Monday – Saturday 10am to 5pm www.justinteriorspettswood.co.uk • facebook.com/JustInteriorsPettsWoodLtd DECEMBER2012 65


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FESTIVE HOME GARDEN

GO TO

Ho Ho Ho Bauble, £2.50, Paperchase

Set of four Tartan Stag Decoupage Baubles, £6, Paperchase.

TOWN TINSEL THIS CHRISTMAS

White and Silver Matte Snowflake Bauble, £3, John Lewis

BY GABRIELLE FAGAN

White Feather Peacock, £10, selected Paperchase stores.

N

aturally, you can simply untangle the tinsel and randomly pop on an unco-ordinated collection of cherished decorations gathered over the years - but you’d be missing the opportunity to make the tree the star of the seasonal show. “Generally, people are putting much more time and thought into creating a ‘look’ for their tree which will often echo the style of their home,” says Jane Bailess, assistant buyer for decorative accessories at John Lewis. “The key themes this season, such as gold, red and white, silver and white, can be followed exclusively or combined to great effect. “For instance, classic red decorations can be interpreted traditionally on a green tree or you could add white baubles for a more Skandi style. These are especially striking if displayed on a snow-flocked tree. “Gold and silver always evoke a feeling of restrained luxury, and evoke a shimmering glittering effect. You can choose glass 66 DECEMBER2012

IF YOU THOUGHT DRESSING THE CHRISTMAS TREE WAS JUST A RUN-OF-THE-MILL SEASONAL RITUAL, THINK AGAIN - THERE’S A HOST OF DECOR STYLES TO CHOOSE FROM. decorations in a palette of pure silver mixed with white or opt for antique gold and bronze baubles which look dramatic on a black tree.” We’re so fond of trees as a focal point for the celebrations that many homes now even boast two trees, says Bailess. “Our simple, contemporary style paper trees are hugely popular and people are often choosing them as a second tree perhaps for a hall, dining area or even the garden. They’ll have their main tree in the living room,” she says. John Lewis’s paper tree selection starts from ¬£45 for a 4ft Prelit Glitter Paper Tree. It’s new Snowy Paper trees are suitable for outdoor use, from £50 for a 4ft one. “Paper trees are also ideal for smaller spaces as they don’t take up so much room, and people enjoy experimenting with themes. Our latest is a Japanese style with Eastern-look baubles featuring traditional Lucky Cats and Japanese dolls,” says Bailess. So there’s no need to get your tinsel in a tangle, or despair of your decorations this

Snow Capped Shiny Silver Bauble, £3, John Lewis

season. Simply choose a look to suit your style then sit back and wait for the seasonal compliments. A TOUCH OF FROST Indulge in the most romantic style for a tree with a sprinkling of winter white, either a snow-dusted tree or a display of pure white and silver baubles. “This evokes the winter wonderland scene which we all dream of waking up to on Christmas Day,” says Bailess. “It keys in to the popular Skandistyle which has a simple, cosy feel and is also subtle and elegant. If you want to personalise, add hand-made decorations such as white knitted pieces.” Tip: If you’re using an artificial tree, take time to spread the branches out when you unpack it and ensure the core of the tree is seen as little as possible. Tree smart: White baubles contrast well on a green tree and Tesco’s Western Pine tree, £39.94, is a beauty. Alternatively,


Christmas Fox Decoration, £7.50, Pedlars

Traditional Robin Bauble, £1.99, The Contemporary Home

6ft Luxury Woodland Tree with Artificial Snow, £25, Baubles from £2.50, Dining Table, £299 and Branch Candle Holder, £39.50, Marks & Spencer

choose a 6ft Luxury Woodland tree with artificial snow, £125, Marks & Spencer. Bauble-Licious: Paperchase’s bauble selection includes a Ho Ho Ho glass bauble filled with fake snow, £2.50; a White Feather Peacock, £10, available in selected Paperchase stores. John Lewis’s collection of white and silver features a white and silver matte snowflake bauble, £3, and snow-capped shiny silver bauble, £3. GOLDEN GLAMOUR Metallics are already adding glamour to interiors this year and a gold gilded tree and decorations will make a glittering statement. “This is a richly opulent look for a tree and the sheen and lustre of gold adds warmth and richness to a setting,” says Bailess. “It shouldn’t look sparse so use more decorations in gold and bronze rather than less and a generous amount of lights to conjure a magical effect.”

Tesco Finest 6ft Windsor Fir Tree & Decorations, £25, www.tesco.com/direct

6ft Western Pine Tree, £39.94; Mistletoe Wreath, £14.97; Finest Charity Cards, £2.96; decorations from 48p; Gift Bags and Wrap from 77p, Tesco.www.tesco.com/direct

Tip: Start from the bottom of the tree when arranging lights and slowly work up to the top, taking them in a spiral effect. Tree smart: House of Fraser’s Pied A Terre 6ft gold glitter tipped tree, £150. For drama, contrast gold decorations with a John Lewis Black Flocked tree, £50 for a 4ft one and £140 for an 8ft tree. Bauble-licious: Decadence fabric covered ornate gold bauble, £7.50, and gold decadence encrusted rose clip, £6.50 for two, both from the Linea range, House of Fraser. Theatre jewel bauble, £2.50, and Gold Criss Cross bauble, £4, John Lewis. FESTIVE FUN If you adore all things festive, a green tree with bright splashes of that traditional seasonal colour - red - is irresistible. “You can opt for jolly festive symbols such as Santas and snowmen for a nostalgic look harking back to Christmas past, when tree decor was less stylised,” says Bailess.

“Or, if you want to give a crisper more modern, Skandi feel interspersed with white baubles and wooden decorations. Red, green and white is one of the most versatile colour combinations and means new decorations can easily be added year after year.” Tip: Arrange one matching set of baubles at a time so you end up with a well-spaced out display and allow each style to star. Tree smart: Tesco Finest 6ft Windsor Fir Tree, available online, £25. Bauble-licious: Set of two Robin and Fir Tree Baubles, in white or red, a pair £8.75, Berry Red. A Jolly Santa head glass bauble, £4.50, John Lewis. A set of 12 Mini Red & White Jingle Bells, £5.99, The Contemporary Home. Celebrate a child’s first Christmas with a Baby’s First Christmas Bauble, £12.50, which can be personalised with a name, from Wow Thank You. NATURE TRAIL Blending natural hand-crafted touches with rich greens, deep reds and furry woodland creatures and birds make this one of the most charming and on-trend styles. “This is a mix of traditional and a Lapland-feel,” says Bailess. “Vintage-style baubles and the rustic look of wooden or felt decorations will blend well. There’s huge popularity for animals and birds, particularly stags and robins this year, and this look keys into that brilliantly.” Tip: Following a colour theme will always ensure a successful effect. Choose one colour or two, such as red and white or red and green. Theme bauble styles, such as collections of miniature birds or reindeers. Tree smart: Heal’s Majestic Noel Pine Christmas tree, 6ft, ¬£120. Bauble-licious: Tartan Stag damask decoupage baubles, set of four, £6, Paperchase; Frosty Robins, set of four on clips, £8, House of Fraser; Robin Bauble, £1.99, The Contemporary Home; Christmas Fox decoration, £7.50, Pedlars. DECEMBER2012 67


PAIR OF LAMPS £395

• • • • •

68 DECEMBER2012


So cosy. So County.

Conservatories and orangeries aren’t just for summer. They add an extra dimension to your life all year round – for entertaining or just relaxing. With insulated glass and interior heating your new conservatory or orangery from County will soon become your favourite room, helping keep the winter blues at bay. We’ve a whole range of styles to suit your taste. And you’ll find our competitive prices particularly heart-warming too. For a free no-obligation survey and quotation call

0800 5426102

Download our FREE guide book: “The top ten key questions to ask when buying a conservatory or orangery” Visit www.thecountygroup.co.uk/guides AND SEE OUR CURRENT SPECIAL OFFERS

Windows • doors • conservatories orangeries • kitchens studies • bedrooms

www.thecountygroup.co.uk Showrooms in Heathfield, Tunbridge Wells, Haywards Heath and Hailsham.

design | build | project management www.deniscurrydesign.co.uk contact 0208 691 6224 / 07966 396 068 DECEMBER2012 69


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FESTIVE HOME GARDEN

IN THE FESTIVE FLURRY OF DECKING THE HALLS AND CHOOSING THE PRESENTS, IT’S EASY TO NEGLECT A KEY FOCAL POINT - THE DINING TABLE.

G MAKE YOURS THE

TOP TABLE BY GABRIELLE FAGAN

athering for the Christmas feast is one of the highlights of the celebration, and a well-decorated table will make the meal even more memorable. “A Christmas table should be so inviting and stylish that no one will want to leave it,” says Susie Watson, founder of Susie Watson Designs, hand-made home accessories specialists. “Linen for a cloth and napkins really dresses a table and adds character to a setting, while candles are essential for soft, twinkling light. “If you prefer informality, choose an arrangement of seasonal cut flowers in a large jug and opt for hand-painted ceramics. For details, add jewel-coloured baubles or small gifts at each place setting.” Ensure the table’s centrepiece isn’t too dominating, or too high that it interferes with the eyeline of guests, Watson advises, as that can discourage conversation. “A vase filled with glass baubles and twisted hazel twigs is a lovely way to conjure a rustic, country feel, and festive foods such as walnuts, oranges and berries could be arranged in small bowls around it,” Watson suggests. Three experts reveal their favourite festive looks... REVEL IN RED Red adds warmth and richness to a table setting and, as a traditional seasonal colour, can also evoke pleasing memories of past celebrations. “Creating a sumptuous table is the final finishing touch of the celebrations,” says Wendy Miranda at Lakeland. “Red can’t fail to have impact and works beautifully if it’s combined with a nature theme, using berries and greenery from the garden or artificial garlands, and this year you can enhance it by picking up on the trend for featuring woodland creatures.” Light and decorate the centre of the table in one easy move, she suggests, by using an LED-lit winter berry garland arranged down the centre. Add more decorative detail by entwining cuttings of ivy around chunky white pillar candles and the stems of glasses. Table tip: Create fashionable Scandi-style with a simple red and white theme. Tie red ribbon and a red bauble around each napkin, and use the ribbon and a name label to decorate each chair. Conjure more formal grandeur by combining red with glittering gold accessories. Get the look: Lakeland’s inspiring tableware collection could sort out dining dilemmas. Red linen-look tablecloth, £34.99, and an LED-lit winter berry garland, £18.99.

Julien Macdonald Gold lace wine glass, £9; Julien Macdonald set of four silver ridged glamour napkin rings, £15 and Julien Macdonald set of two white metallic napkins, £6, Debenhams.

70 DECEMBER2012

Santa on sleigh tea light Place settings always appeal. B&Q holder, £14.99, has red glitter reindeer, £5 for a set of The Contemporary Home. two, which would make ideal namecard holders. Make a focal point of a red Santa On Sleigh candle-holder, £14.99, which has space for four tea lights, from The Contemporary Home. Heal’s charming accessories include a Quail Robin salt and pepper set, £22, a ‘toadstool’ style Dotted Mushroom votive for a single tea light, £7, and carved wooden animal napkin rings, ¬£12 each, which include adorable bunny and owl designs.


SILVER & WHITE Silver and white is a classic combination which works incontemporary or traditional settings. “It’s such fun to push the boat out when you’re decorating the table and give it some glitter, sparkle and pzazz which puts people in the mood for fun,” says Clare Harris, founder of Talking Tables, specialists in party and table accessories. “Silver and white’s a glamorous, sophisticated choice, and can be created easily with a white cloth and napkins, sparkly table gems, miniature silver crackers, and a table feature such as a collection of silver baubles in a clear glass bowl, or a group of silver candlesticks. Keep the table simple and uncluttered for best effect.”

Wooden animal napkin rings, £12 each, Heal’s.

Tip: Serve individual desserts and pop a mini sparkler in each before bringing to the table as a fun final touch, Harris suggests. And make place cards using a silver glitter pen and white card. Get the look: Talking Tables silver accessories include eight Silver Saucer crackers, ¬£6, and silver paper napkins, £3.50 for a pack of 20. Indulge in House of Fraser’s Casa Couture range with its silver-style tableware, which includes beaten metal bowls, jugs and serving spoons, £16-£30. On a budget? Update your china with Ikea’s affordable Skack white and silver/grey range, which includes serving bowls, £6 each. Antiqued Bud place card holders, £22 for a set of six, and beaded place mats, £25 for a set of two, The White Company, could set the scene. Santa would surely approve of a reindeer centrepiece, and a reindeer tea light holder, £79, Marks & Spencer, which holds six tea lights is simply stunning. Alternatively, add a rustic touch with John’s Lewis’s frosted rattan heart-shaped decoration, £3.50. Wing it with Sainsbury’s tiny silver birds, £2.50 each from selected stores, which would be perfect for a place setting detail.

Dotted mushroom votive, £7, Heal’s.

Quail robbin salt and pepper shakers, £22, Heal’s.

Gold charger plate, £5, House of Fraser.

Table decorations, accessories and tree decorations from a selection at Heal’s.

ALL THAT GLITTERS Gold combines grandeur and glamour and has timeless appeal for a celebration table. Layer gold touches - for instance, a gold charger plate, napkin and gold bauble on each place setting - to show them off to maximum effect. “Place a few key decorations, perhaps gold baubles or metallic gold-sprayed fruit which match your colour scheme, along the length of a table runner to immediately create a festive effect and impact,” says Kerry Nicholls, tabletop buyer for John Lewis. “Start with a tall centrepiece, either candlesticks or a flower arrangement, and work outwards in descending height. “Match place mats and napkins to your runner to keep the theme consistent.” Tip: Tiny touches personalise a table. Put a small gold-sprayed box holding a gold-wrapped sweet or a bauble beside each place setting as a table treat for your guests. Get the look: Make a statement with a gold Metal Leaf Tree table centrepiece, £89 and a gold-coloured 24-Piece Twisted Cutlery Set £26, Oka.

Pack of two red glitter reindeers, £5, B&Q.

Winter berry LED garland, £18.99, Lakeland.

Gold lacquered charger plate, £5, and Linea’s Decadence gold floral crackers, £25 for a box of 10, House of Fraser. Homebase has a wealth of gilded touches: a gold Holly leaf lights garland, currently half price at £5.99, gold snowflake decorations, £4.99 for a pack of 24, and a Flowers bauble, in shiny silver with gold glitter, £2.49. Gold ‘Lace’ print wine glasses, £9 each, and a cluster of gold ceramic star votive candles, £4 each, both from the Star by Julien Macdonald range at Debenhams, would make subtle golden table touches. DECEMBER2012 71


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HOME GARDEN

Gallic Charm

On the upper level in the Whitgift Centre, Croydon, in Trinity Square, is the Grange furniture and rug showroom.

HEIR OF FRENCH FURNITURE-MAKING Grange, a company more than a century old, perpetuates the French cabinet-making tradition as a creator, maker and distributor of furniture, promotig centuries-old knowhow and exceptional finishes. A large part of its production still comes from France. However, the brand has never ceased to reappropropriate styles in order to reinterpret them. In parallel with traditional-style furniture, Grange designs furniture that blends classical lines with modernity. The brand also proposes collections that are ever more full of stories, evoking travel, forgotten trades and the pleasant lifestyles of France’s regions.

MY GRANGE Grange furniture has always distinguished itself by its wide range of exclusive colours, shades and tints. Nuanced in three degrees of ageing (classic, antique and tradition) and each requiring a minimum of fifteen manual operations, these finishes give the furniture its soul. CABINET-MAKER SINCE 1904 Every Grange creation bears witness to the craftman’s love for high-quality work. Every piece of furniture produced by the workshops is finished by hand. With each stage, the finish is developed, constructed, enhanced and nuanced. The unique expertise creates the inimitable Grange finesse

of grain and the famous “satin-touch finish”. Our modular Bookcase and Wardrobe units adapt to suit your lifestyle and your tastes. Your design plans for interior fittings and storage are unique and that is why we offer personalised solutions. Searching for the right colour or tint with the aim of lasting quality, Grange continues to widen its range of colours, developing customisation and personalisation. There are now 80 finishes available, for atmospheres of all kinds, whether cheerful or elegant, traditional or contemporary. A massive selection of both traditional and contemporary rugs at unbeatable prices is displayed on two floors.

Tel: 020 8681 8888 • enquiries@grange-london.co.uk • www.grange-london.co.uk 72 DECEMBER2012


Also at Polhill Garden Centre, Badgers Mount, Sevenoaks – 7 days a week

DECEMBER2012 73


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HOME GARDEN

Hand crafted with care

ROUNDEL DESIGN HAS BEEN DESIGNING, MANUFACTURING AND FITTING KITCHEN, BEDROOM AND STUDY FURNITURE FOR OVER THIRTY YEARS PROVIDING A SERVICE AND ATTENTION TO DETAIL FROM THE INITIAL DISCUSSIONS, THROUGH THE MANUFACTURING PROCESS TO THE COMPLETION OF YOUR ULTIMATE ROOM.

74 DECEMBER2012

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he knowledge gained over the years by Simon Raw and Bobbie Johnson ably assisted by a team of dedicated craftsmen and fitters have enabled Roundel Design to provide a professional and inspired service to their clients whatever the project. Simon, with his in depth knowledge of the woodworking industry coupled with his design skills will draw up a detailed plan with elevations. Bobbie with her extensive administrative and accounting skills will produce a quotation with no ‘hidden extras’. If required, we are able to manage any project incorporating all the different trades, thus reducing the inherent stress levels. We do not believe in the ‘hard sell’ preferring to treat our clients as we would wish to be treated – with respect and genuine interest in creating a room to offer enjoyment and making a working environment nothing but pleasurable. Our maxim is listening and communicating at every stage of the project. Roundel Design is justifiably proud of its achievements and

its commitment to the industry. Simon and Bobbie keep in touch with the ever changing trends but never loose sight of the practical and beauty of hand crafted furniture whether it is fitted or free standing. At Roundel Design we manufacture cabinetry specifically for you using timbers - oak, maple, walnut and tulipwood from sustainable sources. Tulipwood is used for our painted cabinetry which is finished on site in a colour and style of your choice. We have the versatility and knowledge to configure your ultimate room; to accommodate everything and anything and to give your dog or cat their own living place. Simon and Bobbie welcome visitors to their showroom at Flishinghurst Orchard, Chalk Lane, Cranbrook, TN17 2QB or to their web site – www.roundeldesign.co.uk. 01580 712666 Their showroom is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Mondays through to Fridays and on Saturday morning by appointment.


DECEMBER2012 75


Give an original painting Have you ever thought of having an original painting of your pet or child or grandchildren or special place or event? A painting makes a wonderful and lasting gift for special occasions such as birthdays or wedding anniversaries.

David Smith is a professional artist who paints a range of subjects from portraits to landscapes in almost any medium. Call David direct on 01759 318553 to chat about your requirements or email david@davidsmithart.co.uk www.davidsmithart.co.uk 76 DECEMBER2012


01732 763610 / 0780 950 4251 www.grantsofsevenoaks.co.uk

The Personal Touch A TRULY PERSONAL SERVICE OFFERING EXPERT CRAFTMANSHIP AND SUPERIOR DESIGN.

John Grant has been creating high quality, bespoke kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, studies and free standing furniture for over 30 years. Each piece of furniture, whether free standing or fitted is created to our client’s individual design and personal needs. We are keen to listen to your ideas, and advise on all wood types and their benefits, as well as paint finishes and the resulting appearance. “We combine traditional hand crafted joinery methods, and hand finishing to the highest standards with modern high quality fittings, accessories and appliances. We encourage our clients to view each commission as it takes shape at our workshop in Seal, to ensure that their needs are met, even if they change as the work progresses. We arrange and coordinate the whole process from design to completion with delivery included in the price”. 01732 763610 / 0780 950 4251 www.grantsofsevenoaks.co.uk

DECEMBER2012 77


78 DECEMBER2012


Make a child’s Christmas with an NSPCC

Photograph byCourtney Lavelle

MAKE THIS CHRISTMAS A TRULY MEMORABLE ONE BY SENDING A CHILD YOU KNOW A MAGICAL LETTER FROM SANTA. FOR A SUGGESTED DONATION OF £5 TO THE NSPCC, YOUR CHILD WILL RECEIVE A FUN, COLOURFUL AND PERSONALISED LETTER FROM THE MAN HIMSELF – THE PERFECT GIFT.

C

hristmas is a busy time of year for Santa - last year 49,797 letters were delivered to children and families in North London and the East of England but he always makes time to write to the children on his good list. There are five magical styles of NSPCC Letter from Santa for children of all ages, making them the ideal gift for families with more than one child as each child can receive a truly unique letter. Santa can even write a special letter to celebrate Baby’s First Christmas – a keepsake to treasure for years to come. Each letter is uniquely personalised with the child’s name, age, address, gender and best friend’s name, and there’s also the chance to include a final ‘P.S.’ thought from Santa when you order online. The letters are beautifully illustrated and arrive via reindeer mail to make the experience truly unforgettable. Children will be amazed that Santa knows them so well! By sending a Letter from Santa, supported by Heart FM, you can make a child’s Christmas and help the NSPCC to protect children all year round through its projects and services including ChildLine – the UK’s free, confidential 24-hour helpline and online service for children and young people in distress or danger.

Every £5 raised by Letter from Santa will help ChildLine be there whenever a child seeks help either online or by phone. And every £25 raised will enable a trained practitioner to deliver one hour of support through the NSPCC’s helpline for adults who are concerned about a child. The reindeer mailroom will be open from 1 October until 17 December 2012, and all those who request a Letter from Santa this year will be entered into a free prize draw to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Lapland for a family of four. From 1 October, you’ll be able to find us online at www.nspcc.org.uk/santa or alternatively you can call 0845 839 9304 to place your order. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Emma Gorringe NSPCC regional communications officer, on 01634 308206 or email emma.gorringe@NSPCC.org.uk For out of hours enquiries, please call 07767 647712

ABOUT THE NSPCC: The NSPCC is the UK’s leading children’s charity specialising in child protection. Our vision is to end cruelty to children in the UK and we make a difference for all children by standing up for their rights, listening to them, helping them when they need us and by making them safe. The NSPCC runs projects and services across the United Kingdom and Channel Islands to help vulnerable children. We also provide ChildLine, the UK’s free, confidential 24-hour helpline and online service for children and young people and a helpline for adults who are worried about a child or want advice. If you have concerns about a child or young person, you can call the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000, text 88858 or visit www.nspcc.org.uk.   Children and young people can contact ChildLine on 0800 1111 or visit www.childline.org.uk. DECEMBER2012 79


TRAVEL

CITY JOHN RULER TRAVELS WITH HIS GRANDDAUGHTER TO POLLY’S PARIS HER…

FOR ALL SEASONS PHOTOS: POLLY WELLINGTON-RULER

TRAVEL FACTS: French Travel Service (www.F-T-S.co.uk) offer one night B&B at the Hotel Imperial from £179 to £196 up to three nights from £305 to £357; extra nights available with seasonal four nights for three. Prices include travel with Eurostar: carnets, which cover not just the Metro and RER networks but also buses and trams are on sale onboard which saves time queuing at Gare de Nord. Consider, too, a Paris pass if you are planning a more detailed programme. Cost: from a two day child at €34 and teenage at €61 to two day adult at €105.

80 NOVEMBER2012 DECEMBER2012


I

f it had not been for me blundering at the barrier we would have travelled round Paris for less than £30, roughly the cost of two sets of carnets. This is not just a great way of seeing the capital at a cut-price cost but a chance to chop and change your programme at a drop of a Metro ticket – or rather 20 if you count the two sets we bought. We have done this twice, my grand-daughter Polly and I. First ‘in the summer when it sizzles’ and secondly ‘in the winter when it drizzles.’ But then, to slightly misquote the famous lyric, I love Paris every moment of the year. And what better to showcase it than through the eyes of a teenage grand-daughter who took the accompanying photos. It’s also a chance to pare down Paris to some bare essentials. For this you need a good base, in our case the Hotel Imperial, a small three star hotel quietly tucked away in Rue de la Victoire, a mere a ten minute walk away from Pl de l’ Opéra and the huge department stores of Bd Haussmann. Arguably Printemps may be more teenage hip, but even so Polly fell for the glitter of Galeries Lafayette, basically several department stores all found under a delightful OTT neo-byzantine domed roof built in 1912 and lined with a golden honeycomb of galleries. Even a light lunch of pasta, or waffles and creamy cups of chocolate in the winter, leaves a feeling of having experienced a true Paris institution. Polly bought mummy ‘ who wears rubbish clothes’ a scarf and a new pair of shoes. Oh yes, and scrounged a free squirt of highly-priced perfume on the way out… Also quickly ticked off the list of must-sees was the Eiffel Tower; you can avoid the seemingly endless long queues by walking the 704 steps to the second floor. The view’s still great and you can stop for a breather at the first floor exhibition. Alternatively grab some baguettes and cheese for a picnic lunch and look up at it from the shade of a nearby tree during the heat of August when, with the Parisians on holiday, it’s haunted by tourists. Summer’s also a time to try something a little cooler – literally – like exploring the catacombs though, with visits limited to guided groups of 20, we baked in the sun for 40 minutes before descending into the subterranean network of quarries. These were used for storing the remains of some six million bodies transferred from the original putrid cemeteries between the late 18th and the early 19th centuries. Grisly, yes, but the bones laid out in romantico-macabre style have a strangely artistic beauty of their own. During World War II, the tunnels were used by the French Resistance. Blinking in the summer sun, we returned from this quiet quarter of the city to Denfert-Rochereau (what wonderful names the Metro stations do have) to Le Peletier a few minutes’ walk from the hotel. It was from here we started each day, rattling our way to other top spots. A bone-numbing December day led us to the Louvre, at first rather reluctantly by Polly with the Mona Lisa, Room 6 on the first floor, worthy of her approval, though she was more fascinated, as I was, in watching students sitting at their easels copying iconic work by Europe’s master painters. Looking out over a wintry scene around the Palais Royal was a picture in itself. You could say the same about the Luxembourg Gardens,

whose gorgeous burst of summer blooms are totally in sync with the energy of the passing joggers or the children playing or sailing their boats on the lake. All so different was our winter walk through the Tuileries where even the statues seemed to be shivering along ‘this extravagant stretch of luxurious landscaping’ – as travel-writing colleague Laurence Phillips aptly puts it – before crossing Place de la Concorde, another defining and challenging feature, of Paris, to the Ave des Champs Elysées. After freshly cooked churros, with a hot chocolate for Polly and a mulled wine for me, the warmth of the Metro home was as welcome then as was for the underground breeze back in the heat of August when we dozed in the avenue gardens sipping cold lemonade. You could, of course, cram all this into a one day excursion, but Paris is far better picked off in pieces preferably at walking pace. We rested on a river trip on the bateaux mouches, the sane way (if you’ll excuse the pun) of seeing the river sights, including sunbathers on one of the sandy beaches specially created each summer. We could have dined aboard in the evening, but blew our money instead amid the plushness of the Café de la Paix at Place de l’Opera, pricey as behoves its belle époque interior with its listed frescoes and sumptuous gilding. As a one off, it was worth it just for Polly’s face when asked, for ‘the first time in my life’ if madam would like to look at the menu?’ We also dined slightly more modestly in the winter amid the Christmas baubles at the Café Capucines, a blend of classical styles and art nouveau décor. But basically we relied on snack bars, cafés and budget eeateries such Bert’s where a warming cup of soup set us up for a winter visit to the sewers neat the Pont d’Alma. Yes, another underground novelty which, far from claustrophobic, are more a mammoth monument to man’s ingenuity to flush away our waste. This task began back in 14th century and was vastly improved on under Louis XIV and Napoleon. In 1850 a sewer network for both drinking and non-drink water was devised. Now it has 2100kms of tunnels. Don’t worry you only explore a couple of galleries remarkably stink free with the likes of a giant James Bond style flushing machine enough to grab teenage interest. Jean Valjean hid down here in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables: read about it in the museum, which, incidentally, we voted as having one of the best public loos in Paris! Notre Dame is a must, but if it’s far too busy head instead for Ile St Louis which, along with the now trendy Marais corner, remains a window into the past; so, too, does Montmartre albeit brash and touristy. But who could resist Place du Tertre? Penniless painters including Picasso and Utrillo, certainly couldn’t. As for the church of Sacré–Coeur, a gorgeous white landmark of wedding cake proportions it won me over to Paris on my first trip ever. For Polly it was when, aged around five, Eurostar whooshed through Bromley South station on its old route to Paris. ‘What was that?, she asked wide-eyed with awe. A year later she was in Paris, followed much later by her Metro-wise teenage visits. ‘Poussez ici’ says the notice at the barrier to the Metro. Do so, it can open up a new world in a way no conducted tour can hope to match. Just the ticket in fact. NOVEMBER2012 DECEMBER2012 81


BOOK REVIEWS

The Bookshelf

“ Tis the season for reflection, to dip into past eras; to wile away the festive season’s restful moments, what better than with a good book, and any one will make a good last minute present.” WORDS BY BRUCE EDWARDS

THE SILENT TOUCH SHADOWS

OF

The Silent Touch of Shadows Christina Courtenay Choc Lit, £7.99 Paperback With the rather spooky new BBC drama ‘The Secret of Crickley Hall’ usurping ‘Paradise’ (and what a delight that was) on Sunday evenings, it can usher in a mood of ghostly happenings, which is where Courtenay takes us. There are some similarities. Whereas the screen’s Crickley Hall has its darker side, this novel’s Ashleigh Manor gives us an altogether more romantic view, although the prospect of Melissa falling for a ghost who talks to her out of the shadows is difficult to swallow, as her present-day activities are too close to soap modernity to make it an easy transition. It is the 1460’s Sibell (intriguing name) who provides the greater depth, and her passion for Sir Roger is all-consuming. How Melissa’s growing attachment for neighbour Jake echoes the 15th Century love affair and provides the ultimate salvation for both old and modern passions makes for a powerful and absorbing if somewhat drawn out story.

* *

THE DOWNSTAIRS COOKBOOK

I, HOGARTH I, Hogarth Michael Dean Duckworth Overlook £14.99 Hardback Hogarth - we all know of his exuberant engravings of London life of the early 1700’s - is here portrayed in a virtual fictional etching of words in the same the deliberate detail for which the subject is known. Taking the form of a diarist (almost Pepys like), Dean takes the subject on a biographical journey from Hogarth’s early apprenticeship into the crowded narrow streets liberally peopled by seekers after all manner of joy. Gin flows freely, harlot’s skirts lift easily, ambition runs fluently into all manner of strange places, and throughout Hogarth maintains his pursuit of his Jane despite side excursions into less wholesome delights. There are consequences, not for the squeamish, but then, the scripting of this era has to be accurate. ‘Rakes’ success is followed by descent into a dissolution; Jane oversees his departure, and we are conscious his well researched journey has been truly educational. Different; one for the cognoscenti.

* *

The Downstairs Cookbook Margaret Powell Macmillan £9.99 Hardback With Downton Abbey (and other historically based dramas) receding into autumnal memory, the promise of further helpings of nostalgia in the future is good. In the meantime, this lovely small compendium of the best of the 1920’s expert below-stairs cooks can keep you in touch with the superior culinary aspects of the series. Though this is, technically, a reprint ( first published in 1970) it is none-the-less a valid exercise, for it can also be the way to re-vitalise an interest in cooking depressed by the removal of ‘domestic science’ from schools’ curricula. There’s a chapter headed ‘Learning to Cook’ - giving this smart pale blue volume to a reluctant daughter of the household may produce an interesting reaction. But buy it you should, if you’re looking for an antidote to too many Christmas ready meals. From ‘Downstairs’ it may come, but a solid foundation for an up-an’-coming ‘Master Chef ’ contestant.

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For lovers and givers of romance this Christmas, visit www.jonbeattiey.co.uk to buy on line. Intriguing reads & beautiful books; the latest, ‘Greays Hill’, is stunning. Details and a personal dedication from jonbeattiey@gmail.com. 82 DECEMBER2012


DECEMBER2012 83


BY APPOINTMENT TO HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN FURNITURE MANUFACTURERS STONEHAM PLC. SIDCUP, KENT.

STONEHAM FURNITURE

SINCE

1864

Infinity White/Black HG

FINE

®

Designed for living Achieving simplicity can be the most complex of challenges, yet every hand-built Stoneham kitchen fulfils its own streamlined elegance both effortlessly and exquisitely. It’s about making the very best of the best – the finest woods and natural materials, the most innovative features and latest technology, supremely crafted by the most knowing and capable hands. Appointed kitchen centres available locally and nationwide. For a colour brochure and details of the Centre most convenient to you call 020 8300 8181 or visit www.stoneham-kitchens.co.uk Stoneham plc, Powerscroft Road, Sidcup, Kent DA14 5DZ. 84 DECEMBER2012

Factory Showroom Opening: Monday - Friday 8am - 5pm, Saturday 9am - 12 midday.

Sevenoaks Life Magazine December 2012  

Sevenoaks Life Quality Lifestyle Magazine December 2012

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