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The Vale Of Usk & Wye Valley ’s Premier Lifestyle Magazine


Restaurant Reviews What’s On, Business, Shopping

plus Art, Music, Style There’s more online Health, Homes and much more

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Editor Jennifer Hobbs-Roberts Creative Director Mark Roberts Editorial Thomas Goodyear Features Lucy Atkinson 0845 130 6452 11 The Orchard, Ponthir, Caerleon NP18 1GG Passionate about the Vale of Usk and Wye Valley We are a small independent publisher. We are not a large publishing group pretending to be home grown. Wye Life magazine is written, designed and printed in the Wye Valley for the people of the Vale of Usk and Wye Valley. Our philosophy We are committed to quality. This quote by William Foster pretty much sums up our thinking: “Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” Caveat emptor Advertisers supply their own copy or artwork, and therefore Wye Life cannot accept any responsibility for disputes between advertisers and their customers. Caveat emptor - let the buyer beware. Important you read this We have made every effort to ensure that all information contained in Wye Life or on (or our social media streams) is correct and accurate. However, we accept no responsibility for any errors or omissions and can offer no compensation should we get it wrong. Please note that the opinions, thoughts, views or ideas expressed in articles contained in Wye Life are strictly those of the authors. Intellectual property © Copyright Wye Life 2015. All rights reserved. Nothing in this magazine (including adverts) may be reproduced in any shape or form (in whole or part) without the express written permission of the publishers. We take breach of copyright and theft of intellectual property extremely seriously and will sue at the drop of a croissant. You have been warned (nicely); ignorance is no excuse. Subscriptions To guarantee your copy, please send a cheque for £20 (four issues) made payable to Wye Life. Visit for special subscriber discounts and special offers. Missed the last issue? We hold a small number of each issue in stock so if you do need a pristine copy, please telephone us or email Hopefully we’ll have the issue you want (but we cannot guarantee it). Each back issue costs £5 including postage and packing.


I just wanted to start by saying a big thank you to everyone who supported us in our launch issue of Wye Life. We understand it’s a big leap of faith to spend money in a new magazine and, from the positive feedback we’ve received, you clearly felt it was money well spent! A huge thank you as well to everyone who got involved and who came to our launch event at Llanyrafon Manor. Thankfully the sun shone for us and much fun was had by all - there were some extremely funky moves on the dance floor! Chris did a sterling job in putting the whole event together and there’ll be plenty more events to get involved with in the future. Watch this space! We hope you enjoy reading about the businesses and, more importantly, the people behind the businesses within our pages. Please say a big hello to one of the latest businesses to open, Flaunt in Caerleon. Owner Lisa is featured on our front cover and on page 28. We’re delighted to bring you two real life stories – Rockfield Studios and The Corn Exchange campaign and look forward to hearing from you if you have real life stories that you feel would add even more interest to Wye Life. We’re constantly adding more features and are happy

to be including a bridal and food and drink sections this issue and the fabulous towns of Hereford and Abergavenny. Again your suggestions would be welcome. Please make sure you visit our popular Facebook page to find out more about what’s going on in your area. As I write this, our page currently stands at 2,500 likes and it’s growing by the day. We welcome positive contributions to the page so please introduce yourselves. Hopefully I’ll see you all when I’m out and about. Feel free to give me a wave! Jennifer Hobbs-Roberts Editor 07766 106 701

Yes it’s free. Priceless actually! Wye Life is distributed free through a wide variety of outlets across Vale of Usk, Wye Valley and beyond and is given away free of charge on the understanding that we are happy for it to be lent, passed on, given to friends and generally read until it falls apart. At which point, you can recycle it and we’d be delighted if you did. Green is good The pulp used in the production of the paper Wye Life is printed on is sourced from sustainably managed Scandinavian tree farms and utilises an elementary chlorine-free bleaching process.

We’re very sociable! We’re on the web! Like on Facebook! Follow on Twitter! @WyeLife #WyeLife

Want to advertise? Chris Howell Client Liaison Director 07837 940639

Cover Girl! What a joy it was to work with Lisa from Flaunt. Check out her double page feature on page 28.



Images courtesy of


Wye Life celebrate at Llanyrafon Manor We love it when a plan comes together. And it certainly all came together on the night for our Wye Life magazine launch. A huge thank you to everyone who got involved in making it the resounding success it was. The sun shone for us, and nearly 200 guests were able to enjoy the whole of the manor and its grounds, as well as sampling and buying fantastic produce from the many invited local suppliers. There was a very interesting Q&A session with prominent businesspeople from the area and a glamorous fashion show showcasing the best from local boutiques. There were plenty of fine food offerings available and the drink flowed too! The night ended with a few funky moves on the dancefloor! We loved it so much that we’re looking to do more of the same in the future. Watch this space!



Image courtesy of @AndrewEvans


Pork and Two Veg Award winning sausages, and pork that is raised in a natural and sustainable way. After tasting what they have to offer you’ll wonder why everyone isn’t doing the same. Pork and Two Veg ensure that their pork delivers the best possible flavour by raising free range, rare breed pigs and simply giving the animals the best possible standard of life in the best environment. All meat comes from the farm ensuring total traceability and the highest standards of animal welfare. Fruit and veg is also grown in the rich clay that surrounds the farm. Items are grown according to the season without the use of chemical fertilizers.

‘The Farm Shop’ and ‘Veg & Egg Shed’ are found on site selling all of the produce grown and reared at the farm, perfect for a proper cooked breakfast or Sunday roast. They also offer an event catering service for fairs, fetes and parties. Call or visit for more info. New Road, Woolhope, Hereford. HR1 4QL 01432 860839 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter


The Classic Floor Company The family run business whose purpose trained in-house fitters offer work that is second to none. Proud stockists of Farrow & Ball paint, they also offer both hardwood and engineered oak flooring, solid wood doors, lighting solutions, curtain poles, architraves and skirting. If they don’t have an item in stock they will happily order it for you to arrive on their weekly deliveries. Ask them for a free, no obligation design and fitting quote. 18 St. Mary Street, Chepstow. NP16 5EW 01291 409841 Like on Facebook 8


Old Forge Coffee Shop A new coffee shop found within an old forge full of baristas who are passionate (and ever so slightly obsessed) about making the highest quality drinks for their customers. The Old Forge may be small, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in quality. As well as first class coffees and selection of teas, the Old Forge is home to a host of events including Old Movie Days and Vintage Afternoon Tea Dance Parties. You can also hire the entire event for celebrations from baby showers to birthdays. The New Inn, Pwllmeyric. NP16 6LF 01291 628892 Like on Facebook M U LT I M E D I A S E R V I C E S

Aston Tech Capturing stunning aerial photography and videos using the latest remote controlled unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), they are so good in fact that we at Wye Life use them on a regular basis. There services are limited only by your imagination. If you can think of it they can photograph it. With a UAV that can reach a height of an incredible 400ft Aston Tech are the perfect choice when you need images for; Surveys - mapping - house promotions - building developments - estate agent advertisements and so much more.

the Civil Aviation Authority which guarantees that, no matter what type of work they may take on, that safety will always be their primary concern.

The staff truly are specialists in their field, undergoing rigorous training from one of the UK’s leading UAV approved trainers. In addition they are also authorised by

The Old Diary, Knightshill Farm, Aston Crews. HR9 7LR 07545 967517 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter


Deacons Florist Deacons florist has been established in Chepstow for over 35 years and offers beautiful flowers and floral gifts for all occasions. With the highest quality flowers available, Deacons will be able to make your visions a reality. Allow a team of award winning florists to put together your perfect flowers, be it for a wedding, birthday or just as a gift for someone special. They have the creativity and experience to turn your ideas into reality. 4 Bank Street, Chepstow NP16 5EL O1291 623768 Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter 9

A refreshing and flexible alternative to conventional office rental, Basepoint Business Centre Chepstow offers high quality and cost effective office space; along with a variety of virtual office packages and serviced meeting rooms. Wye Life chats with Centre Manager Tina Colegate…

B ASEPOINT BUSINESS CENTRE Tina, can you tell us a bit about Basepoint as an organisation. Basepoint was formed just over 20 years ago, in 1994, and is owned by a charitable trust, The ACT Foundation. We offer a variety of flexible managed office and workshop space and have established a network of 31 business centres across the south of the UK. The Chairman’s vision for Basepoint is to open a further 22 centres by the year 2022.

From offering a warm and friendly greeting at Reception, to monthly coffee and cakes networking events, ‘free fruit’ days, and our dog-friendly office space, we continuously strive to make our centre better and better for our licensees. Indeed, we were recently described by one as being ‘relaxing, friendly, homely and business like all in one’. One of our most popular events is The Networking Hub, a free B2B networking event which we host quarterly.

What are the benefits of businesses utilising the services of a business centre? Basepoint Business Centres aren’t run like ordinary centres. As well as providing a range of flexible serviced and managed offices, virtual offices and serviced meeting rooms, we build small to medium size business communities that add value to the areas they are in, rather than simply locate small businesses under one roof.

We understand that Basepoint proactively supports many charities – can you tell us a bit about this please? As mentioned, Basepoint is owned by The ACT Foundation. ACT provides grants to individuals and other charities, principally in the UK, with the aim of enhancing the quality of life for people in need. Basepoint Chepstow’s chosen charity for 2015/16 is St David’s Hospice Care in Newport. We also support two local sports clubs, Croesyceiliog Football Club and Chepstow RFC. We wish them the very best of luck as they kick off the new season!

At Basepoint Chepstow we thrive on making our centre a welcoming and happy place to do business.


Basepoint Business Centre Riverside Court, Beaufort Park, Chepstow, NP16 5UH 01291 635500 Follow on Twitter @Basepoint_Chep

One of the businesses taking advantage of the flexible options at Basepoint Business Centre is Hawkins Wealth Management; providers of wealth management advice and solutions to both private and corporate clients. We met with Wealth Management Consultant, Dr Josh Lewis to find out more...


Josh, can you give some advice to our readers on how to pick the right financial adviser? I originally trained and practiced as a doctor before recognising that the financial wellbeing of individuals and organisations was of equal importance to them in achieving a contented and secure life. Many of the qualities that make a good doctor are similar to being a good financial adviser. Listening to clients concerns and understanding their financial goals, having an excellent knowledge of your subject and clearly articulating options to meet those goals are a must. I also recognise that every client has a different set of circumstances and their own priorities. What services do you offer and is there a minimum account size for your clients? Our advice covers all areas of wealth management, including: retirement planning, wealth protection, savings and investment planning. And no, we don’t have a minimum account size.


What aspects of your business distinguish you from your competition and can you explain your client service philosophy? We have 4 highly qualified financial advisers at the practice with our own administrative team. We each look after our own clients in order to provide a personalised service. We are backed by a FTSE 100 company which in total manages over £55 billion in client funds and we have access to over 1,000 support staff at our Head Office. We believe in quality, face-to-face, holistic financial planning with a commitment to building trusted and enduring relationships and to provide them with a source of trusted advice as their financial needs evolve over the years.

“ We have 4 highly qualified financial advisers at the practice with our own administrative team.” 11

Hawkins Wealth Management Ltd. Riverside Court, Beaufort Way, Chepstow, NP16 5UH Tel: 01291 635 552

@Glenn Gameson-Burrows



Bathstore At Bathstore, we make your dream bathroom a hassle free experience. We are the bathroom experts. We design, we assist, we deliver, we install and above all we care. From inspiration to installation, Bathstore gives you complete peace of mind with 95% of our customers happy to recommend our installation service with a five year craftsmanship guarantee on all of our installations. Why not pop in and see for yourself. Unit 1, Malpas Road, Newport NP20 6WB 01633 858100 Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter N E X T G E N E R AT I O N S E RV I C E S

Python IT Python IT is an established provider of information and communication technology services in the UK. Along with technical services, Python IT also offers the installation and update of digital advertising boards. With these, establishments can advertise events or current offers and even help increase sales. Python IT provide all the equipment and support to get started. With years of experience, Python IT should be your first choice when looking for technological support. 01495 616181 Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter 12


Pendragon House B&B Pendragon House B&B is an award winning 4 Star rated Grade II Georgian house located in the heart of historic Caerleon within the walls of the Roman fortress of Isca. Pendragon House B&B is the perfect base for an activity-filled weekend and ideal for special holidays and short breaks. Our three individually designed rooms have en-suite facilities and, with our friendly hospitality and delicious breakfast, you are sure to enjoy your stay. 18 Cross Street, Caerleon NP18 1AF 01633 430871 Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter Read our amazing reviews on TripAdvisor TRUST WORTHY SERVICE

The Village Auto Centre The Village Auto Centre in Caerleon is a reliable and efficient garage providing quality care at an affordable price. With trained and experience staff to hand, we believe the Village Auto Centre is the best place to take your vehicle should you need repairs or advice. Offering everything from Services and MOTs to Diagnostic checks, you can rest assured your vehicle is safe in our hands. Unit 3, Taverner Trading Estate, Caerleon (opposite the Vets) 01633 421222 Like on Facebook Follow on Twitter QUALIT Y YOU CAN TRUS T

Spencers of Newport This long established company offers only the finest quality curtains, blinds, and upholstery services. Providing made to measure curtains in a range of colours, styles, and designs in addition to their great range of blinds. So why choose Spencers? With over 35 years experience, a full fitting and measuring service, fully experienced staff and competitive prices with a free, initial no-obligation quote it would be silly not to. Unit 1, Bough Spring, Caerleon Road. NP18 1GD 01633 741523 13

Home makeover shows have gained in popularity over the years, with the result that homeowners appreciate the benefits of a kitchen renovation. Transforming the look, as well as the value, of your home is all in a day’s work for award winning professionals Vicky and Andrew Burchell and their team.


Vicky, we understand that this is a family run business; can you tell us a bit more about World of Kitchens? We launched World of Kitchens back in 1996, choosing this location as we’re local to the area, and because it wasn’t part of a typical high street. Our aim then, as now, was to offer a quality independent alternative to the high street for our potential clients. As the business has grown we’ve expanded our dedicated team, we have trained our two designers Matt & Paul who have been with us 25 years between them and our son has recently joined the business.

And we hear that you’ve won quite a few awards? Yes we were thrilled to achieve Best Burbidge Showroom of the Year 2015; Burbidge has been established since 1867 and are renowned for their kitchen furniture.

How do you keep up with new ideas, products and industry advancements? We’re constantly researching trade magazines and we visit UK trade shows where we source new suppliers, particularly in lighting which can change dramatically.

Also we were the only award winning Welsh retailer in the 2009 Neff Excellence Awards, and we were runner-up in the Neff National Design Awards 2012.

And is there anything in particular that is on-trend right now? Painted kitchen doors are very popular in varying shades of grey. Having said that, not all clients want the latest

“A big thank you for a “job well done”. We are absolutely delighted with our kitchen. The whole process from the first meeting, through to the installation was very professional and of a high standard.” 14

“Just wanted to say a big thank you for our gorgeous new kitchen. The quality is excellent and the planning easy and pain free.”

fashion; we offer everything from modern gloss kitchens to wood kitchens, all with a choice of colours. We have a good mix of modern & traditional kitchens on display and a new display is showcased every six months. What advice would you give our readers who may be planning on updating their kitchen? Word of mouth / recommendation is usually a failsafe. Choose a proven supplier with a wealth of experience, and who offers a variety of quality products backed up with excellent customer service and design, is key to the overall success of the remodel. Our whole process is project managed, from concept to completion; including electrics, plumbing, tiling and fitting.

And last but not least – do you have any plans for the future of the business? Well we’ve just launched our latest display; we have cookery demos in the pipeline, and next year will be our 20th anniversary! Look out for events and news on our Facebook page.

- with a guarantee to match. So, if you’re looking for excellent bespoke design with traditional values call World of Kitchens for your free quotation 01633 430888 (we ran out of space but they’re not just about the kitchens – they also provide bathroom, bedroomand study design services too!)

Their products are specially chosen for their durability and quality, with their kitchens expected to last at least 20 years

Opening Times: Monday – Friday: 09.00-17.00 Saturday: 10.00-16.00 World of Kitchens Ltd. Goldcroft Common, Caerleon Newport, NP18 1BE 01633 430 888 Like on Facebook


Wales’ high streets are in decline. The blue lights are circling and the sirens are wailing. Some say it’s terminal. Why? Well, the reasons make unwelcome reading if you happen to have a shop on one.

HIGH STREET BLUES The high street (any street in Wales with shops counts here) is not having the easiest of times and the reasons why, depending on who you’re talking to, are varied. From, some say, grabbing out-of-touch councils charging too much for rates, to greedy landlords who don’t particularly give a monkey whether businesses make a profit as long as they’re getting theirs. Everyone has someone to blame. G R E E DY C O U N C I L S Can it really be their fault? Well, when you look at what councils actually provide for their business rates, there may be a seriously strong argument for taking them to task.

Something that councils rarely consider when increasing business rates is that a bustling town centre is actually good for the community. It’s good for morale. It creates an environment where people are encouraged to socialise (something we really need as human beings), promotes social responsibility and positive interaction. Town centres and busy high streets are good for us councils could, and should, be investing more by reducing costs to small businesses not increasing them.

G R E E DY L A N D LO R D S Hard to defend but landlords are in business too. However, not all are complete blood sucking vampires. There’s a particular landlord I know and she’s passionate about the kinds of businesses she lets to. Even though she could rent some of her properties quite easily to charity shops or national chains, she resists the urge because she understands that each shop in the town matters to the others. The sum of the whole can be greater than the parts it’s about balance. Not all landlords have such vision.

THE CHAIN GANG National chains have destroyed our high streets. There I said it, and I’m not alone. There is nothing more demoralising (actually there is) than seeing the same old names in every town and city. The truth is cloned high streets erode a town’s personality and it’s the difference in towns and cities that makes us all want to jump in our cars and visit them.

Chains, with deep pockets, push up rents and price out the independent retailers we really want to see. The only things on the high street that makes my heart sink more are...


CHARITY SHOPS Please don’t misunderstand me, I support charities, they do great work, but... when I see a charity spending £70k on a refit I’m asking myself where’s that money coming from? I don’t doubt that a certain kind of customer appreciates charity shops but surely their number can be limited. Why not have out-of-town charity villages? Councils could then offer charities more competitive rates. Combine this with a recycling facility and we’re into interesting territory.

The bottom line is the over-saturation of charity shops is becoming an issue. Let’s be honest, if you’ve got cheaper rent (yes some do), cheaper rates (or none at all!) and volunteer staff, it’s not hard to make a success of it. More and more I’m seeing obviously new stock being sold in charity shops which is not fair - there has to be a level playing field. Charity shops should be run on the recycle and reuse ethos. So perhaps there could be some legislation that ensures charity shops can’t sell new items and that their rent and rates are assessed fairly.

later, I think the high street can benefit from the online shopping trend and there are definitely ways the high street can beat online at its own game. PA R K I N G

That old chestnut I hear you groan. Over-pedestrianised town centres or simply not enough spaces, the reasons are complex and no matter how many ‘gurus’ are thrown at the problem, it’s not going away. It’s a widely held opinion that Newport has suffered because cars simply can’t access the centre anymore. The days where shoppers would drive in, nip into the shops and zip away are long gone perhaps Newport might benefit from a rethink in that area. Councils could stop charging for parking and see that the small amount of revenue they lose might be offset by the benefits.

by other lazy business owners who are quite content to sit back and reap the benefits. Invariably, the good ones run out of energy, their poor hearts broken by lack of support and what starts out enthusiastically fizzles to nothing. OWNERS

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PAsimply R K I surveys Nnot G enough spaces; the the reasons reasons simply not enough spaces, I have watched many independent simply not enough spaces, the reasons I have watched many independent time, a fifth of all shopping will be done vibrant and vocal chambers of trade. simply not enough spaces, the reasons I have watched many independent simply not enough spaces, the reasons I have watched many independent That old chestnut I no hear you groan. are complex and matter how many O W N E Rclose S are complex and no matter how many retailers this year for no other are complex and no matter how many retailers closethis thisyear yearfor forthe noother other and while this might be They worked together are complex and no matter how many retailers close this year for no other areonline complex and no matter how many retailers close no Over-pedestrianised town centres or O W N E R S ‘gurus’ are thrown at the problem, it’s Ireasons have watched many or independent ‘gurus’ are thrown at the problem, it’s than laziness incompetence. ‘gurus’ are thrown at the problem, it’s reasons than laziness orincompetence. incompetence. uncomfortable news for high street betterment of the community. They ‘gurus’ arethrown thrown at the problem, it’s than laziness or incompetence. ‘gurus’ are at the problem, it’s reasons than laziness or simply not enough spaces, the reasons Ireasons have watched many independent not going away. It’s a widely held retailers close over the last decade not going away. It’s a widely held Recently a shop closed near where I live not going away. It’s a widely held Recently a shop closed near where live retailers, any jobs that are being lost are, communicated. They promoted each not going away. It’s a widely held Recently a shop closed near where not going away. It’s a widely held Recently a shop closed near where II live are complex and no matter how many retailers close this year for no other opinion that Newport has suffered for no other reasons than laziness opinion that Newport has suffered everyone was saying how sad it was opinion that Newport has suffered everyone was saying how sad it was more or less, being replaced by the other. They understood that when they opinion that Newport hassuffered suffered -everyone everyone was saying how sad was ‘gurus’ are thrown athas the problem, it’s than laziness or incompetence. opinion that Newport - reasons was saying how sad itit was because cars simply can’t access the or incompetence. Recently a why shop because cars simply can’t access the and offered their opinion on it had had because cars simply can’t access the and offered theirclosed opinion onwhere whyOn had various supporting trades; technology, cooperated, they were stronger. my because cars simply can’t access the and offered their opinion on why not going away. It’s a widely held Recently a shop near live because cars simply can’t access the and offered their opinion on why itititIwas had centre anymore. The days where closed near where I live everyone centre anymore. The days where closed. The truth is, the building hadn’t centre anymore. The days where closed. The truth is, the building hadn’t distribution, call centres etc. And even travels, I see towns where a handful of centre anymore. The days where closed. The truth is, the building hadn’t opinion that Newport has suffered everyone was saying how sad it was centre anymore. The days where closed. The truth is, the building hadn’t shoppers would drive in, nip into the saying how sad it was and offered their shoppers would drive in, nip into the had lick of paint in five years, its shoppers would drive in, nip into the hadaaalick lick though Iwould hear horror stories ofinto people traders areon promoters shoppers would drive in,nip nip the had ofenthusiastic paintit in five years, itsitand because cars simply can’t access the and their on why had shoppers drive in, into had aoffered lick of paint in five years, its shops and zip away are long gone opinion why had closed. shops and zip away are long gone --awning was dirty,opinion the owner hardly shops and zip away are long gone awning was pulling out mobile phones in shops so campaigners they’re creative and shops and zip away are long gone awning was dirty, the owner hardly centre anymore. The days where closed. The truth is, the building hadn’t shops and zip away are longbenefit gone -from awning was dirty, thehave owner perhaps Newport might perhaps Newport might benefit from advertised, it didn’t anyhardly social perhaps Newport might benefit froma aaa advertised, they can search and price-match online driven but,of alldidn’t toobuilding often, are leeched off perhaps Newport might benefit from advertised, it didn’t have any social shoppers would drive in, nip into theastop advertised, had atruth lick paint in five years, rethink in that area. Councils could The the hadn’t had the perhaps Newport might benefit from itis, have any social rethink in that area. Councils could media presence (even though itits was rethink in that area. Councils could stop media presence later, Iin think the high street can benefit by other lazy business owners who rethink in that area. Councils could stop media presence (even though itawning wasare the shops and zip away are long gone awning was dirty, the owner hardly stop charging for parking and see that a lick of paint in five years, its rethink that area. Councils could stop media presence (even though it was the charging for parking and see that the perfect business to capitalise on that) charging for parking and see that the perfect business from the online shopping trend and quite content to sit back and reap the charging for parking see that the perfect business to capitalise capitalise on that) perhaps Newport benefit from a advertised, it didn’t have anyof social the small amount ofand revenue they lose was the owner hardly advertised, charging for parking and see that the perfect to on that) small amount of revenue they lose and its price point was out touch small amount ofmight revenue they lose and dirty, itsbusiness price there are definitely ways the high street benefits. Invariably, the good ones run small amount of revenue they lose and its price point was out of touch rethink in that area. Councils could stop media presence (even though it was the be by benefits. it didn’t any social media presence smallmight amount of revenue lose and its the price point was out of touch might be offset by the benefits. with local market. The harsh reality might beoffset offset bythe thethey benefits. with thehave local can beat online at its own game. out of energy, their poor hearts broken might be offset by the benefits. with the local market. The harsh reality charging for parking and see that the perfect business to capitalise on that) (even though it was the perfect business was that the run out of ideas might be offset by the benefits. with local market.had The harsh reality wasthe that the owner by lack of support and what starts was that the owner had run out of out ideas small amount revenue they lose and its price point was out of touch Cowbridge’s High Street in the Vale Of to capitalise on that) and price Barry’s High Street in Vale Of and was exhausted but, atits its core, it was that the owner had run out of ideas Barry’s Highof Street in the the Vale Of and was exhausted enthusiastically fizzles to PA R Kbe IHigh NG Barry’s Street inthe the Vale Of and was exhausted but, atnothing. its core, it might offset byin the benefits. with the local market. The harsh reality Glamorgan, and Narberth in point out of touch with the local Glamorgan, and Narberth in was aa was great business and could have Glamorgan, and Narberth inOf was great Barry’s High Street Vale and was exhausted but, at its core, it That old chestnut I hear you Glamorgan, and Narberth in groan. was a great business and could have the owner had out of the ideas Pembrokeshire have similar market. The harsh reality was that Pembrokeshire problems. been aa success. Sometimes, retailers Pembrokeshire have similar problems. been success. Glamorgan, and Narberth in problems. was athat great business and run could have Over-pedestrianised town centres or O W N E R S Pembrokeshire have similar problems. been a success. Sometimes, retailers Barry’s High Street in the owners Vale Of II and was exhausted at its core, In towns business owner run outbut, ofexcuses, ideas and wasit In both business need to stop making hold a Inboth both towns business owners need tohad stop Pembrokeshire have similar problems. been a success. Sometimes, retailers simply not enough spaces, the reasons Iwas have watched independent Inchatted both towns business owners I need to stop making excuses, hold a and Narberth in ato great business and could have to blamed other businesses for exhausted but, atfor itsexcuses, core, it is was a there. great chatted to blamed businesses for hand up and askmany help. It out chatted to blamed other businesses for hand up and InGlamorgan, both towns business owners I need stop making hold a are complex andhave no matter how many retailers close this year forbeen chatted toup blamed other businesses for hand and ask for help. Itno is other out there. taking spaces which effectively business and could have a success. Pembrokeshire similar problems. been aupsuccess. Sometimes, retailers taking which effectively taking spaces which effectively chatted to up blamed other businesses for hand up and ask for help. It is out there. ‘gurus’ are thrown at theowners problem, it’s reasons than laziness excuses, or incompetence. taking up spaces which effectively blocks potential customers using Sometimes, retailers need to stop In both towns business I need to stop making hold a blocks potential using the blocks potential customers using the taking up spaces which effectively not going away. It’s a widely heldthe Recently a shop closed where I live blocks potential customers using limited spaces. A popular target making excuses, hold anear hand up and chatted to blamed other businesses for hand up and ask for help. It is out there. limited A popular was limited spaces. A popular target was “Sometimes, retailers blocks potential customers using the opinion that Newport has suffered everyone was saying how sad it was limited spaces. A popular target was estate agents, with a single estate agent ask for help. It is out there. estate aa single taking upagents, spaceswith which effectively estate agents, single estate agent limited spaces. Awith popular target was because cars simply access the and offeredto their opinion on why it had estate agents, a can’t single estate agent on street being accused of on blocks potential customers using the onone one street being accused of taking taking need stop making estate agents, with a single estate agent centre anymore. The days where closed. The truth is, the building hadn’t onup one street being accused of Bottom taking six to all day. up six to eight spaces all day. Bottom up six toeight eight spaces alltarget day. Bottom limited spaces. Aspaces popular was onshoppers one being accused ofstaff taking would drive in, nip into the to a lick of paint in fiveayears, its up sixstreet eight spaces all day. Bottom “ had Sexcuses, ometimes, retailers need line –to businesses and their staff have to line -agents, and their have line –businesses businesses their staff have to estate with aand single estate agent hold hand upshops six to eight spaces all day. Bottom and zip away are long gone - to awning was making dirty, the owner hardly line – businesses and their staff have park too together ififbusinesses park toobut butbeing businesses work together onpark one too street accusedwork of taking to stop excuses, line –and businesses and their staff have toa perhaps Newport might benefit from advertised, it didn’t have any social park but ifthe businesses work together and discuss issues they could come discuss the issues they could come and discuss the issues they up and ask up forand help. uptogether sixtoo to eight spaces all day. Bottom media hold a hand park too but if businesses work together up solutions. All of brings me, up with solutions. All of this this brings me, rethink in that area. Councils could stop presence (even though itask was the and discuss theup issues they could come could come with solutions. All of line –with businesses and their staff have to and discuss the issues they could come rather neatly, to... rather neatly, to... It ishelp. out Itthere.” charging for parking see that theme, business to on that) upthis with solutions. Alland ofneatly, this brings brings me, rather to... perfect for iscapitalise out there.” park too but if businesses work together upsmall with solutions. All ofthey this brings me, amount ofissues revenue they losecome and its price point was out of touch rather neatly, to... and discuss the could 35 ❧ ❧ 17 rather neatly, to... might be offset by the benefits. with the local market. The harsh reality up with solutions. All of this brings me,

“Sometimes, retailers need to stop making excuses, hold a hand up and ask for help. It is out there.”

“Sometimes, retailers “Sometimes, retailers “Sometimes, retailers need to stop making need to stop making “Sometimes, retailers need to stop excuses, holdmaking a hand excuses, hold a hand need to ask stop making excuses, hold a help. hand up and for up and ask forahelp. excuses, hold hand up and for help. It is outask there.” It is outask there.” for help. Itupis and out there.”

short stay parking zones. ■ Refer, network - market each other.

Use your fellow traders to promote you. Visit other towns see what they’re doing. ■ Utilise local expertise. Sometimes the best advice can come from talented individuals, right under your nose. ■ Ensure your street is spotlessly clean and free of litter - don’t rely on the council to do that. ■ Return to sign-writing and attractive branding. Get rid of nasty, cheap plastic signage. Create the right image. ■ Talk to customers. Ask them what they like and what they don’t. In my R Eexperience L TT H H E they’re RA AP PYY more than happy RE E TTA A IIILL R R TA HEEERR RE E TA TA L TTTH H AAP PPY YY R II L ERA to offer opinion. ■ ECross-market. When you promote R TAthings IL THERA P Y High 10 the your own shop, remind the customer Street cana great do coffee nowshop nearby that there’s ■ Campaign and lobby councils tocap, cap, or a smartand boutique or deli up ■ Campaign Campaign and lobbycouncils councils ■ lobby totothe cap, ■ Campaign and lobby councils to cap, reduce or freeze rates. road. The more rates. reasons reduce or freeze freeze rates. you give a reduce or or freeze rates. ■ reduce Start traders club. Stuffy committee shopper to visit, the chances arecap, ■ Start aa traders traders club. Stuffy committee Campaign and lobby councils to ■ Start a club. Stuffy committee ■ Start a traders club. Stuffy committee driven ones are tedious. Make them driven ones are tedious. Makethem them they’ll ones keep coming back. reduce or freeze rates. driven are tedious. Make driven ones are tedious.atMake them social once a month a different social once a month at a different Promote, promote, promote. You ■ social Start a-- traders club. Stuffy committee social once month at aa different different once aa month at venue. Get to know each other but venue. Get to know each other but have toGet market youreach business -but by venue. Get to know each other but driven ones are tedious. Make them venue. to know other don’t be protectionist – invite other don’t be protectionist –invite invite other word be of mouth, through don’t be protectionist invite other social - once a month a advertising, different don’t protectionist ––at other businesses from further afield tobut draw businesses from further afield to draw businesses from further afield to draw online, on social media. Every venue. Get to know each other businesses from further afield to little draw inspiration from and gain insight into inspiration from andgain gain insight into inspiration from and gain insight into thing be youprotectionist do matters. don’t – invite other inspiration from and insight into what works elsewhere. what works elsewhere. what worksfrom elsewhere. businesses further afield to draw what works elsewhere. ■ Fight Fight to remove parking restrictions. ■ to remove parking restrictions. Fight to remove parking restrictions. inspiration fromparking and gain insight into Most ofto all... ■ Fight remove restrictions. Get rid of double yellow lines. Create Get rid of double yellow lines. Create rid of double yellow lines. Create whatrid works elsewhere. Smile. Shoppers want a good Get of double yellow lines. Create stay parking zones. short stay parking zones. short stay parking zones. ■ Fight to remove parking restrictions. short stay parking experience. They’rezones. paying for it. They network market each other. ■ Refer, network market each other. R E TAto Irid Lnetwork TofH double E R Athat Y Refer, network --market market each other. Get yellow lines. Create ■ Refer, --P other. want believe theyeach matter (and Use your fellow traders to promote Usedo), your fellow traders to promote your fellow traders to promote Use your traders to promote short stay parking zones. they sofellow it’s important to be you. Visit other towns see what Visit othertowns towns see what you. Visit other see what you. Visit other see what ■ Refer, network -towns market each other.It’s friendly, appreciative and engaging. they’re doing. they’re doing. they’re doing. they’re doing. Use yourcustomer fellow traders to promote not called service for nothing. ■ Utilise local expertise. Sometimes the Utilise local expertise. Sometimes the ■ Utilise Utilise local expertise. Sometimes the ■ local expertise. you. Visit other townsSometimes see what the best advice can come from talented ■ best Campaign and to cap, best advice advice can come from talented can come from advice canlobby comecouncils fromtalented talented they’re doing. individuals, right under your nose. right your reduce or freeze rates. individuals, right under your nose. individuals, rightunder underSometimes yournose. nose.the ■ individuals, Utilise local expertise. ■ Ensure your street is spotlessly clean ■ Ensure your street is spotlessly clean Start a traders club. Stuffy committee Ensure your street is spotlessly clean ■ best Ensure yourcan street is spotlessly clean advice come from talented and free of litter don’t rely on the and free of litter don’t rely on the driven ones are tedious. Make them and free of litter don’t rely on free of litter - don’tyour rely nose. onthe the individuals, right under council to do that. to social - your once athat. month at a different council to do that. council todo dostreet that. ■ council Ensure is spotlessly clean ■ Return to sign-writing and attractive ■ and attractive venue. Get to know each other but ■ Return Return to sign-writing and attractive Return toofsign-writing sign-writing and attractive and freeto litter - don’t rely on the branding. Get rid of nasty, cheap branding. Get rid of nasty, cheap don’t betoprotectionist – invite other branding. Get rid of nasty, cheap council do that. branding. Get rid of nasty, cheap plastic signage. Create the right plastic the right fromCreate further afield to draw plastic signage. Create the right ■ businesses Return to sign-writing and attractive plasticsignage. signage. Create the right image. image. inspiration from and gain insight into image. branding. Get rid of nasty, cheap image. ■ Talk Talk to to customers. customers. Ask Ask them them what what ■ what works elsewhere. ■ Talk to customers. Ask them what Create right ■ plastic Talk like tosignage. customers. Askthe them what don’t. In my and what they don’t. In my ■ they Fight to remove parking restrictions. they and what they In image. they like like and what theydon’t. don’t. Inmy my experience they’re more than happy than happy Get rid of double yellow lines. Create experience they’re more than happy ■ to Talk to customers. Ask them what experience they’re more than happy offer opinion. short stay parking zones. to opinion. they like and what they don’t. In my to offer offer opinion. promote ■ Cross-market. When you promote ■ Refer, network - market each other. Cross-market. When you promote experience they’re more than happy ■ your Cross-market. When you promote customer own shop, remind the customer Use your fellow traders promote your own shop, remind the customer to offer opinion. your own shop, remind the customer that there’s a great coffeeto shop nearby shop nearby you. Visit other towns see what that there’s a great coffee shop nearby ■ or Cross-market. When you promote up the that there’s a great or coffee shop nearby a smart boutique deli up the they’re doing. or a smart boutique or deli up the your own shop, remind the customer give or a smart boutique or you deligive up the road. The more reasons aa ■ Utilise local Sometimes road. The reasons you give athe that aexpertise. great coffee shop nearby chances are shopper tomore visit, the chances are road.there’s The more reasons you give a best advice can come from talented shopper toboutique visit, theback. chances are or a smart or deli up the they’ll keep coming shopper to visit, the chances are individuals, right under your nose.a they’ll keep coming back. road. more reasons you You give promote. You ■ Promote, promote, promote. they’llThe keep coming back. ■ have Ensure your street is spotlessly clean Promote, promote, promote. topromote, visit, thebusiness chances--You are business by to market your by ■ shopper Promote, promote. You and free of litter don’t rely on the have to market your business by they’ll keep coming back. advertising, word of mouth, advertising, have to market through your business - by council to do that. word ofon mouth, through advertising, ■ online, Promote, promote, promote. You Every little social media. Every little word of mouth, through advertising, ■ thing Return to sign-writing and attractive online, on social media. Every have to market your business - little by you do matters. online, on social media. Every little branding. Get ridthrough of nasty, cheap thing do matters. word you of mouth, advertising, thing you do matters. plastic signage. rightlittle online, on socialCreate media.the Every Most of all... image. Most ofShoppers matters. Smile. want a good thing you Most ■ TalkofShoppers toall... customers. Ask them what Smile. want a good for it. it. They experience. They’re paying for They Smile. Shoppers want a good theyto what they don’t. InThey my experience. They’re paying for it. matter (and want believe that they matter (and Most oflike all...and experience. They’re paying for it. They experience they’re more happy they do), so it’s important tothan be want toShoppers believe that matter (and be Smile. wantthey a good want to appreciative believe that paying theyengaging. matter engaging. It’s friendly, and It’s to offer opinion. they do), so it’s important tofor beit. (and experience. They’re They they do), so it’s important to be for nothing. not called customer service for nothing. ■ Cross-market. When you promote friendly, appreciative and engaging. want to believe that they matter (andIt’s friendly, appreciative and the engaging. It’s your own shop, remind customer not called customer service for nothing. they do), so it’s important to be not called customer service for nothing. that there’s a great coffee shop nearby friendly, appreciative and engaging. It’s

10 things things the the High High 10 10 things the High Street can can do do now now Street Street can do now 10 things the High Street can do now

10 things the High Street can do now



The Cottage of Content The traditional country restaurant that serves only the most delicious food, the finest wines and proper real ales. Based in the idyllic hamlet of Carey, The Cottage of Content is the best place to come and relax after a hard day. Popular with ramblers, cyclists and dog walkers alike the restaurant serves an incredible range of food with traditional British dishes, sharing platters and seasonal favourites, Friday night Tapas, their famous Sunday Roast and, just in time for the upcoming holiday, a Christmas menu that will make you wish the big day would hurry up and arrive.

which you can stay when visiting the lovely town. With three double en-suite rooms and two twin bedrooms available and an option for breakfast in the morning The Cottage of Content really is the ultimate destination. Carey, Herefordshire. HR2 6NG 01432 840242 Like on Facebook

“ The Cottage of Content is the best place to come and relax after a hard day.�

The Cottage of Content also lives up to its name by providing five rooms within 18

Step into the grounds of Ross Garden Store in Ross on Wye this winter, and you will be enveloped into a scene which will bring your senses to life!


The outdoor plant area moves from displays of cool, bright, burnt autumn flowers and berries, to the warming, traditional colours of Christmas effortlessly-as daily deliveries of fresh cut and potted Xmas Trees, fresh wreaths and garlands, beautifully planted containers, stunning Skimmia and other flowering shrubs fight for space alongside cut mistletoe, cut noble fir and holly laden with berry. It is a feast for the eyes-and as you enter the main building-it only gets better! Within the stone walls of the former “Engine Shed” you will be dazzled by the wonderful display of Christmas decorations and gifts. Each piece is hand chosen from a wide selection of top quality suppliers-to bring you the latest fashions and trends that make up Christmas 2015. From ceramic reindeer to china mugs, felt robins to metal lanterns, the softest throws and cushions-to the finest table linen, we have it all! Crackers, stationary & books, toiletries and handbags, gifts for discerning gardeners-let us inspire you!

100’s of gift ideas for the men and women in your life! Browse the range whilst listening to live Christmas themed music from our local town band, and let the scent of Christmascut fir, cederwood and myrhh from scented candles, aromatherapy oils and pot pourrii envelop you.

FRESH CUT CHRISTMAS TREES We stock the largest quantity of cut Christmas trees in the local area – on sale from approx. end November. Within walking distance of the town and plenty of free parking.

We look forward to seeing you.

We stock the best range of orchids in the area together with superb Christmas houseplants; poinsettia, cyclamen, kalanchoe, hydrangeas, stephanotis, plus sacks of pine cones, cinnamon sticks dried fruit and floristry sundries. Every inch of the store is laden with Christmas goodies. FINE FOODS New for Christmas 2015 is our fine food department-showcasing the best the locality has to offer, plus other ambient food lines ideal for presents and stocking fillers. Put together your own food hamper, browse the kitchenware, sample the latest food on offer during one of our many tasting days. CAFE While away some time in the “Engine Shed Cafe”, where frothy coffee, home made cakes, warming bowls of homemade soup, and a great range of herbal teas are the order of the day. Famous for our cheese scones and cream teas-a warm welcome awaits. Sit in the warm cosy main cafe-or up in the “roost” close to the original Great Western Railway Engine Shed roof, with it’s characterful beams and original soot!! 19








Ross Garden Store, The Engine Shed Station Approach, Ross-on-Wye, HR9 7BW 01989 568999 Like on Facebook Ross-Garden-Store


J’adore Looking for something special for the most important person in your life? Then visit Rachel and Lisa at J’adore. With an abundance of home and garden gifts, luxury candles, jewellery, scarves and so much more. It is the perfect destination if you are searching for that special gift. Exclusivity, quality and aesthetics, gift wrapping and presentation means that customers will always be satisfied in their choice. So come and visit J’adore, the home of beautiful gifts. 5 St Mary’s Street, Chepstow. NP16 5EU 01291 409652 Like on Facebook Follow on Twitter F R I E N D LY F A S H I O N A D V I C E

Brigitte Ward Styling Tired of worrying about ‘bad’ fashion choices? Having trouble finding something in your wardrobe for an upcoming event? Get in touch with Brigitte Ward and have all these worries disappear. With her help you can learn what styles and colour suits you best, so that every fashion choice you make will be the perfect one for you. She can also advice on how to adapt the current Autumn/Winter trends into your current wardrobe. 07836 534344 Find on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Linkedin STYLISH DESIGNS

Viva Couture If you’re looking to revitalise your wardrobe and enhance your look, then Viva Couture is the boutique for you. With a fine range of clothing - from daywear to long evening dresses, Viva Couture can make sure you look your best for any occasion. Viva Couture also stocks a range of jewellery and handbags making sure that any outfit you choose has the perfect accessory.

“From daywear to long evening dresses, Viva Couture can make sure you look your best for any occasion.”

12 High Street, Chepstow NP16 5XY 01291 627221 Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter 20

A modern take on a traditional style. Aconbury Shepherd Huts are manufacturers of ‘hand-built’ shepherd huts to a very high standard to satisfy their customer’s requirements. Chris Howell, our sales director went to visit this unique business.

ACONBURY SHEPHERD HUTS Stephen Turner thanks his lucky stars in that he has been able to live in rural Herefordshire all of his life. He speaks with a passion about the good old days as a child playing in the woods or helping out on the local farms with fruit picking, bale hauling and tending stock.

His parents had a small holding at the time and Stephen recalls the day the local ‘Scrappy’ came to cut up an old shepherd hut and also a Standard Fordson on spade lugs. How much the tractor would be worth now he shudders to think! After finishing Agricultural College Stephen changed direction slightly and went into the building trade where he became a project manager with the Local Authority as well as domestic new build clients. It was during a break between projects that Stephen, with a bit of time on his hands, decided to build a shepherd hut in a similar style to the one his parents once owned. After some research, design modifications and careful consideration of materials required he built his first hut. By chance a lady was passing by and asked if the now completed hut was for sale – the rest is history so they say!

A shepherd hut’s original use was as a shelter for shepherds tending his flock during lambing time. The huts in those days were mostly home-made as the purpose built huts were too expensive for most farmers to consider. The home made huts had old corrugated tin on the outside and a stove to keep warm. They were cold, smoky and full of condensation.

However, the modern take on a Shepherd hut is completely different. Aconbury Shepherd Huts are built to a much higher standard - not too different to a modern timber-framed house. With insulation, electrics, hand built windows, oak stable door and steel under carriage. The huts are perfect for many needs including additional accommodation, offices, class rooms, craft rooms or the increasingly popular ‘Glamping’. The huts can be fitted out with beds, cupboards, toilets, kitchens, showers, stoves etc. in additional to being built to various sizes and colours. The huts have been developed from old designs and pictures with an attempt to keep them traditional but with modern materials so as to make them comfortable and practical.

The huts are built in Stephen’s purpose built workshop at his home mid way between Hereford and Ross-on-Wye. Visitors are always welcome to come and see the huts whilst enjoying a cup of tea and home made cake lovingly provided by Stephen’s wife Linda. Although please ring first to ensure they are available. With Huts going to various parts of the UK, the Isle of White and even as far as Italy, Aconbury Shepherd Huts are quickly becoming one of the market leaders. So give Stephen a call today to discuss your requirements and request a brochure. Your perfect hut is just a phone call away!

The Underhills, Hollybush Lane Much Birch, Herefordshire HR2 8HX 01981 540090 07768 206296 21


Reeks Stained Glass Over twenty years experience in the industry shows the level of expert work you can expect to find at Reeks. Providing commissions worldwide as well as a fantastic range of handmade gifts. Usk Garden Centre, Llanbadoc, Usk. NP15 1TG 07775 684303 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE

@Glenn Gameson-Burrows


Usk Garden Centre Starting out as a Nursery that mainly grew tomatoes and bedding plants back in 1982 demand quickly grew and in 1990 Usk Garden Centre opened its doors to the public. Still in the caring hands of the Morris Family after more than 30 years Usk Garden Centre provides an eye catching range of plants, flowers, trees, and every other type of flora available. On the grounds is also a restaurant that prides itself on home cooking with ingredients from local sellers where possible. With freshly baked bread, homemade cakes, light snacks and full home cooked lunches including a traditional roast on Sundays.

If you haven’t already visited, come and spend hours walking amongst the plants. The family and all the staff have extensive plant knowledge so when you visit Usk Garden Centre will never be short of expert advice. Llanbadoc, Usk. NP15 1TG 01291 673603 Like on Facebook


Clarisons Beauty and Wellbeing It is time for RESULTS. Your 4 steps to more youthful and healthier skin. 1 - Book a FREE no obligation skin analysis TODAY. (Ends 31/12) 2 - Have an in-depth skin analysis with our skincare specialist. 3-R  eceive your unique PERSONALISED skin analysis. 4-S  tart YOUR journey to restoring and rejuvenating your skin with our targeted, affordable facial treatments.

Clarisons utilises CACI non-surgical solutions, Micro Lift and Ultra anti-ageing facial treatments with result driven products to help you look and feel your best.

2 New Market Street, Usk. NP15 1AU 01291 408084 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter 22

The Gate at Llanfrechfa Caerleon Road Llanfrechfa NP44 8DQ (On the B4236 just one mile from the Cwmbran By-pass & Police Headquarters)

Celebrate in Style at The Gate this December, and enjoy the benefits of an award winning fresh food restaurant blended with the warmth and hospitality of a local village pub. If you visit on a Friday or Saturday during December you can enjoy the differing styles of the resident pianists who will be delivering a selection of Christmas Carols along with their usual repertoire. Also during December, the Gate will host performances by the Severn Tunnel Brass Band; Local Church Choir, a Celtic Music Session and there might even be an appearance by Santa and his ‘Reindeers’ (ask for details). Various dining options are available ranging from private dining rooms within the Restaurant to a cosy family get together next to the open fire in the traditional bar area.

Food at The Gate this December Christmas Menu Starters

Lightly spiced parsnip soup finished with coconut cream Black pudding & apple fritters with sweet onion marmalade Home-smoked trout rillete with dill crème fraiche & crisp bread Chicken liver, wild mushroom & brandy pate

Our Normal Lunch & Dinner Menus will be available throughout the Festive Season

Main Courses Traditional Roast Turkey Breast with Chestnut stuffing Topside of roast beef with rich Guinness jus & all the trimmings Home-smoked salmon fillet wrapped in streaky bacon Glamorgan wellington finished with rich tomato sauce Desserts Rich Christmas pudding & brandy sauce Chocolate marquise with raspberry sorbet Vanilla brûlée with a mulled wine berry compote Apple crumble tart & caramel sauce Tea, Coffee and Warm Mince Pies to follow

Call 01633 861811 or email The Gate at to reserve your table.



When looking for a place to stay when visiting The Vale of the Usk your first thought should be of The Priory. This hotel and restaurant is the perfect setting to unwind, enjoy the best of locally sourced cuisine, and have a truly memorable stay in the historic town of Caerleon.


Can you tell us a little history of yourself and the business? The Priory Caerleon opened in 1996 and is a family owned and operated business. We are a restaurant with 27 bedrooms, focused on delivering high quality food and service in a beautiful yet relaxed environment. We also have a sister restaurant, The Old Custom House (www. , which offers the same high quality food and service, with stunning views overlooking Penarth Marina and Cardiff Bay. What kind of features can we expect to find within the hotel? The Priory is set on the site of a 12th century Cistercian Monastery and we are fortunate enough to retain a number of the original features throughout the building. Over the years the Priory has been home to a monastery, convent and private residence to a number of notable families; all adding their own architectural touches to the building and its 2 acres of grounds which have provided the foundation of the rich tapestry of features and beautiful gardens we are lucky enough to have today. Our restaurant is built around our display counter menu, a concept started by the company founder, the late Mr. Martinez over 40 years ago in Cardiff. We love our display as we have real pride in the quality and freshness of the produce we use, and we like to take the opportunity to show it off to our guests whilst allowing them the opportunity to hand pick the precise cut of meat or fish they would like to eat.

restaurant. With comfort and a great nights rest being the primary aim in beautiful, relaxed, surroundings. Can you give me a quick rundown on the restaurant? (IE What type of food you serve, any specialist holiday menus etc etc) Our restaurant concept is slightly different to most, in that we don’t have menus on the tables as such. We operate on our display counter menu concept, giving guests the opportunity to hand pick their desired cut. Our counter in reality doubles as our menu, allowing us to offer the very best, ever changing, seasonal produce to our guests in a visual way.

Our goal is to create an environment where our guests can come, relax, have and enjoyable experience focused on fantastic food and wines. The Priory is the perfect setting to unwind, enjoy the best of locally sourced cuisine, and have a truly memorable stay in the historic town of Caerleon.

What sets you apart from similar Hotels / Restaurants? There are many very good restaurants and hotels in and around Wales today, so everybody has to work to very high standards to survive. We feel our strength is in the fact that we are family owned and operated and our passion for good food, drink and hospitality is something that is in our blood. We welcome guests into our hotel and restaurants as we would our home and we hope this is a feeling that comes through during their time with us. What are your future plans for the business? As with all businesses, we are always striving to improve and never stand still. We have done a lot of work on the grounds and building over the last 12 months, most unseen but very necessary with a building of this age, and have many more plans for the future in the pursuit of improving our guest’s experience.

Our bedrooms are set to reflect the environment offered downstairs in our

The Priory High Street, Caerleon. NP18 1AG 01633 421241 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter 25


The Curtain Studio With over 25 years experience in furnishings, the team offer a friendly service that helps make your home as individual as you are. Offering thousands of fabrics, designer wallpapers, and curtain poles to suit all budgets. With a professional fitting service available, The Curtain Studio is the ideal place for outfitting commercial premises, no matter what the size of the project. In addition they also have a high degree of experience working with hotels and nursing homes. 10 Twyn Square, Usk. NP15 1BH 01291 671204 Like on Facebook PREMIER STOVE SHOWROOM

Burning Desire With fifteen years experience and their own team of specialist fitters on hand to help, Burning Desire is one of the premier stove showrooms. Their showroom is found on Bridge Street in Usk and features live fires and fireplaces for you to see first hand. Having recently expanded to supply and fit log burning stoves in addition to fitting bathrooms and kitchens, the qualified staff also install log gasification, wood pellet, natural gas, and oil burners. 8 Bridge Street, Usk. NP15 1BG 01291 672295 Like on Facebook Follow on Twitter A U N I Q U E R E T R E AT

Pathways Holistic Pathways Holistic is a luxurious retreat that is perfect for taking away the stress of everyday life and replacing it with a sense of calm. Browse through the wide variety of candles, skin products, and gifts for that special person in your life. With a coffee lounge that has hot and cold drinks with a selection of sandwiches and cakes to enjoy. You can also relax in their garden, a unique place thats perfect for reflection and contemplation. 33 Bridge Street, Usk. NP15 1BQ 01291 671405 / 07730 405558 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter 26

It is often thought, and I think you’ll agree, that the best places (be it a restaurant, pub or shop) are always the ones that are hidden away. The kind of places that are tucked away between villages, housed in an old arcade in the centre of the city or hidden away down a country road. They hold a certain mysticism as you feel as if you have stumbled upon some sort of magic kingdom. The kind of place that fully deserves the title of ‘Hidden Gem’. The Raglan Arms is one of these places… and here is why.

THE R AGLAN ARMS Hidden away in the heart of Monmouthshire between Raglan and Usk, the Raglan Arms is located within the small village of Llandenny. The village itself holds a sort of vintage, Victorian era magic as it is not more than a single street containing houses, a church and the Raglan Arms. You do have to search for this hidden restaurant, but it is very much worth the trouble.

Due to its rural location the Raglan Arms is open for lunch from 12pm until 2:30pm, and then for dinner from 6:30pm until 9pm. On Sundays they do an incredible roast from 12pm until 2:30pm with a two course meal for £18 and a three course meal for a tiny £24. With Christmas well on its way they have also created a dedicated party menu full of incredible quality versions of all your holiday favourites.

Inside the Raglan Arms you truly feel the sense of community that runs through the small village with the atmosphere feeling very relaxed and comfortable. However this does not mean that their quality of service is anything but the finest. Chef Matthew Long has brought his experiences from working in both a Michelin Star Restaurant as well as for the Sahara Force India Formula One team to the Raglan Arms, using his expert skills to make sure the food produced is simply incredible. Almost every ingredient is locally sourced from within 10 miles of Landenny with the exception being the fish. The fish is actually transported from Cornwall from a supplier that almost exclusively works with only the top end London restaurants, the exclusions to this being a single restaurant in Cornwall and the Raglan Arms. So you are guaranteed great quality fish.

So the next time you are in the mood to explore, to find a place with a sense of magic surrounding it, think of the Raglan Arms.

the Chef’s Winter Supper Club. Available, Tuesday through to Thursday from 6.30pm to 7.30pm the choice is 3 dishes of each starters, mains and desserts from a weekly changing menu for an incredible £18 two courses or £22 for three courses. All orders have to be placed by 7.30pm.

A recent introduction to the choice of menus being offered at the Raglan Arms is

The Raglan Arms Llandenny, Nr Usk, Gwent NP15 1DL 01291 690800 Like on Facebook

“sensible portions and not ‘nouveau cuisine squibbles’ on a plate” 27

Lisa Haughton’s labour of love, Flaunt, is open for business – and we popped over to take a peek at her fabulous new shop.


Lisa, a little bird tells us it’s been quite a year for you. That’s right, I got married in July, we’ve moved into our new home – and I’ve very recently launched Flaunt Home & Gifts. What led you to open this beautiful shop? With my two children having grown up and flown the nest the timing was perfect to consider this next stage in my life. A year ago I set up a business called Flaunt Jewellery which I ran from home. I loved choosing the right pieces for all age groups, and it proved very successful. So, when I was offered the opportunity to take on this shop I jumped at the chance. I also upcycle furniture so this was the perfect time to combine the two, and add gorgeous gifts and home accessories. Taking a look around us, gorgeous is the word Thank you. Once I’d decided which products to stock the rest fell into place. I’m thrilled with the pieces I’ve chosen – we offer furniture, jewellery, handbags, cards, gifts and home accessories. Some of our current brands are Village Candles, Miss Patisserie, East of India, Love the Links, Rose & co, Febland and Sass & Belle. I’m constantly updating our ranges so that each time our customers pop in there’ll be something new in store.

How did you decide on Caerleon as your location? Caerleon has very much become a destination town; as well as the Roman attractions it also has a great range of very popular Restaurants & Cafés. I saw there was a gap in the market for more retail offerings and as I live locally, and we often frequent the great restaurants in the area, there was already a pull towards the town. As well as tourists, local people are coming into the town for their shopping Sainsbury’s, Spar, World of Kitchens, The Goldcroft, and Roberts & Co are all right on our doorstep.


We know you’ve just opened – but any plans for the future? Actually yes, the shop has an adjoining room at the rear which we’ll be converting so that I can carry on with my furniture upcycling projects in-house. We’re also planning themed evening shopping events so please follow us on Facebook so that you can keep up to date with our news and offers. Going back to our opening – I’d like to thank my husband Hugh who has been a constant support, and a major factor in Flaunt opening on time.

“Flaunt it indeed! Open: Monday to Saturday 9am until 5.30pm.”

Flaunt Home & Gifts 3 Station Road, Caerleon, NP18 1NH 01633 422 224 Like on Facebook 29


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What can we say about Quails? This family run, Usk based business has class and quality running through its veins. Quails is renowned for its kitchens but there’s much, much more to this great independent business. Owners Drew and Sian spill the beans…

QUAILS OF USK Drew, can you tell us where your creative spark began? I took an interest in woodwork at the age of 12, on my grandfather’s lathe - he was a French polisher and upholsterer. From there I started turning wooden bowls and foot stools from local driftwood. Then, as I could use a lathe, I was encouraged by my woodwork teacher, Mr Lovitt at Caerleon School, who became a huge influence for me and I fell in love with joinery. This lead to my first (and only) job with a local shop fitters which lasted just six months, as I left to start my own business.

We know that you’re renowned for your award winning kitchens, do you take on other projects? Yes, we have a dedicated, multi-skilled workforce in our two workshops and they love the challenge of bespoke commissions. We produce complete bedrooms, libraries and wine cellars, studies, walk-in wardrobes, cinemas, dining rooms, boot rooms, swimming pool areas, halls and bespoke individual pieces of free standing furniture. Our specialist joinery department produces stairs, windows, doors and we’re currently constructing a wooden car.

How have you grown your business to where it is today? Our furniture business was launched in 1979, when I was 17, and the business grew with a multitude of projects; designing, making and installing. This required employing extra hands and it was then that I met Sian, who took a keen interest in the business as she had an art/design background. Sian very quickly became a valuable asset and joined the business full time. Hence work became a love rather than a chore, and still is today!

What inspires your creativity? I’m inspired by what is around me. I always see the beauty in creations and admire attention to detail. This has become even more important with the use of the internet. Every project has to start with a pencil and a pad; then a sketch drawing is produced before any electronic drawings. One of my main inspirations is the actual client, visiting them at home and sharing their passion and ideas at the very beginning of each commission. This releases the drive to supply the best quality product for realising our clients dreams.

As our business has developed, and we’ve employed a number of specialists, it’s allowed each of us to focus on our core strengths. I was able to concentrate more on the design aspect, and as a result we opened our Usk showroom in 2002. More recent improvements have seen us develop a second workshop enabling us to produce whatever we need in house, with an eye on quality at all times. This has allowed our business to flourish and we always re-invest by employing an apprentice every year.

Sian, how do you both manage your work/life balance? Keeping a balance is a struggle sometimes, however our work is so enjoyable and the most important thing is we use our sense of humour to create a friendly environment. Spending time with our family is important - we have four children, our daughter is the eldest, and three sons - of which the two eldest work in our business. We love travelling to trade shows and usually manage to bolt on a few extra days. Drew enjoys fly fishing on the Usk, and shooting with the boys - we’re huge Welsh rugby fans and we love watching our 14 year old son play rugby. We hope to release more 42 31

time as our sons grow with the business; they both joined straight from school Monty’s in design and Harry is Head of Installation. Do you have plans for the future of the business? Definitely. We’re all very excited to be investing in new machinery; a second ‘Living’ showroom, and as we’ve said previously, for our boys to take more leadership of the business. We’re seeing a vast increase in business coming from London with whole refurbishments and, satisfyingly, the more we do the more we are referred by our existing clients. Our website is generating new enquiries and exhibiting at selected trade shows is also bringing more enquiries. If you’re attracted by the idea of your very own piece(s) of bespoke furniture, or indeed a major refurb with dream quality craftsmanship, then do pop in to the showroom where you’ll be given a very warm welcome by Lee, Nina and Brenda.

Sian & Drew Williams Quails Interiors, 2 Castle Parade, Usk NP15 1AA 01633 271946

Ross-on-Wye was the birthplace of the British tourist industry. In 1745, the rector, Dr John Egerton, started taking friends on boat trips down the valley from his rectory at Ross. The Wye Valley’s attraction was its river scenery, its precipitous landscapes, and its castles and abbeys, which were accessible to seekers of the “Picturesque”. In 1782, William Gilpin’s book “Observations on the River Wye” was published, the first illustrated tour guide to be published in Britain. Christamas Light switch on & activities on Sunday November 29th from 11.00am - 5.00pm

Image courtesy of Aston Tech Multi Media


Moor Fascinators and Hats There is nothing quite like a day at the races or attending someones wedding and receiving compliments on your head wear. At Moor Fascinators and Hats you will be welcomed into a cosy cove of head wear that will lead to just such compliments. Opened in 2010 by Julie Evans, Moor is the only place you should consider visiting when in need of head wear for that special event. Perfect for weddings, races or just people who really love hats. Each hat and fascinator is a bespoke creation, individually designed and tailored to the needs of the customer, whats more it can be colour coordinated to match any outfit. If you don’t feel like purchasing one then Moor offer a hire service that is ideal for short term rentals. In addition to all of this they also offer a range of outfits from sizes 10 - 24, shoes, bags and jewellery. All perfect additions to any outfit. 4 Hill Street, Ross-on-Wye. HR9 7AD 07582 971481 Like on Facebook

“They offer a range of outfits from sizes 10 - 24, shoes, bags and jewellery.” 32


Bamboozled Stand out from the crowd thanks to Bamboozled. With a varied range of novelty t-shirts available for men, ladies and boys, with the added option of customised printing. Check out their website for the latest designs. 16 Gloucester Road, Ross-on-Wye. HR9 5BU 01989 565046 Like on Facebook

Photo courtesy of Caz Holbrook Photography


Orles Barn Orles Barn Restaurant with Rooms at Wilton, on the outskirts of Ross-on-Wye, is now in the capable hands of Craig and Cath Morgan. The couple have already put their own stamp of personality into the place by introducing a more traditional and hearty menu using the abundantly available local produce. With a real log fire burning in the comfortable bar and the invitingly intimate restaurant, overlooking the well maintained gardens, this is the perfect place to enjoy lunch, afternoon tea or dinner. Orles Barn makes an idyllic setting for wedding parties, celebrations, family get-togethers, business meetings….in fact, any kind of event.

Wilton, Ross-on-Wye. HR9 6AE 01989 562155 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter


Field Fayre Ross-on-Wye’s nationally award winning Organic Deli and Grocery Store This is a delight - where you’ll find a waterfall display of 60+ certified organic fruit and vegetables, locally baked artisan breads and pastries, the best range of organic wines in the area, organic ingredients for the specialist and everyday cook, organic, fully traceable meat and poultry, delicious organic cheeses, Hungarian charcuterie, lots of lovely treats for vegans and vegetarians, eco-household products and a great range of organic toiletries, plus gift ideas galore. Well worth a visit. 18 - 19 Broad Street, Ross-on-Wye. HR9 7EA 01989 566683 33

Local estate agents Hamilton Stiller have completed their refurbishment of Man of Ross House, originally owned by local philanthropist John Kyrle, and relocated their office into this beautiful historic landmark. We took the opportunity to chat with directors Anna Hulin and Andrew Drake at their striking new office.


Anna, we absolutely love this building – and what you’ve done with it. Thank you. We established Hamilton Stiller in 2008, focussing on lettings due to the downturn in the sales market, and as the business grew we moved to our previous office in Ross-on-Wye town centre in 2010.

The move has enabled us to increase our staff, and we now have a much larger window space for showcasing our properties – in fact it’s almost three times the size of our previous office.

What makes you different from other estate agents? Professionally; we’re members of the Guild of Professional Estate Agents, which enables us to promote our properties in the exclusive Park Lane, London office. Landlords with property development experience... That’s our difference

Business has continued to expand so we took the opportunity, taking on this building in July. We used all local businesses for the refurbishment, which took around a month to complete. We opened for business on September 11th – and here we are in this fabulous prime location.

“Professionally; we’re members of the Guild of Professional Estate Agents”

Additionally I’m a Registered Valuer with RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and an Associate Member. We’re also associated with London & Country (L&C) mortgage brokers who offer fee-free advice about the most suitable mortgages for our clients. We are an independent business specialising in selling, letting and managing quality properties in Herefordshire, Monmouthshire and Gloucestershire. We offer a hands-on personal approach and our work ethic encompasses the traditional values of good service. We’re experts in the local area and our team are an integral part of the communities we serve.


What are your top recommendations for home sellers? Whether you’re selling or letting a property, never underestimate the importance of preparing your home for viewing. We can offer priceless advice on this; your property can end up selling more quickly, and the upgrading process can potentially add to your home’s financial value. What’s the housing climate like at the moment? The market has strengthened considerably. Here in Herefordshire and Monmouthshire over 50% of our rural buyers are coming from outside the area. Buyers are moving from the South East of England, finding this area less populated and of course the outstanding countryside here is very appealing. There you have it. Whether you have a country house, cottage, period property, barn conversion, smallholding, equestrian property or land for sale or rent you can ensure Hamilton Stiller will give your property the maximum marketing exposure and attract serious buyers or tenants.

Hamilton Stiller Man of Ross House, 34 High Street, Ross-on-Wye, HR9 5HD 01989 563525 Follow on Twitter 35


Caffe Eleganza When a coffee shop has its own unique custom blend of coffee beans that have been painstakingly selected and roasted locally, you know that you are in for a treat. That is exactly the feeling you get when walking through the threshold of Caffe Eleganza. Opened in the early months of 2009 the coffee shop is full of friendly baristas whose skill and love for what they do shine through in every cup. If you are in the mood for something with a little less caffeine than their bespoke coffee then Caffe Eleganza also offer a range of speciality teas, smoothies and milkshakes that are all bound to quench your thirst.

Not one to leave anyone unsatisfied their menu is full of delicious meals no matter your preference or dietary requirements. With gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options available amongst their daily specials, children’s menus and selection of homemade cakes. So the next time you are in the mood for delicious drinks and mouth watering food pop into Caffe Eleganza where you can relax in the friendly environment created by their lovely staff.. 2 Broad Street, Ross-on-Wye. HR9 7DZ 01989 764254 Like on Facebook Follow on Twitter


O P E N M O N - S AT, 9 A M - 5 P M

Truffles Delicatessen Nestled on a cobbled street overlooking the River Wye is where you will find Truffles Deli, looking as if it has just leapt from the pages of a classic Dickensian novel. The fact that Truffles has been open for over 12 years just goes to show that their range of deli items are just too good to miss. Richard Mayo and his fantastic team work tirelessly to stock the very best products from cheese, salami and olives, to home made sandwiches, soups, cakes, quiches, salads and more. With Christmas just around the corner Truffles are also putting together some delicious hampers, perfect for any meal surrounded by those you love.

46 High Street, Ross-on-Wye. HR9 5HG 01989 762336 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter


Reds Hair Company Providing the expert city centre hair and beauty treatments without the hassle of actually traveling to the city. Established in 1999 Red’s Hair Company is a 5 Star Salon that offers incredible, up to date hairdressing and beauty therapies often only found within the larger cities. Offering a range of services, perfect for looking your best this coming holiday season. Open six days a week with evening openings on Wednesday and Thursday. 14 Henry Street, Ross-on-Wye. HR9 7AA 01989 566800 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter 37

Fresh to Ross-on-Wye, recently opened (June 2015) No 3 Restaurant & Bar is already attaining excellent reviews. As you can imagine, we wasted no time in chatting to hands on owners; husband and wife team Darren & Charlotte Leonard.


Tell us a bit about your background – what has led you to where you are today? I (Darren) have over 25 years’ experience in the industry, during which time my achievements have included gaining & maintaining 2 AA rosettes for 10 years. Charlotte’s background is as an interior designer - but we actually met across the hotplate at Coombe Abbey, where I was a Chef and Charlotte was a waitress. We live locally, and now that our children are in school we decided this was great timing to realise our joint dream of owning & running a restaurant. We found our premises quite quickly – it was previously a clothes shop but when we saw it it was basically an empty shell. Once the building work was complete (new walls, kitchen, toilets, and the addition of a false ceiling) Charlotte was able to put her interior

design experience to excellent use, adding chic lighting and our of course our lovely dining furniture which has the advantage of flexibility as well as looking great. Congratulations on your excellent Trip Advisor rating – we see that today (on our visit in October) you’re number 1 out of 72 restaurants in Ross on Wye? Thank you, we’re delighted with the response and support from our diners. Our restaurant has been on Trip Advisor just 3 months and has had over 90 positive reviews already. Prior to opening, we set up a Facebook page 38

for No 3 – and were amazed to be fully booked for the first 3 nights, and most nights since. Really, our feet haven’t touched the ground since June, and we’re grateful to the local people of Ross-on-Wye for their kind support and appreciation. Tell us a bit about the food you serve? We insist on using the best of the freshest, seasonal local produce; allowing their natural goodness and flavours to enhance our dishes. Our menus change on a regular basis, we’re very keen to offer our repeat diners


“We insist on using the best of the freshest, seasonal local produce.”

“A winning combination of food, atmosphere, decor and staff”

something different each time they visit. Our Chefs (Aaron is our Head Chef and his wife Lianne is the Sous Chef) are as passionate as ourselves about selecting our produce and developing our menus. We have separate menus for lunch & dinner – so far our most popular dishes are our sharing platters, local Herefordshire beef, fish from the

Wye – oh and of course our cocktails and artisan wines. What do you have planned for the festive season? As well as our a la carte menu, we will be offering Christmas lunch and dinner menus from December 1st for which we’ve already started to take bookings.

“For those with pure food indulgence in mind, the team at No. 3 offers a relaxed, modern, European menu for light lunches, dinner, after work cocktails and bar bites. Enjoy, we did.” 39

Open Tuesday to Saturday 12.00pm 2.30pm & 6.30pm - 9pm. Closed Sunday & Monday. Booking strongly advisable. No 3 Restaurant & Bar 3 Gloucester Road, Ross-on-Wye, HR9 5BU 01989 564997 Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter

Image courtesy of @AndrewEvans


Little Chic The children’s clothes and toy boutique that has everything your child may need and want. With stock from newborn up until 8-10 years old, Little Chic chooses its designs by selecting the brands with the highest quality, visually gorgeous products that are very easy to take care of. With brands including Little Joules, Hatley, Piccalilly and Lilly & Sid, as well as boots and toddler shoes, and toys ranging from the wooden classics of times gone by to educational games and even Lego. 30a Brookend Street, Ross-on-Wye. HR9 7EE 01989 762404 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS GIFT

Lainey Handbags & Accessories Rejoice! Customers at Lainey Handbags & Accessories are always assured of a friendly welcome and our help to find the perfect accessory for every occassion. Whether a treat for yourself or a gift, you’ll be sure to find a wonderful selection of ever changing quality products that include Handbags, co-ordinating purses, cashmere products, clothes, belts, scarves and hats. Pop in and say ‘hello’ and browse at your leisure. 11a Gloucester Road, Ross-on-Wye. HR9 5BU 01989 218167 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter 40


Colemans No matter what item you are looking for related to stationary, arts or crafts you can find it at Colemans. Colemans has an in-depth product range, great value prices and highly knowledgeable staff. Inside you will find supplies for the office, arts and crafts, gifts, and an extensive Student range. On top of all that they also provide specialist services such as photocopying, laminating and comb binding, making Colemans the ultimate place for stationary, art and craft supplies. 35 High Street, Ross-on-Wye. HR9 5HE 01989 566946 Like on Facebook T R I PA DV I S O R AWA R D W I N N I N G

Lea House Bed & Breakfast Originally built in the 16th century Lea house still retains many of its original features to this day giving a traditional feel of days gone by every time you stay. With a large inglenook fireplace and exposed beams everywhere this homely, comfortable accommodation is the perfect location to stay when visiting any of the hundreds of sites that surround it. Hay-on-Wye, Tintern Abbey, the Forest of Dean, Clearwell Caves and Westbury Court Gardens are just some of the places located nearby with The Wysis Way and The Gloucestershire Way within perfect distance for walkers.

Andy and Sophie Evans invite you to stay, offering three well appointed bedrooms, all with eclectic decor gathered from local artists, good home made food, and everyday services to make sure that your stay with them is the very best it could possibly be. Lea House, Ross-on-Wye. HR9 7JZ 01989 750652 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter 41

Image courtesy of @AndrewEvans


Crowsfeet Located at the top of Cantilupe road crowsfeet is one of the most quirky and distinctive shops in Ross-on-Wye. Go to Crowsfeet for your cards and Gifts and have them beautifully wrapped! There is an eclectic range of gifts including Silver Jewellery, scarves, Italian Leather Handbags, Italian soaps, beautiful fair trade products and hanging hearts. Also Mens and Childrens gifts. Open Monday to Saturday 9.30-5pm 1 Cantilupe Road, Ross-on-Wye. HR9 7AN 01989 763698 Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter INDEPENDENT LADIES FASHION

Madame Butterfly Fashions change on a year by year basis and trying to keep up with them is hard task indeed, yet Sally Bundy manages to do just that. Establishing her business in 1995 Sally has seen lots of fantastic styles come and go with the shop reflecting each trend with great success. Specialising mainly in quirky and interesting European fashions, Madame Butterfly also has a fabulous range of unusual jewellery and wonderful gifts. Personally selecting everything that comes into her store, Sally ensures that only the most up to date, high quality pieces grace her shelves. Her expert knowledge shows why she remains open after 20 years and is the go to place for ladies fashion.

14 Broad Street, Ross-on-Wye. HR9 7EA 01989 768936 Like on Facebook 42


Stella by Starlight Providing homes with incredible interiors for almost ten years that could be mistaken for mere fantasy yet, as the song says “that’s Stella by Starlight and not a dream”. Producing new and upcycled furniture in a plethora of styles including shabby chic and vintage, Stella by Starlight aims to help you create your perfect space. Inside you will find all matter of furniture, bed throws, cushions, lighting solutions and home accessories for both indoor and outdoor. 4 Gloucester Road, Ross-on-Wye. HR9 5BH 01989 566944 Find on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram


Raglan House Cafe Whether staying in the Guest House upstairs or simply in the mood for some great food, the Raglan House cafe is a must visit. All cooking is homemade with a selection of breakfasts, light lunches and traditional Sunday roasts available on the menu. With speciality teas and coffees available and (as the cafe is Fully


Licensed) wine, beer or cider, no matter what your meal they have the perfect accompaniment.

Guest House

Just in time for the holidays the cafe is also preparing some festive Christmas Dinners, although booking is advisable so that you don’t miss out on your plate of holiday cheer.

This charming grade II, Queen Anne listed building is perfectly located in the centre of Ross-on-Wye. Close to all local amenities and attractions Raglan House is the ideal place to stay when exploring the picturesque town.

17 Broad Street, Ross-on-Wye. HR9 7EA 01989 564666

17 Broad Street, Ross-on-Wye. HR9 7EA 01989 564666


Lucy Gardner and her magnificent team offer you a warm welcome to Woods of Whitchurch, the most delightful independent business that is actually a lot bigger than it seems from the outside. Made up of a grocers, delicatessen, patisserie, newsagents and (soon to be open) Woody’s Coffee Shop, Woods of Whitchurch is the perfect countryside pit stop. Situated between Monmouth and Ross-on-Wye and we sent our sales director Chris Howell to find out more.



Tell us a little about Woods of Whitchurch? After living in London and becoming tired of the rat race of the city, I decided that I wanted to be my own boss and, after moving to Whitchurch, saw that the old post office in The Square became available. Since August 2011 we have been open seven days a week from 7am to 8pm Monday to Saturday and 8am to 3pm on Sundays. The business has evolved and is no longer a post office but very much part of the community. Inside we offer fruit and veg, meat, fish, takeaway pizzas, fish and chips, a fabulous range of cheeses, bread, homemade cakes, newspapers and magazines, salads, an extensive gluten free range, bespoke cake making, a catering service, an off licence and so much more. We are much the community hub for the surrounding area. This is because we act as a pit stop for everyone in the area including walkers, cyclists, tourists from the nearby Butterfly Zoo, and the caravan and camping sites.

Our perfect location means that a lot of people come from the nearby towns of Monmouth and Ross-on-Wye and, as we’re so close to the main road, find that motorists prefer to stop here rather than visit the more generic service stations.

Coffee shop opening in December 2015

Any plans for the immediate future? We are entering a very exciting time. In December we will be opening Woody’s Coffee Shop above our main building, which will be open on daily from Monday to Saturdays. The beautiful coffee shop will have a lovely open fire and offer light bites, teas and coffees, and homemade cakes. Our new venture will also house a community library and will be a hub for such events as wood turning and various crafts. Private hire will also be available.

“ Our perfect location means that a lot of people come from the nearby towns of Monmouth and Ross-on-Wye.” 44

Woods of Whitchurch The Square, Whitchurch Ross-on-Wye HR9 6DJ 01600 891021 Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter



Whenever my wardrobe needs an injection of the latest season’s clothes, you would think that my first thought would be to head off into the city to the larger stores but you’d be wrong.


You see, I’ve learnt over the years that I’m much better off shopping locally at an independent boutique. Why? For three reasons, (1) Local boutique owners don’t buy a lot of the same stock, so you don’t run the fashion gauntlet of bumping into someone wearing the same item as you, and (2) A local boutique owner knows me, my lifestyle and my personality so is much more equipped to give me the best advice on what suits me, and (3) With less overheads to pay for than a chain store, chances are the prices are more affordable. The Square, Monmouth, which has a commanding location opposite The Shire Hall, ticks all three boxes. Long-time friends and business partners Tracey Davies and Claire McLennan have a background in business, with Claire having many years of experience as a fashion buyer for a number of leading high street retailers, so both have a great eye for detail and know the importance of excellent customer care. Having worked with the best brands, the owners knew exactly which ones they wanted for their boutique and are proud to offer American Vintage, Great Plains, Charli and Day Birger et Mikkelsen.

They also have a gorgeous range of accessories including jewellery, shoes (and boots by Ash and Cara), and handbags and scarves by beck sonder gaard. They also stock the much coveted Voluspa candles - great as a gift to a loved one or for yourself! Stock is constantly being added, with new found fab brands and they tell me that they’ll soon be adding an online shop, which is convenient if you find you can’t get out to shop. Do you ever buy items and then not have anything to put with them? Yes, me too. That’s not an issue at The Square as, in the buying process, all items bought were curated to all work together.

Tracey and Claire listen to their customers and offer suggestions on what might suit; sometimes even suggesting items that you might not consider but end up looking amazing in. They want shopping to be an enjoyable experience and, from my own time there, I can certainly vouch for that. I left armed with my purchases, a smile on my face and a spring in my step vowing to return.

Customers will be wowed by the original features, spectacular lighting and relaxing comforts introduced by the girls and Homes of Elegance, Abergavenny. It’s a mini department store - a onestop-shop if you will, but with a human touch and they cater for customers of all ages. Only recently a dress was sold to a nineteen year old and also a lady in her fifties - both looked fabulous! 46

The Square 22-23 Agincourt Square Monmouth NP25 3DY 01600 712667 Monday - Saturday 9.30am - 5pm Follow on Facebook and Twitter

“It’s a mini department store - a one-stop-shop if you will, but with a human touch.”

The town was the site of a small Roman fort, Blestium, and became established after the Normans built a castle here after 1067. Its mediaeval stone gated bridge is the only one of its type remaining in Britain. The castle later came into the possession of the House of Lancaster, and was the birthplace of King Henry V in 1387. In 1536, it became the county town of Monmouthshire. Monmouth later became a tourist centre at the heart of the Wye Valley, as well as a market town. It now acts as a shopping and service centre, and as a focus of educational and cultural activities for its surrounding rural area.

Image courtesy of Aston Tech Multi Media


Harts of Monmouth Situated towards the bottom of busy Monnow Street, Harts is a mini department store, with a huge selection of ladies clothing, swimwear, lingerie and hosiery. Their friendly and professional staff offer a free fitting service and are passionate about women wearing the right size bra! Often referred to by customers as an ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ people are nearly always amazed by the volume of stock in their busy lingerie department. Brands include Triumph, Sloggi, Prima Donna, Marie Jo, Fantasie, Freya and many more. Swimwear is also stocked at Harts all year round. 84 - 86 Monnow St, Monmouth. NP25 3EQ 01600 712804 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter


Monmouth and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce Monmouth is a vibrant market town with a strong independent retail sector with still more new shops and restaurants opening in the run up to Christmas. We are pleased to announce that two new car parks will be opened in the next 12 months, which will improve access to our unique shopping experience. There will also be a new 60 bedroom hotel, allowing more visitors to stay longer. Chairman David Cummings Christmas Candelit Procession on Thursday December 10th from 5.30pm


Green & Jenks Since opening in July, thousands of people have enjoyed the delicious home made gelatos made on site at Green & Jenks, located in a beautiful Georgian house with a secret courtyard garden in the centre of Monmouth. The idea came from the owner’s ancestors who ran the Roath Park Dairy Company, based on Albany Road Cardiff, which opened in 1888 and closed in 1958. After a conversation with her mother, the idea came to re-launch but as an ice cream business, something the family’s ancestors had planned to do back in

the 1950s. Using the surnames of her family, Green & Jenks is almost identical to the original business; taking milk from local farms, pasteurising on site and making it into delicious artisan dairy products. In addition to the wide range of gelato flavours available, they also offer a range of locally-sourced cakes, teas and an excellent coffee. New additions are on offer every month, such as freshly made waffles and supper evenings with antipasta, Prosecco and a wide range of desserts and, of course, gelato! 11 Agincourt Square, Monmouth NP25 3DY 01600 711657 Like on Facebook Follow on Twitter


Raft Come visit us at Raft Monmouth where you’ll find a beautiful collection of clothes, giftware, homeware and accessories. Raft’s style is light and fresh with our focus on providing great customer service within unique surroundings. Why not take a stroll around Raft’s Courtyard - home to Peter Dowle’s Howle Hill Nursery - which at the moment is in full autumnal colours, with an exciting range of Acers and other garden plants to purchase. Raft Monmouth Chippenham House, 102 Monnow Street, Monmouth. NP25 3EQ 01600 713727 Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter 49

Atelier Gilmar, The Goldsmiths of Monmouth, produce stunning bespoke jewellery – with handmade processes kept in-house. So, with a twinkle in our eye, we set off to meet husband and wife team Gill & Alan Saunders and discuss their passion for designing and producing modern jewellery to the highest standard.


Give us a little background; how did you both get into designing – and what inspires you? We formed our business in 1983, within two days of leaving college. We knew exactly the natural progression we wished to take, and although we work as a team we both have very individual design ideas. As regards inspiration, this is where our team work excels; our creativity is very much a two way communication, bouncing ideas off each other.

And how did you come up with your business name? The name came from Atelier which is French for studio / workshop, and Gilmar is a combination of Gill and Martin (Alan’s first christian name). Can you talk us through the process (in laymans terms) from concept to finished piece of jewellery? Our client will make an appointment to discuss their own ideas, and then mock-up patterns in silver are prepared. This way our client can actually try on the mock piece to ensure that it’s what suits them. Each piece is very individual and will be adjusted until the client is perfectly happy. As regards remodelling jewellery – our clients may have inherited jewellery, or maybe have piece(s) that are no longer worn. These pieces can be upcycled,


with stones added if required, to create something fresh. All of our jewellery is designed to our client’s budget. Is there a ‘fashion’ in bespoke jewellery? Diamond rings are always very popular. We will source stones if we don’t have the required size in stock; if the requisite stones are in stock then diamond rings can be costed quite quickly. Also, we specialise in coloured diamonds along with other gem stones. The diamond rings are all about the craft and luxury of diversity. Taking for example an engagement ring; a diamond may be selected and bought as a gift. Then the couple can come in and design the ring as a partnership – a splendid way of ensuring that the symbol of the love that you have for one another is perfect.

As well as our bespoke designs we also offer two collections per year, these are ready for sale pieces, and we always have a large amount of stock to suit different tastes and budgets. What are you most proud of in your careers? There’s too much to choose! In 2010 we were thrilled to be presented with the prestigious ‘British Jewellers Association Award’, awarded in recognition for the excellence of our design and craftmanship. We exhibit our jewellery in the UK and Europe resulting in our pieces being showcased by top jewellers, galleries and private collections. Also, we’re one business out of only four in the UK to be invited to exhibit at Inhorgenta Munich, this is the leading

European industry platform for jewellery and is held every February. We supply to over 200 contemporary jewellers, goldsmiths, galleries and private collections worldwide spanning over 17 countries. Having said all of that – the look on a client’s face when they collect their piece of jewellery from us is priceless. We’re always interested in family businesses – and how they manage their work/life balance We’re both outdoor people, and have been members of the Austrian Alpine Club for 25 years. We enjoy cycling across the U.K. & Europe, in particular we love the local countryside of Monmouthshire & Herefordshire – it’s stunning.

Atelier Gilmar 6 White Swan Court, Monmouth, NP25 3NY 01600 715 454 51


Callisto Style Hairdressers Having only started within the last few months Callisto Style hairdressers has received some truly impressive praise for the excellent services they provide. Not least of which having been awarded a 5 Star Rating by the Good Salon Guide. An award that is only presented to salons with the highest professional standards and services within the industry and is a benchmark of quality for every salon in the country. A great start to Paula Morgan’s first business. With five years of experience in the trade Paula and her team deal with services for ladies, gents and children in addition to technical services such as dyes and extensions, and a range of bridal treatments. For all of their hair care services they use the Italian brand ‘Davines’. This eco friendly brand contains high grade, natural ingredients created from renewable sources and is the lead in the field of stylish and effective hair maintenance. Callisto Style Hairdressers is open six days a week, from Monday to Saturday, with late evening openings every Tuesday and Thursday.. 5 Monnow Bridge, Monmouth. NP25 5ER 01600 228070 Like on Facebook Follow on Twitter



Flowers by Victoria The flower shop that provides garden inspired blooms, that become lovingly created into bespoke bouquets and floral arrangements to suit all budgets.


Didier and Dandelion Pop in and be tempted by Didier and Dandelion’s unique range of vintage and handmade goods and decorative homeware. The shop presents a calming and welcoming haven, full to the brim with lovely items, their timeless appeal helping to add a unique touch to every home. With vintage furniture and curiosities, Melin Tregwynt welsh blankets, Birch and Brook candles and so much more handpicked for their beauty and simplicity, Christmas shopping suddenly seems so much easier… 72 Monnow Street, Monmouth. NP25 3EE 01600 711500 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter FA S H I O N N O T J U S T F O R L A D I E S

Extons of Monmouth You have to look hard these days to find a truly independent emporium that provides quality clothing and accessories for both men and women. Extons is a trusted winning formula, which is why they have just opened up their latest branch in the heart of Monmouth’s old town. Following the success of their Abergavenny, Usk & Raglan branches, the new shop offers an eye-catching range of clothing and an excellent selection of accessories; you can even design your own handbag! So with Christmas looming – if you’re looking for a gift, or just treating yourself to a new outfit, pop in and say hello to their friendly staff. Be sure to keep up to date

with the latest stock arrivals from Seasalt, Mistral, Adini, Brook Tavener, Bruhl and Hattric. Extons of Monmouth 19 Church Street, Monmouth NP25 3BX Like on Facebook 53

109 Monnow Street, Monmouth. NP25 3EG 01600 716287 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter

Set in the gorgeous Welsh countryside, just 2 miles from the historic town of Monmouth and the Wye Valley, lies the award winning Stonemill Restaurant. Handily it’s set in the grounds of Steppes Farm, which has 6 very luxurious cottages for those who wish to stay longer. Win – win we thought, as we set off to chat with restaurant owner Michelle Decloedt.

THE STONEMILL Michelle, tell us a bit about your background and what led you to setting up The Stonemill Well in 1996 my family acquired Steppes Farm which is now a small hamlet of six 4 star stone and oak beamed cottages offering B&B and self-catering holidays. In 2001 we created The Stonemill Restaurant, having converted a derelict 16th century barn within the grounds of the farm - keeping the oak beams and vaulted ceilings. I have a huge passion for food and for all aspects of the hospitality trade so setting up and running the restaurant has been a dream come true. It’s a beautiful restaurant – and looking around we can see a number of awards. Can you talk to us about your achievements? The Stonemill has been trading for 14 years. During this time we’ve been overwhelmed with the success of the restaurant and the positive feedback from our customers. We’ve gained

entry into all the major eating out guides, including Michelin, The Good Food Guide, Hardens and Time Out. In November 2006 we were delighted to be awarded two AA rosettes which we’ve maintained now for 9 years on the trot.

have our own luxury marquee within our grounds which can cater for up to 200 guests, and of course the restaurant which accommodates up to 60 guests. The Stonemill Restaurant is licensed for civil ceremonies - so we can offer the full wedding package if required.

What would you say makes your restaurant such a success? That would be our high standards; our dedication in sourcing the best, fresh, local produce; the hard work and commitment from all staff involved, and constantly listening to our customers. We’re avid supporters of all things fresh and seasonal, taking great care to source the best local suppliers. We have our own herb and vegetable garden and we make our own bread, pasta, ice cream & sorbets, jam & chutney. We understand you hold functions here too? Yes, we cater for various types of events from weddings to birthday parties. We

“Beautiful surroundings, delicious food – and a place to lay your head; what more could you want? When you visit – remember to say that Wye Life sent you – oh, and that we recommend the lunchtime sharing platters (and the puds.)” 54

What are your plans for the festive season? Our Christmas menu is now available to download from our web site - this will be served from December 1st – 23rd and we’re advising customers to book early! Oh and we’re planning to re-decorate the restaurant after Christmas – so it’ll be a new colour scheme for the New Year.

The Stonemill Rockfield, Monmouth, NP25 5SW 01600 716273 Like on Facebook Accommodation 01600 775 424 55


Professional Hair Salon Hair By Jones formally known as Hair & Beauty Studio has been rebranded and extended the salon. With a wealth of 22 years of business within the hair industry. Our hair experts are always on hand to provide high end customer service and to ensure all clients not only leave looking great but feel great. Hair By Jones have just launched their new luxurious L’Oreal Colour Specialist bar, which is situated on the first floor within the salon. The colour bar has a private wash point room with the very unique Gemma Shiatsu massage sofa. The team at Hair By Jones are all highly trained experts in the hair industry. Our Creative Director Aimee holds the benchmark of hair colour qualification, the L’Oreal Colour Specialist degree. Which allows us to achieve the desired results with greater colour accuracy. Our belief is consultations hold the key in perfecting and creating the ultimate client hair journey. We offer complimentary colour consultations to anyone wanting the unique experience in our salon. We have a wide range of prices too suit everyone’s needs.At Hair By Jones we know great hair doesn’t happen by chance, it happens by an appointment. Stockists of L’Oreal Professional Colour, L’Oreal Profiber and Techni art, Joico hair care range, GHD, Olaplex, Kebelo Hair smoothing system and Bare Minerals Make-up. 93 Monnow Street, Monmouth. NP25 3EW 01600 772464 Like on Facebook 56


Shirtbox The independent menswear retailer that offers a unique range of quality clothing brands not often seen in the big high street stores. So when looking for quality and value, visit Shirtbox. 13 Agincourt Square, Monmouth. NP25 3DY 01600 719856 Follow on Facebook LADIES BOUTIQUE

Mono Beautiful clothes in the heart of Monmouth Old Town Well positioned on the corner of Church Street in Monmouth old town, Mono is entering its eighth year in business. Offering a beautiful collection of autumn/ winter stock from Avoca, Oui and Spanish label Vilagallo. Women of all ages shop here and the clothes suit every shape from size 8 to 18. Mono also have a gorgeous range of jewellery, scarves and cashmere ponchos to complement their collection. Expect a warm welcome and honest, attentive service. 23 Church Street, Monmouth. NP25 3BX 01600 719800 Like on Facebook AWA R D W I N N I N G FO O D

Bistro Prego In addition to providing the people of Monmouth with mouth watering, award winning cuisine, Bistro Prego also offers 8 en-suite rooms for you to stay in when visiting the town. The menu at Bistro Prego is award winning for a reason. With seasonal dishes that change based on the locally sourced produce of the week, a pre theatre menu that’s perfect for before a show, and a Christmas Menu that is ready to celebrate the festive season you are going to have to book a room just to rest after all this incredible food.. 7 Church Street, Monmouth. NP25 3BX 01600 712600 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter 57


Tigerbella The only boutique that offers a fabulous collection of “unique clothes for unique kids!” Founded in early 2015 as an e-boutique, this family run children’s shop is perfect for little ones from birth to 12 years old. The Tigerbella flagship store has now opened in the beautiful market town of Monmouth and is dedicated to bringing you beautiful selection of UK and international brands such as: Angels Face, Billieblush, Billiebandit, Papu, Little Green Radicals, Absorba, 3 Pommes and much more including Rachel Riley, a firm favourite of Prince William and The Duchess of Cambridge for Prince George. With items being sent all over the world from New York to Hong Kong, Sweden to Cape Town, Tigerbella is the perfect place to make your little one look incredible! Worried about sizing, fretting about fit? Simply pop in, call or email and we will be happy to help. 5 Monnow Street, Monmouth. NP25 3EF 07470 042285 Like on Facebook Follow on Twitter and Instagram



The Loft Climb up into The Loft and discover all the treasures and trinkets that can be found there. With industrial/vintage/retro furniture, home-ware, collectors items and more on offer alongside some expert advice. Feel free to ask. 9 St Marys Street, Monmouth. NP25 3DB 07969 913063 Like on Facebook COUNTY JEWELLERS

Adrian Gaunt and Company County Jewellers Joining the jewellery trade in 1969 Adrian Gaunt trained and worked with some of the greatest jewellers London had to offer. Then in 1990 he established his own company... ...And for the last 25 years he has not looked back. Offering exquisite watches, diamond, gold and silver jewellery from such brands as Hot Diamond and Ti Sento. Adrian Gaunt is the epitome of experience and knowledge in the jewellery industry. 55 Monnow Street, Monmouth. NP25 3EW 01600 772635 Like on Facebook HARMONY FOR HEART & HOME

Peace of Stone The rush of everyday life can often be overwhelming, so take time to bring peace and balance to your day. Peace of Stone is a specialist shop that is filled with rare and unique crystals, as well as jewellery and gifts. In need of some holistic help? Thanks to their therapy room you can receive a range of holistic treatments such as; reiki, crystal therapy and reflexology. Add to that their workshops in oils, crystals and dowsing and very soon your days will be filled with peace. 7a St Thomas Square, Monmouth. NP25 5ES 01600 714303 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter 59

In 1965 Rockfield was acknowledged to be the first residential recording studio in the world. They are still making hits today. Wye Life met with the studio manager, Lisa Ward, to find out more.


Rockfield Studios were set up in the early 60s by brothers Charles and Kingsley Ward. At the time it was the family farm with both a dairy herd of Jersey cows as well as a riding school. Charles and Kingsley were brought up playing music, Kingsley the piano and Charles the guitar, and much like other teenagers of the time were hooked on American rock and roll stars, especially Elvis, so much so they too had a band which played across extensively across the Welsh valleys. They had been noticed by British record producer, Joe Meek, who had already had success with his song ‘Telstar”, who started to work with them at his own recording studio on the Holloway Road in North London. Given the travelling distance from Monmouth to London, especially in those pre-M4 days, Charles and Kingsley decided to buy recording equipment for their own use at home. At first they set it up in the family farmhouse but eventually moved into what was the potato loft, above the original coach house where local bands started to come to record - this was the start of Rockfield Studios as a commercial venture. It’s difficult to say when the first clients came to use the recording facilities but it was around 1962 or 1963. Many local bands were the first recording clients including bands like MAN from Swansea and The Doc Thomas Band from Hereford who later became famous as Mott the Hoople. Dave Edmunds and his band Love Sculpture gave Rockfield its first chart success, putting it on the map as a professional recording studio in competition with London studios like Abbey Road. We are now only pre-dated by Abbey Road Studios and are recognised as the first residential recording studios in the world.

In the years since the early 60s Rockfield has played host to many of the world’s top recording artists from Oasis to Annie Lennox, Black Sabbath to Paolo Nutini, The Stone Roses to Coldplay, Nigel Kennedy to Simple Minds with many of the welsh bands like the Manic Street Preachers and Catatonia being frequent visitors. In the past 18 months alone the Mercury nominated album by Royal Blood was recorded here as well as the forthcoming album by Tom Odell.

the fact that they are staying in the same accommodation as our recording clients.

One of the main reasons for them to come to Rockfield is for the peace and solitude afforded them by its rural location as well as the atmosphere of being on a family farm. It’s a very relaxing and informal environment allowing all of our clients to feel completely at home. As we are a residential recording studio we have two accommodation units which we rent out to non-recording clients on a self-catering basis. The Coach House can sleep up to 20 people in its seven bedrooms and the Quadrangle up to 24 people very comfortably in its nine bedrooms. Both houses benefit from large living/dining rooms which make them perfect for family get togethers and parties. Most of the rooms are ensuite and spacious with room for extra z-beds or cots if required. Some of our self-catering guests come here for the same weekend each year; Easter 2016 sees the ninth visit for one large family group to the Coach House! Although we primarily rent out to self-catering clients, we are able to offer any food if required. Many of our guests elect to have catering supplied for at least one of the nights and we have some wonderful cooks who come along and provide whatever is needed - simple one-pot suppers to a selection of Tapas or a more formal, three course menu can be provided. If recording sessions allow we also enjoy giving our self-catering guests a full tour of the studios during their stay. So many of our guests’ favourite artists have recorded here so they love to see where songs were recorded and enjoy 60

There are many reasons why Rockfield is considered to be so special, not just by all of us who live and work here but by all of our self-catering guests and recording clients too. I think the main thing is its location which gives it a certain, special atmosphere. The down to earth farming feel is still in evidence with Kingsley’s pet cows ( Jerseys of course) and our family horses grazing in the meadows. It is still most definitely a home first and foremost. Monmouth is a lovely market town whose people welcome all our recording artists warmly, allowing the more famous ones to walk up Monnow Street, go to the shops and pubs without fear of being hassled. They are treated just like anyone else which is something that happens rarely for some of our clients outside of their own homes. Some of our clients have been coming here since as long ago as the 70s and pretty much all of them return a number of times. Being residential, we all get to know each other well during their stay here, it’s a treat to be a part of their world whilst they’re working here and for them to become a part of ours too.

Amberley Court Rockfield Road, Monmouth, Gwent NP25 5ST 01600 712449 Like on Facebook


Right for style

Right for price

Right for you


Monday to Saturday 10 – 5.30

Wye Life chats to owner Jayne Davies of Boutique 53, Cardiff to find out about all the latest style trends available this season.


We currently have a fabulous selection of winter coats and capes in stock. A good pair of leather boots are a must and a pair of black shoes with block heels are much more wearable. We will be introducing fabulous new footwear in the boutique very soon! A little box jacket in black or a neutral colour are great for throwing on over a dress or jeans and they will take you absolutely anywhere. What accessories do you suggest would complete outfits? We stock fabulous jewellery collections and are now the stockists for Gaby’s jewellery in the area. Our bags for day and evening are superb and, for autumn, we have a brand new collection of hats and fascinators And finally has anything special arrived at Boutique 53 recently? Our stunning eveningwear for the party season has now arrived in store - perfect for the upcoming holiday season, and our amazing prom collections will arrive in December.

What do you love about the Autumn/ Winter collections and what trends can we look forward to? The colours and fabrics chosen for this season are simply amazing. Especially styles seen within our outerwear collections by Junge, Rever Jackets, and Crush fur coats. All of which are perfect for the season ahead. The upcoming trends to keep an eye on are definitely brocades and Beautiful prints; they all featured heavily during the catwalks, as did polka dots and polos. Although really anything goes this year as long as it’s fluffy and in your face. To ease yourself in to this season of fashion you could try a colourful faux-fur stole or gilet.

What are the key autumn/winter pieces that every woman must have? Dark Jeans are great to wear both dressy or casual, and the darker denim is much more versatile. Our fabulous Marble four way stretch jeans are perfect with some great new colours introduced for autumn. Our Robell and Ficelle trousers will also play an essential part in your autumn/winter wardrobe and we have a huge selection to choose from. A really good winter coat is a must, so spend a little more on one as it’s definitely an investment piece; although you must be careful on what length you go for as a long coat will take height from you, so if you are small then a coat to the knee is perfect. 63

Boutique 53 53 Wellfield Road, Cardiff CF24 3PA 029 2049 7988 Like on Facebook

Since autumn 2012, Auto Enrolment has been a compulsory obligation for companies to provide a workplace pension for employees (even if there’s just one employee). The scheme is being rolled out across the UK and not being prepared is no excuse and could cost a business dearly. If you haven’t put a scheme in place or are taking the ‘head in the sand’ approach, beware. To find out more, we talk to pensions guru Andy Parry.

THE PENSION REVOLUTION Does my business have to participate? Yes. Auto enrolment is now a legal requirement for employers to provide all of its workers with access to a workplace pension scheme and automatically enroll certain workers into a workplace pension scheme, paying contributions on its employee’s behalf. If an employer fails to comply and put the scheme in place by its staging date. It will be deemed as acting unlawfully and will incur fines of up to £500 per day. What is my staging date? Your staging is the date set by the Pension Regulator. This is the date, when the scheme needs to be set up by and contributions need to start. Employees would have needed to have been assessed and received any relevant communication. Even if an employer decides to opt for Postponement, employees must have received communication and employees can choose to start on the staging date irrelevant. If an employer does not know their staging date. We can provide it for them. Regardless of the staging date. The Pension Regulator recommends that employers act now in order to manage the process of setting up the workplace pension. Do the employer duties apply to employees who already have a plan? Yes, even if an employee has their own individual pension or the employer already has a scheme in place. The employer will have to comply with Auto Enrolment rules. Existing employer schemes will need to be checked with

the provider to ensure that they qualify under the rules for auto enrolment. However, inevitably there will be added work in continuing with an existing scheme, as there are other tasks that will need to be completed, such as assessing the workforce and communicating to all employees, data management between payroll and the provider, and record keeping. There is also the declaration of compliance that will need to be completed. Employees will have the option of opting out of the scheme. However, they will have to be automatically enrolled again every three years. 64

Do I have to provide the same pension scheme and contributions to each of my employees? No. As long as you provide all workers with at least the minimum requirements, you can provide different schemes and benefit structures to different groups of workers if you so wish. What do I have to do if I appoint you? Between us and the pension provider we will ensure that all your tasks associated with Auto Enrolment are completed with the exception of uploading your payroll data to the pension provider and paying your contributions.

“ It stands to reason, there’s going to be more companies needing to be processed than capacity to deal with applications.”

Watch the video at 65

For a free consultation, or to find out more, contact Andy or Lewis at Ideal on 01443 819800

Where are the contributions invested? Scottish Widows, who are one of the UK’s largest investment providers. What if the fund goes bust? Employees’ pension funds are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). There are other companies offering the services you provide, why should I choose Ideal Auto Enrolment? n As the Managing Director of the company, I have been in the financial services industry since 1991. The employer responsibilities and duties with Auto Enrolment are complex. We understand that this can be a distressing time for employers. We can take the headache away. We can take care of the entire process for them and allow the employers and their employees to get on with their business making it straightforward and provide a complete end-to-end solution. n Fully compliant solution no complex decisions to make n Includes the pension set up, communication and admin. n No need for additional software to run the scheme. n Employer and employee helpline. n Employees have their own account with personal login and it’s password protected. What happens if it isn’t sorted in time? The reality is that employers will be in trouble with The Pension Regulator, who will impose penalties and fines. There is an immediate fine of £400 and escalated daily fines of up to £500 per day (yes, per day). There have already been employers who have been fined for noncompliance or late staging. Employers have to remember there are companies who have not started to look at their own situation.

There is also the capacity crunch issue. It is claimed that between January 2016 and 2018, the number of employers reaching their staging date will go up tenfold, reach an average of more than 100,000 a quarter and then over 200,000 in the first few months of 2017. Which is one of the reasons why the Pension Regulator has written to all employers, providing their staging dates and telling them to act now. There are far more employers staging in a short period of time than there are pension providers and advisers to help the employers with their obligation. This is an unprecedented volume of work for both employers, providers and advisers.

“ If your business doesn’t fulfil the measures set in place, it will be deemed as acting unlawfully.”

What does an employer need to do in order for you to help them? They can either telephone our offices or email us and we have a short video on our website that is quite informative. We can either arrange to meet the employer face to face or, if the employer does not have the time to meet or feels that they want a lower cost option, we can complete their application by telephone and we can send them a pre-populated electronic application, which will save them time and money. 66

Ideal Auto Enrolment Solutions Ltd Tredomen Business & Technology Centre Tredomen Industrial Park Hengoed CF82 7FN 01443 819800


Beautiful Bespoke Bi-Fold and Sliding Doors

01792 794 549 Unit 3A Ashmount Business Park, Upper Forest Way, Swansea, Wales SA6 8QR

Part of the AAI Group 67

A new kitchen should be a pleasure to spend time in - an inviting place at the heart of the home. Having recently met with Daniel Bullock of Alexander Bullock Furniture, we can easily understand why he is the go to kitchen designer for celebrities. His reputation for creating beautiful kitchens is growing and deservedly so. We chat with Daniel to find out more. What is your background Daniel? I went to art college in Newport which gave me a great foundation in art and design. I specialised in 3D design (as it was called) which was based around using woods, metals and plastics. Specialising further, I graduated with a degree in furniture design from Northumbria University and moved back to south Wales to work. Having worked with several furniture designers and cabinet makers to gain invaluable experience, I started Alexander Bullock Furniture with the help of the Princes Trust in 1998. I opened with a small workshop in Llandaff North before settling for the last ten years at Curran Embankment. Talk us through your team… Throughout the past seventeen years I’ve been keen to share my skills and passion for furniture. I have always taken on apprentices and this long term ongoing training is still very much a part of our philosophy today.

Our team has grown steadily over the years and all of them have come through our apprenticeship program.

We also have two final year apprentices Kenton and John, and David a first year mature student.

Martin our foreman and cabinet maker has been with us for over ten years. He organises the day-to-day running of the workshop. Ashley has been with us for over eight years and is our finisher and a cabinet maker. Mathew is our dedicated installer and cabinet maker. We don’t employ sub-contractors as I feel it is difficult to get the consistent quality we require. Mathew was fifteen and at school when he came to us for a work placement. He was incredibly keen - so much so he asked if he could be considered for an apprenticeship the following year. We told him to make sure he got all his GCSEs and we would consider it. He did, and he’s been with us ever since. Jemima has only recently joined the team as my design assistant. She has a degree in Fine Art and is currently training to be a cabinet maker as well as learning the design side of the business.

What do you think is special about Alexander Bullock Furniture? I believe we offer a truly bespoke solution to furniture and kitchen design. We take time to listen to our clients’ needs and design furniture to suit those requirements. Off the back of that tailored design package our skilled and dedicated cabinet makers, finishers and installers produce high quality furniture. So often you get one or the other, but rarely both. Because each project is designed individually for each client we have a huge variety of styles, materials and finishes. Each project is as unique as the clients who commission us.


Do you follow trends? There are trends within design of course, but we try to design with the client in mind rather than following the herd.

BEAUTIFULLY BESPOKE Does this mean that you’re expensive? A fully bespoke service doesn’t have to be expensive. We are in full control of the design and production process and can tailor our furniture/kitchens to most budgets.

Why the move to the new workshop? The new workshop move has been on the cards for the past few years - there have been several benefits to moving. We wanted a better environment for our visiting clients. We wanted to improve our production and staff welfare facility. We also have the opportunity to have a fully functional kitchen space and design studio/showroom. We’re not quite there yet, but watch this space.

What kind of projects do you enjoy the most? The variety of people and projects we work with keeps me motivated. There’s always a problem to solve or a challenge to overcome. Without sounding corny, it’s the best job in the world - at least for me.

“ We don’t employ sub-con- tractors as I feel it is difficult to get the consistent quality we require.”

What do you love about the Wye Valley? Growing up in Chepstow I have fantastic memories of the rural lifestyle. The inspirational landscape still influences my idea of the perfect home. I’m lucky as my family still lives in the Wye Valley, in Redbrook, and we often spend weekends there with our two girls. Alexander Bullock Unit C5 South point Industrial Estate Foreshore Road, Cardiff CF10 4SP 029 2066 7787 Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter 69

To fans of Maserati, the resurgence of the iconic Italian brand in recent years is, like the new models, pretty breathtaking. The increasing sales, development and planned expansion of Maserati Cardiff seem to confirm what Maserati already know - the Welsh love Maserati. Vale Life talks to Lyn Evans, Maserati’s General Manager in Cardiff.

How long have you worked at Maserati? Since April 1st this year, the date that Motorline took over the business. Have you always worked in the car industry? I have been in the industry for over 20 years now, mainly prestige - many years with Audi and Lexus, but nothing quite as high end as Maserati. Please tell us a little about the Maserati marque? The luxury marque was founded in 1914 in Bologna by Alfieri Maserati and two of his brothers. At first they devoted themselves to the construction of racing cars, then to sports cars and small series grantourers and, subsequently, to those of large series. Following last year’s 100th anniversary celebrations, Maserati is looking to its future, with the firm promise that the next 100 years will be ‘The Absolute Opposite of Ordinary’. Among other ambitious developments, Maserati is looking to introduce the brand-new Levante SUV in the UK in 2016 and the stunning Alfieri 2+2 coupe in 2017.

What do you think the Maserati brand stands for? What are its core values? Our recent brand mission statement sums up the company’s aspirations: ‘Build ultra-luxury performance automobiles with timeless Italian style, accommodating bespoke interiors, and effortless, signature sounding power’. Maserati is, we believe, the Grand Tourer brand. After the introduction of the A6 Pininfarina back in 1947 (affectionately known as the GranTurismo), Maserati has developed cars with the same ethos performance orientated, elegant, practical and luxurious. What type of person buys a Maserati? It’s difficult to define as our customer base is quite diverse. It is fair to say that historically, Maserati has generally attracted clients who were business owners or entrepreneurs. With the introduction of Ghibli, we have seen a new generation of clients heralding from the world of corporate business as Directors or Senior Managers. However, attitudinally, they all share similar traits they tend to be cultured, well-educated and happy to stand out from the crowd, appreciating the exclusivity and understated nature of the Maserati brand. 72

Is a Maserati affordable? What are the running costs? The introduction of the Ghibli, Maserati’s mid-size four-door luxury sports saloon, has made Maserati’s perfect combination of design, sports performance and comfort more accessible than ever, with an on-the-road price starting from £49,160 or £445 per month plus VAT. The diesel option is powered by a 3.0 litre V6 turbo-diesel and delivers an economical 47.9 MPG, helping to keep running costs down. What sets Maserati apart? Maserati has long and glorious heritage. For over 100 years, it has played a consistently important role in the history of sports car culture and its development. Maserati has also continued to lead the way in automotive fashion; with unique cars, elegant yet sporty, always with highly personal, distinctive lines. This has resulted in Maserati being one of the most evocative names in automotive history.

“ Elegant yet sporty, always with highly personal, distinctive lines.”

TOP MARQUE What do you enjoy about your role? It is a very exciting brand to be involved with - the customers are successful people who are really interesting and every day is different. When we have provided an amazing experience whilst supplying their cars it gives us a huge sense of achievement. Do you own a Maserati? Unfortunately not, but of course working for the brand I do get to drive them often and enjoy being around them almost every day.

Which is your favourite model? I have to say I love them all but, if I had to choose a favourite, I think it would be the GranTurismo. What are your plans for the future? We have a big refurbishment starting at the end of October that will be complete by the end of the year. It’ll be fantastic. It will give us the platform to keep up the level of service our customers require and help us keep marketing the brand right through Wales.

Motorline Maserati Cardiff 291 Penarth Road, Cardiff CF11 8TT 029 2066 6472 73

With Birmingham airport less than five minutes away, it’s no wonder that Hampton Manor Hotel is the perfect choice for a quick, luxurious getaway, and the perfect location for a wedding. Wye Life’s Chris Howell enjoyed a luxurious getaway. We find out more.

H AMPTON M ANOR Location, location, location This stunning property sits in 45 acres of gardens and parkland and, given that it is family run, offers a modern twist to the country house experience with the focus on relaxed charm. James and wife Fjona Hill run the hotel, overseeing a team of local staff passionate about Solihull and the wider area of Birmingham. History The pretty village of Hampton-In-Arden sets the scene for a building that dates back to 1066. Hampton Manor’s most famous resident was Sir Frederick Peel, son of the 19th Century Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel, who established the police force. The neo-Tudor gothic style is evident throughout the Manor and the clock tower looks out over the beautiful gardens.

The accommodation The hotel is home to fifteen bedrooms, Peel’s Restaurant, Fred’s Bar and The Tasting Room (chef ’s table experience). The individually designed rooms are located in the original manor house, each fitted throughout with the Louis Collection of furniture by awardwinning designer John Reeves. The bathrooms, each with their own layout, have been created by award-winning designer Sarah Ireland, who has used a combination of large ceramic tiles, glass, big baths, monsoon showers and tasteful mosaics. Each room has a working desk space, bath robes, complimentary spa toiletries, WiFi, fridge, air conditioning, telephone and tea and coffee making facilities.

Or you could stay in one of the Manor’s latest creations - one of their three new bedrooms situated in The Butlers Lodge within The Manor. The XO, Paradis and The Richard are seriously stylish and with their own lounge downstairs are perfect, peaceful havens with a shot of glamour. What about the food? Dinner is served in Peel’s Restaurant, recently awarded three AA Rosettes. Young, local Head Chef Rob Palmer, who worked alongside former Michelin starred chef, Martyn Pearn, has created menus drawing on some of England’s finest local ingredients, often with a contemporary touch but always adding the English kitchen garden influence from the Manor’s vast walled kitchen garden.

“ This stunning property sits in 45 acres of gardens and parkland.” 74

The newly launched Tasting Room, with a front row seat into the kitchen of six chefs in action, offers a four and seven course tasting menu option with accompanying wine flight pairing. Wines are taken seriously at Hampton Manor with old world and new world wines available, complementing the various menus.

And when you’re not eating and drinking? If it’s a bit of culture you’re after, then close by are Birmingham’s world-class art venues; St Phillips Cathedral, Symphony Hall, and Waterhall Gallery, or you could visit the Bull Ring Markets. If you like to combine a country and city break, then a stay at the Midlands’ finest hotel and dining experience is a phone call away. Hampton Manor Shadowbrook Lane Hampton-In-Arden Solihull B92 0DQ 01675 446080 Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+ 75

The Orange Tree is situated in the heart of Old Hereford, just around the corner from the Cathedral. The grade 2 listed building’s traditional decor is stunning and provides a unique, city centre chic, brassiere atmosphere. We headed over to chat with owners Darren & Elena in their walled patio garden…


We understand that you own and run the successful Bridge House guest house in Ross-on-Wye. Tell us a bit more about your backgrounds and what led you to where you are today? That’s right, the Bridge House is our other business and is sited on the banks of the river Wye. We originally moved here from London four years ago and were immediately drawn by the beautiful countryside. Elena has vast hospitality experience and I (Darren) am a trained chef. We came across The Orange Tree, which was housed in a very prominent grade 2 building dating back to the 17th century. The original old rectory was later transformed into a pub, and more recently a steak restaurant. We first saw it about a year ago and immediately fell in love with it. The Orange Tree is full of character, it’s cosy and intimate. We refurbished it completely as soon as we took over, and opened in April this year. How would you describe your restaurant? The Orange Tree is a modern British restaurant, we would call it casual dining, serving comfort food. We aim to get the best local products available and cook them in a classic way without

overworking. The menu is adopting a twist on a traditional cuisine, obtaining influences from around the world. And what are your specialities? This is a meat county, so the steaks are still the most popular choice on the menu. We get all our beef from Pengethely farm and its locally grazed cattle. They are guaranteed to be hung for a minimum of 21 days for maximum flavour. Our local lamb and free range pork belly are extremely popular as well. 76

Anything else that makes your restaurant distinctive? Yes, the whole dining experience at The Orange Tree is quite unique. The interior, the ambience, the charm of the building, the location in the beautiful old part of Hereford, combined with beautifully cooked local products. We are planning to open a well stocked Gin bar soon which will be a perfect place to unwind after a busy week.

Do you have anything special lined up for the festive season? Our special Christmas lunch and dinner menus will be available from December 1st. We can accommodate up to 24 people for party bookings in our main dining room, and we will have a licence until 1am on most evenings. We also offer exclusive hire of our restaurant for any private events throughout the year, for up to 40 people.

“The food was of the very highest quality and superbly presented.” Jo Drinkwater Wye Valley Brewery

“It’s very rare to discover a restaurant that excels in every respect.” Craig Stachera MDP Landrovers Raglan

The Orange Tree is open Tuesday - Saturday 12.00pm-2.30pm & 6.00pm-10.30pm (Sunday & Monday closed) Please call for reservations 01432 343 400 or email 77

The Orange Tree 16 King Street Hereford HR4 9BX 01432 343 400 Like on Facebook Follow on Twitter

FOOD & DRINK Welcome to our very first Food & Drink feature which will run in every issue of Wye Life magazine. If you’re an independent food or drink business then we invite you to our table and give you the opportunity to share with our readers what makes you so special. Please contact Chris Howell on or on 07837 940639. Bon appetit!



F&H Country Cakes Heidi’s handmade cakes show exquisite detail and are bespoke in every way. She creates beautiful occasion cakes for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and baby showers etc. in all sorts of fabulous flavours. She also has charming gift ideas like cakes in jars or teacups and even little personalised chalkboard or seasonal cupcakes available! Prices start at just £2 so there really is something for every sized pocket! Who could resist? 07936 097208 Like on Facebook COFFEE. WINE. INTERIORS

Number Forty Nine Coffee House. Licensed Wine Bar. Interiors Shop. It is not everyday you see such a combination, but that is what makes Number Forty Nine so special. Relax in one of their stylish rooms or walled garden area with a delicious fayre, refreshments or even a cheeky glass of wine. After your treat why not have browse and see what they have to offer in their extensive collection of gorgeous gifts and interior products. Number 49 Bridge Street, Usk. NP15 1BQ 01291 671151 Like on Facebook Follow on Twitter


Hay Wines Independent Wine and Spirits merchant based in the medieval market town of Ledbury; supplying retail, wholesale, online, events and weddings. In our eclectic portfolio customers can find an extensive range of organic, low sulphites, vegan and natural wines. We stock small artisan producers that follow a wine making process where human interventions are kept to a very minimum level. This approach brings genuine wines that are a unique representation of their own terroir. 11 High Street, Ledbury. HR8 1DS 01531 634449 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter 79

This succulent and healthy dish will add a little spice to your family meals.


QUARK CHICKEN INGREDIENTS n 250g Lake District Dairy Co. Original Quark n 1 tbsp paprika n 1 tbsp Dijon mustard n 1 tbsp chilli powder n 1 tbsp Tabasco sauce n Salt and freshly ground black pepper n Juice of 1 lemon n 4 chicken breast fillets, cut into large chunks n 1 green pepper, cored and cut into chunks n 2 small red onions, cut into wedges n 4 tomatoes, quartered n 1 tbsp vegetable oil n 4 large flour tortilla wraps, or 8 small

For the BBQuark sauce 250g Lake District Dairy Co. Original Quark n 1 tbsp Tabasco sauce n

METHOD 1. To make the marinade: mix the Lake District Dairy Co. Original Quark, spices, seasoning and lemon juice together in a large bowl. Add the chunks of chicken and stir well until coated all over, leave to marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight if time allows

2. Preheat a heavy griddle pan for 5 mins. Toss the vegetables in the oil, then griddle cook them for 4 mins, turning until they are charred on all sides. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm 3. Add the chunks of chicken to the griddle and cook for 8-10 mins, turning the chunks occasionally until they are nicely charred on the outside and cooked through. Add the vegetables and keep warm 3. Warm the tortillas on the griddle pan. Make the BBQuark sauce by mixing Tabasco sauce with the Lake District Dairy Co. Original Quark in a bowl. Serve the chicken and vegetable with the tortillas and sauce DID YOU KNOW? Using The Lake District Dairy Co. Original Quark instead of Greek yoghurt in this recipe means: n n n

74% less saturated fat per serving 2.3g less fat per serving An extra 3g of protein per serving

Serves 4 (282 kcals each) Prep time 10 mins + marinating Cook time 15 mins Created & cooked by The Fabulous Baker Brothers


Curro’s Restaurant At Curro’s there is always a warm welcome awaiting you. This family run restaurant has been delighting clients for over thirty years. We even offer our guests a private and free car park! Situated in the heart of Caerleon, this quaint restaurant offers a wide selection of food and wine. Visit us and find out for yourself - choose from the a la carte menu displaying a sensational array of fish and meat cooked in our secret sauces. Try our new Tapas menu with a Spanish Rioja or a jug of Sangria. Don’t forget we’re also open for Sunday lunch. 4 Cross Street, Caerleon, Newport NP18 1AF 01633 421857 U N F I LT E R E D , U N C O M P R O M I S E D

Kingstone Brewery The brewery was started for the sole reason of producing an authentic artisanal product that was essentially simple but undeniably good. Brewed using traditional methods and the best raw ingredients, each of the Kingstone Brewery’s eight ales has its own character but shares the same authenticity of process and flavour. Available to purchase online or at their Meadow Farm Shop that also houses a great selection of cheeses, chutneys and other artisan products. Tintern, Monmouthshire. NP16 7NX 01291 680111 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter 3 MILES WEST OF LEDBURY

The Nest Starting out as a scotch egg producing company in 2003 demand for their niche products led owners Neil and Penny Chambers to expand to a 14 acre plot of land where The Nest can now be found. Having started from such humble beginnings The Nest has quickly become the perfect pit stop whilst out and about in Ledbury... and for good reason too. Their deli sells an enormous amount of delicious, home grown produce that has been supplied by local entrepreneurs. So much so that the list is too numerous to do each item upon it the proper justice it deserves.

Their on site cafe became so popular it had to be rehoused to cope with the demand of the loyal customers, and there is now a Plant Centre that compliments the grounds perfectly. Convinced to visit yet? Because we are. Hereford Road, Ledbury. HR8 2PZ 01531 670816 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter 82

FIELD FAYRE The Organic Store 18-19 Broad Street, Ross-on-Wye, HR9 7EA 01989 566683


Tapas Lounge Chepstow Contemporary and vibrant, this is the venue for your complete entertainment. Why not pop in for a cocktail, choose from a delicious range of meat or seafood tapas and even dance the night away. 13 - 14 Nelson Street, Chepstow. NP16 5HT 01291 626609 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter WORTH GOING THE EXTRA MILE

1861 Restaurant Helping to cement Monmouthshire as the ultimate ‘foodie’ destination Simon and Kate easily live up to the excellent standard that exists in the area. Aiming to provide excellent food at reasonable prices 1861 uses locally sourced ingredients from farmers, butchers and vegetable producers in the surrounding country. This local sourcing of produce keeps their menu fresh, by using only the best seasonal items the meals on offer change almost daily, so every time you visit you will be able to try something new. Although they are slightly off the beaten track they have customers coming from far and wide, so if you are deciding on giving them a visit make sure that you call ahead to secure a table. Cross Ash, Abergavenny. NP7 8PB 0845 821297 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter


Ross-on-Wye’s nationally award-winning Organic Deli & Grocery Store


The New Inn ‘Tis the season and what better way to celebrate this magical holiday than at The New Inn surrounded by friends, family, and some glorious food. Remove the usual stresses of the holiday period and have everything expertly prepared for you with The New Inn’s Christmas Lunch and Dinner menus. With both menus starting from as little as £15 there really is no reason why you can’t relax in style this year. Pwllmeyric, Chepstow. NP16 6LF 01291 622670 Like on Facebook Follow on Twitter MORE THAN JUST A BUTCHER

A&H Jones Butchers In Tutshill and looking for locally sourced, fully traceable meat that is of the highest quality? then A&H Jones Butchers have you covered. Beef, poultry, duck, pork, and eggs all from local farmers are on offer alongside a wide range of fresh fish and vegetables. Add to this the butchers very own homemade pies and scotch eggs that have become famous within the surrounding area, and for good reason too. There really is no reason why you shouldn’t get your meat from a proper, traditional family butchers. Coleford Road, Tutshill, Chepstow. NP16 7BN 01291 622063 Like on Facebook




Beer Revolution


Storming Hay Castle with a massive selection of bottled real ale and craft beers created by the UK’s finest microbrewers. Local favourites, European imports, and guest draught beers are all found inside alongside a seating area where you can relax.

Passionately delivering designs for the business sector, specialising on the food and drink industry. Creates branding, mobile and responsive websites, and all printed media that engages clients and delivers results.

Untapped Brewing Company

The Old Storeroom, The Cobbles, Hay Castle, Hay on Wye. HR3 5DG 07870 628097

01291 423234 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter 84

With a range of nine, top quality beers available. Choose between the light and golden to the rich and dark. Made using the best, traditional ingredients. Unit 6, Little Castle Business Park, Raglan. NP15 2BX 01291 690074 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter

F I N D O U T M O R E O N PAG E 1 0 0

The Raspberry Tea Room Located within the beautifully restored Llanyrafon Manor this tea room makes the most of its idyllic and peaceful surroundings. Open daily from 10am until 4pm the Raspberry Tea Room serves homemade

delicacies all created with locally sourced produce where available. Raspberry also provide a catering service, perfect for the up coming holiday season. Turn to page 100 for more information. Llanyrafon Manor, Llanfrechfa Way, Cwmbran. NP44 8HT 01495 616330 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter


The Green The Green in Caerleon is a beautifully refurbished cafe and restaurant designed for good times. Choose from delicious coffees and chocolate brownies, hand crafted pizzas, along with steak and burgers that are full of flavour. From the end of November, the Christmas Menu will be introduced with party bookings taken for up to 25 people. Or why not take advantage of their exclusive venue hire that caters for up to 54 people with limited availability during December from Sunday to Thursday evenings. Goldcroft Common, Caerleon. NP18 1NG 01633 421614 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter




Raglan Arms

River Bistro

The Duck’s Nest

Hidden away between Raglan and Usk, the Raglan Arms is the definition of a Hidden Gem. With a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, this restaurant offers incredible food on par with the most expensive London restaurants. Definitely worth the effort to find.

The family run restaurant found within the historic town of Usk. Offering some deliciously memorable food the River Bistro is available for any upoming celebration whre you can relax in their outdoor seating area or inside the bistro itself. 61 Bridge Street, Usk. NP15 1BQ 01291 672474 Like on Facebook

With a menu inspired by the ever changing landscape, the food within The Duck’s Nest uses seasonal, local ingredients from independent suppliers. Giving it a quality and flavour that rival the top restaurants of the country.

Llandenny, Usk. NP15 1DL 01291 690800 Like on Facebook


10 High Street, Presteigne. LD8 2BA 01544 598090 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter

Crickhowell is a small town in southeastern Powys, Wales. It lies on the A40 between Abergavenny and Brecon. The name Crickhowell is taken from that of the nearby Iron Age hill fort of Crug Hywel above the town, the Welsh language name being anglicised by map-makers and local English-speaking people. The town lies on the River Usk, on the southern edge of the Black Mountains and in the eastern part of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Significant parts of the surrounding countryside, over 20,000 acres (80 km²) form part of the Glanusk Park estate. Christmas Handmade Market and late night shopping event on Thursday December 03rd from 5.00pm

Image courtesy of Aston Tech Multi Media


CwCw The stylish ladies fashion boutique that is simply overflowing with charm and appeal as well as some gorgeous products. CwCw is a fashionable boutique that is a must visit for any woman looking for contemporary fashions from all over Europe. In addition to their trend setting clothing brands CwCw offers a great range of jewellery and shoes that perfectly compliment their clothing range, accessories and gifts for you and for the home. 16 High Street, Crickhowell. NP8 1BD 01873 811944 Like on Facebook CAFE - BAR - BRASSERIE

Number Eighteen The coffee shop that, after your first visit, is going to make 18 your favourite number. Aptly found at 18 High Street, Number Eighteen is a fully licensed coffee shop that ensures all of its products are seasonal and fresh by sourcing everything locally. Available inside is organic coffee, fair trade and loose leaf tea, wine, beers and cider to drink; and food including breakfast, gourmet burgers, light bites and some delicious home made treats. 18 High Street, Crickhowell. NP8 1BD 01873 810337 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter 86


F.E Richards of Crickhowell Good quality meat products are hard to find nowadays. Don’t settle for less. Visit the purveyors of high quality meats! Selling an incredible range of the highest quality meat cuts, including beef, lamb, pork, poultry and game in addition to ready made meals for when you are in a rush. F.E Richards provide such great products that they are the chosen provider for several hotels and restaurants in the surrounding area. Book now to secure Christmas orders. 55 High Street, Crickhowell. NP8 1BH 01873 810459 Like on Facebook OUTDOOR EQUIPMENT

Crickhowell Adventure For the adventurers, the travelers, the walkers and the runners, for the people that look at the top of a mountain and think “yes, I can climb that”. Crickhowell Adventure is here for you no matter what type of outdoor expedition you are planning on tackling. This independent retailer stocks everything from shoes and helmets to all weather gear and backpacks. With brands such as Berghaus, OMM, Montane, Scarpa, Merrell, and many more available. 1 High Street, Crickhowell. NP8 1BW 01873 810020 Like on Facebook Follow on Twitter 87

In the beginning, it looked like a classic ‘David and Goliath’ battle between big business and a small town determined to oppose it. But it became something unique. Photos by Tim Jones


When Britain’s second biggest pub chain, Punch Taverns Limited, submitted a planning application to turn The Corn Exchange Pub in Crickhowell High Street into a 7-11 convenience store there was a huge protest. Thousands of people signed petitions and wrote letters against the plans as local people stood shoulder to shoulder with the family-run businesses who make up Crickhowell’s unique and fiercely independent High Street.

Hundreds took to the streets to protest and attend public meetings. The traders themselves attracted massive media interest by “boarding-up” their windows with brown paper to demonstrate the impact they felt a supermarket would have - closing up to eight family-run businesses. A wreath adorned the florists saying “R.I.P Crickhowell Town”. And a poster featuring three generations from Cashells butchers became a symbol for the fight.

In the middle of all this, the protestors invited Punch Taverns to come to Crickhowell, take a tour around the town, talk about their plans. And talk Punch did. They withdrew their plans and entered into negotiations to try to first rent, and then sell the pub to local people.

Emma Bevan, Chair of the Corn Exchange Action Group, said: “People here really value the service they receive from Crickhowell’s family-run independent businesses - it gives a quite unique character to the town and is a major draw to tourists. We didn’t want our town to be like every other town. By offering to buy the pub we showed Crickhowell isn’t just about opposition, but about positive action, too.” Offers of money poured in - hundreds of thousands of pounds in just a few weeks - and a formal offer was made to buy The Corn Exchange. The deal’s nearly done.

Keep up-to-date with the latest news on The Corn Exchange Pub by visiting


© Studio 271 (2015)

TOWN FIGHTS If it goes ahead, a new company, Corn Exchange Crickhowell Ltd will be formed to convert and run the former pub. It will probably be converted into badly needed one bedroomed flats above small shops - all very in keeping with Crickhowell’s unique character. Dean Christy, the businessman who emerged to lead the buyout said: “This deal is almost unprecedented in my experience. Punch have listened to local people and are working with us – for which they deserve our praise and thanks.” A spokesperson for Punch Taverns said: “We fully recognise the strength of feeling around retaining an independent high street in Crickhowell. Subject to our board approval, we hope that both parties can progress to a sale in the near future.’ So, it looks like, for now, visitors to Crickhowell will still be able to enjoy the unique service they get from small businesses run by several generations of the same families - and the townspeople will be able to enjoy it too. Do you have a fight you’d like to feature in Wye Life magazine? Please let us know:



Latte-Da Add some Lah Dee Dah to your day with this exquisite tea room that is just as posh as the name alludes. Latte-Da is a shabby chic tea room whose vintage influences are seen in both the decoration and the food they serve. With traditional Afternoon Tea as well as delicious homemade cakes, scones and muffins available that all compliment their choices of special blend coffees and loose leaf teas. With breakfast and lunch also available it is no wonder that they are ranked #1 on the Crickhowell page of Tripadvisor. Beaufort Chambers, Beaufort Street, Crickhowell. NP8 1AD 07890 751755 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter B U T C H E R S A N D D E L I CAT E S S E N

Cashells Started in 1975 the skilled butchers believe that quality produce and quality service should be second to none, and in Cashells that is truly the case. Whatever meat you require, beef, lamb, pork or game, it will have been treated correctly to assure that it is tender and tasty. They also have a delicatessen with a vast array of cheeses, jams, pickles, sauces and oils. Cashells are ready for Christmas with the most amazing high end produce as well as all the usual trimmings.

“Cashells are ready for Christmas.�

53 High Street, NP8 1BH. 01873 810405 Like on Facebook 90


Book-ish “Our philosophy is simple, we want to connect people to books, help children to develop a life long love of reading and encourage imaginative play.” And Book-ish certainly lives up to their philosophy. This independent bookshop stands out from the rest by providing the people of Crickhowell with an incredible selection of books, including work from local authors, as well as toys and gifts that make perfect accompaniments to any book. This is all in addition to the warm welcome you will receive every time you visit. 23 High Street, Crickhowell. NP8 1BD 01873 811256 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter YOUR PERFECT BASE

Bridge Inn & Guest House Hearty food plus real ales and ciders in a 16th Century country pub! The Bridge Inn nestles beside Escley brook - it’s perfect for dinner, bed & breakfast with the farm house guest house just a minute’s walk away. Inside, wood burning stoves help create the a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Locally-sourced, artisan produce features in a menu of pub classics with a twist, and Herefordshire cider country is well represented behind the bar along with local breweries and quality wines. Michaelchurch Escley, Herefordshire HR2 0JW 01981 510646 Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter Christmas Handmade Market and late night shopping event on Thursday December 03rd from 5.00pm



Petals Florist


The family florist that offers exceptional personal service in all aspects of floristry. With over 21 years experience Petals is the perfect place when looking for Wedding, Special Occasion, Funeral and event flowers.

This tiny off licence holds a lot of character in addition to an incredible selection of alcohol not seen in your average corner shop. Specialising in welsh ales, ciders and spirits with bottled beers and fine wines also available.

1 Tower Street, Crickhowell. NP8 1BL 01873 811885 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter

1a Beaufort Street, Crickhowell. NP8 1AD 01873 812229 91

The festive spirit is in full flow at the award winning Old Railway Line Garden Centre, where their Christmas display is looking better than ever! A combination of fantastic shopping, grotto experience and festive events makes this an essential visit during the run up to Christmas!


“The Old Railway Line’s Grotto experience really brings the magic of Christmas to life.”

Crowned ‘Best Garden Centre in Wales and West’ for the past four consecutive years, this combined Garden Centre, Farm Shop and Restaurant certainly put on an impressive show at Christmas time! Incorporating a Nania theme this year the experience offered to children and adults alike is fantastic. A wide range of Christmas gifts, decorations, lighting, artificial and freshly cut trees are displayed beautifully within a journey through scenes from the famous CS Lewis novel, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. The displays are inspiring and offer an abundance of ideas of how to display your Christmas decorations at home this year. Throughout the year The Old Railway Line offers a diverse range of events and the festive period is no different. Santa’s Grand Arrival on Friday 27th November promises to be a fun and exciting evening for the whole family.

Bring the children to watch Santa arrive on his sleigh at 6.30pm before they enjoy a lively disco, bouncy castle and visit Santa’s reindeer. No need to rush food before visiting as the Railway Restaurant will be open until 7.30pm offering a special festive menu for the evening. The Old Railway Line’s Grotto experience really brings the magic of Christmas to life and is renowned through mid-Wales, south-Wales and Herefordshire. Open to children of all ages, the experience is packed with excitement incorporating Santa’s reindeers and a short Frozen walk 92

before meeting Santa, having a chat and receiving a suitable toy and delicious sweets. A full list of grotto dates and times can be found online. A couple of years ago Breakfast and Tea with Santa experiences were introduced which are extremely popular; a fantastic opportunity for the whole family to enjoy a delicious meal whilst Santa visits each table and gives a present to each child. Booking is required however and dates sold out very quickly last year. Of course adults have not been forgotten and there are some great events for them too!

“Crowned ‘Best Garden Centre in Wales and West’ for the past four years.”

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A Festive Ladies Night is planned for Thursday 3rd November; an evening of bubbly, live music, delicious food, demonstrations and a little retail therapy with 20% off all Christmas, Gifts, Yankee Candles and Clothing items for one night only! Also a Cheese and Wine Evening on Thursday 10th December; a great opportunity to try new wines and foods perfect for the festive season.

The Old Railway Line Garden Centre Three Cocks, Brecon LD3 0SG 8 01497 847055 A43 Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter

Presteigne is a town and community in Powys, Wales. It was the county town of the historic county of Radnorshire. Despite lying on a minor B road the town has, in common with several other towns close to the Wales-England border, assumed the motto, “Gateway to Wales”. The town sits on the south bank of the River Lugg, which forms the England-Wales border as it passes the town - the border effectively wraps around three sides of the town (north, east and south). Nearby towns are Kington to the south and Knighton to the north.

Christmas Arts & Crafts Fair from Thursday December 03rd 4.00pm - 7.00pm, Friday December 04th 11.00am - 8.00pm & Saturday December 05th - 10.00am - 3.00pm


Weobley Ash Settting out to produce tasty healthy food. Now concentrating on lamb, hogget & mutton we quickly learned that flavours intensify with age... ...And interestingly the older the animal, the healthier the fats. Mutton is second only to oily fish in the concentration of healthy omega 3 and other healthy fatty acids. But as many may recall, an old animal is not necessarily good. It takes a different way of farming to ensure a flock of old ewes in fine health grazing naturally on grass. And whilst we are familiar with the benefits of hanging beef, this is little talked of for our woolly friends.

All our meat is hung for at least eight days, and up to 14 days for mutton. This tenderises the meat and concentrates the flavour. The versatility of cooking lamb, hogget and mutton offer an almost endless range of culinary delights including rare mutton.

And for those days when you just want to ‘throw it in the pan’, the range of burgers or amazingly successful Merguez Sausage are just the thing. We work on the basis of “if we’re in we’re open”. With running the farm and selling at local markets we’re not always home so come on Wednesday or call to double check. Stansbatch, Leominster. HR6 9LW 01544 267 684 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter


Treburvaugh House This stunning Grade 11 listed Arts & Crafts country house is perfect for family and friends to gather. Celebrations, conferences and Weddings are all catered for in the beautiful border countryside of Shropshire/Mid Wales. With plenty of room for up to 16 guests, Treburvaugh House is a great place to get away from it all and meet up thanks to its central UK location. Inside you will find spectacular period features including a gothic oak staircase, fireplace and walk in safe commissioned by the High Sheriff of Radnorshire who once lived here. There are oak boards, mosaic and tiled floors alongside modern comforts. Outside amazing views to enjoy, well maintained gardens, croquet lawn, paddocks and a lake.

A haven for outdoor enthusiasts with walking, cycling and riding on the doorstep as well as shooting and a rally school just around the corner! The house is full of atmosphere and is available throughout the year, call or visit the website to find out more. Near Knighton, Powys. LD7 1SG 01547 550193 94


The Salty Dog The local store that believes shopping should not be a chore. With wicker basket in hand, a fresh fish counter and range of fruit and veg you’ll wonder why you ever stopped buying local. 14 High Street, Presteigne. LD8 2BA 01544 267720 Like on Facebook DELICIOUS STUFF

Deli Tinto At the centre of Presteigne’s High Street is Deli Tinto, a tiny shop packed to the gunnels with edible treasures. “Highly Commended” in the 2012 Deli of the Year Competition, the welcoming shop is full of artisan foods featuring Spanish specialities, Welsh and Herefordshire Cheese, freshly-baked sourdough loaves, wines, local ales and cider. Described by customers as “an absolute delight!”, best sellers include Spanish Crisps cooked in olive oil, Valencia Almonds and Italian nougat. 6 High Street, Presteigne. LD8 2BA 01544 260534 Follow on Twitter PUTTIN’ ON THE RITZ

The Hat Shop Restaurant Have you seen the well-to-do, up and down the High Street of Presteigne, regarding The Hat Shop Restaurant? This little restaurant is the perfect stop off when in the mood for something delicious. Whether in the mood for a light lunch or a filling dinner they have you covered. Open for Lunch from 10am to 3pm and Dinner from 6pm to 9pm every Monday to Saturday. They also offer an outside catering service perfect for any occasion. 7 High Street, Presteigne. LD8 2BA 01544 260017 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter 95

Peter Mace and Jemima Alexander have built their nest in Presteigne, on the Powys / Herefordshire border, creating a well-deserved reputation for delicious food in a relaxed setting.


Can you give us a bit of background info – tell us about the path that’s led you to this beautiful restaurant? My ( Jemima) background is in hospitality and Pete is a trained Chef who’s worked in France as well as the UK. We met on a hospitality training day and our shared passion for food prompted the start of our professional relationship.

Who came up with the name for the business – is there a story behind the name? The name Duck’s Nest originates from ‘The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck’ by Beatrix Potter. We loved the idea of creating a nestling, homely feel; offering comfort in the form of delicious food and togetherness in a warm and cosy environment.

We both live locally to Presteigne, and came across this building in the heart of the town’s high street, it was formerly a Greek restaurant.

What type of food do you serve here – are the ingredients locally sourced – and is that important to you? Absolutely. To shape our menu we draw inspiration from our ever changing landscape. We use seasonal, local ingredients from independent suppliers, with absolutely no brands allowed. And that stands for everything from our food to our coffee, even down to the flowers we display. Our lengthy list of suppliers has been carefully selected, we very much see our role as putting something back into the local independent market.

Within a matter of months we’d completely gutted the dining area, exposing the gorgeous original beams and wooden floorboards, and we bought the dining furniture from a local antique dealer. So from brainstorming ideas to completion, we were open for business within six months. We officially opened on April 11th of this year and haven’t looked back since.

“A lunch to rival the best in the area, and many in London!”

Our lunch and dinner menus change every two weeks, allowing us to showcase the seasons best. Our diners can choose from a selection of seasonal meat, fish and vegetarian starters & main courses - with game, lamb, duck & salmon featuring regularly. 96

Do you have any plans for the future? We’re currently taking Christmas party bookings – and we also offer exclusive hire all year around for that special occasion. We were thrilled to be invited to take part in the Ludlow Slow Food Movement and we’re looking forward to collaborating with the luxurious Treburvurgh House in November for a Taste of Game night with a wine pairing option, along with one luxury event per month in different country venues. Moving forward, we’ll be offering outdoor catering, and next year we’ll be showcasing our restaurant at local food festivals - including the annual Presteigne Food Festival on the 18th June 2016 - the whole town is looking to work towards that one.

Well worth the travel – on the day we visited, this new restaurant was rated third out of 317 restaurants in Powys on the popular Trip Advisor site - we’re pretty sure that they’ll be number one before the year is out! Opening hours: Wednesday to Saturday 11.30am - 2.30pm and 6pm - 9pm

The Ducks Nest 10 High Street, Presteigne, Powys, LD8 2BA 01544 598090 Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter

Sundays a la carte menu 12.00pm - 3.30pm Booking advisable! 97

BRIDAL If you’re a photographer, venue, florist, make-up artist, wedding cake supplier, bridal boutique (and any other wedding supplier I may have missed out) and you would like to be included

in a future Wedding Supplement, then please get in touch. We will be keeping it local, so you won’t be among lots of other businesses offering the same service. 98

Less is more in our opinion. Please contact Chris on 07837 940639 or email if you would like to be included.


Beetle Juice Taking the party to the people since 2012 Beetle Juice is the mobile cocktail lounge that is certain to both shake and stir you. What is better than a classic VW van? One that serves alcohol of course. This unique venture is perfect for a host of events including weddings, parties, festivals, hen and stag do’s, fetes, and so much more. Covering everywhere from South Wales to London and as far up as Manchester, if you are interested in hiring this vintage, quirky camper van cocktail bar simply call or email. 07500 029573 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter



La Vida Travel

Heaven Hair

La Vida Travel are able to tailor make a holiday that is perfect for you in every way. With over 20 years experience in the travel industry, when booking with us we can guarantee to make your dream holiday come true

Working at the forefront of hair fashion this talented creative team provide their clients with unique hair styles and new colouring techniques. Heaven constantly demonstrate their superior edge when it comes to cutting, colour and styling. 14 Corelli Street, Newport. NP19 7AR 01633 211477 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter

14 Corelli Street, Newport. NP19 7AR 01633 842277 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter 99

Having held our launch party at the fabulous Llanyrafon Manor we were thrilled to learn they’d been granted their long awaited wedding licence and headed back there to talk all things nuptial with Julie Nelson …


Julie, you know that we love Llanyrafon Manor, but what do you think makes this venue special for weddings and civil ceremonies? Thank you,This beautiful site hopes to see many happy couples tie the knot and we’re over the moon to be able to conduct ceremonies. With such a romantic backdrop the manor is unique in this area. The setting is beautiful, rustic, private, and truly romantic – it’s a hidden gem in a new town. We can now offer couples the opportunity to have a distinctive wedding, unlike other venues who package you into what they can provide, what we offer is totally bespoke. We work with our couples so they can choose individual elements and themes from vintage, country, retro, elegant, picnic, formal. Whatever atmosphere they want to create we can do it - even camping, as one couple is having. Also, the house and grounds are picture perfect, with many distinctive photo opportunities – so no need to worry about the glorious British weather on the day.

What size weddings can you hold here? We have a licence for ceremonies in 5 rooms of the Manor House. So we’re able to accommodate everything from smaller, more intimate ceremonies, which can be held for 12 in the unique setting of The Buttery, right up to 50 guests in the Tudor Hall which offers a versatile space providing a number of seating arrangements to suit the mood of your wedding. And of course our large grounds are level, which makes them perfect for marquees to hold 200 plus for wedding receptions.

locally sourced produce, enabling us to design any type of menu; hot, cold, buffet, sharing platters or formal. We love to include the bride and grooms favourite food. When I meet with couples they are usually deciding what type of food to include based on their guests preferences. I always ask them what their favourite food is; after all it is their special day.

And now to one of our favourite subjects; tell us a bit about the food here. We offer flexible catering packages and we’re happy to design menus with couples so that they have exactly the food they want on their special day. Afternoon Tea is currently a very popular choice for receptions, and most recently picnics have become on trend and work particularly well with a rustic theme. Raspberry Catering make all their dishes from scratch with seasonal and

Example menus can be seen at 100

Are other local suppliers involved in your wedding packages? Absolutely, as a local business ourselves we’re very keen to support other local businesses and suppliers. We work in partnership with a number of local independent businesses including Monnow Marquees and BeetleJuice Cocktail Bars. (do you want to include any other business names here?)

So if you’re looking for a venue which offers beautiful settings, great service and delicious food, and is steeped in local Welsh history and culture, why not give the team at Llanyrafon Manor a call. Oh, and don’t forget to tell them that Wye Life sent you!



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Llanyrafon Manor, Llanfrechfa Way, Cwmbran, NP44 8HT 01633 648562 Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter 101


Candles Bowtique In the mood to relax? what better way to do so than to surround yourself with your favourite scent. Candles Bowtique offer hand poured candles created with only the highest quality waxes, all blended with the finest selection of scented oils. With a variety of collections including bespoke, vintage and fruit explosion with scents such as lavender luxury, fresh cut grass, apple, coconut & lime, gardenia and more available. You can even add a personalised touch to each candle. Perfect for wedding favours, birthday presents or the up coming holidays. Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter


Couture Events Often the thought of planning an event, no matter how big or small, can be a daunting task. Well that is all about to change. Couture Events are specialists in styling special occasions. Catering to all types, from lavish weddings to minute tea parties, they will work closely with you to make sure everything is prepared and perfect for your event. Offering an affordable price scale that caters to all budgets, they can offer a range of styles including rustic, vintage and traditional. So don’t settle for an average party. Plan with Couture Events and receive the WOW factor every singe time.

Unit 20, Beech Business Park, Hereford. HR4 9QJ 01432 201122 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter


Glen-Yr-Afon House Hotel The Glen-Yr-Afon House Hotel has been welcoming Wedding parties to its 4 Star accommodation since it first opened its doors in 1974. Having been open for more than 40 years the Glen-Yr-Afon House Hotel has been recognised as the Best Wedding Venue in Wales. So rest assured that the planning of your Wedding or Civil Ceremony will be in safe hands. Planning on having the wedding celebration with us? our dedicated Wedding coordinator will work tirelessly alongside you in order to help create the ‘Perfect Wedding Day!’

So why not call us to arrange a visit to discuss your dream day, although do so soon as spaces fill up very quickly. Pontypool Road, Usk. NP15 1SY 01291 672302 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter 102

The term ‘Pizza’ has been around for over a thousand years with its first usage appearing in a Latin text way back in 997 AD, although it is thought to have existed long before this first mention. Jump forward ten centuries and pizza is one of the worlds favourite dishes, however outside of restaurants and take away situations pizza is somewhat of an unused commodity… at least it used to be.

PIZZA WHEELS Can you tell us a little history of yourself and the business? We’re both orchestral musicians by profession – I’m a violinist and Dewi’s a cellist. Pizza Wheels started life as one of many fantasy business ideas dreamt up as we commuted to and from Welsh National Opera performances around the country. Most of these fantasies revolved around food. Dewi has always been a very keen baker and I spent several years living in Italy, so maybe that’s why the wood-fired pizza idea was the one that really got us thinking! What kind of things can we expect from Pizza Wheels?

What sets you apart from similar ventures/ are there similar ventures or are you unique? What’s great about Pizza Wheels is that we’re very self-contained; everything we need is on the van. It means we can drive up to a venue, get the fire going, do our prep and really not disturb the party. At the end we just drive away! We use batteries for power, so we don’t need a hook-up or to run a generator. It makes us very mobile – as long as we can drive the van into the venue without denting our chimney, we can make pizzas for you! What are your future plans for the business?

We’re very much a family-run operation and try to do as much as we possibly can ourselves – from chopping the wood to making our own dough and sauces, preparing the toppings and enlisting our three boys to help out on the van.

We’re really happy with the way the business is growing, particularly the wedding/party side of things. Hopefully, we can build on that and we’re always on the look-out for new events and venues.

We work hard to provide really tasty pizzas, cooked and prepared in the traditional way with good quality ingredients and lots of care. Everything is made to order, so we can cater for all kinds of dietary requirements and likes and dislikes!

What we really enjoy about running Pizza Wheels is the variety of venues we visit and all the lovely people we meet. As well as catering for all kinds of parties and get-togethers we also get out and about, trading at food festivals, music and sporting events, fetes and fun-days. 103

Pizza Wheels 07773734419 Like on Facebook


Flowers by Victoria Qualified florist that is passionate about weddings and all things floral. Victoria provides a truly personal service, offering advice and inspiration to make your floral dreams come true. With her love and knowledge of the countryside and cottage gardens she creates whimsical flower designs, combined with her attention to detail and artistic flare, Victoria will make your day even more special. She also offers beautiful candelabras, vintage jugs, vases and accessories to hire. To discuss ideas for your wedding or special occasion please contact her.

109 Monnow Street, Monmouth. NP25 3EG 01600 716287 Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter

“Victoria will make your day even more special.”



The Parkway

Monnow Marquees

Family owned for three generations The Parkway is the idyllic venue for your wedding. With an all inclusive packing incorporating the ceremony, evening party and even the cake, let them take the stress away so you can enjoy the day. Cwmbran Drive, Cwmbran, Newport. NP44 3UW 01633 871199 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter


Cue Notes “The Music of here, now, and then. Right on cue!”...This band does it all, plays it all, and offers an experience like no other. 07855 491804 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter 104

Whether you are planning a wedding, party or corporate event, Monnow Marquees have got it covered (pun intended) with their award winning marquees. Unit 10, Castle Farm, Raglan. NP15 2BT 01600 775577 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter

Planning your wedding should be a pleasurable experience. Let’s say you’ve chosen your perfect venue, your perfect dress and your perfect partner (perhaps not in that order!) but have you chosen your perfect caterer? One that creates food that guests will talk about long after the honeymoon is over?


Treowen House

Having recently met with Emma Jenkins, the Creative Director, I can easily understand why E J Catering is many couples’ preferred choice of wedding caterer.

If traditional isn’t your thing and you want something a bit more ‘out of the box’ then this is where the company truly shines. When you meet Emma in person, you’ll understand what I mean.

What makes E J Catering so special? It’s not just that they offer homemade, creative cooking, teamed with excellent service; that they buy their produce locally, in season, to ensure they get the best flavour from the ingredients. It’s the passion and the creativity that Emma and her team bring to the table that can sometimes be difficult to find from most other suppliers.

The last thing any couple needs to worry about on the big day is organisation. To ensure your day runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible, E J Catering trained staff can be on hand to lay tables, set up the bar and organise the reception - leaving you to simply enjoy the celebration with your family and friends. They can also supply cutlery, crockery, linen and glassware for the reception, table, toast and evening.

Getting married this winter? Emma suggests comfort food as a winning formula - it’s filling, warming and often nostalgic. Think slow braised beef, creamy mash, roasted root vegetables, sticky toffee pudding, bara brith, bread and butter pudding with thick custard all make great winter wedding food.

If you are lucky enough to be planning a wedding for next year, E J Catering has created its new Wedding Menu for winter 2016 and 2017, at a special incentivised price to tempt and inspire you (more details on this can be found on their website).

“ Our focus at E J Catering is on homemade, creative cooking, teamed with excellent service.” 105

The Wye boasts a number of fine venues that E J Catering has catered in, such as Treowen House, Caldicot Castle, Usk Castle, Brecon Castle, Glangrwyney Court and The Barn at Brynich, to name but a few. All provide the perfect setting for a truly magical and wonderful winter wedding.

E J Catering Unit P5, Capital Business Park Capital Point, Parkway, Cardiff CF3 2PU 029 2033 1723 07974 810983 Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter and Instagram


Ryan Welch Photography Your wedding is supposed to be a completely unique day just for you and your loved one, so why does everyone end up having the same type of photos as everyone else? Ryan Welch makes sure this doesn’t happen with his fun, less formal approach to wedding photography. He is unlike every other photographer out there. With a background in fashion photography he uses the skills he learnt to create natural images that perfectly show the loving bond between his clients. Never resorting to the typical stiff wedding portraits that are so often seen.

Destination Weddings are also a speciality of Ryan’s, so no matter where in the world you are having your big day you can guarantee to have it captured perfectly and in style. Ground Floor, The Firs, 8 High Street, Caerleon. NP18 1AG 01633 546616 / 07871 612608 Find on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram


The Wedding Chauffeur Be chauffeured in unbridled luxury and unhurried calm in a selection of exquisite vehicles that will help make your special day memorable. Choose from the impeccably styled 1972 Rolls Silver Shadow, the eye catching 1969 Wolseley 16/60 and the opulent 1963 Vanden Plas Princess R. The chauffeur takes no other bookings on your big day meaning that they can be as flexible as possible in order to meet your requirements. Old Coach House, Carey, Hereford. HR2 6NG 01432 840763 Like on Facebook



Petals Florist

The Gate at Llanfrechfa

The family florist that offers exceptional personal service in all aspects of floristry. With over 21 years experience Petals is the perfect place when looking for Wedding, Special Occasion, Funeral and event flowers.

An ideal Boutique Wedding Venue, suitable for up to 60 guests in a relaxed and informal setting which offers the very finest catering and service. Call us to discuss your requirements

1 Tower Street, Crickhowell. NP8 1BL 01873 811885 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter

Caerleon Road, Llanfrechfa, Caerleon. NP44 8DQ 01633 861811 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter 106


F&H Country Cakes 07936 097208 Like on Facebook


Pete Stead DJ When it comes to your big day you want everything to be beyond perfect. From the flowers, to the car, to the food served there are a lot of things to worry about. But thanks to Pete Stead you do not have to worry about the music. Pete is a highly experienced, full time wedding professional that will do everything he can to make sure that your Wedding Day is everything that you have dreamt it to be. No matter what type of occasion you gave planned Pete has developed a highly tuned package that regularly allows him to exceed the expectations of his clientele. He has achieved this through communication with his clients, making sure he knows exactly what it is they are looking for. Pete’s music policy is straightforward. He wants you to put your own personal stamp on the occasion. You can tell him your choice of first dance, dedicated songs, or even songs you definitely do not want to hear. Each set will be tailored to the couple to ensure the perfect music selection. Pete Stead is very popular and his diary fills up fast. So make sure you book in advance to ensure a great night for you and your guests. 01432 806555 / 07702 345686 Like on Facebook Follow on Twitter




Upmarket Flowers

Three Salmons Hotel

Malc Haley

Providing floral displays from classic country to the very latest modern styles. This family run business for 20 years is a florist you can rely on for innovative and beautiful floral designs perfect for Weddings and other occasions.

For the past 400 years The Three Salmons Hotel has been synonymous with quality and hospitality. Nestled in the beautiful market town of Usk the hotel has an excellent reputation for its food and accommodation.

Guests will be amazed thanks to Malc and his skill with the incredible art of close up magic. Having performed for the likes of Leigh Halfpenny and Gareth Thomas, Malc will also leave you in a state of wonder at your wedding, birthday or corporate event.

5 Twyn Square, Usk. NP15 1BH 01291 672620 Like on Facebook

Bridge Street, Usk. NP15 1RY 01291 672133 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter 107

07510 282321 Like on Facebook


Shirtbox We understand more than most that you have enough to think about on your big day without worrying about your outfit. That’s why our new collection combines stunning formal pieces with great design and quality, to help you look and feel your very best. We guarantee that our Wedding Suits will not disappoint on that special day and our massive range of styles and colours are sure to complement any colour scheme. 13 Agincourt Square, Monmouth. NP25 3DY 01600 719856 Follow on Facebook


Mrs Brown’s Bakes Word is spreading like hot cakes around the market and food festival scenes about these biscuits, and for good reason too. Perfect for adding that personal touch to parties and events, Paula Brown is more than happy to create special occasion cookies and biscuits to any personal requirement. And with every single one of her products being completely home made, it is no wonder that she is very popular when attending the local farmers market and food festivals. Feel free to give her a call. 07789 952040 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter




Moor Fascinators and Hats

Charlie’s Bars

Treburvaugh House

Mobile bar hire for every occasion. Perfect for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries or any event that deserves a party. Winners of the ‘Best Bar Hire Award’ this professional and friendly company provide high quality service, customer satisfaction and a flexible ‘can do’ approach. 07794 664058 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter.

A truly sublime Grade II country house that is perfect for short breaks with the family. With room for up to 16 people, period features, an incredible garden, and a central UK location.

Welcome to the cosy cove of head wear. In need of head wear for that special event? Moor is perfect for weddings, races or just people who really love to wear some fantastic hats. 4 Hill Street, Ross-on-Wye. HR9 7AD 07582 971481 Like on Facebook


Near Knighton, Powys. LD7 1SG 01547 550193 Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter

Bronze Wildlife Sculpture “The two deer bronzes are magnificent. The patina is just right, but, more important, David captured the sense of the deer wonderfully. When a sculptor really knows the animal, it's immediately evident. Few manage to get them right.” Roger B. Hirschland Washington, DC

"The little leopard arrived yesterday It is wonderful, I love it. It really ‘speaks’ leopard! Thank you again.". Dr Luke Hunter, Panthera New York

"Your Leopard is now in my living room, gazing imperiously, looking quite magnificent and putting a smile on my face. I love it.” Jon Kelley Australia 109


CHRISTMAS GIFT ONE-STOP SHOP If you’re looking for presents or the finest real ales, Those are the things our brewery shop sells! We’ve T-shirts, tankards and witty slate coasters, Bottle openers, key rings and Wye Valley posters. We’ve ceramic jugs and mugs in various sizes, Hop-themed jewellery for unique surprises. We’ve bar towels, tea towels and new calendars, Notebooks, cookbooks and fun playing cards. We’ve bottled-beer gift packs with one of our glasses, And 20-litre polypins for serving the masses. So whatever you need, don’t get caught on the hop, Head to our brewery or website and visit the shop!

Stoke Lacy HR7 4HG T 01885 490505






EMPEROR’S CHOICE WELSH GRAND NATIONAL WINNER 2 014 Book now save £5!* *Terms & conditions apply. Save £5 per ticket on purchases made before Saturday 26 December. For full terms and conditions, race times and details of the event please visit our website. Booking restrictions and fees may apply. Chepstow Racecourse encourages responsible gambling. Please drink responsibly.

Welcome to Wye Life Magazine’s Social Life section, a veritable who’s who in and around the Vale of Usk and Wye Valley.


Coffee shop forges ahead

The Old Forge Coffee shop under the new management of Karen Howell, relaunched with a fab day of events. Situated within the grounds of The New Inn, Pwllmeyric, Chepstow on the old A48, this hidden gem of a coffee shop has now taken on a vintage twist with regular sounds of Glen Miller, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como and many others. There are more events planned for festive period such as a Pre Christmas Pamper evening, a Vintage Christmas Afternoon Tea Party, an Old Christmas Movie day and a Breakfast with Santa day. HEREFORD

Couture Events Wedding Fayre at Whitney Court On the 4th October Couture Events held our first Wedding Fayre at the stunning venue Whitney Court. Brides and their wedding party were able to meet some of Herefordshire best wedding suppliers while enjoying a relaxed and upbeat atmosphere, along with relaxing in the pop up Vintage Tea Room while awaiting for the Groom & Bridal Show. With the success of this event, Couture Events will definitely be doing more next year! Watch this space.

For full details please subscribe on their Facebook page. xxx


Hamilton Stiller celebrate move Directors Anna Hulin and Andrew Drake celebrated moving into their new premises by the market house in Ross-on-Wye and invited friends, vendors, landlords and local business owners to join them for the official opening which was presided over by the Mayor, Councillor Colin Gray.


Tigerbella burns bright! Tigerbella had an amazing opening day with a constant stream of visitors from across South Wales. “We were delighted to be able to bring beautiful designers from the UK and Europe to our flagship store in Monmouth, supporting our online store at www. With names like Rachel Riley, Papu, Absorba and Little Green Radicals and many others, it’s worth a visit!”

“ Tigerbella showcases names like Rachel Riley, Papu, Absorba and Little Green Radicals and many others, it’s worth a visit!” HEREFORD

Herefordshire Wedding Awards 2015 Set up in 2014 to recognise the achievements and talents of the Wedding Industry in Herefordshire, this year’s event took place at the Three Counties Hotel and was attended by 128 guests. The Mayor of Hereford, Councillor Charles Nicholls presented the awards to the winners of the 22 categories. In 2016 the awards will incorporate the counties of Gloucestershire and Worcestershire. For details of how to enter the Three Counties Wedding Awards 2016 visit


St John’s School voted top of the class St John’s has been voted in the Top 10 Value for Money Prep Schools in the country by the Telegraph in conjunction with the Good Schools Guide. St John’s offers superb co-educational excellence, with small classes, breath of opportunity and wrap around care for each individual child. “This school cannot be quantified in pounds sterling; it proves its worth by integrity, the accomplishments and the good heartedness of its children.” Parent, 2015 MONMOUTH

Green & Jenks awarded Three generations of one family dairy business, Green & Jenks a new gelateria and artisan food cafe based in Monmouth, were at Celtic Manor on 23rd October at the Monmouthshire Business Awards, to receive the award for ‘Excellence in Retailing”. The company originally called The Roath Park Dairy Company based in Cardiff, was established in 1888 and closed in 1958. The family relaunched the business this summer using the surnames of their ancestors, Green & Jenks. The family are Shirley Davies, now 82, her daughter Gilly Pollock and her daughter Harriet Johnson. CHEPSTOW

Life, health and wellbeing on the agenda Another terrific Networking Hub thanks to two thought-provoking speakers and a fantastic turnout of attendees keen to get involved. Susan Doran from Public Health Wales and Beverley Jones of Awaken Life Coaching presented on health and wellbeing in the workplace, including advice on how to safeguard our own wellbeing and tools available for employers.


The Loft is full of treasures Local Herefordshire lady, Fenn Watkins, is proudly bringing her passion for industrial furniture and retro homeware to life in the form of Monmouth’s newest treasure trove The Loft. Opening the doors for the first time on May 1st, Fenn welcomed friends and family into her den and encouraged them to trawl through one-of-a-kind, statement bounty that lay waiting to be discovered. As guests mingled and drinks flowed, The Loft was officially open and the carefullyselected treasures have been flying out of the door ever since. You can find this hidden gem above Wigmore’s Bakery on St. Mary’s Street, Monmouth. THREE COCKS

Old Railway Line is just the ticket! In August, The Old Railway Line Garden Centre spent a day celebrating their 25th year in business. Crowned ‘Best Garden Centre in Wales and West’ for the past four consecutive years, this family run business has grown from a single small greenhouse to a combined Garden Centre, Farm Shop and Restaurant. Located in Three Cocks, between Brecon and Hay-on-Wye this is an excellent destination to meet friends and family to enjoy a variety of events, extensive shopping and delicious food. MONMOUTH

Autumn Acers the perfect backdrop to Raft’s new collection A fantastic event was enjoyed at Raft of Monmouth. Peter Dowle from Howle Hill Nurseries carried out an excellent talk in their courtyard surrounded by a selection of his stunning Acers at their vibrant best. This was followed by a wonderful silent fashion show in a lovely atmosphere amongst friends, customers and staff supporting from other branches of Raft. xxx xxx


Complexion Medispa settles in Caerleon Award-winning Complexion Medispa have relocated to the Roman fortress town of Caerleon, within a centrally situated 16th century luxurious boutique style premises thought to be part of the ancient remains of Caerleon Castle. 24 High Street, Caerleon NP18 1AG


I AM 1! Monmouthshire I AM WOMAN Business Club recently celebrated its first birthday at the Angel Hotel, Abergavenny. Attendees enjoyed a special exhibition, cake, prize draws and entertainment from Silurian as well as the usual Business Club event consisting of cocktails and canapĂŠs, speed networking and three inspiring speakers.


Christmas Victorian market returns Llanyrafon Manors Victorian Christmas Market returns this year on Sunday 29th November. Wonderful entertainment throughout the day including live music and choirs and their very own Victorian Santa. This event was a great success last year, with it being the only event like it in the area. Lots of Christmas stalls with locally sourced foods and crafts, ideal to start or even finish your Christmas shopping. Please come along from 10am until 4pm.



Wonderful whisky tour The Gate & Restaurant (Llanfrechfa near Cwmbran) hosted a Whisky Tour to the Scottish Island of Islay at the start of October. 12 customers and friends of The Gate joined landlord James Dawson on the trip - which was deemed to be an outstanding success. The group flew to Glasgow and travelled to Islay by minibus, where they visited all nine distilleries over the 4 day tour, including the homes of the world famous Laphroaig, Bowmore & Lagavoulin. It wasn’t all about whisky either, the party ate some of the best seafood that Scotland has to offer including a visit to the original Loch Fyne Oyster bar. A splendid time was had by all and James is already planning the next trip! C E LT I C M A N O R

Monmouthshire businesses celebrated The finale of the 2015 Monmouthshire Business Awards took place at a stylish black tie event at The Celtic Manor Hotel, when local businesses were celebrated for their “outstanding contribution” to the economy. A total of 23 companies, ranging from start-ups and sole traders to major organisations, were shortlisted for honours. The event was hosted by Hwyel James, the former ITV Wales presenter. For more information on the winners please visit the website below. CRICKHOWELL

Art auction to raise money for The Soldiers’ Charity Major General the Reverend Morgan Llewellyn is hosting an art auction in the Oriel CRiC Gallery, Crickhowell on the evening of 13th November 2015 to raise funds for the Army Benevolent Fund, The Soldiers’ Charity. The exhibition can be viewed and commission bids placed from 11th to 13th November.


Every now and then we discover a secret hidden gem and this time we struck gold. This tastefully renovated building is a wonderful home to not one, not two, but three incredible businesses that need to be on the top of your must visit list. Awaiting your pleasure inside you will find Secret Retreat Sanctuary & Dry Spa, Heaven Hair and La Vida Travel.

N EWPORT’S HIDDEN GEM Sarah Ross along with Debbie Mills and Karen Marin Reyes opened it’s door in September 2013. Found within this unique building are Secret Retreat Sanctuary & Dry Spa, Heaven Hair, and La Vida Travel. Each business has gone from strength to strength, offering every one of their fabulous clients a personal service and expert individual attention. So that when the customer leaves, they leave knowing they have received the best possible experience. The Secret Retreat 14 Corelli Street, Newport NP19 7AR


Heaven Hair Working at the forefront of fashion on the salon floor this group of talented individuals formed into a creative, artistic team with one goal in mind... ...To provide their valued clients with uniquely created hair styles and brand new colouring techniques. Debbie Mills regularly works with top fashion photographers, fashion stylists, fashion designers and super model Sam Webb. Having worked on London Fashion Week and John Lewis Fashion Shows to name but two the skilled, creative specialists at Heaven Hair believe that it is all about the clients needs and requirements. From Prom Hair to Wedding Hair to Party Hair, Heaven is the salon you can trust as they constantly demonstrate their superior technical edge when it comes to cutting, colour and styling. Debbie also creates hair styles and often incorporating hairs peices for that special occassion, such as a wedding, a celebration party or a corporate event.

Only at Heaven Hair can price be compared to quality, so call them today or book online to ensure you space with the salon that are the leaders in fashion, not the followers. 01633 211477 Like on Facebook Follow on Twitter

“ From Prom Hair to Wedding Hair to Party Hair, Heaven is the salon you can trust” 118


Secret Retreat Sanctuary & Dry Spa Created by Director Sarah Ross who felt that there was an opening in Newport for something unique and special for the discerning and sophisticated. With its beautiful and opulent interiors, state of the art equipment, luxurious products and facilities, Secret Retreat offers a wealth of beauty treatments and Holistic therapies. Working in a professional environment, our highly qualified team and experienced Beauty Therapists - Rochelle, Kelly, and Vicky along with Melanie Duggan our Holistic therapist - provide the highest standards of treatment and customer care. Secret Retreat have been presented with Thalgo’s Gold Standard award - a supreme accolade for all the team. Secret Retreat prides itself on a friendly, caring approach and since opening 2 years ago have built up an enviable and loyal clientele. We feel that it is important to ensure our clients visit is one of an amazing experience of indulgance, wellbeing and utter satisfaction. 01633 840661 Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter


La Vida Travel With over 20 years experience in the travel industry, it was always Karen Marin Reyes dream to open her own travel agents. Karen and her team opened La Vida Travel to offer a bespoke, unique and personal service for their clients. La Vida Travel are able to tailor make a holiday that is perfect for you in every way by making your search for your special holiday into a truly magical experience. When booking with us we guarantee to make your dream holiday come true. Specialising in Worldwide Holidays; Family fun holidays - City breaks - Beach holidays - Cruises - Ski - Weddings Honeymoons - Group holidays - Tailor made itineraries and so much more. So the next time you plan the holiday of your dreams, don’t just jump at the very first offer you see, visit La Vida Travel, the travel company who will make that dream a reality. 01633 842277 Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter 119

When we launched Vale Life back in the summer of 2007, we didn’t dare to dream that several years later our small but perfectly formed little publishing business would be employing sales-people, writers and designers across south Wales. Our latest project is Wye Life magazine...


Vale Life magazine The Vogue of The Vale

Vale Life is distributed right across Wales’ most southerly county including Barry, Cowbridge, Penarth, Porthcawl, Talbot Green, Pontyclun, Llantrisant and many of the Vale’s smaller villages. Vale Life has a new responsive website

“We’re a Welsh family-run publisher. At least 95% of our revenue is reinvested in the Welsh economy and we’re passionate about the shop-local ethos.”

Vale Life reaches my target audience. I rarely advertise in any other publication these days. Russell Scott-Lawson Owner, Hawkes



4,470 T WITTER FOLLOWERS @ValeLife #ValeLife

11,200 W E B S I T E S TAT I S T I C S Unique visitors

10,690 Unique page views

13,952 120



Wye Life magazine Our latest creation


Wye Life magazine is our new baby. The launch issue and event at Lemore Manor was a great success and we’re delighted to be following that up with an even better second edition. Wye Life magazine will cover Chepstow, Newport, Monmouth, Ledbury, Ross-onWye, Tintern, Abergavenny, Caerleon, Usk, Hereford, Hay-on-Wye and surrounding areas. To advertise please contact Chris Howell.



3,500 To advertise please call Chris on 07837 940639


City Life magazine Reflecting Cardiff life City Life is the City Of Cardiff’s premier lifestyle magazine.

City Life is distributed right across Wales’ capital city covering Rhiwbina, Whitchurch, Canton, Roath, Llandaff, Radyr, Llanishen, Cyncoed, Pentwyn, Llanederyn, Fairwater, St Mellons, Grangetown, and Cardiff Bay.

After considering various local magazines to market the business in I decided to place an ad in both Vale and City Life to promote our wares, the only thing I can say is ‘WOW’. The response I’ve had from both publications has been staggering, literally staggering and now both publications are a permanent marketing expense within our strategy. If you haven’t tried it, you must! Chris Macnamara MD The Brogue Trader

“Good Life Publishing provides businesses with an integrated marketing facility that seamlessly combines social media and tried and trusted print advertising.” C I T Y L I F E S TAT I S T I C S E S T I M AT E D R E A D E R S H I P


5,520 T WITTER FOLLOWERS @CityLifeCardiff #CityLifeCardiff

15,700 W E B S I T E S TAT I S T I C S Unique visitors

25,360 Unique page views

44,217 121

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Gelato…

THE L AST WORD What led you to open your gelato house? The business started from a chance conversation with my Mum. Her family had run a dairy processing business, the Roath Park Dairy Company in Albany Road in Cardiff, which was founded in 1888 by my great, great grandfather Frederick Green and which closed in 1958 when my grandfather retired. My Mum said that she wished she and my father had been given the chance to work in the business, to which my response was, “Let’s relaunch the business!”, and this led us into looking into the world of gelato. Then in June the perfect property became available in the centre of Monmouth; a beautiful Georgian town house. The business now provides a link to our ancestors; making me the fifth generation and my daughter, Harriet, the 6th generation of the company.

How many flavours do you make? We make a wide range, using milk from Monmouthshire farms and locally grown fruit (some chocolate based, some fruit based) and we always have dairy free, gluten free and vegan options. With eighteen flavours changing daily, there’s always something for everyone. What else do you offer here? We offer excellent freshly ground coffees, specialist teas, homemade waffles, plus a selection of cakes and pastries. We also make gelato and sorbets to order for dinner and birthday parties and will be taking orders for Christmas, so you can have Christmas Pudding flavoured gelato as a light alternative or to accompany your pudding. In addition, we have rooms available to hire; the Georgian Gallery which is available for business meetings, private functions and our new supper nights or the Sun Lounge, which is ideal for small clubs and children’s parties.    What do you love most about your job? That has to be seeing happy faces when people taste one of our gelatos, particularly the children who get so excited about coming to our shop. It’s a great family orientated business and I enjoy hearing the happy buzz of customers and earwigging conversations about the different flavours. One teenager customer calls us his “after school haven”.

Green & Jenks Gelato House 11 Agincourt Square Monmouth NP25 3DY 01600 711657 Like on Facebook Follow on twitter 122




N e w l y o p e n e d re sta u ran t w i th room s in the pretty r iver side village o f G l a s b u r y on Wye . Offe ri n g g o od food in beautiful relaxed & com for tab l e s u r rou n d i n g s, w i th e l even individually designed bedroom s

“a Visit Wales 2015 five star serviced accommodation award�

Op e n seven days a week fo r B re a k fa s t, Mor ni ng C off e e , Lunch, Aft er no o n Tea, Lig ht B it es, D inner Gl a sb u ry on Wye, Po wys, HR3 5LH 01497 847550 www.f oyleso fg lasbur m

THANK YOU Thanks for taking the time to read the winter edition of Wye Life magazine. Wye Life is the Vale Of Usk & Wye Valley’s premier lifestyle magazine. We print 10,000 copies of each edition and cut no corners on design, production and the quality of our print. Talking about printing, we source pretty much everything locally, and over 95% of Wye Life’s turnover is reinvested back into the community of South Wales. If you have a business and are interested in promoting your goods or services to an aspirational audience in the Vale Of Usk & Wye Valley then Wye Life is almost certainly right for you. Jennifer Hobbs-Roberts Editor

“Follow your heart, not your head.” Kevin Green, Wealth Coach

P ROMOTING YOUR BUSINESS We value our advertisers. We appreciate the trust they place in us by promoting their businesses in our magazines. With our local partners, we currently publish a range of high quality quarterly titles across Wales. You can advertise your business from as little as £35 per season in this magazine. Pick-up-ability! Our magazines aren’t like other magazines. They have real pick-up appeal - in fact, they really do go like hot cakes. Quality comes first... along with the environment. We’re passionate about quality. The magazines are beautifully written and designed, and printed locally in South Wales on high quality paper (and no nasty varnishes or lamination we’re as green as green can be). Quality distribution to an affluent, aspirational audience... We distribute our magazines to over 1,000 carefully selected outlets across South Wales. We’d love to have your business on board. If you’d like to promote your business or service in our magazines, please get in touch, we’d love the opportunity to work with you.

OUR TITLES We proudly publish four Life-style magazines and one business to business title. Vale Life (our first magazine). This covers the beautiful Vale of Glamorgan - the most southerly county in Wales and deemed to be the most affluent. Vale Life was the first magazine we published. City Life The premier lifestyle magazine for Cardiff, Wales’ capital city. The magazine is delivered to all areas of Cardiff. Valleys Life At the heart of the South Wales Valleys. From the Neath Valley in the West to Blaenau Gwent and Pontypool in the East. West Life Covering Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and coastal Ceredigion, West Life is in touch with the relaxed lifestyle of this very special part of Wales. In Business Wales’ premier magazine for people in business. This is the kind of publication people in business want to read; interesting, inspirational and aspirational.

WHAT A DVERTISERS SAY We proudly publish four Life-style magazines and one business to business title. “The best advertising we’ve ever done!” Andy Bradshaw, Partner, Hamptons, Penarth. “Honestly, the best response I’ve ever had.” Matt Mullooly, Owner, Northern Star, Penarth. “At last, advertising that really delivers.” Ann Bryl, Owner, Bryl’s Boutique, Barry. “A truly astonishing response.” Russell Scott-Lawson, Owner, Hawkes, Cardiff. “The experience I have had with this magazine has restored my faith in advertising. Gauci Organic Candles is a small business with an equally small advertising budget. We have to make every pound count and that’s what we get with Vale Life, City Life and Valleys Life. It’s refreshing to find a magazine that really understands my business. They are never short of ideas. I recommend them whenever I can.” Spiro Gauci, Owner, Gauci Organic Candles, Cardiff “These are beautiful publications. We love working with people who are passionate about what they do.” Spiro Borg, Spiros Caterers, We’d love the opportunity to show you what a truly effective campaign in our publications can achieve.

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Wye Life Winter 2015  

The Vale Of Usk & Wye Valley’s Premier Lifestyle Magazine

Wye Life Winter 2015  

The Vale Of Usk & Wye Valley’s Premier Lifestyle Magazine