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The Social Influencer

Issue XII WINTER 20 Your Free Copy £3.75 where sold

It’s not just reindeer that fly at Christmas



Boxing Day at Huntingdon Racecourse is the final fixture of 2019 and highly regarded as Huntingdon’s most anticipated event of the year. This festive fixture brings together friends and families alike and is the perfect opportunity to experience the thrill of a raceday. So whether you are looking to continue the festive celebrations or indulge in fine dining then Boxing Day is the fixture for you.

General Admission tickets – from £17*

Tickets can be purchased be online at

thejockeyclub.co.uk/huntingdon or why not speak to the racecourse directly on

01480 453 373

*Group booking discounts available





Hello! So here we are in winter and we decided to head to the magnificent Stapleford Park Hotel for our lively fashion shoot, where our stylist, David brought along some bright knits to cheer us up. Many thanks to Stapleford for accommodating us and to our incredible and tireless models, hair by Millie & Co, make-up artist Paula Tennant, stylist David and last but in no way least, our in-house photographer, Lucy Dack. We enjoyed another fabulous day at Huntingdon Racecourse where we entertained 40 of our most loyal friends in the sumptuous banqueting suites. There are several race days in January and February: 24th January and the 6th and 20th of February. With hospitality starting at £65pp and tickets a mere £11, we would thoroughly recommend it as a super fun day out. Please save the date, 27th June for our Music and Mixology Charity Event. We are joining forces with the River Nene Entertainment team and The Granary in West Deeping to put on an amazing afternoon and evening

@gravitas_mag @gravitas_magazine Gravitas magazine

of music, good food and cocktails (as well as a fully stocked bar) in the stunning, grade II listed Molecey’s Mill. There will also be a silent auction with stupendous lots provided, in part, by our loyal clients. As usual, a huge thank you to all our fabulous contributors: Freya Pell, Alex Russo, Michelle Abbott, Tom Cockerill, Ashley Todd, Sukhi Wahiwala, Tim Barnes Clay, Jo Rigby of FlexiCruise and our ‘professionals’. We could not do this without you! Don’t forget to check out our YouTube channel @gravitasmagazine including {Gravitas Peeks} and {Gravitas Celebrates}. Many thanks to Reckless Abandon Media for their continued support. And finally, we are very excited to launch our new website on the 16th December: gravitasmagazine.co.uk, which will contain even more scintillating and credible content. So, cosy up with Ashley’s interior suggestions and have a go at Tom’s spectacular and ambitious recipes and we will see you in the thaw!

Abi and the Gravitas team

Dee Kennedy Publisher Gravitas Magazine

Abigail Richardson Editor Gravitas Magazine

Kathy Geraghty Advertising Sales Manager

dee@gravitasmagazine.co.uk 07917 114341

abi@gravitasmagazine.co.uk 07366 377451

kathy@gravitasmagazine.co.uk 07876 655378

Each issue of Gravitas is brought to you with pleasure and sincerity by a dedicated team of local professionals. Do follow us on our social media platforms and subscribe to our YouTube Channel, for updates and details on local news and events.



Below is the reason that Gravitas

06-08 Entrées Winter gossip

09-19 Fashion

Keeping knitted this winter


20–21 Behind the Scenes

A peek behind the fashion shoot curtain

22–23 Beauty Trends in beauty

reads and looks so fabulous…

Dee Kennedy – Publisher Abigail Richardson – Editor Kathy Geraghty – Advertising Sales Manager hue - brand design digital – Graphic Design Lucy Dack – Photography Reckless Abandon Media – Videography

24 – 28 Lingerie Fashion


New silks for gift ideas

Editorial contributors

29 – 31 Health

Tim Barnes Clay – Motor

Our guru’s give you some helpful tips


32 – 37 Travel Winter ideas

41 – 43 Driven

Tim Barnes Clay drives the Volvo XC40 T5


Katherine Mutch – Artist Freya Pell – Beauty Ella James – Interior Design Alex Russo – Fitness Sukhi Wahiwala – Business Kelli Taylor – Health Tom Cockerill – Winter Recipes Jo Rigby – Travel

46 – 53 Home

More great interior designs


for your home

Stapleford Park Hotel and

54 – 65 Taste Explosion

Recipes, reviews and party planning

68 – 75 Down to Business More great advice for your business


77 – 79 Winter Ladies’ Day



Country Estate The Admiral Hornblower, Oakham

Photo shoot Stapleford Park Hotel and Country Estate – Location

Gravitas hosts its first large event

Lucy Dack – Photography

80 – 82 Out and About

Mark, Isabella, Hannah and

What’s on over the winter months

Felix – Models Millie & Co Hair Salon – Hair Paula Tennant – Make up



With special thanks to...

Olivers of Uppingham, Oldrids & Downtown and

@gravitas_mag @gravitas_magazine Gravitas magazine

Duo Boutique – Outfits Sheer Luxury Lingerie and Duo Boutique - Lingerie

06 Entrées

Let’s get Started The latest news and updates from the Rutland, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire area…

A new Future for the New Theatre Peterborough After an 80-year history from an Odeon Cinema through to the Broadway Theatre, the iconic Peterborough building has had its ups and downs. September saw the start of a new era as Selladoor Venues takes the reins from The Dawe Charitable Trust, who have worked tirelessly to keep the doors open for the last two years.

Outdoor Weddings at Orton Hall Hotel & Spa Ever dreamed of getting married in the great outdoors, under blue skies, surrounded by family and friends? Well that dream has now become a reality at Orton Hall Hotel & Spa. Thanks to a newly constructed gazebo, nestled in the beautiful parkland setting of Orton Hall, you and your loved one can now say “I do” in a romantic ceremony outdoors. Catering for up to 140 guests, the elegant wooden structure sits sympathtically on the lawns with the magnificent 17th century hotel as its backdrop. In case of inclement weather, the Orton Hall team will be prepared to move the ceremony indoors. NB, it is the Registrar that makes the final decision as to the suitability of the weather on the day. To find out more call 01733 391111, email conference@ortonhall.co.uk or visit ortonhall.co.uk

Selladoor’s Director of Venues, Stuart Shanks, said, “Everyone at Selladoor would like to pass on our heartfelt thanks to The Dawe Charitable Trust for keeping this wonderful venue alive and for all of their support.” Peter Dawe, from The Dawe Charitable Trust said, “We’re delighted to be handing over the reins to Selladoor who bring a vast amount of experience of venue management, along with their own production company and a host of top-quality touring shows. With Richie Ross and his team running the New Theatre, it has a bright future as a world class entertainment and arts venue, and we look forward to seeing West End productions at New Theatre, Peterborough.” For more details on the New Theatre, the line-up of fantastic shows or the New Theatre Academy, visit newtheatre-peterborough.com.


Haatch Ventures and Haatch Desks Haatch is an early stage investment business with a hands-on approach, providing access to experienced founders, workspace and capital to ensure success

Founded in September 2013, Haatch began as an investment vehicle backing fantastic entrepreneurs building disruptive, game-changing companies. Now in 2019, Haatch is globally recognised, supporting early stage start-ups and entrepreneurs via Haatch Ventures and providing enlightening space to grow through Haatch Desks.

Haatch Desks With two ‘hubs’, one in Stamford and one in Peterborough, Haatch can offer local entrepreneurs, freelancers, FTSE 100 organisations and start-ups a flexible, creative and collaborative space to work. With prices starting from as little as £20 a day (inclusive of internet, cleaning, snacks et al.) for a seat, it is an affordable option for those who, perhaps, find working from home lonely or filled with too many distractions, or for small businesses wanting to avoid the overheads associated with office space. Both uber-cool hubs offer private offices and meeting rooms – hireable by the hour for up to 20 delegates.

Haatch Desks provides world-class, cool, flexible, allinclusive co-working spaces

Haatch Angel and Haatch Ventures - Forget Dragons’ Den! Haatch Angel is the private investment arm of the organistation, which has had great success investing in digital companies based in Stamford, London, Dublin, New York & San Francisco. After six years of successfully investing privately under the Haatch Angel brand, Haatch Ventures launched, which allows for external companies and individuals to invest alongside the Haatch founders who not only offer finance but also a wealth of hands-on experience. Committed to investing locally, Haatch are currently looking for exciting tech-enabled start-up companies in the Stamford area as well as local entrepreneurs who would like to get involved. So, for any budding entrepreneurs or Deborah Meaden/ Peter Jones aspirants, log on to: haatch.com/ventures



Barefoot Sunday Interiors

Stapleford Gin – Estate Foraged Estate Foraged – Premium Craft Gin, the new gin from Stapleford Park Estate is a blend of ‘carefully considered’ botanicals from their 500-acre estate and includes lavender, nettle, coriander, juniper, grapefruit and rose petal. The Gravitas team were invited to the launch and, boy, were we impressed! The gin itself was really unusual with an almost bitter, citrusy opening, following through to a more delicate finish. Truly unique and delicious. How to make your own Stapleford cocktail: Ingredients: – 50ml Stapleford Park ‘Estate Foraged’ Premium Gin – 25ml Fresh Lemon – 25ml Rhubarb Jam – 20ml Lemon Thyme Syrup – 40ml Fresh Apple Juice Method: 1. Measure ingredients into a cocktail shaker 2. Fill shaker with ice 3. Shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds 4. Fill a Gin Goblet with cubed ice 5. Pour liquid from shaker through a single strainer 6. Garnish with a fresh sprig of mint & rhubarb twist 7. Relax and enjoy! Priced at 50cl bottle: £42.50 and 70cl bottle: £47.50 Find Estate Forage Gin at: staplefordpark.com/estateforagedgin 01572 898590 | staplefordpark.com reception@staplefordpark.com

A new and beautifully curated interiors and lifestyle store has opened at Rutland Garden Village in Ashwell, near Oakham. Stocked with a stylish range of items to create a relaxed Hamptons vibe; soft furnishings, contemporary accessories, carefully selected furniture and rattan basket ware will ensure that you are inspired by the laid-back style of ‘Barefoot Sunday’. Also in stock is a gorgeous selection of pamper products to treat yourself or a loved one. Ranges, many of which you won’t see elsewhere in Rutland, include naturally brilliant skin and body care from Elemental Herbology, blissful, but effective, foot care from Margaret Dabbs London, award-winning, non-toxic Nailberry nail polishes and treatments as well as excellent vegan body care products from Isla Apothecary. Find luxurious cotton robes, scarves and bags and beautifully scented, minimalist soy candles from Aery. To find out more about this approach to relaxed living with effortless style, follow @barefootsundayliving on Instagram or Facebook or visit barefootsunday.co.uk. Better still, visit the store: No. 5, The Courtyard at Rutland Garden Village.


Get Knitted Out… Instagram fashion influencer Michelle Abbott tells us how to pull off the winter jumper…

Sartorially speaking, there are lots of things that I love about the winter. The prospect of a new coat, the warmth and versatility of layering, but most of all, I love to pull on a cosy piece of knitwear. You will probably already have a good collection built up - I like to invest in the sales and acquire pieces that will last me for years - but equally, there is always room for something bright, fun and stylish to revive your winter look. What to look for? A roll neck (or polo neck) is a wardrobe staple at this time of year - finer knit versions work perfectly for layering under everything from dresses to jumpsuits (and are great for adding a pop of colour under a more restrained palette), whilst a chunky version is the ultimate chill beater. Try a bold block colour and an oversized fit and wear with this season’s pleather or leather trousers. Another knitwear style to revisit this year is the cardigan - it’s a very British staple - but this season, try wearing it buttoned up, with

just a peek of a pretty camisole or bare shoulder - or try wearing back to front (v-necks work really well for this look). The key to avoiding a mumsy look is to wear it with something unexpected - a sequined, silk or satin skirt, luxe joggers, or masculine trousers. A pair of jeans works perfectly too. Finally, you might want to consider a statement knit. Something loud and bold - colourful and/or patterned. Allow the sweater to do the talking and keep the rest of the outfit simple. Again, a leather skirt or trousers are the perfect foil for something with such an impact - although if you’re very confident you might want to try a clash - think about a leopard print knit with a floral midi skirt or mix a couple of bright pieces for instant impact. Whatever you chose and however you style your sweater - you’ll certainly be warm! Follow Michelle @maison_abbott or email: maisonabbottmail@gmail.com

10 Fashion All from Oliver’s of Uppingham

Mark wears Coat by Casual Friday £190

Felix wears Blazer by Ambitious £165 Waistcoat by Ambitious £80 Trousers by Blend £52 Scarf by Dansk £38

Sweater by Casual Friday £50 Trousers by Bellfield £40 Scarf by Dansk £35

11 All from Oliver’s of Uppingham

Hannah wears Coat by Coster Copenhagen £180 Sweater by Oliver’s £65 Skirt by Kaffe £55 Necklace by Dansk £45

Isabella wears Coat by Kaffe £130 Dress by Sandwich £95 Leather bag £55

12 Fashion

Felix wears Polo shirt by Blend £25 Sweater by Blend £48 Trousers by Blend £52

Mark wears Sweater by Casual Friday £50 Trousers by Bellfield £40

13 All from Oliver’s of Uppingham

Hannah wears Sweater by Kaffe £70 Trousers by Kaffe £80 Scarf by Dansk £38

Isabella wears Sweater by Sandwich £95 Trousers by Saint Tropez £70 Scarf by Oliver’s £14



Hannah wears Barbour Highpoint Knit £79.95, Oldrids & Downtown Robell Jeans £89.99, Duo

Isabella wears Mark wears Shirt by Blend £38, Oliver’s of Uppingham Trousers by Blend £40, Oliver’s of Uppingham

Joe Brown Quirky Boucle Knit £50, Oldrids & Downtown Trousers by Coster Copenhagen £75, Oliver’s of Uppingham


Felix wears Waistcoat by Ambitious £80 Trousers by Blend £52 T Shirt by Blend £19

All from Oliver’s of Uppingham




Isabella wears

Hannah wears

Gold Heart Top from Postcard from Brighton £59.99, Duo

Seasalt, Cornwall Weathervane Jumper £75, Oldrids & Downtown

Lace Vest from Postcard from Brighton £33, Duo

Robell Jeans £89.99, Duo

Trousers by Coster Copenhagen £75, Oliver’s of Uppingham


Fashion All from Oliver’s of Uppingham

Felix wears Sweater by Casual Friday £50 Shirt by Casual Friday £50

Hannah wears

Jeans by Blend £55

Sweater by Kaffe £60 Trousers by Coster Copenhagen £110 Leather Bag £39 Overnight faux fur bag £65

Mark wears Knitted blazer by Casual Friday £80 Shirt By Casual Friday £50 Jogg Jeans by Blend £60

Isabella wears Stockists: Oliver’s of Uppingham 5 Queen Street, Uppingham LE15 9QR | 01572 868530 Oldrids & Downtown Gonerby Moor, Grantham, NG32 2AB | 01476 590239 Duo Boutique 29A High Street, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6AH | 01572 722116

Models - Mark, Felix, Isabella and Hannah | Photography – Lucy Dack, lucydack.co.uk Makeup: Paula Tennant, paulatennant.co.uk | Hair: Millie & Co. Hair and Beauty, milliebrown-hairsalon.co.uk

Sweater by Sandwich £95 Trousers by Sandwich £95


W 19 Se E’ ee Ch nio m RE ail ai r S Ca r th Re tyli er ine nt sts at al R :m sA e illi ea va qui nd co ila re ha ira bl d nd e be a









Modern Ladies & Gents Hairdressing • Award Winning L’Oréal Salon • Hair Extensions • Beauty Therapy • Verticle Fast Tan Sunbed Cosmetics Treatments: Botox, Fillers, Microneedling, Sculptra, PRP by Dr Bence Hajdu, FCAI, MRCA • Jo’s Beauty Room • Kenzi Holistic • MIcroblading by Vanity Therapy We welcome back Jo Adcock, Beauty Therapist and Nail Technician to Millie & Co Beauty

Millie & Co Hair and Beauty

58 Hargate Way, Hampton Hargate, Peterborough, PE7 8DS Tel: 01733 344900 • millieandcohairandbeauty@gmail.com Gel Extentions

Bespoke Christmas Gift Sets & Gift Vouchers Available





Behind the Scenes Special thanks to: Stylist: David, Oliver’s of Uppingham | Photographer: Lucy Dack, lucydack.co.uk | Stapleford Park Hotel | Models: Mark, Felix, Isabella and Hannah | Makeup artist: Paula Tennant: paulatennant.co.uk | Hair: Millie & Co. Hair and Beauty: milliebrown-hairsalon.co.uk | Stockists: Oliver’s of Uppingham, sheerluxurylingerie.com, Duo Boutique, Oakham and Oldrids & Downtown, Grantham.


22 Beauty

Skincare Trends

As winter settles in and we enjoy crisp countryside walks and wrapping up beside a roaring fire, our complexion can take a turn for the worse. The harsh weather, central heating and festive food and drink all have an impact on our skin, leaving it looking lacklustre, dry, dehydrated and prone to breakouts. To keep your skin hydrated and happy throughout the season, continue with your skin-care routine of cleansing, toning and moisturising but also add a regular face mask treatment. Hydrating masks are the best for dry skin. Here are a few options in which to invest:

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Powerful Mask, £16.50

Glamglow Thirsty Mud Hydrating Treatment, £42

Lancome Hydra Intense Mask, £33

Liz Earle Intensive Nourishing Treatment Mask, £17.50

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask , £25

Decleor Hydra Floral Expert Mask, £32


Makeup Trends Following on from your skincare routine, it’s important to continue hydrating your skin through your makeup by switching a few products in your makeup bag from powders to liquids/creams. If you use a powder as part of your foundation, swop for a more moisturising cream or liquid. Your cheeks and lips can also really suffer in winter so opt for a cream blush and moisturising lipstick. The same applies to your eyes - if you notice your eyelids are dry, change from your usual powder eyeshadows to creams. These simple changes will work alongside your skincare regime to keep your skin hydrated and moisturised this winter.

Words by Freya Pell (creativecosmetics.co.uk)

Makeup Artist & Beauty Editor 07812 480246 freya@creativecosmetics.co.uk

Foundation MAC Face & Body, £23.50 Blusher - YSL Baby Doll Kiss & Blush, £29

Lipstick - Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Lips, £25 Eyeshadow - By Terry Ombre Blackstar Cream Eyeshadow, £29

Unit 5a Serpentine Green Hampton Peterborough PE7 8BE 01733 358835 The Arcade, Westgate, Peterborough PE1 1PY 01733 358825 10-12 Market Place, Market Deeping, PE6 8EA 01778 300558 Book online: pkai.co.uk

Cutting • Styling & Restyles • Colouring • Straightening • Perming • Colouring • Bridal Packages • Extensions


Silk and Sustainable Looking for a Valentine’s gift for yourself or your partner? Check out these delectable lingerie and sleepwear sets made from 100% natural fibres from Sheer Luxury Lingerie and Duo Boutique.

Hannah wears 100% Silk Racer Back Camisole £75 100% Silk Sleep Short £60 From Sheer Luxury Lingerie

26 Fashion

Hannah wears 100% Red Silk and English Lace Camisole £78 Red Silk and English Lace Brief £44 From Sheer Luxury Lingerie


Isabella wears 100% Silk Blush Silk and Lace Blouse £145 Silk Blush Silk and Lace Shorts £99 From Sheer Luxury Lingerie

28 Fashion

Hannah wears Pretty You (sustainable) Bamboo Pyjama Set £63.99 Pretty You Slipper Mules £29.99 From Duo Boutique

Isabella wears 100% Silk Pyjama Set £165, Sheer Luxury Lingerie Pretty You Slipper Mules £29.99, Duo Boutique

Stockists: Duo Boutique, High Street, Oakham, Rutland Sheer Luxury Lingerie: sheerluxurylingerie.com

Sheerluxurylingerie.com is a Leicestershire based, leading online independent boutique showcasing talented British design houses. Many of the carefully selected designs are created from the finest silks and French and English laces and some feature 18 carat gold clasps and Swarovski crystals. Every order from sheerluxurylingerie.com is delivered for free and includes a free gift and gift wrap.


Shed those Festive Pounds Dietician guru Kelli Taylor divulges her weight loss journey.

The festive season is upon us and all things yummy are in the shops. December is a time of fun but will you be stepping on the scales in January regretting your month of indulgence and vowing this year to stick to your New Year resolution? You won't be alone as in a recent survey of 2,000 people, eating healthier (65%) and losing weight (54%) were among the top 3 resolutions made. But more than half of those surveyed admitted they fail their resolution by the end of January. So how do you make this year different? In January 2013 I embarked on my own New Year diet. With a BMI of just over 40, putting me in the very obese category, I attended my first appointment with a consultant for the 1:1 Diet (formally Cambridge Weight Plan). We spent around an hour together as she weighed and measured me and explained the plans and products. I chose to cut out food completely as I felt I just needed

a total break from thinking about it. Instead I would be having three meal replacement products a day. Five months later I reached my goal of a five stone weight loss and most importantly, I've maintained my weight ever since! I also gained a new career as I decided to become a consultant myself and have been helping others achieve their own goals for the last six years. One-to-one weekly support is what makes a difference. Having your very own weight-loss cheerleader alongside you every step of the way, with motivation when your own may be flagging, can be the difference between success and failure. Let's make 2020 the year you achieve your goal! If you would like more information contact Kelli on 07711 687708 or kelli@thedietladies.com

30 Health

Thrive Through


Fitness expert Alex Russo explores the necessity of supplementing our vitamin D intake.

Sunshine. It feeds your soul and, quite literally, nourishes your body by helping it create vitamin D. But you have to be committed if you want to get all your vitamin D from the sun. First, make sure you live close enough to the equator during the prime time of year for optimal rays. Then spend at least 10 to 15 minutes outside every couple of days, between 10 am and 3 pm. Expose as much skin as possible. And don’t wear sunscreen but avoid a skin-damaging sunburn.

How much vitamin D do I need?

Sounds complicated right? And nigh on impossible in the UK, especially now the nights have drawn in.

Which foods contain vitamin D?

Living north of places like Sicily means that for over half of the year, there is not enough sun for our bodies to make sufficient vitamin D. Interestingly, even in these sunnier Mediterranean climes, people can still be too low in vitamin D with the use of sunblocks and covering up during the winter months.

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin D is currently set at 400-800 International Units (IU)/day but this is too low for adults. Research suggests that the true safe upper limit is 10,000IU/day. If you're using a supplement, a 1,000-2,000IU daily dose of vitamin D3 is sufficient to meet the needs of most people. This is the lowest effective dose range.

One egg has around 40IU, so you'd need to eat ten eggs each day just to achieve the very lowest part of the RDA. If you're following a vegan lifestyle, getting vitamin D from food sources is very challenging. For example, a glass of soy milk fortified with vitamin D only contains around 30IU. Many animal products contain vitamin D but also only in small amounts.


It is most likely that you will need to supplement your vitamin D intake as you could be one of every two people worldwide who are deficient. This essential nutrient is classed as a vitamin but actually, it works similar to a hormone and has been associated with maintaining good health throughout the body in several ways: •Keeping normal cellular health and function •Supporting bone and tooth mineralisation and growth •Helping muscle strength and coordination •Assisting robust and balanced immune function Should I choose a vitamin D spray, liquid, gummy or tablet? There are pros and cons for all forms of a supplement, be it in a spray, a gummy, a tablet or a liquid. Many people assume that liquids provide the best absorption, however in some cases, you'd have to drink over a litre of the liquid form to get the same dose as in a tablet. Whilst they may seem more appealing, gummies, sprays and liquids can all have issues with stability and potency as well. Overall, a tablet is the best delivery system if you're going to supplement. That's the reason why most pharmaceutical drugs are in tablet form. Tablets have the most research behind them and product efficacy for stability, purity and potency is higher. So, keep an eye on your vitamin D intake and have a fantastic winter season.

Alex is a Sports Science Graduate, Certified Personal Trainer and Sports Journalist. He works with people to optimise their health, get a better body and look and feel great. Connect with Alex on linktr.ee/alexrussolive.

River Nene Cottages “A Great Alternative to a Hotel � 1 Mill Lane, Water Newton PE8 6LY | 01733 230628 or 07778 625 166 www.rivernenecottages.co.uk | info@rivernenecottages.co.uk

33 Sugar Beach, St Lucia

Swap the Winter Blues for

a Winter Cruise in these Top Destinations

Ditch the de-icer and get your dose of Vitamin D on a cruise this winter. There’s plenty of options at your fingertips, no matter your budget or holiday style.

Caribbean A Caribbean cruise is a dream holiday for many travellers, conjuring up images of powder-white beaches, sun-drenched islands and laidback atmosphere. With over 25 countries, 7000 islands and endless ports to choose from, one thing they all have in common is the incredible weather. With temperatures averaging 28°C December-March, and nine hours of sunshine per day, a Caribbean cruise offers the perfect antidote to grey days in the UK. From hiking through lush rainforests in St Lucia, snorkelling among incredible marine life in Barbados and visiting rum plantations in Jamaica, you can choose from an endless list of activities to suit your whole family.

Middle East Sparking dreams of colourful souks, ornate mosques and contemporary skyscrapers, a Middle East winter cruise

offers a unique experience for culture vultures looking to expand their horizons. In the United Arab Emirates, you can tantalise your taste buds in fragrant spice markets and renowned restaurants, be wowed by spectacular architecture or take to the desert and try your hand at dune bashing and sand skiing. Modern day explorers can lose themselves among the malls or get their thrills in heart-pumping theme parks. For something more traditional, take to the Nile for a cruise on the world’s longest river, visiting the legendary pyramids and remarkable temples of the ancient civilisation.

Australia and New Zealand Visit the Southern Hemisphere between December and February and you’ll experience some of the best weather of the year. Whether you opt for the sunny shores of Australia, or the stunning natural beauty of New Zealand, there’s no

34 Travel

Hamburg Christmas Market, Germany

shortage of sights to see in these contrasting countries. Unsurprisingly, Australia’s most popular port is Sydney Harbour. From here, you can tour the world-famous Opera House, take surfing lessons on Bondi Beach, or head along the coast to dynamic Melbourne to check out the art scene. Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Māori culture and relaxed charm offer a totally different experience, topped off by the towering peaks of the majestic Fiordland National Park which are guaranteed to leave you speechless.

Southeast Asia Like the Middle East, visiting Asia during the summer is hot and humid so winter offers the perfect time to visit when rainfall is at its lowest. Cruising around the Gulf of Thailand and South China Sea, you’ll discover sacred temples, grand palaces and plenty of options for a city break, with stopovers in Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore all possible. Iconic destinations like Cambodia’s Angkor Wat and Vietnam’s mesmerising Halong Bay provide a new spin on a cruise holiday, while a luxurious cruise through Myanmar along the Irrawaddy River offers glimpses into local life along the riverbanks, and visits to the awe-inspiring temples of Bagan and gilded Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon.

Europe OK, it might not be much warmer than the UK, but there’s something magical about exploring iconic European cities in the winter months. Sail from Southampton or make the short hop across to Rome or Barcelona, and explore charming cities like Bruges, Venice and Hamburg. For the ultimate Christmas treat, take in the festive markets of Germany and France, immerse yourself in the yuletide spirit with mulled wine, and browse the stalls for last-minute gifts.

Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar

Burj al Arab, Dubai

When it comes to planning your dream cruise, it’s all about you at FlexiCruise. With an extensive choice of cruise lines, flights and accommodation options, your dream cruise holiday is just a phone call away. Call your local Cruise Expert, Jo Rigby, at FlexiCruise on 01780 729069 or visit flexicruise.com

Milford Sound, New Zealand

Venice, Italy

RE TREATS L aLaid-back i d - b a c k lluxury u x u r y holiday h o l i d a ycottages retreats AT BAREFOOT RETREATS we are

passionate about marketing luxury holiday properties that are individual and unique. From cottage hideaways, beautiful boltholes, coastal gems to rural retreats, their unique features will define our portfolio. With an ever expanding portfolio of over 100 properties we’re confident our passionate and dedicated reservations team will match you with your idyllic retreat.


AS OUR GUESTS you will have the keys

to some of the most beautiful and individual private homes in Norfolk, providing a distinct laid-back luxury holiday experience ensuring you feel at home from the moment you arrive, until you leave. With an indepth knowledge of our hand-picked portfolio, we will ensure we match you with the right property. You’ll have access to our exclusive concierge service, ideal if you’re organising a special celebration or want to experience something different on your holiday. And once you’ve booked your holiday, you’ll receive a Barefoot guide ensuring you have all the information you could need to enjoy your precious time away.



Barefoot Retreats, Church House, Overy Road, Burnham Market, Norfolk PE31 8HH 01485 512245 • enquiries@barefootretreats.co.uk • www.barefootretreats.co.uk

36 Travel

Vintage Steam Train

The Statesman Ever wanted to experience the golden age of train travel? The Statesman, Britain’s most celebrated steam train, offers three classes of travel, from standard and first class to the luxury of Pullman dining and its gastronomic experience.

Northumbrian Statesman

Standard Class | Adult: £85

The Northumbrian Statesman offers departures locally on Saturday 2nd May from Ely, March, Peterborough, Stamford, Oakham, Melton Mowbray, Loughborough and East Midlands Parkway.

Reserved seating is arranged around a table of four with a buffet bar available throughout most of the journey for the purchase of hot and cold beverages, snacks and alcoholic drinks.

Climb on board and head to the scenic North East with its landscape of iconic landmarks and beautiful dramatic coastline, travelling through the Vale of York with views of the Yorkshire Moors and then through Newcastle, crossing the famous bridges and along the sweeping Northumberland coastal route.

First Class | Adult: £142 (Guaranteed window tables for two, supplement £30 per person)

During the day, there is a choice of leisure time in either the picturesque fishing village of Alnmouth or the historic border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed, with an optional off train tour to the magnificent Alnwick Castle, famous for the location of ‘Hogwarts School’ and ‘Downton Abbey’.

Local departures on Saturday 2nd May

Reserved seating is arranged at tables of four with complimentary tea/coffee, biscuits and light refreshments as well as the buffet bar.

Additional Extra - Alnwick Castle & Gardens At Alnmouth, opt to travel to the castle that has been the seat of the Dukes of Northumberland since 1309. Admission includes the castle, gardens and museums. Supplement: £30 per person


Pullman Dining The ultimate travel experience – seating is in umber and cream wood panelled carriages which offer panoramic windows with seating at tables of four or two laid with crisp linen, fine crockery and glassware. The day starts with a glass of chilled bucks’ fizz, followed by a full English breakfast and late morning tea/coffee with pastries. Following the afternoon sightseeing break, enjoy a glass of champagne and selection of canapes followed by a sumptuous four course seasonal dinner accompanied by the Sommelier’s choice of a half bottle of wine as well as coffee and homemade petits fours. Adult: £295 (Guaranteed window tables for two supplement £30 per person).

English Riviera Statesman Departing Peterborough on Saturday 18th July at 6.30am and returning at 11.50pm, this journey takes passengers along the Vale of the White Horse, passing through Somerset and around the stunning Devonshire coastline. The afternoon off board excursion is a choice of three hours in a seaside town, either Torquay or Paignton. Standard Class £85, First Class £142 and Pullman Dining (including the above culinary delights) £295. For further information about either excursion or all of their 2020 tours, booking and departure times, log on to: statesmanrail.com

Relax and unwind on the North Norfolk coast


Self-catering breaks

Tel: 01485 534 411

E: reception@lestrangearms.co.uk www.lestrangearms.co.uk


A new and beautifully curated


www.barefootsunday.co.uk Barefoot Sunday No.5 The Courtyard Rutland Garden Village Ashwell Rd, Oakham Rutland, LE15 7QN barefootsundayliving

Website: www.lucydack.co.uk | Email: lucy-dack@outlook.com | Mobile: 07849255852 Instagram: @lucydackphotography | Facebook: Lucy Dack Photography


Volvo XC40 T5 AWD R-Design Pro Automatic Review

By motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay. @tbarnesclay | @carwriteups



Sweden seems to radiate cool. You can see the Northern Lights from Northern Europe’s biggest country – and then there’s the food, fashion and tradition. Oh, and we can’t forget Volvo. This auto brand wasn’t so cool in years gone by. Its cars had the aerodynamics of bricks, but they were safe - and very family-oriented. The family bit hasn’t gone – indeed, the marque is producing SUVs like nobody’s business. Take the XC40 on test here. The model is chunky, yet sleek – and doesn’t resemble a brick– that’s for sure. In R-Design trim, you get a car that has an athletic edge – but it’s the interior that gives it the advantage.


Pros' n' Cons

Gorgeous suede-effect materials and a perfectly screwed together cabin make the XC40 a delightful place to be. The SUV will seat four adults comfortably - and five at a push. The boot is large enough for everyone’s luggage, and things like the powerful sound system make every journey a pleasure. It’s difficult to get stressed in this car, even when stuck in a queue. What’s more, should a bad thing happen, like an accident, you’re in one of the safest smaller SUVs money can buy. The drive can be dynamic as well as chilled, especially in ‘T5’ petrol turbo guise, as tested here. There is a downside to this engine, though – I never got more than late 20mpg out of it all week. Maybe it was my heavy right foot? It’s claimed to do around 39mpg. Volvo has a ‘premium’ image more than ever these days – and justifiably so. There’s no vacuous marketing spin around this brand – it really does deliver – from quality to ride comfort, and from safety to looks.

• Looks

• Power

• Refinement

• Safety

• Thirsty in T5 petrol guise


Fast Facts (XC40 T5 AWD R-Design Pro Automatic - as tested) • Max speed: 140 mph • 0-62 mph: 6.5 seconds • Combined MPG: 39.8 mpg • Engine layout: 1969cc 4-cylinder petrol turbo • Max. power (PS): 247 • CO2: 166 g/km • Price: £38,485

I know it’s shallow, but this is an SUV you’ll be glad to see parked outside your home. It’s not got the kind of looks only a mother could love – which can’t be said for some high-riding vehicles on the market. The XC40 isn’t a cheap package to buy or lease, and it’s expensive to run in T5 form, but you’ll still want one the moment you go for a test drive. What’s more, if your kids are anything like mine, you’ll have no choice in the matter. This is a car that’ll please not just you as the driver, but all the family. And, who knows, some of that Swedish cool might even rub off on you.




MINI ELECTRIC Join the MINI Electric Tour. Arriving at Sycamore MINI on the 15th Dec.

Book Your Place Here





Buy two new frames / sunglasses at full price and get the prescription lenses for your second pair at 50% off.*

50% OFF

Vinylize and Dior are leaving The Oculist and we are selling the remaining stock at 50% off. The stock is limited so be quick to bag yourself a bargain.**


T&Cs apply. See website for full T&Cs.




NOW £50

T&Cs apply. See website for full T&Cs.

We want to freshen up our offering to you so watch our social media for the new incomings...

The finalé frames are made up from all the brands we carry. They are last seasons frames or stock that is no longer being produced. You could get an Orgreen or a MYKITA at £50!** T&Cs apply. See website for full T&Cs.

*Only on prescription lenses. Two new frames to be purchased. **Not in conjunction with any other offers. See website for full T&Cs.

Just swing by the shop, or call now to book an appointment on 01733 555 621 24 Westgate Arcade, Queensgate Centre, Peterborough, PE1 1PY






Unusual Gifts from Leading Designers Bored of socks and posh preserves? Looking for something more exciting to give (or drop hints about) this Christmas or Valentine’s Day? Then look no further. Check out some of these independent design-makers from across the UK.

47 1. Clara Castner | claracastner.com Handmade, hand-carved porcelain vases in a glorious array of colours.


2. Jane Crisp | janecrisp.com Beautiful, contemporary pieces in wool, wood, copper and brass.

3. Anna Walker | annawalkerlondon.com Modern, vegetable-tanned leather goods.

4. Emsie Sharp Glass | sharpglass.co.uk Colourful tableware using full lead crystal glass.

5. Forget-me-not Originals Fabric-covered vintage books and notebooks handmade by bookbinder Emma Williams using pretty vintage fabric and Liberty lawns.

6. Amy Isles Freeman | amyislesfreeman.co.uk Hand-turned, hand-painted bowls and hand-painted clothing celebrating life, love and womanhood.

7. Grain & Knot | grainandknot.com Hooked on carving since she attended a bushcraft workshop in 2013, Sophie Sellu now makes hand-carved wooden spoons and kitchen utensils from reclaimed, foraged or locally sourced timber.


8. Graham Gough



Graham is the co-owner of the acclaimed Marchants Hardy Plants nursery in East Sussex but his talents don’t stop there, as his beautiful hand-carved knives attest.

9. Lucy Burley Ceramics | lucyburley.co.uk These beautifully coloured vessels are both decorative and functional.

10. Bee Bowen | beebowen.com Scarves and clothing in silk and Merino wool sustainably dyed with locally foraged flora.



10. 8.



Katherine Mutch

A Lincolnshire Ceramicist After falling in love with one of Katherine’s pieces, editor, Abi Richardson, decided to find out more about this humble, yet hugely talented artist. What inspired you to become a ceramicist? As a child, I remember running inside to wash my hands every time they got dirty. I also remember thoroughly enjoying craft sessions with my mum and sister as we made collages, paintings, dressing up clothes and gifts. This affection took me to art college and later I passed the passion and skills on to my own children. Relatively recently, I realised it wasn't such a bad thing to have dirty hands and I now like nothing better than wedging clay and creating something with it! What would you say influences your work in particular? I have a deep love of the natural, green countryside and coastline and this influences my work greatly. I often make impressions with wildflowers and grasses, seed heads and leaves as well as fossils. My work is organic and tactile, reflecting my upbringing and interests. I like to use textured stoneware and decorate with natural oxides and complementary glazes. I am hugely fascinated by early and medieval architecture and society. How do you choose your materials? One of my aims is to recycle wherever possible and I really love the effect a piece of gin bottle glass has in my pottery, making shallow 'rock pool' dishes, reminiscent of wonderful childhood holidays in dramatic Cornwall. Any future plans? I'm presently working closely with a local chef in designing some tableware, which will launch early in the new year.

We both have a passion for good food and, not only is John very artistic in his presentation of mouth-watering delights, he also understands my connection with the natural earth. Where can we find your work? You can keep up-to-date with my latest creations on Facebook at facebook.com/Katherine-Mutch-Ceramics or on Instagram - @KatherineMutchCeramics. If your readers would like to order a specific item that suits their particular interests, I will discuss the time taken to make it and give a calculated date for despatch. I can be contacted on: katherinemutchstudio@gmail.com Find Katherine’s ceramics at: etsy.com/uk/shop/KatherineMutchStudio and arttopia.co.uk/katherine-mutch-ceramics.



• Cleaning • Restoration • Bespoke

Stud io N Besp ow Open o fo Satu rday ke Gifts, r s 10 durin g De am - 1pm cem ber



Stamford Studio: Unit 31, Store It, Cherryholt Road, Stamford, PE9 2EQ - Open 1st & 3rd Saturday 10am-1pm or by App Shop: St Martins Antique Centre, 23a High Street, Stamford, PE9 2LF - Open Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun - 10:30am-5pm Shop: Holt Antiques & Interiors Centre, Thornage Rd., Holt, NR2 6SU, Open Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 11am-4pm Warehouse: 21 Acton Trading Estate, The Vale, Acton, W3 7QE - Tel 0208 261 7434 , Open Mon-Fri By Appt Email: info@therugstudio.co.uk

Tel: 01780 239594




Beautifully created Home & Paper goods

| 07590 262699 | paige@pnbdesigns.co.uk


Discount Code: GRAVITAS20 for a 15% discount at Ella James


for Winter

Sky Log Burner £1399, ellajames.co.uk

Words by Ashley Todd, Owner Ella James (ellajames.co.uk)

52 Homestyle

Tamia Cushion £75, ellajames.co.uk

Wall Light £124, sweetpeaandwillow.com

Sophie Allport Bees Throw £90, sophieallport.com

Amara Cup and Saucer set £16, ellajames.co.uk

Winter Berries Large Candle £17.95, annabeljames.co.uk


Tom Dixon Oriental Scented Candle £80, johnlewis.com

Kumari Throw £150, ellajames.co.uk

Mustard Throw £149, idyllhome.co.uk

Abella Cup and Spoon £12, ellajames.co.uk

Embrace January by creating cosy rooms perfect for retreating to when venturing outside is less appealing. A glowing fire makes all the difference to a room. The stunning Sky log burner suspends from the ceiling and offers a true design statement whilst providing a clean environmentally friendly heating solution. Invest in chunky knit throws and textured cushions, an easy way to dress a sofa, making it ready to curl up on. Atmospheric lighting is key, and candlelight provides the cosiest glow. Place lanterns and votives around a room ready to be lit each evening as the light starts to fade. Finally, serve soup and hot drinks in earthy crockery of generous proportions and hunker down till the spring! 01572 759190 | ellajames.co.uk

Handmade Knitted Cushions from £50, harriettgrist.com

54 Taste Explosion

The Great Food Club 2020 Winners Over the course of three months, The Great Food Club judges anonymously travel hundreds of miles across our region to visit every independent business shortlisted in order to ascertain the 2020 winners. And the results are in!

Fine-Dining Restaurant of the Year – The Hammer & Pincers, Wymeswold, Leicestershire. “The food hits all the right notes via a unique style of cooking that the kitchen here has made all its own. What you get is skilfully prepared, ingredient-led fine-dining imbued with the laid-back characteristics of great comfort food and finished with a sprinkling of decadence and fun.”

Casual-Dining Restaurant of the Year – House of Feasts, Eye Green, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. “Chef-patron Damian Wawrzyniak shows drive and passion to showcase a largely unknown and underrated European cuisine, giving it a modern twist using local ingredients.”

Above: House of Feasts, Eye Green, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.

Dining Pub of the Year - The Wheatsheaf, Greetham, Rutland. “There are fewer pub classics than you might expect on the menu at The Wheatsheaf. Instead, you are presented with a choice of more ambitious dishes – each hearty, as you would expect in a pub, and each packing seriously big flavours.”

Asian Restaurant of the Year - Sanctua, Oadby, Leicestershire.

Above: The Wheatsheaf, Greetham, Rutland.

“Sanctua’s chef-patron Bindu Patel’s cooking is inventive and tasty, embracing Ayurvedic principles (one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems). Her experience working at Michelin-star restaurants, including Gymkhana and Trishna in Mayfair, has provided her with all the tools to excel.”

Classic Pub of the Year - The Black Horse, Aylestone, Leicestershire.

Left: The Black Horse, Aylestone, Leicestershire. Below: The Larder, Oakham, Rutland.

“The Black Horse is well cared for, friendly, cosy, unique, laid-back and serves unpretentious homemade food alongside good cask ales and real ciders. The homemade fish and chips with mushy peas we ate here was spot on.”

Café of the Year – The Larder, Oakham, Rutland. “Local sourcing is at the heart of The Larder’s ethos, and the blackboard showing off its suppliers features Northfield Farm in Cold Overton, Leeson’s Butchers of Oakham, The Melton Cheeseboard of Melton Mowbray, Feast & The Furious, also of Melton, and Vivia Crump’s Chutney of Oakham.”

To join the Great Food Club and receive up to 25% with your membership card log on to: greatfoodclub.co.uk/membership



RELAX, EAT DRINK & ENJOY Good honest food served in a glorious village pub. Book online or call 01733 252285


10 High St, Glinton, Peterborough PE6 7LS

56 Taste Explosion

A Winter Menu from

The Rare Breed Chef Our slow food chef, Tom Cockerill, offers us some recipes to impress this season. (Find Tom at: therarebreedchef.com)

Dry Cured Bresaola Making your own bresaola is a great way to get into home cured charcuterie. The beef is dry cured with herbs and spices before air drying for several weeks. The anticipation of finally getting to cut and taste your first slices can be intense but it is well worth the wait!



1.2kg silverside of beef (ask your butcher to trim off all the sinew)

In a pestle and mortar, bash together the juniper berries, peppercorns and herbs until well crushed and bruised. Combine with the salt, sugar and salt peter in a large mixing bowl and mix well.

250g coarse sea salt 200g dark brown sugar 1 tbsp juniper berries 1 tbsp black peppercorns 1 tbsp fresh oregano 2 sprigs rosemary, stripped from the stem 5g salt peter* You will need – muslin cloth, butcher’s string

Set half of this mixture aside to use later. Place the remaining half into a large freezer bag with the beef, give it a good massage to make sure its fully coating the beef and place in the fridge. Every day, turn the bag over, after a week remove from the bag and give it a quick wipe down with kitchen roll, add the reserved half of the dry cure mixture to a new freezer bag with the beef and place back in the fridge, repeating its daily rotation for another week. Remove from the fridge, give a good wipe down with kitchen roll. Tie a series of butchers’ knots along the length of the beef, wrap and tie in a sheet of muslin. Weigh the beef and make a note (the bresaola is ready when its lost approximately 30% of its weight). To air dry the beef, it simply needs to be hung (horizontally) somewhere consistently reasonably cool (10-15C) and ideally with a slight draft and with some humidity. A utility room or pantry with a window ajar is great depending on the time of year. The length of time it takes to dry will vary, depending on where you hang it, but it should be ready in 2-4 weeks. You can remove any mould (perfectly normal!) with a clean cloth and some white wine vinegar. Slice wafer thin and serve with lemon and homemade pickles. * Salt peter or pink brining salt is used in curing to prevent spoilage and add a pink shade to the meat. You can buy this online but, as you only need a tiny amount for this recipe, you could always ask your local butcher or friendly neighbourhood restaurant kitchen.


Skrei cod is a seasonal delicacy from Norway

Baked Skrei Cod with a Shitake Mushroom Crust Skrei cod is a seasonal delicacy from Norway, available from January to April each year as these migratory fish return from spawning in the Barents Sea to the Fjords of the Norwegian coast. Being as prized as they are, the ‘white gold’ of the Norwegian fishing industry is tightly regulated, so you can be assured of their uber sustainability!



4 x 250g loin fillets of Skrei cod

Pulse the mushrooms in a food processor for a second or two until finely minced. Fry with a touch of oil in a large frying pan over a high heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until the mushrooms have lost their moisture and look crumbly. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

500g shitake mushrooms ½ white onion, very finely chopped 2 cloves garlic finely chopped 4 sage leaves shredded 25g freshly grated parmesan 40g dry white breadcrumbs 50g butter, diced 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Fry the onions and garlic until soft and translucent, add to the mushrooms together with the sage, parmesan and breadcrumbs and season with salt and pepper. Mix well and place between two sheets of baking parchment. Use a rolling pin to roll out to roughly 5mm in thickness. Allow to cool before cutting into 4 rectangles and placing one on top of each cod fillet. Evenly space the cod fillets with the diced butter and lemon wedges on a medium sized baking tray lined with baking parchment. Bake at 180C for 15-20 minutes until the fish just starts to flake when pressed with a fork.

58 Taste Explosion

Port Roasted Figs with Cinnamon Churros and Mascarpone Who doesn't love churros? Rather than the standard chocolate dipping sauce, I've given these a seasonal vibe by serving with sweet ruby port, winter spices and deliciously indulgent mascarpone. Ingredients


12 ripe figs (cut in half lengthways)

Place the figs in a small roasting dish and cover with the port, add the spices, diced butter, orange peel and juice and roast for 10 minutes at 200C. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

200ml ruby port 50g butter, diced 2 heaped tbsp muscovado sugar 4 cloves 1 star anise 1 cinnamon stick Juice and peel of one orange For the Choux pastry (Churros) 125ml water 75g plain flour 50g salted butter 2 eggs (beaten) 250g mascarpone 150g caster sugar 1 tsp ground cinnamon

To make the churros, set your fryer to 180C. (You can also heat your oil in a saucepan if you don’t have a fryer). Place the water and butter in a small heavy based saucepan and bring to the boil; immediately add the flour and beat with a wooden spoon to form a thick paste. Remove from the heat and beat in the eggs a little at a time, keep beating until the mixture is smooth and glossy (this takes a little effort). Transfer to a piping bag with a star nozzle in place. Carefully pipe 8-10 cm lengths of the choux pastry into the fryer, using a table knife to snip off each churro. Use tongs to carefully turn the churros for 4-5 minutes until evenly golden. Lift from the fryer and quickly drain onto a sheet of kitchen towel before giving them a shimmy in a shallow dish containing the caster sugar mixed with the cinnamon. Divide the cooled figs with a little of the strained syrup between 4 serving cups, add a dollop of the mascarpone to each and serve immediately with the hot churros.


Sunday Lunch




Afternoon Tea

Spa Treatments

Overnight Stays


For any enquiries please contact sales@staplefordpark.com or call 01572 787 000 Stapleford Park, Stapleford, Nr. Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE14 2EF. www.staplefordpark.com

AA Rosette Award for Culinary Excellence

60 Taste Explosion

JANUARY PIE OFFER Monday to Friday during food serving times Available at: Tobie Norris, Stamford | Lord Nelson, Oakham Smith’s of Bourne | The Prince Rupert, Newark The Crown Hotel, Stamford

HAVE A BOTTLE ON US! Monday to Thursday 6pm-9pm



Party Planning Planning a party? Then why not leave the stressful part to the experts?

Totally Wood Fired Pizza A local family business based in Melton Mowbray where even the children get involved, because they love pizza! The concept is about serving high quality artisan food thus enabling families, friends and loved ones to enjoy a meal together without the hassle of either the cooking or the clearing up. Totally Wood Fired Pizza can cater for small groups up to large parties and weddings. Check out their wedding, festival and corporate packages online or contact them to receive a free, no obligation proposal. 07753 358397 | totallywoodfiredpizza.co.uk

Ocean View Catering It’s hard to beat the great British fish and chips. With a reputation for quality and excellent customer service, Ocean View Catering services the Midlands area with their mobile traditional fish and chips van. They also offer buffet catering options, a donut and slushy stand and a popup bar. Ocean View cater for weddings, parties, festivals, fetes, fayres, shows and more. oceanviewcatering.co.uk

The Rare Breed Chef Slow Food UK chef, food stylist and writer, Tom Cockerill is The Rare Breed Chef. With nearly 20 years of industry experience, Tom has organised and catered for hundreds of events from private party celebrations and bespoke themed weddings to corporate parties and awards’ ceremonies in all kinds of venues across the UK. Tom works with clients to deliver the perfect event, from designing your menu to theming and sourcing specialist props to give your event those special touches and attention to detail. therarebreedchef.com

62 Taste Explosion

Bread Meat Cheese For food you will relish and remember, sourced, prepared and cooked by chefs who love food from all around the world. Bread Meat Cheese is a boutique catering company, which promises ‘phenomenally tasty, imaginative and modern food showcasing high quality, local produce sourced directly from farmers, bakers and cheese-makers’. Their concept is ‘a celebration of great food, the people who grow it, the people who make it and most important of all, the people who love to eat it.’ Bread Meat Cheese Limited operates throughout Peterborough and Stamford and their surrounding villages, normally within a 50-mile radius. breadmeatcheese.co.uk

VinesPizzaShack VinesPizzaShack is a converted double-decker mobile bar and pizza restaurant. Freshly made stone baked pizzas are cooked on the lower level, using family favourite recipes. Upstairs is the copper leaf restaurant which seats 36, although more guests can be accommodated outside underneath a fairy lit canvas awning. Available for weddings, corporate, neighbourhood and private events across Peterborough and surrounding areas. Look out for the bus around the city and in local villages. You can book a place on the weekly street bus by logging on to: vinescatering.co.uk 07714 308588 | vinescatering.co.uk

Viva Vino – Wine and Glass Supplier Viva Vino will provide perfectly paired, quality wine for any event or occasion. Experts in choosing and providing the right wine, at the right temperature, to the right place, Viva Vino also offer a free glass loan (that you don’t wash up) and all the wine is on sale or return. It doesn’t get easier than that! Providing wine for dinner parties, weddings, birthdays, christenings, anniversaries, church concerts, village hall events, garden parties et al., Viva Vino works out the quantities that you will need, chills the wine and delivers it at a time that suits you. They will then collect the glasses and any un-opened wine. All you pay for is what you have used. Clients are encouraged to have a tasting session prior to their event in order to select their preferred wines. vivavino.co.uk

Elegant Alfresco Locally Sourced / 10 Bedrooms Ensuite Bedrooms Elegant Alfresco Dining / Dining Locally/Sourced ProduceProduce / 10 Ensuite Afternoon TeaDinning Private Dinning Hornblower / Weddings Private Events Afternoon Tea Private / Admiral/ Admiral Hornblower Brunch /Brunch Weddings & Private&Events For events our fulllist events listbook and to bookcontact please us. contact us. For our full and to please

TheHornblower, Admiral Hornblower, The Admiral

TheArms, Finch’s Arms, The Finch’s

64 High Street,Rutland, Oakham, Rutland, Oakham Road, Hambleton Peninsula, Rutland, 64 High Street, Oakham, LE15 6AS LE15 6AS Oakham Road, Hambleton Peninsula, Rutland, LE15 8TL LE15 8TL www.hornblowerhotel.co.uk E info@hornblowerhotel.co.uk www.finchsarms.co.uk E info@finchsarms.co.uk www.hornblowerhotel.co.uk E info@hornblowerhotel.co.uk www.finchsarms.co.uk E info@finchsarms.co.uk T 01572Instagram: 723004 Instagram: @theproperpubcompany T 01572Instagram: 756575 Instagram: @theproperpubcompany T 01572 723004 @theproperpubcompany T 01572 756575 @theproperpubcompany

64 Taste Explosion

The Admiral Hornblower A Local Pub with Family Values

Abigail, Dee and Kathy are out enjoying themselves again at a characterful 17th century pub situated right in the heart of Oakham.

Part of the Crawford portfolio, the Admiral Hornblower is sister pub to the celebrated Finch’s Arms in Hambleton. It is a very popular destination for locals and is always busy at any time of the day for coffee, afternoon tea and cocktails as well as traditional pub beverages. The cellar stocks a vast array of wines and beers, including three traditional hand drawn ales. The restaurant has gained an outstanding reputation for delicious food with a modern twist and offers a varied and eclectic menu; the Sunday Roast is legendary! The large garden – unusual for a town centre location, plays host to many an event with its big screen TV (for sporting events and the summer cinema club) and vast marquee. The building has many spaces including a study and a library, perfect for private dining, business lunches or those seeking a more intimate experience. The main restaurant can accommodate 80 guests for weddings or larger parties. There are also 10 en-suite, beautifully finished bedrooms with prices from £70. With a seasonal menu and specials that change daily, the restaurant promises fresh and local produce. New to the helm is head chef, Sean Hartnett – previously of Stapleford Park Hotel and Danesfield House Hotel, London. Sean chose a selection of starters and main courses to showcase the (then) upcoming winter menu. First up was the Peppered Mackerel Fillet with Beetroot and Apple Salad (£7.95 or £11.95 as a main), Ham Hock Terrine with Proper Pub Chutney and Crisp Toast (£7.95) and Moules Marinieres with Ciabatta Bread (£7.50). The portions were

more than generous and could easily have sufficed as a lunchtime main. We thoroughly enjoyed the mackerel, which was very light and refreshing and ‘not too peppery’ and the moules, which again were light (despite the cream), plump and evidently very fresh. The Ham Hock was perhaps not to our taste – we are fish eaters, but clearly very nicely executed; I could imagine my husband devouring it. Interestingly, none of us would have chosen two of the main courses: Lamb Rump, Ratatouille, Baby Spinach, Pesto and Pomme Anna (£18.50) and Slow Cooked Braised Blade


of Beef, Creamed Mashed Potato, Charred Stem Broccoli, Cauliflower Puree and Red Wine Jus (£16.50) but we would have missed out. Big time! The lamb was a taste explosion of complementing flavours – lamb with pesto and ratatouille? Devine! The beef was melt in the mouth with the creamiest of mash and most delicate jus. Our third dish, Pan Fried Hake Fillet with Potato and Chive Terrine, Tender Stem Broccoli and Crayfish Dressing (£16.50) was also beautiful but there was some of that left on the plate, unlike the meat dishes. I will definitely ask chef to choose for me next time.

A really exciting, family-run, versatile venue with a menu to suit all tastes

No surprise, we had little room for dessert and so shared the Glazed Lemon Tart with Raspberry Sorbet (from the set menu priced very reasonably at £16.95 for two courses or £20.95 for three). The lemon tart had echoes of a lemon meringue pie. Utterly delicious, very refreshing and we demolished it! This is not just a pub with food. It is a really exciting, versatile venue with a menu to suit all tastes and a plethora of events throughout the year. This Christmas, there will be wreath making, cookery demos and a sing-along on the 21st December. New Year’s Eve see Havana Nights. Check out their active social media platforms for further information. The Admiral Hornblower, 64 High Street, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6AS 01572 723004 | hornblowerhotel.co.uk




THAT’S A PROMISE. CALL US TODAY ON OAKHAM 01572 759759 to arrange an informal meeting - at a time and a place to suit you.


35 Market Place, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6DT 01572 759759 | www.smitheliot.co.uk Smith Eliot Financial Management Ltd is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the Group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the Group’s website www.sjp.co.uk/products. The title ‘Partner Practice’ is the marketing term used to describe St. James’s Place representatives. *Trusts are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.


68 Down to Business

We did Lunch! The Gravitas quarterly social network meeting took place on 10th October at the newly purpose-built office space Haatch at The Avenue, Peterborough.

With over 20 attendees for the two-hour lunch meeting, it once again surpassed expectations. Attendees were given a tour of the new Haatch building, showcasing its space, meeting rooms and desk spaces (the building also comes with two fully equipped kitchens). Sukhi Wahiwala, friend and mentor to Gravitas, gave an engaging presentation on “Procrastination�, leaving all the delegates with plenty to think about, particularly the notion of multi-tasking, a skill much needed in our modern business world. The feedback on the talk and the venue was extremely complimentary. The attendees also indulged in a sumptuos Italian cold platter, served by the amazing catering company Bread Meat Cheese Ltd. (breadmeatcheese.co.uk). With an array of Italian meats including Parma ham, Italian sausage, mozzarella, olives and tomatoes, accompanied with Italian salads, focaccia bread and olive oil dip on the tables, it gave a festive conclusion to a fantastic two hours. Gravitas Connections is a social network meeting, bringing businesses together to enjoy good food, connect and listen to some inspirational speakers. Check out our social media group and Facebook page, Gravitas Connections for the next event. These events are free of charge. For details contact donna@gravitasmagazine.co.uk



COMMUNITY WORKSHOP, MAKER SPACE & COWORKING Join The HackSpace in building a STEAM community in a truly innovative city.





We believe everybody should have access to equipment, resources and knowledge. Introducing people to technologies of yesterday, today and tomorrow and ensuring we all have fair access to opportunities.



Trust the Professionals Whether your business is a new start up or well-established and expanding, expert advice can be invaluable to ascertain the correct ways to focus your time, energy and resources for a solid foundation or growth plan. Our business experts explain how. For further guidance contact our professionals directly.

Making a will

Top tips

Have a healthy gut

…it’s hardly the most exciting of topics and many of us think, ‘it is too soon for me?’

What will you be doing on Christmas Day? Definitely not checking your emails, I hope? So if we can shut business away for one day, why do we run around like headless turkeys (see what I did there?) for the rest of the year?

Even if we have a healthy diet, if our gut health is not good, then we will not absorb the nutrients in our food.

The truth is that every adult over 18 should have a will. Without a will, you die ‘intestate.’ This means your assets are passed on via the laws of the land rather than through your own choice. The reality of this situation may uncover some surprises. There are some people who are more vulnerable than others. You may have lived with your partner for many years, sharing your life and finances. However, without a will they are legally entitled to nothing. In fact, your parents, grandparents, siblings, aunties, cousins etc could all be entitled to your money before your partner would be. The only sure way of making sure your loved one benefits is by making a will. To explore how these issues can be alleviated call Julian at Bright Insight Ltd 07577 629616 to arrange your initial FREE consultation. Julian Bright

It’s about time you got ‘busifficient’ – not just ‘busy’, as that can be chaotic, but ‘busy’ in an ‘efficient’ way. Here’s a couple of tips to get you started: Pesky email? Scrap all your folders and create two – ‘Archive’ and ‘Action’. Now clear EVERYTHING out of your inbox. Archive those you’ve completed, delete those you don’t need, and put all those that you have to action into that folder. Always finish a meeting on time, one minute before the meeting should end, start packing up. You’ll be amazed how many people follow and the meeting ends on time! Listen to Craig’s Drivetime Radio Show, every weekday between 4 and 7pm on PCR 103.2FM or on pcrfm.co.uk For Graphic Design or Print call 07771 538661 or email craig@ascotgraphics.co.uk Craig Bunday

We’ve all heard about probiotics, which are the good or ‘friendly’ bacteria in our gut. Aloe Vera is a pre-biotic. Pre-biotics are the sugars which are the food for the good bacteria. So, it’s essential to have both prebiotics and probiotics for a healthy gut. Along with the Aloe Vera drinking Gel, why not try the Forever Active Pro-B, a blend of six strains of friendly bacteria, selected and engineered for their ability to reach the intended destination of the large intestine? Forever Active Pro-B is the perfect high-quality friendly bacteria supplement to complement your gut flora and assist with your diet and lifestyle goals. For more information, contact Sushma Bragg on 07877 265725 or visit sushmabragg.com Sushma Bragg

72 Down to Business

Trust the Professionals Whether your business is a new start up or well-established and expanding, expert advice can be invaluable to ascertain the correct ways to focus your time, energy and resources for a solid foundation or growth plan. Our business experts explain how. For further guidance contact our professionals directly.

Thinking about starting a business?

Consistent messaging for a dependable brand

Reap the rewards of a social strategy!

When I started ‘Inspire Ignite’ almost four years ago, I kicked myself! I realised how much money from my relatively good salary I’d been wasting that I could have used to get my business started.

When getting to know someone, you form your own opinions and assumptions based on how they interact with you. Dressed in a business suit one day and shorts the next, it’s hard to nail down exactly who they are and what they’re about.

Imagine driving somewhere you’ve never been before, with no sat nav, signs or atlas. With direction, your journey would be more efficient, more effective and less stressful.

Many of us buy meaningless ‘stuff’ or spend money to make ourselves feel better in the short term, instead of investing in order to make a real difference to our lives. I counted five pretty nice bags in my wardrobe and four decent pairs of shoes four years ago - that’s about £975 that I could have banked to get me started in my business considerably sooner than I did. Doing what you love could be close or it could be far away - it’s up to you! What can you do to stop the excuses and work towards doing what you love? If you need a bit of help to get started, give me a shout - I’d be happy to help. shaun@inspireignite.net | inspireignite.net Shaun Beck

Turn this person into a company - one you’re considering doing business with. Wouldn’t you be concerned if their brand appearance was inconsistent? What would this mean about the work they deliver? Now look at your business and how you want your customers to feel. Don’t confuse them with a fun and informal social voice but a sterile company brochure! You need to communicate consistently to be a trusted brand. It is therefore important to be open to hearing what your stakeholders really think, to unearth the talents of your employees and give them the freedom to become engaged, devoted brand ambassadors, and to invest in the development of your employees to ensure the customer’s experience is aligned to your brand message. Consistence is key. mark@wearehue.co.uk 01780 753313 | wearehue.co.uk Mark Buttress

“We’re on social because we know we should be, but we’re not sure why, and we don’t know if it’s working.” This statement isn’t uncommon! It’s likely that both your audience and competitors are using social media, but your lack of strategy gives others the advantage. So it’s time to get strategic and start reaping the benefits of marketing with purpose. • Know your audience inside out and where they hang out socially • Understand why/how they consume content • Figure out how you’re offering value • It’s about engaging, not broadcasting! • Set SMART objectives that align to your business goals • Set KPIs in order to measure success jenny@wearehue.co.uk 01780 753313 | wearehue.co.uk Jenny Clayton

your brand

In an ever evolving world, there has never been a greater need to future-proof your brand. hue - make creative content and immersive digital experiences that change the way people think and feel. We work with forward-thinking brands from around the world, maximising their reach and impact. Keeping it simple, we can help you with the whole thing, from strategy and ideation through to execution. Working collaboratively is essential to our process and your success. We’ll work together every step of the way to create a brand new you.

01780 753313 wearehue.co.uk hello@wearehue.co.uk



74 Down to Business

Giving Back Sukhi Wahiwala, award winning business and Forbes’ mentor, explains how a business can ‘give back’ to its working environment as well as increase productivity.

Recently, I was asked my view on a dilemma that’s becoming common in the workplace business world regarding corporate social responsibility. How can a company be an investor in its people or its environment and see a tangible return on investment? To provide flexible working hours for working mothers, some companies create on-site nursery facilities, others invest directly in their workforce by reducing their daily travel carbon footprint via car sharing or perhaps a company bus. ‘Giving back’ with this genuine approach tends to increase workforce staff loyalty and pride, boosting company productivity and efficiency. An excellent example of investing ‘man hours and capital’ came to my attention during a visit to the heart of India’s booming economic and political capital, Delhi. My cousin works for American Express, India; her commitment, loyalty and productivity were second to none and that is because Amex had made several internal changes to allow for more working hours by, for example, providing safe staff transportation. Other companies invest in high profile charities in order to boost their profile and gain media ‘brownie points’, but this approach may not directly help the workforce. Sales may increase in store, but the workplace morale may not get the same boost had the company invested in its staff directly.

Other organisations may affiliate with a charity that is close to the company’s heart. For example, a transport company based in London sponsors Great Ormond Street Hospital as the MD’s child was previously a patient. Consequently, the staff are more invested and, as they are encouraged to visit the children as often as possible, they have great pride in knowing that they are making a difference to the lives of others. ‘Giving back’ with this approach creates a feeling of fulfilment within the organisation, which in turn amplifies staff performance. To find out more or chat to Sukhi contact him via SukhiWahiwala.com or text: 07976 200193.

How can a company be an investor in its people or its environment and see a tangible return on investment?


Book A Free Demo Today www.trustedmedia.co.uk | 01733 788766 | hello@trustedmedia.co.uk

76 Down to Business

Personalised recruitment training programmes for recruitment professionals, corporate clients and candidates

Corporates We offer in-house bespoke interactive courses, workshops and executive coaching designed to raise the skills of both your HR professionals and line managers responsible for selecting the staff that will enhance your company.

Some of the issues we have covered with our corporate partners are: • • • • • • • •

Manage recruitment process CV reviewing and reading Managing candidates Offer management Writing job descriptions Shortlisting Conduct effective interviews Employment law


01733 306030 • info@yourrecruitmentcoach.co.uk 07791162481 • www.yourrecruitmentcoach.co.uk


Gravitas, Hospitality and Toff Gravitas was joined by its clients, supporters and friends for Winter Ladies Day at Huntingdon Racecourse, with a guest appearance by Georgia Toffolo, aka Queen of the Jungle and Made in Chelsea star. Photography: Lucy Dack Photography | lucydack.co.uk

78 Winter Ladies’ Day

Georgia Toffolo


80 Out and About

What’s on 21 - 25 January | Cabaret

Bill Kenwright presents the multi award-winning production of Kander and Ebb’s landmark musical, Cabaret. Directed by National Theatre Artistic Director Rufus Norris, the production has enjoyed two smash hit West End runs at The Lyric and The Savoy theatres. Cabaret features show-stopping choreography, dazzling costumes and iconic songs ‘Money Makes the World Go Round’, ‘Maybe This Time’, ‘Cabaret’ and more. It’s 1931, Berlin is a haven of divine decadence and the legendary Sally Bowles is about to take the stage at the infamous Kit Kat Klub… Starring John Partridge, Kara Lily Hayworth and Anita Harris. Age Guidance 13+. Admission: £22.50 - £45

25 January | Freckleface Candle Making Workshop & Afternoon Tea Enjoy an afternoon tea as you create your own high end, natural candle using the finest ingredients and just in time for Valentine’s Day! The workshop will run for up to three hours. Admission: £35 How to book: watersidegardencentre.co.uk Where: Waterside Garden Centre, King Street, Baston, Peterborough, PE6 9NY

How to book: 01733 852992 or newtheatre-peterborough.com/ book-online Where: New Theatre Peterborough, 46 Broadway, Peterborough, PE1 1RS

Every Saturday until 1 February Saturday Social Sailing is a great way to enjoy sailing on Rutland Water in a fun way. You can meet members or find a crew if you don’t have one. Sessions run every week, from 2- 4pm and cost just £15 to use a boat as a non-member, £12 if you are a member or just £8 if you use your own and are a Club Member. The sessions are led by a senior instructor who advises on how to sail better, how to start a race and how to get round the course. Admission: From £8 How to book: 01780 721999 or rutlandsailingschool.co.uk Where: Rutland Sailing School, Gibbetts Lane, Edith Weston, near Oakham, Rutland, LE15 8HJ

1 February – 15 | March Crowns & Gowns A fabulous collection of costumes, jewels, props, behind the scenes images and memorabilia from some of the major Hollywood movies filmed at Ely Cathedral. This fascinating exhibition in the Lady Chapel will showcase some of the most iconic gowns and outfits from Elizabeth: The Golden Age, The Other Boleyn Girl, The King’s Speech, Macbeth and The Crown. These productions bought global award winning actors to the Cathedral including Cate Blanchett, Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman, Michael Fassbender, Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush. Tickets - On the door: - Standard Cathedral admission fee including entrance to the exhibition £8 - Cathedral Pass Holders admission

to the exhibition £5 - Sunday Admission to the exhibition £5. Children under 16 free (when accompanied by a paying adult). Admission: From £5 How to book: 01353 667735 or elycathedral.org Where: Ely Cathedral, Ely, Cambridgeshire, CB7 4DL









FOOTLOOSE THE MUSICAL Stage Adaptation by DEAN PITCHFORD and WALTER BOBBIE Based on the Original Screenplay by DEAN PITCHFORD Music by TOM SNOW Lyrics by DEAN PITCHFORD Additional Music by ERIC CARMEN, SAMMY HAGAR, KENNY LOGGINS and JIM STEINMAN Presented by special arrangement with R&H Theatricals Europe

Tue 7 - Sat 11 July BOOK ONLINE AT


newtheatre-peterborough.com 01733 852 992

All tickets sold are subject to Selladoor Venues’ Terms and Conditions OR CALL BOX OFFICE

82 Out and About

Ed Byrne

at Peterborough, New Theatre Following his biggest ever tour last year and yet another sell-out Fringe run in August 2019, one of the UK’s finest observational comics embarks on an even bigger tour for 2019/2020 and is set to play at New Theatre, Peterborough on Wednesday 29th January. A TV household name, Ed has been seen on Mock The Week, Top Gear, Have I Got News For You, The Graham Norton Show, Live At The Apollo (Host), The One Show, The World’s Most Dangerous Roads, Dara & Ed’s Big Adventure, Dara and Ed’s Road to Mandalay and most recently QI and The Pilgrimage. The Irishman, however, is still best-known and best appreciated for his stand-up performances. A quarter of a century at the comedic coal-face has equipped Ed with a highly evolved story-telling ability and a silky mastery of his craft. Yet his wit, charm and self-deprecatory observational humour is often underpinned by a consistently hilarious vitriol and sense of injustice at a world that seems to be spinning ever more rapidly out of control.

Photography: Idil Sukan

Gender politics, for example, is something Ed readily engages with: ‘I’ll admit that there are things where men get a raw deal,’ he says. ‘We have higher suicide rates and we tend not to do well in divorces but representation in action movies is not something we have an issue with. It was Mad Max: Fury Road that kicked it all off, even though nobody complained about Ripley in Alien or Sarah Connor in Terminator 2. Of course, social media means this stuff gets broadcast far and wide in an instant, which emboldens people. The problem with men’s rights activists is that it’s not about speaking up for men’s rights, it’s about hating women. If you’re a men’s rights activist, you’re not going to care about the fact that there’s an all-female Ghostbusters remake. That’s nothing to do with men’s rights or female entitlement. That’s everything to do with being, well, a whiny baby.’ The new show also takes his natural tendency towards self-deprecation; he insists that, while the show might have

mordant aspects, it’s also not without its quietly triumphant moments. ‘I thought I was being quite upbeat talking about the small victories,’ he says. ‘You know, finding positivity in being able to spot when a cramp was about to happen in your leg and dealing with it before it does. I was very happy with myself about that.’ Age, it seems, has not withered him. Especially now that he’s figured out how to head off ailments before they become a problem! ‘You see comics who are my age and older but are still retaining a level of “cool” and drawing a young crowd. I can’t deny that I’m quite envious of that. But there’s also something very satisfying about your audience growing old with you.’ Join Ed as he takes a long hard look at himself and tries to decide if he has any traits that are worth passing on to his children. To book tickets log on to: newtheatre-peterborough.com Ed Byrne is also touring nationwide. For more information, please visit edbyrne.com

There’s something very satisfying about your audience growing old with you

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Profile for Gravitas Magazine

Gravitas Winter Issue 2020  

Gravitas Winter Issue 2020