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Late Winter 2016 Issue 8 | £3.95

Away with the grey...

Crowdcube Digital disruptor, global pioneer – exclusive with founder Luke Lang

Spa special Go get pampered

Family friendly holidays Is there such a thing?

Eat yourself happy It’s easier than you think

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NEW YEAR NEW HOME Over the festive break, hundreds of people will have discussed their next move. Call us today for a free market appraisal to make sure that your property is waiting for them this year.

Belstone, Okehampton Guide price: £1,250,000

Padstow, Cornwall Guide price: £1,150,000

Bridestowe, Okehampton Guide price: £1,700,000

Camel Estuary, Cornwall Guide price: £2,750,000

Fowey Estuary, Cornwall Guide price: £1,975,000

Greenway, River Dart Guide price: £900,000

Grenofen, Tavistock Guide price: £995,000

Bishopsteignton, Teignmouth Guide price: £1,400,000

St Leonards, Exeter Guide price: £1,000,000

Topsham, Exeter Guide price: £1,850,000

To find out how we can help you please contact us. Exeter@knightfrank.com 01392 976832

@KFExeter KnightFrank.co.uk/Exeter

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HELPING YOU MOVE IN 2016

Padstow, Cornwall Guide price: £695,000

Kilmington, Axminster Guide price: £1,450,000

With 64% of our sales going to buyers already registered on our database can you afford not to call us? To find out how we can help you please contact us Exeter@knightfrank.com 01392 976832

@KFExeter KnightFrank.co.uk/Exeter

Kingswear, Devon Guide price: £1,995,000

Lympstone, Devon Guide price: £1,750,000

Mamhead, Exeter Guide price: £1,100,000

Milverton, Somerset Guide price: £4,500,000

Newton Ferrers, Devon Guide price: £2,250,000

Helford River, Cornwall Guide price: £1,750,000

St Leonards, Exeter Guide price: £1,275,000

Lympstone, Devon Guide price: £2,300,000 MANOR | Late Winter 2016

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Accounts . Wealth . Legal


Contents

Late Winter 2016

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34

50 40 Regulars 15 TOWN MOUSE, COUNTRY MOUSE

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Correspondence from across the divide

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TRENDS Nude romantic and shoulder the glory

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MANOR CONFIDENTIAL

Features 28 SEA LIFE Heather Koldewey, head of global conservation for the Zoological Society of London

The Ship, Hearth & Cook, Amos Lighting

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AS I SEE IT...

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Style & Beauty 20 BEAUTY TUTORIAL

CROWD PLEASERS The world’s first online equity crowdfunding initiative. MANOR meets co-founder Luke Lang

Novelist Emily Barr

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ARCTIC EXPOSURE In a special interview, explorer Ann Daniels describes her adventures whilst being photographed with a 100-year-old-camera

Give your skin a nutritional kick-start

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MY FEEL-GOOD REGIME St Just-based ceramicisit Catherine Lucktaylor

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THE STYLE SHOOT Colour splash

Photostory 40 A DIFFERENT SPIN Andrew Butler’s unique images of wind turbines

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60 62

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Culture 56 MAKING SPACE Artist Volkhardt Müller makes work in response to Exeter and its populace

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KEEP TAKING THE TABLOIDS Comic Strip actor and director Peter Richardson on his new film The Red Top!

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SOUTH WEST MUST SEES...

Space 88 CURATE YOUR SPACE Interior stylist Sania Pell brings her contemporary tableaux to Devon Guild of Crafts

What’s on around the region

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WORTH MAKING THE TRIP FOR... Cultural highlights from the metropolis

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WORTH STAYING IN FOR... Quality time on your sofa

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SHOPPING FOR SPACE Tone on tone

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Q&A David Amos of Amos Lighting


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114 131 Food 98 THOUGHTFUL FOOD Winter Living Nutrition at Trill Farm, Devon

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EAT YOURSELF HAPPY

MANOR school 136 NEWS IN BRIEF New head at St Peter’s Prep; Kings College and Brook Gallery; Warriors author visits The Maynard; Millfield named Apple Distinguished School

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Professor Ruth Merttens offers the fifth part in her series on how to Help Your Child at Home

TIps and advice on how to combat winter blues through healthy eating

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BITES

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THE TABLE PROWLER ...dines out at Beach House, South Milton, Devon and Shotgun, Soho, London

Escape 114 REACH FOR THE SPAS Rejuvenate yourself with MANOR’s review of some of the South West’s best

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FAMILY FRIENDLY HOLIDAYS Three ideas for the perfect getaway

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ON WATCH Artist and novice sailor Naomi Hart heads north on an Arctic adventure

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MUSICAL TRUTH Why a broad musical education can help a child’s development from an early age

Food news from across the peninsula

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PUTTING PEN TO PAPER

GOOD TO SNOW A luxurious ski trip to Val D’Isere

Property 149 THE BULLETIN The second-home market – a good investment?

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PROPERTY OF NOTE Character and comfort – The Farmhouse, Cornwall

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SNAPSHOT COMPARATIVE A selection ofsecond homes in the South West and London

Back page 162 BLACK BOOK Secrets from traveller and esteemed food blogger Jared Green

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is brought to you by PUBLISHING EDITOR

Imogen Clements imogen@manormagazine.co.uk

COMMISSIONING EDITOR

Jane Fitzgerald jane@manormagazine.co.uk

FEATURE WRITERS

Fiona McGowan, Harriet Mellor ARTS EDITOR

Belinda Dillon belinda@manormagazine.co.uk

FOOD EDITOR

Anna Turns anna@manormagazine.co.uk

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS

Jared Green, Tricity Vogue DESIGN

Guy Cracknell ADVERTISING SALES

Michael Wignall joins Gidleigh Park as Executive Head Chef

Rachel Evans, Rae Muscat, Natasha Radford advertising@manormagazine.co.uk

One of the most respected chefs in the UK, Michael Wignall has won Michelin stars in every kitchen he has headed since being awarded his first star in 1993. Michael is famed for his respect for food and an ever evolving style which creates unique dishes full of flavour and underpinned by a contemporary, less formal approach to fine cuisine. Describing his food as ‘modern, technical and meaningful’, each element features to add flavour or texture, enticing diners to experience new combinations and ingredients. Sample Michael’s new menus: Seven-course tasting menu £110.00 Ten-course tasting menu £130.00

To book a table, please call 01647 481 358 or visit www.gidleigh.co.uk Available from 22nd January 2016. Subject to availability. Pre-booking is essential.

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THE COVER Tube dress, £19.99; yellow sweater, £12.99 – both Zara; shoes, L K Bennett, £275; Stylist: Mimi Stott; Photographer: Jimmy Swindells; Model: Donatella Pegler; Hair and Make-Up: Philippa Spring

© MANOR Publishing Ltd, 2016. MANOR Magazine is published by Manor Publishing Ltd, Registered office: MANOR Publishing Ltd, 52/54 Higher Compton Road, Plymouth, PL3 5JE. Registered in England No. 09264104 info@manormagazine.co.uk. Printed by Warners Midlands plc.


Hello, and welcome to the first MANOR of 2016! We felt that we wouldn’t follow the standard ‘get fit, purge and detox’ resolution treadmill that magazines usually take at the start of the year but instead kick off with a ‘just do it’ issue. This issue is about inspiring a whole new you, one that is healthy and glowing, yes, but also motivated to consider doing something radical, be it travel, business, or home-related. With that in mind we were keen to profile one of the UK’s biggest online success stories, Crowdcube, whose driving force is to generate funding for growing businesses by making it easy for anyone to invest in them. With their ‘armchair dragon’ concept, not only has Crowdcube grown rapidly as a company, they have helped fund numerous highly creative and ground-breaking initiatives. Such is the scope and ingenuity of their digital concept, the company has attracted global attention and senior executives from Google, eBay and Ask.com to work for them in Exeter. Heather Koldewey is head of global conservation for the Zoological Society of London and one of the world’s most highly respected marine conservationists. Based in Cornwall, she will spend much of the year exploring and assessing marine habitats in locations as diverse as Mexico and the Philippines in her bid to save fish from extinction, and educating foreign governments on how they can protect their coastlines and oceans. She has a young family and lives some distance from her London HQ but makes it work, doing a job she loves and bringing her children up in a beautiful part of the world by the sea. Ann Daniels has been to the North Pole six times, and holds the world record with team-mate Caroline Hamilton for being the only all-woman team to reach the North and South Poles. Daniels has led three Catlin Arctic Surveys to study the icecaps and been caught in Arctic storms so severe they have very nearly killed her. She conveys what such extreme experiences have taught her in life and her motives for offering to lead another Arctic expedition in 2017 that will comprise young, recovering mental health patients. Sticking with the environmental theme is our photostory. Highly skilled photographer Andrew Butler was commissioned in 2015 to capture the construction of a windfarm near St Eval, Cornwall. Although a less conventional subject, Butler has a particular interest in conveying the beauty in construction and engineering, and his study of turbines in this issue will, frankly, blow you away. In line with the positive theme we thought we’d counter a typically grey start to the year with a highly vibrant style shoot, whose own backdrop shows just what colour there still exists in nature, even at a time of year when the flowers aren’t blooming. We have the usual beauty tips and fashion inspiration plus insight from one of the country’s best interiors stylists, Sania Pell, on what makes a living space a work of art. Overhaul your home, overhaul your life; make 2016 a year to ‘just do it’ because time flies – the next issue of MANOR will be our first anniversary issue and our launch seems only yesterday! We look forward to seeing you then.

Imogen Clements FOUNDER & PUBLISHING EDITOR The views of the writers in MANOR Magazine are not necessarily those shared by the publisher. Unsolicited manuscripts, artwork or transparencies are accepted on the understanding that the publishers incur no liability for their storage or return. The contents of MANOR Magazine are fully protected by copyright and may not be reproduced without permission. By submitting material to MANOR Magazine, MANOR Magazine Ltd is automatically granted the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use, reproduce, edit, distribute and display such material (in whole or part) and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed for the full term of any rights that may exist in such content. The contributor acknowledges that material submitted may be published in any

publication or website produced or published by MANOR Publishing Ltd.The contributor agrees not to submit material where they do not own the copyright and where they have not obtained all necessary licenses and/or approvals from the rightful owner. With respect to any photographs submitted, the contributor confirms that all necessary model and property releases have been obtained from any clearly identifiable person appearing in any image, together with any other relevant consents required. Prices and details of services and products are genuinely believed to be correct at the time of going to press, but may change. Although every effort is made to maintain accuracy we regret we are unable to honour any incorrect prices or other details that may be printed.

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Home is is where where the the hearth hearth is. is. Home

CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE To see the finest selection of Morsø Stoves in the South West, many of which are live & working, visit Hearth & Cook. Here you’ll find a huge range of both traditional and contemporary appliances that will suit every home. Visit our showroom in Exeter, website, or call us to find out more.

Call 01392 797679 ● www.hearthandcook.com 14 Oaktree Place, Manaton Close, Matford, Exeter. EX2 8WA

H E A T I N G , 14

MANOR | Late Winter 2016

C O O K I N G

&

L I V I N G


TOWN MOUSE, COUNTRY MOUSE Darling...

Sweetness...

I am kicking off the year with some radical changes around here. I have decided to eschew Notting Hill stark lines and minimalism, and plan to make my surrounds a little more cosy. More mess and clutter, you know (I know you do). It’s time I injected more character in the abode and calmed down a bit about the speck of dust or stuff being out of place. Along similar lines, I plan to save hundreds by replacing Virgin Active’s deluxe local gym for the park – exercise that involves less screen time and more outdoors. All this centrally heated, molly-coddled city living is bad for the soul and the figure. I feel that I need to expose myself to the elements more to burn those calories, rather than be in a state of perpetual denial. I’m sure there’s a best-selling book in it. Get out and cold and ruddycheeked chasing after sticks and dogs, and watch the weight fall away. I shall make a point of going out in my trainers and Sweaty Betty lurex every time it rains. One has to suffer a little to feel truly invigorated, don’t you think sweetie? I have been living a sterile, sedentary life for too long. I am therefore intent on making 2016 the year I reconnect with nature. I shall go foraging in the local farmers’ market, buy things that don’t come in plastic trays but that I can pluck and gut, sniff fruit and fungi, and start to bake my own bread. I might even grow my own veg. Starting with herbs – nothing too tricky – to throw into the rabbit stew. As for sartorial matters, I shall remain in fur and tweed until spring and be altogether a little less groomed – were I a man I would grow a bushy, unruly beard but as a woman I shall have to make do with the female equivalent of tousled, slightly tangled bob, a la Chung. What do you think? There’s much we can learn from you country folk.

That all sounds wonderful, and rather familiar… Funnily enough, I am going to take the opposite tack in 2016. I am tired of the clutter and plan to clear it all and get back to minimalism. It’s all getting on top of me, literally, and I am losing things on a regular basis. I shall instead be adopting architectural lines, various shades of Farrow & Ball white and some rather classy lighting to illuminate it all beautifully. I am going to join a gym again as I need thumping bass, nubile young pop stars on a flatscreen, and treadmill competition to help stem the tide that is my spreading rear and the result of a year spent baking bread, cakes, you name it. Mary Berry has a lot to answer for. I have taken the country look too far and shall be focusing instead on high level grooming Anna Wintour-style (but without the shades). I plan to peruse the counters in John Lewis in search of a full cosmetic overhaul and sartorially, as the weight falls away, I will be stocking up on nude and flatforms (all over the SS16 catwalks, sweetness). My hairdresser will be ordered to hack off the matted mop and sharpen tresses into Sassoon-style tailoring. It will require blow-drying daily, I’m quite aware of that, but I have become slovenly through hibernation and need to sharpen my act. What with all the head-to-toe maintenance, the new me will have no time to bake, forage and grow, and will instead be relying on more Waitrose ready meals. So the polar opposite to you, darling. Funny, hey? Perhaps, to make it simple, we should just swap homes and lives, to see how we get on. Be rather a novel idea, don’t you think?

WHAT’S HOT IN THE SMOKE?

WHAT’S COOL IN THE COUNTRY?

Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse at the Royal Academy of Arts from 30 January-20 April examines the role gardens played in the evolution of art from the 1860s to the 1920s.

Exeter’s premiere annual Comedy Festival will be at venues in and around the city centre from 24 January - 12 February 2016 with some of the country’s top stand-up comedians and entertainers.

Vogue 100: A Century of Style at the National Portrait Gallery from 11 February – 22 May showcases the range of photography that has been commissioned by British Vogue since it was founded in 1916. Unmissable.

The Chagford Inn is a true culinary find. Delectable three-course fine dining to be found in this small relaxed village pub.

Love a musical for sheer exhiliration! Guys and Dolls, one of the best, is at the Savoy Theatre until 12 March 2016.

St Ives Feast & Hurling the Silver Ball, 8 February. A rare chance to watch the game of Hurling the Silver Ball, a centuries-old form of rugby.

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Earrings, Accessorize, £8

Nude romantic

Marks and Spencer

Yes, yes, we know it’s still chilly out there, but fashion thinks well ahead and choice items sell out fast so we thought we’d feature a couple of spring trends so you’re well ahead of the game. Romantic and feminine, nude featured heavily on SS16 catwalks, manifested in pretty dresses and delicate layering. There is something rather 1930s about it, thinkl Agatha Christie garden party, just before the Colonel chokes on his cucumber sandwich.

Stella McCartney, £252

Marks and Spencer, £15

Dress, Zara, £29.99

Top, Zara, £19.99

Handbag, House of Fraser, £35 Belt, Hobbs, £49 Perfume bottle, Biba, House of Fraser, £59 16

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trends Silver Nuggets Chain, Necklace, The White Company, £35

Triangle studs, Whistles, £20

Scarf, Hobbs, £49 Dress, Marks and Spencer, £75

Dress, Marks and Spencer, £69

Marks and Spencer

Strappy pump, Marks and Spencer

Shoes, Marks and Spencer

Shoes, Hobbs, £159

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Shoulder the glory

Marks and Spencer

Be prepared to bare your shoulders this spring and summer. Such was the popularity of shoulder exposure amongst fashion labels that the high street has responded with enthusiasm. Where baring skin is concerned there are few zones that are more elegant, and forgiving. We like.

Bracelet, Accessorize

Dress, Hobbs, £199

Top, Hobbs, £129

Trousers, Zara, £39.99

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Pumps, Zara, £39.99

Top, Zara, £29.99

Skirt, Zara, £29.99


trends Hobbs

Top, Zara, £39.99

Top, River Island, £25

Open side wedges, Whistles, £195

beautiful fused glass interior pieces, handmade at our cornwall studio. bespoke design service available. galleries at st ives, padstow, fowey and launceston, cornwall and ripley, surrey. www.jodowns.com

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beauty

Good to glow No doubt you’re already well into the new year detox regime, but what are you feeding your skin? Make-up artist Elouise Abbott offers advice on giving your skin a nutritional kick-start this season.

T

he beginning of the year tends to be all about renewal. As we embark on 2016 with a fresh start in mind, resolutions made around health and well-being tend to focus on exercise, nutrition and detoxing, but there’s much to consider – and do – when it comes to skin. We all know that the key to fantastic skin is a balanced diet and plenty of water, but good skin also requires that extra topical boost from good skincare products, especially during the winter months when harsh environmental factors take their toll (as have the indulgences of the festive season). Here are a few products that are at the top of my list for their detoxing and nutritional properties. Charlotte Tilbury MultiMiracle Glow cleanser, mask and balm is a three-in-one skin treatment packed with powerhouse antioxidants, vitamins A, C and E. You can use it as a deep-cleansing face balm – just apply, massage and

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rinse – or as a mask that you leave on overnight for a kick start to that new year skin regime. Perfect for dry, dehydrated, sensitive skin in need of a little TLC. A good clay mask is an excellent way to detox your skin, as clay draws out impurities and environmental pollutants while balancing oil and refining skin texture. Clay masks are perfect for combination to oily skin, and ideal treatments for skin suffering from blemishes. I love the Dr Hauschka Clarifying Clay Mask. Using holistic ingredients – loess clay and witch hazel – this product deeply cleanses the skin and also acts as a gentle exfoliator, leaving the skin soft, smooth, refined and balanced. Origins Clear Improvement Mask is another favourite, and combines the ingredients charcoal and white China clay to break down pore-clogging dirt, doubling the power of drawing out environmental pollutants.


Bare Minerals 7-Day Detox provides the ultimate home peel in a seven-day renewal program. the combination of exfoliating acids, hydrators, and kombucha tea working together to detoxify, exfoliate and stimulate cell renewal. The wonderful thing about exfoliating skin programs like this is that they make skin so much more receptive to the active ingredients in your other skincare products. VITAMIN A – THE ANTI-AGER

Vitamin A is more often known as Retinol or Retin-A in the skincare world and is a strong antioxidant, and the core ingredient of antiaging. Best used at night as it is sunsensitive, Retinol increases collagen production, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, as well as reducing dark spots. Dermalogica Age Smart Overnight Retinol Repair provides concentrated, accelerated skin renewal while you sleep. The best for anti-ageing. VITAMIN C – THE ILLUMINATOR

Vitamin C is key to skin brightening and rejuvenation. An antioxidant, vitamin C not only boosts collagen production, encouraging youthful skin, but also soothes inflammation and irritation. REN Radiance Perfection Serum promises to energize and brighten the skin, while reducing the signs of ageing. This serum will boost tired, dull skin, encouraging a youthful, radiant glow. LADIES & GENTLEMENS EMPORIUM

VITAMIN E – THE PROTECTOR

Vitamin E is also an antioxidant, key in neutralizing nasty free radicals. It protects and hydrates while also fighting the signs of premature ageing. Neal’s Yard Vitamin E and Avocado Night Cream provides the perfect night-time nutrition for your skin, protecting as you sleep. Works wonders for dry, dehydrated skin.

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My feel-good regime Catherine Lucktaylor lives in St Just with her 8-year-old son. She is a ceramicist specialising in hand-built raku-fired pots, which are sold through five galleries – four in Cornwall and one in London – and online via her website (lucktaylorceramics.co.uk). She also teaches Raku courses from her studio near the ancient settlement of Carn Euny, five miles from Penzance. We live in the most westerly town in England,

I am now learning how to rollerskate, thanks to my

surrounded by wild and rugged coastline and amazing beaches. I’m originally from Liverpool and did my foundation course in Art and Design in Huddersfield, before studying for my degree in Ceramics at Wolverhampton. I came to Cornwall via, Cardiff, Brighton and Oxford and have lived here for more than six years. It is the first place I have wanted to settle.

son, Leon. It is such fun and he even had a roller disco party for his birthday.

My work is my passion, which makes me feel very

A friend recently bought me a Nutri Ninja, so we are

fortunate. I love making pots! I also enjoy the other aspects of running my own business and the freedom this gives me.

having fun making healthy smoothies, perfect for when I’m busy.

I enjoy cooking when I have the time, I find it

relaxing. I am always on the look-out for healthy and tasty meals that my son will eat too. Luckily he likes spicy food as much as I do. We also love to eat out – our favourite restaurant is Thai Moon in Penzance.

I love live music and although I don’t get to go on Exhibiting your work is an amazing experience and

I did so for the first time a few months ago at the Cornwall Design Fair. I hope to be there again this year. When I first came to Cornwall I did an NVQ in Business Start Up for Creative Practitioners. It was really hard work but so worth it as I created a business plan and really got clear on the direction I wanted my business to go in. I mainly use Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to market my work. I love to walk and explore the coastal path s and the

many ancient sacred sites in my area. I always feel at peace when I’m by the sea. The shapes and colours of my ceramics are influenced by the wild beauty of the Cornish land and seascape.

a night out very often, I did recently go to a gig at The Globe in Cardiff to see Jah Wobble... it was incredible, such an amazing musician. On a night out in Penzance I always like to check out what bands are playing at the Studio Bar. I used to read a lot more before I had my son!

I generally have several books on the go, piled up by the side of my bed. At the moment I’m reading Raku by Tim Andrews and Mastering Raku by Steven Brandman. I’m also reading George R.R. Martin’s epic A Song of Ice and Fire. I’m only on book three, but have now succumbed to watching the box set, which is visually stunning and full of interesting characters and plenty of intrigue. I practice yoga and try to get a massage regularly.

I also love to have a spa day every now and then to really relax, slow down and unwind. I love looking round charity shops to find unique

and interesting clothes. I go to Oxford frequently and love spending an afternoon wandering round TK Maxx. I’ve also recently discovered Apricot, which has loads of amazing dresses. St Ives is also a great place to shop, with lots of independent shops and unusual gifts. I also love going back to Brighton, which has such free and exciting energy. Wild Cornwall Landscape Pot and Tall Fluted Landscape Pot, examples of Catherine’s work 22

MANOR | Late Winter 2016


The dramatic Cornish coastal path at Botallack, near St Just

LANGUISHING IN MY WASHBAG My essentials include Rimmel Extra 3D Lash Mascara and a Rimmel Exaggerate Liquid Eye Liner, both in black. I also have MAC Select Cover-Up concealer. I have sensitive skin and really like Superdrug’s Simply Pure range. I have Gentle Facial Wash, Smoothing Facial Scrub and Moisturiser. I moisturise with Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Moisturising Body Oil whilst I am still wet from the shower and I love Baylis & Harding Sweet Mandarin & Grapefruit body wash and body lotion. My hair tends to get frizzy so I wash once a week with Serendipity Herbals Neem Shield Shampoo and leave in my Argan Oil conditioner. Between washes I spray my hair with Arganistry Argan Hair Mist. I love natural essential oils and will use a combination of lavender, marjoram or frankincense with lemon or orange for perfume. I’ve also got some gorgeous perfume oils I got in Dubai.

Top of the range beauty treatments from head to toe EXCLUSIVE FREE TREATMENT OFFER* Book a treatment and take this page to Visage House to receive another treatment absolutely free.

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The Ship relaunched One of the most iconic buildings in Plymouth, The Ship, built by Sir Nicholas Grimshaw in 1993, showcased its grand relaunch on 3 December 2015. Developers Burrington Estates bought the building in 2015, saving it from almost certain demolition and have turned it into a hub for entrepreneurs and businesses operating within the South West. In keeping with this they renamed it The Ship – Spirit of Enterprise. With a turnout of over 250 people, which included Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, Deputy Lieutenant Sir Richard Ibbotson and Lord Mayor Councillor Dr John Mahony, there was a genuine sense of celebration and collective warmth that this unique building had been rescued and reinvigorated. Sir Nicholas Grimshaw said, “I am delighted to see The Ship humming again. The future is bright for getting all kinds of different uses in here. It is wonderful to come here to see people so enthusiastic about the building.” Mark Edworthy of Burrington Estates said, “We are relaunching this Ship on a new voyage – The Ship provides Plymouth with a platform to market itself all over the world because the building is totally unique.” Photos by Tony Cobley.

Sophie Marie King, a classically trained soprano singer based in the South West

Deputy Lieutenant Sir Richard Ibbotson

Sir Nicholas Grimshaw speaking to guests

Choir and Orchestra - GoPalace charity in Plymouth

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Mark Edworthy, Deputy Lieutenant Sir Richard Ibbotson, Sir Nicholas Grimshaw and Lord Mayor Councillor Dr John Mahony

Paul Scantlebury (Burrington Estates) Sir Nicholas Grimshaw (original architect) and Mark Edworthy (Burrington Estates)


confidential

Hearth & Cook On 10 December, Hearth & Cook, home to brands Morso, Esse and La Cornue, celebrated the launch of its showroom in Exeter. Professional chef Tim Maddams, from the River Cottage TV series, and Michelin-trained Josh McDonald-Johnson from Pickle Shack treated guests to Champagne, canapés and cookery demonstrations throughout the evening. Photos by Peter Stephens.

Amos Lighting Over 60 guests attended a glittering evening to celebrate the relaunch of Amos Lighting’s extensive showroom. Nicola and David Amos welcomed customers, design clients, suppliers and friends to enjoy wine and canapés and the evening included a raffle for a Foscarini ‘Twiggy’ floor lamp, which was won by Steve Tomlinson of Hearth & Cook. Photos: Ashton Hargreaves.

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As I see it...

Emily Barr has written 12 novels, including the bestseller The Sleeper, about a couple who have an affair on the Penzance to London sleeper train. In 2015, she signed a publishing deal with Penguin for her first Young Adult thriller. When I was at university, you could do things like study History of Art without really knowing what you were going to do. I spent almost all of my time on the student newspaper, and then won an award that meant I got to do a couple of weeks’ work experience at The Guardian. I ended up working there the whole summer. I have been incredibly lucky: when I graduated from university, I got a call from The Guardian saying, “We need to get somebody new for the Diary column and we don’t want to advertise it.” So I ditched my boring job at an art gallery and just went in and started doing the Diary section. I always knew I wasn’t really one of life’s journalists. I never followed up opportunities to become a news journalist. Then, one day, the bloke who sat next to me flung himself down and said, “I’ve resigned. I’m moving to Scotland to write my novel.” And I thought – if I don’t do something like that, nothing is ever going to change. So then and there I wrote an email to the travel editor, saying, “How about I go backpacking for a year and write a column for you?” She immediately replied, “Yes – can you come and see me right now?” When you are young, you take everything for granted. Now, the time is so hard-won. Back then, you could go away for a year and make your own adventures. And as long as you’d vaguely planned for the financial side of things, you didn’t have to think about practicalities. Recently, my partner and I went to Rio. Sorting out all the logistics of it all just for one week was quite a feat, mainly because we have five children between us. It’s harder to get a first novel published now than it was 15 years ago. While I was travelling, I started a novel, written on bits of paper. Then I emailed a Guardian colleague, and said, “You know your friend, the agent, can you give me his email address?” So I emailed Jonny Geller (who was the hot agent at the time) and he said, “Come in when you’re back and we’ll talk about it.” So I met him, and he helped me to get a really good publishing deal. Art History has really stayed with me. When I go to London, one of my comfort things is to go to the National Gallery because when I was studying at the Cortauld Institute, I used to go there all the time. There are some paintings in there I know so well… it’s really kind of grounding. The Titian ‘Bacchus and Ariadne’ is my favourite. Beautiful blue sky, and Bacchus jumping to save Ariadne: it’s a relationship thing... The positives of being in a relationship with a fellow writer are just massive. He reads all my stuff, which really helps me out with plotting – and I do the

same for him. It was Craig who said, “Why don’t you do your Arctic thriller as a Young Adult book?” And actually, because the protagonist was so young, it worked completely: it totally fell into place as the book it should be. Once you start writing, you don’t ever want to stop. I spent a year writing and re-writing the Arctic novel and my finances were falling apart. My credit cards were going up and up, the zero per-cent deals were ending, and it was overwhelmingly terrifying. I was completely shielding the children from it, so they didn’t really realise, but I was teetering on the brink. Then my agent sent it out and everyone wanted to publish it. In the end, I went with Penguin. I love writing for teenagers, because you can be so sincere. There’s no cynicism. My Arctic novel is about obsessive first love. Flora had a head injury when she was 10 and forgets things all the time. She has to leave herself notes and write things on her hand, but then she kisses a boy on the beach in Penzance – and she remembers it. So she thinks he’s going to cure her. Then he goes off to the Arctic to work, and she chases off to find him. Anybody who’s been a teenager will know that feeling: “I’ll do anything for you, I’ll follow you anywhere.” It’s really raw emotion. I’ve got a yearning to go and live on an island in Brazil. Ilha de Paquetá is only an hour on the ferry from Rio, but there are no cars on it. It’s all crumbling colonial buildings and massive tropical trees – we hired bikes and rode around aimlessly on dusty, sandy roads. Everywhere you go are the sounds of Brazilian music coming out of people’s houses. I’d like to rent a house there for the British winter and just write a book. Running writing workshops has been really good for me, because it makes me think how I do it. I love making people write. I just say, “Now write this” – and they sit there and do it. Then I make everybody read it out, which is really good for them, because they hear other people writing about the same thing, but completely differently. Margaret Atwood is my inspiration. I’d say she’s the greatest living writer. I love the way that she doesn’t write in any particular genre. She just does whatever she wants – she’ll go into sci fi or real-life relationships, or things can go weird: people can travel into computer games or anything at all. I love that – she’ll do what she wants, and just do it amazingly. The Sleeper, published by Hodder Headline, is available in all good bookshops. Emily’s novel The One Memory of Flora Banks will be published by Penguin in 2017. emilybarr.com

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Heather Koldewey at work in the Philippines. The building is a Marine Protected Area guardhouse

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As head of global conservation for the Zoological Society of London, Heather Koldewey is passionate about protecting marine habitats around the world. Fiona McGowan heads to Cornwall to discuss Welsh trout, tropical mangroves and carpets made of fishing nets.

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here’s a group of islands in the Indian Ocean nearly 1,000km south of the Maldives and 2,000km east of the Seychelles. They are palm-fringed, whitesanded atolls sitting in pristine turquoise waters that drop away to teeming coral reefs and the inky depths of ocean. They are uninhabited, and the area around the archipelago is the world’s largest marine conservation area: 544,000 sq km of Oceanic Preservation and Protection Zone, where fishing is banned. It is here that a team of conservation experts monitors and analyses an untouched realm of sea-life. One of the people diving with the team is marine biologist Heather Koldewey – the head of global conservation for the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), and one of the world’s most highly respected individuals in marine conservation. That Heather manages to combine this job – the impact of which reaches, tentacle-like, around the world – with a family life in Marazion, Cornwall, is a miracle to me. As we sit in a huge bay window at the Godolphin Arms, overlooking a beach scattered with children from the local school, and dominated by the iconic castle of St Michael’s Mount, Heather charts her journey to this point. “My children go to that school,” she says, smiling. “They go to the beach all the time. And see that kite out there?” She points to the bright parabola of a kite-surf sail racing across Mount’s Bay. “That’s my husband, teaching kite surfing.” What looks like perfection on this sunny autumn day is, of course, no easy coast. Heather works two days a week in London, and when she’s at home, often has to work all hours of the day and late into the night because of the time-zone differences between ZSL’s HQ and all of its outposts around the world. The children – aged eight and five – often beg for Mummy to stay at home. Journeying to the Philippines for three-week stints twice a year, with intermittent trips to Chagos and various conferences and work around the world, is gruelling. The payoff, however, is tremendous: diving on coral reefs in tropical oceans, spending time working with ZSL teams. “We employ local people for all of our bases overseas,” she explains, as well as working to educate and influence governments in protecting their coastlines and oceans.

It’s incredible to think that this all started with a lot of stomping around the Welsh countryside in wellies, studying the genetics of river trout. As a child, Heather lived all around the world – a “military brat”, as she puts it – until she was about 12, when her parents bought a small farm near Bideford in Devon. “I’m definitely a Westcountry girl,” she says, enthusing about a youth spent rockpooling, windsurfing, diving and horse-riding. Her passion for animals and wildlife led her to imagine becoming a vet, “but I didn’t get the grades,” she explains. It was a good thing she didn’t – those grades led her into a Biological Sciences degree, which inexorably led to the role she now holds: as a highly influential figure in global conservation. With a PhD in Welsh trout genetics (“it’s quite niche”), Dr Koldewey had a deep understanding of conservation. Stomping around in wellies was clearly natural for a girl brought up on a farm, but it was examining the effect of decades of mining pollution on fish populations in the Welsh rivers, and working closely with locals on a management plan for restocking rivers that set her up for the future. Her job was as much about empathy and searching for solutions to man-made problems as it was about doing genetic analyses in the lab. While working as a post-doc geneticist at the Institute of Zoology in London (the academic arm of ZSL), she heard about a job running the reptile house and aquarium at London Zoo. “I was sharing an office with a bat researcher, and she bet me a bottle of wine that I wouldn’t get the job.” She was amazed to be offered the position. She was young, female, inexperienced and, by her own admission, naive. “It was unusual having a scientist going into management – that was a real challenge for me,” she says. Not least because she was in charge of keepers who had been working there for decades. She was tested at every step of the way – from having a snake thrust into her hands by one keeper – “Of course I wasn’t scared” – to being in charge of the entire zoo every third weekend: “We had to be prepared for an animal to escape. I was a trout geneticist, and I was planning a scenario of what to do if a tiger gets out.” Luckily, a background of helping her mum on the farm, working with tough Welsh countryside bailiffs,

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It was the little seahorse that was instrumental in globalising Heather’s focus.

PHOTO: MELITA SAMOILYS

Coconut crab night survey, Chagos archipelago

Heather with women in Panay, Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan

Visiting a fishing community in Cameroon

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and her personality – “I’m very stubborn” – enabled her to create a role for herself and develop an elite team of conservation-focused staff. Her youth and drive enabled her to push for more conservation awareness in the aquarium side of things, and she went on to spearhead ZSL projects all around the world, saving marine and freshwater fish from extinction in locations as diverse as Mexico and the Philippines. It was the little seahorse that was instrumental in globalising Heather’s focus. Millions of these creatures are traded around the world every year, sold to aquariums or as dried trinkets. In 1996, Heather worked with a team to unravel the myriad genetic types of seahorse, then set up breeding programmes which have since been adopted as part of a Europe-wide initiative. “Part of my job was conservation,” says Heather, “and I had the freedom to pick what I wanted to save. I thought – I’ve been stomping around really cold rivers for so long, let’s see where I can go that’s a bit warmer.” Seahorses are found in waters all around the world, but they are mostly traded from Asia. They are a great flagship for conservation: “You’ve got a fish that’s really cute, the males get pregnant, and they live in some of the most threatened marine habitats – all the shallow coastal waters and reefs, mangroves, seagrasses – but they also live in the UK.” Project Seahorse took Heather to the Philippines for the first time, and she formed an intense bond with the place that she now calls her second home. She has helped to launch ZSL projects to protect mangroves: salt-water forests and vegetation that provide habitats for endangered species, as well as protection from the ever-increasing risk of typhoons and extreme weather systems. Working with local teams, she empowers people to set up their own seedling nurseries and re-plant the mangroves. The issue is that mangroves are being cut down to make way for fisheries or other development. It’s a shortterm solution – although local people benefit from the fisheries, mangroves are vital for maintaining the ecosystem and protecting communities from storms and extreme weather. For Heather, her love for the Philippines isn’t just about diving on coral reefs, working on unspoilt sandy beaches and protecting mangroves. “It’s about the people there,” she says. “Our team is amazing. The passion and commitment. As a nation, the Philippines is so happy with so little. It’s a very grounding experience spending time there. It’s also a very family-oriented society. Absolute respect for the elders, absolute joy in encompassing children into everything… and just the sound of laughter.” In the face of ever-increasing natural disasters and destruction of marine habitats, it is often the local ZSL teams who are best placed to guide the disaster aid agencies after a typhoon or an earthquake. Heather frequently finds herself offering advice to


feature charities like ShelterBox and Oxfam, and is always amazed to see how committed local people are to regenerating the conservation programmes after a disaster has swept away homes and livelihoods. Thousands of miles away from the Philippines is another of Heather’s most adored places. The Chagos islands are uninhabited – although not through choice. The British government evicted the residents in the 1970s to make way for a US military base. There is an ongoing campaign to re-patriate the Chagossians. In the meantime, side-stepping the political minefield, ZSL is focused on this unspoiled archipelago as a marine conservation area, ripe for scientific fact-finding and research into possible ways to resolve the destruction of habitats in other marine areas around the world. One of Heather’s greatest passions – and the very crux of her job – is problem solving. “It’s very exciting. Looking at new ways of doing things is what’s really fun. And the ocean’s just awesome. You know that everything you look at, you’re going to learn something new. There’s never a dull day. The abundance of fish and the pristine nature of the corals in Chagos is mindblowing. I just get underwater there and squeal like a child.” Fishing is banned around Chagos, and without fishing, it is hard to monitor the sea creatures. Cue a meeting with ZSL terrestrial conservationists who talked about using camera-traps to monitor wildlife on land. Next thing, Heather and her team develop a “GoPro on a fishing line” to act as an underwater camera trap. The issues of the Chagossians have not gone ignored, either: a number of UK Chagossians have been recruited by ZSL, then trained and employed to work on the scientific studies in their homeland. The hope is that if they someday become re-patriated, they will be true guardians of this pristine marine reservation. There is seemingly no end to the tendrils of Heather’s work: she’s heavily involved in a ZSL campaign in conjunction with Selfridges. Project Ocean is an unlikely collaboration that saw the luxury department store raising funds, championing messages of marine conservation and setting up a ‘water bar’ and a ‘history of water vessels’ installation to educate people to steer clear of single-use plastic bottles. The food hall has ensured that all of its fish is sustainably sourced, and even convinced Yo Sushi to do the same in every outlet in the UK. Selfridges has used its eye-catching window displays to highlight marine conservation issues, too: with displays such as a panda next to a tuna with the slogan ‘You wouldn’t eat a panda, would you?’ or a shark next to a Champagne cork, with the words ‘You’re more likely to be killed by a Champagne cork than a shark.’ I could go on. Heather and ZSL are at the forefront of so many global campaigns to push governments to commit to protecting their oceans,

Beach forest nursery, Philippines

Heather with husband Lawrence and children Jemima and Ferdi

Heather kitesurfing at Hayle in Cornwall

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The ocean’s just awesome. You know that everything you look at, you’re going to learn something new. There’s never a dull day.

PHOTO: MELITA SAMOILYS

Heather recording fish species, Chagos archipelago

it’s impossible to list them all. She’s also helped to create an extraordinary connection between a gigantic international carpet manufacturer, Interface (it only uses recycled nylon for its products), and an innovative project to encourage people from ocean-based locales as diverse as Cameroon and the Philippines to collect old and discarded nylon fishing nets and crush them using a non-electric baler (“we invented a baler that’s operated by a car-jack”). They then make money by selling the nylon to Interface. Just thinking about the logistics of extracting the nets and sending them around the world to be incorporated into carpets makes my brain tired, yet this is only one of the strings of Heather’s work. While she speaks extremely quickly and has an incredible recall for the acronyms, statistics and details of every project she works on, Heather is remarkably calm at home in Cornwall. I ask her how she manages to combine work with family life. “I have an amazingly supportive husband,” she says with a smile. “He’s supportive and proud and that’s just priceless. I do feel guilty a lot. My sister-in-law told me: ‘as soon as you decide to be a working mother, you’re going to feel guilty. You have to just get over it.’ But it is really difficult.”

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She is incredibly proud of her children: “Both of my kids’ reports stated that they’re very inclusive, tolerant and with a real interest in the world and in diversity. For me, that’s the nicest thing to read in a report, versus academic achievement.” And she firmly believes that living in Cornwall is the best thing they could ever have done. “We chose to live here because I couldn’t imagine us growing up as a family not connected to the ocean and everything that’s important to me.” As soon as she gets back home, she says, she immerses herself in family life: baking with the children, walking with her husband and dog on the beach, stand-up paddle-boarding en famille down the Helford River… Life for Heather is both nomadic and incredibly grounded – with an ever-present connection to the ocean. net-works.com selfridges.com/GB/en/content/project-ocean projectseahorse.org marinereservescoalition.org/2014/06/08/building-ocean-optimism/ (check out #oceanoptimism) www.zsl.org/blogs/conservation/when-the-wind-blows


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Crowd pleasers Imogen Clements meets Luke Lang, co-founder of Crowdcube, the world’s first online equity crowdfunding initiative and one of the UK’s biggest digital success stories.

Crowdcube co-founders Darren Westlake (left) and Luke Lang

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I

didn’t expect to encounter a problem finding Crowdcube’s headquarters in Exeter. The crowdfunding phenomenon has a massive presence online that’s getting bigger all the time. On recent trips to London, I’ve spotted its simple orange branding emblazoned on tube carriages and lighting up those digital screens that decorate the escalators. What’s more, Crowdcube is a dotcom pioneer – the first in the world to offer online equity crowdfunding. In four years, the site has brought millions of pounds of funding to young companies that might otherwise still be at the starting blocks, and has made investing in small businesses something anyone can do. To me, this was a digital concept up there with eBay and Facebook, and would doubtless boast billboards pointing me the way to orange towers that housed hundreds of dude programmers. Instead, I was lost. This is Britain, not California. As a nation we’re pretty modest about our achievements and I drove past Crowdcube several times, oblivious to its occupation of two floors of The Innovation Centre within Exeter University’s enormous campus. “I suppose we punch above our weight,” cofounder Luke Lang muses as I arrive flustered and apologetic, blaming my tardiness on the company’s lack of ostentation. “What we trade in – equity – is intangible; we don’t need massive warehouses to store product, nor do we need reams of call handlers. We’re a platform on which businesses can pitch their ideas, and business plans and investors can go ahead and back them or not, without needing to speak to anyone.” Darren Westlake and Luke Lang launched Crowdcube in 2011. The company currently employs 60 people at the Exeter HQ, another 15 in London’s Soho (soon to move to bigger offices in Clerkenwell), and a team of five in Barcelona. They’re growing fast. In 2015 alone, Crowdcube funded 140 businesses, raising a collective £80m,

We set out to democratize investment – that was our main motivation.

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The Crowdcube interface

and as awareness of the site has grown, it has proved highly attractive to investors: “We have 230,000 registered investors on our books, of which 100,000 signed up in the last 12 months. Of the 140 businesses we funded this year, 21 raised over a million through Crowdcube and four raised over £3m.” Launching in a world dominated by angel investors and venture capitalists, Crowdcube has singlehandedly disrupted what was an established sector where business investment was confined to the wealthy few. Westlake and Lang, via an online platform, have brought the world of investment to the small-scale backer – you can invest as little at £10 on Crowdcube – while not excluding the professional investor. “We set out to democratize investment,” explains Lang. “That was our main motivation. As entrepreneurs ourselves we realized how difficult and complex it was to secure funding.” Westlake and Lang met while working at Eclipse, the internet service provider. Both were web-savvy operators: Darren had started and sold a couple of web-based businesses, and Luke had run his own marketing consultancy that specialized in matters digital. One morning, Darren came in having watched Dragons’ Den the night before and seen how an entrepreneur had failed to secure the £50k funding he’d needed, despite, in Darren’s view, pitching a worthy business of high potential. It was this that sparked the idea to open up the opportunity

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to pitch to the crowd and in doing so heighten an entrepreneur’s chances of getting funded. Their own experience getting Crowdcube off the ground further justified the need. “We started the business with £10,000 from each of our dads. Darren sold his car, I scraped what I could from savings, and we employed a Bulgarian company to design the website, as they were the cheapest. Trying to get further funding from venture capitalists proved to be a hideous experience. The traditional process of generating investment would involve presenting to a room of angel investors, then getting grilled. We faced an uphill struggle not only as a startup business, but as a startup business that challenged the very investment circles in which these angels operated. Once we were up and running, there was a lot of scaremongering around what we were trying to do. Entrepreneurs were told that if they were funded by the crowd, then no venture capitalist would go near their business. Investors were warned that they would never see a return from any crowdfunded business. The accepted view of investment at the time was for one or two wealthy backers on the board adding value and expertise. More often than not, a small number of prospective investors (angels) would drive down the value of a business to maximize their stake or threaten to withdraw, and then, once the entrepreneur had relinquished a sizeable stake to get the desperately


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People enjoy the process of finding out about a company, discussing its viability via online forums, buying into the concept – that business’s journey.”

needed funds, these investors would wield far too much control. We wanted to support small enterprise and startups by addressing all of these issues.” Finding entrepreneurs was the first stage, which Darren and Luke did by trawling the internet and attending events. Once found, the key challenge was generating investment interest online. It took five months to fund the first business. “Initially, we would post businesses for 180 days. That has come down as awareness in the site has grown. Now, an entrepreneur has 30 days in which to generate the required level of investment. We needed to reduce the time live on the site to generate a sense of scarcity and the motivation to consider the live business pitching for finance.” And it is this that investors respond to. On the other side of the fence, not only have Crowdcube ‘democratized investment’, they’ve made it fun. Now we can all be armchair dragons. “People enjoy the process of finding out about a company, discussing its viability via online forums, buying into the concept – that business’s journey.” But what about those who claim that crowdfunding will never generate a return; that investors using this channel are almost certain to lose their money? “First of all, we make everyone very aware of the risks,” explains Lang. “We are authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. We emphasise that many of these businesses are startups or early-stage businesses and therefore unlikely to mature any time soon or pay dividends initially. They are long-term investments and we always stress the need to spread funds across a portfolio of lower and higher-risk businesses rather than plough everything into one. As well as equity, we offer the opportunity to invest in bonds, essentially loans to more established businesses, that pay back interest up to 8%.” The qualifying statement, “You will only be able to invest via Crowdcube once you are registered as sufficiently sophisticated”, is highly prominent on the site, probably because it’s here that the weight of criticism is levelled at equity crowdfunding companies – that investors via such sites are in the

EQUITY TRADING CASE STUDIES FROM 2015 Just Park Anthony Eskinazi, JustPark founder

Concept: A car park sharing app and website that gives drivers instant access to a network of 150,000 parking spaces across the country. Also backed by BMW and Index Ventures. Funds raised: £3.5m (the biggest-ever raise on Crowdcube at time of writing) Equity stake traded: 14.94% Number of investors: 2,700 Average investment: £1,301 Largest single investment: £500,000

Sugru Jane ni Dhulchaointigh, Sugru founder

Concept: A mouldable glue designed to fix almost anything. Named by Time magazine as one of the 50 best inventions in the world the year it launched and dubbed ‘21st Century Duct Tape’ by Forbes. Funds raised: £3.3m Equity traded: 12.43% Number of investors: 2,300 Average investment: £1,427 Largest single investment: £1m (largest-ever on Crowdcube at time of writing)

Pavagen

Concept: Technology that converts footsteps into electricity to power sources in high footfall locations. Funds raised: £1.9m Equity traded: 10.64% Number of investors: 1,474 Average investment: £1,289 Largest single investment: £85,000

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It’s easy to get passionate about bridging the gap between these highly varied businesses and investors looking to contribute and be part of their journey. It’s exciting, and you feel like you’re doing some good. MINI-BONDS CASE STUDIES FROM 2014 River Cottage

Purpose: Launched by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, River Cottage is a promoter and campaigner for seasonal, local, organic and wild food. It was looking to raise money through a River Cottage Bond to launch more Canteens across the south of England. Funds raised: £1m Number of investors: 285 Average investment: £3,500 Largest single investment: £100,000 Interest rate of bond: 7% p.a.

Eden Project Purpose: An educational charity and visitor attraction famous for biomes housing the world’s largest rainforest in captivity. It was looking to raise money to develop a home for its educational programme and give young people a taste of horticulture. Funds raised: £1.5m Number of investors: 354 Average investment: £4,200 Largest single investment: £200,000 Interest rate of bond: 6% p.a.

David Harland, Executive Director, Eden Project (left) with Luke Lang

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main amateurs not experienced enough to analyse the strength of a business idea and feasibility of a plan. “All of our investors are vetted and checked,” Lang counters. “They must disclose their information to be registered on Crowdcube, and once they invest in a business they’re registered by Companies House as a shareholder of that company. We have done an immense amount of research into our 230,000 registered investors. The majority, some 60%, are high net-worth individuals earning an average of £70k. They are affluent, smart people taking control of their own financial management rather than leaving it to someone else or placing it in ISAs, pensions, and so forth. “It is likely they will have invested elsewhere, but they choose to do so via Crowdcube as it means that they can analyse a business and invest wherever, and whenever, they choose. Our single biggest investment was £1m made via an iPhone at 12.05am. The company was Sugru, a mouldable glue, and the investor was a hedge fund operator and extremely busy by day. This is a classic example of how Crowdcube has made backing business easy. It should be noted that this wasn’t just a late-night whim; this investor had done extensive research into the company, meeting with them a couple of times, but when he decided he wanted to invest, he could.” But just how lucrative is crowdfunding for investors? How many Crowdcube-funded companies have successfully exited generating a return for their backers? The answer, Lang tells me, is two in four years, which doesn’t seem many. “Yes, but these are not short-term investments. You cannot expect to get a return from an early-stage business for four to six years, at least. Our two exits to date have returned four to five times in the first case, and almost doubled investors’ money in the second, and the latter business made that return in just six months, so that’s not bad. There will be others that deliver greater multiple returns.” The other killer question, of course, is how many companies funded via Crowdcube have gone bust? “Sixteen,” states Lang, “which out of 320 funded since we launched, is just 5%. Most investors are fully aware that the majority of new businesses will fail and far more than just 5%. If anything, a failure rate of 5% goes to prove the collective wisdom of the crowd. “We have, over the last four years, slowly debunked the myths perpetuated by pointing out our


feature own successes. Investors do make a return, the failure rate of businesses is relatively low, and in the last year we’ve seen venture capital and crowdfunding take a collaborative approach through our relationships with Europe’s leading VCs, including Index Ventures, Balderton Capital and Octopus Investments.” Westlake and Lang haven’t been slow to harness the power of the crowd to fund their own business. They have raised £3m for Crowdcube through Crowdcube, and rank as the fastest-ever raise on the site, hitting £1.2m in just 16 minutes. “Frequently it’s your own customer base, those who’ve used you and know you, who’ll provide the strongest backing.” The pair are ambitious, have learnt a lot and honed their proposition along the way. The software is highly sophisticated, allowing a prospective investor a solid analysis of each business, access to forums and a means of investing from any device, at any time. All businesses are vetted and screened prior to going live on the site, and Crowdcube’s team of analysts is getting better at pinpointing those with success potential. “As many as 90% of businesses don’t pass and get to post their businesses on the site. It’s important that we protect the crowd and ensure that the businesses are legitimate and healthy. We want to add value and make sure that we’re providing goodquality investment opportunities.” It’s in Crowdcube’s interest to generate successful bids, as their own revenue stream comes from 6.5% commission on successful raises. There is no charge to investors. The core appeal of Crowdcube is its live gauge: at any point, a visitor to the site can check how many are investing in a live business and to what degree, which generates obvious excitement amongst both entrepreneur and backers alike – Sugru, for one, must have been elated the morning after that £1m injection. It’s an ingenious concept born of solid business ethics that, provided they keep the business failure rate low, has massive and global growth potential, not just for them, but the businesses they fund. This hasn’t gone unnoticed. Crowdcube has attracted top executives from eBay, Ask.com and across the pond from Google to come and work for it. “We’ve not had a problem attracting senior talent here. They seem very happy to relocate their families to this part of the world. It’s been harder to find programmers because it’s a niche skill and there aren’t many of them around. Our solution has been to go to them, which is why we’ve set up offices where we have and where we plan to (Cardiff and Manchester) next year. That’s the beauty of being a tech-based business – you can operate from anywhere, and go where the talent is.” With heavy investment and rapid growth, the inevitable question for Lang and Westlake is when do they foresee an exit for their own business?

“We’re having way too much fun to want to sell up any time soon,” Lang laughs. “It was a struggle initially because we were disrupting an established sector, but in the last two years we’ve been in a position to invest heavily in our people and technology, to build our brand and product portfolio and on what we set out to do, which was essentially to help small business. There are some amazing ideas out there. It’s easy to get passionate about bridging the gap between these highly varied businesses and investors looking to contribute and be part of their journey. It’s exciting, and you feel like you’re doing some good.” crowdcube.com

Quick fire interrogation with Luke Lang of Crowdcube Microsoft of Apple? Or, if you prefer, Jobs or Gates? Apple/Jobs. There has been no bigger technology success story in my lifetime. Moor or Sea? Moor. I’ve spent so many great afternoons mountain biking on our rugged moors. Exeter-London plane or train? Train. The Golden Hind to Paddington every time; what a journey through some of England’s most spectacular countryside. Deborah Meaden or Peter Jones? Meaden. She’s a Westcountry girl (and I might bump into her on The Golden Hind!) Amazon or eBay? eBay. When they launched, they fundamentally changed the digital landscape forever. Kindle or book? Book. I love the smell of books. A303 or M4/5? A303. Winding roads, beautiful countryside and Stonehenge – what’s not to love? Perfect weekend? Long walk followed by pub roast or dawn surf followed by bacon butties on the sand? Walk/pub. I’m a rubbish surfer and terrible in the morning!

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South West-based photographer Andrew Butler was commissioned to capture the construction of a windfarm near St Eval, Cornwall, between October and November last year. His series of images provide a strikingly fresh perspective on the turbines that have become such a familiar sight around the region. “Attempting to photograph construction and engineering sites in a hard hat, gloves and safety-glasses, often in inclement conditions, isn’t everyone’s idea of fun,” he says. “It’s been suggested that people should ‘embrace engineering’s creative side’ and in my own way I like to think I have something to offer the world of engineering and construction. “I am always fascinated by what we as humans create. Sure, there can be countless discussions and debates about the pros and cons of much of human construction but there is a huge level of endeavour that is wonderful to document. “Whilst the finished items are what generally attracts the most attention I love getting the opportunity to photograph all stages of the process. And there arguably are infinite ways to capture the end result whether as a simple document or as a more abstract view.”

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ANDREW BUTLER Andrew Butler is a professional photographer based in the South West of England. He has had a long career photographing for clients as diverse as Arts Council England and Motor Cycle News. As well as his photography work, Andrew is a member of The Chartered Society of Designers and is a director of Design Credo, a graphic design agency based in Exeter. andrewbutler.net THE ST EVAL WINDFARM PROJECT Client: REG Power Principal contract: Dyer and Butler Turbine supplier: Vestas Wind Systems All images Š andrewbutler.net

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Arctic exposure Polar explorer Ann Daniels talks to Tricity Vogue while photographer James Millar takes a tintype portrait on a 100-year-old camera.

“I

feel naked,” is the first thing explorer Ann Daniels says as she sits facing the giant wooden camera, perched on a pile of photography books in our makeshift home studio. “I haven’t got my polar bear.” Ann has worn a silver polar bear talisman around her neck since she was stalked by the real thing on a solo expedition in 2005. But it’s currently being copied by a silversmith so she can give matching pendants to her daughters. “I woke up one morning and saw this shadow through the wall of my tent, this huge male bear. I had a Magnum 44, you know, the Clint Eastwood Dirty Harry things, and I shot over his head. He heard the crack and left, but for three days he was with me. When I came back, I felt that he’d touched me, so I had the bear made.” Ann Daniels has been to the North Pole six times, and holds the world record with team-mate Caroline Hamilton for being the only all-woman team to reach

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When you’re exposed, you’re taken right back to the person you really are. Education, money, background means nothing. You have to care for your team more than yourself, and as a team you get stronger, you can become so powerful.

both the North and South Poles, which they did in 2002. She led three Catlin Arctic Surveys to study the icecaps in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Ann pulls on her polar jacket so that James can check the focus while she’s wearing her wolverine fur-lined hood. “It has to be real fur, synthetic doesn’t work. I asked the World Wildlife Fund if they minded – they’re one of our sponsors – but they said it was the environment they were more worried about.” The Catlin badge is sewn on wonkily, in bright blue thread, but it’s impossible to criticise Ann’s sewing when you learn it was done in a tent on the polar ice at sub-zero temperatures. “We couldn’t have done a thing without our sponsor. I thought it was important to keep them with us.” James puts the plate in the camera for his first shot, asking Ann to stay still while he takes off the lens cap and counts to ten, firing a flashgun in her face to get the correct exposure. The word ‘exposure’ for Ann summons memories of her 2002 world record expedition: “No one will ever understand what horrors we went through. The constant fear, the pain, just to keep going and pull the sledge at minus seventy. Frost-damaged fingers, frostbitten toes – I could feel the damage happening but I didn’t have the luxury to stop it, or we’d fail. ‘I can live without a middle toe,’ I thought. “I had to decide, what is my stop moment? I need my big toe, for balance, so I’ll keep going until it’s my big toe.” Ann didn’t lose any toes, but they and her fingers are still very coldsensitive. “I have to wear three layers of mitts to go out and watch the Exeter Chiefs.” What drives Ann to polar exploration is not only that it allows her to be the person she is, but also that it’s a way for her to support her family financially, and be her children’s main carer for the long stretches of time between expeditions. “We nearly didn’t get insurance for our world record expedition, but when they found out I had kids, they knew I’d be coming back.” One of Ann’s children is the motivation behind her next Arctic trip, a ‘Lass Degree’ expedition for April 2017. “That’s 60 nautical miles. We’ll set off from Barneo, the Russian ice camp, with six recovering young mental health patients.” If she meets the selection criteria, one of them will be Ann’s own daughter, Lucy. “I’m leading this expedition out of gratitude to the people that helped her when I couldn’t.” Lucy had severe mental health problems,

but is now better, and studying at university. “The goal is to raise £3 million to help more young people. I want others like her to know that they’re not the only ones going through it; you can recover and live a full life.” Ann’s daughter’s illness was a horror she found harder to deal with than her own brushes with danger on the ice. “I felt helpless. I’d trained my body and mind to solve every problem, but I couldn’t solve this. Then they reached her and she came back to me. It was everything.” How close has Ann come to not coming back herself? She tells me about the time she came closest to death, on one of the Catlin expeditions. “We were hit by a storm so severe we couldn’t put the tent up. We crawled under the tent and were battered for three days. But we had to send out a satellite beacon signal every 36 hours, a number from nought to nine. Nought meant we were OK, nine meant things were bad. If we sent no signal, they’d come looking for us. We didn’t want that.” Ann crawled out to retrieve the beacon. “I was so cold I was in the death zone. I couldn’t do anything to warm up – I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t even move. I thought, I’m going to die. I started to panic, thinking I have no control over this–” At that moment James rushes downstairs with the next plate. He’s on the clock to expose and develop the newly flowed plate within a ten-minute window, and I’m left on a cliffhanger, holding a second flash gun while Ann gazes in stillness into the giant Victorian glass lens. When James takes the plate upstairs to develop it in the darkroom, Ann finishes her story. “I realised, I can’t die, I’ve got to get back to the kids. I curled into a foetus position and imagined a tiny flame. Over about an hour I grew the flame inside me. Then a faint smell came out of my sleeping bag, my own body odour. I knew that smell meant warmth, and warmth meant life. I knew I’d be fine. It was the best smell in the world.” James calls us, and together we go upstairs to watch Ann’s face emerge from negative to positive in the developing tray. Ann admits that she doesn’t like having her photo taken, but the tintype process fascinates her. “It’s not so much about me, I just happen to be the subject. I like learning things. And I feel a part of history.” Polar explorers like Scott where photographed with a tintype camera like this one. Ann felt Scott’s presence in the Antarctic. “I

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You’ve got to let go of the things not in your control, just focus on the things you can do. It’s made me more content and fulfilled as a human being. More happy in my own skin.”

Ann in the studio

Photographer James Millar takes the picture

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thought, the first guy got here less than 100 years ago, and I would never have even been able to see him off, never mind go with him, as a working-class woman. In less than 100 years, we’ve moved so far on.” The Greenwich Maritime Museum honoured Ann as the modern equivalent of historic polar explorers Shackleton and Scott. Ann didn’t know until she went to see the exhibition that she was in it. “I said, ‘That’s me!’ and this guy next to me said, ‘no it’s not.’ I get that a lot.” Ann has often been told that she’s lying about her achievements. Not by men in the military, who “respect someone giving everything-plus, and are confident in their own abilities,” but by guys in the civilian world who are “threatened, rude, dismissive.” The men on her expeditions, in contrast, “almost have no concept I’m female at all, to the extent that I remember some guy checking me out in a bar, and Pen Haddow went, ‘That guy checked you out!’ and I went, ‘Yeah, I’m a real girl.’ He went, ‘Oh my God!’” Polar explorer Pen Haddow asked Ann to lead his scientific survey of the polar ice, freeing him up to collect the science, because Ann was the best person for the job, not because she was a woman. Ann’s biggest fear was that he’d be a back-seat driver, but after the first three days Pen admitted, “I’ve always thought I was the best at navigation, but you’re as good, if not better.” Polar navigation means travelling over moving ice. “If it cracks, you’re dead. You’re in tune with nature, with your environment, you psychically know what’s happening around you. You have no map. You’re always walking around obstacles. You don’t know which way is right, it becomes instinctive.” As James prepares his final plate, I ask Ann what life lessons she’s learned from being out there on the ice. “When you’re exposed, you’re taken right back to the person you really are. Education, money, background means nothing. You have to care for your team more than yourself, and as a team you get stronger, you can become so powerful. On our expedition to the North Pole, Caroline Hamilton and I became one person. You have to be honest and kind, look after each other’s emotional and physical needs. If we support each other, we’re stronger and we can achieve more, get more out of life.” But what about the dark times, when problems seem insurmountable? Ann admits that, for her, going through a divorce was as bad as her near-death experience, but at that time too she knew she had to survive to look after her kids. “I’ve learned the power of not giving in. I think, what do I need to do today, to get through today? And I just keep doing that. Keep adding those days together till you get there eventually. You’ve got to let go of the things not in your control, just focus on the things you can do. It’s made me more content and fulfilled as a human being. More happy in my own skin.”


feature ABOUT TINTYPES James made the pictures of Ann using a process called Wet Plate Photography, invented in 1852 by Frederick Scott Archer. Dubbed ‘Tintypes’ because the plates use metal as the base material, the positive, one-off images remained popular until the turn of the century. The first stage of the process is to coat a thin sheet of blackened aluminium with collodion, an operation poetically called ‘flowing the plate’. The plate is then immersed in a bath of silver nitrate which makes the plate light sensitive. Under a red light the plate is then mounted in a light-tight plate holder. After the subject of the picture has been framed and focused, the plate holder is then placed on the back of a large-

format camera, and the picture is taken. Historically the image would have been made in natural light and would have involved an exposure time up to 30 seconds requiring neck braces to keep subjects still. To make these pictures, however, James used two bursts of flashlight along with natural light from a window. The exposed plate is then developed in a darkroom under a safelight by pouring a developing fluid over the plate, which creates a negative image. Once placed in a fixing bath, the negative transforms into a positive image. This is washed, dried and varnished. The image is a one-off positive picture and, unlike a negative, cannot be reproduced.

‘Flowing the plate’

Collodion is used to coat a thin sheet of blackened aluminium

Developing the plate under a safe light

The developed image in the fixing bath

Ann looks on as her image is fixed

The final result

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Volkhardt M端ller | Peter Richardson South West must sees | Worth making the trip for | Worth staying in for

Lar Cann, Dolomite with Manganese Blue South West Art Academy Exhibition, until 13 February at Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Honiton thelmahulbert.com

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Volkhardt Müller

From an empty commercial unit in the city centre, artist Volkhardt Müller makes work in response to Exeter and its populace – and is developing the model for artist-led spaces in the process. Words by Belinda Dillon. Photographs by Benjamin J Borley.

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tand at the long set of windows that dominate TOPOS – artist Volkhardt Müller’s second-floor studio/exhibition space on the edge of Exeter’s retail district – and the bustle of Sidwell Street bubbles up from below: the conversation of shoppers laden with bags as they hurry to and fro, the deep-bass diesel throb of buses as they swallow and disgorge their constant flow of passengers, the flap and ripple of market stall tarpaulin. On the rooftops opposite, crows strut and peck, while a fledgling seagull seep-seeps its insatiable hunger at a seemingly unconcerned parent; a pair of pigeons chase each other around a steaming air duct. Come back at night, and the view offers up a different personality, the street teeming with the mating dances of youth. It’s a fairly comprehensive snapshot of the urban experience, a cross-section of the lives of humans and other animals – the very stuff of art.

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It’s just the kind of ever-shifting vista – the constant interplay of nature and humankind, the wild and the constructed – that Müller thrives on, and which drives his current artistic practice: wood and linocut printwork, video installations and mixed-media responses to Exeter, its environs and its inhabitants. “I’m interested in looking at the relationship between the city and the surrounding landscapes, and the way people live within that,” says Müller. Since arriving in Exeter from Germany 13 years ago, Müller has created a number of works in response to the ways in which humans shape places and vice versa. His award-winning 2009 installation, Cell, reproduced the walls of a decommissioned holding cell at the former Exeter Crown Court on panels of translucent Japanese paper, revealing the marks made over the years by prisoners awaiting trial. Any High Street (2012), a large-scale woodcut triptych exhibited at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, depicted the


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radical shift in human behaviour seen on the High Street over the course of 24 hours. This City’s Centre (2013), made with multi-disciplinary UK-based arts collective Blind Ditch, featured a video collage (again exhibited at the RAMM) of Exeter residents’ opinions about the views from their windows, culminating in a live performance that simultaneously took place on the city streets, in private homes and in an empty office space in Princesshay. With such a focus on city centre life, it makes perfect sense for Müller to locate himself in the belly of the beast, and thanks to funding from Arts Council England and support from The Crown Estate/TIAA Henderson Real Estate (who provided the empty commercial unit gratis for one year), he’s spent the last 12 months creating a rich and varied body of work, hosting artist residencies and turning TOPOS into a unique artist-led space that regularly invited the public to participate in projects and discussion events. “I have a long history of participatory working, and engaging with audiences is big part of my practice,” he says. “Originally it was a means of getting my head around a new situation in the UK after I’d moved here, but it has gone on to inform my whole practice in different ways – taught me things and shaped my politics, which is always part of the art for me, although never overtly.” And so TOPOS – which comes from the Greek word meaning ‘place’ or ‘topic’ – is more than just a space for making art; it is a space that encourages a wider engagement and contributes to the continuing growth of Exeter’s vibrant arts ecology. Müller has previously described TOPOS as “a petri dish for creating new cultures”, and this past year has been as much about growing into the space – and using it well – as making the work. A key aspect of this has been the series of free discussion events co-produced with and facilitated by Josie Sutcliffe – lively round-table talks that invited the public to join a panel of speakers in exploring the themes of ‘Utopia and the Dream of Permanence’, ‘Quality and Alchemy’ and ‘Producing Landscape’. Each event was framed by a sharing of Müller’s work in progress, as well as material produced by visiting artists, including TS Eliot-nominated poet Sean Borodale and sound artist Dawn Scarfe. All have been mind-stretching, enlightening and well attended (35 participants or more), and part of the thrill of taking part has been to sit in a space surrounded by highquality contemporary art as well as the appurtenances of the making process. “Although they relate to an arts practice, they are not in themselves arts talks,” explains Müller. “Experts invited to speak have included foresters, architects, farmers and educators as well as artists, and because each panel comprises people from different disciplines, they don’t fall into jargon. The talk is

Print pamphlets produced during poet Sean Borodale’s residency

Completing one of the comic strips during the City Beast street print action

City Beast linocut

Because TOPOS is an artist-run space, there’s an immediacy, a really strong connection between contemporary arts practice, the work being made and the life that concerns us all.

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A woodcut in progress

demanding, but it’s not exclusive. And people join in. The feedback has been brilliant, people saying that they rarely have the opportunity to think deeply in a group situation. Which is exactly what we wanted.” The body of work itself reflects Müller’s multi-disciplinary practice, and will be exhibited concurrently in February at White Moose Gallery in Barnstaple and at TOPOS. Print-work on display will include Shroud, a beautiful, almost eerie piece that layers a finely carved line drawing of Exeter’s Sidwell Street over the vortex-like grain of a long ash plank. “Sidwell Street was conceived in the 1950s as a modernist design, and I was intrigued by the idea of creating a testimony to a utopia that arguably never happened in the first place,” says Müller. “In the woodcut, this design of Sidwell Street assumed a clarity that is definitely hidden beneath the current neglect and grime. There is an ambiguity to the work that I am struggling to sense when I am out there, so I guess it’s a revaluing of sorts. It’s also one of the aspects of print that fascinates me – the trace of an event on a printing surface; the proximity between viewer and artefact mediated through a piece of paper.” The Videotopia series similarly looks at the

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frictions between ideal and reality, but also at the unrealised potentials of place, using video to frame landscapes as theatrical stages for performative interventions and actions. Inspired by a piece Müller made in 2014, in which he directed members of the public to restage poses from an amalgamation of four paintings by 17th-century pastoral painter Claude Lorrain, the new works recreate actual night-time encounters by using volunteers to enact them during daylight hours. “I went out on a Friday night and took photographs of people conducting themselves in certain ways,” says Müller. “And although these weren’t based on historic paintings, the videos contain reminders of famous salon works: one of the scenes is the restaging of a brawl between a group of young men, which in itself is undignified but if you distil a moment out of that suddenly there is this rather convincing parallel between the heroic postures in certain neo-classical paintings and Friday night degradation. “Video offers a host of possibilities that have to do with random events: when you frame an open landscape you can’t control it, things will happen – it’s all part of the friction between something that’s idealised and a real situation. I want to show


Video offers a host of possibilities that have to do with random events: when you frame an open landscape you can’t control it, things will happen – it’s all part of the friction between something that’s idealised and a real situation.

A still from Videotopia

people assuming and coming out of poses; there are prolonged periods of standstill, people holding those positions, and failing.” In the 30-minute film The Guard, Müller recreates Caspar David Friedrich’s The Chasseur in the Forest by placing a member of a city centre security team in front of a dense wall of spruce trees in Haldon Forest. “I was interested in taking an element of the urban landscape – the security guard – and imposing it onto what we consider to be a rural scenario. We are increasingly aware that our so-called ‘rural’ spaces are in fact extensions of the urban landscape in that they mostly cater for the needs of urban populations. Our forests are no longer the ancient places of Arcadian wilderness; they’re simply plantations where wood is grown as a crop.” It’s clear that nature – and respect for it – is important to Müller, as it finds its way into much of his work. Our conversation has pulled him away from working on a series of large sketches of the seagulls perching on the rooftops opposite, the basis for a planned street print action that will give people the opportunity to complete a three-cell lino print comic strip called City Beast – Observations of the Wild, in which the feral creatures with which we share the city comment on human life.

Now that the residency year is approaching its end, what are Müller’s hopes for keeping the TOPOS ethos going? “I’d like for it to continue in a slightly different guise, to continue running and offering a space in which high-quality work can be made and shown; providing more opportunities for other cultural practitioners to contribute their perspectives, in both an artistic and a curatorial sense. “What’s really special about this place, in relation to the public talks in particular, is that it’s an artistrun space and not a gallery, and because of that there’s an immediacy, a really strong connection between contemporary arts practice, the work being made and the life that concerns us all. The art becomes a catalyst rather than an end in itself. There aren’t enough opportunities to really get to the core of what people are doing, and the ethos of these discussions – and TOPOS in general – is that it creates a space that encourages and empowers people to open up and share what they have with them, what moves them, and that is really important.” TOPOS will be exhibiting at White Moose Gallery, Barnstaple, 4 February – 1 April, and in the TOPOS space in Exeter, 6-21 February. toposexeter.uk

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Comic Strip writer/director Peter Richardson gives the phone hacking scandal the soap opera treatment in his wickedly funny new film, The Red Top! Words by Harriet Mellor.

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or the accused and prosecuted main players in the phone-hacking scandal, the timing must be infuriating. After four and a half years of legal proceedings, an estimated £41 million and almost 300 victim complaints, the Crown Prosecution Service have announced a legal stalemate – there is to be no further action taken against the journalists involved in operations Weeting and Golding. Just as the tabloids return to ‘business as usual’ – hopefully with more than just a tail between their legs – the Comic Strip Presents writer and director Peter Richardson (left) has resurrected the story and characters with a wickedly humorous spin in a film named The Red Top! Even though Peter – by the nature of the company he keeps – had friends who’d been hacked, retribution wasn’t on his mind. In fact, when he was originally asked to develop the idea by a TV exec, Peter dismissed it as not having enough comedic mileage. However, the hacking story, which actually

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began in 2005, took off at such a pace – interweaving jaw-dropping sub-plots involving Rebekah Brooks, the flame-haired ex-editor of The Sun who became News International Chief Executive, her media magnate boss, a current and ex-Prime Minister, police chiefs, alleged extra-marital affairs and inappropriate friendships – that a rolling soap opera fell into Peter’s lap. “Of course I follow the news and was very aware of the emerging case,” he says, “but suddenly this was a much bigger story that turned into a fantastic soap saga. There was no stopping it. The film revolves around Rebekah and the six men in her life. There is Rupert Murdoch, her previous marriage to Ross Kemp, her affair with Andy Coulson, her friendships with David Cameron and Tony Blair. Then Blair and (Murdoch’s wife) Wendi Deng.” Producing the finished script with Pete Richens, who has been Peter’s co-writer since 1974, took ages as the court cases and headlines resulted in many changes. To give the characters a truer likeness – especially Rebekah – they brought in another writer called Brigit Grant, who had been a journalist on lots of newspapers. “We set the film in the 1970s and made it more like a Watergate-meets-Dallas parody that takes place in Wapping. In our very mad Comic Strip world of fantasy, putting something in another era helps to make things more amusing. Divorcing it from the modern day gives it a parallel universe which I think is more fun.” And just as the real-life plot snowballed, so did the quality of the cast list, eager to work with Peter – the founding father of what was coined ‘alternative comedy’ back in the 80s. A major coup was securing in-demand actress Maxine Peake as Rebekah. Drawing on Daphne du Maurier’s classic novel, she glides through her news empire on roller-skates. “I’d always wanted to work with Maxine Peake and, oddly enough, when we contacted her agent they said, ‘Maxine would love to do a Comic Strip film’. After seeing The Hunt for Tony Blair she’d asked agent to get in touch with us. Maxine does such a great job playing this central figure, telling her story from a voice of innocence, surrounded by all these mad people.” Familiar faces appear from the old school Comic Strip crew: Nigel Planer as Rupert Murdoch, Alexei Sayle and Harry Enfield. Of the newer but wellknown recruits, Russell Tovey is spot-on in geezermode as ex-editor Andy Coulson, Devon actor Dominic Tighe is Cameron and Johnny Vegas is a hedonistic hack. Stephen Mangan, who played the title role in The Hunt for Tony Blair, is back, a decade later. “Tony Blair was in a band called Ugly Rumour. In the film we’ve decided he’s given up being Prime Minister and politics and gone back to rock’n’roll,

starting a new band called Positive Thinking, which is more of a forward message.” Peter is a life-long resident of South Devon. He was born here, as were his (now grown-up) kids with wife Marta. The creative juices flow from Great Western Features, the Totnes-based production company he runs with Comic Strip producer Nick Smith. A love for the area, convenience and costings mean using the South West for location shoots as much as possible. The trend began with the first ever Comic Strip film, Five Go Mad in Dorset (filmed in Devon), which aired on Channel 4’s launch night back in 1982. Some cast members – Rik Mayall, Jennifer Saunders and Ade Edmondson – were so taken with Peter’s home turf that they ended up buying homes in Devon. “This is yet another film that I’ve made in Devon that could be set anywhere else in the world apart from Devon. Every location is only ever about 30 minutes away. Apart from Piccadilly and Gray’s Inn Road at five in the morning, we’ve managed to shoot everything in and around here. You can’t find any part of London that looks remotely 1970s anymore because its all been pulled down, where as Plymouth’s buildings are perfect. I get people I know locally to make cameos. Because I know their face and voice, I can place them as certain characters.” For Peter there was one notable element of sadness in making The Red Top!: the absence of his very close friend, the comedy actor Rik Mayall, who died in 2014. “Rik was supposed to be in this film but we have got Sid, his son, in it. I really do miss him. We used to do lots of lovely walks around here, chatting. The last time I ever saw him we walked down to Prawle Point to a house we’d used on location for one of our first-ever films, called The Beat Generation. The whole house was in ruins and we stepped inside like naughty boys, remembering the two weeks we filmed there. Then we walked up the road, got in the car and I never saw him again.” Peter is planning to pay proper tribute to Rik Mayall in March at the annual Dartmouth Comedy Festival, for which he is a long-standing patron. “There hasn’t been a memorial for Rik yet and it would be good to celebrate his life, especially as the festival takes place around the date of his birthday.” The Red Top! premieres on Gold UKTV on 20 January at 10pm. Gala Night: A tribute to Rik Mayall - Comedy Genius takes place on Wednesday 9 March, 6.30pm, at Dartmouth’s Flavel Centre, featuring festival patron Peter Richardson with surprise guests. Tickets £14, including a glass of Prosecco. The event is sponsored by the Seahorse restaurant and tickets are available from theflavel.org.uk or 01803 839530.

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South West must sees...

Down the rabbit hole It’s five o’clock on a normal weekday evening, and Claire and her teenage daughter Alice are making tea. Alice pops out to fetch some apples from the shed, but in the blink of an eye she disappears down a hole that’s suddenly yawned open on the lawn… What happens when life swallows you whole and terror is only a heartbeat away? Theatre Alibi’s Falling combines performance, projection, puppetry and a live soundscape to tell a raw and intimate story. 19-24 February at Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street. Tickets £11 (£9). exeterphoenix.org.uk

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I’ll get my coat Through a mix of historical paintings and prints, artefacts, archives and the work of contemporary artists, ‘Whatever the Weather’ exposes humanity’s relationship to the elements. Drawing on the collections of the Met Office, National Trust, Royal Meteorological Society and RAMM’s own collections, the show includes rain gods from the Americas, paintings by William Blake and Samuel Palmer, stormy seascapes and ships in distress, private weather diaries, weathervanes, barometers, thermometers and all manner of recording instruments. In response to the historical material, RAMM has commissioned a new work by Susan Collins, currently Director of the Slade School of Fine Art and one of the UK’s leading digital media artists, plus Joanna Brown will be exhibiting her latest works exploring floods and their aftermath. Until 10 April at Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter. rammuseum.org.uk

PHOTO: JULIAN GRATER

Julian Grater’s Whatever the Weather Blue Berg-Baffin Bay, oil on canvas

Chilly visions A mixed exhibition of paintings and sculpture, the Winter Collection includes work by Kristin Vestgard, Neil Pinkett, Emma McClure and others. The collection also features striking porcelain sculptures by an artist who is new to Cornwall Contemporary – Melissa Kiernan. Portraying a tender portrait of a ‘Mother and Child’, a seated ‘Mermaid’ and ‘Horse and Rider’, Melissa’s sculptures convey fragility and sentiment with refined and exquisite detailing. Until 11 March at Cornwall Contemporary, Penzance. Opening times: Wednesdays and Saturdays 10am-5pm and at other times by appointment. cornwallcontemporary.com Melissa Kiernan, Horse and Rider, porcelain and gold leaf

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In the house February has a double dose of exciting live performance at Plymouth University’s new theatre space, The House. First up, on 2 February, is Made in China’s Tonight I’m Gonna Be the New Me, an arresting physical endurance act that crashes headfirst into an impossibly true love story, and hurtles out the other side, exposing how we perform our relationships amidst a reality that fails to live up to what the movies promised. A week later, on 10 February, there’s Forced Entertainment’s The Notebook, which tells the story of twin brothers evacuated to the Hungarian countryside during World War II. Based on the award-winning novel by Ágota Kristóf, this is a compelling piece about the impact of war from the perspective of those caught in its machinery. The House, Plymouth University, Drake Circus. Tickets £12 (£8). plymouth.ac.uk

PHOTO: RULER

Made in China’s Tonight I’m Gonna Be The New Me

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Best of the South West Artists of the South West Academy, including Alan Cotton and Peter Randall-Page, bring together a new body of work focusing on paintings, photographs and prints. Until 13 February at Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Honiton. thelmahulbert.com

Peter Randall-Page, Espalier, silkscreen

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Worth making the trip for...

Make mine a double After a sell-out season at the National, Duncan Macmillan’s intoxicating People, Places and Things gets a welcome second outing in the West End, offering another chance to catch the mesmerizing Denise Gough (above) as Emma, an addict struggling to cope with modern life. In a world so full of horrors, surely getting out of it is the only way to survive? Unmissable. 15 March – 4 June at Wyndham’s Theatre, Charing Cross Road, London. Tickets £15-£90. delfontmackintosh.co.uk

Last chance to catch

PHOTO: TRISTAN FEWINGS/ GETTY IMAGES

Among the most influential designers of the 20th century, husband and wife team Charles and Ray Eames were multi-talented innovators who moved smoothly between film-making, photography, architecture and product design. Perhaps best known for their iconic furniture – the DSW Side Chair is still a staple of any interiors style shoot worth its salt – the pair brought a great sense of playfulness to their work and the environment in which it was produced. As well as examples of their furniture, ‘The World of Charles and Ray Eames’ includes letters, photos, installations and films, and offers a great insight into the life and ideas of this creative couple. Until 14 February at Barbican Art Gallery, Silk Street, London. Tickets £14.50 (£12/£10). barbican.org.uk

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World on film Nominated for the prestigious Artes Mundi, the UK’s largest art prize, John Akomfrah is an artist and filmmaker who investigates personal and collective memory, post-colonialism, temporality and aesthetics through works that incorporate archival film footage, still photography and newsreel with new material. Both poetic and political, his work fuses contemporary issues with history, fiction and mythology, frequently exploring the experience of the African diaspora in Europe and the US. For his debut at Lisson, Akomfrah is making two new diptych video installations, one looking at Greece’s precarious economic position through ‘the eyes’ of one of the country’s greatest film-makers, Theo Angelopulous; the other approaching the current refugee crisis via the 1654 flight of Sephardic Jews to Barbados. These will be shown together with other new and recent works including Tropikos (2016), a film that transforms the landscape of the Tamar Valley into a 16th-century English port of exploration on the African continent in order to reveal the darker history of the river. The exhibition coincides with a major museum tour, including the first UK showing of Akomfrah’s three-screen video installation Vertigo Sea at the Arnolfini in Bristol (16 January – 10 April). 22 January – 5 March at Lisson Gallery, 27 Bell St, London.

PHOTO: SMOKING DOGS FILMS. COURTESY LISSON GALLERY

John Akomfrah, Tropikos, 2016

None shall sleep Into the afterlife Chris Goode directs Jo Clifford’s Every One, a semi-autobiographical account of a family suddenly befallen by tragedy when Death visits and takes the matriarch Mary on a journey towards heaven. Jo Clifford’s experiences as a trans woman, a survivor of critical illness and of bereavement fuel this bold and haunting new version of the medieval morality play Everyman, with Angela Clerkin (above) cast in the main role.

Third Man Theatre’s brilliant Botallack O’Clock, a black comedy based on the life and death of abstract artist Roger Hilton, gets a welcome revival at Islington’s Old Red Lion Theatre. Focusing on the last two years of Hilton’s life, when he took permanently to his bed but continued to work, painting on sheets of paper laid on the floor, the play recounts sleepless nights of wild imaginings, paranoid flights of fancy and conversations with a temperamental radio. A deeply funny insight into the mind of a true artist. Until 6 February at Old Red Lion Theatre, Islington, London. Tickets £15 (£12). oldredliontheatre.co.uk

Dan Frost as Roger Hilton

2-19 March at Battersea Arts Centre, London. Tickets £15 (£12). bac.org.uk

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Worth staying in for...

In pod we trust If your brain is feeling a little fried after all the festive overindulgence, then it’s time to give it a boost by tuning in to journalist Wendy Zuckerman’s brilliant weekly podcast, Science Vs, in which she sifts through the stats, talks to experts and generally sorts the fads from the facts. In the first series, Wendy looked at whether women and men have different brains, if porn is changing the way we have sex, and whether sugar is really that bad for you. In series two, she’ll be tackling fracking, investigating the benefits of organic food, and exploring whether different parenting styles have an impact on children’s personalities. Tune in via iTunes, Soundcloud or the RSS feed. Prepare to be hooked. Science Vs Series 2 will be transmitted by Gimlet Media in the spring. gimletmedia.com

Turning your kids green Cloth nappies, regular birdwatching trips and crafty recycling are already at the top of my list, writes Anna Turns, but Kate Blincoe’s new book Green Parenting: How to raise your child, help save the planet and not go mad offers inspiring ideas about how to reconnect with nature and maximise on quality family time with her realistic approach to sustainability and parenting. It’s a comprehensive, practical beginner’s guide with everything from recipes (for gooey silly putty and puff ball pizza, for example), games and outdoor activities, as well as eco alternatives to household essentials for your kitchen and bathroom cabinets and ways to avoid blatant consumerism and ever-growing toy mountains. As a strong advocate for ‘free-range children’, Kate’s core ethos is to spoil your children with your attention and time outdoors, rather than ‘stuff ’. And while she isn’t a self-proclaimed supernanny, she does share some simple golden rules for parenting: never underestimate the importance of taking time out to share mindful moments with your little ones. Far from patronising, each chapter includes green challenges, so it’s easy to dip in and quickly come up with fresh ideas to entertain and educate. For example, her child-friendly monthly foraging guide explains that January is the ideal time to collect easily recognisable dandelions, the perfect ingredient for tasty pancakes. I’d highly recommend this book as a gift for new parents – green parenting isn’t rocket science but sometimes a helping hand is invaluable, plus it’s influence lasts longer than yet another plastic toy! £17.99. Green Books.

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Front-room fitness With the new year gym surge in full effect, and every fitness class wall to wall with box-fresh Lycra, the appeal of test-driving a new exercise regime in the privacy of your own home cannot be underestimated. But what if you need the encouragement of a personal trainer to make you get those knees up? Fitnet is a free app that not only guides you through fat-busting five-minute workouts, but turns your smartphone camera into a biometric sensor providing real-time feedback while you exercise, making sure that you’re doing it right. No more excuses! The Fitnet Personal Exercise app is available free on iOS and Android.

Station Road • Exminster • EX6 8DZ • 01392 833499 • sales@tobysreclamation.com • www.tobysreclamation.com

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Colour splash The start of the year is always associated with grey skies, dreary landscapes, and leaden moods. To counter this we thought we’d inject a splash of colour into our winter style shoot, only to find that nature’s not to be outdone. Even in a flowerless season, the coppers and greens to be found in beech and moss provided a dazzling backdrop and a naturally occurring vibrancy all of its own. PHOTOGRAPHS BY JIMMY SWINDELLS STYLED BY MIMI STOTT Location: Dartmoor Model: Donatella Pegler Hair and make-up: Philippa Spring

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Dress, £39.99; hat, £22.99; shoes, £32.99 – all Zara; long-sleeved black top, John Lewis, £16

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Blouse, £39.99; tube skirt, £29.99– both Zara; black umbrella, John Lewis, £24

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Yellow shift dress, £19.99; boots, £39.99; tights, £9.99; scarf, £5.99– all Zara; black leather crossbody bag, Rare Pear, £120

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Coat, Karen Millen £295; shoes, Zara, £49.99; black umbrella, John Lewis, £24

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Soft scarf, £19.99, Zara

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Tube dress, £19.99; yellow sweater, £12.99 – both Zara; shoes, L K Bennett, £275

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hand crafted spaces Carpenter Oak create beautiful, award winning timber framed spaces. Hand crafted by expert carpenters in our Devon workshops, we’ve raised frames across the UK and abroad for over 25 years.

If your dream is to have a truly individual and sensitively designed new build, extension, or cabin then we’d love to hear your ideas.

01803 732900 86

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hello@carpenteroak.com

carpenteroak.com


space

Space

Sania Pell comes to Devon Guild of Crafts Designer’s Q&A | Shopping for space

PHOTO: BEN ANDERS

Styled by Sania Pell for Farrow & Ball/Elle Decoration

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PHOTO: BEN ANDERS

Styled by Sania Pell for Farrow & Ball/Elle Decoration

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Curate your space In a new exhibition at Devon Guild of Crafts, top interiors stylist Sania Pell demonstrates how to arrange your possessions as contemporary tableaux. Words by Imogen Clements.

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ALL PHOTOS: BETH EVANS

Astrid Keller

Kaori Tatebayashi

S

ania Pell is an interior stylist who’s made a career turning rooms into works of art. Having trained originally as a textile designer, she has gone on to become a highly sought-after creative director and interiors stylist on photographic shoots that adorn publications such as Elle Decoration and the quality nationals, and is commissioned by such well known brands as John Lewis, Farrow & Ball, Harrods and Liberty. Sania has also written two books and her website has been listed in the Top 50 interiors websites by The Independent and The Telegraph. There are few better authorities on how to make a home stunning and she is generous with her insight. “Start by neutralising your space by removing anything that you don’t like or that feels ‘wrong’. It may be a piece of furniture or a fireplace, but eliminating it will help create a blank canvas to show off the items you love.” It is Sania’s approach that sets her styling apart. She is courted by high-end brands and style bibles due to the unique aspect that she brings to each shoot. “It’s all about clutter and calm. Within a room there may be a spot that holds what I call

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Akiko Hirai

‘high density interest’. This area contains numerous objects of interest that you’re drawn to, that add personality to the room and that will often be handcrafted pieces which are special to you. It may be an item you’ve found at an auction or a car boot sale, something your children have made or a unique ceramic pot that you love to look at. To get the best of this space, however, there needs to be complete calm around it, no clutter, in order to bring a sense of balance and ease to the room.” That uniqueness to an arrangement has led her to curate Line Up, an exhibition that was first shown at the West London gallery Flow and now moves to the Devon Guild of Crafts in Bovey Tracy. It is essentially a show of works of art comprised of works of art. “The idea behind Line Up was to create little vignettes – styled areas on a shelf that you could purchase as a set. “It’s a particular joy for me to have been invited to curate such an exhibition. I have a love of ceramics and have worked closely with the Flow Gallery for years, borrowing artists’ work from them to incorporate into my shoots. It’s an honour to have been invited to select and arrange beautiful handmade


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The idea behind Line Up was to create little vignettes – styled areas on a shelf that you could purchase as a set.

Beaker by Kaori Tatebayashi, bottles by Akiko Hirai, cups and saucer by Kaori Tatebayashi

items by such talented artists and ceramicists, many of whom I’d borrowed from over the years or are those I’d admired from afar. I’ve also frequently sourced work from graduate shows – it’s wonderful to put the spotlight on new graduates and give them the exposure that a magazine shoot gives.” Like the best teachers, Sania makes what she does sound easy. “A little bit of wrong can make a right,” she offers as another pearl of wisdom, “so a room that’s neutral in tone can benefit from a splash of colour from a single bold cushion or a chair, in the same way that calm needs an element of personal clutter to generate interest”. To look at the vignettes she’s created for Line Up, it’s clearly not easy. Her arrangement of black ceramic pots on a shelf with just a succulent and a sprig of eucalyptus to break up the dark makes the ensemble reminiscent of an oil painting in its layering, richness of tone and degree of contrast. Her talent is knowing just what detail to add or take away, something that eludes the vast majority of us. “I studied art and design and have been styling for years so I suppose it’s instinctive now. Tone on tone works really well, different shades of white

against one another, dark blues with black. An element of nature, perhaps just a branch, provides that degree of life and contrast, and a painted canvas propped behind it all will frame the arrangement and give it height.” If only it were so simple we would all stop pouring over the pages of those quality interiors magazines in our bid, and yearning, to translate the style of Sania Pell to our own rooms. The beauty of an exhibition like Line Up is that we no longer need to. We can buy it complete and take it home. saniapell.com flowgallery.co.uk Line Up runs from Saturday 16 January – Sunday 6 March at the Devon Guild of Crafts, Bovey Tracy, Devon TQ13 9AF. Featured exhibitors: Another Country, Theo Adamson, Kyra Cane, Jason Collingwood, Bettina Dittlmann, Akiko Hirai, Hyujin Jo, Silvia K, Astrid Keller, Sue Lawty, Liz Nilsson, Sania Pell, Brook Sigal, Kaori Tatebayashi, Nicola Tassie, Dr Tim Willey and Derek Wilson. crafts.org.uk

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Tone on tone Taking inspiration from interiors stylist Sania Pell, we present some striking items available in tones of grey and white along with others that provide a splash of colour. Complete the appeal by adding items of interest personal and unique to you. Dybery Larson pendant, Amara, £90

House Doctor vase, Amara, £36

Folded vases, Amara, £64.99

John Lewis

Vitra Vegetal chair, Amara, £355.20

Betty Armchair, various colours, sofa.com,£420

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House Doctor ceiling pendant, Amara, £114

Ted Baker throw, Amara, £185

Jackson Pollack print, John Lewis, £500

Skagerak Georg stool, Amara, £225

Barber and Osgerby jug, Amara, £30

Dassie ricebowl, Amara, £22

Ladder, John Lewis, £75

Bowls, Marks and Spencer, £3

DLM side table, Amara, £119

Galapagos Bartholomew chair, various colours, Amara, £625

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Q&A David Amos is considered one of the country’s leading designers of residential lighting. After spending a number of years working in his father’s lighting business, David established Amos Lighting in 2000, moving to the Exeter showroom in 2005. Specialising in the visualisation and provision of complete lighting systems, Amos Lighting works closely with many of the region’s leading architects, consulting engineers and interior designers. How would you describe Amos Lighting?

In a nutshell, Amos Lighting sells a huge variety of lighting ranging from decorative chandeliers to architectural LED lights. We showcase a number of stunning pieces at our showroom in Exeter, where we also sell beautiful, high-end Italian furniture. We also provide bespoke lighting design services to people who are building or renovating their home, and for clients and specifiers working on hotels, bars and restaurants. The uniqueness of what we do, both in the showroom and design department, lies in our knowledge and understanding of how creative lighting can transform a living or working space.

Louis Poulsen PH5

How has the business grown and what have been the key milestones?

Personally, I’ve been going for 50 years – and 33 of those have been in the lighting business! I founded Amos Lighting in 2000 and we moved to our own premises in Exeter in 2005. For our recent 15th anniversary, we updated the showroom to reflect the full extent of the business and bring out into the open what some of our customers have described as a “very well-kept secret”. Who do you supply?

Our customer base tends to be divided between residential customers and designers, architects and other specifiers. Most people engaging in some form of project at home will employ an architect and/ or designer, so we tend to join the team and work alongside the client with the other professionals. We’re lucky enough to have been involved in some fabulous one-off designs. These days, thanks to the high level of television and magazine coverage given to building design and interiors, more and more people appreciate the transformational effect that lighting can have. They might not know quite how to achieve it though, which is where we come in. What have you recently been working on?

Foscarini’s Big Bang

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We’re delighted to have recently been involved in Rick Stein’s new restaurant in Sandbanks, Dorset, and we’re enjoying working with the Fishers at Exeter Cookery School. Ongoing projects include a number of beach-side properties in North Cornwall and South Devon, and a penthouse city centre apartment. One project in Mawgan Porth, working with the client, CSA Architects and Cornish Interiors, is a really good example of how collaborative work can result in the best effect. We looked at the architectural plans at a very early stage so we could plan the lighting, taking into account the


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Lighting created for a property in Cornwall by Hugh Hastings

client’s main objectives for the look and feel of their new home. Naturally they didn’t want to compromise the fantastic sea views, but it was important to retain the key principles and techniques of good lighting. The aim was to create an imaginative and contemporary design using fittings from the likes of Flos and Foscarini of Italy, which not only look good but also make the house feel like a home. Regular meetings and discussions with the interior designer and architect helped us to build up a finished picture of how the interior would look and to place lighting in such a way that each area and task matched the original brief. The result, I’m pleased to say, is superb. Tell us a bit about innovations.

The biggest innovation in lighting over the past five years has to be the use of low energy LED lighting, which means a lamp lasts up to 40 times longer than a regular light bulb, and is 80% more efficient. Early examples of LED and energy-efficient lighting were pretty clumsy and produced a very unflattering light. Now, though, a high quality LED light can give an almost identical light to a regular light bulb. What are the current trends?

Most people building a bespoke home these days tend to have a room of double-height, and we’re being asked more frequently to recommend lighting for these spaces, especially entrance halls. We’re seeing here an increased use of decorative lights that really transform the space and create a statement. Of course, the issue of sizing and the practicalities of bulbchanging are absolutely key. Another trend is away from the over-use of downlights. From an aesthetic point of view, this pleases me no end as people are cottoning on to the fact that too many down-lights can actually give a very unflattering, over-lit and bland effect. Finally, there has been a trend towards ‘hidden’ lighting that only reveals itself when lit,

The new showroom with The Melt by Tom Dixon

such as under-vanity lighting in a bathroom, recessed lights to illuminate pictures and low-set corridor lights – all very clever yet simple techniques which often produce stunning results. What are your personal favourites?

My favourite lights are those that were designed a long time ago – up to 50 years – which still look great today. In particular, I’m thinking of the Arco lamp by Flos and the Louis Poulsen PH5 pendant lamp, both enduring pieces that look amazing in classic as well as contemporary homes. I have a limited edition Arco over the dining table at home that was produced in the 40th anniversary year. Incidentally, in our large open plan sitting/dining space we do not have a single down-lighter – all the lighting comes from wall lights and lamps. And I’ll just sneak in a current favourite and one which is ‘on trend’: The Melt by Tom Dixon. What advice would you give?

First and foremost, if you can, seek specialist advice. Consider your furnishing layout prior to planning your lighting and don’t book your electrician until you have decided upon and selected your lighting. Don’t be afraid to experiment with lamps, even shining a torch around is a good way to try out different effects. Avoid lots of down-lights and select lights that avoid glare. Don’t buy lights that are too small for your room and buy the best quality LED bulbs that you can afford – there really is that much difference. Great lighting involves much more than just flicking a switch; shadows, contrast and colour are the key to successful schemes. It may sound strange, but great lighting revolves just as much around what you don’t light as what you do. amoslighting.co.uk

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SUPERB SAVINGS ON BEAUTIFUL FURNITURE

In order to make room for our fabulous fresh designs for 2016 we are offering 50% off all our ex display furniture currently in store. We also have this stunning ex display kitchen on offer. Call us to find out more. 24A West Street, Ashburton, Newton Abbott, Devon TQ13 7DU

Tel: 01364 653613 www.barnesofashburton.co.uk 96

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Food

Thoughtful food at Trill Farm, East Devon | Eat yourself happy Bites, the latest news and events from across the region | The Table Prowler

PHOTO: DAVID GRIFFEN

Fresh Cornish produce is at the heart of the menu at the Bedruthan Steps Hotel’s award-winning restaurant, The Red Herring. bedruthan.com

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Thoughtful food Complete with Wellington boots, apron and a favourite knife, Jane Fitzgerald enrols in Daphne Lambert’s Winter Living Nutrition weekend in East Devon. Photos courtesy of Trill Farm and Daphne Lambert.

W

hen Romy Fraser first discovered Trill Farm seven years ago she saw beyond the fibreglass statues in the garden, ghastly paint effects daubing the walls of the farmhouse and the swathes of open land surrounding it, and imagined the possibility of it becoming a diverse farm hosting small businesses and a place to learn practical skills aligned to ecology, sustainability and health. No small project. But the founder of the Neal’s Yard skincare range was undaunted and she set about returning the 17th-century East Devon farmhouse, outbuildings and 300 acres to how it would have been 200 years ago. Among other things, Fraser reinstated hedgerows, planted orchards and a kitchen garden, kept bees, and bought a herd of Ruby Red cattle and a flock of Gotland sheep. She has also created a permissive footpath through the farm, a campsite, yoga platform and swimming lake. Seven years on, Trill Farm is a flourishing working farm hosting small craft businesses and a centre for learning with a full programme of courses teaching skills including basketmaking, carpentry, herbal medicine, beekeeping, breadmaking, fermenting and preserving, and eco-building. The farm also offers boxes of home-produced goods and there is a stylish guesthouse in the eco-renovated stable block (clad with larch cut from the surrounding woods), with ground source heating and solar-heated water. I have come to Trill to take part in its very popular seasonal Living Nutrition cooking course led by nutritionist and chef Daphne Lambert. I am in the farmhouse kitchen watching a fragrant concoction of rosehips, mulberry, hawthorn berries, bay laurel, comfrey and fennel unfurl in a jug of steaming water. This is Trill Farm’s Winter blend of tea. As with so much here, it is linked to the seasons. We consider our favourite herbs. Romy’s is thyme for its healing properties, while for Daphne it’s basil (good for thinking, clarity and circulation). This is something I’ve never really given a thought to, but there’s a lot of hitherto unconsidered ground covered over this two-day exploration of the relationship between land, food, health and vitality. “It’s all about retrieving what has been lost: recreating our connection with the land and the soil, to the seasons, and to where our food comes from,” explains Daphne, who has structured the course

Trill Farmhouse

Gotland sheep

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We taste, sniff and touch unfamiliar ingredients, whizz up a delicious green juice made from spinach, ginger and apple and sup raspberry vinegar in warm water.

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around the preparation, cooking and sharing of seasonal nutritious foods which are sourced from as close to home as possible. At Trill you can’t get much closer – vegetables, salads and herbs are grown in abundance on site. There are ten of us on the course, and after hellos over tea Daphne takes us into the farmhouse kitchen where we set to work preparing supper of (raw) vegetable stir fry and rice, yellow split pea soup with smoked tofu and dulse gremolata, and Moroccan almond cake. We skin soaked almonds, finely chop squeaky fresh cabbage, ‘rice’ plump celeriac, strip ears of milky yellow corn and roll papery sheets of filo pastry. We chat as we work. I learn that Jonathan is a farmer-turned-landscape gardener; Linda cooks at a local primary school; Barbara is a psychotherapist and yoga teacher (who has already graduated from Daphne’s Spring, Summer and Autumn courses); and Bryony recently completed a horticultural traineeship at Trill. We learn techniques of fermenting cabbage layered with seaweed, how (and why) to sprout nutrient-packed grains and beans. We also get to make almond milk (3:1 almonds to water) and hemp cream (1:1 hemp to water). We taste, sniff and touch unfamiliar ingredients, whizz up a delicious green juice made from spinach, ginger and apple, and sup raspberry vinegar in warm water (vinegar production from Trill’s own starter – or ‘mother’ – culture is a new venture at the farm). Daphne stresses the importance of alkalising our over-acidic systems and how starting the day with either vinegar or lemon juice and warm water helps to do this. Prep done, we prepare palate-awakening cocktails (gin with homemade bitters) and roasted polenta canapés with shredded fermented cabbage sprinkled with toasted dulse. After raising a glass to the soil, we move through to the dining room for supper, which looks and tastes astonishingly good – so many bright new tastes and unfamiliar combinations. We are all eager to try everything and hungry to learn more. Next morning, we breakfast on whole oats or groats, soaked for 48 hours and cooked to a porridge, spiced with cinnamon and served with a hemp cream and prune purée. It is sustaining, delicious and packed with nutrients (sprouting and soaking whole grains multiplies the nutrients and promotes the growth of vital digestive enzymes). Daphne’s knowledge of nutrition is extensive, and she has a down-to-earth way of communicating quite complicated information. The course isn’t all based in the kitchen or at the table – we repair to the comfy sitting room in the stable block for the science bit. We reflect on winter – how our bodies adapt to it and how it is the ideal time during which to reflect on how we look after ourselves and to deeply nourish ourselves. We learn about the astonishing nutritional properties of sea vegetables (did you know sea water


food

Freshly prepared sushi

Daphne Lambert

has a very similar chemical make-up to blood?) and Daphne devotes a separate session to the complexities of water. Next we prepare sprout greens, avocado and pickled ginger sushi, which looks almost too good to eat, but we do around the long farmhouse table in the dining room in front of a crackling log fire. Daphne and Romy have an easiness between them that comes from having worked together for the past 15 years. “I used to teach courses that Romy set up at Neal’s Yard Remedies and together we started the Living Nutrition courses there,” says Daphne. “Then after Romy moved to Trill in 2008 I came to run the kitchen here for three years. Romy is very connected to both urban and rural living. What she is doing here at Trill is only taking us back to where we would have been. She is recreating our connection with the land through a particular blend of education and business. “For me, the beauty of Trill is that intimate relationship with the land. I feel connected here. I know where to walk to harvest wild garlic and

Jack in the Hedge in spring, for instance, and the vegetables grown here are the best they could be. “It is really important to get to know who grows your food – develop a relationship with them. Never undervalue what you choose to put inside yourself. It is the most important thing. It affects our health.” Although Daphne now lives in Sussex, she returns to Trill to teach several times a year between stints of preparing seasonal feasts and working for her food-based educational charity projects in this country and abroad. The Living Nutrition course is intense and as packed with information as the food is with nutrients. I was only able to stay for one of the two-day programme, yet I went away revitalized, with not only lots of exciting new techniques, recipes and ingredients to explore in the kitchen, but a deeper understanding of the foods I eat and a determination to reawaken my dormant vegetable patch. trill farm.co.uk greencuisine.org

DAPHNE’S ESSENTIALS For the larder… • Pulses (from British bean supplier Hodmedod) • Organic passata (fresh tomatoes are a no-no in winter) • Seeds – sunflower, hemp, pumpkin, alfalfa • Whole oat groats • Rye flour • Seaweed – Dulse for salad, Wakami for rich soups • Apple cider vinegar (Trill’s own) • Fresh seasonal vegetables Kit for the kitchen... • Sprouting jar • Blender • Dehydrator

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With Seasonal Affective Disorder an increasingly common problem during the sun-starved winter months, Jared Green looks at ways in which food can boost mood.

“I

can’t stand January, I feel like I’m living under a saucepan lid.” It was my first English winter and I was sitting in Ruth Rendell’s London townhouse as part of a friend’s fund-raising initiative. As the baroness and author decried the weather, I silently sipped my gin and tonic and asked myself, “What is this saucepan living?” I now know that she was speaking of the clouds, literal and metaphorical, and the sense of lethargy that weigh down on many

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of us in winter. It’s become known as seasonalaffective disorder (SAD), and as the days shorten it becomes tempting to turn to quick fixes like sweets or carbohydrate-laden food to perk up your mood. But might there be wiser food choices to help manage SAD? And how do we get perspective around our food choices? Some studies say SAD affects as many as 10% of the population. Coupled with those who might not


food strictly suffer SAD but experience a form of low mood, the figure is likely to be a lot higher. Sufferers report general lethargy, consistent low mood and a disinterest in everyday tasks. The biology behind SAD is still being understood, but the prevailing theory is that reduced levels of light during the winter affect the body’s circadian rhythms. Key hormones regulating happiness (serotonin) and sleepiness (melatonin) are disrupted, leading to SAD symptoms. Thankfully, there is a great deal that can be done. And many solutions fall within the realm of lifestyle changes and some simple adjustments to how we cook and eat. Ben Ballard is programme manager at the Sharpham Trust, a mindfulness and retreat centre outside Totnes on the River Dart. He encourages engaging with nature as a way to boost mood: “Even in the depths of winter, put on your wellies and push through, it’s often not as bad as it looks.” Research would concur. Maximising exposure to what little light winter provides is vital to give the body the opportunity to naturally produce vitamin D, believed to help regulate mood. On a more subtle level, experiences in nature tend to offer a chance to be more mindful of the present moment. “Personally, I find there’s something about being in nature which facilitates a slowing down, being more present to the patterns of the natural world,” says Ballard. Again science echoes his perspective: even gardening has been shown to reduce depression. This is the crux of the mindfulness concept, as Ballard points out. “The light bulb moment is when we realise that unhappiness isn’t the problem, it’s how we react. Ruminative thoughts around unhappy feelings are what create depression.” In essence, a mindfulness practice builds our ability to exercise choice in which thoughts to follow. When it comes to food choices, mindfulness also plays a role. The premise behind mindful eating is to draw attention to the embodied sense of our hunger, to connect with what we’re really hungry for – beyond cravings. And what’s more, to inspire getting active in the kitchen, naturally finding ways to provide for that hunger. Sharpham’s ‘Moments to Savour’ retreats are designed to experientially bring about greater mindfulness in the kitchen. Findings from a UK study published by The Lancet in March 2015 showed that mindfulness was as effective as taking pills at reducing depression. And it’s moved well beyond the sphere of alternative remedies. “We get top executives, painters and decorators,” Ballard says, “those who want to train to jog through to those who want to run a marathon.” A mindfulness marathon, that is. If a retreat feels like a stretch, there are plenty of local mindfulness groups and online resources becoming available. The ‘Headspace’ app is one of the most

popular, described glowingly by the The New York Times as “no incense, no religion… and you can do it over lunch.” Speaking of lunch, it’s becoming increasingly clear that what we eat can also help build emotional resilience throughout winter. Many will recall Kimberley Wilson (left) from the 2013 season of the The Great British Bake-off. The then finalist is also a Chartered Counselling Psychologist and, as a baker from nine years old, it’s perhaps unsurprising that she now seeks to pursue interests in food and psychology jointly. Hugely busy since the show, Wilson completed her second Masters degree, has presented further television, and has managed to find time to start a jam company. She’s currently opening a London practice that combines psychology, psychotherapy and nutrition, to holistically look at mental health and emotional concerns.

Many solutions fall within the realm of lifestyle changes and some simple adjustments to how we cook and eat.

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Mood affects what we eat, and what we eat affects mood.

A Mediterranean diet can help stave off depression

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“There’s an inseparable relationship between mood and nutrition and it’s bi-directional,” says Wilson. “Mood affects what we eat, and what we eat affects mood.” She provides more context about SAD symptoms: “We can turn to calorie-dense foods [such as those] rich in sugars to provide surges of serotonin,” but these are temporary effects. Choosing unprocessed carbohydrates such as brown rice, potatoes and lentils are better, as they fuel the body for longer. Wilson points to studies which suggest omega 3 oils, like those found in oily fish and a Mediterranean diet (olive oil, fresh fruit and vegetables, reduced meat and dairy), help stave off depression. Consider locally available fish such as sardines and mackerel, or salmon and trout from further afield. Omega 3 is also in eggs, and supplements are available if dietary sources can’t provide sufficient. Nutrient-dense leafy greens such as kale, spinach and Swiss chard have also been shown to reduce depression. Wilson welcomes developments within psychology that mean nutrition is beginning to be seen as integral to mental and emotional wellbeing, but there’s more to be done. “In an ideal world I’d like to see a psychologist as well as a GP assess whether a patient’s depression is psychological or physiological, and whether a nutritional intervention should be used to support other treatments.” Wilson suggests anyone feeling the effects of SAD ought to ask for help. “We’re not designed to struggle with these feelings alone and we shouldn’t have to,” she says. On a practical level, Wilson recommends engaging in the kitchen as way through the darker months. “For some people, the perceived effort of preparing a meal can feel like an additional burden,” but cooking for yourself can not only provide healthier food – the process of cooking can be a mindfulness practice of sorts. Some might find a weekly routine, like making a lentil soup, provides a grounding process and means you’ve a healthy, nutrient-rich snack on hand for the rest of the week. There’s no doubt the long winter months present a happiness challenge. But if I think back to my first English winter and listen to the advice from these experts, I’m inspired. Recognising that there is choice, using tools like mindfulness to reinforce that, and making wise choices about food and exercise might mean that the period of reflection provided by a wintry January may well lead to a lifestyle improvements that lead to healthy living long beyond winter’s grasp. Courses in mindfulness are offered throughout the winter on the Sharpham Estate, which occupies 550 acres on a stunning stretch of Devon’s River Dart. More information at sharphamtrust.org. Kimberley Wilson’s psychology practice Monumental Health can be contacted via monumentalhealth.co.uk.


TIPS TO EATING HAPPY IN WINTER Less of... • Empty carbohydrates like sugar and processed white flour – the effects are short lived • Trans fats, such as those sometimes found in fried takeaway and processed foods • Skipping meals More of... • Choose long-life carbohydrates like lentils, potatoes and brown rice • ‘Good fats’ like rapeseed, olive oil, avocado • Try and have a little protein with each meal • An active lifestyle. A brisk walk is perfectly achievable, even on a wintry day • Consider mindfulness meditation

Kimberley’s warming Italian lentil soup INGREDIENTS

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

2 tbsp flaxseed oil 1 medium onion, diced 2 cloves of garlic 2 stalks of celery, finely diced ½ tsp ground cumin ½ tsp ground chilli or paprika (optional) 1 tin chopped tomatoes 2 cups of vegetable stock 4 cups of water 1½ cups dried brown lentils ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 200g baby spinach 1 tsp red wine vinegar Sea salt and ground pepper to taste

METHOD

1. In a large, heavy saucepan heat the oil to a medium heat and add onions with a little salt and cook off until translucent. Add celery and garlic and stir until tender, around 5 or 6 minutes. Add cumin and chilli if using, and stir to combine and allow heat to activate the spices (you’ll be able to smell them). 2. Add lentils and stir through until coated, then increase heat to high, add tomatoes, then stock and water. 3. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer for 25-30 minutes until lentils are cooked. 4. Stir through spinach, parsley, vinegar and season with salt and pepper. 5. Standing for an hour or two greatly increases the flavour. Serve with a parsley garnish and drizzle of flaxseed oil. For a protein hit, top with a fried egg or some crumbled smoked mackerel. 6. Alternately freeze into individual sized portions for later use.

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Bites

PHOTO: MARTIN ELLIS

Kirsty Hale, Guy Watson and Rob Andrew at the launch of the new Riverford Autumn and Winter Veg book

Raise a glass (of organic carrot fizz) Alongside chefs, farmers, customers and food enthusiasts, MANOR joined the Riverford team at Riverford Organic Farm’s Field Kitchen in Devon’s South Hams for an evening of veg talk, veg cocktails, and canapés inspired by recipes in their new book, including beetroot rosti with cured salmon and cavolo nero bruschetta. This was to celebrate the release of the second cookbook from the ‘Riverford Companion’ series. Founder of the veg box scheme and farmer Guy Watson said: “We’ve created this book for real life,

seasonal home cooking. My dream is that a veg box will seem like an allotment without the work, and that this book will help make veg the stars of your eating. I hope that this time next year, copies will be dog-eared and stained with use.” The new book, Autumn & Winter Veg, is full of recipes that bring vegetables to the centre of the plate in dishes that really help people get to grips with the green stuff. The first book from the series, Spring & Summer Veg, is also available to buy from riverford.co.uk/ cookbook and independent bookshops.

“And all the little oysters stood and waited in a row” The Fal Oyster is officially the only oyster to be accredited with the EU PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) specification. And after a long battle to achieve this, the Fal Oyster Co. is now the first business to be officially verified to use the protected ‘Fal Oyster’ name. Fal Oysters are harvested in the Fal Estuary by sail or oar – no motorised vessels are allowed – and the unique geology of the area gives them their distinctive flavour. faloyster.co.uk

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food

Top of the pops Portlebay Popcorn is popping high in the sky after it was named ‘one of their Top Regional Suppliers to Tesco this Year’. “This is a huge accolade for Portlebay Popcorn,” said sales director Steve Wardlaw. “We believe popcorn is one of those simple things in life that just seems to make you smile, and this award has most certainly done that for the Portlebay Popcorn team.” Plympton-based Portlebay Popcorn recently introduced Cappuccino to its range, while Crispy Bacon and Maple has been named as the top seller above Sweet & Salty. Inspired by his passion for sailing on the Salcombe estuary, combined with a love for healthier snacks made with the best natural and gluten-free ingredients, Jonty White founded Portlebay Popcorn in 2012. The company donates 25% of online sales to the Devon charity CHICKS. portlebaypopcorn.com

Develop ideas at Duchy

The food manufacturing and processing facilities (and the expert staff) at Duchy College’s Stoke Climsland campus near Callington are available to hire for people who are testing out new food ideas and looking to develop new products. Working with a range of small businesses right through to multinationals, the team specialises in product development and extending shelf life. Lawrence Reynolds, who with his wife Rosea and daughter Alex created the Emmental ‘Cornish Jack’ cheese using Duchy College’s facilities, says: “Without the facilities and expertise available at Duchy College, we would have been very limited in terms of opportunities and we would be trying to do something at home on a much smaller scale. Liz Whitley, who teaches the cheese course at Duchy College, is very excited about our progress and has been on hand throughout. We’re very grateful.” foodinnovation.co.uk

Hail the ale Celebrating the Dartington Hall Estate and its founders Leonard and Dorothy Elmhirst, The Shops at Dartington has unveiled a new tipple, Elmhirst Ale. The smooth, malty ale is brewed less than 10 miles away by familyrun microbrewery, Hunter’s. Elmhirst Ale is a distinctive traditional amber ale with a velvety, smooth finish and good depth of flavour. Produced using traditional brewing methods and the very best local ingredients including a mix of hops, the ale is described as having notes of strawberry, chocolate and caramel. dartington.org huntersbrewery.com

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Bang on! Sally and Bill Lugg, who rear traditional-breed pigs at their smallholding near Redruth, have been recognised as one of the country’s top sausage producers at the 2015 British Sausage Week Awards. Primrose Herd took Silver in the national ‘Traditional Pork Sausage’ category at the awards and the award was presented to the Luggs by Michel Roux Jr. What began as a hobby for Sally and Bill soon became a full-time job as demand increased. “People were telling us it was the best pork they had ever tasted, so we decided to make a go of it,” says Sally (right). The Luggs rear traditional breeds outdoors (including Gloucester Old Spots and Large Blacks). They are allowed time to grow naturally in a stressfree environment, resulting in excellent marbling and a good meat to fat ratio. Support for local produce has also been a key

factor in the success of this grassroots enterprise, and each month Sally and Bill sell their products at farmers’ markets in Truro, Helston and Mullion. They also sell Primrose Herd pork to restaurants and hotels in Cornwall and beyond and it is now available online for home delivery. primroseherd.co.uk

Two go wild in Kingsbridge

PHOTO: RACHEL HOILE

Jane Baxter and Sam Miller have teamed up for a new food and event business, Wild Artichokes. Their HQ is tucked away on the Lower Union Road industrial estate in Kingsbridge – not quite the location where you’d expect to go and eat. The business is centred around a large open-plan kitchen, which is used as a base for outside catering, cookery demonstrations and pop-ups around Devon. There is also seating for up to 40 people with large dining tables and benches, which lends itself to the family-style service that Jane and Sam love, and where they plan to hold regular dining events. Jane and Sam originally met 10 years ago when setting up the Riverford Field Kitchen together, which they successfully ran for five years. Between them they bring a combined talent of creativity and organisation along with more than 60 years of experience in hospitality. Typically, a meal at Wild Artichokes is a set three-course menu: shared antipasti starters, followed by a meat or fish dish with lots of vegetables, and traditional puddings to finish. wildartichokes.co.uk

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SAMPLE WINTER MENU Antipasti • Salumi with celeriac • Home-cured salmon and beetroot • Panzerotti • Truffle arancini • Deep-fried Brussel sprouts with truffle salt • Sprout salad with hazlenuts, pecorino, jerusalem artichoke • Shrimp and chickpea tortillitas Main course • Dartmouth pie • Venison haunch • Sweet potato gratin • Buttered beetroot • Roasted cauliflower with purple sprouting broccoli and grilled leeks Puds • Rhubarb and custard pavlova • Orange, date and apple crumble • Sticky toffee pudding • Panettone bread pudding Coming up in the New Year, WAHQ will be open for weekend lunches and suppers and also some special themed dining events: Mardi Gras supper, 9 February; Valentine’s weekend, 13 and 14 February; Mauritian supper – date to be confirmed. You’ll also see WA at the Flavel Beer Festival, 20 February.


food

Hands on – workshops and courses COLUMN BAKER’S INTRODUCTION TO BREADMAKING

GLUTEN FREE COOKERY

Devonport Guildhall, Plymouth PL1 4EL. 31 January 2016, 10am-1:30pm, £75. Call 01752 395028 to book or buy a baking course gift voucher. columnbakehouse.org

This half day Introduction to Breadmaking course taught by Gilles Defrance, Head Baker at Column Bakehouse, takes you through the step-by-step process involved in creating the perfect traditional loaf. Groups are small so participants get plenty of individual attention. All ingredients, use of equipment and refreshments included. Other courses planned for 2016 include French Breadmaking, and an Introduction to Sourdough.

River Cottage Cookery School, near Axminster, Devon. 5 February, 9.30am-5.00pm £195. Visit rivercottage.net to book

Led by nutritionist and gluten-free expert Naomi Devlin, the day-long course will include learning how to make bread, pastry and treats to suit gluten intolerance and it will include learning about gluten-free flours and healthy alternatives for food intolerances. Participants will prepare a sourdough starter using wholegrain gluten-free flours and a rice sourdough starter. Naomi will demonstrate how to make perfect, chewy gluten-free cookies, delicious frangipane-topped tarts and sourdough cracker dough. The gluten-free ingredients used during the day may include: rice flour, teff flour, sorghum flour, millet flour, buckwheat, maize flour, potato starch, tapioca, almond flour and chestnut flour.

Send your food news and stories to food@manormagazine.co.uk

FREE SMOKED SALMON WITH FIRST ORDER

QUAYSIDE FRESH&HEALTHY

MEDITERRANEAN COOKING IN GRANADA Las Chimeneas, Granada, Spain. 6-13 February 2016. Call 01803 752943 or visit mannafromdevon.com for more information.

Manna from Devon’s David and Holly Jones have teamed up with a beautiful family-run hotel in Andalucía, Southern Spain, to host exclusive one-week Spanish cookery courses. Each course includes guided walks around the region, plus fascinating foodie visits to the ancient Mediterranean city of Almeria, its fish market, and local olive groves, bodegas and vineyards. There are a couple of spaces remaining for the next Mediterranean cooking course.

Sustainably sourced fresh fish from Cornwall delivered nationwide.

THECORNISHFISHMONGER.CO.UK

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07/01/2016 10:24


Signature dish Michael Smith is Executive Chef and co-owner of Porthminster Beach Café in St Ives – a restaurant in a stunning setting with a reputation for serving the best Cornish seafood cooked with Mediterranean and Asian influences by a talented brigade of chefs. Dishes such as monkfish curry, salt and pepper squid, and deconstructed Pimm’s have generated such a following that they have now been put together in a book: Porthminster Beach Café – The Cook Book. Last spring, Michael and his team opened a new restaurant, Porthminster Kitchen, on the harbour-front in St Ives, which serves up a refreshing and playful take on Cornish cuisine. Michael chose pan-fried mackerel with fennel purée and rhubarb chutney as his signature dish for MANOR. “The wonderfully fresh mackerel we enjoy here in Cornwall is something really special,” he explains. “It’s a very versatile fish to cook with as it stands up to strong flavours, such as the fennel in this recipe. As with all our seafood, we ensure our mackerel is sustainably fished; it’s often caught by small boats right here in St Ives Bay, overlooked by both Porthminster Beach Café and Porthminster Kitchen. In this recipe, the sweet and sour aspects of rhubarb cut through the oiliness of mackerel really well, as do the citrus notes of wood sorrel in the salad.” porthminstercafe.co.uk

Pan-fried mackerel, fennel purée and rhubarb chutney Serves four INGREDIENTS

SALAD

• • •

• • • • • •

4 large mackerels or 8 joeys, skin on and scaled 2 tbsp of olive oil Salt and pepper

FENNEL PURÉE

• • • • • •

1 bulb of fennel finely sliced 2 tbsp butter 1 small shallot finely sliced 50ml single cream Salt White pepper

1 tbsp sumac 1 lemon 12 sprigs of wood sorrel 8 sprigs of wild sorrel or spinach if not available 100g of endive 2tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

SWEET AND SOUR RHUBARB CHUTNEY

• • • • •

30g jam or caster sugar 1 tsp of white wine vinegar ½ tsp salt 25ml grenadine 200g diced rhubarb

METHOD

For the fennel purée

For the mackerel

Sweat the fennel in the butter with the shallots until very soft. Blitz till smooth and finish with the cream, salt and white pepper and set aside.

Place a large frying pan on a medium heat with the oil. Season the mackerel fillets. When the oil is hot place the fillets skin side down, cook for three minutes then flip and cook for a further one to two minutes.

For the rhubarb chutney

Bring the sugar, grenadine and white wine vinegar to the boil, add the rhubarb and cook for about three minutes - it still needs to have some firmness. Add salt to taste. For the salad

Get yourself a jar or cup, add the lemon juice, sumac and olive oil and give it a good mix before seasoning season. Assemble the leaves in a bowl and set aside ready to plate and dress later.

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Dress the salad and plate up everything together.


food

The Table Prowler Beach House, South Milton, Devon There’s a crazy wind blowing and massive breakers smashing onto the sands of South Milton beach, where a solitary dog walker is battling the elements. Even opening the door of this small yet stylish shack perched above the beach is a challenge. Once inside the warmth of the Beach House, we cram onto benches (there are six of us), order drinks and scan the choices on the blackboard. It’s 3pm and we’re here for a (late) birthday lunch. There’s lots of loud chatter and laughter – it seems everyone is celebrating something (even if it’s just getting out of the mad weather). We’re starving, so order a couple of seafood starters to keep us going. This is the place to come for fish – the calamari in crispy batter is tender and sweet, and the generous portion of whitebait deeply dippable (the homemade aioli and tartare take some beating). We go for a plate each – fish stew, two moules frites, arancini, fish finger sandwich and scallops. Cheerful waiting staff thread between tables, small children and diners spilling off benches; there’s an air of nearly chaos, but somehow, in the tiny space behind the bar, the cooks work their magic. Everything is prepared there and then, so there’s a bit of a wait, but with the edge taken off our appetites we chat happily. The Beach House probably

isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It is a convivial shack, serving terrific, unfussy food. The kitchen (and fryer) is right there beside you, so it’s best to leave expensive coats/cashmere in the car, the benches are, well, benches and the loos are round the corner. But it is in the most spectacular situation, the staff couldn’t do enough for us and, most importantly, the food is second to none. Our plates arrive. The stew is stacked with super-fresh fish and seafood, moules are piled high and the marinière is cream-free (hurrah), scallops plump and the modestly named fish finger sandwich the object of food envy from around the table. There’s a lot of leaning across and trying each other’s. As we wipe our plates, we watch darkness fall across the arch of Thurlestone rock and the surf gleam in the half light beachhousedevon.com Food 9 | Service 8 | Location 10 | Ambience 8

Shotgun, Soho, London It was a birthday celebration and for a special treat we’d chosen to lunch at one of London’s high profile new entrants. A restaurant that had caused swoons or delirium and howls of disdain in equal measure. It could all have been hype but in my view, where there’s hype, there’s fire, this time of a BBQ variety (Shotgun specialises in premium barbecue fare) and to rattle journalists enough to write about it, even none food hacks, meant it needed to be experienced. It’s a classy joint, with a long elegant cocktail bar but there’s something disconcerting at arriving at a restaurant to find you’re the only ones there. It was early though, 12.30pm, and I remained full of anticipation. This was deflated slightly following a trip to the ladies pre the bubbly aperitif. As elegant as the place is, the toilet didn’t flush. Toilets not flushing in restaurants is a definite appetite dampener, but the bubbly and sparkling company compensated. We ordered. For starters, the pig’s ear, tamales and devilled quails eggs. To follow, Jacobs ladder (short beef ribs), duck, and pulled pork. At now gone 1pm, two other couples had come in. It was soon after Christmas, but I was beginning to think that the naysayers may be right. The starters arrived. The pig’s ear was just that – a large pig’s ear on a plate, not crispy or crackling, but with plenty of caramelised sugar to doubtless sweeten the experience. It was eaten but not savoured by our dining

companion (there was no yearning to try from the others) and won’t be chosen again. The devilled quails eggs were priced by the unit at £1.50 each and consisted of hard boiled quails’ eggs cut open and decorated with a paprika mayonnaise piped over the yolk. They were reminiscent of the ones your mum used to serve at cocktail parties in the 1970s, tasty but gone in an instant. The tamales were lovely but unwrapped, again not substantial. The main courses were better. The Jacob’s ladder was apparently tender and delicious, and the pulled pork a lovely texture but with a piquant dressing, which gave it a sour taste. The duck was disappointing on arrival, in slices reminiscent of a large cut sausage rather than succulent chunks of breast. It was tender and tasty enough but had to work hard to make up for its appearance. I did find presentation rather wanting at Shotgun. We decided that we were way too full for a dessert so ordered a brownie between the four of us (always need to end a meal with something sweet). Good job we hadn’t ordered one each, it was enormous! And ok, but only ok. The price for lunch for four with drinks including Champagne, came to around £150. shotgunbbq.com Food 7 | Service 8 | Location 9 | Ambience 8

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a natural night’s sleep At Naturalmat, in the heart of Devon, we hand make mattresses and beds using natural and organic materials. Chemical free, our sustainable and renewable raw materials produce a premium long lasting product… …the perfect setting for a truly natural night’s sleep.

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Mattresses made by hand in Devon 112

MANOR | Late Winter 2016

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escape

Escape

Spa Special | Family friendly holidays Arctic adventures with artist Naomi Hart | Val D’Isere

Treatment room at The Scarlet Hotel and Spa, Mawgan Porth, Cornwall scarlethotel.co.uk

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‘Be nice to yourself’ should be the first resolution we make at the start of each year. That clearly involves keeping fit, eating well and not over-working, but also regularly treating yourself to some body and facial maintenance, to deep-cleanse, invigorate and calm. In this regard, there are spas across the South West offering expert attention. The MANOR team went out to review a range and below are seven of the best. It was tough but, in the true spirit of investigative journalism, someone’s got to do it… SALCOMBE HARBOUR HOTEL SALCOMBE, DEVON worked firmly and effectively on my neck and shoulders to relieve muscle tension. After the treatment, she concluded that my skin type was ‘combination’, not oily as I had previously thought, and that it was well-hydrated so there was no need to change my simple beauty routine. It was great to be reassured and my friend and I then retreated off to the pebble room... a bean bag-filled lounge area with furnished walls all decorated in soft grey fabrics where we soon lost any sense of time. The spa day also included a delicious two-course lunch at The Jetty Restaurant, and I could quite easily have whiled away many more hours reading by the pool, immersing myself in the Jacuzzi or sauna and slowing right down.

My day at Harbour Spa, overlooking the Salcombe estuary, was a rainy one – and I can think of no better place I’d rather have spent it than being pampered and indulged in these luxurious surroundings. Diving into the blue mosaic-tiled pool, surrounded by calming natural textures, the spa has a slight Moroccan feel to it – long white curtains around the loungers and lanterns by the water’s edge. After an invigorating swim, there’s time to perch on the bar stools submerged in the pool – a quirky place to sit and chat while look at the harbour view. After a quick shower (with The White Company products on tap in the changing rooms) and helping myself to the readily available fresh fruit, I was taken by therapist Zoe to one of the five treatment rooms for my 55-minute facial. I felt confident that Zoe assessed my skin type and condition and then tailored the treatment accordingly. Using ESPA products, the treatment was a delightful experience stimulating the senses, with beautifully scented rose products including cleansers, gentle exfoliation and a spritzer finale. Zoe slowly worked various acupressure points on my face to improve circulation and while the intensive face mask was taking its effect, she

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Variety of treatments offered: 8/10 Degree of specialism: 9/10 Environment: 10/10 Product range used: ESPA Spa extras: rest room, steam room, gym, pool salcombe-harbour-hotel.co.uk/spa


escape ILSINGTON COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL DARTMOOR, DEVON

When I am a billionaire I will land my helicopter somewhere near Haytor (at least twice a week), run through wind/rain/mist/snow to the Ilsington Country House Hotel Spa, where I will kick off my shoes, peel off my (very expensive) layers, slip into a robe and pad along to the calm and warmth of the spa for a holistic massage, swim and hammam. It’s not that the treatments at the hotel are hugely expensive (they’re not), it’s just that the experience is entirely luxurious, cossetted, easy on the eye and supremely relaxing. “We are a small traditional hotel on Dartmoor,” explains owner Richard Hassell. “It’s all about personal service. The spa is designed to be intimate, quiet and quite unique.” Unique it is. But it is anything but traditional. The stateof-the-art hydrotherapy pool with massage beds, massage

into the spa and from pool to massage bed to steam room to sauna to shower, and, yes, the bucket of cold water too. After tea and sandwiches (over a highly competitive game of Scrabble with my daughter) in the far-too-comfortable sitting room, we float outside, oblivious to the horizontal rain and galeforce winds which blow us into the car and home…

jets, swimming pool, hammam, sauna and shower temple with kubel duche (cold water bucket bath) were commissioned from Barcelona-based designers Inbeco, and infinite care has been lavished upon every detail. The place is deliciously warm and the lighting gentle (hypnotic even in the steam room where pin prick ‘stars’ in the ceiling shift from glowing blue to green to red). Holistic therapist Sarah Ready delivers my deeply relaxing aromatherapy massage using the Aroma Works Serenity blend of essential oils (neroli, geranium and lemongrass) before a supremely cleansing and balancing facial. The spa at Ilsington is about good health, Sarah tells me. “Massage (Swedish, holistic and aromatherapy), facials, mud treatment reflexology, hot stones are the staple here, rather than manicures, waxes and make-up.” I notice the treatment room is refreshingly minimal, just a few bottles on a shelf, no more. Utterly alleviated of stress, sleeplessness and with a fully awakened circulatory system (thank you Sarah Ready), I drift

ilsington.co.uk

Variety of treatments offered: 8/10 Degree of specialism: 9/10 Environment: 10/10 Product range used: Aroma Works Spa extras: sauna, rest room, steam room, hydrotherapy pool, experience shower, gym, pool

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THE SCARLET HOTEL AND SPA MAWGAN PORTH, CORNWALL

I was rather excited about the spa at The Scarlet Hotel, the adult-only eco-hotel at Mawgan Porth that is very high on style. As you walk into the hotel, the therapy begins: the décor is tasteful and minimalist and the art quite beautiful. Light streams in through glass walls that look out onto pounding seas and an infinity pool. Aware of the importance of a spa in a high-end adult-only hotel where there are no children to disrupt your personal pamper time, there has been no scrimping on space at The Scarlet: the spa takes up much of the lower ground floor. It boasts an enormous relaxation room that looks out onto the natural pool, just beyond which are The Scarlet’s famous cliff-top hot tubs. In these you can sit in warm bubbles sipping Champagne while the waves pound the shore below and the coastal wind blasts and reinvigorates your head. Such is the popularity of the experience you have to book the tubs. I proceeded to one of the lantern-lit tented massage rooms to receive the Voya Environmental Defence Facial. This facial majors on seaweed, appropriate for a hotel that’s right on the coast, but also highly beneficial for the skin. My masseuse was Charmaine who extended the detoxifying massage to my back and neck, and I emerged an hour and a half later in happy delirium. I was shown to the softly lit deep relaxation room, which has large canvas pods hanging from the ceiling – perfect for curling up in. After some cocooning there I wafted into the meditation room where I lent back on one of the many giant cushions, closed my eyes and listened to (a recording of) Deepak Chopra gently setting my mind straight on life, death and the futility of anxiety.

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I left The Scarlet a new woman, revived in mind and body, and clutching the bag of seaweed that Charmaine had wrapped up for me to lay on my face for the next couple of days and continue the skin-nutritious therapy. Range of treatments offered: 10/10 Degree of specialism: 8/10 Environment: 10/10 Product range used: Voya Spa extras: Hammam for scrubs and wraps on a heated table, Rhassoul for mineral mud sessions, rest room, meditation room, hot tubs, indoor pool, outdoor pool filtered by reeds scarlethotel.co.uk


escape THE BEAUTY ROOMS at AROMATIKA EXETER, DEVON

Stepping from the clamour of Exeter’s Queen Street into the cool, white calm of Aromatika – the air suffused with glorious floral aromas – I could feel my cortisol levels dropping by the minute. By the time I was ensconced in the luxurious treatment room at the top of this lovely Georgian townhouse – wrapped in a super-cosy dressing gown that perfectly complemented the teal and duck-egg blue accents of the boudoiresque décor – I’m was already beginning to feel almost human again. Thankfully, I was booked in for a three-part session of serious pampering. Therapist Roxan began building the new me with a one-hour Jessica Geleration pedicure, which involved treating my tired trotters to a gentle massage with geranium and orange cream, a scrub with sugar crystals and black pepper, a cuticle tidy and finishing off with super glossy polish. Natural products are the USP here – body beautifying unguents are courtesy of the Devon Soap Company – and there was an abundance of flowers

Finally, the full-body aromatherapy massage was an hour of bliss, with feet once again cocooned in hot towels. I went for the tired muscle rub, Roxan applying exactly the right amount of pressure as requested in an attempt to expel the golf balls of tension in my shoulders. She made a valiant effort, and the treatment was the right combination of invigorating and relaxing. I wafted out of there feeling like a new woman. And my feet still feel like Kate Middleton… This is a luxurious city centre beauty salon specialising in gorgeous all-natural products that puts pampering at the top of the agenda

and fruits. The foot soak even had rose and calendula petals floating in it. This is what it must feel like to be Kate Middleton… With feet glowing and glamourous, I glided across the room for my Aromatika Signature Facial, an hour-long treatment that started with my feet getting a good squeeze and manipulation before being wrapped in hot towels. The facial massage incorporated a bit of acupressure and lymphatic drainage, and while the clay mask worked its magic I was treated to a vigorous head massage, which all but turned me to mush. Gorgeous smells abounded – rose, orange, geranium, jasmine – and the all-natural products felt beautiful on my skin. The mask seemed a little tricky to remove (and I found bits of it stuck to my face and in my hair for the whole evening), and at the time the facial felt more about relaxation than skincare, but the next morning I looked amazing – my skin was clear and fresh, with plenty of bouncy fullness – and I garnered compliments for a good two weeks, so it definitely worked.

(body)

Range of treatments offered: 10/10 Degree of specialism: 9/10 Environment: 10/10 Product range used: Aromatika (facials), Devon Soap Company

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THE SPA at BOVEY CASTLE, DARTMOOR

Kim was my therapist at the newly refurbished, rather plush Bovey Castle spa. As we went through the preamble, I made sure to tell her that I like a firm massage: my neck and shoulders have been in a state of tension bordering on rigor mortis for some time, so tense that I feel in a permanent hunch – a ‘there there’ stroke was not going to cut it; these muscles needed a thorough pummelling. Kim complied. My, it was firm, and great. Just when I thought, “Wow, this is close to pain,” she would release the pressure. I felt the tingle of capillaries start to flow again. Bovey Castle, the five-star country hotel on Dartmoor, has recently undergone a considerable overhaul since The Rigby Group added it to its Eden Collection of hotels a year and a half ago. The entire downstairs has been sumptuously refurbished, as have many of the bedrooms, along with the Spa. It has been beautifully done: there are six treatment rooms painted a calm dark grey, a couples room, a Champagne manicure/pedicure bar, and a gentleman’s quarter with a barber’s chair for cuts and luxury wet shaves. The treatment I had was the 85-minute Back Face and Scalp Treatment (£120) incorporating the Re-Hydrator Facial. The

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facial was applied as the back muscles tingled and my scalp got the attention while the face mask is on. A scalp massage is again a special skill that needs pressure and the gentle pull of hair to reach deep into the follicles to stimulate a scalp tight from tension. Again, I wasn’t disappointed. Some way from the spa, on the lower ground floor, is the Art Nouveau swimming pool, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi along with a gym. This area is yet to be refurbished, although I’m told it’s next on the list with plans afoot for an outside pool to add to the offering. Range of treatments offered: 9/10 Degree of specialism: 8/10 Environment: 10/10 Product range used: ESPA Spa extras: sauna, steam room, pool. A variety of packages including Spa Days with treatments, full use of facilities and a two-course lunch and Spa Half-days with lunch or dinner boveycastle.com/spa


THE KINGS HEAD HOTEL AND SPA CIRENCESTER

This boutique Cotswolds hotel reopened its doors in September 2014 after an impressive £7 million refurbishment. Located in the heart of picturesque Cirencester, The Kings Head is a listed building standing proud opposite the famous medieval abbey and is now rated as one of the top places to eat, sleep and play in the Cotswolds, with a style-led interior, attentive staff and topgrade modern facilities. There are 45 rooms and 17 suites each individually decorated in muted Farrow and Ball-esque colours and equipped with sumptuous beds, Nespresso coffee machines, Lubatti bath products and indulgent, oversized rain showers (and don’t miss the copper freestanding bath in room 103). The spa is a tranquil haven located below ground level in the vaulted cellars and is the perfect place to switch off and unwind.

in need of a little pampering. Choose from one of their many packages – we like the sound of the Vaulted Spa Break, which includes an overnight stay with breakfast, a three-course dinner, and you can choose from a 25-minute or 55-minute treatment to leave you feeling rejuvenated (priced from £233).

Softly lit, as soon as you walk through the door you are hit by a sense of calm. Help yourself to robes, slippers and fluffy towels in the changing room and start off in the relaxing area where you can recline on the soft bouncy beds and sheepskin throws, and sift through piles of magazines or snooze whilst you wait for your treatment. The spa uses British beauty brand Lubatti, founded by Jo Malone’s sister, Tracey Malone, and the skin care recipes date back to the 1920s. They offer a range of massages, beauty and body treatments and facials for both men and women. There are four treatment rooms and a ‘Wet Area’ with a sauna, steam room, experience shower and hot tub. Signature treatments include The Full Body Massage (from £70 for 55 minutes), completely tailored to your requirements, and the Lubatti Facial (£80 for 70 minutes), including a triple cleanse, exfoliation and a relaxing scalp massage. This unique hotel is well worth a visit, especially if you’re

kingshead-hotel.co.uk

Range of treatments offered: 9/10 Degree of specialism: 8/10 Environment: 9/10 Product range used: Lubatti Spa extras: rest room, steam room, hot tub, experience shower, gym, couples treatment room, manicure suite

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escape ST MICHAEL’S HOTEL FALMOUTH

Driving up to the hotel is a bit of a fiddle: in an unprepossessing tangle of Falmouth’s residential streets, even the SatNav has trouble guiding you to the front door. But this four-star hotel more than makes up for the approach with views of the sea, excellent spa treatments and superb food. The St Michael’s Hotel has a standard hotel pool, plus Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. The pokey changing rooms and tiny lockers slightly let it down – especially if busy with hotel guests and non-residents. The treatment rooms, however, are in a separate area on the other side of the pool lobby, and it is here that the quality really shines: from the high-end ESPA products to the expert massage and facial therapists. A peaceful relaxation room furnished with suitably oceanic steamer chairs overlooks a quiet corner of the hotel’s semitropical garden. Think: a view of palm trees and a glimpse of sparkling sea while you sip your berry infusion, wrapped in a fluffy white robe and the subtle scent of ESPA body lotion… The staff are friendly and welcoming – from front-of-house to the spa, and the efficient and accommodating waiting staff in the Flying Fish restaurant. Choose one of the excellent-value spa packages (I went for a Day Spa package), and you get a mouth-wateringly good lunch thrown in. I enjoyed a 40-minute swim, a heavenly steam, an ‘it hurts so good’ deep-tissue back and shoulder massage, and a facial that was both relaxing and informative (my therapist was like Google on dermatology). All that, followed by one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time – perfectly cooked venison medallions melting in my mouth as I gazed across the gardens and out to the ocean. Great value for money and an approachable, relaxed vibe.

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Range of treatments offered: 7/10 Degree of specialism: 8/10 Environment: 7/10 Product range used: ESPA Spa extras: sauna, rest room, steam room, hot tub, robes and slippers, pool. Spa days including treatments, lunch and use of pool, steam room, sauna; complementary therapies: reflexology and Indian head massages; wedding packages: make-up, tans, waxing and spa treatments stmichaelshotel.co.uk


We!ings "i# Eden Hotel Colection

Buckland Tout Saints

The Mount Somerset Hotel & Spa

Bovey Castle

Buckland Tout-Saints is a perfectly formed period manor house. You will rarely find a more beautiful backdrop for your wedding celebrations.

A wedding at our Regency manor is completely personal and tailored just to you, with awardwinning food and gorgeous ceremony rooms.

Bovey Castle is a stunning venue for your wedding celebration. Why not take exclusive use and have your very own castle for you and your guests!

Free glass of fizz for you and your partner when you book a wedding show round during January! One glass per person, maximum of two people. Kingsbridge, Devon, TQ7 2DS T: 01548 853055 E: info@bucklandtoutsaints.co.uk www.tout-saints.co.uk /toutsaints

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Taunton, Somerset, TA3 5NB T: 01823 442500 E: info@mountsomersethotel.co.uk www.themountsomersethotelandspa.com /themountsomerset

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North Bovey, Devon, TQ13 8RE T: 01647 445000 E: weddings@boveycastle.com www.boveycastle.com /boveycastlehotel

@boveycastle

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Family friendly holidays? For many the expression is an oxymoron, at the very least a complex issue. We want a holiday with our children but not to exhaust ourselves looking after them around the clock. We want to go somewhere beautiful but not pay through the nose for rooms, flights and extras/child. We want somewhere that is happy to host kids without being overrun by them. Essentially, we want a holiday that every member of the family can enjoy such that everyone goes home happy and recharged.There are various ways you can do it: hotel, self-catering or camping. We review three quality options available in the South West. THE HOTEL OPTION BEDRUTHAN HOTEL & SPA, CORNWALL It’s no surprise that Bedruthan Hotel & Spa, located at Mawgan Porth, on the North Cornish Coast near Newquay, has scooped myriad awards over the years. Where holidaying families are concerned, Bedruthan has quite simply thought of everything. This has to be one of the best family-equipped hotels in the UK: everyone’s need is catered for, even the need of grown-ups to sit back in a sophisticated, child-free lounge, sip a cocktail and feel, for a moment, like they did before children filled their lives. The Bedruthan formula is to provide every form of entertainment possible for children of all ages, while not compromising on style. The genius of the hotel is how it’s been designed, best described as immense, yet discrete. On approach,

The Wild Café

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it is somewhat underwhelming – a 1960’s-looking singlestorey block that’s at the foot of the car park. On crossing the threshold, however, you realise you’re entering something of a Tardis. The entrance leads directly to stairs down to the main floor that comprises a large, airy restaurant overlooking the bay, several open-plan lounges and a bar. Also looking out to sea is an enclosed ‘Tranquil Space’ with fireplace, sumptuous sofas and reading matter for those looking to peruse the dailies in peace within a calm, elegant environment. Descend the stairs further and there’s an additional floor that houses the spa, a fine-dining restaurant (The Herring, which is adult-only), conference rooms and the villa suites –


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The Spa

A villa suite beautiful spacious rooms with separate sleeping quarters for the children, and large French windows opening out onto tasteful but extensive play areas, beyond which lie the ocean. This hotel is large, with 100 bedrooms, but doesn’t feel it. Tiered into the hillside, the vast majority of rooms are sea-facing, the roof of the lower tier turfed, such that from above it blends into the grassy bank that leads to the ocean and doesn’t taint the

view. The beach is a five-minute walk away. What makes the hotel a great place for adults is that it’s hard to spot the kids’ stuff. The hotel is a haven of discovery. On the main floor, beyond a boutique stocking tasteful wares from local designers and artists (grown-up retail therapy), is a passageway along which are several doors. Behind the first is a soft-play area big enough to occupy several highly charged under 10s. Further along are doors that lead to nurseries and classrooms for children of different age bands. Childcare is available for all ages up to 12 during the day, and there is a baby-monitoring service or the hotel can organize babysitting at night. There are games rooms, activity rooms, a spa with an indoor pool and two large outdoor pools. By the spring, the spa will have been further extended to incorporate outdoor treatment rooms and hot tubs. For the children there’s and an assault course, football pitch, an outdoor play area comprising frames, zip wire, Wendy houses and a digger pit, all well designed without an inch of plastic in sight. There is a variety of quality dining options with or without children to choose from; should you fancy a change of scene, you can put your kids down and dine at the adjacent – and achingly stylish (and adult only) – Scarlet Hotel. As part of the monitoring service, the Bedruthan staff will page you should your children wake and need attention. Both hotels are run by the same three sisters so you could enjoy the best of each, but as a family you’re unlikely to want to – Bedruthan Hotel & Spa pretty much has it all. Price: The hotel works on a dynamic pricing structure, meaning the price varies in accordance with occupancy, but as a guide – seven nights in a sea-view family room sleeping four with allowances for meals is around £2,800 during high season. bedruthan.com

THE GLAMPING OPTION LONGLANDS, COMBE MARTIN, DEVON There is something uniquely cosy about sleeping under canvas, and children love nothing more than to camp. I, however, am too wedded to creature comforts and will never be a happy and consummate camper. As such, it is not given serious consideration as a holiday option in our house. Until now. In Devon, someone has come up with classy camping for wusses like me. Longlands provides five spacious safari tents (lodges) set well apart on decked platforms that overlook large, lush swathes of North Devon countryside. You are sleeping under canvas, but on a proper bed, with crisp sheets. There is a stove you can cook on, a balcony where you can sup aperitifs while the stew simmers, and there’s a box full of games to amuse the whole family, post-dessert. Set in 17 acres of rolling North Devon countryside, with woodland, streams and its own private lake stocked with Rainbow Trout, the grounds are well equipped for family adventure. There are skiffs – aptly named Oxford and Cambridge – that you can use to race around the island on the lake; fishing rods with which to catch dinner; spaces for badminton, cricket, and football; and

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Longlands is hooked up with the local surf schools at the pristine Woolacombe Bay (with 3.5 miles of sandy beach) and safari tour providers across Exmoor. But, for me, it’s the lodges that are the big draw – lanternlit and warmed by a woodburner, they are the perfect end to an exhilarating day. The decks are furnished with sofas and chairs from which to study the galaxy – Longlands sits under Europe’s first International Dark Sky Reserve – and the beds are arranged in such a way that each offers cosy seclusion, with a King bedroom, a separate Twin room, and the Double Cabin with a double bed fitted snugly into a four-poster cabin, the doors of which can be closed to offer complete privacy. All tents come equipped with towels, tea, coffee, and basic groceries and condiments, plus there is The Larder at Longlands where you can buy bakery goods, wine (they are licensed), and meat from the local quality butcher. Should you not wish to cook, The Larder can provide home-cooked family meals, too – in fact, have one waiting when you arrive. Each lodge is stocked with wood and fuel for the wood-fired boiler (hot showers) and stove,

plus there’s a gas ring should you wish to have a quick cuppa without firing up the stove. There is, need you ask, a flushing toilet. Longlands offers the adventure and outdoor charm of camping with all the warmth and luxury of an alpine log cabin. To stay in a lodge sleeping six, the price ranges from £595 for a low-season weekend break to £1,425 for seven days in high season. longlandsdevon.co.uk

THE SELF-CATERING OPTION MOONRAKERS, ST MAWES, CORNWALL We came straight after school and arrived at Moonrakers by night. This is the kind of house at which you want to arrive after a long journey. Warm and enormous, it provided us with 20 minutes’ worth of racing from one room to another and then another. Moonrakers is a family house that is fully equipped for a Brady bunch of 12 or three families of four. The ground floor opens up into a giant open-plan living/dining space with two reception areas, one looking out onto the garden, the other housing a massive flatscreen, a U-shaped sofa arrangement around a large expanse of glass coffee table and a standalone woodburner that adds both warmth and style. It took us a day to realise there was also a sizeable children’s games room on the ground floor with TV and DVD library, mini snooker table and Wii. There’s a large twin with ensuite on the ground floor, and upstairs accommodates three large double bedrooms and a family room with a double bed and bunks. All have ensuites

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except one, but there’s also a separate bathroom. The style is best described as Kensington deluxe with colourful, high-end upholstery, oval sofas and a mirrored dressing table in each room. The master bedroom is the most jaw-dropping of all – the size of a small London flat, it has French windows the length of it with an endless balcony from which you can look out onto the topiaried garden (we discovered on opening the curtains the next day) and has a bathroom area at the far end sporting a freestanding bath and open shower. Moonrakers was, I decided, how The Beckhams must live, which is rather nice to sample every now and then. There’s plenty to keep you indoors if it weren’t for the fact that St Mawes and its

surroundings has much to delight. St Mawes is highly stylish and, increasingly, the fashionable place to be. Set on a harbour, it has a highly tasteful range of eateries, steep cobbled streets lined with pretty shops and a medieval castle set into the cliff. There are a handful of elegant hotels in which to dine, take lunch or tea. Olga Polizzi’s Tresanton is not to be missed, with its beautiful décor and famous terrace overlooking the ocean. The Idle Rocks is another: set right on the harbour’s edge, it blew us away with the quality of its food – special mention goes to the smoky fish crumble with melt-in-the-mouth parmesan gratin, and a perfectly cooked burger with the best hand-cut chips we have ever tasted. The ambience was airy, high-ceilinged elegance (yet welcoming to family diners) and waves lashed the French windows as we ate, much to the excitement of two six year olds. For sights, the Roseland Peninsula has much to offer. Within St Mawes itself there is a woodland walk and nature trail, but 15 minutes’ drive away is Pendower Beach, a wide stretch of golden sand. There are also The Lost Gardens of Heligan. From the town harbour you can take The King Harry Ferry across the Fal River to Trelissick Gardens – voted one of the most picturesque ferry journeys in the world. Alternatively, there’s the St Mawes ferry to Falmouth to visit the National Maritime Museum and dine on Rick Stein’s fish and chips. Should you rather chill at base, the garden at Moonrakers is partitioned, with manicured hedges and a water fountain concealing a basketball hoop and football goal for target practice, a table tennis table, a large netted trampoline, or if legs are tired from all that bouncing and touring of the village, there’s a sizeable terrace with barbecue to take sundowners and admire the picture-postcard sea view, before an alfresco supper. Prices, for seven nights, from £1,595 to £5,795 in high season. stmawesretreats.co.uk

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Novice sailor Naomi Hart joined the crew of Ezra, a 44-foot Scillonian pilot cutter, as expedition artist on a voyage to Greenland. Back home in Exeter, she reflects upon her journey and leafs through her sketchbooks with Belinda Dillon.

F

or artist Naomi Hart, travel is intrinsic to her life and work. A nomad since her earliest days – born in the UK, she moved with her family to Nairobi at six weeks old, then to Germany aged five, and as an adult lived in Cameroon (a year), Tanzania (two years), and France (five years) – she has always embraced migration in all its forms. In fact, it’s in her blood: her great-great grandfather was a missionary, artist, polymath and polyglot who moved from London to Canada in 1868 and produced a series of richly illustrated journals to document his international family history. Naomi honoured his vision in 2008 when she explored that heritage through Europe, India and Canada, creating a series of carnets de voyages (travel sketchbooks that encompass the physical accoutrements of journeys as well as artistic interpretations) along the way. “Combining the two, travel and art, is my best-case scenario,” says Naomi. “I’m happy in the moment when in front of an interesting new view with a sketchbook.”

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When the fog came down, we stopped and threw a rope around a bit of an ice floe, and we got out and walked around on it. It’s midnight and bright as day, and our tiny boat is anchored to what is essentially a bit of water.

Naomi’s thirst for adventure was put to the test by her latest project, one that combined both a physical journey and an immense personal challenge: as expedition artist on a photography charter sailing from Cornwall to Eastern Greenland, Naomi not only documented the journey artistically but was also an integral part of the crew. A daunting prospect, considering she’d never sailed before. “I’m not an adrenaline-seeking traveller, but I have always felt the need for new challenges,” says Naomi. “When I’ve lived somewhere for a while I begin to feel that I know how it works, so I need to put myself in a new situation that forces me to figure it all out again. It’s terrifying, but at the same time really invigorating when you realise you can still cope – so it’s not hard to make the leap to a boat when you’ve never sailed and to travel thousands of miles with people you’ve just met.” After a day’s training in Falmouth, Naomi joined her fellow crew members – all experienced sailors – on Ezra, a 44ft Scillonian pilot cutter. With Ezra’s owner, Ron Pfister, at the helm, they set off from Penryn in mid June, sailing around Land’s End, past Wales and across the Irish Sea to Ireland, then up to Skye, the Faroes, north-east Iceland, before reaching eastern Greenland in late July. Over the weeks, Naomi grabbed opportunities to document the journey and the day-to-day experiences of life on board, filling her seaworthy sketchbooks with drawings and watercolours. But she was also a fully fledged member of the crew, with all that role demands. “It’s nerve-wracking to realise that you’re in charge of four other people’s lives when you’re

helming the boat,” says Naomi. “As I was the least experienced, I was generally part of double watches, but at some point the other person goes below to check the charts, and you’re up on deck alone at the tiller, at night, trying not to hit anything. Although at times we were in what I would consider dangerous conditions – with Ezra heeling hard in half a gale, one side of her under water – when you’re at the helm you feel the winds, the way she’s pulling, and remember that the boat is made to do this. “But there’s always a risk, and with it the constant awareness that you can’t lose concentration for a second. I have felt that before, particularly in Africa, and although I love the UK, there isn’t that same sense of living this moment as if it were your last. Maybe I need that every so often.” Having been based in Exeter for eight years, perhaps it was inevitable that there was an adventure brewing. Naomi’s previous project, ‘All About Migration’, didn’t take her out of the country but certainly sent her imagination soaring: she sent cards shaped like Brent geese into the world, and they returned covered in messages, drawings and greetings from every continent, including the Arctic Circle, and were exhibited as a flock of birds in flight. During the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, it was common for exploration teams to include artists, individuals with broad interests and specialisms, and Naomi fits this model perfectly, using her artist’s eye to explore what interests her in whatever format feels right, whether installation, painting or watercolour sketches. The Greenland books bear this out: measured sequences of mountain ranges feature

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A couple of examples of work from the four sketchbooks that Naomi filled during her journey

alongside quick impressions of gannets gathering overhead, as well as detailed studies of flowers forcing their way out of ice-split crevasses, and portraits of the crew, indicating when the weather allowed for some down time; notes on geology, weather systems, the customs and daily routines of life in remote settlements add to the narrative. The books – four in all – create a vivid commentary on the journey. One of Naomi’s strongest recollections is the experience of never-ending daylight. “By Greenland, and when we reached ice, the clarity of the light was incredible, but perceptually confusing: mountains that are utterly distinct turn out to be 25 miles away, the width of the English Channel. “I remember looking all the way down a fjord, 50 miles or more, at row upon row of snow-covered

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mountains, and realising that we were one tiny vessel in a tiny part of the largest fjord system in the world on the world’s largest island. I felt so ridiculously insignificant. Living on Ezra, there was nothing missing: we ate well, there was a flushing toilet, we each had a bed, there’s a fully functioning galley. But as soon as you got off onto land and saw her in the distance, you realised how tiny she was. But I never really felt scared, which surprises me.” Not that there weren’t hair-raising moments, especially when they were manoeuvring their way through leads in the drift ice that a month before they arrived had been completely impassable. “When we first started seeing bits of ice, I had the realisation – what I had known before but was now suddenly presented with – that if we screw up we could die


escape here. An ice floe several miles across will contain 100 million tonnes of ice or more, and is capable of crushing a boat. “By then we were on constant watch, with Ron at the helm, standing on the thwart to see over the bow while steering with his foot, me on the throttle, someone up on the mast looking ahead for the best lead, someone on the foredeck, keeping a watchful eye on the approaching ice floes. We were chugging through at two knots or less, wriggling round this maze of ice, for ten-hour stretches. And at the end of the first day, when the fog came down, we decided to stop and threw a rope around a bit of an ice floe, 20-30 feet square, and we got out and walked around on it. It’s so surreal – all of your senses are telling you it’s not right, because it’s midnight and bright as day, and our boat is anchored to what is essentially a bit of water. We couldn’t go anywhere, so we all just went to bed, attached to this iceberg.” Naomi is planning a series of talks that will give people an opportunity to see the sketchbooks and hear about the experience of being an expedition artist. “I feel very privileged to have been to these places, which are so rich with the history of exploration. Artists used to be sent on these expeditions, but now there has to be a financial reason – to find places to drill for oil, or for trade routes. For most of the time on this trip I was the

only woman, and I’m interested in tying all of that together, and looking at issues around climate change and wildlife. We didn’t see a polar bear because they’re being hunted at such a rate that their numbers are vastly reduced. Everything that happens there is already affecting us, so if talking about my experiences can make it seem less remote somehow, that’s valuable.” Inevitably, the experience has changed her. “I find myself much calmer in situations now and able to see the bigger picture. Half of me is having nightmares about the ocean, and half of me is slightly desperate to be back there. The idea that at the beginning of the summer I didn’t even know how to tie a bowline and two months later I had an understanding of that world, and with knowledge that can mean the difference between surviving or not... that still amazes me.” Naomi is giving a talk about her trip on 27 April, 5pm, at Exeter Phoenix. See naomi-hart.com for full details.

NORTH BY WEST SAILING EXPEDITIONS The Eastern Greenland photography expedition Naomi joined is led by renowned landscape photographer Peter Cox. During the 10-day trip, four participants explore the wilderness of Scoresby Sound, the world’s largest fjord system, shooting from the deck of Ezra (left) but also making use use of the 4m Zodiac to cruise through iceberg fields, along glacier fronts and make landings. Integral to the expedition is the opportunity for participants to assist in the day-to-day operation of the boat, including being at the helm and working the sails. Built by master shipwright Luke Powell and his team in Gweek, Cornwall, Ezra is a replica of the 19th-century pilot cutters – small, hardy and very seaworthy vessels that were designed to get harbour pilots out to large trading ships in the worst of weather conditions, safely and efficiently. Ezra has been specially refitted for Polar sailing. The next expedition will take place in August 2016. €17,500 per person (4 participants max.) includes: 9 nights on board Ezra, all meals, photography instruction. Flights to Greenland not included. north-by-west.co.uk

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promotional feature

Live the island life on Scilly Travelling within the UK doesn’t mean leaving your sense of adventure at the check-in desk. Set your sights on the Isles of Scilly and you can experience an authentic taste of island life in an hour or less from Exeter, Newquay and Land’s End airports.

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rom the moment you arrive on Scilly, the hustle and bustle of the mainland starts to feel like a distant memory. There are hardly any cars – walking, cycling, horse riding and sailing are all part of the island lifestyle. Plus everything you need is just a short walk or boat trip away. As you start to find your feet on the islands, you’ll meet friendly faces – soon to become familiar – and slip easily into the rhythm of island life. You could make a beeline for the coastal paths and wander amongst the heather, enjoying stunning seascapes at almost every turn. Hire a kayak and explore Scilly’s many coves and beaches, hop on a bicycle and visit a flower farm, or pack a picnic for a boat trip out to the uninhabited islands. In the evening you’ll have your choice of beaches for a sunset BBQ, or you could jump on an evening boat and try the food on a neighbouring island. Whether you’re craving a relaxing week-long escape or a rejuvenating short break, you’ll become part of island life from the moment you check in. From the novelty of colour-coded boarding cards, to the rare treat of flying in an 18-seat aircraft and the palpable sense of excitement as the green tufts of the islands appear below – it’s easy to believe you’ve travelled a whole lot further.

Bryher

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TAKE ME THERE If you’d like to experience the island lifestyle, there are multiple flights to Scilly daily from Newquay and Exeter airports, which you can connect to from all over the UK. You can also fly from Land’s End Airport or sail from Penzance on the Scillonian III passenger ferry. Whichever way you choose to visit the islands, you’ll be travelling just as the locals do, with the company they started nearly a century ago. To book call 01736 334220 or visit islesofscilly-travel.co.uk #TravelLocal


escape

Fiona McGowan polishes up her ski technique and eases herself into the luxurious side of Val D’Isere.

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onrad Bartelski is telling me to breathe out at the end of my turns. I can hardly breathe at all, and might even be blushing, because all I can hear is the voice of Ski Sunday’s David Vine coming out of my granddad’s TV in 1981, saying “Konrad Bartelski is skiing like a madman”. And I see an image of the British skier in the number 1 position in a men’s downhill World Cup for the first time ever. I can see myself and my brother, chocolate digestives paused on the way to our mouths, thrilled at the excitement of Bartelski throwing himself down an icy mountain to find a place in British history (he ended up coming third). The words became a mantra when my brother and I had our first foray into skiing in the Scottish Cairngorms… “He is skiing like a madman,” we would shout at each other as we snow-ploughed down the piste. Val D’Isere is the sort of ski resort where you tend to bump into celebrities and famous skiers. A place where even the ski instructors can be exFrench champion ski racers, like Val D’Isere poster girl Geraldine Petit. And where the on-piste cafés are actually gourmet restaurants. I have skied in France, Italy and Switzerland, not to mention the

ice/heather/blizzard conditions of the Cairngorms, but nowhere has been quite as classy as Val D’Isere. The place manages to be sophisticated without being pretentious: everyone is ready with a smiley ‘bonjour’, from the lift workers to the local children bombing down the pistes with their Saturday ski club. Everything is incredibly well laid out for every level of skier, no matter what the conditions. A veritable maze of lifts, gondolas and rope-draggy things ensure that you rarely have to put any effort in to move from valley to mountain, and from piste to piste. I returned to the chalet to discover that I had actually skied in the neighbouring resort of Tignes earlier in the day – which means I was blindly following the rest of the group, but it also shows how easy it is to cross an extensive area. Having had a hiatus from skiing for many years, I had forgotten how extraordinary it is that humanity has managed to tame this most inhospitable of environments into a great big snowy playpark. I am a rusty intermediate, which basically means I am in some danger of falling over for no apparent reason, but can get down most runs as long as I do enough turns, slides and fumbles to slow me down. It took me a full day to regain the courage to lean

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Val D’Isere likes to call itself ‘the most beautiful ski area in the world’. It certainly takes your breath away – with exceptional views from every slope, chairlift or restaurant window.

downhill and start to carve my turns rather than snatch a giant skid out of every one – thanks to the expert tuition of Benjamin Dubois, Technical Director of Ecole Ski Français. Benjamin is manager of some 300 instructors in Val D’Isere – ‘the reds’ as he calls them: all ESF instructors throughout the French Alps wear identical red uniforms. Traditionally, ESF instructors would teach French skiers, while the smaller ski schools would focus on the non-French visitors. But nowadays, says Benjamin, he encourages his instructors to learn English or other languages. ‘This is why the young instructors can teach better than the older ones: not because they are better technically, but because they can communicate better,” he explains, as we rise smoothly up the mountain, the sun glinting from a cobalt sky. Interrupting himself, he points to the pockmarked snow below us: “Those are the footprints of the hare. And the fox… Sometimes, you can see the giant bearded vulture,” he enthuses. “Its wingspan is as wide as this chairlift.” I’m not sure I’d be that keen to see a vulture with a three-metre wingspan circling above me, but his enthusiasm is infectious. Val D’Isere likes to call itself ‘the most beautiful ski area in the world’. It certainly takes your breath away – with exceptional views from every slope, chairlift or restaurant window. The resort has a prestigious skiing history. From the time when the first drag lift was built

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in the 1930s, to today’s slick and efficient ski resort, the town of Val D’Isere has become one of the most popular ski areas in France. Three-time Olympic ski champion Jean-Claude Killy was born and raised here, and is so respected that the entire region of Tignes and Val is called ‘Espace Killy’. The road that starts at Lake Geneva snakes its way up through tunnels and along deep valleys until it reaches the modern developments of Val D’Isere. At the southerly end are more up-market wood-and-stone chalets, including the cluster of five luxury lodges known as Le Chardon (French for thistle). Back in 1983, a forward-thinking property developer from Scotland bought a plot of land at the base of peaceful Le Manchet valley. Luckily for him (and the guests of Le Chardon), the pristine area beyond the chalets will never be developed, as it has been declared an avalanche zone. Sitting on the balcony outside my room, all I can hear is the occasional whoop from invisible skiers, off-piste-ing somewhere on the slopes beyond, and the hubbub of a river that rushes towards the shimmering reservoir just below the town. The first chalet was built in 1986, and the fifth was completed in time for the Winter Olympics in 1992. With his wife and five sporty children, the developer divided his time between Scotland and France, and his family became something of an institution in the region. Today, Jamie Rennie, the eldest son, is the director of the business in Val D’Isere, as well as a


escape

PHOTO: ALP PRODUCTIONS

PHOTO: ALP PRODUCTIONS

Mistral, one of the luxury lodges at Le Chardon

Afternoon tea at Mistral

PHOTO: ALP PRODUCTIONS

PHOTO: ALP PRODUCTIONS

Mistral spa

Mistral dining room

luxury villa in surfy St Jean de Luz. The lodges don’t scrimp on anything: from the sheepskin-clad dining chairs to the gourmet menu – which is announced every day by the chefs while you sup your pre-dinner drinks and nibble on canapés. The décor has a Scottish twist, without descending into Braveheart kitsch. Massages are available in the in-chalet treatment room, and a spacious wooden deck holds a fire pit, big comfy sofas, patio heaters and a giant hot tub. Vin chaud is served while you lean back and watch the light fade from the empty valley beyond. The youthful staff – who are mostly Scottish – are exceptionally friendly and accommodating. They need to be: guests in uber-luxury destinations like this have very high expectations, from the people who insist that their dog only drinks Evian mineral water, to the Chinese family who wanted to avoid jet-lag by staying on Chinese time, which meant breakfast was served at 2am, lunch at breakfast time, skiing until 2pm, dinner at 3pm and lights out at 4pm. Or the guests who take a helicopter rather than endure the two-hour transfer from Geneva – their luggage still has to be picked up and driven back by the ever-so-calm drivers. My memory of ski trips usually involves clunking around ski resorts, queuing up to get boots fitted in frenetic ski-hire shops, dropping mittens and getting hot and bothered in my ski wear. In ‘Chardon’, the largest of the lodges, there is a comfortable boot room, where a ski technician fits boots and skis, and

provides poles and helmets. Rather than walk down the road in our ski boots, we are ushered into a mini van and driven sedately to the main lift area at the foot of the intimidating-looking ‘Olympique’ ski run. The likes of Konrad Bartelski and Jean-Claude Killy would point their skis down the sheer face and descend at full pelt. Reader, I skied that piste. After a day of expert tuition and the mantra ‘breathe OUT at the end of your turn’, I went down a big cliff of snow. I didn’t fall. I executed some turns with a modicum of poise and came to a stop with a great, big, excited spray of snow. I remembered that, while the luxury is good and the food is fabulous, the real reason anyone comes here is for the swish of their skis on snow and the rush of a speedy descent down a mountainside…

Le Chardon Mountain Lodges Prices start from £1,250 per person in low season for seven days, based on two people sharing a room. Includes open bar and six nights catering. Call 0131 209 7969 for details or visit lechardonvaldisere.com Highly recommended is the exclusive on-slope dining upstairs at recently refurbished Le Signal. lesignalvaldisere.com We also loved Tete de Solaise for a splendid sit-down meal.

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With nine years’ experience creating dream holidays, Cornish Gems is renowned as the ‘go to’ company when choosing a luxury holiday home, cottage or apartment to rent. Having recently expanded their portfolio of impressive properties into Devon, promising homes with the ‘wow’ factor to rent by the sea. We discover what is on offer for visitors and property owners on both sides of the border.

Hawkes View, Carbis Bay, near St Ives

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o-Directors Julianne Shelton and Nadia Macer-Wright launched Cornish Gems in 2007, having identified a gap between demand and provision at the higher end of the market. They were soon rewarded: with interest in boutique properties in spectacular locations growing, Cornish Gems quickly consolidated its offering to become a leading luxury holiday letting agency. Cornwall is a much-loved UK holiday destination all year round due to its multitude of golden sand beaches, miles of unspoilt coastline, fine cuisine and cosmopolitan resorts. Cornish Gems properties are well equipped with all the holiday essentials, presented to a high standard and offering individual ‘wow factor’. Types of holiday property include architectural ‘grand designs’, character cottages, sympathetic barn conversions, contemporary beach houses or apartments, and stylish country and town houses. Their prices are as diverse as the range of accommodation, but one factor remains consistent: high quality. Whether you are looking for a getaway for family and friends or time out with your loved one, you can be assured that when choosing a hand-picked holiday home from Cornish Gems, luxury really does come as standard.

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UPGRADE TO FIRST CLASS

For a real treat, consider an exclusive retreat from the Cornish Cribs collection, a small portfolio of holiday homes that offer the ultimate luxury holiday experience. These exquisite holiday homes are typically substantial in size, enjoy commanding locations and boast indulging features such as swimming pools, hot tubs, home cinema rooms and saunas. WHY CHOOSE CORNISH GEMS?

• • • • • • • •

A trusted luxury brand More than 170 countryside and coastal retreats Boutique for Two collection Dog-friendly and pet-free properties Baby-friendly collection Exclusive Cornish Cribs portfolio Priority check-in and concierge service Fully managed service for owners

cornishgems.com email: enquiries@cornishgems.com Tel: 01872 241 241


promotional feature

Salcombe

DO YOU HAVE A DEVON GEM WAITING TO BE DISCOVERED? With a hugely successful website notching up more than 35,000 unique visits each month, and a database of 30,000 contacts in the UK and abroad, Cornish Gems has transferred its tried, tested and trusted business model to the Devon coast. “Devon has all the right ingredients for the highend holidaymaker and we’re really excited to be in the position to offer our robust service to property owners that aspire to the luxury market,” says Julianne. Recognising Devon is also a popular holiday destination for our discerning clients, the hunt is now on for luxury coastal properties in the county. “There are plenty of fantastic locations and properties with the ‘wow’ factor,” Julianne explains. “Our dedicated property manager is looking forward to meeting owners in Devon throughout 2016.” From penthouse apartments and characterful cottages, to architectural statements and historic manor houses, Cornish Gems and Devon Gems will bring together the region’s most impressive properties under one aspirational brand. One of the first properties to join Devon Gems is Estura Villa in Salcombe – an exclusive waterside retreat with panoramic estuary views. With three

floors of glass-fronted rooms overlooking the water, including four deluxe bedrooms with luxury bathrooms, plus a spacious balcony and outdoor seating area, this was a Gem waiting to be discovered. “Salcombe is a popular coastal destination for discerning visitors and we want to further develop our collection of luxury holiday homes in Salcombe and other locations within South Hams. We are also looking forward to meeting owners of holiday properties by the sea in North coast places such as Croyde, Saunton Sands, Woolacombe and along the Exmoor Heritage Coast.” devongems.com email: enquiries@devongems.com Tel: 01872 241 241

Above left and right: Estura Villa, Salcombe, Devon

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For teachers and parents of children studying in the South West Schools news in brief New head appointed at St Peter’s Preparatory School CHARLOTTE JOHNSTON will be taking up the reins at St Peter’s Preparatory School in Lympstone as the new Head in September of this year. Taking over from Noel Neeson, who is moving to a new role as Headmaster at The Blue Coat School, Edgbaston, Charlotte says, “St Peter’s has a history of innovation and excellence, in particular its unique Baccalaureate, and I am very keen to continue in this vein.” The mother of two adds, “Having been immersed in the Prep School environment for just over 11 years, as Deputy Head, Director of Studies and Head of English, I understand life at a prep school from both a manager’s and a parent’s point of view. School Director Jon Middleton said, “We needed a capable leader who would continue to improve the school and maintain its excellent reputation as one of the leading preparatory schools in the country. Charlotte fits that brief perfectly.”

King’s College and Brook Gallery: Creative Journeys THE ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY pupils at King’s College have been challenged to create a piece of work to hang in a selected group exhibition responding to the theme ‘people and places’ at the prestigious Brook Gallery in Exeter. This new collaboration between gallery director Angela Yarwood and the King’s Head of Art, Clare Schmidt, is born out of a shared belief that pupils need to learn about the commercial side of the art world as well as developing their practical making skills. Brook Gallery is one of the most prestigious outside London. Based in Exeter and Budleigh Salterton, the collections include a broad spectrum of media and styles, and a catalogue of some of the most established, collectable and influential artists in the UK today. As a practising artist who has exhibited her work in London and abroad, Clare knows only too well that understanding the requirements of gallery owners and curators, being able to communicate and market your work, and having general business acumen are all vital to a successful career. This collaboration will enable pupils to consider how the creative journey changes when they are making work for a public audience or a gallery environment rather than a school wall or portfolio. Pupils will need to meet the exacting standards of the gallery director and write a personal statement to accompany their work in order to be considered for selection. The exhibition ‘Creative Journeys’ will be launched on Saturday 27 February 2016 and will run for two weeks. A drinks reception will be held at the start of the launch from 4.30pm–6pm. For further details please contact, Head of Art Clare Schmidt: CASchmidt@kings-taunton.co.uk

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A pupil at work and a piece from the exihibition

Charlotte Johnston


school Fans of the Warriors series wowed by author’s visit

Millfield named Apple Distinguished School

STUDENTS at the Maynard School enjoyed a treat when Victoria Holmes, creator and editor of the hugely popular Warriors series, hosted all day workshops and book signings. The author had been invited to the school on the insistence of a number of girls who have been completely fascinated by the bestselling books depicting an exciting fantasy world of wild cats who live in clans in the forest. Victoria talked about how the Warriors series came about and how she and her publishers thought up the name Erin Hunter, a collective name for the collaboration of authors involved in the series. She described what it was like to be an international best-selling author, touring the world to promote her books, then coming home to her beloved horses. The girls were fascinated by the idea of working in writing teams and some girls in particular were delighted that Victoria was involved in a favourite series from their younger days, the Rainbow Magic Fairies.

MILLFIELD IS PLEASED to announce it has been recognised as an Apple Distinguished School for 2015 to 2017 for its innovation, leadership and educational excellence in the use of mobile learning. Millfield has long recognised the potential of technology in learning and, since 2013, integrated digital learning both inside and outside the classroom. Teachers and pupils use iPads in lessons to enhance study, improve the diversity of teaching and learning activities, enable deeper research and analysis and to provide a wider variety of options for submitting work and receiving feedback. iPads are also used by Millfield’s sports coaches to record, analyse and guide pupils in improving technique and skill. Headmaster, Craig Considine commented: “The selection of Millfield as an Apple Distinguished School highlights our success as an innovative and compelling learning environment that engages pupils and provides tangible evidence of academic accomplishment. By integrating digital learning so closely across all areas of school life, our pupils are developing essential digital skills that will equip them in further study and beyond into their careers and life.”

Victoria Holmes with a feline fan

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SHEBBEAR COLLEGE DEVON

Thrive Learn Create Investigate Challenge Compete Succeed.

Celebrating 175 Years of Fine Education Independent Pre-Prep | Prep School | Senior School | Sixth Form Day School | Weekly Boarding | Full Boarding | Flexi Boarding www.shebbearcollege.co.uk 138

MANOR | Late Winter 2016


school

Putting pen to paper In Help Your Child at Home, Professor Ruth Merttens provides parents with advice on how they can assist their children’s learning. In the fifth part of this exclusive series for MANOR, she focuses on helping younger primary school children (4-7 years) with writing.

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riting is not easy! And although it is easy to think along the lines of, “Oh well, we have computers nowadays, so I don’t suppose that by the time he/she gets older they will need to be able to write anymore,” this masks two important facts. Firstly, everyone, in almost any job, does need to be able to write legibly by hand. Secondly, before getting as far as the employment market, it is essential to get through education, where, necessarily, thinking, planning and handwriting are still indispensable skills. A third, and to me most important, argument is that writing is like reading – being able to do it easily and without noticeable effort means that it is a life skill which can be used to bring about immense pleasure and, on occasions, important healing. The fact that we seem to be returning to a time when many adults do not see the value in either skill (reading or writing) and therefore do not trouble to sustain or develop these skills when they leave school is a matter for immense sadness on my part – it should be a cause for concern to us all. So how can we help our young child to acquire this difficult skill? Writing is complicated and we should try not to forget this. On the one hand, writers have to come up with ideas of what to write and on the other hand we need to know how to form the letters and words. We shall deal with these two aspects of writing under separate headings below. But it is worth remembering that all of the following advice comes with the usual health warning! A small child has a very short attention span, so the best approach is always ‘little and often’. If your child isn’t interested, just do a small amount today and return to it another time.

What to write The first thing to remember is that the most important prerequisite for learning to write is knowing how to speak. If children can’t tell us their ideas, they are never going to be able to write them down! So, the best way we can help our children learn to write is to allow them lots of practice in speaking, especially taking part in proper conversations. We too often treat our young children’s talking as ‘whiffle’; background noise which only requires an occasional response and to which we can attend while on Facebook or doing our emails. However, enabling children to express ideas and – very important this – to recount an anecdote or tell a story or to explain how or why something happens is absolutely crucial. Good writing is mostly about expressing our ideas in a written form, rather than about how neat our handwriting is. So if your child is able to tell you her ideas, say what happened on the way to the park, explain why this dinosaur is different from that one, and speak in something like full sentences by the time she goes to school, then she will be off to a flying start. Secondly, it is a fact that books are just the best way to introduce children to the printed word. If we can make reading books that they love a part of our young child’s daily experience, they will learn that ideas can be written down and shared with other people. In addition, they see how writing is organised and how stories are told. They learn that some books tell us about real things we are interested in, such as creepy crawlies, and that some books tell us stories which are make-believe and which can be very exciting or even sad. These written stories sometimes help children to think about things that

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are happening to them, or resonate with things which the child may be worrying or even dreaming about. Sharing a book helps children imbibe these important aspects of writing, all while enjoying a cuddle with a favourite person! How to form letters and words Long before children are able to write words or even draw recognisable pictures, most go through a phase called ‘mark-making’. This involves making marks with pencils, sticks, their fingers, paint, in short almost anything on any surface (including paper). An older brother or sister might call it ‘scribbling’. This early ‘pre-writing’ is important for several reasons. Firstly, it enables you to help them to make intentional marks. This means that they hold the pencil correctly (more on this later) and make the marks they want to make, rather than just random scribbles. There is a massive difference between random scribbling and purposeful mark-making. Secondly, whatever it looks like, treat these marks as meaning something. Ask your child what their writing ‘says’. As time goes by, children develop ‘pretend writing’ and intend it to mean something quite specific. It won’t look like that to you or anyone else, but the fact that it carries meaning for your child is important. It means she sees herself as a writer. What teachers call ‘hand-to-eye co-ordination’ is usually quite a big deal for children. This is all about how children learn to control their small physical movements and come to make the pencil produce an intentional line or pattern. As your child grows, encourage the development of fine motor skills – building with Lego, doing puzzles, threading beads, and cutting and sticking using child-sized scissors and glue. Drawing pictures is often a child’s first step towards writing down ideas, as they learn how to hold a pencil or pen or paintbrush, and begin to see how to make it do what they want. Writing is so much easier for children who have really learned to control their hand and finger movements – so all that craft work really pays off! Phonics Most UK schools now teach children in their first years of primary school to read and write using phonics. And, for the first time in the history of teaching to read and write, we have actual scientific evidence that this is the approach that works best for most children. Phonics simply means that children are taught to recognise the individual sounds in the words we speak. They are then taught, systematically, all the different ways to write those sounds down and also to recognise them when they read. This teaching will take place at school nearly every day for a short but intense time, because the evidence is unequivocal that it is most effectively done this way.

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As a parent, the first thing you are likely to notice is that your child is naming letters by the sounds they make rather than calling them by their letter names. So, they will say cat is spelled /c/ /a/ /t/ rather than SEE AY TEE. You then notice how dominant this phonics approach is – for a year or two your child will spell most words the way they sound, rather than the way they should be spelled! This can be fascinating: cycle becomes sighkel, ball might be borl, and pink could be pingc. The beauty of phonics is how very quickly many children become confident writers. In the past many of us were not allowed to write a word until we could read it on a flash card. With phonics, however, children often master some basic writing skills before they get the hang of reading. Enjoy this stage of your child’s writing – and do not worry: they will not be writing like this forever. They are going to be taught proper spelling and the nation is not going to hell in a handcart because nobody has corrected your five year old for spelling book ‘buc’. Of course many words in the English language cannot be spelled by sounding out. At school, these are called ‘irregular’ or ‘tricky’ words: was, they, of, could, because. They need to be learned by heart. Most schools will send home words for your child to learn and practise writing. Many recommend a ‘look, cover, write, check’ approach. It is important to practise these together, partly because it is a very valuable opportunity for learning and partly because spending time on it tells your child just how important you think it is to get this right. But do remember that your child is likely to continue misspelling these words in independent writing for a little while longer because, as she writes, she is trying to juggle so many other new skills. It is fine to gently remind your child about one of the misspellings in the amazing spaceship description but only after you’ve heaped on the praise for the effort. After a while all those learned-by-heart spellings will start to filter through to their normal independent writing. How parents can help – some dos and don’ts • DO remember that children like to imitate adults, and need role models in all their endeavours. At this age, most children just love being involved in ‘proper’ jobs and activities. So, before shopping, write a list and involve your child as you do so. If they are writing at all, encourage them to write the list – it will be good enough for the purpose! •

DON’T give up on getting your child to hold the pencil correctly. The earlier they learn to do this the better. The later it is, the harder it is. It can be very hard to persuade an independent three year old that they are not holding the pencil correctly but don’t give up! Be really positive! Show what you mean by holding the pencil yourself. If they


school will let you, position their fingers. Do it once, then walk away. Remember that a different adult or an older child may well have more success than you! •

DO encourage your child to write their name. Write it yourself as often as you can when they are watching, and then encourage them to write just the first initial when you are labelling something – wellies, a picture, a bag, a book... Gradually they will fill in the other letters.

DON’T think that it doesn’t matter how your child forms her letters as she or he learns to write actual words. Getting into bad habits when forming letters means that it is much harder for teachers to help children break these habits and learn to write properly and fluently. It is just as easy to show them the correct formation from the start as the incorrect (see activities below/over the page).

DO remember that, in the early stages of writing, it is much more important that your child participates in writing something, and that they form letters correctly, than that the result is beautifully legible. Obviously, as they get older, legibility matters, but this will be much easier to achieve if they have learned to form their letters correctly from the beginning.

DON’T forget to praise the child and show that you value this activity. Drawing and writing are hard skills. If a child puts effort in then display their work. Pin up their pictures and peg up their writing. Set up a low washing line along a wall and peg their work along it. That way you can replace old items as they do even better drawing and writing.

DO ask your child to help when you’re writing birthday cards or leaving a note for someone. If your child can see that writing has a purpose she will be much more motivated to learn to write and this is an ideal time to help them to write their name.

DON’T point out every mistake your child is making. Especially in writing, children need encouragement and positive reinforcement to be confident, and a confident child makes a better learner.

3. Choosing the best words to describe that idea. 4. Knowing which letters are needed to represent or make up those words – i.e. how to spell them. 5. Finally putting pen to paper and scribing it. It takes most of us our whole school life to fully master writing because it is such a complex skill, and we should try not to underestimate this as we help our children get started in learning to write. Because children have to be able to express themselves coherently in spoken language before they can express themselves in written language, all the conversations that you and your child have are vital. They need to tell stories, say what happened when, organise their thoughts into a sequence, and give reasons for their opinions. It is in further developing their talking that parents can help their child most with his/her writing. And one more thing… Of course there are some children who are reluctant to draw or write as part of their play, just as there are other children who get nervous whenever they’re expected to throw or catch a ball. Sometimes other strategies are useful – drawing on the ground outside with chalk, or on windows with special windowcrayons, or even using bath crayons can be enticing alternatives to writing on paper. Likewise, in their play, pirates often need to draw treasure maps, footballers need results tables and every astronaut could do with a well kitted-out cardboard rocket. Don’t force your child to engage in writing or drawing as part of his play but do make it possible and, by joining in, make it fun! The more the reluctant writer can practise writing, the easier it will become and the more they will enjoy doing it and readily turn to it in their play. So time spent playwriting together pays very real dividends later.

Once children get going Writing is hard! As we said at the start, it is easy to underestimate the sheer number of skills that are involved: 1. Having an idea. 2. Planning how to organise the idea on the page.

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school GAMES AND FUN ACTIVITIES Each of these activities focuses on helping children’s writing by improving their hand-to-eye co-ordination, by helping them to represent the sounds we say in written form and by encouraging them to develop narrative skills. All the activities are for two people.

Letter formation

Preparation: some thick paper, a paint ‘tray’ (can be a plate) with powder or other fairly thick paint. A variety of items to write with, e.g. the handle end of a wooden spoon, an old toothbrush, a small piece of sponge, cotton wool… There are four groups of letters • Long ladder letters – we go down and off in another direction: i, j, l, t, u, y • Bouncing ball letters – we go down and retrace upwards: b, h, k, m, n, p, r • Curly caterpillar letters – we go anti-clockwise round: a, c, d, e, g, o, q, f, s • Zigzag letters – we zigzag from top then down: v, w, x, z To play • Use the paint and the different implements to form each group of letters. The focus is on the formation. • Stress the sound of each letter as you form it. • Do one group the first time. On another occasion do another group.

Sounds weird to me!

Preparation: you need some pictures of animals downloaded from the internet: bbc.co.uk/nature/wildlife. Print 8 – 10 animals that you know your child likes. To play • Take an animal each. • Each person has to think of another animal or a different type of creature, e.g. Sam takes a tiger and thinks of a cockerel. • Write the sound of the creature you are thinking of as if your pictured animal is making it. Sound out the noise so that you can spell it. • Repeat this, taking another animal and giving it a sound that it would never make! • Make your pictures as funny and weird as possible. This activity really helps children to think how to represent different sounds in writing.

Annoying names

Preparation: you will need paper and a pencil each, plus some 1p and 2p coins – it’s best to get some specially! To play • Take turns to go. • Write your name, e.g. Amy. • Your partner writes their name, e.g. Daddy. • Think of a word that begins with the same sound as your name, e.g. Angel Amy or Apricot Amy. (NB Apple would NOT do as it is the same letter but not the same sound!) • Write the word (maybe with help). Is the sound written the same way as it is in your name? • If you can do this, reward yourself with a coin. • Your partner does the same. • Keep playing but taking turns to start with different names – of friends or family or pets!

Comic strip days

Preparation: you need several ‘comic strips’ like this one.

Each space should be about 100cm square. Also pencils and crayons. To play • Take a comic strip each. • You are each going to create a comic strip of either a terrible or a wonderful day! Discuss which day each of you will do – it doesn’t need to be the same day! • Think about how to draw the day in 4 pictures. • Each picture should have one or two speech bubbles. This activity is really good for helping your child to develop the narrative skills needed to tell a story.

HELP YOUR CHILD AT HOME PART SIX In the next part of this exclusive series, Professor Ruth Merttens will focus on how to help older primary school children (7-11 years) with writing. If you have missed an issue and would like to access a part of the series, please write to school@manormagazine.co.uk

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T RINITY SCHOOL

Scholarship Challenge

A team building task, interviews and presentations are all part of a day’s work for those pupils involved in the inspirational, if challenging, scholarship process for entry at Year 7, 9 and Sixth Form.

Swimming Superstars

Trinity’s reputation for success across the age groups at national swimming events goes from strength to strength. Congratulations to this year’s squad!

T

IO

N

TO

LIFE

T EIGNMOUTH

BR

IN

D GING E

U

C

A

www.trinityschool.co.uk Tel: 01626 774138

Flexi-boarding Fun

Sports tournaments, drama productions and exam deadlines loom and flexi-boarding comes into its own. Prep and Senior pupils are welcomed into the boarding family.

OPEN EVENING

Trinity School (Teignmouth) is a company limited by guarantee (registered in England; company number 1399560) and a registered charity (number 276960). Registered Office: Buckeridge Road, Teignmouth, Devon. TQ14 8LY. UK

10th March

Day & Boarding. Nursery to Sixth Form.

6-8pm

Nursery • Preparatory • Senior Sixth Form

OPEN DAY Saturday 6th February 2016 from 10am

Good Schools Guide Gold Award Winner 2015 Come and see how we make a difference 01872 272830 | trurohigh.co.uk

‘EXCELLENT’

in Teaching and Pastoral Care ISI Inspection Report March 2014

An Independent Day and Boarding School for Boys and Girls aged 3 - 18 Years Stover School, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ12 6QG Email: registrar@stover.co.uk Tel: 01626 354505 www.stover.co.uk

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Musical truth

Laura Borenstein, Director of Music at Millfield Prep, explores why a broad musical education can help a child’s development from an early age.

D

o you remember the most nervous moment of your working life? Chances are this will be an interview, presentation or arriving and introducing yourself, slightly drymouthed, on your first day of a new job? Those feelings often come down to our selfconfidence. It is precisely this development of personal self-confidence, which people can gain through playing a musical instrument or singing in front of an audience, that I find so inspiring about teaching music to children. Despite music in schools often being seen as irrelevant, expendable and, sadly, receiving a mere two pages in the National Curriculum for Great Britain, music can transform how children feel about themselves and provides a tangible backdrop to the skills they develop throughout their childhood and into adult life. Those life skills can be as simple but vital as the need to be able to present and introduce ourselves convincingly to a room full of people. Confidence is arguably one of the most important skills we can acquire in our personal and working lives, enabling us to make good first and lasting impressions, helping us make friends and connections, and allowing us to manage and even learn to excel in stressful situations. The ancient Greeks were the first documented civilisation to realise that music was a vital part of a person’s education. For generations, human societies

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understood that music made people more self-aware, that it necessitated the presentation of ourselves in performances, helped express emotions, thoughts and gestures of our human lives. Essentially, it aimed to enable us to be ourselves, comfortably, in front of others. It is something I discuss with pupils in my classes from an early age. I ask them what they think makes someone look confident and, conversely, what makes someone appear nervous. Of the latter, a group of ten year olds I taught recently came up with an interesting range of observations, including that people are trying to make their body disappear, or that a nervous person will often look at the floor and mumble. It is in translating their awareness of these behaviours to find more confident substitutes for this nervous body language, and use them positively when on stage, that is so important. Since many young children are not yet self-conscious in the way that will often arrive with the teenage years, this is a marvellous gift to work with because the more performing experience gained at this age the better. We see this every day and encourage our pupils to take up a free trial lesson in any instrument of their choosing, or to ‘learn with a friend’ and take a lesson with a classmate to share the experience and make it all less daunting. The other challenge is to take music in schools beyond a focus on individual lessons and graded


school examinations, and to give children the opportunities to try instruments in an informal environment, both inside and outside the classroom. Music should be part of every child’s education, whether they want to pursue examinations or purely take up an instrument for their enjoyment and development. I am pleased to see that music examination boards have now recognised the importance of including greater personalisation to the exam process. I have experimented with a range of different performance environments to help build confidence on stage. From combining music and art at ‘Sculpting Sound’ events, where the audience model the sounds of performances into individual clay sculptures, to informal ‘Tea and Music’ afternoon concerts for guests and themed concert evenings. ‘Millfield at the Movies’ brought together our orchestras, choirs, wind bands and ensembles, who all performed soundtrack music to clips on a cinema screen while the audience munched on hot dogs and popcorn. Involving pupils and parents with interactive workshop-style masterclasses with visiting artists are a further useful tool. They allow children to share the learning process, where performance, practice and the ability to ‘feel comfortable on stage’ can be developed. Crucially, there must also be some compulsory

elements to a school’s music curriculum to embed these skills. At Millfield Prep we build in some compulsory elements from the age of six. In Year 2, all pupils learn violin for a year, and in Year 4 our orchestra programme allows each pupil to trial an instrument in small groups and come together for a summer concert at the end of the school year. It is so pleasing to see that 94% of those pupils continue an instrument in the years that follow. The positive, affirmative memories of achievements or happy moments are useful tools for resetting our self-esteem when we find ourselves suddenly beset by nerves. Some children are more reserved and the creation and use of good memories on stage for these children are particularly beneficial. I have found that by encouraging a nervous child to visualise a special moment before they are about to go on stage can make all the difference and enable the ‘being yourself in front of others’ to begin. To me, music is a demonstrably magnificent subject. What more can we ask from education than to help our children become genuinely comfortable with who they are and to be able to share this with others? See millfieldschool.com/prep/creative-arts/music for information about Music at Millfield Prep School

Scholarship Opportunities into Years 7 and 9 Academic, Art, Sport, Music and Performing Arts For your application pack telephone 01823 340830 or email admissions@queenscollege.org.uk TAUNTON

An education for life 01823 340830 www.queenscollege.org.uk admissions@queenscollege.org.uk

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KINGSWEAR, South Devon

■ Guide

Price £1,500,000

A rare opportunity to purchase The Old Vicarage in Kingswear, with stunning views over the River Dart Estuary from the principal rooms and garden – many character features, 2 reception rooms, study/sewing room, 4 bedrooms, 1 en suite. Attractive mature gardens, garage and off-street parking for 3 vehicles. EPC Rating G. Web Ref 88875 Character period property | stunning river views | garage and parking for 3 vehicles For further details please contact our Prime Waterfront & Country House Department on 01548 857588

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property

Property

The Bulletin | Property of note: The Farmhouse, Wadebridge Snapshot comparative

Valentina’s Lost Orangery, built for Sir Walter Raleigh as his hunting lodge. uniquehomestays.com

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NEAR KINGSBRIDGE, South Devon

â– Guide

Price ÂŁ1,750,000

A magnificent superbly presented country house in the centre of approximately 12 acres of landscaped gardens and paddocks, 2 bedroom detached barn conversion, stables and tennis court. The property is only approximately 5 miles from Kingsbridge and 5 miles from the sea. EPC Ratings F & D. Web Ref 53951 Superbly presented country house | detached 2 bedroom barn conversion and stables | situated in 12 acres of grounds For further details please contact our Prime Waterfront & Country House Department on 01548 857588

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property

The Bulletin According to the experts, properties in the South West will enjoy modest growth in value in 2016, but the good second home market is set to fare particularly well. Imogen Clements looks at Unique Home Stays’ property-finding service as a way of securing that all-important healthy return.

F

or some, at this time of year when we’re reflecting on our ‘lot’ (home, job, life) and holidays in the sun, serious consideration is given to the idea of a second home, a bolthole to escape to that you can call your own and perhaps make the primary abode in latter years. But how do you go about finding one when the sheer nature of boltholes is that they’re a long way away from where you are now? Employing a property finder is the logical thing to do, but employing a company that rents premium holiday homes as its core business to be your property finder is particularly astute. It’s likely that you will spend only a few weeks a year in your second home and therefore need it to earn its keep. Unique Home Stays, the premium holiday home operator, launched a property-finding service last year and has already seen several completions.

The beauty of its decision to offer such a service is that it completes the circle: a guest rents one of the premium homes on the books; decides they’d love one themselves; employs Unique Home Stays to find one with, in its view, high commercial potential; client buys it, and then for the times they’re not using it, rents it through Unique Home Stays. It should be noted that this last part is not a requirement – owners can rent properties through whichever company they like, or the house may be a primary residence, but the commercial benefit to all sides is clear, and by all accounts working well. Clare Towl, of UHS, explains. “We started the Property Finding Service because we were being inundated with calls from people asking for our expertise. Potential buyers would ask us if the property they were looking to buy would make a good investment, and wanted our income projections

Seaglass, Tregonhawke, Cornwall

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Employing a property finder is the logical thing to do, but employing a company that rents premium holiday homes as its core business to be your property finder is particularly astute. Burdock Fox, Castle Combe, Cotswolds (with deluxe cinema in the medieval undercroft)

Daydreamer, Freathy, Cornwall (with cliff-top hot tub)

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property

The Artist’s Beach House, Whitstable, Kent

if they were to let the property with us. We concluded that we could offer a real service here.” Unique Home Stays’ property-finding service has been going for 12 months and on average receives around 15-20 enquiries a month. The client will appoint Clare for four months, during which time she will liaise directly with agents and source properties from a number of online property portals, auction houses, developers, as well as private individuals. The beauty of hiring a property finder that’s a division of a premium holiday cottage supplier is that not only do they find you a house, they find you a viable business, plus they offer access to interior designers to help maximise that home’s commercial potential. Helping to redesign clients’ homes is something that Unique Home Stays has offered its clients for some time. “The trick,” Clare reveals, “is finding that unusual aspect in a home that makes it a draw to potential holidaymakers. It could be the medieval undercroft converted into a deluxe cinema room, the hot tub perched on the cliff top, or the fact that Sir Walter Raleigh had the house built as his hunting lodge, all of which are currently on our books as

holiday homes and never fail to attract both press and guest attention.” This summer Clare found herself flying to West Wales to view a lighthouse that was for sale. The historic working lighthouse, which is situated in the middle of 16 acres of countryside, had a castlestyle walled courtyard, is perched on the edge of an Anglesey cliff top, and came with two accompanying cottages, in all priced at £1.37 million. The client (who already has a beach house which she lets through Unique Home Stays) was looking to create an impressive wedding venue. Whether or not she went ahead and bought it Clare doesn’t reveal, but the story underlines the lengths to which the company goes to find that special potential property. After all, buying a second home is not a decision to be taken lightly. All factors need to considered, not only whether the property is likely to increase in value, but just how much you’re going to use it, and when you can’t, to what degree it can help pay for itself. All properties featured are available for rent from uniquehomestays.com The Property Finding Service: +44 01637 881183

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One New Year’s resolution we can help you keep‌

If you are considering a move in 2016, call your local Savills team for a free market appraisal of your property.

Richard Addington Head of Office raddington@savills.com

Savills Exeter 01392 455755 exeter@savills.com

Savills South Hams 01548 800462 southhams@savills.com

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Sarah-Jane Chick Associate Director sjchick@savills.com

Chris Clifford Associate Director cclifford@savills.com


savills.co.uk

1 CHARMING HOUSE IN AN IDYLLIC CREEKSIDE SETTING mylor, south cornwall Open plan kitchen/dining room ø sitting room ø family living room ø principal bedroom with veranda and en suite bathroom ø 4 further bedrooms (1 en suite) ø established gardens overlooking creek ø private foreshore and mooring (on licence) ø double garage/boat store ø 2,206 sq ft ø EPC=F

Savills Cornwall Jonathan Cunliffe jcunliffe@savills.com

01872 243 200

Guide £1.25 million Freehold

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Dating from the 1300s, The Farmhouse offers plenty of Cornish history alongside easy modern living – the ideal family home. Words by Fiona McGowan.

O

ccupying a sheltered valley near Daymer Bay, Wadebridge, The Farmhouse is a building which emanates character. Built in the 1300s by the Reynwarde family, it was initially a manor house. Over the years, it has been extended and aggrandized – a giant 15-foot fireplace was added in Elizabethan times. Today, The Farmhouse is graced with a modern interior, having been completely renovated in the late 1990s. “It was in a pretty derelict state before that,” says owner Paul Harwood, who bought it from a developer in 1996. The work took two years to complete, with the focus on ensuring that the Grade II listed building was upgraded in keeping with its country house exterior. An adjacent barn, known as the Farmhouse Barn, was converted in 2008 to create a luxury onebedroom bolthole, which is rented out as holiday accommodation for much of the year. Originally bought as a second home for the owners and their three children, it was also rented out when they were not using it. Today, the children have grown up and moved away, and the Harwoods now use the Farmhouse Barn for their occasional visits to Cornwall. Paul Harwood talks with fondness and a

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little nostalgia of their times here as the children were growing up. “It’s a very, very interesting house. And we had all those wonderful walks all around – on the coast and inland. And all the things you could do with a family on holiday.” There are certainly plenty of things to do with a family on holiday here. Only a mile away – a 20-minute walk – is the beach village of Polzeath. The wide, sandy cove is popular with surfers and holidaymakers alike. The tidal shift makes for a dramatic change of scenery during the day: there’s a 400m expanse of sand at low tide, and virtually no beach at all when the tide is at its zenith. Nearby is the more secluded Daymer Bay, where the beach is bordered by dunes and sandhills. Both beaches are gently sloping, and are tucked into the Camel Estuary bay, making them somewhat sheltered from the wind. Padstow and Rock are both nearby, bringing a touch of Notting Hill to the area. Both are replete with high-end eateries, boutique shops and places to see and be seen. The rocky coast path offers exceptional views and a plethora of wildlife: puffins, seals and dolphins are frequently spotted by walkers. Set in the dunes just behind Daymer Bay is the 16th-century St Enodoc


property of note Church. Over the centuries, the shifting sands almost completely buried it, earning it the nickname of ‘Sinking Neddy’. In the 19th century, it was excavated and the surrounded dunes were stabilised, leaving it tucked within its dune walls – now a charming place to visit. The Farmhouse itself is steeped in history. Its beamed ceilings and thick stone walls hint at fascinating tales from the past – which is one of the most attractive elements about the house for owner Paul Harwood. “It’s a house with lots and lots of history. There was even a priest hole in between the main bedroom and the second bedroom at one stage. And we have had some people staying here who would swear they’ve seen ghosts. Cavaliers...” The building’s historical character, with its beamed ceilings and woodburning stove, interesting layout and thick walls, is perfectly balanced by the tasteful modernisations of the spacious kitchen and luxurious bathrooms. Its setting is no less appealing. Surrounded by nearly an acre of private garden and edged by a stream that leads to the lakes of the Roserrow estate, it’s embedded in the natural environment. “It’s close enough to the sea that if it’s a bit windy, you can hear the waves from the bedroom,” says Paul. “There’s lots of interesting natural wildlife around, especially birds. In the front of the house there is a dovecote set into the stone, and one year we had kestrels breeding in there. We watched when the baby kestrels came out onto the ledge, and we were able to watch the parents effectively fledging baby kestrels, which was pretty fantastic.” The grounds host several outhouses: all renovated for different purposes including a wood-store and a laundry room. Beyond the large private gardens are scattered a number of high-end holiday homes, and a few minutes’ walk away is The Point at Polzeath Golf Club – offering an array of activities including a spa, tennis, pool, gym and bowling green, not to mention a restaurant, bar. And golf, of course. The Farmhouse makes an ideal holiday home, says the owner, although he has also rented it out over the years. The addition of The Barn opens up the option to rent for luxury accommodation – or to invite friends over for a very Cornish affair.

The Farmhouse is steeped in history. Its beamed ceilings and thick stone walls hint at fascinating tales from the past.

The Farmhouse is on the market with Stags, Tiverton office. Guide price: £1,200,000. stags.co.uk

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PLYMO U T H S P R E M I E R B U S IN E S S ADDR ES S

đƫIconic building in a prime location

đƫOn site cafe & fitness centre

đƫExcellent transport links

đƫSurrounded by landscaped grounds

đƫVibrant working environment

đƫExtensive car parking

CALL TODAY TO RESERVE YOUR OFFICE SPACE FOR 2016 t: 03333 445 757 e: info@burringtonestates.com The Ship, Brest Road, Derriford, Plymouth, PL6 5AA

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www.burringtonestates.com


property

Snapshot comparative A selection of properties from around the South West, and one from the capital, that could make ideal second homes...or first.

Coastal

Strand House, Padstow Guide price £599,950 A three-bedroom house at the very heart of the picturesque fishing village of Padstow, overlooking the harbour. Ideally located, it is metres from the waters edge and with three bathrooms also and a private roof terrace, makes for good letting and B&B potential. stags.co.uk

Cobweb Cottage, Bickleigh Guide price £335,000

Country

A pretty Grade II listed cottage with thatched roof and many character features, Cobweb Cottage is situated in the picturesque village of Bickleigh. The current owners have recently completed a series of improvements to include a new kitchen/dining room, a large sitting room, three double bedrooms, a family bathroom and master ensuite. Outside there are gardens, garage and parking. stags.co.uk

Polperro, Looe, Cornwall Guide price £1,300,000

Coastal

Built between 1840 and 1860, a spacious five-bedroom, detached family home with an integral two-bedroomed annexe in an elevated position above the Polperro harbour. The property has beautiful landscaped gardens and terraces and includes double garage and off street parking. All principal rooms having views of the harbour and the annexe makes a useful holiday let. knightfrank.com

Cleveland Gardens, Bayswater, London Guide price £950,000

London

A one-bedroom apartment which benefits from its own private entrance and access to the award-winning communal gardens of Cleveland Square. The property is well-proportioned throughout, with a good-sized double bedroom and spacious reception room where clever use has been made of a double cupboard that houses a pull down double bed for guests. knightfrank.com

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THE AVERAGE NATIONAL BUYER SPENDS £1,700,000 COMPARED WITH A LOCAL BUYER AT £1,000,000

Pennsylvania, Exeter Guide price: £175,000

Princesshay, Exeter Guide price: £250,000

Putsborough Sands, North Devon Guide price: £3,250,000

Polperro, Cornwall Guide price: £495,000

Salcombe, Devon Guide price: £1,100,000

Sampford Courtenay, Okehampton Guide price: £625,000

Portmellon, Cornwall Guide price: £2,950,000

St Leonards, Exeter Guide price: £595,000

Tavistock, Devon Guide price: £775,000

Topsham, Exeter Guide price: £1,500,000

To find out how we can help you please contact us. Exeter@knightfrank.com 01392 976832

@KFExeter KnightFrank.co.uk/Exeter

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70% OF OUR BUYERS ARE FROM OUTSIDE THE SOUTH WEST

Burgh Island Causeway, Bigbury-On-Sea Guide price: £550,000

Shebbear, Beaworthy Guide price: £695,000

To find out how we can help you please contact us. Exeter@knightfrank.com 01392 976832

@KFExeter KnightFrank.co.uk/Exeter

Rock, Cornwall Guide price: £3,000,000

Roseland Peninsula, Cornwall Guide price: £1,500,000

Thorverton, Exeter Guide price: £495,000

Throwleigh, Dartmoor Guide price: £570,000

Topsham, Exeter Guide price: £350,000

St Issey, Cornwall Guide price: £800,000

Woodland, Ashburton Guide price: £1,975,000

St Leonards, Exeter Guide price: £850,000 MANOR | Late Winter 2016

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DITTISHAM, South Devon

■ Guide

Price £1,500,000

A stunning property in the heart of the village with wonderful far reaching views to the River Dart. Drawing room, superb ‘Carpenter Oak’ open plan living/dining/kitchen, raised terrace, 5 bedrooms, 3 en suite, 1 bedroom self-contained annexe, double garage, ample parking, attractive gardens. No EPC required. Web Ref 84187 Beautiful home combining contemporary and traditional features | stunning River Dart views | double garage and ample parking For further details please contact our Prime Waterfront & Country House Department on 01548 857588

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TORQUAY, South Devon

■ Guide

Price £1,450,000

An outstanding and immaculately presented ‘Homes and Gardens’ style spacious detached villa, located in a desirable residential and leafy location with sea views. State of the art kitchen and bathrooms, wine cellar and gym. Stunning landscape gardens. Web Ref 78509 Superbly presented period property | outstanding interior features | sea views For further details please contact our Prime Waterfront & Country House Department on 01548 857588

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back page

BLACK BOOK

Jared Green – traveller, aesthete and esteemed food blogger – reveals the latest entries in his little black book.

A

s an Australian native, I’m often asked why I chose I’m looking forward to seeing the Shady Dolls return in the UK as home when I could spend my days 252AM (After Man), a sci-fi thriller that imagines a future basking in the Antipodean sunshine. The truth is, where men are all but extinct. I find the availability of culture and creativity in London When the quick burst of nature Hampstead Heath so awesome, and the beauty of the English countryside provides proves insufficient, I snuggle up with a book so outstanding, that the idea of and a sneaky weekend first class leaving is a struggle. upgrade on a Great Western I’m an obsessive foodie so I’m train, ending up somewhere in a great city. For fine dining, more richly endowed with you can’t go past the Chiltern nature’s blessings. The Cotswolds Firehouse for exquisite food, is a lovely escape. I go to visit stunning desserts and celebrity friends but of late there’s a wider spotting. Sexy Fish is making choice of creature comforts. waves with an interior fit out Daylesford Organic Farm in that’s rumoured to have cost £20 Kingham has excellent organic million. The flashy dining room food, much of it farmed on isn’t the only drawcard, the food site. The attached Haybarn Spa Chiltern Firehouse is to die for: expect smoked eel, has a decadent day spa. If the rock lobster tempura and beef countryside doesn’t relax enough, and foie gras gyoza. Haybarn’s massages will. Soho But my most prized London Farmhouse has opened recently eats are further east. Paradise at Chipping Norton – it’s quite Garage in Bethnal Green spectacular in terms of scale serves up inventive, creative and and celebrity spotting. Midway finessed food – the whole rabbit between Daylesford and the platter is my dish of the year. Farmhouse is the lovely Wild Paradise also boasts triumphant Rabbit Inn, serving wonderful service, a great wine list and seasonal food with a focus on delicate, artful desserts. Lyles artisanal producers in a cosy yet in Shoreditch offers a refined, upscale atmosphere. Ellory simple yet stunning tasting menu When my hunger for nature that chef James Lowe keeps is greatest, I venture somewhere reinventing – barely two nights more remote. The obvious are the same. Ellory in London choice, with epic vistas and a few Fields, is a new curiosity, serving challenging routes (if required), small plates and a tasting menu. is Dartmoor. In between walks, Expect the likes of puntarelle, when refreshment is required, anchovies and spenwood, or the Ring of Bells Inn in North turbot, chestnuts and pumpkin. Bovey is worth a visit for the Drooling yet? down-to-earth but delicious For art, London also spoils pub fare or the cream tea, with for choice, and as well as the proper scones and clotted cream. more mainstream galleries I like If you’re particularly hungry, to explore a more contemporary, perhaps both. Then, if I’m really edgy scene. The Gagosian blessed with time, I’d head a on Britannia Street is an epic little further afield. The rugged Vault Festival space that is often filled with cliffs and moody skies at Land’s hauntingly beautiful, bold sculpture. In February there’s a End are one of my favourite views in all of England. My Warhol exhibition I can’t wait to see. Kristin Hjellegjerde favourite hotel is The Scarlet at Mawgan Porth. Nothing has an eye for emerging talent, and her Wandsworth gallery makes me feel like I’ve arrived in Cornwall like a brisk dip is going from strength to strength. In late January, emerging in the natural pond, followed by a sunset Negroni on the performers are showcased at the Vault Festival at Waterloo. rooftop bar.

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Like a car. The What Car? judges agree. As a plug-in hybrid, the A3 Sportback e-tron is incredibly efficient and has low emissions. But as an Audi, it makes no compromise on style, practicality or performance. Take the Best electric car 2015 for a test drive and we’re sure you’ll agree.

Exeter Audi Denbury Court, Marsh Barton, Exeter, Devon EX2 8NB 01392 338089 www.exeter.audi.co.uk Fuel consumption figures mpg (l/100km) and CO2 emissions (g/km) for the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron from: Urban N/A, Extra Urban N/A, Combined/weighted 176.6 mpg (1.6 litre/100km). CO2 emissions: 37g/km. The ‘combined/weighted’ fuel consumption/CO2 figures are calculated from two test results: one when the battery is fully charged and another when the battery is discharged. The two results are a weighted average, taking into account mileage range on battery power only, providing a figure in a variety of charge conditions. Battery charged using mains sourced electricity via plug-in. Extended range achieved by 1.4 TFSI petrol engine generating electricity. Fuel consumption and CO2 figures are obtained under standardised EU test conditions (Directive 93/116/EEC). This allows a direct comparison between different manufacturer models but may not represent the actual fuel consumption achieved in ‘real world’ driving conditions. Range figures are calculated on the basis of the standardised EU test figures for fuel consumption. As a result, they are illustrative only and may not represent the actual range achieved in ‘real world’ driving conditions. Achieved range can vary depending on many factors, including driving style, speed, the use of convenience features/secondary consumers, outside temperature, the number of passengers/size of load, selection of driving profile and topography. Emissions are while driving.

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Manor Issue 8  

MANOR is a premium lifestyle publication of national quality from, and for the South West. So many national glossies are London-centric we...

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