Page 1

Spring 2016 Issue 9 | £3.95

We are MANOR celebrates its first year with prizes to be won

Spring in our step




Deliciously ethical Cornish confections

Save our seas Surfers Against Sewage’s Hugo Tagholm’s mission

MANOR | Spring 2016



MANOR | Spring 2016

MANOR | Spring 2016


Ford, Wiveliscombe

An imposing Georgian house in a parkland setting Wellington 5 miles, Taunton 8 miles, M5 motorway 9 miles (All distances approximate) Grade II listed house only 8 miles from Taunton, between Exmoor and the Quantocks. 4 reception rooms, 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, top floor apartment, tennis court, swimming pool, gardens and paddocks. In all about 13.26 acres.

Guide Price ÂŁ1,525,000


MANOR | Spring 2016

To find out how we can help you please contact us. 01392 976832

Teignmouth, Devon

Modern house with views over the town to the coast beyond Teignmouth 2 miles and Exeter 13 miles (All distances approximate)

To find out how we can help you please contact us. 01392 976832

6 bedrooms, including master suite with balcony. Large open-plan reception rooms and impressive atrium landing. Leisure suite with indoor pool. Outdoor pool, double garage and ample parking. In all about 8 acres, stabling and outbuildings. EPC: B

Offers in excess of ÂŁ2,000,000

MANOR | Spring 2016


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MANOR | Spring 2016

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Spring 2016





70 Regulars 15 TOWN MOUSE, COUNTRY MOUSE Correspondence from across the divide


MANOR CONFIDENTIAL Team MANOR celebrates a fabulous year


AS I SEE IT... Rower Laura Penhaul

Style & Beauty 16 TRENDS Romance blossoms and space cadet


Plaudits and prizes




THE STYLE SHOOT The moving image

BEAN TO BAR Cornish micro-chocolatiers Chocolarder and their ethically produced confections

Exeter-based hydrometeoroligist Murray Dale


SAVE OUR SEAS How Hugo Tagholm has transformed pressure group Surfers Against Sewage

BEAUTY TUTORIAL Go lighter for Spring




THE BUSINESS Michelmores interviews Ashton House Design

MANOR | Spring 2016


54 40 58 Photostory 40 GRIT AND DUST Joseph Bishop’s images of day-to-day life at a stone recycling plant near Plymouth


Culture 54 COLOUR AND CORNERS Alasdair Lindsay uses geometry and shadows to create striking works of art


PRAISE BEE Artist Amy Shelton and poet John Burnside collaborate to create a handmade book in honour of the honeybee


THE ALCHEMY OF CLAY Sandra Tate’s beautiful pots are as much about the air as the clay




How Sarah Stuart transformed a Penzance house into a highly acclaimed boutique hotel

What’s on around the region


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


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


MANOR | Spring 2016



SHOPPING FOR SPACE A discerning palette


Q&A Robin Deitch of William Garvey Ltd

Spring 2016

153 MANOR school 125 NEWS IN BRIEF Sport at Queen’s College gets accolade; Truro High School appoints new head of prep; The Maynard School: Best in the West; Shebbear College’s educational enrichment trip to Poland



Professor Ruth Merttens with advice on finding the right place for your child




BITES Food news from across the peninsula




THE TABLE PROWLER ...dines out at The Ethicurean near Bristol and The Chagford Inn, Chagford

Escape 114 THE ALICE FACTOR MANOR experiences something a little different at The Glazebrook Hotel, South Brent


BITE THE BIG APPLE A culinary guide to New York City

THE FUTURE OF STEM How girls’ schools are encouraging more women to forge careers in science, technology, engineering and maths


THE WRITE STUFF Professor Ruth Merttens offers the sixth part in her series on how to Help Your Child at Home

A journey to discover the delicious food and drink around the Fal Estuary in Cornwall


CHOOSING A NURSERY SCHOOL Happy Days South West on what to look for when choosing a childcare provider

Manna from Devon’s American barbecue road trip



Property 145 THE BULLETIN Selling your home needn’t be stressful


PROPERTY OF NOTE Take me to the river – Hepburn House, South Hams, Devon


SNAPSHOT COMPARATIVE A selection of homes with land from the South West and London

Back page 162 BLACK BOOK Secrets from Mary Morris, director at Totleigh Barton Writers’ Centre in Devon

MANOR | Spring 2016


MANOR Magazine is a year old! In March 2015, we launched a premium title of national quality, but from and for those who either lived or had an interest in the South West. We felt strongly there was a market for a modern, high quality title that showcased all that’s inspirational, groundbreaking and immensely creative about the region through great journalism and stunning photography. Market response would indicate we were right but we were keen to garner individual opinion. These are just some of the opinions that we got back, from a few of the most prominent and highly influential individuals connected to this corner of the UK. As a small team behind an independent title, we couldn’t have been more thrilled. Bidding for Bantham

“One of the great yet rare pleasures is to find a magazine that starts from the position of imagining its readers are intelligent, fun-loving yet capable of serious thought when the need arises! Personally I have hugely enjoyed reading MANOR Magazine this year – particularly the quality of its writing, which is a delight. So congratulations on a sterling first year. May good fortune and good writing stalk your pages for a long time yet.” Sir Tim Smit, Creator of the Eden Project

There is nothing that captures the public imagination like the possibility of buying not just a lovely house, but your own country estate. Particularly when the estate in question happens to be one of the most pristine slices of countryside in the UK. By Imogen Clements.

Spring 2015 | £3.95


a new magazine


antham, with its 730 acres, village little-changed in the last hundred years, and coastline boasting one of the most beautiful estuaries and sought-after surfing beaches in the country, generated quite a stir when it came on the market last year. The seller: Strutt & Parker, Exeter, along with Michelmore Hughes “Although we’ve sold bigger estates”, recalled James Baker of Strutt & Parker, “we’ve never worked on anything that generated quite so much press attention.” Why it whipped up such a frenzy of interest is unknown, although the suspicion is that it simply epitomised a pocket of English perfection – breathtaking coast and countryside, pretty little houses, a pub, a golf course and nothing more commercial than a village shop and catering van. Bantham is the most quintessential package which, it was certain, would be snapped up by a Russian oligarch or powerful property developer and ruined.

for the city savvy who enjoy a slice of country

Look West


...and beyond



MANOR | Spring 2015

MANOR | Spring 2015

Late Spring 2015 £3.95

“MANOR Magazine is an excellent publication with superb journalism and stunning photography. It showcases the South West wonderfully and makes a fitting addition to our premium hotel guests’ luxury experience. Congratulations on your first year.” Sir Peter Rigby, Chairman and CEO of The Rigby Group plc, the owner of Eden Collection Hotel Group and Exeter Airport “It’s good to have a magazine that reads as well as it looks, and reflects all the exciting things that are happening in this beautiful corner of the country. Happy first birthday MANOR! Here’s to many more to come.” Michael Morpurgo, OBE

Pretty much everyone with a serious interest in the estate had so for conservationist reasons. Many knew the area and loved it for the jewel that it is

Let play commence It’s festival season! Win VIP tickets to Boardmasters

Street food; neat booze

The South West’s artisan distillers

Kathy Lette

on the couch

SAM THORNE on plans for TATE ST IVES ondon’s first organic u comes to RIVERFORD earn how to e interesting at DARTMOOR ARTS

Summer 2015

Be blown away... Henry Swanzy Honing perfection

Unique Home Stays Character in exclusivity

Bovey Castle

A Dartmoor icon reborn

Simon Armitage Poet, troubadour

ST TUDY INN, CORNWALL Seasonal delights THE SEAHORSE, DARTMOUTH Exclusive recipes PORTHMINSTER CAFÉ, ST IVES Kitchen gardening

“Launching a print mag in this day and age is a hard thing to do. MANOR seems to have nailed it – great storytelling backed by beautiful imagery.” Tom Kay, Founder, Finisterre

High Summer 2015 Issue 4 | £3.95

“MANOR is a glorious and lovely magazine with all of the readability of a more established national but with a fresher, South West feel.” Simon Reeve, BBC presenter “MANOR is the perfect glossy accessory for the wild and woolly West Country – shines through the mud.” Rachel Johnson, journalist, novelist and broadcaster

Rachel Johnson

As I see it...

TRILL FARM Food for the soul

Michael Caines

at work in Gidleigh Park

DEER PARK HOTEL Treetop luxury CARPENTER OAK Framed perfection

Cornwall’s Rogue Theatre

Late Summer 2015 Issue 5 | £3.95


Exclusive with founder Tom Kay


Green living, South West

Safia Minney

“MANOR is a great magazine that showcases just what style, creativity and level of quality in so many sectors there exists in the South West. Makes everyone want to move here!” Michael Caines, MBE, chef

Ethical fashion pioneer states how it is

Tom Raffield

Design inspired by nature

Mark Diacono

A kitchen garden for all COOKERY SCHOOLS We test the region’s best FLOWER FARMER Amy Henshaw harvesting colour HELP YOUR CHILD AT HOME MANOR School exclusive

Kevin Macdonald

Oscar-winning director goes small screen

The Wave Pro ect Using surfing to help children

Autumn 2015 Issue 6 | £3.95

“MANOR brilliantly captures the people, places and innovative businesses that make the South West such an exciting place to live, and blends it with all the qualities that you would expect from a leading national publication.” Luke Lang, Founder and CMO of Crowdcube “Congratulations from us all here at Gidleigh Park on such a fantastic first year for MANOR! Definitely one of the favourites for guests and staff alike – never found languishing in our magazine bins, but always in hand or scattered in our drawing rooms. I always wonder if people choose it because it’s a brilliant read, or because the stylish covers are the perfect accessory when sitting in our beautiful lounges – and I’ve concluded probably both! Well done to all the team at MANOR on creating such a quality read for us all!” Federico Aresti, General Manager, Gidleigh Park.

Anthony Loyd Reflects on life and war

Andy Hughes

Photographer, social commentator

Michael J Austin

From comic books to fine art

Sandy Brown

The Temple at Sotheby’s ‘Beyond Limits’

Winter 2015 Issue 7 | £3.95

Michael Morpurgo The best story I ever wrote

Sir Tim Smit

After Eden

A caring town Help for the rural homeless

Gift guide Christmas all wrapped up

Festive food Packed hampers

Home fires burning Hearths and Hotpods

Late Winter 2016 Issue 8 | £3.95

Away with the grey...

“Exeter City Council would like to congratulate MANOR Magazine on its one-year anniversary. MANOR is a fantastic modern magazine showcasing the very best of the South West, as well as Exeter. Congratulations on your anniversary and in producing such a high-quality publication.” Maureen Gori-de-Murden, Senior Economy and Tourism Officer, Exeter City Council


MANOR | Spring 2016

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


Aid and relief around the world


Eat, shop and sleep in Bruton

Private jets

Flights of fancy


Bovey Castle

The Great Western Restaurant

The Elan Spa at Bovey Castle

One year in, we’d love to hear from everyone... And your feedback could win you a fantastic prize... Whether you’re a long-term reader or new to MANOR today, please give us your thoughts such that we can refine and adapt the magazine to keep it the very best it can be. Go to to complete the questionnaire and all respondents will be entered into a prize draw. The first name drawn at random will win one night for two at one of the South West’s most luxurious and beautiful hotels, Bovey Castle in Dartmoor National Park, where you will enjoy dinner in the Great Western Restaurant and each receive a 25-minute ESPA treatment at Bovey Castle’s newly refurbished Elan Spa included in your prize. As a runner-up prize, 18 respondents will each win REN Skincare’s new Instant Brightening Beauty Shot Eyelift worth £30. Instant Brightening Beauty Shot Eyelift is a gel-serum that includes light-reflecting pigments that instantly brighten the eye area. Regular use will also reduce dark circles, puffiness and improve eye contour. Lauded by Sali Hughes of The Guardian as “brilliant and by far the best addition to an often disappointing category of anti-agers.” Putting it to the test, she claims that “within 30 seconds of using it the difference is pretty remarkable: skin is smoother, plumper and brighter.” Perfect for Spring. The survey closes on 30 April 2016. Go to for terms and conditions.

MANOR | Spring 2016


is brought to you by PUBLISHING EDITOR

Imogen Clements


Jane Fitzgerald



Harriet Mellor ARTS EDITOR

Belinda Dillon


Anna Turns


Jared Green, Amy Tidy, Susie David DESIGN

Experience a new era at Gidleigh Park 2016 marks the arrival of acclaimed Executive Head Chef Michael Wignall to Gidleigh Park. Supported by his new


Rachel Evans, Rae Muscat, Natasha Radford

brigade in the kitchen, Michael and his team welcome guests to the newly refurbished restaurant to sample the exciting new tasting menus. Michael has amassed an impressive list of accolades during his career, including two Michelin stars and fi ve AA Rosettes at his previous restaurant. Sample Michael’s seasonal menus Seven-course tasting menu £110.00 Ten-course tasting menu* £130.00

To book a table, please call 01647 481 361 or visit

Available for lunch 12.00-2.00pm and for dinner 7.00-9.00pm Monday – Sunday. *Ten course tasting menu available for dinner only. Subject to availability. Pre-booking is essential.


MANOR | Spring 2016

THE COVER Pleated pink skirt, ASOS, £30; ballerina flats with straps, Zara, £39.99; Stylist: Mimi Stott; Photographer: Matt Austin; Model: Victora Nystrom; Hair and make-up: Madeleine Austin

© 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 Printed by Warners Midlands plc.

We are one! Welcome to the first anniversary edition of MANOR. What a difference a year makes! Some may have considered it foolhardy to launch a magazine in today’s digital-crazy climate, but we went ahead anyway. We recognized the sustained appeal of a beautiful print publication done well, and felt strongly that in this corner of the UK there was room for a title that catered to an active, well-informed and creative crowd whose home is in the South West or who simply love spending time here. We felt also that the vast majority of modern, aspirational magazines were created in London and London-centric, despite many of us modern, aspirational types being from elsewhere, and more so now that our working lives are more flexible and jobs so much more peripatetic. With MANOR we wanted to create a title on a par with London quality but from this side of the country, for those who’ve rejected (or were looking to escape) crowded commuter belts and have chosen to base themselves in a beautiful part of the world in which to bring up their children. That, at least, was the premise back at the start of 2015. And by some good fortune, a stellar group of journalists, photographers and designers was available to work on this theory and turn it into reality. Many magazines launch with a flourish, then die by issue three, particularly when they are independent titles created by a handful of individuals. MANOR’s success is testament to the team and to a premise that proved to be valid. Special mention should go to the small band of investors who backed the business plan (against any digital-leaning instincts) and to those advertisers, of course, who bought in to MANOR in those early days. They understand, as we all do, that in this screen-ubiquitous world there is an appetite for print that’s not backlit, for pages that you can turn rather than swipe, for jaw-dropping photography that serendipitously greets you and stretches over a full spread, and for fantastic journalism that inspires you, and that you can keep and refer back to time and again. There is a tangible and comforting permanence to print, and a calm, visual pleasure derived from it that no screen or tablet could ever deliver. After all, where would all those beautiful coffee tables be without stunning reading matter with which to adorn them? One year in, we asked a number of prominent individuals for their thoughts on MANOR and were frankly bowled over by what they came back with (turn to page 10). We would love your opinion, too – an honest assessment of the magazine, even if this is the first time you’ve seen it – such that we can refine and adapt it and continue to deliver to you, the reader, a premium title from and for the South West that aptly reflects what an outstandingly beautiful and highly inspirational place it is to be, wherever you happen to be reading MANOR.


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.

MANOR | Spring 2016


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MANOR | Spring 2016 01803 732900



Darling, it is our birthday. How shall we mark the passing of time? Where once birthdays used to come and go like yachts breezing across a sunny horizon, now they bear down on us fast and weighty like lorries on a rainy M5. It’s no good, I have tried to stem the ageing process with cream, tints and dyes, not to mention diets, extreme exercise and kale – you didn’t think my motives were health-related did you? Purely aesthetic – but I must accept defeat. With this birthday, I have decided to embrace the years, and age with dignity. Fortunately for us, sweetie, we live in an ageing society. So unfashionable to be young these days! Grey hair is all the rage, who’d have thought?! I’m patchy grey, though, rather than full head, so that too will have to come out of a bottle. With all this talk of Europe, I’m taking my reference from France, where women over 50 are still considered sexy rather than consigned to Zimmers and bus passes. I shall be yoga-ing every morning to maintain agility and continue to eat kale, for health reasons this time, along with chocolate. The dark variety of course, for the pheromones. Or is it flavanols? Or polyphenols? I can never remember, but they’re antioxidant and anti-ageing, so I’m told. I shall eat in petits morceaux rather than gorge, and you will find me sitting in bars alone with a class of Merlot and an old thumbed classic like Middlemarch. That is what French women do, darling, I have seen it myself. It adds an element of je ne sais quoi, mystery, to one’s allure. So it is, with this birthday I enter a whole new philosophical phase, beauty that’s more cerebral than skin deep, and I look forward to all the pleasures that another year brings and worry not about what’s gone before, or just gone (complexion, skin tone, etc). In the words of Voltaire, “Let us read and dance – never did anyone any harm.” A tout a l’heure, cherie.

One year on, well, “makes a girl think”. Me, I take my philosophy from celluloid: Some Like it Hot. Well I do, any way (like it hot), and am looking forward to the summer. Spring, I feel, is just desperate to get out and blossom, and with that in mind I too am going to scatter ageing concerns to the wind and attire myself in flowers. Nothing like a wardrobe of florals to rejuvenate. Preempts spring’s full onslaught of the real thing. Good to get out in it now, such that when the real flowers emerge in all their glory you don’t just fade into the background, like one does, approaching old age… Stop it, you hear! Apologies, that was just my inner gloom peeping out for a second, before it’s banished for good by my newfound positivity and mindfulness. Yes, mindfulness sweetie. Yoga is old hat; we’ve all moved on down here in the country to something deeper. By all means stretch – good for the circulation – but live ‘in the moment’. Not entirely sure I know what it means but I’m all for it. My moment right now is a hot frothy coffee, dark chocolate (of course) and writing to you, eschewing all those backward thoughts that a birthday brings. I plan to don my tea dress and dance, as you say, for joy that we’re emerging from wintry hibernation, and able to enjoy another summer. Feel good, look good, it’s all interlinked, so that is where my focus is. I am mindful of feeling good. Funny how we’re always on the same page! Cerebral you; mindful me. We can no longer attempt to affect the inevitable deterioration of the superficial, so we must look deeper. Age comes to us all, it’s just how we deal with it. I say, let’s celebrate! It’s our birthday and forever seeking perfection is futile. As they say in Hollywood, “Nobody’s perfect.” We must simply be the best we can be, non? Chin chin and a bientot!



Aulis, a six-seat private kitchen table at Simon Rogan’s Michelin-starred Fera at Claridges. Expect truffle custard with beef tendon, gingerbread topped halibut with carrot puree. “Mind-shattering” we’re told.

Surfside, a beach shack right on the sand at Polzeath great for sunsets, serves chips, salad and steak or lobster.

‘Exhibitionism’, The Rolling Stones first major exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery from 5 April – 4 September displaying some 500 artefacts from the band’s personal archives. Sexy Fish, Berkeley Square, for the sheer glitzy exuberance it all – fabulous cocktails, delectable Asian bites and hours of eye-popping people-watching to entertain. Save up, dress the part and book ahead.

Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens in West Cornwall at Easter, where acclaimed sculptor Peter Randall-Page unveils two new monumental works. Cocktails and Cabaret comes to Exeter. Top UK and overseas acts to be enjoyed along with some awesome tipple. Hosted by top performer Dan the Hat and bar aficionado Ben Hadley at the Boston Tea Party on Saturday 16 April.

MANOR | Spring 2016


Blossoming romance

Silk dress, Whistles, £160

Erdem SS16

Florals are as perennial as, well, spring. In fact, more so. They were prominent on last year’s Autumn/Winter catwalks and here they are again, but altogether more floaty and romantic. Embrace your inner pre-Raphaelite – there’s something dreamy about spring this year. Makes you want to kick off your shoes, let down your hair and breeze carefree through a meadow of buttercups. Compiled by Amy Tidy.

Dress, Whistles, £150 Dress, Wallis, £48

Dress, Debenhams, £160

Top, Zara, £29.99 Sandals, Zara, £49.99 Blouse, Marks and Spencer, £29.50


MANOR | Spring 2016

Emilia Wickstead SS16


Skirt, Dickins and Jones, HOF, £69

Top, Topshop

Dress, Topshop Trousers, Marks and Spencer, £28

Sweater, Marks and Spencer, £35 Bag, Therapy, HOF, £39

Dress, Marks and Spencer, £39.50

MANOR | Spring 2016



Space cadet Lela Rose SS16

No longer confined to party season, metallics shimmer all the more in the spring sunshine. To avoid glare, limit them to one element of your outfit. If the metallic look is not for you then add a touch of sci-fi through the high street’s plethora of futuristic cuts and accessories. Compiled by Amy Tidy.

Cuff, Hobbs, £29

Long skirt, Zara, £19.99 Skirt, Marks and Spencer, £55

Metallic slip-on trainer, Dune, £75

Handbag, Hobbs, £99


MANOR | Spring 2016

Top, Zara, £19.99

Tassel loafer, Dune, £85

Cedric Charlier SS16


Necklace, Marks and Spencer, £18


WWW.BIBIANDMAC.COM Top, Zara, £22.99

Skirt, Marks and Spencer, £39.50



MANOR | Spring 2016



Let there be light Cast aside the heavy matte foundations and welcome the radiant dewy complexions of spring and summer, suggests make-up artist Elouise Abbott.



pring is here and it’s time to add a touch of light to your skin. Whether you choose to accentuate your best features with a stroke of highlight, or remove those dark shadows that come with age, light is the key to youth. Like magic tools in your make-up bag, radiant luminising correctors and primers use light-reflecting technology to balance skin imperfections and reduce the appearance of dark areas and tired skin. Treat dull winter skin to a touch of MAC Lightful C 2-in-1 Tint Serum with Radiance Booster. This tinted moisturising serum is packed full of skin-brightening ingredients while also adding a hint of colour. This product can be worn alone, perfect if you wear little make-up. If you require more coverage, use as a primer. I’ve said it before, but Yves St Laurent Touch Éclat is a make-up bag must. This product is not a concealer but a highlighter – it’s all about light reflection. To minimise under-eye bag and dark circles apply ONLY to the dark shadow. This reduces the appearance of the shadow, and brightens the whole area. Stila Stay All Day 10-in-1 HD Illuminating Beauty Balm is a bb cream packed with anti-ageing, wrinkle-reducing ingredients. Infused with innovative light-reflecting spheres proven to hide imperfections, this product leaves your skin smooth, hydrated and radiant. As this is a tinted moisturiser, you can wear alone or use as a primer. For a youthful dewy complexion I choose a foundation with a satin finish instead of matte. A satin finish tends to be lighter on the skin, perfect for spring and summer. Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder: Youthboosting Perfect Skin Foundation SPF15 is a wonderful product that has so many incredible skin-boosting ingredients it’s hard to tell if it’s a skin treatment or a foundation! The coverage is light and flawless, and works wonders for dry skin types. Nars Sheer Glow Foundation has a wonderful lightweight satin finish. The highly pigmented formula gives a light to medium

MANOR | Spring 2016

buildable coverage, and is perfect for dry to combination skin types. Use a highlighter to contour and accentuate your best features. A highlighter will always bring a feature forward, while a darker colour will recede. I recommend a sweep of highlighter along the top of the cheekbone – this will define your facial structure and give you cheekbones to die for. A sweep under the eyebrow bone will brighten and open up the eyes, and don’t forget to sweep a little over the cupid’s bow to make lips appear fuller. I love Hourglass Cosmetics. The Ambient Lighting Palette has three shades of powder highlighter, covering all for all skin tones, perfect all year round. This product has just the right balance of shimmer, no glitter! A powder highlighter works well with any foundation, including matte. A powder highlighter works best when applied over foundation. Illamasqua Gleam comes in two colours – Aurora and Supernatural – and I keep both in my kit. Gleam is a cream-based product that you can apply under or over foundation, though I find you have much more control if it is applied over. This product works exceptionally well with a satin foundation. While Aurora is ideal for fairer skins, Supernatural has a wonderful copper tone perfect for darker skin tones and also doubles as a bronzer. Benefit High Beam is a liquid highlighter, which makes it incredibly versatile. Blend a drop with your moisturiser or foundation for a beautiful radiant base, or apply to key areas either under or over foundation. This is a liquid so if you use a powder foundation, or setting powder, apply the highlighter first or it will clog. It’s all about light. The days are getting longer – it’s time to get out and radiate.

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omen today demand the knowledge and enthusiasm of experts in their field to ensure the smooth running of their lives. Stylists, interior designers, nutritionists and many more. Hazel Mulligan says, “Beauty is no different and in a world where the eye judges everything we are paramount to women’s lives. Taking on the role of beauty ‘stylists’, we’re all-round experts with the knowledge and empathy to be able to advise and recommend on whatever necessary in making every women look and feel at their very best. Clients come to us when they feel they have become ‘invisible’, it’s our job to give every client the gift of confidence through beauty and watch them glow.” There are many types of clients – those who are in and out for a treatment and in need of peace and quiet from the hub-bub of everyday aggressions, and those who are looking

to do a little more to look good. “Our unpushy understanding of client needs and the results we deliver has led to a high degree of client loyalty, but it goes further than that. At Visage House, our clientcentric approach, product quality, and standards in training lead not only to a happy and loyal clientele, but inspires our team of therapists who have all been with us since we took on the Magdalen Street salon in 2014. Happy staff and a good working environment makes such an impact on the client experience. “After all, looking good and feeling good will always be intrinsically linked. Every client should leave Visage House feeling revitalised and inspired, with that added ‘glow’ that product alone can never deliver.”


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MANOR | Spring 2016


My feel-good regime Murray Dale lives in Exeter with his 10-year-old son. He is a consultant hydrometeorologist, developing systems to help predict flood risks around the country. He previously spent two years leading a team in Uganda, digging wells for local communities. He is also a qualified primary school teacher, and works part-time teaching in a school for children with emotional, behavioural and social difficulties.

I have been hooked on rock climbing since I was about 15

and I’ve climbed mountains and crags all over the world. These days climbing is less and less about adventure and managing risk and more about the enjoyment of succeeding at something at my physical limit. Climbing is a thorough sense of wellbeing: it’s not just physical – it’s a mental thing, which is why it’s never faded in its appeal for me. When I go for a cycle ride, I tend to go as hard as I can, so I feel

that I’ve done myself some good – even if I haven’t enjoyed the pain of it. But it’s me putting myself through the pain – some sort of a masochistic thing going on.

The wildness of it and the slight danger if I’m on my own in the winter really focuses me, and helps me to see things in more perspective. Going into my garage and hanging on to the climbing wall that I’ve built there can do the same thing. I’ve cut down on meat and I don’t really have any sugar any

more, and I try to minimise it in my son’s diet, too. I eat fresh fruit and veg when I can… I do have an addiction to muesli. If I piled up all the muesli I’ve eaten in my life, it would be a shocking sight. I get the sugar-free stuff and mix it up with different mueslis – my current favourites are Lidl’s Simply Sumptuous special fruit and nut and the Waitrose fruit and nut one. I go between Lidl and Waitrose in my shopping.

I moved to Exeter from London because I was working for the

Met Office, and their headquarters moved down here. It’s a nice place to live, with the beaches and access to climbing – and I think it’s a really good size. There are enough things going on to make it an exciting city, especially in the arts and music. But you can be out of it in five minutes.

My two main indulgences are coffee and ale: there’s a Devon

I feel most at peace in the mountains. If I could have a house

ingredients: they have a ‘Devon produce’ option on the menu. If you choose something from Devon in your starter, main course and dessert, you get the whole meal for around £24, which is great value.

anywhere, I’d love to build a wood cabin in the mountains. I feel at peace in places where I can see a long way – so I do like the coast here, but I do miss the mountains. If I need to sort things out in my mind or I feel stressed, I’ll go for a walk on Dartmoor – especially in winter or bad weather. 22

MANOR | Spring 2016

ale called Driftwood that I particularly like – it’s made near Newton Abbot. The best food I’ve had in Exeter is at The Jack in the Green gastro pub. It’s all about the quality of the cooking and the

A lot of my favourite music was made between 1967 and 1973.

I keep discovering amazing music from then. It’s a mixture of

rock, folk, early prog, early metal… I listen to Mark Reilly on Radio 6 between 7pm and 9pm whenever I can because he plays a lot of music that is from that era, or is inspired by it.

people – really well-meaning, selfless, kind people who do such unsung, wonderful work in often very challenging working environments.

When I write songs and play my guitar, I get completely absorbed in that and nothing else. It just makes me feel

My favourite book of all time is East of Eden by John Steinbeck. The real nub of it is Steinbeck’s beautifully

better and more joyful. Coming up with new tunes on the guitar is very therapeutic.

crafted sentences that make you weep from the quality of the writing and the emotion they evoke, without being sentimental. He can be a cruel, hard writer in his bluntness about things, but with East of Eden there is a lot of joy and human spirit. I recently read Hearing the Birds Fly, about a reporter from London who lives in a really remote part of Mongolia where people live through real hardship – there is no over-sentimentalisation and a lot of honesty.

Many times on my PGCE course, I was brought to tears

because I felt so deeply how fundamental the profession is, and how many glimpses of beauty in human behaviour there are with children and motivated teachers. Teaching’s a great contrast with the somewhat cold world of engineering and scientific consultancy – it’s about tangibly ‘making a difference’, doing something positive for others, and in the Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties (EBD) world, for others who have less in many ways. I get huge satisfaction from helping a child ‘get’ a concept,

because I know these children have had to make a massive effort to even allow that to happen – when a pupil says to me (and it’s pretty rare!) “I really enjoyed your lesson, sir”, I swell with pride. I love teaching in the EBD school because the staff I work with are such superb, salt-of-the-earth

LANGUISHING IN MY BATHROOM CABINET I try to use a Body Shop maca root deodorant that’s not aerosol, it’s all natural ingredients and it contains no alcohol. Recently, my sister told me that I should start using a moisturiser, so I’ve got some stuff called Rock Face. Apparently, it makes you feel masculine because it’s called Rock Face!

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It’s our birthday! The core team behind MANOR Magazine gathered to celebrate the magazine’s first year in print. It was an informal gathering and rare to get everyone together, given how spread out we are across the South West, but we all converged on the office to chat, sup bubbles and eat cake. The cake was made by the supremely talented Sarah E and proudly displayed MANOR’s first and last edition of its first year, on a desk with half drunk cups of tea. Highly appropriate and quite delicious!



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Hayley, Guy and Eleanor

Anna and Stanley


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As I see it... Laura Penhaul, a physiotherapist from Cornwall, was part of the first all-female team to row across the Pacific. It took nine months to get the 29-foot rowing boat Doris from San Francisco to Cairns in Australia. Facing storms, seasickness and sleep deprivation, it was a test of mental strength as much as physical endurance. I was always an active child: endurance sport was my background. At Trewirgie school, I did a lot of cross country running. It was an inner drive – none of my friends were very outdoorsy. I used to also love swimming in the sea. It’s always been my go-to point when I then left Cornwall and went to university in Oxford. Whenever I came home I had to get to the beach and the sea. Mental training is as important as physical training. My first marathon was Paris in 2011 where I understood what it’s like to ‘hit the wall’. I’d done triathlons before, but I went into that marathon quite naively. Hitting the wall is when you get into a very negative mental spiral. You look around and there are loads of people walking and passing out because of the heat, so your head says, ‘Just let up for a bit, walk and you’ll feel better.’ So my head was constantly giving me a choice – get-out clauses from what I was doing. Working as a Paralympic team physio is a big motivator for me – I know double-leg amputees who have run more than one marathon back to back. If they can do it, why can’t I? I’ve got two healthy legs. I tell myself: it’s only a bit of pain, it’s temporary – all of those positive mantras end up really drilling in. It’s quite a mental challenge trying to eradicate the negative chat. Emotionally and mentally, it becomes tiring, but you have to focus on it. Physically as well – it all feeds into each other: your body’s screaming at you, saying that this is really uncomfortable, you’ve got pain, you need to stop, but you can override it. We were rowing two hours on, two hours off with only an hour’s kip at a time. Four years of mental training by psychologist Keith Goddard gave me different strategies to keep me going on The Row, say I needed to get myself into a different head-space in a short space of time, or if I was really adrenalin-pumped in rough seas and needed to dampen down and get to sleep. The performance enhancing strategies were personal to us, so it might be a picture of family and friends or music to calm us down, or pictures of motivational people to give us a bit of a kick. I imagine that I’ve got two monkeys in my head. One will be the lazy one, telling me to stop, and saying, ‘Why are doing this?’ And the other one is the really proactive – ‘Don’t be ridiculous, there are a lot of people that are worse off than you and they’re still going.’ It frustrates me when people say ‘I can’t believe you’ve rowed the Pacific. I haven’t done anything.’ We may have rowed it, because we’re fit, healthy young individuals but everybody’s got their own personal Pacific to cross at some point in their life.

As long as you know you’re the best that you can be, and you’re asking that question constantly in the choices you make, then life’s fine. When I left junior school in Redruth aged 10, my teacher said to me: the world’s your oyster: keep your eyes open. The school motto was: ‘Your best, always’. That’s been engrained in me throughout my life. You don’t have to be a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist – just make sure that the choices are the ones that you’re happy with, and you’re getting the very best out of yourself. As a leader, stepping back and being vulnerable drew us together as a team lot better. I used to have a tainted view of good leadership. I thought: I can’t be emotional or show that I can’t do something. I need to make decisions and be forthright and be that person who’s standing at the front. I always wanted to control everything, but was badly seasick for the first 10 days which allowed the other girls to look after me and that gave us more equality on the boat, rather than a hierarchy. I wouldn’t say I’ve nailed it, it’s still a work in progress, but that’s more how I want to be as a leader going forwards. I want to prove to myself as well as to others that if you really put your mind to it, you can achieve what you want to achieve. As The Row kicked off, I was offered my dream job with British Athletics to be the lead paralympic physio for the Rio Olympics, but I was committed to The Row. The job was held for me but The Row took months longer than planned. We had some really big storms and issues with the boat electronics and maintenance whilst in big seas; we got hit by the tail end of a hurricane and caught by currents where we had to row just to keep in position. I had the option of getting off the boat in Samoa and missing the last leg. I thought: if I don’t go back, I lose the opportunity of seeing the paralympic team that I’ve worked with go to Rio. But I also thought: I need to get the boat to the finish line and this is the team I’ve dedicated myself to at the moment. In leaving The Row I felt I’d realise what I’d given up, and I might resent the athletes for not having finished what I set out to do. My parents helped to convince me that I should stay on the boat, and on completion, I still had a job as a physio with the British Paralympic team - just not as team leader. Laura Penhaul and her team are raising money for Breast Cancer Care and Walking with the Wounded. See for more information.

MANOR | Spring 2016


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In his eight years at the helm, activist, environmentalist and surfer Hugo Tagholm has transformed Surfers Against Sewage from a specialist campaign organisation into Britain’s leading marine conservation charity. Words by Fiona McGowan.

MANOR | Spring 2016




hen I was little, I used to go mudlarking on dwelling population soars. There’s a down-side to humans the Thames with my dad. We’d go looking wanting a better, more natural lifestyle – they begin to for clay pipes and other things that the dockers overwhelm infrastructure that is simply not designed used to chuck overboard in the pre-developed Docklands. to cope. It only takes a few days of rain, and the sewage A lot more inert than the plastics and dangerous things warnings are up again: surfers and bathers alike being called that are washed up today.” Hugo Tagholm’s journey from off the beaches by lifeguards, as visible streams of brown a childhood in Islington to being the boss of marine effluence pour into the sea. protection charity Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) is a These days, SAS is just as focused on marine litter as it is trajectory that forms an almost perfect arc. Growing up, on the untreated waste being ‘accidentally’ pumped into the the middle brother of three boys, he was obsessed with water. Hugo moved to Cornwall eight years ago when he nature: “My childhood memories are of these hot summer got the job as chief executive of Surfers Against Sewage. He days – London days, which are always much stiller than had been working in the charity sector for his entire career. down in the South West – in the pond at the end of our Having cut his teeth with Sarah Brown on her children’s garden, catching anything I could find, and just being so charity Piggy Bank Kids, he learned the machinations of passionate about the environment around me and how I government legislation, of lobbying and making voices could interact with it.” heard in Parliament. Moving into Holidays were spent on the environmental charities was a beaches of Devon and Cornwall, given, with his life-long passion trawling rockpools and streams, for nature. This is a man whose collecting shells and being immersed biggest hero growing up was David in the ocean. Surfing soon took Attenborough (with The Beatles hold, enhanced by visits to south collectively coming a close second). west France’s surfing meccas. Hugo When he met Attenborough at a is a man who has managed to marry book signing recently, he admits his twin passions of surfing and the he was completely star-struck environment in one life-affirming (even more than when he met Paul job. And what a driving force he is McCartney when he created a – transforming a relatively specialist surf board design for SAS). campaign organisation into Britain’s Hugo’s energy, drive and leading marine conservation charity motivational force leaves you in his eight years at the helm. breathless – he comes across as a Recently, the beaches of person who thrives on challenges Cornwall became littered with and pushes his way through an influx of lurid pink bottles. the toughest setbacks with the The contrast between the muted determination and focus of a surfer hues of a winter beach in stormy on a giant wave. Like many heads weather with thousands of of charities, he wears numerous day-glo magenta bottles has a hats and skitters between roles: surreal kind of beauty... if you from joining SAS beach cleans to Hugo Tagholm can ignore the devastation that organising conferences and liaising it represents. Within minutes of with celebrity ambassadors. Last the first Facebook and Twitter images of the bottles, beach summer, on Ocean Plastic Awareness Day, he hung out cleans were being organised by Surfers Against Sewage on Fistral Beach with Prince Charles. “He was genuinely and local communities. Dog walkers were posting pictures engaged,” says Hugo. “To be able to spend an hour with the of themselves mustering together and taking bag-loads of future monarch was a great privilege. We brought together the Vanish bottles away. The community spirit, when it all the grassroots activists – Marine Conservation Society, comes to local beaches, is strong and instantaneous. It is this National Trust, Keep Britain Tidy, Clean Cornwall – and passion, this connectedness with the ocean and the natural then we did a briefing with lots of innovation around things environment, that has helped to drive Hugo and Surfers like deposit schemes on plastic bottles and reverse vending Against Sewage from being a ‘single-issue campaign group’ machines and carpets made out of re-spun marine litter. when it was founded in the early 1990s to being recognised Then I presented Prince Charles with a skateboard made out and emulated around the world for its innovative responses of marine litter. He said he would give it to his grandson for to marine pollution. his birthday.” Clearly, it’s not just about sewage any more; although And he meets his surfing heroes all the time. Hugo the effluence that pollutes the waters of the UK continues reminisces about running up to famous big wave surfer Tom – especially as sewage plants grow older and the coastalCurren on a beach in France, asking for his autograph. “Little 30

MANOR | Spring 2016


Hugo is a man who has managed to marry his twin passions of surfing and the environment in one life-affirming job.


Slick at Godrevy



Hugo delivering the POW Petition to 10 Downing Street with Ben Howard and Stephen Gilbert MP, along with Lauren Davies and Andy Cummins of SAS

SAS event, Newquay



Launching the Waves Are Resources Report

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Hugo surfing at Porthmeor, St Ives, Cornwall

did I think that, 30 years later, I would be bringing him down as one of the guests of honour and presenting him with the Global Wave Champion Award at Parliament for his contribution to setting up Surfrider Foundation Europe. That was quite a nice full-circle journey. Almost emotional, in that marking of time.” Despite its size, SAS really does pack a punch. “I came in with this vision and this experience, and I could see the organisation’s got a great history,” says Hugo. “But I was conscious of it needing to redefine itself. So we created lots 32

MANOR | Spring 2016

of different programmes and charitable initiatives within SAS to drive that forward.” Look at any area of marine conservation or any programme set up to help improve the coastal environment, and the chances are that Surfers Against Sewage is involved. Planning and hosting the Global Wave Conference, being a central part of the Break the Bag Habit Coalition, which led to the 5p bag tax and an 80% reduction in the number of people using plastic bags across the country, or getting the likes of Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst and Paul McCartney


SAS campaigners at Westminster


My day job is running a really effective environmental charity and creating lots of opportunities to safeguard beaches and oceans for the future. That’s my mission.


to design surf boards to be auctioned off as a fundraiser – Hugo has been spearheading it all. At the charity’s HQ, perched on a clifftop overlooking the surfy beach of St Agnes, there are a mere 11 employees (seven more than when Hugo started back in 2008) – so how does SAS get its neoprene-clad fingers in so many pies? The vast majority of it comes down to community spirit. The organisation has 75 regional employees around the country, who mobilise a whopping 15,000 community volunteers annually for beach cleans, demonstrations and beach litter surveys. It has an enviable breakdown of spend, too: 84% of the money that comes in from fundraising, memberships and corporate sponsorship goes directly into protecting the UK’s coastline. As a father of an eight-year-old boy and a believer that the only way to stay positive is to make changes for future generations, education is something that is dear to Hugo’s heart. This year, Surfers Against Sewage is teaming up with Clean Cornwall and The Eden Project to get the message into schools in the West Country that looking after the oceans and coastline is everyone’s responsibility. “Our Seas for Life programme is about personal responsibility, what you can do in your household, about where the issue is going, about the solutions in a wider context,” says Hugo. After the success with changing people’s attitudes to single-use plastic bags, the charity’s focus has turned to plastic drinks bottles. “They are one of the most prevalent finds on our beaches,” explains Hugo. “They are used for seconds and they last for hundreds of years in the environment. Indeed, they then break down into smaller pieces and enter the food chain. So we’re not only littering, but we’re polluting our own food source, which is crazy.” Of course, there’s a plan of action to change all that, too. In Cornwall, SAS and St Austell Brewery will be trialling a scheme to get people to refill bottles: “We give out lots of metal bottles or plastic ones that are re-usable time and time again, without lots of the harmful chemicals in them, so we just encourage people to drink what is a great resource here. Clean tapwater, basically.” The amount of marine litter on the coastline of the UK has more than doubled in the last 15 years. It is a true crisis, and one that Hugo and his team are more than ready to face head-on, making changes from the higher echelons of Whitehall to the assembly halls of primary schools, and mobilising communities that care for the marine environment. It makes me wonder how much time Hugo gets to indulge in the very passion that drew him to this job in the first place. He smiles and spreads his hands philosophically. “While I’m a surfer and get in the water as much as possible, it’s not part of my day job. My day job is running a really effective environmental charity and creating lots of opportunities to safeguard beaches and oceans for the future. That’s my mission.”

SAS campaign poster

MANOR | Spring 2016



MANOR | Spring 2016



Cornwall’s Chocolarder is one of a handful of micro-chocolatiers who are ensuring that their confections are as ethically produced as they are delicious. Words by Fiona McGowan.


’m about as far away as you can get from how you’d imagine a Belgian or Swiss chocolatier to be: both metaphorically, geographically and stylistically. In the shadow of a spectacular viaduct, which towers hundreds of feet above a wooded valley, is a muddy yard with a scattering of shabby buildings and storage units. It’s a damp, grey day and the mud squelches around my shoes as I step out of the car. The satnav gave up half an hour ago: ‘You have reached your destination,’ the robotic voice announced as I drove along an uninhabited single-lane road. I turned and turned again, eventually ending up at what was clearly the hub of all local life: the Ponsanooth Village Store and Post Office, complete with cheery postman and helpful manager. With their help (“Back where you came from, past the Old School House, under the viaduct”), I finally ended up in the unprepossessing yard with not a glimmer of a hint that one of Britain’s few pioneering chocolate manufacturers could be in the vicinity. An unmarked door opens, and a tall Alanis Morissette circa Ironic-esque brunette grins at me and waves me inside. This is Jo, and behind her is brother Mike, the founder, owner and chocolate maker of Chocolarder. Quiet, bearded and unexpectedly youthful, he first shows me round ‘the factory’. I say this in the loosest sense of the word. It is currently being renovated, but even so, the machinery in the three downstairs rooms is exquisitely esoteric. A couple of large hessian sacks of dried cacao beans sit on the floor under a bench. Above them is a large rotisserie – the sort of thing you see outside brasseries in Paris. I am about to have a science lesson that will open my eyes to one of my favourite foodstuffs ever in the world; the only thing that has caused me to fall off the ‘no refined sugar’ wagon, time after time... I am about to have a chocolate epiphany. The best way to describe the chocolate industry is opaque – the worst way is utterly corrupt. As with so much of our food, which we consume in pure ignorance, the farming of the base elements of chocolate – cacao beans and sugar – is mired in monopolies, big business and poor working MANOR | Spring 2016


Each stage of this process has an effect on the taste of the bean: the amount of time they are fermented, how long they spend drying in the sun, and the very soil in which the cacao trees grow, all have an impact on the taste. PHOTOS: CAYETANA WILCOX

Mike Longman and sister Jo

conditions. Both products grow in the tropical regions of developing countries. Due to the power and wealth of the big businesses, and the desperation of local communities, what minimal regulations are in place are poorly enforced, and child labour is rife. Even products carrying the ‘Fair Trade’ label have to be treated with suspicion, says Chocolarder’s Mike Longman, who has become deeply engaged with the ethical side of importing cacao. Collecting, fermenting and drying cacao beans is highly labour-intensive and is entirely done by hand. People have to climb the trees to collect cacao pods; they have to individually pick out the pith-coated beans from the pods and put them into wooden crates lined with banana leaves, where they are fermented in their own juices and the tropical heat for several hours, before they are spread out on the ground to dry for two or three days. What is fascinating is that each stage of this process has an effect on the taste of the bean: the amount of time they are fermented, how long they spend drying in the sun, and the very soil in which the cacao trees grows, all have an impact on the taste. And just like coffee beans or the grapes for wine, different countries and regions produce very different flavours. Big conglomerates, however, have never differentiated the beans; they simply buy the highest yield commodity from all over the world – from Venezuela to Congo and from Brazil to Madagascar – and combine the beans to sell on the mass market. Usually, the beans are taken to giant factories, machine sorted, roasted and milled into a fine powder. At this stage, the multinational chocolate makers buy the powder, then combine it with an array of ingredients including palm oil, preservatives, sugar, milk powder and flavourings to produce the sweet confection we know and love. I’m afraid I will never look at a bar of Dairy Milk or even an exclusive box of Swiss chocs in the same way again. Turn 36

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over the ultra-recycled and recyclable packaging of a bar of Chocolarder dark chocolate, and the ingredients list reads thus: cacao beans, sugar. The milk chocolate is a bit more elaborate: cacao beans, sugar, milk powder. That’s impressive. Back to the beans in the factory under the Ponsanooth viaduct… Having been hand sorted (a 75kg bag takes nearly two hours to sort), they are gently turned in their re-assigned rotisserie until they are brittle and ready to be cracked open in a hand-operated grinder. Mike guides me across a floor littered with building materials (“you must come back when this is all finished,” he says, apologetically) to the next machine. It’s like something out of Scrapheap Challenge or Robot Wars. A bastardised sausage-stuffing machine feeds into a plastic plumbing tube, which splits in two – one part emptying into a big bucket, and the other leading through a hole in a cardboard box. The nozzle of a vacuum cleaner is attached to a hole on the other side of the cardboard box. “This is a prototype,” explains Mike, with a scientist’s enthusiasm (he’s actually an ex-pastry chef with an Economics degree). “I’m going to send it off to a manufacturer to create it in metal.” I hope he gets a patent out on it; it could transform the micro-chocolatier market… This machine is designed to shuck the husks from the roasted beans and filter the ‘nibs’ – the bitter dark brown bits of bean. The vacuum cleaner pulls the husks – which are very light – into the cardboard box. They are massively high in minerals and nutrients and are passed on to local plant nurseries and allotments, where they are used as a sort of compost super-food. The nibs are then put into a blender, which heats up, melting the cocoa butter in the beans, and turning the whole lot into a soupy paste. Into Room 2. Here are two large barrel-like vats, which look purpose-built. Mike opens the metal lid of one. Like a child in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I gaze into a creamy, chocolatey liquid and can hardly restrain myself from



dipping a finger in. It looks gooood. They are not exactly purpose-built, however: these ‘conching’ machines are Indian dosa grinders, designed for making flatbreads. They work perfectly for grinding cacao beans: two milling stones roll around the base of the vat, crushing the beans with such force that they generate 45 degrees of heat and turn them first into a paste, and, after several hours, into a creamy sauce. Raw sugar is added and the mixture gets ‘conched’ – which basically means stirring it to change the shape of the particles from jagged to rounded and smooth, which actually alters the way you taste it. We step over some recently painted bright red struts lying on the floor and into Room 3. “The conched chocolate gets poured into big square blocks and aged for 30 to 40 days on these racks here,” explains Mike. Next step – and finally a genuinely purpose-built piece of equipment – a machine that stirs the conched bean liquid, heating it and cooling it as it circulates. Phew. This is hardly Willy Wonka world, but I am still agog at the complexity behind the lowly chocolate bar. It genuinely should be the food of royalty. Surely a product with this much provenance should be a once-a-year luxury treat. Surely it should be up there with caviar and dodo meat as a delicacy. Upstairs in the Chocolarder office, I hear a little more about this divided industry. “There are basically two industries: the bean-to-bar chocolate makers like us – of which there are only about seven businesses in the UK at the moment – and every other so-called ‘artisan’ chocolate maker, who buy in ready-made Belgian chocolate, melt it down, mix in other ingredients, re-package and put ‘Handmade in’ Cornwall or Devon or wherever. I don’t have any problem with them doing this, but it’s a different industry. There’s no comparison.” I look down at the coffee table. A bar of chocolate is sitting there, making eyes at me. “Can I – er – try some?”

I ask tentatively. It is 65% dark chocolate. “I love dark chocolate,” I say, trying not to salivate. “The darker the better, really.” I break off a piece, remembering something I read about the texture of the chocolate being a huge part of the dopamine-releasing, serotonin-increasing experience of chocolate. I have to say that this was when I had the epiphany moment. I have never eaten chocolate like it. There were actual flavours. I felt myself turning into one of those wine-buff types – I could taste elements that I could only describe using words like ‘berries’ and ‘sandalwood’. I restrained myself. “That is made from a Peruvian bean,” Mike cut into my taste-bud reverie. “It’s very deep and aggressive in its flavour. It has longer fermentation with fewer turns. It has more acidity to it. It sits a lot better as a sweeter chocolate. Whereas the Dominican bean is much fruitier and more floral, so it works much better as a darker chocolate like the 80% bar here.” I could have sat there all day, eating that manna from heaven, but Mike had to rush off to pick up his youngest daughter from nursery – but before he left, he had to sort out a bag-full of cacao nibs for the boss of local gin and vodka maker, Curio. Of course he does. Curio’s chocolate vodka is made with Chocolarder’s ethically sourced cacao nibs. As I step out of the factory, I see that the popular Dynamite Valley micro brewery is right next door. It strikes me that, like the huge burgeoning of micro breweries, there is a future for genuine artisan ‘bean-to-bar’ chocolatiers in this country. And Mike Longman is one of only a handful of pioneers so far – including Willie Harcourt-Cooze in Devon, who shot to fame when he was featured in a Channel 4 reality programme in 2008, and now runs the internationally successful Willie’s Cacao brand. Other brands that have carved out a niche include Hotel Chocolat, Duffy’s Chocolate, Seaforth and Forever Cacao. In America, it’s MANOR | Spring 2016




• • •


Chocolate contains tryptophan and phenylethylamine, which increase production of serotonin in the brain, which leads to elevated states of euphoria. The ‘happy chemicals’ are only released when the chocolate is broken or snapped or bitten into. If you just mix the individual elements that make up the molecular structure of chocolate, it has no impact on serotonin. Pure cacao contains chemicals that fight harmful bacteria – including that which causes tooth decay. Shame about the sugar content, though… Americans consume 50% of the world’s chocolate. Europeans consume 40% of it. The rest of the world gets 10%. Sugar-free chocolate is a laxative. So be careful not to overdo the 100% bars… 80% of the world chocolate market is accounted for by just six multinational companies, including Nestlé, Mars and Cadbury. Sorry to say, even Green & Black’s is now owned by a multinational. In the UK, around 660,900 tonnes of chocolate are consumed a year, an average of 11kg per person per year – which is about three bars of chocolate per week. Theobromine – a stimulant that’s similar but less addictive than caffeine – can kill you. It only takes 40 small bars of Dairy Milk or fewer than 20 of dark chocolate to cause seizure/organ failure. Chocolate contains only a very small amount of caffeine.

MANOR | Spring 2016


a rapidly growing industry, especially as North American chocolate-makers have relatively easy access to Central and South America. It is these independent micro-chocolatiers who help Chocolarder to ensure that their beans are 100% ethically sourced: they travel down to the plantations themselves and pay workers much higher wages than the big multinational distributors. Similarly, the unrefined sugar is sourced only using personal contacts who have visited the farms and plantations that produce the sugar cane. Mike’s also determined to avoid the massive carbon footprint of importing the beans halfway across the world via cargo ship or plane, so the next step is putting the beans on the magnificent Tres Hombres sailing schooner, which will dock at Falmouth, where an electric van will transport the beans to the factory. It is pretty clear that making chocolate to these standards, with these overheads, cannot be making much profit. So what exactly is in it for Mike, who, along with his healthcare-worker wife, is supporting his young family? “I just want to educate people, really, about where chocolate comes from, and how to minimise the damage of making chocolate. And it’s about the flexibility and the lifestyle, rather than the money...” With a happy grin, he climbs into his car and drives off to attend to the next generation.

Chocolarder products can be ordered from the website: Available in various outlets and cafes across Cornwall, including the Finisterre shops, and cafés like Espressini in Falmouth, the Brew House in Porthleven (when it reopens), Strong Adolfo’s, the Jam Jar (Newquay), Muddy Beach in Penryn, Scarlet wine shop in Hayle. It is also sold at the Earth & Water and Baileys Country Store in Penryn; The Natural Store in Helston and Falmouth; Picnic, and Create Arts Café in Falmouth; Archie Browns and Cornish Food Box Company in Truro; the Common Wanderer in St Ives; the Scarlet Hotel and Bedruthan Steps Hotel, the Eden Project, St Michaels Mount; then further afield, in The Better Food Company in Bristol and Claire’s Cornish Kitchen in Primrose Hill.

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Porsche Centre Exeter Matford Park Road Exeter, EX2 8FD

Official fuel economy figures for the 911 Carrera 4S Coupé in mpg (l/100km): urban 22.8 – 27.4 (12.4 – 10.3), extra urban 41.5 – 42.8 (6.8 – 6.6), combined 31.7 – 35.8 (8.9 – 7.9). CO2 emissions: 204 – 180 g/km. The mpg and CO2 figures quoted are sourced from official EU-regulated tests, are provided for comparability purposes and may not reflect your actual driving experience. MANOR | Spring 2016


Grit and dust

Joseph Bishop records day-to-day life and work at a stone-recycling site near Plymouth.


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JBH’s inert waste recycling site sits just off the A38 towards Plymouth, tucked between the motorway and surrounding farmland. Stone and rubble are taken from all over the South West to be crushed, screened and recycled into new aggregate products without the waste and environmental impact of quarrying. The family-run business is kept running by 28 machine operators, mechanics and lorry drivers; most of workforce are seasoned veterans of the Lee Mill site. Some are fathers and sons, and all are rough handed and dusty haired in their endeavour to supply the region’s booming

construction and road efforts with the stone, soil and rock that is needed. Joseph says: “I worked there for a few days in the weighbridge office. For me the atmosphere conjures thoughts of 20th-century American industry – gritty, dirty and hard working. It feels like it’s from a different time and a different place. Lunch is brought in big boxes prepared by their wives. Everyone congregates around the dusty lunch table talking about sport, machines and man things. Lots of laughter. The best time is just as the sun starts to sink behind the mountains of stone. It creates some really nice light and shadows.”

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MANOR | Spring 2016


Matt Shute (previous page and above) is the glue that holds the team and machines together, making sure all the vital elements of the production line keep flowing

MANOR | Spring 2016


Alan Ilman (above) is the oldest employee, an 86-year-old workhorse. First through the gate at 5am and last to leave at 6pm, he is the godfather of Lee Mill


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Coded welder John Hales with a Terex Finlay crusher

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Trevor Dicks, workshop manager (right), is the man responsible for making sure all the lorries keep rolling. He and Adam Mleko (above) are the two HGV fitters – jobs that are never ending and never clean


MANOR | Spring 2016


MANOR | Spring 2016



MANOR | Spring 2016


Screening the stone

JOSEPH BISHOP Joseph photographs a range of subjects from portraits to surfing to food and works closely with the super-luxury Glastonbury glamping company, Camp Kerala.

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The Business

Each month, Michelmores shines the spotlight on an inspiring South West business it works with, to uncover the real people behind the success. This month, we meet husband and wife team Simon Bantock and Caroline Palk, founders of the interior design business Ashton House Design. They reveal how they grew their business from scratch, and now manage some of the most exciting interior design projects in the South West and around the world. Portrait by Matt Austin. 50

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promotional feature Tell us about your business Caroline: It all started in 1991 – in the midst of the early 90s recession. Simon and I were both in the interior design industry and we met whilst working for a furniture company in London. After a few years, I was drawn back to Devon – where I grew up – and decided it was time to set up my own interiors business. Starting off small, we bought premises in Ashburton and began working with one client, who is still a client today. Simon carried on working in London, commuting for a few more years. Until one day, we decided we had more than enough work coming in for us both to work in the business full time. We were suddenly running some really big projects from our small office, with a shared telephone and fax machine between the two of us. Things grew steadily and 25 years on, our team offer a range of services from creating bespoke furniture, consulting on smaller redecoration projects, right through to the complete management of large residential or commercial projects in the UK and abroad. We also work in the relatively niche area of spa design and right now we’re working on a really exciting renovation project at The Village Inn at The Thurlestone Hotel in Thurlestone. Why the interior design industry? Simon: I started out in the theatre, specialising in lighting, later moving into the furniture business. With my technical background, I used to work closely with subcontractor furniture makers on the more detailed aspects of large and complex projects, mainly in London. Many of the producers I worked with at the time were based in Devon, and we still work with some of them today. Caroline: After university, I went on to work for Michael Szell − a very talented fabric designer who then held the Royal Warrant. I used to oversee the fabric production process and the job was a fascinating experience. Although he has now passed away, Michael Szell’s archive fabrics have since been reprinted, which we’ve recently used in our work – it’s great to see his designs come full circle. Then I moved into the world of furniture design, where Simon and I met. When was the moment when you first felt real success? A few years after starting the business, we were commissioned to manage a year-long residential overhaul in Totnes. The couple entrusted us with a top to bottom refurbishment of their home − everything, from the skirting boards, the lighting, to the placemats and even the toothbrushes. We were able to completely immerse ourselves in the detail. To be handed this level of trust is a real privilege. After a few more years in business, we started to manage more and more large-scale projects, slowly building our team and expanding our premises. We moved to our current showroom in Ashburton 15 years ago – which is a fantastic space for our showroom and offices. There’s also an area upstairs where we can get creative with fabrics and finishing touches. Clients often like to join us during this process, which is great.

What is the best part of running your business? When you transform someone’s home, and see that beaming smile – or even tears, it’s really special. Do you have any advice for someone thinking of setting up their own venture? Getting the right people with the necessary skill sets is really important. We all have our particular strengths, so why not play to them? Obviously many business ventures begin with one person (just as ours did) but even then, getting support from the right people at the right time, including good quality professional advice, makes all the difference. It’s also crucial to know who you are, and understand where you sit in the market place from the beginning. Whether you are a one-man band or a larger outfit, understanding your customer and their needs makes a big difference. How would you describe your style? The client or end user is always at the centre of interior design, so we wouldn’t say we have signature style that we stick to. Each project is unique. That said, we love to travel and have always been inspired by different cultures. Based in Devon, we have many talented craftspeople right on our doorstep. Much of the furniture we sell or source is made bespoke locally, meaning we can help create truly unique pieces for our clients. We also source interesting furniture from abroad, often from the Far East. What is the interior design project you are most proud of? We couldn’t single out just one project, as they’re all different. But in 2002, we built our own green oak framed home up on Dartmoor. We have a busy family life with people over all the time, so we wanted to create a functional home designed to be lived in − with some nice touches. It still suits us perfectly. What is your favourite collector’s item? Our collection of interior design books and mementos from our travels continues to grow each year. And on occasion, a few items we source intended for the showroom end up coming home with us because we can’t bear to see they go elsewhere! Great furniture is definitely a weakness of ours. Do you see your business as a job or a lifestyle? It’s a lifestyle without a doubt, but one that we run as a professional business. In this industry, you’ve got to really love what you do. For us, that means pouring over interiors magazines at the weekend, seeing a coffee table when we’re out and about and having to find out who made it, and always noting down new ideas. The work never really ends, but we love it that way.

Michelmores is a Top 100 law firm supporting individuals, businesses and institutions in the private wealth sector for over 125 years. “Michelmores is a powerhouse in the UK. They have invested both time and capital in the building of a strong team providing top quality private client work”. Judging panel, STEP Private Client Awards 2014

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MANOR | Spring 2016

Culture Amy Shelton and John Burnside | Sandra Tate South West must sees | Isles of Scilly Festival | Worth making the trip for | Worth staying in for

Sarah Adams, Revelation Newtrain, oil on linen, 70 x 100 cm. Sarah will be exhibiting a new series of paintings of Newtrain Bay at a joint exhibition at The Padstow Studio, 17 March - 9 April.

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From his Cornish studio, painter Alasdair Lindsay plays with geometry and shadow to create his striking works of art. Words by Fiona McGowan.

Houses of Parliament and Westminster Bridge, acrylic on board


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l Lindsay is an artist who manages to be laidback and highly driven at the same time. Commuting daily to paint in his studio in Redruth, he also finds time to surf the waves of his local beach of Gwithian, collect vintage surf boards, furniture and posters, and do the school run with his partner and their two daughters. “You could say I’ve got a pretty good work-life balance,” he muses over a coffee in the kitchen of his stone cottage in Hayle. His wife is upstairs organising bookings for her sailing school in Falmouth; the walls are adorned with 1930s screen-printed railway posters, Al’s paintings and a quiver of brightly coloured surf boards. Alasdair was first drawn towards art when he was at school. “I was interested in architecture, too, but I wasn’t good enough at maths,” he adds. Much of his work reflects that interest in the geometric forms of architecture and engineering: from the sharp details and shadows of his aerial views of the Thames to the boats and harbour-side landscapes from the Cornish coastline. There are echoes of

the 30s railway posters in many of his paintings, too, with the no-nonsense flat graphics and Deco vibe. Growing up in Cheshire, Alasdair found his passion for surfing in North Wales, so it was no surprise that when he decided to study art at university, he chose Falmouth: “Obviously, Cornwall was a mecca for surfing, but it was also a very good course, and there are so many professional artists in Cornwall,” Al explains. Much of his work before university had been in monochrome, which changed when he arrived in Cornwall. “I learned a lot about colour from my teachers and the surroundings. I did lots of work around the large ships in the harbour – I loved the big blocks of colour.” He would borrow a canoe and paddle right up to the hulls, taking close-up photographs which he incorporated into paintings that were almost abstract in their focus on detail. “I started to use layers of paint,” he says. “Primary paints, mixed in with layers.” He explains that much of his work makes use of the “bright but muted” Colourist palette beloved of San Francisco Bay area artists. Marazion artist Neil Pinkett’s

Alasdair in his studio

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The Boat Race, acrylic on board

Pier and Helter Skelter

Pier and Helter Skelter, acrylic on board


MANOR | Spring 2016

Tower Bridge afternoon, grey Thames, acrylic on board


Creak Vean, Cornwall, acrylic on board

aerial views were part of the inspiration for his London canvases. But he wanted to do views looking straight down, with late afternoon shadows providing the dimension and context to the flat, bright colours of boats and bridges on the Thames. “Using the ‘plan view’, I wanted to get more abstraction in those blocks of colour. And it was refreshing not to worry about perspective, leaving it to the shadows to describe what you are seeing.” In his paintings featuring architecture, he is drawn to Modernist, mid-century buildings. “I try to find them in Cornwall – and if I can’t find them, I invent them,” he says with a smile, clearly enjoying being able break free of factual constraints. There is a Hockney-esque quality about the colour and shadows of his architectural works, and even a touch of Hopper. “I suppose so,” Al responds. “There’s certainly something about the way the strong shadows charge the atmosphere.” Al sits back in his Eames lounge chair and looks out of the bay window, talking about his love of 60s music. “I have a record player at the studio, and lots of vintage vinyl. I love the sleeve designs back then: the blocks of colour and cropping of images.” If there was a time machine, it is quite clear that Al’s stylistic and creative home would be in the 50s and 60s. That he injects this into the 21st-century Cornish art scene makes a refreshing impact.

Thomas Bossard “Bit Wet in There”

Sally Dunham “Sail Away With Me”

Oil on canvas 50x50cms

Ceramic height 20cms

62 Church Street, Falmouth, Cornwall TR11 3DS 01326 219323 | 07913 848515 | | MANOR | Spring 2016


Praise bee

Melissographia, an exquisitely produced handmade book, is a collaboration between artist Amy Shelton and poet John Burnside in honour of the honeybee. Words by Kate Sermon. Photos by Lloyd Russell.



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s artist Amy Shelton sits at her kitchen table telling me about her book, Melissographia, produced in collaboration with prize-winning poet John Burnside, she almost does a bee-like waggle dance. Her passion is palpable and the resulting book is a thing of beauty and precision. If I use the metaphor of the honeybee, with its meticulous nature and its commitment to the hive, I hope I’ll be forgiven, because Melissographia is concentrated and golden like honey, and is so obviously the result of prolonged dedication and love. Amy’s friendship with John began with bees in the early 90s, when they met at the Devon Arvon Centre, Totleigh Barton: he as a visiting tutor and she as the centre’s director. Their mutual love of the natural world became the basis of a friendship that blossomed into a mutual appreciation of each other’s work and a long-standing collaboration. “John’s really fascinating,” says Amy. “He writes about the gaps in between things, the natural world and things on the periphery of our vision. He wrote a sequence of four poems over the bee year and said I could do whatever I liked with them.” It turned out that they’d both been reading The Life of Bee by Maurice Maeterlinck at the same time without either of them knowing. This became the creative springboard for Melissographia. She sent him a book that inspired her: The Pollen Loads of the Honey Bee written by Dorothy Hodges, an artist, in 1952. “It has these amazing colour plates of all the pollen colours that are evident in the hive. It’s a bit like a Farrow & Ball colour chart. It’s a very beautiful book, and I knew that I wanted our book to be imbued with a similarly rich aesthetic.” Amy’s commitment to her vision has meant the birth of a truly unique book – although, to my eyes, Melissographia is more a delicious work of art. She takes great delight in telling me about her process. She decided to go and see Paul Collier, who runs the letterpress studio at Plymouth University, to see how she might set about producing a book that is totally handmade, printed on an old-fashioned printing press with hand-tipped in colour maps. “I told Paul what I wanted to achieve and he looked at me very calmly but with one raised eyebrow. It wasn’t until I started to put my ideas into practice that I realised why he’d responded that way!” Amy describes how all the lead type is laid out in huge unlabelled trays, which need a map to decipher where the letters are, and how each process she wanted to achieve – embossing and using gold ink – required a terribly delicate and meticulous process. “When I approached him I told him that I wanted to print them with a colour chart like the Hodges book, and, of course, he knew this was hugely ambitious, even to a highly skilled printer.” She carried on, embracing the slowness of the process, intending on making only one or two copies. Of course, once she had made three books, she realised she should print more, both to justify the time invested in the making of the plates

Detail of the page for February

Amy Shelton

John Burnside

MANOR | Spring 2016


Everything I did was difficult. Binding them myself, making beeswax-coated drawings, and adding tiny flecks of gold leaf to each book. Each pollen colour is hand-painted, and the Latin and common name of each plant mentioned is written in by hand.

The letterpress

and because as she finished the work in the letterpress studio Burnside won the T.S. Eliot and Forward Prize for poetry. “I borrowed the money from a friend for the materials and printed enough pages to make 100 copies, put a tiny ad in the London Review of Books, and they sold out immediately, in advance. I’m currently making a second edition from the original plates.” The first editions are now passing between collectors for around £500, and Amy is selling the second edition of 167 signed copies (made in exactly the same painstaking way) for £80 each. It’s obvious, though, that they are worth so much more than that. “Printing was a nightmare,” she says. “Everything I did was difficult. Binding them myself, making beeswaxcoated drawings, and adding tiny flecks of gold leaf to each book. Each pollen colour is hand-painted (in homage to Hodges’s book), and the Latin and common name of each plant mentioned is written in by hand. There are at least 150 processes in each book. One mistake and the whole book gets ditched. There’s been one book in every batch of ten that hasn’t made it. I had little experience of book binding when I began. And now I do.” Amy has interleaved quotes from Maeterlinck’s book (printed on gossamer-fine transparent paper) throughout the book. Burnside’s four beautiful poems are the framework of the book; one for each season. The symbiotic nature of their collaboration is evident in Melissographia. As Burnside wrote in an edition of Nature last year: “This is one vital function of art in our lives: it restores our sense of wonder, and so increases our respect for other life forms. Yet writers and artists can also actively contribute new knowledge.” 60

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culture Amy’s other ongoing project, Honeyscribe, which was established in 2011, looks to explore the relationship between bee health, human health, the environment and the arts. It is currently in the process of becoming a charity. The project actively engages scientists, artists, writers, beekeepers, schoolchildren, and the general public in artistic practice. This takes the form of workshops, exhibitions, public events, and developing new artworks. A new collaboration with John Burnside, Bee Myths, will be available for exhibition in 2016. “We’re still exploring in what form this new piece will take place,” she explains. “We had an installation in the beautiful DAAD Gallery in Berlin last summer, which featured a sound piece from composer Klaus Buhlert, using John’s text in German translation, inter-mingled with bee sounds and my artworks. We want to develop that as a much bigger immersive installation.” The idea for Bee Myths was pollinated as the stories of bees disappearing started to infiltrate the media back in 2006. “I’m deeply fascinated by the way John views the natural world. He researches deeply and doesn’t always come down on the side of popular opinion. We started to talk about Bee Myths around the same time I set up Honeyscribe as a way to fund the events around the project.” Amy maintains that she’s not an overtly political artist, but admits that art is a really useful lens to use to draw attention to pertinent environmental concerns. She doesn’t deny that she uses art to shine a light on the plight of bees; after all, they’re a biological indicator. “What happens in a bee hive is reflected in our wider environment, whether it’s pesticides or whatever, bees are saying: Look, this is what’s going on.”


Melissographia can be ordered through Amy’s website: For more information about Honeyscribe, visit A selection of Amy Shelton’s bee works will be exhibited at Exeter’s Spacex Gallery, where she is Artist in Residence until 2 April. Amy will also be delivering an intensive programme of workshops for children each day alongside Artist/Beekeepers Nicky Thompson and Clare Densley called Honeyscribe Hive.

A beeswax-coated drawing

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With minimal contact to the ground, Sandra Tate’s pots are as much about air as about clay, writes Susie David. Photos by Kate Mount.


meet Sandra Tate on the path up to her house, just back from a walk around the Dartington estate. As she talks, a brown paper bag full of dry leaves gathered on her walk dances in her agile hands. She halts unexpectedly in front of a Gingko tree and for a long moment contemplates the golden fan-shaped leaves that startle against a low smokegrey sky. I suggest adding some to the bag, but she wants to wait for all to fall before collecting them. I briefly wonder what she might do with the leaves. I know she is an excellent cook (she has been on MasterChef ) so I imagine her smoking some tasty morsel over them. “I’m going to put them in a bowl,” Tate answers simply, as if it is the most natural thing in the world, which, it turns out, provides a clue as to how she makes her pots — as if it is the most natural thing in the world. Sandra Tate was born in Liverton Mines, North Yorkshire, but has lived in Devon for 26 years. Her studio is at her home in Totnes, where she has installed her own kiln. This is a timely moment to assess her ceramics, for while they are increasingly attracting attention as fine examples of contemporary experimental ceramic practice, that attention has come mainly by word of mouth, as she sets little store by self-promotion. Tate will take a lump of fine white clay (Ashraf Hanna raku body clay) and having in mind an idea of a simple form that she might later give as a title to the pot (such as pebble, duck egg, or rugby ball) she begins to coil it around and around itself until a base is formed. “A small base gives me


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culture satisfaction,” she says. Look at one of her finished pots and you will notice a feeling of lightness about them. Having minimal contact with the ground, they seem to be as much about air as clay — an unlikely marriage of the two elements. Lindsay Clarke’s 1989 novel The Chymical Wedding comes to mind, in which he uses the alchemy of clay – and unlikely marriages – as a plot device. Clay speaks of our earth-born nature, and in the potter’s hands this base material, this mud, becomes a form that arabesques up into the invisible air and enfolds it. Potter, artist, ceramicist… what is the most appropriate name for someone who works these transformations? Wikipedia defines Grayson Perry and Edmund de Waal as ‘artists who are known for their pots’, whereas Lucie Rie and Bernard Leach are known as ‘studio potters’. It is a recent phenomenon (perhaps largely due to Grayson Perry) that potters have been ‘elevated’ to artist status. Maybe we need to look to the Dartington of the Elmhirsts for an answer, where the great Sh ji Hamada, who considered himself an artist-potter, introduced Japanese aesthetics to Leach and many others. These aesthetics invite the ragged edges of imperfection and qualities of the humble that I find integral to Tate’s pieces. What a pity a general audience cannot still see the treasures of Hamada and Leach ‘in conversation’ at High Cross House. Coiling is a method that has been used around the globe for thousands of years, from Africa to Greece and from China to Mexico. Although Tate uses this method, she does not use the traditional round profile ropes of clay, but instead makes clay ribbons. She explains that she prefers this because air is less likely to get trapped inside the layers, which would shatter a pot in the kiln. She coils the pot up ribbon over ribbon, carefully smoothing out each join, all the time keeping an eye on its reflection in a small mirror placed behind her wheel to ensure it is symmetrical. “Although I don’t want it to look perfect in the end, I want it to look perfect when I start,” she says. The pot is coiled higher and higher – a slow process – the clay having to dry enough to support its own increasing weight but not so much that it cannot meld with the

previous day’s work. Each pot takes on average one week just to form. Finally, she will take this perfect form and make it imperfect by tearing, fraying or stretching. Although she has been with it all the way, Tate – perhaps a little disingenuously – insists “it more or less does it itself really” and thrills at having so little control over what happens and how it turns out. However, she confides that it’s not easy getting the pot to the finished form: “That’s when you start to get quite blue with the language.” Once the pot has become what it wants to become, it is left to air-dry until leather-hard. At this stage it is burnished, which entails buffing it to a fine lustre, then fired in the kiln to ‘bisque’ level at 960ºC. The temperature is carefully controlled, otherwise the burnish may be lost. Usually, after this initial firing, glaze is applied and the pot is fired again. Tate only fires it once, however, and instead of a second firing, will partially mask the pot with silver foil and place it into a bin of paper or dried grasses, which are then set alight. Talk about alchemical! Often she will don a heat-resistant glove and hold the pot directly over the flames to burn it. “It’s just such a lovely risk. You have no control over it. You get what you get. You have to go with the flow.” She goes on to explain that the straws and grasses tend to cast honey colours over the pot, whereas newspaper will wisp the surface with myriad warm greys. Occasionally, parts will have turned a bright white, brighter than the clay itself. She suspects this is when the fire gets extremely hot in places. Occasionally she will use sgraffito — intentional lines scratched into the surface — to cut through the smoky whorls. I find this too considered, and my preference is for those pots that appear to have an Eastern aesthetic, even though Tate herself is careful to avoid such direct cultural associations. I own two Sandra Tate pots and I frequently find myself caught in reverie looking at them and into their clouds of billowy white, honey, caramel, pale duck-egg blue and smoky greys softly galaxy-ing about, where individual stars of ash black straggle in archipelagoes across the surface. I get lost in them as if in a poem expertly crafted but strikingly natural.

THE PROCESS “I start with a ball of raku body clay and make a small pinch pot. To that I start adding flattened coils like clay ribbon. As I add each one I start to smooth and stretch the clay until the pot becomes quite large. For this I use a ‘kidney’ – a kidney-shaped tool made of stiff rubber. I stop when it feels right. Towards the top of the pot I then start stretching the clay irregularly till it becomes very thin and jagged. When the pot is leather dry, I burnish it with the ‘kidney’ before firing.”

MANOR | Spring 2016


South West must sees...

Apocalypse soon Last year, Jonny accidentally told his four-year-old niece that climate change would end the world. To stop her crying, he and Paddy promised to fix it. They really tried very hard… Jonny & The Baptists: The End is Nigh is a new show with songs and music about family, friendship and environmental disaster from the five-time award-nominated musical comedy stars of Radio 4’s The Now Show, following their acclaimed national tours with Stop UKIP and Rock The Vote. 29 March – 2 April at Drum Theatre, Plymouth. £14.70 (£10.70).

Top ten Anita Taylor, Mo Farquharson and Chris Thomas are among those exhibiting new works in a group show to mark 10 years of The Padstow Studio, alongside paintings by the gallery’s founder, Sarah Adams. Featuring acclaimed Cornwall-based artists and established names from further afield, more than 40 original works will be presented to mark the milestone, including contemporary paintings, drawings, ceramics and sculptures in bronze. The show will also provide the first chance to see a new series of paintings of Newtrain Bay at Trevone by landscape painter Adams, well-known for her dramatic depictions of the rugged Cornish coastline. 17 March – 9 April at The Padstow Studio, Duke Street.

Mo Farquharson, Street 4, bronze (edition of 7), 15 x 144 x 25 cm


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Original spin


It’s often said that there’s nothing new under the sun when it comes to art and literature; everything we make simply reworks what’s gone before. With this in mind, ‘The First Humans’ explores a trend among artists to evoke the very distant past, focusing in on contemporary art with a prehistoric feel. Incorporating synthetic colours and materials and a sci-fi aesthetic, many of the artworks are spoof or tongue-in-cheek. An installation by Andy Harper has an ancient, tribal quality, and Caroline Achaintre’s wall hanging evokes primitive cave-dwelling. There are primeval landscape ceramics by Salvatore Arancio, and ape-man meets 2001: A Space Odyssey in a papier-maché boulder by Jack Strange. Vidya Gastaldon’s watercolours mix stories of evolution and creationism, while in a film by Ben Rivers, a man tells how humans and fire first came into being. Until 2 April at Plymouth Arts Centre. Andy Harper, The Threefold Law, 2012. Oil paint on plywood.

Silent voices Despite high-profile coverage of events in places such as Rotherham, child sexual exploitation continues to blight the lives and potential of a staggering number of young people. The insidious nature of the crime means that not only are cases often unknown to authorities, but the victims themselves don’t believe there is anyone who can help them, or that they deserve to be helped. Seeking to raise awareness on this issue is ‘The Cold Truth’, an installation of 50 pairs of children’s shoes cast in ice and glass and individually mounted on a ‘war cemetery’ of plinths. Designed and curated by five local young people who have experienced sexual exploitation by adults, the exhibition is the latest in a series of shows created by local children and young people in collaboration with arts organisation Effervescent, which seeks to effect social change through art and cultural projects in Plymouth. Until 29 April at Radiant Gallery, Plymouth.

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Festival islands World Pilot Gig Championships on Scilly


The Isles of Scilly have been a source of inspiration to writers, artists and craftspeople for generations. This May, the islands will come alive in a month-long celebration of local art, literature, music and island life. The inaugural Isles of Scilly Festival will feature events, workshops, courses, demonstrations, talks and performances in the most unique of island settings. Scilly, 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall, is home to a thriving community of talented artists, creative writers and inventive artisans. It has inspired writers such as the former

Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo, who has set several of his books on the islands; leading contemporary artist Kurt Jackson has been visiting and staying on the Isles of Scilly for the last 25 years, making an ongoing series of works; and landscape artist Anthony Garratt captured the dramatic scenery of Scilly in situ, creating alfresco works at four locations across Tresco. Throughout May, Scilly will showcase its creative traditions, customs and passions in its first month-long celebration of local arts and culture. Kicking off with the 27th World Pilot Gig Championships and the spectacle of more than 150 hard-rowing pilot gigs, the Festival programme includes art and craft workshops with local artists, photography workshops, talks from authors living on or inspired by Scilly, art exhibitions, craft fairs and theatrical performances. During the festival, you can even make the special low-tide walk between the islands of Tresco and Bryher, and stop and enjoy a pop-up seafood fire-pit feast. The month culminates with the Scilly Folk Festival, an annual event comprising some of the best folk music from Scilly and the South West, and including lunchtime gigs, evening performances and informal sessions. For more information, go to

Rule of three

Allow yourself to imagine a simpler, more beautiful place, like nowhere else in England.

The focus is on new work by a trio of women painters at White Space Art this spring. Dorset-based Vanessa Bowman brings a contemporary edge to the traditional still life with her detailed flowers and fruit painted in vibrant, jewel-like colours. From her Cornish cottage, Marilyn Browning makes work that finds beauty in the domestic objects that surround her; with muted tones and lightness of touch, she makes us see the mundane afresh. And Wendy McBride, who came to painting later in life, draws inspiration from the coast and countryside of Devon and Cornwall to create dramatic landscapes that capture the changing weather and light on land and sea. 16-30 April at White Space Art, Totnes.

Order your free 2016 Islands Guide Wendy McBride, Blue Distance, pastel, 26 x 26 cm


MANOR | Spring 2016

culture Worth making the trip for...

Drama queen One of a group of provocative playwrights in the 90s who led what became known as the ‘in yer face’ theatre movement, Sarah Kane took no prisoners, and produced work that challenged audiences and other writers alike. In her tragically short life – she committed suicide in 1999 at just 28 – she wrote five plays and, along with Mark Ravenhill and Anthony Neilson, was closely associated with the Royal Court. Now the National Theatre is revising her third play, Cleansed, set in a brutal institution overseen by the sadistic Tinker. With direction by boundary-stretching auteur Katie Mitchell and sound by the always innovative Melanie Wilson, it’s going to be a humdinger. And just what Mitchell will make of Kane’s notoriously challenging stage directions – including ‘the rats carry Carl’s feet away’, for instance – is worth the price of a ticket alone. Until 2 April at National Theatre, South Bank. £15-£35.


Look at me

Northern Ireland, 1970s

It often takes an outside eye to see the truth of a situation. Curated by iconic British photographer Martin Parr, ‘Strange and Familiar: Britain as perceived by foreign photographers’ considers how international snappers from the 1930s onwards have captured the social, cultural and political identity of the UK. From social documentary and portraiture to street and architectural photography, the exhibition celebrates the work of leading photographers, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Rineke Dijkstra, Robert Frank and Garry Winogrand. Also, until 31 July at Guildhall Arts Gallery, you can see Parr’s photos of high-profile London shindigs, taken as part of his role as City of London photographer-in-residence. Until 19 June at the Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2. £8-£12 (joint ticket available for both shows).

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Love, murder, violence, and war… it’s all there in the gloriously rich Romanticism of Eugène Delacroix, one of the first modern masters and a huge influence on everyone from Matisse and Kandinsky to Van Gogh and Gaugin. ‘Delacroix and the Rise of Modern Art’ showcases Delacroix alongside contemporaries such as Courbet and Géricault, and explores the impact he had on generations of artists to come. Until 22 May at the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square. £7-£16.

The Death of Sardanapalus (reduced replica), 1846. Oil on canvas 73.7 x 82.4 cm

The ambitions of men


Effie’s life spirals through a mess of drink, drugs and drama every night, and a hangover worse than death the next day – till one night gives her the chance to be something more. Inspired by the enduring Greek myth, Gary Owen’s powerful drama Iphigenia in Splott drives home the high price people pay for society’s shortcomings. Winner of the UK Theatre Award for Best New Play 2015. 30 March – 2 April at the Studio, Bristol Old Vic. £12-£15.


Moving to New York with the intention of becoming a painter, Saul Leiter ended up working as a photographer for the likes of Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and British Vogue, and became known for his vibrant street scenes that conjured the city in all its glory. Using Kodachrome colour slide film as early as 1946, he is now considered a pioneer in the field of colour photography, and this welcome retrospective is a chance to marvel at the wonderfully impressionistic nature of his work. Until 3 April at the Photographer’s Gallery, Ramillies St, W1. Free before 12noon, £2.50/£2 advance booking, £3/£2.50 on the door. Taxi, c1957


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culture Worth staying in for...

Capital words Poet, playwright, rapper… Kate Tempest is as prolific as she is prodigiously talented, and loathe to rest on her laurels, despite those laurels being considerable: her 2013 epic narrative poem Brand New Ancients was awarded the Ted Hughes prize for innovation in poetry, her debut solo album Everybody Down was nominated for a Mercury in 2014. Her voice is unique, infusing the street rhythms and human narratives of her native South-East London with the tropes and heroics of mythology, but always with a tough core of empathy and ethics. Now she’s turned her hand to prose fiction with the release of The Bricks that Built the Houses, the story of three young Londoners and their struggles to make it in a city fast losing its humanity. Published by Bloomsbury on 7 April, £12.99. Tempest is taking part in Bristol’s Festival of Ideas, where she will be discussing the novel, on 12 April, 6.30-7.30pm, at At-Bristol, £8 (£7).

Just the Jobs Michael Fassbender brings his particular brand of inscrutable intensity to the role of Apple supremo Steve Jobs in Danny Boyle’s multi-awardwinning biopic. Focusing on three high-pressure product launches, Aaron Sorkin’s whip-smart script allows us to see the man behind the machine that changed everything. Or should that be the ‘machine’ behind the machine, given Jobs’s infamously rigid demeanour, and his capacity for ditching family and associates along the way? The film won Golden Globe Awards for Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress (Winslet) and was nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Actor (Fassbender) and Best Supporting Actress (Winslet). Steve Jobs is released on DVD/Blu-ray on 21 March.

Love and madness If you’ve not yet fallen under the spell of Father John Misty, now’s the time to bend your ears around his sublime album I Love You, Honeybear, which is full of glorious melodies, playful self-parody and out-and-out love-soaked happiness. Formerly the drummer in Seattle sweethearts Fleet Foxes, Misty (a pseudonym for singer-songwriter Joshua Tillman) embarks on a UK this spring, and hits Bristol’s Colston Hall on 17 May.

In Issue 8 of MANOR, in the feature about artist Naomi Hart’s trip to Greenland (pages 126-129), photographs should have been credited to Naomi Hart and Peter Cox. We apologise for this omission.

MANOR | Spring 2016


For this style shoot we gathered in a famous old artist’s studio in the Barbican, Plymouth, and model Victoria donned her points. Her talent as a dancer, together with our photographer’s renowned ability to capture the perfect image, demonstrated just how beautifully fabrics move and delivered a Style Shoot suitably stunning to mark our first anniversary. PHOTOGRAPHS BY MATT AUSTIN STYLED BY MIMI STOTT


MANOR | Spring 2016

MANOR | Spring 2016


Kimono plunge salmon dress, ASOS, ÂŁ38


MANOR | Spring 2016

MANOR | Spring 2016


Pleated pink skirt, ASOS, £30; ballerina flats with straps, Zara, £39.99; top and scarf, stylist’s own


MANOR | Spring 2016

MANOR | Spring 2016



MANOR | Spring 2016

MANOR | Spring 2016


Black support slip, Marks and Spencer, ÂŁ27.50


MANOR | Spring 2016

MANOR | Spring 2016



MANOR | Spring 2016

Folded red A-line skirt, Finery London, £65; ballerina flats with straps, Zara, £39.99; tassel top, Whistles, £33

MANOR | Spring 2016




MANOR | Spring 2016

MANOR | Spring 2016



MANOR | Spring 2016

Chiffon maxi dress, Topshop, ÂŁ48

MANOR | Spring 2016



MANOR | Spring 2016

THE MANOR CAST AND CREW Photographer: Matt Austin Stylist: Mimi Stott Model: Victoria Nystrom Hair and make-up: Madeleine Austin

MANOR | Spring 2016


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

Free organic wool duvet with every adult ma ttress use code Mano r1 of fer en ds 30/0 4/16

Mattresses made by hand in Devon 88

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01392 877 247 Notting Hill Shop ~ 99 Talbot Road, London, W11 2AT Devon Showroom ~ Odhams Wharf, Topsham, Devon EX3 0PD


Creating a boutique hotel in Penzance Designer’s Q&A | Shopping for space

MANOR | Spring 2016



MANOR | Spring 2016


Perfect harmony After 30 years spent working in the City, Sarah Stuart needed a life change, and Penzance fitted the bill. Through chance, she discovered Chapel House, and was so drawn to it – despite it being too big for her own personal needs – that she decided to buy it anyway and convert it into a highly acclaimed boutique hotel. The six-bedroom hotel’s clean architectural lines and Stuart’s choice of local wares and suppliers have created the perfect blend of traditional and modern, bringing out the very best in this Georgian townhouse and making it a great place to be and spend time. MANOR interrogates Sarah as to how Chapel House Penzance came about. Describe your life prior to Chapel House?

Before I moved to Penzance, I had worked for a small charity for eight years, having left the City in 2005. I joined the charity for an easier life-work balance but it didn’t turn out that way and I ended up as Interim CEO. I loved the work I did but had been effectively doing two jobs for over a year and was running on empty. That, combined with the collapse of a long relationship, meant I started to re-think my life and realised that London didn’t feature anywhere. What made you decide that a boutique hotel in Penzance did?

I think Penzance is a fabulous place but I would suggest it chose me rather than the other way round. I came down for a four-week break at the end of 2012, when I wanted to rethink my life, because I knew I could just relax – I love West Penwith in winter. I rented a house on Chapel Street, just three doors from Chapel House, and while there got an email from an estate agent offering Chapel House. I’d never been inside before but it was love at first sight and I knew I really wanted to buy it, even though living on my own in a huge house just wasn’t practical. So the plan started to emerge. I sensed that the right offer in Penzance would bring people here – and it has. Like me, most guests love it! Sarah bought the house in February 2013 and its renovation started in July 2013. The project took two years. She used all local contractors.

I’d never been inside before but it was love at first sight and I knew I really wanted to buy it.

The architect was Loci Architecture; construction lead was Catling Construction; the bathrooms were supplied and fitted by Cornwall Wetrooms; the Kitchen and Bootroom by George Robinson Kitchens; and beds and bespoke furniture by Ben Williams. There was no interior designer – this was done by me and I also played a role in restoration: stripping paint layers from the original features, which meant I was on site all the time and became part of the team. MANOR | Spring 2016


Guests love the mix of old and new, and the fact that they have the ultimate in comfort but lots of space and a lack of clutter.


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Was it a satisfying process?

Yes – I love a project and I still miss not doing it anymore. I had a great relationship with my architect and builder, and there are some fabulous craftsmen locally. It went on for longer than expected and, of course, ran over budget but it was huge fun and really rewarding. Why did you choose to go with a pared-down style?

The house was crying out for this approach. It has perfect Georgian proportions – large rooms, high ceilings and beautiful original details. It also faces the sea and is filled with light. It needed little ornamentation to become a calm and relaxing place for people to stay but which also celebrates its architectural beauty. I already had lots of antique furniture contemporary with the age of the house, which worked well, but I find that mid-20th-century furniture, which is also simple and has clean lines, works perfectly together.” What did you layer onto this? How did you complete each room?

Some of my existing furniture worked immediately but I realised that what looked big in a London house was dwarfed in the high ceilings of Chapel House’s drawing rooms. I found an amazing 3m-high corner cupboard originally from a London church (St Giles in the Fields) that sits beautifully in the drawing rooms. The bedrooms needed some contemporary touches and I was lucky to find locally some original Ercol pieces but also sourced modern chairs from Iroka, a local furniture supplier. Ben Williams, a local furnituremaker, designed and built all the beds and bedroom cupboards. The artworks in the bedrooms are my own pieces but the drawing rooms and hall are curated by the Newlyn School of Art and used to display the work of students on their mentoring course. It’s our way of supporting the local creative community. And how has all your hard work been received? Who does the hotel appeal to and why?

We have a wide variety of guests – they are people who appreciate being able to relax as if they’re staying at a friend’s house. What people like is that we have taken a lot of effort to make sure everything is there for our guests so they don’t have to ask, but without ending up with cluttered rooms. Chapel House has a very ‘chilled’ feel about it and our guests say that when they walk into the house they feel instant calm.

If we were to stay, which room would you recommend, or what in particular should we look out for?

What are your own favourite aspects of Chapel House? What goes down particularly well with guests?

My favourite is Room 2 – it has a double-aspect sea view and combines original features with modern touches. The room has a handmade super-kingsize bed, an ensuite wetroom with a monsoon shower, and an Ashton & Bentley bath in the room, which also has a woodburning stove. Perfect for a lazy winter weekend afternoon.

My favourite aspect of the house is the sea light; it is all pervading and everywhere you go there is either sea or sky in sight. Guests love the mix of old and new, and the fact that they have the ultimate in comfort but lots of space and a lack of clutter.

Prices for bed and breakfast (with tea, cake and an early evening drink) range from £150/night to £190/weekend night in high season. The more nights booked, the lower the nightly rate.

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A discerning palette In February, Farrow & Ball launched nine new colours, which prompted us to look to colour for our Shopping for Space spread – nothing too bright and gaudy but calmer in keeping with the muted pastels, soft neutrals and rich dark tones that F&B have added to that famous palette of theirs. Compiled by Amy Tidy.

Farrow & Ball

Farrow & Ball

HAY cushion, Amara, £59

Coco chair, Oliver Bonas, £575

Lamps, Marks and Spencer, £30 each House doctor vases, Amara, £10 each

Baci Milano tumbler, Amara, £8 Tom Foolery sofa, Sofa Workshop, £2,399


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space Clock, Next, £35

Marks and Spencer

Dyberg Larsen pendant, Amara, £64

Anna New York Coasters, Amara, four for £78

HAY chair, Amara, £149

HAY chair, Amara, £139

Vases, RJR John Rocha at Debenhams, set of three, £25

Miss Clementine 2-seater sofa, Sofa Workshop from £1,735

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Q&A Robin Deitch, has been Business Development Manager at William Garvey Ltd for six years. William Garvey are premium bespoke furniture makers based in Honiton, Devon. They supply private and corporate clients across the globe. What are you currently working on?

We are developing furniture for high-end residential projects in London at prestigious addresses in Pembridge Crescent, Eaton Square, and Chelsea Bridge, a large Georgian house in Cornwall, and a cottage in Bath.

high-end residential interiors to large-scale commercial environments. Our work features in private homes, villas and yachts through to boutique hotels and offices. While best known for our striking teak baths and basins, William Garvey also manufactures a diverse range of high-end, custom-made furniture and interiors.

How would you describe William Garvey as a business?

William Garvey Limited works worldwide designing, developing and installing furniture in Russia, USA, Geneva, Qatar, Jordan as well as in Central London and locally – a truly universal company. Projects include furniture for super yachts, palaces and once even a jet aeroplane, but most often it’s for a residential project in the UK. Projects vary from 96

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How did it all start?

Known for his large scale and technically impressive interiors, British furniture designer William Garvey actually started out his furniture-making business on a much smaller scale. Initially creating hand-crafted cigar and jewellery boxes in the early 1970s, Bill Garvey’s designs

space swiftly came to the attention of high-end retailers such as Harrods, Dunhill and Asprey, who commissioned his work. Following on from a successful period designing and making luxury accessories for the home, the business went on to receive a number of more complex commissions for both freestanding furniture and fitted interiors. During the 1970s, 80s and 90s, William Garvey Ltd grew in terms of technical ability and size. Over the following two decades, the business evolved further to become one of Europe’s leading bespoke furniture makers and Bill has developed a business module capturing a niche market in ‘luxury interiors’. The company now employs a total of 32 staff and Bill remains very much at the forefront of the business. What typically are the briefs you get at William Garvey?

Technically challenging and complex bits of furniture in timber, such as cabinets, vanity units, tables, fitted furniture units, kitchens and bathrooms. We also work with other materials, such as glass and metal. We are often asked for timber furniture for wet room applications, timber baths, sinks, timber Jacuzzis, in which we are experts in the field. Do your customers tend to be architects/trade or end consumer?

Both – we work with high-end interior designers, architects and developers as well as gaining private commissions direct from the end user/client. What are your most popular sellers right now?

We have a product range of teak and cedar baths and sinks, which are very popular, being both versatile and beautiful. There is always a bespoke timber bath or sink being made in the workshop. Many of our larger projects take six months to a year, and a bath or sink can take 10 weeks, so there is a greater turnover of the smaller products. What’s been your most challenging project?

Surveying on site in the midday heat of summer in Qatar, installing in Russia with no heating, and confined spaces in super yacht hulls with miles of cables and pipes around you is challenging, but we love the challenging aspect of making the furniture and finding the right fixtures and fittings that make it special. What are your future plans and ambitions for the company – where do you see things going next?

We have been going for more than 40 years, from one man to 32, and we continue to grow. We intend to further increase our turnover and personnel but also to stay in the same location: a listed farm building in the depths of Devon, surrounded by walnut trees and under the shadow of an iron age fort. It’s truly idyllic.

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MANOR | Spring 2016


Manna from Devon’s American barbecue road trip | Discovering culinary delights along the Fal Estuary Bites, the latest news and events from across the region | The Table Prowler

MANOR | Spring 2016


Holly and David Jones from Manna from Devon Cooking School recently set off on a 1,500-mile road trip through the southern states of America, picking up tips on smoking, sauces and sides from pitmasters. They recorded their travels on their blog. These are a few extracts‌ Words and Photos by David and Holly Jones.

Map charting Holly and David's journey


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food “Tell him Miss Naomi sent you” Hemingway, South Carolina, is not a place on everyone’s destination bucket list; a small American town where the post office shuts for lunch and no one passes a stranger in distress. As we stood, perplexed, outside the post office where we’d hoped to find directions to Rodney Scott’s BBQ (don’t trust Google maps on this one), Miss Naomi screeched to a stop in her pick-up and pointed us the right way, saying “everyone knows Rodney, he’s a good ol’ Southern boy – tell him I sent you.” By the time we’d got there she’d already phoned to say we were on our way. Scott’s BBQ shack is exactly that – a shack. Or it was until it burnt down two years ago. Now it’s a big metal shed, agricultural in style but more fireproof than the previous wooden building – the result of the Rodney Scott in Exile tour, when he took to the road and cooked at friends’ BBQ restaurants round the South to raise the $100,000 for his new shed. No insurance on the old one. The cooking facilities are just what we’d been expecting of pit barbecues – proper pits with grills over them for the meat to lie on while cooking in the smoke from the embers beneath. The meat cooks low and slow overnight, with someone staying up all night to keep an eye on things. Oak, hickory and pecan logs are burnt in a big metal drum, then brought in by shovel and put in the bottom of the pits. Not something you’d do while wearing flip-flops. We had the BBQ plate and the BBQ sandwich. The plate came with beans and slaw and the sandwich was a few pieces of white-sliced and a pile of the slow-cooked pork to make

Scott’s Barbecue and Store in Hemingway – a bit off the beaten track

Holly chats through the finer details of smoking whole hog with pitmaster and barbecue legend Rodney Scott

your own sandwich. The pork was delicious: hand-picked, melting, with a bit of a chilli kick. When Rodney took over the operation from his dad a few years ago, word started spreading beyond South Carolina about his BBQ and people came flocking – from Alaska, California, New York, Europe, the Middle East and Australia.

Barbecue isn’t a verb, an event or even a piece of equipment When we were planning this trip I hoped to meet some true barbecue zealots. I imagined out-of-the-way shacks with bearded guys sipping beer swathed in wood smoke with entrenched views about the right and wrong way to cook barbecue. Today we met Wyatt, a North Carolina pitmaster who took to smoking hogs after realising that, since he wasn’t ‘stoked’ about his law career in New York, he’d be better off using his talents and energy for something he was passionate about. We drove through woods near Chapel Hill, North Carolina, looking for his place. The giveaway was the smell of smoke wafting from behind a house, and as we rounded the building we spotted a bearded guy enveloped by smoke emanating from a large black grill on a trailer. Wyatt had agreed to let us join him and his business partner Ben as he set a pig to cook ready for an event the next day. He initiated the preparations by saying, “Right! Let’s get a beer and get started.” We gathered around an already butchered 150lb pig laid out on a work table. Wyatt’s introduction ran something like this: “Let’s get something straight: barbecue is never a verb, it’s not a process, it’s not an event and it’s not a piece of equipment. Barbecue’s what you get after the cooking’s done, it’s the end product.”

Wyatt then took us through how he prepares a pig for the grill, how he sets up the grill using seasoned oak logs burning in an offset firebox to bring the temperature to 225°F ( just 110°C) ready to cook the pig for 12-18 hours, depending on size. Wyatt and Ben only do whole hog pickings, meaning they cook whole hogs, take them to events, and pick and serve them right there. It’s theatrical but a whole lot more work than cooking shoulders or ribs. They do it because they believe it should be all about the event; getting greasy fingers is all part of the occasion.

Wyatt was just what we were looking for in a pitmaster – bearded guy in a cap, generous with his beers and his views

David helping get the pig ready for a night in the smoker

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Just like Grandma used to make; well, almost

Look for the Southern Smoke BBQ logo and you’ll know you’re in the right place for great food

Latest stop was Southern Smoke BBQ in one-horse town Garland in North Carolina. Owner Matthew Register serves takeout lunch on Thursdays and Fridays, with people coming from all over the state to eat. They’ll be queuing from 10.30am to make sure of lunch before it all disappears – which it does. In the summer they’ll cook 42 racks of pork ribs and they’ll be gone in an hour. Matthew and his sous-chef Rodolfo smoke Boston Butts (pork shoulders to you and me), brisket, chicken and ribs, and serve them with two sauces and a variety of sides.

The sides are as crucial to a barbecue meal as the barbecue itself – typically, collard greens, mac’n’cheese, coleslaw (white, red or yellow) and some sweet potato salad amongst many other options. Besides creating excellent barbecue (the cooked meats, remember?), Matthew has made a name for making sides with a twist, sourcing veggies from local farmers. His collard greens will be whole leaves rather than shredded; mac’n’cheese will be made with a penne pasta, a couple of cheeses, some basil and cream; watermelon salad might pop up when in season along with pickled radishes and beets; or how about some fresh green beans with bacon vinaigrette – so not something you’ll find on a regular BBQ menu. He talks fondly of his grandmother and grandfatherin-law as the sources of his knowledge, as well as practice, practice, practice. He happily admits that once he got the basics right, he was off and running to create new flavours to complement the meats. His grandmother will come in for lunch and say “yes, it’s good… but it’s different.” Sauces are another crucial component to the meal – there’s the sweet, tomatoey sauce that we know at home, a mustardy sauce from South Carolina and the vinegar-based sauce of eastern North Carolina. We are now loving the vinegar-based ones and particularly Matthew’s – made with cider vinegar and chilli flakes, its acidity cuts through the richness of the pork shoulder. His sauces are now being sold in food stores under the names of Sweet Grace and Two Brothers, for his children.

The best damned wings you’ll ever taste I’m not a God-fearing man but if I were I’d praise the Lord right now that we made it to Moe’s. The barbecue at Moe’s is “lick the sauce off the paper that lined the basket it came in good”. And that’s damn good! It’s always encouraging when, having asked the chef what we ought to eat, he launches into a litany of how good each of his dishes is. He told us his chicken wings were some of the best we’d ever taste. We didn’t order the wings but Sam brought us some anyway. After we’d ordered pork and smoked chicken, he also brought us ribs and his incredibly light cornbread. Everything we tasted hit the nail on the head. Tender, juicy meats that tasted of smoke but not too much smoke; sauced but not so much that it detracted from the taste of the meat. A great coleslaw, fresh and a contrast to the depth of flavour in the meats. Faultless barbecue cooked by someone who knows what they are doing and really wants to do it well every time. We left Moe’s having eaten more than we intended but super-glad we got to try everything. Moe’s is more than worth a visit; Moe’s is worth a flight across the Atlantic.

We were struck by just how egalitarian barbecue is. Anyone from anywhere is welcome. Holly and David Jones run classes in wood-fired cooking at Manna from Devon Cooking School in Kingswear. For details go to


MANOR | Spring 2016


Twhe Carrick Roads seen from Trelissick Garden, Cornwall


Fal food odyssey Explore creeks, riverbanks and towns along the Fal Estuary and discover its buoyant food and drink culture along the way. Words by Lucy Studley.


he Fal River forges its course through a series of breathtakingly beautiful landscapes. Navigable from Truro, the watercourse is joined by various creeks and inlets before emerging into the stretch known as Carrick Roads – a deep natural harbour flanked at its mouth by Falmouth and St Mawes. The river’s catchment area has a striking cultural heritage and a landscape shaped by industry, including mining, shipping and fishing. The riverbanks are home to iconic landmarks, gardens, and five Sites of Specific Scientific Interest preserving valuable habitats and geology. It’s also an area with a buoyant food and drink culture. Here you can hop from a tea plantation on one side of the river to a wild butchery course on the other; and travel by boat from a farmers’ market via an oyster fishery on the way to a luxury hotel for dinner. The best way to enjoy all this is to take it slowly. Our Food Odyssey down the Fal River doesn’t require a car; you’ll need to work off all that food, after all… DAY ONE After arriving in Truro, our first stop is the Farmers’ Market on Lemon Quay, where we sample local cheeses, smoked fish, fresh bread and liquid delicacies from a selection of wine-makers, micro-breweries and distilleries. Local brewers Skinners own The Old Ale House, which is where our feet take us for lunch. The menu, designed by River Cottage, has hearty dishes made with Skinners ales and ciders, including melt-in-the-mouth Cornish fish battered with Betty Stogs Beer.

We stay at The Alverton – an ideal base for exploring the city and which boasts spacious suites, four-poster beds and luxurious bathrooms. Dinner doesn’t disappoint either, with a menu of fresh seasonal dishes cooked with personality and flair. STAY LONGER... If staying in Truro, why not arrange to visit the Tregothnan Estate, where you can discover the history of the first tea produced in England? Monthly Tea Masterclasses include a tour of the plantation and an indepth tasting session. All visits must be booked in advance.

DAY TWO After an early start and a large breakfast, we enjoy a short restorative walk to Malpas, where Enterprise Boat Services disembark for the journey downstream. Our stop is roughly half way -– Trelissick Quay – where most of our fellow passengers are heading to the idyllic Trelissick National Trust gardens. Instead, we cross on The King Harry Ferry – a ‘moving bridge’ that carries cars and foot passengers across the river, hardly disrupting the morning gig rowers, the fishing boats making their way down the Carrick Roads, or the cormorants diving for their breakfast. Disembarking on the Roseland Peninsula, we head towards the hamlet of Philleigh – a 40-minute walk along country roads. Philleigh Way Cookery School is the result of a farm diversification project that has seen the Pascoe family’s farm become a hive of culinary activity. We joined the Fish Course, where chef George Pascoe and fishmonger of 30 MANOR | Spring 2016



Fresh mackerel prepared on the Fish Course at Philleigh Way Cookery School

years Annie Sibert gave a practical guide to the selection and filleting of fish, as well as an insight into the local fishing industry. Despite finding even a small mackerel slightly daunting at the start of the day, by the end of the session I was grappling unperturbed with a large slippery cod – perhaps with more determination than alacrity. Annie and George’s blend of expertise and affability made the day enjoyable as well as educational. I leave with the resolve to cook more fish. Retracing our steps, we walked for another hour to Roundhouse Barns, where we spend the night in a 17thcentury stone barn set in beautiful grounds. STAY LONGER… Philleigh Way hosts Wood-fired Sessions outside in the summer. We liked the sound of ‘Pysk’ and ‘Krogen’ gatherings too – Cornish for ‘fish’ and ‘shellfish’ respectively.

DAY THREE Next is a short walk to the nearest wooded creek on the trail of Thom Hunt, scholar of biology, psychology and philosophy and founder of 7th Rise. Thom is one of the leading pioneers of wild experiences in the UK. With a team of specialist tutors, Thom offers a core 104

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curriculum of fishing, wild butchery, knife skills and shooting. Overnight glamping stays (dreamy choices include the potting shed, a bell tent, a tree house and – new for 2016 – a houseboat) are available during the week, with various bite-size activities on offer. Soon we are back on the river, this time in a Canadian Canoe attempting to learn the Hunter’s stroke and travelling over the only wild native oyster fishery in the UK. The river has a rich mineral and biological content, resulting in a particular mix of plankton and creating the unique taste of a Fal Oyster (described as salty, metallic, creamy and sweet). A law dating from 1868 states they can only be gathered by rowing or sailing boat, and the Fal Oyster looks set to be given protected designation of origin (PDO) status by the EU. We will have to wait to taste these precious crustaceans. For now, it’s an evening of outdoor cinema, rabbit stew and moonshine before we beat a retreat to the potting shed for a good night’s sleep. STAY LONGER… Thom also offers practical foraging sessions. In spring, search for ramsons (wild garlic), sorrel and nettles; Thom will show you how to knock up a quick pesto to enjoy with freshly caught, barbecued fish.

food DAY FOUR From 7th Rise, we walk to St Mawes – a small fishing village at the end of the peninsula. The newly opened St Mawes Hotel (sister hotel to The Idle Rocks) has a casual feel, with boutique rooms, a comfortable lounge and its very own bijou cinema. We head to spectacularly situated Idle Rocks for supper where chef Guy Owen cooks a deceptively simple menu focusing on ingredients from within a 20-mile radius, including Fal Oysters (we finally get to try them – it was worth the wait!), mackerel, hand-dived scallops and Mylor prawns. When they are in season, Guy pays homage to his favourite fish – the gilthead bream – which feed in the creeks of the Fal River.

The Idle Rocks Hotel

STAY LONGER… The Idle Rocks has various collaborations and themed evenings lined up. Bring friends and hire their new 10-seater Chefs Table for a unique Tasting Menu experience.


DAY FIVE Once again we are aboard another boat from the Enterprise fleet – this time heading across the immense natural harbour towards Falmouth. Falmouth has the distinction of being home to the UK’s top arts university, giving it a creative edge as well as an idyllic Cornish setting. In fact, student life in Falmouth has collided with Cornwall’s fabulous food culture to create a plethora of characterful and reasonably priced places to eat and drink. There were so many options that we took the Spanish approach and grazed our way through the town, stopping at pubs, cafes and bistros to get a flavour of Falmouth. Our final night was spent overlooking the Fal Estuary from the vantage point of The Greenbank Hotel. The hotel claims to being the inspiration for Wind in the Willows; Kenneth Grahame stayed here in 1907, writing letters to his son that later formed the basis for the book. There is so much more to discover, I look forward to returning and spending more time exploring the creeks, riverbanks and towns along the course of the Fal River.


Gylly Beach Café This stylish beach hang-out is a great place for a few sundowners. Picnic Cornwall Superbly stocked deli on the main street. Hunky Dory More serious dining, with a menu showcasing fabulous local produce. Rick Stein’s Fish Tuck into delicious local fish alongside chips cooked in beef dripping.

To find out more about the Fal River, including travel, accommodation, where to eat and things to do, visit

MANOR | Spring 2016





Three chefs The Star & Garter does things differently. When owners Elliot and Becca Thompson opened their new business in a very old pub (first established in 1892) in Falmouth last August, they included a ceramic barbecue, pickling area and butchery room in their new open kitchen. Then they hired not one but three chefs. No clues for guessing where their priorities lay. Already they have been voted Best Foodie Pub in the South West in the Food Reader

Awards. Chefs Andi Richardson, Adam Banks and Stephen Knowles share the ‘nose to tail’ philosophy when it comes to meat, using as much of the animal as possible. They buy in whole carcasses from Philip Warren butchers and do their own butchering, curing and smoking on site. Their aim is to use seasonal produce of excellent quality, and to show it off simply.

Cruise for foodies There’s something really exciting about arriving in Roscoff by boat. Often there’s little time to appreciate this pretty port, with its fields of artichokes, superb seafood and wild coast. But as from 31 March, Brittany Ferries is running short gourmet cruise breaks to the Breton port. Departing from Plymouth on Thursday evenings, guests begin their cruise aboard the Pont-Aven with a splendid four-course dinner expertly prepared by French chefs. On Friday morning, after breakfast on board, there’s time for a stroll along the quaysides and perhaps a spot of shopping before enjoying a long lunch at either Les Alizés, a contemporary brasserie with pretty harbour views, or L’Ecume des Jours, a bistro housed in a granite-walled former shipowner’s house. After lunch it’s back on board for the return cruise to Plymouth. A one-night Roscoff Gourmet Cruise with Brittany costs from £98 per person, based on two sharing, and includes two-berth ensuite cabin, a four-course dinner on the outward crossing, and lunch in Roscoff. Cruises are available from 31 March-1 July. Roscoff


MANOR | Spring 2016

Cream of cheese In recognition of her cheese expertise and life-long dedication to farming and cheesemaking, Mary Quicke, whose family have been farming in Newton St Cyres for more than five centuries, has been inaugurated into the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers. The Guilde, which operates throughout Europe and internationally, has more than 6,000 members made up of professional cheesemakers, dairy farmers, processors, refiners, traders and retailers. “La Guilde Internationale des Fromagers is enormously respected throughout the industry,” says Mary, “and to have been selected to join their members is really quite astonishing and an enormous privilege. It is also an opportunity to further spread the word about my passions as a cheesemaker and all the issues that matter to Quicke’s and other British dairies.”

WORKSHOPS & CLASSES FERMENT Learn to make health-giving fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kombucha and kimchi with Voirrey Watterson in a day-long workshop at Dartington. Fermented foods are rich in beneficial bacteria, antioxidants, vitamins and enzymes – a great addition to our diets. Voirrey will demonstrate how to get started with fermenting at home, and will recommend the easiest equipment to use. The Craft of Artisan Cookery: Fermentation for the Nation 19 March, 10am-4pm, £60. Higher Close Kitchen, Dartington.

SEAWEED FORAGING AND COOKERY With an untapped resource of seaweed available on its doorstep, Fat Hen Wild Cookery School in St Buryan near Penzance has designed a course for those wanting to learn about edible seaweeds and how to prepare and cook them in a delicious way. The day starts with a trip to West Cornwall’s beaches to forage for up to 10 different seaweed species. This is followed by seaweed cookery tuition and tastings, preparing such delicacies as Cornish nori rolls or laver seaweed cakes with a mussel and wild garlic sauce. A seaweed-based lunch with a glass of wine is included.


Friday 8 April, 9.30am-4pm, £95.

CHEESE Susan Collier of Collier’s Cornish Cheese will give a fascinating insight into the world of cheese-making at Philleigh Way Cookery School near Truro. Through a series of demonstrations and hands-on practical sessions, students will make both soft and hard cheeses and a ricotta to take home at the end of the day. Philleigh Way chef George Pascoe will demonstrate a dish incorporating one of the cheeses made on the course. Better Brewing is a morning course delivered in Wadebridge by champion barista Hugo Hercod for coffee enthusiasts who want to learn more about making a better cup at home. As well as learning how to brew using a cafetiere, Aerobic Aeropress, a Hario V60 and Moks Stovetop, participants also find out more about how and where coffee is grown, methods of processing, different roasts, how to select, buy and store beans, and differences in grinders and brewing equipment. Better Brewing course, 17 April, 9am-midday at Relish Food and Drink, Wadebridge. £60 to include pastries, coffee and a bag of beans to take home.

Philleigh Way, 27 April, 10am-4pm, £135.

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Fabulous food from our farm and beyond. Go on, treat yourself.


Out to lunch... Circa 24 (above) in Northernhay Place, Exeter, has launched lunch. The new pop-up restaurant, skandel@Circa1924, brings seasonal Nordic cuisine to the city. Set in Circa’s bootleg bar, skandel@Circa1924 offers an affordable express lunch menu priced at £10.95 for two courses – served from 12noon to 2.30pm, Tuesday to Saturday.

Hotel Endsleigh is set in a sublime landscape overlooking the River Tamar and Cornwall beyond. It’s the perfect spot to stop for lunch – particularly at the moment because chef Jose Graziosi is offering a set lunch special for just £22 for two courses or £26 for three.

In MANOR Bites, Issue 8, the photo used to accompany “And all the little oysters stood and waited in a row” was a Pacific rather than a Fal oyster (pictured below). Fal Oysters are native oysters (Ostrea Edulis) and it is the Fal estuary that has the last remaining wild native oysters in the British Isles.



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Food Pioneer Emily Reed BEEKEEPER AND FOUNDER OF THE KINGSBRIDGE FOOD ASSEMBLY Emily Reed moved from London to Devon to study an MSc in Ecological Food Systems at Schumacher College. She came across Village Farm, a coastal farm at East Portlemouth, on one of her field trips. Emily worked as a volunteer there and became increasingly inspired by the ambition and vision of the farm and the knowledge of the team there. “It was agro-ecology, farming with nature, which I had been studying about, writ large,” she says. “As a beekeeper, I have become increasingly frustrated by the slow change in our farming methods in order to safeguard our pollinators as well as other wildlife. Just looking after bees in isolation won’t do.” Emily moved to Village Farm last summer as the beekeeper, and she has now established The Food Assembly in her local town, Kingsbridge. “I wanted to sell directly to people in my local area. I’ve set up a local hub of the Food Assembly. It’s like shopping online from a supermarket: you can log onto the website, you pick your local area, then there’s a catalogue of products you can buy so you can choose yoghurt, milk, sausages, mutton… then you pay online. Instead of dealing with a faceless supermarket, it’s actually local producers like me who are selling their products. “It was some farmers in France who started it and it was so popular there it spread over here, and Frome in Somerset now have the largest food assembly in the UK. I thought it was such a great model. It has the best of a farmers’ market with all the convenience of online shopping, so I brought it to Kingsbridge. The second collection was on February 17. “People have five days to do their shopping online, then we meet on a Wednesday evening between 5pm and 7pm in Kingsbridge at the Age Concern room. There’s a really great buzz. We had a great launch event, where members grazed on samples set out on producers’ tables such as fruit leathers by Wild and Curious, breads from @ the Bakery, Frogmore and beers from South Hams Brewery. Frogmore Bakery combined ingredients from producers to make tasters such as mini pavlova with eggs and cream from Turtle Farm and Challon’s Combe Dairy, and Start Bay crab-topped ciabatta from Britannia Shellfish. “Producers continue to bring produce for members to try as they pick up their shopping. There has been some wonderful feedback from members who are coming from Kingsbridge, Dartmouth, Marlborough and Loddiswell. Often the producers that members buy from actually farm on the outskirts of their village. Producers can also offer small amounts of specialist foods. For instance, Liz at

Discover Forest Foods grows an unusual collection of edible plants, many of them perennials rather than the annuals; the way she grows has great ecological benefits, but most importantly it means there are brilliant ingredients which you might never have tried before, such as three-cornered leek, which is similar to wild garlic or onion chives. This gives members the opportunity to enjoying cooking with new ingredients as well as the more familiar ones. “On colder, windier weeks the warmth of the collection room is a much more inviting place to pick up food and stop to chat than the farmers’ markets I’ve worked on previously, where there was a need to hang on to the stall canopy before it blew away. The online system also means that if you’re not able to get out of the house for some reason, you can order and have a friend or family member pick up your shopping for you, so we’ve had some people’s partners popping by on the way back from work to pick up orders their other half made. “On an individual level I find it more enjoyable to go and meet the people in my community and sell directly to them, but there are significant economic benefits as well: the producers get to keep 83% of the money that they make through the food assembly – they just pay an administration fee for the website. Compared to supermarkets, the money the producer gets is considerably higher so we are able to deal with the land and our animals more sympathetically and make a fairer living while selling produce directly to consumers.”

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Signature dish Allister Bishop recently arrived at South Sands Hotel and Beachside Restaurant as Executive Chef. He chooses a Salcombe crab brunch for his spring signature dish. “I love the idea of brunch – there is something really social about relaxing with friends late morning over great food and drink. The brown crab around these shores are world-beating and I love pairing them with local ingredients – sea beet in particular. The sea beet is sourced from Simon, a local forager, while the crab comes from Favis of Salcombe. One of the best challenges for a chef is to experiment with combinations to see what works, then to develop a dish that coaxes out and enhances the natural flavours. Hopefully everyone else will like it too and from there will emerge a signature dish… “My style is simple and understandable. I see no point in creating dishes and menus if nobody but you can understand them – we are in the hospitality industry after all. My plans for South Sands are to work with my team to create a relaxed dining experience using the best local ingredients that our customers will want to keep on returning to as the dishes change in tune with the seasons.”

Warm Salcombe crab, buttered sea spinach on sourdough bruschetta with a lemon mayonnaise Serves four


For the crab topping

• •

Heat a frying pan and add butter. Once sizzling, add the shallots and lightly cook until they start to soften. Add the sea beet to the pan and cook over a medium heat. Once lightly wilted, add the crab and fold through the sea beets. Season to taste. Remove and keep warm.

• • • • • • • •

200g fresh-picked white crab meat 120g sea beet washed and prepared (or baby spinach if you can’t find sea beet) 20g finely chopped shallots 50g butter 1 clove garlic 3 lemons 4 thick slices sourdough bread 120g mayonnaise 30g crème fraîche Salt and pepper

For the bruschetta

Heat a griddle pan until very hot and bar-mark the sourdough slices on both sides. Rub a garlic clove over the warm toast. Cut lemons in half on an angle and chargrill while you assemble the dish.


To assemble

For the mayonnaise

Place the sourdough toasts on your board. Top equal amounts of your warm crab mix onto each slice. Serve with a bowl of the lemon mayonnaise on the side, garnished with a little of the reserved zest. Arrange warm charred lemon to squeeze on top of the bread. Serve warm with a bottle of chilled Chenin Blanc.

Add the crème fraîche to a good mayonnaise (or make your own) and fold though. Add the zest of half a lemon, a little lemon juice and black pepper. Chill.


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The Table Prowler The Ethicurean, Wrington, near Bristol It was a wedding anniversary that was beyond golden, and very close to diamond. And as with many occasions, we chose to celebrate the milestone by taking the grandparents and our children to The Ethicurean, a beautifully located restaurant set in a nursery glasshouse that overlooks a sizeable Victorian walled kitchen garden. The view from this simple rustic restaurant sweeps down into the valley then up to the Mendips that line the horizon. With a vista to die for, the food is delicious, too – wholesome fare full of flavour, much of it sourced fresh from the walled garden – all of which has made it a family favourite for some time, and word has spread. We arrived at 12.30pm on a Sunday to find the restaurant busy, even though the glasshouse has been expanded to accommodate more diners. The menu looked good. Our starters included crispy pork belly with savoy cabbage kimchi and sesame kale, and smoked potato and hake chowder with pickled shitakes (each £8). Main courses were pan-fried Cornish hake with cauliflower purée, capers, greens, brassicas and bottarga, and 12-hour pork belly with several varieties of vegetable purée and kale. My mother-in-law chose the confit of duck. The children had cheese toast, which luckily arrived first and was polished off long before the adult starters arrived. And understandably so: the artisan bread was thickly sliced and crisp at the edges, giving way to a large slab of strong, meltin-the-mouth Westcountry cheddar. This was not your ordinary cheese on toast. Our starters eventually arrived. The crispy pork was disappointing – shredded but more dry and chewy than crispy and tender. The savoy cabbage kimchi was too vinegary to eat, but the kale had been dehydrated to tasty crisps and went down very well

with the children and me. I’m told that the chowder was good, creamy with a hint of dill. We then waited what seemed like an age for the main courses – the children by now having left the table to chase each other around the garden. When the food did arrive it looked lovely – my plate of hake was a veritable rainbow of colour, the greens, yellows, and red setting off the bright white chunk of fish, but the fish was overcooked and dry rather than flaky. The vegetables were as good as they looked but not good enough to make up for the fish. The pork belly was good, not too fatty, and tasty. The duck was very good and Nana was pleased, but she’d not had a starter so by now was starving. Even if the food had been universally impeccable, the whole experience was ruined by the immensely slow service. We hesitated on choosing a dessert but my mother-in-law had foregone the starter because she had a sweet tooth and so it seemed wrong to deny her that pleasure; plus, desserts were slices of readymade cake which would be quick and easy to serve, you’d think. It took them 45 minutes to cut two slices of cake and deliver them with coffee to the table. They forgot the ice cream, and by the time they returned with it the cake had been eaten. We asked for the bill, which came immediately. But lunch had taken three hours, which is long even by Mediterranean standards and not great when you’ve got two young children to keep amused. It seemed that a favourite restaurant, buoyed by its own success, had overstretched itself. Food 7 | Service 4 | Location 9 | Ambience 8

The Chagford Inn, Chagford, Devon Conversely, this is a pub that doesn’t benefit from a glorious kitchen garden setting but is nestled in amongst other terraced houses on Chagford’s Mill Street. You could easily miss it, but don’t: this pub boasts some of the best food in the vicinity. The Chagford Inn is small and neat, with good local art lining its walls. It is a gastro pub, and when we visited no one was there just to drink; everyone was there for the food. This was Sunday lunch so there were a couple of roasts on the menu – pork belly and Dexter’s beef – but also fish stew and kedgeree, which I chose, while he had the pork. We shared artichokes stuffed with goats’ cheese to start, which arrived rolled in a Parmesan crumb grilled to a crisp; one bite gave way to the tang of artichoke, accompanied by sweet date and warm melted cheese – a quite delectable combination of flavours and textures. The kedgeree was infused with saffron and peppered throughout with chunks of smoked haddock; the yolk of a perfectly poached egg plopped in the middle ran into the creamy yellow rice. The pork belly was full of

taste and melt-in-the mouth tender with the top grilled to a golden glaze. The potatoes were picture-perfect – roasted to perfection to deliver crunch on the outside and a white fluffy inner. There was a large Yorkshire pudding to add to the glory and the variety of vegetables that came separately were the perfect accompaniment and volume. We left blown away by the sheer culinary quality emanating from this little nondescript pub, and went home to look it up. Head chef Russell Hamby has worked at Gidleigh Park, the South Sands under Mitch Tonks, and the award-winning Lazy Toad in Exeter. He also spent six years honing his skills in France, which all go to explain the quality we’d experienced. Now he’s landed in Chagford he’s definitely worth checking out. Food 9 | Service 9 | Location 8 | Ambience 8

MANOR | Spring 2016


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MANOR | Spring 2016

Escape Devon’s Wonderland-inspired Glazebrook House Hotel | Tasting notes from New York City


Brooklyn Bridge, New York City

MANOR | Spring 2016


White Rabbit bedroom


MANOR | Spring 2016


Tucked away in South Brent, Devon, Glazebrook House Hotel offers something a little out of the ordinary. Words by Fiona McGowan.


here’s something about Alice in Wonderland that is kind of creepy – like a half-remembered nightmare that seems quirky and funny on the surface, but has a darkness lurking behind every scene and vignette. So it is when you walk into the lobby of Glazebrook House Hotel. For a start, it’s very dark: the walls are painted a deep hue that makes the vast, high-ceilinged reception area seem cavern-like. Gigantic chandeliers cast a low, glittery light over a bizarre collection of oddments – from a huge propeller that supports a glass table, to a massive emu skeleton at the base of the sweeping stairs. There are conversions, and there are flamboyant flights of fancy. This is quite clearly the latter. It’s Brit-Art kitsch meets traditional colonial, while walking down the corridor of Lewis Carroll’s mysterious mind. Quirky, however, can also be warm and comforting. Arriving at night, the soft glow of up-lights and backlights, of gently lit alcoves and collectibles, is thoughtful and unexpectedly calming. The sweeping staircase, which could have been intimidating in its days as a manor house, is thickly carpeted in a tartan pattern, and the walls are a mass of drums. Yes, drums. Who would have thought of lining a wall with drums? Timothy Oulton, that’s who. Known for his very British vintage-style creations, Oulton brings steam-punk to interior design – and gets away with it. On the spacious landing are low leather armchairs with saddles and stirrups hanging off them, making it feel like a gentlemen’s club with a slightly S&M-y vibe (or maybe that was just me). The rooms are in a similar vein: dark walled, they are full of quirky, funny elements – a couple of ornate feathered hats in a bell-jar; more loud tartan carpets; lots MANOR | Spring 2016



Cheshire Cat bedroom

It’s Brit-Art kitsch meets traditional colonial, while walking down the corridor of Lewis Carroll’s mysterious mind.



MANOR | Spring 2016

of beaten-up leather tautly stretched over low, 60s-style armchairs; oversized, distressed wooden furniture and big silvery travelling trunks. The large sash windows are draped with satisfyingly heavy curtains – completely blocking out the wind or the sound of traffic. A pair of faux-vintage boxing gloves hangs from the wardrobe door and OTT chandeliers are de rigueur. The bathrooms are very shiny: all dark marble and sharp-edged chrome fittings – the geometric black and white floor in my ensuite was enough to induce a hangover before I even went down to dinner. Lest all of this eccentric design might suggest a lack of comfort, be assured that the form certainly does not overcome function. A hotel is supposed to be a place to get a good night’s sleep, and a luxury hotel should add a sense of magnificence to that sleep. Glazebrook achieves this. The soft lighting, deep-cushioned chairs, furry throws and ultra comfy beds make this the sort of place where your dreams might even come close to Through the Looking Glass magic. The restaurant is as much about the food as about the décor – although the décor does come a very close second. Who could not be dazzled by a wall entirely covered in blue willow-pattern plates and a floor that is

Your luxury personified


basically a chess board? Run by Michelin-starred chef Anton Piotrowski, the menu is predictably imaginative and mouthwatering – echoing the ‘twisted-vintage’ style of the hotel: there’s steak and duck breast, Cajun chicken and even good old fish and chips. Don’t expect these dishes to taste like pub fare, though – it is the quirky sides, deft cooking and unexpected ingredients (gin and tonic turnips) that up the ante on your palate (and on your wallet – this is not a cheap place to eat out). Relaxing in the bar before or after dinner is a treat in itself. A big bay window and clusters of heavy leather club chairs make this feel like a proper den. Out of proportion sweetie jars full of Quality Street on the bar shout ‘eat me’, while the selection of drinks behind it certainly don’t need to be labelled ‘drink me’. It is here that you might meet Pieter and Fran Hamman, the jovial and welcoming couple who transformed what was previously a dowdy hotel into the chic Shoreditch House-esque place it is today. The South African pair bought Glazebrook as a project after they both retired – Fran has a background in restoration interiors, and Pieter in software development. The ‘Alice’ theme was mainly Fran’s idea, apparently – and one that Oulton was clearly delighted to run with… Exiting the hotel is like stepping back into reality. Behind you, a slightly dream-like world of outsized objets, butterfly collections and a book-lined room dedicated to tasting whisky and wine; outside, mature woodland and a landscaped garden, with the hum of the nearby A38 audible through the trees. Perhaps you might see an errant flamingo on the croquet lawn, but it all seems pretty unlikely, once you’re throwing your holdall into the car and breathing in the fresh Devon air…

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MANOR | Spring 2016


Eating the


Big Apple Jared Green shares his top dining tips on a culinary tour of New York City. Berkshire Pork, as served at The Musket Room


MANOR | Spring 2016



t seems the city that never sleeps is the city that always eats. Step out of your cab onto any New York street and you’ll immediately be hit by the omnipresence of food. From street stalls selling questionable hot dogs, to fivestar dining rooms serving the global elite, from supersized US comfort food to Mexican, Columbian, French and Latvian influences, from breakfast to brunch, to lunch, an afternoon snack, dinner and a late-night feast – you want it? In typical US consumer style, in New York “you got it”. Navigating this conundrum of cuisine can be a challenge. Ask any New Yorker where to eat and you’ll get a sharp, perhaps biased view: from the Brooklynite expect “Manhattan is so over, sold out, gentrified”, from the Lower East Sider “I get a nose bleed above 42nd street” which, decoded, infers the high-altitude street numbers are foreign territory to many who live low. Wandering without an agenda is a valid approach, but you may find many book out well in advance. A note: expectations of tipping have increased yet again. Restaurants expect 18% for standard service, up to 22% if noteworthy. PHOTO: THE MUSKET ROOM

A FINE FOUNDATION If you’re eating your way around New York, my advice is to plan in a fine dining experience (or two) as the foundation of your visit. Located amidst the independent fashion stores of the Bowery, The Musket Room (265 Elizabeth Street) is one. Situated in a trendy part of town, expect 30-somethings on dates in romantic nooks in among the whitewashed, brassadorned dining room. It’s notably stylish, but certainly not stiff. Matt Lambert, executive chef and co-owner, declares “it’s the end of fine dining: people are leaning towards a more casual dining experience, but still looking for high quality, interesting and delicious food.” And delicious it is. Awarded a Michelin star within six months of opening in 2013, Matt draws inspiration from his Kiwi upbringing, coupled with working in some of New York’s best kitchens. “It’s an opportunity to taste some of the very best ingredients from New Zealand, like Cervena deer and Ora King Salmon,” he says. We ate dinner at The Musket Room and every dish was magnificent. Berkshire pork, served with vegetables from the hangi (a traditional Maori coal pit oven). A vegetable tart like no other, with generous pieces of glossy al dente veg, served in an almond piecrust and drizzled in blue cheese foam. This exquisitely clean style is becoming more well known globally – food at The Musket Room is not dissimilar to the likes of Lyles or Ellory in London, served in a physical environment which mirrors the food: refined, but certainly not flamboyant. It’s fine dining without the fuss. If a more sparkly experience is what marks your fine dining, consider The Clocktower (5 Madison Avenue). Jason Atherton, the chef behind London’s Berners Tavern, achieves a decadence in food and environ. Three opulent dining chambers, decked out in a members’ club meets ‘Instagram-ready’ splendour. Expect an upmarket crowd,

Matt Lambert, executive chef and co-owner of The Musket Room

Flights to over 30 destinations this summer for business or pleasure

It’s Easy from Exeter MANOR | Spring 2016


New Yorkers have taken brunch under their wing and raised it as their own.


Sought-after brunches at Prune


Join locals and tourists at Katz’s Delicatessen


MANOR | Spring 2016

while the food may also raise an eyebrow: sauces are plated onto dishes at the table, and a British favourite of fish and chips is served with chips standing upright like soldiers. The seasonal menu fuses the haute influence of Atherton’s Catalan training at elBulli and British classics like Dover sole. Its ideal location, right across from Madison Square Park, is as if an upmarket piece of England has been transported direct to the Big Apple. LET’S DO BRUNCH New Yorkers are often under the impression that they invented the laziest of all meals we know as brunch. In fact, it was born in Britain in 1895. They have, it must be said, taken this meal under their wing and raised it as their own. Alongside biscuits (a savoury take on a scone) and gravy, eggs any which way (including over easy: fried very briefly on each side), quintessential American breakfast treats like waffles and French toast are served, often all day on weekends. Brunch is simply what’s done when you’re in New York. One of the most sought after brunches in Manhattan is served by Gabrielle Hamilton, author of New York Times bestseller Blood, Bones & Butter. Her petite and quite darling East Village restaurant, Prune (54 East 1st Street), serves brunch classics like Eggs Benedict and Dutch-style pancakes, alongside heartier options like steak and eggs, spaghetti a la carbonara. We noticed every diner in the restaurant enjoying a Bloody Mary alongside brunch – and why not – Prune has 11 boozy variants to choose from, including those infused with clam juice, wasabi or tequila.

escape You’re never far from brunch in this city. Egg Restaurant (135 North 5th Street, Brooklyn) serves brunch till 6pm on weekends and features Eggs Rothko, an undercooked egg served on brioche with cheddar. Penelope (159 Lexington Avenue) has been serving a brunch for 20 years; try the pumpkin waffles with apple-infused butter. Ruby’s Café (219 Mulberry Street) is well placed for those shopping in SoHo and TriBeCa, has an Australian-inspired fried egg and hash brown sandwich, and a breakfast bowl with salmon, brown rice and kale. Don’t assume the long brunch service hours are an invitation to linger – most don’t take bookings so intense stares from those in the queue will ensure you’re on your way out just as the bill is swiftly presented. But I wouldn’t worry, there’s always tomorrow’s brunch.


EAST VILLAGE EATS Everyone has their favourite New York neighbourhood and mine is the East Village. Once a ‘no-go zone’ due to drug and gang-related crime, raising rents means that wellfunded students now dominate the apartment market, but an edginess remains. The food is out of the box and culturally diverse. Somtum Der (85 Avenue A) boasts genuine northeast Thai cuisine, which has more chilli and less sugar than food from central Thailand. The spicy papaya salad with salted egg is deliciously spicy and sour, and the catfish soup

Try a Rugelach, a flaky pastry with a date filling at Zucker

LIVE THE ISLAND LIFE ON SCILLY It’s that first glimpse of pristine white sands. The bracing hit of sea air. Flowers you’ve never seen before. Shellfish fresh from the sea. Island hopping by day and tapping your feet to folk songs by night. When we connect you to the Isles of Scilly, you’ll connect with the rhythm of island life. #TRAVELLOCAL

Fly to Scilly in an hour or less from Exeter, Newquay and Land’s End airports. You can also sail to Scilly from Penzance on the Scillonian III passenger ferry.


MANOR | Spring 2016


hearty and flavoursome. Momofuku (171 First Avenue) is deservedly hyped and serves ramen noodles, buns and fried chicken. If you’ve not much time simply head to East 9th Street where Zucker Bakery (433 E 9th Street) bakes small batches of Jewish pastries like Rugelach, a flaky pastry with a clove-scented date filling. Just across the street, Superiority Burger (430 E 9th Street) pumps out headline-grabbing veggie burgers from a compact lower ground shop front. The dense quinoa and nut burgers are flavoured with spices and the sides are a must: we loved the sweet potato fries. Finally, if you fancy joining the hordes of tourists biting into a ginormous salt-beef sandwich from Katz’s Delicatessen

(205 E Houston Street), it’s not far from the village. You can even sit in the same chair where Harry met Sally. Some say that the food in New York isn’t innovative; rather, it reinvents traditions and steals from other cultures. I see the argument but think this understates the variety and creativity that influence New York food at every level. For the foodie tourist, it means you’ll be spoilt for choice. One thing is absolutely certain: while you’ll no doubt leave satisfied, you may well want to come back for a second helping. @edibleJared





Refined and elegant, The Knickerbocker (6 Times Square, pictured left) is centrally located, occupying a beaux-arts facade building dating from 1906. Dine at Charlie Palmer, the hotel’s signature restaurant, where a Martini Sommelier is on hand to help match cocktails to food. Hipster-friendly with on-trend design and uber-cool bars, The Standard Hotel is in both Chelsea (848 Washington Street) and the East Village (25 Cooper Square). Amidst SoHo’s high-end shopping area, The Mercer (147 Mercer Street) offers an authentic taste of loft living, evoking elegance and intimacy.


The Knickerbocker Hotel, where the martini was said to be invented



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The Highline, a linear urban park built upon a disused elevated rail line. Join the 1.45-mile walk through native plant beds and sculpture beginning in Chelsea (Gansevoort Street). And now, the Lowline (140 Essex Street), the world’s only underground park, is a working lab exploring how technology can build green space below cities. 9/11 memorial (180 Greenwich Street) comprises reflecting pools in the shadow of the former towers and a moving underground museum where rubble, staircases and fire trucks remain, just as they fell. The Whitney Museum of American Art (Gansevoort Street) is one of the newest additions to the NY art scene, curating 20th century and contemporary works. The Empire State Building (15-25 W 29th Street), for 360 degree views of mid town, on one of the only outdoor observation decks. The New Museum (235 Bowery) has a purely modern collection, including a striking observation deck cum installation and brilliant brownies in the café.

The Highline



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The Empire State Building

MANOR | Spring 2016


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For teachers and parents of children studying in the South West Schools news in brief

Sport at Queen’s College best of the best QUEEN’S COLLEGE is well known locally for its sporting prowess, and this has been officially recognised in the ‘Best Independent Sports Schools of 2015’ league table published in School Sports magazine. Hundreds of schools submitted their results in an effort to feature amongst what the magazine describes as ‘the best of the best’. Queen’s College is delighted to be ranked as 16th in the UK and the only school representing Taunton to make it into the elite group. The results were based on 20 different sports and more than 120 national competitions. Director of Sport, Simon Copeland, says: “We are thrilled to gain such a resounding endorsement for the superb sport here at Queen’s. It is a testament to the hard work of the students and the dedication of

our talented staff and I know it will act as further motivation for our teams this coming season.” The impressive development of sport at Queen’s College has seen the likes of Arul Suppiah (Director of Cricket) and Ian Haley (Director of Hockey) joining the coaching team, and the trophy cabinet is certainly well used as a result. This term, Queen’s College report a candidate for the 2016 Olympic training squad in Lillehammer, a Year 12 girl called up into the U18 England hockey team, an International Polo Team member selected to compete in Florida and the fastest U16 individual medley swimmer in the country. Queen’s offers a sports scholarship programme to nurture the very best talents.

Truro High School appoints new Head of Prep TRURO HIGH SCHOOL for Girls has announced the appointment of Annabel Ramsey (right) as its new Head of Prep. Annabel has been teaching at the school for just over a year and will begin her new role in September following the retirement of Alison Miller after 20 years. Headmaster Dr Glenn Moodie says: “Annabel is an outstanding teacher and an experienced school manager, having been Deputy Head at Archbishop Benson School in Truro. Her leadership skills shine through and I look forward to working with her in shaping the future of the Prep School.” Born and bred in Falmouth, Annabel has travelled extensively during her life and is now looking forward to settling down and implementing some of her exciting plans for the school. She says: “Truro High School is such a wonderful place to work and I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to play an instrumental role in developing what I know will be a very bright future for the school. I hope to build on the fantastic work done for so many years by Alison Miller, as well as introducing many new and exciting initiatives to ensure our girls make the most out of every minute they spend with us.”

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Schools news in brief

The Maynard School: Best in the West THE MAYNARD SCHOOL in Exeter is proud to be ranked the top school in the South West following last week’s publication of the Department for Education’s School and College Performance tables. “We are delighted to report that the performance tables have recognised the outstanding achievement of Maynard girls at A-level,” says Tom Hibberd, Director of the Sixth Form. “The Maynard is the highest-ranked school in the South West and 17th nationally, outperforming Colyton Grammar, Exeter School and Cheltenham Ladies’ College. This reflects the girls’ wonderful performances in the most rigorous and recognised A-levels available.” The table is based on the percentage of students gaining AAB or above, with at least two of these subjects facilitating subjects at A-level. Facilitating subjects are those A-levels recognised by the prestigious Russell Group of universities as essential grounding. They include the traditional core of a rigorous education – Mathematics, Sciences, History, English, Geography, Modern Languages and Classics.

“As a school we continue to go from strength to strength,” says Bee Hughes, the Headmistress, “and I am thrilled that we are now officially recognised as the top-achieving school ahead of all our competitors in the West Country. This is testament to all the wonderful staff and the sheer hard work of our students.”

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An education for life 126

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school Schools news in brief

Shebbear College educational enrichment trip to Poland CURRENTLY CELEBRATING its 175th year, Shebbear College in North Devon kicked off 2016 with a fantastic fiveday cultural experience for 30 of its Fifth and Sixth Form pupils. They enjoyed an enriching history and cultural trip to Krakow, Poland. On the first day they visited the beautiful Krakow Main Square, vibrant with street performers and activities, then on to the Jewish Quarter, where much of Schindler’s List was filmed. They visited the oldest synagogue in Poland, where all the men had to wear a head covering, and the Krakow Wailing Wall before heading to Oskar Schindler’s factory for a detailed museum visit. The tours around both camps at Auschwitz were very moving, uncovering the true enormity of the crime. One of the most challenging parts for the pupils was confronting 2,000kg of human hair (from around 30,000 women) shaved off after their murder. One minute’s silence for all the victims was observed on behalf of Shebbear College. This took place at the memorial between the two gas chambers at the end of the railway track in Birkenau. Twin pupils ended the silence by placing red roses and candles on the memorial, just a short distance from where millions perished and where Dr Mengele performed his horrific experiments on twins. All the pupils without exception conducted themselves with dignity and the utmost respect during the four-hour visit. Next, the group visited the Jagiellonian University, founded in 1364, where pupils had a guided tour of the museum and university rooms, including the study room of philosopher Nicolaus Copernicus (with his scientific equipment still in place), and the lecture room where the future Pope John Paul II once studied.

Pupils outside Wawel Royal Castle, Krakow

At the Galacia Jewish Museum, in a private conference room, they met holocaust survivor Monika Goldwasser. The room was silent as, through an interpreter, she told her heart-breaking story about how her parents were executed by the Nazis, and how she survived in a Krakow orphanage protected by nuns until she was adopted by a Polish couple. A poem written by Monika’s father was read aloud, then the pupils asked her questions. Monika expounded the importance of love and left them with this thoughtprovoking message: “You are young, your whole life is ahead of you and you will have many decisions to make – remember, your decisions will reflect upon other people.” The next excursion was to Nowa Huta, a ‘Communist Paradise’ designed and built, post-war, to Stalin’s communist ideology. Huge buildings, inspired by Leonardo DaVinci and in Baroque style, housed workers from the Lenin Steelworks. Students learned about the Cold War, Lech Walesa, Solidarity and the fall of Communism. Stalin’s ideology allowed no churches to be built in Nowa Huta, but the deeply religious Polish workers fought to build a church of their own, one of the first victories for the workers. The pupils visited the vast, impressive church and went inside to find thousands attending mass on the first day of Lent. Staff and pupils on the trip experienced a ‘rollercoaster’ of emotions during the five days. In between the visits and talks, the girls enjoyed shopping trips and traditional Polish dining and dancing. The excellent behaviour and respect shown by all the pupils in some challenging situations is a credit to their parents and to the College.

At Auschwitz MANOR | Spring 2016


Choosing a school is one of the most daunting decisions parents will make. Professor Ruth Merttens offers advice on how to make sure you find the right place for your child


ince I have spent most of my professional life working in the area of primary education and with primary schools all over England and Wales, the title of this article might seem a reasonable question in the pub of an evening. “Come on, Ruth,” people will ask, “you must know the things we should look out for, what’s important and what’s not?” And so on. Although it’s true that within an hour of entering a primary school I am likely to have a very good idea of whether I would want to send my children there, and also, more formally, of its likely score in an Ofsted report on quality of teaching and learning, nevertheless the above 128

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remains a difficult question. Judging a primary school – as anyone who has studied a large number of Ofsted reports will concur – is a very difficult business, where instinct and impression are likely to be as important as figures and data. But as is so often the case, the first thing that any parent (or grandparent) choosing a school needs to interrogate is themselves! What do they want out of a school? Unless you have a clear answer to this question, it is going to be very hard to know when you have found a good one! Let’s start with a little quiz – the scale is 1 to 4, where 1 is not true and 4 is very true. Answer each question, giving yourself a score for each one.

school 1. The most important thing to me is that my child is happy at school. 2. The school must have good results in terms of SAT scores (i.e. on National Tests, reading scores, and so forth). 3. The school should have a good mix of children, from as many different walks of life as possible. 4. There must be a good ‘set’ of children attending the school so that my child will have a compatible and beneficial peer group. 5. There must be a really strong emphasis on selfexpression, creativity and fulfilment, enabled by good provision in art, music, drama, and the expressive arts. 6. All that really matters, at the end of the day, is that Maths and English (reading and writing) are really well taught throughout the school. 7. It really matters that there is a nurturing, gentle and tolerant atmosphere in the school. 8. The discipline in the school must be strong, and wrongdoing or any form of bullying must be swiftly identified and punished. 9. There should be an awareness throughout the school of the diversity of our modern society and also of the ecological challenges we all face. 10. Sport, outdoor activity and physical exercise are really important. Divide the questions into two sets – the even-numbered questions and the odd-numbered questions. Add up your score for each set. What was your total score on the oddnumbered questions? And on the even-numbered questions? It will be apparent that a person who has a high score on questions 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 has a very different view of what constitutes a really good primary school than the person who scores highly on questions 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10. Many of us, of course, will be somewhere in the middle, and possibly had great difficulty in giving ourselves an accurate score on one or two of the questions. This difficulty becomes even more evident if we are required to put the statements 1-10 in order of importance. Try it and see. So, a great deal depends on what exactly we are looking for. And it is very helpful to have thought about that, and, if possible, to have discussed it in advance of going to see some primary schools. But, having said that, there are some things to look out for and which can help us decide if the school we are visiting is good or not. It is helpful to list these, and I have tried to do so in order of importance. ATMOSPHERE AND ETHOS This is often commented upon, in official publicity, in inspection reports and even verbally in the all-important ‘tour-round-the-school’. But what is it, does it matter and how do we assess it? It matters immensely. Without a good ethos, little productive teaching and learning can take place, children cannot develop safely and confidently and, ultimately, a child will find it hard to settle and be happy. One of the benefits of experience is that I can sense the ethos MANOR | Spring 2016


of a school within a very short time, and am nearly always correct in my conclusion about this. Yet it is very hard to put into words and tie down what makes it possible to judge. Nevertheless, here are a few tips to help. •

• •

• •

Look at the children in the school. Do they seem happy? Purposeful? How do they move from place to place – are they confident? Do they seem as if they feel ‘at home’? Do the children really seem to behave as if it is ‘their’ school? Listen to how the adults (teachers but also support staff ) talk to the children. Do they speak crossly? Do they speak with respect? Listen to the conversations that you hear between adults and children. What are most of these about? Are they about behaviour? Are they ‘telling-off ’ or disciplinary? Or are they about learning, about something of interest or concern to the child/children? Listen to the ways in which adults talk to other adults within the school. Are they respectful? Are they friendly? Does it seem like the adults working in the school feel as if it is ‘their’ school? Is the school tidy? Does it look as though someone really cares how the corridors and general spaces look? Does it feel loved? Are there lots of displays of children’s work in the classrooms? Does it look as if only certain children get their work displayed or is there work of many different types, and at different stages of learning, displayed? What sort of spaces are there for children to be in? Are there classrooms and outdoor areas? How are these organised? Do they feel comfortable?

Some of these points touch on matters to which we will return, such as the school environment and also the policies on behaviour management, teaching and learning. But the tips taken together try to encompass something on which it is hard to put one’s finger, but which nonetheless matters more than anything else. With regard to ethos, one’s impression, our instincts, are as likely to help us make a judgement as any number of facts and figures. This really is a ‘feel-factor’. QUALITY OF TEACHING AND LEARNING A school is not a factory – it is not churning out cans of baked beans or cars on a production line, much as various government ministers seem to construe education in that way. All children learn in slightly different ways; they have different interests and enthusiasms, they go through ‘fast-learning spurts’ and ‘stable consolidation periods’ at different times and for varying lengths of time. Even if two children are the same age and gender, they are unlikely to find all the same things easy and have trouble with identical bits of the curriculum. These are all truisms, but, like Ministers for Education, parents regularly ignore or forget what inevitably follows. A ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach is unlikely to work in primary education. 130

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Have a look at the examples of teaching and learning that you get a chance to view as you go round the school. Are all the children doing the exact same page at the same time? What provision is made to accommodate difference? How are children who don’t immediately ‘get’ something made to feel? How are they helped to progress? What provision is made for targeted help, if necessary, at the level of the individual child? A word of warning is in order here. Although, when we look at primary schools for our bright four-year-old we may be convinced that they are gifted, highly intelligent, ahead of their age, and a ‘natural learner’, this may not actually stay true for very long. In my experience, many children come to school counting to a thousand at age four and still, age six, have real trouble with more abstract mathematical concepts that do not depend on routine learning. Many children can write their own names as well as those of a wide variety of dinosaurs, and are apparently capable of reading a short text, but later have difficulty with the higher literacy skills. Just as some children learn to talk at 18 months, and some don’t say a word until three, yet, by six years old, it is hard to distinguish those who spoke late and those who talked early, so performance on a variety of skills at age four is often more indicative of the child’s background than of their native ability. No child is successful in everything all the time. What if your child in two or three years’ time comes to struggle with a particular thing? The school you chose because of its extremely high expectations and its ability to ‘stretch’ children may prove to be fine if you are achieving and less fine when you find something hard. Look for evidence of excitement about learning. Are the children keen to learn? What motivates them to try hard? Is it all about competition? That’s fine if you are always ‘winning’; less fine if you have a bad day… week… month… and lose confidence and, hence, motivation. Is there evidence of stimulating teaching? Creative ideas? In all subjects? (Yes, including maths!) It is not that all learning – or even most of it – should be ‘fun’, but it is about looking for what motivates children to learn, to persevere when the going gets hard, as it always does at some point. What stimulates them? What lights up the whole endeavour? One of the best indications is whether the teachers seem to be enjoying their teaching. Do they seem to love their class? Do the children love them? Rousseau said that a child who is unloved is ineducable. Children will give their all for a teacher they like, and will do as little as possible for a teacher they dislike or do not respect. It is worth remembering this. ENVIRONMENT This is a tricky one, as glossy, new buildings, recently renovated playgrounds or an on-site swimming pool can give the impression of a good school where there are no other indications that this is so. I have visited good schools in old buildings where there is little funding to improve them


There is a myth in the UK that small is beautiful where schools are concerned. Interestingly, in other countries, the exact opposite it believed. and the nearest swimming pool is several miles away, and seen poor education in brand new, purpose-built schools. The question to ask yourself is similar to that concerning the school community. Does the school look loved? Caredfor? Attended to? Is it tidy? Does each area have a sense of function? Do we know what, in educational terms, happens in this small space? In that large corner? I look first and foremost at the displays – not at the permanent ones that were designed by the architect or painted many years ago. No, I study the ongoing displays, the ones that teachers and children do together. These are the vital evidence of learning. A school is not an office; the décor does not matter. Rather, it is a series of spaces in which learning has to be encouraged and children’s progress nurtured. So I look at the artwork, at the variety of subjects displayed, and also at the range of children’s names. Do the same names occur again and again or is there a wide selection? Are the displays vibrant, full of care and attention to detail? Is there evidence of topic work, where children are engaged with interest in learning in context? English schools rightly have an international reputation for the quality of the school environment; not the new, shiny, glass buildings seen in Singapore, but the walls covered in Roman mosaic patterns, draped in cloths bearing Roman insignia and with tables groaning under the weight of the home-made Roman

chariots and model villas – all because 4b are studying Romans this half term. Such things are the evidence of a really animated learning community. SIZE AND AGE There is a popular myth in the UK that small is beautiful where schools are concerned. Interestingly, in other countries, the exact opposite is believed. As any thinking person might expect, neither the size nor the age of a school is any guarantee of the quality of its education – in either direction. Many small schools do a wonderful job, and provide a diverse curriculum and a wide range of experiences. Many large schools are nurturing and tender, allowing children to operate in small groups and to move between these as they feel comfortable and want to extend their wings, moving into new contexts. However, it is sadly also the case that some small schools do not cherish their inmates, adults or children, and the quality of teaching and learning is mediocre, the range of experiences limited. In some large schools, children can feel anonymous and uncared for, and the teaching is brisk and impersonal, the learning routinised and rote. Size alone tells us little. I take size into account by asking different questions when looking for the quality of education. If a school is small, I look to see how teachers are extending and broadening the MANOR | Spring 2016


school range of experiences with which children are presented in their learning. It is also important to ask how long a child spends with any single class teacher. If children stay for two or even three years in the same class in a village school, this can be great if the teacher is brilliant, and your child and she get on like a house on fire. However, if there is a personality clash (and these do exist) and the style of teaching does not suit your child, it can be a disaster. Two years is a long time in a child’s education at this point. In a large school, what steps are taken to ensure that children feel secure and contained? How are the play areas supervised and divided, and younger or vulnerable children protected? How do children move through classes from year to year? Is there flexibility in moving children where friendship patterns are disrupting their learning or happiness? The size of the school is no indication as to whether it is a good school or not, but does need to be taken into account when framing our questions.

The library makes a good example of what I look for when considering a school’s resources because it is about learning.

PROVISION AND RESOURCES As with size, this can be a bit of a red herring. A really wellresourced school does not necessarily have brilliant teachers, a caring, secure atmosphere or enthusiastic learners. However, it is the ways in which the school management prioritise their spending that are of interest to me. These say a lot about what they believe really matters. A good example is that of the library. It is hard – especially in today’s harsh economic climate – to preserve the school library, that area which is set aside for books and reading, the exploration of texts and the excitement of fantasy. Some schools have had to give up the room that used to house the library and use it as a classroom. I understand all these constraints. However, I firmly believe that a school that has no space specifically set aside as a library area does not really value reading. And reading – discovering information in books, getting hooked on an exciting story, becoming immersed in a fantasy world or stimulated by fantastic facts about amazing events, creatures or things – is the single most important and complex array of skills that children absolutely must acquire at primary school. The library makes a good example of what I look for when considering a school’s resources because it is about learning. And schools are all about learning. Look at any resource – particularly the new and glamorous (often expensive) ones – and ask what they contribute to the quality of teaching and learning. Playground equipment contributes a lot – children who cannot play, cannot learn. Being able not just to run around, but also to share a fantasy, spin a narrative, as you do this is vital. Books, obviously, contribute a lot, as does IT equipment. But always ask the question. CONCLUSION Schools are living, breathing entities. They are a bit like people – it is hard to say what makes a really good one, but we all recognise it when we see it. I guess the best piece of advice I can offer parents when they are making the allimportant decision of choosing a school is to remember what a school is for. It is there to engender and encourage your child to learn. Most importantly, your child needs not only to develop and learn things, they need to enjoy their learning – to be stimulated and enthused by it. When they are little, children can be bribed or even bullied into some sort of learning. But as they grow older, this gets less and less possible. The prescient saying ‘you can take a horse to water but you cannot make it drink’ comes back to haunt many parents. A child who learns to decode texts but hates reading is exceedingly unlikely to do well in education. A child who can draw lines and do sums but who is scared of numbers will have enormous trouble in getting a good maths qualification at secondary school. Primary schools in England are often among the best in the world, mainly because the concept of a good primary education here includes stimulating teaching, broad, interest-based curricula projects and a focus on motivation rather than competition. Inspiring children to learn is key – and in good schools, such inspiration is evident – you can’t really miss it.


MANOR | Spring 2016


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Choosing a nursery school Happy Days South West consults an ex-Ofsted inspector about what to look for when choosing a childcare provider.


s an overwhelming number of nurseries and pre-schools now provide good or outstanding care as judged by Ofsted, you have to choose the one that best suits your child’s needs and fits with your family circumstances. There are a number of factors to consider when viewing the nursery options to send your child to.

PEOPLE It is the experience and skills of the staff at the nursery at all levels that will ultimately determine the quality of the nursery experience for your children. • Are you greeted warmly? The staffing system with regard to the nursery manager, senior staff and others is explained. There is a noticeboard showing photographs and names and roles of the staff team. • The nursery staff are happily engaged with all the children in their care, having animated conversations singly and with groups of children. Staff are working with groups of children across the nursery rooms, ready to give support to children in their play and learning when they need it. Some staff may be standing back, observing children who are happy to be independent in their play. • Is there enough staff to meet the needs of the children being cared for? This is evidenced by the calm atmosphere of the nursery. Staff know what they are doing and carry out their duties in a calm, unhurried way. Significantly, children’s needs are attended to promptly, e.g. a nappy needing changing, a baby who is hungry, a child who is upset for any reason and needing reassurance and a cuddle. • Staff speak to all the children appropriately, use their names, have eye contact when speaking directly to individual children; they use correct words, talk clearly and do not shout. • In the area of the nursery where the youngest babies and toddlers are cared for, it should be evident that there are more staff employed to care for their needs. • Staff explain clearly how they can support your child’s learning and development, and are relaxed and confident in talking to you about this. • Staff are interested in what you have to say about your child, especially about any fears and concerns you might have at leaving your child for the first time.

PLACE Nurseries are sited in a variety of buildings. Some are new and purpose built, others refurbished and renovated older buildings.


MANOR | Spring 2016

Whatever the age and design of the building, consider the following: • The security of the nursery is effective. All visitors, including parents, are admitted by a member of staff, unless parents have a security code for the external door. All visitors to the nursery, including prospective visiting parents, are asked to sign a visitors’ book. • Children have free access to all areas of their indoor and outside play and learning spaces, but are secure within the boundaries of the nursery. They cannot independently access the external doors. • The outside play areas are secure and equipped with ageappropriate resources and include children’s access to the natural world, such as plants, trees, animal habitats and growing areas. • The play and learning resources engage the children’s interests. Staff can explain the purpose of the children’s activities and the equipment in respect of furthering children’s learning and development. • The nursery rooms are well decorated, organised, and include storage for equipment and children’s personal items, as well as their work pieces. Noticeboards and displays reflect the children’s own work and are therefore diverse and show a range of skills and abilities. • All bathroom and toilet areas are clean and properly equipped with resources to meet children’s personal care needs. • There is sufficient and appropriate furniture for mealtimes for all the ages of children at the nursery, and appropriate staff support to children at such times


A nursery has a comprehensive range of policies and procedures that underpin the way it operates. They should be readily available to all. These policies and procedure documents contain significant details concerning, for instance, how staff are vetted, how the nursery ensures the safety of all children and adults, what the nursery does in response to an incident or accident, the giving of any medication and more.

Last, but by no means least – the children. The quality of the care delivered by a nursery is conveyed primarily by the children it cares for. The best nursery is where all children, whatever their ages and abilities, show that they are happy, engaged, relaxed and confident in the way they use the equipment, the nursery space and in the way they relate to the staff and each other.


The future of STEM Girls’ schools are leading the way in encouraging more women to forge careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.



here are few who would argue that women in science have come a long way since Hypatia, a brilliant mathematician and astronomer, was burnt as a witch by an angry mob around the year 400. But while others, including Marie Curie, have tried valiantly to raise the profile of ‘ladies in lab coats’, there’s no doubt that the female of the species is still woefully under-represented in many areas of science. The good news is that it’s an imbalance that those within the industry are keen to redress, with many looking to girls’ schools to lead the revolution. A study conducted by the Goodman Research Group showed that graduates of all-girls’ schools are six times more likely to consider studying mathematics, science and technology beyond school. In the US, the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools found pupils from single-sex schools are three times more likely to consider engineering careers; while back in the UK, the Institute of Physics has shown that girls in GSA independent girls’ schools are three times more likely than girls nationally to study Physics at A Level. So why do girls in co-educational schools not consider STEM subjects in the same numbers as those in single-sex education? After all, these are subjects and careers where employers are crying out for more women. Dr Glenn Moodie is the Headmaster of Cornwall’s awardwinning Truro High School for Girls. He believes the answer is clear: “At the top of the list of reasons is no doubt gender stereotyping, which seems to be an unwanted by-product of coeducation. It’s perhaps also because in co-ed settings there are things which girls are more reticent about doing. “I realise this is a generalisation, but in my experience girls in single-sex environments are more willing to take risks, more likely to see the value of failure, and more eager to persevere when things get tough. This may be because they find an all-girls environment a more secure place in which to explore possibilities and because there is a freedom from some of the social pressures that exist in the co-ed world.” At Truro High School, all girls automatically take GCSEs in all three sciences – one of few schools in the region where this is still the case. Next week, the school will join the team from the Roseland Observatory to host a day of primary school science workshops encouraging pupils as young as nine to think more deeply about Tim Peake’s mission into space. Last month, every pupil from Reception Class to Sixth Form was given the chance to get hands-on with the world land speed record car Bloodhound SSC, which took up residence at the school for four days of educational workshops and exhibitions. First in the queue to see it were the girls who make up the school’s Greenpower Racing Team, who regularly pull on their overalls to design, build, modify and race their own cars run on 24-volt batteries (above right). “The team is run by our Science Department,” says Dr Moodie,

All smiles in the pit lane for the school’s Greenpower racing team

“and we have been inundated with offers of help and support from a whole range of individuals, businesses and other educational institutions who are looking for opportunities to encourage girls to get involved in engineering. “It is clear that there is a real desire to try to change things. This is evident in the media on a very regular basis. However, change does appear to be slow in coming. It is unbelievable to think that in a first world country in the 21st century that there is still this gender gap.” According to the school’s Head of Science, Jon Dean, it’s a gap that all schools must work hard to close: “Through our various activities we hope to inspire the girls and get them to explore the world around them. We want to encourage them to be more demanding in terms of the questions they ask, to look at the problems in different ways, to delve deeper and to find solutions as a result. Enthusiasm and the need to find answers are key to developing young engineers, and girls in particular have this drive and want to know how to solve the puzzles of the technological world around them. “This process of inspiration and imagination is absolutely fundamental in STEM. Without it, today’s science fiction will not become tomorrow’s science fact.”

MANOR | Spring 2016


In Help Your Child at Home, Professor Ruth Merttens provides parents with advice on how they can assist their children’s learning. In the sixth part of this exclusive series for MANOR, she focuses on helping older primary school children (7-11 years) with writing.


riting is not easy but it is necessary. As we saw when thinking about infants, it is nowadays necessary to stress the importance of writing in a way that was perhaps taken as given by previous generations of learners. “Why does it matter how I write?” a 7-year-old, struggling to master legible handwriting, will moan. “When I’m a grown-up, no-one will write anything! It will all be on laptops, tablets, phones…! Heard of these, Mum?” There are many answers, but the short response is the same as it has always been: there are very few jobs, occupations or professions where it is never necessary to handwrite something quickly and legibly. And that includes being a professional world-class footballer or a celebrity pop-star. However, there are other reasons why writing, including by hand, will always be important. Writing helps us organise our thoughts, our lives, our friends and family. There is often no substitute for a postcard or note – a physical object. When writing, we often make our feelings clear to ourselves. Taking notes, handwritten as well as typed, is an incredibly 136

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useful way of ensuring that information travels from finger to brain (I have found it is necessary to really emphasise this to the teenagers I teach for GCSE). But the main point is that writing is a complex human activity – it encompasses not only the transcription skills of forming letters, leaving spaces between words, laying out legible text, spelling correctly, and so forth, but also the higher-level skills of organising what we want to say, expressing an idea, thought or fact in words, creating a poem or narrative and conveying information through a wide variety of written media. In short, the complicated and multifaceted skill that we call writing is as essential today as it ever was, both to education and to life beyond school. HOW CAN PARENTS HELP? Since we can see that nice handwriting or correct spelling only encompass a relatively small part of what writing is all about, we have to step back and think carefully how best to support our children’s acquisition of this intricate process. At

school the heart of writing lies the ability to communicate clearly with others. This entails being able to express ourselves in words and so is directly linked to children’s ability to speak. Engaging children in conversation, asking them to recount the ‘story’ of what happened on their school trip, encouraging them to express their feelings in carefully chosen words that accurately describe a state of mind – all these are of immense help when it comes to them setting pen to paper at school to perform a written assignment. Try not to confuse conversation with interrogation (How was school? Did you eat your lunch? Did you give Mr Glossop that note? Have you found your jumper yet?). Perhaps you could start by telling your child something that happened to you today. This way, they are more likely to reciprocate with their own story. It is essential to talk, talk, talk and, of course, to listen, listen, listen. ‘My son hates writing, he’ll do anything to avoid it’ – which of us hasn’t said something like this at one time or another? And it is understandable that after a day at school doing lots of writing, most children really want to do something else afterwards. So it is lucky that there are home activities many children enjoy that happen to have a bit of writing as part of them, including scribing ‘pretend’ wedding invitations in a fantasy role-play game, designing menus for the ‘restaurant-in-the-bedroom’ or making a list of match fixtures for a diary of football events. There are also photo albums or scrapbooks about a favourite hobby or a special holiday, and we might write out favourite song lyrics, or make little picture books or comic stories for a younger brother or sister. Some children love keeping a diary, secret or otherwise. It’s really important that we continue to praise our children’s efforts and ideas, and even more crucial to hold back on the urge to criticise the state of their handwriting or spelling. Just be pleased that they are writing as part of their leisure activities. The bottom line here is that we want children to feel that paper is a safe place to explore their ideas, whether in pictures or in writing, and that every time they decide to write something, it isn’t going to be ‘marked’ and expected to be perfect. Think about it: when they were younger, were we not happy to display their imperfect pictures on the fridge for everyone to admire? So why should we not be happy to do the same with a piece of their writing now? It shows our children how much we value their efforts and ideas. This kind of independent creative writing, however flawed, is all helping to make their writing both fluent and error-free in the end. These days, writing doesn’t have to involve pencil and paper. More and more of us do most of our writing by typing on a keyboard with a computer screen or using three or four fingers on a tablet with a touch screen. This will be even more the case for our children. So it makes perfect sense to encourage children to write electronically as well as using ‘old-fashioned’ media like pens, crayons, paper, chalks and boards. Suggest they write via email to a friend or relative who lives far away. The beauty of an email is that it can be

very short and easy to write, and replies can be received very quickly. Attaching photos or website links can also be a good incentive to write an email – and encourages the respondent to reply. Children can also write texts using either your phone or your tablet, but try to encourage the use of a standard script as well as textese. There are an increasing number of children who genuinely believe that ‘b4’ is how you spell ‘before’, that ‘cnt’ spells ‘can’t’, ‘h8’ spells ‘hate’ and that ‘g2cu’ really is how you write ‘good to see you’. We cannot eliminate the use of textese but we can make it clear that it is not standard English and that it has an appropriate time and place – which is not in an essay you are doing for homework, a letter to granny or in a job application. HANDWRITING So we understand that, although much of today’s writing is done on a keyboard or touch screen, the ability to handwrite clearly and easily is still very important. This needs to be reiterated so that children appreciate the necessity. As a grown-up, it is hard to rent a flat, buy a car, collect an undelivered parcel or get meaningful employment if you cannot write legibly. By the time they hit seven, children should know how to form each letter and should be able to do so automatically. However, it is easy for children to slip into bad habits. A basic requirement of handwriting is that it can be read without difficulty. Another is that it can be written with ease, without causing physical pain or cramp to the writer. Help your child to maintain good hand muscle development by providing them with opportunities that they enjoy – using Lego, knitting or sewing, making models using ready-made kits or creating artefacts using loom bands or weaving silk threads. Show them how to use simple tools such as screwdrivers; teach them to chop vegetables safely using a knife. Any of these activities will help develop the fine motor skills required for legible, pain-free handwriting. But it is true that many children do find writing difficult, even though they are more than capable of building the most intricate Lego or Meccano models. Letter formation remains important as they grow – it is impossible to join letters if they are formed wrongly or written in the wrong direction. So if your child is struggling, it is good to observe how they are forming each letter. 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 MANOR | Spring 2016


It cannot be denied that it is boring doing handwriting practice, and children often respond better to a non-parent urging them on than to their poor over-worked, under-appreciated Mum or Dad. If you feel that this is an issue, it is most helpful to alert the teacher or to ask a different person to practise this with them – perhaps a lovely granddad or a favourite auntie. It cannot be denied that it is boring doing handwriting practice, and children often respond better to a non-parent urging them on than to their poor over-worked, under-appreciated Mum or Dad. Of course writing at home is often going to happen in the form of homework. At this age, many children will be expected not only to learn spellings by heart but also to complete pieces of writing at home. The really crucial thing here is to be clear what the purpose of the homework is. Is it about how their sentences are punctuated or is it about how to structure their piece of writing? Do your best to make the purpose your main focus as well as theirs for that piece of work. So if the homework is about imagining a future-world setting for a story, try not to express horror at the state of their spelling but do pay attention to what good ‘describingwords’ they are choosing. After that, if you just can’t help yourself, ask them to revisit a couple of glaring spelling mistakes and make improvements. This is not easy, but expressing more criticism than praise of your child’s efforts is only going to put them off and discourage them further. So praise, praise, praise is a good motto! As children get older, spelling becomes increasingly important. Over the many years I have been involved with primary education, I have seen a wide range of theories come and go here. It was widely believed that if children 138

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were avid readers, they would also be good spellers, but, unfortunately, this proves not always to be the case. It is true that reading is a vital part of becoming a writer, but not necessarily the case that the more you read, the better you spell. Unfortunately, naked intelligence is not much help here either! There is no means of knowing that ‘force’ is spelt as it is rather than being ‘fourse’ as in ‘course’ or ‘foarse’ as in ‘coarse’ or indeed ‘forse’ as in ‘horse’ except by having seen and remembered the correct spelling. So although it is true, as current theories assert, that phonics – i.e. splitting words into their constituent sounds – helps with spelling, it is not a panacea. We do want children to sound out words, and this will help them make an intelligent guess, but their intelligent guess may still be incorrect. As a teacher, I look to see if a misspelling is ‘phonically correct’ – i.e. the word could be spelt like that, it just happens not to be – or if it is a complete guess. If a child is using phonics correctly to spell, they will make far fewer errors, although, as argued above, there will still be some. We also try to help children to make connections between words, and to understand ‘word-families’. So ‘distance’ must have an ‘a’ rather than an ‘e’ in the last syllable because we know that it is in the same family as ‘distant’ and ‘distantly’, in both of which the /a/ sound is stressed. At the end of the day, spellings do 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

school 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 children are likely to continue misspelling these words in independent writing for a little while longer because, as they write, they are trying to juggle so many other new skills. It is fine to gently remind them about one of the misspellings in their amazing spaceship story 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 it is far easier to motivate children to write if what they write has a real purpose. This can include almost any ‘adult’ and meaningful context – writing lists, emails to friends and relations who live far away, ‘thank-you’ letters, notices, filling out order forms together with you, and so on. • DON’T give up on poor letter formation. Although your reluctant eight-year-old may now be writing, and you may both have just heaved a huge sigh of relief, if he is persistently misforming letters, this will matter. As he is required to write faster and produce more text, he will simply not attain the fluency required. It can be very hard to persuade a truculent Y3 child that they are not forming their letters correctly, but don’t give up. Be really positive. Show what you mean 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 using a variety of different media. They do need to write on laptops, tablets and other devices using touch screens and keyboards. They also need to use pens, paper, crayons and even paints. The skills required are different – and important. But, interestingly, because the process and the context is so different, so is the type of content. Children need to experience all of the above and to practise the related skills. • DON’T stop reading with your child. We know that the development of good writing skills is closely linked to how much children read and also to the variety of reading material they enjoy. A child who reads a lot will inevitably start to become familiar with a wider range of vocabulary and more complicated sentence structures than a child who does not. Reading affects everything – but especially writing. • DO remember that, no matter how old children are, they still like to be read to. Listening to a novel is another way of helping your child benefit from immersion in written language – and there are many excellent story CDs, which can be played on a car journey or as they relax before going to sleep at night. • DON’T forget to show that you yourself value writing. I have commented before that children do as we do, rather than doing as we say. If children see their parents

writing, whether it is emails, letters or postcards, they will want to participate in this grown-up form of communication themselves. This also applies to texting, of course, but the learning gains are much less evident when the language is textese rather than English. DO remember that writing is a hugely complex skill. It took many millennia of human development before the first writing was conceived. Learning to write is not achieved overnight. The amalgam of higher-level meaning-making and transcriptional proficiency makes this a very advanced skill. So lots of encouragement is required. DON’T point out every spelling mistake your child is making. Children need encouragement and positive reinforcement to be confident, and a confident child makes a better learner.

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school GAMES AND FUN ACTIVITIES Each of these activities helps children develop one or more of the skills needed to become a proficient and enthusiastic writer – including exercising their imaginations! All the activities below are for two people.

Triangle of syllables

Preparation: you need paper and felt tips.

Fruit App–le Ban–an–a L o – g a n – b e r r– y Rasp–berr–ies–and–cream Man–go–and–pine–app–le To play • A triangle is made up of layers. • Each layer has one more syllable than the layer above it. • Triangles always have a ‘theme’ – the one illustrated is fruit. But you could have ‘space’ or ‘under-sea’ or ‘football’, etc. • Create a triangle each. You must try to get six layers! How many syllables in the bottom layer? • Whose is the best? Repeat with different themes.

Dated or what?

Preparation: You need some older relations or friends to be your talk-partner for this activity. It also helps if you have a pile of 10 pence pieces! To play • Write an expression you or one of your friends might use. E.g. ‘zero chill…’ OR write a bit of textese, e.g. CUL8r for see you later. Try to write one that you think your talk-partner won’t know. • Ask your talk-partner to write an expression they used when they were young that they think you won’t know. • Swap your writing. Can either of you say what the expression Try Bluetooth, grandad you are reading means? • If you can you get a 10p reward. • Play again – try to think of an expression they definitely Bluetooth? won’t know. My teeth aren’t blue!

This activity helps children realise that language is continuously changing. It also extends vocabulary!

Twenty spelling questions

Preparation: you need some small pieces of paper and a pen. To play • Think of an object or creature – it can be something you want or something you have or even an imaginary thing like a dragon! • Write it on a piece of paper and fold it over so your partner cannot see. • Your partner has 20 questions to find out what you wrote on your paper. • But you must obey these rules: 1. you can only answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to their questions. 2. The questions have to be about the SPELLING! They may not be questions about what it is. • Good questions include… Does it start with a vowel? Is it more than six letters? Does it end in a consonant? Does the last syllable rhyme with ‘ant’? Good luck!

Longest sentence in the world

Preparation: You need someone to play with and some tokens (these could be counters, Lego bricks or dried beans). To play • Write a simple sentence. E.g. The dog ate the book. • Your partner has to write it again but add a word or phrase. E.g. The naughty dog ate the book. • You re-write it adding another word or phrase. E.g. In the morning, the naughty dog ate the book. • Keep taking it in turns and adding words to the sentence. BUT you must obey these rules! 1. You cannot have more than three adjectives moderating one noun. 2. You cannot have more than three adverbs moderating one verb. • The person who writes the last addition to the sentence wins that round. They get a token. • Play several times. The person with the most tokens has earned a reward.

HELP YOUR CHILD AT HOME PART SEVEN In the next part of this exclusive series, Professor Ruth Merttens will focus on how to help your teenage child with maths. If you have missed an issue and would like to access a part of the series, please write to


MANOR | Spring 2016

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KINGSTON, South Devon

â– Guide

Price ÂŁ1,300,000

A fabulous 5 bedroom detached farmhouse in a wonderful idyllic setting with a detached barn, with planning permission, giving the opportunity for a variety of uses. Walled garden, garaging/workshop, stabling and paddock, just under 5.5 acres with distant sea views. Less than 2 miles to Wonwell Beach and 4 miles from Modbury. EPC Rating F. Web Ref 82567 Idyllic location | detached barn with planning permission | approx. 5.5 acres For further details please contact our Prime Waterfront & Country House Department on 01548 857588


MANOR | Spring 2016

Property The Bulletin | Property of note: Hepburn House, South Hams, Devon Snapshot comparative

Trewin House, Cornwall On the market with Strutt & Parker. Guide price: ÂŁ1,950,000. See page 153

MANOR | Spring 2016



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Price ÂŁ1,500,000

A superb former rectory, this period country house has many character features including a magnificent entrance hall and beautifully proportioned rooms in a wonderful setting surrounded by its own garden and grounds of over 9 acres, approx. 4 miles from the sea at Bantham. EPC Rating D. Web Ref 89662 Period country house | set in wonderful grounds | approx. 4 miles from the sea For further details please contact our Prime Waterfront & Country House Department on 01548 857588


MANOR | Spring 2016


The Bulletin Selling your house is up there with death and divorce as one of life’s major stressors, but it needn’t be a painful process, as property consultant Martin Lamb explains


hen I first started selling residential and country property for Knight Frank & Rutley in 1980, it was a very different business. There was no internet, websites, or mobile phones. No fax machines, photocopiers or even computers. How did we function? We wrote letters, kept scrupulous handwritten notes in a thick Contacts Book and worked the telephones really hard. In 35 years I have seen hundreds of houses, met thousands of owners and dealt with buyers of all different shapes, sizes, nationalities and financial ambitions, and there are some things that don’t change. It is said, fairly truthfully, that the three worst experiences in life are death, divorce and selling a house. The first two have to be unpleasant but the third does not, given some careful thought and preparation. In order to smooth the process, it is vital to analyse the fundamentals:

with suitable respect. Do your homework on your property’s paperwork – planning permissions, building regulation certificates and guarantees – all these will hold up the legal process once you have agreed a sale. Most importantly, do not choose your agent on the basis of the highest valuation and lowest fee. ‘If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys’, and that goes for your solicitor as well. The English method of selling property is uncertain and unsatisfactory, but it need not be as bad as death and divorce, if handled carefully. Martin Lamb was formerly a Director of Savills and a Salaried Partner with Knight Frank, and now runs his own independent property consultancy, Martin Lamb Consulting. 07967 555840

1. What is the property like, what are its drawbacks and into which part of the market does it fit? 2. Why is it being sold? Is the owner downsizing or expanding, are there economic pressures, such as debt, or is it because of marital strife? 3. Is the owner going to be friendly and cooperative, cagey and hostile or just disagreeable and unhelpful? As a selling agent, you do not have the luxury of time to do a full analysis, as you only meet the owner once, you want the instruction and so are prepared to take the rough with the smooth. But that is not always good news for the owner, as bad advice on marketing and pricing could turn a relatively simple transaction into an extended nightmare. If the house is priced too high, then you will get viewers but not buyers, and the agent will spend their time ‘managing your expectations’. This usually results in the house finally underselling. If the marketing advice is wrong, then the property could be pitched to the wrong buyers, at the wrong time, and this too will perpetuate the agony. It needs to be remembered that the selling agent’s client is the vendor. If the sales process is protracted, then the agent may get too close to the buyer because their performance guarantees the fee. No sale, no fee. How often do we hear of houses being in ‘chains’? This is a normal process but not if your agent is also selling for your purchaser – that is a conflict of interest. So when choosing your agent, ensure that you meet several, get them to give supporting evidence for their valuation and ask for references from other sellers for whom they have acted. Make sure that the person you meet is also the person who will be selling your house. This relationship is personal and your house is likely to be your biggest asset, so make sure the agent appreciates it and treats you and it MANOR | Spring 2016



penpol, near truro, south cornwall

Penpol Creek - 200 yards ø open-plan living space and kitchen ø master suite with private balcony ø guest bedroom with en suite ø 2 large reception rooms ø study ø utility room ø landscaped gardens and broad terrace ø Japanese styled garden ø super-insulated ø geothermal ground sourced heat pump ø integral double garage ø 4,257 sq ft ø EPC=D Guide £1.5 million Freehold


MANOR | Spring 2016

Savills Cornwall Matthew Rowe

01872 243 200


nr taunton, somerset

4 en suite bedrooms & 3 further bedrooms & bathroom ø 4 reception rooms ø kitchen / family room ø annexe with accommodation, games room & gym ø triple garage with first floor studio flat ø indoor swimming pool ø all weather tennis court ø carriage drive ø extensive lawned gardens ø in all about 3.4 acres ø EPCs = D, D & E

Savills Exeter Richard Addington

01392 455 755

Offers in excess of £2 million

MANOR | Spring 2016



MANOR | Spring 2016

property of note

Glorying in 20 riverside acres of South Hams greenery, Hepburn House oozes rural charm – and yet its state-of-the-art renovations make it an eco-home to rival the best new builds.


co-home credentials don’t come much better than this. With ground-source heating and photovoltaic panels, the house is almost entirely carbon neutral. The solar panels have been cunningly hidden behind a hedge a short distance from the property, and the extensive underground coils and pumps that create the ground-source heating are looped underneath a perfectly flat seven-a-side football pitch. The water is drawn from a well that plumbs depths of 50m below the house, far below the level of the Avon River that meanders its way through the 20 acres of land surrounding Hepburn House. That a simple cottage and barn should have been converted into such a state-of-the-art property while maintaining its original rural charm is testament to the vision and hard work of owners Michael and Frances Berrow. Michael, once the manager of Duran Duran and hailing from Solihull, has truly found his home in the Devon countryside. Having grown up in rural Warwickshire, and his wife Frances having grown up on the bucolic island of Jersey, it seemed natural that they should leave their frenetic life in London and settle here with their four children. MANOR | Spring 2016


With ground-source heating and photovoltaic panels, the house is almost entirely carbon neutral.

“Devon ticked both of our boxes,” he explains. “I’m a very keen salmon and trout fly-fisherman and Devon’s got all of that, and some. I just think it’s the most beautiful county in England. And, of course, there’s the sailing – I’ve sailed all my life – so it did everything for us.” The location is particularly exceptional: only six miles from Totnes, it feels completely hidden away and remote. The river and the expanse of private property attract an array of wildlife that thrills Michael to this day: “We were in bed about a month ago, and a deer came galloping across the field the other side of the river, then it leapt into the river, and swam across and got out into our garden.” For a fisherman, the salmon and sea trout that come up the river to spawn are big attractions; Michael clearly has spent many hours in his waders, flicking his line into the sparkling waters of his own private river. His environmental ethics shine here, too: he says that he always returns the fish to the water once he’s caught them. This might come as a surprise to those who think that catching a socking great salmon must mean at least a meal or two of succulent fresh fish, but no. “I put all the fish back,” he says, with the passion of a true enthusiast. “I mean, these are magnificent fish that have swum 2,000 miles to come and spawn – it’s a shame to kill them, so I put them all back. If we all start killing everything we catch, when they’re struggling to survive anyway… There are commercial fisheries up in Iceland where we can source our food sustainably. It’s not as if we need to kill something to live. The odd sea trout, I eat, but I’ve never killed a salmon.” In an age where consumption and instant gratification are the key drivers, wildlife, the ecosystem and the environment – on these 20 acres of land at least – are 150

MANOR | Spring 2016

property of note

being carefully protected, giving space for the many otters, kingfishers, and deer to live in peace. Hepburn House is born out of thoughtfulness and sensitivity; reflecting that, the interior is comfortable, muted and natural. Many of the original features of the 200-yearold timber-framed stone cottage, with its Cornish slate roof, have been brought to the fore, such as the lime render on the walls and the limed timber beams. The rest of the interior has been completely re-done, under the tasteful eye of Frances Berrow. “It was really just four walls and a roof when we started,” says Michael. The renovation was a two-year project, which was finally completed in 2009. “We wanted to have control over where the ground-sourced heating went, and where the photovoltaics were, so I was on-site for most of the build. That basically became my job for a couple of years.” Although the couple had never been involved in anything like it before, they found it surprisingly straightforward and incredibly rewarding. There were hidden costs, of course: “We spent a huge amount of time and money and energy on getting the ground engineering right – with so much piping around the place, buried at 1.6m down, there’s no room for mistakes. Also, our photovoltaics are across the lane and we had a big cable to bury there. All that stuff – I wanted to know that it was absolutely belt and braces, and it was all done well. It was huge shift for me, but I really enjoyed it. We had our moments, but nothing where we thought, oh my god, we’ve made a mistake.” What they ended up with is an exquisite family home, with a guest house and rolling lawns that overlook the river where their children have grown up playing and swimming. MANOR | Spring 2016


property of note

The river and the expanse of private property attract an array of wildlife, including otters, kingfishers and deer.

“It never floods,” says Michael. “Although we’re close to the river, the house is on this knoll which rises above it. When the river has burst its banks, it floods out on the other side of the valley.” During the colder months, the house is always warm, thanks to the ground-sourced heating and the fact that the entire place has been renovated with high-quality insulation. The flagstone floors heat up, sending warmth throughout the building, and the wood-burning stoves add to the cosiness. “We’ve got a couple of wood burners. If it’s March, and we don’t want the heating on, we generally burn quite a few logs, because we’ve got lots of woodland and branches often come floating down the river. That’s good fun, chopping all the wood up. I like wood fires, which of course is carbon neutral again. We burn tons of logs – there’s lots of wood around the place: there’s always a tree down somewhere…” In the converted barn section of the house is a woodfired ‘ironheart’ cooker, working like an Aga without the oil: “It heats the whole place up and you can cook on it. In the main house, we have an Everhot electric oven. As you can tell, I’m anti-oil. And we generate enough electricity to run all of that, too.” The Berrows’ four children have all grown up now – the days of playing in the giant tepee (with its real fire), of climbing trees, swimming in the river and playing football (“we’ve made lifelong friends thanks to that football pitch,” says Michael) are now left to visitors with younger children. Over the past few years, the couple have spent more and 152

MANOR | Spring 2016

more time on their yacht – spending a year sailing in the Atlantic, with a winter in the Caribbean. Their next adventure is to sail around the Pacific, where they plan to spend a long sojourn in the Tahitian islands. And so, with some regrets – “we’ll really miss the old place” – they are selling their carbon-neutral house for an even more carbonneutral life, using only wind power on the open ocean. It’s a thought which would be terrifying for many, but not for Michael, who sailed in the Whitbread Round the World Race back in the 80s and has never stopped since then. They’re not ready to leave Devon for good, though – they clearly feel anchored to this county: “We love Devon, and have made some really good friends here, so Devon certainly hasn’t seen the last of us.” They leave behind a legacy, not only in their ecofriendly property with its 20 acres of woodland and unspoilt countryside, but in their own children, who had the gift of “being surrounded by all these elements: by the beach, surfing and rivers – and just how beautiful it is,” explains Michael, proudly. “They have a sense of wanting that to carry on forever. It has definitely had a positive effect on the children’s view of the world in terms of their environmental responsibility.”

Hepburn House is on the market with Marchand Petit. Guide price: £2,000,000.


Snapshot comparative A selection of properties with land from around the South West along with a London house with gardens. Trewin House, Sheviock Guide price £1,950,000


A Grade II listed house built around 1750 with additions from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The current owners have done further work to restore Trewin House to a magnificent family home, stunning throughout. The main house has seven bedrooms, there is a twobedroom coach house and the land extends to 34 acres encompassing woodland, paddocks, manicured lawns and a walled garden. Part of the land adjoins the River Lynher.

Deer Leap Farm, Higher Ashton Guide price £895,000


Pretty thatched farmhouse, eight miles from Exeter, with four bedrooms, 22 acres of land and full of character. Dating back to the 1640s the features include exposed beams, fireplaces, a bread oven and a bible cupboard. The property has been extended to accommodate a new kitchen with Everhot range and the land comprises pasture, woodland and streams.

Tremeer, St Tudy Guide price £2,350,000


A grand Grade II Listed eight-bedroom house and lodge set in magnificent gardens with 13 acres of land. It’s within walking distance of St Tudy, North Cornwall, seven miles from Port Isaac. The origin of the house is 16th-century with parts dating back to the 1400s. Reached via a long private drive, the house has stables, a walled garden with all-weather tennis court and a heated outdoor swimming pool, along with a spring-fed pond and stream.

Park House, Hampton Court Road, Richmond Guide price £3,500,000


An elegant Grade II listed six-bedroom house which overlooks the Royal Paddocks, Bushy and the Home Parks. This double-fronted house has walled front and rear gardens offering security and privacy. In the front garden is a summer house with a pond and fruit trees. In the rear garden is an outdoor dining area shaded by a large quince tree. A gated area can accommodate three cars with an additional two cars in the garage.

MANOR | Spring 2016


THINKING OF MOVING IN 2016? To find out how we can help you please contact us. 01392 976832

Axmouth, Devon Guide price: £2,000,000

Polruan, Cornwall Guide price: £1,500,000

St Leonards, Exeter Guide price: £1,350,000

Wembury Point, Devon Guide price: £1,000,000

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

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

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

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

Padstow, Cornwall Guide price: £695,000

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



MANOR | Spring 2016

CALL US FOR A FREE MARKET APPRAISAL To find out how we can help you please contact us. Milverton, Somerset Guide price: £4,500,000

Newton Ferrers, Devon Guide price: £2,250,000 01392 976832


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

Lympstone, Devon Guide price: £2,300,000

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

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

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

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

St Leonards, Exeter Guide price: £850,000

Nr. Bideford, Devon Guide price: £1,100,000

MANOR | Spring 2016


HOLNE, South Devon

â– Guide

Price ÂŁ1,100,000

A spectacularly situated and beautifully presented 4 bedroom house with unimpeded views over Dartmoor, paddock and stables, approx. 11 acres, just outside the thriving village of Holne, close to Ashburton and the A38. EPC Rating to follow. Web Ref 91299 Dartmoor National Park | triple stable, paddock and 11 acre field | outstanding moorland views For further details please contact our Prime Waterfront & Country House Department on 01548 857588


MANOR | Spring 2016


â– Guide

Price ÂŁ1,250,000

A superb house offering luxury living with sea views from the balcony and sitting room and a fabulous Endless Pool. Intelligent lighting and electrics can be operated from an ipad and the air source heating reflects the high spec of this great property. Within walking distance of the village amenities and beaches. EPC Rating B. Web Ref 89290 Luxury living with sea views | ideal permanent or holiday home | state of the art interiors and finishes For further details please contact our Prime Waterfront & Country House Department on 01548 857588

MANOR | Spring 2016




MANOR | Spring 2016

MANOR | Spring 2016


Advertise in MANOR The premium magazine for the South West Available throughout Devon and Cornwall, and on sale from Paddington through to Penzance, MANOR is a must-read for any quality-discerning style-seeker with a base in, or a hankering after the South West.

Spring 2016 Issue 9 | £3.95

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Featuring fashion, beauty, architecture and design, MANOR Spring in our step Chocolate covers the areas that inspire us all, while showcasing the very best of the Save our seas region. A premium publication aimed at the modern active professional, MANOR has all that a quality national title delivers, but from a different perspective, the South West perspective.



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MANOR | Spring 2016




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back page


Mary Morris – director at Totleigh Barton Writers’ Centre in Devon – reveals the latest entries in her little black book.


moved to Devon a year ago with my family. I left the Moretonhampstead Swimming Pool – an open-air London life and a job in publishing to work for the pool run by the community. charity Arvon, running Totleigh Barton, a creative I’ve discovered some great opportunities to listen to writing centre in a 16th-century manor house near the music in Devon, in particular at The Moon Jazz & Blues village of Sheepwash. Every week, two published writers Club in Crediton (I sometimes sing at its monthly jam) and come to tutor a group of students in all sorts of genres from Sunday jazz nights at The Globe in Chagford, as well as poetry to crime fiction, and they all live, cook and write the Concerts in the West series: accomplished classical together as a community. We have groups of all ages and musicians from all over the world perform concerts in an old backgrounds, from primary school children from inner city remote farmhouse about two miles outside Hatherleigh. It’s areas to retirees, and our grant a joy to listen to music in such scheme means that our courses a setting. are accessible for people on In terms of visual art, the low incomes. Thelma Hulbert gallery is I live in Okehampton a wonderful place to visit: with my husband, Tom, and a handsome Grade-II listed our son James, who is two. townhouse in Honiton, it Okehampton is the ideal size has an exhibition space for for family life, with some contemporary art but also nice independent cafes and runs regular craft workshops shops, Simmons Park for an for adults and children. Mary’s son James in the Lustleigh playground afternoon walk, and even a Excellent sandwiches are to cinema – The New Carlton be found at Toast, just around – which screens performances the corner (and James likes the from the National Theatre, goldfish in the garden pond). RSC, ENO and others In terms of literary events, alongside mainstream and we’re well placed in the South arthouse films. West. Every summer we head The move to the to the Port Eliot Festival countryside has been in St Germans, Cornwall, especially good for James, and in September for the first who loves horses, and the time I visited the Budleigh Dartmoor Miniature Salterton Literary Festival, Pony Centre is one of our whose president is Budleigh favourite haunts. Often at resident Hilary Mantel. I’m weekends we will drive into also looking forward to this Dartmoor, counting horses summer’s Ways with Words Simmons Park, Okehampton on the way, and walk up one festival in Dartington – in of the tors – the view from their 25th anniversary year. Bonehill Rocks is spectacular. We sometimes visit the Now that I drive to work rather than taking the Tube, I village of Lustleigh, which has beautiful thatched cottages have swapped books for podcasts during my commute. My and a 13th-century church. We stop at the children’s current favourites are storytelling podcast The Moth, and playground in the picturesque orchard (also the setting for Robin Ince and Josie Long’s Book Shambles, which is full the May Queen celebrations, which last year took place in of interesting reading recommendations. Next on my own driving rain – the May Queen had blue knees). We then reading list is Edna O’Brien’s The Little Red Chairs – and I’ve have lunch at The Cleave, or an ice-cream at The Dairy. always got a tower of books by forthcoming Arvon tutors on In the summer months, we look forward to returning to my bedside table. 162

MANOR | Spring 2016

The all-new Audi A4. Experience progress. Contact your local Audi Centre to book a test drive.

Exeter Audi Denbury Court Marsh Barton Exeter Devon EX2 8NB 01392 338089 Official fuel consumption figures for the all-new Audi A4 Avant range in mpg (l/100km) from: Urban 35.8 (7.9) – 60.1 (4.7), Extra Urban 51.4 (5.5) – 78.5 (3.6) and Combined 44.1 (6.4) – 70.6 (4.0). CO2 emissions: 147 – 104g/km. Images shown for illustration purposes only. 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. Optional wheels may affect emissions and fuel consumption figures. Correct at time of print (December 2015). More information is available on the Audi website at and at MANOR | Spring 2016



MANOR | Spring 2016

Manor 009 for issuu  

MANOR is a premium lifestyle publication for those who live or have an interest in the South West of England. Features fashion, beauty, ar...

Manor 009 for issuu  

MANOR is a premium lifestyle publication for those who live or have an interest in the South West of England. Features fashion, beauty, ar...