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Issue 24


Hello Welcome to the September/October issue of Kudos. This issue, we’ve got lots to celebrate – not least our fourth birthday. And it’s our biggest issue yet! Thank you to everyone who has supported us since our launch in 2013 – we couldn’t have done it without you. There’s lots to enjoy in the issue. We meet Craig Revel Horwood, who talks about directing Son of a Preacher Man and who he’d like to see on Strictly, and chat to the choreographer behind Flashdance – The Musical – both shows are coming to Tunbridge Wells soon. We also talk to the fabulous Hannah Gee, owner of Love Inc, about her neon signs that are especially popular with celebrities. We get the lowdown on the autumn fashion trends for her, him and the kids, and there’s plenty of lovely ideas for the home and garden. Our food pages are packed with news and tasty recipes, including some Indian dishes from chef Anjula Devi’s book Spice for Life. We also say hello to Andy Urbanek and Petrus Madutlela, co-owners of The Poet in Matfield, who talk about their journeys from the Czech Republic and South Africa respectively. We also step inside the door of a Tunbridge Wells landmark, Belleville, the house on the Common, and find gold in more ways than one. If, like us, you’ve got something to celebrate, we’ve found some perfect venues for you. And you can’t have a celebration without flowers, right? They don’t have to cost you a penny, though, because Bloom & Wild are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a year’s supply of gorgeous flowers, delivered to their door every month. Turn to page 13 for details on how to enter. Good luck!

Twitter: kudoskent Managing Director: Robin Tucek Publishing Director: Hannah Tucek Editorial Director: Ann Wallace Creative Director: Neil Constant Sales Director: Meral Griffith Fashion Editor: Sally-Ann Carroll Photographer: Matt Harquail

Advertising Sales: Kudos is published bi-monthly by:

While every care is taken to ensure accuracy, the publishers, authors and printers cannot accept liability for errors or omissions. All rights reserved. Prices and details correct at time of going to press. No part of this publication may be produced in any form without the written permission of the copyright holder and publisher, application for which should be made to the publisher. Opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher.



Our head teachers tell us what they’ve got planned for the new school year, we turn the spotlight on Giles Perrin, Headmaster of Claremont Senior School, and Christine Flowers of Bricklehurst Manor writes about the discontent from both parents and teachers at the state of education in 2017. Plus, we reveal five brainboosting essential foods for your child and Cookies Kitchen shares a recipe for overnight oats which are packed full of goodness and the perfect start to your little one’s day. Here’s to a bigger and better Kudos – I hope you all agree that the older we get, the more fabulous we become!

Hannah Tucek Publishing Director

Contents 8 Kudos loves... 10 News & events 28 Pets corner 30 Love celebrity 34 Love fashion 38 Love health & beauty 42 Men only 46 Love food and drink 62 Love home 82 Love garden 84 Love education


90 Love family

112 Love charity

108 Love business

114 Love heroes KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017



Belleville, Tunbridge Wells





Taken by Matt Harquail




Things we love this issue A mix of futuristic technology, cool sounds and getting back to basics...

Lullaby baby

As our Publishing Director knows only too well, if you want to get your baby to sleep, a night-time drive round the block is often the solution. Unfortunately, cheeky 10-month-old Leo wakes up as soon as you try to get him out of the car! The Max Motor Dreams, which is made by Ford (rather apt that Hannah drives a Ford Focus), looks like a normal cot but produces gentle vibrations, lights and sounds that babies would experience when in a car journey. Controlled using a smartphone app, it can even simulate street lighting using soft LED lights – you can even use the app to collect data from different routes as you drive and reproduce them for the cot when you get home. Unfortunately, this cot is a one-off but the company is considering putting it into full-scale production. It can’t come too soon!

Living off the land

Whether it’s growing herbs on a windowsill, making cheese or preserving fruit, more and more people are enjoying producing their own food. In The Essential Book of Homesteading by Ashley English, newcomers to the trend will learn the dos and don’ts of keeping chickens and bees, the best cheeses to make as a beginner, and how to preserve the produce you grow. For anyone hoping to take a step towards a more sustainable – and mindful – way of life, this is a must-have guide. Published by Lark. Price: £21.99

Hear, hear

They don’t come much glitzier than Buttons, the essential Bluetooth earphones. Styled by fashion legend, André Leon Talley, they are the brainchild of global music artist and entrepreneur,, with brand ambassadors and investors including Kendall Jenner and Naomi Campbell. The iconic shape of vinyl records inspire their signature circular design, which is crafted from machined metal and paired with a woven fabric cable. With a lightweight, no-fuss form, they can be worn all day as an accessory to any outfit as they magnetically clasp around the wearer’s neck. Extra comfort is provided by the wide range of ear-tips sizes and styles that come with each pair. “Technology doesn’t have to look like technology. It’s gotten to the point where no one has imagination. Everyone else is making what everyone else is making. We wanted to do away with all that. Now that technology is ubiquitous, shouldn’t you look fresh?” says Compatible with iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Android, Buttons have a suggested retail price of £169, and are available in Black, Gold, Grey and Rose. Stockists include Amazon and Dixons Travel. And let’s face it, they look really cool!






Upfront What’s new and happening

Keep it local

New online marketplace supports businesses in Kent and East Sussex Local businesswoman Belinda Raitt, whose company About Talent Group is all about helping other local independent businesses in Kent and Sussex to start up and grow, has launched a new online marketplace, Local Indies ( Local Indies is your local farmer’s market, craft fair and art gallery all rolled into one, allowing you to browse and buy from a variety of local independent shops, makers, producers, traders, artists and crafters online. From the comfort of your sofa or the convenience of your phone, in a few clicks you can shop local and have it delivered to your door. Every time you buy from a local independent business, you are supporting the local economy by keeping local knowledge, farming, food production, artisan skills, art and crafts going – industries and traditions that otherwise may not survive. Not only that, but you are directly helping a person to provide for themselves and their family, rather than merely increasing the profits of a large chain. Explaining how she came up with the idea, Belinda said: “Eightynine per cent of all businesses in Kent and Sussex are micro enterprises (which means they only have up to nine employees), and sole traders are above the national average. This means that these individuals rely on you to buy their products and services to survive. “Local Indies has been developed to make it even easier for you to shop your local independents online. And every time you shop with

Local Indies, you know you’re buying from an individual who will thank you for it. Plus, you know who has grown or made the items you are buying, and exactly where they have come from.” Having only just launched Local Indies, Belinda is working hard to build up the site with as many local independent sellers across Kent and Sussex as possible. If you would like to apply to be a Local Indies seller, please get in touch via the website. Belinda Raitt is a career and business coach with a strong interest in supporting local enterprise and entrepreneurship. She set up her own business, About Talent Group, in 2009, which provides coaching, business advice and content marketing services to individuals and companies across Kent and Sussex.

Child’s play

Being diagnosed with Parkinson’s was the push Donna Marshall needed to follow her dream Mum Donna Marshall from Tunbridge Wells was diagnosed with the neurological condition Parkinson’s Disease in the autumn of 2016. Following the shocking diagnosis, she left her job as a Director of Operations and fulfilled her dream of working with children by purchasing the shop, Stampede, in Camden Road, Tunbridge Wells, selling children’s shoes and clothes. “Since having my daughter, Beau, four years ago, I wanted to work with children but didn’t have the qualifications or experience to do so,” says Donna. “When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, it was tremendously upsetting and a huge wake-up call. I have always been fit and healthy and being given the diagnosis of this degenerative disease so young made me review my life plan. A close friend contacted me one evening to say she had seen my favourite children’s shoe shop, Stampede, advertised for sale. I met up with the owner and soon realised that I could fulfil my wish of working with children and be able to make immediate improvements to the business whilst managing my condition as it progresses.” Donna purchased the shop on 4th May and quickly began implementing changes. The shop has been refurbished and now has



a play house for children under the stairs and a larger shoe display area. Since July, Stampede has been open on Sundays and Bank Holidays to provide increased shopping flexibility for customers. A new clothes line will be launched in the autumn, which will be displayed on the mezzanine level of the shop, along with a larger display of school shoes, school accessories, Crocs, Wellington boots and slippers. Says Donna: “I’m also looking forward to launching our new mobile-friendly website in October. The only drawback to owning a children’s shoe shop is that my daughter believes in having a new pair of shoes every week.” KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017



WIN a year’s supply of Bloom & Wild flowers! How bloomin’ lovely

Bloom & Wild are the UK’s top-rated flower delivery company. Their Flower Team put the fun into flower gifting by designing exciting, on-trend bouquets of fresh flowers. The seasonal bouquets are designed to fit through the letterbox with all of the flowers freshly cut, each bloom individually netted ‘in-bud’ and hand-packed in innovative letterbox packaging, allowing you to enjoy the full life of cut flowers – from bud to bloom.

And the prize:

The lucky winner will enjoy a year of Bloom & Wild flowers. Once a month, for 12 months, a different, fresh-flower bouquet will be delivered through their letterbox. Each bouquet is designed by Bloom & Wild for a varied and beautiful present that the winner can enjoy for weeks.

How to enter:

Send an email with ‘Bloom & Wild’ in the subject line with your name, address and contact number to before the closing date of 31st October 2017. By entering the competition, you agree to your details being shared with Bloom & Wild and to receive occasional details of promotion from them.






Out and about with Kudos

All that jazz

The fun of the fair

Be inspired in Wadhurst

Frant is delighted to welcome back the world-renowned clarinet virtuoso Emma Johnson MBE, best known as one of the world’s finest exponents of classical music. She’ll be presenting a surprising and fascinating evening exploring the world of clarinet in jazz, in the company of two great and versatile musical friends, John Lenehan on piano and Paul Clarvis on drums. In ‘Clarinet Goes to Town’, she’ll explore some of the elements which fused together an explosion of popular culture in the 20th century, including the music of Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Sidney Bechet, Scott Joplin and more. Catch it at Frant Church, on 29th September at 8pm. Tickets £20 from Frant Stores, Britten’s Music Shop, Tunbridge Wells, online at or call 07768 115184.

Cottenden Fair is back! From home and garden accessories and artisan and brocante goodies, to gifts, fashion, clothing and food, this lovely, local event not only promotes local businesses, it is also supporting and making a donation to the children’s charity, React. There’ll be Prosecco, soup and cake in the café, with delicious salads and wraps on offer, not forgetting the freshly-made pizzas. Why not bring your friends and make a day of it? React is a dynamic charity working to improve the quality of life for children with life-limiting illnesses living in financiallydisadvantaged households. They believe that every child should have comfort, dignity, and the opportunity to participate in life as fully as possible. Catch the fair at Stonegate Village Hall on 12th October, from 9.30am to 4pm.

It’s no surprise that the September Art Exhibition in Wadhurst is now in its 21st year, as this is no ordinary village art show. The standard and diversity of painting, sculpture, photography, ceramics and 3D art is extremely impressive. There will be 38 different artists’ work on show, with two guest artists: Adam Hargreaves of Mr Men fame and model-maker Billie Achilleos (National Theatre’s Warhorse). So if you’re looking for inspiration or something new for your collection, this event is well worth a visit. It even has a wonderful pop-up café, run by Elliott Catering, serving healthy snacks, delicious lunches and afternoon tea. The exhibition is open from 10am-8pm every day from 8th-17th September, closing at 4pm on the final day.

World-famous clarinetist at Frant


Great day out in Stonegate

The September Art Exhibition is back



The best of British

Support British craftsmanship at Sevenoaks Craft and Design Fair The Sevenoaks Contemporary Craft and Design Fair, organised by Craft In Focus, is returning to Sevenoaks School from 20th-22nd October. This exciting event brings the public the very best of contemporary craft and art from the leading professional artists and designer makers in the UK today. Visitors will be able to purchase from a stunning treasure trove of original work direct from the craftmakers, who have a real passion for the work they create. Every piece is original and won’t be found among the mass-produced items sold on the high street. It is also possible to commission bespoke pieces for yourself, your home or someone special. Work on display will include clothing, sculpture, ceramics, handbags, artwork, jewellery, silversmithing, glass, furniture, pewterware, skincare products, candles, textiles, accessories and puzzles. There will also be a number of food stands selling spices, olive oils and balsamic vinegars, liqueurs, condiments and nut products. All of the exhibitors at Craft In Focus events have been selected for their individuality and innovation in contemporary design, as well as outstanding technical ability. Because of this, Craft in Focus has earned an enviable reputation for selecting only the very best designers, artists and craftsmen. Don’t miss this exciting event to see the latest work by the best of British contemporary craftmakers – rarely is such a wealth of talent seen in one place. The Fair is open 11am-5pm on Friday, 20th October, and 10am-5pm on Saturday, 21st and Sunday 22nd October. Admission is £4; accompanied under-14s are free. For further information, call 01622 747 325 or visit

Free Tickets! Kudos readers can gain free entry to the fair – just turn to page 20 where you will find the fair’s advertisement and further details

Take a break

Travel the world at the Holiday Inspirations Show Join the award-winning Baldwins Travel Group team and more than 35 travel, tour and cruise operators at the #HolidayInspirations Show on Sunday, 24th September. Open from 10am-4pm at Salomons Estate, Southborough, this will be an interesting day out for anyone looking to explore the world. There will be plenty to see and do for all ages, including travel presentations, food and wine tastings, a pop-up travel agency and much more. If you need any advice on travel, this is the place to find it. Register online for free entry and to be entered into a Prize Draw to win a holiday for two to the Amalfi Coast! Visit or follow them on twitter @btg_hishow for more details.




Petal power

Leeds Castle blooms for the Festival of Flowers See Leeds Castle in Kent transformed into ‘An Enchanted Castle’ at the Festival of Flowers, from 23rd to 28th September. The State Rooms and grounds of the Castle will be decorated with beautiful floral creations on this magical theme for the fifth consecutive year of this popular, week-long event. Visitors can follow a mysterious magical floral world created by international, award-winning designers. They will be spellbound as they follow pathways leading into secret rooms filled with fantasy floral designs, while large-scale installations inspired by fairy tales will be the perfect opportunity for floral photography. During the Festival of Flowers, visitors will be invited to join a programme of floral demonstrations, specialist talks and daily garden tours, included as part of the entrance ticket. The official opening will be hosted on Saturday, 23rd September, by English garden designer and television personality Joe Swift, with a guest talk in the Oasis Floral Products Festival Marquee at 11am. In 1901, the first-ever flower festival was hosted at Leeds Castle. The last private owner of the castle, Lady Olive Baillie, was infamous for her elaborate floral displays at society house parties in the 1930s, attended by stars such as David Niven, Errol Flynn, Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson. Lady Baillie’s love of flowers is a tradition continued by the floristry team today, who provide floral creations in the castle rooms for the enjoyment of visitors, as well as creating beautiful designs for over 100 weddings, corporate functions and events every year. New this year is the chance for a floral selfie in front of the Colombia Flower Wall on the castle island, and the silk flowers adorning the Barbican area, sponsored by Country Baskets.

Cracker of a Christmas treat

The Nutcracker comes to Tunbridge Wells Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to see the most famous ballet in the world – The Nutcracker. And the Russian State Ballet and Opera House is back for their annual UK tour with a dazzling production of this much-loved ballet, directed and choreographed by the former award-winning Bolshoi Ballet Soloist, Konstantin Uralsky. Snow flurries, sweets, princes, magic and love are just some of the elements that will be brought together by this renowned Russian company. A highly-accessible ballet, it’s full of familiar music, such as The Waltz of the Flowers and The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. The Nutcracker ballet is based on the story The Nutcracker and the King of Mice, written by ETA Hoffman. Although different in detail from the original story, the basic plot remains the same. It’s the story of a young German girl who dreams of a Nutcracker Prince and a fierce battle against a Mouse King with seven heads. It opens on Christmas Eve with a party at the Stahlbaum house, and follows young Clara and her gift of a beautiful Nutcracker from her godfather, Drosselmeyer. As the clock strikes midnight, strange things begin to happen. The toys around the Christmas tree come to life, while the room fills with an army of mice, led by the fierce Mouse King. The Nutcracker must lead his army of toy soldiers into battle with the mice. The Nutcracker is at the Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, on 29th November. Ticket prices from £33 (£21 children). There is a £1.75 per ticket booking fee on all tickets. Box office tel: 01892 530613 18




Art interaction for the 21st century

How Scarlett Raven and Marc Marot are changing the way the world views art Following the sell-out success of her ground-breaking augmented-reality exhibition The Danger Tree last year, Scarlett Raven and Marc Marot’s poignant First World War commemoration will be on display at Castle Fine Art in Tunbridge Wells and Castle Galleries in Bluewater throughout September and October. Created to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the end of The Battle of the Somme, the innovative project saw Scarlett and record executive Marc Marot join forces to create a series of haunting paintings which reveal the true heartbreak of war. The Danger Tree was inspired by the legendary First World War poets Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and Rupert Brooke, and is a tribute to the Newfoundland Regiment who used a tree about halfway into “No Man’s Land” to gather. Regrettably, the tree was highly visible to two German machine gun nests, resulting in almost the entire regiment being wiped out within 20 minutes of the commencement of hostilities. So it became known amongst soldiers as The Danger Tree – a replica of the twisted tree now stands to mark the spot. Scarlett and Marc’s aim was to draw attention to the humanity behind the horror, their interpretation of this devastating and touching part of human history. Scarlett is amongst the first oil painters to work in the exciting world of augmented reality, which reveals the deeply personal process of creating her multi-layered, experiential art. Working exclusively with Blippar, world leaders in the field of augmented reality, the viewer can use their smartphone app to unlock Scarlett’s poignant work, stripping away the countless layers of paint to reveal the creative journey beneath each painting. The daughter of acclaimed saxophonist Raphael Ravenscroft, as a second-year student at Central St Martins in 2009, Scarlett became one of the youngest-ever painters to hold a solo exhibition at the prestigious Cork Street Gallery. A further successful show in 2010 was Paint at Hackneys Printhouse Gallery and in 2012, once again at Cork Street Gallery, she presented Flight. Her solo exhibition The Eleventh Hour at Castle Fine Art, Bruton Street, in 2014 was in collaboration with The Royal British Legion to commemorate the centenary of the First World War and emphasise the importance of remembrance and the enduring symbolism of the poppy.

In conjunction with The Danger Tree, a striking series of signed limited-edition works is available from Castle Galleries. Presented as both giclees on paper and hand-embellished canvas editions, these pieces are beautifully framed to showcase the level of detail in the work. To see how Blippar works, download the app for free, turn to the Castle Fine Art advertisement on page 12 and aim it at the thumbnail image of Scarlett’s work.

Something old...

Art attack

On Saturday, 28th October, a vintage fair is being held at King Charles Church Hall in Tunbridge Wells. It will be full of amazing vintage fashion traders (with clothes from the 1920s to 1980s, as well as salvaged homeware, furniture, original records, and antique and costume jewellery. There are two rooms full of traders from all over the south east, showcasing some really unique items. A DJ playing Northern Soul and Motown just adds to the fun! For more information, check out the fair’s Facebook page @squirrelvintage

Kent Painters Group will be hosting their 27th Annual Art Exhibition and Sale at Sevenoaks School over the weekend of Friday, 27th October to Sunday, 29th October. Entry is free all weekend. On Friday evening you can meet the artists between 6.30pm and 9pm. It’s also a chance to come along and view the art, with a first chance to buy, perhaps with a yummy Greensand Ridge G&T in your hand! On Saturday, 28th October and Sunday, 29th October, the event is open from 10am-4pm. Unframed work and artists’ proofs are also for sale, along with coffee, cakes and light lunches. For more information, visit their Facebook page KentPaintersGroupKPG

Vintage fair comes to Tunbridge Wells


Kent painters put their work on display



Change your life

Dame Kelly Holmes at Health and Wellbeing Live Coming to Tunbridge Wells on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September, Health and Wellbeing Live 2017 is a unique two-day event that gives individuals and families a place to discover more about physical and mental health and wellbeing, to help make positive changes. The event will take place at the stunning Secret Manor, Mabledon, and gives visitors the chance to explore a range of treatments, meet experts and discover new activities.

Country style

Annual fair returns to Chiddingstone Castle Chiddingstone Castle in Kent will be holding its popular annual Country Fair on Sunday, 10th September between 11am and 5pm. The fair, which is set in the idyllic rural setting of Chiddingstone Castle with its beautiful grounds and lake, will celebrate the traditions of our countryside and the country sports associated with it. New this year will be a giant ‘Tractor Ted’ bouncy castle tractor and slide for young children, and lots of special ‘Tractor Ted’ activities. Watch a display from the horses and hounds of the local Old Surrey Burstow & West Kent Hunt; see the elegant display of 22


Highlights include: • Double Olympic gold medalist Dame Kelly Holmes at the event on Saturday, 23rd September, to talk about motivation, health and mental health • Meet local health and wellbeing experts such as psychotherapist Mary White, nutritionist Dr Marilyn Glenville and Consultant Rheumatologist Dr Pamela Leventis, who will be discussing issues including stress, anxiety, weight loss, osteoporosis, cancer treatments and much more • Sample a therapeutic spa treatment, such as foot reflexology or facial acupuncture •B  e inspired by nutritious and healthy cookery demonstrations from vegan desserts to Mediterranean and South Asian cuisine •G  et your body moving with a fitness class – sessions include Pilates, yoga and zen techniques •G  et your own free Health MOT with Nuffield Health •G  rab a coffee and a snack with Café 1809, owned by Dame Kelly Holmes •K  eep the kids chilled out with parent-and-child mindfulness, or get wild in the woods with foraging and bushcraft • Plus, men’s wellbeing experts, health-food tastings, workshops in hypnotherapy and candle making, and a wide range of health and wellbeing stalls to browse. Price: £15 for adults pre-booked and £20 on the door. Children (15yrs and under) free when accompanied by a paying adult.

side-saddle riding; watch the working dogs and perhaps take part in the fun Exemption Dog Show, which is open to all! This year there will also be a display of vintage tractors in the main event arena. Try your hand at laser clay pigeon shooting in the area beside the Castle’s Victorian Orangery (additional charge). Stroke the donkeys and gorgeous miniature Shetland ponies. Have a go at fly fishing on the Castle’s lake, and watch a local farrier demonstrating a range of traditional skills. The ever-popular terrier racing will also be returning – so please bring along your terriers! The beer tent will be selling Larkin’s Ale, brewed in Chiddingstone, and refreshments can be purchased from a number of stalls selling homeproduced food. There will also be some fantastic shopping in the marquee, with stalls selling local art, produce, antiques, vintage ware and pet products. Stop off at the Castle’s Tea Tent for local wine, a glass of Pimm’s, tea, coffee, scones or a slice of homemade cake. After a full day’s entertainment, everyone will be invited to enter the great fun family giant wool sack race – a seasonal favourite! There will be a charge on the gates of £5 for adults and £2 for children aged between 5 and 13 (under 5’s free).

Calling all wizards!

For the very first time you are invited to enjoy the magic of Chiddingstone Castle’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! During 26th-28th October, you can meet the School’s Headmaster Wizard on arrival and be ‘sorted’ into your house. Then you can attend special classes of Potion Making, Choir Practice, Spell School and, of course, the Flying School too! Plus there will be a fancy dress competition and certificates for all students. Real wizards and witches (well, real theatrical performers) will be there to make sure you experience an amazing day! KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017




Go wild this autumn

Be inspired by the change of season and get creative at a Kent Wildlife Trust workshop

Mono Print©Elaine Thompson

Kent Wildlife Trust has lots of ways to be creative this autumn with a variety of workshops. You can try silkscreen printing or watercolour painting at Tyland Barn, Maidstone, and mono printing at Sevenoaks visitor centre. Improve your photography skills and learn lots of useful tips on how to take images using your iPhone at photo workshops at Bough Beech in September and Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve in October. Both centres have beautiful outdoor environments where you can practice your techniques. During October half-term kids can learn some spooky forest skills and make their own spider’s web and wizard’s broomstick outside in the wild and natural reserve at Bough Beech or Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve. Tyland Barn will also be hosting ‘What a Hoot’, where you can get up close to owls and birds of prey from the Kent Owl Academy. Founded in 1958, the Kent Wildlife Trust is the leading conservation organisation covering the whole of Kent and Medway, dedicated to protecting wildlife and wild habitats for everyone to enjoy. Their vision is to ensure that 30 per cent of Kent and Medway – land and sea – is managed to create a healthy place for wildlife to flourish. Kent Wildlife Trust has visitor centres at Sevenoaks, Bough Beech, Maidstone and Romney Marsh. Booking is essential for most events as places are often limited. For more information about dates, times and prices or to book online, visit

Speak its Name!

A new display at Sissinghurst Castle Garden reveals its secrets Speak its Name! – a display in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery, London – presents selected portraits from the Gallery’s collection, including photographs and drawings of Vita Sackville-West’s lovers, Violet Trefusis and Virginia Woolf, at Sissinghurst Castle Garden, from 9th September to 29th October. Vita Sackville-West, the notable poet and writer, began the transformation of Sissinghurst Castle in the 1930s with her diplomat and author husband, Harold Nicolson. Harold’s architectural planning of the garden rooms and the colourful planting in the gardens by Vita, reflect the romance and intimacy of her poems and writings. Speak its Name! is based on a new book of inspirational quotations by and about prominent LGBT people, beautifully illustrated with images from the National Portrait Gallery. Items from the Sissinghurst collection also feature, including a copy of The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall, a book with a lesbian protagonist that was deemed ‘obscene’ by a British judge when it was released in 1928, and pictures of Harold Nicolson and Virginia Woolf that once belonged to Vita Sackville-West. Free entry daily, from 11am-5.30pm. For more details, visit KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017





That’s entertainment Latest releases on screen

Make the most of autumn with screenings under the stars during September and October at Moonlight Drive-in Cinema September screenings

The Hitman’s Body Guard

American Made

The Limehouse Golem

The world’s top protection agent is called upon to guard the life of his mortal enemy, one of the world’s most notorious hit men. The relentless bodyguard and manipulative assassin have been on the opposite end of the bullet for years and are thrown together for a wildly outrageous 24 hours. During their journey from England to the Hague, they encounter high-speed car chases, outlandish boat escapades and a merciless Eastern European dictator who is out for blood. Stars Gary Oldman as the evil dictator.

Barry Seal, played by Tom Cruise, is a TWA pilot recruited by the CIA to provide reconnaissance on the burgeoning communist threat in Central America and soon finds himself in charge of one of the biggest covert CIA operations in the history of the United States. The operation spawns the birth of the Medellin cartel and almost brings down the Reagan White House.

Victorian London is gripped with fear as a serial killer is on the loose and leaving cryptic messages written in the blood of his victims. With few leads and increasing public pressure, Scotland Yard assigns the case to Inspector Kildare, a seasoned detective who has a sneaking suspicion that he’s being set up to fail. Kildare must rely on help from a witness to stop the murders and bring the maniac to justice.

Also showing in September is the remake of It – the terrifying horror based on Stephen King’s bestselling novel

October screenings

American Assassin

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

The Lego Ninjago Movie

Black ops recruit Mitch Rapp (Dylan O’Brien) is reeling from the death of his fiancée in a terrorist attack when he is assigned to shadowy CIA figure Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton) to receive special training in tracking terrorists. Rapp and Hurley are then dispatched to join a Turkish agent on a mission to stop a mysterious operative from unleashing chaos of international proportions.

With their headquarters destroyed and the world held hostage, members of Kingsman find new allies when they discover a spy organisation in the United States known as Statesman. In an adventure that tests their strength and wits, the elite secret agents from both sides of the pond band together to battle a ruthless enemy and save the day, something that’s becoming a bit of a habit for Eggsy.

This is a 3D computer-animated action-comedy martial arts film. The battle for NINJAGO City calls to action young Master Builder Lloyd, aka the Green Ninja, along with his friends, Kai, Cole, Zane and Nya, also secret ninja warriors. Led by Master Wu ( Jackie Chan), as wise-cracking as he is wise, they must defeat the evil warlord Garmadon ( Justin Theroux), who also happens to be Lloyd’s dad.

Moonlight Drive-in Cinema is at The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood, Kent TN12 6PY Book on-line and print your tickets. Then park up (15-30 minutes before start time), turn lights off and get comfy. Order some food, if you wish. Tune FM radio to 106.1, adjust the volume and enjoy the film! Price: £25 + 90p booking fee per vehicle.




Pets corner

It’s time to turn the spotlight on your best friends! Home from home

After years of working as a professional photographer, Sara Essex Bradley turned her lens from capturing interior design to documenting the homeowners’ dogs in various elegant and high-design environments. Take a walk through some of the most fashionable homes in New Orleans and find inspiration for your own dream home (and dog). Charming, and sometimes scruffy, these dogs have big personalities that steal the scene. Dog Decor: Canines Living Large will appeal to dog lovers and design aficionados alike. Price: £27.16

Fit dog

WonderWoof is a smart dog bowtie which, on looks alone, beats your average collar paws down. But that’s not all. Essentially a Fitbit for dogs, the Bluetooth-connected WonderWoof tracks your dog’s activities, from their first morning leap onto the bed to the last tummy tickle of the evening – and all the running, jumping and chasing cats in between. Plus it’ll tell you whether you’re giving them the right amount of exercise – based on their age, breed and weight. Follow your dog’s stats on your smartphone, using the app to set challenges and log the distances they’ve covered. It’ll even buzz in your pocket if they stray too far out of range. Price: £79.99

Amazing animals

Meet some of nature’s most unusual creatures Eight years ago, the first-ever Tufted deer was born in Britain, bringing the number in the UK to four. The rare, male Michie’s Tufted deer arrived at Twycross Zoo, near Atherstone, Warwickshire. He weighed the same as a bag of sugar and stood just 20cm tall. Michie’s Tufted deer (pictured here) are a subspecies of Tufted deer native to an area of south-eastern China. They are a small deer species and the males have prominent, tusk-like canines in the upper jaw. All Tufted deer are recognised by the distinctive Mohican-style tuft of black hair on their forehead and are notoriously difficult to spot in the wild because of their shyness. Conservation status: Near threatened • Distribution: China • Habitat: Tropical Forest • Diet: Fruit, grasses, leaves Height: 50-70cm • Weight: 17-50kg • Number of young: 1-2 • Life Span: 15 years




Puppy love

Thinking of buying a puppy? Here are a few things to consider before you fall in love with that bundle of fluff… Don’t rush into buying a dog. That old adage, “A dog is for life, not just for Christmas”, is very true. Dogs live on average between 10 and 13 years, so you need to be committed for the long haul. A small house or a flat would not be the ideal environment for many breeds because dogs need space to move from room to room. Think about noise, too. In a flat or a terrace house, a very vocal breed could disturb your neighbours. Small children need careful supervision with any dog, but some breeds are more comfortable around children. Consider a Bichon Frise, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel or a Labrador if you’re a family with school-age children. Do your homework and check breed characteristics. Some breeds demand more attention than others. Gun dogs are friendly and sociable and have a strong instinct to please, while terriers are lively and determined. Typically, intelligent breeds of working dogs, such as the Great Dane and Rottweiler, need to be put to work or exercised very regularly if they’re to thrive. Once you’ve chosen your dog, head to Collared for all the accessories you’ll need for a happy – and smart – pet. Nardia, the supervisor at Collared’s Tunbridge Wells store,

has a miniature Yorkshire terrier, called Cody, and a Westie, Jasmine. Says Nardia, “We chose Jasmine as, after researching small dogs, we found that a Westie is an all round, wonderful, child-friendly, family dog. She is small enough for a cuddle but large enough not to be trodden on by over-excited children. “My daughter begged us for another dog and we chose a miniature Yorkshire terrier. Cody has bags of character, although can be very naughty – but we love them both.” Collared has branches in Tunbridge Wells, Hastings and Canterbury.

Strictly Craig Craig Revel Horwood, famed for the harsh criticism he dishes out to contestants on Strictly Come Dancing, is directing the new Dusty Springfield musical, Son of a Preacher Man, which is heading to Tunbridge Wells


There is a delightful aptness to that middle name. Celebrated as the brusque dispenser of flattening put-downs, Craig Revel Horwood seems to revel in his karate-chop critiques of hapless celebrity performing waltz wipeouts and tangled tangos. Audiences certainly do. “I just react to what I’m seeing,” he explains innocently. “If I’m watching bad dancing I’ll tell them the truth. They need to know. If you’re not getting corrections, I think that would be wrong. I don’t think it’s fair to say you love something if you don’t.” Revel Horwood entered showbiz as a choreographer and worked on the likes of Miss Saigon. Not every show was quite such a mega-hit, and when they didn’t work, it was his quarrelsome streak which triggered a decision to double up and become a director, too. “I didn’t want to have a battle with the director and see the line where the director finishes his work and the choreography began. For me it’s a lot easier to have one concept of a piece applied. I did it so I could have arguments with myself rather than with someone else.” The latest show on which he’s arguing with himself is Son of a Preacher Man, a splashy new musical by Warner Brown. It features 20 songs woven into the story of three people with romantic problems who see solace in a Soho record store famous from the Sixties. There they each hope that a fabled love guru will help them, though things don’t turn out quite as fantasised. It’s Revel Horwood’s first go at a jukebox musical. How is he finding the task of melding dialogue and tunes? “It’s a joy to work on,” he purrs. “The Dusty music lends itself to good storytelling, and that’s really important: her stories always have a beginning, a middle and an end. And they’re very soulful. A lot of people will be surprised when they see the songs come to life. Her lyrics are really quite poignant. She tells human stories with amazing rhythms that can be applied to men or women and crosses through to being gay as well. That’s why her music is universal.”




Debra Stephenson, Michael Howe and Diana Vickers during rehearslas with Craig. Photo by Darren Bell.

His early successes as a director were at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury, which pioneered the novelty of actors playing their own instruments. There he staged Hot Mikado and much the most successful version yet of Martin Guerre, a musical that Cameron Mackintosh had been trying to perfect for years. He took a stripped-down version of Sunset Boulevard into the West End, about which Andrew Lloyd Webber “had strong reservations until he came to see it”. Alongside the full cast of actor/musicians, Son of a Preacher Man features a four-piece band and a three-strong girl group pumping out the hits of Dusty Springfield, and a cast that includes X Factor favourite Diana Vickers as the youngest of the lovelorn trio. They are all discovering that the Craig Revel Horwood they see on television can be like that in the rehearsal room, too. “I have to give them notes and tell them how I feel. I’m quite direct.”

He promises he’s not always strict. “When you go to work you’re a different person and when you knock off you become yourself again.” When we met at the rehearsal room, he was not allowed to discuss the new line-up for Strictly Come Dancing, but does he have a fantasy cast of celebs he’d like to slap down? “I’d love to see Simon Cowell. The world would love that. Sharon Osborne would be good because she’s very mouthy. Prince Harry would be fantastic. Why not? I’d love to see royalty.” That’ll have to wait. For now the only royalty in his life is the queen of white soul, Dusty Springfield. Son of a Preacher Man is at the Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells from 31st October to 4th November. / Box office: 01892 530613 @ahttw AssemblyHallTheatre

Lord of the


In November, the high-energy musical Flashdance – The Musical hits Tunbridge Wells. Kudos talked to its choreographer, dancer Matthew Cole, about his career and life on the other side of the spotlight


Tell us a bit about your background. Where are you from and where did you train?

I grew up in Colchester, Essex. At the age of 18, I went to study at a college in Epsom called Laine Theatre Arts, which is primarily a dance-based college but also does singing and acting. Its main priority is to get people to the West End, that’s what they cater for.

And it worked! As a performer, you appeared in numerous West End shows.

I’ve done Saturday Night Fever, Cats, Chicago, Guys & Dolls, Pricilla Queen of the Desert, Disney’s Beauty & the Beast… I feel very lucky. I’ve enjoyed a solid performing career, which has been fantastic, and that all came from having good training.

What has been the highlight of your performing career?

I loved doing Chicago, that was probably one of my favourite shows. It’s a strong dance show; it’s a sexy dance show. I really enjoyed it. I also very much enjoyed Saturday Night Fever, which was the first show that I performed in. It was energetic, high-paced, hard… to go into that straight out of college was very challenging and I enjoyed that challenge.

How and why did the switch to choreography come about?

It was something that I hadn’t thought about, but it was a natural progression for me. I was performing in the West End and on tour and eventually I got asked to be a Dance Captain. In the day-to-day running of the show, it’s your job to look after the choreography. You make sure everyone is doing it correctly, and if someone is off sick, you have to swap people about, so it gave me a chance to have some sort of responsibility. I then moved onto being an Assistant Choreographer, which was fantastic. I was assisting people like Karen Bruce, who has a wealth of shows to her name – Bodyguard is one that she is doing at the moment. She also did some Strictly Come Dancing and I was fortunate enough to assist her on that. I then started to do my own choreography and develop my career further.

Was it difficult to change direction?

It’s difficult in the beginning because you are sort of saying to people, “I can do this,” and someone at some point has to take a risk on you and say, “OK, I’ll pay you to do that job”. That’s 32


hard. But it helps, in London especially, that there are a lot of dance schools and professional theatre schools where, if you can get in and choreograph, give you a platform to be able to show your work. That was one of the things that I was able to do, to go into these colleges, teach these young kids, choreograph them, and with video and social media these days it becomes a good outlet where you can show what you can do. I was very lucky; people picked up on it and started to employ me to do it professionally.

What qualities do you need to be a good choreographer?

I think there are several. Overall, you need good vision. I always think that the actual content of the steps comes last. The first thing I do, particularly for a musical, is to read the script and understand who these characters are, why we start dancing in these songs, where does that come from, what drives you into that choreography? Once you understand that, you then have to look at what your set design is. That, for me, very much influences what I am going to do on the stage. Then I listen to the music over and over and over again, get a feel of it, a sense of it. I try to visualise it in my head, what I think it should look like on a stage, how I think an audience would react to it. Once I have got all of those ideas solid and clear in my head, then I go into a studio, and with the help of an assistant, start choreographing steps. The process of getting to that point, where you choreograph those steps, actually takes quite a while.

Do you prefer being on the other side of the spotlight?

I absolutely prefer it. It’s so funny, for years I was in that world of being a competitive dancer. Now I get much more enjoyment from sitting on the other side and looking at something, seeing the audience and thinking, “I’ve created that. I remember sitting in my living room at home thinking how all these ideas will work,” and then suddenly you’re in a theatre with a few thousand people, watching your ideas, and it’s all come together. I get an enormous sense of pride from that. KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

What’s been your favourite show that you’ve worked on?

As a choreographer, I’d have to say the one I am doing now. Flashdance is such a huge dance show, there is so much dance in it that I feel it’s really letting me do what it is that I can do. I feel completely unrestricted with the choreography; I can let it fly, and I’ve got incredible dancers around me who can do amazing things so for me that’s really exciting, and I’m absolutely loving it.

How did Flashdance come about?

It came about through the company Cellar Door that I have been working with. The first show I did with them was a couple of years ago called Footloose. It is still on the road with them and doing really well. Last year, I did Little Shop of Horrors for them, again on tour. Flashdance is another progression for me with them as a company. I’ve worked my way up with them and they trust me, keeping me on board as a choreographer. They’ve very much helped in these last few years to nurture and develop my career to this point.

Where do you start on a project like this and how long does it take to choreograph? We’ve been working on this for a year before we get the cast into a room. That’s from initial meetings with the director and designer, talking through and making sure everyone is on the same page when you start to choreograph so that everyone’s creative ideas tie in together. I then go into the studio with my assistant. We spend about two weeks making up the steps. Then you get the cast come in and do about four weeks of rehearsals. Then you go to the theatre to put it on stage, which is another week or so. In the last couple of months it starts moving very fast, but before then the whole process probably takes about a year.

Do you ever wish you were up there with them on stage, performing? Nowadays as I’ve got older, I look at some of them and think, “You dance like I dance, you’re me.” I can see it in people. But I don’t feel that need to get up there and do it any more. I think that is because I had a great time myself as a performer. I got to do what I was trained to do and for that I’m very grateful.

It’s a long tour – almost a year. How much of it do you have to be around for?

Not a huge amount. Obviously, when it opens I am there for all of that, to make sure it’s up and running. For the rest of the year they have various people on board – a dance captain and a resident director that will look after the show on a day-to-day basis. The director and I will come back every couple of months, just to check that it’s all OK.

What’s next for you?

The rest of the year is very nice. I’m doing a little kids show, then a show called The Producers which I am doing in China. Then I go to New York to do a workshop for a new show. Then I come back and I’m choreographing pantomime with Brian Connolly and Gok Wan in Milton Keynes.

Flashdance – The Musical is at the Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, from 13th-18th November KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017



& be Fashion, health

Shop the season Yes, it’s that time of year when you need to think about your autumn/winter wardrobe. Unsure of the season’s key trends and shapes? Don’t panic, Sally-Ann Carroll’s fashion update will help you spot the latest looks. The good news is that there’s something for everyone. Hooray!

Clockwise from top left: Olive jacket, £375.53, and red quilted jacket, £418.47, both from; olive trench coat, £55,; mustard frilled blouse, £80, Second Female at; Animal print skirt, £145,; printed ankle boot, £49.50,; black boot, £423,; red skirt, £75, Studio by Preen at 34



m u r o F n o i Fash

Soft greys, shades of blue and pretty prints – meet autumn’s stylish new looks

Clockwise from left: Linen shirt dress, £155, Floral pink swing top, £125, Brushed cotton easy shirt, £129, Bouclé roll neck sweater, £135, Cowl neck stripe sweater, £149, Night sky jersey cowl top, £119, and Funnel neck sweater, £199. 36



Clockwise from left: Blue floral jersey dress, £159, Tie dye cowl neck dress, £169, Orange print jersey dress, £159, Denim swing dress, £169, Blue floral jersey dress, £159, and Scribble spot dress, £159.


77 High Street, Tunbridge Wells LOV E FASHION


Beauty notes Latest products and news

Perfect balance

Samaya is an all-natural skincare brand based on Ayurvedic principles, which helps you achieve samadosha or a ‘perfect balance’ in your life, beginning with your skin. Ayurvedic herbs have been used for millennia to balance particular doshas or constitutions, resulting in an overall feeling of wellness. Samaya carefully curates the finest elements of Ayurveda, marrying them with clinically-proven active ingredients and anti-ageing compounds, to provide effective skincare through a relaxing, holistic experience. The range delivers immediate results – wrinkles are visibly reduced and skin appears smoother, more balanced and radiant – while imparting a tangible sense of calm and tranquillity in the process.

Dosha is the name given to the energies that govern every individual. There are primarily three types of dosha: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The Samaya range has a hydrating cleanser (£69), anti-ageing cream (£89) and treatment oil (£79) for each of the three dosha types. Everyone at Kudos HQ is in love with this brand – the anti-ageing creams are divine and a little goes a long way!

Kudos Tried & Tested

Science of Skin’s cult scar treatment cream, Solution for Scars, combines the most effective ingredients from science and nature, and is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of scars, reduce discomfort, soothe irritable scars and lessen redness. Its powerful formula contains a naturally-active green tea extract that has been proved to shrink some scars by 40 per cent. Paraben and fragrance-free, it enhances the skin’s repairing response. Our Publishing Director says, “I applied the cream to an abdominal scar two to three times a day, and after two weeks the scar certainly seemed less red. I will certainly continue to use it.” Price: £18.99 for 30ml 38


Nail it!

Love glitter polish but hate the impossible removal process? You’re in luck! SensatioNail peel-off nail polish glides on in one stroke, dries in minutes, doesn’t damage your nails or require nail polish remover. Simply peel to remove the polish when you’re ready for a change of colour. Price: £6




Health notes Ground breaking treatment for women who have had breast cancer and those suffering symptoms of the menopause

Women who have had treatment for breast cancer or are suffering symptoms of the menopause may be interested in a new service being offered at Benenden Hospital. The MonaLisa Touch is a new, ground-breaking treatment for women with vaginal discomforts such as dryness, burning, vulvar itching and painful intercourse. These are symptoms of vaginal atrophy, a thinning, drying and inflammation of the vaginal walls, due to the body having less oestrogen. These symptoms are often associated with the menopause, but can also happen after breast cancer treatment and chemotherapy. Benenden Hospital, near Cranbrook, Kent, is one of the first hospitals in the UK to offer the treatment, and the only hospital in Kent. The service has been introduced as part of the hospital’s commitment to women’s health. The MonaLisa Touch is a non-surgical laser technology treatment that’s widely available across the world, having treated more than 20,000 women. By acting on vaginal tissue, the laser stimulates the production of collagen, improving the function of the treated area and restoring proper blood flow, reversing the effects of vaginal atrophy. The treatment is carried out as an Outpatient appointment during three short sessions over a period of around 18 weeks. A follow-up annual treatment is also required. It does not require anaesthetic and each treatment lasts just a few minutes. It’s delivered at four to six weekly intervals, and many patients report a significant improvement in symptoms after the first session. At Benenden Hospital, the treatment will be available to private KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

patients and at a discounted price to Benenden members. Private medically-insured women would need to speak with their provider to see if they are covered for the condition. Rowan Connell, who leads the Gynaecology team at Benenden Hospital, said: “This is a huge step forward for women who can’t take oestrogen for vaginal dryness. It is quick, painless and minimally invasive and has been shown to be very effective.” The MonaLisa Touch treatment is for: • Post-menopausal women who do not wish to take Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) • Women who tried HRT but did not find relief for vaginal dryness • Women who cannot have HRT, for instance, women who have been treated for breast cancer • Women who have tried other treatments with no success • Peri-menopausal women (women in their late forties) who have been troubled by vaginal dryness but do not want to take HRT • Women who have had chemotherapy or pelvic radiation therapy for cancer, and women who have had hormonal treatment following breast cancer The MonaLisa Touch is not an alternative to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Some women taking HRT may get additional benefit from the MonaLisa Touch. The two treatments are not mutually exclusive. To find out more please contact Benenden Hospital’s Private Patient Office on 01580 242 521. MonaLisa Touch is a registered trademark of DEKA M.E.L.A. srl – Calenzano – Italy. LOV E YOUR HEALTH




Fashion and ga

On trend You just have to man up this autumn as it’s all about dressing to impress and looking super-cool. Sally-Ann Carroll’s fashion update will help keep you ahead of the game

Clockwise from top left: Montana Calor printed shirt and A Slice Is Nice printed shirt, £75 each, both from; black boots, £169,; tan brogues, £95,; purple coat, £150, J by Jasper Conran, and scarf, £25, Hammond & Co., both from; grey funnel neck sweater, £69.95,; striped sweater, £75, 42







Capture life

Introducing the world’s most versatile waterproof camera. This hi-tech gadget is one of the world’s smallest Bluetooth and Wi-fi connected HDR action cameras. You can enjoy up to two hours of video recording, 30-feet underwater recording and a dust-tight guarantee. The YoCam also uses a 140-degree wide angle lens of F2.0 aperture, so no recording opportunity will be missed, even in low light. Set up with MoSteady video and image stabilisation, the YoCam is ready and waiting to take on your next adventure, no

matter how big. It also offers time lapse, slow motion, looping video, photo burst, delay shot and life-logging opportunities. But don’t just set it aside for those adventure thrills, as the YoCam even performs as an ideal home or baby monitoring camera. We all know the fun must end at some point, so when reality kicks in, continue to use your handy camera at home. Price: £139.99 to £179.99

High and dry

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, the Helixot XO 6.2 Backpack is now available. The 100% waterproof, airtight, and fully-submersible backpack is designed and manufactured in France and it’s perfect for watersports and hiking. The bag is made of thick marine canvas that’s resistant to abrasion, and the XO 6.2 screw cap creates a seal with a constant pressure, ensuring your valuables are always safe. The Helixot has an ergonomic design that hugs the back and stays firmly in place with a set of straps secured by quick-release buckles. With five years’ warranty, this is one relationship that won’t leave you high and dry. Price: £145





ecipes Restaurants, r

and news

Cook by the book Be inspired by the new swathe of cookery books

Turning Japanese Enjoy intricate desserts with a twist in this new book Japanese Pâtisserie is a new book by pâtisserie master James Campbell, who recently cooked a selection of desserts and petit four from the book when he visited The Twenty Six restaurant in Southborough for a special guest chef lunch with the restaurant’s executive chef, Scott Goss. Michel Roux OBE, describes James as ‘a simply stunning pastry chef’. The book is a stimulation to the senses, with a range of delicious and contemporary pâtisserie with a Japanese twist using ingredients such as yuzu, sesame, miso, matcha and wasabi. James was inspired by the intricate tarts, cheesecakes and macarons he found on his many fact-finding trips to the Far East. The Japanese have, he reckons, a healthy attitude to desserts. “Nobody buys Snickers or Mars Bars. They meet once a week and go to a stunning patisserie and eat ­exceptional products.” James has worked as a chef in Michelin-starred establishments across the world, including a stint as Head Pastry Chef at Gary Rhodes’ London restaurant and the award-winning Mandarin Oriental Hotel. It is in his current position as Product Development Manager for Marks & Spencer that James’ passion for Japanese culture and ingredients developed. Japanese Pâtisserie, with photography by Mowie Kay, is published by Ryland Peters & Small, price £16.99.

Just desserts

Eat your way through the sugar-filled delights of New York Long-time dessert lover Yasmin packed up her life, moved her family to New York and set herself the challenge of eating the city’s best desserts in three months. That’s 91 days, 169 venues and 373 desserts to be exact – or 4.1 desserts a day. Not including, of course, the recreations that Yasmin cooked up in her apartment each night, moved by the new tastes and textures that she was desperate to relive with family and friends back home. Like all great food, The Desserts of New York are a reflection of the city. Yasmin takes the reader on her sugar-filled journey, absorbing the sights, sounds and flavours of New York’s hippest neighbourhoods. Her ode to desserts spans from the classic New York Cheesecake through to today’s ‘smash-ups’, such as the Crème Brûlée Croissant to cross-cultural delights like Rugelach, Babka and Cannoli. Bakeries made famous through pop culture such as the Magnolia Bakery from Sex and the City and Dominique Ansel’s legendary birthplace of the Cronut are profiled, as well as the behind-the-scenes stories of Instagram phenomenons including the Rainbow Bagel. The Desserts of New York And How to Eat Them All by Yasmin Newman is published by Hardie Grant, price £20. 46



The Kentish Hare in Best Pub Food final Gastro pub continues to earn national recognition for top-quality dishes The Kentish Hare is continuing its award-winning streak, by securing a place in the finals of the prestigious Great British Pub Awards. Celebrating the nation’s best pubs, the Kentish Hare has made it to the final rounds in the category of ‘Best Food Pub’. Now in its 17th year, the Great British Pub Awards is the leading event for pub operators across the country, attracting hundreds of entries annually. The 2017 finalists were selected by a team of expert judges, who marked entrants based on factors including the quality of dishes, events and how produce is sourced. Capturing the spirit of a traditional, quaint English pub, The Kentish Hare delivers high-quality food sourced from local suppliers in a stylish setting. The gastro pub has also hosted several popular events, including a recent guest chef evening with national TV professional cooking show runner-up, Elly Wentworth, which we featured in the last issue. Celebrity chefs and brothers, Chris and James Tanner head up The Kentish Hare’s kitchen, with the venue’s reputation for quality food and service already earning it national recognition since opening in 2014. This includes securing two AA rosettes and a coveted Michelin listing. Winners of the Great British Pub Awards will be decided by a team of judges, who will be visiting and sampling dishes at each of the finalist venues. Winners will be announced at the London Hilton on 7th September. Paul Barber, General Manager of The Kentish Hare, said: “It is fantastic to be recognised as one of the best food pubs in the country, and to be chosen as one of just six national finalists. It’s a testament to the hard work put in by the team in ensuring our food continues to be of the highest quality. We wish everyone nominated the best of luck!” James Tanner, owner and TV chef, said: “Our menu focuses on using the best in local ingredients from local suppliers, with everything cooked to order by our team of expert chefs. The Kentish Hare has only been open for three years, and in that time, it has already earned national recognition as being one of the best gastropubs in the country.

David Griffen Photography

“We are thrilled to have made the finals of the Great British Pub Awards and look forward to welcoming many more customers through our doors to sample our award-winning dishes.”

Drink up your fruit and veg Get your greens the healthy way, with cold-pressed juices Cold-press juice has become a popular choice for the health conscious looking to get their fruit and greens in a quick, drinkable form. So what are the benefits? Cold-pressed juice is made with a hydraulic press that uses thousands of pounds of pressure to extract the maximum amount of liquid from fresh fruits and vegetables. No additional heat or oxygen is used in the process, meaning that no nutrients are lost in the heat of traditional pasteurisation. Sound good? Then head to The Plant Base on Camden Road in Tunbridge Wells. Not only will you get home-made, cold-pressed juice, but real, healthy, whole food, too. “There’s a lot of food about that looks healthy,” says owner Geff, “but is actually full of way too much salt, sugar and oil.” Geff is passionate about his cold-pressed juices. “With any other method of juicing, a little heat is added to begin the oxidisation process which loses nutrients, creates unpleasant foam and necessitates pasteurisation. Our juice is 100 per cent fruit and veg, 100 per cent raw, 100 per cent made by us.” It’s not just Geff’s use of plant-based ingredients that makes his restaurant eco-friendly. The takeaway packaging is all compostable, and they use glass bottles (no plastic here!) for your juice that you can return for a discount next time. On top of all that, The Plant Base is for anyone who wants an amazing meal. Says Geff, “You’re a gluten-free, raw vegan with a nut allergy who’s avoiding oil? 48


We’re your new best friends. Our menu is meticulously organised so there are always options for everyone. And because every bowl is made to order, we can switch out that chilli you’re not keen on, too. You get organic, fairtrade, rainforest-alliance certified coffee, with more dairy-free milk options than anyone else. “We believe that you don’t have to choose between tasty, ethical or healthy. At The Plant Base, you get it all.” KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017




Poetry in motion Andy Urbanek and Petrus Madutlela, co-owners of The Poet in Matfield, came to the UK via the Czech Republic and South Africa and worked in a variety of jobs before taking over their delightful country pub. Here, they talk about their journey to success

When Andy Urbanek arrived in the UK, he had no idea that one day he would co-own a country pub. “I studied to be an electrician in the Czech Republic,” says Andy, “before moving to Kent. After that, life was eventful, to say the least! I took any job going, from washing cars to roofing, painting and decorating, washing dishes, serving tea and coffee in Bewl Water’s sailing club, and being part of the crew on Bewl’s ferry, the Swallow – I even served pizza to Kate Moss at Glastonbury! “In all seriousness, it was a testing time, just like any start in a foreign country. However, I believe that I have worked for, and with, some of the best people I could ever meet. I have learned a lot from them.” After two years, Andy decided to see if he could make his stay in the UK permanent, so looked for a career. “As I love chatting to people and good food, hospitality seemed the right choice,” he says. “With my CV in my hand, I walked into the reception of Hotel du Vin in Tunbridge Wells and it started from there. “Working at Hotel du Vin was an eye opener and I loved everything about it. But after four-and-a-half years there I decided to see what it was like working for an independent business, so I joined Jean-Jaques ( JJ) Fontaine at the Chez JJ and Rendezvous restaurants in Tunbridge Wells.” When both restaurants were sold due to JJ’s health, Andy moved to The Wells Kitchen and joined Alex Greig, now owner of the Fuggles Beer Cafés in Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge. “Again, it was a fantastic experience and the knowledge I gained by just being around him and his team was incredible,” says Andy. “I then moved on to something very exciting and very new to me and Tunbridge Wells at the time, the Champagne and Seafood bar opened by Matthew Sankey in The Old Fishmarket on The Pantiles. The environment was quite different to what I was used to and I loved it. I also came to understand a lot more about seafood, fish and its sustainability. I commend Matthew for all the work he does to support this. “After that, I moved to The Poet at Matfield as the previous owner, Charlie, was looking for a manager and I was looking to move from the town to a village. Then Petrus came along and we struck the perfect note together, so when the chance came to take over The Poet, we didn’t hesitate.” A natural people-person, Andy was perfect to lead the front-ofhouse team. “I love being out front greeting our guests, having a chat, serving a delicious glass of wine or beautiful plate of food that Petrus and his team have prepared,” he says. “Also, you have the best understanding of your guests needs when you’re physically there with them. And as I said before, people I have worked for have blessed me with everything I know, so I would like to pass this on to my employees and guests, too. KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

When it comes to the most important qualities for a successful front of house team, Andy says the essentials are trust, work ethic, knowledge of the product and good communication. “After that it’s the individual’s character.” Ask Andy what his main responsibilities are and he laughs. “Everything that the business requires, from serving guests to doing the accounts, polishing mirrors and cleaning the toilets! It’s our business and we need to look after all aspects of it as best as we can. “It also gives me the opportunity to show my employees that if I can do it, then there is no excuse for someone else not to. “This job gives many rewards in many shapes and forms. For me, the best part is seeing your staff doing well and enjoying what they do, and our guests enjoying their experience. Letters of gratitude are priceless. “We have lots of plans for The Poet that we would like to and will do. It’s all still a work in progress and there’s still a few things we would like to improve. But I’m not giving away any details just yet!” LOV E FOOD AND DRINK


The Poet’s Chef Patron Petrus Madutlela never wanted to be a chef. “Home was a tin shack in a township called Mothutlung, near Pretoria, South Africa. “My dream was to become a doctor, but money was tight for the family, so after leaving school I had to work,” he explains. “I took a job as a kitchen porter at Pecanwood Golf club. I worked hard and asked lots of questions. The head chef decided to train me as a chef and I’ve never looked back.” He moved to the UK in 2011 with his British wife, Shirley. “We met when we were training at the Institute of Culinary Arts, near Stellenbosch. We moved to London and at first I worked at The Savoy, but when we decided to start a family, it was time to move to greener pastures. We now live happily in Aylesford with our boys, Will and Luke.” Petus is a bit of a celebrity chef, having made it to the quarter finals of BBC TV’s MasterChef: The Professionals in 2013. “Cooking under pressure with several cameras in your face was very exciting and challenging,” he recalls. “It was great to meet the team, and the experience was a boost to my career. Thanks to my Masterchef exposure, I was fortunate to get the opportunity to work as a judge on two series of Ultimate Braai Master in South Africa.” Petrus tries to go back to South Africa once a year. “My boys love playing with their South African cousins, even though lifestyle in the townships is a little different to Kent!” Naturally, Petrus has brought South African influences to the food he cooks at The Poet. “South Africa is a melting pot of cultures,” he says. “Malaysian and Indian immigrants used spices to give food an intensity of flavour, and

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I’ve learnt from them. We braai – barbecue – over the summer and a local sausage producer makes traditional boerewors to my recipe. Topped with chakalaka, a lightly-spiced relish, they are a big hit with diners at The Poet.” When it comes to other chefs, Petrus admires Michel Roux. “He’s a fantastically talented chef. Despite being one of Britiain’s most well-known celebrities, he is dedicated to spending time in the kitchen of Le Gavroche. He’s very down to earth and is passionate about encouraging young chefs to grow. I also admire Heston Blumenthal, as a ground-breaking, self-taught chef. “Desmond Morgan, executive chef at the Inter Continental Airport Sun, Johannesburg, is the person who has had most influence on my career. When I worked for him, he encouraged me to enter culinary competitions, boosting both my culinary skills and my confidence. I represented South Africa in the Concours International des Jeunes Commis Rôtisseurs in 2007, coming fourth out of 21 countries. I then went on to win the title of Unilever South African Chef of the Year in 2010 and By Invitation only South African Chef of the Year in 2011.” Opening a restaurant of his own was always his dream. With The Poet, that dream has come true and he is gaining a strong reputation for his excellent food. “If you go to a restaurant and you remember the food looked beautiful but can’t remember the flavour, then that’s wrong,” he says. “I want people to remember the flavours at The Poet. That’s my aim. Because flavours equal memories.” 52



A touch of spice Chef Anjula Devi runs her own Indian cookery school and catering business, both dedicated to promoting authentic traditional Indian food in the UK. These recipes are from her book, Spice for Life

Chicken Curry

Preparation time 30 minutes, cooking time 75 minutes. Marinate overnight. Serves 4 Ingredients

• 350g boneless and skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces

For the Marinade

• 150g natural yogurt • Juice of one freshly squeezed lemon • 1 tsp pulped garlic • 1 tsp pulped ginger • 1 tsp tomato paste • 2 tbs tamarind pulp

Warming Spices

Key Spices

• 1 tsp cumin seeds • 1 tsp coriander seeds • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds • 1 inch piece of cassia bark • 1 Indian bay leaf • ¼ tsp turmeric powder • 1 tsp red chilli flakes

• 1 tsp fenugreek leaves, soaked in 2 tbs hot water • 4 green cardamoms, lightly bashed • 2 cloves

Wet Ingredients

• 4 tbs vegetable oil • 2 medium onions, finely chopped • 400g good quality tinned chopped tomatoes • 1 tsp jaggery unrefined sugar, grated • 1 tsp pulped garlic • 1 tsp pulped ginger • 2-4 fresh finger green chillies, pierced (add less for a milder curry) • 6-8 curry leaves • 140ml water (more if you prefer your sauce to be not as thick) • 2 tsp tamarind pulp


• Small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped • Zest of one lemon


1. P  lace the chicken thighs and breasts in a large bowl, add

the marinade ingredients, stir and coat well. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge overnight. 2. R  emove from the fridge and allow the chicken to come to room temperature. 3. T  ake a small dry frying pan, set on a low heat, and warm through the cumin seeds, coriander seeds and brown mustard seeds. This should only take one minute. Remove from the heat, add to the pestle and mortar and grind coarsely. 4. Take a large sauté pan, add the oil and warm on a low heat. Then add the onions, cassia bark and Indian bay leaf. Sauté for 5 minutes. KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

5. A  dd the turmeric powder and red chilli flakes, stir and cook for a further two minutes.

6. Add the chopped tomatoes and jaggery, and continue to

sauté for at least a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. By cooking these ingredients for a little longer, your curry will definitely taste better. 7. Now add the garlic, ginger and green chillies, and continue to cook for 2 minutes. 8. Add the contents of the pestle and mortar, stir well, and continue to fry until you see that the mixture resembles a paste, and the oil starts to separate from the onions and tomatoes. 9. If the ingredients start to become a little dry or the spices start to burn, simply add a little water. 10. Add the marinated chicken and fresh curry leaves (rip these into smaller pieces). 11. Turn the heat up to medium, stir really well, and allow the chicken to seal for at least 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the water and bring to the boil, then immediately reduce to a simmer. 12. A  dd the soaked fenugreek leaves, green cardamoms, cloves and tamarind pulp, and place the lid on the pan. Cook for 25 minutes or until the chicken is tender, and the sauce is thick. 13. R  emove from the heat, and stir in the fresh coriander and lemon zest. 14. L eave for 5 minutes before serving. Remember to count the cloves and cardamoms out.



Quick and Easy Runner Beans and Broccoli Preparation time 20 minutes, cooking time 15 minutes Serves 4 “My Dad grew up on a farm in Kenya, but the first time he saw broccoli was when he arrived in the UK. He was so intrigued with this vegetable that it was one of the very first dishes that he created, along with runner beans grown in our back garden. Broccoli is a fantastic source of vitamins K and C. It’s a really good source of dietary fibre, and a range of other key vitamins and nutrients.”


• 300g runner beans, stringed and shredded • 150g tenderstem broccoli

Key Spices

• 1 tsp cumin seeds • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds • 1 tsp red chilli flakes

Warming Spices

4. I like to serve this dish ‘al dente’ but if you prefer your

vegetables to be a little more cooked, then simply sauté for a little longer. 5. R  emove from the heat, add fresh coriander and sea salt to taste, stir and serve immediately.

• 1 tsp fennel seeds • 1 tsp fenugreek leaves • ¼ tsp nigella seeds

Other Spices

• ½ tsp asafoetida • 2 tsp mango powder

Wet Ingredients

• 2 tbs groundnut oil • 2 tsp pulped garlic • 1 tsp pulped ginger • 2 fresh green chillies, pierced • 2 tsp white wine vinegar • 2 tsp sundried tomato paste • 1 tsp grated jaggery (unrefined cane sugar)


• 6-8 fresh curry leaves • Sea salt to taste • Small bunch or coriander, roughly chopped


1. P  lace a large sauté pan on a low heat, add the oil and allow to warm.

2. A  dd the asafoetida and curry leaves and allow to splutter.


Then immediately add the key spices and warming spices, and stir well for 30 seconds. Add the garlic, ginger and fresh green chillies, and continue to sauté for 1 minute. 3. A  dd the mango powder, white wine vinegar, sundried tomato paste and jaggery. Continue to cook for a further 2 minutes, adding a little water if the ingredients begin to stick to the pan. Now turn the heat up high, add the runner beans, stir and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the broccoli, stir well and cook for a further 5 minutes on a high heat. LOV E FOOD AND DRINK

Anjula Devi is a chef and author who has worked for a wide range of retailers, food manufacturers and leading publications. Spice for Life is her first cookery book. Anjula has founded her own cooking school, been appointed Brand Ambassador for the world’s largest Indian food company TRS Foods and created her own brand – ‘Route 207’. The brand is named after the bus journey Anjula and her father used to make from Southall to Shepherds Bush Market to buy spices, vegetables and fresh fish. Anjula also uses her culinary skills to work with primary school children who have special educational needs. Spice for Life by Anjula Devi includes meat and fish recipes, and is published by Clearview Books. Photography by Dan Jones. Price £25, available online and from all good bookshops. KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017


James Tanner’s Creedy Carver Duck Succulent duck breasts with duck spring rolls and a cherry mustard from James Tanner (TV chef and restaurateur/one half of the Tanner brothers, who own and run The Kentish Hare) Ingredients

• 4 large duck breasts


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. 2. Trim the breasts, removing any sinews and excess fat. 3. T  o cook, place the duck skin side down in a pan over a medium heat for 6-8 minutes, until golden brown.

4. Place on a roasting tray in the oven for six minutes to seal the flesh side.

5. L eave to rest until you are ready to carve.

For the spring rolls Ingredients

• 6 duck legs • 2 tsp Dijon mustard • 200g sherry vinegar • 1 large carrot, cooked and finely diced • 2 shallots, cooked and finely diced • 1 large sprig of fresh, flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped • 600g duck fat • 2 packets filo pastry


1. Confit the duck legs in the duck fat, then cook at 130°C/110°C fan/gas mark 1 for 2 hours.

2. Cool, then pick the meat from the bones, discarding the bones and skin.

3. Mix the leg meat with the Dijon mustard, sherry vinegar, cooked shallot, carrot and parsley. Season to taste.

4. Lay out two sheets of pastry and brush with egg yolk. Lay

the filling across in a straight line and roll, tucking ends under to create a spring roll. 5. P  lace on greaseproof paper and bake in a pre-heated oven at 190°C/170°C fan/gas mark 5, for 15-20 minutes, until the pastry is golden and crisp. 6. Deep-fry the spring rolls for 5-6 minutes until goldenbrown. Remove, and drain on kitchen paper. KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

For the cherry mustard Ingredients • 1kg cherry purée • 400ml water • 14g agar • 1 tsp English mustard • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar


1. Boil the cherry purée in a little water. 2. Add agar, whisk in, and bring to the boil, then take off the heat and leave to cool.

3. Place in the fridge until set. 4. Once set, blend with mustard and vinegar.

To serve, arrange the duck breast and spring roll on each plate and pipe on the cherry mustard.



Meet the locals

John Coldman OBE has had a high-flying career in insurance, established a charitable trust and was appointed Deputy Chairman of Lloyd’s of London. He has also owned The Rock Inn since 1999, after falling in love with it 25 years earlier… You’ve had a very high-profile and distinguished career. What have been the highlights for you?

Being involved in the creation of Benfield Group, the industryleading reinsurance broking and risk advisory business, and my time as Chairman from 1996 to 2008 when the company was sold. At that time, we had approximately 2,000 team members, 50 offices around the world and were transacting business in over 100 countries. My aim was always to create an environment where every team member could flourish. Our guiding principles were: one team; enterprising spirit; and passion to deliver. We weren’t perfect, but I think we did pretty well. Our people were immensely proud to have Benfield on their business cards and our staff turnover was very low. The low point in my time at Benfield was the tragic loss of our colleagues and close friends, Matthew Harding and Tony Burridge, in a helicopter accident in 1996. At that time, Matthew was also Vice Chairman of Chelsea Football Club and they were travelling home after a match against Bolton Wanderers FC. Another career highlight for me was being appointed Deputy Chairman of Lloyd’s of London (the insurance market) in 2001.

Tell us about your charitable trust.

I established the John Coldman Charitable Trust 25 years ago, its principal aim being to support local and other projects, focusing on young people, those less fortunate than ourselves and communities in need. The Trust owns the Holcot Residential Centre in Edenbridge, which operates as a hostel, holiday centre and community centre. My brother and sister have been instrumental in leading this project. Amongst a number of charities and projects the Trust has supported, I’ve been very pleased to support the work of Oasis (, the charity founded in 1985 by my very old friend, Rev Steve Chalke MBE – Baptist minister, writer, broadcaster and social activist. Oasis has developed into a family of charities, working in four continents and focusing on providing housing, education, training, employment opportunities and healthcare for those in need. I’m also very proud to support African Promise (, a charity founded 10 years ago by my elder son, Charles. African Promise is a small charity, working to improve the quality of education and the lives of young people in the remote and rural Kasigau region of Kenya. The results thus far have been startling!

How surprised were you to receive an OBE for services to Business, Young People and charity in the Queen’s Birthday Honours this year? I was very surprised and very humbled. 60


What’s on your bucket list?

I don’t like the term ‘bucket list’ and I don’t have one anyway. I feel very blessed in having a wonderful wife, Nicola, and three talented children, each ploughing their own furrow in life. I’ve travelled all over the world for business and for pleasure and have been to some wonderful places. We don’t know how long we will have on this earth, but if I can help to create a society where we can live together in peace, accepting our neighbours irrespective of nationality, race, religion, sexuality etc, then I’ll be happy.

How did you come to buy The Rock Inn?

I first visited the Rock in 1974 and fell in love with it. I’m a pub man and it’s a proper pub, probably one of the few remaining authentic ones in the country. I was offered the opportunity to buy it in 1999 – which I did – with the intention of keeping it much as it is in perpetuity.

What’s its history?

A dendrochronological survey of various oak beams has dated the building to 1520, so it will be 500 years old in 2020 – definitely a time for big celebrations! Some of the oak trees from which the timber was sourced were planted as early as 1383, so it is steeped in history. There is also some evidence that the Rock was constructed as an ale house, serving the drove roads nearby. Five hundred years as a pub – that’s pretty special! KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

What appealed to you about owning a pub?

I had never intended to buy a pub, but the Rock was very special to me and I wanted to see it flourish and remain at the heart of the community.

Did you have to do a lot to the building?

As you can imagine, a building that is nearly 500 years old takes some looking after, although you have to admire the skills and workmanship of the people who built it so long ago. In January this year, Emma Welch and her husband, Jim, took over the tenancy and have transformed the place. The internal alterations have been made to make the best use possible of the space available.

What sort of pub did you want to create?

I didn’t want The Rock to be a restaurant with a bar, but a pub serving good food, which is exactly what Emma and Jim have created.

How much are you involved with the day-to-day running of the pub?

The day-to-day running is now entirely in the very capable hands of Emma and Jim.

How important is The Rock Inn to the local community?

Very much like any village pub, the Rock is at the heart of the community. On election days, the top bar is the polling station for the hamlet of Chiddingstone Hoath!

What plans have you got lined up for its future?

I’m very happy with the way the Rock is developing, so no other plans lined up.

Do you plan to buy any more pubs?

Definitely not! The Rock is the only one that matters to me!

The Rock Inn, Hoath Corner, Rywell Hill, Chiddingstone Hoath, Edenbridge TN8 7BS Phone: 01892 870296

Property den

Home and gar

The house on the Common When Tanya Pallavicini Galizia bought an iconic Tunbridge Wells property, it became her passion and a real labour of love Photography by Matt Harquail




Anyone familiar with Tunbridge Wells will have admired Belleville on passing – the house set on a sandstone outcrop on the apex of Tunbridge Wells Common, between Mount Ephraim and London Road. The house has a fascinating history, as David Peacock and Frank Chapman write in their book Tunbridge Wells Sketchbook: “Belleville is about 300 years old. We know that Thackeray stayed there as a boy, for in his later years of fame as a novelist and editor of the Cornhill magazine, he recalled the tiny cottage he could see from his lodgings in Rock Villa just across the London Road. “A cellar under the house is cut out of solid rock, and on the perimeter of the property are the Donkey Caves. Here were stabled the donkeys used in Victorian times and earlier for riding and pulling the little carts patronised by sightseers and invalids. Before the coming of motor transport, the rock stables housed the chain horses hired out to help pull heavy wagons and carriages up the long drag to the crest of Mount Ephraim. In the Second World War, the caves were used as air raid shelters.” Fast forward to 2004, when Tanya Pallavicini Galizia was living in East Grinstead. “I was travelling a lot at the time, and so East Grinstead was a great base for me because of the airport,” says Tanya. “I’d come to Tunbridge Wells most weekends to shop and every time I passed Belleville, I would admire it and think how lovely it was. Then one day, by chance, I was visiting The Pantiles and saw that the house was for sale in an estate agent’s window. It felt like fate.” KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017



And so Belleville had a new owner. When Tanya bought the property, the dining room, kitchen and sitting room were all on the lower ground floor, with the bedrooms at ground level. “As lovely as the house was, it just didn’t make sense to me,” she says. “I wanted the day-to-day living quarters to benefit from the light and the fantastic views overlooking the town, and so my initial reaction was to turn the house the other way round. So the dining room used to be a guest bedroom, the sitting room was originally the master bedroom and the kitchen was a study. “I have given the living quarters more flow and really opened up the home. I even discovered that in the room that is now the dining room, a wardrobe went straight through the other side of the wall to the hallway, so we took that out to really open the room up.” When Tanya originally bought Belleville, it was to live in. Tanya tells me that although she loved living at Belleville, it was just too big for her small family, and so rented the property out until she decided to start doing holiday lets at the end of 2015. “This home isn’t just a lock up and go,” she says. “It needs love and TLC, so holiday lets seemed liked the best solution, as it would enable us to come into the home between every let and give it the love and attention it needs.” 64


It’s hard to find the right words to describe Belleville and do it justice. Unique, eclectic… the home is a wonderful fusion of vintage meets glamour. Every piece of furniture has a story, and you’ll find gold in every room, be it on the walls or on the furniture. “Everything you see in Belleville is second hand, sourced from charity shops, antique shops, and markets. Even the tapestry on the dining room wall came from my grandmother’s,” says Tanya. “It just wouldn’t feel right if you just came in and saw contemporary furniture. I want to respect and enhance Belleville’s character. “My favourite piece is the dining table which I bought in a field for £60. The chairs were sourced from different places and collected over time. Once I had the set, I gilded them and had them upholstered.” She points to something that looks like a dresser. “This was actually two different pieces of furniture. I was busy moving furniture around, as you do, and I could no longer hold the top so momentarily put it on the desk. I stood back and thought, that looks rather nice, and so it stayed. The chest of drawers that originally went on the bottom of the cabinet is in one of the bedrooms. KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

“I also like the four poster in the ground floor single bedroom – I felt that because it was a single room, that room needed to make their guest feel special. Nothing says royalty to me more than a beautiful four poster bed. I bought the carcass on its own, then upholstered the top, made the curtains, painted it and tinkered with it.” I admire the decorative shower surround in the ground-level shower room and Tanya explains that it came out of an old pub. “They were two bits of wood and I couldn’t get them in the car so I walked home with them on my shoulder. They sat in the corner for months and I didn’t know what to do with them until one day I thought, shower surround! And up they went. I then gilded them; everything at Belleville deserves to be graced with gold!” When asked what is her favourite room, it’s no surprise to find that it’s the dining room. Says Tanya: “I’ve stayed here a lot on my own and would often find myself sitting with a coffee and looking out of the window as the world goes by. I’d sometimes leave the front door open for fresh air, and it would feel like an old village; the type of place where everyone is friendly to one another. You can be in the house alone but not feel isolated or lonely because you are involved with watching the world outside your window.” KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017



I’ve stayed here a lot on my own and would often find myself sitting with a coffee and looking out of the window as the world goes by




Since Belleville began its life as a holiday let, guests have unfailingly loved it and the reviews are outstanding. “The reviews are quite amazing,” says Tanya. “It’s thrilling yet humbling. This house is so quirky I look at it sometimes and think, am I doing the house justice? But then I read some of the reviews and I think, no Tanya, people love what you’re doing! People can see how fantastic the location is, how unusual it is, it’s certainly not conventional. It’s a real experience to stay here.” Although a lot of people rent Belleville for special occasions, like weddings and birthdays, it has also been used for murder mystery weekends, bridge nights and painting weekends. When it comes to what makes a good rental property, it’s all about ticking boxes, says Tanya, “Location is high on the list. If you are staying somewhere for an occasion, you want to relax and enjoy yourself, so being centrally located around great bars, restaurants, shops and the train station is important. That’s certainly an appeal for Belleville. It also comes down to the nitty- gritty basics. People want fast Wi-Fi, good televisions, all the amenities, fantastic linen, wonderful towels, cleanliness (obviously) and parking, definitely a must for a town location.” So what’s next for Tanya? “I love rentals,” she says, “but what I love more is making a house a home. I could spend my life just moving furniture around and painting, deciding what wall I’m going to knock down, what I can do to make it better. Belleville is still really exciting for me. I’m always looking at her thinking, what can I do next? What else can I play with? What else can I paint gold? I love her and I can’t stop changing and improving her layout and decor. It’s my ultimate passion! “We’ve just upgraded the garden area, putting in new seating and planting more in the front garden. The bathrooms and kitchen were all designed and handmade by me, as were all the gold paneling on the walls throughout the ground floor. I’m now thinking of new colour schemes I could apply. “This house is a passion for me, a complete love. But beyond Belleville… I don’t know! I have promised my friends that if I renovate another property, I’m not going to paint it gold. There is only one Belleville!” Something tells us that whatever Tanya takes on, it will be fabulous! KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017



Belleville is very popular with brides who want to stay somewhere extra-special for their wedding. Thank you to The Pantiles Bride for loaning us these gorgeous dresses!



About Belleville

Belleville sleeps eight guests in five bedrooms. The living area has a dining room, sitting room and kitchen, and there are four bathrooms, including two en suites. If you would like to rent Belleville for a special occasion, email KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017



Home notes

Fresh ideas and style tips on the home front

Just hanging

These eye-catching wall hooks can be used as both gorgeous 3D wall décor and handy places to hang your next outfit! They are handmade and painted on a natural wood base. Price: £98-£115

Paint with attitude

Little Knights is a high-quality new paint range – with a difference. It fights back against germs, bacteria and pollution in the home by being 100 per cent VOC-free and anti-bacterial, while also helping to absorb formaldehyde from the air.

The Owl and the Artist Who knew that Picasso had an affinity with owls? Prospective sellers often ask, whilst displaying the once-cherished possessions of a late relative, “So what do people want to buy now?”. As we stare, slightly hopelessly it must be admitted, at the array of unloved china and glass, we struggle for an answer, often coming up with, “Well, they want something striking, modern, more of a statement piece…”. This suggests something that might be a talking point, perhaps the work of someone who is a household name, even a celebrity. If you can’t afford £20,000 upwards for a smallish Grayson Perry pot, but have a couple of thousand to spare, you might consider something by Picasso, another artistic genius, as well as a master of self-branding. You could purchase, for instance, a Petite Chouette (Little Owl) jug, like the one sold at a Gorringe’s auction this year for £1,600. Conceived in 1949 and produced by the Madoura Pottery, it is only a few inches high, but it still looks quirky, fresh and modern. Who hasn’t heard of Picasso? Who doesn’t love an owl? Picasso had an affinity with owls, a creature representing wisdom and courage, and kept one with a collection of other birds at his Paris home. It had been injured and was initially hostile toward its carer, so Picasso shouted obscenities at it to show who was the worse-mannered. In time, however, the owl would perch on his finger and allow its head to be scratched, although it always looked rather glum! 70



Kitchens for the 21st century

Cutting-edge design technology and installation is helping to create the kitchens of the future Gone are the days when creating a dream kitchen meant sketching out ideas with graph paper and a pencil and using your imagination. Now it’s all about CAD – 3D computer-aided design software that can show you exactly how your new kitchen will look. Jones Britain of Heathfield is one of the companies using this latest software to explore different designs, concepts, colours and textures. It’s an incredibly effective way of helping customers visualise what their kitchen might look like, as well as ensure that all appliances are well positioned and the workspace flows for the user. The photorealistic images produced at this stage show exactly how the new kitchen might look, down to every last detail, so clients move into the installation phase with confidence that the finished kitchen will meet and exceed all expectations. Jones Britain are kitchen design and installation specialists who have continually invested in the latest design and project management technology to ensure they always offer a superior service. They are experts in creating bespoke, high-end kitchens, turning clients’ ideas and dreams into reality. They have built a reputation over the past decade for truly exceptional kitchen design, along with a quality and level of craftsmanship that is second to none.

The road to a new kitchen

The first step to your new kitchen is a no-obligation survey and design consultation, so that the Jones Britain team can get to know you and what motivates you to renew your kitchen space. For some, creating the perfect, functional, family-oriented space as the heart of the home is the goal; for others, it might be crafting a sleek and contemporary room with real wow-factor for grown-up dinner parties. This, along with taking detailed measurements and discovering any specific design requirements and ‘must-haves’, allows the team to develop concepts in line with your ideas from the outset. Having established the perfect style and design to fit your requirements, Jones Britain work closely with a selection of the finest kitchen manufacturers from the UK and Europe to turn the design into reality. With a network of carefully-chosen, approved suppliers, they access an inspiring choice of high-quality furniture and finishes to complete the room. Providing a carefully costed and itemised written quote ensures that the project is delivered on budget, and transparency of costs allows for different options to be explored. 72


Streamlined process

The most exciting stage of a kitchen build is when production and installation can finally take place. Whether a kitchen is lovingly hand crafted, or fabricated using the latest CNC technology, they keep on top of the process from start to finish. Once it is live, their project management software streamlines all aspects of the build, with manufacturers, suppliers, engineers and the installation team all working from the same comprehensive system, so that milestones are met and the project is delivered on time. Of course, nothing can replace face-to-face interaction to discuss progress and answer queries, which is why Jones Britain provide access to a dedicated Project Manager throughout to answer any queries that you might have. With such cutting-edge and comprehensive software and systems underpinning the design and build of a new kitchen, Jones Britain produce exceptional results and exceed customer expectations time and time again. If you would like to find out how your kitchen dreams can be made a reality, Jones Britain is open from 9am-5.30pm Monday to Friday, and can be contacted on 01435 866435. KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017


To be the best

Reclamation yards are a source of unique finds There’s nothing new about architectural salvage and reclamation. Reclaimed building materials have been used since ancient times; indeed many country manors, farmhouses and barns feature stone ‘salvaged’ from abbeys and churches, particularly after Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries in the late 1530s. And salvage yards remain a first port of call when you’re undertaking a renovation project. Here’s just a sample of the treasures you can find at Best Reclamation in Heathfield...

A set of rustic French louvre-top shutters with the original locking mechanism

Solid oak floorboards sliced from reclaimed beams. They are excellent quality, with character and a beautiful grain

This large market hand cart is perfect either in your garden or as a shop display

Sandstone-dressed walling, reclaimed from the Beehive Pub (formerly The Crown) in Heathfield

A pair of stunning etched windows with hand-painted pictures set in chunky, arch-detailed frames

Best Reclamation, Harcourt Lodge Buildings, Burwash Road, Heathfield TN21 8RA Tel. 01435 511147 Best Reclamation




Wall art

Make a statement with graffiti wallpaper Launched by the creators of unique, made-to-measure wallpapers,, this collection of graffiti wallpaper features a huge range of urban artwork suitable for any living or commercial space. Featuring all types of graffiti, from brightly-coloured word art and spray-paint effect objects to abstract depictions of animals and people from popular culture, there is literally a graffiti wallpaper perfect for all tastes.


At Kudos, we are huge animal fans and there are some fantastic designs. We particularly like the message in Be What You Want to Be, whilst the colours on the tiger print will add a bold statement to any room. The wallpapers can be made to fit any wall and will really add impact, transforming a space instantly. They’re supplied in panels and available in three materials; Standard, Premium, and Peel & Stick, a self-adhesive material that can easily be removed. Price: from £26 a square metre.

For the bathroom that has everything… Designer shower tray that will add a touch of opulence

Luxury bathroom designer and manufacturer Catchpole & Rye started with a passion to restore and maintain antique baths and sanitary ware. The desire to preserve the beauty of these exquisite pieces led to Catchpole & Rye making original copies, staying true to the heritage craft skills that have been employed for centuries. Today, a vast collection of timeless bathroom pieces is on offer and displayed across their three large showrooms in London, Tunbridge Wells and Ashford, Kent. Their new Mayfair shower tray will add a touch of opulence to your bathroom. This luxurious shower tray has a mirror-like shine and sits within a distinct, square-edged plinth. Fabricated from copper and then plated in various finishes, it features an unusual criss-cross of indents that not only creates a stunning design, but also reduces overflow by guiding water to the centrally-positioned shower waste. Offered in five standard sizes or made on a bespoke basis, the tray shown here has been finished in silver nickel, but is also available in brass and copper finishes. Both trend-led and functional, the Mayfair would make a wonderful design feature for a contemporary glass wet room and is the perfect partner for Catchpole & Rye’s range of Le Thermo showers. As with all Catchpole & Rye products, the Mayfair is designed and handfinished in the company’s Kent workshop. Because everything is designed in-house, the Catchpole & Rye team can create products to bespoke specifications to suit individual requirements. Prices start from £4,500+VAT. Tel. 01892 526996

Quiet, please

Scott Nicholson, Head Designer at Chamber Furniture, looks at the practicalities of desiging the perfect study or library space The number of home-workers has gone up by nearly a quarter of a million in the last decade, so it’s not surprising that home studies and libraries are expanding in popularity. “As with every room in a house, these spaces need to work well for their purpose, so the balance between functionality and aesthetics is important,” says Scott Nicholson. “Libraries are intimate spaces, so we are often asked to design a KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

comfortable and relaxed area with furniture in colours and textures that reflect the client’s personality. Studies should also be illustrative of our clients’ own unique style, yet be optimised in terms of ergonomics. With this in mind, we prioritise storage and outlets for appliances, and then consider the best room layout and aesthetic design for the individual and their working style.” LOV E YOUR HOME


Showroom stunner

It’s all change at Mounts Hill Woodcraft! The new British-made, bought-in selection of MH Style kitchens at Mounts Hill Woodcraft in Cranbrook has proved extremely popular. From sleek, modern designs with gloss, textured or matt looks, through to more classic ranges in oak or painted finishes, there’s something for all tastes. With their full design service as standard and a comprehensive selection of worktops and beautiful handles to choose from, Mounts Hill Woodcraft are finding that clients are enjoying the ability to mix and match between their bespoke cabinets and the new MH Style ranges. And now MH Style has been launched successfully, Mounts Hill Woodcraft are busy updating their Oakhurst Farm showroom to show off their new products. With the latest knobs and handles on display, Corian fabricated in their workshop, quartz and granite worktops from a local masonry company and stunning glass splashbacks from their friends at Custom MADE, a visit to Mounts Hill Woodcraft’s new showroom will give you plenty of inspiration. Of course, the company’s bespoke service is still paramount. And it’s not just kitchens either – joinery, staircases, fitted and freestanding furniture are all being created for their customers by a team of highly skilled craftsmen. Mounts Hill Woodcraft invite you to come and take a look – they just love showing off what they do – and the work going on in the workshop is completely fascinating! Log on to their new website to book a workshop tour or fill in the enquiry form. They look forward to welcoming you.

Take an historic inn... ...and create a space for beautiful furniture

London Road Furniture in Halstead is a new, exciting branch of the long-established showrooms at Farningham Oak. An old coaching inn at the Polhill Arms in Halstead for over 180 years, London Road Furniture purchased the site several years ago after the inn closed and have completed a very sympathetic ground-up restoration, both preserving and enhancing this great landmark building for future generations. Full of light and space, the building is well suited to a furniture showroom. You’ll find sofas, tables, chairs, bedroom furniture and a really good choice of unique, decent quality accessories on show. Visit London Road Furniture and you’ll find plenty of inspiration in an historic building.

This is one of London Road Furniture’s favourite sofas. ‘Danby’ is made in the UK, comes in lots of sizes, a comprehensive fabric choice, is great value for money and has a 10-year frame guarantee. Pictured is Medium Danby, £1,035.



This solid oak liberty table – Live edge! – is made from select European oak. It measures 1.8m x 1.0m and costs from £1,195. Tables are available in sizes from 1.8-2.8m. Chairs, £249.





Let me entertain you! Setting aside space for socialising at home is on the rise. Babysitters, taxis, reservations at all the ‘right’ places… sometimes a relaxing night out can actually feel like a lot of hard work!

1 Why not banish the stress and strain of a night on the tiles by making your next night out a night ‘in’ instead? And what better way to set yourself up as host than with your own bespoke home bar area! It may sound like a luxury, but with home entertaining on the rise, the idea of setting a little space aside for socialising is starting to make sense to many homeowners, be it a dedicated drinks cabinet tucked into a tiny alcove, or an entire attic or cellar conversion kitted out with all the latest gear. Bespoke furniture designers and manufacturers Rencraft have definitely seen a rise in the trend for drinks storage and dedicated bar areas. Director, Robert Waite, says, “A few years ago, a wine fridge was seen as a luxury item, but these days we are asked to install wine cabinets in the majority of the kitchens we design. Wine storage has gone from being a ‘nice-to-have’ appliance, to a ‘must-have’ addition to the home.” 1. In this picture from an award-winning Rencraft kitchen design just outside Tunbridge Wells, a small alcove to one side of the fireplace has been transformed into a dedicated drinks area with a bespoke glass fronted cabinet and mirrored splashback. 2/3. While in this luxurious new-build property in Sevenoaks, Rencraft were commissioned to install floor-to-ceiling drinks storage including a Caple multi-zone wine cooler with space for over 100 bottles. Bespoke glass-fronted cabinets host a large glass collection, and there is a wine trough as well. 4. Also in Kent, the owners of this stunning family home transformed their cellar into a cinema room, home gym and pool room. The bar area is from SieMatic by Rencraft with a high-gloss finish, pull-out fridge drawers and back-lit shelves to display interesting or unusual bottles. 5. Meanwhile, another Kent homeowner decided to raise the roof, quite literally, when he installed a bespoke bar area in his attic conversion. The oak shelving was all custom-made to fit KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017



5 comfortably within the eaves, while underneath there’s a fridge, prep sink and even a domino hob. The hand-painted island has space for several bar stools, making it a great place to enjoy a relaxing drink with friends without having to worry about anyone calling ‘time’ on you. Visit Rencraft at Unit 9, Chart Farm, Sevenoaks TN15 0ES or 81 Calverley Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 2UY. LOV E YOUR HOME


Garden notes All you need for your outside space Starter kit

Not sure what to grow first? This starter kit from Plant ‘n’ Grow is geared towards gin enthusiasts, and comes with high-quality seeds to get you started with growing your own garnishes. With the kit, you’ll be able to grow cucumber, rosemary, basil and thyme, and it also includes two readyto-use cocktail infusion bags (just add gin!), a cocktail recipe book and illustrated instructions that are easy to follow even after a drink or two! Price: £16.95

Soft hands

The Soap Kitchen’s Gardener’s range includes a hand cream and soap with essential oils of cedarwood and orange. The healing and soothing hand cream also contains extract of lavender, sweet almond oil, aloe vera and vitamin E to keep hands soft and nourished, whilst the ground-almond shell in the soap will help scrub hands clean. And everything smells so good! Price: £7.50 for the hand cream and £4.50 for the soap

Did you know?

Pluots, also known by the slightly more pronounceable name ‘plumcot’, is a hybrid fruit that was produced by crossing plums with apricots. Genetically, they are one quarter plum and 75 per cent apricot. However, the fruit’s smooth skin is more like a plum than an apricot.




10 things to do in the garden right now

Tim Sykes of Gardenproud’s seasonal tips 1. Cut back any dead foliage and divide up your herbaceous perennials 2. Net any ponds before leaf fall 3. Carry on any plant-watering regime 4. Clean out your greenhouse and cold-frames, ready for the autumn 5. Plant spring-flowering bulbs 6. Prune any climbing roses 7. Raise the height of the cut on your mower and start to cut less frequently 8. Potentially apply an autumn lawn feed 9. Harvest any apples and pears 10. Trim hedges For further advice or help with your garden, see, contact Tim Sykes at Gardenproud on 07725 173820, or visit him at


Education and

Heads up!


Top local head teachers give their views

It’s the start of a new school year, so heads tell us what they have planned

Andrew Webster, Headmaster

The Mead School, Tunbridge Wells Co-educational preparatory school for boys and girls aged 3-11 As a brand new Head, I plan to invest. An investment that goes beyond simply the fabric of the school. For certain, the high-spec playground and updated ICT infrastructure installed over the summer are investments worthy of mention. However, it is an investment in my new community which I will prioritise over the coming months. As such, sleeves will be firmly rolled and I aim to know every Mead family by Christmas! Equally, a school is only as good as its staff. By investing in my team, I intend to create a climate of adventure and innovation, where teachers seek to be both inspired and inspirational on a daily basis. Within this context, future plans remain organic and intrinsically linked to the collective ambitions of our community. I am currently collating feedback from all stakeholders regarding potential development for such an already well-established and successful school. There is, however, one unique cultural thread which will run, undisturbed, long into the future. It is apparent the moment you walk through the door: the happiness of the children. Clearly visible in each pair of smiling eyes is a self-belief and a will to dream big

that can only come from a relentless ethos of care for each child and high expectations. Being a Meadite is a special thing. It’s a privilege that I may now call myself one.

Craig McCarthy, Headmaster

Russell House School, Otford Independent prep school for girls and boys aged 2-11 The start of a new school year is unfailingly exciting – and not just for pupils! The 12 months stretching ahead provide a sense of promise and opportunity. Just as our pupils are buoyed by confidence gained from the year just past, our whole school community takes strength from past successes. Just as they face their new class with excitement and anticipation, we are all excited by the plans and initiatives that every new year brings. At Russell House, we encourage our children to aim high and excel. It’s an ethos which encourages exceptional levels of achievement across all areas of the curriculum. The same is true for me and my staff. Every year we strive in new ways to ensure we prepare every child for a happy and successful future in what is a fast-changing world. Routines and traditions are valued, too. These anchor the children, providing a sense of familiarity and continuity. Within these strong foundations, they are able to embrace risk, take the odd knock and learn to persevere and overcome. For everyone at Russell House, the 2017-8 school year is set to be a great one! 84



David Clark, Headmaster

Battle Abbey School, Battle Independent co-educational day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 2-18 These days, no school worth its salt can stay still and merely consolidate. Battle Abbey is no different and the year ahead looks as exciting as ever. Investment in school facilities will again be a priority, and we will start to build our new Early Years Base. This will create an enviable facility that will significantly enhance our provision for younger pupils, whilst freeing up capacity to redevelop our Science labs for those in Key Stage 2. At the senior school we have exploited the potential that our satellite campus at Martlet House has given us. It is primarily a 6th-form space with a lecture theatre, a gym, a dance studio and probably the best school café anywhere in the country. It also contains some wonderfully-designed learning zones and, from there, we will launch our Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurial studies this September. Another important plan sees us overhauling and improving our programme for student welfare and wellbeing. This is so critical in today’s pressured academic climate and the team that we have put together (which includes Bella and Mable, two adorable Labradors) will provide the highest-quality pastoral care and support for all our students.

Hilary Blake, Headmistress

Sacred Heart School, Wadhurst Independent Catholic mixed primary school for 3-11 The start of a new academic year is always an exciting time in schools, but at Sacred Heart we anticipate the autumn term with greater enthusiasm than usual as we look forward to unveiling our brand new Foundation Stage building!

At the time of writing, the demolition workers are in, the site is being cleared and prepared and there is no turning back. The new building will signal the redevelopment of the whole site in due course and will be a fitting setting for our Foundation Stage provision, judged ‘outstanding’ in our most recent ISI Inspection. Comprising separate classrooms for the Nursery and Reception groups, the accommodation has been specifically designed with the needs of young children in mind. Free-flow access to the outdoor learning environment is an essential requirement, as children learn through exploration, experimentation and discovery indoors and out. Early morning and after-school provision will also be based in the new building so that the whole school has the opportunity to sample what is to come! We also start the new academic year with a new award to our name: the Sports Mark Gold Award, which recognises the school’s commitment to and success in a wide range of sports for pupils across the age range, from Nursery to Y6. There is always a fresh challenge, something new to aim for in the life of a primary school. ‘Dull’ is quite simply not on the agenda! KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017



Christine Flowers, Principal

Bricklehurst Manor School, Stonegate Mainstream independent school for pupils aged 3-11 Back to school soon and our teachers are turning their thoughts to the new term and academic year with excitement. At Bricklehurst we are looking forward to welcoming mums and toddlers back to Brickletots with music and French, and new this year is Messy Mondays, a chance to enjoy art sessions in our Kindergarten. The Autumn term brings the Autumn Fair (great fun for everyone), with a traditional Harvest Festival in October and our Carol Service at St Peters Church in December. We have our fundraising days for charity each term, especially for Hospice in the Weald this year, and field trips to exciting places including the Jurassic coast in the summer for Y5 and Y6. Internally, we have all our inter-house activities, including inter-house sports each term, an art competition and general knowledge quiz (just to give you an idea), which earn points towards winning the House Cup. Who is going to win it this year, I wonder? Will it be Batemans, Pashley, Chartwell or Scotney? Nous allons aussi organiser une journée linguistique. Le français et la culture française resteront prédominants mais nous nous tournerons aussi vers d’autres pays au cours de la journée. On va bien s’amuser! Then there is the National Primary Maths Challenge to look forward to, where we shall endeavour to beat the Silver certificate we achieved last year. The Young Shakespeare Company will be here again in the spring, and lots of other visitors, too. To top it all, as if our classroom activities aren’t enough, our extensive range of extra-curricular activities ensures that everyone has plenty to do whether outside or in, throughout the week.

Emma Neville, Headmistress

Rose Hill School, Tunbridge Wells Co-educational preparatory school for boys and girls aged 3-11 We have planned an inspiring year ahead for both pupils and staff. When I reflect on my education, the most exciting lessons were because the teachers were driven, enthusiastic and passionate about their teaching and made a great difference to our lives as pupils. The same can be said about the staff at Rose Hill School. One of Rose Hill’s guiding principles, and something I say to pupils all the time, is ‘Do the things that you are interested in,’ because if you are interested, you will do it better, and if you do it better then you will be successful. We put individuals’ needs first; pupils try out their interests and develop their talents within a nurturing environment. Rose Hill provides a place where pupils feel safe, where they learn through a variety of activities and where they do so whilst having fun. Taking risks is an essential part of the learning process and is encouraged. One of my principal tasks, therefore, is to ensure that the learning culture within the school allows pupils to do that, ensuring when they leave Rose Hill, they are confident learners ready to build on their successes and achievements. We are aiming for academic success, but not at the expense of happiness and fulfilment. Academic success comes about by finding the right balance. Sporting, artistic, dramatic and co-curricular activities, run by the dedicated staff of Rose Hill, provide our pupils with a varied and rich programme which provides ample opportunities for them to develop confidence. Developing confidence is the key, and confidence in one area can be transferred to others. By providing varied opportunities, pupils develop resilience, leadership skills, confidence without arrogance, ultimately leading to academic success, a well-rounded personality and a broad range of interests. At Rose Hill School every child matters, the main ethos central to the school is about individuals achieving their full potential. 86



In the spotlight Quickfire questions for Giles Perrin, Headmaster of Claremont Senior School in Bodium

What makes you jump out of bed each morning?

Probably the need to get out of bed before my four children, who don’t get out of bed particularly quickly and need quite a lot of organisation before school starts! Aside from that, I do genuinely love my job; it is my vocation and passion. Every day is completely different and there is always something to look forward to in my schedule at Claremont. In the holidays, I have no problem jumping out of bed in the morning!

Who inspired you to go into education?

Ultimately, my parents, who set up Bede’s Senior School (formerly St Bede’s Senior School). My father was the founding Headmaster there until 2003. My two sisters and I lived through the development of St Bede’s from 22 pupils to the huge international day and boarding school it is today. Many aspects of that experience inspired me to ultimately do the same thing at Claremont. There is no doubt that much of my father’s educational philosophy is reflected in mine. In addition to this, I would like to think that I have added my own style and flair.

What place in the world would you most like to visit – and why?

I have lived and worked extensively in Asia, most notably in India. It became a second home to me and I am always keen to go back. In terms of new places to visit, the list is extensive. Canada, Alaska and the Arctic Circle for their vast wilderness. I would love to spend more time in southern Europe, and I would like to visit areas of Iran and the Tigris/ Euphrates valley to understand more about the origins of western civilisation.

If you were to give each student one book this year, what would it be and why? Papillon by Henri Charriere, as it is such an incredible and inspirational story.

When you do have time to relax, where do you like to eat out?

My current favourite restaurant is Half Man! Half Burger! on the St Leonards seafront.

Tell us what we can expect from your school in the next five years.

Claremont Senior School is in a stage of enormous growth. We have grown from 40 students in 2011 to the 300 expected in September 2017. We have a major building project underway which will complete next year. This will include many new classrooms, work areas and offices. We are also anticipating extending our boarding provision from one to two boarding houses. We continue to respond in all areas of our programme to the huge increase in confidence and interest in our school. KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

We all have schoolday memories that stay with us for life. What would you like your pupils to take away with them as a lasting memory of Claremont School? Without a doubt, I would like them to remember the warm, friendly and unique atmosphere the school has, quite unlike any other school I have worked in.


Viewpoint Each issue, a local head teacher gives their opinion on an educational topic. Here, Christine Flowers, Principal of Bricklehurst Manor School, looks at the state of education in 2017

• Latest figures show 35 pupils a day are being expelled, and those with special educational needs are seven times more likely to be banned • Rise in students claiming exam help for mental health problems • Four out of five primary school children ‘need more exercise’ • Ten-year-olds denied SATs marks because of semi-colons that fail to meet official shape and size standards • Government to spend £10m recruiting 600 foreign teachers to fill maths, physics and languages roles • Bright, poor students are being let down in academy chain schools, suggests study So here we are in 2017, with more money than ever being thrown at education and apparently experiencing all of these problems in spite of it. We have to ask where/if it has all gone wrong. The headlines above are just a few examples of damaging claims made by the media and may or may not be true. What is certain is that there is much discontent across the country both from parents and teachers. In fact, I would say that teaching has never been better. The question, however, is what comprises education in our changing society. The fact is, in primary education, the 3 Rs have expanded to over a dozen subject areas, which are supposed to be delivered to children within the same time frame that their grandparents had in school to learn fewer subjects. The dilution of the curriculum to fit it all in can only mean areas are left uncovered. To further complicate matters, some of the subject areas are really not suitable for the age groups we are asked to deliver it to. Is it really suitable to teach subordinate clauses, for example, to children who struggle to read, or complicated grammar to children who can barely string a sentence together in speech? Financial pressure on parents so often dictates that both parents need to work, with the knock-on effect that schools are now increasingly expected to play the role of the parent; breakfast clubs and after-school clubs help with wraparound care, and the burden of healthy eating is put upon the school – indeed, even teaching children table manners and how to use cutlery. The government has seen fit to give all children under seven free school meals. Why is that? Even post-war children paid for their meals of battered spam and cress! Are parents really worse off than at that time? I don’t think so. I personally know of parents earning in excess of £50K pa whose children enjoy free school meals. Schools are expected to teach citizenship, health matters, safety matters, morals etc. This is ironic when those in charge of countries here and abroad so often hit the headlines for being immoral and incapable of honestly communicating with their citizens. KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

In spite of the broad curriculum, the assessment of pupils at age 11 is exclusively on Mathematics and English. Parents pay for tuition to ensure their children do well in the SATs and the tutors make lots of money. We are not doing our children any favours by doing this because they may fall behind and struggle when the extra tuition is removed. Science, in the meantime, has taken a back seat and with it the ability to question. It’s laudable that we are so caring but have we/are we continuing to set up a society that expects to be given everything? Is the result a society that cannot or refuses to be independent with people who cannot think for themselves and who are frightened to voice opinions for fear of offending? Have we inadvertently produced a society which is easily manipulated by government and has this contributed to why we are in such a political state of confusion? Throwing money at problems has proved not to solve them but only create different ones. We need to revisit old values of nurture and endeavour to reinstate some good, old-fashioned common sense. Schools everywhere are doing the best they can in increasingly difficult social circumstances. It isn’t teachers who are at fault, it is all of us who have allowed the nanny state to make society unable to question and turn us into a nation of people who have high expectations but little resilience. Society – that’s all of us – has a duty to care which does not mean to spoil or cosset our children by spoon-feeding education to massage results. Neither does it mean that we should expect the state to parent us by swaddling us in so much red tape that we cannot wave our rattles. Bricklehurst Manor School, Stonegate, is a mainstream independent school for pupils aged 3-11. LOV E EDUC ATION


On the small side

From playful woodland animals to funky graphic prints, kids are in for a magical treat this season. The latest designs tick all the right boxes, says Sally-Ann Carroll

Top row, left to right: Woodland floral mix and match dress, £21, and bear sweatshirt, £19 Blue badge bomber jacket, from £25 Middle row, left to right: Camping t-shirt, £15, fox cord pinafore dress, £22, and Frankie fox explorer top, £15 Bottom row, left to right: Navy woodland cord pinafore, £22 Blue uniform cardigan, from £15




Left to right: Hannah’s crown jewels pinafore dress, £51, and Philip’s charcoal grey beefeater jumper vest, £45, both from; triumph playsuit, £65, and charcoal grey space shirt, £49, both from

Yummy mummy corner Whether you’re a yummy mummy, a loving partner or a doting grandparent, this is for you...

Peace offering

The PaciPod by Ju-Ju-Be is a very clever pacifier holder that ensures clean and hygienic pacifiers for your baby while out and about. It opens to reveal two elasticated straps on each side which will hold two pacifiers. The interior is treated with Agion antimicrobial treatment which inhibits the growth of odour-causing bacteria, mould and mildew. It’s machine washable, too.

Price: £10

Lifeline for mums

Life as a new mum can be very daunting as many of us know. It’s not only lack of sleep and constant feed and change demands, but also the emotional aspect of becoming a mum, that can be the biggest challenge of all. This is when those valuable mum friends play such an important role. Motherhood can be isolating, which is a common trigger for post-natal depression. Therefore, making those connections with other mums that are going through the same life changes as you is vital. MUSH is a free app which helps you make connections with other mums in your area. Simply download the app and enter a profile about yourself, and you can organise meet-ups with other mums with babies or children the same age as yours. Think of it as a dating app for mums! The app also provides informative and amusing articles relating to parenthood and being a mum. MUSH is supported by the NCT and has been featured in Vogue, The Times, wThe Guardian and on the BBC. Visit for more information or download the app today.

All to plan

No one ever said being a parent would be easy. It’s far from it, but this ingenious diary, known as The Master Plan, will go a long way to helping keep you and the family organised, on schedule and up to date. Running from September 2017 through to the end of January 2019, The Master Plan is designed so that you can see everything going on at a glance, with room to plan for mum or dad and up to five little ones. The vertical week-to-view layout has room for everything, from school trips to football or ballet classes and everything else that you have to remember each week. There’s a section on each page specifically for birthdays and anniversaries, as well as space for weekly meal planning. Stylishly designed with a cover made from beautiful Italian fabric, the handbag-sized Master Plan has an elastic closure, ribbon marker, perforated removable notebook and perforated tear-off corners.

Price: £25




A taste of adventure at Blackland Farm Set in the glorious Sussex countryside, Blackland Farm in East Grinstead offers great-value, adventurous activities and bespoke events in beautiful surroundings. Enjoy an exciting range of instructor-led and self-supervised activities for groups. Whether you’re looking for a unique birthday party, group camping trip, corporate away-day, team-building event or school residential, Blackland Farm has something for you. Try the bungee trampoline, climbing, tunnels, zip wire, high ropes and more! Visit for the day or stay overnight. You’ll find a range of accommodation options, including spacious campsites, a tented village or self-catering blocks. The Blackland Farm team will work with you to plan a truly memorable trip. Did you know that they are owned by Girlguiding? This means that all profits go back to the charity and help girls across the UK to discover their full potential. To book your visit, call 01342 810 493 or email Blackland Farm, Sussex RH19 4HP KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

5 brain-boosting essentials for your child A healthy diet can play a big part in boosting your child’s brain function

All parents want to see their children excel in school, but are they getting enough of the right nutrients to boost their brain function for a sharper mind? The benefits of a healthy diet are linked to our physical health, but our brain also needs quality fuel to run better. A recent study has found that high levels of lutein (a carotenoid and powerful antioxidant found in leafy vegetables and egg yolks) helped children in school perform tasks better and more easily, regardless of their IQ, according to Naiman Khan at The University of Illinois. We asked nutritionist Cassandra Barns for the top five brain-boosting foods your child should be eating.

Leafy Greens

Children and vegetables… it can be a battleground. However, leafy greens are vital for your child’s health. Cassandra explains, “Leafy greens are known as a source of lutein, and spinach stands out as one of the best. It’s a great food for kids as it’s also rich in iron to support cognitive function (thinking, learning, memory etc) and magnesium to support energy and strong bones.” Sneaking in spinach to a berry smoothie is a great way to get your kids eating more greens. If your little ones are fussy eaters, try Nature’s Plus Kid Greenz chewable tablets (£10.12, as they are a dose of green goodness with a tropical fruit flavour.

Egg-cellent eggs

“Eggs – especially the yolks – are a fantastic food for kids’ brains. Egg yolks are a great source of lutein, as well as B vitamins and choline that are vital for brain health,” explains Cassandra. You can incorporate eggs into so many different meals. Think omelettes, French toast and courgette muffins, as well as your standard breakfast dishes like scrambled eggs and boiled egg with soldiers – a favourite with most kids! 94



Cassandra tells us, “Not only is sweetcorn high in lutein, it’s also a good source of vitamin B5, which is known to be essential for mental performance. It’s also a good source of fibre for kids’ digestive health.” Mixing sweetcorn into the dishes that your kids enjoy, like pasta, usually does the trick: they won’t even notice it!


Healthy gut, healthy brain. Scientists call the gut the ‘second brain’ because it’s filled with neurotransmitters we usually associate with being in the brain. Our brain and gut are intimately connected and that’s why they can affect each other so much. Your gut is teeming with billions of bacteria, and under ideal circumstances they are kept in a healthy balance. In other words, the healthy bacteria keep the unhealthy bacteria in check. To support your little one’s digestion, give them yoghurt, which is one of the most popular probiotic foods, packed with good bacteria. Steer clear of the sugary, fruit-flavoured ones and instead opt for a full-fat Greek yoghurt made from cow, goat or sheep’s milk. If your kids are picky, introduce a probiotic as a supplement rather than a probiotic drink as many of the drinks available are loaded with added sugar. Cassandra recommends Quest Vitamins’ KidzBiotix, (from £6.60,


“Blueberries may boost learning and memory due to the high levels of polyphenols, in particular anthyocyanins. These powerful compounds are thought to protect against oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain”, says Cassandra. Feed them fresh blueberries, and you’ve your own blueberry ice lollies. KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

Your caring new home by the sea Award-winning assisted and nursing care on Herne Bay’s panoramic seafront

Nobody ever wants to go into care, but sometimes it’s the best option. Choosing the right home is a big decision, and one that shouldn’t be hurried. The home has to not only meet your needs, but feel right for you, too; somewhere you know you will be happy and settled. Somewhere like Miramar, in Herne Bay, near Canterbury. Miramar combines excellent care, beautiful surroundings and the independence of your own front door, qualities that set it apart from other care homes. It’s in a gorgeous coastal setting on Herne Bay’s panoramic seafront with beautiful sea views, and has a warm, inviting atmosphere that immediately feels like home. The Miramar is purpose-built and offers 24-hour residential and nursing care, and both individuals and couples are welcomed. The exceptional accommodation is affordable and of a very high standard. There are 78 sizeable studios and one- or two-bedroom apartments, each with its own en-suite bathroom and kitchen area. A typical two-bedroom suite offers two bedrooms and separate lounge and kitchen, with a full en-suite wet room. Miramar is unique as it offers double the space of most care homes and is ideal for those wanting extra room, or couples who want to stay together. KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

The home also has a beautifully-designed restaurant with private dining facilities, perfect for those extra-special family get-togethers. There are activities seven days a week, plus the opportunity for trips out. A dementia suite is designed to offer unique support for those requiring specialist dementia care, and respite breaks as short as three nights a month are also available. Herne Bay is a traditional, friendly seaside town on the north Kent coast, just seven miles from Canterbury. It has award-winning beaches lined with brightly-coloured beach huts, historic attractions, museums and art galleries, and a pedestrian-friendly shopping centre just off the seafront offering plenty of places to stop off, shop and relax, with an array of independent shops and places to eat. To find out more about Miramar, visit




Cooking with kids Carol Lumbard, Director of Cookies Kitchen, which specialises in all aspects of children’s cookery, providing cookery lessons, monthly cookery clubs, cookery parties, individual tuition and schoolholiday workshops, shares this easy breakfast recipe to get your children’s day off to a good start Fashionable overnight oats are the ultimate breakfast for children! This dish is really quick and easy to make – even children can make them – and they’re ready to go in the morning when time is precious and can even be eaten in the car. The recipe is packed full of goodness, hitting all of a meal’s requirements. I’ve added a teaspoon of nut butter so that it’s fully-balanced including protein, and good-quality nut butters are the new thing of the moment. Also, making anything in a Kilner jar is bang on trend, too, so it’s a win all round! My stepson, who is rarely interested in healthy food, loves these oats because he can make them, so he feels in control. He also likes the fact that he can grab them out of the fridge and eat them in the car!

Overnight Oats “I always make mine with frozen berries as they are defrosted by the morning but with an extra chill. I also use nut milks, either almond, cashew or hazelnut, as these add another flavour to the oats. Try swapping the nut butter for honey sometimes for sweeter oats.”

Makes one large serving or two small Ingredients • 1 banana, sliced • 60g full fat plain/greek yoghurt • 250ml milk • 80g rolled oats • 1 tsp nut butter – peanut, almond or cashew • 1 tbsp mixed seeds – sunflower, chia, flax • 1 large handful of mixed berries


1. Mix together the milk, yogurt and nut butter, add the oats

and seeds, then stir until the oats are well covered. Gently mix in the banana. 2. T  ransfer to an airtight container (a Kilner jar is perfect), cover the top with the mixed berries and seal the container. 3. Place in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours or ideally overnight.




Let’s celebrate! We’ve all got something to celebrate at some time during the year. Kudos is four years old, for instance. How did that happen? We know, we don’t look a day over two! So we take a look at some fabulous local venues for any occasion, from weddings to parties

The secret’s out

The Secret Manor proved the perfect venue for Mum’s the Word The Secret Manor, located just outside Tunbridge Wells, is the perfect party venue, as sisters Natalie Mcilveen and Laura Swann discovered when they hired it for their Mum’s the Word Summer Party. “We fell in love with the Secret Manor as soon as we saw it,” says Natalie. “It’s a beautiful house with the most amazing grounds. It worked perfectly in terms of our numbers and offered lots of different spaces, which meant we were able to create a beauty area and space for our photobooth, in addition to the theatre-style set-up for the live comedy from The Ruby Darlings and a dance floor for our #Wild_Child DJ set later in the night. “It’s difficult to find venues locally that can host events for larger numbers, offer that WOW as your guests walk in, and can be flexible in terms of suppliers and set-up – but The Secret Manor ticks every single box for us.” The venue does not need a huge amount of dressing, but Natalie and Laura added their own glitter #Wild Child sign, handmade by local craftsman Andy Mead, and beauticians from The Beauty Bar in Wadhurst added sparkle to the occasion. There was a photobooth with photos printed by Robert Fox, plus amazing light-up letters by Doris Loves. Says Laura, “The event went better than we could have imagined. It was a gorgeous, sunny evening and it meant the guests could really make the most of the beautiful setting with drinks and dancing out on the terrace. The comedy duo, The Ruby Darlings, were incredible, with lots of audience participation and hilarious singing – everyone was crying with laughter! Our DJ, Ali Jeerooburkhan from Fusion Events, played an amazing set with lots of 90’s & 00’s classics, which went down a storm. “The venue worked perfectly for our summer party, which was a chance for mums to get together, have lots of laughs and really let their hair down.” The Secret Manor’s owner, Boo Saraff, was also on hand to help with the event. Says Natalie, “We cannot sing Boo’s praises enough. She was incredibly helpful with every aspect of the event – making suggestions about the best way to use each space, offering wet-weather options and recommending suppliers. “It was a total joy to work with Boo and we can’t wait to plan another event at The Secret Manor soon.”

Photography by Robert Fox

If you would like to book The Secret Manor for your party or special event, email info@thesecretmanor. com or visit To receive 15% off your 2017 booking, quote Kudos. 98



Mum’s the Word has the following upcoming events:

Friday 22nd September 10am @ The Royal Wells Hotel: Mamas Meet Up with Megan Jayne Crabbe ‘BodyPosiPanda’ and Nat from ‘Style Me Sunday’ who will be discussing body positive power, breaking down insecurities, being brave and not letting anything hold you back from being the best version of you. Children are very welcome to come along, too; there will be plenty of toys and play equipment provided by What About the Kids to keep them entertained while their Mums get inspired by Megan & Nat.

Wednesday 4th October, 7.30pm venue tbc: Mum’s Night Out with a performance by poet Hollie McNish. Hollie will be reading from her award-winning book Nobody Told Me, which is a collection of poems and stories about raising a child in modern Britain. She talks about feeding, sex, gender, and of finding secret places to scream every once in a while. Sunday 29th October @ Salomons Estate: #Wild_Child Halloween Spooktacular family dance party with live DJs playing 90’s and 00’s classics, craft activities, bubbles, giant parachute, toddler sensory area, street-dancing workshops, face painting, colouring wall – and a licensed bar for the parents... dancing is very thirsty work!

Grounds for celebration Throughout its history, Leeds Castle has played host to esteemed guests, from the crown princes of Europe to world leaders and stars of the silver screen. Today, the Castle’s three historic venues continue to welcome guests, whether it’s to mark a special occasion with an intimate family dinner, entertain clients at a formal banquet or host a relaxed garden party wedding. There is something for everyone at the ‘loveliest castle in the world’

For nearly 900 years, Leeds Castle, set within 500 acres of beautiful Kent parkland, has attracted crusaders and kings, courtiers and queens, witches and villains, world statesmen and icons of the silver screen. One of its most famous inhabitants, Henry VIII, bought the Castle for his first bride, Catherine of Aragon, and transformed it from a fortified stronghold to a magnificent royal palace that she could visit in utmost comfort. From here, Henry departed in 1520 to meet King Francis I of France at the Field of the Cloth of Gold, having enjoyed the Castle’s hospitality, feasting with his 5,000 courtiers and soldiers. In 1926, when Olive, Lady Baillie, bought the Castle, she was determined to continue the legacy of luxury, entertainment and celebration. She commissioned the very best interior designers and spared no expense in making the Castle, and the Maiden’s Tower 100


adjacent to it, the most elegant and comfortable of places for entertaining her guests. A weekend invitation to stay at the Castle was highly prized and would include sumptuous banquets, wonderful accommodation in luxury state bedrooms, entertainment laid on in the parklands and even a round on the nine-hole golf course. Charlie Chaplain, David Niven, the Duke and Duchess of Kent and Sir Winston Churchill were among the many impressive weekenders. The spirit of Lady Baillie lives on at Leeds Castle, which to this day continues to be a wonderful place to hold celebrations of all kinds. Whether you are considering marking a major anniversary, hosting a reunion, celebrating a business milestone, arranging a Christmas event or planning a wedding, there really is a no more beautiful or memorable location to consider. KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

The Castle itself can host feasts in the Henry VIII Banqueting Hall for up to 100 people. For a more intimate dinner of up to 30 guests, the opulent Castle Dining Room is a splendid option. With 20 bedrooms in the Castle and 17 Courtyard bed-and-breakfast rooms, there is the opportunity for all your guests to stay over and enjoy events and activities on the estate the following day. The 16th-century Maiden’s Tower, with its private walled garden and spectacular views across the moat, is an equally special venue, located on Castle Island. Suitable for 50 to 100 guests, the Maiden’s Tower is ideal for wedding parties, celebration dinners and relaxed garden parties. For up to 200 people, the Fairfax Hall, a 17th-century oak-timbered barn, creates a wonderfully warm and cheerful evening atmosphere, affording your guests beautiful views of the Castle lit up at night. In addition to these historic venues, there is a newcomer to the Leeds Castle family, albeit a 14th-century newcomer. Battle Hall, a medieval manor house, has been part of the estate for hundreds of years, but until recently has only been a private residence. The manor house is currently undergoing renovation and will be opening for guests from Spring 2018. Battle Hall will be an elegant yet comfortable venue, suitable for family reunions, private dinners, weddings parties and meeting retreats. It offers five luxurious en-suite bedrooms and three exquisite reception rooms, complemented by an English country-house garden. For more information about hosting your celebration event at Leeds Castle see KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017



A wonderful winter wedding

Everyone is different. Some people plan their wedding years in advance, while others meet, fall in love and want to tie the knot within months. Fortunately, at Leeds Castle the Wedding Team has the flexibility to cater to your wishes, even if they are lastminute, and winter 2017/18 is no exception.

Castle winter wedding package 2017/18 This wonderful winter offer includes:

• Venue hire • A glass of sparkling wine after the ceremony • Three-course wedding breakfast (Gold set menu) for 70 guests • Sparkling wine toast, half bottle of wine, coffee & chocolates • Five-tier cheese tower for up to 120 guests after dinner (including day guests) • Ten standard bedrooms in the Castle • White or ivory table linen • Seasonal flowers in the Ceremony Room • Breakfast the following morning for residential guests • Advice and support from the Leeds Castle Wedding Co-ordinator All-inclusive package from £12,490 for castle weddings in October and November 2017 and January, February, March 2018. This offer is for 70 day guests and an additional 50 evening guests. Further day guests cost £149 per person. Offer subject to availability, excluding bank holidays. 102





Light up your life When Hannah Gee of online home store Love Inc started designing neon signs, she had no idea they would prove so popular, not just with her regular customers but with celebrities, too


If you’re looking for a gift that’s a bit different or something unusual for your home, then log onto Love Inc. The company was established in 2009 by founder Hannah Gee (pictured above), hatched from her love of collecting vintage and retro items for her uber-modern home. The collecting quickly became an obsession and the collection quickly became a problem, and so the idea for Love Inc was born. Initially selling to friends and family, she had pop-up sales in her home, set up a website, then opened a pop-up Christmas shop in Tunbridge Wells. Today, she and her team design all their own products, as well as representing a few smaller businesses that they love. And if they get an idea and can’t find it, they design it! But what has really caught on is their range of neon signs – customers include Jo Malone and Davina McCall. Here, Hannah talks about her business, and staying true to her brand.

How did you get the idea to do neon signs?

We had gone into production with our candles and we were at an exhibition in London. The stand and candles looked amazing but we wanted something to give it a bit of an edge. The year before, we’d had a real neon sign made that said ‘You are loved’ and we thought it would be great to have this at our stand. I emailed the exhibitors and said I was bringing a neon with me and would it be a problem. I didn’t hear back from them so I assumed it was fine, 104


turned up with my neon and put it up. Then the fire, health and safety guy came round and said that it should be in a Perspex box because real neon is dangerous. I pleaded with him and he agreed that if I added a fire switch and put it really high up, I could keep it. But he told me I should look at LED neon as an alternative, because it looks just like real neon but is much safer. While we were selling the candles at the exhibition, lots of people came up and said that they loved the neon and could they buy it. We quickly went into research and development and had the product on the market in just three months. We launched with ‘You are loved’ and our small pink heart, which are still consistently our best sellers.

What are the advantages to LED neon?

LED is lightweight and really robust and so much safer than real neon. LED is plugged in, using one of our 12-volt adaptors that provides 30,000 hours of light. We have 15 colours to choose from, and our biggest range by far is our bespoke range.

How and where are they made?

We do all the designing here in the UK but our neon signs are currently being produced in China. It’s the only range of ours that’s produced overseas. We’re hoping to move manufacturing here in the future, but it’s such a huge learning curve for us and as a small company, it’s not something we can do in the UK right now. KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

How do you come up with the designs?

I take inspiration from all sorts of places. I try to get myself out of the office for perhaps a day trip to London to take influence from street art or galleries, or what new designers are doing. It’s not that we copy things; it’s more that things we see give us ideas. For example, our ‘We should hang something cool here’ neon is a result of a canvas that I made my husband a number of years ago that I had seen in a magazine. It made me laugh, and because we already have too much art for our walls, I gave it to him as a present. We put it on Pinterest and it’s my most pinned pin. It was an obvious choice when we were thinking of ideas for neon. We felt it was especially good as it’s humorous, and it’s important to have humour in your home. It’s a big part of what Love Inc is about.

What challenges have you faced?

We’ve faced a number of challenges. Having never produced anything in China before, it’s amazing the learning curve we’ve been on as a business. We’ve managed to do it using Skype and going backwards and forwards with samples, but it’s amazing still how things can get lost in translation. Umlauts, even though they are on the artwork as umlauts, have still come back looking completely different. It’s also been a huge learning curve for us in terms of scaling up our business. It’s made us grow rapidly, so that has had challenges in itself.

You’ve worked with some celebrities. Tell us about that.

We were recently up in Birmingham at This Morning Live, a huge lifestyle exhibition, where we met Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield. We did them a big ‘Phil and Holly’ neon with a heart, which is part of our wedding range, and they’ve both put it on their Instafeeds, which is amazing. We went on to do a wedding neon slot on TV for This Morning, and from there we got a number of celebrities ordering. We were also at the Stylist Live exhibition, which is put on by Stylist magazine, and Jo Malone came up and asked if we would design a neon for her shopfront, which was a real pinch-me moment. It was an amazing opportunity. We worked with her team to come up with a double-sided heart for her Valentine’s window, which was really fantastic. Then we were exhibiting at a local fair and Davina McCall came up and wanted to order a number of bespoke pieces for herself. Then she ordered bespoke signs for all her godchildren, with their names in different colours.

You’ve also been commissioned for weddings. Is this an area that you want to focus on moving forward?

Brides are always looking for something that can make their day even more special and a bit different. Neons are really new to the market; they’re an interiors trend that’s up and coming this year, and can be seen everywhere, from Love Island to most restaurants. The wedding range is something that we hire out for the day, which makes them more affordable, or they can get something bespoke made that they can keep in their home as a keepsake. Guests buy them, too, as a gift for the couple. KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

With regards to your bespoke designs, how does it work and how long do they take to produce?

We work with customers on the design, either coming up with ideas or working to their design. Once the artwork is signed off, it takes three to four weeks for the finished product to be delivered to the customer. We do a lot of logos for companies. We’ve done Perrier, Yves St Laurent and a number of really big, established companies that we feel privileged and proud to work alongside.

You also make other products, like candles, for example.

The neons are the latest in our range of products. Previously, candles were our big sellers. I’m massively into quotes, a real quote fanatic, and no one was doing quotes on candles. We could see a gap in the market, but equally we didn’t want to make something that just looked nice. We wanted an amazing product that smelt beautiful, too. So we work with a really small candle producer based in Kent who hand-pours all our candles and everyone comments on how long they last, and how well the scent is carried into the room. Before the candles, we were doing children’s placemats. We’ve designed all our products from the heart – if we couldn’t find something that we wanted, we’d create it and it seems to have worked because all of our products do really well in their markets. LOV E FAMILY


Even though they are completely unrelated, they’ve all filled a gap in the market and, luckily, we’ve been ahead of the curve each time.

What lies ahead for Love Inc?

The future is about growing our business in an organic and sustainable way, so as we grow, the brand isn’t lost and everything I’ve worked for up to now stays true to its origins. We’ve got lots of ideas for new products that we want to develop but we’re so busy, it’s about finding the time. I also need to understand what I should be doing and what I need to delegate, and that’s another massive learning curve for me. How do you get everything done and juggle family life along with it? It’s a hard balancing act!




Business notes A round-up of local business news

Top award for travel company

Baldwins win London & South East title for the 10th year Baldwins Travel Group are delighted to announce that they won Travel Agent of the Year for London & the South East of England at the recent Travel Weekly Agent Achievement Awards. This is the 10th year in a row that the company has won this prestigious award – recognised as the travel industry’s top accolade for excellence and achievement in the UK’s travel agency community. Nick and Chris Marks – joint Managing Directors of the company – stood aside to let their father, Ron Marks, take to the stage first, in recognition of all of his work leading the company for the past 25 years. His wife, Sally, who is also a Director, and 12 other members of Baldwins Travel Group stood and applauded the company’s achievement with vigour and celebrated well into the night. Nick Marks said: “I am so pleased for all the team. Without their dedication and knowledge, we wouldn’t have been able to win this coveted award for the last 10 years. This award is wholly theirs. Well done to our fantastic #winningteam.” The company was also shortlisted in the Marketing Promotion of the year category, and Baldwins Travel’s Tonbridge branch manager, Trevor Ridler, was also shortlisted in the Aspire Agent of the Year awards. This was in recognition of hard work put in over the past year. It’s high praise indeed to be finalists for these hotlycontested prizes.

Baldwins Travel Group is part of the consortium Advantage Travel Partnership, which supports the agency in a number of ways and allows this most independent of businesses to thrive alongside multiple brands. Julia Lo Bue-Said, Managing Director of Advantage Travel Partnership, also attended the event and added: “In total, nine of our members were recognised at the Agent Achievement Awards. This is a fantastic vote of confidence in the independent travel industry, and we would like to congratulate Baldwins Travel Group for their outstanding performance this year.”

Hever Castle is excellent

B&B rated in the UK’s top five per cent for customer satisfaction Hever Castle & Gardens in Kent has been awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence as both a visitor attraction and for its luxury bed & breakfast accommodation for the fourth year running. Now in its seventh year, the achievement celebrates hospitality businesses that have earned great traveller reviews on TripAdvisor over the past year. Certificate of Excellence recipients include accommodation, eateries and attractions all over the world that have continually delivered a quality customer experience. The Certificate of Excellence is based on reviews submitted by travellers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. The bed & breakfast accommodation at Hever Castle, which this year celebrates five years in business, boasts 28 luxury, five-star, gold-rated bedrooms joined to the historic castle, which was the childhood home of Anne of Boleyn. As well as the TripAdvisor award, it has also been given the HotelsCombined Recognition of Excellence for 2017, based on customer reviews. 108


The award means that the accommodation at Hever Castle is in the top five per cent in the UK for customer satisfaction. Duncan Leslie, CEO of Hever Castle, said: “We are thrilled to be held in such esteem by our customers. To have received the accolade from both TripAdvisor and HotelsCombined is a real honour. A big thank you to everyone who has taken the time to write a review on both of these sites.” KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017


Home, sweet home? Buying a property with a partner needs more thought than just finding the deposit and mortgage, as Sarah Haywood of solicitors ThomasHaywood explains


As our regular readers will know, at ThomasHaywood we are fans of The Archers. The Radio 4 soap often raises issues which many of our clients face. The most recent point of interest relates to Fallon, who runs an upcycling and catering business, and who is looking to buy her first house with her boyfriend Harrison, the local police officer. They would like to stay in the village of Ambridge, surrounded by their friends and family, but struggled to find the deposit to buy Woodbine Cottage. With Harrison’s savings and a loan from his parents, they are now able to buy their dream home with the help of a mortgage. But Fallon couldn’t make a financial contribution to the deposit and expressed her concern about not being able to contribute financially to the purchase. Harrison declared, “Married or not, the house that we buy together will be our house. Yours and mine.” Still feeling awkward, Fallon proposed that if they were to separate, there be a 70/30 split in Harrison’s favour, but Harrison was having none of it. He told her that he loved her independence, her pride and her pig-headedness. He ended with saying, “I can afford it so please let me.” Neither Fallon nor Harrison realise that those declarations by Harrison amount to a common intention as to the purchase and could be relied upon by Fallon in court in the future. If Fallon and Harrison get married, their common intention as to ownership of the property is hardly relevant. Recent case law is clear that if the property was their matrimonial home, it does not matter in whose name it is held, the court would strive to achieve a fair outcome. If Harrison tried to argue that his contribution to the purchase should be excluded as “pre-acquired wealth”, it would be unlikely to hold much sway. Lord Nicolls in the cases of Miller and McFarlane said, “The parties’ matrimonial home, even if this was brought into the marriage at the outset by one of the parties, usually has a central place in any marriage. So, it would normally be treated as a matrimonial property.” If, however, Fallon and Harrison do not get married, then the court no longer has to achieve a fair outcome and instead any dispute would be determined by the Trust of Land Act, as opposed to family law. The key point will then be how Fallon and Harrison own the property, either as tenants in common or joint tenants. KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

This is a decision they will have to make when they are purchasing the property. It is a declaration that is required by the land transfer form. If they are tenants in common, they will each own a specific share in the property. Upon death, that share is passed under the terms of that person’s will or intestacy. If they are joint tenants, they each own the whole of the property and in the event of death, the property is transferred to the survivor. Therefore, if Fallon and Harrison buy as joint tenants, the common intention is irrelevant and Fallon is on to a good thing in the event their relationship doesn’t last. If Harrison wants to protect himself, or if Fallon maintains her stance, it is right for Harrison to own more of the property than her, they will need to be tenants in common and define those shares. If the bank refuses to lend to Fallon as she is self-employed and will only give a mortgage to Harrison so the property is in his sole name, then Fallon will have to demonstrate there was a common intention regarding the purchase and that she relied on it to her detriment if she wants to seek a claim on the property in the future. In summary, if you are going to buy a property with your partner, it is important to think about each party’s contributions and if you want to protect yourself you should consider seeking advice from a solicitor about a cohabitation agreement which can define your shares and save thousands of pounds in legal fees in the event of an acrimonious separation. LOV E BUSINESS


Helping hand A round-up of local charity news Open house for ellenor

Charity reception “massive honour” for Location star Attending a private reception in one of the country’s most stunning historic houses was a real treat for charity patron Phil Spencer. The journalist and co-presenter of TV’s Location, Location, Location was able to indulge his passion for property on his first visit to Knole House in Sevenoaks – thanks to hospice charity, ellenor. He told Twitter followers it had been a “massive honour”. The exclusive event, hosted by Lord and Lady Sackville, was aimed at raising awareness – and vital funds – for ellenor, which provides specialist hospice care at home for babies, children and young people. The charity’s Director of Income Generation, Rachel Holweger, said the demand for ellenor’s unique children’s hospice care in the home was increasing week on week in West Kent. “We know we are not reaching all those children who need us,” she explained. “We believe there are the same number of families again that could benefit from ellenor but we simply do not have the resources, which is why we have launched our appeal.” ellenor’s Children’s Hospice at Home Appeal, launched last year, aims to raise £1.5 million over three years to increase the charity’s team of specialist nurses and carers and, in turn, reach more families.

Lord Sackville, who welcomed more than 50 guests into his home, said: “I had no idea of the range of care ellenor provides to terminally-ill children across Kent and I was particularly taken by the fact that care is provided in the family home. “I cannot imagine being in the situation that these families face. To know that they have the support of ellenor is such a huge relief to parents, grandparents and all those involved.” To make a donation or to find out how to get involved with ellenor’s Children’s Hospice at Home Appeal, contact Rachel Holweger at or tel:01474 320007

Aiming high

Young Maidstone women with sight loss and disabilities climb O2 Arena Five Maidstone women with sight loss and disabilities completed the epic ‘Up at the O2’ challenge in 28-degree heat in July to raise money for a summerhouse with sensory equipment to be built at the end of their garden. The women, Kayleigh, Lucy, Grace, Becky and Laura, are supported to live together in a shared house by SeeAbility, a national sight-loss and disability charity. A support worker or rehabilitation worker – a specialist who teaches people with sight loss how to do everyday tasks – supported each woman on the climb. The challenge involved ascending all the way to the top of The O2 via a walkway, suspended 52m above ground level, in full climbing gear. “We are all incredibly proud of them. It’s been a fantastic day and it took a lot of courage to take on the challenge of climbing the O2 Arena,” said Claire Field, Registered Manager of SeeAbility Kent Support Service. “Each lady summed up the day in one word: brilliant, awesome, incredible, excellent, scary!” 112


SeeAbility Chief Executive, Lisa Hopkins, joined them on the challenge and tweeted a photo of the group at the top of the arena. The summerhouse will cost £5,580 and you can donate to their fundraising page here: KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017



Saving our


In the event of a house fire, what are the chances of your pet being revived? Much higher if your local fire station is equipped with special animal oxygen masks, as Tony Ellison of Animals at Home discovered


Forty-six per cent of households in the UK have pets and with over 40,000 house fires a year, it’s an unfortunate fact that pets die from smoke inhalation. Tony Ellison of Animals at Home pet care services in Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks is a keen supporter of Smokey Paws, a charity set up to provide British fire stations with special oxygen masks to help save pets in the event of a fire at home. Said Tony, “It’s important that in a home fire, animals are provided for in the rescue as well as the owners. Owners know the fire services have equipment for us, but in a fire our animals run and hide. When the fire service find our pets, we would like to know that they have every chance of surviving.” The life-saving devices come in three sizes: large for dogs, medium for cats and little dogs and small for pets like rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters. The masks, which are ordered in from America, cost £90 a set. So far 16 fire stations have received the sets, which are entirely funded by charitable donations to Smokey Paws. Without them, firefighters have to try to revive pets using human oxygen masks, which are less effective because they allow air to escape. Smokey Paws is the brainchild of Lynn Carberry and her husband Brian Lockyer. They were discussing what would happen to their golden Labrador if fire broke out in their home and American-born Lynn mentioned that in the US, fire stations are equipped with the pet-sized oxygen masks. When they contacted their local station, they discovered that emergency services in the UK do not have the same equipment. So they set up Smokey Paws and spend all their spare time on the charity. Brian Lockyer says, “Specially-designed pet oxygen masks are more effective on pets than the human masks often used to try and revive pets by first responders. By providing one special animal oxygen kit for each fire engine in the country as well as providing them to sanctuaries and shelters, we hope to enable first responders to save even more animals lives.” Chemicals released from burning materials include carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and cyanide that can cause



injuries and symptoms including breathing difficulties, increased respiratory rate, burns, swelling, inflammation of the mouth, eyes, skin, upper airway, coma, seizures and eye and skin burns. The first fire brigade to be equipped with the oxygen masks was Avon Fire and Rescue Service. Station Manager Jon Brown said: “In the event of a fire in the home, families with animals are always concerned about how their pets will get out of the property. Firefighters often have to enter premises to search for missing animals, which may have taken in smoke.” Often animals are affected by smoke quicker than humans so it is hoped the masks will save beloved pets during blazes. Jon added: “We can be asked to search a smoke-filled house for an animal and when we find it, it may be unconscious and not breathing. This new equipment means we have special masks to use on dogs and cats, which may need oxygen. A few minutes can be the difference between life and death so the sooner we can give oxygen the better and this equipment allows us to do this.” Says Tony Ellison: “These are oxygen masks that are made to fit animals specifically. They take into consideration that animals have different faces to humans and are designed to fit over the snout, therefore delivering a better flow of oxygen to the animal, increasing the chance of reviving them. “If you want to make a donation to Smokey Paws, go to Click on the Animals at Home tag on the right. When you go to make a donation, type in TN13 3TX in the description section. This will mean that the donations will be used to equip our local fire stations.” Animals at Home (Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks) Ltd is also working with Vets 4 Pets in collecting funds for the Smoky Paws oxygen masks. The Vet Sylwester Kolodziejczyk of Vet4Pets feels that as a petcare company, it’s important that, like services that Vets 4 Pets provides, the protection of our pets in the event they get caught in a fire is a cause worth supporting. There are collection boxes in the Sevenoaks Vets 4 Pets branch. KUDOS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017





Kudos 24  

September/October issue