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Issue 25


Hello Welcome to the November/December issue of Kudos. With Christmas on the horizon, this issue has a definite festive theme. I love Christmas; it’s such a magical time of year. I can still remember, as a child, the thrill on Christmas morning of discovering that Santa had actually been and left me so many presents (OK, I was a spoilt child)! But before we get to Christmas, there’s plenty more to enjoy in this issue. As well as all our regulars, we’ve got a fab fashion feature, modelled by local businesswoman Hannah Gee and her three sons. It was photographed at the quirky Bell Inn in Ticehurst – which is well worth a visit. Hannah and her boys had a great time – as you can see on page 31. Movember is the month-long November campaign promoting men’s health and encouraging men to grow a moustache so that for 30 days, that moustache turns them into a walking, talking billboard for health awareness. For fun, we’ve looked at some of the most popular moustache styles – anyone for a Chevron, à la Tom Selleck? See more on page 46. Now to the main event. If you’re stuck for Christmas gift ideas, we’ve got five pages to inspire you, from jewellery and fashion items to limited-edition art and sculpture. And if a swimming pool is on your wish list, see page 82 for a pool that will have you diving with delight. Want ideas for decorating your house? Look no further than our gorgeous feature on page 68. Owners Lawrence and Jolyon go all out every year with hundreds of lights, reindeer, candles, a huge tree… Christmas as it should be!

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.



Local restaurants and food producers are also pulling out all the stops this year to offer delicious Christmas menus and foodie treats. Our roundup on page 55 is sure to whet your appetite, whether you want traditional turkey with all the trimmings or something a bit more unusual. Talking of traditional, you can’t beat a panto, and Aladdin is coming to town this year with ex-EastEnders star Michael Greco (remember Beppe di Marco?) as evil Abenazer. It promises to be fun for all the family. All you have to do now is eat, drink, be merry and enjoy the perfect Christmas. I know I will!

Hannah Tucek Publishing Director

Contents 8 Kudos loves... 11 News & events 26 Pets corner 28 Love celebrity 31 Love fashion 43 Love health & beauty 46 Men only 50 Love food and drink 50 Festive Food Guide 68 Love home

68 106 Love family

84 Love garden

110 Love business

89 Christmas Gift Guide

112 Love charity

98 Love education

114 Love heroes KUDOS NOV EMBER/DECEMBER 2017

Crowborough Common, January 2017





Taken by Matt Harquail




Things we love this issue A mix of tasty ice cream, robots and recycling

On a roll

Who Gives A Crap was formed when Simon, Jehan and Danny learnt that 2.3 billion people (roughly 40% of the world’s population) don’t have access to a toilet. Poor sanitation causes diarrhoea-related diseases that fill over half of sub-Saharan African hospital beds and kills 900 children under five every day. Luckily, toilets are proven to be a great solution – they provide dignity, health and an improved quality of life. The company created recycled toilet paper, donating half of its profits to non-profit organisations working to improve access to hygiene, water and basic sanitation in developing countries. The toilet rolls offer incredible value, starting at just 15.8p per 100 sheets (including delivery!). They are made with 100% bamboo fibres, with no inks, dyes or scents. More people in the world have mobile phones than toilets. Think about that the next time you’re texting on the loo! Price: 48 rolls for £38

Clean machine

Black magic

Fed up of house cleaning? Well, why not make yourself a cuppa and put your feet up whilst the iRobot Roomba 966 seamlessly navigates an entire level of your home, keeping track of its location and recharging as needed until the job is done. Awesome! Price: £799.99

If you loved Jude’s Black Coconut Ice cream (or you’d like to try it), it will be available in limited-edition 500ml tubs exclusively from Sainsbury’s from 22nd November. Black Coconut joined the fast-growing Jude’s family in May. Served at Jude’s ice-cream pop-ups and festivals across the country, Black Coconut quickly became this summer’s edgiest treat and an Instagram sensation. Made with creamy coconut milk and ash, the ingredient needed to give the ice cream its deep black colour, it was a customer favourite. Chow Mezger, MD and Jude’s son, said: “We are delighted to launch this exciting limitededition flavour for winter. We have been blown away by the popularity of Black Coconut, which has become a firm favourite at festivals, and look forward to people being able to enjoy it from the comfort of their homes, in front of a roaring fire.” Jude’s Black Coconut will be listed at 335 Sainsbury’s stores for six weeks only, at a promotional price of £3 per 500ml tub. Don’t miss it!





Upfront What’s new and happening

For the perfect event Style and history at the Mercure Searching for the perfect venue in Tunbridge Wells for your wedding, function or special occasion? Then look no further than the Mercure Hotel. Located in the heart of Kent, with easy access by both car and public transport and only three miles from Tunbridge Wells, the Mercure was built in 1991 around an original Georgian Dower House and adapted in the style of an oast house to make a charming four-star venue. Throughout the year, the hotel is home to the best cabaret nights in town, from comedy nights, tribute acts and children’s parties to murder mystery events and popular comedy dining nights. Mercure Tunbridge Wells has also relaunched its Wedding Packages for 2018, with an introductory fully-inclusive package of £2,018 for 50 day and evening guests. It includes ceremony and function room hire, drinks package, three-course meal, evening snacks, private bar until midnight and complimentary chair covers and sash. You will also receive a complimentary bedroom for the wedding night with breakfast, and a complimentary meal for your first anniversary. There’s a full range of brand-new packages available, including options to have an Afternoon Tea or BBQ-style meal instead of the traditional three-course wedding breakfast.

As well as weddings, the hotel has eight function rooms for you to host your perfect event and a variety of packages to help you celebrate in style. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something a little different, then a bespoke package can be created to suit your specific requirements. The Mercure prides itself on providing excellent service, warm and friendly staff and exquisitely-presented, fresh food. The team will do everything they can to meet and exceed your expectations. The Parkside Suite can cater for events from 50-120 people, or you can enjoy the building’s historic, Georgian charm with the Park Avenue or Park Square Suites for more intimate gatherings. Contact the Sales team on 01892 628298 or email

Designs online

Award-winning kitchen designer launches brand-new website Recognising the need for a strong online presence in today’s digital world, Kent-based kitchen designers and manufacturers Rencraft have recently launched a brand-new website. The site is full of kitchen design inspiration, featuring a host of case studies, an in-house blog and an extensive gallery of beautiful, professionally-shot images of their work. “This new website is the icing on the cake following a fantastic couple of years for the company,” said Managing Director John Stephens. “It showcases numerous examples of our work, using big, beautifully-shot images backed up with customer testimonials and close-ups of those special little details that are central to every single one of our bespoke designs. “It’s more than an online brochure, we’re also giving potential clients the chance to see behind the scenes by focusing in on our workshop and our team. It’s our chance to tell the story of Rencraft, which is a story that we are very proud of.” Rencraft have been based in Kent for 37 years, and have their own workshop just outside Sevenoaks. They design and manufacture kitchens and furniture for clients in Kent, the UK and even Europe. Showrooms: Chart Farm, Sevenoaks, TN15 0ES and 81 Calverley Rd, Tunbridge Wells TN1 2UY KUDOS NOV EMBER/DECEMBER 2017



The art of code

Local artist’s work of complex systems and patterns makes a statement Susan Fynes’s art is arresting, soothing, vibrant, spiritual, all at once. As a systems-based artist, her paintings are visual representations of the connection between thought and action. For each work, Susan creates a code which she then translates onto the canvas, using colour as the new language, meticulously hand drawing and then painting each piece of code. The result is a highly geometric statement of colour, language and movement, formed into beautifully complex, structural paintings, often on an impressive scale. Each piece takes months to complete. Based in Tunbridge Wells, Susan graduated with a BA in Fine Art from the University of Greenwich in 2007, continuing her studies to obtain an MA from the University of Brighton in 2016. During her Masters, she worked with MRI Imaging scientists, exploring the psychology of what motivates humans to act and react the way we do, and more directly, the science of what drives artists to create. Having exhibited in New York, London and across the UK, including a solo show in East Sussex, Susan’s work has been collected by film producers, corporate art buyers and individuals. She is holding a solo exhibition at the newly opened G&C Gallery at no. 8 Camden Road, Tunbridge Wells during November and December. Susan’s paintings make a real statement in a home or the foyer of a hotel or office. She has recently launched a website selling limited-edition giclée prints of her work. The originals are also available, and she takes commissions. Contact or 07775 737186.

Above: Photo of Susan by Jez Timms, Torpedo Juice. Left: Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining.


New, alternative way to sell your home Howard Cundey LIVE has been developed by the estate agency’s CEOs and co-founders Dan Berrisford and Tim Foulkes. It is being launched to complement and expand on their existing high street and regional centre network. LIVE is a technology-driven online estate agency, giving customers control over their property marketing alongside personal assistance along the journey. Tim and Dan told us that Howard Cundey now offers customers a real transparent pricing and service choice on how to sell their home: High Street, Regional Centre, Modern Auction and LIVE. Tim and Dan have acquired technology and have deployed this to create a true online model, as they firmly believe that their multi-award winning, innovative estate agency brand – established in 1968 – has the reputation, trust and long-standing experience to rival the large corporate online companies. The customer has mobility with their property to switch between the services and this can also include lettings in addition to the selling options available. Howard Cundey LIVE is available 24/7 and the customer has exclusive and secure access to their own Personal Property Hub. The friendly valuation and support team is located centrally in their head office, with decades of experience and expertise. The fee structure for LIVE was developed purposefully to be totally transparent, with a menu selection with no hidden extras or ‘trials’. 12


The upfront fee to place a property on the market is £599, inclusive of VAT. The Howard Cundey brand mascot that has received awards for innovative marketing, Howard The Fish, is now joined by a new, fun character called Howard’s Home. This is an animated character on the website and both fish and home will feature heavily in advertising and social media. For more information visit or call Amy Morley – National Sales Manager, on 08000 499 599, email: KUDOS NOV EMBER/DECEMBER 2017

Float your troubles away New flotation therapy spa set to open in Tunbride Wells Prepare to float your stresses away, and discover a happier and healthier you at a new flotation therapy spa – the only one of its kind in Kent – due to open in Tunbridge Wells early December. The owner, Tom Snow, who is from Groombridge, is so passionate about the positive effects flotation can have on people’s physical and mental health, wellbeing and performance, that he decided to open a float centre himself. Tom first discovered the benefits of float therapy after a serious motorbike accident 10 years ago. At a mental and physical low, he was suffering from chronic pain in his back, neck and limbs that neither painkillers nor physiotherapy could relieve. Having read about the benefits of Epsom salts and magnesium for aching muscles and pain relief, he decided to try flotation pods, and was struck by the overall holistic healing effect the sessions had on him. “I learned that flotation is a form of mindfulness or meditation practice, too, and is used regularly by people to achieve peak performance in sports or at work, aid creativity, reduce anxiety, stress and depression, as well as for rehabilitation of physical injuries, or simple relaxation.” Conveniently located in the colonnaded splendor of Monson Road in Tunbridge Wells, the spa is currently undergoing a refit and is due to open soon.

To book your float and be the first to know when Simply Float will be open, register your details at


Out and about with Kudos

Festive fair

Making music

All that jazz

Penshurst Vintage Christmas Fair returns, with delightful singing from Miss Vintage and scrumptious cakes and savouries from Dolly’s Diner. You’ll find more than 25 stalls selling a huge range of vintage items, from decorative to furniture, china, gifts, clothes, jewellery, toys and even that elusive man gift! If you are looking for quality vintage items to wear, to love and to give as unique presents, then this fair is the place to go. It’s organised by Cherish Vintage, who pride themselves on bringing vibrant vintage together with entertaining events. It will certainly get you in the festive spirit – a vintage one! Entrance is £2.50 per adult with all profits donated to KSS Air Ambulance. Catch it at Penshurst Village Hall on Saturday, 4th November, between 10am and 4pm.

The Lydian Orchestra has been making music since 1976 and over the past few years has grown in size and stature, delivering fantastic performance and musical-training opportunities to a wide range of young musicians from Kent, Sussex and Surrey. Their Winter Concert will feature the 2017 Sevenoaks Young Musician of the Year, pianist Peter Xie, who will perform Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 2, conducted by local, well-known musician Peter Young. The concert will be held at the Pamoja Hall, Sevenoaks School, on Thursday, 21st December at 7.30pm and promises to be a real treat. The cost of the tickets are £15 for adults, £6 under 21 years of age and £1 under 16. The tickets can be purchased via

Frant Church has yet another fund-raising concert coming up on 17th November, with The Dime Notes quartet playing vintage jazz from the 1920s and 1930s! The group is led by piano virtuoso Andrew Oliver, from the US. Andrew studied classical piano before spending time immersing himself in the great jazz tradition of New Orleans. On clarinet is David Horniblow, who not only spent some six years playing with UK legend Chris Barber but has also played for Kenny Ball, Acker Bilk, Jools Holland and Jamie Cullum. The quartet is completed by Dave Kelbie, rhythm guitar and Tom Wheatley, double bass. Catch it at Frant Church on Friday, 17th November at 8pm. Tickets £15 from Frant Stores, Britten’s Music Shop, Tunbridge Wells, online at or call 01892 864304 / 07768 115184.

Vintage treat in Penshurst


Winter concert in Sevenoaks

Quartet at Frant Church



Story time

Meet Bagpuss and friends at Sissinghurst This winter there are lots of reasons to visit Sissinghurst Castle Garden, even though the garden itself is closed for rest and important work to return it to Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson’s design. Get outside and closer to nature with estate walks and trails, pick up a timed ticket for a glimpse inside the South Cottage or take a look at the exhibitions on display. And when you need re-fuelling, round it all off with a cup of tea and some cake. As winter draws in, colourful characters will light up the oast house. Organised by the V&A Museum of Childhood, Clangers, Bagpuss and Co tells the story of these much-loved characters. Come and meet Bagpuss, the Soup Dragon and Noggin the Nog and experience the magic that has endured through the decades. Displays go behind the scenes of these family favourites, created by Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin, and you can even try your hand at stop motion animation. Open daily from 11th November to 4th February; normal admission applies.

Image credit: Clanger © Smallfilms, Image © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Remembering David Bowie… Concert pays tribute to music icon

Bowie Experience is a breathtaking concert celebrating the music of the world’s greatest pop icon, David Bowie. A must-see for all Bowie fans, the latest production promises an unforgettable journey of sound and vision, featuring all the hits from A to Ziggy, including Life on Mars, Space Oddity, China Girl, Heroes and a whole lot more! Bowie Experience continues to amaze audiences with an astounding attention to detail, bringing the golden years of David Bowie to theatres across the globe. So, put on your red shoes and Let’s Dance! Bowie Experience: The Golden Years Tour is at the Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, on Saturday, 20th January at 7:30pm.

Christmas at the castle Festive cheer at Hever

You’ve sung them in church, at school, or with friends and family and you know all of their words by heart, but do you know the stories behind some of the best-known Christmas carols? This Christmas, Hever Castle will celebrate the history of these seasonal songs as part of the Christmas spirit at the castle. Walk through the rooms of the castle and admire the beautiful decorations and welcoming log fires, discover the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ trail and wander through the illuminated gardens as dusk falls. Each weekend and daily from selected dates, you can ride the carousel, enjoy vintage fairground stalls (£1 per go), hug a husky, and children can join a free craft workshop to make an angel. Children who have not booked to visit Father Christmas in his Grotto may get the chance to meet him in the Toy Workshop (December 16, 17, 21, 22 & 23). Kids will have the opportunity to visit him on a first come first served basis and will receive an age-appropriate gift. Tickets cost £8 and can only be purchased in the grounds on the day. Enjoy Hever Castle’s Christmas from Wednesdays to Sundays from 25th November and daily from 11th to 24th December. 16




Festive delights

Celebrate Christmas traditions and make new memories at “the loveliest castle in the world” Leeds Castle is a picture-perfect historic castle, which looks delightful inside and out when winter arrives. The surrounding moat, gardens and vast acres of parkland look magical with a heavy frost or snow, while inside, the opulent rooms and glowing fires give a warm and inviting atmosphere to complement this beautiful and sophisticated setting. See the State Rooms dressed for the festive period, shop for unusual gifts at the open-air Christmas Market or celebrate the party season with your colleagues. From 2nd December to 1st January (closed Christmas Day), discover ‘The Traditions of Christmas’ and see the castle beautifully decorated with glittering decorations and fragrant Christmas trees styled around all the things reminiscent of Christmas past and present. Do you know why people have red Poinsettias in their homes at Christmas or who invented the Christmas cracker? Discover these ‘traditions’ of Christmas and more as you explore the castle. Different rooms will depict festive displays showing the history of some of our most loved festive customs and how we still follow them today. The annual Christmas Market will take place from 10am to 5pm on selected dates in November and December, with a splendid array of seasonal gifts, toys, festive decorations, specialist food and drink and a chance to meet the reindeer and birds of prey. In the centre of the market, visitors can enjoy a nostalgic fairground with rides on the Victorian carousel and the high flying ‘chair-o-planes’ or a leisurely trip on the big wheel for a spectacular view of the Castle. Keep warm with a hot drink and enjoy a festive programme of live musical entertainment at the Band Stand on 25th & 26th November, 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th and 17th December. KUDOS NOV EMBER/DECEMBER 2017

The two gift shops will be stocked with beautiful decorations and gift ideas, and a series of events including wreath-making and visits from Father Christmas will ensure that there is something for everyone to enjoy this festive season. A valid admission ticket to Leeds Castle is required to visit the Castle and Christmas Market. Pre-book online for discounted tickets. For festive nights, Leeds Castle is the perfect backdrop to your event. Celebrate the Christmas season with your friends, colleagues or clients in the beautiful 17th-century oak-beamed Fairfax Hall, a wonderful setting decorated in true festive tradition with spectacular views across the moat to the Castle. Your evening will include a glass of sparkling wine on arrival, a sumptuous three-course dinner expertly prepared by a team of dedicated chefs and dancing until midnight. Overnight accommodation is available in the Stable Courtyard luxury en-suite bedrooms. Christmas parties in the Fairfax Hall are available on selected dates throughout December. Dinner costs £65 per person and overnight accommodation is available in the Stable Courtyard bedrooms with full English breakfast served the following morning. If you are looking for a private venue to hire for your company’s Christmas party with larger numbers, the Fairfax Hall and Maiden’s Tower adjacent to the Castle are available on selected evenings with excellent value for money packages. Christmas is a time for indulgence and celebration and nothing quite compares to hiring “the loveliest castle in the world” for your private event this season. Why not consider hiring Leeds Castle itself for a truly memorable Christmas? The castle is available on selected dates for a minimum of 40 guests and packages start from £82.50 per person (+ VAT), which includes a three-course dinner. Leeds Castle is located near Maidstone in Kent just off Junction 8 of the M20 and only one hour’s drive from London. For more information on events or hospitality offers, visit LOV E GOING OUT


Christmas is coming… Celebrate Christmas in Kent and East Sussex with The National Trust

Bateman’s, East Sussex Rewards & Fairies

This Christmas, creatures from Rudyard Kipling’s Sussex fairy tales will cast their magic around Batemans, his family home. The garden will also have a trail based on Kipling’s Rewards and Fairies tales.

Emmetts Garden, Kent Boise family trail

The Boise family have misplaced their Christmas presents. Can you help to find them around the garden?

Deer roaming the parkland on a frosty morning at Knole, Kent

Ightham Mote, Kent Mini Christmas market

Ightham Mote hosts a selection of local Christmas stalls to stock up on special festive gifts.

Knole, Kent

Christmas deer trail

Find the Knole deer by following the trail and help Father Christmas deliver his presents.

Christmas crafts and workshops

Based in Knole’s beautifully-restored 17th-century hayloft, there’ll be a programme of seasonal workshops.

Bodiam, East Sussex Light & Celebration

Experience what Christmas meant to the medieval residents of Bodiam Castle in an immersive light and sound display.

Scotney Castle, Kent Woodland wonderland

A veritable ‘woodland wonderland’ comes alive at Scotney Castle, with a family Christmas trail amongst natural sculptures around the garden.

Chartwell, Kent

The Churchill family Christmas

See four rooms in the home of Sir Winston Churchill decorated for a post-war Christmas at Chartwell.

Quebec House, Kent A Georgian Christmas

See the house decorated for a Georgian Christmas with greenery from the garden, open fires and the smell of spiced hot chocolate.

For more Christmas inspiration visit:

Come to the Cabaret

Bringing you the best from London’s West End Fast becoming the top evening venue in Tunbridge Wells with a reputation for the best in Jazz, Blues, Soul and much more, look no further than Scallywag in Tunbridge Wells this season – it’s all right here! Here’s a taste of what to expect... • The Jordan Marsh Trio, a firm Jools Holland favourite in Jump Blues, Swing and Boogie Woogie • Dom Pipkin with his ‘Smokin’ Boogie Show’, quite possibly the best New Orleans style singer pianist in the UK

Jordan Marsh

• The Benoit Viellefon Hot Club – there is no better in Gypsy Swing Jazz • A wonderful Gatsby Soirée with the fabulous Champagne Charlie and The Bubbly Boys And all topped off, two days before Christmas, with the fabulous Liane Carroll, now considered by many to be one of not only the UK’s top jazz singers, but also the world’s. When you cross the threshold at Scallywag and experience an evening full of ambience, and the best in entertainment, you will become a regular at this truly atmospheric venue. Do check the website for all the other exciting and uplifting evenings, from a cabaret open mic, sing-a-longs, murder mysteries and more. 20




All the fun of the fair

Chiddingstone Castle has the answer to your Christmas shopping On Saturday, 25th November, be sure to head over to Chiddingstone Castle. It’s the day of their annual Christmas Fair and this year it is set to be bigger and better than ever. The Chiddingstone Castle team have handpicked 70 local and small businesses to showcase and sell unique and unusual gifts. The stalls will be spread throughout their historic rooms and a heated marquee on their grounds, selling homeware, clothing, toys, food and drink, so you can be sure to tick off everyone on your Christmas present list. They will, of course, be serving mulled wine and mince pies to make sure you can really get into the festive spirit. Tickets are just £5 and selling fast from their website – – so be sure to get yours soon. They’ve also let us into a little secret for their December plans. Inspired by the Castle’s Victorian heritage (they have a Victorian kitchen with an array of authentic kitchenalia, an enormous cooking range and bread ovens dating from 1805), they are planning a family-friendly Victorian takeover of the castle this December. This hands-on historical experience will immerse visitors in Victorian times, with decorations, games, food and storytelling from Santa himself. Keep an eye out for more news and tickets.

Photo: Jo Ellen Pictures

Family classic

The Sound of Music is coming to Tunbridge Wells One of the greatest musicals of all time returns to the stage in a magnificent production of The Sound of Music, to enchant the young and the young at heart. This wonderfully-lavish staging tells the true story of the world-famous singing family, from their romantic beginnings and search for happiness, to their thrilling escape to freedom at the start of the Second World War. Lucy O’Byrne returns in the iconic role of Maria, in which she was hailed by critics as “quite possibly the best Maria since Julie Andrews herself” (The Scotsman). Lucy was runner-up on BBC One’s The Voice in 2015 and was recently seen in the West End as Fantine in Les Misérables. The unforgettable score features some of the most memorable songs ever performed on stage, including Edelweiss, My Favourite Things, Do-Re-Mi, Climb Ev’ry Mountain, So Long Farewell, and of course, The Sound of Music. The Sound of Music is at the Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, from 27th February to 3rd March.

Ice, ice baby

Get your skates on for the Calverley Grounds ice rink

For the seventh successive year, the open air ice-rink is returning to Calverley Grounds in Tunbridge Wells. It will be open seven days a week from Friday, 17th November until Monday, 1st January (closed Christmas Day). After all that skating, you’ll find plenty of food and drink to enjoy from the likes of Basil Café, Fuggles Beer Café and Apple & Cor! So get ready to dig out your ear muffs and gloves, grab someone’s hand, and have some ice-skating fun. Families can also visit Father Christmas in his cosy log cabin set in the trees and snow (2nd-24th December). You’ll receive a warm welcome from the elves, who magically let Father Christmas know all the children’s names. Write a letter to Father Christmas to post in the special post box or hand to him personally during your 10-minute visit. Each child can choose an age-appropriate, high-quality gift to take home, and a professional family photograph will be taken to capture the magic.


The Assembly Hall Theatre is giving away a family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) to one lucky reader for the opening weekend, Friday, 17th to Sunday, 19th November. For your chance to win, email your name, address and contact number to by the closing date of 11th November 2016. One winner will be picked at random. There is no cash alternative. Good luck! KUDOS NOV EMBER/DECEMBER 2017




That’s entertainment Latest releases on screen

Make the most of winter with screenings under the stars during November and December at Moonlight Drive-in Cinema November screenings


Thor: Ragnarok

Murder on the Orient Express

After an unprecedented series of natural disasters threatened the planet, the world’s leaders came together to create an intricate network of satellites to control the global climate and keep everyone safe. But now, something has gone wrong: the system built to protect Earth is attacking it, and it becomes a race against the clock to uncover the real threat before a worldwide geostorm wipes out everything and everyone along with it.

Imprisoned on the other side of the universe, the mighty Thor finds himself in a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against the Hulk, his former ally and fellow Avenger. Thor’s quest for survival leads him in a race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home world and the Asgardian civilization.

A lavish trip through Europe quickly unfolds into a race against time to solve a murder aboard a train. Everyone’s a suspect when Detective Hercule Poirot arrives to interrogate all passengers and search for clues before the killer can strike again.

Special Christmas screenings in December The Muppet Christmas Carol – Monday, 18th December at 6:15pm How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Monday, 18th December at 8:15pm National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – Tuesday, 19th December at 6:15pm It’s a Wonderful Life – Tuesday, 19th December at 8:15pm The Nightmare Before Christmas – Wednesday, 20th December at 6:15pm

Paddington 2 Paddington undertakes a number of odd jobs to afford a unique pop-up book from an antique book shop – a present for Aunt Lucy on her 100th birthday. But when the book is stolen, it’s up to Paddington and the Browns to find the thief.

Elf – Wednesday, 20th December at 8:15pm; Thursday, 21st December at 8:15pm; Friday, 22nd December at 6pm; Saturday, 23rd December at 8:15pm; Sunday, 24th December at 6:15pm The Santa Clause – Thursday, 21st December at 6:15pm Home Alone – Friday, 22nd December at 8:15pm Die Hard – Friday, 22nd December at 10:15pm The Polar Express – Saturday, 23rd December at 6:15pm and Sunday, 24th December at 8:15pm

Love Actually – Saturday, 23rd December at 10:15pm

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!

Lion kings

Happy birthday to the Chessington World of Adventures super-cute lion cubs, Kesari, Anala and Ramari, who recently celebrated their first birthday. To mark the special occasion, Chessington treated the furry family to some special treats. Alongside mum Rani and dad Kamal, the three cubs tucked into a selection of tasty birthday presents! The cubs made the most of their gift-wrapped goodies as they soon gobbled the whole lot down.

Treat your dog

Show your pooch how much you love them by making them their own dog treats. You’ll find everything you need in this kit, including recipe book, cutters and treat bag. Price: £4.99

Amazing animals

Meet some of nature’s most unusual creatures The Aye-aye is not only the largest nocturnal primate in the world but is also one of the most unique. In fact, so strange is its appearance, it was thought to be a large species of squirrel when it was first discovered. But in the mid-1800s, the Aye-aye was finally recognised as being a species of Lemur. The middle fingers on their front feet are their most distinctive feature. Much longer than the others, these fingers are opposable, with a double-jointed tip and a hooked claw on the end and are used for extracting insect larvae from wood cavities. Many people native to Madagascar consider the Aye-aye an omen of bad luck. For this reason they often have been killed on sight. Such hunting, coupled with habitat destruction, have put Aye-aye populations at risk. Today they are protected by law. Conservation status: Endangered • Distribution: Madagascar • Habitat: Rainforest or deciduous forest • Diet: Insects, larvae, fruit • Height: 30-40cm • Weight: 2-2.7kg • Number of young: 1 • Life Span: 10-23 years 26





Oh, yes he did! EastEnders star Michael Greco to lead the cast of Tunbridge Wells’ biggest panto, Aladdin


Former EastEnders heart-throb Michael Greco is to star in this year’s magical pantomime, Aladdin. Known for playing Albert Square’s bad boy Beppe di Marco between 1998 and 2002 (he left Walford after receiving news that his mother Rosa di Marco had died), Michael, 47, will play the evil Abanazar at the Assembly Hall Theatre in December. He says: “I love entertaining people, especially at Christmas time, and being the pantomime villain. I can’t wait to get booed and hissed at!” A graduate of The Guildford School of Acting, Michael has worked extensively in theatre, including leads in Chicago (Adelphi Theatre), Exposure (St James Theatre), William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing (Southwark Playhouse), Kiss Me Kate (National Tour), About Alice (National Tour) and Don Juan (Battersea Arts Centre). He has also featured in ITV’s reality shows Celebrity Love Island and Soap Star Superstar, ITV’s crime drama Chasing Shadows and BBC’s Love Hurts. In May, he joined the cast of BBC’s medical drama Casualty in a guest role as policeman Phil Paterson. “I’m delighted to be joining the cast of Casualty,” he said. “Such an amazing show that’s maintained such incredibly high standards.” Always a heartthrob, in 1999 and 2000 Michael won the British Soap Award for the Sexiest Male for his role on Eastenders. And in July 2004, he was voted the sexiest male soap star ever by readers of Radio Times. He certainly believes in keeping his six-pack. He moved to Los Angeles after leaving EastEnders to pursue acting work and lived there for a decade, starring in the Kevin Costner Western mini-series Hatfields & McCoys. He says that living in LA was a particularly motivating factor in him dedicating a lot more time to his fitness. He took up intermittent fasting, where you fast for 16 hours of the day and eat for eight. “It’s a really good way of losing weight, because your body has time to digest the food,” he said at the time. “I gave up meat. I eat some fish. I eat a lot of vegetables and fruit. I’m in my 40s and I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been.”




Michael is also a professional poker player. He was mentored by fellow English pro Marty Wilson – a Wolverhampton poker veteran who has finished in the money three times at WSOP events. Greco started out in poker by playing regular ring games, but later moved his focus to tournaments. He has claimed in interviews that his skills as a trained actor have enabled him to give false ‘tells’ during poker matches. He has participated in several major poker events including the World Speed Poker Open (WSPO), the Monte Carlo Millions, and the 2005 Poker Million. Now back in the UK, Michael said he would never say never to a return to Albert Square. “I’d never shut that door. If the offer was there, you’d have to consider it.” In the meantime, he’s gearing up that bad-boy reputation as wicked wizard Abanazar. Welcome back, Beppe. Aladdin is at the Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells from Friday 8th December to Wednesday 3rd January. / Box office: 01892 530613 @ahttw AssemblyHallTheatre


The Assembly Hall Theatre is giving away a family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) to one lucky reader for the performance of Aladdin on Saturday 9th December at 2pm. For your chance to win, email your name, address and contact number to editorial@badbettymedia. by the closing date of 30th November 2016. One winner will be picked at random. There is no cash alternative. Good luck!





& be h lt a e h , n io h s a F

BELL‌ ISSIMO If your winter wardrobe is in need of a tinkle, Sally-Ann Carroll has been out and about to help you ring the changes. Team Kudos spent a ding-dong of a day photographing local businesswoman Hannah Gee and her boys at The Bell Inn, Ticehurst. We all had a ding-a-ling time!

Photographer: Matt Harquail

CREDITS Fashion Editor: Sally-Ann Carroll Photographer: Matt Harquail Hair: Greg Morgan at Morgan Hodges using Oribe hair care products Assisted by Bryony Bond Make-Up: Helen Lee, Kent bridal and editorial make-up artist Assisted by Make-Up Artist Katie Hunt





Pure class Pale blue cashmere sweater, £160, and navy trousers, £120, both from Pure Collection. Pearl earrings, model’s own. Grey velvet shoes, £145, by Cefalu from Harpers.




Garden time Merlot boiled-wool jumpsuit, £389, shirt, £79, scarf, £79, and hat, £69, all from Oska. Ankle boots, £285, by Calpierre from Harpers.




Light up your life

Spot jacquard dress, £189, from Phase Eight. Shoes, £259.99, from Cordelia James. Pendant, £35, and earrings, £20, both by Dark Horse Ornament. Large pink heart LED neon light, £299, from Love Inc. KUDOS NOV EMBER/DECEMBER 2017



Pour L’amour

Tweed tartan dress, £165, from Hobbs. Navy suede ankle boots, £140, by Geox from Harpers. Earrings, £25, from Hobbs. Necklace, £145, by Dark Horse Ornament.




Let there be love

Striped Lurex sweater, £95, silver necklace, £135 and earrings, £42, all from The Silver Sheep. Bag, £125, by Dark Horse Ornament.




The Love Nest

Printed silk dress, £170, from Jigsaw. Navy suede shoes, £295, by Thierry Rabutin from Harpers. Bag, £70, by Dark Horse Ornament.




The Assembly Hall (Kids from left to right) Black tuxedo tail suit, £47, by Couche Tot. Tartan shorts set, £116, by Kidiwi. Blue velvet blazer, £63, by Billybandit. White T-shirt, £36, by Armani. Jeans, £78, by Kenzo Kids. All from Hannah is wearing striped sweater, £149.99, full printed skirt, £265, grape suede ankle boots, £299, and earrings, £49.99, all from Cordelia James. Bag, £125, by Dark Horse Ornament. KUDOS NOV EMBER/DECEMBER 2017



In step (From left to right) Check dungaree shorts set, £66, by Kidiwi. Grey knitted cardigan, £35, by Mayoral Nukutavake. White T-shirt, £36, by Armani. Jeans, £78, by Kenzo Kids. Red shirt and trousers set, £64, by Tutto Piccolo. All from






Get the look Local make-up artist Helen Lee and hairstylist Greg Morgan at Morgan Hodges tell you how to recreate the look from our fashion shoot

Daytime look 1. P  rime skin with MAC Prep and Prime Skin Base to even skin texture and provide a good base for foundation. 2. Apply MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation and set with MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Powder. 3. Contour the skin, using Urban Decay NAKED Skin Shapeshifter Palette to shape and define, and Benefit Blusher in Rockateur to add colour. 4. Naturally define brows with a slanted brush using Anastasia Eyebrow Pomade in Dark Brown, and prep the eye by applying Urban Decay Original Primer Potion to the eyelid. 5. U  se MAC eyeshadows in Grain and All that Glitters to create a subtle golden glow over the lid and use a fluffy brush to blend MAC eyeshadows in Wedge and Charcoal Brown into the crease to contour, adding shape to the eye. 6. Softly define the eye using Zoeva eye pencil in Glance, and apply Benefit They’re Real Mascara to the lashes. 7. Use MAC Prep and Prime Lip to hydrate the lips and prevent feathering, and then apply Mac Lip pencil in Soar to define. 8. Finally, use a lip brush to apply MAC lipstick in Modesty. Greg says: For a modern twist on a pony tail, apply Oribe thickening spray throughout your hair and blow dry. Then, with a Maison Pearson brush, tease your hair out. Gently brush over leaving your hair on part of one ear, then place an elastic band and secure into a pony tail.

Evening look

This is a continuation from the daytime look so begin with the first four steps above and then follow on with these steps: 5. B  ring sparkle to the eyes by adding MAC Pigment in Rose Gold and Peaches and Cream Pigment in Wish to the eyelid, and intensify this by adding a small amount of MAC eyeshadow in Embark to the eye crease. 6. U  se a slanted eyeliner brush and Maybelline Eyestudio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in black for a more pronounced line on top of the lashes, and apply Urban Decay Waterline Pencil in Legend inside the waterline underneath the eye. 7. Apply Eylure Luxe Collection false eyelashes in Solitare to create the wow factor! 8. L astly, intensify the lips using MAC Lipliner pencil in Burgundy and MAC Lipstick in Hang Up to create a beautiful berry shade that’s perfect for evening. Greg says: Apply Oribe plumping mousse throughout your hair and blow dry. Then using a GHD curling wand, take sections diagonally around your head. Leave to cool down. Brush through with a Maison Pearson brush for soft, modern texture. Apply Oribe smooth style serum as needed for shine and a runway finish. KUDOS NOV EMBER/DECEMBER 2017



Silky smooth If you are considering laser hair removal, the state-of-the-art Synchro REPLA:Y laser has arrived at rtwskin in Tunbridge Wells…

Laser hair removal has come a long way since being introduced to the aesthetic industry in the mid-1990s. There are now many types of medical lasers, as one size does not fit all, and they have become much more reliable, precise, powerful and effective. Most laser equipment is highly specialised, built for a treatment or skin condition and designed and calibrated for this specific purpose, achieving optimal results. In January this year, rtwskin in Tunbridge Wells took delivery of the most powerful and advanced laser currently in production anywhere in the world. The DEKA Synchro REPLA:Y Excellium 3.4 Laser System has revolutionised laser hair removal as never before, guaranteeing patients maximum comfort and fast, effective results. rtwskin is a training centre for DEKA Lasers in the UK – deka means ‘10’ in Greek, and indicates the attainment of perfection and excellence. Says John Sheffield, Director of rtwskin: “Many clinics have only one laser and in some small clinics this is not only used for hair removal but for all laser procedures. We are one of the largest and best-equipped laser clinics in the world, with 12 lasers spread over six laser-safe rooms under planned maintenance contracts with either the manufacturers or their appointed service agreements. This is really important, as a laser that is poorly engineered or not properly calibrated and maintained soon becomes unreliable and dangerous. DEKA Lasers work closely with professors of the University of Florence in the development of hardware and clinical protocols for safe and effective treatments. “As well as that, all our lasers have ongoing clinical tests that are shared with doctors and laser users, keeping them informed and updated on the latest discoveries and techniques to continually improve the patient experience.” With so many different lasers available, how do you know which is best for you? “Our clinic is different from other clinics in that we 44


know that skin and hair types are different,” says John. “It’s essential that a properly-trained practitioner selects the best device for your skin and hair type. The modern medical laser is a great and effective device but, just like a kitchen knife, has the potential to be deadly. A laser in the wrong hands has the potential to cause serious and permanent damage. From hair removal, skin tightening, anti-aging and wrinkles to treating vascular and pigmented lesions, in the right hands, lasers are highly effective and extremely safe.” Synchro REPLA:Y isn’t the only groundbreaking laser machine that rtwskin has to offer. Says John: “In 2013, we became the first clinic in the UK to have the DEKA SmartXide2 Co2 laser. Since then we have carried out hundreds of successful facial resurfacing procedures, Madonna Eye Lifts and all the cutting-edge procedures that this world-famous laser is capable of. In 2016, rtwskin produced safe and excellent results in over 4,000 procedures. With the arrival of the new laser at the start of this year, 2017 has proved to be even busier!

“Our new DEKA Moveo technology that we have been using for the last few months has provided our patients with results of up to 50% hair reduction by the third treatment. It is a life changing experience for many of our patients and now it’s pain free, fast and highly effective!” Dr Nina Sheffield, Clinical Director at rtwskin

Contact rtwskin today to book your complimentary hair removal consultation on 01892 222 222 or visit




Fashion and ga

Fan-tash-tique! This Movember, grow your moustache for men’s health. Here are our favourite ones to aim for

Top tache!

The Chevron is the King of Taches – thick and wide, it’s a real statement tache. It was made famous back in the ’70s and ’80s by the likes of actor Tom Selleck (Magnum P.I, 3 Men and a Baby, Blue Bloods) who rocks the chevron and who our Publishing Director has a huge crush on.

Mr Muscle

The Horseshoe moustache, also known as the Biker moustache, consists of vertical extensions that go from the corners of the mouth down to the man’s jawline. It looks like a horseshoe, hence its name. Synonymous with Hulk Hogan and Hell’s Angels, the Horseshoe is the quintessential tough-guy moustache.

Art attack

The width of the mouth is where the Painter’s Brush moustache is worn, and it resembles a paint brush, hence the name. Also, it’s worth pointing out that the corners are somewhat rounded, which gives a great finish. The key to the Painter’s Brush moustache is to keep the top natural and to keep a straight line. Will Ferrell displays a good example of this tache in Anchorman.







Going nuts

Tony and Paula Wratten, co-owners of The Sweetarian vegetarian and vegan treats company, started making marshmallows and Turkish Delight after a series of health issues prevented Paula from eating certain sweets, and she still wanted to indulge in some sweet treats on occasions. “After many failed attempts and minor kitchen disasters, we looked into peanut butter production,” she says. “We were fascinated by the different ways in which it was produced and how palm oil, other oils and sugar were added. We wanted a product that did not contain any of those ingredients, but at the same time was tasty and used quality ingredients. The palm oil industry is worth millions, and the result is mass destruction of our forests, ecosystem and wildlife, but it’s hard to find products that don’t contain it. So we set about making peanut butter that does not swim in oil and contains natural ingredients, like maple or sea salt. “The result is a creamier peanut butter that cares about where our planet is heading, in glass jars that people can reuse or recycle. We recently introduced wooden composting spoons, so it can be enjoyed and help the environment, too! We believe in supporting local business where possible, too, by putting our product in smaller local farm shops and with people that care about our communities, like hiSbe in Brighton.” The smooth Chilli Nut So Hot Peanut Butter and Chilli Diablo Crunchy are ideal for satay, with just enough of a kick of chilli to add flavour to curries, soups or on toast for a fiery twist. No added sugar, just the spice and the natural nut for those that like some heat. Price: £4


Some say that Man Flu is just a cold, but others (usually men!) say that it’s real, and sufferers consider themselves excused from all household duties and require a whole lot of love and attention. This bone china “Man Flu is Real” mug will sort the men from the boys. Price £10

Warm up

Cheer up grey winter days with this multicoloured cardigan, ‘Tom’, from Pepe Jeans. Price: £90

Short straw

Short men may have an increased risk of becoming bald prematurely. An international genetic study under the leadership of the University of Bonn at least points in this direction. During the study, the scientists investigated the genetic material of more than 20,000 men. Their data show that premature hair loss is linked to a range of various physical characteristics and illnesses.





ecipes Restaurants, r

and news

New beginnings A new restaurant and a new partnership

Welcome to The Ivy

New restaurant opening in Tunbridge Wells Get ready for a new dining experience this November. The Ivy Royal Tunbridge Wells is just a few minutes’ walk from the iconic Pantiles Georgian colonnade and will offer sophisticated and friendly all-day dining to local residents and visitors alike. Royal Tunbridge Wells, with its rich historical heritage, is the perfect setting for the newest addition to The Ivy Collection, which is continuing to grow regionally with a number of sites outside London, where it was originally established. Located on the bustling High Street, the restaurant will make for an ideal spot to enjoy an accessible and extensive menu throughout the day. It will serve modern British classics from dawn until dusk, including breakfast, elevenses, weekend brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, light snacks, dinner and cocktails. The kitchen is overseen by Executive Chef Sean Burbidge, while the restaurant’s affordable menus incorporate a selection of The Ivy classics, including Shepherd’s Pie, Eggs Benedict, Brioche Crumbled Chicken Milanese and the sumptuous Strawberry Ice Cream Sundae with Vanilla Ice Cream, Meringue and Shortbread. The restaurant will have approximately 105 covers, making up the main restaurant, bar and a Parisian-style al-fresco seating area, for guests to enjoy throughout the year. 50


Going Wild

A partnership made in culinary heaven The Kentish Hare is delighted to announce that it has collaborated with Wild Spirits of Kent to offer their liqueurs and spirits to customers. The popular gastro pub in Bidborough, just outside Tunbridge Wells, already offers a fantastic selection of wines, beers and spirits but when they were introduced to the Wild Spirits of Kent, who produce flavoured gin, vodka and whisky, it seemed like a natural partnership, as The Kentish Hare’s General Manager Paul Barber explains: “As soon as I saw the branding for them, which includes a picture of a hare, it seemed like a perfect fit for us. The fact that they forage locally for most of their ingredients ties in nicely with our ethos of using local produce as much as possible. Most importantly, they taste great. My favourite is the Wild Damson Gin, so you’ll find this along with others now at The Kentish Hare. We’ve also got plans to create a special cocktail which we look forward to sharing with our customers!” KUDOS NOV EMBER/DECEMBER 2017

A fresh start The new owners and Head Chef at The Curlew in Bodiam are making waves, as Hannah Tucek discovered when she enjoyed a meal there recently…

New owners and a new Head Chef mean that The Curlew Restaurant in Bodiam is going through a bit of a reinvention, to say the least. My mum and brother ate there a few years ago (when it had a Michelin star) and were very underwhelmed. They said it was a perfectly nice meal, but it wasn’t amazing, not what they expected from a Michelin-starred restaurant. Suffice to say, they never returned. And The Curlew lost its star. Maybe there are some of you reading this that had a similar experience and never returned. If so, then it’s high time you gave it another chance. Head Chef Gary Jarvis has big plans for The Curlew and his passion and skill is evident when he talks about his new role and in his cooking. “It’s the only thing I’m good at,” he jokes to me, although I’m pretty sure he means it. Such is the attitude of any born-to-be chef. He explains how he came to the restaurant: “I’ve known the owner, Bryan, who also owns the Middle House in Mayfield, for years. I’ve worked for him twice at the Middle House. He came to me with the opportunity to take over The Curlew and of course I jumped at the chance, it is always a chef’s dream to be at the helm of their own restaurant.” We sit chatting in high-backed chairs upholstered in luxurious fabric in the ‘snug’ area of the restaurant, the ideal place for pre-dinner drinks or a nightcap before you leave. The décor I would describe as quirky yet classic, oozing country charm that just invites you to relax. It’s very homely, in a country-chic kind of way. There is something traditional at its core but it’s peppered with interesting accessories and furnishings that make The Curlew one of a kind, and that little bit exciting. If you want to be totally immersed in the cooking, one half of the restaurant is open to the kitchen pass, so you can see the chefs at work. They are on their best behaviour, of course, so you won’t have to worry about any Gordon Ramsey-style yelling and cursing! But if you want something more 52


intimate, the other half of the restaurant is away from the action. The outside terrace is a fantastic space. It was a warm summer’s evening when I visited, and my companion and I enjoyed our entire meal outside. My initial thoughts as my food arrived was that it looked beautiful on the plate, I couldn’t fault it. It was exactly what you expect from a fine-dining restaurant. I chose a starter of chicken and goose liver terrine (rich and silky, as it should be) and a main of suckling pig, which was incredibly tender and balanced with a gooseberry puree that had been cooked down with cider and orange. Both were delicious. Gary can’t actually stand gooseberries. “You can’t let your own likes and dislikes affect your cooking,” he says. “I don’t like anchovies (you’re not alone Gary!), olives, caviar or tomatoes, but I still cook with them.” My pescatarian companion enjoyed gin-infused salmon (the most popular starter at the time and she said it was obvious why) and halibut, which she particularly enjoyed, describing it as the perfect combination of light yet rich. It is also one of Gary’s favourite dishes, as fish is one of his favourite things to cook and also eat, particularly sea bass. He tells me that when he first started out as a chef, he had to cook fish for the first time and it went out raw. He was reprimanded (a nice way of putting it!) by the Head Chef and told that he would never make that mistake again. And he didn’t! Instead, he mastered the art of cooking fish perfectly. For dessert, my Raspberry Delice was rich and fruity, and the selection of local cheeses, which we shared, were excellent. One thing to note was the wine, which was recommended to us. Gusbourne Guinevere is an elegant Kentish wine, with a generous nose of ripe stone fruit and delicate, creamy oak notes. What’s the inspiration for the menu? Gary tells me it’s inspired by Sussex produce, using local suppliers. “I’m still working on my suppliers,” he says. “I’m not going to use just one meat supplier, KUDOS NOV EMBER/DECEMBER 2017

one veg supplier… it needs to be the pick of the best. I also like to talk to them to get advice on what’s coming into season and that will help shape the menu. I like to do my research, and talking to our customers is crucial – any feedback, even constructive criticism, is helpful.” That’s why the menu is ever-changing. He continues, “Things evolve and change. I am constantly working through ideas, tweaking the way I do it, the way I cook it… I lie awake at night thinking about it. It’s a good job I don’t need much sleep. As a chef, you get used to that!” Gary’s classic training is evident in the food he cooks. “I love it, there’s no school like the old school,” he says. But he’s also creative, using things like bee pollen and Spice of Angels, a fragrant, fennel-based pollen to further complement and enhance his dishes. As with any fine-dining experience, the little touches are important. From the amuse bouche (a delicious tomato consume with fennel pollen) to the delicate petit fours – Gary’s nailed it. And how is Gary settling into his role, I ask. “I’m living the dream! I have complete freedom over the menu so everything on there I have designed from scratch. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, I love it here!” Gary’s aim is to get back the Michelin star, although he understands that that is going to take time. He plans to build and evolve every day, until he has earned the coveted star. I don’t doubt his drive or skill – with Gary at the helm The Curlew should be Michelin-starred once again.


A festive feast Local restaurants and food producers are preparing for a Christmas to remember. Here’s a taste of what will be on offer...

The Kentish Hare

The Weald Smokery

A festive taste…

A festive taste…

Starters Chicken Liver Parfait with Clementine Jelly and Gingerbread Croutes; Smoked Salmon with Lemon Pepper Crème Fraiche, Blini and Fennel Cress; Creamed Goats’ Cheese with Mulled Pear and Seeded Granola; Celeriac and Apple Soup with Artisan Bread. Mains Rolled Turkey Crown with all the trimmings, Honey Roast Parsnips and Rich Turkey Gravy; Braised Beef with Potato Galette, Kale and Wholegrain Mustard Sauce; Buttered Cod with Cauliflower and Spiced Sauce; Butternut Squash Risotto with Winter Truffle. Desserts Christmas Pudding with Brandy Custard; Vanilla Crème Brûlée with Shortbread; Kentish Hare Chocolate Orange with Yoghurt Sorbet; The Kitchen Cheese Board.

Smoked salmon is something that always sells well at Christmas time, and sides of smoked salmon make an excellent gift to give that person who has everything. Their gift boxes and hampers also make fantastic presents. The Hawkhurst Gift Box, £42.50, and Ticehurst Gift Box, £69.95, feature delicious goodies including sliced smoked salmon, smoked trout fillets and sliced smoked duck. The Bodiam Hamper contains a selection of smoked fish, meat and cheese, plus carefully-selected condiments and a crisp dry white wine. The Hickstead Hamper is one of their most popular hampers, packed with robust, hearty flavours, including smoked venison, duck and Stilton, plus authentic French-style saucisson and a bottle of excellent Bordeaux. The Chartwell Hamper is truly luxurious, with smoked specialities from across the Weald Smokery range, including their magnificent Royal Fillet of Smoked Salmon, all complemented by fine condiments, savouries and a premium Bordeaux. The Goodwood Hamper is the ultimate indulgence, providing everything you need for a complete feast, including Champagne, wine, chocolates and accompaniments, as well as the very best of the Weald Smokery range of smoked fish, meat and cheese. Prices for hampers from £87.

Popular gastropub just four miles outside Tunbridge Wells, run by celebrity chef brothers, James and Chris Tanner.

Highlights from the Christmas menu include:

Special Christmas Set Menu

The Christmas Party menu above is available from Saturday, 25th November to Saturday, 23rd December. £26.95pp Tuesday-Thursday and £29.95pp Friday and Saturday. A set menu is also available – two courses for £19.95 and three courses for £23.95.

Products smoked on-site and sold in their shop, along with a range of other fabulous products, many from local suppliers.

Popular in the shop this December…

Café renovations…

The Kentish Hare is almost fully booked for Christmas Day, but if you can’t get a table then do call in for a festive drink. They will be serving food on Boxing Day and throwing a fabulous New Year’s Eve party!

Over the last few months, The Weald Smokery has been building an extension over the terrace area. This is so that they can take advantage of this area all year round, rather than the three months on average that they’ve been able to recently. It’s going to be a light and airy room where you can enjoy a coffee and slice of homemade cakes or a meal of their award-winning products.

95 Bidborough Ridge, Bidborough, Tunbridge Wells TN3 0XB

Mount Farm, Flimwell TN5 7QL

Christmas Day




The White Hart

Originally positioned right next to the Sevenoaks turnpike, as you’d expect of a coaching inn that has been nourishing and refreshing travellers for over 300 years, you’ll find character and charm at every turn.

A festive taste…

Highlights from the Christmas menu include: Starters Portobello Mushroom and Tarragon Soup; Goats’ Cheese and Basil Cheesecake with Red Pepper Chutney; Slow-roasted Duck Leg with Bubble and Squeak and Clementine Jus; Smoked Haddock Kedgeree Cake; Ham Hock, Chicken and Leek Terrine. Mains Roast Turkey and traditional accompaniments; Provencal-style Fish Stew of Cod, Red Mullet and Mussels with Gruyère Cheese Croutons; Venison and Juniper Meatballs with Pappardelle Pasta and Red Wine Sauce; Stilton, Spinach, Butternut Squash and Lentil Wellington; Braised Feather of Beef Bourguignon with Dijon Mash and Buttered Kale. Desserts Christmas Pudding with Brandy Sauce; Hot Waffle with Glazed Bananas, Rum and Raisin Ice Cream; Dark Chocolate Panna Cotta and Blackcurrant Sorbet; Glazed Clementine Tart with Cointreau Ice Cream.

Special Christmas Set Menu The Christmas Fayre Menu above is available throughout November and December, priced at £23.95pp for two courses and £28.95pp for three courses.

Christmas Day

Christmas Day lunch is £79.95pp. They will be open on Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve. Tonbridge Road, Sevenoaks TN13 1SG whitehart 56


The Hare

A classic English pub in the heart of Langton Green, who’s passion lies in finding quality, fresh ingredients and presenting them in a modern but unpretentious way. They offer a large selection of cask ales, lagers, wines and spirits, especially gins and whiskies.

A festive taste…

Highlights from the Christmas menu include: Starters Roast Parsnip, Pear and Thyme Soup; Juniper Cured Pigeon with Radicchio and Clementine Salad; Smoked Trout Terrine with Cucumber Jelly and Samphire Salad; Deep-fried Cornish Brie with Pickled Cranberries and Candied Pecan Salad; Cider-braised Pig’s Cheek with Celeriac Purée. Mains Roast Turkey and traditional accompaniments; Baked Cod with Serrano Ham and a Butterbean and Spinach Cassoulet; Braised Feather of Beef Chasseur; Breast of Pheasant with Prune and Chestnut Stuffing; Cauliflower and Butternut Squash Biryani with Lentil Curry. Desserts Christmas Pudding with Brandy Sauce; Apple, Almond and Mincemeat Crumble Tart; Boozy Cherry Meringue Roulade; Dark Chocolate Terrine with White Chocolate and Raspberry Cream; Local Cheese with Grapes, Chutney and Biscuits.

Special Christmas Set Menu The Christmas Fayre Menu above is available throughout November and December, priced at £22.95pp for two courses and £27.95pp for three courses.

Christmas Day

Christmas Day lunch is £79.95pp. They will be open on Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve. Langton Road, Langton Green TN3 0JA

The Nevill Crest & Gun

A traditional country pub on the edge of the RSPB-protected area of Eridge Rocks in Tunbridge Wells. The building itself has over 500 years of history and the menu is typically British but with a few more exciting modern influences based on seasonality and great produce.

A festive taste…

Highlights from the Christmas menu include: Starters Portobello Mushroom and Tarragon Soup; Goats’ Cheese and Basil Cheesecake; Slowroasted Duck Leg with Clementine Jus; Smoked Haddock Kedgeree Cake; Ham Hock, Chicken and Leek Terrine. Mains Roast Turkey and traditional accompaniments; Provencal-style Fish Stew; Venison and Juniper Meatballs; Stilton, Spinach, Butternut Squash and Lentil Wellington; Braised Feather of Beef Bourguignon. Desserts Christmas Pudding with Brandy Sauce; Hot Waffle with Glazed Bananas, Rum and Raisin Ice Cream; Dark Chocolate Panna Cotta and Blackcurrant Sorbet; Glazed Clementine Tart with Cointreau Ice Cream; Local Cheese with Grapes, Chutney and Biscuits

Special Christmas Set Menu The Christmas Fayre Menu above is available throughout November and December, priced at £22.95pp for two courses and £27.95pp for three courses.

Christmas Day

Christmas Day lunch is £79.95pp. They will be open Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve. Eridge Road, Tunbridge Wells TN3 9JR nevillcrestandgun KUDOS NOV EMBER/DECEMBER 2017





The Curlew

Exceptional fine dining restaurant in Bodium offering modern British cuisine. The Curlew has new owners and a new Head Chef: meet him in our feature on page 52.

A festive taste…

Highlights from the Christmas menu include: To start: Ham Hock and Goats Cheese Terrine with Apple and Pickled Mushroom or Hendricks Cured Salmon with Grapefruit, Cucumber and Radish or Baby Beets, Lentils, Watercress and Blue Cheese. Second course: Goose Liver Ballotine with Rhubarb, Gingerbread and Brioche or Rhubarb Ballotine with Gingerbread, Orange and Brioche. Third course: Butter Poached Halibut with Cauliflower, Morels and Lobster Broth or Salt Baked Celeriac, Morels, Cauliflower and Lovage Broth. Main event: Peppered Sussex Venison with Sprouts, Butternut and Juniper or Roast Turkey with traditional garnish or Mushroom and Smoked Leek with Truffle and Pickled Mushroom. Palette cleanser: Champagne sorbet with spiced orange and fennel. Desserts: Curlew Christmas Pudding with Brandy and Honey or Prune and Armagnac with Almond and Yoghurt or Chocolate Orange with Mint and Redcurrent. Optional: Cheese Course (£12 supplement) Brighton blue, Broad Oak cheddar, Tunworth and Dorstone.

Christmas Day

The menu above is for Christmas Day Lunch. The cost is £108pp and includes canapés, coffee and petit fours. There is a separate children’s menu for 12 and under. The Curlew will be closed on Boxing Day but will be open on New Year’s Eve. Junction Rd, Bodiam TN32 5UY KUDOS NOV EMBER/DECEMBER 2017

The Walled Garden & Potting Shed A newly-built restaurant and coffee shop set in the original Victorian walled garden of the family-owned Knights Garden Centre at Nags Hall, a stone’s throw from the original 1940’s potting shed and overlooking beds of plants to inspire the imagination. Chat over a coffee and a selection of cakes in the Potting Shed, or enjoy the Walled Garden restaurant, which offers a relaxed dining experience in beautiful surroundings.

A seasonal treat

Highlights from the seasonal menu: Starters Venison and Guinea Fowl Terrine with Turnip, Spiced Jelly and Heritage Carrots; Apple and Beetroot Tart with Apple Purée and Salt Baked Baby Beetroot. Mains Squash Risotto with Pumpkin Seeds and Goats’ Cheese; Game Pie with Pickled Red Cabbage and Mashed Potato. Desserts Chocolate and Cardamom Mousse with Poached Oranges; Grapefruit Tart with Coconut and Basil Foam and Salted Caramel Ice Cream.

Special Christmas Set Menu

The Christmas set menu runs from 1st December till Christmas Eve, priced at £18pp. Starter: Soup of the Day with Rustic Bread. Mains: Turkey (leg and breast) with Cocotte Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, Pig in Blankets and Stuffing; Goats Cheese, Apple, Cranberry and Walnut Wellington with Brussel Sprouts and Roasted Vegetables. Dessert: Christmas Pudding with Brandy Anglaise. Knights Nags Hall, Oxted Road, Godstone, RH9 8DB or call to book a table on 01883 742275. FESTIV E FOOD GUIDE


The Queens Head

Situated in the heart of the beautiful and idyllic village of Sedlescombe, this 14th Century pub exudes character and charm with its exposed beams and large open fireplaces. Enjoy traditional English cuisine by the roaring fire, or on a finer day sit back and relax with a real ale in the large beer garden.

A festive taste…

Highlights from the Christmas menu include: Starters Baked Mini Camembert with Candied Nuts and Five Spice Chutney; Local Game Terrine with Homemade Red Onion Marmalade; Hot Smoked Salmon with Beetroot Carpaccio andHorseradish Crème Fraiche. Mains Traditional Roast Turkey Roulade with all the trimmings; Roast Guinea Fowl with Dauphinoise Rosti, Braised Red Cabbage and Red Wine Jus; Pan Fried Fillet of Sea Bass with Butternut Squash Risotto; Festive Nut Roast. Desserts Traditional Christmas Pudding with Brandy Sauce; Apple and Cinnamon Crumble; Vanilla Pod Crème Brûlée; Local British Cheese Plate served with Homemade Chutney and Biscuits.

Special Christmas Set Menu

The Christmas Party Menu above is available from 1st-23rd December, except Sundays, priced at £25pp for two courses and £30pp for three courses.

Christmas Day


The Rock Inn

Delighting in good old-fashioned pub banter, with a well-kept cellar and good food. Ethically-sourced, happy produce, well nurtured by local farmers, fisherman and growers is thoughtfully transformed into seasonal delights to tantalise the tastebuds and bring some good, old-fashioned nostalgia to the table by a team passionate about food. The Rock Inn also supports local brewers, vineyards, presses and bespoke distilleries, who proudly produce their tipples using only the most delicious ingredients.

A festive taste…

Highlights from the Christmas menu include: Starters Spiced Pumpkin Soup; Smoked Mackerel Parfait; Pigeon Breast with Celeriac Remoulade; 3 Maldron Rock Oysters. Mains Stilton Rarebit with Winter Salad; Bouillabaisse; Festive Turkey with all the trimmings; 10oz Sirloin Steak with Peppercorn Sauce (£6 supplement). Desserts Seasonal Pudding with Brandy Sauce; Pear and Gingerbread and Butter Pud with Custard; Winter Mess – Blackcurrant Sorbet with Mixed Berries; Chocolate and Hazelnut Tart with Coconut Ice Cream.

Special Christmas Set Menu

The Christmas Set Menu above is available throughout December, priced at £26pp, to include coffee and mince pies. You can also opt for the Curd & Cure Artisan Cheese Board and a Bottle of Taylors Port (suitable for six) for £55.

Christmas Day

Christmas Day lunch is £65pp, which includes a glass of Champagne or elderflower press, children under 12, £30. They will be open on New Year’s Eve.

Christmas Day brunch is £19pp, followed by the Queen’s Speech with Mince Pies and Champagne. They will be open on Boxing Day (10am-10pm) and New Year’s Eve (11am-8pm) , with a Go Hard or Go Home Party on New Year’s Day (10am-10pm).

The Green, Sedlescombe, Hastings TN33 0QA

Hoath Corner, Rywell Rd, Chiddingstone Hoath, Edenbridge TN8 7BS






Image credit: Jez Timms, Torpedo Juice

The Bell in Ticehurst

A quirky hotel and pub in the heart of the village. Warm and comfortable, it is the kind of place where long evenings begin, where they end is never certain.

A festive taste…

Highlights from the Christmas menu include: Starters Squid and Chorizo “bombs” with Mojo and Watercress; Ham Hock and Duck Terrine with Bacon crumb and Celeriac. Mains Turkey Wellington with Pigs in Blankets, Winter Roots, Roasted Potatoes and Turkey Gravy; Curried Cod Loin with Cauliflower, Sprouts, Raisin, Chipotle and Yoghurt. Desserts Christmas Pudding with Brandy Sauce; Spiced Apple with Hazelnut Crumble and Cinnamon ice cream.

Special Christmas Set Menu

Choose 3 courses for £32pp for parties of 6 or more. Dine in the restaurant or, for private parties, book the intimate Snug, the generous Table in the Stable that sits 22 or the Big Room for a big do.

Christmas Day

Forget all the preparations and endless washing up, join The Bell for a lavish lunch served from 12.30pm. The pub will be closed to non-diners from 2pm. £77 for adults and £37 for children under 12. Stay the night. Rooms from £90 including breakfast throughout the Christmas period.

New Year’s Eve

Fabulous banquet and dancing to Bare Groove, the perfect way to see in the New Year for £57pp. High Street, Ticehurst TN5 7AS KUDOS NOV EMBER/DECEMBER 2017

Vittle & Swig

Trendy restaurant and bar serving contemporary British cuisine. There is a private room and cocktail bar upstairs which is available for hire – perfect for parties and celebrations!

A festive taste…

Highlights from the Christmas menu include: Starters Duck, Rabbit & Pheasant Terrine; Venison Scotch Egg with Cranberry & Port Relish; Smoked Haddock & Clam Chowder; Salt Baked Swede with Pickled Walnut, Chesnuts, Truffled Honey & Pommegrante Labneh. Mains Norfolk Bronze Turkey Crown with Cranberry, Chestnut & Sage Stuffing and Pigs in Blanket; Braised Beef Shin with Spiced Carrot Purée, Confit Sourdough & Horseradish; Steamed Lemon Sole with Fennel, Brown Shrimp & Winkles and Chive Beurre Blanc; Roasted Cauliflower, Quinoa & Kentish Blue Croquette with Dukkah. Desserts V&S Trio: Sticky Toffee, Butterscotch Sauce & Banana Marshmallow, ‘Jaffa Cake’, Mulled Berry & Panettone Trifle; Christmas Pudding with Brandy & Red Currant Crème Anglaise; Cheeseboard with Biscuits & Homemade Chutney.


This burger restaurant in Tunbridge Wells, specialises in pure organic beefburgers packed with flavour and cooked to their special recipe. Top with slowly-melting cheese. Add a lightly-toasted brioche bun. Perhaps some crisp, succulent bacon. Tangy pickle. Sweet lettuce. Just the right amount of Marlowe’s Sauce. Delicious!

A festive taste… A sneak preview of their Christmas special

Marlowe’s firmly believes a burger is for life, not just for Christmas, and they will happily get festive with their 100% pure organic grass-fed Sussex beef patties all year round. But there are some things that just pair perfectly with Christmas, like mince pies and mulled wine, or Rudolf and Blitzen. Think tangy and sweet cranberries oozing into melting Brie over one of their signature beef patties. That’s it. Simple, but perfectly Christmassy, perfectly Marlowe’s.

Christmas Events

If your office is sick of the usual Christmas lunch fare, Marlowe’s can seat up to 25 for a sit-down lunch. They promise there won’t be a sprout in sight! Or for an evening works do with a difference, you can hire out the whole burger bar. It has a capacity of 30-40 people.

Special Christmas Set Menu The above menu is available throughout December, with two courses for £26.50pp and three courses for £34pp. For an additional £10, you can include a V&S Christmas Punch & Three Festive Canapés. They also have a Christmas Feasting Buffet, three courses for £30, served only in The Room. 26-28 Camden Road, Tunbridge Wells TN1 2PT

Christmas Day

Marlowe’s will be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, but will be open again on 27th December to help you with your hangovers. Who needs Alka-seltzers when you can drop a Marlowe’s real burger and fries! 102 Calverley Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 2UN FESTIV E FOOD GUIDE


The Poet

A country pub and restaurant serving a varied menu of quality food.

A festive taste… Highlights from the Christmas menu include: Starters Cauliflower and Truffle Velouté with Raclette Croquette; Game Terrine with Pickled Vegetables and Brioche; Loch Fyne Cured Salmon with Avocado, Pickled Beets and Horseradish Cream. Mains Norfolk Bronze Turkey Breast & Leg with Sage Jus; Steak Onglet with Braised Ox Cheeks, Wild Mushroom, Celeriac Purée and Red Wine Jus; Roast Hake Fillet with Salsify, Broad Bean and Brown Shrimp Butter; Grilled Halloumi with Charred Tender Stem, Green Sauce and Parmesan. Desserts Dark Chocolate & Orange Trifle with Pistachio and Honeycomb; Traditional Christmas Pudding with Brandy Anglaise; Selection of British Cheeses with Oatmeal Biscuits and Chutney.

Special Christmas Set Menu

The Christmas party menu above is for a minimum of six people and is available throughout November and December. £34.95 for 3 courses; £28.95 for 2 courses. £3 supplement for the cheese dessert. There is also a six-course tasting menu for £59 per couple available on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Their steak night on Tuesdays is £39 per couple and includes a carafe of Malbec. If demand is there, these will both continue throughout January and beyond. If you are short of Christmas present ideas, why not buy someone a Tasting Menu voucher.

Christmas Day

Christmas Day lunch is £85pp but does sell out very quickly. On New Year’s Eve, the usual Sunday lunch menu will be served, along with an exciting a la carte menu with South African influences in the evening, for those looking for something a little different. Maidstone Road, Matfield, Tonbridge TN12 7JH Tel. 01892 722416 64


CoCo Retro

Being from a large Italian family, and with a French wife, owner Maurizio Di Santo thinks that festive celebrations are all about sharing good times, good food and good drink with friends and family. True to his Italian roots, he wants to extend that warm hospitality and celebrate with all his customers, which is why Coco Retro are proud to be opening their doors for the first time this Christmas.

A festive taste… Highlights from the Christmas menu include: ‘The big-hearted little French Bistro’ will be open every day during December, including Christmas Day, and they can’t wait for you to try their festive menu. December highlights from the traditional menu include entrées of warming French Onion Soup or fabulous homemade Foie Gras. To follow, you’ll find dishes such as a classic Boeuf Bourguignon or a Pan-fried Fillet of Salmon in a Leek Sauce, and for desserts their ever-popular Chocolate and Chantilly Roulade or a classic Crème Caramel.

Christmas Day

Their Christmas Day menu does away with turkey, instead delighting with choices of Grilled Lobster or Confit of Duck. Christmas Pudding is replaced with temptations such as William Pears poached in Sweet Red Wine, Star Anise and Cinnamon, Crème Caramel or Chocolate Roulade. They also have a fantastic cheese selection served with a delicious homemade fruit chutney.

Coming soon...

Opening very soon is their sommelier cellar table. This is a private dining area nestled amongst their extensive wine collection. Their very knowledgeable sommelier will guide you through a delicious taster menu, complete with perfect wine accompaniments. It really is a very special evening out. It’s also a great area to thank staff for their hard work, and a great place to entertain clients! CoCo Retro very much look forward to welcoming you this festive season. The welcome is always warm, and they take great care to make every visit one to remember. Coco Retro, Vale Road, Tunbridge Wells KUDOS NOV EMBER/DECEMBER 2017

The Mount Edgcumbe

A charmingly renovated family gastro pub featuring a six-bedroom hotel, European and British cuisine, a beer garden and unique Sandstone Cave, set within Tunbridge Wells’ historic common.

A festive taste…

Highlights from the Christmas menu include: Starters Honeyed Festive Salad of Roasted Butternut Squash, Parsnip, Red Onion & Spinach; Twice Baked Blue Cheese Soufflé; Smoked Mackerel Pate & Melba Toast; Game Terrine with Homemade Plum Chutney and Sourdough Bread. Mains Roast Turkey or Roast Gammon with all the trimmings; Slow Cooked Lamb Shank; Butternut Squash & Sage Risotto; Winter Pomegranate & Orange Quinoa Salad. Desserts Christmas Pudding with Brandy Custard; Pecan Pie with Clotted Cream; Clementine Posset with Cranberry Compôte & Shortbread.

Special Christmas Set Menu

Two courses, £21.95; three courses, £26.95, includes a welcome glass of Prosecco and filter tea & coffee.

Christmas Day

The Mount Edgcumbe is not serving food on Christmas Day, but do call in for a festive drink. They will be serving food on Boxing Day and throwing a fabulous Mad Hatters Midnight Tea @ the Mount NYE Party, £45pp, 7pm-1am – Mad DJ, Tipsy Tea @ Midnight, Eat Me’s & Drink Me’s, Dress the Part or Smart. The Common, Tunbridge Wells TN4 8BX 66



Independently-owned brasserie with French influences providing quality food at very reasonable prices. Menus are seasonal, providing the best that local produce has to offer.

A festive taste…

Highlights from the Christmas menu include: Starters Marinaded Treacle Glazed Smoked Duck Breast with Balsamic Forest Fruits; Smoked Haddock & Emmental Croquettes with a Rich Tomato Sauce; Mutton Broth with Pearl Barley & Chestnut Dumplings; Chilled Beetroot Parfait; Warm Aubergine, Lentil, Tomato & Mozzarella Stack with a Pesto Dressing. Mains Turkey, Ham & Mushroom Pie; Pan-fried Medallions of Pork with Prunes and Stilton; Grilled Scotch Sirloin Steak; Seared Fillet of Hake with a Rich Thermidor Sauce; Stuffed Aubergine with Cheesy Potato & Polenta Cake and Red Pepper Coulis. Desserts Christmas Pudding; Chocolate & Cherry Mousse; Lemon, Raspberry & Mango Delice; Baked Apricot & Almond Tart; Selection of Kent & Sussex Cheeses.

Special Christmas Set Menu The above Christmas menu is available throughout December, priced at £23.95pp for two courses and £27.95pp for three courses.

Eggs to Apples Farm Shop

Award-winning farm shop located on the A21 in the heart of East Sussex. Christmas is a time for them to showcase their fabulous wares and to offer customers an enjoyable and stress-free Christmas shopping experience.

A festive taste…

Top treats in the shop this December… Santa has his elves; Eggs to Apples has its local suppliers and artisan producers. Right now, other local food angels are bustling away to get their lovingly-made products ready to make your Christmas heavenly. Dianne is perfecting her puddings, Will is talking to his turkeys and Arthur is ageing his cheeses. Eggs to Apples has everything you need to help you eat, drink and be merry with ease. They source many of their products locally, and can champion their taste, quality, and provenance. However, they know that everybody looks for something extra-special at Christmas, so they have cast their net further afield to capture the best of what the rest of Europe has to offer. This year the top treats to look out for include Seggiano’s Italian Baby Panettone dipped in Dessert Wine (120g, £7.50) which make the perfect mini gift, and Brindisa’s Spanish Date and Almond Wheel (£4.75, 200g), which is the perfect addition to your Christmas Stilton. Their team of friendly and knowledgeable staff are ready to talk Christmas with you, help with your hamper or take your Christmas order.

New Year’s Eve

Rendez-vous will be offering its usual a la carte menu on New Year’s Eve but will be adding some extra specials to it!

Follow them on social media:

86 Camden Road, Tunbridge Wells TN1 2QP Tel. 01892 525830

A21 Hurst Green, East Sussex TN19 7Q, Tel. 01580 860566 KUDOS NOV EMBER/DECEMBER 2017

Meet the locals

Designer Cherry Sutton and florist Jennifer Pinder are creative regulars at The Rock Inn near Edenbridge, Kent

Local designer Cherry Sutton used to sew with her nan, who was a seamstress for Jaeger. This came in very handy when she launched Berry & Grouse last year, specialising in bespoke, handmade furnishings suitable for the idyllic country home. When Cherry renovated her house, she knew exactly what soft furnishings she wanted but couldn’t find them anywhere, so she started hand making her own curtains with matching cushions, lampshades and revived furniture. “Before I knew it, I had created the country home that I wanted,” says Cherry. “Friends asked where they could get these items from and I had such a positive response via social media, I started up a small online shop via Etsy to see if other people liked my stuff, and they did!” Cherry’s bestsellers are her lampshades – each one is handmade to a professional standard in an array of shapes and sizes with upgrade options such as a different coloured liner and trims. Her bespoke furniture collections are also popular. Says Cherry, “A very popular design has been the one-of-a-kind Harris Tweed reupholstered carved chair with renaissance studs and leather buttons, with matching scatter cushions and a copper-lined lampshade. My customers love owning a unique one-off design that has a special place in their home. It fills me with happiness that people buy my designs and have them in their homes for years to come.” Cherry has The Rock’s landlady Emma to thank for where she is today. “Emma has such a creative vision for her pubs, from the bull’s head and ring game to a rotating chandelier,” she says. “When Emma opened The Rock, a mutual friend said that she was looking for some furnishings. I sent Emma two lampshades and she put them up. She then invited me to have my first pop-up shop from March. And it’s from that very event my online shop is now a real shop and I can do the job I love.” Email: Follow Berry & Grouse on Instagram, twitter and Facebook.

Image credit: Jessica Davies (left) and Jo Ellen (right)

In 2014, Jennifer Pinder made a big career change, giving up her job as a corporate lawyer in London to become a florist and grower. It was a smooth transition as while she was a lawyer, she built up a healthy instagram following for her floristry. “When I was getting enough floral work requests to know I could survive on that income, it was time to quit,” says Jenn. Now, she mainly focuses on weddings and holding workshops for other hobbyists and florists. “I had always been interested in gardening as opposed to arranging flowers,” says Jenn. “But for my own wedding I had a go at doing the flowers and have been hooked ever since! I love that my work allows me to be outside all the time, constantly meeting new people. I also love playing with colour and texture.” When asked to describe her style, she says, “My style is very wild and natural and I try to use as many British-grown flowers as I can, so that I can keep the business as eco-friendly as possible. “I am very lucky in that my wedding couples choose me for my style and trust my eye rather than dictating too closely what I create for them. The flowers I use are strictly seasonal and my inspirations are diverse – the countryside around me, British gardens, Constance Spry and Dutch masters paintings! I don’t really have a most popular bouquet because every wedding is unique.” Of course, we had to ask Jenn what her favourite flowers are. “A garden rose in summer and ranunculus in winter,” she says. For Jenn, it’s the welcoming atmosphere, the snug and cosy feel and the merry band of dogs and animals that she loves about The Rock. “It feels like a proper country pub,” she says. “It’s always first stop on the local tour when we have friends visiting!” Instagram @jenn_pinder_ flowers

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




Property den

Home and gar

The most wonderful time of the year It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Jolyon Harris and Lawrence Marquez’s beautiful East Sussex home

Photography by Bruce Hemming




Christmas comes early for Jolyon and husband Lawrence. They love to decorate the house and tree to the max, “although that’s more Lawrence than me,” laughs Jolyon. “If he’s in New York, say, on business, he’ll go to Christmas shops and come home with literally a suitcase full of decorations, or even two suitcases sometimes! We argue about it. Sometimes he’ll say, ‘Oh, let’s get a false tree’, and I’ll say, ‘Are you absolutely insane?’ I have to have a real tree every year. It’s the smell of it apart from anything. And the joy of putting up the tree; we always do that together. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas for us without that – it’s a fun thing to do. “One year, I believe Lawrence decorated the tree with 1,500 fairy lights. The whole of the property had about 3,000 lights all over it in the end. He goes kind of crazy!” When Jolyon and Lawrence decided to make the move from Notting Hill in London to East Sussex five years ago, it was a life-changing decision. “I’d been in my career for quite a number of years,” explains Jolyon. “I was the European Publisher of the Johansen Hotel Guide, and had had various other jobs including setting up my own consultancy. The time seemed right for a change. I’d always imagined being my own boss and I thought that since I’ve worked in and around hospitality and consulting all my life, I’d be poacher turned gamekeeper and set up my own little B&B.” For five years, Jolyon and husband Lawrence talked about the move. When they finally started visiting properties, they began their search in Brighton but didn’t think they would attract the sort of clientele they were looking for there. So they started looking further afield and stumbled on Shoyswell Cottage. “We weren’t looking for something to renovate,” says Jolyon, “more a beautification project, which is what we had done with various flats in Notting Hill. But this turned into a big building project which we were happy to do as we knew the outcome would be worth it – and we were right. “We completely fell for the property as soon as we saw it. It was sheer luck that it happens to sit right in the middle of a myriad of National Trust gardens and attractions. It’s near Battle, it’s not far from Lewes and Brighton, and it’s within striking distance of London. KUDOS NOV EMBER/DECEMBER 2017

“It was extremely rundown and needed a huge amount of work. But when Lawrence and I saw the house, we thought it had beautiful bones and the possibility to do all of the things that we wanted – to change its entire character and make it into something very luxurious.” Builders worked on it for 11 months. Says Jolyon: “We gutted it, rewired it and replastered everything. We changed the layout, turning the family bathroom into a bathroom for just one of the bedrooms and adding three more bathrooms. The derelict garage was turned into the Oriental Room, the room above it, which was a very badly-done annex, became the Garden Room. It was a huge amount of work.” Jolyon admits that it was Lawrence who had the vision for the house. “He’s Global Head of Visual for the fashion company Cos, so he has the visual eye and I’m allowed to look after money! “For the benefit of our guests, we have four bedrooms at the moment plus a large garden lounge which looks onto the four-acre garden, and a large dining room. There are wood-burning stoves in three of the rooms, which are rather lovely. LOV E YOUR HOME


“Both Lawrence and I have done a lot of business in Asia, and we’ve bought back lots of artifacts so we created the Oriental Room to display them. The Garden Room above it is so-called because it has the most fantastic view over the vale to the front of the house and our garden at the rear. Then we have the French Room, which we’ve filled with furniture from a French Count’s castle, which we found at a French antique fair. There’s also the Glass Room which has a glass cupboard, glass side tables, a glass headboard and mirrors.” The couple have just embarked on more building work to create three extra rooms after getting planning permission for an extension. “The old cottage and shed at the front of the house, which are of no architectural significance, are about to be demolished,” said Jolyon. “What is currently a sloping, ugly driveway made from a lump of cement is going to become a very pretty courtyard and the three new en-suite rooms will be attached to the house by a glass corridor. It should be finished around February, ready for the next season.” The size of the property means that the couple can be quite separate from their B&B guests. “The house is quite big – cottage is a bit of a misnomer, really,” explains Jolyon. “Lawrence and I live in the centre of the house, in a suite of rooms that run through the middle. There’s an enormous bedroom, large bathroom, dressing room, and balcony. We also have our own study, which is private. The three new rooms will run on from the Oriental Room and 70


Garden Room, which are in a separate annex. So even if we have five rooms booked, say, they will be out of the main house. It’s only when we are fully booked with seven rooms that we will have two sets of guests who are near us.” The B&B has proved very popular, winning the Tripadvisor Award for Excellence every year since they opened in 2013 and with a 9.7 rating on “I think we’re doing something right,” says Jolyon. “As a Publisher of the Johansen Hotel Guide, I’ve spent so much time in so many hotels that service and how it should be done properly became second nature to me. Now that it’s down to me to perform the service, I know what I want and I tend to know what my guests want. There’s a brilliant line in the film Gosford Park: ‘I’m the perfect servant. I know what the guests want before they know it themselves.’ This is important for those of us that work in a service industry.” So how have the couple taken to country life after London. “We’re very often in London – I was in London last night! I was thrilled to get back today, but I love both. People ask if you are a country person or a city person, well I’m both. I absolutely adored living in Notting Hill, I wouldn’t have lived there for 21 years if I didn’t love London, but, equally, the charms of the countryside are huge. People have the time to talk to you. You can’t just pop to the shops here; you have to schedule in an hour so that you can have conversations with everyone and catch up with the village gossip. We’re quite well-known round here. Lawrence and I are quite KUDOS NOV EMBER/DECEMBER 2017




gregarious people anyway. I would say we’ve fitted in quite well.” Getting back to Christmas, Jolyon says they have a different theme each year. “My least favourite so far was the red and gold one. I thought it looked a bit too commercial. I don’t want it to be so perfect that it looks like something out of a shop or a John Lewis catalogue. Christmas needs to be a bit haphazard. “I think the decorations should be about things that have a personal association for you. That’s what Christmas should be about. For instance, the mother of our goddaughter gave us a beautiful bauble that comes out every year. And Lawrence’s mother gave us a handmade nativity scene and I love getting that out every year because it reminds me of Lawrence’s Venezuelan family. He also loves his glass reindeer. We’ve got a whole herd of deer that go careering across one surface or another!” And the decoration collection just keeps on growing! “I am filled with horror as to what this year might bring,” laughs Jolyon. “Lawrence doesn’t fill me in on anything. I’m reliably informed every year that, ‘Oh this old thing? We’ve had it for years’, but I know full well that it’s brand new, because it’s still got the price tags! What can I say? It’s a little deception we have with each other. “Lawrence just tells me what to do when it comes to putting up the decorations. We argue every year about when the tree goes up and when to start decorating. He always wants these things way to early in my opinion.” When it comes to gifts, Jolyon and Lawrence make good use of the orchard at the bottom of the garden. “We give away as much fruit as possible but the rest is ideal for making thoughtful gifts like sloe gin and damson vodka. You reach a certain stage in your life when you and your friends have everything you really want. It’s better to give someone something that’s had a bit of thought put into it rather than something you just picked up from some shop.” So what does Jolyon love most about Christmas? “Family. Lawrence’s family have left Venezuela and now live in Miami, and it’s my fond hope that we get them and my family all together for Christmas one year. I also love things that remind me of school, like carol services. They take you back to your childhood when Christmas is THE most magical time of year. “So Christmas time for us is filled with music, laughter and a whole load of fairy lights!” 72


Shoyswell CottageB&B, Sheepstreet Lane, Etchingham, East Sussex TN19 7AZ Tel: 01580 819453 Email:


Home notes

Fresh ideas and style tips on the home front Style in the snow

Units with an industrial edge and quirky design made in Mounts Hill’s Cranbrook workshop now grace a chalet in the French Alps This oversized set of media and storage units were designed as part of a refurbishment of a ski chalet in the French Alps. Mounts Hill was originally commissioned to replace the joinery, but then moved on to supply the kitchen and some wardrobes and hall storage units before finally creating this amazing furniture for the main reception room. Classic in style with a quirky industrial twist, it was manufactured in the Mounts Hill workshop in Cranbrook and then shipped out to the French Alps in a convoy of Mounts Hill vans, to be installed by their fitting team – in the snow! The Victorian-style bookcase cabinets are painted in Farrow & Ball’s “Railings” in an eggshell finish and the interiors are bespoke American black walnut veneer. The zinc sliding door panel hides an oversized TV and slides to either side of the screen on a unique sliding system made and designed by Cranbrook Iron, who also created the fabulous central handle. The zinc panels were aged by being left for a few wintry weeks on the roof of the Mounts Hill workshop!


A touch of class

Meet the new, sophisticated addition to Neptune’s kitchen range Neptune are excited to introduce the Limehouse Kitchen, which is available to view now as part of the new kitchen collection in their Tonbridge showroom. The Limehouse has a sleek and minimal aesthetic that provides a sophisticated focal point for any style of home. There are a multitude of styling options to make the Limehouse stand out, with clever drawer interiors, versatile cabinet shelving and bespoke storage solutions, all manufactured to fit perfectly. Made using only natural materials and with traditional craftsmanship, the Limehouse is hand painted to ensure it is finished to the highest standard, creating a beautiful space that is contemporary in style and thought. Talking about the Limehouse kitchen, Director James Buck said: “Beneath its minimalist and modest exterior, this is Neptune’s most technically-advanced kitchen – although the cabinets are understated in their styling, made from tulipwood and oak, they take 30 individual processes to complete.” Neptune offers a full design service to create a bespoke kitchen that ensures that the end result fits perfectly in any space. To find out more, visit Neptune’s Tonbridge showroom to see the Limehouse on display, or call 01732 351866 to speak to a consultant. Kitchen brochures are available to download at

New kitchen? No problem

Looking for a new kitchen? German efficiency and styling make Kutchenhaus the perfect, affordable choice John Stevens had been working in the kitchen industry for over 40 years before deciding to embark on his next adventure with Kutchenhaus. He has experience across the board – from selling traditionally-styled British-made kitchens, through to working with a well-known German brand. Prior to joining Kutchenhaus, John ran a high-end, independent kitchen shop in Tunbridge Wells – which although a highly successful venture, was out of reach for a normal buyer resulting in fewer sales, higher stress levels for the team, and a lot less job satisfaction! Kutchenhaus held a lot of appeal for John, not least because of the well-known German way of doing things – with maximum organisation, efficiency and accuracy – enabling customers to receive a top-quality kitchen for a more reasonable and accessible price. Whereas a traditional, bespoke kitchen might cost up to £40,000, the average Kutchenhaus kitchen is less than £20,000 including appliances and worktops, and this is all down to the method of manufacturing employed by German kitchen maker Nobilia, the supplier of all the kitchens sold by Kutchenhaus. Nobilia is central to the success of Kutchenhaus, introducing German design and manufacturing at a lower price point than had previously been on offer. Kitchens are commissioned on an individual basis by a method known as block buying, which means that Kutchenhaus buy space in Nobilia’s factory for the manufacturer of an entire, single kitchen. This tried-and-tested method results in a vastly discounted end price, which is in turn passed onto the customer – and make no mistake, Nobilia really know how to do things! Founded in 1945, they now produce around 3,000 kitchens a day at two factory sites in Germany. Their process is so efficient, that Kutchenhaus even offers customers the opportunity to view their kitchen online as it travels through the factory! Generally speaking, all components of a Nobilia kitchen are put together in the factory – right down to details such as the drawer inserts. This again sets what Kutchenhaus offers apart from a traditional kitchen company, as it makes fitting the kitchen in the home a straightforward and fast process which is minimally disruptive to a household. In fact, the fitting is so simple that many Kutchenhaus customers are able to do it themselves – reducing the final cost even further. Kutchenhaus Tunbridge Wells opened in Southborough in 2016 to bring this fresh and unique approach to kitchen design and manufacture to the local

area, and with many people now choosing to upgrade their home rather than move, there has never been a better time to consider Kutchenhaus. John, for one, is confident in what Kutchenhaus can deliver, filling a gap in the market for affordable, stylish and efficient design.

What a corker!

Turn your lists, notes and cards into an eye-catching part of your home décor with CorkFrame – a brilliant cork memo board that comes complete with its own signature integrated shelf, meaning you can not only pin up all your lists, photos and other mementos, but also store your keys, pens and other bits and bobs, too! Price: from £60 76




Kitchen rules

Creating a new kitchen in an extension adds light, space and value to your home. But it needs to be well planned to ensure it’s right for you and your family The kitchen is largely considered to be the epicentre of any family home. It comes as no surprise then that, for new and period properties alike, expanding our kitchens specifically within extensions is one of the most sought-after features in today’s homes and one of the most popular refurbishment projects. Real thought and planning is needed to ensure you have the design of your extension just right. Location is essential, but equally you need to consider access to the main home and allow the natural flow of your space to be a seamless integration. Will access to the main hallway work best for you or is access to your garden and outdoor space your priority? Consider the sun movement to ensure you make the most of all available natural light; this will also guide you when planning your different zones for dining, cooking preparation and relaxation. Getting the most from the design of your new space is fundamental, and that’s where experts like Chamber Furniture come into their forte. Having extensive knowledge and expertise in designing and making bespoke furniture for every room of the home ensures that every challenge you may face is one that they have previously overcome. Creating innovative designs for your kitchen, maximising every available space and using cleverly concealed storage ensures a clutter-free working area in just the right location in your home for your individual needs. Chamber’s design team work with you through every step of the design process, planning different zones and guiding you in each consideration, from selecting the right appliances and work surfaces to finding the best lighting.

Tips to design success

Heart of family life, it’s the room you spend most of your time in – cooking, eating, socialising, working and relaxing. The key to creating the perfect open-plan kitchen is getting the space and the layout right first before deciding on kitchen units, details and decoration. Key to the success in enjoying this additional room and creating your new kitchen is in the planning and design layout of your new space. Essential to the design is truly understanding how you want to use your kitchen. Here are some questions from the expert designers at Chamber Furniture to help you make the most of your new space: • • • • •

Will your kitchen be solely for preparing meals, or do you want dining space too? Do you want to be visible when cooking, or tucked around a corner? Will you entertain in the kitchen, or only have informal dining there? Do you want some living space open to the kitchen? Do you need a separate utility room, larder or store?

Getting the design of the space right is fundamental. This will help to ensure the kitchen is in the right location in the house and that it has good access from the central hallway and on to the garden or patio. It will help you make the most of light, plan your different zones for cooking, dining and living, plus decide where to position utility space and appropriate lighting. Once you have the space that you want designed, you can start thinking about the kitchen layout. It is worth consulting two or three experienced kitchen designers for their ideas. Make sure you give them a clear brief of what you are trying to achieve, but listen to their advice in terms of layout to suit the space, such as designing a galley, L-shaped or U-shaped layout, or introducing an island or appliance wall. A good designer will understand the importance of function (ergonomics) and incorporate all the appliances you have specified. Once the basic layout is agreed, you can finalise details like the style of the units, cupboard doors and drawer fronts, worktops, splashbacks, sink, taps and the rest of the design details. A kitchen extension allows light to flood into your home while providing an open-living and cooking environment, ideal also to provide additional space for entertaining guests and interacting with your family whilst preparing meals; the perfect way to blend indoor and outdoor living. A high-quality, stylish and practical kitchen extension will not only increase the size of your home in a stunning and stylish way, but also add to the value of your home. KUDOS NOV EMBER/DECEMBER 2017




Bathroom perfection From hand-polishing to hand-carving, Catchpole & Rye create unrivalled sanitaryware Catchpole & Rye is the ultimate choice for luxury sanitaryware and bathroom design. Bespoke by nature, the brand handcrafts all of its cast-iron baths in the heart of Kent, offering a unique service to customers who wish to personalise their bathroom. The foundry that produces Catchpole & Rye’s cast-iron baths specialises in aluminium, iron and bronze castings. Using its many years of experience, the foundry team ensures that Catchpole & Rye stays true to the methods used from times past. Once moulded, the baths are then hand-finished in Catchpole & Rye’s workshops by its skilled and experienced craftsmen. It can take over a week to hand polish the exterior of a bath in order to achieve a flawless sheen, with the polishing shop at the heartbeat of the Catchpole & Rye operation. All its brassware, aluminium products and cast-iron, copper and nickel baths, pass through the polishing shop at some stage of the process. Catchpole & Rye also offers a unique service to customers who wish to personalise their bath or sanitaryware. Emblems, logos and coats of arms can be conceived and cast into their baths and cisterns. Its skilled craftsmen first hand-carve the design from wood. From this a dedicated pattern is prepared, sand moulds manufactured and ultimately cast onto the bath or cistern. For more information, please call 01892 526996 or visit:




Easy does it When a unique solution was required for a pool in place of a pond, XL Pools had the answer

Realising the dream of a swimming pool can be a virtual minefield of choices. From construction method to finish, from sanitation to heating sources. For the owners of this particular pool, the additional stress of an existing pond and limited access for construction vehicles led to their decision to place their business with XL Pools, one of the longest-running pool companies in the area, who also had a unique solution. XL Pools’ Sales & Marketing Manager, Ben Tiffin, explained: “For this project, we chose a one-piece pool due to its versatility. The pool was to be sited over an existing pond and we wanted to eliminate as many problems that this scenario might cause, so a one-piece pool was by far the best solution. Naturally, the pond first required to be drained and the inhabitants safely rescued to another pond on the property.” In a lot of cases, transporting an 11 x 4m rigid pool shell to the rear of a property can have its challenges. In some cases cranes are used, in others, such as this, land behind the property was used (after a kind word and a bottle of wine to the land’s owner)! The surrounding area of the now-empty pond was very overgrown and restricting the beautiful view over the Weald beyond. So all 82


the scrubland was cut back and removed, with the exception of a single olive tree unexpectedly found in the thick of the shrub. “Our site manager discussed this with the customer,” said Ben, “and it was agreed that this should be retained which, now seeing the result, was definitely the right call.” Excavation then started to extend and deepen the hole in the ground to accommodate the shell of the pool. Once completed, on day three of the build, the shell arrived on-site. Being lifted from the oversized rear-wheel steer trailer by a large excavator, the pool was tracked from the adjacent field and into the newly dug hole in under an hour. The team then attached the pipework to the pool shell. At this point, the pool was packed all the way around with concrete to set it into position. By day six of the build, the pool could be fully filled and the filtration built. Says Ben, “In many cases, customers choose to locate their pool equipment within a summerhouse adjacent to the pool which also doubles as a place to store the 1,001 inflatable toys children seem to accumulate, along with the more practical use of a changing room. “Landscaping typically finishes a job. In this case, we built a retaining wall from sleepers and paved the surround with a fossilised mint sandstone – photos truly don’t do this finish justice. KUDOS NOV EMBER/DECEMBER 2017

“The finished result, completed in just over three weeks, was remarkable. This little-used area of the garden has now become a hive of outdoor activity for the owners and created a small peaceful sanctuary for all the family to enjoy. This is a very special pool and one of our favourite installations to date.” KUDOS NOV EMBER/DECEMBER 2017



Garden notes All you need for your outside space

Poinsettias for Christmas

They’re one of the most popular festive flowers, and Staplehurst Nurseries should know as they grow 50,000 of them for Christmas Nothing says Christmas quite like a poinsettia. In fact, it could have been specially designed for Christmas with its bright-red halo and festive green foliage. Poinsettias come from Mexico and are named after the first American ambassador to Mexico, amateur botanist Joel Roberts Poinsett, who found one growing by a road in 1828. First cultivated by the Aztecs, it became one of Poinsett’s favourite flowers and he sent specimens back to the US where they soon flourished and eventually spread to Europe. Over 50,000 British-grown poinsettias are despatched to London markets and supermarkets from Staplehurst Nurseries, the award-winning wholesaler and retailer of flowering house and garden plants. Cuttings are imported from Ethiopia, arriving at the nursery in late July, for Marcel Franke, owner of Staplehurst Nurseries, and his team to plant, in time for the festive season. “Growing poinsettias can be a challenge,” says Marcel. “We constantly monitor their growth to make sure they’re ready for Christmas.” Poinsettias have to be induced to produce their brightly-coloured bracts by exposing them to twelve hours of darkness every day for eight weeks. To achieve this, from the end of September the plants are given this exposure to prolonged darkness. By early December they are uniformly red and ready for sale. Every year, Staplehurst Nurseries holds what they call crop walks, where they take a party through the greenhouses before the poinsettias are all shipped out to market. It’s an opportunity to see 50,000 poinsettias all in one place before they disappear. Watch out on Facebook for exact dates.

Staplehurst Nurseries isn’t all about poinsettias, though! They grow approximately 500,000 plants yearly across two acres, the peak periods being Christmas and Spring.

Caring for your poinsettia • Position the plant in good light away from direct sunlight and draughts, and keep its environment constant • O verwatering will quickly damage the plant. Wait until the surface of the compost begins to dry out, then water thoroughly • Feed once a week with houseplant fertiliser

Did you know?

Kalettes are a nutty and sweet-tasting cross between kale and the traditional sprout. British experts spent 15 years working to perfect a tastier and more appealing version of the classic Brussels sprout by cross-breeding it with kale. Both Brussels sprouts and kale belong to the Brassica family of vegetables, which also includes broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, horseradish, turnip, radish and cress. Brassica vegetables are renowned for their ability to be cross-bred with one another, which occurs because they are all derivatives of a wild cabbage that existed 5,000 years ago.




10 ways you can look after your garden this month Tim Sykes of Gardenproud’s seasonal tips 1. Clear up fallen leaves, especially on lawns. If you have a mulch mower, you could also try mulching them. 2. Harvest any remaining vegetables from your kitchen garden. 3. Prune roses. 4. Prune any apple or pear trees. 5. Prune acers, birch trees and vines. 6. Plant out your tulip bulbs. 7. Check your greenhouse heaters are working. 8. Insulate any outdoor taps, or plumbing near your kitchen garden. 9. Get the fleeces out and wrap any shrubs or plants that need protecting from frost with a fleece sock. If you have tree ferns, wrap with fleece and fill the crown with straw. 10. Put out bird food to encourage winter birds in the garden. For further advice or help with your garden, see Contact Tim Sykes at Gardenproud on 07725 173820, or visit him at



Missing a trick Get to know your garden and reap the rewards, says Edward Erith of GardenEye

It’s worrying that fewer and fewer people seem connected to their gardens. I’ve noticed it more than ever this year. The cause is more than likely the recent poor weather – always blame the weather when in doubt! But it’s also the lifestyle we lead, heads buried in phones and in a rush to get from here to there. There is certainly less notice taken of the beauty that is around us. We’re missing a trick. Gardens have extraordinary, therapeutic qualities. Take a look around you and appreciate what’s going on, join in and get with it! At this time of year, the wildlife is busy preparing for winter, the last flowers are still attracting a plethora of bees, butterflies and other insects, and birds have become more visible. Autumn colours are beginning to take over before the onset of winter and the skeletal frame of the trees that we adjust to for five months. As I sit here, leaves are dropping in front of my window like confetti. (My hunch is that because of the early flowering and fruiting, we’re in for a tough winter). Nature is endlessly fascinating and it has the good grace never to judge us. Anything you do in the garden is a bonus. It’s important to force yourself out, start tidying and clearing up, plant some bulbs and familiarise yourself as much as possible with your garden before the perennial plants die back and disappear. Take photos now to remember what you like about the garden and what you didn’t like about this season. Write it down! The relationship between the house and the garden has never been more important to entice you out. To be close to the ever-changing beauty and the magnificence of nature that the outside offers from inside is the trick. The harmony and symmetry of this relationship with your property will improve your love of it many times over. Plan ahead. KUDOS NOV EMBER/DECEMBER 2017

I’ve spent 25 years fine-tuning and understanding this relationship, working in the landscaping world and in the field of design. The consultation part of the business is designed to help me get the very most out of your garden for you, to understand your capabilities, your budget, your style and to understand your garden’s potential and to sensibly guide you in the right direction. New developments, borders, lawns, swimming pools, tennis courts, ponds and walls all have their rightful place. I’ve now split what I can offer into three parts*: 1.A visit, typically about two hours, to talk through your wants and desires, to share ideas and thoughts looking ahead and the practicalities involved. £150 2.As above, with a brief written report. £250 3.As 1., but with more analysis/time in the garden and a fullydetailed written report. £450 For example, if you are building a terrace or patio, make sure it’s in the right place and big enough, with materials that complement the surroundings and that is easily accessible for the main living areas of the house. Typically spending £150 with GardenEye could potentially save you £1,500 moving forward. That’s a trick not worth missing! And architects, please note this applies to you too as GardenEye has now gone CAD! *This can vary from garden to garden depending on its size and distance to travel etc.

Contact Edward on 01797 260451 or email



Christmas Gift Guide Make shopping easy this year with our pick of the presents

Gorgeous Abahna soaps, hand wash, body lotion, bath foam and gift sets, from £10

Ashdown Manna half and full-day cookery courses, from £60

Ranthambore II is a hand-embellished giclee print on boxed canvas by wildlife artist and passionate conservationist Robert Oxley. Limited edition print of 150, £695 Luxurious silk scarf created from one of local artist Susan Fynes’ mesmerising designs, £100 KUDOS NOV EMBER/DECEMBER 2017



Adorable needle-felted miniature mice by Melanie Mills, £26 each; Romney Marsh soaps, £4 and £5 each; and ceramic bowl by local potter Claire Porter, £22


STELLAR glitter and leather clutch bag, available in various colours, £95

Thule Chariot Cross multisport trailer, £850

Log carrier, £36, and toasting fork, £34

Wood-effect parrot with hand-painted metal decoration, £60

Chocolate and orange oil with a hint of sea salt make this peanut butter extra-special, £6

Stay snug in a branded beanie hat from Marlowe’s, one of the hottest new restaurants in Tunbridge Wells, £20

Float your troubles away at Simply Float, the only flotation therapy spa in Kent, £60 for an hour’s weightless floating. For gift vouchers, email your details to

Bottle tealight holders made with recycled metal, £30





Quirky ceramic figure from a selection by Aliallpots, £130

La Ross Italian dark grey suede leather-lined boots, £250

Doctor At Large signed canvas on board by contemporary artist Nigel Humphries. Limited-edition print of 295, £250 KUDOS NOV EMBER/DECEMBER 2017

Crate cabinet made from reclaimed timber, £54

Looking for a beautiful gift for that special little girl? Micallef Jewellers stocks exquisite sterling silver jewellery for children. Many pieces are engravable for that personalised touch. Why not buy them their first piece of diamond-set jewellery? Prices start from £28. Micallef Jewellers. Tonbridge 01732 364631 Sevenoaks 01732 464648

Lavender and unscented wheat heat bags, £11.50 each.

Silk wax short rain cape, £220

STARDUST glitter purses in various colours with leather trim and card slot, £19 each.

Cote Noire incredibly real soft-touch flower diffusers in a range of lovely scents which last a couple of months, £20 CHRISTM AS GIFT GUIDE


Dungarees, £95, fisherman’s jumper, £85, waistcoat, £126, and linen shirt, £140

The Night Before Christmas, a signed canvas on board by pop surrealist artist Xue Wang. Limited-edition print of 150, £495

Nicola Sexton black suede flats with fur pom pom, £165 94


Thule Subterra 30L laptop bag, £115

Gorgeous Italian velvet shoes, £160

Glass Christmas decorations from £2.50 to £10

Silver star handmade necklace, £135; miniature Raku Houses by local ceramicist Wes Groves, £10 each; and beautifully soft yak wrap/scarf, in a range of colours, £39.50

Captain Fawcett’s gift sets, from £19. Shaving brush, razor and shaving soap set shown, £85

Micallef Jewellers in Tonbridge and Sevenoaks are stockists of Claudia Bradby contemporary pearl jewellery, that combines timeless classic design with hand-picked freshwater cultured pearls set in sterling silver. Prices from £45. KUDOS NOV EMBER/DECEMBER 2017


Thule Vea 21L laptop bag, £110

Captain Fawcett’s Private Stock beard oil, £34

Children’s pinafore apron, £37

Elegant grey velvet Cefalu shoes from Spain, £145

The Law Of Attraction, a humorous 3D sculpture by celebrated artist Nic Joly. Limited-edition wall sculpture of 90, £695

STARDUST glitter and leather cuff bracelets in various colours, £25 each

Hand-knitted hat in local wool, £35; long silver loop necklace, £135; hand-crafted green alpaca Landscape jumper, £145; and orange trainer bag handmade by Helen Banzhaf, £79.50


Fine striped cotton pyjamas, £125

Eastpak Tranzshell small case in black, £150 CHRISTM AS GIFT GUIDE



Education and

Heads up!


Top local head teachers give their views

What are some of the biggest challenges that schools, and education generally, face today?

Andrew Webster, Headmaster

The Mead School, Tunbridge Wells Co-educational preparatory school for boys and girls aged 3-11 It’s difficult to pick up a paper these days without reading about the underfunding crisis plaguing the state sector. We’re lucky to be buoyant, with a hugely supportive and successful parent committee and so have an exciting, ongoing investment plan for the school. I question, however, the inextricable link between money and quality. They’re linked, for sure, and you must invest wisely, but I’ve also seen spellbinding teaching with the only resource being a good imagination. To answer the question therefore, I would say that establishing a healthy perspective is our profession’s main challenge. We live and teach in the era of fake news and virtual living when children spend more time talking to their friends via social media than in person. To avoid raising a generation of isolated and blinkered people, we must aim for our children to grow a sound global awareness and venture outside of the school gates – literally, virtually and philosophically. To be inspired to help sustain and marvel at the beauty of our planet. To be curious, creative and critical in their thinking, discerning and objective in the digital age. To be moderate, to be tolerant and openminded and to develop a mature moral compass and a charitable

demeanour. A healthy perspective ultimately leads to a happy life and so it should be at the forefront of educational thinking.

Craig McCarthy, Headmaster

Russell House School, Otford Independent prep school for girls and boys aged 2-11 I’m not only a prep school Headmaster, but also a parent of two teenage boys and so I see first-hand how our youngsters are driven by the need to get results in exams to get ahead. That young teenagers should have to consider concepts such as worklife balance seems to me to be an unfortunate by-product of an assessment-heavy education system. In my own school, too, our tweenies have 11+ preparation and independent school examinations never far from their minds. This isn’t likely to change any time soon. By contrast, all the evidence from future employers is that top grades are only a part of the story. What they want to see more of is a demonstrable grasp of customer and personal service knowledge, oral comprehension and expression, the ability to really use English, active listening and speaking skills. As a preparatory school, Russell House prepares our pupils and provides opportunities for them to develop these ‘soft’ skills at every turn. Our co-educational school is the perfect environment to allow each individual pupil the chance to shine and not become lost in the crowd. This might be on the sports field, in music, on the stage, in chess, dance, children’s philosophy, in the art room or in the science lab. Only by doing so can the leaders of tomorrow be ready. 98



David Clark, Headmaster

Battle Abbey School, Battle Independent co-educational day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 2-18 The biggest challenges facing schools today are probably financial – especially for those in the maintained sector. Independent schools are not immune from financial pressures but there are other, more pressing concerns. The challenge of recruiting high-calibre teachers is on-going and schools need to be adaptable and creative in how they fill vacancies in shortage subjects like Maths and Science. Most Head Teachers would say that the biggest headaches they face centre on the seeminglyperpetual burden of regulatory compliance. Our challenge here is to somehow get government ministers to understand that ‘less is more’ when it comes to educational bureaucracy. The day-to-day issues are more likely to be about dealing with the so-called ‘mental health epidemic’ that is affecting teenagers and in how best to manage the use of social media by equipping students with strategies to cope with the complexities of the online world. Though these demands have a habit of demoralising the profession, it is important to be reminded that there is nothing more satisfying than when teachers help students to overcome their own educational challenges and achieve great things, often against all odds.

Kate Elliott, Head Teacher

Bricklehurst Manor School, Stonegate Mainstream independent school for pupils aged 3-11 With every change of government comes a new direction for educators as attainment levels rise and fall with the changing tide of politics. In state schools, inclusion is encouraged, but not facilitated; funding is drastically reduced, class sizes are capped and then caps are removed as the population grows, and so we see class sizes growing to 33, 34, 35... Primary schools share their Head Teachers and year groups are mixed. The biggest challenge facing schools today is the constant interference by successive governments which appear to have been advised by people who had an extra-terrestrial education themselves. This is where the freedom of independent schools is so important. Whilst still promoting high standards and ensuring compliance to keep children safe, independent schools are able to keep class sizes small and retain some independent input into the curriculum. Bricklehurst is possibly the only family-owned, family-run school in the area, others having been snapped up by businessmen/ foreign investors with little knowledge of education. At Bricklehurst, decisions are made by the senior management team, comprising the owner, her family (pictured) and the Head Teacher, together a group of education professionals whose own experience as parents, grandparent and collective teaching experience exceeding 70 years provides a valuable insight into what constitutes an exemplary education for the children. Next year, Bricklehurst will be celebrating its Diamond anniversary; our consistent approach has been effective in producing well-educated, well-rounded children for 60 years; we have a recipe that works! KUDOS NOV EMBER/DECEMBER 2017

Principal Mrs Flowers and her family



Emma Neville, Headmistress

Rose Hill School, Tunbridge Wells Co-educational preparatory school for boys and girls aged 3-11 At Rose Hill School, pupils remain at the centre of all decision-making. Therefore the most important challenge in education today is the removal of any barrier that stops children from learning. Our curriculum is enriched with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) subjects and opportunities for debate, communication and reflection. We prioritise the skills and attributes required for life and work in the 21st century, including communication, creativity, technology, teork and problem solving. This develops pupils’ deep understandings of essential disciplinary concepts and principles and their ability to apply these understandings to complex, engaging real-world problems. Our curriculum has to keep up with that change and go the extra mile. Education is therefore so much more than acquiring knowledge; pupils need to learn how to achieve success in a world that is so vastly different from that of their parents. The values that we equip our pupils with will be much more important than ever before. That our pupils leave not only to go onto the best independent school at 13+ with a strong understanding of environmental issues and a strong sense of well-being but are well on their way to preparing for adult life.

Mike Piercy, Headmaster

The New Beacon, Sevenoaks Independent preparatory school for boys aged 4-13 It is hard to believe that we might ever escape (or even moderate) a world dominated by exam hurdles: there has to be some objective measure of intellect. What we can hope for, however, is a world of education and employment which sets out to develop ‘soft’ skills. It is these soft skills which will become ever more important in life and in the workplace as automation looms and Artificial Intelligence bounds forward exponentially. So how can schools respond to this rapidly-changing world? Lessons still have to be attended, the syllabus covered, teaching and learning, tests, mocks, exams – it was ever thus. Exam results propel young people to the next stage, whether it be senior school, university or a job. I recently asked our boys (The New Beacon is a boys’ school!) how they dealt with disappointment – not failure, but disappointment. It is not just ‘PC’ to choose the word disappointment over the word failure; it is the avoidance of a value statement. I asked if they stamped their feet, sulked, retreated into their shells – for five minutes, hours, days or weeks. Their response was revealing and amusing – laughter, and the dawning of self-realisation. The message was to turn as quickly as possible from the emotion of disappointment to the logic of analysis and reflection, quoting Nassim Nicholas Taleb: ‘For the robust, an error is information; for the fragile, an error is an error.’ I know I am not alone in my concern for the world into which our children are growing. Alex Percy, Head of Counselling at Oxford University, was recently quoted in The Guardian: ‘A lot of [students] feel they’ve got to get everything right’. In a driven world, concern about making mistakes is becoming a fear which inhibits learning. There is nothing wrong with making mistakes; the problem lies in making the same mistake time and time again. A positive learning environment allows room for error – a negative environment denies that opportunity. Our children need to be adaptable, resilient; able to face challenge, change and disappointment. Another story from The New Beacon. We took our Chapel Choir to Dubrovnik. They were to accompany a church service on the Sunday morning with sung responses they had never seen before in an unfamiliar country, an unfamiliar church with an unfamiliar acoustic. The church was chosen because it was said to have a good organ. To our consternation, there was no organ. The choir would have to sing unaccompanied and had only two hours’ rehearsal to get it right. I would not tell the story if they did not rise to the challenge – and with some style: they were brilliant! An extreme example, perhaps, relative to the smaller, day-to-day challenges of spellings, tables and tests, but there is an intrinsic element of education which must prepare children for the trials of life. One of the smallest words and yet one of the most powerful for children is ‘yet’: I can’t do it – ‘yet’; I can’t work it out – ‘yet’, changing the negative to the positively ambitious. 100



Hilary Blake, Headmistress

Sacred Heart School, Wadhurst Independent Catholic mixed primary school for 3-11 I would like to preface this comment with the acknowledgement that working in education is a great privilege, hugely enjoyable, with no two days the same, and the rewards of seeing the young people we work with blossom into independent, confident and capable students is immeasurable. The downside – and I think most of us would agree – is the interminable paperwork; the budgetary constraints; the time pressures; the accountability with regard to exam results and unrealistic targets and expectations – and above all, the all-too-frequent policy changes which usually require all of that paperwork to be at least reviewed and amended, if not rewritten entirely. I personally think change is good; it keeps us on our toes and our teaching fresh and innovative. And sometimes the seemingly impossible and unattainable – for example the changes to the Primary National Curriculum in recent years, which brought in a significantly higher level of challenge for the pupils – does work. Children prove time and again that, with good teaching, they can and do achieve beyond expectations. The pace of change is rapid and we all have to work hard to keep abreast and keep up, especially in the field of technologies where children are often more up to date than their teachers in a world which, whilst full of opportunities, is full of risks which must be managed. We are preparing these children for careers in a workplace which is constantly evolving and for jobs which we never dreamt might exist. Keeping at least one step ahead is perhaps the biggest challenge of all!

Viewpoint Each issue, a local head teacher gives their opinion on an educational topic. Here, Antonia Beary of Mayfield School talks about the stresses that children face today and how best to help them cope

Every other news headline seems to be telling us that our teenagers are stressed and miserable. How can this be when, arguably, there has never been a better time to be alive (at least in the First World)? Our standard of living is higher than ever: what used to be considered luxuries like central heating or television, are now a basic necessity. There are many exciting opportunities available for all of us to travel, learn and communicate. But perhaps too much choice is not always a good thing. Perhaps in working so hard to offer our children the things that we didn’t have, in making things easier for them, we are actually depriving them of more formative experiences. Now don’t misunderstand me. Undoubtedly there is an everincreasing range of pressures on young people. Clearly there is pressure to perform in school from an early age and testing is taking an increasingly high profile in a young person’s life. 11+ exams have much to answer for in this respect. They face unrealistically and consistently high expectations of academic achievement, exacerbated by constant, unfiltered exposure to social media and explicit advertising, not to mention – albeit more insidiously – the implicit assumption that all views are equally valid, and the pervading moral equivalence of the age. So how can we help them? Well, don’t expect them to be perfect. Certainly don’t wrap them in cotton wool and try to solve all their problems for them, although conversely don’t entirely cast them off to fend for themselves. Taking responsibility is difficult enough for adults, let alone children, so allowing boys and girls to make potentially life-changing decisions for themselves can be immensely stressful. As parents, our job is to guide and step in to make those difficult decisions, while teenage brains (let alone their hormones) are in a state of flux. We are able to see the bigger picture. Sometimes we have to be unpopular, but this setting of boundaries is a crucial part of being a parent. While there may be some similarities, the role of parent is far more important than the role of friend. It’s a difficult line to walk and one that all parents have to accept that they won’t always navigate as effectively as they might hope! Individuals have to make their own mistakes, but they need to be well supported by appropriate pastoral care and firm boundaries. In this respect, it is key that schools and parents work together and league tables don’t give you any indication of how well this is done! At Mayfield, we encourage our girls to be independent and to be aspirational, albeit to expect to achieve their goals through hard work. However, managing expectations is important. Mistakes are a vital part of their journey. You can’t always do your best (if you could, it would just become average)… Sometimes being just good enough will get you through. Retaining a sense of perspective is key. A certain amount of stress is normal and, dare I say it, healthy. While undoubtedly the number of individuals coping with mental illness is growing, now that we have a generation which is increasingly confident in talking about mental health issues, the term is being used increasingly loosely. What does 102


‘issues with mental health’ mean? We are told that most teenage girls are miserable most of the time. That’s certainly not what I see on a daily basis. We need to realise that not every emotional issue is a threat to mental health. Young people, in particular, get stressed and have periods when they feel low; when they feel overwhelmed by everything, from the pressure of school work (yes, A Levels ARE harder than GCSEs, and rightly so), to the state of the world we live in. Feeling emotional does not necessarily mean that you are struggling with mental health issues – it suggests you are a normal human being in a difficult world. Each individual’s malaise will take a different form. This, too, is normal: we are not all the same. In fact, it’s quite important that children learn how to deal with pressure and manage situations not working out quite as they (or you, as parents) might have hoped. What is important is that they develop strategies to cope and do not always feel they have to manage on their own: teachers, family and friends are there to support and help them discern a way through. This is not to say that individuals don’t suffer serious mental health issues: clinical depression is a serious medical condition which needs to be supported professionally. But we need to have a sense of proportion. There is a difference between bruising your knee and amputation… one is irreparable, but a bruise (much as it may hurt at the time) is part of everyday life. In fact, I would go so far as to say that cuts and bruises cannot be avoided if you are living life to the full and being fully human. We don’t want our young people to be reckless, but we do need them to be able to take risks and even get bored occasionally. Being creative means that they will get things wrong and this can be stressful, but it is not life-threatening. If necessity is the mother of invention, fewer choices and less sense of entitlement might just be the best way to help your children achieve the success they deserve. Antonia Beary is Headmistress at Mayfield School, a leading Catholic independent boarding and day school for girls aged 11 to 18. She is also currently Chair of CISC and Hon Treasurer of GSA. KUDOS NOV EMBER/DECEMBER 2017

A home that cares Frederick Waterhouse, a resident of the Signature Miramar Care Home in Herne Bay, shares one of his many poems, this one touching on life at the home

The Spider’s Web by Frederick Waterhouse Things heard in childhood often are subtle, and may mean much more than you know For instance, my grannie said money is made flat to pile up as she could clearly show “Nonsense,” said granddad, “it’s made round to go round,” as we can clearly show, too And if it doesn’t work in that way, it’s no earthly use to you There is basic truth in both these simple phrases, when met in different parts of living For when you are working and earning much money, the effort must be some surplus giving The surplus will be ‘flat to pile up’ to protect the naked ground still to come And give richness to the life to follow, when it needs to be a large sum If you have been prudent, lucky, or both you will have attained the necessary sum Or loved ones will have managed to achieve it for a very lucky you to come Into protected comfort for the autumn of your days, and you can rely on the unique make-up of the nursing home, which I can only show in praise The human input is of three very different kinds, the receiver plus two givers The nursing caring staff and the manager of resources, flowing like two rivers To give life and meaning to the enterprise as a whole, and keep the operation under constant strong control


The caring staff do wonders with those in pain or distress, and keep those in good health in gear They keep surroundings sparkling and food and vitals superb by day, by week, by year Management must control both the present and the future, making progress both smooth and clear They must anticipate the problems, seeking solutions before problems appear To the newcomer, the Miramar at first seems just a well-run organisation But when you get to feel it, you can feel it is much more than this For it has its own personality, given it by those who have striven for perfection And its delicate connections spread like an invisible spider’s web Covering all who are committed to developing its quality of life and love My grannie also said that there is good, better and best, and one should not rest Until good is better and better best This describes the Miramar and the ambitions of all who know her 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. To find out more about Miramar, visit LOV E ADV ERTORI ALS


School report A round-up of what’s happening in the world of education

Leading the way Battle Abbey School in top 150 for A-Level results Battle Abbey School came in at 130 in the UK for co-educational A-Level results, as announced in The Times. This is based on the percentage of A and A* grades achieved and, outside Brighton, only one other school, in Eastbourne, ranked higher in East Sussex. David Clark, Battle Abbey School Headmaster, said: “We have a national reputation in fine arts, performing arts and science and the plaudits that those departments receive tend to eclipse the fact that, academically, we are very strong across the board. Battle Abbey is rightly making a name for itself as a school that gets the very best out of its pupils and adds tremendous value to those pupils academically, socially and in terms of important soft skills acquired.” Battle Abbey Prep, Senior and Nursery Schools all opened with record numbers in September, with waiting lists for some year groups now in place. This trend was reflected in record numbers at a recent Open Day, when over 75 prospective pupils and their families arrived at the Abbey to talk to staff and look round the school. David Clark said, “We are at a point where demand for the school has never been higher. The Prep school numbers have benefited from the closure of Charters in Bexhill, of course, but even before then we were seeing a huge upturn in visits, something we are attributing

to the culture of excellence Maria Maslin, our Prep Head, is instilling at the Prep School. With the Prep School now featuring in The Times top 100, our Nursery open 50 weeks a year and a new purpose-built Early Years Centre due to be completed on our Prep School site in time for September 2018, the future certainly looks very positive.”

My little pony The Mead School raises money for Hospice in The Weald with the help of Horatio the pony The Mead school pupils had a chance to demonstrate their creative talents when they recently took part in Hospice in The Weald’s Herd of The Hospice campaign. The local charity asked schools and businesses in the community to decorate ponies to go on display in Royal Victoria Place shopping centre in Tunbridge Wells from 3rd-13th October. The design for their pony, Horatio, was dreamt up by an artistic and talented group of the school’s Year 6 pupils. They decided that Horatio should be decorated with brightly-coloured small butterflies bearing the initials of every single child at the school. The children then embellished the pony beautifully with colourful feathers for his mane and tail and adorned him with a sprinkling of larger sequined butterflies. The project was carried out over several days, along with a cake sale, which raised a fantastic total of £316.22 for the Herd of The Hospice campaign.




Full STEAM ahead! Helicopter simulators, sports cars and transplant surgery Rose Hill School recently enjoyed an amazing week of activity focused on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics) subjects, with the overarching theme of the week being disaster relief. The week was co-ordinated by Richard Mansfield and Barry Izzard, Head of Science & Design Technology, who said, “These disciplines have a direct impact upon our daily lives. However, we are facing a skills gap we need to inspire pupils to study STEAM subjects. The modern world is driven by data and technology and it is imperative that we give our pupils the tools necessary not only to cope but to excel in the ever-changing world we live in”. The week was jam-packed with activity, including visits from BMW to showcase the new i8 £100,000 of electric car, a Chinook helicopter simulator, and a lecture on heart transplantation from a Great Ormond Street doctor, as well as a whole host of team-building exercises to build bridges, evacuate casualties, build shelters, make parachutes and change wheels. All pupils at the school aged 3-13 were involved in the activities, using team work, critical thinking, communication and experimentation to solve the challenges. New Head Emma Neville said, “The end result of a week like this is that pupils who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning,

persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration and work through the creative process will become the innovators, educators, leaders and learners of the future. We have had a wonderful time and STEAM week is an important part of our ongoing curriculum.”

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

Frame it!

Every proud parent has the same problem: the sheer amount of children’s artwork that they cherish, and photographs they want to display! Face it; most of us use our fridge as an art gallery, and our computers as our photo albums. My Little DaVinci front-opening frames offer the perfect solution, allowing you to store up to 50 pieces of artwork and photos, and create a rotating gallery in your home.

Price: From £29.99

Knitting pretty

Stitch & Story has teamed up with global baby brand Sophie la Girafe to create exclusive knitting kits using superfine merino baby yarns. Ideal for a beginner, the kits contain everything you need to get started and learn the basic techniques – including how to cast on, knit, purl, cast off, and sewing. Perfect for new or expectant mums, and as baby shower gifts or Christmas presents.

Price: From £21.99


Cooking with kids Carol Lumbard, Director of Cookies Kitchen, shares this fun, festive recipe

Christmas Tree Brownies This recipe is a winner all round with children and adults, too, as everyone loves chocolate brownies! Children love that not only do they get to make and bake the brownies, they can then get creative with the decorating. When we made them at our Christmas workshop, we decorated them with green icing and sprinkles but you can add any design you like. I think that boxed up, they would make a lovely end-of-term gift for a teacher.


• 275g butter, softened • 100g self-raising flour • 375g golden caster sugar • 4 eggs • 50g drinking chocolate powder

• 25g cocoa powder • 100g milk chocolate chips • 10 candy canes • 50g icing sugar • few drops green food colouring • sprinkles to decorate


1. Pre-heat the oven to 1800C/1600C fan/gas mark 4 and then

grease and line a rectangular tray bake tin or shallow roasting dish (30x23x4cm). 2. Measure out all of the ingredients bar the chocolate chips and place them in a large bowl. You can either mix by hand or use a mixer to combine all of the ingredients until they are all evenly mixed. Add the chocolate chips and give it a final stir to make sure they are evenly distributed. 3. Spoon the mixture into the tin, spreading it all evenly into the corners. You can use a last lick (spatula) on the bowl, because you don’t want to leave any of this mixture behind it is so yummy! 4. Once it is all nice and even, place it in the middle of the oven and bake for about 40-50 minutes. Check it after 40 minutes – you want a nice crusty top, and a cake tester to come out clean. 5. Leave them to cool in the tin then use the sides of the baking parchment to lift it out of the tin and then cut into triangles. 6. Make up some green icing using the icing sugar, a few drops of water and a few drops of green food colouring. Once your brownies have cooled you can drizzle them with the icing and decorate using any sprinkles or decorations that you have. Break the candy canes in half and pop a piece in the bottom of each tree to look like a trunk!

Cookies Kitchen specialises in all aspects of children’s cookery, providing cookery lessons, monthly cookery clubs, cookery parties, individual tuition and school-holiday workshops.

‘Tis the season to be jolly Here are some ideas to make the Christmas season a success, whether you’re partying, looking for somewhere to stay or want to get closer to Santa’s little helpers

Throw a party

Christmas is the time for parties, whether company or family, and if you’re looking for a unique venue that will really wow your guests, then we’ve got the answer. The Secret Manor is a tucked-away rambling house between Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge that makes the perfect setting for parties, events and exhibitions. The best part about The Secret Manor is that it’s a blank canvas. You can decorate it just the way you want, organise your own catering and bring your own drinks. And you can party all night, as there are no time restrictions. The best party rooms are the library, bar room and terrace. The venue can accommodate 100 standing – and dancing! – with room for a buffet.

Stay in style

Belleville, on Tunbridge Wells Common, is the perfect place to stay. Whether you are looking for a Christmas getaway, or in town for a family party, it sleeps eight people in five bedrooms and is perfectly placed for restaurants, bars and shops. This quirky house can be rented from one night to short-term breaks.

One for the kids

Take the family to see some of Rudolph’s special friends who will be getting ready for the big Christmas event that’s taking place at The Reindeer Centre near Ashford, Kent, from the 11th November until Christmas Eve. Young and old alike will enjoy visiting Santa’s Magical Grotto, while parents and children will have their very own special encounter with Father Christmas, and each good child will receive a quality wrapped gift. Then you can stroll through the Grotto’s seven animated scenes. Head to the barn for a host of family-friendly attractions, including a straw-bale ball pit and fake-snow play area. There’s also the animal petting corner, where you can meet pigs, goats, llamas, donkeys, meerkats, rabbits, chickens and much more – plus, of course, the centre’s beautiful reindeer – all in 40 glorious acres! 108





Business notes A round-up of local business news

Designer of the year

Prestigious kitchen award for Heathfield-based Jones Britain Dan Stronge, Managing Director of Heathfield-based kitchen designer Jones Britain, was thrilled to be named ‘Kitchen Designer of the Year’ at the 2017 KBSA Design Awards. The KBSA is dedicated to upholding high standards of design, supply, installation and customer service throughout the kitchen and bathroom industry. By using a KBSA member for a project, customers are guaranteed top-quality design and installation, firstclass service and the latest technology and products. Their annual Designer Awards celebrate stunning design, interesting concepts and new ideas across the industry. With such fierce competition, Dan was delighted that Jones Britain’s dedication to design has been given this prestigious award – particularly as the judges praised the company for the attention to detail in their designs. Speaking after the ceremony, Dan said: “We take pride in making sure each project is designed specifically to meet a customer’s practical needs and fulfil their design dreams. I’m so pleased that our attention to detail and efforts to exceed expectations have been recognised.” Design is at the heart of the process at Jones Britain, and getting to know the client and understand their motivations for changing their kitchen space is the first step of any new project. Concepts are developed which fulfil not only the aesthetic requirements of the

customer, but also carefully consider the small details which will make life a little bit easier for the person using the kitchen. Whether it’s analysing the overall space and establishing the best location for appliances based on the traffic flow in a busy kitchen, or finding the perfect internal cupboard storage solution based on the utensils that a customer uses most, time is taken to establish what really does work best. Jones Britain’s clever design is underpinned by cutting-edge technology, with three-dimensional computer-aided design software enabling the exploration of different colours, textures and layouts which enable clients to visualise exactly what their new kitchen will look like.

Top award for local businesswoman CEO of is Business Woman of the Year 2017

Michele Harriman-Smith, CEO of, the world’s largest online retailer for children’s designer fashion, was recently crowned Business Woman of the Year 2017 at the UK Private Business Awards. The awards celebrate excellence in UK privately-owned businesses. The Business Woman of the Year 2017 category recognises the most exceptional businesswoman who has played an integral part in building a company, driven its growth and understood the importance of a customer-centric business. She is celebrated as a forward-thinker and a strong role model for other women in her industry. Michele Harriman-Smith is not only a role model in the fashion industry but in the company, the community and every aspect of her life. Her drive for progress and creative innovation inspires every member of her staff. Michele is an emphatic leader with a warm heart; she won the award not only because of her business acumen, but also for her humility and passion for people. In fact, after winning, her response to the hundreds of congratulation messages from the staff was: ‘Thank you everyone for the kind messages. This was about us, not just me. It was us who won it, all of us”. 110


This has been an incredible year for Childrensalon so far. The company started off being included in the 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain and 1000 Companies to Inspire Europe by the London Stock Exchange, and was followed by inclusion in the Sunday Times HSBC International Fast Track 200, where Childrensalon ranked number 85, along with the Employer of the Year award at the 2017 Kent Excellence in Business Awards. KUDOS NOV EMBER/DECEMBER 2017

Dr Foster: A lesson in how not to treat children during divorce

Sarah Haywood of ThomasHaywood Solicitors gives advice on family break-ups


I am sure that I was not the only one shocked at the appalling behaviour of Gemma and Simon towards their son Tom in the latest BBC TV series of Dr Foster. Whilst that is fiction, unfortunately the ThomasHaywood family team have seen parents behave in similar or worse ways. One parent told me their former partner stripped their four year old down to their underwear and sent them up the garden path in the middle of January because they did not want to share clothes they had bought. Other children have witnessed violence, shouting, attempted suicide or simply their parents in tears. Although it can be difficult when you are going through a separation, feeling hurt, worried about the future and finances, parents must remember that conflict is damaging to children. They may feel torn between the two people they love the most. Ideally you should tell the children together that you are separating, keep it age appropriate and reassure them that they are loved. That does not mean telling them every detail of the separation; it means telling them the same message and avoiding blame. Let them know it is OK to ask questions. Listening is as important as talking. Don’t try and shut them out by saying it’s “between the adults”. Give them your undivided

attention, put your phone/tablet down, turn the TV off and let them know you understand what they are saying, even if you do not agree. At ThomasHaywood, we deal with many cases involving children and our approach is to ensure your children remain your priority. None of our clients’ children, unlike Tom Foster, are registered missing persons.

Helping hand A round-up of local charity news Par for the course

Charity golf day raises money for ellenor More than £5,000 has been raised at the second Larrytech Charity Golf Day in aid of ellenor, Kent’s only charity offering hospice at home care to children. Website design agency Larrytech hosted the charity event recently at the Nevill Golf Club, Tunbridge Wells. “It was a great day, with lots of enthusiasm on the course, which was then followed by a lovely evening. To be able to raise funds for such a great cause and crucially raise awareness of ellenor and the great work they do, while bringing local business people together was hugely rewarding,” said Larrytech Director Doug Rubashow. “We are extremely grateful to all the local businesses who supported us and helped us raise more than £5,000.” Corporate Partnerships Manager for ellenor, Katherine Mobey, said: “Larrytech’s support has been fantastic, and we are really grateful for their fundraising and exposure. They’ve been very active on social media, too, raising awareness of the event and of ellenor. It’s great to see local businesses coming together to help make a real difference to the children and families that we support.” In addition to the golf, players enjoyed a two-course evening meal, raffle and auction. “It was a fantastic event and everyone was very supportive of ellenor. We were proud to be hosts to such a wonderful

Photo by Matt Harquail

cause,” said the Chairman of the Nevill Golf Club, David Blundell. Larrytech, which is based in Tunbridge Wells, provides website design and search engine optimisation for a growing range of clients across all sectors. Donations can be made to ellenor by visiting their website:

Help for hospice care

Kent charity Hospices of Hope celebrates 25 years of hospice care in Romania Otford-based charity, Hospices of Hope, celebrated 25 years of hospice care in Romania by holding its second annual Fun Run in Knole Park, Sevenoaks. More than 130 people took part in this family event, which raised funds to care for terminally-ill patients in Romania, Serbia and Moldova. The charity’s founder, Graham Perolls CMG, OBE started the race. Mascot Bagpuss led the 2K run, which was won by 10-year-old Joseph Walden in an amazing time of just nine minutes. The fastest runner in the 5K was Marcos Purse, who completed the race in 21 minutes. All runners were rewarded with a flapjack made at the Hospices of Hope’s tearoom in Otford and Romanian bottled water supplied by Aqua Carpatica. The event raised £1,500. Commenting on the Fun Run, Graham said: “The atmosphere at our Fun Run was fantastic, with families and supporters running or walking through the beautiful parkland to help raise funds for our patients. Without our care those patients face terminal illness with no support, symptom control or pain relief. This is the situation that some 92 per cent of people in Romania have to deal with. I am really grateful to everyone who took part and made the event so 112


Marcos Purse, winner of 5K and Joseph Walden, winner of 2K

enjoyable, and to the Knole Estate for letting us hold the event in such wonderful surroundings.” KUDOS NOV EMBER/DECEMBER 2017

Charity begins at Christmas

Support charities with your Christmas cards A charity Christmas card is a great way to support a cause that’s important to you. So head to the Cards for Good Causes (CFGC) charity Christmas card shop in The United Reformed Church at the top of Grosvenor Road on Mount Ephraim in Tunbridge Wells. Staffed by a team of local volunteers, the Tunbridge Wells popup shop is part of a network of over 300 temporary shops run by CFGC, the UK’s largest multi-charity Christmas card organisation. It represents more than 250 charities, including Cancer Research UK, Barnardo’s, NSPCC, Alzheimer’s Society, Parkinson’s UK, RNLI, as well as cards from a number of local charities including Fegans, Help For Heroes, Hi Kent, Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance and Romney Marsh Historic Churches Trust. This year, the shop will also feature some exclusive cards that are not available elsewhere on the high street, including designs depicting local scenes by local artists Chris Burke and Elaine Gill, who were commissioned to do the murals at Tunbridge Wells railway station earlier this year. In addition to cards, you’ll also find traditional advent calendars and candles, wrapping paper, gift tags, napkins and stocking fillers. Karen Bryant and Grahame Bullard, Co-Managers for the Cards for Good Causes Tunbridge Wells shop say: “Buying charity Christmas cards is one of the simplest ways to support good causes this festive season. Sales of the cards not only generate funds with

which the charities can make a real difference, but also purchasing and sending them helps raise awareness of the vital work these charities do. “If you have some free time and would be interested in getting involved by volunteering for any shifts in the shop, please log on to our website and check under the Get Involved tab.” The shop will be open until Tuesday 19th December, 10am to 4:30pm.

Back to nature

From supporting vulnerable young people to running courses, an organic farm, market garden and much more, Bore Place has sustainability at its heart


It’s hard to describe Bore Place in just one sentence. Set in 500 acres of countryside, it encompasses an organic dairy farm, organic market gardens, a stunning historic venue and environmental education centre, as well as programmes to provide opportunities for vulnerable and disadvantaged young people. But first, let’s go back to the reason that Bore Place actually exists, as the Trust’s Director, Caroline Arnold, explains: “Neil and Jenifer Wates (of Wates Construction) bought Bore Place in 1976. They wanted to find somewhere that would enable people to reconnect with the land and nature, to slow down a little bit. They saw the world becoming too materialistic and they both had a sense of wanting to create more social justice in terms of people; why is it that some people have more than others and how do we make the world a bit more equitable and fair? “Their vision was to explore how to live and work sustainably, understanding and recognising the interconnectedness of the environmental, social, economic and political aspects of sustainability. It became a charity in 1977, when the Commonwork Trust was set up to very much follow their original mission, and it has developed and evolved from there. “We have a full-scale operating farm and our focus is on how to operate in a way that really looks after the animals and the land. As well as producing milk and supplying organic milk to the market, we also supply organic veg to local pubs and restaurants. The food from our market garden has good provenance and we use it to feed our guests (we can accommodate up to 50 overnight) – we even supply a restaurant chain in London who come to collect salad from us every week. “We’ve recently invested in a bio-mass boiler so all the buildings and dairy are heated by wood chip and we are managing our own woodland to harvest that woodchip. So we’re in the building being heated by our own resource, which is phenomenal really. And the cost of it will be paid back in about seven to eight years. “We are also in the process of setting up Field Trails, with funding from Ibstock Cory Environmental Trust providing access around the estate with routes up to three-miles that gives people exposure to lots of different environments including the most breathtaking view over Bough Beech. What we are trying to do is connect people more with walking, and guiding them to the Kent Wildlife Trust site which is adjacent to here and



is another beautiful, natural asset which people might not know about. We are also going to be developing some geocaching and special trails for families, like I Spy trails, for example.” One of the trust’s core objectives is supporting young people, and an example of this is their Grow to Grow programme. Says Caroline, “Launched eight years ago, it’s for 14-24 year olds whose lives just haven’t really gone to plan, from personal challenges to self-esteem and confidence issues. Often, they have stopped engaging in school or caring about their own future and what’s important for us is providing them a place where they can deal with lots of things at once. If you are waiting for a mental health service, you could be waiting six months for an appointment and what are you doing in the meantime? Sitting in your bedroom with no purpose, so for us it’s about finding a purpose for young people. So they come here and support us as an organisation, working outdoors in the market garden, which is a very therapeutic space and also gives them a purpose. It’s about getting their lives back on track and teaching them how to cope, as well as equipping them with tools and skills that make them more employable. We have over an 80 per cent success rate with the young people who come here and then go onto further education, employment or training.” The trust also works very closely with schools, providing a whole host of education programmes for a day visit or a residential, whether it’s working with clay, being inspired by the outdoors for creative writing, looking at mini beasts, learning where food comes from and how to cook, going on a night walk. During autumn and winter, they also give schools 20 per cent off day visits, so if you are a school, now is a great time to get in touch with them. They also hold lots of public events and courses throughout the year, from astronomy evenings, bee keeping and creative writing, to cookery courses and making wreaths for Christmas. Check out their website for more details. One way to get involved with Bore Place is to volunteer. “We have volunteers who come here regularly, says Caroline. “From a renewable energy expert to a copywriter to a graphic designer to someone who’s doing a horticultural degree. We have about 20-30 work placements on the farm each year, from veterinary students looking to get certain experience in dairy farming to companies who bring a team of volunteers as part of their contribution to the community. Lots of people come every week because they want to be a part of something and that’s very important for us.” KUDOS NOV EMBER/DECEMBER 2017





Kudos issue 25  
Kudos issue 25  

Nov/Dec 2017