Stitch in time
Family memories woven by hand
Luxury Easter chocolate
Anton Piotrowski on MasterChef, divorce and fresh starts
Working together with:
TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE Tickets for The Herald Business Awards on April 20th, 2017 at the Plymouth Pavillions, are now available. Please contact Kate Nesbitt on 01752 293174, or at email@example.com to buy yours.
plymouthherald.co.uk/businessawards Sponsored by
“It was a leap of faith because it’s not to everyone’s taste.” Pat Smith on her kaleidoscopic Cornish home , p22
COLOUR ME HAPPY Pat Smith embraces the rainbow
STEAL HER STYLE It’s all in the detail for Emma Stone
[contents[ Inside this week... 6
THE WISHLIST Our pick of the best treats this week
JUST BETWEEN US... Sh! We have all the latest gossip
KEEPING TIME The artist giving hope to families
DARTINGTON DELIGHTS The food fair returns for its seventh year
A FRESH START Spice up your salads for spring
MasterChef winner Anton bounces back
VA-VA-VIBRANT Colourful Cornish holiday retreats
JUST ASK GRACIE Our style guru solves your problems
JUMP AROUND All-in-ones are your spring solution
BOOST YOUR WELLBEING Great ways to feel your best this week
YOUR STARS THIS WEEK Cassandra Nye has your new horoscope
SMALL BITES What’s hot in the South West foodie world
SECRET WESTCOUNTRY Where to go, what to do
OFF TO THE BARRE Chris McGuire is talent-spotted
IT’S THE FIZZ-NESS How to up your Prosecco game
BESIDE THE SEASIDE
Sea, sand and sunshine
COOKING UP A STORM
Anton Piotrowski’s fresh start
[ welcome [
Today is our day. . Mum of twins sharon Goble on what Mother’s day means to her (THe SMarT PHoTograPHer)
very morning, when I open a kitchen sight cupboard to make tea, I catch gave of a mug one of my twin sons It me years ago on Mother’s Day. and chocolate”. says “I love you more than chips an awful lot so, Isaac likes chips and chocolate (I now keep teaeven though the mug is chipped throw it away. spoons in it), I know I will never have to gifts Silly really, the attachment we lovely. from our kids. Silly and yet inexplicably pull on our heartWho else exerts that kind of senof notion this strings? I’ve been pondering in the run up to timental attachment a good deal Mothering Sunday... stopped recently have 11, aged Felix, Isaac and into their own persharing a bedroom and moved knock before ensonal space, each with a “Please I’ve spent tering” sign on the door. Consequently, clothes they’ve ages trawling through toys and mountain of grown out of, alongside the usual with children. It “stuff” your house acquires all those different makes you realise how quickly phases of childhood pass. they haven’t The dressing-up trunk, which a flood of rifled through in a while, brought donned cowboy memories. Remember when they pistols on you? outfits and strode around pulling concocted they And the marvellous costumes
photography: kilian Hall
Giving hope in a challenging situation veryone seems to have a spring in their step now that my most favourite season is here, but if you happen to be dealing with a particularly difficult personal situation, it can be hard to stay positive, or know what you can do to help. As many with a loved one suffering from dementia will know, the anguish of treasured memories going unrecognised is heartbreaking, and it can seem an endless struggle to remind them of happier times. Providing an innovative and creative way of putting familiarity at the forefront is Joanna Shepherd, aka Mrs Marvellous, who makes quilts
of the week
using items from a family’s past, inspired by her own experience of her father’s battle with Alzheimer’s (p12). Also drawing strength from a difficult time is MasterChef winner Anton Piotrowski, who talks frankly about his health and mental wellbeing as he embarks on a brand new venture (p16). And if you need a little inspiration bringing some seasonal brightness into your home while freshening up your décor, check out Pat Smith’s striking Cornish holiday cottages (p23) – enough to put the spring well and truly into even the most winter-hardened step.
An innovative and creative way to remember happier times
Thank you @WMNWest @BeckySheavesWMN for your lovely intro #MothersDay #family #twins TO ADVERTISE: Contact Cathy Long: 01752 293017 or 07557 576668, firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITORIAL: email@example.com Tel: 01392 442250 Twitter @wmnwest
COVER IMAGE: Paul Slater
MEET THE TEAM Becky Sheaves, Editor
EdsLetter_1thing_April 1.indd 4
If you do one thing this week... Why not resolve to buy really good quality, Westcountry-made Easter eggs this year? Chococo makes the finest chocolate and has won many international awards. With shops in Swanage and Exeter, the company has been run by husband and wife team Claire and Andy Burnet since 2002. Chococo has always been a firm believer in working with chocolate high in cocoa solids and low in sugar. Its new MegaMilk egg is made from a truly revolutionary milk chocolate with the flavours of fine dark chocolate, the creaminess of milk, but with less sugar than even 80 per cent dark chocolate. Chococo’s Exeter chocolate house in Gandy Street stocks the full Easter range and has a café for hot chocolates, chocolate fondue, sundaes and locally-baked cakes. www.chococo.co.uk
We have three of Chococo’s MegaMilk Easter eggs (worth £16.95 each) to give away. For your chance to win one, simply tell us in which year Chococo was founded. Send your answer, together with your name, address, email and phone number to: Chococo Competition, firstname.lastname@example.org to arrive by April 8, 2017. Alternatively, you can post your answer to Chococo Competition, West Magazine, Queen’s House, Little Queen Street, Exeter EX4 3LJ. Normal terms apply, West will not share your details. 5
EdsLetter_1thing_April 1.indd 5
Cosy throw £120 Houseology
wishlist West’s top picks for spending your time and money this week
Hanging photo frame £8 M&Co
Gaia Awakening body scrub and body cream £38 each from Gaia Spa, Boringdon Hall, near Plymouth 6
Wishlist_April 1.indd 6
Heart shaped knife block £30 Wilkinson
Casserole dish £35 George Home
Floral suit jacket £65 Miss Selfridge
Ariel chaise £495 Furniture Village
Chloe bucket bag £48 The Great Gift Company 7
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talking points Fenella Tobey
Story of my life... The joy of making a fool of yourself f you were hoping for a riotous April Fool’s tale, then I am going to disappoint you. The best I ever managed was to swap the sugar for salt on my friend’s favourite chocolate biscuit. Hilarious. Instead, I am going to tell you about the last time I felt like a fool – and it all starts with the Kingsbridge cinema. my mouth. Going to see a film is something This is all pointless, however. I consider a luxury. I am quite While I may manage to keep my happy to wait for films to come out eyeballs from overflowing my on DVD and watch them from the nose has other ideas and springs comfort of my sofa with an enda leak of its own. less supply of popcorn that didn’t Cue loud sniffles as I try to precost so much that I had to take out vent the inevitable decline into a a loan. pitiful mess. But recently I went to see Lion, Although we were blind in the the Oscar-nominated feature foldark of the cinema, the tension lowing the true story of an adoptwas building. Who would be the ed Indian boy first to break in the who searches for face of such a tearhis lost family. jerker of a film? Although we were In short, it is an After an hour and epic drama which 50 minutes of watchblind, in the dark, – unexpectedly ing Lion I was sufthe tension was – reduced me to fering from a poundtears. ing headache, no building. Who Now, I am not doubt caused from would be the first adverse to public my lack of oxygen as to break in the displays of emoI choked on my own tion, and have face of such a tear- sobs. been known to It was at one hour jerker of a film? cry unashamedly and 57 minutes on the London that it happened; Underground. it escaped before I It being Halloween the running could snatch it back. The yelping make-up only added to my terrisquawk of a distressed seal sudfying costume, so what did I care? denly leapt into the silence of the Besides, in London you have total auditorium. anonymity. Not so back home in After all my efforts I had finally south Devon, I find. But the thing crumbled and my emotions tumis, it is actually more distressing bled out in loud sobs and hiccups. to witness me trying to hold in Out of all the soft hearted women tears than it is to see me cry. at the 5.30pm performance, it had My face goes red, my chin and to be me who disgraced herself. lower lip tremble uncontrollaWhat can I say? It doesn’t have to bly and, for some reason, my lips be April 1 for you to be feel like a stretch into a weird grimace as I fool. I think I’ll stick to comedies try to keep all noise from escaping from now on.
Black doesn’t need to be boring: Emma Stone attended the BAFTAs recently in an eye-catching silver and black embellished dress. Although pairing your frock with trousers is not a look most people would think of trying, the La La Land star wears it with style. Here are some black frocks that, like Emma’s, are full of interest. Embroidery, embellishment and lace can all make a little black dress into a big style statement. Floral lace structured dress £39 Apricot
OR MAKE IT YOUR OWN
OPTION B Sparkling OPTION A Smart
Metallic midi dress £65 Very
Chiffon lace pencil dress £125 Littlewoods
Next week: Fenella on life back home after university. Gillian Molesworth is having a break but will return to West next month 8
Moley Gossip_April 1.indd 8
CAROLINE’S NEW SHOW Caroline Quentin is happily settled with husband and kids in her home near Tiverton, but she’s been away up country all last month. She’s been appearing in Hull with the Royal Shakespeare Company starring in a play called The Hypocrite, described as “Blackadder meets Mr Bean”. It’s a new production by Richard Bean, who had such a success with his last play, One Man, Two
Guvnors. The Telegraph’s theatre critic certainly rated Caroline’s performance, saying, “ringleted and at her buxom max – [she] gives a mistress-class in withering disdain.” The show has just moved – slightly nearer to home for Caroline – to The Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon where it will run until April 29. A must-see!
between us Gossip, news, trend setters and more – you heard all the latest juicy stuff here first!
WILL’S GOOD WORKS This week Will Young – who went to Exeter University before finding fame as a pop star - took to Twitter to help young people get better health care in Africa. “I support young campaigners & #bravegirls in Uganda calling for better access to sexual health services” he tweeted. It’s all part of his support for the charity Plan International Uk, which works to advance children’s rights and equality for girls all over the world. West says: Good on you, Will.
WHY JOSS IS IN THE PINK Joss Stone, having grown up near Cullompton in Devon, has always been loyal and outspoken about her love for the Westountry. So where is she now? Well Joss is not actually at home but on tour all around the world. Having expressed
an ambition to perform in every country in the world; she is ticking Taiwan, Malaysia and Germany off her list at the moment. Also she has just dyed her hair a fetching shade of flamingo. She’s in definitely in the pink, it seems.
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Blooming lovely Spring arrives in Notte Street, Plymouth
in pictures Ahoy me hearties: Babs the Sheep boards the Golden Hind at Brixham in aid of the Rowcroft Hospice
Keep on running: Hundreds of children take part in the Landrake Cross Country Run near Saltash
Have I won? A Scrufts charity dog show raised money at Cornwall College, Newquay 10
WIP_HISTORY_April 1.indd 10
talking points A HISTORY
objects 38: ILLUSTRATION OF ORCHIDS
The best way to:
HUNT FOR EASTER EGGS With Easter nearly upon us it can only mean one thing spending your time upended in a hedge, scrabbling around for chocolate eggs. Fenella Tobey joins the search... Follow the clues: Agatha Christie’s former home Greenway near Torquay is hosting an Easter egg hunt this year around its beautiful grounds. A chance to test your detective skills, immerse yourself in the world of mystery and wander about the woodland that slopes down to the Dart Estuary. April 1-17 £2.50 www.nationaltrust.org.
Julien Parsons is the Senior Collections Officer, The Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter. He says: In July 1965 The New Yorker magazine’s “Letter from London” reported on the latest best-seller. Not a sci-fi story or spy novel but rather a collection of illustrations and descriptions of 1486 species of flowers entitled The Concise British Flora in Colour. Perhaps the strangest thing about this surprise ‘60s hit was the identity of the author: an 88-year-old parish priest from Devon. William Keble Martin’s family moved to Dartington in 1891, when he was a teenager. After studying at Oxford, he was ordained and served as a curate in northern England, before arriving as rector at Haccombe near Newton Abbot in 1921. In between church duties he would steal into the countryside to paint meticulous studies of wildflowers, crowded together to allow comparison between species. After moves in the 1930s and ‘40s to Great Torrington in north Devon and then back to south Devon in 1949 he
relocated to Gidleigh, near Chagford, where he was a peripatetic vicar and botanical illustrator. In 1960, Rev Martin faced tragedy. His wife and eldest daughter both died that year and during this difficult time his botanical studies helped him cope with the loss. Encouraged by friends and colleagues, he collated some of his plant drawings into a single volume. The result was a triumph. The first 50,000 copies of the Concise Flora sold out in months.
Dig deep for that chocolate craving: Fancy something a little different? Creep through the underground caves at Kent’s Cavern, south Devon in search of the chocolate eggs that “Cavog” the caveman has left behind. With plenty of activities expect an Easter adventure the children will never forget. www.kents-cavern.co.uk
Painted by a Devon clergyman, 20th century
Shiver me timbers: Now if caving with dinosaurs isn’t enough to tempt the little ones then a pirate adventure just might. Take a voyage through 18th century Cornwall, meet a real live pirate and join him on the quest for the golden egg at Newquay’s Pirate Quest indoor adventure centre. £7.95 children www.piratesquest.co.uk
Back to basics: If you’ve had enough of the gimmicks and just want a good old fashioned Easter Egg hunt, then head to Trelissick near Truro. When you are not hunting for chocolate, you can enjoy the river views, exotic plants and herbaceous borders not to mention the excellent cafe. www.nationaltrust.org.uk
On display in Gallery 20, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter until May 28 www.rammuseum.org.uk
Competition winner: Congratulations to Stephen Lee of South Molton who wins Polgoon sparkling wine and Lick The Spoon chocolates worth £22.95 from Taste of the West www.tasteofthewest.co.uk
WIP_HISTORY_April 1.indd 11
making precious memories Sarah Pitt meets Joanna Shepherd of Saltash, who stitches quilts to preserve memories for people with dementia rs Marvellous - aka Joanna Shepherd of Saltash - makes quilts out of memories, quite literally. People share mementoes that are important to a loved one with dementia, and she incorporates them into her hand-sewn creations. Each one is a labour of love. “This is the one I made for my own dad when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s,” she says, shaking out a neat quilted square on the table in her workshop. It is composed, conventionally enough, of squares of fabric stitched together. Less conventional are the three-dimensional elements – bootlaces from a favourite pair of shoes, the actual key to her dad’s shed, a photograph digitally printed onto fabric. And then there is a fabric flower made from a
PHOTOGRAPHY: PENNY CROSS
Joanna Shepherd makes quilts that bring back precious memories 13
fragment of her mum’s wedding dress. “I made this little lap quilt for dad when we couldn’t care for him at home anymore,” explains Joanna. “Dad had to go into a care home, which meant giving up most of his possessions. It really was a heart-breaking situation to be in. Until you go through it, you don’t know what it is like.” To make it less of a wrench for him, Joanna came up with the idea of making a quilt using fabrics and mementoes from his life. The idea of the quilt is both to trigger memories of happy past times and to reassure and quieten fears. “This part of my mum’s wedding dress is made into a flower with the button off my dad’s old suede coat, which everyone associated with him,” she says. “Then there are photos of us, his four children, as he remembered us.” A bright fabric festooned with tropical fish is a reference, meanwhile, to holidays her parents en-
joyed when Joanna was teaching in the Cayman Islands. “When they came over to see me there, Dad really loved snorkelling,” she explains. The border of the quilt, with its rows of flowers between stripes of green, represents her dad’s love of gardening. She strokes a piece of knitted fabric on the quilt. “This is my mum’s cardi, which he wouldn’t let us throw away after she died,” she explains. “And I’ve embroidered the word Treyarnon, because that is where we went on all our family holidays, on the north coast of Cornwall. Then this is a photo of mum and dad on one of their holidays, printed on to fabric, and this is from a dress they had made for mum in Thailand.” The quilt helped her dad in all sorts of ways, she explains. “My dad had really fidgety fingers, so by having lots of texture, like the bootlaces for instance, and the key to his shed, gave interest for his hands. And dad had a never-ending string
‘The idea of the quilt is
to trigger memories of
happy times in the past’
of carers, who didn’t know him, and his memory was failing. This quilt helped, because it meant that they could start a conversation with him about something on the quilt.” Joanna’s father died two years ago but Joanna, 54, has been inspired to make more quilts, memory aprons and cushions, for other people with dementia. She works from her sewing room in the home she shares with her husband in Saltash. It’s a light, bright space with fantastic views up the Tamar Valley, over an expanse of glittering water. When she started the business, Joanna had just been made redundant from her job as a youth worker. She’d weathered a tough period of her life when she’d been diagnosed with breast cancer and had to have a mastectomy, and had also been suffering from ME, the chronic fatigue syndrome. Working for herself, from home, has enabled her to manage her condition. “Since I became self-employed, it has become so much easier to manage,” she says. “I can sit here working peacefully. The thing about having ME is that it fries your body clock, so I can be wide awake at five in the morning. I will come and work, then be in bed again at three in the afternoon.” Joanna is open to all ideas for commissions
and, as well as her work with dementia sufferers, she’s helped people who are grieving by making quilts using mementoes of their loved one, be it a favourite shirt or a button, a photo or a trinket. And no, she insists, this work is not morbid. If anything, she finds it uplifting. “I absolutely love chatting to people, hearing their stories and then creating something specifically for them,” she says. “I’d get bored doing the same thing all the time. If I had to produce 300 of the same thing, that would be the worst thing for me. Whereas when I’m doing one-off original pieces, I get really passionate about them.” She recalls one project, where she made a quilt for a woman who had just lost her partner, and wanted a quilt so she could wrap herself in her memories. “She said her partner had been a Queen’s Guide in New Zealand, and a couple of weeks later she came back with a scarf and some badges for me to incorporate in the quilt. Then I asked, ‘have you got any nice photos of the two of you together?’ She had some African fabric she and her partner had brought back from one of their holidays. Now, she has the quilt, and she says that when she wraps it around herself it is like she is being hugged by her partner.” At the other end of life’s span, Joanna also makes quilts for children. She is currently making a pair for a mum with two daughters. “Their mum wants her girls to have them for life, to be able to take them off to university with them. When the mum saw the finished quilts, she burst into tears she was so happy. That was a lovely thing, because you know you have done something that is going to be really cherished. It makes all the hard work worthwhile.” See www.mrsmarvellous.co.uk 15
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Cooking up a storm
Chris McGuire meets MasterChef winner Anton Piotrowski in Plymouth to talk Michelin stars, marriage breakdown and making a fresh start
knew I'd won,” says chef Anton Piotrowski looking back on his time on MasterChef: The Professionals. “But I couldn’t say anything to anyone. I was under embargo.” There’s a pause. Clearly a seasoned storyteller, Anton, 35, lets me in on a secret. “I did get drunk one night and I let it out. Everyone was like: ‘What?’ It was a bit crazy. I shouldn’t have had that extra pint.” It’s impossible not to warm to Anton. There’s a cheekiness about him that makes me think he would be a good companion for a pint (or two). Anton doesn’t attempt to hide the incredulity he felt when getting involved with the show. “You walk into a room and you see Michel Roux [Jr] and Gregg Wallace. I was a bag of nerves. The show is so hard, you’ve got cameras around you and Monica Galetti’s there as well, breathing down
PHOTOGRAPHY: PAUL SLATER
Feature 2_Anton_April 1.indd 17
your neck…” It's a great story, with what should have been a fairytale ending. Anton, who grew up in Ivybridge, west Devon, went on to win the show in 2012, then won a Michelin star for his gastropub The Treby Arms in nearby Sparkwell: “I crashed the internet in Sparkwell, when I actually won. We had more than 1500 emails in 24 hours. On the answer phone I had 100 messages every 20 minutes. I couldn’t clear them.” He and his wife Clare saw their business go from strength to strength and started a family - their daughter Bonnie is now 18 months old. The Treby Arms made it onto the Sunday Times Top 100 list of restaurants. So it comes as a shock to discover that Anton has left the Treby Arms and split up with Clare. Today, he is in a new relationship and he is just starting as chef at a new enterprise, a restaurant
called Brown & Bean in Plymouth. So what went wrong? It would seem his life has been something of a rollercoaster of late - about which he is remarkably frank. “After splitting with my wife, obviously with any kind of breakup there’s always bitterness...” Oh dear. He elaborates: “Basically she and I were working together and I was like ‘this is not working for me’. Working together with my wife: I found it very stressful.” It's fair to say that Anton’s departure from the Treby Arms was a difficult time, to say the least. He claims there have been "lots of fake stories about what actually happened". And the rawness of Anton’s emotion about leaving the Treby Arms, the pub he shepherded to a Michelin star, is obvious. “The safe thing for them to do there really is keep my menus going and then when September comes, if they do exactly the same, they’ll keep the star.”
'Lot of guys don't talk about
stress and depression. I've
gone through a hard time'
However, with a new chef already in place at the Treby Arms, Anton is going to have to get used to the idea that it is no longer his baby and someone else is writing the menu there. That is not all he is coming to terms with, either. As a Type 1 diabetic, Anton struggled with his health in the aftermath of his marriage break-up. “I haven’t been very well at all, with other things as well. Lots of guys don’t talk about stress and depression… I’ve just really gone through a hard time.” Anton now suffers from stomach ulcers and is refreshingly open about his mental health problems: “Type 1 diabetes is hard to manage anyway… and depression is one of the master keys of Type 1 diabetes. You can have mood swings and it’s a hard thing to manage as well.” But after such an undeniably rocky period, Anton seems reinvigorated. “I feel massively alive again when I’m in the kitchen. I’m really talking about food again. "I’m so excited to get into the kitchen and actually properly cook. I haven’t had that for a long time.” Anton has two partners in Brown & Bean; his ex-army pal Ben McBean, 28, and Anton's surf-
Feature 2_Anton_April 1.indd 18
After splitting up with his wife, Anton has a new restaurant in Plymouth
Feature 2_Anton_April 1.indd 19
ing buddy, Paul Brown, 34. And his tone changes completely when discussing the menu at the new restaurant. “I’d call it Devon-based ingredients, cooked with love and care. It's just the ingredients we get from the South West that are so amazing. It’s modern British, modern European. ” Don’t expect the food to be conventional, though. Anton can barely disguise his glee when discussing one of the items on his new taster menu. “It’s called How The Chef Tastes. You put a plate on the bottom with pork juice, yoghurt and dill oil and then on the back of your hand we put burnt apple sauce. "Five textures of dehydrated pork are put on the back of your hand, apple blossom and pickled blood radishes and basically you lick it off your hand. No cutlery with that dish at all.” I ask how the dish - and the menu in general are being received: “People are absolutely blown away,” he says stoutly. And certainly, the reviewer Louise Daniel hailed How The Chef Tastes as a “novel idea” and a “conversation starter”. The Plymouth Herald restaurant critic added that the food itself tastes “sensational” and, of course, she added: “there are no plates to clear away”. Having said that, the dish was denounced by another diner as "pretentious piffle" and the ensuing furore gained national attention in the Sun
and the Daily Mail. Still, it is certainly getting Anton noticed, which perhaps is the point. More prosaically, in addition to Anton's culinary style and sense of theatre, Brown & Bean’s menu is designed with modern nutritional requirements in mind. Gluten-free and dairy-free recipes are the order of the day. Vegetarian and vegan tasting menus are also available. “We’ve really gone out of our way to support every kind of dietary need.” So after such a period of trauma, it would seem Anton has his mojo back. “I’m not thinking about the short term here. I got the Treby to the top 100 in The Sunday Times good restaurant guide. That was my end goal the whole time I was there. I achieved that. "When it comes out next year, I want Brown & Bean to be in the Top 100. If a [Michelin] star comes at some point, a star comes. I’ll still sleep. I think if you’re happy with what you’re doing accolades will come.” After such a bumpy year, Anton ends our chat sounding as happy as he must have done the night he spilt the beans about MasterChef. “I seem to have my buzz back for cooking. That’s something I’ve missed for a long time.” Brown & Bean, 68 Ebrington Street, Plymouth
'I feel massively alive again when I'm in the kitchen.
I've got my buzz back'
Feature 2_Anton_April 1.indd 20
Intro April 1.indd 21
Interiors_April 1.indd 22
Life in colour Pat Smith has filled her eclectic Cornish holiday cottages with happiness, thanks to an upbeat approach to using colour. She tells Fran McElhone how she created this fun, cheerful look olour elicits all sorts of emotions in us. Walk into Bosinver Farm cottages near St Austell and the explosion of colours including lime, magenta, mustard and turquoise, will surely make you feel happy. “My aim was cheerfulness,” says their owner Pat Smith. “To make people smile, that’s the mission.” There are 20 cottages at the Trelowth site, a former farm with a mention in the Domesday Book, which Pat and her husband took on two decades ago. “When we moved here, it was a collection of wooden chalets and barns which required a huge make-over,” says Pat. “We looked at it like a blank canvas. It took 12 years to get everything up to scratch.” Every seven years or so, the cottages get a makeover. It’s taken around two years for Pat’s energy to manifest in eight out of the 20 and attain their current jazzy charm. Colour is everywhere. But it is used against a backdrop of crisp off-white walls and exposed wooden beams. So the result is more subtle than one would expect and gives a contemporary edge to these rustic properties, which are surrounded by rolling pastures not to mention sheep, goats, horses, chickens, ducks and geese. “I love colour myself,” says Pat. “But it was a leap of faith because it’s not to everyone’s taste. However, I’ve found that even if people wouldn’t
Interiors_April 1.indd 23
Interiors choose to live like this at home, they love the fun element for a holiday. And it’s something most people aren’t doing; you get a lot of blues and whites in holiday cottages in the South West.” So how did Pat know that mustard and turquoise would be a harmonious marriage? “I just love the fabrics and wallpapers on the Designers Guild website,” she reveals. “They’re so brave with colour! You look at colours you’d never, ever put together. I look for the colours ‘I look for the that complement one another. I wanted to make the cottages colours that more fun and funky – but also complement one tasteful.” Pat, who is 68 and a grandanother. I wanted mother of four, enjoyed the to make the design process which she carcottages more fun ried out with help from interior designer and style guru and funky - but Jessica Forbes. She extols the also tasteful’ benefits of getting an expert on board. “I found Jess by chance but soon realised she could help me with my vision,” continues Pat. “She’s made me braver.” Pat’s vision is for each of the holiday cottages to be unique. So where does she derive her inspiration? “I spend a lot of time browsing on the website Pinterest,” she says. “I don’t always know what I’m looking for - sometimes you know what you want and can’t find it. Other times you go out on a hunt and find half-a-dozen things by accident.” Pat says that her “passion” is to use local suppliers, though she says it is hard to shop locally all the time, because often items aren’t stocked. For this reason, about 60 per cent of what she sources is found online. But local artisans and suppliers have been integral to helping Pat fulfil her vision. She talks about a local furniture and surface designer Lucy Turner, based in Penryn, who makes “wonderful” customised items using laser-cut decorations on upcycled furniture. She also rates Tom Raffield, who handcrafts bent wood lamp shades in Helston. She uses Cotton Mills in Truro for fabric and curtains, a “marvellous” kitchen fitter from Padstow and local seamstress who does her sewing. Eco-conscious Pat is keen to upcycle too - she
pops into a store called RE:SOURCE, based in Bodmin, for reconditioned furniture and will endeavour to revive existing pieces wherever possible. “I had a lot of orange pine pieces which I wanted to upgrade. Then I realised that I didn’t need to get rid of them. Instead, we painted them all and gave them a new lease of life,” she adds. Pat’s cottages are also full of delightfully original quirks. In one, she has created a staircase adorned with book spines – an idea she found on the Etsy website – made by an American designer who sent them over to Cornwall from the States. “For me, the books had to be all by Daphne du Maurier or from the Poldark series,” she says. “So I now have a beautiful set of stairs made of books that I know people will be blown away by when they walk in the door!” Other favourite places to shop include Habitat and Maisons du Monde (www.maisonsdumonde. com) for the ornamental pieces such as the oversized paper pom poms she hangs from overhead beams. A beautiful striped headboard in one of the bedrooms was handmade by local upholsterer, Tristan Kimber, who is based in Blackwater near St Agnes (www.tristankimberupholstery. com). And then I ask Pat about an unusual looking kitchen tap. “What, you mean the one I got from B&Q?” she laughs. As long as it fulfils her creative vision and top quality credentials, Pat’s happy. “I spend a lot of time doing this, but I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t love it. And I know what I do pays off, because people love it,” she says. This is a sentiment that has resulted in her holiday cottages winning a string of prestigious awards. “I just know what makes economic sense,” she says. “Instead of doing cheap and cheerful interiors and then having to keep replacing things, I want to do it right and make sure it is robust enough so it can even withstand Ribena being splattered all over it!” www.bosinver.co.uk
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Festoon lights £9.99 HomeSense
Add some colour to your home with these fun picks
Cushion £5 Primark
Clock £30 Cuckooland Pols Potten chair £215 Amara
Dispenser £5 George at Home, Asda
Patchwork quilt £50 Little Bird by Jools Oliver at Mothercare
Table lamp £39.99 Marks & Spencer
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Want to look your best this week? Our styling expert Gracie Stewart of Exeter can help you fulfil your fashion potential in every possible way. All you have to do is ask...
Working it out I have a very important interview coming up
Q but no idea what to wear. Do you have any tips? GW, South Brent
Pipedtunic £28 Very
Trying to decide what to wear to a job interview is always a tricky task. But for both formal and informal interviews there are a few hard and fast rules you should abide by. Be comfortable: To ensure you won’t be adjusting your outfit during the interview, don’t choose anything that you haven’t worn before. If you must have something new, buy in advance and road-test the outfit a few days before so there is time to change your mind. Dark colours are best: If you’re prone to sweating or blushing, opt for a dark coloured outfit. Confidence is key: If you own an outfit you always get compliments in, don’t be afraid to reach for it. Sometimes your old favourite is all you need.
Check print shift dress £20 Apricot
Backless mules £39 Miss Selfridge
Shoes matter: Shoes are what pull your whole outfit together so make sure they are clean and smart - and never choose heels that you have trouble walking in.
Gracie’s shopping list
Avoid stretch marks Q
I’m 18 weeks pregnant and was wondering if there’s anything I can do to help prevent stretch marks? EM, Porlock
Unfortunately stretch marks are incredibly common during pregnancy, with up to 70% of women acquiring at least some. While often stretch marks are hereditary, meaning if your mum got them then there’s a higher chance you will too. But there are things you can do to help prevent their appearance. Also - they will fade when the baby arrives. 1. Start moisturising your tummy on a daily basis from the moment you discover you’re pregnant. 2. Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated is not only good for you and your baby, it’s also good for your skin. 3. Exercise regularly, as this will help keep your circulation pumping and will mean your skin performs better. 4. Stock up on stretch mark prevention products - and hope for the best.
Bio Oil £8.99 Superdrug
Nuxe Rêve de Miel honey lip balm £9.50 www.escentual.com When lips are dry and in need of some intensive nourishment, this rich and restorative balm will restore suppleness. It can even be used on sores and light burns.
Silderm stretch mark prevention oil £29 www.dermacaredirect.co.uk
Mama Mio The Tummy Rub oil £27 www.mioskincare.co.uk
Fitting in I’m heading to Morocco on holiday in a few
Q weeks time and I’m conscious about what
Printed scarf £15 Very
I can and can’t wear in such a conservative country. Do you have any advice? HM, Bodmin
Palm print linen kaftan £109 East
When travelling to countries like Morocco, the general rule of thumb when it comes to dressing is that your shoulders should be covered and whatever you choose to wear on the bottom half should fall below the knee. With that in mind, here are a few must-pack items. Pashmina or scarf: An incredibly versatile item, a pashmina or scarf can be used to cover your shoulders, keep you warm when the sun goes down or to cover your hair when visiting a place of worship. Three-quarter trousers: Opt for a cotton or linen pair as they offer plenty of cover but will help you to stay cool in the hot weather. Leggings: These are ideal for wearing under shorter dresses or skirts. You should look for cotton blends, as they are more comfortable in hotter climates.
Casual cardigan £65 Gerry Weber
Cardigan: A lightweight cardigan can be worn unbuttoned so you can keep cool while keeping your shoulders and arms under wraps.
Kayu Pineapple striped woven straw pouch £60 www.netaporter.com Complete with a tasselled zip pull, this pouch is hand-woven from straw with sky-blue stripes and pineapple embroidery. Carry yours as a clutch or use it to stash beauty products.
Kiehl’s Smoothing Oil-Infused leave-in concentrate £19 John Lewis This weightless, versatile oil concentrate provides smoothing for all hair types. It can be used on damp hair as a smoothing treatment and styling aid or on dry hair as a light finisher for softness and shine.
Got a style or beauty question? Email Gracie Stewart at email@example.com with the subject Ask Gracie
Denim-look jumpsuit £195 House of Fraser
Jumping for joy or those of you who wake up and struggle to decide what to wear every day, jumpsuits are about to become your new best friend. All-in-ones are the easy way to sort your entire outfit in one chic swoop. For cooler days you can layer them over long sleeve tops, or leave your arms out when the weather plays nice. We love this denim-look style from House of Fraser, which can be easily dressed up with a pair of heels for a night out. If you’re hesitant about wearing a jumpsuit, try starting with a dark block colour such as the deep plunge jumpsuit from Littlewoods.
Poppy fields jumpsuit £179 Jigsaw
Karolina print jumpsuit £45 Monsoon
Printed slim leg jumpsuit £45 Very
Polka dot wrap jumpsuit £55 Wallis
Deep plunge jumpsuit £52 Littlewoods.com
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fave! Versatile: Dark floral will take you effortlessly from day to night
Floral jumpsuit £48 Littlewoods.com
Suede jumpsuit £550 Jigsaw
Frill sleeve jumpsuit £55 Simply Be
Denim jumpsuit £85 Oliver Bonas
Lounge jumpsuit £12 George at ASDA
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Life just got better. Our wellness guru Charlotte Dear has handpicked the latest health secrets and expert advice to help you be your best self, every day
Doing it your own way Thinking of launching your own business but can’t find the confidence to overcome that fear of failure? Recent research shows that confidence is one of the single largest issues preventing women from achieving their full potential at work, so here are some strategies to see you soar: knowledge is power so make sure you really know your stuff, adopt a positive attitude in all aspects of your life, practice overcoming fear by taking small risks every day and, above all, be assertive about what you believe in.
Ups and downs On Saturday April 8 Exmoor National Park will play host to one of Britain’s most diverse and challenging running courses. The Coastal Trail Series incorporates five different races, a 10k, a half marathon, marathon, ultra and ultra plus, the longest of which has an average completion time of nine hours and 45 minutes. Not for the faint-hearted, this course encompasses steep climbs, long descents, open moorland, thickly wooded valleys and dizzying cliffs. Think you’ve got what it takes? Visit www.endurancelife.com
SUPER SALADS Warmer weather, the beach body countdown and a spring detox doesn’t have to mean dull dry salads day after day. Time to liven up your lettuce by injecting flavour, colour and spice. Give salad a kick with sundried tomatoes, gherkins or olives, sweeten up with apple, pear or pomegranate, add some crunch with walnuts, pecans or pumpkin seeds. For a protein boost use grilled chicken or tuna and top it all off with a healthy homemade dressing using ingredients such as lemon juice, mustard and plain yoghurt. 30
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Tearing your hair out? April is Stress Awareness Month, 30 days dedicated to increasing public awareness about both the causes and cures of our modern stress epidemic. The event is all about informing people of the dangers of stress, sharing successful coping strategies and banishing those all too common misconceptions about stress in society. If you or somebody close to you has been affected by stress, find a host of useful resources at www.stressawarenessmonth.com
And rest If you struggle to sleep at night or are simply too busy to squeeze in enough hours of shut-eye, Yoga Nidra could be your answer. It is said that 30 minutes of this ancient Buddhist practice is the equivalent to four hours of deep sleep, as it slowly calms brain activity into a Theta state (somewhere between waking and sleeping). At Oceanflow Yoga in Newquay, Yoga Nidra is one of many group classes designed to improve personal wellbeing, which also include hot yoga and pregnancy yoga. Single classes start at ÂŁ8 www.oceanflowyoga.co.uk
Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s coming up? Tweet us your wellbeing diary dates
@WMNWest or email firstname.lastname@example.org 31
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Loving your life on the run Expert advice on how to take up running and avoid injury or strength training but when it comes to joints, pain is normally a sign of a problem. It can be dangerous to just ignore knee pain and potentially even more dangerous and damaging to take painkillers and just soldier on regardless. Physiotherapist Tyrone Kon says: Before you do Problems can include inflammation or degenanything else, make sure you have a good pair of eration of the tendons (tendonitis and tendinolightweight trainers that are wellsis); inflammation due fitted and provide any stability to tissues rubbing inside that may be required. the joint (medial plica A bad pair of trainers can lead to syndrome) or outside the ‘If you were blisters, knee pain and heel condijoint (such as iliotibial taking your car tions like plantar fasciitis. band friction syndrome). on a long journey Due to each individual’s bioThey will all usually mechanics, everyone lands their settle with time and rest you’d get it stride differently. Manufacturers but physiotherapy norchecked before have now understood this and promally helps people reyou left. The vide shoes for all running gaits, so cover quicker and is often it is worth getting your shoes fitted extremely helpful. same goes for by an expert in a dedicated sports When symptoms peryour body’ shop. sist and are severe, sterInjuries can be a great bane for oid injections and even runners so listening to the experts surgery may be advised - and what your body’s telling you - and joints that keep - is paramount. swelling after exercise should always be checked Research shows between 30-50% of runners sharpish. will suffer an injury in a training year, very often How to avoid such problems? It’s all about affecting their knees. building up gradually, so you’re not overloading The important thing to do is listen to your this hard-working joint. Take plenty of time to knees. “No pain no gain” may be right for cardio gradually build up your training and avoid ramI’m thinking of taking up running, as several of my friends enjoy it and are in great shape. But I’m worried about injuries - I’m 49 and reasonably fit. FH, Perranporth
ping things up too fast, in order to allow your body time to adapt appropriately to the increased stresses that you’re putting it through. Progress your mileage sensibly. If you’re on a roll, it can be tempting to tag on some extra miles ahead of schedule, but you might be risking injury. Stick to the plan and don’t push on to the next goal before you need to do so. If you feel like you can do more, that’s a good sign, it means your training regime’s working and you’re reaching your goals and maintaining fitness. Push yourself too soon and you could hurt yourself. Stretching appropriately, plenty of sleep, hydration and fuelling well are all also important for reducing injury risk and aiding in post-run recovery. If you have a history of injury or health problems or if you’re tackling a demanding fitness regime for the first time, consider getting an MOT with an expert, who can guide you on the most sensible ways to proceed. If you were taking your car on a long journey you’d get it checked before you left. The same goes for your body. Even though you’re probably pretty fit, it is worth taking some professional advice. Tyrone Kon, a leading physiotherapist at London’s Boost Physio, an official London Marathon Injury Clinic.
WB_FOODIE_April 1.indd 32
Our pick of what’s on in the Westcountry food world right now A feast for seafood lovers The Porthleven Food and Music Festival brings together around 30,000 people every year in and around the stunning harbour port of Porthleven in Cornwall. The lineup includes demos by celebrity chef Antony Worrall-Thompson. With food stalls, street food and plenty of music it’s a feast for the ears and tastebuds. This year’s theme is Under the Sea so expect plenty of seafood. Friday April 21 – Sunday April 23, tickets from £12.50 www. porthlevenfoodfestival.com.
Easter foodie fun Enjoy a day of rest and relaxation while the kids are creating feel-good food with Fun Kitchen. Based in Exeter, these hands-on cookery classes are designed for children between eight and 14 years old. They will learn how to cook up a selection of scrumptious treats and mouth-watering dishes. Tuesday April 4, 9am–5.30pm, Exeter Cathedral School. Tickets from £53.10 www.funkitchen.co.uk
Cornwall v Australia Porthminster Beach Café in St Ives is teaming up with Lelant’s Scarlet Wines to host a wine dinner which will bring together the best of Cornwall and Australia. Guests are invited to enjoy the finest Cornish produce alongside award-winning Australian wines in a seven-course tasting menu which has been designed by Michael Smith, executive chef at the Porthminster Beach Café, and Jon Keast, owner of Scarlet Wines. The dinner is on Saturday April 8, £60 per person, call 01736 795352 to book www.porthminstercafe.com
One for the calendar
The Dartington Food Fair is two days filled with great local produce, tastings, workshops and chef demonstrations. Now in its seventh year, the family friendly event near Totnes will see visitors treated to Devon’s finest food and drink. With plenty of activities to keep the kids entertained, this free event runs on both Sunday May 28 and Monday May 29. www.dartingtonfoodfair.org
Got some foodie news? Let us know on email@example.com 33
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Your stars by Cassandra Nye This week’s sign: Happy birthday to...
People born under the Zodiac sign of Aries are curious, energetic and enthusiastic individuals, determined to make things happen rather than being mere spectators. Their need for excitement can push them into new territories and makes them very action-oriented. When the going gets tough, Aries gets going - no matter how difficult a situation may be, the ram will always meet all challenges head on.
Matthew Goode Born April 3 1978 From local boy to worldwide star, Goode did indeed hail from Exeter once upon a time. Since attending Exeter School, he has established a long career in acting. You may have seen him in Roots last month, or are anxiously anticipating the release of The Hatten Garden Job, out this April. It’s not just the small (and big) screen for Goode, however, but billboards too. You can find him smouldering in a suit for Italian designer Pal Zileri’s spring/summer campaign.
ARIES (March 21 - April 20) Partnerships, personal or business, are highlighted this week. At times the strain of “going it alone” makes you yearn for more closeness. That is natural. Even those who have a partner feel the need to make adjustments to try to bring hopes and ambitions up to date. Right now your ideas and attitudes need refreshing. Where better to do this than close to nature?
TAURUS (April 21 - May 21) A kind of tingling of excitement and a feeling of urgency run through this week. You feel action is needed, but are not sure exactly what kind. No rush. No, really! Until you know what you want the outcome to be, hold fire. Relationships are about to change. Spring is in the air and the natural world enchants you. The old romantic is still there.
GEMINI (May 22 - June 21) Someone you feel a closeness to comes into your sphere. Strangely, they may not be the kind of character who would normally attract you. What is going on here? The need for something or someone different may have invaded your consciousness. Spreading your wings means more than thinking about taking flight. Do you need to warm up first?
CANCER (June 22 - July 22) An inspiring few days on the romance front are set to change. Remembering an old love brings many thoughts tumbling through your heart. It is enough to give you the flutters. Why not find out more? Without burning current bridges, send out tentative tentacles. Stop thinking ‘what if’ and start thinking ‘what if not?’ Can you afford to miss out on a chance to put something not only right but amazing?
LEO (July 23 - August 23) A really sharp look at your work prospects is due. Are you using all of your ex-
perience and talents to the full? Are you content to be in the same place 10 years from now? Reworking ambitions can see you moving forward. If only in theory, it’s good. Taking a loved one for granted should be avoided.
VIRGO (August 24 - September 23) Feeling edgy and volatile this week? Sometimes the planets influence our moods. Usually there is a purpose but, right now, try not to tread on too many toes! This is especially true when it comes to work and finances. There is a best time for everything. Chase a hobby or interest that gets you out and about. Burn off that excess energy rather than sit and grunt.
LIBRA (September 24 - October 23) There may be promising murmurs coming from a loved one, or someone new, but stay sharp on finances. Any disagreements at work should be sidestepped. Love is more on your mind than usual (and that is pretty difficult!) and concentrating is hard. Be happy about what you have at the present time. This could turn out to be a “golden” period.
SCORPIO (October 24 - November 22) Spending more quality time with a partner can go either way this week. Will you be closer together or more apart at the end of it? That may depend on how forgiving you are of their little foibles. Take off the tinted glasses but be realistic. Have some fun and any minor irritations can seem as nothing.
SAGITTARIUS (November 23 - December 21) Cash flow may be challenged this week, so keep an eye on what is going in and out. Shuffling payments and talking to others could avoid the need to borrow. Those who are flush will still be surprised by some outgoings. Keep spending to a minimum. However, don’t stop planning ahead, as things can change.
CAPRICORN (December 22 - January 20) Looking into the past for inspiration is fine, but avoid being over sentimental. This week and weekend give you the chance to make something right. Just choose your words carefully. Taking a relationship “as it comes” could be seen as a lack of interest. If that is what you want, fine. If not, a little more effort is needed.
AQUARIUS (January 21 - February 19) Plans can be delayed, journeys upset, conversations garbled or misunderstood. Through it all, though, you won’t be bored. Flying by the seat of your pants could appeal, because it allows you to be creative and excited. Finding you have such a reserve of energy and common sense brings its own sense of control.
PISCES (February 20 - March 20) A loving and romantic time for most of this week gives that warm and fuzzy feeling. Enjoy and build on a recently renewed relationship. As the weekend approaches mail may arrive that challenges your current finances. Take a calm look and seek advice if need be.
Horoscopes_April 1.indd 34
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Cherry and almond tart With an extra dollop of yogurt or cream, this cherry and almond tart is a lovely afternoon treat – hot or cold Serves 6-8 Preparation: 2 hours Baking: 45 minutes
For the pastry 225g plain flour 100g Yeo Valley butter 25g caster sugar 1 medium egg yolk
For the filling 150g butter, softened 150g caster sugar 3 eggs, beaten 250g ground almonds 75g plain flour 8 tbsp Yeo Valley black cherry yogurt 250g fresh cherries, stoned 25g flaked almonds 2 tbsp apricot jam, sieved and warmed
For the pastry: Place the flour, butter and sugar in a food processor and blend until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and 3 tbsp cold water and blend until the mixture forms a ball. Turn out and knead lightly. Then roll out on a lightly floured surface and use to line a 25cm round fluted flan tin. Prick the base and sides with a fork. Cover and chill for 1 hour. Line the pastry case with parchment paper and baking beans and bake blind in a preheated oven Gas 5, 190°C/fan 170°C for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and bake for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Reduce oven temperature to Gas 4, 180°C/fan°160 C.
For the filling: Using an electric whisk, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs and then fold in the almonds. Fold in the flour and yogurt.
Arrange the cherries in the pastry case and spread over the filling. Scatter over flaked almonds and bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden.
Remove the tart from the oven and brush with apricot jam. Serve warm with extra yogurt or cream.
Yeo Valley makes delicious organic dairy products in Blagdon, Somerset. For more recipes see www.yeovalley.co.uk 36
Recipe_HappyHour_April 1.indd 36
Happy h ur with drinks expert April Marks
April says: The new Prosecco is premium Prosecco. I recently visited Treviso the very heart of Prosecco land to discover for myself just how different the top-end tipple
I tried from here were slightly richer and more honeyed with the light freshness still shining through, an absolute delight. Without doubt, the highlight of my trip was a glorious Tuesday morning standing in the hills of Cartizze (considered the premier cru of Prosecco) sampling the wines from the region. This is the smallest commune within Treviso. With 1,000ft-high hills of premium land worth around one million Euros per hectare, land is highly sought after and rarely available. The wines from Cartizze fetch Champagne prices, achieving a depth in flavour while retaining the distinctive bright freshness Pros-
The highlight of my
really is. The beautiful Treviso landscape is divided into 17 communes, three of which are recognised for producing the best sparkling wine in the area. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve long been familiar with the wines from the Valdobbiadene area, however I was intrigued to try the wines from the more recently highly acclaimed area of Asolo. A smaller area than Valdobbiadene, the wines
trip was standing in the hills of Cartizze
ecco drinkers love. Sustainability is the buzz word of Treviso (or rather sostenibilitĂ ), very much evident at the enchanting Villa Sandi Estate which is working hard to preserve the environment while producing stunning wines. It makes soft, fresh and sensual wines by chilling the must after crushing the grapes, and maintaining a temperature of zero degrees until they are ready to make each fresh batch. This really does set them apart from the majority of producers in the area. The Prosecco brand has taken hold of the UK and is set to outsell Champagne by 2020. The next logical step is for consumers to seek out the best Veneto has to offer and to trade up to the superior versions. April Marks is co-founder of Regency Wines Ltd Exeter @regencywinesuk
Prosecco sour 1 sugar cube 1 tbsp lemon juice Prosecco Slice of orange Place the sugar cube in a flute, drizzle over the lemon juice and top up the flute with Prosecco leaving enough room for half a slice of orange.
Product of the week Villa Sandi Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superioire DOCG Experience for yourself the delights of trading up to a more superior Prosecco. Currently being served at The New Inn in Sampford Courtney and The Shed Steak House in Seaton. 37
Recipe_HappyHour_April 1.indd 37
talks beer ord of the day: gruit. But for one “can I have a consonant, please, Rachel” it would be “fruit”, which sounds more attractive. But it’s gruit (I’m pronouncing it “grew-it”) and I’ve been drinking it in the Front in Falmouth where there has been a tap takeover by forager and brewer Stuart Woodman, AKA Woodman’s Wild Ales. I’ll admit, I went to this with a bit of trepidation, and another word - “wacky” - wasn’t far from my mind. The arrival of the hop in brewing meant
Beer of the week Plums. Both the sweet, fleshy bits and the bitter, slightly tart element of the skin. Both feature in, and contribute hugely to the enjoyment of, Extra Stout Porter (5.9% ABV), made by Cornish Crown Brewery. Deep mahogany in colour, it’s a malty, nutty beer, with a good bitter finish, best enjoyed in the pub tap in Victoria Square, Penzance.
PASTY AND A BEER – ‘ANSOME! Keltek Brewery is hosting a pasty and beer tasting night at its brewery on Cardrew Industrial Estate, Redruth, this Friday, from 7pm until 9pm. Ten Cornish beers to taste, along with that pasty. Find the brewery’s Facebook page for more details.
great advances not only in consistent taste but At its heart, it is a straightforward, sweetish, also in quality, the plant having natural preservarobust brown porter. But the addition of a huge tive qualities. amount of the rare Kea plums, famously grown Previously, beers had been bittered with, well, just outside Truro and added to a brew which quite a variety of things. Heather wasn’t uncomfermented for two months, turns this beer into mon and Williams Bros, in Scotland, still produce a thing of beauty. The plums give a tart note – a popular beer called Fraoch others have described it as sour. which is made this way and But if they’d tried really sour which I spent a happy holiday beers they’d think again. drinking once – well, it was that Arriving in Cornwall on a The addition of or a week on Guinness. life journey from London via So, with that experience on Bristol, Stuart is inspired by a huge amount board, I shouldn’t have been the artisan brewers of Belgian. of the rare Kea that apprehensive, and, as it He plans to take this further plums grown happens, I really enjoyed all by looking into the merits of four of the beers on offer. If using wild yeast – the yeast that near Truro turns nobody had told me the gruit is dancing in the air around this beer into a was unhopped I would have us. He’s also keen to try barrel thought it was a particularly ageing, too, to add depth of flathing of beauty fruity stout, rather than a dark vour to the beers. beer bittered with bog myrtle, He took to brewing about five ground ivy and yarrow. years ago and saw it as a great Two of the beers made use way to extend his interest in forof traditional Cornish apple varieties – Queenie aging, in which he leads workshops. Now the beers and Cornish Mother. They were not cider, for the are starting to get around the country. Local bars brews had malt and were unmistakably beer. The featuring the brews include The Front and the first, I exclaimed, was very much like liquid toffee Sonder bar in Truro. If you see them, give them a apple. If Stuart was offended by the description, try - and prepare to be pleasantly surprised. he politely failed to show it. Darren Norbury is editor of But the star of the show for me was Kea Porter. beertoday.co.uk @beertoday
Big plans for Bath: Having purchased Bath Ales last year, St Austell Brewery is now making significant investment in the company. A new brewhouse will give production capacity of more than 14.5 million pints a year. The plans include a special lauter tun, to produce continental-style lagers.
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culture vulture Our pick of the most interesting and exciting things to see and do right now in the South West Puppets of the past Stones and Bones is a children’s puppet show filled with both history and mystery. Find out all about archaeology and fossils, say hello to one of your stone-age ancestors, see a volcano erupt in front of your very eyes and maybe even catch a glimpse of a dinosaur or two.10.30am Friday April 14, The Minack Theatre, Porthcurno. Tickets from £5. www.minack.com
Scary monsters Children’s TV presenter Naomi Wilkinson is embarking on a Wild and Scary animal tour where she will be joined on stage by all sorts of amazing live creatures. The fun-filled show will see Naomi recount some of her most exciting wildlife experiences from across the globe the perfect Easter holiday show for young explorers. 2pm, Monday April 3 at Exeter Corn Exchange. Tickets from £16.50. www.exetercornexchange.co.uk
Arts and crafts Newquay’s Arts and Culture Festival, Art8, is four days of events, exhibits and workshops involving film, craft, dance, photography and more. Supported by local organisations and businesses, the event is a celebration of existing activity in the town as well as an opportunity to welcome artists and performers from further afield. Thursday April 27 – Monday May 1 www.art8newquay.co.uk 39
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Gwel an Mor resort, Portreath
A Cornish dream Kathryn Clarke-Mcleod discovers eco-friendly luxury by the sea in Cornwall
ow. Is this where we’re staying? It’s incredible.” My boyfriend Zane and I have just pulled up outside our lodge at Gwel an Mor Resort in Portreath. Now we are both just sitting there, staring. Twinkling lights illuminate the short staircase to a generous decking area. To the left are the two sturdy mountain bikes we requested and a steaming hot tub. To our right is a familysized outdoor dining table and a couple of sun loungers.Welcome The Residence, one of the eco-lodges at this five star resort on Cornwall’s north coast. Glass doors overlook the deck. When we open them to step inside, the relaxation-centric design goes up a level. A generous L-shaped sofa
faces an impressively-sized flat-screen TV. The wood basket in the corner is stacked high next to a sleek log burner. In the corner is a SONOS speaker, the pinnacle of wireless music enjoyment. A quick scout reveals another speaker in the bedroom, as well as a flat screen TV in the bathroom. Throw in the underfloor heating, endlessly adjustable mood lighting, blisteringly fast wifi and gleaming kitchen and I feel all my preconceptions of a “self-catering weekend” melt away. This is a whole new level of luxury. The next morning, we jump on our bikes and head over to the Feadon Farm wildlife centre, which is also on the site. During our two-hour tour, we meet a menagerie of rehabilitated and adopted animals.
We hand-feed baby goats, stroke a ferret, scratch a reindeer’s thick fur and take turns having Sly the barn owl land on our gloved and outstretched arms. All the while, we are being educated and entertained by wildlife ranger Gary Zammit. It was the foxes that stole the show, though. Gary takes us into a custom-designed enclosure for some quality time and once again I feel old preconceptions shift. The foxes Todd, Copper and Meadow are inquisitive, intelligent and gentle beyond belief when being hand-fed. It’s the sort of educational experience that is such a special opportunity when it comes to conservation. Everyone gets a chance to have their photo
Views over Portreath
We wake to a spectacular sunset over the sea, cue sundowners in the hot tub taken with animals, and our whole group leave chattering excitedly. We pass a building called Base Camp and pop our heads inside. There are climbing walls, a giant soft play area and a café all reverberate with the sound of happy children. It’s very family-friendly. We hop on our bikes again and this time we take the woodland path down to Portreath beach for a picnic. The resort is well connected to some superb walking and cycling trails. After lunch we spend a happy few hours zipping up and down the Coast to Coast trail which, in part, follows the old tramway that brought coal from the harbour at Portreath to the area’s tin mines. We head back to the resort late afternoon to enjoy a spa treatment. I am booked in for a sea salt exfoliation ritual followed by a massage. By the time I am done, I feel brand new and completely relaxed. It’s been less than 24 hours but Gwel an Mor has already proved transformational. We have a look around the well-equipped gym and heated swimming pool area, but opt to head back to the lodge for a quiet snooze before our dinner reservations that evening. We wake to a spectacular sunset over the sea visible from our lodge, cue sundowners in the hot tub. The Terrace restaurant is a short walk from our lodge. Manager Terry gives us a warm welcome. Our table is lovely, the service is attentive and the ambiance is the perfect blend of seaside casual with a dash of elegance. The food is out of this world. Head chef Joe Lado Devesa spoils us with fresh fish, gorgeous tapas and a perfectly cooked steak. The perfect end to a perfect day. We head back to our lodge and sit in front of the cosy fire with a glass of red wine. This is the good life, right here in Cornwall. The best part? We‘ll get to do it all again tomorrow. Gwel an Mor short breaks start from £449 for a lodge. Dog friendly lodges are available on request www. gwelanmor.com
Sly the barn owl
Meadow the Fox
Cycling the Coast Path 41
The brain game While revision is vital for exam preparation, it shouldn't be all hard graft for teenagers. Lisa Salmon looks at how playing games could help studying too any of the Westcountry’s teenagers are gearing up for important exams and revision is on the horizon – if it hasn’t already started. It’s hard for parents to keep teens focused on studying, or to throw in any new ideas to make it either more efficient or at least more bearable. But considering that last year there was a 20 per cent rise in the number of teenagers contacting Childline about exam stress, with one of their main worries being the fear of disappointing their parents, it could be time for mums and dads to throw something new into the daunting revision equation. Experts suggest that one unusual study element could be playing games. Some psychologists believe parents can help teens focus more and improve their memory
while feeling less pressured by getting them to play a few traditional games and puzzles during study periods – in moderation, of course. And while playing games can help students relax, they have a practical, skill-linked element too, as it’s thought board games can help set young people up with valuable life skills including learning to lose and win, improving memory and organisational and strategic thinking, and boosting social skills. In some games, for example, players have to learn that if a strategy’s not working, they need to change direction – a valuable tactic for academic work as well as life in general. Educational psychologist Dr Kairen Cullen explains: “Our brains thrive on variety and stimulation, and sitting for hours in front of written text can certainly dull the appetite for learning,
so the addition of traditional and computerbased games, social interaction and physical activity is to be encouraged.” Games such as Monopoly, Scrabble, bingo and chess can provide a quality cognitive workout while being a good, socially interactive way to unwind. In addition, solo mindbenders such as sudoku and cryptic crosswords can improve cognitive dexterity while constructively distracting less outgoing teens from stress without forcing them to join in socially. Outdoor games – weather permitting – can help teenagers’ brains function and improve their mood. Studies have shown that exercise not only aids memory (possibly by boosting blood flow to the brain), but may even improve results if done just before an exam. Plus, exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain's
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release of the hormone serotonin, which is associated with improved mood, calmness and focus. Not all games and puzzles are equally helpful, though – and the choice depends on which skills you want to improve. Here’s a guide to which games will help with different cognitive abilities...
to think through scenarios and solve complex problems. Chess is a good game for considering alternative courses of action and the risks, and poker can also help. Even Monopoly may improve your powers of logical reasoning and decision-making.
Memory Internet psychologist Graham Jones says any games that enhance visualisation will help memory. “One of the best Focus and ways of trying to remember facts concentrais to visualise them,” he explains, tion Chess is “and a classic technique is to Longer place the facts in picture form s t r at e g i c recognised as on a familiar journey.” Because games are one of the best you easily remember the journey a great brain-training – such as the trip from home to choice if school – you’ll then see the facts you want games and pop out as you mentally travel to improve attention span. studies show it’s along the route. “So a game that Chess is recognised as one of effective at improves visual thinking would the best brain-training games, increasing focus be good,” he says, pointing out and studies show it’s effective that video games are an example at increasing focus and concenof this type of game. They imtration due to its complex straprove visualisation and so would help students tegic nature. However, it may be a challenge to more easily use the journey technique.” Card persuade young people to tackle chess, as it’s not games such as poker and Go Fish are great for the trendiest of games. More immediately engagflexing memory muscles, and bingo, especially ing games and puzzles which may improve focus the more complex 75-ball version, can increase include Risk, or one of the new breed of board recall and may also improve concentration and games such as Carcassonne or Puerto Rico. mood. Solo activities, which can challenge your memory, include sudoku and solitaire. And lastly, whether indoors or out, encourage regular study breaks, advises Jones. Mental dexterity and problem-solving Many “Another predictor of exam success is how exams require a high degree of mental agility well students break up studying into short peri-
ods,” he says. “Those who do 20 minutes, then do something else for 20 minutes, and then do another 20 minutes of study, tend to do the best." Cullen agrees students need to chunk, pace and vary revision, and points out that humanist psychology asserts people need to experience, and are motivated by, achievement, exercising choice and feeling a sense of belonging. “Successful revision should include opportunities for all of these,” she says, “so when supporting a young person’s revision, the starting point should be to ask them what helps them feel better when they're working hard, choose activities based on what they tell you and factor this into their plan.” 43
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Michael Spiers, Truro
My Secret Westcountry Andrew Burgess Andrew Burgess, 47, is a professional polo player and instructor. He lives at St Minver near Wadebridge in north Cornwall with his wife Nichola and ten horses. He runs South West Polo
Tarr Steps, Exmoor
sure to be bigger and better than ever.
mornings with my two springer spaniels, starting from St Enodoc Golf Club and walking through the sand dunes, around Brae Hill to Daymer Bay where the dogs enjoy a swim. Then back along the beach up the estuary to Rock, stopping off at the Blue Tomato cafe for a coffee.
Beach: I love the two miles of Watergate Bay and I’ve been lucky enough to ride my horses there and play polo on it for the past 10 years. It has such a magnificent backdrop and the hotel, The Beach Hut and Fifteen to choose from for a great lunch. It’s also one of the very best surfing beaches, obviously!
Place to eat: I’m not a great one for going out in the evenings so much. But a good breakfast treat after morning stables would be high on my list! I like Strong Adolfos at Hawksfield, great coffee and eggs florentine for a breakfast treat with some fresh orange juice. In the evening it would have to be Number 6 in Padstow.
Shop: I’m not really a “shop ’til you drop” type,
Weekend escape: With 10 horses to care for and exercise daily, getting away at weekends is next to impossible, and during the polo season if I am away at the weekends it is with the horses playing in tournaments. Having said that, a quiet weekend on Exmoor would probably be my choice.
Number 6, Padstow
Event: Aspall Polo on the Beach at Watergate Bay has now very much grown into a festivaltype event, with two professional polo matches, live music and a beach party on the Saturday night. It’s the 10th anniversary this year and it’s
but I can’t pass the window of Michael Spiers in Truro without stopping for some significant window shopping.
View: I like to get out for a round of golf with friends when I can, and standing on the 18th tee at St Enodoc gives an unrivalled view down the Camel Estuary in the summer or winter. Westcountry icon:
I’m a great admirer of Paul Nicholls, who trains from Ditcheat. I’ve met him a couple of times and he has always been very open to talking about his horses and training. He has been instrumental in refining the training of horses in racing, and consequently had a knock-on effect on how many people train their horses across all equestrian disciplines.
The Quarryman Inn at Edmonton. I’ve
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Aspall Polo on the Beach
known the family for years, they keep a very good cellar and there’s always a good laugh to be had with the “early doors” regulars. A nice pint of Skinners Lushingtons is very welcome if you’ve just walked up the hill from the Camel Trail.
love an Argentine asado: lamb or beef cooked slowly over hot coals and served with a green salad. My wife Nicky also makes a great prawn linguine dish.
Secret place: Schooling my horses on the polo field early on summer mornings, warmth of the
sun on your back and the mist rising off the grass. The only time I can properly switch off and be at one with my horse without any distractions.
Drink: I can’t do anything without a strong cup of Italian blend coffee first thing in the morning. A pint of Skinners Lushingtons or a glass of Aspall’s cyder after evening stables is a nice way to finish the day.
Special treat: I was once lucky enough to sit on top of the Grand National great Red Rum. I think I was six years old at the time!
Trainer Paul Nicholls
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On pointe Chris McGuire is embarking on a surprising new career e handed me his card. a ballerina above your head with one arm. A “I’ve never seen anything like it,” couple of times I’ve been on the verge of spilling he cried, full of emotion. my tea. The pointe shoes are also a bit difficult to I didn’t know what to say, so I just work with. It took a while to find some in size 15. smiled. Then, when I finally had them fitted, some wit “Really, you have poise, grace… suggested I looked like I was everything. I couldn’t take my eyes water-skiing. We all laughed. off you!” I had that person fired. There’s a bit I blushed, slightly worried. It’s important to where I spin “So you’ll think about it?” show them who’s around on one “OK.” boss. I’m sure you “Good. Chris, let me tell you, agree? foot until I get today is the first day of the rest of My first perdizzy that makes your life.” formance will all the other Yes, this week, while dancing be in front of a rather drunkenly at a friend’s wedfew minor memdancers cry – ding, I was spotted by a scout for bers of the Royal every time the English National Ballet. I’m family. We’re going to be their newest star. not sure who, Granted, 37 is, for many withbut we’ve out my ability, quite an advanced age to begin a been promised at least a career in a tutu, yet this didn’t seem to concern Duke. It might be as soon as the ballet folks. I was, as they put it, “my generanext week, just as soon as tion’s Billy Elliot”. the stage is reinforced. After doing a little research, I’ve discovered I’m sure they’ll be imthat many of the Britain’s great dancers were pressed. There’s a bit discovered in a similar way to me. where I spin around Wayne Sleep was dancing to Agadoo in on one foot until I get Cleethorpes when he was first spotted, whereas dizzy that makes all Darcey Bussell’s ballet career began when she the other dancers cry was a Redcoat in Skegness. Both were well over – every time. There’s 40. I seemed to be in good company. another bit where To be honest, my friends were a little sceptical eight of them lift me to begin with. into the air. They cry “So you’re going to be a ballerina?” during that too. Such “Ballerino,” I said, with my best foreign accent. is the gravity of my per“Oh.” formance. “That’s right.” It is amazing how one “So you’ll be dancing around in tights then?” week can change your life so I held my ground. completely. I keep thinking “Yes, but unlike you on a Saturday night, Gary, to myself that if I hadn’t done I’ll be paid for it.” those pirouettes during Sally The rehearsals are, admittedly, a little harder and Phil’s first dance, I might have than I’d expected. It’s quite difficult to balance missed my calling. I’ll never be able
to listen to the Crazy Frog without a tear coming to my eye. So what’s next for me? An international tour is on the cards, as is my own range of leotards (with that little bit of extra stretch). There’s plenty more going on, my calendar is totally rammed, now let me see. What’s the date again? Chris McGuire is a writer and new dad. He wrote this on an unnecessarily fancy computer. @McGuireski
NEXT WEEK: Phil Goodwin on love, life, and parenting in the Westcountry 46
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