West Magazine July 1 2017

Page 1



Summer style ideas to try

WIN: A weekend break for four

SOLID GOLD Alexandra Burke brings Sister Act to Plymouth

- pg 16

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tiled roof Conservatory

Bi-fold doors

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British Made

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‘We had a communal drinking spot for the T-rex and Stegosaurus – stage names Rexy and Steg’ Phil Goodwin and son James entertain dinosaurs, p46


SECRET PLACES Where to go, what to do


SISTER ACT IN PLYMOUTH Alexandra Burke is coming our way

[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


MEET ALEXANDRA BURKE The singing star is on her way to Plymouth




FEELING BETTER Caroline Quentin’s health revolution


FLOWER POWER Why peonies are the next big thing

The designer inspired by coastal life


FESTIVAL CHIC Give your interiors a party makeover




SIMPLY DELICIOUS How to eat well right now

Our style guru solves your problems


PLEATS, PLEASE How to look good in the latest trend


BOOST YOUR WELLBEING Great ways to feel your best this week


SMALL BITES What’s hot in the South West foodie world


COOK LIKE MITCH TONKS Hake from the Basque country... mmm!


SECRET WESTCOUNTRY Where to go, what to do


DIGGING DEEP... James, seven, gets creative in the garden



Smart ways to look your best 3

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Weekend adventure ideas

A coastal hotel break worth over £500

Meet textile designer Helen Baker

[ welcome [





Somerset’s new botanical gin

Prepare to be spoilt for choice.... FASHION’S FUTURE

et it never be said that we don’t look after our male readers here at West. Take a look at our top pick for your Sunday day out (opposite). A display of more than 200 classic American cars all to be seen on a family day out in south Devon yes please! Good design is also what drives the Cornish textile designer Helen Baker (p16). Her love affair with pattern and prints is inspired by the coastline of her home county - she grew up in St Agnes - and she has just launched her very own online store. Soft furnishings also play a key role in TV presenter Jo Whiley’s advice for transforming your


make a difference’ ‘I truly believe we can

- pg16



home into a festival-inspired entertainment mecca. Think cushions, beanbags and oodles of boho accessories to add personality (p22). If you’re into your music, you won’t want to miss Alexandra Burke starring in Sister Act at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth. We can’t wait to see the X-Factor winner tackle the role of cabaret star/nun Deloris, all to a soundtrack of Motown music. Alexandra opens up about the pressures of reprising Whoopi Goldberg’s iconic performance on page 12. Above all, don’t forget to chill out this weekend - perhaps with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Our favourites are on page 37. Happy reading!

Alexandra Burke takes on her new role in Sister Act

of the week

@sanchosdress Here’s my ecoconscious self in last week’s issue of West Magazine! TO ADVERTISE: Contact Cathy Long: 01752 293017 or 07557 576668, clong@dc-media.co.uk




Becky Sheaves, Editor

EDITORIAL: westmag@westernmorningnews.co.uk Tel: 01392 442250 Twitter @wmnwest

MEET THE TEAM Becky Sheaves, Editor

Phil Goodwin

Kathryn Clarke-McLeod

Gillian Molesworth

Cathy Long


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If you do one thing this week... Head down to Cofton Holidays park on the Exe estuary at Starcross, where more than 200 of America’s best-loved classic cars and vehicles will be on display from 11am to 5pm tomorrow. There will also be good food and local beer, bouncy castles, street magicians and stilt walkers. You can also try out Cofton Holidays’ superb facilities, including heated indoor and outdoor pools, restaurant and pub. There are also miles of cycle paths and nature trails to explore. that wind through woodland, parkland and meadows to Dawlish Warren beach and nature reserve. Tickets to the show cost £5 for adults, £2.50 for children and can be bought on the gate. Anyone arriving in an American vehicle, however, will be given free entry for up to two people! www.coftonholidays.co.uk


We have a long weekend in a holiday home for four at Cofton Holidays including free swim passes to be won, to the value of £377. (Dates to be taken before April 2018 excluding all school holidays) To enter, simply tell us the name of the nature reserve near Cofton Holidays park. Send your answer with your name, address, email and phone number to: Cofton Holidays competition, westmag@ westernmorningnews.co.uk to arrive by July 14. Alternatively, you can post your entry to Cofton Holidays competition, West magazine, Queen’s House, Little Queen Street, Exeter EX4 3LJ. Normal terms apply, West will not share your details.


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Multi-colour throw £35 National Trust


Reger by Janet Reger bra £26 suspender £18.50 thong £14.50 Debenhams

wishlist West’s top picks for spending your time and money this week


Floozie by FrostFrench sunglasses £14 Debenhams

Wooden bowl £16.99 TK Maxx


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Floozie by FrostFrench beach bag £27 Debenhams


Lorraine Kelly tulip dress £65 JD Williams

These sandals are just so comfortable - and they’re well-made, too

Gladiator sandals £35 White Stuff

Salad bowl and servers £40 Designist

Kate Spade New York serving tray £36 Amara


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talking points Gillian Molesworth

Story of my life... Getting into a little bit of bother stood in a marquee at a local agricultural show, looking at a bewildering array of bits. Horse bits, that is. That go in the horse’s mouth. I do love tack shops. They smell richly of leather. I love the words that go with all the tack: bridle, saddle, pommel, cantle, martingale (standing and the right bit? Why am I in charge running), hackamore, cavesson, of all these decisions? I would grackle, lunge whip. The bits not resent an inspection. Neither alone are a symphony of terms: would I resent the rug police. If full cheek or D-ring snaffle, you did a pie chart of how many French link, Dutch gag, Pelham, nights I went to sleep fretting if and dozens more. our horses were the right temTrying to choose one is utterly perature, based on the rugs I put bewildering. on them, it would be more than It’s times like this that I’m half the year. The trouble with amazed that you don’t need a fretting is that it doesn’t necesdegree to own a horse. I feel the sarily translate into useful action. same way about It just makes you boats. Any Tom, feel fretful. Dick or Harry I have just ‘The trouble can buy a yacht bought my horse and, with miniwhat looks like the with fretting is mal knowledge, Ferrari of bits: the that it doesn’t hoist a sail and Shires Blue Sweet head out to sea. Iron Universal with necessarily No one checks if Roller Link, which translate into they know how to apparently “comuseful action. It navigate a chanbines poll pressure nel or reef a sail and leverage, for a just makes you in case the wind mild gag action.” feel fretful’ gets up - or even It has big round use the radio. cheek pieces with a They’re on their little swirly design own. inside. It has shiny blue sides It’s the same with horses. I try with two links. In the middle are my best to understand how tack golden brass alloy rings that he (that’s the bridles and saddles, can twirl with his tongue. It will etc) works and how to get it fitted be like a party in his mouth. properly. But there’s either too Why did I buy this bit, for, now much advice out there or too that I look it up, well over the little: “Should I put this on my RRP of other retailers? Same thoroughbred?” you ask, waving reason you buy a car I guess: a a bit at various horsey and sales need, some information, some bods in the area, who shrug. research, and a soupcon of being “You could try it,” they say. dazzled by the technology. Where are the bit police, who Where were the bit police to can check on whether I’m using give me my licence?



for gold Taking to the stage at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards, No Doubt singer Gwen Stefani opted for a glittering mini dress with exaggerated shoulders. Gold can be a surprisingly flattering colour to wear after dark, as it throws light up into your face giving you a real sparkle and glow.

Sequin dress £49.99 H&M

steal her



OPTION B Gorgeous

Sequin maxi dress £129 Monsoon

OPTION A Glittering Asymmetric dress £59 Topshop

Gillian Molesworth is a journalist and mum-of-two who grew up in the USA and moved to north Cornwall when she met her husband 8

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NO SNOGS, SAYS DAWN Dawn French – who grew up in Plymouth and now lives in Fowey, south east Cornwall – has revealed she turned down the chance to kiss 23-year-old former One Direction star and all-round heartthrob Harry Styles. “The first suggestion that comes in to Comic Relief is ‘Who will you be kissing this year?’ and they make some suggestions, like, somebody said ‘What about if we could get Harry Styles to kiss you?’,” she said recently. While Dawn happily took part in a similar “sponsored snog” with

Hugh Grant in 1995, the Vicar of Dibley actress refused the chance to repeat the stunt with Harry. “When I kissed Hugh Grant we did make a million quid and the kiss did go on for forty minutes,” she recalled. “Anyway, they suggested Harry Styles and I went ‘No hang on, hang on everyone, stop. I’m nearly 60. This is very unseemly that Harry Styles will be forced into the studio with an old woman and have to kiss her hairy lips! That’s wrong. I just had to say no to that, no. Let’s think of another idea.” Fair play to you, Dawn!


between us Gossip, news, trend setters and more – you heard all the latest juicy stuff here first!



A RIGHT ROYAL OCCASION How exciting! Princess Anne will soon be visiting the South West. Anne is president of the Riding for the Disabled Association and she will visit the RDA’s Exeter Group to mark its 50th anniversary on July 14. The princess will be meeting the riders, helpers and horses at Oaklands Riding School, Exeter, run by the well

known equestrian Newbery family since 1971 and now one of the largest riding schools in the South West. While she is here in the Westcountry, Anne will also travel on to visit the Plymouth Marine Laboratory and rededicate HMS Albion, moored in Plymouth Sound – will you turn out to see her?

We loved seeing Katy Perry sing at Glastonbury last weekend and are glad to hear that her feuding days with fellow pop star Taylor Swift may be over. Katy and Taylor’s fall-out dates back to 2014, when Taylor suggested in an interview that Katy had stolen back-up dancers from her, ending their friendship. Taylor’s hit from that same year, Bad Blood, is widely assumed to be about Katy Perry. And then Katy fired back with the somewhat aggressive song Swish Swish earlier this year - which she admitted is about Taylor. But then Katy said recently: “I forgive her and I’m sorry for anything I ever did, and I hope the same from here. I think it’s actually like, I think it’s time. There are bigger fish to fry, and there are real problems in the world. You know what I’m saying? … There’s a lot of other things out there in the world that people need to be focused on, and I truly, like God bless her on her journey. God bless her. Honestly.”


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Race day: Off to the start of this year’s Brixham Trawler Race

in pictures Gingham style: Pupils from Porthleven School take part in a Wild West themed Armed Forces Day

On parade: Murdoch Day festivities in Redruth

The water’s lovely: Going for it in the Tamar Swim event, part of the Saltash Regatta


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talking points A HISTORY

of the



objects 52: ROMAN COIN HOARD

The best way to:

Buried near Seaton, east Devon, around AD 350

SEE AN OPEN AIR PERFORMANCE Make the most of the long summer evenings by catching a live performance outdoors in one of the Westcountry’s beautiful venues - just take a cushion and a rug... Cliffhanger: Perched on the cliffs of west Cornwall is the stunning outdoor Minack Theatre near Porthcurno. Coming up soon: La Traviata by Duchy Opera (July 3-7) and Kiss Me, Kate by Ilkley Playhouse (July 24-28). Tickets £14 adults, children £7. www.minack.com

So why would anyone deposit a fortune in a leather sack – telltale traces of it remain on some coins – and bury it in Devon? At this point archaeology gives way to speculation. In Roman times a farmstead existed nearby, so a large number of low denomination coins could have been workers’ wages? They may have been buried for safety at a time of unrest or perhaps it was criminal activity? If so, why were the coins never retrieved? We will never know the full story.


At the castle: Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors will be performed on the old tennis lawn at Pentillie Castle near Saltash on Wednesday July 26 at 7.30pm. Performed by The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, this magical and comically entwined tale of mistaken identity is great fun, plus there’s delicious home-made food available and drinks from the bar. Adults £15 children £10 www.pentillie.co.uk

Julien Parsons is the Senior Collections Officer, The Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter. He says: In November 2013, Laurence Egerton suspected that he and his metaldetector had made an important discovery: Roman coins – lots of them. He reported the hoard and spent the night in his car, anxiously keeping watch over the findspot in a field near Seaton Down. After three days of archaeological excavation, 22,888 coins had been removed from a pit dug into a stony bank. The coins are all bronze, or more correctly copper alloy, and are nummi (apparently two were enough to buy a flagon of cheap wine). The vast majority of coins date to the reigns of Constantine I and his children. They come from mints across the Roman Empire in modernday France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Croatia, Egypt, Turkey and Syria. As the latest was made in AD 348, it is assumed the hoard was buried soon after this date.

Family fun: Pack your picnic for a summer evening on the grass at Killerton house near Exeter, on August 13. Heartbreak productions will perform David Walliam’s Ratburger, suitable for everyone over the age of seven. Adults £15, children £9 www. nationaltrust.org.uk Give it soul: The outdoor tented Sheldon Theatre at Doddiscombsleigh, Devon, hosts fabulous soul band Joey The Lips on August 2, £15, www. sheldontheatre.co.uk

On display in Gallery 3, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter

Competition winner: Congratulations to Janis Rand of Ipplepen near Newton Abbot who wins a two-day minibreak for two at the Headland Hotel, Newquay, worth £540, www.headlandhotel.co.uk


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And now for her next act... X-Factor star Alexandra Burke tells John Bultitude about her new show, Sister Act, showing soon in Plymouth lexandra Burke does seem to have cornered the market in playing divas in peril. After two years playing the role of Rachel Marron in a musical of The Bodyguard, she is now playing a second, equally iconic, character on stage. This time around though, this is a lead role that is full of fun, in the shape of Deloris Van Cartier, the sassy singer who witnesses a gangland murder and is placed out of harm’s way in a convent. It’s the role made famous by Whoopi Goldberg in the movie Sister Act – a hard act to follow, you might say. Alexandra admits it took “a little bit of persuasion” to get her to play Deloris. “The producer Jamie Wilson offered me the role and I actually wasn’t too sure about saying yes - although it was a fantastic opportunity. I didn’t know if I was made for the role. I think it is a confidence thing. “I was the same when I was offered The Bodyguard. Again, it was an issue about me not having enough self-confidence.” But then Jamie gave




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Alexandra Burke will star in Plymouth this month in Sister Act



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Alexandra will star in the show, produced by Craig Revel Horwood her the soundtrack, script and the film to watch while she mulled over his offer. “I watched half of the movie and I listened to the soundtrack and it was actually the soundtrack that made me say yes. The songs are just so beautiful and I thought it would be a privilege to sing them,” she says. The mix of comedy and drama in the musical - as well as the challenges her character faces made this a fascinating part to play. “Deloris is a very interesting character. I am looking forward to this new adventure because it is such an honour to play her. “Playing this role means I have to just let go and allow myself to trust my instincts. That is always something I have always been afraid to do because I always want to be perfect at everything.” She has also won praise from the show’s director/choreographer Craig Revel Horwood (the Strictly Come Dancing judge) for the way she has embraced the comedy elements of the show. “It is great he is saying those kind words.” Indeed, she feels Sister Act has helped her to open up more as a person. “I am just having a really good time creating a role with a team and they are creating their roles too and we are all on the same journey,” she explains. After winning Saturday night’s must-see TV talent show The X Factor, back in 2008, her debut single Hallelujah became a European record holder for single sales in 24 hours, selling 105,000 copies. Concert tours, hit albums and West End success

followed and Alexandra has never lost her strong work ethic. She explains that she is keen to create a new characterisation of Deloris and not just copy Whoopi Goldberg’s performance: “I always want to put my own spin and my own interpretation on anything I do. In fact, I have deliberately not watched the whole Sister Act movie.” One of her great joys, she says, is performing the show’s

songs, which fuse a Motown influence with a strong gospel base. “There are no restrictions, which is great, and we are all able to just be ourselves and just sing. Everyone supports each other. It is a very loving and family-oriented type of vibe. I feel very fortunate to still be working hard for what I want in life. It is a privilege to be offered such an iconic role.” Despite a hectic work schedule with Sister Act, Alexandra also remains focused off stage on supporting good causes. She is a celebrity ambassador for WellChild which helps seriously ill children and their families across the UK as well as supporting Breast Cancer Care and Diabetes UK. “Charity is where it all starts and giving back is really important to me and my family and giving something back. I always want to make time for charity work if I can.” There is a downside to touring, however: Alexandra admits she misses loved ones. “I do the touring because I want to play the role. What makes it great is performing and nothing else can give me that feeling when I come off stage. I just hope I can make people laugh, cry and smile when they see the performance more than anything. “It is also fantastic to have so much fan support. I am very grateful and it is overwhelming getting such support from them. I have a good grounding as well from my family and friends that help me take care of me and they are always there for me.” Sister Act, Theatre Royal Plymouth, July 3-17 www.theatreroyal.com

‘I want to put my own

spin on the role - not to

copy the Sister Act movie’



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Home sweet Home Childhood on a Cornish clifftop proved inspirational for Helen Baker, whose new coastal fabric design range is proving successful, as she tells sarah Pitt hen Helen Baker moved with her husband and two young sons from Cornwall to Wiltshire, she found herself with two things; a new home to redecorate and a yearning for the county she had left behind. So, to remind herself of home, she started designing fabrics inspired by the Cornish coastline. Now, two years on, she’s found herself with a whole new career – not to mention a beautiful home adorned with curtains, cushions and lampshades that feature her very own designs. “We needed fabric for our new house but there was nothing I could find that really resonated with me,” says Helen. “I wanted something that reflected my Cornish roots, and I also wanted gender-neutral designs - something that would fit in with family living. “So I thought I would use my house as a bit of a guinea pig to see if my designs would transfer



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photography: james darling



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from the computer to the fabric. And it worked!” For Helen, who had worked as a primary school teacher for many years, this change in career direction has brought her huge satisfaction. She’d already found an unexpected talent for design when she made a peg bag for her eldest son when he started school, back when her family was living in St Agnes on the north coast of Cornwall. It’s where Helen grew up and where her parents, sister and grandmother still live. “My eldest son Louis, who’s now nine, was just starting school and he needed a PE bag - so I decided to make one. I bought a natural canvas hessian bag and appliqued his name on it, adding a star design. It was a hit. “Then lots of his friends said they’d like one, so I started a sewing and screen-printing business.” Helen sold her peg bag creations on the crafting website Etsy and at craft fairs. “I found, though, that I preferred the design side to the crafting side. Then in 2015, we moved from Cornwall to Wiltshire for my husband Jon’s job – he’s in IT - and I was lucky enough to be able to take a few months out to learn something else. “I didn’t want to go back into teaching, having had that taste of working for myself, so I taught myself to use Adobe Illustrator on the computer and learned surface pattern design.” Helen was already a pattern enthusiast, with a love for designs by Irish designer Orla Kiely and

Finnish label Marimekko, famous for its bold abstract 1960s poppy print that has stood the test of time. She channelled these influences into her own ideas. Her first fabric designs were those requested by sons Louis, nine, and Max, seven, to decorate their bedrooms in the new house. ‘“I asked them what they wanted and they asked for dog designs. I think it might be their way of saying that they wanted a dog! So I did a Labrador print for Louis, while my younger son likes black Jack Russells, so we went for them in his room.” Helen then went on to create a line drawing print of the many and varied old stone houses in Bradford-onAvon, the town in Wiltshire where she and her family now live. “When I moved here, I noticed that with all the houses the stone is the same, a lovely honey coloured Bath stone, but the windows are all different,” she says. “I thought it was really interesting the way it changed the character of the buildings.” A dab hand with a sewing machine, Helen made the designs up into Roman blinds, as well as cushions and lampshades which she sold locally. From here, she made the leap into the idea of designing a range which allow people to bring the Cornish coast into their homes. “When I moved here and told people where we’d come from they would say things like: ‘Oh I’d love to live in Corn-

‘It all started with making

a peg bag when my son

Louis started school’


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wall when I retire.’ It made me think, though, that you don’t need to wait until you retire to bring the coast - and the happiness it can bring you - into your home. You can do it now. “Everyone can identify with the coast in some way. It reminds them of the positive times, the happy times, and a lot of my designs are influenced by that.” Helen’s fabric designs include sleek surfboards, clouds scudding across a subtle nautical striped background, a starfish like the one her son found on the beach and a particularly appealing splashy raindrop print. “Mother Nature is the best designer out there. Her designs have stood the test of time and everyone can relate to them,” she says. Helen’s prints are calming, with clean lines and silhouetted shapes, and her colour palette also has a Cornish flavour with colours including Mizzle (a pale grey), Saffron (yellow), Lobster (coral) and Cove, a lovely dark turquoise. When Helen has perfected a design, she sends it off to be printed on fabrics by a London-based company. She was, she explains, determined to use a British-based company for her designs, which are printed on pure cotton fabrics using environmentally-friendly inks. Cushions cost around £45, with lampshades from £55. While she has previously sold her creations only face-to-face at craft fairs and the like, Helen put her business on a firmer footing at the start of May this year with an online shop. This includes her coastal collection of fabrics, available by the metre, together with lampshades and cushions, sold under the tagline: You Can Take The Girl Out of Cornwall... “I wanted to reflect my roots,” she says. “I’m proud of having lived in Cornwall, it is such a special place.” Helen says her love affair with fabrics is here to stay – and she has no plans to return to the classroom to work as a teacher. “Fabrics really bring a warmth to a room and soften it. That’s why they are called soft furnishings I suppose!” she says. “Everyone needs cushions and curtains, after all, and this is an area of design where you can really let your personality shine through. A cushion here and there can transform a sofa, and a little thing can make a really big impact.” See www.helenbaker.com 20

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food 21

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Fantasy festivals The BBC Radio 2 DJ and TV presenter Jo Whiley opens her doors to Gabrielle Fagan, to show how to create a festival vibe in your own home an’t get a ticket - can’t stand the mud or the crowds? No worries. Set the stage at home with festival decor, and a little help from Jo Whiley. A familiar face at all the major events on the festival calendar in her roles as DJ and TV presenter, she’s opened the doors to her home to reveal that she loves living the style. “Our house is literally party-central, where the door’s always open, with people coming around constantly, as well as our animals running around. We’re always either leading up to a festival, clearing up after a festival, or planning or having a party,” says Jo with a smile. The 51-year-old lives in a barn conversion in Northamptonshire with her music executive husband Steve Morton and their four children, India, 25, Jude, 18, Cassius, 16 and Coco, 8, plus their two dogs and two cats. “Our kitchen’s where everyone gets together and we have music on tap, with the radio or CDs playing, and people spontaneously sing, dance and perform - not necessarily very well.” Jo has recently teamed up with Hillarys interior store to reveal how to bring festival style into your home. “Sliding glass doors are a massive feature of our space at home and give an open, spacious feel, especially as they lead out to the garden. “We’ve dressed them with thin, floaty voiles, which don’t compromise the light, and dark grey



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curtains frame the view. For parties, I style them up with fairy and festoon lights, and hanging plants for a relaxed, outdoors-inside feel. “Outside, if you think you might be short on seating space, source some old crates or ask a local farmer for hay bales and simply cover them with cool fabrics or rugs. Add cushions and beanbags and group them in a big pile for a slouching, lounging area. Jo is a big fan of fairy lights for parties, she says: “They make a home feel magical. Make your home come to life at night by displaying as many fairy lights, lanterns and candles as possible. “Hang delicate strings or ‘Throw in bigger festoons, anywhere and everywhere, and wrap them balloons and a around trees and tables or focal glitter ball or two points. Ramp up the atmosphere with scented candles. I like to - think out-ofdecorate fences or walls with fathe-box and do vourite band or concert posters. in the garage. Making your own what suits your String colourful ribbons from decorations is effective and fun chairs and trees and let summer to do with children. We created style. Anything breezes bring them to life.” a huge Ziggy Stardust lightning goes at a festival’ She also uses fabrics to give bolt sign out of MDF. Think outa relaxed, boho style with of-the-box and do what suits brightly patterned accessories your style - anything goes at a from cushions to wall hangings festival.” and pouffes. “Avoid anything If you’re planning a festivalmatchy-matchy; this look is about showing perstyle event yourself, Jo has some advice: “When sonality,” she says. you’re planning an outdoor event, remember, “Throw in balloons and a glitter ball or two, if everyone might end up inside if it rains. Cover you happen to have one lying around, like we did a kitchen table with layers of different fabrics


in clashing prints or bold colours and use empty jam jars as tea-light holders. “I use mismatched crockery and large Mason jars for drinks on tap. A firepit is great for toasting giant marshmallows, which adds a sense of ritual and midsummer-night magic. “Surround yourself with flowers and plants, in buckets, wooden crates, tin baths, wellies, basically whatever you like and have handy. Reclamation yards and car boot sales are great hunting grounds for all sorts of unusual, quirky containers.” And then, let the fun begin...


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Souk multi-coloured chandelier £129.99 Dar Lighting




Get some festival inspiration to brighten your home this summer

Carnival cushion £50 Raj Tent Club

These quirky garden lights look great after dark

Solar iris stake lights, fuschia £34.99 The Glow Company

Set of five plant pots in shades of raspberry by Sophie Conran £18.95 Annabel James These plant pots are graded in size and colour and look great on a shelf together


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Ask Gracie...

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...

A knotty question I’ve got really fine hair which gets incredibly

Q knotty, especially at the beach. Do you have

Slip Silk Pillowcase £62 www.netaporter.com

any tips for dealing with tangles? NB, Lanivet

Aveda Dry Remedy moisturising conditioner £24.50 John Lewis

Whether you’re battling a particularly windy day, the wrath of too much hair product, or a restless night sleep, tangles happen - but there are things you can do to avoid them. Tangles are more likely to occur when your hair is lacking hydration, so one of the best things you can do to help stop them in their tracks is invest in a salon-quality moisturising shampoo and conditioner. When washing, be sure to focus your attention on the ends in particular. Another big cause of tangled hair is dry ends that haven’t been trimmed in a while, so make sure you book regular hair appointments. Also, if you can, avoid sleeping with your hair down as the friction can cause unwanted knots. Alternatively, a silk pillowcase will help reduce friction resulting in less frizz, split ends and tangles. And if all else fails, buy a Tangle Teezer. The renowned detangling hairbrush really does glide through wet or dry hair with ease, banishing tangles and taming unruly hair without pulling, tugging or yanking.

Tangle Teezer Original £10.99 Boots


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Stretch trousers £8.99 H&M

Dress over jeans? layers is easier when your legs look their longest.

I’ve seen a lot of celebrities wearing dresses over jeans recently. Is this actually a trend and can I wear it in real life? RM, Paignton


4. Forget statement tees, this season you should be styling your favourite pair of trousers with a dress. Perfect for when the weather isn’t quite warm enough for bare legs or when you have a dress that is too short to be office-appropriate, layering it over a pair of trousers is a chic alternative. Here’s how to make the look work: 1.

Keep your trousers simple To avoid lumps and bumps under your dress your jeans or trousers shouldn’t have too many belt loops, pockets or pleats.


Embrace neutrals When in doubt, play it safe with colour. What could feel too busy actually looks quite simple if you stick with white, black and camel.


Heels will help you feel less frumpy Managing the added bulk of unfamiliar

Cami dress £59 Monsoon


Proportions are important It’s best to opt for a dress that isn’t too short or too long. Skinny trousers are the best place to start Try black cropped trousers or your favourite pair of skinny denim jeans.

Gracie’s shopping list Sachajuan Ocean Mist £18 www.escentual.com Perfect for lacklustre locks, this beach-chic product transforms the texture of your hair from limp to lustworthy with its unique salt spray formula.

Super skinny jeans £40 Topshop

Called to the crease How can I get creases out of my clothes when I

Q don’t have access to an iron? ZB, Okehampton

Let’s be honest, nobody likes ironing, but along with many other household chores it’s simply a fact of life. So what happens when you just don’t feel like dealing with all the hassle or when you’re travelling and don’t have access to an iron? Use a damp towel: Lay your wrinkled item on a flat surface and put a damp towel on top of it. Press down and smooth out the creased Travel Steamer area. Let it dry, and Cirrus £80 you’re good to go. www.thesteamery.co.uk Make the most of your hairdryer: This is by far one of the easiest ways to get rid of creases. Simply hang up the creased garment and blow-dry it until the wrinkles disappear. The shower method: Steam works wonders on creases so, when you have a shower, try hanging the garment on the shower rod or showerhead

Flight Wanderlust ghd travel hairdryer £55.95 John Lewis

(aim it so water doesn’t get on your clothes!) and shower as usual. By the time you’re finished, all the wrinkles should be gone.

Lip Kit £18 Topshop Whether you’re searching for the perfect matte finish or a statement glitter lip for your next night out, this four-piece lip kit, which is available in six different shades, will become your new beauty go-to.

Invest in a portable steamer: A portable steamer isn’t always practical, but if you’re flying with checkedin luggage and have a little extra space, I highly recommend getting one. Use a professional spray: Wrinkle-reGrandma’s Secret moving sprays Wrinkle Remover are designed £4.50 www.quiltdirect.co.uk to smooth out creases, without using anything else.

Amira statement stud earrings £8 Accessorize Set with pink gems in a fan design and glitzy crystal gem flowers, these pretty earrings will complete your outfit with a bold flourish.

Got a style or beauty question? Email Gracie Stewart at westmag@westernmorningnews.co.uk with the subject Ask Gracie


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Frill dress £45 Very

Grey satin clutch £29 Accessorize

Pleated perfection t’s official, pleats are dominating the fashion fold this summer. The feminine trend can be found on everything right now from blouses to midi skirts and pleats are a pretty way to add interest to delicate garments. For summer, we particularly love dresses like this multi-coloured number from Very and this Kelsey dress from Hush. The spaghetti straps and loose floaty cuts are perfect for hot days. You also can’t beat this bargain-priced skirt from Asda, which can be dressed down with a graphic t-shirt or worn with heels for a night out.


Pleat front blouse £14 Bonmarché

Multi-coloured dress £45 Very

A stunning look for a special occasion


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Fashion Gold midi skirt £12 George at ASDA

Kelsey dress £59 Hush

Long sleeve dress £25 Bonmarché

Top £119 pleated skirt £79 both House of Fraser


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the boost

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

Underwater adventures

Take the plunge next Saturday July 8 with a snorkel taster session at Wembury Marine Centre in south Devon. The perfect way to prepare for a summer by the sea, this is a fun and safe introduction to snorkelling, a sport with health benefits including lung strength, cardiovascular health, joint mobility, and muscle toning. ÂŁ12.50 www.wemburymarinecentre.org

Stretch it out

Discover your inner calm while stretching and toning your body as you join Dan and Ori at Breathe HQ in Truro. From their stunning bamboolined studio, the couple offers a range of alternative yoga classes to suit all levels, from high-energy hot yoga that cleanses the body and calms the mind to vinyasa flow yoga, which encourages meditation through a range of interlinking postures. Also on offer are back yoga, restorative yoga and pilates. Classes start from ÂŁ5 www.breathehq.co.uk

FLOWER POWER Move over super foods and say hello to the super flower: the peony is climbing up the health charts. More than just a pretty face, the peony was named after the Greek healing god, Paean, and for good reason too - one particular species is used in Chinese medicine to treat rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis, muscle cramping and fever. Why not add a healing splash of pink peony petals to your salads and drinks this summer?


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Hayfever: help is at hand If you belong to the 13% of Britons that associate this time of year with runny noses, itchy eyes and constant sneezing, a new map could help clear up those airways. Produced at the University of Exeter, the highly-detailed UK map contains the location of key plants and trees known to produce pollen that triggers hayfever and asthma - and might just be the key deciding factor to your next house search.

Walk this way Step back to the 80s next Saturday July 8 as you take part in the all-female Twilight Walk. With a fun 80s fancy dress theme, the five or ten-mile route takes in Exmouth seafront and is accompanied by music and entertainment along the way. With all proceeds going to the Hospicecare charity, entry costs ÂŁ17 per person and includes a Tshirt, refreshments and supper from Kenniford Farm on your return. www.hospicecare.co.uk

What’s coming up? Tweet us your wellbeing diary dates

@WMNWest or email westmag@westernmorningnews.co.uk 31

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The burning issue

What can you do about sun damaged skin? Q

I have always enjoyed the sun but I worry what damage sunbathing has really done to my skin? LS, Exmouth

Medical aesthetician Dr Pradnya Apte says: Although most people love the warmth and light of the sun, as well as how it makes them feel, too much sun exposure can significantly damage the skin. The heat dries out areas that are unprotected and can deplete the skin’s supply of natural lubricating oils. In addition, the sun’s ultra violet radiation can cause burning and long term changes in the skin’s structure. UVA rays tend to cause the ageing effects on the skin and the UVB rays tend to be responsible for skin burning issues. Ageing is essentially DNA damage that is caused by sun exposure. The most common types of sun damage to the skin are: Sunburn This is the common name given for skin injury that appears immediately after the skin has been exposed to UV radiation. A mild case only causes reddening of the skin but the more severe cases can produce tiny fluid-filled bumps or larger blisters. The damage from sunburn is permanent, even after the skin has healed. Actinic keratosis These tiny bumps that can feel like sandpaper are small scaly patches of sundamaged skin, They tend to have a yellow-

ish, pink or brownish tint. Unfortunately, once person’s risk of malignant melanoma and other your skin starts to develop these lesions, they forms of skin cancer. White Caucasians have can only be removed by being frozen off or less of a dark pigment called melanin, which chemically treated by a doctor. These lesions helps to protect the skin from the effects of UV can be an early sign of skin cancer. About 10 radiation. -15% of actinic keratoses eventually change into The sun is, however, essential for the formasquamous cell cancers of the skin. tion of Vitamin D, an vitamin that is necessary Changes in the skin’s collagen for healthy bones. But to harCollagen is the skin’s structural ness the sun’s Vitamin Dprotein. Photoageing is premaproducing power you only need ture ageing of the skin because to have 20 minutes of sunlight Repeated of sun exposure. Another issue per day. episodes of is actinic purpura - bleeding To avoid DNA damage as sunburn can of the fragile blood vessels much as possible, make sure beneath the skin surface. This a physical sunscreen is used increase the risk can also lead to the formation daily. I recommend a product of malignant of thread veins. In actinic purthat tends to be bought in a melanoma pura, UVA and UVB damages Medical Aesthetic Clinic as this the structural collagen that supwill tend to work in the live part and other skin ports the walls of the skins tiny of your skin, the dermis. I percancers blood vessels. In older people, sonally use Image Prevention this collagen damage makes Plus moisturiser with built-in blood vessels more fragile and physical sunscreen. Skin Analymore likely to rupture following sis machines are also great at a slight impact. Some of the other physical signs discovering what real damage has been done to of collagen damage include fine lines, deeper your skin. wrinkles, a thickened skin texture and easy Dr Pradnya Apte runs Skin Southwest, a dentistbruising on sun-exposed areas, especially back led aesthetic clinic in Exeter. Skin Southwest is of hands and forearms. offering a free Skin Analysis machine session for Over a lifetime, repeated episodes of sunburn every West reader - quote ‘Skin check’ when bookand unprotected sun exposure can increase a ing. www.skinsouthwest.co.uk.



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Our pick of what’s on in the Westcountry food world right now

Winning yoghurt Cornwall-based Trewithen Dairy started up near Lostwithiel back in 1994 and now produces a full range of bottled milks, clotted and liquid cream, butter and yoghurt. This year Trewithen Dairy has won three golds and a silver in the Taste of the West Awards including a gold for their delicious Cornish Natural Yoghurt with Toffee and Apple. Mmm!-

New menu on St Michael’s Mount Gregory Milne, head chef of The Sail Loft on St Michael’s Mount in west Cornwall, has devised a brand new menu based on local sustainable and foraged ingredients. From handpicked crab landed fresh across Mount’s Bay in Newlyn to local cheese and homemade chutneys, he has scoured Cornwall to bring the best produce to this unique eatery, which is accessed on foot, across a causeway when the tide allows, or by boat when the tide is in. The Sail Loft serves a wide selection of light lunches, home-made breads and cakes, as well as daily specials. www.stmichaelsmount.co.uk

The ultimate food finder Taste of the West has recently launched a DIY food finder aimed at helping locals and tourists eat well in the South West. The new website tool has been designed to provide a user-friendly experience for everyone looking for quality food and drink in the South West, whether it is a good pub, restaurant, café, farm shop, foodie event or farmers market. It’s an essential guide to top quality local food and drink. www.tasteofthewest.co.uk

Midsummer tipple Whether sipped as an aperitif, added to a cocktail or simply drunk on the rocks, Lyme Bay Winery’s new-look fruit liqueurs (£12.49) are a sweet treat to savour. Made with artisan techniques and using natural summer fruits such as cherries and plums, they are produced at the winery just inland of the coast near Lyme Regis. The range consists of eight flavours including apricot brandy, blackcurrant rum and damson liqueur. Or why not buy the gift set of miniatures of all eight varieties for £12.69? www.lymebaywinery.co.uk

Got some foodie news? Let us know on westmag@westernmorningnews.co.uk 33

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Your stars by Cassandra Nye This week’s sign:

Happy birthday to...

Debbie Harry

Deeply intuitive and sentimental, Cancer can be one of the most challenging Zodiac signs to get to know. Cancerians care deeply about family and home and are very attached to the people who surround them. Their ruling planet is the moon, which can create fleeting emotional patterns that the sensitive Cancer cannot control, especially when a child. They can be temperamental but one of their greatest strengths is persistent determination.

Born July 1 1945

Debbie Harry of Blondie turns an unbelievable 72 today but, as she showed at her vibrant live gig at the Eden Project just recently, she has definitely still got it! Born Angela Tremble in Miami, Florida, Debbie was adopted at the age of three months by the Harry family. In the 1960s she moved to New York where she eventually found huge fame and success with the group Blondie, with hits such as Heart of Glass, The Tide is High and Rapture. Debbie started Blondie’s new tour and album launch right here in the South West - so retirement seems to be the last thing on this birthday girl’s mind.

CANCER (June 22 - July 22) This is a good time to make financial deals and to finalise holiday plans. Saving up for something special? Patience here will pay off. A loved one may be preoccupied, perhaps with work matters. As you are in a calm mood, try to help if possible. Take care when dealing with sensitive feelings. Knowing when to speak and when to hold back is important and difficult.

LEO (July 23 - August 23) Give yourself a little love before you extend it to others. Take care of your wellbeing and let others take more of their share of work. Understand that seeming more vulnerable makes you more loveable. Reading inspires a new hobby which, in turn, brings fresh contacts.

VIRGO (August 24 - September 23) A job that you see as not being very well done inspires you to do better yourself. So start a new hobby! Things happening universally make protecting your loved ones a priority to you. Bringing help to others can turn into a way of life if that is what gives the most satisfaction.

LIBRA (September 24 - October 23) Spontaneity is not in your make-up. However, that does not mean that you do not admire it in others. Someone’s moment of madness turns out to be in your favour. Could you actually begin to enjoy some silliness?

SCORPIO (October 24 - November 22) A new challenging activity brings laughter and giggles. Well, it is about time that you had some pure fun! It may come s a surprise to realise that you are pretty good at doing things and learning fast. A friend who needs reassurance can be calmed by your giving them some facts and

figures. Be matter of fact rather than appear too slick.

SAGITTARIUS (November 23 - December 21) Suddenly you seem more approachable to someone. Do you know why? Take your time and deal with the needs of close family first. Some personal matters are under discussion. Make sure your views are known. Bright solutions come from getting all the info and then using your instincts.

CAPRICORN (December 22 - January 20) Get organised and be ready for some holiday fun. Wasting time now on silly matters will make you angry later. A social gathering midweek springs a surprise. However, in there is a great opportunity if you respond quickly enough. Love may, in some respects, be on the back burner but that does not mean you need stop planning!

AQUARIUS (January 21 - February 19) This week you need to decide where a friendship is going. There are many possibilities and someone is waiting for you to give a signal. Ignoring it or sidestepping could cause embarrassment for some time. Workmates can be surprisingly supportive if you open up to them.

PISCES (February 20 - March 20) A current situation brings back memories of the past. How will you now do

things differently? Although not in the mood for compromise, a little flexibility would be appreciated. Experience reminds you not to give too much information away. Meeting someone halfway is not showing weakness.

ARIES (March 21 - April 20) Listening to your instincts shows that the lighter side of life can help to keep a balance. Don’t fret if everything is not under tight control. We all have moments when this is so. Although you sometimes prefer to do things alone, cooperation brings both results and satisfaction.

TAURUS (April 21 - May 21) Younger people bring simple pleasures this week. With energy and creativity high, it is time for making lasting memories. Outdoor fun such as sports and picnics can be hilarious, given your current light-hearted attitude. Relatives let you know how much you are needed.

GEMINI (May 22 - June 21) Just because you are lacking experience in a new situation does not mean you should be shy about it. Get some information and be in control. Someone in authority thinks of you as intelligent and loveable. A steep learning curve is a challenge you would rather avoid. However, it leaves you feeling confident and happier.


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mitch tonks:

Hake cooked in the Basque style with garlic and Romesco sauce San Sebastian in Spain’s Basque country is the place to eat hake. I once enjoyed hake there roasted over a fire, dressed with olive oil, vinegar and sliced dried peppers, a garnish you will see all along the Basque coast at various fish restaurants and one which I now use at my Dartmouth restaurant, The Seahorse. It has encouraged me to use more vinegar in my cooking. If you don’t have an ovenproof frying pan, then carefully transfer the fish to a baking tray or dish before cooking it in the oven. Serves: 4

You will need:


Half a dried nora/choricero chilli 4 hake fillets, about 180–200g each, skin on 100ml olive oil 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced 20ml good-quality agrodolce vinegar 1 teaspoon chopped parsley Salt


Preheat the oven to 200C. Soak the dried chillies in two separate bowls for 10 minutes, drain and deseed.


To make the sauce, place the almonds and soaked chillies in a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Add the garlic, roasted peppers and spices and pulse to combine. Add the vinegar, most of the olive oil (reserve 1 tablespoon) and a pinch of salt, then pulse to produce a thick sauce. Fry the hake fillets skin-side down in an ovenproof frying pan in the rest of the olive oil until lightly golden. Turn, then transfer the pan to the oven and roast for about 5 minutes. 4. Finely slice the soaked chilli. Heat the garlic, remaining olive oil, the sliced dried chilli and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Cook gently for 2 minutes, stirring to distribute the

For the Romesco sauce 4 dried nora/choricero chillies 100g whole blanched almonds 6 garlic cloves, peeled 12 roasted pequillo peppers (or 6 roasted and peeled peppers) 1 teaspoon sweet paprika 1 teaspoon smoked paprika Quarter teaspoon hot smoked paprika 25ml sherry vinegar 100ml olive oil Salt


garlic and chilli. As soon as the edges of the garlic begin to turn golden take off the heat and allow to cool slightly. Add a splash of the agrodulce vinegar and the chopped parsley. 4.

Put a hake fillet on each serving plate and remove the skin. Spoon the cooking oil over each piece of fish and serve with a spoonful of Romesco sauce.

The Seahorse, the Restaurant & its Recipes by Mitch Tonks & Mat Prowse, photos by Chris Terry £25 Bloomsbury www.seahorserestaurant.co.uk 36

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Happy h ur with drinks expert April Marks

April says: I am about to head off to Plymouth to board the ferry for Roscoff. From there, it’s a mere four and a half hour drive to the Loire Valley where sunshine, c h a teaux and plenty of wine awaits. My transport is also my hotel in the shape of a slightly pimped-up eight year old VW campervan, cleverly packed with everything my husband and I need for the week. Clearly there is no need to take wine with us but I’ve squirrelled away three of my favourite gins after being told I have to select just ONE (ridiculous idea!).

Soon my mind turns to the great wines we’ll sample while we’re away. I haven’t visited the Loire since September 2001, easy to remember as I’m sure everyone can recall where they were when they heard about the planes flying into the Twin Towers. Anyway, moving swiftly on to happier memories, I’m instantly reminded of the diverse range that awaits us. More than 80% of the wines produced in the region are white, with Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc taking centre stage. Indeed, only 11% of the wines are red - however you can find some stand out Pinot Noirs (Sancerre Rouge) plus great Gamays and Cabernet Franc, and not forgetting beautiful age-

In the Loire, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin

Blanc take centre stage

Cocktails in Winscombe Cocktail lovers will be delighted to hear that The Wine Shop in Winscombe, Somerset, will be turning into a pop-up cocktail bar on Friday July 21. Pop in any time between 7-9pm. worthy dessert wines and of course the glorious Crémant de Loire at a fraction of the price of Champagne. Have I forgotten something? Oh yes, the once very trendy Rosé d’Anjou (before the rise of Californian Zinfandel Rosé), beautifully chilled in the Loire sunshine – I can’t wait! April Marks is co-founder of Regency Wines Ltd Exeter @regencywinesuk

Product of the week

Gin workshops This month gin expert Lauren Hodgkins is hosting two workshops to help broaden your knowledge on the world of gin. On July 20 she will be at The Artichoke Inn in Christow (book on 01647 252387) and then on the July 27 at The Hidden Olive in Plymouth (book on 01752 657070).

Domaine De Marcé Touraine Sauvignon, Loire Valley France I’ve lost count of how many New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc drinkers I’ve converted to drinking this wonderful Touraine Sauvignon. Just as expressive as a Marlborough style, full of grassy fruit with nettles and gooseberry plus hints of passion fruit and guava. Plenty of body with a crisp, dry finish. 37

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Beer of the week From that Verdant tasting session (see below) I was particularly impressed by Chasing Kevin (5.4% ABV). It was the best balanced of the bunch, with yeast notes to the fore, and resinous, piney hop notes in check. I detected a slight note of bergamot orange, too. Innovative and delicious.

Darren Norbury

talks beer IN MEMORY OF JO St Austell is one of a stellar line-up of British breweries who helped to create Great Get Together Pale Ale. The beer was made to support the Jo Cox Foundation, co-ordinated by social enterprise The Good Beer Co. The beer was launched around the country in time for a Great Get Together weekend, earlier this month. St Austell head brewer, Roger Ryman, said the beer summed up the collaborative spirit that runs through the British brewing industry.

Stand and deliver

Proceeds will, as ever, be in aid of charity when the Dobwalls Beer Festival is staged at the village’s Highwayman pub at the end of this month. Beers and ciders from Cornish producers will be pouring on July 28 and 29.

n the wall at Verdant Brewery there beer bars in the UK, in cities such as Manchester, is a suggestion board. Not for beer Bristol and London, and Verdant was named best ideas – they’re never short of beer new brewer in the UK last year by influential inideas – but for the unique beer ternational website www.ratebeer.com names which have become someWhen Adam tells me about a secret project thing of an institution now. involving some big names, he laughs, genuinely The most “out there” so far has to be I Played bemused, when I ask him if this is where he enTrumpet on That Tune, an IPA with big, juicy, visaged the brand being when they set up in 2015: citrus fruit notes. It looks like “We never thought this would – with the recent arrival of new happen.” beer I Played Bass on That Tune, They’re not standing still, with a variation on the yeast though. New fermenting vessels ‘They hit the pitch – that there’s a series in are on their way and the boys are market for the making. Perhaps I can add continuing to explore the intricawell-crafted, “Stylophone” to the suggestion cies of yeast, which has become board? something of a Verdant tradeunfined, hazy, It’s hard to believe that Vermark. Adam tells me that, while powerfullydant (pronounce it with the emother brewers may be adjusting phasis on the first syllable) is malt and hop levels, they are exhopped beers at only two years old. I can rememploring the effects of different exactly the right ber trying the beers for the first amounts of yeast and the time at moment’ time in Peter Walker’s HAND which it’s added for fermentation. bar in Falmouth and thinking, They’re a social lot, too. There “Wow, this is different to pretty have been collaborations with the much everything that’s come likes of Deya, from Cheltenham, out of Cornwall’s breweries.” Yorkshire’s Northern Monk, and Left Handed Verdant hit the market for well-crafted, unGiant, from Bristol. And there’s nothing they fined, hazy, powerfully-hopped beers at exactly like more than opening the brewery up to friends the right moment and the rise has been meteoric. and visitors, as they did at the beginning of this Ask a bearded beer geek in hipster East London month. Look out for more open days by following to name the most influential contemporary the brewery on Facebook. And if you haven’t tried breweries in the UK and they are going to include these beers yet, keep a lookout for them. You can Verdant in their answer. order them online, or try bars and bottle shops Which has all come has something of a sursuch as Vessel, in Plymouth, where the brews prise to the trio behind the brewery – Adam regularly appear. Robertson, James Heffron and Richard White. Darren Norbury is editor of beertoday.co.uk The beers are regularly featuring in the top craft @beertoday




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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 Penzance pirates Next month the promenade of Penzance is set to come alive with thousands of scull and cross bones clad revellers, in an attempt to break the world record of the largest gathering of pirates. After previously failing to break the record as the pirates dispersed before being counted, the people of Penzance are determined to make this year’s attempt a success. To encourage locals and visitors to join the event, organisers have scheduled a weekend-long programme of entertainment and activities, including a funfair, grub n craft market and immersive re-enactment performances. Saturday August 26 and Sunday August 27, £2 per person. www.piratesontheprom.co.uk

Our man in Exeter A celebration of South West arts and crafts Exeter’s Cathedral Green is hosting the 42nd Exeter Craft Festival, which showcases the work of over 100 craftsmen and artists who live and work in the South West. Exhibitors have been screened and selected for the quality of their work and include wood and metal-work, pottery, glass, precious metal, jewellery and much more. You can watch demonstrations of various crafts, and enjoy the family-friendly entertainment provided throughout the three days, all entirely free. Thursday July 6 – Saturday July 8, www.exetercraftfestival.co.uk

Innovative theatre company Creative Cow from Devon brings an evening of hilarity and satire to Exeter with a witty adaptation of Graham Greene’s spy thriller Our Man in Havana next week. The play tells the tale of a luckless vacuum cleaner salesman who gets sucked in to a dirty world of espionage and double agents when the chance of helping out MI6 with a job or two proves too good an offer to resist. Touring venues around the UK, this riotous play comes to the Northcott Theatre, Exeter, July 4-8. Tickets from £15 www.exeternorthcott.co.uk 39

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Teen dreams Dealing with teenage arguments can be tough on today's parents. Lisa Salmon seeks out there is much practical advice on how to take the heat out of flare-ups without losing your cool arenting teenagers is rarely easy these days and when tough issues arise it can be hard for mums and dads to know what to do for the best. But there's a wealth of advice out there on how to handle teen trouble and psychologist Michael Hawton is one of the latest to offer help in his book Engaging Adolescents. Michael believes the most difficult issue today's parents face is how to help their teens manage an increasingly complex digital and social media world. "Parents are facing an unprecedented and more complex parenting landscape than a generation ago," he says. "Not only do they have to manage behavioural problems, but now they are also being


called on to look after their teenagers' stress and anxiety levels in a way that wasn't so apparent 20 years ago." He says teenagers are also more tired than

'Parents often aren't sure how to intervene in a meaningful way' in the past due to the overuse of devices, which many take to bed with them, resulting in record levels of sleep deprivation.

The result: overtired teenagers, less able to cope with frustration. "The complexity of the social media landscape means parents have to be better equipped to handle teenagers' problems. But often they aren't sure or confident of how to intervene in a meaningful way so their child's wellbeing is enhanced." Handling tricky issues with teenagers requires parents to have a considered approach, Michael says. "It's hard for parents not to feel provoked and to fire back at their offspring if the teenager fires up or becomes rude. But that's exactly what they need to do if they want their teen to get better at self-regulation." Michael points out that when pilots face an emergency, they keep a lid on their emotions by following a process. Parents also need to


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adopt this approach and, by doing so, they can learn to ditch reactive responses and focus on solutions by being well-prepared when they engage with their teenager. One way of doing this is by using the socalled PASTA approach to resolving conflicts. • Prepare: plan what you're going to say by writing down your thoughts. Be clear about what you want to change, what you're willing to negotiate on, what your bottom line is, and what will happen if you can't work things out. • Appointment: arrange a time and place to meet your teenager when you won't have to rush your discussion. • Say: say something positive; say what the problem is; say what you want to happen. • Tame the tiger: acknowledge your teenager's feelings and needs, but if they're attacking

or disputing what you've said, don't go on the counter-attack. Instead, use their attack as information about the way they feel, then try to reset the conversation and solve a different aspect of the problem. • Agree: agree on some things that will happen, apply a timescale for such action if possible, and try to emphasise what's in it for them. As well as a series of case studies to illustrate how his methods can work, Michael includes five advance techniques for taming teen tigers: • Tell your teen you can't go on unless they settle down. • Name the pattern they're re-enacting - such as regularly blaming someone else - and ask them to avoid it. • Be curious by digging a bit deeper emotionally and asking a question.

• Ask for more responsibility from them. • If they insult you, don't just sit there stunned. Teenagers will spit out insults if they feel miserable or backed into a corner, so respond with something like: "You must've had a bad day to be that nasty to me when we're trying to work out a solution. I hope you feel better soon." By responding with sympathy, you're refusing to be their victim and sending a message you want to sort out the problem with them. Michael adds: "Parents don't have to become professional mediators in order to use these skills, but they do need to work out what they need to say and how to say it back to the teenager when the teenager starts to ramp up their emotions." Engaging Adolescents: Parenting Tough Issues With Teenagers by Michael Hawton is published by Exisle Publishing, £14.99. 41

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Feeling better

Caroline Quentin, who lives near Tiverton, tells Gabrielle Fagan how overcoming her health issues and finding true love have changed her life - and career - beyond all recognition aroline Quentin has rarely been off our screens since she found fame in Nineties BBC comedy Men Behaving Badly, alongside roles in dramas from Jonathan Creek to crime series Blue Murder, and presenting roles on series such as Restoration Home. She's married to Sam Farmer and the couple have two children, Emily, 17, and Will, 14, and live in Devon. As she celebrates 40 years in showbusiness, we caught up with the actress about coeliac disease, her marriage and how she feels about facelifts. What's been your most embarrassing moment? Caroline: "I have so many embarrassing moments because I have coeliac disease. It's a reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, and I was finally diagnosed two


years ago. Symptoms can include vomiting and diarrhoea to nausea and bloating, but worst of all the urgency of needing a toilet. "Most recently on stage in a play, The Hypocrite, I realised, 'Oh my God, I have to get to the

'A sense of humour's vital - I always try to see the funny side' loo right now!' and I literally raced through my lines, shot off stage, trying to rip off my period

costume as I went, and hurled myself into the toilet. It was terrifying to think I might have an embarrassing accident in front of an audience at the Royal Shakespeare Company! "There have been countless times in my career that the illness has interrupted work - I've been filming scenes and had to run off - not to mention the regular occasions in my everyday life when the only option's been to use a supermarket car parks, lay-bys, or motorway verges. It feels humiliating, and you get used to feeling vaguely panic-stricken a lot of the time. "Even a minute trace of gluten can make me very ill - it's poison to me - which makes eating out a nightmare. Food is easily crosscontaminated if the same utensils are used to prepare normal food and a gluten-free dish. I've had so many meals in fabulous posh restau-


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M en Be havi ng

Ba dly

rants and then had to rush out and be sick afterwards." Would you ever have a facelift? "I don't like the idea of anything like that, although I know my face is going to get older and saggier. That's just life and, luckily, I'm not someone who's made a living out of being glamorous. I love changing my hair colour, though, and I've recently gone from a redhead to a blonde because I couldn't face going grey. I'm not into my appearance particularly and rarely look in a mirror when I'm home on our farm in Devon." What are you most dreading? "My children leaving home - Sam and I can't bear the thought of it. We're such a great unit of four and get on so well - the kids are always taking the p**s out of us! We joke we may be forced to lock the kids in their rooms until they're 30 or perhaps stalk them wherever they go. "Emily, 17, wants a career in show business probably musical theatre - and it will be so weird when she's away at college and there's no hits from the musicals blasting out. Luckily, friends tell us these days children are like boomerangs they keep coming back. Motherhood's definitely the best role I've ever had." What gets you through the tough times? "I've been pretty lucky, but had tough times, like everyone, including a couple of miscarriages and losing my eldest sister and my mother. I can have quite extreme swings of mood - my mother was bipolar - and I think there are elements of that in me. "If I get low, I go walking or busy myself garden-

Caroline as Mrs Bumble in Dickensian ing as I'm a firm believer in the healing power of open spaces and recognising the enormity and beauty of nature. A sense of humour's vital - I always try to see the funny side of life." How important is your marriage? "It means everything. It was love at first sight when we met on the set of Men Behaving Badly and we've been together 18 years. I'm 56 and he's 44 but the age gap's never bothered us - we take it in turns to be grown-ups! We swapped roles when we had the kids, quite unusual then, and Sam stayed at home and brought up them up, while I was free to go on location or tour.

"I don't know how he coped on his own with a tiny baby and a toddler in those early years. Sam's retrained as a cosmetic scientist and created his own unisex hair and skincare range for teens, SAMFARMER, and I've vowed that if he ever wanted to expand his workload, I'd turn down a part to free him up more. It would be a sacrifice, but he's made plenty for me in the past and now it's his turn." Caroline Quentin is patron of Coeliac UK and is helping to launch the charity's 'Gluten Freevolution' for safe gluten-free food when eating out. Visit www.coeliac.org.uk 43

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Helford Passage

The Gurnard’s Head near Zennor

My favourite:

My Secret Westcountry Steve Chamberlain Steve Chamberlain is 39 and is a partner at Nancarrow Farm, a 100 acre working organic farm near Truro. The farm holds regular feast nights and private events throughout the year, and in October will host “1,000 Mouths”: a four night festival of feasts. Steve is married to Lucy and they have two sons, Joseph, two, and Sam, six, with a little girl on the way. Lucy’s family has farmed at Nancarrow for nine generations.

Walk: On a fine day, I love the cliff top walk from St Agnes to Chapel Porth. I am also partial to a woodland walk, either at Tehidy woods near Redruth, or along the lane here at Nancarrow. Place to eat: Two favourite places to eat have to be Andy Appleton’s ‘Appleton’s at the Vineyard’ at Trevibban Mill near Padstow and Tom Adams and April Bloomfield’s Coombeshead Farm, near Launceston. The settings of both places are beautiful and the food is fantastic. Weekend escape: We have recently returned from a lovely stay at The Pig at Combe which was a treat for my imminent 40th. I also love visiting The Gurnard’s Head near Zennor. It is a great pub with lovely, quirky rooms. It really feels like another world down west. Festival or event: The End of the Road Festival in Somerset is fun and family-friendly with great music and food. A highlight at Christmas is the carol singing around the Christmas tree in St Agnes.

Beach: My favourite is Polly Joke on the north coast. It is less busy than most and is dog friendly. The beach is accessed by quite a long walk either via the headland which is covered in wild

flowers in the summer, or via the valley which has the most fantastic sloes in autumn.

Shop: As a family, we’re not big shoppers but I do love visiting a reclamation yard or farm auction. ‘Shiver Me Timbers’ near Penzance is always full of unusual pieces, handmade furniture, reclaimed timber and bric a brac. You never know what you might find there. View: We are lucky to have some beautiful views on the farm which we are able to enjoy daily, but Lucy and I got married at Lamorran Gardens in St Mawes, and the views from there across to St Anthony’s Head are also very special to us. Westcountry icon:

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall inspired us to up sticks and leave our office jobs to embark on our journey to the Westcountry. Taking on our family farm and creating a farm events venue with a “more than just a business” ethos was very much inspired by Hugh and what he’s done at River Cottage.

Pub: There are several pubs I like for different reasons. I love the views from the Ferry Boat Inn at Helford Passage and there is a nice beach just below. I’m also fond of The Halsetown Inn in St Ives and must mention The Gurnard’s Head in Zennor again.


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Polly Joke beach


Lamorran Gardens in St Mawes

Trevibban Mill vineyard


We eat well here with our own beef, lamb and pork reared on the farm and a thriving kitchen producing what I think is some of the most exciting food in Cornwall just down the path. Slow-cooked shoulder of lamb is a family favourite as is barbecued sea bream. I will never forget seeing my oldest Sam (then aged two) demolish a whole bream on a fine summer evening.


Fang, an American Pale Ale beer by Black Flag. This brewery is very near to Nancarrow and they have also created a bespoke brew for us called Barn Ale.

Secret place: In the spring I will often head to Coombe (near the National Trust’s Trelissick) for a walk. It is particularly beautiful when all the primroses are out. Special treat:

It’s a real treat for me to sit around the kitchen table for a leisurely breakfast with my wife and our boys at the weekend, eating freshly laid eggs from our chickens and homemade bacon.

Dining at The Pig at Combe 45

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my life


man and boy

Lights, camera... Phil Goodwin and son James, seven, make a movie

n Steven Spielberg’s rarely seen sci-fi epic Close Encounters of the Third Kind, actor Richard Dreyfus sees a UFO and becomes obsessed with a strange mountain he has never seen, sculpting it from his subconscious first from mashed potato the at dinner table, much to the horror of his family, then piling up a huge mound from garbage inside his home. By this point, the character Roy Neary’s wife and kids have left though he is past caring as the story drives him onward towards the real mountain and a powerful reunion with the alien ship. It is a classic of the 1970s, perhaps alluding to the collective loss of faith and search for meaning in the US after Vietnam. That aside, I think we can all agree that in general, monomania is unhealthy. Unfortunately, I fear my son may have fallen victim to a singular compulsion, though rather than building upwards, he has chosen, like some fixated bunny, to burrow, down deep into the Earth. As usual, I have to take some of the blame. It all started when I encouraged his new-found love for film-making, which mostly revolved around the adventures of dinosaurs, inspired by his idols on You Tube. One day he appears, wide-eyed, clutching my iPhone and a box full of the plastic animals on which I have squandered so much hard-earned cash during the early years. ‘Let’s write a proper script and create a real set,’ I suggested, keen to encourage his interest and channel some of my patchy screenwriting know-how. Naturally, our back garden has little in common with the Jurassic period, where broken paving stones and uneven decking were rarely seen, but what we do have is a scrubby patch of dirt in the corner where strawberries, green beans and a large variety




of weeds grow. The boy had set his heart on a watering hole scene so, after a bit of light spadework, the careful sinking of a plant pot and some landscape gardening, we were able to fill up a communal drinking spot for the T-rex and the Stegosaurus – stage names Rexy and Steg – plus many other unknown species. So far so good. But what we really needed, what our growing script required, was a valley, a gorge, across which two heroes could pace and face-off, finally coming together for a thrilling finale on a fallen tree which bridged the yawning divide. Happily, I dug out a trench and we populated the banks with prehistoric trees (weeds). The film was later put together, edited then music and sound effects added by the director, sat at the kitchen table. A strange sounding exercise if you happened upon this performance without knowing what was going on. After the movie was in the can, I noticed he was spending more time out at the so-called Gorge of Gastonia. You would hear the odd grunt, a spade striking rock; sometimes you might spot a dusting of soil fly across the yard. When his mates came round, he recruited them to the cause, mining the muddy depths. Curious, I went out to check one day and found a yawning chasm, dirt piled high on one side and up against the wall. It looked a bit of a mess. I grabbed the spade and meant to toss a few shovelfuls back, only to spot young James at the veranda doors. ‘What are you doing,’ he asked me, a dark, threatening look about him. ‘I don’t want you to fill it.’ There was an exchange of views and, seeing his passion for the excavation, I gave up. He says he wants to shoot more video but I don’t know. He is out there now, digging. The way he’s going, soon you will only see the top of his blond head. What is he doing down there? Where is he going?

We had a communal drinking spot for the T-rex and the Stegosaurus – stage names Rexy and Steg


NEXT WEEK: Chris McGuire on becoming a new dad and moving to the Westcountry 46

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