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Fun foodie ideas to try

REVIEW: A real life styling session

Zero waste ‘How I went plastic free’


romantic interiors

ON MY WAY Why Olly Murs can’t wait to sing in Devon

- pg 12

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If you love al fresco dining and making the most of your time outdoors, then the Morsø Forno is the perfect centre piece for your patio or garden. This award winning Danish icon from Morsø is both a grill and an oven, designed for cooking delicious food - including pizzas, and creating a wonderful warmth and atmosphere for you, your family and friends.


Visit our showroom now for fantastic sale prices on a wide range of ex-display stoves and cookers!

Hearth & Cook brings a new experience to home lovers and makers. Expertly gathered together in our showroom in Exeter is a selection of the finest products designed to transform homes and inspire wonderful culinary creations, including an extensive range of beautifully designed outdoor ovens from renowned Danish stove manufacturer, Morsø. Visit our showroom now to see many of these appliances in action or browse our website.

FINE STOVES & COOKERS Call 01392 797679 ● Find us 100 yards behind Carrs Ferrari. 14 Oaktree Place, Matford, Exeter, Devon EX2 8WA


07/03/2017 13:34:34

‘Would you believe it, no one has ever asked for a jam jar full of coleslaw before. The shop assistant just can’t fathom it’ Anna Turns gives up plastic, p16


SECRET WESTCOUNTRY Where to go, what to do


STEAL HER STYLE A right Royal outfit for spring

[contents[ Inside this week... 6

THE WISHLIST Our pick of the best treats this week


JUST BETWEEN US... Will Young makes a generous gesture


MR MURS HEADS WEST Olly Murs is on his way!




THE STYLE SESSION Let Hobbs come to your fashion rescue


A POTFUL OF JOY Dessert recipe made super-simple

Anna Turns gives up plastic packaging


PURE ROMANCE A Georgian home with lots of heart


JUST ASK GRACIE Our style guru solves your problems


WIDE ANGLES Fashion’s new look for trousers


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


TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL Meet Phil Goodwin, embarrassing dad...


COOK WELL, EAT WELL What’s hot in the foodie world



Is it possible to give up plastic? 3

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[ 12


Mr Murs, heading for Exeter...

[ welcome [ Sometimes, you’re simply spoilt for choice... e’ve got so many good things in this week’s edition of West that I hardly know where to start. Naturally, I’m thrilled to bits that the wonderful singer Olly Murs is heading this way to perform at Powderham Castle near Exeter this summer. Olly tells us all about his glittering journey from X-Factor runner-up to super-star on page 12 today. You’ll be glad to hear fame really hasn’t changed Olly - he’s still a really fun, laid-back character. I can’t wait for his show. Elsewhere in the magazine, our lovely feature writer Anna Turns shares her experience of



of the week


Busy morning, sending lots of lovely Wellies to new local customers, thank you @WMNWest @AnnaTurns #salcombe


trying to do her best for the planet by giving up all plastic packaging and wrapping for three months. Let’s just say, it was no easy task. But, by the same token, Anna did manage to find some novel solutions to ridding our planet of plastic waste, plus she met up with many like-minded people also aiming to do their bit for our environment too. You only need to walk along one of our beautiful Westcountry beaches and spot all the indestructible plastic rubbish washing up on our shores to see how important this issue is today. Find out how Anna got on on page 16 - it’s well worth a read. Have a lovely weekend!


Olly tells us about his journey from X-Factor runner-up to superstar

TO ADVERTISE: Contact Cathy Long: 01752 293017 or 07557 576668,

Becky Sheaves, Editor

EDITORIAL: 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... Why not line up a visit to the best wedding show in the Westcountry? The South West’s biggest bridal exhibition, Bride: The Wedding Show is at Westpoint Arena near Exeter on March 25-26. The spectacular show brings together more than 130 regional wedding suppliers, from boutiques to florists and photographers to travel experts. It’s the perfect opportunity for brides-to-be (and their families and friends) to plan a beautiful wedding day. There will be catwalk shows and a champagne bar, with tickets £5 each or £15 for four in advance, £7.50 on the door.


Free copies of South West Bride magazine will be offered to guests at Bride: The Wedding Show at Westpoint Arena, Exeter (March 25-26) and there are goody bags for the first 100 guests through the door, too! 5

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BLUES Bead necklace £22 East


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

STRIPES Table lamp £269 Houseology

Ruffled heels £45 Miss Selfridge Metallic clutch £22 Very


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Frida rattan chair £175 Amara

Patterned carpet runner £149

Stilla marble clock £116 Amara

Store we adore Joules, Plymouth

The latest Joules store opened in Drake Circus, Plymouth’s shopping centre, just recently. It’s packed with upbeat clothing for men, women and children who enjoy getting out and about in style and living life to the full. Joules designs are colourful, high quality and full of charming detail, made to last season after season. This is the place to go for heritage British style. Joules, Drake Circus, Plymouth

Gold plant pot £4.99 HomeSense


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talking points Gillian Molesworth

Story of my life... You are what you eat, even if it is dried grass n the past six months I’ve had a bit of a crash course in horse nutrition and how their food affects their behaviour. It’s made me think a lot about humans. Anyone who keeps animals has to learn this stuff. Dogs and cats are similar, especially if you have them from puppies or kittens. You have to learn what’s suitable for In short, you have to manage their little canine or feline tumtheir health for them. mies. We are what we eat – and obAs I mucked out, I was listenserving animals allows you to see ing to a radio programme about the effects of different foods: pardepression and anxiety. A man ticular brands might make them was talking about a habit he had drowsy, or hyper, or itchy. formed of pacing around his Horse owners have a particular home. “Sounds like weaving,” I interest in the way their animals thought - the habit bored horses feel, because it is directly linked to develop of waving their head reboth their success and our safety. petitively from side to side. “More A horse that isn’t getting enough exercise, more time outside, more food might feel fibre, less protein.” lazy and not I don’t mean to want trot round make light of mental For kids and in fancy circles illness but it did get troubled teens or jump over me thinking: some poles or gallop in people could benefit less sugar, more a race. A horse from having their running around, that is getting food and exercise too much food managed. and the results becomes what We just don’t realwere huge. It isn’t they call “sharp”. ise how many proball that simple. That is, snorting lems stem from the fire from his nosvery basic human But a lot of it is trils, and prone to needs of the right shying, bucking, food, drink, and exor bolting. Rather ercise. They’ve done unnerving when you’re sitting on studies with fractious kids and it. troubled teens. Less sugar, more So you try to get their feed just running around, and the results right: all the nutrition that they were huge. Of course it isn’t all need, supplied little and often so that simple. But a lot of it is. that it takes effect. With the feed I reckon the NHS would do well you also have to balance their exto appoint some stable managers ercise, especially if you’re keepfor humans. OK, it sounds alarming them in a stable rather than a ingly Big Brother and/or fascist field. If they’re not getting enough state. But prevention is better exercise, they get bored, fractious than cure, right? and develop stable vices. Clever It would be nice if they mucked horses need things to occupy their us out occasionally too. I hate minds as well as their bodies. housework.



florals On the red carpet at the BAFTA awards, the Duchess of Cambridge looked every inch the best dressed attendee in an off-the-shoulder Alexander McQueen gown. This flower print is originally from McQueen’s SS16 collection and looks beautiful against Kate’s rosy skin. For a similar look, we love this flower print dress from Debenhams. Unlike Kate’s full length gown, this one is a mid-cut style and features three-quarter sleeves, making it perfect for spring.

steal her

style OPTION A Two-tone

Print dress £60 Debenhams


OPTION B Relaxed Off the shoulder embroidered dress £59 Monsoon

OPTION C Romantic

Floral maxi dress £65 Very

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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WILL’S KIND HEART The hugely talentedWilli Young – who was a student at Exeter University before he was famous – has been heling a small charity raise cash. He recently created a one-off artwork which was sold on eBay to raise funds for the work of the Willow Foundation. The organisation works with seriously ill young adults aged 16 to 40 to give them uplifting and unforgettable special days out and holidays. Will’s drawing - pink lettering saying “Gonna take this moment and make it last forever” sold for a respectable £260.


between us Gossip, news, trend setters and more – you

Back in his days at Exeter Uni, Will used to belt out love ballads in an empty multi-storey car park late at night, just to be sure no one was listening and because of the great acoustics. We’d give a lot to hear him sing there now!

heard all the latest juicy stuff here first!



[[ ‘I had a couple of swigs and regretted it a lot!’

DANGEROUS DRINKING Bill Oddie has revealed how he almost did himself serious harm while shooting the fly-on-the-wall documentary The Real Marigold Hotel in India. The 75-year-old former Goodie accidentally poisoned himself after a waiter brought him a glass of turpentine to clean his paintbrushes. But Bill thought it was water! He put the glass beside his bed to drink

during the night, and did just that. But luckily realised his mistake after a few gulps. “It was pretty horrifying that he thought the turps was water, but thankfully Bill realised in time,” a source told the Daily Mirror. There was a more positive side to his stay in the coastal resort of Kochin, though, with Bill striking up a firm friendship with 79-year-old agony aunt Dr Miriam Stoppard.

Our hearts go out to the novelist Santa Montefiore, who is mourning the loss of her sister, the socialite Tara Palmer Tomkinson. Santa and Tara both attended Sherborne Girls School in Dorset, which has also paid tribute to the troubled It Girl. Sherborne Girls released a statement saying that the school community were “deeply saddened” by Tara’s shock death at the age of 45. “Our thoughts are with her family at this difficult time,” said a spokesperson. Tara, who found fame as an It Girl during the 1990s, was also a pupil at another Dorset school, Hanford School near Blandford Forum.


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All aboard: Falmouth’s inshore and offshore lifeboats were both in action

in pictures

Guess who? Noah Oliver from Ivybridge dressed up for World Book Day

Drama: Cassie Compton is playing St Ives artist Barbara Hepworth in new film The Sculptress

Shrove Tuesday: There was a pancake race on Lemon Quay, Truro 10


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talking points A HISTORY

of the



objects The best way to:

GET IN THE WATER From adult swimming lessons to fun for the whole family, here are some of the best ways to enjoy the water across the Westcountry Perfect for kids: Whether your child has had a horrible experience and is afraid of the water or they’ve never had the opportunity to learn to swim, Swimcats can help. Swimcats was founded in 2005 by swimming teachers Madeline Allen and Jacqi Collins who saw a need for quality swimming lessons in and around the Plymouth area. with a range of baby, pre-school and school-aged classes for kids. Adult lessons: Every Monday evening, Tempus Leisure in Truro offers adult swimming lessons. These are tailored to your ability and range from classes for complete beginners to those keen to improve their technique or build their confidence. Classes usually consist of blocks of ten weekly sessions and classes are £6.10 per person. www. Fun for the whole family: The Oasis Pools at Hendra Holiday Park on the outskirts of Newquay are a fun day out for the whole family, whatever the weather. With a choice of two swimming pools, a river rapid ride and three water slides there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Prices start at £3.40 per person. www.

Get fit: Leisure East Devon runs the council sports facilities, including Sidmouth, Exmouth and Honiton swimming pools. If you sign up for their Aqua membership deal, you can swim as much as you want in all these pools plus join the excellent SwimFit classes for a set monthly fee, which starts at £21.60 for the over 16s.

35: ROOF TILE From Cathedral Close, Exeter, dated to about AD 60 Julien Parsons is the Senior Collections Officer, The Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter. He says: If you are ever asked: “What did the Romans do for us?” this pottery tile in the form of a human face provides some useful hints. It was found in excavations carried out in the 1970s in front of the west end of Exeter cathedral. Architectural historians describe the object as an ‘antefix’ – an upright ornament that concealed the messy tile ends at the eaves – and it must have come from a substantial roof. Archaeologists proved it once graced an opulent bathhouse situated inside Exeter’s Roman fortress. The excavated remains include a suite of hot, tepid and cool baths, changing rooms and an open-air swimming pool. It might seem an extravagance for the troops but communal bathing was considered an essential aspect

This decorated Exeter’s Roman swimming pool

of Roman life. Not only for washing but also for relaxation and finding out the latest gossip. Exeter’s bathhouse is remarkable for a number of reasons. Firstly its age. It was built in about AD 60 and is therefore one of the first stone-built constructions in Britain. It is also one of the earliest to use concrete and to be fitted with mosaic floors and window glass. So, in response to the original question, you can reply with: underfloor heating, a plentiful supply of hot water, luxury flooring, windows and modern building techniques, not to mention a concern for personal hygiene!


On display in gallery 3, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter.

Competition winner: Congratulations to M A Nast of Bideford, who wins a garden fork and spade worth £77.98 from Greenman Garden Tools of Newton Abbot



06/03/2017 12:33:06


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we want Murs! Five albums in, Olly Murs is among Britain’s most successful solo stars. ahead of his show in exeter, he talks to andy welch about being single again, his new album and more.. ver since Olly Murs first appeared on the X Factor, singing Stevie Wonder’s Superstition and dancing away, he’s become a sort of cheeky crown prince. Even a gaffe-prone stint presenting the show that made him a star couldn’t dent his career, and, from the outside at least, he’s barely changed since that fateful night in 2009 when he first hit our screens. And while he didn’t win the talent show, his career has since outshone those of the victorious Joe McElderry and fellow runner-up Stacey Solomon from the X Factor class of 2009. This summer, he’ll be singing live in the beautiful surroundings of Powderham Castle near Exeter on July 29. “I’d like to think I am still the same as I ever was,” says Olly today. “I’d like to think people’s perception of me is accurate. I know I’m a pop



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Presenting The X-Factor with Caroline Flack

star - and I hate that word but that’s what I am but I am just a normal guy, down to earth. “I still live in Essex with my family, go to watch football with my mates, go out on the weekend and do all those normal things. I might not do all that if I had a girlfriend. “Now that I’m single, I’m still that cheeky chappy people saw all those years ago,” he adds, “and anyone that met me on a night out would think that. I’m just a normal guy who goes out with his mates, I’ve not been swallowed up by this lifestyle and work that I do.” During our conversation, Olly mentions several times that he’s now single. It might be that he’s still cut up about splitting with his long-term girlfriend, Francesca Thomas, towards the end of 2015. Or perhaps he’s being a little shrewd in advertising the fact he’s now available ahead of his nationwide UK tour.

The break-up certainly informed the songs on his most-recent album, 24 Hrs, released late last year. While the songs are largely as upbeat and danceable as ever, there’s plenty of heartbreak if you delve below the top-line melody. “We’d just broken up when I started writing 24 Hrs. I wasn’t up for talking about it, but I did want to write about that,” the 32-year-old admits. “I didn’t feel like I had happy, fun songs in me. I wanted people to hear my anger, sadness and loneliness. “ E ve n t u a l l y, that went, but I was still writing, so that’s when the fun songs started coming out again. “As an album, there’s a real story in there, being told as the months went on. At first, it was all very raw and I didn’t really want to talk about it but then I was a year on and I was in a very different place. I still have that feeling of missing my ex, but you have to move on.”

‘I’m still that cheeky chappy. I’m just a normal guy who

goes out with his mates’

Despite his bachelor status, it’s unlikely Olly will be doing much romancing while he’s on the road. “One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned after touring for years is not to go out drinking after a show. I can’t do it. I’ve tried over the years, but no, it’s not for me. Now I’m single, that’ll be harder - when I had a girlfriend, like on the last tour, we’d either be together or we’d be on the phone chatting, so I wasn’t going out. “This is the first tour where I’ve been single in a while, so it’ll be harder to stay professional, but I will.” He promises a big production for the fans, with screens and various stages, although he’ll stop short of any gimmicks that detract from the songs. “It is all about the music for me, but I want the


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fans to see something amazing. I can’t say too much but the stage looks phenomenal. It’s completely different to the last tour. “I’m in a lucky position now that I’ve had five albums, and there are hits on all of them. It’s hard to put that in one set, to get all the hits and the songs that fans love into one gig. It’ll be a fantastic show.” When 24 Hrs was released, it became Olly’s fourth album to go to No 1 in the charts, beating off competition from Emeli Sande and Cliff Richard. “That’s why I make albums, to make something that’s worthy of that No 1 spot, but with those artists releasing around the same time as me, I knew it was going to be tough. But I did it.” 15

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Pack it in!

Shocked by the environmental impact of modern packaging, anna turns, who lives in kingsbridge, resolves to quit her plastic habit. it’s no easy task.. lastic is everywhere and once manufactured, it stays on our planet. Forever. The stats are scary. In the UK alone, 38.5 million drinks bottles are thrown away each day. For years, I have picked up fragments of plastic from the beach – a reminder of the reality that plastic never disappears, it just breaks down into smaller pieces. Even with my recycling efforts, the main component of my household rubbish is plastic packaging – once used briefly, it usually heads to landfill, unsuitable for the recycling plant. So I have decided to try to save the planet, in my own little way. Don’t get me wrong. I’m no saint. I realise that I’d find it hard to live without any plastic at all for the rest of my life... that’s probably close to impossible in today’s modern world. But I’m going to give it three months, and see how I get on.

Week One I meet up with Amanda Keetley for coffee in Kingsbridge. She’s a busy working mum like me, and earlier this year she founded an inspiring website called Less Plastics UK - so I need to pick her brains. “The key is to reduce demand and produce less plastic in the first place,” says

PhotograPhy: Steve Haywood



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Amanda. That means saying “no” before people give it or sell plastic to me. She’s found some amazing alternatives to plastic, from cloth sandwich bags to aluminium cups for kids. I am blown away by some of the things she tells me. There is hard scientific proof that toxins from plastic leak into our food and drink when we heat food in plastic containers or clingfilm in the microwave or leave a plastic bottle of water in the car overnight. When I get home I sort through the kitchen cupboards and fill a bag with children’s crockery, cutlery and containers. Some of it can be used by my other half as creative storage options in the tool shed, some of it can be added to the children’s play kitchen. They can eat off proper plates from now on.

Week Two Food shopping since going plastic-free is so hard. Raw meat from the butcher has to come in a plastic bag, but I make a point of largely avoiding plastic when choosing other foods – there’s so much loose fruit and veg in my basket it probably drives the cashier bonkers. I order milk delivered by the milkman in glass bottles, but now I’m thinking a weekly veg box could help avoid even more packaging - and save me a trip to the shops.

Week Three I chat to my daughter, who is five, about plastic

and explain the damage plastic drinking straws can do. She really grasps the fact they can get stuck up turtles’ noses and kill seabirds that swallow them. So we buy some paper straws for parties at home. You can even buy metal ones but I think that is going a bit far. From now on, she points out plastic wherever she finds it and as a family, we are getting far more conscious of the impact of our plastic footprints.

Week Four We go down to Salcombe for a community event. I am so cross with myself when I realise I have been drinking from a plastic cup! Next time, I’ll bring a china mug.

Week Five

will make her think?

Week Six Today, I am tackling the bathroom. There are plastic bottles everywhere. It’s clear there are going to have to be a few exceptions to my no plastic rule – medicines and daily disposable contact lenses are my essentials. I vow to never buy liquid soap or shower gel again – old fashioned bars of soap will do just fine – and from now on I buy paper cotton buds instead of plastic ones. Some more internet research and I discover a lovely company called Earth Conscious who make natural deodorant in tins (even their postage packaging is plastic-free) and Neal’s Yard Remedies do a lovely scented bubble bath in a glass bottle. But I’m struggling to find a good plasticfree option for shampoo and conditioner.

‘I am so cross with myself when I realise I have been drinking from a plastic cup! Next time, I’ll bring a china mug’

I pick up my coat from the dry cleaners and as I’m walking out the door, it dawns on me that I don’t HAVE to take it back with a plastic cover that is simply destined for the bin as soon as I get home. I return it to the lady at the counter and ask her to please reuse it. I wonder if that

Week Seven My son turns one today (and is doing fine in


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cloth nappies). And with baby birthdays come presents. Lots of them. Close friends and family know I’m on a mission and he receives some beautiful wooden toys and books, but he also opens up a remarkable number of plastic toys, many of them very noisy, battery-operated ones. Of course I am so grateful to people for thinking of him, but I feel like he really doesn’t need that much STUFF, especially when he is a second child with an already-overflowing toy box.

tic-free mission. He goes to our local farm shop armed with glass jam jars to fill at the deli. Would you believe it, no one has ever asked for a jam jar full of coleslaw before – the shop assistant just can’t fathom what we mean and insists on measuring the coleslaw out into a plastic container to weigh it and then transfers it to the plastic jar. We will persevere.

‘Would you believe it, no one has ever asked for a jam jar full of coleslaw before. The shop assistant just can’t fathom it’

Week Ten

My order from Less Plastics arrives today – stainless steel drinking bottles for both children and a reusable sandwich bag for my husband, plus some Abeego food wrap which I am super excited about. It is made from beeswax on natural hemp so it is breathable and can be washed in cold soapy water, then after a year it simply goes on the compost heap and breaks down naturally. Genius. I first try it on half an avocado and, a couple of days later, it is still green and fresh.

I’ve always been a fan of Ecover’s natural cleaning products but I have only just noticed that in the smallprint next to the recycle symbol on the bottle it says “designed to be refilled”. A quick postcode search online shows that the health food shop on my local high street does refills for Ecover washing up liquid and other products, so these same bottles I already have can last me a lifetime. And, even better, when my surface cleaner in the kitchen runs out, I make a quick and easy cleaning product with vinegar and lemon juice – thanks Google! It really does work, too.

Week Nine

Week Eleven

My husband is now fully on board with my plas-

Top of my reading list is Bea Johnson’s book

Week Eight

Zero Waste Home. Bea and her family produce no more than one jam jar full of waste per year. Her secret is the 5 R’s: Refuse, Reduce, Re-use, Recycle and Rot. Clever.

Week Twelve I head to Totnes to meet Nicola and Richard Eckerseley, who are getting ready to open the UK’s first ever zero-waste supermarket in the town. They will be selling more than 80 dry products, from loose leaf tea, grains, nuts, herbs and spices, coconut oil, some toiletries and household cleaning products. Customers will be able to bring any container or buy a glass jar or use compostable brown paper bags and there is no lower limit to the quantity you can buy. If your recipe requires just a few grams of an ingredient, you can just buy what you need. Best of all, I have solved my shampoo and conditioner problem, they will sell refillable Faith in Nature hair products. At last!


A new documentary A Plastic Ocean launches today. I download it on iTunes and get cosy for an evening’s rather uncomfortable but incredibly inspiring viewing. We are all consumers, so we are all responsible but even if we all just change how we buy a couple of products, we can all make a difference. I have been amazed, too, by how many people in the Westcountry are engaged in this ongoing fight against plastic. There is still time to make a change.


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fashion 21

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Simply gorgeous Milla Bassett’s stunning Kingsbridge home is a salute to her skills as an interior designer. Lucy Johnson takes a guided tour.


f everything in your home makes you happy, you can’t go wrong, believes Milla Bassett whose Georgian town house in Kingsbridge, South Devon is as eclectic as it is delight-

ful. Bought in 2015, the house needed renovating from top to bottom to transform it into a home with a heart. Undeterred, Milla’s love of Georgian properties and their generous proportions prompted her to buy. The South Hams area of south Devon is dear to Milla, and she has a close association with Bantham, where her step great grandmother used to own The Sloop pub, having bought it at auction during the Second World War. Her son, Johnny Lucas, then bought Pilchard Cellars, a famous landmark in the village, for Milla’s grandmother as a wedding present, and it is here that Milla spent her childhood holidays. She moved permanently to Devon in 2010. Milla’s Kingsbridge home is the first she has owned in Devon, allowing her to house her wonderful collection of art, black-and-white photographs and furniture. Her collections are mostly sourced from second-hand shops, such as a vast cupboard salvaged from the set of the film Mamma Mia, which is now on the third of three floors and piled high with books. With a vision for every room, Milla engaged the builders James Burgess Building. They set to 22

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work, starting in the basement, which has been transformed into a stunning kitchen and dining area. It is Milla’s favourite room in the house, which comes as no surprise when you learn she’s a well-known caterer in the South Hams. Walls were removed, a wood burner was installed, recess lighting added and Compass Kitchens at Torr Quarry designed and built the kitchen, complete with an island, and a classic double Belfast sink. Original stone flags on the floor set it all off beautifully. Another huge cupboard, this time sourced by The Treasury interiors store in Totnes, has been modified to fit around a supportive pillar, testament to Milla’s ability to use a building’s framework to her advantage. A life-size sheep by Savage Sheep adds character. There’s also a striking painting by local artist Fran Matthews that is punctuated with pink, Milla’s favourite colour and a common theme running through the house, giving warmth and femininity to the neutral scheme. “I just love everything to be beautiful and calm, and as long as I think everything in my house is beautiful, then I know it will work,” she explains. Throughout the house there is minute attention to detail, from the bespoke wallpaper in the cloakroom by Allison and Allison depicting Milla’s Norfolk cross Jack Russell terrier Minna, to the room’s original stained glass window. The hallway lights are from The French House in Totnes and in the sitting room there’s an oblong tapestry cushion made by Milla’s grandmother, plus animal skins from Marrakesh draped over furniture. Milla’s second favourite space is her bathroom, a sanctuary to relax in with a huge Fired Earth console basin, a chandelier by Cox and Cox and an old-fashioned carriage mirror. As you gaze in admiration at every room, you notice the sumptuous curtains that frame the windows – acres of beautiful fabric that add opulence and warmth. “My curtains are very old, vintage in fact, and

have hung in quite a few houses over the years. They are all linen, double lined and weighted and they absolutely change the feel of a room. Its vital to have good curtains, and to use a lot of fabric,” she says. On the top floor there’s a bedroom, one of three in the house, with a balcony overlooking the park, and a tongue and groove bathroom, which serves as a retreat for guests. The complete renovation took just five months to complete, a feat Milla says is thanks to her “amazing” builders who were on time with everything. “There were literally no hiccups. James made sure that all the different elements, such as the rewiring, replumbing, replastering and new bathrooms, came together really quickly. I was on site every day too with

my wonderful mum and our great go-to person who can do anything, Mariusz, who helped us paint the house from top to toe.” This beautiful home is now as feminine as it is interesting, where every room tells a story, and every object has a meaning. “I feel very contented in this house, surrounded by my beautiful things. But I’ve enjoyed the project so much that I’ve decided to sell and buy another property to renovate,” says Milla. Asked if she’d like to pursue design as a career, she ponders the question: “I’d be delighted to help anyone with his or her house, should anyone ever ask.” Given she has years of experience returning forlorn properties back to their former glory, this is a pastime that could quite easily become a new profession.


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Add a touch of simple but romantic charm to your rooms Chandelier £320 Debenhams

Herringbone throw £60 Amara

Isabelle lamp £25 Wilko

Large mantel clock £55 Laura Ashley

Velvet sofa £1,099 Housing Units


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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... Beautiful on the inside Q

What are the benefits of taking a probiotic? FD, Moretonhampstead

If you’ve heard anything about probiotics, you likely know that these live bacteria (found in yogurt) are key for good gut health. However, probiotics do more than just ease tummy troubles, they can also help with: 1. Skin conditions Some studies suggest that the right strains of probiotics can help with skin woes such as psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea by minimizing inflammation. 2. Immunity Sick and tired of being sick and tired? Since probiotics are a better type of bacteria, they can help prevent infection from the more dangerous kinds. Making sure you have a

Culturelle Digestive Health probiotic chewables £53.07

better balance of bacteria can also ward off issues like colds and flu bugs. 3. Mood disorders In a recent study of 40 people without mood disorders, people who took a powdered probiotic supplement every night for a month felt happier and reported feeling less affected by life’s downers than those who took a placebo. Other research suggests that probiotics can help lower levels of depression, stress, and anxiety. 4. Weight loss The results of a new study showed that women who took probiotics lost twice as much weight over a test period as those who took none. The probiotic group also experienced a drop in the appetite-regulating hormone leptin and a decline in intestinal bacteria related to obesity.

Symprove £79 for a four week supply


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A total no-no? Are there any items a woman SHOULDN’T

High rise skinny jeans £89 Jaeger

Q have in her wardrobe? GC, Plymouth

When it comes to cleaning out your closet, I always suggest grazing your wardrobe every few months. Aside from swapping in and out seasonal items like coats and sweaters, I look for three to five key items to move to the donation pile. Think along the lines of that overbearing sock drawer or that stack of old t-shirts. Parting with these items on a regular basis will keep your wardrobe well organised and will create more space for all your new shopping. 1. Old white t-shirts It happens to the best of us. You find your favourite white t-shirt and wear it on repeat... to the point where it gets yellowed or grey with age. If that’s the case, it’s time to ditch the old fave. 2. Shoes you can’t walk in Maybe you opted for a smaller size because they were on sale or perhaps the heel was deceivingly shorter online - whatever the reason, if you can’t walk in them it’s time to part ways. 3. Jeans that don’t fit Consolidate your denim collection every few months and donate the pairs that no longer fit you perfectly. Jeans give and stretch wash after

Leather tan sandals £18 George at ASDA

Emily jersey top £35 White Stuff

wash so it’s completely normal to have pairs that no longer flatter your body the way they used to. Give them the elbow!

Crabtree & Evelyn Ultimate Hand Therapy collection gift set tin £44 www. A must-have for any Hand Therapy fan, the Crabtree & Evelyn gift set is an entire wardrobe of twelve beautiful hand creams. From ultra fresh to sweetly sensuous, there’s a fragrance to suit everyone, in this pretty embossed gift box. One to think of for Mother’s Day? Hylamide HA Blur hyaluronic-based prismatic blurring surface finisher £19, A unique blend of blurring and hydration benefits in one, HA Blur uses hyaluronic acid powder to create the prism shapes needed to refract light, helping to blur imperfections and pores. To be used under makeup as a primer or over foundation to target specific areas of concern, the ultra-light formula can be mixed with any liquid foundation.

In the shades I have a very oval shaped face and was wondering if you have any tips for choosing a flattering pair of sunglasses? KM, Newquay


If you have an oval face shape, consider yourself lucky. According to Bobbi Brown, make-up artist, glasses expert, and author of the book Bobbi Brown: Everything Eyes, “Most styles work well on this face shape, so you can really mix it up.” Your main concern should be the size and the proportion to your features. “If you have smaller features, avoid thick, large frames, as they’ll overwhelm your face.” Another consideration for anyone with an oval face is to avoid frames that are too wide. There shouldn’t be a large gap between the sides of your face and your sunglasses. “Choose glasses that are the same width as your face, not wider,” says Bobbi.

Gracie’s shopping list

Flat lens aviators £12 Very

Naomi sunglasses £69 Jigsaw

Olivia cat-eye shades £12 Accessorize

Sierra two-tone purse £28 Oliver Bonas Taking your accessories into new colour territories, the tomato red Sierra purse is toned down by a soft nude pink that opens up to reveal a multitude of card slots and a clever zipped pocket inside.

Got a style or beauty question? Email Gracie Stewart at with the subject Ask Gracie


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Wide angle e they denim, cropped, printed or striped, wide leg trousers are big news for spring/summer 2017. After years of skinny trouser silhouettes, this shift in style can be a bit of a shock to the fashion system. But they can be very flattering, once you get used to them. High heeled shoes will elongate your legs if you’re of shorter stature and choose fabrics that are reasonably plain - with this quantity of fabric, you don’t want anything too patterned or busy. Flat-fronted-trousers are the more forgiving option and look for a pair that graze the front of your foot at their longest point. You’ll soon be taking them in your stride


Velour trousers £30 JD Williams

Sparkle tweed trousers £32 Very

Denim trousers £30 Miss Selfridge

Jumpsuit £179 sandals £98 Jigsaw


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Flared jeans £40 Debenhams Denim wide leg trousers £30 cold shoulder top £39 Miss Selfridge

Dress £175 Vera Mont

Inverted pleat trousers £32 Very

Flared trousers £89 Jigsaw

Silk top £129 crop trousers £139 Jigsaw


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06/03/2017 14:45:12



Dress to impress Kathryn Clarke-Mcleod is smitten with the Hobbs Styling Sessions here is no crisis quite like an ‘I have nothing to wear’ crisis. These are inevitably preceded by an invitation. A proper one, printed on stiff luxurious paper. In my case it was to a wedding. Cue a review of my entire wardrobe in which everything is found lacking. Panic sets in. Sound familiar? If so, fret no more. I have just discovered - and am evangelical about - The Hobbs Styling Sessions. I have always associated Hobbs with polished sophistication, so it was the first stop on my inevitable shopping mission. I’m happy to report it was also my last stop. In fact, I was sipping a flat white in Chandos deli, in Exeter’s Princesshay ‘Our role is to shopping centre, just an hour help women after I stepped through the door of Hobbs, satisfied to the point of look their best smugness with the contents of for special my shopping bags. The boutique-like space made events, by acting me feel instantly calm. First, as their very because I could tell at a glance I own personal was going to be spoilt for choice, and secondly because I had one shopper’ of their capable stylists, Alex, at my side. “A large part of our role is flapjacks and swigging hot chocolate helping women look their best for special events would make me ecstatic. by acting as their very own personal shopper,” said We then walk around the store to see what I am Alex. drawn to. Arms full, we head to the changing room. “We work with a lot of mother of the brides, and Alex has chosen me a wildcard option in the form also a lot of professionals who are short on time” of a navy and ivory shift. I wasn’t sure, but wanted First up is a chat about the event. A wedding? to leave no stone unturned. What time of year? What is my relationship to the I loved it. I felt like myself, but more poised, bride? “It’s also important to ask is if there are polished and striking in monochrome. I’ve found there any body areas people want to minimise,” The One. Fear sets in. “This dress is beautiful, says Alex. you must have sold lots of them?” I needn’t have In my case we were dealing with the May worried. Hobbs only gets in two of each size wedding of old school friend - and anything to per style, and new items arrives every weekday. distract from the winter I have spent scoffing Exclusivity is virtually guaranteed.



Hallie dress, Hobbs, Princesshay, £149 Eliza jacket, Hobbs, Princesshay, £119 Eve slingbacks, Hobbs, Princesshay, £149 Anna necklace, Hobbs, Princesshay, £35 Kew clutch, Hobbs, Princesshay, £99

Once you have settled on a core piece, your stylist adds the finishing touches. I get a pair of navy pointed heels all the way from Italy, a chic white jacket I also can’t wait to pair on more casual occasions with ripped jeans for cocktails, and a soft clutch. Jackpot. It could easily have taken me weeks to put together what my Hobbs session did in less than an hour. The best part, it’s given me more of my two favourite things - time and confidence. Book Styling Sessions at Hobbs, Princesshay, Exeter 01392 428178. Hobbs is part of the Princesshay Spring Spree, March 30, where customers can enjoy 20% off. Register now at


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Lydia trench coat, £199 Amand a capri pants, £85 Eve slingba cks, £149 Gracie top, £45 All Hobbs Princes shay


Havana fascinator £69 HOBBS


Alexis maxi dress £159 HOBBS

Lottie drop earrings £29 HOBBS

Ophelia studs £22 HOBBS

Luxury: all Hobbs shoes are designed in London and made in a traditional Italian footwear factory.

Taryn dress £179 HOBBS

Margot dress £159 HOBBS

Penelope dress £169 HOBBS

Paloma shoes £149 HOBBS 31

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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

Time to take stock of health Nutrition and Hydration Week runs from March 13-19 and, while this is an important global event, it is also a good reminder to take stock of our own personal physical health. Food is medicine, which is why need to make the right decisions every single day in order to keep our health up to scratch. So why not record a food diary this week and discover just how balanced your diet really is?

Vitamin D time

Sun-soaked days might be a distant memory but new research has revealed why we should all be supplementing this somewhat grey weather with a daily dose of Vitamin D. According to a study published by the British Medical Journal, Vitamin D supplements can act as an effective prevention against colds and flu by boosting levels of antimicrobial peptides in the lungs. Find a selection of different supplements including oral sprays, tablets and drops at your local health store.

PLOT TO PLATE If you’re in the area, don’t miss the annual Food and Garden Festival taking place at Rattery village hall south Devon on Saturday March 11. This year’s theme is “Plot to Plate” with demonstrations, artisan food stalls, local speakers, gardeners and celebrity chefs, this is the perfect place to glean some green-fingered advice for the season ahead. Discover how best to grow your own delicious fruits and vegetables and transform them into healthy and delicious meals to enjoy all year long. Tickets cost £2.


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Come back to yoga Do you suffer from lower back pain? According to research, one of the best remedies to this condition that affects four in five of us throughout our lifetime is in fact yoga. If you’re new to yoga, Lime House Yoga in Truro is a good place to start. The studio’s selection of classes, workshops and retreats are open to all abilities and are designed to calm, nurture and inspire, while suiting your individual needs. Classes start from £7 for 60 minutes, or £5.50 for concessions, find more information at

And relax... Whether you suffer from muscle discomfort or are simply in need of some TLC, find the perfect treat at Exeter’s Massage and Wellbeing Centre. The centre offers a range of restorative treatments from sport to pregnancy massages, hot stone treatments and aromatherapy. The centre’s team of therapists is also qualified in counselling and psychotherapy and can help you work through and overcome the pressures and strains of modern-day life. Massages start from £35, more information at

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

@WMNWest or email 33

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And baby makes three... How to cope when parenthood puts a strain on relationships When my partner was expecting our first person has arrived so your relationship has baby, I was really looking forward to being a become triangular. All focus is now on him and hands-on dad. Now our baby is eight months it has upset your lines of communication. Most old and my partner’s really stressed couples struggle to find and tired, but when I try to help she time for each other at this says I’m doing it wrong and when I try time because babies are so to comfort her she pushes me away. demanding. We used to be so close and now we But what you describe is ‘Most couples seem so far apart. It’s like the baby’s an uneven triangle, where struggle to find come between us – what can I do? your son is much nearer time for each SM, Topsham to your partner. So it feels unbalanced, making you other at this Relationship counfeel left out and rejected. time because sellor Tricia Moore It’s quite likely that your babies are so says: A baby puts partner is aware of the ima huge strain on balance too and feels overdemanding’ a relationship no loaded. matter what plans Because of this, she may you’ve made. Whathave felt irritated when ever good advice you get, you can’t you tried to comfort her, so know how a birth is going to impact on your pushed you away. Feeling rejected, you perhaps lives, until it happens. Baby’s arrival turns all pushed for closeness again, which only made your plans upside down and is one of the many her turn away again. So a chase has developed: times in your hopefully long relationship, when you pursue her so she withdraws; so you pursue you need to re-negotiate how the balance works. more and she withdraws more. Round and round It sounds as though you had communicated you go, never quite meeting; misunderstanding well before because you felt so close. But then each other’s intentions and increasing the emoit was just you two; straightforward and linear, tional distance between you. focussed exclusively on each other. Now a third To re-establish the close communication you



used to have, you need to find a way to stop the chase. You could try the direct approach, if you think she would respond well to it. Say, ’I’m feeling left out here and I want us to get back to being a tea mlik ew eus edto be .Ca nw eta lk?’ Or you could prepare the ground a bit by doing something practical that you don’t normally do, like organising the evening meal, or tidying/washing up. Then make a dr ink for you bo th bef ore in viting the ta lk. With either way, the golden rule is to speak for yourself. Begin all sentences with ‘I’ or ‘I feel….’ rather than ‘You….’ That way it isn’t criticism or mind reading, but your own feelings about the situation. None of us know what another is thinking, no matter how close we are, so after you’ve spoken, ask her how she is feeling and how things could work better for her. Most importantly, listen to what she says. Once you understand each other again, you can plan a way forward that you both feel an equal part of. Even up the triangle, so you not only share the parenting, but also find time for each other. Once you feel on the same team again, your relationship will run much more smoothly. Good luck. Tricia Moore is a counsellor for the national charity Marriage Care, based in Plymouth, www.


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

Sunset, fire and feast

Philleigh Way Cookery School is running an Italian cookery course on Wednesday March 15. The one day workshop will teach you how to make classic breads, pasta, pizza and sauces but using only the finest seasonal Cornish produce. The course includes four demonstrations and four practical sessions as well as a glass of prosecco mid-morning and wine with lunch. Tickets are £135 per person and can be booked online at

The first in a series of Feast Nights is being held at the Bedruthan Hotel and Spa in Newquay. Join them for long table feasts, served from an open kitchen, with sea views across the coastal dune garden. Then enjoy the sunset by the warmth of the open fire pit complete with toasting marshmallows. The menu includes slow cooked Cornish lamb curry, ginger and coconut chicken curry plus a vegetarian curry. Friday March 24, £35 per person

Sweet treats Poltimore House, near Exeter, is hosting a chocolate making workshop on Sunday March 19. You’ll enjoy a chat and welcome drinks with an award-winning chocolatier before learning how to craft and create your very own chocolates which you can take home. Tickets are £45 per person for a three hour workshop.

Got some foodie news? Let us know on 35

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Your stars by Cassandra Nye This week’s sign:

Happy birthday to...

Jenny Packham

Pisces people are selfless. They are always willing to help others, without hoping - or needing - to get anything back. Pisces is a Water sign and, as such, this zodiac sign is characterised by empathy and a deep emotional capacity. Their ruling planet is Neptune, which means Pisces are more intuitive than most and often have lots of artistic talent.

Born March 11, 1965 Jenny Packham is the British fashion designer known for her superb wedding dresses. The designer is a favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge, who wearsJenny Packham outfits for many official engagements - most memorably on both the occasions when she left St. Mary’s Hospital after giving birth to her children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte. As a Pisces, Jenny is likely to be both creative and artistic, which perhaps explains her business success over the years.

PISCES (February 20 - March 20) Because you want to please someone you could tend to be over-generous with your cash. See if they appreciate your company when the cash is not so plentiful. Chances are that they will. It is such a confidence boost when that happens. Of course, if they disappear... good riddance! Always moving forward gives so much to think about and enjoy that there is no competition.

ARIES (March 21 - April 20) Some quiet moments give the chance for personal reflection. Your suggestions at work may not seem appreciated but, if you are willing to be flexible, the best will come out. Wanting to spend more time at home means a bit of give and take. Loved ones are sympathetic. Someone who wants to see some action could be a bit pushy.

TAURUS (April 21 - May 21) Should the chance to make some extra cash come along this week, you will be ready for it. Long-term prospects are good and show themselves easily. However, decisions taken now should be looked at for the long term as they could be tricky to change. Show forward thinking so that you can’t be taken for granted.

GEMINI (May 22 - June 21) Enjoy being with others on a trip down memory lane which gives you a balanced view of the future. Some situations this week will find you holding back to see what someone else does. At this point it should be easier for you to work together. Not everyone is willing to be as flexible as you but any agreement needs to give you an equal benefit.

CANCER (June 22 - July 22) Fire up those joint activities to bring a fresh approach to your social life. Sticking to the rules is best when you are aware of being watched. This is not in a bad sense, but

with an eye to promotion. A loved one wants to move the relationship on. Are you ready for this? Whatever discussions you have at the moment, honesty will save you heartache later on.

LEO (July 23 - August 23) Continue to seek out chances to feather your nest and progress at work. Are finances looking better now? Keep your eye on this area for there are opportunities to shine. Being in touch with friends far from home could involve a holiday or other happy visit. Someone is keen to impress you. Don’t dismiss anyone or anything unless you have thought it through.

VIRGO (August 24 - September 23) Efforts made in the past now begin to show some rewards. This reminds you that patience pays off. However, when it comes to a partnership there could be things that you cannot change. Being honest about this could see you taking a fresh path. House too cluttered? Working too hard? Loved one too demanding?

LIBRA (September 24 - October 23) This week you have the chance to be the life and soul of the party. If you haven’t been invited to one, then why not send out some invitations? Romance and money seem tightly bound together. Be sure that you are happy with a current arrangement before continuing it.

SCORPIO (October 24 - November 22) Bringing your social life into play at

work can win you admirers and show others missed talents. Creating a new image for yourself is both fun and impressive. Play by the rules, however, if you want to stay popular. Bring the tone to a lighter and more fun level to encourage a loved one.

SAGITTARIUS (November 23 - December 21) This is really a great time for getting ahead in your work. As the opportunities show themselves, be ready to pounce! When seeking romance, maybe you should be looking for someone entirely different? Sometimes a good brain is more attractive in the long term than a pleasing face. Seeking perfection can bring disappointment.

CAPRICORN (December 22 - January 20) Be the social being that you know brings out the best in you. Finding others rather dull? Do something exciting and new to bring them out of their shells. Something that you crave is possible but only if you show determination. Who can show you how? Trust your common sense.

AQUARIUS (January 21 - February 19) Keep plugging away on a pet project. This week gives the best chance of success in any new approach. Instead of chasing fun, invite it to come to you. Finding out who you real friends are? It is a gift to realise that others have been wasting your time. Because now you can move on and make some progress!


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The Adventure Starts Here

Summer style

Quality Verandas, Carports and Canopies Phone today for a FREE brochure or no obligation quote For more information or to book a visit contact 01822 813193 or Parkwood Road . Tavistock . Devon . PL19 0HZ

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01647 432321

Stone Lane | Chagford | Devon TQ13 8JU

07/03/2017 13:33:59


Lemon Curd Fool By the chefs at Yeo Valley, Somerset: This is a super-simple dessert that will really wow your guests. It’s absolutely delicious and a true celebration of Westcountry dairy produce.



350g lemon curd 350g Light & Mild Yeo Valley natural yogurt 500g double cream 2 lemons 100g sugar


Whip the cream with the sugar and when nearly at full peak, add the juice and zest of the lemons and the yogurt. Whisk a little more if necessary.


Now place into a piping bag. Put the lemon curd into a piping bag also.


Now alternately pipe the lemon curd followed by the fool mixture into suitable glasses.


You can top this off with ginger poached rhubarb or crushed ginger biscuits - or both!

Yeo Valley make delicious organic dairy products in Blagdon, Somerset. For more recipes see 38

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Happy h ur with drinks expert April Marks

April says: We’re paying a shocking amount of tax on our wines and spirits, in fact more than any other European country, with the exception of Ireland. Allow me to enlighten you as to how this works with wine. The government sets the duty rate on alcohol. At the time of writing this was £2.08 for a bottle of still wine (sparkling wine is more). Wine is also subject to VAT (currently 20%) which is added to the cost of the wine. Duty is seen as part of the cost therefore

Diary Date

we’re paying tax on top of tax. Last year we spent on average £5.39 on a bottle of wine in the UK, this means £2.98 of that bottle was tax which equates to 55% of the cost. Since writing this page, the chancellor Philip Hammond will have announced his Budget plans, where we are expecting an inflationary increase (oh joy – even more tax). Last year, wine duty reached an all-time high putting a staggering £4 billion into the treasury’s coffers! Now spirits are an-

When shopping, try to

spend at least £10: the wine will be better

Top 3 Pinot Noir Facts * Often found in champagne * Related to Pinot Grigio * Great served chilled

Join me at Cofton Country Holidays (near Dawlish) for a Gin Masterclass next Thursday March 16. For £16 per person you’ll taste six gins plus canapés are included.

other matter. Rather than go into detail, all you need to know is that 74% of the average bottle of spirits is tax. My top tip to pay less tax is to buy better wine. When shopping, try to spend at least £10 per bottle, as the duty part is static bringing the percentage of tax down to 37%. Therefore, you get more wine for your money, that £10 bottle will be significantly better. So, tax on alcohol in the UK is a shocker. But it could be worse– we could be living in Ireland! April Marks is co-founder of Regency Wines Ltd Exeter @regencywinesuk

PRODUCT OF THE WEEK Nostros Pinot Noir Reserva, Casablanca Valley, Chile Any day now the grape harvest will commence in Chile’s Casablanca Valley, where the Pacific Ocean tempers the climate allowing slow ripening of the grapes – perfect for Pinot Noir. The Nostros Reserva is a fabulous example of cool climate Pinot Noir. Delicately aged in French oak for three months, the wine shows hints of violets followed by red fruit, leather then a touch of gun powder and vanilla at the end. Try with smoked duck or rabbit terrine. Local stockist – Greendale Farm Shop near Exeter 39

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Darren Norbury

talks beer Beer of the week Black Tor Brewery says its limited edition New Zealand IPA is its most hop-forward beer yet. With intense tropical fruit flavours and aromas of passion fruit, pineapple, mango, kiwi and lime, it’s available now. Stockists include the Prince Maurice and Fortescue in Plymouth.

SEE THE LIGHT… … and the Dark and the Saison when the Driftwood Spars, St Agnes, Cornwall, holds its annual beer festival of that name next weekend (March 17-19). This year, the lineup features lots of Westcountry beers.

Best in the West

Sharp’s Brewery’s flagship ale, Doom Bar, has won the best drinks category at the annual Food Magazine Reader Awards. The brewery’s James Nicholls said: “We are thrilled to win the award for Doom Bar at the Food Magazine awards, which was voted for by the readers and, therefore, is really special to us.”

emember January? Back then, I said ery office building is still visible, and the brewery we should ignore Dry January and itself was on the opposite side of Sea Lane. do Tryanuary instead. That went When he took over the business from his well for me, lots of new brews enfather, Christopher Ellis Junior became quite joyed. an entrepreneur, building local hotels, such as But then I reckon February is worse for our the Cornubia and the Old Quay House, but also pub landlords, in terms of lack of footfall, so I did building up a pub estate, too. The brewery – my best to support them in that month, too. Now which utilised malt grown on neighbouring Bodit’s March and, no, sorry, it’s not tourist season riggy Farm – was turning out 3,000 barrels a year yet. We still need to be out supporting those pubs. when St Austell took it over in 1934. The brewery Patriotic duty and all that. was closed, although the buildings were used for Cornwall Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) had beer warehousing until relatively recently. the right idea. Fact-finding mission, research, The reason for my visit was down to the power call it what you will (what was of Facebook (social media does that? “Pub crawl” you say?). seem to play an increasingly imThey hired a coach and toured portant part in my life). I was lured Gunnislake, St the “Far East” of Cornwall, by the promise of Ellis’s Old Hayle Ann’s Chapel, ie the bits that often get overAle (5% ABV), brewed by St Austell looked when it comes to pub to an original Ellis & Son recipe. It Chilsworthy and surveying. didn’t disappoint. Delightfully old Callington were all Gunnislake, St Ann’s fashioned, bready, caramel malt Chapel, Chilsworthy, Methbalanced with deep fruit notes, visited, and plenty erell and Callington were all with hints of strawberry on the of new friendships visited, and plenty of new rich, roasty aroma. made. That’s what friendships made. That’s what It won’t be so long before I return happens in pubs. to the Cornish Arms, not just behappens in pubs Then I paid a ridiculously cause they also have regular guest overdue visit to the Cornish beers but also because their standArms in Hayle a couple of ard range of St Austell beers – HSD, nights ago. I say ridiculously Cornish Best and the ubiquitous overdue as I haven’t been there for ages, almost Tribute – are so well kept. Considering this is since licensees Huw and Claire took over about Claire and Huw’s first pub, they’ve nailed cela year ago, yet it’s only a ten-minute walk away larmanship, indeed they appear to have nailed from my house. I know. Slapped wrist. The inall aspects of running a great community pub. teresting thing about the Cornish Arms is that Be nice to see that Old Hayle Ale back now and behind it used to be Hayle’s own brewery, Ellis again, though. & Son, originally the Hayle Steam Brewery until Darren Norbury is editor of Christopher Ellis purchased it in 1815. The brew@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 Up in the treetops A new attraction at The Eden Project near St Austell is The Weather Maker, the latest addition to their Rainforest Canopy Walkway. Discover how the rainforest makes weather, explore the canopy on the new extended high walkway - and brave the wobbly bridge if you dare! To celebrate the opening of The Weather Maker there will be a special weekend of fun activities in the Rainforest Biome on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 March. Free event with admission to the Eden Project.

Beachside fashion

Time for some laughs Comedian Jon Richardson is bringing his Old Man show to the Exeter Corn Exchange on Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 March. You may recognise him as an occasional host of TV’s The One Show. Since his last tour, Jon has become a husband and father, seen the UK vote to leave the EU and watched the rise of Donald Trump, all of which leaves him asking one question, why does it seem that no one else alive can correctly load a dishwasher? Tickets £21.50

Roo’s Beach, the surf boutique based in north Cornwall, is teaming up with the Bedruthan Hotel and Spa near Newquay for a night of fashion and feasting. You’ll be greeted with a glass of fizz on arrival before being one of the first to preview the new summer 2017 collection from Roo’s Beach. After the show you’ll get to enjoy a mediterranean-inspired banquet and live music. Thursday May 16, £37.50 per person to include a fizz welcome, nibbles, banquet dinner and a goodie bag. See for details. 41

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Getting it right Paralympian Jonnie Peacock explains why a balanced diet and exercise is as important for ordinary kids as well as athletes amilies these days are constantly bombarded with messages about the importance of healthy eating and maintaining an active lifestyle, so it's not surprising that most young people know what they should be doing to stay healthy. However, research suggests that knowing what food is good for them and how much exercise to take doesn't necessarily mean young people actually putting their knowledge into practice. Indeed, 69% of 11-14-year-olds are confident their own lifestyle is healthy, yet 21% don't consider limiting the amount of fast food they eat, and 28% don't meet physical activity guidelines. The discrepancy between what young people know about being healthy and what they actually do is so wide that the Sainsbury's Active Kids campaign has enlisted Paralympic gold medal


sprinter Jonnie Peacock to help convince youngsters they need to make more effort to eat well and exercise. He says: "When you're growing up, you're laying the foundations for your health and fitness for the rest of your life and it's important to get the building blocks in place from an early age." Research by Sainsbury's Active Kids found 84% of 11-14-yearolds believe being healthy is importan. They know it's healthy to maintain a balanced diet and eat their 5-a-day

(95%), and have an hour of exercise a day (93%). But conversely, they think skipping meals (19%) and cutting out food groups (43%) is also healthy, and don't consider limiting fried food (58%) or sweets and chocolate (23%). And while 81% said they enjoyed being active, with nearly a third of girls motivated by looking good, and 28% of boys spurred on by celebrities and sports stars, 28% don't meet physical activity guidelines of at least an hour's exercise a day. They say barriers such as bad weather and not being good

'We need to make sure

that, for kids, the healthy

choice is the easy choice'


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at sport stop them doing more. Amputee Jonnie, who has won 100 metre Golds at the past two Paralympics, says he understands the situation: "I definitely had a sweet tooth when I was younger and ate too much chocolate at times but it's all about balance in your diet and getting out to exercise." Jonnie, 23, now has to eat good food to ensure he's at his peak, and stresses: "I've noticed a difference in my performance by eating the right food at the right time - it can give you more energy, but also helps you recover quicker." The sprinter says he avoids certain foods when training, but admits: "I tend to eat those after I've competed as a way of congratulating myself, letting off steam, and making sure I can refocus for the next race. "It's important to enjoy your favourite foods as part of a balanced diet - you have to reward yourself every now and again." Paediatric dietitian Melissa Little points out that although most young people are aware of the 5-a-day message, they're only consuming an average of 2.8 portions of fruit and vegetables daily. "Even when children do understand the healthy eating message, it doesn't always mean they follow it," she says. "It's behaviour we need to change, and the easiest way to do that is to change the environment. We need to look at where children spend most of their time and ensure that in those places, the healthy choice is the easy choice." She also says schools should provide advice on healthy eating and cooking to help counteract harmful advice youngsters see online. Indeed, more than a fifth of young people say they refer to potentially misleading social media, YouTube etc, for information on healthy eating. Melissa warns: "With celebrities advocating gluten-free and 'clean eating', it's undoubtedly difficult to know what exactly a healthy diet is. Are young people going to listen to boring public health guidance or gorgeous celebrities?" "By building health into everyday activity, change will slowly occur, though it will be an uphill battle." 43

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07/03/2017 12:04:15

Butlins, Minehead

My Secret Westcountry

The Eliot Arms in Tregadillett

Catherine Cutler Catherine Cutler, 43, is the lead horticulturalist at The Eden Project. She lives on a farm near Summercourt, Cornwall with her husband Michael and their son, Joel, who is 12.

St Mawes

Juices from Cornish Orchards

My favourite: Walk: I love Respryn woods near Bodmin – a beautiful place with a wide flowing river, pebbly shores, beech woods and chattering birds. There are drifts of bluebells in spring and amazing autumnal colours.

Minehead, gives me an annual spiritual recharge. The daily big-scale Christian music events are my favourite slot. There are also inspiring life stories and talks, meeting lots of new faces, fun activities for the kids and the best indoor water park in the South West – it all makes for a full-on Easter break.

Place to eat: The

Beach: Crantock beach is wonderful for every-

Estrella Morada tapas bar in Porth, near Newquay, is a favourite of mine. Great food and great value. I always love tapas, as you get to share a bit of everything.

The cliffs near Treen, west Cornwall

Gourds from People and Gardens

Weekend escape: Exmoor, especially Brendon valley. I grew up hiking and exploring Exmoor and simply adore this area of the Westcountry. The combination of rugged moorland and sheltered valleys is wonderful, the closer you look the more you see. Festival or event: Spring Harvest at Butlins,

one. There are dunes to mooch around, sledge down or to have a sheltered barbecue. Plus there is a great expanse of sand for running, playing and flying kites on. I love the rock pools to explore and that vast stretch of sea with perfect body boarding conditions and surfing too.

Shop: The gaggle of shops, cafés and galleries in Lemon Street Market, Truro is wonderful. There are lots of quirky interesting items, recycled products, cool clothes, great bread, tempting cakes and even beautiful scented flowers from


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People Bovey Castle

the florist.

View: The view while lazing in the spa at Bed-

I’ve also been quite taken by their sparkling rhubarb and vanilla drink, something a bit different.

ruthan Steps Hotel is beautiful. Of all the spas around this is my firm favourite, particularly because of the view of the rugged north Cornwall coastline. It’s amazing on calm days but even better on wild days.

Special treat: A weekend away at Bovey Castle Hotel on Dartmoor. A simply stunning building both inside and out. Although it’s grand, it has such welcoming friendly staff it nearly feels like home. I wish it was!

Westcountry icon: Ken Radford, the caring and charismatic founder of People and Gardens, which helps people with learning difficulties and mental health issues in the St Austell area. Over the years, more than 150 people have learnt horticultural skills and grown food with the group and some have gone on to full-time study and employment. I know Ken through my work growing plants at the Eden Project nursery. Many years ago I tentatively asked Ken if he and “the guys” would be up for the challenge of growing some pumpkins… and that they did (see picture!).

Secret place: Treen Farm Campsite at St Levan in west Cornwall is virtually on the coast path. It’s only a small site and a bit wiggly to get there. There are some great walks leading right to the Minack Theatre on the cliffs. Also, the secret garden tucked away behind the core building at Eden comes alive in spring with flowering primula and iris, as well as the bright young foliage on the Japanese maples.

Lemon Street Market

Bedruthan Hotel spa

Pub: The Eliot Arms at Tregadillet has become a firm family favourite as it’s half way between my parent’s home in north Devon and ours in Cornwall. It’s a wonderful pace to take international visitors as it’s a typical low-ceilinged pub with a plethora of interesting knick-knacks hanging from every surface. That aside, the food never fails hit the spot.

Food: Strawberries - the taste of

summer. I love to jump on bikes and cycle the couple of miles along country lanes through woods and fields to Mitchell Fruit Farm to pick our own. Luckily it’s easy to pick lots more than intended, giving the whole family the perfect excuse to stop by the stream on the way home and eat a few (or a lot!).

Drink: The nicely-balanced sweet, sharp pressed apple juice from Cornish Orchards - poured over ice in the summer it’s a lovely refreshing drink. 45

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my life


man and boy

Too cool for school


Phil Goodwin, an embarrassing dad? Surely not... ost of us, even parents, like to think we are still cool. That we are not past it. That our best days are not behind us, in short, that we still have it. To shake us from these comforting delusions the universe sends children, who remind us that in fact we are, in their eyes at least, exactly the opposite: an embarrassment. Of course, as babies they gaze upon us as gods, as toddlers they clutch our hands as if we were superheroes. But once the age of sarcasm has arrived (it comes unexpectedly with a curled lip and a “duh”) you can expect to be called out for what you are, a dad. My boy recently communicated this with devastating and dismissive a flick of the wrist, a momentary gesture which spoke volumes about my mid-life standing. It had been a tough time in terms of parenting: half term – joyfully bookended by the addition of a school staff training day each side of the holiday week – coincided with a seventh birthday party. There were trips to the library (twice), to the park, to the seaside, to soft play, a bowling party and a visit to the dry ski slope. As parents, my wife and I have slowly worked our way through a range of sports for James, seven. There was tennis (too technical, frustrating) and football (coaches too strict). I thought skiing might suit the lad’s character. With his grandparents living in the Russian resort of Sochi, a short drive from the brand new Alpine village created for the 2014 Winter Olympics, it made sense and even promised the mouth-watering possibility of celebrating Christmas in the snow-capped peaks of the mighty Caucasus range. Every journey begins with a single


step, as they say, so we enrolled him in the Penguin club at Exeter’s dry ski slope, a small hill tucked away behind a city centre leisure centre. For £10 you get boots and skis, an hour lesson


The age of sarcasm has arrived - it comes unexpectedly, with a curled lip and a ‘duh’


and an hour to play. Bargain. An instructor took the darlings through the basics, showed them how to side step up the slope and quickly had them sliding down like professionals. My wife and I looked on with pride and excitement. It was all going perfectly until we spotted a tiny outburst of frustration. “He’s probably getting hungry,” she said. I agreed and went to the newsagent nearby to buy vital cakes and juice. When I returned ten minutes later, carrying a strawberry Ribena and a pack of sugary pastries, the lad was lined up at the top of the hill with his mates, waiting for the order to push off. Not thinking, I caught his eye by waving the drink in the air, pointing to the cake. I might have even performed the international sign for eating – finger jabbed at an open mouth. From the elevated position, the tiny downhill skier spotted me and glowered from beneath his matt black skating helmet. I vaulted the fence and joined my wife. “What’s up with him?” I asked. “You are drawing attention to him,” she said. “Nonsense,” I told her, “he is just hungry.” I called him by name, showed him the food again. And this was when he did the hand signal. He raised a fist in my general direction, then flicked out four fingers straight, as if dismissing an annoying butler whose presence was no longer required. “What the hell does that mean?” I asked, though in truth it was clear. It meant: can you please just stand there without doing anything embarrassing. It was original, effective, and carried out with remarkable economy. If it hadn’t cut me to the quick, I might even have said it was cool. They do say the cool people know who the cool people are – well, at least one of us has got it.

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

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07/03/2017 12:48:32

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West Magazine, March 11 2017  

The lifestyle magazine inside The Western Morning News on Saturday

West Magazine, March 11 2017  

The lifestyle magazine inside The Western Morning News on Saturday