ways to shine this season
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MOODY HUES Get the darkly glamorous look for your home this winter
‘Given the space, horses will help us face our emotions and blockages. And we do the same for them’
Marie Franco, Dartmoor horse whisperer, p 12
WHAT MAISIE KNOWS The Somerset actress who is wise beyond her years
[contents[ Inside this week... 6
THE WISHLIST This week’s pick of lovely things to buy
NOT JUST A PRETTY LACE Channel Jennifer Lopez in lacy tops
DAWN FRENCH CONFESSES Sh! We have the latest gossip!
THE HORSE WHISPERER A Dartmoor woman with smart ideas
A VERY SPECIAL HOTEL
SHADES OF GREY This season’s must-have colour
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL We count the ways...
Giving hope and joy in Somerset
MOODY HUES Darkly glamorous looks for your home
ANNE SWITHINBANK Our garden guru’s advice for your plot
SHADES OF GREY Fashion’s must-have colour for winter
YOUR WEEK AHEAD Cassandra Nye looks into the stars
BOOST YOUR WELLBEING Great ways to feel your best this week
INGREDIENT OF THE WEEK Tim Maddams swaps cream for yoghurt
POSH SCOTCH EGGS With salmon and duck eggs, mmm...
THAT FIRST KISS... James, five, makes dad Phil Goodwin laugh, again
COOK THIS, NOW Posh Scotch egg made easy
HOW TO WEAR IT
The camel coat, sorted
[ welcome [
Rising star Devon’s Victoria Lucie on her new film career
WIN: + £90
CLARINS BEAUTY KIT + DINNER FOR TWO INSIDE: + 24 hours on St Michael’s
We meet the Dartmoor horse whisperer
It’s always good to look at the world with fresh eyes...
was walking down the street the other morning when a little boy, aged about two, exclaimed to his mother: “All the leaves are falling down off the trees!” As I passed, she was explaining to him that, yes, not to panic - it was entirely normal for this time of the year. But it is often a wise idea to look at the world around us afresh, isn’t it? One Westcountry hotel which is doing just that is Foxes Hotel in Minehead. Here, young people with learning disabilities are able to get hands-on experience of real work, leading to independence, life skills and, with any luck, a real job at the end
of the week Victoria Lucie @victorialucieM So many thanks for a lovely interview. Didn’t expect the front cover!
of their training. Not to mention - by the sounds of it - having a lot of fun along the way. Our writer Catherine Barnes was utterly charmed when she spent the night there, and I’m sure you will be, too - see page 16 for details. Elsewhere in the magazine, we meet another person who looks at life somewhat differently - the Dartmoor horse whisperer, Marie Franco. Marie’s remarkable understanding of how these beautiful animals communicate means she has wise words for all of us on how to conduct our relationships, see page 12 today. Finally, do check out our THREE wonderful reader competitions this week - and good luck!
Our writer was charmed - and I’m sure you will be, too
TO ADVERTISE: Contact Lynne Potter: 01752 293027 or 07834 568283, email@example.com
Becky Sheaves, Editor
COVER IMAGE: Long Tall Sally
EDITORIAL: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01392 442250 Twitter @wmnwest
MEET THE TEAM Becky Sheaves, Editor
If you buy one thing this week...
Follow your heart and install a woodburning stove for the winter. The Dartmoor Baker is a quirky solid fuel stove made by craftsmen at Dean Forge in Ashburton. It even has an oven above the firebox, where you can cook your supper while enjoying the warmth of the flames. Prices start at ÂŁ1,095, see www. deanforge.co.uk or call 01364 643574
We have a beautiful hand-crafted Dean Forge log holder, pictured, worth ÂŁ175, for one lucky West reader to win. To be in with a chance, just email us your name, address and phone number, with Dean Forge as the subject, to westmag@ westernmorningnews.co.uk by November 30. Normal terms apply. West magazine will not share your details.
Mwah! Reclaimed wood wall light, £45 www. sweetheartdarling. co.uk
Hi! by Henry Holland Love Potion jumper £35 Debenhams
West’s picks for spending your time and money this week
STREET STYLE STAR
Chirpy Garden Birds water bottle £8.95 www. dotcomgiftshop. com
Sarah-Louise Wood, 20, is a student at Exeter University and comes from Watford. Sarah is looking glamorous in powder blue, a refreshing change from muted colours of most winter coats. Sarah says: “My style icon is Sienna Miller. She always looks gorgeous. I love shopping in places like Zara, Coast, Mango and Marks & Spencer. Right now I’m looking for a cape with fur round the collar – and a cord skirt in an A-line style.” Coat: Miss Selfridge £69 Bag: Guess £130 Boots: Marks & Spencer £39
INTERVIEWED BY: HANNAH MATTOCKS
ON THE WALL Papillons butterfly wall stickers £9 www. nataliawillmott.co.uk
PRETTY Mademoiselle R dress £49 La Redoute
Store we adore
Glitter Metallic court shoes £59 Monsoon
Mushroom Designs, Totnes
This fantastic lighting shop is just the place to head to at this time of year, when the darker nights make cheery lighting essential. With glass lamps and pendant shades in all the colours of the rainbow, the shop also stocks everything you need to make your own lighting, including funky coloured flexes. Check out, too, the lamps featuring on-trend Edison light bulbs, which make a dramatic feature of the filament within the bulb. Mushroom Designs, 51C Fore Street, Totnes, www.mushroomdesigns.co.uk or call 01803 868892 7
talking points Gillian Molesworth
Story of my life... In which 007 gets a 10 out of 10 for family fun e went to see Spectre as a family, and what a great film. I have not been Daniel Craig’s hugest fan: when he first appeared I thought he was a bit leaden, and I didn’t really approve of the dark places that James Bond went in the past few movies. I felt about it the same way I do about soap operas: why would I want to feel scene in which Bond has a spicy bad about other peoples’ probset-to with some baddies in a lems and psychological trauma? helicopter, lurching and veering I’d much rather watch a chiselover Mexico City’s Day of the jawed gent in a tuxedo quip one Dead parade. liners from a speeding boat in There were some colourful Amalfi. Roger Moore was the baddies (one gouges out a rival’s horse for my money, not a moody eyes with his thumbs, eew) and hulk with emotional scars. beautiful women. But the love Well, I take it all back. Daniel interest is also a refreshing nonCraig is brilliant in Spectre. He’s stereotype. You got the feeling funny, he’s classy, he’s manly, that having gone through various he’s romantic. helpless women that Naturally, he also needed saving, the drives a fast car next generation has and dresses like to be super-badass: he was raised on I’m picturing a gunThe new Bond Jermyn Street. toting Halle Berry girl knows how Two thumbs up. rappelling down the Spectre has Eden Project biome. to fire a gun everything you Spectre’s heroine but doesn’t want from a knows how to fire want to: she’s James Bond a gun but doesn’t movie, and works want to, allowing a super-badass so well on the big great opportunity screen. It kicks for Bond to be the off with the Sam soul of chivalry. Smith theme And after all, isn’t song that we’ve all been hearing that what he’s supposed to be? on the radio – much of it sung For new viewers such as our in falsetto, interestingly. This is kids, it had all the right Bond inchoreographed with guns and silgredients, and for old hats there houettes of naked women weirdly were plenty of references to the entangled in the tentacles of a big old films: the old MI6 Headquaroctopus. So that’s the “bizarre but ters, still bearing scars from sexy title sequence” box ticked. the last time it was shot up, and The plot skipped through best of all, vintage vehicles from various breathtaking locations: previous movies. Mexico City, the Alps, the desert, Having waited until they were Rome, London. There were rollerold enough, I was so glad that my coaster chase-and-fight scenes: kids enjoyed it, and that they got the opener is a stunning crowd a Bond that was, once again, fun.
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
Jennifer Lopez recently wore this sheer black lace Tamara Mellon top at a music festival in Morocco, teamed up with pink culottes and high black heels. The outfit provoked an outcry in Morocco for its revealing nature. We’ve put together this edit of lace tops that are fun and flirty but just a little bit more demure than J-Lo’s version
Black lace top £10 George at Asda
OR MAKE IT YOUR OWN
OPTION B Blue Peplum lace top £25 Bon Marche
OPTION A Bright Red and orange top £54 Glamorous
CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK If the name Beattie Edmondson doesn’t sound familiar yet, it soon will do. Beattie, who grew up in Chagford, plays Devon-born comedian Josh Widdicombe’s flatmate Kate, in new new BBC3 Wednesday sitcom, Josh. Jennifer Saunders will be putting in a
Gossip, news, trend setters and more – you
guest appearance playing her mum, which shouldn’t be a stretch, as that’s what she actually is! Beattie, whose dad is funnyman Adrian Edmondson, has followed in her parents’ footsteps and is also part of comedy sketch trio Birthday Girls. We think she’s ab fab!
[[ ‘I’m not here just to benefit the male lead’
NOT THE GIRLFRIEND Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams will be appearing in a third Doctor Who adventure. The 18-year old Somerset actress will appear in Face The Raven next Saturday. Maisie has carved out a career playing strong female roles and doesn’t want to play roles that are only there to benefit a male lead: “Going further into this career I realised there are a lot of really bad characters, that it’s not common to come across females who aren’t just ‘the girlfriend.’” You tell ‘em, Maisie!
heard all the latest juicy stuff here first!
NOT EASY’ Dawn French has admitted that she and her daughter Billie no longer live together, after one row too many. The Cornish-based comedian, 58, told The Telegraph that they now live in separate houses after one too many arguments. “We could no longer live together – there would be murder,” Dawn says. “But we have to live nearby.” Billie, 24, has now flown the coop and Dawn says she lives “just 12 minutes away” from Dawn’s home in Fowey, after finding it difficult to adjust to Dawn’s new stepchildren, Oli, 21 and Lily 24, the kids of her new husband. “She perfectly well likes her new stepbrother and sister but she has been an only kid for a long time so I have to keep that in mind. She’s had a lot of me to herself,” says Dawn. 9
Flower power: Gardeners Caroline Barr and Chris Groves get ready to make the Cotehele Christmas garland
in pictures Fun: A new adventure playground opened in Burraton, Saltash
Career move: Former Plymouth Argyle footballer David McNamee has joined the navy Congratulations: Molly Holswell of Plymouth turned 102 and celebrated with granddaughter Hannah Blizzard and Helen Jarvis of Charlton House care home 10
talking points Buried at sea
Back and forth
COMPETITION Pebblebed Vineyard
Time travel in literature
1 Francis Drake 2 Captain Cook 3 HG Wells 4 Esther Williams 5 Robin Williams 6 Klaus Kinski 7 Vincent Price 8 Steve McQueen 9 Janis Joplin 10 Alfred Hitchcock
1 The Time Machine 2 The Time Traveler’s Wife 3 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 4 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe 5 A Christmas Carol 6 Outlander 7 A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court 8 Tom’s Midnight Garden 9 A Traveller in Time 10 Johnny and the Bomb WIN
The happy list
Polite society permits these foods to be eaten withyour fingers:
10 things to make you smile this week
1 Sunday night pubs now
2 Globe artichoke leaf tips 3 Pizza 4 Oysters from shell 5 Soup rolls (crumble, don’t cut) 6 Corn on the cob 7 Apple (core and quarter first!) 8 Kumquats (eat the skin, too) 9 Wing and ribs (at a barbecue) 10 Crudites
that Downton’s over
Vineyard tour and meal for two
At Pebblebed Vineyard beside the Exe estuary near Clyst St George, Geoff and Anna Bowen have just finished gathering in this autumn’s grape harvest, with a little help from their friends. The couple make close to 50,000 bottles of still and sparkling wine each year, including their Sparkling Rosé, which won Gold in the South West Vineyards Awards 2015. See www.pebblebed.co.uk to find out more (the website was given incorrectly in last week’s magazine).
We have teamed up with Pebblebed to offer one lucky West reader a tour of the vineyard, with a meal for two at Topsham Tasting Cellar (where the wines can be sampled) and a personalised bottle of Pebblebed sparkling wine to take home. Email your name, address and phone number, with Pebblebed as the subject, to westmag@ westernmorningnews.co.uk by November 30. Normal terms apply. West magazine will not share your details.
2 Live streamed theatre no need to go to London
3 Apple vodka mmm... 4 Panto plans where will you go?
5 Fifteen Cornwall Winter Fayre on November 28
6 The Trencherman’s Guide new edition out now 7 Hot soup make your own 8 Fast forwarding through Xmas TV ads. Overkill
9 Festive lights so pretty 10 Boots at the Door Dec 3-5 Plymouth Theatre Royal - go! 11
Into the wild
Horse whisperer Marie Franco believes that the bond between human and horse can be truly life-enhancing
By Becky Sheaves
f you had a perfectly nice couple of fields, with good road access and within view of the town where you live, why on earth would you want your horses to be kept 13 miles away, on the wilds of Dartmoor? Roaming freely over 25 acres of unfenced rough moorland, where, by your own admission: “if it snows, they probably will be unreachable for a couple of days”. That – and other questions – are uppermost in my mind when I meet Marie Franco and her horses, on a most unusual equine outing. “We are taking the horses to their new home,” says Marie, with a broad grin, running across the field with – rather amazingly – her horse Kitty, not on a lead rein but trotting freely after her of her own accord. I have never seen a horse do that before. We – that’s me, Marie and various volunteers – are gathered together in a field on the outskirts of Moretonhampstead. We have a day of trekking ahead of us, leading an assortment of ponies and horses on foot to their new, much wilder, home at
Buckland-in-the-Moor. In preparation, the horses are groomed, given rope halters and then Marie mixes up some white clay so that everyone can paint their own handprints on the horses, cowboys-and-indians style. Getting dressed up for Pony Club, this is most definitely not. There is not a starched white shirt or smart black showing coat in sight. Hairnets are out. Instead the look is free-flowing manes with the odd plait thrown in at random – and that goes for both humans and horses. Marie runs a small business called The Horse & Heart Centre, which offers the sort of equestrian training sometimes described as horse whispering. “It is a place for horses to learn the way of people in a gentle way, based on free will and confidence boosting,” she explains. “And for people of all ages and backgrounds to learn the way of horses in the same way.” For example, as I am given a small chestnut pony to lead, she tells me that I should never pull or drag a horse by the halter. “You have to be the leader. But if the horse won’t follow you, you tap them on the shoulder or neck, as another horse would do. “Essentially, what we are trying to do here is
learn to speak horse. Eventually you will, albeit you will still be speaking horse with a strong human accent.” And in the pursuit of keeping her horses in the most natural way possible, Marie is moving the horses to a freer, more natural environment on the moor. “They will live there as nature intended, and forage for their food amid herbs and rocks, in a herd. It will be so much healthier for them.” Marie is from France originally, travelled over first to Sussex in the UK, and then – finding it too groomed and manicured – has wended her way to Dartmoor. “Someone told me it would suit me, and it really does,” she laughs. She’s very charismatic. I can totally understand why Kitty, her Ardennes mare, follows her so enthusiastically. We volunteers clearly feel like doing the same. Marie practises, and offers training in, a concept she calls Holistic Horsemanship. “This can be used for anything one might like to do with a horse, from grooming to riding or horse logging or simply watching them and understanding what they do,” she says. “It can also be a therapy – given the space horses will help us face our
emotions and blockages and we do the same for them,” she tells me as we stroll the narrow lanes towards Hound Tor. Holistic Horsemanship is a great tool in management and leadership too, and Marie offers training for people in managerial positions at their place of work. I can quite see why this would be a good idea. I’m astonished at just how much trust and communication Marie has with her mare Kitty. For a start, she is riding in, essentially, no more than a length of knotted string, instead of a conventional bridle. There is no metal bit in Kitty’s mouth. Instead, Marie relies on pressure on the string across the horse’s nose, to indicate her instructions. At one stage, Kitty doesn’t want to move across the road out of the way of other riders and walkers. Marie has a long riding stick, but it is not used to hit the horse; she nudges Kitty with it on the neck and shoulders. “Again, this is talking ‘horse’; this is what a horse would do to move a fellow horse over, if they were the leader,” she explains. “What I need Kitty to think is that, if something frightening happens, or something wor-
Marie Franco has plans for her horses to roam free on Dartrmoor
PHOTOGRAPHY: JO BRADFORD
‘They will live on the moor as nature intended, foraging for their food in a herd’
When I am an old horsewoman I shall wear turquoise and diamonds, And a straw hat that doesn’t suit me And I shall spend my social security on white wine and carrots, And sit in my alleyway of my barn And listen to my horses breathe. I will sneak out in the middle of a summer night And ride the old bay gelding, Across the moonstruck meadow If my old bones will allow And when people come to call, I will smile and nod As I walk past the gardens to the barn and show instead the flowers growing inside stalls fresh-lined with straw. I will shovel and sweat and wear hay in my hair as if it were a jewel And I will be an embarrassment to all Who will not yet have found the peace in being free to have a horse as a best friend A friend who waits at midnight hour With muzzle and nicker and patient eyes For the kind of woman I will be When I am old. By Patty Barnhart Originally published in The Arabian Horse World magazine in l992
ries her, she does not need to go into flight mode and bolt away. I want her very first thought to be, in stressful situations, ‘Help! Marie!’ and she will turn to me to guide her. That is what being a leader is all about. “We humans are often aggressive or bossy with each other. Being a true leader is all about gaining respect, and that translates really well into human interactions too.” Among the volunteers joining Marie in moving the horses is Jessie Watson-Brown, who lives near Moretonhampstead and is leading a pony called Hazel. “I just enjoy helping out,” she says simply. “It’s great to spend the day with the horses on the moor.” In her everyday life, she describes herself as a hide tanner, basket-maker and beekeeper: “Getting in touch with nature is all about what life means to me,” she says. Another volunteer is Richard Toogood, who is walking with an iron grey pony called Rosie. “I’m very interested in natural horsemanship and all it entails. I live off-grid on the moor and work as a carpenter.” For Marie, her present business is the culmination of a lifetime’s ambition. She was born in
northern France and went to an international school just over the border in Germany. “I drew horses in the margins of my copybooks, sat and dreamed under trees at breaktime, and attended the local riding schools. Horses were a hobby, life on the land a dream,” she says. She worked first as a music teacher, then discovered the world of natural horsemanship, and now her Dartmoor-based business is the result of many years of training, both here in and Europe. Joining us on the trek is Natalie Torr, who runs the Dartmoor Pony Training Centre. Indeed, it is Natalie who has bought the new tract of moorland to which we are heading. Her charity seeks to rescue and re-home unwanted ponies from the moor, a growing problem thanks to falling demand for the ponies from child riders. There is clearly a great synergy between her work and Marie’s. Natalie is taking her spotted mare, a horse which, she tells me, was broken in to be ridden conventionally but is now in the same string halter as Kitty wears. “Marie and I can work together and support what we are both doing, as our aims are so alike,” says Natalie. “We both want the best for horses and ponies, wher-
ever possible.” Not all equestrian enthusiasts would totally agree, even though the idea of natural horsemanship is gaining traction in the wider horse world. Interestingly, as we make our way upwards to the moorland, we meet a woman riding on a tall, beautiful dressage horse. She takes us in, the long line of small, hairy ponies, all with unshod hooves and untrimmed manes and tails, not to mention the relaxed, bohemian vibe of Marie, Natalie and the volunteers. “You are clogging up the lanes! Upsetting the drivers! We already have enough problems here without you making cars wait for ages,” she shouts furiously. In fact, the few drivers we have encountered have waited patiently for us to pass with charmed smiles on their faces.I can’t help but feel this complaint is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of her antipathy to what we are doing. After all, in the more mainstream equestrian world of today, horses are kept in stables, have their coats clipped, wear weatherproof rugs, have steel shoes hammered into their feet to allow them to ride on hard ground, eat carefully-prepared diets, and so on. For Marie, though, the more natural a horse’s life, the better: foraging for food, drinking from streams, growing a long protective coat and remaining outdoors all year round is, she believes, much better for them. She shrugs off the dressage rider’s complaints with a calm smile. The clash between mainstream equestrianism and natural horsemanship is a debate that could be divisive, but I come away impressed and intrigued by what Marie is up to on Dartmoor. As she says: “We humans think we should be teaching a horse, but in fact there is so much we can learn from horses.” www.horse-and-heart.com 15
The hotel is staffed by students with learning disabilities
â€˜Guests can be rather messy. And then you have to clear it upâ€™
A very special hotel This Somerset hotel offers students with learning disabilities the chance to get qualifications and work experience. We pay a visit to a remarkable social enterprise
By Catherine Barnes
made the beds for you, hoovered and made sure you’ve got cups for tea and coffee,” says Hollie Arrowsmith, indicating the facilities in the absolutely beautiful hotel room. “There’s two cups, if you want someone to stay over. The light turns on and off,” she demonstrates a lamp switch with a flourish. “On this side,” she says, ushering me past a vase of fresh cut flowers to the window which commands a spectacular view of Minehead seafront, “You have FLIPPING NORAH!! A massive fly. I will sort that out with housekeeping straight away.” Such second-to-none service is all part of the joy of a visit to Foxes Hotel, which has been booked to the rafters since it was the subject of a (fly on the wall, appositely) documentary, The Special Needs Hotel, on Channel 5. Amazingly, it’s been in business 20 years and while you can’t blame guests for wanting to keep it to themselves, the secret’s finally out. Tell eve-
ryone. Foxes Hotel is unique on two counts; firstly because it’s a thriving seaside hotel which doubles as a training academy for students aiming for a career in the hospitality industry. Secondly, and more unusually, the 63 trainees all have a learning disability. “We’re a working hotel with real customers who come in for real holidays,” explains marketing coordinator Clare Walsh. “Some do come to see the students but we still have people who don’t know. We do tell them when they book, as it’s not for everyone. What I love about it is our students are so eager to please. They want to do well. That’s what makes us so special.” Foxes Hotel is all about nurturing the ambitions and enormous potential of people like Hollie, who is 20 and hails from High Wycombe. “It’s my last year at Foxes,” says this delightful
and very forthright young woman. “I want to work at a pub – I’d like to go behind the bar on the till. I want to find a home, so I can live as independently as I possibly can and go out without my mum and dad with me. Although I’d see them at the weekend. “Before I came here, I wanted to move into my own home, do my own cooking, my own shopping. That’s the reason why I came to Foxes, to learn.” Indeed such has been Foxes’ success that of its 2014 graduates, 79 per cent are now in work – and over half of these in paid jobs. “Compare that with the national figure – just 6.8 per cent of people with a learning disability are in employment, which gives you some perspective,” says Ben Graham, whose job it is to negotiate jobs for Foxes students in hotels, kitchens and eateries when they leave.
On the wall of a cosy Edwardian-styled downstairs reception rooms are two portraits of the Foxes Hotel founders, Susan Jenkins and Maureen Tyler-Moore. The women originally ran a care home, to which social services would occasionally send individuals with learning disabilities for a few days’ work experience. “When Susan and Maureen asked what would happen afterwards, they were told, the youngsters will go back to sitting on a sofa,” says Clare. “And they said: ‘We’re Not Having That’.” And so, Foxes Hotel was born. Students work in three key areas of hotel life: front of house roles, prepping food and housekeeping. In their second and third years, they specialise in their chosen field and work toward mainstream National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs). “It’s a big step. They’ve never been away from home and here we don’t mollycoddle them. We just give them the support to do things for themselves,” says Ben. Learners stay in eight student houses in the town of Minehead. The strong friendships they form over working shifts, living together and on nights out in town (The Hairy Dog is a favourite haunt) often lead to plans for shared futures together. “Not all of them return home,” says Ben. “Some buddy up and go to a different area, together.” “I’d like to share a house with Lucy Ann,” says 21-year old Tutu Payne from London, who’s in her final year. “I’ve started my Moving On course, so I get to look at homes where I want to live and jobs I want to do and who I want to live with and what I want to buy. I’d like to work in a school, because I like working with children and I’ve learned kitchen skills.” Ellie Lockyer, 21 and from Bournemouth, also has plans: “I’d like to work in a care home with 20
old people,” she reveals. “I helped a lady in the kitchen when I was on work experience and she’s promised me a job. I’m actually going to be sharing a house with three other people back home. The main thing is, they’re all from Foxes. We are all friends now.” “A lot of parents will say there’s a big step up in confidence,” says Clare. “And when they come home, they’ll even offer to do the washing up.” “Guests can be rather messy,” confides third year student Lucy Ann Miller, 25. “It’s shocking sometimes.” “And then you have to clear it up!” adds Catrin Allen, 19, with a knowing laugh. Sadly though, not every student will benefit from a full three years at Foxes. When you have a learning disability, a tangled web of authorities and agencies must be applied to in order to fund your further education. “Because of government funding cuts, now it might be just one or two years for some,” says Ben. “Yet compared to the lifetime costs of looking after a person with a disability, it’s so worthwhile. We’re a good investment. Many of the students who come here are the ones who have parents who can fight their way through the system. The funding process is so involved that some parents will apply two to three years ahead.
It can take that long.” Since The Special Needs Hotel was broadcast, the hotel’s been inundated with bookings. “We were fairly busy already,” says duty manager Liam Fleming. “There was a huge surge at first. We even had people just calling us to thank us for the job we are doing.” Model Katie Price, whose 13-year old son Harvey has learning disabilities, has Tweeted her support. And one of Princess Diana’s closest friends, the disability campaigner Rosa Monckton, whose daughter Domenica has Down’s Syndrome, is a hands-on friend of Foxes Hotel. “[Domenica] didn’t study here, but Rosa comes here to stay and help,” says Clare. Many of the stars of the documentary have moved on to life – and fulfilling jobs – in pastures new. Yet while Foxes teaches them that the prospect of Moving On is full of exciting possibilities, the thought is saddening, too, as final year student Hollie explains. “I’m a little upset as I will miss all my friends. I’ll miss all this place. I’ll go in a limo – I’ve never been in one in my life – when I go to graduation. “I don’t want to leave,” she sighs, straightening and adding self-assuredly: “But I have to. I have to move on.” Visit www.hotelfoxes.co.uk 21
Furnish those dark desires with plush fabrics and you’ll be richly rewarded, says Sam Wylie-Harris t may take courage to create an ultra-glam look with extravagant textures in rich hues and jewel tones, but moody room sets come into their own at this time of year. Luxurious and opulent, plush velvets, furniture with gentle curves, smoked glass and anything inspired by the glamour of the 1920s, are now very much on trend. Think Art Deco or 18th century classic French design, and you could create an eye-catching scheme with long lasting appeal. “I call it the boutique hotel look, and it was born out of an increased interest from our customers in products which bring a sense of luxury back into their homes,” says Pip Prinsloo, design manager at Home at John Lewis, which has launched an opulent new range, called, appropriately enough, the Boutique Hotel range. “This demand is not for disposable items but
Abigail Ahern beagle bust £60 and raven cushion £40 Debenhams
Interiors for striking pieces that are beautifully designed and use the best materials to stand the test of time. From luxurious textiles to opulent finishes and prints, our Boutique Hotel range is designed to give a polished feel, and it aims to impress and stimulate the senses.” Lustrous and dramatic, rich textiles can transform a room, especially when they’re mixed with dark decor and anything ornate. They can also withstand wear and tear more than you might think. “Velvet is a fabric which speaks sartorial volumes. It screams luxury, but also comfort, as nothing can compare to the silky, tactile softness of this fabric’s unique pile,” says Alison Cork,
founder of interiors company WITHIN Home. “This is why it’s superb for any item of furniture we may sit upon and be enveloped by. A velvet sofa is the ultimate statement piece.” Along with glitzy hotels, designers have also drawn inspiration from elegant city living that reflects the glamour of a Parisian apartment, New York pied-a-terre or a bygone age of opulence, and the days of more formal entertaining, when cocktails would be served before dinner. “When it comes to creating an opulent interior scheme, the materials used are crucial,” says Kate Mooney, who runs online furnishing company houseology.com. “Rich timber, crystal and metallic finishes
Mississippi carpet in plum £67 a metre www. crucial-trading.com
[[ ‘Velvet is a fabric which speaks sartorial volumes. It screams luxury, but also comfort’
are perfect for creating a look that exudes decadence.” Designers cite copper and brass as the most popular metallic finishes for AW15. They add a sense of warmth, which is wonderful for the colder months. Also key to your luxe look are throws, cushions and rugs in wool, cashmere and velvet, to make sure the finishing touches are as inviting
and comfortable as they are stylish. “I adore mixing and matching different textures to add surprise and interest, it creates a delightful layered look,” says Annabel Astor, cofounder of furniture store OKA. “Black is an incredibly flexible colour, it works with everything. It can transform a room into an extraordinarily glamorous space – just don’t be too afraid to try.” One of the most underrated colours in design, black works as a neutral and helps tie everything together. It can even be used on doors and window frames as a building block to set off window dressings, furnishings and floorings. “A patterned carpet in deeper coloured berry tones will contrast beautifully against dark walls,” says Emma Hopkins, marketing manager at flooring company Crucial Trading. “Introducing these colourways to bedrooms and living rooms works particularly well, as it will create an opulent ambience. Simply finish the look by adding homewares such as glass vases, Art Deco mirrors, velvet cushions or a statement, jewel-toned armchair for a refined and timeless feel.” If you’re feeling flamboyant, the bedroom is where you can really go to town. After all, this is where you sleep, relax and dress. Sumptuous surroundings lend themselves to little treasures such as perfume bottles, costume jewellery spilling out of a crystal bowl, a pair of satin mules
Balfour sofa in grape velvet £796 www. withinhome.com
styled on a vintage hat box, and introducing anything that shimmers, sparkles or signals richness. A velvet headboard, charcoal and black paint effects and eclectic decorative pieces or colourful curiosities set against a moody backdrop, will also take your bedroom to another level, and whisk you to another place in time entirely. Dream away.
Rowan light in rust £375 Mushroom Designs in Totnes and www. mushroomdesigns. co.uk
Add velvet, crystal and glitter for darkly glamorous interiors
Hobnail bottle £47 Marks & Spencer
Pineapple candlesticks £187 www.amara.com
Yvette stool £452 www.sweetpeaandwillow.com
Table lamp £83.40 www.darlighting.co.uk
Velvet tub chair in currant £445 www.oliverbonas.com
Future flowers Devon’s Anne Swithinbank, panellist on Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time, always plants her tulips for spring in late November – but why?
[[ Late planting means the tulips begin their growth during colder weather, making them less prone to diseases
urs being a seasonal occupation, gardeners are triggered to tackle specific jobs as the months pass. November is the traditional month for planting tulips and I’ve been adding bulbs to the sheltered border near our front door. There is a massive choice of varieties, from short to tall, offering single to double flowers and shades from soft pastel to vibrant flame. Perusing catalogues or standing in front of the bulb stands can be bewildering but if you con-
centrate hard on where they will grow, the field starts to narrow. Our new bulbs are going in next to draping ornamental grasses under buttery yellow witch hazel leaves now, but come spring the hellebores will be out and ferns making their shuttlecocks of new growth. Eventually, I tracked down a variety called ‘Alibi’ whose 50cm/20in long stems will be decorated by up to five pale violet flowers. In this protected border, they should rise clear of the surrounding foliage without being blown down,
while their colour strikes happy notes with the white, cream and plum of the hellebores. Before planting, I forked and weeded the area thoroughly and then set the bulbs informally into gaps. Using a trowel, it was easy to take out deep holes in the loosened soil, so the bulbs could sit with a good 10cm/4in of soil covering them. Like a good girl, I’ve planted my tulips in November and set them reasonably deep in our slightly heavy soil, but do I know why? Late planting means the tulips begin their
growth during colder weather, making them less prone to diseases like tulip fire (Botrytis tulipae). Earlier planting, especially during a mild autumn, could nurture this devastating disease that distorts growth and flowers. Deep planting is said to deter the fungus as well and also to help tulips naturalise (return to flower year after year). There were some experiments carried out by Cornell University in 2011 that suggested shallower plantings were acceptable for tulip bulbs. The soil was tilled 8-10cm deep, fertilizer added and bulbs placed on the surface, then covered with between 5-15cm of mulch to see how they performed over three years. Those covered by 5-10cm of mulch did well and produced the most flowers, while those covered by 15cm produced fewer. Nuggets of research information like this are always interesting but it is important to bear in mind the climate where experiments took place. Tulips thrive where summers are dry and winters cold and so are probably more disposed towards New York than they are to Devon or Cornwall. Finding a tulip willing to naturalise in your garden takes trial and error. Colleagues of mine from the south and east will swear by ‘Spring
Green’ or ‘Queen of Night’ but both vanish quickly here, while ‘Fontainbleu’ comes up year after year. To save them from the ravages of a wet summer, many tulip-lovers resort to lifting their bulbs after the foliage has died down in early summer, so the bulbs can be dried and rested in a well-ventilated spot safe from wet summer soils. They are then replanted in November to bloom again. Unless they experienced ideal conditions during their first year of growth, they won’t be a hundred per cent reliable, so are often used in allotments for cutting or mixed up and planted in the middle of the garden somewhere, saving the most prestigious spots and containers for newly bought bulbs. Tulips in containers look magnificent but there is more received wisdom to navigate. Historically, clay pots and planters are ‘crocked’ by placing one or more pot shards (or their equivalent in polystyrene) in an arch over the drainage holes. This is to prevent blockage by small soil particles, so they stay open for good drainage. This has been challenged recently, again on the basis of a trial but I still ‘crock’. Done properly, I think it does improve drainage, especially in areas of heavy rainfall. It is right to challenge old methods but weigh up new research as well.
Question time with Anne West reader queries answered by Anne Swithinbank
Some very vigorous Acanthus spinosus has spread everywhere in our garden and I cannot kill it. Have you any tips on how to control it? Maggie Francis, Truro.
A plant with the common name Armed Bears Breeches is destined to have character and this Mediterranean native can run riot when it puts down deep tap roots in good, moist soil. You can try digging it up but shoots return, having grown back from sections of thick root left behind. Very often, by this time, the border has been dug and replanted and the acanthus noses its way past expensive new purchases to elbow them into oblivion. The key lies in anticipation and persistence, so be ready to pounce on any regrowth, rooting it straight out and not allowing it to see light of day. You could turf over it and mow it out or sow annual flowers for a pretty but fleeting show whilst seeing it off. I like it, but in smaller plots, it is best grown in a corral.
Last summer, I tried to grow fennel bulbs because they are costly to buy. They only made very small bulbs and then went to seed, so where did I go wrong?
First you need to have seed of Florence rather than leaf fennel, which I’m sure you did, and sow in late May or early June, otherwise if the soil is too cold, they are liable to bolt. I prefer to sow direct to the soil, setting two or three seeds per ‘station’ at 30cm/12in intervals, thinned to one after germination. Given that the soil is wellnourished and the bed in an open position, they then need to have lots of warmth and sunshine and never run dry of water. The warmth and sunshine bit could have been difficult this August, so don’t despair. Many folk don’t thin and water them sufficiently. It might be worth trying a greenhouse bed.
This week’s gardening tips Anne’s advice for your garden
• In windy gardens, don’t hesitate to prune tall roses, buddleja and lavatera back by half to prevent wind rock. Stem movement can create a hole in clay soils which then fills up with water and rots the crown of a plant. If you see this happen, prune them, backfill and firm in. • For a colourful winter container, plant three evergreens together in a large pot. Choose
contrasting shapes, so maybe a phormium for spiky foliage, a choisya for billowing shape and a bergenia for large, rounded leaves. • Now they are dormant, move fruit bushes and roses that are in the wrong place. This should be successful as long as the plants are no older than six years old. Dig around the roots and then go under for minimum damage.
Soil needs your attention, especially in the kitchen garden, so clear, re-shape and mulch beds by spreading well-rotted compost or manure on them. Don’t tread on the soil but use pathways or place boards down to spread your weight.
There’s Send your questions to Anne at email@example.com
still time to plant garlic but do so into wide ridges if the soil is at all heavy and wet in winter. 27
[[ ‘I straighten my hair every day in winter, because it is frizzy and a little out of control’
Texturising Bed Head Joyride balm (Tigi £35) The perfect gel-topowder primer balm, versatile enough to use on wet or dry hair.
Beauty box Beauty guru Abbie Bray of Newton Abbot on winter hair care
Berry nice Yes To Blueberries shampoo and conditioner (Boots, £4.99 each) I was surprised to discover that the Yes To range worked better than some expensive brands I have used. Not only did it tame my hair, it smelt fab too.
With the winter months fast approaching, the central heating and the wet and windy weather can play havoc with our hair. I straighten my hair every day, not out of choice, but because my hair is frizzy and a little out of control. If you are like me, then you too could use a helping hand. So why does our hair get frizzy in the winter? The trouble is, each strand expands, stretches and changes its protein bonds when it is damp or subjected to changing environments. During a wintry day our hair is faced with wind, drizzle, central heating and the cold, often causing it to frizz and to do its own thing. This week I have selected some of my favourite products that have really helped to keep my locks frizz-free, smooth and healthy-looking in the easiest way possible. You can mix and match the hair brands you use, just find what works best for you and your hair.
Argan oil Hair Xpertise Argan Oil (Superdrug £12.99) Leaves your hair looking shiny and healthy. Only use a small amount, though, as it can make your hair greasy.
Treatment Lush Tangled hot oil treatment (Lush £6.50) The rosewood and ylang ylang treatment, softens, strengthens and hydrates your hair.
Serum Abbie has teamed up with Debenhams in Exeter to offer two fantastic reader prizes. One lucky reader will win a voucher for a fabulous Clarins facial and another will take home an exciting goody bag full of Clarins products worth £90. Email your name, address and phone number, with Clarins as the subject, to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 27. Normal terms apply. West magazine will not share your details.
Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum (Paul Mitchell £18.95) A lightweight serum that smoothes and conditions your hair. It smells amazing, too.
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Glad to be grey Sweater £29 La Redoute
Flower necklace £22 Freedom at TopShop
hether you blame that book (and film) or not, there are at least 50 shades of grey on offer right now in the fashion world. Indeed, wearing grey is so much of a thing that stylistas are even calling it a “groutfit”. And, with its soft, flattering tones, perfect for cool winter light, who are we to argue? Here’s a selection of our favourite grey pieces – we’re sure you’ll agree, this versatile look is anything but dull.
Boots £135 Dune
Cardigan £100 Betty Barclay
Poncho £59 Betty Barclay
Marl sweater £49 La Redoute
Swea te r d re ss £6 0 L o n g T al l Sa lly
Jacquard coatigan £199 East
Cashmere snood £69 Jigsaw
Laura Clement shoes £69 La Redoute
Fairisle top £25 Boux Avenue
Fairisle shorts £18 Boux Avenue
Faux fur trapper hat £20 BHS 31
HOW TO WEAR IT:
MAIN PHOTO HAIR: LILY AT SAKS, EXETER MAKEUP: URBAN DECCAY, DEBENHAMS (BOTH PRINCESSHAY) PHOTOGRAPHY: STEVE HAYWOOD STILL-LIFE PHOTOGRAPHS: PR SHOTS. SHOOT ASSISTED BY: HANNAH MATTOCKS
The camel coat Kathryn Clarke-Mcleod tries on a true winter classic his is the quintessential It Girl coat. It is universally flattering and built for layering - essential when the weather is as confused as it has been this week. I thought it was supposed to be autumn, it doesn’t feel like it at all. I should be wrapped up, with frosty fingers, but instead I am walking around sweating slightly in my light knits at lunch. Yet I shiver in the evening if I go without tights. An actual crisis. Luckily I know a cure for all crises. A shopping trip. Think about it. The next paycheck you get will be dedicated to presents for everyone else you love, so these next few weeks are your last chance to treat yourself a little and let’s face it, it’s been a long year and you deserve it. I am a big advocate of the camel coat. It is timeless, and I Less than don’t use the word lightly. You £60 makes will be wearing it for years to come, which means you can it a veritable afford to spend a few extra bargain, pounds on it. I got lucky with this smart piece from Next. Less than considering how £60 makes it a veritable bargain, much wear I will considering how much wear I get out of it will get out of it. Here are my top three outfits this week so far. First, the coat looked amazing with soft flared denims, a white rollneck jersey and dark brown high leather boots. It gave an otherwise slightly ing office-to-evening outfit, though. A black seventies boho ensemble a real dash of class and leather pencil skirt is every girl’s friend. It can bit of a modern edge. go from sleek and sultry to slick and professional Second (another gem) was the result of pairing with the tiniest of tweaks. This one became a it with head-to-toe black. Super-soft black skinny working woman’s perfect garment with the injeans and a simple black knit were elevated from clusion of a tie-neck blouse and the coat of the Sunday slouchy to street style superstars just moment. Just add a Costa cup and a spreadsheet. by throwing on this beauty. Plain black pumps The blouse is sheer enough to keep me cool in looked just as sophisticated as sky-high ankle the warmest part of the day, and the coat sturdy boots, so I opted for a day in flats. What a treat! enough to keep the cheekiest of winds at bay. The gold medal, though, has to go to this amazFor those who have maxed out their shopping
Camel button front coat, Next, Princesshay, £55 Black leather-look pencil skirt, Next, Princesshay, £28 Ecru textured tieneck blouse, Next, Princesshay, £28 Black caged court shoes, Next, Princesshay, £26 Black tote Bag, Next, Princesshay, £40
budget this month, but still crave the camel coat here is my solution. Open West magazine to this page. Get a big red pen and circle your favourite on the page opposite – write ‘dream coat’ opposite it. Then leave in the path of significant other. And by “leave in the path” I, of course, mean put it in his hands and say: “I want this one for an early Christmas present”. After all, It Girls leave nothing to chance. All fashion in these pictures is from Princesshay Shopping Centre, Exeter, www.princesshay.co.uk
Western jacket £48 NEXT
Midi skirt £30 DOROTHY PERKINS
look Textured boyfriend coat £29.99 NEW LOOK
Robson court shoe £49 MONSOON
Large pocket coat £75 NEXT
Coat £95 MISS SELFRIDGE
culture vulture Our superb new guide to what’s on in the South West by our arts expert Sarah Pitt Brainy Rob’s a laugh Comedian Rob Newman first made us chortle on TV’s The Mary Whitehouse Experience back in the early 1990s, alongside comedy partner David Baddiel. Then he disappeared, for a long time. Now he’s back with The Brain Show, a very funny, thoughtprovoking show covering everything from spiders to the neurobiology of romantic love. See Rob at the Exeter Phoenix on Wednesday, November 25, tickets £15 (£12) from www.exeterphoenix.org.uk, 01392 667080. He’s also at the Marine Theatre in Lyme Regis on January 31 and The Brewhouse in Taunton on February 27.
Talent for crime
Kate Rusby brings the spirit of the festive pub singalong from her native Yorkshire to Plymouth’s Theatre Royal the run-up to Christmas. The famously down-to-earth folk singer, with the voice of an angel, will be joined by a brass quintet to present a concert conveying the sounds and joyous spirit of Christmas. Her inspiration is the South Yorkshire tradition
which she’s been part of ever since she was a child, where people flock to pubs on Sunday lunchtimes over the festival period to sing their own unique variations of familiar carols. See and hear her at the Theatre Royal on December 6. Tickets, £16-£25, from www.theatreroyal. com or 01752 267222
Devon-raised writer Lee Weeks convincingly conveys the seamier side of life in a Cornish seaside town in her latest thriller Cold Justice (Simon & Schuster, £7.99). DC Ebony Willis and DI Carter are called in when a two-year-old boy is abducted in London, just days after the suicide of his grandfather, prominent politician Jeremy Forbes-Wright. As they do a bit of digging they find that all roads lead to a small seaside town in Cornwall, where a crime was covered up 15 years ago. But will they get to the little boy in time? I loved it, most of all for the ring of authenticity in its setting.
Your stars by Cassandra Nye This week’s sign:
Happy birthday to...
Scorpios are fiercely independent and very singleminded. They will never give up in the pursuit of a goal that matters to them. When it comes to relatioships, they are slow to trust others. Anyone who wants to be their friend or lover will need persistence to convince them they mean it. It will be worth it, though, for Scorpios are hugely loyal to those close to them.
Prince Charles born November 14, 1948 The Prince of Wales celebrates his 67th birthday today. The heir to the throne has had a long wait to inherit the crown from his mother the Queen but appears to be quite philosophical about the situation. He speaks out on issues close to his heart, including farming, food and architecture. A passionate supporter of farming, who launched his own brand of Duchy Originals biscuits, we expect the Prince’s birthday cake will be an organic one. As Duke of Cornwall, he has a special connection with this part of the world.
SCORPIO (October 24 - November 22) Is there some confusion about your feelings for a love interest? Well, with things moving fast you need to be very sure. You may worry about being embarrassed or seen as unkind. What you should really be looking at is how a situation will affect your finances. Basing an important decision on what you are being told by someone who is shaky is clearly not right. Will you seek two or more opinions on this?
SAGITTARIUS (November 23 - December 21) Finally bringing something to a firm conclusion gives you great satisfaction this week. Now comes a lull. Why not take time out for a change of scenery? Clearing your mind can make a big difference. Just doing as little as possible sometimes seems the right thing. Why should you feel bad about it? You shouldn’t!
CAPRICORN (December 22 - January 20) A chance meeting, perhaps at work, brings you close to a character who fires the imagination. This is more a meeting of minds than a sexy spark. Maintaining this friendship takes some effort but is worthwhile. Broaching the subject of a pay rise or promotion can be scary but, if it is necessary, why not this week?
AQUARIUS (January 21 - February 19) You are kind and fair and go out of your way this week to help someone. Although you don’t expect a thank you for doing what comes naturally to you, accept it graciously. As the week begins, a conversation starts that continues for a few days. Someone may be reluctant to admit that you are right. Choose your time to calmly explain.
PISCES (February 20 - March 20) Most of the time you do not see yourself as an artistic or talented person. Allow yourself the possibility this week! An offer to try
something new is exciting and need not be scary. If someone else has confidence in you, then why not have more yourself ? Getting stuck in a rut is not for you and please don’t make excuses for it. Wake up and smell the possibilities, Pisces!
ARIES (March 21 - April 20) With so much happening around you this week, it is important to keep an open mind. Seeing the possibilities of situations definitely gives you an advantage. A conversation midweek makes it clear that you expect more from a colleague. A loved one needs more attention than usual, and deserves it.
TAURUS (April 21 - May 21) If you have a business idea to pitch then this could be the best time. You have confidence and are willing to turn on the charm. Romance is never far away but remember that it takes two to make the most of it. Don’t expect your partner to do all the running. A relative may keep harking back to less good times but you do not have to listen.
GEMINI (May 22 - June 21) Tempted to invest more than your time in a project? Avoid gambling with something that you cannot afford to lose. Someone who wants your help may have the best of intentions but could still fail. A personal question that you asked some time ago is now answered. Just how flexible can you be without being irresponsible?
CANCER (June 22 - July 22) Why is someone trying to sidetrack you? Try reading between the lines to find your answer. A relative is less than forthcoming or can be downright evasive. Cut through the fog of subterfuge. The sharper your mind is the better this week! Staying sober and on top of things is essential.
LEO (July 23 - August 23) Travel and being with like-minded people are your first priorities it seems. Having done a favour for a friend in the past it is right that they are open to helping you. However, will they need persuading? You prefer not to be pushy.
VIRGO (August 24 - September 23) Although it may seem that you have waited a long time for recognition, when it does come, be gracious. How others can misunderstand you, Virgo! Things, however, are about to take a turn for the better. Maybe it is best to hold your tongue for now.
LIBRA (September 24 - October 23) Although you are always charming, this week could see an annual peak of attractiveness. Finances may still be on your mind and there are loose ends to tie up. Start looking around for bargain presents for the festive season. Someone comes up with a brilliant offer or you see something at a great price. 35
Life just got better. We’ve handpicked the latest wellness trends, best-body secrets and expert advice to help you be your best self, everyday
WINTER RUN FUN Having a fitness goal on the horizon could help keep your weight loss on track during the Christmas party season. Cancer Research UK’s Winter Run Series may be just the ticket, with three events taking place early next year (Liverpool on January 17; London on January 31; Manchester on February 28). You’ll dash through ‘Snow Zones’ along the 10k routes, and hug a polar bear at the end, as well as be supporting a great cause – and the training will help keep winter blues at bay! Visit winterrunseries.co.uk
Disengaged, overwhelmed or exhausted? Psychotherapist and author Dr Mike Dow says these symptoms could be linked and has described this “brain fog” as a new epidemic. Those affected may have feel a bit detached from life, unable to focus and tired out – yet not being able to get a good night’s sleep. He explains how to overcome it in new book, Brain Fog Fix: Reclaim Your Focus, Memory And Joy In Just 3 Weeks, published by Hay House (£12.99)
Pout and about If you’re after a fuller, celebrity-style smile, try an instant lip volumiser to achieve a temporarily boosted pout. ArtDeco’s plumping gloss (£12.79) contains chilli extracts and light-reflecting particles. Find it at Debenhams.
KATE: ‘FOOTBALL IS MY FIGURE FIX’ Kate Winslet has revealed she stays in shape by playing football with her family. The 40-year old actress told the Daily Mirror: “I’m not one of these people who believes in strange elimination diets. I’d rather be outside kicking a ball around with my son.”
face cream Cutting-edge anti-ageing formulas are usually only found in the most stratospherically expensive products. But now you can get the latest wonder ingredient for less than £15. Optimum’s PhytoDeluxe day cream and night cream both contain amino acid-rich black diamond truffle, the same derivative which is found in creams that cost around £250. And they are just £14.99 each at Superdrug!
What’s coming up? Tweet us your wellbeing diary dates
Cook healthy Greengrocers and health food shops are full of fascinating foodstuffs, but if you don’t know how to cook creatively with them – here’s how you could begin. The International Macrobiotic School at Littlehempston near Totnes is hosting a two-day Love Health, Love Cooking workshop on December 12 and 13 (and also in April 2016). You’ll learn how to cook delicious free-from meals from scratch using a wealth of wholefoods (and yes, desserts are included!) Places cost £190 and are limited to six per weekend. www.macroschool.co.uk
@WMNWest or email email@example.com 37
Time to commit? Putting your relationship to the test I’ve been on my own for a long time, but last year I met someone who I’ve really fallen for. We’ve spent a lot of time together over the past few months and now he’s talking about us moving in together. I hate to admit it, but I’m terrified. I keep putting off talking about it, and he’s getting really offended and saying it could be a deal breaker on our relationship. I really care about him, but I’ve had bad experiences when things turned serious in the past. What can I do? NB, Falmouth
Tricia Moore says: Fear can be a useful emotion: if you are faced with an imminent danger, it can produce the ‘fight or flight’ reaction to keep yourself safe. It can be less useful if the danger is imagined or based on ‘it’s happened before so it’s bound to happen again’. Then you can get a ‘freeze’ reaction which makes you feel stuck. The trick is to decide which one yours is. Ask yourself some key questions: • Do I feel relaxed and happy when I’m with this man? • Can I be myself ?
• Do we laugh together? not just practical, but an emotional commitment. • Do I enjoy his company and conversation? Commitment enriches a relationship; it grows • Do I feel comfortable with his friends? in the good times and provides the motivation to • Does he welcome my friends? continually make things better. Shared commit• Most importantly, do I want to ment makes you feel secure. If share my life with someone? it’s missing, a relationship can If the answer to these is ‘No,’ be fine for a while, but may not then this relationship is probsurvive difficulties. Put simply, ably not for the long-term. commitment is a decision to aim Put simply, If however, the answer is ‘Yes,’ for the long term and to do what then it’s likely that you believe it takes to get there. commitment is a it’s all going to change when it Your discussions will be an decision to aim gets serious. However, history opportunity for deeper underfor the long term doesn’t have to repeat itself if standing about what you want you learn from the past and apfrom each other. It can also be and do what it proach it differently this time. a chance to talk about what you takes to get there Either way, you need to be like about and admire about honest about your feelings for each other, really building up him and why you’re nervous of the feelgood factor. Whichever taking the next step. Then get way this goes, you will be clearhim to tell you about his feeler in your own mind about what ings for you and about why he wants to move in you want and, if it goes well, the prospect of comtogether. Perhaps he’s looking at it from a more mitment may not feel so scary. practical point of view; but your feelings are tellBe open. Be yourself. Build the life you want. ing you to slow down. Tricia Moore is a counsellor for the national charity Deciding to share your life with someone is Marriage Care in Plymouth
Ingredient of the Week
with Tim Maddams hen I was a lad, just cutting my fistfuls of butter. For my part, I am falling in teeth in the trade of catering there love with more and more natural flavours all was one ingredient a chef could the time. Gone is devil-may-care decadence and simply not live without. Back then, in comes the true flavour of that kidney, in a savings could nice mustardy sauce, finished be made on meat cuts and with maybe a little yoghurt imported veg was the order of (sound of record needle being the day: the cheaper the better, scratched across the LP: “Did he It lasts forever, spinach from who-cares-where, say yoghurt?”). Yes, yoghurt is is lower in fat lamb from New Zealand, beef the new kid on the block. It lasts than cream and from Argentina. But there was for ever, is lower in fat than cream no way you could even dream and butter and full of natural butter and full of opening the kitchen without bugs to keep you healthy – what’s of natural bugs buckets and buckets of double not to like? cream. Cream for whipping up, I love to use it in ice creams, to keep you cream for finishing virtually pannacottas, sauces, marinades healthy – what’s every sauce on the menu, cream and more. Serve up a bit of thick not to like? for the mushrooms and cream organic yoghurt with a slice of for the kidneys. We simply brownie and tell me I’m wrong. couldn’t get enough of it. You can use it as a base for cakes, There is, to this day, a type – and best of all, if you’ve only got of cook who insists on cramming as much a bit left and it’s proper live yoghurt, just add refined dairy produce into their cookery as is milk and leave out of the fridge overnight and humanly possible. If it’s not cream then it’s hey presto! Even more yoghurt.
Yoghurt party dips So, maybe give the yoghurt a go this year. Lots of entertaining on the horizon, so why not try these three simple dips? Smoked paprika yoghurt Garlic yoghurt Mint and chilli yoghurt I won’t insult your intelligence by explaining how to make them. But I will say that once you give it a go, you may find that yoghurt starts to make its presence felt more and more often on your supper table, maybe with a baked apple. @TimGreenSauce
Tim Maddams is a Devon chef and author of Game: River Cottage Handbook no. 15 (Bloomsbury £14.99) 39
Posh Scotch egg with smoked salmon Matthew says: “Cornish duck eggs are a favourite ingredient of mine as they have an indulgent texture and taste”
Recipe by Matthew Rowe, head chef of The Falmouth Packet Inn, Rosudgeon, using Cornish Duck Company eggs
4 Cornish Duck Company eggs 3 tbsp white wine vinegar 400g smoked salmon 200g breadcrumbs 2 eggs for egg wash 150g flour or ground rice
Add the white wine vinegar to a large pan of water and bring to the boil.
Whisk rapidly to create a whirlpool and carefully place the eggs in the water while it’s spinning. Poach for three minutes. Remove and drain well.
Cut the smoked salmon into strips and wrap two layers around each egg, ensuring it is covered completely.
Flour the eggs, pass through the beaten egg, then roll in the breadcrumbs. Repeat the process to gain a good, thick covering. When
all the eggs are breaded, set aside. 5.
When you are ready to serve, place the Scotch eggs in a deep fryer and cook until golden brown.
Serve with a kedgeree salad of leaves, smoked mackerel, shallots fried with curry powder, cooked saffron rice and garden peas, then drizzle with a balsamic glaze.
This recipe comes from A Taste of the West Country (£16.99) by the food producers’ cooperative, Taste of the West, with photography by David Griffen To order your copy, designed by Jeff Cooper of We Make Magazines, see www.tasteofthewest.co.uk or call 01404 822012 40
Drink CASK ALE THE WAY IT SHOULD BE The Campaign for Real Ale has launched a sixth edition of its professional guide to looking after cask ale, Cellarmanship, written by Patrick O’Neill. It outlines what one needs to know about cellaring and serving real ale, with step-bystep instructions, and updated information on new technology.
Beer of the week In a recent blind judging I mistook Black Flag Brewery’s White Cross IPA (5.7% ABV) for St Austell Brewery’s Big Job IPA. Yes, it’s that good. There’s grassy hop and orange citrus notes, some tropical fruit, too, and juicy malt balance. It went on to be runner-up champion beer at Falmouth Beer Festival.
talks beer he Americans have a way with two biggest beer companies, AB Inbev and SAB words, don’t they? I came across Miller, are in the final stages of coming together this beauty recently and had to to form a brewing behemoth, but I see the future concentrate hard to be able to able of good beer as local. Despite the market domito pronounce it: locavourism. You nation of brands such as Budweiser in the US, see, they’ve put ‘local’ and ‘flavour’ together to craft brewers are doing well there, in the main come up with a new concept. The word, I hate; because a lot of them work to a local model. the concept, I love. There are many breweries In fact, I was only thinking with bars attached, designed to along these lines when I finalserve the local community, and I ‘Dry hopping’ ly tried the Verdant Brewing think this is a model which would Company/HAND bar collabowork well in the UK. In fact, it’s with pecan ration pumpkin beer, approbeen proven to work well because wood elevated priately enough, on Halloween. that’s the way it used to be. Severthat nutty tone Having mentioned a couple of al breweries in every town, sellweeks ago that this brew was ing most of their beer through and it really did in the offing, I thought it only their own taps. create a great right that I should check it out One of the oldest pubs in the autumn beer. when it appeared. country, the Blue Anchor, in Local beer in a Staff from HAND bar, on Helston, follows this example, Falmouth’s High Street, visand my local, the Star, in Crowlocal bar ited the new Verdant Brewlas, just outside Penzance, is a ing Company, under the viamodern incarnation of such a duct at Ponsanooth, to create business. the pumpkin beer, named Monster Mash and I like drinking local, but there are always excoming in slightly lower than the target ABV ceptions and HAND did have another pumpkin at 5.5%. I hadn’t previously got on well with beer on, Gourd Standard, from the Flying Dog pumpkin beers, but this was a joy, thanks espeBrewery, in Maryland, US. Much more like the cially to added pecan and maple. ‘Dry hopping’ traditional pumpkin ale Americans love so with pecan wood elevated that nutty tone and much, with spicy, earthy notes. Now and again a it really did create a great autumn beer. Local bit of internationalvourism is fine. beer in a local bar: locavourism. Darren Norbury is editor of beertoday.co.uk It seems counterintuitive when the world’s @beertoday
Celebrating Dartington heritage
Devon microbrewery Hunters has created Elmhirst Ale (5% ABV) for The Shops at Dartington. The smooth, traditional-style amber bitter boasts notes of strawberry, chocolate and caramel and celebrates the heritage of the Dartington Hall estate and its founders, the Elmhirst family.
Enjoy A WEEKEND IN...
MAIN PICTURE: PAUL WATTS
Eat: Try the Rock Pool cafe on The Parade for wonderful crab sandwiches and homemade cakes. If you are feeling really decadent, order a three-tiered cake stand of edible delicacies. Also recommended is 2 Fore Street, a bistro on the harbourside, where the menu includes potted crab.
ousehole, in the far west of Cornwall between Penzance and Land’s End, was justly described by the poet Dylan Thomas as “one of the prettiest villages in England”. The historic port, whose harbour dates back to medieval times, was once crammed with fishing boats landing pilchards. Its narrow streets were never designed for cars, and it is best to park on the outskirts and wander down between granite cottages to the harbour.
Old Coastguard Hotel offers stylish rooms and roaring fires, as well as sea views. The food is excellent, with seafood landed at nearby Newlyn on the menu. During the winter, special deals start at £150 for dinner, bed and breakfast for two. See www.oldcoastguardhotel.co.uk.
Sir Terry Frost’s work
See: Mousehole is famous for its display of Christmas lights, with creations such as sea serpent, fishing boats and whales lighting up the harbour every evening for nearly three weeks. The big switch is this year on December 12, with community singing at a ‘Carolaire’ service led by local male voice singers and the Pendeen Silver Band. The lights are dimmed on December 19 to mark the anniversary of the tragic loss of the Solomon Browne lifeboat, with its crew, in 1981.
The Old Coastguard hotel
Stargazy pie at The Ship Inn
If you happen to be in town on Tom Bawcock’s Eve, December 23, drop in to The Ship Inn, where a massive Stargazy pie is baked and shared for free with customers to mark the day. The pie, which features whole pilchards apparently leaping through the crust, is a tribute to the legend of fisherman Tom Bawcock, who set forth in a storm to fish for seven types of fish for the starving townsfolk.
Visit: The Newlyn Art Gallery, just down the road in Newlyn, currently has an exhibition of colourful prints and paintings by the late Sir Terry Frost, who lived in the town. It is also worth a visit for the café, again right beside the sea. Shop:
Rock Pool on The Parade offers a discerning selection of local gifts, including ceramic brooches made by Welbeck Tiles in nearby Penzance.
Rock Pool cafe
Helpful Holidays has a charming three-bedroomed traditional stone cottage with pretty garden in the nearby inland hamlet of Sheffield to rent from just £324 a week during the winter months. From here, it’s a short walk downhill into Mousehole. Visit www. helpfulholidays.com for details and to book. 43
My Secret Westcountry Grant Nethercott Grant Nethercott is the head chef and co-owner of The Alba restaurant on the harbourside at St Ives. He lives in the town centre with his wife Caroline. He has a daughter, Jade, 24, who lives in London and a stepson, Charlie, 18, who lives at home.
My favourite... Walk: Tehidy Woods near Redruth is a great place for walking and running. At this time of year it’s also quiet and very peaceful. I’ve caught the running bug recently and love going out to run, as it’s a great way to de-stress from working in the kitchens. It’s also great training – when I ran a half marathon in London last year, I found it really easy, as I’d trained on the hills of Cornwall! I’m preparing for a marathon in the Chilean desert next. Arts venue: I love going to the Tate Gallery,
People The Tate Gallery, St Ives
Shack in St Ives is very quirky and serves great food and drink. I’m also a huge fan of the local burger chain Hubbox. There’s one just a few doors down from The Alba, the perfect place for a good quality beer and a burger.
thought it was the perfect place to live as I was a keen surfer at the time. Then my daughter was born, and I got busier at the restaurant, and I haven’t been able to go surfing much ever since. My big thing now is running, so that is how I spent most of my free time. I also love going out to eat at restaurants in Cornwall and trying new things. There are some tremendous destination restaurants in the Westcountry now, with fantastic chefs. It’s nice to be a customer on my day off.
which is just around the corner from our restaurant, and the St Ives School of Art. I think it is important to support local up-and-coming artists. I am a huge art lover myself, so I regularly go to see the newest exhibitions. I considered going to art college instead of catering college when I was younger as I loved to paint. But now my artwork is all about food, and making it look as beautiful as possible.
Activity: I moved to St Ives 24 years ago and
Food: I love Cornish mussels, you can’t beat them. I only ever get mine from Fowey. They are so meaty and plump, mainly down to the clean water in Cornwall. I love to cook them at home but I also use them on the menu at The Alba. Tipple: Tarquin’s Gin is a real favourite of mine and a really great product that Cornwall should be very proud of. A gin and tonic at the end of a long shift just hits the spot.
Food and drink venue: The Rum and Crab
Overnight stay: If I was lucky enough to have a weekend off, I’d go to The Cornwall Hotel near St Austell. I have been a few times before and it’s a great place for a winter escape and spa break, a perfect weekend to spend with my wife. Shop: I’m really into buying clothes, and Academy in St Ives sell some really great brands so I buy new things there all the time.
Treat: Sunday is generally my day off, and a real treat would be to go to The Halsetown Inn near us here in St Ives. They do a great Sunday roast, perfect for the winter months approaching. I’d be happiest there with my wife, my daughter and my stepson all together.
‘Secret’ place: In the summer, Porthcurno near Land’s End is just amazing. The beach itself makes you feel like you’re abroad, as the sand is golden and the water is crystal clear. In the winter, I love The Gurnard’s Head pub on the clifftops in Zennor. It’s a great place for food, especially out of season when there aren’t so many tourists around.
The Alba will be launching its revamped new restaurant and bar in December 45
man and boy
Why girls are yucky
James, five, is making dad Phil Goodwin laugh... again verybody remembers their first proper kiss, right? For me it was with Dawn (surname redacted) by the tree at the end of Hillside Avenue, sometime in the 1970s. I think it came as part of some street game, the rules of which I have long forgotten. The relationship didn’t last. In fact it didn’t last until the next day, if I remember rightly. Nevertheless, for a fleeting moment I was carried away on love’s young wings, or something like that. After that there was Catherine, then Lisa, who shattered by young heart by calling me a maggot. Harsh, I know. But I didn’t have a proper girlfriend until I was 15, the lovely Elaine, who I dumped when I left school and discovered pubs. I think for young boys there comes an almost imperceptible moment of change, when revulsion at girls turns to interest. What once seemed revolting becomes strangely appealing. My boy, aged five, is a long way from this. I didn’t even realise he was old enough for the ‘yucky’ club until the other day. As I have perhaps mentioned in these pages before, young James is more than a little fond of dinosaurs. He has seen all the first three Jurassic Park films on TV so the release on DVD on Jurassic World was a major event in our house. It does have some nasty stuff with arms getting torn off and people chomped but we have found a way around that – he covers my eyes when something gruesome is about to happen and I am spared the subsequent emotional scarring. It is actually a cracking adventure movie and, perhaps due to the involvement of Spielberg, has some nice touching scenes around family and kids.
main picture: Steve Haywood
He can watch a giant lizard bite off a guy’s head, but a simple kissy-wiss? Yeeuurggh!
A main thread to the story revolves around the female lead, Clare, who is in love with the hero, Owen – the ex-navy hunk who trains velociraptors. Anyway, as the park collapses under the mayhem of the escaped dinosaurs she ditches her bitchy, workaholic persona and admits her desire for her earthy co-worker. They get it together with a first kiss after she saves him by shooting the pterodactyl that’s trying to eat him. Not many young lovers can say that. So there we are – me and the boy – rapt, when Owen pulls her towards him and plants a juicy smacker. I can’t say I was moved to tears, I mean this is Jurassic World, but I knew it was coming when I saw the first scene was about a failed first date: “What kind of diet doesn’t include tequila?” he demands. “Who wears board shorts to a date?” she counters. You get the idea. They hate each other, they love each other. As they clinch, beneath skies filled with carnivorous birds, my son turns away, actually squirms, and groans: “Yeeuurgghh!”. “What’s up with you?” I teased. He can’t stand it. And every time he watches it – four times with me – the same reaction. He can watch a giant lizard bite off a guy’s head, without a blink. But a simple kissy-wiss? No chance. I now look forward to this part of the film more than ever; now he sees it coming and begins wriggling even as it nears. Then yesterday I get the school newsletter via email. At the end of a list of the usual stuff about fundraisers, cake sales and parent teacher evenings comes news of the school disco. Friday night from 6pm. For Year One upwards. Don’t let’s get started on those. Everyone remembers their first school disco. Right?
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The lifestyle magazine inside the Western Morning News