instant winter style boosts
PLUS + LILY COLE IN DEVON + SEAFOOD SPECIALS
Write stuff How Cornwall inspires new novelists
+ TRILL FARM
HAMPER WORTH £75
ANOTHER JEWEL IN CATHEDRAL GREEN’S CROWN
MICHAEL SPIERS T R U R O
P L Y M O U T H
E X E T E R
T A U N T O N
2 2 C AT H E D R A L YA R D, E X E T E R E X 1 1 H B T E L : 0 1 3 9 2 6 6 6 5 9 0
www.michaelspiers.co.uk T H E S O U T H W E S T ’ S L E A D I N G R E TA I L E R O F F I N E J E W E L L E RY A N D WAT C H E S , I N C L U D I N G :
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FORGET MINIMALISM The Somerset interiors where more is more
‘This has been a tricky growing season for pumpkins. I’m afraid mine are still green’ Anne Swithinbank’s Halloween problems, p26
LITERARY LADIES Meet writers inspired by Cornwall
[contents[ Inside this week... 6
THE WISHLIST This week’s pick of lovely things to buy
DRESS LIKE A DUCHESS Channel Kate in red lace frocks
FROM TORQUAY TO VOGUE Lily Cole’s rise to supermodel stardom
LITERARY LADIES Top novelists inspired by Cornwall
FORGET MINIMALISM Somerset interiors where more is more
THE NEED FOR TWEED True Brit style for autumn
GREAT, OUTDOORS The new Westcountry fashion label
BERRY NICE Anne Swithinbank’s garden advice
SEAFOOD SPECIAL Top eateries across the region
Pumpkin hits (and misses) this season
THE NEED FOR TWEED How to wrap up in true Brit style
YOUR WEEK AHEAD Cassandra Nye looks into the stars
BOOST YOUR WELLBEING Great ways to feel your best this week
HALLOWEEN BEER? Any excuse, says our ale guru
RESTAURANT REVIEW The best seafood in the South West
WEEKENDS AWAY We know where to go and what to do
A dash of drama for Halloween
IN THE SWING
Fashion designed for the South West lifestyle
[ welcome [ What a creative place this part of the world can be... nside this week’s West magazine, we meet young married couple Rich and Alexa Sutcliffe, who have just launched a brand new fashion business. Called Passenger Clothing, the clothes are designed for life in the Westcountry, and are perfect for outdoorsy people who love walking, surfing and generally getting out into the landscape. See page 16 for their story and some gorgeous photography, too. Elsewhere in the magazine, we talk to not one but two novelists who have been inspired by life here to write superb new books, now making their way up the best-seller charts. Vanessa Matthews
of the week @TheWaieInn @WMNWest put @sandfordorchard Bumbleberry in the Top 10 tipples... pop to the @TheWaieInn to try a pint!
dreamed up her book while wandering around Heligan Gardens, near Mevagissey. Meanwhile, Emma Burstall drew on her memories of being a cub reporter on this very newspaper for her tale of life and love in the fictional Cornish village she has called Tremarnock. We have copies of both these books to win, see page 12 for details. Finally, when Romy Fraser decided to take a rest from running the top beauty brand Neal’s Yard Remedies, she relocated to east Devon. Here, at Trill Farm, she creates all sorts of good-for-you goodies. And the good news is, we have £75 worth to win, see opposite. Good luck!
She dreamed up her book while wandering in Heligan Gardens
TO ADVERTISE: Contact Lynne Potter: 01752 293027 or 07834 568283, firstname.lastname@example.org
Becky Sheaves, Editor
EDITORIAL: email@example.com Tel: 01392 442250 Twitter @wmnwest
MEET THE TEAM Becky Sheaves, Editor
If you buy one thing this week...
Order a box of goodies made from organic, wild harvested and natural ingredients from Trill Farm in east Devon. Trill Seasons Boxes are beautifully presented, ethically produced and environmentally friendly, just as you might expect from owner Romy Fraser, who was the original founder of Neal’s Yard Remedies. You can sign up to receive a Trill Farm seasonal box four times a year or simply buy a one-off box. Orders for the Winter Box, £75, will be delivered in time for Christmas. The exact contents are kept a surprise but will include delicious organic foods and preserves, homewares and beauty products handmade at Trill Farm. Order yours from www.trillfarm.co.uk by November 30.
We have one Trill Farm winter box, worth £75, for a lucky West reader to win. To be in with a chance, just email Trill Farm Competition firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, address and phone number by November 14. Normal terms apply. West magazine will not share your details.
Indigo collection wide brimmed hat £25 Marks &
Seneca circle chain earrings £14 www.oliverbonas. com
Hattie faceted collar necklace £22 www. oliverbonas.com
West’s picks for spending your time and money this week
STREET STYLE STAR
! e l g n i j I
Lisa says: “I like to stand out and be a bit different. My favourite shop is Moko in Gandy Street, Exeter, because it’s so colourful. This is my sunshine jacket, it comes out when the sun does!” Floral jacket: Moko, Exeter £45 Top: Primark £10 Jeans: Gap £45 Shoes: Marks & Spencer £30
SPOTTED BY: HANNAH MATTOCKS
Lisa Blaxton from Teignmouth is in her 40s and works as a property manager. Her unique style certainly brightened up our day!
Cute Maileg mermaid rattle £9.99 www. scandinavianshop. co.uk
Elegance Elaine chaise longue in gold leaf and lilac £494.25 www.islandfurnitureco.com
Work out Lorna Jane sports bra £44 www.activeinstyle. co.uk
Store we adore Robin Creations, Minehead
This shop is a real treasure trove, with a collection of vintage clothes, luxury accessories and upcycled furniture creatively arranged to tempt you in. The shop is run by the talented Douglass family, who can help you choose the perfect outfit or create a fantastic interior décor with vintage touches. They offer dressmaking and pattern cutting classes too. Robin Creations, 13 Park Terrace, Minehead, call 01643 706693.
Gold Oxford shoes from Spanish brand Toutou £28.65 en.dawanda.com
Autograph burgundy lace dress £89 Marks & Spencer
Story of my life... It’s my son’s party, and I’ll cry if I want to took the day off for my son’s birthday, determined, finally, to do something right on the parenting front. This was my big day for mothering. Having screeched in on two wheels for every birthday in living memory, slinging a shop-bought cake on the table, I was finally going to bake an actual real cake and that, carefully measured in dinky thereby show my love for my little spoons. The scales never children. Because that’s how it work right. Flour gets all over works, right? Baking shows real place and you later discover that mother-love. you were waltzing around town I don’t know when home-baked with two big white handprints on goods became so laden with sigyour butt. After all this headache, nificance. Maybe it’s just for the you have to clean the whole lot working mothers, who feel the up – and, chances are, launch sting of not being the domestic straight into making a meal, begoddesses that our own mothers cause you’ve used up your whole were. afternoon. I can bake two Yes okay, the cake things: American does taste fabulous. chocolate-chip However, you then cookies and Rice can’t eat very much Flour gets all over Krispie treats. of it because it’s the place and you The latter are my fattening. You bust later discover you go-to item for any a gut cooking somefundraiser. Just thing that you then were waltzing melt margarine have to discipline around town and marshmalyourself not to eat. with two big lows in a pot, By the time then stir in six Freddy got back white handprints cups of Rice from school, I had on your butt Krispies. Press baked applesauce into a greased spice cake – using baking dish and our own apples, allow to harden. thank you – with caramel icing. I This is my kind of recipe: three had wrapped his presents. I had ingredients, one pot, one pan, and prepared his special treat meal 15 minutes of preparation. of tacos. The kitchen was clean Funnily enough, I don’t mind (ish). cooking complicated recipes And me? I was an exhausted, for supper. I’ve made curries grumpy bag of nerves who from scratch, grinding spices snapped at him several times over in the mortar and pestle. And the course of his special evening. osso bucco from a Silver Palate Working mothers, do not succookbook. cumb to baking guilt. Buy a cake. But baking just irritates me. You’ll be on much better form. You need bowls, tins and four And as for the domestic goddesshundred tiny bits of this and es, I take my hat off to you.
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
pretty lace Kate, Duchess of Cambridge trod the path between dignified and really rather sexy when she donned this figure-hugging lace burgundy dress to meet the President of China Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan on their state visit to London recently. This dress from the Autograph range at Marks & Spencer is very similar to Kate’s classy number, with its demure slip underneath to preserve the wearer’s modesty.
OR MAKE IT YOUR OWN
OPTION B Evening
Strappy lace dress £22 New Look
OPTION A Daytime Floral lace dress £49 M&Co
NO SEX PLEASE
Gossip, news, trend setters and more – you
heard all the latest juicy stuff here first! Exeter University has a bit of a saucy tradition with its annual Safer Sex Ball. A couple of years back, some of the students did actually “indulge in a sex act” at the event (allegedly). And the dress code is: Underwear. Nevertheless, the
organisers thought it was worth asking former Exeter Uni student JK Rowling if she fancied attending. Joanne (JK) has replied: “Thanks for the kind invitation. I feel I am three decades too old to enjoy this, but you have fun.”
[[ The ‘perfect couple’ doesn’t exist
RACHEL’S REALISTIC Actress Rachel Weisz has said she doesn’t believe in the idea of the “ideal couple”. This seems incredible, given that the Oscar-winning actress is married to James Bond star Daniel Craig, who seems pretty perfect to us. However, Rachel is currently starring alongside Colin Farrell in The Lobster, in which she plays a short-sighted woman who has to find a partner in 45 days in a life or death situation. “I think it’s probably a satire on this overwhelming need to be in an idealised notion of a perfect couple,” says Rachel, who was on location in Teignmouth with Colin Firth for another movie project, this summer. “Of course there is no such thing.”
NEW ALBUM ALERT Damon Albarn has confirmed he is in the “very early days” stages of making a new Gorillaz record – and says it will be fast and energetic. But the musician, who has a family retreat in south Devon where he penned much of the last Gorillaz album, Everyday Robots, told Rolling Stone magazine he tries to avoid
playing live with his other band, Blur. He said: “I still try to avoid it like the plague, to be honest with you. “But something weird happens once I’ve stepped on stage: I just have the best time. And then as soon as we get off, I say, ‘Never again.’ It’s very strange.” 9
Fancy dress: Dylan, Zoe, Marnie and Jeremy get into the spirit of fun at a Cape Cornwall School party in St Just
in pictures Testing: Children learn how to take each otherâ€™s blood pressure at St Peterâ€™s primary school, Plymouth
Royalty: Sophie, Countess of Wessex, visits luxury mattress company Vi-spring in Plymouth
Family pride: Chris Potter (left) is the new national champion sausage maker. Dad Tim (right) of Wellington, Somerset joins him to celebrate.
talking points Spooky
ONE OF US Famous faces with links to the Westcountry
A pumpkin medley:
1 Jack of All Trades (orange)
Fiction’s famous witches:
1 Hermione Grainger (Harry Potter)
2 Mildred Hubble (The Worst Witch)
3 Wicked Witch of the West (Wizard of Oz) 4 Witch Kirri-Kirri (The
2 Summer Ball (yellow) 3 Dill’s Atlantic Giant (huge)
4 Lady Godiva (tasty seeds) 5 Bright Red French (aka
Witch & Wardrobe)
7 Miss Hardbroom (The Worst Witch)
8 Galeuse d’Eysines (has warty skin)
9 Hundredweight (a giant) 10 Jack Be Little (tiny and cute)
8 Witch Queen (Stardust) 9 Wyrd Sisters (Discworld)
The happy list
10 The Sea Witch (The Little Mermaid)
With a bang A fireworks glossary:
1 Rocket (sparks, then explodes)
2 Flying spinner (heads upwards as it spins)
3 Cake (lots in one) 4 Comet (lots of sparks as it flies)
5 Fountain (sparks and whistles)
6 Cone (showers of sparks that get higher)
7 Roman candle (shoots out comets)
8 Chrysanthemum (circular star burst)
9 Dark fire (winking stars) 10 Serpents (erratic, humming streaks)
27-year-old actress and model Lily Cole was born in Torquay, Devon
7 Burgess Vine Buttercup
6 The White Witch (Lion,
6 Blue Hungarian (new trial
5 Bellatrix Lestrange
10 things to make you smile this week 1 2 3 4 5
Jack Nowell back at Exeter Turning leaves beautiful Darker hair for winter New boots shopping joy Hetty Feather Plymouth Theatre Royal, Nov 11-15
6 Trick or treating fun 7 Firework night where will you go?
8 The Archers Helen, noooo! 9 Beef casserole it’s time 10 Cosy evenings with curtains drawn and the TV on
Early life: Lily’s mother is an artist and her father a Brixham boatbuilder and fisherman. She was first scouted in London as a model at the age of 14 but she initially turned it down: “I was cynical enough to think it wouldn’t come to much”. Smart: Lily moved from Devon to London’s Notting Hill when her parents split up. She got five A grades in her A-level examinations and studied History of Art at Cambridge. She gained a Double First in her examinations, all while working as a super model.
campaigns, she is best known for her “Save The Future” T-shirt which she modelled to fight against child labour.
Relationships: In 2013 Lily was romantically linked to one of the most eligible bachelors in the world, Twitter founderJack Dorsey. But last month she and her start-up businessman boyfriend Kwame Ferreira celebrated the DID YOU KNOW? birth of their daughter, Wylde Cole Ferreira. Lily first made
the cover of Vogue at the age of just 16
Modelling: Lily has been the face of advertising campaigns for Chanel, Tiffany, Accessorize and Rimmel London. Acting career: Her debut role was in the remake of St Trinians in 2007. A giving heart: Lily is renowned for her compassion and involvement in social issues and charity work. Supporting a variety of humanitarian and environmental change
Devon: In February this year, Lily said that she does not get to visit Devon often – although she added: “I love it when I do.”
Aspirations: Lily says that she loves to model but sees it as “a platform for the million other things I want to achieve and create in life”. She loves to travel, and worked with Christian Aid in Burma. She has also been touted as a possible Green Party politician. She also owns several businesses, including the ethical exchange website Impossible, which she runs with her boyfriend Kwame. By Hannah Mattocks
WIN A COPY We have a copy of Vanessa Matthews’ new novel The Doctor’s Daughter, worth £7.99 to win. To enter, send your name and contact details to: The Doctor’s Daughter competition, email@example.com to arrive by November 13. Normal terms apply, West will not share your details.
People Authors in cornwall
Literary ladies Two very different new novels are currently climbing the bestseller charts, both inspired by Cornwall. We meet the county’s latest literary ladies...
‘I set myself a challenge: now write a book’ he county of Cornwall has a long and proud literary tradition, with writers from Daphne du Maurier to Sir John Betjeman inspired by its landscape and people. Today, two exciting new novels, both rapidly making their way up the bestseller charts, are making their mark on the Cornish literary scene. Keen to find out more, Becky Sheaves meets two of Cornwall’s newest and most exciting fiction writers.
Vanessa Matthews lives near Truro with her husband Jim, who manages a supermarket, and their children Sam, 16, Betty, 11, Delilah, eight and Beau, five . “I packed up my fast-paced life in The Midlands and moved to Cornwall just before the birth of our fourth child,” Vanessa Matthews remembers. “I had been writing professionally for PR and marketing clients for around 18 years but I so rarely found opportunities to be creative in my personal life.” Adjusting to her new home by the sea and caring for a newborn left her, initially, struggling more than ever to justify writing for pleasure. But once her youngest child was a toddler, things changed, she explains: “I set myself a 30-day writing challenge. I wrote a new piece of work every day and entered each piece into a different writing competition, blogging about my experience along the way.” It was a bold move, but a life-changing one. “During that time I discovered a love for writing poetry and even won a couple of poetry contests. My first poetry collection was published by Winter Goose in 2013.” Two years on, she has just seen the release of her debut novel, The Doctor’s Daughter, a
dark psychological thriller set in the 1920s. “My mother-in-law had recently bought a beautiful caravan at Heligan Woods. I got into the habit of locking myself away there several times a week to write. At home I would often find myself distracted or staring at my laptop struggling to find the words for one paragraph. At Heligan I found I could write happily for five or six hours at a time. “If I lost my muse I would wander Heligan Gardens until I found some inspiration. It really is a very special place and the peaceful atmosphere, changing light and natural surroundings certainly influenced my writing and boosted my creativity when I needed it.” The Doctor’s Daughter is proving very popular and getting excellent feedback from readers. “Like many writers, my confidence was very fragile when I first started and I wasn’t sure I could even finish the first draft of a full length novel, let alone see it through the publication. “Now I am able to hold a copy of my own paperback in my hands, I’m so glad I kept going.” Keen to share what she’s learned, Vanessa has now launched Creative Retreats Cornwall, offering writing workshops and residential retreats. The Doctor’s Daughter (£7.99 Completely Novel) www.writingretreatscornwall.co.uk
‘If I lost my muse, I would
wander Heligan Gardens
until I found inspiration’
‘I had always wanted to be a novelist’ Emma Burstall has just published her novel, called Tremarnock, set in Cornwall and Plymouth. She lives in London with her husband Kevin Maguire, associate editor of the Daily Mirror. They have three children: Georgia, 26, Harry, 23 and Freddie, 13. Emma Burstall says she is more than happy to give The Western Morning News an interview. After all, she explains, it is thanks to this very newspaper that she met her husband, more than 30 years ago. “Kevin and I were both trainee journalists on The Western Morning News together, straight out of university. We were at opposite ends of a long row of desks. Our eyes met and we’ve been together ever since.” Those heady days as a young reporter were spent rushing about in search of a story, “constantly getting lost all around rural Devon and Cornwall,” Emma remembers. Today, the Westcountry is very much in her mind once again. She has just signed up to a three-book deal to produce a trilogy of novels set in and around south east Cornwall. The first, called simply Tremarnock, has just been published in hardback this autumn. To Emma’s delight, it is already at number 13 in the Kindle e-book charts. “I had to come down often to Cornwall to research the book, which was no hardship, as I love this part of the world,” says Emma, who now lives in London. “Tremarnock is fictional village but I was very influenced by Kingsand and Cawsand, as I have friends who live there. “I can see the network, the grapevine running through those villages. You find a very supportive,
close-knit community.” Tremarnock is subtitled “The lives, loves and secrets of a Cornish village”. At its centre is the story of single mum Liz, who escapes her cheating husband to move to a Cornish village. But, as with all villages, there are hidden tensions, secrets and ambitions. And then, says Emma: “a shocking set of events sweeps through the little community”. So why set the book in Cornwall? “I just love this part of the world and got to know it so vividly as a young reporter here. “I researched the book like a journalist, sitting down in cafes and pubs, and asking people: ‘How do you feel about the tourists, your neighbours, the economy, and house prices? What is it really like in winter here?’.” The next instalment in the story of Liz’s ever-complicated life (working title “for now”, just Tremarnock 2) is due out next spring. It’s the culmination of a long-held desire to be a successful novelist, says Emma. “At The Western Morning News, I was always more interested in the story behind the story, while my husband is very hard news orientated.” The couple worked together in Plymouth until Emma got pregnant with her first child, Georgia. They then moved to London, where they had two more children, Harry and Freddie. “But after Dartmoor, it did all feel very manicured and hemmed in. We have always come back down to the South West whenever we could.” Emma worked for many years as a journalist, including a stint as features editor on Family Circle magazine. “But I had always wanted to be a novelist, even though at first I felt intimidated, as though my books would not be not good enough,” she admits. So what is next in store for the loveable character of Liz in Tremarnock 2? “I’m working away on it right now,” Emma says. “But you will have to wait until 2016 to find out!” Tremarnock (£20, Head of Zeus) www.emmaburstall.com
‘I love this part of the world
and got to know it so vividly
as a young reporter here’
WIN A COPY We have five hardback copies of Tremarnock by Emma Burstall, each worth ÂŁ20, to be won To enter, send your name, address and daytime contact details to: Tremarnock competition, firstname.lastname@example.org to arrive by November 13. Normal terms apply, West will not share your details.
Young married couple Rich and Alexa Sutcliffe have given up their safe and steady day jobs to launch a brand new clothing label, based on their love of travel, the sea and the South West. Here, they park up their camper van and tell us how it is going so far...
By Catherine Barnes
here’s no need for a 10-hour flight – you only have to look around the corner,” says Rich Sutcliffe. He and wife Alexa’s surf and outdoor lifestyle brand Passenger Clothing is influenced by travel, music and salt water. Where better to find all that, they ask, than in our part of the world? Look out of your own window on a chilly autumn day and you might just plump for the Hob Nobs tin and twiddling with the central heating thermostat. But Passenger Clothing is aimed at a hardier breed: people who have already been out there for hours – caught some waves, cooked breakfast on the beach and are probably climbing cliff paths right now, or possibly strumming a guitar. They are very definitely not cosying up in front of Bargain Hunt.
Design duo Rich and Alexa Sutcliffe, with Ralph the dog
Passenger Clothing is a new range of outdoorwear inspired by nature
“We want to get up in the morning and enjoy what we do, meet people and share our vision with people that believe in it,” says Rich, 32. “We draw a lot of inspiration from Cornwall and we are inspired by real stories and real adventures. We love to post stories about other people’s road trips.” A gallery of attractively rugged and bearded surfers, musicians and outdoor adventurers are among the real-life faces who are ambassadors
of the new label. Passenger Clothing itself was dreamed up on a road trip to Cornwall and evolved in a freezing camper van under a starlit and wintry Dartmoor sky. “We were in the camper van, freezing cold and huddled there in sleeping bags, brainstorming ideas,” says Rich. “From that we got our ideas, just being out there,
‘We get our ideas just being out there, with no distractions, living the simple life’ under the stars with no distractions, living the simple life.” It can take a fresh pair of eyes to see what we really have on our doorstep. Rich and Alexa, also 32, have been together since their teens and held their wedding on Lusty Glaze beach, Newquay, a year ago. They currently live on the fringes of the New Forest in Dorset and get down to Cornwall and Devon at least twice a month. “Cornwall’s still very much the dream,” says Rich. “We like our ties to the New Forest, but want to be near the surf, too. We definitely want to move down eventually.” In the meantime, jumping in their camper van with their trusty whippet Ralph is key to what Passenger Clothing is all about. “There’s no divide, it’s either work-work or fun-work,” says Rich. “We live and breathe it, 24-7. We have small breaks, mini-adventures in Cornwall and Devon. Much of the brand ethos is
about that sense of escapism.” Alexa was formerly a senior designer in charge of online marketing for Estee Lauder, while Rich was a commercial electrician when they decided to take the plunge and set up the business in 2013. “We both wanted to do something and were looking for a purpose that reflected our nomadic travel lifestyle,” Rich says. “If I’m honest, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, by a long shot. If we’d known the hoops we’d have to jump through, it might have deterred us. It took about a year to set up samples and establish a supply chain.” They aim for their clothes to not only reflect a live-the-dream lifestyle, but to keep us cosy while doing it. Prices begin at around £25 for a T-shirt. “We combine comfort and style with functionality,” says Rich. “We make clothes to wear well and feel good and there’s plenty of detail and style, but they’re comfortable for road trips. They’re not super high prices, but it’s all about quality. We’re happy it’s right up there.” Passenger launched with menswear and Rich
‘We make clothes that wear well and feel good, with plenty of style, that are comfortable for a road trip’
admits that it’s taken off far quicker than either he and Alexa had anticipated. So they’ve had to fast-track the launch of their first women’s collection, Wanderlust, out in spring. Last week, they shot additional new photos for the forthcoming look book. “September and October, February and March are great times of year. I like to wrap up warm, have a little fire somewhere... and the surf’s better in winter. “Surfing is a way of life,” Rich adds. “I’ve
The new Passenger women’s range will be ready in spring 2016
been doing it for 15 years and our family holidays every year were spent down in Cornwall at Porthcothan Bay when I was younger. That led to a more travel-based lifestyle, sticking a board in the van and heding to Dartmoor or the coast.” Ralph the whippet loves their adventures, too. The couple even made the bed in their camper van bed bigger, in order to accommodate him. “He’s the glue between us,” laughs Rich, as he gets ready for their next adventure trip. “Sometimes the best plans are the simplest ones, even if it’s just taking a few hours out to reflect on things.” www.passenger-clothing.com
Going for the max Sarah Pitt discovers a unique hotel between the sea and Exmoor which is a fitting tribute to its flamboyant creator, the antiques guru Martin Miller artin Miller, bon vivant and charismatic entrepreneur, made his fortune from a series of books giving advice on buying antiques. With the fortune he amassed from the Miller’s Antiques Price Guides, Martin opened a string of hotels, warmed by open fires and lit by candles, in the best tradition of the English eccentric. Not to mention creating his own bespoke brand of gin. Martin died nearly two years ago, aged 67, but his daughter Tanya Miller continues to offer his unique brand of hospitality. Her hotel, Miller’s at the Anchor, nestles in a unique spot where Exmoor meets the sea. This hunting lodge in the hamlet of Porlock Weir on the west Somerset coast comes into its own at this time of year, as the nights draw in. Lit by candles, and the crackling flames of log fires, with bowls of sweets and fruit, the rooms are full to bursting with books, rugs, ornate mirrors,
drapes and antique furniture. As at all Miller’s esdad’s concept of hospitality, having grown up in the tablishments, the décor is opulent, one of the early Miller’s hotels, Millwith deep red walls setting off all er’s Residence in London’s trendy that gilt detailing and glossy wood. Notting Hill. Four-poster beds are in, and “I always talked to dad about ‘We have minimalism is out. This is maxigoing into business with him,” candles all year malism, unashamedly so. Hunting says Tanya. “When I came back trophies are mounted on the wall, from Venezuela I was looking for around, too. It cheek-by-jowl with oil paintings of somewhere to live by the sea with just makes it long-dead forebears, figurines and my children. I went to look at The chess sets. You can dine with your Anchor and thought ‘This is permore romantic beloved in an alcove in the dining fect, a hunting lodge by the sea’.” and more room behind an ornate antique She persuaded her father to go special’ screen. This is country hospitalinto business with her, and together ity, of a sort that is hard to find in they put in an offer for the hotel, these days of minimalist chic. transforming it into the gloriously Tanya, 43, started up the hotel cosy and flamboyant bolthole it is with her dad back in 2010 when she returned home today. from living in Venezuela with her then-partner and “Everything was very blue and bland. It looked two young children. She was no stranger to her like a retirement home, very cold, a complete con-
The hotel offers cosy hospitality on the Exmoor coast
Martin Miller designed the decor, as well as writing antique guides
trast to what it looks like now,” Tanya says. “It is the drapes and antiques we’ve used which give it the warmth, things like the Persian rugs. You have to be careful with colour being by the sea. We are not in the Caribbean and we get grey days, so we have gone for more vibrant colours. “When we put the hotel together we had three lorries full of antiques which all arrived at the same time. I picked the colours of the décor and dad picked the antiques. We would start with the bigger pieces first and then fill in the gaps. Dad had an amazing skill at this. He’d just pick things which caught his eye, a lot of weird and wonderful things, a complete variety.” Tanya now runs the hotel and lives here with her children, aged four and seven, in their own premises just behind the main building. Being on site is, she says, essential to ensure that every detail is right. Her dad may be gone, but his legacy lives on in the establishment she runs today. With the double rooms starting at £85 a night, this is the perfect place
Three lorryloads of antiques were used to furnish the hotel
for a winter weekend away. “Basically it is a home from home,” Tanya says. “It is comfortable and very relaxed. Guests can put their feet up on the sofas, and if they start snoring then we know we have done a good job! “We have an honesty bar, too, which is quite an
old-fashioned idea. We have candles all year around, too. It just makes it more romantic and more special.” Visit www.millersuk.com to find out more about Miller’s at The Anchor.
Choose bold colours and plenty of gilt for country house charm
Gold reindeer head £45, www.tch.com
Sark armchair £620 www.sofa. com
Ornate Monaco mirror £215 www.ayersandgraces. com
Stag’s head shot glass £23.95 www.athomeinthecountry.co.uk
Garston love seat £499, www.made.com
Pumpkin time Devon’s Anne Swithinbank, panellist on Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time, is growing her own pumpkins for Halloween alloween is big business these days and our children certainly used to revel in the consumerism of it all when they were younger. Bags of now rather sorry-looking ghoulish lanterns, fake cobwebs, witches’ hats and plastic cauldrons still languish in the cupboard under the stairs. We even had an old aunt whose birthday fell on October 31 and happily pretended she was a real witch. Small children or not, I’ll be carving a pumpkin lantern today, carefully saving the flesh from pushed-out eyes and gappy teeth. This will be added to the soup pot and the seeds roasted and eaten. For me, Halloween is all tied up with the ancient Celtic Samhain (or in Cornwall, Allantide), All Saints on November 1st and All Souls (November 2nd). I like to celebrate the lot by dwelling on the turning of the year and transiThis has been a tion from summer to winter. I think about how we take our tricky growing modern food supply for granted, season for compared to the meagre stored winter rations of our ancestors pumpkins and if and also remember relatives you’ve managed like my old aunt, many of whom to grow a few were accomplished gardeners and cooks. this year, you’ve This has been a tricky growdone well ing season for pumpkins and if you’ve managed to grow a few this year, you’ve done well. I’m afraid mine are still green and certainly won’t store, so we’ll have to use them like marrows. Large pumpkins need a good start, some warm weather to settle into the ground at the end of May and then a hot, sunny summer for the setting, swelling and ripening of fruit. Spring was
cold this year but we eventually produced some good young plants. Unfortunately, I was busy at the beginning of June and they were late going out. They were flowering well when the dreary wet weather started and ended up doing more growing in September than July or August. I’d gone for American varieties ‘One Too Many’ and ‘Wolf’ and, though they can do well in a good British summer, they are not bred for our climate. Interestingly, the winter squash ‘Crown Prince’ was given the same treatment as the pumpkins, yet produced large, ripe fruit. These are never prolific, so always put in as many plants as the squash you need. With their silvery greenish-grey skins and bright orange flesh, they are great to cook with and keep extremely well. I shall remember to always grow them alongside the larger pumpkins, as an insurance policy. When the vines have shrivelled and frost is threatened, cut ripe fruits away with some old stem attached. Don’t pick them up by their stalk, as this needs to stay secure like a solid plug, to prevent rotting. Stand the fruits outdoors in a
sunny spot to ripen further but cover or bring in when frosts are forecast. After a week or so, their skins will have hardened and they can go into storage. This wants to be a little warmer than frost free, so 10-15 C/50-60 F is ideal. I keep ours in a cool place in the house, where they make great ornaments and I’m reminded to use them. Growing, harvesting, preparing and cooking home-grown produce is time-consuming but I love the way this slows me down. Podding peas on a summer’s evening or slicing runner beans makes for good thinking or chatting time. Turning excess produce into jams, pickles and chutneys is even more satisfying. Not everyone in a family enjoys pickle and others are trying to resist sugary jams, so I’ve started using smaller jars. This way you have more to give away and the treat is quickly enjoyed and never goes mouldy at the back of a larder. The joy of this is coming across produce not normally sold in shops like damsons (jam and gin) and green tomatoes (chutney). My jars are lining up nicely but I’ll need some bigger ones for the pickled pears.
Question time with Anne West reader queries answered by Anne Swithinbank For the last four years, my runner bean leaves have been covered in small sooty black/brown spots. After the first year, leaves were turned into the ground but since then we’ve picked them off and destroying them when they appear, usually after the beans have set. The plants are destroyed when the crop has ended, and the canes disinfected. The plot is rotated every year, and extra potash applied. What can I do to prevent this happening? Christine Cawsey
Your problem could be halo blight, a bacterial infection which starts as small spots which darken and become surrounded by a yellow ‘halo’. Yellowing occurs and leaves might die. But the ‘sooty spot’ description makes me think it is probably fungal bean rust, though the pustules tend to be on the undersides of the leaf. This is common in warm damp summers and starts as pale spots, with the darker pustules appearing later. Rusts overwinter on the leaves. Grow the beans in rows rather than wigwams for better air circulation and space them 30cm/12in apart up each cane. When watering, direct this to the roots, not the whole plant. Choose an area of the plot with good air movement and choose varieties that boast rust resistance, such as ‘Celebration’ (Dobies 0844 967 0303 www.dobies.co.uk)
I was given an Aloe vera that has stood on the patio all summer. What should I do with it now? It might need repotting and has a small one at the side. JH
This succulent is not frost hardy and even plants kept at just above freezing can look sad. A bright windowsill in a cool room makes a good winter home. Keep on the dry side but give the occasional watering if you feel it is shrivelling at all. I would wait until spring to repot into welldraining compost (add extra grit). They look best in clay pots and you can remove the offset, hopefully with roots attached and pot separately to keep or give away.
This week’s gardening tips Anne’s advice for your garden
• Go shopping for plants with attractive berries, like Viburnum davidii (reaches 1m/3ft) whose heads of small rugby-ball shaped fruits are an unusual blue. I remember seeing a lovely mature plant at Knightshayes Court near Tiverton . • Swiss chard provides good winter pickings. Tidy dead leaves away and gather a few young but fully developed
leaves from each plant. Wilt down in a pan with a little butter and sprinkle of water, or use like spinach in a quiche. • Sort out hybrid blackberries by cutting away the fruited stems and tying in new growth. Parallel, strained wires are best for this. Arch the stems or, if they are very flexible, tie them in serpentine fashion. Weed under the plants and spread a mulch.
Take hardwood cuttings of a wide range of plants, including fruit bushes (gooseberries and blackcurrants), roses and deciduous shrubs like winter flowering honeysuckle. Snip above a leaf at the top, below at the bottom, make them 15-25cm/6-10in long and insert into good soil to two thirds of their length.
Skim off Send your questions to Anne at email@example.com
duckweed and secure a net over the pond to catch leaves. Make sure wildlife can still drink and won’t get caught. 27
[[ What better time to think about how to create the perfect dramatic make-up look?
Brush up Eye shadow blending brush (Marks & Spencer, £6) Cheap and cheerful, a good brush like this is key to perfecting eye shadow looks, whether subtle or dramatic.
Mary Kay Lip and Cheek Stain (Mary Kay, £8) I was a little scared of this colour but it blends so easily, you can control how much you put on.
Pout The Body Shop Cheek and Lip Stain (£10) This dual purpose stain stays on for hours, giving your lips a subtle colour or add more for a dramatic pout.
Sparkly Pumpkin Bubble Bar (Lush, £3.50) Add a little gold sparkle to your bath with this fun bath bomb. It leaves a lasting subtle fragrance of juniper and grapefruit on your skin for hours afterwards.
Expert advice from beauty guru Abbie Bray of Newton Abbot It’s October 31! What better time than Halloween to think about how to create the perfect dramatic make-up look? And for those of you who shy away from garish colours, I have something for you too. I have already spoken about the beauty faux pas of emphasising both your eyes and lips at the same time. But at this time of year you can get definitely away with it. On the catwalk this season we have seen the return of thick black eyeliner, along with vampish reds and plums for your lips. Liquid eyeliner scares a lot of women (even me) but I have found that this Benefit eyeliner, with a nib like a felt-tip pen, is the solution. It is easy to apply and creates the perfect flick. If the trick-or-treat fancy dress look is not your cup of tea, but you still want to celebrate the Halloween theme, then these fun bath products from Lush that might take your fancy – they did mine!
Eeek! Nightwing shower gel (Lush, £3.50) I loved this this cute little bat and the shower gel has a zesty lime fragrance. It smells fab.
Bat for lashes Benefit They’re Real eyeliner (Debenhams, £18.50) This liquid liner is really easy to apply, though I found the nib got a little messy after a few applications.
Drama OPI Nail varnish Berry On Forever (OPI, £13.95) A gorgeous berry colour, this is super shiny, non-chipping and lasts really well.
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Boucle skirt £29, M&Co Dame dress £119, Monsoon Boutique cut faux fur coat £75, M&Co
Leopard print pumps £15, M&Co
Carnell jacket in Harris tweed £259 Lara rollneck £65 Kelsey shirt £69 and Carnell trousers in Harris tweed £159, www.hobbs. co.uk
Mary Janes £25, Marks & Spencer
Gwyneth coat £269 Coira sweater £69 Carnell dress in Harris tweed £299 Freya leather gloves £49 Gabrielle faux fur scarf £59 all www. hobbs.co.uk
Ever so English re you, like us, hooked on Downton Abbey this autumn? Quite apart from the joys of Carson’s wedding and Lady Violet’s inimitable put-downs, one of the real pleasures of watching the show every Sunday night is to revel in the wonderful frocks they wear. Not to mention adorable tweed coats, pretty gloves and fabulous little shoes. Downton is set in 1925 this season, but the high street right now, 90 years on, has plenty of ever-soBritish pieces to choose from. The Downton ladies wear that most distinctive, yet hard to achieve style, best summed up as English eccentric elegance. Hobbs has some lovely tweed to choose from this season (Harris, of course) and we are sure Lady Mary would have looked sensational in this lovely dress from Monsoon. All we need now is Anna, to do our buttons up.
Burgundy bow detail gloves £6, M&Co
Boutique cut faux fur coat £75, M&Co
Jasmine tweed jacket £299, Dubarry of Ireland 31
culture vulture Our superb new guide to what’s on in the South West by our arts expert Sarah Pitt main picture: jordan Mcclachlan
Jazz with Joe Enjoy an evening with a touch of nostalgia with Joe Stilgoe, who will perform numbers from his new album New Songs for Old Souls at the Exeter Corn Exchange on Sunday, November 22. A consummate entertainer, Joe wins over audiences of all ages with his own compositions and his inimitable take on jazz standards and classics, from the 1950s to the present day. Songs from the new album include Rainbows in my Teacup, inspired by becoming a father for the first time. Tickets £20, box office 01392 665938.
Russian ballet brings stories to life in Truro
Bright art Feast your eyes on shimmering images from popular culture, including a Coca Cola logo reflected in a skyscraper and a retro glamour girl mirrored on a thousand windows. Renowned printmaker and painter Brendan Neiland’s work has been seen at the V&A and The Tate in London, but there’s a brilliant opportunity to see his vivid paintings closer to home, entry free, at the Brook Gallery in Budleigh Salterton and Exeter until November 16. See www.brookgallery.co.uk.
Traditional ballet will unfold on stage at the Hall for Cornwall in Truro when the St Petersburg Classic Ballet Company heads into town on their first-ever UK tour. Combining classical training and technique, the troupe’s performances have an air of magic, complemented by a full orchestra and outstanding male soloists. Principal dancer Natalia Romanova, a pupil of the late legendary ballerina Natalya Dudinskaya, leads the
company in presenting folk tale Giselle on November 18 and 19, and enchanting classic The Nutcracker on November 20 and 21, including a Saturday matinee. Tickets £28-£34.50, call 01872 262466 or visit www.hallforcornwall.co.uk.
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.
Thandie Newton born November 6, 1972 The star of The Pursuit of Happyness, actress Thandie spent her primary school years in Penzance, with her mum Nyasha, father Nick and brother Jamie. Cambridge graduate Thandie later recounted how the family experienced racism in 1970s Cornwall, saying: ‘It was a beautiful environment, but very backward when it came to racial politics.” Ouch! Now a mum of three, she’s married to Best Exotic Marigold Hotel screenwriter Ol Parker. Scorpios like Thandie can be prickly at times, but are loyal friends and very hard-working.
SCORPIO (October 24 - November 22) There may be someone who thinks they have won an argument with you. However, just like the scorpion that hides under a stone but leaves its sting exposed, you have a surprise in store. The important thing now is to move swiftly. Make progress on a plan that is dear to your heart – it has been delayed too long already. Old ways of making money seem to work best. New beginnings and fresh starts are always better for relationships.
SAGITTARIUS (November 23 - December 21) Trusting your instinct works, especially when it comes to how someone else is thinking. The chance of an interfering busybody irritating you is high – all the more reason, then, to avoid them. Emotional ties can be strengthened by simply confiding in someone close. We all underestimate how much this can help.
CAPRICORN (December 22 - January 20) Relax a little and give problems time to wash over you. If others want to jump up and down, let them. A cool approach now shows others that you really are in control. Keep your legal-eagle eyes open but don’t look for problems where there aren’t any. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
AQUARIUS (January 21 - February 19) A certain amount of impatience could jangle your nerves. Maybe, somehow, you feel you don’t deserve the luck about to come your way? Surely that is another example of your lack of faith in your abilities? Others believe in you and with good reason!
PISCES (February 20 - March 20) In a sensitive week, it is easy to talk yourself into worrying. Maybe you feel there is something you should do that is just too difficult. But do you really have to do it right now? You are no stranger to a bit of hard work, but maybe this is neither the time or the place.
ARIES (March 21 - April 20) Mysteries around your love life are both puzzling and intriguing. There are questions to ask which should be posed sooner rather than later. At work there is a chance to improve and enhance your reputation by taking something on board. Something you start now will see you through to the future.
TAURUS (April 21 - May 21) Recent changes will take time to get used to. Be kind to yourself and allow the future to flow freely rather than trying to exert too much control. Satisfaction comes with balance. Changes happening to long-term activities may seem counter-productive. Not so.
GEMINI (May 22 - June 21) As much as we may plot and plan the future, it is also important to be flexible. We may not like it, but things change around us and adjustments need making. Getting enough sleep and allowing regular free time to think are more important than you might imagine.
CANCER (June 22 - July 22) Jumbled thoughts will organise themselves if you don’t over-think them. Organising something soothing and relaxing for the weekend will certainly help. With the help of a few friends, it is possible to bring to life a joint venture. It may change as
time goes on but should certainly be clearer by the weekend.
LEO (July 23 - August 23) Bounce through those small bits and bobs that need doing as soon as possible. You won’t want any clutter in your mind after Wednesday. Make any decisions based on your beliefs rather than taking on someone else’s opinions. A few more weeks of work should see your time become more free for fun.
VIRGO (August 24 - September 23) Someone shows how highly they think of you. Why does it come as such a surprise? Really, you can be far too modest! Someone close becomes even closer because you open up to them. Changes are unlikely this week but there is every chance you are anticipating some. Wasting time trying to hurry things along is futile.
LIBRA (September 24 - October 23) You could well be patting yourself on the back this week after all you have achieved. Whoever said you were not good at making decisions has misunderstood you. It is just that you consider your moves very carefully before acting. You will have reason to be glad you did that on a very personal issue. Well done! An event from the past may have left a sore point in your psyche. This week could see it heal at last. 33
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
RELAX: A study by a Chinese university of people who took part in 20 minutes of meditation over five sessions, found that it resulted in a significant drop in levels of cortisol - the hormone that causes stress. Gaia House in Newton Abbot runs meditation days throughout the year for beginners. Find out more at gaiahouse.co.uk.
KATE: ‘CONFIDENCE IS BEAUTIFUL’
AUTUMN GLOW Give yourself an autumn glow, with this light tanning oil by Hand Chemistry (£20), which applies evenly without the need for exfoliating beforehand. Great for girls on the go, it contains particles which will make you look radiant straight away. A key ingredient is erythrulose (a keto-sugar commonly found in raspberries) which helps develop a subtle colour without orangey tones, over a couple of days. Find it at victoriahealth.com
Kate Winslet’s philosophical about having turned 40 earlier this month, as she reveals in an interview with The EDIT by Net-a-Porter. She says the idea that women lose their looks as they age “baffled” her, adding: “Looking beautiful comes from the confidence someone has in themselves.” So shoulders back, girls and embrace your middle years!
‘My children’s relationship with food is about power, rather than being slimmer’
HEALTHY EATING WITH GABBY Sports pundit Gabby Logan is looking fabulous at 42 and says it’s due to her holistic approach to wellbeing, which she conveys to her 10-year old twins Lois and Reuben. “I talk to my kids about food and how good it can make us feel,” says the former gymnast and TV’s The Edge presenter. She explains that body image “isn’t an issue” in her household, saying: “My daughter has porridge for breakfast, so we discuss the effects it has on her energy, whereas my son wants to know which food will make him stronger in his sport. Their relationship with food is about power, rather than being slimmer.” A great example of a truly healthy attitude.
Perk up! Did you know up to 70% of your body’s immune system is based in the gut? So what we eat really has a significant and direct impact on our all-round health. Studies have shown, though, that the number of ‘good bacteria’ in our guts can diminish as we grow older. It might be worth considering prebiotic supplements as a general pick-me up, if you’re feeling under par.
What’s coming up? Tweet us your wellbeing diary dates
GOOD NEWS: Killer heels won’t lead to knee joint problems and may even prevent them, according to research led by Professor Margaret Thorogood at the University of Warwick.
@WMNWest or email firstname.lastname@example.org 35
A stitch in time...
Can the new ‘one stitch’ facelifts really work? I’m in my mid 50s and have heard about a “one stitch lift” that many celebrities seem to be having. Though I am interested in having dermal fillers and Botox, I would like to know more about this other treatment – how does it work? SA, Truro
Medical aesthetician and trained dentist Dr Pradnya Apte says: The “one stitch lift” is also known as a non-surgical facelift. There are two types currently available – the Polydioxanone (PDO) thread lift and the Silhouette Soft lift, which is the treatment that I carry out in my clinic in Exeter. Silhouette Soft is a new technology which has both a lifting and regenerating effect on the face. Essentially, a thread is passed under the skin along the jaw line, using just one exit point. These re-absorbable sutures are made in the USA and are FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved. All the components of the threads are completely re-absorbable in 12-18 months. There are two actions to this treatment – the
first is a lifting action for immediate yet disand fillers to enhance facial features. It is suitcreet results. The exit and entry points are first able for patients from 30-60 years of age as long numbed and then the thread is passed under the as they do not have excessive loose skin. Areas skin to come out at the exit point marked spethat can be treated are the jowls, cheeks, jawline, cifically on the patient. As soon neck and eyebrows. as the treatment is carried out In my opinion, Silhouette Soft the focused area is redefined is a treatment that has really by compressing and lifting the revolutionised the options now The procedure tissue thanks to the bidirectionavailable to the patient in search al and re-absorbable cones on of rejuvenating their appeartakes around the thread. ance. The results of this non30 minutes and There is also a volumising surgical facelift treatment are can be used on action for gradual and natuimmediate. Although there can ral results. The cones help the be a slight chance of bruising, jowls, cheeks, skin boost its own natural colthe beauty of this treatment is jawline, neck lagen, further redefining the that there is no downtime and area being treated. Silhouette the patient can return to everyand eyebrows Soft is the only product on the day activities in a short period aesthetic market that combines of time. Silhouette Soft can only these two actions. The effects be carried out by an authorised last around 12-18 months. and trained doctor or dentist. The procedure takes approximately 30 minDr Pradnya Apte carries out Silhouette Soft treatutes. One or more threads are used, depending ments at Revitalise-Rejuvenate MediClinic in Exeter. on the area needing to be treated. Until mid-December this treatment will be half price, This treatment can be used as a standalone down from £1,500 to £750. Visit www.revitalise-rejutreatment or be used in conjunction with Botox venate.co.uk or call 01392 426285
Ingredient of the Week
with Tim Maddams K, bear with me on this one. I know “All grey Daddy, I’ve never seen a red one. They this won’t immediately have all of are grey, don’t be silly.” you reaching for the air rifle but Now, I am not aiming to wind back the clock, squirrels really are very tasty AND as eradicating grey squirrels is now impossible this is about the in any practical way. But they do best time of year to eat them immense damage to forestry and AND they are a very ethical and are often controlled in quite large very free-range, naturally-fed numbers. Sadly, they are often Old squirrels choice for the supper table. poisoned but I have a far better are tough and Firstly let’s be clear about solution: lunch. need stewing. what I am talking about here. Old squirrels are tough, and The candidate for next week’s need stewing. Younger squirrels Younger supper is not the endangered however are sweet and tender squirrels are red or native squirrel, but the enough for a quick roasting with larger grey squirrel (Sciurus a few hard herbs. If you have a sweet and carolinensis). First released in large garden and an air rifle, you tender enough Cheshire around the 1870s as a can bag a few no trouble. Right to roast quickly little garden oddity with which now the youngsters from this to impress the neighbours the year’s kittens will be fully grown, greys have since gone on the with a good layer of nutty fat that rampage and have displaced the has an amazing flavour all of its native red squirrel to such an extent that I have own. If you don’t have access to a gun, you will a hard time convincing my young son that there need to give the butcher plenty of warning or are red squirrels at all, since they are simply: get on to a good game dealer locally.
Squirrel pasta I love braised old squirrels with wild mushrooms and nettle pesto, tossed over some homemade pasta. I often tell people it’s rabbit, as this dish has been known to create an outbreak of sudden vegetarianism from time to time. This is a shame, as squirrels will be killed in large numbers as pests. So to not eat the meat is simply wasteful. @TimGreenSauce
Tim Maddams is a Devon chef and author of Game: River Cottage Handbook no. 15 (Bloomsbury £14.99) 37
Chicken breast with buffalo mozzarella wrapped in bacon Ian says: Denhay bacon is made with outdoor-reared pork. It is high welfare and matured slowly with sea salt
Recipe by Ian Middleton, head chef at Dukes in Sidmouth, east Devon Made using Denhay dry-cured back bacon from Dorset
4 chicken breasts 8 slices Denhay bacon 2 buffalo mozzarella balls, sliced 4 tomatoes, halved 1 bunch spring onions, finely chopped 6 large maris piper potatoes, peeled and chopped Pinch of salt and pepper Knob of butter Olive oil
Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas mark 6. Make a pocket in each chicken breast by slicing part-way through. Stuff each pocket with mozzarella and two halves of tomato.
Wrap each chicken breast in two slices of bacon, making sure the ends of the bacon sit underneath the chicken.
Place on a tray lined with greaseproof paper, drizzle with a little olive oil. Cook for
25-30 minutes, until the juices run clear. 4.
Boil the potatoes until soft, mash and add butter, salt and pepper.
Pan-fry the chopped spring onions until soft, then add to the mashed potato and serve.
This recipe comes from A Taste of the West Country (ÂŁ16.99) by the food producersâ€™ 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 38
Drink REGIONALGOLD Exmoor Ales’ iconic Gold beer has been named best golden ale in CAMRA’s South West regional beer competition – weeks after being told by CAMRA that the beer no longer fitted its criteria for a golden beer. Never mind, Exmoor MD Jonathan Price was delighted all the same. He says: “This recognition from CAMRA members is much appreciated and it nicely crowns the quality of our head brewer’s output from our new brewery this year.”
Beer of the week Oysters are back on the menu, which means Skinner’s Pennycomequick stout (4.5% ABV) is around for a limited time (it’s released twice a year, at the start and the end of the Cornish oyster season). Rich, creamy and smooth, an aroma of chocolate mousse leads to a palate of roast malt notes, light coffee, vanilla and Swiss milk chocolate. There’s a gentle bitterness to leave you wanting more.
talks beer onnie Barker once said: “And now, When I met one of their crew, James, in Peter a sketch featuring myself and Walker’s HAND Bar in Falmouth recently, there Ronnie Corbett about ghosts and was talk of them trying a pumpkin beer. I have ghouls, in which I get caught by the to say, big as these are in America, I’m not the ghosties” – “And I,” said Corbett, world’s biggest fan of pumpkin beers. In fact, one “get caught by surprise.” Yes, it’s that time of of the worst beers I ever tasted was a pumpkin year again, Halloween tonight, the time to reach beer, which may have tainted my views of all for a rich, warming, spicy beer. such brews. For me, this time If you’re not driving, you of year remains all about dark might find Exmoor Ales’ Beast beers. Pumpkins should be left Skinner’s (6.66% ABV) the ideal Hallowfor soups, stews and pies. And een tipple. Technically, it’s a lanterns. produced a porter, although it’s right at the Moving on to a bonfire night Halloween robust end of the style. Expect beery treat, I’d be tempted, espespecial this year, caramel from the roast malt, cially if hot dogs or burgers are and rich, dark, figgy fruit. One on the go, by something a little called Cornish of my favourite Westcountry lighter in tone. An IPA, especially Scream. At 4.3% beers. an American-style one, would fit it’s a copper ale Skinner’s has produced a the bill here. Especially somewith bittersweet Halloween special this year, thing with some carbonation to called Cornish Scream. At 4.3% cut through the fattiness of the finish it’s a copper ale with a smooth, burger. I should declare an interbittersweet finish. For a full-on est here by suggesting Coastal stout, Yeovil Ales now has its Brewery’s West Coast IPA (I do Stout Hearted (4.3%) available in kegs. Made by a few hours a week there, curating a beer shop). a head brewer who hails from Dublin, it’s apSomething like a St Austell Korev lager would parently giving that Irish black stuff a run for work well, too, and it’s available in cans, ideal for its money in tastings. taking to a fireworks party. The new Verdant Brewing Company, at PonWhatever you do this Halloween or bonfire sanooth, in Cornwall, has been working on night, stay safe, drink responsibly and resist a black IPA and a stout, neither of which I’ve the temptation of bland, mass-produced beer. been able to try yet, although I’m hearing good Darren Norbury is editor of beertoday.co.uk things about the team there from other sources. @beertoday
St Austell Brewery’s Admiral’s Ale has struck gold at the World Beer Awards, winning the 4-5% ABV bitter category. Created to mark the bicentenary of the Battle of Trafalgar, the bottle-conditioned bitter is brewed using Cornish gold malt and locally grown barley, giving it a spicy and full-bodied taste.
Eat/Drink RESTAURANT REVIEW
By Becky Sheaves
hat sort of a name is that, we wondered. Can they, maybe, not spell Zachary? But as the friendly waiter explained, this eatery is named after Zacry’s Rock, to be found on the edge of the beach at Watergate Bay. And if the locals couldn’t spell Zachary back in the day when they were naming their rocks, well: who am I to argue? I got to know this restaurant rather well in a recent weekend stay at the Watergate Bay Hotel. And, though I am here primarily to discuss the dinner for two that my husband and I enjoyed on the Saturday night, I must also spare a few words
to big up the early evening kids’ suppers on offer here. Help-yourself apple and orange juice, choice of spag bol, chicken dippers, sausage and mash, followed by ice-cream – all hugely appreciated, not least by us adults. The early bird suppers mean that children can eat at 6pm, when they are ravenous from a day on the beach, then spend the evening in the kids’ club playing pool. Meanwhile, we parents get the chance to dress up and eat a leisurely meal at 8pm. Bliss. For one room to dish up family breakfasts, kids’ high teas and then fine dining evening
meals, it has to be both robust and yet pretty special. Zacry’s has just had a major makeover to do just that – yes, there are hard-wearing zinctopped tables and practical banquettes, but also dramatic over-sized lightshades, silvered mirror walls and an open kitchen where we could see the chefs at work. By the time evening comes, it is looking positively glamorous. Zacry’s is the brainchild of Neil Haydock, who was the original head chef at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall, a stone’s throw from Watergate Bay Hotel. Neil moved over to be the executive chef for the whole of the hotel enterprise a few years back.
The Cornish lobster would be a contender for my Death Row last meal
4 of the best Places to eat seafood
IMAGES: DAVID GRIFFEN
The Seafood Restaurant
I truly think he is one of the best chefs working in the country today, let alone the South West. A while ago, I went to a charity dinner in Exeter, at which seven of the Westcountry’s top chefs each cooked a course. As you’d expect, the meal was A-MA-ZING but Neil’s course, a poached Cornish duck egg, with Cornish asparagus and hollandaise sauce was just perfect in its simplicity and clarity of flavours. Anyway, on with the meal. To start, John went for Cornish crab with pickled rainbow carrots, cucumber and black curry mayonnaise. This had all Neil Haydock’s hallmarks of precise flavours, beautiful presentation and the element of surprise – the neatly dotted mayonnaise really was inky black. It tasted wonderful. I, meanwhile, had chosen grilled pear with goat’s cheese and Lizard leaves. These latter are not slices of Lizard, you will be glad to hear, but salad grown in the mild climate of The Lizard, down near Helston. The cheese – I had to ask – was Irish, and very soft, not the firm goat’s cheese you usually get in this dish. It was very good indeed. If I was to criticise at all, however, the menu didn’t give much away about the sourcing of the produce. I’d had a reasonably abstemious starter because my main course was a half Cornish lobster with triple cooked chips, which attracted an £8 supplement on the set menu. It was worth every extra penny. I’d go as far as saying this would be a contender for my Death Row last meal. John, meanwhile, had pork belly with truffled white beans, spinach and a fennel and apple salsa, also really good. But mine was even better. Heaven. To drink, we went for the house choice of the day, a Hess Chardonnay from California, golden yellow and honeyed, lightly oaked and very delicious (£11 a glass). We had initially decided, on health grounds, to miss out on puds. But as we watched the chef making desserts for other diners in the kitchen we felt we couldn’t resist.
1 Ben’s Cornish Kitchen, Marazion
Set in Mount’s Bay, west Cornwall, this family-owned restaurant is run by head chef Ben Prior, serving modern European-style food, with an excellent wine list. Dish of the day: Whole roast red mullet stuffed with lobster and scallop Prices: Three course dinner from £24 Contact: 01736 719200
2 The Seafood Restaurant, Padstow
Rick Stein’s flagship restaurant serves superb fish, as the name suggests. The Fruits de Mer platter (pictured above) is legendary. Sit at the seafood bar and watch the chefs prepare shellfish. Dish of the day: Sashimi Prices: Three course dinner from £40 Contact: 01841 532700 To compromise, we shared a pretty glass bowl of raspberry fool with shortbread and brown sugar meringues. I had never had brown sugar meringues before. They came as cute penny-sized little dots in a pretty beige colour with a real toasty taste of cane sugar. A great dessert. All in all, this is a treat of a restaurant, offering so much, right around the clock. And I haven’t even mentioned the waffles and local bacon we had for breakfast there the next morning… Zacry’s, Watergate Bay Hotel, near Newquay 01637 861231 www,watergatebayhotel.co.uk
How they scored... Food
Three course dinner menu, £36.50
3 Hix Oyster and Fish House, Lyme Regis
Run by celebrity chef Mark Hix, this small and super-trendy eatery is the place to enjoy a glass of wine and oysters while enjoying the sea view. Dish of the day: Roasted Newlyn hake head with Poole clams Prices: Three course dinner from £35 Contact: 01297 446910
4 Burgh Island, near Kingsbridge
This Art Deco hotel is on a (small) island, so it is not surprising that seafood is a speciality here. Dress up and be transported back to the elegant 1930s, while enjoying local fish and home-grown salads from the island’s polytunnels. Dish of the day: Roast monkfish and puy lentils with celeriac cream Prices: Three course dinner from £70 Contact: 01548 810514
a weekend in...
Porlock hatever time of year you visit, Exmoor is breathtakingly lovely. Porlock, not far from Minehead, is a village of two halves. Its main street is lined with lovely old buildings, home to lots of interesting independent shops and galleries and then it wends its way out of town towards the picturesque harbour at Porlock Weir, a visitor destination in its own right.
eat or both at Cross Lane House Boutique Rooms and Restaurant in Allerford, which boasts light and airy rooms. There is a pared down and flavoursome modern British menu with a focus on local, wild and seasonal ingredients. Book a two course dinner at this
stylish retreat for £27, while a night’s stay for two costs from £125 per night (£183 including dinner). Thatched Myrtle Cottage is right on the high street and has rave guest reviews. A night’s B&B for two in a very pretty room costs £65 and its delicious breakfast coffee is roasted in the village by resident tea and coffee merchants DJ Miles.
Eat: At Mrs Jackson’s old-fashioned tearoom in the village, owners Jackie and Trevor Jackson dress the part in Victorian costume, as they serve up home-baked scones, cakes and tea as well as tasty light meals. With pretty china, carefully curated period rooms and a sonorous clock ticking on the mantelpiece, it all conjures up a wonderful atmosphere of times past.
Cross Lane House
Shop: Big Cheese is a foodie cornucopia, run by Martin Sergison and Sharon Douglas. The shop stocks between 80 and 120 cheeses at any one time, mostly Westcountry-made, along with local jams and chutneys. You can sit down and enjoy a coffee at this lovely deli, too. Indulge in shabby-chic and Scandinavian home accessories at Living of Porlock. Browse: Rachel White and Will Rayner’s contemporary Churchgate Gallery sells original paintings, prints and sculpture, as well as reproductions, cards and stunning jewellery. Look out for work by Westcountry silversmith Emma Lumley, who created jewellery for the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Do: See beautiful Exmoor through a lens with Exmoor Photography. Owner Jack Clegg leads day-long landscape and wildlife masterclasses throughout the year. This month, it’s rutting season and there’s the opportunity to track magnificent red deer stags. Lunch is included in the eight-hour workshops (£149), which are limited to a maximum of two people. You can also hire equipment to capture that perfect close up.
Explore: Head out on a two-and-a-half hour long Discovery Safari of beautiful Exmoor in Richard Growden’s four-by-four vehicle and you will probably spot red deer, Exmoor ponies and a host of other flora and fauna along the way. Or explore the Doone Route and retrace a journey that visitors would have formerly travelled by stagecoach centuries ago. Available yearround, adventures cost £25 per person: www. discoverysafaris.com Walk: Porlock is on the 51-mile Coleridge Way, a walking route in the footsteps of the famous Romantic poet, who lived in the area. You can also ride the route on horseback or mountain bike: www.visit-exmoor.co.uk/coleridge-way for details. Horse rides can be arranged at nearby Exmoor Riding, based in Porlock Vale, call 01643 862816 to book.
Visit: Take a walk along the pebbly beach (with views of Exmoor Forest, behind) at Porlock Weir, or spend an hour or two crabbing or fishing on the pretty harbour. Browse for crafts, glassware and gifts in the cluster of attractive Harbour Studios shops at Porlock Weir. 43
My Secret Westcountry Ashley Thorpe Exeter based filmmaker Ashley Thorpe made the animated movie Borley Rectory, starring Reece Shearsmith. He also created the opening credits of the newly released American horror movie, Tales of Halloween. Ashley grew up in Exeter, where he lives with wife Sue, stepsons Josh and Ethan and daughter Lily
Ashley and Lily
My favourite... Walk: The Westcountry is my heartland, the reason why after years of travelling, I came back to live here. I love the landscape and the changing of the seasons. Dartmoor is alive with stories and a walk there never fails to inspire me. The view from Dewerstone inspired me to write a radio play, called The Demon Huntsman. Beach: Iâ€™ve never been a sunbather, but as a family we visit places like Tintagel and Boscastle regularly. Boscastle is home to The Witchcraft Museum which, believe it or not, my wife and I quite often visit on romantic getaways!
The Witchcraft Museum, Boscastle
Pinces Gardens, Exeter
The Mercure Hotel, Exeter
Arts venue: The Exeter Phoenix Centre. Thanks to its support, my journey as a filmmaker really began here. I still teach animation at The Phoenix to youngsters, partially as a way to say thank you and also because it’s such a genuinely multi-cultured environment.
Food: Proper fish and chips by the sea. It doesn’t even have to be in good weather. I think it’s because I spent many years away from the region working at BBC Manchester and London and then living in Athens, so fish and chips became my nostalgic comfort food.
family run, cluttered with swords and war memorabilia and a bar-side wishing well to boot. Every pint here feels like a homecoming.
Tipple: I’m absolutely a local ales man,
Restaurant: My wife Sue and I are real food-
especially at Christmas when a trip to Darts Farm Shop at Topsham is always on the cards. As long as I have a nice selection of ales and some good cheese, I’m happy. I’m sure I’ll end up with gout! I particularly like dark ales and stouts and remember hugely enjoying one by Exeter Brewery called Darkness. But as my wife will no doubt tell you, when it comes to regional ales I’ll pretty much try anything. Especially if it has a rude name.
ies. We’ve tried many fine local restaurants, but our failsafe has become the Mercure Hotel restaurant in Exeter. The food is exceptional, especially the fish, and the service is always friendly. You couldn’t fault it.
Weekend away: The Two Bridges Hotel on
Way to relax: Animation can be quite a solitary occupation, so when I get the chance I like to get out. My favourite place to this day is the beautiful wisteria arch in Pinces Gardens, in Exeter. It felt like a magical place to me as a little boy, something akin to a portal to Neverland. Now walking with my daughter Lily beneath its blossoms rekindles all those feelings of wonder.
Shop: The Real McCoy in Exeter. I never tire
Pub: I like dark, dingy and traditional. So any space with a TV permanently tuned to a sports channel leaves me cold. The Exeter Inn in Thorverton is a real old-school Devon pub,
Ashley combines working as an animator with childminding daughter Lily, above The Exeter Phoenix Arts Centre
Dartmoor. It’s a place close to my heart for romantic reasons. My wife and I were married there and it remains our getaway of choice. You’ll even notice it pop up in my films: The Screaming Skull was filmed there, the perfect excuse to spend another night!
of browsing in this lovely vintage shop and it has proven a godsend for the odd last minute prop for my film Borley Rectory too, providing the glasses worn by Reece Shearsmith.
For more information on Ashley Thorpe’s work visit www.carrionfilms.co.uk 45
man and boy
Watching the pennies
Phil Goodwin, father of James, five is on an economy drive re you careful with money? Do you, as the old joke goes, turn off the gas when you turn over the toast? Of course you don’t. None of us like to be branded miserly. Better to lament your high-rolling, big spending, live-for-today ways than look like you are dodging buying your round. But though it may bad form to pinch the pennies and tighten the purse strings, I reckon we all secretly nurture our own inner tightwad. I splash out the best part of £900 quid a year on a season ticket at Anfield yet I dutifully wash and fold the tin foil after use. Am I really alone in this? I broach this thorny issue amid slanderous accusations from my wife this week that I was “too stingy” to turn on the central heating. I refused to accept it was cold enough to start burning gas and offered up the old grandfatherly advice of going for a walk and putting on a sweater. This won me no friends and only temporarily delayed the inevitable. To be fair, my dear partner is no spendthrift, except in matters of warmth. Her Russian father, however – the inimitable Valeri Gyorgovich – is shamelessly off the skinflint scale. For the few weeks a year he is in Britain, I reckon he might be the most economical man on these isles. He goes where few other Scrooges dare. And for this, he deserves all our respect. Let me explain. Valeri recently came over from his home in Sochi, on the Black Sea coast of Russia. He and
I have spent a week redecorating the house of my late mother up in Merseyside, a long-overdue renovation which included unpleasant wallpaper stripping, sanding, plastering and painting. His 40 years as a builder make him invaluable in all things DIY, yet to his immense credit, he
He turns off the shower to save water when he soaps up. Total shower time? Three minutes
does this work in return only for meals, tickets to watch Liverpool FC and biscuits. That he washes plastic shopping bags and hangs them on the line, is barely worthy of note. All the misers will be doing that sooner or later now the five pence charge has kicked in. But that is just the tip of the ice berg. He also turns off the shower to save water when he soaps up, he informed me. Total shower time? Three minutes. Now that is outstanding. Sadly, it is one area where I veer towards the profligate, standing dreamily as if beneath an Amazonian waterfall. One evening, after a hard day, I tried to explain that the water bills at Mum’s were free, until someone moved in permanently at least. Enjoy yourself, I urged him. Take your time. It seems he misunderstood my pigeon Russian and thought I was demanding further economies. “Two minutes forty!” he beamed as he emerged from the bathroom, having shaved off twenty seconds. A not inconsiderable margin when you think how pared down the job already was. But the best of all came one day in the garden. ‘I need to phone the gardener to come and cut the grass,’ I lamented. ‘We don’t have a lawn mower any more’. ‘Why?’ he demanded, adding that perhaps we at least had a scythe? I told him we didn’t, only to see him kneel down and start tearing up clumps of grass with his bare hands. Within seconds he had torn up a square foot or so of grass. Was it really do-able? He looked up at me. I laughed. Of course, he was joking. Wasn’t he?
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