Page 1

Food/Arts/Entertainment/Shopping/Property ISSUE 253 / NOVEMBER 2019 / £3





First come, first served







ABOVE Chris Eden of

Gidleigh Park, see page 29; LEFT Ed’s Choice, page 24


xeter and its environs have played a vital role in Devon’s ever-soaring culinary reputation – this patch of ours is packed with hardworking, independent, award-winning restaurants and pubs. Yes, you’re spoilt for choice when you eat out round here. Which can be a problem if, like us, you find it impossible to choose between all the delish dishes on a menu and are that annoying diner that keeps everyone waiting, angrily snapping breadsticks and throwing shade at you across the table. This winter, let’s be better prepared. Nobody knows the ins and outs of an establishment’s food like the people cooking it – so we asked six of our favourite head chefs to choose one starter, one main, and one pudding from their new autumn/ winter menus. Turn to page 29 and get your whole order planned out before you even leave the house. See you in three weeks!

ANNA BRITTEN Follow us on Twitter @ExeterLiving I EXETER LIVING I 3

Issue 253/November 2019 Cover The Five Bells Inn by Ross Hayward


6 Spotlight Christmas lights news, Ricky Hatton,

RAMM’s Local Art Show, Quirk Theatre and more

11 Jp hedge Exeter: the brand that’s more than a logo 13 MY DESK Legal eagle James Orpin

the arts

14 WHAT’S ON Amazing art, pristine performances,

melodic music and more great culture

18 TODAY’S MOOD Meet the stand-up bringing


mental health-based LOLs to the Barnfield


23 intro Zzzzzzzzzzz... 24 editor’s choice We’ve gone baa-king mad for


woolly things

food & DRINK

29 winter dining Local head chefs tell you what to

order when you eat out this autumn/winter

36 RESTAURANT Fresh ideas and fine dining at The

Five Bells Inn, Clyst Hydon

health and beauty

47 PARTY HAIR & BEAUTY Get ready for the big

Christmas bash


51 exeterworks Firework-worthy tidings from the

local business community


59 showcase Middle Allercombe Farm


41 society 66 Exeter lives Storyteller Jenny Moon

Editor Anna Britten Managing Editor Deri Robins Senior Art Editor Andrew Richmond Graphic Design Megan Allison Cover Design Trevor Gilham Editor’s Photo Emma Solley Contributors JP Hedge, Brian Donaldson, Kitty Kane Advertising manager Carolyn Southcott carolyn.southcott Account manager Paula Miller Account manager Liz Hogarth liz.hogarth@mediaclash. Production/Distribution Manager Sarah Kingston Deputy Production Manager Kirstie Howe Production Designer Gemma Scrine Chief Executive Jane Ingham Chief Executive Greg Ingham greg. Exeter Living MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW 01225 475800 @The MediaClash © All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission of MediaClash. We’re a Bath-based publisher, creative agency and event organiser Magazines Our portfolio of regional magazines celebrates the best of local living: Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, and Exeter. We also publish foodie mag Crumbs (, @CrumbsMag). Agency From the design and build of websites to digital marketing and creating company magazines, we can help. Events We create, market, promote and operate a wide variety of events both for MediaClash and our clients Contact: I exeter living I 5

InExeter’s switching things around this Christmas

Everybody’s talking about…


It’s all change for Exeter’s Christmas lights this year. Instead of the usual large, one-off switch-on we’re getting five smaller events, each illuminating a different corner of the city, and offering fun, family events. Five Nights of Lights runs from Wednesday 13 – Sunday 17 November and is funded by InExeter, whose manager Ann Hunter says: “This new format sees InExeter celebrate all quarters of the city and encourages people to explore and discover the different areas of Exeter. The 2019 festivities look set to bring a new Christmas experience, with the city our stage.” In addition there’ll be five late night shopping evenings leading up to Christmas, starting on Thursday 21 November, when many of Exeter’s shops will stay open until 9pm – the same night Gandy Street will celebrate its own annual ‘Countdown to Christmas’. For more:

INEXETER’S CHRISTMAS SCHEDULE Wednesday 13 NOVember, 5-7pm South & North Sings – and Cathedral Green lights switch-on Thursday 14 NOVember, 5-7pm Gandy & Queen Street Christmas Carnival – and Guildhall Shopping & Dining lights switch-on Friday 15 NOVember, 4-7pm Stars At Sidwell & Paris Street Saturday 16 NOVember, 2pm-6pm High Street & Castle Street Family Christmas Fair and opening of Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market – and Princesshay lights switch-on Sunday 17 NOVember, 12noon-6pm Fore Street Christmas Flea


CALLING ALL LOCAL ART GROUPS Exeter Living is proud to be partnering with RAMM for next year’s Local Art Show. The major, annual exhibition showcases the work of the best regional art groups or societies. This year’s contest opens on 1 November, and application forms can be downloaded from the RAMM website – entrants must submit 10 images for consideration and a statement saying why they think their group or society deserves an exhibition at RAMM. Closing date for entries is 5pm on Friday 14 February. Shortlisted entries will be announced in the March issue of Exeter Living (published

6 I exeter living I

6 March), along with details on how the public can vote for their favourite group/society. The winner will then be announced in our Spring 2020 issue (published on 17 April). The exhibition runs from 23 May–17 June, with a VIP private view on 22 May co-hosted by RAMM and Exeter Living. “We’re so excited to be part of the Local Art Show,” says Exeter Living editor Anna Britten. “This city is crawling with artistic talent, and we look forward to seeing unique and meaningful work from right across the fine arts spectrum.” For more:

spotlight Climate emergency


A mirrored, eight-feet-tall installation has been unveiled at Killerton Estate to illustrate the potential impact of climate change. The first-of-its-kind immersive experience, created through CGI and augmented reality technology, is part of a new partnership between Smart Energy GB and the National Trust to highlight “the importance of securing the future of the planet in order to protect the riches of the past”. Visitors will be able to ‘time travel’ to the year 2050 and see Killerton in the midst of the polluted environment that would result if we continue to consume energy at our current rate. This will be followed by a more positive look at the wildlife and nature that could thrive if we act now to cut carbon emissions and protect the environment. The installation is one of three across the country. The National Trust aims to reduce energy use by 15% and source 50% of their energy from renewable sources by 2021.  For more:

Councillor Rachel Sutton and cuddly pal



A local policeman, councillor and nurse have dug out their favourite childhood cuddly toys to help Quirk Theatre prepare for their new production. In the run up to performances of its new Christmas show The Velveteen Rabbit, the Exeter-based company is encouraging people to think about their old toys and what it means to move on, with an exhibition of photography of Exeter people with their childhood treasures. “Our show will often be a child’s first experience of live theatre,” says director Katie Villa. “Who knows where that first experience will take them? This opportunity feels like a huge privilege for us and we want to use that opportunity carefully and wisely.” The exhibition Toy: Quirk Theatre is at Exeter Phoenix from 12 November – 17 December, after which it moves to CoLab Exeter. The Velveteen Rabbit is at Exeter Phoenix 11 – 28 December. For more:


In our regular mini Q&A with visiting and local performers, boxing champ RICKY HATTON bares his wicked soul

LUST: Who or what do you find yourself lusting after today?

WRATH: What/who makes you angry? The Mrs. She drives me crazy

GREED: What should you be cutting down on (non-food and drink!)?

ENVY: Who are you jealous of ?

I have to be honest, there isn’t anything that I can honestly say I lust after. I guess I’m very lucky person that way.

Holidays. I have a place in Tenerife and I love holidays. Maybe cut down on holidays, but I worked hard in my career so that I can have a holiday when I like.

GLUTTONY: What one thing could you happily eat or drink until you burst? Guinness – I love the stuff.

SLOTH: What should you be really putting your back into right now?

Training. I’m training my boxers but I also train myself, so I’ve been putting in extra work going for runs and working out in the gym.

sometimes. I don’t have much patience at the best of times. I’m only joking, I love her to bits.

Ron Jeremy. Check him out. LOL.

PRIDE: What’s your proudest achievement?

My fan base. I sold out Manchester Arena in minutes, The Etihad stadium 58,000 in hours and I took 40,000 to Las Vegas. I have always been proud of my fan base and eternally grateful for the love and support they have shown me.

Ricky Hatton is coming to the Great Hall, University of Exeter on Wednesday 27 November. Tickets are available at or by emailing or telephoning 01392 413957 I exeter living I 7



The Red Roses have won over a whole new generation of rugby fans




xeter’s Sandy Park is bracing itself for more international action in November with the England Women’s side set to tackle their French counterparts on Saturday 16 November (kick-off: 1.10pm). Having last season created a record-breaking attendance for a ticketed Red Roses fixture outside of a Rugby World Cup, thousands of rugby enthusiasts from across the region are once again expected to pack into the home of the Chiefs for this epic encounter, which will form part of this Autumn’s Quilter International Test series. Back in March, a record crowd of 10,545 packed in to watch Simon Middleton’s side run in nine tries on their way to a 55-0 victory against Italy. That triumph set the Red Roses up to secure the Six Nations crown a week later, defeating rivals Scotland 80-0 at Twickenham. Looking ahead to the fixture, Middleton says:


“Playing France at any time is always a real challenge. To play them on home soil at Exeter will be great. When we played there against Italy in the Six Nations it was probably the highlight of the tournament, with the exception of actually winning the competition. “The way the crowd and the people of Exeter embraced the Red Roses left the biggest impression on all the players and the staff. If we get that again, it would be tremendous.” Certainly, the rise of the women’s game right now is huge and that is no more evident than at the Chiefs, who in September announced their plans to create a new professional women’s team with the view of tendering for a place within the Tyrrell’s Premier 15s League ahead of the 2020/21 season. For some time, Exeter Rugby Club chief executive, Tony Rowe OBE, together with director of rugby, Rob Baxter, have been exploring the idea of creating a women’s team at

Sandy Park – and the fruits of their labour have been revealed with this latest announcement. As well as the creation of the new women’s team, the club have employed former England Women’s internationals Susie Appleby and Amy Garnett as their senior coaching team. Before the Red Roses visit, the Chiefs will be continuing their season with some crunch fixtures in the Gallagher Premiership, as well as the start of the new Heineken Champions Cup. Next up at Sandy Park: 10 November – Exeter Chiefs v Bristol Bears (Gallagher Premiership) 23 November – Exeter Chiefs v Glasgow Warriors (Heineken Champions Cup) 30 November – Exeter Chiefs v Wasps (Gallagher Premiership) 15 December – Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks (Heineken Champions Cup) For more:

EXETER SHOWROOM NOW OPEN! KUTCHENHAUS Exeter 7 Alphinbrook Court, Alphinbrook Road, Marsh Barton, EX2 8QR 01392 409968 | Open 10.00 – 5.30 Mon-Fri, 10.00-4.00 Sat


Strike up the brand How Exeter is making quality of life its priority


attended a conference last month to see how other cities are going about branding themselves. The reason cities tend to do this is in a bid to land investments, get better jobs, win relocations and boost tourism. I am pleased to say that, like so many other things in life, Exeter is punching above its weight. At the risk of looking like a dad dancing at a disco – this city rocks. The story of Exeter that is now springing up across the city is Exeter Live Better. It’s important to mention that ‘living better’ is an aspiration, rather than a claim. Quality of life in the city is so important, it has been brought front and centre. District councils

don’t work in this arena. For us, it is the ball game. Some of the other city brands around the globe are little more than a logo. Don’t get me wrong, there are some very nice logos that exist. But without being based on truth, and then living that out, it’s hard to see what real impact they have. Exeter’s own story positions the city as the ‘Brilliant Alternative’ and puts it firmly into ‘best kept secret’ territory. And when you line up some of those brilliant alternatives together, it is quite the collective proposition. Exeter College is the brilliant alternative to so many others, and has national awards coming out of its ears. Our football club, owned by the people, is the brilliant alternative to so many

“At the risk of looking like a dad dancing at a disco – this city rocks”

others that have been bought by individuals or gone bust. And this is without even mentioning the work of the amazing City Community Trust. Exeter Chiefs are absolutely the brilliant alternative. From their own business model to the way they carry themselves, they are the ideal that other clubs are trying to emulate. All of these things would have been pipe dreams at one stage. All the hard work that went into making these businesses and organisations the brilliant alternative didn’t happen overnight. The global movement and reach of TEDxExeter, the stunning results and vision of Exeter Maths School and the Ted Wragg Trust, the growth of the role of Exeter Culture, our free Red Coat Guides, our free museum, our Fore Street Flea Market, independent traders, world-leading research, our Valley Parks... the list goes on and on. I live with my family in a new build in Exeter. The specification laid down by city planners for the rooms mean they are slightly bigger than in other cities, because of the vision a while back that families might like room to occasionally swing a cat. I’ve been digesting all kinds of things around visions, planning, and living your story out, as

preparations are being laid for a new chapter of the city through Liveable Exeter Garden City. It’s a wordy title but, basically, the city needs homes for people. As one of the fastest growing cities, and slowest moving, we are full. Building in a traditional way, in isolation, will only make things worse. So how and where do you build these homes? And how do you ensure that ‘living better’ is cemented into those decisions? How do you make sure that active transport, healthy lives and a strong cultural offer are embedded? How do you make sure that fits with everyone’s vision to make this city carbon-neutral? And, most importantly, how do communities make sure it is their future that is being created from the ground up – building on the proud history of each neighbourhood? Living better is going to be front and centre of decisions around creating a better future. That work starts right now. And we have a nice logo, too. ■ Jon-Paul Hedge is a director at Exeter City Council where he currently looks after tourism, communications and culture. He is a former newspaper editor and lives in the city with his wife and two young children. I EXETER LIVING I 11

PEOPLE I was a guest of Arbuthnot Latham at the 2019 Dartmoor Classic [cycling event]. I finally got a gold, even though I couldn’t stay on Rob Salisbury’s wheel!

As a firm, we’re now sponsoring Exeter Chiefs’ players Olly Woodburn and James McRae. Just working out where to display this! I try to limit my caffeine intake, thus the ginger tea and barley and chicory drink (nicer than it sounds)

A picture of a unicorn by Daisy, since she knows how much I love them


This was from the first ever Dartmoor Classic in 2007. A well-deserved chunk of Dartmoor granite after 100 wet, slow and hilly miles

Tozers’ current charity of the year is Age UK Exeter and there’s often bake sales and other fundraising going on in the office

My Garmin 520, which shows me how much slower I am than the more hardcore commuters  

A cute picture of Marie and Daisy to make me smile

How To Really Talk About Books You Haven't Read – my friend gave me this for my birthday after I claimed Ulysses was my favourite book, despite never having read it

I have had this on my desk since I qualified in 1999. It’s always easier to flick through a book than scroll on the computer in my opinion

The children enjoying the ‘snow’ at Connetts Farm when we picked up our Christmas tree last year



ocal legal eagle James Orpin has been at Tozers in Exeter for seven years, and is head of the firm’s company and commercial team. When he’s not adroitly drafting contracts and preparing arguments for his clients at this here desk in Broadwalk House on Southernhay, James can often be found pedalling across Dartmoor in lycra. He also runs twice-yearly networking events called Businesswise and is an avid reader. Sensibly, as you’ll discover when you scrutinise his desktop bits and bobs, James also favours print over scrolling through the internet. Same! ■

For more: We’ve recently signed up to Tribe, a great idea that aims to keep business in Exeter where possible I EXETER LIVING I 13

WHAT’S ON 1 November – 1 December

Comedian Lou Sanders enjoys a vape break at Exeter Corn Exchange

EXHIBITIONS Until 10 November

EXETER CONTEMPORARY OPEN Unmissable showcase of emerging and established contemporary visual artists from across the UK. Exeter Phoenix;

See also Spotlight, page 7.

Exeter Phoenix;

16 November-5 January

MAKE2019 Shoppable exhibition of incredible local crafts. Devon Guild, Riverside Mill, Bovey Tracey;

Until 12 January

16 November-26 January

9 November-21 December


THE LOST WORDS Collaborative exhibition by nature writer Robert Macfarlane and artist Jackie Morris, based on their books of the same name. RAMM, Queen Street, Exeter; PRESENT MAKERS Unique Christmas gifts from carefully selected SW crafters. Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Honiton;

12 November-17 December TOY: QUIRK THEATRE

Young photographers capture local people with their childhood toys. Organised by Quirk Theatre.

SEA GARDEN Contemporary artwork inspired by seaweed, and combining film, sound, textile and print. RAMM, Queen Street, Exeter;

5 November

UPLOAD/UNPLUG Pell Ensemble’s turn audience data into a spectacular piece of techbased theatre. Exeter Phoenix;


6 November

ROBIN INCE: CHAOS OF DELIGHT A celebration of the human mind, from the multiple awardwinning comedian. Exeter Phoenix;

9 November

14 November

MATT CHORLEY: THIS.IS.NOT.NORMAL An entertaining insider’s guide to parliamentary resignations, reshuffles and recriminations, from The Times’ political expert. Exeter Phoenix;

AUSTENTATIOUS Improvised comedy in which the cast present a brand new ‘lost’ Jane Austen novel based on a title suggested by the audience. Northcott Theatre;

14 November

11 November

15-17 November

LIVE AT EXETER: REGINALD D HUNTER, LOU SANDERS, IVO GRAHAM & FIN TAYLOR Cor! Four of the best stand-up comics in the UK head here as part of a national tour by the famous Live At The Chapel night in London. Exeter Corn Exchange;

ANDY PARSONS: HEALING THE NATION Coruscating topical comedy from the panel show regular. Exeter Corn Exchange; I BELIEVE IN UNICORNS Theatre Alibi bring you Daniel Jamieson’s adaptation of the children’s book by Michael Morpurgo (who introduces the show on 16 Nov!) Exeter Library;

17 November


WHAT’S ON The old-school entertainer (aka Steve Delaney) tackles the big questions: are we alone in the universe? Is there life on Mars bars? Northcott Theatre;

17 November

STEWART FRANCIS: INTO THE PUNSET Welcome return for the brilliant Canadian one-line merchant. Exeter Corn Exchange;

Are you brave enough to go Walking WIth God at St Nick’s Priory? MIDDLE: There might be No More Heroes but there’s always Hugh Cornwell BOTTOM: Lucy Spraggan bounces into Exeter Phoenix

WALKING WTH GOD Substance & Shadows’ new piece of immersive theatre inspired by the Jack the Ripper murders. St Nicholas Priory, The Mint, off Fore Street, Exeter;

24 November

JOSH WIDDICOMBE: BIT MUCH Brand new stand up tour from the Dartmoor boy turned comedy A-lister. Expect gags about advent calendars, pesto and the closing time of his local park. Northcott Theatre;

ETO: THE SERAGLIO & THE SILVER LAKE – A WINTER’S TALE English Touring Opera present Mozart’s light comedy and Kurt Weill’s poignant satire. Check website for which one is on when. Northcott Theatre;

13 November

OYSTERBAND & JUNE TABOR Must-see opportunity to catch two major folk names live, together. Their duet version of Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart is glorious. Exeter Corn Exchange;

15 November

30 November-5 January

BEAUTY & THE BEAST The superb Northcott panto returns, this year set in Paris and telling the tale of Belle, Prince Valentin, her father Monsieur Marzipan (much-loved regular Steve Bennett), Dame Betty Bonbon et al. Northcott Theatre;


ELKIE BROOKS The smooth-voiced, hard-gigging Heart FM fave – whose fans are called Elkaholics – performs her biggest hits including Pearl’s A Singer, Lilac Wine and Fool (If You think It’s Over). Exeter Corn Exchange;

20-21 November

THE HORNE SECTION Comic songs mixed with stand-up from the hugely talented band. Northcott Theatre;

21 November

3 November

PAUL SIMON’S GRACELAND The 1986 pop masterpiece delivered by the awesome London African Gospel Choir Exeter Phoenix;

7 November

BOURNEMOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: CALEDONIAN GRANDEUR An evening of Smetana, Dvorak and Mendelssohn. The Great Hall, University of Exeter;

7 November

SCHUBERT’S WINTERREISE Alex Poulton, baritone and Alex Wilson, piano, deliver the mesmerising song cycle about a winter journey. St Nicholas Priory, The Mint, Exeter;

12 & 14-16 November

19-21 & 27-29 November


10 November

THE BARBER OF SEVILLE Rossini’s comic masterpiece performed by Devon Opera. Barnfield Theatre;

WILDWOOD KIN Hometown gig for the harmonious Exeter trio, riding high with their eponymous new album. Lemon Grove, University of Exeter;

24 November

HUGH CORNWELL The Stranglers frontman and band perform old hits plus tracks from new album Monster. Exeter Phoenix;

27 November

LUCY SPRAGGAN Singer-songwriter who shot to fame on 2012’s The X Factor airs fifth studio album Today Was A Good Day. Exeter Phoenix; I EXETER LIVING I 15

WHAT’S ON 29 November

GRICE Exeter-based art rock musician performs songs from latest album One Thousand Birds. St Stephen’s Church, High Street, Exeter;

30 November

DODGY ’90s indie chaps of Staying Out For The Summer and Good Enough fame perform their breakthrough album Homegrown in full. Exeter Phoenix;

1 December

MARTIN STEPHENSON & THE DAINTEES Return of the likeable Brit-folk/ rock troubadours, touring their ninth album Chi Chi And The Jaguar. Exeter Phoenix;



fireworks begin 7.30pm/7.45pm. Westpoint Centre;

6 November

TOP DOG FILM FESTIVAL Canine cinematic capers. Exeter Corn Exchange;

7 November

WOW – WHAT NOW? Event celebrating women and girls that’s part of a 10 city programme from the Women Of The World Festivals people. Starts 6pm. RAMM, Queen Street, Exeter;

7-8 November

WESTCOUNTRY EQUINE FAIR Check out equestrian talent from top riders to young rising stars. Westpoint Centre;

7-10 November

EXETER LITERARY FESTIVAL Your flourishing local bookfest. Various venues, Exeter;

Wildwood Kin bring their harmonies to The Lemmy on 21 November


Sign up now for the Exeter Living newsletter... On Friday afternoons, Exeter’s offices, school gates, supermarket checkouts and street corners start to resound with the big Friday question: “Got any plans this weekend?” If you ever find yourself stumped for an answer, worry not – your favourite regional lifestyle magazine is here to help. Sign up now to start receiving the popular Exeter Living Friday afternoon email newsletter, in which I suggest the best events and outings for the coming weekend – from gigs to theatre to family fun days and loads more – along with a property pick of the week. (We won’t share your data with third parties – not our thing.) Like the sound of it? Then jump on www.mediaclash. pronto and you’ll hear from us soon.

9-10 November

HELL-TOR Film festival celebrating Dartmoor’s history of ghosts, ghouls and witches. Exeter Phoenix;

13-17 November

FIVE NIGHTS OF LIGHTS InExeter’s new Christmas lights switch-ons and other festive events – see also Spotlight, page 6. Across the city;

16-17 November

COME AS YOU ARE FESTIVAL A celebration of trans, non-binary, gender queer and LGBT theatre and discussion. Exeter Phoenix;

22 November



Sporting dinner with the former world champion boxer. See also Spotlight, page 7. The Great Hall, University of Exeter;

27-29 November

TWO SHORT NIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL The winners of this year’s commission scheme for South West filmmakers. Exeter Phoenix;

30 November-24 December

THE CREALY CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR Christmas On Ice show, cookie decorating, Santa’s post office and other seasonal larks. Crealy Adventure Park & Resort, Clyst St Mary; ■


Can mental health issues be funny? This November, Exeter’s Barnfield Theatre plays host to a comedian who proves it can


By Brian Donaldson

lways a man who likes an incendiary show title, Phoenix From The Flames represents Nick Helm’s return to something like his old self. The man who starred in BBC Three’s wonderfully charming Uncle, fronted a food programme for Dave entitled Eat Your Heart Out, and is appearing in series two of Romesh Ranganathan’s Sky sitcom The Reluctant Landlord, has always given off the vibe that just about anything could happen during one of his live extravaganzas. The onstage Nick Helm is a very different animal from the polite and quietly spoken offstage man. A bombastic and in-your-face performer, there are few holds being barred when he lunges into full flow. There is a very good reason for him becoming such an unstoppable force of nature once the curtain goes up. “I do get very nervous and stressed before a show, and the day of a gig can be a complete write-off. That is why my act is the way it is. I get nervous all day and bottle all this tension and then I go on stage and let it all out. I’m very loud.” “I had an up and down year personally; I suffered from mentalhealth issues and depression, but I’m now coming back to being my best self and bouncing back in an Alan Partridge-esque way. It’s really a tongue-in-cheek look at my life.” With more people in the public eye willing to talk about the mental health issues that affect themselves or those closest to them, there’s certainly no reason why comedians shouldn’t be tackling these issues head on as well. “The last show was very personal and I’ve always dealt


with depression in my comedy,” says Nick. “Before, I’d maybe have a one-liner about depression but, as I’ve improved as a stand-up, I can get up on stage and talk about my experiences and make that funny rather than just having some jokes that I’d try to get into my set.” For Nick, this feels like a more honest approach to both the subject and to his craft as a stand-up comic. “I have a lot of friends who suffer from mental health issues. I think it’s possible to talk about these issues without it being morbid. So, this will be another personal show. But it’s OK, it’s still going to be a good night out!” Among the accolades Nick has received for his live shows are Best Breakthrough Artist at The British Comedy Awards, Best Music And Variety Artist from Chortle, and Best Newcomer from the Loaded LAFTAs, while he also scooped the Dave Joke Of The Fringe Award in Edinburgh in 2011 for a gag (which he actually attributed to his dad) about Snow White and her Seven Dwarves – look it up, it’s a clever one). But he is never likely to rest on any such laurels. A consummate professional and hard worker who always strives to get better as a comedian, he is a close reader of his own product. “The percentage of actual stand-up has crept up a bit over the years. For Phoenix From The Flames, I have to work out how many songs I want in and how many poems I want in, and how much stand-up I want to do. You’ve got a pile of songs and poems over here, a pile of jokes and stories over here, and a pile of props over there. The process of working it all through is like having a bucket of Lego and throwing it all over the floor: you can do whatever you want with all those pieces.” And as he will no doubt prove once again, with Phoenix From The Flames, Nick Helm just can’t stop giving audiences exactly what they want.

“I’m bouncing back in an Alan Partridge-esque way”

Nick Helm: Phoenix From The Flames is at the Barnfield Theatre on 22 November;


Nick Helm: no day’s so bad it can’t be fixed with a Monster and a feather boa I EXETER LIVING I 19

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A new, holistic approach to treating headache


Nick Critchley of THE GOOD PHYSIO shares his advice

ost of us suffer from headaches occasionally but, fortunately, fewer than 1% of them have any serious medical cause. However, you should see your GP if you are over 40 and have new headache (especially if pregnant), or have unexplained weight loss or any changes in general health. For sudden onset of headache after exertion or headache with rash, fever, vomiting or neck stiffness, you should visit A&E. Most headaches are types of migraine, tension type headache (TTH) or trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia (TAC). Migraine is under-diagnosed and poorly managed. Some patients will experience ‘aura’ (mostly visual disturbances) and most then develop moderate to severe, one-sided head pain. Patients usually want

to lie down in a quiet dark space and sleep to recover. Migraine has genetic links and prescription medicine can be useful in some cases so consultation with a doctor specialising in headache should form part of your treatment. Specialist physiotherapists can also successfully treat many migraineurs, often getting rid of their symptoms completely, by accurately evaluating and treating headache triggers, both medical and psychosocial, including sleep quality, mental health issues and musculoskeletal triggers. Migraine symptoms are similar to those of ‘cervicogenic’ headache. This is where chronic neck stiffness can cause hypersensitivity in the nerves supplying the head and face, due to shared synapses in the area of the brain stem involved in pain processing. TTH is common with neck stiffness. Generally, patients complain of low level pain and are able

to continue daily routines as normal. The British Association for the Study of Headache (BASH) recommends seeing a physiotherapist with a specialist interest in headache as the first line of treatment. TACs such as ‘cluster headache’ are rare and usually strike at the same time, in the middle of the night, in clusters throughout the year. Resulting head pain is usually severe, around one eye with patients becoming agitated rather than trying to stay still and rest. Medical help is recommended. n

Call 01392 982 198 now for an attention-to-detail approach, providing holistic screening for all the potential causes of head pain.

Elizabeth Ann of Exeter


Smart, casual and occasion shoes. Large selection of HB loafers. Lisa Kay, Cefalu, Caprice, Van Dal, Brenda Zaro and Paula Urban. Mostly hand made Spanish and Italian shoes and boots, and much much more.

Sizes 2 (35) to 8 (41) available and various fittings

3 Cathedral Close, Exeter EX1 1EZ Telephone: 01392 252876

shopping live well, buy better

WHERE DID YOU SLEEP LAST NIGHT? How’s your bed looking these days? As crisp and alluring as the example above, or more like something from which a fresher might blearily emerge at the end of their first term? Now that it’s November, and bedtime seems to arrive about ten minutes after we get in from work, it’s time to address the state of our boudoirs. And, as ever, eschew the multinationals in favour of Exeter’s small, independent furniture suppliers. Such as Naturalmat in Topsham, for example, whose lovely bed this is. They will also do you a hand-made organic mattresses using wool from organic sheep farmers within a 60 mile radius, natural latex and coconut coir, all wrapped in cotton cambric and finished with natural fire retardants. Now that’s such stuff as dreams are made on. Naturalmat ‘Sommeil’ bed from £2,075 for a double; I EXETER LIVING I 23

JO EDWARDS SCARF, £42.99 Stick your neck out for something luxuriously soft and crafted from the finest pure wool Darts Farm, Topsham;

CHUNKY CUSHIONS IN MINK, £70 EACH Topsham yarn goddess Lauren knows how to trigger your snuggle instincts Lauren Aston Designs, Holman Way, Topsham;

GET WOOL SOON Be still our bleating hearts…

NORSE PROJECTS 'ADAM' CARDIGAN IN MONTPELLIER YELLOW, £160 English lambswool meets Scandi chic. Get layering! Always In Colour, 137 Fore Street, Exeter;

HAND-DYED MERINO AND SILK WOOL IN 'BUTTER', £13.50 PER 100G If you're knitting cardies for Christmas, here's the good stuff... Wool On The Exe, 2 Okehampton St, Exeter;


LITTLE BEAU SHEEP LAUNDRY BALLS, £19.99 (PACK OF THREE) Pop these little fellas in the tumble dryer to soften your clothes naturally. Made from 100% British wool Darts Farm, Topsham;

ED’S ED S CHOICE 'ANTONELLAA' COLOUR BLOCK JUMPER, £89 More or less a woolly homage to pumpkin pie with cream Sancho’s, 126 Fore St, Exeter;

'UBER-POSH' BAG, £40 Trendy houndstooth everyday bag made from 100% British wool with up-cycled leather handles Twool;

THIS GOLDEN FLEECE: A JOURNEY THROUGH BRITAIN'S KNITTED HISTORY BY ESTHER RUTTER (GRANTA), £16.99 An in-depth look at wool's long history and rich culture Crediton Community Bookshop, 100 High Street, Crediton;

WHITE STUFF 'PAGODA POM' JUMPER, £65 Winter? We're bobbling over with excitement Caramel, 17-18 The Strand, Exmouth;

HAND KNITTED BOBBLE HATS, £30 Exactly like your nan would make Bunyip Craft, 133 Fore Street, Exeter; I EXETER LIVING I 25

Winners of 2019 Exeter Living Awards Gastro Pub of the Year! DRINKS - EVENTS - FOOD Cosy Village Pub with a Contemporary Twist. Mini Pub, Maxi Vibe The Seven Stars, Kennford EX6 7TR 01392 834 887

winter dining

YOU GOT SERVED Winter dining needn’t be all suet-loaded comfort food. From bao buns to “sexy squid”, trout paté to torched marshmallows, here are the must-eat dishes on local menus this winter. Be the envy of everyone at your table By Anna Britten

Jack In The Green’s juicy Creedy Carver duck breast I EXETER LIVING I 29


uestions, questions. Ask your other half/best friend/ mum “Where shall we eat?” and you’re in for a good half hour of increasingly irritable debate and futile TripAdvisoring. And just when you’ve settled that argument, and have your feet under the table at your chosen establishment, the menus arrive. Another dilemma! Especially if you find yourself in one of Exeter’s finest places to eat and drink. Which gave us an idea. Who better to choose our dinner than the people cooking it?


Head chef Josh Tilt suggests “red pork bao buns” to kick off your feast at the quirky, Queen Street hotspot. “Soft bao buns, tender soy pork and fresh stir fry vegetables – deep, rich flavours, balanced with freshness and acidity.” Josh recommends you then wrap your chops around the “Korean spiced mussels – plump Fowey mussels, Korean spices and sourdough. This dish is delicious, our director James’s absolute favourite. The sauce has such a deep and intense flavour. Then use our beautiful sourdough from Emma’s Bakery on the Quay to soak it up.” Dessert, he reckons, should be “the gingerbread and butterscotch pudding – perfect for the blustery winter nights. The spices from the sponge go perfectly with the smooth flavour from the butterscotch sauce, topped with cream – absolutely perfect to finish a meal off!”


“Devonshire partridge breast, orchard pear in damson wine and rainbow chard,” is head chef Daniel Gavriilidis’s starter choice for you, hungry reader. “The majority of our game birds come either direct from the Combe estate, which we are based on, or from reputable Devon game dealers. Game birds are free range and lean and can be an exciting addition to a meal, as well as continuing a tradition to make sure that it’s sustainable for generations to come. The pears are cooked in a damson wine using damsons from our orchard. Rainbow chard we grow in the kitchen garden throughout most of the year.” Next? More sustainable protein and homegrown veggies from The Pig’s own soil. “Linecaught pollock fillet, roasted heirloom squash and brown chicken sauce. Pollock is a lean fish that rates highly on the sustainability index. We get our fish delivered six days a week and so the quality is as high as possible. “The greens we use for the fish dishes can change throughout the season so in autumn/winter we might use curly kale or hispi cabbage, but it can be easily substituted with perpetual spinach or cavolo nero. “We grow a huge variety of squashes in the kitchen garden over the summer – when autumn/ winter comes and the squashes have cured in storage we start bringing them out. Squashes are really good at heightening the inherent sweetness of fish without being overbearing.


Bao buns at Pink Moon

The Pig At Combe’s pollock with heirloom squash

“Who better to choose our dinner than the people cooking it?”

winter dining “The brown chicken sauce is a double infusion of chicken bones that has been lightened with white wine and tarragon to make sure that the sauce stays light and doesn’t overpower the delicate flavour of the pollock.” And if you’ve the merest corner of belly left for pudding, order the orchard fruit crumble with homemade custard. “A quintessential English dessert,” says Daniel. “We find that it is always one of the most popular desserts at The Pig during the colder months. The fruit we use in our crumble might differ depending on what’s available in the garden. We also use a few local farms to supplement our fruit and berries.” Jack In The Green’s goat’s cheese mousse


So you’ve driven to Rockbeare and settled into your seat at the glorious gastropub only to discover you could no more choose from the menu than choose between your children. Chef! “Vulscombe goat’s cheese mousse with walnut granola, beetroot salad and truffle honey,” obliges Matt Mason. “A tried and tested Jack classic, wonderfully mild and light to eat. It’s simple to make and showcases this much loved and wellrounded Devon cheese. As the honey softens the goaty, tangy flavour of the cheese, a savoury hit of truffle completes the picture.” You’re advised to then proceed onto “Creedy Carver duck breast with celeriac, mead-glazed beetroot and pickled cranberries. “It’s duck season and these free-range beauties are the best in town. James at Creedy Carver has supplied the pub directly for the last 25 years and really knows his stuff. The pickled cranberries here speak of winter and fireside dinners, the spice and honey in the mead adds a warmth that complements the earthy tones of the beetroot. Open a bottle and dig in!” And finally, “my go-to dessert for a touch of indulgence, richness and comfort is apple and Somerset cider brandy trifle,” says Matt. “It’s a simple, retro enough idea and a delicious celebration of late autumn here in Devon that makes the most of the numerous varieties of local apples that get delivered to us daily with a hand-written note from Tim in Whimple. What food miles?” Two further excuses to dine at the Jack this winter: eat there in December and you’ll get a £15-off voucher to spend in the New Year. Also, they’re donating 50p to FORCE Cancer on behalf of everyone who attends a festive party in the pub.


Phwoar! Get a load of the Seven Stars Kennford’s salt-and-pepper squid

“Squid has to be simple to be sexy,” announces Charlie Dingley, pan-wielding virtuoso at the Exeter Living Award-winning village favourite. Thus, his pick of the starters is “pan-fried salt and pepper squid – fresh squid dropped in a smoking hot pan, seasoned with Cornish sea salt, cracked black pepper, tossed in foaming butter, garnished with our local salad from an allotment 50 metres away, with coriander and lime, and some generous blobs of sweet chilli aioli.” Drool. Keep it coming! “For your main, ‘Fly n Dive’ – back by popular I EXETER LIVING I 31

WINTER DINING demand, it’s our take on a classic surf ’n’ turf. Is it shellfish of me to go gamey? [Chef] Carlie and I are from a game background, so give this one to us! Locally sourced wood pigeon and king scallops seared with baby shallots, served with butternut squash puree, crispy kale and charred corn, laced with our rich red wine jus. “This dish really has been a huge success and I think it’s one of the best creations of ours. People have been licking the plate clean.” Before you stagger out the door, be sure to polish off Charlie’s dessert choice: “Chocolate and coffee delice, torched marshmallows, hazelnut brittle – the perfect end to your meal in front of our log fire as the cold evenings draw in. Enough said.”

“Its comforting autumnal colours are complemented by delightful textures”


“Autumn provides a delicious array of seasonal produce, and all of our dishes are made on-site using the freshest ingredients for you to enjoy,” says Chris Morris, head chef at The Donkey Sanctuary’s light, modern, family-friendly restaurant, The Kitchen, where you’ll find plenty of quality vegan and glutenfree options. “Our home-smoked trout paté is a delicious dish to start with. Smoked over wood chips in our own kitchen, the trout paté is served alongside toasted sourdough bread, with mixed leaves and kitchen garden runner bean chutney. We home grow the runner beans in our own kitchen garden at the Sidmouth sanctuary, ensuring the chutney is as local as it can be. “For a truly winter warming main dish, I would recommend our three-bean cassoulet. This mouthwatering vegan choice combines delicious roasted root vegetables and crunchy kale. Its comforting autumnal colours are complemented by delightful textures, served with a freshly baked granary roll. “If you have room, why not complete your meal by choosing one of our delicious cakes or pastries, adding the perfect sweet twist to the end of your meal.”

We’re hoofing it to the Donkey Sanctuary for a three-bean cassoulet


Gidleigh Park’s new-ish executive chef Chris Eden – he started in September – draws heavily on bounty from the luxury country house hotel’s kitchen garden for his new à la carte and seven-course tasting menus. A popular new starter, the garden salad changes daily depending on produce picked, given a fresh twist with flowers, cress and frozen lemon verbena, while a joyous-sounding main of lamb loin, dolmades, hen-of-the-woods, cucumber, pine nuts, feta and black olive promises to bring a flash of Mediterranean summer into a Dartmoor winter day. Of Chris’s desserts, ‘Clotted Cream’ – that’s ‘thunder and lightning’ tart, saffron jelly and ginger beer – is “already very popular.” “We’ve had a great first month in the kitchen,” says Chris, “and are so excited to be serving our new menus. We are excited to now evolve our menus with the seasons, and I look forward to serving them to, and getting to know, our guests”. ■


We’d feel bad ruining Gidleigh Park’s ‘thunder and lightning’ tart by sticking a spoon in it. But we’d do it anyway...

Celebrating 20 Years of e xcellence!

Offering delicious balanced dishes at superb value

Christmas Party Menu 2019 Available from the beginning of December £32 (per person) Open Wednesday to Saturday from 6.00pm Now open Saturday & Sunday Lunch from 12.00pm

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WHAT MAKES RENDEZVOUS SO UNIQUE? Perhaps the cosy, intimate atmosphere… or the rustic, comfy furniture to relax in… or even the charming listed building with its open brick walls and low beamed ceilings… More likely it’s the warm, friendly welcome from Jemma and the team… the delicious daily menus of fantastic local produce prepared by Tim and his chefs… or the extensive wine list with yummy suggestions to tempt every palate… Tailor-made for whiling away long, dark winter evenings in the warm glow of the wine bar. Find out for yourself at Rendezvous, a hidden gem in the heart of Exeter’s Southernhay quarter.

Open Monday - Saturday 12pm until late, food served lunchtime and evenings. 38-40 Southernhay East, Exeter, Devon EX1 1PE • Tel: 01392 270222 •


Meet the gin maker Swap your big-brand gin for one of the South West’s finest artisanal alternatives – chin chin!



Tell us about your background I turned 40 and we took a year out to cycle through the Americas. During that time I decided I wanted to run my own business doing something that combined a sense of our home turf of Dartmoor, the flavours of our travels, a contribution to conservation and the ingenuity learnt through cycle touring. What makes your product unique? Papillon Gin is a Dartmoor take on a London Dry. Alongside the usual gin botanicals we distill our Dartmoor flavours of gorse flowers, hawthorn and rowan berries, chamomile and Devon violets. We have our violets grown for us locally. 1% from every bottle of Papillon Gin is donated to a Butterfly Conservation project local to us on Dartmoor. This project focusses on the Pearl Bordered Fritillary, which feeds on violets. We use spring water from a Dartmoor hill farm where the butterfly can be found. All of our design work is done by a company that is also based in Moretonhampstead. A true Dartmoor product. What do you do in your business towards sustainability? Our packaging is plastic free and the tamper sleeves on the bottles are made from cellulose which you can pop in your compost bin. We get our power through Good Energy, a UK company that provides 100% renewable power that’s UK generated. Where can I find your products? To find your closest retailer then check out the stockists map on our website. We are in Crocketts Gin Bar in Exeter, Darts Farm, Topsham Wines, Tipsy Merchant and Jaded Palates.

Tell us about 6 O’clock Gin The 6 O’clock Gin distillery is located in the beautiful market town of Thornbury, just north of Bristol. We are best known for our London Dry Gin, which you will see gracing the shelves of many a fine establishment across Bristol and throughout the South West – packaged in a beautiful blue bottle, it looks as good as it tastes! What’s your job role and what does it involve? As product manager at 6 O’clock Gin I am responsible for all aspects of product development, from the gin inside the bottle to the label on the outside. Anything new on the horizon? We’ve just launched the latest expression of our hugely popular Jekka’s Edition (dubbed ‘Bouquet Garni’). It’s a wonderfully herbaceous dry gin, distilled with freshly picked herbs from Jekka’s farm (, based just up the road from us. It was such a huge hit last year, with ginfans, foodies and gardeners alike, that we wanted to bring it back, but with a twist (this year’s edition has been made with Middle Eastern oregano, French tarragon and black peppermint – among other things). What’s your favourite product from your range? Our London Dry is at the core of everything we do and simply cannot be beaten if you’re looking for a refreshing G&T!


6 O’CLOCK GIN 01454 418046;

Claire Hyne



The Clyst Hydon landmark is more than your usual cosy country gastropub, as Anna Britten discovers


f you’re looking for a new poster-person for the modern catering industry, meet Charlotte Vincent, head chef at the Five Bells since May. “A kitchen is not a dictatorship,” states Charlotte, whose entire workplace ethos stems from a career working for patronising and verbally abusive male head chefs, some of whom didn’t even bother to find out her name. The macho culture of many professional kitchens has been blamed for the lack of female head chefs – but could it, ironically, inspire all the Charlottes of this world to defiantly rewrite the rulebook? Let’s hope so. Charlotte joined the top-notch thatched village pub in bucolic Clyst Hydon earlier this year, and has already made an impression on local foodies thanks to her flair, imagination and work ethic. Over her own, fabulous, pillowy white bread served warm with oils and rosemary, Charlotte tells me her kitchen staff are encouraged to

36 I exeter living I

come up with their own ideas, and test them out. The best of those ideas can end up being incorporated into the dishes on the menu. And yep, she knows all their names. We bet she knows their birthdays and favourite TV shows, too. And so to the eating. As far as starters go, it’s a no-brainer: ‘beetroot textures’ is equal parts earthy and whimsical, which is everything I want from a meal out. It’s a sculpture; a collapsed Jenga tower of beetroot diversity (and yes, that’s the pseudiest line you’ll read in this issue): you’ve got pickled, roasted and raw, in hues ranging from yellow to deepest claret, offset with sweet blackberry puree, lemon balm and edible flowers. Across the table, my friend makes light work of a thick, moist and meaty discus of venison terrine, whose flavour runs fathoms deep, served on a square of crispy toasted sourdough with blobs of preserved apricots, juniper and other pretty accessories. Equally intricate is my main of roasted enoki mushrooms – they’re the ones that look like octopi, bundles of very long, chive-thin stems that end in little


“This dish is practically singing Close To You by The Carpenters” buttons – which have been exquisitely ‘ballotined’ within slices of vegan pancake along with nibs of butternut squash, parsnip, sweet potato, chick peas, cashews, onion, red peppers, pine nuts, almonds, all scattered with kale. A creamy, intensely flavoured streak of curried celeriac puree runs through the middle of the plate. Non meateaters: never will you feel so seen. I mean, there’s effort and then there’s love. This dish is practically singing Close To You by The Carpenters. On the other side of the table, an immaculately pan-fried, tender-as-a-lullaby pork fillet comes with pancetta and leek croquette, heritage carrot, greens and a generous swirl of creamy, wholegrain mustard, all crested with a slice of dry-roasted apple that’s been cut, adorably, into the shape of a star. Deconstructed chocolate torte – relax, grandpa, there’s coffee cake too – combines chunks of honeycomb and biscuit crumbs with gravelly ‘chocolate textures’ and scoops of vanilla and ruby and bitter chocolate ice cream. Forget Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, this is Vincent’s Kitchen Dreams. TV execs, contact details are thataway…n

Dining details The Five Bells Inn, Clyst Hydon, Cullompton, Nr Exeter EX15 2NT (use name of pub for sat nav, not postcode); 01884 277288; Opening hours Tue-Sat 12noon2.30pm and 6-9pm (open for drinks throughout Sat afternoon), Sun 12noon-3.30pm; closed Mon Prices starters from £6.95, mains from £13.50, desserts from £6.95; lunchtime deal Tue-Sat from £16.50 for two courses Vegetarian/vegan Excellent options Drinks Well-stocked pub bar Disabled access Good. No steps from the car park, and a disabled loo once you’re inside Service/atmosphere Calm, comfortable, cosy I exeter living I 37

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Transform your smile with Exeter Dental Centre Visit our luxury practice in the heart of Exeter for specialist dental care that is bespoke to you


e are excited to announce Exeter Dental Centre has now became part of Bupa Dental Care. The consistent high standard of care that we offer our patients has earned us a place within their prestigious Platinum group of practices. What treatments do we offer? We’re a leading referral clinic for expert and specialist care, including dental implants and gum disease. And we offer general, advanced, and cosmetic dentistry – so there’s a good chance we can help with any dental problems you might have. Orthodontic treatment for adults Contrary to popular belief, teeth-straightening treatment isn’t just for children and teenagers. We can help you get a smile you feel confident about through several options – including a discreet option such as clear braces. Dental implants: are they for you? Conscious about missing teeth? Or find dentures a hassle? Dental implants could be an ideal option for you. They’re long-lasting, too – and the implants are tooth-coloured to give you a natural look.


Do you need Bupa insurance to sign up as a new patient? The good news is you don’t need Bupa insurance to get treated at our practice. Anyone is eligible to sign up as a new patient and benefit from Platinum dentistry.

Jim Hall: Facial Aesthetics BDS (Birm) 1993 GDC: 69491

Do we accommodate nervous patients? Feel anxious about visiting the dentist? You’re not alone, and we understand exactly how you feel. Our dental team work hard to make sure your experience is as stress-free as possible. We also offer numbing gels and sedation services – and insist on offering gentle dentistry to minimise discomfort during treatment. Why choose Exeter Dental Centre? At Exeter Dental Centre you’re in safe hands, our dental team have over 60 years of combined clinical experience, and we pride ourselves on our exceptional patient care. What’s more, we take care in creating a calm environment that’s filled with kind and courteous staff. Our practice is also based in a central location – which makes us easy to find for a stress-free experience. n 38 I EXETER LIVING I

Meet two of our dentists with experience levels that highlight the high standards of care we insist on offering:

Jim qualified from Birmingham Dental School in 1993, he has over 20 years’ experience in private and NHS practice – including 15 years as a practice owner.

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Alexandra Griffin: Orthodontics & Trauma BDS(London) 1998 MFDS RCS(Eng) MSc in Orthodontics(Warwick) GDC: 74678 Alex graduated from The London Hospital Medical and Dental school in 1998 and gained her Fellowship in Dental Surgery postgraduate qualification in 2001. She gained a great deal of experience with nervous patients and treatment with sedation.

Book an appointment today We’re open six days a week and offer emergency appointments to new and existing patients. Book today by visiting us online at, or call our friendly reception team on 01392 248 630

What our clients have to say...



Senior Associate Chartered Legal Executive

Director and Divorce Solicitor

Jill Read-Brown saved my entire life, my future. She went above and beyond to help me safeguard my daughter. Not only safeguarded but helped and supported me and five years on achieved awarding me soul custody in Exeter Crown Court. Jill met me in the Crown Court when we first started our long case together, I was not Jill’s client but because of the circumstances having my baby with me in the Crown Court on Christmas eve, Jill came over and out of the goodness of her heart represented me. I honestly believe if it was not for Jill I really do not think I’d be where I am today. Jill went above and beyond from day one, she helped with phone numbers for support services, and supported me with a letter to my local council. Not only did I have a great solicitor but I also felt a maternal friend side from Jill throughout.

From the moment I first met Fiona to the conclusion of my divorce, I feel she has been exceptional throughout and someone I could trust and respect. Always so professional, very timely and prompt in her actions, with a healthy dose of tenacity. She was totally reliable and a great credit to myself and The Family Law Company.

Family law isn’t just what we do, it’s all we do Tel 01392 421 777 | 01752 674 999 |




Hilary Bush and Stephen Wright

Jonathon Taylor and Paul Cloke Charles Kislingbury and Bethan Spencer

Jessica, Alex and Angi Wren and Jeremy Theeten Dave and Sarah Vinall


Daniel Hillier and SamStar Button

Some 170 people dusted off their tuxedos and cocktail frocks for YMCA Exeter’s fourth annual fundraising dinner at Woodbury Park Hotel – among them Karime Hassan, CEO of Exeter City Council; John Laramy, principal of Exeter College; and Gill Hayes, mental health champion and TEDx Exeter speaker. Over £5,000 was raised for YMCA Exeter’s new mental health project, ‘Resilience’. Photos by Matt Round

Hanna Mepstead, Katrine De Haus and Sue Wilson

Gill Hayes, Donna Laramy and John Laramy I EXETER LIVING I 41


Fiona Moores Anna Hayward and Sarah Jepson

Louise Glanville, Abigail Leighton-Boyce and Emily Aggett

Chantelle Znideric and Nisha White


Members-only women’s business networking group Six Degrees gathered in The Pig At Combe’s beautiful Folly recently for fizz, canapés, gourmet flatbreads and a talk from Exeter Living editor Anna. Founded by Sarah Jepson, Linda Horner and Louise Glanville, the group’s members meet at regular breakfast and evening events to offer each other support and make business connections. Photos by Rosie Parsons

Linda Horner

Marie Lawley and Harry Wild Alison Jobson, Kirsten Clarke, Sharon Goble and Sue Cade


Anna Britten



Rachel Gould, Liz Aldridge and Lizzie Jenner

Astrid Gibson, Nicola Chatterjee and John Gibson

James Meeke Professor John Timperley, Oliver Chatterjee, Julie and Ray Armes

Anna Levell and Georgina Reed


Emma Solley

Pam Simonicz, Surhid Chatterjee and Mark Simonicz

Family and friends of photographer Emma Solley travelled from far and wide to support the launch of her fine art collection Salt + Land. At a private view under the spectacular vaulted ceiling of the nave of Exeter Cathedral – the longest continuous medieval vault in the world – stunning shots of the Cathedral itself were shown alongside semi-abstract sea- and skyscapes. A portion of the proceeds went to support Exeter Cathedral’s Development Appeal. Photos by Andy Green

Kai Horstmann, Jemma and James Adair and Caroline Horstmann I EXETER LIVING I 43


David Cobern, Donna Hart, Dominika Windak, Gemma Sparks, Simon Burwood and Karen Burwood

Grace Bradley Jane Chanot

BOWLED OVER The Family Law Company raised over £1,300 at their annual skittles challenge for FORCE Cancer Charity, organised by director Jane Chanot in memory of their late colleague Helen Finch.

Sally Cook

HOT CARAMEL Exmouth’s stylistas flocked to local independent boutique Caramel for a sell-out evening of fashion, fizz and fun to raise over £1,243 for the charity Exeter Leukaemia Fund.

Joanna Mannings and Shadi Sarenni

Caroline Lewis and Mary White Stella and Lesley


Annie Chung and Sarah Simcock

Holly Corrick

Offering friendly, professional beauty treatments in the heart of St Leonard’s, Exeter Monu and Renu facials | Lash and Brow Treatments Jane Iredale make-up sessions | Manicures and Pedicures Shellac Manicures and Pedicures (two week varnish) Electrolysis | Waxing | Massage

4 Roberts Road, St Leonard’s, Exeter EX2 4HB. 01392 410055 Now open Weds 10am - 8pm, Thurs 9am - 5pm, Fri 9am - 7pm, Sat 9am - 5pm


At Strands we want you to



and constantly strive to offer the very best range of high quality hairdressing services available. Our Stylists are trained to our high standards to help you define your personal style; giving you beautiful, manageable, healthy hair that stands out. Visit us at: Strands Hair, 47 The Strand, Exmouth, EX8 1AL

For more information:

Reach the best in the west Affluent, active and influential and just a call away

Exeter Living team 01225 475800

try five 2




Christmas party season is coming! Here’s where to get red carpet-ready


BELULINO If you want to look Hollywood-level glam but don’t know one end of an eye shadow palette from the other, this friendly St Leonards beauty emporium will apply your make-up using clean, natural and vegan Jane Iredale mineral cosmetics. “It cares for your skin which is particularly important during the party season,” explains owner Kirstin. “A professional application ensures it lasts all night long. Any desired look can be achieved from dewy, glowing and glittering to, of course, natural.” Cost: £30 for a half-hour session. Belulino, 4 Roberts Rd, Exeter EX2 4HB 01392 410055;



RADIANCE MEDIASPA Winners of the 2019 Exeter Living Awards’ Hair & Beauty category, the New North Road clinic/beauty salon and hair salon are an upmarket choice for your pre-party spray tan (and they can do so much more besides, from eyelash extensions to Botox). Radiance MediSpa, Augustus House, New North Rd, Exeter EX4 4HL; 01392 277799;



SKIN SOUTHWEST Also known as ‘the red carpet facial’, the Fire & Ice Facial is a treatment designed to

instantaneously pimp your skin before a big event – and if you type it into Google the names of superstar fans Halle Berry and Gwyneth Paltrow will pop up a hundred times. Do we have this miracle in Exeter? Course we do – at Southernhay-based facial aesthetics clinic Skin Southwest, Despite its dramatic results, the Fire & Ice is a sensitive-skinfriendly and ‘no downtime’ treatment. This means your skin is not going to freak out, and you can put your slap on straight away if you need to. Costs £80-£100. Skin Southwest, Sommerville House, 30 Southernhay East, Exeter EX1 1NS; 01392 426285;




STRANDS HAIR Nothing delivers the feelgood factor quite like a good blow dry. Italian women know; they get one once a week. Tame your mane ahead of the Christmas bash with a trip to your local hairdresser – such as the longstanding favourite Strands in Exmouth – and emerge with bouncing, glossy locks whatever your length and style. Strands Hair, 47 Strand, Exmouth EX8 1AL 01395 271663;


AMANDA MARSDEN Like a facial but for your back, and a procedure no Hollywood actress planning to wear a backless showstopper would think of forgoing ahead of a big event.

Amanda Marsden’s version includes a deep cleanse, exfoliation, massage and treatment mask for the back. Obviously appealing to those who suffer with back acne but also anyone who wants to look flawless. A 60 minute session costs £65. n Amanda Marsden, 75 Queen St, Exeter EX4 3RX 01392 343102; I EXETER LIVING I 47

FROM 6:30 PM

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It’s the city’s business


Three giants of STEMM now welcome guests to Exeter Science Park

Promising signs Hedy Lamarr, Sir Isaac Newton and Alan Turing give their names to Exeter Science Park’s newest buildings


yecatching new signs illustrating the contribution to science and technology of Hedy Lamarr, Sir Isaac Newton and Alan Turing now adorn the exterior of three new buildings at Exeter Science Park. The signs were designed by local artist Aylwyn Bowen, who is also behind the colourful gateway signs at the entrances to Exeter that were erected earlier this year. “Exeter Science Park is home to innovative science, technology, engineering, maths and medical, or STEMM, businesses,” explains Dr Sally Basker, CEO of Exeter Science Park, “and we hope these artworks will inspire them to break boundaries in their work, just as these people did.” Hedy Lamarr (1914-2000) was best known as a Hollywood movie star, but was also a gifted inventor who, with her business partner George Antheil, developed a radio guidance system for

allied torpedoes in World War Two. Techniques they developed can now be seen in Bluetooth technology. Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) was an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, theologian, and author, widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time, and a key figure in the scientific revolution. Alan Turing (1912-1954) is widely considered to be the ‘father of theoretical computer science’. He was an English mathematician, computer scientist, logician, cryptanalyst and philosopher and was highly influential in the development of theoretical computer science. Tenants of the new Lamarr, Newton and Turing buildings include STEMM businesses 8 Technology, Dell Boomi, Maistro plc, Seedata, Theta Technologies, and the Veterinary Pathology Group.


For more: I EXETER LIVING I 51

A CUT ABOVE Topsham-based Energy Hair is to become one of the UK’s largest hair salons, having embarked upon an ambitious expansion plan. The salon has acquired additional space at its Darts Farm site to build a training and education area in collaboration with global haircare brand Keune. Up to 1,000 education delegates are expected through the doors each year following the launch in mid-November. The salon, which has been shortlisted for two prestigious National Hairdressers’ Federation (NHF) Business Awards, is also currently recruiting for new staff, bringing the total number of staff in the salon to 35. “It’s a really exciting time at Energy,” says salon owner Nathan Plumridge, “expanding our brilliant team and collaborating with Keune UK on the expansion project. I’m looking forward to sharing my experience in the industry with the hairdressing students when conducting business and finance modules within the training program. Energy’s sole business purpose is to exceed expectations and we believe this new training facility will not only benefit local and national hairdressing students but our loyal customers will also enjoy the beautiful new space and upgrade of the current salon.”

CGI plans for Energy Hair’s expansion

For more:


This lot’ll help you keep cold callers off your land

CALLING TIME ON RURAL CRIME Local farmers are being offered help by a new rural crime initiative spearheaded by Devon & Cornwall Police, Devon’s Trading Standards Service and leading rural insurer NFU Mutual. The ‘no cold calls’ campaign comes after NFU Mutual’s annual rural crime report revealed that the theft of agricultural vehicles cost the UK £7.4 million in 2018, with quad/ ATV (all-terrain vehicle) thefts costing £2.6million, an increase on the previous year. As part of the scheme, farmers are being offered a striking sign to display at the entrances to their farms, warning cold callers and rogue traders to stay away and bearing the slogan, “We won’t buy from you, we won’t sell to you”. Says PC Martin Beck, rural affairs officer for Devon & Cornwall Police:

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“Once farmers have signed up to the scheme and display the signs, if an unwanted caller attends the farm, the farmer should only engage with them to ask them to leave, and inform them that they do not buy or sell. “Should intimidation or threats be made, the police can record the incident and escalate the Anti-Social Behaviour process. This gives the police an opportunity to engage with the offender to encourage them to stop this behaviour and, if they do not, we can apply to the Court for a Criminal Behaviour Order. “We want rural communities to understand that we take this issue very seriously and that, with their support in reporting incidents, we can reduce this type of crime.”

For more:

Recently-opened Gandy Street indie The Recycled Candle Company has been named one of the 25 Best Small Shops in the UK. The awards are managed by the Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC) and see thousands of consumer votes whittled down by a panel of industry experts. “We are absolutely elated to be amongst the top 25 in the whole of the country, representing the city and Devon,” says Richard Hills-Ingyon, founder of The Recycled Candle Company. “Thank you to all our customers who took the time to vote for us.” Adds Richard’s business partner, Sargon Latchin: “There’s a wonderful array of indie retailers on the shortlist, selling everything from yarn, wine and cheese to books and bikes. “It’s encouraging to realise that there are so many independents like us right across the country.” All shortlisted retailers will attend a reception at the House of Commons on 5 November, when they will meet with MPs, trade representatives and industry peers, and the overall winner and runners up will be revealed. For more: The RCC team


Pinch, punch… noms open this month! Businesses are gearing up for the Exeter Living Awards as nominations open on 12 November, with hundreds of entries anticipated for the elegant event in March. The 2019 Awards were one to remember, with a record number of nominations and over 280 individual cases being made by local businesses. And excitement has gone through the roof for the 2020 Awards, with many new companies looking to put themselves forward. Hugely popular categories are open for sponsorship leading into the ceremony. There are also extra glitzy ways to get sponsorship value from lead-up events – which include the Finalists’ & Sponsors’ Reception, Champagne Reception on Awards night on 12 March 2020 and a special celebratory dinner for the lucky winners! “With limited category sponsorships available and noms opening very soon, Awards time is upon us once again” says Steph Dodd, events director at MediaClash. “We’re fast approaching an

incredible night of Exeter celebration, and we’d encourage all local businesses to put their best foot forward for an Award.” The Awards are free to enter, and any local company or organisation can put themselves forward. From arts and leisure, cafés and restaurants, education to tech, the largest companies to the smartest newcomers; the Exeter Living Awards offer something for all. There is also the coveted Platinum Award for the crème de la crème, single best category winner on the night. Companies can enter multiple categories. Finalists will be announced in January, and all decisions are made by a panel of independent judges, chosen afresh each year. If you fancy building a strong partnership with Exeter’s most talked-about Awards event, get in touch with Carolyn Southcott: carolyn.southcott

It won’t write itself – nominations open 12 November!

For more: @exeterlivingawd

WOMAN OF THE WORLD Even celebrities have been floored by Alice’s designs

A new business based in Talaton is repurposing Turkish kilim rugs and ikat silks into ‘slow fashion’ and home accessories – and already counts celebrities such as Vogue Williams and James Middleton as fans. Former chartered surveyor Alice Prichard discovered the traditional, handmade wares on her travels, and initially sent them home to her mum who sold them in her shop. World Secrets was originally founded as an imports business but is now centred around Alice’s own shoe, bag and interior designs. “I decided that I wanted to use the colourful fabrics that I’d seen in these amazing countries,” says Alice, “to make really good quality products that are ethically made, fashionable and wearable.” Her newest collection includes a unique collaboration with the Chelsea Pensioners, who she met while selling her products at the Chelsea Flower Show. “I’ve always loved the Chelsea Pensioners’ uniforms. I decided that I wanted to do something to acknowledge them, and thus we’ve collaborated and made the Royal Hospital Chelsea Sneaker inspired by the uniforms and war medals. I’m really proud of these shoes and cannot wait to get them on my feet!” For more: I exeter living I 53


EXETER LIVING AWARDS 2019 MEAT59 Exeter is full of discerning palates and only the best independent restaurants will thrive. Some of Exeter’s best-loved dining destinations ended up on the shortlist for the Restaurant category of the 2019 Exeter Living Awards. It was a tough call for our judges, but in the end it was Magdalen Road’s magnificent burger joint that took home the crown. Here’s co-owner Jenna Heasman... RESTAURANT WINNER SPONSORED BY

So how did it feel to win an Exeter Living Award?

Absolutely incredible, we couldn’t be more proud. It is great to get recognition in the city amongst so many high quality restaurants. Why do you think Meat59 won this category?

I would hope that it will be down to our locally sourced meat, great tasting food and our personal service, although I think any of the shortlisted nominees could have won! What are the most popular things on your menu?

The Smoking Cow Burger is our most popular burger: our signature patty, smoked cheese, crispy onions, gem lettuce, smokey mayo and bourbon glaze. It started out as a special and sold like crazy. It was a no-brainer to add it the menu. Tell us what it’s like doing business in Magdalen Road...

Magdalen Road is a really special place, the sense of community here is like nothing we’ve experienced before. All the business owners work incredibly hard maintaining its iconic reputation; it really is home to some of the city’s best independents. The support from the locals is also fantastic. Jenna, right, with co-owner (and brother-in-law) Vince Aggett

“EVERYONE MUCKS IN AND WORKS AS ONE TO GET THE JOB DONE” What’s coming up for you over the rest of 2019, and what are your ambitions for 2020?

We have a new menu about to launch for winter, both for burgers and for breakfast, but don’t worry, some of most popular items are still there along with some new creations. Who are your foodie heroes?

It’s all about the locals for us: Robin from The Rusty Pig and Dan from Teign Canteen/Blue Hut – they put passion into their food, are incredibly hard working, aren’t pretentious and are just good, friendly people. What advice would you give someone looking to open an independent restaurant in Exeter?

I’d say, go for it! The city of Exeter want independents, they are in demand. Make it personal to you, and that will make it unique and stand out. What do you love most about Exeter?

Exeter, for us, is more like a large village, the whole city has a community feel to it. People are friendly and businesses support one another. Tell us a secret about life at Meat59...

Even though Meat59 now has three restaurants, they are all modest in size, meaning staff have the opportunity to move around, not just between each site but also between roles. Quite often you can find a pot washer working the grill on a busy Saturday night under the watchful eye of a head chef. We like to give everyone the opportunity to develop their skills. You’ll also find a head chef running food to a table if it means the food gets there quicker. Everyone mucks in and works as one to get the job done. For more:


advertising feature

Financial planning basics: understand what you’re entitled to


Charlotte Corr of OLD MILL explains...

ou may have seen in the press recently that a woman has won the right to receive her late partner’s military pension following a Court of Appeal ruling. She had been in a relationship with her partner for 15 years when he died unexpectedly in 2011. Although the military pension does allow unmarried partners of officers to receive their pension if they die, she was disqualified because she had not formally dissolved her marriage to her ex-husband. The case has sparked debate as to whether pension schemes that do not recognise cohabitees will review their rules and increase the recognition of cohabitee relationships given that, according to the Office of National

Statistics (OTS), there are more than six million people living as cohabiting couples in Britain. Regardless of whether you are married or unmarried, what this case highlights is the importance of understanding exactly what you and your partner have. This includes assets, protection policies and the structure of the income you receive and how these may be treated when you die or if you become ill. It also highlights the need to ensure that both partners have a valid will to protect one another and any family, especially financial dependents. We completely understand that it can be difficult to discuss or even contemplate what might happen if you or your partner dies. However, it is vital that this is considered and planning is undertaken to ensure that the

survivor is financially secure for the future. As part of our financial planning service, we will not only help to make you aware of your current financial position and how achievable your short and long term plans are, we will also make you aware of the position on death to ensure that the survivor and family thereof are financially secure. This includes ensuring that, together with having a valid will in place, you have sufficient life cover, your assets are held correctly and understanding what income might be available to surviving partners – whether married or not. n See how we can help you secure your financial future. Contact Charlotte Corr on 01935 709394 or email

property a pl ace to c all home

middle allercombe farm Longing for a Devon longhouse? KITTY KANE has just the place I EXETER LIVING I 59

A place to call home property


hat do you mean you’ve never been to Allercombe? It’s a delight. A hamlet nine miles east of Exeter, near West Hill, it’s a pretty, tranquil, rural backwater full of substantial, detached period properties, that’s also exceedingly conveniently situated for the A30 into the big city, or out to Honiton and beyond. And if your taxi breaks down on the day of your summer holiday you could, technically, walk to Exeter International Airport roughly four miles away. The gorgeous, vanilla-coloured Middle Allercombe Farm is one more reason to want to make this blessed spot your forever home. A Grade II-listed, traditional Devon longhouse, parts of it date back to the 17th century but it’s been greatly restored, extended and modernised to suit today’s not-that-Tudor-minded families. Among the many, charming period features that have been retained are big inglenook fireplaces, exposed wooden beams across vaulted ceilings and fantastic flagstone flooring – the latter, you’ll be pleased to hear if you have foot problems (or have just lost your slippers) comes with the modern benefit of underfloor heating. At the heart of the house is a wonderful sociable farmhouse kitchen with – you guessed it – an Aga. It’s attached to a good-sized breakfast area and utility. Next


to this is a characterful dining room which has a striking fireplace and enough space to feed a rugby team, and flows nicely into a sitting room with a wood burning stove, a useful office area and a further reception room/snug. The ground floor – which forms three sides of a square – also contains a huge games room and gym, plus a bedroom and shower room. This chunk of the house has the potential to become secondary accommodation, which would have its own entrance and parking area and could be divided off from the snug in the main house. In short, there are so many rooms, nooks and crannies you’ll be playing sardines/hide-and-seek all Christmas. Upstairs, the impressively cavernous master bedroom with exposed beams,vaulted ceilings and high quality en-suite has a recently re-fitted dressing room and walk-in wardrobe. You’ll also find a further two bedrooms and family bathroom, also fitted to a very high standard. And a sound/music/television system with built-in speakers throughout most of the house ensures you can listen to your favourite podcast while moving from room to room. With a pale, neutral colour scheme flowing throughout, the living space is the perfect canvas on which to paint your own rural fantasy. One further showstopper is the glorious garden, running to about 1.8 acres and incorporating a vast, south-facing lawn with well stocked and mature flower beds and a vegetable garden. There’s plenty of parking and a double garage with electric doors. And, on an attractive raised patio area, you’ll find a hot tub from which to watch the stars – maybe with a glass of bubbly to toast your good fortune. n

House numbers Bedrooms 5 Bathrooms Square feet

4 4,900

Guide price


For more: Savills, Sterling Court, 17 Dix’s Field Exeter EX1 1QA 0 1392 455700; I EXETER LIVING I 61

St Thomas Exeter

Guide Price £475,000 - £500,000

A unique opportunity to acquire an individual high specification home set in a private gated address. The spaciously proportioned accommodation has modern features comprising a through living room with a ceiling feature, study, dining area, exceptional kitchen/breakfast room and conservatory, providing lovely indoor/outdoor living space. Upstairs are three double bedrooms and two bathrooms. Outside is a delightful courtyard garden. No onward chain. EER ‘C’.

For further details telephone Mike Shaw on 01392 427500 or email


St Leonards Exeter

Guide Price £1,400,000

A contemporary masterpiece designed by an award-winning architect and built in 2017. This stunning three storey home offers approximately 3235sq.ft of accommodation. Features include a bespoke ‘Baulthrap’ German kitchen with ‘Dekton’ worktops and ‘Siemens’ appliances, frameless glass windows, stunning ‘Duravit & Hansgrohe’ bathrooms to three of the bedrooms and Italian fitted wardrobes. Great sized south-facing private level garden, large integral garage and private drive. EER ‘B’.

For further details telephone Giles Hann on 01392 427500 or email



“Telling a story through snoring is really tough” You’re an experienced storyteller – what top tip can you share with we amateurs, whether it’s telling a story to our kids or in the pub?

Jenny Moon The local professional storyteller never met a pebble she didn’t like Jenny Moon’s new book, Folk Tales of Rock & Stone is a collection of original stories and rewritten folk tales, and inspired by her lifelong interest in stones, rocks and the coast. “I remember at the age of eight,” she says, “picking up a piece of worked flint and taking it to the local museum where it was displayed. And I have not stopped looking for worked flint, fossils, interesting rock and stone. These objects have been here forever and will be here forever, long after we are not. Over that length of time, a stone can accumulate a fair few stories!” Whereabouts do you live, and what makes it special?

I live in Lympstone – and where do I start? It is a village with interesting history and it is

wonderfully sociable. Walk down to the shop for three minutes and you have met five people who smile… Most people in Lympstone feel very lucky to be here. Does it contain stories local to the Exeter area?

A number of the stories are inspired by places local to Exeter and my interest in geology and local history. For example, there is a story about a pinkish purple pebble from the Pebblebed Heaths and how it probably travelled from mountains in France… There is also the very interesting story about Beer Quarry Caves, in Beer. And another locally inspired story is that about Jack who might once have climbed a beanstalk but who, in the story, tries smuggling with, shall we say, somewhat mixed results.

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The hardest thing about starting to tell stories is finding the opportunity where you can just go ahead and do it. And for this you need an audience who will listen from the start and not dent your confidence by demonstrating that their mind is not fully with you. It was hard to learn to carry on telling stories where people relax into the story and thence into sleep! Telling a story through snoring is really tough. But then, I have fallen asleep listening to stories. What music would you put on at the end of a trying day?

Something by Show of Hands. What Steve and Phil sing are stories. Their songs have inspired my writing in the way that they use fact and fiction – as well, of course, as beautiful music – to put ideas over while also entertaining. I try to do that, too. What’s been your best fancy dress costume?

I was once the head end of a worm. Who’s your celebrity crush?

Richard Greene as Robin Hood. I was ten. Favourite place to shop in Exeter and the surrounding area?

I dress mostly from charity shops. They have many more ranges of clothes. I also raise money for Oxfam by digging people’s gardens in Lympstone. Who’s the coolest person you know in Exeter?

Those who stand up for Green issues, and those who are out there demanding that climate change issues are addressed properly at all levels. If you had a time machine, which era would you return to and why?w

It would depend how much money I had. I have been very interested in late Tudor times while writing my earlier book, Devon Boy 1590, but for many, like the main character, life was exceptionally hard. For those with money and opportunity, the world was opening up then. There was travel, there was excitement… We’d better let you get on… What are you doing after this?

The hard copies of Folk Tales of Rock and Stone have just arrived from the publisher. This is the first time I have held the book in my hand. I am going to look at the book and the illustrations and hope I do not see anything that I do not like! n Folk Tales of Rock and Stone (The History Press), £12.99, is out now

Profile for MediaClash

Exeter Living - Issue 253  

Exeter Living - Issue 253