Page 1

Food/Arts/Entertainment/Shopping/Property ISSUE 259 / SPRING 2020 / £3














ABOVE: Pynes House is just

one of the local wedding venues, page 13 BELOW: Happy headbands from Busby & Fox, page 30


pring may not have fully sprung but there are plenty of signs to get me feeling really bouncy and optimistic. It’s not pitch black when I leave the office now, which gets me thinking that in a few weeks’ time I can enjoy after work walks and, just maybe, a pint al fresco. Looking ahead is the key here and this is a recurrent theme in this issue. We’ve got a huge bumper feature on the amazing wedding venues in and around Devon (page 13) most of which, because of the spectacular countryside around the city, really lend themselves to summer nuptials. Fancy jumping on a boat to your wedding reception? Or getting married at a zoo? Or visiting a dungeon? These options are all possible locally! Elsewhere we launch RAMM’S Local Art Show, whereby a local art group has the opportunity to exhibit their pieces in the gallery this May/June. Which group will get this opportunity? You decide. If you feel strongly about supporting local art, do read the feature (page 26) to find out how to view the art and how to vote. It’s super quick and easy. Elsewhere, we dig into some spring food (page 34) picking up some menus along the way, and we browse the fashion boutiques in Exeter (page 30) to find out what brightly coloured garments we’ll be slipping into over the next few months. We’re also, of course, looking ahead to the Exeter Living Awards on 12 March, (see our preview on page 51 for all the details); the night where we celebrate the amazing local businesses that are flourishing in Exeter. So much to look forward to! Enjoy!

HARRIET NOBLE Follow us on Twitter @ExeterLiving I EXETER LIVING I 3

Issue 259/Spring 2020 COVER Stedcombe House, see page 45


06 SPOTLIGHT Good news from in and around Exeter 11 JP HEDGE is excited about 17 April


13 WEDDING VENUES The coolest places to get

hitched nearby


20 INTRO The people’s poet is coming our way 22 WHAT’S ON Our pick of the best artsy cultural © MANUEL HARL AN

goings on

26 RAMM LOCAL ART SHOW Where to see the art


and how to vote

Charlie Chaplin and performing in her hometown

28 INTERVIEW Exeter’s Amalia Vitale on playing



30 EDITOR’S CHOICE Fashion fancies from

Exeter’s finest


34 SPRING DINING Recipes and top tips from

Exeter chefs


39 EXETERWORKS All the movers and shakers in the

local business world


45 SHOWCASE Is this the most beautiful property in



latest project

EXETER LIVING AWARDS 51 PREVIEW The countdown begins...


62 SOCIETY All the pics from our Exeter Living Awards

Sponsors’ and Finalists’ Reception

66 EXETER LIVES Meet the local designer and

lecturer who digs the vintage vibes

Editor Harriet Noble Managing Editor Deri Robins Senior Art Editor Andrew Richmond Graphic Design Megan Allison Cover Design Trevor Gilham Contributors JP Hedge, Emily Macaulay Advertising manager Carolyn Southcott carolyn.southcott Account manager Paula Miller Production/Distribution Manager Sarah Kingston Deputy Production Manager Kirstie Howe Production Designer Gemma Scrine Chief Executive Jane Ingham jane.ingham@ Chief Executive Greg Ingham 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


left: Polka dot fun with The Liberty Sisters; below: The Exmouth Shantymen will be breaking into song


Yes, finally, spring is nearly here! To celebrate, Topsham will be hosting the Spring Forward Saturday Festival, the day before the clocks go forward, on 28 March. Now in its third year, this feel-good event involves most of Topsham’s independent shops, cafés and restaurants, with special offers for visitors and locals. It’s all about celebrating what the local community has to offer, with pop-up art galleries, a special outdoor fair at the town’s Matthews Hall, new exhibits at the Topsham Museum, craft activities for the little ones and loads of toe-tapping and hip-wiggling musical groups providing entertainment throughout the day, including the The Exmouth Shantymen, The Liberty Sisters, and Queen Biscuit. For more:


Hilary Mantel

Devon bookworms take note: the annual Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival has announced its headliners for this spring. Festival President and twice Booker Prize winner Dame Hilary Mantel will be talking about the hugely anticipated finale to her Thomas Cromwell trilogy, The Mirror and the Light on 1 May; veteran BBC broadcaster James Naughtie who, earlier in the day, will share his experiences of many years reporting on life and politics in the USA, outlined in his latest book On the Road. On 20 April, the Sunday Times bestselling novelist Joanna Trollope will be talking about her latest book, Mum & Dad, a poignant story of a family’s behaviour in a crisis; and world-renowned historian and Professor Margaret MacMillan will be looking at how history and our study of it should be treated with care. “We are so excited to be programming writers of this calibre in Budleigh,” says the festival’s artistic director, Annie Ashworth. “These events are to raise money towards our education outreach work, and I’m sure they will be very popular with our audiences.” All events will take place in St Peter’s Church in Budleigh Salterton and tickets to each event are £15;




Joanna Trollope



There’s new nocturnal fun to be had in the city. A new season of specially curated, one-off cultural late night events, live from either Exeter Library and RAMM, are happening this year. What to expect? Themed evenings of music, innovative interactive artworks, storytelling, cinema, games, silent disco, hidden spaces library tour, food and drink and much more. The next Library Lates evening is on 3 April (at the library) with the theme of Women Writes, in celebration of the upcoming ‘Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women’s Rights’ British Library exhibition which opens in Exeter Library at the end of April. Expect a line-up of female artists, performances and authors keeping guests entertained throughout the night. Daniel Clark, creative director of Evolve, says “The first Library Lates was a great success and it was exciting to see the library come to life after hours. The library offered visitors engaging content and showcased the space in a completely new way. We’re excited to introduce ‘Women’s Writes’ to Library Lates as we focus on female authors, artists and musicians.” For more:

SPOTLIGHT Freddie rocking out



Fans of Queen, Abba and Elton John enjoyed a night of nostalgia whilst raising funds for their local hospice recently at the Legends at the Great Hall event. Over 400 people attended the new event for local charity Hospiscare which saw dazzling performances from the three highly acclaimed tribute bands and helping to raise approximately £3,000 for the local charity. “Thanks again to everyone who came out to show their support – you made things legendary!” says Martin Stokke, events fundraiser at Hospiscare and organised of Legends. This event would not have been possible without the support from Events Exeter and Warwick Events.” For more:

SEVEN DEADLY SINS In our regular Q&A with visiting and local performers, singer JESSICA GUISE – of the band Guise – chats about her wicked soul ahead of the band’s gig in Exeter on 19 March LUST: Who or what do you find yourself lusting after today?

Well, my husband has been on tour for the past month and gets home tomorrow, so...

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

I’m not sure greed has much to do with this, but I’ve been trying to stop biting my nails since I was about six year old.

GLUTTONY: What one thing could you happily eat or drink until you burst? Apple crumble. It’s my absolute favourite and it probably, maybe, counts as one of your five a day…I married a man who doesn’t like cooked fruit so I almost never make it at home anymore, but that just means that

whenever I have the opportunity I overindulge outrageously and without guilt.

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

I’m doing an MSc in Psychology, so probably that. It’s the first year in a long process of training as a mental health practitioner, which is something I’ve always wanted to do. It’s all online at this point though, which makes it incredibly easy to be distracted by the cat.

WRATH: What/who makes you angry?

This is pretty niche but, Shakespeare deniers! I consider the De Vere Society’ to be the most obnoxious, unapologetic snobs, and I can easily laugh or cry with anger at the whole thing.

ENVY: Who are you jealous of ?

I’m jealous of people who don’t overthink things. I’m a terrible overthinker, which also makes me a terrible sleeper, a terrible decision maker, and a terrible planner. People who just decide stuff and stop worrying are a magical enigma to me.

PRIDE: What’s your proudest achievement?

I produced and performed in a show called Gin For Breakfast in 2017; we ran after-show talks with CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) around mental health, as the content of the play was pretty tough. The wonderful Stephen Fry very kindly spoke after one show, and told me post performance that I had made him cry (in a good way). So making Stephen Fry cry, I think!

Guise are performing at the Lemongrove on 19 March, St German’s Road, Exeter; I EXETER LIVING I 7


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TEDxExeter in the spotlight; Baby Hedge is raring to go


Talking heads JP and his brood can’t wait to be inspired at this year’s TEDxExeter


EDxExeter is the city’s greatest export. The team of volunteers are literally and metaphorically putting Exeter centre stage onto screens across the world. For those of you out of the loop, TEDxExeter is a festival of ideas. It is a grassroots initiative organised by volunteers from the community, for the community. It is supported by businesses and partners from across Exeter and the UK who see the benefit in supporting passionate individuals who want to spark conversations. The TEDxExeter team are people who believe ideas can change the world. And they would be right. A lot of the Hedge clan have been involved at some stage in the nine years the festival has risen from a concept to epic status. TEDxExeter

are a family of volunteers who do extraordinary things and I am very grateful that they do. The day itself is a unique platform in Exeter which brings together influential thinkers, policy makers and a diverse audience. It’s a chance to lift our gaze above the day to day, to step back, reflect, to be challenged and to go out inspired to make a positive difference. And there is also really good food in the breaks! The power lies in the fact that all talks are filmed and then made available via YouTube. There is then a ripple effect from the talks as they reach new audiences. And like most things in life, Exeter punches about its weight. These talks from the little red dot at Exeter’s Northcott Theatre have now been viewed a whopping 24 million times and translated into up to 35 languages. I am happy to be

“It’s a chance to lift our gaze above the day to day, to step back”

corrected but there is nothing I can think of, outside perhaps research from The University of Exeter, which can demonstrate such a positive global benefits. Curator Claire Kennedy and her volunteers have been changing lives one thought at a time. Part of the appeal and magic for me is the simplicity – these are ideas. They are thoughts. The talks are short and sharp bursts of different perspectives, game changing challenges, ways of helping and concepts around making things better. The reason why Claire and the team work so hard is because of the premise that ‘a great idea is an idea worth spreading’. And, boy, have they travelled. The most viewed talk today is one by Manwar Ali called Inside the Mind of a Former Radical Jihadist. It has been watched 2.3 million times. The ripple effects of Cormac Russell’s talk about building resilient communities still inspires colleagues at my work to reimagine how our communities can grow stronger. Asset based community development has led to a whole range of changes in both attitude and policy decisions. TEDx is a global movement. I think now, more than ever, people need both a safe space to think, and also strong thought leadership. And there is still time to get

involved this year. The event is simultaneously broadcast via a livestream at the likes of Exeter Library, RAMM and the Phoenix. People will come to gather at Devon County Council, Devon & Cornwall Police, hospitals, schools, universities, businesses, and locations around the world. A huge amount of work goes into making sure the cost of the top end tickets helps get the talks into a huge variety of lives and backgrounds. Anyone can register to watch the day live for free. Back in 2018, some 34,000 people in 35 countries did just that. Seeing it live is something that people should experience once in their life. This year TEDxExeter takes place at the Northcott on 17 April. You can snap up one of the few remaining tickets or find out more about livestreaming the event at If you are lucky enough to be going in person, I’ll see you there, in awe of Claire and the team’s exceptional commitment to ideas worth spreading. ■ TEDxExeter is on 17 April; turn to page 39 for more information on the event 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

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Devon Tourism Awards ‘Best Wedding Venue’




Romance thy name is kissing at Hestercombe Gardens

Whether you’re a pair of city slickers or rural ravers, Devon is teeming with magnificant wedding venues I EXETER LIVING I 13


The Square, Sandford, Crediton; In a nutshell: Want a country village wedding with dollops of charm? This may be the one for you. In the picturesque village of Sandford lies this pretty as a peach 16th century former coaching house. They have sheltered gardens making it a great venue for a summer wedding and they offer licenced wedding ceremonies from 4 to 40 guests, with 75 for the evening buffet. Food/accommodation: You can do the whole hog here – stay the night, say your vows, enjoy a delicious wedding breakfast and celebrate the night away, all under one roof. The food menu is a celebration of local produce too with roast Devon ribeye, halibut with creamed leeks, and favourites like sticky toffee pudding. Vibe: Rural chic


Sparkwell, Devon; In a nutshell: Dartmoor Zoo sits on 33 acres of grounds, caters for up to 150 people, and is surrounded by exotic animals from all over the world including the south west’s largest collection of big cats, including lions, tigers, lynx, cheetahs and a jaguar. Your ceremony will be in the 17th century Goodamoor House that looks out onto rolling hills while the reception will either be in one of their summer marquee receptions, between the cheetah brothers Tibo and Baro or, if it’s winter, in the Jaguar restaurant where you’ll have beautiful views of the zebras and emus from the large windows. Food/accommodation: They cater for up to 150 people and their hog roasts and buffets are a popular option. They don’t have any accommodation so most wedding parties stay at hotels in the Sparkwell area. Anything quirky: The zoo offers animal experiences to all wedding couples so that on your big day you can get up close and personal with tigers, otters, lynx, and meerkats – you can even go inside the meerkat enclosure. If you don’t mind little paw prints on your wedding dress and lots of attention from meerkats, it is the perfect experience for you!

“Brave guests can visit the dungeons below”


203 High Street, Exeter; In a nutshell: Bang in the heart of the city, this venue is a godsend to your local guests who won’t have to fork out for accommodation. The the Grade I listed building is also a historic belter of a venue – think huge carved oak doors, Tudor wood panelling, intricate stain glass windows, and magnificent chandeliers. Depending on the size of your posse, you’ll be making your vows in the great hall which can hold up to 80 guests, or the jury room, which holds up to 35 guests. Food/accommodation: You’ll be partying and sleeping elsewhere but they’ll put on a fabulous drinks reception for you. Anything quirky: Brave guests can visit the dungeons below.


Upton Pyne, Exeter;  In a nutshell: Fancy a weekend wedding rather than just a day? This is the ultimate country house where you can stay and celebrate for a couple of days to make the most of the amazing location and have


Holne House even has its own ballroom


WEDDINGS your pals close by. Pynes House is believed to be the inspiration for Barton Park in Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility which gives you a bit of an idea of the splendour of the place. Set in the picturesque Exe Valley with woodlands aplenty, there are a few options of where to take your vows – from the elegant drawing room and ballroom to the dramatic entrance hall, to outside on the front courtyard with a backdrop of the Devon hills. They can seat up to 96 for a wedding breakfast in the house and up to 130 for a ceremony. Food/accommodation: Their catering partner, Pickle Shack, will create a bespoke menu just for you. There is a full stocked bar or you can bring your own wines and fizz for the wedding breakfast with no corkage payable. There’s 12 double bedrooms at Pynes House, including a bridal suite, so newly weds and nearest and dearest can stay the night. Vibe: Country house splendour. Fun fact: Queen Victoria stayed here so you’ll be in good company.



Running late, the bride will make it to Pynes House on time


We caught up with Sophie White, senior events coordinator at catering company Posh Nosh to find out what’s hot in the foodie world of weddings What do you offer? Several styles of dining, including refined plated menus, rustic sharing boards, buffet feasts, summery BBQs, hearty hog roasts, fun festival street food stalls and quaint afternoon high teas. We sometimes have couples who come to us with a very precise idea of what they’d like for their wedding food, and even if it’s not something we advertise on our brochure, we will always endeavour to branch out and create entirely bespoke menus…over the years we’ve created Indian, Caribbean, Mexican and Oriental inspired menus to make our clients’ dreams become a reality. What’s popular at the moment? If you’d asked me this last year or the year before I would have said sharing style or street food festival stalls. But now, I see 2020 and 2021 couples reverting back to the traditional plated menus, opting for several choices within

Sidmouth, Devon; In a nutshell: Sitting on the Jurassic Coast, expect beautiful countryside as far as the eye can see. You’ll be getting hitched in their stables, a “rustic donkey bar” that is transformed to look all cosy and they can cater for up to 70 people. Food/accommodation: You can’t stay the night there (probably best) but they will put on a reception for you with drinks and canapés. Vibe: Small, intimate and full of donkeys. Anything else: The Donkey Sanctuary is also dog-friendly, and fourlegged friends are welcomed as part of the special day.


Hestercombe, Taunton; In a nutshell: The property and grounds here are beautiful and really spacious, meaning there are loads of choices when it comes to where and how you want your big day to pan out.

each course to ensure plenty of variety for their guests. With a huge rise in people going vegan over the last 12 months we’ve seen more and more couples request vegan menu options and as a result we’ve added a vast selection of vegan dishes to our brochure. Anything new this year? We are about to introduce a brand new sharing dessert that really has the ‘wow’ factor! This is called the ‘enchanted forest’ sharing dessert, and contains: cripps green and red apple bavarois, bramley apple sorbet, blackberry ice cream, cox apple gel, brandy soaked cherries, chocolate logs and chocolate leaves on a bed of chocolate biscuit soil. The apple bavarois looks like a real life apple, only when you cut into it it’s filled with a sweet, light apple mousse. We’re debuting this extravagant dessert at an extremely large and prestigious awards ceremony in the spring, after which we will be offering it to our wedding clients (with the option to add a dramatic dry ice element to really blow people away!) Posh Nosh Event Catering Ltd. Units A-B, Odhams Wharf, Topsham, Exeter; I EXETER LIVING I 15

Your choices include getting hitched in the beautiful light-filled orangery in the Edwardian formal gardens or the temple arbour situated high up in the landscape gardens. Then there’s the 17th century Bampfylde Hall, all adorned with fairy lights, making it the perfect space for your wedding breakfast and evening party. You’ll have will get access to the entire grounds, all 50 acres of it, and they can cater for approximately 100 guests. Food/accommodation: There’s no accommodation here (though they’ll guide you towards loads of local places) but you can do everything else here – the ceremony, drinks reception, wedding breakfast and evening party. For the food, they’ll put together whatever you want, whether it’s a feast from their choice of three-course menus, tasty finger food, or a quintessentially English afternoon tea. Anything else: Stunning gardens, dogfriendly weddings, rounders on the lawn and even a mariachi band leading your guests through the gardens should you fancy it.



Ashburton, Devon; In a nutshell: Just off the A38 Devon Expressway at Ashburton, tucked away in 90 acres of gardens, lakes, rivers and woodland, is Holne Park House. Both their interior reception rooms and their outdoor garden pavilions are licensed for weddings so perfect for both a winter or summer wedding. There’s also a very spacious ballroom ideal for a wedding breakfast if you’re struggling to reduce the guest list. In the evening, the oak sprung floor can be transformed into the perfect setting for dancing, whether that is to a live band, disco or ceilidh. There is no minimum to the number of guests you can invite but the team here recommend a maximum number of guests for a seated meal at around 90, and for less traditional, or evening celebrations up to 300 guests. Food/accommodation: Their in-house catering team will put together a vintage afternoon tea, informal barbecue or traditional meal with two, three, four or more courses. Fun fact: The original house, the ‘Manor of Holne’, is mentioned in The Domesday Book and was given by William the Conqueror to William de Faleise after the Norman Conquest in 1066.

“You can travel there by boat from Exeter quayside”

Burrington, Umberleigh; In a nutshell: Be Lord and Lady of the Manor for the day at this charming 18th century country hotel in rural North Devon. They can hold 90 people as day guests and 180 in the evening. Oh, they have a spa and pool too. Food/accommodation: They have 16 bedrooms (which with double occupancy can fit 32 guests and with extra beds can have a maximum of 40). There are three different sit down menus to choose from, plus buffet menus and a specifically designed children’s menu. Anything else: If you get hitched there in winter you’ll enjoy roaring fires, they have three, while in summer you can play games in the gardens and have your pictures taken down by the River Taw.


Canal Banks, Exeter; In a nutshell: As the name suggests, you are right by the water here; just 15 minutes drive for Exeter’s city centre, along the Exeter Canal, making this the perfect summer venue. There’s a huge seated outside area, plus marquee – all set within beautiful surroundings. The Double Locks can cater for around 100 people with additional 50 in the evening. Vibe: Informal and picturesque.


The happy couple outside Exeter Guildhall


WEDDINGS above: A trendy pair tie the knot at the Lamb Inn; below: Period detail galore at Pynes House

Food/accommodation: You can’t stay the night here but they’ll do all

the food. Expect hearty fare such as a big roast or BBQ , fish and chips or pie and mash. There are lots of vegan options too. Anything a bit different: Yes, you can travel there by taxi boat from the Exeter Quayside whilst sipping champagne and enjoying the scenery.


Kitley Estate, Plymouth; In a nutshell: Inside the 500-year-old, Grade I listed house, the sweeping staircase will certainly make for a dramatic entrance to your nuptials. Get hitched in one of their dreamy rooms or do it outside where you’ll step across a rustic bridge to The Island for a wonderful lakeside ceremony; or exchange your vows in a charming summer house beside the fountain garden. They do intimate weddings for up to 15, larger weddings for about 100 people and sky’s the limit if you choose to do it all outdoors. Food/accommodation: The hotel has 19 bedrooms accommodating 45 guests and they’ll put together a bespoke menu for you. Anything else: A fantastic place for families, kids will love the little wigwams and dens to hide out in.



Cadhay, Ottery Saint Mary; In a nutshell: Built around a central courtyard and surrounded by lawns, ponds and stunning grounds, the Tudor manor house is located at Ottery St Mary just ten miles east of Exeter. Receptions can either be held in the main house in the Georgian dining room for 22, or in the old apple store for up to 80 guests, or for larger numbers in a marquee on the front lawn. Outside ceremonies from the bothy in the water garden are very popular. Food/accommodation: Lots of options here – the main house sleeps 22 but they also have another three holiday cottages. They’ll put you in touch with local caterers who can help you put together your menu.


Escot Park, Ottery St Mary; In a nutshell: A striking Georgian house overlooking beautiful parkland and lake. They can seat up to 120 in the house itself, or 180 if you use a marquee. Evening receptions are also held in the main house. Food/accommodation: No accommodation but they’ll do all the catering – all home-cooked. Anything quirky? They have a jungle themed staircase – creating perfect insta-friendly moments for you and your guests. n

THE WEDDING LIST SIDMOUTH HARBOUR HOTEL Beach side venue with a pool Manor Road, Sidmouth; PIROUETTE EXETER High-end designer bridal wear and accessories from a boutique set in a 16th-century merchant house. 24 West Street, Exeter;

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Pre-nuptial agreements Nick Emson at WBW SOLICITORS, talks about the benefits of prenuptial agreements


hy get a prenuptial agreement? A well-prepared prenuptial agreement can provide some peace of mind for both parties before they embark on their new life together. It is well worth spending some time chatting to a solicitor to find out exactly what is involved in such an agreement. Prenuptial agreements can be particularly beneficial if: ● You want to make clear arrangements to protect a business or wealth acquired before the relationship. ● Either party has children from a previous relationship for whom they want to provide. ● You want a say over how financial matters would be resolved in the event of a divorce. ● You want to ensure you will not be liable for a partner’s outstanding debt. How a solicitor can help? If you are considering entering into a prenuptial agreement, it is essential to consult a specialist family lawyer well in advance of the wedding to ensure that: ● Both people have legal advice – from different solicitors to avoid accusations of conflict of interest – before the agreement is entered into. ● You understand all the terms and their implications. ● You have entered into the agreement of your own free will. ● The terms of the agreement are fair and provide for the needs of each party. ● All assets of both parties have been fully disclosed; ● The agreement is signed at least 28 days before the wedding, preferably some months before. For further information, please contact Nick Emson in the family law team on 01392 247126 or email ■

Nick Emson, The Forum, Barnfield Road, EX1 1QR 01392 247126;

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IN OTHER WORDS Poet, rock star, comedian and all-round cool dude, John Cooper Clarke has been observing the world around him since the 1970s, in his unique, rapid-fire delivery. His poetry collection 10 Years in An Open Necked Shirt, released in the 1980s, is one of the biggest selling poetry books in the UK. Today, JCC is as relevant and vibrant as ever and his influence just as visible on today’s pop culture. Aside from his trademark ‘look’ continuing to resonate with fashionistas young and old, and his poetry being included on the national curriculum syllabus, his effect on modern 20 I EXETER LIVING I

music is huge, most notably with his collaborations with the Arctic Monkeys. The career of the ‘people’s poet’ has been diverse career to say the least. His latest live show is a mix of classic verse, extraordinary new material, ponderings on modern life, good honest gags, riffs and chat – a chance to witness a living legend at the top of his game. Dr John Cooper Clarke will be performing at Exeter Corn Exchange on 29 March; 8pm start (doors open 7.15pm); Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter;


Get growing... ST BRIDGET NURSERIES share their tips on how to get your garden Spring ready


pring is all about new beginnings and since gardening is a great healer for the mind, body and soul there’s no excuse for not getting outside. We grow a large proportion of what we sell, so our garden centre planterias really are the best place for local and fresh plants. Whether you are an expert or novice there’s something we can all enjoy in the garden this weekend.

BEGINNER GARDENERS Plant some summer flowering bulbs. Look out for a Dahlia, Gladioli or Lily and buy some bulb fibre compost before heading home. Bulbs can be planted in the ground (such as a sunny border) or in pots. Simply follow the instructions on the packet. If you are planting in the ground, loosen soil around the hole and place bulb fibre compost below and above the bulb to help with root growth.

INTERMEDIATE GARDENERS Lift and divide old perennials. Perennials are plants that grow, flower and then die back until the following growing season. Many perennials can form a big clump after 2 to 3 years (like sedums, agapanthus and crocosmias). To rejuvenate, it is worth lifting them out of the ground with a fork and then splitting the clump into smaller sections using either your hands, two forks or a spade. Re-plant where you want the sections to grow.

EXPERT GARDENERS During March you should prune your bush and climbing roses. Ensure your secateurs are clean and in working order before you start. Our garden centres have something for everyone whether you are a novice gardener or an expert. Our staff are on hand to assist you and with a restaurant at each centre, your family can enjoy a full day out. ■

Visit one of our Exeter Garden Centres: Sidmouth Rd, Clyst St Mary, EX5 1AE; Tel: 01392 876281 Old Rydon Lane, Exeter, EX2 7JY; Tel: 01392 873672 Open: Mon to Sat 9 - 5 | Sun 10.30 - 4.30;

WHAT’S ON 6 March – 3 April

On 22 March comedian Dom Joly comes to Exeter to share his holiday xxxxx from the world’s danger zones snaps


CREATIVE COVERAGE MIXED EXHIBITION Expect a plethora of art from local artists, such as Susan Thomson, Maria Floyd and Peter Thwaites, much of which exudes the beauty and wildness of Devon and beyond. Learning Room, RHS Rosemoor, Devon;

Until 12 April

CHERELLE SAPPLETON: AMONG OTHER THINGS Sappleton’s art focusses on feminist agendas and performance using photographic media; she seeks

alternative ways to address the problems she identifies with representing ‘blackness’ and the (female) body as an artist. Her work is grounded in processes of collage and abstraction, which are used to explore and respond to issues of representation, agency and the materiality of photographic imagery. 7.30pm, Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;

atmosphere, which bring out the best creative ideas. 10.30am-4pm, Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;

emotive and visceral dance from an all-female cast. 7.30pm, Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;


10-11 March

9 March

STILL I RISE New choreographer Victoria Fox has created work that channels the resilient, unapologetic nature of the iconic poem by Maya Angelou. Its unflinching, relentless hope for the human spirit runs through this visceral dance work. Cinematic sounds from pounding beats to stirring classical arias, drives the journey onwards. Expect raw, gutsy,

PAINTING FROM LIFE: LIFE PAINTING WORKSHOP: COLOURS OF THE FLESH Enjoy a day of blending paint to create some fantastic body forms, tutor Sarah John is a practising ceramics and fine artist and has been teaching at Exeter Phoenix for over three years. She will be sharing her skills and techniques in an informal


8 March

MY MOTHER SAID I NEVER SHOULD A moving and funny exploration of the lives of four generations of women in one family, presented in British Sign Language and spoken English and featuring a cast of one hearing and 3 d/Deaf actors, this production is an example of great visual and physical storytelling. 7.30pm; Exeter Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road;

13 March

PETER PAN (ADULT PANTO) Peter Pan lives in a magical world of naughtiness. His life would be


24-28 March

THE STRANGE TALE OF CHARLIE CHAPLIN AND STAN LAUREL Looking at an unknown period in comic history when two maverick imaginations collided for a brief time – and playing fast and loose with the facts – the show is no nostalgic bio-drama, but an hilarious and deeply moving homage to two English men who changed the world of comedy forever. The show includes an original piano score played live each night, composed by MOBO award-winner Zoe Rahman. Various times; Exeter Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road;


above: Willie and the Bandits will be rocking out at Exeter Phoenix left: My Mother Said I Never Should is on at the Northcott below: Madame Butterfly and co will be singing aplenty at the Northcott

FILM 8 March

perfect if he could just find a recipe for the little blue pill. Bring on a whole host of hilarious shenanigans with an evil pirate, Princess Tiger Willy, and of course Peter’s sparkly, glamorous fairy friend. 8pm (doors 7.30); Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter;

15 March

YOUNGER THAN SPRINGTIME A programme of eclectic songs to celebrate the arrival of spring with a bit of everything, from madrigals to jazz and pop. Expect music from legends of literature such as Shakespeare, Lennon and McCartney. 6pm; Barnfield Theatre, Barnfield Road, Exeter;

22 March

DOM JOLY’S HOLIDAY SNAPS – TRAVEL AND COMEDY IN THE DANGER ZONE A must for Joly fans. The Trigger Happy host will be talking about his exploits as a serial globe-trotter and seeker of dangerous travel spots, from North Korea through the Congo and Syria to Chernobyl. Armed with a trusty Powerpoint, fans can expect his holiday snaps to provide comedy and a sense of danger. Joly will stick around afterwards to sign books and say hello. 7.30pm; Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter;

I VITELLONI The film that established Fellini as a director of international standing is a fond recollection of the director’s own experience as an adolescent. The film is told with a balanced blend of drama and humour and features an achingly beautiful score by Fellini’s regular collaborator Nino Rota. Exeter Picture House, 51 Bartholomew Street West, Exeter;

10 March

BAFTA 2019 SHORTS Miss the BAFTA 2019 shorts? This programme includes all the live action and animation short film nominees from last year, showing the breadth and diversity of talent from our shores. 6.30pm, Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;

MUSIC & OPERA 14 March

MISSA SOLEMNIS Beethoven’s magnificent Missa Solemnis will be brought to life through the combined talent of Exeter Philharmonic Choir and four international soloists. The performance of this work celebrates Beethoven’s 250th birthday while Exeter Philharmonic Choir – the city’s longest-established choral group – is soon to mark its own milestone 175th anniversary. 7.30 pm, Exeter Cathedral 1 The Cloisters, Exeter; Book online at I EXETER LIVING I 23

WHAT’S ON 16 March

MADAME BUTTERFLY This version of Madame Butterfly is transposed to 1980s Japan, where traditional culture collides with a new digital age, and the intimate exploration into the heart and mind of a young woman, is all the more poignant. 7.30pm; Exeter Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road;

26 March

WILLIE AND THE BANDITS Think rock and roll nostalgia from the 60s and 70s as the guys offer a contemporary approach, combining elements of world music, dance music and hip-hop, all of which creates something unique.

7.30pm; Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;


SUPERHERO FAMILY DAY AT EXETER RACECOURSE  Children are encouraged to dress up – expect capes flying, masks masquerading and super-human powers to charge them through the day. They’ll also be taking part in running races on the actual racecourse, have their faces painted and test their climbing skills on the high-ropes course. There’ll be some horse racing too.


EMILY MACAULAY shares the latest from Exeter Library Libraries see the future in the eyes of the children excited to be with us. Libraries Unlimited, the charity that runs all public libraries in Devon and Torbay, ensures that every child whose birth is registered in Devon receives access to a library. The first tangible link that child has with society – and what a door of opportunities and adventures that opens for them. If you’ve lost your child’s library card do pop in and speak to us (bring a bit of ID to prove who you are) and we can find an old card or create a new one. If you’ve got concerns about your account (perhaps you lost a book years ago) please also come in and speak with us. We want everyone to be enjoying their library and can find a way around most problems. Children can borrow up to twelve books at a time (useful if they devour them like a Tasmanian Devil) and have reduced fines (or no fines at all if they’re aged under 5). We hold weekly events for children too, which are all free of charge – although we welcome donations to help us keep putting on these activities. Every Tuesday at 10.15-10.45 and 11.15-11.45 we hold our very popular Bounce and Rhyme sessions. Bring along your little one and join in with nursery rhymes and other familiar songs (quality singing voice not required). Every Friday at 11.30-12.00 and 2.00-2:30pm join us for story time for younger readers. Dad and baby enjoy a bit of a sing-song

Leap into the fun, super hero style, at Exeter Racecourse

Gates open at 11.50am; Exeter Racecourse, Kennford, Exeter;

28 March-1 September

THE GREAT BIG BRICK SAFARI Expect over 80 giant wild animal models made from over 1 million LEGO® bricks. From a giant gorilla, a jumbo size elephant and a majestic lion, to marvellous macaws, beautiful butterflies and a cool crocodile, these animals will form the trail for visitors to follow around the zoo. Paignton Zoo, Totnes Road, Paignton, Devon;

30 March-3 April

EASTER HOLIDAY ADVENTURES One day and week long activity courses and sessions for 5-8 and 8-14 year olds. Courses and activity sessions include improver kayaking and sailing courses, canoeing,


rock climbing, climbing wall and powerfan descents, artificial caving, improvised raft-building, archery, team-building, bush craft skills and bell-boating. Early morning drop off and late collection options for busy parents. 8am-6pm; Haven Banks Outdoor Education Centre, Haven Road, Exeter;

31 March

LOOKING THE PART Fancy dressing up as a Dartmoor shepherd or an Exonian Roman? Dress up in the style of a bygone era or explore the clothes of different cultures with our selection of costumes. Capture the moment by stepping into our display case or behind our portrait frame and taking a snap. Various times; Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Queen St; n


R LOCAL ART SHOW RAMM’s Local Art Show is back and drum are the finalists! (and all the information on where to see the art and how to vote!)

AMM’s (Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery) annual Local Art Show has returned, giving art groups and societies from Exeter and the surrounding area the chance to exhibit their work in an exhibition. Not familiar with the competition? RAMM asks local art groups to submit a body of work, this year’s theme is RAMM and its collections, finalists are chosen and then the public – that’s you – vote for the art group that you like the best. The winning group then has their art work exhibited at RAMM. The emphasis on supporting local talent is central to the show, hence why Exeter Living has jumped onboard to support and run the competition this year. “With the annual Local Art Show we aim to recognise, reward and foster creativity, and I am always impressed by the variety and quality of local art,” says Rachel Sutton, Exeter’s deputy leader and lead councillor for climate & culture. “This year, the artworks were inspired by RAMM and its collections giving broad scope for the imagination. We are very grateful to Exeter Living for supporting the 2020 competition and I look forward to another stunning show.” So, Exeter people. If you’re keen on art, and feel strongly about supporting local artists like we do, feast your eyes on the art and get voting!

Who are the finalists?

The three Devon art groups competing for the Exeter Living Local Art Show 2020 are: Double Elephant Print Workshop, Magic Carpet and Topsham Art Group.


Double Elephant is a fine art printmaking workshop, which provides resources, tuition and support to complete beginners and experienced artists alike. Their ethos is one of continuous creative learning and development with a commitment to helping everyone reach the very highest standards. Here’s what they had to say:

“We have 100 full and associate members and tutor 300 learners each year from across Exeter and Devon which should ensure that, if successful, our exhibition will attract good audiences from a wide area. Visitors will find a varied and enjoyable range of work, covering a wide scope of subjects and techniques, and demonstrating the high level of skill our artists achieve. We are about to make a major expansion of our facilities to provide more activity in Exeter, particularly around creativity and health and wellbeing. Winning this competition in 2020 would be an amazing way to celebrate this and reach new audiences for our work.” Delphine Jones’ Shoaling Fish Screenprint from Double Elephant Print Workshop


Magic Carpet Wings from Magic Carpet


Magic Carpet is a charity which has been running in Exeter and East Devon for nearly 40 years. As a charity, they passionately believe that everyone should have access to the arts in order to enrich their lives. Here’s what they had to say:

“In these changing times, we feel that the arts have an important role to play, both in expression and as an alternative to traditional health care. We work with communities united by ability, geography and circumstances, including people with learning disabilities and mental health conditions. We also work with those using services at Hospiscare, Haldon Eating Disorder Unit and a charity called Living with Aphasia. Participants in these groups could be you or me. The sessions are therapeutic but they also provide a new way for people to express themselves. This exhibition would give all of our participants an opportunity to see themselves as valued artists. We want the wider population of Exeter to see and understand what we do. This opportunity will enable people to

gain a greater awareness of how the arts can benefit health. We should win this competition in order to showcase the work of our participants, whose diverse lives are often restricted by health or social circumstances.”

“We aim to reward and foster creativity”


Topsham Art Group (TAG) has around 150 members who meet once a month for lectures and demonstrations. A Summer Exhibition of the members’ work is held over two weeks in August which usually attracts in excess of 1000 visitors many of whom come from outside the local area. Here’s what they had to say:

“This year’s theme is an excellent opportunity to explore the vast range of the RAMM’s collections and to represent them in novel and exciting ways. We also want to show their connection to the public, especially children. The extensive collections in RAMM reflect the development of human and animal

Where can I see the art of the finalists? Ten pieces from each finalist will be on RAMM’s website:

The Window of Wonders by Gill Fitzpatrick, Topsham Art Group

How can I vote? Please send your nomination to Please put the name of the group you would like to win in the subject line.

evolution as well as the enormous diversity of human cultures and the beauty and richness of the natural world. With the increasing pressures of population expansion, climate change and political action, the RAMM’s collections provide an important reminder of what we humans are doing to our planet. If successful in this competition, TAG will try to convey some of this huge theme through a wide range of media. We hope that this will encourage more local people to take up art as a relaxing and rewarding pastime and to come and visit our highlyacclaimed City Museum and to appreciate its contribution to public life in Exeter.

What is the deadline for voting? The voting runs from 6 March until 3 April. When will the winner be announced? 17 April – on RAMM’S website and on their social media platforms. When can I see the art? The winning group will display their work at RAMM from 20 May to 17 June. I EXETER LIVING I 27

HOMEWARD BOUND Amalia Vitale is getting ready for a very special homecoming. The actor is returning to Exeter playing Charlie Chaplin in a new play which is earning rave reviews from the critics Interview by Phil Goodwin 28 I EXETER LIVING I

“It couldn’t be more perfect to finish the show in the city where I grew up”



hen Amalia steps onto the Northcott stage in April, it will be the first time since she performed in the theatre’s young company as a child during the late 90s and early noughties. The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel shines a light on an unknown period in comic history when two maverick imaginations collided for a brief time. The unknown Chaplin and Laurel shared a cabin across the Atlantic before touring the United States together as part of Fred Karno’s famous music hall troupe. There is one scene in the silent comedy, in which she plays the six-year-old Chaplin making his own theatrical debut, and this will have a particular resonance for an actor who began her career at a tender age in the city. “It is going to be pretty mad doing that in Exeter,” she says, “It couldn’t be more perfect to finish the show in the city where I grew up and it will be a real honour to be back in that space.” Vitale, born to half-Italian parents who moved to Torbay to work in a hotel with shades of Fawlty Towers, played in a string of youth productions from the age of 11. Under the tutelage of Rachel Vowles, she performed in Oliver Twist, Oh! What a Lovely War, Tin Pan Alley, Around the World in 80 Days, and Mother Goose, alongside panto stalwart and much-loved dame, Steve Bennett. She cut her teeth as part of a cohort that went on to do great things: Alex Sharp won a Tony award for his Broadway hit The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Finn Irwin founded Exeter’s Bike Shed theatre. “The Young Company productions were such massive endeavours and I felt like I spent my life at rehearsals,” she recalled. “Some of the shows were as rigorous as those I am in now. It felt like a real company, I made a lot of friends and it kind of sealed the deal for me in choosing a career in acting. You start to understand how acting companies work, what’s required of you to become a performer. It was there that I went from being terrible as an actor to actually being quite good.” There have been plenty of professional gigs since then for the 32 year-old graduate of Birmingham Conservatoire, who now lives in Tooting. Then in 2018, Paul Hunter, artistic director



top: Amalia is performing in Exeter this March; bottom: Amalia has been brushing up on

her slapstick comedy skills

of Told by an Idiot, spotted her playing a riotous dog in Tim Crouch’s acclaimed play Beginners. He invited her to a workshop – which teased out the unusual relationship between Chaplin and Laurel – and asked her to take on the role of Chaplin. “He messaged me a month later and asked me if I wanted to be Charlie – I said ‘yeah’ but of course I was terrified,” she admitted. “It was the first time I have had such a prominent role, especially paying someone quite so iconic. But I welcomed the challenge. She says inhabiting the persona of Chaplin has helped to shed light on the enigma at the heart of the production. The 1920 tour launched two glittering careers: Stan Laurel returned home to Britain, later finding success with his soulmate Oliver Hardy, while Chaplin developed his Little Tramp character and within five years became one of the most famous figures in the world. In Chaplin’s highly detailed autobiography Stan Laurel is never mentioned. Stan, however, talked about Charlie all his life. “Charlie kept all his competition at a safe distance – it was not an accident that he never mentioned Stan,” Vitale adds. “He came from nothing and had to provide

for himself his whole life. He was always terrified of going back to where he came from, never really trusted anyone and certainly didn’t feel the need to share. “Stan was quite in awe of Charlie and wanted to tell all the tales. “It has really been a joy playing Charlie. I get to watch an awful lot of his films. There are 80-odd of them and so far I am about half-way through. Stan and Charlie are so different. Charlie’s work is quite sentimental and sometimes difficult to get into but once you do they become quite addictive. “My mum told me when I was young that I should be a clown. I didn’t quite understand what she meant. Later in life I met my husband – a clown teacher – but I’ve never done outright slapstick until now, it’s great to have a job where I can explore that element. And to finish the tour in Exeter, back on my old stomping ground, will be an amazing experience.” The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel is on from 24 - 28 March at Exeter Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, Exeter; I EXETER LIVING I 29

DORIA BOW HEADBAND, £18 Not great at coordinating outfits? Not a prob, dress all in black/blue and plonk one of these pretty things on your head. Job done. From Busby & Fox, 21 Cathedral Yard, Exeter;

ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL Skip into spring wearing colourful clothes from the local indies

CLASSIC ORGANIC COTTON CREW SWEATER, £50 It’s not all about toothpaste – mint also beams fresh, happy spring moments. From Colony, 51C Fore Street, Totnes, Devon;

LUCIA DRESS, £155 Floaty and pretty – if you’re not quite ready to bare those legs, pair with jeans. From Lorna Ruby, 17 Catherine Street, Exeter;

CLAES GÖRAN LADIES LEATHER NINO BOOTS, £425 It’s all about ankle boots at the moment. Sturdy, comfy – yet really stylish – they are great allrounders, working wonders with skinnies, minis or flowing dresses aka Little Women. From Je Suis Mojo, 36 Gold Street, Tiverton;


YELLOW LOU CIRCLE EARRINGS, £8.95 Chunky yet super lightweight, these will see you through spring – wear with coral lipstick for maximum impact. From Hyde and Seek, Unit 1, Harlequins, 1 Paul Street, Exeter;

ED’S CHOICE VIBEKKAA OFFSPRING JUMPSUIT IN NIGHT SKY, £119.00 Versatile thy name is jumpsuit. Dress up with heels and a jacket or down with pumps and a cardie – match with whopping earrings. From Sancho’s, 117 Fore Street, Exeter;

ONE HUNDRED STARS & KEW RBG PASSION FLOWER CORAL KIMONO, £43 No need to spend hours weeding the garden, get in touch with nature with this beautiful, floaty passion flower kimono, inspired by a historical sketch with delicate details throughout, from the exotic flowers to the twisting, tendril-baring vines. Match with jeans, ballet pumps and plenty of bangles. From Moko, 17 Gandy Street, Exeter;

BLAKE SCARF LIGHT BLUE, £950 Enjoy the gold star design and feathered edge as you fling it round your neck on a blustery walk. From Inside Out, 1 Bampfylde Lane, Princesshay, Exeter;

SUPER TROOPER IN BATON ROUGE, £39.99 Gorgeous crops – they fall just below the knee – which will see you rocking an early sixties vibe when you’re having your first al fresco drink at a Devon pub this spring. From Caramel Clothing, 18 The Strand, Exmouth, Exeter;

VOLKER LANG BAG, £189 & PINK CACTUS SCARF, £44.95 Want to make a statement but not sure how? Do it with your accessories. From Casa Magnolia, 38, The Square, Chagford, Devon; I EXETER LIVING I 31

Elizabeth Ann of Exeter





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SPRING GREENS The warmer months herald colourful plates teeming with fresh, local produce. We chatted to a couple of Exeter foodies to find out what is on their spring menus…


Chef at The Jack in the Green, London Road, Exeter; What local produce are you looking forward to using this spring?

“April hath put the spirit of youth in everything.” Shakespeare is a man after my own heart and spring is always welcomed in our kitchen. The signs of warmer weather, longer days and the promise of the new season’s produce are guaranteed to lift any chef ’s winter blues! Together with the first of the peas in their pods, the tiniest of fresh asparagus

“New season garlic makes a delightful sweet purée when slow roasted with local honey” 34 I EXETER LIVING I

spears are beginning to grow just down the road. Stunning morel mushrooms also have a very short season and we snap these beauties up in a heartbeat when they’re offered! The usual wild garlic will soon be available and on many a kitchen menu but should be used with caution as it is dangerously pungent and can easily overpower a dish. I also enjoy the new season garlic which comes first from the mountains in northern Italy – this makes a delightful sweet purée when slow roasted with local honey. Personally, I avoid the early flurry of spring lamb as I find it a little expensive and prefer to wait until it’s a little older and has a fuller flavour. Perhaps try making a wonderful spring pea soup at home with a little pancetta and flakes of ham hock and a crispy hen’s egg – this takes something so simple to a whole new level. What’s on your spring menu?

Right now you’ll find some beautiful line caught Cornish cod, our own home cured bresaola, miso glazed creedy carver duck breast from Crediton and a decadent chocolate and orange mousse cake with Grand Marnier and mascarpone cream. It’s also the start of the pub’s 28th year and my 26th year as head chef !




ugely popular at the Jack, this lemon sole dish has become a menu staple and is our version of a classic. It may sound obvious but for your end product to taste great it is imperative that you begin with wonderfully fresh fish and preferably from a day boat. Look for bright and clear eyes, rich red gills and a healthy slime – fresh fish smells only of the sea. If buying whole lemon soles ask your fishmonger to remove the head, skin both sides and trim the fins and tail so you end up with an oval shape. These are simply fabulous plainly grilled with brown butter, capers, shrimps and some finely chopped dill. With so much of the work done beforehand and taking only minutes to finish, this is a great dinner party dish. Ingredients Olive oil A knob of unsalted butter 2 large lemon sole, filleted and skinned (450g 500g fish minimum) per person 50g white seedless grapes 50g samphire, stalks removed 50g fresh peas 50g broad beans 4 spears of West Country asparagus Ingredients for your sauce A drizzle of olive oil A knob of butter ½ an onion, finely chopped 1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

3 sprigs of fresh tarragon, finely chopped 90ml glass of sweet white wine 100ml double cream 250ml fish stock 1 lemon Method for your fish 1. First peel the grapes by blanching them in rapidly boiling water for 30 seconds. Immediately refresh in iced water. The skins should now slip off and be easy to peel. Following the natural line, divide each lemon sole fillet in half lengthways and remove the cartilage. Refrigerate until needed. 2. When ready to cook, season the fish on both sides with a pinch of salt and a few twists of freshly ground white pepper. Heat a non-stick frying pan then add a drizzle of olive oil and a knob of butter. 3. Place the fillets in the pan and cook over a medium-high heat for 2 minutes before turning and cooking for a further 1-2 minutes (depending on the thickness). Remove from the heat and finish by squeezing a little lemon juice over the fillets once cooked. (If you are low in confidence when cooking fish then you can simply grill your fillets of sole). Method for your sauce (This can be made ahead of time and re-heated when required). 1. Heat a heavy based pan over a medium heat. Sweat off the finely chopped onion and garlic in a drizzle of olive oil and a knob of butter without colour for 1 minute before adding

Serves 2

90ml of sweet white wine. Reduce the volume by half and then add 250ml of fish stock. 2. Continue to reduce the fish stock by approximately half. Finish by adding 100ml of double cream and bring to the boil. Pass the remaining liquid through a sieve. 3. If necessary, reduce the remaining liquid to a sauce like consistency then emulsify with a hand blender or whisk until light and frothy. Finally add a squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Method for your vegetables Blanch the peas, broad beans and asparagus in a pan of salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Then immediately immerse in iced water to stop the cooking process. Set aside the vegetables until needed. The broad beans (once cooled) can now be popped out of their jackets. Other seasonal alternatives would work just as well. To plate: When ready to plate, drop the blanched vegetables along with the samphire back into a pan of boiling salted water. Re-heat for 1 minute until al dente. Then toss in a little salted butter and sprinkle around the fish along with the grapes. Re-heat the required amount of sauce, whisk in the finely chopped tarragon and spoon over and around. Edible flowers can be added to the dish not only for the presentation but also the fresh summery flavours that they can add. I EXETER LIVING I 35


Life of pie


Pieminister, Queen Street, Right next to Exeter Central Station; What’s on your menu this spring?

Later this month (March) we’re launching a brand new pie called Evergreen.  It’s a plant-based celebration of leafy green and beans; kale, spinach and edamame beans lightly cooked in garlic, ginger and lemon zest. We love it.  Who’s doing the cooking?

We make all of our pies ourselves in-house and Tristan (my brother-in-law and co-founder is the chef in the partnership – I’m in charge of the marketing and designing side of things.) We’re a family business and we want our love and passion for pies to shine through for everyone who walks through the door. Whether you’re dashing in for a quick pie stop on the way to or from Exeter Central or you want to stay for a while, enjoying our nibbles and pies to our soft-serve pie-inspired sundaes – we’re here to make you feel relaxed and welcome. Any events coming up this spring?

We’re really hoping to launch our Bottomless Brunch on Queen Street soon. It’ll be every Saturday and it’s the stuff dreams are made of. Think everything you love about breakfast – in a pie! What else should we try?

Have you had our Mothership yet? If not, why not! It’s the ultimate pie feast and we invented it when we first started out, at Glastonbury in 2004. Also available as a vegan version, it’s your favourite pie piled high with mash, gravy, peas, cheese and crisp shallots.

The smiling pair: Tristan Hogg and Jon Simon


Ingredients 1 free-range British chicken, about 1.5kg 1 carrot, peeled and cut into quarters 2 celery sticks, cut into quarters 2 onions, cut in half 1 whole bulb of garlic, top sliced off 6 sprigs of tarragon 1 large knob of butter 3 chunky leeks, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced 200ml dry or medium cider, preferably Orchard Pig 2 tbsp plain flour 150ml single or whipping cream grated zest of ½ lemon 3 tbsp chopped chives 1 quantity of shortcrust pastry for the base or cheat with 660g of ready-made shortcrust pastry 1 free-range egg, lightly beaten, to glaze 1 quantity of rough puff pastry for the top or cheat with 375g ready-made puff pastry sea salt and black pepper Method 1. Put the chicken in a large pot with the carrot, celery, ½ an onion, the garlic bulb, 2 of the tarragon sprigs and a little salt. Add enough water to almost cover the chicken. Cover the pan, bring to a simmer and cook very gently for about 45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Leave until cool enough to handle, then remove the chicken from the pot. 2. Strain the chicken stock into a clean pan (discard all the vegetables except the garlic) and boil until reduced by half – the flavour should become concentrated. Meanwhile, take the skin off the chicken and discard. Tear the meat into shreds. 3. Cut the rest of the onions into medium dice. Melt the butter in a pan, add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the leeks and cook until softened. Pour in the cider and simmer until reduced by about half. Stir in the flour, cook for a few seconds, then add 400ml of the hot chicken stock, plus the cream and the lemon zest. Bring to a simmer – the mixture should have a nice, creamy pouring consistency. Add a little more of the hot stock if necessary. 4. Chop the remaining tarragon and add to the sauce, then remove from the heat. Squeeze in the flesh from the garlic bulb and stir in the chives and chicken. Season with salt and pepper and leave to cool. 5. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Roll out the shortcrust pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 3mm thick and use to line a large ovenproof dish, such as a baking tin or lasagne dish. Fill with the chicken mixture and then brush the pastry edges with a little beaten egg. 6. Roll out the rough puff pastry to about 3mm thick and use to cover the pie, trimming off the excess and pressing the edges together to seal. Brush with egg glaze and make a couple of small holes in the centre of the pie to let out steam. Leave to stand for 10 minutes, then bake for about 30 minutes, until golden brown. This pie is great served with new potatoes and spring greens.

Gastro Pub & Speakeasy Cocktail Bar



60 New North Road | Exeter Devon | EX4 4EP Tel: 01392 20 90 50.

It’s the city’s business

EXETERWORKS Lucy Clayton at last year’s TEDxExeter

Open invitation

The ninth annual TEDxExeter conference takes place on 17 April at Northcott Theatre and festival organisers have revealed some of the speakers who are set to entertain, educate and inspire audiences at this year’s event. Claire Kennedy, director and curator of TEDxExeter, says, “We’re bringing together leading thinkers and doers from a variety of fields to explore how we can create a brighter future. We hope to encourage people to step back from today’s fast-paced life and think about the impact of the decisions we make on generations to come. “Many regular attendees tell us TEDxExeter is a highlight of their year, but we’re always keen to welcome new members to our tribe, both by joining us in person or being part of our growing livestream community. People who can’t be with us on the day will be watching our talks live online at venues across Devon and beyond, including a cinema in India.” For more:

Anthony Peake

MOVING ON UP A new data sciences company in Exeter Science Park has been singled out by London Mayor Sadiq Khan by being named a UK finalist in the Mayor of London’s flagship technology innovation programme. Agile Datum specialises in developing advanced artificial intelligence, data analytics and intelligent chatbots for public and private sector organisations. The Mayor’s programme is an opportunity for start-ups to work together with leading corporates and public organisations to tackle some of today’s most pressing problems from congestion to countering violent extremism online. “We’re building a brilliant team here in the south west and have already partnered with experts at the University of Exeter through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership as part of the national work we are doing with Innovate UK,” says tech entrepreneur, CEO and founder Anthony Peake. For more:

CONFIRMED SPEAKERS FOR TEDxEXETER 2020 INCLUDE: • Rais Bhuiyan, survivor of a brutal post9/11 hate crime and founder of World Without Hate • Hannah Critchlow, an internationallyacclaimed Cambridge University neuroscientist and author • Journalist Matthew d’Ancona, from pioneering slow news advocates Tortoise Media • Fionn Ferreira, inventor and grand prize winner of the 2019 Google Science Fair • Tim Gordon, a marine biologist at the University of Exeter • Roman Krznaric, a public philosopher who writes about the power of ideas to change society • Sabrina Luisi, of education charity The Brilliant Club • Nic Marks, CEO and founder of Friday, which measures and improves employee happiness to help businesses build a positive work culture • Carmel McConnell, author, campaigner on child poverty, education and wellbeing


Exeter Community Centre Trust and residents and groups in St David’s Exeter have raised an impressive £1 million to celebrate the heritage of Exeter Community Centre and to enable more community groups to meet there. ‘This is the culmination of two years of hard planning and fundraising work in St David’s – a massive volunteer effort,” says Hannah Reynolds, Chair of Exeter Community Centre Trust. “The Centre has been bursting at the seams with the amount of community activity taking place here. Now we can open up the top floor of the building and enable more meetings and projects to take place. We have called it Our Big Project and it is a real labour of love to provide more opportunities for local people to be involved in our community.” For more:

The centre will have more room to welcome the community I EXETER LIVING I 39


Kerry England now and then

What do you love about your job?

Don’t tell them but I like working with lawyers, they’re so passionate about what they do. I really enjoy the creative aspects, coming up with ideas and approaches that really work. I love being able to measure results and know that I’m helping the business to succeed by positively impacting the bottom line.


Kerry England

Kerry is the new marketing manager at The Family Law Company. Here she chats (previous) awful jobs, her love of abseiling and the importance of toast at work What were you like as a child?

Probably quite annoying! My twin brothers were born on my eighth birthday so I took on the role of bossy big sister. I was always into drama and loved dressing up; I was once a dwarf in Snow White. I also loved taking part in carnivals, we used to make a carnival float using my dad’s pick-up truck. What subjects did you like and hate at school?

My favourite subject was English, particularly literature – I always loved books. I also enjoyed studying childcare (I’m a qualified nanny). I disliked the ‘regimented’ subjects like maths and science. What did you want to be when you were a child/teenager?

Three things! Firstly, a builder – my dad was a builder and I was a bit of a tomboy wanting to follow in his footsteps. Then an author, which is still on the cards one day, perhaps. In keeping with my theatrical tendencies, I also wanted to be a theatre set designer.

What led you to working in marketing within the legal sector?

I was a legal secretary initially. I found the whole area of digital really interesting; the ability to measure success, the creative aspects and the chance for interacting socially online with people I hadn’t met in person.

Any awful jobs along the way?

Quite a few… I worked as a waitress at Wimpy Burgers for £1.90 an hour. I had to dress up as Mr Wimpy for kids’ parties which was truly awful – I soon learnt it was better to be the party host. I also worked for Social Services, filing information about dead people. Very dull. For anyone not in the know, what does a marketing manager for a legal company actually do?

I’m putting together a strategy to help take the company into the next stage of its development. I manage the digital presence, including social media and website, and organise events – we have some great ones coming up this year. I also provide support to the team with training in writing and presenting skills. Ultimately, the role is about helping to attract new business for the company. You’ve just joined The Family Law Company. What attracted you to the role and company?

Family life is very important to me and I was looking for a law firm with the same ethos; there’s a real emphasis on health and wellbeing at the heart of the business. The Family Law Company has a really good reputation, and they’re specialists in their area of law, which gives me a real focus to work with.

Are there any cool perks to the job or quirky facts about the company?

What are the challenges?

Often family law requires marketing a ‘distress purchase’ like divorce; it’s something that people don’t really want to think about or talk about. So, the real challenge is to find ways to market these tough, emotional issues without sounding crass or patronising.

Bread is available to make toast in case you’ve been busy with clients and need a mid-morning snack. It’s a really happy environment to work in, lots of random acts of kindness, and thank you cards when you’ve done a good job. The mentoring scheme is a really great idea as is a perk offering free access to healthcare. Perhaps most importantly in this country, I love my branded brolly! What’s the corporate law scene like in Exeter?

It’s very active; we have a great mix of niche lawyers and those working internationally. There are also a number of the highest ranking solicitors in the country working here. It makes for a vibrant community. What advice would you give to someone who wants to do your job?

Look for marketing assistant roles, or apprenticeships (these are a great way in – I’ve brought several apprentices through). You can’t beat getting hands-on experience, getting paid while you learn. Be confident to look for the right workplace for you; don’t be scared to try different firms – be brave!

Outside of work, what makes you tick?

I’m pretty outdoorsy and love a challenge – I’ve abseiled down Canonteign Falls dressed as a chicken (back to that dressing up again!) and taken part in a tandem skydive. I’m thinking about signing up for the Three Peaks Challenge. I also volunteer for Exeter SANDS, stillbirth and neonatal death charity. And I’m a mum of two so that keeps me busy, always! Favourite places to eat, shop, drink in Exeter?

On the Waterfront at Exeter Quay for a massive pizza – I love the Quay. I’m a high street shopper so it’s Princesshay for me. For drinks, I like Friday Fizz with friends at Hotel du Vin. Tell us something about you that most people don’t know is a bit surprising.

I was once attacked by a squirrel. I was picking my children up from nursery and a squirrel ran towards me, chased by two cats. I was the only thing between it and the tree so it went for me! I had squirrel claw marks on my face for days after. Kerry is Marketing Manager, The Family Law Company, Oriel House, Southernhay Gardens, Exeter; I EXETER LIVING I 41


Meet the creative agency Digital, branding and marketing solutions from the local experts



What sets you apart from other agencies? Our difference is our commitment to thoroughly understand our clients’ businesses, so we can advise on the most appropriate design and marketing approach for them. Our team of senior digital and brand creatives use this in-depth knowledge to craft highly powerful digital, branding and marketing solutions. Which clients are you working with at the moment? We are very fortunate to work with many clients across a number of sectors including manufacturing, leisure and tourism, food and beverage, retail, property, construction and education. We are currently working with Blue Cedar Homes to market a number of developments for the over 55s across the South West. We have also just completed an e-commerce website for Ceramicx, an industry leading ceramic heating manufacturer in the Irish Republic. How has your industry changed over the years? Since we started D2 Creative in 2004 we have seen a steady increase in the amount of digital work we undertake. We have also seen a greater requirement from clients asking us to deliver more specialist digital services including app development and bespoke back office integrations. What drew you to agency work? I got into agency work because I enjoy the variety of work that one gets in a creative agency. Each client has unique creative and marketing challenges which makes for a very exciting and rewarding working environment.

What sets you apart from other agencies? Our internal resources (we employ 46 staff across 3 offices) are all encompassing, Marketing Strategists, Creative Designers, Web Developers, Digital Strategists, Content Copy Writers, Videography/Photography and our in-house PR/Event Company gkpr headed up by Glen King. Which clients are you working with at the moment? We recently completed a re-brand of the overarching trust for Paignton Zoo, Living Coasts and Newquay Zoo which is now collectively called Wild Planet Trust. Bigwave is rebranding the individual Zoo logos’, designing and building new websites, whilst supporting ongoing SEO and PPC campaigns. Why did you get into agency work? I was born and brought up in London and my cousin who worked for a television station got me a job at Ogilvy & Mather working on the launch of Bernard Mathews Turkeys at Easter campaign – I’ve never looked back! Why should a business utilise your services? We are a Creative Business Growth Agency that uses all our skillsets and talents of the team to ensure we make a major contribution to the success of our clients’ business. What is the oddest thing you have done in your role? Whilst filming a PG Tips commercial one of the chimps, dressed as a sailor, made a dash for it and I gave chase! What does your industry mean to you? It’s a great industry full of very talented and interesting folk – I really advocate trading ideas and sharing best practice with my peer group and together we are dynamic.

D2 CREATIVE 01392 877116;



David Clarke

Ronnie Halden



DIRTY MARTINI 01392 911056; What sets you apart from other agencies? Easy… the team. I’ve hired clever and brilliant people who are experts in their own right. They’re our biggest asset and I invest in them as much as possible. If you nurture, develop, recognise and reward your team, they’ll be happy. Happy experts deliver extraordinary results, which drives our clients’ business success, which in turn drives ours. It’s a testament to our culture that every member of the team has been here since day one. We have zero staff turnover. As Steve Jobs once said, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” Which clients are you working with at the moment? We’re so excited for 2020 as we’ve just won the contract for Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink. As we’re all foodies and after years of working with hospitality hotspots, it’s a natural fit! Long standing clients Exeter Advanced Dentistry, foodie legends Harry’s Restaurant, combined with The University of Exeter Students’ Guild guarantee this year will be epic. What is the most challenging brief you have faced? Deliveroo. It was fantastic. They were Wired Magazine’s startup of the week, launching in a new city each week and taking the UK by storm. Exeter was one of the first cities outside of London to launch. The concept was new, the company was new, as was the team and the tech. We were all green and in unchartered territory, but it was great fun and we delivered a launch campaign that set them up.

IF… MEDIA 01392 661062 / 07831 695913

Cameron Hodder

Sharon Goble

What sets you apart from other agencies? Firstly, I don’t describe myself as an agency! With a background in journalism and broadcasting, I offer a very personal service, working from my home office. When you call If… Media you will get me. This allows me to develop strong working relationships with a select number of clients, currently mostly charities and businesses within the South West in the fields of hospitality, sustainability and the law. I work with associates on a freelance basis if a project requires additional capacity or skills such as photography or graphic design. What bespoke services do you offer clients? The core services I offer are PR, copywriting, media training and video. Each of these complementary services incorporates a range of activities. PR, for example, encompasses writing press releases, blogs, features and award nominations, and developing positive relationships with media contacts and influencers. In short, exploring the best ways to help clients tell their story to their desired audience – that may be through broadcast interviews, short films, podcasts or written articles. Occasionally clients come to me for a one-off project, but most work with me on an ongoing basis to provide a regular drip-drip of engaging and newsworthy content.



What sets you apart from other agencies? Being a full-service marketing and PR agency means that when we work with companies, they are instantly accessing a wealth of skills across many marketing disciplines and as this is all under one roof, clients gain from joined-up, holistic marketing and PR. Why should a business utilise your services? If a business is serious about growth or staying on top of their game, then making sure its marketing and communications are on point will be an essential part of their strategy. Although we work extremely closely with in-house teams, being external to the company means we are able to have a different perspective as we are looking outward and not being consumed by day-to-day systems and processes meaning creative and strategic thinking can thrive. What do you find most rewarding about your role? There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing a client’s face light-up when you share with them your vision for their brand or website. Equally as feel-good is when we are managing their social media or digital strategy and we can see the results it is achieving for them. I would say the main driver for us as an agency is getting results, we get a real buzz from that.

What sets you apart from other agencies? We are proud to be a full-service creative agency. This means that we offer a wider range of services than many other agencies. From exciting digital marketing campaigns and brand new websites to award-winning film and brand strategy development, we have the expertise in-house to meet any creative challenge. What clients are you working with at the moment? We partner with a diversity of clients across a range of industries. These include global businesses such as Caterpillar, house-hold favourites like Tesco and Flybe, as well as local businesses and organisations including Devon County Council, Tozers and The Maynard School. Why should a business utilise your services? We foster partnerships with our clients, working together to achieve and exceed their goals. Based in the heart of Exeter, we have a broad range of skills in-house. This makes life easier for businesses, providing all the creative expertise they need from one agency. What is the oddest thing you have done in your role? A client called ‘Elves Behaving Badly’ required some saucy ideas for their edgy Christmas campaign. One of our ideas included a film script that would use a husky, sultry voiceover. During the presentation, to communicate the idea to full effect, I read the script aloud in my best husky, sultry voice, much to the amusement of my fellow presenter and the client.

ATTENTION MEDIA 01392 459409;


Sarah Jepson

Marcus Bennett I EXETER LIVING I 43



STEDCOMBE HOUSE 20 acres of glorious countryside, spectacular rooms and even an underground tunnel – this Axmouth property is truly awe-inspiring I EXETER LIVING I 45



aking a good first impression in life is crucial. A strong handshake, a winning smile, a confident walk – it all matters. And if there was an award given to the house that gives the ‘best first impression’ in Devon it would surely have to go to Stedcombe House. The property sits privately in approximately 20 acres of grounds including parkland, three walled gardens, pasture and woodland. Perched on the eastern slope of the Axe Valley, less than a mile from Axmouth, much of the land is terraced and the house overlooks its own land and the rolling country beyond. But, crucially, the house is entirely hidden until its symmetrical profile is revealed – boom! – as you approach via the bendy ascending drive. You imagine the first time you travel up that drive, you jam your foot down on the brakes just to take a moment to stop, take that magnificent view in and be really really impressed. The sense of wonder will continue as you step inside the house. The classical post-Restoration property is made up of two main floors, plus basement and attic and the proportions are, as you might expect, huge. So much so you’ll need some giant pieces of artwork to fill these rooms; time perhaps to unlease your inner art lover and purchase a mammoth, ostentatious naked person statue. Why not. In keeping with its era, all the rooms benefit from high ceilings with an array of fine period features, including handsome chimney pieces, original shutters and elegant panelling, which you’ll see displayed over the various rooms. And if you’re worried about dodgy roofs, and even dodgier heating, as can be the case with older properties, the big selling point here is it doesn’t need lots of work – it has already been done for you.



The Grade I listed building, was, according to tradition, built in 1697 by the Hallett family, ship owners from Lyme Regis, who had grown rich from trade with Barbados. The house still bears small reminders of their occupation: 18th century signatures cut on the window panes of the common parlour and the north-east bedroom. Wider interests are suggested by a document discovered behind panelling, whose tally of eminent national and local names has turned out to be a list of Commissioners of the Peace for c 1724-25. The Hallett family occupied it until 1889, when they were forced by bankruptcy to sell the estate to Samuel Sanders Stephens. The Stephens family sold up in 1960, when the estate was broken up, and in 1963 the house was vacant and left to its own devices. Neglect inevitably resulted in decay, and by the 1970s serious dry rot had affected most of the building. In 1988 Stedcombe House was sold to the current owner and a meticulous and sympathetic restoration began in mid-1988. His scholarly attention and devotion to its sympathetic architecture has resurrected this magnificent example of a William and Mary house. As for the outside, there’s plenty more accommodation here with the outbuildings and the lodge. The stableyard, (which you can travel to via an underground tunnel from the big house, very Agatha Christie) contains a number of red brick and stone outbuildings forming an attractive courtyard which have the potential to provide ancillary accommodation, stabling, workshops, garaging and storage, while the Lodge comprises of three bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, dining room, sitting room, utility room and a cloakroom. Just under a mile away is the pretty village of Axmouth, which offers a medieval harbour suitable for launching and mooring a boat, plus church, pubs, and yacht club. If you’re someone lucky enough to afford this thing of beauty, we suggest you hop to it. n

HOUSE NUMBERS Guide price Bedrooms

£4,500,000 9 (main house), 3 (lodge)

Outside stable block, numerous outbuildings, 3 walled gardens, pastureland, woodland



For more: Savills Exeter, Sterling Court, 17 Dix’s Field, Exeter; Knight Frank Exeter, 19 Southernhay East Exeter, EX1 1QD; I EXETER LIVING I 47

The Devon Shutter Company Ltd British Made Shutters Since 2007 01395 578506 |


above: CGI designs of Ada Lovelace Building right: Digging has begun

ADA LOVELACE BUILDING IN NUMBERS 20,000 square feet – size of building 3 – floors 2020 (Nov) – date of completion £5.5 million – funding from the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership’s (HotSW LEP) Growth Deal Funding £1.1million – funding from East Devon District Council’s Cabinet in conjunction with Devon County Council as part of the Exeter and East Devon Enterprise Zone programme


Work on the new Ada Lovelace Building at Exeter Science Park has begun. So, what’s it going to look like and who will benefit? Named after the 19th century mathematician, work on the Ada Lovelace Building – the 20,000 square foot speculative office and laboratory space – started recently. It’s an ambitious project, with sustainability and a focus on improving research and career opportunities at its core. The building aims to hold a net zero carbon for operational energy as a result of innovative design features, including 44kw solar roof-mounted solar-voltaic panels. It has been designed specifically for science, technology, engineering, maths and medical (STEMM) businesses and its internal spaces can be configured to suit tenants’ requirements. Workspaces will range from 1,500 to 6,000 square feet. Karl Tucker, Chair of the HotSW LEP (The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership), says, “The new Ada Lovelace Building – formally known as the Open Innovation Building – is one of our Growth Deal funded projects designed to boost the economy in key sectors throughout the Heart of the South West. “Exeter Science Park is a thriving business location and part of our portfolio of Enterprise Zones; and this new facility will be a valuable asset in attracting innovative, knowledge-based companies to our area.”

The building has been designed by architects LHC Design and Kensington Taylor, working for NPS South West Property Consultants and is being built by Midas Construction, part of the Midas Group, with the hope of bringing up to 150 jobs to the area. It is due for completion in November 2020. It’s partly funded by £5.5m from the HotSW LEP Growth Deal Funding. Over the lifetime of the Growth Deal: 2015 – 2021; HotSWLEP estimates the investment will create up to 26,300 new jobs and 16,400 new homes to the south west. The buildings are also partly funded by Devon County Council, East Devon District Council, Exeter City Council, Exeter and East Devon Enterprise Zone, Homes and Communities Agency, and the University of Exeter. Councillor Ian Thomas, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for finance and Chair of Exeter and East Devon Enterprise Zone Board says, “This new building will build on the success already being realised at Exeter Science Park, with space in high demand. The Ada Lovelace Building will provide further opportunities for high-quality, high-value jobs in our district.” For more:

“The building will provide further opportunities for highquality, high-value jobs in our district” I EXETER LIVING I 49

Celebrating 20 Years of e xcellence!

Changing seasonal menus | Wine & Dine evenings | Special dining events Catering services | Supporting fabulous local producers where possible Open: Wednesday – Saturday from 6pm. Saturday & Sunday lunch from 12pm The Triangle, Kenton, Exeter, Devon, EX6 8LS  01626 890195




The überglam Exeter Living Awards take place on 12 March at the Exeter University’s Great Hall, celebrating the best of Exeter. In this special preview, we give you a taste of what to expect…


PLATINUM SPONSOR Marsh Commercial Expert consultants in insurance, risk management and employee benefits for businesses and individuals. Its strength is the expertise and relationships it builds, helping its clients to thrive. LEAD SPONSORS: Cathedral Appointments, Crumbs, East of Exe, Exeter College, Exeter Live Better, Exeter Living, MD Business Interiors, Old Mill, Princesshay, Regus, Triangle Networks, Warwick Event Services.


s deeply, wildly glamorous celebrations go, the Exeter Living Awards go a pretty long way. Each year, unprecedented number of companies nominate; each year tickets sell out yet faster; and each year the drumbeat of expectation crescendos to Awards night itself. Truth is, you never know quite what to expect at any stage. And that’s a good thing. The nominations reveal a profusion of clever companies and organisations – sometimes all-new and often barely-

known; many well-known but telling of great new achievements. The judging session has clever insights as the wisdom-of-the-crowds effect means that the collective decision arrives at sound outcomes. Awards night has everything from laughter to tears to boisterous celebration, idiosyncratic-to-triumphant music, glitz, jubilation, attendees posing as cover stars, drama and just the most outré definition of überglam imaginable. Our host Mark Olver will provide many belly laughs, cheerfully yomping off piste as the whim takes him. Oh, and there’ll be an aftershow party through to implausible

o’clock, for the socially doughty, convivially hardy and, well, to be honest, the absolutely drunk. Maybe don’t schedule too many meetings on Friday 13 March (we won’t)… The Great Hall will be filled with hundreds of the city’s finest businesses again, with several dozen on the waiting list. If you can’t make it this time, do tune into social media on the night. Follow all the action @ExeterLivingAwd – we’ll be live tweeting the results. Thank you to all who have entered, sponsored and judged; and to those who will attend. It’ll be a blast. If you love Exeter, nothing, but nothing, beats being there… I EXETER LIVING I 51



ALAN QUICK Equalities and diversity campaigner Alan is the editor of a local weekly newspaper and is also the inspiration behind the establishment of Exeter Pride with Intercom.

As ever, a panel of completely independent judges will decide the Exeter Living Awards winners. And this year they’re drawn from all areas of the city too JABO BUTERA Jabo is the founder and managing director of Diversity Business Incubator, a community interest company aiming at catapulting business success within the BAME community in Devon.

PHIL BIALYK First elected to the Council in 1984, Cllr Bialyk serves as a ward councillor for Exwick and was elected Council Leader in May 2019, focusing on Corporate Vision and Strategy.


JAYE COWLE Jaye is founder of one of the UK’s leading digital advertising agencies, Launch Online. Jaye is also a regular speaker and business mentor drawing on her experience as a successful business owner.

SARAH TURNER Sarah is an author, freelance writer and blogger living in Exeter. She started writing as The Unmumsy Mum in 2013 and has since written three books, all of which are Sunday Times Top 10 bestsellers.

JESSICA WALLER Jessica, marketing director at Martin Frobisher’s, is a creative thinker and marketer with over 20 years’ experience, working across a range of industries and moving to the south west in 1999.

SIMON GIRLING Simon spent an enjoyable 15 years in London before moving to Exeter. Simon set up Girling Jones with the sole aim to build a strong construction and property recruitment consultancy in the south west.

EMILY MACAULAY Emily is the centre manager for Exeter Library. She was also elected Chair of the Gay Police Association and this work saw her awarded an MBE for services to equality and diversity.

LOUISE EDWARDS Louise is the marketing director of Michelmores. She joined the company in 2004, as a corporate lawyer, before turning her hand to professional services marketing.

WILL HARVEY Will is professor and associate dean at the University of Exeter. He received a PhD from the University of Cambridge and is currently the chair of trustees of Libraries Unlimited, which runs 50 public libraries across Devon.

EXETER LIVING AWARDS N OT LO N G U N T I L T H E B I G N I G H T, H E R E’S A LO O K BAC K O N T H E FU N FRO M 2019 Pete Woodham Kay and Sam Taylor


Shevek Pring, Melinda Burge, Annabelle Milverton and Tom Lowday

Becky Dickinson, Rowan Clarke, Jay Cowle and Ama Williams Ella Huffman and Jo Armstrong

Smiles all round

Sophie Brookes and Ben Lanyon

Amy Ware, Laura Clarke and Sophie Baitup

Oliver Raud, Kathryn White and Ama Williams I EXETER LIVING I 53

Life changing interior design in Devon 31a East Street, Ashburton, TQ13 7AQ

t: 01364 653563


Proud Finalist of



15 Gandy St, Exeter EX4 3LS ♦ ♦ 01392 491649 ♦ Mon - Thur: 12-10 | Fri: 12-11 | Sat: 11-11 | Sun: 12-3:30

Join Theatretrain TODAY and PERFORM with us in our local summer shows and at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in November.

CLEAR INDEPENDENT GUIDANCE Premier Financial Planning Ltd. Independent Investment & Mortgage Advice 1b Station Road, Pinhoe, Exeter EX1 3SA Contact us: | Telephone: 01392 758950 Proud Finalist of

For more information about our classes or these shows, please contact us: | | 01392 914066


Creating Fresh Starts Together Your local job agency with a difference Whether you’re looking for your dream job or future talent for your growing business, we can help and guide you to making the right decisions.

We would love to hear from you 01392 401330 | Basepoint Business Centre, Yeoford Way, Matford, Exeter EX2 8LB


Caroline Pittham and Ashley Hanoman

Phil Mills and Carolyn Southcott Tony Hawes and Mark Dowse

Baby Carter Miles, James Miles and Michelle Miles

Adam Pike, Esther Cadwallender, Joanna Stepien and Rayanne Armand


Wayne Bastian, Jo Evans and Aki Alexander

Ahead of the highly anticipated Exeter Living awards ceremony, On the Waterfront hosted the Exeter Living Awards Sponsors’ and Finalists’ Reception on 17 February. Greg Ingham, co-owner of MediaClash, Exeter Living’s publisher, gave a warm, welcoming and congratulatory speech to all the finalists, while guests enjoyed brightly coloured cocktails and delicious nibbles. Photos by James A Photography

Morgan Hawkins, Michaella Simpson, Philippa Kavanagh and Shaun Dudley Greg Ingham congratulated all the finalists


Jo Ryder, Katie Slade and Gary Price

Cameron Hodder, Lauren Flitcroft and Luke Whitaker

Phil Goodwin, Anna Bunt and Charlotte Hanson

Andrew Williamson and Ian Garcia

Tina Calvert, Dan Butler and Maddison Turvey

Wouter Hoex, Mike Badley, Jon Wright and Bob Irwin Amelia Pike, Charley Winter and Dana Mulligan

James Court and Kate Jenkins

Sarah Marks and Katie Brook Emily Smith, James Court, Charlie Garnham, Kate Jenkins and Dani Dunn

Chris Bentley, Joanna Stepien, Esther Cadwallender, Rayenne Armand I EXETER LIVING I 63

WILKINSON GRANT GIVES THE GIFT OF EXPERIENCE If you put your house on the market with Wilkinson Grant before 31st March 2020 we will give you an Inspiring Interiors gift card to spend at John Lewis which will include a 90 minute consultation with the Exeter in-store Home Design Stylist. During your experience, they’ll provide you with tailored recommendations that you can buy with your gift card.

Your 90-minute In-Store Appointment They’ll work through your ideas in store to help you find a look that suits your style and budget. Devising a new look for one room, pulling together everything from flooring and curtains to the finishing touches

Step 1: Discuss

Step 2: Browse

Step 3: Shop

Their Home Design Stylist will start by discussing ideas and what you’d like to achieve.

You’ll then look at some products together and your Stylist can start devising a new look for your room.

At the end of the appointment, they’ll give you a list of all the items you and your stylist have selected. Your Stylist can place any orders or collate your selection of items for you to take home on the day.

Book your free valuation to discover the potential value of your home… Please call 01392 427500

EXETER Guide Price £575,000 State-of-the-art lower ground floor apartment in a luxurious Grade II Listed development with concierge service and gym. Fabulous living space and System Six fitted kitchen. Three bedrooms with stunning master en suite and landscaped communal gardens. Allocated parking space right in the heart of Exeter’s ‘Mayfair’ and within walking distance of the cathedral and city, high street and Princesshay shopping centre. EER ‘C’

To arrange a viewing of this property please call 01392 427500 or email


EXETER Guide Price £1,400,00 A truly stunning and impressive contemporary masterpiece situated in one of St Leonard’s most desirable addresses. Great family space providing 3235 sq.ft of stunning living accommodation with separate sitting room, study, 4-6 bedrooms, 4 beautiful bathrooms, home cinema/ bedroom 5, playroom/bedroom 6. Plus a south facing level garden, private drive and garage. TESLA charging point. EER B

For further information contact Mike Shaw on 01392 427500 or email



“I have learnt that making is essential to my wellbeing”

MICHELLE MOINZADEH Michelle runs her own business making and selling clothing. Here she chats sustainability, the beauty of historical fabric, and her fashion icons Whereabouts do you live?

I have lived in Whimple for over 20 years and I probably walk most days around the village and surrounding countryside. It is so pretty in every season that this beautiful village never fails to inspire me. Where did you grow up?

Although I was born in Exeter, I spent the first 10 years of my life in Iran. I have very fond memories of growing up in the south of the country, and my childhood was largely spent outdoors – playing and swimming with siblings and friends. How did you get started in fashion?

From an early age, I loved to draw and my love of drawing continues to this day. I obtained a degree in fashion design from Ravensbourne College of Art although I wasn’t

able to sew or knit before starting my course! My degree course was wonderful and I was introduced to pattern cutting, tailoring, knitting and print-making. I loved every minute of the creative freedom and I have not stopped “making” to this day. I have learnt that making is essential to my wellbeing and it completely absorbs me. Who were your fashion heroes?

John Galliano and Helen Storey. Before Instagram and social media, I would spend a lot of money buying fashion magazines every month, just to see the beautiful Dior collections created by John Galliano and seeing some of his garments in the Dior exhibition in Paris and at the V&A last year was truly inspirational. I got to meet Helen Storey at the Met Office here in Exeter in 2013, when my students (I lecture part time in fashion design at


Exeter College and I have the most amazing students) got involved with Hackathons and The London Design Festival. I admire how she combines science, technology and sustainability with fashion and still creates beautiful garments. I always try to educate my students to design intelligently and move away from fast fashion and its long-term impact on our lives.

biscuits. Sometimes I would take my knitting with me while she worked. We both found the rooms and gardens a calming atmosphere to relax in away from our everyday busy lives. My workshops take place in the beautiful Georgian kitchen, where we sit, chat and learn a skill. The aim of the day is to learn a new skill in a relaxing, friendly and creative environment.

You started your own company Seam Haberdashery, making everything from vintage lace to baby knitwear – what’s the appeal?

What do the next few months look like for you?

The idea of grandma making baby clothes and grandad making wooden knitting needles came from time spent with my parents. Both are retired and they often feel their skills are no longer relevant or worth anything. Making has given them both a purpose and a sense of wellbeing that I think is missing from our culture. The ethos of Seam Haberdashery has always been to offer an alternative to fast fashion and to make individuals think about lifelong learning and sharing of skills regardless of age or gender. What made you want to start up the company?

The inspiration came from my love of historical fabric and in particular, the tactile nature of fabric and trimmings. Further inspiration came by teaching alongside a colleague who studied embroidery. Her love of history informed both mine and our students’ imaginations and so I started to collect and look back at the past to inspire all my work. Like a magpie, I collected and became obsessed with beautiful cloth, lace, yarns and trimmings. You also offer textile workshops at the Pig Hotel nearby…

I started to visit The Pig Hotel when my daughter was revising for her degree. We would often drive out and spend a few hours having lunch or just coffee and

I’m looking forward to spending time in my garden this spring and summer. I love hearing the church bells and simply sitting in the garden with family and friends. I try to grow flowers that attract birds and butterflies into the garden. I photograph my flowers throughout May and June for colour inspiration, and start to press petals or harvest lavender to make lavender bags and hand-made cards towards the middle of August. I am also looking forward to spending time by the sea – Branscombe being a favourite spot – when the summer eventually arrives. n For more:;

01392 248 630

17 Castle Street, Exeter EX4 3PT

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Exeter Living - Issue 259