Exeter Living - Issue 283

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ISSUE 283 / AUGUST 2021 / £3




ABOVE: Bearing all on page 17 ;

BELOW: Chic-beach look on page 26


ou may not immediately be able to place where you’ve seen the bountiful floral and peacock print on this issue’s front cover. Let me jog your memory: it is from the loos at the newly opened restaurant The Ivy Exeter. If you haven’t been there yet, turn to page 34 to read our review – and then remember to take your phone to the loos when you visit so you can get snap happy in the blush pink bathrooms. The restaurant is a fantastic addition to the city, and with the recent news of The Botanist coming to Exeter the choice on our doorstep is set to mushroom even further. The local food scene is very much front and centre in this issue. On page 30 we look at all the cookery courses, supper clubs and food festivals popping up over the city this summer; we visit the intimate (and exceptional) restaurant Circa on page 36; and there’s a pretty recipe from the dream team down at Sacred Grounds Café on page 38. Elsewhere in this issue, the focus is very much on how and where you can fun this summer. There are ideas a-plenty for family days out on page 12; we shine a light on the pretty town of Sidmouth on page 41; and we chat to TV adventurer Bear Grylls, on page 17, ahead of his Nature Valley Gone Wild Festival at Powderham Castle this Bank Holiday Weekend. Enjoy!

HARRIET NOBLE Follow us on Twitter @ExeterLiving

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Issue 283 / August 2021 COVER The Ivy Exeter, turn to page 34 for more


7 SPOTLIGHT A literary festival line-up revealed and a big

photography project for the city

JP HEDGE on the growth of health and wellbeing in

the city



11 BOOKS Summer reads to delve into 49 SOCIETY One fun restaurant launch 66 LIVES Meet the local NHS nurse and author


12 FAMILY DAYS OUT Inspiration for the summer holidays 17 BEAR GRYLLS We chat to the adventurer ahead of his

visit to Powderham Castle 41 SIDMOUTH Where to walk, shop, eat and drink


20 WHAT’S ON Theatre, music, arts and festivals




25 INTRO Pretty jim-jams 26 ED’S CHOICE Beach trip outfit and accessories sorted


29 FEASTS Supper clubs, food festivals and cookery courses 34 INSIDE The Ivy Exeter 36 DINING at Circa 38 RECIPE Breakfast beauty from Sacred Grounds Café


50 HEALTH & BEAUTY Aerial classes and walks of wonder


53 TOP OF THE CLASS A centre opening, award-winning

teachers and one gorgeous pooch


55 EXETERWORKS Interviews, openings, growth stories


60 NEWS All the latest from the property development sector 63 SHOWCASE A super-stylish city pad

Editor Harriet Noble harriet.noble@mediaclash.co.uk Managing Editor Deri Robins deri.robins@mediaclash.co.uk Senior Art Editor Andrew Richmond Graphic Design Megan Allison Cover Design Trevor Gilham Contributors JP Hedge, Charlie Richards, Callum Elliott-Archer Advertising manager Paula Miller paula.miller@mediaclash. co.uk Production/Distribution Manager Sarah Kingston sarah.kingston@mediaclash.co.uk Deputy Production Manager Kirstie Howe kirstie.howe@mediaclash.co.uk Production Designer Gemma Scrine gemma.scrine@mediaclash.co.uk Chief Executive Jane Ingham jane.ingham@mediaclash.co.uk Chief Executive Greg Ingham greg. ingham@mediaclash.co.uk Exeter Living MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW 01225 475800 www.mediaclash.co.uk @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. 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: info@mediaclash.co.uk

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and business wins for the city

Tree & Grounds Maintenance in the South West www.alltreeneeds.com

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From tree surgery to grass cutting, our professional grounds maintenance services are second to none. Make the most out of your property and arrange an appointment via our website or call today for more information.

SPOTLIGHT Dancing Darcey is coming to Devon



Budleigh Salterton will be buzzing with book lovers once again as the Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival makes a welcome return from 15 – 19 September this year. Headlining the programme will be former principal ballerina and Strictly judge Dame Darcey Bussell talking about her life of dance; comedy actress and bestselling novelist Celia Imrie will be chatting about her latest novel; and leading scientist evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins will be discussing science writing. Leading fiction writers appearing this year include Vera and Shetland creator Ann Cleeves, Best Marigold Hotel novelist Deborah Moggach, Women’s Prize founder Kate Mosse, and Apple Tree Yard psychological thriller writer Louise Doughty. Other guests include Dame Joan Bakewell, FT columnist Tim Harford, modern historian Sir Anthony Seldon, Theresa May’s former Chief of Staff Gavin Barwell, Richard Ovenden of the Bodleian Library, author and journalist Mary Ann Sieghart. Head to page Xxxxx 12 to see the children author line-up; wwwbudlitfest.org.uk


RAMM has launched Frame of Mind, a photography project which reaches out to young people living with mental health challenges and empowers them to use their smartphone or camera to capture the world in new ways. The project is being shaped by young people with their own experiences of mental health issues, who want to create a kind, supportive space on social media as an antidote to the unattainable perfection seen in much of the digital world. Young people will be examining objects mindfully and taking inspiration for their own photography. It is part of a series of community wellbeing projects developed by the museum to support people who have been affected by the impact of the Covid pandemic over the last 18 months. “All too often museums can be thought of as places where you simply look,” says Amal Ghusain, Exeter City Council’s lead for Communities and Culture. “While that can be very fulfilling, these projects are about active engagement with the objects, thoughts and ideas. They encourage people to see things in a new way, explore feelings and find time to pause. The projects have been created to bring calm following the chaos of the last year, which has affected us all and

The photography project will run for the rest of the year



Celia Imrie will be chatting at the festival

particularly young people and children. This is not therapy, but it can help them feel better and less alone.” The Frame of Mind Instagram account can be found at: @RAMMFrameofMind); rammuseum.org.uk

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Raising health JP is excited about the city’s energy and commitment to prioritising health and wellbeing


’m so pleased to see The Riverside pool open again. If anyone has seen Tom Hanks in the comedy The Money Pit, I believe Exeter was the inspiration. Astonishing lengths have gone into getting the pool open again – some four and a half years after it caught fire. The gym and the rest of the much-loved facilities have, of course, been open for a while now. But getting the pool back open for summer means a massive chapter is closing and a new exciting time around getting fit in the city is opening up. And after the 18 months we have all had, I don’t think there is a better time to put fitness and health at the heart of your family life. Elected members of the council were meeting at the historic Guildhall the night of the fire. I made it to the entrance of the meeting before I was diverted to take a look down the hill. By this time you could see the smoke from the High Street. Another 15 mins and I think the damage would have been too severe to repair. It was that close. The size of the fire meant nearby residents were also evacuated and housed because of the impact.

“If the city is healthy and happy, we all thrive”

The Riverside pool is once again open to the public

Two gerbils were rescued. After the initial fire damage was repaired, lots of big decisions were taken by those elected around new repairs. These were things that couldn’t have been predicted, and only came about because of the work that was taking place. They were big and expensive. Officers watched as, multiple times in the face of newly discovered issues and costs, there were choices to rebuild, or walk away. So much has changed since the fire. I don’t just mean a couple of Prime Ministers, Brexit and a pandemic. The pool and spa of course look great. A huge thing I am hoping our leisure members will notice is that the council have taken over the running of the facility. So what you may ask. Well, it’s no longer just about profits. ECC have a vested interest in everyone’s health and wellbeing. There is a bigger picture. If the city is healthy and happy, we all thrive. So now this city has the facilities, brilliant staff to run them, and a Sport England Delivery Pilot with snazzy ways to help try and get us all off our bums. The real big thing for me is Exeter Live Better. From the signs you see on the way in to the city, or on the shirts of the Chiefs, it has always been more than a slogan. But this year you should see the results of putting the wellbeing of residents at the heart

of everything the council does. That is easier said than done in the midst of fires, budget cuts, and pandemics. But we are now entering a fantastic phase where residents should start to know what Exeter Live Better means in every-day hum drum life. It’s living better – because you live in this city. Good old Exeter. Hooray for that. Now the doors of Riverside are open and the vaccine drive has given us half a chance at life, the next job is to get the doors of the world class St Sidwell’s Point open for use asap. We’ve stuck to a low membership cost, and good casual use prices too. And very shortly, hopefully by the time you are reading this, we’ll be able to introduce a new Exeter Live Better card. It is aimed at further helping those where price is still a barrier to fun and exercise. I don’t know anywhere that is doing this and who have ducked the industry formula of the usual student discounts. It might have taken us the length of a world war to get there, but here’s to a summer of swimming, a summer endorphin-fuelled fitness and a summer bursting with fun. ■ Jon-Paul Hedge is a director at Exeter City Council where he currently looks after leisure. He is a former newspaper editor and lives in the city with his wife and two young children. www.exeter.gov.uk

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W Summer reads

Charlie sends us to far-flung locations with her literary recommendations for the summer

here do you go when you have a thirst for new sights, but travel is limited? With summer in the air and holidays incoming, the writing featured in this week’s column transports us to far-off places in the way that only books can do. If you’re craving a city break, then Comma Press is a not-for-profit indie publisher who specialize in this kind of writing. Their ‘Reading the City’ series gathers 10 stories set in and about author home cities, capturing the essence of the place. Anthologies include Shanghai, Dhakar, Gaza, Rio, Liverpool, and Havana. The latest in the series, The Book of Reykjavik, takes you to the heart of the city and the people who dwell there, feeling the tensions between the urbanisation and rural histories, as well as the love-hate relationship some Icelandic citizens have with their capital. Carried by the chergul (wind), taking us to Morocco, and moving back in time to 1944, is The Country of Others, the latest by Leila Slimani. Mathilde meets Amine, a Moroccan soldier billeted in her town, Alsace, while he’s fighting for France. They marry and move to Amine’s rural farm near Meknes, trying to build a life together while cultures clash against the searing heat, and a Morocco struggling for independence and heading for war. Other books that capture and champion the spirit of their setting are new-ish in paperback Love in Colour by Bolu Babalola. Classic folklore and mythology are lushly reimagined by Babalola, who has drawn on stories from West Africa, the Middle East and

Ancient Greece to explore love, passion, selflove; how it holds us hostage, drives us wild, and can set us free. For younger readers, we love the Jhalak Prize longlisted The Girl Who Stole An Elephant by Nizrana Farook. Set in Sri Lanka, it’s the story of the mighty Chaya, schoolgirl by day and thief (stealing from the rich to help the poor) by night. Taking the Queen’s jewels and the Royal Elephant may be a theft too far, as Chaya escapes into the jungle in a tale of mystery, friendship, and heady Sri Lankan adventure. A picture book that travels over 4000 miles from the Nile in Egypt and ends up in Paris is Zeraffa Giraffa by Dianne Hofmeyr. Zeraffa the giraffe was sent as a gift by the Ottoman Viceroy of Egypt to King Charles X of France in 1826. He made the journey with his young keeper Atir, who would stay with the giraffe for his whole life. This story recreates this astonishing journey and is beautifully drawn by Jane Ray. And finally, we’ve got to shout out Che Guevara’s wonderful Motorcycle Diaries, which gets a fresh press this summer. Shortly before completing his medical training, a young Che toured the continent on a Norton 500 motorbike with his friend and fellow doctor Albert Grenado, meeting the poorest of the region and working at a leper colony in a journey that would inspire his revolutionary thinking. The book is a joy, the engaging adventures within the pages at times funny, at others desperately sad, and a historic precursor to the icon Che would become. As always, these books are available from Bookbag, and thanks for your support!

“Classic folklore and mythology are lushly reimagined”

Bookbag, 7-10, McCoy’s Arcade, Exeter; uk.bookshop.org/shop/bookbag

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OUT AND ABOUT Summer holidays are upon us. Panic not – we’ve got it sorted By Imogen Davidson-Smith

“The trip includes a speed boat ride followed by fresh fish and chips ”




ays out in these parts means exploring the amazing beaches and Devon countryside – and we’ve got plenty of outdoorsy fun detailed below. But if the weather Gods have other plans for us, there is also plenty of indoor fun with literary festivals and crafty workshops galore. Take a look at our pick of the family-friendly offerings nearby this summer...


Climb up through the secret garden and the 90 steps to the Victorian Fern Garden and you’re on top of a whopping 70metre high waterfall where you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Devon countryside. This is Canonteign Falls, set over 90 acres of ancient woodland, lakes and wetlands; a beautiful setting for nature lovers. There is plenty of adventure for the kids with two dedicated children’s play areas, with zip wires, trampolines and mini assault courses, plus picnic spots, trails and bridges. And sailing on the banks of the Lily Lake is a wooden replica of Quentin Blake’s Green Ship which children are invited to climb and explore on it’s life size deck; there’s also a bee garden where the team keep a healthy colony of bees. Onsite they’ve got a café and snack bar, they host late evening BBQ nights, and dogs are more than welcome. Canonteign Falls, Exeter; Exeter; www.canonteignfalls.co.uk


Adenture time at Canonteign Falls


Head to Exmouth for the day and enjoy the two miles of long sandy beach. If you fancy getting in on the water action, Exe Wake teach wakeboarding and waterskiing to kids aged 10 and upwards. If your brood are a bit smaller there are knee board sessions for kids over the age of six which will help them build water confidence. For a special occasion, perhaps a birthday or family gathering, you can opt for their private hire package deal which includes exclusive use of the Exe Wake barge and tiki bar for up to 20 people. The trip includes a speed boat ride and fresh fish and chips straight from Exmouth Marina. Note to adults: throughout the summer the team also run floating yoga classes on the barge every Wednesday evening. Exe Wake, Pier Head, Exmouth; www.exewake.co.uk

Travelling in style with Exe Wake

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Set in the heart of the rolling East Devon countryside, The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth is a really popular family attraction. The cute factor is pretty high; if you’re not following them on Instagram, do so immediately. As well as meeting the friendly donkeys, there is a summer family activity trail, and on 9-10 August, visitors will be able to enjoy extra free activities, including learning all about one of the UK’s rarest bats. The Completely Batty event features fun hands-on activities for all the family, including the chance to make flying bat models and bat masks, as well as making wildflower ‘seed bombs’, to help create a haven for bats and other pollinators in their own wildflower garden. The Donkey Sanctuary, Slade House Farm, Sidmouth; www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk


The Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) is always a haven of discovery, with artefacts hidden around every nook and cranny. This summer, there’s a whole host of children’s workshops and classes to keep the kids occupied. On 5, 12, 19 and 26 August, the museum hosts Promenade Promotions ‘Sunshine Follies’, featuring storytellers, circus skills, flea circuses, music and puppetry for a variety of family-friendly activities, including seaside games. If your kids are into their arts and crafts, there are workshops where they’ll be making masks, designing a floral window, and creating butterflies in motion. For the history nuts, there are The Romans Are Coming and Meet a historical character events. RAMM, Queen Street, Exeter; www.rammuseum.org.uk

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clockwise from top left: Watersports at Exe Wake; make new friends at the Donkey Sanctuary; meet Jacqueline Wilson at the Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival; and create your own mask at the RAMM


Go down a rabbit hole and through the looking glass at the RHS Garden Rosemoor this summer as the Devon destination celebrates 150 years of the iconic Alice in Wonderland stories. Inspired by Alice’s spirit of curiosity, families can view the gardens through the eyes of Alice, encountering topsy-turvy installations along the way. Children will be invited to sneak through the rabbit hole, peek through the door in the tree, transform themselves into a Queen (or King) of Hearts. A Mad Hatters Picnic will see families enjoying picnics across all gardens at the height of summer, and a variety of immersive theatre will spark the imagination of young and old, performed with the garden as the backdrop it will inspire all ages to connect with the outdoors. Plus for little ones there are weekly Welly Walks and Bug Hunts throughout the summer holidays. RHS Garden Rosemoor, Gt Torrington, Devon; www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/rosemoor/



Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival is back with a bang. Taking place between 15 and 19 September, the programme is packed with events for families lead by the multi-bestselling author Jacqueline Wilson who will be presenting her latest book The Primrose Railway Children. Horrible Histories illustrator Martin Brown will be getting everyone drawing, and Katz Cowley shares her brilliantly successful The Wonky Donkey. All ages can get stuck into modelling characters including Shaun the Sheep from Nick Park’s hilarious Aardman Films under the careful guidance of one of the company’s leading model makers. The festival will be taking Kehinde Andrews and comedian Tez Ilyas into schools in September to talk about issues including mental health and racism. The historical fiction writer Caroline Lawrence will also be talking about her very popular novels in a special transition event for year 6s from local primary schools. Schools involved include St Peter’s Primary, Colyton Grammar and Exmouth Community College. The Festival aims to be entirely live and in person with its famous marquee on the Green for refreshments and the pop-up Waterstones bookshop. n Budleigh Literary Festival, various locations in Budleigh Salterton; wwwbudlitfest.org.uk

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ONE TO ONE Bear Grylls, arriving in style


This August Bank Holiday weekend, Bear Grylls and a host of TV personalities will be descending on Powderham Castle for the Nature Valley Gone Wild Festival. We caught up with Bear to find out about the action-packed weekend ahead and to discover how an outdoorsy adventurer like him coped under lockdown... By Harriet Noble www.mediaclash.co.uk I EXETER LIVING I 17



ust when you think festivals have diversified enough (food, car, yoga festivals etc.) another one pops up that has you thinking, ooh that’s a good idea. Enter the Nature Valley Gone Wild Festival, a weekend dedicated to championing wild outdoor adventures. And who better to host it than TV adventurer and former soldier in the British Special Forces, Bear Grylls. The festival is pitched very much as a family weekend, and will see an all-star group of adventurers, explorers, and TV favourites giving workshops and leading activities. The inspiring group, including Steve Backshall and Nicola Adams, all have amazing stories to share about their lives and their tales of triumph over adversity. And then, come evening time, the bands come out to play and then it’s time to relax with a drink, something to eat and party time. Bear tells us more…

This is the first Gone Wild Festival, what was the draw for you to get involved?

Crouching tiger, Bear Grylls

My good friend and former Royal Marine, Oli Mason and I ran an event with the Scouts and Cadets. We had 100s of kids running around, getting wet, muddy and having the best time. Afterwards Oli suggested that we do it on a bigger scale, while raising money for the Royal Marines Charity, and that was it! Oli is an Exeter local, and Powderham Castle seemed the perfect location with fantastic fields and a lake we can use for activities and watersports. It means a lot to be able to support a veteran, while raising money for charity and inspiring families to spend time together outdoors.

make it accessible for everyone to try most things, but I don’t think you’ll find me on the skate ramp!

There are so many activities lined up (axe throwing, archery etc.) Can you do all those things?!

In some ways it’s been great, I needed to slow down and reset, I’ve loved spending more time at home. I did manage to stay active by doing Be Military Fit workouts everyday and going for runs. We were also lucky that we managed to get some filming done and I did lots on our new YouTube Channel with my son, which I loved.

I’m really lucky, with my job I get to experience lots of adventures in some super cool places. We’ve designed the festival to

What are you really looking forward to at the festival?

It’s been a rubbish year and like so many I haven’t been able to see my friends! I’m looking forward to having a catch-up and spending time with my family before the kids go back to school. How has your lockdown been for you, being such an active person?

Your TV shows and books are about surviving under adversity, achieving goals and staying positive – what advice do you give when it comes to looking after ourselves, both physically and mentally?

The winning team behind the Festival: Oli Mason and Bear Grylls

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Humans are amazing and capable of way more than they think. I always encourage people to push way beyond their perceived boundaries, and most importantly never give up. I live by those

three words, and it’s served me well in some dark times. It’s been tricky to keep motivated under lockdown. Do you ever just not feel like exercising?

My military background has given me great discipline. Like most people there are days when I just can’t be bothered, but the hardest thing is putting your trainers on. They’re the days that you get the most reward and feel really great afterwards.

“I always encourage people to push way beyond their perceived boundaries” What have you got lined up for this year – any more TV shows?

We have so many heroes to take on adventures this year, it’s going to be great. I can’t say too much now but stay tuned... The festival is at the great Powderham Castle, near Exeter. Any other favourite hangout spots in Devon?

That’s easy. The Commando Training Centre in Lympstone. I’m so proud to be an honorary Royal Marines Colonel and I try and visit the young recruits as much as I can. My son wants to join the Navy so I’m also a big fan of Dartmouth. n Nature Valley Gone Wild Festival with Bear Grylls is on 26-29 August at Powderham Castle, Devon. There are a variety of camping/glamping options; www.gonewildfestival.com



Kayaking, stand up paddleboarding on Powderham Lake, open water group swimming in the Exe Estuary, raft building, sailing, outdoor fitness with Be Military Fit, 5km and 10km morning runs around Powderham Estate, kids one mile fun run, adventure obstacle course, tranquil yoga sessions, climbing and abseiling, target archery, knife and axe throwing, drag queen story hour, camp fire cooking, and shelter building.

The Festival will take place in the beautiful grounds of Powderham Castle Melanie C, aka Sporty Spice


Bands performing include Kaiser Chiefs, Razorlight, Morcheeba, Melanie C, Scouting for Girls, Dick and Dom, The Ministry of Sound Classical and there’ll also be a silent disco. Zip wire fun Boxing hero Nicola Adams Water activities on the lake

90s favourites Morcheeba


Festival fun with live music

Explorer Steve Backshall

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Fun farce: The Play that goes Wrong is on at the Northcott

23rd July onwards


Exeter Corn Exchange, Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter; www.exetercornexchange.co.uk

THE FIRST CUT OR ISABELLA’S REVENGE – OUTDOOR THEATRE The Topsham Estuary Players will be performing the comic history of the Exeter Ship Canal. Expect hilarity and bring a chair. 6pm start, Powderham Castle, Exeter; www.powderham.co.uk

TREASURE ISLAND Featuring dastardly pirates, tropical islands and a mermaid, set sail on the Jolly Todger with Devon’s favourite funny men Le Navet Bete as they return with their swashbuckling, smash-hit comedy for all the family. Exeter Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, Exeter; www.exeternorthcott.co.uk

25 – 27 July

9 – 14 August

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG The award-winning smash hit comedy returns to Exeter, telling the story of a farcical 1920s murder mystery where, inevitably, everything goes wrong. Warning – you’ll leave the theatre with cheeks hurting from excessive laughter. Exeter Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, Exeter; www.exeternorthcott.co.uk

12 – 13 August

RUSSELL HOWARD: RESPITE Riding high on the success of his Sky One show The Russell Howard Hour, and his global smash Netflix special Recalibrate, Russell is back on stage where he belongs, making sense of a world that’s spinning out of control.

18 – 29 August

22 August

CARL HUTCHINSON: I KNOW I SHOULDN’T BEHAVE LIKE THIS... From buying a house to having kids, Carl takes his unique adolescent approach to grown up issues. He’ll be sharing his stories and observations that’s had crowds laugh their heads off year after year. Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter; www.exetercornexchange.co.uk

5 September

PROFESSOR BRIAN COX: HORIZONS WORK IN PROGRESS Expect a dazzling cinematic journey; a story of how we came to be and what we can become.

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Always check COVID-19 restrictions and instructions with venues before your visit

Venues will be filled with images of far-away galaxies, alien worlds, supermassive black holes and a time before the Big Bang. Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter; www.exetercornexchange.co.uk

MUSIC 24 July

EXETER SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA The outdoor concert at Poltimore House is a bring-a-picnic-and-a -blanket kind of event. The orchestra will be treating you to classics from Elgar, Brahms, Sibelius and more. Poltimore House Gardens, Poltimore, Exeter; www.ticketsource.co.uk

27 July

FLO & JOAN The musical comedy sisters Flo and Joan have a new hour of their dark and waggish songs to parade about the place. Their performance style has been described as ‘stiletto sharp’. 7.30pm, Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter; www.exeterphoenix.org.uk

28 July

THE HI-LIFE ORCHESTRA Legendary trombonist Abdul Raheem’s 8-piece orchestra takes

the magical sounds of hi-life and updates it with modern grooves, infectious riffs and blazing horn lines. This is a rebirth of Hi-Life that continues to play important roles in shaping the future sounds of West Africa. 7.30pm, Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter; www.exeterphoenix.org.uk

30 July

JESS MCALLISTER BAND Devon based Jess McAllister’s music spans from free-spirited, nostalgic folk, through to rhythmic, grooves Old Firehouse Exeter, 50 New North Road, Exeter, EX4 4EP; www.oldfirehouseexeter.co.uk

4 August

THE TREE SESSIONS – THE NIGHTINGALE SONGS AND STORIES Mercury Prize- nominated BBC Folk Award winning singer and author Sam Lee will be performing at the woods of the Castle, bring a picnic and a blanket. Gates open at 6pm for a 7pm start, Powderham Castle, Exeter; www.powderham.co.uk

FESTIVALS 23 – 24 July


WHAT’S ON Sheb Fest, Allacott Farm, Shebbear, Beaworthy, Devon; www.shebfest.com

10 – 12 September

CRAFT FESTIVAL BOVEY TRACEY Workshops, demos, beautiful produce for sale – all from artists and crafters such as ceramicists, print makers and furniture makers. A must for art and craft enthusiasts. Craft Festival, Mill Marsh Park, off St John’s Lane, Bovey Tracey, Devon; www.craftfestival.co.uk

15 – 18 September


Until 30 August

DENSITY AND LIGHTNESS AT EXETER CATHEDRAL Over 75 sculptures from 24 South West artists will feature and running alongside the exhibition are workshops, dance performances and art tours by leading experts. Art pieces will also be for sale. Exeter Cathedral, The Cloisters, Exeter; www.exeter-cathedral.org.uk


BUDLEIGH SALTERTON LITERARY FESTIVAL Expect inspiring writers, experts, thinkers and opinion formers,

along with lively panel discussions and dozens of children’s events, all set in the beautiful location on the stunning Jurassic coast. Various locations in Budleigh Salterton; www.budlitfest.org.uk


Hilary Burns, just one of the crafters appearing at Craft Festival Bovey Tracey; Family favourite Treasure Island is on at the Northcott


The Dartmoor festival returns with a line up which includes Scouting for Girls, Seasick Steve, Town of Cats and Elles Bailey. Family fun includes a bouncy castle, slide, face painting and a climbing tower for the brave. Chagstock Festival, Higher Fields, Whiddon Down, Near Chagstock; Devon; www.chagstock.info

30 July – 1 August

THE SOMETHING WILD FESTIVAL The festival site at Huccaby Farm is embedded right in the heart of Dartmoor, next to the Dart, offering an ideal swimming spot and a lovely tranquil location for camping. The running trails are the big events but there’s also wild swimming, yoga, and other outdoor fun for all ages. The Something Wild Festival, Hexworthy, Princetown, Yelverton; www.wildrunning.co.uk

30 July – 6 August

SIDMOUTH FOLK FESTIVAL The week-long festival will see everything from big concerts to small intimate sessions; dancing, storytelling, workshops and entertainment for all ages and lots of great food. The Sidmouth Folk Festival, Blackmore Gardens, Sidmouth; www.sidmouthfolkfestival.co.uk

14 August

EXETER RESPECT FESTIVAL This festival is all about diversity and inclusivity – the celebratory message is All Different, All Equal. There will be film showings, food and entertainment, followed by live music in the auditorium in the evening. This year the festival will be dedicated to all front line NHS staff and key workers. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter; www.exeter-respect.org

26–29 August

NATURE VALLEY GONE WILD FESTIVAL WITH BEAR GRYLLS By day, you and your family can join Bear and the team of adventurers and learn new skills on how to survive in the wild, or try one of the many adventure activities such as quad biking, climbing, paddle boarding and many more. By night, see artists including Razorlight, Kaiser Chiefs, Ministry of Sound Classical, Melanie C, Scouting for Girls, and Morcheeba. www.powderham.co.uk

3 – 4 September

SHEB FEST Ash, Ella Henderson, Republica and Exeter’s very own Pattern Pusher will be belting out the big numbers at this popular over-16s Devon festival.


CALLUM ELLIOTT-ARCHER shares the latest from Exeter Library

Things are starting to feel a bit more normal in the Library. We have started the Summer Reading Challenge (six books in six weeks for children, it’s fun and it’s free), and we are starting to see an increase in the number of people using our service. We are facing the right direction. The ‘Lost Librarian’ escape room is coming to Exeter Library (ending 4 August). This is a ground-breaking escape room for inquisitive explorers of all ages (12+ guidance, younger audiences must be accompanied by an adult). Using interactive mechanical books, small groups need to work together to solve the clues to unlock the books on a 60-minute journey, uncovering a fantastical tale of the last known witches in the UK and the legacy that they have left behind. £12 group Price; sessions are one hour slots, available throughout library opening hours. Visit Eventbrite or Search Lost Librarian Evolve to find your tickets. wwwdevonlibraries.org.uk

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WHAT’S ON Artist Liese Webley; Thirsty for Swimming (below)

Until 5 September

A LANGUAGE OF SEEDS Devon photographer Leonie Hampton captures both the beauty of the natural world and draws our attention to the urgent climate crisis through images that connect hand, body, and the food she grows. Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Queen Street, Exeter; rammuseum.org.uk

25 July – 15 August

SUMMER EXHIBITION AT THE GLORIOUS ART HOUSE CAFÉ A group show by talented local artists to relaunch the Glorious Gallery in its new home on the first floor. Drinks and snacks will be available at the cafe bar to be enjoyed downstairs and outside in the courtyard. The Glorious Art House Café, Fore Street, Exeter; www.thegloriousarthouse.com

27 August – 30 October

IN PLAIN SIGHT: THELMA HULBERT GALLERY This exhibition will take in a range of mediums including: painting, drawing, photography, sculpture and film, each London Group artist will hide some element within the work to be discovered by the viewer. Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Elmfield House, Dowell Street, Honiton; www.thelmahulbert.com


Folk singer Sam Lee will be performing at Powderham Castle

FOOD & DRINK Until 30 August

PRINCESSHAY’S MOJITO BEACH BAR Expect cocktails and mocktails in the summery setting of beach-hut style thatched umbrellas, palm trees and sand. You can grab a bite to eat from local street food operators and there is live music on selected Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday afternoons. Princesshay Square, Exeter; www.princesshay.co.uk

Every Thursday

EXETER FARMERS’ MARKET Sample West Country produce at this vibrant market. Expect local producers offering meat, fish, preserves, organic fruit and vegetables, freshly baked cakes, bread, pies and brownies. Every Thursday from 9am-2pm on Fore Street and South Street; www.exeterfarmersmarket.org

7 – 8 August

GUILDFEST ROOFTOP MARKET FOOD AND DRINK FESTIVAL This family-friendly festival, the first of its kind in the city, will be taking place on the roof of the Guildhall Car Park, offering stunning views over the city. As well as food and drink from local producers, there will be children’s activities and workshops in the mornings. Entry is free, although priority tickets are available. n www.guildfest.co.uk

DEVON OPEN STUDIOS 11–26 September

The big annual event is back! Meet artists in their studios in some of the most beautiful, unexplored parts of Devon. In addition to being able to buy art direct from the creator, there’s the chance to watch artists give demonstrations and talks. One local artist showcasing her work is Liese Webley, who paints colourful semiabstract paintings inspired by the local scenery. “I also love visiting other local artists and seeing all the diverse art they produce and the spaces they work in; having experienced the event from both sides I can see it’s a win-win for artists and visitors alike,” says Liese. www.devonartistnetwork.co.uk

22 I EXETER LIVING I www.mediaclash.co.uk

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ONCE AND FLORAL These beautiful jim-jams come in a combination of different colour patterns, but it’s these bold pinky-red ones with their joyful floral design that caught our attention. They’re made from 100 per cent cotton to keep you fresh as a daisy during your summer slumbers. Powell Craft Pyjamas, £45.95, available from Boka, 3 High Street, Crediton; www.bokaonline.co.uk

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TORTOISESHELL KENNEDY SUNGLASSES, £30 Stylish sunglasses incorporating on-trend frames, natural sustainable bamboo arms and polarised lenses, complete with sunglasses case. From Moko, 17 Gandy Street, Exeter; www.mokoexeter.co.uk

SUN DRESS IN GRENADINE MIX, £59.99 This number will keep you cool on the beach with its loose, flowy shape. Looks great layered with a white t-shirt or just over your bathers. Great for twirling in. From Caramel Clothing, 17-18 The Strand, Exmouth; www.caramelclothing.co.uk


All you need for a day trip to the beach this summer

BUG OFF, £10.95 A citronella-based spray to keep pesky insects away from your skin. From Apothespa Exeter, 4 Cathedral Close, Exeter; www.apothespa.co.uk

SASS AND BELLE PRESSED FLOWERS LARGE GLASS STORAGE BOX, £15.95 Pop your strawberries and raspberries into this practical, cutesy glass box for sunny days out. From Hyde and Seek, Unit 1 Harlequins, 1 Paul Street, Exeter; www.hydeseek.co.uk

CROSS-BACK SWIMSUIT, £95 This eco-friendly swimsuit is made from 82 per cent recycled polyamide, has UV protection and is built to last season after season. From Sancho’s, 117 Fore Street, Exeter, www.sanchosshop.com

26 I EXETER LIVING I www.mediaclash.co.uk

ED’S CHOICE HARMONICA SANDALS, £39 These leopard-patterned cork footbed sandals have underfoot cushioning to keep your tootsies comfy, and dimpled curves for extra grip to help you stroll with ease through the sand. From Mushulu; www.moshulu.co.uk

PANAMA HAT, £20 Always in style, this classic headgear comes with a black ribbon band for ultimate protection from the sun’s rays. From Snob, Tiverton or Budleigh Salterton Store; www.ilovesnob.co.uk

SUZIE TOTE BAG, £75 Simple and chic, this crisp white cotton bag is ideal for Devon beach trips. From Busby & Fox, 21 Cathedral Yard, Exeter, www.busbyandfox.com

BANTHAM DECKCHAIR, £57.50 These miniature children’s deckchairs have been crafted from sustainably sourced timber and are the perfect size for the little ones. You can choose your own fabric pattern and they also do adult – and giant sized – deckchairs. From Giant Deckchairs: www.giantdeckchairs.com

BECKSÖNDERGAARD SIA SCARF, £45 This square-shaped scarf is made from 100 per cent silk; its beautiful flower print perfect for adorning those mermaid tresses. From Lorna Ruby, 17 Catherine Street, Exeter; www.lornaruby.com

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Supper clubs, cookery courses and food festivals – here’s to a big, fun summer eating with friends and family By Harriet Noble

Colourful plates at Sacred Grounds

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All things fresh and green at Sacred Grounds


ver the past year, a lot of us have upped our culinary game, learning to cook things that previously we wouldn’t have had time to do. It’s fitting then, that cookery courses are seeing a huge upsurge in interest. There are plenty in Exeter, whether you want to impress friends with your crusty Sourdough or cook up a storm with a cracking curry. For those, who haven’t been encouraged to put a pinny on but definitely enjoy the fruits of other’s labour, there are plenty of cool supper clubs and popping up over the city. Bon appetit!

30 I EXETER LIVING I www.mediaclash.co.uk


Sacred Grounds: Calming interiors

Supper clubs with Sonali Tailor-Greenall


The vegan café and restaurant in McCoy’s Arcade is a gorgeously calming and cool spot in the city. If you’ve been there before, you’ll know it feels a bit remiss to call it a café – the food is exceptional, sporting imaginative menus and unexpected ingredients. The team here have welcomed back their supper club events, and the next one in the diary is Provenance at 7pm on Saturday 21 August, and will be an evening to celebrate local produce through a unique five-course tasting menu. “We decided to send our talented chefs into the wilds of the Devon countryside to visit growers, crafters and food producers, to explore the beautiful and unusual and to ultimately create one-off flavour experiences to share with you,” says co-owner Hayley Maker. Tickets are £34 and will include a crafted arrival drink; natural wines, ciders, soft drinks and specially paired cocktails will also be available on the evening. Sacred Grounds, McCoy’s Arcade, Fore Street, Exeter; www.sacredgrounds.co


Prawn ravioli in a lime leaf butter, Thai basil slaw, aubergine shawarma, chicken kebabs with a cucumber and peanut Salad, tiramisu, and choux buns. These are the kind of dishes you can expect from chef extraordinaire Sonali Tailor-Greenall. Sonali provides catering for small-medium sized private dinners where she creates bespoke menus for special occasions, as well as virtual workshops, and this August she will be bringing back her weekly Friday takeaways and hopes to re-start her supper clubs shortly. “I cook food using ingredients from all around the world, and dishes that are inspired by my family’s heritage and travels,” says Sonali. “I feel that it is important to show respect and appreciation to dishes and their origin, so you will see me explaining the history behind some of the dishes I cook. My inspiration is my family – we grew up in a multicultural family which means the food is one of the best parts of our get togethers! Also, as someone who was born and raised in North London, the vast amount of incredible food I was surrounded by definitely helps me in the kitchen today.” @suppersbysonali; www.suppers-by-sonali.myshopify.com

Sonali cooking up treats from the sea

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The cookery school at Pipers Farm, Cullompton, runs a huge range of cookery courses with a strong emphasis on world cuisine; you can currently book yourself in to make Keralan curry and bahiji, Vietnamese and Mexican street food, as well as sweeter offerings such as pastries, afternoon tea and chocolate courses. All the courses are taught by chef Jazzi Curley who’s been cheffing for eight years, working her way up the ladder from deli chef to cooking tutor for Jamie Oliver in London. After going on to do menu development, ski seasons and private cheffing, Jazzi happily landed back in her hometown of Exeter. The rural location and atmosphere at the farmhouse kitchen play a big part in making these cookery classes so popular. “With a hot drink and a pastry in hand we get ourselves kitted out and discuss the day ahead,” says Jazzi. “All of our classes are laid back and relaxed with plenty of laughs and no chef whites or stainless steel in sight. I’m really into the science of food and cooking in general and encourage questions throughout the class.” After you’ve made your food, everyone sits together to eat it and there are always leftovers to take home. “If we get a nice sunny warm day we may even get the opportunity to eat our lunch in the herb garden which is such an idyllic location,” adds Jazzi. “I have just introduced a half day meat masterclass to our calendar. Together we will learn to French trim and cook a lamb rack to perfection alongside a juicy pork tenderloin. We also have a two full day ‘Student survival’ classes aimed at teaching teens ages 16 and up to cook the basics and learn about food waste/ storage. Perfect for those off to university!” Devon Cookery School, Pipers Farm, Cullompton; www.devoncookeryschool.com

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top left: Aprons on at devon Cookery School; left: Cor, yummy pork pies at DCS: above: Smiley team at The Oddfellows

ONES FOR THE DIARY! 7 – 8 August GUILDFEST Some of the area’s biggest names in food and drink will feature at a two-day rooftop market festival in Exeter this summer. The Guildhall Shopping and Dining Centre’s rooftop car park will be transformed for the free event. This is the first Guildfest Rooftop Market Festival and punters will be able to enjoy stunning views

across Exeter to Haldon and beyond as well as all day entertainment and fun family activities. www.guildhallshopping exeter.co.uk

competitions expect a fun family-friendly day out. www.eatfestivals.org

21 August 10am – 4pm HONITON GATE TO PLATE


This annual street market is back! Celebrating all the fantastic food and craft from local food and drink producers, as well as traditional crafts people, a hands-on cook school, workshops, livestock, tractors, lots of entertainment and

Community-organised and driven by a passion for local food and talent, local producers, products and chefs will be showcasing their produce including craft ales, artisan cheeses, cupcakes, preserves and sauces, mushrooms, truffles and much more. www.otteryfood.org

“All of our classes are relaxed with plenty of laughs and no chef whites”


The gastro pub favourite will be running their supper clubs throughout August, every Friday and Saturday night. Everything is made from scratch in house, with cocktails, aperitif menus; seven courses for £40. Recent delights from the menu have included Vulscombe goat’s cheesecake, red onion jam and miso cress, forest fungi mushroom tea and crumpet, Exmouth crab, pea and mint salad, and strawberry fizz sorbet. The Oddfellows team can also come to you – in the form of a bar. Their outside bar can cater for intimate gatherings of 10 friends at your house right up to large weddings of 500. n The Oddfellows, 60 New N Road, Exeter; www.theoddfellowsbar.co.uk

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It’s here, it’s beautiful and it’s buzzing By Harriet Noble


t’s difficult to resist the lure of The Ivy. From the original London venue, notorious as a 90s celebrity hotspot, it has now spread its wings and become, that slightly dubious of things, a chain. And yet. The team at the Ivy have pulled off an amazing feat, creating a restaurant bursting with beauty, with nothing painting-by-numbers about it. Entering The Ivy is to enter a botanical fantasy land where old-school art deco influences sweep through the restaurant; you are, in an instant, transported away from the high street, landing in planet glam. And the current trend for maximalist interiors couldn’t come at a better time for this restaurant with its opulent bar, sky-high plants, and bold riverbank wallpaper design, depicting giant watery scenes and native wildlife of the River Exe. The botanical look continues in the bathrooms – the décor highlight for many and our beaut of a front cover – where you’ll find a carpet of blush pink roses on the ceiling, wallpaper featuring resplendent peacocks roosting in an elegant pergola trellis, pink marble basins and a whopping chandelier for good measure. But on to the food. The menu is a savvy collection

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with classics such as shepherd’s pie and fish and chips, as well as a splattering of unusual dishes to suit the more adventurous; my plus one on the visit is my sister Louise and we both comment that we could take our whole family here and the Holy Grail of restaurant experiences would happen – everyone would find something they liked on the menu. I start off with the bang bang crispy chicken dish that comes with peanut, cucumber, baby gem and radish salad, sweet chilli and peanut dressing. It has a big, delicious Asian kick to it, beautifully offset with splashes of fresh lime. In fact, I love this dish so much I am actually googling it now to see if I can re-create it at home. To follow, I have hoisin-glazed crispy duck leg sitting on a cloud of creamy coriander-mashed potatoes, with pak-choi, sesame seeds and red wine sauce. This is my kind of meat and veg dish, it’s bursting full of flavour – the crisp on the duck is to die for – but it’s elegant, not heavy; I don’t need to lie down afterwards. My sis kicks off her meal with a summery mocktail, elderflower garden. This restaurant is so on-brand the drink matches the interiors with its rouge colour and

“The marriage of spices and fresh flavours proves a punchy and refreshing mouthful” fresh cucumber strip wrapping the glass; it’s refreshing with deep, bitter flavours that hum through. Her starter, the crispy duck salad, comes with a five-spice dressing, toasted cashews, watermelon, beansprouts, sesame seeds, coriander and ginger. Again the marriage of spices and fresh flavours proving a punchy and refreshing mouthful. For main course she is on to the Peruvian chicken, a glazed, shiny piece that comes with spices, avocado salad and jalapeño sauce; her favourite dish of the day. I’ve been to four different Ivy restaurants over the past few years and, I must say, the new Exeter one is my favourite. The food is the best I’ve had, the space feels so bright and it’s in the perfect location by the Cathedral. Throughout our visit the team are friendly, helpful and relaxed – so while the white linen table clothes and chandeliers are part of the chic set-up of this restaurant, you sense it’s an inclusive place where anyone and everyone is welcome. That said, you do feel it’s a place where people dress up for. This is no bad thing in my book – after a year of wearing loungewear I’m overjoyed to jump into a going-out outfit, bung on the blusher and mascara and head out to this fun restaurant. n




DINING DETAILS The Ivy Exeter, 65-67 High Street, Exeter; www.theivyexeter.com Food options Lots of different menus: breakfast, weekend brunch, a la carte, all day menu, lunch and early afternoon menu, afternoon tea, vegan and vegetarian menu Drinks Good selection of wines, beers and colourful cocktails Prices Lunch and early afternoon menu, two courses £16.95; mains on the all-day menu start at £13.95 Atmosphere Chic, fun and friendly

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Intriguing plates of food in intimate surroundings. Harriet Noble visits this tucked away gem of a restaurant


here is more than a whiff of Paris about Circa. In the dream we all have of the perfect weekend getaway in France’s capital, this is the impossibly romantic bistro that you stumble across with your other half and stay in until closing time. The simplicity of the décor – dark walls, wooden floors, flickering candles and minimalist artwork – and welcoming intimacy of the surroundings makes your shoulders drop a good few inches such are the calm and cosy vibes. If you’ve not been before, Circa opened back in May 2015 and is owned by Rob Weeks and James Waddington. Rob has been head chef since August 2017. It started out as more of a steak house but Rob’s been redefining what the restaurant does since cheffing there, moving towards developing a menu focussed on provenance, culminating in the launch of their tasting

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menu after lockdown. A lot of what you eat here is made in-house, from the bread to the vinegar, and Rob is known for experimenting with different techniques, which means the menu is always an intriguing read. During the last year they’ve converted the upstairs area, which was a live music venue, to a shop where they now sell their homemade food plus produce from local makers. Apparently, Rob had no cheffing experience before he was cooking at Circa which is astonishing because the food here is exceptional. It’s also, and this goes for everything about this restaurant, very well-thoughtout. From the careful crafting of the menu to the wine pairings, to the general hum of the place, you can feel that someone has really thought about the customer experience from beginning to end. That may sound like an obvious thing to say but it’s not the case in a lot of restaurants. The number of times I’ve sat in a restaurant


where there is a blinding light pointed straight at the table where I am sat meaning I am squinting all night makes me think about the omission of thought on the customers’ behalf. Anyway, I digress, I’m here to try their tasting menu. First up is a house aperitif of vermouth. This is what I like about a tasting menu. Left to my own choices, would I ever opt for a vermouth? Would you? No, probably not. I’d order what I always have and not widen my horizons because that’s what some of us humans do. Same can be said of my music collection but that’s another story. And, predictably, I am so glad I do have the vermouth. Along with the four classic vermouth botanicals – wormwood, yarrow, gentian and cassia bark – Kate, who looks after me on my visit, tells me that the Circa team have added their own twist by foraging and adding sea beet from Exmouth estuary, spruce and pine from Haldon Forrest and Harcombe, and gorse flower from Dartmoor. The result is a refreshing drink; light, crispy, sweet, with a decent echo of bitterness. The warm, crusty sourdough that arrives comes with homemade, creamy butter with spikes of flavour coming through with the salt. The canapés are delightful little mouthfuls too, one a sprightly springy soupçon with the freshest of peas, mint and bacon; the other a celeriac foam so light and airy with black garlic purée, pickled shimeji mushrooms and a rye crumb. Up next is the asparagus, Cornish seaweed, dashi, cultured buttermilk and chard. The asparagus comes pleasantly al dente; and the dashi (like a warming Asian broth) is gorgeously warming, and has me chasing it up the sides of my bowl with my spoon. Paired with this is a white a handcrafted Gruner Veltiner from Austria. It’s an unusual wine, slightly cloudy in form but light as you like and a happy marriage with the crunchy asparagus. The following option is gurnard but as I don’t eat from the sea the team bring a gnocchi dish instead: a beautiful plate that comes with butternut squash and pickled onion, followed by chicken and hen’s egg ravioli, with roasted chicken broth, shimeji and lovage. The biggest dish of the evening is the hogget, accompanied by sheep’s curd, black garlic, broad beans, pea tartare, carrot and spruce honey. This is a great twist on a roast lamb dish; the sweetness of the honey, the mint with the broad beans flowing through the dish giving it a fresh English garden feel. The dessert menu offers a spruce parfait which comes with gorse flower sorbet and some decadent chocolatey petit fours. Delicious. I love this menu. Taster menus can be overwhelming but it is, to repeat that phrase again, really well thoughtout with balanced flavours pervading. Kate and the other members of the team are amazing, providing encyclopedic knowledge about the origin of every ingredient on this menu. It is such a treat to go out for a meal where the food is front and centre, beautiful and surprising. This, paired with its undeniable charm, makes it a really special place. If you fancy treating yourself and a pal, lover or relative to a bonnie night out, I strongly recommend making a beeline for Circa. n

“The food is front and centre, beautiful and surprising”

DINING DETAILS Circa, 6 Northernhay Place, Exeter; www.circadevon.co.uk Opening times Tasting menu Wednesday-Saturday 6pm-9.30pm; a la carte menu Wednesday-Saturday 5.45pm - 9.30pm; Sunday lunch 12am-4pm; 2/3 course set lunch menu 12-3pm Wednesdays-Saturdays Food Inventive dishes, locally farmed and foraged Drinks Interesting choice of wines, beers and cocktails Service/atmosphere Intimate, cosy and friendly Anything else? It’s open as a café from 12pm-4pm Wednesday-Saturday

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SACRED GROUNDS CHIA SEED BIRCHER WITH STRAWBERRY COMPOTE AND ALMOND BUTTER DRIZZLE Serves four, keep in the fridge for up to three days Easy and versatile, this one step recipe is perfect for mornings. Make these zingy overnight oats – then in the morning, top with strawberry lemon compote, crushed pistachios and coconut yogurt (or whatever fresh fruit, nuts and seeds you like!) for an easy breakfast ritual, that feels decadent and invigorating. Ingredients 200g oats 25g chia Seeds 15g pumpkin seeds (optional) 350ml coconut milk 2 tbsp agave nectar 1 tsp lemon juice 1 tsp lemon zest 4 tbsp coconut yogurt (plus a few spoonfuls to top)

Method In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients except the coconut yogurt, mix well, cover and leave to soak overnight in the fridge. Strawberry lemon compote 400g strawberries 3 tbsp sugar 1 small lemon 1tsp vanilla extract 1. Rinse and hull strawberries, cut them into halves. 2. Zest and juice the lemon. 3. In a small pan combine strawberries, lemon and sugar. Simmer for around ten minutes until the strawberries have softened; stir in the vanilla and allow to cool. 4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Almond drizzle 1 tbsp almond (or any other) nut butter 1 tbsp oat or coconut milk 1. Combine equal parts almond butter with oat milk or coconut milk. 2. Stir until smooth to create a lovely drizzly consistency. 3. When ready to enjoy, stir in the coconut yogurt (one tablespoon per serving) top with compote and extra yogurt, and sprinkle on granola, flaked coconut or crushed pistachios – making sure there are plenty of toppings to add more as you go, serve with a filter coffee from Roastworks and fresh orange juice for a beautiful start to your day. Recipe from Sacred Grounds Café, McCoy’s Arcade, Fore Street, Exeter; www.sacredgrounds.co

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Sidmouth’s Clock Tower


Explore the scenic town of Sidmouth By Imogen Davidson-Smith www.mediaclash.co.uk I EXETER LIVING I 41


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Kennaway House is a handsome Regency mansion in the heart of Sidmouth that is now an impressive arts centre and events venue. This summer they have an actionpacked line of events including the following. SIDMOUTH FOLK FESTIVAL 30 July – 6 August, 10am – 4.30pm There will be food and craft stalls on the lawn throughout and two fantastic exhibitions, Wild and Free and an Art Sale of Traditional and Contemporary Paintings.

The grand seafront


he town is known is the gateway to the Jurassic Coast World Heritage site, with stunning coastline that any keen walker can enjoy, with the reward of a cup of tea and slice of cake at the end. But it’s not all about the landscape; the town has got a strong arts and culture scene, with a decent crop of events popping up this summer, as well as some thriving independents. Whether you’re headed there for an afternoon or a staycation, here are our top suggestions of what you might want to get up to.

SIDMOUTH FOOD FESTIVAL 14 August, 10am – 4.30pm A selection of exciting foods and live music on the lawn. Expect pizzas, Thai food, BBQ, Italian ice cream, sweet treats and more.

DAVID HARRIS EXHIBITION 11 – 20 August, 10am – 4.30pm An art exhibition of painting, sculpture, calligraphy and lettering. 27 August SIDMOUTH EATS BOUTIQUE An evening street food market featuring local producers. Enjoy a drink and some nibbles, while purchasing some delicious delights. CHARITY ART AUCTION 4 September, 10 – 4pm The South West Academy will be raising funds to enable it to carry out further educational workshops with young children. Altogether over 60 artists are donating work, including a donated painting from none other than Dame Judi Dench.

Kennaway House, Sidmouth, Devon; www.kennawayhouse.org.uk


By the byes “There’s the prettiest of dog walks along the Sidmouth Byes which takes you right down to the beach. You can access the walk at several points on the way into the town – find a spot to park on Fortescue Road or on the opposite side of the river at Livonia Road. It’s a popular route for locals and visitors of all ages, as well as cyclists who have their own cycle path, so make sure you can keep your pooch under control. The Byes follows the route of the River Sid, the shortest river in Devon at just six miles long. Surrounded by fields and meadows, in the spring and summer months you’ll see plenty of wildflowers. Look out for the Community Orchard, a very attractive spot – but strictly dog-free. Several bridges offer the chance to cross the river and back again as you wander along the river, and the water is accessible for dogs who enjoy a paddle – but be mindful of wildlife including ducks, moorhens and maybe even the occasional otter. Walking on through Sid Meadow takes you to the Lawn, a slightly more formal landscape adjacent to Hunters Moon hotel with some impressive native trees. Leaving the Byes here cross the road by the Toll House and keep following the river along, over the bridge by the ford as you head towards the sea. Walk past the playground and the new Alma Bridge, there’s a small section of beach that you can take your dogs on year-round.” Sue Cade, writer and dog owner; @sue_cade

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Kennaway House

Short and sweet “For a short walk with lots of scenery, park by the swimming pool and walk from the fishing boats along the promenade, stay on the bottom path and go around the cliffs to Jacobs Ladder and the sandy beach (stop for an ice cream, or cream tea at the top or chill in the gardens). There is a great view of the seafront from the gardens. If you still have energy then walk up the hill on the grass, turn around and take in the view. There is also a nature area at the top of Peak Hill called Mutter Moor. You can walk around the nature area and then head across the field to the cliff top.” Aaron Brooks, professional dog walker; @blackdogdevon


Sidmouth is a walker’s paradise, offering gorgeous views across the coast. Here are a few ideas...

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OUT OF TOWN Sidmouth offers dramatic a coastline


Sidmouth in Bloom (SIB) is a voluntary group that aims to raise the horticultural, environmental and community awareness throughout the town. Head to Blackmore Gardens, opposite the Bowling Green, to see the beautiful floral displays which currently include the BFG and Fred the peacock. www.sidmouthinbloom.org

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“With a big, bold move we wanted a new identity”

The team at Bøde Living: Devon Cawkwell, Jen Swales, and Esther Henahulph

Sidmouth, a dog’s paradise

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A new boutique store selling Danish and Scandinavian-inspired interiors has just opened on Alexandria Trading Estate. Bøde Living is owned and run by Jen Swales; the company used to be Dotty Home Gifts & Interiors (on the High Street) but the business has undergone a complete overhaul, rebranding and moving to the new premises. “Whilst it was heartbreaking to be closed for so long during the pandemic, we found ourselves pushing the business in a different direction and found a new energy for what we do – we’ve always wanted a space to showcase larger interior items and have a particular passion for Danish and Scandinavian design so with this move we are able to do all of those things and more,” says Jen. “With a big, bold move we wanted a new identity and so Bøde Living was born and we feel it matches our energy and confidence in what we do. We have over 15 years of experience behind us and great relationships with some fabulous brands and we have thrown it all into this project.”

Bøde Living: colourful interiors to make you smile

Those who loved Dotty’s can expect similar products but with a much larger space to play with, Jen and the team here have been able to feature a much broader range of homeware items, showcasing their passion for modern Danish décor. “Our main aim for Bøde Living is to have a fun and beautiful space where people can come to buy for their home, their friends or to simply get some inspiration and have a chat. Being off the hustle off the High Street we will be able to give more time to our customers and share what we are up to those further afield.” Bøde Living, Alexandria Trading Estate, Sidmouth; www.bode-living.com Other local interior stores? Independent furniture retailer Potburys of Sidmouth has been a familiar face on the High Street for over 150 years selling beds, sofas and dining collections, as well as a wide selection of home accessories. Potburys, 33 High Street, Sidmouth; www.potburys.co.uk

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The new addition to Sidmouth town centre, Browns’ Kitchen Bakery is run by mother and daughter team Louise and Liv, and opened up during lockdown last year. The women have a passion for baking and the idea for their own bakery was born when they sold their restaurant at the end of 2019. Having always baked cakes and desserts for their customers, they decided to make this their focus for the future. Browns’ offer up traybakes including brownies, blondies and cookie bars, is supplemented by mouth-watering cookie pies, gooey chocolate cookies and choux buns in varying flavours, plus traditional cakes and a very popular bread pudding! ‘I’ve always loved to bake and Liv grew up baking with me. We really enjoy experimenting with ingredients and having fun with our creations,” says Louise. “Some of our latest are the Caramac rocky roads, our best-selling chocolate orange brownies and our raspberry and white chocolate brownies. Then there are some long-standing favourites like our mini biscoff or kinder cheesecakes. We bake everything from scratch, with a focus on quality and variety, including a range of vegan and gluten-free goodies.” Browns’ Kitchen Bakery, 6 High Street, Sidmouth; www.brownskitchen.co.uk Other foodie spots? The Clock Tower Café and Bakery is a favourite with locals and visitors. The restored 16th century lime kiln offers views over the coastline (it is positioned just by Jacob’s ladder) making it a great place to stop after a walk. The Clock Tower, Connaught Gardens, Peak Hill Road, Sidmouth; www.clocktowersidmouth.com

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“The centrepiece of the spa is a mosaic-tiled hydrotherapy pool” Taste of Sidmouth sells (and delivers) homemade gelato with flavours including salted caramel, pistachio, rum and raisin and Ferrero Rocher. If you want to fuel up on your walk they also sell baps, pasties and sausage rolls. Taste of Sidmouth, Old Fore Street; www.tasteofsidmouth.co.uk



Located on the Esplanade, just a few steps from the beach, the Royal York & Faulkner Hotel has beautiful rooms with balconies overlooking the waters. For those who want a bit of pampering they have a hydra-spa, which includes a hydrotherapy pool, sauna and steam rooms. The centrepiece of the spa is a mosaic-tiled hydrotherapy pool with air and water jets, perfect for those wet weather days. Next door they have their bar and restaurant, Blinis, which serves brunch, lunch, snacks, cakes and, of course, delectable blinis. n Royal York & Faulkner Hotel, York Street, Sidmouth; www.royalyorkhotel.co.uk

above: Sidmouth in full swing; left: Browns’ bakery;

right: Views from the balcony rooms at the Royal York & Faulkner Hotel


27 August SIDMOUTH AIRSHOW The event will welcome the wowing crowds with impressive aerobic displays, all from the beautiful surrounding of the Sidmouth seafront. Sidmouth and its position in Lyme bay offers a unique and natural safe amphitheatre for the viewing public. Great way to start the Bank Holiday weekend. The Esplanade, Sidmouth; www.visitsidmouth.co.uk 18 – 24 September SIDMOUTH AND EAST DEVON WALKING FESTIVAL Join the gang of experienced local walkers for a fabulous week of free guided walks where you’ll discover the wonderful scenic coastal walking of Sidmouth and the hidden gems of East Devon. visitsidmouth.co.uk

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The Devon Shutter Company Ltd British Made Shutters Since 2007 01395 578506 | www.devonshutters.co.uk

Homemade Gelato ● Award Winning ● Voted Best In The South West ● Proudly Made In Sidmouth The Market Place, Sidmouth, EX10 8LR www.tasteofsidmouth.co.uk | Open: 9am-8:30pm |




SPEC-TACO-LAR A new opening in Exeter; Tortilla opened its first South West branch on Exeter High Street, Guildhall Shopping Centre in June. To celebrate, they held a launch party welcoming friends of Exeter for a feast of epic proportions. The restaurant is now fully open, offering burritos and tacos, with toppings like pollo asado, carnitas and salsa roja, mixed with some Californian inspiration such as black beans, lime-cilantro rice and freshly chopped jalapeños. www.torilla.co.uk Photos by Tempo Media

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If you’re looking for a fun way to improve your fitness, aerial exercise might just be the ticket for you. Located at Exeter Business Centre, Silk Steel Studio is owned and run by international aerial performer Siobhan Johnstone, who offers a series of classes and workshops including aerial silks, aerial hoops and stretch and strengthen classes. Aerial Silks classes will teach you to wrap, climb, suspend, fall and transition seamlessly between two lengths of fabric. As well as being a full-body workout, the fabric theory will also challenge your body awareness and cognitive skills. Aerial Hoop classes will guide you through acrobatic skills on the circular steel ring. Emphasis is placed on creating fluid sequences that move above, below and within the hoop, challenging both your strength and flexibility. Stretch and strengthen classes are designed to complement your aerial training. A circuit-based bodyweight workout incorporating both ground-based and aerial exercises, followed by a structured stretching program to help increase range of motion and improve active flexibility. www.silkandsteelstudio.co.uk

Hanging in there with grace; inset: Acrobatic skills are developed in the hoop class



Walking on the wild side



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Local professional musician Emma Welton is running special guided walks around Exeter – with a difference. The gentle walks offer a way to hear the symphony of sounds that exist all around us, that perhaps we haven’t paid attention to or enjoyed before. They are for anyone who is open to a different kind of walk, and perhaps to experiencing a familiar place in a new way. They are short in distance (about a mile) and long in pauses. “I have been listening as I go, seeking out sounds, allowing sounds to find me, exploring unlikely places, and just pausing for a while to hear what’s there,” says Emma. Emma started up The Exeter Sound Walks when lockdown kicked in as a way of connecting us to our immediate surroundings. “My sound walks are musical compositions: the choices I make shape a particular listening experience for somebody else.” You can either do the walks on your own, in the company of a quiet friend by downloading the guided tour map from Emma’s website or you can join Emma to get the proper guided experience. www.emmawelton.net; for more ideas on health and wellbeing head to www.liveandmove.co.uk


Headline Sponsor

NOW: For Sponsorships available, please talk with

with harriette.dixon@mediaclash.co.uk or paula.miller@mediaclash.co.uk NOW: Nominations open 7 OCTOBER: Grand Reveal Day 5 NOVEMBER: Official Preview in Exeter Living 19 NOVEMBER: Exeter Property Awards, Sandy Park

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Minister Keegan cutting the ribbon

Selected from thousands of nominations, Matt Jenkins and Jo Fison from Exmouth’s Deaf Academy have been honoured with a Silver Award in The Lockdown Hero Award for Learner and Community Support for their outstanding commitment to changing the lives of the children they work with every day. The pair have now been shortlisted to win one of just 15 Gold Awards later in the year, in a programme which will be broadcast on the BBC. “Lockdown has been a very difficult time across the country, in particular for young people with additional needs and their families,” says Deaf Academy principal, Sylvan Dewing. “A fantastic achievement for Jo and Matt and wonderful recognition for everyone who worked here during that difficult time. They are all heroes!” For more: Deaf Academy, Exmouth; www.thedeafacademy.ac.uk


Poppy and her friends


Hero teacher Jo Fison

All smiles with Matt Jenkins


education, helping to develop the highly-skilled talent pipeline employers will need for the future. “By bringing together Further Education colleges, universities and businesses, Institutes of Technology are unique partnerships which will help to tackle skills shortages in vital sectors, from marine engineering to software development.” John Laramy CBE, Exeter College’s Principal and Chief Executive adds, “This is a vital development for our city and region, it is critical that we equip our students and apprentices with the skills of the future, that are in such demand from employers.” For more: Exeter College; www.exe-coll.ac.uk


Exeter College recently opened a brand new £10.3million Institute of Technology Digital and Data Centre, with the building being officially launched by Minister Keegan, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills. The centre is designed to drive growth, providing employerled education opportunities in the digital sector, including courses around data analytics, cyber security, and software development, “It was an honour to open the South West Institute of Technology Digital and Data Centre at Exeter College,” says Minister Keegan. “Our Institutes of Technology are the pinnacle of technical

Deaf Academy in Exmouth

ULTIMUTT NEW MEMBER Queen Elizabeth’s School is ending a challenging year on a very positive note by welcoming a brand new, canine member of staff to their pastoral team. Poppy, a two and half year old Sprocket, is joining the school as their newest employee from September. Therapy dogs have been called ‘miracle workers’ because of their calming effect on students and school staff. Poppy comes with very impressive credentials , and received top marks in her official Dog Assessment Report. “Poppy is an incredibly relaxed, calm dog and will play an integral role in our pastoral team, supporting the emotional

wellbeing of our students and focused interventions with our SEN groups,” says Natalie Hunt, QE’s pastoral support lead and Poppy’s owner. “As well as providing emotional support, science and empirical evidence has shown us that therapy dogs in a school setting can reduce blood pressure, promote physical healing, decrease anxiety, fatigue and depression.” They can also focus interaction, stimulate memory, boost problem -solving skills and improve attendance. We can’t wait for her to get started!” For more: Queen Elizabeth’s School, Crediton; www.qe.devon.sch.uk www.mediaclash.co.uk I EXETER LIVING I 53

It’s the city’s business

EXETERWORKS The latest from Exeter Chamber

OPTIMISM FROM EXETER’S BUSINESS COMMUNITY “Alongside business communities worldwide, Exeter has felt its fair share of turbulence in the storm of the last 18 months. By working together as a community of businesses, and friends, the city has shown an enviable resilience. As we move forward, the light at the end of this long and difficult tunnel is looking brighter. Our members told us they wanted to see each other again, and not through Zoom. Our series of outdoor face-to-face events have seen Exeter’s business workforce come together to drink lattes in the morning sunshine, demolish canapés after work and virtually high five friends as we chat about the future. People loved it, so we’re doing more. They are free to attend so grab a spot. We regularly check in with our members to ask how things look from where they are. Our latest survey shows optimism as we edge nearer to restrictions lifting. Over 55 per cent of the businesses surveyed saw sales performance go up over the last three months and 42 per cent think sales will continue on an upward trend over the next three months. While only 11 per cent of business owners and leaders rated their current optimism as eight out of ten this rises to 20 per cent when looking ahead to the next six to 12 months. Working in partnership with regional business is central to what we do and this month we’ve been raising a glass with the team at law firm Wollens who have joined us for another year as a Growth Partner. Focusing on rebuilding the business community, we’ve joined forces ahead of a summer of much-needed events in the city.” Exeter Chamber Team www.exeterchamber.co.uk

Cheers! Charlotte McGregor and Wollens and Jo Caine

The hub launch: Counsellor Rufus Gilbert, Councellor Rachel Sutton, Kate Curtis, Maia Thomas

Working it


obseekers in Exeter are being given extra support to help them find employment or training as the city recovers from the pandemic, thanks to the launch of the new Exeter Works Youth Hub. The youth hub, based in Princesshay, is specifically for those aged 16-24, but is open to anybody in the Greater Exeter area looking for jobs or searching for training opportunities, including those who have been in jobs for many years. Through the service, Exeter Works has brought together more than 25 local organisations, employers and training providers to offer vital employment and training information through the hub. “This new Youth Hub is a fantastic opportunity for young people in Exeter, Mid and East Devon,” says Kate Curtis, service leader for the department of work and pensions Devon and Cornwall. “It has brought together Jobcentre Plus, Exeter City Council and Devon County Council and will provide a place for young people to get the advice and support they need to move into work. “We are delighted that our local employers are keen to support the kickstart scheme to enable young people who are unemployed gain employment opportunities and will be utilising the youth hub to meet face to face with jobseekers.” For more: www.youthhubdevon.org.uk

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Local goodies delivered to your door


Good Sixty, the business that helps customers source food from local independent retailers has teamed up with the city’s e-cargo bike delivery service, Co Delivery. This new partnership means that locals can get everything from weekly groceries to gifts and treats in a single purchase, delivered to the doorstep via zeroemissions delivery e-cargo bikes. “I’m amazed by the amount of great independent shops and small-scale producers in Exeter, and I know many residents want to ‘shop local’ but simply don’t have the time to get to each separate shop or hunt out local, specialist producers, says Good Sixty co-founder, Chris Edwards. “We’re so pleased that together with Co Delivery we can make a zero-emissions delivery alternative to a supermarket shop more accessible than ever”. Local indies who have joined up so far include Ben’s Farm Shop, Emma’s Breads at the Boatyard Bakery, Lloyd Maunder butchers, Apple Blossom Café, Ebdon’s Refreshments, and Ginger Cat Deli. For more: www.goodsixty.co.uk


Emma Venables, of Emma Jayne Creative has won an award for the best Independent Graphic Designer of the Year. Emma Jayne Creative specialises in print design, particularly branding, literature, stationery and banners. Presented at Escot House in Ottery Saint Mary, the Corporate Livewire South West England Prestige Awards recognise small and medium-sized businesses that have proven to be the best in their market over the past 12 months. www.emmajaynecreative.co.uk


Exeter-based Solar energy installer SunGift Solar has added two managers to its commercial team to streamline the handling of largescale solar projects across the UK. Contracts and commercial manager Tom Ransley will be concentrating on large commercial contracts, providing a link between the sales and design teams for operational and project management. He’s joined by commercial operations and maintenance project manager Dan Toone who will be looking after commercial customers once their system has been installed in an ongoing and reactive role overseeing routine maintenance and response to any issues. www.sungiftsolar.co.uk

Dan Toone and Tom Ransley from SunGift

The Outdoors Group has been shortlisted in two categories in the Rural Business Awards 2021 South West Region. The organisation, with its holistic approach to the provision of outdoor-based activities for all ages, is a finalist for Best Rural Social Enterprise, Charity or Community Project and Best Rural Recreational or Outdoor Pursuits Business. “The South West is teeming with creative, ethical rural businesses working with the very best resources we have at our fingertips – the beautiful countryside,” says Shevrek Pring, one of the founders of The Outdoors Group. www.outdoorsgroup.co.uk

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Tom Lowdray and Shevek Pring from The Outdoors Group




“THERE ARE SO MANY MORE PEOPLE THAT WE WANT TO HELP” improve their mobility and wellbeing; a men’s brunch club, hobbies and cooking groups, helping to connect old friends and new. Devon Carers recently launched a carers passport and our day care centre is once again filling up.


Are there any new services that you will be providing? We have seen the impact of social isolation and have launched 100 Working Together, a campaign to end loneliness aimed at local businesses. By working together to combat loneliness, we can provide support, spread a bit of happiness and hopefully make life a little easier and enjoyable for people in our communities.

Sarah Hicks Sarah is the new CEO of Westbank, the local charity that provides care and promotes health to people in the community. Here, Sarah tells us about her career path, working with Deborah Meaden and what the future holds for healthcare in Devon What did you want to be when you were little? An author, just like Enid Blyton! I always had my nose in a book when I was young and loved all of Enid Blyton’s books, especially The Famous Five. I still love to read and in my spare time, I am now (slowly) working through a creative writing course. What was your first job? Whilst at school I had a Saturday job in the local Co-op, and I was promoted from shelf stacking to the much-coveted role on the deli counter! After school my first job was on a youth opportunity programme working in the office a garage. Tell us a bit about your journey to becoming CEO at Westbank... I have nearly 30 years’ experience in operational and commercial leadership in a range of sectors, including health and social

care, healthcare and wellbeing, holiday and leisure, and even textile manufacturing! I enjoyed the challenge of a new role in the NHS as commercial director which, together with my knowledge of social care from my role on the board of a large care company, meant I was ideally placed to work at the interface of health and social care at a time when government policy was to promote greater integration between the two. You have worked alongside the great Deborah Meaden, what can you tell us about her? Well I’m probably not supposed to say this, but she’s not actually a dragon! I worked for her in various roles for over 20 years, and she is just like you see her on the TV, but she is also very kind and supportive, and a lot of fun! She, and her equally dynamic parents Brian and Sonia, gave me so much encouragement and

opportunity in the early stages of my career – I am very grateful to them. How has Covid impacted the work Westbank does? Although some of our services were suspended, our amazing team of staff and volunteers continued to support people. Highlights over the last year include neighbourhood friends volunteers who provided 2,030 patients with support and were awarded The Queen’s Award for Volunteering, and 25,000 unpaid carers were supported through Devon Carers. Westbank provides all sorts of different types of services – which do you think is most in demand at the moment? As a charity, we listen to the needs of the people in the communities where we work to deliver the right services. These include a walking group for new mums; the gym and exercise classes aimed at helping people

What have been the challenges of your new role so far? Funding will continue to be our biggest challenge in 2021, but we are grateful to the many people who have continued to support our work. It was incredibly heartening to read the messages of support for our work in the last year and there are so many more people that we want to be able to help. Every bit of support given to us now will enable us to continue our work for the long term. What do you love about your job? There is already so much I love about my new role. Westbank’s range of services means we offer truly multigenerational support and that is somethng I am so proud to be part of. Covid meant that our teams had to quickly adapt to new and innovative ways to deliver our services, and they did so in such a positive, creative way that I am very much looking forward to continuing with new, innovative ways of overcoming what is likely to be a challenging 12 months. For more: www.westbank.org.uk

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EVENT EXETER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER won the Leisure and Tourism gong at last year’s Exeter Living Awards. Here, event sales manager Fran Brandi tells us about how the events sector is bouncing back Congratulations on your award! Why do you think you won?

The previous year was a phenomenal year for Event Exeter, in terms of input and output. As a business we had a refreshed brand, vision, goals and collateral and as a team we were all feeling driven and part of something special. The end result was inevitable and we delivered over 1,000 successful events, from small meetings and weddings right up to the hugely successful Exeter Living Awards dinner. The award we received that night was accepted on behalf of every single member of staff that plays a part, however large or small, in those event bookings. Events pretty much stopped last year, how did you manage?

We all know that the events industry has been devastated by the last 18 months and as an events business, it’s been tough. We are, of course, hugely lucky to work as part of a large establishment, where staff were able to be redeployed, in turn safeguarding roles. Members of the Event Exeter team demonstrated their flexibility and their ‘can do’ attitude and agreed to help out within other areas of the University, whilst no events were taking place. We’ve missed being together as a team and have tried to keep up staff morale with online activities, quizzes

The happy trio from Event Exeter: Katharine Millar, Kate Jane, and Harriet Munday

LEISURE & TOURISM WINNER and social meet-ups. Things are definitely hotting up now and event enquiries are looking very healthy, so we are gradually bringing the team back on board and hope to have a full complement ready to kick off in the autumn. How have you changed the way you run your business?

As with many other event businesses, we have expanded our portfolio of offerings to include online event management. Hybrid events are definitely here to stay and we are incredibly lucky to have the technological infrastructure in our lecture theatres and meeting rooms to support these types of event. We’ve also had time to think about the future and how our customer needs will have changed. We are surrounded by 300 acres of green space and fresh air and I firmly believe that outdoor events will be high on the agenda – watch this space. Have there been any positives from this time?

So many positives. We’ve had time to reflect on the changing face of the event industry and how we can adapt our business moving forward.

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When do we ever have time to stop and reflect? The team has shown an incredible amount of resilience and dedication to the University. Supporting other frontline services across the University, our staff have added to their existing skill set and knowledge, which can only be a positive as we now reunite as one team. We are incredibly proud of their attitude and look forward to building their experiences into their Event Exeter roles. What events are in the diary for this year?

This summer we are seeing a real interest from groups, particularly sports and social groups. As we would expect, people are keen to socialise and spend time together. And weddings. Wedding dates at Reed Hall are flying off the shelves, which is just lovely to see. What else can we look forward to this year from your business?

We are delighted to have added a new venue to our ever-growing portfolio – the Great Hall’s younger sibling, the Lemon Grove. As


a well-established music venue for the city, we are excited to be working on plans to build a diverse programme of live entertainment, providing a venue that works for both our students and the local community alike. Aside from that, we are busy sprucing up Reed Hall in time to open again in the autumn and plans are underway to upgrade AV provision and adapt our conference offering in line with the new eventing world. What have you learnt about Exeter and its people during this pandemic?

Aside from a worldwide pandemic, as a team we had to step into crisis mode and help out when the WW2 bomb was found at the University (not your average event management experience). The sense of community during those days and weeks was simply overwhelming. Hotels and guesthouses in the city went above and beyond to help in those first few hours of need and the collaborative effort from the city was outstanding. Exeter people are simply the best.

For more: Event Exeter at the University of Exeter, Reed Hall, Streatham Drive, Exeter; www.event.exeter.ac.uk



Dream ticket

Smile! Agne Seikyte, Stacey Tidiman, and Andrea Phillips

Join us for the big night of the year


s we edge closer to The Exeter Living Awards, when we’ll be celebrating the very best of the city, the big night is taking shape and, as ever, the line-up is looking stellar. The finalists and judges have been announced and the remaining tickets are now on sale. The Awards will be held on 2 September 2021 at The University of Exeter and you can book tickets and tables with confidence for our Awards.

Here’s our guarantee: If the Government’s venue restrictions due to the pandemic mean that we cannot accommodate your booking this year, you will have the option of either: • A full refund; or • You can defer your tickets or tables until next year’s event We take our responsibility to our attendees, our partners’ teams and our own teams very seriously, so that we can all have a safe and

enjoyable experience. We thank our Sponsors so far on board for 2021, led from the front by our Platinum Sponsor, Marsh Commercial. And then also our other Category Sponsors: Exeter Science Park, Powderham Food Festival, Regus, Warwick Event Services, Yellowtail Financial Planning; and of course, Exeter Living itself. Also including our Feature Sponsor Triangle Networks. We also thank our partners

Bluebird Care, Burrington Estates, Exeter, City Council, Exeter College, Fowler Financial Planning, Girling Jones, Griffin Chartered Accountants, The Mortgage Quarter, Nexus, Otter Financial Services, The Outdoors Group and Stovax. If you’re interested in sponsoring, please contact harriette.dixon@ mediaclash.co.uk or paula.miller@ mediaclash.co.uk For more: www.exeterlivingawards.co.uk; @exeterlivingawds

Here’s to the future EntreConf, a major new conference for local entrepreneurs was a huge success in July...


nsights, stimulation, provocations: EntreConf the new conference for entrepreneurs and business thinkers was held at the start of July. The aim was to inspire new business, startups, scale-ups and entrepreneurs with powerful business thinking. Exeter has always been strong for entrepreneurs, a trend which has accelerated during the pandemic (which was also reflected in the record number of new businesses entering this year’s Exeter Living Awards). It featured a remarkable trio of keynote speakers: Ann Hiatt, the former chief of staff at Google, who talked about how her career began with a potential setback of the dotcom crash of 2001 when based in Seattle – which then turned into a significant opportunity with Amazon, where she worked closely with Jeff Bezos. Her inspirational talk was about seizing opportunities. Chris Anderson, the owner of the TED Conferences, spoke about his career, founding the media company Future in the UK, selling it, and using the proceeds to start what became Future US. He also spoke about the many leading entrepreneurs he has

known, such as Elon Musk. The most idiosyncratic approach was taken by Dale Vince, the green entrepreneur, owner of Ecotricity and vegan-friendly Forest Green Rovers, and also executive producer of the documentary Seaspiracy. Dale was the clockwise from top left: Ann Hiatt, former chief of staff at Google, definition of having success on your own now consultant and strategist; Dale Vince, green entrepreneur, terms – a former traveller and eco-warrior, accredited by the UN; self-described “enemy owner of Ecotricity; a still from the live Entreconf event; Chris Anderson, owner and curator of the TED Conferences of the state” moving from outsider to a Climate Champion for the UN and now one Additionally, there were practical insights on funding, the leading green entrepreneurs and thinkers. future technology, starting up, valuation terms sheets, That sense of defining your own success was a key IP protection, and stimulation to new thinking, as well theme of the conference. For some entrepreneurs, as the unveiling of excusive research on entrepreneurs. success is the relatively conventional: idea, test, build, All videos from the day are on the EntreConf scale and then exit, with some fabulous wealth. For YouTube channel, with all the presentations on others, it was about being a social entrepreneur, of the website. There’ll be an EntreConf dinner for ecology, of doing good. Or maybe employing more entrepreneurs in the autumn, ahead of EntreConf people, or giving opportunities. For others, it was about returning next summer. health and wellbeing, another area which has risen The future is indeed unwritten… sharply in importance due to the pandemic. For more information: annie.kelly@mediaclash.co.uk; EntreConf also featured the top 50 entrepreneurial www. entreconf.com; @entre_conf companies, as chosen by a panel of experts.

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Xxxx Beauty spot in Brixham

Stovax & Gazco are heading to Skypark

SKY’S THE LIMIT The Stovax Heating Group, trading as Stovax

& Gazco, is consolidating its operations into one large site with work about to start on the build of a new facility at Skypark – the new Business Park next to Exeter International Airport that is currently being built. The company, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and has a 300-strong base of local employees, produce premium stoves, fires and fireplaces across solid fuel, gas and electric fuel types. The proposed purpose built 196,037 sq ft manufacturing unit facility is being designed to be in the top 10 per cent of UK non-domestic buildings in terms of sustainability performance. “The move allows us to keep our operation in the heart of Exeter and to preserve employment for our long-standing, talented team of staff, whose hard work, expertise and innovative thinking are at the very core of the Stovax & Gazco brand ethos,” says managing director Alistair Compton. “This is a multi-million pound deal, and a historic event for the Stovax Heating Group,” Alistair concludes. For more: www.stovax.com

DIY SOS Students attending WESC

Foundation’s specialist College in Countess Wear, Exeter, will have a bright new space to live in, thanks to a complete refurbishment. The ‘Bungalow Project’ will see local developers Burrington convert one of the charity’s old classrooms into a modern, twobedroom home for students. It will be a fully accessible single floor space ideal for students who might otherwise not be able to attend WESC Foundation College due to their level of vision impairment and complex needs. “We’re delighted to be able to help WESC by using our skills and local contractors to carry out this transformation quickly,” says Mark Edworthy, group managing director at Burrington Estates.

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It’s a team effort for the project

“Although we have a little more time than the DIY SOS team usually have to complete the work, everyone here is raring to go. We can’t wait to watch the refurbishment unfold over the coming weeks to create a fantastic residential space for the students at WESC.” For more: www.burringtonestates.com

SPOTTED! The Grade II listed former Maritime Inn in

Brixham has recently re-opened following extensive refurbishment transforming the property into five, brand new luxury suites with stunning harbour views. The renovation of The Maritime Suites has taken two years and remains in keeping with the town’s fishing heritage: rooms are named after the trawlers that worked out of Brixham in the 17th and 18th Centuries; Provident, Leader, Golden Vanity, Vigilance and Pilgrim. “The boutique, hotel style rooms are slightly different from our self-catered properties, but with the best position in Brixham, stunning views and interiors, the opportunity was too good to miss,” says James Lund, co-founder of Luxury Coastal. “The building is part of local folklore and I am glad it has been brought back to life allowing guests to enjoy our town as much as I do.” The suites are now for available for holiday rental through South West specialists Luxury Coastal; www.luxurycoastal.co.uk


GET NOMINATING! Heads up to all those who work in the property sector in Exeter – the nominations for the first every Exeter Property Awards are open

Time to celebrate the local property sector

From residential to commercial, from lettings to new builds, from civic buildings to bold re-imaginings, the Awards will celebrate every aspect of the thriving property sector in the region – and we want to hear from you! The Exeter Property Awards take place on 19 November at Sandy Park and there are 20 different categories and you can enter for as many as you like. The categories are: Winner of Winners, Architect, Civic Development, Commercial Agent, Commercial Development, Consultancy, Commercial Interior Designer, Contractor, Developer, Employer, Financial, Funder, Green Initiative, Legal, Residential Agent. Residential Development, One to Watch, Residential Interior Designer, Suppliers and Services, Transformation. Head to the awards website where you can find all the information on how to nominate your business, including our top tips. We thank our sponsors so far on board for 2021, led from the front by our headline sponsor Close Brothers Property Finance plus category sponsors Avalon Planning & Heritage, Halsall Construction, International Tiles & Bathrooms, Original Style, Vickery Holman, Willmott Dixon, Exeter Living and feature sponsors Redrow Homes, Triangle Networks and YBS Commercial Mortgages. To discuss how Sponsorship might benefit your business, please talk to harriette.dixon@mediaclash.co.uk or paula.miller@mediaclash.co.uk; www.exeterpropertyawards.com

The launch of the ramp: the rainy day did not dampen spirits

RAMPING UP A new ramp has been unveiled at Sideshore in Exmouth, providing step-free access from the walkway to the beach. “Currently there are various stairways from the walkway onto the beach, but the new ramp will enable visitors to access the beach step-free, including those carrying sports equipment or those with limited ability,” says Simon Findel-Hawkins, Sideshore manager. “We look forward to welcoming more visitors over the summer and hope the new ramp will be beneficial for those who may struggle with the steps.” For more: www.sideshore.co.uk

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Luxury living RIVERSIDE MEADOW The Topsham-based development offers beautiful homes in a safe and friendly environment


ooking for luxury living in Topsham exclusively for the over 50’s? Riverside Meadow, nestled on the banks of the River Exe in the picturesque and highly desirable town of Topsham is an exciting development of 20 luxury detached, bungalow-style park homes. There are four styles of brand-new homes to choose from, all of which come fully furnished in a choice of colour schemes. Each home offers a beautiful light and airy style with contemporary kitchens, bathrooms, two level parking spaces and spacious ‘blank canvas’ gardens to make your very own. We pride ourselves on providing residents with a safe, secure environment with a neighbourly community feel.

Are all the homes the same? No. Each home is designed to be bespoke, just for you. Once you have chosen your desired plot on the development, you will then be expertly guided through the process of selecting which style of home will best suit your needs. From there you will be able to decide on your perfect layout and choose your colour scheme, fixtures, and fittings. Why should I consider a park home? Park home living offers you the chance to downsize to a home with fresh new interiors, modern appliances and a practical, single storey, fully accessible layout. Park owner Penny Hardick is clear on the benefits of this lifestyle, “These superbly built, well insulated and ultra-modern homes are akin to brand new bungalows but for a lower price. They offer fantastic value for money, are cheaper to run than a house and offer all the mod cons”. Quality and style Whether you are looking for cosy comfort or prefer a sleeker and more contemporary look and feel, the bungalow-style homes here at Riverside Meadow tick every box. Built to the highest British Standard 3632, our luxury homes are all protected by a “Platinum Seal” 10-year structural warranty for total peace of mind. The Riverside Meadow homes are built by one of the UK’s leading park home manufacturers, who have an enviable

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reputation for the design, build and quality of their residential park homes. What is the lifespan of a bungalow-style park home? It’s often assumed that a park home will have a shorter life-span than a regular bricks and mortar house, but this is not the case. A wellbuilt park home that is properly maintained can be expected to last 70 to 80 years, or longer with the right care. This is not far off the figure expected for a site-built property, and as another benefit, park homes require much less work than a regular house to maintain, perfect for relaxing and enjoying the next chapter of your life! ■

To arrange your appointment to view or for an informal chat about the development, please call Penny on 01392 874 771 or 07785 246 087 or email info@riversidemeadow.co.uk. For more details, please visit our website www.riversidemeadow.co.uk


2 VICTORY HOUSE Luxury city living here we come By Imogen Davidson-Smith www.mediaclash.co.uk I EXETER LIVING I 63

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ituated a stone’s throw from the heart of the city centre is 2 Victory House. It used to be part of a wing of the old Exeter Hospital, one of the oldest hospitals in the country, but underwent a mighty conversion in 2011. It now offers that sought-after thing – a city property with bags of space, elegant décor and a hot-to-trot garden. The idea of living in an old hospital might not initially fill the optimistic house hunter with joy. Harsh light and lingering smells of tcp a happy home does not make. But, like the best conversions, this three-bedroom city pad has undergone such a transformation that it has kept the character of the period property but has been re-imagined into something fresh and exciting. You’ll approach the property from a private road within private gardens and grounds; turn the key and you’re into the bright hallway leading to the light, airy open-planned kitchen, dining room and sitting room. This gorgeous space is classic and modern all at once, with tall ceilings, original sash windows, oak floors and drop lighting, plus fancy bits and bobs like the integrated wine rack, Samsung fridge and Belfast sink. Upstairs there are three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a utility room, all spacious and with views overlooking the

city and gardens. If three bedrooms aren’t quite going to cut the mustard with your brood, there is also scope for creating additional accommodation in the roof space. The jewel of this property is the outdoor space, a southerly facing level rear garden, comprising a substantial area of granite flagstones, with plenty of room for barbecues, cocktails and general entertaining. In addition, there are grassy communal gardens to the front of the property and an ornate garden store and a car parking space which are also included in the sale. City properties in prime locations with art-gallery type spaciousness, and green space are not a-plenty. If this pad is tickling your fancy, I’d jump to it now. ■



Where? Victory House, Dean Clarke Gardens, Exeter, EX2 4AA Bedrooms




Outside Spacious patio space and communal gardens For more: Shaw Residential, Exeter; www.shaw-residential.com

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“Writing has just about kept me sane” a nurse, I realised that I could return to my earlier passion for writing and do this from home, thus being more present and flexible for family life. It took a huge leap of faith and selfpersuasion to get it back out of the drawer, but I’m thrilled I did. What do you hope children will take away from the book?


Triona is an NHS nurse, mother of three – and now author – living in Woodbury. Here she chats about the inspiration for her debut book The Tomluc Tree Tell us about your book...

The Tomluc Tree (a children’s book aimed at under sevenyear-olds) is a tale of a boy who wants to bring nature back to his surrounding area, so he seeks the help of those around him to make this a reality. It is a story of positivity and patience, teamwork, and never giving up on the environment. What does the word Tomluc mean?

The tree is a made up tree, but can represent any plant. I had fun with Sarah Miles, the very talented illustrator, trying to decide what it would look like. Our twin boys are called Thomas and Lucas and Tomluc is simply a combination of their names. Your children were the inspiration for the book…

From an early age all three children enjoyed being outdoors

and playing in nature. Living in Devon, we are lucky to be surrounded by stunning country side, beaches, moors and forests on our doorstep. When the twins were little, I’d often drive around with them and once they were asleep, I’d park up at beauty spots (or occasionally a supermarket car park!) and most of The Tomluc Tree was written then, taking inspiration not only from what I could see out of the car window, but from the uplifting sense of wellbeing that open spaces and nature gave me as a sleep deprived new mum! Your book was in a drawer for five years, what made you pick it up and continue?

Having twins with autism made me re-evalute where I was going career wise, particularly as their additional needs have meant that my husband and I have had to be more available at home. Thinking beyond my role as

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My aim with the book is to draw children’s attention to several things close to my heart, namely the importance of plants and nature, working together, and asking for help. Connecting with nature can provide a great source of education, mental and physical fitness, as well as fun. Did you always want to be a writer?

Yes! I have always loved writing. As soon as I learnt to read and write as a child, I used to submit most of my schoolwork in rhyming couplets. Even my science homework! You’ll be glad to know that my nursing reports don’t follow the same format! My first degree, before I went on to do my nurse training, was in creative writing. You’re a nurse, you’re husband is a GP – do your jobs in healthcare impact your writing in any way?

The theme of being compassionate and encouraging people to seek help when necessary is vital to any role within healthcare as is the importance of team work, communication and consideration for our future generations, and all of these things are reflected in The Tomluc Tree, but in a more accessible and understanding way for young children.

Can you give us a glimpse into your life in the last year?

Working as a doctor and nurse during a global pandemic has

certainly been interesting for both of us and has come with its own challenges. Parenting three kids is demanding at any time, but chuck in a few national lockdowns with home-schooling and some additional stress of children with special needs, and we’ve definitely had our hands full! I think writing, as a creative escapism, has actually just about kept me sane. As we slowly re-emerge from Covid, is life getting back to normal for you?

A new normal maybe. With regards to work, it feels pretty normal to be covered in PPE these days, and it is good to be seeing fewer very poorly Covidrelated people coming through the hospitals now. I have been a part of the vaccine roll out in Devon, which has been a remarkable thing to be part of, but mass vaccination still feels a step away from normalcy. In terms of family life, the simplicity of lockdown life seemed easier for our children and they have been very content being at home, growing things and going on dogs walks on the local commons and beaches. You’ve got another book in the pipeline too…

Painting Rainbows is about a rainbow-obsessed little girl whose mission it is to bring more colour and joy into peoples’ lives. It is currently being illustrated by a local artist and we are hoping it will be out by the end of this year. n The Tomluc Tree

is available at local stockists including Squid and the Kid, Darts Farm, St Bridget’s Nurseries, Dartmoor Zoo and also Waterstones: www.waterstones.com

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Articles inside

LIVES Meet the local NHS nurse and author

pages 66-68

NEWS All the latest from the property development sector

pages 60-62

SHOWCASE A super-stylish city pad

pages 63-65

HEALTH & BEAUTY Aerial classes and walks of wonder

pages 50-52

TOP OF THE CLASS A centre opening, award-winning teachers and one gorgeous pooch

pages 53-54

SOCIETY One fun restaurant launch

page 49

SIDMOUTH Where to walk, shop, eat and drink

pages 41-48

DINING at Circa

pages 36-37

INSIDE The Ivy Exeter

pages 34-35

FEASTS Supper clubs, food festivals and cookery courses

pages 29-33

WHAT’S ON Theatre, music, arts and festivals

pages 20-24

ED’S CHOICE Beach trip outfit and accessories sorted

pages 26-28

INTRO Pretty jim-jams

page 25

BEAR GRYLLS We chat to the adventurer ahead of his visit to Powderham Castle

pages 17-19

JP HEDGE on the growth of health and wellbeing in the city

pages 9-10

BOOKS Summer reads to delve into

page 11

SPOTLIGHT A literary festival line-up revealed and a big photography project for the city

pages 7-8

FAMILY DAYS OUT Inspiration for the summer holidays

pages 12-16
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