Exeter Living - Issue 285

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ISSUE 285 / SEPTEMBER 2021 / £3














ABOVE: Sporting champions at Exeter Cathedral School, page 41; BELOW: Shapely figures from Nest Living, page 17


rumming up enthusiasm for some interiors trends can be tricky, especially when they outstay their welcome – I mention no names, ahem, industrial lighting! Thankfully, there are some new décor kids on the block – namely beautiful wall hangings and voluptuous furnishings; check out our interiors special on page 17 and get inspired. For more inspiration of a completely different kind, there’s our bumper education section on page 41 where we chat to the students, teachers and headteachers at local schools and colleges. They candidly talk us through the highs and lows of the last academic year – from getting to grips with online learning to facing exams, venturing back into the classroom and the joy of seeing chums again. It’s a warm, fuzzy kind of read. And then on to the subject of hitting Exeter in the nocturnal hours. We go for cocktails at The Mermaid, page 24, the new bar on Gandy Street that’s making a splash (sorry); and we’ve got the lowdown on where to go for your Christmas party. I know it’s early, but get it booked now and then you won’t have to think about it again until December. Talking of parties, this issue comes out the day after our big event of the year, the Exeter Living Awards. Look out for our sparkly winners’ issue in three weeks’ time! Enjoy! #ExeterTogether

HARRIET NOBLE Follow us on Twitter @ExeterLiving Instagram @exeterlivingmag

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Issue 285 / September 2021 COVER Vintage Dutch Rose Wall Hanging, from Love Frankie (see page 17)


6 SPOTLIGHT Positively good stories 9 JP HEDGE is getting sociable 33 SOCIETY The latest parties, launches and festivals in

the city

66 LIVES Comic Bridget Christie is heading our way


12 WHAT’S ON Comedy, theatre, music and more 15 BOOKS Your September reading list sorted


17 UP THE WALLS Pretty, quirky hangings 20 VOLUPTUOUS HOMEWARE Yes, it’s a thing


23 FOOD & DRINK NEWS A new bakery and a foodie festival 24 NEW BAR We sink a few at The Mermaid 28 CHRISTMAS PARTIES Get it booked




38 SELF-CARE Ears, feet – you name it – this clinic can

sort it


41 SCHOOL REPORT Local students, teachers and

headteachers lift the lid on the past year


57 EXETERWORKS The latest news from Exeter’s movers

and shakers

60 JOURNEY TO THE JOB Former cricketer Adam Dibble


63 NEWS Reporting on the first ever Exeter Property Awards 64 SHOWCASE A Budleigh beauty with seaviews

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 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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chats about his career path towards running his own property company 61 EXETER LIVING AWARD WINNER 2020 We chat to last year’s Property winners, Hilton Barnfield Architects


Who were the big winners? Find out in the next issue!




This issue comes out the day after our Exeter Living Awards take place – so congratulations to all the winners, whoever you are! By the time you read this, the bubbly with have been drunk, the envelopes torn open, winners announced, tearful speeches made! We will be reporting on the big shindig in the next issue, in our big, sparkly winners’ issue. Expect jubilant party images, details of the deserving winners and all the juicy highlights from the evening. If you can’t wait until the next issue (out on 24 September), do check our social media pages and website for a sneak preview of who won what. For more: www.exeterlivingawards.co.uk



Sidmouth Folk Festival made a welcome return in July, providing a week-long feast of song, dance and family fun for the coastal town. “Hundreds of people came up to us personally during the week just to say thank you for putting on the festival on this year and particularly for the way that we delivered it,” says festival director John Braithwaite. “To receive this type of feedback is really rather wonderful. Thank you to everyone for believing in us – it has really paid off.” For more: www.sidmouthfolkfestival-live.co.uk

Street performances were part of the festival

Exeter’s businesses are coming together



To celebrate the Great Big Green Week 2021, Princesshay is holding a two-day sustainability event in Princesshay Square on Friday 24 and Saturday 25 September in collaboration with key partners from across Exeter. Head to Princesshay on these dates and learn how small changes can make a big difference to our planet, with pop up exhibitors, including Co Cars, Co Bikes, Rapid Charging Devon, St Sidwell’s Point, Liveable Exeter, Exeter City Living, Nourish, Sails & Canvas and Devon Contract Waste, showcasing their sustainable products and initiatives. For more: www.princesshay.co.uk

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Heading out JP is embracing the shift towards more socialising, networking and face-to-face meetings. Even his retired mum is getting in on the action…


ave you ever had the ‘out of context’ insecurity dream? I believe it is a firm favourite among Freud fans and mature dream catchers. As the brain processes insecurities it is one of the dreams that some people seem to be able to remember when they wake. For me, growing up, it could be insecurity in the context of being at school/uni and having an overarching nagging feeling that something isn’t right. No PE kit on sports day? Final exams and you’ve only got a spoon to write with? Perhaps you’ve gone in wearing odd shoes? As I opened the door of Artigiano onto a beautiful fresh morning on the High Street this month, I had deja vu. I had a packed day of face-to -face appointments in

the city, the brilliant alternative to a long 18 months of Zoombased meetings. I had given a lift into the city to my mum who had an early appointment at an opticians. That early morning Artigiano happened to be hosting a Chamber of Trade Coffee in the City event. And there you have it. In the time it took me to head inside and utter the words Americano, Mum became the social darling of the city scene. She is long retired but that didn’t stop the offer of business cards coming her way. There were follow up meetings in the offing. I was expecting the baby photos to come out. As gorgeous as Exeter businesses owners and my mum all are, and they really are, it’s a useful adage to describe how some people are feeling going back into normal life.

“Everything that was a bit dull now reads with the allure of a temptress on Tinder”

Those fantastic fresh early autumn days are here and with them come new opportunities in a very long pandemic that has shaken us. For our amazing businesses who have weathered this storm, the autumnal breeze and return of something resembling ‘normal’ this autumn simply can not come soon enough. Boring is back. The greyness of predictability, 9-5, regular income, regular footfall, regular staffing even. Everything that was a bit dull now reads with the allure of a temptress on Tinder. Having seen some of the behaviour of people this summer, not everyone is on the same page when it comes to getting back to routines. There are many who have embraced the change and are returning from a summer of socialising. There are others that are perhaps a bit more cautious. I hear you. For them there is still a reliance on one bit of your brain, the old bit, that still wants you to focus on safety rather than socialising, to avoid crowds and keep hiding. Preferably in the nearest cave. I’m absolutely convinced there is a bright future however you are feeling right now – and it doesn’t have to be a baptism of fire

involving your mother. Exeter businesses are here for you. Customer wise, if ever there was a time to build confidence back again, it is now. I’m safe in saying our phenomenal independents in particular would like nothing better than building a 1-2-1 relationship with you. If you are lacking confidence in getting back out there again you aren’t alone. I’d urge you to pick your local favourite and I promise you won’t be disappointed. For the record I once wore odd shoes at school. It also happened at work during the sleep deprivation baby stage. And mum’s available for any networking this autumn. ■

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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Wales TUC Congress delivered from ICC Wales

ITV 6 Nations podcast with Flats&Shanks

The main event As a live events company GENERO GROUP takes your brand and creates spectacular, bespoke and innovative experiences that keep your guests talking about you...


he last year has undoubtedly been a difficult one, and we’re very excited that the world is safely beginning to return to a new kind of normal. When physical events are back up and running we will be at the forefront of this. Over the last 16 months we’ve been working incredibly hard to overcome the challenges set upon the events industry by Covid-19. The main transformation across the industry has been the necessary shift from live to hybrid and virtual events to ensure that those interactions still had the opportunity to happen in some format, be it training, networking, awards, AGMs and Congresses. The events industry as a whole has

Plaid Cymru Autumn Conference

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shown agility, resilience and proactivity to be able to support their clients, both existing and new, who perhaps wouldn’t have had reason to engage with an ‘event’ facilitator previously. Genero Group have taken this opportunity to strive, including the development and setup of Genero Creative Group, this now enables us to support the growing need for creative media and remote services, which includes a fully brandable filming studio – Studio G with access to greenscreen technology. This technology allows event contributors to film live or pre-record with fully customisable and bespoke backdrops – anything from a 3D event environment to a beach in the Maldives – we can put your event anywhere you like, you dream it

we can make it happen! Already we’ve produced virtual awards, presentations and the ITV 6 Nations podcast with Flats&Shanks. Whereas pre-pandemic online events and streaming was perhaps around 20% of our turnover, it quickly became 100% – overnight in fact. We have upskilled our staff, upgraded our equipment and invested in new tools to enable us to deliver the same exemplary standard of hybrid and virtual events as our reputation precedes of live events. Hybrid events merge a live event with an online event. This can be in any format, from live audience with remote contributors, a remote audience with live contributors and anything in-between. Hybrid events we have delivered have included numerous award ceremonies, Wales TUC Congress delivered from ICC Wales and streamed internationally, Plaid Cymru Autumn Conference plus many more. We’ve also delivered online conferences for Jean Monnet Network of EU Counter Terrorism, Wales Gene Park, Welsh Government with MIT, Play Wales to name a few. We’ve been working in this industry for over 20 years so no matter the size or complexity of the event, physical or hybrid, the team at Genero will provide you the perfect live event, in line with Government guidelines and with the safety of attendees at the heart of every decision we make. ■

Contact the team at Genero today by emailing info@genero-group.co.uk to discuss your ideas or find us online at www.genero-group.co.uk

Dancing group Rambert2 will be at the Northcott

WHAT’S ON 3rd September onwards

THEATRE / COMEDY/ DANCE Until 5 September

THE THREE MUSKETEERS Featuring hilarious heroics, raucous romances and some bonkers fun with BMX bikes, Le Navet Bete condense Dumas’ 700-page classic into two hours of non-stop comedy gold. 2.30pm and 7pm; Exeter Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, Exeter; www.exeterphoenix.org.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. The venue will be filled with images of far-away galaxies, alien worlds, supermassive black holes and a time before the Big Bang. 7.30pm, Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter; www.exetercornexchange.co.uk

7 September

EDALIA DAY: TOO PRETTY TO PUNCH A comedy spoken word show about gender, the media and not fitting any of the boxes, full of explosive movement, original songs and

kickass video projection. Edalia Day is a banjo wielding, poetry slam winning, trans warrior, taking on the world one troll at a time. Expect to feel uplifted. 7.30pm, Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter; www.exeterphoenix.org.uk

12 September

DAVID BADDIEL: TROLLS NOT DOLLS David has stories to tell, of the dark, terrible and hysterically absurd cyber-paths that interacting with trolls has led him down. Come with him on this comedy journey into our culture’s most dank virtual underground. 7.30pm, Exeter Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, Exeter; www.exeternorthcott.co.uk

15 September

MARK THOMAS: 50 THINGS ABOUT US In his new show, funny man Mark combines his trademark mix of storytelling, standup and mischief; it is a show about money, history, songs, gongs, wigs, and unicorns. 8pm, Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter; www.exetercornexchange.co.uk

22 September

SIR RANULPH FIENNES: LIVING DANGEROUSLY Sir Ranulph will be chatting childhood and school

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

misdemeanours, his army life and early expeditions, right through the transglobe expedition to his current goal to become the first person in the world to cross both polar ice caps and climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. 8pm, Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter; www.exetercornexchange.co.uk

25 September

BRIDGET CHRISTIE: WHO AM I? Brand new show from the Edinburgh Comedy Award winning comic. Bridget has gained a huge following, from her BBC Radio 4 series Mortal, which Harry Hill declares to be the “funniest, most original thing I’ve heard on the radio for a long time.” See page 66 for more. 8pm, Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter; www.exetercornexchange.co.uk

2 October

ROB BRYDON: A NIGHT OF SONGS AND LAUGHTER Featuring a live band, enjoy Rob’s personal musical journey from South Wales to the West End. With a hugely entertaining and brilliantly unexpected selection of songs, Rob will regale audiences with hilarious tales from his distant and recent past. 7.30pm, Exeter Northcott theatre, Stocker Road, Exeter; www.exeternorthcott.co.uk

26 – 27 October

RAMBERT2 DOUBLE BILL In February 2020, 650 early career dancers attended open auditions to join the Rambert2 ensemble. Eleven were chosen for their outstanding ability and individuality. This is their on-stage debut as a company, unleashing their creative forces. 7.30pm, Exeter Northcott theatre, Stocker Road, Exeter; www.exeternorthcott.co.uk


11 September

LET’S ROCK AT POWDERHAM CASTLE The rescheduled festival will feature favourite retro acts such as Adam Ant, Wet Wet Wet, Kim Wilde and T’Pau. Time to sing your heart out with gusto. Gates open at 11am, Powderham Castle, Exeter; www.powderham.co.uk

17 September

MUSIC IN THE CASTLE: BBC YOUNG MUSICIAN – THOMAS LUKE Widely praised for his exceptional musicality and depth of interpretation, Thomas Luke is an awardwinning 17-year-old pianist whose performances have been broadcast on national television and radio. 7.30pm, The James Wyatt Music Room at Powderham Castle, Exeter; www.powderham.co.uk

WHAT’S ON 11 October

THE SHIRES The Shires are the most popular and best-selling country act in the UK having made huge waves both on home soil and across the pond becoming the first UK artists to win ‘Best International Act’ at the prestigious Country Music Awards; expect an acoustic performance from the duo. 8pm, Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter; www.exetercornexchange.co.uk


Until 12 October TOP:

Rob Brydon will be at the Northcott LEFT: The Shires will be performing at Exeter Phoenix BELOW: Expect a comedy spoken word show from Edalia Day at Exeter Phoenix

SHARED LIGHT The exhibition name Shared Light was originally used to describe Elizabethan auditoriums where the light allowed the players and the audiences to interact rather than be divided by stage lights and darkness. The two featured artists, Vicki Telesford and Red, share a studio and took the studio together because of the great light it offers. Their exhibition includes opaintings, giclee prints and postcards. Check opening times, upstairs at the Glorious Art House Café, Fore Street, Exeter; www.thegloriousarthouse.com

11 – 26 September

DEVON OPEN STUDIOS Over 300 artists around Exeter will be throwing open their doors and inviting people to look behind the scenes at their studios. Expect a diverse and exciting range of free exhibitions, workshops and opportunities to see artists at work. Various dates,times and locations around Devon; www.devonartistnetwork.co.uk

23 – 26 September

CREATIVE CRAFT SHOW From sewing, felting and papercraft to knitting and jewellery making, the Creative Craft Show brings the hottest new supplies and latest trends to die hard crafters and newcomers alike in the South West. Various times, Westpoint Arena, Clyst St Mary, Exeter; www.westpointexeter.co.uk

FESTIVALS 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. 9am-5.30pm, Craft Festival, Mill Marsh Park, off St John’s Lane, Bovey Tracey, Devon; www.craftfestival.co.uk

15 – 18 September

BUDLEIGH SALTERTON LITERARY FESTIVAL The line-up this year includes ballet dancer Darcey Bussell and actress Celia Emrie. There’ll be hordes more inspiring writers, experts, thinkers and opinion formers, along with lively panel discussions and dozens of children’s events. Various times and locations in Budleigh Salterton; www.budlitfest.org.uk ■

19 November

11 – 26 September

CANONTEIGN FALLS ARTIST IN RESIDENCE EXHIBITION Printmaker Helen Skidmore will be showcasing her nature-inspired work at the idyllic setting of Canonteign Falls; they’ll be the opportunity to purchase individual works of art. 10am-5.30pm, Canonteign Falls, Lower Ashton, Near Exeter; www.canonteignfalls.co.uk

12 – 23 September

pieces from performance artist Nicci Wonnacott. 12am-5pm, The Old Riding School at Powderham Castle, Exeter; www.powderham.co.uk

FORESTS AND FEASTS Featuring work from over 400 local artists and art groups, this exhibition is a celebration of Devon’s finest creative minds. Expect potters, painters, bodypainting work from LaFleur Artistry and powerful

EXETER PROPERTY AWARDS AT SANDY PARK This is the first ever Exeter Property Awards and is set to be a huge celebratory event. From residential to commercial, from lettings to new builds, from civic buildings to bold re-imaginings, the awards will celebrate the whole spectrum of property businesses in the region. There are 20 categories and you can nominate your business by heading to the website; deadline for nominations is 4 October. Exeter Property Awards, lunchtime event, afternoon awards. Begins from 12pm, ends around 4pm; www.exeterpropertyawards.com

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Eclectic bunch

Sally Rooney’s latest, a 90s cult classic, a stylish sci-fi for teens, a debut novel by Natasha Brown, and a new Penguin series by environmental authors and activists – Charlie has a brilliant stack of recommendations to see you through September

question you’re asked when you work in a bookshop: what have you read recently that’s good? So you go all out (This! This is amazing) while never being entirely sure that the recipient of your (heartfelt, deeply personal) recommendation will end up loving it as much as you do. Why do books touch some people so deeply while leaving others cold? So what have we read recently? Let’s start with one of September’s biggest (and possibly most divisive) books, Sally Rooney’s Beautiful World, Where Are You. I read both of Rooney’s previous books (Normal People, Conversations with Friends) greedily, in one sitting. I very much enjoy the style; clean, minimal sentences and cool, neat prose, while simultaneously squirming at the characters and the – forgive me – slightly irritating life decisions they make. I LOVED doing this all over again with Beautiful World. It’s a story of relationships, and feelings, and being lost, and however you felt about Sally Rooney before, you’ll feel it again hard with this book. If you’ve been scrolling socials recently and watching music festivals take place while being cautious about venturing out, then get into the rave mask-free by reading Junglist by Two Fingas and James T Kirk, a cult classic that’s back in print after 20 years. It’s a stream-of-consciousness story of four young men, a wild weekend, a coming of age amongst the raves and jungle music scene of 90s London. Amazing. Check the accompanying playlist on our Spotify channel to warm up. A new teen read I loved is The Upper World by Femi Fadugba, a fast-paced, smart,

funny, stylish sci-fi for ages 12+ (grown-ups will enjoy too). Esso is a South London teen who finds himself haunted by visions of the future and a bullet that’s headed his way. As with all the best time travel tales, it’s the moral dilemma at its heart that makes the story. Do you change the future if you can? Daniel Kaluuya loved it so much he snapped up the film rights so read before it gets Netflixed real soon. So this column isn’t just me wanging on about books I like, I asked Liv (new at Bookbag and who also has excellent taste) if she’d read anything good. Her answer was Assembly by Natasha Brown. Tightlyformed and concise, Assembly is about the sense of being othered, and the relationships between status and heritage, new and old money, race and class, and all the trappings. Many books take twice as long to try and do what this slim snack of a book does so well – the characters so vivid (and sometimes awful) they feel real. Liv highly recommends. Finally, newly launched Green Ideas, a Penguin series of 20 short books by environmental authors and activists including Robin Wall Kimmerer, Greta Thunberg, Naomi Klein, Wangari Maathai, George Monbiot, and Amitav Ghosh. The books were drawn from a ‘new canon of classics from the past 75 years’ as visionary thinkers around the world have raised their voices to defend the planet, and affirm our place at the heart of its restoration’. The series examines climate change from multiple perspectives, sharing ideas on how capitalism, farming, ecology, and even art can help or hinder, and what action we should take to move forwards.

“Daniel Kaluuya loved it so much he snapped up the film rights”

Charlie Richards is the co-owner of Exeter bookshop Bookbag, 7-10, McCoy’s Arcade, Exeter; uk.bookshop.org/shop/bookbag

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HANG OF IT Wall hangings are the big trend hitting the interiors world at the moment – here’s a selection to get you inspired By Harriet Noble

Vintage Dutch Rose Wall Hanging, £79, from Love Frankie, 34 High Street, Totnes, Devon; www.lovefrankie.com

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he current trend for wall hangings is a big, fun hit which has got interiors influencers on Instagram knocking all manner of homeware pieces onto their walls. There are macrame wall hangings conjuring up beachy, informal vibes; classic floral and botanical canvases oozing old-school European boudoir feels; vibrant animal wall décor pieces and abstract paintings. This trend has a real anything-goes aspect to it. If you’ve got an eye-catching piece of furniture, say, a pretty parasol, hang it up on the wall – room transformed, just like that!


We chat to Devon Cawkwell from Sidmouth-based interiors boutique Bøde Living When it comes to wall hangings, what are you seeing a lot of at the moment?

We are seeing a huge trend in abstract pieces, whether that be larger than life wall hangings, art canvases with bold colours or ceramics. We are learning to be less literal and really use our wall space and try out new things, nothing is off limits. I want to embrace a big, bold wall hanging but I don’t want it to overwhelm the room. How do I make it work?

Embrace the statement. Don’t shy away from larger wall hangings, use them as a canvas or backdrop to your room and draw your colour theme from them to bring cohesion to your interior. It’s all about layering, you can place a larger piece behind a sofa or bed to soften the edges creating a mural effect.


I’ve got a small space but I still want to be creative. How do I go about doing this?

Creating a picture wall effect with ceramics and textural wall hangings can be a great way to add character without overwhelming the area you have, use different colours and tones to add your personality to a space. If you are worried about configuration, command hooks are your best friend and only temporary – play around! ■ Bøde Living, Alexandria Trading Estate, Sidmouth, Devon; www.bode-living.com


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1. Feather Wall Hanging, £54, from The Travelling Knot, Instagram: the travelling.knot 2. Medium Wall hanging, £46, from The Travelling Knot, Instagram: the.travelling.knot 3. Macramé DIY Kit: Luna Wall Hanging, £22, from The Travelling Knot, Instagram: the travelling.knot 4. French Floral Print Wall Hanging, £49, from Nest Living, 60 Fore Street, Topsham; www.nestliving.net/home 5. Decorative Heron Wall Hanging, £40-65, from Love Frankie, 34 High Street, Totnes; www.lovefrankie.com 6. Zebra Head Wall Décor, £129, fromToot Garouk, 19 Queen Street, Exeter; www.tootgarook.co.uk 7. David Fragment Wall Ornament, £25, from Bøde Living, Alexandria Trading Estate, Sidmouth; www.bode-living.com 8. Shark Wall Decor, £60, from Toot Garouk, 19 Queen Street, Exeter; www.tootgarook.co.uk 9. Abstract Painting, Mustard/Nude, £575, from Bøde Living, Alexandria Trading Estate, Sidmouth; www.bode-living.com 10. Abstract Painting, Pistachiio/Blue, £345, from Bøde Living, Alexandria Trading Estate, Sidmouth; www.bode-living.com




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SHAPELY FIGURES Brighten your home with curvy, eye-catching pieces


ounded edges, soft curves and neutral palettes are this year’s most sophisticated trend,” says Devon Cawkwell from Sidmouth-based interiors boutique Bøde Living. “We think the key is to be bold and go for oversized furniture, lamps and vessels. Group these items together and use their strong silhouettes to create a larger impact.” Here are some beautiful shapely pieces from the local indies to inspire.



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LOCAL INTERIORS EXPERTS… Love Frankie, 34 High Street, Totnes, Devon; www.lovefrankie.com Bøde Living,, Alexandria Trading Estate, Sidmouth; www.bode-living.com Fleming & Sell,, 25 Fore Street, Topsham; Instagram: charlotteflemingartist Koto Living; www.kotoliving.co.uk Sancho’s, Fore Street, Exeter; www.sanchosshop.com Amos Lighting + Home, 6 Dart Business Park,Topsham, www.amoslighting.co.uk

Devon Shutters, Unit 22b, Alexandria Trading Estate, Alexandria Road, Sidmouth; www.devonshutters.co.uk Toot Garouk,, 19 Queen Street, Exeter; www.tootgarook.co.uk The Travelling Knot, Instagram: the.travelling.knot Md Business Interiors,, 103 Grace Road West, Marsh Barton, Exeter; www.mdinteriorsdevon.com Sowton Mills, Exhibition Way, Exeter; www.sowtonmills.com Exeter Carpet Company, 92A Old Tiverton Road, Exeter; www.exetercarpet.co.uk Faraday Stoves, Park Ct, Devonshire Rd, Heathpark Industrial Estate, Honiton; www.faradaystoves.co.uk


1. Vera Sculpure by Abigail Ahern, POA, available at Fleming & Sell, 25 Fore Street, Topsham; Instagram: charlotteflemingartist 2. Vigan Sculpure by Abigail Ahern, POA, available at Fleming & Sell, 25 Fore Street, Topsham; Instagram: charlotteflemingartist 3. Submarine vases, POA, from Koto Living; www.kotoliving.co.uk 4. Grey Oval Web Cabinet, £695, from Bøde Living, Alexandria Trading Estate, Sidmouth; www.bode-living.com 5. Agoston Dark Marble Coffee Table, £148, from Amos Lighting + Home, 6 Dart Business Park,Topsham; www.amoslighting.co.uk 6. ’Mie’ Tawny Yellow Iron Dish, £34, from Bøde Living, Alexandria Trading Estate, Sidmouth; www.bode-living.com 7. Assortment of vases, POA, from Bøde Living, Alexandria Trading Estate, Sidmouth; www.bode-living.com 8. Ceramic Nature Bum Vase, £50, from Bøde Living, Alexandria Trading Estate, Sidmouth; www.bode-living.com 9. The Olive Bubble Candle, £17, from Sancho’s, Fore Street, Exeter; www.sanchosshop.com 10. Viv Lee vases, POA, from Koto Living; www.kotoliving.co.uk 11. Chrome and Smoked Glass Pendant, £99, from Amos Lighting + Home, 6 Dart Business Park,Topsham; www.amoslighting.co.uk 12. Bolia: Philippa Lounge Chair, £1,380, from Koto Living; www.kotoliving.co.uk

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above: Cakes and brownies await; right: Owner Katie Cross dishing

out the goodies

A new, and very pink, bakery shop has arrived at 68 Bartholomew Street West. Cake or Death, owned and run by Katie Cross, is also a nationwide letterbox brownie delivery company – meaning you can choose to pick up your sweet treat in person or order online for delivery. Katie started the vegan cake business in 2019 in her neighbourhood of Dalston, East London. The letterbox brownies were so popular that the bakery had trouble keeping up with orders and given that there wasn’t a need for the bakery to be based in London and running costs would be lower elsewhere, Katie and her family made the leap and moved to Exeter. You can purchase brownies, ice cream brownie sundaes and coffee at the shop front of Cake or Death, and the letterbox brownies can be sent anywhere in mainland UK. www.cakeordeath.co.uk


The historical pub has had a big makeover


A historic pub on Exeter’s High Street is reopening (as this issue goes to print, it is scheduled to open on 1 September) after an extensive refurbishment and renovation. The Turks Head is over 700 years old and was famously a favourite watering hole for writer Charles Dickens. It closed as a pub back in 2005 and was taken over by Prezzo Italian restaurant until its closure in 2018. This year, under new management, the two-story pub will offer a first floor terrace, six hotel rooms, and will serve beer and food all day. “The Turks Head will be a pub for all seasons, all hours and all people,” says general manager Luke Cegliese. “An opportunity to create a culture, re-establish the pub in the city and within the hearts of the community.” Instagram: turks_head_exeter

Ottery Food & Families Festival is back on the Devon foodie calendar with the date announced as Saturday 11 September. This year, for the first time, the event is to be held in Alfington Road on land adjacent to Otter Garden Centres, with a central arena with hay bales providing a picnic area that will be surrounded by producer stalls and catering stands. Visitors can expect cooking demonstrations from local chefs, plus live music and the Thelma Hulbert Gallery’s new travelling Creative Cabin, for children to explore art and nature. “It’s always a lovely festival which comes up trumps every time, with a fantastic selection of delicious food to enjoy and produce to take home,” says Katherine Govier, from headline sponsor Otter Garden Centre. “After the setbacks from the pandemic we’re all looking forward to enjoying the festival day once again.” www.otteryfood.org


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All hail the hip new bar on Gandy Street By Harriet Noble


t feels appropriate that you should descend down a flight of stairs to enter this place, like stepping down into the otherworldliness of the ocean. You might almost wish your legs would transform into a big fin, Daryl Hannah style. Huge proportions await: soaring ceilings, jumbo-sized and exuberant plants, louche sofas, a colourful assortment of paintings – the design concept for the place, the team reliably inform us, is Gustav Klimt in an orangery – and a 20 square metre hand-painted Art Deco-style mural. It’s dark but not gloomy, botanical but not in a glossy Instagrammy way. It is cool. This bar comes to us from multi arts venue Exeter Phoenix and has been 18 months in the making. The opening of the Mermaid completes the second phase of development on the site. Its sister business, the popular Maker Mart, is next door selling pieces by local artists and makers. Anyhow, my pal and I sink into an armchair and order drinks. The menu is nicely straightforward. You’ve got a handful of cocktails, including the seductive sounding Mermaid Sour and Sea Nymph, plus a selection of wines

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and plenty of local beers and ciders. There’s a meat and vegan sharing board, with food supplied by locals Circa and How On Earth. I start off with a pleasingly sharp Martini with olive and then a glass of very drinkable house red. My companion, who’s driving, has a non-alcoholic fruity drink and we also share a vegan sharing board of delicious not-meat-buttastes-like-meat which comes with a tangy tapanade and crusty bread. I go for a bit of a wander, because this is the kind of bar where you want to get up close to the details of the place: the colourful art, the kooky trinkets. And what of the mermaid? There are many reasons why the name was borne. Firstly, the name pays homage to a 17th Century coaching inn, named Mermaid Inn, in Exeter’s South Street. It also references the prevalence of mermaid sightings in the River Exe from the 18th and 19th Century. The Asiatic Journal of 1823 is said to describe the River Exe as notable for ‘the appearance of more remarkable Mermaids than even the rest of the world.’ So, there we have it. If you head downstairs to the loos, there is a whole





“What marks The Mermaid out as being different is its stunning look and design. Most recently a clothes shop, the premises was originally built in the Victorian era as a ‘concert room’ for a piano shop fronting Queen Street – a place where customers could come and try out a piano in a concert setting before purchasing. The high ceiling still provides the room with great acoustics but also once contained 50 glass panels and a large glass lantern above. This was all lost in order to maintain the blackout during the war but as part of the recent renovation seven panels have been restored and skylights inserted above to once again let sunlight back into the building. I didn’t want the place to feel identikit or ordered off a shelf but have a unique feel to it, including locally-sourced materials. We didn’t want to ‘bleach’ the inside of the building, obliterating the past and presenting it as new but instead were keen to preserve the character so, for example, you can see where there was a fire 10 years ago. This is a building with a story to tell.”


A few words by Patrick Cunningham, director of Exeter Phoenix

“The name references the prevalence of mermaid sightings in the River Exe”

DINING DETAILS The Mermaid, 11b Gandy Street, Exeter; Instagram: exeter_mermaid Opening times Tuesday-Thursday 5pm-12am; Friday-Saturday 3pm-1am © HARRIET NOBLE

wall dedicated to the history of the building and more information about the naming the bar. The bit I particularly like is where it says, ‘In Tim Buckley’s haunting ballad Song to the Siren – with its universal themes of yearning and loneliness – there is a romantic twist as vivid images are conjured up of the sea, doomed romance and drowning as examples of the inevitable damage that love causes. ‘Sail to me, here I am’ is the call as the lovers are lured to a premature grave…or perhaps a bar to drown their sorrows?’ You don’t need to be dealing with the ache of a doomed romance to frequent The Mermaid but if you are, a cocktail at this establishment will definitely cushion the blow. There is nowhere in Exeter like it. n

Drinks Cocktails prices start at £6.50; local beers, ciders and wines Food Sharing boards: meat (£14.50) and vegan (£12.50), olives and mixed nuts Service/atmosphere Cool, quirky, and atmospheric

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‘TIS (NOT QUITE) THE SEASON Whether you’re after high-end cuisine in an elegant setting or hearty fare, a pint and a boogie – these are the places to eat, drink and be merry in Exeter this Christmas By Harriet Noble

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“You’ll feel like you’re on the set of Downton Abbey”


t may be seem premature, but there is an obvious reason why we do our Christmas party feature at this time of year – the restaurants always get booked up so early. Raucous office Christmas dos, bawdy family meals out, giggly cocktails with friends – we didn’t do a lot of that last year with all the rules and regs so there is, quite rightly, a desire to really embrace the festive period this year and jump on the opportunity to have as much fun as possible. Here’s how…

opposite page: Try a Brandy Alexandra at Winslade Manor Restaurant & Bar; above: Perfectly positioned, On the Waterfront; left: Cosy dining at The Pig at Combe


The popular quayside restaurant can seat up to 100 in their refurbished long room (watch out for the hanging monkeys) or if you fancy sitting by the water’s edge, you can book a table in their cosy, and heated, domes that seat up to six. On the menu this festive season will be a Christmas sensation pizza with pulled turkey and pigs in blankets, and roasted cauliflower with curried gnocchi. You’ll also find the likes of crispy brie and glazed pork belly to whet the palate and to round off the meal tarts, cookie dough and sundaes galore; and from Sunday to Thursday cocktails start from two for £12. The team are also revving up for a big NYE blow out, featuring a three-course set menu and a live band helping everyone party 2021 away into the New Year. On the Waterfront, Southern Warehouse, 4-9, The Quay, Exeter; www.waterfrontexeter.co.uk


This will be the first Christmas for the recently opened Winslade Manor at Clyst St. Mary, about five miles from central Exeter. This historic building – and its interiors – are so glam and elegant you’ll feel like you’re on the set of Downton Abbey when you have your Christmas do here. Think chandeliers, sweeping staircases and rich, decadent furnishings. Head chef Matt Mason and his team will be offering a festive four-course Christmas menu (the team have so far confirmed cherry and chocolate venison), and there will be live music and cocktails late into the night. Perfect for when you want to dress up and sparkle. Winslade Park Ave, Manor Drive, Clyst St Mary, Exeter; www.winslademanor.com


If dining at a rural chic country house is your bag, you couldn’t go far wrong with The Pig. And it is all about the gorgeous homegrown food here. “Our menu always reflects the seasons so we will have plenty of game being supplied by local shoots including pheasant, partridge and venison,” says The Pig’s Emma Cridwell. “Our garden will be supplying the kitchen with the more wintery root vegetables like celeriac and beetroot. Our pudding menu will have cranberries and winter warmers like fruit crumbles. All this alongside the usual piggy favourites like hock eggs and tomahawk pork chop.” Post- or pre-supper, enjoy mince pies and mulled wine by a roaring fire, while sitting in a comfy leather armchair. Bliss. Oh, and on New Year’s Eve they will have a live band and a piper to play at midnight. The Pig at Combe, Gittisham, Honiton; www.thepighotel.com

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The vibrant bar, restaurant and events space on Queen Street will be offering a two- and three- course set Christmas menu which will see a Californian twist on the traditional festive menu. Expect pigs in blanket tacos, turkey burgers and nut roast quesadillas. It’s also the place you may well want to let your hair down in. “At Pink Moon we do not shy away from encouraging people to go wild,” says marketing and events manager Amelia Pike. “We have a jam-packed events calendar this Christmas including DJ and sax nights, live musicians and DJ brunches.” Where to head for a boogie this Christmas. Pink Moon, 44 Queen Street, Exeter; www.pinkmooncafe.co.uk


The cosy gastro bar and restaurant will be offering up a three-course Christmas menu; upstairs you can get the party started in their cocktail lounge and enjoy one of their festive cocktails, like their warming mulled apple gin cocktail. The bar and restaurant will also be ready and pouring at Exeter’s Cathedral Christmas Market. “At the Cathedral Christmas Market the mulled wine and cider flow, the entire bar sings along to Christmas tunes, and the whole place is smiling,” says Faye Williams, director at Barnova Event bars and partner at The Oddfellows “It’s an amazing atmosphere. So many people and families missed each other last year, so we want to create a safe place where friends and relatives can get together again and celebrate Christmas with top notch drinks and food.” The Oddfellows, 60 New Road, Exeter; www.theoddfellowsbar.co.uk


Its prime location (on Cathedral Close) and its Great Gatsby-esque interiors make No.5 a restaurant that really comes into its own at Christmas time. The restaurant boasts views out towards the Cathedral on one side, their pretty garden on the other. The old-school bar features a huge fireplace, candles, big leather armchairs, and chandeliers. This is a place you want to hang out on a crispy winter’s evening with a glass of something delicious in one hand. “Our bar elves have been hard at work coming up with a seasonal cocktail list,” says events manager Matilda Reynolds. “Think gingerbread, cinnamon, peppermint and everyone’s favourite festive flavours! Over the festive period, there will be live entertainment in the beer garden, and wreath-making classes with fizz and nibbles. n No.5, 5 Cathedral Close, Exeter; www.no5-exeter.co.uk

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A roaring fire awaits at No. 5; top left: The Oddfellows will also be at Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market

“We do not shy away from encouraging people to go wild”

Open 8.30am - 5pm Mon-Fri, 8.30am - 1pm Sat Also stockist for MIELE, BOSCH, HOTPOINT, LEC, ZANUSSI


Daniel Howarth, Chloe Howarth and Heidi Howarth

Howard Noye, Patrick Cunningham and Polly Crockett

Hayley and Gary Shaw, Mark and Marie Buckfield

Belinda Dillon


Exeter Pheonix’s new bar The Mermaid, on Gandy Street, held its launch party recently with guests being treated to a night of cocktails, beers, sharing platters and music. “The overall concept was to restore, celebrate and promote a stunning example of mid Victorian classical-style architecture, re-purposing it for a very modern use – an evening and late-night bar with a unique ambience,” says Patrick Cunningham, director at Exeter Phoenix. Turn to page 24 to read our full review. The Mermaid, 11b Gandy Street, Exeter; www.exeterphoenix.org.uk Molly Roule, Mattie Richardson, Poppy Harrison and George Barron Ben Dickenson and Anna Orchard

Photos by Rhodri Cooper

Dan and Mattie Richardson

Stewart Crews Joe Duddell, Paul Timewell, Joe Hancock and Stephen Mottram

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Festivalgoers cheerfully dodged the showers to attend Exeter’s first ever Guildfest Rooftop Market Festival. The free two-day event in August, which took over the top two floors of the Guildhall Shopping Centre Car Park, saw dozens of local food and drink brands, craft stalls, workshops and family entertainment. The area, which has amazing farreaching views across the city to Haldon and beyond, underwent a colourful transformation for the festival. “Our idea was to re-purpose this space

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and create something amazing in the city centre,” says Nikki Fairclough, customer experience and marketing manager at Guildhall Shopping and Dining who conceived the idea. “We received amazing support for this event, and I’d like to thank everyone for their commitment from the city council, who were supportive from the moment we took the idea to them, to our brilliant staff at the Guildhall, who worked hard all weekend, and always with a smile. We’re already planning what we can do next – so watch this space.” www.guildhallshoppingexeter.co.uk Photos by Tempo Media



The Outdoors Group celebrated its first ten years with a mini festival for staff and their families, when the TOGether Festival was held at Bovey Down Farm in East Devon. Over 150 people gathered for a weekend of music, food, games and dancing, enjoyed by all despite the occasional thunderstorm and torrential rain. The group’s founders Tom Lowdray and Shevrek Pring, pictured left, were presented with a celebratory cake. The Outdoors Group began with the opening of a forest school in Exmouth in 2011, and has grown to offer a range of outdoor-based activities to support not just education but also recreation and training opportunities. The Outdoors Group; www.outdoorsgroup.co.uk Photos by Dan Durdin; @geekasaurus_rex

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HEALTH & WELLBEING Pebble Brook Clinic also offers skin peels and laser hair removal

called ‘microsuction’ it’s a fine-ended suction tube, much like a mini-hoover that delicately breaks down and removes wax safely, it’s the gold standard of wax removal. What general advice would you give to anyone wanting to maintain good ear health?

My favourite ENT saying is ‘never put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear’ i.e., don’t put anything in there! People use all sorts of home remedies but it never ends up very well. Using things like cotton buds just push the wax further into the ears causing impactions, hearing loss, pain, itching, skin conditions, infections and more. Wax removal is best left to the professionals. Your ears need to be kept dry too, lots of people use shower heads to wash their ears out, but this causes lots of complications and is best avoided. And you provide all sorts of other services too, don’t you?

A quick word with...

EMILY HARRISON Emily Harrison set up the Ear Wax Clinic, at Pebble Brook Clinic, at the end of last year. Such was the demand, the business moved to bigger premises in Newton Poppleford where it now also offers treatments such as reiki, gut health testing and foot health services Hi Emily, when did the business open?

We launched The Ear Wax Clinic in November 2020 in Budleigh Salterton, but quickly outgrew the space. We moved to the new premises in May 2021, we are so pleased with the clinic! You can look out on fields with ponies in while you have your treatment in one of our bright and airy treatment rooms, with ample on-site parking and on a main bus route; we are very accessible. Tell us about your journey to running this company...

I’ve been a nurse for 10 years, I absolutely love helping people so can’t imagine being anything else. After having my daughter two years ago and seeing how much the world has changed in that time, it led me to re-evaluate what I wanted to do with my career, and so I took the leap to start off on my own.

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Why did you opt for a career in ear care?

I’ve suffered with my ears my whole life, having personally experienced multiple infections, ear surgery, tinnitus, tympanosclerosis (ear drum scarring), eustacian tube dysfunction and hearing loss. I can really put myself in my patient’s shoes and empathise with what they are going through. Once you’ve had earache it’s a pain you never forget!

When we moved to our new location we expanded and created more treatment rooms. I offer the ear care side of services, then we have other fabulously skilled practitioners offering a range of treatments. From anti-wrinkle injections, skin tag and mole removal, allergy and gut health testing, nutritional support, reiki, foot health, skin peels, laser hair removal and lots more. What treatments do you offer that perhaps most of us don’t know about?

Lots of people have never heard of microsuction, but it’s quick, painless and extremely effective! Reiki is a wonderful treatment too, lots of hospitals in America are now offering it routinely as a treatment option. Studies have shown it can help with mind fog, difficulty sleeping, anxiety and lots more! What aspect of health do you think we should be paying more attention to?

I think people are becoming a lot more aware of the importance of health, we often leave minor ailments until they become so bad they cause us pain and other issues. But it doesn’t need to be that way. Most treatments take under an hour and you can walk out pain-free and far happier than when you walked in. From having your corns and callouses treated, your ears cleared so you can hear better and a skin tag you’re self-conscious about removed, you’re worth it! n

“Never put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear!”

Is there a big demand for ear care?

While you can still get hospital referrals for ear issues, finding treatment for wax removal can be a struggle, and there can be a long wait. Most GP surgeries have stopped routinely offering irrigation (the water wash out). What I offer is

The Ear Wax Clinic, Pebble Brook Clinic, Newton Poppleford, Woodleys Drive, Ex10 0BJ; www.theearwaxclinic.org / www.pebblebrookclinic.co.uk



LEARN In their own words, staff and pupils from local schools share their thoughts on the challenges and the triumphs of the past academic year and reveal what’s in store for the term ahead... By Imogen Davidson-Smith

Jumping for joy at Queen Elizabeth’s School

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he challenges of the last 18 months have meant that schools have had to set up digital learning and put wellbeing at the very nucleus of academic life – all the while getting students through important exams. Interestingly, some of the changes that schools have made were so successful, they are now part of the permanent curriculum. As we chat to staff and students here about memories of the past year, and plans for the year ahead, both students and staff draw on finding pleasure in connecting with others and being nourished by their communities.

Sitting comfortably at Queen Elizabeth’s School


“Our new therapy dog Poppy has to be one of the real highlights,” reflects Principal Rupert Poole. “Poppy, is a two and half year old Sprocker, and has joined the pastoral team after passing all her tests with flying colours!” In other news, the school joined the Ted Wragg Trust earlier this year and also helped support many charities in the area. “I’m very proud of our students that took it upon themselves to do fundraising for a range of charities,” adds Rupert. “Our PE team organised the ‘Wallis Challenge’ in the name of one of our students who has been in hospital, this raised £8,000 and importantly also got everyone active in lockdown.” JO CHERRETT Assistant principal, director of post-16 and head of English at Queen Elizabeth’s School When I was at school I wanted to be

an archaeologist.

When I was a student I got into trouble for being a little ‘flexible’ with the school uniform rules at times. My favourite school meal is fish and chip Friday. When I look back on this academic year what I’ll remember most is the camaraderie – everyone pulled together and supported each other when it mattered the most, and that was simply amazing. My personal highlight of this year has been watching the students get their GCSE and A level results. The most fun I’ve had this academic year was when the sixth form put together a Hawaiian Day at the end of term. The person I’d like to say thank you to is Sue Evans, the sixth form administrator. She’s such a rock for the sixth form and always happy to help if anyone needs anything – the students are always telling me how wonderful she is!

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KAIA DARVILL Year: 11 going into Year 12 at Queen Elizabeth’s School My favourite subjects are drama and philosophy and ethics, because I had such great teachers and because the class groups were so great. My favourite activity at school are the school’s annual drama productions. The best things about this school is being able to spend time with my friends. When I look back on this academic year I really remember results day because I felt so stressed and just sick with worry in the morning. Then when I got my results I just couldn’t believe it because I had done so much better than I ever could’ve hoped, I had to cry a little because of how proud of myself I felt. Then I had the best day hanging out with my friends and later my parents. It just felt like I’d really achieved something after working so hard for so long in such weird times, it was great. The most challenging thing about this academic year has been the unpredictability. I still remember finding out that exams were cancelled and just sitting and staring at the TV in shock. While I have lots of different thank yous for all of my teachers, I think I most need to say thank you to my mum for looking after me and being there for me during this unusual year, and just being all round amazing, love you Mum!

Queen Elizabeth’s School is an academy school with sixth form in Crediton; www.qe.devon.sch.uk

“What I’ll remember most is the camaraderie”


This past year has seen the school shortlisted for the Times Educational Supplement Prep School of the Year and even featured as part of a Microsoft Education series on how to deliver balanced home learning – with their online learning described as “meaningful, manageable, creative and fully interactive.” But it’s not all about the awards and accolades; this school is equally proud of its pastoral – read warm and fuzzy – side. “When all pupils returned to school in March this year, our year 8 pupils were ready to welcome them with a specially-made musical video,” says James Featherstone, head of Exeter Cathedral School. “Recorded by year 8 pupils at home during lockdown and produced by Oscar Gibbons, ECS Alumnus (2019), Here Comes the Sun captured the joy of pupils returning to the school site.” Readers, if you fancy a bit of a weep you can catch the song on the school’s YouTube channel. This emphasis on the pastoral very much extends to the health and wellbeing of their students too. “Taking time for spirituality and contemplation is an important strand of our pupils’ experience,” adds James. “Opportunities for collective stillness – encouraging children to be comfortable with silence and happy with and by themselves – have been offered through our assembly programme in Cathedral spaces; through taking time out from the curriculum to gather and reflect; and through our prayer space initiative and meditation sessions. Wellbeing is not a bolt-on; it is an embedded and fundamental constant in our children’s school lives.”

Masters of music at Exeter Cathedral School

TAMSIN BULLOCKE Head of Drama and English at Exeter Cathedral School When I was at school I wanted to be a teacher. I did toy with other roles: ballet dancer, dietician, and architect to name a few but being a teacher was always my preferred option. When I was at school I got into trouble for drawing! To be fair, it wasn’t an art lesson and, although I had finished the task and my oak tree was very detailed and in pencil so that I could rub it out, I probably should have used a sheet of paper rather than my desk… The best thing about this school is its friendliness and pupil-centred focus. Rugby stars from Exeter Cathedral School

SIBLINGS DOMINIC, IMOGEN AND LETTIE Year 8, 6 and 4 (all choristers) at Exeter Cathedral School When I grow up, I’d like to be Dominic: doing something with tech and something

with music.

Imogen: something to do with cooking or singing. Lettie: an actress. The best things about this school is Dominic: it’s not too big and feels very homely because you know

everybody; all the teachers are really friendly. Imogen: you have lots of choices for after-school clubs. Lettie: seeing my friends every day!

The thing I’ve really aced this year is Dominic: the end of year exams – which was a relief ! Lettie: poetry by heart. My personal highlight of this year has been Dominic: we all went back to school after Lockdown 2 and were all just

so happy to see each other.

Imogen: doing the sunflower art competition. Lettie: winning the girl’s section of sports day which no-one, including

me. could believe!

The most challenging thing about this academic year has been Dominic: not being able to see friends in the flesh during the online

learning periods.

The most fun I’ve had this academic year was Dominic: English lessons when we did drama. Imogen: animal Day when they brought in lots of reptiles, snakes,

insects etc.

Lettie: we did a cricket match at the end of term. The person I’d like to say thank you to is… Dominic: Mrs Norris for being a great form tutor. Imogen: my Dad for helping me with home learning. Lettie: Mr Baurence for making French lessons so fun.

Exeter Cathedral School is a 3–13 mixed, Church of England, independent day and boarding choir and preparatory school in Exeter; www.exetercathedralschool.co.uk

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We all stand together: the team at Exeter College


Exeter College’s apprenticeship team spent a lot of last year focussing on supporting their apprentices – Exeter College has a network of over 950 employers and some 1600 apprentices across the region – through the uncertain times of Covid. “Sadly nationally swathes of apprenticeships either lost their jobs or were taken off programme as employers responded to the lockdown periods,” says Mike Blakeley, director of future skills and apprenticeships. “In Exeter we did not experience such a negative impact for our Apprentices – only a small handful of young people were let go from their employer. We worked with each one to successfully reinstate them with other employers or find them a full-time course to attend. “The overwhelming feedback we received was that apprentices wanted a slice of normality and wanted the College to continue as much delivery and engagement as we could. The entire team rose to that challenge and in what was a period of turbulence and stress, unlikely to be matched at any point again, some themes emerged that left us knowing that the employers of Exeter, and beyond, are truly remarkable.” ANDREA HODGES Training and recruitment adviser for digital, data and adult care at Exeter College My role entails developing partnerships with

local employers and supporting the training and development of their staff, onboarding new apprentices, and helping students to start careers in digital, data and adult care.

The most challenging thing about this academic year has

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been making sure young people know that there are still plenty

of opportunities available for them after a difficult 18 months of lockdowns. A lot of businesses are busier than ever which means they are growing and recruiting new staff, including apprentices. The people I’d like to say thank you to are the students. They have been adaptable, resilient, and determined to achieve despite the challenges and are an inspiration to our future learners. CAROLINE GERARD Level 3 Digital marketing apprentice at Exeter College I work as a digital marketing assistant for the Exeter College apprenticeships team and Future Skills Centre, while also studying

one day a week at Exeter College to achieve my Level 3 Digital Marketing qualification. My personal highlight of this academic year has been seeing an advert that my team designed on buses and bus stops around Exeter. It is thrilling to see your work out in the world. I have not been involved in such a large project before and it was certainly a learning curve with a rewarding result. The most challenging thing about this academic year has been

jumping in at the deep end! I have started my work placement before commencing my College course. While that has been a challenge, being immersed in the role has forced me to learn fast and I have already seen an improvement in my knowledge and skills after just two months. Exeter College is a general further education college in Exeter; www.exe-coll.ac.uk


Exeter School has perhaps gone through the biggest of changes; from March of this year they acquired The New School, the pre-prep school in Exminster meaning they now offer schooling for 3 – 18 yearolds. They’ve also had a new playground built at their junior school, with much of the equipment being chosen by the students. What else is new? “An overarching theme that we have been developing in the last year and intend to take forward is that of working more closely with the wider community to develop partnerships,” says Louise Simpson, head of Exeter School. “We are keen to be as inclusive and relevant as possible to all bright young people in Exeter and our bursary provision is one way that we can reach out to talented girls and boys who might otherwise not have considered an Exeter School education.”

Standing tall: Exeter School

Exeter School: catch me if you can!

LOUISE SIMPSON Headteacher at Exeter School When I was at school my favourite subject was geography and biology – I could not choose

between them.

When I was at school I wanted to be an ecologist

Super saxophonists at Exeter School

or environmental scientist. I also quite fancied working in a museum. Teaching was not really on my list of ideal jobs until I was at university – and since I started working in schools, I have never looked back! When I was at school I got into trouble for talking in assembly! My school reports frequently reminded me that chatting can distract others…. My favourite activity at school is anything musical – especially singing – school choirs are wonderful things. When I look back on this academic year what I’ll remember most is the resilience and determination that the community has shown in coping with an ever-changing situation. For me, as a new arrival in September, 2020, I was very reliant on colleagues to guide me through the first year, and the support I have received has been exceptional. The thing we’ve really aced this year is being kind to each other, supporting people who are struggling, and maintaining our positive approach and high standards throughout. The most challenging thing about this academic year has been

interpreting and responding to ever changing government advice, with very little time to do so. On the positive though, this has reassured us of our ability to be agile and responsive and I think we have all been reassured of the excellent planning skills that exist within the school. This has been a huge help. The most fun I’ve had this academic year was in Mrs Van’s legendary kitchen. The chaplain’s mince pies were something else…. Exeter School is an independent co-educational day school for pupils between the ages of 3-18 in Exeter and Exminster; www.exeterschool.org.uk

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“Millie Lusk in Year 11, made history as the first girl to ever play for our first XI cricket team,” says Julian Nead, the new head at Queen’s College. “She played alongside her younger brother Monty Lusk. This coincided with the appointment of England women cricketer Katie George joining our coaching team.” This is just one of the memorable moments from the last 18 months, along with productions of Shakespeare Rocks, Witches and a cracking leavers’ ball. Looking ahead, the schools has big plans for growing the curriculum and facilities too. “We are expanding our academic offerings in the sixth form to involve a broader range of vocational courses,” adds Julian. “We are introducing BTECs in marketing, outdoor adventure and sport and also extending our outdoor pursuits provision. Queen’s College already has a popular and strong outdoor pursuits provision being one of the largest cohorts for the Duke of Edinburgh Award. We have plans for the installation of a new climbing wall as well as the new BTEC in Outdoor Adventure.” JULIAN NOAD Head of Queen’s College When I was at school, my favourite subject was physics. It was always the subject that made me

tick – the exploration and attempts at explanation of the world around us. When I was at school I got into trouble for not adhering to the school uniform code. Never an out and out rebel, but

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Queen’s College, in Taunton

just enough to irritate my teachers, no doubt. I have seen myself in former pupils! My favourite school meal is lasagne. You cannot beat a good bit of pasta to load on the carbs when energy is needed. My favourite activity at school is cross-country running club – a weekly outing with pupils and our dog, Percy, into beautiful local countryside.

When I look back on this academic year, what I’ll remember most is the way that staff and pupils have adapted and worked together

to solve challenges and lend support to each other.

The most challenging thing about this academic year has been

the separation – be it online learning or keeping ‘bubbles’ apart. JENNY THURSTAN Year 12 at Queen’s College

My favourite subject is French because I love learning about another culture and I think that languages are such an important skill to have in life. When I grow up I’d like to be a zoologist and preferably travel around with the job. My personal highlight of this year has been without a doubt the leavers ball at the end of term. It was so nice to have all the sixth formers and teachers dressed up and coming together to celebrate the year we have had and to say goodbye to the Year 13s. The most challenging thing about this academic year has been

the transition from GCSE to A Levels, I found this very tough but the amount of support I had around me was unmatched which helped a lot.

Stage success at Queen’s College

The person I’d like to say thank you to is it’s impossible to thank just one person for my Queen’s journey, but I am who I am today because of the matrons and staff in junior boarding and Mr and Mrs Elliot in Hutton as they have looked after me through everything and I know they will always be there for me. But I can’t forget all the teachers who have made me enjoy school and helped me to excel.

Queen’s College is a co-educational independent school located in Taunton, just under an hour from Exeter. It offers day and boarding school for children up to 18; www.queenscollege.org.uk

“Wellbeing is not a bolt-on; it is an embedded and fundamental constant in our children’s school lives” Dancing pros at Queen’s College

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“Seeing our pupils come in to receive their GCSE and A-Level results this summer was definitely a highlight after all their hard work in such a challenging 18 months,” says Shebbear headteacher Caroline Kirby. “They did really well with everyone getting the grades they needed – testament to our dedicated teachers and successful remote and blended learning programme.” “I feel proud of our pupils and staff every day and the challenges we have faced during the pandemic have strengthened our community even further,” adds Caroline. “Although Google has certainly had its place in education, what Covid has shown us is that we need community; we need teachers in a classroom, we need games on our sports fields and we need laughter in the corridors.” The school has cemented their focus on students’ health and wellbeing this year, launching their own health and wellbeing centre on the school grounds, providing students with a space they can visit at any time for a bit of support, advice or just someone to talk to. During the pandemic they also offered drop-in services for their pupils, giving them the opportunity to talk about any issues they were facing, and even offering home visits if needed.

All smiles at Shebbear College

CAROLINE KIRBY Headteacher at Shebbear College When I was at school I wanted to be in the Armed Forces – quite different to what I actually ended up doing! My favourite school meal is the salad and cold meats bar – it’s like going out to lunch every day.

When I look back on this academic year, what I’ll remember most is walking into ‘Real Chapel’ for the first time when we became one

Senior School bubble in June – it was an emotional and heart-warming experience of togetherness and celebration. The thing we’ve really aced this year is remote and blended learning without a doubt. We received so many positive comments about this from our parents and pupils and actually it has enabled us to get ahead of where we would have been (in the field of digital teaching and learning) if the pandemic had not hit. The most fun I’ve had this academic year was when I led the cookery activity remotely during the lockdown – over 40 children online cooking from our individual household kitchens – we laughed and created mayhem but made some delicious dishes for our families to enjoy... it was organised chaos! The person I’d like to say thank you to is my husband – supportive spouse, dad and friend.

Muddy, happy kids at Shebbear College

BELLA RICHARDS 6th Form (going into Upper Sixth) at Shebbear College When I grow up I’d like to be a human rights lawyer in conjunction with international aid. My favourite school meal is vegetable and tofu noodle stir fry along with a trip to the salad bar. My favourite society at Shebbear is the ‘equality, inclusivity and diversity group’ which gives every pupil a voice and encourages everyone to be themselves. The best things about this school are the peaceful rural setting and the friendly atmosphere, which feels like one big family. When I look back on this academic year, what I’ll remember most is the laughter that could be heard and the smiles that could be seen at sports day, our first large school and house event all together since Covid. The things I’ve really aced this year are managing to research and submit my ‘extended project qualification’ (EPQ) a year early and gaining the position of head girl at the end of the year. My personal highlight of this year has been playing a game of rounders with the rest of the sixth form, on the fields, on a hot summer day. The most challenging thing about this academic year has been maintaining motivation through online learning and not being able to socialise with friends. The person I’d like to say thank you to is Ali, the sixth form housekeeper, for always making everyone smile and helping us keep on top of our tea and toast mess!

Shebbear College is an independent day and boarding school for girls and boys aged 3 – 18 situated in Shebbear, Devon; www.shebbearcollege.co.uk

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Exeter Cathedral School Exeter's oldest school blends traditional values with a modern approach to create a nurturing environment where children can thrive


ounded in the 12th century as a choir school, nowadays Exeter Cathedral School, a finalist in the 2021 Exeter Living Awards Education Category, educates some 275 boys and girls between the ages of 3 and 13. As the oldest School in Exeter – they’ve been going for over 900 years – there is a tremendous amount of history, tradition, culture and heritage in the walls and in the blood. But there is also freshness, dynamism, modern facilities, and a real sense of pride in being an ancient foundation with traditional values and a modern approach, and a place where children can be children. They were recognised by Microsoft for their sectorleading online learning programme during the recent lockdowns. They are large enough to have the vibrancy, energy and expertise to be able to deliver truly first-rate educational opportunities; yet small enough to know each and every pupil as individuals

to ensure they are nurtured, excited, appropriatelychallenged, valued and happy. They are proud to have been shortlisted as the Times Educational Supplement Prep School of the Year 2021. Set in the lee of the cathedral, the School offers a broad and purposeful education. It is a School where people matter; where learning, in all its forms, is taken seriously; and where the central importance of the development of character is held in high regard. Opportunities for music and creativity abound, and the Sport and Wellbeing Programme ensures a well-balanced approach. They are rightly proud of the 100 per cent success rate to first-choice senior schools. The Senior Enrichment Programme offers dedicated time to pupils to develop their passions, skills and talents, as well as offering scholarship coaching and preparation. The School has achieved record scholarship success to some of the country’s leading senior and public schools. In 2020 and 2021, 84 per cent of Year 8 pupils secured at

least one scholarship/exhibition (many of which brought with them significant fee remission) at their first-choice senior school – some with double or triple awards. Admissions enquiries for in-year places are welcome for pupils from Nursery through to Year 8. Contact the Admissions Team for more information: admissions@exetercs.org ■

Exeter Cathedral School, Palace Gate, Exeter, EX1 1HX; 01392 255298; admissions@exetercs.org;  @ECSPrepSchool www.exetercathedralschool.co.uk

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

Contact Paula 07563 529772

It’s the city’s business

EXETERWORKS left: St James Park;

below: Jonathan Hart; middle: Jeremy Tipper; bottom: Clive Bawden

Join the club


xeter City Football Club has undergone a big organisational restructure, appointing three new directors and a chief commercial officer to bring additional experience to its board as it prepares for the start of the

2021 – 22 season. The new directors, who are all unpaid, are Jonathan Hart, Jeremy Tipper and Clive Bawden. Jonathan was CEO of Thorntons Plc, prior to its sale to Ferrero in June 2015. He currently chairs Crussh, the leading London-based healthy food and juice bar chain and is also an active member of the RNLI Council. He has had a home in Devon for more than 20 years and splits his time between there and Hertfordshire. Jeremy Tipper, who went to school in Exeter, is an experienced chair and non-executive director in the technology, business services and charitable sectors. Jeremy was founder and CEO of Capital Consulting, a pioneer in the recruitment process outsourcing industry before founding Talent Collective, a talent consulting business later acquired by Alexander Mann Solutions. Clive, who also went to school in Exeter, is a chartered accountant with extensive board experience. Clive now works with early-stage entrepreneurial firms, including Queen’s award-

winning Warwick Music Group. In a voluntary capacity he chairs audit and risk at Birmingham Museums’ Trust, is a former director of Warwickshire Cricket, with responsibility for women and girls’ cricket, and a senior independent nonexecutive director of SkateboardGB. The club’s new chief commercial officer is Darren Henderson. He grew up in Dawlish and is the former senior vice president of marketing at Sony Music, having re-formed Take That, worked with Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Andy Williams. In this new role, he will look after ticketing, hospitality, marketing, commercial and growing attendance at St James Park. Additionally, the club has made three appointments to its internal audit team, with Graham Ayres, Simon Moore and Andrew Barge, who are all volunteers, joining the team. “We are delighted to have made these significant board appointments,” says Richard Pym, chair of the board at Exeter City FC. “All three new directors bring important skills to the board and will not only strengthen our knowledge but also help examine and challenge our decisions and actions. Importantly, all three have strong connections to the city and are drawn to work with us because of our community ownership model.” For more: www.exetercityfc.co.uk

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Herd manager Leslie James chats on the podcast

Sam Gray is a stock assistent on the farm

Podcaster host Dan Grist

Well done Becka!

CONGRATULATIONS! Paralegal Becka Coombes from The Family Law Company has been shortlisted in the National Paralegal Awards, in two categories, Best Family Law Paralegal and Best Newcomer of the Year. A rising star in the firm’s Exeter team, she joined in 2017 and quickly progressed from office assistant to legal secretary before joining the Child Abduction Team as a Paralegal. “I’m really thrilled to have been selected as a finalist for two awards, not least because I love my job,” says Becka. “We know we are helping clients with life-changing situations, so what we do really does matter. This recognition goes a long way towards making the hard work seem worth it.” For more: www.thefamilylawco.co.uk

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Encouraging new entrants into farming and the issues facing the dairy industry are among the topics being tackled in a new podcast, which goes behind-the-scenes at Clinton Devon Estates’ dairy operations for the first time. The series features insights from members of the Clinton Farms team, who will give their own unique perspectives on what it’s like to work on a busy organic dairy farm. The Clinton Devon Farms Partnership manages two organic dairy farms in East Devon, Otter Farm and Dalditch Farm, where a combined herd of 750 cows graze locally. They produce 5.4 million litres of milk each year and the team work around the clock to ensure organic milk supplies are maintained. Hosted by Devon young farmer Dan Grist, the podcasts looks at how each member of the team entered the industry. It’s hoped it could change the perception that you need to have a farming background to work in agriculture. In the podcast, Leslie James discusses his role as herd manager for the Otter Dairy and reflects on his 37 years working in the industry. “I’m very fortunate working here in Devon and for the Estate, we’re in a beautiful part of the country and it’s phenomenal to be up at four o’clock in the morning when it’s just breaking daylight,” says Leslie. “As an industry, we don’t focus enough on the good things. It’s a lovely career and it’s not the career that a lot of people think it is. There is a lot of technology, data and computers and a lot of the progressive dairy farmers are right up there at the forefront of research being done across the country and the world.” You can listen to the full podcast series on Clinton Devon Estate’s YouTube channel, YouTube: ClintonDevonEstates; www.clintondevon.com



Brian O’Donnell, manager director of All Jigsaw Puzzles and Map Marketing

The impact of lockdown has seen sales of certain products soar. One such success story is All Jigsaw Puzzles, a Devon-based company which saw sales of their jigsaw puzzles rising fourfold during the peak months of lockdown, with sales in 2020 doubling that of 2019. To meet this increased demand, production quadrupled from an average of 50,000 to 200,000 jigsaws a year, causing the company to double its production workforce, increase its premises and invest £200k in new equipment to sustain its growth. All Jigsaw Puzzles is the trade division and leading brand of parent company Map Marketing Ltd., which currently employs 40 factory and warehouse workers in Hatherleigh and eight office staff in Exeter. The combined workforce caters to a huge trade and consumer base, supplying both bespoke jigsaw puzzles and the company’s own range through e-commerce stores and retail. “I’ve never seen growth like this in an established company,” says the comany’s marketing director Cynthia Yeo. “We were already working towards our goal of becoming a mainstream player in the UK jigsaw puzzle market – the pandemic has fast-tracked our evolution from a mapping company to a leading jigsaw puzzle company selling worldwide. It’s propelled our business plan five years ahead.” For more: www.alljigsawpuzzles.co.uk


Nearly there!


Swanky directors Matt Giles and Dan McIvor

Exeter-based ecommerce agency Swanky is hosting their Ecommerce Unlocked conference fro 9am-6pm on 10 September at the University of Exeter. Ecommerce Unlocked is aimed at businesses who want to know more about online selling and how they can make the most of the customers and opportunities available to them. A host of digital luminaries are due to speak at the event including Ben Parr, co-founder of Octane AI, former editor-at-large at Mashable and Forbes 30 Under 30 member; Sean Clanchy, director of Swanky Australia and head of optimisation; and award-winning eCommerce masterplan podcast creator, Chloë Thomas. The South West region is well represented on the conference panel, with delegates from Riverford Organic Farmers, Seasalt and The Recycled Candle Company discussing how ecommerce innovations have helped them face the challenges of the past year and take on the online retail giants. For more www.ecommerce-unlocked.com

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I left there after a year and ended up at a small independent firm in Taunton for a few years, before the opportunity came about to take over this office in Silverton. I’ve always wanted to work for myself, and I saw this as the chance to make it happen!


Adam Dibble

Born and raised in Exeter, Adam became a professional cricketer for Somerset Country Cricket Club. After hanging up his whites in 2015 he set up his own property company, Twenty Twenty Property. Here, he chats cricketing highlights, being his own boss, and his love for rural Devon What did you want to be when you were little? All I can remember wanting to be is a cricketer! What was your first job? I was very fortunate, I was never made to get a part-time job or anything along those lines meaning my first job was to play cricket at Somerset CCC. Was it really always the dream to be a cricketer? It was – however, when I finished playing professionally, I wasn’t sad or disappointed as I had fallen out of love with the sport a bit by the time I came to play my final couple of years. What were the challenges to become a professional cricketer? The main one I can think of when growing up, which created a bit of doubt about whether I would “make it”, was being dropped for the West of England U14s – after being in the squad for the previous two years. Unfortunately, this

was the year that they toured the West Indies! I did manage to get re-selected for the U15s which I was pleased with, and it was at that time that I think I came onto Somerset’s radar. What were your career highlights as a cricketer? There is one that stands out easily as the highlight. Playing in the final two games of the T20 Champions League in 2011 in India and performing well in both. We lost in the semi-final to Mumbai Indians, who went on to win it. The atmosphere and general experience of being a cricketer in India was incredible. Cricket is a religion out there and to experience that was something I’ll never forget. Teammates who have played hundreds more games than me still name this as a highlight of their careers and so I feel very lucky to have been a part of that. And the tough parts? For me, the hardest part was the injuries I had to deal with. I had my fair share

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and after a while they start to really affect you mentally and have you question whether you’re cut out for it. Careers in professional sport are precarious, did you always have a plan of what you might want to do after your cricketing career? We were always encouraged to prepare for life after cricket as it will more than likely come sooner than you expect it. Your second career will certainly be longer than your first, too! I was always very conscious of trying to prepare but, in hindsight, I could have definitely done more. What led you to the property sector and to starting up Twenty Twenty? I’ve always had an interest in property due to my father being a director at the South West agency Bradley’s Estate Agents. I then fell into it when I finished playing as I needed a job and got one at his company!

The property market in and around Exeter is booming at the moment. What’s your prediction for where it’s headed in the next year? It’s clear there’s very little property available at the moment and the demand is still very high. I think that will continue for a while with huge numbers of people visiting and perhaps discovering the South West this year with holidaying abroad off the table for many. The knock-on effects of the pandemic are still apparent; I continue to speak to many buyers who want to be out of cities – with good connections (both transport and broadband!) – after being given the option to largely work from home long-term. Whilst the supply and demand ratio is as it is, prices will stay strong. It will be interesting to see how long this will carry on though! What do you love about your job? I love working for myself – not having to answer to anyone and being in total control of decision-making/my diary/ the people I work with – it’s something that I am extremely grateful for. Within the job, I really enjoy getting to know the people who ask me to act as their agent and then working hard for them to achieve the very best possible outcome. Building that relationship makes it far more satisfying and rewarding when it all comes together. And the challenges? Working for myself! There’s no hiding place! When you’re not working, what do you like to get up to in your free time? There isn’t much free time at the moment, but Sundays usually involve a day out with my wife, Charlotte, and our three little girls. We love heading down for breakfast on the Quay or walking the dogs around Killerton. www.twentytwentyproperty.co.uk


HILTON BARNFIELD ARCHITECTS AND DHUD won the property award at last year’s Exeter Living ceremony. Here, director of Hilton Barnfield Architects Rob Hilton talks changing trends and Exeter’s journey to becoming zero carbon Congratulations! Why do you think you won?

This was largely down to recognition for our work with Exeter City Council in creating a Toolkit for Future Placemaking in Exeter. This piece of work provides the Council with the tools they need to guide the transition to a zero carbon future. I’ve lived in or around Exeter most of my life, it’s the city I grew up in, so this was an exciting and personal project for us to work with David Hawes, Urban Designer, to reimagine our city, addressing the climate crisis and building on our growing identity. How has the pandemic impacted your business?

Like everyone we had to adapt quickly and there were certainly moments where we were all working out how to adapt to the circumstances. As creative problem solvers we have looked to find positives from the experience and to understand how the shifts in the way we live and work can help benefit us and our clients. Any positives from the past year?

Many of our team and clients spent time exploring the places they live more than they have



The overjoyed team

PROPERTY WINNER before – finding little opportunities to engage with the outdoors and nature. As a practice we have always had a strong drive to connect people with their surrounding environment and the last year has really brought this into focus. Any ways you think your company has grown?

The Future Place work we completed for Exeter City Council has been a bit of a spring board for similar work with other local authorities. We are now working with Teignbridge and Stroud District Councils on similar visions for the transition to zero carbon as well as testing the National Model Design Code with Mid Devon District Council. Meanwhile we continue to enjoy working with private clients and homeowners to help realise their dreams for the places they live and work. There is a huge demand for property in the South West, has this trickled down to building new properties?

We continue to have an increasing

number of new enquiries so this does seem to have had a knock-on affect. There are also lots of local people who have taken the time during the various lockdowns to think about how they want to adapt their homes to better suit their lifestyles. We enjoy unlocking these projects as much as the grander designs for new homes. Is it ‘back to normal’ now in terms of ongoing projects?

‘Normal’ isn’t necessarily what’s best, so we’ve tried to bring the more positive things we’ve learned during the pandemic and made it the new normal for us. We need to make urgent changes to the way we design and build new homes and plan for growth – so many houses are still being thrown up with gas boilers and without enough insulation. As architects we try our best to push sustainable design principles on all our projects, but until something


changes at a higher level, this won’t become standard practice. What trends are you seeing when it comes to architecture and design in Devon? What are people asking for?

More and more private clients have sustainability high on their agenda and are looking to reduce the energy demands of their homes. The trend for family living spaces with strong connections to the outdoors continues but there is a bit of a shift away from all out open-plan living with people recognising the benefits of different areas defined for specific uses. Any exciting news?

We’ve just been shortlisted to the final four for the RIBA Journal/ Norbord competition. If we win, I hope the project could be quite influential in terms of making positive change towards a greener future for buildings. It’s for an autonomous, almost recyclable house using both very traditional and modern systems for low impact living.

For more: www.hiltonbarnfield.co.uk

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Thinking of entering the Exeter Property Awards? The countdown has now started with nominations closing on Monday 4 October. It’s entirely free to enter and you can choose to nominate your company in any category you think is relevant. Head to the website to nominate your business and to book your ticket for the big shindig; www.exeterpropertawards.co.uk What’s it all about? On Friday 19 November, at Sandy Park, we’ll be hosting the first ever Exeter Property Awards. We’ll be celebrating every aspect of the Exeter property scene; handing out awards to the property companies that have excelled in the last year, whether they offer residential or commercial spaces, lettings to new builds, civic buildings to bold re-imaginings. There are 20 different categories and you can enter for as many as you like. The categories are: 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, and the Winner of Winners award which is chosen by the judges.

It’s nearly time to celebrate the movers and shakers in the local property scene

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 property has a chapel

SPOTTED! A Grade-II listed, stuccoed villa, Mount St Mary’s Convent, has been brought to the market in the prime residential location of Wonford Road in St Leonard’s in Exeter. The three-storey building extends to 9,343 sq ft and sits within a 0.93 acre plot with generous landscaped gardens and grounds. On the ground floor of the original part of the property are two reception rooms, with large bay windows fronting onto the garden, a kitchen, utility room and office space. The Victorian extension includes more bedrooms, shower rooms and meeting rooms. On the first floor there is a chapel overlooking the grounds, ten further bedrooms and more bathrooms. For more: Savills, Exeter Estate Agents, Sterling Court, 17 Dix’s Field, Exeter; www.savills.co.uk

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COASTAL LIVING Fancy seaviews and direct access to a coastal path? This pretty property in Budleigh Salterton is for you By Imogen Davidson-Smith 64 I EXETER LIVING I www.mediaclash.co.uk


hat’s at the end of your garden? A shed? A brick wall? At this property, step out onto the quarter acre of garden and you’re met with stunning panoramic views over the sea, and beach with direct access to the coastal path. Imagine that. It really does give new meaning to stretching your legs in the garden. You’re in Budleigh Salterton by the way and this amazingly-located four-bedroomed property is on the market now. Inside, you’ll find echoes of the sea everywhere with a calming colour scheme of blues, whites and greys at every turn.

My favourite room is the south-facing sitting room; a sun room with its own roof lantern and French doors to the garden. I’d bagsy this one for your very own home office. Elsewhere on the ground floor you’ve got the living room, dining room, store room, utility room and loo. Upstairs, the main bedroom has south-facing views over the garden and sea, and there’s a further three bedrooms including one en-suite; they are all spacious and light. Back outside, there are a variety of areas to chill out in and take a moment; to the rear there is a courtyard garden with patio area and planted borders with mature plants and shrubs with easy access via Queen Street to the High Street. A south-facing front garden offers a side seating area from the garden room capturing the morning sun. Whatever your circumstances – whether you’re retired, raising your kids, working from home, writing your masterpiece novel – a calm life, with an epic next door neighbour, the sea, awaits. n

HOUSE NUMBERS Where? Budleigh Salterton, approx. 15 miles outside of Exeter Bedrooms 4 Bathrooms 2 Outside Quarter acre of garden stretching out to the sea, patio and a private drive with parking for 2-3 cars Guide price £900,000 - £950,000 For more: Wilkinson Grant & Co, 72-73 Fore Street Topsham EX3 0HQ; www.wilkinsongrant.co.uk

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“I talk about how many cultures bury the placenta”

BRIDGET CHRISTIE The comedian will be performing at Exeter Corn Exchange on 25 September. Here she chats about her radio series, the menopause, and her love for all things Devon Hello Bridget! You’re coming to Exeter. What can we expect from the show?

Hello! I am and I can’t wait! Exeter is my favourite town in the world and you Exeteers (or Exonians as you insist on calling yourselves even though Exeteers is better) are always my best audience. You can expect a chair to sit on, an interval, and to be thoroughly entertained for the duration. You can also expect to see something you really didn’t expect to see. What subject matters are you

getting under the skin of at the moment?

The menopause. That’s it. I’m not interested in anything else. There’s 13 million menopausal women in the country at the moment and I’m not going to stop doing this show until every single one of them has come along and if I have to hunt them down, like Matthew Hopkins the Witchfinder General, I will. Have the events of the past year been fruitful for you creatively?

Yes. I wrote a BBC Radio 4

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comedy series called Mortal about the cycle of life from the perspective of someone slightly losing their mind in lockdown. I recorded it at home by myself and then my producer Carl Cooper and I put it all together. It was very labour-intensive but hugely rewarding. I usually record my radio series in front of a live studio audience at the Radio Theatre but because we couldn’t do that this time, it gave me the opportunity to try something new.

Who are your comedy and writing heroes?

Ooh, can you give us a bit of a taster of Mortal?

What does 2021 look like for you? What are you excited about?

The four episodes cover birth, life, death and the afterlife. It’s about the meaning of life and how different cultures deal with the key stages of it. In the birth episode, for example, I talk about how many cultures bury the placenta and umbilical cord, as a gift to Mother Nature, they give something back, and connect the baby to the earth, whereas we tend to just throw it away. I also do a huge array of different voices and characters which people won’t have heard before. Harry Hill said you were the “funniest, most original thing I’ve heard on the radio for a long time”. What’s the best sort of feedback you get?

Well, that was very generous of him. The best feedback I get is when an audience laughs… although it is lovely when people you think are brilliant say nice things too.

There are so many that I can’t even begin to list them here so I’m going to boil it down to the writer/ performer team on BBC comedy Ghosts. The show really is such an incredible piece of work. The writing and performances are so brilliant that I watch each episode multiple times because I miss so much watching it just once. It really is the gold standard. The amount of work that goes into it is staggering.

I’m pretty busy next year with TV and radio projects so I’m excited about those, but also really love being 50 so I’m excited about that too. Do you know our patch well? Any favourite spots?

I love Exeter. I love looking at the statues on the front of the Cathedral while eating pizza in Pizza Express, I love Hartland Quay, Clovelly, Woolacombe Beach and Lynton and Lynmouth on the north coast and I love the Gnome Reserve in Bideford. Lastly, who would play you in a movie about you?

Me for goodness sake! Honestly! HOW OFFENSIVE. n

On 25 September Bridget Christie will be performing at Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter; www.exetercornexchange.co.uk

EXCLUSIVE to Aesthetica Medical Spa...

High-intensity focused electro-magnetic technology (HIFEM®) What is EMSculpt & how does it work? EMSculpt is the only procedure which helps women and men build muscle and sculpt the body. It is based on high-intensity focused electromagnetic energy and is evidence based and backed by over 20 independent studies. No down time is required and it is a painless treatment. A single session causes thousands of powerful muscle contractions which are extremely important in improving the tone and strength of your muscles, and also causes fat loss. Each session is equivalent to 20,000 situps or 10,000 bicep curls but under maximal contraction. How is HIFEM different to EMS? HIFEM is far superior to EMS in terms of muscle contractions. It works deep into the body of the muscle rather than the superficial “twitching” sensation of EMS (which can also be painful). HIFEM causes a supramaximal contraction, meaning the entire muscle contracts at its maximum capacity. By working deeper it also enables far greater fat loss in the area being treated with the added benefit of no discomfort.

What does EMSculpt treat? • Strengthen Core and Build Abs • Remove Stubborn Fat • Non surgical Bum Lift

• Build & Strengthen Biceps, Triceps & Quads, Calves • Improve Posture

• Improve Lower Back Pain • Diastasis Recti

• Help remove Visceral Fat around Organs

The treatment I had done to ease pain in my back (using Emsculpt on the bum and tummy) exceeded any hopes or expectations I might have had — I am quite literally pain free after 1 and a half years of terrible and relentless pain. The muscles that needed support have developed and I am able to exercise again. I can’t thank you enough for this life changing technology! The staff at Aesthetica are kind, helpful, and knowledgeable. I felt completely at ease with doing what might have been an awkward procedure. Thank you!!

FREE EMSCULPT SESSiON WORTH £250! Scan the code to find out more...

AESTHETICA MEDICAL SPA Exeter Castle, Castle Street, Exeter, EX4 3PU | 07379449773 info@aesthetica-medicalspa.co.uk | www.aesthetica-medicalspa.co.uk Follow us on Instagram:  @aesthetica_medicalspa

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