Exeter Living - Issue 286

Page 1

ISSUE 286 / OCTOBER 2021 / £3

BRIDE YOUR TIME

OUR GUIDE TO CREATING A BEAUTIFUL BESPOKE WEDDING

TAKING THE MICKEY

ISSUE 286 / OCTOBER 2021 / EXETER LIVING AWARDS SPECIAL

DINING AT MICHAEL CAINES’ EXMOUTH RESTAURANT

CENTRE STAGE

EXETER FRINGE FESTIVAL RETURNS

SING YOUR HEART OUT

LOCAL MUSICIAN THOMAS KAVANAGH CHATS ABOUT HITTING THE BIG TIME

AND THE WINNER IS…

EXETER! EXCLUSIVE EXETER LIVING AWARDS REVIEW



© JOHN DEPRIELLE

EDITOR’S LETTER

ABOVE Reliving the night: Mexican waves

at Exeter Living Awards, page 17; BELOW: Bespoke engagement rings from Erin Cox Jewellery, page 43

W

elcome to our Exeter Living Awards Review issue! Here we give a hearty thump on the back to our very worthy winners, from amazing local charities to top banana retailers – congratulations everyone! Turn to page 17 to see the full winners’ gallery and all the party pics showcasing Exeter’s sequinned, bow-tied beauties from the night. A big big thank you to everyone who attended and made it the gorgeous – and moving – evening that it was. The love continues in our wedding feature, on page 43, where we focus on all-things bespoke. From designing engagement rings to hand-picking flowers for a bridal head crown, these local businesses can help you create a day that fits you and your other half perfectly. Elsewhere, in our food and drink section on page 39 there are new openings and gorgeous renovations; we go dining at Michael Caines’ Exmouth restaurant on page 40; dive into the culture scene, chatting to local musician Thomas Kavanagh on page 66 (he’s only gone and got his songs featured on an Amazon Prime TV series) and on page 11 we look ahead to the Exeter Fringe Festival. This autumn is shaping up to be a corker, that’s for sure. Enjoy! #ExeterTogether

HARRIET NOBLE

Follow us on Twitter @ExeterLiving Instagram @exeterlivingmag

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Issue 286 / October 2021 COVER Colab Exeter winners Amanda Kilroy and Fiona Carden from our Exeter Living Awards; image by Simon Tutty. See page 17

REGULARS

6 SPOTLIGHT Sparkly, positive news from the city 9 JP HEDGE is talking sport 66 LIVES Meet the local musician whose songs are featured

on a new TV series

THE ARTS

11 ARTS INTRO Exeter Fringe Festival is back! 12 WHAT’S ON Comedy, theatre, music and more

COVER FEATURE

17 EXETER LIVING AWARDS The winners! The outfits!

Full coverage of the glitzy night

FOOD & DRINK

39 FOOD & DRINK NEWS A renovated pub, a new bakery

and a big birthday

40 RESTAURANT REVIEW We head to Exmouth...

WEDDINGS

43 BEAUTIFULLY BESPOKE How to get a dreamy

11

43

Devon wedding

BUSINESS

53 EXETERWORKS A new boutique, funding for the city

and networking events galore

55 JOURNEY TO THE JOB Fancy changing careers? This

chap did

EDUCATION

57 SCHOOL REPORT Top stories from the local schools

PROPERTY

60 NEWS Senior living properties in gorgeous locations, plus

the latest on the Exeter Property Awards

63 SHOWCASE A fun, sexy Topsham property is on

the market...

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, Lauren Heath 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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SPOTLIGHT Hugh FearnleyWhittingstall will be at the RAMM on 9 October

Festival

WORD ON THE STREET

Exeter Literary Festival is back this November with a stellar line-up of writers joining the celebrations of all things literary. Throughout the weekend of 5 – 7 November, ExeLitFest will be hosting events at Exeter Library and at Custom House on Exeter Quay, with the line-up including Ann Cleeves, award-winning creator of the Shetland and Vera series; best-selling local author and blogger Sarah Turner, aka The Unmumsy Mum; historical fiction writers Karen Maitland (The Drowned City) and Jane Johnson (The Salt Road) and local historians Todd Gray and John Allan, discussing the best books on Exeter’s colourful history. Other guests include Exeter resident and community volunteer Khaled Wakkaa, who will share his heart-rending story of what it means to be a refugee; harpist and local author Hazel Prior, whose wonderful latest novel Away with the Penguins is a Richard and Judy Book Club pick for 2021; and BBC

Vera creator Ann Cleeves will be town

correspondent Mike Thomson will be talking about his book, Syria’s Secret Library. The official opening event is A Greener Future? at the RAMM on 9 October with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jonathon Porritt, Lucy Siegle, Natalie Fee and Professor Peter Cox. Chaired by Martin Wright of Positive News, it promises to be a lively afternoon of insight, discussion and

Art

SHINE A LIGHT

debate among the UK’s leading green writers and thinkers. “This year’s line-up is shaping up to be something rather special,” says programme director Cathie Hartigan “The themes include families, feelgood fiction, history, crime and thrillers (including Scandi crime) and displaced people.” For more: www.exelitfest.com

Festive fun just around the corner

Large scale, hand-drawn animations of unpaid carers will be projected onto Exeter Phoenix on 21 and 22 October to celebrate the millions who work around the clock caring for family and friends at home. Spotlight on Care is an emotive contemporary art project inspired by a collaboration between Exeterbased illustrator-animator Leo Jamelli and University of Exeter academics, Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer and Dr Catriona McKenzie. The imposing installations will quite literally shine a light on those who provide ongoing care for family members and friends with long-term illnesses and disabilities. For more: www.exeter.ac.uk/ www.leojamelli.co.uk The animations will give thanks to unpaid carers

Festive

CHALET MENTION CHRISTMAS?

The wheels are in motion for the return of Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market, which will run from 18 November to 18 December and will feature 90 chalets. Residents and visitors alike can expect global street food, served from pop-up restaurants, cafés and bars, alongside local produce, unique hand-crafted gifts, decorations and much more – all twinkling below the illuminated medieval façade of Exeter Cathedral. The young and young-at-heart can catch a ride on Santa’s miniature railway, and for everyone else there are festive activities and performances. As always, there’ll be Advent services with free admission throughout the Christmas Market period. For more: www.exeter-cathedral.org.uk

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© GET T Y IMAGES

OPINION JP HEDGE

Hoorah! The England rugby team are coming to town

Sporting chance JP is cheering from the sidelines as Exeter is set to host a big international match this autumn

T

wo of the greatest rugby sides on the planet will do battle in Exeter this autumn. England’s Red Roses will take on New Zealand at Sandy Park on 31 October. It should be an epic match. I am so proud that this international match on our doorstep just happens to involve women. Talk about being the brilliant alternative. Of course, getting international fixtures to the city doesn’t happen by chance. In broad terms, you can thank the world class and laser-like strategic development of the offering at Sandy Park and every

single person involved. Then there was a gear change in landing, then delivering, host city status for The Rugby World Cup. From a City Council perspective, one of the key aims of the £300,000 investment was to see more opportunities for women/girls to play rugby. Then Exeter delivered in the Six Nations in 2019. The match against Italy at Sandy Park in March drew a record 10,545 attendance. This was the largest seen for an England Women ticketed home game outside Twickenham. The previous was less than half that in Doncaster. I was at the match and I can tell you, the atmosphere was electric. In the same year Chief ’s chief

“Those involved, and it isn’t me, should take a well-deserved victory lap”

executive, Tony Rowe, pledged to invest £500,000 in setting up the women’s side, with a further expected £1m to £1.5m over the first three seasons. He’s done that, the investment is already paying off and you can see the results. Would you expect any less from a city proud to be called home to Sara Cox, the world’s first professional female Rugby Union referee? Now the Red Roses are coming back to the city, in what should be one of the greatest matches yet. Some of the tickets are a fiver. Sometimes Exeter as a city doesn’t have a clear narrative around who ‘we’ are. Sometimes we get defined by who ‘we’ aren’t, and then individuals fill in the gaps. We also aren’t very good at celebrating success – and are often too busy just delivering on it. But this really is one of those times where those involved, and it isn’t me, should take a well-deserved victory lap. Multimillion pound investments

have backed the support of the women’s game, with no guarantee they would succeed. Exeter saw the opportunity that lay ahead, well before others. Luckily when it comes to Exeter, the hunger and passion for rugby seems to transcend the gender or sex of the athlete on the field. My youngest Mollie is nearly four and has yet to go to her first match at Sandy Park. I now get to take her to her first match, an international game, where I can show her what this city stands for. I’m so proud. She won’t know the hordes of people who worked so hard to get the city to this point on its journey – but I will always be grateful. ■

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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THE ARTS © EMILY APPLETON

S N A P S H O T S O F E X E T E R ’ S C U LT U R A L L I F E

EXETER FRINGE FESTIVAL letter to the 90s through the eyes of the princess of pop’s biggest fan. “Programming this year’s festival with a team of talented local artists and our fantastic venue partner venues was a privilege,” says festival director Alex Jackson. “I’m really excited by the quality and breadth of the programme of theatre, made in, and by artists connected to Exeter.” As well as Exeter Phoenix and Barnfield Theatre, Exeter Northcott Theatre, Maketank, Exeter Library, and the Hall are partners in this festival and will provide space and support for the artist development program which runs throughout the week. www.exefringe.co.uk

© ROB FROST

This October sees the welcome return of Exeter Fringe Festival. Showcasing and celebrating local theatre, the festival will feature performances at Barnfield Theatre and Exeter Phoenix between 11 – 17 October. For music-lovers, there is Annette Gregory & Friends – Jazz and Me, featuring a mixture of original songs written during lockdown and classic standards. In her show, Annette will share her musical heritage of reggae and soul music, in particular celebrating her mother, with Exeter audiences. There’s also Saving Britney, a multi-award nominated solo show in the form of a hilarious and heartbreaking nostalgic love

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Annette Gregory & Friends – Jazz & Me; As You Like It by Sun & Moon Theatre; Saving Britney by Fake Escape; Apocalypse Kernow by OMF Theatre

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© PAMEL A R AITH PHOTOGR APHY

The Hound of the Baskervilles is on at Exeter Northcott Theatre

WHAT’S ON From 24 September

THEATRE/ DANCE/ TALKS 28 September – 2 October

THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES This ingenious adaptation combines an exhilarating collision of farce, theatrical invention and wonderfully comic performances to offer a brand new twist on Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic detective story. 2.30pm or 7.30pm, Exeter Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, Exeter; www.exeternorthcott.co.uk

5 – 9 October

ABSURD PERSON SINGULAR Three married couples. Three kitchens. Three Christmas parties. Alan Ayckbourn’s comic masterpiece of social climbing in 1970s suburbia fuses a potent mix of farce and black comedy. 2.30pm and 7.30pm, Exeter Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, Exeter; www.exeternorthcott.co.uk

7 October

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

DR JOHN COOPER CLARKE Since shooting to prominence in the 1970s as the original ‘people’s poet’, JCC’s career has spanned cultures, audiences, art forms and continents with his poetry as relevant and vibrant as ever. 8pm, Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter; www.exetercornexchange.co.uk

provide an intimate, entertaining and informative look at his remarkable journey from a pit village in Yorkshire to the top of those famous stairs while reliving the best moments from a show that for many defined Saturday night in the UK. 7.30pm, Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter; www.exetercornexchange.co.uk

8 October

11 – 17 October

ALL IS MENDED A comedy with heart, this performance is a retelling of A Midsummer Night’s Dream about a new story of life in a care home with magic and remembering, resilience and forgetting, old age and young dreams. A shape-shifting drama, funny and sad, real and dreamlike, a tale of life and death and love. 7.30pm, Cygnet Theatre, Friars’ Gate, Exeter; www.cygnettheatre.co.uk

10 October

AN EVENING WITH SIR MICHAEL PARKINSON In conversation with his son Mike and showing highlights from the Parkinson archive, the evening will

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EXETER FRINGE FESTIVAL The festival that celebrates local theatre is back! Live performances will run alongside a research and development programme, work in progress showings and panel events. Various times, performances at Exeter Phoenix and Barnfield Theatre; www.exefringe.co.uk

12 and 13 October

PINOCCHIO Showcasing Vardimon’s theatrical choreographic and directorial style, this interpretation combines physical theatre, quirky characterisation, innovative technologies, with text and dance

that examine the idea of what it means to be human. 7.30pm, Exeter Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, Exeter; www.exeternorthcott.co.uk

15 October

DR. RICHARD SHEPHERD: UNNATURAL CAUSES The forensic pathologist solves the mysteries of sudden and unexplained deaths. He has performed over 23,000 autopsies, including some of the most highprofile cases of recent times; the Hungerford Massacre, the Princess Diana inquiry and 9/11. Not for everybody, but fascinating to some. 8pm, 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


WHAT’S ON

COMEDY

2 October

JOEL DOMMETT: UNAPOLOGETIC (IF THAT’S OK?) The comedian and telly regular – finalist in 2016’s I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! and host of ITV2’s I’m a Celebrity Extra Camp alongside Scarlett Moffatt and Joe Swash – will be revealing comedy nuggets from his life. 8pm, Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter; www.exetercornexchange.co.uk

2 October

TOP:

Celebrating pioneering women in music at Exeter Phoenix Poet John Cooper Clarke will be at Exeter Corn Exchange

BELOW:

ROB BRYDON: A NIGHT OF SONGS AND LAUGHTER Featuring a live band, enjoy Rob’s personal journey from South Wales to the West End. With a hugely entertaining and an 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

6 October

SIMON ANSTELL: SPIRIT HOLE This show is a blissful, spiritual, sensational exploration of love, sex, shame, mushrooms and more. If you yearn for a night of unprecedented joy and laughter book now. 8pm, Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter; www.exetercornexchange.co.uk

9 October

ROB BECKETT: WALLOP Mouth of the South, aka Rob Beckett, is a regular on the TV circuit – he’s a team captain on Channel 4’s 8 Out Of 10 Cats, star of BBC One’s Live At The Apollo, and BBC Two’s Mock The Week – and he’s coming to Exeter to makes us laugh. 7.30pm, Exeter Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, Exeter; www.exeternorthcott.co.uk

13 and 14 October

HENNING WHEN: IT’LL ALL COME OUT IN THE WASH Watch the German comedy ambassador give everything a good rinse and witness him wring sense out of the nonsensical. He’s always clever, always funny – and has a beautiful way with words. 8pm, Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter; www.exetercornexchange.co.uk

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WHAT’S ON MUSIC

7.30pm, The Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter; www.exeterphoenix.org.uk

NERINA PALLOT Nerina is an Ivor Novello and Brit Award nominated songwriter and musician who has six albums and numerous Eps under her belt, and has established a reputation as a mesmerising live performer. 7.30pm, The Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter; www.exeterphoenix.org.uk

11 October

29 September

4 October

WHAT SHE SAID: CELEBRATING PIONEERING WOMEN IN MUSIC Five of Bristol’s top female musicians, Sara Colman, Katya Gorrie, Ruth Hammond, Rebecca Nash and Tammy Payne, celebrate the women who helped forge the future they now inhabit. From unknown women fundamental to the big band scene of the 30s, to renowned artists like Nina Simone, Alice Coltrane, Joni Mitchell and Bjork, this evening of music pays tribute to these pioneering women. 7.30pm, The Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter; www.exeterphoenix.org.uk

9 October

MARTIN KEMP: BACK TO THE 80S DJ SET Dig out those shoulder pads, the dreamy icon and UK national treasure will be taking to the decks to spin all the best hits from the 80s.

THE SHIRES The Shires are the 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

opportunities to see artists at work. Various dates,times and locations around Devon; www.devonartistnetwork.co.uk

Until 26 September

CREATIVE CRAFT SHOW From sewing, felting and papercraft to knitting and jewellery making, this 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

Until 12 October

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

15 October

MUSIC IN THE CASTLE: MERAKI DUO Formed in 2013, Meraki Duo enjoys exploring the diversity of repertoire available to the flute-guitar pairing while contributing new arrangements of their own. 7.30pm, The James Wyatt Music Room, Powderham castle, Exeter; www.powderham.co.uk

ART

Until 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

EXETER LITERARY FESTIVAL! CALLUM ELLIOTT-ARCHER shares the latest from Exeter Library

Untitled Piece by Naomi Frears, Exeter Phoenix

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

The Exeter Literary Festival is coming this November and Exeter Library is one of the key venues. We have events here between 5 – 7 November and they are happening all over the library. Some are in our Rougemont Room, a spacious performance area on the second floor. Some of them are in our café area, where we will be moving all tables and chairs to one side to use the space in a new and exciting way. One of the events will take place on the library floor, in and amongst the books. Whichever way you look at it, it’s going to be an amazing weekend. You can find out all the information you need by searching for Exeter Lit Fest online. Having this event at Exeter Library is a sign that things are slowly returning to some type of normal. We still have Covid measures in place, but we feel we can offer the customer something resembling the service they are used to. We have even brought back our famous Bounce and Rhyme sessions (every Tuesday and Thursday, 10am and 11am). www.devonlibraries.org.uk


of the great light it offers. Their exhibition includes paintings, giclee prints and postcards. Check opening times, upstairs at the Glorious Art House Café, Fore Street, Exeter; www.thegloriousarthouse.com

Until 5 November

© BEN HARRIES

NICCI WONNACOTT CLEANING UP THE PATRIARCHY Nicci Wonnacott is an artist activist with a who works under the practice title ‘Life, Art and Politics’. She uses her body in public space to create art, action and performance, which in turn promotes her ideology and philosophy; this photographic exhibition aims to challenge Patriarchal control and class division. The Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter; www.exeterphoenix.org.uk top: Pinocchio is given a re-jig left: Hello comedian Rob Beckett bottom: Absurd person Singular – all three events at Exeter Northcott Theatre

Until 5 November

NAOMI FREARS: MEN FALLING Working across film, painting and print, Frears’ work explores forms of everyday choreography, incorporating androgynous figures, ambiguous gestures, fictitious landscapes and disembodied dialogues. Her works juxtapose personal encounters and observations with visual material drawn from cinema, fashion, imagined gardens, and interiors. The Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter; www.exeterphoenix.org.uk

Until 9 January

WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR Wildlife Photographer of the Year is the most prestigious photography event of its kind, providing a global platform that showcases the natural world’s most astonishing and challenging sights. On loan from the Natural History Museum in London, it features exceptional images which capture fascinating animal behaviour, spectacular species and the breathtaking diversity and fragility of the natural world. Gallery 21, RAMM, Queen Street, Exeter; www.exeterramm.admit-one.eu

FAMILY FUN Until 31 October

THE ARTIST’S APPRENTICE TRAIL Take part in this arty trail, where young artists will colour in a masterpiece of their own as they follow in the footsteps of the great Coplestone Warre Bampfylde, designer of Hestercombe’s landscape gardens.When their masterpiece is complete, they will

graduate as a master artist and even have a certificate to prove it! Hestercombe Gardens, Cheddon Fitzpaine, Taunton; www.hestercombe.com

9 – 10 October

RHS ROSEMOOR: AUTUMN WOODFEST A fun-filled weekend of activities and crafts for all the family. Get involved with forestry schools, survival skills, have a go at archery or tree climbing; watch artisans at work on traditional crafts, including woodturning, carving and whittling, basket weaving and spinning in The Garden Room. RHS Garden Rosemoor, Great Torrington, Rosemoor, Torrington, Devon

23 – 31 October

CANONTEIGN FALLS The nature attraction is putting on a Halloween trail this half term, and if you bring your little ones in fancy dress you could be in with a chance to win a family day ticket for 2022. Look out for their stunning night lantern walk on 6 November, from 6pm-8pm. Hot chocolate and soup will be there to warm you up! Canonteign Falls, Lower Ashton, Near Exeter; www.canonteignfalls.co.uk

27 October

HALF TERM WORKSHOP: CODE RED ANIMATION This animation workshop will see your little ones (seven +) make a rotoscoping animation. For those not in the know, this means using live action footage skills to create a smooth and true to life reel. 11am-3pm, Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Elmfield House, Dowell Street, Honiton; www.thelmahulbert.com n

19 November

EXETER PROPERTY AWARDS AT SANDY PARK! This is the first ever Exeter Property Awards and it’s 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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© SIMON TUT T Y

EXETER LIVING AWARDS

EXETER IS THE WINNER – ALWAYS… Joy and jubilation reigned supreme at the recent Exeter Living Awards. Here we take a look back at the highlights from that glorious evening...

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© SIMON TUT T Y

EXETER LIVING AWARDS

W

here to start? We always knew this night was going to be special – the Awards always are – but this year was even more so, for obvious reasons. Most of us had not been together, collectively, since our last Awards in March 2020 – and boy, could you feel it in the room. The joy and sense of camaraderie on the night was palpable. The happiness of being together and celebrating all that is great about Exeter elevated the evening beyond our expectations, making it a truly memorable evening. But what of our winners? PLATINUM SPONSOR As usual it was an eclectic array showcasing just how diverse and entrepreneurial Exeter is, with the likes of Just Guitars winning best New Business and The Outdoors Group (who perhaps

should also have won a best-dressed award for their top hat and green waistcoat attire!) for best in Education. For many, the highlight of the evening was double whammy winners CoLab Exeter (also our stunning front cover stars – Amanda Kilroy and Fiona Carden – for this issue). The organisation won the Civic Award and the Platinum Award for the amazing work they do in the community. The judges comments were as follows, “CoLab demonstrated phenomenal invention to bring together charities, businesses, health organisations, educators, hospitality and retail; to collaborate with all sectors of Exeter to fight and survive the pandemic, together. A civic inspiration in a time of great need.” Worthy winners indeed. We’re lucky to have them. Of course, on this evening of bubbly, whooping, cheers and tears, ultimately there was one winner: Exeter. To all who entered, judged, sponsored, partnered, entertained, filmed, aftershowed, photographed, supported, organised, hosted, danced, spontaneously DJ’ed, fed and watered us all, just one word: thank you from all of us. And next year? We’ll be doing it all again on 17 March.We can’t wait... Jane, Greg, Steph, Harry, Paula, Harriette and the Exeter Living and MediaClash Events teams

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FOOD & DRINK PRODUCER OF THE YEAR Find us at the

Powderham Food Festival Saturday 2nd – Sunday 3rd October

Full list of events & online shop at

www.ventons.co.uk

Willis Cottage, Clyst St Lawrence, Cullompton, Devon EX15 2NL 07811 963853 | mark@ventons.co.uk |



CATEGORY WINNERS

ARTS

WINNER:

DANSCI DANCE STUDIO

PHOTOS BY SIMON TUT T Y

BAR

BUSINESS SERVICES

WINNER:

CAFÉ

CHARITY

WINNER:

CIVIC

BLUEGRASS GROUP

ST PETROCK’S

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JOINT WINNERS:

ON THE WATERFRONT AND PINK MOON

WINNER:

CAFÉ AT 143

WINNER:

COLAB EXETER


EXETER LIVING AWARDS

CREATIVE

EVENT

Sponsored by

WINNER:

DIRTY MARTINI MARKETING

WINNER:

EXETER NORTHCOTT THEATRE WITH LE NAVET BETE

HAIR & BEAUTY

WINNER:

FIKA SALON

EDUCATION

FOOD/DRINK PRODUCER Sponsored by

HEALTH & WELLBEING Sponsored by

WINNER:

THE OUTDOORS GROUP

WINNER:

VENTON’S DEVON CYDER

WINNER:

BLUEBIRD CARE EXETER www.mediaclash.co.uk I EXETER LIVING I 23


EXETER LIVING AWARDS

HOMES & INTERIORS

WINNER:

LEISURE & TOURISM

WINNER:

PROPERTY

IN EX DESIGN

THE BEAR TRAIL

WINNER:

GRENADIER

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

LEGAL & FINANCIAL

JOINT WINNERS:

GX ACCOUNTANCY AND THE FAMILY LAW COMPANY

Sponsored by

NEW BUSINESS

WINNER:

LIFE GUITARS

RESTAURANT

WINNER:

STAGE


EXETER LIVING AWARDS

RETAILER

WINNER:

THE RECYCLED CANDLE COMPANY

TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION Sponsored by

WINNER:

BIOSYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY

PLATINUM AWARD Sponsored by

WINNER:

COLAB EXETER

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SEEN AC ROSS E X E T E R , O N E SH I N D I G AT A T I M E

Sadie Restorick and Simon Scott-Nelson

PHOTOS ON PAGES 29-31 BY SIMON TUT T Y PHOTOS ON PAGES 32-35 BY JOHN DEPRIELLE

Mary Pugsley and Glen King

Ana Natalio, Ricardo Sousa, Sara Queiroz, Catarina Batista and Neil Perry

© JOHN DEPRIELLE

Eating, drinking and being merry at The Great Hall

Harriet Noble, Emily Smith plus guest

Josh Stunell, Hannah Chapman and Sarah-Jane Tyas-Peterson The Otter Financial Services team

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© JOHN DEPRIELLE

Showbiz kisses

Mushtaq Jaigirdar, Dennis Hall, Akiko Otomo and Christian Olesen

Alan Collyer, Ella Arnold, Joseph Knowles and Simon Girling

The Griffin Chartered Accountants team

© JOHN DEPRIELLE

Congrats to The Outdoors Group!

Kingsley Clarke, David Richardson, Victoria Hatfield and Ian McFadzen

48 MEDIACLASH.CO.UK 30 I EXETER LIVING I www.mediaclash.co.uk

John Cuggy, Martyn McKenna, Jamie Butt, Nick Randall, Bob Irwin, Ella Webber, Stuart Hogben, Josh Butler and Ajoy Chundee Lisa Hogg and Adam Garratt


EXETER LIVING AWARDS

Guests enjoying dinner

Powderham Food Festival team

Annie Miekus and Steph Dodd (MediaClash)

The Mortgage Quarter team Mary Pugsley, Mathew Vause, Paul Russell, Richard Missen, Kate Looker Melanie Bowler, Juliette McElligott, Glen King

Nicky Dunn and guest

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Kelly Mogford, Ollie Wakefield, Emily Jarvis- Chase and Poppy Kelso

Alexia Tooby, Debbie Jones and Jason Jones

xxx

© SIMON TUT T Y

Centre stage, The Great Hall

Luka Chitty, Ollie Knowles, Tibby Atkinson and Toby Tagg Lydia Browne, Diana Crump, Jean Thorpe, Teresa Pollard, Alison Littlejohn, Lucie Crump Sophie Johns and Frances Kelly

Jaye Cowle, Charlie Gordon and Becky Dickinson Sarah Jepson and Dean Breyley

50 EXETER LIVING I www.mediaclash.co.uk 32 IMEDIACLASH.CO.UK

Cameron Hodder, James Wilkinson, Sofia Wilkinson, Laura Robertson, Henrietta Olsson, Sam Weeks and James Laughlin


EXETER LIVING AWARDS

The Mortgage Quarter team

Adele Wordsworth and Carolyn Davey Powderham Castle team

Lisa Marshall and Louise Glanville

Stuart Wilson

Powderham Castle team

Selfie time withThe Recycled Candle Company

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St Petrock’s (Exeter) Ltd.

We support people experiencing homelessness in our city. All year round.

01392 422396 www.stpetrocks.org.uk Registered charity no: 1090155


EXETER LIVING AWARDS

Derry Tydeman, Sharon Venton, Sharron Davies, Mark Venton Victoria Hatfield

Greg Ingham

The Bear Trail team

Bluebird Care team

Matt Cook

Fowler Financial Planning team

Lucy Patrick, Shiralee Callander and guest

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GET CREATIVE WITH RECYCLED WAX! Book a candle-making workshop with Exeter Living award-winners The Recycled Candle Company. You’ll make a set of beautiful firelighters, a glass votive and seasonal candle to take home with you – and we’ll tell you all about the whys and wherefores of recycled candles! The Workshop costs £60 per person - discounted for group bookings. Hot drinks and choccies included! Learn a new skill • Express your creativity Book a corporate event • Give a brilliant gift

The Recycled Candle Company, 16 Gandy Street, Exeter, EX4 3LS www.therecycledcandlecompany.co.uk


Devon’s muddiest family friendly assault course! 30 OBSTACLES & UNLIMITED MUD! An award-winning mud-fest of an attraction set on a 10-acre site. Scramble over the bear nets, slip down the mud slide, zoom down the zip wire and tumble through the tunnels. Tackle the assault course together as many times as you like; this is a mighty mudder for all ages.

Open weekends and school holidays.

thebeartrail.co.uk Westcott, Cullompton, Devon EX15 1RZ

BOOK NOW!



FOOD & DRINK NIBBLES FROM EXETER’S FOOD SCENE

PUB CLASSIC

The historic Turk’s Head pub has recently re-opened after extensive refurbishments and renovations. The building on the High Street closed as a pub back in 2005 and was taken over by Prezzo Italian restaurant until its closure in 2018. The 700-year-old medieval building has a rich history with tales of Charles Dickens regularly stopping in for a drink and taking inspiration for his books, as well as tales from the crusades and the building even spending some time being used as a jail. So, what’s it like now? The spacious pub has five different zones, a roof terrace, and has six boutique style rooms for overnight stays. “Our restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week and we’ll be playing all major sporting events across our four HD screens throughout the pub,” says general manager Luke Cegliese. “We hope people find time to explore all the nooks of the pub, from the cosy ‘Dickens corner’ downstairs to the intimate ‘snug bar’ upstairs. Also make sure you step out and enjoy a breath of fresh air on our stunning roof terrace.” For more: The Turks Head, 202 High Street, Exeter; www.turksheadexeter.com

The warm glow of a bakery

© @NINAJANEPHOTOGR APHY

Open for business!

Good-looking watering hole

Cowick Street has welcomed the rather beautiful Lilac Bakery. Owned and run by Jenn Wickings and Eddie Goodwin, the bakery is open from Tuesday to Sunday and sells pastries, cakes, cookies, muffins, cardamom and cinnamon buns, sausage rolls and sourdough bread. There are always vegan and gluten free options too. “Eddie and I make absolutely everything we sell ourselves,” says Jenn. “The croissants are hand-made every day, as are the cakes and cookies, the bread plus the sourdough focaccia sandwiches we make for lunch time. We arrive at the café at 4am to begin baking for that day and sell out of food every day by the time we close at 2pm.” For more: Lilac Café, 59 Cowick Street, Exeter; Instagram: @lilacbakery.exeter

© BEN BOWEN

© @NINAJANEPHOTOGR APHY

FOR GOODNESS BAKE

Bakery buddies Jenn and Eddie

HAPPY 40TH!

Sharpham Wine and Cheese recently celebrated a phenomenal 40 years at the South Devon based Sharpham Estate. Forty years ago, Maurice Ash brought his herd of Jersey cows down from Essex to the Sharpham Estate in Devon and set to work crafting his first creamy, bloomy-rinded brie. He then planted the first vineyard overlooking the River Dart in a bid to produce wine. With humble beginnings, Ash unknowingly established Sharpham’s globally acclaimed cheese and wine businesses. “Over the past 40 years, we have prospered despite recessions, frosts and a global pandemic,” says Sharpham Dairy’s Greg Parsons.” “We are thankful and privileged to have such outstanding teams, loyal customers and all those who have supported us over the years to get us to where we are now. We’re now celebrating this milestone together and raising a glass to the next 40 years.” For more: www.sharpham.com

Duncan Schwab and Greg Parsons are celebrating Nestled in Devon loveliness: Sharpham Estate

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MICKEYS BEACH BAR AND RESTAURANT

Michael Caines’ relaxed seafront restaurant, with frame-worthy views and fresh local produce, is certainly one for the bucket (and spade) list Words and images by Lauren Heath

I

’m sure many of you know Exmouth for its two miles of sandy beach as well as the active watersports community. Throw in the roller skaters, cyclists, dog walkers and families and it’s quite the hub of activity during all seasons. However, with all that it has to offer, there are very few eateries making good use of its long seafront and footfall. So it was high tide Exmouth got such a venue – enter Mickeys Beach Bar and Restaurant. The latest opening in the MC Collection has actually been brewing for a few years between local Michelin star chef Michael Caines MBE, and the sustainably-focussed Sideshore development, with the highly anticipated restaurant finally opening mid-May with a bang (the demand for a booking broke the internet!). This is a venue where Michael can show his more relaxed and fun vision; Mickeys has a second-floor casual bookings-only restaurant with fully enclosed glass terrace which has a retractable roof and windows, while the ground floor contains an easy-going eatery for walk-ins

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

straight off the beach, and a bar that plans to embody a more Miami-beach-vibe with the occasional DJ nights and beachside dancing as and when the mood takes them. After entering and taking a quick rope swing selfie (as you do), we headed up to the lofty second floor restaurant with its pale blues, light wood detailing, funky neon signage, and windows perfectly framing the ever-changing views. The joy of Mickeys is that the interior is calm but cool, and even on wet or wild days you can feel cocooned. We settled in with a local Luscombe apple juice and a glass of Michael Caines’ own Blanc de Blanc champagne – the latter was a tingling light fizz with it’s own apple tones which complemented the upcoming foodie delights perfectly. The starter options are short and sweet and we opt for the selection of Duchy charcuterie pickles with rosemary and sea salt focaccia, and the Exmouth mussels marinière in Classic MC, white wine, cream, onion, parsley and tarragon. I was informed the mussels were freshly delivered that morning, and they were indeed incredibly


RESTAURANT

tasty and plump, with the charcuterie being flavoursome and the focaccia being spot on. The quantity of main options is another story; normally with so many choices available you’d be concerned that food was bought in pre-made, but with so much local meat and fish on our doorstep and Michael’s reputation, you have no need to be concerned. There are a variety of local cuts from The Butchers at Darts Farm, and fish and shellfish from Exmouth and not too far beyond, many of which are cooked over coals and allow you to tweak your sauce or potato choices too. Pizzas are from the woodfired oven, plus a vegan and vegetarian menu to boot. When choices range from hot dog to lobster, what do you opt for? Well we eventually decided on Indonesian seafood curry and the half lobster thermidor. As we waited for the main event, we were occupied by the comings and goings of the boats out on the water, a perfect alternative to people watching. Mains arrived and awoke our taste buds – the curry is a fiery little beast, balanced with sharpness and filled with seabass, white fish and prawns served with pilau rice, and a crunchy Indonesian green bean, beansprout and coconut salad to add texture. The lobster was a meaty fish delight, and tasted exactly as I had hoped. The buried treasure of the claw meat, and the tang of the tomalley mixed in with the cheese sauce, make this dish a real treat. I added a side hispy cabbage with miso butter, which had been kissed by the coals, and the miso gave it a nice umami flavour. There’s a definite chilled theme when it comes to the desserts, no warm brownies or crumbles here. Having just indulged in savoury flavours, accented by being cooked on the coals, it makes perfect sense to have a dessert of the more palate cleansing variety. We opted for Mickeys ice cream sundae made up of Fleur de lait gelato layered with marinaded strawberries and strawberry gourmet sauce and the wild strawberry parfait basil-scented strawberries with vanilla ice cream. The gelato was so milky and creamy and it went down a treat, while the parfait was a beautifully crafted masterpiece with a chilled and subtly flavoured interior and a vibrant coating that sang of sweet strawberries – a refreshing and beautiful ending to our meal. Mickeys is a venue for lazy lunches, sunset suppers and more; a venue for all seasons, but my top tip would be to book an evening seat in the glass-enclosed terrace to really enjoy the golden hour on the west side of the beach… selfies optional of course. n

“The curry is a fiery little beast, balanced with sharpness”

DINING DETAILS Mickeys Beach Bar and Restaurant, Unit 1, Sideshore, Queen’s Drive, Exmouth; www.mickeysbeach.co.uk Food options Meat, fish and seafood plus childrens, vegetarian and vegan Prices starters from £8, mains range from pasta at £9.95 to top end tomahawk to share at £67.50, desserts from £8 Atmosphere Relaxed chic seaside vibes Disabled access Ramp and lift Parking Small car park with electric car charging points (bigger car park across the road) Downstairs Walk-ins only with bar, pizza menu and takeaway Upstairs Bookings only with restaurant menu Dog friendly? Dogs allowed in the ground floor bar area

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WEDDINGS Dress: Chey By Anna Kara, available at Evolved Bridal

BEAUTIFULLY BESPOKE Fancy designing your own engagement ring? Handpicking the flowers for your bridal head crown or discovering the dreamiest of wedding dresses? Here are the local professionals who’ll help you do it… By Harriet Noble www.mediaclash.co.uk I EXETER LIVING I 43


Camilla by Rosa Clara; left: Rish Bridal’s ‘Northern Star’ dress ; below: Amanda by Rosa Clara Boheme – all dresses available at Evolved Bridal

T

here has never been more choice when it comes to deciding what you want your big day to look like. The trend that we are seeing, as Lynsey Bays from designer bridal boutique Evolved Bridal says, is brides wanting something completely bespoke, to show ‘who they are’. It’s a big relief in many ways; there’s no need to go formal or classic if that doesn’t sit well with you, nor is there pressure to overdo it (minimalism is back, hoorah!). Here we chat to local experts about fashion, flowers and jewellery, providing you with all the inspiration you need to help you create the beautiful bash that perfectly suits you and your half.

EVOLVED BRIDAL

Lynsey Bays owns Evolved Bridal, in Barnstaple, which sells designer wedding dress. Here she talks us through the latest trends in bridal fashion. Evolved Bridal, 16 Tuly Street, Barnstaple; www.evolvedbridal.co.uk

Wedding dresses

“Botanical laces and fine floral appliques on the softest of tulles, elegant crepes and silky chiffons will become even more popular than they were in 2021. With the rise of the whimsical and ethereal-themed weddings, and brides opting for more relaxed and comfortable looks for the outdoors, these garden-inspired dresses will be a huge trend for the romantic brides. Brides are becoming more adventurous and increasingly captivated by how a unique style can capture the camera and their dazzling personality with it! Think bold cuts, sharp features and flamboyant skirts twisting classic looks into contemporary individualism. A global wedding featuring a superstar in any year, will always set trends and Arianna Grande’s wedding dress by Vera Wang was one of them this year. Minimalism, or the ‘less is more’ look is a huge trend for 2022, where the silhouette of the dress is the main showstopping feature. From silky, sensual slips to simple designs with daring slits; they will certainly be on the radar.

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


WEDDINGS Headpieces

Bespoke

Non-traditional accessories

Shoes and jewellery

We are seeing an increasing trend in earthy hair accessories, especially subtle, nature-inspired hair pieces created by imaginative florists. To elevate more minimal dresses, brides are venturing into statement tiaras, using shapes and colour contrasts to add elements of fashion flares to their look. Bridal designers are also answering to their brides who prefer more unique and non-classic looks. Cool capes, dramatic overskirts, winged shoulder veils and detachable oversized sleeves are just an example.

For brides wanting to feel extra special, we have also seen an increase in custom-made veils and jackets by bespoke designers, who can create one-off visionary pieces with beautifully added personal touches, from embroidered special dates sewn in, to the use of sentimental fabric from a past loved-one’s accessory. We have seen brides complement their style using shoes and statement jewellery from their favourite Etsy designers and online fashion brands to showcase their personality, from bold layered necklaces to precious delicate pearls. The contemporary strappy shoe is very popular at the moment – airy, comfortable and adding a cool edge, they are perfect for a relaxed summer look. For the more formal styles, classic heels with added textural elements will create a more fashion-chic style.”

Maggie Sottero dress and flower hair brooch (below); both available at Pirouette, The House that Moved, Exeter; www.pirouettethecollection.com;

WEDDING SHOW COMES TO EXETER! A new wedding show will be held at Exeter Cathedral on Tuesday 1 March 2022. Open to the public, organisers InExeter invite you to discover and explore all Exeter has to offer to help you plan your wedding. Expect an evening of talks, stalls and stands, demonstrations, styling sessions and tasters as well as a special “Immerse and Imagine” interactive experience at The Historic Guildhall. During the day, you’ll learn how wedding décor can transform a room, see new season bride, groom and guest outfits, hear about local venues, trial hair designs, explore how to surprise your guests and most importantly you can chat to the businesses who will be there with all the experience and guidance. www.exeterweddings.co.uk You can check out all the businesses involved in the city’s wedding industry through nine short films, on the InExeter social media pages; www.inexeter.com

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WEDDINGS MÖTH FLORIST

Bethan Williams is the owner of Exeter-based florist MÖTH. Amongst her many blooms, she makes wedding bouquets, flower crowns, buttonholes and table settings. Here she tells us about some of her floral creations… www.mothflorist.com

Autumn flowers

“We work seasonally, so we are using lovely autumnal British flowers and foliage such as bracken, zinnias, rudbeckia, amaranthus, dahlias and cosmos. We also incorporate dried flowers into our wedding pieces, for a more autumnal feel and so that the bride can preserve their bouquet for many years to come.

On-trend bouquets

I feel that couples have definitely been asking for more natural and meadowy styled bouquets, with plenty of movement. Differing textures, seasonal flowers, earthy tones and often a juxtaposition between fresh and dried flowers. After such a difficult past year, it is definitely apparent that they want something bespoke, personal but also beautiful and fun!

Wild, whimsical and rustic-inspired designs

We use a lot of delicate flowers with unusual shaped stems in soft shades, that give our pieces a cohesive palette and so much movement. We use a lot of grasses, ammi majus, scabiosa, ranunculus, hellebores, astrantia and echinacea – these are all firm favourites we use constantly, when they are in season. We grow a lot of these ourselves and the rest we collect from local cutting gardens and growers.

The appeal

Our demographic is often couples who really like more of a wild and distinguished aesthetic and are wanting a bespoke service that is tailored to each individual couple and their own personal style. It appeals to brides who also appreciate nature and the sustainable side of our business. The fact that we are foam-free and don’t use any single-use plastics, has been a really popular factor over the past two years.”

this page: All head crowns, wreaths, bouquets, and buttonholes are from MÖTH Florist

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


SAY CHEESE!

South West Photo Booths provide photo booths and magic mirrors (which actually talk to you!) for your big day. It’s a bespoke service where, as well as having great snaps of your friends and family, they will provide video messaging and green screens. The team will set up the booths discretely and take it down at the end of the night. www.southwestphotobooths.co.uk

All jewellery designs from Erin Cox Jewellery

ERIN COX JEWELLERY

Erin Cox Jewellery provides a bespoke experience where the bride and groom can design their own ring. Erin tell us how it all works… Erin Cox Jewellery, 14 Castle Street, Exeter; www.erincox.co.uk

Starting point

For any bespoke ring – engagement or wedding – we advise couples to book an appointment with me so I can take a look at other items in the shop. These are great starting points for a design as it will drive lots of conversation around band width, stone sizes and colours as well as types of setting.

The process

During the appointment I will draw up an image based on the conversations that you have had around the pieces looked at. I will be able to show you some different options for gemstones or, should you be after something unusual or a different size or cut to what I have, I will organise some to be sent to the shop from gem dealers for you to look at. Should you have your own sentimental materials I will take a look at them during your appointment and advise what can be done with them.

Budget

Have in mind a budget and be honest about it from the start. The last thing I would want to do is design ring for you that you fall in love with but then find it is out of your budget.

On-trend choices

Diamond set wedding rings are really popular at the moment for women – either eternity style or shaped like a tiara to sit around an engagement ring. Gents are often opting for interesting surface textures or matte finishes as a way of moving away from a traditional shiny wedding band. We have noticed a big rise in people wanting yellow gold after rose and white gold had been so popular in the past. For engagement rings people seem to be drawn to unusual shaped or interesting-coloured stones as well as multi-stone set rings. ■

LEFT: Bespoke ring from Lasting Impressions

Bespoke Goldsmiths in Bovey Tracey; email: devonlastimpress@aol.com

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Multi Award Winning Fine Jewellery Manufacturer From plain wedding bands to whatever your heart desires...

Lasting Impressions 40a Fore Street, Bovey Tracey, Devon, TQ13 9AD

01626 833177

devonlastimpress@aol.com By prior appointment only: Monday to Saturday



SPONSORED CONTENT

MEET THE

RECRUITMENT EXPERT Searching for a job? Looking to hire a new member of staff? Here are two local recruitment agencies who can help...

MICHELLE EL-DIN

DAVE SMITH

How long has your agency been established for? We have been established since June 2016.

How long has your agency been established for? 60 year since Pertemps was founded in Birmingham. We now have more than 200 offices across the UK.

KME RECRUITMENT 01392 344924; www.kmerecruitment.com

PERTEMPS 01392 826061; www.pertemps.co.uk

What areas of recruitment do you specialise in? Sales recruitment. We recruit for any sales role, at any level, across any industry in the UK. What makes you different from others in your profession? We not only offer recruitment services, but also sales training, sales audits and sales consultancy ensuring our clients operate at maximum revenue. As a small agency, we are able to offer a bespoke, personalised service and everyone is treated with respect, not just as one of a number. Due to specialising in sales we attract top talent and have access to 1000s of active candidates and can fill sales vacancies quickly. We are an open and honest agency, always delivering on our promises and continuously keeping candidates and clients updated.

What areas of recruitment do you specialise in? Pertemps have specialists across all sectors, for both permanent and temporary roles, including logistics, customer care, healthcare, industrial and commercial. What makes you different from others in your profession? For me, it’s the personal touch. My team and I really care about what we do and how we do it. We will honestly tell our clients and candidates the truth, even if that means managing expectations sometimes.

Michelle El-Din

What do you think clients should look for in a recruitment agency? Firstly, open and honest communication. If the client needs staff they need to be told promptly and honestly if they can have them. Secondly, expertise. As recruiters, we are experts in our markets. We can advise on the employment market, pay rates, job roles, advertising, interviewing etc. Integrity. If the agency does not stand by the staff they provide, they don’t believe in the staff they are putting into jobs.

What professional accomplishment has made you proudest? We have been awarded Specialist Recruitment Agency of the Year – Sales for three years running now in 2019, 2020 and 2021. What bit of advice would you give to a client at the moment? Ensure that you have a strong Employee Value Proposition. This is the set of benefits that potential and existing employees gain by working for you. If you would like support with a sales recruitment campaign or help finding your next role, then call us on: 01392 344924 or email: info@kmerecruitment.com

What advice would you give to a client at the moment? Don’t put off interviewing someone because they might not be the perfect CV fit. It is about the person, not the piece of paper.

Dave Smith

What is the biggest challenge facing the recruitment industry currently? Lack of candidates. We are getting to them though, but it is taking two or three times longer than last year.

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It’s the city’s business

EXETERWORKS NETWORKING EVENTS 28 September LINKEDIN LOCAL EXETER Join other professionals for a drink or two and get to know you LinkedIn connections at the No5. Hosted by Vic Williams, he’ll be sharing a few LinkedIn tips and ideas and talking about how to help you build your network in Exeter. 6pm, No.5 Cathedral Green; www.eventbrite.co.uk 30 September CHAMBER MEETS... KERI DENTON This online event will give you the opportunity to hear insights from Keri Denton, head of economy, enterprise and skills at Devon County Council. Keri has overall responsibility for implementing the authority’s strategy on economic regeneration including investment in economic activity, enterprise and development. 3pm-4pm, online www.exeterchamber.co.uk

Scene of action

F

our community events and projects have secured funding from InExeter, the city’s business improvement district, to encourage people back into the city and support the Exeter’s cultural, music and arts scene. Exeter Street Arts Festival, on 28 August, was among the events to get funding from the pot of £3,500, while other events receiving a share include RAMM’s Museum at Large project which will see four new temporary outdoor art pieces displayed in Exeter city from 29 – 21 October and the annual Santa Run held on the first Sunday of December. “We are thrilled that InExeter is supporting Museum at Large,” says Rob Bowman, producer of Museum at Large. “This is an ambitious project, with ideas inspired by RAMM’s unique collection spilling across the city through striking and engaging multi-media artworks, and

InExeter supports local events with community grants

opportunities for community participation. By working with our partners, we hope the project will encourage people to spend time in Exeter and enjoy the outstanding art and culture in the city.” Local charity St Petrocks has also received backing to work in partnership with Princesshay to create a creative, welcoming, and accessible space focusing on homelessness and the environment. The space will inform and educate visitors about homelessness while also providing a safe, caring environment for the most vulnerable to learn new skills. “We are delighted to support these events and initiatives which all help bring the city back to life and give people a really memorable experience when they visit Exeter,” says Ann Hunter, InExeter manager. “Many local community groups and charities have been severely affected during the pandemic and it’s a privilege to be able to offer our support.” For more: www.inexeter.com

14 October BREAKFAST OPEN HOUSE AT SANDY PARK The regional Open House Networking event is taking place in conjunction with the home of the Exeter Chiefs. Everyone will get a chance to present their business and services and make valuable contacts. Tea, coffee and a bacon (or vegan) roll will be served. 8am-9.30am, £7.50, Sandy Park, Exeter; www.eventbrite.co.uk 11 November HEALTH INNOVATION EXIST (Exeter Initiative for Science & Technology) will be hosting an in-person knowledge sharing and networking event. The event will explore key regional health and wellbeing challenges and inspirational, cutting-edge technological solutions making beneficial impact to our lives. 8.30am-11.30am, (Exeter College) Future Skills Centre, Exeter Airport; book your ticket at www.exeterchamber.co.uk

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EXETERWORKS

Owner Gemma Ansell-Nelson is thrilled to open her store in Crediton; this pink number is a real trend sweater

CLOTHES MINDED

© DAISY AMSELL-NESON

New to Crediton’s High Street is Rocket & Rose, a boutique store selling ethical and sustainable fashion for children and adults. Step inside (or check out their website) and you’ll be met with bright, vibrant, colourful and quirky designs on t-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies. While the store is new, the company itself has been going since 2012 when Gemma Ansell-Nelson, having studied Theatre Costume Design at London College of Fashion and gone to work in event management in Brighton, began making clothes at her kitchen table while pregnant with girls Daisy and Ruby. After the birth of her twins, Gemma decided she wanted to be a business owner full-time, utilising her talent for designing and sewing. She gained a large audience on Instagram from people following her pregnancy journey and the start of the company. The company grew into a global brand, with products sold in over 40 stores across the UK and Europe and Gemma moving to Devon to set up shop. And as for the name of the company? “I wanted the company name to be understood as emojis, so asked my followers to help,” says Gemma. “Together we came up with Rocket & Rose. The buzz of the high street along with the art culture events held in the square, made it an easy decision to open the first shop in the town, which has a delightfully extended feel of Exeter.” For more: Rocket & Rose, High Street, Crediton; www.rocketandrose.com

BUSINESS CLUB

Virtual one hour sessions, all free to attend Search Exeter Living on LinkedIn for upcoming dates and registration If you would like to get involved, please email events@mediaclash.co.uk


Andi Davies is also a keen surfer

“I THRIVE BEST WHEN I HAVE AUTONOMY TO CREATE, AND INTERACT WITH PEOPLE” would actually be this much fun!) and networking to build up the business (something I don’t think I’ll ever consider to be work). What areas are you having to up skill in? Understanding and playing to the algorithms, and certain management platforms I hadn’t used before. What are the best bits about your job now? That’s easy – everything. More autonomy, trust, creativity, freedom, meeting people, having both breakfast and dinner with my wife and kids (they are only five and three), and never missing bedtime.

JOURNEY TO THE JOB

Andi Davies

Andi worked as a teacher for 13 years before leaving the education sector behind him to start a career working as head of social media management and training at the Exeter branch of social media experts Introtweet. Here, Andi tells us about making the big leap… What did you want to be when you were little? I actually wanted to be either a clown or a missionary… totally distinct I guess but both made me feel like I’d be making a difference, either by making a fool of myself to make people laugh or helping people get what they need. What were your favourite subjects at school? Maths, music and languages. I liked school because there were teachers there that protected the geeks (like me). We had clubs and our own spaces to hang out and it kept us safe! What did you study at uni? Economics and Politics. I hadn’t applied to uni at all as I thought I’d fail my exams, but then passed them all! On results day I picked the subject with the highest grade and drove to the nearest university (Aberystwyth) because I had no other plans. Tell us a bit about your career in education… I started as a primary school in Cambridge, spending two years there before deciding I was a bit young to be boring. My wife and I then applied for

jobs in Vietnam (she discovered on the aeroplane out there that it wasn’t actually in South America) and spent three years there in a British school. Afterwards, I was offered a job as Head of Primary and Deputy Head at an international boarding school in Sidmouth, Devon. I spent six years there, before spending my final two years in a state school in Beer.

What does the road ahead look like for you? I want the Exeter branch to be a real success. It feels like it is a new baby for me that I will keep nurturing.

something that I do a lot of running a branch of a social media management firm! It’s been perfect so far. It was hard in the final weeks of teaching, watching the last assembly, last lesson etc., and I did doubt my decision a few times, but knew that the best before date was passed.

And what were the challenges? A real imbalance between what I thought made for good “education” and what OFSTED or School Improvement Leaders in the Trust felt.

How did you make the transition from education to your current job? It was a leap into the dark. However, my new bosses are both former teachers and said to me clearly that they wanted to appoint the right person, because they could teach the skills later. I had managed social media accounts in role as Deputy Head, and as a favour to my wife (as a professional photographer) and my mother-inlaw so I knew it would be something I’d enjoy.

How difficult was it to leave the job and did you have a clear idea of what you were going to do next? I had no idea. I actually felt trapped, and had convinced myself I didn’t understand “the real world” outside of teaching – but I knew I loved making pretty things on computers and interacting with people,

What skills or personality traits do you have that make this present job a good fit for you? I thrive best when I have autonomy to create, and interact with people. These are the two things that I spend the most time doing now, creating content for clients (I hoped that it

What did you love about working in the education sector? The kids. No matter the sector, I love messing around and making them laugh; I loved teachers at school who put time into making it fun and always felt pride when I did the same.

If someone was wanting to move from one industry to another like you did, what advice what would you give them? That you can. I really wasn’t sure if I could, and in all honesty I would have done so maybe five years ago if I’d known. Especially teachers – there are probably more transferable skills than you even realise are highly valued in the world of business. When you are not working, what do you like to get up to? Family comes first, spending time with my perfect wife and lovely children, but I also surf when there is a swell, and play and/or watch football and rugby when I can. I love music, writing and singing songs, playing guitar, piano and drums, and am learning to doodle on my iPad for fun. What’s the most surprising thing about you? People who might have met me only a few years could meet me now and think I’m a totally different person. Every five years or so I seem to reinvent myself, morphing almost entirely and adapting to something totally new. It isn’t something I do on purpose; I just seem to constantly need change and evolution to feel like I’m being myself. For more: www.introtweet.com

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EDUCATION H I G H L I G H T S F R O M E X E T E R ’ S E D U C AT I O N S E C T O R

WHAT AN EXPERIENCE

Music is Mrs Sadler-Smith’s forte

Are you, or is your child, mad about museums? RAMM’s Youth Panel is a group of young people with a passion for museums. A primary aim of the youth panel is to allow young people to get involved in planning and implementing an exciting programme of events, exhibitions and activities specifically designed to appeal to 18 – 25 year olds, with the aim of increasing their sense of ownership and connection to the museum. The current Youth Panel have planned and delivered two exhibitions, two youth-focused events and developed a series of social media campaigns. Being part of the panel offers a great opportunity to gain work experience in the cultural sector with the panel members developing a number of employability skills including event management, exhibition planning and social media marketing. For more: Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Queen Street, Exeter; exeterramm.admit-one.eu The youth panel plays a part in creating the museum’s creative programme

WELCOME! Shebbear College has welcomed a new member of staff. Mrs SadlerSmith is the new head of Creative, Digital and Performing Arts at the Shebbear-based school and is an Old Shebbearian herself. Having studied at Birmingham Conservatoire as a violin scholar she went on to complete her PGCE at the University of Cambridge. She joins the school as the second head of faculty, bringing eleven years of experience as head of music. Choirs, orchestras and musicals are her big passions, as is her disobedient socker spaniel! For more: Shebbear college, Shebbear, Beaworthy; www.shebbearcollege.co.uk

THEN THERE WERE THREE

Hoorah! All lessons are outside

The Outdoors Group has opened its third special school, providing an alternative outdoor-based option for students. The new site at Bridgehouse Farm in South Brent can take 12 students aged between seven and 14. 20 new members of staff have been recruited to work with the young people who often need one-toone support due to autism, anxiety or trauma. This new team will operate within an experienced leadership and management structure created to ensure the learners can develop within a safe environment. Bridgehouse Farm joins the group’s other two special schools in Exeter and Tiverton. The three independent special schools are the only schools in the country providing a curriculum-based 100 percent outdoors, with students having access

to a different way of learning which suits their needs better. “The benefits can be huge,” says headteacher Robyn Vincent. “While mainstream special schools can work for some young people, sometimes this isn’t the best way forward. These are children who don’t fit the tight box of conventional education, but unfortunately the special needs provision can be an even tighter box. “Our aim is to look at the needs of each of our learners and work out how we can best help them to develop and enjoy the experience of education – and develop the skills and strategies to allow them to lead a happy and fulfilled adult life.” For more: The Outdoors Group, Bridgehouse Farm, South Brent; www.theoutdoorsschool.co.uk

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SPONSORED CONTENT

MEET THE

FAMILY LAWYER When it comes to challenging and sensitive issues surrounding family law, you need to trust a lawyer who can assist you through the process

MARK SMITH

LUCY WOODWARD

Why did you choose to be a family lawyer? I wanted a career which would allow me to help people. It enabled me to choose a profession where I could assist parents in finding solutions and for separated parents to be helped in a proactive and positive way.

Why did you choose to be a family lawyer? Following a few years in the Police I wanted to continue working within the law and alongside families. I am a people person by nature and I pride myself on being empathic, friendly and approachable. I have always enjoyed helping people and my recent experience with legal aid means that I can reach those most in need of assistance.

STEPHENS SCOWN LLP 01392 210700; www.stephens-scown.co.uk

THE FAMILY LAW COMPANY 01392 421777; www.thefamilylawco.co.uk

What are the most rewarding aspects of your job? Each day is different and presents an opportunity to make a positive change in a child’s life and those of their parents. I am fortunate to work alongside colleagues who are committed to achieving the best outcomes for their clients and their enthusiasm and energy is inspiring. How has family law recently changed? The pandemic has introduced fundamental changes to family law. Virtual hearings are now standard, which has taken some adjustment but has brought real benefits in terms of time. Technology has enabled parents to enjoy better communication with their children or to read bedtime stories to their child or children when they don’t live with them, but it is also important to ensure that advances in technology do not mean we lose the personal touch. What key bit of advice would you give to a client? Talk. Constructive communication is the key. It is important to have advice early to understand your rights and responsibilities and then to speak with the other parent. Often, issues arise through lack of communication and long court proceedings can be avoided by understanding the other person’s point of view. If matters do proceed to Court, then any previous discussions can help to inform the court’s decisions.

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Mark Smith

What are the most rewarding aspects of your job? Helping clients through the process, professionally and personally and knowing that I am on their side the entire time. I love receiving positive feedback from clients knowing that I have provided them with a good service. What do you think clients should look for in a family lawyer? Someone who can look at each situation in a practical and logical way, not just simply applying the law. Arrangements relating to both children and finances need to work practically otherwise they will not be suitable for the family involved. It is important to apply a pragmatic and empathic approach to each situation to understand the needs and emotions of your client and to provide them with the best possible outcome.

Lucy Woodward

Why should you use a family law specialist? By instructing a solicitor in a specialist firm, you are receiving the knowledge and experience of the entire firm. You can feel that there is a real team of solicitors behind you in your case instead of just one. Working in a specialist firm means that I am able to obtain knowledge from my colleagues and use their experiences to provide my client with the best advice possible.


SPONSORED CONTENT REBECCA WILSON

AIMEE ASPINALL

What are the most rewarding aspects of your job? Working closely with clients to achieve a negotiated or court based financial settlement enabling them to move on to the next phase of their lives. It is a privilege to be part of that journey.

What are the most rewarding aspects of your job? Achieving a good outcome for my clients, and being a part of setting up the next chapter for them.

ASSOCIATE, EVERYS SOLICITORS 01392 848912; www.everys.co.uk

ASSOCIATE & CHARTERED LEGAL EXECUTIVE, TOZERS 01392 667642; www.tozers.co.uk

How has family law changed recently? Since Covid, the court has used remote hearings for financial remedy proceedings. Divorce is now an online process and the court also considers financial orders by consent through the online portal. This has resulted in such processes speeding up but there remain glitches.

What are the most common family law issues? Disagreements about arrangements for children and how couples are going to sort out their finances when they separate. Rebecca Wilson

What do you think clients should look for in a family lawyer? A client should choose someone with the necessary expertise but importantly someone they can work and communicate effectively with. The solicitor-client relationship is one of mutual trust and respect.

How has family law recently changed? The biggest change is to divorce law, which has been completely reformed to allow ‘no-fault’ across the board divorce from April 2022. What do you think clients should look for in a family lawyer? Someone who listens and is able to clearly outline the options.

What key bit of advice would you give to a client? Do not underestimate the value of specialist legal advice whether at the outset of a relationship or on relationship breakdown. Taking early advice is key. An important part of my role is providing clients with full information and a range of options at the outset to enable them to make informed decisions.

What key bit of advice would you give to a client? Take a breath and try not to be reactive. Why should you use a family law specialist? We know what we’re doing, It’s our job to! Aimee Aspinall

RUNDLEWALKER SOLICITORS 01392 209210; www.rundlewalker.com

What are the most rewarding aspects of your job? I suppose perhaps the most rewarding part of the job is when a case concludes and your client departs with a positive outlook for the future and in a far better place than when they first came through my door. Another obvious, but deeply rewarding aspect in those cases where a referral to Court has to be made, is when the Court’s judgement vindicates the advice that you have given throughout to your client. I have to confess that is deeply satisfying! In life we probably all seek praise from time to time so it is also very satisfying when a client leaves complimentary feedback at the conclusion of the case, whether by a feedback questionnaire or, more recently, a favourable Google review.

Why did you choose to be a family lawyer? During Articles in a large practice in Bristol I gained experience working in various legal disciplines. Undoubtedly my preference was for family work as, compared with property or commercial work, there were so many different aspects to family work and it also included plenty of contact with clients. I would say that to be a successful matrimonial lawyer you have to be part lawyer, part accountant, part amateur psychologist and part tactician. In addition, you have to be able to listen carefully to clients wishes as well as being a good negotiator. In other words, there is a wide spectrum of skills which the job demands and which ensures that working days are never dull.

What do you think clients should look for in a family lawyer? I think above all else a client should look to gain a rapport with their family lawyer. In many, if not most divorce cases, clients will be at a very low ebb given the emotionally charged nature of the whole experience. As a client you must have confidence not just in the professional ability of your lawyer but also that you feel you can get on well with them and have an understanding. Whilst professional distance has to be maintained, it is important that, as a client, you feel totally supported and that your lawyer is truly fighting your corner and is safeguarding and pursuing your interests above all else.

NICK DUDMAN

Why should you use a family law specialist? I would say that the standards of service and advice given by the profession to clients has transformed over three decades; it is now absolutely essential, whether you are seeking legal advice in the family law area or any other, that you only instruct a solicitor who specialises in that field. It is also certainly worth checking that any solicitor you instruct has a number of years’ experience. The legal world, and what is expected of solicitors, has moved on dramatically in 30 years and the introduction of kite marks for quality standards, for example Lexcel, has only served to enhance that evolution. My own expertise relates to divorce and related financial settlements as well as disputes between unmarried couples. I used to also practice in the area of children law but no longer is it realistic to do both so over the last decade or more, my own specialism has focussed on the strictly matrimonial aspect and any family work related to children I pass to my colleague, Susan Jury. Both of us have had our expertise recognised; Sue is a member of the Children’s Panel and I have been recognised by the Law Society’s Family Law Accreditation Scheme. If you do not use specialist solicitors then you may find, when it is too late, that the advice that you have received is not as reliable as you may have wished.

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PROPERTY P L A C E S T O L I V E , W O R K A N D P L AY

LIVING IT UP

Loads of room to entertain at Lockyer lodge

Light and spacious rooms, contemporary easy-breezy décor, green space abound and great local communities on your doorstep – here are a couple of local retirement properties that caught our eye… LOCKYER LODGE, SIDFORD

This development of 40 apartments is located in the heart of Sidford with glorious views across the Sid Valley and Salcombe Hill. The apartments come with a fully fitted kitchen, spacious living room, separate shower room and a large bedroom. The kitchen has been designed for practicality, with an integral fridge and frost-free freezer and a waist-height oven to save bending down. There’s also a washer/dryer fitted. The master bedroom comes complete with walk-in wardrobes as well as TV and telephone points. Currently, there are a number of one- and two-bedroom apartments available and prices start from £297,950. What about the location? Sidford is a pretty village on the outskirts of the popular seaside town of Sidmouth. Sidford High Street is home to a convenience store and post office, a hairdresser and several pubs and restaurants while a large health centre and Waitrose are less than a mile away. Heading into Sidmouth, you’ll have independent shops and eateries and amenities which include a swimming pool, library, theatre, cinema and a community hospital. Harrison Lavers & Potburys, 77 High Street, Sidmouth; www.harrisonlavers.com

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Calm and airy bedrooms at Lockyer Lodge


PROPERTY RIVERSIDE MEADOW, TOPSHAM

The new development for the over 50s comprises of 20 homes, all with two beds, two bathrooms and two parking spaces, surrounded by individual gardens, and within walking distance of the popular town of Topsham. Each home is fully fitted and furnished, with an emphasis on creating light and airy spaces.

Cool, contemporary kitchens at Riverside Meadow, Topsham

What about the location? “With its maritime history, Dutch merchants houses and charming atmosphere, lovely little cafés, wonderful old inns, interesting individual shops, and a delightful riverside walk around The Goat Walk, this buzzy little town offers all sorts of clubs to join, an open-air swimming pool and a library,” says Park owner Penny Hardick. “There is always something going on in Topsham.” With a bus stop right outside the park gate, residents can easily get to the coast at Exmouth, a few miles away, or Exeter just three miles from the park (10 minutes by bus). For those who like trains, there is a local service from Topsham to Exmouth. www.riversidemeadow.co.uk

THE FINAL COUNTDOWN! The countdown has started for the first every Exeter Property Awards with nominations closing on Monday 4 October. If you work in property, whether you’re a contractor or an architect, an estate agent or part of a legal firm, you can nominate your company for an award. 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 (and to book your ticket for the big shindig). This is your chance to tell us how impressive and brilliant you’ve been this past year and we can’t wait to hear from you!

Time to celebrate the property stars of Exeter

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 local 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: Winner of Winners, Architect, Civic Development, Commercial Agent, Commercial Development, Consultancy, Commercial Interior Designer, Contractor, Developer, Employer, Financial, Funder, Green Initiative, Legal, Residential Agent. Residential Development, One to Watch, Residential Interior Designer, Suppliers and Services, Transformation. 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

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PROPERTY

BROADWAY HOUSE Is this the best house in Topsham? By Imogen Davidson-Smith

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PROPERTY

S

itting on Topsham’s High Street, directly opposite the bus stop and just three minutes’ walk from the train station, is Broadway House; a big, fun, six-bedroom let’s-throw-a-party kind of property. Constructed in 1776 and once described as the ‘best house in the town’, this splendid Grade II listed Georgian residence is super spacious with adaptable accommodation spread over a whopping 5000 sq ft. Adaptable really is the key word here – if you’ve got a million kids then it’s perfect. Alternatively, if you’ve got a parent or beloved boomerang kid there’s separate accommodation within the house for them too. It’s also got 10, yes 10, bathrooms and a gym. So, let’s step inside. On the ground floor, accessed from a grand entrance hall, is a drawing room and a stunning modern kitchen, open through to the dining and sitting room. On this floor is also the gym (no excuses then, eh?), shower room, plus a utility room and boot room. There are also two loos here. From the kitchen and courtyard, stairs lead down to a lower ground floor annexe which comes with a bedroom, shower room, kitchen and sitting room – perfect for that that live-in relative or visiting guests.

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Going back to the main accommodation, on the first floor are three large bedrooms, all with en suite facilities, plus a study/bedroom with en suite. On the second floor are three further large bedrooms, again all with en suite facilities, plus a large home office with en suite and a linen room. The second floor has sublime views to the front, overlooking Topsham roof tops to the Haldon hills and glimpses of the river. A fixed ladder leads up to a large boarded attic with access to the roof. There is also access via a separate ‘back’ staircase from the rear of the house to the first floor, giving the potential to run part of the house as a business offering five guest rooms, to bring in very useful income if desired. Proportions throughout this property are huge and impressive and while the house has been thoroughly renovated, fine period features pervade at every turn – notably an impressive wide staircase, sash windows with wooden shutters, fireplaces and decorative cornicing in a number of the rooms. Outside, the rear courtyard parking area is accessed via electric gates from Station Road and there are also various storage sheds. The walled garden is mainly laid to lawn to the front and side, providing a secluded, sunny area with a patio, perfect for dining al fresco.

HOUSE NUMBERS Where? High Street in Topsham Bedrooms 6 Bathrooms 10 Outside Walled garden with lawn and patio, plus a courtyard parking area Anything else? Basement annexe living accommodation, a gym and linen room Guide price £1,500,000 – £1,650,000 For more: Wilkinson Grant & Co, Topsham, 72-73 Fore Street Topsham; www.wilkinsongrant.co.uk


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EXETER LIVES

“It’s so surreal when I tell my friends and family about the show” Your music features on All About Casey, the TV show shot in Exeter. How did this come about?

THOMAS KAVANAGH Thomas is a musician living and working in Exeter. His songs are featured in All About Casey, a new TV show (shot in Exeter) that is showing on Amazon Prime. We caught up with Thomas to find out more… Hello Thomas! So whereabouts do you live locally?

I live in Alphington. I have been living here for the best part of 10 years now. I’m originally from Birmingham.

Tell us a bit about your career in music…

I have been a musician ever since I can remember. I’ve been in bands ever since I was 16. I was in a band for 10 years [I Divide] who reached TOP 40 in the rock album chart back in 2014. It’s my full-time job; I’ve been working as a solo artist now since 2016.

How would you describe your music?

I would say my music is a cross between Bryan Adams and Rascal Flatts. It’s country/ pop/rock. Who are your musical influences?

It’s whatever I get influenced by at the time. As I mentioned previously there’s Bryan Adams, but then I would also like Jimmie Allen who’s Nashville country and then Linkin Park. I have a very eclectic taste.

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I was approached by the director of the show (Zandie Thornton) who said, would it be possible if we can use two of yours songs for a new project I’m working on. I jumped at the chance and said YES! When I saw the initial trailer, it stated Amazon Prime and I was like, wow! This then got the ball rolling for me to gain a new audience. You must have been pretty excited about your music featuring on a TV show…

Oh, I’m still super excited about it. It’s so surreal when I tell my friends and family about it. You never think it would be you actually living that moment. It’s so cool to be able to achieve this milestone. Tell us a bit about the songs that feature and how they fit in with the show?

The song I Can Be Your Superman is taken from my debut solo EP Pathfinder. The song is about being there for that person who is struggling, with whatever their situation is. I’m saying I know I’m not a real superhero, but I can be your superman. Give Me A Sign is my latest single which is taken from my upcoming EP (yet to be titled, due for release in November). This is about asking your friend, family or loved one just to give you a sign and you will

be there every step of the way. You would do anything and everything for them. For those who haven’t seen the show, what is it about?

It’s a comedy about Casey attempting to get her ducks in a row. Navigating the modern pressures of being a part of the millennial generation, she tries to balance her social life and career while finding love in an era of dating apps, flings and Instagram. Anything exciting in the pipeline?

So right now I’m back in the home studio, where I produce, mix and master all of my own material. I’m now in the final stages of finishing my new EP. I am releasing and filming a new music video next month which is super exciting, I can’t wait for everyone to hear this new song. Where do you like to hear music nearby?

I usually listen to music locally at Exeter Cavern or at Exeter Phoenix. Lastly, who would play you in a movie about you?

Oh, this is a really good question, hmmmmm…. I would say it would have to be Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad. I think he would suit the role perfectly. n

Follow Thomas on Twitter @Tomidivide; Instagram thomaskavmusic