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LIFESTYLE ISSU E F OU R * 2018

HOMES

INTERIORS

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SERIOUSLY STYLISH HOTELS FROM MALMESBURY TO THE MALDIVES

L O C AT I O N S

DINING

T R AV E L

ENVIRONMENT

INTERIOR INSPIRATION HOW TO CREATE A HOTEL WORTHY BEDROOM

WHY BUY NEW?

CONTEMPORARY NEW HOMES IN DESIRABLE AREAS

EXPLORE

EAT LOCAL

GET ACQUAINTED WITH PROVINCIAL SUPPLIERS

OUR DISCERNING GUIDES TO STROUD, HAY- ON-WYE AND CHELTENHAM

C E L E B R AT I N G T H E C O T S W O L D S , H E R E F O R D S H I R E , G L O U C E S T E R S H I R E , F O R E S T O F D E A N & W Y E V A L L E Y


The

WESTWOODS Northleach

CONTEMPORARY COTSWOLD LIVING

Spacious three and four-bedroom homes with Cotswold style exteriors and modern interior layouts. Featuring generous plot sizes and an unrivalled specification. View our aspirational show home, open daily. From £455,000 For more information or to arrange a viewing 01451 263 123 www.thewestwoodsnorthleach.co.uk sales@thewestwoodsnorthleach.co.uk


LIFESTYLE IS PUBLISHED BY MF FREEMAN GROUP, RUARDEAN WORKS, VARNISTER ROAD, DRYBROOK, GLOUCESTERSHIRE, GL17 9BH, UK. COPYRIGHT FOR ALL MATERIALS PUBLISHED IN LIFESTYLE REMAINS WITH THE PUBLISHERS. REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. PHOTO CREDITS: ALL DEVELOPMENT & HOMES PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVIDRIERAPHOTOGRAPHY.CO.UK, COVER IMAGE: C-SIDE SPA AT COWLEY MANOR, STEPHANIE OSMOND

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s 2017 drew to a close and we took time to reflect upon the successes, progress and challenges the year presented, our appreciation of all those who played an integral part in our accomplishments was tenfold. Looking within, our team won Family Business of the Year at the Cotswold Life Family Business Awards, the Best Small Housebuilder silver award at the 2017 WhatHouse? Awards, and Best Residential Development at the 2017 UK International Property Awards. We made significant progress across all divisions including making excellent headway with our flagship development of 40 new homes in the Cotswolds village of Northleach. Looking around us, it’s our industry partners – many of whom have contributed to, or been quoted within, this issue – who have played pivotal roles in helping us achieve such a successful year. And looking outwards to the areas we build in, it’s the stunning landscapes, impressive communities, thriving local businesses and aspirational artisans who unfailingly inspire us. Eagerly anticipating the picture the new year will paint, it’s these aforementioned influencers we’re dedicating this issue to. So throughout these pages you’ll find shopping temptation, interior inspiration, architectural brilliance, financial savviness, discerning dining destinations, hotels worthy of whiling the weekend away, and much more, all courtesy of those talented associates we like to think of as our wider team. Enjoy the read and we’ll be back with you in the summer!

10 CONTENTS 2 INSIDE VIEW Building for a Better Future

38

4 LUST LIST

26 LET’S MOVE TO

6 EXPLORE

Ariconium Place, Weston-under-Penyard

Stroud

29 JENNY’S GARDEN 8 EXPLORE

Spring Into Action

Hay-on-Wye

30 DINING OUT 10 EXPLORE Cheltenham’s Notable New Openings

Praising Provenance

32 TRAVEL Luxurious Local Hotels

13 ASK AN EXPERT The Lure of Northleach

34 TRAVEL The Maldives

15 ASK AN EXPERT Demystifying Mortgages

37 WELLBEING Working Out or Wasting Time?

Luke Freeman & the Lifestyle team.

17 ASK AN EXPERT

Please contact us with any editorial or advertising enquiries at marketing@mffreeman.co.uk. We’re online! For a digital edition of Lifestyle go to www.issuu.com/mffreeman.

Create a Hotel Chic Bedroom

38 SHOPPING INSPIRATION

18 LET’S MOVE TO

40 BEST FOR LAST

The Westwoods & Westcombe Place, Northleach

The Year of Creative Upskilling

LIFESTYLE TEAM 22 WHY BUY NEW 25 LET’S MOVE TO Oaklands Holt, Weobley From left, Hayley Coombs, Emma Shotton, Rebecca Jenkins, Jocelyn Heem, Rachel Browne

MAGAZINE EDITOR, SUBEDITOR & CONTENT PRODUCER Jocelyn Heem

SUBSCRIBE TO LIFESTYLE Receive 3 issues by post and a £10 One4All gift voucher for only

£5.99 See page 14 for details

MAGAZINE DESIGN & ART DIRECTION Jones Design Create info@jonesdesigncreate.com

PRINT Cambrian Printers Ltd

FreemanHomes

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BU I L D I NG F OR A B E T T E R F U T URE Lauded at numerous National award ceremonies this past year, we explore the fundamentals that set Gloucestershire-based family-owned housebuilder, Freeman Homes, apart.

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ptly summed up in the WhatHouse? 2017 Awards judges’ report in reference to Freeman Homes’ Best Small Housebuilder award: “There is something about family businesses that invariably means a touch more pride, a bit more passion. When your name is over the door and on the signage, perhaps you care more.” With the housebuilding division of the family’s wider group, MF Freeman, just shy of celebrating its 20th anniversary, these latest accolades are testament to Freeman Homes’ unrivaled care and commitment.

Top, onsite team at The Westwoods development. Above, Emma Shotton and Luke Freeman accept the award.

The housebuilder’s recent highlights include receiving the WhatHouse? 2017 Best Small Housebuilder silver award, the LABC Building Excellence Awards 2017 Best Small New Housing Development finalist award and Best Residential Development Gloucestershire for the design-led Northleach development at the UK Property Awards 2017-2018. The WhatHouse? 2017 judges commented: “There is an energy and authenticity about this builder that radiates through its work.” And it’s this drive and dedication the Forest of DeanPlanning consent process delays, less based team strive to nurture. competitive funding opportunities and So what are the founding principles unviable conditions of building in contributing to today’s successes and ‘lower value’ areas, are just some of the the continual growth of Freeman hurdles pertinent to this industry Homes? “The key is that significantly impact upon innovation,” says small to medium-sized JOI N Luke, Freeman Homes’ enterprise contenders. joint chief executive. Challenges aside, the THE TEAM “We’re always looking group is passionately We’re always looking for for ways to improve and committed to “building great people. Get in touch striving to be the best at for a better future” and at workforus@ what we do.” this is evident in the mffreeman.co.uk Ambition like this is bespoke, award-winning vital for any small to homes they’ve built to medium-sized enterprise as date. “We listen to our they’re often the ones who feel a customers and then design homes bigger brunt from obstacles along the around what they say matters to them,” way. Accurately acknowledged within says Luke. the WhatHouse? Awards judges’ report: Freeman Homes has raised the bar “SMEs have to fight hard when it comes with its customer and product research to planning and funding but while when it comes to profiling, working dealing with the frustrations and the with Keith Goffin, professor of roadblocks, they must show an innovation and new product unswerving commitment to quality of development at Cranfield School of product – no corners cut, with local Management. Luke says: “Our materials in the mix and local innovation team work hard to identify reputation on the line.” our customers’ needs and go the extra

LIFESTYLE 2


AN ARCHITECT’S PERSPECTIVE We chatted with Edward Nash senior partner and founder of Nash Partnership and the lead architect for the Northleach development, The Westwoods and Westcombe Place - about new home builds and the qualities he believes set Freeman Homes apart.

Award-winning houses at The Close, Llangrove

mile in using sophisticated techniques to gain important customer insight.” The ongoing training and development of staff is integral to the organisation. This is evident in the undertaking of courses by staff across all divisions which range from practical plant based qualifications to leadership training programmes and MBAs. MF Freeman Group operate divisions in housebuilding, leisure, farming, contracting and plant hire. For more information visit mffreeman.co.uk

Main image, members of the MF Freeman Group senior management team from left: Jenny Freeman, Luke Freeman, Hayley Coombs, Malcolm Duffield, Mervyn Freeman, Peter Wharton, Ian Tandy. Above, Robin Cordina collects the LABC award.

LIFESTYLE 3

How was working with Freeman Homes? “They’re great fun, I’ve met some fantastic people there who really enjoy what they do. I think it’s partly because they have been doing this for quite a while so they know all the things they need to about getting houses and developments built. They’re really interested in all the things they can do to make processes work better for all involved. One of the things that’s impressed me the most is that it’s clear for them that every site is treated almost as though it’s the very first one they’ve ever done, which is a ridiculous thing to say because clearly they’re building on all the experience they have, but I think it’s very healthy to do it that way. I think it’s quite easy for house builders that are churning out houses by the hundred to just think that one development is like the rest. But it’s really important that everybody involved realises that one particular town, one particular street, one particular development, one particular house, needs that freshness of thought which comes from understanding what it is at a particular point in time people are looking for and what it is in a particular place a development can offer and bring forward. There’s something very transformational about building new houses. People are going to live in them for many generations, and that’s many people’s lives that you are affecting. I get the feeling that, more than many of the people I’ve worked with, Freeman Homes understand that, and that’s what part of their energy is driven towards.”


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LIFESTYLE 5


ST ROUD Its famous farmers’ market is only one of the plentiful re asons we love spen ding a weeken d in Stroud.

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escribed by the renowned fashion designer Jasper Conran, OBE, as the “Covent Garden of the Cotswolds”, Stroud is located in the centre of Gloucestershire and boasts a growing collection of independent shops, cafés and galleries. Influenced by its many talented residents, the market town exhibits an undeniable air of creative cool. Stroud has a rich history in textiles, and having mastered the dyeing process early on, the area became responsible for dyeing all of the vivid Royal Army and Royal Navy uniforms. Today, Wimbledon tennis ball cloth and championship snooker table baize are still made here. In terms of top attractions, it would only be right to first mention the multi award-winning farmers’ market, known as one of Britain’s biggest, busiest and most popular. Every Saturday the market consistently lures crowds from far and wide with its traders delivering a fine, selection of fresh produce and artisanal products. A visit isn’t complete without a delicious doughnut by Pippin Doughnuts to accompany your morning coffee, perusing Bardot Living’s stylish stall of homewares handmade by artisans in Morocco, and choosing one of Plenty! Pies’ flavoursome, made from scratch pies. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to fresh produce, preserves, wine, gin, cheese, charcuterie, fudge, oils, hot lunch options, handmade gifts and more. Then there’s Jolly Nice, a destination in its own right comprising an excellently stocked farm shop, a café serving popular takeaway food and an inspired gift shop. Utterly contemporary, the upbeat establishment is the brainchild of

farmers Rebecca and Simon Wilson, with their three children, Harriet, Jemima and Barnaby, contributing to its success. Started in 2013, the Jolly Nice team now includes butchers, baristas, bakers, chefs, cheesemongers and expert ice cream makers. Their takeaway menu boasts some seriously good rare breed – reared on their own Westonbirt farm - meat burgers. Unique menu items make an occasional appearance, like the Kentucky Fried Pheasant (KFP) burger - a much more appetising take on Colonel Sanders’ which sustainably uses excess game from local shoots during the relevant season. Harriet Wilson is behind the eponymous Harriet’s House gift and homewares shop. A discerning selection of locally made interior pieces and jewellery are beautifully presented in the eye-catching pink shop alongside a fashionable collection of plants. For those wanting to explore the area’s glorious natural scenery, there’s the 7.8-mile Painswick to King’s Stanley stretch of the 102-mile Cotswold Way. Officially inaugurated as a National Trail in 2007 and highly praised, this particular leg offers views back over Painswick, of the Cotswold escarpment and the River Severn. As the journey gently descends through Standish Woods, if you’re doing the walk in spring, you’ll see bluebells blooming and wood anemone before emerging in Above left, Plenty! Pies at Stroud Farmers’ Market. Above Stroud Valley’s green pastures. right, tasty burgers and a milkshake at Jolly Nice.

LIFESTYLE 6


WORTH CHECKING OUT… Left, a cheese stall and above, fresh fruit and veg at Stroud Farmers’ Market.

ASK A LOCAL PETER WHARTON

PHOTO CREDITS: ALENA PETTITT /INSTAGRAM.COM/ALENA.KATE, INSTAGRAM.COM/HARRIETSHOUSEUK, JOLLYNICEFARMSHOP.COM

‘THE MARKET TOWN EXHIBITS AN UNDENIABLE AIR OF CREATIVE COOL’

Harriet’s House

WHY DO YOU LOVE LIVING HERE? I moved to the Stroud area almost 20 years ago from the Thames Valley. The instant appeal was a slower pace of life, friendly disposition of the locals, and being surrounded by the natural beauty of the valleys, making it a great place to live with a young family. YOUR FAVOURITE SPOTS? The Gate of India (in nearby Stonehouse) on a Friday evening where I am still working my way through its extensive menu; Upper Lock Café for coffee and cake after a Sunday morning ride with the Stroud Valley Velos; Stroud Farmers’ Market and Stroud town centre for local produce, eclectic range of shops and general vibe on a Saturday morning. THE BEST SEASON HERE AND WHY? Summer – it’s an ideal time for family visits to Winstones Ice Cream parlour and taking a walk on Rodborough Common when the cows are out grazing. Summer is best for getting out on the road with the Stroud Valley Velos, discovering new picturesque Cotswold villages as we ride through the countryside.

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SITE ART FESTIVAL 2018 The month-long festival presents the work of over 460 artists across 78 sites around the Stroud Valleys during April. Its aim is to give artists and artist collectives a platform to present new work, initiate new projects, and collaborate. The programme includes exhibitions, open studio tours – offering a glimpse into artists’ homes and studios, film screenings, talks and performances. sitefestival.org.uk

STROUD FRINGE FESTIVAL This year will mark the 22nd anniversary of the annual August event – a vibrant, town-wide free festival with music, theatre, performing arts and street entertainment presented across three days and nights. Fun for the whole family, last year Fringe Glamping was introduced with boutique bell tents set up in a tucked away corner of Stratford Park, just a ten minute walk from the festivities, for those wanting to make a weekend of it. stroudfringe.co.uk

THE STROUDWATER TEXTILE TRUST Visit three of the original mill sites and learn how the fascinating craft operated many decades ago. At the Dunkirk Mill a waterwheel runs and the guides demonstrate the intricate machinery used to finish the cloth after it left the loom. Demonstrations of handloom and powerloom, as well as the chance for a hands-on experience take place at the Gigg Mill. At privately owned St Mary’s one of the most attractive mill sites dating back to circa 1820 - you can see the powerful Tangye Steam engine in action. stroud-textile.org.uk


H AY- ON -W Y E Book lovers rejoice! In this issue we pen some of the town of tomes’ many gems.

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ying on the Welsh side of the England/Wales border, alongside the River Wye, the market town is home to approximately 30 bookshops – an impressive number considering its fairly small size and population of circa 1,500. Its reputation as a distinguished destination for second-hand and antiquarian bookshops was perhaps first coined in 1962, with resident Richard Booth credited for transforming the town after opening his first shop that year. The charismatic character a few years later proclaimed Hay an independent kingdom, himself the crowned king and ruler, and his horse the Prime Minister – but that’s a whole other story… Appealing to an active audience as well, Hay has excellent walks. Heading up the Hay Bluff hill is highly recommended, streams, waterfalls and roaming horses keep you motivated on the climbs and wonderful views over the Wye Valley and Welsh Mountains reward you from the summit. The Brecon Beacons National Park is under an hour away, leaving you spoilt for choice when it comes to outdoor pursuits. But the town’s pièce de résistance is without a doubt the famed Hay Festival which now easily attracts up to 250,000 attendees. The biggest literary festival in the world, it put Hay on the map globally. Originating in Wales, it has evolved to encompass a number of sister festivals held in exotic international locations such as India, the Maldives and Colombia. Having just celebrated its 30th year, the festivals consistently features a line-up of Nobel Prize-winners and novelists, scientists and politicians, historian and musicians, actors and actresses, who all inspire, examine and entertain. Famously described by Bill Clinton as “the Woodstock of the mind”, the festivals aim to

elicit attendees to “imagine the world as it is and as it might be”. This year’s Hay festival in Wales runs from 24th May to 3rd June and features a jam-packed programme of high-quality events. The market town benefits from a diversified dining scene. The Globe at Hay Kitchen serves traditional French and British cuisine, ideal for pre or post one of the independent art centre’s varied events. Tomatitos Tapas Bar serves a selection of tapas inspired by the flavours of Spain, and perfectly washed down with their Spanish beers. Shepherd’s Ice Cream Parlour is a pitstop not to be missed with flavours like locally sourced strawberries and cream, toffee and fudge, fashionable turmeric, and cardamom and lavender. Their superior scoops, uniquely made with sheep’s milk and a whole lot of love, have brought joy to many Glastonbury revellers. For a spot of shopping, pop in to the Old Electric shop to peruse their eclectic range. Hay Deli is stocked with the finest local, organic and specialist produce. Eighteen Rabbit sells stylish, Fair Trade gifts and homewares. Or tempt yourself with the very best in contemporary art from artists working in Wales and the borders, exhibited at The Lion Street Gallery.

LIFESTYLE 8

Lose a few hours in Richard Booth’s Bookshop.


TOP EXPERIENCES… Far left and left, visitors enjoying Hay Festival. Above, outside Hay Cinema Bookshop. Below, contemporary art gallery.

ASK A LOCAL BRENT BLAIR Owner of The Lion Street Gallery  

PHOTO CREDITS: MARSHA ARNOLD, PAULA LAGOS/SWAN AT HAY HOTEL

WHY DO YOU LOVE LIVING HERE? I moved here seven years ago from London and every day when I walk to work I almost have to pinch myself - it’s such a beautiful town, set in stunning scenery. On Thursdays, market day, there’s a really friendly atmosphere in town with everyone socialising, it has echoes of Darling Buds of May. The people really make Hay - such an interesting mix of marvellous individuals. YOUR FAVOURITE SPOTS? The Bailey Walk follows the old railway line along the River Wye to grassland (the ‘Warren’) where you’ll find a small pebble beach on a bend in the river - a perfect spot to see wild salmon, kingfishers and drink in the beauty of the place. St John’s Place is intimate, serves local produce and has, in my mind, Wales’ most talented chef - Julia. For a traditional local pub try The Old Black Lion.

HAY FESTIVAL, WALES 24 May – 3 June, 2018 The perfect opportunity to experience Hay-on-Wye in all its glory, once again an infectious energy will invigorate the market town with multiple events taking place over the 11 days. Promising to deliver the same superior standard of guest speakers and performers that’s become synonymous with the festival, you’re guaranteed to leave thoroughly inspired. hayfestival.com

RICHARD BOOTH’S BOOKSHOP

‘THE TOWN’S PIÈCE DE RÉSISTANCE IS WITHOUT A DOUBT THE FAMED HAY FESTIVAL’

When in the town of tomes, one should experience a brilliant bookshop. Booth’s is a firm favourite filled with titles to suit all interests. Beautifully presented with bursts of greenery, an on-site café and armchairs to sink into, hours can easily disappear here buried in a book. The in-house intimate cinema offers a more nostalgic setting – albeit with the latest digital projection and Dolby surround sound - for viewing the best of the box office, National Theatre Live, the Royal Opera House and Glyndebourne. boothbooks.co.uk

THE SWAN AT HAY The fantastic fare steals the show at this four star hotel. Set within an elegant Georgian Grade-II-listed grey stone building, dating from 1812, it’s a lovely spot for a sophisticated afternoon tea. Hosting some of the Hay Festival events, make a weekend of it and stay in one of their 19 en-suite rooms. swanathay.com

THE BEST SEASON HERE AND WHY? Hay’s good to visit at any time. The Hay Festival period is busy with lots to see and do. There’re many outdoor activities, from walking in the breath-taking countryside to hiring bikes, canoeing, riding amongst many others.

Afternoon tea at The Swan at Hay

LIFESTYLE 9


C H E LT E N H A M ’ S F I VE NOTABL E N E W OPE N I NG S It’s cle ar the Regency town’s having a moment. We’re looking forward to frequenting these discerning new destinations.

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The Spa at Hatherley Manor Coming 2018 Promising an exceptional level of pampering, the opulent Hatherley Manor hotel has invested £3 million into creating a state-of-the-art spa. Sparing no expense, there’ll be six luxury treatment rooms, a swimming pool with garden views, a vitality pool, a thermal suite with experience showers, sauna, steam room and heated loungers, a relaxation room and a gymnasium. Enticing you to extend your stay, a lounge, champagne bar and five new luxury bedrooms will benefit from views of the walled garden from private balconies and a shared rooftop terrace to soak up the evening sun. hatherleymanor.com

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THE IVY MONTPELLIER BRASSERIE Opened December 2017 London’s legendary dining destination, The Ivy’s reputation reaches the furthest corners of the world. The hospitality icon’s original celebrity hotspot celebrated its centenary last year following a remarkable refurbishment. It’s famed for its fine fare and unfaltering service. With a slew of spin-offs already in the form of brasseries, grills and cafés, its latest location unsurprisingly became the talk of the town. Lush orange velvet booths, a sophisticated dousing of glitz and glamour and the icon’s signature style has transformed Montpellier’s stunning Rotunda building. theivycheltenhambrasserie.com

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THE FIND CAFÉ Opened November 2017 On the first floors of this elegant Regency Street building you’ll find a new café serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, artisan coffee and delicious cocktails. The top floor offers an ‘alternative office’ oasis with the aim of connecting the creative cognoscenti. Known as The Workplace, it’s a dedicated space for entrepreneurs, freelancers and co-workers to take up membership and benefit from features including high quality Wi-Fi and superfast fibre broadband, an ergonomic desk chair, shared printer, conference phone, private meeting space and soundproof booth for phone calls. thefind.co.uk

LIFESTYLE 10


EDIBLE EXPERIENCES The Lucky Onion are hosting an exciting line-up of events. We had the pleasure of experiencing their recent tapas evening.

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THE GIGGLING SQUID Coming 2018 Universally loved, Thai cuisine cooked expertly will keep you coming back. Testament to this, the husband and wife team’s humble beginnings, serving out of a tiny converted fisherman’s cottage in Brighton in 2002, have evolved into 22 quirky outposts and counting. Our mouths are watering at rumours of them adding a Montpellier string to their bow. gigglingsquid.com

PHOTO CREDITS: RICHARD TERRY

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NO 131 EXTENSION Coming 2018 The Lucky Onion’s oh-so stylish boutique hotel and restaurant is extending its prime positioning on the Promenade in Montpellier. The hip hospitality group have acquired the neighbouring Clarence building and a pair of regency townhouses. We’re looking forward to the unveiling of more en-suite rooms, a private dining room and meeting rooms. theluckyonion.com

TAPAS WITH JOSÉ PIZARRO No. 38 The Park Ever tried olive oil drizzled crispbread paired with rich chocolate ganache? Or squid ink croquettes? Intrigued? We certainly were as each delectable dish was brought out at the recent Tapas with José Pizarro event at No. 38 The Park, the luxurious boutique hotel beside Cheltenham’s Pittville Park. When the criticallyacclaimed guest chef began the evening explaining how he grew up in western Spain’s city of Cáceres, accustomed to the freshest local produce and milk straight from the cow, it was clear the food to follow wasn’t going to disappoint. We hadn’t long finished sipping espresso martinis, chatting and taking our seats, when the first of the Pica Pica (Barcelona’s style of tapas) was served. Delicately fried artichokes came perfectly paired with a quince aioli. The flavoursome tortilla (potato omelette) that followed was bursting with juicy wild mushrooms, pepper and cheese. Then came the razor clams with crispy jamón ibérico and cava vinaigrette, beautifully presented atop their cleaned shells. Glorious, golden croquettes were up next, their smooth squid ink filling held intact by a crispy casing. Once cut open these resembled more of a dark chocolate truffle and offered a unique, moreish mouthful. The penultimate plate was Presa Iberica – tasty and tender pork shoulder steak, with a side of whipped mash potato and subtly charred pimientos del Padrón – a variety of green peppers from northwestern spain. Our fascination was peaked with the arrival of dessert, Chocolate y Sal. This rich chocolate and salt ganache came

LIFESTYLE 11

garnished with a slice of crispbread lightly drizzled with olive oil – an unusual pairing but one we very quickly took a liking to. No. 38 The Park’s intimate private dining room is comfortable and cosy, albeit flaunting the discerning interior design style synonymous with The Lucky Onion’s outposts. Exposed brick, large circular mirrors and low-hanging lighting sets the mood, while the kitchen has been kept in eye shot, letting you enjoy the bustle of the chefs preparing the consistently flowing dishes. The lauded hospitality group have plenty more events coming up, including a Supper Club experience by their new Director of Food, Ronnie Bonetti who’s joined after an eightyear tenure with Soho House & Co. Join The Lucky Onion Club to stay updated. theluckyonion.com


LUXURIOUS COTSWOLD LIVING

Spacious five-bedroom homes with Cotswold exteriors and contemporary interior layouts. Featuring an unrivalled specification and landscaped gardens. Show home open daily. For more information or to arrange a viewing 01451 263 123 www.westcombeplace.co.uk sales@westcombeplace.co.uk

LIFESTYLE 12


MOVING HOME

THE LURE OF N O R T H L E AC H A tranquil town despite being only 10 miles from bustling Cirencester and 13 miles from Cheltenham. Our property expert, Knight Frank’s Mark Johnson, offers some history on the area enticing home buyers.

ABOVE, LOOKING ACROSS THE TRANQUIL VILLAGE. LEFT, FIRESIDE DRINKS AT THE WHEATSHEAF INN.

PHOTO CREDITS: NICK TURNER PHOTOGRAPHY

S

o often the ‘forgotten town of the Cotswolds’, Northleach will never be a bustling tourist trap like Bourton-on-the-Water or Stow-on-theWold, and is proving an increasingly desirable place to live. A peaceful, compact market town with a thriving local community of approximately 1850 residents, it offers many fine features, often referred to as one of the best kept secrets of the Cotswolds. So it’s not surprising Freeman Homes jumped at the opportunity to be involved in adding some much needed homes to the local area - the impressive new houses at The Westwoods and Westcombe Place on well-situated Basset Road. We at Knight Frank have seen a high number of buyers moving back to Northleach to re-establish contacts and friendships and to enjoy a true market environment. There are buyers who are moving within Northleach, one from Moreton-in-Marsh who left the town years ago and has been waiting for the right opportunity to move back. We also have a couple moving back from Spain, and a woman who went to school locally who is now moving back to make the most of this wonderful Cotswold location – one that’s uniquely devoid of the sometimes frustrating tourist volumes to contend with. Northleach, like Stow-on-the-Wold, Burford and Lechlade, was laid out as a

town in about 1200 A.D. It boomed between 1340 and 1540 when the extolled wool from the local Cotswold Lion sheep was exported to Europe, creating a significant source of income. Wool merchants had become some of the wealthiest men in the country, and fortunately those involved in the trade locally – William Midwinter, Thomas and John Fortey and John Tayler - poured profits back into the town. This enabled the extensive restoration of the parish church of St Peter and St Paul, including the redevelopment of the nave, the addition of aisles and chapels, and the building of the porch – one of the country’s best. This magnificent example of the region’s late gothic Perpendicular Style architecture was dubbed the ‘Cathedral of the Cotswolds’. In 1227, King Henry III granted the town a charter for a weekly market and an annual fair - to be staged on the vigil of the feast and the morrow of St Peter and St Paul. To this day there’s a lively Charter Market held each Wednesday with fresh produce, plants and artisanal products, and the annual Charter Fair takes place in June with vibrant stalls and a variety of entertainment.

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Passing trade picked up during the 18th century as the town provided a convenient pit stop for weary travelers en route from London to Gloucester, wanting an ale and a change of horses. A number of the town’s old coaching inns still prove popular today, including The Sherborne Arms and the celebrityfrequented The Wheatsheaf Inn. The Grade II* Listed Old Prison, originally built around 1790, now houses The Cotswolds Discovery Centre and café. A great advance on the prisons of the time, it inspired better care and rehabilitation of prisoners, serving as a blueprint for London’s Pentonville Prison as well as some abroad. Surrounded by the Cotswolds’ many gems, steeped in history and offering spectacular scenery, it’s no wonder this much-loved town is generating increased attention from new home buyers.

THE CHURCH OF ST PETER AND ST PAUL, DUBBED THE ‘CATHEDRAL OF THE COTSWOLDS’.


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LIFESTYLE ISSU E ON E * 2017

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LIFESTYLE 14

LIFESTYLE


FINANCE

D E M YST I F Y I N G M O R TG AG E S Navigating the mortgage minefield, The Mortgage Brain’s Terry Sutherland summarises the pros and cons of your main options.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT THE MORTGAGE BRAIN, EMAIL INFO@THEMORTGAGEBRAIN.NET OR VISIT THEMORTGAGEBRAIN.NET PHOTO CREDITS: STURTI/ISTOCKPHOTO

W

hat type of mortgage should I have? A question often asked and difficult to answer. Why? It can be very subjective and largely depends on your individual circumstances. For example, if you are a first time buyer, you may look at a fixed mortgage. If you’re moving home, it may be a tracker or an offset mortgage. Herein the pros and cons for each of the most popular mortgage types are explained.

England’s base rate. As the base rate rises and falls, your interest rate will track these changes and your monthly payments will be affected in accordance with these ebbs and flows. PROS:

• You’ll pay less each month if the Bank of England’s base rate reduces. • You may benefit from a lower rate. CONS:

FIXED RATE MORTGAGES

With a fixed rate mortgage, the interest rate and monthly payments remain the same for the fixed rate period that you agree.

• You’ll pay more each month if the base rate increases. This is particularly relevant currently, given the recent base rate rise. • You can switch your deal but may have an ERC to pay.

PROS:

• Helpful for budgeting as your monthly payments will stay the same for the fixed rate period. • Can provide peace of mind for those worried the interest rates might go up during the fixed rate period.

OFFSET MORTGAGES

An offset mortgage links your savings account balance to your mortgage in order to reduce the mortgage balance you’re charged interest on. PROS

CONS:

• You won’t benefit from lower payments if interest rates fall below your fixed rate during the agreed time period. • You can switch your deal during the agreed period but are likely to have to pay an early repayment charge (ERC). TRACKER MORTGAGES

The interest rate you pay is variable and is an agreed percentage above the Bank of

H OT TO P I C MORTGAGE ADVISORS

• The amount in your linked savings account is deducted from your mortgage amount, meaning the amount you are paying interest on is reduced and you can potentially pay off your mortgage quicker. CONS

• Typically this agreement will mean you are subjected to higher interest rates. • It will often mean that no interest can be earned on your linked savings account.

LIFESTYLE 15

Why engage a mortgage adviser? They have extensive knowledge of different lenders’ criteria. This information often isn’t evident on comparison websites where you may see a fantastic deal, only to enquire and find out you aren’t eligible as you don’t fit the criteria. Therefore, advisors can save you time and potential heartbreak. Differentiating independent mortgage advisers and those working exclusively for a lender? Independent advisors will be able to recommend all available mortgage deals - not only those available on the high street but those for the whole of the market – in order to find you the best mortgage possible, most suited to your circumstances. An advisor working exclusively for a lender will only be able to recommend the products offered by that specific bank which may not be as competitive as other offers at the time. Independent advisers can save you time as you won’t need to contact each bank individually, trawl through their information and compare. Should I review my mortgage regularly? Advisors can help you explore your options regularly to ensure you’re still getting the best deal for you. Sometimes, even when there’s a cost to break the current agreement you are in, the benefits of doing so can outweigh the consequent charge.


ook a midweek or long weekend Wye Valley escape Set within a 10,000 acre countryside estate, Bishopswood House sleeps up to 27 guests and offers both self-catered or catered stays.

01594 542 485 www.bishopswoodhouse.co.uk

A quintessentially British venue


L AY E R U P W I N D OW T R E AT M E N T S

Sheer fabrics with subtly gleaming surfaces add sophisticated glamour, especially in pale shades. Try combining two complementary materials to create a seamless multi-layered and multifunctional window treatment, allowing for both privacy and darkness when needed.

INTERIORS

C R E AT E A H OT E L C H I C BEDROOM

A D D T E X T U R E S TO N E U T R A L S

When working with a neutral colour palette it’s important to introduce a variety of contrasting yet complementary patterns and textures. By offsetting rough with soft, shiny with matte and coarse with smooth, you’ll create depth and interest, making the room more dynamic. Pair textures like linens, leather, voiles, velvets, wood and metals.

Interior designer Hannah Llewelyn-Jones shares her top tips for recreating the lush look at home.

B

GET TH E LIGHTING RIGHT

eautiful hotel bedrooms are inviting and instantly relaxing with their elegantly composed interiors, sumptuous bed linen, well considered lighting and delightful little luxuries. LU X U R IOUS LI N E N

Pivotal to creating a hotel-style bedroom is making sure your linen is the highest quality you can get. Crisp white sheets with textured cushions and oversized bed runners will instantly create that hotel chic look and have you dreaming of spending the day in bed.

PHOTO CREDITS: AMY MURRELL, THE WILD RABBIT, THE KINGS HEAD HOTEL

A STAT E M E N T H E A D B OA R D

Framing the bedroom’s largest piece with a tall, statement headboard will bring colour and texture to the room and add a sense of height and fullness. For an indulgent look, choose crushed velvet and incorporate buttoning into the upholstery. B E A U T I F Y YO U R B E D S I D E TA B L E

A thoughtfully styled bedside table elevates the room and keeps it looking orderly - helping you rest that little bit easier at night. A design including drawers will hide away any unattractive items, leaving the top clear to hold a lovely lamp, a collection of books or a vase with a couple of blooms or eucalyptus stems.

TOP, A STATEMENT HEADBOARD AT I & JL BROWN. ABOVE, CRISP LINENS AND ACCENT COLOURS AT THE KINGS HEAD HOTEL. BELOW RIGHT, A GOOD EXAMPLE OF HOW TO USE AN OTTOMAN AT THE WILD RABBIT.

A D D A N AC C E N T C O LO U R

Easy neutrals are fundamental for fashionable hotel style, but adding a bold accent of colour can lift the scheme without compromising that glamorous feel. Hague Blue No.30 by Farrow & Ball works beautifully with white, grey or brown. The colour is also a perfect backdrop for brass accessories. T R E AT YO U R S E L F TO A N E W D R E S S I N G TA B L E

A dedicated area where you can style your hair or apply make-up in comfort is a luxury must-have. It doesn’t need to take up too much room and can be integrated within your wardrobe space. Using neutral colours and reflective surfaces will keep its presence within the room minimal yet pleasing.

LIFESTYLE 17

The right lighting can add charm to any bedroom but adding dimmable switches and wardrobe lighting is a must when creating a hotel inspired bedroom. Don’t be afraid of having a wall light for reading as well as a table lamp. Make sure you have enough practical light for your morning routine and ambient lighting for a restful evening. I N V E ST I N A N OT TO M A N

An attractive ottoman placed at the end of a bed creates the perfect place to sit and put on shoes, neatly stack a few magazines or pop extra pillows and throws onto when in bed. If space at the foot of the bed is limited, try a buttoned pouffe that you can double up as a dressing table stool. Interior design services are available from I & JL Brown. Phone 01432 851991 or email Hannah@ijlbrown.com


LET’S MOVE TO

THE WE ST WO OD S AND W E STC OM BE PL AC E NORT H L E AC H Occupying a prime position within the Cotswolds, Freeman Homes is currently developing 20 beautiful new homes, perfect for those enticed by the enviable Northleach lifestyle.

All house images are taken at The Westwoods and Westcombe Place.

U

ndoubtedly one of Britain’s most of the Cotswolds was something they desirable areas to live in (even placed upmost importance on. luring in the Royals), the The team have demonstrated versed Cotswolds emanates a genuinely magical insight into how people like to live. The English ambience like no other. Natural homes comprise contemporary interior stone, ivy-clad, impossibly pretty layouts, much more suited to today’s style properties are discovered dotted of living than those of many traditional throughout meadows as you wind homes in the area. Speaking of Freeman through tree-canopied streets lined Homes’ joint CEO, Nash comments: “One with dry stone walls or picture-perfect of the fascinating things about Luke hedges. To visit is always an inspiring Freeman is he really seems to understand and instantly transporting experience. how people like to live and how the Shaping up beautifully here is a new spatial arrangements in a house - the neighbourhood of 20 generous three, arrangement of the rooms, the impression four and five-bedroom homes in the the house makes from the outside, how “hidden secret” market town of that all serves a better understanding of Northleach. A quintessential Cotswold how people want to live.” The team has town where pockets of honey-stone effectively focused on flexibility, houses are surrounded by lush English providing the occupants with plenty of greenery, Northleach’s much-loved choice for how the spaces can be used. aesthetic was one of the “Flexibility is the key and key considerations for this is particularly ‘THE ABILITY TO new home builders, manifest in the ground MEET YOUR Freeman Homes and floor,” says Nash, NEIGHBOURS AND award-winning referring to the main architecture practice, living areas that flow MAKE FRIENDS ... Nash Partnership, when freely into one another. IS THAT MUCH designing this This way everyone can GREATER’ impressive development. feel included in the same Cotswold stone space for social occasions detailing, slate roofs and timber frame and entertaining, but those spaces can windows were specially selected to echo also be closed down with doors and the region’s extolled architecture. “I’ve screens when necessary to meet the always been fascinated by the variety of day-to-day needs of the household. the built environment, why buildings That same flexibility philosophy is look different in one part of the country employed on the upper levels with a from another,” says Edward Nash, senior range of bedroom sizes and an partner and founder of Nash Partnership, opportunity for an upstairs study for explaining that capturing the uniqueness those who prefer to work somewhere quieter away from the living areas. A downstairs office is also a possibility for those working from home who will want to receive visitors without the rest of the house being disturbed. “We like to think about all these things and ideally we’d be able to accommodate that flexibility in any of our houses,” says Nash. Each home is impeccably built using a superior standard of materials, features and appliances, including stunning Silestone quartz worktops and Neff appliances in the kitchen, Porcelanosa wall and floor tiling in the bathrooms, Villeroy & Boch sanitaryware, and – a

LIFESTYLE 18


IMAGE OF HOUSE TYPE IS INDICATIVE OF PROPERTIES BEING BUILT AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE PHOTO CREDITS: ZACK_TSCHARANYAN/THINKSTOCK

Beautiful sunset in Gloucestershire

feature Freeman Homes has become renowned for – ample built-in wardrobe space in every bedroom, to name only a few. This dedication to excellence in every detail gives Freeman Homes the confidence to claim that its homes can truly enhance your lifestyle. Advocating sustainability, each house is fitted with a Worcester Bosch Greenstyle woodburner, wet under floor heating on the ground floor, electric underfloor heating in all bathrooms and shower rooms, and LED recessed spot lighting throughout the house. When it comes to designing an individual house, Nash says he is “always interested in the way the building contributes to the richness of the whole” and we believe this is particularly evident at The Westwoods and Westcombe place. The character of each home complements and enhances the impressiveness of this notable new neighbourhood. Of the 20 homes there are ten different house types and truly no two houses are the same. Where two may seem similar there will always be some differentiation, for example

window placement or garden design which take into account that particular home’s positioning. With the site offering tremendous views over a lovely valley and down across the south, for the design of each home, expert consideration was given to its relationship with adjacent houses and in regards to how and where the sun would enter and leave. The house and garden relationship has been optimised so that the garden may be enjoyed and celebrated at all times of

LIFESTYLE 19

the year and to allow fresh air to flow through the home. Nash, a keen gardener himself, championed this, using 3D model testing to ascertain the best positioning for planted trees. This ensures they benefit the home without shadowing the neighbouring property. “At Northleach we’ve got a lot of situations where you can see the garden well from your primary rooms and access it very easily, sometimes from more than one place,” says Nash. The front gardens are all landscaped with external lights and an external tap standard to each property as well. Northleach offers that small town appeal with access to the countryside, a range of facilities and an active community life. Freeman Homes was keen to nurture that neighbourhood feeling by giving The Westwoods a sense of its own identity – making it feel like a neighbourhood within itself. “How these streets are arranged is very important,” says Nash, explaining that the creation of four interconnected streets which all meet in a little courtyard at the centre will establish that community feeling by providing a natural place where people will meet. “Everybody who comes and goes will pass through there, and that means the ability to meet your neighbours and make friends and so on is that much greater.” The cul-de-sac style streets slow traffic speeds, ensuring a safer environment for families with children.


LET’S MOVE TO

THE WE ST WO OD S AND W E STC OM BE PL AC E NORT H L E AC H Standing grandly between The Westwoods and the River Leach and accessed via a private road, Westcombe Place comprises five opulent five-bedroom homes on generous sized plots. Freeman Homes’ superior specification is evident throughout each home. Exterior of Westcombe Place

W SUPPORT I NG T H E LO CAL C OM M U N I T Y Freeman Homes have contributed over £278,810 to the local Northleach community: LIBRARY CONTRIBUTION £7,840 NORTHLEACH CHURCH OF ENGLAND PRIMARY SCHOOL £116,920 THE COTSWOLD ACADEMY £106,992 COMMUNITY FACILITIES £47,058 AFFORDABLE HOUSING 50% available to local people

arwick-based interior design firm, Open Door Interiors has recently completed the interior styling of the stunning Westcombe Place show home which exhibits the potential these larger houses pose for spectacular interior design. Downstairs, contemporary spacious layouts have been thoughtfully designed for a changing family dynamic as well as for entertaining. Freeman Homes has exercised flexibility in the relationship between the kitchen and its primary functions and through incorporating broken-plan living – the style that’s superseded open-plan, the rooms can flow together in open plan form or be closed down into separate sections. Upstairs, multiple rooms with en-suites in addition to family bathrooms ensures ease of family living. Further features include a study, a sun room in some, bi-fold doors opening onto the garden in some, beautifully landscaped gardens and a private driveway with double garage. To find out more information about The Westwoods and Westcombe Place, please call the Freeman Homes sales team on 01451 263123, email sales@thewestwoodsnorthleach.co.uk or visit thewestwoodsnorthleach.co.uk

LIFESTYLE 20

SUSTA I N ABL E C ON ST RUC T ION Dedicated to “building for a better future”, Freeman Homes is consistently looking for ways to improve how it does things. One facet of its sustainability strategy is using timber frame construction. Timber frames have the lowest CO₂ cost of any commercially available building material, exceeding current Building Regulation requirements. For every cubic meter of wood used instead of other building materials, 0.8 tonnes of CO₂ is saved from the atmosphere. Exceptionally thermal efficient, timber buildings remain warm throughout winter, reducing heating costs, and stay cool in summer. Timber is a sustainable resource, sourced from managed coniferous forests where more trees are planted than are cut down. In addition to being exceptionally strong, they are as durable as any traditional method. All Freeman Homes use timber frames supplied by Taylor Lane Timber Frame. For more information, please visit taylor-lane.co.uk


DINING OUT Left, settle in at The Wheatsheaf Inn. Above, bliss out at Dormy House Spa. Below, a tasty pie at The Hayloft.

GREAT FOR… SHOPPING Daylesford Farm is a 25 minute drive offering a splendid setting for a meal or coffee as well as inspirational shopping boutiques. Cirencester and Cheltenham are both great for shopping and only a 30 minute drive away.

PHOTO CREDITS: JOEDUNCKLEY/THINKSTOCK

TRAVELLING Both Bristol Airport and Birmingham Airport are 80 minutes’ drive away. Kingham train station is less than a 30 minutes’ drive away and runs a daily direct route to London, taking approximately 90 minutes, depending on the time of day.

EXPLORE NORTLEACH IS GREAT WALKING COU NTRY. TH E “WALKS AROU N D NORTH LEACH” BOOKLET IS AVAILAB LE F ROM MOST NORTH LEACH SHOPS.

A view across the Cotswold hills

SCHOOLING Nortleach C of E Primary School is a close walk away. Just a 12 minute drive away is The Cotswold School, a comprehensive school in Bourton-on-the-Water which achieved an outstanding Offstead status. PAMPERING Dormy House is less than a 30 minutes’ drive away with its famed House Spa.

LIFESTYLE 21

Within easy walking distance you’ll find: The Wheatsheaf Inn - the celebrated coaching inn offering fantastic fare in a stylish setting, and The Ox House - great for a glass of wine. For a quick bite on the go, The Hayloft Café is an 8 minute drive away with savouries including soup smoked salmon sandwiches, pies and paninis to pair with their healthy juices and smoothies and top off with a salted caramel brownie. Picturesque Bourton-on-the-Water is a 10 minute drive north with pubs aplenty and traditional tea rooms. The scrumptious artisanal treats, light lunches, breakfasts and freshly brewed coffee from Bakery on the Water are well worth the quick trip. A 15 minute drive east you’ll find Barnsley House’s The Village Pub where stone floors and open fires create an inviting ambience to wine and dine. A 17 minute drive away is The Old Butchers in Stow-on-the-Wold, a relaxed restaurant in a former butcher’s shop with a nose-to-tail ethos and daily changing menu using fresh, locally supplied ingredients.


WHY B UY N EW

LOVI NG L I F E I N L L A NGROV E Waxing lyrical about their new Freeman Home, we met with the Browns to find out why they’re so happy they made the move to the Herefordshire village of Llangrove.

S

Above, The Browns are enjoying life in Llangrove. Right, fitted wardrobes and large bedrooms as standard.

omething we can all identify with, the Browns are a couple keen on making decisions to uncomplicate life. Between work, family commitments, a healthy social calendar and holidays to be had, the idea of realistically renovating rarely excites. “We always wanted to buy a new house to avoid having to do any painting or DIY,” says Marcia Brown, explaining that their initial introduction to Freeman Homes’ new builds was in Staunton at The Orchard - a quartet of four-bedroom houses nestled in the Gloucestershire countryside which were swiftly snapped up. However, it wasn’t long before another development by the family-owned housebuilders took their fancy. Also offering a tranquil countryside setting, The Close in the village of Llangrove comprises six contemporary four double bedroom detached homes with impressive views over the Wye Valley and out to the Black Mountains. Situated a short drive from both Ross-on-Wye and Monmouth, the location ticked boxes for the Browns, positioning them midway between family who live in Cheltenham and Usk. But for the Browns, the ultimate clincher was the “high quality finish”. “The storage is superb. There are fitted wardrobes in the bedrooms and the finish throughout the house is fabulous. Friends who visit for the first time are always wowed. It’s also warm and inexpensive to run,” says Marcia. Appreciative of the fact they were able to choose their own flooring and tiles, The Browns were relieved to otherwise not

LIFESTYLE 22

Street view of The Close

need to dwell on interior detail decisions when it came to the house purchase, enabling a smooth, pain-free process. “Freeman Homes’ sales staff have been excellent and are always at the end of the line if we want local advice or recommendations. They were helpful with curtain recommendations and suggesting who to get in touch with for gardening services.” Making the most of the thriving village life, the Browns enthusiastically mention the array of activities close to their doorstep: “People are friendly in the village and there’s lots going on. There’s a table tennis club, a community café with proceeds going to charity, a pub that’s great for Sunday lunch, a local church, and very good delicatessen. There’s even a walking group. And there’s good shopping in Monmouth and Ross not far away.”


The re-purposed phone box.

USEFUL FACTS

There’s a range of ages in Llangrove, with a number of primary and secondary schools close by, all with positive Ofsted reports. Hereford is only 16 miles away with a variety of dining options and a train station, and Gloucester can be reached within 24 miles. Both Bristol and Birmingham Airports are less than 90 minutes’ drive away. With only three houses available, this award-winning development – highly commended at the prestigious UK 2016 International Property Awards - benefits from generously proportioned homes with modern spatial layouts. The interior specification includes Silestone quartz countertops in the kitchen as well as Neff integrated appliances, an air source heat pump, wet underfloor heating to the ground floor and electric underfloor heating in the bathroom and en-suites, a woodburner in the living/dining room, modern wet room showers and Porcelanosa tiling in the bathrooms. Each home has bifold doors opening onto a private garden with patio and a driveway with private garage. For more information about The Close at Llangrove, please call the Freeman Homes sales team on 01989 770360, email sales@theclosellangrove.co.uk or visit theclosellangrove.co.uk

Above, Llangrove is surrounded by beautiful countryside. Below, Woods of Whitchurch.

‘PEOPLE ARE FRIENDLY IN THE VILLAGE AND THERE’S LOTS GOING ON.’

A gentle pace of life

LIFESTYLE 23

ACCESS Llangrove is beautifully positioned but far from remote… 12 minutes from Monmouth 12 minutes from Ross-on-Wye 25 minutes from Hereford 45 minutes from Bristol SCHOOLING Llangrove Academy, rated ‘outstanding’ with Ofsted. Llangrove Leapfrogs, pre-school and childcare service on the school site. The prestigious Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools are only a 14 minute drive away. FACILITIES An old red telephone box has become the village book and magazine exchange. The village hall is used for a variety of clubs and activities. The Royal Arms, a popular family-run country pub serves home-cooked food and the village shop, Woods of Whitchurch, has a café upstairs and takeaway options through the week.


THE CLOSE Llangrove

Luxury countryside living View one of three contemporary award-winning Herefordshire homes from ÂŁ485,000

01989 770360

sales@theclosellangrove.co.uk www.theclosellangrove.co.uk LIFESTYLE 24


LET’S MOVE TO

OAK L A N D S HOLT , WEOBLEY A development of two, three and four-bedroom homes is coming soon to the medieval village of Weobley.

Below left, Magnus The Magpie. Below right, Ye Old Salutation Inn. Above right, proposed look of an Oaklands Holt house.

W

eobley is a quintessential example of Britain’s iconic black and white villages with rows of timber and half-timber houses which date back to medieval time. It’s part of the beautiful Black and White Village Trail of Herefordshire – a circular 40 mile motor/cycle route running west from the ancient town of Leominster, through orchards, hopyards and picturesque monochrome villages. Offering a leisurely pace of life, the village is within easy access of the bustling towns of Hereford and Leominster, and less than an hour from the Malvern Hills. Whether you’re looking to downsize to a two-bedroom home, or want a larger five-bedroom home, this new development may well have what you’re looking for. The new homes will exhibit ‘THE VILLAGE traditional exteriors HAS A CONVIVIAL in keeping with the COMMUNITY look of the town, SPIRIT’ while the interiors will take into account today’s modern style of flexible family living. You can expect generous sized rooms and a high quality specification throughout including. The village has a convivial community spirit. You’ll find famed local artist Walenty Pytel’s Magnus The Magpie sculpture perched atop a plinth in the village centre - having been installed in 2000, it has now become a village emblem. For more information about Oaklands Holt, please call 01594 543354 or visit freemanhomes.co.uk

DINING OUT: JULES RESTAURANT Julian and Juliet have been welcoming diners to Jules restaurant since 1985, serving country cooking in the heart of Weobley. jules-restaurant.co.uk YE OLD SALUTATION INN “The Sal” as it’s known to locals, is nestled in the centre of the medieval village and serves heartwarming meals. salutation-inn.com THE CIDER BARN The converted 450-year-old barn, located at Dunkertons Cider Mill, is great place to dine on a sunny day especially, to take advantage of their outdoor terrace seating. Soak up the barn’s rustic charm and relish beautiful views of the surrounding green fields. the-cider-barn.co.uk LAL BAGH RESTAURANT A popular haunt with locals, here you’ll find creatively presented Indian cuisine and friendly, attentive service. lalbagh.uk.com

THINGS TO DO: Leominster is a mere 16 minute drive away, known for its antique shops. The Malvern Hills are reachable within an hour, offering great walking tracks and worth-thehike panoramas. The annual Hereford Indie Food festival (30 minute drive) presents a fabulous taste of the town’s artisan offerings. herefordindiefood.com

LIFESTYLE 25


LET’S MOVE TO

AR IC ON I U M PL AC E , WE STON - U N DE R - PE N YARD HEREFORDSHIRE This small collection of picturesque new homes will offer families the enviable Herefordshire lifestyle.

Lose yourself in the Amazing Hedge Puzzle at Symonds Yat West.

H

ave you ever dreamed of living in a traditional, charming cottage in a picturesque countryside setting, but been apprehensive to forego the luxuries of modern homes? The best of both worlds will soon be available in Herefordshire, where a new development by the name of Ariconium Place may be your next move. Despite the bustling market town of Ross-on-Wye being only two miles away, Ariconium Place is a tranquil setting surrounded by beautiful countryside views and large open green spaces. Soon to take shape in this delightful location will be 35 spacious homes to suit a range of family sizes, with two, three, four and five-bedroom Exterior of a previous Freeman Homes development in Weston-under-Penyard. homes to choose from. Weston-under-Penyard contains various examples of building styles and periods. The design of this new In addition to the glorious green development will embody vernacular countryside, there’s an impressive line-up architecture with a concise palette of of dining options on the doorstep. Strolling building materials, drawing on local the streets of Ross-on-Wye you’ll have a precedents. The houses will be a mix of selection of eateries and shops to choose detached and semi-detached, each from and Simply Stunning Hair and Beauty exuding a quintessential offering hair and make-up traditional cottage services and an extensive ‘THERE’S AN exterior with white treatment list. window casements with a Less than a ten minute IMPRESSIVE vertical emphasis. drive away, located on LINE-UP OF The exteriors will likely Church Street you will find DINING OPTIONS feature a mix of local The Prospect - a public ON THE natural sandstone and garden populated by DOORSTEP’ off-white render facing ancient trees. This lush materials coupled with oasis is ideal for a weekend recon slate roof tiles. Other plots will stroll or peaceful picnic and offers likely be faced with brown and red stunning views over the Wye, with the brick, in combination with brown and Malverns and Welsh mountains visible on red roof tiles. a clear day. However, appeasing modern lifestyles, Only a short drive away, Forest of these homes will feature an excellent Dean’s spectacular scenery provides specification and the interior layouts will fertile territory for adventure seekers and be contemporary to allow for optimum nature lovers. Undeniably stimulating, flow and flexible family living. Each of the some like to believe the time JJR Tolkien homes will exhibit the superior level of spent at Lydney Park Estate in Forest of quality synonymous with the Freeman Dean gave him the inspiration for the Homes brand. From the design to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. materials and fittings, each detail will be For more information and to stay informed carefully considered taking into account on the Ariconium Place development the needs and desires of the modern day progress, please call 01594 543354 or home owner. visit freemanhomes.co.uk

LIFESTYLE 26


WHAT’S NEARBY?

Harts Barn Cookery School Above, the lush green Forest of Dean. Above right, restaurant No.3.

USEFUL FACTS…

PHOTO CREDITS: WYEDEANTOURISM.CO.UK, DAVIDMARTYN/THINKSTOCK

ACCESS Perfectly positioned just 2 miles east of Ross-on-Wye on the A40, the village benefits from easy access to Gloucester (15 miles) and Hereford (18 miles). The M50 is very accessible connecting South Wales to the M5 motorway network. SCHOOLS Weston-under-Penyard Church of England Primary School is housed in a traditional Victorian building and has just celebrated its 150th anniversary. It is federated with Whitchurch CE Primary School.

LEARN A 12-MIN UTE DRIVE AWAY, HARTS BARN OF F E RS AN E NTICING RANGE OF COOKE RY CLASSES.

SURROUNDING CITIES AND TOWNS: The rising foodie town of Hereford is 30 minutes away with notable hotspots including Sensory & Rye, Burger Shop and The Beefy Boys’ Meat Boutique. Cheltenham is a 40 minute drive away and has a range of excellent shops, cafes and restaurants. Monmouth’s Salt & Pepper shopping destination is 20 minutes away.

THINGS TO DO: A 10 minute drive away, The Prospect, a public garden populated by ancient trees where you can get stunning views over the and right out to the Welsh mountains, is a beautiful place for a leisurely stroll or peaceful picnic. two nearby walks include the Jubilee Walk North (wildlife, scenic views and bird watching and the Jubilee Walk South (field and woodland, good scenic views, bird watching). Old Court Hotel, 15 minutes away, offers trips down the River Wye with Kingfisher Cruises or day passes for the Butterly Zoo, amazing hedge puzzle and mini golf.

FACILITIES The 14th century St Lawrences church and the Weston Cross public house are both within easy walking distance of Ariconium Place. The village hall and playing fields both sit at the end of School Lane not far from the development.

Sensory & Rye

DOWN THE ROAD IN ROSS-ON-WYE: Restaurant No3 for intimate dining, light lunches and heart-warming dinners. Leonards at 39 is a sophisticated watering hole for delicious cocktails and a tasty tapas-style afternoon tea. The 14th century built King’s Head hotel is a cosy setting for a Sunday roast. Field Fayre The Organic Food Store is an award-winning one-stop organic shop. The gourmet sandwiches are divine at Truffles Delicatessen, located on the cobblestone High Street, but you’ll no doubt leave with a bagful of treats. The Hostelrie at Goodrich offers a restaurant and bar occupying a 19th century gothic style country inn.

LIFESTYLE 27


J E N NY’S GAR DE N

SPRING INTO ACTION Our resident green-fingered guru, Jenny Freeman, sows the seed with her gardening tips for winter and spring. JENNY’S GARDEN TRANSFORMED INTO A WINTER WONDERLAND.

PHOTO CREDITS: SARAH BENNETT

E

ven in gloomy January there are some February is a good time to plant a tree, but a tree is hardy blooms brightening the flower for life so very careful planning is required. Most garden. Christmas roses, crocus, iris and importantly, check how big it will grow and if it can the first few snowdrops. The pampas grass be pruned to control its size. We really are spoilt for looks majestic on a frosty day. choice – evergreen, deciduous, single or multiple In the vegetable garden there are Brussels sprouts, trunks, decorative and peeling bark, blossom, leeks, parsnips, celeriac and cabbages to harvest, berries, fruit, autumn colour and shape. Our local well worth getting cold fingers for! suppliers Ross Garden Store and Howle Hill Nursery The birds appreciate the seed heads can help you. left in the flower garden and search When you get your tree, plant it as ‘JANUARY IS FOR soon as possible in a hole larger under hedges for tasty snacks of slugs and bugs, but I think January is for than the root ball. Add some compost ARMCHAIR armchair gardening. I love trawling and bone meal to the soil, backfill GARDENING’ through the seed catalogues making firmly, stake and water well regularly plans for the coming year. My until established. imagination usually runs away with me resulting in The daffodils welcome the longer days of March a severe cull of my wish list! Of course I could wash and the excitement of planting begins. However, the greenhouse glass and lightly prune the roses, but don’t be impatient if the soil is cold and wet, wait for that will wait until February! One job I will do the improvement which will come. The soil that was though is to dig up and pot a root of mint for an roughly dug in the autumn can now be worked down early kitchen windowsill crop. and weeded ready for planting shallots, onions, beetroot, broad beans, brassicas and carrots. Chit early potatoes by placing in egg trays in a cool light and frost free position to produce short shoots ready for late March or early April planting. In the flower beds, large clumps of herbaceous perennials can be lifted, the centre discarded and the rest divided into pieces for replanting. If, like mine, your montbretia and crocosmia need taming, lift and replant the large corms discarding the rest. You can do the same with gladiolus, but plant the small corms in a row in the vegetable patch to grow on. As lupins and delphiniums start to shoot, take three to four inch cuttings of shoots from the crown, pot up and keep in the greenhouse until established. Lots of free new plants – how satisfying!

DAFFODILS IN BLOOM AT BISHOPSWOOD HOUSE.

LIFESTYLE 29


COBREY FARMS, ROSS-ON-WYE The Chinn family’s fourth generation farmers are locally famed for their Wye Valley asparagus, also producing blueberries, beans, rhubarb and combinable crops. But it’s their lip-smacking Castle Brook sparkling wine you must try when you visit The Mill Race. Cloned Champagne grapes are used to produce their awardwinning Classic Cuvee. FOOD & DR I N K

PRAISING PROVENANCE Supporting local and promoting authentic provenance, we dig deeper to discover the stories behind the local offerings at one of Herefordshire’s stalwart pubs, The Mill Race.

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ocated in the rural village of Walford, The Mill Race Pub appeals to everyone, from those looking for a sophisticated family night out to those in their wellies accompanied by man’s best friend. All are welcomed in to enjoy fuss-free food that’s locally derived and seasonally dictated, in a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere. But the unique quality which makes The Mill Race particularly special, is the likelihood of seeing some of the pub’s produce suppliers dining there, enjoying dishes the talented chefs have created using the fruits of their labour. With a fundamental farm to fork approach, the pub has carefully selected premium suppliers all within an hour of its picturesque location, as well as wherever possible using produce from its own farm located 2.6 miles away in Bishopswood. Being surrounded by the lush, rolling green pastures that define Herefordshire and its surrounding areas, it’s not surprising the quality of local ingredients is impeccable. However, it goes without saying that the pub has its farmers’ and suppliers’ dedication and diligence to thank for the regular deliveries of fresh, tasty produce.

VEGGIES GALORE, WALFORD Owner-operator, Amanda Stradling has previously won The Guardian’s esteemed ‘Observer Food Monthly Best Producer’ award. Her flavoursome, organic produce is the product of her uncompromising attitude, care and passion. Her edible flower punnets and herb leaf and micro flower salads use many savoury herb and vegetable flowers not available elsewhere.

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HOME FARM, BISHOPSWOOD The Mill Race is lucky enough to have its own farm which comprises over 1000 acres of farmland and woodland. At Home Farm, farmers grow all their own animal feed and small quantities of fruit and vegetables, with cattle, pheasant and ducks roaming freely. The surrounding estate is home to wild boar, rabbits, deer, wild garlic, blackberries and mushrooms.


JAMES GOURMET COFFEE, ROSS-ON-WYE Can any other coffee roasters claim to having had Princess Anne visit their roastery for a sampling and chit-chat about what specialty coffee really is? It goes without saying that this specialist coffee company knows a thing or two about the liquid gold. Owned by a husband-and-wife team, Peter James’ and his family’s passion and enthusiasm for gourmet coffee is palpable.

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PHOTO CREDITS: BLANKBOXCOFFEE.COM

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PENGETHLEY FARM SHOP Many will be familiar with this full of heart, traditional farm shop stocked full of the finest fresh, local produce. Their experienced butchers take pride in supplying The Mill Race with premium quality meat, including beef from their own Herefordshire family farms which are Free Range and employ a high welfare system.

WESTONS CIDER, LEDBURY Henry Weston began making cider and perry from the fruits of the apple and perry pear orchards surrounding his farmhouse in Hereford’s Much Marcle village, in 1878. A couple of years later he commercialised it, and now, over a century later, Westons Cider’s awardwinning, traditionally produced beverages are enjoyed throughout the UK and internationally. Within their fragrant vat shed you’ll find historic oak vats, some now 200 years old but all still in use.

COUNTRY FLAVOURS, PRESTON-ON-WYE This Free Range farm is run by husband-and-wife team David and Alice Hancorn, with David being the fourth generation family farmer. Every morning they take a walk around the hens, collecting eggs which are then graded into sizes and boxed ready for delivery around Hereford the following day.

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CHASE DISTILLERY, HEREFORD Created entirely from farm to bottle on the Chase family’s Herefordshire farm, Chase Distillery is the brainchild of William Chase who, after farming potatoes for 20 years, came across a boutique distillery in the US making potato vodka and decided “this would be a great new chapter to life”. They’ve mastered a myriad of vodkas, produced Britain’s first single-estate gin, and we hear rumours of whisky being next. We’ll drink to that.

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WYE VALLEY BREWERY, HEREFORD Situated in the stunning Wye Valley, this family-run brewery prides itself on not only brewing exceptional cask and bottle-conditioned beer, but by being as energy efficient as possible. Winner of ‘Best Green Business’ at The Society of Independent Brewers’ Business Awards in 2015, one of their eco practices is continuing to use some of the original casks from their beginnings in 1985, which are repeatedly recycled.

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TREALY FARM CHARCUTERIE, MONMOUTHSHIRE Having trained with charcuterie makers across Europe, these artisanal producers use predominantly traditional methods. Their exceptional range includes both classic British meats and many rarely made in the UK. Dedicated to using the best, safest ingredients, their meats are all sourced from their own Trealy Farm or other small UK Free Range farms.

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TYRRELLS, LEOMINSTER The ideal companion to The Mill Race’s popular sandwiches, Tyrrells handcooked English crisps are made from the finest local potatoes, cooked with their skin-on in small batches. Masterfully made at Tyrrells Court Farm in the heart of Herefordshire, they are seasoned with the finest ingredients and deliver a moreish mouthful.


LE ISU R E

TEN STYLISH SOJOURNS A STONE’S THROW AWAY When the desire to feel pampered, romanced and well wined and dined arises, these boutique hotels are where you’ll want to wile the weekend away.

1

THE WILD RABBIT INN, KINGHAM This welcoming Cotswold oasis successfully embodies owner Carole Bamford’s vision “to create a place that feels like home – somewhere with warmth, light, good company and great food”. With expert attention paid to every aesthetic detail, the modern Cotswold chic interiors of the cottages and rooms are impeccable. Michelin star dining on offer makes a stay here extra special. Wander across to Daylesford Farm for a few hours or book in for yoga followed by a treatment at Bamford spa. thewildrabbit.co.uk

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COWLEY MANOR, COWLEY The 55 acres of garden at this contemporary country house hotel feature natural springs, lakes and Victorian cascades, perfect for meandering through after indulging at the in-house Malt Restaurant. The comfortable bedrooms have modern, minimalist interiors, and the celebrated C-Side spa offers a range of holistic treatments, along with a gym and indoor and outdoor pools – both open all year round. cowleymanor.com

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THE QUEENSBURY HOTEL, BATH Perfectly positioned for exploring Bath, relish in the utter Britishness of this personality-filled boutique hotel. Helmed by husband and wife Laurence & Helen Beere, the Queensbury successfully combines old-fashioned attitudes to service and detail with sophisticated, modern comfort. Wind down with a local ale at Old Q Bar and dine at their Olive Tree Restaurant – one of Bath’s longest established independent restaurants. thequeensberry.co.uk

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THYME, SOUTHROP In-room roll top baths overlooking lush green pastures are only the garnishing here. Sumptuously cosy rooms will see you well rested while the menu at their in-house eatery, The Swan, will expertly tend to your appetite, offering the option of dining al fresco in the Bunny Guinness designed garden. thyme.co.uk

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DORMY HOUSE, BROADWAY Awarded ‘Hotel of The Year’ 2017 by international authority ‘Small Luxury Hotels’, the Dormy House experience is one for the discerning. Personifying sophisticated farmhouse chic and oozing character, there are accommodation options here to suit all. Choose one of many well-appointed rooms of varying sizes, standalone single-storey Rose Cottage, and dogfriendly rooms with courtyard access. Treat yourself at the in-house acclaimed spa and satisfy your appetite with a laidback long lunch or impressive seven-course dinner paired with a wine flight. dormyhouse.co.uk


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THE LYGON ARMS, BROADWAY Unveiling the final chapter of their multi-million-pound refurbishment and expansion, the 16th century coaching inn now offers two new restaurants, 86 newly designed guest rooms and suites, and a stunning spa. Featuring interior fabrics and details inspired by famed past guests, including King Charles I, the hotel’s interiors exude quintessential British opulence. Steeped in history yet providing a luxurious modern day weekend escape, just like a fine wine, it’s safe to say The Lygon Arms has excelled further with age. lygonarmshotel.co.uk

BULL SHED BARN, HEREFORD New to the scene and already awardwinning, on offer is both boutique B&B accommodation and exclusive full barn hire for up to ten guests. Stylish yet homely, situated at the foot of the Malvern Hills, you’re warmly welcomed to “rest, graze and roam”. MasterChef quarterfinalist, Amanda, prepares a flavoursome feast each morning, setting you in good stead to explore the area’s highlights – from distilleries and vineyards to rewarding panoramas from the top of the Malverns. bullshedbarn.com

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PHOTO CREDITS: MENDY WAITS

BISHOPSWOOD HOUSE, ROSS-ON-WYE Available for exclusive hire, the grand Victorian architecture sits amidst a magnificent 1000 acre estate. Sleeping up to 27 guests with 14 rooms (ten with en suites), step back in time as you climb the original sweeping staircase and peruse the traditional British décor of this house steeped in rich history. Either take advantage of the catered service offered, or enjoy classic pub fare at The Mill Race, a five-minute drive away. bishopswoodhouse.co.uk

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WHATLEY MANOR HOTEL AND SPA, MALMESBURY A series of impressive landscaped gardens make this somewhere to behold during the warmer months, while the luxury cinema experience – we’re talking a suede-lined interior with Italian leather seating by Poltrona Frau – makes this a winter winner. Immersed in history, originally a working farmhouse in the 18th century, the quintessentially British manor offers plenty to discover while you unwind. whatleymanor.com

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CALCOT AND CALCOT SPA, NEAR TETBURY In the heart of The Cotswolds, Calcot Manor stands surrounded by 220 acres of lush, rolling meadows. One for the whole family, those wanting an active weekend can enjoy the tennis courts, climbing frames, outdoor pool, running routes, cycle tracks with free bikes available, disc golf course, woodland gymnasium and horse riding. Equally appealing is the idea of dedicating a day to the serene Calcot Spa where fresh lavender and an open wood fire create an idyllic ambience. calcot.co


TR AVE L

SLICE OF HEAVEN This issue’s travel contributors, the Jameses, give us a glimpse into the pinnacle of tropical luxury - One&Only Reethi Rah.

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oughly 430 miles southwest of Sri Lanka in the glistening Indian Ocean lies an archipelago of 1190 magnificent islands comprising one of the world’s most dispersed countries, the Maldives. Stepping off the all-villa resort’s boat onto the jetty of one of the largest islands in North Male Atoll, we are greeted by a friendly line-up of staff. “Welcome to paradise,” chimes General Manager Leon Pink - a statement we find a little bold but stays with us. We are met by Sooyoung, one of the 25 personal concierges who The adults-only infinity pool extends 100 feet ensure that every guest is looked after during their stay here at into the lagoon and features an internal jacuzzi One&Only Reethi Rah. We are guided into a golf buggy and taken on a whistle-stop tour of the island, en route to our 135 sqm villa nuzzled in the lush greenery and adjoining North Beach. Fanditha serves Middle Eastern cuisine. After our feast here, we Looking around what will be home for the next week, I are treated to a hypnotic performance by a local Maldivian band wonder whether there is anything they haven’t thought of? A playing Bodu Beru (literally translates as “big drums”), while beautiful dressing table fitted with miniature fridge to keep my enjoying the sensational, not too sweet puddings – puddings – lotions cool, His and Her sinks with personalised soaps, two bath prepared under the watchful eye of the resort’s talented robes each - one cotton, one towelling. We never need to take executive pastry chef, Lajos Caki. our eyes off the mesmerising sea lapping onto icing sugar white The awe-inspiring Tapasake, perched above the ocean with sand, with the luxurious super king bed, Corian bath big enough friendly reef sharks circling below, offers contemporary Japanese for two and shower all facing out toward it. cuisine and innovative sake cocktails. We opt for the theatrical Each villa has a private beach thoughtfully Teppanyaki station where Sous Chef Lama secluded from its adjacent neighbours. prepares a signature menu of delicious fish and ‘I WONDER Privacy is taken seriously here, perhaps meat dishes, including the succulent but WHETHER THERE because the resort is frequented by insanely rich, Saga beef. celebrities, although the staff are too discreet Intimate dinners can be enjoyed in a private IS ANYTHING to divulge such information. location of your choice – the beach, a sandbank THEY HAVEN’T Breakfast doesn’t disappoint. En route to a in the middle of the ocean or on-board the THOUGHT OF’ spectacularly positioned table above the calm luxury catamaran, it’s really no trouble turquoise ocean, a shot of the daily booster whatsoever. I am astounded by the immense promises vitality. We take our time sipping a range and high quality of food – there’s nothing golden cappuccino and ponder whether to start with freshly baked you can’t have despite being in the middle of the Indian Ocean. pastries, exotic fruits or, my favourite, the superfoods counter. “We love a challenge and will do whatever it takes to source Our hardest decision each day is which of the five outstanding anything our guests desire,” affirms David Pooley, the resort’s restaurants to dine in, with the added conundrum that some executive sous chef. days there is a starlight grill on the beach or wine dinner in Reethi Rah’s own local time ensures each magical sunset is Epicure - the resort’s wine cellar with more than 500 labels of perfectly timed for pre-dinner cocktails or enjoying a some of the world’s finest wines. At Botanica, my firm favourite, transcendental sunset cruise, sipping Champagne as the fiery 100% organic ingredients are grown on-site in greenhouses and glow descends onto the horizon. hydroponics, handpicked from the raised garden beds Each guest is given a bicycle to get around the six kilometre surrounding the tables, or sourced from local artisans. The island and chauffeured buggies are just a call away. We were freshest of ingredients, cooked to perfection, are served while given a mobile phone pre-programmed with our concierge’s you sit amidst hundreds of beautiful blooms in the Orchid House number, should we need her, but Sooyoung has a habit of or beneath the wondrous, ancient banyan tree. appearing at the most auspicious of times – as if by magic.

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Beach villa bedroom

DON’T MISS

PLAN YOUR TRIP

SNORKELLING AND DIVING The Maldives offer stunning snorkelling and diving. See manta rays, turtles, reef sharks and an array of colourful reef fish.

WHEN TO GO The Maldives has a benign climate, with year-round temperatures between 26°C – 30°C and an average sea temperature of 29°C. It’s breezier and wetter from May to November but rain falls in short bursts. It’s driest between December and April.

PHOTO CREDITS: ONE&ONLY RESORTS

GETTING THERE Qatar Airways and Emirates operate daily flights from Birmingham and Heathrow airports. For more information or help booking, visit destinology.co.uk

SPA Immerse yourself in the tranquillity of the One&Only’s ESPA award-winning spa nestled in lush manicured gardens. Relax in the sauna, steam room and vitality pool or experience the exquisite One&Only Signature Massage.

Above, dine amidst orchids at Botanica restaurant. Below, unique plant to plate dining.

During our stay we meet Georgie, a marine biologist who is oozing knowledge about the Maldives’ marine life. We go snorkelling and find the striking hawksbill turtles as well as an array of colourful reef fish. There are oodles of excursions and activities to fill the days, from big game fishing trips to flyboarding and art classes or find tranquillity while meditating in the Chi Pavilion - it’s really not too hard to imagine “calm turquoise sea and gently swaying palm trees…”. NEO Boutique offers glamourous clothes by Helen Kaminski and Stella McCartney, jewellery by Anjara and fabulous selection of Christian Louboutin’s, although I am dubious about negotiating the sand in them, even before a glass of Cloudy Bay! I’m blown away by how the staff have made our stay here so extraordinary. Everyone smiles and greets us with a heartfelt gesture. How do they remember our names, my favourite drink or which omelette I ate for breakfast yesterday? The service is intuitive, warm and genuine. It’s a magical place…and they were right, it truly is paradise.

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BEACH BAR Enjoy a signature cocktail while listening to chilled out island vibes. Swim out to the floating trampoline or enjoy a game of ping pong. If you’re lucky enough to be on the island when they host the White Party – don the white dress, kick off your shoes and dance! PADDLEBOARD YOGA If you’re up for a challenge, try yoga while balancing on a paddleboard.


New Lighting Gallery at

ijlbrown Set the scene in any interior with the addition of impeccable lighting. With a range of styles available, I & JL Brown have gathered a selection of lighting options from leading designers to give you an extensive choice for your home.

Discover the new collection at I & JL Brown, Whitestone Park, Whitestone, Hereford HR1 3SE LIFESTYLE 36 Tel 01432 851991 ijlbrown.com


WE LLB E I NG

WORKING OUT OR WASTING TIME? Before our New Year resolutions become distant memories, personal trainer Jon Atkinson sheds valuable insight into getting the most out of your workouts.

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he gym; the place we all love to hate. However, most of us rarely reach our 10,000 Fitbit steps and our ‘thirty minutes a day pushing play’ all too often involves our Netflix accounts. So with the aim of encouraging a new found love of the gym, heed these tips to optimise your time spent there.

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DON’T OVERSTAY Ideally you should workout for between 45 minutes to an hour, three times per week. Any longer and we risk overtraining and tiring our bodies to the point they’ll stop responding to being put under tension. This can result in a regress in muscle growth, reversing the effects of training.

PHOTO CREDITS: GILAXIA/ISTOCKPHOTO

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KNOW YOUR WORKOUTS Valuable workout time is wasted when you arrive unsure of what you’re doing, forget which weights to use and how many sets or reps to do. Log notes from each session into your phone, or take a notebook with you each time with all the information you need recorded. It takes seconds to keep track of each exercise and it’s the best way of checking you’re progressing each session.

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FINE-TUNE YOUR FORM Form is crucial when training. If your technique isn’t correct, you may injure yourself. Don’t hesitate to ask personal trainers at the gym to show you correct exercise techniques and answer any questions you have.

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TIME IT RIGHT Lots of people rush their training, they want to do their 12 reps x 4 sets, get in and get out. The problem is, if we don’t take the appropriate time needed to put our muscles under the right amount of tension then they will not develop and grow. So take your time and put your muscles under tension with weight for at least 45 seconds.

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HYDRATE Water. So underrated. As our bodies are made up of 50-60% of it (depending on gender), ideally you want to be drinking one and a half to three litres a day. On training days you’ll need more to replace the fluids lost during exercise. It’s important we keep ourselves fuelled with it, so learn to love it. Try fresh lemon water as an alternative - it tastes great and lemons are fantastic antioxidants for the body. Buy a decent sized water bottle and get in the habit of taking it with you during the day.

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RE-FUEL Protein, protein, protein. We all need this pre and post workout. During weight training we tear muscles fibres which then grow giving us the ‘pump effect’. Once we stop training though, we need to help these muscle fibres recover and supplying them with protein aids their repair and growth greatly. My favourites are chicken, salmon, eggs, lean beef and protein shakes for on the go.

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7

REST If you train and train you’ll get results. Wrong. Rest days are key to weight training. When you’re fatiguing your muscles properly, allowing your body sufficient recovery time is paramount for the repair and growth of muscle fibres. If you don’t allow them to recover, you will regress and setback your training.

DRESS THE PART I’d highly recommend investing in a pair of Under Armour’s UA Charged Compression Leggings. Particularly good for the cold days and nights at the start of the year, they are like a second skin and keep you warm. Compression leggings like these aid in quicker recovery, especially useful after a tough leg day. According to Under Armour, they’re proven to provide “50% less muscle soreness and fatigue and 50% faster muscle repair”. I have three pairs myself and they’re great value for money. Available from underarmour.co.uk


Gather inspiration at The Wild Rabbit Inn, Kingham thewildrabbit.co.uk

I NSPI R E D BY

MODERN COTSWOLD CHIC

Woven Runner - Red Stripe, £49 cotswoldco.com

The beloved Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty exhibits an equally outstanding interior aesthetic.

Haeckels Dog Rose & Birch Oil, £38 workshopliving.co.uk

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nspired by the impeccable interiors of our favourite Cotswold boutique hotels, we’ve sought out a covetable curation of shopping inspiration to add a modernised dash of distinctive Cotswold chic to your home. Welcoming and cosy, luxurious and elegant, adorning your abode in this aspirational style can be achieved with beautifully designed practical pieces, appealing to our preference for quality over quantity.

Large Irish Primitive Windsor Settle, £2650 ijlbrown.com

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Mauviel Copper Bowl, £79.95 saltandpepper.co.uk

Large Opera Wrap by Tim ParryWilliams, £POA guildcrafts.org.uk


Lyon Painted Bench, £1195 ijlbrown.com

Foundry Chrome & Copper Pendant With Cooper Cage, £258 davidhuntlighting.co.uk

Farrow & Ball Helleborus Wallpaper, £112 ijlbrown.com

Linen Tablecloth With Large Border, from £195 oncemilano.com

El Campo Day Bag, £225 tannerbates.co.uk

London Plane Board, £60 hampsonwoods.com

Glass Hobnail Pitchers, from £55 ijlbrown.com Botanical Fig Leaf Candle, from £23 daylesford.com Pine Chest, £1850 ijlbrown.com

Slit Table, from £365 hay.dk/en-gb

LIFESTYLE 39


B EST FOR LAST

BANKSY OR BLUMENTHAL? LEFT, EXPLORE LEATHERWORK AT WILLIAMS HANDMADE. RIGHT, LEARN NEW DISHES WITH THYME COOKERY SCHOOL.

In a mass-produced world, authenticity, provenance and true quality should be increasingly valued, and craftsmanship and artisanal methods nurtured.

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n celebration of our local counties’ wealth of exceptionally talented craftsmen and women, why not dedicate 2018 to the right hemisphere of the brain by channelling creativity and the arts? We’ve rounded up an equally therapeutic and stimulating selection of local workshops to get your creative juices flowing. COOKERY Thyme Cookery School, Cotswolds Having sampled their chefs’ mouthwatering masterpieces, we wouldn’t look any further when it comes to cookery experts to be schooled by. Their classes, suitable for all levels of experience, centre on seasonal, sustainable ingredients to create produce-led, easy to follow recipes and take culinary influences from around the world. With no two classes the same, and delicious tastings and lunch included, we don’t foresee this being a one-off in your creative up-skilling calendar. thyme.co.uk VARIETY New Brewery Arts, Cirencester Whether it’s ceramics, sculpture, textiles, art history, drawing, painting or photography you’re wanting to try your hand at or hone your skills in, this energising establishment will have an expert-led class for you. The home of craft courses in Gloucestershire, you’ll be inspired to unleash your creativity here, with workshops lasting between half a day to two days and courses from three to ten weeks. newbreweryarts.org.uk

LEFT, GET CREATIVE WITH CLAY AT NEW BREWERY ARTS. RIGHT, DISCOVER CALLIGRAPHY WITH AWAY WITH WORDS.

BESPOKE SOAP MAKING The Little Soap Company, Cotswolds With parabens prolific in beauty products, ‘Little Soap School’ offers a muchwelcomed workshop on creating skin saviours and soaps healthier for you and the planet. And did we mention they smell divine? Within a beautiful stone workshop in Broadway, Little Soap Company founder, Emma, divulges her “sudsy know-how”, enabling you to create cold-pressed soap bars, natural creams and balms from your very own kitchen. littlesoapcompany.co.uk FLORISTRY Daylesford Farm, Cotswolds Yet further incentive to devote a day to Daylesford Farm, their talented team of florists host weekly workshops where you can master floral arts in the form of foraged displays, table settings, plant-ups, handtied bouquets, vase arrangements, wreaths and wedding flowers. Using exquisite British blooms from their purpose-built organic cutting garden, your creativity will flourish as you’re wooed by their team’s infectious love of horticulture.daylesford.com

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LEATHERWORK Williams Handmade, Leominster Master the dexterity demanded for hand-making leather products designed to last a lifetime with Sarah Williams’ workshops. Suitable for beginners and varying in length, get a ‘two hour taster’, enrol for a full or half day or immerse yourself for two full days and walk away with a bespoke leather bag - the fruit of your new found knack. williamshandmade.com MODERN CALLIGRAPHY Away With Words, Worcester Suitable for quite possibly any occasion where elegance is the order of the day, the widespread love affair with modern calligraphy shows no signs of abating. Illustrating her dexterity in either small group or one-to-one sessions, Natasha Grove of Away With Words Calligraphy will soon have you penning with a new-found flair. awaywithwordscalligraphy.com


A NEW WAY OF LIVING FOR THE OVER 55S

Space and Freedom to Live Independently Vibrant village communities with an inspiring range of facilities to help you do exactly what you want to do. Register your interest in our future retirement village at Canalside, Wiltshire 01594 543 354 marketing@mffreeman.co.uk www.freemanretirementliving.co.uk


PROUD TO BE DIFFERENT

Aspirational homes desirable locations

Visit one of our show homes or call us for a brochure marketing@mffreeman.co.uk www.freemanhomes.co.uk 01594 543 354 FreemanHomes

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Lifestyle Magazine | Issue 04 | 2018  

Throughout these pages you’ll find shopping temptation, interior inspiration, architectural brilliance, financial savviness, discerning dini...

Lifestyle Magazine | Issue 04 | 2018  

Throughout these pages you’ll find shopping temptation, interior inspiration, architectural brilliance, financial savviness, discerning dini...

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