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mmm Maidstone, Medway Magazine

mmm Maidstone, Medway Magazine Issue 17, June 2013 Complimentary

RoYal aSCoT

Feel like Royalty at the world famous racecourse

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STaRRY EYED ElliE From the University of Kent to the bright lights of fame

FaTHER’S DaY

Spoil your dad with our must-have gift guide

MUSiC oN THE Hill

Cheryl Baker at West Malling’s music festival

June 2013

n History n Travel n Business n Entertainment n And much, much more


From Jakarta Fashion Week 2013


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Welcome

IT seems somewhat ironic that just as the sun starts to peak from behind the clouds and our landscapes once again become awash with colour, then a gloom descends on so many.

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Maidstone, Medway Magazine

Because June and July for each and every generation doesn't only bring the bloom of summer, but the arrival of the dreaded exams!

I am sure I am not alone in having children who will be hoping their months of revision and hard work will pay off by securing the grades they need or expect for the next part of their journey through education.

Name:

As one who knows just what it is like, I wish anyone going through the experience the very best of luck. And just remember, it will all be over soon.

Postcode:

Address:

There is so much pressure on their young shoulders now, isn't there?

Royal Ascot this month is as glorious for the fashions on display as the pounding of hooves on the turf, and inside this issue we get ready to experience the frocks and headwear which will grab as many headlines as the racing.

While in July, the Kent County Show returns to Detling, showcasing all that is good about this wonderful county of ours. Certainly we'll be keeping our fingers crossed that the weather dazzles this year and puts the memories of the wash-out 12 months ago to the very back of our minds.

Length of subscription 3 months @ £6

6 months @ £12

#

But these months also represent some of the real highlights of the social calendar.

Phone Number:

12 months @ £24

Cut out or photocopy this form and send a cheque payable to: MMM-Media Ltd White Cottage 13 Ashford Road Maidstone, Kent ME14 5DA

Of course, for many of those taking exams, the relief at the end is the Prom – once an American tradition which has really taken a foothold here. It allows for plenty of dressing up and a reminder to many parents that their children are fast becoming adults.

Inside this issue we highlight a couple of singers who found themselves in education one day and in the charts the next. Ellie Goulding and Joss Stone both have roots in the county and have achieved so much in their short lives.

For now, though, I hope you all enjoy this month's issue. We're always keen to hear from you on what you think of mmm – so don't hesitate to get in touch. I'd love to hear from you. Rasa

DON’T MISS OUT

Become a subscriber – just pay £24 p&p for a year and we willl send you the next 12 magazines hot off the press


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mmm MMM Media Ltd White Cottage 13 Ashford Road Maidstone ME14 5DA Tel: 01622 299035 studio@mmm-media.com sales@mmm-media.com mmm-media.com Publisher Rasa Dregva Editor Tom White

Travel Editor Tricia Lester

Production Michael Pilcher

Design M S Rawley Oliver Theobald Sales Michael Rawley Accounts Kerry Head

Photography Gediminas Zilinskas

Further contribution Evelina Webster

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10 Ellie Goulding

The rise of the award winning singer and her connection to the University of Kent

17 Father’s Day Gifts

Some much needed inspiration to spoil your dad! With a few ideas from Fremlin Walk too

20 Women’s Fashion

This month’s High Street style and fashion advice

26 Royal Ascot

Feel like Royalty and get access to this year’s Ascot Racecourse

34 Food

A collection of the best local dishes from the Kent area

37 Travel

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Take a great shopping trip with Chic Outlet Shopping, all around Europe

71 43 A Taste of Italy

How can you refuse a grand tour of Italy with Baldwins Travel?

46 History

Learn something new and exciting about the Cliffe Marshes in Kent

49 Home

Whether moving or improving, we have some great ideas for your home and interior

67 Motors

Take a test drive in the latest Seat Picasso and the yet-to-evenlaunch MG3 Supermini!

71 Cheryl Baker

With Music on the Hill coming soon, meet Cheryl Baker from Bucks Fizz and why Kent is important to her

76 Business

A run-down of this month’s local business news


Rise of a talent ‘A star was born and a decision to end her university career in Canterbury suddenly seemed a rather sensible one’


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OUR years ago is a long time in pop music – just ask songstress Ellie Goulding. In 2009 she was merely a young student studying English at the University of Kent in Canterbury. But after taking part in a talent contest she caught the attention of someone in the music industry who suggested she could make a name for herself in the super-competitive pop world. There was to be no overnight success, however, and after being spotted she continued to play acoustic shows in the city. But after performing in London, fate would intervene. Missing the last train home she ended up staying at the house of another music manager. He swiftly took over as her music mentor and before long her music was finally reaching the right people's ears. When her Wish I Stayed song – produced by the popular FrankMusic – that started to generate real interest in her. After being uploaded onto her MySpace website page, it had enjoyed 100,000 plays in just three months.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, with interest in her music blossoming, it became increasingly difficult to keep her mind on her studies. University had to pay the price of ambition. She pulled the plug on her stay in Canterbury and instead headed to London. In a flat in Hammersmith she started writing and continued performing and soon released, via her deal with Polydor Records, her debut EP – aptly entitled An Introduction to Ellie Goulding. Interest was beginning to grow in the pretty blonde – and by the end of the year she had appeared on Later... with Jools Holland and, significantly, her star was rising; she was setting tongues wagging and a bright future was being spoken of in somewhat louder tones. Within a few months, 2010 saw her win a Critics' Choice Award at the Brit Awards, top the BBC's Sound of 2010 poll, and saw her release her debut album Lights. By the time she had covered Elton John's Your Song for a John Lewis, she swiftly found herself topping both the singles and album chart. She even performed at the wedding a


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a celebrations of Kate Middleton and Prince William. A star was born and that decision to end her university career in Canterbury suddenly seemed a rather sensible one. “Success came so fast but it did bring on some bad panic attacks,” she revealed. “Some days it got so bad I felt like I was having a heart attack. It felt like I was dying. “I ended up in hospital. I needed to be careful. My therapist thought it was a clash between the new persona I had created and my former life.” Born on December 30th, 1986, the second of four children, she grew up in Herefordshire. Her parents divorced when she was just five. By the time she became famous she had lost touch with her natural father and had struggled with her mother's new relationship when she married a lorry driver. Looking back she reflects: “I didn't have the best childhood. “We grew up in a small house, with moth-eaten furniture which had been handed down to us. But we had pride, and my mother always ensured we were well dressed.” She has had no contact with her father and has admitted on several occasions in interviews she is not keen on having a relationship with him, even if he were to emerge now. Yet despite that she says he remains a heavily influential figure when it comes to her songwriting. During her childhood she says her relationship with her siblings was often strained, and when she was in her late teens she entered a relationship with a man in his 30s. They would live together when she was at university in Canterbury. Ultimately, she says she owed much to a man she said became such a father figure to her, it would eventually spell the end of their relationship. “He became such a father figure to me, it actually ended up being odd sharing the same bed with him.” Her relationships subsequently have been less complex – but certainly far more high-profile. a

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a Among those she dated

have been BBC Radio 1 DJ Greg James and American musician Skrillex. It has ensured she became a personality as much as a respected singer-songwriter. It was, therefore, perhaps fitting that in 2011 she should return to Canterbury – just two years after she left – to headline the Lounge on the Farm festival. Her performance on a warm sunny evening went down well with the audience as she showcased what, by then, were a number of chart hits. Meanwhile, her reputation across the pond in the US was also growing – helped in part by her relationship with Skrillex – an electronic dance star whose reputation meant she swiftly developed a credible following

and a long way from the pop stance at home. And her reception in America would have a huge influence on her follow-up, Halcyon - released in October 2012. Well received by critics it takes her music in an electronic direction and injects far more weight into her as a performer. She explains: “I spent a lot of time paying attention to DJs and remixers and working out how I want my voice to sound on this record. “Now I've discovered various different effects and on each song on this album my voice is woven into everything. I'm extremely proud of how its turned out.” It made the top ten in both the UK and US and a host of other countries too. All of which suggests the future will still hold a lot to come for the

talented young starlet. She will no doubt cope with it in the same level-headed way she has for the last four years – underpinned by an obsession with running. It clearly keeps both mind and body in a good place as she pounds the pavement every day – even when on the road. “I love running – I'd run miles every day and used to get the tour manager to always ensure there was a gym and the chance for me to run. “It used to be a fun way to meet fans as they could run alongside me.” Everyone it seems is struggling to keep up with Ellie Goulding today for whom four years has taken her from unknown student in Canterbury, to global star. mmm


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mmm Father’s Day

n Give your dad a gift to remember this Father’s Day n Let Fremlin Walk help you buy the perfect gift for your dad this year

To promote your business call 01622 299035 or e-mail sales@mmm-media.com


Fremlin

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Tee Shirt £9 House of

Father’s Day June is traditionally the month when we say thank you to our fathers – for being there, for being silly, loving, brainy, sporty, geeky, taxi, chief BBQ operator and reminding you to be polite to your Mother! Fremlin Walk has a huge range of goodies for you to give him as a little thank you for all he has done for you and here are a few ideas from some of the stores in the centre! There’s a great range of grooming products from The Body Shop including a great shaving brush and shave cream, plus the White Musk for Men range for pampering his skin, from £2.50 for Hair & Body Wash, £9.00 After-shave balm and £16.00 EDT. We recommend the fantastic exploration of fatherhood, love and loss in this novel from Rachel Joyce ‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry’ now only £5.99 from Waterstone’s. Dads always need new clothes and there’s a huge range of fantastic casual summer wear in store from House of Fraser (T-shirt £9.00 & shorts £46.00), Zara (shorts £19.99 and sweatshirt £29.99) and Next (belt £13.00) including that old favourite tie and handkerchief combination from Next (£10.00)! Summer is for enjoying the outdoors and what better way for Dad to show off his skills than with a brilliant picnic BBQ from Bodum at House of Fraser £70.00, and don’t let him forget to keep the sun off his head with this great straw hat from Zara £15.99. You might want to splash out a little more on a new watch from Next (£45.00) or a stylish drawstring backpack (£29.99) from Zara and we think this fabulous iPhone 5 case from Paperchase is just the perfect pocket-money present at just £12.00!

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Watch £45 N

Pocket Square and Next Tie Set £10

Visit www.fremlinwalk.co.uk for all the latest news and offers or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Hannah Longworth Visual Merchandiser for Topman and Topshop in Fremlin Walk. Follow me on Twitter: @hannahstyling

Drawstrin

g Backpa

ck £29 Z

ara

Fraser


Walk for Father’s Day

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Dad, Father, Daddy, Papa, Pops. Whatever you call him, your father is likely to be the most important early male influence in your life

Available

from Next

9 Zara

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weats rinted S

P

Straw Hat £15 Zara

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t Sho ley Prin

Pais

Bodum

Picnic

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0 Ho BQ £7

Zara

Fraser

Wooden Shaving Br ush £7 Body S hop White

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J by Jasper Conran, £140 Debenhams Chiltern, £129 Radley

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Caramel Wedge, £45 Marks and Spencers


Shopping Centre

Royal Star Shopping Centre, High Street, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1JL - 01622 690395

www.royalstarshopping.com


Daddy Cool. Father’s Day is on 16th June, as it’s time to spoil your dad. Don’t just buy him a tie (though it never fails!), get creative and use our list for iPad Mini fro inspiration. m £269 available at

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’s bag collection New seasons Men available from Roy Robson Maidstone

Camo Headphones £18 from

Next

Dubarry Shirt £69, Gianni Conti wallet £28.50, t and Barbour Belt £34.95 all from Golden Boo m £21.50 and Diesel Joop Homme Wilde fro Shop m £34.50 at the Perfume ‘Only the Brave Tattoo’ fro


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DESIGNER CHILDREN’S WEAR & SHOES We are specialists in Spanish and Italian fashion for children from 0 to 12 years. We stock Ralph Lauren, Sarah Louise, Angel Faces Tutu, amongst many more. We also do a deposit-pay off scheme, which allows you to pay 20% to hold your goods, then you pay off the balance over six weeks.

SUMMER Stock Now In! Deposits taken

We have been open two years now and are in the Royal Star Shopping Arcade High Street, Maidstone ME14 1JL Call: 01622 754115

Follow us on Littlestars children’s wear Maidstone


to Laser Tattoo

Your Guide

Why laser tattoo removal?

Quick, safe and the results are consistent Do I need more than one treatment? Yes- depends on colour, size and depth Can one laser remove all colours?

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No. You need at least two to successfully treat all your tattoos What colours are the more difficult to remove? Green and yellow can be rather challenging

What is the average number of treatments needed? Six to eight have the best results How much does it cost? It all depends on the size, colour and depth of the artwork. Is it safe to use this treatment? The laser surgery should only be carried out by trained practitioners. Make sure you ask to see their certificate of training! What other information do I need? Beware of lasers made in China, as they are usually without a certificate of manufacturers C.E. Images of Tattoo Removal from Wells Clinic

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A Day out at the Races Historical elegance, sophistication and style are top of the agenda at Ascot Racecourse, home to the Royal Meeting, that truly offers a truly memorable day

A

SCOT Racecourse, founded in 1711, is the premier racing venue in the

United Kingdom and home to Europe’s premier flat race meeting, Royal Ascot.

Royal Ascot takes place from Tuesday 18th to Saturday, 22nd June, 2013, and is the world’s most famous race meeting, with an annual attendance of 300,000 people. The Royal Meeting, annually showcases the best horses in the world and brings champions together from every continent. Royal Ascot is an occasion like no other in the sporting calendar as whilst it is demonstrably a celebration of horse racing at its very best, it is also a social occasion like no other, steeped in history


and synonymous with pageantry and style. On each of the five race days, the Queen arrives by Royal Procession along the racecourse with her guests, in full view of up to 80,000 spectators. At the heart of Royal Ascot is the Royal Enclosure which, like the tradition of the Royal Procession, dates back to the early 1800’s and the reign of George IV. Within this area, a strict dress code of morning dress for men and formal day wear for ladies applies. With the capacity of the venue having been reduced during Royal Ascot, a variety of exclusive upgrade facilities are now available. Grandstand admission customers can look forward to stylish new environments from which to enjoy their day. Introduced last year, the Furlong Club, with its elegant seating, private bar and decked terrace, offers excellent views of the track overlooking the finishing straight. The Silks Lawn offers groups an exclusive private marquee and

garden area from which to enjoy all Australian mare Black Caviar, lit up of the action on the track as well as the British summer at the Royal their own pay bar and betting Meeting. There were also wins for facilities. Hong Kong, Germany and Ireland New for 2013 is the Pavilion Club, over the week. located in the well-appointed Ladies and gentlemen in their pavilion building with views towards thousands will be planning their the Parade Ring and plaza lawns special wardrobe for this summer’s and a designated viewing area of Royal Meeting and organisers at a the track. Offering stylish seating and access to a range of food offerings, an extensive pay bar and complimentary Afternoon Tea, customers can u 51,549 bottles of Champagne relax in the private u 44,524 glasses of Pimm’s lawn directly in front of the club in u 173,776 draught pints of beer between races. u 50,000 pistachio and raspberry In 2012 the world’s top two macaroons horses, Frankel, u 2,050 fresh lobsters trained by the legendary Sir u 35,000 local spears of Henry Cecil in asparagus Newmarket, and the talismanic u 3,300 punnets of strawberries

Did you Know..? During the five days in 2012, the following quantities were consumed:


Royal Petra, £142, by Bundle MacLaren Millinery at Boticca.com

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the Berkshire track have just revealed the much anticipated new Style Guide for 2013, featuring on-trend looks and inspiration for this year’s event. So if you’re looking for an extra special Royal Ascot experience this year and seeking that all

The 2013 Ascot style guide and Exclusive Pavilion Club

important inspiration for the perfect dress, headpiece, suit or jacket, be sure to view the Style Guide where you will find beautiful imagery of both formal daywear and elegant dress ideas. The 2013 key looks are contemporary, yet sophisticated and show that racegoers can still experiment with their own individual creativity and flair, within the parameters of the dress code.


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Charles Barnett, Chief Executive at Ascot Racecourse says: “A day out at Royal Ascot is a very special and memorable experience, of which attire plays a huge part. We were incredibly impressed with how everyone really got into the spirit of the occasion last year.” Friends, relatives and colleagues looking to showcase their elegant race day attire can do so in comfortable and stylish surroundings in the Pavilion Club.

Located in the historic Pavilion building and a short walk from the track and Parade Ring, it is the perfect place to soak up the atmosphere of the Royal Meeting. Visitors to Royal Ascot can enhance their experience and look forward to showcasing their elegant raceday outfits in the comfortable and cool surroundings of one of the racecourse’s new private clubs.

In addition to the Furlong Club, which was introduced last year, the Pavilion Club offers stylish seating throughout, with access to a range of tantalising food offerings, an extensive pay bar and betting facilities. Racegoers can relax knowing they have a base for the day and somewhere to chill out between races. mmm


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Biddenden Road St. Michaels, Tenterden, Kent TN30 6SX (Free Car Park) Tel: 01223 851191

Award Winning Very traditional country restaurant

Sunday lunch buffet £9.95

Tribute Nights 3 Course meal @ £25 per person and

tribute entertainment

July 10th ABBA August 21st Rod Stewart

Celebrate your special occasion with Raja of Kent

www.therajaofkent.com

32 Union Street Maidstone Kent ME14 1ED Tel: 01622 609050

Award Winning Largest Indian Restaurant in Kent

Lunch and Evening Buffet every day, eat as much as you can from over 70 dishes all from our open kitchen, from only

£7.99 Plus

Evening A la Carte Menu available for Fine Dining area Up to 300 seats Free home delivery over £15

15% Discount Collections Only


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FOOD mmm chosen recipes from your local restaurants

Aubergine Escalope

Recipe by Buenos Aires, Maidstone

One of the most famous Argentine dishes with a vegetarian twist: the aubergine milanesa. A delicious Buenos Aires starter served with grilled goat cheese and tomatoes.

The See Ho 2 meals for £10 Homemade daily specials

Rabbit Pie • Salmon and Prawn Mornay Fisherman’s Pie Steaks include our 16oz T-Bone Sunday Lunch £7.95 Lunch 12-2.30pm • Evening meals from 6pm No food served Sunday or Monday evenings Book to avoid disappointment

Tel: 01474 822386 Peartree Lane, Shorne DA12 3JX

Ingredients 2 aubergines 2 eggs 2 cups of dry breadcrumbs 1/2 cup of finely chopped parsley 3 tablespoons of oregano 1/2 garlic chopped Salt and pepper to taste Sunflower oil 100g goat cheese 2 tomatoes Preparation Cut the aubergines lengthwise to make 3 long slices from each. Each slice about 1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle the slices with salt to draw out the bitterness and let stand for 15 to 30 minutes. Whisk together eggs, parsley, garlic, oregano and paprika Add salt and pepper to taste and then the aubergine slices. Let soak, in the fridge, for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven at 180ºC. Lightly cover a baking tray with oil and place in the oven to heat up. Spread the breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl and one by one place the aubergine slices into the crumbs, turning and pressing until they are well covered. Place the breaded aubergine slices on the hot tray and cook until the bottom is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add one slice of goat’s cheese and a fresh tomato on the top of each aubergine and sprinkle some oregano. By the time the cheese has melted the bottom should be nicely browned, 3 to 5 minutes more. Serve the hot milanesas with a salad, a combination of rocket leaves, green beans, asparagus and black olives. You can pair this dish with a nice glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.


RESTAURANT

en op ay ne r e s D Ju ys e a r’ th da W the 16 on Fa ay, n M nd d o Su ose Cl

Pad Thai

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A Unique Experience at West Malling

T: 01732 870 000 www.pad-thai.co.uk manta@pad-thai.co.uk

n’ Su t fo nd rge ay t F , 1 at 6t he h r’ Ju s ne Da y

15 HIGH STREET, WEST MALLING, KENT ME19 6QH

Do

The Vineyard restaurant offers an extensive selection of exquisite seafood, French and Italian A la cuisine The ideal venue for family gatherings, special celebrations or casual dining

OPEN ALL DAY SUNDAY Traditional Sunday Lunch until 6pm A20 London Road Wrotham Heath TN15 7RU 01732 882330

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• Air-conditioning • Ample parking


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FOOD mmm chosen recipes from your local restaurants

The Vineyard’s own special Salmon en Croute

Recipe by The Vinyard, Wrotham

Preparation Roughly chop cooked spinach, fry at low heat with butter and shallot, add salt and pepper, leave it to cool. Put spinach in the middle of the sliced salmon and roll.

Roll out puff pastry to 1⁄8in thick then cut out two pieces into shape of (fish shape or rectangle) large enough to fit the rolled salmon. Lay a piece of pastry down, brush with eggwash all around edges, put salmon in the middle and put another piece of pastry on the top, press around the edges. Put pastry on greaseproof paper and brush with eggwash, leave in refridgerater for 15 minutes. Cook in pre-heath oven at 180 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve Hollandaise sauce on the side is recommended.

Nicoise with seared tuna

Recipe by Eastwell Manor, Ashford

Ingredients 125g thin slice of salmon 80g cooked spinach 20g butter 1 teaspoon chopped shallot 250g puff pastry Eggwash

Ingredients Dressing • 2 tbsp French mustard • 60ml/2 fl oz white wine vinegar • 300ml/10 fl oz olive oil • The juice of 2 lemons • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Nicoise • 200g/7oz cooked green beans • 20 fillets of fresh anchovies • 200g/7oz cooked new potatoes • 20 cherry tomatoes, halved

• • • •

200g fresh tuna steak 2 tbsp olive oil 50g/1.7oz cracked black pepper 2 hard-boiled eggs, halved

Method For the dressing, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper. For the salad, mix the beans, anchovies, potatoes and tomatoes and toss them in the dressing. Brush the tuna steaks with the olive oil and season with cracked black pepper. Heat a frying pan then sear the tuna steaks for about 20 seconds on each side; slice. To serve, put the tuna steaks on top of the salad and top with the halved egg.


mmm travel

n Visit Italy this summer, our country of choice for culture and beauty

n Ever wanted to shop and explore Europe at the same time? Our guide shows you how To promote your business call 01622 299035 or e-mail sales@mmm-media.com


Meet the Travel Specialists at Baldwins Travel, Maidstone Branch Karen specialises in Australia, Canada, Caribbean, Dubai, Far East and the Greek Islands Kirsty specialises in Peru, Cuba, Far East, Antigua and Sri Lanka Linda specialises in Australia, USA, Canada and Caribbean Sue specialises in New York, Greece, Turkey, India, Sri Lanka, Canada and Haiti Carol specialises in Florida, New York, Jamaica, Italy and Switzerland


An introduction to the collection of nine Chic Outlet Shopping速 Villages


Discover Chic Outlet Shopping®, the nine luxury brand outlet Villages offering the authentic previous seasons’ collections of the world’s leading designer fashion and lifestyle brands, with up to 60%, and sometimes more, off the recommended retail price, all year round

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M

ake a trip to a Chic Outlet Shopping® Village part of your itinerary. Home to a total of more than 900 boutiques, the nine Villages are located within easy reach of some of europe’s favourite gateway cities – London, Dublin, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Milan/Bologna, Brussels/antwerp/Cologne, Frankfurt and Munich. Synonymous with high fashion, superior customer service and hospitality, and a calendar of celebrated events, they also offer the discerning visitor exceptional value for money. a tax refund service is available in all the Villages, as well as a suite of services that can include

restaurants and cafés serving local cuisine, award-winning Tourist Information Centres, art galleries, multilingual welcome hosts, recreational facilities for children, and ample free parking for customers arriving by car and tour groups travelling by coach. Located in regions of cultural and historic renown, the Villages have become ‘must visit’ tourist destinations in their own right.

MORE THAN 900 LUXURY BOUTIQUES anne Fontaine, antik Batik, anya Hindmarch, Bally, Belstaff, Brooks Brothers, Cacharel, Calvin klein Collection, Diesel, Diane von Furstenberg, ermenegildo Zegna, escada, Furla, Guess, Jack Wills, Marni, Matthew Williamson, Missoni, Mulberry, Paul Smith, Roberto Cavalli, Smythson, Superdry, Temperley London, Tod’s, Tumi… Las Rozas Village, Madrid Forty minutes from central Madrid, Las Rozas Village has more than 100 boutiques offering fabulous savings of up to 60% on the price of luxury Spanish and international fashion and lifestyle brands. Ingolstadt Village, Munich Discover over 110 outlet boutiques of leading european and international fashion and lifestyle brands just 50 minutes away from central Munich.

This charming open-air shopping Village offers up to 60% savings no matter what time of year you visit.

Wertheim Village, Frankfurt at the gateway to the Romantic Road, and 50 minutes from central Frankfurt, Wertheim Village is home to exclusive German labels and international names in fashion and life style in more than 110 boutiques. Maasmechelen Village, Brussels/Antwerp/Cologne around 60 minutes from Brussels, antwerp and Cologne, located at the crossroads of europe, Maasmechelen Village is home to more than 100 luxury outlet boutiques offering savings of 30% to 60% on leading Belgian, German and international brands. Plan your shopping over lunch in one of the Village’s restaurants. Kildare Village, Dublin kildare Village offers Ireland’s only luxury outlet shopping experience, with up to 60% off the recommended retail price in over 60 boutiques clustered around a charming open-air promenade, just 60 minutes from central Dublin. Fidenza Village, Milan/Bologna Sixty minutes from Milan and Bologna, in the heart of the gastronomic region of emilia Romagna, Fidenza Village is home to some 100 outlet boutiques offering up to 70% off the price of previous season’s collections of leading Italian and international brands, all year round. Perfetto. Bicester Village, London Bicester Village’s more than 130 boutiques are home to the best of British and international fashion and lifestyle brands, all reduced by up to 60%, just 60 minutes from London.


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La VallĂŠe Village, Paris Just five minutes from DisneyÂŽ Parks and 35 minutes east of Paris city centre, discover reductions on a selection of the leading French and international luxury brands in over 90 outlet boutiques. La Roca Village, Barcelona In the style of a traditional Catalan town and on the road to the Costa Brava, La Roca Village is an exclusive outlet shopping destination, 40 minutes from Barcelona. Discover up to 60%, year-round savings on revered Spanish and international brands. Price reductions are made on the recommended retail price. To plan your visit or book a ticket for one of the Shopping Express coach services from nearby city centre locations direct to the Villages, please contact Baldwins Travel on t: 01622 762141. For more information on the Collection, please visit www.ChicOutletShopping.com


ITALY – A taste of culture

Italy’s legendary ‘dolce vita’ is more alive than ever, infusing its art-filled cities, wine-rich countryside and jet set resorts. A landscape of endless variety forms the backdrop to ‘Il Bel Paese’ and its colourful history. Luxury tour operator Carrier has 30 years' experience in tailor-made holidays worldwide and has firmly established its reputation as one of the leaders in the luxury holiday market. The well-travelled consultants have the knowledge and expertise to plan, create and deliver an unforgettable holiday experience to this remarkable destination. The rumbling volcano of Mount Etna in Sicily: ROCCO FORTE VERDURA GOLF & SPA RESORT Set in 230 hectares of breathtaking landscape and private coastline, rooms and suites boast a fresh contemporary design and beguiling sea views. As well as golf-related exercise, guests can be cosseted at the Verdura Spa with an impressive indoor swimming pool, spa bar and large hammam. The resort also has a new wellness centre, Vita Health, which offers an exceptional approach to healthy living. The sun-dappled beaches of Sardinia: THE STARWOOD COLLECTION The Aga Khan turned Costa Smeralda into an eco-sensitive millionaire’s paradise in the 1960s. Cala di Volpe is the most soughtafter hotel in the area, the whitearched Romazzino is the most family oriented whilst Cervo Hotel overlooks the famous piazzetta –

ideal for those who like to be at the heart of the action. Opt for full board and enjoy the Lunch and DineAround in the hotels and some local restaurants. The breathtaking coastline that is Amalfi: MONASTERO SANTA ROSA HOTEL & SPA Perched on the Cape d’Orso cliff face, between Amalfi and Positano, this property was originally a 17th century monastery. Restored to its former charm, this boutique retreat has been lovingly restored to encompass twenty deluxe rooms and suites, state-of-the-art facilities and an infinity pool that sits right on the cliff edge. The white-washed conical ‘trulli’ of Puglia: BORGO EGNAZIA A central piazza where musicians gather in the evening characterises this beautiful resort,

built in the style of an authentic Apulian village. Expansive grounds reveal four swimming pools and an array of accommodation choices within easy reach of the white-sand beaches that line the quiet coastline. Try your hand at recreating delectable local dishes at the hotel’s very own cookery school. Unmistakeable Italian flair in Florence: IL SALVIATINO, PART OF THE SALVIATINO COLLECTION Built during the glory days of the Renaissance period, this perfectly restored 15th century villa lies proudly on the hillside of Fiesole, proffering inspirational views over Florence and the rolling Tuscan landscape. After a day spent visiting the dazzling attractions of the city – reached in around 15 minutes by complimentary scheduled shuttle


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bus – slip into the spa, where the delicate aromas of lotions by Dr Vranjes, one of Florence’s most exclusive perfume houses, fill the air. Further recreations include cookery classes and wine tastings. In the autumn, in addition to vineyard visits, there are opportunities to go hunting for truffles. Throughout your stay, savour a series of local specialities created by Michelinstarred Chef, Carmine Caló, recently voted Best Young Chef in Central Italy. The rustic luxury of Tuscany: HOTEL CASTELLO DI CASOLE The setting is the definition of a rural idyll – picture vineyards, olive groves and rolling hills - whilst the hotel itself is a former castle with just over 40 characterful suites and sections dating back to the tenth century. The views of the surrounding estate are best admired from the outdoor infinity pool deck where they stretch out to the medieval town of Casole d’Elsa. There are some great little restaurants there; drivers are available to take you, or ask them to lead you wine-tasting in Chianti. The millionaires’ playground of Portofino: HOTEL SPLENDIDO Overlooking a charming bay of

pastel buildings and elegant boats, this former monastery has been one of Italy’s most glamorous retreats for more than 100 years. This OrientExpress hotel is the perfect antidote to the pace and modernity of the cities. Cuisine is exceptional – Chuflay restaurant conjures up the glamour of decades past; in the evening resident pianist Vladi plays whilst you dine. The city of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet - Verona: PALAZZO VICTORIA, PART OF THE SALVIATINO COLLECTION The romance of Verona lies on the doorstep of this perfectly groomed palazzo at the very heart of the city, while Lake Garda and its famed thermal baths lie just 15 miles away. Romanesque pillars, ancient artefacts and contemporary comforts abound. For an added

touch of luxury opt for a Grand Terrace Deluxe room, characterised by a magnificent terrace with unforgettable views of the city. Dining experiences at the hotel are equally memorable, due to an elegantly striking show kitchen in the swish Borsari36. In the evening, the Victoria Club bar is the place to mingle. Possibly the most elegant address in Verona, it is a relaxing hideaway where you can sip a glass of fine Valpolicella to the sounds of live jazz, or call in for a pre-prandial aperitif of the region such as the classic Spritz. Be sure, too, to visit Verona’s medieval castle and the impressive Torre dei Labberti. For information or to make a booking please contact Baldwins Travel t: 01622 762141.


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Lim

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Our Wedding Venue Maidstone is set in 5 acres of mature grounds. e beautiful 200-year-old Rectory is licensed for Civil Weddings and Civil Partnerships, with our beautiful lounge overlooking the stunning gardens. e house is perfect for an intimate celebration, whilst our luxury marquee on the lawn can accommodate larger parties. We will provide a unique service by offering you exclusivity for the day and total flexibility. Our aim is to offer this stunning venue and make a very special day a truly memorable one. www.oldrectoryweddingvenue.com


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Past, present and future for Cliffe marshes

There are times when the modern history of an area defines it – sets it apart from others and forever will be associated with such events

LIFFE Marshes is just one such area – and the Cliffe Pools site which sits within it is the perfect example of how actions over the last few years will forever be seared into the minds of the people of the county. Lying along the Thames Estuary, it is an internationally important site for thousands of wintering birds; a hugely popular venue for wildlife enthusiasts and one of the great unspoilt 'wild' areas of the county. It has also been the proposed site of two of the potentially biggest developments to be imposed on the

county for generations. Successive governments have considered it as a venue for a major airport. In 2002 Tony Blair's Labour administration examined plans for a four-runway airport at High Halstow Marshes on Cliffe. The campaign against it was an impressive unity of opposition. And ultimately it proved successful. Then for the last few years those same

campaigners were activated again when London Mayor Boris Johnson initiated a bid to build a multi-billion pound airport in the estuary. The sites were as varied as the number of architects who wanted the cheap publicity of drawing up their own plans and presenting them as a serious proposal. From the floating reclaimed land of 'Boris Island' in the estuary to


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building on Grain, Cliffe once again found itself in a similar situation. Only a decision by a transport select committee in May – apparently rejecting the proposals on the grounds of cost and damage to wildlife – once again saved the nature haven from becoming a concrete jungle. Yet with the UK's aviation capacity problem unlikely to be resolved for long, even the most optimistic expect there to be future proposals. Its proximity to London, it's flat landscape, its lack of development – it is always going to be a likely candidate. Mark Reckless is the Conservative MP for Rochester and Strood. He explains: “I welcome the decision by the Transport Select Committee to reject a new hub airport in or around the Thames Estuary. “It is a huge boost for the

thousands of residents across Medway, particularly those living on the Hoo Peninsula, who are opposed to such proposals. However, it is important that we stay focused on our ultimate goal of seeing off these pie in the sky plans once and for all. “With cost estimates ranging widely from £70-100 billion, this scheme would not only have added at least £50 to each plane ticket, but would also require huge swathes of public subsidy, money which we simply do not have. Not only would the estuary airport impose a massive financial cost to the nation as a whole, it would devastate Medway and subject many across Kent to constant aircraft noise.” He recently sent out 10,000 ballots to people on and around Cliffe to assess their views. By May, of the 3,700 who had sent them back, 95 per cent opposed the plans.

All of which means visitors can continue to flock – like the thousands of birds – to Cliffe Pools. Its significance for wildlife should not be overlooked. Over the years it has become home to 230 hectares of saline lagoons – 10 per cent of the UK total amount - fresh pools, rough grassland, scrub and mudflats – all essential in an environment where wide open spaces, especially so close to the capital, are few and far between. From wading birds at high tide to wildfowl in the winter months, the RSPB estimates it supports some 33,000 wintering wildfowl, of which avocets and ringed plovers occur in internationally important numbers. In summer, the site supports important breeding populations of avocets, marsh harriers, Mediterranean gulls and little terns, A spokesman for the RSPB explains: “The reserve is one of the most important places for wildlife in the UK with huge flocks of wading birds and waterfowl. A number of a


a nature trails cross the reserve,

affording great views of the pools, wildlife and the River Thames which runs alongside. “During spring and autumn migration periods, there is an excellent chance to see some unusual species, such as sandpipers and stints. “Big flocks of ducks and grebes also gather at this time, and hen harriers and other birds of prey are regular visitors. In summer, breeding redshanks, avocets and common terns may be seen, with nightingales and turtle doves singing from the bushes.” The RSPB has plans for Cliffe. As a relatively new reserve under its control, work continues to build up its popularity among visitors. It explains: “Cliffe Pools RSPB is an

integral component of the wider Thames Gateway Wild Heritage Area HLF Project. “This is a programme put together by organisations and individuals working and living in North Kent, to improve and develop the magnificent and diverse heritage both human-made and natural - that exists in the area. “The RSPB now faces the challenge of turning what many see as wasteland into a nature reserve with safe access, interpretation,

educational and visitor facilities. It will be several years before everything is in place but the aim is to involve as many local people as possible from the beginning. With their help Cliffs Pools can be transformed for the better, both for wildlife and for people.” For now you can check it out for yourself. The reserve is open at all times, with the car park open from 8.30am to 5pm daily – except for Christmas Day. mmm


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P53_mmm master 27/05/2013 12:02 Page 1

Imagine a conservatory you can use comfortably all year round

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IS YOUR CONSERVATORY . . . v Too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter? v Roof leaking or noisy when it rains? v Being used as a storage area, not a living area? DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN ‘REFURBISH YOUR CONSERVATORY’ TO HELP CREATE AN ENERGY EFFICIENT LIVING SPACE? Fairdeal Windows Ltd are Kent’s only approved installer of ‘Refurbish My Conservatory’ specialist and exclusive products This is one of the most cost effective ways to revive your tired old conservatory We can offer the following three options Replace the roof only Replace the roof, windows and doors Replace the entire conservatory

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Jacksons Show Gardens now open why not come and get some inspiration!

The Sanctuary garden computer generated image of winning design by Joanne Winn

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OW into the fourth year, the Show Gardens have proved to be an attraction for visitors to the Kent fencing company's display area, as news has got around about these inspirational displays. In the first year the project was hailed as a "mini Chelsea Flower Show", as people in the Kent area were treated to visions of loveliness more associated with the big RHS flower shows, rather than something you would expect to see in a local fencing centre. The show gardens design competition run by Jacksons is

national and open to garden designers, landscape architects and other landscape professionals, and the prize is to have your design built and on show for several years, not like the week or so the big garden shows run for. Two of the show gardens from the first year of the competition have given way to new young blood. The Seaside garden will become the Sanctuary garden, by winning designer Joanne Winn. This part of the competition was sponsored this year by market leading computer 3D imaging software "Vectorworks", as

used by many garden designers and landscape architects. The image seen here is a computer generated image of the Sanctuary garden created in The Float garden previous competition winner as it looked in 2012


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Natural Reflections by Alison Coxhead, one of last years competition winners

products in inspirational settings: Justine Jobson's Fragrant Front Garden, Helen Elks-Smith's Chillout Garden, Mary Anne Le May's Paradise Garden, and the two winners from last year: Natural Reflections by Alison Coxhead and Within the Weave by Kari Beardsell, all well worth a look. Visitors will also get a sneak preview of the new Whitefriars Show Garden, by Lisa Feurtado, this was also part of the Jacksons design competition. Entrants were tasked with coming up with a successful design to replace the lovely Jacksons Zone installed in Whitefriars square last year, which was used as a stage for summer entertainment and played centre stage in all manner of events throughout the summer. the Vectorworks programme. The second new show garden is a reworking of the Float garden, previously designed by RHS medal winner Heather Appleton. This stunning re-design, has a sensitive and imaginative new planting scheme by competition winner, David Magner, which gives the garden a whole new feel. The remaining five show gardens on display have been rejuvenated, so there are seven gardens to see in the permanent display area, they are all very different, featuring Jacksons and other supplier’s

The Shadow Garden by Lisa Feurtado, the winning design to be installed in Canterbury Whitefriars square this summer

The winning design - the Shadow garden is to be installed in Canterbury city centre on the 15th June. If you are in Canterbury that Saturday, the unveiling of the project should create quite a stir with music, food and other attractions organized by Whitefriars and Jacksons, with a chance to meet the winning designer who will be on hand to chat to visitors about her winning design and gardening in general. Visit Jacksons and get some inspiration for your own garden projects - after the open day the gardens, seven in all, are open to visitors during Jacksons usual opening hours. For more info see www.jacksonsfencing.co.uk/showgardens or call 01233 750393.


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Call now for your free no obligation home consultation 01622 297371

Showrooms open: 9am to 5.30pm every day Newnham Court Shopping Village, Bearsted Road, Maidstone, Kent ME14 5LH

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A Rural Retreat T 58 mmm

HERE are many reasons why a new build property is an ideal purchase, low maintenance, energy efficient, no DIY required, 10 year NHBC warranty for peace of mind, the feeling of being the first to live in the home and the start of making new memories and to experience

that fresh new look of the kitchens and bathrooms. Lily & Aster Cottages have all this and more, offering quality finishes built in a traditional manner with wood burning stoves in the lounges, bespoke fitted kitchens with granite work surfaces and Range style stoves. Three bedrooms, two

bathrooms, good size gardens and off - street parking for two vehicles. The cottages are within half a mile walking distance of the sought after Headcorn village centre with its wealth of amenities, primary school, library, churches and train station with services to London Bridge and Ashford International stations. Prices £295,000 Developer:- Kentstone Homes – Call RPC Land and New Homes to register your interest on 01622 691911.


A Hidden Gem in the Heart of Maidstone

Tucked away in the heart of Maidstone West, is The Terrace, Dover Street, Maidstone, a development of six, new build, four bedroom family homes all ready for immediate occupation. These homes benefit from good size accommodation, comprising of a master bedroom with dressing area and en-suite bathroom, bedroom two also enjoys an en-suite shower room, plus two further bedrooms and family bathroom. The ground floor has open plan living accommodation with French doors leading to a turfed rear garden and fitted kitchen with white gloss floor and wall units with gas hob, extractor and electric single oven. Other features include gas-fired central heating, fitted carpets and two parking spaces, and all this is just a mile from the heart of Maidstone, with its shopping, entertainment, sports and leisure facilities – not to mention its firstclass road and rail links to both London and the South Coast These homes represent excellent value with prices from

ÂŁ229,950, especially for investors or families and an early viewing is strongly recommended. Please contact RPC NewHomes to register your interest now. 01622 691911 midkent@rpcnewhomes.co.uk


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Kitchens of distinction by Guy Hamilton

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Warmlake Business Estate Maidstone Road, Sutton Valence ME17 3LQ www.hamiltonkitchens.co.uk Tel: 01622 844897


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Peace and tranquility

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HIS charming detached six bedroom Grade II listed farmhouse with stunning south facing views, has a selfcontained one bedroom annex and is set in five acres (tbv).

It also has stables and a detached outbuilding. Rose Hill is located within the pretty village of Linton, with its church and local inn. Staplehurst station is some 4.5 miles away, providing services

to London Charing Cross and London Bridge. Maidstone East Station provides services to London Victoria. This is the first time this property has been on the market for 60 years. Rose Hill is situated in a wonderful location overlooking the Weald of Kent. There is plenty of scope to update and improve within the framework of the character features that this home provides. The ground floor comprises a good size sitting room with a ragstone inglenook fireplace with oak beams to walls and ceiling. A spacious dining room also has an inglenook fireplace. The first floor accommodation comprises two double bedrooms with walk-in wardrobes, two further bedrooms and a family bathroom.


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From the first floor landing a further staircase leads up to the second floor, where there are two further good size bedrooms. The attached annex comprises of a kitchen, sitting room, double bedroom and bathroom. The property is approached through a five bar gate leading

to the driveway with ample parking and detached outbuilding. More formal gardens surround the property with a sun terrace to the rear. A further five bar gate leads to the fully fenced paddocks where there is a three bay stable block.

For further information please contact: Madeleine Rose, Bower House, North Street, Sutton Valence, Kent ME17 3HR t 01622 844455 f 01622 844456 e madeleine@madeleine-rose.com


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MOTORS

MG3

New supermini THE MG3 supermini is due for its launch in the UK this year – but it was given a sneak preview during April's Shanghai Motor Show. Billed as a “distinctive statement of modern British style designed to target young and style conscious buyers” it promises to be “fun” to drive and own. The second in a new generation of MG vehicles to leave the assembly line at its Longbridge production line in Birmingham, hopes are high its funky appearance will ensure it finds itself on the 'must own' list of many. With a flash of style from the ‘hockey stick’ LED daytime running lights on every

trim level, a full-width black mesh grille, and black A-Pillar and ‘visor’ wraparound style windscreen, the MG3 is certainly striking. It insists it will be big enough to hold its own too, with it claiming to “comfortably” fit four 6ft passengers. The MG3’s ‘rolled and raised’ front dashboard design creates an airy forward cabin space and increased legroom, while the theme is continued in the rear of the car, where the front seats are sculpted to allow rear passengers excellent space to travel in comfort. But it can look as cool as anything, the proof is in the driving. It aims to be fun to drive and has been subject to thousands of miles of testing to what MG hopes will be a level to make it the critics' darling. Time will tell. Prices are to be confirmed.


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Seat

New Leon SC arrives next year FIRST deliveries of the new Seat Leon SC will start to arrive next year for the third-generation incarnation of the popular hatchback. Unveiled during the Auto Shanghai show in April, it will be available in both three and five-door versions. And it was the three-door incarnation which created much of the interest, being the first Leon not to come with five as standard. The new Leon SC includes a spacious interior finished in highquality materials and trim, which comfortably accommodates adult occupants and boasts a luggage compartment that retains the same 380-litre capacity as the five-door Leon. The Leon SC is manufactured in the Seat plant in Barcelona and is the latest instalment in the company’s product offensive, along with the other recent model introductions, including the Mii, the revised Ibiza, the new Toledo, the five-door Leon and the Ibiza Cupra. The arrival of the estate version, dubbed the ST, in the Leon line-up will add another dimension to the product range later this year. Prices and more detailed specifications have yet to be released.


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Bucks Fizz are making a comeback, and Kings Hill’s annual event Music On The Hill is on the venue list! Colin Thacker has a chat with the skirt-ripping Eurovison winner, television presenter and personality, Cheryl Baker

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HERYL Baker probably qualifies as a national treasure – from her east end background, she has moved forward to become one of the country’s favourite and most-loved celebrities. Having rocketed to stardom following her skirt-ripping, winning performance at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1981, with ‘Making Your Mind Up’, reaching No.1 in nine countries, Bucks Fizz went on to sell over 15 million records. Kent-‐based Cheryl has progressed on to become a much-‐in-demand TV presenter, from her 11 years on ‘Record Breakers’ to recent appearances on ‘Celebrity Juice’ and ‘Loose

Women’, ‘Celebrity Masterchef’ and runner-up on ‘Pop Star to Opera Star’. Cheryl regularly performs with her former Bucks Fizz colleagues Jay Aston and Mike Nolan including a sold-‐out 30th anniversary London Palladium special in 2011 and will shortly be

making a ‘home-ground’ appearance in July at Music On The Hill at Kings Hill, near West Malling, the festival for Demelza Hospice Care for Children and Teens Unite Fighting Cancer. But Cheryl has remained grounded, preferring to spend her free time with her family, husband Steve and daughters Kyla and Natalie, and long-‐time friends from her school days. “I love the rural isolation, and the privacy of where we live in West Peckham” says Cheryl. “We have great neighbours in the village, it’s very friendly. We moved from London to Kent in 1994, mostly for


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the girls’ education – first we lived in Seal Chart, near Sevenoaks, for a while, then Ightham for 10 years, and Tunbridge Wells for six months before settling here in West Peckham in 2011.” Cheryl still bears the physical scars from the 1994 coach crash that put a temporary halt to the Bucks Fizz hit-making machine. Mike Nolan was the most seriously injured, and remained in a coma for several days, whilst Cheryl suffered three broken vertebraes in her spine. “Mike and I both went through the windscreen, ending up on the road” Cheryl recalls. “I still have pieces of tarmac in my leg to this day”. The experience led Cheryl on a path that she remains on today – working with a number of charities that lie close to her heart. After the crash, she and Nolan established ‘Head First’, a charity that funds research into brain damage caused by head injuries, stroke and trauma. When Cheryl first moved to Kent, she quickly became aware of Demelza Hospice Care for Children and decided she wanted to get involved. “I thought to myself – please don’t let me ever need them, despite the wonderful work they do – then I found out just how little public money they receive, with over 90% of funds raised through fundraising – it still shocks me.” In 2013, Cheryl entered the New York Marathon, running on behalf of Demelza, however it was cancelled whilst she was still mid-Atlantic. Having secured a place in the London Marathon, Cheryl persuaded her sponsors to cover the London event and she successfully completed the run. Organisers of Music On The Hill asked her to join the team behind the event and Cheryl has taken on this new role with her typical bubbly enthusiasm. “The festival is 100% for charity and I just could not say no to the team behind it!” Cheryl’s enthusiasm for everything she does is admirable and infectious – her career has continued unabated and she is not afraid to take on new challenges, but her love of family, friends and her commitment to her many charitable interests remain her primary focus. Everybody take note – Cheryl Baker IS a national treasure! See Cheryl perform at Music On the Hill on Sunday, 21st July, at Kings Hill, near West Malling. For tickets and information go to www.musiconthehill.org.uk mmm


The ups and downs of a girl from Dover

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Joss Stone has performed with the likes of the Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder and James Brown

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T WOULD not be unreasonable to say that Joss Stone has had something of a roller-coaster career. From winning a TV talent contest when she was just 13, to attracting the attention of the music industry, to her sensational million-selling Soul Sessions album, the Dover-born performer has known the highs. Yet she has also seen her popularity bubble pricked and just earlier this year found herself at the centre of a court case in which two men were ultimately found guilty of plotting to rob her and, terrifyingly, murder her. In between, she has played with some of the legends of music – such as the Rolling Stones,

Stevie Wonder and James Brown – earned millions of pounds, and been hailed as packing one of the most remarkable voices of a generation. She has lost a fortune in a highprofile split with her record company and embarked on an acting career. All that, and she's still only 26. Born in 1987 at the Buckland Hospital in Dover, little Jocelyn Stoker has her roots in the Kent port town – her grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins still live in and around the district – she grew up in a small village in Devon. The third of four children, her first stage appearance was at Uffculme Comprehensive, the school she attended, when she walked on stage and performed a cover version of Jackie Wilson's classic Reet Petite. Her talent was obvious from an early age. Her dyslexia, on the other hand, not so


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swiftly recognised. She claims it was the reason she emerged from school with just three GCSEs to her name. Raised on a diet of 1960s and 70s R&B and soul, it would heavily influence her vocal style – few could believe when they first heard her voice that she was a young, white, English girl. Her tones spoke far more of the black soulful southern states. By the time she was just 13 she had triumphed in a BBC talent contest, and before the year of 2001 was over, she had attracted the attention of record company bosses who declared her one of the most remarkable voices in the UK. Within two years her Soul Sessions CD – a collection of cover versions - was unleashed to widespread acclaim, followed up by Mind, Body and Soul. Soul Sessions were very much a statement of intent – a calling card of what she was capable of, the sort of tracks and era she aligned herself with. It delivered her chart success, and with her striking beauty and penchant for performing bare foot, she paved the way for Mind, Body and Soul which she considers her real debut. It put her well and truly on the musical map, and gave her a presence on both sides of the Atlantic. In 2004 she performed on the 20th anniversary version of the single Do They Know It's Christmas – amusing journalists in the process by not knowing Band Aid creator Bob Geldof – she called him Bob Gandalf. A year later she had scooped two Brit Awards. But by 2007 things started to take a turn for the worse. During the Brit Awards she spoke in a fake American drawl which saw the wave of public support turn and she quickly became a figure of fun, with her reputation taking a mauling. “I know a lot of people don't like me,” she admits, “I annoy people for

some reason, but why think about it? It could just drive you mad.” And when, two years later, she split with her record company – she had to hand back £2m to liberate herself – she found herself several rungs further down the ladder she had once climbed so high. With her latest release – Soul Sessions II – and a string of summer festival performances lined up, she says she is reclaiming her life and her creative urges.

“I have to feel good about what I am doing. “Record labels get mad when you go off the plan and mess with their business plan. When you sign a contract you are forced to stick to the same thing. “But the artist has to be happy. And I am happy. “I might not be the singer people expect me to be, but I am what I am and I'm doing it my way.” mmm


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BUSINESS

Medway Council Industrial show

MEDWAY Council is appealing to the area's major businesses to take part in one of the county's biggest industrial shows. Partnering with the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce who are delivering the event, the Manufacturing and Engineering Expo 2013 will be held at Chatham's Historic Dockyard on Wednesday, 10th July. Jane Chitty, portfolio holder for strategic development and

economic growth for Medway Council, said: "This is the exhibition that will highlight manufacturing and engineering excellence. This is an opportunity for companies to showcase manufacturing and engineering, and to highlight innovation. "It's also a wonderful opportunity for young people to recognise career opportunities and to learn from one another the benefits of careers in engineering and manufacturing." BAE Systems Electronic Systems division in Rochester, Kent, will be one of the major

exhibitors, alongside the University of Greenwich. Both are backing Medway's new University Technical College. The UTC will specialise in engineering and construction studies for 14-19 year olds, and it's hoped will open next year. Jo James, chief executive of Kent Invicta Chamber, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be part of this initiative by Medway Council. The Expo will give visitors the opportunities and resources to drive business growth as well as finding out about funding for their business.�


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GLA

Differing opinions on the Thames Estuary airport OPPONENTS of plans for a multi-billion pound airport in the Thames Estuary have taken heart from the findings of the Greater London Assembly (GLA) which argues there is no need for such a development. Although some businesses are broadly supportive of the ambitious plans – or at least argue they should be open to serious consideration rather than dismissed out of hand – many point to the enormous impact it would have on the county and Medway in particular. One of the main proposed developments would see the airport built on Grain, while another would see it constructed on reclaimed land in the estuary itself.

Vocally supported by London Mayor Boris Johnson, that proposal has long since been dubbed Boris Island. Howard Davies is currently overseeing an investigation into UK air capacity which is due to report back to the Government in two years' time. But the GLA report – Airport Capacity in London – suggest Johnson may have a challenge on his hands to see the airport become a reality. The GLA is an elected body which scrutinises the decisions of the mayor and in its report says there is still unused airport capacity at the likes of Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton and Stansted. It draws the conclusion that money would be better spent boosting services in those airports rather than investing up to £100 billion on a brand new complex. Caroline Pidgeon, chair of the London Assembly’s transport

committee, said: “The Davies commission whether better use of existing airport capacity could be an intelligent cost-effective alternative to building new airports or runways. “The need for additional hub capacity is also under debate, with strong data showing rather than runway capacity limiting airlines ability to fly to emerging markets, it could be low passenger demand from each airport’s geographical area. “As 700,000 residents already suffer from noise pollution as a result of Heathrow flights, we also hope that any plans to expand Heathrow can soon be laid to rest.” In addition to the plans, it is thought additional development of the likes of Manston and Lydd could play a small part in contributing to ease the capacity issues.


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BUSINESS

Marketstudy Group

Sunday Times ranking THE Markerstudy Group has been named one of the top companies in the UK to work for, according to the latest rankings in the Sunday Times. The company, which has its headquarters in Sevenoaks, and has offices across the county, was rated 18th in the newspaper's '100

best companies to work for' list. Markerstudy, which employs around 1,700 staff, is best known for its insurance companies, which include Zenith Insurance, Auto Windscreens, Insurance Factory and the TCW Group. Group CEO, Kevin Spencer, said: “I’m immensely proud of the talent, loyalty and enthusiasm I see every day from my workforce and of the business we’ve created together.” The company also owns the Brew House Hotel in Tunbridge Wells,

which last month announced it was to close for two years to allow it to undergo a major refurbishment programme. It has long touted plans to expand the site near the Pantiles and recently secured planning permission. Work on the hotel started at the beginning of the month, with existing bookings shifted to neighbouring hotels. The Brew House project will see an additional 24 rooms added.


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Mercure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel Charity donations

MERCURE Maidstone Great Danes Hotel, part of Jupiter Hotels, who’s 16 year partnership with Sebastian Coe is being celebrated with three fundraiser events

expected raise over £50,000 for local charities. A glittering night with table magic, live band and fabulous 5 course meal with former BBC presenter Geoff Clark as MC, raised more than £8,500 for charity “I am proud play a role in promoting health and fitness and supporting recent charity events,” said Lord Coe. Head of Sales and Marketing

Claygate

Opening of new warehouse ON Friday, 10th May, local MP for Maidstone and the Weald, Helen Grant, officially opened Claygate’s new warehouse facility at their premises in Marden, Kent. A champagne reception was held to honour the event, where guests were welcomed to celebrate the event. Mel and Andrew Streek’s families attended, alongside companies that have been involved in part of the construction, such as The Little Green Energy Company, who have provided the Photovoltaic panels on the roof.

The official opening marks another special landmark for Claygate, indicating the continuous development their company has within the bathroom industry. With more space, Claygate can acquire and house more stock

Brett Arscott (pictured with Tracey Brown Regional Director) said “We are proud to have worked with Lord Coe for so many years. His association with our business has been an inspiration to our employees and guests.’’

than ever and offer a larger range of beautiful bathroom products to its customers. With the recent expansion into East Anglia and South Wales, the new warehouse clearly signals that Claygate is no longer a local bathroom distributor, but almost a national one. With the new extension now open, we will be looking forward to developing a new customer base in the extended areas and strengthening our relationship with our existing one.


Photography by Mick Gell

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The Motown show with students from Maidstone and Medway


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Children from Medway and Maidstone had the amazing opportunity to perform with a professional Motown show at the Central Theatre in Chatham, where they performed songs and dances to the most well loved songs from the 1960’s during a special performance


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mmm Maidstone, Medway Magazine

mmm Maidstone, Medway Magazine Issue 17, June 2013 Complimentary

RoYal aSCoT

Feel like Royalty at the world famous racecourse

17

STaRRY EYED ElliE From the University of Kent to the bright lights of fame

FaTHER’S DaY

Spoil your dad with our must-have gift guide

MUSiC oN THE Hill

Cheryl Baker at West Malling’s music festival

June 2013

n History n Travel n Business n Entertainment n And much, much more


Maidstone Medway Magazine