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mmm Maidstone, Medway Magazine 11


Maidstone’s independent shopping centre

Maidstone, Medway Magazine Issue 11, December 2012 Complimentary


The festive season brings joy, happiness, and a whole host of ways to celebrate


We help you choose the perfect present for the special people in your life


Shopping Centre

Kate Middleton may only be a duchess, but she’s a princess to us

December 2012

n Events n Fashion n Travel n Entertainment n And much, much more

mmm Maidstone, Medway Magazine 11


Maidstone’s independent shopping centre

Maidstone, Medway Magazine Issue 11, December 2012 Complimentary


The festive season brings joy, happiness, and a whole host of ways to celebrate


We help you choose the perfect present for the special people in your life


Shopping Centre

Kate Middleton may only be a duchess, but she’s a princess to us

December 2012

n Events n Fashion n Travel n Entertainment n And much, much more

A unique mix of time honoured family emporiums and modern designer shopping


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


Welcome What an exciting month we are in, with Christmas just around the corner. This is such a special time of year, for all ages, but in particular those with young families who can enjoy the excitement which glows on their children’s faces. It’s magic. So magical that loving parents and grandparents often excel themselves in their endeavours to make this time even more special for their little angels with visits to Santa in his grotto and other treats. Here at mmm we are brimming with excitement at all the joys on offer, with one dear friend even venturing all the way to Harrods to meet a very special Father Christmas with their young family. But if you don’t want to travel far, nothing beats sitting by the fire - or dinner table - with friends and family, celebrating all the fun of the season at this wonderful time. Even if you just raise a glass to the season, taking the time to celebrate with a loved one is an important part of Christmas.

However, before you get to the day itself, don’t let the panic of present buying overwhelm you. We have a whole variety of gift ideas to suit men and women, boys and girls, so there’s bound to be something that will appeal to your special someone. Or if you don’t feel that an item will quite say it this Christmas, how about taking your loved one away? We live so close to the continent that it’s easy to hop on a plane - or train - to enjoy a few days of culture and variety in any number of countries. Imagine the two of you, slowly walking along, enjoying the sights and sounds of Venice, Milan or Barcelona for a few special days. What a present that would be - with memories of shared experiences to last a lifetime. Whatever you choose to give as gifts this Christmas we’re sure your loving efforts will be well received, but remember, whilst a present is a thing to keep, friends and family are people to cherish.






MMM Media Ltd White Cottage 13 Ashford Road Maidstone ME14 5DA Tel: 01622 299035



11 Kate Middleton

Everybody loves The Duchess of Cambridge, with her beautiful smile and gorgeous fashion sense she looks amazing, and that’s before we think about what a wonderful woman she is. Find out more about the future queen.

Put some sparkle into your seasonal celebrations with our suggestions for perfect gifts for her, for him and for the big and small children among you.

25 Fashion

Allow nothing to distract from your natural sparkle with a little black dress to show off your beauty this party season.

Publisher Rasa Dregva Editor Tom White

30 Make overs

Travel Editor Tricia Lester

Put your best face forward with these tips for the perfect makeover.

Production Michael Pilcher

Design Maggie Ashton M Rawley Oliver Theobald


Sales Michael Rawley Accounts Kerry Head

Photography Gediminas Zilinskas Thomas Richards Rebecca Masters

Further contribution Evelina Webster

17 Christmas gift guide

Cover picture: Rex Features

39 Travel

Forget about the dark nights and cold days when you look at these destinations that are sure to tempt you into an escape to the sun.






55 Homes

Find your dream home and furnish it in style with a little help from us.

68 Veterans



You’re never too old to make the most of life.

75 Events

44 Food

Keep yourself well fuelled with these delicious recipes.

51 History

Do you know where any of the Christmas traditions come from? Now’s the perfect opportunity to find out more.

Bored of Christmas parties? Neither are we, but just in case you have a spare day, we have some suggestions of other ways to keep yourself entertained, and yes, some of them are still rather festive.

All rights reserved. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent from the publisher. © MMM Media Ltd 2012


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Queen of hearts


She was once again one of the undisputed stars of the year – it seems we simply cannot get enough of future Queen Kate. But from the joy of the jubilee to the thrills of London 2012, it has not all been plain sailing for the 30-year-old sensation... HEN the curtain finally falls on 2012 and historians get to writing about its legacy, there will be two phrases heading its chapter – the Olympics and the Royal Family. Both dominated the news agenda and headlines; with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee providing the perfect opening course prior to the feast of sport which London 2012 delivered.

And for the billions globally who tuned in to watch the world's top athletes competing, few will have missed spotting the Windsors turning out in force to cheer on Team GB. At the heart of the regal cheerleaders were Prince William and his wife Kate – the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. For the royal couple, 2012 cemented their position at the heart of British society – a young couple who have so far neatly

balanced their public profile to ensure they have the fame and desirability of Hollywood's hottest couple, yet have not become so ubiquitous they have become the subject of sniping or derision. Having tied the knot in such spectacular style in 2011, it is little wonder Kate Middleton – as she once was – is being widely proclaimed the new Princess Diana. And the good news is that Kate's heritage has its feet a

Much is made of Kate’s 'commoner' status prior to her nuptials, she in fact shares some common ancestry (in the distant past) with her husband Prince William.

a firmly in Kent, according to a major study of her ancestry by the renowned genealogist William Addams Reitwiesner. In one of the last major published tracings of a high profile figure he conducted before his death from cancer in 2010, Reitwiesner shed light on Kate's history through the centuries. This captured headlines as it uncovered that although much is made of her 'commoner' status prior to her nuptials, she in fact shares some common ancestry (in the distant past) with her husband Prince William. But it is the links to Kent which are most fascinating and shed light on the family which would eventually produce one of the most famous faces in the world. And the county plays a role as recently as 60 years ago. Frederick Glassborow was Kate's great-grandfather, born in Essex and a bank manager by trade after serving in the First World War. He married in London but died in Earls Avenue in Folkestone in June 1954. Of interest is that Frederick's grandfather once spent time in Holloway Prison – the crimes are not found in existing records, but it is apparent that he turned his life around. They are ancestors of Kate's father. Frederick's father, also called Frederick, had been born in Middlesex and was a commercial clerk working in the shipping industry. He too died in Kent – in Lismore Road, Beltinge, near Herne Bay, in 1932. Stepping back a further generation, Kate's great-greatgreat-grandfather was John Goldsmith – a labourer born in Maidstone in 1827. And while the records get progressively more sketchy going back through the years, there are even more Kent a

a relatives going through the generations. All of which should make us feel a little more protective and supportive in the light of the recent scandal when a photographer using a long lens snapped images of Kate topless as she enjoyed what she thought was some private time on holiday in France. The images stunned the world and legal action from the royal family was swift – delivered in a bid to prevent the images from spreading like wildfire online. In truth, the images were grainy and so clearly taken from someone a great distance away, there can be no argument they were taken secretly and without the subject's knowledge. For a young woman who has been so careful with her public image, who has a


The last 12 months have not been quite so golden, however, for Kate's highprofile sister Pippa Middleton.

a deliberately gone out of her way not to court publicity in order for her and her husband to try and lead some sort of normal life, so these photographs were a shocking development. The couple were said to be “furious” over the “grotesque” intrusion into their privacy and that a “red line has been crossed”. Little wonder given the tragic circumstances which unfolded on the night of Princess Diana's death in Paris – events which would see the media vow never again to cross the line as they have done before. The editor of the French edition of Closer, Laurence Pieau, at first defended the publication of the images, claiming the reaction was “a little disproportionate”. Quite what 2013 will bring the young couple, we can only wait and see. But after the wedding and the Olympics, surely the patter of tiny feet would be the perfect next chapter? mmm

The royal couple have the fame and desirability of Hollywood's hottest couple, yet have not become so ubiquitous they have become the subject of derision

She went into the new year fresh from splitting with former Kent cricketer Alex Loudon. The couple had been dating for years, but their relationship faced huge strain when Pippa was thrust into the spotlight after Kate's wedding; particularly in response the stunning dress the sister wore as a bridesmaid. Apparently struggling to cope with the new-found attention his girlfriend was receiving, the former England player, who is now a top City banker, ended things. Alex grew up in Wye, where his family still live in a magnificent stately home.

There were rumours the pair had some form of reconciliation during the summer months, but if they did it all seemed to fizzle out fast, as Pippa has been linked with a string of high-profile figures ever since.

Which may be for the best. When, in July, rumours circulated the two were dating again, while the Middleton family expressed their pleasure, the Loudons were said to be concerned due to Pippa's “partying” ways

mmm gifts

d fd

nThe sky’s the limit with our suggestions of presents for him

n Whereas she’ll be more happy with something a little more simple

To promote your business call 01622 299035 or e-mail

Gifts for the lady in your life


Ponte Ring, £199, Pandora Charm Bracelet with Blue Pave, Oxidised charm bracelet £55, Blue pave charms - £55, Blue pave star charms - £35, Stud Clips - £35, Pandora

Ponte Ring, £199, Pandora

Comacchio Ring, £199, Pandora

Chantelle Eternelle Bra, £58, Josh Lingerie, West Malling

Gold & Silver Stacking Rings, Sterling silver ring - £35, Gold ring with hearts £315, Two tone ring - £99, Gold ring - £340, Pandora

Lancome La Vie Est Belle Eau de Parfum, 75ml, £70, John Lewis

Pearl Necklace, £80, Pandora

Gucci Première Eau de Parfum from £45 Gucci, House of Fraser Christian Louboutin Shoes

Treat your man to a special gift



iPad Mini and/or iPhone 5

It proved a busy end to the year for Apple. After months of speculation, the technology giant unveiled the line-up of fresh products it hopes will set it up nicely for another year of domination. In truth, it wasn't quite the earth-shaking experience of years gone by. When the likes of the Amazon Kindle Fire, Google's Nexus and a new wave of competitors started eroding that market domination, well, Apple weren't prepared to admit they had made a mistake refusing to offer the product first. They made the iPad Mini.

Take to the skies

Flying Lessons this Christmas Get him flying lessons this Christmas Private tutoring sessions Trial lessons start from ÂŁ189 for 30 minutes (VAT Included) Other prices start at ÂŁ269 per hour

Buying a television set is something a man likes to devote as much time to as he would a fine wine. You can buy a flatscreen TV today by strolling around Tesco or popping your head into Asda. So hunting the basic model has no sense of adventure. So Samsung's Smart TV ticks lots of boxes. First the screen is slim and spread practically to the edges. Secondly it can reach a size which will make a modest front room look like a doll's house. And thirdly, you can control it with your hands or voice. There! What man could ask for more?

Samsung Smart TV


Kindle Fire HD It was a long time coming, but when Amazon finally decided to unleash its well-received Kindle Fire tablet into the UK marketplace, the biggest noise was not a deafening chorus of “it's about time”, but the unsheathing of plastic out of wallets and pre-orders being made. It's not as big as the Apple iPad, nor quite as versatile or user-friendly, but it delivers twice over when it comes to value for money. The Kindle Fire HD is almost a stocking filler with its £159 price-tag, yet in the palm of your hand sits a machine capable of delivering an awful lot of entertainment. It remains to be seen just how competitive 2013 will be in the marketplace, but if you or your beloved start it by waving one of these around, you can be sure to start the year, at least, ahead of the crowd.

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mmm fashion

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n Dress to impress when you go back to black for party season n Wrap up warm in a wonderful winter coat n Be beautiful with our great make over tips

To promote your business call 01622 299035 or e-mail


Ava sequin dress

£85, Monsoon

Glam maxi dress, £60, Vestry

ack to black Jet Victoriana collar,


£12 , Accessor

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ebe Emb ellis £45 hed avai Hard lable case from Clut Acc ch esso rize

Lucia clutch, £35, Fiorelli

Black pin tuck dress,

£69, Marks &


Dashy heels, £90, Dune



lace, d Neck


£15, M

Limited Collection coat £79, Twiggy for M&S

Woman dress


ce £17.50 rin

£49.50, neckla

£7.50, belt £15, boots £59, Marks & Spencer


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Enjoy 12 days of fitness for only ÂŁ20 The perfect gift for Christmas

The Old Rectory Health & Fitness Club

1 34

The first product is Urban Decay’s eye shadow primer potion ‘eden’, which is a matte finish with no colour. This is a beauty must-have because it has been designed to keep your eye shadow on for up to 24 hours. It brings the pigment of the eye shadow out 20 per cent more. The size of a rice grain is all that is required per eye, blended. Next is ‘Vice pallet’ eye shadow set using Amor desperation black

Making you look beautiful this Christmas


To complete the look use ‘naked’ super-saturated lipstic pencil with ‘midnight cowboy’ lip junkie lip gloss over the top. These are stunning and have a lovely minty cooling smell and taste. Finally to finish off the look is the amazing ‘all nighter’ make-up look on all day for up to 16 hours. It’s sprayed in a fine mist across the face. It can be applied before and after make-up. The make over was completed at Urban Decay in House of Fraser, Fremlin Walk, Maidstone.



2 q

market and Anonymous eye shadows to create this gorgeous smokey eye look. Blending is crucial for a smouldering finish. This is followed up with ‘perversion’ 24/7 eyeliner. Pencil under the eyeline on the bottom then smudge it all the way along. Then in the waterline too. ‘Glam rock’ glitter eyeliner is then put all over the eyelid up to the socket. After that has dried, ‘perversion’ 24/7 liquid liner is used to give that precise flick along the lash line which elongates the eye.


First for the complexion is Urban Decay’s all over ‘pore perfecting’ face primer. This prepares the skin to enable the foundation to last all day. It is followed by the 24/7 concealer pencil in ‘DEA’ colour under the eye area, around the nose and over the T-zone to cover redness and darker areas. The next product is our new ‘naked skin’ foundation in 3.5 colour with a foundation brush for a more flawless, even finish. The naked skin foundation has a beautiful lightweight coverage and a semi-matte finish. This comes in 18 shades, ranging from warmer to cooler skin tones. ‘Mineral powder’ then goes over the top, buffing in with the luring brush. This is designed to tone down any redness, blot an oil and even the skin tone. It also has a buildable coverage which can be worn alone or over foundation. Bronzer ‘baked’ then warms the complexion. Applying in a ‘3’ and ‘e’ motion across the forehead, checks and chin then down the nose. ‘Quickie’ cream blusher then goes onto the apples of the cheeks, blending outwards with the fingers. Then to highlight the cheekbones, ‘sin’ cream highlighter is put above the blusher using fingers again.

q The brow box in ‘brown sugar’ transforms the whole look of the face. It’s a powder in a lighter colour and darker colour, you also get a small angled brush, tweezers and underneath is a tray of items applied after the power to set the colour. Because it’s a powder it looks natural and lasts a long time. Next applied is Urban Decay’s ‘big fatty’ mascara which is great if you want to thicken and plump long lashes. This is followed up with ‘instaflare’ false eyelashes, a subtle corner pair which are longer in the outer corner so they will lengthen and thicken in the outer corners of the eye to compliment the liquid liner. All Urban Decay lashes can be fitted for free any of our counters and can be re-used too. Pictures: Rebecca Masters



The key to a radiant complexion is to prepare the skin before applying any make-up. We’ve used galateis doucer and galateis tonique – a cleansing system for all skin types. Next give your skin a lift from within, try genifique youth activator. We’ve used this serum on a clean skin before moisturising to give a brighter and smoother complexion. Perfect if used in combination with pore minimising


For a limited time only, with any £30 spend on Lancome products you can purchase the beauty box for £45, rrp over £155. Full of Lancome favouries in a beautiful gold case it is the perfect gift. There is a £15 booking fee for make-over appointments, which is completely redeemable at time of purchase, ask at Lancome, House of Fraser, Fremlin Walk.


Pictures: Rebecca Masters



Finish your colour with a generous coat of hypnose, the world’s number one mascara, building up the layers for volume and length. To define the eyes and for a useful look we’ve used lecrayon sourils to fill in and shape the brows, the experience was finished with a spirits of Lancome’s delicious new fragrance ‘lavie est belle’.

serum at night visionaire. Follow with a moisturiser. Choose from a range suitable for every skin type and concern, not forgetting to treat the delicate under eye area too. We’ve used renergie multilift day cream and eye duo, arrange featuring multitensio technology for a lifting and smoothing effect. Also try new genifique light pearl for eye eliminating results.


Once the skin is prepared and the colour has been matched, we can apply the foundation, using a foundation brush for professional results. We’ve used teint miracle, for an instantly glowing and beautifully bare complexion, along with matching concealer for under eye brightening. For the best results use labasepro perfecting primer under your foundation to give a smoother, more even finish. For a stay put cover that is matte yet comfortable and flawless try Teint idole ultra 24 hour foundation. Next we’ve used blush subtil, a blusher with satin. Applied over the apple of the cheeks for a plumping and glowing effect.

q L’absolve rouge lipstick range is moisturising and with added pro xylene your lips will look fuller and feel softer. With a selection of gold coppers and reds, there is something for everyone this season. We’ve used petit tresor in shade s207 and le’crayon 016 to add a soft sparkle to the eyes. Which if desired can be built up for a day to evening look.



Cut out this slip and bring it with you to claim your free trial

Pay NOTHING until 1st January 2013! Join during the trial period and have Christmas on us! t Over 40 Classes a week t 2 fully air-conditioned Gyms t 18m Pool with Sauna and Spa t Rotating Climbing Wall t Dance Studio t Spin Room t Free Car Parking t Cafe Bar t Hair and Beauty Salon

Tel: 01622 674000 E-mail: p.monk@topnotch Website: www.topnotchhealth

Cosmetic Surgery Safari 38

We may choose to book our annual holidays from glossy brochures and the internet but, how often have the pictures of spacious rooms with sea view balconies turned out to be misleading. If you’re booking a fortnight in Kenya for a safari and don’t end up with the accommodation the internet images promised, it probably won’t be the end of the world. If, however, you opt for a ‘cosmetic surgery safari’ and don’t end up with the result you hoped for, the affects won’t last for a fortnight – they may last for a lifetime. So what’s more important, your safety or a saving? The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) have confirmed that cosmetic surgery consultants have seen a rise in the demand for corrective surgery following problems with cosmetic surgery abroad. Overseas surgery can often be a false economy which may cost patients their health, as well as a lot more money than was initially budgeted. The NHS has seen an increase in the number of people asking for corrective surgery as a result of having cosmetic surgery abroad that has gone wrong*. Obviously there will be good surgeons working abroad but it can be difficult to judge their qualifications, or gain access to aftercare which is vital if there are complications. With cosmetic surgery becoming increasingly popular foreign

clinics are taking advantage by heavily targeting UK patients with cut-price ‘holiday surgery’ offers. Mr Martin Jones, Consultant Plastic Surgeon from Kent and West Sussex explains “It is extremely important that you investigate who is going to perform the surgery prior to agreeing to an operation. You should check their qualifications and make sure they are an accredited plastic surgeon on the specialist GMC register. You should also have a similar approach to the hospital or clinic in which the procedure will be performed. The problem with going abroad for cosmetic surgery is that some complications can happen once you have returned home and then often there is no come back or anyone available to sort out the situation. Sometimes the NHS picks up the bill and time for sorting problems out but you can be faced with additional costs for seeking a private resolution here in the UK. My advice would be to thoroughly research who you have selected to perform your surgery, ask very pertinent questions and really check the small print to see what the follow up situation would be after the operation. One hopes very much that no complications occur but it is important they are sorted out in a timely manner to reduce long lasting effects. It is true that there are some very

reputable clinics and surgeons that do cosmetic surgery abroad but for peace of mind it is often worth paying a little bit more for long term back up with a reputable surgeon and hospital chain in your own country.” mmm

Why Spire?

Spire Alexandra Hospital, in Walderslade, has been providing cosmetic surgery for more than 20 years and we understand that choosing to have surgery is a big decision. All of our consultants are GMC registered and BAPRAS registered. The level of expertise on hand offers you peace of mind and guarantees that every stage of your treatment will be handled with excellent clinical practice. Consultant plastic surgeons Martin Jones, John Davison, Sam Orkar and Phillip Gilbert all practice at the Spire Alexandra Hospital and you can view their profiles online at For further information about the hospital, please call 01634 662866.

It is extremely important that you investigate who is going to perform the surgery prior to agreeing to an operation

For further information, please call 01634 662866 ‘The content of this article is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the professional medical advice of your doctor or other health care professional’ *

mmm travel

d fd

n Explore the Snowy Peaks of Europe, North America or even Japan

n Catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights this festive season Sponsored by

To promote your business call 01622 299035 or e-mail

A Cold Retreat Kirsty Keeling-Jones, Branch Manager, Baldwins Travel Agency, Maidstone 01622 762141

Travel tips from your Local Award Winning Travel Agency

Ski Travel Tips Time Your Ski Trip – In order to get the best ski deals, why not consider an early or late season trip. There are often amazing discounts for off-season skiers. Also, if you have the flexibility to travel at a moment's notice, late availability deals and discounts are always on offer. Avoid the crowds and book for January or March. Prices are almost double at peak times like New Year and February half term, but January has the best deals. March is cheaper than February and conditions are still at their best. Avoid expensive Easter! Ski Packages – When booking your ski holiday, it is more cost effective to book your lift hire, ski equipment etc at the same time, as opposed to booking locally, also you can’t always guarantee the availability. It’s cheaper to rent your equipment rather than buy. Keeping Costs Down - There are many different ways you can make your ski holiday an affordable one. For example you can drive rather than fly, choose self catering accommodation rather than a catered chalet or hotel. Choose an ‘off the beaten track’ resort, rather than the more popular resorts as the prices drop considerably. Lastly if you travel as a group, the tour operators offer some great group deals.


HE summer holidays are over and the winter sport enthusiasts are looking out for the best deals, but is it best to wait nearer the time or to book now? One thing is for sure, the earlier you book your holiday, the greater choice of accommodation and flights you have. We know from our research that every skier and snowboarder wants to be near the slopes and lifts, your ideal hotel, chalet or apartment will be snapped up fast.

My experience is that nowadays you almost always get a better deal booking on the early booking offers than booking late, especially during school holidays. There might be a late offer to something similar, but it may not be exactly what you want, so if you’ve set your heart on a particular resort and accommodation or are locked into dates from work, you are more likely to end up compromising. And don’t forget you can pay early in bits and pieces if you want to divert the a

a temptation to spend the money

on something else. Most people get to go skiing or snowboarding only once or twice a year, so choosing the right resort is crucially important. It depends on your personal preferences, your level of skiing, your budget, are you travelling alone, with a group of friends or with your family, do you want a resort with charm or do you prefer convenience of getting around? France is the most popular country for British skiers and in the recent

years, Austria increased its market share. Italy attracts about 15% of skiers from the British market and many skiers also head for Switzerland, Andorra and Bulgaria. North America’s share of skiers dropped slightly in the last years as well as Japan’s share of the market. For this coming winter, you can also ski in Sochi in Russia, the venue for the Winter Olympic Games 2014, with the market leader Crystal Ski. Imagine cosy log cabins, crackling camp fires, snow covered trees,

skiers and snowboarders swishing through the snow. But, there are other activities too: snowmobile safaris, husky dog sledding, ice fishing, cross country skiing, ice driving, ice diving and more. And, the farther north you go, the more likely you are to catch the Northern Lights. There are some resorts where luxury hotels are virtually the norm. Switzerland, in many eyes the spiritual home of the luxury hotel, boasts astonishing concentration of luxury accommodation in some resorts.


In Austria, luxury generally comes with a softening rustic style, however in recent years, ‘design’ or ‘hip’ hotels which offer an amazing contrast to the traditional luxury hotels have become ‘cool’ places wto stay. In France, Courchevel has lots of extremely luxury places and in North America, Aspen and Whistler has its share of deeply comfortable lodgings. There is so much choice out there, so why not call in to your local Award Winning Baldwins Travel office, for expert advice and bookings. mmm


FOOD mmm chosen recipes from your local restaurants Braised Hereford Ox Cheeks, Celeriac and Truffle Puree Serves 4 Ingredients 800g ox cheek, cut into 12 large pieces, (you can braise whole) 50ml vegetable oil 100gm seasoned flour 150g carrots, roughly diced 150g onions, roughly diced 1 bottle of good red wine (not your best Bordeaux – an ordinary Claret, Malbec or Shiraz will work as long as it is dark in colour) 250ml good quality beef stock 4 garlic cloves, chopped 1 bouquet garni Salt and pepper 1 medium celeriac 1/2 garlic clove, sliced 50gm butter 30ml olive oil 150ml water 100ml double cream Truffle oil to taste Preparation Roll the pieces of meat lightly in the seasoned flour. Heat the oil in a large heavy heatproof casserole until very hot, then brown the meat quickly and evenly. Add the diced carrots and onions, cover and sweat

gently for 10 minutes. Remove all the fat from the pan. Deglaze the casserole with the red wine and bring to the boil. Add the garlic and

bouquet garni and season. Add boiling beef stock. Replace the lid and cook in an oven at 150c for about two and a half hours until the meat is very tender, stir regularly during cooking, adding a little water if there is too much evaporation. Once the cheeks are tender

Cobnut Andaluian Glass: Martini Garnish: Orange Twist Method: Shaken 35ml Pedro Ximenez aged sherry 35ml Cognac 10ml Dark rum Drizzle cobnut liquer

(Frangelico substitute) Shake all wet ingredients well but not vigoroudly and strain into a

Recipe by The Swan in West Malling

take them out of the oven. Lift out the meat with a slotted spoon, and place in a serving dish, cover with foil and keep warm. Pass the sauce through a sieve, add to a clean pan and reduce to thicken the sauce slightly. Then pour over the meat. Serve with the celeriac mash. Also great with curly kale or spinach. For the celeriac mash Peel the celeriac with a knife and diced into 2 cm cubes. Heat a little olive oil and butter in a saucepan, add celeriac and garlic, sauté with no colour. Add water, salt and white pepper, place a lid and simmer gently stirring occasionally. Once the celeriac has collapsed add the double cream and bring to the boil. Place into a food processor and blend till smooth, add truffle oil, check the seasoning and consistency, then pass through a fine sieve, and pour over your ox cheeks.

Cocktail by the Swan, Chapeldown

chilled, orange rimmed Martini glass, garnish with an orange twist. Our twist is on a classic andalucian made with fino sherry - this is as close as you will get to Christmas pudding in a glass!!


Roasted Monkfish Fillet Recipe Roasted Monkfish fillet wrapped in Parma ham on wilted baby spinach with roasted garlic, parsley velouté and wild mushrooms Ingredients Velouté 250ml fresh fish stock 250ml Noilly Prat 500ml double cream Salt and freshly ground white pepper 4 tbsp chopped parsley Main Dish 4 x 150g portions of fresh monkfish 4 slices Parma ham 500g baby leaf spinach, washed 50g butter 500g trimmed and washed wild mushrooms 1 head of garlic Salt and freshly ground white pepper Dash of olive oil Preparation Preheat oven to 225˚C Roasted garlic Cut the root off the head of garlic to release the cloves. Place the garlic cloves in foil along with a pinch of sea salt, freshly ground white pepper and a dash of olive oil and wrap to form a parcel. Roast the foil parcel in a hot oven (225˚C) for 40 minutes (shake it up half way through) Velouté In a saucepan, reduce fish stock by half then add Noilly Prat and reduce by half again, Add double cream and

Serves 4

Recipe by Fish on the Green, Bearsted

reduce to a sauce consistency (should lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon). Season to taste and set to one side.

the pre-heated frying pan with a little olive oil and fry until golden brown on one side, then turn them over and put the pan into a hot oven (225˚C)

Main Dish and Assembly Season the monkfish portions with salt and pepper then wrap each piece with a slice of Parma ham. Put a frying pan (with a heatproof handle) on the stove to heat up ready for the monkfish Wilt the washed spinach leaves in a saucepan with 25g butter, season, drain any excess water off and then divide between four plates. Sauté the mushrooms in a frying pan with 25g butter, season, add roasted garlic cloves then drain. Put the monkfish portions into

for four to five minutes. Remove the monkfish from the oven and place on top of the hot wilted spinach. Place the pan from the monkfish back on the heat, add the sautéed mushrooms and garlic and sauté for a further one to two minutes. Drain the mushrooms then arrange on top and around the monkfish. Meanwhile, heat up the velouté, then add the chopped parsleyaround the plate. Serve with sliced, sautéed new potatoes, seasoned with sea salt and parsley.

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Christmas Fayre Menu


3 Course meal plus Coffee Lunch: Tue-Sat: £19.95 Dinner: Tue-Fri: £24.95

Open from 7th December Le Jardin is a brand new Contemporary Restaurant serving dishes from all around the Mediterranean countries. We are proud to present our Award winning Chef Silvestre Inacio and Restaurant Manager Nino Akgul. :: :: ::


- Seasonal A la Carte menu - Specials from different Mediterranean countries each week - Traditional Sunday Roast - A wide variety of wines and cocktails - Designer interior with regular art exhibitions - Charity events and gourmet nights - Private parties, weddings and all occasions are catered for - Happy to match our dishes to your special allergic conditions - Alfresco Dining - Large car parking facilities

:: Starters :: - Pumpkin & carrot soup topped with walnut powder - Pineapple & crab roulade with mango coulis - Fresh figs in vintage port sauce topped with rocket & Roquefort salad - Cured meat platter, homemade pickles served with olive tapenade & avocado mayonnaise - Mussels, prawns & cockles cooked in garlic, chilli & white wine sauce served in orange basket - Finely sliced warm smoked duck served with butternut squash quenelle & grand marnier sauce - Portobello mushroom stuffed with ratatouille topped with shaved parmesan (V) :: Main Courses :: - Traditional sage onion stuffed roast TURKEY with all the trimmings - Sirloin steak served with creamy three colour peppercorns jus - Partridge with mushroom & crunchy chestnut red wine wild sauce - Hake supreme with lobster & dill sauce - Noisette of lamb, potato & almond rosti served with rosemary & lamb jus - Asparagus, wild mushroom & peas (V) (Risotto OR fresh tagliatelle) All main courses served with selection of chef’s vegetables & potatoes :: Deserts :: (Choose your desert from the A la Carte menu) Coffee & Petit Fours 10% Service charge will be added with Many Thanks


Le Jardin Restaurant

Waterloo Road, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 2ET Tel: 01580 720 583


Openning Times: Tue - Sat (11.30am - 10.30pm) Sunday (12noon - 8.30pm)


FOOD mmm chosen recipes from your local restaurants 47

Christmas Pudding Creme Brulee

At the Swan we make the Chrishmas puddings especially for this dish and serve the brulee right throughout December. Ingredients 50g caster sugar (plus extra for glazing) 6 egg yolks 250ml double cream 1 vanilla pod, split in half and scraped 160gm Christmas pudding, broken into small pieces Preparation Bring the cream and vanilla pod to the boil, remove from heat and

leave to infuse. In a round bottomed bowl add the sugar and egg yolk and whisk together until

slightly pale. Pour the hot cream (the cream must be hot) slowly onto the eggs and sugar and whisking. Pour the mix through a strainer into a jug, skim off any foam that may be sitting on top.

Serves 4

Recipe by The Swan in West Malling

Place four oven proof ramekins into a deep roasting tray and then fill with custard. Add hot water into the roasting tray, half way up the ramekins, we call this a bain marie. Place in an oven set at 120c and bake slowly for 50 minutes. Remove the bain marie from the oven. Set aside to cool. Chill until needed, to serve simply sprinkle the tops evenly with caster sugar and glaze with a chef’s blowtorch. We serve ours with some home-made shortbread.


! ns io r d at fo rio r v en p e se ak s Re w t tma no hris C

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Pad Thai


A Unique Experience at West Malling

Christmas Opening Hours Sunday 23rd December to Thursday 27th - Closed Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 28th, 29th, 30th - Open Monday 31st - Open Tuesday 1st January - Closed Wednesday 2nd to Saturday 5th January - Open as normal Pad Thai Seasonal Menu from £21.95 to £36.95 per person, with a Vegetarian option at £25.95 per person Available from 1st December

T: 01732 870 000 15 HIGH STREET, WEST MALLING, KENT ME19 6QH

The Festive Season is here again Seyfi and staff welcome you back to The Vineyard

The Vineyard is well known for its fun and festive Christmas Parties, with customers returning year after year, so why not call us now and make your Christmas reservations Christmas Fayre - Lunches £23.95 Dinner £26.95 Christmas Day £74.95 Boxing Day £37.95 New Year’s Eve £74.95 Call Seyfi or Roberto for menus Traditional Sunday Lunch available till 6pm A la carte menu always available 3 Courses £19.95 Adults £12.95 Children under 12 • Air-conditioning • Ample parking

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK A20 London Road Wrotham Heath TN15 7RU 01732 882330

Traditional times


T is easy to think that much of the fun has gone out of Christmas; replaced instead with a commercialisation which has sucked the life out of what is traditionally the highlight of the deep winter time. But you can indulge in a festive season which harks back to the more traditional times – it's just a case of knowing where to look. From Christmas markets where stalls creek under the weight of locally grown and produced food and drink, hot punch and the sweet scent of roasting chestnuts to those where German stallholders provide the chance to experience one of their country's famous festive

markets; where wooden toys and succulent sausages sizzle in the cold winter air. For the animal lovers a reindeer centre springs into life for the festive period – offering young and old alike to get up close and personal to the animals who, on Christmas Eve, will help Santa fly around the world delivering gifts to youngsters. And there is no better time in the year to mark your faith than by absorbing the history and beliefs of a church service. But, of course, each family has its own traditions, often unique to them, whether it is the day and events which surround putting up the Christmas tree, or foraging for holly and ivy; every family knows what to

cherish over the festive period. Canterbury is something of a past master when it comes to Christmas. Perhaps it is as a result of the splendour of its cathedral, the beauty of its streets and its blend of independent traders and the bigger brands. But when dressed up in its festive illuminations, there are few better places to be. In recent years it has offered up more to shoppers – and central to that has been a hugely popular German market which sets up its base within the Whitefriars shopping complex. It offers a rustic charm to the city, with its wooden stalls colouring the air with the scent of mulled wine a

a and the irresistible sizzle of barbecued sausages. It is when the darkness draws in that the market truly dazzles, with the festive lighting taking shoppers to a festive world. The market runs up until December 23. Of course, everything the city does is overlooked by the majesty of the cathedral, its spires spiking into the sky and visible for miles and miles around. And for many it is their destination of choice on Christmas Day itself. Because it is there the focus of the nation's media traditionally turns as the Archbishop of Canterbury delivers his sermon to the congregation. It is often a defining moment – more so than ever this year with Dr Rowan Williams (pictured) announcing he would be stepping

down as Archbishop at the end of the year. Canterbury will be far from alone in

seeing worshippers head out of the warmth of their homes on Christmas morning to offer up their prayers. Most churches will expect to see their biggest turn-out of the year to celebrate such a key date in the Christian calendar, from the major places of worship such as the cathedrals of Canterbury and Rochester to the village and rural retreats which dot our landscapes. In addition, many churches will be holding midnight masses, allowing you to welcome in the big day in a classic setting. Check with your local churches to see if they will be holding such a service. For the younger generation, Christmas is not the same without a trip to pay their respects to another key figure – none other than Father Christmas himself. You will be hard-pushed to a


a attend a major store or shopping complex where the jolly red-faced man will not be in attendance in the run-up to his busiest day of the year. Among the many venues you can catch him in will be The Mall in Maidstone, where he will be staying in an ice-cream themed grotto up until Christmas Eve. While he's there, Santa will no doubt be keeping in close contact with the reindeer farm at Capralama Farm in Bethersden. It imported a handful of reindeers from Sweden ten years ago – now, courtesy of a successful breeding

programme, it has more than 100. A spokesman explained: “As our reindeer are English bred and farm reared, some by hand, making them extremely tame and are perfect to meet and greet the public at the farm and the many events we attend all over UK.” And as a special Christmas treat, it opens up the Reindeer Grotto. The spokesman adds: “The grotto is 150ft long and, walking through six animated festive scenes, children will then have their very own special encounter with Father Christmas in his log

cabin along side some of his trusted reindeer friends.” In addition to the reindeer there are also pigs, goats, llamas, donkeys, wallabies and rabbits. And after you've told Santa if you've been good or bad and greeted his reindeer, then why not head to your local theatre to enjoy a pantomime? Traditions for families can have begun decades ago, or begin this year – Christmas in Kent offers a host of opportunities, all you have to do is go and discover it this month. mmm

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n Dress up your home ready for Christmas n Find the perfect gift for the home for all ages

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Deck the halls Advent hanging garland £12.50, Debenhams

Joy letters £9.50, Ridged measuring bowls £19.50

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(3), log cabin jug £12.50, Christma

£19.50, Wooden utensils £8 (2), tea towels £7.50

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(3), log cabin pudding basin £12.

board £15 (2), Christmas cutter £7.50 (3), log cabin

measuring cups £15, measuring

spoons £3.50 (5),

ridged measuring cups £5 (3), Marks and Spencer


White Glitter Owl Hanging

Decoration, £4, Debenhams

Red Santa Decoration

£4, Debenhams

Silver Snowflake Hanging

Decoration, £4, Debenhams

Baubles (box of 14) £30, Debenhams

Nativity scene £4.50, House £4.50, Village


with moving train £15, Debenha


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Jacksons Fencing


news, topical treats and more...

Ever wondered what that classy brass badge is about on the best looking fencing that you see around?


R how a company can possibly guarantee something like timber fencing for 25 years? Over the coming months we will be answering these questions and informing you about many other topics. Welcome to the first Jacksons news, topical treats and more page. We would like to tell you about a few things at Jacksons you may not know about already, so a regular page in this magazine is an ideal opportunity to do this. Here you can hear about any offers and deals that are happening, or free prize draws, or new products we are launching that we may want to tell you about – or anything else that crops up on a monthly basis. Throughout December and January we have a “Seasonal Savers” special offer running on a collection of products like our new wheelie bin stores, raised bed kits and other garden items. You can get 15% off

until the end of January, so if you want to know more go to the special page on the website that we have set up for local readers:, from there you can find full details on the special offer and there is also information on a free prize draw we are running.

When the occasion arises I will also tell you more about the things that set Jacksons apart from the crowd, our pride in our service, quality and our unique 25 year guarantee, without dressing it up in jargon. For now, seasons greetings to all our customers.

Free Prize Draw Win one of the products from our Seasonal Savers offer: Wheelie bin store, tool shed, metal trellis, raised bed with trellis kit, verge protection marker posts, or £150 of Jacksons vouchers. To enter go to:


Medway Blinds & Curtains

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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

Wealden Farmhouse This property, situated in Marden, offers a magnificent master bedroom with duplex en-suite bathroom and dressing room, with four further bedrooms. There are two bath and shower rooms, drawing room with Inglenook fireplace, dining room, day room, large beautifully fitted farmhouse kitchen and diner and two cloakrooms. Outside there is a garden plus outbuildings and a barn with planning consent for a three bedroom dwelling. Believed to date back to the late 1600’s, Bridgehurst Farmhouse has been recently refurbished throughout to a high and exacting but sympathetic standard. Great care has been taken to

retain the original features, beams and inglenook fireplaces. The beams used in the construction of the house evidently came from Chatham Dockyard. The accommodation is spacious, with many features, including the fine en-suite master bedroom and a spacious kitchen/breakfast. Vacant possession is available on completion. Also included in the sale is the opportunity to convert a fine Kentish Barn with lovely clean work structure with Planning and Listed Building consent. The barn has an independent access and could be separated from the main house if required. There is potential for this to become either an annexe to the

main house or potential for a rental income. The owner may be prepared to separate the two properties. Internally there is a drawing room with an inglenook fireplace with oak bressumer beam with original brickwork. The kitchen incorporates a breakfast room with a window to the front, bay window to side and window to rear. This magnificent room has ceramic tiled flooring and a wealth of exposed beams with lighting provided by recess spotlights. It is fully fitted out with a range of quality base and eye level units finished in oak. The master bedroom is heavily beamed.


A staircase leads up to a second floor landing, off which will be found an en-suite, luxuriously fitted out with walk-in shower, a bathroom cubicle with a power shower and a re-galvanised original Victorian bath. The property enjoys an area of front garden laid mainly to lawn with borders. The main grounds, set out to the rear, provide an additional area of garden and lawns extending through to the rear. A fine traditional Kentish barn beneath a Kent peg tiled roof provides a useful storage area. For information please contact Radford Estate Agents in Marden, on 08724 774145, or Page & Wells in Loose, on 01622 746273. This freehold property is on the market for ÂŁ985,000.

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RBLI and Maidstone Museum collaborate to take Kent veterans on a trip down memory lane

68 mmm


IGHTEEN Armed Forces Veterans, residents and staff from the Royal British Legion Village in Aylesford were invited to Maidstone Museum on Saturday, 4 November 2012 for a regimental roadshow. The residents, who are

themselves Armed Forces veterans or their descendants, brought along military artefacts and medals to have their origins explained by Museum staff and the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment Living History Group. Museum staff and The Queen's Own Royal West

Kent Regiment Living History Group members, who attended in full uniform from various time periods and theatres of conflict, answered residents’ questions about the history of the local area, the artefacts on display and the Royal West Kent Regiment. The event was rounded off with a visit to the Cenotaph War Memorial at Brenchley Gardens. Here the residents, having spent the morning learning and remembering about significant periods of history, were able to pay their respects in the tranquil setting of the

Victorian gardens. Newly appointed Community Health and Wellbeing Officer for RBLI, Nina Montoya, said, “Maidstone Museum put on a fantastic morning for our veterans and residents. The residents greatly appreciated their expert knowledge and loved the enthusiasm and kindness shown by staff. Especially pleasing was that those residents who have limited mobility were very well looked after, as the museum is fully equipped to cater for their needs. “I look forward to the continued partnership with the Museum and the local living history group throughout the next few years and am excited by the combined ideas


from both parties for future events.” Simon Lace AMA, Museums and Heritage Manager, said of the collaboration, “We were delighted to welcome our visitors from RBLI and to have the opportunity to show them our fantastic new facilities and the full range of activities that we can now offer. We are looking forward to developing a partnership with the RBLI which will offer their residents greater access to our shared local heritage and allow the Museum, with the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War in 2014 on the horizon, to strengthen links with Armed Forces Veterans.”

For more information about RBLI or their accommodation for Veterans and their families please call 01622 795900 or visit

For more information about events at Maidstone Museum please call 01622 602 838 or visit



BUSINESS Investment Growth cash

BUSINESSES in the Thames Gateway are set to receive a £20 million boost in funding to support investment and new jobs across north Kent and Thurrock in Essex. Ministers announced that TIGER – Thames Gateway Innovation, Growth and Enterprise – is one of 130 schemes nationally to receive money from the Government’s £2.4bn Regional Growth Fund. TIGER will offer low-interest loans to businesses investing in new products and services which will create long-term job opportunities, with the aim of unlocking additional private sector finance. The new scheme has been secured following a bid to the Regional Growth Fund by Thames Gateway Kent Partnership and Kent County Council, with the support of local businesses. KCC leader Paul Carter said: “TIGER is a great opportunity for businesses with the appetite for investment and growth. Business will be the backbone of north Kent’s economic recovery – and TIGER will help to unlock its potential.”

Rob Bennett, the chairman of Thames Gateway Kent Partnership, said: “Government backing for TIGER is a huge vote of confidence in the Thames Gateway – one of the UK’s most important economic growth areas. Coming on top of recent investment in transport and infrastructure, it’s another reason why the Gateway is a great place to grow a business” Rodney Chambers, leader of Medway Council, said: "This is a significant endorsement of our approach to regeneration and shows we are a place where businesses can grow with confidence. We look forward to working across north Kent, and with colleagues in Thurrock, to help as many local businesses as possible benefit from this funding so that it creates more local jobs in the shortest possible time." Following the Government’s announcement, work will now begin on due diligence to secure the investment, with the TIGER scheme likely to be up and running in April next year.


Builder takeover PERSIMMON Homes have completed a £35.7 million takeover of Maidstone based housebuilder Hillreed Homes. Established in 1975, the deal will see Hillreed join Persimmon's portfolio of current brands which includes Persimmon Homes, Charles Church, and Westbury Partnerships. The deal, says Persimmon, is part of its continuation “to expand its business”. Nigel Greenaway, Persimmon’s south division chief executive

officer, said of the acquisition: “Hillreed has a number of developments in prime locations, which will continue to offer

premium new build family homes alongside our Charles Church and Persimmon Homes developments.” Persimmon Homes South East will have its headquarters in Maidstone, headed by Darren Jones, managing director. Hillreed was the leading privately owned housebuilder in Kent, Sussex, and the broader south east. The business has a land bank extending to approximately 3,400 plots including strong strategic land holdings in the region. Mr Greenaway added: “Our objective is to use the brand for further growth in the south east region and ultimately deliver more local quality homes.”



Paramount development A TOUCH of Hollywood glamour and a very big dose of economic good cheer was injected into the county when it was confirmed that plans were afoot for a £2 billion theme park in Swanscombe. To be built on the site of a former quarry, the project is the brainchild of a consortium which has clinched a vital deal with Hollywood studio Paramount. It will lend its name and many of its most famous movie brands to be incorporated into designs and rides at the proposed site. And in what will be music to the

ears of the local population, it is expected the scheme would eventually create 27,000 jobs – the majority directly in the building and staffing of the park, the rest through the supply chain it will create locally. The project is being put forward by the London Resort Company Holdings consortium – its next hurdle will be to secure planning permission. But the general view is that Kent could be onto a major winner with the park. Close to Ebbsfleet International railway station, it has direct links to London and, most importantly, mainland Europe. It would also inject life into a disused industrial area.

Assuming all goes to plan, it would be welcoming its first visitors in 2018. Those would enjoy Europe's largest indoor water park, a performing arts centre which could rival the likes of the nearby O2 Arena in Greenwich, a host of thrill rides, cinemas, hotels and restaurants. Tony Sefton, project leader for the LRCH consortium, explained: “We have spent three years on this. We have every type of report, analysis and design you could imagine. “We are working very closely with local and regional authorities, and they are keen to get this approved.”


BUSINESS Thai success

Gastronomic destination

West Malling in Kent, although a small market town, has long been a gastronomic destination, having some 16 restaurants/gastro-pubs, and one of the most popular is the Pad Thai restaurant, housed in al Grade 2 Listed Tudor building. Thai cuisine in the UK has increased tenfold in the last decade and in an effort to attain and offer a high standard within the very specialised sector, the Department of International Trade Promotion, a Royal Thai Government department, introduced “Thai Select�, a list of approved Thai restaurants who have reached the required level. The criteria is similar to that used in assessing a restaurant for inclusion in the Michelin Guide, that is to say, the food

may be number one but service and hygiene are equally important. It is against this background that Pad Thai restaurant received the Thai Select Premium Award at an award presentation at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London. Thirty-six Thai restaurants throughout the UK were invited to receive their Thai Select award, but of the 36 only a few received the higher Premium award and of the 16 only five were invited to demonstrate and share their food at the hotel. M/s Manta Maythachatchaval, Executive Chef-Patron of the Pad Thai restaurant, was one of the five chosen, and shared the

restaurant’s signature dish, Pad Thai Noodle with Prawn, along with home baked Pandan Cake and a special Traditional Thai dessert, Kanom Tuoy, steamed Thai coconut custard made with tapioca and rice flour, hand mixed with coconut milk and palm sugar. Manta was presented with the Award by Mr Boonsong Teriyapirom, Minister of Commerce, Royal Thai Government.

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mmm events

d fd

n Catch a film this festive season n Remember the holiday classics

To promote your business call 01622 299035 or e-mail

Places to be this Holiday Season.

Santa Specials at the Kent & East Sussex Railway

For 37 years the Santa Specials have been chugging into the station before steaming across the Kent and Sussex border – and this year will be no different.

Throughout the month services will be running from Northiam station on a 70-minute trip which delights young and old alike. It heads to Tenterden where there's fun lined up including a traditional pipe organ and a Victorian carousel,


It's the county's biggest shopping complex and its Glow venue is looking to make its name when it comes to supplementing a day of festive purchasing. Running until January 13 is its Winter Wonderland at Glow featuring ice skating, a free grotto, snow slide, rides and amusements. Shopping can sometimes lack a little goodwill – this could provide everyone with a reminder that it's the season to be jolly. Ticket prices were still to be confirmed at the time of going to press.

Rochester Christmas Market

With news that the Dickensian Christmas Market will not be back for 2012 due to a shortage in stallholders, Rochester will look to plug the gap with its Christmas Market in the grounds of Rochester Castle this month. Taking place on December 1 and 2 and then again on December 8 and 9, it promises a hog roast, hot chocolate and roasted chestnuts.

Santa pays a visit onboard and there's a gift for each child and the chance for a drink and a mince pie as you enjoy the scenery. Costs range from £17-21.50.

Hever Castle

Don't miss the opportunity to witness one of the county's most picturesque castles decked out ready for Christmas. With sumptuous traditional decorations, lights and roaring log fires, the castle and garden will be transformed for visitors up until Christmas Eve. Santa will also be in residence at his grotto and there's the chance to snap up some gifts too with the Hever Christmas shops as well as the restaurants. Children can go on donkey rides too. Entry for children to see Father Christmas in his grotto must be pre-booked and costs £10 in addition to entry tickets. Donkey rides are £3 per child.


Carol Service – Canterbury Cathedral


There are few more magnificent buildings so drenched in history as Canterbury Cathedral, and its Christmas carol services have become as popular as big-name shows by visiting superstars at the nearby Marlowe Theatre. Its two most popular carol services are on December 23 and 24 – but if you haven't already got your ticket for the Christmas Eve event you've missed your chance; they were sold-out weeks ago. However, if you're prepared to queue up, you can get into the December 23 event, which operates on a first come, first served basis. Entry is free.

Kent Life, Cobtree

Tunbridge Wells Ice Rink Credit where credit is due – an ice rink in the picturesque surroundings of Calverley Grounds was a masterstroke. Tunbridge Wells reeks of class at the best of times – and it is only fitting that at Christmas it capitalises with some highbrow entertainment. Back for a second year, and set to be surrounded this year by independent traders and Father Christmas himself taking up residence in his grotto, the rink runs until January 7 and is open every day with the exception of Christmas Day. Prices range from £7.50 for children and £9.50 for off-peak sessions, plus 50p more for the peak times. You get an hour for your money – which includes free skate hire.


Festive Favourite

For the last few years a little corner of Bewl has been transformed into a winter wonderland. LaplandUK promises to provide a little taste of an 'authentic' Christmas experience by delivering a slice

You will struggle to walk past a theatre, big or small, this month which will not have a pantomime treading the boards over the festive period. The tradition is not only a family favourite, but an important one for theatres who look to cash-in on their popularity. And with many smaller venues struggling in the face of the recession, this year may be the perfect time to pay a visit.

of Father Christmas' homeland to your doorstep. A dream day for children – who get to make biscuits and toys in Santa's workshops – there are also reindeer and a very magical trip to meet Father

Christmas himself in his log cabin in the woods. Tickets vary in price - a family of four can be looking at shelling out well over £200 – but it does deliver a memorable day out for young and old alike.

Relive the delight of the nativity with Kent Life's friendly farmyard animals and a team from the Maidstone Family Church. They'll take visitors on a tour of the attraction's ground to discover scenes from the nativity and a few Christmas carols while you're at it. Children are encouraged to dress up and get in the spirit of the event. It takes place on December 16. Entrance to Kent Life is £8.95 for adults and £6.50 for children.

Christmas at Rochester Cathedral

Rochester Cathedral is only fractionally behind Canterbury in terms of majesty – and what better place to welcome in Christmas Day than be attending the midnight service? Getting under way at 11.30pm on Christmas Eve, the Eucharist of Christmas Eve will be a special event. The following day, the Bishop of Rochester will conduct the popular Christmas morning service at 10.30am.

Top ten festive films 78

Home Alone (1990)

When it was first released a mainstream audience hesitated to embrace little Macaulay Culkin and his trials and tribulations. Over 20 years later and this movie has now become an essential part of the festive season for many a household. It's heart-warming, funny, underlines the importance of family and the delicacy of childhood, and features a host of polished performances, some great set-pieces and an ending which will make only the hardest of hearts not shed a tear.

Elf (2003) Will Ferrell is something of an acquired taste – yet Elf manages to deliver a sharp, laugh out loud funny flick which, like all great festive movies, gets better on repeat viewing. Raised as one of Santa's elfs, much of the comedy moments are predictable. This doesn't dilute it, however, and it has a real warmth to the relationships whether man and woman or father and son.

It’s A Wonderful World (1946) Just what else is there to say about Frank Capra's classic tale which has become as essential a part of Christmas as cracking open a packet of mince pies? The inspirational story of

George Bailey and his guardian angel shows no sign of easing in the casting of its spell over future generations.

recommended festive viewing list and it is a delight from start to finish with a message at its heart.

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

Rubbery-faced Jim Carrey turned one of the world's best-loved (or loathed) children's characters to life and brought the Dr Seuss creation to the big screen. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but has an atmosphere which when viewed in a darkened room in the weeks before the big day, exudes a festive atmosphere.

The Muppet revival which a new movie was supposed to kick-start hasn't been quite the runaway hit many may have hoped for, and, in truth, this was the Muppets some time off their hey-day. Yet it is so thoroughly charming, comes complete with some fine tunes and revolves around one of the finest Christmas tales of all time – this is Muppets gold.

The Snowman (1982) It may only last 26 minutes, and not include a single piece of spoken dialogue, but The Snowman melts hearts. Based on Raymond Briggs' famous story, it broke boundaries with its flying scenes upon its first TV showing, and Walking in the Air is forever synonymous with it. Aled Jones, not featured in the original, would record the song and score a hit which would work to engrave his name in the stars.

Trading Places (1983) Long before Eddie Murphy re-appeared as a family-friendly lead man, he made his name as a hilariously funny, comedian. Being set around Christmas allows it to creep into the

The Grinch (2000)

Gremlins (1984) It's not often a horror-comedy tumbles into a festive must-see, but Gremlins is a little different. The storyline sounds, on paper, utterly ridiculous. On celluloid it is indeed utterly ridiculous but funny, clever, self-aware, and a classic blockbuster. Plus it’s packed full of that all important festive atmosphere.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) The National Lampoon movies veer from the hilarious to rubbish. This isn't as glorious as Summer Vacation, but Chevy Chase is rarely as loveable, nor as funny, as this tale of mayhem as a family attempt to come together for Christmas only to see good old fashioned family dynamics scupper it.

for everyone to enjoy

Top 10 Christmas Wham!

Band Aid

Fairytale of New York – The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl

Sometimes the strangest of things happen at Christmas; magic even. And this is perhaps the finest example. Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan was born in Tunbridge Wells on December 25 1957. That he still lives and breathes given his lifestyle is a remarkable achievement. Kirsty MacColl's tragic early death on December 18, 2000, when she was just 41, deprived the world of one of the finest singer-songwriters of a generation, whose beautiful vocals gliding across lyrics frequently as sharp as razor wire. The combination of the two was John & Yoko

always going to be great. Now tinted with sadness, this song remains a remarkable combination of tune, lyrics and Christmas magic.

Last Christmas – Wham!

Say what you like about Wham! but they were able to churn out some quite fantastic slices of pure pop during their mid-Eighties hey-day. Last Christmas' sentiment is shovelled on, and if you're not in the right mood, the sleigh bells can all get a little much, but never let it disguise a truly great Christmas song. You'd miss it if you didn't hear it everytime you entered any shop to do your Christmas shopping.

Do They Know It's Christmas? – Band Aid

The song itself is hardly top draw. The production far from polished. But the sheer sentiment of Band Aid's defining moment changed everything. The Eighties span on the moment; switching from a decade obsessed with money and personal gain, to suddenly remembering there were others in this world we have a moral duty not to ignore. And strangely it still packs a powerful punch.

The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire and all that – who can

Nat King Cole

Roy Wood


Bing Crosby

resist the ultimate smooth crooner? Nat King Cole's classic has been covered countless times and continues to hint at Christmas past in a way few others manage. Now let's get that open fire going and crack open the chestnuts...

I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday – Wizzard There are some songs that have been played so many times over the years they become like festive wallpaper – you're aware they're there but you've long since stopped paying them any real heed. Wizzard's classic falls very much into that category, yet not hearing it would be akin to not putting up a Christmas tree or pulling a cracker. It's become part of the cultural fabric of our society. Plus it's still tremendous fun.

Merry Christmas Everyone – Slade This joins Wizzard in the 'you'd miss it but you don't notice it' category. Yet Noddy Holder's bellowing 'It's Christmas'

encapsulates yuletide for so many generations now it's as traditional as a slap-up turkey feast.

Happy Xmas (War is Over) – John & Yoko/ Plastic Ono Band

Winter Wonderland – Darlene Love

There is something extra poignant about a song which shies away from the sickly sweet and rarely realised dream of the perfect Christmas and instead seeks to draw hope and inspiration from more realistic matters. John Lennon's classic remains a poignant reminder of what we folk on this planet can do when a little commonsense and reflection could, quite literally, save lives.

This song has been recorded by more than 150 different artists over the decades yet Darlene Love's version perhaps takes the crown for the finest. Spiced up with the production genius of Phil Spector, this version not so much hints at the festive season but absolutely reeks of it.

White Christmas – Bing Crosby There must a few songs that songwriters must look at jealously when they hear them – and this is surely one of those. It is not only a gentle, and some would say unremarkable, anthem, but it has become such an integral part of the season, so frequently quoted, song frequently referred to, that it becomes far bigger than the sum of its parts. A classic in the true sense of the word. Whatever the season.

Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms Jingle Bell Rock did good business for rocker Bobby Helms. From its original release in 1957 it has popped its nose in and out of the pop charts on both sides of the Atlantic frequently ever since. And to keep its memory alive further, it finds itself on movie and TV soundtracks too – everything from Lethal Weapon to Home Alone.

Lakeside’s Gift to You this Christmas ere are over 250 great shops, cafés and restaurants, four major department stores, a multi-screen Vue cinema, waterside dining and some of the biggest names in retail at Lakeside, so it’s the perfect place to spend a day out shopping in Essex this Christmas. Our Gift to You this Christmas includes…

of those presents or worry about how long you’ve spent in the shops. Free Santa’s Grotto Visit Lakeside and its magical 3D grotto which is completely free for families! Our Santa’s Grotto (with 3D cinema experience) will be open from 1st November through to Christmas Eve. It’s free and every child that visits Santa will receive a complimentary gift.


Longer opening hours for stress-free shopping We want everyone to be able to do their Christmas shopping at their leisure – so, from 3rd December, we’re extending our opening hours even further for Christmas. Lakeside will be open from 9am until 11pm on weekdays and 9am to 10pm on Saturdays in December*.

A festive helping hand Lakeside’s free Shop & Drop service will lighten your load from 1st December until Christmas Eve. Drop your shopping bags securely during the course of the day then collect by car when you’re ready to leave. It’s completely free but any donations received will go traight to a worthy local charity.


Free parking for 13,000 cars With free parking for 13,000 cars, you won’t have to rush around to pick up all

e perfect present for everyone If you're stuck for the perfect gift, let them choose their own with a Lakeside Gift Card. Accepted at nearly all of the shops at Lakeside, it’s the perfect present for any shopaholic. Pick from the new range of festive designs and let them shop to their hearts’ content in the sales!


Sale shopping galore We'll be open from 9am until 7pm on Boxing Day, so you’ll have plenty of time to find the best bargains in the sales, take in a film or have a break from cooking and enjoy a relaxing meal on e Boardwalk.


For more information about Christmas at Lakeside, visit *excluding Saturday 29th December


With Christmas fast approaching here at The Royal Star, you will be able to find that perfect gift, whether it is jewellery, gifts for the home, for him or her We have Kilburn Jewellers, a family-run business, who stock a wide range of jewellery and gifts. They also offer the service of creating bespoke jewellery, making sure the design is a perfect piece and ensuring the customer owns an exclusive hand made piece of jewellery. Or perhaps you need that special outfit for the little one this Christmas? Then Little Stars children’s shop will dress your child in style. Bumbles sweet shop, who can offer you homemade Belgian chocolates, chocolate shoes and so much more and so unique.

Shopping Centre

Gentlemen look no further with a choice from Roy Robson who stock highest quality men's tailoring and fashion clothing and Raffles Collezioni menswear. Lazy Days Living are now stocking pieces by Sia and great gifts for the home and garden. Need that special gift or present to yourself then tale a look at Kingsbridge Studios where you will be blown away by the sound and vision choices for your home. Need that special treatment for the party nights ahead then look no further than Blake’s hairdressing and beauty.

All under a tranquil setting with many other shops to browse round and enjoy. After you have browsed around all the shops then why not relax in our coffee shop or wine bar. A unique mix of time honoured family emporiums and modern designer shopping. Santa arrived recently with his Reindeers, and has opened his grotto, where all proceeds go to the charity Chyps. And why not book your child’s place with Santa for lunch on selected dates throughout December – see website for details of this and all events and promotions throughout December.

mmm Maidstone, Medway Magazine 11


Maidstone’s independent shopping centre

Maidstone, Medway Magazine Issue 11, December 2012 Complimentary


The festive season brings joy, happiness, and a whole host of ways to celebrate


We help you choose the perfect present for the special people in your life


Shopping Centre

Kate Middleton may only be a duchess, but she’s a princess to us

December 2012

n Events n Fashion n Travel n Entertainment n And much, much more

Maidstone Medway Magazine  

Local Lifestyle Magazine

Maidstone Medway Magazine  

Local Lifestyle Magazine