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Find your perfect


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June is here, and with it a whole host of reasons to get out and have fun. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee kicks off the month in a splash of red, white and blue. Flags are flying, the sun’s shining, and Queen Elizabeth II’s special anniversary is a way of reminding us that Britain truly is great. With all this talk of Bess’ impressively long reign it’s easy to overlook the many other reasons to smile this month. So we’re here to help you choose the perfect hat to ensure ladies both fit in and stand out from the crowd at Royal Ascot. The men aren’t forgotten either - as Father’s Day approaches we ensure the apple of his eye isn’t short of gift ideas to show Dad how much he’s loved and appreciated. Keeping the focus on the guys, this month we also give the groom and his men some style ideas to ensure they do the bride proud on her special day. On top of all this we’ve still found space to help with your last minute Jubilee party preparations, so grab a flag and let’s celebrate!


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

11 Henry Ian Cusick

Find out how an intimate wedding in rural Kent was the key to this talented actor’s path to international stardom.

17 Fashion

Red, white and blue are all the colours you need to celebrate Great Britain in this jubilee month.

Editor Tom White

Design Maggie Ashton Sarah Ellis

Photography Harry Bristow (Mid Kent College) IT Tim Bassett

Further contribution Evelina Webster

Show Dad how much you care with something from our inspirational gift guide.

31 Weddings

The bride’s got her dress, now it’s time for the groom to look good as he waits for her at the end of the aisle. Set your heart on international exploration with our guide to the ultimate holiday destination.

Production Michael Pilcher

Accounts Kerry Head

26 Father’s Day

39 Travel

Travel Editor Tricia Lester

Sales Emma Hunton




44 Food

For a cheeky, sweet snack to a delicious main course, these







two recipes are sure to leave your mouth watering.

48 History

What better time to celebrate one of the greatest leaders this country has ever had than Jubilee month? It’s Winston Churchill, but we know you didn’t need to ask.


53 Homes

Two great properties to help you live the dream, we also take a look at the best of British styling to help you show how much you love your country.

68 Motors

Summer’s here, so get yourself a new pair of wheels and drive.


77 Events

Get out and about this month with some great events to ensure you make the most of the summer.

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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Lost to his destiny

Henry Ian Cusick has probably never been better known than during his time as Desmond on the hit television show Lost, but his talents as an actor mean he’s never been short of work. Tom White finds out more about why his wedding in Kent was a key step towards embracing his most famous role.


bout five minutes’ walk from Tunbridge Wells railway station, and just a few hundred yards from department store Hoopers, sits the town’s register office. Mansion House is an impressive looking building with its white walls and grand stature fitting in well with the town’s impressive air of architectural splendour. A former private residence built in 1886 and offering views over neighbouring Calverley Park, it has long been the town’s choice for those couples opting for a non-religious ceremony. And on July 15, 2006, after a 14-year courtship, a couple from the nearby village of Shipbourne tied the knot in front of a handful of friends. Not only did they embark on a new stage of their life, but they knew they stood on the cusp of something very exciting indeed, with one of them carving themself a very a

a special place in TV history. “It was something we had talked about, but things were going along fine: 14 years into a relationship, marriage didn’t seem that important,” Henry Ian Cusick remembers. “We hadn’t got much money, so instead of a wedding we’d spend it on going on holiday. We talked about doing it, but more as a conversation piece.” But after years of bit parts in the likes of Midsomer Murders, Taggart and treading the boards in theatre productions, Henry had landed a role which would propel him not just into the national spotlight but the worldwide too. Because just months before their big day he had jetted over to Hawaii for some guest appearances in the TV series Lost. It would become one of the biggest TV shows of all time – critically acclaimed and adored by its millions of avid viewers for its complex and compelling story lines where mystery and intrigue were interwoven with fine acting and magnificent locations. Henry had been pulled in just for a few appearances in season two. He was Desmond, the Scottish character found down a mysterious shaft who spent his days inputting a series of numbers into a computer in order to prevent the island suffering an electromagnetic meltdown. So popular did he become, however, that he would remain a favourite for the rest of the show’s seven season run and ultimate conclusion. But those first roles did mean he had to uproot his family – wife Anne and three children – from Shipbourne to the somewhat more exotic Hawaii. In fact the marriage itself was designed to prevent visa issues which otherwise would have meant Anne having to jet back to the UK every three months. Marriage made sense. The wedding turned into a joint leaving party for the family’s neighbours and friends. “We did it in Tunbridge Wells register office and had a party back at our place,” the actor explains. “I’m more private, so I would have just liked to have taken a

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a Annie away on our own, just me, her and the kids, and had a very quiet wedding. I don’t feel I need to have a very public show of affection and say, ‘Look everyone, see what I’m doing’. “To me, it’s a lot more personal, but Annie had a say.” Uprooting and heading around the world was nothing unusual though for Henry. The 45-year-old was born in Peru to a Peruvian mother and a Scottish father. At the age of two they moved to Madrid, before swapping Spain for Scotland. Following a brief stay in Glasgow they were off again – this time to Trinidad and Tobago where the young Henry would spend the next ten years. By the time he was 14 the family moved back to Scotland and he was bitten by the drama bug, attending, albeit briefly, the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. As a classical theatre actor he landed a series of significant roles – alongside the likes of Rupert Everett and Helen Baxendale. And as the critical praise continued, so the opportunities to leap onto the small screen increased. Henry found himself a

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a in the likes of Casualty, Waking the Dead and Two Thousand Acres of Sky. The move to Shipborne near Tonbridge made sense – allowing Henry a 40-minute train journey to London for auditions. But out of the blue he got the call to audition for Lost – a series which had taken a grip on the American psyche but was at the time yet to be screened in the UK. Henry adds: “It was weird. In LA, people were coming up to me in the supermarket when the episodes screened, but the next day I’d fly back to the UK and no-one knew me at all.” As Lost elevated his career into the stratosphere, he also got small roles in another classic series, 24, and it became apparent his move to the States was a necessary one. In 2007 he made his debut on the silver screen – starring in the game-turned-movie Hitman and the film Dead Like Me: Life After Death. But by the time Lost’s remarkable run finally came to an end in 2010, he found that although he was recognised by millions and around the world, his fame was both a help and hindrance. “When Lost came to an end,” Henry explains, “all of us cast members were considered a hot property, and possibly yes, we had our choice of parts. But the reality is that it works both ways. “Because we were so strongly identified with that show, a lot of people didn’t want us for certain projects. And that was difficult to accept.” He landed a part in two episodes of Law & Order, but it seemed the role of Desmond would create a difficulty in landing more high profile US TV work. Until, that was, he secured a place in Scandal, an American political drama in which he portrays womaniser Stephen Finch on the ABC Network. Much to his delight – and relief – the show was commissioned for a second season. “After I left Lost I read the pilot for Scandal and I really liked it. I loved

the fact my character was not a good guy. That was something I could get my teeth into. “Desmond was like a rock, he was this amazing, good guy. This was something different.” And just to prove he’s not afraid to nod towards Lost – despite some of the issues that come with the association – he appeared in an episode of Fringe, the latest show by JJ Abrams, the creator of Lost. Living in Hawaii is a long way from west Kent. But Henry Ian Cusick has gone to the other side of the world and made himself the star he was always destined to be. mmm

mmm fashion

n Be bold and British with our red, white and blue clothes n The latest looks on the runway

n Give your hair the direction it needs this summer To promote your business call 01622 299035 or e-mail

Red, white and blue

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Celebrate all that’s great about Britain when you wear the country’s colours with pride

Sequin heart pill box, £32, Monsoon

Portland clutch, £50, Monsoon

Vintage inspired dress, £120; Bolero £110, Minuet Petite

Belma heels, £90, Dune, House of Fraser, Fremlin Walk

Ben de Lisi cut dress, £110, Debenhams

Blue cotton lace dress, £120, Kaliko

Longsleeve crew neck Union flag cardigan, £65, Laura Ashley, Fremlin Walk

Limited Collection little lace top, £29.50, Marks & Spencer

Per Una trousers, £55, Marks & Spencer

Bounce heels, £90, Dune, House of Fraser, Fremlin Walk

Strappy sequin dress, modelled by Geri Halliwell, £199, Next, Fremlin Walk

Showing us what’s hot this summer


remlin Walk presented a collection of new season looks for all the family at their summer fashion show recently. With the sun shining, the vibrant and colourful shows, taking place at regular intervals throughout the day quickly attracted large audiences who were treated to energetic dance routines by enthusiastic models, including two gorgeous male models and some very cute children. Each runway show demonstrated a range of looks varying from festival casual to glamorous prom, whilst not forgetting a whole scene

dedicated to Jubi-lympics – a collection of patriotic red, white and blue clothing and accessories, to show shoppers how to look the part for all the memorable summer events taking place this year. Many of the fashion retailers from Fremlin Walk took part in the shows, including House of Fraser, Superdry, Zara and TopShop, with shoppers enjoying complimentary taster samples from Costa and Hotel Chocolat, and also taking advantage of some fantastic special offers and goody bags available on the day. Fremlin Walk marketing manager Jaine Rees said: “The shows were a great success and a great way to spot this summer’s fashion trends. “Our shoppers, and the models, really seemed to enjoy the event and we look forward to hosting our next fashion show of autumn styles in September.”

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Shellac Manicure and Pedicure £35 instead of £50

Half head of foils or all over colour + cut and finish £50 instead of £90 These offers are exclusive to MMM reader’s first visit only on production of this voucher. The offer expires on 16th June 2012.

79 Bank Street, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1SD Tel: 01622 299967

Directors hair and beauty studio

The salon has a well established team who exude confidence and professionalism, and are happy to please any clients who visit. At the moment they particularly love Moroccanoil. The range consists of shampoos and conditioners, treatments, masks and the wonderful oil that strengthens, conditions weak, damaged and coloured hair, it restores shine and protects the hair from the sun. The really great thing about Moroccanoil is that it makes your hair feel younger and vibrant again. Hair Trends for this year are all about revival and evolution. Seventies iconic fashion lines are helping the fashion industry to create a variety of styles that can be groomed and elegant. These range from long and bouncy, homemade curls, ponytails, sleek looks, fish plaits, half up and faux bob. Also, colour fashion trends are soft pastels with grey, and patriotic red, white and blue. As a team, Directors love curly blow drys entwined with plaits for feminine, wearable hair. Visit us at 7 Yeoman Court, Ashford Road, Bearsted ME14 4ND. Telephone: 01622 738772

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Blue Harbour jacket, £45, Blue Habour polo, £14, Marks & Spencer

Gingham check shirt, £35, Fat Face

Saltburn crew jumper, £38, Fat Face

Country colours M&S North Coast jeans, £39.50, Marks & Spencer, Maidstone

Maine New England belt, £17, Debenhams, Chatham J Jeans by Jasper Conran knit £65, tee £18, chinos £35, shoes £65, Debenhams, Chatham

The first floor of The Joiners Arms has been completely overhauled, the result is four fantastic luxury boutique hotel rooms. Inspired by sophisticated interior design and French elegance, the hotel will bring an offering of luxury accommodation in Kent, in the small but thriving market town of West Malling.

AV FA AI GI TH LA FT ER BL S â&#x20AC;&#x2122;S E F DA OR Y

Welcome to No64 at the Joiners, an all new luxury boutique hotel

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* Free Design * Quotation * Installation

At Sawmills Bespoke Furniture we specialise in designing and manufacturing contemporary and traditional custom made furniture of different styles and periods for every part of your home.

Visit our showroom at

No64 The Joiners, 64 High Street, West Malling, Kent, ME19 6LU - 01732 871 386

Units 4 & 5 Colt Works, Pluckley Road, Bethersden, Ashford, Kent TN26 3DD Tel: 01233 822276

For my father

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James Bond novel Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver, Waterstones, Fremlin Walk

The Map and the Territory by Michel Houellebecq, Waterstones, Fremlin Walk

Our dads hug us when we’re sad, cheer us on when we’re good and help us out when we’re caught short before pay day, the least we can do is say thank you with a Father’s Day gift Marcel Wanders Lost and Found Cufflinks, £35, Marks & Spencer, Maidstone

In One Person by John Irving, Waterstones, Fremlin Walk Apple iPod Touch, from £169, Stormfront, Fremlin Walk

Camel duffle bag, £35, Next, Fremlin Walk

mmm 27 Contemporary Collection Sandalwood & Amber For Men Shower Gel, £3; Lemon & Cedarwood For Men Eau de Toilette, £12, Marks & Spencer, Maidstone

Trilby, £12, Next, Fremlin Walk

Purple aviator sunglasses, £10, Next, Fremlin Walk

Marc Jacobs Bang Bang EDT 30ml £31, 50ml £41, 100ml £51, House of Fraser, Fremlin Walk Holler watch, prices start at £50, Park Mall Shopping Centre, Ashford

Zippo original after shave 30ml £26.50, The Fragrance Shop, Fremlin Walk

Red Herring, tie £9, Debenhams

Boss Bottled, 200ml £42.99 – RRP £69, Save £26, The Fragrance Shop, Fremlin Walk

FITNESS Personal training

I admit personal training isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t for everyone, but we all need a little help with exercise sometimes, whether we're just starting out or we've been at it for a long time. Still, there are people who shy away from personal training, unsure of what they'll get out of the experience or whether it's worth the money. Well there are a number of reasons people work with trainers. Some want a personal program so they can lose weight or get in shape, while others simply need to be held accountable and motivated. Wherever you are in your exercise journey, a personal trainer may be just what you need to take it to the next level. Ten reasons for personal training: n Not seeing results n Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know where to start n Bored of the same old workout n Need motivation n Specific injury or illness n Want the tools to train yourself n Sport specific training n Need to be challenged n Supervision and support n Nutrition and dietary advice

Name: Anne Gym and trainer: David Lloyd, Maidstone/Daniel Young Ann says: Dan has been my mentor and trainer for the last 24 months. During this time I have lost more than four and a half stone, he has always displayed patience and encouragement when we train - even when I have become discouraged and wanted to give up. At the age of 80 I am now much fitter as well as a slimmer person and I thank Dan very much for his assistance. I am continuing my sessions with Dan's company BodyElite and with my improved diet I hope to reach my end goal in the next few months. Daniel says: Using a personal trainer is a great way of reaching the goals you desire. They will provide expert knowledge on the best exercises needed to achieve your targets. Personal trainers will make sure all exercises performed are safe while still pushing yourself to your limits. Hiring a personal trainer will keep you consistent, working to a schedule week after week, progressing the training plan. Keeping motivated is very hard and a personal trainer will do this, giving you encouragement.

Head of fitness: Jon Mann Gym: London Beach Health Club Why would you recommend training? The benefits are far greater than the drawbacks. Personal Training provides a gym user with the knowledge and motivation of a trained individual, allowing goals to be reached and conquered in a reduced amount of time. What benefits are there? Motivation is a key aspect personal trainers can bring to training sessions. What better way of staying focussed than having somebody with you every step of the way. Knowledge of training types

is also key. Many new gym users can head down the wrong path, but a personal trainer can recommend the best exercise and method for almost anything, from marathon training, to losing weight, even down to helping you excel in a chosen sport. Everybody can benefit from personal training. I have worked with people who have never set foot in a gym before, all the way across the board to elite athletes competing on the world stage. What do your clients think? â&#x20AC;&#x153;It keeps me on track, motivated and stops me from getting

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Name: Paulo Gym: Roko Health Club Gillingham How often do you exercise? Three times a week, one swimming session, one indoor cycling class and one boxing personal training session. What is you preferred mode of exercise? All motivating and challenging exercise. What benefits do you feel? I’m strong and healthy and able to keep up with and play with my children. What do you recommend? Different types of exercise to create a programme so that you do not become bored and constantly strive for improvement. Personal trainer: Matt Grimshaw How often do you exercise? Six times a week for 60 minutes. What is you preferred mode of exercise? Strength training with a mix of cardiovascular using the cross trainer and flexibility work. What benefits do you feel? Stronger, fitter and able to do things of everyday life better. What do you recommend? To start training at a young age so you are healthier and happier.

bored of working out on my own. The flexibility and the personalisation of training programs keeps me heading in the right direction.” “Being able to change exercises to specifically prevent my bad back playing up is great, if I were working out on my own, I often worry I would agitate it again.” “Personal training had brought a breath of fresh air to my golf game. I now feel fitter and stronger, I'm hitting the ball longer, and feeling far less tired walking up the 18th hole.” Pictured is Jon at work with European Tour Golfer Benn Barham.

Name: Michael Gym and trainer: Maidstone Topnotch/Simon Ottaway How often do you exercise? I train four to five days per week for about two hours and twice a week with Simon. What exercises do you do? Running, stair master, crosstrainer, rower, free weights, machine weights and lots of abdominal exercises. All sessions with my trainer are varied to keep it interesting and to shock the body so it will respond to the training. What benefits do you feel? It’s motivating and inspirational, it brings a sense of enjoyment to the workout and increases your own knowledge base. It also gives you confidence allowing you to achieve your goals and set new targets beyond what you imagined. Why would you recommend training? It will release your potential! I trained for three or four months on my own at the beginning with very little results. It wasn’t until I trained with Simon I saw the changes I wanted to see - almost immediately. The wealth of knowledge trainers have to share is worth its weight in gold. It wasn’t until it was explained to me why my body will react to different types of training and taught the importance of nutrition and where I was going wrong that all the pieces came together and the weight fell off. I’m not saying I wouldn’t have got there on my own but it would have taken years not months to achieve the results I wanted. What results did you see? My starting weight was 18.5 stone and I now weigh 11 stone, it’s taken about 14 months. I now am working towards building muscle after losing all of that weight.

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Win a family ticket to Dandy Dick

Written in Brighton in 1887, this Theatre Royal Brighton Productions will come to Churchill Theatre Bromley from Tuesday 24Saturday 28 July with Olivier Award-winner Patricia Hodge, whose career spans film (Betrayal, Behind Enemy Lines), theatre (Noises Off, Calendar Girls) and television (a BAFTA nomination for Hotel Du Lac, The Falklands Play and, of course, Miranda) and Nicholas Le Prevost, whose distinguished stage career includes many productions at the National Theatre, including My Fair Lady, for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award. More recently, he was seen in The Misanthrope with Keira Knightley. Dandy Dick tells the hilarious story of the Very Reverend Augustin Jedd, a pillar of Victorian respectability, who preaches regularly against the evils of the Turf. But a visit from his tearaway

sister, herself a habitual gambler, leads him to risk all at the races,much against his better judgement. Mayhem ensues, with romantic intrigue, mistaken identity and a runaway horse. Following his huge success with The Madness Of George III in the West End, Christopher Luscombe directs a solid gold cast of comic actors in

what is surely the must-see comedy of 2012. To win a pair of tickets to see this hilarious comedy drama on Tuesday, 24 July, simply send your name, address and phone number to MMMâ&#x20AC;&#x2C6;Media Ltd, White Cottage, 13 Ashford Road, Maidstone, Kent ME14 5DA, by Monday, 25th June 2012.

mmm wedding

n Make sure heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s well groomed in a stylish suit

n Find the perfect hat for your day at Royal Ascot

To promote your business call 01622 299035 or e-mail

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Do you


ou’ve had the dress since the day after the proposal, the photographer’s sorted to record your special day, you’ve even chosen the perfect tiara to complement your outfit. So what have you forgotten? Him. Because men’s clothing is apparently so simple it’s easy to overlook the fact that the groom needs to be just as well turned out as the bride, albeit in a very different way. Many men will resist this part of the organisation process - either they wear a suit every day and therefore don’t see the big deal or they never wear a suit and are like a rabbit in the headlights when it comes to a matching jacket and trousers, never mind shirts and ties and shoes. Yes, it does take a bit of effort co-ordinating all these items and then making sure they don’t clash with the colour scheme for the wedding, but if you relax and

Light grey fine stripe three piece suit, Austin Reed

Collezione suit £299, shirt £25, Collezione tie £19.50, brogues £69, Marks & Spencer

take this man?

embrace the challenge it’s sure to be worth the effort. It might be quicker to hire a suit and all the necessaries, but it’s the woman’s job to pay out for a one day only outfit, whereas if you buy the right suit you’ll end up with a stylish outfit to last beyond the honeymoon and ensure the groom continues to look good once he’s become a husband. So what’s the secret? Visit a good quality store where you feel comfortable and take the time to try on a variety of styles and colours. Sure, it may be traditional for a man to wear a grey morning suit if he’s not opted for a top hat and tails, but there are no rules. If he feels more comfortable in navy or black then he’ll relax and enjoy the big day, so ensuring he exudes the confidence every groom needs. After all, he’s got a long wait checking his watch at the end of the aisle - there’s only room for one latecomer on the biggest day of your lives....

Limited edition gents watch, £425, Rotary

Red Herring Red Line, Jacket £85, trousers £35, shirt £17, tie £9.50, Debenhams

True blue mohair three piece suit, Austin Reed

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An exclusive venue set within 5 acres of beautiful private grounds. Call Kim Manchett on 01622 727779 with any questions and enquiries.

ÂŁ4000 Inclusive Wedding Package 2012 60 guests for the Wedding Breakfast 80 guests for your Wedding Reception A Reception drink, a glass of wine with meal and drink to toast. Red carpet arrival. Room hire for Wedding Breakfast & Evening Reception. Buffet for 80 guests. FREE Honeymoon Suite. With this advert, claim your FREE Anniversary Dinner, 1 night Accommodation and a Bottle of Champagne.

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Hats for Royal Ascot 19th-23rd June

These beautiful hats from the 2012 collection designed by Vivien Sheriff Millinery are available for hire from Bonnets Hat Hire. Beautiful hats for every occasion range in price from ÂŁ15-ÂŁ150 per week, by appointment only. To find out more contact director Susan Thurlow by e-mailing or call 01233 770118. Bonnets Hat Hire is based at Grigsby Farm, Burnthouse Lane, Smarden, Kent TN27 8QQ.

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mmm travel

n Go back in time on Gozo

n Mesmerising Tanzania

Sponsored by

To promote your business call 01622 299035 or e-mail

40 mmm

Kirsty Keeling-Jones, Branch Manager, Baldwins Travel Agency, Maidstone

Travel tips from your Local Award Winning Travel Agency

n Pack spare underwear, toothbrush and a swimsuit in hand luggage. n Start your journey in a Luxury lounge with free snacks and drinks rather than paying for expensive refreshments in the airport. n Take photocopies of your passports and carry them separate to your original documents. n Wear layers as air conditioning can be cold in airports and planes. n Wear comfortable shoes as people’s feet can swell when travelling on planes. n If your luggage is overweight take out your toiletries and buy them locally. n Pre-book popular sight-seeing tours when doing a city break to plan better and save time. n Arrange travel insurance at the time of booking so you are certain to be covered immediately. n Put your name and contact details inside your luggage just in case the name tag comes off while in transit.

Wildlife and


POT spell-binding wildlife in the Serengeti, relax on Zanzibar’s glistening beaches or set yourself a challenge and climb Mount Kilimanjaro. A visit to Tanzania will be mesmerising. As your paddle strokes the silky looking water and the canoe drifts alongside thousands of flamingos, watch the sea of pink plumes flutter as each flamingo lowers its curved, elegant neck to feed in Lake Manyara’s shallow waters. On land, patrol the Serengeti and spot large prides of lions

glistening beaches

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lazing in the long grass; watch families of elephants munching on acacia trees; and admire herds of wildebeest kicking up a haze of dust as they migrate, thundering through scorched plains and crocodile-infested rivers. Discover Zanzibar’s traditional farms, which grow cloves, vanilla and nutmeg, or sail out into the Indian Ocean from small fishing villages in search of dolphins. Spend the day big-game fishing for marlin and swordfish, dive among graceful rays and barracudas and unwind on idyllic beaches.

Learn about Zanzibar’s heritage with a private guide, visiting Stone Town’s former slave market and exploring old forts. Don’t miss the chance to track chimps with a guide in Gombe National Park; explore the Ngorongoro Crater, where Maasai tribes graze their cattle; and join one of the experts on a trek up Mount Kilimanjaro. We’ve searched Tanzania to find the best wildlife hotspots, amazing travel experiences, luxurious hotels, spas, escorted tours and flying safaris.

Magical Malta M 42 mmm

ALTA is a truly mystical Mediterranean island ideal for a great escape. This mythic wonderland of megaliths and medieval dungeons is characterised by old cobbled streets punctuated with Renaissance cathedrals and baroque palaces. The islands are truly mystical,

with eclectic culture influenced by the traditions and styles of occupying nationalities over the centuries. Young couples will relish the lively bars and restaurants dotted along the rocky shore of St Julian’s, while sunbathers should head to Bugibba to soak up the rays on flat rocks overlooking breathtaking St Paul’s Bay.

Sightseers will have fun exploring the fascinating Floriana, a suburb of buzzing Valetta featuring historical monuments, beautiful gardens and charming churches. Make sure you also take the time to get lost in Malta’s ancient capital, Mdina, a quiet medieval town riddled with ancient architecture, pretty squares and secluded narrow walkways.

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Gorgeous Gozo


ISTER island to Malta, Gozo boasts a stunning, rugged green landscape and a spectacular coastline and is steeped in legend. One of its caves is thought to be where the beautiful nymph Calypso held Odysseus as a prisoner of love in Homer’s Odyssey, while enchanting

churches and old stone houses hark back to a magical past. Visit Xaghra and descend a spiral stone staircase to Xerri’s Grotto, a cave of vibrant alabaster stalactites and stalagmites. Don’t miss a trip to Dwejra to see the Azure Window, a natural rock arch framing the sparkling blue water beyond. Before this incredible landmark lie two

breathtaking dive sites: the Blue Hole, a natural rock formation with underwater cave, and the Chimney, where you’ll encounter stunning marine life. Visit cultural landmarks, explore labyrinth-like towns, dive in deep blue waters and dine on fresh seafood when you venture south to this stunning Mediterranean island.

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FOOD Recipes from the Swan in West Malling Roast Shallotts

These simple recipes are ever popular at The Swan and make great accompaniments for sprucing up your summer BBQ’s, they go wonderfully with grilled beef or lamb and are best served with roasted tomatoes or shallots.

Ingredients 4 banana shallots, cut in half, top to tail, skin on Olive oil Salt and pepper Method Place the shallots on a greased non stick tray flat side down. Roast in an oven at 170c for 2025 mins until the skin puffs up and the flesh of the shallot is tender. Remove from oven and cool. Once cool enough to handle peel off skin and trim the top. To serve just drizzle with olive oil and place in the oven for 5 mins. Café de Paris butter Ingredients 125g unsalted butter, softened 15ml vegetable oil 1 shallot, finely diced 10g Indian style curry powder 1 small handful flat leaf parsley, chopped 1 clove garlic Juice of 1/2 lemon 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 3 anchovy fillets 1/2 teaspoon baby capers, rinsed 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1 teaspoon ground pepper 1 small handful basil leaves 1 small handful thyme leaves ½ teaspoon ground ginger ½ teaspoon smoked paprika Method To make the butter, heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion and curry powder over low heat until soft and fragrant. Set aside to cool. Process all ingredients until just

combined. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Roll butter into a 4cm diameter log, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm. Any unused butter can be frozen if it is not going to be used within a week or so. To serve Slice the butter into 1.5cm slices, use a knife dipped into hot water to warm the blade. Place on top of a sirloin, rump or fillet steak as it rests, the heat from the beef will start to melt the butter very gently. Place the roasted tomatoes or shallots on the side, toss some curly endive & watercress leaves in a bowl with some shaved radish, dress with a classic French dressing and serve with your barbequed or grill meats.

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Jammy Dodgers

These biscuits make a great afternoon snack or an after dinner petit four. And what better way to be reminded of your childhood than a pile of homemade Jammy dodgers! We make mini dodgers here at The Swan and our regulars love them. Ingredients (Makes 6 or 7) 175g plain flour 75g icing sugar Pinch of sea salt 125g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes 1 egg yolk 1.5 tsp vanilla extract 150gm raspberry jam Baking equipment 2 large baking sheets, lined with baking parchment 4-5cm biscuit cutter, crinkle-edged or plain 0.5-1cm heart or round cutter Method Preheat an oven to 170C/gas 3 Sift the flour, salt and icing sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and lightly rub into the flour mix, using your fingertips, until the mixture resembles

fine breadcrumbs. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk and vanilla extract together. Make a well in the centre of the flour mix. Add the egg and vanilla mix and work together to form a smooth dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Divide the dough into two balls. Place one of the balls on a lightly floured surface and using a rolling pin, roll the dough to approximately 4mm thickness. Repeat with the second ball of dough. With the larger biscuit cutter, cut the dough into discs (make sure you have an even number). Using the smaller cutter, cut out and remove the centre of half the biscuit discs; the cut-out pieces can either be kneaded back into the remaining dough or baked just as they are. Place all the discs on the baking sheets. Bake for 15â&#x20AC;&#x201C;20 minutes until just firm and barely coloured. Remove from the oven and place a teaspoonful of jam in the centre of each whole biscuit round. Place the cut-out rounds on top. Return to the oven and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, by which time the biscuits will be evenly cooked and the jam hot enough to stick them together. Leave the biscuits to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

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Chapel Down restaurant reopens

Photography by Joanne Collins

Around 120 guests attended Swan’s reopening of this exquisite and well known restaurant. On arrival every guest was given a ‘Swan Quince at Chapel Down’, consisting of quince liquer, pear juice, vodka, topped up with Chapel Down Brut. Frazer Thompson, the chief executive at Chapel

Down, made a speech. At the end of the evening everybody was given a goodie bag, which included homemade sweets along with a range of Chapel Down beers. The evening was a great success and promises a bright future for the restauant.

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Winston Churchill Tom White takes a look at the remarkable leader


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IXTY-seven years ago next month, Winston Churchill's iconic reign as Prime Minister of Great Britain came to what history would dictate was an abrupt end. He had served as leader of the country for just five years. Yet they were five of the most significant years in modern history. From 1940 to 1945 he inspired the nation, and the Allied forces, to victory in the Second World War – showcasing a determination not to buckle under the apparent relentless march by the Nazis across mainland Europe.

His speeches would become the stuff of legend, his image iconic. Little wonder he was named by many critics as man of the century.

He would lose the 1945 election, just months after the conclusion of hostilities – defeated not by distrust or voter displeasure, but a likely swell of desire for post-war reform. Yet behind the man was one

haunted by his own insecurities – the 'black dog' of depression would follow him away from the spotlight and one which often threatened to derail his remarkable ambition and achievements. It was fitting, then, that he would find solace and escape amid the rolling Kent countryside. In leafy Chartwell – a pretty village close to Westerham – he created a family home from 1922 until his

death, at the age of 90, in 1965. It would act as a refuge during the testing times of the war – when Britain's very freedom hung in the balance – and would prove the springboard to eternal fame. Not that the house was a stranger to the rich and famous. Chartwell House has its roots in the early 16th century, and legend has it that Henry VIII stayed at the property while he attempted to woo Anne Boleyn – resident of nearby Hever Castle. During the 19th century, the original farmhouse was rebuilt and it began to resemble a building more in keeping with the Victoria era; a large, small windowed, brick country mansion. Yet despite that, it was the views it commanded over the Weald which proved its secret weapon. According to those close to Churchill, the views “possessed” him and despite him admitting the house was of “no great architectural merit” he couldn't resist, and along with wife Clementine, the pair purchased the site. At the time of buying the site, the couple had just welcomed into the world their fifth child. Mary was born just months before they purchased their new family home. a

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a Her birth had gone some way towards easing the agony of the loss of their fourth child. Marigold was shy of her third birthday when a cold developed into septicaemia and she died, a little over a year before the birth of Mary. Their move to the Kent countryside had come following a traumatic period of British history. The First World War – during which Churchill had served on the front – was still fresh in everyone's memory, and there was much taking place in Europe to keep the Government on its toes. Especially for Churchill, who, at 48, was seeing his career in the upper reaches of Government progressing well. As MP for Dundee, Chartwell was certainly a long way from his constituency, but Churchill in the early 1920s was spending much of his time in Westminster, serving in the War Office and eyeing higher office. Within two years he would be serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer under Stanley Baldwin and an MP for Epping. Meanwhile, at Chartwell, the building was undergoing something of a transformation. The Churchills had employed architect Philip Tilden to modernise and extend the house. For two years Tilden would set about modernising the Victorian home, simplifying the design and

allowing more natural light to flood into the house, replacing the small windows it was built with. His style would make the house almost unrecognisable within two years. It became the Churchills' home. Outside the buildings, the gardens were well tended. There was a water garden where Churchill fed the fish, lawns and lakes. It was the perfect retreat from the pressure of Government – yet within easy distance of the capital. He would find inspiration in the grounds and the views would frequently become the subject of his artwork. Today's visitors can see many of the paintings, which hang in

the house on display. The family's only real break from the home would be during the Second World War by which time Churchill had replaced Neville Chamberlain as Prime Minister following his resignation. It was a period during which he would cement his reputation as a tough, determined, yet daring, leader. But Chartwell, like much of Kent, was under a real threat from foreign attack. Given its towering position in the countryside and significance to the British leader, Churchill's family moved out amid fears of a German airstrike.

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It would remain mostly unused while the Churchills instead relocated to their home in Oxfordshire and eventually Chequers in Buckinghamshire. Triumph over the Nazi hordes would not bring Churchill's life to a standstill however. Remarkably, just months after VE Day Churchill's Tory administration would be toppled by the Labour Party â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and the man who led the nation to victory would become the Leader of the Opposition. The family would return to Chartwell although in 1946 the costs involved in staying there would prompt them to confide to friends they could no longer afford it. Rallying around, chums of the family teamed up and bought the property â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the Churchills could live there until their deaths for a nominal rent. Upon their death, the house was handed to the National Trust and it preserved much as it was when Churchill lived there. For many the attraction is that it continues to look like the great man is still there. And spirit, he surely is. mmm

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HEâ&#x20AC;&#x2C6;Grade II-listed Wierton Hall Farm Cottage is located in the tranquil rural hamlet of Wierton adjoining the pretty village of Boughton Monchelsea. This impressive country home was originally built as a single timber framed hall dating from the 15th century, with later extensions during the 1700s. There are an abundance of character features with beams featuring throughout. There are three reception rooms with a log burner in each room. The three staircases lead to the first floor with four good-sized double bedrooms; two with en suites and a family bathroom. The property is accessed by a long gravel drive, with a turning and parking area, that leads to an open bay, garage and workshop. The main garden is south facing and laid to lawn with mature trees and shrubs with

flower borders and a terraced area for a table and chairs. There is also a mixed fruit orchard containing apples, pears, cherry, apricot and medlar. There is also a further vegetable garden with raised beds and greenhouse, this leads on to a large paddock. The grounds total approximately 2.25 acres. LPG is used for cooking and oil provides heating and hot water. Private drainage is via a reed bed treatment process. The nearby larger village of Coxheath offers several shops, post office, doctorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; surgeries, library and church. Staplehurst railway station is some 4.5 miles to the south, providing services to London Charing Cross and London Bridge which journey times are approximately 60 minutes. See, or for details and guide price call Madeleine Rose on 01622 844455.

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This new home is still traditional

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ere is a rare chance to buy a new home in the sought after area of Roundwell in the beautiful village of Bearsted. Plot 2 Linscot is a stunning family home with a guide price of ÂŁ795,000. With four bedrooms, this stylish executive family home is finished to a very high standard. On the ground floor there is an entrance hall, cloakroom/toilet, three reception rooms, a fitted kitchen and utility room. Moving upstairs, there is a master suite including an en-suite shower/toilet and dressing room, three further bedrooms together with a family bathroom. The property enjoys gas fire central heating with underfloor heating to the ground floor. Other benefits to the property include a detached double garage, driveway and landscaped gardens. An early viewing of this incredible opportunity is highly recommended to appreciate the stylish finish and location on offer. The property offers both convenience and comfortable living for the whole family. To arrange a viewing contact the agents agents, Your Move Premium in Bearsted by e-mailing or call 01622 738282.


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Confused about market conditions and house prices? I can offer you an honest, free, no obligation valuation

Sutton Valence £600,000 to £625,000

Handsome 4/5 bedroom detached 17th Century Grade II Listed House located in the heart of this historic village.

It has been a much loved family home for almost 50 years having been well maintained throughout during this time. Full of character features with beams, a large inglenook fireplace in the sitting room, original wide doors and sash windows. Amazing landscaped terraced garden which is brimming with architectural shrubs and trees. Private off road parking.

Headcorn £625,000

Striking detached 1930’s house located within walking distance of Headcorn village and the station

Currently 3 bedrooms but with scope for an attic conversion and annexe development if required. This family home has been upgraded and refurbished over the years by the current owners and provides flexible and comfortable accommodation. This attractive house is set well back amid immaculate grounds of approx. 0.33 acre, with garage and parking.

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Rural Boughton Monchelsea £650,000

Grade II listed 4 bedroom detached house, located along a country lane, set in approx. 2.25 acres

Full of character features, this country home originally dates from the 15th century, built as a single hall. Set at the top of Wierton Hill, this tranquil rural location is perfect for children and pets. With 3 reception rooms each having a logburner and 3 staircases adding to the quirky charm. 2.25 acres of gardens, vegetable garden with fruiting trees and paddock. Garage and parking.

Rural Loose £850,000

Very attractive Grade II listed 5 bedroom detached house presented in immaculate order throughout

Located along a quiet no-through lane, within the Conservation Area of Loose, this period family home has been meticulously renovated yet has retained its 16th/17th century character. The 3193 sq ft of accommodation including 5 reception rooms allows for a flexible ground floor layout to suit a family. Large and well tended south facing lawned garden with trees and shrubs on the boundary ensuring a private haven.Garage and parking.

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New Golf in the showrooms IT'S a perennial favourite and next month (July) the new Golf roles off the production line and into showrooms. The latest Golf GTI Cabriolet drives in at the top end of the GTI range with VW banking on its combination of open-air motoring and performance persuading motorists to trade up. Having made its debut at March's Geneva Motor Show, prices for the latest model start at ÂŁ29,310, rising to ÂŁ30,610.

A popular sight on the roads since its first appearance back in 1975, VW has retained its latest look. The radiator grille has a honeycomb structure with red edging and GTI badge, while the front bumper incorporates a deep honeycomb air dam and distinctive fog lights. There are side sill extensions while a bespoke rear diffuser is framed by a chrome tailpipe on either side. Smoked LED tail lights complete the look, along with standard 18-inch Monza Shadow alloy wheels.

The fully automatic electrically powered roof can be folded away in just 9.5 seconds according to VW, even when travelling at speeds of up to 18mph. Under the bonnet, there's the same 2.0-litre turbocharged fourcylinder petrol engine in the GTI hatchback fitted to either a sixspeed manual gearbox or optional six-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox. It manages to get the machine from 0-62 in 7.3 seconds and boasts a 147mph top speed. First deliveries hit showrooms in July with various finance options available.

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Toyota & Lexus Leading the way

TOYOTA and Lexus are the undisputed pacesetters when it comes to sales of hybrid cars in the UK, according to the latest figures. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders say Toyota, which uses the Lexus badge for its luxury range – say the two brands now account for more than 75 per cent of all hybrids taking to the roads. According to the figures, up to the end of the first quarter of 2012, almost 100,000 hybrid vehicles have been sold in the UK since 2007. Toyota or Lexus account for product range with the introduction 77,000 – more than three in every of the Yaris hybrid this summer. It four hybrids registered. has comprehensively downsized its And as a result the overall market Hybrid Synergy Drive system to share for hybrids is increasing too – work within a supermini from 0.7 per cent to 1.3 per cent so architecture, promising a class-best far in 2012. combination of emissions and It may not seem a lot – but with efficiency without reducing the petrol prices rocketing, the smart amount of space on board or in the money is on hybrid cars attracting boot. more and more motorists. At other end of the size scale, the This year should see further summer will also mark the debut of impetus for even more drivers to Prius+, the first seven-seat full make the switch, with four new hybrid in Europe. hybrids being introduced by Jon Williams, Toyota president Toyota and Lexus. Toyota and managing director said: “The is bringing hybrid technology SMMT data show how the deeper into the core of its momentum for hybrid is increasing.

Motorists appreciate its environmental performance, its reliability and ease of use, plus the smooth and refined driving quality. “Toyota’s leadership in hybrid technology is not just about the models we have launched and the new vehicles we are bringing to market this year. It also serves as a proven, flexible technology platform for creating different LKpower trains – all-electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles – with which we will be able to develop and deliver sustainable transport with minimum environmental impact.”

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Jazz singer and pianist Chiara Civello is the new ambassador of the Range Rover Evoque

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Lamberts Road North Farm Industrial Estate Tunbridge Wells Kent Tel: 01892 256405

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Smart eBike

Pedal power made easy Smart Cars made a big impact on the eco-friendly motors market, and now you can expect to see the company making noises in the far more green world of the pedal bike. Launched late last month, the Smart eBike is described as a pedelec – a pedal electric cycle. It's a hybrid based on a familiar theme. You pedal, you store up energy, and then it deploys that energy, preferably when you want to get up a particularly unforgiving hill. And the price-tag for the latest take on the electric bicycle? A cool £2,495. It's a serious price for what Smart are quick to underline is a serious piece of kit. Developed in conjunction with electric bike experts GRACE, it has already won a prestigious Red Dot Design in the Best of the Best category. Power is generated by a 200 watt BionX electric motor in the rear wheel hub, that is switched on as soon as the rider selects one of four power levels

and starts pedalling. Muscle power is transformed into pedal power to the rear wheel via a maintenance-free, carbon belt drive. The power levels, which determine how much the rider’s muscle power is supported by the electric motor, can be set via the detachable BionX control panel. Integrated into the stem, the BionX control panel also shows the battery charge status, total distance covered, journey distance, riding time, average speed and time. LED lights are also switched on and off via the BionX control panel. A charge from its main unit can deliver up to 62 miles. The battery can be charged by a conventional plug socket, or by recuping braking energy. The aluminium-framed smart eBike has 26-inch wheels and weighs 26kg. As to whether you'll see plenty on Maidstone and Medway’s streets remains to be seen.

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Speed Camera app One of the biggest names in the world of satellite navigation has launched an iPhone app capable of giving motorists a warning when a speed camera looms. TomTom Speed Camera app will alert drivers to fixed and mobile cameras while also telling them how fast they are travelling. Utilising the speed camera service, it takes into account your speed and the distance to the camera

MacBook Pro

The anticipation grows Half the enjoyment of a new Apple product is in the endless speculation. The iPhone, iPad and every incarnation of its computers have sparked a lot of rumour – much of it as wide of the mark as Apple's competitors are from catching up with the apparently unstoppable firm. And it is the humble laptop which is creating such a fuss in recent weeks. Just what is the new MacBook Pro going to do? While far from confirmed, the hottest speculation at the time of going to press was that after actively pursuing a price point which always out-priced rivals in exchange for its iconic design and market-leading clout, the move now is to undercut rivals in the booming ultra-book space. For the uninitiated, the ultra-book is the new breed of laptops designed

to bridge the gap between the bulky, 15-inch screen, laptop and the world of tablets. The suggestion is by hitting the market with a $799 laptop – around £500 – then it can make serious inroads in hoovering up the bargain end of the market too. And thus cement its position as the undisputed king of the consumer computer marketplace. A remarkable turnaround given its apparent demolition by Microsoft less than 20 years ago. As for quite what specs will be built into the new machine – that remains to be seen. But the smart money is on a shift to solid-state hard-drives – which may mean a reduction in the size of on-board storage, but does allow Apple to further promote its iCloud online storage solution. All will be revealed this month – or will it?

before issuing a warning, if necessary. Not surprisingly, it doesn't try and replicate TomTom's successful sat nav business, and maps aren't included. The aim is to keep you paying on a monthly deal – hence a £3.99 for one month and £26.99 for 12 months deal. The app gives 95 per cent coverage of fixed cameras and realtime updates for mobile speed checks.

Jubilee street party essentials, from ÂŁ2, Sainsbury's

Where to join in the Jubilee party

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Bearsted Green

Join in two fun-filled days of festivities on the Green to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. On Satuday, 2nd June, Jubilee Music on the Green will showcase local bands including Leroy & the Rockets, Muddy River and the Little Big Band. The Maidstone Rock Choir will also make a special appearance. Then Sunday’s Street Party on the Green will feature local singers, the Thurnham School choir, children’s entertainment and face-painting. For more details see the website at


On Saturday, 2nd June, Chatham Waterfront will host yachts and sailing vessels of every kind for Medway River Festival. Celebrating Medway’s maritime connections and supported by Chatham Maritime Trust, the free family event will run from 10.30am to 4.30pm. The Mayor and Mayoress of Medway will officially open the festival, which will include river displays and races, along with food stalls, exhibitions and live music. Kingswear Castle paddle steamer is also set to sail by as part of the day’s events. A special service will be held at Rochester Cathedral on the Sunday. Then on Monday, 4th, Medway will join the rest of the nation as thousands of community jubilee beacons are lit across the UK. From 10pm to 10.30pm, six community beacons will be lit at Capstone Country Park, Gillingham, Riverside Country Park, Gillingham, Broomhill, Strood, Victoria Gardens, Chatham, Kingshill, Four Wents Road, Hoo, and the Great Lines Heritage Park,

Chatham where there will also be a free fireworks display.

Kent Life

If your road isn’t throwing a street party for the Jubilee then there’s no need to miss out. Pop down to Kent Life and join in their Bank Holiday Street Party. Complette with bunting, balloons, children’s picnic boxes, Union flag cupcakes, traditional games and much more, this is the perfect opportunity to celebrate being British.

Leeds Castle

This beautiful venue is set to host a fireworks and open air cinema evening. Live music, vintage newsreel of the Coronation and highlights of the day’s London pageant will be followed by the classic 1950sthemed film Grease. The evening will then be rounded off with a magnificent fireworks display accompanied by music. Booking essential from 2 April. Celebrate all things British from the year of the coronation 1953 - cream teas, cars and steam engines. Bring a picnic and watch the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant and flotilla broadcast from London on a big screen in the grounds of the castle.

Whatman Park

On Monday, 4th June, there will be a concert at 7.30pm, with music from the Kent Concert Orchestra conducted by John Perkins and Maidstone Singers led by Jeffrey Vaughan Martin, with picnics from 4pm. Lighting of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Beacon will take place at 10.15pm approximately, followed by a firework display.

Jubilee joy

Pandora has released a range of national icon charms - designed to capture your precious travel moments from around the world. In perfect time for the Jubilee is Big Ben, this hand-finished sterling silver pendant charm has been created with such intricate detail that even a small heart has been included to symbolise your love for the city. The charm is priced at £40. Want the full collection? Pick from Sagrada Familia to the Statue of Liberty, your unforgettable travel moments are limitless.

From charms to crockery, compacts to telephones, it’s always good to have a special something to remind you of the good times. We’ve put together a selection of our favourite British items to help you remember Jubilee year.

Yukari Sweeney edition London Eye cushion, £16, Debenhams

Union flag ring, £6, Accessorize

Royal Worcester Jubilee plate, £37.50, House of Fraser

Jubilee crown compact mirror, £12.50, Marks & Spencer

Union flag telephone, £40, Next

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Pictures: Harry Bristow

Mercure Maidstone Hotel was the venue for a dinner hosted by former WBO and WBC world champion Nigel Benn, organised by Adam Lopez from Exclusive Procollectables. The inspirational and popular boxer gave a speech during the three-course dinner as well as meeting hundreds of fans. There was also a guest appearance from Michael Watson and former welterweight World Champion John H Stracey as MC.

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Heading for a bumper show

ENT's economy may no longer rely on the backbone of its rural roots, but the county continues to celebrate it. And while the Kent County Show has long since stopped being a pure celebration of the harvest reaped from our soils, it continues to be a celebration of all that the county has to offer. So it is little surprise that next month organisers are expecting some 80,000 people to descend on the Detling site over the three days. They will be entertained by the classic livestock shows, the very cream of the best food and drink we have to offer, and everything else inbetween. What's more, it has muscled itself into the festival scene, with hundreds set to camp for the duration of the event in what is being billed as one the family highlights of the year. In previous years the Queen has paid a special visit, and

while her jubilee celebrations may prevent a repeat visit this year, there were still be a host of well-known VIPs heading to the County Showground. A spokesman explained: “This year we've got breathtaking arena displays, mouth-watering food, prizewinning livestock, floral art, a variety of trade stands and even the chance to fly with a Spitfire. “This year’s show has attracted special guests such as Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs who will be visiting on the Friday. BBC TV presenter Adam Henson will be making an appearance on the Saturday, to present prizes to winners of the Grown In Kent initiative, which encourages schoolchildren to grow fruit and vegetables. TV legend John Craven will visit on the Sunday.” The show this year runs from July 13-15. Run, as ever, by the Kent County Agricultural Society, its gate swing open from 8am until 6pm

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And if floral art floats your boat, find out which of the 100 entries will be crowned winner. Adds a spokesman: “The agricultural area is home to Why Farming Matters In Kent, which offers detailed information about local produce, careers and training in agriculture. Visitors will also be able to see sheepshearing demonstrations and cattle, horses and goats. “Kent Young Farmers boasts a network of enthusiastic members and backgrounds, all with a shared interest in the countryside and the rural way of life. They will be displaying their skills in the agricultural area, showing a variety of livestock, such as cattle, sheep, pigs, rabbits, and poultry.”

Among the attractions will be the Bolddog Lings motorcycle display team, a display of historic vehicles, parades by bloodhounds and beagles and the band of the 24th Invicta Rifles. And for the more daring, there is the chance to fly alongside the legendary World War Two fighter, the Spitfire, as it takes to the skies over the showground on the Friday. An accompanying helicopter will allow passengers to get some once-in-a-lifetime photos. If keeping your feet firmly on the ground is more your thing, then there's a 4x4 track allowing passengers to experience a bit of off-road driving, while those as young as 12 can get behind the wheel courtesy of a driving school. But for many, it remains the county's harvest which appeals so much and is worthy of coming out and braving the crowds to experience the fruits of the year. Ever popular is the food tent, where cakes, breads, cheeses and meats, seafood and pies, chutney and jams line up alongside beers, teas, coffees, fruit juices and even flavoured vodkas. Needless to say, there's a dedicated wine tent showcasing the best of British wine. The Flower Tent is a major feature of the show. It is renowned for the horticultural exhibitors who demonstrate their growing and nurturing skills, with displays of roses, fuchsias, succulent cacti, carnivorous plants, shrubs, ferns, and more besides.

With birds of prey demonstrations, an eco-village promoting a greener lifestyle, and a woodland area showcasing rural crafts, and even a tent demonstrating the benefit of the humble bee, and you begin to get an idea of the sheer scale and depth of the show. Roger Moore, executive manager at Kent Showground, said: “With popular attractions returning and new events making their debuts, the Kent County Show has something for everyone. We would urge people to book their tickets as soon as possible and secure their place at Kent’s most exciting event of the year.” mmm

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hris Hollins has been signed to present this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s summer heritage event â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the Open Air Classical Concert, at Leeds Castle, on Saturday 14th July. From the USA Masters Golf to the World Cup, to Royal Ascot and Wimbledon, Chris Hollins is recognised as one of television's most popular sports presenters. Chris was the main sports reporter on BBC Breakfast from October 2005 to March 2012, on air on Monday to Thursday mornings as well as a regular co-host of the show. He is one of the presenters of BBC1's Watchdog as well as The Food Inspectors and Cash in the Attic for BBC1 and Cash in the Celebrity Attic for BBC2. In

2011, Chris was part of the BBC team covering The Royal Wedding but is probably best known as the winner of Strictly Come Dancing 2009. He has a local link having graduated from Tonbridge School in 1989. This is more than a concert, with its diverse classical orchestral programme, interwoven with specially selected choral and solo pieces and the visual spectacle of military musicians, field guns, superb fireworks and iconic aircraft displays. This is a spectacular signature event which is unique to Leeds Castle. The inspiring outdoor programme welcomes back John Rigby as conductor and includes performances by leading tenor Wynne Evans and the Capital Voices, returning to perform songs from the iconic band, Queen

Maidstone Medway Magazine June 2012  

Lifestyle, Maidstone, Medway, Magazine