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Issue 47, December 2015 Complimentary

Kent’s Lifestyle Magazine





Christmas gifts galore



May Jagger ONE of the WORLD’S most IN-DEMAND models



elcome to this very special festive edition of mmm which we hope will bring a little added glitter to your Christmas preparations. After weeks of avoiding getting pulled into the build-up to the season – which seems to get earlier every year – we hope you’ll find inside plenty of inspiration to make sure you have a magical time. You will find a host of great ideas for the perfect gifts, ways to decorate your home in style and plenty of plans to keep the children entertained too. And don’t worry if you haven’t started your shopping yet; we are fortunate in Kent to be surrounded by a glorious selection of independent and major retailers stocking a fabulous wide selection of goods to everyone’s tastes. We should all be sure to support our local traders at this all-important time of year. While you are perusing the shops this season, we hope you’ll find time to sit back and relax with mmm. Inside this issue you’ll also find a little star dust too – with special features on the model daughter of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger. Georgia May Jagger has proved she has got what it takes to stand on her own two feet with a dazzling career already for one so young. What’s more inside this issue you can win some fabulous prizes courtesy of a competition with our friends at the Ashford International hotel and Baldwins travel. We’ve got spa passes and iPads to give away. In addition, we take a look at funny man Julian Clary who has just announced another stand-up tour in the county next year. Of course, this Christmas will be particularly poignant. I write this in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy in Paris – an event which left me, like the rest of us, so terribly upset. Perhaps at this time of year in particular we should be sure to fully appreciate what we have; our loving families and friends. We should all go that extra mile this year to reach out to everyone we know to make sure we don’t take them for granted; be that with a gift, a card, or simply a smile. Life can be so fragile. Christmas is the perfect time for us all to come together and celebrate being a part of each other’s lives and remember how very lucky we are. And where better to do that than in Kent – a beautiful, awe-inspiring county which boasts so many things to see, do and enjoy. So make sure you have a festive season to remember and have a very happy Christmas. We’ll see you in 2016!


See you next month! Rasa





mmm MMM Media Ltd GHL House 1st Floor 12-14 Albion Place Maidstone Kent ME14 5DZ Tel: 01622 299035


MOTORS Luxurious Mercedes - benz GLS


buSINESS Latest local news in Kent


CHRISTMAS Festive selections



bEAuTY To make you sparkle

EVENTS Highlighting family fun and celebrations throughout Kent


FOOD Recipes to inspire


RAzzAMATAz Medway youngester selected as new mini comedy star


WARTIME CHRISTMAS Goodwill to all men


HOROSCOpES December predictions by Ali Janes


TRAVEL 2016 holiday inspirations


bANG AND OLuFSEN 90th birthday celebration


JuLIAN CLARY From the high camp to mainstream


DECEMbER GARDENING Winter preparations 5/1 01 n2

JEWELLERY All that glitters


CHRISTMAS DIARY DATES For a truly magical season


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. Š MMM Media Ltd 2015

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Further Contribution Tracy Jones David Bartholomew

SISSINGHuRST CASTLE GARDEN Historic, poetic and iconic


Sales Sue Houghton


n/W inte

Design Matthew Jones

GEORGIA MAY JAGGER Like a Rolling Stone


Editorial Tom White Robin J Brooks Tricia Lester Sarah Vince



Publisher Rasa Dregva













ome people are simply born to become stars. And if celebrity is deep within your very genetic make-up it is an inevitability. So it is little wonder that Georgia May Jagger has now established herself as one of the latest era of supermodels – combining glamour, celebrity and the backing of the world’s biggest brands. The youngest daughter of Dartford’s Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger and the forever glamorous Jerry Hall, at just 23 she has modelled for the likes of Chanel, Versace, Vivienne Westwood and Rimmel. She even joined the likes of Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell in front of a global audience of hundreds of millions to celebrate British fashion at the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games. But she’s also only too aware of the benefits her famous family bring and the opportunities they have created – in addition to some dropdead gorgeous biology. “Without question my mum has opened doors for me,” she reflects, “and I am very grateful for everything she and my dad have done for me. “My mum always says not to take yourself too seriously and don’t dress for other people.  CELEBRITY FEATURE

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“My dad taught me how to have a life, too. He is someone that is so recognised, but he does manage to keep his life private and he’s passed that on to me.” It would be terribly unfair to suggest her career is purely based on her heritage, yet there is no denying the name hasn’t hurt. At just 22 she had earned enough money from her own career to be able to buy her own house. So much, so young…and so much more to come. “I get asked what I want to do in the future every day, which is crazy,” she reflects, “ I’m only 23 and I’ve been working for eight years. I’d like to work in the fashion industry but not as a model. Hopefully I’ll do photography and I’ll be designing stuff in the future. We’ll see.” Born in 1992, she is the third of the couple’s four children born after Elizabeth (born in 1984), James (1985) and before Gabriel (1997). CELEBRITY FEATURE

She grew up in the family’s home in Richmond Hill, in London, and was just six when her parent’s long relationship ended in divorce in 1999. Since then, her parents have continued to generate headlines on a nearly weekly basis but Georgia May seems to enjoy the lifestyle which her parents’ continued success delivers. She admitted taking in several of the Stones’ shows on their recent world tour. She said: “We’ve had a lot of fun in the crowd pit shaped as a tongue. We actually took Taylor Swift in there and that was the first time she’d been in the crowd at a concert for ages.

“People don’t really recognise me and I’m quite good at going out incognito without any make-up.” Splitting her time between London, New York and frequent trips to the likes of Australia, she is fast racking up the sort of air miles of her parents. She’s also having to get used to some of the drawbacks of such a jet-set lifestyle. “My mum told me that by doing a job like this means you miss out on some personal events, like birthdays and weddings, but you get over it.” Her relationship with her parents remains tight. Earlier this year she and her mother holidayed together in the south of France, being snapped enjoying the beach at St Tropez. While the family unit may have fractured, they have all taken steps to ensure none drift too far away, and being together remains important. Her mother Jerry Hall explained: “Even

though Mick and I were divorced, we’ve tried hard to make a healthy environment for our children. Things we’ve been very strict about are good manners and thoughtfulness to others. We’ve always had meals with them, so they have always interacted with adults and people from different walks of life, so they are able to make conversation – I think that’s a great skill to teach your children. “Having famous parents was challenging for our kids. I’d come from some modelling job all made up and they’d say, ‘Mum, why can’t you just, like, wear jogging clothes when you pick me up from school?’. But I think they picked up a strong work ethic from Mick and me. “My children are very close to Mick’s other children, my stepchildren. Mick has a son with another woman, after me, so the whole family is very, very close, and I’m close with the mothers. “I think family is really, really important. It gives you a good foundation, a lot of strength. It’s really important to me that there is not conflict in the family. We have big Christmas get-togethers; with all the mums and all the children and it’s wonderful. One big blended family.” 

I think family is really, really important. It gives you a good foundation, a lot of strength...We have big Christmas get togethers; with all the mums and all the children


It’s certainly a very modern one. But you cannot help but respect that Jerry Hall and Mick Jagger – two of the most instantly recognisable figures in the world today – remain so intent on protecting the unity of family, despite all the complications and relationships which pop up along the way. For Georgia May, the future looks as bright as ever. At 23, she has the world at her feet and a host of top contracts. She remains the face of Rimmel London’s advertising campaigns, and last year appeared in an international campaign for German jewellery firm Thomas Sabo. She may have originally caught the attention due to her famous parents, but Georgia May Jagger has more than proved she can stand on her own two feet. mmm


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GIFTS for her

Beurer aromatherapy foot spa £42.00

Hermes eau de toilette £78.00 Hermes Terre

Yellow, pink, blue purses £65.00 Calvin Klein

Molton Brown blissful bathing gift set £45.00 John Lewis

V gold classic styler £129.00

Lulu Guinness exclusive ‘A Little Lipstick Never Hurts’ clutch £65.00 House of Fraser

Diamond musk large statement candle £60.00 Biba

No.5 100ml £96.00 Chanel

KRUPS Pixie clips and aeroccino machine £179.99 House of Fraser

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GIFTS for him Oversize skull wool scarf £140.00 Alexander McQueen

Holmegaard Urania smoke £149.00 Amara

Casa Couture copper cocktail shaker and tool set £30.00 House of Fraser

Double credit card case £51.00 Aspinal of London

Duffel bag £85.00 Men’s Society

Men’s wash bag £39.95 Ted Baker

Clive Christian X for men fragrance £310.00 Harrods

Halcyon Days Houdon cufflinks £69.00 Amara Ginepro Di Sardegna fragrance £61.00 Acqua Di Parma

H2 Over-ear green headphones £169.00 Bang & Olufsen

Gold hip flask £20.00 Ted Baker




GIFTS for kids


Minions backpack £20.00 BHS

Children’s classic earmuffs chestnut £45.00 UGG®

Erin infant boots chestnut £40.00 UGG®

Spy 3D view googles £15.00 John Lewis

Disney Frozen sing along Elsa doll £39.99

Spiderman slippers £12.00 BHS

Star Wars - giant 79cm Darth Vader £29.99

Snowman £20.00 Marks and Spencer

LEGO® The Simpsons kwik-e-mart £169.00 LEGO®

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MULLED WINE guaranteed spirit raiser

MULLED WINE 2/3 cup of honey or sugar 3 cinnamon sticks 8 to 10 cloves 2 tablespoons ground ginger (can be substituted with allspice) 1 orange, peeled and sliced (keep the peel to add zest for taste) 2 ounces of brandy (optional)


othing fills a home with Christmas spirit like the aroma of mulled wine on the stove. Cinnamon, orange peel, allspice, cloves, pink peppercorns and ginger are some of our favourites. Kind of like a warm Sangria, there are many ways that this can be prepared and rules don’t apply as strictly compared to other cocktails so have some fun with it. You can use fresh fruits or dried but a great way to share with friends is to make mulling spice gift packs. Then all they need to do is add some wine, sugar and brandy and they are off to the races.

Aromatic mulled red wine £30.00 Marks and Spencer

Tesco mulled wine £21.00 Tesco

Combine the ingredients (except the brandy) in a large pot over low to medium heat and warm carefully. Keep below a simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring frequently. Despite its Hungarian name, ‘forralt bor’ (boiled wine), it’s important not to boil the wine, as the boiling point of alcohol is lower than that of water so by the time it comes to a boil both its alcohol content and wonderful aroma will be gone. Finally stir in the brandy, serve hot and enjoy.

Mulled wine sachet £5.00 Hotel Chocolat

Mulled wine gift set £20.00 Very

Luxury lemon, pecan and Amaretto mince pies

Method • Sift the plain flour into a mixing bowl and stir in the icing sugar, cinnamon, and ground almond. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. • Add the yolk and milk and combine to make a soft dough. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for half an hour. • Chop the pecans into small pieces and mix into the mincemeat with the Amaretto. • When the pastry has chilled, roll out on a floured surface to a 3mm thickness. Use a fluted cutter and cut out 36 rounds. Grease three 12-holed patty tins or bun tins and line each with a pastry circle.

• Add half a dessertspoon of mincemeat to each and put in the fridge for half an hour to chill. • Beat the softened butter with the caster sugar, selfraising flour, eggs and lemon zest until well combined. • Put about half a tablespoon of this sponge mixture on top of each mincemeat tart. • Place in a preheated oven, 180oC, for 13 to 15 minutes until the sponge is lightly golden and springs back when gently pressed. Leave to cool. • When cold, mix the lemon juice with the icing sugar and drizzle over the top of each mince pie cake. Then ready to serve. Recipe from: Tudor Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club Ashford Road Bearsted, Maidstone Kent, ME19 6JU 01732 521910


Chef’s Tip Give shop-bought mincemeat extra luxury by adding a few of your own ingredients. Try chopped pecans, walnuts, or slivers of almond; stir in some finely grated zest of a fresh orange or lemon; and add a good splash of your favourite tipple such as brandy, Amaretto, Cointreau, or Drambuie.


Makes 36 2 x jars of mincemeat 115g pecans 75ml Amaretto 285g plain flour 85g icing sugar 1 tsp ground cinnamon 170g butter 55g ground almonds 1 egg yolk 3 tablespoons milk 170g softened butter 250g caster sugar 170g self-raising flour 3 eggs Zest of two medium-sized lemons 115g icing sugar 1 tablespoon lemon juice

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The Raja of Kent Biddenden Road, Tenterden TN30 6SX

Tribute Nights Elvis

Mon 4th January

NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY 1st Sitting £20 - 6pm till 8.30pm Children under 10 £15 (1st sitting only) 2nd Sitting £35 - 9pm till late Includes free glass of champagne (2nd sitting only)

We are passionate about serving our customers with a relaxed food experience that is tasty and fun... l


Great selection of beers and wines

Relaxed atmosphere to help you unwind

In the heart of the food and drink quarter of Whitstable. Music and cocktails by candlelight in our courtyard You will find The Albert!! Friday & Saturday local DJ’s are on hand with some hand picked music


Sunday Brunch Menu every Sunday 12-5pm


Families are welcome



A variety of weekly food evenings including; steak night and Thai and a pint.



Papadom & Chutney, Starter, Main Course, Tea or Coffee & Star Cabaret

A unique menu featuring Asian twists on pub classics as well as pub favorites.



Includes fabulous 4 course dinner

Pop up space available. (visit in house or online for more details)

Sea Street, Whitstable, CT5 1AN The-Albert-Whitstable @TheAlbert1

01227 277936

International Vocal Entertainer, Recording Artiste, 90’s Pop Legend

01233 851191

Toasted marshmallow, chocolate

almond brittle and peanut butter ice cream

Ingredients Marshmallow 120g egg white 455g caster sugar 200g water 50g glucose 4 bronze gelatin leaves 50g corn flour 50g icing sugar Peanut butter ice cream 100g caster sugar 100g egg yolk 250g double cream 250 full fat milk 50g peanut butter Chocolate paint 50g cocoa butter 50g dark chocolate Almond brittle 100g toasted flaked almonds 100g caster sugar 50g butter 50g water

Method For the marshmallow • Whisk the egg whites to a soft peak. Boil the sugar, water, vanilla and glucose over a moderate heat to 121°c and then add the softened gelatin to melt. Slowly add the sugar mixture to the whisking soft peak egg whites, once all the sugar has incorporated, continue to whisk until the mixture begins to cool down. Then transfer the ‘meringue’ mixture to a lined container with the icing sugar and cornflour mixed onto it. Once cool and firm, turn out and portion into rectangles dusted again with the icing sugar and corn flour mix. For the peanut butter ice cream • Place the milk and cream into a heavy-based pan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy, then slowly whisk in the milk and cream mixture until well combined. Return the custard to a clean pan and cook over a medium-low heat for 5 to 6 minutes, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Whisk in the peanut butter and set aside to cool completely. Pour the custard mixture into an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Spoon into a freezer-proof plastic container and chill in the freezer until ready to serve. Remove from the freezer five minutes before serving to soften. For the chocolate paint • Melt the cocoa butter and chocolate together over a bain marie and leave in a warm place to keep melted. For the almond brittle • Boil the sugar, butter and water until a toffee caramel colour, pour over the toasted almonds, then allow to cool and set. Carefully break the brittle to get shards of almonds. To serve • Brush the chocolate paint across the plate, providing an area to build the dessert on. Blow torch the marshmallow lightly to get a toasted effect and flavour. Assemble the other garnishes over and around the marshmallow for a playful presentation. Recipe from: The Swan

35 Swan Street West Malling Kent, ME19 6JU 01732 521910 FOOD AND DRINK

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A Unique Experience At West Malling

Authentic Thai Cuisine served in a traditional way in exceptional surroundings





20th / 21st - ClosEd 22nd - 12pm - 2.30pm & 5.30pm -10.30pm Christmas 23nd - 12pm - 2.30pm & 5.30pm -10.00pm 24th / 25th / 26th / 27th / 28th - ClosEd Bookings 29th - 5.30pm -10.30pm now being taken 30th - 12pm - 2.30pm & 5.30pm -10.30pm 31st - 12pm - 2.30pm & 5.30pm - lATE 1st January - 12pm - 2.30pm & 5.30pm - 11.30pm

Baked goats

and spinach cheese tart

Ingredients 4x individual tart cases or one 12” blind baked short crust pastry case 6x large shallots 500g fresh baby leaf spinach 120g x goat’s cheese log (sliced in four ) 1x egg yolk 250ml x double cream 1x bunch of fresh chives. 120g seasonal leaves 100ml of your favourite salad dressing 25g sesame seeds

Method • Finely slice your shallots, cook on a low heat, without colour in a thick-bottomed pan. • Whilst the shallots are cooking slowly, mix the egg yolk and double cream together, season with rock salt and cracked black pepper. • Finely slice your chives and add to the egg mixture, stir and refrigerate. • Bring a small pan of water to the boil and add your spinach, submerge the spinach into the water for 30 seconds. • Remove spinach, with a slotted spoon, and add to a bowl of iced water. • Remove the spinach and squeeze between your fingers to remove any excess, visible water. • Place the spinach in a bowl, and set to one side. • Divide the shallots, between the four pre-baked tart cases, and spread evenly across the bases. • Take the spinach, and divide evenly on top of the shallots, ensuring that it all touches the sides. Season. • Now take a piece of the goats cheese, and break into four, place these four pieces on top of the spinach and repeat with the other three cases. • Pour over the egg and chive mixture until each case is full. • Bake the tarts for 10 minutes on 210°c or until golden brown. • In a small frying pan, gently grill a hand full, of seasame seeds until lightly golden, and warm. • Serve, straight from the oven on a selection of dressed mixed salad leaves with a drizzle of salad dressing, and sprinkle with a few freshly sliced chives and toasted sesame seeds. FOOD AND DRINK

Recipe from: The Limes

59 Preston Street Faversham Kent, ME13 8PG 01795 532007

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Catkins Holiday Home for Cats, Faversham Road, Charing. One of Kents most established catteries is now taking summer bookings.


taking bookings for 2016

Unashmed luxury offered for your feline friends. Collection and delivery possible. Please call Sarah or Kerry to discuss your cats individual requirments on

01233 713831

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Easy wheelchair access  Ample Parking

“A family run business now in our 42nd year of specialising and supplying QUALITY FIRES and FIREPLACES to the trade and public.” We have completed the REFURBISHMENT of our extensive and up-to-date showroom in Chatham, Kent. We offer GAS, ELECTRIC, FLUELESS and MULTI-FUEL fires from various manufactures. Classic, Contemporary, Traditional or Modern MORRIS AND TURNER has the style to fit your room. 4 Third Avenue, Chatham Kent, ME5 0AD CHRISTMAS OPENING HOURS 20th - 27th December: closed / 28th - 31st: 10am until 4pm

01634 813813



Joy at last as the people celebrate all over the country

he message of Christmas is one of goodwill. Easy in these times of peace but in times of war this philosophy did not come easy. By December 1939 Britain had been at war for over three months. Not that it would appear so, for with very little evidence of enemy action, this was the period known as ‘the Phoney War’. Life carried on as normal with every town and village in Kent preparing for what some thought could be the last ‘normal’ Christmas for years to come. With no rationing in place there was however no shortage of commodities or food. The local farmers were busy with turkey, chicken and goose sales whilst shop tills were ringing every day. The only apparent drawback was that the blackout had been introduced thus denying people the privilege of seeing Christmas tree lights in the windows of the houses. Although the government had asked the public to curb the urge to spend more money than usual, this went unheeded as hotels became fully booked and restaurants reported increased trade. The two voids in many households were however the absence of a father or son who had already joined the military and could not be home and the

fact that many young children had already been evacuated to other parts of the country for their own safety. In the latter instance however with no apparent danger appearing, many had returned home by Christmas only to be evacuated once again during 1940. By the time Christmas was celebrated that year, the season was to prove entirely different. With the Battle of Britain won by the autumn, the enemy turned its tactics to bombing the towns and villages of the country and especially Kent, the nearest county to London. This was the first real wartime Christmas and with rationing introduced during January, life for the civilian population was becoming very hard indeed. It had become a daily struggle with ration cards, endless queues and shortage of food. Butter, sugar, bacon and ham were the first to go on ration followed in March by all other meat products. When it came to bread it was the universally unpopular ‘national wheat-meal loaf’ that replaced normal bread. The government dictated that there was to be no waste, failure to comply would result in prosecution as one local housewife sadly found out. The local newspapers said it all.  HISTORY FEATURE

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‘ A housewife was today fined a total of £10 for feeding the birds with stale bread. She was told that this could have been put to better use by making a meal such as bread pudding and thus helping the war effort. It is hoped that this fine will prevent others from breaking the law’. With restrictions such as this, Christmas 1940 was a subdued affair. Heavy snow fell in Kent turning the countryside into a magical fairyland. Sustaining heavy bombing since the beginning of the blitz, the weather at least bought a respite over the festive period. Cards were still sent to family and friends though many were of the home made variety. With rationing beginning to bite hard, the year was a continual struggle to make ends meet. People were encouraged to ‘dig for Victory’ by turning their lawns into vegetable patches and the appearance of posters advertising the ‘Spitfire Fund’ all helped to keep up the morale of the public as they came together to ‘do their bit’. It was also the year that the black market began to flourish with plenty of non-rationed food available but at a price. Would 1941 see an improvement in the situation or would it get worse? March saw the ‘Lend / lease bill passed in America

enabling Britain to receive US goods on a ‘pay later’ agreement. With the first arriving in May, it did nothing to prevent the rationing of clothes and all retail goods which took effect immediately. It became a case of ‘make do and mend’. Rationing had reached its height by December 1941 when a family was allowed just 3 oz of cheese, 4 oz of jam and preserves, 2 pints of milk and approximately 3 eggs. In addition there were no turkeys, gin, sherry, chocolate or fruit with cigarettes and tobacco in very short supply. One positive thought as the year drew to a close was that we were not alone anymore in the fight against tyranny. With the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour in December, 1941, the Americans had entered the war. Soon the expression ‘over here, over paid and over sexed’ began to be heard as the US Forces arrived and made the greatest impact on Britain for decades. Apart from attracting the fair sex they also brought nylon stockings, canned fruit, chocolate and other commodities that were not available in the UK even on the black market. They also introduced very glamorous Christmas cards which appeared so much better than those made at home.  Even the enemy suffered from rationing at Christmas


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By 1942 two luxury commodities had been added to the ration list. Soap and sweets were restricted to 4oz of household soap and 2oz of luxury soap per month and, a disaster for children, sweets were rationed to 12oz per month. The Ministry of Food, ever willing to help, came up with the following suggestion:- ‘A Christmassy sparkle is easy to add to sprigs of holly or evergreen for use on puddings. Dip your greenery in a strong solution of Epsom Salts. When dry it will be beautifully frosted!’ However for those not wanting to cook on Christmas Day there was cheap food provided by a chain known as ‘ British Restaurants’. With over 2,000 of them open by September 1943, the public were able to enjoy satisfying meals. At the same time it was estimated that only one family in ten who were spending Christmas at home would taste turkey. The magazines that were available included instructions for making pretty bookmarks and calendars to give as presents. Despite the hardship, the season of 1943 did give hope that the war was going in the right direction and that just perhaps, it ‘might all be over by Christmas’ 1944. The year however dispelled any thoughts that this might be true. Despite the fact that initially spirits were elevated with the news that the Allies had landed in France on June 6th, 1944, and that the enemy was being pushed back into Germany, the later news that the Ardennes offensive had seen many thousands of soldiers die on both sides saw hopes fade swiftly away. The arrival of the V1 ‘doodlebug’ and the V2 rocket campaign further exaggerated thoughts that the war was to continue for at least another year. Perhaps the one light on the horizon was the fact that the Ministry of Food announced Christmas treats with extra rations over the festive period. Sadly however, this did not include alcohol but the most industrious of the populace resorted to making their own wine with anything they found that would ferment! As 1945 dawned a sense of optimism prevailed with the announcement of the death of Adolf Hitler in April. The last days saw a struggle for Berlin, eventually ending with the city under total Russian control. With the surrendering of all other German cities, it was announced on May 8th 1945 that the war was over. At last VE day had arrived. Euphoria swept through the country and no more so than in Kent. Christmas 1945 was still under rationing control but the joy of realising that finally the death and killing was over brought untold joy. Once again the pleasure of sending Christmas cards and the feeling that the season did herald the feeling of ‘goodwill to all men’ meant that the war was well and truly over even though rationing for the housewife was to continue until the 1950s. However those who lived through those six years of wartime austerity came to appreciate the true meaning of Christmas, something that is perhaps lacking a little in the 21st century. BY ROBIN J BROOKS

This Christmas - give war bonds

Christmas greetings to an Army Man HISTORY FEATURE

2016 Holiday inspirations with Baldwins Travel Group

Celebrity Cruises


or the first time ever, Celebrity Cruises will be homeporting in dazzling Abu Dhabi enjoy overnight and double overnight stays in destinations like exciting Dubai and idyllic Muscat. Explore new sights and sensations with their unique shore excursions. Celebrate New Year as never before. Greater modern luxury is waiting.


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Insider Journeys


ore than ever before travellers are looking to truly immerse themselves in local life while on holiday and 2016 looks set to be the year experiential travel really takes off. Luckily for Insider Journeys, this immersive style of travel is already at the heart of our business; for over 22 years we have been showing travellers the real Asia, creating unique experiences and stories that last a lifetime. Experiential holidays are the future, and our travellers can rest assured every one of our small group journeys is carefully crafted to help them uncover genuine experiences and real insight into the places we travel. Not only this, but 2016 marks the launch of some brand new tours. With demand for on-the-rise Japan looking set to continue, Insider Journeys is releasing three new trips to this fascinating country, including a Japan Winter Discovery (from £4,775pp) taking in the snow-capped Japanese alps. With demand for river cruising ever-increasing, we have also launched the Mekong & Beyond (from £2,720pp) and Laos & Cambodia Mekong Discovery (from £2540pp), combining the best of our small group journeys with a luxury cruise. The best of both worlds in one unforgettable trip!



auck’s relationship with the national parks goes back to the 1920’s, 90+ years of experience have built invaluable relationships, gained access, and utilised Tauck’s expertise in the creation of journeys to countless national parks throughout America. A visit to a national park inspires with nature’s best – endless landscapes that speak of freedom – and stories of the heroic efforts to preserve and protect these national treasures for future generations to enjoy. What are the best parts about exploring the national parks with Tauck? Their national park journeys offer experiences and access guests can’t get if travelling on their own. Tauck takes pride in providing unique insider access to these special places in ways that make sharing them with friends and family unforgettable – mustsee places at must-see times of day, when crowds are fewer and the experience is richer. Tauck has access to “hidden” places in the parks that only the locals know - to be shared with you. You’ll stay at hotels and lodges inside the heart of the national parks, such as Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Inn, Kachina Lodge in the Grand Canyon, The Ahwahnee in Yosemite and Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park. On your own, reservations often need to be made a year in advance – with Tauck, this is not the case. TRAVEL FEATURE

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Just You


river cruise is perhaps the most relaxing – and convenient – way to see the world. You can enjoy everchanging landscapes en route to a host of destinations and only have to unpack once. You’ll see some fabulous sights and scenery from a unique perspective on these wonderful holidays across Europe and in the remarkable country of Burma, so why not step aboard for a thrilling journey. Travel along beautiful rivers and waterways in Austria, France, Hungary, Italy, Portugal or Slovakia, or join our brand new cruise along the Irrawaddy River, which will introduce you to glittering pagodas, ancient temples and villages far removed from the modern world in Myanmar, formerly Burma.


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ith an accent on space and privacy, the atmosphere is one of unhurried elegance. Refreshingly, everything you could possibly ask for is included in your fare – exquisite à la carte dining in association with Relais & Châteaux Silversea’s preferred culinary partner; butler service for all suites, complimentary champagne, fine wines and spirits are available throughout the ship. Silversea’s all-suite accommodations provide you with unrivalled luxury, and the highest space to guest ratio of any fleet. Every suite offers an exceptional ocean-view with up to 95% having a private teak veranda. In a world of multi-national conglomerates, Silversea is owned and operated by one family – the Lefebvres of Rome.


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Azamara Club Cruises has always been known for more inclusive value, superior service and remarkable destinations — the latest of which will be our newly reimagined ships! In early 2016, our awardwinning sister ships will undergo major bow-to-stern upgrades designed to bring the essence of Azamara’s unrivalled Destination Immersion® experience onboard in innovative new ways. To take advantage of our amazing EARLY BOOKING BENEFIT while travelling in freshly reimagined style, simply book a voyage 10 months or more in advance. There’s always more to discover with Azamara. #LoveTravel With our new Early Booking Benefit,* you’ll receive added value in the form of Onboard Spending Money (OSM) to be used for Land Discoveries® shore excursions when you book your voyage a minimum of 10 months prior to departure.

Stateroom Category OSM per stateroom Club World Owner’s & Club Ocean Suites $1,000 Club Continent & Club Spa Suites $500 Club Balcony Staterooms $400 Club Oceanview & Club Interior Staterooms $300 Tropical Jungle in Costa Rica

For more details or to receive a brochure contact your local Baldwins Travel Group Branch –


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For a chance to win, simply fill out this form, cut out and send it to us by 31st December 2015.

Please tick here O if you would like to receive an Azamara Club Cruises Brochure

mmm Media Ltd, GHL House, 1st Floor, 12-14 Albion Place, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 5DZ

Enter this competition to be in with a chance to WIN an iPAD MINI 2 with Azamara Club Cruises and Baldwins Travel Group

Name............................................................. ...................................................................... Address....................................................... ...................................................................... ...................................................................... ...................................................................... Tel.................................................................. Email.............................................................. ...................................................................... TRAVEL FEATURE

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“I just don’t feel the need any more. It was a daring thing to do back then, now it’s not.” Born in 1959 in Surbiton, Surrey, his father was a policeman and his mother a probation officer. He admits there was a lot of laughter in the house

and that he enjoyed his childhood. “My mother didn’t want me to be a typical bloke. I was never badly behaved as a child, but I became subversive and theatrical,” he says. “My father was somewhat bemused but my mother positively encouraged it. “I feel that my mother deliberately shaped me to be the person I am. “I was an effeminate child and it was obvious to most people [that I was homosexual] – people would call me gay when I was at primary school. When I had my first national newspaper interview, the headline was ‘Gay Clary’. I was a bit taken aback, but my parents said they liked it.” That theatrical side would lead him to seek to pursue a comedy career – stepping out in various guises in the alternative comedy scene that would spawn the talents of the likes of Rik Mayall, Adrian Edmonson, Ben Elton, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French and Harry Enfield. Until as the Joan Collins Fan Club – the act which featured Fanny the Wonder Dog - he was picked up by Friday Night Live. From there he would start a slow but steady climb up the entertainment ladder. He first co-hosted a short-lived ITV game show in 1989 with the late DJ and presenter Mike Smith, called Trick or Treat, before hitting his stride with Channel 4 game show Sticky Moments with Julian Clary. He would return to the BBC for All Rise for Julian Clary in 1996 and has fronted a number of shows, TV adverts and appeared on panel shows. In 2004, he took part in the BBC series Strictly Come Dancing, finishing third with his partner Erin Boag – a move which showcased him to a new 

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audience and helped catapult him into the mainstream. Since then, it appears he is rarely off our screens. In addition, he has penned a number of books. Yet the success has not come without some heartache. In 1991 his boyfriend Christopher died from AIDS, which claimed the lives of so many in the 1980s and 90s. It was a traumatic time for the star, who spent nine months nursing him prior to his passing. “I just think I’m lucky to be here,” he says now, “having lived through the decades I have and the fact that some of my friends are no longer with us. “The doctors did their best [with Christopher]. They threw all these drugs at him. But they didn’t really know what they were doing in those days - and I think he knew that. I am cross that he couldn’t have had the medication that is available now.” Today, however, he is happy with his partner of the past 13 years, Ian. And next year he embarks on yet another stand-up tour – the chance for those with whom he shares the county of Kent to witness a remarkable and warm performer do what he does best. Julian Clary’s The Joy of Mincing tour calls at Tunbridge Wells’ Assembly Hall Theatre on April 22nd and Canterbury’s Marlowe Theatre on April 24th. Tickets are on sale now. mmm




Great Batchelors

Property - Great Batchelors Address - Sissinghurst Road, Biddenden, Kent, TN27 8EX Bedrooms - Seven Bathrooms - Three Price - ÂŁ1,295,000 Great Batchelors Positioned on the rural outskirts of Biddenden, Great Batchelors is situated in a convenient location about 1 mile from the village centre. Biddenden has a range of local facilities including general store, post office, public house, tea room and restaurants. There is also a Parish Church, popular primary school, village hall and recreation ground. Headcorn station (5 miles) provides mainline rail services to London in about an hour. The larger market towns of Tenterden (6 miles) and Cranbrook (4 miles) offer a wider and comprehensive range of facilities. Great Batchelors is a beautiful Grade II* listed building believed to have 15th Century origins with later additions. The wealth of period and character

features are complimented by modern fittings throughout this wonderful home. Of note are the charming inglenook fireplaces, wealth of exposed timbers with a good ceiling height throughout, ornate carved staircase and leaded windows with a double aspect to most rooms. On the ground floor there is a reception hall with grand front door opening through to the spacious kitchen/breakfast room which has a fine range of wall and base storage units, granite work surfaces, Aga stove, central island unit, pantry and doors to the rear porch, utility room and cloakroom. The sitting room enjoys a double aspect and feature inglenook and door leading through to the original front entrance and continues to the drawing/family room which also has a double aspect and inglenook with log burning stove and doorway to the dining hall with vaulted ceiling. There is also a pool room with storage area and shower/w.c. On the first floor the spacious landing has a range of wardrobe and storage cupboards and staircase to the second floor and doors to all of the bedrooms.


The master suite has a walk in wardrobe and modern en suite shower room with three piece suite and storage cupboard. The four further bedrooms all of a good size are complimented by the family bathroom with four piece suite and separate shower room. On the second floor there is a central landing opening to two further double bedrooms, one with an en suite shower room. Outside, the property is set well back from the road and approached by an electric gated entrance onto an extensive gravel drive providing private parking and turning for numerous vehicles. The garage block has two sets of doors to the front and side (lapsed planning was granted for conversion of the garage to a gym/training room and studio/home office and the erection of a new double garage 03/01255/ AS). The well-tended formal gardens surround the property and are predominately laid to lawn with numerous flowers, shrubs and trees. There is also a large pond and woodland area hiding the compost bays, heated swimming pool enclosed to the front by a high brick wall, pergola with adjacent water feature, summerhouse, log store, vegetable garden greenhouse and shed. For more information, please call James Oliver’s Estate Agency on 01580 766668 or visit their website




More than just Estate Agents Sibley Pares Residential, estate agents and letting agents in Maidstone, Kent offer a range of property services including u RESIDENTIAL SALES u LETTINGS u PROPERTY MANAGEMENT u VALUATIONS









Four bedroom apartment within the exclusive Elizabethan Manor House, set in landscaped grounds stretching approximately 11 acres. Found between Maidstone and Sutton Valence this unique property is approached by a sweeping gravel driveway behind electronic gates. There is a grand, communal entrance hall with original features dating back to the 16th century. The apartment is set over two floors and offers spacious rooms with stunning views across the gardens. £1700.00pcm


Detached house with high quality finishes, in village location, just 3 miles from Tenterden. Landscaped garden to the rear, garage and driveway. There is open plan living space on the ground floor, with 3 bedrooms, en-suite shower room and family bathroom located on the first floor. £1200.00pcm

We’re The Property Professionals with experts in all aspect of property As part of the long established Sibley Pares group, we offer our clients a high standard of professionalism and customer service. Our team of experienced letting agents and estate agents will guide you through every step of the process and can offer expert advice on buying and selling in this region. T: 01622 692206 E: | 1 Ashford Road, Maidstone, Kent ME14 5BJ



Woodstock House Address - 15 Ashford Road, Maidstone Kent, ME14 5DA Bedrooms - Two Bathrooms - One Price - ÂŁ260,000 Unique Georgian house completely renovated to a high standard showing an excellent level of finishes. This stunning semi-detached property was originally built in the early 19th century and has been transformed into an ideal, home centrally located. With its original features and contemporary fittings to give a modern finish, this property will suit

someone who will benefit from being able to move in, sit back, relax and enjoy the surroundings. The property is set back from the road with off road parking to the front, and as the property is listed it has been fitted with glazing that is befitting the style of the property and keeping any noise outside. It has bay windows to the front and is south facing, the rooms allow plenty of natural light, with feature fireplaces restored to give a warm focal point. The kitchen is L-shaped to include a dining area that opens into a courtyard and integral appliances are included. This property also benfits from a large cellar.


Being within close proximity to the town centre this property is ideally situated for all amenities with good motorway access and mainline railway stations are within walking distance. Mote Park, 180 hectares of parkland is also just a short walk away and the town offers excellent retail with three shopping centres, plenty of pubs, clubs and restaurants, with a theatre and Odeon Cinema complex. For more information, please call Sibley Pares Residential on 01622 692206 or visit their website


Reactive Building & Maintenance Services About Overbury Property Group

Overbury Estates was originally set up as a family business to look after and manage our own rental portfolio. We have been in the property business in excess of 30 years and have been redeveloping properties for the last 25 years to include anything from a basic refurbishment to a complete rebuild. As the Overbury Property Group continues to grow, we now employ the majority of our workforce who are all experienced tradesmen in their own right.



Why Choose Overbury



How Overbury Works

Once you have made contact with us, we will book in to see you so that we can have a look and find out more about what is needed. We will then send in the relevant people from our team of professionals for a closer look and to get a feel for the cost involved. We can then send out a quote to you and, once done, our dedicated staff will book everyone in when needed in line with your project. Overbury Property Group will be the one point of contact throughout your project to answer all your questions along the way. Having featured on Homes Under The Hammer, this really underlines the quality and true professionalism of our business.

No matter how big or small a job that’s needed or how diverse your project might be, Overbury Property Group are very proud to have the experienced team of professionals to give you exactly what your property needs. Very simply, with just one point of contact for all of our services, we will project manage your job from start to finish to ensure a wonderful end result and a stress free process!

Our services

Meet Our Team

Alongside our own fantastic staff, we employ professional qualified contractors who are registered in their own field of expertise with their relevant governing bodies such as gas safe for all gas appliances, boilers and the like or NIC/EIC electrical engineers for all domestic household electrical installation or appliances.

Alarm & fire safety systems; basement conversions; bathrooms; boiler repairs; brickwork; building surveying; carpentry of all types; doors; drainage and maintenance; fencing; flat roofs; flooring carpets, hardwood, laminate and lino; footings; garages; garden clearances; gas safety; heating; kitchens supplied and fitted; legionnaires disease; NIC/ EIC registered electricians; painting and decorating; patios and driveways; pipe work; planning permission; plastering; plumbing repairs; renovations; restoration; rewiring; roofing; rubbish clearances; sash windows; staircases; tiling; window repairs and replacement... and much more!

43a High Street, Newington, Kent ME9 7JR • T: 01795 842206 E: • W: • BATHROOMS • KITCHENS • EXTENSIONS • FLOORING • RENOVATIONS • DECORATING

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20th - 27th December: closed / 28th - 31st: 10am until 4pm

1st of DEcEmbER

‘‘A family run business now in our 42nd YEAR of supplying quality BATHROOMS to the trade and public.”

We have completed the REFURBISHMENT of our extensive and up-to-date showroom in Chatham, Kent. We offer MONTROSE fitted bespoke furniture. With our CAD DESIGN SERVICE we are able to draw to scale your BATHROOM. You will be able to VIEW before you BUY.

4 Third Avenue, Chatham Kent, ME5 0AD

01634 813813

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Intriguing, unique and durable wooden Outdoor Retreats to suit all occasions

Smoking shelters, BBQ, Patio, Jacuzzi and poolside tables l Solid Oak tables, Benches and Chairs l Built from timber sourced only from sustainable FSC approved forests l Planning permission required l Minimum disruption and built in a day! l


Bespoke Outdoor Furniture u u Accessories u

07946 135441

01233 822276 Units 4 & 5 Colt Works Pluckley Road, Bethersden Ashford, Kent TN25 3DD

House of Fraser 48 mmm

16cm candle holder with LED timer light £19.00 Very

‘Tis the season to be jolly’ sign £18.00 House of Fraser

Polar bear with penguin £16.00 BHS

DECK the halls

Gold leaf wreath £39.50 Marks and Spencer

Stag candle holder £45.00 House of Fraser Christmas tree card holder £18.00 Very

Lit wooden noel sign £18.00 BHS


Grey flocked squirrel with cone £8.00 John Lewis

Amara Elephant with parcel decoration £6.00 John Lewis

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Tel: 01622 902014



issinghurst Castle a refuge dedicated to beauty. Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson fell in love with the Castle and created a world renowned garden. Vita Sackville-West, the poet and writer, began transforming Sissinghurst Castle in the 1930s with her diplomat and author husband, Harold Nicolson. Harold’s architectural planning of the garden rooms, and the colourful, abundant planting in the gardens by Vita, reflect the romance and intimacy of her poems and writings. Sissinghurst Castle Garden was the backdrop to a diverse history; from the astonishing time as a prison in the 1700s, to being a home to the Women’s Land Army. It was also a family home to some fascinating people who lived here or came to stay. The vast panoramic views from the top of the Tower, show the working farm and the 450-acre wider estate. In the early 1930s views of Sissinghurst Castle Garden reveal that buildings were sited amidst a working farm. Orchards were present behind the tower and the woodland was much denser. The farmland around was used to grow wheat, graze livestock and grow fruit and hops. Sissinghurst Castle’s past is a complicated one; spanning many centuries, monarchs and uses. Here’s a brief glimpse into the past of one of the most intriguing places in the Weald of Kent.


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Open: MONDAY to FRIDAY at 8am till 5pm SATURDAY at 9am till 2pm

Stockists and Fitters of • LAMINATES • VINYL FLOORING • UNDERLAY • CARPETS Unit 8, Ballard Business Park, Cuxton Road, Strood, Kent, ME2 2NY Tel: 01634 720411 Email: Website:



Vita often wrote of Sissinghurst: ‘The heavy golden sunshine enriched the old brick with a kind of patina, and made the tower cast a long shadow across the grass, like the finger of a gigantic sundial veering slowly with the sun. Everything was hushed and drowsy and silent but for the coo of the white pigeons.’ Vita’s work room was in the Tower. It was where she spent much of her time writing. In 1940 Vita wrote to Harold: ‘The only nice thing that comes out of war is that we now have a guard on top of the tower. In a steel helmet and rifle he looks most picturesque over the parapet.’

The Sissinghurst Castle estate is 450 acres of beautiful Wealden countryside. Looked after by a team of rangers, it’s a fascinating place to spot native wildlife all year round. It is a joy for walkers and horse riders alike. The tenant farmer, farms the land and rears Sussex cattle and Romney sheep. Take a look behind the rose garden gate on Thursday afternoons 2pm – 4.30pm in September and October for a glimpse into the new growing area in the nursery. This new area has three main roles, a flower garden, a trial area where varieties of perennials are grown and a biennial growing area – this is where foxgloves, verbascums and wallflowers are grown from seed. These are planted in the autumn, grown on over winter for planting out early the following spring. The gardeners will be working in this area on Thursday afternoons so the public will be able to observe, talk to them and ask questions. NATIONAL TRUST

MERCEDES-BENZ GLS Luxurious and new



he new seven-seat luxury SUV, the Mercedes-Benz GLS, is now available to order, priced from £69,100 OTR, ahead of first UK deliveries in March 2016. The new GLS sets standards as the ‘S-Class among SUVs’. This seven-seater premium SUV combines luxury with comfort, agile dynamics and best-in-class safety. The new GLS features improved efficiency, extended dynamic select transmission modes, the latest airmatic air suspension system with ADS adaptive damping system, a ninespeed 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission, stateof-the-art driver assistance systems and the latest telematics with internet access. Three models are available in the UK: the GLS 350d 4MATIC AMG Line, the GLS 350d 4MATIC designo Line and the new Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 4MATIC.


The standard specification is comprehensive and includes the latest generation of comand online including an 8-inch screen and touchpad; airmatic air suspension with adaptive damping; LED Intelligent Light System with Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus; leather upholstery; memory front seats; Harmon Kardon Logic 7 surround sound system; panoramic electric sunroof; parking package with 360° camera; lane tracking package including Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist; Keyless-GO comfort package; thermotronic climate control with three zones; three-colour ambient lighting; and heated seats in the front two rows. The designo Line brings even more luxurious appointments, including designo nappa leather upholstery with diamond pattern quilting; heated and cooled front seats; a heated steering wheel; a

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four-zone climate control including the third row of seats; temperature-controlled cup holders; and interior air ionisation with filter. Also included is the Active Curve System, which uses active suspension stabilisers to help reduce the rolling motion of the vehicle in mid- and high-speed bends. It also helps increase axle articulation off-road. The interior can be further personalised at no extra cost with a choice of five different leather upholstery colours in the AMG Line or two luxurious designo Exclusive nappa leather options in the designo Line. Customers can choose from four wood trim finishes (brown open-pore ash, high-gloss brown burr walnut, high-gloss brown eucalyptus, black poplar) or aluminium trim at no cost, with cost options including black piano lacquer and AMG carbonfibre with black piano lacquer (combined). The GLS 350d uses a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine, which produces 258 hp and 620 Nm of torque, and emits 199 g/km of CO2 (down from 209 g/km). The 9G-TRONIC nine-speed

automatic gearbox is standard, making for greater efficiency and smoother shifts, as well as dynamic select driving modes. An optional off-road package for the 350d adds a centre differential lock; low-range gearbox; extra modes for the dynamic select system and three additional heights for the suspension, to increase ground clearance to 306 mm and wading depth to up to 600 mm. Also included are underbody protection panels, and an off-road function for the headlights. With a peak output of 585 hp and peak torque of 760 Nm from just 1,750 rpm, the 5.5-litre bi-turbo V8 in the GLS 63 offers even more power (+28 hp), more dynamism and higher equipment levels than before. Standard features include a revised AMG speedshift plus 7G-TRONIC transmission with AMG dynamic select transmission modes which provide optimum flexibility, and rear-biased AMG Performance allwheel drive. The styling now

incorporates the latest Mercedes-Benz look. The new front end includes distinctive power domes on the bonnet, while among changes at the rear are more prominent tailpipes. Interior highlights include a newly-designed instrument panel, a new three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, and a modified centre console with touchpad. The AMG Line includes distinctive front and rear bumpers, illuminated side running boards, and 21inch AMG light-alloy wheels. The optional Night package makes for an even more exclusive look, with high-gloss black details including the louvres in the radiator grille, door mirrors and roof rails. The revised interior offers a spacious environment for up to seven passengers, with boot volume of 295 (all seats in place), 680 (thirdrow seats folded) or 2300 litres (all rear seats folded), in a load compartment that is up to 2124 mm long and with a payload capacity of up to 815 kg. Driver assistance systems fitted as standard include collision prevention assist plus; crosswind assist; attention assist; pre-safe system; brake assist BAS; electronic all-wheel drive traction system 4ETS; ESP with curve dynamic assist; cruise control with variable speedtronic speed limiter and the steer control steering assist function. The optional Driving Assistance package Plus brings systems including distroinic plus with Stop&Go pilot; pre-safe brake with pedestrian detection; BAS PLUS with crosstraffic assist; active blind spot sssist; Active Lane Keeping Assist and PRE-SAFE PLUS. Optimum protection potential is provided

by the passive occupant protection systems together with the ‘electronic crumple zones’ of the assistance systems and the intelligent body design. Adaptive, two-stage airbags for driver and front passenger, kneebag for the driver (combined thorax/pelvisbags) and windowbags above all three seat rows are also part of the standard specification, among other features. With dynamic select, the new GLS provides up to six transmission modes. In addition to comfort, slippery and sport modes, the driver can choose individual or off-road modes (the optional offroad package adds off-road+ mode). The GLS is available to order now, with deliveries starting from March 2016

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LEEDS CASTLE GOES QUACKERS TO HELP LITTLE GEORGIA Any parents will know how distressing it can be when your little one loses a favourite toy. During a visit to Leeds Castle with her mum on the 26th October, poor 16 month old Georgia Milne from Maidstone lost her beloved cuddly duck ‘Ducker’ somewhere in the 500 acres of grounds. Ducker was Georgia’s first ever toy, bought whilst on a family holiday. She last remembered playing pooh sticks with him on the bridges as they made their way back through the Woodland Walk and towards the car park. Quick thinking Mum, Liz Milne took to Twitter to appeal to Leeds Castle and our visitors in the search to #helpfindducker. Staff at the Castle were alerted to be on the lookout for

Ducker around the grounds, but sadly it appears as if he may have migrated for the winter. Unable to find Ducker, Leeds Castle invited Georgia and her Mum back to the Castle this week to give a new home to Ducker’s long lost cousin ‘Quacker’ – on the condition that they keep an eye on him when playing pooh sticks in the future. Liz said: “I shared the missing Ducker poster on Twitter hoping he would be handed in. Ducker meant so much to Georgia so it was very kind and so lovely of Leeds Castle to replace Ducker with Quacker. We will definitely look after this one much better.” Leeds Castle CEO Sir David Steel said: “All of us at the Castle have been thrilled to home Quacker with Georgia. With many thousands of children of all ages visiting the grounds that week, my hope is that Ducker has also found a good home with an equally devoted custodian.” Annual tickets to Leeds Castle cost £24 for adults; £21 for seniors and visitors with disabilities (carer goes free); £16 for children (under 4’s free). Annual tickets are valid for 12 months so you can pay once and visit all year round. Pre-book online before you visit and save 10%.

TOP REGIONAL RANKINGS FOR CRIPPS An exceptionally strong performance in this year’s Legal 500 guide has seen Cripps strengthen its position as one of the South East’s leading law firms. Recognised as a regional heavyweight, Cripps is awarded the highest South East ranking in eight specialist areas across its corporate, real estate and private client divisions. A further top ranking is given for its expertise in the London commercial property market. The guide recommends Cripps in a total of 24 practice areas in the South East and a further four in London. In addition, four of its team – Philip Youdan, Simon Leney, Miles Paffard and Michael Stevens – are highlighted as leading UK lawyers in their field, with a further 36 commended for their expertise. Gavin Tyler, managing partner at Cripps, said: “This is an excellent performance and to receive such recognition in so many specialist areas is proof of LOCAL NEWS

our position as a leading South East law firm, serving clients in London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex – one that can match and better the offering of many national players.” Particularly notable in the guide is the regional strength of the Cripps corporate and commercial division, which is described as a “high-quality team delivering high-quality work”, adding “the exceptionally large team has sector specialisms in healthcare, advertising and technology”. There is further praise for the “first-class” property lawyers and the “excellent” service they offer; the “fantastic” healthcare team; the “impressive” family and intellectual property offerings; the size of the employment team as well as the “fantastic” contentious trusts and probate team which “rivals London firms”.

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CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND IS JUST A 15-MINUTE HOP ACROSS THE CHANNEL Enjoy Christmas shopping French style this year with a magical weekend in ‘Paris by the sea’. The stylish French resort of Le Touquet is just a 15-minute flight away with Lyddair, based at Kent’s London Ashford Airport, which is now taking bookings for its scheduled Christmas flights to the jewel of France’s northern coast. Famous for its gorgeous illuminations, shops, restaurants and Christmas market in art deco surroundings, Le Touquet is transformed into a Christmas wonderland during December, with thousands of twinkling lights and a host of events and activities. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride, hop on the merry-go-round, get your skates on for the outdoor ice rink or browse the stalls at the popular Christmas market. Spend the day shopping for gifts, dine at one of Le Touquet’s excellent restaurants, or simply wander through this chic seaside town and soak up the festive atmosphere. Return flights with Lyddair cost £149.94 adults, £138.54 children and £55.90 infants. Prices

are based on an overnight stop, with scheduled departures from Lydd on Saturday December 5th, 12th and 19th and return flights on Sunday December 6th, 13th and 20th. Flight time is just 15 minutes, with check-in only 45 minutes before departure – giving you more time to spend enjoying Le Touquet. Accommodation is not included but Lyddair’s reservations team can assist with hotel bookings, as well as provide restaurant recommendations.


This weekend saw 700 of the toughest men, women and even children (8 years and over) take on the first Commando Series, a 6km/12km 15 obstacle and endurance challenge at Hever Castle in Kent. Tackling exact replicas of the obstacles used by the Royal Marine Commandos at the Training Centre in Devon, participants showed their true grit and determination to make it across the wild terrain course. The course included the harsh grounds of the Castle’s surrounding forest and took in the unique caves and challenging waterways. Authentic Commando Instructors were on-hand at each obstacle ready to give participants help or encouragement, whether they wanted to ‘just get around’ or be ‘treated like a commando’. The course record for the fastest time, taking two laps of the route was set by Dean Stattmann

from London, in an incredible one hour 25 minutes. Dean totally immersed himself in the experience by also taking on the overnight survival and bivouac experience, sleeping outside in the grounds and learning the guiding principles of survival. Another ‘recruit’ Richard who travelled from Bournemouth to attend the event said, “The event created a great sense of community with everyone helping each other out, the Commando Instructors were tough but the obstacles were fun and the course was brilliant.” Some of the more well-known obstacles included the dreaded Sheep Dip and a 30m neck deep wading pool but wannabe recruits powered through each test with the help of Royal Marine Commandos stationed at each stop. All the finishers made it to the top of the last obstacle, the 12ft wall, conquering the biggest test of all. Each and every finisher was then rewarded with a Commando Series finisher dog tag. Blind runner, Alison Mead and her guide GB athlete, Roz McGinty completed the entire course together finishing all the obstacles with the courage of true commandos. Roz says,“Who knew so much mud and water could be so fun. The Commando was simply awesome; tough, wellorganised with a fab variety of obstacles.” LOCAL NEWS

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WIND BAND TAKES A MUSICAL TRIP AROUND THE WORLD Kent Schools Wind Band treated family and friends to a varied programme of wind band music on Sunday (November 1st) taking them on a musical journey around the world. The concert was the culmination of a three-day course run by Kent Music at the Thorndyke Arts Centre in Rochester.

The course for school age students included intensive sectional work with professional musicians alternating with full rehearsals under the expert leadership of Graeme Vinall. Course manager Phill Hyde said: “This was a really productive and intensive course allowing students to enjoy and benefit from performing with like-minded musicians from around the county. The progression and development in three days by the group was truly impressive.”

DYNAMIC PROPERTY AGENT LAUNCHES IN KENT Britain’s newest entrant into the property sales market is launching in Kent. YOPA has recruited Barry Attree to lead its push in the Bromley, Dartford and Medway areas of the county, and Philip Brown to cover Tonbridge. Between them they have over 45 years’ experience in the industry. YOPA CEO Daniel Attia said: “We know that people across Kent want to get the best possible price for their property, are looking for a 24/7 estate agent with the latest technology and they’re fed up of being ripped off by excessive estate agent fees. “Now vendors can spend the money we save them on something else – like a holiday, a new car or smart furniture for their new home. Our winning combination of local property managers and easyto-use web property marketing platform frees our local experts to accurately value your property, create quality details and negotiate the best price for you. The days of the old-fashioned high street estate agent that closes at 5pm are firmly over. We can offer a slicker, faster, more efficient service with the customer at the heart of everything we do.” LOCAL NEWS

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CHALKWELL GIVES COMMUTERS A FREE DAY OUT Kent coach travel specialist Chalkwell marks its 85th anniversary next year – and the company is getting celebrations off to an early start by giving away free day trips to Maidstone and Medway customers who use its London commuter services. Family-run Chalkwell is laying on two coaches to treat annual ticket holders to a complimentary Daybreak to Winchester Christmas Market or Bruges Christmas Market in December. Chalkwell’s Commercial Director, Roland Eglinton, personally wrote to every annual customer to invite them on a free pre-Christmas day out, plus the chance to take a guest for half price. “We really appreciate our customers’ loyalty and this is our way of thanking them for their support,” says Roland. “We’ve had a fantastic response with around 80 people taking us up on the offer. We’ll also be giving annual customers the chance to travel with a guest free of charge on one of our 2016 Daybreak trips, which include a fantastic choice of shows, theme parks, museums, stately homes and Continental destinations.” As well as giving away free Daybreaks, Chalkwell also held a prize draw for commuters, with four Annual GoCard holders winning an

extra two weeks’ travel for free and two MultiJourney GoCard holders winning 10 free journeFree travel and day trips are just the latest good news for Chalkwell’s commuters. Earlier this month the company announced it was cutting its fares from Maidstone and Kings Hill to London by up to nearly 10%. Meanwhile, new customers are being offered the chance to try out Chalkwell’s Maidstone-toLondon service for free. The company is giving nine weeks’ complimentary travel to anyone who wants to trade in their annual rail or coach ticket for a Chalkwell Annual GoCard; or they can get a free 10-journey GoCard by scanning their existing annual, four-week or monthly ticket from their current rail ticket provider or coach operator.

ELEGANT NEW LOOK FOR THE SWAN INN Historic 19th century pub The Swan in Maidstone has reopened following an extensive £80,000 refurbishment. Work at the traditional town centre pub, owned by Shepherd Neame, included redecorating the bar area, including introducing a new back bar display and wood effect flooring. A log burning stove was installed in the snug area, which now has flagstone flooring. The toilets have been completely refurbished, and new lighting and decorations have been introduced throughout the pub. The pub exterior has been repainted, with traditional sign writing, and its walled garden has been refurbished. The pub also has a new licensee, Anna-Marie Snell from Larkfield, who moved in at the start of September. Anna-Marie, 32, worked in pubs for

several years before taking time out to be a full-time Mum to her four children, aged from three to 13. She said: “I was ready to get back into work, and started looking around for pubs in the area. As soon as I walked in The Swan, I knew it was the right one. It had a really friendly atmosphere, and was in a great location. I also liked the idea of taking over the pub after the refurbishment work, as it gave me a clean slate which I could put my stamp on.” Anna-Marie will be running the pub with her partner Aaron Chamber, along with her sister-in-law, brother and Mum. She said: “Our aim is to ensure the pub is at the heart of the local community. Children and dogs will be welcome and we have lots of events and live entertainment coming up for customers to enjoy. It is my first time as a licensee, but I have lots of pub experience, and am confident that with the support of my family, we can ensure The Swan goes from strength to strength.” Shepherd Neame’s director of retail and tenanted operations Nigel Bunting said: “The Swan is a great traditional local, and we are really pleased with the results of the refurbishment project. We look forward to seeing Anna-Marie and her family maximise the pub’s full potential.” LOCAL NEWS

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VISIT THE WHO’D A THOUGHT IT, KENT’S FUNKIEST HOTEL Kent’s funkiest hotel, the ‘Who’d A Thought It’ has enjoyed many exciting changes in 2015, new and updated rooms, an amazing new head chef and always upholding a high standard of service. The Who’d A Thought it has continued to provide the South East of England with a fabulous venue for fine dining and drinking as well as it’s uniquely decorated rooms, which never cease to have guests returning again and again. Hugely popular with guests from near and far, the 13 individually decorated rooms and suites offer a luxurious escape in the heart of the Kent countryside. Whether it is a romantic room with a deluxe fourposter bed, or a contemporary suite with a modernyet-elegant design, there is something for every taste.

Some rooms feature indulgent hot tubs and jacuzzis where guests can relax and unwind. November saw the launch of the new presidential suite ‘Krug’, featuring a grand 9ft bed positioned under sparkling crystal chandeliers, two hot tubs as well as a deluxe shower steam room. This opulent room looks set to be very popular with guests in 2016. This autumn saw the arrival of a new head chef, Tobi Caira. With a wealth of experience in gourmet creations, Tobi takes to the helm of this popular restaurant and has ambitious plans which look to really put the Who’d A Thought It on the map as one of the area’s most desirable dining locations. The Who’d a thought it is renowned for its extensive Champagne collection but let’s not forget it also holds an array of wines and spirits, alongside it’s gourmet cuisine. This Christmas the Who’d A Thought it is offering a selection of festive menus, perfect for that office Christmas party lunch, dinner or maybe just a treat for friends and family. Christmas day bookings are also being taken with a traditional three-course menu and why not see in the New Year in style at the lavish New Years Eve bash. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner serving seasonal food as well as the ever popular oyster dishes, delicious Château Briand, and a magnificent Plateau rouge.

GASTRONOMY, GAME AND GOLF AT EASTWELL MANOR Top chefs from across Kent came together to enjoy an afternoon of gastronomy, game and golf at the latest meeting of The Chefs’ Forum on November 16th. Held at Eastwell Manor, near Ashford, the event gave the county’s culinary talent the chance to network and meet leading suppliers whilst giving learners from HIT Training the opportunity to work in a professional kitchen. The afternoon began with a welcome speech by owner of Eastwell Manor Mr Turrloo Parrett and Catherine Farinha, founder of The Chefs’ Forum. A drinks reception with canapés then followed, prepared by Byron Hayter from Eastwell Manor with the help of the learners – ingredients were donated by Chefs’ Forum sponsors Turners Fine Foods and Koppert Cress. Byron said: “It was a pleasure to have these young people working in my kitchen, all of whom showed great potential. The food that they produced was excellent and I am proud to say that it came from my kitchen.” The event ended by giving guests the chance to show off their golfing talents on the hotel’s golf LOCAL NEWS

course with a prize awarded to the chef with highest number of stableford points over 9 holes. The winning chef was Joshua Hackett, Head Chef at Dunkerley’s Restaurant in Dover, who won lunch and golf for four people at Eastwell Manor and an Audi of his choice for the weekend, courtesy of Chefs’ Forum sponsor East Kent Audi. Catherine Farinha said: “It is great to hear so much positive feedback on the work of the Hit Training learners here today. The Chefs’ Forum is all about giving opportunities to the next generation of chefs and I think everyone would agree that today was a great opportunity for them. “I would like to thank everyone for coming today, and especially our sponsors without whom these events would not be possible.”



Whether you are looking for a festive themed getaway, delicious dining with all the trimmings or to celebrate in style with your friends and family - Hythe Imperial have a wonderful winter wonderland to create the most magical Christmas under one roof. Inspired by its local surroundings their glorious 4 star hotel has stood at the heart of Hythe for hundreds of years. Enjoy the atmosphere of this coastal town whilst soaking up the panoramic views from the hotel. With the friendly and enthusiastic team to look after you, the hotel is an ideal location to spend Christmas. For more details please call 01303 267411 or visit

Packed with shopping stalls, Rochester becomes a feast of Victorian delights. There are lamp-lit parades, carols to be sung, Father Christmas to be met and even a guaranteed snowfall, framed by Rochester’s fairytale cathedral and castle. You’ll also see some familiar, fabled characters from Dickens’ much-loved stories. Highlights include: the Seven Poor Travellers Procession, the Grand Parade, a candlelit procession, the open air carol concert, and roaming street performers. Rochester’s Dickensian Christmas has been held annually since 1988, which is fitting as Medway was such a special place in Charles Dickens’ life and work. The writer spent five of his childhood years in Medway from 1817 to 1822. He returned for the last few years of his life, dying at Gads Hill in 1870. Coach groups need to pre-book parking in advance. For more information please call 01634 338141 or visit

FESTIVE LUNCHES, SISSINGHURST CASTLE, BIDDENDEN ROAD, 1ST - 23RD DECEMBER Daily from Tuesday 1st December to Wednesday 23rd December (closed 24th and 25th December), 12pm - 2.30pm. Enjoy a lunch with a view and produce fresh from their vegetable plot. Includes mince pies, tea and coffee. Tickets £21.50 per person (two courses) or £25 per person (three courses). Normal admission charges apply to the garden Please call 01580 710700 or visit the website


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THE CHRISTMAS MARKET, LEEDS CASTLE, Leeds Castle hosts the annual Christmas market on the Cedar Lawn overlooking the Castle. Discover an array of seasonal gift ideas, toys, decorations, food and drink. Visit the Leeds Castle reindeer and birds of prey in the animal area. Enjoy our nostalgic fairground attractions, children’s rides and a daily programme of live musical entertainment at the band stand. The organ from the beautiful traditional horse carousel will add to the festive atmosphere and is a favourite with families. The Christmas market is open 10am to 5pm and is included with the price of admission. For more details please call 01622 767823 or visit PRINCESS OF WALES CAROL SERVICE, CANTERBURY CATHERDRAL, 6TH DECEMBER The annual fundraising Christmas carol service by 3rd Battalion, The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, Leros TA Centre, Canterbury on behalf of the Army Benevolent Society. This year the Band of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment will host The Wickhambreux CE Primary School Choir and Canterbury Cathedral. Tickets will be available to buy from the door. Please call 01227 787 787 or visit the website

ALADDIN PANTOMIME, THEATRE ROYAL MARGATE 12TH - 29TH DECEMBER Margate has been guaranteed its most opulent and eye-catching pantomime ever this Christmas! Being brought to The Theatre Royal by Wicked Productions who have been responsible for sellout shows in Kent for many years. Danny Young plays Aladdin and Rob Rawles the Widow Twanky alongside our home grown Georgia Rowland-Elliot, Princess Jasmine. Other famous names include: Rob Cummings playing Abanaza, Ant and Harry, PC Hip and Hop, Amanda Harkett as Genie of the Lamp and Jezo as Wishee Washee. The chorus will be made up from local schools. So make sure you are part of the Fun this Christmas and book tickets for everyone! Please call 01843 292795 or visit the website

THE CHRISTMAS SPRINT, BUCKMORE PARK, MAIDSTONE, 11TH DECEMBER Join on Friday 11th December, for an of evening short, sharp kart races – three for every driver – with a grand final on offer for the top point scorers. This is followed by a full on Christmas roast dinner with all the trimmings in the clubhouse bar area for just £65 per head. Spectators go free and can enjoy the meal for just £15. For the petrol head in your family, be they 4 or 84 years young, what could be better than a Buckmore Park karting gift card. These are available in any denomination and can used in payment for any event, child or adult, offered by the circuit. For more details please call 01634 201562 or visit


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CHRISTMAS PARTY NIGHTS, STONELEES GOLF CENTRE, EBBSFLEET LANE, 19TH DECEMBER Celebrate Christmas with friends, family or colleagues at Stonelees Golf Club. Enjoy a cocktail upon arrival, followed by a delicious three course meal, then dance the night away with the resident DJ. Please book early to avoid disappointment. Payment and menu choices are required in advance. Groups or individuals welcome! Just £25 per person. Please call 01843 823133 or visit the website

WINTER WONDERLAND, WESTGATE PAVILION 20TH - 23RD DECEMBER Enter through the snow... send a letter to Santa, get a ticket from the Polar Express ticket collector, make a toy in the elves workshop, slide down the chimney into Santa’s study, meet the great man himself; run in a snowball and throw snowballs at abominable snowmen, also have your photograph taken with Olaf! Please call 01843 305053 or visit the website


FAMILY CHRISTMAS TRAIL, SCOTNEY CASTLE TUNBRIDGE WELLS, 19TH - 31ST DECEMBER Explore the gardens, find the clues and discover the hidden presents. (Closed 24th and 25th December). For more information please call 01892 893820 or visit www.

The Hazlitt Youth Theatre presents an enchanting version of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen. In a frozen land far away, a Snow Queen kidnaps a young boy named Kai. His best friend Gerda, a stumpy, grumpy determined little girl is the unlikely hero who sets out to rescue him. On the way, she finds friends who will help her, and discovers the truth behind the mysterious Snow Queen. Suitable for a family audience and the perfect introduction for young visitors to experience the theatre for the first time. For more information please call 01622 758611 or visit

CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT, ELLINGTON PARK, RAMSGATE, 20TH DECEMBER A traditional ‘carols by candlelight’ service for the whole community, held at Ellington Park bandstand. There will be a brass band, choir, hot drinks, mince pies, chocolate rolls, a food van and a snow blower. All are welcome. Please call 07878 095766 or visit the website

CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS, FAVERSHAM, 22ND DECEMBER Spend the morning feeling Christmassy! Soak up the festive season whilst making your own festive decorations. For more details please call 03000 414793 or visit the website LOCAL EVENTS

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Enjoy a Christmas break for three nights commencing 24th December 2015. Your Christmas itinerary includes three nights overnight accommodation plus: Christmas Eve - a welcome drink on arrival, a special three course Christmas Eve dinner. Christmas Day - you enjoy a full English breakfast in the morning, A four course Christmas Day lunch, at 3pm tea/coffee/pastry while listening to the Queen’s Speech. In the evening partake in a three course Christmas Day dinner buffet. Boxing Day starts with a full English breakfast followed by a three course Boxing Day lunch and dinner in the evening. For more information please call 01304 203633 or visit

Wrap up and blow away the cobwebs, walk off the Christmas pudding and take a stroll in the gardens where the warm red bark of the redwood trees glows against the winter sky and fruits glisten in the frost. On the way up to the Castle the yew topiary stands majestically and the Winter Garden displays attractive and interesting colours and structures. For the more energetic take a bracing walk round the Lake. Place New Year’s wishes on the Wishing Tree and help make someone’s wish come true. Collect your tag from the Information Centre and make a donation to the Make A Wish Foundation. After your Winter Walk, warm up in the Moat Restaurant where hot seasonal meals will be served in the Castle with its welcoming log fires, or head to the Hever Shop for some seasonal sale items. For more details please call 01732 865224 or visit

A TRULY MAGICAL CHRISTMAS, SOUTH OF ENGLAND RARE BREEDS CENTRE, ASHFORD, 27TH DECEMBER No family Christmas is complete without a visit to see Father Christmas and at the Rare Breeds Centre. This is a heart-warming family experience that will leave not just the children feeling suitably festive, but the rest of the family too! For a small fee (£2.50) the children can make a candle and turn it into a very special table decoration for their Christmas table! For more details please call 01233 861493 or visit VEGAS NIGHT, EASTWELL MANOR, ASHFORD 27TH DECEMBER An entertaining, American-themed evening of glitz and glamour. Black-tie or tuxedo optional and a chance for the ladies to sparkle. Start the evening with a ‘Vegas’ cocktail at 7.00 pm followed by an ‘American’ menu, finishing with coffee and popcorn. Enjoy the sound of a smooth ‘Sinatra’ style singer with dancing in the Great Hall and try your luck at the ‘fun’ casino and blackjack tables. With prizes for the winners. For more information please call 01233 213020 or visit LOCAL EVENTS

NEW YEARS EVE, PRINCE’S GOLF CLUB AND THE LODGE AT PRINCE’S, 31ST DECEMBER 1ST JANUARY 2016 Following the wonderful evening enjoyed by guests celebrating the start of 2015, the Prince’s Golf Club look forward once again to welcoming guests for their New Year’s celebrations. Their resident DJ will ensure that the party atmosphere continues and will offer you a complimentary glass of champagne to toast in the New Year. If you would like to stay overnight, the Lodge at Prince’s is the perfect option for a great night’s sleep to recover after a night of partying. For more details please call 01304 611118 or visit

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selected as mini comedy star


young Medway student has recently been selected and filmed a role for the BBC, playing the part of a young Russell Howard. He is a comedian and television and radio presenter, best known for his TV show Russell Howard’s Good News and his appearances on the topical panel TV show Mock the Week. The comedian is currently filming his Christmas special called Gert Lush and needed a youngster who could play a mini version of himself. Nathan Stone, age 11, who attends part-time theatre school Razzamataz Medway, was selected for the role and has recently finished filming with the comedian. The filming took place in Uxbridge and Nathan was even given his own trailer. “It was an amazing day and he took everything in his stride,” says Mum, Jadie Stone. “It was a long day with lots of waiting around but Nathan thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Razzamataz Medway has made him into the confident little actor that he is. He loves every minute of Razzamataz and is disappointed when a Saturday is not a ‘Razz day.’ Going to Razz really enhances his life in so many ways.” Gert Lush is a 60-minute special on BBC 2 about Russell taking his girlfriend to meet his family in the West Country. The filming all takes place in a house and Nathan explained it was a bit of a squeeze getting all the actors and production crew in.

“Working with Russell Howard was great,” explains Nathan. “Off camera he was really friendly and fun to talk to. The rest of the cast were also really friendly and I learnt so much about the whole filming process. The production company were great and sent me a thank you card for working with them.” As well as acting with adults, Nathan had to master working with animals as he explains: “I acted with a dog called Gizmo, who was a rescue dog but has now gone into acting; he even has his own agent. In one of the scenes with Gizmo, I had to hold the actual video camera that the crew used and run with Gizmo from actor Neil Morrissey. It was really heavy and I had to have dog biscuits in my pocket to get Gizmo to stay by my side.” Nathan has been a regular at Razzamataz Medway for the last four years. During the Saturday sessions, he learns dance, drama and singing and covers the whole spectrum of performing arts from classic West End musical theatre to street dance, pop singing and acting for camera. This diverse training is turning Nathan and his fellow students into versatile performers. Students get lots of opportunities to perform at Razzamataz Medway, something that helps to build on their confidence and social skills. The fun classes are for all children whatever their background or ability and there is a strong focus on keeping fit and active, having fun and making friends. Classes start at age two and go on to 18 and there are regular special guest workshops for students of all ages. Classes in Medway are every Saturday during term time at Mid Kent College on Medway Road in Gillingham.


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Ali Janes

Clairvoyant Ali is an International Clairvoyant and Psychic Teacher. She works from her shop called The Guiding Angels in Herne Bay, Kent where she gives face to face readings for celebrities and locals. Ali has over 20 years experience and will teach anyone who wishes to develop their own skills.

Tarot reading for December birthdays:

Star Signs that fall under December are: Sagittarius (23rd November – 23rd December) and Capricorn (24th December – 20th January)

A typical Sagittarian likes to be in control of their own lives and the lives of others as they are the ones who can do things far better than anyone else and that’s why no one else will do! (Or so they think). They can sort out issues that other people shy away from as they like a challenge and thrive under pressure. A typical Capricorn likes the very best of everything in life. They have the good ideas but prefer someone else to do the hard work. They are born to lead or born to make decisions about leading. They are great at counting their money and getting organised with work schedules. LOVE Sagittarians – You feel like you could reach for the stars and get whatever you want but the reality is that you feel a little stuck in a rut and you need to see that freedom is yours for the taking if you really want it. I see that security is a big factor in your life, so you may be wiser to leave things as they are for now, unless you really have had enough! Capricorns – You have an independence about your personality that sometimes confuses others of your need for them to be in your life. You have been enjoying the fun and happy times but there is a strong urge for you to be alone or to draw away from the busy side of life. Finances / Work Sagittarians – The wheel of fortune is turning and it’s going in a new direction for the better. I can see that you are breaking free from restrictions and people / situations holding you back. It’s time to focus and put your directions into motion. You are completely ready for this success so enjoy the ride! Capricorns – The sun is out in your life well metaphorically speaking! I can see that you have had the strength to carry on with a plan that wasn’t really making progress the way it should or there have been some hold ups. Now it’s paying off and you need to pour yourself your favourite tipple and celebrate the good news! Well done!



elebrities who also share December birthdays:

Taylor Swift 13th December

Brad Pitt 18th December

Ellie Goulding 30th December

DecemberHoroscopes Capricorn 24th Dec – 20th Jan Love/Family: You are enjoying the love energy around the family and close friends at this time. I can see that it’s the little things in life that are pleasing you and not the bigger gestures. There are some close to you though who look for the label before appreciating the gesture! These people can create a boredom feeling around you and a need for your own space. Work/Finances: There is a really good outcome over finances around the end of this year and all is looking good. There is one project ending and another just starting. I see legal or official paperwork around you as well, that will acquire a great deal of attention in January 2016. Aries 21st March – 20th April Love/Family: Peace, tranquillity and happiness. Love and togetherness, harmony and singing songs around an open fire with loved ones and family. Actually the reality is a chaotic family life with friends coming to gate crash your celebrations and there is a need for you to escape into a dark corner and relax. Work/Finances: I see more documents around your work / finances and a need to get something sorted out. These documents are related to events in October / November 2015. I can see that you are getting organised now and things are moving forward. Cancer 22nd June – 23rd July Love/Family: You are bridging the gap between yourself and someone who you had lost communication with and this is now becoming easier and you realise what the misunderstanding was in the first place. You have been thinking the worst and this is now out in the open and you are feeling very happy with the situation. Work/Finances: I can see changes in your environment and there is chaos and confusion over whether you or someone close to you will be changing from one area to another, either in work or in their personal life. Either way there is a sense of reorganisation and getting decisions made that are not just best for one person but best for all people involved. Libra 24th Sept – 23rd Oct Love/Family: You are not happy with a person who is very needy at the moment and you are aware why they are throwing their toys out of their pram as well. You know that the attention isn’t on them but on other people at this time and they don’t like it. You can see that this person is not the team player you need them to be at Christmas time and so you have to treat them like a child. Work/Finances: I can see that this spoilt, selfish character is also affecting the money side of your life too and this is really getting to you. You are going to have to switch off and ignore them to a certain degree otherwise they will spoil your Christmas and that isn’t fair.

Aquarius 21st Jan – 18th Feb Love/Family: Fun, joy and happiness is mostly what is around you but there is a strong energy of a person trying to interfere with this good feeling. Someone close to you needs to back away and allow you to be happy, plain and simple. Work/Finances: I see travel plans and a motorway. I see having to be good and not take the mickey out of everyone and everything. You are biting your tongue and having to do the right thing. Be careful when you start to relax that the naughty you doesn’t come out and upset the balance. Taurus 21st April – 21st May Love/Family: You are trying something different in life with a new friend who is leading you astray but not in a bad way in a playful way. You need to have some fun as things have been a little too stagnant. You are ready to get to know your own personality again after missing out on a certain part of yourself as you have locked it away, it will be back and you are having lots of fun! Work/Finances: I see tickets or official papers linking to travel / moving / change in your life that takes you away from you home and onwards to something exciting and new. I see travelling up a motorway and a need to get things done in an official way. I can see you signing a contract or documents / forms and sending them off. Leo 24th July – 23rd Aug Love/Family: You feel like you have everything that you wanted but there is a sense of what you wished for isn’t enough. You need more from life. It may not necessarily be someone else’s fault but it still feels the same. I can see that these emotions may be due to you not having enough to distract you and it may help to find your own life and your own happiness. Work/Finances: Has life felt like one big financial and emotional test? Are you looking for tranquillity and fun now and a little less drama? Well it’s time to throw out the old and concentrate on the new wishes. Why don’t you set aside some time to start some “Affirmations – making statements that aren’t yet true but will then become reality?” Scorpio 24th Oct – 22nd Nov Love/Family: Do you feel like your life seems to be unfair right now and that life isn’t going your way. This can be that you have got so much going on that you don’t seem to allow yourself to chill out even at this time of year. I can see that you need to take off your responsibilities and do something crazy and fun. You need laughter and lots of it. Work/Finances: A property needs some work done to it and you have to work double time to get it sorted. Please be careful with keys as there seems to be an issue with you losing them or misplacing them. I can feel that you are trying to get your home straight and orderly but there is always something else that draws you away and makes you busy. You need a rest even though you have just had one.

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Pisces 19th Feb – 20th Mar Love/Family: Someone connected around the family is sulking and another person connected to this situation is not allowing time to resolve this matter. In the meantime there is an atmosphere and you are not happy about it. I see that this frustration will eventually make you tell people some home truths and this will then create a turning point within the dispute. Work/Finances: You are going straight to the heart of the matter linking to work finances. You are turning your life around and it is showing on the outside. I see new beginnings that turn out to be very lucrative and security is all around you. You feel blessed in many areas of life and your opinions throughout this year have been listened to as you do talk the truth and you do make sense to a lot of people.

Gemini 22nd May – 21st June Love/Family: There are happy moments around you in great abundance at this time but there are issues of unhappiness and this isn’t something that you can just block out and pretend doesn’t exist. I feel that you just need to let the emotions good or not so good wash over you and you can and will deal with each one as best you can. Work/Finances: Stop just talking about all the changes you are going to do and going to develop and going to finish and start doing it. You have the three of swords which means deal with it! You are going to the heart of the matter and dealing with any issues that have been holding you back or any issues that are going to take things to a new positive level of happiness. Virgo 24th Aug – 23rd Sept Love/Family: There is security around you at this time and you feel very happy with what is happening in your family / friendships. I can see that you have all made an effort to make this time a happy one and you love what this time of year represents. Work/Finances: A boost of confidence is coming your way and you will have planned this so well that you have nothing to worry about. You feel organised and focused in your personal life and in your financial one. I can see sunshine and happiness and a wonderful feeling of looking forward to the summer and what you have planned. Sagittarius 23rd Nov – 23rd Dec Love/Family: Letting the cat out of the bag so to speak will enlighten everyone and there is a sense of jaws dropping around the room. You will be able to move through life in a clearer way now that it’s all out there. Don’t worry about other people’s reactions as some of them already knew on the quiet but didn’t like to say. Work/Finances: A work colleague from the past will be contacting you again and making plans to meet. There is another agenda linked to them that they are not telling you about. All will be revealed to you and it’s your turn to have your jaw drop!

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90 th birthday Celebrations


The Kent-based Beoshop group of Bang & Olufsen retailers gave customers even more reason to celebrate in the run up to Christmas with an exclusive event that commemorated 90 years of the iconic audio-visual brand. Hosted at the beautiful home of the prestigious London Golf Club, near Brands Hatch, the exclusive VIP evening was attended by over 200 of the group’s customers.The night offered visitors a unique insight into the illustrious history of Bang & Olufsen and the opportunity to experience the latest products from the esteemed brand. Customers also enjoyed champagne, hors d’oeuvres and the chance to win a selection of prizes in the Beoshop group’s complimentary casino chip prize draw. Paul Blake, Managing Director of the Beoshop group, said: “I’d like to thank all of our customers who joined us for what was a very special night in an amazing setting. “The event was a fantastic success and we were delighted to give our much-valued customers a unique insight into the audio-visual company and products that they are so passionate about.”

MMM Magazine December '15  
MMM Magazine December '15  

Kent lifestyle magazine featuring what is best in the area: celebrities with links to Kent, history, food, properties, travel, motors, local...