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Issue 59, December 2016 Complimentary

C Kent

hristmas IN

Scherzinger NICOLE









mary berry


Comfortable Outdoor seating

Stay protected come rain or shine at a flick of a switch and extend your evening for Al-Fresco dining with the warmth of over-head and under-bench heating.

Locally sourced Ingredients

We use only the finest Kentish suppliers wherever possible and our dishes change with the seasons.


Family Dining Enjoy a fresh home cooked meal with your loved ones in the private dining room and finish with a night cap in the cosy snug. Bar - Restaurant  Local Produce Shop  Private Function Room  Snug  Museum  100+ Seated Beer Garden  Live Music  Online Booking

There’s no place like this Christmas | 01227 471912 | 27 Hackington Road, Tyler Hill, Canterbury CT2 9NE

Your wedding day at Oakwood House A grand Victorian mansion set in private tree lined gardens offering experienced staff, elegant rooms, exquisite menus and guest accommodation. Oakwood House is simply the ideal venue for your wedding. • A dedicated team of Wedding Coordinators to help you plan your dream day • Inclusive wedding packages to ease your planning • Ceremony and reception suites available for intmate and large parties of up to 230 guests • Fresh local produce, fine wines and full bar facilities • 40 stylish and contemporary bedrooms are available for you and your guests • Stunning gardens with fantastic photographic opportunities

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Set in tree-lined gardens, Oakwood House is the perfect place to relax or party the night away throughout December. From locally sourced lunches and our sumptuous Christmas Day Carvery, to adult and children parties that pull out all stops. There is definitely something for everyone at Oakwood House this festive season. With the added bonus of discounted accommodation rates when attending an event, there’s no need to worry about driving home. For further information and availability please do not hesitate to contact a member of our dedicated sales team on: 01622 620720




elcome to this very special Christmas edition of mmm magazine. Inside, we believe we have created the perfect accompaniment to the festive season – full of wonderful things to see and do in this breathtaking county of ours. From gift ideas for everyone to a showcase of venues which will put the sparkle into any day or night out, we have it all. We even have a section on nightclubs so that when that special meal is over you can still party the night away – whatever your age! Of course, we at mmm have already published a dedicated magazine, Marvellous Christmas, which is packed with great festive fun. If you haven’t picked up your copy yet then keep an eye out for it as it is still available; there’s a very special treat when you do as one of the pages has been scented with cinnamon to provide the perfect flavour of the season. Talking of flavours, who better to grace our front cover than Mary Berry – a woman whose appeal seems universal. Inside this issue, we take a look at her remarkable life and how she has overcome tragedy and embraced triumph over an incredible life. She really is an inspiration. With this being the last edition of the year, we would like to thank all of those who have worked with us during the year – from the local companies that have chosen us to be the perfect platform to reach out to the customers they want, to our hard working team who put together each and every edition of mmm in order to give you a real taste of everything Kent has to offer. And a very special thank you to you, our loyal readers, who grow in number every month. So we hope you all have a very merry Christmas – and remember it is not all about buying gifts; this is a time of year to enjoy the most important things in life; family and friends. Have a fabulous time from all of here at mmm and we look forward to seeing you for our first edition of 2017.


See you soon! Rasa


CONTENT MARY BERRY Having a very merry Christmas

BEAUTY TIPS Look your best this festive season


GIFTS GUIDE mmm’s selection of gifts for him and for her




A selction to inspire

CHRISTMAS PARTIES 42 The best places to celebrate the festive season in Kent

FOOD Traditional Xmas fayre


BALDWINS TRAVEL GROUP River cruise experiences, Alpine tourism

NICOLE SCHERZINGER The star with the X Factor

TABLE DECORATIONS 86 Festive creations for your table

MOTORS Premium designs


CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS 121 Robin J Brooks takes a look back in time

PANTOS Spellbinding Tradition


NEW YEAR’S EVE Party guide

MMM Media Ltd GHL House, 1st Floor, 12-14 Albion Place Maidstone, Kent ME14 5DZ Tel: 01622 299035 Publisher: Rasa Dregva Editorial: Tom White, Robin J Brooks, Tricia Lester, Sarah Vince Design: Matthew Jones Sales: Sue Houghton, Brenda Eveleigh, Luke Teachen Further Contribution: Tracy Jones All rights reserved. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent from the publisher. © MMM Media Ltd 2016


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Continued from page 13

t’s rare when an 81-year-old is such an intrinsic part of a modern phenomenon that her decisions make front page news. But then Mary Berry is no ordinary octogenarian. Because she is – or should that be was – a vital ingredient in a recipe which created the most successful television show in recent years. And as millions settle down this Christmas the chances are plenty will be using her culinary guidance to help create a memorable festive season. The Great British Bake Off pulled in close to 15.5 million viewers for the finale of its most recent series – a conclusion which packed a bigger punch than ever this year after the uproar over its switching from the BBC to Channel 4. After the initial shock of its £25m a year move to the commercial channel – ending a relationship with the BBC which had stretched back to its debut in 2010 – the focus then turned onto the fate of the main presenters. After hosts Mel and Sue pulled out, the decision by Mary Berry to stay with the BBC as well, was greeted with front page headlines and the goodwill of the nation. Her co-judge – Wingham baker Paul Hollywood – may have opted to follow the money, but Mary was not for turning.


Her loyalty is unlikely to cost her dear. Beloved by the public, the BBC recently confirmed she will follow up her popular shows Foolproof Cooking and Absolute Favourites with Mary Berry Everyday, starting next year. For the eagle-eyed, Mary Berry’s Absolute Favourites included a trip to the Kent coast, as she visited and filmed in Broadstairs for the opening episode. And for the new fans she has collected by the bucketload in recent years, it will be a chance to be reminded that Mary has been doing this for six decades now. But it is a life which has not all been smooth. From contracting polio as a teenager – which left her with a deformed arm – or the tragic death of her teenage son in a car crash, she has had her share of ups and downs. Yet at 81 she is in remarkable good health and her workload is clearly something she takes in her stride. “I feel I am very fortunate to be fit and healthy at my age,” she says. “A lot of my peers aren’t and so I do feel lucky. I put it down to good genes, a healthy diet and a little bit of exercise. I don’t go to the gym, but I do play tennis. “People nowadays know me for baking, but really I am about all round family meals. a

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16 mmm

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Continued from page 14

“The Great British Bake Off has been amazing and I loved every minute, but it has been nice to do other things, I do have quite a savoury tooth.” Like so many others, it was a teacher who inspired her to follow her dreams. She explains: “I wasn’t very good at school, in fact I really didn’t like any of the subjects, except cookery. “School was hard. I didn’t work very hard and my parents were disappointed. But I

enjoyed my domestic science lessons and really felt that this was something I wanted to go on and do. “I had an inspirational cookery teacher, Miss Date, and so I enjoyed it. “When I left school I thought ‘I’ve got to do something’ and I decided that catering was the life for me and I went and did a catering qualification.” Even at that young age, Mary had overcome some great difficulties. a

The Great British Bake Off has been amazing and I loved every minute, but it has been nice to do other things.


Many unique shops & outlets at Standard Quay... Aladdin’s Loft | Indoor market fro antiques and collectables, over 22 retailers Furniture Barn | Hugh collection of shabby chic, antique & retro furniture Standard Quay | Cafe and garden centre Meadowlarks | Collectables, curiosities and clearance sales Quayside Clocks | Classic and rare timepieces, sale and repair Benedict’s of Kent | Vinyl and coffee Medway antiques | High quality antiques Bin Ella | Wine bar and eatery Fabric Bespoke Blinds & Curtains Eyelash Excellence | Eyelash salon, training and products

Old English Tools | Classic wood and metal work tools Eat to live | Allergy testing & nutritionist Inner Goddess | Mind body and soul sanctuary Riggers Gallery | Lighting, furniture and nautical Roman Cars | Top quality used cars Car Wash | Faversham’s hand car wash Antikki | Bespoke retro furniture Brazils | Taxi service & car repairs Quayside Tyres

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Continued from page 16

Born in March 1935 in Bath, Somerset (her good genes are no doubt passed down from her mother who only died in 2011 aged 105), at the age of 13 she developed polio; a disease rare today and which can cause major deformities or even death in those that contract it. Forced to spend three months in hospital, it instilled in her an inner strength while leaving her with a twisted spine, thinner left arm and a weaker left hand. “I got better, so I was lucky,” she recalls. “It was a huge shock – really to my family more than me. You just deal with the cards that are dealt to you.” Ironically, her first job – working in an electricity board showroom – would see her demonstrate how ovens worked to would-be customers, typically by cooking a Victoria sponge to dazzle them with.


At 22 she headed to Paris where she developed her professional qualifications at the acclaimed Le Cordon Bleu school – living in poor conditions and suffering home sickness. Once completed she became a recipe tester for a PR firm and started compiling recipe and instructional books. By 1966 she became food editor of Housewife magazine and then the same role for Ideal Home magazine. In 1970 her first cookbook, The Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook was published. She has subsequently sold more than five million copies of her many books. Married to antique book dealer Paul Hunnings since 1966 the couple had three children – Thomas, Annabel and William.

Mary Berry in the Great British Bake Off

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“My husband and I have a respect for each other,” she says of their long happy marriage. “We’re calm and we enjoy doing things together. It’s been a life of sharing. I couldn’t bear to be without him. I hate going home to an empty house.” However, tragedy would strike young William in 1989 when he was involved in a car crash and killed. He was just 19 and was studying at Bristol Polytechnic at the time. “You don’t expect to lose a child,” she says, “but I have still got a husband and other children. If you’ve had a child and you’ve lost them, I think you should cherish the time you had with them. One is lucky to have them. I was very lucky because William wasn’t married. If there was a wife left and children, most likely the girl would have remarried and I might lose contact with those grandchildren. It’s years later and I still have friends of his popping in. They still put flowers on his grave at Christmas. The thing is to try and not say, ‘Why?’ – and to try and

not be bitter. You can’t bring them back.” But it was 2010 when her celebrity was about to be catapulted to the stars when she was signed up for the very first series of the Great British Bake Off. Then hidden away on BBC2 it would take on a life of its own to become the nation’s undisputed favourite. “The Great British Bake Off is family entertainment,” she says of its success. “There aren’t many programmes where all ages can sit and watch from beginning to end. “Everything else is violent, cruel and noisy. We’re educational without viewers realising it.” The jury remains very much still out as to whether Bake Off without Mary can survive to be such a hit again. The one thing everyone is very much agreed on, is that Mary Berry’s popularity will not be damaged. mmm CELEBRITY STORY

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Wedding fair

5th January 11-3pm / Admission free

GIFTS for her Lingerie Available in store Marks and Spencer

Pocket Pout Kiss Me Quick Lip Kit £16.50 Charlotte Tilbury

Chanel N°5 L’EAU 50ml £96.00 Debenhams CountySQ

A Gift from Kaizen Antiques

Women’s Moraene Slippers £80.00 UGG®

Black Hobo Bag £240.00 Calvin Klein

Women’s Watch £75.00 Jasper Conran

Fornasetti - Scented Candle £125.00 Amara

Mini Sequin Bag £20.00 Therapy London


Black Short Robe Coco De Mer £60.00 House of Fraser

Red Frame Out Tote Bag £195.00 Michael Kors

Pom Pom Gloves £40.00 Helen Moore Printed Silk Scarf £50.00 Biba

Lipstick Sequin Clutch £85.00 Lulu Guiness

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Mercure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel

Are delighted to have Brand New Matrix Equipment

Mercure Maidstone, Hollingbourne, Nr Maidstone, Kent ME17 1RE

0844 815 9045

GIFTS for him Gladstone Leather Holdall £209.00 John Lewis Lion Head Leather Belt £145.00 Versus Versace

Penguin Cufflinks £25.00 New & Lingwood

V-Neck Jumper £140.00 John Smedley

Oval Reversible Cufflinks £115.00 Mulberry

Game Night Poker Set £25.00 Marks and Spencer Native Union Clic 360 Case for IPhone 6 £34.99 Marks and Spencer

Mens Winter Collection Available in store Woods Designer Outlet

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this Christmas

Disney Frozen Fashion Change Figure £20.00 Argos

CHiP Robot Dog £199.00 Toys “R” Us

Star Furby Connect Purple £95.00 Toys “R” Us

Pokémon Sun and Moon Nintendo 3DS £34.99 (each) Game

Star Wars Rogue One App Control R2-D2 £109.00 Smyths Toys

Game of Life £20.00 Hasbro

LEGO City Fire Station £64.00 Argos

Buster the Boxer Dog Plush Soft Toy £15.00 John Lewis

Teletubbies Jumping Po £25.00 Very

Vtech Little Love Baby Talk Doll £30.00

Star Wars Deluxe Stormtrooper £25.00 Debenhams

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CELEBRATE FROM £38.95 PER GUEST Let your hair down and celebrate a fun-filled night full of festive cheer with your friends or colleagues! Enjoy a delicious three-course meal, followed by dancing to classic party tunes from our resident DJ. Dates: 26th November, 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 11th, 15th, 16th 17th, 18th & 21st December • Bar opens: 6.00pm • Dinner served: 8.00pm • Entertainment starts: 9.30pm • Carriages: 1.00am £38.95 - 11th, 15th, 18th & 21st December £39.95 - 26th November, 2nd & 3rd December £42.95 - 9th, 10th, 16th & 17th December

01233 219 988 | Simone Weil Avenue, Ashford, TN24 8UX All event dates are subject to availability. For full terms and conditions please speak to a member of the events team.

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Celebrate the festive season in style at BayPoint! Christmas parties for 2 - 150 people. Book with us for a delicious festive three-course menu, drinks & music. AVAILABLE DATES: December 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th, & 23rd. Mid-week parties and special diets accommodated for by arrangement.

£32 per head. Call us to find out more!

Party with BayPoint to welcome the New Year - enjoy a fantastic buffet & DJ! Celebratory drinks available. 31st December 2016. Just £10 per head (drinks not included)

Book early to avoid disappointment! Tel: 01304 613022 • email Website: R A M S G AT E R O A D, S A N D W I C H , K E N T, C T 1 3 9 Q L

ROAST turkey INGREDIENTS 15 lb turkey, rinsed, patted dry and giblets removed (and reserved) 1/2 stick butter, softened 1 1/2 sticks butter, melted 2 1/2 cups white wine salt and pepper

COOKING TIPS Remove your turkey from the fridge a few hours before cooking, allowing it to reach room temperature. Remove the giblets (reserving to make stock, if you like), then rinse and wipe the cavity clean. Butter is a great way to keep the meat juicy. It’s advisable not to fill the main body cavity with stuffing as this prevents heat from reaching the centre of the bird effectively.


METHOD OF HOW TO COOK • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place bird breast side up on a rack in a large roasting pan. Pour one cup of white wine over the top of it. Rub softened butter all over the outside and generously sprinkle salt and pepper. • In a medium bowl, stir melted butter and one and a half cups of wine together. • Place cheese cloth in the butter mixture and soak thoroughly. Drape the soaked cheese cloth over the top of the turkey. • Place turkey in oven and reduce heat to 375 degrees. Every 30 minutes, brush

some of the remaining butter mixture over the cheese cloth. • It’s important to keep the cheese cloth moist, but it will turn brown. After two and a half – three hours, remove cheese cloth and discard. • Brush remaining butter mixture on top of the bird. Continue cooking, basting occasionally with pan juices, until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees. • The 15 pound bird requires roasting for close to four hours. Remove from oven and let it rest for 20 minutes before carving.

ROAST potatoes INGREDIENTS 4 1/2 pounds (2kg) russet potatoes, rinsed, peeled if desired, and cut into 2-inch chunks Kosher salt 1 tablespoon (15ml) white vinegar 1/4 cup (60ml) duck fat (see note above) freshly ground black pepper 12 sprigs thyme

These potatoes are parboiled, then tossed roughly in a bowl with a metal spoon until their surfaces are roughed and scratched up. All those microscopic nooks and crannies make for an extra-crunchy exterior. For creamier potatoes with a slightly less crisp crust, substitute Yukon Gold potatoes. Duck fat, turkey fat, or chicken fat will give the best results, but bacon fat or olive oil will also work well. DELICIOUS RECIPES

METHOD OF HOW TO COOK • Adjust oven racks to lower and upper positions and preheat oven to 500°F (260°C). Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Add 2 tablespoons (28g) salt and vinegar. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook until exteriors are tender, about 5 minutes. Potatoes should show slight resistance when poked with a paring knife or a cake tester. Drain potatoes and transfer to a large bowl. • Add fat to bowl with potatoes. Season with pepper and more salt to taste, then toss with a large

metal spoon until exteriors are slightly bashed up and coated in a thin layer of potato/fat paste. Divide potatoes evenly between 2 heavy rimmed baking sheets. Spread thyme sprigs over potatoes. • Transfer baking sheets to oven and roast until bottoms of potatoes are crisp and golden brown, about 20 minutes total, swapping trays top for bottom and rotating them once halfway through roasting. Using a thin metal spatula, flip potatoes and roast until second side is golden brown, another 15 to 20 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs and serve.

Brussels sprouts INGREDIENTS 750g Brussels sprouts 3 tablespoons good olive oil 3/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

METHOD OF HOW TO COOK • Preheat the oven to 200°C/ Gas mark 6. Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper. • Turn out onto a baking tray and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly. • Sprinkle with more salt to taste and serve immediately.


INGREDIENTS 1.35kg medium Brussels sprouts 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 8 thick slices streaky bacon (about 225g), cut crosswise into 1cm strips 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed freshly ground black pepper



• Bring a large pot of water to the boil and salt it generously. Trim the bottom end of the Brussels sprouts, leaving the core intact, and pull off the outer dark leaves. • Halve through the core. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook, uncovered, until tender, about six minutes. • Meanwhile, put the oil and bacon in a very large skillet or stewpot, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crispy. • Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring occasionally, until they brown and the edges get crisp, about ten minutes. • Stir in the vinegar, salt, pepper, and bacon. Serve warm.

01622 235170 Castle View, Forstal, Maidstone Kent, ME14 3AQ Located J6 M20









CLASSIC pigs in blankets INGREDIENTS 1 (8-ounce) tube crescent rolls 8 hot dogs, cut into thirds 1 tablespoon poppy seeds, optional


METHOD OF HOW TO COOK • Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside. • Roll out the crescent rolls into one sheet, placing 2 triangles together by pinching the seams to make a square. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut each rectangle into 6 strips. • Wrap each strip around each hot dog, leaving a little space at the edges. Sprinkle the tops with poppy seeds, if using.

• Place into oven and bake until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. • Serve immediately.

Baby carrots INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 pounds baby carrots 3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pats 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon coarse salt

METHOD OF HOW TO COOK • Place baby carrots in 1/2-inch of water with butter, sugar, and salt. Bring water to the boil, cover pan, and reduce heat to simmer. Cook carrots 7 or 8 minutes, remove lid, raise heat to medium high. • Reduce water until it almost evaporates, for a couple of minutes. Turn carrots in sauce and taste to adjust seasonings and serve.

Honey mustard parsnips INGREDIENTS 1kg parsnip, peeled and cut into thumb-width batons 2 teaspoons English mustard powder 2 tablespoons plain flour 4 tablespoons rapeseed oil about 3 teaspoons clear honey

METHOD OF HOW TO COOK • Boil the parsnips for 5 minutes, then drain well and let them steam-dry for a few minutes. Mix the mustard powder with the flour and plenty of seasoning. Toss the parsnips in the mix, then shake off any excess. • Heat oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7 – you can do this while the turkey is resting. Put the oil into one large, or even better 2, non-stick baking trays (the parsnips mustn’t be crowded if they’re to become really crisp), then heat in the oven for 5 minutes. Carefully scoop the parsnips into the fat, turn them a few times, then roast for 30 minutes or until golden and crisp. Drizzle the honey over the hot parsnips, give them a little shake, then scatter with flaky sea salt and tip into a serving dish. DELICIOUS RECIPES

CHICKEN Pamplona

Recipe from: Buenos Aires Nights Steakhouse 63 High Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1SR 01622 688655

INGREDIENTS 2 boneless chicken breasts (approx. 220gr each) 4 slices of bacon 1 chopped garlic clove 1 teaspoon parsley 2 small onions (50gr each) 4 button mushrooms 1 tablespoon olive oil 50 gr butter salt and pepper to taste Creamy green onion sauce 1 spring onion 200ml double cream 1gr nutmeg powder 20gr butter salt and pepper to taste Herb potatoes 2 King Edward potatoes or similar 1 teaspoon thyme 1 teaspoon oregano 1 teaspoon parsley 4 tablespoons oil olive salt and pepper to taste Buenos Aires Nights Steakhouse recommend a wine pairing with this dish, Tapiz Viogner from Mendoza Argentina. DELICIOUS RECIPES

METHOD OF HOW TO COOK 2 Serving • Preheat oven to 200ºC/400F. • Place chicken on a chopping board cut the breasts in half and cover with cling film, pound with a meat tenderizer or with a dough roller for a uniform thickness, do it carefully so they become thinner without breaking the chicken meat and remove cling film. • Cook mushrooms in a pan with onions, garlic, parsley and olive oil on low heat until they are golden. • Add sautéed mushrooms and onions in the open chicken breast. Roll chicken as tight as you can and form the roll by squeezing all of its sides and wrap in aluminium foil. Cook for 20 minutes. • In the meantime scrub

the potatoes clean. Cut each potato in half lengthwise. Cut each half into 3-4 wedges, according to your size preference. Place the wedges in a bowl, add the olive oil and all remaining ingredients and toss multiple times to evenly coat the potato wedges. • Chop the green onion. Use both the green and the white part and place it in a pan and fry, let the onion cook for 3-4 minutes in butter add double cream, nutmeg powder, salt and pepper. Stir well until you get a smooth consistency. • Remove the chicken from the oven and seal it in a frying pan with butter, turning occasionally until golden brown on both sides. Serve and enjoy.

Tues-Sat: 7 days a week in December Sunday Lunch: Served until 6pm 3 courses ÂŁ21.95 Adults ÂŁ13.95 Children under 12 A la carte menu always available

The Vineyard Restaurant Wishing all of our clients a

Merry Christmas

and a prosperous New Year!

The Vineyard Restaurant, A20 London Road, Wrotham Heath, TN15 7RU u 01732 882330 u


Just outside Canterbury is the pretty village of Bridge, and right in its centre is the White Horse, offering a good choice of homely fare. 01227 833830



53 High Street, Bridge, Canterbury Kent CT4 5LA

Cocoa Gin and Morello Cherry Jam £5.00 The Festive Chest £150.00

Find your local store: Bromley, Canterbury, Maidstone/Fremlin Walk

FESTIVE DELIGHTS Hotel Chocolat Wreath Box £42.00

Classic Christmas Luxe £35.00

Mini Crackers £16.00

Yule Log £20.00

The Sleigh Team £7.50

Classic Christmas H-Box £12.50

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The Raja of Kent Biddenden Road, Tenterden TN30 6SX

Tribute Nights ELVIS

Tuesday 20th December and Wednesday 21st December


New Years Eve Party 2016 1st sitting £20.00 - 6pm - 8.30pm children under 10 £15 (first sitting only) 2nd sitting £35.00 - 9pm Till Late includes FREE glass of Champagne (second sitting only) Fabulous 4 Course Dinner - Papadom & Chutney, Starter, Main Course, Tea or Coffee + Star Cabaret. Book Early - Limited Tickets Available


01233 851191 |

Bang & Olufsen of Bexleyheath 155 Broadway Bexleyheath Kent DA6 7EZ Tel: 020 8303 2760

Bang & Olufsen of Bromley 62 High Street Bromley Kent BR1 1EG Tel: 020 8466 8080

Bang & Olufsen of Cambridge 29 Magdalene Street Cambridge CB3 0AF Tel: 01223 464400

Bang & Olufsen of Maidstone 37 Royal Star Arcade High Street Maidstone ME14 1JL Tel: 01622 756756

Bang & Olufsen of Tunbridge Wells 66 Mount Pleasant Road Tunbridge Wells Kent TN1 1RB Tel: 01892 527525


Discover Europe in slow-motion


urope boasts some of the most beautiful rivers and waterways in the world; such as the charming Dutch Waterways including Amsterdam’s iconic canals, the French Saône and Rhône rivers and the Elbe, known as the gateway to eastern Europe; all intertwining across the continent and connecting travellers with many hidden treasures. A river cruise offers an opportunity to discover charming villages and towns, whilst admiring the picture-perfect views across the water and, once docked, a variety of excursions allow passengers to explore the local area with guided city tours, sightseeing and day trips to nearby attractions, or simply relax onboard the ship. With such a wide variety of destinations to discover, there’s a river cruise to suit every season too, with festive cruises to sample atmospheric Christmas markets; spring trips on the Dutch waterways to visit world-famous gardens; the Danube in summer, when the sunshine reflects off the water and mirrors the sights along the riverbank. There’s even a chance to join a flotilla of small ships under a

firework-lit sky during the Rhine in Flames Festival in autumn. While many river cruise itineraries offer a flight option to reach the departure point, The River Cruise Line also specialises in ‘no-fly’ alternatives, which are ideal for anyone who can’t or doesn’t want to travel by air. Coach travel from joining points nationwide is included with all itineraries, using ferry crossings to Europe from several UK ports or alternatively, rail connections are offered from London via Eurostar and onward using Europe’s high speed rail network. Passengers can also make their own way to the ship, which presents an opportunity for those with a bit more time to spare to combine a cruise with a European city break. Far from the mega-ships used for ocean cruising, river cruising ships are far more intimate and allow passengers on-board to get to know each other and the staff, as well as offering enough space to enjoy the peace and quiet of their own company. The journey from one stop to the next is one of the highlights of a holiday on the water, not simply a formality. As the a

The Rhine


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Continued from page 73

Discover Europe in slow-motion on a relaxing river cruise


ship gently meanders along to the next port, passengers watch as the serene river bank scenes drift by and enjoy a break from the stresses of everyday life. Take, for example, The River Cruise Line’s four star ms Serenity; a luxurious 110m long claret and cream ship that carries 190 passengers, 43 crew members and offers fantastic service, polished interiors and a warm, friendly atmosphere. On arrival, passengers are introduced to the captain, Cpt Marco Menke and the rest of his crew over a welcome drink, before settling in to their en-suite cabin. One of the many joys of river cruising is the ability to visit multiple destinations, whilst only needing to unpack once and returning to the same room at the end of each day. The ms Serenity’s on-board restaurant serves a mix of fresh international cuisine and authentic local dishes, accompanied by panoramic views of the passing scenery and the ship also features a lounge bar, lido bar with an outdoor terrace and a spacious sun deck. Some of The River Cruise Line’s most popular itineraries on board the ms Serenity are along the Rhine. Running over 750 miles from the Swiss Alps to the North Sea through six countries, this is one of the longest and most important

rivers in Europe and a cruise along the Rhine provides travellers with one of the easiest and most relaxing ways to experience the culture and luxury of northern Europe. The nine day Rhine Cruise & Swiss Delights trip explores some of Germany’s most idyllic towns and cities; including Rüdesheim, to sample the region’s delicious wines; the Celtic Roman city of Speyer; and Heidelberg, a majestic city, home to Germany’s oldest university. This journey continues with an overnight stay in the magnificent city of Strasbourg, before cruising into northern Switzerland to embark on a coach excursion from Basel to Lucerne, tunnelling through the Jura mountains. Return to Germany and the town of Breisach, where there’s an opportunity to venture into the cooler mountain slopes of the Black Forest and discover Europe’s largest waterfall with an optional excursion. Another popular route for the ms Serenity is the Danube, the second longest river in Europe which winds through no fewer than eight countries as it makes its way from the heart of Europe towards the Black Sea. Cruises on the Danube offer a chance to discover some of central and Eastern Europe’s greatest treasures,

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including spectacular scenery and beautifully preserved historic cities, sailing the waters immortalised in the classic ‘Blue Danube’ waltz by Strauss. The River Cruise Line’s Danube to the Black Sea cruise takes in many of Europe’s most iconic destinations, including romantic Vienna, with its magnificent squares, grand monuments and extravagant buildings; Austria’s picturesque Wachau Valley; historic Bratislava, once a frontier outpost of the Roman Empire; and the Iron Gate Gorge, the largest river gorge in Europe, which carves a channel through the spectacular Carpathian Mountains that border Serbia and Romania. There are many exciting excursions on offer during the cruise, such as a trip to see a traditional Puszta horse show, during which, the horses perform a number of tricks and the local cowboys demonstrate their unique ability to communicate with the animals; guided tours in all the key cities along the route; a visit to Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace; and a trip to Kalocsa, a ‘paprika town’ on the plains of Hungary. Both of these cruises include the services of an experienced cruise director throughout, as well as return travel from the UK, evening entertainment aboard the ship and meals on full-board basis.




8 days by air from £999

17 days by rail from £2199

Departs 7, 14, 21 & 28 May 2017

Departs 20 July 2017

aboard ms Serenity

aboard ms Serenity

For further information or to make a booking please call Baldwins Travel – Maidstone: 01622 762141


All prices are per person, based on two people sharing the lowest category cabin. Cabin upgrades and single cabins are available at a supplement – please ask for details. Reservations and our price guarantee are subject to our booking conditions, which are available on request. A copy will also be sent to you with your holiday confi rmation. All prices are correct at time of going to print.



Chamonix a winter holiday

C The Rhine


hamonix is often referred to as the home of Alpine tourism with adventure seekers and casual holiday makers holding it in high regard. The town of Chamonix sits in the shadow of the mighty Mont Blanc – which is one of Europe’s highest mountains at 4,810 meters. This dramatic and world famous backdrop is one of many reasons thousands of skiers flock to its exciting slopes. Chamonix is set against truly spectacular scenery at the foot of the Majestic Mont Blanc and the town itself boasts some great bars and restaurants, numerous shops and activities for all the family, including paragliding, swimming, ice skating, ice climbing and husky rides. Chamonix also has a cinema, casino and nightclubs. Take a trip up the spectacular Aiguille du Midi, one of Europe’s highest cable-cars, or a ride on the famous rack railway to 6,200ft to admire the stunning Mer de Glace glacier.

A winter holiday in Chamonix is unlike any other you will experience - with much of the terrain above 2000m, the skiing in Chamonix valley has for many years attracted skiers looking for good snow and who also want to ski the famous Vallée Blanche - or tackle the rest of the extensive off-piste skiing. But there is a lot more to skiing in Chamonix than just challenging slopes, and skiers and snowboarders of all levels should find runs to the suit them. And you certainly don’t need to be an expert to enjoy the truly spectacular scenery. There’s an efficient ski bus which links the five main ski areas. At the foot of the majestic Mont Blanc massif, the resort’s setting is both unique and breathtaking. The town of Chamonix offers an excellent range of sporting and leisure facilities, and the nightlife, complete with an excellent choice of restaurants, is unrivalled, The choice of skiing is remarkable, with testing slopes

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for ambitious skiers at Argentière, cruisy blues and fun reds at Brévent-Flégère and Le Tour and skiing for beginners in Chamonix and at the pretty nearby village of Les Houches. Intermediate skiers will be spoilt for choice with long runs at Le Tour or to progress to off-piste and narrow reds and blacks. Most will be able to tackle the famous Vallée Blanche (with a guide). Advanced skiers love Chamonix, which Is the ideal resort. The Grands Montets in Argentière offers the most difficult terrain, although Brévent, Flégère and le Tour all also offer some unforgettable itineraries. For powder hounds, all Chamonix’s areas offer some of the best off-piste available anywhere in the world. And as well as a short transfer from Geneva airport, the attraction is obvious.

Chalet Hotel Sapiniere Chamonix, France


NIGHTS 14TH JANUARY Standard twin room

£499 per person

4 Based on return LGW flight 4 Chalet board 4 Return transfers are included Other regional airports available T&C’s – Prices are subject to availability and can be changed at any time. Offer is based on 7 nights holiday in a standard twin room on the 14th January, including Catered chalet board, return flights from LGW and return transfers to resort.

For more information on this offer or any ski destination please contact your local Baldwins Travel Group branch Baldwins Travel - Tunbridge Wells Baldwins Travel - Maidstone Baldwins Travel - Lewes Baldwins Travel - Uckfield

01892 511999 01622 762141 01273 472466 01825 760488

Baldwins Travel -Tonbridge Baldwins Travel - Cranbrook Travelux - Tenterden Sevenoaks Travel

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#HolidayInspirations TRAVEL ASPECT

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S Nicole Scherzinger interview in 2011

he’s the woman who has it all – the looks, the voice, the personality. But Nicole Scherzinger has not had it all easy. While millions tune in to watch her judge rising talent on the X Factor, beneath the smile and the glamour is a woman who has fought an eating disorder and suffered the collapse of her long, and extremely high profile relationship with Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton while in the glare of the global media spotlight. Yet, despite that, she has enjoyed remarkable success in her career and now spends much of her time right here in the UK. “Obviously, I’m American,” she says, “but I do feel like an honorary Brit. I could see myself having a home here, definitely.

I love the people here, I get a warm feeling from them.” The feisty Pussycat Dolls catapulted her into superstardom when their monster hit Don’t Cha proved a global chart-topper. They would go on to be one of the biggest selling girl groups of all time, racking up sales in excess of 50 million. Kent fans will remember well their triumphant headline slot at a festival in Quex Park in Thanet in 2009. Then she had a solo career which added a further 16 million sales – primarily in Europe where her career has continued to deliver her big chart success. Television audiences have embraced her too, with hugely popular stints as a judge on the X Factor on both sides of the Atlantic. And if that wasn’t enough, there’s also a constant demand from advertisers to have her promote their product, not to a CELEBRITY STORY


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I just hated myself, I was in a group but I never felt so alone in my life.... I never did drugs, but hurting myself was my addiction. The music is what saved me. That’s the only thing I can trust.

“ ”

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mention a recent highly acclaimed stint in the return of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats musical to London’s West End. Yet, perhaps typically for a high profile woman in show business, the focus has all too often been on her relationship with Hamilton. An on-off affair which stretched over seven years, saw them become engaged, but ultimately split in 2015. “I try not to regret things,” she says, “because I feel like as long as you put positive energy towards something – and you put your whole self, your true self, towards it – it’ll lead you to the next place you’re supposed to be. “We wish each other well. In all honesty, it’s in my past and I’m all about keeping the past in the past.” The romance clearly took its toll – culminating in an uncomfortable US TV interview in which the presenter hammered home the fact Nicole had perhaps missed the opportunity to have children as a result of the long, and ultimately unsuccessful, love affair with the race ace. Personal happiness has not passed her by however. Since the split, she has been linked to a romance with Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov – a 25-year-old former top 10 tennis player. The two guard their privacy, but Nicole says she’s in no great rush to settle into family life just yet. “I feel like God put me on this earth to create something really great and to share whatever gifts he’s given me, whether that’s music or helping people,” she explains. “I feel I have to be smart and take my time with my next project and my music, because it’s got to speak and stand the test of time. But I can’t wait to get married and have kids, it’ll be awesome. “I have the biggest family in Hawaii and they’re popping out kids every day. For me, all that will come in its own time.” Now 38, it is not the first major issue she has been forced to face since hitting the big time. During her time with the Pussycat Dolls, she admitted suffering from bulimia. “I just hated myself,” she explained. “I was in a group but I never felt so alone in my life. “I never did drugs, but hurting myself was my addiction. The music is what saved me. That’s the only thing I can trust. “It is such a horrible paralysing disease and it was such a dark time for me. That’s why I can empathise so much with people who have demons and voices in their heads, who aren’t nice to themselves. It robs you of living your life. But you can a CELEBRITY STORY

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recover and you can get rid of it forever. I did it and that’s why it’s so important for me to share my story. “You hide it from the world, you isolate yourself.” Born in June 1978 in Honolulu, Hawaii, her parents, Alfonso Valiente and Rosemary Elikolani, split up while she was still a baby, and it was when she was six that her mother moved to the US mainland with her stepfather Gary Scherzinger. He would ultimately adopt her and she took his surname. Not a wealthy family, the performing bug bit early and she attended a youth performing arts school in her home town before enjoying her first recognition for her efforts in 1996 when she was a runner up in the Coca-Cola Talent Classic contest at the Kentucky State Fair. Leaving high school, she studied theatre and dance at Wright State University which saw her secure roles in the likes of Chicago and Show Boat. “I was an ugly duckling,” she recalls of her childhood, “but I always wanted to be Whitney Houston. I went to a youth performing arts school, where I discovered musicals. The first one we did was Alice in Wonderland and I thought I’d never get cast as Alice, because I was up against a girl with blue eyes and blonde hair. But we had this teacher who was a bit of a rebel and she made me Alice.”

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By 1999 she was focusing on music, providing the backing vocals for rock band Days of The New before attempting to become a solo artist. And in 2001, she got within touching distance of the big time. She appeared on the US version of Popstars – performing Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You. It would lead her to be selected for the girl group Eden’s Crush, which won the show. However, despite a hit with their first single, the band’s label went bust the following year and the group split. Attempting to resurrect her opportunity, she worked with a number of acts and even missed out when invited to join the Black Eyed Peas because she was contracted elsewhere. But her big break was just around the corner. In 2003, Robin Antin was putting together an all-girl group called Pussycat Dolls. Nicole auditioned and won her place. The rest as they say is history. From there she enjoyed huge success and then a solo career. So has all the hard work and, sometimes pain, been worth it? “I think anybody who works really hard for their career has to make sacrifices. “But it’s worth it, so you’ve got to find those things that are worth it for you. I don’t have any regrets.” mmm

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HOME SWEET HOME this Christmas Throw £160.00 Kelly Hoppen

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K2 Flooring are professional flooring specialists, offering high quality all-in-one flooring services to customers across Swanley, West Malling and all the surrounding areas in Kent

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olkswagen is digitalising the most successful model in the Group’s history – the Golf – with a major update. The main focus of the 2017 model year is – alongside new engines, keener design and new assistance systems – a completely new generation of infotainment systems. As a world first in the compact class, the top-of-the-range “Discover Pro” system can be operated by gesture control. With its 9.2-inch screen it forms a conceptual and visual entity with the Active Info Display, which is also new to the Golf. In parallel to this, the range of online services and apps has also been enlarged. The update to the Golf, of which over 33 million have been sold to date, also reflects a new standard for assistance systems in the compact class: technologies such as City Emergency Braking with new Pedestrian Monitoring function, the new Traffic Jam Assist (partially automated driving at speeds of up to 60 km/h) and Emergency Assist, which is also new in this segment, significantly improve safety.

World premieres: Volkswagen presents the updated 2 and 4-door Golf as well as the Golf GTI, Golf GTE and Golf Variant. The “Discover Pro” infotainment system with gesture control sees the interface of the future make its debut in the compact class. The complete range of infotainment systems has been redesigned and fitted with larger touchscreens. Range of online services expanded; “Guide & Inform” as well as “Security and Service” for models with a navigation system.

The progressive digitalisation is accompanied by the enhanced EA211 TSI engine family. The new Golf initially sees the debut of the new turbocharged petrol engine, the “1.5 TSI Evo” – a 110 kW/150 PS four-cylinder turbo with Active Cylinder Management (ACT). This will be followed by a BlueMotion version producing 96 kW/130 PS. Volkswagen has also boosted the performance of the Golf GTI, the new version of which will produce 169 kW/230 PS and 180 kW/245 PS (GTI Performance) and a new 7-speed DSG (dual clutch gearbox) will gradually replace the 6-speed DSG as a highefficiency gearbox for the Golf. Volkswagen presents the update to the two and four-door Golf, the Golf Variant and the sporty Golf GTI and Golf GTE at Volkswagen’s headquarters in Wolfsburg. The more refined design of all new versions of the Golf makes a more powerful impression than ever before. The modifications include new bumpers at the front and rear, new halogen headlights with LED daytime running lights, new a MOTORS SECTION

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Continued from page 103

full LED headlights instead of xenon headlights, new front wings, new full LED tail lights – which come as standard for every version of the Golf – as well as new wheels and colours, and the interior of the 2017 model year Golf is finished off with refined new decorative trims and fabrics. The range of equipment versions of the Golf remains unchanged. New details give the Golf’s iconic design yet more unmistakable clarity, in particular the combination of the radiator grille and the headlights, which round off the original stylishly. The lower chrome strip on the radiator grille extends to the left and right as a chrome element (painted red on the GTI and blue on the GTE) and LED daytime running lights out to the headlights (the LED headlights, which either comes as standard or as an optional extra, depending on the equipment version, replace the xenon headlights in the new Golf). The cooling openings in the lower part of the bumper, which have also been redesigned, accentuate the width of the Volkswagen even more than before. The interplay of the new details make the Golf even more striking. Another optical highlight for the versions with Adaptive Cruise Control ACC and/or Front Assist including the City Emergency Braking function with new Pedestrian Monitoring is that the radar sensor for these systems on the TDI, TSI, LNG, GTD and GTI versions will no longer be located (visibly) in the lower cooling air intake in the bumper, but will instead now be hidden behind the VW logo in the upper radiator grille. The back of the car has also been made more charismatic: from now on, all versions of the Golf and Golf Variant will come with full LED tail lights. In contrast to many standard LED tail lights, none of the functions of the Golf’s new tail lights will use conventional light bulbs. Also, the top-of-the-range version of the full LED tail lights (available for the 2 and 4-door Golf) will have animated flowing indicators. This version can be recognised by a translucent white LED stripe that turns orange when indicating. Last, but not least, the top-of-the-range version is set apart by a visually striking switchover between the LED tail light and the LED brake lights when the brakes are applied. MOTORS SECTION

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The sporty GT versions are set apart by colour applications to match the character of the specific Golf version, instead of the chrome strip in the radiator grille and headlights. One of the most important Golf GTI insignias – the red stripe in the radiator grille – is now extended as an even more distinctive feature. The crossbar in the radiator grille and little winglets at the side of the standard dual LED headlights are also red. The back of the 2017 model year Golf GTI is distinguished not only by the new bumpers and the full LED tail lights, but also by the enlarged cross-section of the chrome-plated exhaust pipes. Similar to the Golf GTI, with its red design elements, the latest Golf GTE features the characteristic blue design elements of the plug-in hybrid version. The blue winglets in the GTE’s new LED headlights, which also come as standard, visually emphasise the dynamism of this efficient Volkswagen.

The diverse model range of the Golf has traditionally included the Golf Variant. The latest version of this all-rounder is also celebrating its world premiere. A new rear bumper makes the Golf Variant appear even more elongated and elegant. The full LED tail lights, which also come as standard with this version, suit this look perfectly. Just like the Passat Variant, the Golf Variant is also available with sophisticated trapezoidal chrome trim panels, which are directly integrated into the diffuser, as an option. The update of the Golf is most readily visible inside, because the 2017 model year offers a new and increasingly digital display and control concept. Along with this, Volkswagen has updated its whole range of infotainment systems. Its most important characteristic is the sophisticated new design, larger touchscreens and, as outlined above, – in the case of the top-ofthe-range “Discover Pro” model – gesture control, which is implemented here for the first time in the Golf’s compact car class.

The spectrum of assistance systems in the Golf democratises progress, featuring Traffic Jam Assist and Emergency Assist for the first time. New generation of TSIs: 1.5 TSI Evo with 110 kW/150 PS and Active Cylinder Management makes its debut in the Golf. Added performance for the Golf GTI: 169 kW/230 PS for the standard version and 180 kW/245 PS for the GTI Performance. Front and rear sections with new bumpers. Full LED tail lights; animated indicators for the top-of-the-range version. MOTORS SECTION

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issan has unveiled the special version LEAF Black Edition, setting the standard for sleek, premium styling in the mass-market electric vehicle (EV) sector. Based on Nissan’s existing Acenta grade, the Nissan LEAF Black Edition offers cuttingedge design and a number of dynamic styling enhancements. Stylish exterior additions include 16� black alloy wheels, LED headlamps, illuminated entry guards, privacy glass, black door mirror caps and black rear roof spoiler. Blue-stitched mats give the interior a premium finish. The Black Edition also comes with the latest evolution of the advanced NissanConnect EV telematics system and its innovative Around View Monitor technology as standard. The Nissan LEAF Black Edition offers customers stylish, premium design in an affordable mass-market 100 percent electric vehicle. Nissan are committed to



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delivering innovation that excites and this vehicle does just that, with the leading Around View Monitor technology offering customers a more confident drive – embodying Nissan Intelligent Mobility. The limited edition model is on sale in Europe for a restricted production run from March 2017 up until August 2017, with the first 1,000 customers in Europe receiving a free Wi-Fi hotspot – capable of powering up to eight devices. Launched in 2010, the Nissan LEAF was the first mass-market electric vehicle. The latest 30kWh version gives drivers up to 155 miles* of motoring range, opening up a new world of opportunity for drivers. Nissan is dedicated to delivering a smarter, more sustainable future, with customers having driven more than 2.5 billion electric miles. Since the Nissan LEAF first went on sale in 2010, almost 240,000 units have been sold globally, with 64,000 of these on Europe’s roads; making it the world’s bestselling electric vehicle. Features exclusive design accents including black 16” alloy wheels, black door mirror caps and black rear roof spoiler. Based on Acenta grade, it features the latest Nissan technologies including Around View Monitor, NissanConnect EV telematics and advanced safety systems. First 1,000 customers to purchase the LEAF Black Edition to receive a free in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspot. The LEAF Black Edition demonstrates Nissan’s commitment to Intelligent Mobility, combining cutting edge EV technology with sleek, high end design. The 100% electric Nissan LEAF shows what can happen when you believe anything is possible. Developed with gamechanging technology that produces zero emissions while driving, it re-writes the rules on car driving and ownership. It’s designed for anyone who believes that their choices can truly make a difference. MOTORS SECTION

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Kent business news ROYAL LEGION POPPY APPEAL TAKES PLACE AT BLUEWATER The Poppy Appeal 2016 recently launched at Bluewater, Europe’s leading retail and leisure destination, as The Royal British Legion encouraged people to ‘rethink Remembrance’ during this year’s campaign. The poppy and the work of the Legion are often associated with the First and Second World Wars and elderly veterans, however the charity is calling on the public to consider all generations of the Armed Forces community when they wear their poppy this year. Two teams of ‘superheroes and real heroes’ took on a tug of war and collection challenge at the Legion’s Kent Poppy Appeal launch at Bluewater, highlighting a modern approach to the way we remember. After an incredible response to last year’s shop, The Royal British Legion and Bluewater once again opened the poppy pop-up shop. All sales generated have gone to help raise vital funds for the important work The Royal British Legion does in providing care and support to members of the British Armed Forces, veterans and their families. Speaking about the launch, Graham Ferris Community Fundraising Manager for South East said “During the Poppy Appeal this year we’re asking people to widen their lens when they reflect on Remembrance. The Legion is here for all generations of the Armed Forces community, and it’s important to remember there’s a new generation that needs your support.” “Every donation received will make a real difference to the lives of Service men and women, veterans and their loved ones.”


KENT SHOWS OFF ITS EDUCATION CREDENTIALS AT LONDON SCHOOLS SHOW Kent saw the strongest showings of local schools and Kent education experts at the Independent Schools Show in London during November; A testament to the county’s impressive educational standards and large number of high profile independent schools. The Independent Schools Show 2016, which took place on 12th and 13th November at Battersea Park is the country’s biggest and best known Schools Show and will welcome Kent Headmaster Mike Buchanan, Head of Ashford School to the Education Theatre hosting a discussion on “When Boarding is right for your child’ along with a host of other high profile education experts. The Show is an important platform for Kent’s top schools in promoting their impressive facilities and educational standards. Kent schools that exhibited at the Show include; Ashford School, Cobham Hall School, Dover College, The King’s School, Kent College, Sevenoaks School and Wellesley House school, gave parents from all over the UK the chance to speak to their staff and Heads about the schools and their options when it comes to choosing the right school for their children. With parents facing an increasingly complex set of education options for their children and with competition greater than ever, the Show also gave parents the opportunity to meet the largest gathering of the UK’s leading independent schools in one day, all under one roof.

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Kent Music student Edward Hyde was named Radio Two Young Chorister of the Year at Manchester Cathedral on Monday, after beating thousands of young choristers across the UK to reach the final. Edward, 12, sang I Vow to Thee My Country and Be Thou My Vision in front of judges and an audience which included his mother Sophie, a singing teacher, and father Phill Hyde, who is Manager of the Kent Music Summer School and the County Wind Orchestras.The young musician is Deputy Head Chorister at Rochester Cathedral, plays the trombone regularly at the Kent Music Medway Towns Music Centre at Fort PittGrammar School in Chatham and has attended the Kent Music Summer School at Benenden School, near Cranbrook, for the past three years. Phill said the final was an emotional evening: “It takes a tremendous amount of work and commitment to perform at this level and we are delighted for him. One of his first engagements will be to perform on BBC’s Songs of Praise programme.” Edward also plays the trombone to a high standard, and was selected to represent Kent for music at the age of 11. Following successful auditions during the past two years, he has won places in The National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain and is currently studying on Saturdays at the Junior Royal Academy of Music.

HADLOW STUDENTS FIND SUCCESSFUL CAREERS AT THE TWIG GROUP Three Hadlow College students, Alex Rumph, Laurence Herring and Tom Denning have all found a career with Kent-based The Twig Group, who are specialists in ecological contracting, grounds maintenance and landscape design. Following significant development in the last two years, The Twig Group based in Goudhurst, have employed more staff, including two Hadlow College students. Alex and Tom took the FdSc Countryside management course, which equips them for a wide range of careers within countryside management, whilst Laurence took the BSc in Countryside management. Their success and growth is as a result of the unique approach to working with housing developers. They can advise early on in the process, alerting their clients on what to look out for when purchasing a site or prior to construction commencing. Practical solutions are provided with an understanding of construction programmes and timings to keep projects on track, which means a cost effective ecological service.

AWARDS SHORTLIST FOR LAW FIRM CRIPPS Cripps has received national recognition for its expertise in supporting GP practices. The law firm is one of three finalists in the General Practice Awards 2016 Legal Team of the Year category. This recognises those who have provided outstanding up-to-the-minute advice to help GPs negotiate new policy and the daily rigours of running a practice. Cripps’ healthcare team has 25 specialists who between them cover corporate, commercial, regulatory, dispute resolution, employment and real estate issues. Nick Austen, head of the healthcare team, said: “To be ranked as one of the country’s top three providers of legal services to GPs is a fantastic achievement and builds on our growing national reputation in this field.”

According to the Chambers guide to law firms, Cripps has an in-depth knowledge of the healthcare sector, while Legal 500 describes the firm as “a key name for transactions of pharmacy and dental businesses”. Cripps’ Tunbridge Wells offices will shortly move into new, purpose built premises, the largest office building to have been built in the town for more than 25 years. With over 350 staff Cripps is one of the town’s largest employers. LOCAL NEWS

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LOCAL RUGBY TEAM PICKED BY PINK LADY® APPLES Much-loved apple brand Pink Lady®, whose UK base is in Wateringbury, has announced a two-year sponsorship deal with local women’s rugby team, the Tonbridge Juddians. As part of the sponsorship agreement, the team has been renamed the Tonbridge Juddians Pink Ladies. They have also been kitted out in new shirts featuring the Pink Lady® logo and in its much-loved Pantone shade of pink, which were debuted on Sunday 30th October in a match against Barnes. Tonbridge Juddians RFC describes itself as a sociable and friendly rugby club, providing rugby for all ages, shapes and sizes. The club is located in the centre of Tonbridge, Kent. The sponsorship initiative has a personal connection: Andy Macdonald, managing director

of Coregeo®, the Wateringburybased company which markets Pink Lady® apples in the UK, has been a member of the club for over 40 years and is also Vice President. Michelle Toft, Chief Marketing Officer at Pink Lady® said: “Supporting our local community is really important to us as a company, and we are really passionate about teaming up with such an inspirational team. For us, this sponsorship is about championing women in all their endeavours, which really underpins everything we do at Pink Lady®.” Bill Little, the coach for Tonbridge Juddians Pink Ladies, said: “It’s really exciting to have a brand like Pink Lady® supporting the team. It’s great to know that local businesses are behind the team, and the new shirts really stand out from the rest!”

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Got a friend or relative who is crazy about animals? Then give them the ideal gift this Christmas by adopting an animal at Kent Life Heritage Farm Park. Adoption costs just £20 and will help keep one of the award-winning attraction’s farmyard animals fed, watered, clean and well housed for a whole year. The lucky recipient will receive a ready-to-frame photo of their new furry friend, along with a certificate, a fact sheet, plus a complimentary ticket so that they can visit them. Choose from playful alpacas, cheeky donkeys, goats (including floppy-eared Nubians), horses and ponies, or a friendly, fluffy sheep.

CHRISTMAS TIME Kent Adult Education


hristmas is nearly upon us and for the more organised among us the Christmas shopping is probably well underway! However, if you have that person in your family who has everything or those slightly annoying people who utter the words “surprise me” then Christmas shopping can become a bit more of a trial. Add in to that the lack of weekends in the run up to this Christmas and the busy family catch-ups and work parties and before you know it you can be in full Christmas shopping meltdown. Here at KAE however, they have the perfect solution. Their Gift Vouchers give you the opportunity to give a gift, a skill or a hobby. It’s a rather unique idea that you probably have never thought of. Many gift vouchers can sit unredeemed in purses or wallets post-Christmas but this never will be. With the possibility of using a gift voucher to enrol on one of the 2,149 courses they have starting in the New Year, it could be the best gift you’ve ever given. Their vouchers not only give the opportunity to try something new, but for someone to discover a true passion or hobby that they would have never thought about


Christmas Wreath

doing before. Team this with New Year resolutions of wanting to do new things and learn new things and you are on to a winner! With everything from floristry to furniture restoration, yoga to calligraphy, Chinese Mandarin to sugarcraft and watercolour to wine tasting, there really is a course for everyone. KAE also have hundreds of courses in the evenings and at weekends to make sure that even the busiest of bees will be able to discover something new. If you are one of those lucky people with some spare time on the run up to Christmas then why not take a look at their Christmas craft courses? Whether you want to craft the perfect gift or learn some tips to decorate your home for the festive season they’ve got it covered. From making your own crackers to crafting stunning floristry displays and perfecting the perfect roast for Christmas Day they have a range of courses to tickle your fancy on the run up to your festivities this year. Whether you want the perfect gift or want to add a handmade touch, this year when you think Christmas think KAE. For more information visit or call 03000 41 22 22.

CHRISTMAS traditions THE SEASON IS FULL OF MANY OTHER TRADITIONS THAT REPRESENT THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS AS ROBIN J BROOKS TAKES A LOOK BACK IN TIME. lthough the exact date of the birth of Jesus is not known, in the Christian world it is celebrated on December 25th. On that day the story of Mary, Joseph and the baby is told and re-enacted in every church in the land. ‘Cristes Masse’ meaning the birth of Christ belongs to the Catholic Church for it is likely that they chose the date in order to compete with other Pagan festivals. The story of the Nativity is known throughout the world and in the Bible it is best told in the Book of Luke-Chapter two. ‘And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David which is called Bethlehem. And it whilst they were there the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the Inn’.


The front cover of one of the most popular Christmas songs

This is the true meaning of Christmas and although nowadays somewhat overshadowed by the commercialism of the season, it is the time when cathedrals and churches experience their largest congregations as the story is told through the singing of carols and bible readings. For children, Christmas is mainly about Santa Claus, the kindly old gentleman who somehow manages to climb down every house chimney no matter how small or large. With his origins dating back to the 4th century it is generally thought that the present day Santa is based on a Turkish Bishop named Saint Nicholas. When he died on 340 AD he was buried in Myra where he had become known for his generosity and kindness to children. He was also known as the Patron Saint of Russia, in Greece the Patron Saint of Sailors, in France the Patron Saint of Lawyers and in Belgium, as we know him today, the Patron Saint of Children and Travellers. All churches across Europe recognised him and in his honour the Feast of St Nicholas was celebrated on December 6th with part of the ritual involving gift giving with a tendency to a LOCAL HISTORY

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support charities. It is not known when the date was changed to December 25th but the night before is the time when children find it difficult to sleep. In this 21st century of course they are able to track the progress of this bearded gentleman on a phone or computer as he travels the world overnight. Surely this is another incentive not to sleep! It would of course be no good Santa calling if there was nothing to put the presents in. Legend tells us that a high ranking nobleman squandered his fortune whilst grieving over the death of his wife. His three daughters were thus deprived of their inheritance but upon hearing of their plight, St Nicholas rode his white horse (not reindeer!) to their house and showered each with presents and a pouch of gold which he threw down the chimney only for them to fall into three sets of stockings left to dry in front of the fire! Another important part of the Christmas story involves decorating the home with the centre piece being a fir or Christmas tree. It was during the reign of Queen Victoria that the first of such trees arrived in the UK when Prince Albert had them sent from his native Germany. The Christmas tree had first appeared in the 16th century when the German people adorned the fir trees with apples, wax candles and coloured streamers. It was

Surely it is the holly tree that captures the atmosphere of Christmas with the normal and the variegated version LOCAL HISTORY

A colourful creeper that appears only at this time of the year and it used for home decoration

the custom then to light the candles and watch them burn but today this has been replaced by a safer method using coloured lights. However there are certain areas of Bavaria that do still adorn the tree with wax candles. Each Christmas one of the first trees to be seen in London is that of a spruce fir tree, a gift from the people of Norway first given in 1947 in gratitude of the British help during World War Two. Measuring 20 metres tall it is placed in Trafalgar Square to welcome the season of goodwill. Following this the time approaches when every household in the land has a tree and the lights begin to twinkle in the windows. The first documented use of a Christmas tree rests between Tallinn in Estonia and Riga in Latvia. Both cities placed a tree into the main squares around which people could dance around and sellers could sell their wares. At the end of the season the trees were set alight but it was never found just who started the ritual. It was however a German preacher, Martin Luther, who proclaimed to be the first to bring a tree into a house. It is said that one crisp night before Christmas he was walking through a forest and looking up saw the stars shining bright. It was so beautiful that he went home and told his children that it reminded him of Jesus who left the stars of heaven to come to earth at

mmm 123 Mistletoe on the trees at East Farleigh

Nothing captures the magic of Christmas more than a card bearing a snow scene

Christmas. Later he felled one of the trees and bought it into the house saying that it brought Jesus into his house. Together with the tree comes the mistletoe, a mixture of green leaves and white berries. Seen for most of the year growing like a spawn on large trees, its leaf and berry are most definitely associated with kissing. Rumoured to have been used by Druid priests 200 years before the birth of Christ, it was an integral part of their winter celebrations. It was believed to have magical powers with those who kissed under the mistletoe being promised love and good luck in the future. There are currently no records to tell us if that was true!! The holly tree is surely one of the prettiest trees during the winter season. With its mixture of dark green prickly leaves and the bright red berries it too is rumoured to have mystical, magical powers. In days past branches were brought into the house to brighten human moods during the long, dreary winters. The tree supposedly came from the footsteps of Jesus. The prickly thorns represent the crown of thorns that he wore before his crucifixion, whilst the red berries were the blood that he shed whilst on the cross. Together with sprigs of laurel, bunches of holly certainly do brighten a dark, winter day. Although we now live in a world full of social media, the receiving of a Christmas card is still acceptable. The creation of Sir Henry Cole, the first director of the London and Victoria Museum, he commissioned a famous artist of the period John C Horsley to compose and write the first card insert. It was inscribed with the message so commonly used today ‘A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year’. With the season being the one to be jolly, music plays a major part. Not only the singing of carols but also the topical music of the period. Favourite among these must be ‘Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer’

which began life as a book written by Robert L May in 1939. 2.4 million copies were in circulation that year with a further 8 million distributed by 1946. A favourite with children its popularity goes on and on. Together with Irving Berlin’s ‘White Christmas’ it ensures that the season will be merry. A traditional Christmas is what everyone wishes for and how much different would it be without the forementioned. I hope you have enjoyed the mix of historical and aviation related articles I have written for the magazine over the years and that you have a peaceful, traditional Christmas. As a certain Irish comedian always said at the end of his shows ‘May your God go with you’. mmm By ROBIN J BROOKS LOCAL HISTORY

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IGHTHAM MOTE The ground floor of the house is open 11am 3.00pm, with the garden, cafe and shop open 10am - 3.30pm daily between Boxing Day and 31st December.

Enjoy the peaceful setting of this romantic moated manor house, with its garden, orchard, water features and ancient woodland walks through the Kent countryside. Join a Boxing Day ramble with a tasty breakfast to fuel an informal guided walk through the estate, or visit over January when holly is in abundance and the silver birch trees look particularly photogenic. Pick up an estate walks leaflet from visitor reception for inspiration.

KNOLE HOUSE Whilst Knole’s showrooms close for conservation during the winter months, the 1,000 acre parkland is as alive as ever. Glimpse the 350-strong resident wild deer herd that are descendants of those hunted by Henry VIII. Between Christmas and New Year, join one of the guided walks across Knole Park. On Boxing Day, walk off the Christmas Day dinner and discover more about the ancient parkland, its history and flora and fauna. On New Year’s Day, choose from two hikes; a one-hour short and social stroll perfect for families, or a two-hour brisk and bracing trail great for those after a little more. a

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SISSINGHURST CASTLE GARDEN Winter transforms the woodland, farmland and lakes surrounding Sissinghurst Castle into frosted landscapes with far reaching views of the Kentish Weald. Pick up a leaflet in the visitor reception for walking inspiration. Inside, delve into the world of Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West in the newly-opened South Cottage. As the garden closes for rest and conservation over the colder months, now is the chance to explore this other, hidden side to life here. Accessible by timed-ticket for the first time, wander through the cottage rooms where Harold and Vita slept and Harold wrote, taking in the atmosphere of this intimate inside retreat. The oast house meanwhile hosts the International Garden Photographer of the Year Exhibition. Brighten up your winter with the very best amateur and professional garden photography from across the world, brought to life by the Sissinghurst gardeners using plants from the garden. Unseen images from the archive will be on display in the tower at the same time.

CHARTWELL Admire the orchard’s winter border, home to beautifully scented golden yellow flowers, clusters of red-pink blooms clinging to branches and evergreen shrubs covered in highly scented candypink flowers. Several walks are available across the estate, with a natural play area for children, a Second World War bomb crater and a Canadian camp are to be discovered along the way. Alternatively visit one of two exhibitions on show this winter. Child of the Commons focuses on the political career of Sir Winston Churchill, whilst the Fiftieth Anniversary exhibition tells the story of Chartwell through the eyes of the local communities.

WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER During winter, a cliff top walk becomes more atmospheric. In the mornings, a dusting of frost covers the cliff top with a silvery blanket and throughout the day winter visiting birds can often be spotted including the Guillemot out at sea, short eared owl feeding over the grassland or the unmistakeable Waxwing in the hedgerows. On New Year’s Day, book onto a free walk from the White Cliffs visitor centre to South Foreland Lighthouse at 11am. Your guide will cover the history and interesting features of the cliffs along the way. At the end of the walk, one of the Trust’s most photographed tea rooms, Mrs Knotts, will be open specially to serve warming treats.

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Hazlitt Theatre, Maidstone 2nd December 2016 - 2nd January 2017 Join Hazlitt Theatre for their most spectacular pantomime yet - Sleeping Beauty.Come and enjoy a real festive tradition full of family fun, comedy and a stunning cast of celebrities yet to be announced.The story of Sleeping Beauty is a classic tale full of magic, princes, a spinning wheel and a family sized dollop of good old pantomime humour! Be sure to book today! Tickets from £12.


Churchill Theatre, Bromley 9th December 2016 - 7th January 2017 Craig Revel Horwood will star as Captain Hook in the swashbuckling family panto adventure, Peter Pan! This dazzling production will be spectacularly brought to life with an abundance of comedy, stunning sets, fabulous costumes and pantomime magic.


The Central Theatre, Chatham 8th December - 31st December 2016 Starring Robin Cousins (Olympic gold medallist and Dancing on Ice star), Hannah Jane Fox (CBBC’s Millie Inbetween), Joe Tracini (Hollyoaks), Graham Cole (The Bill) plus West End star Tracey Penn as Jack and Ian Mowat as Dame Trott.

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Winter Gardens, Margate 30th November - 4th December 2016 Handsome Prince Charming and his side kick Dandini, have to find the perfect royal bride, but in Pantoland nothing is ever quite what it seems - At Hardup Hall the invitations have arrived and poor Buttons has his work cut out!

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Christ Church Hall, Ashford 25th January - 29th January 2017


In January 2017 Ashford’s annual family pantomime is back and promises to be bigger than ever before! Join Belle, Loopy Louis and Dame Dora in this hilarious, fun packed family pantomime based on one of the most loved fairytales of all time.

Starring Su Pollard as Wicked Queen and Jamie Rickers (Citv, Nickelodeon) as Muddles, UK Productions present a spectacular panto with sparkling sets, beautiful costumes, hilarious antics, wonderful special effects and laugh along fun.


Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells 9th December 2016 - 2nd January 2017

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Stag Theatre, Sevenoaks 2nd December 2016 - 8th January 2017 EastEnders’ Fat Boy, Ricky Norwood, stars alongside 90s pop sister act Cleopatra, who will be reforming to play Sleeping Beauty’s panto fairies.


Theatre Royal, Margate 10th December - 31st December 2016 From the producers of the smash hit 2015 pantomime ‘Aladdin’ Wicked Productions return with the high flying ‘Peter Pan, ‘nevernever’ will your swash be more buckled than when you see the fabulous show featuring all your favourite gags and routines that ‘never grow old’. Firm favourite ‘Jezo’ returns to play the hilarious pirate Smee and after his dastardly performance as Abanazar in last year’s Aladdin, Rob Cummings returns as Captain Hook in the best panto yet! Watch as Peter Pan, Wendy and the children set a heading of second star to the right and fly on ‘til morning to beat the vicious Captain Hook and give a loving home once more to the lost boys. But lurking in the water is the nasty croc just waiting to get the ‘upper hand’ of anyone who dares come close. With all the fabulous scenery, costumes, special effects and laughter you have come to expect from Margate Panto, you’ll wish once they fly they will ‘Never Land’.

SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS The Orchard Theatre, Dartford 10th December - 31st December 2016

With over 30,000 theatregoers attending pantomime at The Orchard Theatre each festive season, it’s never too early to book for this year’s show! Starring comedian and national treasure Joe Pasquale, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs will be spectacularly brought to life with an abundance of comedy, sensational song and dance numbers, fabulous costumes, stunning scenery and spectacular 3D effects. Mirror, mirror, on the wall, don’t miss the fairest pantomime of them all! With generous discounts for groups, concessions and special rates for schools available for selected performances, book your seats today.


A boat journey on the River Medway to see Santa, Jet Stream Tours Throughout December

Christmas at Hever Castle 24th November - 23rd December Immerse yourself in the history of the pantomime at Hever Castle in Kent this festive season. The rooms of the fairytale castle will be adorned with beautiful decorations, welcoming log fires and twinkling Christmas trees celebrating this year’s theme. Follow the Jack and the Beanstalk Christmas trail in the grounds and meet costumed characters along the way. Then head to the Castle forecourt where a vintage fairground and carousel provide fun for all ages. Visitors will also have the chance to ‘hug a husky’ with the popular dogs from the Siberian Husky Welfare Association (weekends and daily from 19th to 24th December). Nothing says ‘Christmas’ quite like a visit to Father Christmas in his Grotto. Children will be enchanted by the magical Grotto where they will be taken by an elf through the snowy ‘forest’ to meet Father Christmas in his log cabin. Each child will take home a special ageappropriate gift. For details please call 01732 865224 or visit www.


For a fun-filled, festive experience this Christmas, why not take a fantastic boat-trip to meet Santa himself? Families can jump aboard the Jacob Marley river cruiser for a scenic trip along the River Medway to the ‘North Pole’, before Santa joins in all the fun. With mulled wine and mince pies for the parents and gifts for the children, it is sure to be an unforgettable, magical journey. The Christmas Carol Santa experience will take place every Saturday and Sunday in December. Leaving from Rochester Pier at 10.30am and 12.30pm and will take in the spectacular sights along the River Medway – including Rochester Cathedral, Rochester Castle, Historic Dockyard Chatham and Upnor Castle. Jetstream Tours’ Managing Director Richard Bain said: “No Christmas is complete without a trip to see Santa and this year we thought we’d put on something extra special. Not only will families get to enjoy a fun journey along the river and see some of Rochester, Strood and Chatham from a totally different viewpoint, but Santa will be there waiting at the end of it. The river cruiser Jacob Marley has proved very popular since it became part of the family this year. Thousands of people have come on board for one of our cruises during the summer and now we hope many more will get to enjoy our festive experience.” While parents will be offered mulled wine and mince pies, the Jacob Marley comes with a fully-equipped refreshments bar and toilets and the choice of staying inside or outside during the 90-minute trip. With Rochester’s fabulous Dickensian Christmas Festival taking place on 3rd and 4th December and Rochester Christmas Market taking place at Rochester Castle Gardens during the first two weekends of December, why not make a day of it to get truly into the Christmas spirit? Their river cruiser can also be hired out for Christmas parties for the most unique venue in town. For information please visit the website

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New Year’s Eve Guide



CRACKING Champagne


parkling and bubbly, all you need to help celebrate the most festive time of the year! Make sure you stock up for the celebrations with your family, friends and loved ones. Here is mmm’s selection of champagne for this Christmas!

Brut Impérial Limited Edition £100.00 Moët & Chandon

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MMM Magazine December '16  
MMM Magazine December '16  

Kent's leading lifestyle magazine featuring what is best in the area: celebrity articles, Christmas Gifts, latest business news, events, fas...