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Issue 52, May 2016 Complimentary

Kent’s Leading Lifestyle magazine


pages of







LEWIS Gadgets HAMILTON &GIZMOS The £150m speed machine

KenT GaRden






Hannibal Laguna

Hannibal Laguna

Roberto Verino

Roberto Verino

Roberto Verino

Roberto Verino

All items available from Dune


ooking for somewhere to escape the constant headlines about the EU referendum or police and crime commissioner elections? Then look no further! As much as we enjoy a bit of politics, sometimes you need a bit of a breather; and with the weather improving and the summer just around the corner, we at mmm Towers are beginning to get a bit of a spring in our step. And not without good reason. Because we are confident you’ll find something inside our pages to inspire you and remind you of what a wonderful place this county is. For many, of course, the better weather ushers in the wedding season – and we’ve got a special section inside that looks at all the latest trends, as well as showcasing some great places in the county where you can tie the knot in style. It’s an ideal starting point for those planning their big day this year or next, and for all those keeping an eye out for the dream venue for friends and loved ones. Elsewhere, you’ll find our normal blend of fashion, history, food and drink, and plenty of other great places to explore over the coming weeks as we hit the open road with a sense of adventure and enthusiasm. Talking of hitting the open road, we take a close up look at a man who has taken the world by storm on the race track to become one of the globe’s biggest names. Lewis Hamilton fine-tuned his talents at the county’s leading karting circuit and his meteoric rise subsequently should inspire any youngster wanting to fulfil their dreams. His is a story of family support, devotion to his craft, and plenty of hard work. The rewards he reaps now are the result of years of relentless effort. And while we’re talking about family, next month will be a very special one indeed for the Queen. Having celebrated her 90th birthday at the end of April, June will see her official birthday (wouldn’t it be marvellous if we could all have a second big day!) and we’ll be bringing you a very special edition of mmm as the nation comes together with street parties and a host of other events to celebrate the occasion. If you’ve got a great story about meeting the Queen or simply seeing her in the county during her long, glorious reign, we’d love to hear from you. So enjoy this month’s edition and be sure to look out for our regal June edition for more of the content you love.


See you next month! Rasa





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

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lewis hamilton Global superstar

Editorial Tom White Robin J Brooks Tricia Lester Sarah Vince


BeaUtY Face up to a new season


GaDGets & GiZmos Cutting-edge technology this may

Design Matthew Jones


Fitness embrace activity this spring


loCal news Current news in Kent


BalDwins tRaVel GRoUP inspirational destinations


CaRe homes a lifestyle choice


weDDinGs Your guide to the ultimate day


histoRY Robin J Brooks reviews author h e Bates


national tRUst Picture perfect estates


attRaCtions Fun, thrills and good times galore


FooD Discover exciting fusions



oUtDooR FURnitURe artistic aspiration

eVents highlighting family fun and celebrations throughout Kent


GaRDeninG summer preparations


hoRosCoPes may predictions by ali Janes


PRoPeRtY luxury living


the FoxhUnteR PaRK Brand new luxury lodges

Publisher Rasa Dregva

Sales Sue Houghton Jessica Kaur 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. Š MMM Media Ltd 2016


motoRs high performance and dramatic style







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wenty years ago a young 12-year-old racer pulled on his race gear, strapped on his helmet, and climbed into his powerful kart. As he waited for the green light at Chatham’s Buckmore Park his mind was focused not only on the next turn ahead, but just where the road of racing could lead him. This was, after all, an event called Champions of the Future. Few could have imagined how literal that would become. In the audience on that fateful day – and certainly no stranger to the talents of the youngsters plying their trade on the karting circuit – was Ron Dennis, a businessman and principal of the McLaren Formula One team. He watched the race with great interest – and couldn’t ignore the talents of the 12-year-old as he whipped around the track and ultimately took the chequered flag. But then he was getting to set eyes on a future triple Formula One world champion. Because two decades on, that precocious young talent would emerge as the global racing superstar known to millions as Lewis Hamilton. Legend has it, Hamilton went up to Dennis and introduced himself as a future McLaren F1 driver. Clearly, it would seem, he wasn’t lacking self-belief even then. “I don’t remember saying it,” Hamilton admits, “but I do remember going up to him. He was very laid back and I was surprised that he had time for me because some people at that level don’t have any time for anyone. a

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“He gave me a good 10 or 15 minutes so that was quite special. I was there because I had won the British championship and I went around the dinner afterwards with an autograph book. I got a lot of people: Damon Hill, Colin McRae, Richard Burns, John Surtees. A lot of great names.” Ironic as John Surtees – whose offices are in Edenbridge and who continues to hold the honour of the only racer to win world titles on both two and four wheels – now owns Buckmore. Today Hamilton sits on a fortune estimated to be around £150million. His life is a blur of race tracks and a lifestyle most of us can only dream of. He has a fan base which stretches around the globe and has stayed at the top of his game for 10 years; a profession in which any mistake can have the most tragic consequences. But the rewards are a life of celebrity and luxury. For seven years he dated one of the most glamorous women in the world – Pussycat Dolls lead singer and X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger. The world remains his oyster. He, like so many other racers before him, had started early on the road to success. Karting provides access to affordable, highspeed thrills and Lewis was just eight when he was first strapped into a kart and began competing. His talent was clear to see from an early stage. Born in 1985 in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, he CELEBRITY STORY

was introduced to the world of racing by his father. “I started watching Formula 1 when I was about six,” he recalls. “My parents were divorced and I spent weekends with my Dad and that was when the Grands Prix were on the TV. “My Dad had just got into watching it and so I started to understand what it was. I enjoyed watching Ayrton Senna drive and the battle between Senna and Alain Prost. I don’t really recollect many of the races with Nigel Mansell. I didn’t really take to him. Gradually I started watching more and more but I was not a huge fan until I was about 13.” Born to a black father, Anthony, and white mother, Carmen, his parents separated when he was just two. He grew up with his mother and halfsisters until he was 12 when he moved in with his father, stepmother and half-brother. But while his love affair with F1 would be something of a slow burner, his enjoyment behind the wheel came earlier. He first got behind the wheel of a kart at the age of six while on a family holiday in Spain. A year later his father purchased him a remotecontrolled car and he was hooked. He even appeared on the classic BBC children’s show Blue Peter where he raced against presenter John Leslie in a battle of the remotecontrolled cars, Typically, Hamilton won. When he was just eight, his father splashed out £1,000 on a kart and his career on the track began. His father vowed to support his son in his career on the strict understanding he continued to perform well at school. a

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Certainly he was a sporting talent – playing in the school football and cricket teams. In fact, he played football in the same team as Ashley Young – who would go on to play for Manchester United and England. A big Arsenal fan, Hamilton has said he would have pursued a football career if his racing had not taken off in such style. It would prove a huge investment for Anthony Hamilton. But taking his son around the country stretched him to the limit as he juggled jobs in order to support his son’s efforts. He would become Hamilton’s manager – leading him into the fast lane of F1. Working his way up through the ranks of the competitive youth karting circuit, he impressed Ron Dennis in Kent and 18 months later was on the McLaren driver development programme. In 2001 he started moving into more powerful cars – racing in the likes of the Formula Renault and Formula Three championships and then into the F1 feeder series, GP2. But it was in 2007 he made the dream and secured an F1 seat. His impact was immediate. He came third in his first race, and second in the next. He won in Canada and again in the US – breaking records as he did so. He ended that debut season second – missing out on the crown by a single point. a


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A year later, he won the title and became the youngest driver ever to do so, at the age of just 23. He subsequently went on to win the title again in 2014 and 2015. His clutch of record-breaking achievements includes having won more race victories in F1 than any other British driver. With such a remarkable career achieved at such a young age, just what does the future hold for him? “I look ahead to try and imagine what my life will be like in the future, but to be honest, generally the way I live my life is day by day, because I honestly believe you never know when it’s going to be your last. “I want to make sure that I enjoy as much as I can

whatever it is I’m doing, workwise or in my personal life. Of course you’re always hoping to see another day, but in life no one really knows when it’s going to be up and I’ve been so fortunate to have this incredible career, the incredible life that I have, the family, good people around me, so I try and enjoy it. I try and embrace it. “There are so many youngsters or people in the world who would love to be doing what I’m doing. “If I’m lucky enough to be able to get to live out my whole Formula One career, I think I’ve got a good seven, eight years left in me. “I’m sure I could go longer, but if I’m not competitive in my later years. I’ll definitely stop.” mmm

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Blush pink

Bari patent court £485.00 Gianvito Rossi

Bravo ballerina flat £420.00 Lanvin Natalia python chain shoulder bag £1,950 TOM FORD

Mini stud Antigona tote £1,295 Givenchy

Ruffle shoulder jersey top £245.00 Alexander McQueen

Curvato wool dress £380.00 MaxMara

Lace high waist shorts £635.00 Valentino

Skull pashmina £245.00 Alexander McQueen



Slim fit Wilson waistcoat £149.00 BOSS

House check tie £115.00 Burberry London

Oval loop silk tie £130.00 Salvatore Ferragamo

Broadwick Oxford shoe £510.00 Gucci

Super style

Avenue flex Derby shoes £400.00 Ermenegildo Zegna

Slim fit Gibson wool trousers £149.00 BOSS

Byard mini flower shirt £150.00 Paul Smith London

Slim fit stretch cotton shirt £115.00 Armani Collezioni

Houndstooth shirt £360.00 TOM FORD

Jacket £230.00 Trouser £120.00 Jumper £55.00 Shirt £60.00 House of Fraser

Jacket £230.00 Trouser £120.00 Shirt £60.00 Tie £30.00 House of Fraser

Jacket £230.00 Trouser £120.00 Waistcoat £55.00 Shirt £60.00 Tie £30.00 House of Fraser

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Addict hydra-gel core lipstick £26.50 Dior

Silky and luminous, this versatile lip crayon glides on effortlessly with its smooth balm formula to nourish the lips like a lip balm. Perfect as both lipstick and liner, it offers clear definition and customisable coverage. Discover the red that’s right for you from six flattering shades inspired by silk.


Dior ushers in a new era in lip make-up with the breakthrough creation of a lipstick that boasts a hydra-gel core with a top coat effect for sensational mirror shine. Silky Design Rouge £28.00 Sensai

Lip Cheat pencil £16.00 Charlotte Tilbury

Passioneyes waterproof duo mascara curl and volume £28.00 D&G


The new Dolce & Gabbana Passioneyes waterproof mascara allows your eyes to tell a story of intensity. Available in two opulent shades, the waterproof formula delivers lashes with dramatic curl and alluringly feminine volume.


Lip Cheat is a rich, velvety lip liner that glides effortlessly over the lips and has the power to completely re-shape, re-size and balance your lips. Always match your lip liner to your K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipstick shade to perfect your lip shape and make your lipstick stay in place from desk till dusk.


Instant Light natural lip perfector £18.00 Clarins

A heavenly scented, soft textured lip gel which visibly smoothes and promotes more beautiful, fuller looking lips, with just a subtle hint of shimmer.


Mister Gentlebalm is a unique lip balm combining a moisture booster and a colour enhancer to nourish, hydrate and naturally reveal lip colour. Mister Gentlebalm £22.00 Givenchy


Indulge your pout with Marc’s revolutionary 10-hour lipstick that covers your lips with buttery, creamy vibrant colour in one pigment-saturated swipe. Experience unprecedented payoff from concentrated colour-boost pigments that are triplemilled and steeped in hydrating ingredients, so your lips experience ultimate longlasting colour and moisture. Explore the range of brilliant shades, each named after a woman who inspires Marc Jacobs. Baume de Rose nutri couleur £35.50 By Terry


A tinted version of the iconic Baume de Rose, this intense multienhancing, nourishing and regenerating lip care combines glamorous colour with an agedefence protection. Ultra concentrating, its melting texture intensely repairs lips, while enhancing them with incredibly natural and fresh colours.

Le Marc lip crème £24.00 Marc Jacobs


Limited edition lip duo coupling subtle clear beige & coral orange. Wear one colour on its own, blend or layer both colours. Creates a dewy finish & keeps the lips hydrated with high treatment properties like a luxury lip balm.


Dual lip colour £20.00 SUQQU

A tinted version of the iconic Baume de Rose, this intense multi-enhancing, nourishing and regenerating lip care combines glamorous colour with an age-defence protection. Ultra concentrating, its melting texture intensely repairs lips, while enhancing them with incredibly natural and fresh colours. Dual lip colour £20.00 SUQQU


Precision lipliner Fire £22.00 Dolce & Gabbana

The Precision lipliner balances supreme softness with ultimate precision. A smooth, sensual glide is complemented by a brush application, which allows the Dolce & Gabbana woman to control, customise and accentuate her lip look.

24 mmm

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SPRING FORWARD into fitness this May MAINTAIN A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE AND DISCOVER THE REWARDS pring is a time for shedding layers, sporting the latest bright fashions and, of course, spring cleaning. This can apply not only to reorganizing your wardrobe, but to losing some unhealthy winter habits you may have acquired, such as not exercising due to arctic temperatures. Don’t be too hard on yourself, we all have moments of weakness. The key to getting in shape for spring (and staying that way) is to keep it simple. It may be difficult to set a clear goal at a time when we are constantly receiving conflicting messages: “Eat less carbs.” “Eat all the carbs you want, as long as you stay under your allotted calorie count.” “Eat only meat.” “Eat no meat.” “Cook at home more.” “Only eat raw food.” “Do yoga, but don’t overstretch.” “Do cardio, but don’t pound your joints.” “Lift, but not heavy weights.” There’s a lot of information out there that can be helpful, but not every method works for every person. Instead of harboring guilt for taking on too lofty a goal, try these simple tips - they can make a big difference.



If you find activities that you truly love, you will discover joy in being active every day, even if it’s just going for a walk in your favourite place. Eliminate the “I don’t have time to work out today”, excuse by embracing the short but effective exercise session. Anything you can do to get your body moving will put you in a better place mentally and is better than being completely stationary.


Drinking more water is one of the simplest ways to achieve a healthier you. Proper hydration aids digestion, refuels our bodies for upcoming workouts, boosts energy, nourishes the skin… the list of benefits goes on and on. Keep a water bottle at your workplace as a constant reminder to drink more H2O, or carry a water bottle with you. The weight of a heavy water bottle will remind you to do your best to empty it!


Getting in shape doesn’t always mean losing weight. Perhaps you just want to feel better about yourself, have more energy and know that you’re doing something good for your body. If you identify why you want to get fit, it will help you power through a tough workout or give you the willpower to say “no thanks” to the chocolate your co-worker brought to the office. 

Continued from page 26


Forget counting carbohydrates and calories; instead, focus on fuelling your body. If you are eating nutritious foods with as few ingredients as possible - fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy and clean protein, then you are treating your body well. Make sure to try some delicious and healthy recipes that will have you feeling refreshed.


Being vocal about your goals to get in shape can be a powerful motivator and may even inspire a friend or coworker to join you. Schedule regular workout dates with a friend and stay committed, feel accountable. There is no “right” way to get in shape and maintain a healthy lifestyle; there is only what works for you. Realistic tweaks to your routine are the first step to a lasting habit. Don’t overwhelm yourself by taking on too many ambitious goals at once; instead, stick to the basics. And remember: Being healthy should feel fun, and be something you look forward to every day.


If you find activities that you truly love, you will find joy in being active every day, even if it’s just going for a walk in your favourite place. Eliminate the “I don’t have time to work out today” excuse by embracing the short but effective exercise session. Anything you can do to get your body moving will put you in a better place mentally and is better than being completely stationary. mmm

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30 mmm


NORWEGIAN NIGHTS of Northern Lights


s high in the sky as they are on every traveller’s Must-See lists, the Northern Lights are an awe-inspiring display of light and movement. Maria Ersmarker heads to Norway for lights, camera, and action. It starts off as a shimmer, a few flashes of light in the night sky. Excitement fills the air as others on deck begin to point up at the first weave of light. Then, more brilliant ribbons stream in from the horizon, twisting and twirling over the frosted mountains. Soon the strands combine to create a curtain of pure light that dances gracefully in the sky. This is the planet’s greatest light show. These are the Northern Lights of Norway. Norway’s winter runs from October to March, and that’s when the lights can be seen more frequently, owing to the longer nights. They might make the odd appearance outside of this season, but come summer, there’s no chance of spotting even a glimmer of an aurora thanks to the midnight sun – 24 hours of daylight.

I am aboard the MS Kong Harald, one of the Hurtigruten fleet that have been sailing up and down Norway’s stunning coastline since 1893. To see the Northern Lights, I couldn’t have picked a better option. On board, I’m far from the ambient artificial light of street lamps on land. There is just the sea, the mountains, the sky, the ship, and nothing to block my front-seat view when the lights make their grand appearance. The ship even makes announcements to the passengers when the lights approach, causing many of us to brave the winter chill out on deck, wrapped up in warm coats, and with our cameras at the ready. Beginning in Bergen in the south, the 12-day coastal route takes me to Kirkenes in the north, near the Russian border, and then back down to Bergen. Along the way, the ship calls at 34 ports which vary in size and action. Some are charming, sleepy towns. Others are full-fledged modern cities brimming with things to see and do. Like Tromsø, Gateway to the Arctic, which tempts me with winter excursions such as husky dog sledging and snowmobiling, hopefully under a Northern Lights sky. But yes, for me, the main attraction on this trip remains the magnetic aurora borealis. It is such a mustsee phenomenon that Hurtigruten even offer a unique Northern Lights Promise; if the lights don’t appear on your 12-day voyage, you’ll get a six or seven-day voyage free of charge, for another opportunity to catch the lights. mmm TRAVEL FEATURE

JUST YOU the single traveller specialist



here’s a whole world of unforgettable experiences out there and we know that travelling independently for the first time can be a daunting thought, and plenty of people who have now been travelling with us for years, tell us that they were really nervous before they took the plunge. Single independent travel is liberating, and with the right ingredients it’s the perfect way to see the world. We mix everything together to create the ideal travel experience for independent globe trotters. We think it’s a bit like making a cake. A sprinkle of culture, a good pinch of fun, a dash of freedom and a drop of adventure, with your Tour Manager and fellow travellers providing the icing on top.



Aideen Higgins is one of our exceptional Tour Managers. They provide you with an unforgettable experience on every one of our holidays. “My favourite part of the job is really bringing people together and seeing a group of people arriving at an airport, at first they don’t know each other and then after a couple of days they’ve become friends. “It’s very important to realise that there is a great sociability attached to Just You, we don’t just take you on excursions and take you back to the hotel and say: ‘Did you enjoy that’? There’s also a whole sociability component, we go out in the evenings together and have welcome drinks in the bar, everyone gets to know each other very quickly and they really have a good time. “It’s not just about excursions and walking tours it’s about sociability as well, people get an opportunity to talk to each other and liaise with each other and become friends.’’ a TRAVEL FEATURE

“Along with my team we create the holidays. When creating a new tour, the first part is research - we visit the destination, which is key to ensure the hotel and the tours are up to our standard. “From there we design the holiday itinerary and this is sent to our customers in the form of our brochures. Ensuring that everything is organised is where we really specialise in understanding the single traveller. We make sure that you’re not alone as we are with you right from the start of your journey. “Some of our up-and-coming destinations include places like Borneo and Burma, which is really opening up at the moment. Italy, Spain and Portugal continue to be very popular, and for anyone who is interested in wildlife we have got a great tour to see the polar bears in Canada.”

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Continued from page 32


“Having travelled for years with my siblings, I decided to start going on holidays on my own after purchasing my own property. I had no idea where to start, so I searched for ‘holidays for solo travellers‘ on the Internet. I saw that Jordan was one of the destinations on offer and since I always wanted to see Petra (after seeing it on TV!); I decided to book then and there before I got ‘cold feet’. “Of course, I was a bit nervous and apprehensive to start with. But these all disappeared as soon as I arrived at the airport. There was a representative to help you check-in and you soon met your fellow travellers either at check-in or in the lounge. A tour manager is with you throughout the holiday – they either travel with the group or meet you at the destination depending on where you travel. “You do not have to worry about anything at all as everything is taken care of from start to finish. All you do is sit back, relax and enjoy yourself. You travel with a group of people with a varied age range and life experiences. There is no pressure on you – you can either stay with the group and join in all the included and optional excursions or do what you want to. I had such a good experience that I booked my next trip on my return. “Since then I have travelled to Andalucía, Costa de la Luz, Israel, Italian Dolomites and Croatia, Calabria, Istanbul/Troy/Ephesus, Marrakech for Christmas and Namibia!”


“You just have to have a go. It took me a long time to pluck up the courage and that’s what it boiled down to, to come and have a go” JOHN (CUSTOMER) “It is a big step for people to go on this type of holiday for the first time. I would say, first of all, you’re not alone. There’s no need for you to feel frightened, you are secure and it’s a lovely experience” mmm DAWN (CUSTOMER)



mmm weddings

Kent Weddings Event Diary


isted wedding days and fairs for your diary over the year....

Hayne Barn House Wedding Fair, Hythe 8th May 2016,

Birchwood Park Wedding Fair, Dartford 11th September 2016,

West Heath Centre Wedding Fair, Sevenoaks 8th May 2016,

Priestfields Stadium Wedding Fair, Gillingham 11th September 2016,

The Old Kent Barn Wedding Fair, Yalding 8th May 2016, Corn Exchange Wedding Fair, Rochester 15th May 2016, Chilston Park Wedding Open Day, Lenham 29th May 2016, Brandshatch Place Hotel & Spa, Fawkham 2nd June 2016, brandshatchplace Ashford International Hotel Wedding Experience, Ashford 5th June 2016, Mercure Great Danes Hotel Wedding Experience, Maidstone 26th June 2016, Chilston Park Wedding Open Day, Lenham 26th June 2016, Brandshatch Place Hotel & Spa, Fawkham 14th July 2016, brandshatchplace Chilston Park Wedding Open Day, Lenham 21st August 2016, Mercure Great Danes Hotel Wedding Experience, Maidstone 29th August 2016, Broome Park Wedding Fair, Canterbury 4th September 2016, St George’s Centre Wedding Experience, Chatham 4th September 2016, Turner Contemporary Wedding Fair, Margate 8th September 2016,

Coniston Hotel Wedding Experience, Sittingbourne 11th September 2016, Port Lympne Mansion Wedding Fair, Ashford 18th September 2016, Bridgewood Manor Wedding Fair, Chatham 25th September 2016, The Spa Hotel Wedding Fayre, Tunbridge Wells 25th September 2016, Marine Hotel Wedding Fair, Whitstable 2nd October 2016, Ashford International Hotel Wedding Experience, Ashford 2nd October 2016, The Orangery Maidstone Wedding Open Day, Maidstone 9th October 2016, East Kent’s Biggest Wedding Fair at Kent County Cricket Club, Canterbury 16th October 2016, Rochester Corn Exchange Wedding Fair, Rochester 16th October 2016, Brandshatch Place Hotel & Spa, Fawkham 20th October 2016, brandshatchplace The Wedding Experience at The Kent Showground, Detling 23rd October 2016, Chilston Park Wedding Open Day, Lenham 30th October 2016, chilstonopenday Tudor Park Marriott Hotel Wedding Fair, Maidstone 30th October 2016, Please contact events directly for full details.

Little tips for entertaining children

Boys blue check suit jacket £34.00 BHS


uest lists can be tricky, how to keep children entertained at a wedding? When planning weddings with little guests on the list, people often get into a panic that they will be bored silly, resulting in driving their parents crazy and generally running around and causing mischief and mayhem!

Have an area for them to play

Classic Notch Lapel 2 button suit (5-14 Years) £44.00 to £52.00 Marks and Spencer

A children’s area is a great idea to give them their own space, as they tend to wander off when stuck in one place, so have a small space dedicated to them.

Know your audience

Make sure to work out the boy/girl ratio of the children coming to your event and make sure that you have some ideas and entertainment to suit them. Younger children love dressing up and music, older boys enjoy sports or outdoor games, and older girls tend to love art and crafts.


It’s a long day for small children, and they tend to get restless and tired when not given something new or exciting to do. Consider: balloon modellers, face painters, circus skills workshops and even a magician to entertain the children.

Treats and snacks

You can set up a film with popcorn, book an ice cream van or give them biscuits, sweets and icing pens to decorate whilst you enjoy the speeches and champagne.

Let them be free!

Children love to run around and let off steam, they will also be much more likely to sit still when needed if they are a bit tired out. A fancy dress relay race, a dancing competition or a scavenger hunt will help to satisfy them.

Your wedding planner checklist H

ere is an essential wedding planner checklist, because being organised is the key ingredient to planning a successful and perfect wedding....

12 months +

Set your date: Begin your wedding planning twelve months or more in advance to ensure you get to book the venues and suppliers of your choice at the best possible prices. You could end up saving money. Decide whether to plan your own wedding: Or enlist the help of a professional wedding planner. You could plan the wedding yourself and call on the expertise of a wedding planner or stylist, their experience is often worth its weight in gold. Set your budget: Make sure to have a realistic budget, and without going into debt include a contingency just in case. Draw up your guest list(s): Try to keep it balanced and keep both families happy. Make sure to have a separate evening reception guest list if you want some work colleagues or friends of the family to come. Booking your venue(s): The sooner you book your venues, the easier everything else will be to plan. You’ll need to book a venue for your ceremony and a venue for your reception, for your wedding breakfast and disco or other after-dinner entertainment. Take into account seating capacity, room hire costs, catering options, indoor and outdoor settings for photographs. Appoint bridesmaids, a best man and ushers: Choose from close friends and family who are nearby ideally and of course are thoroughly trustworthy. Book your photographer and videographer: Find a photographer who offers the style of photos you are looking for, meet them personally, ask to see their portfolio and also a whole album from one wedding. Meet your minister/registrar: They’ll be able to answer all your questions about the ceremony, and help you find suitable readings and music. Deal with bookings: This is an essential early must, the venue, your cars, florist, a toastmaster and of course the honeymoon! Take out wedding insurance: It’s not costly and could save you thousands of pounds if a supplier suddenly lets you down. It’s worth it just for pea ce of mind!

Decide what kind of wedding dress you want: If you’re having a couture bridal gown made for you then you’ll need to start this process now. If you’re ordering a designer dress then allow four to six months and if you’re buying off-the-peg or second-hand, four to six weeks before should be fine for alterations if needed. Start your healthy eating diet and exercise programme: Whether you want to lose weight or simply tone up for your wedding day and honeymoon, there is no better time to start than now! Go to the gym together as a couple or go with a friend. You’ll never have such amazing motivation to look as good again!

mmm weddings

6 months +


Order/make your wedding invitations: Don’t forget all the other wedding stationery including: orders of service, place cards and thank you cards. Order the wedding cake: Or cupcakes or ‘cheese cake’, or have your wedding cake home made. Buy your wedding shoes and accessories: Get your shoes in good time for your first dress fitting, and your tiara and veil in time for your make-up and hair trial. Choose what jewellery you will wear too. Book your make-up artist and hairdresser: Speak to several to find the one that’s right for you, then book a hair and make-up trial complete with your tiara and veil if possible.

3 months +

Start having regular facials: To ensure your skin is healthy and glowing on your wedding day. Buy your wedding rings: Make sure they are both the right size and that your wedding ring will sit comfortably alongside your engagement ring if you plan to wear them together. Send your wedding invitations: Traditionally they are sent out 6-12 weeks before the wedding but you can send them sooner. Include information for your guests on overnight accommodation, transport, parking and any dress code if appropriate. Also make sure to have reply cards to ensure they all RSVP and ask your guests if they have any specific dietary requirements. Decide on a gift list: Make it available to all your wedding guests (through your invitations) and your wedding website if you have one.

1 month before

Arrange for a final fitting of your wedding dress: Make sure to bring along your mum, sister and best friend too. Arrange the wedding rehearsal: A few days before is ideal and you could make an evening of it by inviting all your bridal party along to dinner afterwards too. It’s a good opportunity for them to all get together just before the big day. Contact any guests who have not replied to your invitation: The venue and the caterers will need to know final numbers at least one to two weeks before. Write the wedding speeches: Write them from the heart, and then practice, practice, practice… Have a facial to ensure your skin is glowing: Stay calm and unstressed knowing everything is in order.

How to pop the question W

ant to plan the perfect proposal? In today’s world, people question this and want to know if it will be perfect for their partner and stand out. So here are some ideas for you to consider when you surprise your loved one.

Band ring in 18k gold with a half circle of round diamonds £1,750 Tiffany & Co

18CT white gold heart shaped diamond £1,500 Beaverbrooks

London Eye

Whether you live in London or you’re just visiting, the London Eye provides a beautiful, romantic setting with fantastic views across the city. You can hire a private Pod/capsule including fast track boarding, exclusive check-in, chilled champagne served by a waiter and luxury Charbonnel et Walker pink champagne chocolate truffles. If you time it right you can watch the sunset over the capital.

Surprise weekend break

If you really want to surprise your beloved, secretly arrange with their work for them to have the Friday off. So when they arrive at work as normal, you’re there to surprise them with the marriage proposal, and then whisk them off for a surprise romantic weekend break. An alternative way is on the way back from a holiday or weekend break, you could arrange for the flight attendant to announce your proposal over the intercom.

Say it with words

If you’re looking for a low key, intimate affair but want to be more creative than the usual candles or spelling it out with rose petals, you can write a series of cards that go through the story of how you both met and place one card on each step of your house – if you live in a flat you might have to get creative on the last card and write ‘will you marry me?’, and when your partner turns around you’re at the bottom of the stairs on bended knee with the ring in hand.

18ct yellow gold 1ct cushion cut double halo £1,250 Ernest Jones

Middle ring - an Art Deco engagement ring £695.00 Left ring - an Antique Diamond remade into a modern ring £8,000 Right ring - a simple modern brilliant cut solitaire £2,500 Kaizen Antiques & Jewellery

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Wedding Shoes toCompliment W

edding shoes are an essential part of your wedding day. They need to compliment your dress, have the right size heel and be extremely comfortable as you will be on your feet for most of the day. With endless designs and styles available, the perfect shoe is out there somewhere. mmm takes a look at the latest trends... Maison Padlock python sandal £870.00 TOM FORD

Rockstud 100 patent sandal £525.00 Valentino

Hangisi 105 satin pump £680.00 Manolo Blahnik

Patent Tribute sandal 105 £580.00 Saint Laurent

Webby Mule £380.00 Gucci

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Cruel Flame sandal £920.00 Giuseppe Zanotti

Rockstud Shining 100 tri-colour pump £650.00 Valentino

Rockstud Shining 100 pump £1,065 Valentino

Wave sandals 105 £715.00 Giuseppe Zanotti

Wild Thing 105 sandals £490.00 Aquazzura

A toast to that W

edding toastmaster to suit your style...

Whether they greet you at the door with champagne or help arrange your guests for the group photos, a wedding toastmaster is in charge of making sure your perfect day remains organised. Wedding toastmaster duties include: arranging a receiving line, calling guests to the wedding breakfast, announcing the newlyweds’ arrival or even announce a guest to say grace, that’s if you’re planning on having one. Toastmasters will also help with the organisation of the wedding speeches, by introducing the first speaker and making sure they all flow. For the right style of wedding, a toastmaster to keep the day running smoothly can be a valuable asset. However, before you book your wedding toastmaster, it’s important to consider a few important questions and to meet a few different ones to find a toastmaster that suits your style. Asking suppliers for recommendations for toastmasters can also be useful, as can viewing testimonials and experience on their websites!

Questions to ask your toastmaster Are you available on our date? How many weddings have you done? Do you get fully involved in the day, for instance with helping the photographer and other suppliers, or do you simply make announcements? How long have you been a toastmaster? How close are you to our venue and do you charge extra for travel time? Is a planning meeting beforehand included in the cost? At what stage during the day will you arrive and leave? Do you belong to an organisation of toastmasters? How many members are in it? How would you describe your style for the day? Do you have any references? Can we talk to someone who has employed you? Do you advise on wedding etiquette and protocol?



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mmm Weddings To ADVERTISE in our NEXT guide please contact:

Kent Wedding

01622 299035



Chartwell near Westerham in Kent The house and gardens of Chartwell exude the spirit, tastes and interests of their illustrious former owners, Sir Winston and Lady Churchill. The gardens include a grass terrace with fine views, an enormous fish pond and a walled garden which has recently been restored. The ornamental design of the garden reflects the taste of Lady Churchill, nowhere more so than the rose garden which she created herself, bordered by high walls famously built by Sir Winston who was a keen brick-layer. Filled with a mixture of soft pink and white floribundas and hybrid tea roses from June to October, this was Lady Churchill’s favourite part of the garden. The Golden Rose Walk, planted with 32 varieties of yellow roses, was an enduring golden wedding anniversary gift to Sir Winston and Lady Clementine from their children in 1958. Restoration work carried out last winter returned the Golden Rose Avenue to its former glory for 2016.

© NT Andrew Butler

Sissinghurst Castle Garden near Cranbrook in Kent In the 1930s writer Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson, created the world famous gardens of Sissinghurst. It is best known for its intimate garden “rooms”, each with a different character, colour or theme, and the rose garden filled with old rose varieties. Old-fashioned climbers and shrub roses were among owner Vita Sackville West’s favourite flowers. The gardens reflect Vita’s approach as an “artist gardener”, exemplifying the great garden designer Gertrude Jekyll’s ideas of using colour themes in planting design. The famous white garden, which peaks in late June, when the gardens are at their busiest, is home to ‘rosa mulliganii’ cascading over the central arbour and covering it with thousands of single, white, scented blooms.  NATIONAL TRUST © NT Marianne Majerus

© NT Jerry Harpur Continued from page 55

Emmetts Garden near Sevenoaks in Kent The informal gardens of this Edwardian estate were created by former owner and keen plantsman Frederic Lubbock, who planted rare and exotic trees and shrubs to grow to their unique natural form, very different in style from the formal planting of the Victorian era. In the meadow, where you can sit and enjoy fine views over the Weald of Kent, wildflowers are a riot of colour in the summer. The small formal rose garden planted in a classic style is affectionately known as the ladies’ rose garden due to its abundance of pink hues. Using photographs from the 1900s the Edwardian rose garden has recently been restored to recapture the delicate pink rose collection, with its romantic rose swags on the terrace that its original creator Frederic Lubbock, designed for his wife.

© NT Stuart Cox

Ightham Mote near Sevenoaks in Kent The gardens of this picture-perfect place surround the medieval moated manor house and, like the house, they reflect the period and ideas of successive owners. Stable Courtyard has a formal lawn with enchanting cottage-style flower borders and the Enclosed Garden is filled with roses, geraniums, lilies, agapanthus and anemones. The terraced walk near the “bowling green” lawn boasts a fine mixed herbaceous border providing a colourful display in summer. The Cutting Garden provides colour and scent as well as flowers for the house and the orchard is filled with old apple varieties. They are on the site of two kitchen gardens, thought to be in use since medieval or Tudor times. Grassy terraces lead to other areas with informal lawns and specimen trees where you can picnic or take a stroll around the lake and discover other delights such as the Stumpery and the natural play area.

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Scotney Castle Lamberhurst in Kent Considered to be one of the most romantic gardens in England, the garden at Scotney Castle is like something out of a fairy tale, with the ruins of the medieval castle on a small island in the middle of a lake glimpsed through a swathe of colourful herbaceous borders. In early summer the slopes around the lake are ablaze with rhodendrons and azaleas, wisteria and old English roses adorn the sandstone walls of the castle, and its inner courtyard is filled with roses, clematis and geraniums. A huge variety of dazzling dragonflies that hover around the moat add to the colourful, dreamlike scene at the height of summer. mmm Š NT John Miller

Š NT Jerry Harpur

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Orange, chicory and goat’s cheese salad Ingredients 5 Waitrose large oranges 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil ½ tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp wholegrain mustard 250g pack chicory, leaves separated 260g soft goat’s cheese, trimmed and cut into small pieces 25g hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped ½ x 25g pack fresh mint, chopped

Thousands of recipes can be found at

Method • Grate the zest and squeeze the juice from one of the oranges. Whisk together with the oil, cinnamon and mustard to make a dressing. • Cut away all the skin and pith from the remaining oranges and slice each one horizontally into rounds.

• Arrange the chicory leaves, orange slices and goat’s cheese on a platter, and drizzle over the dressing. Scatter with the hazelnuts and mint, and serve with crusty bread.

© Waitrose

Cook’s tip Use a mixture of green and red chicory leaves to make a really colourful salad.

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Asian chicken slaw

Recipe from: Tudor Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club Ashford Road, Bearsted, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 4NQ 01622 734334 @tudorPark

Ingredients 150g egg noodles 2 carrots handful of mangetout 1 red onion 4 oyster mushrooms 1 red chilli bunch of fresh coriander, chopped 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts 250ml milk 250g fresh breadcrumbs vegetable oil for shallow frying salt and pepper For the dressing: 1 tablespoon sunflower oil 1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce squeeze of one lime 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Method • First soak the egg noodles in hot water for about 10 minutes. • Prepare the vegetables by peeling the carrots and slicing into fine sticks – or use a julienne peeler. Slice the mangetout in half lengthways. Slice the onion and mushrooms. Deseed the chilli and finely chop. • Butterfly the chicken breasts (see chef’s tip) and season with salt and pepper. Dip each one into milk, then into the breadcrumbs. • Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the chicken breasts for a few minutes each side to seal the outside. Place in a preheated oven, 160°C, for seven to ten minutes until cooked. Keep warm. • Mix the dressing ingredients together by placing in a screw topped jar and giving it a shake. • If you are eating this dish hot, then stir-fry the vegetables in a wok or large frying pan for a few minutes and stir in the

noodles. Pour over the dressing ingredients and fry for a further two minutes. Stir in the fresh coriander and then divide between two plates. Slice the chicken into thick strips and serve on top. • If serving cold as a salad, simply combine the finely chopped vegetables and the noodles. Pour over the dressing and toss. Serve cold with the warm chicken.

Cook’s tip Butterflying a chicken breast gives an even fillet and speeds up cooking time. It is very easy to do. simply place the chicken breast on a chopping board and place your hand flat on top. Using a sharp knife, slice into the chicken breast sideways, starting at the thicker end and ending at the thin point. Be careful not to cut all the way through to the other side. Then open out the two halves to reveal an even fillet.

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Strawberries are available year-round in most areas of the country, but their peak season is from April until June. These sweet, juicy berries are nutritional jewels with just one cup offering 3.5 grams of fibre and meeting 100% of your daily vitamin C needs. For the best flavour, buy strawberries grown close to home since they are likely to be fresher and suffer less damage in transit. Strawberries should be plump, firm, well shaped, and uniformly coloured.


For a boost of beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin C, and fibre in a sweet 50-calorie bundle, be sure to bring home apricots from the farmers’ market or grocery store. The peak season for this fresh fruit is from May to August. Sandwiches, snacks, jams, salsas, and salads will all be just a bit sweeter and more delicious with apricots.


Succulent sweet cherries are only available during the late spring and early summer, so make sure to enjoy your fill. Sweet cherries are high in fibre and potassium, while remaining low in calories - just one cup of sweet cherries is about 100 calories. The intense colour of cherries is due partly to their anthocyanin content. Anthocyanins are a type of plant chemical that are believed to be high in antioxidant activity. The best cherries are large, plump, firm, and rich in colour and are equally delicious as a snack or dessert. HEALTHY EATING

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Fresh peas including sugar snap peas, snow peas, and green peas can usually be found year-round but are at their peak from April through July. Like most legumes, peas are low in fat and high in fibre and are a good source of plant protein. Their nutritional profile differs depending on variety, with green peas providing more B vitamins and zinc, while snow and snap peas offer more vitamin C. Peas are perfect as crudités with dips, tossed in salads, and served as a side dish.


Although technically a vegetable, rhubarb is often used as a fruit and is a good source of vitamin C, potassium, and manganese. Rhubarb stalks (the only part of the plant that should be eaten) are very tart but when sweetened, give rich flavour and texture to sauces and pies. Rhubarb can also be blanched, diced, and added to salsas and salads. Rhubarb is available in some locations year-round; however, fieldgrown varieties are harvested from April through July.


For a burst of flavour with very few calories, look no further than the radish. Radishes are root vegetables with a distinctive flavour that ranges from mild to sharp, depending on variety. One cup of sliced red radishes will give you 30% of your daily vitamin C requirement in less than 25 calories. To choose the best, pick radishes that are deep in colour with solid roots. This root vegetable is a flavourful addition to soups, condiments, and cooked dishes. You can also eat the green tops, which lends a peppery taste to salads.


Cone-shaped with a spongy texture, morels are a springtime delicacy making an entrance at fine restaurants and farmers’ markets in early spring through late June. A member of the truffle family, these wild mushrooms are best known for their honeycomb texture and nutty flavour. The spongy texture of morels make them ideal for soaking up flavourful sauces. Pair with other spring vegetables like asparagus, spring onions, and green peas or toss in pastas, sautés, and salads.



Property - Luxury living Gardening - Summer Preparations Outdoor Furniture - Spring top tips

OUTDOOR furniture


Millicent motif pot - duskypink, 22cm - £9.99, 29cm - £24.99 Homebase

hether it’s for your first home or a rental property that needs a little updating, buying outdoor furniture gives you the opportunity to reflect your personality and have some creative fun. Not only is it something that will provide extensive comfort for years to come, but it gives a space that “wow factor” by adding some depth, colour and flair. Make sure to invest in a dining table and chairs – these days more of us are entertaining and of course, we’re always eating. This is the ideal investment for social butterflies or if you have children or guests flocking in and out. Your outside garden or deck is envisioned as an extension of your indoor living space – so you want it to flow, and be designed based on how you will use it the most.

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The function and purpose your outdoor furniture will serve is the most important deciding factor. How do you want your outdoor space to work? Do you want it to function as a stylish alfresco area for the warm summer months? Or do you want it for entertaining purposes – from your child’s birthday party to the next dinner get together with your friends? Most people want an outdoor space that balances entertaining with relaxation. It’s seen as our own personal haven, a place where can retreat with a good book in a cosy chair on a sunny day, or to sit in the shade and take in the scenery of colourful flowers and spring fragrances. Making a list of what you want to do with that space will act as buying guide for you. If the primary function of a small patio is to host casual evening drinks with friends, then there is really no need for a dining table to cramp the space – instead, opt for plenty of comfortable seating, a few side tables for nibbles and drinks to rest on, and a fire pit for the cooler months.


Great outdoor furniture brings comfort, style and meaning to an alfresco area but just because it might look a million pounds, what is it actually made of? Choosing

furniture that is built from strong bones will stand the test of time – look for sturdy frames and resilient materials like wicker, rattan, metal, solid timber or other hardwoods. Outfitting an intimate living space with a wicker sofa or a day bed, stocked with ample cushions can combine an effective balance of comfort, style and construction, quickly turning your porch into a second family room throughout the warmer months. If the area is tight, hanging chairs with lots of room to relax in can work great if you have trees strong enough to support the weight.


If your alfresco area is uncovered, consider how this is going to affect your furniture or if it can be moved to a spot that will protect it from the harsh sun, rain, wind or hail. If the location you live in is prone to tough weather conditions, make sure you opt for furniture materials that can stand up to it. The hours you spend in your garden should be reserved for entertaining and relaxing, not for maintaining furniture so opt for easy-care furniture. Any pieces made from the materials mentioned above will look good for years and require little upkeep. a GARDENING FEATURE

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Continued from page 72 Lightweight sandstone effect planters £29.95 House of Bath


Getting artistic with colour schemes leaves a lot of room for innovative freedom, in all areas of the home. When it comes to purchasing outdoor furniture you’re not limited to the white or beige of wicker, the natural shades of wood, or the metal pieces it’s made from. Instead, colour finishes thrive in world of outdoor furniture with bright blues, summery yellows or bold reds.


Furniture that serves more than one purpose will not only make life a little easier on you, but will free up that extra space for other items like plants or lighting that can complete the look. Ottomans are fantastic for this as they can be a simple stand-alone bench, pushed up to join a dining table or double the seating for extra guests.


With a few cosy chairs, ample cushions, a suitable dining table and some jazzed up extras your patio can be transformed into a sensory-rich space. What great piece of furniture will be your focal point? mmm Pink outdoor cushion £45.00 BHS

Turquoise outdoor cushion £45.00 BHS

Sutton wall light £45.00 John Lewis

Classic Canterbury wall light £35.00 John Lewis

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• Hang pheromone traps in plum trees from May to August to monitor plum fruit moth activity. • Hang pheromone traps in apple trees to reduce codling moth. • Keep young fruit trees well watered whilst they are putting on rapid growth. • Remove blossom and fruits from newly planted fruit trees to allow them to establish properly during their first year. • Surround strawberries with straw to protect fruit. Net them to keep birds off of the fruit. • Regularly check the centre of your gooseberry bushes for the green gooseberry sawfly caterpillars. They will quickly skeletonise the leaves if not removed. • Erect netting around your soft fruit plants to prevent birds eating your crop.

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A substantial detached double-fronted four/five bedroom Victorian family home boasting an abundance of period character and charm, situated in a conservation area close to the High Street, harbour and sea front of the historic town of Whitstable. EPC: F


£515,000 Charing Village

A substantial and stylish Grade II listed four bedroom, two bathroom family home believed to originally date back to the 15th century with later Georgian additions, double garage and rear courtyard garden, situated in the heart of the historic semi-rural village of Charing. EPC: Exempt



A three bedroom semi-detached family home with contemporary fitted kitchen and bathroom, 35’ rear garden, driveway and garage, situated at the head of a cul-de-sac in the village of Charing. EPC: E


A beautifully presented three bedroom Grade II listed character home located in the very heart of Charing High Street, providing attractive, flexible accommodation and off road parking with easy access to all of the village amenities. EPC: Exempt

Lenham Heath


An attractive mid-terraced cottage believed to date back to the 1800’s in the picturesque hamlet of Lenham Heath just outside the popular village of Lenham in the Weald of Kent, offered for sale with no forward chain. EPC: E

Apartment 14, The Mansion House Address - Lees Court, Sheldwich, Faversham Kent, ME13 0NQ Bedrooms - Two Bathrooms - Two (one en-suite) Price - £350,000 The Dell A beautifully presented luxury two bedroom, two bathroom second floor apartment set within a stunning Grade I listed mansion house, with 16 acres of maintained grounds including tennis courts, heated swimming pool, formal gardens, private garaging and parking, located in a wonderfully private rural setting just 4 miles south of the market town of Faversham. This magnificent property was built in 1654 and originally owned by the Sondes family. The Mansion House was converted into luxury apartments some 30 years ago. Upon arrival at Lees Court, a private driveway from the village of Sheldwich Lees leads through meticulously tended landscaped grounds leading to a visitor parking

area and the entrance to the stable yard complex. Once inside the property, a grand entrance hallway with its ornate staircase and original clock mechanism for the Mansion House leads to 16 apartments. Upon arrival at Apartment 14, one is greeted with an elegant entrance hall with large windows and access to all well-proportioned rooms including a magnificent light and airy 19’5” x 14’9” drawing room and dining area with 9’6” high ceilings, contemporary fitted kitchen with a range of integrated appliances, a 19’10” x 14’1” master bedroom which enjoys an en-suite shower room, 19’6” x 8’6” second bedroom and a luxury three piece bathroom suite. The property benefits from gas fired central heating. Outside, the property enjoys the use of 16 acres of maintained grounds which include extensive lawned areas with floral beds and pathways, an outdoor heated swimming pool, all-weather tennis courts and a courtyard patio to the rear of Apartment 14.

Private parking is provided by a single garage and additional parking space. For visitors, there is a dedicated visitor car park. Sheldwich Lees is a delightfully pretty village lying some four miles south of the market town of Faversham and 10 miles north of Ashford, both with an excellent array of shopping and leisure facilities and main line railway stations providing fast access to London and the Kent coast. Sheldwich and Sheldwich Lees are situated in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with a village church dedicated to St James, dating back to the eleventh century and having been extensively restored in 1888. Properties of this style in such an elegant setting rarely come on to the market and we strongly urge interested applicants to make arrangements to view to avoid disappointment. For details and to arrange a viewing, speak to agents Saddlers on 01233 713127. mmm



Audi R8 Spyder - All-new super sports car Alfa Romeo - New look model Gadgets and Gizmos - Cutting-edge innovation and technology




he new front-end styling comprises a striking new honeycomb grille, piano black bumper inserts and revised headlamp and fog lamp surrounds. The new look is complemented by new Alfa Romeo and Giulietta badge designs, new alloy wheels, revised tail pipes and new colours, while the interior benefits from revised seat upholsteries and dashboard/door panel finishes, a new trip computer display and a Uconnect infotainment system now with smartphoneenabled LIVE services including music streaming with Deezer and TuneIn, news from Reuters, Facebook and Twitter check in, eco:Drive and my:Car services and traffic updates for navigation-equipped models. Under the bonnet there’s now the option of combining the 120hp 1.6-litre JTDM-2turbo diesel engine with the ALFA TCT twin dry-clutch transmission. Employing secondgeneration MultiJet technology

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with a variable-geometry turbo charger, this engine produces 120hp at 3,750rpm and an impressive 320Nm of torque from just 1,7450 rpm and, when paired with Alfa Romeo’s quick-shifting and smooth ALFA TCT transmission, it can be used as a full automatic or as a full manual, either by slotting the dear selector into its sequential gate or by using the standard steering wheel paddle shifters. This engine and transmission combination has a top speed of 121mph and can accelerate from 0 to 62mph in 10.2 seconds, while its official combined cycle fuel-economy and emissions figures matches those of the manual version, returning 74.3 MPG and producing just 99 g/km of CO2. In the UK, the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta’s model range features five trim levels: Giulietta, Giulietta Super, Giulietta Tecnica, Giulietta Speciale and Giulietta Veloce. The entrylevel Giulietta now benefits from burnished headlamp surrounds, satin-finish door handles and new oblique tailpipes, while inside there are new grey and black fabric seats with Alfa Romeo logo on the head restraints, new matte black dashboard insert and luxury floor mats. mmm


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hrilling open-air motoring accompanied by the guttural roar of a mighty naturally aspirated engine – this is the essence of the Audi R8 Spyder, and the formula has lost none of its intoxicating purity in an all-new successor. The latest R8 Spyder with naturally aspirated V10 power returns more technologically accomplished, more powerful and quicker against the clock, even more tightly pinned to corners and even more composed on the straights thanks to a 50 per cent improvement in torsional rigidity. The R8 Spyder has a lightweight cloth hood tapering into two fins. These stretch the cloth so that it, along with the large hood compartment cover, harmonises perfectly with the dramatic lines of this high-performance sports car. An electro-hydraulic drive opens and closes the hood in 20 seconds up to a speed of 31mph. Dry, the two-seater weighs just 1,612 kilograms. Its strong backbone is the newly developed Audi Space

Frame (ASF) using the multi-material construction principle, made from aluminium and carbon fibre. The aluminum components make up 79.6 percent of its weight. In a progression from the R8 Coupé, they form a lattice that Audi’s engineers have used to incorporate specific reinforcements especially into the sills, A-pillars and windscreen frame. Innovative manufacturing methods lower the weight of individual components by up to ten percent. As a result, the highly rigid body weighs a mere 208 kilograms, and its torsional rigidity has increased by over 50 percent compared with the previous model. The mighty mid-mounted engine with dual injection system sets the tone in the new Audi R8 Spyder V10. The naturally aspirated 5.2-litre engine has a dynamic throttle response and a distinctive hard-edged soundtrack which can be amplified further by an optional sport exhaust system with gloss black tailpipe trims. 540PS of power and 540 Nm (398.3 lb-ft) of torque at 6,500 rpm

deliver phenomenal road performance: from 0 to 62mph in 3.6 seconds, and a top speed of 197mph. Behind the V10 there is a seven-speed S tronic transmission with lightning-fast action, which the driver controls electrically – by wire. The dual-clutch transmission directs forces to a newly designed quattro drive system with an electro-hydraulically activated multi-plate clutch at the front axle. The all-wheel clutch, watercooled for maximum performance, distributes the drive torques fully variably according to the driving situation – in extreme cases, up to 100 percent to the front or rear wheels. The controls place the focus squarely on the driver, who can operate all important functions with the multifunction and satellite pushbuttons without having to take their hands off the steering wheel or look away from the road. The large 12.3-inch, fully digital Audi virtual cockpit presents all information using rich 3D graphics – if desired, in a special performance view that includes driving dynamics information. The intuitively operated MMI navigation plus with MMI touch is standard, as are belt microphones. These make it even easier to use natural-language voice control and the phone. MMI search, which makes search suggestions after input of just the first few letters, offers a shortcut to the required information. a

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With the Audi smartphone interface, a new technology makes its debut in the R8 Spyder. This makes it possible to display selected content from the smartphone directly in the Audi virtual cockpit. From the middle of this year, this option will also be available for the R8 Coupé. The Audi phone box can also be specified to connect mobile phones to the car aerial and charge them inductively. Audi connect gets the R8 Spyder on the Internet via LTE and provides a wide range of services – from online media streaming to real-time traffic information. The Bang & Olufsen Sound System is another highlight: For the first time, Audi integrates two head restraint loudspeakers into each seat, for an excellent audio experience even when driving with the hood open.

The build quality of the new R8 Spyder, which is extensively hand-built at a manufactory near Neckarsulm, is of the highest standard. The driver and passenger sit on sport seats or bucket seats with a more highly contoured seat shape, for superior lateral support. Over and above the extensive standard equipment, customers have almost unlimited scope to tailor both the interior and exterior to their individual preferences. Body components such as the front spoiler, the diffuser and the new sideblades are also available in carbon. LED headlights with newly developed laser technology maximize visibility and range for the driver, bringing increased safety at night. mmm

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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


CHILDREN ENJOY THE CHALLENGE OF BRIDGE BUILDING DAY Soldiers pitted their wits against schoolchildren during a day of bridge building fun at the Royal Engineers Museum. The fun day out of the classroom saw around 40 children from schools across Medway enjoying a range of talks and activities. It ended with an annual bridge building competition when soldiers competed against pupils as the lessons of the day were put to the test. Sue Threader from Rochester Bridge Trust, which sponsors the competition alongside the Madeline Mabey Trust, said: “One of the Trust’s aims is to inspire the next generation of bridge builders, and events such as this are the perfect way to do so. The children were all enthusiastic and obviously enjoyed the challenge of designing and building their own bridges. It was a joy to see them getting so involved.”

BUS OPERATOR IN RECRUITMENT DRIVE Bus operator Arriva is looking for new drivers to climb aboard in Tunbridge Wells, Gillingham and Maidstone. Arriva Southern Counties, which employs 1,300 people across the county in a wide range of roles, currently has positions available at several Kent depots. Glen Shuttleworth, Head of Operations at Arriva, said: “We are keen to employ locals and this job really allows you to become part of the community. There’s a great sense of camaraderie among the team and also with regular passengers. “You often see children playing at being a bus driver but as they get older not enough people are considering it as a career. We want to spread the word about the benefits of joining Arriva and how easy it is to progress quickly. “Although experience is preferred, potential drivers simply need a standard driving licence to apply. After an initial training period, drivers can be fully qualified and earning a decent salary within a year.” LOCAL NEWS

MARK PRESLAND JOINS SIBLEY PARES LLP Sibley Pares Chartered Surveyors are delighted to welcome residential development land specialist Mark Presland as the newest partner and the latest addition to the fast-growing team. Mark will add to the already exceptional line-up at the Maidstone office which includes Chartered Surveyors Phil Hubbard, Sarah Raggett, Matthew Carpenter, David Pares, Brian Matthews and Chartered Building Surveyor Mark Kenward. As an expert in residential and commercial development land throughout Kent and Sussex, Mark’s expertise will further bolster the wide range of services already offered by the firm. Mark can accurately value and appraise residential land opportunities as well as advise on new homes and affordable housing. Mark can also provide indepth advice on the acquisition and sale of development land throughout Kent and Sussex. Working with a wide variety of clients including private land owners, public bodies, developers, investors and housing associations, Mark will join our existing team in providing advice on the potential of land and buildings in both the residential and commercial sectors. Mark will also join the team in offering advice on securing the requisite planning consent, overseeing development, preparing viability appraisals and disposing of the land. As an RICS Registered Valuer, Mark will work within our dedicated valuations team too and head up the Residential Department. Mark’s comment: “I have known and worked alongside Sibley Pares and have always considered them to be a well-regarded professional company and I am looking forward to adding my expertise and helping the company adjust and grow in this ever changing property sector”. Phil Hubbard’s comment: “I have long admired Mark both in a professional and a personal capacity and am delighted he has agreed to join us at Sibley Pares. Mark’s knowledge in land and development is exceptional and he is very well respected in the industry and will help to expand this side of the business for us, particularly working alongside David Pares whose expertise and depth of experience is unrivalled. Mark will help us to build further upon the outstanding service we offer our clients across all matters in commercial and residential property matters. It is also going to be good to have someone else in the office to talk to about football, although as a Tottenham fan I am not sure how much weight his opinion will have!” For further information or to arrange a meeting with Mark, call Sibley Pares on 01622 673086 or email

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LOCAL FUNDRAISERS RAISE £1MILLION FOR MACMILLAN CANCER SUPPORT! At The Oast House Theatre, Gillingham, the Medway Macmillan Cancer Support Committee met to celebrate their achievement. Deputy Mayor Steve Iles and his wife were guests of honour at the event, which was also attended by members of Macmillan Cancer Support who gave speeches of thanks and an official certificate for the Committee to keep. Medway Macmillan Cancer Support Committee originated through the amalgamation of the Strood and Gillingham Committees. Since 1960 they have gone from strength to strength raising money through numerous events including: fashion shows, coffee mornings, sponsored swims, dances, quizzes and bowls club events, plus fundraising through initiatives such as jam making, book sales and gaining support from the local theatre (‘RATS’), the local Rotary and Lions Clubs. Macmillan Cancer Support is so grateful for their ongoing fundraising and gave heartfelt thanks to the Committee members during the event. Emma Heley, Fundraising Manager, Kent & Surrey said: “We are so grateful to the volunteers of our Medway Committee who work so hard for us. Raising £1 million pounds is a fantastic achievement and this money has made an incredible difference to the lives of so many people affected by cancer.” A cake was cut, good food and wine enjoyed and a glass raised to all those who had helped the Committee reach this amazing milestone. The Committee are clearly hugely successful at raising money for such a good cause. When asking Committee Treasurer, Maggie Meinertzhagen, what their secret is she said: “Putting the fun into fundraising produces results and that is what we try to do!” Chairman of the Committee, Tony Mardel, said: “Our current Committee is proud to continue the work of the previous Committee members and we look forward to welcoming any new members that would like to join the Committee too.”


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A SENSATIONAL NEW SONG AND DANCE PRODUCTION THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT! WITH SPECIAL GUESTS STARS THE OVERTONES From the producers of the smash-hit show Puttin’ On The Ritz comes the dazzling song and dance extravaganza That’s Entertainment at the Orchard Theatre from Tuesday 24th – Saturday 28th May. It will feature Britain’s favourite vocal harmony group The Overtones alongside the cast of West End singers and dancers. The much-loved vocal group The Overtones have achieved sell-out tours, sold over 1,000,000 albums and have just celebrated their fifth consecutive top 10 album. They have performed at major events and concerts and are seen regularly on national TV including a performance at the Queens’ Jubliee Concert. That’s Entertainment celebrates the biggest hits of the 40s and 50s including music by Lerner and Loewe, Rodgers and Hammerstein, as well as Irving Berlin and Cole Porter.

KENT COUNTY YOUTH ORCHESTRA CONTINUES TRIP ROUND KENT The debut performance by the Kent County Youth Orchestra at the Colyer-Fergusson Concert Hall in Canterbury was greeted with huge applause from the audience last Saturday (9th April) as the orchestra continues to explore new venues across the county. An all English programme was led by the international conductor George Jackson who produced a polished performance following a five day intensive residential course with the orchestra at Ashford School. The concert featured two pieces by Vaughan Williams, Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis and The Wasps Overture; as well as La Calinda by Delius; Cockaigne Overture by Elgar; Four Cornish Dances by Arnold; and Orchestral Suite from Henry V by Walton. Orchestra Manager Phill Hyde said: “The concert hall worked perfectly for the orchestra allowing the strings to be split into two performance areas for the famous Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis. The effect of having one section in the balcony and one on the stage was very atmospheric indeed.


With glorious costumes, sumptuous music, stunning dance routines and an award-winning cast of singers and dancers, this is guaranteed to wow the audience and keep their toes-tapping! That’s Entertainment is feel-good entertainment at it’s best for all the family. That’s Entertainment is produced by David King for Spirit Productions Worldwide Ltd. The show will be at The Orchard Theatre from Tuesday 24th – Saturday 28th May. Preshow dining is also available before the show. The Orchard Theatre’s Restaurant provides a delicious range of, unique and memorable dishes, using the freshest local produce and is prepared daily by the Head Chef. Reserve your table when booking your show tickets. To book tickets or for more information visit or call the Ticket Office on 01322 220000.

LOCAL MP GARETH JOHNSON VISITS LAING O’ROURKE’S DARTFORD HEAD OFFICE Local MP for Dartford, Gareth Johnson, has paid a visit to the head office of construction and engineering firm, Laing O’Rourke to learn more about one of the largest businesses in his constituency and meet some of those who work there. John O’Connor, Group Human Capital Director for Laing O’Rourke said: “It’s great to be able to spend time with our local MP and we were delighted to showcase our ongoing major projects, and importantly the skills that today’s pupils and students will need to fulfil ambitions to become our engineers of the future. It was a real boost for many of the staff team who met Mr. Johnson to feel the support they deserve as they move forward with their careers in our exciting construction and engineering sector.” Dartford MP Gareth Johnson said: “Laing O’Rourke employs hundreds of people locally and they are at the cutting edge of modern technology as a result of their innovative approach to engineering and digital technology. “It was great to meet the talented people working at the company and witness their enthusiasm for the work they carry out. We are lucky in Dartford to have so many innovative businesses like Laing O’Rourke which is literally leading the world in many of the projects it is involved with.”

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BIGGEST FINANCIAL WORRY FOR OVER-65s IN THE SOUTH EAST IS RUNNING OUT OF MONEY The biggest financial worry for over one-fifth (22%) of people aged 65 and over in the South East is that their savings will run out. Meanwhile almost a third (30%) have run out of money before the end of the month. That’s according to a new survey by Independent Age, the older people’s charity, due to launch its new free Moneywise advice guide for older people, their families and carers. The survey, which took place after the March 2016 Budget, found that, in the South East: • One in seven (14%) people aged 65 and over don’t expect to have the money needed to pay for their funeral. • Excluding mortgage debt, over a fifth (21%) of people aged 65 and over are in debt and the average debt is over £1000. There are 11.4 million people aged 65 and over in the UK, and 1.6 million of them live in poverty – 900,000 of whom live in severe poverty. Across Britain, pensioners who are not claiming the benefits they’re entitled to are, on average, missing out on £41 a week or £2,100 a year. Spread across the year, this is the difference between being able to pay for a typical dual-fuel bill versus struggling to heat their home. In total, £3.7 billion goes unclaimed for all benefits for older people each year.

BARRATT HOMES IN KENT CELEBRATES 5 STAR STATUS Barratt Homes is set to open the doors to its latest development, Martello Lakes in Hythe, this month, marking the launch of a brand-new community. Homebuyers will be able to get the first look inside the development as it opens on April 30th and showcases the latest in home design. Martello Lakes’ four bedroom Lincoln show home, styled by interior designer Andrew Henry, is a beautifully-presented detached home. On the ground floor it contains an open-plan kitchen with a breakfast and family area and a separate dual aspect dining room and lounge with French doors to the rear garden. Pam Reardon, Sales and Marketing Director for Barratt Homes, says interest has already been high in the first release of properties, even before the launch event. “Demand for homes at Martello Lakes is largely due to the fantastic location and quality design of the properties. We are immensely proud of the development and can’t wait for the first residents to move into their new homes.”


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Heading to the UEFA European Championship this summer? Then be the envy of your friends by kicking off your football adventure of a lifetime and flying to France in your own private aircraft. You and up to eight people can enjoy private return flights from London Ashford Airport in Lydd, Kent, stress-free, swift check-in and champagne and sandwiches on board – all from less than £333 per person. WEA’s Managing Director, Jonathan Gordon, says: “We’re offering unique and flexible travel options for football fans who want to push the boat out and enjoy the championship in real style. We are happy to discuss requirements that meet their needs and budget. “Choose which aircraft you prefer from our fleet, the airport you want to fly into, and whether an overnight stay is required and we will provide you with a bespoke price for your flight. For an additional cost, we can also arrange private transfers from London or anywhere in the South East to London Ashford Airport as well as offer advice and assistance with your ground travel arrangements in France.”

The Atlantic Bridge Aviation Group (ABA) is to expand its fleet to meet growing demand for air travel services. The Kent-based company, which has been providing commercial and business aviation services globally for more than 25 years, is investing over £450,000 in two executive Piper Chieftains.

The aircraft will be used to provide ad-hoc on-demand charter flights to a range of destinations across the UK and Europe. “The Chieftains can seat up to nine passengers, are fast and efficient, and spacious,” says ABA’s Managing Director, Jonathan Gordon. “They’re perfect for pre-meeting briefings while you travel and for getting into small airfields closer to your destination, which saves on transfer times. They’re a very economical solution to customers travelling in a group either for pleasure or business.”

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PROTECTING YOUR WICKET The new cricket season has arrived, prompting cricket-mad young lawyer Alexandra Gordon to open the batting in making the case for ensuring everyone has a Will together with associated legal documents. “Hopefully this pun-laden approach to getting your affairs in order shall hook you in as I wanted to combine my love of cricket with my passion for all things Wills and law-related,” says Alexandra, an award-winning solicitor at leading south east law firm Furley Page. Alexandra says: “Whether you are a cricket fan or not, the same principle applies. We need to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Let’s use the metaphor that your wicket is your loved ones, we need to protect our wicket. Don’t bail out on me yet! “If you are living life at a medium pace you may think it’s not necessary to read on but remember it’s never too early to get your eye in. In life there normally isn’t a chance of an appeal so you need to strike now so things aren’t left in a spin. Let us approach the main forms of protection available to us. Some may seam obvious,” she adds.

CRIPPS NAMED ONE OF UK’S TOP PRIVATE CLIENT LAW FIRMS For the third consecutive year, Cripps has been named one of the UK’s Top 25 law firms for its private client work. The award is from eprivateclient, the leading website and news service for private client practitioners including lawyers, accountants, trustees and fee-based IFA’s. In addition to providing inclusive analysis around the issues and trends in this increasingly fast-moving marketplace, it provides an annual league table, sponsored by Jupiter Asset Management, of the Top 25 Private Client Law Firms. “We work with high net worth individuals from all over the country and it is wonderful to have our skill and expertise marked in this way,” said Myles McIntosh, head of private client at Cripps. “It is especially gratifying as we have just been shortlisted for the Citywealth Magic Circle Awards which recognise elite professionals in the international private wealth sector.” With offices in London, Tunbridge Wells, Kings Hill and Discovery Park at Sandwich, Cripps is ranked as a top 100 UK law firm. It has undergone a sustained period of growth in recent years, which is set to continue. The firm is committed to investing in its premises, technology and people to continue delivering an exceptional standard of client service. Cripps also recently won the Business of the Year Award (Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce).

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“we are not just a care home, we are an experience”

here can be nothing more important than ensuring our most vulnerable in society are cared for in a manner which is kind, compassionate and offers them a safe and trusting environment which meets all of their needs. The role of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is to inspect services to reassure the public that this is exactly the type of care which is being delivered. The Miramar has recently been inspected and received an overall ‘Good’ rating which is a real testament to the hard work undertaken by the staff, and shows that we are providing just that type of service to our 70 residents. The Miramar has evolved beyond recognition over the decades from a pub, to a hotel then to a small care home right through to the large and sophisticated care home that we are now. “The Miramar is not just a care home it is an experience. It provides residents, some who are still driving and live here as a lifestyle choice and couples who move in together, with the independence they desire, whilst knowing that if needed there is a vast support network ready to react. Further it provides superb nursing and dementia care for residents if required. “The key to our success is that the residents have a massive say in how their care home is run and are able to let us know what they want to see happening. This at times is a real challenge, luckily my team are fully committed to solving any situation presented. The key to overall success is believing that there is nothing more complicated in being able to provide care at the highest

level than staff who are committed to delivering the kind of care that they would want to receive themselves; believing that good is in fact just not good enough and always wanting to be outstanding. “I took over as the General Manager of the Miramar in February of this year having been the Care Services Manager for over a year, having a varied and extensive nursing career I once upon a time could not have imagined working in a care home let alone feeling that this is the best job I have had in my career thus far. Achieving a ‘Good’ rating was great but now everyday our goal is to be ‘outstanding’ in everything we do.” Interview with Darren Humby, General Manager of Signature Miramar. For more information call 01227 376292 or visit

WHERE KENT LEARNS Kent Adult Education


ent Adult Education is the heart of adult learning in Kent. As the largest provider we have had almost 20,000 people enjoy a course with us over the last academic year. With over 4,000 courses for you to enrol upon now we really do have a course that’s perfect for you. Our courses run from Monday to Saturday at various times of day from morning to as late as 9.30pm in the evening. We want everyone to find a new hobby, learn a new skill, get fit, get creative and to have fun on our courses.

With 15 dedicated adult education centres across the county from Tunbridge Wells to Dover and Folkestone to Dartford, we have courses that are local to you and convenient for you to get to with many of our centres in the middle of the town. Plus we work with around 100 other locations such as village halls, libraries and schools to make sure we have the perfect environment and location for everyone in Kent.

Courses are available in a range of subjects too: arts, craft, business, general studies, GCSEs, health and fitness, language, personal development and photography and computing. Ranging from free tasters to accredited courses we’re sure that whether you are a beginner or someone who wants to excel with an advanced course we can find a course that’s at the right level for you to flourish. One of the biggest misconceptions we come across is that potential learners think that courses will be too expensive to join. We offer a range of ‘pay as you go’ fitness courses that start from £5 per session and there is no obligation to turn up every week. Our half day courses can be as little as £25 and full day Saturday courses are £50, these even usually include materials too! Plus if your course is £70 or more we offer the ability for you to pay a 25% deposit and pay the rest in instalments so it really is easier than you think to enrol and enjoy adult learning. We’re also really proud that for the past two years we have scored 9/10 for customer satisfaction. Not only do we think our courses and teaching are fantastic but our students do too! Here’s what just one of our students said about their experience, “every aspect of the course has been excellent, enjoyable, informative, well presented and beneficial”. If there’s always been that course you think about doing or you really want to do more with your spare time, now is the perfect time to take a look and enrol. Our brand new courses launch on 1st May and with 4,000 courses, over 700 of them at the weekend too there has never been a better time to start your Kent Adult Education experience.

For more information visit or call 03000 41 22 22.

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MEET THE MANAGER Annelli Chatfield

I am a Registered General Nurse, and have been for 28 years. I have spent my entire career caring for older people, I love listening to stories and find the people I meet fascinating. I have specialised in caring for people who are living with dementia and their families. I am passionate about the care we deliver, I think every person deserves to be cared for in a place that is luxurious and indulgent where the care they receive is of the highest standard. With media speculation rife about care homes, it can be really difficult for good homes to counter negative press – what is it that sets your care apart from other establishments? Chaucer House is a beautiful new care home in the centre of the historic city of Canterbury, there is a real feeling of calm and balance in the home. We strive to provide the very best in personalised care, to ensure every person living with us is enabled to live the life they choose in the way they want to. We have an amazing staff team, each and every one works to ensure individuals are cared for in a way that celebrates uniqueness with respect and dignity. Chaucer seems to have the philosophy that life can be enriched by time in a care home, can you tell us a little more about your lovely facilities? Chaucer House is a gorgeous new home with luxurious facilities to help anyone feel truly valued. We have 60 individual en-suite bedrooms decorated to an elegant hotel standard with views over the city of Canterbury. We have a number of areas to enable socialisation including two beautiful restaurants, both with outside dining space, library, sun room, garden room, beauty salon, grandchildren’s room, shop and cinema, lavish colour gardens and at the top of the home is a stunning bar with roof terrace. What care categories do you cover in the home? We provide nursing, continuing healthcare and residential care for up to 60 residents in the home. We have residents from all around the county of Kent with a variety of needs and abilities.

How do you help new residents settle in to life at Chaucer Care Home? From the moment we meet people for the first time we encourage them to visit the home, stay for lunch or an activity. We promote choice and preferences such as which bedroom the person would like. We actively encourage individuality by ensuring that bedrooms are personalised as much as possible to make certain that people feel at home. Each person is visited by the manager before they come to live with us and by every department on the first day so we get to know the person. Everyone has a co-working team who work with the person and their families to ensure individual choice is at the forefront of everything we do. How would you sum up the ethos and atmosphere? As a team we know we are lucky to work in this beautiful home. Within the actual building though, you will find love, fun and celebration of life from a group of energetic dedicated people who truly aim to do their best. Have you got any exciting plans or events coming up this year? We are a socially active home where there is always something fun going on. We have plans for our first anniversary in August to celebrate everything we have achieved so far. We are involved in a number of countrywide projects looking at quality of care and wellbeing. And like the entire country we are looking forward to celebrating with the Queen on her 90th birthday.

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village, they both knew that this was where they wanted to live. H E and Madge found their idyllic home in Little Chart just a stones throw from Pluckley. It was a barn that was ideal for conversion to a home and it was here that they would spend the next forty years raising a family. Surrounded by strawberry fields, it was in one of them that their son Richard went strawberry picking and gave HE the inspiration to write the ‘Darling Buds of May. When war broke out in 1939, H E was commissioned into the RAF and specifically into the public relations branch. In this capacity his duty was to write short stories which would inform and educate the public on the progress of the war without the technical jargon. He became known as ‘Flying Officer X’ with some stories being published under that name. It was whilst he was on leave shortly after D Day in 1944, that late one night what H E and Madge presumed to be a low flying aircraft flew over their house. Minutes later another was heard to pass over but this time H E knew exactly what it was by the sound of its pulse rocket engine. The long prophesied V1 or ‘Doodlebug’ campaign had arrived. On August 16th, 1944 the villages of Pluckley and Little Chart were to experience the terror when one fell on the Little Chart church of St Mary of the Holy Rood close to where they lived. Several weeks after the V1 campaign began, the Air Ministry suggested that an explanatory pamphlet be issued to the public explaining the V1 campaign and the anticipated triumph over these rockets.

Various divisions of the war cabinet met over the ensuing months and despite a lot of bickering and arguing between them as to its content, the end result was to be a 40,000 word booklet written by Squadron Leader H E Bates. Once again the War Office, the Ministry of Home Security, the Ministry of Information and the Air Ministry could not agree on its release to the public less it caused a panic and so the pamphlet was shelved and never allowed into the public domain. It was only at the end of the war that the real reason for its non-appearance became known. In addition to the V1 and V2 rockets, the Germans had invented a giant long range gun capable of firing shells that would reach London and beyond. It was known as the V3 and it was this information that was included in the pamphlet that the various ministries thought would cause a panic if the facts became known. In the event the V3 was never completed having been the subject of attention from Bomber Command over several raids. The document lay dormant in the archives of the Public Record Office (now the National Archives), until discovered by a Kent based historian and published under the title ‘H E BatesFlying Bombs over England’. H E died on January 29th 1974 still living at ‘the Granary’ near Pluckley. His wife, Madge, moved into 

The preserved ruins of Little Chart Church hit by a V1 rocket on August 16th, 1944 HISTORY FEATURE

The ‘Granary’ - home of H E Bates at Little Chart HISTORY FEATURE


Credit David Munn Photography

Would you describe Let It Be as a family show? What really excites me is seeing three generations at the show. It is so encouraging and heartwarming to see younger generations discovering the music. And hopefully we are doing our bit to create new Beatle fans and keep the magic of the band strong for years to come. The Beatles have such a colourful and exciting history, how did you choose the specific eras and songs to feature in the show? They changed as did the times. It seems like a lot happened in the Sixties from post war England and The Cavern Club, Hard Days Night, Shea Stadium, Sergeant Pepper and the Magical Mystery Tour. Through to grown men who did not need costumes to relate to the changing times. What makes The Beatles so special, aside from their songs, is that they stayed ahead of the curve and were totally representative of the changing times and themselves. No other group came anywhere near being able to do that so successfully in my mind. How has the show been developed from its early days? I started the original show Rain in 2004 using a band from Reno Nevada. The first show was in a parking lot outside of the radio station in my hometown of Calgary Alberta, Canada. The show started as five guys (one on keys) playing on a basic stage with some video. As the show became popular in North America we added more to the production in the hope the show would be accepted by theatre audiences. In 2010 Let It Be opened on Broadway – this ultimately meant that we had arrived at that level. It was a very special moment indeed.

Vintage TV sets show original band footage, plus there are live black and white video feeds to cleverly make audiences feel like they’re actually back in the heyday of Beatlemania first time round. What was the idea for those? The original concept for using footage came from the show ‘Beatlemania’, which I believe originated in the late Seventies. That show ceased to exist but their concept did not. We took it a few steps further, but wanted to maintain the era at the same time by using black and white footage. It’s proved extremely popular and a real highlight for fans. What is your favourite song? This can change with my mood. Sometimes I want to hear, I Want To Hold Your Hand. While other times it would be Within Without You. But special songs to me are ones like, I’ll Be Back, which allows for three-piece harmony on the verses. The blend of their voices creates a very special unique sound. Let It Be Producer Jeff Parry




Kits Coty Glamping is a small multi-award winning family run site on the outskirts of Aylesford nestled in an area of outstanding natural beauty. The Vintage Shepherds Hut, African and Moroccan themed bell tents and Festival Tent are perfect for short family breaks, romantic getaways, or longer holidays in the Kent countryside. So, whether you are an experienced camper or have never camped before, come and experience all the fun of camping and the outdoors while enjoying luxury creature comforts and outstanding customer service.

Fort Amherst, based in Chatham is Britain’s largest Napoleonic Fortress. Having been originally constructed in preparation for a Napoleonic invasion, and then used as a Civil Defence centre in World War II, it boasts a unique and unusual history. The vast site features a fascinating network of underground tunnels, 20 acres of beautiful parkland open to the public free of charge all year round, and stunning views of the river from one of Medway’s highest points.

Tel: 01634 685862

Tel: 01634 847747

BIGGIN HILL HERITAGE CENTRE Tel: 01959 576767 The Hangar houses an amazing collection of airworthy Spitfires, probably the greatest concentration of Spitfire activity in the world, plus several others undergoing restoration by the Spitfire Company (Biggin Hill) Ltd. In addition the collection also includes an airworthy Hawker Hurricane Mk I, Europe’s oldest flying Harvard and a 1944 ex-USAAF Piper L4 Grasshopper. ATTRACTIONS GUIDE

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With over ten years experience in the motorised experience industry, Hovercraft Adventures is an independent business providing Hovercraft and Quad bike experiences in the picturesque heart of Kent’s beautiful countryside. The Quad bike experiences are designed to cater for families, larger groups can also be catered for. For health and safety reasons, only four quad bikes are permitted on track at any one time.

WHF, THE BIG CAT SANCTUARY Tel: 01233 771915


The Arethusa has over 35 years experience of providing high quality outdoor education to over 6,000 visitors each year. With three accommodation blocks housing just over 100 students and up to 18 staff. Open all year round with activities to suit all weathers, their aim is to develop life skills through the adventure learning programmes, encouraging visitors to reach their full potential in a safe and caring environment, not forgetting the importance of having fun and adventure. The activities are delivered by fully trained staff to instruct and lead you and your group through exciting challenges.


The Big Cat Sanctuary is a charity, set in the village of Smarden. It is a 32 acre site hidden in the heart of the Kent countryside, and home to over 50 cats, from the biggest to the smallest in the World. Watch the fun… or join in! The breeding centre is proud to be part of the EEP (European Endangered Species Breeding Programme), which is a body that regulates the breeding of endangered cats in order to maintain a healthy captive population, which can ultimately be reintroduced to the wild. They have contributed twice to the Amur Leopard programme, which is the World’s most endangered big cat, with less than 45 remaining in the wild globally; also to the Sumatran tigers, Amur tigers and Pallas cats. It is hoped that more cubs will be born in the future including North Chinese leopards and Snow leopards.

WHAT’S ON & WHEN FREE FAMILY GOLF FESTIVAL, TUDOR PARK MARRIOTT HOTEL & COUNTRY CLUB 8TH MAY Tudor Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club in Bearsted is holding a free Family Golf Festival on Sunday, May 8th, between 12pm - 4pm. As well as unlimited use of the golf academy and practice facilities, PGA Professionals will be on hand with expert tips, free tuition, and club demonstrations. All equipment and golf balls will be provided. The festival is for all ages from 0 to 99. Youngsters can have a go at the new purple-coloured, academy tees recently installed to allow juniors to tee off closer to the green. For more information, call the Golf Shop on 01622 739 412 or visit “SONGS OF CELEBRATION” KENT CHAMBER CHOIR, ST MILDRED’S CHURCH, TENTERDEN 21ST MAY Tenterden’s historic Parish Church is the splendid venue for a memorable evening’s entertainment by the Kent Chamber Choir to raise money for Canterbury Oast Trust. This Kent charity supports adults with learning disabilities in Kent and East Sussex, to live independently and take control of their lives. You’ll hear a wide variety of music including songs to mark Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary. J S Bach’s jubilant motet Sing to the Lord a new song is the main work in the first half of the programme. Written in 1726-27 it is a virtuoso choral masterpiece, superbly written for two sets of singers; Mozart was filled with enthusiasm when he heard it sung in Leipzig in 1789. For more details please call 01233 861508 or visit STORY OF GUITAR HEROES, WHITE ROCK THEATRE, HASTINGS 25TH MAY “If you like music and guitars you will LOVE this show!” Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Hank Marvin, Brian May and Slash are just some of the outstanding guitar heroes you will have chance to experience in one amazing show! This phenomenal live concert style ‘rockumentry’ is performed by one extraordinarily talented and renowned musician: Phil Walker, and backed by his exceptional band. With over 20 guitars used on stage, the show accurately recreates the sound and ambiance of each guitar hero starting from the 1950s to the present day. Also offering the very latest in video screen technology to create a larger than life event. Compounded in a creative and powerful experience this show not only appeals to all those budding guitar heroes out there, but to music lovers of all ages. For more information, call 01424 462288 or visit LOCAL EVENTS

KENT LIFE WELCOMES PEPPA PIG 22ND MAY Peppa Pig will be making a welcome return to Kent Life Heritage Farm Park on Sunday May 22nd. Visitors to the award-winning attraction, near Maidstone, will have the opportunity to see the cheeky children’s favourite at intervals throughout the day. Youngsters will have plenty to do during their visit, including feeding the farm animals, stroking smaller animals in Cuddle Corner, tractor rides, meeting the pigs and more. Other activities, such as donkey rides, can be enjoyed for an extra charge. Kent Life is the county’s premier rural heritage experience, set in 28 acres of glorious countryside. Visitors can wander through period dressed historic buildings in the charming Vintage Village; explore the beautiful gardens, orchard and one of the last handpicked hop gardens in the country; ramble along the wildlife discovery trail and see the last working coalfired oast house in Britain. The attraction is also a real working farm, so there are plenty of animals to see, including pigs, sheep, ducks, goats, alpacas, horses and ponies. For more details, call 01622 763936 or visit

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C elebrities who also share May birthdays

Ali Janes


Ali has been using her psychic gifts all her life and now enjoys teaching others to develop their own clairvoyance. She has over 20 years experience in teaching others to develop their own skills. At her Academy she runs Psychic Development 10 week evening courses and daytime workshops. Her face to face readings are renowned for their accuracy and she reads for people internationally as well as in the UK.

David Beckham 2nd May

Tarot reading for this month’s birthdays: Star signs that fall under May are:

Taurus (21st April – 21st May) and Gemini (22nd May – 21st June)

Megan Fox 16th May

Clint Eastwood 31st May


A typical Taurus character: is hard working and likes a routine. They like to know what they are doing from one moment to the next and have a plan. They like things done and dusted and will work hard in order to achieve their targets. They don’t necessarily want a stressful job just one that pays the bills and let someone else worry about the rest. A typical Gemini character has two very different and usually opposite personalities within them and so there is never a dull moment with them as you don’t know which one you are going to get each day. They could appear to be very quiet but when you get to know them they are an extravert. They could appear to be the opposite and very extravert but are really quiet and like to keep themselves to themselves. Taurus – Beginning of May: – I see two decisions linked around work / finances both coming up at the same time and with similar good outcomes and so this will be hard to decide which is going to be best for you. You may be able to do both if you juggle things around a little. Remember though, that all the money and hard work is not worth it if you have no time to enjoy happiness with family and friends. For Gemini – There is a good outcome to money matters this week which you have been patiently waiting for. You will be hearing from someone connected to this waiting game about the next stage of the plan. Someone planning to stay with you or visit you will need you to organise something for them. Taurus – End of May: – A new friendship/relationship will be entering your life in April which will seem lovely but there are usually doubts that creep into your mind whenever this happens, especially if the person is bossy or too needy. Maybe you should give it a go before discarding this as something you wouldn’t like. You never know! What have you got to lose? For Gemini – You have second thoughts over a character who is very insecure and paranoid. You feel as though you are having to tiptoe around their feelings which is getting tiresome. You are trying to think back to a time that they didn’t react to you this way. What will you do to reassure them? Or are you at the stage where you no longer care?

Taurus Gemini

21st Apr - 21st May

General: You are decorating / moving or getting into DIY this month as there are jobs around the home that need to sort out and time is ticking on. I can feel an urgency and then relief as they are slowly completed. Love/Emotions: You are confused over a conversation that you have had with someone dear to you. Have you blown things out of proportion? Did they really mean to put a doubt in your mind? You have a choice to both keep it all to yourself and stew on it, or should you confront it and talk things over in order to maybe make things better?


22nd May - 21st June 24thAug -22ndSep General: Life will be very chaotic this month for you and the people close to you. I can see that you are not able to get on with the things you want to do because of this. You are trying to help so many people out all at once. Love/Emotions: I see summer plans being spoken of and maybe even holidays or travel plans. You are excited about these plans as you have been feeling trapped in all the chaos that has surrounded you. I am picking up that you need to put things into a more orderly fashion so that you can spend at least some of your time doing what you enjoy doing.

Cancer 22nd June - 22nd July General: You will be stopping a regular money flow going to something that you no longer believe in this month. I don’t believe this is about money but really the principle. You are an independent person especially when it comes to money. Love/Emotions: It is time to put your feelings ahead of others this month. You have been rejected or let down recently by someone who you weren’t expecting to act in that way. You have put your shields up to give yourself time to repair. You have had to control anger and confusion from building up, as you need to have a conversation with the person involved. Things will unfold positively so be patient.


23rd July - 23rd Aug General: You are not talking to someone who you used to confide everything in. You feel as though this is final and there is no looking back. I see tears or upset around this but no reconciliation as both people are stubborn. I see that you are having to deal with issues linked with official papers/forms/documents. Love/Emotions: You need to go with the flow in love / emotions this month. Glide along with people without too much conflict, this is the key to your happiness at this time. You can’t cope with any more fall outs with people close to you. You are keeping your feelings to yourself just in case.

General: The tables have turned on an overpowering person who used to dominate others with their behaviour. This person is now not looking so powerful in fact they show no strength at all. Love/Emotions: I see you leaping into the future with so much enthusiasm that it even looks fun to watch. I see a close friend to you drawing close and helping you to see your own future.


23rd Sep - 23rd Oct General: You feel as though you are falling out and battling with everyone at the moment. If you look into things, nothing is actually your fault which makes this harder to cope with. Love/Emotions: You don’t want to be left out in the dark when it comes to love, but equally you would rather be alone than put up with someone or a situation which is making you feel bad day in day out.


24th Oct - 22nd Nov

General: I see forms/official paperwork or legal documents around you this month which will need to be completed. I don’t see alarm or panic as I feel this is a good future decision that you are making . Love/Emotions: Unconditional love seems so easy to those whose hearts are open and free but for people who question everything, it’s a different matter.


23rd Nov - 23rd Dec

General: All change! Lots of new beginnings but for new beginnings there has to be endings. I see you taking a leap of faith and going forward with a plan. Love/Emotions: You are a very special person and you need to believe that you are. I can see that you need to spice up your emotional life by having some good laughs.


24th Dec - 20th Jan General: I see travel plans, a motorway and lots of grass around you. Are you going to the woods or by a river? I see that you are needing to be in the countryside and enjoying time out of the hustle and bustle of life. Love/Emotions: I see deep love and affection towards someone close to you which can be overpowering either to yourself or to the person that you love.


21st Jan - 18th Feb General: I see study / learning new skills / education or something along these lines. You are training for a new life change or to enhance what you are already doing and this is taking up a great deal of your time. Love/Emotions: There is a lesson this month that links to giving your love to the wrong people. You have learnt this in the past but there is a brand new lesson in front of you.


19thFeb-20thMar General: I see a new job around you either for yourself or someone close to you. This will open doors for another person close to them/you. I feel that you are meeting new people who have interesting stories to tell and they have experience in life. Love/Emotions: As one door closes another opens in the story of life. I can see that you have pulled away from someone who you usually confide in and see most days.

Aries 21st Mar - 20th Apr General: You feel like there are no exit signs within a situation linked to money and this is creating worry for you at this time. There seems to be blocked signs and pot holes ready to swallow you up. Love/Emotions: It’s time to sneak away from the busy routine of life and find a quiet spot to sit and enjoy the countryside. Maybe you could include a loved one to enjoy it with you.

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Steph Parker, Russell Saunders, co-owner Jane Stacey and Dom Parker cutting the ribbon to launch Willow Brook

Current Foxhunter lodge owners Vince, Peter and Sue

Foxhunter co-owner Russell Saunders with Gogglebox star Steph Parker and the famous Dachshund Gigi


launches brand new luxury lodges Over the weekend of the 15th, 16th and 17th of April The Foxhunter Park in Monkton, Kent, held a grand opening of their new superb luxury lodge development – Willow Brook. The weekend began with a VIP party at the park on Friday 15th, with Steph and Dom Parker of Gogglebox (along with Dachshund Gigi) joining the celebrations. Current and prospective owners were invited to have a look around one of the beautiful new lodges, before moving on to the park’s restaurant/bar for canapés and champagne. It was a fantastic evening, with co-owner of the park Jane Stacey saying: “this has been the perfect opening for our new lodges. We’re incredibly proud of Willow Brook and truly believe it is one of the most beautiful developments in the country.”

Following the Friday night VIP party, guided tours of Willow Brook were given all weekend to interested guests and visitors. The Willow Brook lodges, which start at £99,000, have been an instant hit, attracting the attention of both current residents of the park looking to upgrade and completely new customers looking for a holiday retreat. The Foxhunter Park is well known for its friendly sociable atmosphere as well as its fantastic facilities, which include an outdoor heated swimming pool and tennis courts, as well as the aforementioned high quality restaurant and bar.

Mack and Dave, representatives of lodge suppliers Prestige and Pathfinder

Foxhunter co-owner Russell Saunders’ wife Jane and Foxhunter employee Kelly

Russell Saunders, Jane’s brother and co-owner, added: “These lodges have been a long time in construction and are our pride and joy. They are the pinnacle of modern holiday park design and this launch weekend was a brilliant way to introduce them to the world”. SOCIAL EVENTS

Foxhunter co-owner Russell Saunders with daughter Olivia Saunders and Steph Parker

MMM Magazine May '16  

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

MMM Magazine May '16  

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