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Issue 33, October 2014 Complimentary

FROM THANET WITH LOVE Our enduring love affair with actress Brenda Blethyn

LEN GOODMAN How Len waltzed from welder to superstar


OTHER feature

Vita Sackville-West: A literary life of love and passion

Hot tubs and swimming po



ess, ts, Busin t, n e v E l, men Trave ntertain E , y r e o t His uch mor m , h c u And m

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Designer: Roberto Torretta

Designer: Roberto Torretta Designer: Roberto Torretta

Designer: Roberto Torretta

Designer: Roberto Torretta

Designer: Roberto Torretta

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We're all in something of a dance fever at the mmm offices this month – and little wonder! Not only have we, once again, all become hooked on the sequins, ball gowns and celebrities of Strictly Come Dancing, we have been whisked off our feet by our cover star – the legendary Len Goodman. Having been born and bred in the county, he's very much a local star – and despite finding fabulous fame on both sides of the Atlantic as a judge on TV dance contests, he has never forgotten his roots and continues to operate a hugely popular dance school in Dartford. I caught up with him earlier this month and he was absolutely charming. No wonder he's become one of the nation's best-loved personalities. Inside this month's issue we profile Len and his remarkable rise to stardom and personal happiness. Talking of famous faces, earlier this month I was fortunate enough to attend Salon Prive – the British Supercar Show. In London. It was a star-studded affair and full of great fashions; as well as being lots of fun. If you ever get the chance to go it's a memorable experience. Meanwhile, we may be bidding farewell to the mild weather, but one thing that gets me very excited is the thought of Bonfire Night. The long tradition of fireworks here is something which enchants me. I'll be heading to watch one of the big organised displays this year – perhaps I'll bump into you there? That's, of course, assuming something doesn't go bump in the night the week before with Halloween! Enjoy mmm this month – and please do let us know what you think. We always love to hear from you. See you next month! Rasa

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LTD Warming Homes Throughout Kent Since 1917

• Full Installation of Wood Burning Stoves • Bespoke Service Professionally Managed from Design through to Completion • Specialist in Unique Custom made to measure Granite and Slate Hearths

Tel: 01634 420319 Mobile: 07976688437 Newington Ind Est, Newington, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME9 7NU


mmm MMM Media Ltd GHL House 1st Floor 12-14 Albion Place Maidstone Kent ME14 5DZ Tel: 01622 299035 Publisher Rasa Dregva Editor Tom White Travel Editor Tricia Lester Design Matthew Jones Karen Oliver Sales Dawn Long Accounts Kerry Head Further contribution Robin J Brooks Christine Furlonger

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len goodman How len waltzed from welder to superstar


FasHion The latest autumn trends


Brenda BleTHyn our enduring love affair with actress Brenda Blethyn


Food our tasty october recipes


Travel discover north america and ski your socks off in France


viTa sackville-WesT The remarkable tale of poet, writer and gardener, vita sackville-West

All rights reserved. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent from the publisher. © MMM Media Ltd 2014

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HoT TuBs & sWimming pools actions you need to take and consider


properTy The latest kent property in Birchington


moTe House - sHell robin Brooks on the mote House and its connections


moTors The newest Honda model


Business local business news in kent


evenTs What’s on in and around kent this month

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•G or ge •S ou tu • M nnin s we dd gs ar ing ve ho llo e dr ak u ess e sm s •S sa es na nd en ps sw ca ho ea rs tp r ho tog rap hy Sp •C















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How Len waLtzed from welder to Superstar Strictly Come Dancing’s Len Goodman on finding fame in his autumn years

hen Len Goodman turned 70 earlier this year he did so at the peak of a career which has seen more moves and twirls than the most extravagant dance routine. From humble beginnings in Bromley, to dreams of a football career and time as a welder, he can have had no idea how his life would turn out and deliver him, as he turned a pensioner, fame on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet he has become a household name – known as the friendly, expert dance judge with the ability to endear himself to all age groups. Although he admits, at first, the marriage to the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing almost didn’t happen. “At the beginning of 2004 I was thinking that at 59 I was finished,” he admits.


“My dance school was doing well, I was travelling all over the world judging competitions and giving lectures, and life was a bed of roses. So I should have been happy - but something was getting on my wick. Absolutely everyone in the dance world was talking about a new BBC dancing show, which was going to feature celebrities and professional dancers performing together. Every time I went to judge a competition or bumped into an acquaintance, I’d be asked the same question. ‘Have you auditioned for this new BBC show?’ I quickly became tired of finding new ways to say no. Of course, I pretended that I couldn’t really care less. The truth was that it hurt that I hadn’t been asked. Clearly, they thought I was past it. “Then, one evening, sitting at home in Kent, the phone rang. It was Izzie Pick, the producer of Strictly Come Dancing. a

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She asked if I had heard about the show. ‘Would you be available to come and have an interview?’ ‘Yes,’ I said, trying not to sound too available. ‘Any chance of tomorrow?’ ‘Yes!’ I said, sounding very available indeed. “I felt sure the audition hadn’t gone well, but two days later she called again and offered me the job. I nearly bashed my head on the ceiling. “Here I was, about to enter my 60’s, starting out on a whole new adventure and my first job on TV. Not bad for the grandson of an East End barrow boy - and someone who’d never wanted to be a ballroom dancer in the first place.” Len’s parents, Louisa and Leonard, welcomed their son into the world in April 1944. The couple had been living in Wales, but a shortage of beds as she prepared to give birth, amid the chaos of the Second World War, saw her transferred to Whitechapel, before it was finally decided she would be safer in Farnborough – where eventually little Len was born. And lived in a modest two-up, two-down house in Bethnal Green. His father an electrician, and the family sharing the home with his mother’s parents. His early years were spent helping his grandfather on his East End vegetable market stall, before the family could afford, just after his sixth birthday, their own home in Blackfen, just north of Sidcup. Writing in his autobiography he remembered: “I’m sure Grandad must have helped with the money because they bought a greengrocer’s, where Mum and Dad both worked, and we moved to a small, semi-detached house.

Rasa Dregva, mmm Magazine Publisher meets Len Goodman

“I said before I’m selfish and that doesn’t equate well for marriage, but Sue got that out of me. I’ve become totally unselfish and I think that’s because it’s true love” “The family was becoming a greengrocer dynasty - not quite Sainsbury’s, but still good considering what it all started from.” But tensions in the family home began to mount, and cracks in his parents’ relationship began to show. “It wasn’t until years later that I realised just how unhappy together they were. “Dad was so stressed that he lost almost four stone in weight. He went to a doctor who told him in no uncertain terms that unless he got out of the marriage he could end up killing himself. “Eventually Dad left with a suitcase. He left me a little letter saying, ‘Please don’t think my love for you has changed or anything. It’s just that your mum and me can’t live together.’ “I know what he did was right; it’s not an environment that anyone wants to be in. It must have been very difficult for everyone involved. At first I could tell that

Mum was really upset; as much as anything it was the shame of it all. “In the mid-Fifties working class people just didn’t do that sort of thing. As an antidote to the humiliation, Mum turned into a workaholic, which is saying something because she was always hard-working.” For little Len, his talents quickly became apparent as he made his way through his schooling. By the time he attended Westwood Secondary in Welling he was making a name for himself both as a footballer and cricketer. But with the need to get a career under his belt he became an apprentice welder, while still harbouring ambitions as a sportsman. “It was football that got me into ballroom dancing, in a roundabout kind of way,” he reveals. “When I left school and was an apprentice I was football crazy. a

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“I was playing for Slade Green United on Hackney Marshes when I broke a metatarsal bone in my foot. “I kicked the ball north while at the same time the biggest centre-half in the world tried to kick the ball south. The outcome was my foot went west and I was in agony for weeks. “All the doctor said was ‘try to keep off of it as much as possible’. This was ludicrous, as I still had to go to work, so I spent my life hobbling around. “The foot was incredibly slow to heal and I went back to my doctor but ended up seeing an old Scottish locum. “You’ll need to build your foot up a lot more before you can play again. Laddie, you could try dancing. “Later that day, the girl I was seeing drove me round my dad’s place and he immediately said ‘that’s lucky, there’s a new beginners’ ballroom class starting next Tuesday. “So the following Tuesday I was at Erith Dance Studio and a whole new world was about to be opened up to me.” It wasn’t the first time he experienced dance, however, having dabbled in it during his school days – primarily as a way to meet girls. But this time it got him hooked. And before he knew it, he was starting to take part in ballroom dancing competitions. His foot recovering, he clearly had a talent – and he turned professional, dazzling in competitions and, by his late 20’s, winning the British championships in Blackpool. a

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He opted then, however, to retire from the dancefloor – and turn his focus on developing the next generation of dancers. He opened his dance school in Dartford and it quickly became a big success, allowing him to branch out and become an in-demand judge and teacher. But just when his career seemed to have plateaued, Strictly appeared and changed everything. With the show becoming a ratings hit, it helped his dance school too by re-igniting interest in ballroom dancing. As the head judge, his reputation flew across the Atlantic and since 2005 he’s been a judge on the US’ Dancing With The Stars – alongside fellow Strictly stalwart Bruno Tonioli. Not that he hasn’t had some tough challenges to face on the way. In 2009 he fought prostate cancer, undergoing surgery and those around him have been keen to ensure he ensures his health is always a priority.

Helping to keep him grounded and happy has been Sue Barrett. After dating for some 10 years, they tied the knot at the end of 2012. After inviting some 30 friends and family to a ‘drinks’ in London, they surprised those gathered by having arranged a secret ceremony for them to witness. “I knew I’d found the woman I wanted to be with for the rest of my life so why not get married? ‘I’ve said before I’m selfish and that doesn’t equate well for marriage, but Sue got that out of me. I’ve become totally unselfish and I think that’s because it’s true love.” Sue, a little over 20 years Len’s junior, is his second wife – his first marriage fractured and a second serious relationship which saw the birth of his son also hit the rocks. He’s clearly never been happier. And there are no signs of him slowing up either. Which for everyone involved is something to dance about. mmm

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Find us on Twitter and Facebook

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CoolSculpting A guide to a better you that you can be proud of!

Transform your body without surgery or downtime


he ugly truth is, we all have stubborn fat, and as we age, gravity and genetics only make things worse. Proper diet and exercise are not enough to keep these unwanted bulges at bay. CoolSculpting is the solution for getting back the body you want, without surgery or downtime. During your consultation, your CoolSculpting provider will develop a customized Treatment to Transformation plan to address your specific areas of concern. This comprehensive approach may involve multiple treatments or visits and is designed to optimise your CoolSculpting results.

Here’s The Skinny on COOLSCULPTING 1) Many of us have fatty areas that resist diet and exercise. 2) CoolSculpting uses controlled cooling to target and crystallize fat cells. 3) CoolSculpting only affects fat cells. 4) After treatment, the crystallized fat cells are gradually removed by the immune system. 5) In the weeks and months following treatment, remaining fat cells condense, reducing fat layer. 6) Fat layer reductions in targeted areas lead to an improvement in appearance.

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know The r ? emov al of is ach e less c ieved by c xcess fat ons alo requi ries than uming the store res. The body body s wil to ad l be brok 's fat en do dress w the d eficit n .

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Get the body you want through science A simple observation led to life-changing technology Developed by renowned Harvard University scientists, CoolSculpting technology was born of the observation that some children got dimples due to eating popsicles. The idea that cold can selectively affect fat cells was the insight behind Cryolipolysis the proven science on which CoolSculpting is based. CoolSculpting is a revolutionary non-surgical contouring treatment that freezes stubborn fat, which then is naturally eliminated from your body. No needles, no surgery, and most importantly, no downtime. It’s safe, FDA-cleared, effective, and does exactly what it’s supposed to do.

A treatment plan that leads to transformation During your consultation, your CoolSculpting provider will develop a customized Treatment to Transformation” plan to address your specific areas of concern. This comprehensive approach may involve multiple treatments or visits and is designed to optimize your CoolSculpting results.


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Did you know? Percent body fat is the percentage of the total body that is fat. Thus someone who weighs 150 pounds and is 10% fat has 15 pounds of fatty tissue.

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mmm 25 Soles with Heart is an independent shoe shop offering you a massive choice of something a bit different from the high street. If you’re looking for the perfect children’s shoe shop from 0 to teens, then stop right here. You will be surprised with the difference , visit us in West Malling you won’t be disapointed!

Here are the brands we stock! Ricostta, Premigi, Keds, Petasil, Hushpuppies, Umi, Superfit, Sketchers, Bobux, Bo-bel, Joules, Cotswold, Toughies, Bloch and many more!

Opening Times Mon - Fri - 9:15am - 5pm Saturday - 9.15am - 4:30pm Sunday - Closed

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T: 01732 845292 E:

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FROM THANET with Love Our enduring love affair with actress Brenda Blethyn

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f there is one thing which ITV has rather cornered the market in, it is surely the detective drama. From breathing new life into Agatha Christie’s Poirot to bringing the like of Morse and sidekick Lewis to a wider audience, or taking DCI Barnaby from book to small screen in the blood bath which is Midsomer Murder, it has established an enviable reputation. And, in recent years, adding to that esteemed list is perhaps the most unlikely hero of all. With her wax jackets, lonely home life, and shapeless hats, DCI Vera Stanhope is not your obvious choice of lead character. Yet she is brought to life by an actress who purrs her way through the northern accent and is, as always, utterly convincing. But then you don’t always get a multi-Academy Award nominated actress in the twilight of her career agreeing to portray a character as unglamorous as Vera. For Brenda Blethyn, though, it is just the latest twist in a remarkable career which took her from a working class family in Thanet to the sky-high peaks but only success on a global scale can deliver. Since starting her acting career in her thirties, she went from the stage to TV and movies, to suddenly confirm her triumphant rise through the ranks. Roles in movies such as The Witches, A River Runs Through It and 1996’s Secrets and Lies. It was that which would deliver her a host of award nominations, including for an Oscar and taking home the likes of a Golden Globe, BAFTA and walking off with the best actress gong at the Cannes Film Festival. Two years later she was shortlisted for an Academy Award again with her role alongside Michael Caine in Little Voice.


Roles in star-studded flicks such as Pride and Prejudice and Atonement followed and she continues to be one of the most in-demand talent actresses this nation has produced. But right now she is, to millions of viewers, detective Vera. “I get such nice letters from fans of the show and read such lovely things about it – people have really taken Vera into their hearts,” she reflects. “People come up to me to talk about it. Especially middle-aged people. They enjoy seeing a very ordinary, more mature woman on screen, bossing all these youngsters about. “The stories are good and her personal life never overshadows the case at hand, which I like and I think that the audience like that, too. You can concentrate on the crime.” “When I was first offered Vera, I thought, ‘Ooh, a detective. How exciting!”. “I love solving problems – brainteasers, crosswords – and thought she’d be right up my street. So I was turning the pages of the script, waiting for her to make a first appearance, when suddenly there she was, this great big lump of an older woman. ‘Why was I their first choice to play her, then?’ I asked myself. Then I looked in the mirror and thought, ‘Oh, that’s why!’. “I think it’s great to have someone like Vera taking the lead on prime time TV. She’s no one’s idea of a pin-up. She’s very far from being dressed to the nines. There isn’t any big focus on her private life. I think other women especially, enjoy seeing the character being competent and in charge within a demanding job, and getting acknowledgement for being so.” a

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The accent is certainly not something which she was born with. “I don’t think about the accent anymore. I just chat and listen to a lot of the locals before and during filming. They love Vera and they have always been really supportive of the show. “I did an interview in America a few months ago and said, ‘I’m so delighted people understand Vera’s Newcastle accent’ – then I discovered that it’s subtitled over there.” Despite her fame she has never forgotten her roots – sharing her time between a home in south London and one close to her childhood home in Ramsgate. Now 68, she remains refreshingly down-toearth – no doubt grounded in a life before opting to tread the boards professionally. She was born in Ramsgate – the youngest of nine children – to a working class Catholic family. Born Brenda Bottle, her mother was a former maid; her father a mechanic and chauffeur. After attending technical college she worked as a stenographer and bookkeeper at a bank. She went on to work for British Rail when, in 1964, when just 18, she met, fell in love and married Alan Blethyn. The marriage was not to last – the pair divorcing in 1973 – but the two not only remain close friends, but she retained his surname as her professional name. “Alan was a really great bloke,” she says, “still is. His missus, the lady he left me for, is lovely too. I don’t see them often but they’re very special people. “I was working as a book-keeper for British Rail at the

time, and just acting at am-dram level as a kind of hobby. It was when the marriage ended that I saved up to get myself into drama school. “I’m sure Alan would have encouraged and supported me in that had we stayed together, although who knows if things would have turned out the same. What I do know is that he would never have begrudged me a career.” She studied at the Guildford School of Acting and made her London stage debut in 1976. Not that she has any regrets about coming into the profession late. “I think you learn such a lot going out and working in the world, in other jobs. It’s a learning curve, so I would hate to have lost that. “As a general rule, actors are nice people and easy-to-get-on-with people. You come across the odd pillock, you know, but that’s more the exception than the rule.”

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Her private life has long been settled too. She has been with British art director Michael Mayhew for more than 30 years – the couple marrying in June 2010. Her Oscar nominations sent her star soaring into the stratosphere and brought her to the attention of some of the biggest names in the business. And what of being part of the Academy Awards – the most indulgent event of all? “It’s a bit like a dream, to be honest,” she says. “You can’t imagine it ever happening to you, then suddenly there you are, slap bang in the middle of it all, and with designers squabbling among themselves to dress you. “In the end, and just like acting, it comes down to attitude. I put on something beautiful by Armani and determine not to show myself up on the red carpet, or I put on an old raincoat and think myself into being Vera.”

Not that she’s ever veered so far from her roots that she has forgotten where she is from. She was founding chairman of the Kent Film and Television Board, advising the Kent Film Office, in a bid to get the county selected more as a location for major productions. And she continues to have a house in Ramsgate. She explains: “I love the sea — the sight, the smell and sound of it. “Not just in the summer, either. Growing up on the Kent coast as I did, you learn to appreciate the seasons. I find it even more heavenly in the dark days of winter, when more often than not, you’ll have the whole beach to yourself. I’ve got the full all-weather gear so it doesn’t matter if it’s pouring down, howling a gale or even snowing. You really feel yourself at one with the elements.” And the cinema and television viewing public feel at one with her too. mmm

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ChoColate CaKe with red wine Glaze For the cake: 2 tablespoons butter, melted 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour, divided 2 cups sugar ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 2 teaspoons baking powder 1½ teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoons salt 1 cup milk ½ cup vegetable oil 2 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 cup boiling water For the red wine glaze: 8 ounces good bittersweet chocolate, chopped ½ stick (¼ cup) butter, cut into pieces ½ cup powdered (confectioner’s) sugar ½ cup red wine Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare the cake tin by brushing the melted butter all over the surface of the inside of the pan and sprinkling with the two tablespoons flour and the two tablespoons of cocoa powder and shaking it all over to coat the inside. Tap excess out (use more if needed). Alternatively, you can spray with cooking spray, but the cake may not release quite as well.


Add two cups flour, sugar, ¾ cup cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk thoroughly to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well. Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake tin. Beat on high speed for about one minute to add air to the batter. Pour cake batter into prepared cake pan. Bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out fairly clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about ten minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely. Make glaze: Heat chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (bowl should not touch water), stirring, until chocolate and butter are melted, about five minutes. Whisk in powdered sugar. Meanwhile, bring wine just to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove chocolate mixture from heat and whisk in wine; let cool until slightly thickened and a rubber spatula leaves a trail in mixture when stirring, eight to ten minutes. Set cake on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Pour glaze over cake and spread it across the top and over the edges with an offset spatula. Let cake stand at room temperature until glaze is set, two to three hours.


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Ch ok n ris ow tm fo as r

Kent’s Lifestyle Magazine

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Restaurant & Mussel Bar Steak!




Do you have any recipes to share with our readers? Write to us at MMM Media Ltd, GHL House, First Floor, 12-14 Albion Place, Kent, Maidstone, ME14 5DZ e-mail or call us on 01622 299035

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Caramel mousse with Caramel sauce and toasted hazelnuts

Recipe from

For the caramel mousse: 2 ¾ cups heavy cream, divided 1 cup sugar 8 tablespoons cool water, divided 1 ¼ teaspoon powdered gelatin 1 tablespoon vanilla ¼ teaspoon course sea salt or to taste For the caramel sauce: ½ cup of sugar 3 tablespoons of butter ¼ cup heavy whipping cream Topping: ½ cup hazelnuts Make the mousse: Whip two cups of heavy cream and vanilla until soft peaks form. Refrigerate. Mix sugar and six tablespoons of water in a medium size sauce pan. Place over medium heat until it begins to turn from a pale amber to rich caramel color, approximately eight minutes. Immediately remove from the heat as the sugar will continue to darken as it cools. Important note: do not stir the mixture once it’s on the heat; just let it heat to the proper color. If you need to stir in some sugar crystals that have accumulated on the sides of the pan, gently swirl the pan. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly but do not stir. Slowly whisk ¾ cup heavy cream into the caramel - the caramel will tend to bubble up as you add the cream. Set aside to cool slightly. As the caramel is cooling, bloom the gelatin: sprinkle powdered gelatin into two Tablespoons of cool water. Allow it to sit for three to five minutes, but don’t let it become firm.

Whisk gelatin and sea salt into warm caramel. Let cool a little more. Gently fold caramel into whipped cream. Refrigerate until completely cold. Make the caramel sauce: Place sugar in a heavy three quarter pan over mediumhigh heat. As the sugar begins to melt, whisk vigorously. As soon as the sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring. You can swirl the pan a bit if you want, from this point on. As soon as the sugar has melted and is a golden amber color, add the butter to the pan. Shut off heat. Whisk until the butter has melted. Slowly add the cream to the pan and continue to whisk. It is normal for the cream to foam up when it’s added - just keep whisking. Whisk until the caramel is smooth and has no lumps. Pour into a heat proof container and then let it cool to room temperature. If you are not using it right away, store in the refrigerator and warm it up a little before serving so it is pourable. Toast the hazelnuts: Preheat the oven to 425° F. Lay the hazelnuts out onto a foil lined pan. Toast for about five minutes. Remove hazelnuts and place on a clean kitchen towel. Wrap them in the towel and rub them vigorously this will remove the dark skins. Place the hazelnuts in a plastic bag and take something heavy like a meat pounder or wine bottle and pound them until they are chopped finely. Serve by either spooning the mousse into serving dishes or piping the mousse using a pastry bag with a large tip. Drizzle a little caramel sauce over each portion and top with the hazelnuts.

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for s ne king lable i o a v o e as s b om a e l P tma ro n ris tio h C e func t va pri o ph

Pad Thai

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A Unique Experience at West Malling

Open: Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

Lunch 12 - 2.30pm 12 - 2.30pm 12 - 2.30pm 12 - 2.30pm 12 - 2.30pm

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The Vineyard restaurant offers an extensive selection of exquisite seafood, French and Italian A la cuisine the ideal venue for family gatherings, special celebrations or casual dining

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The Hengist.

Exquisite dining comes to Maidstone this Christmas and New Year... Come along to The Hengist and celebrate in style; a wonderful welcome awaits you this festive season with our exquisite menus and luxurious atmosphere

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Christmas Party Menu

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Smoked Venison Scotch Egg Parsley Mayonnaise and Herb Salad ••• Heritage Beetroot Galette Whipped Goat’s Cheese and Hazelnut ••• Smoked Ham Hock Terrine Caramelised Cauliflower Purée, Pear and Tomato Chutney ••• Salmon Tartare Spiced Squid, Lime and Avocado

Roast Rolled Turkey with Sage and Onion Stuffing Pigs in Blankets, Honey Roast Carrots and Parsnip, Cranberry Jus ••• Braised Ox Cheek Wild Mushrooms, Confit Baby Onions and Smoked Potato Purée ••• Pan Fried Plaice Sea Vegetables, New Potatoes and Sauce Vierge ••• Cheddar Cheese Velouté Potato Gratin, Brussel Sprouts, Heritage Carrots

Steamed Christmas Pudding Eggnog and Burnt Butter Ice Cream ••• Banana Toad Butterscotch ‘Gravy’ with a hint of White Rum, Cinnamon Ice Cream ••• Chocolate Marquise, Caramelized Popcorn, Peanut Butter Ice Cream ••• A selection of our Kentish Cheese, Quince Chutney, homemade Fruit Bread and Biscuit. ••• Coffee and Mince Pies

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Ski your socks off IN TIGNES Check out the beautiful resort on the European ski scene

Tignes Tignes centres around three small villages sitting high above the tree line including Le Lac and Le Lavachet. Forming part of the Espace Killy ski area, Tignes provides a huge variety of terrain for skiers and boarders from challenging off-piste powder to leisurely cruising runs. The highlight of the ski area is the magnificent Grande Motte glacier with its excellent runs back down to resort. The long runs down to Tignes-les-Brevieres are a popular choice, home to many restaurants, perfect for lunch on the terrace. Beginners are also well

catered for with a good selection of wide open nursery slopes. Off the slopes there is plenty going on in Tignes. Scotty’s is both lively and popular and there are plenty of other bars and restaurants to choose from. For some rest and relaxation, visit the Lagoon complex and enjoy the jacuzzi, sauna and steam room - cost 15 Euros. For a more upmarket luxurious experience, check into one of the hotel spas: Montana Hotel, Campanules (Le Lac) or Ecrin du Val Claret (Val Claret). For those with an Espace Killy lift pass, free access is given to the ice rink and swimming pool at the Lagoon complex. ď Ą

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Ski your socks off Tignes is known for being one of the most beautiful resorts on the European ski scene. Few things can beat gliding down a run while enjoying the stunning surroundings on a sunny day. Unfortunately, the sunny days aren’t always guaranteed and Tignes’ lack of trees does mean that visibility is sometimes poor. But Tignes certainly compensates for this, with the best snow and views in the Alps and extremely well maintained terrain. The nursery slopes of Tignes-leLac and Le Lavachet are the perfect places to take your first skiing steps. They are snow sure, well maintained and free of through traffic. Intermediates will love the wide expansive runs, especially on the Grande Motte glacier. While powder junkies have so much to explore in the off-piste areas of the Grande, Petite Balmes, and the Grande Balme. Freestylers should do the leg work and explore their way around Tignes’ famous snow parks, host to the European Winter X Games.

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Après ski to after party Tignes’ fragmented villages mean that knowing the best après ski bars and clubs in the resort is crucial to having an unforgettable night. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to wind down or somewhere to liven up your evening, there is a great choice. Après ski in Tignes should begin La Folie Douce, a real favourite with skiers because of the great atmosphere and lively vibe. Loop and The Drop Zone have excellent bands playing live music. In Val Claret skiers can relax next to a roaring log fire at the Alpaka Lodge. For a more light-hearted event, enjoy some stand-up comedy at the Loop bar, which also has live music and DJ sets. Favourite food From local restaurants to tourists’ favourites, there are some key recommended spots to try in Tignes where diners will leave fully satisfied. Mountain restaurants are recommended for a dinner or an indulgent lunch; Hotel l’Arbina is popular and has an excellent wine list. The Aspen Coffee Shop in Val Claret is always busy and full of locals, probably something to do with the generous portion sizes for reasonable prices. Lo Soli serves hearty and homely meals, the stews are sure to warm your insides and if that doesn’t quite do the trick, the log fire certainly will. If you would like more information and would like to talk to the travel specialists, please call Baldwins Travel or visit

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north america Indulge yourselves in the true North American experience

orth America is a continent of epic proportions where travelling from one state to another can often feel like entering an entirely different country. From stretches of sandy coastlines, vibrant metropolises and untouched miles of desert and rugged mountains, there is so much to explore in every inch of ocean, round every street corner, from every snowy vista and in every grain of sand. However, what brings even more richness to North America is the history and diversity of the cultures, people and cuisine. It’s being immersed in this side of North America that brings this continent to life. Visiting the amazing city of San Francisco and walking around the Haight-Ashbury district – epicenter of the Hippie revolution and 1967 Summer of Love – is truly intriguing. But what’s even better is talking to locals who were at the heart of the flower power movement. Seeing the beautiful landscape of Montana is a truly amazing experience…but what brings this to life is staying in a 110 year old homestead, enjoying down-home


hospitality, drinking in a real saloon bar and enjoying natural pursuits in wide open country side. Experiencing southern hospitality in America’s South is something everyone can enjoy. Something that not everyone has the pleasure of, is being invited into the home of a fantastic local chef for dinner. Meeting a Mountie is something everyone should do when visiting Canada. However, the opportunity to hear what it takes to be a member of the force today and what it was like to patrol the lawless frontiers of days gone by adds so much more to a simple meet and greet. Travel isn’t about ticking destinations off a list, it’s about living them for yourself. Trafalgar ensures that guests truly get under the skin of each destination with a range of exclusive insider experiences that only a Trafalgar trip can provide. With unique and exclusive offerings, such as be my guest dining experiences, local specialties, unique insights and authentic accommodation, Trafalgar’s guests are assured that they will enjoy only the most authentic experiences in each destination. a

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For a taste of the exotic, Trafalgar have created the new Mexico’s Colonial Cities and Coastal Regions where guests step back in time to the Aztec empire and discover the great colonial cities. Sample a delicious be my guest dinner in a 17th century colonial mansion and learn about the culinary traditions of Michoacán, passed down through several generations of the owner’s family. Finally, the new Natural Wonders of Costa Rica gives guests the

chance to enjoy an intimate encounter with the people and nature of Costa Rica, including a be my guest lunch at a hacienda, now an eco-friendly family home and organic farm. If you would like more information and would like to talk to the travel specialists, please call Baldwins Travel or visit

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A literAry life of love and passion The remarkable tale of poet, writer and gardener, Vita Sackville-West

t was the most exclusive of informal groups; a sharing of wit and wisdom among an intellectual circle of writers and artists in the early part of the 20th century. Dubbed the Bloomsbury Group – so named because of the name of the house in London in which


they revolved around - it included the likes of the author EM Forster, the painters Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell, and economist John Maynard Keynes. Central to it all was one of the leading lights of the London literary scene – and one of the most celebrated authors of all time, Virginia Woolf. They revelled in progressive attitudes to such topics as sexuality, feminism and pacifism. And it was into this world of liberal views which Vita Sackville-West would enter in the early twenties and embark on a relationship which would perhaps define her more than any of her own artistic efforts. She and Woolf would have a passionate affair. Their relationship would end up the basis of one of Woolf’s best known works – Orlando – and their love affair hailed as one of literature’s most remarkable. But while it continues to fascinate historians, it can over shadow Sackville-West’s remarkable life – which is so deeply entrenched within Kent’s boundaries. Born and bred at the majestic Knole House in Sevenoaks, she would go on to buy Sissinghurst Castle and transform it into one of the most picturesque buildings and gardens in the south east. It would underline her equal billing as a gardener, in addition to a novelist and poet. A remarkable life of an aristocratic socialite, entwined with some of the most remarkable literary figures. So just who was Vita Sackville-West? Born in 1892 at Knole House, Victoria Sackville-West was the only child of the 3rd Baron Sackville and his wife, who inherited her name, Victoria. (To avoid confusion with a

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her mother, she was known as Vita from childhood). The family was traditional upper class, and somewhat in-bred. Her mother and father were cousins. At the age of 21 she married Harold Nicolson, the writer and politician and six years her senior. Again, it was no ordinary marriage. They had an open relationship, with both pursuing same-sex relationships in their liberal arrangement, although the two remained devoted to one another throughout their long marriage – which produced two children, Nigel and Benedict. The couple mingled and became part of the Bloomsbury Group and it was there she met Woolf – a hugely talented writer but who was dogged by mental illness. The two became infatuated with one another – their love letters declared some of the most romantic of all time. The relationship would last some ten years. Vita’s son Nigel would later write: “The effect of Vita on Virginia is all contained in Orlando, the longest and most charming love letter in literature, in which she explores Vita, weaves her in and out of the centuries, tosses her from one sex to the other, plays with her, dresses her in furs, lace and emeralds, teases her, flirts with her, drops a veil of mist around her.”

The pair would remain friends until Woolf took her own life after a period of depression in 1941. However, Vita would have her heart broken, not by Woolf or Harold, but by the loss of her family home. Following the death in 1928 of her father, inheritance rules at the time saw the estate follow the male line – and thus, along with the title, was adopted by her father’s nephew. It was a blow which caused Vita considerable agony – she had been raised and even married at the private chapel within Knole. She had loved the building. She penned a book examining her family’s history with Knole, and based one of best-known novels, The Edwardians there. In search of a new home, she paid a visit to an estate in Sissinghurst – described at the time as a Victorian farmhouse with “some picturesque ruins” in the grounds. She was smitten – especially when she discovered there had a been family link to the building back in the history books. She and Harold set about transforming the castle and grounds – creating floral displays and designs to compliment of her writings and poetry. By the late 1930s the estate was so beautiful the grounds were open up visitors. a

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Magazine Name: Address:

Postcode: Phone Number:


Length of subscription 3 months @ £6 6 months @ £12 12 months @ £24

Cut out or photocopy this form and send a cheque payable to: MMM-Media Ltd GHL House, 1st Floor, 12-14 Albion Place Maidstone, Kent ME14 5DZ


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For one shilling, the public could stroll through the grounds and enjoy the efforts of Vita and her husband. It was just prior to her move to Sissinghurst that she published her two most famous novels – The Edwardians and All Passion Spent. By 1947 she was honoured by being presented with the Companion of Honour for services to literature – the same year she started to pen a weekly column for the Observer newspaper on gardening – a role which would lead her to becoming a founding member, the following year, of the National Trust’s garden committee. On June 2nd, 1962, Vita passed away at the age of 70 – some six years before her husband – at Sissinghurst Castle. It would end a quite remarkable life and one which continues to have an influential impact on the county to this day. Like Knole House before it, Sissinghurst would be passed into the ownership of the National Trust who continue to care for the gardens. Meanwhile, apartments at Knole were left for the Sackville descendants, who continue to live there to this day. Vita would, surely, be pleased the link remains. mmm

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Silver Bedroom Collection John Lewis

OCTOBER Collection

Lydia Embroidered Bed Set, ÂŁ49, Marks and Spencer

Pillow Collection House of Fraser

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Bedroom Collection House of Fraser

Ophelia Coffee Table, £699, Marks and Spencer

Ben de Lisi Lamp, £63, Debenhams

Betty Jackson Candles, £10, Debenhams

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Clarkes Furniture Store IS CHANGING! ne of the county town’s best known retailers is undergoing a major transformation, as it looks to build on its past successes. Clarkes of Maidstone has just put the finishing touches to stage one of a three phase project which it hopes will rejuvenate both inside and out of the Sandling Road furniture store. Among the improvements introduced have been new ceilings and the installation of state-of-theart lighting. Not to mention new flooring and air conditioning.


Along with the new look, comes a host of new ranges too. In its bed department, it is showcasing Vi Spring, the UK’s premier bed manufacturer, plus relative newcomer Velda – which specialises in electric adjustable beds. Reinforcing the improved product line, Tony Talbot has strengthened the Clarkes’ team after becoming bed manager at the store. He’s certainly no stranger to the industry, having sold beds in Maidstone for more than 25 years. In total, the bedroom furniture area has almost doubled in size following the revamp, with a host of wardrobes and bedroom collections available – in both painted and timber finishes. There is something for every taste and budget at the new look Clarkes, and whilst you are in the showroom don’t forget to enjoy a nice fresh cup of coffee … it’s on them.

Jonathan Watts, Clarkes’ Managing Director and also owner of Lenleys, the Canterbury furniture store, explained: “Since purchasing the business from the Clarke family, it has always been my intention to update the store to make shopping at Clarkes a more comfortable and enjoyable experience for our customers. “I am delighted with the outcome and I am looking forward to stages two and three next year’.

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Come and visit our showroom at Third Avenue, Chatham. Open Monday to Friday - 8:30am to 5pm and Saturday - 9:15am to 5pm

Relax in the knowledge you are dealing with an experianced and professional company. Having been in the industry for over 42 years and with staff members who have worked for the company for 18 years plus. We are sure we can assist you with every aspect of your bathroom and fire place requirements.

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Your Guide on Hot Tubs & Swimming Pools Want your own hot tub and swimming pool in your own home? mmm takes you through all necessary actions you need to take and consider

Hot Tubs When you consider the purchase of a hot tub, you can get so excited about the experience of the massaging jets and the relaxation and delightful evenings you will spend, that you neglect the most important details and may not consider all your options. Location, location, location. The three most important words in real estate. So consider carefully the location of your hot tub. Indoors or outdoors? The most obvious decision is inside or out. Pros and cons exist for both of course. Many people don’t have the right space indoor for a hot tub, but you just might. And if so, weather is never a factor. Your tub will not be exposed to the elements of wind, rain, sun and temperature extremes. Outside temperature

will also not be a factor for you as you get to and from your hot tub, not having to traipse through the cold, rain or snow. So much more convenient and total privacy will be yours. Whether you choose to have your hot tub inside or outside is clearly a big decision. It will impact the other decisions you have to make in this purchasing process. You will still have to make many of the same decisions and consider the other expenses involved. But no matter where you put your hot tub, you want to be sure it’s the right decision for you. This purchase is not a small one; it’s an investment, an investment in your quality of life. Enjoy . . . inside or out. a

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Swimming Pools With swimming pools the most common place to have them fitted is outdoors due to the space required. If you have the space indoors (depending on the size of the pool) then you can save yourself time worrying about the weather. Keeping your pool clean is vital especially if you use it regularly and if you have kids. Make a note of all the possible pros and cons for indoor and outdoor pools, which set up will suit you financially for example. Make sure a swimming pool will benefit you in the long term, there is a lot more to consider buying a swimming pool. Stop and think about why you’re installing a swimming pool. Is it for your kids? For entertaining? Answering these questions will help tell you what kind of swimming pool you want. A swimming pool for kids might include a slide and a wading area. As the swimming pool nears completion, it’s time to enjoy yourself by gathering all those extras that make pool ownership fun. Toys, games, floats, swimsuits, patio furniture, you name it. Accessorizing is half the fun.

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Villa Vicenza ITALIAN STYLE ARCHITECTURE UNIQUE, ELEGANT AND MODERN Property - Villa Vicenza Address - Dane Road, Minnis Bay, Birchington Bedrooms - Four Bathrooms - Four Price - £1,675,000 Villa Vicenza Villa Vicenza must be one of the most sumptuous and unique modern homes in Kent. This film star style property certainly lives up to its name with an impressive Italian style exterior, curved walls and intriguing tower giving the feeling you have been transported to the Adriatic coast. From the sweeping steps leading to the bespoke front door and circular entrance hall leading through to the vast living space with its pillared dining area and marble fireplace, the sight that greets you is breathtaking. For anyone who enjoys entertaining, the kitchen is a dream. Large enough for an eight seater dining table and a breakfast bar, it includes two large stainless

steel ovens, a built in “Siemens” microwave, a warming drawer and a coffee making machine in addition to an American style fridge/freezer, an induction hob and a wine cooler. There is also a very well fitted office overlooking the park. The first floor is equally dramatic with four beautifully styled double bedrooms and a myriad of bathroom facilities including a spa bath. The master suite includes two large walk in closets, a separate powder room and sweeping stairs leading up to the luxurious circular bathroom in the top of the tower. On the lower ground floor there is a full size, vintage billiard table, a wine cellar and a utility room as well as a gym/Pilates studio and an enormous garage. The easy to maintain rear garden is just the place to relax and enjoy al fresco dining, while the large front courtyard is also a real suntrap. For more information, please call Fine & Country on 01227 479317,

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Medway: 01634 757027 Mayfair London: 0207 183 1870

Baytree Farmhouse Offers In Excess Of ÂŁ475,000 Five bedroom detached farmhouse Period features Fantastic views Double garage BBQ area Private driveway Overview An appealing country house in a tranquil and convenient setting with breathtaking views set within grounds that stretch behind the house to a little under half an acre, this is a splendid country house with well arranged rooms of generous proportions. The land also benefits from lapsed planning permission for five detached houses.

Darland Offers In Excess Of ÂŁ450,000 Four bedroom detached property Three reception rooms Kitchen and utility room Two downstairs cloakrooms 1/5 acre plot Garage and off road parking Ideal family home Overview The property would make the perfect family home as it did for the current Vendors for many years. Desirable in its location the property is situated in the sought after area of Darland, an area of Upper Gillingham which is well known for the Darland Banks and outstanding views of surrounding countryside close by.

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Mote House and the shell Petroleum Connection Recently converted into exclusive apartments and surrounded by the splendour of Mote Park in Maidstone, the lovely mansion house known as ‘Mote House’ has been the residence of several gentry and organisations over many years. Its connection with the petroleum industry however is one of the lesser known as Robin J Brooks found out

Mote House - today

n 1833, the family business ran by Marcus Samuel in Whitechapel, London entered a period of expansion. Not content with trading in antiques, the Baghdad born Jewish entrepreneur saw a loophole in fashion that he was quick to fulfil. Unusually it was the colours and shapes of oriental shells that he used to decorate trinket boxes before incorporating them into home decorations with a particular shell known as a ‘Pecten or Scallop’ shell. In his desire to find different shaped shells, Marcus travelled widely and soon had begun importing shells from the Far East. With the death of Marcus in 1898, the business passed to his sons, Marcus Samuel and Samuel Samuel. With a more modern approach to business, they expanded by


dealing in the export of British products such as machinery and textiles and the importing of sugar and wheat. During a visit to the Black Sea seeking different shells, Marcus became aware of the growing dependence on oil, a realisation that was expanded during a trip to Japan sometime after. At that time the method of transporting oil was in drums that were later carried by either ship or train to their destination. The drums were prone to leaking and occupied too much space in the hold of a ship or train wagon. The answer was to bulk carry the precious commodity. Obtaining a licence to import and export oil, they commissioned the building of a fleet of ships that would not require oil drums but would carry the oil in the holds. a

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Painting of Mote House

Eight dedicated tankers were built with the first being named ‘Murex’. Arrangements were made for Murex to travel through the Suez Canal in order to reach the Far East and countries such as Thailand and Singpore. The elevation to corporate status in 1897 saw Marcus Samuel form the Shell Transport and Trading Company. With their interest in shells a name was derived that is known worldwide today in the oil industry, Shell. The first logo was that of a Mussel shell which was changed four years later by the more distinctive ‘Pecten or Scallop’ shell. In 1907, the Shell Transport and Trading Company amalgamated with the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company of the Netherlands. Though somewhat modified, the Scallop Shell remains the company logo to this day. In 1895, Marcus had purchased a large house and estate known as ‘Mote House’ near Maidstone. Since the 13th century the park had been incorporated into royal history as a possession of Elizabeth Woodville, a consort of King Edward IV. Visited by Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn before their marriage in 1531, the original Mote House was demolished between 1793 and 1800 and a new mansion constructed. It was to this historical house and park, that the new 1st Viscount Bearsted arrived having been knighted in recognition of his work during World War One. Cricket had been played in the park since 1857 and with the establishment of the Mote Cricket Club, Viscount Bearsted arranged the building of a pavilion as well as expanding the facilities. When he died the title and company passed

to his son Walter Horace Samuel who became 2nd Viscount Bearsted, with successive members of the family inheriting the title which currently is held by Nicholas Alan Samuel, 5th Viscount Bearsted. Mote House remained in the Samuel family for 34 years, its last occupant being Sir Walter Samuel. In 1929 he sold the majority of the estate including the house to Maidstone Borough Council (then named The Maidstone Corporation) although the family still retain an interest today. Leased to a nursing organisation called the Caldecott Company in 1932, they remained until 1941 when the pressures of war saw the house requisitioned for the military as a training and headquarters facility. After the war it was used by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fish and Food for a number of years until taken over by the Cheshire Foundation as a Cheshire Home. When they left, Mote House fell into a state of disrepair until plans were announced by Audley Court to convert Mote House into an exclusive retirement village for the over 55s. The renovation project is on-going with the final phase currently being built and available for sale now with completion in Autumn 2015. Further details can be found at or by calling 01622 737279. Today Mote Park is frequented by many families enjoying the facilities it offers knowing little of its past connections with the giant Shell Petroleum Company.

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Afternoon Tea served between 2pm - 5pm ÂŁ12.95 per person (must be pre-booked)

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Motors Honda Civic range New design, new technology and a new sport derivative for the Swindon built Civic range

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head of the 2014 Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris, Honda has released images and details of several enhancements across the 2015 Swindon built Civic model range and the launch of the new Civic Sport derivative. Both the Civic and Civic Tourer benefit from a new front exterior design, providing a new sporty outlook for the model featuring new headlamps with integrated daytime running lights and a new sleek front bumper. The Civic hatchback also features a new rear bumper, side skirts, a rear spoiler finished in black, and LED rear combination lamps.

In-keeping with these premium enhancements on the outside, the 2015 models also receive a specification upgrade inside; with new seat fabrics and stitching on the headrests, new door trims with chrome door handles and a control panel finished in a metallic black. These aesthetic enhancements combine nicely with the class-leading interior space for which the range is renowned. The Civic’s 477-litre and Civic Tourer’s 624-litre boot capacity remain the best in their respective segments. The 2015 Civic range will also premiere the all-new Honda Connect in-car audio and information system. Honda Connect offers convenience and connectivity whilst on the road, with key features including; AM/FM, DAB and Internet Radio, Bluetooth connectivity, internet browsing, satellite navigation* and rear-view parking camera. The system runs Android 4.0.4 and features the familiar pinch, swipe and tap functionality of a smartphone on a seven inch display screen. a

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New Civic Sport derivative The European Civic line-up has been expanded with the introduction of a new derivative, the new Civic Sport. Based on the Civic hatchback, and powered by the 1.6-litre, 120 PS diesel engine or the 1.8-litre, 142 PS petrol engine, it features a colour-coded rear spoiler and 17-inch alloy wheels unique to the Sport derivative. In addition, the Civic Sport echoes the striking design of the forthcoming Type R with a new front bumper featuring a lower grille mesh and a black roof lining for the cabin.

Each model in the 2015 Civic range will benefit from the addition of Honda’s City- Brake Active (CTBA) system as standard. Specifically designed to help avoid or mitigate low speed accidents, the system uses radar technology to scan the road ahead, automatically applying the brakes if an imminent risk of collision is detected. The system is engineered to operate at speeds below 30 km/h.

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Business LOCAL BUSINESS NEWS Canterbury bells Women’s netWorking group beCome Dementia FrienDs Following the latest meeting of the Canterbury Bells Women’s Networking Group on 2nd September, Dementia Friends, which is an Alzheimer’s Society initiative, is a little closer to its goal of 1 million Dementia Friends by March 2015. Hannah Durston, a solicitor in Whitehead Monckton’s Tax and Estate Planning team and Alison Carter of “No Place Like Home” ran an informative and interactive session for the group, designed to improve the understanding of dementia and help reduce the stigma attached to ‘the D word’. One of the exercises highlighted how simple daily tasks can become much harder for people living with dementia

Will a tattoo Cost you a job? Tattoos may be more popular than ever but employers can dismiss workers or turn down a job applicant for sporting them. With an increasing number of employees losing their jobs or being rejected because of their body modifications, some are now calling for protection under employment law. So to what extent can a person’s looks be taken into account when recruiting them? As the law stands, neither the sporting of a tattoo nor obesity are protected by equality legislation – but Amanda warns employers to be cautious on how they approach the issue. In recent years there have been a number of reported cases of employees taking legal action against an employer for discrimination relating to appearance but claimants have only succeeded where their appearance has been linked to a protected characteristic. “Most employers have a dress code and want employees to reflect a certain image, particularly if they are dealing directly with customers, and this isn’t unlawful. However, if someone does turn up for an interview with apparent differences in their appearance, a prospective employer would be wise to consider why this may be the case, be it relating to the person’s nationality, religion or a disability.

- tasks such as making a cup of tea. For a person living with dementia, it may be only one or two steps which you forget or get out of sequence, but making tea without hot water, for example, isn’t very refreshing. So being alert to how you can help, but without taking over, can make all the difference. One of the actions for a Dementia friend is to do something positive, perhaps volunteer, offer to become a Dementia Friends Champion and therefore train others or to publicise the need for more friends. Whatever people choose to do as a result of this session will help to raise awareness and understanding – which is all good.

tHe boD sQuaD’s goal to keeping loCals HealtHy Maidstone’s healthy wellness centre, The Bod Squad has just opened in a bid to create a healthier local community. Their centre has a nutrition bar as well as wellness rooms and personalised coaches creating a fun, relaxing atmosphere to help you achieve your goals. Lauren Smith says, with obesity rates rapidly increasing getting the right nutrition has never been more important. Unfortunately due to today’s fast pace world we live in people tend to grab something that’s fast and easy which is often unhealthy. Here at The Bod Squad we offer a quick easy healthy alternative which won’t impact on your busy schedule. Our range of Herbalife products cater for all requirements in getting a healthy balanced diet. Not only do we ensure our clients get the right nutrition we carry out a full wellness evaluation and offer free fit clubs including boot club, running and biking. We even have a buggy walking morning for mums so why not contact us via website


tunbriDge Wells CounCil embraCe solar energy The solar panels, which are on the roof of the tennis centre at Tunbridge Wells Sports Centre, will help the council reduce its energy bill. The 400 panels can produce over 30 per cent of the building’s annual electricity requirement, with the system working particularly well due to the sunny, southfacing roof on the hall. The council says that visitors to the sports hall will be able to track how much energy has been produced using a digital display installed in the hall’s reception. It will also update people on how much carbon has been saved as a result of using the solar panels. The system will also be able to claim a so-called feedin tariff for energy which is produced and fed into the national grid. The solar panels were installed by Ecosphere Renewables, taking four weeks to complete. Company Director, Rob Santler said: “PV systems are ideal for buildings that have large roofs and a high energy usage, and this installation recognises the important role Solar PV can play in making energy production more sustainable.” Portfolio holder for sustainability, Paul Barrington-King, said: “This solar PV installation is an exciting step in the implementation of our carbon management plan and represents an appropriate use for the technology and a good investment. This system will provide a source of clean energy for the tennis centre for the next 25 years, it will payback our investment and provide a source of income in the future.”

Camel milk iCe Cream is a Huge suCCess Simply Ice Cream, based near Ashford, has tried something a little unusual and has received fantastic, and perhaps unexpected, feedback. The company who are well known for producing thick, creamy, indulgent ice creams used their knowledge to produce Camel Milk Ice Cream for the first time. On Sunday 7th September Simply Ice Cream produced three flavours of the ice cream, vanilla, mango and strawberry and took it along to Hole Park’s Camel Race Day for John Hare of the Wild Camel Foundation, their stand sold out of the 120 pots supplied in the three flavours in under an hour. The feedback was phenomenal and John Hare and Sally Newall of Simply Ice Cream are now discussing a possible collaboration in the future for the British market. The unusual ice cream is low in fat and high in Vitamin C and is also a delicious alternative for those who are allergic to the lactose in dairy. If you were one of the lucky few that tasted the ice cream why not get in touch and tell Simply what you thought by sending an email to emma@

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LocaL Business news

expectation for the annUaL 2014 expo conference anD exhiBition at the kent showgroUnD

London and the South East are now expected to account for over 35% of the UK’s total construction output estimated to reach £118 billion in 2014. As further growth of 4.8% is predicted for 2015, the region is now the focal point for all professionals and suppliers targeting this burgeoning industry. With proposed developments as diverse as the Paramount theme park at Swanscombe, Ebbsfleet’s new Garden City, and Earls Court’s £8 billion ‘Urban Villages’ development, it is vital for all in the industry to stay informed on the major projects and to connect with the key players. Demonstration areas of both traditional trades as well as new technology keeping you up to date and informed

saLon triUMphs in L’oreaL coLoUr contest SO Hairdressing at Bearsted have been bringing colour into clients’ lives for a long time, and now they have yet another trophy to prove their excellence. The SO team, comprising stylist Simon Best, colourist Robin Tullet, make-up artist Mia O’Rourke and Lithuanian model, Elkie, have carried off the prestigious L’Oreal Colour Trophy, beating 1,000 other hairdressing salons. They can now rightfully claim to be the best salon in the south east when it comes to colour. Simon, who designed and executed the cut, said: “I have worked at salons in London and the south and have entered this competition many times without success, but then I came to SO Hairdressing in Bearsted and now I’m a winner. It is a wonderful feeling.” Robin added: “I am a colour specialist and proud to be part of this great team at SO. It is fair to say that we really wowed the judges who represented the best in our industry.” The SO team had just two hours on a London stage to create the winning look and, like cream, rose to the top after being chosen as one of four salons to reach the grand final, going on to carry off the Southern Region Trophy.

of the latest trends and developments and more than 120 businesses showcasing their expertise, across the entire spectrum of construction activities The Construction Expo 2014 is a FREE to attend event that comprises a “Meet the Buyer” event, a comprehensive programme of themed seminars, and displays of the latest product innovations. Taking place at the Kent Showground on the 8th October, it will provide the industry with a highly focused gateway to learn, network and capitalise on the region’s major construction opportunities. If you wish to find out more about the conference and exhibition please visit

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soutHern Water in line For £176 million penalty Southern Water could face a financial penalty of £176 million for poor performance and customer service. Regulator Ofwat is looking to whack the company with the largest financial penalty ever imposed on a water utility company after instances of flooding and sewage discharges. Bathers have been repeatedly told to stay out of the water on Thanet’s beaches after sewage has been released from the Foreness Point pumping station into the sea. This is good news for customers as it would mean cuts to their bills. However, the company does not believe it deserves to be penalised and is contesting the proposals. An Ofwat spokesman said: “We have questions over how Southern Water have operated their sewerage

network and treatment works. “In terms of customer service, the company is performing below average on our measures and was ranked 17th out of 18. “We have therefore proposed clawing back money for customers.” Ofwat is proposing that Southern’s bills go down by an average of 8.5% between 2015 and 2020, compared with five per cent for other companies. Thanet Green Party’s prospective parliamentary candidate, Ian Driver, called the company’s record “abysmal”. However, Southern Water said: “Ofwat’s concerns do not relate to impacts on public health or bathing water quality.” A final decision is due to be made on the 12th December.

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Family guide to whats on & when ‘Spooktacular’ Hallowe’en, Kent Life Heritage Farm Park, 25th October - 2nd November ittle monsters can look forward to a ‘spooktacular’ Hallowe’en at Kent Life Heritage Farm Park this October Half Term. The award-winning attraction near Maidstone will entertain visitors with a host of ghostly goings-on from October 25th to November 2nd. Brave the snakes, spiders and scorpions in creepy cuddle corner or take the plunge with slimy zorbing. Test your artistic skills with daily pumpkin carving and ghoulish fancy dress competitions, take a terrifying tractor ride, or – if you dare – join one of the many scary characters for a ghost story. Kent Life is also a fun and safe place for kids to go trick or treating. So come and knock on the doors of the frightening farmhouses and historic homes to see who’s lurking behind them! Kent Life is a great all-weather attraction for visitors of all ages. Kids can go wild in the outdoor adventure play area or soft indoor play barn, or visit the resident alpacas, sheep, pigs, goats and horses. Visitors can also explore the beautiful gardens, orchard and one of the last hand-picked hop gardens in the country; ramble along the wildlife discovery trail and see the last working coal-fired oast house in Britain. For more details visit or call 01622 763936.


Voces8, Canterbury Cathedral, 25th October

oces8 is one of the most exciting and versatile vocal groups in the world. The evening’s programme explores the simple beauty of plainsong and the rich harmonies of Rachmaninov, through to the brilliance of the Rat Pack and the Beatles. This multi award-winning and chart-topping ensemble are really at the top of their game and the Festival is delighted to host them in the unique setting of Canterbury Cathedral. For more information please visit


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Halloween, Tudor Park Marriott Hotel, 31st October - 1st November o your little horrors love getting spooked? Tudor Park Marriott Hotel and Country Club will be delivering delicious, spine tingling thrills for children of all ages this Halloween. From Pumpkin carving to special menus and a scary woodland walk to our Halloween Grotto, give your family a taste of the macabre this Halloween. Friday 31st October plus Saturday 1st November 2014. Want the ultimate Halloween Ghost Hunt? Then let Tudor Park scare you silly. The Ghost Hunt starts in our Mezzanine bar with a spooky smoky cocktail, then take a walk through their winter woodland path to the Witches Grotto. Collect treats before heading back to the bar for a frighteningly fun time. Not up for trick or treating and candy apples? Spend Halloween in The Conical Grill restaurant instead. For something a bit spookier than your typical night out to dinner try the Halloween menu and dine in the dark.

D Dover Castle Ghost Tours, 31st October & 1st November over Castle is hosting a special Halloween evening ghost tour through the castle on Friday 31st October. You will hear the strange but true experiences of those who work in the castle and discover the myths and legends surrounding this atmospheric ancient site. On Saturday 1st November, spend an unnerving evening being guided through Dover Castle’s Secret Wartime Tunnels. But will you survive the night? Over 14s only. Purchase your tickets today by calling Dover Castle ticket sales team on 0870 333 1183.


Ghost Train, Spa Valley Railway, Tunbridge Wells, 31st October ake a ride into the unknown, on a Ghost Train running into the night! Come along as little witches, ghosts and ghouls, and enjoy a frightfully thrilling ride! There will be a spot the pumpkin competition at stations along the line, see the spooky graveyard at Groombridge Station and join in all the fun and games at Tunbridge Wells station too, including face painting and story telling for all the children. A standard Yellow timetable is being run, all trains steam hauled during the day with departures from Tunbridge Wells to Groombridge at 10:50, 12:15, 14:15 & 15:30, no pre-booking is required, just arrive in costume and join in the fun! As darkness falls the witches and ghosts will appear, arrive dressed in your best costume at Tunbridge Wells for 17:00 where you can enjoy the fun in our shed before boarding the fright night express to Groombridge! Leaving Tunbridge Wells at 17:30 watch out for the ghosts on board as your train trundles down the line in darkness, just make sure those carriage lights don’t go out, they might be on the train with you... At Groombridge, if you dare, visit the spooky graveyard and watch the steam engine changing ends of its train, will you be able to spot all the Pumpkins at this station in the dark before the train leaves?! Your train will arrive back at Tunbridge Wells at around 18:30. Tickets £6 - £10 from


Family guide to whats on & when

For more information please visit Woodville Hall, Gravesend Broadway and Beyond, 12th October Back by popular demand “Broadway And Beyond The Magic Lives On “ Featuring songs from old favourites such as Camelot, Carousel and South Pacific, through to the more modern Cabaret, Chicago and Spamalot, this performance also includes seven of the most requested songs from the previous show. Tickets Full price £16 and £18. Happy Birthday Sunita, 24th & 25th October The Johal family invites you to a surprise birthday party for Sunita. Mum’s been cooking all day, and the family has just about made it on time. As the curries simmer and rotis are smothered in full fat butter, years of family drama bubbling under the surface start to boil over. The Legend of Love Live , 26th October or the fifth consecutive year, The Bolshoi Ballet returns to cinemas this October with one of Yuri Grigorovich’s first choreographic works. Featuring dance movements, sets and costumes inspired by the Middle East, this stunning ballet, which uses pure dance to tell the story, is further enriched by the talent of the Bolshoi troupe. Tickets for Live Theatre Events at £15.


Halloween Theatrical Make-Up Workshop, Penshurst Place and Gardens, Tonbridge, 30th October e prepared to be scared.... as faces become fiendish and creatures evolve at Penshurst Place this Autumn. Now in its second year, a two-hour ticketed prosthetic Halloween makeup workshop on 30th October in the Porcupine Pantry. The workshop starts with an interactive demonstration by Kate Griffiths, a Kent based theatrical make-up artist. This is followed by the pairing-up of attendees to work on one another; recreating the effects with products and prosthetic materials used by industry professionals. £10 per person. For more information please visit


Psychic Gold’s Halloween Psychic Fair, The Orchard, Maidstone, 2nd November sychic Gold Event’s are fast becoming the UK’s leading Psychic Event organisers. Every year at Halloween Psychic Gold put on what is regarded by many to be the most popular event of its kind in the South East . They bring to The Orchard Suite in Maidstone the very best psychics many of which appear on TV, in the press and many even write books on the subject. The event has been running for the last 5 years and goes from strength to strength as it attracts very large amounts of visitors all trying to see psychic’s that you can’t normally get


to see without a very long wait. The event is hosted at The Orchard Suite which is a superb venue and it offers visitors the chance to make a full day of it by offering exceptional value meals and of course a bar too!. All of the readers that attend the event are hand picked by the organisers and tested to ensure the highest quality of psychic reading is offered. The event is on Sunday 2nd November 2014 and doors open at 12. You can also prebook to see a reader in advance via the Psychic Gold Website -

Fireworks Spectacular, The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood, 31st October & 1st November he legendary Hop Farm Fireworks Spectacular returns over two days, which are set to light up the sky over the Garden of England. On Friday the 31st October there is a Halloween themed fireworks night. Saturday 1st November celebrates the Best of British to mark the 100 year anniversary of WW1. Throughout both nights, there are fantastic food and drink outlets, from Kentish produce to Thai and Mexican, and a funfair to keep the kids entertained. The earlier you book tickets, the cheaper they are. So please call 01622 872068 for information and booking.


Family guide to whats on & when

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MMM Magazine October '14  
MMM Magazine October '14  

Kent's lifestyle magazine featuring celebrities, fashion, beauty, travel, food, business, local history, homes, local events and much much m...