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E

W E A L D E N

SO W EALDEN

so RAIL FARES

Loophole saves commuters hundreds of pounds

THE BIGGEST MAGAZINE IN

THE WEALD

LOCAL & LIVE

Were you papped at the music festival?

HOMES

We reveal the most expensive place to live in the Weald

FOOD

P ROBAB LY TH E B EST LO CAL M AGAZIN E IN THE WO R LD

LATER LIFE

Why currying favour really is a good thing

FASHION WEEK

Cranbrook hotel stands test of time

All the options to help you plan ahead

The view from our London front row seat

Northiam man’s pedal power

HALLOWEEN

Crowborough hits the right note

Discover the stories that will chill you to the bone

Hawkhurst farm has woolly feel

MOTORING

Hole Park really gets the hump

Porsche Cayman S is the ultimate petrolhead’s plaything

ISSUE 25 - O CTOBER 201 4

KIRSTIE ALLSOPP OCTOBER 2014 £1.50

“WEALDEN PROPERTY MARKET IS NO PLACE FOR NEWBIES”

WWW.SOMAGAZINE.CO.UK

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Designers and makers of handmade solid wood kitchens and furniture for every room

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SO

HELLO HERE’S WHAT’S INSIDE YOUR OCTOBER ISSUE

56

THE CELEBRITY

“Kent is no place for newbies” – Kirstie Allsopp on the Weald’s property market

113 THE GUIDE

Making the most of your options in later life

8

145

THE HOMES Pull up a chair in the Great Hall for £3.3million

63 THE FASHION

Our report straight from the front row of London Fashion Week

OCTOBER 2014

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CONTENTS

106

SO

THE TRAVEL

We’re planning our winter escape to marvellous Mauritius

138 THE INTERIORS

There’s still time to give your home a pre-festive makeover

214 THE FOOD

Cranbrook restaurant’s menu is fit for royalty

95

THE FEATURE

Why the Weald is among the country’s most unaffordable places to live

STRICTLY LOCAL...

238 THE MOTOR Why the Porsche Cayman S is practically perfect...

Letters

11

News

13

Calendar

17

Woolly wonders in Wadhurst

21

Camels on the run at Hole Park

25

Pedal power at Northiam museum 29 Rocking out in Crowborough

31

Hawkhurst’s furry friends

37

Tunbridge Wells’ big music bash 41 OCTOBER 2014

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LETTERS

SO

INBOX Email jconnolly@onemediauk.co.uk or write to us at SO WEALDEN , Longford House, 19 Mount Ephraim Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1EN Please be sure to include your full name and address. Letters may be edited for publication.

LETTER OF THE MONTH

definitely think more people should be made aware of the dangers involved in having cheap procedures administered by unqualified ‘surgeons.’ Definitely food for thought! Sophie Davis, by email Ed: We’re glad you found the feature informative.

PARKING PEEVE

WAR CAMEL Did anyone else catch the Weald Foundation for the Humped Animals unveiling? I was in Cranbrook having a coffee when I saw the amazing ‘War Camel’ – a huge puppet camel called Gobi. It strolled through the streets and I almost had to do a double take! I think it was inspired and designed with War Horse’s creators. Two people are needed to work the puppet that even has moving lips and eyes. I think it’s such a great idea to raise awareness of the Wild Camel Project Foundation. Daniel Cartwright, by email Ed: Camels over coffee, whatever next!

Parking in Tenterden has always been an issue, but one thing that really grinds my gears is when people park in places they’re not supposed to! I can never park when I have a doctor’s appointment because mums park there to drop their little darlings off to school and visitors can’t get anywhere near my house because people park there instead of paying to use a car park. I’m starting to get seriously annoyed with the lack of spaces available in the town - who else is with me? Christopher Chance, Tenterden Ed: Fancy writing a rant for us?!

Kent Police are doing a great job at trying to keep the Weald’s rural crime figures down. Apparently we are the fourth most affected area in the UK and this affects our local economy by about £1.8million each year. Ouch. So good on you Kent Police Rural Crime Task Force - let’s follow the

Happy Pippa @happypippa ■ “So many lovely red berries hanging of the trees this morning in Tenterden.” The Walled Nursery @TheWalledNurser ■ “Brilliant ferry ride to #Bodiam castle thanks to @bodiamboating & Captain Alex for bravely allowing the boys to steer” Rolvenden Cat Rescue @RolvendenCats ■ “Thanks to all our followers for helping to raise our profile & for all the retweets. It all helps cats in need :)” Nicky Clark @nickydclark ■ “@bell_ticehurst Thank you for such a lovely party at Paul & Laura’s amazing wedding. You really looked after us all.” Anthony Ellis @AntTheFarmer ■ “Goudhurst bound with the lorry to load up these 11 bins. I do like this part of the world…seems so much more peaceful!” Beccy Prebble @becs_prebs ■ “Loved visiting #Tenterden museum today with my children! Brought back lots of memories of my visits there as a child :-)”

rest of the country with their low rural figures! John Barnes, Flimwell Ed: We’ve obviously got the top of the cops…

POLICE PRAISE

TOPICAL TWITTER

SURGERY SUSSED

KEEN ON KINO

It was certainly an eye opener to read So magazine’s Round Table debate, in the September issue. I didn’t realise the difference between plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery was so big. The lack of regulation in the cosmetics industry is very concerning but I was pleased the panel gave a very interesting insight into their careers and their respective industries. I’ve often passed places where surgery is being advertised and I

I recently visited Kino Digital in Hawkhurst for the first time. Now, I’m not normally a cinema-goer because there isn’t one nearby. However, I was so impressed with Kino I’ll definitely be back! How lovely to have such a facility in a local village. I enjoyed my film with a glass of wine and will soon be back to sample one of their tasty-looking paninis! Shona Watts, Sandhurst Ed: We hear their cakes are delicious too!

The Milk House @TMH_TN17 ■ “We’d like to thank everyone who joined us at #MilkFest! We enjoyed ourselves immensely & hope you did too.” #TMH Frazer Thompson @Englishwines ■ “So the most expensive bottle of #Englishsparklingwine sold isn’t £79 any longer. It’s £10,000. #chapeldown #turnercontemporary Why not tweet us yourself? We’ll print our favourites @SoMagazines

OCTOBER 2014

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SO

NEWS

OUR MONTHLY LOOK AT SOME OF THE LOCAL STORIES MAKING THE HEADLINES

MANHOLE MADNESS Residents of Tenterden are being kept awake at night by a nuisance noise. Since the roadworks on the A28 finished in July, a manhole cover has been making a racket – and residents are complaining that they can’t sleep. The noise, which sounds “like a shotgun going off” can be heard half a mile away and means locals are constantly disturbed when cars drive over the cover. “We might move under the Gatwick flight path because jumbo jets are probably quieter,” complained one resident. “Something needs to be done, before lack of sleep causes us to lose our minds.”

STAMP OUT THEFT Six months after one of Etchingham’s historic letter boxes was stolen, thieves have struck again. A second box, which was installed during the reign of George VI, was stolen from a post in the village after thieves pushed it down and removed it from Sheepstreet Lane. Villagers now have to walk a mile to post their letters and the “irreplaceable” postbox theft has angered locals. “We are enraged about it,” says villager Alison Vernan. “It is the original one. It is a part of our town and we thought of it as our own property in a way.” Neighbour Mary Richardson adds: “I am absolutely disgusted with the whole affair - they have been going like hot cakes.”

WHY THE LONG FACE? A regular at a pub in Heathfield has been turning punters’ heads – because she’s a donkey! Becky, who is owned by the pub’s landlady Fiona Airey, has been spotted popping into the Brewer’s Arms in Vines Cross. The customers try to take pictures of her and even give her food when she comes in. “She is 35 years old now and when she is hungry she comes into the pub for her food,” says Fiona. “She is getting to the stage now where she just lets herself in.”

16

HYPNOSIS HALT Hypnotising Wealden residents could now be harder to do, as Wealden District Council have adopted new laws introduced under the Hypnotism Act 1952. Now, anybody wanting to perform the act of hypnosis will have to follow a set of rules. These include contacting the council 28 days before giving a performance and giving details on whether they have previously been refused a licence. Some forms of hypnosis have also been banned, such as ‘age regression’, hypnotising a subject to block out pain or leading them to believe they have lost something.

SPARKLING SALE The makers of Chapel Down wines in Tenterden will be raising a toast after a bottle of their fizz sold at auction for £12,500. The Nebuchadnezzar, which is the equivalent of 10 magnums of Champagne, is claimed to be the largest ever bottle of English sparkling wine. Signed by artists such as Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst, the bottle – thought to contain around 60million bubbles – was auctioned in aid of the Turner Contemporary in Margate. “We are very proud to have our award winning wine associated with some of England’s finest contemporary artists,” says Chapel Down CEO, Frazer Thompson. “We love trying to do things differently, to surprise and delight our customers, and this bottle is a great example of that.”

ROYAL APPROVAL An Uckfield business has been given The Queen’s award for innovation, after its owners spent five years creating a neuroscience system. Specialising in providing products for the electrophysiology and imaging community, Scientifica won the prestigious award for its Multiphoton System. The device is used to produce high resolution images of cellular structures and activity within thick tissue samples and living organisms. “It’s great to have our flagship product recognised with such a prestigious award,” says Mark Johnson, the company’s MD. “After all the hard work that has gone into this product it’s very rewarding to get this recognition.”

OCTOBER 2014

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EVENTS

SO

OCTOBER

CALENDAR

5 AUTUMN DAYS TH

Summer blooms might seem a distant memory, but visitors of Hole Park near Rolvenden will be in for a surprise. This October they’ll be able to view a flower unique to Hole Park, the late-flowering agapanthus. On October 5, 12, 19 and 26 the park is running ‘Autumn Sundays’ when visitors can stroll round the 15-acre gardens and enjoy the vibrant colours and exotic plants. The park is open for Autumn Sundays from 11am to 6pm and admission is £6 for adults and £1 for children. www.holepark.com

2 FEELING FOLKY ND

With Morris dancers, craft stalls and processions to name just a few of the events taking place, Tenterden’s Folk Festival returns for another year from Thursday October 2 to Sunday October 5. For four days the town will be taken over by dance displays, workshops and concerts, while the many pubs will be holding folk-inspired events. Ideal for all the family, the event is free and camping is available from £49. The fun starts from 10am daily and events wind down at 11.30pm. www.tenterdenfolkfestival.org.uk

9

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HOUSE STYLE

WHODUNNIT?

The UK Touring Theatre comes to the Queen’s Hall Theatre in Cranbrook, bringing with it a new adaptation of Henrick Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. The show, set in late 19th century Norway, explores themes of feminism, marriage and money. The play is a world premiere of an English translation of the Scandinavian classic, which was once the world’s most performed play. Tickets are priced at £10 and can be purchased at www.queenshalltheatre.co.uk.

It wouldn’t be Halloween without a mystery or two, so the Murder Mystery evening in St Michael’s, near Tenterden will have guests guessing who exactly committed the crime. The Who Killed the Director? themed evening costs £5 per person, and a quiz and a raffle will be held. All proceeds go towards the village hall refurbishment. Guests are asked to bring their own refreshments. The event begins at 7pm and to book a place call 01580 766 811. OCTOBER 2014

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EVENTS

11 APPLE REVIVAL TH

Cranbrook’s annual Apple and Country Fair returns, this year celebrating not only the great British apple, but also marking the 100th anniversary of the First World War and Cranbrook’s role in it. The event will have live jazz, apple mulching, juice making and local ciders to try. There’ll be entertainment, too and competitions for visitors to take part in. Ideal for all the family, the day is free and will run from 10am until 4pm. www.cranbrook.org

12

OH DEER

ROYAL BALLET

17 DOSEY DOE

If lazy Sundays aren’t your thing then the Deer Stalker Aqualthlon could be the event for you. Held at Crowborough Leisure Centre, the aquathlon involves swimming, running and relays. An adult aquathlon will take place, followed by a children’s event for under 17s. The day promises to be exciting for both participants and spectators, but if you do fancy a piece of the action, sign up at www.hedgehogtri.co.uk. Fees start from £19 for the adult event and £13 for children. For full details visit the website.

This autumn Kino Digital in Hawkhurst is bringing to its screen four live ballet performances from the Royal Opera House. The ballet season begins at the cinema on Thursday October 16 at 7.15pm with a performance of Manon, which tells the story of a young woman who falls prey to the moral corruption of 18th century Paris. Later showings will include Swan Lake, La Fille mal gardée and for the final showing, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Tickets are £20 and bookable online at www.kinodigital.co.uk or by calling 01580 754 321.

Cowboy boots at the ready…it’s time to swing your partners round and round and give a ‘yee-ha’ for Uckfield’s Barn Dance. The event is being held at the Cinque Ports Club and all money raised will go to Uckfield Performance Ensemble. Tickets cost £10 and there will be hot food and a raffle, as well as a prize for the best fancy dress costume. The dance starts at 7pm and tickets can be booked by calling 01825 762 281 or by emailing info@dawson-hart.co.uk

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EVENTS

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21 BELL BOUQUETS ST

The Bell at Ticehurst is encouraging creativity this autumn by running a series of workshops. On Sunday October 21 their ‘make your own hand-tied bouquet’ workshop will inspire those attending to get crafty with flowers, with the help of florist Jane Will of Flowers and Daughters in Rotherfield. Later in the year workshops will include making chutneys for Christmas and Christmas flowers. Each course costs £85 and runs from 10.30am to 4pm. A two-course lunch and refreshments are included. Details are available at www.thebellinticehurst.com

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FEAR FARM

FRIGHT NIGHTS

It’s not only the animals that will be making loud noises at Drusillas in Alfriston this Halloween. From Saturday October 25 to Sunday November 2 kids could be in for some spooky surprises as part of the zoo’s Shriek Week. Last year’s event included a mummy mayhem temple and creepy-crawly encounters and this year is set to be even more spook-tacular. Plus, on Wednesday October 29 Scooby Doo will be asking visitors to help him solve some mysteries. www.drusillas.co.uk

The Rare Breeds Centre in Woodchurch is usually known for its cute farm animals, but from Saturday October 25 to Sunday November 2 the farm is getting fearsome with the centre’s Fear and Fun Week. Children can ghost hunt around the farm, enjoy a Wiley Wolf ‘scare glow’ UV production, have some frightening face painting done and earn a treat by finding all the clues in the ‘Spooks Quiz Trail’. Fancy dress is encouraged and usual admission prices apply. www.rarebreeds.org.uk

As well as Kent and East Sussex Railway’s Halloween Fun Week, on Friday October 31 and Saturday November 1 ‘fright night’ train journeys will be running from Tenterden station. Aboard the steam trains scary activities will be taking place, with ghostly goings on at each station. There’ll also be a firework display and a few scary surprises. Families are invited to come dressed up and every child will receive a snack box. Tickets cost £16 and can be booked by calling 01580 765 155. OCTOBER 2014

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EVENT

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SOCIAL

REPEAT PERFORMANCE

SARAH BOND

The first Weald Wool Fair was a huge success when 54 artisans and traders, and even local llamas, drew 2,000 people to Wadhurst. The local knitting group was represented by Shirley Rothera of Wealden Wholefoods at the spinning wheel, and some stallholders, such as Flaxland, came from as far as the Cotswolds to show off skills such as scutching – the dressing of flax in preparation for spinning. Organiser Heather Hay-Ffrench (pictured right) with husband Jonathan Ffrench, of Cousley Wood’s Village Yarn Dyers, says: “I am thrilled. It went so well we are holding a Winter Wool Fair on Saturday November 1 and will definitely do another next summer.” www.wealdwoolfair.co.uk

OCTOBER 2014

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BESPOKE KITCHENS & INTERIORS SINCE 1994 Head Office - Workshop - Showroom Hammonds Farm, Smiths Lane Goudhu~t.

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ADVERTORIAL

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A NEW NAME, A NEW CHAPTER, AN EXCITING FUTURE FOR EDMONDSON INTERIORS Clients, previous and new and the team at kitchen and furniture makers Bespoke Interiors, celebrated their change in company name with a fantastic launch event. The event was superbly supported by Frankie’s Farm Shop, Anno Distillers, Farrow & Ball Tunbridge Wells Showroom and Cocolicious, all of whom are local to the Edmondson Interiors showroom in the heart of the Kent countryside, Goudhurst. From morning croissants, cupcakes to canapés, we were delighted that so many could come and share in the fun of the all day cooking demonstrations and expert talks on all things interiors inspiration! 01580 212 323 edmondsonInteriors.co.uk

OCTOBER 2014

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EVENT

SOCIAL

HOLE PARK’S BUMPY RIDE

CHARLIE BOND

Camels aren’t usually associated with Kent, which is why thousands of visitors turned up to watch the animals race when they came to Hole Park. The event, which was in aid of the Wild Camel Protection Foundation, had local produce stalls, Mongolian wrestling and live world music. Four camels competed in the races and their riders, who were all untrained, had the difficult task of keeping the camels on course. With one of the camels nicknamed ‘Bucking Bertie’, both the crowd and the jockey were nervous. Luckily he didn’t get the hump! www.wildcamels.com

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Had enough of being overweight? Hands up all those who feel they're in a constant battle to achieve a healthy and sustainable body weight. How many diets have you tried and failed, feeling totally frustrated and not knowing what to do next? Having had a weight problem for 35 years/ Rachel was desperate to find a way of being able to lose weight once and for all. 1 had just about resigned myself to the fact that I would be overweight for the rest of my life, when I came across the principles of the Metabolic Weight Loss Programme. I followed these and to my amazement, I lost 3 stone in just over 3 months and then went on to successfully maintain my weight. The relief was enormous to have found something that finally worked for me.' 1

Rachel became passionate about wanting to help as many people as possible with their weight problems/ which led her to become a qualified weight loss consu ltant. In the last 10 years, she has helped over 3,000 clients from all walks of life to help bring their dieting days to an end once and for all. 'My clients' ages range from 8 years to 85 years old/ so there is hope for everyone!'

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One of the popular aspects of the Metabolic Weight Loss Programme is there's nothing faddish about it. There are no meal replacements, d iet shakes or diet pills. All the foods on the programme are easily obtainable. Clients frequently say just how easy it is to follow, they don't feel hungry and are not having to constantly battle with cravings. The four stages of the programme are tailored as necessary to provide the maximum results for each client. Rachel and her team give weekly one-to-one consultations/ guiding you through the programme w ith personalised support/ lots of empathy and total conviction in the success ofthe programme. Email support is available in between consultations.

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'This isn1t an open-ended slimming club; says Rachei. 1 We set your target weight at the beginning and then get on with t he business of helping you lose the weight/ addressing any difficulties along the way, then we concentrate on keeping it off - for good!/

Clients often comment on how impressed their doctors are with their results. 'My doctor is very happy- I've been able to come off blood pressure and cholesterol medication; says one. Another doctor said,'AII my lady patients on thyroid medication are struggling to lose weight/ but you've lost 2 1/2 stone despite being on thyroxin- well done!'

With an average weight loss of 7-141bs a month for clients and hundreds of hand written testimonials, Rachel's results speak for themselves. 'I see real results daily, time after time I see people's lives change in front of me.'

Rachel offers free consultations for those who are wanting to lose their weight once and for all.

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INTERVIEW

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Pedal power He might share a name with a famous Brit singer, but pedal car aficionado Phil Collins from Northiam has been making records in his own right…

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estled on the Kent/Sussex border opposite Northiam steam railway station is The Mill Toy and Pedal Car Museum. Previously a Chinese restaurant and originally a mill built in 1900, it’s now home to thousands of antique toys – a collection that the museum owner Phil Collins has built up over 25 years. “People always said I should show my collection,” says Phil. “For a long time everything was stored in a barn in Lewes. We were waiting for the right premises to come up and when this did, we took it over.” Phil’s assortment consists of over 500 pedal and petrol cars and thousands of antique toys, all of which are now proudly displayed within the museum. Since it opened its doors in 2011, visitors have come from all over the world to relive their childhoods. “We get people from Belgium, Germany, all over,” Phil explains. “People are looking for a bit of their childhood. Not everybody understands the toys though. We don’t do school trips because it goes straight over the children’s heads.” Phil’s passion for pedal cars began in 1986, when he discovered a Jaguar E-Type in a

people are looking for a bit of their childhood. Not everybody understands the toys though. We don’t do school trips because it goes straight over the children’s heads Brighton junk shop. From then, his collection began to rapidly grow. “You just buy one and then you get into the history and engineering of the toys,” Phil says with a laugh. “I had people I knew who were working down at the local tip and they’d keep an eye out for them for me.” The challenge now, Phil explains, is getting his hands on bargains. “The trouble is, the Chinese are taking their toys back and so are the Japanese. You can’t even get things in charity shops any more because people just look up the prices on the internet.” So, has he had to pay against all odds for any of his collection? “I have paid up to £8,000 for a car,” he admits. “But then I’ve also paid a fiver.” Although Phil has bought most of the items, he does have a few toys that have sentimental value. Some were his own and some belonged

to his children. “I didn’t save them because I thought they would be worth something,” he says. “I saved them because I can’t throw anything away! If people knew how much toys would be worth one day they’d never take them out of their boxes or play with them.” With people contacting Phil from as far away as Canada to see if he’ll buy their toys, he’s definitely well-known for what he does. In the past couple of years he’s definitely become more of a household name though, because he currently holds the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of pedal cars in the world – a record he’s hoping to hold onto. “We’ve got the award for 400 cars, but we actually have 453 and altogether, including the petrol powered ones, we have about 580,” he says. “So if someone came along and said ‘we have more’ we’d be able to say ‘so have we!’” Being constantly surrounded by toys it might seem like Phil’s life is all play. So, is this what he wants to do for the rest of his life? “I’m always on the lookout for other opportunities,” he says with a smile. “I’ve done various different things before and the way I see things, if you look for something you never find it, but if you’re not looking something comes and taps you on the shoulder. That said, I wouldn’t want to be an ice cream seller. I was at the wholesalers the other day and this bloke was stocking up on Flakes, thinking he was going to have a right old day. Then it was a complete wash out!” Entrance to the museum costs £5 for adults and £3 for children. www.themilltoymuseum.com

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EVENT

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MUSICAL SHOWCASE

SARAH BOND

Local young musicians had their day in the spotlight, and sunlight, when Crowborough Rocks staged their summer event in the garden of The Deerstalker pub in Ashdown Forest. Organised by volunteers to showcase the talents of students and sponsored by the Tunbridge Wells Music School, the day featured Milly McCarron, Pulse and Sappy, among the 16 acts. Visitors enjoyed a barbecue, too. “I’m a big fan of Taylor Swift and Pixie Lott,” says Milly. Let’s hope she follows in their footsteps. Crowborough Rocks is now booking bands for its autumn event on Saturday November 22 at All Saints Church Hall, Chapel Green. www.facebook.com/crowboroughrocks and www.twmusicschool.com

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SOCIAL

ALPACAS PACK THEM IN

CHARLIE BOND

Families had a fun day out when the Lightfoot Alpaca Farm in Hawkhurst opened its doors to the public. Guests were able to get up close and personal with the animals, which included donkeys, alpacas and llamas. Stallholders selling local produce and items made from alpaca wool showed off their wares, while the animals showed off in front of the amused visitors. Lightfoot Alpacas has one of the largest herds in the country, homing more than 500 animals. www.alpacabreeder.co.uk

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A DAY IN THE LIFE OF LOCAL & LIVE

The Tunbridge Wells bank holiday music event Local & Live became a full-blown festival this year as the town rocked over four days at 11 venues. Thousands flocked to Calverley Grounds when the main event was staged there for the first time. Others filled The Forum and pubs, clubs and cafes. With 225 acts vying for pole position, organiser Paul Dunton set up a Eurovision-style competition. He had asked every band in his 400-strong roster to vote for who should appear on the main stage and they couldn’t vote for themselves. The Standard Lamps came out top! www.localandlive.org

SARAH BOND

See Paul Dunton’s column on page 255 for what’s happening next year

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MY RANT

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WHAT A LOAD OF HOCUS POCUS Halloween is on its way, but will you be celebrating on October 31 or hiding behind the sofa? Tonbridge resident Claire reveals why the much-maligned All Hallow’s Eve has cast an enchanting spell over her

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here’s nothing British people enjoy more than a jolly good moan. And the more contradictory the complaints, the better – for example, if you listen to Joe Bloggs in the street, every year our summertime is too cold one minute and too hot the next. Similarly, Brits like to accuse each other (particularly the younger generation) of having no sense of community and being unwilling to come together and celebrate as a nation, while being faced with much evidence to the contrary. Football is one of the few things that can actually promote a sense of patriotic togetherness, but then the naysayers are too busy complaining about merchandise and England flags on cars to notice how much pleasure the carnival atmosphere brings to sports fans. So it’s no surprise to me that Halloween also attracts the criticism of these misery guts, as some people seem determined to quash joy and fun at its source. There are 365 days in the year, but how many of them are dedicated to a particular celebration,

where people dress up, have parties, carry out traditional rituals or simply use it as an excuse to enjoy themselves in a communal spirit? Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, Easter Day and Valentine’s Day (if you haven’t written that off too) – that’s about it. Add on your own birthday and perhaps one or two other days of note and you’ve got about a week’s worth of revelry, which leaves 51 others when nothing special happens at all. So why would you want to rain on the Halloween parade? Some people are under the delusion that Halloween is an American festival, with practices such as trick or treating being a transatlantic infestation. Well actually, trick or treating was happening in the UK and Ireland long before the Americans ever thought of it. Halloween as a term dates back several centuries and the concept itself even further, so what right do grumpy people have to tell us not to celebrate it? I’ve even overheard religious people berating dressed-up children for “promoting the

Devil”, showing a clear ignorance of the true origins of this ancient festival. Admittedly, trick or treating is one of those pursuits that we could probably live without. Or perhaps placing an upper age limit on the children taking part would help to prevent people from feeling intimidated on their own doorsteps. When the ‘child’ asking you for sweeties has clearly been shaving for a while, it’s not so much charming tradition as twilight robbery. Those who use the night as an excuse to viciously attack their neighbours’ homes or go around asking for money are ruining it for everyone, but that’s no reason to deprive innocent children of a very special experience. When I was a child, Halloween was just as magical a time as Christmas – okay, so the things I was being invited to celebrate probably didn’t exist, but when has that ever stopped us? Childhood is short enough these days as it is, so please don’t take away another occasion when youngsters can simply enjoy a little of life’s rare magic.

DO YOU HAVE A RANT YOU’D LIKE TO RELEASE? Email your views, in no more than 600 words, to Editor Jane Connolly jconnolly@onemediauk.co.uk. We won’t publish anonymous letters and contact details must be supplied, but if you’d prefer not to be named in print please make this preference clear. OCTOBER 2014

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OCTOBER

THIS MONTH

YOU SHOULD

SPLURGE... Diamonds are forever, or so they say – and at around £1million, the Argyle Cardinal red diamond is certainly the buy of a lifetime. As the centrepiece of Rio Tinto’s annual tender of rare coloured diamonds in Sydney, it is hoped the 1.21 carat Cardinal will equal the record set by a red diamond at Christie’s in New York last year, at $1.6million (just over £960,000) per carat. The collection features four Fancy Red Diamonds – experts believe there are only 30 red diamonds in the world, so you’ll need to raid the piggy bank if you want to be a lucky owner. Potential buyers have until October 8 to submit their bid.

LISTEN...

READ...

WATCH...

Madness fans will be in heaven with this 35th anniversary digitally remastered, two-disc edition of the band’s iconic debut album, One Step Beyond. Featuring 29 tracks, the CD boasts the original tracks, plus 14 rehearsal tracks from 1979 – these include two songs that have never been heard anywhere else. With various promo videos and a BBC documentary on the DVD, plus a 24-page booklet, this is a must-have for any Madness enthusiast. Available from www.play.com for £10.98 from October 13.

It’s a long wait until popular fantasy series Game of Thrones returns to our small screens, but addicts can get a fix with a lavish new book published on October 28. The World of Ice and Fire reveals the hidden history of Westeros and the lands beyond, with hundreds of pages of new material from George RR Martin, author of the novels on which the award winning TV show is based. Pre-order yours at www.waterstones.com for £24.

If you missed the hit Sky TV series Penny Dreadful when it first aired earlier this year, you’re in for a treat. Perfect Halloween viewing, the dark drama stars Timothy Dalton, Josh Hartnett and a captivating Eva Green as Victorian vigilantes on the trail of some truly chilling characters. Literary classics such as Frankenstein, Dracula and The Picture of Dorian Gray are drawn upon for this scary story. Available from www.amazon.co.uk for £19 from October 13.

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THIS MONTH

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CARRY... The only thing better than a great new handbag is... a great new handbag filled with amazing things. New brand Jam Love has joined forces with luxury website VeryFirstTo.com to launch ‘the ultimate handbag’ – the SHIBAURA Travel Tote. It’s made from leather and bonded canvas, comes in a range of colours and is filled with, according to women who took part in the site’s survey, the five most desirable accessories. These are: a Vertu Signature Touch phone, an iPad Air, a Burberry Contrast ziparound leather wallet, a Sony Cyber-Shot RX 100 III and a pair of Gucci sunglasses. All this for £10,325 exclusively at www.veryfirstto.com

SWING...

JOIN...

Golf holidays don’t get much better than this. If you fancy yourself as the next Rory McIlroy, it’s time to put your clubs where your mouth is. Holidays Please is offering a 100-day trip around the world, during which you’ll play on every one of the 48 golf courses featured in the European Tour last year. From St Andrews to Australia, this remarkable itinerary will be a dream come true for golfers. The £62,500 ticket includes first class flights, accommodation, green fees and luxury private transfers – or you can upgrade to the private jet option at £250,000 per person. Better work on that swing! www.holidaysplease.co.uk

Why do some people manage to secure the best restaurant tables, the most exclusive invitations and the unattainable tickets, while some don’t? Well, you can be among the VIPs if you own a prestigious Aristocard – you’ll have no trouble bagging that reservation and getting into the best parties if you flash this little piece of metal. However, although membership only costs $250 (£150), the admission process is stringent; applicants must pass a suitability test and a face-to-face interview before being accepted. So give your shoes a shine and head to www.aristocard.com to see if you cut the mustard.

SCRIBBLE... Forget that old ballpoint with the chewed end – it’s time you moved up in the world when it comes to penmanship. If you’re looking for a more classy addition to your desk or briefcase, you’ll certainly turn heads with the Parker Duofold Giant Limited Edition Fountain Pen. Encased in 18kt solid gold, with a 23kt clip and pen holder, plus a total of 16 diamonds, the pen is a steal at £25,000. The company is producing just 125 instruments to celebrate its 125th anniversary – you can take a look at this rare model at Websters Pen Shop at Bluewater. www.websterspenshop.co.uk

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GOSSIP

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CONFIDENTIAL BY TACITUS

NOTHING ESCAPES OUR ATTENTION

WHY

are certain estate agents at loggerheads over a load of rubbish? Because one of them caught their rival going through the bins outside their office; they were looking for interesting titbits about clients and deals. Words were exchanged, tempers flared and sale boards raised. Always thought real estate could be a dirty business.

WHICH

famous family retailer is threatening to leave town? Simples: The one facing the prospect of having a bar open very near to their premises. The furious owners have apparently let it be known that if the idea gets off the ground they will pack up their wares – something that would cause a sensation!

WHO

didn’t know which way to turn at Local and Live? Answer: The 30–something attractive brunette who got tired and emotional during the day–long TW music festival. Considerate young men gallantly offered to see her home - as did a number of women. A kindly neutral stepped in and carried her off, to much abuse from the lady herself.

WHY

has this wife lost the battle with the sat-nav? Because she kept insisting she was better at giving her hubby directions when he was behind the wheel. Only problem was her verbal updates consisted largely of her saying, as they flashed by a motorway, exit: “ I think that was our turn off.” Game over.

WHY

does this councillor have fond memories of the Vintage Fair? Because he bumped into a female voter on the doorstep while out canvassing, fell head over heels and saw her again much later at The Pantiles event where he engineered an introduction. Both are available (he is divorced) but has he got her vote? Watch this space.

WHO

feels totally unappreciated in the work place? That would be the woman who has worked at a smallish local company for three years. She was standing in reception one morning before going to her office when the boss came along and asked her who she had come to see and could he help her.

WHO

knows all about taking a responsible approach to drinking? That would be the lady on a night out with friends who turned to them towards the end of a challenging session and declared: “Sorry, I won’t have another bottle of champagne because I’m driving!” Well done you. Not!

WHY

is this woman a real fruit cake? Because she insists on dressing each day in the colour of a fruit. So far she’s worn outfits around town that are orange, peach, strawberry, yellow and even kiwi, which makes her pretty easy to spot. The word ‘eccentric’ springs to mind.

WHAT’S

happened-to-Binkynews-update! It’s official; the wedding is off! Binky has finally lost patience with her fiancé who has refused to stop his mother from interfering in their plans for the big day. The wretched woman insisted on a ‘proper church wedding’ with bridesmaids and page boys of her choosing. Life would have been hell Binky!

Got a rumour? Pass it on via confidential@onemediauk.co.uk We never reveal our sources

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CELEBRITY

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KIRSTIE ON KENT

This time last year we met the queen of the property search, Kirstie Allsopp and took a look at her remarkable rise to fame. Now we catch up with her to see what’s been happening over the last 12 months – Kirstie shares her thoughts on the Weald’s intense housing market and inspires us to get crafty as her ventures go from strength to strength

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roperty expert, craft enthusiast and star of Location, Location, Location, Kirstie Allsopp says: “Kent is just so pretty, the only strike against it is that it is the birthplace of Phil Spencer!” She and her TV partner-in-crime (‘Pip’, as she affectionally refers to the man born near Canterbury) recently brought the new series of their long-running show to the green pastures of Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding areas. Their house hunt, for two young couples buying for the first time, took them from The Pantiles to St Johns and Southborough. Kirstie can easily see the appeal of Kent as a place to put down roots. “It is picture perfect, with lovely countryside,” she says. “You’ve got the trendy, busy social scene of central Tunbridge Wells, but just outside there is still a country village-ish feel to the area.” She and Phil struggled with their search, she says, because the market is moving so fast in the county, with properties selling within 24 hours of going on the market.

House prices have also shot up, rising 7.1% in the past 12 months – which means Kent may not be able to retain its appeal for commuters hoping to live within easy reach of London, but without stumping up for extortionate London prices (houses here are currently two-and-a-half times cheaper than in London). “It’s no place for newbies,” says Kirstie, explaining that if even she and Phil, as experienced wheeler dealers in the housing business, found the Kent market tricky to navigate, then she wishes first time buyers the best of luck with their negotiations. When Kirstie isn’t traipsing around ‘project’ properties and having playful banter with her beloved Phil, she’s at home in either her Notting Hill or Devonshire houses, spending quality time with her partner and two children. She’s become well known for her love of crafts, ever since she and Phil produced her first string of home-crafting shows via their independent TV company, Raise The Roof Productions. “My house is full of craft projects that I’ve OCTOBER 2014

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“Women are being let down by the system. We should speak honestly and frankly about fertility and the fact it falls off a cliff when you’re 35”

“I feel passionately that the comprehensive ethos is wrong, and that you cannot educate all children together in the same environment in the same way because they are so varied”

started but will never finish,” she says with a laugh. “My life’s ambition is to make a quilt from scratch.” Of course, filming shows like Kirstie’s Crafty Christmas means that she can combine work and fun. “I get to make a lot when I’m filming the shows, which is a brilliant fix, because being a busy working mum there isn’t lots of spare time. I do love making things with my children and I was given the most amazing gift recently by two little girls, of boat bunting, which I hung in Devon. They gave me the full kit, all made with instructions. I want them to come on my Christmas show and teach me how it’s done – although I’ve asked them to come up with an idea for Christmas bunting, a new spin on their amazing boats,” she adds. Kirstie’s craft of choice is the humble pom-pom, which she says are “fast, simple, and instantly gratifying, and of course you can do so much with them. Bunting, tree decorations, you can adorn your cushions with them, put them on your clothes, your shoes…” It hasn’t all been about cosy crafts over the last year though – never one to shy away from a controversial debate, Kirstie has attracted criticism recently for her opinions on such topics as child rearing and compensation culture.

An outspoken user of Twitter, Kirstie sparked outrage last Christmas when she suggested that victims of the UK floods were not showing “the Blitz spirit” by complaining about the lack of electricity and asking for compensation. Earlier this year, she made headlines again by suggesting that women should have children early in their adult life, putting career and personal ambitions on hold until their 30s or 40s. Her comments came under fire from feminists who believe Kirstie is supporting an outmoded and sexist view of women’s roles, but Kirstie stood by her remarks. At a talk last month, she said that women were “being lied to” about their chances of conceiving in their late 30s. “I want to say to women: be honest with each other, with your partners, daughters and sons – know that you can have careers at any age, you can go to uni at any age,”

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CELEBRITY

“It’s perfectly possible to have an enormously privileged upbringing, which I did and still understand the value of the pound” she told the audience. “You can do a thousand brilliant things at any age. But just for now, we haven’t opened the fertility window any wider. It is easier and simpler and less of a heartache to just have children when our bodies allow us to. Nature is not a feminist and that’s just the truth.” Clearly, her passion for crafting is less controversial and her TV shows and books have attracted an army of fans, who all want to see what Kirstie will make next. Crafting is a lifelong passion that has fascinated her since childhood. ”My mum was an interior decorator and my dad was an auctioneer, so making beautiful things has been in my family for as long as I can remember and more importantly, up-cycling and changing things around,” she says. By the way, Kirstie’s cousin is also the queen of interiors, Cath Kidston (pictured right). “When I was little, I was obsessed with the look of my bedroom and I had a dressing table full of bits I collected and made,” Kirstie recalls. “For my 12th birthday my mum transformed my bed into a four-poster with white fabric, green bows and a pink trim… Then we moved house and my mum made the curtains of my beautiful bed into blinds for my new room,

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because I moved into the attic!” Kirstie believes that everyone has their own craft – “you just have to find yours”. She’s hoping to inspire the next generation of crafters and she offered advice to those who are unfamiliar with a crochet hook and a glue gun, at her Handmade Fair that took place at Hampton Court Palace last month. She gathered together a host of experts and laid on loads of workshops and activities, all dedicated to the joy of crafting. “I liked the thought of doing something so bold and different to other fairs that are out there, putting learning at the core and celebrating so many talented people and sharing the whole experience with others who love making,” she says. “The Handmade Fair isn’t just about a whole lot of shops in a tent. This is a gathering of the people you’ve seen with me on screen, answering your questions, teaching you their techniques and opening up to a live audience. It’s 3D TV without the funny specs!” What So magazine wants to know is when will we get a 3D version of Location, Location, Location, so that we can have Phil and Kirstie on hand when we next need to move house? Let’s hope they make that happen one day.

Kirstie Allsopp by numbers Age: 43 Children: 2 Marriages: 0 Homes: 2 TV programmes: 7 Books: 5

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THE LOOK

{

Our favourite october look

SO

{

ANIMAL MAGNETISM As we head into the autumn in earnest, there are a number of key looks to keep in mind when stocking that warmer wardrobe. One huge trend that will be inescapable this season is sheepskin and faux fur, but how do you wear it with style? If you don’t feel comfortable with a huge fur coat, try wearing it as an accessory. Garments, handbags and even shoes edged in shearling offer an understated nod to the trend. This stylish look from Hobbs offers some chic inspiration – team the shearling scarf (£199) with the Teddy cocoon coat (£499, available in chocolate and red) for a cosy yet neat look. This would work with either a dress or trousers; here, the model wears the Verrio floral blouse (£149), Herringbone trouser (£159) and Brynne Derby shoe (£179). www.hobbs.co.uk

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Direct from fashion’s front line Always one step ahead of the pack, we’re among the first of the magazines to report on the sartorial highlight that is London Fashion Week. There was a definite buzz in the air as everyone got in line to take their seats at Somerset House for the much anticipated Spring/Summer 2015 shows. Our fashion expert, Catherine de Crèvecoeur, reports straight from the front row for So magazine, giving you the top highlights from the designers’ collections and an idea of the trends we can expec to see next season. The overall mood gave a definite sense of romance, poetry, a fine line between beauty and darkness and a celebration of the strong woman

J.W. Anderson

Collared Contrast collars and cut-out details provide a girly twist to menswear-like clothing.

PREEN

Flowing fabrics Draped, loose, boxy shapes are taking over fitted outfits.

Pringle of Scotland

Pretty pastels This colour palette trend is going nowhere, with soft pastels taking over most collections.

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Paul Costelloe

60s vibe A nod to the 60s with cocoon silhouettes, shorter hemlines and chunky shoes.

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Lucas Nascimento

Block colours Ditch the bold prints for block colours in white, black and bright orange.

Amanda Wakeley

White out Crisp, clean and fuss free, white remains a key colour in the new spring/summer season.

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Christopher Raeburn

Sports luxe Moving away from the obvious sports sweatshirts, this trend offers a more relaxed, chic look.

JOSEPH

Big sleeves The bigger, the bolder, the better.

Jean-Pierre Braganza

Asymmetric lines A major theme for the season, contrasting lines and bias cut forms take centre stage.

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BUYS OF THE

month Autumn is here but never fear – we’ve selected our favourite pieces from the new season collections to keep you up to date and on trend in October ADRIANNA PAPELL Print dress in teal, £140 www.johnlewis.com

DAY BIRGER ET MIKKELSEN Rain sequin embellished chiffon top, £200 www.day.dk/uk

ALICE BY TEMPERLEY Lou Lou long printed maxi skirt, £396 www.temperleylondon.com

NEEDLE AND THREAD Gilded Filigree embellished chiffon dress, £175 www.net-a-porter.com

ÊTRE CÉCILE Circle stripes dip hem T-shirt, £105 www.etrececile.com

PAUL SMITH ACCESSORIES Grey shearling neck warmer, £149 www.paulsmith.co.uk

J. CREW Collection floral satin-twill tapered pants, £250 www.jcrew.com/uk CATH KIDSTON Double strap leather bag with printed lining, £125 www.cathkidston.com

MAISON SCOTCH Printed belted dress, £154 www.scotch-soda.com PHASE EIGHT Rose textured two-tone tote bag, £139 www.phase-eight.com

J. CREW Barrett buckled suede ankle boots, £275 www.jcrew.com/uk

PHASE EIGHT Tabatha double breasted trench coat, £120 www.phase-eight.com Prices correct at time of writing OCTOBER 2014

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THE LOOKK

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HAIR of an

ANGEL The halo braid is a popular way to frame your face for autumn/winter 2014, as it’s pretty and feminine while also being practical

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his style is best for longer or mid length hair – those with short hair can mimic a similar look by making a few smaller braids secured with hairgrips. To create a sophisticated halo braid, divide your hair into two equal sections and plait each section separately from behind each ear. Then cross the braids and pull the two sections forward until they frame your face. Position the braid close to your hairline for the best halo effect. If your hair is long enough these braids will cross at the crown and can be secured behind your ears – or wherever your braids end. To make the look neater, tuck the ends of your hair under the base of the opposite braid slightly when securing. You can go two ways with this style – for a sleek look, try applying a smoothing product such as Ojon Super Sleek Restorative Blowout Perfector (£23) to your hair before drying for a shiny and frizz-free look. Alternatively, you can pull at your braids slightly to create a more tasselled look. To help add texture and volume, add a mousse before blow-drying – we like Bumble and Bumble Thickening Full Form Mousse (£21.50). Flyaway hairs can be kept loose with this look to frame your face and enhance your features. Celebrity fans of this style include Scarlett Johansson (pictured), Selena Gomez and Jennifer Lawrence. Jessica Alba likes a twist, experimenting with two separate braids for a striking effect, while Amanda Seyfried wears hers a little further back on her head, just as you would a headband, to create a crown braid.

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Hairheroes Autumn weather can play havoc with your stylish hairdo, so we’re on patrol for some seasonal hair saviours. Here are some of our favourite finds for October

OROFLUIDO

VOLUME MOUSSE 300ML, £15

Suitable for all hair types, this strong yet lightweight mousse is great for adding volume, firming up curls and giving a shiny finish. It’s all thanks to the argan, cyperus and linseed oil, while the amber fragrance is a breath of fresh air. Available at Hare & Now in Ide Hill and Ruffles in Hawkhurst

AUBREY ORGANICS ISLAND NATURALS SHAMPOO 325ML, £10.49

Recover some of that summer feeling with this tropical shampoo, which blends mango, avocado oil, coconut milk and organic Shea butter to hydrate and nourish your hair. Also available in a complementary conditioner. Available from www.aubreyorganicsuk.co.uk

COLOR WOW

BRASS BANNED MOUSSE 194ML, £16.50

The pastel trend spreads to hair, but this mousse aims to enhance your colour treatment rather than add sugar hues. Using a hint of lavender in the formula for blondes and a teal tint for brunettes, it softens unwanted brassy tones for a softer look. Available from www.uk.spacenk.com

ALASSALA

BOUFFE

MOROCCAN ORGANIC ARGAN OIL FOR HAIR 50ML, £16.99

HAIR THICKENING SPRAY 200ML, £5.99

This 100% organic oil is great for protecting your hair against the ravages of winter weather, preserving shine and guarding against the damage and dryness that can be caused by a combination of cold, wind and central heating. Available at www.nutricentre.com

Supplied in a range of shades and an ‘all colours’ version, this product boosts volume and maximises your style, all while looking and feeling weightless. Say goodbye to back-combing and hello to big hair! Available from Boots

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beauty FILE

Take a peek in our cosmetics bag as we reveal our beauty favourites Tried & Tested... Our pick of the best beauty products around this month

JIVESSE

ORGANii

MARINE COLLAGEN CREAM 50ML, £80

ORGANIC SHOWER GEL 300ML, £5.95

New British brand ORGANii has launched a range of organic products including six shower gels in fragrances such as liquorice, peach and strawberry. The range also includes cream soaps and liquid soaps. Available from www.organii.co.uk

To give yourself a rejuvenating boost this autumn, try this premium cream containing marine collagen peptides. The formula stimulates natural collagen production to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and lines. Available from www.jivesse.com

MADAME LA LA

COLLECTION

BIG FAKE CURVES MASCARA £4.99

Eyes are massive in beauty this season, so you need lashes to match. Pretty doll-like peepers need special treatment, so the pink silicone brush in this new mascara is designed to cover lashes from root to tip. Available from Boots and Superdrug

MARKS & SPENCER

RUBY RED

SOOTHE & NOURISH BODY MOISTURISER 500ML, £48

Six nourishing plant oils – olive, sweet almond, grapeseed, babussu, shea butter and jojoba – combine with aloe vera and glycerine in this new formula to help hydrate skin and even out skin tone, with fragrances of jasmine, cardamom and ylang ylang. Available from www.rubyredcosmetics.co.uk

TEMPLE SPA

MADAME LA LA TAN 200ML, £36

THE BIG REVEAL 50ML, £40

You don’t have to lose your summer glow with this new self tan that features a DD (Dynamic Do-All) tan perfector, instant bronzer, built-in hydrator and anti-aging skin benefits. It comes in two shades and even claims to be streakfree for a perfect finish. Available from Fenwick in Tunbridge Wells and www.madamelala.com

This glycolic gel peel blends exfoliating ingredients with detoxifying pomegranate extract and moisturising raspberry seed oil, to lift away dead skin cells for a great one-minute facial. The product launches this month. Available from www.templespa.com

DR ORGANIC

PURE SUPER GRAPE OVERNIGHT TREATMENT OIL 28ML, £16

DEAD SEA MINERAL SALT BODY POLISH 200G, £8.99

M&S has developed the first natural skincare range to feature resveratrol, taken from English grapes left over from the production of the firm’s own English wine and grown at Tenterden’s Chapel Down winery. The range also includes face serum, eye serum and day and night cream. Available at Marks & Spencer

Natural oils and dead sea salt is used to exfoliate the skin and hydrate it, leaving you with a clear, soft surface. Mandarin, bitter orange, thyme, wild mint and spearmint lend their oils and give the polish a great fragrance. Available from Holland and Barrett

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THE LOOK

BUBBLE, BUBBLE, TOIL & TROUBLE

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ive yourself the chills while enjoying a relaxing hot bath this Halloween, with some fun new spooky products from Lush. You’ll fall under the spell of the Wizard Bubble Bar (below left, £3.25), which combines divine fragrances of ylang ylang oil, juniper berry and tangerine with popping candy for a spine-tingling experience. The anti-aging properties of shitake mushrooms are incorporated

into a Fairy Ring Soap toadstool (below middle, £4.10), along with myrrh oil, patchouli and opopanax oil. For some real Halloween magic, treat yourself or a loved one to the Wizard Hat Gift (£12.95) – containing a Wizard Bubble Bar, a Star Light Star Bright Bath Melt and a Sparkler Bath Bomb – for an uncannily utopian pamper. Available from Lush in Tunbridge Wells and online at www.lush.co.uk

GENTS’ GROOMING

TIMELESS STYLE

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t seems the oldies really are the best, if the renewed popularity of a 1960’s face powder is any guide. Half a century after the product first wowed celebrities and fashionistas, Corn Silk is once again flying off the shelves. Makeup artists and beauty experts have dubbed the translucent pressed powder ‘selfie friendly’, as it eliminates shine and can restore an elegant glow to even the sweatiest brow. Priced at £5.44 at www.amazon.co.uk – where it has recently been riding high on the bestsellers list – this is a beauty secret that is as friendly to your budget as it is to your Facebook photos.

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he silver fox look is always in vogue – just take a look at the likes of Paul Hollywood, Philip Schofield and George Clooney if you want reassurance that grey temples are considered distinguished. But if you’re not crazy about the grey sneaking into your facial hair, yet don’t want to commit to using dye, help is at hand. Blackbeard for Men (£7.99, www.bodyforreal.co.uk) is an instant, brush on colour that eliminates greys in beards and moustaches but only for a short period, so you can wash it out at the end of the day. Applied using a mascara style brush, the colourant lasts about eight hours and is ideal for those who just want a temporary fix or a more subtle change of

look. You could use it to just colour some of the greys, for a more natural look or to fill out moustaches, side burns or even eyebrows. If you don’t want to colour hair but remove it, the Zeos For Men (£29.99, www.zeosformen.com) might be of interest. Claiming to be the first warm male wax kit solution on the market, the system leaves you stubble-free and smooth for four to six weeks – ideal for sports use or those who simply want to avoid the hirsute look. The self-heating applicator has an adjustable temperature setting and the wax reportedly removes hair as short as 2mm with the first application. Perfect for all those smooth operators out there...

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expert OPINION

KEEP YOUR MOMENTUM

Spire Healthcare in Tunbridge Wells launches Momentum Orthopaedics

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pire Tunbridge Wells has launched Momentum Orthopaedics, offering expert diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation for a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions. Specialising in four main areas – shoulder, hip, knee and foot and ankle – Momentum Orthopaedics is currently made up of six highly qualified expert orthopaedic consultants with over 60 years of combined experience between them. The weekly consultant-led clinics will ensure that patients have access to rapid assessment, diagnosis and treatment without having to be placed on a waiting list. Momentum Orthopaedics welcomes everyone, whether the patients are insured or not. The team is able to offer quotes for treatment in advance over the phone or in person*. The team of consultants, made up of Mike Fordyce, Paul Skinner, Justin Forder, Nick Bowman, David Rose and Richard Benson, specialises in all orthopaedic conditions, ranging from minor to complex surgery such as arthroscopy and

joint replacements. Momentum Orthopaedics has a dedicated team of specialist physiotherapists offering a multidisciplinary approach for diagnosis and rehabilitation, accepting referral directly from patients and all healthcare professionals. The clinic will also be able to offer Momentum patients access to its Radiology Department, including its newly opened MRI and CT scanners, located within the hospital grounds. With a state-of-the-art MRI and CT scanner, the Imaging Department has regular clinics with early and late appointment times, performed by specialist consultant radiologists and radiographers. Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Mike Fordyce (left), says: “Momentum Orthopaedics allows our dedicated team of specialists to offer an express service for all orthopaedic conditions, from consultations and rapid access diagnostics, through to cutting-edge treatments and aftercare services.

We aim to provide specialist and tailored care, unique to each patient.” Adrian Connolly, Hospital Director at Spire Tunbridge Wells, says: “At Spire Tunbridge Wells Hospital, we pride ourselves on offering our patients exceptional services and care. With Momentum Orthopaedics, patients will now have access to a team of specialist consultants together under one roof, ensuring that they are seen and treated quickly and safely. We are delighted to be able to offer this specialist clinic as part of Spire Healthcare, in the fantastic surroundings of Spire Tunbridge Wells Hospital.” Account Manager for GE Healthcare, Mr Stephen Mittins, says: “We are delighted to provide the MRI and CT Imaging Technology and to work with Spire Tunbridge Wells to increase and support their clinical imaging expertise.” To make an appointment or find out more about Momentum Orthopaedics call 01892 598 124 or visit www.momentumorthopaedics.co.uk

*Please ask for a copy of our Patient Terms and Conditions for full details of what is included in our fixed price treatment.

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SOUTHBOROUGH SALON WINS TOP NATIONAL AWARD Southborough hair salon, The Gallery, has beaten hundreds of hairdressers in the UK to be awarded ‘Salon of the Year’ at the prestigious Hairdressers Journal British Hairdressing Business Awards

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he awards recognise outstanding achievements in the hairdressing industry. Director of The Gallery, Lorenzo Colangelo (below, third from left), and his team were presented with the award at a star-studded ceremony at the Lancaster London Hotel by celebrity host Steven Mulhern (below, far left), beating five other finalists in the Salon of the Year category. To win the award, The Gallery in London Road had to enter a dossier answering a detailed criteria, providing evidence to substantiate all the claims. Impressing a panel of business leaders and respected industry associates, the award entry

secured them a place in the 2014 winners’ line-up. Speaking after the awards, Lorenzo said: “This is a great day for The Gallery and recognises all the hard work done by my team. To see the business started by my father, Tony, in 1982 grow to become what we are today, makes us incredibly proud of the efforts of everyone involved.” Hosted by Hairdressers Journal’s Executive Director, Jayne Lewis-Orr, the event, in its 16-year history, has become the most significant evening in the hairdressing business. Speaking at the ceremony to an audience made up of leading business

names, brand ambassadors, industry peers, sponsors and finalists, Jayne commented: “Each year the work presented by the entrants is of an incredible standard, but this year the finalists have outdone themselves. The competition has been very strong and the judges had a difficult job in deciding the winners, but through our autonomous judging process, the right winners were rewarded on the night.” For further information, call Becky Seabrook at The Gallery on 01892 514 900

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committed to our local community Despite being very well-known in the world of insurance and an employer to over 1,100 staff living in and around Tunbridge Wells, Markerstudy as a business and our Corporate Social Responsibility programme is relatively unknown. Tunbridge Wells is a great place to live and work; in fact, many of the Markerstudy management team have made it their home. As a large local employer, we support both local businesses and residents alike in many different ways. Here are some local Markerstudy projects that we undertake to support our community

The Santa Express 2013

The Santa Express 2014

Working with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, the Markerstudy Leisure division brought the Santa Express land train to Tunbridge Wells from November 29 to December 29 2013, providing free travel around town. • We carried over 10,000 passengers during a one-month period • Collections raised £1,000 for The Pickering Cancer Drop-in Centre in Tunbridge Wells

It’s back! Due to popular demand, the Santa Express will be returning to Tunbridge Wells this Christmas. This time we decided to invest in our own train at a cost of £100k, so the people of Tunbridge Wells will be able to enjoy free travel around town at other points of the year. So, look out for the Summer Express too!

TUNBRIDGE WELLS AT CHRISTMAS

Father Christmas World is sponsoring The Pantiles Christmas 2014 activities over five weeks with sponsorship of £30k, helping drive much needed footfall and trade to the area. It is forecast our funding will help attract over 10,000 additional shoppers/visitors over the period.

DRIVE TO ENSURE

• Drive to Ensure is a free road safety awareness programme launched by Markerstudy in July 2013 and supported by Kent County Council • Markerstudy Group is dedicated to promoting safer driving, particularly among young people. Drive to Ensure prepares children aged eight to 18 for life as a driver. Delivered in schools, youth groups and pupil referral units, it covers issues including drink driving, speeding and wearing seatbelts. Fun interactive games explore the programme’s four principles – Drive Slow, Drive Sober, Drive Silent and Drive Secure It • has now been delivered to more than 1,000 children • Ensure Kids, a similar programme aimed at younger children, has now been launched and will be delivered to over 10,000 local children over the next three months – for free!

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Rusthall Amateur Boxing Club

• Rusthall Amateur Boxing Club was facing closure in 2013 • Markerstudy hosted ‘Fight Night’, inviting staff to participate • On the night 160 guests raised £20,650 in the auction • The raffle raised £1,006 • The total money raised was doubled by our Board of Directors to a whopping £43,000, with all funds going to the local Rusthall Tunbridge Wells ABC, giving valuable support to a club that operates without funding

SUPPORTING THE EMERGENCY SERVICES AND THEIR FAMILIES

• Our Shooting Stars programme challenges and prepares future leaders of Markerstudy Group. The 2013 project assigned to delegates was to organise Markerstudy Group’s first pantomime. The objectives: to raise funds for charity and have a positive impact on the local community • Tickets were offered free of charge to emergency service employees and their families in and around Tunbridge Wells, recognising their hard work over the festive period. Seats were then offered to the local community and schools and finally to Markerstudy Group employees • Employees from across the entire group were involved • Bucket collections and programme sales raised £1,409.40, which was divided between Help for Heroes and The Pickering Cancer Drop-in Centre in Tunbridge Wells

St Andrew’s Medical Centre in Southborough One of our businesses, the NDGA, supports St Andrew’s Medical Centre with an annual donation of £250. This money has helped the surgery to improve customer communication and waiting room information for its 7,000 patients. The NDGA is a non-profit making division with 980 children enjoying a world-class gymnastic facility.

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COMPANY AWARDS The Pickering Centre – Markerstudy’s Chosen Charity As our chosen charity, we have donated and raised significant sums for The Pickering Centre over the past five years. Most recently, we are very conscious of the need to enable disabled or sick youngsters and those from under-privileged backgrounds to enjoy the magic of Father Christmas World. So, we have pledged an entire day of Father Christmas World tickets to The Pickering Cancer Drop-in Centre. Some 1,800 complimentary tickets will be allocated to local children and their families via Pickering and seven other local charities.

Supporting local cultural and music events

We actively support local business and, wherever possible, employ local tradespeople and suppliers for our various businesses in Tunbridge Wells.

• Awarded a ‘three-star’ rating, the best achievement possible, and named an ‘Extraordinary’ company to work for

V The Sunday Times ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ • National award recognising 100 best companies to work for in Britain • One of the eight categories judged on is ‘Giving Something Back’ (see below)

V Best for Giving Something Back 2014 • Staff scored Markerstudy Group as having an ‘81% positive strong social conscience’ • Judges said Markerstudy ‘put road safety at the heart of its charitable work’ • It added ‘employees... chose to give their time to write, develop and design... Drive to Ensure’ • 83% of staff said Markerstudy’s leader runs the organisation on a ‘sound moral basis’

We have been the headline sponsor for all major events hosted on The Pantiles for the last four years, including Jazz on The Pantiles, Music on the Tiles, The Spring and Harvest Food Festivals and Local & Live with donations of £25k.

LOCAL SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT

V Three stars – Best Companies 2013 and 2014

FOOD BANKS

We support local food banks and make regular donations through our four town centre offices.

V 11th in 2014 • Top insurance business and one of two Kent companies in the top 10, mid-sized category • 88% of staff believe they can make a positive contribution to the success of the company • 80% said that senior managers follow Markerstudy’s values of teamwork, recognition, learning and focused fun • 82% of staff stated they loved working for Markerstudy Group

Statement from the Markerstudy Group’s Board of Directors

Brew House Hotel

Markerstudy is investing £6m into the redevelopment of The Brew House Hotel. With a launch date of December 2015, it is set to become Kent’s first five-star hotel.

ANYONE FOR CRICKET? Since 2009 we have sponsored and supported Tunbridge Wells Cricket Club with donations of £6k.

SALOMONS ESTATE

Markerstudy acquired Salomons Estate in 2013 with an ultimate aim to restore it to its former glory. An ongoing rolling renovation programme is in place, which has already seen the restoration of the Bell Tower and the refurbishment of the AA four-star hotel accommodation. We also launched ‘Picnic on the Lawn’ opening up our beautiful lawns for visitors to enjoy, free of charge, when they bring their own picnics. Plus, we hosted Kent’s largest Easter Egg Hunt, which was free of charge to eager chocolate hunters!

What’s happening in 2015?

HELPING THE YOUNG SUCCEED IN BUSINESS We have exciting plans to launch a new initiative for young local entrepreneurs. We want to help young people with great ideas get a solid foot on the work ladder and succeed in the competitive business world. More details of this new venture will be announced later this year.

Many things have been written and said about the Markerstudy Group over the past few years – not all of them factually correct. To help dispel any misconceptions about the company, the Board of Directors would like to offer an insight into some of its recent community activities. We have made a substantial commitment to the town as thousands of our stakeholders work and reside here. It’s a simple philosophy for us. We have to add to the economic development and wellbeing of the area to enhance all elements of the town. If the town flourishes, so do we. We feel it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, in that the more successful we become, the more we reinvest and the cycle begins again. Markerstudy was established in 2001 and the simple business principle applies to all areas. We hope the town will continue to embrace our attempts to make Tunbridge Wells a premier destination of choice. Thank you to all those businesses and individuals who have supported us through the years. The Board of Directors, Markerstudy Group To find out more about Markerstudy Group, including working for us, please go to www.markerstudy.com OCTOBER 2014

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T R A I N FA R E S

Rail passengers across the Weald are facing big increases in fares in the new year. Tickets will go up by at least 2.5%. However, So researchers have uncovered a legal loophole that some people are using to save more than £300 on their annual season ticket. In one case the saving could amount to £1,700

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Words: Sarah Bond

rain travellers have discovered they can cut their annual commuting costs to London through a strange ambiguity in the fare structure – buying a season ticket to a destination outside the capital that you can only reach by going through London. Here’s how it works: If you buy an annual season ticket from Tunbridge Wells to London it will cost you £4,260. But if you buy an annual season ticket from Tunbridge Wells to Oxted in Surrey, via London terminals, it will only cost you £3,932 – a saving of £328. And it works from other stations, too. An annual season ticket from Stonegate to London is £4,548, while an annual season ticket from Stonegate to Oxted, via London terminals, is only £4,228 – a saving of £320. Oddly, you cannot get a quote from

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neighbouring Wadhurst, but you can from other stations on the Hastings line as long as they are south of Tonbridge. These include High Brooms, where the Oxted option is £228 cheaper… Frant where it’s £328 cheaper.... Etchingham and Robertsbridge are both £320 cheaper and from Battle there’s a saving of £292. The biggest apparent saving we found was travelling from Tonbridge to Oxted via London Bridge. When we called National Rail inquiries they advised us the annual season ticket would be £2,168 against a normal Tonbridge/ London season ticket of £3,884 – a massive saving of £1,716. In order to double check this figure we called Southeastern who later wrote to us saying “...I can confirm that there is an annual season ticket for travel from Tonbridge to Oxted, which is valid for travel via London Bridge and East Croydon. The cost of this ticket is £2,168.”

However, this contradicts information provided by other Southeastern sources stating that such a ticket would not be valid. Meanwhile, here are some confirmed discounts from a different line, Maidstone to Victoria. The annual fare from both East and West Malling to London is £3,996, while East or West Malling to Oxted via London is only £3,912 – a saving of £84. But commuters may not be able to use the loophole very much longer. We understand Southeastern are aware of it and are investigating, with a view to closing

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it when the increased fares take effect on January 1 2015. When we tried to check the legality of the loophole with National Rail’s telephone service, the operator insisted that it was perfectly fine to “break” the journey by getting off at one of the London terminals and you wouldn’t have to go all the way to Oxted. However, at one Southeastern ticket office we were told that you have to complete the full journey a certain number of times a year. The ticket seller could not tell us how many times and when we asked how someone would ever be able to prove they had done this, she replied “by swiping the magnetic strip on the ticket through the barriers at Oxted”. But that is no guarantee the journey has been made because the barriers may not be working and magnetic strip tickets sometimes fail.

The loophole came to light when one regular commuter forgot to renew his season ticket locally and went to a London ticket office to buy it there instead. “Each year I buy my season ticket and watch the price going up steadily and thought I just had to grin and bear it,” he told us. “Then I found myself in a situation where I had forgotten to buy my annual ticket at my home station, so I went to buy one at a London station. I said to the seller ‘my season ticket from the local station to London is about £4,000’ and he said ‘I can tell you a way to get it cheaper’. I said ‘Is it legal?’ and he replied ‘Yes it is’. “So, on his recommendation I bought an annual season ticket to Oxted via London instead, which was much cheaper. Since then I have used it to get to and from London and it has been fine, even when checked by ticket inspectors. And I will go on doing this for as long as possible.” Bob Baker, Chairman of the Tunbridge Wells and District Rail Travellers Association, says: “I haven’t heard about the Oxted season ticket wheeze before, but I have heard that in the past you could travel from Battle to London cheaper by buying a through ticket to St Albans and getting off in London. “Both that and the Oxted anomaly reinforces the ludicrousness of the fare system under a privatised railway.” Our research highlights some confusion and anomalies on rail fare pricing. When buying a ticket you must ensure it is a valid ticket for the journey you wish to make.

Hastings Line to London Charing Cross

Annual Season Ticket to London

Annual Season Ticket to Oxted via London Terminals

Annual Saving

Tonbridge

£3,884

£2,168

£1,716

High Brooms

£4,160

£3,932

£228

Tunbridge Wells

£4,260

£3,932

£328

Frant

£4,260

£3,932

£328

Wadhurst

£4,524

No quote available

-

Stonegate

£4,548

£4,228

£320

Etchingham

£4,548

£4,228

£320

Robertsbridge

£4,548

£4,228

£320

Battle

£4,696

£4,404

£292

Maidstone Line to Victoria

Annual Season Ticket to London

Annual Season Ticket to Oxted via London Terminals

Annual Saving

East Malling

£3,996

£3,912

£84

West Malling

£3,996

£3,912

£84

OTHER WAYS TO SAVE ON YOUR FARES...

• Work out how much you would save by renewing your annual season ticket before January 1 to beat the rises and get it at this year’s price.

• Check whether you could save money by setting off from a different station. Fares can vary up and down the line, and check the car parking charges, too.

• For general tickets, always try and buy in advance as you can save a great deal. The National Rail site is good for showing the best fares from all rail companies www.nationalrail.co.uk but it might be wise to check individual rail company sites and try and use sites that do not charge a fee.

• Sometimes you can save quite a bit by splitting your tickets – buying separate tickets for different legs of your journey, so it is worth checking those options. And you don’t necessarily have to break your journey if a ticket to a midway station and then a second ticket from there to the end of the journey proves cheaper – as long as the train stops at the midway point.

• You can save loyalty points towards future tickets by buying your rail tickets through Red Spotted Hanky www.redspottedhanky.com – but be sure to use your loyalty points before the end of each year as they do not carry over. Once purchased, you will receive simple instructions on how pick them up from the ticket machine at your chosen departure station.

• Quidco.com is a site that offers cashback and it is worth shopping around for other sites with incentives for buying rail tickets through them – some may offer Nectar point deals, too.

• Always claim “delay repay” refunds on all tickets, including season tickets, when trains have been delayed by a certain amount of time. Details of the rules and which rail companies have signed up for the Passengers’ Charter can be found at the Passenger Focus watchdog site www.passengerfocus.org.uk Southeastern railway claims can be made online at www.southeasternrailway.co.uk/ contact/delay-repay/ or you can pick up a form at the station.

• Don’t forget to check for new discount railcards. Two Together is a new one from National Rail this year and gives discounts for two adults without the need for travelling with children, such as on the Family and Friends card.

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{ LIFE&STYLE }

SOME OF THE BEST WAYS TO ENHANCE YOUR HOME AND LIFESTYLE THIS MONTH

HEHKU Hehku is a fresh, exciting brand created by a team of renowned luxury kitchen and glassroom designers. The Hehku team utilise their years of experience to deliver heavenly bespoke living spaces of divine look, function and quality. Consisting of the exclusive Cucina (kitchen) and Illuma

(orangery and conservatory) brands, Hehku are fast building a reputation for producing beautiful, eye-catching designs blended with uncompromisingly attentive service. Using only the finest materials to create ‘transformational living spaces’, Hehku will truly enhance the way you enjoy your home.

Alltask House, Commissioners Road, Rochester, Kent ME2 4EJ 0800 542 0852 www.hehku.co.uk

STARJUMPZ CHILDREN’S CENTRE

P

ioneering children’s centre Starjumpz will be opening its doors on the evening of Thursday October 2 to parents, teachers, health and other professionals wanting to learn more about the services it offers to children of all ages with learning, developmental, motor and behavioural challenges. Based in Tunbridge Wells, the centre can diagnose, treat and support children of all ages with neurological and behavioural problems such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia.

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The centre brings together a number of renowned professionals specialising in child development. Starjumpz also recently added Neurofeedback to its range of therapies. Neurofeedback treats problems known to have a huge impact on learning such as attention and concentration, hyperactivity, anxiety, sleep and depression. Starjumpz is also the only centre in the South East to offer Neurofeedback treatment, in combination with other intensive therapies. The Open Evening will take place from 7pm to 9.30pm on Thursday October 2. To book a place, call 01892 510 257 or email info@starjumpz.com Speldhurst Place, 78 Speldhurst Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 0JA www.starjumpz.com

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EDMONDSON INTERIORS Our experienced designers and master craftsmen make utterly bespoke kitchens and spaces. From the traditional and truly classic to the most contemporary, we follow our clients’ needs but give our years of experience and expertise to produce outstanding, ‘dream come true’ results. Visit us at our showroom and workshop in the heart of the Weald of Kent and you’ll understand how much store we put in the relationship with our clients. Alternatively, if you’d prefer, we can arrange for a designer to visit you at home. We’d love to hear from you! Hammonds Farm, Smiths Lane, Goudhurst, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 1EU 01580 212 323 www.edmondsoninteriors.co.uk

RENCRAFT

For more than 33 years, we have specialised in the design and build of exceptional handmade, solid wood kitchens and furniture for every room of the home. With showrooms in Tunbridge Wells and Chart Farm, Sevenoaks, we are hugely proud of our workshop, which adjoins our Sevenoaks showroom, facilitating a truly tailored and seamless service. We pride ourselves on fine quality materials, exemplary attention to detail and outstanding client service. We look forward to welcoming you to our showrooms soon. 81 Calverley Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 2UY 01892 520 730 Unit 9, Chart Farm, Seal Chart, Sevenoaks, Kent TN15 0ES 01732 762 682 www.rencraft.co.uk

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NEW RESEARCH BEGS THE QUESTION

COULD YOU AFFORD TO BUY A HOME IN THE WEALD? With property prices still on the rise, the local market is continuing to show strong signs of recovery, but this could be bad news for those who aspire to live and work in the Weald. Are you comfortably on the property ladder while your high earning friends struggle to afford a place in your neighbourhood? As research reveals that two local districts are among the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 10 least affordable places to live, we take a closer look at the surprising figures. Which areas are the most exclusive and which prominent Wealden town fails to make the top 100?

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AFFORDABILITY

E

veryone knows that London is the country’s most expensive property hot spot. With homes in most boroughs now costing at least 10 times the local average salary – to buy in Kensington and Chelsea, you’ll need to stump up more than 30 times your annual pay – it’s no surprise that in excess of one million people choose to commute to work in the capital rather than live there. London salaries, of course, go much further outside the city. But what if you want to work where you live? According to a recent study of rural property markets by the National Housing Federation, those who choose to live and work in certain areas outside London may not be any better off. The research reveals some unexpected facts about relative affordability, i.e. how much properties cost in relation to the average salary paid in the local area. For example, you’d be better off landing a job and settling in Hammersmith, where property costs 16.3 times the borough’s average salary, than trying to work and set up home in Sevenoaks, where you’ll pay up to 17 times your income – making it the country’s fifth most unaffordable place to live outside London. When, as in Sevenoaks, local salaries are also slightly under the UK national average of £26,500 per annum, that’s a worrying scenario for many homebuyers. The situation is not much better in the Wealden district, which came in at number 10 in the unaffordability stakes. Here, the average property will set you back just over £291,000, which is nearly 15 times the likely local salary of £19,900. Even those who earn well over the local average might find themselves priced out of their dream home, with London commuters, wealthy incomers and holiday home seekers pushing up values. This means that people who already bought a property in these areas years ago can feel very smug indeed, while even those on superior salaries looking to buy now may have missed the boat. Here are those top 10 pricey postcodes in full: LOCAL AUTHORITY DISTRICT South Bucks Cotswold, Gloucestershire Chichester, West Sussex Waverley, Surrey Sevenoaks, Kent Tandridge, Surrey South Oxfordshire Purbeck, Dorset South Hams, Devon Wealden, East Sussex

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MEDIAN HOUSE PRICE £563,032 £344,614 £356,146 £438,032 £399,540 £383,336 £372,632 £273,586 £304,012 £291,535

AVERAGE LOCAL SALARY £27,903 £18,075 £19,911 £25,464 £23,442 £24,154 £24,107 £17,846 £20,478 £19,932

AFFORDABILITY RATIO 20.2 19.1 17.9 17.2 17 15.9 15.5 15.3 14.8 14.6

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Rother in East Sussex charts at number 16 with asking prices of 13.9 times the average local salary, while residents of Tonbridge and Malling are slightly better placed at number 39, as they’ll only need a mortgage of nearly 12 times their income to buy in the district. In terms of relative affordability, this means Tonbridge locals shell out more for their homes than if they lived in Harrow, Kingston upon Thames or Hackney. Perhaps surprisingly, Tunbridge Wells doesn’t feature in the top 100 unaffordable districts, making it much less exclusive than its neighbouring towns. Does this mean that properties are under-priced, locals are overpaid or that the employment and property markets have struck a happy balance? To cast more light on the situation, we’ve crunched the numbers to see how property prices pan out in nine key towns and villages across the Weald. Will the figures support the NHF’s research and if so, where will you face the most competition for an affordable home? Bearing in mind the average house price in England currently stands at £276,000, we discover what proportion of homes for sale fall within the £270,000 to £280,000 price bracket in each area. See how many opportunities there are for first time buyers and what percentage of the local market requires a king’s ransom for the keys. Note: We searched properties available on the market at the time of writing, as listed on Rightmove.co.uk. For Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks, we searched within a three-mile radius; for the others we searched a one-mile radius.

TUNBRIDGE WELLS Properties for sale

716

More than £1million

45

Market share

6%

£500,000 to £999,999

120

Market share

17%

£280,000 to £499,999

310

Market share

43%

£270,000 to £279,999

21

Market share

3%

£150,000 to £269,999

175

Market share

24%

Under £150,000

45

Market share

7%

Top priced property

£2.95million

SEVENOAKS Properties for sale

248

More than £1million

48

Market share

19%

£500,000 to £999,999

67

Market share

27%

£280,000 to £499,999

102

Market share

41%

£270,000 to £279,999

4

Market share

2%

£150,000 to £269,999

25

Market share

10%

Under £150,000

2

Market share

1%

Top priced property

£5.95million

TONBRIDGE Properties for sale

328

More than £1million

6

Market share

2%

£500,000 to £999,999

64

Market share

20%

£280,000 to £499,999

154

Market share

47%

£270,000 to £279,999

12

Market share

4%

£150,000 to £269,999

78

Market share

24%

Under £150,000

14

Market share

3%

Top priced property

£2.5million OCTOBER 2014

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AFFORDABILITY

CRANBROOK

EDENBRIDGE

Properties for sale

149

More than £1million

19

Market share

13%

Properties for sale More than £1million

78 26

Market share

33%

£500,000 to £999,999

55

Market share

37%

£500,000 to £999,999

17

Market share

22% 14%

£280,000 to £499,999

48

Market share

32%

£280,000 to £499,999

11

Market share

£270,000 to £279,999

3

Market share

2%

£270,000 to £279,999

0

Market share

0%

£150,000 to £269,999

19

Market share

13%

£150,000 to £269,000

18

Market share

23%

Under 150,000

5

Market share

3%

Under £150,000

6

Market share

8%

Top priced property

£3.5million

Top priced property

£3.95million

TENTERDEN

TICEHURST

Properties for sale

82

More than £1million

6

Market share

7%

Properties for sale More than £1million

41 4

Market share

10%

£500,000 to £999,999

23

Market share

28%

£500,000 to £999,999

7

Market share

17% 54%

£280,000 to £499,999

38

Market share

46%

£280,000 to £499,999

22

Market share

£270,000 to £279,999

0

Market share

0%

£270,000 to £279,999

0

Market share

0%

£150,000 to £269,999

10

Market share

12%

£150,000 to £269,999

7

Market share

17%

Under £150,000

5

Market share

7%

Under £150,000

1

Market share

2%

Top priced property

£1,995,000

Top priced property

£4million

CROWBOROUGH Properties for sale More than £1million £500,000 to £999,999 £280,000 to £499,999 £270,000 to £279,999 £150,000 to £269,999 Under £150,000 Top priced property

GOUDHURST 152 18 32 68 7 16 11 £2.85million

Properties for sale

Market share Market share Market share Market share Market share Market share

12% 21% 45% 5% 11% 7%

39

More than £1million

7

Market share

18%

£500,000 to £999,999

17

Market share

44% 28%

£280,000 to £499,999

11

Market share

£270,000 to £279,999

1

Market share

3%

£150,000 to £269,999

3

Market share

7%

Under £150,000

0

Market share

0%

Top priced property

£3.35million

CHARITY STARTS AT HOME

So, of our nine Wealden towns and villages, all have by far the greatest proportion of property available at above £280,000 – none have more than a few for sale at the national average of around £276,000. Bearing in mind that the average local salary is slightly lower than the national average in the Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Malling, Wealden and Ashford local authority districts – the only exception being Tunbridge Wells borough, which bucks the trend at just over £28,000 per annum – this means that many of these homes are even more unaffordable to locals than they appear at first glance. Could the key to Tunbridge Wells’ affordability be

98

that healthy average salary? This may be the case, as house prices in Goudhurst and Cranbrook – both of which are in the TW borough and where the greatest number of homes are priced between £500,000 and £1million – do not hint at a lower end property market. But you’ll certainly need to be earning top dollar if you want to live in Edenbridge, which emerges as our most expensive spot to buy a home. With 55% of the available properties costing more than £500,000, and 33% at £1million or above, you’ll need to be earning significantly more than Sevenoaks district’s average £23,442 per year to secure a pad in this beautiful town.

Many Sevenoaks residents might find themselves priced out of buying their dream home, but that doesn’t mean they’re tightfisted with their cash. Donation website JustGiving.com has named Sevenoaks as the UK’s most generous town, in terms of individual donations. Their data showed that over the year to May 2014, locals gave an average of £42.29 per head to charitable causes, making them the most selfless donators in the country.

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EVENTS

PHOTO SHOOT

A monthly round up of socials and other events across our part of the world

SARAH BOND

ALL THAT HOLIDAY JAZZ For the second year running, the popular free summer season of jazz on The Pantiles brought 12 extra Music on the Tiles performances for three days and nights over the August bank holiday. They included a lively evening performance by guitarist

George Anderson of Shakatak fame and his band (above). Even the rain on Monday didn’t stop play. Headliners the Blues Brothers Little Brother and other acts simply moved indoors and entertained inside the Tunbridge Wells Hotel and Woods Restaurant. www.pantilestraders.co.uk

CHARLIE BOND

GOOD WOOD The Weald was alive with the sound of music when The Rare Breeds Centre in Woodchurch held their Acoustic in the Wood concert. The event was a sell-out, with visitors coming from across the county to listen to some of Kent’s best local talent. All proceeds from ticket sales went towards helping the Canterbury Oast Trust. Guests danced the night away under the stars before the show closed with an incredible performance from Coco and the Butterfields. www.rarebreeds.org.uk

Hole Park’s annual Camel Race Day didn’t hit any humps – as thousands of people turned up to see the animals compete. The event, held in aid of the Wild Camel Protection Foundation, created traffic chaos across the Weald as cars queued to get into the park to see the camels race. The ‘War Camel’ Gobi also made an appearance, while Mongolian wrestlers performed and visitors enjoyed live music. www.holepark.com

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DAN SCOTT

RUNNING WILD

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BARKING MAD AT THE BLUE CROSS

GENO’S FEELING FOOD Legendary blues singer Geno Washington may have swapped his Ram Jam Band for Yo Yos, but he still had The Forum in Tunbridge Wells rammed and jammed. Now in his 70s, he rocked the stage with such hits as I Feel Good and Jumpin’ Jack Flash. “Absolutely fabulous. I love coming to Tunbridge Wells,” Geno told the The Forum’s new online TV show The FTW. “The atmosphere was great… They treat us fantastic and in actual fact I feel like a fat rat in a cheese factory!” The next legend to appear at The Forum is fiery Arthur Brown on Saturday October 25. www.twforum.co.uk

SARAH BOND

Northiam Blue Cross Centre saw animal lovers from around the Weald turn out for their Fete and Fun day. With dog shows, live entertainment, animal agility classes and face painting among the activities, the day was perfect for pets as well as their human companions. The charity also opened its doors to the cat units, so visitors could view some of the felines in need of a new home. www.bluecross.org.uk

SARAH BOND

CHARLIE BOND

EVENTS

WISHING IN THE WELLS

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) found rising Kent stars when they held a Furity Evaluation day at Plumpton College. Three local breeders may have reared the stars of the future, as their horses received high scores for their potential in dressage, showjumping and endurance careers. Some could even become Olympic champions. “Just A Jewel is the best one I have bred so far,” says breeder Julia Soyke from Tunbridge Wells. “I am excited about her, she is bold, curious and nimble and easy to handle. I am looking for a really keen and committed owner for her”.

CHARLIE BOND

CRAIG PAYNE

NOT HORSING AROUND

Tunbridge Wells shoppers had their Monday blues well and truly blown away when Australian band The Wishing Well came to town. The group performed a variety of music at Fiveways, using violins, electric guitars and even a cello to create a folk-rock sound. Crowds gathered to watch the musicians in action, and many took to Twitter and Facebook afterwards to compliment them and promote the performance. www.facebook.com/thewishingwell

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HALLOWEEN

TERRIFYING TALES FOR HALLOWEEN

Settle down by the fire, snuggle closer to your loved ones and discover the scary stories, both old and new, that are sure to chill you to the bone

C

ontrary to popular British belief, Halloween is not an American invention, but rather a deep-rooted tradition that stems from Blighty’s own dark past. Like any ancient ritual, there’s still a degree of debate about its exact origins and development, but the event is commonly believed to have derived from the Celtic harvest festival, Samhain. In ancient Gaelic culture, the spring and summer were regarded as the ‘light half’ of the year; once the harvest was collected and the nights began to draw in, this heralded the arrival of the ‘dark half’ and all the mystic connotations that came with it. Our ancestors also believed that around this time, the veil between this world and the next was at its thinnest, with spirits, goblins, fairies and other creepy entities able to enter our plane and walk among us at will. The practice of wearing frightening costumes and embracing occult items may have started in a

bid to frighten away these ghoulish creatures, by playing them at their own game. In a bid to banish pagan festivals and beliefs, Pope Gregory III moved the Christian celebration of All Saints’ Day from May 1 to November 1 in the eighth century. All Hallows is an old English term for All Saints – over time All Hallows Eve, on October 31, became shortened to Hallowe’en. And the rest is history... Although the Americans often get the blame for the popularity of trick-or-treating, the practice already existed in the UK and Ireland in some form, well before our transatlantic cousins adopted it in the early 20th century. ‘Souling’, in which the poor would sing outside wealthy people’s doors in exchange for food, was going on long before then, while ‘guising’ – dressing in costumes and carrying turnip lanterns – was recorded in Scotland as early as 1895. Our fascination with ghosts and ghouls,

however, isn’t just restricted to one night a year. For centuries we’ve been captivated by the idea of an afterlife and what happens when some poor soul is unable to reach ‘the other side’. This premise has sparked the imaginations of countless great writers, from Shakespeare’s Hamlet to Stephen King’s extensive canon of spine-tingling works. The art of terrifying readers is an exquisite one – without the use of visuals or sound to provide easy scares, writers have to craft unsettling pictures in their readers’ minds using words alone. This is no mean feat and one at which many authors have failed; others, however, have created timelessly horrifying moments that live in the imagination long after you’ve read the final line. So, if you’re in the mood to be spooked this Halloween, here’s our selection of some chilling tales, both classic and modern, that are sure to make your skin creep. Just don’t read them alone...

THE TELL-TALE HEART BY EDGAR ALLAN POE First published in 1843 Dark fiction doesn’t get much darker than the writings of Edgar Allan Poe and when it comes to macabre moments, his catalogue provides a wealth of highlights. Buy any collection of his short stories and you’ll find numerous unforgettable tales within – The Fall of the House of Usher, The Black Cat, The Masque of the Red Death, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Cask of Amontillado, Hop-Frog and The Man of the Crowd are all essential reading for any selfrespecting horror fan. Poe infused his work with glimpses into drug-fuelled madness and even insanity, in a way that leaves the reader unsure that some of it doesn’t stem from Poe’s own unfortunate experiences. If we have to choose one stand-out story though, it would be The Tell-Tale Heart. More horror than supernatural, the tale explores how an irrational obsession can create situations that may or may not be real, and induce phenomena that ultimately bring a criminal to justice by his own hand.

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GHOST STORIES OF AN ANTIQUARY BY MR JAMES First published in 1904 You’ll find many of these tales reproduced in later, larger anthologies, but this first issue is proof, should it be needed, that MR James is the undisputed master of the ghost story. The elegance of his writing belies the really quite horrible situations that arise, from murdered or stolen children to a hairy demonic beast manifesting in a cosy sitting room. James’ favourite protoganists are fusty old academics whose assured sense of reality is suddenly rocked by the most baffling and terrifying occurrences. A great example of this is Oh Whistle, and I’ll Come To You, My Lad, in which a misanthropic professor heads off for a relaxing holiday in a remote part of coastal Suffolk. In a textbook case of curiosity kills the cat, the professor finds an old whistle buried among some Templar ruins and unwisely decides to blow it... Thus begins a slow-burning nightmare that will give any reader a few uncomfortable nights.

THE TURN OF THE SCREW BY HENRY JAMES First published in 1898 If MR James was a prolific creator of horrors, his namesake Henry James produced one great work that is cited by many aficionados as the greatest ghost story ever written. Reportedly inspired by an anecdote told to the author by the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Turn of the Screw was described by the Independent in 1899 as ‘the most hopelessly evil story that we have ever read in any literature, ancient or modern.’ More than a century after it was first published, the ambiguity of the story has kept the debate buzzing among critics and literature students, with a number of different theories emerging about its possible subtexts. A prim young governess lands her ideal job, taking care of two charming children in an isolated country house – only to find that she is their sole guardian against an insidious force for evil that wishes to corrupt her young charges’ souls. Does the woman really see what she thinks she sees? Are the spirits of two former servants really out to capture the children, or are her visions driven by paranoid delusion? Read for yourself and see if you can solve the mystery.

THE SHINING BY STEPHEN KING First published in 1977 While Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film version is deservedly acclaimed as a scary watch, the real story of the ill-fated Torrance family is found in King’s masterly third novel. There are frightening moments in the book, certainly – more so than in the movie, in fact – but the novel is so much richer and really brings the characters to life. Jack is more than just a volatile drunk, Wendy is not the meek dishmop portrayed in the film and five-year-old Danny’s complex ‘gift’ is explored in the dark detail it warrants. Perhaps most importantly, the family’s history is described in some depth, giving a greater insight into the existing tensions and resentments that were just waiting to boil over amid the malevolent attentions of the Overlook Hotel.

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HALLOWEEN

THE WOMAN IN BLACK BY SUSAN HILL First published in 1983 Film adaptations are famously unable to stick to the source material, as if the original bestselling story was not quite good enough for Hollywood directors. Often changes are made to better suit the movie format but this does mean that cinema audiences who haven’t read the book end up with a skewed idea of the real plot. The recent film version of The Woman in Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe, was a serviceable thriller with plenty of jumpy moments, but it took huge liberties with Susan Hill’s modern classic. Her deceptively simple tale takes an ambitious young solicitor to the fabulously eery Eel Marsh House to sort through a deceased client’s mountain of neglected paperwork, where he discovers that he might not be quite alone. Viewed by many critics as the perfect ghost story, this short and definitely not sweet volume is a must for your bookshelf.

THE LITTLE STRANGER BY SARAH WATERS First published in 2009 As much as we love our monsters, ambiguity is a fantastically effective part of any writer’s toolbox. Ghosts provide the ultimate division of opinion in real life – some people believe emphatically, others won’t entertain the idea – and this conflict is used to devastating effect in Sarah Waters’ fifth novel. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, this tale is something of a departure for Waters, who was previously best known for the controversial Tipping the Velvet and who won’t actually confirm whether The Little Stranger is a ghost story or not, leaving readers with a tantalising mystery in the last few pages. In post-war rural Warwickshire, a hard-up doctor is called to attend the last servant still working at grand Hundreds Hall. Home to the aristocratic Ayres family, the house is, like so many other stately homes at that time, in severe decline – as are the family’s fortunes. One by one, the occupants’ pasts come back to haunt them, as Dr Faraday watches in helpless bewilderment. Is it all the work of an unfriendly spirit or are the Ayres’ simply cursed with mental illness? Buy a copy and see if you can work it out...

DARK MATTER BY MICHELLE PAVER First published in 2010 Chilling in the most literal sense, this successful children’s author’s first attempt at an adult novel plays out in an extraordinary frozen landscape. It’s 1937 and young Jack is given the chance to escape the poverty and drudgery of his London life by joining a year-long Arctic expedition. Resentful of his privileged upper class colleagues, Jack is already struggling with his insecurities before they set sail. But as the short Arctic summer draws to a close and endless night beckons, he gradually becomes aware of a very unwelcome extra guest... Once these uncanny stories have put you in the mood for chills, check out the many great Halloween events taking place across the area.

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ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE Writer Mark Twain once said that he believed Heaven had been modelled on Mauritius. So if you’re looking for some luxurious winter sun as the festive season looms, the Indian Ocean island just might provide the perfect getaway, as Lauren Taylor discovers

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s I struggle to perform a tree pose followed by sun salutations, only the sound of birds chirping and leaves rustling in the ocean breeze threaten to throw me off balance. But the setting, a gazebo surrounded by pretty gardens, helps to induce a much-needed sense of calm and my early morning yoga session puts me in a relaxed frame of mind for the day ahead. I’m deep in the Indian Ocean, on the island of Mauritius and in an attempt to unwind and raise my spiritual awareness, I’ve enrolled in a Reiki master course at the dreamy Shanti Maurice resort. I’m not 100% convinced that a novice can master this healing practice in just 48 hours, but I arrive with an open mind, which I’m told is the first step. One thing I am certain of is that the island’s sandy beaches, swaying palm trees and calm

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turquoise waters spell instant relaxation. The five-star Shanti Maurice is located in the rural, unspoilt south of Mauritius, dominated by farmland and sugar cane plantations. There are far fewer hotels here than in the north of the island. The floor-to-ceiling window in my room is a picture of ocean water and white sand. As the days go by, I find myself leaving the curtains open so I can wake up to the sunrise in the huge bed facing out towards the sea. The room itself is elegant and minimalist, with a balcony overlooking the beach and an outdoor rain shower. But this island of one million people has far more to offer than just its picturesque coastline and year-round sunshine. Steeped in history, it’s a melting pot of diverse beliefs and culture. Officially

discovered by the Portuguese in 1505, it’s since been occupied by the Dutch, French and British, before becoming independent in 1968, but it was Indian ethnic groups that were the first to arrive on the island to settle. The European and Indian influence is evident in the local food, dress and culture. Many people speak English, French, Creole and an Indian dialect, Bhojpuri. And the religions include Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Buddhism. I witness the religious fervency on a visit to Ganga Talao lake. Surrounded by temples and statues of deities Shiva, Hanuman and Lakshmi, it’s considered to be the most sacred Hindu place on the island. People are gathered around the water’s edge, excitedly dressing the statues with colourful decorations as a mark of respect.

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“Everyone comes out to the streets to celebrate, no matter what religion they are,” our driver tells us. “Mauritians are proud of being so inclusive and welcoming of lots of different cultures.” Having soaked up some of the spiritual atmosphere, I’m ready to embark on my Reiki training. Developed by a Japanese Buddhist in the early 1920s, the technique involves laying hands on specific areas of the body to channel ‘life energy’. Many champion its healing powers and it’s even used in a number of private hospitals and hospices, as a complementary therapy on top of conventional treatment, for illnesses such as cancer.

there’s a lot to get through in two days. We learn about chakras and energy and self-healing, then practise techniques on one another. We meditate and chant, which feels incredibly alien at first, but I tell myself to get over it. Then we take part in ‘attunement’, where the Reiki healer ‘transfers’ the Reiki ability over to us, allowing us to finally learn the technique for laying hands on ourselves and others. It’s pretty simple but people react very differently. Some say they feel something very powerful, others just that it’s “comforting” or “relaxing”. It sparks diverse debate at dinner

Travel facts Lauren Taylor was a guest of Western & Oriental (www.westernoriental.com) who offer seven nights at Shanti Maurice (www.shantimau rice.com) from £2,040 per person, based on two sharing. This includes seven nights’ accommodation half-board, economy flights on Emirates from Gatwick and private airport transfers in Mauritius. Valid for travel until December 22 and must be booked 30 days before departure. The two-day Reiki Workshops cost an additional €299 (about

I find myself leaving the curtains open so I can wake up to the sunrise in the huge bed facing out towards the sea

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There’s no evidence that it can cure conditions, but many people believe in its powers of improving overall wellbeing. Vijay Raghavan (below) from the Centre of Natural Healing gives me and my fellow travellers an introduction to the Reiki principles, its history and all things spiritual. We learn abdominal breathing and meditation, where we are encouraged to channel positive energy. I can’t help but feel it’s a shame the teaching isn’t outside, given that the surroundings are so pretty, but

afterwards though, but what someone will get from a course like this completely depends on the individual. I continue my spiritual training with a soothing yoga session, indulgent 60-minute full body massage in the heavenly Nira Spa and a day spent lounging on the beach. When I’m not feeding my soul, I spend time feasting on excellent seafood in the resort’s restaurant. Mauritians are warm and welcoming hosts, as I discover on a visit to the Rum Shed, a beach hut style rum bar within the resort. I sip

£247) per person and will be running from October 18 to 19 and December 13 to 14. www.tourism-mauritius.mu

on a cocktail while wriggling my toes in the sand and marvel at how the 20-year-old barman Sunny might just be the happiest man I’ve ever met. Later that evening, we dine at Fish Shack where lanterns line the beach. A roaring bonfire lights up the dark sea as Mauritian dancers in traditional dress spin in the firelight to a drum beat. On my final day, I wake up early, not for another yoga session but to take a catamaran ride in search of a school of dolphins that gather in Tamarin Bay. They jump alongside the boat and when a mother and baby appear, everyone squeals with excitement. On our way back to the resort, we stop at a tiny uninhabited island where stalls line the beach and men sell jewellery from rowing boats. But even insistent hawkers do little to dampen my mood. I certainly feel far more centred, mindful and relaxed than I did a week ago. While I’m not sure I’m quite ready to offer up my services as a Reiki healer, it will easily make for good dinner party conversation back home and the process of learning a new skill has helped focus my thoughts for a few days. Instead, I wrap my healing hands around another cocktail in the Rum Shed and raise a glass to the setting ball of fire on the horizon - my own take on a sun salutation. OCTOBER 2014

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WHY SEPARATION AND DIVORCE CAN BE A CIVILISED AFFAIR If you are experiencing the anxiety and loss of a relationship ending and suffering sleepless nights worrying about the future, you are not alone. Almost 50% of all marriages end in divorce and for many it can be the most traumatic time in their lives. Months and sometimes years are spent deciding whether to separate and then when the decision has been made it can take an age to pluck up the courage to take action. Emotions run high and delays are usually down to fear of the unknown and what life will be like after the separation, not to mention how you’ll cope financially and what you’ll tell the kids. The truth is, there is no easy way out. However, the actions you take now and the choices you make will have a big impact on your new life. Your future is in your hands. You can choose to be reactive to your situation or you can be proactive, take the lead and put a stop to the fighting, anger and hurt. Divorce and separation is a life changing event and mistakes can be costly, both emotionally and financially; you must be prepared to invest to secure your future. To take control you need information and advice from an experienced and trusted advisor, which will allow you to make informed decisions about your future. My dedicated team are handpicked for their experience working with people who are going through a relationship breakdown. They are all members of Resolution, which means that they have the legal experience required to give you the best advice and are committed to solving your problem in a conciliatory way if possible – saving you the emotional drain of the legal court battle and the legal fees that go with it. They understand the emotional pressure and stress you are going through; they can help ease the pain and will work with you to achieve the best outcome possible

for you to move on with your life. Our service is confidential, discreet and bespoke to each client and we will never disclose your information to others. Out of hours appointments are available. For a limited period of time I am offering a selected number of potential clients the opportunity to meet with one of the family solicitors in my team for a free initial consultation to discuss the options available. Due to high demand my team are only able to offer 20 appointments this month and I know that the appointments will book up very quickly. Choosing the right legal team is key to your emotional and financial future, so contact us today to see how we can help you achieve the outcome you want.

The right legal team is key to your emotional and financial future. Family Law Solicitor, Mediator & Collaborative Lawyer, Sarah Jelly

To take control of your future and apply for one of our free consultations just complete this coupon and post it to the address below. Alternatively call or email me today quoting reference SO0314 Telephone 01892 526 442 or email so@keenemarsland.co.uk

Name.............................................................................................................................. Address.......................................................................................................................... ........................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................ Tel. No............................................................................................................................ Email: .............................................................................................................................

Keene Marsland Solicitors 6 Clanricarde Gardens, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1PH www.keenemarsland.co.uk Appointments available at Tunbridge Wells, Edenbridge, London, Windsor and Woodley Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority No. 71480

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OPTIONS FOR LATER LIFE When we plan ahead for our later years, we all want to look forward to a retirement that is independent, fulfilling and packed with happy memories. For most people, freedom and dignity are their top priorities, along with good health, financial security and the chance to spend quality time with loved ones

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etirement presents the opportunity to enjoy new experiences, revisit past passions or simply enjoy the life you’ve worked so hard to build. Growing older, however, can present a variety of challenges and when circumstances change, finding a solution can seem like a difficult and emotive task. But whether you’re seeking help for yourself or for a much-loved relative, there are caring experts out there just waiting to offer the guidance and advice you need. If an older person wants to stay in their own home and just needs a little assistance with daily chores, there’s a service to suit and support their lifestyle. When more attention is required, there are other options that offer personal independence, with practical and medical support on hand 24 hours a day. Read on to meet the local experts and find out how they can help to make later life fulfilling and enjoyable, whatever the circumstances. Plus, we chat to Hollywood actress Susan Sarandon about playing a grandmother in her latest film and we discover why retired people should be making their finances a family affair. OCTOBER 2014

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inside your

LATER LIFE guide

WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS? From domiciliary care in your own property to round the clock support at a purpose-built nursing home, there’s plenty of choice when it comes to planning your future LUXURY OF INDEPENDENCE Assisted living means a beautiful home without the worry of maintenance, as you’ll discover at Barchester Care’s new Assisted Living apartments DIGNIFIED LIFESTYLE At Beulah Lodge, residents are encouraged to live independently and treat the Victorian house as their own, while enjoying the support of dedicated staff

FOCUS ON PATIENTS With a refurbished hydrotherapy pool and a commitment to quality, the team at Burrswood is here to meet your physical, spiritual and emotional needs CARE AROUND THE CLOCK Find out how Bluebird Care can help you live an independent lifestyle in your own home with 24/7 live-in support

PERSONAL SERVICE Specialising in live-in care, The Good Care Group provides everything from respite support to highly personalised 24-hour homecare HOME FROM HOME Debbie Harris of Harris and King explains how her expertise can help you to find the right care home

JOIN OUR CLUB Audley Willicombe Park retirement village offers luxury leisure facilities at its Audley Club Health and Wellbeing Centre

SHY ABOUT RETIRING Why you should consider discussing your retirement finances with your nearest and dearest

GROWING OLD DISGRACEFULLY Hollywood actress Susan Sarandon tells us why her latest movie role wasn’t about “an old granny in glasses and a crocheted sweater”

POWER IN YOUR HANDS Warners Solicitors shed light on power of attorney and how you can ensure the right people take care of your affairs

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WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS? People today are living longer, healthier lives, which makes planning for those future years increasingly important. We look at some of the choices for you and your family to consider

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tatistics show that the average life expectancy in the UK is getting higher. English males can now expect to live 78.4 years, while for English women it’s slightly higher at 82.4 years. This means that children born today are expected to live two years longer than children born 10 years ago. But it’s not just about planning ahead. It’s also

DOMICILIARY CARE

LIVE-IN CARE

This is where you are looked after by a personal healthcare professional in the comfort of your own home. You are afforded the freedom and familiarity of staying at home with a few modifications to make mobility and day-to-day living easier and more convenient. Your personal carer visits once or twice a day, ensuring you are kept safe and healthy without infringing on your independence. So, you are able to live your life in a familiar and comfortable environment, while also being safe in the knowledge that you have someone to call upon whenever you need them. About £12-16 p/hr Appeals to: People who are capable of looking after themselves but would benefit from daily contact and check-ins

This means that you get to continue living at home, with your personal carer coming to live with and care for you full time. Having someone close by at all times can make everyday tasks considerably easier. Furthermore, extended company with a carer can do wonders for your emotional wellbeing, as they come to know your habits, preferences and requirements intimately, resulting in a more effective relationship that can adapt as needed. It also means peace of mind for your family, who can rest easy knowing that there is always someone at home to look out for you. About £600 p/wk Appeals to: People who are no longer capable of looking after themselves but don’t want to move out of their home

about the issues some of you might be facing today, or maybe you have older relatives unable to live without some form of support. There are now numerous choices available, which can be hugely beneficial to the person entering this new chapter of their life, as well as to their family. Each option can be tailored to different needs

SHELTERED HOUSING

CARE HOMES

These are for people who This is where you live are no longer able to live at independently in designated home by themselves, grouped housing such as a providing a wealth of block of flats. Often run by convenience in a safe, housing associations who comfortable and social work closely with local environment. They are authorities on a not-forstaffed 24 hours a day with profit basis, these schemes all your meals provided, so allow you to look after you can relax and feel right yourself and come and go at home, meeting new as you wish, living your life people and making new freely from an established, friends along the way. The reliable base. Living as part variety of activities on offer of a close-knit housing area means you can stay busy. also allows for a more social You can also lead a quieter environment, where you lifestyle in a peaceful can be part of a friendly, environment. With a supportive community. communal atmosphere A manager or officer also you’ll be able to enjoy resides on site, offering the company of others, assistance in the case safe in the knowledge of an emergency. that you’re being cared for About £12-20 p/wk plus round the clock. rent or mortgage payments About £700-800 p/wk Appeals to: People who are Appeals to: People who capable of looking after are no longer capable of themselves but prefer to looking after themselves live in a more communal and require day-to-day environment living assistance

and requirements, so whether you or a family member wants to live independently or require full-time assistance, there is always a solution. We take a look at some of those options and give you an overview of the different services, while also providing advice on that all important question of financial planning.

CARE HOMES WITH NURSING Care homes with nursing are purpose-built facilities aimed at people with medical disabilities who are no longer able to be cared for or look after themselves at home. Nursing aides and skilled nurses are available 24 hours a day, providing FINANCIAL premium medical care Financial planning for later where home carers are life is something that is unqualified to do so. Visiting certainly worth thinking hours are generally more about early. The first step flexible than hospitals, is to talk to an meaning you can see more Independent Financial of your loved ones. Adviser (IFA) with Stimulating activities are whom you can discuss a organised and communal risk assessment, grounds provided, enabling evaluate your financial you to socialise with status and explore all the fellow residents while available avenues. you’re on the mend. Pensions are generally About £1,200-1,400 p/wk the most popular Appeals to: People with safety net option, medical conditions who as this is something are no longer capable of you can gradually looking after themselves save for and contribute and require 24-hour to throughout your medical assistance working adult life. OCTOBER 2014

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AUDLEY WILLICOMBE PARK LAUNCHES REFURBISHED AUDLEY CLUB Newly refurbished Health and Wellbeing Centre reopened to owners and visitors

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udley Willicombe Park is the luxury retirement village in Royal Tunbridge Wells and has recently refurbished the Audley Club, which is home to the Health and Wellbeing Centre, as well as its bar/ bistro areas and swimming pool. Motion Spot, specialists in creating beautiful interiors that are designed to be accessible to all, provided support for the flooring and changing rooms in the Health and Wellbeing Centre. The new look facilities will continue to provide an extensive range of activities for owners, including personal training, Zumba and Pilates classes. “Willicombe Park is a magnificent and important local landmark and we are excited to share the

revamped Audley Club with existing owners and the wider community,” states Audley CEO, Nick Sanderson. “At Audley we pride ourselves on offering owners and members from the wider community the kind of facilities you would expect at an exclusive country club or five-star boutique hotel.” The Audley Club is part of the Victorian villa, Willicombe House, which Audley painstakingly restored to its original grandeur from when it was the home of William Willicombe, an architect who was renowned in the local area at the time as the Cubitt of Tunbridge Wells for the number of houses he built in the area. 0800 093 8181 www.audleyretirement.co.uk

The Audley Club is part of the Victorian villa, which Audley painstakingly restored to its original grandeur

WIN... A full club membership for anyone aged 55+ by answering the following question: WHAT IS THE MINIMUM AGE REQUIREMENT TO JOIN THE AUDLEY CLUB? Send your responses and contact information to either: carolynm@audleyretirement.co.uk or by post to Willcombe Park, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 3US. For full terms and conditions on how to win this fabulous prize head to www.audleyretirement.co.uk

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THE LUXURY OF INDEPENDENCE AT HURSTWOOD VIEW Assisted Living is a great way to maintain your lifestyle when you get older, safe in the knowledge that care and support is close at hand if you need it. With Barchester Healthcare’s new Hurstwood View range, you’ll feel right at home in no time

All luxury apartments have been built and decorated to very high specifications. Each apartment offers: • Modern kitchen with integrated appliances and granite worktops • Main bathroom en-suite • An allocated parking space • Emergency 24-hour call system to onsite care team • 24-hour CCTV • Audio-visual telephone entry system (connected to main entrance) • Sky TV and telephone sockets throughout • Smoke and fire detectors throughout, including a heat detector in the kitchen • Solar panels linked to each apartment

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s it time you enjoyed more peace of mind in your retirement? Would you like a beautiful new home without the worry of upkeep? Do you want to keep your independence with the reassurance that help is at hand if you need it? Barchester Healthcare’s brand new Assisted Living apartments near Five Ash Down might just be the answer you’ve been waiting for. A range of 15 one and two-bedroom luxury apartments is now available, with just a few remaining. Close to the pretty hamlet of Five Ash Down, Hurstwood Court enjoys a rural location, yet is conveniently located just off the A26 between the Sussex towns of Uckfield and Crowborough.

The apartments are situated next to Hurstwood View Care Home, which provides first-class nursing, residential and dementia care. Living in an Assisted Living apartment will allow you to enjoy a beautiful home, while knowing that support is close by if you ever need it. At Hurstwood Court we take care of the property upkeep and maintenance, meaning you can enjoy life in a safe, caring, socially active and supportive setting. Assisted Living is all about peace of mind. It’s the perfect solution for someone who wants to maintain their independence in their retirement. Call Jane on 01825 565 971 for more information or visit www.barchester.com

Is it time you enjoyed more peace of mind in your retirement?

All properties are selfcontained, but you have the option of taking advantage of the additional services and facilities available from the care home, such as: • 24-hour onsite care • Clubs, activities and entertainment, including shopping trips and outings • Hairdressing boutique and nail bar • Housekeeping and laundry services • Café • Dining services • Use of Hurstwood View’s beautiful gardens

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PROVIDING QUALITY CARE FOR OVER 25 YEARS The friendly and experienced staff at Beulah Lodge in Tunbridge Wells continue to help people make the most of their later years

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or older residents of Tunbridge Wells who want to continue living an independent lifestyle, Beulah Lodge Rest Home has established itself as a mainstay of professional support in the area. Located on Beulah Road at the heart of the town, Beulah Lodge occupies a large listed Victorian house, enjoying the peaceful surroundings of a quiet residential area. Owner Robert Histed bought the house at an auction in 1987, renovating it from its previous state as a home for boys in the 1920s. Here, residents are encouraged to live independently, enjoying a quality of life that is based on safety and stability, while being treated with the utmost dignity and respect. With the level of required care being assessed on an individual basis, each resident receives their own personalised care plan, created specifically for them and serving to ultimately enhance and enrich their lives. Set out over three floors and accessible by lift, the individually styled en-suite rooms can accommodate up to 21 residents, who are made to feel right at home and given the freedom to treat the house as their own. Ian Lucy, the home’s experienced chef, prepares mouth-watering breakfasts, lunches and dinners on a daily basis from fresh, locally sourced produce, so it certainly isn’t hard to see why meal times are a real treat at Beulah. On that note, there is a distinctly communal atmosphere that is cultivated

here, bringing residents together to enjoy one another’s company in a variety of activities. From shopping trips into town to bingo with staff members on Thursdays, there is never a shortage of things to participate in and enjoy. A little pampering never goes amiss either, as weekly visits from the hairdresser and in-house beauty treatments make the residents feel their best. Further events to look forward to are the popular cheese and wine evenings, as well as afternoon cream teas, which always go down a treat. A variety of crafts and vocations can also be pursued as residents try their hand at baking, flower arranging and card making. Plus, for the more festive time of year, there’s always plenty of carol singing to get everyone in the Christmas spirit. Further afield, specialist outings are chosen by residents and arranged by staff. With past trips having included visits to the theatre, the Brighton Sea Life Centre and Buckingham Palace, such events are often

highlights on each resident’s calendar, allowing them to get out and about for a day of sightseeing. Perhaps the strongest and most touching part of life at Beulah is the long-lasting attachment and fondness that residents develop over the years. With people living here long into their later years, they are able to lead rewarding and fulfilling lives, making new friends and remaining happy and contented in comfortable surroundings that they can truly call home. If you or someone you know is looking for respite or long-term care in the centre of Tunbridge Wells, why not arrange a visit and see for yourself what Beulah Lodge has to offer? Beulah Lodge Rest Home 1 Beulah Road Tunbridge Wells Kent TN1 2NP 01892 548 447 www.beulahlodge.co.uk

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PATIENT CENTRED CARE AT BURRSWOOD HOSPITAL A unique, independent hospital situated in Groombridge, Burrswood provides an excellent and respected facility for those needing short-term medical care

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are is provided by our professional and dedicated clinical team in a spacious 40-bed (en-suite) Decimus Burton building, surrounded by 110 acres of beautiful gardens and peaceful grounds; a wonderful place for recovery and healing. As a Christian organisation and a registered charity, we have welcomed patients of all faiths and none for more than 60 years. Patients’ physical, emotional and spiritual needs are met by a highly skilled team of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, counsellors, chaplains and support staff; all helped by many trained volunteers. The Outpatient Department offers counselling, physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and clinically approved complementary therapies, or you can stay in our Guest Rooms for a therapeutic break.

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Burrswood’s hydrotherapy pool has re-opened following refurbishment. We offer hydrotherapy to a wide range of people, many of whom have complex needs. Thanks to all the generous donations that made this possible, even more people will be able to access our service.

We are proud of our commitment to quality, person-centred care and providing value for money. But you don’t have to be a patient to visit; the gardens and extensive grounds are open to the public seven days a week, so we hope that you will come to see for yourself what makes Burrswood such a special place. Our Tea Room offers delicious home-cooked food and we also have a bookshop and gift shop on site. To find out more visit our website www.burrswood.org.uk Alternatively, call our Admissions Team on 0800 988 4379 or email enquiries@burrswood.org.uk Burrswood Hospital, Groombridge, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN3 9PY Registered with the Care Quality Commission. Registered Charity No 1095940

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Bluebird Care develops

24 hr Live-in Care

Joan’s Story

Looking after an elderly relative is a challenge most of us face at some stage, but now there is a service that offers independent living in one’s own home. Bluebird Care is challenging conventional thinking about later-life care with its new 24/7 Live-in Care service where personal assistants live around the clock in the homes of vulnerable customers. As Debbie Moulton of Bluebird Care explains: “Live-in Care provides a bridge between the time when independent living can be achieved with assistance from visiting carers and the time when residential care is unavoidable. “We have had several customers from our day-visit service who have trialled Live-in Care as an alternative to residential care and have made the trial

permanent.” The costs are similar but the advantages of staying home and maintaining local social networks can make live-in care an attractive option. The local Bluebird Care office provides the staff for the supervision process and also the back-office resources necessary to comply with employment regulation. With places in top-quality residential care in short supply, many families are thinking hard about how their senior members can be helped to remain in their own homes – which is what most of them want. Bluebird Care may just have the solution that works for your family.

Joan has lived in her own home since she was 14, has always been independent and likes her routine. A few years ago she was admitted to hospital and upon her discharge was told that she needed help. She went into various nursing homes before deciding she wanted to move back home. Joan says: “The people in these homes had dementia, so I didn’t fit in and was having to wait for people to help me with my personal care. I had to eat the food they cooked and no one really had the time to keep me company. I really wanted to come home!” Joan’s Social Services case manager gave her a list of companies who offered care at home to choose from. After interviewing with three different companies, she chose Bluebird Care as they were the nearest and the friendliest. Joan adds: “I met with Graz in my own home and she was very pleasant and efficient and put the service into place very quickly. I’ve had carers from different backgrounds and of different ages and we’ve adjusted very quickly to each other and they know my routine. “I find it really beneficial having live-in carers - I have the upper hand in my own home and I’m still independent. I get one-to-one care and everyone looks after my needs. “At this stage in my life that’s very important to me.”

Email Debbie Moulton at debbiemoulton@bluebirdcare.co.uk or call your local office for more information: Bromley 0208 315 0236 bromley@bluebirdcare.co.uk

Sevenoaks 01732 471 541 sevenoaks@bluebirdcare.co.uk

Tunbridge Wells 01732 808 947 tunbridgewells@bluebirdcare.co.uk

CARE VISITS AT HOME Good Old Fashioned Service

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EXPECTATIONS At 68, Oscar winning actress Susan Sarandon is one of Hollywood’s elder stateswomen – though her latest role had people wondering whether she really could be a grandmother. Here, she chats about portraying the older generation and reviving a classic

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usan Sarandon is reflecting on a “crazy” moment earlier this year when she set thousands of film fans’ hearts aflutter. The Oscar-winning actress Tweeted a picture of herself with her Thelma and Louise co-star Geena Davis, posting it beside the 1991 film’s classic image showing the two friends posing for a picture in their car. The Twittersphere went into overdrive with more than 27,000 people reTweeting the image and over 30,000 marking it as a favourite. If the social media reaction to the gesture is anything to go by, time has done little to

If you look at my own life, you’ll see that I’m like a free agent. I just travel in and out and all over dampen the popularity of the seminal movie, which saw Sarandon and Davis playing two friends in search of liberation on the American highways. But given the famous ending, Sarandon admits she struggles to see how a sequel would ever work. “I’d love to work with her [Davis] again,” says the 68-year-old, who joked that if there was a follow-up film, the two stars would have to stay seated in the car to hide the height difference between herself and 6ft 1in Davis. “They have kind of knocked around a few ideas of a sequel to Thelma and Louise, but they were so ridiculous,” the actress explains. “I remember at one point saying, ‘Well what would we do?’ And someone said, ‘You’d collect a big cheque, that’s what you would do’, but I don’t really know how you would resurrect them [the characters] in any way.” Thelma and Louise aside, Sarandon recently hit the road again for another movie. Released in UK cinemas in July and coming to DVD this autumn, Tammy is a straight-up comedy caper, in which she plays Pearl, the grandmother to Bridesmaids star Melissa

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It’s very liberating to look that bad... it didn’t matter if I was sweaty or the lighting was poor McCarthy’s eponymous character. The film also stars Kathy Bates, Dan Aykroyd and Toni Collette and is produced by Will Ferrell. Sacked from her job and fed up with her life, Tammy heads off on a road trip with the only person she knows who has a car and the money to fund a jaunt - her grandma. “Tammy is underdeveloped, stunted and immature. She’s a train wreck. But with a good heart,” says McCarthy, who also co-wrote the film with her husband Ben Falcone (he makes his directorial debut on the movie as well). At 43 though, McCarthy is only 24 years younger than Sarandon, so is it realistic for them to play a grandma and granddaughter? “I’m bad at math,” says Sarandon, laughing. “I just did what they said!” Apparently, however, the team are satisfied that the casting works. “If you figure that Pearl had a baby at 16 and that child had a baby at 16”, notes Sarandon, “it’s totally possible.” The actress didn’t think it was a “huge”

deal to consider how young her character must have been when she gave birth. “If you look at my own life, you’ll see that I’m like a free agent. I just travel in and out and all over. I haven’t done anything according to the right schedule or been with the people at the right whatever,” she says – though she did have a few concerns, about the type of grandmother she’d be playing. “One of the first questions Susan had was, ‘Are you seeing like a little old granny with glasses and a crocheted sweater and an up do bun?’” explains McCarthy, who has two daughters with Falcone. “And we were like, ‘Oh God no, she has raging problems with alcohol and she sleeps around’, and Susan was like, ‘Ok, we’ll be fine, we’re in the real realm’.” Part of being in that “real realm” meant the usual Hollywood grooming was off the agenda for Sarandon, who was made-under with a short salt and pepper perm, baggy, washed-out pastel blouses and often a bottle of liquor in hand. “It’s very liberating to look that bad,” says the Oscar winning actress, who also placed peppercorns in her shoes to force a limp. “We just accentuated everything I would normally hide. And so it didn’t matter if I was sweaty or the lighting was poor. That was kind of cool in hindsight.” You can pre-order Tammy on DVD from www.amazon.co.uk

SENSATIONAL SEVENTIES Susan Sarandon turns 68 this month, so her ‘three score and 10’ celebrations are not too far away. Here are some great looking colleagues who mark the big 7-0 this year Diana Ross, singer Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin guitarist George Lucas, Star Wars and Indiana Jones creator Michael Douglas, actor Roger Daltrey, The Who singer Timothy Dalton, former James Bond Stockard Channing, Rizzo from Grease Jeff Beck, guitarist Connie Booth, comedy actress Robert Powell, actor Jerry Springer, talk show host Gladys Knight, singer Tim Rice, lyricist Joe Cocker, singer Len Goodman, Strictly Come Dancing judge Ray Davies, The Kinks frontman

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ADVERTORIAL

Your Care in Good Hands Specialising in live-in care, The Good Care Group offers a personalised later life service for you and your loved ones, ensuring the support is there when you need it most. Kent Area Manager Elaine Ferris tells us what the group has to offer and how it can make all the difference TELL US A BIT ABOUT THE BACKGROUND AND EXPERTISE OF YOUR COMPANY The Good Care Group’s vision is to provide a high-quality, professional homecare service unique to the health and care market. We aim to make a real impact on quality of life by adopting a highly person-centred approach to care. Our service is closely monitored and responsive to a client’s changing needs. We specialise in ‘live-in’ care and our service is fully managed, which means that we oversee and support the care team assigned to clients. We have a specialist Admiral Nurse, Dr Penny Hibbard, who can provide help and advice to families, as well access to 24/7 support. WHAT SERVICES DO YOU OFFER? Whether you’re looking for 24-hour live-in care or

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a respite service to allow a family carer to take a much needed break, we provide a one-to-one personalised service delivered by expertly trained professional carers. We are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), so you can be assured of the highest standards of care (we specialise in dementia, Parkinson’s, stroke and end-of-life, as well as other issues affecting day-to-day living).

reality. Many people don’t realise they can receive a high quality of service at home. We are very happy to explain all the options and will signpost you based on your situation. *’The Care Choice Gap’ report, commissioned by Consultus Care & Nursing

FINDING CARE FOR A LOVED ONE IS A SENSITIVE SUBJECT. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU OFFER TO THOSE JUST STARTING TO LOOK AT LATER LIFE OPTIONS? Take your time to consider all the options available and don’t rush your decision; planning is key. A recent survey* showed that, of over -75-year-olds wanting to be cared for in their own homes, only 54% think this could be a

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HOW TO EVALUATE A CARE HOME FOR YOUR RELATIVE As a result of her own experiences while looking for a care home, Debbie Harris established her own company in order to help families evaluate care homes and therefore find the best care for their loved one

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ith a background in providing information online for self funders that focused on the best care homes in England, Debbie now offers support and information individually to families, enabling them to feel confident in their choice and reassuring them that they have asked all the right questions. The support offered by Debbie can be as simple as a cup of tea and a chat to ensure that a family is on the right track, or it might involve making a list of the most suitable homes based on individual needs and requirements. Alternatively, she will visit homes on behalf of a family and produce a shortlist from which they can make their decision. Whichever route is taken, Debbie will be there guiding and supporting throughout the process to ensure they find the very best care.

Independent care advice to help you evaluate the best care home for your loved one Be reassured, we can help

Looking for a care home is emotional, often confusing and very time consuming. However, it is important to include your loved one, wherever possible, in any decision making. Before you begin to look for a care home, make a list of questions to ask the Manager and staff and ensure you know the type of care that you need. Consider how the location of the home will affect your ability to see your relative and try and visit your shortlisted homes more than once. Arranging to have lunch at the home with the prospective resident will usually help you make your final decision.

Please contact Debbie Harris on 07810 837 331 or email debbie@harrisandking.co.uk www.dharris546666.wix.com/debbie-harris

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AN EXCEPTIONAL PLACE TO CALL HOME Providing high-quality assisted living, residential care and dementia care services in Kent, Sunrise of Sevenoaks is one of the most prestigious later life communities in the area. We explore the support and services on offer for residents

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t Sunrise Senior Living of Sevenoaks, everything is centred around six principles: encouraging independence, enabling choice, preserving dignity, celebrating individuality, nurturing the spirit and involving family and friends. It has a dedicated and compassionate team who are expertly trained to provide the highest standards of care to each and every resident. Each individual is treated with the highest degree of respect and dignity, promoting their independence, maintaining their skills and even acquiring new ones. Along with the picturesque grounds and beautiful, hotel-like interior, Sunrise of Sevenoaks residents have a choice in all aspects of their lives, from which activities they participate in to how their rooms are furnished. Sunrise has a range of suites available, specifically designed to suit a variety of needs. This includes the Assisted Living community and a specialist dementia community called the Reminiscence Neighbourhood. All the luxurious suites

celebrate individuality and every resident is encouraged to bring in their own furniture. Each suite has a memory box outside with treasured items that the residents have chosen and feel best represent them. There is an extensive list of activities available for residents to take part in, ranging from appearances by guest musicians to coffee mornings and gardening. These are just a few of the opportunities for residents to meet new friends and enjoy their retirement. Many of Sunrise’s events are held in its beautiful landscaped gardens, where you might see one of the community’s pets enjoying a leisurely stroll. Pets are an important part of life at Sunrise, providing companionship, which can be particularly beneficial for residents living with dementia. Sunrise of Sevenoaks’ Reminiscence Neighbourhood provides residents living with dementia with dedicated, well-supported care, delivered by staff with specialist training to support those with Alzheimer’s. With specially designed ‘peaceful areas’ and

activities to stimulate the residents’ minds, the Reminiscence Neighbourhood provides an enriching experience at the community. The chefs at Sunrise of Sevenoaks serve residents nutritious and delicious homecooked meals each day in the high quality restaurant. Residents can choose from a range of meals, alongside snacks and treats, which are available from the bistro all day. As well as providing a wonderful home, Sunrise offers expert advice to those thinking about moving themselves or a loved one into care. The dedicated Sunrise team are always on hand to discuss different care requirements and the options available to people, supporting them to make the right decision. Everything at Sunrise is tailored towards delivering exceptional care and quality of life to residents. For more information, please contact Sunrise of Sevenoaks on 01732 807 123 or visit the community’s website at www.sunrise-care.co.uk OCTOBER 2014

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WHY MAKE A LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY? Mary Shaw from Warners Solicitors, based in Tonbridge and Sevenoaks, explains the benefits of making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) Many people do not realise that no one person automatically has the legal authority to step in and manage your affairs for you if you should lose capacity. An LPA allows you to choose attorneys that you trust, who can then make these decisions for you. There are two types of LPA: â&#x20AC;˘ Health and Welfare â&#x20AC;˘ Property and Financial Affairs The main advantage of having separate LPAs is that you can choose the attorneys dependent upon the type of decisions that need to be made; the person you wish to manage your financial affairs may not be the same person you would like to take decisions in relation to your health and welfare.

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If you do not have an LPA and you lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself, an application has to be made to the Court of Protection to appoint someone to make those decisions. Accordingly, the person chosen may not be someone you would ordinarily choose to make such decisions. In addition, the court process can be costly and time consuming. If you would like to discuss LPAs, please contact Mary Shaw by calling 01732 770 660 or emailing m.shaw@warners-solicitors.co.uk Warners Solicitors Bank House, Bank Street, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1BL

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RETIRING

The thought of discussing our financial arrangements with people we love leaves many of us tongue-tied – and recent research suggests it becomes no easier with age

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report from Aviva, which gathered the views of around 1,000 people either approaching or in retirement, concluded money is a ‘taboo’ topic among many older people, with more than a quarter (28%) of those interviewed admitting they have not had any conversation at all with their family – even their spouse – about their retirement finances. Around two-thirds of over-55s said they actually had discussed their plans with their partner, but only one in five had involved both their partner and their wider family. Yet despite this secrecy, many people said providing for their loved ones was a high priority in retirement. More than two-fifths (42%) of those surveyed said it was important for them to have enough money from their pensions and savings to be able to help out their children and grandchildren. So, why are so many people keen to keep their plans for retirement finances to themselves? Perhaps people see their arrangements as a ‘personal matter’ and simply don’t want to get their family involved – around half of people gave this as the reason. But around a quarter of those who haven’t opened up said they just don’t know enough about their own finances to have a proper family discussion (those in the 55 to 64-year-old age group were the most likely to cite this explanation). The suggestion that many people are brushing their financial plans for retirement

under the carpet happens to come at a time when we’re being given much greater freedom over how we spend our pension pots. The “pensions bombshell”, unveiled in the Government’s recent Budget, will make it much easier for people to cash in their pension savings when they retire, spending their money how they want to, rather than being forced to use it to buy a lifetime income called an annuity.

Perhaps people see their arrangements as a ‘personal matter’ and simply don’t want to get their family involved

conversations” to take place within families about finances. He says: “These findings reveal a stark difference between what people want to do about their retirement finances in respect of their families and what they put into practice. The reality is that failing to address the needs of those close to you could mean they may lose out.” On a final, brighter note, the report also found that the older generation have, on average, around £150 a month more in their pockets than they did a year ago, a sign that they are starting to feel the benefits of an improving economy. Over-55s typically have an income of £1,373 a month, which is an extra £151 a month compared with the spring of last year. Almost one third (29%) of older people identified savings and investments as a source of their income, up from 24% a year ago.

There’s another concern about people’s apparent lack of responsibility too: Aviva’s report showed only around three in five (59%) people aged over 55 have made a will, rising to more than three-quarters (76%) of people aged over 75. Just under a quarter (22%) of those surveyed had made some arrangements that will provide their spouse with an income if they die. Clive Bolton, Aviva’s Managing Director of Retirement Solutions, says all this proves how it’s important for “honest

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Glorious Gardens Emma Davies, who runs The Walled Nursery in Hawkhurst with her husband Monty, tells us how to enjoy splendid succulents

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ucculents seem to be all the rage at the moment. We are all succulent addicts in our nursery – we plant them in boots, cups and saucers, broken pots, we even make living wreaths out of them. What makes these little beauties so great is that they are the easiest plants to grow; the ultimate in low maintenance and needing little watering, they give you architectural elegance all year round. So, what is a succulent? It’s a plant that is usually thick and fleshy; they store water in their leaves or stems, think of cacti but without the spikes. Most succulents perform best in sunny spots, though they will tolerate a fair amount of shade too. Sempervivums, also known as house leeks, are very popular; they are totally hardy and native to wild, rocky, arid areas in mountainous regions. Here they will happily grow and spread within crevices (think about their native habitat when planting, as this is what you need to copy for them to thrive). If you’re new to gardening or to succulents themselves, Sempervivums are good plants to start with.

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There are hundreds of Sempervivums to choose from: some dark red, some bi-coloured, some silvery/grey or vivid green, there is even one variety called Arachnoideum, which looks as if it’s covered in spider’s webs! Mix the colours up to create a Persian carpet effect. The key element to remember when planting any succulent is free draining compost – mix horticultural grit half and half with your multipurpose compost. They actually need very little soil to grow, so why not create their own mountainous crevices? If you have any broken terracotta pots, place the pieces at angles within a larger pot and then fill with your gritty compost mix. Place the succulents between the crevices you’ve created and watch them multiply and start to scramble between the cracks. There are many different species of succulents, too many to write about individually, but here are a few of our favourites. Aeoniums are also known as tree leeks and are similar to Sempervivums in that they have rosettes of either deep black, waxy looking foliage or vivid green. The rosettes are held

Echeveria ‘Duchess of Nuremberg’ A succulent, of course! Beautiful rosettes of thick, waxy leaves that are a stunning pink/grey. Can reach 11cm by 20cm in size. Will not tolerate any frost and must have free draining soil and a sunny spot. Best in containers that you can move indoors over winter.

above stout succulent stems which also store water. Spot them growing out of walls in Cornwall where they overwinter happily. Aeoniums in Kent, however, are not hardy and will turn to mush if frosted; an unheated greenhouse will keep them happy or place them on your window sill for the winter. Lastly, Echeverias – larger versions of Sempervivums – mostly form large rosettes in attractive shades of pinky/grey or silver/green, some with coloured edges, some hardy and some not. These will do very well in shade and will tolerate more water than other succulents. Very architectural, we use these in our living wreaths where they grow purely in sphagnum moss. So, find yourself a container and have some fun! Happy gardening! Emma www.thewallednursery.com

nursery OF THE MONTH

Rotherview Nursery, Hastings This nursery has a superb selection of Alpine plants, including many succulents. They also produce fantastic stone effect troughs which are ideal for starting off a succulent garden. A great nursery to visit, it’s family run and has a large selection of Camellias too. www.rotherview.com OCTOBER 2014

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Fall in love with your garden Prepare your garden for autumn with these helpful tips from top local companies

MAY & WATTS GARDEN DESIGN Now is a great time to get in a designer to look at your garden, either for a complete garden makeover, or an overhaul of existing overgrown borders or tired features that need rethinking. If you had a great holiday this year, there might be elements that you’d like to add to your garden, such as planning a sub tropical border for next year, introducing Mediterranean plants into an unused gravel area or turning a viewing platform into the perfect gem of a Japanese garden. Ask us to help you think about it now and you could be enjoying it next summer. 7 Perryhill Cottages, Edenbridge Road, Hartfield, East Sussex TN7 4JP 01892 770 284 enquiries@mayandwattsgardendesign.co.uk www.mayandwattsgardendesign.co.uk

TREE SURVIVE Trees should have a ‘health check’ once a year, as a healthy tree is a safe tree. This means checking for the three D’s - Dead Wood, Damaged Wood and Diseased Wood. It is now the end of the growing season and a really good time to deal with these issues. If any of these problems are found they need to be dealt with promptly and safely. Any tears should be cut cleanly back to where they originate from to prevent further damage and decay setting in. The new season of autumn can usher in strong winds that can cause branches to fail – some branches are lucky enough to fall to the ground, others get caught up within the canopy of the tree and can be very heavy. These heavy branches will need specialists like ourselves to remove them in sections and bring them safely to the ground. 07984 129 383 / 01892 514 362 rudi@treesurvive.com www.treesurvive.com

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WEALDEN COUNTRY LANDCRAFT As we enter autumn there are many tasks to consider in preparation for winter and for the year ahead. Borders will require tidying where the foliage of some perennials like daylilies and geraniums need cutting back; others can be kept to allow the seed heads to add that extra dimension to the winter scene and to provide food for wildlife. Most perennials will require splitting every two to three years to maintain health and vigour. This is particularly beneficial in autumn for summer flowering plants. The soil can be improved by mulching with well-rotted organic matter. At Wealden Country Landcraft we tend to put the main winter mulch down later when we have removed all of the foliage and seed heads from the perennials to enable us to access the border. 01892 837049 / 07990 751353 www.playfootgardendesign.co.uk

PETALS FOR PLANTS Autumn is the time to prepare your pots, containers and hanging baskets to give interest and enjoyment throughout the winter months. Our tip is to always use fresh compost. Plant suggestions include a mixture of trailing foliage such as Vinca minor, Ivy, Lamium and Ajuga, Dwarf Conifers Heauchera and winter flowering Heathers, interspersed with Wallflowers, Pansies, Violas, Cyclamen and Ornamental Cabbage. You could also use dwarf slow growing shrubs such as Skimmia, Viburnum tinus, Gaultheria procumbens and Euonymus fortunei. To add further effect, extend the season by under-planting with dwarf spring flowering bulbs. Watering needs to be monitored as the compost will dry out during mild spells and wind can also have a drying effect. Protect containers using fleece during frosty periods and stand on pot feet to assist drainage. 01435 884 111 info@petalsforplants.co.uk www.petalsforplants.co.uk

THE POT COMPANY Are you looking for a distinctive feature for your garden that will stand the test of time? A corten steel water table would not only make a beautiful centrepiece for any garden, but it would also attract wildlife and is a fantastic alternative to a pond. Corten steel naturally weathers to develop a protective, striking, rust appearance and works well in both a modern and a more traditional setting. The Pot Company can supply corten steel water tables in various shapes and sizes. Get in contact for more information. 01892 890 353 www.thepotco.com

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HOUSE IN THE COUNTRY The story of Christina Strutt’s business is a true rags to riches tale. Gabrielle Fagan meets her to discover the inspiration behind her ‘country chic’ success

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hristina Strutt was delighted but surprised when friends not only complimented her on her home, but wanted to copy its country chic decor. After all, the hard-up mother-of-two had only a shoestring budget to transform her cottage into a cosy home, but it was the way she used delicate, faded fabrics, painstakingly collected from fairs, markets and antique shops, which caught the eye and made her style unique. Finally, unable to find enough fabrics to satisfy the demand to replicate her

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look, Strutt resourcefully set to and designed her first fabric. That moment marked the humble emergence of such an innovative interpretation of country style, a world away from predictable twee chintz, that 15 years on has blossomed into Cabbages & Roses – the hugely successful, quintessentially British fabric and lifestyle brand. “I really had no intention of starting a business all those years ago,” Christina says, as she takes me on a tour of her flat and shop in a charming Georgian building in London, to give an insight into her design ethos. “At that

time, I was just a mum looking for a way to earn some money that would fit around my family. My only aim was to create something beautiful, which could move and charm with its hint of nostalgia, and would fit people’s homes and the way they wanted to live. I suppose I just wanted to sell things I loved and hoped that others would love them too.” Happily, what Christina loved – fabrics and accessories featuring washed-out florals, stripes and toiles in cool colourways – has, in turn, become adored by her legions of fans. These

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out her first design all those years ago. “I still can hardly believe that it has all turned out the way it has,” she says. “All I ever hoped to build was something around, not just an idea, but a real life. Cabbages & Roses has always been an expression of the things I have found most enchanting throughout my life. It’s a manifestation of halcyon days here, of summers spent picnicking in the English countryside, of rambling coastal walks overlooking seas twinkling in the evening light and of winter nights curled up by the log fire with a pile of books and all the accoutrements of cosiness.”

IMAGES BY PA PHOTO/CICO BOOKS

include a host of celebrities, such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Helena Bonham Carter. Cabbages & Roses’ mail order business sells worldwide and her fabric range, including her first Bees design, recently launched in John Lewis. “This is a place where I can work in the week and get inspiration for new designs and new looks,” she says, as she leads the way through a string of beautifully decorated rooms, including her studio, which feature in her latest book, Cabbages & Roses: Living Life Beautifully. Although it’s miles away from Brook Cottage, the 15th century country home in the rolling hills of Bath, Somerset, where it all began, the interiors reveal not only her style but are also redolent with the atmosphere of ‘country’ that seems to suit any setting. The bias, as it’s an urban apartment, leans toward stripped back shades of grey and muted tones. She’s kept to a tight decorating budget. “It’s possible to make a big difference without spending loads of money,”she says. So a sofa and bed were bought in Ikea, bathroom fittings sourced in sales and hard-wearing sisal flooring runs throughout. Walls are painted in a classic Farrow & Ball shade of Cornforth White and make the perfect backdrop for her signature Cabbages & Roses floral fabrics and skilfully curated displays of memorabilia, crockery and art. The kitchen, which leads to a sunny patio, is a masterclass in bringing a slice of

DECORating TIPS TREAT EACH ROOM AS AN INDIVIDUAL There’s no such thing as one overall style. Read the character of the room as you would a person to help you dress it. CHOOSE ITEMS YOU LOVE Showcase those and use your real favourite as a starting point. Let one become a focal point, whether it’s a piece of furniture, an accessory or a few metres of fabric that could inspire a colour scheme. KEEP IT SIMPLE Neutral colours, unfussy furniture and gentle patterns create a scheme that is calm. Next, layer your accessories, artwork and objects, and the result will be subtle and relaxed. the country to a city setting. Subtle shades of white predominate on the walls and floor, and the only hints of colour come from decorative plates and one of her fabric tablecloths. A home-from-home look continues in the ground floor shop, where her range – fabrics, wallpapers, towels, cushions and perfumed candles – is artfully displayed in room settings. She enlivens the atmosphere with antiques – French furniture and quirky collections, from straw hats to vintage perfume bottles and even an old-fashioned bicycle. Everything is sourced during her travels both in the UK and abroad. “Basically, I haven’t an idea of what I’m doing and I mostly make it up as I go along,” says Christina, 58, who has a charming self-deprecating modesty which belies her success. “I’ve always firmly advocated that homes need to be filled with more than lovely things. To be really beautiful, they must be lived in, with the ‘things’ complementing the human stories that run through them. Spaces must also be comfortable, practical and functional.” At weekends, she returns to Brook Cottage. She often sits and comes up with ideas at the kitchen table, where she hesitantly sketched

CHARACTER IS ALL Ignore dents, scratches and wear and tear as they speak of a piece’s past and its story; those hints of age and history will add character and soul to a home. Cabbages & Roses: Living Life Beautifully by Christina Strutt, photography by Simon Brown, is published by CICO Books, priced at £25. www.cabbagesandroses.com

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UNDER THE HAMMER Another chance to test your knowledge about antiques and their value and at the same time have a bit of fun. Here are five fascintaing items that have been sold recently by one of the leading auctioneers in the south east, Gorringes. What do you know about them? Answers at the bottom of the page and no peeking!

‘All that glitters is not gold’ - a

1

This deceptively plain

2

well-known proverb referring to

pebble-like container,

things that may not be as

only 7cm in length,

precious as they seem. In the

made £1,400 at

case of this amber bead

auction. It is Chinese

necklace recently sold at

and carved from white

auction, while it certainly doesn’t

and russet-coloured

glitter, if it is the ‘right’ type of

jade. How old do you

amber, it may be worth as much

think it is and what

as gold! How much do you think?

is its purpose?

3

For centuries the Chinese have held the reputation of being a nation of compulsive gamblers, using mother of pearl gaming counters which have become collectable items in their own right. This collection of approximately 200 counters, of various shapes and sizes including fish, roundels, squares and rectangles, recently made £480 at auction. They are not especially uncommon items, but have an interesting history. Most counters seen at auction were made in the early 19th century and used for gaming during the Regency period, but when did they first arrive in this country?

4

5

This unusual Swiss

This rare stoneware piece was made in Southall, London around 1880

triangular pocket

at Martin Brothers Pottery. It was modelled by Robert Wallace Martin,

watch was made in the

the eldest of the four brothers, who were famous for their highly eccentric

1930’s. Decorated with

‘grotesque’ designs - each unique item an echo of the art and architecture

various pictorial

of medieval times. What is it and what did it make at auction?

symbols, it also bears the inscription, Love

Your Fellow Man Lend Him a Helping Hand. You can buy an inexpensive reproduction of this watch, but this is the real thing, selling at auction for £950. Who might have owned a watch like this?

ANSWERS 1: An unexplained recent surge in amber-buying resulted in this necklace achieving £7,000 at auction. With a gross weight of 168 grams, this means that it was deemed to be worth around £42 per gram – or four times the value of 9ct gold! 2: It is a snuff bottle and would have been made at some stage during the Qing Dynasty, between 1760 and 1860. It served the same function as a European snuff box, with the difference that smoking tobacco was illegal in China during the Dynasty, whereas snuff was considered a remedy for common illnesses such as colds, headaches and stomach disorders, hence, as with other medicines, the use of a bottle container. 3: Mother of pearl gaming counters probably came to Europe around 1700, carried on East India

Company trading vessels, perhaps as curios or as a sea captain’s personal trading consignment. They were soon in demand and, like the hugely popular Chinese porcelain, became influenced by European taste, with more ornate decoration and a wider range of shapes. In some instances, sets of counters were commissioned to match the decoration on the personalised table services of wealthy clients. 4: A Freemason. The triangle is a hugely symbolic in Freemasonry, as in many religions throughout the world, representing the sacred number three and Deity. 5: Possibly the most expensive spoon warmer in the world, it was estimated at £10,000 to £15,000 and made £46,000. Warm your spoon in it if you dare!

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INTERIORS

GETTING READY

FOR GUESTS Too soon to think about the festive season? Think again – if you’ll be playing host to family and friends over Christmas, time is running out to make sure your home is a comfortable and welcoming place for guests

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ow that autumn is here, it’s time to look ahead to the next big celebration and all the fun that Christmas brings. But if you’re looking forward to having visitors, now is a good time to take a fresh look at your home. We all want to feel proud of our surroundings, so take a stroll around your property and try to see it through your guests’ eyes – is the decor looking fresh and clean, or could it do with a little rejuvenation? Will your kitchen cope with the rigours of group catering and is the sitting room adequately furnished to ensure everyone will be comfortable? Is the spare room ready for visitors – indeed, do you have enough room for all your party? To help you get your plans in place, here’s our useful guide to giving your home a pre-festive makeover.

KNOCKING ON HEAVEN’S DOOR First impressions count, even for your oldest friends, so make sure your home has kerb

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appeal. A freshly painted front door, shiny doorknob and healthy looking topiary on the front step, along with a carriage lantern to light their way to your door at night, will all give your guests a warm glow when they arrive. Does the house need painting? Get out the ladders or hire a professional before the winter weather arrives in earnest.

WARM WELCOME You can’t have your guests shivering through Christmas lunch, so now’s the time to go on draught patrol. From replacing an antiquated heating system to swapping those crumbling window frames for energy efficient double glazing, head into the winter prepared for the cold. Always wanted to open up the fireplace in your living room or install a wood burner? Now’s your chance to create a heartwarming new feature – and don’t forget to have your chimney swept!

TAKE TO THE FLOOR Flooring in high traffic areas is sure to have taken a pounding over the year, so if your hallway or living room floor is looking tired and grimy, putting down a new carpet or re-sanding the floorboards will transform the space immediately. Or if you’re happy with your existing carpet, consider hiring a carpet shampoo machine or calling in a professional cleaner to rid yourself of all those shoe marks,

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MAKE A SPLASH Bathrooms take a lot of punishment from busy families and often fail to exude a relaxing atmosphere, but it’s easy to overlook this and view the bathroom as a purely functional space. If you’ve inherited a grotty suite that needs replacing, bite the bullet and get the makeover underway. Even a generally well-presented room might benefit from replacing mouldy grout, cracked tiles, peeling sealant and rusty shower screens, while an additional cupboard or some hidden storage solutions can conceal all those unsightly cosmetics bottles and children’s bath toys for a sleeker look. Adding a few touches of luxury can lift the room and make your guests feel really special – think about investing in some new towels, high-end toiletries and scented candles for a boutique hotel feel.

LIFE IN COLOUR One of the quickest and most budget-friendly ways to give a room a lift is to replace the wallpaper or put up a fresh lick of paint. Simply refreshing your existing shade will do much to brighten the decor, but how about making a change? Consider replacing whites and beiges with soft greys, pale blues or even pastels – the most subtle change could work wonders for the room’s atmosphere and provide inspiration for further updates, such as curtains, soft furnishings and accessories. A feature wall draws the eye and makes a statement that will liven up even the dullest colour scheme. Alternatively, re-glossing the skirting boards and other woodwork will sharpen up the room for an instantly fresher look. Tired looking furniture can bring down a scheme too, so it might be time to throw out that old three-piece suite and invest in some comfy new seating.

food stains and pet hairs. Similarly, kitchen and bathroom floors may benefit from a change before you welcome guests; this can be done relatively cheaply if you use linoleum or vinyl tiles.

WHAT’S COOKING? We often put off the larger jobs for as long as possible, but there’s nothing like impending visitors to spur us into action. With a holiday as food-focused as Christmas, much of the action centres around the kitchen and you’re bound to have people milling about as you prepare the turkey. An outdated kitchen is not only a bit of an embarrassment, but poor equipment and a lack of capacity can actually hinder you when entertaining. If you’ve been meaning to carry out a makeover for a while, there’s still time to treat yourself to the early Christmas present of an attractive, well laid out and efficiently functioning kitchen that will be a joy to use. Remember that most kitchen companies provide an expert design service, which can help you to identify your needs and create the perfect layout for your lifestyle. Maybe you could forget all that dreaded washing up by installing a dishwasher, ensure you’ll have enough hob rings by investing in a range cooker and avoid over-flowing worktops by getting a bigger fridge.

GOING SPARE If you’ve invited guests to stay overnight, it’s important to provide them with a comfortable, warm and pleasant sleeping environment. Simply stacking all your junk in the corner of the spare room and putting up a camp bed won’t do, so if your guest bedroom is looking less than palatial, now’s the time to tackle the problem. A good sorting session should rid you of some

clutter, but when a spare room has become a dumping ground for things you genuinely need to keep, consider hiring a storage unit to keep your belongings safe without them taking over your home. You also need to make sure you’ve got the right furnishings for the room; if there’s not much space for cupboards, installing bespoke furniture or walk-in wardrobes could be the answer. Of course, if the guest suite is no more than a box room or you need more accommodation, it’s probably time to think about how you can make better use of your space in the longer term. Converting the attic could provide a stunning extra room without the need for an extension, while changing the garage into an annexe is another option if you have off-road parking available. These days, there is a range of garden buildings on the market that can provide extra space with all the comforts of your main home. Eventually, you could have a beautiful additional room to welcome your guests by Christmas Eve. OCTOBER 2014

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HOME FRONT As the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness descends upon us, thoughts turn to the cold weather ahead and feathering our nests in readiness for the winter. If roaring fires, cosy sitting rooms and generous family meals around the kitchen table are your idea of perfection, you’re in luck with this month’s selection of beautiful Wealden homes. From a quintessential English country mansion of national importance, to an elegant Victorian townhouse, you’ll find an irresistible collection of stunning properties to suit every taste. Whether they boast traditional open fireplaces or state-of-the-art technology, you’re sure to find somewhere that will give you a warm feeling inside. IN ASSOCIATION WITH

CROWBOROUGH Tudor thatched house with heated pool Price: £1,090,000

WEST PECKHAM

Ancient Monument exudes a sense of history Price: £3,295,000

TUNBRIDGE WELLS Rare find has ample town centre parking Price: £1.25million

SUNDRIDGE

Contemporary home in Arts and Crafts style Price: £3.5million

SANDHURST

Canadian A-frame house bathed in light Price: £895,000

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BEAUTIFUL HOMES

BRINGING HISTORY TO LIFE Modern luxury combines with a rich heritage at this stunning Grade I listed home in West Peckham

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ith a magnificent Great Hall that boasts a triple height ceiling, Crown Post and original 15th century oak doors, Dukes Place is an exceptional country house that has a fascinating history. Built on buried medieval foundations, the building dates from 1408, with the Great Hall and Solar guest suite being rebuilt around 1500. The house is full of charming period features, such as exposed joinery, original fireplaces and an inglenook, while recent renovations have improved the home and made creative use of the outbuildings. Alongside the Great Hall, there is a dining

room, drawing room, study, library, sitting room, utility room and impressive kitchen/ breakfast room on the ground floor. Each of the five bedrooms on the first floor has its own en suite facilities; the guest suite is located above the library and the master bedroom is particularly atmospheric, with its vaulted ceiling, Crown Post and Tudor era fireplace. The beautiful gardens were laid out by RHS Chelsea Gold Medal winner Roger Platts and offer many features, including knot gardens, lavender beds, long lawns, ancient apple trees and a kitchen garden.

For full details contact: Hamptons International â&#x20AC;˘ 01892 516 611 â&#x20AC;˘ www.hamptons.co.uk

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Property: Dukes Place, Grade I listed manor house Location: Mereworth Road, West Peckham, Kent Price: ÂŁ3,295,000 Bedrooms: 5 Bathrooms: 4 plus 1 shower room & WC Land: About 4.9 acres Extras: Detached barn with entertainment suite, workshops, garages, barn with three open bays and studio above, heated swimming pool, hard tennis court, formal gardens, kitchen garden, paddocks, two-bedroom cottage Best bits: Along with the tennis court and swimming pool, there is excellent scope for entertaining at Dukes Place. A barn was recently converted to a modern entertainment suite with a games room, kitchen and shower room, plus thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a two-bedroom cottage that could be used as extra accommodation or as a rental income.

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IN ASSOCIATION WITH

UNIQUE HOUSE HAS CANADIAN CONNECTION

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Make a point with an ‘A’ frame house in a tranquil Sandhurst setting

arge feature windows – including a double height panel between the first and second oors allow plenty of light into this airy and contemporary home. Built in the 1960s and later extended, West Point is a Canadian ‘A’ frame house in a stunning semi rural location that offers spacious family accommodation. In the charming sitting room, windows and doors run along one side, allowing you to enjoy views of the secluded front gardens. A log burner is set into the stone tile hearth and wood par uet ooring adds extra character. The family room (or potential fifth bedroom and study both have

windows to the rear, while the kitchen/ dining room is a real highlight of this property. Fitted with contemporary white lacquer units, two integrated electric ovens, a breakfast bar and French doors to the rear terrace, the kitchen also has direct access to the integral double garage and utility room. The four bedrooms and family bathroom are arranged across the first and second oors. An en suite bathroom makes a welcome addition to the master bedroom, which has superb views. Alfresco dining will be a real treat here, as the attractive rear terrace has a delightful pergola and is set amid beautiful grounds with a good degree of privacy.

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Property: West Point, Canadian ‘A’ frame house Location: Church Road, Sandhurst, Kent Guide price: £895,000 Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 2 plus WC Land: About one acre Extras: Integral double garage, terrace, pond, greenhouse, vegetable garden, within Cranbrook School catchment area Best bits: Located on a quiet no through road on the edge of Sandhurst village, West Point enjoys marvellous views of the surrounding countryside and offers all the tranquillity you could desire.

For full details contact: Chestertons • 01580 765 858 • www.chestertons.com OCTOBER 2014

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MOVING WITH THE TIMES Throughout its 30-year history of designing quality kitchens and other home features, Mounts Hill Woodcraft in Cranbrook has seen styles change and tastes develop. We find out why this reputable company’s commitment to quality, passion and skill remains the same three decades on

of glass and fantastic, smooth running systems, as wide as you like. The lacquers we use now on doors, windows and kitchens no longer yellow with age. Colour schemes come and go and traditional cockbeading and raised and fielded panels seem to have slipped out of style, making way for clean lines and minimal Shaker-style kitchens. Did we even know what a Shaker kitchen was 30 years ago? And what about worktops? The available selection used to be quite restrictive, but now the market

Mounts Hill Woodcraft has seen it all, designed it all, built it all and fitted it all

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hat were you doing 30 years ago? School? University? First job? First child? Don’t tell us, you weren’t even born! It sounds like a lifetime ago – it is a lifetime ago, but that was when Mounts Hill Woodcraft first began making their kitchens, furniture, windows and doors. What’s changed in those 30 years? Technology has moved us on, certainly. At Mounts Hill all our drawings and designs were by hand and quotes were typed on a typewriter and filed in big box lever files. A lot of our work was completely handmade and our apprentices learned their trade slowly and surely. But actually, quite a lot of that is still the case here at Mounts Hill; not the quote writing, for sure, but we still have a number of

employees who began their woodworking careers here straight from school. They are now extremely experienced, capable, clever artisans in their own right and they are the core of our success. Certainly, our workshop is now full of the latest machines and technology: laser cutters, veneer presses, lathes and huge saws. But still a lot of the work is done by hand, with skills handed down from old hands to new. Mounts Hill has definitely seen fashions change over the years. Pine was the timber of choice for both joinery and kitchens for many years, but we can’t remember the last kitchen we made from pine. We made stable doors and patio doors a lot; now, our most popular doors are bi-fold, sliding and folding, with huge panes

offers stunning granites, beautiful hardwoods, quartzite, stone, glass and resin worktops, different textures, a rainbow of colours, every single one beautiful! We now regularly quote for steam ovens, hot water taps, wine fridges, touchscreen ovens and American fridge freezers. Lights can be operated by waving at them, digital television screens fold down from under wall cabinets and extractors pop up from worktops. Mounts Hill Woodcraft has seen it all, designed it all, built it all and fitted it all, but the basic principle is still the same: to ensure the kitchen works for the customer so that it’s the centre of the home, the hub of the family, a pleasure to use and will last a lifetime – at least 30 years! www.mountshill.com OCTOBER 2014

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BEAUTIFUL HOMES

ARTF L CO NTRY HOME IN BEA TIF L GARDENS Built within the last five years, this Arts and Crafts house in Sundridge has both contemporary style and a traditional feel

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pring Shaw is an exceptional country house designed by renowned architect Stephen Langer and offering modern conveniences alongside period style charm.Oak ooring through most of the ground oor, period and handmade stone fireplaces and tall ceilings make this feel like an historic home, while luxuries such as under oor heating and a Sonos music system bring it firmly into the 1st century. This is a fabulous property for entertaining on a grand scale, as you can access the rear terrace from the dining room, triple aspect drawing room and impressive kitchen/breakfast room. There is further

recreation space in the air conditioned basement, which has a gymnasium, cinema room and shower room. A feature double height window illuminates the oak staircase that leads to the first oor, where you ll find five bedrooms, two of which have an en suite bathroom or shower room. There is another bathroom on this oor and above, there is a large games room with potential to convert to further bedrooms, subject to planning consent. Outside, the house is approached via a circular gravel driveway that takes you past the attractive ornamental pond and on towards the oak garage block.

For full details contact: Knight Frank â&#x20AC;˘ 01732 744 477 â&#x20AC;˘ www.knightfrank.co.uk

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BEAUTIFUL HOMES

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Property: Spring Shaw, detached house Location: Sundridge, Sevenoaks, Kent Guide price: ÂŁ3.5million Bedrooms: 5 Bathrooms: 2 plus 2 shower rooms & WC Land: About 7.4 acres Extras: Games room, cinema room, gym, garage block, ornamental pond, tennis court, swimming pool with old oast and pool house, open barn with workshop, outbuildings, two greenhouses, kitchen garden, orchard, paddocks Best bits: Designed by RHS Chelsea Best in Show winner, Roger Platts, the stunning landscaped gardens have been designed to take advantage of the open countryside views, particularly from the swimming pool.

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IN ASSOCIATION WITH

IDYLLIC THATCHED RESIDENCE WITH POOL A quintessential English country house in East Farleigh set in delightful landscaped gardens

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hose who dream of living the real country life will be in heaven at Thatched House. This immaculately restored Grade II listed home dates from the 17th century with 18th and 19th century additions, retaining many charming period features. The house’s elevated position offers wonderful views across the landscaped gardens to the west. Oak floorboards extend throughout the drawing room, dining room, sitting room and family room, plus some of them boast fireplaces, inset wood burners and access to the gardens. A Rangemaster oven is a key feature of the attractive

kitchen, which also has a convenient integral dishwasher. Upstairs there is a stylish bathroom to serve five of the bedrooms, while the second is en suite to the master bedroom. There’s useful built-in storage in three of the bedrooms and one boasts outstanding views to the west. Designed by Michael Marlott of David Austin Roses, the beautiful front garden features symmetrical lavender and box beds and ornamental roses. The gravel driveway takes you through apple orchards and mature hedging, while paved terracing extends around the property towards the lawn.

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Property: Thatched House, Grade II listed Location: Heath Road, East Farleigh, Kent Price: £1,095,000

Bedrooms: 6 Bathrooms: 2 plus shower room & WC Land: About 6 acres Extras: Detached two-bedroom cottage, all-weather tennis court, heated swimming pool, thatched outbuildings, Breeze House, double open bay garage, covered well, apple orchards

Best bits: If you’d like to have staff living on the premises, extra guest accommodation or a private residence for family members, the detached single storey cottage is an added bonus to this property.

For full details contact: Savills • 01580 720 161 • www.savills.co.uk OCTOBER 2014

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RARE FIND HAS BEEN RESTORED You can live the ideal Tunbridge Wells lifestyle in this refurbished Victorian townhouse with ample parking

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ere is a fantastic opportunity to own a charming Victorian property in central Tunbridge ells, offering all the joys of this elegant architectural era while having been fully refurbished. The sash style double gla ed windows offer warmth without compromising on style, plus the house has been re-plumbed with zoned heating and re-wired to provide multi-socket TV and telephone points. nder oor heating in all the bathrooms will help to keep you cosy too. Having been sympathetically restored, the generous sized rooms have great charm, starting with the impressive entrance hall. An ornate marble fireplace and bay window are among the features of the dining room, while

the stunning and well-equipped kitchen/ breakfast room will be a delight for any keen cook. The room opens onto the balcony, offering opportunities to dine alfresco. On the first oor, you ll also find a marble fireplace and bay window in the drawing room, from where you can enter the study. Across the hall is the master bedroom suite, comprising a walk-in dressing room and an en suite bathroom with separate shower cubicle. Up on the top oor, the guest bedroom benefits from an en suite shower room and a family bathroom serves the remaining two bedrooms. Outside, there s a beautifully landscaped walled garden and a real rarity in central Tunbridge ells off road parking for six cars.

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Property: 10 St John’s Road, four-storey Victorian townhouse Location: Tunbridge Wells, Kent Guide price: £1.25million Bedrooms: 5 Bathrooms: 2 plus 2 shower rooms & WCs Extras: Conservatory area, balcony, wine cellar, walled garden, off-road parking, annexe potential Best bits: Ideal for use as independent living space for a family member or simply as a great recreation area, the lower ground floor offers tremendous versatility. Comprising a living room with conservatory area, kitchen, shower room and bedroom, this level could form a self-contained annexe or be used as a gym.

For full details contact: Jackson-Stops & Staff • 01892 521 700 • www.jackson-stops.co.uk OCTOBER 2014

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BEAUTIFUL HOMES

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

GATEWAY TO PARADISE Charming views are an added bonus with this former Victorian lodge in Langton Green

Property: East Gate Lodge, single storey Victorian house

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verlooking a 10-acre field, the grounds of East Gate Lodge offer great tranquillity and seclusion. If you’re seeking a peaceful place to enjoy the beautiful Wealden countryside, look no further than this single storey gem. Parking is available on the gravel driveway and there is a patio and a raised terrace in the grounds, great for outdoor entertaining. Visitors are welcomed by an attractive rose garden at the front of the house, while gardeners will enjoy the productive vegetable plot that includes soft fruit bushes and fruit trees. The open plan kitchen/dining room is

ideal for socialising, as you can chat to your guests while preparing dinner. Adjacent is the double aspect sitting room, which has a great sense of space due to the French doors opening to the triple aspect conservatory – from here, you can step out into the courtyard area via more French doors. Off the kitchen, you’ll find a useful rear entrance hall that doubles as a utility room. A bathroom and shower room serve the three bedrooms, one of which has French doors opening onto the patio. The study is a handy place to work or it could be used as a fourth bedroom.

Location: Speldhurst Road, Langton Green, Kent Price: £700,000 to £750,000 Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 1 plus shower room Land: Just under 0.3 acre Extras: Patio, raised terrace, vegetable plot, two sheds, off-road parking Best bits: Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, East Gate Lodge has a fantastic outlook over fields and countryside in the Weald of Kent – all while being just on the edge of the village of Langton Green

For full details contact: Howard Cundey • 01892 515 670 • www.howardcundey.com

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BEAUTIFUL HOMES

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

ANYONE FOR TENNIS A delightful Crowborough home with its own all-weather court and heated swimming pool

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ating from the Tudor period, this Grade II partly listed rural retreat is in an area of outstanding natural beauty and offers wonderful views across the surrounding countryside. The partly thatched roof is just one of the historic features that gives eleirs such charm others include exposed walls and ceiling timbers and open fireplaces. These features can be found in the triple aspect drawing room, which has a working inglenook fireplace. There is another of these fabulous fireplaces in the family sitting room, which has double doors to the double aspect

dining room. A cast iron wood burning stove is set into the fireplace here, with a brick surround and oak bressumer over. In the kitchen, pine wall and base units and a double oven Aga give the room a lot of character, plus there s a useful utility room. On the first oor, three of the four bedrooms have built in cupboards. You can enjoy magnificent views of the well tended gardens from the double aspect master bedroom, which has an en suite bathroom. A further bathroom and shower room are also found on this oor. The remaining two bedrooms are located on the second oor.

Property: Weleirs, Grade II partly listed house Location: Town Row Green, Crowborough, East Sussex Price: £1,090,000 Bedrooms: 6 Bathrooms: 2 plus shower room & WCs Land: 1.18 acres Extras: Swimming pool, tennis court, decking Best bits: Those who like to keep active will be delighted with the leisure facilities at Weleirs. In the attractive grounds there is a heated swimming pool with an adjacent pool house and you can even enjoy a set or two on the all-weather tennis court.

For full details contact: McAuley Miller • 01892 614 777 • www.mcauleymiller.com

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FA I R FA X G A L L E R Y

Tree Trees an exhibition featuring on subject but three very different artist. Jack Frame a recent graduate from the Glasgow School of Art, who is having success internationally. Adam Hargreaves who we are pleased is finding more time between writing and illustrating the ‘Mr Men’ books to create his paintings, having already had 2 sell out shows with the Fairfax Gallery. Beverley Rouwen whose ‘Wood’ inspired paintings have become a firm favourite with Fairfax clients in its gallery shows and London exhibitions.

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Adam Hargreaves ‘Autumn Breeze’ Oil on Canvas 106 x 132 cm Jack Frame ‘GoldOak’ Oil Gold Leaf on Panel 100 x 100 cm Jack Frame ‘Silver Birch’ Oil on Silver leaf each panel 150 x 78 cm Adam Hargreaves ‘Frost in the Valley’ Oil on Canvas 96 x 132 cm

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The Fairfax Gallery was founded in 1995 on the elegant Lower Walk of the Pantiles. Whilst now having two other permanent galleries and exhibiting in London, New York, Singapore & Hong Kong the original Pantiles gallery, always ensures it has the latest and strongest examples on display in its spacious gallery set over 2 floors with a large stock behind the scenes... We are pleased to continue our home trial service throughout Kent, Sussex & London to help you find the perfect piece or help with a larger project.

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Adam Hargeaves ‘Reflected Blue’ Oil on Canvas 100 x 71 cm Jack Frame ‘Blossom Oil’ oN Panel 76 x 72 cm Beverley Rouwen ‘Did you ever’ Oil on Canvas 90 x 100 cm Beverley Rouwen ‘Wood Spirit’ Oil on Canvas 80 x 120 cm.

Tel: 01892 525 525

www.fairfaxgallery.com 2033

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FOODNEWS OUR MONTHLY LOOK AT WHAT’S HAPPENING ON THE LOCAL CULINARY SCENE

Royal approval Local restaurateur Matthew Sankey was invited to meet HRH Prince Philip during a Royal visit to the National Lobster Hatchery in Cornwall. The Duke of Edinburgh was keen to meet Mr Sankey – owner of Sankey’s Seafood Brasserie, the Fishmonger’s and the Old Fishmarket in Tunbridge Wells – who has been working with the Padstow-based Hatchery since 2009 to help support sustainable fishing. Via the Buy One Set One Free campaign, Sankey’s has raised more than £11,000 and helped released over 3,200 juvenile lobsters. The firm’s menus are also checked daily against Marine Stewardship Council’s guidelines on what to eat, to ensure sustainability. “Our work with the National Lobster Hatchery allows our diners and ourselves to enjoy eating lobsters with a clear conscience,” Mr Sankey says. “With the help of the Hatchery, we’re able to replace every lobster we fish from the sea. It’s as sustainable as it gets.” www.sankeys.co.uk

Favourite flavours The Garden of England is home to many superb food and drink producers that are appreciated by countless local consumers. If you’d like to see the purveyor of your favourite tipple or treat publicly acknowledged, don’t forget to vote in the Taste of Kent Awards 2015. Voting opened on September 26 and the scheme gives members of the public the chance to reward local producers with a well-deserved nomination. Organised by Produced in Kent, the awards offer accolades in many categories, including: Butcher or Meat Producer of the Year, Kentish Beer, Kentish Wine, Kentish Cider or Perry, Kent Juice Producer, Local Food Retailer of the Year, Fishmonger of the Year, Food Producer of the Year, Restaurant of the Year, Dining Pub of the Year, Farmers Market of the Year, Food Product of the Year, Kent Countryside Award, Garden of England Champion Cherry and Soft Fruit, and Garden of England Champion – Top Fruit. To register your vote visit www.tasteofkentawards.co.uk

Liquid gold Kent and Sussex are among the most expensive places to buy a pint, according to the latest edition of The Good Pub Guide. Only London, Surrey and Berkshire pubs charge more than Sussex’s average going rate of £3.52; Kent is the sixth priciest county for a pint, with most hostelries charging £3.51. Unsurprisingly, the capital will set you back the most with an average price of £3.79 per pint – for a boozy bargain you’ll need to head for Herefordshire, where you can expect to pay just £3.03 for your beverage. www.thegoodpubguide.co.uk

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A life in food

SAM YARDLEY

HE’S WORKED ALONGSIDE ALBERT ROUX, MADE CANAPÉS FOR THE QUEEN AND HAS DELIGHTED LOCAL DINERS WITH HIS SIGNATURE SNAPPER DISH. RECENTLY PROMOTED TO HEAD CHEF AT THE SALOMONS ESTATE, JUST OUTSIDE TUNBRIDGE WELLS, DAN YARDLEY REFLECTS ON A CAREER SPENT IN FOOD

When did you first know you wanted to be a chef? When I was at school I I took food technology as an option at the age of 13 and immediately took a shine to it. And at home I was always helping Mum out in the kitchen. She always went to town with the Sunday roast, which regularly featured eight vegetables. After school, I studied hospitality and catering at West Kent College. Within a week I knew it was the right decision, as cooking came naturally to me. I excelled and won Catering Student of the Year. While at college I worked day release at Hotel du Vin; having finished my course early, I catered for a range of prestige events, including the Chelsea Flower Show, Hampton Court Flower Show, Wimbledon, the Henley Regatta and the Paris Air Show where I worked alongside Albert Roux. Who’s your role model? I became very interested in the Roux family, but I’d say that my real role model is Paul Gayler. He was the head chef at the five-star Lanesborough Hotel in Hyde Park, where my career took me just before my 18th birthday.

It’s a hard graft industry and the hours are long and crazy, but it’s an absolute buzz and you’re all there for the same reason – your passion for food. What are your food influences? From a very young age I was accompanying my mum to bakeries and fruit and veg stalls, and she was definitely an early influence on me. So I still have a soft spot for traditional, home-cooked British food, like Lancashire hotpots. I’ve also been influenced by chefs that I’ve worked with. I thrive off working with other people and giving something back. It’s by far the best way to learn. What is your signature dish? I’d say my seared red snapper with saffron fondants, broad beans truffle puree and a bouillabaisse sauce. That’s a dish I created of which I’m very proud and it’s becoming a popular choice at our Bistro too. What are your aspirations for the Bistro at Salomons? I want to expand the menu and really put

Salomons Estate on the map as a food destination. I want people to start talking about it as a thriving place to eat. I’m a Tunbridge Wells boy, so making it a success locally would mean a great deal to me. It’s already picking up and getting busier – on a lovely day there usually isn’t a table left on the terrace. What’s the oddest thing you’ve ever had to cook? When I worked at the Lanesborough Hotel, we had to cater for a big bash hosted by an Australian gentleman. Both kangaroo and crocodile were on the menu! If you were on Death Row, what would you request for your last meal? That’s a tough one. It’s a toss-up between a slap-up Chicken Rogan Josh from my local curry house (with a bottle of Cobra beer to wash it down) and my mum’s famous roast pork dinner with eight vegetables. But on balance I think Mum’s roast would win! www.salomons-estate.com OCTOBER 2014

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Taste of Success THE INTERNATIONAL BEER CHALLENGE 2014 HAS AWARDED VAN BULCK BEERS IN TUNBRIDGE WELLS A BRONZE MEDAL FOR TASTE FOR THEIR GLUTEN-FREE ORGANIC LAGER

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ore than 500 beers from 30 countries entered the competition, which was judged by UK beer experts including retailers, importers, publicans, brewers, writers and flavour analysts, as well as highly experienced judges from continental Europe to give a comprehensive spread of tasting experience. Brews were entered from such farflung places as Brazil, Egypt, Mongolia and Bury St Edmunds. Each was tasted blind by the expert panel and medals were awarded to the exceptional entries. The trophy winners were

“The IBC is not an easy competition in which to win a medal of any colour” announced at an awards evening at Dartmouth House in London’s Mayfair on September 8. “The IBC is not an easy competition in which to win a medal of any colour,”

says Chairman of the judges, Jeff Evans. “Our judges are among the most demanding around, all of them experts from across the brewing industry. They don’t give medals away cheaply and so bronze and silver medals in the IBC, I believe, are worth much more than golds in other competitions.” Van Bulck Beers Ltd 85 High Street, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1XP 01892 506 953 www.vanbulck-beers.be

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By George, they’ve got it WITH A HISTORY THAT STRETCHES BACK SEVERAL CENTURIES, THE GEORGE HOTEL IN CRANBROOK BRINGS A WEIGHT OF EXPECTATION TO EACH OWNER. ERIK BROWN POPS IN TO FIND OUT WHETHER THE FOOD ON OFFER IS STILL FIT FOR ROYALTY

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n 1299, the George Hotel at Cranbrook played host to the Plantaganet King Edward I. It was the year he married Margaret of France, the daughter of the French King Philip III. Just take a moment or two to savour that little fact: King Edward I – old Longshanks himself – dropped into the George more than seven centuries ago. Another monarch, Queen Elizabeth I, visited the George 274 years later. That was in 1573, at which point the inn was already getting on for 300 years old. Shakespeare would have been just a lad of nine at the time (and, presumably, in some poor teacher’s English class). So, the very first thing that hits you about the George is that it is not just old, it is seriously old.

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It’s so old, in fact, that the Virgin Queen – she who had the heart and stomach of a King – would have thought of it as ancient when she stayed there more than 400 years ago. Now owned by Shepherd Neame and admirably run by General Manager Dan Tornbom, the George these days is a comfortable hotel in the heart of Cranbrook with a splendid dining room and a dozen guest bedrooms – including The Crimson, which is the one Queen Elizabeth I laid herself down in. The Brasserie at the George offers classics like sausage and mash (£9.95) with a little

gastronomic flair that hints at something superior to the normal pub grub; the sausages are venison and the sauce is a juniper berry and thyme jus, served with roasted parsnip. The buzzy Brasserie also serves chunky shepherd’s pie (£9.95), Spitfire beer battered cod with hand cut chips and creamed peas (£12.50) and one or two slightly more off the wall items, including rosemary baked Camembert (with grape and apple compote and caramelised onion and walnut bread) as a starter for £10.95 and tagliatelle with piquillo peppers, basil pesto and grilled vegetables with cashew nuts for £9.50.

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the george is seriously old. queen elizabeth I would have thought of it as ancient when she visited in 1573

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prices at a glance Starters from: £5.50 Mains from: £9.95 Desserts from: £5.95

But this is a weekday evening and we step around the Brasserie and head for the restaurant at the back of the hotel; a cosy, tall room featuring ancient beams and brickwork, a huge fireplace and chandeliers that supplement the tea lights on the tables. Before I go much further, I have to confess that my paunch has been bothering me of late. You know things are getting out of hand when your tummy visibly enters a room before you do and so – on this occasion – I shun the chicken liver parfait with foie gras and red onion marmalade (£8.95) and opt instead for the seared scallops with curried cauliflower purée and crispy Parma ham (£9.95). Mrs B

goes for a special: the gravadlax with dill crème fraiche at £6.50. I recently had scallops in a Michelin starred restaurant in London, where they had not been caramelised and they were flaccid, bland little things lacking in flavour. It is with much satisfaction, then, that at the George I tuck into nicely browned scallops and a very lightly curried cauliflower purée – with a flavour closer to kedgeree than curry. The gravadlax is chunky, which it isn’t always and the crème fraiche is properly refreshing. Still thinking of the old waistline, I order halibut for my main course. It comes with smoked salmon, potato Anna (thinly sliced potatoes cooked in butter), baby fennel, baby onions and a dill cream sauce at £18.95. (I could, of course, have opted for something from the George’s Light Bite menu – a pea and mint risotto with parmesan at a mere £3, for instance – but it would not have been in the proper spirit of a restaurant review. In this way, waistlines are sacrificed for the craft.) Mrs B orders pork fillet medallions with celeriac and ham dauphinoise, nutmeg spinach and wholegrain cream mustard (£14.95). The pork is pinkish, just as it should be and there’s plenty of it. It’s prettily presented too. The halibut is excellent and huge and is set off nicely by the fennel and dill cream sauce.

It’s probably the biggest fillet of halibut I’ve ever had, in fact. A handsome cheese board (£7.95) includes Kentish Blue as well as the more usual Brie and Cheddar, and there are plenty of grapes and biscuits to go with it. And then there is the raspberry ripple cheesecake, a huge wedge of a thing – easily enough for two at £6.95. Perhaps it had been wishful thinking to have seen the halibut as a lighter option: it really was a big piece of fish and, of course, the potatoes were rather too buttery to have been considered a diet option. Still, I’ve wanted to eat at the George since, in interview, Mark Colley told me that it had been his and his wife Sara’s, first venture into catering and hospitality. They made it their own, then sold up and bought The Curlew at Bodiam, which now has a Michelin star. The restaurant is full, always a good sign and the food is well prepared with some nice touches – and great value, given the portion sizes. It’s so good, in fact, that I arrange to meet somebody in the Brasserie for lunch the following week. Little do I know that meeting is destined to be called off, but I’ll be back sooner rather than later. The George Hotel, Stone Street, Cranbrook. TN17 3HE 01580 713 348 www.thegeorgehotelkent.co.uk OCTOBER 2014

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ADVERTORIAL

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A Well Earned Break

IF YOU FANCY A HEARTY MEAL FOLLOWING AN AUTUMNAL STROLL THROUGH THE BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPES OF EAST SUSSEX, THE BULL IN TICEHURST OFFERS DELICIOUS DISHES, TRADITIONAL ALES AND A WARM, INVITING DÉCOR. WE STEP OVER THE THRESHOLD TO DISCOVER THE MANY DELIGHTS ON OFFER AT THIS GREAT BRITISH PUB

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ating from the 14th century with simple pub grub, four acres of land and four cosy bedrooms, The Bull Inn is a magnificent, ancient building in the heart of the Sussex countryside. Built between 1385 and 1425, it’s reputed to be one of the oldest dwelling places in the country. The wealth of old beams, low ceilings and quarry-tiled floors give it a real air of the traditional English country pub. It’s the

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Stepping through the door on a crisp winter’s day, you can toast your toes in front of one of two roaring log fires

ideal place to relax and enjoy hearty pub food after a long walk or cycle around the surrounding areas, or the beautiful Bewl Water, which is only a short stroll away. You are always welcome to come and unwind and enjoy your food and drink while admiring the garden, watching the ducks swimming on the pond or the lovebirds in our aviary. Stepping through

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the door on a crisp winter’s day, you can toast your toes in front of one of two roaring log fires, tuck into a hearty meal and enjoy a well-deserved drink. With a mass of small, intimate areas within, this is the place to come for an excellent range of real ales, including locally-brewed Harvey’s. We also keep a fine selection of lagers, ciders, wines and spirits, and of course we offer tea, coffee and soft drinks. Food is an important part of life here and the delicious home-cooked dishes range from mouth-watering, freshly-baked baguettes, to a full à la carte menu. Whether eating in the warm and inviting dining room or outside in the large, pretty garden, a meal here is well worth trying. Dogs are always welcome and parts of the menu change daily, depending on the freshest ingredients around, so you can guarantee that there is something for everybody available. The Bull Inn Three Leg Cross, Ticehurst, East Sussex TN5 7HH 01580 200 586 www.thebullinn.co.uk

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When is a pizza not a pizza?

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all me old fashioned... but whoever thought it was acceptable to stuff a frankfurter into a pizza crust needs to be thrown off the Leaning Tower of Pisa. OK, so we can blame our friends over the Atlantic for mutating this much cherished Italian delicacy, but we’ve allowed things to go too far. Don’t worry, though; it’s all about to change. Firezza on Mount Ephraim has taken the buffalo (mozzarella) by the horns and is

IMAGES BY ALICE HARDING

ANSWER - WHEN ITS THICK, SOGGY BASE IS LOADED WITH PLASTIC CHEESE, A TOMATO SAUCE THAT HAS ITS OWN REGISTERED TRADEMARK AND A DOZEN OR SO MEATBALLS THAT HAVE ESCAPED FROM A FACTORY SOMEWHERE IN SOUTH YORKSHIRE

serving authentic, fresh, healthy and surprisingly inexpensive pizzas to the deprived folk of Tunbridge Wells. No gimmicks or processed cheese, but instead a full-on assault to the tastebuds, made to order and cooked to perfection in the wood-fired oven. This is pizza for grown-ups (and little ones with great taste too). Your pizza comes by either a half-metre or by 12” and every topping has been carefully crafted from a decade of discerning feedback from

mushrooms, there’s 28 other pizzas to choose from. Calling all genuine pizza lovers - burn your take-away menus, download the app, place your order and prepare to enjoy the real taste of Italy. Firezza 42 Mount Ephraim, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 8AU 01892 521 050 www.firezza.com

No gimmicks or processed cheese, but instead a full-on assault to the tastebuds Firezza’s London devotees. This is Renaissance Italy on a thin, hand-stretched base, delivered to your home or place of work with a fast delivery to your door. You can also order from a selection of beers and wines to complete your posh night in (watching the Godfather trilogy box set). As it’s approaching my favourite time of year, let me leave you with this seasonal treat - The Porcini...wild porcini mushrooms, fresh field mushrooms, truffle cream, Taleggio cheese, imported mozzarella, Parmesan shavings and tarragon. And if you don’t like OCTOBER 2014

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WE’VE GOT THE

HOTS FOR CURRY

IT’S A WELL KNOWN FACT THAT BRITS ADORE A CURRY, BUT DID YOU KNOW THAT TUCKING INTO THE SPICY DISH COULD BE GOOD FOR YOU TOO? AHEAD OF NATIONAL CURRY WEEK (OCTOBER 13 TO 19), NILIMA MARSHALL EXPLORES THE HIDDEN HEALTH BENEFITS OF THE HUMBLE RUBY

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n 1810, Hindoostane Coffee House, the first Indian restaurant in the UK, opened its doors in central London. Two hundred years later, our love affair with Indian cuisine shows no sign of abating. In fact, the Cobra Good Curry Guide revealed that last year Britons spent an average £20 a month on cooking an Indian feast at home and £31 on their favourite curries while eating out – all amounting to a staggering £30,000 lavished on curry across an average lifetime. So, what exactly is it about the eyewatering, aromatic, heat-inducing Asian cuisine that we love so much? One aspect might be our history. “I think Indian food is so popular in Britain because when the British were in India, they fell in love with the spices and local cuisine,” says Vivek Singh, founder and CEO of The Cinnamon Club and one of the most celebrated chefs of Indian cuisine in the UK. “And when they came back, they wanted to recreate this unique taste. So spices started being imported, along with chefs and cooks who had the culinary knowledge.” There’s another simple reason we adore our curry: chillies. Research suggests that when the body defends itself against the heat of a hot chilli it releases endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. Delicious and addictive as they are though, curries have also gained a bad reputation over the years, often being associated with

high levels of saturated fat, sugar and salt content – particularly the ever-popular chicken tikka masala, voted as Britain’s national dish in 2006. This doesn’t mean all Indian fare is bad for you - far from it. Curries contain many spices which boast a huge range of health-boosting benefits. For example, some of the popular curry ingredients, like coconut milk and ghee, are often thought of as bad due to their saturated fat content. But Priya Tew, a freelance dietician registered with the Health Professions Council and the British Dietetic Association, believes that a small amount of saturated fat is not a bad thing.

“Coconut milk does indeed contain saturated fat, but the fat is made up of shorter chain fatty acids which have been shown to be easier for the body to break down and use and have more health benefits including lowering cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease and lowering high blood pressure.” Similarly, chilli powder has a bad reputation, but it also contains Vitamin A and C, which are powerful antioxidants and if taken in small quantities, has been shown to help lower blood pressure. Anjum Anand, food writer, TV chef and founder of The Spice Tailor, is another advocate for the power of curries, believing that by choosing the best ingredients and balancing the flavours, spices and ingredients, we can all benefit from Indian cuisine. “People’s experience of eating Indian food in the West is not a true reflection of the real food we eat at home, which is lighter, fresher and far more well-balanced than what’s offered at takeaways,” says Anand. She has been following the principles of Ayurveda, an ancient healing wisdom of India, in her cooking for eight years and the style is now also gaining popularity in the West for its holistic healing and regenerating benefits. “The Ayurvedic way of eating is not about cuisine, it’s about ingredients,” explains Anand. “So what you do with those ingredients is what will make the meal delicious but also healthy.”

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Thought for food THIS MONTH, OUR RESIDENT CELEBRITY CHEF ROSEMARY SHRAGER TALKS ABOUT HER ADVENTURES IN EXOTIC CLIMES AND THE GOOD OLD KENTISH APPLE

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s I write, I’ve just come back from a trip to Grenada to find out about spices and their cuisine. I was only away for five days, but I really packed things into my time there! The food was incredible – all the fish was line caught, we had Caribbean inspired Ceviche using local spices, West Indian styled curried fish, roasted and pickled fish and the infamous Lion fish ( correct name is Pterois). They are well known for their ornate beauty, venomous spines and unique tentacles. I stayed at Mount Cinnamon Hotel, which was just a dream; if you want a holiday to relax, this is it, it doesn’t get better. Plus I visited the rum distillery, the last in the Caribbean, which makes rum directly from cane sugar. I drank rum in all the cocktails – as you do! The one thing I really want to talk about is the nutmeg there. They have cinnamon, turmeric, cloves, tonka beans, pepper, ginger and vanilla. But I think the nutmeg is by far the most important. Firstly, what do they look like? Well, as you drive past the trees, they look as if they are growing a type of apricot. When you cut through you have the nutmeg (kernel) with the red mace covering the seed – nutmegs are not nuts, they are kernels. Grenada is second only to Indonesia in the export of nutmeg. So, I hear you ask, what’s so special about nutmeg? The answer is, what you can do with it. You can make the fruit into jam, also you can make liqueur – we put it in

I don’t know any other spice that does so much, so I say, “all hail the nutmeg!” all the rum punches with syrup. It goes on pancakes, fruit salad and in lots of savoury dishes, especially sausages. They also make products out of it such as lipstick and nail varnish. The shell of the kernel is used for mulch, gravel and fuel for burning. Also the nutmeg has an oil that is used in aromatherapy, as it’s good for rheumatism and arthritis and also as an inhalation oil (take a look at the small print of a certain well known inhalation remedy for colds!).

Nutmegs have a long tradition in folklore. In the 17th century, nutmeg was the Viagra of the day, although it had to be administered externally! Also there was a superstition that anyone who received a nutmeg on New Year’s Day and carried it in their pocket all the year round would be protected from broken bones, strokes, scarlet fever and boils. That is what is so special – I don’t know any other spice that does so much, so I say, “all hail the nutmeg!” We are now in apple season as you know and those who have followed my writing will know that it’s one of my favourite seasons. I especially love it in Kent because you have the unusual apples that you don’t see so often. I would definitely recommend going to the Apple Festival at Brogdale in Faversham on October 18 and 19 – they have the National Fruit Collection and I will be there! For inspiration this month I’m giving you my apple tart recipe and I’m adding a teaspoon of grated nutmeg to the apple puree. Check the So website www.somagazine.co.uk for the recipe. I will also be at the Cake and Bake Show at Earl’s Court from October 3 to 5. I love this show, it’s fun, creative and exciting. Do come along and say hello, I’ll be doing two demos a day. Enjoy the apple tart, speak next month. www.rosemaryshrager.com

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THE

UNDERCOVER EATER

This is where we send our resident foodies into local eateries incognito and they tell it like it is. This month they sample a taste of Basil in Lime Hill Road, Tunbridge Wells There are several features of Tunbridge Wells that render it a truly fantastic place to live. The culinary scene is one of them but, as Undercover Eater has found over recent months, there are pockets of brilliance, sub sections of averageness and a few, yes a few, places to avoid. I would like to think that I take my calling as Undercover Eater seriously and for the last two years I have attended The Bakery Industry Awards at The Hilton in Park Lane. Last year, a Tunbridge Wells based independent cafe called Basil reached the final three in the Retail Innovation category. Probably worth a look then... LOCATION With two sites in town – one centrally, by the Millennium Clock in Lime Hill Road and one on St Johns Road – Basil serves high footfall areas. Being forced to sample each, I can report that both were healthily busy at lunchtime. St Johns is marginally less expensive as it is just off-centre in a more residential thoroughfare. Nice touch Basil. DECOR Aesthetically appealing in terms of strong branding, a feel of quality and excellent presentation both in the maintenance and style of the black paintwork, wooden furniture and fresh, clean, bright walls. There is an air of professionalism and excellence at point of entry into the Basil world.

MENU Today I pop into the Lime Hill Road eatery for a spot of lunch with a friend. As Undercover Eater is not very tall and adores food, predominantly healthy choices and significant physical activity are essential to maintain a slim(ish) silhouette. Basil enables the healthy choices to happen without reducing the enjoyment factor. The sheer array of fresh, colourful salad type bowls of

Basil is one of the reasons I may live out my days in Tunbridge Wells goodness make my eyes hungry, let alone my stomach. On this occasion, I select a piece of roasted butternut squash, chilli and toasted seed filo tart (£5.95) and three types of salad, which are also available to take away if so desired. However, I opt to take a pew and relax. It is so difficult to choose between the bowls of delight in front of me but I opt for green bean/feta/beetroot basic Greek and what can only be described as posh coleslaw. All mine for £8 and there is plenty of it. Probably a little too much if I’m honest but I commendably force it down in the name of research. A fizzy mineral water costs a further £1.80. My friend opts for one of the

many sweet treats on offer: a chunky slice of courgette cake (£3.95) washed down with a beautifully frothy cappuccino (£2.20). Okay, so it’s not the cheapest lunch in town, but if you value quality, fresh, healthy food, locally sourced, lovingly produced and delivered with a smile, then boy, is it worth it! STAFF Delightful, attractive, helpful, attentive – good people stick to good places and the well turned out, upbeat Basilians are an extension of the company’s excellent ethos. Winners. In short, Basil is one of the reasons I may live out my days in Tunbridge Wells. It is the simple things such as great cafe culture, the glorious parks, the excellent schools and the feeling of community that keep me firmly rooted in our bubble of loveliness. THE ONLY THING IS... There isn’t one on The Pantiles so I have to walk up a hill to get to either. Sort it out Basil! 1-3 Lime Hill Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1LJ 01892 541 566 56 St Johns Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 9NY 01892 526 422 www.basil-online.co.uk

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EDUCATION NEWS WE TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE WORLD OF EDUCATION

 MAKING THE GRADE A Level students at Bethany School in Goudhurst bucked the national trend this summer by achieving the school’s highest ever proportion of top grades. The Year 13 group celebrated a 98% pass rate, with 83% of those at A* to C. Top achievers included Amelia Howell from Tunbridge Wells, who earned 3 A*s, Sam Watts, also from Tunbridge Wells, with one A* and two As, and Nathaniel Marshall of Sevenoaks with three As. Another Tunbridge Wells student, Will Scott, is heading to the prestigious Royal College of Music in London to study Classical Guitar. “Once again I am delighted with the outstanding results obtained by our pupils,” says Headmaster, Francie Healy. “This has been a tremendous year for Bethany School and these results are the icing on the cake for these pupils, who have worked incredibly hard alongside our committed staff. These excellent results demonstrate Bethany’s success in generating a love of learning together with a passion for high academic achievement.” www.bethanyschool.org.uk

 ACTIONS NOT WORDS “An incredible life-changing experience” is how one student described her trip to Thailand as part of St Leonards-Mayfield School’s Actions not Words programme. After raising the minimum £500 sponsorship each through a variety of events, 10 pupils went to Thailand where they worked with disadvantaged children through several local projects, under the auspices of the Thai Children’s Trust. Their experiences included holding English conversation classes with orphans and children with disabilities and special needs, visiting the Pattaya Orphanage, taking a party of blind children to the seaside, leading dance and crafts classes at the Children’s Home and donating 222 pairs of pants to address the shortage of underwear. The group also raised £3,000 to be distributed by the Thai Children’s Trust to the girls’ choice of projects. Organiser Fiona Morris, who teaches geography at the school, praised the students’ behaviour and hidden talents. “As always I was very impressed and touched by the girls’ compassion and humility,” she says. “They even chose to give up their two afternoons of leisure time to do extra work with the children. They are great role models and ambassadors for the school.” The school has also celebrated a great set of exam results – highlights included a 100% pass rate at A Level and six Mayfield girls being offered Oxbridge places. www.mayfieldgirls.org

 GIVE IT SOME WELLY Pupils at Mayfield CE Primary School now have their own countryside ramble on their doorstep, after creating a new Welly Walk. Launched earlier this summer, the two-mile route was developed by the school’s Year 3 / 4 class with the help of the High Weald Partnership’s Education Officer. The children learned how to use maps to plan and navigate local footpaths; now they can use the route to explore the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in which the school is set and discover more about the local wildlife. There are now 50 High Weald Welly Walks regularly used by schools across Kent, Sussex and Surrey. www.mayfieldcep.e-sussex.sch.uk

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MOTORING MATTERS OUR ROUNDUP OF NEWS FROM THE MOTORING SCENE DIAMOND DISCO

To mark the 60th birthday of the legendary Alfa Romeo 1900 C52 ‘Disco Volante’, Touring Superleggera - a prestigious Milanese coach building firm which has been designing and building vehicle bodywork since 1926 – has created the 2013 edition of the Disco Volante with the official endorsement of Alfa Romeo. The Disco Volante is a two-seater Gran Turismo with a completely bespoke, handmade carbon fibre and aluminium body underpinned by the stunning Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione coupe, with its front-central mounted 4.7-litre V8 engine and transaxle rear drive with unmodified specifications.

RETURN OF THE MAC Twenty years ago, the then soon-to-be-launched McLaren F1 GTR began testing ahead of an assault on the 1995 GT season. The track derivative, as the road-going version had done, rewrote the rule book and claimed victories and titles across the globe in the years that followed, securing a place in motorsport folklore. Two decades on and the covers have been pulled off the dramatic and purposeful McLaren P1(r) GTR design concept, during a private event at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance event in California.

T-TOTAL

RIGHT ON TIME

HEROIC ACT

PLAYING TO TYPE

Audi has made significant gains in reducing the whole-life impact on the environment of its latest high tech sports car. Compared with its predecessor, the new Audi TT scores high, with an increase in power output of up to 14% and a simultaneous decrease in greenhouse gas emissions of 11%. As the premium vehicle manufacturer states in its new life cycle assessment of the third generation TT, this means that each car in the series saves around 5.5 tonnes of greenhouse gases over its entire life cycle. This includes not just carbon dioxide, but other substances such as methane, nitrous oxide and halogenated organic emissions.

For the first time ever, a right-hand-drive Ford Mustang will roll off a Ford assembly line when global production begins. The addition of a right-hand-drive Mustang to Ford’s line-up of global vehicles will allow the iconic ‘pony car’ to be exported to more than 25 right-hand-drive markets around the world, including the United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa. Mustang engineers recently finished construction of the very first right-hand-drive sixth generation Mustang. The prototype Mustang will be used to conduct various development tests in preparation for the car’s entry into the global market in the coming months.

Hot in the wheel tracks of the high performance FT-1 ‘Vision GT’ Concept Toyota, a new ‘real world’ version has been unveiled. The latest interpretation of the showstopping concept coupe features new graphite paintwork in place of the vibrant red featured on the original concept, first seen at this year’s Detroit motor show. There’s also new interior treatment, with saddle tan leather elements to give a more sophisticated feel. FT-1’s interior designers drew their inspiration from modern superhero films, particularly their use of high-tech performance materials for the character’s costumes.

Jaguar has revealed the prototype of its ‘new’ Lightweight E-type – a further six of which will be built and sold. Jaguar announced in May that it would recreate six new Lightweights, each built by Jaguar Heritage, part of Jaguar Land Rover’s new Special Operations division. Each of the six cars will be built to a specification originated from the last Lightweight E-type produced in 1964 and will be handcrafted at the original home of the E-type, Jaguar’s Browns Lane plant in Coventry. OCTOBER 2014

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FOR ALL YOUR PEUGEOT NEEDS

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£14,895 HAYWARDS GOES UP A GEAR WITH NEW SHOWROOM Local Peugeot Dealer, Haywards in Sevenoaks, has unveiled an impressive new look, following a complete re-build of the interior and exterior of its site on Otford Road. The new showroom, which was officially opened in July 2014, has undergone a complete make-over, creating a bright, modern showroom and transforming the exterior with Peugeot’s eyecatching Blue Box design. Derek Hayward, dealer principal at Haywards said: “This has been

a major project at the Dealership, but the final results are definitely worth all the hard work. “The new car show room is double the size of the old space, letting us display a wider selection of models at any one time and creating a spacious, bright and welcoming environment for both our customers and staff. The workshop has also increased in size with new ramps installed. We have reduced the time it takes for us to complete work and can now accommodate large vehicles.

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HAYWARDS PEUGEOT

SEVENOAKS

ONS MPT CRA

Otford Road, Sevenoaks TN14 5EG. 01732 444000, www.haywards-sevenoaks.co.uk

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AD

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The official fuel consumption in mpg (l/100km) fro the 208 Range are: Urban 32.8–78.5 (8.6–3.6), Extra Urban 54.3–88.3 (5.2– 3.2), Combined 44.1–83.1 (6.4–3.4) and CO2149–87 (g/km). 308 Range are: Urban 35.8 – 80.7 (7.9 - 3.5), Extra Urban 61.4 – 97.4 (4.6- 2.9), Combined 48.7 - 91.1 (5.8 - 3.1) and CO2 129-82 (g/km). 2008 range are: Urban 32.1-57.6 (8.8–4.9), Extra Urban 54.3-70.6 (5.2-4.0), Combined 43.5-65.7 (6.5-4.3) and CO2 150-99 (g/km). 508 range are: Urban 38.2 – 83.1 (7.4 – 3.4), Extra Urban 62.8 – 78.5 (4.5 – 3.6), Combined 51.4. – 80.7 (5.5 – 3.5) and CO2 144 – 91 (g/km). Expert range are Urban 32.9 – 37.2 (8.6-7.6), Extra Urban 42.8 – 48.7 (6.6-5.8), Combined 39.2 – 44.1 (7.2-6.4) and CO2 emmissions 189 – 158 (g/km). MPG figures are achieved under official EU test conditions, intended as a guide for comparative purposes only and may not reflect actual on-the-road driving conditions.

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“The whole team is pleased with the new look and we’ve had a very positive response from customers who are surprised by the transformation.” The new showroom will allow Haywards to display Peugeot’s latest models, including Peugeot’s all-new compact city car, the 108, the 308 five door hatchback and other popular models including the 208 and 2008.

facilities, and commercial. A selection of Peugeot commercial vans are also available, as well as generous customer parking. For more information about the models in the Peugeot range or for aftersales enquiries, please contact Haywards on 01732 444000, or visit the Dealership on Otford Road. Alternatively, visit the website: www.haywards-sevenoaks.co.uk

The dealership offers sales, service, parts, motability sales

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ADVERTORIAL

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THE BMW CONVERTIBLE RANGE DESIGNED FOR DRIVING PLEASURE

2O14 IS SHAPING UP TO BE QUITE A YEAR FOR COOPER TUNBRIDGE WELLS BMW, AND WITH THE RAIN TAKING A BREAK, WHY NOT LOOK FORWARD TO ADDING SOME FUN TO YOUR DRIVING WITH ONE OF BMW’S RANGE OF EXCITING CONVERTIBLE MODELS?

BMW 4 SERIES CONVERTIBLE With summer underway, the highly acclaimed new BMW 4 Series Convertible couldn’t have arrived at a better time. Launched in March, it combines elegant styling, aerodynamic details and sporty proportions with a Retractable Hard-Top roof to provide all-year-round driving pleasure. What’s more, the new BMW 4 Series Convertible now boasts a generous 37O litre loading space with the roof up, and an ample 22O litres with the roof down. A new innovative loading aid part raises the roof at the touch of a button, giving you access to extra storage space beneath the load area cover while the roof is down. Available in five trim options – SE, Luxury, Modern, Sport and M Sport – and a choice of three engines – 428i, 435i and 42Od – every BMW 4 Series Convertible is as unique and distinctive as its driver.

BMW Z4 ROADSTER This classic BMW roadster is now even more appealing. As well as featuring new interior and exterior design enhancements,

the latest BMW Z4 sees the introduction of the new sDrive18i, offering a lower starting price for the new range. All the BMW Z4 models have turbocharged engines for enhanced performance and efficiency, Drive Performance Control for tailored driving modes and optional eight-speed Sport automatic transmission. You’ll also find a higher standard specification, including DAB digital radio, Bluetooth, USB connection and Sport multi-function leather steering wheel, with stylish new paint colours, interior trims and Alloy wheels available.

BMW 6 SERIES CONVERTIBLE The stunning BMW 6 Series Convertible, with its elegant, fluid design, beautiful proportions and dynamic sports car capabilities, will have you craving the open road. It has a graceful, athletic appearance with sweeping contour lines and a low muscular stance. The sumptuous interior is equipped to an exceptionally high standard

specification, including Dakota leather upholstery with SunReflective Technology, and with two full-size rear seats, it can fit four adults comfortably. The 32Ohp six-cylinder 64Oi SE achieves O-62mph in 5.7 seconds, yet 35.8mpg combined and 185g/km CO2 emissions. The 65Oi SE’s twin-turbo V8 engine delivers O-62 in an impressive five seconds – taking it to almost M car performance. Thanks to BMW EfficientDynamics technologies, both models are class-leading on fuel economy and CO2 emissions. So, as you can see, there’s something for everyone with this exciting range of BMW Convertible models. For more details on how to put the fun back into your driving, feel free to contact the team at Cooper BMW on Longfield Road, Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Cooper BMW - 5O6-516 Longfield Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 3UE - O1892 628 1O5 - www.cooperbmw.co.uk OCTOBER 2014

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ADVERTORIAL

New Porsche Boxster GTS sprints into summer For its latest model, Porsche has upgraded the classic sports car to create a ride that’s smoother, faster and fit for the next generation of driver

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ince the Porsche Boxster first appeared in showrooms nearly 20 years ago, the mid-engined two-seater has established itself as the benchmark roadster. The new Boxster GTS enhances the driving experience further with an uprated engine and specific chassis tuning, and in the process sets a new standard for open-top driving enthusiasts. Building on the proven Boxster virtues of light weight, responsive handling and a charismatic flat-six engine, the GTS features an optimised version of the proven 3.4-litre engine, which has been tuned to produce an additional 15 hp (11 kW). The Boxster GTS thus develops 330 hp (243 kW) and pulling power has also increased by 10 newton metres to 370 Nm. Further emphasising the distinctive character of the GTS is the Sport Chrono package and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), fitted as standard. These offer the driver the opportunity to not only modify the damper stiffness, but also subtly change the throttle characteristics of the engine. In conjunction with the optional

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Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) seven-speed double-clutch transmission, the Launch Control function – engaged via the Sport Plus button – enables the Boxster GTS to accelerate from 0-62 mph in 4.7 seconds, 0.3 seconds quicker than the standard Boxster S PDK. With the standard manual six-speed transmission, the GTS is the first Boxster to offer the potential to top the 174 mph (280 km/h) threshold. The new GTS is also the company’s first mid-engined roadster to be certified according to the Euro 6 emissions standard, and achieves an overall fuel consumption with PDK of 34.4 mpg (31.4mpg with manual transmission). The dynamic engine mounts also offered as part of the Sport Chrono package enable the Boxster GTS to offer an impressive breadth of responsiveness. Under acceleration, cornering or braking, the mountings for the engine stiffen automatically to reduce the effects of mass transfer during dynamic manoeuvres, further increasing agility. The Boxster GTS can also be specified with a new, optional sports chassis configuration that lowers the ride height by 20mm, underlying the

fact that at the heart of every Porsche is a race car suitable for both the circuit and everyday use. From the outside, the new Boxster GTS features subtle yet unmistakable visual clues to its identity. Purposeful black finish 20-inch diameter Carrera S alloy wheels, with 235/35 tyres at the front and 265/35 tyres at the rear, give a strong hint to the car’s intent. A distinctively-styled front spoiler and black finish Bi-Xenon headlights – with the Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS) as standard – present a new face, and from the rear exterior lettering in silky black gloss and a re-styled lower apron complete the picture. • The benchmark roadster gains a more powerful 330 hp engine and uprated chassis • Chassis tuned with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) fitted as standard • More purposeful styling further emphasises mid-engine design • On sale now, priced from £52,879, in Porsche Centres across the UK and Ireland

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Something for the weekend

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orsche introduced an all-new Cayman in 2013 and it was essentially just that; a new structure and chassis, new engines, a new exterior design and a far superior cabin. The standard Cayman proved to be a terrific thing in its own right but, as with many high performance cars, getting the right specification is everything.

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This then is arguably the ultimate specification Cayman; in S form with the more powerful 3.4-litre 321bhp engine, the purist’s choice of six-speed manual gearbox, the pricey but superb carbon ceramic brakes and the uncompromising but superbly supportive bucket seats. Where the previous Cayman was a relatively discreet-looking machine, the latest version has a bit more personality. There are shades of the 918 Spyder in the front end and rather than

hiding in the shadow of the 911, it’s a car you could choose for its looks alone. Better still, the Cayman has the image to stand up in its own right. It’s no longer the option if you can’t afford a 911, in fact you may find the odd 911 owner questioning their judgement... There’s more space in the cabin for humans and it’s easier to get comfortable as a result. You’ll find a bit more storage in the cabin too; certainly a little less than a similarly-sized hatchback but you won’t struggle to stash keys, phones and the like.

Luggage space requires a little more effort. There are 415 litres on offer, which sounds good, but as this is a midengined car, the space is divided between the front and the rear – so take squashy bags rather than big suitcases. Behind the wheel, everything feels just right from the hot seat; the driving position and the weight of the controls are sublime. Fire up the flat six and there is a complex, delicious growl from the exhaust – in fact the sports exhaust option means more noise, it’s an essential choice. The Cayman S is so well

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Matt Joy hops behind the wheel of the new Porsche Cayman S and reveals why this feisty model is the ultimate petrolhead’s plaything

Facts at a glance MODEL: Porsche Cayman S, £48,783 ENGINE: 3.4-litre unit petrol unit producing 321bhp and 273lb/ft of torque TRANSMISSION: Six-speed manual gearbox driving the rear wheels PERFORMANCE: Top speed 175mph, 0-62mph in 5.0 seconds ECONOMY: 32.1mpg combined EMISSIONS: 206g/km of CO2

honed it can deal with the boring day-to-day driving without effort, but when the road opens up, you realise just how good it is. The steering is

reassuring. Most importantly, the 3.4-litre engine is slick, sonorous and deliciously fast. Now let’s look at value for

Fire up the flat six and there is a complex, delicious growl from the exhaust sharp but weighty and not hyperactive, while the handling balance is simply stunning. You can lean hard on it with complete confidence and those carbon brakes are hugely

money. A standard Cayman S checks in at a not-unreasonable £48,783 and for that money you’ll have yourself an outstanding sports car. Of course, a few choice options

can bump the price a little and the standard equipment levels are fairly modest. On the other hand, the Cayman is one of the least depreciating cars you can buy, so should you be daft enough to sell it, you’ll get more of your money back than with almost all rivals. So, who would buy one? If you want your sports car to be a genuine ground-up road machine rather than a track refugee or a hopped-up version of a standard car, this is the one

for you. As long as you only need two seats, you could use it every day and not find it a chore, whereas if you’re lucky enough for it to be your weekend plaything, then your weekends are going to be amazing. This car summed up in a single word: Nirvana If this car was a celebrity, it would be: Ryan Gosling. So annoyingly perfect you want to hate it, but unfortunately you just can’t...

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BUSINESS

BUSINESS NEWS OUR MONTHLY LOOK AT WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE LOCAL BUSINESS WORLD

 NEW TRAIN BOSS FACES PROTEST Last month saw the arrival of David Statham as Managing Director of the train firm Southeastern that covers Kent. He took over the controls from Charles Horton, who became Chief Executive of the new Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise. According to David Brown, CEO of Southeastern’s parent group Go-Ahead, David Statham has “proven success in leading complex railway change projects and improving customer satisfaction levels.” News that Southeastern has retained the rail franchise until at least June 2018 brought a strong reaction from Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark, who says: “It is extremely disappointing that the Direct Award agreement does not address some of the fundamental concerns of local rail passengers such as the significant difference in the cost of rail fares between Southeastern and Southern. “An annual season ticket from Eridge to London is around £1,500 cheaper than that from Tunbridge Wells, which I think is very wrong. I would also have liked to have seen the introduction of more flexible ticketing using smart card technology, especially for part-time workers. “This Direct Award agreement is a missed opportunity and, having received poor service over many years, I believe rail passengers deserve much better. “I’ve written to Southeastern’s new Managing Director and the Rail Minister to ask why these commitments have not been made and how this can be corrected in the future.”

 GREEN PRIDE The Wadhurst company Nikwax will next month be handed the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development. It’s the UK’s highest award for business success and will be presented by the Lord-Lieutenant Viscount DeL’lsle during a ceremony at Salomons in Tunbridge Wells. The company manufactures water-based waterproofing solutions for outdoor clothing such as rain jackets and walking boots. Nikwax is the only established water proofing aftercare business in the world never to have used aerosols or PFCs. Founder and current Managing Director Nick Brown says: “I feel immense pride when I see our product on the high street and know they are going someway to preserving the environment around us.” Nickwax has three times received the Sunday Times Best Green Award.

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BUSINESS

 AIRPORT SURVEY Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce wants to know your views on where additional airport capacity should be located – Gatwick or Heathrow. The chamber has not yet taken a position but hopes to feed the view of Kent businesses into the decision making process. To take part in the survey follow the link: www.surveymonkey.com/s/ SNM29T3 Meanwhile, the Leader of Kent County Council Paul Carter says “common sense prevailed” after proposals for a multi-billion pound airport in the Thames Estuary were thrown out. It had been

 THE FUNDING CROWD loudly championed by London Mayor Boris Johnson - but opposed by almost all authorities and politicians in the county. “We are delighted that the Thames Estuary Airport proposal has not been added to the shortlist of long term options for additional airport capacity alongside Heathrow and Gatwick. “The surface transport infrastructure alone, to get staff and passengers to and from a mega hub airport on the east side of London, would have cost tens of billions of pounds and taken decades to deliver.”

 HIGH FLYING LEGAL EAGLE

One of the country’s most high profile lawyers, Christina Blacklaws, has joined Cripps in Tunbridge Wells as Director of Client Services, as part of the law firm’s strategy for continued growth. Christina has 25 years’ experience in legal services including developing and running the largest specialist family law firm in the country; building an innovative hybrid (part virtual, part high street) firm and most recently as Director of Policy at the Co-operative Legal Services, where she was responsible for all external relationships. She also sits on the Law Society Council, representing the Women Lawyers Division, and on the executive of the Family Justice Council. “Working with an ambitious firm to take its business on to the next level is a great opportunity,” she says. Cripps, a merger between Cripps Harries Hall and corporate law specialist Vertex Law, has a workforce of more than 300 – including 48 partners – and is budgeting this year for an annual turnover of £25.9m. It has offices in Tunbridge Wells, Kings Hill, London and Sandwich.

Wine maker Chapel Down is to raise nearly £4million by becoming the first company on the stock market to generate cash using crowdfunding. The Tenterden vineyard wants to attract investors keen to spread the word about its products. The venture will fund plans to lease 400 acres, which it’s hoped will help treble the amount of wine the company bottles in the coming years. Investors will be able to buy as little as £10 worth of shares. Those who own at least 2,000 shares will receive discounts on wines, plus incentives like free tours and meal discounts at the nearby Swan. Shares will be issued at 28p each. The move comes a year after the company raised £4.35million by issuing new shares on the market, when it attracted significant interest from the wider public. Chief executive Frazer Thompson says: “If you can’t get excited about this in business, I struggle to see what you are going to get excited about. I’m not just looking for shareholders – I’m looking for pilgrims.” Crowdfunding is a way of supporting a project by raising money from a large number of people, typically via the internet.

 SMART WIN A mobile technology developer has signed a contract with one of the world’s largest food companies worth at least £250,000 over three years. Crimson Tide, based in Tunbridge Wells, says the value of the deal with the unnamed chain could rise significantly as its smartphone and tablet apps are rolled out worldwide. Executive chairman Barrie Whipp tells us: “This contract is a transformational landmark for Crimson Tide. “I was particularly pleased that Microsoft introduced the two companies based on Crimson Tide’s experience in delivering enterprise mobility in the cloud on Microsoft Azure.” Crimson Tide was founded in 1996 and listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2006. OCTOBER 2014

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COMMERCIAL PROPERTY CHECKLIST If you’re looking to set up or expand a business, you’ll need the right premises for your line of work. Daldeep Jaswal, Partner at Buss Murton Law LLP in Tunbridge Wells, guides us through some key points to think about when securing that all-important workspace

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hether you have an established or new business, as it grows you will need to think about your premises needs. Unless you’re in the enviable position of purchasing your own premises, you’ll most likely be entering the rental market. Once you have found that ideal shop, office or industrial unit, you will need to think about the terms on offer and how they suit your needs. Below is a quick guide as to what to consider: PREMISES Leasing the whole or part of a building determines your repair and service charge liability. RENT Rent is usually paid quarterly and it might be possible to negotiate monthly payments and/or a rent-free period to alleviate the initial outlay and moving costs. TERM The most common term is around five years, which gives both the tenant and the landlord some security. Stamp duty land tax might be due, depending on the term of the lease and rent payable. RENT REVIEWS If the term is over five years, the landlord is likely to want the ability to increase the rent to an open market rent at three or five yearly

intervals. If the parties are required to agree rent on open market reviews and where agreement cannot be reached, an independent expert is likely to decide the rental. In some cases, rent reviews may be RPI linked, which will remove the element of dispute, but almost always means an increase in rent for the tenant on the review date. SERVICE CHARGES When taking a lease of part of a building or a unit on an estate, you can expect to pay service charges to the landlord so that they can carry out any maintenance required to the structural parts of a building or cleaning maintenance and decoration of common areas, to name a few. Investigate with the landlord the possibility of capping service charges. BREAK CLAUSES Consider paying a little extra rent in return for a break clause, especially where you’re taking the lease in your own name. Make sure the break is only conditional upon your paying rent up to the date of the break and handing back an empty premises free of you and your fixtures, fittings and furniture. REPAIR Consider the current repair of the premises and how much it will cost to put it into good repair. This will be particularly important come the end of the lease, as the landlord will

want the premises handed back in good repair and condition, which can mean handing it back in a better condition than when you started the lease. ALTERATIONS Make sure the landlord is happy with the works you are undertaking before completing the lease. You may have to remove your alterations at the end of the lease, so agree in advance which can stay. LANDLORD AND TENANT ACT 1954 This Act provides tenants with the legal right to request a renewal lease from their landlord at the end of their lease on market terms. The landlord can only resist a new lease on certain grounds and in some circumstances has to pay the tenant rateable value compensation for non-renewal. It is fairly common for a landlord to exclude the lease from the relevant part if this Act to enable them to choose whether or not to renew the lease to the tenant. There is more to taking a lease than just the above points and having a good commercial property solicitor involved in the process is vital, especially if you are new to the process.

djaswal@bussmurton.co.uk www.bussmurton.co.uk 01892 510 222

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THE SMELL OF SWEET SUCCESS Winning an award can be great news for a business – helping them to gain the recognition they deserve. As the Sevenoaks Business Awards announce their 2014 winners, we track down two of last year’s success stories. Joint winners of the Young Entrepreneur award Bella Verrechia and Luca Tuvey explain how winning the award has helped their businesses to blossom…

BELLA VERRECHIA, 20, RUNS JOHNNY’S LITTLE SISTER FLORISTS IN SEVENOAKS.

Was floristry always your dream? No, when I was younger I was a ballroom dancer and I danced for England with my brother. Then he decided to quit and I stopped too. It’s great that I’ve found something I love as much as dancing. How was your business seed planted? When I was 17 I went to Hadlow college to study floristry. From there I started a stall outside the Harvester selling flowers, then a man who ran a sweet shop in Riverhead was selling up and he asked if I’d be interested in taking over. So I opened my shop there when I was 18.

award has really helped the business. I think when people see that I’ve won the award they put a lot more trust in me. Because I’m quite young they think ‘can she really do flowers?,’ but now I’ve got the award behind me people can see that I can. I was nominated this year for another award too, so I think the business really is blossoming! LUCA TUVEY, 16, HAS SET UP VARIOUS BUSINESS VENTURES DESPITE STILL BEING AT SCHOOL.

What’s your favourite part of the job? I love the flower arranging, and researching florists and learning new things. I know it sounds mad but I just love flowers! I also have a massive passion for vintage and I’m always shopping for pieces I can put in the shop. I think my shop shows who I am.

How old were you when you were bitten by the business bug? When I was 12, my friend showed me a magic trick and I thought ‘I can do better’, so I practiced morning noon and night until I could do magic perfectly. Then people started to book me for parties, weddings and events. When you’re 12 and getting paid for gigs it’s quite incredible!

How has winning the award benefitted the business? In April I opened a bigger shop in Hollybush Lane and winning the

So where did you go from there? The magic tailed off, but then kids at school started selling sweets. I thought I could branch out, so I began putting

boxes of sweets in shops around Sevenoaks with an honesty box. Every week I collected the money and bought more sweets from the wholesaler. It was a great earner and meant I got together enough money to go to Madagascar to do a humanitarian project last summer. After winning the award did you carry on with the sweet business? No, after winning I had to take a bit of a break while exams and life got in the way. Then, this summer I worked for a merchant services company as a commercial consultant. It’s been great because I’m getting experience that other school kids don’t. You’re good at the sales talk – are your friends wary of you because they think you’re trying to sell them things? Yes! Recently I asked a friend if he liked art, and when he said no I said ‘oh that’s a shame, I was going to ask if you wanted to go to a gallery with me.’ He told me he’d said no because he was worried I was going to try and sell him some art! OCTOBER 2014

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ADVERTORIAL

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ARE YOU DELEGATING CORRECTLY? Brought to you by Synergee Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers in Tunbridge Wells Delegation does not just mean passing on a job that you are unwilling to do yourself. Consider the following questions:

Do you give the same employee the same piece of work every time because they are good at it, or do you say, ‘You seem to be getting the hang of A, why don’t you have a go at B this week’?

COMMUNICATION Do you make it perfectly clear to the other person what they have to do, or are you not clear about it yourself and simply hoping that the person you are delegating to will come up with something? SETTING DEADLINES Do you ask for results by a specified time, such as ‘By the close of business’ or ‘In an hour’? YOUR RESPONSE When you have asked someone to do something ‘urgently’, do you then action it immediately or leave it lying around on the desk for days? SUPPORT Do you periodically check how the employee is getting on and offer to answer any

Effective delegation allows small businesses to grow into large ones. The most successful entrepreneurs are those who can strike a balance between trusting the people around them and keeping the lines of communication open. questions he or she might have, or do you just leave them to get on with it? FEEDBACK Do you keep the employee informed of what happens after you take the work back, or do you just say, ‘Thanks, I’ll handle it from here’?

For further business advice or accountancy services, please get in touch with Synergee Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers, based in Tunbridge Wells. You’ll find all the contact details you need at www.synergee.org.uk

PURPOSE OF DELEGATION Do you delegate only boring tasks you dislike, or do you delegate exciting and enjoyable tasks to give others an opportunity to learn? EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT

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C U LT U R E

CULTUREVULTURE OUR MONTHLY LOOK AT WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE AREA

ARTFUL WAY TO RAISE FUNDS Following the recent suicide of actor Robin Williams, mental health issues have been thrust into the spotlight of public awareness. For nearly a quarter of a century, Kent Painters Group (KPG) has been raising money for mental health charities with their annual art fair. With this year’s event taking place at Sevenoaks School at the end of the month, they hope that there will be even more public support for the cause. Lucinda Lucey of KPG tells us more How did the event get started? I’ve been working with KPG on the marketing side since 2009, but the group was started in 1991 by three friends who wanted to raise money for mental health charities. One of the original founders’ children suffered from mental health problems; they were artists and decided to do some fundraising. I wanted to get involved because I feel it is a case of ‘there but for the grace of God go all of us’ and I wanted to help. It’s only about one week of my time per year that I need to give and that’s nothing. So how does it work? Everybody who is part of the show has to have a connection with Kent, which is lovely because it’s something that’s really for the county. We have a selection committee and of course, if artists have been coming to the fair for a few years and doing well, we want to invite them back – the bottom line is, if the artists are selling, that’s making more money for the charities, which this year are FYNVOLA, RETHINK, MENCAP and MacINTYRE.

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But we also try to bring in new blood every year. We have something to appeal to every generation. If an artist sold their work in a gallery, the gallery would charge up to 60% of the sale price, but because we have small overheads we only charge 25%. Net proceeds from the show go to the charities and over the last 23 years, KPG has donated more than £240,000. Do visitors have to pay to get in? No – we no longer charge an entrance fee, which makes the show even more accessible. There is a ‘meet and greet the artists’ reception on Friday October 31, followed by two open days. There will be about 50 screens of artists’ work and there’s no pressure to buy; people can just come and enjoy the exhibition. What about those who have never bought original art before? Choosing art is a very personal process because it’s hard for anyone else to understand a person’s home or the space they want to fill.

If they come on the Friday night, they may be inspired by a piece of art and the artists will also be there. Sometimes, talking to the person who created the piece of work can ignite a little feeling in the purchaser. Isn’t original art expensive? There’s something there for every price range – art is priced from about £60 so it’s not going to be thousands of pounds a piece. Some artists are more popular and successful so will cost more. Over the years I’ve seen art I’ve loved and not bought it, only for the artist to become more successful a few years later, so it’s worth more and I’ve kicked myself!

The show opens at Sevenoaks School with a reception from 6.30pm to 9pm on Friday October 31; it then opens from 10am to 4pm on Saturday November 1 and Sunday November 2. For more details visit www.kentpaintersgroup.co.uk

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MYTH CONCEPTIONS

Gig OF THE MONTH

Folk singer and fiddler extraordinaire Seth Lakeman brings the enchanting sound of his latest album, Word of Mouth, to the Assembly Hall Theatre in Tunbridge Wells on Friday October 10. Recorded in a Cornish church, the album features songs based on the experiences of everyday folk, from dockyard workers to female miners. The artist was nominated for the Mercury Prize for his 2004 album Kitty Jay, so he’s a strong musical talent who is well worth seeing live. Tickets cost £21.50. Book online at www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk or call 01892 530 613.

Children are invited to discover the magic of classical music with a particularly enchanting concert by Sevenoaks Symphony Orchestra. In this short performance at the Stag in Sevenoaks, aimed at ages four to 12, the orchestra will play pieces inspired by myths and legends. From sleeping princesses to witches, the music tells stories that are sure to enthral youngsters and their families – the conductor may even be in fancy dress... The concert starts at 4pm and tickets cost £7 each, £25 for four or £60 for 10 or more. To book call 01732 450 175 or visit www.stagsevenoaks.co.uk

A DAY TO REMEMBER In the centenary year of the outbreak of the First World War, A November Day is a poignant and gentle commemoration by Thingumajig Theatre. Told with puppets, live music and an ingenius set, the play is a fable about two men, a dog and a tragic war. When a woman discovers her grandfather’s forgotten belongings in an attic, she reveals a moving tale about the miracle of friendship. The show can be seen at the Sinden Theatre in Tenterden on Monday October 13, with performances starting at 2pm and 7pm. Tickets cost £8/£6. To book call 01580 763 826. www.sindentheatre.com

PRIMA DOÑA

HIGH & MIGHTY

Since being discovered while working as a waitress at New York’s iconic music venue, Lone Star Cafe, Doña Oxford has become a heroine of the blues and roots scene. Her skills as a vocalist and keyboard player have been acclaimed by the likes of Van Morrison, Keith Richards and Albert Lee, and she’s performed all over the world. Don’t miss the chance to see her play at The Forum in Tunbridge Wells on Friday October 24, with renowned local band The Standard Lamps in support. Tickets cost £8.50 at www.twforum.co.uk

A wealthy socialite must choose between three very different men in the lavish musical comedy, High Society. Originally starring Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, the Cole Porter-penned show comes to Cranbrook, courtesy of Cranbrook Operatic and Dramatic Society. Musical highlights include the timeless Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, so prepare to tap those toes when the show is staged at Queen’s Hall Theatre from Wednesday October 29 to Saturday November 1. Tickets are priced from £5 to £12 and can be booked online at www.cods.ticketsource.co.uk

GUITAR GREAT One of the world’s most respected guitarists visits Trinity Theatre in Tunbridge Wells on Saturday October 4. John Etheridge spans a variety of styles with his music and has worked with numerous high profile musicians. This month he’ll be performing a rare solo concert, featuring tracks from his wellreceived album, I Didn’t Know. His special guest will be respected blues and soul singer Kit Holmes, who combines sultry vocals with virtuoso guitar playing to captivating effect. The show starts at 8pm and tickets cost £17/£15. Call 01892 678 678 or visit www.trinitytheatre.net to book. OCTOBER 2014

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INSIDEVIEW

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Our music columnist Paul Dunton looks back on a summer full of new experiences and fresh musical highs

aving now had time to catch my breath, I thought I would take this opportunity to reflect on the Local & Live Music Festival that took place over the August bank holiday weekend. I really enjoyed organising it and running it this year, I feel that we now have a format that will enable the event to develop and thrive for years to come. Calverley Grounds in Tunbridge Wells proved to be a wonderful central point for the event and I know all the musicians involved really enjoyed performing on such a fabulous stage to thousands of people. Thankfully, the weather gods smiled on us and we were blessed with dry weather for the two days in the grounds – I can’t express how relieved I was to see the sun shining! The event’s attendance hinges on good weather to a degree; although

saying that, come wind, rain or shine, Local & Live has a dedicated following that I know would turn up no matter how inclement the conditions. It is this whole hearted support for the event that gives me the confidence and belief to keep doing it every year and I am ever appreciative to everyone who came along and supported this year’s festival. With Calverley Grounds proving to be a highlight, it was certainly well supported by an excellent ‘Fringe’ element which enabled the festival to spread its wings across the town. It was, to a degree, an experiment to see if we could create a mini version of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival over the weekend. We certainly had the roster available in terms of talent and so it was a thrill to have The Beau Nash, The Trading Post, The

Bedford, Sankeys, The Camden Quarter, The Royal Oak, No.9 Smokehouse, The Forum and The Grey Lady all involved, hosting stages for well over 300 acts. This made it the largest Local & Live ever and I feel confident that the fringe will now help sustain and support the festival for future years. I am already planning to invite a few more pubs into the fringe next year. The festival could not have happened without the help of all our amazing volunteers, who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to keep the event running smoothly. They are all individuals from the local community who gave up their time over the weekend to help our cause. In our festival brochure we have a credit and thanks section to list everyone who has contributed in their different ways. I must, however, award a special vote of thanks to all the musicians who performed and all the Local & Live

Angels, our sponsors and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and the Friends of Calverley Grounds for their support and assistance. Looking ahead, these are exciting times – Local & Live will return next year and soon I will sit down to begin organising that, but in the meantime I will have a little nap and play some golf! Local & Live doesn’t stop there, it is an all year round project and if you fancy another taste of the festival, I strongly recommend attending our next two Local & Live Sessions. These are on Saturday October 18 (Ant & Fie and Lectures) and Saturday November 22 (The Diarys and Mistress & The Malts); four cracking Local & Live acts who will be strutting their stuff in the beautiful setting of Trinity Theatre in Tunbridge Wells. www.trinitytheatre.net @paulduntonmusic www.paulduntonandguests.com OCTOBER 2014

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C O N TA C T S

M A G A Z I N E

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Longford House, 19 Mount Ephraim Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1EN Tel: 01892 779 650 www.somagazine.co.uk Editor Jane Connolly jconnolly@onemediauk.co.uk Head of Design Rowena Cremer-Price rcremer-price@onemediauk.co.uk Senior Journalist Charlie Bond cbond@onemediauk.co.uk Junior Designer Xela Ruy xruy@onemediauk.co.uk Production Co-ordinator Phil Glover pglover@onemediauk.co.uk Writer Frederick Latty flatty@onemediauk.co.uk Commercial & Digital Marketing Manager Laura Plane lplane@onemediauk.co.uk Head of Sales Joe De Kwant Stoner jstoner@onemediauk.co.uk Commercial Team Gemma Hak ghak@onemediauk.co.uk Alice Harding aharding@onemediauk.co.uk Patsy Kelly pkelly@onemediauk.co.uk Clara Higgs-Prosser chprosser@onemediauk.co.uk Distribution Co-ordinator Harry Lamb Contributors Sarah Bond Valerie Thacker Catherine de Crèvecoeur Daniel Gee Nick Ellis David Bartholomew Paul Dunton Publishing Director Nick Moore nmoore@onemediauk.co.uk Editorial Director Richard Moore rmoore@onemediauk.co.uk

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ENCORE New season’s greetings

TONY BRIGGS

DARREN BELL

We take a look at the new season at the Assembly Hall Theatre in Tunbridge Wells and enjoy a sneak preview of this year’s spectacular pantomime

tunes such as Twist and Shout, Handy Man, Pretty Woman, One Fine Day and many more will have you walking down Memory Lane in no time. It has only been a year since former Westlife member Shane Filan released his debut solo album You and Me, featuring the hit singles Everything To Me, About You and Knee Deep In My Heart and fans are loving him! Shane and his band promise some crowd-pleasing old favourites, as well as his new material and even a hint of traditional Irish music thrown in for good measure. The Assembly Hall Theatre also promises nights of eclectic comedy from some of the

most talented comedians currently playing the circuit, featuring Alan Davies from QI, Frank Skinner from Room 101 and the fabulous stand-up Omid Djalili. And finally, we bring you Peter Pan – a panto awash with swash and buckle! Starring Mark Moraghan (Holby City) as Captain Hook and Gemma Hunt (CBeebies’ Swashbuckle) as Tinker Bell, Peter Pan is sure to be a Christmas extravaganza you won’t want to miss. To book tickets for all these shows and more, call the box office on 01892 530 613 or visit the website at www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk

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he Assembly Hall Theatre boasts a stellar line-up of shows this autumn and winter season, from West End musical extravaganzas to sell-out comics and popular music. Theatre-goers will also be entertained by quality productions of ballet and opera, along with the annual Christmas pantomime – this year it’s Peter Pan. The autumn season begins with a dazzling new production of Dreamboats and Miniskirts, the sequel to the phenomenon Dreamboats and Petticoats. Set in the period post-Elvis and pre-The Beatles, the show continues the story of Bobby, Laura, Norman and Sue, showcasing the greatest hit songs of the Sixties along the way. Top OCTOBER 2014

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SECRET

FROM THE ARCHIVES...

AUTHOR’S GREAT UNSOLVED MYSTERY

ARNOLD GENTHE

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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f Dr Watson had dared suggest to Sherlock Holmes that a ghost or spirit might be the culprit behind a fiendish crime, it’s safe to assume that the razor-sharp detective would have made some pretty cutting remarks to his credulous sidekick. But as Halloween approaches once again, countless people around the world will be steeling themselves for encounters with the ‘other side’. And less than a century ago, the fictional hero’s creator would have been among them. Although the Sherlock Holmes stories often had a rather uncanny air about them – The Hound of the Baskervilles being a case in point – the mysteries always turned out to have a common or garden criminal at their root. Yet for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, life was not always so black and white; for much of his life, he operated in the grey areas of psychology and searched ceaselessly for proof of life after death, much to the consternation of some of his friends. Those who worked to expose fraudulent mediums and phoney spiritualists often incurred the wrath of the writer, who apparently wanted, above all else, to believe. Although one of his earliest works – written while he was a medical student – was a ghost story, his interest in the paranormal

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seemed to really take hold following a series of personal tragedies in the early 1900s. Sir Arthur’s wife Louisa was the first to pass away in 1906, followed by his brother, two brothers-in-law and two nephews just after the First World War. Perhaps the most devastating loss was that of his son Kingsley, who survived the Battle of the Somme only to succumb to pneumonia in October 1918. Unsurprisingly, Sir Arthur’s grief turned to depression and he became increasingly involved in the spiritualist church, presumably in the quest to make contact with his lost loved ones. His novella The Land of the Mist focused on the subject and his 1922 work, The Coming of the Fairies, appeared to suggest that he believed in the famous Cottingley fairy photographs – these were later exposed as a hoax perpetrated by

Those who worked to expose fraudulent mediums and phoney spiritualists often incurred the wrath of the writer, who apparently wanted, above all else, to believe

FAMOUS PLAYERS - LASKY CORPORATION, US THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, MCMANUS-YOUNG COLLECTION

As the creator of literature’s sharpest logical mind, it may be a surprise to learn that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a staunch believer in the supernatural. When the acclaimed author died at his Crowborough home in 1930, he was still convinced that the spirit world was real – a conviction that had cost him at least one friend during his remarkable life...

Harry Houdini

spirit photographer William Hope, Sir Arthur persuaded 84 fellow members to resign from the Society with him in protest at Price’s methods. He refused to accept the evidence of Hope’s fraud and even wrote a book in support of spirit photography as a theory. Whether Sir Arthur was finally reunited with his deceased relatives when he collapsed at his home, Windlesham Manor in Crowborough, on that sad day in July 1930 will never be revealed. Only he now knows whether there really is anybody there...

two young girls using paper cut-outs. Sir Arthur’s beliefs brought him into dispute with some key figures of the era, including his friend, the eminent magician Harry Houdini. The conjuror grew to despise the spiritualist movement and was exasperated by Sir Arthur’s insistence that Houdini himself possessed supernatural powers, even while Houdini openly stated that his amazing feats were just tricks. Famous ghost hunter Harry Price enraged Sir Arthur by exposing some of his favourite mediums as frauds, in experiments conducted with the Society for Psychical Research, of which Sir Arthur was a member. After Price publicly debunked high profile

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Profile for One Media

So Wealden magazine October 2014  

So Wealden magazine October 2014  

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