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TUNBRIDGE WELLS RICHEST COMPANIES REVEALED

INN KEEPING T HE M AGA Z I NE FO R LI FE A ND STYL E

DISCOVER THE BEST LOCAL PUBS

APRIL 2011 £1.50

ISS UE 37

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SOTUNBRIDGEWELLS.CO.UK

TUNBRIDGE WELLS

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WIN £1,000 KATHERINE JENKINS TICKETS

42 PAGES OF STUNNING PROPERTIES

WORK WEAR

STYLISH LOOKS FOR THE OFFICE

HESTON BLUMENTHAL GENIUS OR GIMMICKRY – YOU DECIDE

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Hello... Food, glorious food! That’s what we’re serving up in this issue (and lots of it) along with a plateful of the Richest Companies in Tunbridge Wells, a generous portion of magnificent properties up for grabs and an interesting slice of news and views from the local business community. Few chefs evoke more debate over cooking methods than Heston Blumenthal with his science-based approach. But is it genius or gimmickry? Read our fascinating feature on him and decide for yourself. And while you’re making up your mind you might want to relax at one of the great pubs with which we are blessed. They’re all in our exclusive guide to local hostelries. Talking of “great” we were delighted to receive an invite (quite rightly, of course) for afternoon tea with the big boss of one of the world’s top hotels – the newly renovated Savoy in London. It’s undergone a £250 million face lift and we wanted to check the results. Plenty of our aquaintances from TW use the hotel, particularly those involved with the town’s Richest Companies which, by coincidence, we name with another of our exclusive lists for which we are now renowned. The Top Ten companies employ almost 4,000 people and handle everything from suet puddings to sausages with the odd bit of law and medical insurance thrown in. Also in this issue we invite you inside some stunning homes, there’s one with truly panoramic views, find out what you should be wearing in the office this season, take a look at the next generation of super sports cars and offer the chance to win a £1,000 worth of tickets to the big Summer event Music on the Hill. Oh yes, we also hear what happened when one TW woman saw her reflection in a shop window. Something, then, for everyone to savour...

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34

109

April InsIde your

RegulARs 12

THIS MONTH…

17

THE LETTERS

step back in time for an historic railway journey.

Why daniel Craig in a dress is getting one reader hot under the collar.

19

THE NEWS

21

THE GOSSIP

45

23

26

The businessman with a foot fetish and the bigwig all a Twitter.

WIN! see international music stars perform live in Kent with our £1,000 ticket giveaway.

discover the ghostly presence still treading the boards.

A red Arrow plays a flying visit to Tunbridge Wells.

WORK IT OUT

41

FACE APPEAL

43

CHANGING FACES

COOKING UP A STORM Wonderful chef or one-trick pony? We put celebrity cook Heston Blumenthal under the microscope.

REAL TWEET 153 APembury’s own Kate Middleton on her royal connection.

FAsHION&BeAuTY 33

34

SEEING RED

FeATuRes

A hawk swoops through The Pantiles and tourists splash the cash.

162 THE SECRET 8

sOCIAls

INSIDER… Give your outfit an edge with a swarovski crystal-encrusted spike ring.

ditch the suit and dress up your office look with the latest trends.

A reader reveals whether a skin peel was worth the discomfort.

Meet the TW plastic surgeon who has been named one of the top 100 uK doctors.

Cover image: James Caan courtesy of PA Feature File.

Issue…

ART & CulTuRe GALLERY 102 THE rolf Harris is the artist on our wall this month courtesy of Artique Gallery.

CAFÉS 161 COMEDY Big laughs and high drama are on the bill at the Trinity Theatre.

APrIL 2011

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156

26

54 EDUCATION

BUSINESS

106

135

GUEST EDITOR

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PLOTTING YOUR NEXT MOVE

A GREAT TRADITION One of Kent’s oldest girls’ schools is creating the next generation of dynamic young.

FOOD

109 110 114

126

FOODIE GUIDE Find out where you can enjoy a Ménage à Trois.

IN ALL ITS SPLENDOUR As the world-famous Savoy Hotel reopens its doors, we’re among the first to experience the luxury.

YOUR PUB GUIDE The beer garden beckons, but where’s the best place to tuck into a tasty home-cooked meal?

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How to make a decent return on buy-to-let properties.

WEALDEN

HOMES

53 Market View Andrew Burnett on playing the long game

54 Waldron: Nine-bedroom mansion set in beautiful grounds £3.35 million

139

A MATTER OF LIFE & DEATH

141

INTERESTING RETURNS

BABES IN THE WOOD Meet the Eridge couple who have big plans for their free-ranging porkers.

Richard Sadler of Wells Money Brokers on leaving the City.

Beautiful

Sean Cawley on the sensitive business of arranging funerals.

When will interest rates rise and what impact will it have on local businesses?

COMPANIES 145 RICHEST We unveil the Top Ten Tunbridge Wells businesses that are successfully riding out the recession.

MOTORS ATTACK 156 MAC We take a look at the year’s hottest supersports car, the McLaren Automotive MP4-12C.

57

High Halden: Converted barn with towering ceiling £1.35 million

58 Tunbridge Wells: Elegant Victorian town-house £650,000 63 Broadwater Down: Modern luxury, country views £695,995

64 66

Horsmonden: Grade II* listed house packed with features £1.6 million Ticehurst: Stunning lakeside setting £1.25 million

71 Battle: Country house with

cottage and stables £1 million plus

72 Robertsbridge: 16th century hall house in 6.5 acres £1.95 million APRIL 2011

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TUNBRIDGE WELLS

Kenwood House, 1 Upper Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 2EL Tel: 01892 779 650 sotunbridgewells.co.uk Publishing Director Nick Moore nmoore@onemediauk.co.uk Editorial Director Richard Moore FRSA rmoore@onemediauk.co.uk Senior Writer Jane Connolly jconnolly@onemediauk.co.uk Writer Sarah Bond sbond@onemediauk.co.uk Head of Design Jodie Hulse jhulse@onemediauk.co.uk Designer Erica Price eprice@onemediauk.co.uk Junior Designer Jamie Melville jmelville@onemediauk.co.uk Publishing Assistant Phil Glover pglover@onemediauk.co.uk Advertisement Manager Amy Lawson alawson@onemediauk.co.uk Business Development Louis Konstantinidis lkonstantinidis@onemediauk.co.uk Senior Account Manager Vikki Hyder vhyder@onemediauk.co.uk Account Manager Charley Petersen cpetersen@onemediauk.co.uk Publishing Support Executive Jordanne Reville jreville@onemediauk.co.uk

one media Published by:

and creative uk ltd

Contributors Valerie Thacker Mark Turnbull Debbie Attwood Nick Woodroof Simon King Amy Yates Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/SoTWMag All rights reserved. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions relating to advertising or editorial. The publisher reserves the right to change or amend any competitions or prizes offered. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent from the publisher. No responsibility is taken for unsolicited materials or the return of these materials whilst in transit.

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Care …

Now in its 12th year, Aveda created Earth Month in April 1999 to raise funds for environmental issues around the world, and it has since raised almost £20 million. Earth Month 2011 (in partnership with the Global Greengrants Fund), will concentrate on community-based water projects in more than 40 countries. How can you help? Well, simply get yourself along to your nearest Aveda store and pick up a gorgeous smelling and totally organic soy wax Light the Way candle. It costs £16, and £12.80 from each purchase in the UK goes to the Global Greengrants Fund.

This month

Admire…

Watch …

This eye-catching sculpture is a hand-painted life-cast of the male body. It forms part of an exhibition throughout April at the Fairfax Gallery in The Pantiles featuring work from local artist duo Masters & Munn. The work of CJ Munn also featured last month in the BBC TV programme Show Me the Monet about exciting, new creative talent in Britain. fairfaxgallery.com

Julia Roberts stars in this adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert’s 2006 memoir of enlightenment, which has had a bit of a makeover by Glee creator Ryan Murphy, who bathes every scene in a golden glow. The film, Eat, Pray Love, follows Liz (Julia Roberts) as she lets go of her husband, her house and her successful career in order to find inner peace and, ultimately, true love. This quest takes her first to Italy, where she eats copious amounts of pasta and ice cream, then to an ashram in India, and finally to the island of Bali. A feelgood, escapist film. Around £10 from amazon.co.uk

Board…

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picture coutesy of tony Buthcer

Fifty years ago they closed the railway line between Robertsbridge and Tenterden. To mark the occasion, Kent and East Sussex Railway are running a special service on June 11th and they are looking for anyone who was a passenger on the final day of the service. The railway, which attracts more than 100,000 visitors a year, will also be celebrating the formation of the Preservation Society, which fought a 13-year battle to restore the railway after its closure. Contact the booking office for more details on 01580 785 155.

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THIS MONTH

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Visit…

With Winter a distant memory, and Spring in full bloom, where better to enjoy Easter than in Hever Castle’s award-winning grounds. From April 16-25, take a stroll through the Italian Garden, or tackle the 100-year old Yew Maze as the kids wear themselves out on the adventure playground. Another idea for Easter features Chiddingstone Castle’s Spring Garden Fair (Sunday April 17). Both venues offer an Easter Egg hunt. For details, visit hevercastle.co.uk or chiddingstonecastle.org.uk

you should… Read …

A strange and haunting story from the man who brought us the Booker Prizewinning The Remains of the Day back in 1989. Kazuo Ishiguro’s dystopian novel about a group of friends growing up at the seemingly idyllic Hailsham school was first published in 2005, but has now been made into a film starring KeIra Knightley and Andrew Garfield. Narrated by Kathy, now 31, the fate that has always awaited her and her friends in the wider world becomes devastatingly clear. If you didn’t catch it the first time round, make sure you get hold of a copy now. Paperback £7.99 available from Waterstone.

Listen …

The third album from American folk and blues band The Low Anthem marks a clear departure from their 2009 offering, Oh My God, Charlie Darwin. The music on the newly-released Smart Flesh is a more stripped down, melodious mix of styles, clearly led by the folk side of the band (think acoustic guitars, banjos, vocal harmonies and the angelic tones of Bon Iver). The rock is still there on a couple of tracks, but this time it doesn’t dominate the music. Around £10 from Ape, Tunbridge Wells.

Wear …

Luxury handbag designer Anya Sushko’s new collection in neutral shades of camel and tan are the perfect bags for Spring. The interior design student and former model, who worked for the late Alexander McQueen at his couture studio, has created some truly timeless designs which can be worn season after season. Whether for work or play, this creation will bring style to any ensemble. The White Modern Extravaganza bag is available for £750 at anyasushko.com APRIL 2011

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Book… Enjoy… The Kent County Fair over the Bank Holiday weekend (April 30–May 2) at the Hop Farm, in Paddock Wood, is set to attract over 12,000 visitors this year. You can join in the hop-picking, tug-of-war, or even try your luck at the coconut shy. The farm’s new activities include an interactive football pitch, climbing wall and the new ‘Green Zone’, where you can learn how to reduce your carbon footprint. There’ll be live music and you can even take your tent along for an overnight stay For more information, visit thehopfarm.co.uk

Famous faces - including Katherine Jenkins, McFly and rising stars Some Velvet Morning are set to perform over the weekend of June 24, 25 and 26 at Kings Hill, West Malling. With a full range of activities, including children’s entertainers, arts and crafts and plenty of stalls selling Kent produce on the Sunday, this is a family event not to be missed. ‘Music on the Hill’ is in support of the Demelza Hospice Care for Children, which provides invaluable support to life-limited children. For more information, visit musiconthehill.org.uk Also see p45 for our competition to win free tickets.

Covet ...

If you’re searching for an excellent 3D picture at an amazing price, look no further than the Sony Blu-ray BDP-S570. There’s nothing flash about it, true, but its spec includes wi-fi for streaming and accessing web content such as BBC iPlayer, as well as 1GB of internal memory. Designed to superscede the DVD format, the name Blu-ray refers to the blue laser used to read the disc, which allows information to be stored at a greater density than longer-wavelength red laser DVDs. £230 at any Sony Centre.

Bike…

If you’re up for a challenge, then ‘The Garden of England Big Bike Ride’ this Bank Holiday (May 1) is the way to go. Starting and finishing at the picturesque village of Horsmonden, you have a choice of two routes – either 50 or 25 miles. Both are aimed at people who cycle fairly frequently, and there’s a minimum age of 16. Entry costs just £25 plus a minimum sponsorship of £25, with every penny going to Childline. More information about the ride can be found at nspcc.org.uk/kentbbr

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Plumpton’s Easter Racing Festival Sunday 24th and Monday 25th April FREE ENTRY for children under 18 years • Children’s Funfair • Mobile Zoo • Easter Egg giveaway • Free Parking • Live Music • Easter bonnet competition • Free Raceday Programme • Face painting Admission Prices: Grandstand and Paddock: £14 (web advance) £16 (on the day) Course: £10 (web advance) £12 (on the day) *Advance ticket sales close on Tuesday 19th April

Plumpton Racecourse is set for its biggest meeting of the year with the popular two-day totesport Easter Racing Festival on Easter Sunday, 24th April and Bank Holiday Easter Monday, 25th April. Accompanied Children under 18 enjoy free entry, and with admission prices starting from only £10 for adults it’s a great value day out for all the family. Plumpton’s Easter Festival is an ideal day to bring the family racing. It has a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, and many racegoers enjoy bringing their own picnics into the centre of the course for a day out in the glorious Sussex countryside. You can book a table in advance in the Plumpton Pavilion Marquee for a delicious 3 course lunch or choose from a selection of food outlets including a Hog Roast and local sausage BBQ. Gates open from 11am on both days with the first race on Easter Sunday at 2.05pm and Easter Monday at 2.20pm.

For further information telephone: 01273 890383 Book online: www.plumptonracecourse.co.uk

FREE

Entry For Kids

Plumpton Racecourse Ltd, Plumpton, East Sussex, BN7 3AL.

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LETTERS

So tell us . .. k in h t u o y t a h w

o cim di pe as et ati et ta d up ui ol st, sm q i d no cu um qu m r, or m ru nis t atu i c tru it ea mag ilis ndi e ui har , s q re nih el nih ve i t rest nt m n et e v tu ve e de ec cte . E ag ra os ita ate ga s m itio e rio tem iqu ea il as pt fu ni t l um atu xc eum s qu dolu ssit s ide it au us c nec e m l e bu s e eu es olor orae nul quib ame ari cia m , i t m is r in eni t h re sa N et v rer ptur m l cup cil pi ien im e a is o. to u us ci ap bis uia ati ab im is ol piT tia im du ut nde mq us , n lici agn lign a v arci lora a , s ven e te ati e. o m um e m p m e am e ol in v ut pre ide ene mm eu reh dic ec sa sd or u i o m olo ten dol imu sit ccus s d m it, bu mp ni axi od lest mq asp ut e s a a as eru v ri eri re om t m nim ve eru i tot am, or icte co nda diti m m f qu di ,v m m ur u ps a p e ae a o us re pli en tat an s rit ata pr et ui nt, l m cc e ex es up s cu Ne et eq di po it at t, in t liq a si ut e uo o upta aut rios ol st po t ac m. atio ur s en m eper t v e p t r ut et e ssun ture lupt rnat ilig lu es au e m la mq Dol elit s.Lo na qui o t i m u m a m . g u m d o e li ili . ar us e ni do s e cu a , q ne or m mp cu il t l e d m ie ia odi nisc se qu ac iqu i co er de re ea st e l L e m i s r e to la s e ma te up u s a am era iti ni ita ol eq s m ge sti sa o. N qu u ua es m t a tqu ep ip ve eic i d ons scii veli es ta s r lle su ab , to m, sim q am te nu les cor am ptiu c es usam . N qui rer t u ibu Ab rum tias sequ ias n tibu ute n u t e o e a se ve e a r? Lo m au lor tu nde liqu am, taqu ces t ut us. es s, in equ ciae dol mol olup icab ons p te mo R b s e n e u i u s re d il . u cc ici de q i to mol io. E bori m s h om ga d ue re bu t a i o re ian dis nd t fu qui seq po esti nie mni arc eru en r o ac s a du aio pta at l im es us, s rem iae tam e o re p sit p Eh ndae nim i cu sim is m olu lupt nt. i u en or m rerr nim ratii olor i, s re q llabo Ciis t. te nve squ i a min ut v do su a t e n d i m p s re a ci co rc o. su o s si ntii isqu ni is a aios sim it u m us tas . E ab res in tib rum ci du san is in , qu s m uas a s un a ar us im p ae as ni er t e lp ib n re u ci um ip b id rum ni seq m ex au nu or ia bo d q spi ever la ace e om ition i o lo is mi lab qu t a pi r a qu do len is cil Ist, me t as etu nos pl uta eb em nim t de rate offi ur? erna te e lis et, t. t id end r ta et as ta au m au at di rci p El iis t o m qu se re tem lu tis et, lup rat s, e ccu ad pta olo u mo pta as do Ce mu it a em ccu da d s, id git olu qu ero da i od os d t fa san s cu at fu s m n re ut r od is e ut e ciu pta opt as a e no m a pl ia a offi volu odi apit s, t nu qu am, ro cte is s libu uam N erfe sin dip s de mq ex ipis mo mu a ne et tius qua s m na nse dita co it a Id i od

LETTER OF THE MONTH Sir, After reading your interview (February) with Hollywood starlet Anne Hathaway I should be spitting feathers. Beautiful, talented, brainy, pleasant, successful – how annoying for us mere mortals! However, I would like to congratulate another fabulous “woman” for making her mark in the world. The recent campaign starring Daniel Craig in a dress - to highlight the gender inequality that still unbelievably persists in the 21st century, makes me realise that the achievements of

women like Anne are to be greatly admired in this (still) male-dominated society. Sarah Brightling Via email

Ed: Thanks for the chance to once again run our favourite picture of Mr Craig as something of a sucker, an ice lolly.

Sir, How lovely to get up in the morning and see signs of spring at last. Coming out of my front door to find first crocuses, and now daffodils nodding in the garden is delightful. It makes you feel like the long winter might finally be behind us at last. Roll on Summer!

public places and thought you might appreciate the following: “How do you kill off a circus - go for the juggler.” Well, we thought it was amusing.

Caroline Nesbitt

Tunbridge Wells Ed: Our sentiments entirely.

Sir, I loved your story (February) about Tunbridge Wells library being the only place in the country to hold a copy of Vladimir Nabokov’s controversial novel, Lolita, at one point. It made me laugh out loud to know that our straight-laced town has such a saucy history! Claire Jones

Tunbridge Wells Ed: You should visit the library today and see what’s on offer, but be quick before it’s closed because of the cuts.

Sir, I was so encouraged to see that Tunbridge Wells borough councillors are still in touch with the common man. There could not be one person in the area who would begrudge them their 11 per cent pay rise. Come on guys, it’s not as if lots of us are struggling with redundancy, four-day weeks, pay freezes, unpaid overtime and job insecurity, is it? Well done, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council. What a PR coup.

Jeremy Hawkins

Norman Clarke Langton Green

Joanne Hinkenbury

Ed: But surely they deserve every penny? Sir, I notice that sometimes you report conversations overheard in

Via email Ed: Bet you like pulling Christmas crackers.

Sir, Congratulations to Lucy and Spencer Gibb on the birth of their adorable triplets, at the new Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury. As a twin myself, I know how much fun is in store for those lucky children, so best of luck to the whole family. Pembury

Ed: And what away to launch the new hospital. We accept Letters to the Editor by e-mail: rmoore@onemediauk.co.uk or post to SOTW, Kenwood House, 1 Upper Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 2EL Letters must carry full names and contact details. Letters may be edited for publication. APRIL 2011

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ASSEMBLY HALL THEATRE MAY & JUNE

May

sizzling shows Sunday 1 Tango Fire

Monday 2 - Tuesday 3 Science Museum Live on Tour Wednesday 4 Andy Parsons Friday 6 Pam Ayres Saturday 7 Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain Sunday 8 Ladies of Country with Billie Jo Spears Wednesday 11 – Thursday 12 The Gruffalo’s Child Thursday 12 Tim Vine Saturday 14 That’ll Be The Day 25th Anniversary Show Sunday 15 Solid Silver 60’s Monday 16 – Saturday 21 Agatha Christie’s Verdict Sunday 22 One Night of Queen Tuesday 24 The Good Old Days of Music Hall and Variety starring Stu Francis Thursday 26 Spirit of the Dance Friday 27 Julian Smith

June Monday 30 May – Saturday 4 June Jekyll and Hyde starring Marti Pellow Sunday 5 Dylan Moran Tuesday 7 The Shaolin Warriors Friday 10 The Counterfeit Stones Saturday 11 Dennis Locorriere Sunday 12 Harlem Gospel Choir Friday 17 - Sunday 19 Mr Benn Wednesday 22 We’ll Meet Again Saturday 25 Gervase Phinn Sunday 26 Tony Christie Tuesday 28 June- Saturday 2 July The Jungle Book

Book online at:

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ASSEMBLY HALL

THEATRE

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Sponsored by

THE NEWS

SO

And now for

the news… OUR MONTHLY LOOK AT SOME OF THE STORIES MAKING THE HEADLINES VITAL STATISTICS

Tourism is booming in Tunbridge Wells, according to independent research commissioned by Visit Kent and local authorities. Statistics from 2009 reveal that tourism’s impact on the West Kent economy had increased by 16 per cent since 2006. Day-trip spending in Tunbridge Wells increased by eight per cent, to more than £145 million, while three per cent more overseas visitors were making overnight trips to the town.

DAVID BARTHOLOMEW

More than 4,300 jobs are supported by the local tourism, leisure and hospitality industry, contributing £232 million to the borough’s economy.

ALL PREY

Shoppers in The Pantiles were treated to an extraordinary sight when a bird of prey paid a visit.

The mobile youth club will also provide a base for partner organisations to offer services. Connexions will provide careers advice and the Kenwood Trust offer information about drink and drugs issues. The NHS will help with general and sexual health concerns.

Traders joined forces to pay for the services of Bodie the hawk, in the hope that the bird would scare away some of the pigeons which descend on the popular tourist attraction every day. Concerned that pigeon droppings are unsightly and unhygienic, as well as harmful to historic buildings, local business people asked handler John Parle to bring Bodie along to ruffle some feathers among The Pantiles’ pigeon population. They stressed that the pigeons would not be harmed, simply encouraged to roost elsewhere.

GULLIBLE COMMUTERS

Another bird unexpectedly hit the headlines when a seagull managed to hold up a train. London-bound commuters waiting at Tonbridge station were told their service had been delayed, after the driver was attacked by the gull at Hastings. The man required first aid treatment following the assault, which delayed the train by 15 minutes. Over the years, Southeastern has provided a variety of excuses for lateness, including the infamous ‘leaves on the track’ line. But a spokesman for the rail company insisted that seagull attacks, though rare, could be very serious. Lovat Insurance Brokers 'Hold the front page – we've got it covered.' Lovatins.co.uk

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CRUIZ CONTROL

Young people in Tunbridge Wells now have access to a new mobile youth club called Street Cruizer. Funded by a £120,000 grant from the Kent County Council Youth Capital Fund, the new vehicle replaces an old bus and comes fully equipped with video games consoles, sound systems, flat screen TVs and even a cinema room. Street Cruizer was officially unveiled by TW Mayor, Cllr David Jukes.

MOTORING TWITS

TREE HUGGERS

Despite the government’s u-turn on selling off the country’s forests, Bedgebury National Pinetum is still not out of the woods. The forest is home to an internationally important collection of conifers, but needs more support in order to stay open to the public. Budget cuts have put Bedgebury’s education programme, conifer conservation projects and tree work at risk, so it’s appealing to visitors and supporters to join the Friends Membership scheme. More than 4,000 school children visit the site each year and by raising its membership, Bedgebury can increase the number of travel bursaries offered to schools in deprived areas. Membership starts at £20 per year. bedgeburypinetum.org.uk.

Tweeting drivers are being targeted in a new campaign to improve road safety across the county. A survey by Kent Highway Services showed that 10 per cent of motorists admitted using a hand-held mobile phone while driving, and the RAC revealed that one in five even access Twitter and Facebook behind the wheel. Now Kent Highways Services have brought in an independent psychologist to help convince motorists to leave their phone alone while on the road. Dr Ian Walker supports the campaign and claims that people do not realise how much using a mobile phone, even with a hands-free kit, can affect their concentration and ability to react to road conditions.

APRIL 2011

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CONFIDENTIAL

NOTHING OUR ATTEESCAPES NTION

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CONFIDENTIA L Who is the lady with a

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has failed to fully grasp the of Twitter? He was encouraged to set up an account to reach out to the community but kept it private by putting a lock on it. Others advised him to open up k the account which he did a wee . ago s nth mo e thre later. That was d ete Twe he How many times has since then? Zero.

other local e th s a w o h W (they do estate agent k people) seem high ris ee his car who had to fl t fire on after it caugh The y? the motorwa day quite chap had his smoke ruined when ing from started billow . These his Mercedes gh times for truly are tou ellers. the house-s

overtime at the town hall? Whyis the rumour milltoworfiguking re out who’s behind allegations Because they’re all trying n a leading councillor and a of an improper relationship betwee looking into the matter public sector developer. Police are active criminal although there are said to be “no e. investigations” currently taking plac in Crowborough Why are shop keepers Bec ause they’re

keeping fingers crossed? rie Presley is hoping that suggestions Lisa Ma rue. Since moving heading back to the USA are unt edge of town last into an £8 million mansion on the and former wife of Michael Summer, the daughter of Elvis, et is local economy. Word on the stre Jackson, has helped boost the e on, we’re Com .” ugh eno l life is “rock ‘n’ roll that she doesn’t think the rura talking about Crowborough! APRIL 2011

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Seeing Red SOCIAL

A REAL-LIFE RED ARROW FLEW IN FOR A STAR-STUDDED FUNDRAISING EVENT IN AID OF HOSPICE IN THE WEALD. AMONG THE GUEST SPEAKERS AT THE SPA HOTEL IN TUNBRIDGE WELLS WAS FLIGHT LIEUTENANT DAVE DAVIES, WHOSE FLYING SUIT SOLD FOR £575 IN THE CHARITY AUCTION. POPULAR RACONTEUR HENRY ‘BLOWERS’ BLOFELD AND COMEDIAN SCOTT CHARLTON ALSO ENTERTAINED 170 LOCAL BUSINESS PEOPLE AT RED 8, THE CHARITY’S FIRST BLACK TIE CORPORATE EVENT, WHICH RAISED £20,882. EACH YEAR THE HOSPICE HAS TO RAISE MORE THAN £4 MILLION TO KEEP ITS DOORS OPEN. HOSPICEINTHEWEALD.ORG.UK PHOTOGRAPHY: FRESHPIX, TUNBRIDGE WELLS

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HESTON BLUMENTHAL

H

eston Blumenthal boasts three Michelin stars and reportedly a four-month waiting list for a table at his new London restaurant called Dinner. And if you don’t want to wait that long for a table you can always bid on eBay where reservations are being auctioned.

It is food critic of The Times, Giles Coren, who has attached to Dinner the title of “the best restaurant in the world” and the accolades continue to flow in. But how has the self-taught kitchen wizard risen to such dizzying heights in the hospitality business? He is renowned for his scientific and rather unusual approach to food and here (for the benefit of those who have been living on another planet) we must mention the fact some of his best-known dishes include snail porridge and egg and bacon ice cream. Eager diners brave such culinary challenges every day in order to eat at the chef’s prestigious table. Sixteen years ago, Heston Blumenthal fulfilled a childhood ambition by buying his own pub in Bray, Berkshire. It was not the most auspicious start to his culinary career – The Fat Duck was at that time known as the last chance saloon for badly-behaved local drinkers. The young chef had to contend with a tiny kitchen and poor equipment that struggled to meet his needs, while limited funds forced Heston to put in 20-hour days and catch naps on piles of old tea towels. But he rose to the challenge and within five years, The Fat Duck was awarded its first Michelin star. Less than a decade after opening its doors, the restaurant won a third star and Mr Blumenthal had become one of the most respected and creative chefs in the world. “I was determined that if I failed, it wouldn’t be due to lack of effort,” he says. As the poster boy for the much mis-used term ‘molecular gastronomy’, Heston has experimented with practically every element of cookery. Whether using vacuums to create better

bubbles in chocolate mousse, or giving diners iPods so they can listen to waves crashing as they eat his famous dish, The Sound of the Sea, he has pushed the boundaries of taste, texture and form. His many fans believe he is taking food to new and unexplored levels, while critics feel his experiments are over-ambitious vanity projects that suck the life out of cookery. “You start with the intuition, then try to find the justification for why it works,” he explains, when quizzed about using technology to create new and unusual taste sensations. “I’ll experiment by breaking down the aroma compounds in food and seeing what’s compatible, but more often than not it happens the other way round; you combine flavours, and because you’ve developed a memory for tastes, this reminds you of something else.” Heston failed science at school and preferred art, although both disciplines can be seen in his work. But the 44-year-old has also

“I WAS DETERMINED THAT IF I FAILED, IT WOULDN’T BE DUE TO LACK OF EFFORT” shown he knows how to do the basics extremely well and appeal to the mainstream, alongside his more adventurous clientele. Last year, for instance, he created a Christmas pudding for Waitrose which sold out well in advance of the festivities, with some puds fetching up to four times the original £13.99 price on eBay. His creative approach to mundane meals has been put to good use on television – recent projects have seen him revamping the food on offer at institutions such as Little Chef, British Airways and the NHS; at Alder Hay Children’s Hospital he persuaded chefs to ditch frozen waffles in favour of worm pizzas. Although he does not appear to have the natural TV flair of Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay, the apparently mild-mannered chef once boasted a temper that would put all his peers in the shade. Heston has revealed that he conquered serious anger management issues, which once saw him pull a shotgun on debt collectors. And he has not lost his temper in the kitchen for years. Despite the gift for alchemy that has turned him into an international superstar, Heston has never received any formal training, beyond a few weeks’ work experience in professional kitchens. His obsession with great food began at the age of 16, when his parents took him to a Michelin-starred restaurant in Provence. The experience proved inspirational but, surprisingly, he did not go to catering college and instead spent the next decade in a variety of day jobs, from photocopier salesman to credit controller.

HE’S ONE OF THE MOST RECOGNISABLE CHEFS IN THE COUNTRY AND HAS OPENED WHAT IS APPARENTLY “THE BEST RESTAURANT IN THE WORLD.” HE IS HESTON BLUMENTHAL, HAILED BY SOME AS “BRITAIN’S MOST BRILLIANT AND EXPERIMENTAL CHEF”. GENIUS OR GIMMICKRY? WHERE DO YOU STAND?

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But his spare time was not wasted – Heston used his leisure hours to study the science of food and went to France for a fortnight every Summer, mastering the French classics he intended to serve in his own bistro one day. That dream came true when he bought the 450-year-old pub, The Fat Duck, and the technical difficulties he experienced in the early days actually contributed to his ground-breaking style. Forced to find creative ways around the kitchen equipment’s deficiencies – the oven exploded on the second day – Heston turned to academic physicists for help, which started a continuing association with the world of science. A few years ago, he convinced the Royal Society of Chemistry that his interest in the subject was more than just an eye for publicity stunts. “What I’ve done in the last 15 or 20 years is to access as much information as I could get hold of that I could actually understand, whether it’s from experimental psychology or someone who specialises in hydrocolloids, and then take that information and use it as a learning process,” Blumenthal said at the time. Although he’s always trying to push the boundaries and find new ways of eating, he is also interested in historic dishes. Diners at The Fat Duck can sample revived versions of Anjou Pigeon and Mock Turtle Soup, which was popular in the mid-1800s. In 2005 the restaurant was named “the best place to eat on earth”, but it has not all been calm in the kitchen. Two years ago, a food poisoning scare forced the Fat Duck to close for a fortnight, an experience which Heston called “the worst period of my life, without a doubt”. Heston, and his restaurant, survived the scandal and the critical reception of his latest dining venture, which you can reach via the lobby of the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, proves that his star is continuing to rise. His television career is going from strength to strength, so it appears that Heston is becoming the acceptable face of weird science. The proof of the pudding, they say, is....

Heston Blumenthal – In His Own Words “From my point of view, I’d say the biggest benefit that science has had on my cooking is my achieving consistency.” “It was quite a challenge to make people eat crab ice cream.” “Now my complaint is there are only 18 hours to work in a day.” “If it doesn’t taste good it doesn’t go on the menu.” “Being branded number one restaurant in the world is actually very humbling.” “I like asking questions, to keep learning; people with big egos might not want to look unsure.”

Heston Blumenthal By Numbers Age: 44 Restaurants: 2 Pubs: 2 Michelin Stars: 3

Children: 3 Cookery Books: 6 TV Series: 6 Twitter Followers: 14,800

“I am not the world’s most confident person.” APRIL 2011

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STYLE WRITER DEBBIE ATTWOOD ON ALL THE LATEST NEWS AND VIEWS FROM THE WORLD OF FASHION

Life on the Edge

Crafted, structured jewellery with an edgier feel is just what you need to balance out all your feminine-fits and floaty-florals. This oversized, silver-plated diamante spike ring, encrusted with Swarovski crystals, will give you all the extra attitude you need. The Boca Pave Wicked Ring by CC Skye is available at stylustonline.com for £220.

Town meets country

Traditional tweed is back for Spring and while the sun may be back there’s still the need for an evening jacket. To bring some style to a traditional piece, try the fitted Balenciaga tweed jacket with some pumps and tailored trousers. Available at matchesfashion.com for £1,195.

Staying in Step

The shoe boot returned with a vengeance last year and it looks like they are here to stay. These MaxMara Burda leather ankle boots are the perfect addition to your shoe collection. Pair with your daytime outfit for that effortlessly chic look. Available from matchesfashion.com for £388.

Bring back the glitter

When the sun comes out so should the short sleeves. Having been hidden away for Winter, it’s time to invest in some glitter for your wrists and what better way to do that than with this DVF 18ct yellow gold Sutra bracelet by H. Stern. Available at matchesfashion.com for £3,100.

Take a Jump

If you want to add pieces to your wardrobe that are ideal for work and play, this sleek black jumpsuit, with a tapered leg and tie at the waist, is the perfect fit. Wear it with a simple jacket to smarten it up for work and then add some heels for the evening. Available for £280 from Jaeger in Tunbridge Wells or jaeger.co.uk

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TUNBRIDGE WELLS

WORDS DEBBIE ATTWOOD

out

MOST OF US SPEND THE MAJORITY OF OUR LIVES AT WORK - SO WHAT BETTER PLACE TO SHOW OFF YOUR INDIVIDUAL STYLE? GONE ARE THE DAYS WHEN ALL OFFICES DEMANDED YOU WEAR SUITS ONLY, WHICH MEANS YOU CAN MIX IT UP A LITTLE. SAVE YOUR BEST PIECES FOR THE WEEK RATHER THAN THE WEEKEND AND STRUT YOUR STUFF IN THE WORK PLACE. FROM DRESSES TO ACCESSORIES WE TAKE YOU THROUGH THE LATEST MUST-HAVES FOR YOUR OFFICE WARDROBE THIS SEASON.

Tie neck blouse,£260,. Jaeger, Calverley Road, TW

Your Style If work-wear for you YSL trim blouse, £935, macthesfashion.com is casual, it doesn’t mean you have to wear jeans every day, it just means more free reign. High-necked blouses and bow-tie patterns are all back, so pair these dressy options with some smart denim or go for heels to add some elegance. Trench dress: elegance.co.uk for £229.

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YSL crepe satin trousers, £615, matchesfashion.com

Malene Birger blazer, £199, blackwhitedenim.com

Jacket from Jaeger, £260, Calverley Road, TW

Suits You Alexander McQueen Prince of Wales check trousers, £595 matchesfashion.com

If you do want to stay smarter you can still stick to the classic suit. But now you can leave those boring shapeless ones behind. Suits can be stylish – you just have to wear them in the right way. Rather than slipping on a blouse, try adding a floral or brightly coloured top under some high-waisted suit trousers with the jacket over the top combining the smart office style with the Spring staples. Branch out from just black and grey and try camel or lighter colours to bring the more casual feel. Stick to high-waisted or wide-legged trousers to stay on-trend and glamorous, and you don’t have to compromise your natural fashionista. Make the suit, suit you!

Carven jacket, £469, blackwhitedenim.com

YSL suede pumps, £545, matchesfashion.com

YSL sleeveless jersey t-shirt dress, £355, matchesfashion.com

Laser cut leather dress from Mint Velvet, £199, in High Street TW

MaxMara belted dress, £298, matchesfashion.com

Dress it up

Grey blazer, £249, elegance.co.uk

Now the weather is turning you can experiment with those Summer dresses. Tailored dresses can be just as smart as trousers and you can brighten the office up with some eye-catching colours. Try the belted or long-sleeved styles so you can stick to the office rules without losing your fashion fun!

Camel suit, Jacket £225/ skirt £110, Austin Reed, High Street, TW

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Vanessa Bruno floral micro print skirt, £330, matchesfashion.com

Vanessa Bruno drape front crepe skirt, £248, matchesfashion.com

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Preen saloon double crepe full skirt, £885, matchesfashion.com

DVF Jama skirt, £165, matchesfashion.com

YSL contrast trim skirt, £745, matchesfashion.com

Skirts Skirts are the key office piece for Spring/Summer. From fulllength to high-waisted and from tweed to leather, there are all kinds of options when picking out the perfect work-wear item. For a more Spring-casual style try a floral or patterned number and for a smarter feel try pleats and pencils with some Louboutins.

Lulu Guinness Large Hillary Croco Tote, £495, asos.com

Clutch croc bag by Helga Karlson, £2,787, luxorexia.co.uk

Accessorise Accessories can make any outfit. Add a leather clutch or a big tote to bring together your chosen pieces. Try out some new heels or shoe boots rather than sticking to ballet pumps, as long as you’re not on your feet all day. And you should always add some glamour with a few sparkly jewels. Louboutin Nikoletta shoe boots, £565, matchesfashion.com

Red suit, £349, elegance.co.uk

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l a n o s r e p touch WORDS DEBBIE ATTWOOD

WHEN READING ABOUT CATWALK SHOWS IN MILAN, PARIS, LA AND NEW YORK, THE DESIGNS CAN SEEM A LITTLE OUT OF REACH. ONE TUNBRIDGE WELLS BOUTIQUE, HOWEVER, HAS MANAGED TO BRIDGE THE GAP AND BRING THE BIG BRANDS TO OUR DOORSTEP

H

igh Street boutique Kitch brings original designs from across the pond, giving locals a little bit of individuality to their wardrobe. Owner Charlottle Newman jets off to the fashion capitals of the world for some inspiration - and more importantly to bring customers exactly what they want. “I go buying with individual customers in mind,” she explains. “I have a lot of regulars and naturally I know their size, shape, what they will wear and what they won’t wear. I buy for them.” The aim for Charlotte when she opened Kitch in 2004 was to get out of the city and use her 20 years of fashion experience to set up a boutique with a difference. She says: “I wanted something you can’t get in a lot of places. I didn’t want exactly the same as everywhere else.” And it seems Charlotte’s fashion sense is paying off. “It’s surprising how many people come up from places like Brighton and further just for Kitch,” she says. Charlotte’s sense of style has been a driving force in the success of Kitch. With denim one of this season’s top trends, the boutique is, for example, in the perfect position to offer something original. “We sell a lot of jeans because we stock three brands and lots of styles. If you want help with jeans we offer a one-on-one service. I will always talk to staff about what the style will do for the customer and eight times out of 10 they will then come only to us to get their jeans. “Not many women like buying them but we’ve got the best makes and we all know the fits and we can tell

exactly what size and style would suit the individual.” Makes of jeans include the popular 7 for all Mankind and Citizens of Humanity, which Charlotte says are her best sellers. Another of the shop’s big brands is DAY Birger. “It is a new brand which I have only had in for a few seasons but it’s all separates that give a bit of individuality at a good price point, with just enough detail to give that individual twist.” Keeping up with the latest trends is important to Charlotte, but she makes it very clear she will not be controlled by what’s “in”. She’s happy to leave this to high street stores. “I think you can stay on-trend with a few pieces, whilst maintaining your individual style,” she says. And as for the latest ’70s theme seen on the Spring / Summer catwalks, she’s steering well clear! Charlotte did let us in on a few top tips for the season: “Denim is a key – flares, bootleg. Lots of floral and lots of nude, but it’s difficult to wear, there’s also loads of draping and pleats on skirts, and Maxis are still big. We have lots coming in, with bright prints.” This year the biggest focus for Kitch will be the website, which Charlotte is developing. She has also brought in a few new brands including Alice by Temperley and Chlo-Bo silver jewellery, which is “really nice stacking jewellery with lots of charms which Cheryl Cole is wearing.” So, to update your wardrobe for the new season with something original and to be told how best to wear it - Kitch is the answer. “People want that individual service and style and that’s what they get here.” SO APRIL 2011

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TUNBRIDGE WELLS

The Perfect Fit

No3 The High Street Crowborough TN6 2QA 01892 459096 - shop@the-perfect-fit.co.uk

Pink Fizz Nights !

We offer: • Tooth coloured, toxin-free, mercury free fillings • Safe removal of mercury amalgams using appropriate clinical precautions • Bio compatible crowns and bridges • Oral surgery/gum/periodontal treatments • Implantology • Hygiene • Extraction free full-face orthopaedic orthodontics • Holistic dentistry • Same day emergency appointments • Cosmetic dental makeovers • Tooth whitening • Sedation We could have the answer to those persistent head, neck, and back pain problems that no amount of therapy can permanently cure. If you feel that previous experiences of dentistry leave many questions unanswered please call to make an appointment. We can extend our opening times to fit your schedule. Evenings and Saturdays can be arranged.

Tooth Fairy Holistic Centre 8 Chilston Road Tunbridge Wells Kent TN4 9LT Telephone: 01892 518860 Fax: 01892 543167 www.toothfairyholistic.co.uk

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Exclusive shopping evenings with added Pink Fizz! Bra Fitting Evenings for groups of 8-10 ladies. Birthday Treat, Hen parties, Teen Bra Parties, Running groups etc etc the night ses made on priced purcha ll fu d all f ire of qu % 10 ly deposit re Pre-Booked on

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See our website for beauty offers www.hairandbeautypembury.co.uk Terms and Conditions Apply

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Faceappeal BEAUTY

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CATCHING SIGHT OF YOURSELF IN A SHOP WINDOW CAN SOMETIMES BRING YOU UP WITH A BIT OF A JOLT. HERE’S WHAT ANDREA CHAIT DID WHEN IT HAPPENED TO HER IN TUNBRIDGE WELLS

Y

ou know that moment when you unexpectedly catch sight of yourself in a shop window, and are surprised you look closer to your actual age than the age you feel? I do. But what’s a girl to do when her soul says 27 but her skin says 47?

If you’re like me you decide to pay a visit to somewhere like the Royal Tunbridge Wells Skin & Laser Clinic in an attempt to recapture a bit of that youthful glow.

By Day 3 my skin resembled fine-grade sandpaper and peeled into semi-detached scraps as I valiantly applied cream. I looked like a moulting snake but breathed a sigh of relief as the dark splotches shed, exposing tantalising glimpses of glowing skin beneath. Day 4 much of the shedding was complete and the Clinic’s complimentary facial removed most of the remaining shreds, revealing the delights of my newly refreshed skin.

I went along and met with Drs Nina Sheffield and Madina Palmos at their glamorous offices in London Road and decided on a medium intensity Fractional Resurfacing with the Fotona Er.YAG Laser. (In case you can’t stand the suspense - it was fabulously worthwhile.)

By Day 5 my dreams of looking airbrushed were coming true. Day 6 saw dramatic improvement in the quality, tone and texture of my skin with tiny lines and discolorations smoothed away. My skin looked the most poreless it’s been since I became old enough to appreciate the value of porelessness, and I was glowing with the luminescence of a Tahitian pearl.

Naturally the visit brought back memories of the futuristic 1970’s movie Logan’s Run, where a sinister laser besieges the hapless Farah Fawcett, but when I arrived for treatment I was put entirely at ease by the professionalism of the staff.

Since the treatment I have not worn a drop of facial makeup, because frankly I don’t see the point. I’m now happily catching sight of myself in shop windows and feel like the age of my skin is within kissing distance of the age of my soul.

While a numbing cream took effect I perused the airbrushed pages of Vogue, hoping I’d soon look somewhat airbrushed myself. Treatment commenced as cold air was blown over the area to mitigate the heat of the laser and the tingling sensation was tolerable even for someone with no desire to be brave.

(Editor’s note: Andrea Chait is a So reader who booked and paid, independently for her own treatment. She contacted the magazine post treatment.) skinlc.co.uk

As the laser was moved over my face the heat increased where repeat passes were made. After a quick peek at my now pink façade we were done and I was ushered off for a dose of LED light to speed healing, while relaxing to the soothing strains of Vivaldi. It felt like the mother of all sunburns and I was a rather alarming shade of scarlet, so I went home doing an admirable imitation of a boiled lobster but easily addressed the burning sensation with paracetamol. By morning the redness had subsided leaving speckles and splotches, which prompted me to call Dr Nina for a quick consult. She assured me this was perfectly natural, and proclaimed that my primary obligation was now to hydrate with heroic and repeated effort.

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tunbridge wells

Changing CosmetiC surgery is no longer exClusive to the riCh and famous, with more people wanting to Change their appearanCe for the better. we Chat to plastiC surgeon Paul Banwell, of SPire TunBridge wellS HoSPiTal, who has just been named by the times magazine as one of the top doCtors in the uK Tell us a bit about your background. i was born in london, but grew up in Kent and sussex, attending the skinners’ school in tunbridge wells and st mary’s medical school in london. my plastic surgery training has taken me all over the world and i’ve been fortunate to count some of the world’s best plastic surgeons as my teachers. today i’m responsible for helping to train the next generation of plastic and cosmetic surgeons in the areas in which i specialise, including skin cancer and cosmetic surgery to the breast, body, genitals and face. Have you noticed any measurable upturn in consultations or procedures? there is no doubt that the recession affected many businesses last year and cosmetic surgery was included in this. however, i have seen a definite up-swing in the desire for surgery now, as confidence is restored. when times are hard, people still would like to feel good about themselves and so we have also seen an increase in enquiries for non-surgical procedures such as chemical peels, botox and dermal fillers. what are people looking for? give us the top three procedures. the perfect body is difficult to achieve but many people would just like to improve what they have. perhaps flatten their tummy or make their breasts bigger or more pert. from a facial rejuvenation perspective, my patients like natural results with a freshened appearance. the top three would have to be breast augmentation, tummy tucks and liposuction. labiaplasty is also becoming extremely popular.

Have you had to come to the rescue when treatments abroad have gone wrong? unfortunately, i have seen a number of complications from surgery abroad and this has put a huge burden on the nhs. whilst there are some excellent surgeons abroad, patients must be cautious about being seduced by glossy advertising and sunshine. Tell us your three best bits of advice for those thinking about cosmetic surgery. do your research – understand you may need to pay for quality, expert advice. do you have a good feeling about your surgeon? make sure you meet them before surgery, ideally at least twice. and ensure you choose a surgeon who is a member of bapras or baaps. would you have cosmetic surgery? do i need it? nice riposte!! paulebanwell.com

How do you feel about foreign clinics offering impressive savings on treatments? the attraction of cheap surgery abroad is understandable, but the qualifications and quality of the surgeon must be checked. one of the most important considerations is the aftercare (or rather lack of it) that is in place and what happens when complications occur.

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12 Union Square Eridge Road The Pantiles Tunbridge Wells TN4 8HE Brighton 01273 841228

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Tel 01892 617462

Reigate 01737 226450

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TUNBRIDGE WELLS

nightnannies.com Encourage your baby to sleep through the night with maternity experts. We can also provide 24 hour maternity care.

0208 467 9761 sally@nightnannies.com

Great news!! We are now online,

1 High Street, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1UL 01892 513613

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check us out at www.kitchclothing.co.uk

Pop into our fabulous high street boutique to view our new Spring collection.

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COMPETITION

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TICKETS WORTH £1,000 TO SEE KATHERINE JENKINS, MCFLY & OTHER GREAT ACTS

his Summer Kings Hill, West Malling, will be alive with the sound of music, when classical star Katherine Jenkins and top boy band McFly appear at the new three-day outdoor event, Music on the Hill.

For full details of the events, or to book your own tickets if you’re not one of our winners, visit musiconthehill.org.uk The Friday and Saturday concerts start at 7.30pm and Family Summer Sunday runs from noon to 8pm.

Don’t miss your chance to be at one of these fantastic concerts in June by entering our £1,000 ticket giveaway. On offer are 13 sets of tickets for a total of 30 people.

The closing date for our competition is Friday April 2 after which the winners will be selected at random. No cash prize alternative. All standard competition terms and conditions of One Media apply. Editor’s decision is final.

The lucky winners will get a pair of tickets to see one of the world-class acts perform, or a family ticket for the exciting final day of Music on the Hill, which is being held in aid of two charities: Demelza Hospice Care for Children and The Children’s Development Trust. All profits generated by the event will be donated to these two causes.

If you do not wish to be contacted in the future by One Media or any other affiliated brand, or the companies taking part in this competition, please clearly mark your entry ‘No’.

Stunning mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins ( one of our favourite celebrities to appear on our cover) will be performing with the National Symphony Orchestra and conductor Anthony Inglis on Friday, June 24. On Saturday, June 25, internationally renowned pop favourites McFly will be rocking Kings Hill with their chart-topping hits. The third day, on Sunday, June 26, offers a change of pace from the Friday and Saturday evening concerts, as a family festival atmosphere plays host to children’s activities, stalls, live music and entertainment. Top acts confirmed for Sunday include ABBA tribute band Björn Again, ABC fronted by Martin Fry, X-Factor finalist Ben Mills and rising stars, Some Velvet Morning. Our amazing giveaway includes eight pairs of tickets to see Katherine Jenkins, three pairs of tickets for the McFly concert and two family tickets, based on two adults and two children, for the Family Summer Sunday. For your chance to win, simply email your name, address and phone number to: jreville@onemediauk.co.uk with the subject ‘Music on the Hill’. You should clearly state whether you would like tickets for Katherine Jenkins, McFly or Family Summer Sunday: Alternatively you can send a postcard with the same information to SoTW Music on the Hill, Kenwood House, 1 Upper Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge Wells TN1 2EL

APRIL 2011

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PROPERTY

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HELLO... W ith the sun shining, the daffodils out and the spring cleaning done, April is traditionally when the serious home-buying season begins. Which is why this edition of Beautiful Wealden Homes brings a wealth of irresistible properties to tempt you, including a barn conversion, stunning town, country and waterside houses plus an award-winning modern development. Many have additional cottages, too.

Each month, we bring you a selection of the most prestigious properties on the market across the Weald and beyond. So, whether you are househunting or simply love to browse, you’ll love leafing through Beautiful Wealden Homes.

KEOGH CAISLEY SOLICITORS

Buying or selling a home can be one of the most stressful experiences in life, but not with Keogh Caisley. As a smaller firm, we are in the perfect position to offer you a very personal service designed to minimise the worries and stress associated with moving house. Joanne Fuller is our residential property specialist and has handled property transactions for people from all walks of life mainly in Kent and London but in many other parts of the country.

In this issue, you can read estate agent Andrew Burnett’s market predictions for the year ahead. Featured homes include one of the best locations in Britain – a property perched on the banks of the largest lake in the southeast – plus a Jacobean house with Royal links and a priest hole, a unique barn and coach house conversion, a resplendent Victorian town-house restoration, a nine-bedroom country house with twin conservatories, immaculate lawns and lakes, a Tudor hall house and the perfect country property for horse and dog lovers. Collectively, the eight amazing homes highlighted this month have 45 bedrooms, 30 bathrooms (and that’s not counting additional cloakrooms!), around 45 acres of land (often with cottages and outbuildings) and have a combined value of more than £12 million. So, with a Spring in your step, enjoy your stunning tour… Beautiful Wealden Homes

Please contact Joanne who will be more than happy to discuss your individual needs with you. We pride ourselves on being able to provide clients with prompt attention at a competitive rate. jfuller@keoghcaisley.com

Let the viewin g b egin!

11 Lime Hill Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1LJ Tel: 01892 548411 Fax: 01892 534155 www.keoghcaisley.com

APRIL 2011

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The prices are right LEADING MAYFIELD ESTATE AGENT ANDREW BURNETT BRINGS US HIS REFRESHINGLY UPBEAT THOUGHTS ON WHAT’S LIKELY TO HAPPEN OVER THE REST OF THE YEAR…

T

hat 2011 will be a year of economic turbulence, I don’t think there can be any doubt. But decade on decade, the property market has always been a good investment. And while recent years have proved how volatile it can be, everyone’s hopes and fears still rely heavily on stability and growth.

Andrew Burnett

Here in the South East, the property market started with a bang in January, which was actually a stronger month than many analysts predicted, as demand out-stripped supply. And even though February was quieter for sales, the instruction level was strong, with some cheeky offers but sensible deals agreed. I believe this is down to three main reasons. Firstly, the gap between the bold expectations of sellers and overly-cautious buyers is narrowing. Secondly, many people are no longer buying property for a quick profit, but as a long term stable environment in which to grow as a family. Thirdly, many estate agents are being far more honest about their appraisals, particularly independent agents, who are not target-orientated but driven by realism. In a tougher market we, as agents, have to prove our skills and be more pro-active than ever before, marrying applicants to properties, being more creative with our marketing to attract buyers and ‘build’ chains that will work for our clients. However, we are finding that many potential sellers are too cautious to come to the market fully, opting instead for a

discreet marketing campaign. In a number of cases, sellers are agreeing to photographs being taken and floor plans and EPCs (energy performance certificates) being drawn up in preparation for a later ‘launch’ on to the market. But why wait? With little or no housing competition, and potential buyers eager to buy and settle into their new, long-term homes, now seems the opportune time to sell. If a property is priced correctly, you are likely to see a good response by way of viewing levels, and therefore offers. External forces are also factors, such as mortgages, lending criteria, the North/South divide and the UK’s economy as a whole. The Governor of the Bank of England is starting to force banks to lend more to avoid a ‘double dip’ and the Prime Minister promised a budget that will ‘work well for Britain’. While lending criteria is still tough, if you have a 25 per cent deposit mortgages are still readily available. Let us also be realistic and acknowledge that with interest rates as they are, it is still cheaper to buy than rent. The one thing the country needs throughout 2011 is a strong property market where Stamp Duty is paid on transactions, VAT is paid on agents’, solicitors’ and surveyors’ fees, removal costs, and any works thereafter – whether extending, landscaping, renovating or just titivating! So, if you’re looking for your next home and have the desired level of deposit, consider the long-term gain of buying. Look at your property as a five-to-ten-year home rather than a short-term investment and you cannot fail. burnetts-ea.com APRIL 2011

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Lakes SO

TUNBRIDGE WELLS

and Luxury TOTALLY RENOVATED BY THE CURRENT OWNERS TEN YEARS AGO, THIS SPECTACULARLY-SET WALDRON HOME SPELLS LUXURY ALL THE WAY WITH PLENTY OF ROOM TO PARTY

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Property: The Spinney, Victorian country house, with coach house and cottage Location: Little London, near Waldron, East Sussex Price: ÂŁ3.35 million Extras: Heated swimming pool, Bedrooms: 9 Bathrooms: 6, plus wc two lakes, staff/guest cottage and outbuildings Land: 10.5 acres Best bit: The wonderful attention to detail in the lavish restorations, and the sensational, elevated parkland setting with its manicured lawns and glorious lakes. Plus two conservatory sitting rooms to admire it all from. Summary: This home is impressive from the start, with wide stone flagged steps and a stone balustrade leading up to the porch, which then opens to an oak panelled hall with decorative carved fireplace and oak staircase. The two inspired Amdega conservatory sitting rooms allow light to pour in and open on to the terrace. The double drawing room has two sets of French doors and a single door to the terrace, while the inner hall leads to an oak-floored study/sitting room with further double doors to the rear terrace. Half oak panelled walls and a stone and oak fireplace add warmth to the dining room, where two sets of oak doors take you back to the entrance hall. The kitchen-breakfast room has a Travertine floor and a large central island, twin floor-to-ceiling dresser units and twin deep china sinks. There is also a large stone effect chimney piece with recessed Britannia double oven and six-burner gas hob. An oak staircase leads up from the entrance hall to a part galleried first-floor landing with part oak panelled walls. The master bedroom further impresses with a balcony, dressing room area and five double wardrobes, and the en-suite bathroom is luxuriously fitted. Opposite are four bedrooms, three of which have en-suites, which are ideal for guests. The second floor has four more bedrooms, two bathrooms and a sitting room for anyone who seeks independence. With the pool, lakes and a woodland stream, the landscaped grounds are equally breathtaking, and also house a two-bed cottage, courtyard, coach-house stable block and a garage block with space for three cars. Let the entertaining begin! Contact: Batcheller Thacker 01892 512 020 batchellerthacker.co.uk

APRIL 2011

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TUNBRIDGE WELLS

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IF YOU HAVE EVER DREAMED OF LIVING THE HIGH LIFE IN A CONVERTED BARN, THIS TOWERING HIGH HALDEN HOME IS A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE HAY WHILE THE SUN SHINES AND EVEN HAS A CHEEKY MINSTRELS’ GALLERY

Living it Large Property: Old Harbourne Barn, Barn/coach house conversion Location: Harbourne Lane, High Halden, Kent Price: £1.35 million Land: 2 acres Bedrooms: 7 Extras: Detached triple Bathrooms: 6, plus wc garage and workshop Best bit: The wonderful chance of living the high life in a barn-size drawing room with double-height ceiling, giant wooden doors and floor-to-ceiling windows. If you have a song in your heart, the Minstrels’ Gallery is another irresistible feature, although there’s a danger the whole spectacular spread will take your breath away. Summary: You immediately appreciate this vast, L-shaped home is a totally unique property, having been converted about ten years ago from a barn and coach house combined, which fills it with extra charm and character. The enormous drawing room is the centrepiece with its gorgeous beamed walls, massive windows and skylights which let the sun shine in. Adding to the fun, a spiral staircase leads to a marvellous Minstrels’ Gallery which you can gaze up to, or down from. Perfect for a host who loves to showcase, or playing charades, or you could even stage your own theatrical events thanks to a handy dressing room behind the gallery. The main room is flanked by two smaller sitting rooms (both with en-suites) and across the entrance hall (which has a shower room) the cosy dining room has a beautiful wood burner and polished wood floor that matches the beams. Passing the study, you reach a 25ft kitchen-breakfast room that’s bathed in warm cream colours and with all the fittings you would expect. From here a door leads out to the decked terrace, with steps down to the garden. Behind the drawing room, an inner hallway takes you to four bedrooms (three with en-suites) including the master suite.

Here, the spacious bathroom with separate shower cubicle has the added bonus of his and hers basins. On the upper level, there are three more bedrooms. Outside, the feel is wonderfully rural with a large garden, paddock and views. As well as the deck, there’s a secluded rear terrace which leads to three separate, lawned formal gardens. If you are fond of bigging it up, what are you waiting for? Contact: Harpers & Hurlingham 01580 715 400 harpersandhurlingham.com APRIL 2011

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FANS OF THE TV DRAMA WILL LAP UP THIS RARE CHANCE TO BUY A BEAUTIFULLYRESTORED VICTORIAN TOWN HOUSE RIGHT IN THE HEART OF TUNBRIDGE WELLS

Upstairs Downstairs Property: 3 York Road, terraced period town-house Location: Tunbridge Wells Price: £650,000 Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 2, plus wc Best bit: The fact this upstairs downstairs Victorian gem, in one of Tunbridge Wells’ most adorable streets, has been restored as a whole home instead of being carved into flats. The current owner was inspired by Property Ladder’s Sarah Beeny to go into the home improvement business. “I had always been interested in property renovation, and Sarah Beeny is my idol,” she tells us as we admire her work. “York Road is our fifth renovation and we wanted to bring the house back to life. It has involved a lot of research, from sourcing a hand-drawn cornice to Victorian fireplaces and solid brass beehive door handles, and we have restored as much period character as possible. “Our excellent building team worked happily together, usually to much tuneless singing and plenty of hot tea, and at the end the building inspector said he wished he could buy it!” Summary: Arranged over four floors, No 3 York Road merges modern layout with authentic period features, including fireplaces, sash bay windows and a spectacular lantern-style skylight that floods the house with light. First going downstairs, through the ‘servants’ entrance’, you find an oak-floored family room that is open-plan to a cream Victorian-style solid wood kitchen featuring a Rangemaster cooker with five-burner hob and griddle pan. Beyond this, French doors lead into a decked, south-facing patio sun trap. Moving upstairs to the front door, you are greeted by a working Victorian bell pull, white porcelain tiled floor and the first of

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several chandeliers before entering the dining room and drawing room – where the cast iron fireplace has art noveau tiled inserts, copper hood and slate hearth. On the first floor there are two bedrooms (one with a coal effect fire) and a stunning shower room, with walk-in double shower and Victorian sink. The second floor brings two more bedrooms and a bathroom featuring a roll top bath with chrome claw feet - but sadly no Upstairs Downstairs-style servants sleep here any more! Contact: Andrews 01892 515 144 andrewsonline.co.uk

APRIL 2011

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IF YOU EVER WANTED AN ARCHITECURALLYINSPIRING TOWNHOUSE WITH COUNTRY VIEWS TO DIE FOR, THEN STEP INSIDE THIS BRAND NEW, AWARDWINNING TUNBRIDGE WELLS DESIGNER HOME

Broad Appeal Property: 20 Kentish Gardens, terraced town house Location: near Broadwater Down, Tunbridge Wells Price : £695,995 Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 3, plus wc

Best Bit: Super-modern, award-winning design, gorgeous outlook, two balconies and a deck, a fabulous master bedroom suite and multi-room audio-visual entertainment system. The development show home, which is identical to this house, won Elysian Homes Best House at this year’s What House? Awards. The judge commented that at £280 per square foot it “represents remarkable value”. Summary: Standing on the balconies or deck, the countryside views are stunning, and you can enjoy them from the inside too thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows that fill the house with light. And the kitchen has a curved breakfast bar that any domestic chef would be delighted to serve to. With elecric gates, the four-storey home is surrounded by woodlands at the end of a private road, a short drive from Tunbridge Wells town centre. Ideal for those who want to live the country-life in the town. A bridged walkway leads to the ground floor, where you have a convenient study and a main living area filled with natural light, with feature glass doors opening onto the balcony – a great place to unwind. On the lower ground floor, the open-plan kitchen-dining-family room is designed to be the central hub of the home. It opens onto a decked area through bi-fold French doors which span the full 5.5m width of the house. Perfect for Summer BBQs and entertaining.

The first floor has a spacious guest suite, a family bathroom and two more bedrooms. The landing then curves round to reveal the staircase up to a master suite with double-height ceilings, walk-in wardrobe and a bathroom big and luxurious enough to live in. Here, the balcony views are simply breathtaking. Astronomy anyone? Contact: Connells 01892 547 966 connells.co.uk

APRIL 2011

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ENJOY A TASTE OF JACOBEAN SPLENDOUR IN A SPRAWLING HORSMONDEN HALL HOUSE THAT HAS A 16THCENTURY LIBRARY, A PRIEST HOLE AND CARVED MEMENTOS OF HENRY VIII AND ANNE BOLEYN

Magical History Tour Property: Broadford House, country hall house Location: Goudhurst Road, Horsmonden, Kent Price: ÂŁ1.6 million Bedrooms: 6 Extras: Heated swimming pool, Bathrooms: 4 summer house, two garages Land: 1.48 acres and outbuildings Best bit: The sheer magnificence of this restored Grade II* listed attached house with its fine Jacobean staircase, resplendent fireplaces, secret doors and royal links. And from September 2012, it is also in the Cranbrook school catchment area. Summary: Entering the statuesque, stone-floored dining hall, you are immediately drawn to an intriguing wooden carved ornamental crest believed to have been given to much earlier owners the Austens by Henry VIII. From here you go through to a 23ft drawing room which looks like it has come straight out of a period TV drama with its beautiful marble fireplace and gothic leaded light windows. In contrast, the sitting room is wood panelled with an inglenook fireplace and wood burning stove, plus a priest hole to one side. The inner hall leads to a beamed snug with steps down to a study and into the library believed to date back to 1500, which houses another inglenook. The hall also has a door to the cellar and very handy wine cellar. The kitchen-breakfast room lies in the oldest part of the house and features a Victorian range, a working four-oven Aga with hotplates and walk-in larder. Upstairs, the Jacobean staircase takes you to a galleried landing and the panelled principal bedroom where the fireplace has a stunning detailed surround that is believed to display carvings of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Secret doors lead into a walk-in wardrobe and bathroom with free-standing bath.

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Bedroom two has a beamed vaulted ceiling and the next bedroom is different again (currently used as a billiard room), while the fourth bedroom has the elegance of a country house hotel with its pink Toile de Jouy wall covering. On the second floor there are two more bedrooms with high vaulted ceilings and an attic. Something for all the family indeed, with a fascinating sense of history thrown in. Contact: Country Property 01892 724 488 countrypropertygroup.com

APRIL 2011

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tunbridge wells

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of View

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SITTING ON ITS OWN PENINSULA WITH ASTOUNDING VIEWS ACROSS BEWL WATER NATURE RESERVE, BIRCHETTS POINT IS AN ALMOST UNBEATABLE LOCATION FOR PEACE AND PRIVACY, SURROUNDED BY BLUE WATER, SKIES AND BIRDS

Property: Birchetts Point, detached house Location: Birchetts Green Lane, Ticehurst, East Sussex Price: £1.25 million Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 2 Land: 0.7 of an acre Extras: Detached garage Best bit: Water, water everywhere. The lakeside setting really does have the wow factor, and you feel like you are miles from anywhere. Yet Birchetts Point is handy for the delightful, Elizabethan Bull Inn, plus Ticehurst and Wadhurst villages and the A21, as well as train commuting from Stonegate and Wadhurst. Thanks to all the windows drinking in the views, this white weather-boarded single-storey house is filled with light, which makes it even more appealing and there’s potential for further development. Summary: The house was built in the 1920s, and the owners have carried out considerable modernisation, which you can see as soon as you enter. The airy rooms are of good proportions with generous ceiling heights. The 22ft drawing room has windows on both sides, including French windows into the garden, with a wood burning stove in the middle. While the adjacent, equally large kitchen-diner has a central kitchen island. There are two bedrooms at either end of the house, one with an en-suite bathroom. Handily, there’s also an ultra-modern family bathroom at the other end of the house. Plus there’s the bonus of a good-size, separate study area off the kitchen-diner, which is always desirable in these modern, computer-driven times. Definitely a place to build your dreams… Contact: Knight Frank 01892 515 035 knightfrank.com APRIL 2011

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THIS HANDSOME HOME WITH A VIEW HAS PLENTY OF ROOM FOR HORSES AND DOGS AND NESTLES IN THE COUNTRYSIDE JUST SOUTH OF HISTORIC BATTLE

Horse and Hound Property: Campfield House, Victorian country house, plus cottage Location: Powdermill Lane, Battle, East Sussex Price: Guide price £2.25million Bedrooms: 6 Bathrooms: 4 plus wc Land: 24 acres (including a field and bluebell chestnut copse) Extras: Detached cottage, superb equestrian facilities: manège, stable yard, hay barn, tack room, feed room and seven loose boxes. Plus planning permission for an orangery. Best bit: There are so many rooms, even the dog has one. This warm and welcoming Victorian family home is perfect for indoor games and outdoor riding, yet is still within reach of a main station for commuting. The ground floor also has underfloor heating. Summary: The spacious reception hall leads to a library with open fire and window shutters, a games room with window seats and doors to the terrace and garden, plus an ample drawing room, which also opens to the terrace. The inner hall leads to a study/dining room, a TV/sitting room and the kitchen-dining room with an extraordinary beamed, vaulted ceiling. Adding to its appeal is a pastel shade painted floor, Lacanche gas range and double oven plus two-oven oil-fired Aga and more French windows to the terrace. Additionally, there’s a morning room/scullery, a boot room with stable door to a courtyard and that dog room. On the first floor, the master bedroom has an ornamental fireplace and an en-suite bathroom with a central cast iron roll top bath and shower. This floor has three more double bedrooms, an en-suite and a family bathroom.The second floor has two more double bedrooms and a bathroom. Outside, the property is protected by electric gates, and the one-bed cottage was converted from a garage in 2004. As well

as the equestrian facilities, there is a tennis court, a rose garden and gazebo, while box hedging provides several ‘garden rooms’ too. Contact: Jackson-Stops & Staff 01892 521 700 jackson-stops.co.uk - Fast Find TW 42403 APRIL 2011

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FOR AN IRRESISTIBLE TASTE OF A WORLD GONE BY, THIS MULTITIMBERED TUDOR HALL HOUSE IN ROBERTSBRIDGE HAS IT ALL - INCLUDING PANORAMIC VIEWS, A PADDOCK AND ORCHARD

Touch of the Tudor Property: Hackwood Farm, 16th-century hall house, plus cottage Location: Robertsbridge, East Sussex Price: ÂŁ1.95 million Bedrooms: 5 Bathrooms: 3, plus wc Land: 6.5 acres Extras: Detached one-bed cottage, outbuilding with games room and office, stables, paddock and orchard. Plus planning for new stable block Best bit: Fabulous beamed drawing room with three sets of gothic French windows overlooking the gardens, and a stunning outlook across elegant lawns. Lying at the end of a long drive, this Grade II listed Sussex hall house is delightfully private and has a wealth of oak beams and timbers, open fireplaces and vaulted ceilings. Summary: The Tudor drawing room makes you feel at home straight away, with the atmospheric timbers, huge fireplace and views directly out to the terrace and wonderful Wealden panoramas beyond. The vaulted kitchen-breakfast room is filled with timber worktops and bespoke cream units, a central island and oak flooring. Then comes a part-vaulted study and library and downstairs shower room should you want to use it as a guest suite. Additionally, there is a dining/family room, a boot room and a cellar. Upstairs, the master bedroom suite includes a dressing room. The recently refurbished en-suite has a roll top claw foot bath. The second bedroom is also spacious, light and airy, and both have open fireplaces.

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On the the top floor, three more bedrooms also have vaulted ceilings under the eaves. Outside, the pretty one-bed cottage has a wood burning stove, and there’s a substantial office and games outbuilding with a cloakroom. Another big plus are the stables, paddock and orchard. A fruitful find indeed. Contact: Knight Frank 01892 515 035 knightfrank.com

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FRANT OFFICE 01892 750999 GOUDHURST OFFICE 01580 211888 HORSMONDEN OFFICE 01892 724488 MATFIELD OFFICE 01892 724949 MAYFAIR 0207 409 8348

CASH BUYER

EXCHANGED

£2,000,000

£250,000

The perfect family home

Daddy’s Littertles ofprpreinc-scesshoolesage, this family man

This family are looking to move close to Tunbridge Wells with their focus being on the Schools. They are looking for a large family home with 5 bedrooms although would be happy to update and modernise any property that fits their requirements. Externally they are looking for a small parcel of land where they can plant their own woodland and some outbuildings that could be used as a Gymnasium. With a healthy budget of £2,000,000 would your property allow this family to make it their perfect home? REF: 1870

ightful daugh ty and the As Daddy to two del are therefore a priori m the best. Schools the few years e a giv are to ls nts gir wa the ly on Area (even though nt me tch . Ca tle ol set ho to Sc for them Cranbrook be the perfect place of Two um nim away from it) would mi a for g kin 50,000 they are loo property or a more With a budget of £2 whether it is a period nd mi n’t do y the as, at 6’5’’, Daddy , ms bea Bedrooms and low is only definite no-goer e Th . ild d! REF: 1868 bu hea n his der mo e too many bumps on hav to t no fer pre would ITIONS APPLY

USUAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY

D COND

USUAL TERMS AN

CASH BUYER

£1,5000,000

UNDER OFFER

£2,300,000

My fair home

Hunting with the hounds

This hugely Equestrian family have sent the Dogs out to find the scen t of their ideal Equestrian Property. As “whippers-in” of the local Drag Hunt and very keen Eventers and Show Jumpers, these equine enthusiasts and their Fourteen mounts are look ing for space, space and more spac e. A minimum of Seventy Acres is needed, as not only are they mov ing House and Horses, they are also bringing with them their Stables, Horse Walker, Manege and a flock of Sheep! A large parking area is also important as they have a very big Horsebox as well. A Twenty mile radius of Bexhill-on-Sea is the idea l area for them to find not only the Land, but also a Period or Modern House with at least Four Bedroom s and Two Bathrooms. With a budg et of £2,250,000 and Under Offe r, this menagerie is ‘hot to trot’ with ‘nos es to the ground’. Will the trail lead them to your door? REF: 1852

USUAL TERMS AND CONDITI

ONS APPLY

the cold night All they want is a house somewhere, to keep them out of an Acre of air.......... Six Bedrooms, a Swimming Pool, Out Buildings, ........... Station. Train nearby a and towns no , Schools Good , Garden Oooooohhhhhhhhhh wouldn’t that be lovely! REF:1848

USUAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY

CASH BUYER

£800,000 Designer house

This family with cash to spe nd are eagerly anticipating finding the home for them. A house with Five Bedrooms with a littl e more design and thought than the average abode. Some land , Two Acres or more, and within easy acc ess of Ashford. REF: 1846 USUA

L TERMS AND CONDITI

ONS APPLY

SOLD SUBJECT TO CONTRACT

CASH BUYER

£700,000

£1,000,000

Willing for the Vendor to find thier onward move

Character home wanted in leafy lane

This couple are looking to move into the Wealden area. Their dream house would be in a Village, possibly Horsmonden, Marden or Benenden; in fact any Kent Village with a name ending in ‘den’! The desirable property would ideally be a Detached Period house with Three or Four Bedrooms and approximately One Acre of Garden for some serious propogation and cultivation. REF: 1861

Tunbridge This busy family are looking for a country retreat close to oozes that home a like would They . villages ding surroun and Wells be a character.... with maybe a modern twist. Four Bedrooms would essential for minimum and stunning views ‘a must’. A large Garden is to their their teenage children, two Cock-a-Poo’s and cats to run about hearts content. REF: 1865

USUAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY

USUAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK Monday-Friday 9.00am - 5.30pm Saturday, Sunday & Bank Holidays 9.30am - 5.30pm

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ANGELA HOPPER

JAN KILLEEN

PATRICK DURR

CAROLINE CHENEY

TOM CLARKE

LAURA HOADLEY

HELEN ALLAN

AMY DAVIS

ALAN KILLEEN

MARY STANLEY

17/03/2011 18:13


CASH BUYER

£1,000,000 sation

NOTHING TO SELL

A charitable childrens Oorgani in search of a rural retreat

is searching for an ren’s Organisation A Charitable Child Bedrooms, or scope a minimum of Six th wi rty pe distance pro e extensiv le, within striking location is desirab ilities. fac e sur lei to extend. A Rural od go nearby Town with a d an rs to ast ito Co vis ir the the of allow d Ten Acres would tbuildings Ou Between Three an few a d an its outdoor pursu explore a variety of picture.REF: 1855 would complete the LY

S APP

ND CONDITION

USUAL TERMS A

UNDER OFFER

£600,000

Fast couple, fast cars and a fast move

A professional couple are looking to slow down the pace of their lives. He was brought up in the area and has happy, nostalgic memories and they are both hoping to settle down in the Wonder that is The Weald, but be within a One Hour journey of Croyden. A Detached, Three Bedroom property rich in character and great entertaining space, both inside and out, would suit this lively, social couple. Garaging, or the potential to create some, is important to allow the Ducati and Porsche to cool down after a swift commute. Having looked at many properties, from more traditional Period styles through to Barn and Oast conversions they are open to all possibilities. REF: 1863

USUAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY

£500,000

And They’re off!.......starting grid: 1. Busy roads 2. Rural location 3. Commutablkey 4. Uneven ground 5. Character 6. Detached 7. Semi

ER

CASH BUY

£3,000,0urs0es0

Horsesgfotorbucoy the dream home for hiwsillhogerstes.

The Country Property Group House Race is underway. Tyres screeching and exhausts blaring they all negotiate the first corner safely. Next up is the tricky chicane and ‘BUSY ROADS’ is the first to come unstuck.

cres lookin um of Fifty A an fanatic is re so a minim e would get bonus points This equestri he t en ev e an énag s Land is the m ables and a m he house need first fence. St rformance. T y pe ar nd ng co ni in se you over the w it must have sential for a ty good edrooms and but aren’t es er B op ur pr Fo a of ve imum If you ha 51 to have a min ooms to live. P! REF: 18 ion for the gr wn to us ASA do it of ho accommodat then LY Red Rosette ITIONS APP enough for a AND COND

‘DETACHED’ is neck and neck with ‘SEMI’ but ‘CHARACTER’ has taken an early lead. Every house must have at least Three Bedrooms and a Kitchen Diner to have any hope of reaching the chequered flag. But hang on, don’t rule out ‘RURAL LOCATION’ or ‘COMMUTABLE’ as they both look like strong contenders. ‘UNEVEN GARDEN’ is having down force problems; if only they had gone with the ‘FLAT LAWN’ settings. It’s a photo finish, but all of the ‘must haves’ have been triumphant. If your house has all the ‘must haves’ and is within a 15 mile radius of Tunbridge Wells then give us a call and help these guys out of the REF: 1862

MS

USUAL TER

USUAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY

GOOD TO

GO

A decorator’s drea

m

£500,000

CASH BUYER

£330,000

The owner of an all-fe male decora love of reno ting compa vation, are ny and her looking fo into. If it’s partner, wit r that perfec run-down, h his t project to old-fashione care. As lo get their te ng as it has d, or not ev eth at least One en built ye it, if not bu t, y it! Anyw or Two Acr they don’t here in the es of land sidered wit they’ll look pict h a budget at of £500,000 uresque Weald of K disaster is ent will be . You know another man conw ha ’s dream – t they say – do you have USUAL T one man’s th ERMS AN D CONDIT eirs?? REF: 1857

A small family and their piano..

Tunbridge A small family and their piano are in search of a Cottage in for Chopin been have They s. Village ding Wells or one of it’s surroun to hand they qute some time and all has fallen flat. Now with their Liszt ms. are looking to find a light and bright Cottage with Two Bedroo them to put a Underfloor heating would be a wonderful bonus allowing friends and warm foot in the door. They are currently staying Bach with 1859 REF: heaven? to y Steinwa their be are eager to move. Could you

IONS APP

LY

USUAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY

ALL VIEWINGS CONDUCTED ROZ BROAD

DANIEL STIMSON

HARRIET MATTHEWS-

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JENNIFER SHEPHERD

STEPHANIE RICHARDS

KERRIE TYLER

PAM ROWLAND

HATTY SKINNER

TERESA PARKER

www.countrypropertygroup.com

17/03/2011 18:13


Contact: 07585 003615 E: info@solutionsformenandwomen.co.uk

Property Relocation

Image Consultancy

Property Makeovers

We take out the stress of an already stressful situation to enable you to concentrate on you. ■ Property search consultants ■ Property Makeovers including de-cluttering ■ Making a house a home ■ Helping set up your new home ■ Image consultancy ■ Putting the feel good factor back in your life.

www.solutionsformenandwomen.co.uk SOTW_M&W_FP_April11_V2.indd 1

17/03/2011 21:20


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Ightham, Sevenoaks Guide

£460,000

Bearsted Village

£495,000

Dating back to the 1800’s with elevated views over an area of outstanding natural beauty this deceptively spacious semi detached house offers a wealth of charm and character with the additional benefits of being recently refurbished by the current owners to a high standard throughout. Accommodation comprises two main reception rooms, fitted kitchen with separate utility room, master bedroom with en-suite, two further bedrooms and a family bathroom w/c. Set amongst grounds of 1/4 of acre with off road parking an internal viewing is essential to appreciate this very well presented property and everything that it has to offer.

An impressive and individual 1930’s family residence situated in a sought after location within the picturesque village of bearsted. The well proportioned accommodation includes an entrance hall with three reception rooms, kitchen and laundry room, cloakroom w/c, with a master bedroom with en-suite, two further bedrooms and a shower room w/c all to the first floor. Particularly attractive features are the established gardens to the front, side and rear. A double garage and driveway provides ample parking to compliment this stunning property. An early viewing is highly recommended.

Langridge Close, Crowborough

Glenmore Road, Crowborough

£520,000

£625,000

A well presented five bedroom family detached house, situated in a cul de sac location by Berkley Homes. The accommodation comprises entrance hall, cloakroom/WC, living room, dining room, study, kitchen/breakfast room, utility room, landing, five bedrooms, two with en suite bathrooms and a separate family bathroom. There are built in wardrobes to four of the bedrooms and there is an integral double garage, driveway providing additional off road parking and gardens to rear. The property is being offered to the market chain free and an internal viewing is highly recommended to appreciate all on offer.

Situated in a sought after Warren area of Crowborough is this delightful four bedroom detached home, within access of Ashdown Forest and horse riding facilities. The property enjoys delightful gardens to the rear and ample off street parking to the front, plus an integral double garage, en-suite shower room to master bedroom, ground floor comprising entrance hall, living room, dining area, study, kitchen, cloakroom/WC and a delightful conservatory overlooking and providing access to rear garden. Internal viewing is highly recommended.

Benover Road, Yalding

Moorings Firs Lane, Hollingbourne

£650,000

Approached by double gates leading to ample parking and affording access to the double garage, this brand new detached property has been built to a high specification and boasts accommodation comprising entrance hall, cloakroom w/c, three reception rooms, kitchen/ breakfast room and utility room with five bedrooms, two with en-suite, a family bathroom w/c and an additional attic room. Family sized gardens are found to the rear and an internal viewing is highly recommended of this stunning property found in this sought after village.

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£750,000

An individual elegant family home in a sought after secluded location adjacent to open countryside. Set within approximately one acre of grounds, this stylishly presented accommodation comprises four bedrooms - master en-suite, lounge, dining room, Victorian style conservatory, dressing room, snooker room and cloakroom w/c. A detached double garage, ample parking, landscaped grounds with a summerhouse and gazebo complement this comfortable home. An viewing is indeed essential to appreciate the benefits and its semi rural location.

17/03/2011 18:16


BRENCHLEY

£750,000 - OPEN DAY 19TH MARCH 2011

Langton Green, Tunbridge Wells

£825,000

Available for the first time in 35 years this substantial six bedroom detached house in the delightful Kentish village of Marden. The spacious accommodation includes two bathrooms, three receptions rooms, cloakroom, large kitchen, and separate utility room. Approached by a gravel driveway, behind mature hedging, the front gardens offer parking for several vehicles together with double garage integral to the house. The rear gardens are of a very good size and laid to lawn with mature trees and shrubs. In need of modernisation, the property offers much scope for improvement and viewings are invited at the Open Day on 19th March, by appointment only.

This stunning detached house found with a sought after cul de sac location in the popular village of Langton Green. The accommodation is well proportioned throughout offers flexibility in its arrangement with 6 bedrooms and two en-suites and family bathroom w/c, 4 reception rooms, fitted kitchen with annexe facilities. Well stocked family gardens, a detached log cabin, two driveways providing ample parking. An internal viewing is highly recommended of this stunning and well presented family house.

St Michaels Tenterden

Broad Street Hill, Hollingbourne

£825,000

Guide Price £875,000

This stunning country residence and provides spacious, well appointed family accommodation set within private gardens of approximately 4.690 acres. Approached by an electric gated entrance and standing proudly in a central position by a long driveway with turning circle. Internally, the flowing light, airy and modernised accommodation comprises four bedrooms, master en-suite, dressing room and shower room, luxury family bathroom, sitting room, study/ bedroom four, stylish fitted kitchen/breakfast room, superb enclosed conservatory/family room and cloakroom together with large imposing reception hall and galleried landing.

An imposing Edwardian county home located in the sought after hamlet of broad street nestled at the foot of the downs. Set within approximately 1.25 acre of grounds, the well proportioned accommodation comprises a reception hall, five bedrooms, dressing room, three reception rooms, kitchen/breakfast room, utility room & cloakroom w/c. A detached barn incorporating an office and garage space, ample parking and a tennis court complement this property. Offered with no onward chain this individual home is an essential viewing.

Denis Lane, Mayfield

St Michaels Tenterden

£1,000,000

Seldom does a property of this nature come available, this four bedroom detached house with many outbuildings, workshop and garage. Situated on an elevated location off a tranquil lane on the outskirts of the sought after village of Mayfield. We recommend your earliest viewing to appreciate the idyllic setting of five lakes and approximately ten acres of well stocked and designed gardens and enjoy a relaxing time taking in the panoramic views overlooking the local countryside.

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OIEO £1 Million

An exquisite family residence, set within approximately three and half acres of formal gardens and situated in a location offering seclusion, yet being within approximately one and half miles of Tenterden Town Centre. Comprising five bedrooms, with en suite and a beautiful galleried landing with sweeping staircase, magnificent drawing room, dining room, study, fantastic conservatory, fitted kitchen/breakfast room, utility room, cloakroom and impressive reception hall. There is also an attached two storey annex which provides a further accommodation.

17/03/2011 18:17


A GREAT TIME FOR A FRESH INVESTMENT With rental property in high demand, there is no better time for you to commence or expand your investment portfolio. Wood & Pilcher currently have one of the largest ranges of available properties suitable for investors and buyers alike within the Royal Tunbridge Wells area. We are able to provide you with professional advice and guidance tailored to your individual needs “all through one door”. Wood & Pilcher have been successfully selling and letting property for over 28 years with offices in Kent, East Sussex and Park Lane, London and are proud of our reputation as one of the most professional General Practice Estate Agents in the area. ■ Residential Sales ■ Letting & Management ■ Land & New Homes ■ Professional & Commercial Services With a wealth of experience in the property industry between the Partners and staff, we are able to offer a high level of expertise which is widely recognised by Clients through the quality of service provided by all Departments. We are members of: ■ RICS ■ NAEA ■ ARLA ■ The Guild of Professional Estate Agents ■ The Property Ombudsman

Residential Sales: 01892 511211 Residential Letting & Management: 01892 528888 Commercial: 01892 511711 www.woodandpilcher.co.uk 23 High Street, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1UT SoTW_Wood&Pilcher_FP_April11_V2.indd 1

17/03/2011 18:18


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17/03/2011 18:19


www.connells.co.uk www.zoopla.co.uk www.rightmove.co.uk

Maidstone Branch Tel: 01622 751034 maidstone@connells.co.uk

GaBle lodGe, HarrietsHaM, Kent - : £565,000 A beautiful and individual property built approximately seven years ago within a semi rural location on the periphery of Harrietsham. To the ground floor the accommodation consists of spacious lounge with attractive fireplace, dining room opening to the garden, family room, study, bespoke kitchen, utility room and cloakroom. To the first floor there are four double bedrooms, two with ensuite and a contemporary bathroom. Externally to the rear the garden sweeps from the rear to the side, is mainly laid to lawn with established planting and trees throughout. Additionally there is an attractive patio area which has an electronic retractable awning over. To the front there is an expansive driveway, providing ample parking, leading to a timber built double garage with electronic up and over doors. In our opinion this is a very well presented property within a sought after area and needs to be viewed to appreciate it fully.

o re nl M Yt a H in r in ee G

Tunbridge Wells Branch

sprinG Meadow - UcKfield - price froM £770,000 Owning a new home at Spring Meadows not only provides the opportunity for a new lifestyle which combines an ideal location for the perfect family home, situated close to all the local amenities, but also in an elevated position, which makes the most of the beautiful semi-rural surroundings. This exclusive private development comprising of five, four and five bedroom detached houses, provides exquisitely finished homes with the added benefit of media rooms, family rooms, bespoke fitted kitchens and bathrooms. Each home is finished to a high standard with beautiful lighting and decor throughout which will appeal to the most discerning of purchaser. Situated in the historic market town of Uckfield, with its mix of shops and restaurants, conveniently placed for the high street and main line station. Riverdale Developments present these new homes to the market.

Tel: 01892 01892 547966 • tunbridgewells@connells.co.uk So TW AD_Connells_FP_Apr11_V3.indd 1

www.connells.co.uk www.zoopla.co.uk www.rightmove.co.uk 17/03/2011 18:20


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17/03/2011 18:21


N O C H A IN

Crowborough

£850,000

A handsome detached period house dating in parts from the 18th Century and located in this highly sought after road with views towards the Ashdown Forest. the gardens are a particular feature of the property incorporating a large barn and two 18th century stone walls which open onto the all weather tennis court.

Southborough

£435,000

A charming three bedroom two bathroom detached family house located in a private road opposite playing fields in this sought after area with the benefit of a large landscaped garden and garage.

N O C H A IN

tunbridge wellS

£499,950

A unique three bedroom two bathroom detached lodge located within an exclusive gated development and within a level walk of the royal Victoria Place shopping centre.

twitter: @alexandre_boyes So TW Ad_Alexandre Boyes_DPS_Apr11.indd 2

17/03/2011 18:24


BeulAh RoAd TunBRidge WellS

£1750 pcm

A beautiful Victorian semi detached home close to St James School with off road parking and a family garden. Four bedrooms, two reception, bathroom.

WAdhuRST eAST SuSSex

£3,950 pcm

A six bedroom detached residence sitting in private grounds of two acres with garage and electronic entrance gates. Three reception, four bathrooms.

mounT ephRAim TunBRidge WellS

£1250 pcm

An elegant two bedroom apartment located in this prestigious building on mount ephraim with underground parking, limestone bathrooms and stoneham kitchen. Two bathrooms.

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17/03/2011 18:24


Hartfield £2,350,000 An impressive and very well equipped detached house completed in 2010 to an exacting standard offering substantial and versatile accommodation with lovely rural views and gardens and grounds of over 5 ½ acres. Tunbridge Wells Office

Sales 01892 516611 tunbridgewells@hamptons-int.com Beyond your expectations www.hamptons.co.uk

When it comes to property, it pays to go to Town. Register your property for our Central London Town & Country Property Show, on Tuesday 5th April, and we’ll ensure it’s seen by London’s keenest buyers and tenants. For more information, ask in branch call us or visit

www.hamptons.co.uk/propertyexhibition

Tunbridge Wells £1,150,000 An individual 5 bedroom detached family house with an outstanding well planned spacious interior and indoor swimming pool set in ½ acre gardens in a highly regarded location close to the southern edge of town.

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17/03/2011 18:26


Crowborough £1,295,000 Superbly presented and very well appointed detached house with versatile accommodation situated in a much favoured location backing onto Crowborough Beacon Golf Course.

Tunbridge Wells £895,000 A fine detached five bedroom Edwardian family house with many delightful period features situated in the highly regarded southern part of the town. Tunbridge Wells Office

Best for Innovation.

Sales 01892 516611 tunbridgewells@hamptons-int.com Beyond your expectations www.hamptons.co.uk

Hamptons International won the Best for Innovation award at the 2010 Estate Agency of the Year Awards in association with The Sunday Times and The Times, recognising its innovative marketing approach and launch of the Hamptons International app for iPhone and iPad. Call us to find out how we can use our market-leading approach to help you.

Tunbridge Wells £895,000 A fine Edwardian detached 5 bedroom family house with many period

Crowborough £850,000 A truly unique property dating back to the 18th Century, with some fantastic

features in a very highly regarded location in the southern part of town.

features in a wonderful semi-rural position with around 2.5 acres of superb gardens and grounds.

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17/03/2011 18:27


Bidborough £6,500 pcm Similar Urgently Required

Tunbridge Wells £2,500 pcm Similar Urgently Required

Further properties required in Bidboro

Further properties required in central Tunbridge Wells

Lamberhurst £2,200pcm Similar Urgently Required Further properties required in lamberhurst

Crowborough £1,750 pcm Similar Urgently Required Further properies required in Crowborough

Tunbridge Wells Office

Lettings 01892 516611 tunbridgewells@hamptons-int.com Beyond your expectations www.hamptons.co.uk

Tunbridge Wells £1,500 pcm Similar Urgently Required Qaulaity house required - call for a free valuation

So TW Ad_Hamptons_April11_Lettings_FP.indd 2

Estate Agent of the Year Hamptons International has taken home the Best for Innovation award at the 2010 Estate Agency of the Year Awards in associationwith The Sunday Times and The Times, recognising the importanceof the Hamptons International app for iPhone and iPad. Call us to find out how our innovative marketing can help you

Tunbridge Wells £1,250 pcm Similar Urgently Required Quality aprtaments required - call for a free valuation

17/03/2011 18:29


LONDON

KENT

SUSSEX

PENSHURST – REGION £1.75 MILLION Delightful 1930s house in stunning elevated position with far reaching views and equestrian facilities Reception Hall. 2 Reception Rooms. Kitchen/Breakfast Room. 4 Bedrooms. Bathroom. Outbuilding providing 3 loose boxes, tack room and hay/machine store. Menage. Mature Gardens. Paddocks. Woodland and Extensive River Frontage with fishing rights. In all 6.8 Acres. APPLY TUNBRIDGE WELLS

WADHURST – REGION £2 MILLION Small country estate located within picturesque countryside with farmhouse, cottage and about 65 acres 3 Reception Rooms. Kitchen/Breakfast Room. Conservatory. 5 Bedrooms. 3 Bathrooms. SEPARATE COTTAGE with Sitting Room. Kitchen. 2 Bedrooms and Bathroom. Sussex Barn with Garaging. 2 Stables. Swimming Pool. Tennis Court. Gardens and Grounds with pond. Portal Framed Barn. Pasture with copses, hedgerows and ponds. APPLY TUNBRIDGE WELLS Battle

Tunbridge Wells

Haywards Heath

London

battle@batchellerthacker.co.uk

twells@batchellerthacker.co.uk

hh@batchellerthacker.co.uk

info@mayfairoffice.co.uk

01424 775577

01892 512020

01444 453181

Mayfair Office

www.batchellerthacker.co.uk So TW AD_Batcheller Thacker_FP_Apr11.indd 2

17/03/2011 18:30


andrewsonline.co.uk Tunbridge Wells 01892 515144 Sevenoaks 01732 741341 email: rdavies@andrewsonlines.co.uk email: rhawkins@andrewsonlines.co.uk

York Road - Guide Price £650,000 Superb Victorian town house (Built circa 1870), located in the heart of Tunbridge Wells offering style and character in abundance. The property has undergone a programme of extensive renovations by the current owners and combines a wealth of period features mixed with a contemporary feel.

Arranged over four floors the property provides well presented, light and spacious accommodation utilising a modern design-layout, together with period features including fireplaces, sash windows, decorative cornicing and much more. Internal viewing is a must to experience all that this property has to offer.

Viewing is highly recommended. Branch: Tunbridge Wells 01892 515144

- D ED RE RE UI AG REQ LE R SA ILA M SI

Stapleford Court - Price £895,000. An imposing, spacious and extended 6 bedroom, 4 reception detached Neo Georgian style property located in a small cul-de-sac convenient for mainline station being just over 0.25 mile radius. The property is presented in excellent decorative order and have flexibly arranged accommodation with 2 bedrooms and bathroom being self contained.

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The modern 20’1 x 11’3 fully fitted open plan kitchen opens out into the dining area and beyond into a third reception that opens onto a full width elevated terrace onto a mostly lawned irregular shaped garden.

Viewing of this property recommended with utmost haste. Branch: Sevenoaks 01732 741341

17/03/2011 18:30


CHART SUTTON, KENT

WEST MALLING, KENT

A beautifully appointed rural twin Oast house of c. 2700 sq ft living area, set within its own grounds of gardens and paddock, exceeding one acre.

A wonderful example of a Grade II listed period town house that is prominently located within the sought after Conservation Area of this picturesque town.

The property, constructed of local ragstone, enjoys four bedrooms, three reception rooms, two bathrooms and one cloakroom, plus a double garage block.

Behind an attractive Georgian facade the property benefits from four bed rooms, two reception rooms, bathroom, ensuite shower room, cellar and planning permission for a Pavilion/Orangery plus a Plantsman’s Garden.

Contact Cranbrook 01580 715000

Price £775,000

OIRO £699,995

HOLTYE COMMON, KENT/SUSSEX BORDER

GROOMBRIDGE, EAST SUSSEX

There is well proportioned accommodation of 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 4 receptions, permission for extension, together with a lovely southerly outlook to Ashdown Forest.

A fascinating combination of a period exterior with a tasteful modern interior, this excellent conversion has 5 double bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, games room, 4 receptions, double garage and 0.25 acre private garden.

An individual detached chalet style property situated on circa 9 acres with stables, sand school, paddocks, heated swimming pool and hard tennis court.

Contact Uckfield 01825 767575

Cranbrook Office 3-4 Bridge Buildings, Stone Street, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 3HG Tel: +44 (0)1580 715000 So TW AD_Fine and Country_FP_Apr11_V2.indd 1

Price

£1,100,000

Wing of former Victorian indoor riding school on the exclusive Leyswood Country Estate, Grade II listed, outstanding countryside views, use of tennis court & 5 acre paddocks.

Contact Uckfield 01825 767575

www.fineandcountry.co.uk

Price

£935,000

Uckfield Office 160 High Street, Uckfield, East Sussex, TN22 1AT Tel: +44 (0)1825 767575 17/03/2011 18:31


Mayfield. Excess £430,000

An attractive 1930’s semi detached house over three floors...

...presented in good order and with the benefit of a recently installed ‘A’ rated gas central heating system, new double glazing throughout and cavity wall and loft insulation. The property has three double bedrooms, family bathroom, recently fitted kitchen, utility room, sitting/dining room and separate family room. There is also a cellar which has been partly tanked providing useful extra storage. The property also has a good size garden complete with new terrace and raised decking area. There is lapsed outline planning permission for the creation of parking at the side of the property which is situated in a very convenient location close to the village centre.

An attractive, well presented detached single storey residence...

Mayfield. £450,000

...comprehensively refurbished approximately four years ago, approached via a five bar gate with gravel drive. The front garden is lawned, and offers much scope for the erection of a garage, subject to the necessary planning consents, whilst the rear garden offers a patio area, slightly raised lawn and numerous shrubs, all backing onto open fields. The property is of red brick under a tiled roof, comprising spacious accommodation that includes a sitting room, dining room/bedroom, kitchen/breakfast room, utility room, master bedroom suite with dressing room and en-suite, three further bedrooms, family bathroom, second shower room and attached office with is access from the rear garden.

Argos Hill. £450,000

With ample scope for enlargement...

...an attractive 1930’s detached property with well proportioned accommodation to include a sitting room with open fireplace, a double aspect dining room, conservatory and an extended and recently updated kitchen/ breakfast room. Upstairs there are two double bedrooms, both with wash hand basins and fitted cupboards.There is a third bedroom, family bathroom and an attic room., considered to have potential to convert to a fourth bedroom subject to planning consents.The property also has ample scope to extend and improve, again subject to any necessary planning consents.The gardens of approximately one third of an acre, are on three sides of the property and are hedge and shrub enclosed offering a high degree of privacy. Little Foxes has a double garage and plenty of off road parking on the drive.

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Mayfield. Excess £450,000

In a tucked away and quiet Private Road close to the Village centre...

...an attractive, detached house built in the 1930’s, presenting brick lower elevations beneath a tiled roof and beautifully presented, characterful accommodation providing three bedrooms, sitting room, dining room, conservatory, kitchen/breakfast room, cloakroom, pantry/utility room, integral garage and delightful, private West facing gardens. The house benefits from gas central heating and has leaded light windows with secondary glazing throughout. It is located in a small, quiet and select Private road of similar properties, only a short distance from the picturesque village of Mayfield

A stunning, chic, modern example of...

Five Ashes. £549,950

...a superb family house, originating from the 1920s, which has been the subject of an extensive renovation and extension programme. The accommodation is typically well proportioned, and includes a stunning kitchen/breakfast room finished in Walnut and granite, with LED lights to complete the effect, living room, dining room and study/snug, three double bedrooms and a twin room to form the fourth bedroom, two ensuites and a family bathroom, all with the quality that one would expect from the moment you walk in the front door. Internally, all the electrics, plumbing, heating, double glazed windows and insulation have been replaced .Outside, the garden has also been significantly landscaped to form a large terrace and level area of lawn, ample parking, together with ‘Sussex Style’ Oak framed garage bays.

Tidebrook. £595,000

Location, Location, Location...

Peacefully situated down a Private Road, off a Country Lane, and enjoying an outlook down the valley to the South, this attached and extended Victorian house offers characterful and spacious family accommodation to comprise four double bedrooms (master with en-suite shower room), family bathroom, spacious living room with attractive outlook over the garden and the valley beyond, sitting room with woodburning stove, dining area with woodburning stove, open to the kitchen, with attractive tiled flooring and work surfaces, and useful downstairs shower/cloakroom. Outside there is a large flagged terrace, with a Southerly outlook over the paddock beyond, and gardens, grounds extending to approximately 2/3 of an acre. There is also off road parking for several vehicles and garage/ workshop with a room above.

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NORTH TONBRIDGE £459,950 Detached four bedroom family home situated in a non-estate position in North Tonbridge. Convenient for local primary schools and shops for everyday needs. 20’ Living/dining room. Family room/conservatory. Master suite, three further bedrooms and family bathroom. Garage and off road parking for several cars. Apply Tonbridge

CENTRAL TONBRIDGE

£575,000

CENTRAL TONBRIDGE £569,500 Imposing detached Victorian house less than one mile from Tonbridge station. Three reception rooms, utility room, cloakroom, five bedrooms, bathroom and shower room. Gardens to front and rear. Detached double garage and off road parking for several cars. Apply Tonbridge

PEMBURY

£395,000

Charming Grade II listed cottage with detached studio, less than one mile from Tonbridge station. This character property has an inglenook fireplace and a wealth of exposed beams. Two reception rooms, kitchen/ family room, three bedrooms. Gardens, garage, carport and parking.

A well presented detached 4-bedroomed house built in the 1990s. Sitting room with doors to garden and double doors to dining room. Kitchen/breakfast room & cloakroom. Family bathroom plus en suite shower room. Integral garage plus driveway parking for two cars. Well stocked west-facing rear garden.

BRENCHLEY £565,000 A beautifully presented Grade II-listed detached village house with far reaching country views, in the heart of the village. Sitting room with working fire, family room/bedroom 4, kitchen with Rayburn open to stunning dining room, utility room, shower room. On the first floor are 3 bedrooms & bathroom. South-facing garden, detached garage and plenty of parking. NO CHAIN Apply Pembury

MATFIELD OIRO £245,000 A spacious, very light & airy ground-floor apartment with own entrance, in the heart of the village. 2 double bedrooms, stunning open-plan triple aspect sitting room/ kitchen/dining room, bathroom, own garden and allocated parking. Well fitted kitchen with all appliances integrated. Lease 995 years remaining, and still under NHBC. Apply Pembury

Apply Tonbridge

Pembury 01892 822880 pembury@bkea.co.uk

Tonbridge 01732 771616 tonbridge@bkea.co.uk

Apply Pembury

Lettings 01732 771616 lettings@bkea.co.uk

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17/03/2011 18:35


TW Sales & Letting Your independent Tunbridge Wells Property Specialists

Re-launch 2011 ● Justin Fletcher and Adam Pooley established TW in March 2004 and their aim was to create something different ● They wanted something that combined the traditionalistic approach to selling and letting property with an altogether friendlier, relaxed atmosphere ● Seven years on and the office would like to welcome you to the new and improved version of the TW sales and lettings agency we all know and love ● TW likes to embrace change and the newly decorated office reflects the movement of the times ● Artistically designed furniture in neutral colours ● A comfy seating area located at the front of the office, a perfect place to browse the flats and houses which are currently available for sale or to let ● Why not enjoy the exploded map of Tunbridge Wells which covers one part of the office wall? ● Both sales and lettings systems automatically email applicants with updates of new properties for sales and rentals, bulletins and vendor viewings data ● The time of day website ensures you will find the latest available properties ● TW maintain the friendly feel that comes with being an independent estate and letting agency ● The staff pride themselves on providing a high level of customer service to achieve the results the customers desire ● TW have a strong desire to challenge the age old stereotype of estate agents ● Look out for the newly designed TW property boards ● So if you are looking to move or market a flat or house why not pop into TW and see what we can do for you, we are, after all your Independent Tunbridge Wells Property Specialist!

TW Sales & lettings, 34 Monson Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1LU Sales Tel: 01892 530109 Lettings: Tel: 01892 548049

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e: sales@tw-property.co.uk e: lettings@tw-lettings.co.uk

We are members of Property Ombudsman and Guild of Letting and Management

18/03/2011 13:20


CANTERBURY OFFICE NOW OPEN

www.jackson-stops.co.uk

Pretty listed village house overlooking the Green Rushlake Green

Exciting project 3,837 sq ft Stonegate station about 8.5 miles Tunbridge Wells about 18 miles Best offers invited by 20 April 2011

Fast Find TW42368 2 Receptions, Kitchen/Breakfast Room, Utility Room, Potential Annexe, Cellars. Galleried Landing/Sitting Area, 6 Bedrooms, 3 Bath/Shower Rooms. Garage, 3 further Garages with lapsed PP for replacement. About half an acre. Requiring modernisation and offering scope for remodelling subject to any necessary consents. For sale by Informal Tender Offers in excess of ÂŁ775,000

Outstanding new Georgian-style country house Fast Find TW40270

Cousley Wood Nr Wadhurst

Versatile & spacious accommodation Over 4,500 sq ft Accessible rural location Wadhurst station 2 miles Tunbridge Wells 6 miles

Entrance Hall, 3 Receptions, Kitchen/Breakfast Room, Utility Room, 4 Bedroom Suites, 2 further Bedrooms & Family Bathroom. Triple Bay Garage with Games Room/Office above (of over 1,100 sq ft), Gardens & Grounds, PP for outdoor heated Swimming Pool & Tennis Court, 10 year NHBC warranty. In all about 1.2 acres Guide Price ÂŁ2,150,000

Tunbridge Wells office 01892 521700

tunwells@jackson-stops.co.uk

Offices covering the UK and London

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Use the fast find codes on our website to find out more

18/03/2011 08:58


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CHAPEL PLACE LIMITED

LAND AGENTS

FOR SALE

FOR SALE

FOR SALE

FOR SALE

FOR SALE

FOR SALE

SOLD – Similar Opportunities Required

SOLD – Similar Opportunities Required

SOLD – Similar Opportunities Required

Keston Park – £900,000 Single plot with planning permission for a substantial detached house

Beckenham - £500,000 Site with planning permission for 2 x 1 and 4 x 2 bedroom apartments

Wadhurst – SOLD Site with planning permission for a substantial detached house set in 35 acres

Seaford - £500,000 Site with planning permission for four townhouses and two bungalows

Sandhurst – Offers Invited Barn with planning permission to convert into a 5 bedroom residential dwelling

Tunbridge Wells – SOLD Commercial opportunity with development potential

Hove - £950,000 Site with planning permission for two substantial detached family homes

Darenth - £1.6 million Smallholding comprising farmhouse with 28 acres, outbuildings, stables and a selection of tenanted bungalows

West Sussex – SOLD Site with planning for a scheme of houses and luxury apartments

01892 619289 info@chapelplacelimited.com www.chapelplacelimited.com So TW AD_ChapelPlace_FP_Apr11_V3.indd 1

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JUST ARRIVED TREND RUGS 9’X 12’

£149

F F O % 0 2ND KNOTTED RUGS

HA

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TUNBRIDGE WELLS

THE GALLERY – ROLF HARRIS

on this page: Winter Sunrise Canvas edition, 30 x 18 inches, framed £875 Zebra and Wildebeest Canvas edition, 34 x 16 inches, framed £895 A Sea of Grasses, Uluru Canvas edition, 28 x 15 inches, framed £750 Tall Tiger On The Prowl Canvas edition, 16 x 30 inches, framed £895 Tsavo Orphans after mud wallow, Canvas edition, 20 x 15 inches, framed £675

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on this page: Fishing Felucca, Hot Day Egypt Canvas edition, Size 26 x 13 inches framed £725 Gondola in the rain, Venice Canvas edition, Size 21 x 28 framed £895 Dead Flat Calm Canvas edition, Size 24 x 16 framed £725

Artique Gallery, 43 High Street, Royal Tunbridge Wells TN1 1XL 01892 520 571 artiquegalleries.com

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A great tradition... SO

tunbridge WellS

Founded in 1838 and moving to SevenoakS in 1882, WalthamStoW hall iS one oF the oldeSt girlS’ SchoolS in the country and certainly the oldeSt in kent. headmiStreSS Jill milner explainS Why academic, Sporting and perSonal SucceSS rateS are So high at the longeStabliShed girlS’ School.

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“the school is dynamic, purposeful and forward-looking, a place where respect for others, a strong sense of community and a shared pride in a great school tradition creates an environment in which every student flourishes.

Since i joined Walthamstow hall in September 2002, from tonbridge grammar School, i have had the great privilege of seeing my first two generations of girls pass right through the Senior School. i have followed the progress of these students from age 11 to 18 as they have gained academic success and grown into accomplished, assured and dynamic young women, ready to make the most of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead of them in higher education and then the jobs market. the belief that each of our students, given the right opportunity and encouragement, can go on to achieve amazing things is central to everything we do here and the inspiring teaching, wonderful facilities and

april 2011

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E D U C AT I O N

close partnerships that exist between parents, staff and girls at Walthamstow Hall make this happen. Our record of academic achievement is very well-established with exceptional examination results. Most recently we have been one of the 100 top pioneering schools in the country to adopt the new Cambridge Pre-U, the qualification introduced by Cambridge University to enable students to achieve results that exceed the new A level A* and highest International Baccalaureate grade. Our first cohort of Cambridge – Pre-U grades this summer were outstanding with 91 % achieving the equivalent of A level A* - B or above. Academic success, though, is just one part of a Walthamstow Hall education, the enriched Grammar School curriculum that we offer enables our students to discover and develop all of their talents, not just those in the classroom. We pride ourselves on not pigeon-holing girls, viewing their school days as an opportunity for them to explore and ‘have a go’ at a huge range of activities. As a result our students are multifacetted, all-rounders. Girls playing the lead in the school play or orchestra are as likely to have come to rehearsals from the netball courts or science labs as from the drama studio. Whilst I can speak generically about the ethos and atmosphere of our school, the best way to paint a real picture of school life is to give some highlights from the last term. In sport this term, our students have excelled in the swimming pool, on the netball courts, on judo mats, on the lacrosse pitch and on the curling rink! With many fixtures every week, it’s impossible to give every result but sporting highlights so far this term have included: our Judo squad taking the trophy for ‘Best School’ at the Independent Schools Judo Competition for the second year running; our under-13 netballers finishing fourth out of 62 teams at the Kent Schools’ Tournament; our Year 10 and 11 swimmers taking second place in the Women’s 200 m medley at the Kent Secondary School Championships; 11 of our senior lacrosse players being chosen to represent Kent and Year 9 Angharad Ward being selected to be the youngest ever competitor to represent England at the

European Curling Championships in Moscow in December. The stage of Walthamstow Hall’s Ship Theatre is never empty. The school production of Fiddler on the Roof at the end of last year was a breathtaking tour de force with over 90 students in the cast, orchestra and back stage playing to full houses during its five performance run. It is well documented that Science and Maths are areas where girls really excel in a single sex school and this is certainly the case at Walthamstow Hall, where the focus of this term’s Science Week has been communication. In music, a stunning Christmas Concert and Christmas Carols were followed by Walthamstow Hall’s answer to Glee!, the annual House Music competition. Amongst our most talented musicians there was a 100% pass rate, with a high proportion of Merit and Distinction Grades awarded to the 40 girls sitting their ARBSM Music. Students have been awarded places in the National Children’s Youth Orchestra and Kent County Youth Orchestra, and have played alongside members of the London Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Walthamstow Hall has an ongoing programme of school development with a new swimming pool, maths suite, drama studio, music room and design technology room, just some of the building projects completed in the last three years. In the summer we start work on the final phase of redeveloping the main school hall complex with the creation of new student entrance, art gallery and meeting area.” SO To see Walthamstow Hall in action please come to the Open Morning on Thursday 5th May, 10.00 am – 12.30 pm or to arrange an individual meeting with Mrs Milner, please call the Registrar on 01732 451334. For regular news updates from the school visit walthamstow-hall.co.uk

APRIL 2011

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The Last Post

The exciting new over 30’s bar... the place to be

Sophisticated, Contemporary, Relaxed. Food served Monday to Friday 12pm-3pm, Sat 12pm-5pm Thursday and Friday 6pm-10pm. Saturday 7pm-10pm Open till later Monday - Saturday Sunday open for Private Parties only. For more information please call 01892 539405

Tel: 01892 539405 So TW AD_TheLastPost_FP_April11_V2.indd 1

8 Goods Station Road, TN1 2BJ 17/03/2011 18:49


FOODIE GUIDE

FOOD

SO

GES OUR MONTHLY LOOK – ACROSS 14 PA ARY – AT WHAT’S HAPPENING ON THE CULIN LLS SCENE IN AND AROUND TUNBRIDGE WE

Ooh la la!

Enjoy a saucy new approach at Montrose as the restaurant invites you to join a Ménage à Trois on Thursday nights. In homage to the famous 80s London restaurant, which served only starters and desserts, diners can indulge in appealing appetizers and perfect puddings. For a set price of £21, choose either two starters and one dessert, one starter and two desserts or even three of a kind. To book your threesome at the restaurant on Southborough Common, call 01892 513 161 or email bookings@montroserestaurant.co.uk.

Let them eat cake

A true English tradition is upheld this Spring as Woods of Tunbridge Wells launches a new tea and cakes menu. Watch the world go by on The Pantiles and tuck into a traditional afternoon tea, or try out the Sparkling Tea which comes with a glass of bubbly. There’s even a Children’s Tea on offer, so youngsters won’t miss out on a tasty treat. Reservations need to be made for groups of more than six: 01892 614411 Find out more at woodsrestaurant.co.uk.

Full of fizz

Biddenden Vineyard has been named Best Cider Maker in the county for the second year running. After being shortlisted in three categories, the vineyards picked up the crown at Produced in Kent’s Taste of Kent Awards. Cider fans can find out how the magic happens by taking a guided tour of the vineyards. For information call 01580 291 726 or visit biddendenvineyards.com.

Perfect manors

One of our favourite restaurants, Gravetye Manor in West Hoathly, reopens its doors this month after a £2.5 million refurbishment. The 16th century country house has been closed for three months, but the results should be worth the wait. Work included complete rewiring, a new heating system and the installation of fibre optic broadband, while many of the bedrooms have had a major makeover with new bathrooms. New menus will be reflected in the revamped restaurant, but we are assured that Gravetye Manor has kept its timeless charm and character. The restaurant’s events programme gets off to a sparkling start on the opening night, Friday April 15, with a four-course dinner led by top French wine producer, Chateau de Beaucastel. Tickets cost £125 per person. gravetyemanor.co.uk.

Funny menu

Get your laughing gear around a great night out with Relish’s new comedy evenings. Comedians perform upstairs at this popular Camden Road restaurant, in the Camden room, from 8pm on the first Thursday of each month. Tickets usually cost £6 each and can be booked by calling 01892 544 522 or emailing info@relishtw.co.uk. APRIL 2011

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n i s e b Ba the wood

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TUNBRIDGE WELLS

FOODIE JULIAN LEEFE-GRIFFITHS RETURNS THIS MONTH TO BRING US UP TO DATE WITH WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING IN HIS LIFE SINCE HE LAST GRACED THESE PAGES WITH HIS AMUSING TALES OF FIELD TO FORK PHOTOGRAPHY MARK TURNBULL

A

s the season turns from Winter to Spring it’s good to see things blossom and grow, from the leaves on the trees to wild garlic in the woods the world renews itself and changes take place.

And it’s good to see change; even here at the Black Pig Pub and Dining Rooms it’s no different. We’ve had our fair share of seasonal changes. For example, it’s always delightful to take on new suppliers, particularly if it’s to do with pigs. Damian Van Aswegen and Lucy Hollands (pictured) run The Rare Breed Pig Company and keep their Gloucester Old Spots, Saddlebacks and Oxford and Sandys in the most picturesque pig heaven, a beautiful, thick deciduous wood on the edge of Eridge. They lavish the most devoted care and attention on their stock.

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The pigs grow up happy and healthy, eating a varied and balanced diet. In addition to their normal rations they’re able to rootle and snuffle all sorts of tasty morsels out of the ground. This may not sound very appetising to you and me but this is proper pig behaviour and a few roots, tubers and acorns give extra flavour to a contented pig’s meat. The wood is the perfect environment for any pig to grow up in, the oak, beech and birch trees all give great shade to the sun-sensitive pig and provide all the acorns, nuts and shoots that a young porker could desire. Now I’m not saying you can taste happiness, but if happy pigs mean healthy pigs and healthy pigs make the best eating, well Damian and Lucy might just be on to something. The farm at Eridge is a new venture for them. They have recently moved from Groombridge where they had only four acres raising 50 pigs. Now in the new woods at Eridge they’re rearing a herd of

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nearly 240 in 30 acres, with space for several different rare breed lines. They also have great plans for the future. Hopefully a farmshop will start up in the Summer and in it will be their very own line of homemade charcuterie. The rare breed pigs make delicious salami. Indeed Damian and Lucy will be one of the first producers in England to make salami and prosciutto in the Italian way: curing and seasoning the pork, and leaving it to air dry in the trees. Can you imagine walking into a wood and seeing hams and sausages hanging in drying boxes from the trees? It’s the method the northern Italians have used for centuries and I can’t wait to sample the results. We held what was probably our most successful suppliers’ dinner with Damian and Lucy when we cooked a five course Pig Festival dinner, with all the main ingredients coming from The Rare Breed Pig Company. The highlight of the evening was the presence of four special guests- a posse of very lively piglets in the back garden who entertained us with their snorting and snuffling. Very cute, but alas for them, also very tasty. The second big change at the Black Pig is the arrival of a new Head Chef. The old one has gone to Majorca and we wish him well. He’d been with us for quite a while and had helped us build a great reputation. The Head Chef is always a key member of the crew and we welcome aboard Rod Grossmann. This guy has a great track record, coming from the prestigious George Hotel in Rye where he spent five years and was part of the original start-up team. Before that, he learnt his trade at the supertrendy Moro in London’s Exmouth Market. Having worked in top establishments, we’re really looking forward to him moving things on a stage here. Thirdly, we’re launching a new monthly menu, maintaining the essential seasonal and local ethos. We’ll be looking for more local suppliers with top quality produce that we can concoct into new exciting recipes and dishes. We’ve already introduced some: Black Pig Scotch Egg made with pork from rare breed pigs ; vegetarian options, including salads with dandelion leaves and an Allotment Board with goodies from Watts Farm and the highways and byways of Kent. These new additions, together with our classics Chart Farm 32-dayaged rump steak, Black Pig Game Pies, Slow Roast Belly of Pork and all things piggy (we’re now making our own Pork Scratching) reflect our unwavering passion for food and new ideas. Fourthly , we’ve had the builders in. Originally a wasted space of unused storerooms, the first floor has been transformed into three stylish private dining rooms. The new rooms - Cow, Sheep and Chicken are all named after their groovy themed wallpaper. The biggest room, Cow, can seat 26, The Sheep Pen, 16 and The Chicken Coup a snug 12. They can be pre-booked any day of the week with normally no fee charged and they’re perfect for birthdays, business meetings, family get-togethers or even small wedding receptions. Happily they’re proving extremely popular.

The Black Pig Pub and Dining Room

So, all things being equal, it’s been a good couple of years at the Black Pig but now... it’s a new season. SO theblackpig.net APRIL 2011

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TUNBRIDGE WELLS

Suchitra’s Thai Restaurant Come and enjoy our newly decorated restaurant, serving delicious Thai food since 1987.

Traditional Indian Food

Take Aways Availiable, orders may be placed over the phone

Opening hours: 12.00 - 2.30pm 6.00 - 11.30pm 7 days a week including Bank Holidays We accept all Credit and Switch Cards Masala, 51 The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 5JU 71 Calverley Road, Tunbridge Wells Tel: 01892 511370

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In all it’s

splendour

THE SAVOY HOTEL IS BACK IN BUSINESS AFTER A £220 MILLION FACELIFT – TWICE WHAT WAS BUDGETED AND A YEAR BEHIND SCHEDULE. NATURALLY, WE WERE AMONG THE FIRST TO BE INVITED TO SAMPLE THE DELIGHTS. AND SO IT WAS OUR MAN DAN SMITH SAT DOWN FOR AFTERNOON TEA WITH KIARAN MACDONALD, THE GENERAL MANAGER

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WORDS DAN SMITH

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Despite this, whether people have visited the famous Strand hotel or not, there’s a piece of knowledge commonly held: That The Savoy has a reputation of being one of the finest hotels on the planet. It creates something of an eyebrow-raising moment then, when I’m sat in the new Thames Foyer with General Manager Kiaran MacDonald and he leans forward to confide: “The Savoy, fortunately, carries with it this aura of being one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, the reality is that for the last 15 to 20 years it wasn’t.” This comment summarises why, in December 2007, The Savoy’s management, Fairmont Hotels, closed the doors to the public and began a £220million, three year makeover. The objective: to rekindle the enigma that had made The Savoy the most famous hotel in London, and perhaps the world. In its heyday, The Savoy’s clientele included royalty, world politicians and the cream of the celebrity A-list. However, by the turn of the 21st Century, with a lack of upkeep and investment, the place was beginning to look its age compared to the world’s other luxury brands. “We’d lost our way for a number for years,” Kiaran MacDonald admits. “The perception to the market was still that it was a fantastic hotel, but in reality it was falling to bits.” This is the man who perhaps knows more about the rejuvenation of the hotel, which first opened in 1889, than anyone else. He came onboard five years ago following a successful career in the North American hotel industry and was tasked with first preparing the hotel for closure and for the grand re-opening on 10/10/10. Kiaran currently presides over the ‘new’ Savoy as it takes its place on the centre of the world stage. He’s responsible for implementing the vision of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal (the hotel’s Saudi Arabian owner who is ranked 22nd on the Forbes Rich List) and makes no bones about how serious the job of rebooting the hotel was. “We spent a year and a half of planning to get to the point of pressing the button and closing, but even then we underestimated it,” he admits. “We found that actually when you scrape below the surface, the plumbing was shot, the electricity was shot – the structure was literally falling apart.” What began as a redecoration quickly became a full-on re-build and saw the hotel take on various modern and eco-technologies. That said, while some areas have been completely changed, those which were seen to encapsulate The Savoy have been retained and beautified. “I think the best example of that is the American Bar,” explains

Kiaran. “As a room the American Bar dates back to the beginning of the hotel, but in the iteration of its interior design, it actually only dates back to the seventies. “But that doesn’t matter. As far as the guests were concerned, they wanted that left as it was. In reality we spent a ton of money keeping it as it was, so they walk in and think that nothing’s changed… but it has.” The same goes for the new Front Hall. Though there is now no reception desk or conventional check-in (the idea is that when you arrive, the doormen know exactly your requirements), the character of the old room has been retained while the space has been renovated, rejuvenated and become even more of a spectacle. “Conversely, there’s the River Restaurant,” continues Kiaran. “And that has changed. You walk in now and it’s unrecognisable in all but its view and that was very deliberate on our part. There was no attempt to retain any of the old features, because in our view there was very little that we wanted to retain.” The same rings true for the new Beaufort Bar, an exceedingly lavish drinking space that’s designed to be over-the-top, theatrical and glamourous. Occupying the area of the old performance stage, the dark, mood-lit bar is next-door to the Thames Foyer (where we’re sat) and is all about champagne, cabaret and cocktails. Certainly, the results are stunning, and that sentiment goes for the other dining areas. With a pianist tinkling the ivories in the background, the spot in which Kieran and I are chatting is beautiful. A grand piano occupies the centre of the room, under a Winter garden gazebo. Above that a huge glass dome – on show for the first time since WW2 – lets natural light pour in. Tables are dotted around and it seems almost all are occupied. At various times during our afternoon tea the pianist breaks into a recital of ‘happy birthday’ for those guests who are celebrating the passing of another year with that most British of institutions: Afternoon tea at The Savoy. Everything, it appears, is going swimmingly. Yet, there are those who feel something has been lost with the re-opening. An eponymous two-part television show aired on ITV1 in December, documenting the three year closure and subsequent re-opening of the hotel. It showed, among other things, a plethora of thrilled guests, old and new, who (like me) find the environment luxurious, elegant and relaxing. The producers also interviewed some less-than-satisfied guests, but as far as Kiaran is concerned these are in the minority: “I think we’re always aware of the ‘old guard’; guests who’ve either been frequent visitors for years, or have been to The Savoy once or twice maybe a long time ago. And when they come back they have a view on how things should be. We have a policy on that: we know you will never ever please everyone – it’s impossible. “But what most guests have said to us time and time again is ‘gosh, it looked beautiful on television, but it looks even better in reality.’”

S

ome members of the So staff clearly remember the glory days of The Savoy, while there are others – particularly among the younger crowd – who’ve not yet enjoyed the benefits of, say, the legendary River Restaurant, the American Bar or The Savoy Grill.

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And, to be honest, it should; aside from that £220million, a room here can cost up to £10,000. For this kind of money, Fairmont need to offer more than just an impressive- looking hotel, the service also needs to be second to none. To herald this new era the re-opened Savoy boasts the return of the butler service for the first time in 50 years. Kiaran explains: “The question for us was: how do you differentiate compared to other luxury hotels? What is it that inspires and engenders the sense of a unique experience for our guests that has them walking away saying, ‘you know what? I’ve never had that before’? “The Savoy Butler was a vehicle that was successful here for many, many years and to bring it back was not only appropriate, but it also has present value with today’s luxury guest.”

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This single innuendo comment highlights the risks of letting cameras behind the scenes at this most highly guarded of brands. Surely, if you show people the workings behind the magic, isn’t it true that you spoil the illusion? “We harboured tremendous levels of concern,” admits Kiaran. “Because of the very point that it may show something that embarrasses you, or something that compromises everything that you’ve strived to achieve. And also that it may take away that mystique. “We had no editorial control, but what we did have was filming control. So throughout those three years they could only film when we said they could and where we said they could. That was our way of saying ‘you know, for the purpose of pertaining mystique, I don’t want you filming here, here and here’.”

Guests don’t come much more ‘luxury’ than Prince Alwaleed, the man who paid a quarter of a billion pounds for the hotel in 2005. When he visited upon the completion of the hotel, he arrived with a huge entourage and remained on Saudi time so as not to inconvenience his body clock. This level of expectancy is the kind the newly appointed butlers should be able to accommodate without breaking step.

Having seen the show and the rejuvenated hotel up close, I can confirm that the magic is certainly not lost. The service is impeccable and the ambience delightful, I only wish I had longer to stay than just the afternoon.

One particular star of the television show, Head Butler Sean Davoren, made headlines by announcing how he viewed the ‘above and beyond’ nature of being a butler. In the second episode, he revealed to the cameras:

“I’m talking about striving for perfection,” he says. “And I think in striving for that, it would be naïve and arrogant of me to say we’re at that point now, because I don’t think you ever reach perfection. It’s a constant evolution.”

‘My philosophy is that I will do anything as long as it’s legal. You might like a very serious, English butler and I will pretend I am one for you.’

We’re sure The Savoy will keep getting even better, keep evolving. And we’ll make sure we keep coming back… just to make sure, you understand. SO

But how does Kiaran feel about the finished product, is it as good as it could be?

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t apas

Tempting P R O M O T I O N A L F E AT U R E

ENJOY A TASTE OF SUNSHINE IN TUNBRIDGE WELLS AS THE CHAPEL BAR UNVEILS ITS NEWEST ATTRACTION.

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iners can now experience a Mediterranean medley at The Chapel Bar in Chapel Place, located between the High Street and The Pantiles. Formerly The Grapevine, the bar was renovated in 2008 and the new management has been restoring the venue back to its best.

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The bar offers wines from around the world, as well as an extensive spirit and cocktail list, with lagers and bitter to complement the full range. Live music is on offer on selected weekends, including a jazz trio and various local artists performing acoustic sets. Recently, the basement bar area has been refurbished and The Chapel Bar now offers its newest addition – ‘The Tapas Lounge, which serves authentic Spanish Tapas, along with daily specials and panini, from 12pm to 3pm and then 6pm to 10pm, Tuesday to Saturday. The Tapas Lounge is run in partnership with Paula Canavan, formerly based in Richmond, who has a wealth of experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry. Paula is committed to great food, service and ambience so, together with The Chapel Bar’s experience in the wine and cocktail industry, a good night out is guaranteed whether drinking, eating or combining the two. The decor downstairs is vibrant and rustic, typically Spanish in feel with some unique portrayals of Picasso artwork on the walls to set it off. There is a choice of a large sofa area or smaller tables for parties of two to four people. The menu uses locally sourced produce and will change according to season and availability. It is authentically Spanish and offers both hot and cold dishes, including mixed olives, spicy peppadews, anchovies, potato aioli and flatbread with homemade houmous, chorizo al vino, tortilla, gambas al pil pil and patatas bravas. The specials board offers a homemade meat and vegetarian dish, as well as sharing platters and panini, quesadillas and soup available at lunchtime to eat in or takeaway. Look out for themed nights, such as paella evenings and wine tasting events, in the near future

The lounge is also available for private hire for larger groups and menus can be arranged for your individual requirements, along with party accessories to enhance your special occasion, such as balloons, candles, banners, DVD facilities and slideshows. A full menu is available at chapel-bar.co.uk, which also gives a list of upcoming music events. Plus there’s a link to the off-sale wine chapelplacewines.co.uk which offers hundreds of wines at off-licence prices, available to order and either collect or have delivered free of charge in the Tunbridge Wells area, as well as being delivered throughout the UK. APRIL 2011

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The Black Pig Pub and Dining Room 18 Grove Hill Road, Tunbridge Wells

NEW Private Dining Rooms Cool-Funky-Easy For drinks, cocktail parties, lunch or dinner with our delicious, local, organic and seasonal Menu Perfect for business meetings, presentations, birthdays, family get togethers, wakes, christenings, bar mitzvah and even small weddings. (we are only 150 metres from the Registry Office)

Drop in and take a look if you’re after a great party location

Contact 01892 523030 www.theblackpig.net So TW AD_BlackPig_FP_Aprill11_V4.indd 1

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SPRING IS HERE AT LAST AND WE CAN LOOK FORWARD TO ALFRESCO DINING ONCE AGAIN. BUT WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE TO ENJOY A GREAT SUNDAY LUNCH OR A FEW DRINKS IN THE SUNSHINE? HERE’S THE LOW-DOWN ON SOME OF THE BEST PUBS IN AND AROUND TUNBRIDGE WELLS

Your great pub

guide The Last Post

Location: Goods Station Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 2BJ Landlord: Daren Hills

Reasons to visit: With its policy of over-30s only, this sophisticated wine bar is guaranteed to be free of noisy youngsters and children, for a really relaxing visit. Summary: Serving freshly prepared English / Mediterranean dishes to an excellent standard, The Last Post offers daily specials so there is plenty of variety. The menu includes fish dishes that should tempt almost every palate, along with light bites and a lunch menu. The wine list offers the chance to try something upmarket, such as Chablis Premier Cru, Faustino 1 and Dom Pérignon. Drinkers can indulge in a sophisticated martini or champagne cocktail, along with a variety of draught beers and local brewery bitters. Contact: 01892 539405

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Sankey’s Location: Vale Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1BS Landlord: Matthew Sankey Reasons to visit: With an open fire in Winter and large patio garden for the Summer, Sankey’s is a great place to sample tipples from all over the world. Summary: Claiming to have the town’s largest selection of beers, this pub not only stocks unique beers from local brewers, it also offers beverages from international producers. Sankey’s celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and diners can find out why the homemade pub grub has been such a hit over the decades, while the brasserie specialises in the freshest fish and oysters from around the British coast. Details of events can be found on the pub’s website. Contact: 01892 511 422 Web: sankeys.co.uk

The Beacon Location: Tea Garden Lane, Tunbridge Wells TN3 9JH Landlord: John Cullen Reasons to visit: Fantastic panoramic views over the Weald from its outdoor decking make this pub a really special place to relax. Summary: With a cosy interior, The Beacon offers a warm welcome on Winter evenings, but the real joy is the spectacular view of the surrounding countryside. The modern British menu features home-grown fruit and vegetables, cultivated in the pub’s 17-acre garden, which means that diners can enjoy truly fresh and local ingredients. Entertainment ranges from murder mystery dinners and theatre evenings to beer festivals and acoustic music gigs, so there is always plenty going on.

Contact: 01892 524 252 Web: the-beacon.co.uk.

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TUNBRIDGE WELLS

Visit the Vineyard. Open Daily FREE admission & tastings of our award winning wines, ciders and apple juice. See our website for opening times, special events and more...

LOCAL SEASONAL GAME AND SEAFOOD SPECIALIST Specialist Fish Evenings Coming Soon With fresh fish supplied by Chapmans of Sevenoaks

Gribble Bridge Lane, Biddenden, Kent TN27 8DF 01580 291726 www.biddendenvineyards.com

Upcoming Events:

April 24th Easter Sunday Car Rally April 29th Royal Wedding Street Party 100 Yards from Eridge Railway Station 01892 864258 - www.thehuntsmanpub.com

FRESH FOOD authentic italian

A warm welcome awaits you at Palio, an authentic italian restaurant with locally sourced fresh food, the best available. An ideal venue for parties, business lunches or romantic evenings.

Live music every Wednesday night Mothers Day - dont forget to book early. See our special offers at www.palio-restaurant.com

84-86 Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent • Tel: 01892 515558 Opening Hours - Mon-Sat 12 Noon to 11pm Sunday Closed • Parking available nearby

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The Chequers Inn Location: Laddingford, ME18 6BP Landlord: Charles & Tracey Leaver Reasons to visit: Along with its 15th Century charm, this pub is truly family – friendly – the large garden boasts children’s play equipment and furry friends such as rabbits, guinea pigs and even Shetland ponies. Summary: One of the first South East pubs to be awarded the Cask Marque accolade for excellent real ales, the Chequers is in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and drinkers can find out why at the annual real ale festival at the pub on May 7 and 8. Food highlights include the regular ‘Sausage Thursdays’ and the traditional Sunday roasts. The pub is also a hive of activity in the community, providing a meeting place for local beekeepers, cyclists, readers and swimmers. Contact: 01622 871 266 Web: chequersladdingford.co.uk.

The Red Lion Location: Lower Green Road, Rusthall, TN4 8TW Landlord: James Ireland Reasons to visit: The Red Lion must be doing something right because it is one of the oldest licensed pubs in Kent, having held an unbroken licence record since 1415. Summary: With a long history of hospitality, The Red Lion prides itself on being a warm, welcoming pub at the heart of village life. Families and dogs are welcome and there is a large garden for relaxing on Summer afternoons. Anyone with a penchant for traditional English pub dishes will be in heaven with this menu, which includes favourites such as slow roasted pork belly and homemade sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce. Contact: 01892 520 513 Web: redlionrusthall.co.uk. APRIL 2011

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The George & Dragon Location: Speldhurst Hill, Speldhurst TN3 0NN Landlord: Julian Leefe-Griffiths Reasons to visit: Local, seasonal and organic ingredients go into the delicious food, most of which is made on site and served alongside a truly international selection of drinks. Summary: With the motto ‘Food from a farm, not from a factory’, The George & Dragon’s modern British menu includes Chart Farm beef and Lord De Le Warr’s black pigs. The wide selection of beers takes in George’s Marvellous Medicine, specially created by Westerham Brewery. The George & Dragon is another that lays claim to the ‘oldest pub in Kent’ title, having welcomed Henry V’s victorious army as it headed home from the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. Contact: 01892 863 125 Web: speldhurst.com

The Huntsman Location: Eridge Road, Eridge Green TN3 9LE Landlord: Emma Welch Reasons to visit: Change is in store at The Huntsman, with a new garden and terrace on the way, plus the Spa Valley Railway will be stopping at the nearby station from April. Summary: This is a great pub to visit during a day out rambling, cycling or exploring the nearby Harrison’s, Eridge and High Rocks. Outdoor types will love head chef Matt Bunn’s hearty dishes made from local ingredients. The Huntsman is the only Badger Beer pub in the area and the extensive wine list features both old and new world wines. Fun events coming up this season include an Easter Sunday car rally and a street party on April 29. Contact: 01892 864258 Web: thehuntsmanpub.com

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The Abergavenny Arms Location: Frant Road, Frant TN3 9DB Landlord: Paul Gibbons Reasons to visit: Believed to date back to the 15th century, this quaint coaching inn has a colourful history and an attractive terraced garden for outdoor dining. Summary: Modern European and traditional British cuisine is served up in this historic pub, which has played host to some big characters in the past. During the 18th century, the cellar was used as a holding cell while prisoners waited for the circuit judge to pass sentence. The pub even boasts its own ghost – the spirit of a disgruntled coachman who died there in 1770. Cask ales on offer include Harveys and at least one other guest beer.

â–ź

Contact: 01892 750 233 Web: abergavennyarms.co.uk

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Make your mother feel one in a million... at

Sunday 3rd April Mothers day menu served all day. Booking essential

Complimentary bunch of daffodils with every booking! 2 courses £23.50 3 courses £29.50 Log onto www.thorins.co.uk or call 01892 531480 for menu details

Ribs Night at Thorins.

Moules Night at Thorins

The Second Thursday of every month all you can eat Ribs, Chips and Coleslaw for just £11.95

The last Thursday of every month all you can eat Moules, Frites and Bread for just £11.95.

9 Nevill Street Tunbridge Wells Kent TN2 5RU • 01892 531480 • www.thorins.co.uk

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The Weavers Location: London Road, Southborough, TN4 0PU Landlord: Cecilia & Tony Foster Reasons to visit: The recent addition of Malaysian and Thai cuisine means diners have a wider choice of food styles than in most country pubs. Summary: Although the pub has had a chequered history in recent years, the attractive black-and-white timbered building is now under new management by Cecilia, Tony and Chris. There is already something new on offer alongside traditional pub meals, visitors can sample a taste of the Orient with the new Malaysian and Thai menu. On Mothering Sunday (April 3) and Easter Sunday (April 24), diners can enjoy a twocourse meal for £14.99 or three courses for £16.99. Contact: 01892 529 896 Web: theweaverspub.com

The Bull Location: Frant Road, Tunbridge Wells TN2 5LH Landlord: Dean & Becky Wirrell Reasons to visit: Not far from The Pantiles and the Nevill cricket ground, The Bull makes a convenient place to take a break from shopping or cheering on your team. Summary: This Shepherd Neame hostelry serves popular English pub fare all day long, including the all-important Sunday roasts and daily specials, with a selection of traditional Kentish ales to wash it down. There are outdoor areas for soaking up the Spring sunshine and a combination of contemporary and traditional décor inside. Expand your horizons by taking a look at the interesting photos in the bar, taken by the licensees during their extensive travels around the world. Contact: 01892 536 526 Web: thebulltunbridgewells.co.uk

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tunbridge wells

The award-winning Boutique Restaurant With awards ranging from AA Rosette to Top Table – Top Diner Rated and Kent Restaurant Awards Winner, Montrose is the ideal venue for that social or business lunch or dinner.

‘Go to Montrose, talk to the team with all their flair and experience, and let them make you feel special. ’ – Food Critic Damian Cotton, January 2011

THURSDAY MÉNAGE À TROIS EVENING Choose from our Special Menu, two starters / one desert, one starter / two deserts or three of a kind - all for a cracking £21

WEDNESDAY IS STEAK & FISH NIGHT Chef’s amuse bouche, starter and a choice of either steak or fish of the day with salad and hand cut chips - Great Value £19.95 Open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner. Special Sunday lunches all day from 12.00 to 17.30pm (last orders) Kent Restaurant Awards.co.uk 2009 WINNER for Best Wine Cellar Kent Restaurant Awards.co.uk 2009 FINALIST for Best Gourmet Restaurant

Book on 01892 513161 or at www.montroserestaurant.co.uk or email bookings@montroserestaurant.co.uk Southborough Common, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 ORX

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Thorins Location: Nevill Street, Tunbridge Wells TN2 5RU Landlord: James Watson Reasons to visit: A warm welcome and broad choice of cuisines make this a homely place to enjoy good food. Summary: With a garden, sun terrace and all-weather covered, heated area, customers can enjoy the outdoors, come rain or shine. Described as a ‘gastro brasserie’, Thorins aims to cater for every taste with its wideranging menu. Locally brewed and guest bitters are always on offer, alongside old and new world wines. Upcoming events include a Royal Wedding Weekend and the pub’s own Wimbledon event, complete with strawberries, champagne and tennis court. Contact: 01892 531 480 Web: thorins.co.uk

The Mark Cross Inn Location: Mark Cross TN6 3NP Landlord: Ashley Baldwin Reasons to visit: Enjoying a cold beer on a hot day is even better at the Mark Cross Inn, thanks to the stunning views across the Sussex countryside. Summary: Following a 12-week refurbishment last year, the award-winning pub has been receiving great reviews and is renowned for the quality of its homemade food. Changing the menu every day means the chef can make best use of seasonal ingredients, to revive traditional British classics in tasty style. Five real ales are available at the bar, along with a good wine list. Although the village has lost several key services in recent years, the pub remains a welcoming focus for community life. Contact: 01892 852 423 Web: themarkcross.co.uk

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TUNBRIDGE WELLS

• Bars and restaurant open all day for food and drink, every day including Sunday evening • Fresh Orkney mussels and Seasonal Specialities • Fine wines and cask ales • Warm and welcoming open log fires in winter • Terraced garden in summer • Open for coffee, tea and cakes, cream teas from 10.30am Monday to Saturday, 11.30am Sunday.

15th Century Coaching Inn with restaurant and bars Frant Green Road, Frant, Tunbridge Wells TN3 9DB abergavennyarms@btconnect.com 01892 750233/750933 www. abergavennyarms.co.uk On the A267 (Eastbourne Road) just south of Tunbridge Wells

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The Chequers 

in laddingford

We are proud of our real ale, real food, real people - a real village pub Family run by the same landlords or over 16 years

Come along and enjoy The Chequers for yourself Award Winning Traditional15th Century Village Inn  Quality real ales - CAMRA and Cask Marque Awards  Good value traditional menu & Sunday Roasts 

Food Served all day Sunday and Bank Holidays  Sausage Thursday Every Week luncthime & evening  Large secure garden, childrens play area & animals 

The Chequers Inn, Laddingford, Nr Yalding, ME18 6BP

www.chequersladdingford.co.uk 01622 871 266

Spring events at

the Beacon Mothering Sunday Sunday 3rd April 2011 Special 3 course meal £27.50 per head Bookings now being taken

Wedding Fair Sunday 17th April 2011

All aspects to make the perfect wedding day on display

Easter Sunday Sunday 24th April 2011 Breakfast bookings being taken 9.30am - 11am

...and lunch bookings being taken Tea Garden Lane, Tunbridge Wells Tel: 01892 524252 Fax: 01892 534288 e: beaconhotel@btopenworld.com

www.the-beacon.co.uk

APRIL 2011

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TUNBRIDGE WELLS

IN BUSINESS Early in 2009, I had an important decision to make along with my co-owner in Wells Money Brokers, long term friend Christian Harris. The world was just starting to show signs of recovering from the credit crisis, but we were working in the City trying to raise money for a bank that was facing up to having its headquarters in a struggling Eurozone country. A five-hour round trip to Bristol helped us to make a decision that has massively changed our lives. Could we possibly leave the City behind and expect to establish a leading financial service in Tunbridge Wells? Richard Sadler, Wells Money Brokers

Having worked in the City for 12 years it felt like home, even with a daily jaunt on the Hastings line. So at first an office in London seemed more logical – close to our customers, at the heart of the action and a City address. How wrong I was! Christian, a Tunbridge Wells fanatic, convinced me to look at offices in the town, and I found it awash with excellent property agents offering a personal service and in-depth knowledge of what was good and bad about the commercial space. Not a whiff of the London hard sell! With a central office secured in Lonsdale Gardens, we needed guidance on legal issues associated with ensuring that our business was protected for the journey ahead. Again, my first instinct was to contact City law firms. They provided solid initial advice, but with a fee outside our expectations. Could Tunbridge Wells once more provide the expertise needed? Absolutely! A 30-minute free consultation with one well known local law firm convinced us. They were as professional and competent as any City partner, with a bill more in line with our start-up budget. I am not saying Tunbridge Wells is perfect. It has serious traffic problems to deal with as my commute from Tonbridge every day proves. Some days it would be quicker to get the train to London! Investment is needed quickly to ensure the character of the town isn’t lost, but the current climate makes me believe that we may have to avert our eyes as we pass the old cinema site for a few more years to come. I would love to see one of the talented developers in the area supported by one of the local commercial banks, create a scheme for a mixed use, profitable development the town can be proud of. Planning Office note: Prepare to be flexible if we are going to avoid another decade of looking at an empty building with broken windows. In brief, we have found Tunbridge Wells to be an ideal place from which to run a business. Local professionals and expertise at reasonable rates, great independently-run restaurants and with London and the heart of the UK financial services sector just a short train ride away. We’re sold, and are proud to be part of the Tunbridge Wells business community.

Guest editor of our Business Section this month is Richard Sadler, Director of Wells Money Brokers in Tunbridge Wells. See page 141 to read his views on the big issue of the Bank of England base rate.

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EVEN IN THESE TOUGH TIMES IT’S STILL POSSIBLE TO GET A DECENT RETURN ON BUY-TO-LET PROPERTIES, AS WE DISCOVERED WHEN WE TALKED TO LAND AGENTS STEVE DONNELLY AND ANDREA HAWKES. THE PAIR ARE PARTNERS IN THEIR PERSONAL LIVES AS WELL AS IN BUSINESS – CHAPEL PLACE LTD IN TUNBRIDGE WELLS

PLOTTING YOUR NEXT MOVE

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As a ‘husband and wife’ team, what inspired you to start your own land development and investment business two years ago? Him: I live and breathe the world of land and property. Her: ‘Husband and wife’ team – don’t get me started… I should be so lucky. Inspired? More like “possessed”, you mean? Let’s just say, the recession and redundancy “inspired” us. Professional advice on any kind of investment is obviously invaluable. How did you acquire your expertise? Him: Having worked in the property industry for over 26 years and passed a few qualifications on the way, I feel able to provide competent advice which can only come with experience and having worked alongside some very knowledgeable professionals. Her: I learned from the best – him! And I am still learning. But I really started out as a bilingual secretary and only concentrated on land and property in the last eight years or so. What specialist services do you offer? Him: We like to think of our services as all-encompassing, not only dealing with the sale and acquisition of land and properties, but planning, architectural services, advice on legal matters, and even advice relating to the type and design of a project to ensure its success. Her: I specialise in sourcing sites for clients according to their specific requirements, and also finding sites for Chapel Place of course. In Britain, property has traditionally been one of the strongest investment areas, especially in Kent, Surrey and Sussex, so how has the global monetary crisis affected this, and what’s your read of the future? Him: Property remains one of the best investments, especially in the South East where demand for housing is at its greatest. Investing during this present economic climate will surely prove to be a shrewd move in the future. Her: I think land and property still is and always will be a good investment, even with prices changing from time to

time. This isn’t our first recession and won’t be our last. On a more personal note, have you ever bought land for yourselves? And if so, was it to build your dream home? Him: The only plot of land I bought was a small area of scrubland next to a railway line in a depressed area of Southampton, where I achieved planning for a lock-up garage. Not exactly Grand Designs material! Her: Let’s just say “dream on”… If that might be a project for the future, what would be your dream location, and what sort of home would it be? Him: The ideal location for me would be Tunbridge Wells or Brighton, and it would be either something very contemporary or an industrial-style property. Her: We both love Tunbridge Wells, but also enjoy spending time in Brighton. Maybe one day we will have a live/work unit, some warehouse/commercial unit with open-plan living accommodation above in Tunbridge Wells and a weekend retreat in Brighton. Who knows? Some lenders seem to have cooled over buy-to-let mortgages, but rents appear to be soaring. What’s happening to the buy-to-let market? Him: Funding is currently difficult, but with a 25-30 per cent deposit there are a number of mortgages for buy-to-let properties. The art is to get someone like us to source the right opportunities that will give you a decent return. Her: It is still possible to get good buy-to-let mortgages, as both Steve and I have just bought a couple of flats in Hastings and Littlehampton with a good eight per cent return on our investment. This has got to be a better option than leaving your money in the bank. You offer help with the sale or purchase of all kinds of property. Are there still a lot of people keen on doing their own renovations or has this bubble burst? Him: Opportunities such as run-down houses for renovation, or barns suitable for conversion, have reduced

over the years as so many have been developed. But given the choice, most people still want to live their dream and we are always seeking further new instructions. Her: It has a little. There aren’t as many people with the funds as there were maybe three-five years ago. It’s not as easy to make money out of renovations and conversions as it used to be. What are the biggest and smallest plots of land or properties you have dealt with? Him: The largest I am currently dealing with is a 17-acre strategic site in West Sussex for a major new housing development, and the smallest was a site in Maidstone where I have no idea how it ever got planning! Architects can be very creative and innovative. Her: The biggest plot was a site in Wadhurst with 35 acres and planning for just one detached house. The smallest one was probably a side extension on a terraced house. If money were no object, what fabulous purchase opportunity is on your books at the moment that would tempt us? Him: In addition to the opportunities shown on our website, we always have a number of sites we are asked to market confidentially (off-market). Perhaps these would lead you into temptation? Her: A one-acre site in Charing with planning for a four-bedroom detached house surrounded by woodlands. Beautiful setting with only a handful of neighbours – great for a family with children and animals, or as a retirement retreat. It must be interesting working together as well as living together. Can you describe each other in five words? Him of her: Supportive, determined, grounded, endearingly different. Her of him: Perfectionist, gentleman, driven, fun, handsome… and he said I was ‘different.’ Is he trying to say I am weird or strange?

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MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT THEM, BUT HOW MANY OF US WOULD LIKE TO WORK AS AN UNDERTAKER? IN FACT, HOW DO YOU END UP IN THE FUNERAL BUSINESS? TO FIND AN ANSWER WE SPOKE TO SEAN CAWLEY, OF HENRY PAUL FUNERALS IN PEMBURY What brought you into the undertaking business? As with many people in the funeral industry, the death of someone close. As a teenager I lost a very good friend who had been ill since we were children. The memory of the hearse arriving at the church and the care shown by the funeral directors has stayed with me into adult life. I was also Inspired by my interest in science, and motivated by my weekend job helping in a funeral parlour. I found that the more I understood about the work of a funeral director, the more determined I became to demystify their work.

corporations that are answerable to shareholders. We are proud that Henry Paul is totally independent. We believe our perspective on choice and bespoke funerals sets us apart, and we also pride ourselves on being a force for good within the community. And concern for the environment has prompted a move towards sustainable items, such as coffins in wicker, seagrass, bamboo, banana skin and wool, as well as traditional woods. We are also able to offer a wide variety of vehicles, ranging from the pride of our fleet – our 1965 Austin Princess Sheerline – to vintage vehicles and a horse-drawn carriage.

How and when did you establish Henry Paul Funerals? It was the brainchild of my business partner, Garry Jefferey, a local entrepreneur. As a teenager, Garry experienced the traumatic loss of his elder brother in an accident. This is something that remains with you forever, and Garry had always retained an ambition to open a unique and modern funeral directors – a place where families could come to celebrate and commemorate individuality. Combining his drive and business acumen with my years of experience has proved to be an ideal mix, and we want to help others through similar situations to those we have faced. Henry Paul Funerals has been trading for just over a year now from our main premises in Pembury, and we are delighted to have been so warmly welcomed into the community.

Does religion still form the backdrop to the majority of funeral services? Religion still does play a major part in most funeral services. However, it is essential in today’s multicultural world to respect and adhere to the unique wishes and varied beliefs of the families we work with.

How competitive is the marketplace and what sets you apart? It is often said that the only two certainties in life are death and taxes. Despite the fact that we will all experience bereavement, it is common for funeral directors to operate ‘under the radar’, on the periphery of normal life, but the industry is competitive. Many funeral directors have now been sold to large

How does someone select a funeral director and service? Choosing a funeral director can be a difficult decision, and one that often has to be made at a time of emotional distress. The key question is: How does the company and its staff make you feel? If you trust them and feel they are listening to you, you have chosen wisely. If you feel they are not on your wavelength, then it is your choice – you can go elsewhere. Always choose a member of either NAFD (National Association of Funeral Directors), or SAIF (National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors). This is your guarantee of a quality standard of service. And remember, the sooner a funeral director becomes involved following a death, the more help and guidance they can give you. henrypaulfunerals.co.uk APRIL 2011

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A D V E R T I S E M E N T F E AT U R E

HARNESSING THE POWER OF

THE INTERNET - AN

ENTREPRENEUR’S PERSPECTIVE THANKS TO THE INTERNET, BUSINESSES CAN BE STARTED FOR LESS MONEY AND SCALED UP MORE QUICKLY THAN EVER BEFORE. AT COUTTS FROM OUR CONVERSATIONS WITH ENTREPRENEURS ACROSS MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF BUSINESS WE HAVE SEEN AN INCREASING AWARENESS OF THE NEW ECONOMIC MODELS AND ARE WORKING WITH CLIENTS AS THEY LOOK TO EXPLOIT THESE.

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hese days, the dividing lines between traditional and digital businesses are, to say the least, porous. Yes, we can look at companies as diverse as Amazon, Google and Facebook and conclude that they are easily identifiable products of the digital age. But look beyond these pure internet ventures and it quickly becomes apparent that just about every company operating in Britain or elsewhere in the world has some sort of digital element. That might take the form of a transactional website, an online marketing campaign or a smart, just-in-time supply chain system. The common factor is the power of new technology to deliver more efficient ways of doing business while cutting costs. To take an example, an organisation that spent £500k on marketing ten years ago could achieve the same objectives for a fraction of that cost today by moving its campaigning online. Similarly, companies working in the retail sector have slashed distribution costs by moving at least some of their activities to the internet. The low cost model may be most apparent in the case of Amazon-style purely internet plays, but it also benefits the traditional high street and mail order brands. The internet has also had a huge impact on the speed at which entrepreneurs can take a business from the start-up phase through to exit. Not only are the start up costs lower - making it easier to raise or pull together the required finance - but the whole process of scaling up to address a national or potentially global audience is also cheaper, easier and faster. Where once it might have taken 10-20 years to build a business to the point where it can be sold, today’s digitally-aware entrepreneurs can do it in two, three or five. So what we’re seeing is a fundamental shift in the economics of doing business. It’s a change that all entrepreneurs should be aware of, both in terms of their own business plans and implications for fund raising and exit valuations. Let’s take fund raising. On the face of it, the fact that potentially very successful businesses require less capital to get them started should be good news. It is, but only if you understand the new rules of the game. From the entrepreneur’s perspective, it’s hugely important to understand what the new technologies offer in terms of the potential to cut costs and scale up quickly. If you don’t understand this, you’ll not only be at a disadvantage

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when faced with more agile and tech-savvy competitors, you may also find it difficult to convince investors that your figures add up. Of course, some investors will themselves be behind the curve and maybe you ought to be prepared to educate them as part of the pitch process. For instance, some may raise an eyebrow at an apparently low marketing budget or your projected sales, unless they fully understand the model.

John Goss

When the time comes to sell the business, the criteria applied to valuing a business are still a work in progress. Recent flotations - such as that of Betfair – demonstrate that investors have to approach the valuation of purely digital ventures with fresh eyes. Again, it’s hugely important for the entrepreneur to understand where the value and potential lies in his or her business before putting the company on the market. Thanks to new technology entrepreneurs have a chance to generate wealth more quickly than ever before. That potential is not limited to purely digital ventures. It’s something that everyone should be aware of. Issues such as this one require careful consideration, planning and management. At Coutts in Tunbridge Wells, we have built up strong expertise in helping entrepreneurs address these. Whether you are in the early stages of building your business, looking for funding to grow or considering selling, we can advise on the right course of action, issues to consider, potential pitfalls and possible opportunities. At Coutts, we aim not only to be viewed as the leading provider of financial services to Britain’s entrepreneurs and their businesses, but as a champion for their cause and an authority in this field. We look forward to speaking to you, whatever stage you are in with your business. For more information about becoming a Coutts client in Tunbridge Wells call John Goss on 01892 701083, email john.goss@coutts.com or visit Coutts.com/tunbridgewells

APRIL 2011

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INTERESTING RETURNS

INVESTORS HAVE LONG BEEN FRUSTRATED BY LOW INTEREST RATES. OUR GUEST EDITOR RICHARD SADLER, DIRECTOR OF INDEPENDENT DEPOSIT SPECIALISTS WELLS MONEY BROKERS IN TUNBRIDGE WELLS, TELLS US WHEN HE THINKS RATES WILL RISE, AND HOW HIS COMPANY IS BRINGING AN EXCITING NEW PRODUCT TO MARKET FOR LARGE PORTFOLIOS OF CASH...

A

s I write, the reality of a rise in the Bank of England Base Rate, which has remained unchanged at 0.5 per cent since March 2009, is beginning to set in. Will it happen in April, or will there be a longer wait?

My opinion is that it will happen sooner rather than later, mainly due to the consensus forming among Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) members that a rate rise is required to help stabilise rising inflation, which has been fuelled by escalating commodity prices and the VAT increase. Minutes of the MPC’s February meeting show that Spencer Dale joined Andrew Sentance and Martin Weale in backing a rate rise, with the remaining six MPC members voting to keep rates at the historic low of 0.5 per cent. Wells Money Brokers is an independent, cash-focused deposit specialist, with clients who include asset managers, insurance companies, charities, housing associations and local authorities. We have been successful in placing in excess of £1.5 billion on deposit (as at March 2011) since our inception 21 months ago, scouring the market to uncover the best possible rates for our clients at a time of historically depressed interest rates. Many of our clients manage in excess of £250 million, of their own or clients’ money, and they had previously relied on the revenue generated by these deposits to pay bills and add to the bottom line. If you are a business relying on interest revenue from deposits, then the last two years have been a particularly challenging time. For local businesses, the possible interest rate rise could be seen from two perspectives – depending on your outlook and cash position. If you are a larger organisation and you have high levels of cash deposits then an increase in rates is obviously favourable, at its most basic because of the increased return achieved. For the smaller business with more modest holdings of cash, a 0.5 per cent rise (for example) would be negligible in terms of the increased interest revenue, with the more overriding concern – echoed by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)

– being that a rise in the base rate might hinder, rather than create, an environment for growth in the economy. With high unemployment and the recent VAT and fuel duty rises, the FSB’s argument that the Government’s austerity measures have yet to take full effect is a convincing one. I don’t have a crystal ball, but I do have the luxury of talking to investment committees representing some of the largest asset managers in the world on a daily basis, and there is still apprehension on how quickly interest rates will rise. A base rate rise to one per cent by the end of 2011 and to two per cent by late 2012 seems realistic, but the mooted rise to four per cent by 2013 would to me seem unlikely and too aggressive. Either way, savers appear to be heading towards a more rewarding period at last. As we move through to 2012, we are finalising a new platform to enable private investors to access the widest possible range of high street and bespoke savings accounts in one place. For a long while, the placement of cash deposits has been time consuming and unrewarding, often resulting in an undiversified portfolio. The planning for our investment project has been substantial, but the market research feedback has shown an undoubted interest in this new approach to managing large portfolios of cash. We look forward to bringing this innovative offering to market in 2012, keeping the readers of So Tunbridge Wells updated as our plans progress. wellsmoneybrokers.co.uk The true extent of the tragedy caused by the earthquake and resulting Tsunami in Japan is, as I write, becoming desperately more apparent. Japan was just starting to show the green shoots of economic recovery and now the reality of a prolonged financial crisis seems inevitable. Japan has received wide criticism for its interest rate policy in the past, but the current humanitarian situation highlights that some even bigger decisions will have to be made to stabilise the economy and avert a financial, as well as humanitarian, disaster. Our thoughts are with the Japanese people at this impossibly difficult time.

APRIL 2011

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TUNBRIDGE WELLS

SET YOUR SIGHTS HIGH INTELLIGENT, INDEPENDENT, FINANCIAL ADVICE Finding the right financial adviser can be an onerous task, but not any longer... AV Trinity provides holistic financial advice to individuals including business owners throughout the UK and for British expatriates based in other parts of the world.

At Office Angels we provide a service that’s simply out of this world. Reliable, responsive and totally professional, we know how to find the best staffing solutions for your business, taking the time to really understand you as individuals. So whether you’re looking to fill a short-term or permanent position, or just looking for some recruitment advice, we are here to help. • • • • •

Secretaries/PAs • Customer Service Administrators • Receptionists Financial Assistants • Marketing Data Entry • Accounts IT and much more!

Please contact the team on 01892 614 242 or email tunbridgewells@office-angels.com Westcombe House, 2-4 Mount Ephraim, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 8AS.

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Serviced Offices - Virtual Offices Conference Room ■ Fully Serviced Character Offices ■ Prestigious Mailing Address ■ Registered Company Address ■ Personalised Telephone Answering ■ Conference Room ■ Secretarial Support ■ High Quality Colour Printing ■ Personalised and Dedicated ■ Prime location overlooking Tunbridge Wells High Street Pantiles Chambers, 85 High Street, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 1XP Tel: 01892 506960 Fax: 01892 547120 Email: ho@pantileschambers.com www.pantileschambers.com/

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STORE UP YOUR CASH ONE OF BRITAIN’S TOP RETAILERS HAS REPORTED PROFITS OF £368 MILLION, BUT CAN JOHN LEWIS MAKE ITS BUSINESS SAVVY WORK FOR SAVERS TOO?

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he question arises with the launch of the John Lewis Partnership Bond, a clever scheme to raise £50 million as a cheap source of finance for the company until 2016, and also to cash in on its glowing reputation.

In the first three days, around £8 million gushed in from some of the 1.5 million people entitled to buy the Bond - the firm’s 76,000 employees, or ‘partners’, and anyone who held a John Lewis Account Card or John Lewis Partnership Credit Card on February 12. There is so much concern among savers, whose last hope of keeping up with inflation sank when National Savings & Investments (NS&I) scrapped index-linked certificates last year, that the scheme could hit its £50 million target ahead of the April 11 deadline for applications. Although John Lewis Partnership raised £275 million and £300 million on the bond markets in 2009 and 2010 respectively, the retail giant – which includes Waitrose - certainly looks a safe place to park spare cash.

However, a John Lewis Bond cannot go into a tax-free ISA wrapper, because it cannot be traded. Nor is it covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Patrick Connolly, of financial advisors AWD Chase de Vere, believes the scheme will not suit everyone as the money will be locked in until 2016. He advises savers to do their homework before investing in a single company, as even big name firms have experienced major financial difficulties in recent times. “A better approach for savers keen on corporate bonds may be a diversified fund, such as the M&G Corporate Bond or Invesco Perpetual Corporate Bond funds,” he says. “Those who want more capital protection can find fixed rate savings accounts paying more than 4 per cent per annum over four or five years, fully protected by the FSCS. Even better, fixed rate cash ISAs can be secured on similar terms, so interest earned is tax-free.” partnershipbond.co.uk

“We wanted to diversify our investor base,” says John Lewis Partnership’s head of treasury, Ian Fleming. “A retail bond seems a good way of doing it. We want to see if it works for customers, so we have done it in quite a small size. We see gift vouchers as an effective way of giving customers full value and it is possible we will do more bonds like this in future.” After the recent success of Tesco’s Bank Bond, promising small savers a return of 5.2 per cent on the launch price until maturity in 2018, it is possible that savers have more confidence in acclaimed high street giants than in the much maligned banks, steered by bonus-grabbing bosses. Investors need a minimum of £1,000 for a John Lewis Bond, which promises a 6.5 per cent return, before tax, each year until maturity. That’s 4.5 per cent in cash and 2 per cent in gift vouchers. On the maximum investment of £10,000, the annual return will be £450 in cash, plus £200 in vouchers, making a total of £650. With basic rate tax of £130, that leaves £520 for the investor and, with some savings accounts paying as little as 0.1 per cent, the John Lewis Bond payout looks generous. APRIL 2011

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tunbridge wells

THE MEAD SCHOOL Our mission is to enable every child to feel success, realise potential and become life long learners. First and foremost we are a family community, firmly believing that a child who is happy and secure in school is one who will thrive and learn and thereby achieve. For a personal tour of the school, please contact the Registrar, Elizabeth Winter

16 Frant Road, Tunbridge Wells,Clear space guide: Kent TN2 5SN x 01892 525837 www.meadschool.info x meadschool@hotmail.co.uk The Mead School is committed to the protection and safety of its pupils. x

Figure 1

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To maintain visual integrity, the ISC logo should not appear crowded by other words or images. The minimum amount of clear space surrounding the ISC

x logo should be proportionally no less than the width of the orange rectangle that makes up the ‘I’ of the logo. Please see figure 1 for reference.

APril 2011

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r i c h e st co m Pa n i e s

companies We brought you the first tunbridge Wells PoWer list and asked you to vote for the greatest tunbridge Wellian. We also named the richest roads, the richest aPartments and the richest villages. noW, as Part of our ongoing quest to feature only the best of the best, We reveal... the Richest companies

n every town across the country there are a core of local “independent” businesses driving the economy. they’re among the key companies who will pull us out of recession.

this month we name the top ten such businesses in our part of the world... the richest companies. before our researchers got to work, we established the criteria: no government agencies, no local authorities, no utility

companies, no national chains. We told them we were looking for stand-alone companies with strong local roots. the following ten companies all meet that criteria. between them they employ more than 3,600 people (that’s eight per cent of our workforce) and have a combined annual turnover in excess of £1.5 billion. they deal in everything from medical insurance and the law to suet puddings, sausages and diaries. it all makes fascinating reading.

I

Words Jane Connolly

aPril 2011

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TUNBRIDGE WELLS

“Today 1,800 employees work across five sites in the town, serving customers based both in the UK and overseas. Tunbridge Wells is close to our hearts – most of our people live in and around the town and I am proud that so many of them give their time and energy freely to help local causes though volunteering and fundraising initiatives.

Chief Executive Keith Gibbs

AXA PPP Healthcare

01

Location: Tunbridge Wells Business: Medical insurance Turnover: £1 billion plus Employees: 1,800

“In 2010 we raised more than £87,000 for charities, including £25,000 for Kent Air Ambulance – our chosen charity for the year. We look forward to remaining in Tunbridge Wells as we grow our business in 2011 and to continuing our commitment to supporting the community.” axa.co.uk

With a staff list approaching 2,000 and a gross written annual premium of more than £1 billion, AXA PPP Healthcare is the town’s Richest Company by a substantial margin. Established more than 70 years ago, the organisation rapidly evolved from a small regional firm to a leading medical insurance provider with more than 250 hospitals in its network. In 2009, it paid out nearly £800 million in healthcare benefits. The company started out in 1938 as the London Association for Hospital Services, a health insurance scheme for middle income earners in the capital. Launched in 1943, the firm’s first Hospital Service Plan attracted just over 3,000 London-based members in its first year. When membership was extended nationwide in 1950 interest soared, and a decade later the scheme boasted 121,000 members. Under the new name Private Patients Plan, membership tripled during the 1960s and a number of ground-breaking initiatives – such as the first private medical insurance scheme for the over-60s – ensured that the company’s star continued to rise. Fifty years after it was founded, the firm had extended its membership to 1.79 million. Acquired by Guardian Royal Exchange in 1998, it became part of AXA Group the following year, and now provides health insurance to more than two million people. Chief Executive Keith Gibbs explains why Tunbridge Wells is still at the heart of the company, which in September celebrated its 70th anniversary. “Established in 1940, we moved from London to Tunbridge Wells in 1959, when around 50 employees administered benefits on behalf of our members from Hermes House along St John’s Road.

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Fresca Group

02

Location: Paddock Wood Business: Fresh produce Turnover: £360 million Employees: 378

This is the parent company for a number of fresh produce ventures, including Mack Multiples, Mack Wholesale and Thanet Earth. The Fresca Group employs more than 1,000 people overall, 378 of which work at the Paddock Wood base, and last year’s group annual turnover was more than £360 million. Fresca was formed in 2005 from a reorganisation of M & W Mack Ltd, which was founded in 1874. Still privately owned,

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Fruit, vegetables and flowers are supplied to the retail, food service and food processing industries by Mack Wholesale.

“Since the company was acquired by Anglo Beef Processors, there has been considerable investment to keep our Tunbridge Wells unit among the very best in the UK.” waturner.co.uk

the group’s ethos is based on treating growers with respect, paying fair prices and supplying quality produce. Mack Multiples Division supplies many of the UK’s major retailers, sourcing fresh fruit, vegetables and salads from more than 60 countries. Produce can be sent directly to customers, or it is ripened and packaged at the ‘state of the art’ facilities in Paddock Wood. The company also has a satellite ripening site in Hertfordshire.

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WA Turner employees with Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Beef Pie

For more than 135 years, the company has flourished and Group Chairman Christopher Mack praises the versatility of their companies: “Our businesses have all shown their adaptability and resolve to maintain their forward momentum. We shape ourselves around opportunity, without allowing complacency or stagnation.” mwmack.co.uk

WA Turner

03

Location: Tunbridge Wells Business: Food products Turnover: £31 million Employees: 300

For over 150 years – the last 40 of which the company has been based in Tunbridge Wells – WA Turner has been at the heart of good food production in England. Since relocating to the town, the company’s reputation has been enhanced with its product quality and development into the supermarket era. Employing 300 people at the Tunbridge Wells site, the company is now part of Anglo Beef Processors, and when WA Turner was purchased in 2008, the industry press reported the company had an annual turnover in excess of £30 million. The production plant in Broadwater Lane is divided into two separate factories. One concentrates on the production of chilled traditional British sausages, ranging from the cocktail variety to the highest premium coarse chopped sausages, which are available in supermarkets throughout the UK. The other factory on the same site concentrates on the production of high quality savoury own-label bakery products. So, when the consumer chooses these products in supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s, they’ve probably come from Tunbridge Wells. The bakery products range from all types of puff and shortcrust pastry pies to suet puddings and hot eating rolls. “We have a team dedicated to product development who are continually putting new product ideas before supermarket buyers,” says General Manager Ian Bagnall. APRIL 2011

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04

Location: Paddock Wood Business: Food products Turnover: £30 million Employees: 100

After more than 40 years in the business, the company considers itself to be the premier supplier of British cheeses, continental cheeses, cooked meats, salamis and pates to the independent trade. With an award-winning range of Italian marinated olives, antipasto and fish to its name – alongside infused olive oils and balsamic vinegars – the company stocks more than 1,000 products which are supplied directly to independent delicatessens, butchers and farm shops. Employing around 100 people, Anthony Rowcliffe has an annual turnover of more than £30 million. As well as making a large contribution to the local economy, the firm claims to have helped thousands of independent businesses get started by providing free merchandising support and staff training to their trade customers. The company says cheese is at the centre of its success, and it has access to 650 varieties from 14 sources. Alongside traditional favourites such as cheddar and stilton, customers can order artisan regional cheeses made from goat, sheep and buffalo milk. The company works with trade supplier Deli-cious to create oils and vinegars on tap, which can now be seen in 150 shops. With the aid of its overnight chill pack service, it supplies customers all over the country, including the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. rowcliffe.co.uk

AdEPT Telecom

05

Location: Tunbridge Wells Business: Phone line supplier Turnover: £25.7 million Employees: 70 Now one of the 10 largest telephone line suppliers in the UK, AdEPT Telecom still prides itself on giving personal service.

Chief Executive Ian Fishwick

The company’s motto is ‘faces, not numbers’ and this approach seems to be making a big impact on the industry; it now turns over £25.7 million a year. Around 70 local people are employed at the Mount

Ephraim office and they operate across all the business and government sectors. Specialities include inbound call handling, such as disaster recovery, call routing and recording. AdEPT also provides services in business broadband, data networks and business mobiles. By offering to analyse customers’ current telecoms bills and seek out more cost-effective solutions to communications problems, the company has built up a client base which includes Express by Holiday Inn, Carluccio’s, Gamestec, Nationwide Autocentres, Cosmos Holidays and Inspired Gaming. The company supplies 60,000 phone lines, the vast majority of which are to business customers. It is one of the few UK companies to sell the iPhone to business users, and it works with four major networks, yet remains network independent. The company says it’s dedicated to good, consistent service and this seems to be borne out in their day-to-day management. As well as providing a single point of contact for large customers, the company has also invested £100,000 in a state of the art contact management system to ensure that client queries are resolved promptly. adept-telecom.co.uk

Cripps Harries Hall LLP

06

Location: Tunbridge Wells Business: Solicitors Turnover: £19.5 million Employees: 260 Senior partner Michael Stevens

Last year, Cripps Harries Hall LLP was one of only seven law firms to appear in The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies To Work For list. The company employs 260 people at the head office in Tunbridge Wells and has another branch in London. In 2009-10 it achieved an annual turnover of £19.5 million. “We have been based in Tunbridge Wells for over 150 years,” says Senior Partner Michael Stevens. “Although we are a regional law firm with a national reputation for our real estate and private client work, many of our clients and our people are based in and around Tunbridge Wells. “As a result of our expansion, we are now based in six separate buildings in the town and need to relocate to a single site, preferably in Tunbridge Wells, but unfortunately no new office building has been constructed in central Tunbridge Wells for over 15 years. As a major local employer we very much hope that a solution can be found.” crippslaw.com

Anthony Rowcliffe & Son Ltd

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Sims Claims Services

07

Location: Tunbridge Wells Business: Claims management Turnover: £15 million Employees: 394

Providing claims management services to the motor insurance industry, this company achieved a turnover of £15 million last year. The award-winning enterprise aims to offer total outsourcing solutions to its clients. Available services include making initial calls to the policyholder, carrying out field investigations, detecting fraud and maintaining a network of garages to provide repairs and replacement vehicles. Named the Best New Business in Tunbridge Wells in 2007, Sims Claims Services employs 222 people in the town and a further 172 in Tonbridge. The company keeps costs down by using technology-led solutions. Clients can take advantage of services such as third party capture, uninsured loss recovery and dealing with personal injury legal issues. The company is even involved in providing specialist services for personal injury treatment and rehabilitation, from case management work to individual sessions of physiotherapy.

Nexus/H

09

Location: Tunbridge Wells Business: Advertising & marketing Turnover: £13 million Employees: 65

Nexus/H is a full service advertising and marketing agency which assists clients with all elements of their public image. Part of the Hakuhodo Inc of Tokyo group, one of the top 10 global advertising networks, Nexus/H employs 65 people in Tunbridge Wells and achieves a turnover of £13 million. From media planning and buying to TV commercials, from digital to design and production, a complete integrated communications service is offered to all clients as part of the company’s philosophy, ‘Together is Better’. Famous client brands include Suzuki, Cunard, Sharp, Mondial, Hitachi, Go Ape!, Honda, Suntory, Gray Nicolls and Treasury Wine Estates.

simsclaims.com

Thomson Snell & Passmore

08 Senior partner James Partridge

Location: Tunbridge Wells Business: Solicitors Turnover: £14 million Employees: 180 Taking a common-sense approach has helped Thomson Snell & Passmore to become one of the country’s top law firms. With a reputation for providing high quality advice, the company is ranked by the leading independent guides to UK law firms in 25 specialist practice areas. Among its staff, the firm employs 17 lawyers who are recognised as ‘leaders in their field’.

With a turnover of nearly £14 million, the company employs 180 staff at its Tunbridge Wells office and has another branch in Greenhithe. Thomson Snell & Passmore tell us they provide a comprehensive legal service and build long-term relationships by encouraging a culture of respect, understanding and excellence, continually aligning themselves with clients’ ever-changing needs. ts-p.co.uk

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Established at offices in Church Road in 1970, the company was created because its founder wished to use the time he spent commuting to his London advertising agency more constructively, and improve his work/life balance. The company moved to its current premises in Goods Station Road 20 years ago and says it continues to strive for incisive, quality creativity for their clients. nexush.co.uk

Castelli Diaries

10

Location: Tunbridge Wells Business: Diaries Turnover: £10 million Employees: 70

Designed to have both aesthetic and practical appeal, Castelli’s range of Italian-inspired products is proving a hit with UK buyers. The company describes itself as ‘a cultural brand of notebooks, diaries and leather articles, beautifully made, Italian styled, brilliantly simple with an essence of practicality for everyday use’. Castelli UK was formed in 1994, had a turnover of £10 million in the last financial year, and ranks highly alongside the other premium stationery brands. The company employs 70 people in Tunbridge Wells and produces 10 million diaries and notebooks each year.

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Alongside diaries of various sizes, journals, stationery and gifts, Castelli also makes more specific items such as wedding, guest and condolence books. The company’s range of products for professionals includes appointment diaries, mileage record books and restaurant reservation books.

Managing director Mark Poland

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Whiting & Hammond Location: Various sites Business: Gastro pubs Turnover: £6.5 million Employees: 265 The relentless advance of big national pub chains may seem unstoppable, but here is a local success story. This group of award-winning pubs is giving Whiting & Hammond a real taste of victory, turning over £6.5 million a year and providing employment for 265 people.

castelli.co.uk

Ones to watch:

Pubs include The Mark Cross Inn, The Little Brown Jug at Chiddingstone Causeway, The Old Mill at East Grinstead, The Farm @ Friday Street in Eastbourne and the company’s first pub, The Chaser Inn in Tonbridge.

BKT Location: Tunbridge Wells Business: Print Turnover: £7 million Employees: 90 Established in 1825, BKT – which stands for Brown Knight & Truscott – helps companies with their print and marketing communications needs, providing assistance with direct mail and campaign management. Even though the company has been in business for nearly 200 years, it can clearly move with the times, achieving a turnover of £7 million and employing more than 90 people.

TEK Seating Location: Tunbridge Wells Business: Vehicle/office seating Turnover: £4 million Employees: 32

Fleming Managing director Paul

Managing director Brian Whiting

The Hop Farm Location: Paddock Wood Business: Tourist attraction Turnover: £3.7 million Employees: 30 With the financial climate forcing more Britons to holiday at home this year, successful tourist attractions such as the Hop Farm will play an important role in drawing visitors to Kent. In recent years, the Hop Farm has invested in new attractions to please children and the young at heart, resulting in an annual turnover of £3.7 million and more than 30 jobs. SO

The company has two brands – TEK Seating for vehicle seats and Sitsmart for office chairs – and has increased sales almost every year for nearly three decades, now achieving a turnover of up to £4 million a year. TEK Seating’s latest project is developing a Blast Protection Seat for the military vehicle market, to help save lives put at risk by IEDs (improvised explosive devices).

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AS ROYAL WEDDING FEVER BUILDS TOWARDS KATE MIDDLETON AND PRINCE WILLIAM’S BIG EVENT THIS MONTH WE CAN’T RESIST A TWINTERVIEW WITH KENT’S OWN KATE MIDDLETON – A 34-YEAR- OLD MOTHER OF TWO FROM PEMBURY. SHE’S PICTURED (NEAR LEFT) WITH OTHER KATE MIDDLETONS, ALL WEARING THE FAMOUS BLUE DRESS AND DIANA ENGAGEMENT RING, AT A PHOTO SHOOT FOR COSMOPOLITAN MAGAZINE Hi Kate Middleton! Thanks for chatting to us today. Am really looking forward to our Royal Wedding Twinterview! No problem. Just another one of the amusing situations having a ‘famous name’ has led me into.

Nicky Johnst on/Cosmop olitan Magaz ine

Talking of which - you are the real Kate Middleton of Pembury famously banned from Facebook. What happened? I went to send an email to some friends, and Facebook said my account was disabled because I was impersonating someone.

That was a shock. Did u email FB to reclaim your ID? Yes! They said I had to prove my ID. I heard nothing until BBC news picked up the story and I then got my account back. How long were you banned for, and was it a problem? Ban was for 5 days. It was a nuisance, but as a teacher, the children at school thought it was hysterical. They liked it lots.

Ha ha. I bet that made you the coolest teacher in school? Yes, especially when they found out I’d done Cosmo [magazine] shoot with 7 other KMs [Kate Middleton’s] too, wearing a copy of the blue dress and ring.

Amazing. How stupid IS Facebook? Did you think after all the upset you would at least get an invite to the wedding? I had hoped! But alas the postman hasn’t delivered yet!! My Great Grandad attended the Queen’s Wedding in 1947.

Oh brilliant! Did you get to keep them? And were any of the other Kates banned? We kept the rings, but sadly not dresses. None of those were banned but 5 other Kates around the world in UK, US and Oz were!

Wow. That was an honour, and that was at Westminster Abbey as well! How did he get invited? He was a long-serving member of the Merchant Navy and got flown back from the Far East to attend.

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How proud you must be. And you married a soldier seven years ago? What was your wedding like? It was fun! A blustery day in April in Sussex. I hope the wind stays off for their day, so she doesn’t look so windswept! After seven years of marriage do you have any tips for the other Kate Middleton? To keep smiling!!! No matter how irritating he may be!!

Can I ask your husband’s name, and maybe what sort of irritating habits she might expect from another serviceman hubby? Mark. Always tidying up! Making dinner is a military operation! Ingredients all lined up in correct order to go in!

Ah, bliss, sounds perfect. How could she resist? Young Queen Victoria used to come to TW to play. What else do you like about the town? I love the parks, the Common - rocks are lots of fun for children and The Pantiles! The architecture is underrated too.

Wow - sounds fab to me! And if Kate had her hen night in Royal Tunbridge Wells, what would you suggest she does? Boats on Dunorlan lake, afternoon picnic in Dunorlan Park, Pantiles/Sankeys for drinks, Hotel du Vin for dinner and sleep.

I know - Decimus Burton had an astonishing vision. And what would you like to change about it, if anything? And also Pembury? More independent shops in main town! Camden Road and St John’s are good though! I would like a coffee shop in Pembury!

Yes small shops are great & u can never have too many coffee shops! And is there anything special you like about Pembury as it is? I love the community feeling and walking down the road you always bump into someone you know. Aah. You can’t beat friendly town or village. Going back to Kate’s big day, if invite doesn’t arrive do you have plans for Apr 29? Yes. We’re having a party at my friend’s house. I’ve already bought the flags for the children to wave! Is it a street party with the ceremony on big screen? No, in their big garden. BBQ and screen on for adults. Bouncy castle for kids, once flag waving gets boring!

Good point. And you always have the Cosmo copy of her engagement ring! And talking of names are you sure you’re not related? Definitely not! I’m married to a Middleton! Was a Walker originally! I’m going to have to go now! Do you have everything you need?! I’ve got to plan some lessons for the youth of tomorrow! Sorry

Thanks again. You’re a credit to the Royal name!

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What fun. And with you being Kate Middleton too will some royal wedding memorabilia be a must? No! Catherine Middleton is (the name) on the memorablia, so I will give that a miss! I have memories of all the fun things I’ve done!

Yes, thanks SO much! It’s been great chat. And if you don’t get an invite from Kate I think we should invite her down to meet you! That would be fun – I’m growing some flowers in the garden for the bouquet!

Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/SoTWMag and follow the latest on the Royal Wedding at officialroyalwedding2011.org If you know someone we should interview on Twitter, tweet us!

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WHAT YOU SEE HERE IS THE NEXT GENERATION OF SUPER SPORTS CAR AND IT COMES 17 YEARS AFTER MCLAREN RELEASED THE REVERED F1 WHICH EFFECTIVELY CREATED THE ‘HYPER CAR’. THEY HAVE RESET THE GOAL POSTS WITH THIS… THE NEW MCLAREN AUTOMOTIVE MP4-12C. WORDS SIMON KING

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he 12C is the first of a new generation of super car, developed by a newly formed division within McLaren that we know from the hugely successful Formula 1 Team and of course the F1 road car.

McLaren Automotive have designed and built a brand new £40 million production centre in Woking to meet the potential demand for the new car - McLaren are proposing to build 1,000 12Cs each year. This car truly is ‘super’. It does 0-60 in 3.1 seconds and 0-100 in 6.1 secs, with a claimed top speed of 205 mph, so it is fast on a truly epic scale. To understand just how fast, consider that those figures – along with the standing quarter-mile time of 10.9 seconds - make this car faster accelerating than the F1, which was the fastest production car in the world for 12 years. The unrelenting, surging force comes from a bespoke 3.8 litre V8 twin-turbo engine, designed and developed jointly with Sussexbased Ricardo Engineering. This new engine creates 592bhp, yet it is said to be the most efficient and cleanest in its class. But it isn’t just straight line speed where this new car is mightily impressive, it handles like nothing else on the road too. Using McLaren’s pioneering suspension technology, ProActive Chassis Control (PCC), the 12C is able to grip in places where no other sports car can grip, and handle with a combination of minimal roll, maximum grip and great comfort. This is a remarkably talented vehicle for what is essentially a new car company, albeit one with great experience behind it, and a very ambitious one too. McLaren Automotive is launching a whole range of super-sports cars with this, the ‘entry level’ machine. It has its sights set on some serious competition, most specifically Ferrari’s 458 Italia. The Ferrari 458 is beaten in every objective measure, such as acceleration, weight and even base price, and the McLaren is also a winner in a number of subjective respects. That turbo-charged engine offers massive shove at a much wider engine speed and a great noise, if not the outright excitement of wringing a screaming Ferrari to the max. The way this car handles is due to two major aspects, the most fundamental being the super strong carbon-fibre ‘MonoCell’ construction of this car’s chassis, apparently a first for any mass-produced car under £200k. Carbon chassis technology is something McLaren first introduced into Formula 1, where it was then adopted by all teams, before introducing it to the world of road cars with the F1.

Then there’s the fact the PCC hydraulic suspension system has three settings – Normal, Sport and Track – meaning this revolutionary car will ride as well as, or better than, your executive saloon down a straight road or motorway, but react with minimal roll. The interior is perfectly designed using a similar philosophy of driver focus as the Ferrari 458, but with the controls on the door and on the beautifully dslim centre console, rather than cluttering the steering wheel. The seat, pedals and steering wheel all combine to provide beautiful ergonomics, if not the most glamorous of environments. Behind the steering wheel on both sides are paddles to operate the dual-clutch gearbox one-handed, just like a Formula 1 car. The seven-speed ‘SSG’ gearbox is the only transmission choice on offer and another new idea in the world of super sports cars, offering what McLaren are calling ‘Pre-Cog’. This primes the clutch to engage the next gear if you apply a small amount of pressure, before you actually need the change, making the switch so fast it is almost imperceptible. Another idea designed to make the 12C an ‘everyday’ super sports car are the dihedral, or butterfly, doors which give better access to the car, an idea carried over from the F1. McLaren have developed an Air Brake system that literally pushes the rear of the car into the floor when braking from high speed. So McLaren has developed a technical masterpiece as the introduction to its new range of super sport cars, designed to sell rather than emulate the ‘money no object’, obsessive design of the F1. It has also promised to offer the best customer experience of any super car company, with 35 dedicated retailers being appointed around the world initially and more to come. The MP4-12C is a technically unique car with new ideas all round, designed to make it the best in its class at the first attempt and, looking at it objectively, it appears to have succeeded. Which you prefer is down to whether you want the soul of the Ferrari or the technical excellence of the McLaren. Ideally, of course, you’d have both! SO

Facts at a glance Model: McLaren Automotive MP4-12C Engine: 3.8 litre V8 twin-turbo Power: 592 bhp 0-60mph: 3.1 secs Price: £168,500

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Crossing the

FOR THE LAST FOUR MONTHS, WE’VE BEEN FOLLOWING THE PROGRESS OF THE LIFESTYLE RENAULT TEAM AS THEY PREPARED FOR A HUGE CHALLENGE – RUNNING THE LIFESTYLE RENAULT TUNBRIDGE WELLS HALF MARATHON IN AID OF TOWN’S PICKERING CANCER DROP-IN CENTRE. WE CATCH UP WITH THE VICTORIOUS ATHLETES

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hen a group of volunteers from Tunbridge Wells-based motor dealership, Lifestyle Renault, pledged to take part in the gruelling half marathon to raise money for an important local cause, they committed to a demanding training schedule to get in shape for the 13.1-mile race. Despite the injuries and bad weather that plagued their buildup, the team was motivated by a very inspiring target. They hoped to raise enough money to pay for Pickering Centre’s rent for one year, a staggering £17,500, so the organisation could continue providing valuable information, treatment and a social centre for people affected by cancer. On Sunday, February 27, the sun smiled down as 2,500 runners lined up to start the half marathon, including the 26 members of staff, friends and family who made up Team Lifestyle. Dame Kelly Holmes sent the competitors on their way and the route was lined by cheering spectators as the runners followed the route through beautiful Kent countryside.

chairman of Lifestyle Europe, was one of the successful runners. “This is our first time sponsoring the race and I’ve got to say, it was a fantastic day for the whole town,” he says. “I’d like to congratulate all the winners and also to say a big ‘thank you’ to Sarah Russell, Tunbridge Wells Harriers and all the police and marshals who generously gave up their time to make sure the race was run in the safest possible manner. “I must also thank the residents of Tunbridge Wells, both for their vocal support around the course and their understanding for the inevitable disruption that such a big event brings. They did the town proud.” Sales director Paul Murrells, who put the team together, expressed his thanks to all those who generously sponsored the runners. “The fact we can pay for a whole year’s rent for the Pickering Centre is just amazing.”

Andy Greenleaf of Winchester won the race in one hour and nine minutes, while Liz Yelling hoped to start her qualification form for the 2012 Olympics by winning the women’s race in one hour and 13 minutes.

Pickering co-founder Polly Taylor says: ” They were all absolutely marvellous; some of them had never run before. To say we are grateful is something of an understatement.”

Team Lifestyle not only survived the experience, they also achieved their impressive target of £17,500. Marc Matthew,

To find out more about the centre’s work visit pickeringcancercentre.org.uk. APRIL 2011

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cafes

Comedy TRINITY THEATRE KICKS OFF ITS SUMMER SEASON THIS MONTH WITH A FABULOUS LINE-UP OF DRAMA, COMEDY, MUSIC AND FILM AND HERE AT SO TUNBRIDGE WELLS WE’RE DELIGHTED TO BE SPONSORING ITS HILARIOUS COMEDY CAFES. TRINITY’S DARREN SMALLMAN EXPLAINS

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he Comedy Cafes are cabaret style shows each featuring three up and coming talents. The first is on April 14, and if you haven’t joined us for one of these evenings yet - let us tempt you now: the bar is open, meals are available and it’s tremendous fun! We also have showcase comedy evenings featuring, among others, robust Canadian comedian Craig Campbell on April 15 and brilliant new talent Russell Kane on May 20 although that’s already sold out. If you’re looking for something more serious there’s superb classic drama on offer. The renowned Hull Truck Theatre Company presents a sensuous adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover. John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, a tale of loyalty and the power of dreams is presented by Mind the Gap and John Osborne’s masterpiece on disaffection Look Back in Anger by a talented group working out of a Devon farm and evocatively named Creative Cow. In contrast, our own TTC continue their recent penchant for farce with Joe Orton’s uproarious What The Butler Saw. There’s great drama for children too. For Half Term we have the popular Cat’s Grin Theatre Company with Stig of the Dump and three showings of Disney’s latest classic, Tangled. Our film programmer, Claire, has triumphed again with a tantalising mix of new and old, funny and thoughtprovoking. For starters we have Danny Boyle’s inspirational 127 Hours on April 19. Then there’s the acclaimed remake of True Grit starring Jeff

T H E AT R E S

Bridges and Matt Damon or why not join the sparkling Audrey Hepburn for Breakfast at Tiffany’s on April 28.

May’s offerings include West is West the engaging sequel to East is East and Portuguese Nun, an eccentric and captivating tale of a young French actress in Lisbon. June and July are similarly packed with promise. The music scene is as diverse as the film. Opening on April 18 with jazz musician Kyle Eastwood whose music resonates with swing, groove and funk (and yes, he is related). Then on April 24 there’s the Monster Band Rally, our new youth battle of the bands (visit our website to find out how to get involved!). On April 27 we welcome Midge Ure, the Thin Lizzy and Ultravox musician, with a brand new acoustic set. Later in the season we have a musical variety show in aid of local disability charity Compaid and an evening of Chopin to raise funds for TB Alert, the UK’s national tuberculosis charity. On 16 July we host Paul Dunton and his ‘Local and Live’ show featuring Tom Williams & The Boat and we have dance on June 18 with the EDge 2011 Tour, a showcase of exciting, contemporary talent. All this and some great new deals on food and drink. Why not come and leaf through the Summer brochure over a drink in our gardens? For a full programme or to book tickets go to trinitytheatre.net or call the Trinity Box Office on 01892 678 678 SO

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Sponsored by

TUNBRIDGE WELLS

Secret TunbridgeWells WITH THE STAGING OF CHARLES DICKENS’S THE HAUNTING AT THE ASSEMBLY HALL THIS MONTH, WE GET INTO THE SPIRIT OF THINGS BY INVESTIGATING RUMOURS OF PARANORMAL ACTIVITY AT ONE OF OUR TOWN’S MOST NOTABLE SITES

WORDS NICK WOODROOF

The mystery of the

noose

Stage Fright T

heatres have always been associated with the supernatural, particularly after Gaston Leroux wrote The Phantom of the Opera more than a century ago. Ever since the Assembly Hall was opened in 1939 in the heart of Tunbridge Wells, it has been the setting for ghostly tales and creepy sightings. According to stage technician Kester Hulland-Rumley there may well be ghosts haunting the Assembly Hall: “It does get quite freaky here late at night in the dark when you’re on your own, but I’m sure that’s just the shadows”. The opening night of The Haunting on April 4 could be fortuitous timing for ghost hunters. April 4 is a notorious day among staff at the theatre. Ever since an unfortunate man fell into a vat of oil in the basement on April 4, 1946, things have gone bump in the night on that date. Dropping temperatures, slamming doors, the Extra Turn light switching on for no apparent reason… all these events have frightened staff and now crew members traditionally refuse to work past 11pm on that night. Theatre director Brian McAteer confirmed that people have had some strange experiences while working there late at night. “There have been reports of funny things happening back stage,” he says. “Some of the boys have been convinced they’ve locked rooms, only to go back and find them open.”

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A White Lady is regularly spotted walking across the circle, accompanied by a horrible stench from the original air conditioning vents. But perhaps the theatre’s most gruesome relic is a noose hanging from the grid, which supports flying scenery above the stage. The noose (pictured above) was reportedly used to fatal effect in a 1951 play, when an actor died on stage in front of a full house, unleashing a curse which is still spoken of to this day. Rumour has it that anyone who has attempted to remove it, or even talked about doing so, has suffered an accident or even unexpected death. The noose is still in place to this day. Mr McAteer believes it could be part of an urban legend, but he has had his own brushes with the supernatural during his 15 years at the Assembly Hall.

“One night when I was here alone, I heard someone walking on the back balcony behind my office,” he says. “The floorboards really creak when anyone goes along it, but there was no one there. I don’t feel particularly creepy here, but sometimes there is an eerie silence that doesn’t feel right, like walking in a graveyard at night.” Although we strongly recommend that you go to see what will be an undoubtedly exhilarating performance of The Haunting, be prepared for that little extra something. You never know! Warners Solicitors, ‘discretion assured whatever the secret’ warners-solicitors.co.uk

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WIN £1,000 KATHERINE JENKINS TICKETS

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