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SMALL BUSINESSES TO RESCUE THE ECONOMY

COUNTRY STYLE FASHIONABLE PURDEY PROVES A POINT

LOFTY AMBITIONS THE £300,000 TREE HOUSE RETREAT

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ANNE

HATHAWAY TALKS THE OSCARS, ACTING NUDE AND HER GOLDEN GIRL REPUTATION FEBRUARY 2011 £1.50 SOTUNBRIDGEWELLS.CO.UK

WIN

SICILIAN BREAK WORTH £4,000


+HOOR This month’s magazine is certainly a winning combination… in more ways than one. Not only do we have the usual mix of local and national features but we’re also giving away what we consider to be one of our greatest competitions yet; a £4,000 romantic break for two at an amazing hotel in Sicily. And it’s so simple to enter! Someone who no doubt enjoys such luxuries on a regular basis is the American actress Anne Hathaway. She tells us all about her feelings on co-hosting the Oscars and her new film with Jake Gyllenhaal - turns out it’s called Love and Other Drugs. Love is a particularly apt word this month with a number of pages dedicated to our Wedding Special. This is where you can find the best attire, learn how to celebrate in the Weald and abroad, and make sure your big day really looks the part. Of course, those who do end up tying the knot will be after a place to live. The selection of properties in Beautiful Wealden Homes this month should be able to help. With a range of houses, collectively worth around £15million, there’s something for all tastes. One company that’s used to catering for those with plenty of taste and style is hunting attire designer Purdey which features across our fashion pages. This Great British brand has been providing clothing for the countryside for decades and, we’re sure, will continue to do so for years to come. Tunbridge Wells in Business this month is all about how small and medium enterprises are, hopefully, going to rescue the local economy. We’ve got some fascinating opinions. We also catch up with the people making tree house retreats costing up to £300,000, meet the travelling chef at The Chequers in Lamberhurst, hear how Jamie Oliver reckons we can all be chefs in just half an hour and find out why focusing on reception education can be pivotal in shaping your child’s future. Once again, enjoy!

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THIS MONTH‌



THE LETTERS Punctuation tips and celebrity chat are among the topics.

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THE NEWS



 

Books, boots and Bowers & Wilkins – all things to enjoy.

Town residents face a Summer of sleepless nights and house prices are doctored in Pembury.

THE GOSSIP Why does the hubby of a local TV celebrity turn his back on her in bed?

SECRET  THE How the â€œďŹ lthiestâ€? novel of its time was banned – but not in TW.



FEBRUARY 2011

With fuel prices soaring we join the ladies on the WildSide to learn all about cycling.

This month she’ll be co-hosting the Oscars, which is just one of the reasons Ms Hathaway is currently top of the Hollywood pile.

 

FASHION INSIDER Now’s the time to think about ďŹ lling your wardrobe with whites and lights.

ENGLISH HERITAGE We look behind one of the most respected hunting attire brands in the country – Purdey.

METALLIC MAIDENS Go crazy with your cosmetics; dazzle, shimmer and sparkle.

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BEAUTIFUL WEALDEN HOMES Step inside some of the ďŹ nest properties on the market with a total value of nearly ÂŁ15million.

ANNE IN WONDERLAND

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WIN! A ÂŁ4,000 holiday of a lifetime in one of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most romantic spots.

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BRANCHING OUT The most amazing tree house retreats that can cost ÂŁ300,000.

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TWEET  AWeREAL get all a twitter with William Benson, Chief Exec of TW Borough Council.

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A CHEQUERED PAST From Papua New Guinea to Lamberhurst... we track down the travelling chef.

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TIMELY MEALS Jamie Oliver talks to us about his latest cook book thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s causing quite a stir.

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CLOSE RANGE We take a look at the new uber stylish baby Range Rover, called the Evoque.

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THE AGENDA Mark Rosser, Senior Partner at Warners Solicitors, mulls over whether SMEs can save our economy.

BEYOND THE MOON The man behind Moon Pig, tells us how a detailed business plan is the key to success.

THE CHAIR MAN

 The Ultimate Elegance: How do you ensure that everyone looks as good as they can on the big day? Follow our guide and find out.

We put a few questions to Paul Fleming of Tek Seating and ďŹ nd out how their blast protection seats save lives.

 Wedding Insider: Some ideas and

LEARNING THE LESSONS

 A Wealden Wedding: Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re spoilt for

Has the business world learnt anything from the experiences of the 80s, 90s and noughties?

 Flights Of Fancy: More people are

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FROM THE WINGS Trinity Theatre lets us know thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still a great cinema in the centre of town.

services to help make your wedding run smoothly.

choice in this area for venues; we highlight some of the best.

getting married abroad. We have the low-down on how to make it happen.

 Say It With Flowers: Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the small

things that make all the difference, such as those ďŹ&#x201A;oral decorations.

 Little Black Book: Essential

contacts to help you make it a most memorable day. FEBRUARY 2011




62

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 Head of Design Jodie Hulse jhulse@onemediauk.co.uk Designer Erica Price eprice@onemediauk.co.uk Publishing Assistant Phil Glover pglover@onemediauk.co.uk Senior Writer Dan Smith dsmith@onemediauk.co.uk Deputy Advertisement Manager Amy Lawson alawson@onemediauk.co.uk Business Development Louis Konstantinidis lkonstantinidis@onemediauk.co.uk 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 Contributors Valerie Thacker Mark Turnbull Will Nicholson Debbie Attwood Nick Woodroof Lorna Strickland Susan GrifďŹ n Jonathan Crouch Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/SoTWMag

VUL TLKPH Published by:

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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.

FEBRUARY 2011


7KH/DVW3RVW

The exciting new over 30â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bar... the place to be

Sophisticated, Contemporary, Relaxed. Tel: 01892 539405 8 Good Station Road,TN1 2BJ


62

TUNBRIDGE WELLS

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Sometimes just a brief touch of comfort and cosiness can result in you feeling de-stressed and rejuvenated. That’s exactly the idea behind the Flaked Out nights away at Rowhill Grange (near Dartford) and Alexander House (near East Grinstead). So why not take the opportunity to warm yourself in their stunning country homes next to roaring fires, with award winning hearty food and in luxurious rooms? The nights away start at £85 a head including a stunning room, hearty breakfast and a tasty dinner. See alexanderhotels.com

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Explore the grounds of Hadlow College throughout February and March when the Broadview Gardens of the college will be blooming with the National Collection of Hellebores. Either walk around the grounds for free at your own pace or enjoy a tour on specific dates in the Spring. Tours take place on February 17, 19, 20, 26 and 27 plus March 5 and 6, they last around an hour and cost £3 a head. To book visit the Broadview Garden Centre, call 01732 853 211 or visit the website at hadlow.ac.uk

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On paper The Town, written and directed by Ben Affleck, sounds like a pretty obvious bank robber movie. When protagonist Doug (also played by Affleck) falls in love with Claire, a hostage from his gang’s heist, he tries to get out of the game but is forced to do one last job to ensure his escape. Set in Boston, this intriguing film is more delicate than it was marketed and is part heist movie, part romance and part sociological study. Available from HMV, TW for £11.99.



FEBRUARY 2011

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It’s official, the start of British summertime is in sight (well, sort of…). However, there may be a fair few wet and windy days to endure before the balmy weather really starts. These leather and beige linen Mia Tan boots by Hudson are more than up to the job of seeing you through to the sunny months. They’re sturdy enough to stand up to wintry spells and April showers, plus that chunky heal really elongates the leg and the flip-up/down collar makes them super versatile. £140, see hudsonshoes.com


THIS MONTH

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Leeds Castle, with 900 years of history and 500 acres of land, is the perfect place to learn about the history of one of our most notorious rulers, Henry VII. The King will be in residence at the castle during the February half term to teach children about the darker side of life and grime in Tudor England. With plenty of activities plus educational tales in the marquee, the day seemlessly combines history and wicked humour for everyone to enjoy. From Saturday February 19 to Sunday 27, see leeds-castle.com for details.

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Kiss Each Other Clean is the third album from velvetvoiced Iron and Wine. It’s clear even from the cover’s psychedelic artwork that this record is a departure from Sam Beam’s more stripped down acoustic work to a fuller, more colourful style of music. With the introduction of saxophones, scratching and 70s style grooves it’s a big step for the man who made a name for himself essentially whispering into the mic. But some of Iron and Wine’s classic sound is still here and it’s worth regarding Kiss as a progressive piece rather than a complete change of tack. Around £10 from Ape, TW.

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Head to Hospice in the Weald’s fundraising black tie dinner on Friday February 18 at the Spa Hotel in Tunbirdge Wells for great entertainment and to do your bit for the local charity. Guests will be entertained with stories from raconteur, wit and former cricket commentator Henry ‘Blowers’ Blofeld plus ex-Red Arrows pilot Flight Lieutenant Dave Davies. Organised by the hospice event team and Marketing Eye (all pictured) the evening includes an amazing auction. Tables of ten or 12 are available for £60 a ticket, call 01892 820 536 to book.

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February is, of course, the month for Valentines and whether you’re celebrating your 25th year of matrimony or just looking for an interesting date, consider Bodiam Castle for an impressive backdrop for a romantic lunch. A chocolate themed two course meal will be served in the terrace room, with beautiful views of the castle’s surrounding grounds. And while you’re there, why not top off the afternoon with a wander around the moat and through the medieval ruins? Lunch is on Sunday February 13 and costs £22. To book call 01580 830 074 FEBRUARY 2011




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TUNBRIDGE WELLS

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Bower & Wilkins are famous for chic design and exquisite sound quality and these P5 headphones tick both those boxes. Less ‘show-off’ than some other contemporary headsets out there, B&W has opted to make a more traditional set with the P5 focusing on simplicity. Comfortable leather earpieces hug your head and brushed metal pods ensure you look the part. Designed to be used on the move, the P5s are light and fold flat and come with Apple’s microphone for use with iPhone. See bowers-wilkins.co.uk

(QMR\« If you’re looking to catch something a bit different on stage, check out Sound&Light at the Trinity Theatre on Sunday February 20. The project, which links record label Battle Music with Trinity Theatre, aims to inspire collaboration and innovation by fusing four artists work together. Two film makers and a pair of musicians will create two separate pieces prior to the show. On the evening of the performance, these works will be brought together in a single performance of music and visuals. The production with be recorded and distributed, so you’ll be at the recording stage and premiere of this extraordinary piece of performance art.

/DXJK« This month sees some fantastic comedy acts at the Assembly Hall theatre and whichever you go to see you’re sure to have a giggle. On Sunday February 6 stand-up star Jimmy Carr will be coming to town with his ninth show, Laughter Therapy. If the ramblings of a Cornish comic are more your thing then catch Jethro Monday February 14 for story telling at it’s humourous best. Finally on Thursday February 17 UK comedy institution Lenny Henry brings us his new show, From Cradle to Rave, focussing on his true love – music. For booking see assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk or call 01892 530 613



FEBRUARY 2011

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Susan Hill has once again proven herself to be a quite amazing storyteller with A Kind Man, her most recent novel. This bittersweet story of love and loss follows Eve and Tommy Carr, the ‘kind man’ of the title as they encounter a biblical turn of events. Painfully sad in parts and yet hugely uplifting with the turn of a single page, Hill shows us the true rollercoaster nature of life. Hardback £8.79 from Waterstones, TW.


62

TUNBRIDGE WELLS

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$V(QJOLVKLVQRWP\QDWLYHWRQJXH,PD\EHZURQJ%XW,·G OLNHWREHVXUHWKDWWKHSULQWHGZRUGHVSHFLDOO\ZKHQUHDG (G$KWKHROGDSRVWURSKH<RX·UHQRWZURQJDQG E\WKH\RXQJZLOOQRWOHDGWRWKHPPDNLQJVXFKPLVWDNHV RXUKRQHVWWKDQNVIRUZULWLQJ:HWU\RXUYHU\EHVWEXW VRPHWLPHVWKLQJVVOLSWKURXJK WKHPVHOYHV 6LU,ZDVXSLQ /RQGRQRQWKH WXEHWKHRWKHUGD\ DQGWKRXJKW, IRXQGP\VHOI ORRNLQJDWVRPH Lawrence Steadman ODUJHVFDOH Langton Green DGYHUWLVLQJIRU \RXUPDJD]LQHV$ Ed: Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d probably make as good ELJLPDJHRI&ROLQ)LUWKORRNLQJ a job of it, though, as anyone else. GDSSHULQDEODFNVXLWZKLWHVKLUWDQG EODFNWLHZDVVWDULQJGRZQDWPHDV 6LU:LWKDOOWKLVWDONDERXW SHU\RXU$SULOFRYHU,WWRRN FRXQFLOFXWEDFNVDQGZLWK PHDWOHDVWILYHPRUHVLPLODUSRVWHUVWR VRPHSHRSOHDVNLQJIRU UHDOLVHLWZDVDSURPRWLRQIRU7KH YROXQWHHUVWRUHSODFH OROOLSRSSHRSOHDQGOLEUDU\ .LQJV6SHHFKKLVQHZILOP%XW,·P DWWHQGDQWVKRZDERXWWKLV VXUH\RXDOUHDG\NQHZWKDWGLGQ·W\RX" IRUDQLGHD":HPDNHDOO -RQ1RUPDQ Via email FRXQFLOORUVUHGXQGDQW DQGDVNIRUYROXQWHHUVWR (G1RZ\RXNQRZZKHUHWKH\JRW WKHLGHDIURP GRWKHLUMREV7KLV  ZRXOGVDYHSUREDEO\ Sir, I was delighted to hear that KXQGUHGVRIWKRXVDQGVRI Marks & Spencer has come to its SRXQGV senses and scrapped the idea of -HDQ:LOOLDPVRQ offering their meal deals for two 9LDHPDLO people without the usual bottle of (G$OOLQIDYRXUUDLVH\RXUKDQG wine. We are told that middle class 0RWLRQFDUULHG Brits, or as you would describe Sir, Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s as much chance of Brad Pitt becoming President of the United States (January) as there is of me becoming Leader of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.



them, Tunbridge Wellians, stopped FEBRUARY 2011

buying the meals when the store tried an experiment by putting them on sale without the alcohol. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t they realise how important our glass of wine is in the evening? Michael Blackman Via email Ed: They do now. Sir, Tunbridge Wells in 2011. What a conundrum... where do I begin? A divided council, concerns over â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;grot-spotsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, the condition of the roads, empty shops... and where there are shops - faceless brands. At least we can rely on your magazine to provide us with a £2,000 necklace, a £2 million house and a £135,000 motor... a perfect distraction. Now, where did I leave my glass of Cristal? Patricia Smith

Via email Ed: And may we continue to distract for generations to come. 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.


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Sponsored by

TUNBRIDGE WELLS

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7+(1(:6ÂŤ OUR MONTHLY LOOK AT SOME OF THE STORIES MAKING THE HEADLINES

COMBAT SHOCK PRICES DOCTORED

WRONG PITCH Residents in the Church Road area of Tunbridge Wells are facing a Summer of sleepless nights. The popular Pitcher and Piano bar has been given the go ahead for outdoor partying until the small hours. Despite objections from those living nearby the bar can now serve refreshments outside until 2am Monday to Wednesday, 3am Thursday to Saturday and 1am on Sunday. â&#x20AC;&#x153;By the time the drinkers get out of the place and down the road itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be almost dawn,â&#x20AC;? says one resident.

TRAINING DAZE The idea of commuting to London from Eridge and Crowborough, instead of Tunbridge Wells, has become much more attractive after the latest round of fare increases. Southeastern raised TW prices by 11.8% which means a 12 month season ticket costs ÂŁ3,748. Southern raised Eridge and Crowborough prices by 7.76% making the annual trek cost ÂŁ2,444. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a saving over TW prices of 35% for the journey to London, or in hard cash, ÂŁ1,308. This, say commuters, makes travelling to London from these stations more appealing particularly for those who live on the outskirts of Tunbridge Wells and currently drive through Eridge and Crowborough.



FEBRUARY 2011

House prices in Pembury are booming thanks to the opening of the nearby new hospital. Estate agents say a shortage of family homes on the market and an influx of new hospital staff looking for property has led to price increases. One agent cited the case of a three bedroom house originally on sale at ÂŁ299,000 that eventually went for ÂŁ325,000. House prices across the UK fell by 3 per cent in December alone. Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust point out that the majority of staff at the new hospital already live in the area.

Former Miss England Katrina Hodge (24) has had a bit of a reality check. After winning the national title the Army Corporal from Tunbridge Wells, who is known as Combat Barbie, enjoyed twelve months of make-up and living in fancy hotels. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s now swapped the glamour for guns and is back in full training with the prospect of being posted to Afghanistan. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I went on exercise and it was hard because I was living in woods, having spent the last year in amazing hotels around the world,â&#x20AC;? she admits. â&#x20AC;&#x153;To go straight back to this was definitely a culture shock.â&#x20AC;?

KERB COSTS From April the cost of an annual street parking permit in Tunbridge Wells will rise from ÂŁ20 to ÂŁ35. The cost of a second permit will jump from ÂŁ20 to ÂŁ50, an increase of 150%. A book of ten tickets for visitors goes up from ÂŁ5 to ÂŁ10. The borough council says permit charges have not increased since 1995 and still work out at less than 10p per day. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Taking account of inflation, the price has actually fallen in real terms,â&#x20AC;? says a spokesperson. The main town centre car parks will see a rise of 10p an hour.

QUALITY STREETS Research by the Halifax bank suggests that people living in Tunbridge Wells trail behind those in Sevenoaks and Tonbridge and Malling when it comes to quality of life. The survey covered 408 local council districts and looked at the health of residents, their life expectancy, employment, school performance and the weather. Sevenoaks was placed in 4th spot, Tonbridge and Malling came in 15th, with TW at 16 and Wealden District at 27. Top place went to Elmbridge in Surrey. Residents across the South East enjoy the best quality of life with two thirds of the top 50 places being awarded to council areas in the region.

Lovat Insurance Brokers 'Hold the front page â&#x20AC;&#x201C; we've got it covered.' Lovatins.co.uk


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FEBRUARY 2011




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62

WITH PETROL PRICES SOARING MORE PEOPLE ARE TURNING TO BIKES AS A MEANS OF GETTING AROUND. CYCLING IS ALSO ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR SPORTS TODAY IN THE UK AND IS ATTRACTING AN INCREASING NUMBER OF WOMEN. WHICH IS WHY TUNBRIDGE WELLS CYCLE SHOP WILDSIDE STAGED A LADIES NIGHT THAT ATTRACTED MORE THAN 60 PEOPLE ON A WET AND WINDY MONDAY. STAFF GAVE THEM TIPS ON, AMONGST OTHER THINGS, CHANGING TYRES, FIXING PUNCTURES, ADJUSTING GEARS AND ALIGNING BRAKES. THERE WAS EVEN A TALK ON NUTRITION. WILDSIDE MD ANDY KNIGHT TELLS US: “FROM THE POSITIVE FEEDBACK WE’VE HAD WE’LL BE LOOKING AT HOLDING SIMILAR EVENTS IN THE FUTURE.” PEDAL NOTE: BIKES CAN COST BETWEEN £350 AND £3,000. PHOTOGRAPHY MARK TURNBULL

FEBRUARY 2011






FEBRUARY 2011


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TUNBRIDGE WELLS

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SINCE IT WAS ANNOUNCED THAT SHE’S TO CO-HOST THIS MONTH’S 2011 OSCARS, ANNE HATHAWAY HAS BEEN RIDING HIGH IN HOLYWOOD. EVEN SO THE ACTRESS FOUND TIME TO TALK TO US ABOUT FEAR, LOVE AND LOATHING – AND WHY SHE CHOSE TO BARE ALL FOR HER LATEST FILM LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS

,

f you were in any doubt as to the identity of the current golden girl of Hollywood, then the news that Anne Hathaway, already Golden Globe-nominated for her latest film, is to co-host the 2011 Oscars should serve as a neon sign.

This positive approach to life may explain how she’s managed to achieve more before the age of 30 than many of us will in an entire lifetime.

“I think that’s going to make it more fun than terrifying,” says Hathaway with a wide smile.

It’s a quantum leap that countless others have failed to make but Hathaway describes it as “a natural extension”.



FEBRUARY 2011

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At 28, the American actress is the youngest person to be bestowed with the honour, but neither the prospect of being watched by more than a billion people nor the fact she could commit career suicide if she’s critically panned, appears to daunt the actress. Hathaway’s simply pleased she has co-presenter and fellow Golden Globe nominee James Franco, 32, star of 127 Hours, along for the ride.

She first came to prominence as a ditzy Disney princess in The Princess Diaries (2001), broke through in The Devil Wears Prada, and more recently appeared alongside Johnny Depp in the global box office hit Alice in Wonderland. But Anne Hathaway has also proved her mettle and versatility in critically-acclaimed films such as Brokeback Mountain, Becoming Jane and Rachel Getting Married, which also earned her a Golden Globe nomination in 2009 and - perhaps a sign of things to come - a Best Actress Oscar nomination too.


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Anne Hathaway with Jake Gyllenhaal in Love and Other Drugs

“I think my relationship with directors, and my ability to trust them, is in no small part responsible for the success that I’ve had and that began with the role of a Disney princess with the wonderful Garry Marshall,” she says. This is the same director who launched Julia Roberts’ career by casting her in Pretty Woman but while Marshall has been influential, Hathaway is being a little too modest about her considerable talents. Aside from the acting, she’s a trained soprano who’s performed at Carnegie Hall, a former English student at one of New York’s most prestigious colleges and she’s the go-to girl for hosting events as diverse as US comedy showcase Saturday Night Live and the Nobel Peace Prize Concert. She also enjoys delving into Newtonian physics in her spare time

“I think I’ve actually been the recipient of a lot of positive attention and I’m very grateful to the press,” says Hathaway, who’s been dating the actor Adam Shulman for the last two years. “In terms of my love life, people have always been as respectful as they could be while also trying to do their job. It’s a give and a take.” And so to Love and Other Drugs, a film in which Hathaway stars as Maggie, a young artist with early onset Parkinson’s Disease. One critic wrote “Miss Hathaway gives a warm, sexy performance that’s her most attractive since The Devil Wears Prada”. “I wish I had some of Maggie’s toughness and temper,” sighs Hathaway. “I wish I was a more confrontational person like her. I had a lot of fun playing that, but I’m pretty diplomatic.” She pauses for effect. “Although I am a Scorpio, so don’t cross me.”

Today she’s in rock ‘n’ roll mode, dressed head to toe in black, with red lips and loose wavy hair and appears happy to chat about an array of topics, regularly bursting into loud laughter. But there’s little reason for Hathaway to be wary of the press. The only scandal to remotely involve her was in 2008 when her then recent ex, Raffaello Follieri, was arrested for fraud.

The film reunites her with her Brokeback Mountain co-star, Jake Gyllenhaal, playing a charismatic pharmaceutical salesman called Jamie. Aside from their strong performances (he’s been nominated for a Golden Globe too) it’s the pair’s nudity and sex scenes that have been creating a stir. “Here’s the thing, I’ve had a chip on my shoulders ever since my nude FEBRUARY 2011

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Really, it’s enough to make you resent Ms Hathaway on sight, so it’s a shame to find her so likeable.




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scenes got cut from The Princess Diaries,” Hathaway deadpans. But apparently she really can’t understand the fuss. “It made sense to their story and shows the intimacy that Jamie and Maggie feel together and how their relationship shifts from sex into love” she says. “It’s only having to deconstruct it in the press that it seems like such a big deal,”. “We worked very intensively with Ed [the director, Edward Zwick] to make sure it was never just a shot of nudity and that each time the story was advancing, something about the characters was being revealed, so the audience had no reason to become disengaged and distracted.” While she concedes that shooting nude scenes “is somewhat out of the norm”, what truly terrified her was the pressure of giving a realistic portrayal of early onset Parkinson’s. “I’d have these little panics before we shot the close-ups and I would become terrified that I wasn’t being truthful enough and Ed had to really sit there with me and hold my hand and be very patient and talk me through it,” says Hathaway. “I hate being that kind of needy actor. I love just showing up and doing my job and it wasn’t like that this time. But just like my character, I learned an awful lot about what it’s like to need people around you and what it’s like on the days where you can’t get there yourself.” As part of her preparation, Hathaway spoke to people in a similar position to Maggie, and everyone asked her the same question: “Has she accepted her diagnosis yet?” “It led me to believe that there’s a whole world of anxiety before you come to that moment,” says Hathaway and references Back To The Future star Michael J Fox, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1991. “He very eloquently and gracefully describes his relationship with Parkinson’s as having evolved to a place where he thinks of it as a gift but that it was quite a journey to get there. I think one of the strengths of the film and what drew me to the character was the articulation of that journey.” And it was a journey that induced many tearful nights. “I didn’t know how not to take Maggie home with me,” she says. “But I’m still learning a lot about how to do my job on camera and off.” Born in Brooklyn, it was her actress mother who encouraged the young Hathaway to take to the stage, and she took part in school productions, one of which earned her a nomination for the Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Award. At the age of 16 she won a role in the TV series Get Real, then two years later she got the call from Marshall. “I don’t always know why I choose to do a film until after I’ve actually made it,” she says of her career choices. Then, with a knowing nod to that golden girl reputation, she adds with a smile: “But I guess maybe it’s time I play a badass!”

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

Open Heart To make an impression for the woman who wears her heart on her sleeve, we have the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day. Shaun Leane’s Hook my Heart, crafted in silver with a passion-red topaz studded heart, works for the everyday jewellery lover and those who like to sparkle on special occasions. Available at Burrells International, Royal Victoria Place, TW, or visit burrellsjewellers.co.uk Price: £560. Picture - ‘hookmyheart’.

Tailor Made Winter White Step ahead to next season’s style early and start filling your wardrobe with whites and lights. And with one-shoulder dresses here to stay, this Vionnet cream piece is a must-have for Spring. Pair it with a statement clutch and some black heels for the perfect night out. Available at matchesfashion.com for £1,338.

Vintage stuff

In the Bag

Buying Vintage just became even easier! Love is Boutique, which opened its first shop in Tunbridge Wells last year, has expanded its customer base by joining the ASOS online marketplace .Check out some of the great pieces available at asos.com

In these gloomy early months of the year nearly all your stylish new buys are likely to be hidden under a big coat. One item, though, that will add glamour to any outfit is a statement bag. The man bag is no exception and with this handmade calfskin Soho bag, your statement is clear… style! You can buy it at aspinaloflondon.com for £450.

Gentlemen, time to smarten up for Valentines and the rest of the season. This Camel cashmere coat from A Suit That Fits might be just the answer and it’s your for £381. Available at asuitthatfits.com

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+HULWDJH THE CROP OF ENGLAND’S FINEST FASHION HOUSES HAVE LONG THRIVED ON OFFERING UP CLOTHES THAT LOOK LIKE HUNTING APPAREL. BUT WHERE DO YOU GO WHEN YOU WANT THE REAL DEAL FOR A DAY OUT IN THE KENT OR EAST SUSSEX COUNTRYSIDE? LORNA STRICKLAND LOOKS AT ENGLISH HUNTING CLOTHIER PURDEY

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hose who want the cream of the crop in hunting apparel need look no further than gun and rifle maker Purdey. The long-established company has a history big enough to fill a book. In fact, it has just published its own Definitive History, which shows its development from gun maker to highend field clothier. Operating from over thirty partner stores worldwide, Purdey’s one and only flagship store sits in the heart of Mayfair, London from where it sells to a range of celebrities. Chairman Nigel Beaumont reveals that the celebrity clientele list is endless. “We have a very high profile list of clients. They rely on us for all their hunting apparel



FEBRUARY 2011

but we have to remain discreet and so we make a promise to all our clients not to disclose them.” So what is it about the heritage brand Purdey that drives celebrities from across the world to its London emporium? The brand has a history to be proud of and a service ethic to outshine even the finest of establishments. Much like most of its competitors Purdey was born from the rise of shooting parties in the early 19th century. Far from being a fashion outlet, Purdey started life as a rifle and gun maker and continues the tradition of hand making high quality guns and rifles to this day. Thanks in part to the patronage of the British Royal Family the business has risen high among its peers. Purdey was established in London in 1814, the year before the battle of Waterloo. The founder, James Purdey, had previously worked as head stocker for Joseph Manton, the foremost gun maker of his time. Purdey set up his gun making business in Princes Street and soon moved


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to Oxford Street in 1826. As early as 1838, Queen Victoria is recorded as having bought a pair of Purdey pistols. James Purdey the Younger took over the running of the company from his father in 1858. Over his lifetime there was rapid change and development in the design of guns and rifles, essentially moving from muzzle loading flintlocks in the 1820s to breech loading hammerless ejectors by the 1880s. James was always at the forefront of advances in the design and building of his guns and rifles, and took out several patents for technical innovations over the years, many of which were craftily adopted by other gun makers. The company was granted its first Royal Warrant in 1868 by The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, an honour that has been bestowed on the Managing Director of James Purdey & Sons by each succeeding Monarch. Today Nigel Beaumont holds the Warrants of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, HRH Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Prince of Wales. In 1882 the company moved from Oxford Street to the new premises on South Audley Street (left) and it is from here that new ideas in fashion and guns are married together.

Jumping Fences The New Moneyed among us can rest assured they will receive as warm a welcome as the Old Money, if not more. “The New Moneyed are now our largest group of customers and have become very loyal to the Purdey brand,” Beaumont says. Coping with the demand from international travellers is something Purdey prides itself on. With over thirty store locations around the world – ranging from traditional European hotspots to Russia, Japan and the USA, shoppers can be assured if they are stuck for hunting gear, Purdey can get it to you. This ethos is backed up by a recent online clothing site, purdeyclothing.co.uk, which has invested heavily in ensuring orders placed around the world are well served by the company. Beaumont reveals that developing its international scope is high on its list of priorities. “We have been looking very closely at the Middle East. It’s a location with great potential and I feel we need to be there.” Vying for competition isn’t a necessity for Purdey. There may be a wealth of rival hunting apparel houses for customers to choose from but when you want exclusive outfits for a range of pursuits Purdey believes it has the ability to offer you absolutely everything you could ever want for any type of hunting activity.

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Its most successful lines spring from traditional English pursuits such as grouse shooting, but interestingly the company is keen to equip customers for big game hunting as well as for the milder pursuit of safari in African climes. Beaumont reveals that a full shooting outfit will set you back a modest £1,000. However a handmade hunting gun or rifle

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will set you back anything from £47,000100,000. Beaumont explains: “We are considerably cheaper than our nearest competition for outfits but we offer quality. We aren’t aiming to be the biggest brand or to focus entirely on the fashion market. This isn’t our overriding concern. Our outfits speak for themselves in terms of durability and quality. We make them so you can jump a fence,” he says. Over the past ten years the company has been steadily consolidating its collections and enhancing designs. While the designs may vary from year to year, the colours remain consistently traditional. Women can expect the same high level of service and outfit quality as men and Purdey is also offering casual wear for country weekends.

A close eye on time Although Purdey was bought by the Seely family in 1946 it was to remain a familyowned business until 1994. The Hon Richard Beaumont, a family member and Chairman since 1970, decided to retire and the company was acquired by the Richemont Group. This well-established parent company also houses brands in its stable such as Chloe, Montblanc and Van Cleef & Arpels amongst many other well-known brands in fashion. Thanks to the patronage of its parent company Purdey has struck an agreement with another Richemont brand, Panerai. This high-end timepiece maker is supplying exclusive designs to Purdey to furnish the gun maker’s fashion portfolio. An exclusive Panerai For Purdey design will set you back a cool £14,000. Not only is the design exclusive to Purdey, but the range is now in its fourth generation. The limited edition watches grow in age and distinction. In addition, the high-class gun maker has been steadily developing its range of accessories and gift items. High end, traditional wares include cufflinks, ties, shepherd’s crooks and horn sticks, dog leads, whistles, shooting glasses, scarves, cigar cases, photo frames, leather belts and hip flasks among many others. In its rather lengthy history, this famed gun company has gone from strength to strength. If it is good enough to be appointed outfitters to Queen Elizabeth II, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and every monarch from Queen Victoria onwards, it’s got to be doing something right. 62

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BEAUTY

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9 ? A A 8 H ; PDLGHQV NOW’S THE TIME TO GO CRAZY WITH YOUR COSMETICS; DAZZLE, SHIMMER, SHINE AND SPARKLE.

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pring 2011 is officially the season for glitterbug make-up to come out of hiding. It’s time to make a statement although not everyone welcomes the idea of using silver and gold colours, which is where metallic really shines with its versatility.

From Seventies disco glamour to a touch of Nineties frost, there’s a sparkle to please most people, even the more reserved. “Be brave, it’s the perfect time to break from your everyday look and have some fun experimenting with make up,” says Lisa Eldridge, No7 make-up artist. “From subtle to bold shimmer there’s a look to suit everyone this season. Inject some sparkle into your look, so you stand out from the crowd.” And if you think this look has a limited shelf-like, think again. Metallics are a key trend for the spring/summer season with shimmering shots of silver and gold on models faces at Galliano and Prada. Choose your precious metal and get set to dazzle.

If you’re more subtle-shimmer than full-blown sparkle, don’t stray too far away from your comfort zone when playing with metallic shades. “Neutral metallics are the way to go this season,” advises Pablo Rodriguez, senior make-up artist at MAC Cosmetics.

“Choose a palette of champagnes, pale golds and glimmering minks. The key is to play with different textures, like contrasting matte skin with metallic eyes; or try a metallic pigment powder or shimmery highlights on your skin with a bold matte lip.” Rather than using fingers or applicators that pack on bold colour, try soft brushes for a less obvious finish. Shimmering nail polish is another great way to inject a flash of metallica into your seasonal look. Match your nails to your party dress or dare to clash with a contrasting metal shade. Try: Max Factor Smoky Eye Effect Eyeshadow in Purple Dust, £7.99 ; No7 MirrorBall Glitter Mascara Top Coat, £9 (Boots); The Body Shop Sparkle Nail Colour, £5 (thebodyshop.co.uk).

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,Q[KW,WTTa Who needs statement accessories when you can jewel up your make-up? If you’re always first to brave the dance floor and last to leave, your make-up needs to shine bright to uphold your party queen crown.

1VLMKQ[Q^M[XIZSTMZ Many of us are drawn like magpies to either gold or silver but, besides the dazzle, there’s more to each shade than meets the eye. “The rule of thumb for looking good in metallic shades is to choose the colour that suits your natural colouring,” explains Fiona Wellins, image consultant at Colour Me Beautiful. “If you have a warm skin tone, you should stick to gold while cool skin tones should opt for silver.” But don’t fret if you’re an all-gold girl with cool colourings. Depending on your colouring you can work with variations in-between. “True redheads can go for really warm colours such as bronze and copper shades for example,” Fiona explains. “Light blondes may find full-on glitter too overpowering so they could opt for a light gold/silver dusting.” From pearlescent gold to bronze and ice white silver or pewter, there’s a wide range of shimmering shades available so experiment to find the most flattering hue for you. Try: Nail Rock Metallic Designer Nail Wraps in Gold, £6.50 (asos.com); MAC Pigment Colour in Old Gold, £15 (maccosmetics.co.uk); 17 Starry Eyes Glitter Eye Liner in Northern Star, £3.99 (Boots); Illamasqua Body Electrics Liquid Metal in Surge silver, £17 (asos.com).



FEBRUARY 2011

“The purpose of eye make-up is to help the eyes stand out which means you might. want to use bolder, more dramatic application techniques,” suggests make-up artist Bobbi Brown. “Metallic eye shadows are a great option. Swept along the lid, layering from medium to dark will create a glamorous and more striking look. “Finish with a strong liner application along the top lash line, ending in an upward-sweeping point, with three to four coats of smouldering black mascara.” Glitter-packed metallic nail polish and body shimmers are your seasonal extras for adding a touch of OTT sparkle but don’t go overboard with too many types of metallic textures. Think elegant dazzle, not blinding beauty! Try: Bobbi Brown Sparkle Glamour Quad, £30 (www.bobbibrown.co.uk); Next Gold Nail Polish Set, £6 (next.co.uk); Barry M Body Glitter available in eight shades, £2.99 (barrym.com).


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A DETACHED VICTORIAN HOME, SPITZBROOK HOUSE IS A FANTASTIC EXAMPLE OF PERIOD LIVING. THE INTERIOR IS FINISHED TO AN EXCEPTIONALLY HIGH STANDARD AND THE GARDENS ARE PICTURESQUE WITH VAST AMOUNTS OF LAND

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FEBRUARY 2011


PROPERTY

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Property: Spitzbrook House, Large detached family home Location: Tonbridge, Kent Price: £1.9million Bedrooms: 7 Bathrooms: 4 Land: 19 acres

Extras: Tennis Court Staff quarters Extensive outbuildings

Best bit: This home would be amazing even if it were just finished in average décor and to a good quality, but in fact this property is aesthetically brilliant. It exudes high quality workmanship, style and charisma. A truly Beautiful Wealden Home. Summary: Spitzbrook came into being in 1850 when Lord Palmerston built it as a wedding present for his daughter. It has spacious accommodation and a number of original period features – many of which have been enhanced and restored – such as the decorative cornicing, timber wall paneling and original radiators. In addition, the majority of the downstairs features beautiful stripped floorboards. The ground floor is quite a space, with an impressive reception hall, featuring an ornate staircase and cast iron banisters. Particularly attractive is the drawing room, with fitted bookshelves and a decorative fireplace, as well as stunning views through the bay windows of the formal grounds. The dining room and kitchen feature large bay windows and all rooms are exquisitely finished in a contemporary take on period style. The conservatory is just as picturesque and leads out to a very relaxing outdoor seating area in a pergola. The kitchen is excellently equipped with AGA, wood cabinets and decorative ceiling. There’s also an office, dining room, sitting room and staff quarters. Above you’ll find the lovely master bedroom, with dressing room and nearby bathroom. Plus, three further bedrooms and a family bathroom. On the second floor are another three bedrooms and bathroom. With four acres of immaculate gardens, there’s a tennis court and large lake as well as a further 15 acres including paddocks. Contact: Strutt & Parker 01732 459 900 struttandparker.com

FEBRUARY 2011




PROPERTY

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IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A SPACIOUS FOUR BEDROOM FAMILY HOME ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF TUNBRIDGE WELLS, THIS PROPERTY ON HARLAND WAY MIGHT BE RIGHT UP YOUR STREET

)DPLO\$SSHDO Property: 11 Harland Way, detached family home Location: Southborough, Tunbridge Wells Price: circa £700,000 Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 1 Best bit: The location of Harland Way is certainly one of its key benefits. Off the main road, it’s quiet and peaceful, but TW centre is just a five minute drive away, as is some stunning Kentish countryside. Summary: The downstairs of this large family home is spacious and well presented and, having been recently redecorated, it’s contemporary and tidy. The reception rooms comprise a large sitting room – with fireplace and doors out to the patio, a modest family room, plus a good sized dining room at the front. This area is linked to the spacious modern kitchen by a pantry and, at the rear of the property, you’ll find a utility room that leads into a storage space and attached garage. From the welcoming entrance hall (with cloakroom), a flight of stairs leads up to the first floor. The triple aspect master bedroom occupies the space above the sitting room, while the rest of the floor features bedrooms two, three and four, plus the family bathroom. At around a quarter of an acre, the garden is an excellent size and ideal for a family with younger children. Contact: Ibbett Mosely 01892 515 670 ibbmos.co.uk

FEBRUARY 2011




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Granite Transformations manufacture and install Granite, Stone, Quartz and Glass worktops At Granite Transformations we offer a complete package for updating your work surface and appliances. Fitting a new worktop is fast and effective. There is no need to remove old surfaces, we ďŹ t directly over your existing surface. We guarantee complete peace of mind from start to ďŹ nish.

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PROPERTY

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LAKE VIEW MIGHT NOT BE THE PROPERTY FOR YOU IF EQUESTRIAN ACTIVITIES AREN’T HIGH ON YOUR AGENDA, BUT FOR THOSE LOOKING TO KEEP HORSES, IT COULDN’T BE BETTER

+RUVH·V+HDYHQ Property: Lake View, detached period converted barn Location: Cowden, Kent Price: £1.95million Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 2 Land: 25 acres

Extras: 10 stables Detached indoor pool Extensive land

Best bit: Lake View’s appeal is that it caters for those looking to keep horses perfectly, but at the same time it retains an element of luxury which can often be a difficult balance to achieve. Summary: This property, comprised of converted barns and farm buildings, is rather unique. With accommodation spread over a main building, it also includes two ‘wings’ that house the reception rooms, the kitchens and some of the sleeping quarters. The west wing, being self contained holds a small kitchen, drawing room and dining room on the ground floor with accommodation for two above. In the main buildings you’ll find a galleried reception hall with a grand central staircase that leads to a study, dining room and cloakroom. While access to the east wing reveals a further drawing room, larger kitchen and utility area plus work shop to serve the main building. Upstairs in the property’s hub are three well-proportioned bedrooms and a pair of bathrooms, one en suite to the principal bedroom. Outside and a handsome courtyard fills the space between the buildings and a traditional barn-style construction holds an indoor heated swimming pool, which also comes with a shower and a veranda overlooking the surrounding Kent and East Sussex countryside.

For those interested in keeping horses, an American style barn includes seven stables, plus a haystore and tackroom, while a further two stables are also available. Add to that the acres in which to hack and you’ve got quite a set up. Contact: Hamptons International 01892 516 611 hamptons.com FEBRUARY 2011




G F F N I H ED % O T Y C 50 R U E D EV RE P TO U S G U R

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PROPERTY

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6RXWKHUQ6XSHULRULW\ OAST HOUSES ARE MORE OFTEN THAN NOT BEAUTIFUL BUILDINGS AND SOUTH OAST IN GOUDHURST IS NO DIFFERENT. WITH A THREE ACRE FIELD AND PLENTY OF ENTERTAINING AREA, THIS IS A UNIQUE PROPERTY Property: South Oast, large attached oast house Location: Goudhurst, Kent Price: £795,000 Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 2 Land: over 3 acres

Extras: Decked Terrace Detached office Field

Best bit: The overall package of South Oast is what makes it so attractive. It looks the part, has plenty of land, is in a great location and it’s well under £1million Summary: With landscaped gardens and an excellent interior South Oast is quite a find. With a large rectangular floor plan, each reception room is of good size and the ground floor comprises entrance hall, dining room, sitting room and kitchen/breakfast room. Below is a vast cellar, with plenty of potential.

The master suite is a very spacious rectangular area with built-in wardrobes and an en suite bathroom. The remaining three bedrooms share a family bathroom and each one also features built-in storage. A quaint building at the bottom of the garden is wired with electricity, broadband and phone lines so makes for a perfect home office or studio. The property also features a three acre field and, of course, that iconic attached oast. Contact: Harpers & Hurlingham 01580 715 400 harpersandhurlingham.com

FEBRUARY 2011




62

TUNBRIDGE WELLS

THIS BEAUTIFUL BARN CONVERSION JUST OUTSIDE THE WEALD, ON THE SOUTH DOWNS, IS A FINE EXAMPLE OF HOW A UTILITARIAN BUILDING CAN BE TURNED INTO A STUNNING HOME

%DUQ6WRUPLQJ Property: Abbots Barn, Sussex barn conversion Location: Nr Lewes, East Sussex Price: £695,000 Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 2 Land: 8 acres (approx) Best bit: The grand entrance hall is perhaps Abbots’ finest feature. The double-height area with its lashings of oak and huge windows gives the property its character, as well as adding prestige. Summary: The heart of the home really is the entrance hall, with its natural light and unobstructed views of the South Downs. The large, L-shaped sitting room incorporates a formal dining area, features a number of windows with countryside views and has a wood-burning stove and traditional wooden beams. The farmhouse kitchen, linked with a breakfast area, features an oil-fired range cooker, classic styling and, again, exposed beams. There’s also a utility room with plumbing for a washing machine to keep it out of the way. Up the stunning oak staircase and the master bedroom benefits from an en suite bathroom and dressing room. A box room (perhaps best suited to storage or as a small study) is joined by a family bathroom plus bedrooms two and three. The latter room has floor to ceiling windows with some more of those views. Externally, you’ll find a barn style double garage, a range of stables and timber outbuildings in the 8 acres of land. Contact: Forestersxl.com 01435 865 477



FEBRUARY 2011


TUNBRIDGE WELLS

62

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FEBRUARY 2011




62

TUNBRIDGE WELLS

THIS QUITE EXQUISITE 18TH CENTURY PROPERTY, WITH BEAUTIFUL VIEWS OVER THE SOUTH DOWNS, IS LOOKING BETTER THAN IT EVER HAS. AND WE THINK YOU’LL AGREE THE RESULTS ARE STAGGERING

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FEBRUARY 2011


PROPERTY

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Property: Laughton Manor, stately home Location: Laughton, East Sussex Price: POA Bedrooms: 10 Bathrooms: 10 Land: 12 acres

Extras: Heli-pad Tower room Additional

cottage Gym Cinema room Library

Best bit: Laughton Manor is truly breathtaking with similar properties selling for around £5 million. It’s the kind of place that makes every day seem like a royal holiday on the Italian coast, with its painted brick exterior, Italianate tower and mosaic floor in the entrance vestibule. Summary: Originally the house at Laughton was built in the 1760s, however, it really became a notable property under the ownership of Sir James Duke Bart. in the 1840s, a chap who was known to be close to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. From the 1930s the house came under government ownership and remained so until the 90s when private owners bought the place. Carrying out extensive refurbishment on almost all areas of the property Laughton Manor is now in perhaps its best condition ever. The main reception rooms of the manor are all hugely spacious and brimming with natural light. The ground floor comprises a grand entrance hall, an even more impressive inner hall, a quite stunning drawing room, large sitting room, traditional kitchen, dining room, pantry, inner hall and a formal dining room with atrium light above. Upstairs the master suite is impeccable, with his ‘n’ hers dressing rooms and an amazing en suite with stand alone bath, shower, WC and his ‘n’ hers sinks. Three further double bedrooms, each with en suite, finish the first floor. A second floor houses a further four bedrooms, two of which have en suite. Plus there’s an interesting tower room with quad-perspective views of the grounds. A lower ground floor can be used as a selfcontained flat with sitting room, gymnasium, bedroom, sitting room, kitchen and various storage areas. Add to this a detached cottage called Pump House with kitchen, bathroom and en suite and you’re essentially getting three properties for one. Externally, the grounds are phenomenal with heli-pad, formal gardens and a lake with Italian carp. Bellisimo. Contact: Winkworth 01273 471 471 winkworth.co.uk

FEBRUARY 2011




62

TUNBRIDGE WELLS

Tel: 01892 740851 Email: hdliving#btconnect.com



FEBRUARY 2011


PROPERTY

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THE FRONT OF THIS VICTORIAN GATEKEEPER’S DWELLING IS RATHER DECEIVING, FOR BEHIND THE TRADITIONAL FAÇADE IS A LARGE MODERN SPACE IN A CONTEMPORARY EXTENSION

3OHQW\RI)URQW Property: The Cottage, converted Victorian bungalow Location: Broadwater Down, Tunbridge Wells Price: £545,000 Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 2 Best bit: This property might be quaint in appearance, but its selling point is certainly its unexpected roominess. That and the picturesque Victorian walled garden. Summary: The Cottage blends Victorian and contemporary architecture to create a unique property on the south side of Tunbridge Wells on Broadwater Down. Originally a gatekeeper’s adobe for a manor house that used to occupy the area, it dates back to around the late 1800s. A modern extension has been added to provide an open plan living space at the rear, including a vaulted ceiling. The Cottage features an oak hand-built kitchen created by Frant company Alpine Joinery, while all appliances are made by Baumatic. The bathroom suites are fitted with Villeroy and Boch in one and Phillipe Staarck (Duravit) in the other. In keeping with the other quality fixtures and fittings, the floors are made of solid oak, rather than veneer and all windows and rooflights have also been fitted by the local joiners. Contact: Alexandre Boyes 01892 525 522 alexandre-boyes.co.uk FEBRUARY 2011




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TUNBRIDGE WELLS

FEBRUARY 2011


PROPERTY

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WOODLAND HOUSE MIGHT LOOK LIKE A PERIOD FAMILY HOME, BUT IN FACT IT’S ONLY RECENTLY BEEN BUILT. TAKING THE BEST OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY AND CLASSICAL STYLE, THIS IMPRESSIVE PROPERTY REALLY IS STUNNING

0RGHUQ&ODVVLF Property: Woodland House, detached country home Location: Broad Oak Brede, Kent Price: £790,000 Bedrooms: 5 Bathrooms: 3 Land: 2 acres

Extras: Detached double garage with office space

Best bit: Certainly the way Woodland House marries the traditional detached country home with modern style and appliances is a huge benefit, but the full height windows that adorn the front are its most attractive feature. Summary: Tucked away from the world, Woodland House is a real treat. It’s very well proportioned, exquisitely finished and stocked full with modern technology and attractive design features. A stunning kitchen/breakfast area is, along with the full-height windows in the reception hall, the jewel in the crown. The remaining parts of the ground floor are made up from an excellently sized drawing room, sitting room and study, plus a utility and cloakroom. On the first floor, both the principal and guest room feature balconies and en suite bathrooms, while bedrooms three, four and five share the family bathroom. Outside in the two acres of land is a hot tub in which to de-stress and a terrace to enjoy the views. Contact: Country Property Group 01892 211 888 countrypropertygroup.cpm

FEBRUARY 2011




TUNBRIDGE WELLS

LOFT

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Live it up in your loft

Need space?

Perhaps an additional playroom for the kids or that luxury bedroom with en-suite or even a ‘home office?’ Why not convert your loft space? Whatever your need may be ‘LOFT’ can help.

0845 601 1729

Please contact us on: Loft Design Service, PO BOX, 523 Tonbridge TN9 9HT. We also welcome any enquiries via email, contact us at: info@loftdesignservice.com

www.loftdesignservice.com

FEBRUARY 2011




ÿF8C9>?C= RXW 62

TUNBRIDGE WELLS

WORDS DAN SMITH

WHEN YOU THINK OF TREE HOUSES, LUXURY LIVING ISN’T THE FIRST THING THAT SPRINGS TO MIND – MORE OFTEN YOU IMAGINE RICKETY STRUCTURES PRECARIOUSLY BALANCED AMONG SAGGING BRANCHES. ONE ERIDGE BASED COMPANY, HOWEVER, IS TURNING THAT KIND OF THINKING ON ITS HEAD



FEBRUARY 2011


TREEHOUSE

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,

t only takes a brief glance at the creations of Blue Forest to realise that their tree-top buildings are vastly different to the kind of canopy construction you might be used to seeing. These are luxury hideaways that start at around £15,000 and can go up to £300,000. They’re designed to rekindle the sense of joy and adventure we all felt as children. “Our tree houses afford customers a completely new perspective on our surroundings,” says founder and MD Andy Payne, “allowing them to rise above the stresses of everyday life and enjoy more time with their family.” Andy and his brother Simon (Executive Director) grew up in Kenya and benefited from a childhood in the African savannah, climbing trees and building dens. Years later, equipped with a business degree, he spent time in the Japanese city of Aomori (meaning Blue Forest) which inspired the innovative use of wood in construction. His background has also led him to have a strong focus on sustainability. “Each building is constructed using natural materials from sustainable sources,” continues Andy. “The choice of materials helps them blend in with their environment and perfectly complement already beautiful surroundings.” Today each Blue Forest design is different, taking into consideration the location and surrounding countryside, as well as, of course, the materials and style desired by clients. You only have to look over these pages to see the innovation and freedom of design available, including rope bridges, ladders, slides, swings, walkways and fireman’s poles. And perhaps the best thing is that you can power your building with green energy using solar-powered lighting, rain collection tanks and even fuel cells. Oh, and don’t worry if your trees are less than mature, stilts and supports mean that you can build them almost anywhere! blueforest.com FEBRUARY 2011




FRANT OFFICE01892 750999 GOUDHURST OFFICE01580 211888 HORSMONDEN OFFICE01892 724488 MATFIELD OFFICE01892 724949 MAYFAIR 0207 409 8348

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HORSMONDEN VILLAGE £235,000 FREEHOLD What an opportunity!! Benefitting from a central Village location, this attached Period Cottage is ready and waiting for your manipulation. Offering Off-Road Parking, a Garage and a Garden, this rare gem is ready to become your next dream home. Internally, this deceptively spacious family abode comprises: an Entrance Hall, Sitting Room with fireplace, Dining Room with fireplace, Kitchen and Breakfast Room, Rear Hall, a Shower Room, 2 Double Bedrooms and Two Attic Rooms with Double Bedroom potential subject to obtaining the relevant P.P. Horsmonden provides a Post Office, Newsagent, General Store, Hairdresser and bi-weekly Farmers Market. Nearby Paddock Wood offers more substantial Shopping and Banking facilities and a Mainline Rail Station to Central London.

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GOUDHURST VILLAGE OFFERS IN EXCESS: £325,000 FREEHOLD Situated along a quiet lane, this Detached Cottage is a true hidden gem, offering deceptive and beautifully presented accommodation and benefitting from planning permission to extend a Bedroom. Adorned with Roses around the door and just a short stroll into the picturesque Village of Goudhurst, this ‘Chocolate Box’ Cottage keeps ticking all the boxes. Externally, there is a secluded Lawned Garden with mature Shrub Borders, Terraces and a Garage. Internally, this pretty family home boasts: a Sitting Room with Open Fireplace and Glazed Doors leading to the Garden, Kitchen/Dining Room, Master Bedroom with En-Suite Shower Room, Two further Double Bedrooms and a Family Bathroom. Nearby Staplehurst Village offers a mainline Station into Central London. Cranbrook School Catchment Area.

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RURAL GILLS GREEN £400,000 FREEHOLD For those searching for an exciting Equestrian Development project here we have a really special site awaiting your inspection. Add to this the fact that the Property is situated within the much favoured Cranbrook School Catchment Area: so you are advised to view as soon as possible. Full Planning Permission has been granted to convert the Barn into a very aesthetically pleasing Work and Live dwelling that will comprise: an Entrance Hall, 2 Sitting Rooms, 2 Cloakrooms, a Kitchen/ Breakfast Room, Utility Room, Office, Studio, Storage and an integral Garage. Upon the First Floor there shall be 3 Bedrooms with 2 En-Suites, plus a Family Bathroom. Externally, within the grounds there will be Stabling for 4 Horses, plus a Hay Store or Tack Room and the joy of owning a Paddock of some 5.2 Acres. AIN

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RURAL CHAINHURST £425,000 FREEHOLD This beautifully presented, attached Country Cottage is really something very special. Situtated in the pretty and peaceful Rural Hamlet of Chainhurst, this quintessential Family Abode backs onto open Countryside and enjoys far reaching views of rolling fields and trees. Internally, the Cottage offers, a Kitchen with AGA and Dining area, Sitting Room with Open Fire, Utility Room, Wet Room, Master Bedroom with an En-Suite including a RollTop Bath and two further Bedrooms. Externally, the deceptive Gardens house many places to sit and enjoy the views or sample foods grown from the Sheds and Kitchen Garden. Without Grade Listing, this Cottage offers the possibility of extending subject to the relevant P.P. Ample Off-Road Parking. Marden Village offers local amenities and a Main Line Station.

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OUTSKIRTS OF MATFIELD VILLAGE £450,000 FREEHOLD Wonderfully warm and welcoming, this Country Cottage is situated on the outskirts of the sought after Village of Matfield, approximately One mile from the Village Duck Pond, Shops and Friendly Country Inns. The Cottage is immaculately presented comprising: Entrance Porch, Sitting Room with an open Fire, Dining Room, Kitchen/Breakfast Room, Utility Room, Outside Cloakroom, Master Bedroom with En-Suite Shower Room, Two further Double Bedrooms with feature fireplaces. There is a driveway with parking for up to three cars and a Garage with a separate room suitable for a small office. Good sized rear Garden featuring a Decked Terrace with beautiful Kentish Countryside views. Royal Tunbridge Wells and Paddock Wood offer Mainline Rail Services & further Shops.

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HURST GREEN VILLAGE £469,950 FREEHOLD One of 2 attractive newly constructed Detached Houses in a convenient location close to Etchingham Mainline Railway Station and within walking distance of Hurst Green Village with excellent local Shops, Restaurants and Petrol Stations. Completed to a very high standard the property features Under Floor Heating on the Ground Floor. The stylish accommodation comprises: Entrance Hall, Sitting Room, Dining Room, Conservatory, fully fitted “State of the Art” Kitchen, Cloakroom, Master Bedroom with En-Suite Shower, 3 further Double Bedrooms and a luxury Family Bathroom. The Landscaped Garden features a Lawn and Terrace wrapping around the property. Off Road Parking and an Integral Garage with Electric Door. 10 Year NHBC. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED AIN

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HORSMONDEN VILLAGE £549,950 FREEHOLD This highly regarded Village General Store is a successful business with awesome potential. Sadly the family run business is having to change hands after 23 Years due to Retirement. Mention Heath Stores to anyone locally and they will say with great enthusiasm that they are famous for their wonderful home cooked old fashioned Ham,tasty Bacon and a fine selection of Cheeses too: people come from miles around for their quality produce and personal service second to none.The setting is idyllic, the Store stands proudly, overlooking the picturesque Village Green in a sought after area with constant passing trade. The capacious trading area has a full EPOS System and sections for Groceries, a Bakery, Deli Counter, Off Licence, Fresh Meat, Dairy Chiller, Frozen Food Cabinets,Grocery shelves,Hot Drinks & home made Sandwiches.Behind the trading area are vast Store Rooms, a Prep Room and Cellars galore as well as a Courtyard and living accommodation comprising: Kitchen, 3 Receptions, 3 Bedrooms, Bath and Shower Room.

MEREWORTH VILLAGE OFFERS IN EXCESS OF: £549,950 FREEHOLD Tucked away, entered through a Five Bar Gate is this beautiful Detached Grade II Listed Oast House sits within just under 1 Acre. With 2 Roundels, this Oast offers period charm and character from the moment you step inside. The internal accommodation comprises: Entrance Hall, Cloakroom, Open Plan Sitting and Dining Area with Glazed Doors leading to the pretty wrap round Terrace, a Roundel Kitchen, a Utility Room, the Master Roundel Bedroom with En-Suite Bathroom, Two further Double Bedrooms and a Family Bathroom. Externally, the Oast offers a pretty Garden scattered with Flowers, which looks onto a Yard, where there is a Detached Double Garage, currently housing a large Stable and 2 Paddocks that are laced with Cob Nut Trees, perfect for games of Hide and Seek!

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CRANBROOK HIGH STREET £625,000 FREEHOLD Situated within a short walk of the local Schools, shopping and banking facilities this Detached Property enjoys a position that most would envy. Tucked back from the road, offering a Double Garage and ample Parking to the front and a Garden with a Terrace to the rear, complemented by a Kitchen Garden and a Greenhouse. Internally this deceptively spacious Home comprises: Entrance Hall, Drawing Room with floor to ceiling Windows providing views over the Garden to the rear, Dining Room, Kitchen/ Breakfast Room, Utility Room, Shower Room, Master Bedroom with En-Suite potential, Three further Double Bedrooms with built-in storage and a Family Bathroom. Subject to the relevant PP, this abode would offer scope to extend or to re-design. Cranbrook School Catchment Area.

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FRITTENDEN VILLAGE £675,000 FREEHOLD This picturesque detached Cottage, believed to date back to the 1820’s, is set in the heart of the Village and sits proudly within its Garden with an established Wisteria gracing the front Porch. Comprises: an Entrance Hall/Study, Dining Room, Drawing Room with warming log burner, Sitting Room with open coal fire, large family Kitchen/Breakfast Room with oil fired AGA, Island with built in hob, Butlers sink and double doors leading out to the rear Terrace, Utility Room with access to the Garden, Master Bedroom with En-Suite Shower Room, 3 further Double Bedrooms, and a Family Bathroom. Externally, the enclosed Garden has a fence to the front, with Gates that lead onto a private drive. Easy walking distance to the Village Shop and Inn. Cranbrook School Catchment.

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RURAL GUESTLING £675,000 FREEHOLD If your dream is to put your mark on a very special property in a rural location this house could be just the ticket!! Located in an elevated position with breathtaking rural views, this Detached Country House has recently been refurbished but the Kitchen, Utility Room and Bathroom have been left for the purchaser to choose the units and suites of their dreams!! Comprising: Reception Hall with Dining Area, Drawing Room, Sitting Room, Study, Kitchen Breakfast Room, Utility, Cloakroom, an amazing Principal Suite with Dressing Area, En-Suite and Sun Room, Three further Double Bedrooms and a Family Bathroom. To the rear of the property is an elevated Swimming Pool enjoying views over the Grounds of around Two Acres and the surrounding Countryside. Off Road Parking & a Detached Double Garage.

ROYAL TUNBRIDGE WELLS £735,000 FREEHOLD Have you ever dreamt of living in a Period Country Property but not wanted to be away from the hustle and bustle of Town Living? This Unlisted Detached Property could be the answer to your dreams. It is tucked away in a secluded location within One Mile of the much sought-after Pantiles in Royal Tunbridge Wells. The well proportioned accommodation comprises: Sitting Room and Family Room both with Fireplaces, Dining Room, Kitchen/ Breakfast Room, Utility Room, Ground Floor Bathroom and Shower Room, Master Bedroom with En-Suite Bathroom, Four further Bedrooms and a Family Shower Room. Externally there is Off-Road Parking for several Cars with Lawned Gardens, Flower Beds and delightful Terraces. Tunbridge Wells Mainline Rail Station is approximately 1.2 Miles away. AIN

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HORSMONDEN VILLAGE OFFERS IN EXCESS OF: £750,000 FREEHOLD This handsome well-presented Detached House is conveniently close to this much favoured Village and occupies a prime position within this prestigious ‘Charles Church Development.’ Comprising: Entrance Lobby, Reception Hall, Sitting Room, Dining Room, Drawing Room, Kitchen/Breakfast Room, Utility Room, Cloakroom, Principal Bedroom with a Dressing Room Area and an En-Suite Bathroom, Guest Bedroom with an En-Suite Shower Room, Two Further Double Bedrooms and a Family Bathroom, The Second Floor has Two more Double Bedrooms and a Bathroom. The well tended Garden to the rear has wonderful views across Woods. A Detached Garage. Paddock Wood Station (with adjacent Waitrose) has trains to London in under the Hour. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

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PLAYDEN HAMLET £795,000 FREEHOLD This immaculately presented, generously proportioned Country Abode is surrounded by some 1.8 Acres of Terraces, Lawns, a Pond and a Paddock, making it perfect for the discerning green fingered purchaser, and or one with Equestrian interests. The flexible accommodation Comprises: Drawing Room with Open Fireplace, Garden Room, Sitting Room, a wonderful Country Kitchen with an AGA and Breakfast Room, Dining Room/ Bedroom 4, Study/Bedroom 5, Wet Room, Utility Room, Two Boot Rooms. Principal Suite with a Dressing Room and Wet Room, Two further Double Bedrooms and a Bathroom. The Loft has been converted into a further Room which has Bedroom potential. Nearby Rye provides Shopping and Banking facilities and a Main Line Train Station to Central London.

BROAD OAK, BREDE OFFERS IN EXCESS OF: £799,000 FREEHOLD Tucked away, a secret well kept, this magnificent 21st Century Country House incorporates period charm with ‘State of the Art’ technology. Situated within its own Gardens and Woodland of 2 Acres, this wonderful Family Home exudes space, style and luxury from the moment you step inside. Internally, the property comprises: a grand Reception Hall with Galleried Landing above, a Sitting Room, Drawing Room with Log Burner, stunning Open Plan Kitchen and Dining Room, Utility, Cloak Room, Office, a Principal Suite with En-Suite Shower Room and Dressing Room/Bedroom 5, Guest Suite with En-Suite Shower Room, Two further Double Bedrooms and an impressive Family Bathroom. There is also a Detached Double Garage with a perfect Studio/Study above. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

OUTSKIRTS OF TENTERDEN OFFERS IN EXCESS: £1,000,000 FREEHOLD This stunning, capacious, Georgian inspired Country House is set in some 3.55 Acres with glorious views and a natural Pond. Well proportioned and presented throughout in excellent decorative order and comprising: a fine Reception Hall, a magnificent Drawing Room, a bespoke, hand-painted Kitchen/Breakfast Room, Study/Playroom, Conservatory, Utility Room, Cloakroom, the Principal Bedroom with a Dressing Room and an En-Suite Bathroom, Four further Bedrooms and a Family Bathroom. The attached Cottage has a Hall, Sitting Room/Dining Room, Kitchen, Cloakroom, Bedroom, Dressing Room, Bathroom and Veranda. Triple Garaging. Tenterden has a wide variety of excellent Shops including a Waitrose. The Station at Headcorn provides Trains to London and or Ashford International

RURAL CHELSFIELD £1,850,000 FREEHOLD This stunning character Country House boasts the most wonderful elevated setting with panoramic and far reaching views, and fantastic Equestrian facilities set in 15 Acres. Discerning purchasers will thrill at the exquisite quality and superb design of this unique house. The house sits in secluded, immaculately maintained formal Gardens. Arranged over 3 Three Floors comprising: Reception Roundel, Drawing Room, Kitchen/Dining/Family Room, Sitting Room, Utility Room, 2 Cloakrooms, First Floor Sitting Room/ Bedroom, 5 Bedrooms and 3 Bathrooms. Externally: Triple Garage Block, A Stable Block with 3 Stables, Feed Room, Tack Room, Kitchen, Store Room, Cloak Room. 6 further Stables, All Weather Ménage, 5 Field Shelters, 3 Bay Store. Beautiful Formal Gardens, Paddocks and Woodland.

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SEDLESCOMBE VILLAGE OFFERS IN EXCESS: £950,000 FREEHOLD Heaven on earth!! Privately tucked away on the edge of a Golf Course, this fantastic character Equestrian Property of some 3,920 sq.ft has been superbly extended and refurbished to create a most desirable Family Home with an integral Annexe that could be used for a variety of purposes (subject to planning). One could so easily combine Business with pleasure here. Comprising: Six Reception Rooms, Master Suite, Guest Suite plus Three further Bedrooms, Two Bathrooms/Shower Rooms, Kitchen/Breakfast Room, Study, Laundry Room, Cellar and Two Cloakrooms. Attached to the Annexe are 4 Loose Boxes and a Tack Room/Feed Store. In addition there is a Three Bay Open Garage, Garden Room, Gardens and Paddocks amounting to 3.5 Acres. Access to Bridlepaths, wonderful Walks and a 27 Hole Golf Club / Hotel.

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Tunbridge Wells £1,750,000

Lamberhurst £1,250,000

A detached character country house of great charm with a delightful detached cottage in a wonderful quiet rural setting with outstanding views in just under 2 ¾ acres.

A superbly converted 5/6 bedroom detached period barn with a spacious interior and garage block with annexe, set in attractive gardens on the edge of this highly regarded village.

Tunbridge Wells £895,000

Crowborough £775,000 A fine detached 5 bedroom character house with a spacious interior and about ¾ acres, situated only a short distance from Crowborough Beacon golf club.

An attractive sandstone chapel sympathetically converted to keep the character of the chapel together with the practical comforts of modern day living. 7XQEULGJH:HOOV2IÀFH

Sales 01892 516611 tunbridgewells@hamptons-int.com Beyond your expectations ZZZKDPSWRQVFRXN

Newly refurbished, this elegant home benefits from underfloor heating throughout. So every day will give you a warm welcome. With Winter well and truly here there’s never been a better time to think about moving to warmer climes. You needn’t look far though. From underfloor heating and open fireplaces to homely Agas, at Hamptons International, we’ve properties with everything you could ask for.

Mark Cross £650,000

Tunbridge Wells OIRO £510,000

Detached house of considerable character in a mature plot of some 0.64 acres and with planning permission to extend to create a substantial family home of about 3187 sq ft.

A very well presented and deceptively spacious detached bungalow situated in a highly regarded close in an excellent area in the much favoured south side of town.


Langton Green £1,495,000

Mayfield £950,000

An exceptional detached family house occupying a wonderful position within this popular road with beautiful views to the rear across neighbouring fields.

A substantial detached Victorian house with well proportioned accommodation including 6 bedrooms, 3 reception rooms and 3 bathrooms enjoying some fine westerly views.

Tunbridge Wells £735,000

Crowborough £695,000 Fine Edwardian house with many features including high corniced ceilings, fireplaces and individually designed windows, all arranged over three spacious floors.

An attractively designed six bedroom detached house with outstanding family accommodation, situated in a quiet cul-de-sac on the southern edge of Tunbridge Wells.

7XQEULGJH:HOOV2IÀFH

Sales 01892 516611 tunbridgewells@hamptons-int.com

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

Buxted OIRO £675,000 A very distinctive detached character house, mainly of timber construction, with light and spacious interior with view and superb gardens of around 1.3 acres.

Beyond your expectations ZZZKDPSWRQVFRXN

Tunbridge Wells £425,000 An attractive Grade II listed Victorian four bedroom townhouse style maisonette situated in the heart of the historic and picturesque Pantiles.


Bidborough £6,500 pcm A stunning 7 bedroom manor house with 20 acres, outdoor heated swimming pool, cinema room & home gym. The property has been renovated to an extremely high level and will suit a professional family who want a secluded property in the country with outstanding views to front and rear. 7XQEULGJH:HOOV2IÀFH

Lettings 01892 516611 tunbridgewells@hamptons-int.com Beyond your expectations ZZZKDPSWRQVFRXN

Lamberhurst £2,200 pcm Available Now Versatile five/six bedroom Kent Oast positioned over three floors with two allocated parking spaces.

Renting a property is no reason to accept anything less than the perfect home. It’s still your personal oasis. Albeit for a shorter timeframe. That said, nearly all our tenants renew their contracts. Proof that we know how to make people feel right at home.

Fordcombe £1,950 pcm Available Now An attractive four bedroom, two bathroom period family home with located opposite the Green in the heart of Fordcombe village.

Tunbridge Wells £1,295 pcm Available Now A neutrally decorated two bedroom, two bathroom executive apartment with gated parking.


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TUNBRIDGE WELLS

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$ZRUOGRI THE ANCIENT TOWN OF TAORMINA ON THE MEDITERRANEAN ISLAND OF SICILY HAS LONG BEEN REGARDED AS ONE OF THE MOST ROMANTIC DESTINATIONS IN THE WORLD. SO, IT ONLY SEEMS RIGHT THAT AS WE CELEBRATE ST VALENTINE’S DAY THIS MONTH WE SHOULD OFFER YOU THE CHANCE TO WIN THE HOLIDAY OF A LIFETIME IN THIS FAMOUS ITALIAN RESORT FOR YOU AND YOUR PARTNER. AND IT’S WORTH OVER £4,000!

-

im Kerr is the lead singer in the Scottish rock band Simple Minds and has seen most things in life. He is not, shall we say, someone who is easily impressed.

But the co-founder of the group that has sold 40million albums since 1979 was left almost speechless the first time he visited Taormina in July 1982. (The other co-founder is Charlie Burchill on guitar and keyboard.)

“The view from the hotel still leaves me grasping for words some three decades after I first stood on the spot where it was eventually built. You can see everything from the waters of the Ionian Sea, which are crystal clear, all the way to the foot of the spectacular Mount Etna volcano. “If you had told me all those years ago that I would one day have the good fortune to call this place my ‘home-fromhome’ I would have said that either you were mad or that I was dreaming.”

“I was smitten from the off,” confides Jim Kerr. “They told me it was the most romantic place and that it belonged to another world. Above all they told me it was absolutely for me and that I would fall in love at first sight. They were right.”

The hotel

Indeed, so smitten was he with Taormina and with the warmth and passion-for-life of the Sicilian people, that the singer later set about creating his own dream destination in the town... the Hotel Villa Angela. And he wants two lucky So readers to be his guests on an all-expenses paid holiday they’ll never forget.

Local stone has been used as the main building material and blended with wrought iron work and traditional chestnut wood elements to produce a brilliant example of regional craftsmanship. The interior includes the famous ceramics of Caltagirone in a range of shapes and colours. They create a combination of



FEBRUARY 2011

Villa Angela is a 27 bed hotel that has been built to capture the “ambience that would befit its unique position in Taormina by transmitting only the real essence of Sicilian life.”


COMPETITION

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the coast from Cape Pelorus. It’s almost like an isolated rock about 200 metres above the sea with a Saracen castle a further 150 metres above. To say the place is steeped in history would be a bit of an understatement. Around 395 BC it became home for Greeks fleeing the tyranny of Dionysius the Elder who eventually conquered the town anyway three years later. In the time of Julius Caesar the town flourished only to fall foul of Octavian who made the inhabitants pay for their support of Pompey by expelling most of them and giving their homes to Roman soldiers. More recent times have seen Taormina become the nineteenth century haunt of the English aristocracy and later the home of a colony of expatriate artists, writers and intellectuals. It was here in the early 1920s that the selfexiled D.H. Lawrence was inspired to pen one of the most controversial, erotic love stories of its era... Lady Chatterly’s Lover. Thirty years later Truman Capote wrote of his stay in the town in the essay Fontana Vecchia. Taormina has endlessly winding medieval streets and tiny passages hiding many little treasures including ice cream bars, cafes and marvellous restaurants offering seafood and other local cuisine. Some are in secluded gardens hidden by stone walls while others can be found on terraces overlooking the coast or in pleasant public squares. The illuminated main streets are crammed with places to buy craft items, especially fashion, jewellery, ceramics, mosaics, puppets and even porcelain dolls. As one visitor wrote of the views: “There’s the spectacle of Mt Etna’s nocturnal fires as lava flows along the snow-covered slopes of Europe’s greatest natural wonder, leaving a stream of steam and light in its wake.” effects that successfully reflect the villa’s warm and luxurious atmosphere alongside old aristocratic Sicilian style. The upmarket hotel, which is near the old city centre of Taormina, boasts spacious terraces and large windows that make every room special and allow guests to enjoy the spectacular setting with its lush plants, olive trees, citrus fruit and the lemon trees which are famous around the world for their unique scent. You can savour the hotel’s delicious Sicilian breakfast before relaxing by the swimming pool or simply sit on the terrace of the 70 seater restaurant and enjoy the sun going down over Mt Etna. The restaurant, by the way, serves regional and national cuisine and has the most impressive wine list. There’s a roof top garden, bar, 24-hour front desk and impeccable service to make any stay just perfect.

The area Taormina occupies an ancient site on a lofty hill which comes at the end of a mountain ridge that extends along

Without doubt the most famous view is the one overlooking the Greco-Roman amphitheatre, among Sicily’s largest, with Mt Etna in the background. Mt Etna, by the way, is an easy excursion away. And if you fancy sitting on a beach for a change of scenery there are several close by. The beach at Giardini-Naxos is a few kilometres distance and a funicular cableway connects the old town to coast Mazzaro below. As Jim Kerr tells us: “For most of my life I have been a traveller and have been fortunate to visit some wonderful places. Nothing though, I have to tell you, quite compares with Taormina... as you’ll discover if you join us at the Hotel Villa Angela.”

The prize We’ve teamed up with Hotel Villa Angela to offer one reader the chance to win a 7 night luxury break for two people worth over £4,000. For all the details of what’s involved and how to enter see the next page... hotelvillaangela.com

FEBRUARY 2011




WIN

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TUNBRIDGE WELLS

THE HOLIDAY OF A LIFETIME – IN ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST ROMANTIC LOCATIONS – WORTH MORE THAN £4,000

7

his being the month we celebrate St Valentine’s Day we had to make our competition that little bit special. And we’ve done just that with a fantastic seven day holiday for two in a famous Italian resort.

Taormina on the Mediterranean island of Sicily is considered a truly romantic destination with its winding medieval streets, marvellous restaurants, intriguing shops and its famous view overlooking the Greco-Roman amphitheatre with Mount Etna in the background. It doesn’t get much better and you could soon be enjoying it together with your partner simply by sending us your name and address. We’ve teamed up with one of the leading hotels on the island, Villa Angela, to offer So readers the chance to win a seven night luxury break for two people worth more than £4,000. It includes:

QReturn flights from Gatwick Q Transfers from and to the airport in Sicily QComplimentary pool lunches every day with drinks QAccommodation in one of the Hotel Villa Angela’s prestigious suites For your chance to win simply send a postcard with your name, address and contact number to: Hotel Competition, One Media UK Ltd, Kenwood House, 1 Upper Grosvenor, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 2EL. Alternatively, email us on win@onemediauk.co.uk with the subject ‘Hotel’. Closing date 28th February 2011 after which the winner will be drawn at random. For further information on Hotel Villa Angela and Taormina please see previous pages and visit hotelvillaangela.com Flights are economy class; pool lunches and drinks are for two people to a value set by the hotel and the seven day break must be taken by the end of 2011. Restrictions might apply on dates subject to the availability of flights and rooms. The winners may be required to be featured in future promotional material for the hotel. All standard competition Terms & Conditions of One Media UK apply. Only one entry per person per household. Entrants must be over 18. Editor’s decision is final.



FEBRUARY 2011


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BRINGING AN INTERNATIONAL FLAVOUR TO THE VILLAGE OF LAMBERHURST IS THE HISTORIC INN THE CHEQUERS. AS PART OF OUR ONGOING SEARCH FOR AN OUT-OF-TOWN DINING EXPERIENCE, WE DISPATCH WILL NICHOLSON TO INVESTIGATE 

FEBRUARY 2011


R E S TA U R A N T

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:

e really are spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out in the countryside. There’s a plethora of beautiful villages surrounding our town and just a short drive away. One can head further into Kent, out into the wilds of East Sussex or venture further afield toward Surrey; each offers an excellent choice of old inns, coaching houses and village pubs. . Whether it be dining al fresco in the warm Summer months or getting all snug in front of a roaring log fire in the Winter, there’s something just so appealing about the great British country pub. And with these establishments closing at a reportedly alarming rate, there’s no better time to support them. So, with this in mind, my partner Vikki and I find ourselves in the ancient village of Lamberhurst, five miles south east of Tunbridge Wells. The local church is said to have stood here in excess of 1,000 years and our destination, The Chequers, has been around since 1137. That’s quite some provenance! A manor house in its previous guise, it was converted to an inn in 1414. Primarily running as a coaching house and operating as such up until 1913, its claim to fame is the fact it is able to boast Jane Austen as one of its previous regulars. Today it’s a pub cum restaurant with delightful en suite accommodation and our research reveals that it is indeed well respected as a guest house. But what of the food?

We’re greeted warmly and enjoy a brief chat with Zorny and Nigel the co-owners, Nigel also being the Head Chef. He explains they’ve been running The Chequers for 15 months since leaving Papua New Guinea. (That’s quite a change of clientele.) Having grown up in Lamberhurst village (his parents still live here) he’s since travelled the globe honing his culinary skills. Nigel kicked off his career at Brighton Technical College, gaining his first taste of cooking at Keats Restaurant in the leafy London suburb of Hampstead. He then embarked upon travels of which Phileas Fogg would have been proud. This took in spells at restaurants in Paris and Rome, a good innings in Venezuela (where he met Zorny) and a whole host of positions as a chef aboard various private yachts. In

fact, the latter led him to cook for the likes of The Sultan of Brunei and Elton John – surely harsher critics than us! This experience has stood Nigel in good stead. Not only was he sometimes required to rustle up a fine menu from whatever was available at the nearest port, it also meant he had exceptional exposure to various cuisines and cooking methods. This variety is something that Nigel is obviously passionate about and as the year progresses he’s looking to introduce Asian nights to The Chequers, showcasing dishes from the likes of India, Korea and Japan. This evening Nigel is keeping to what he describes as ‘European Farmhouse’ and once seated we eagerly caste eyes over the menu. To start I elect to go for the homemade potted shrimps with brown bread and salad (much to my partner’s disappointment as she had her eye on them). Vikki opts for the pastry baskets filled with wild mushroom, fresh cream and white wine. For mains I decide on the fillet steak stuffed with French goats’ cheese with red pepper sauce; for Vikki it’s the whole south coast black bream – Mediterranean roasted with slices of potatoes, fresh rosemary & pine nuts.

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Situated in the heart of the village on the main thoroughfare called The Broadway, we arrive at The Chequers in good time for our early evening booking. To the left as we enter is a large dining area with low beams and to the right a pleasant area leading to the bar with a log fire roaring away; this draws us right in on this bitterly cold evening. There are already a number of other diners and we notice there’s also a further saloon area on the other side of the bar where a band are setting up for the evening.

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TUNBRIDGE WELLS

Zorny recommends a bottle of red and suggests the New Zealand Runnymede Island Pinot Noir â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Marlboroughâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; 2008.

destination. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re already planning a return visit to try Nigelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s take on cuisine from the East. 62

We ďŹ nd thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a real atmosphere to the place; newcomers are received just as well as locals and a steady ďŹ&#x201A;ow of people come in from the cold. From where weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re seated, you can certainly hear a buzz in the kitchen, something I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mind at all, and our starters arrive in good time. As one would expect, my shrimps are set into a small pot, with a well dressed salad to the side and two large hunks of nicely toasted fresh bread. The shrimps are plentiful within their set mixture and have been seasoned adequately as well as having a hint of nutmeg. They spread agreeably over the warm bread and every mouthful is savoured. Vikki is not the biggest fan of heavy pastry and happily her starter is exactly what she was hoping for; light and airy with a great texture that matches perfectly the thick earthy mushrooms with a sleek, rich white wine and cream sauce. It certainly gets the thumbs up. Zorny too, has impressed with her attentive but not overbearing service and a victory on the wine recommendation. The Pinot Noir is smooth, silky and plummy; working superbly with both our dishes. The tone has been set and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re optimistic about our mains. They duly arrive and my ďŹ llet steak is an admirable piece, with the goatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cheese oozing from the centre. The presentation is good with an arty slick of bright red pepper sauce adorning the plate. Far too many establishments go for the tried and tested formula of steak, chips and peas so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s refreshing to see Nigel trying something different. The meat is tip top and as one would expect from a dish containing goatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cheese, it is rich. However, to contrast, the red pepper sauce is fresh and zesty and cuts through this â&#x20AC;&#x201C; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a hugely pleasant combination. Vikkiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s main of sea bream is two small ďŹ llets, placed elegantly over a sea of roasted Mediterranean vegetables, with sliced potatoes and a smattering of pine nuts. I am assured that all elements are well cooked and the pine nuts add a good texture to the dish. Relaxed and enjoying the ambience away from the hustle and bustle of Tunbridge Wells, we are offered the dessert menus. Being creatures of habit I commit to the cheeseboard and Vikki the double chocolate mousse. Mine is an excellent selection of local cheeses, served handsomely on the board and exactly what I was looking for. Vikkiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s is a light and ďŹ&#x201A;uffy heavenly mix of dark and white chocolate. Quite the connoisseur when it comes to sweet things she is most pleased with it and a wry smile appears. On tonightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s evidence the food is to an extremely high standard and our only regret is that the darkness means we are unable to fully appreciate the riverside garden area which is apparently quite pleasant. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for a getaway from town The Chequers is certainly a great



FEBRUARY 2011

At a glance Prices from: Starters - ÂŁ6.50 Mains - ÂŁ12.50 Desserts - ÂŁ5.50 Wine by the glass - ÂŁ4.50 Wine by the bottle - ÂŁ14.00 The Chequers Inn, The Broadway, Lamberhurst, Tunbridge Wells TN3 8DB 01892 890 260 thechequersinnlamberhurst.com


TUNBRIDGE WELLS

Booking now for Valentines Day

www.palio-restaurant.com

OFFERING EXCELLENT WINES AND AUTHENTIC ITALIAN DISHES PREPARED WITH QUALITY INGREDIENTS FROM THE BEST LOCAL SUPPLIERS

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The award-winning Boutique Restaurant With awards ranging from AA Rosette to Top Table â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Top Diner Rated and Kent Restaurant Awards Winner, Montrose is the ideal venue for that social or business lunch or dinner. Set lunch menu: One course ÂŁ11.95 â&#x20AC;˘ Two courses ÂŁ15.95 â&#x20AC;˘ Three courses ÂŁ18.95 Open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner. Special Sunday lunches all day from 12.00 to 17.30pm (last orders)

h#CHC'CBHFCG: H7@?HCH:H:7A K=H7@@H:=FÂ&#x161;7=F7Bx:D:F=:B9:  7Bx@:HH:AA7?:Ă&#x2018;CI;::@GD:9=7@ g â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Food Critic Damian Cotton, January 2011

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

FEBRUARY 2011




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FOOD

WORDS LISA WILLIAMS

JAMIE OLIVERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S NEW COOK BOOK 30 MINUTE MEALS TOPPED THE BEST SELLING LIST IN DECEMBER WITH SALES OF1.2 MILLION COPIES â&#x20AC;&#x201C; DESPITE CLAIMS FROM SOME THAT THE TIMINGS MIGHT BE A LITTLE OVER OPTIMISTIC. WE TALK TO ONE OF OUR FAVOURITE CHEFS ABOUT THE THINKING BEHIND THE BOOK THATâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S CAUSING A STIR

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a proper clan now so youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got to keep your eyes peeled,â&#x20AC;? says a rather breathless-sounding Jamie. Although he admits that during the week much of the childcare and housekeeping is managed by his wife Jools, his ever-expanding brood has inspired his latest food idea. This autumn, Jamie is launching a new TV series with accompanying book called Jamieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 30 Minute Meals. His aim is to offer up tried and tested instructions on how to create a range of delicious dinners - complete with side dishes, drinks or pudding - in just half an hour. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I really think it can change the way people cook for the rest of their lives,â&#x20AC;? he says, audibly brimming with enthusiasm. â&#x20AC;&#x153;To me, the great thing about 30 Minute Meals is that every meal looks pretty, and the personality of the dishes is quite abrupt and in-your-face. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quite bold and exciting.â&#x20AC;?

Jamie - who says if he hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t become a chef heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be â&#x20AC;&#x153;something else which involved me handsâ&#x20AC;? - argues that an impressive meal can be made in the same time it takes to order and wait for a pizza. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not anti-takeaway, I just think the problem with the food industry isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t that we have all this wonderful choice, the problem is there are massive proportions of people basically growing up and only living on certain options, like fast food,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I get the odd pizza or takeaway curry but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not very often, because thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always food in the fridge, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s much less hassle and it works out cheaper to do it yourself.â&#x20AC;? Jamieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s direct approach is obvious in the wording of his recipes and how he talks to viewers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not doing the show or the book to be peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best friend,â&#x20AC;? he states. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not like, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;You could do thisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Do this, this happensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; so Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m much more of a drill instructor in this. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve already seen how it empowers people to get among it and approach their kitchens in quite a creative and aggressive way, and I think thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the trick. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a busy book for busy people.â&#x20AC;?

W

-

amie Oliver could do with some time-saving tips now heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dad to four children under the age of ten. The latest addition to his family is baby Buddy Bear, who arrived in September last year and who is the ďŹ rst boy to be born after his three big sisters.

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The 35-year-old chef is asking people to declutter their kitchens, to keep their most useful equipment to hand and to make the most of electrical appliances such as kettles, food processors and even themicrowave. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never done microwaves in a show before but weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll do something clever with it, which will hopefully make people go, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;A-ha!â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? he says. The recipes, which include Peri Peri Chicken, a Moroccan feast and even a full Roast Dinner with Yorkshire Puddings and Gravy, also make the most of shortcuts such as ready-made pastry and tinned fruit. But worry not, the Essex lad hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t turned his back on the healthy ingredients, high quality cuts of meat, fresh herbs and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;good lug of olive oilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; which have characterised his cooking so far. The chef burst on to the scene in 1999 with trendy television series The Naked Chef, after being spotted at work at The River Cafe in South London. His infectious personality and fun, unďŹ ddly food made him rise up the ranks to become one of the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most popular celebrity chefs, a position heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s since used to campaign for healthier school dinners. More recently he travelled to America to attempt to tackle the obesity crisis. Although his stance was criticised by some across the pond, he remains cheerful and dedicated to the cause. But while his latest book and TV series deďŹ nitely remain true to Jamieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ideals, the 30 Minute Meals concept also reveals a more personal side to the chef. One of the recipes featured in the book is for Joolsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Pregnant Pasta, a dish which a hassled Oliver created after coming back late from work to discover his wife - pregnant with their youngest daughter Petal - hungry and craving Spaghetti Bolognese. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bolognese obviously needs a couple of hours blipping away, so I had to come up with a way that delivered the ďŹ&#x201A;avour and the tenderness and all that sort of stuff in half an hour,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had to be a little bit clever and used the sausages instead of mince. The ďŹ&#x201A;avour is slightly different but the end product is brilliant and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve probably cooked it for her 16 times.â&#x20AC;? As well as creating delicious dinners, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also a focus on presentation in 30 Minute Meals, with ideas on how to lay the table for an enjoyable and sociable meal. Jamie thinks itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important for families and friends to eat together in this way: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Most of my sitting down with the family happens at the weekend. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really see my kids during the week that much, to be honest. I wish I could but I think Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m probably the same as most dads. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sixty five per cent of women work now as well, so everyone feels a tiny bit guilty, and feels that they could do better, so any excuse to get around the table, even a couple of days a week is great.â&#x20AC;? 62 Jamieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 30 Minute Meals is published by Penguin, priced ÂŁ26.



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UHFHSWLRQ AT SKIPPERS HILL MANOR PREPARATORY SCHOOL IN FIVE ASHES, EAST SUSSEX, A GREAT DEAL OF EMPHASIS IS PLACED ON NURTURING CHILDRENâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S LEARNING AT THE RECEPTION AGE. AND ITâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S A POLICY THATâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S REALLY WORKING, AS HEADMASTER TIM LEWIS EXPLAINS

,

nternational research shows that in the ďŹ rst ďŹ ve years of life a child develops 90% of their adult size brain, a startling fact but also a very important one when considering education. It is so easy for children to fall behind academically and socially if they are not exposed to the right forms of stimuli in the right sort of environment, and this starts even before formal schooling. But school itself is incredibly important in shaping young minds, and evidence shows that focusing speciďŹ cally on the early education experience translates into better performance throughout school life and beyond. At Skippers Hill we fervently believe that a childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ďŹ rst year



FEBRUARY 2011

in school is the most crucial in determining their future outcome; the foundations laid in this crucial period impact on their success throughout their school life. Exposing children to the right forms of stimuli within a caring yet challenging environment is key to setting children on the path to palpable progress. Our small class sizes and high teacher to pupil ratio are paramount in this process too. But it is not just small classes that help children develop. At Skippers Hill we ďŹ rmly believe in the education of the whole child. We provide a nurturing yet challenging environment in which our children grow into ďŹ ne young citizens conďŹ dent in their undeniable abilities so they are ready for the next stage of education â&#x20AC;&#x201C; after all, rote learning might help children to pass exams, but it is only independent learning that will set them up for life. As Louise Hemsley, who joined the staff as Reception Teacher in September, says: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I love the school! It is so friendly and I feel so at home as do the children. I have the freedom here to help my pupils ďŹ&#x201A;ourish. They come into Reception with a variety of levels of experience and knowledge and my main job is to help ensure all areas of learning are in balance so that the children are in a strong position to learn the necessary skills and knowledge prior to moving on up the school. We have a lot of fun on the way!â&#x20AC;? Louise has 14 happy and achieving pupils in her class and is ably supported by two teaching assistants.


E D U C AT I O N

Our parents agree. Helen Ridge is a mother of four boys, three of whom are currently at the school; the fourth left last year. She believes that: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Skippers is unique because all are equal and it feels like a family. Each childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s successes both in and out of school are celebrated and their knock-backs are cared about with a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;you tried your bestâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; approach and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;better to have tried, failed and learned how to do it better next time than not to have given it a goâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The small size is also part of Skipperâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unique atmosphere, it is the norm for Senior school children to know the names of all the Juniors and vice versa and this is important for the family and caring feel, something that would not be possible in a larger school. The door is always open for parents to share concerns and they actually get acted upon.â&#x20AC;? Helen says that Skippers has offered her boys â&#x20AC;&#x153;independent thinking, self-conďŹ dence and a belief that they can achieve, even in the areas that they ďŹ nd more difďŹ cultâ&#x20AC;Śit is so much more than just academic achievement, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about the ability to be more rounded individuals with respect for others.â&#x20AC;? Karen Mack, meanwhile, is a mother of two daughters currently at the school and has a son who left in 2010. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We can see that Skippers really does treat each child as an individual,â&#x20AC;? she tells us. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Through providing a safe friendly environment they succeed in unlocking each childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s potential, really embracing individuality but at the same time promoting a strong sense of team work and fair play.â&#x20AC;? It is this kind of feedback that makes me feel very proud of Skippers Hill. I have been Headmaster at Skippers for 20 years and have continued to build on the ethos established in 1945 by the founders, Ray and Maureen Ward. We are an established, small yet vibrant prep school that cherishes each child and where everyone is important and successful. But recently the school has changed hands, and I am incredibly excited at the opportunities that are developing for our current and prospective pupils. Mark Malley, our new owner, has embarked on an investment programme which will bring our facilities up to match many other leading bigger prep schools

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whilst maintaining the all-important family, small school feel. As Mark puts it: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The key is engagement. School needs to be fun â&#x20AC;&#x201C; particularly in the early years. It needs to encourage in children a love of learning and a desire to absorb new informationâ&#x20AC;?. Mark is totally dedicated to building on the well-known strengths of Skippers and, as part of his commitment to the early years, our Reception pupils will be housed in a new, nurturing classroom with state-of-the-art technology next September. In fact, a huge amount of investment has already gone into the school. During the Christmas period the building teams have totally revamped the school ofďŹ ces and reception area. A new management information system will soon follow, which will beneďŹ t parents, pupils and staff. The old coach house, meanwhile, has been completely rebuilt internally and now houses the new purpose-built library and an independent ICT Suite with advanced technology. Not only will the pupils be able to have lessons here, they will also be able to do their own research in break and homework times too. And at wet breaks, Sudoku, Scrabble and Brain-teasing games will be on offer to keep their minds occupied. The Upper School students will also be moving to new classrooms in the main house. These large, well-appointed rooms will be linked to the intranet and this will improve the whole educational experience of these pupils. Our current parent body thoroughly approves of the schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plans for the future. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These are exciting times for Skippersâ&#x20AC;? says Frances Plummer, a mother of four children, three of whom have passed through the school and the fourth of whom is in year 6. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have always had a school with a proven academic record and a great reputation in the local community. Now with Markâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ďŹ nancial investment, Timâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dynamism, the staffâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dedication and the wonderful pupils at Skippers, the school will go from strength to strength!â&#x20AC;? For more information visit skippershill.com

FEBRUARY 2011




9,7,5;@6<9 */90:;4(::05: (;;/,*/<9*/6- 3(-0;5,:: Check out your local LA ďŹ tness club located in Market Square, Tunbridge Wells, Kent or online at www.laďŹ tness.co.uk to lose festive temptation and ďŹ nd gym salvation with a fantastic deal in January!

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L I F E S T Y L E R E N A U LT

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THIS MONTH 35 STAFF FROM THE TUNBRIDGE WELLS BASED MOTOR DEALERSHIP, LIFESTYLE RENAULT, WILL PUT ALL THEIR HARD WORK AND TRAINING INTO PRACTICE AS THEY TAKE PART IN THE TOWN’S HALF MARATHON TO RAISE MONEY FOR LOCAL CHARITY, THE PICKERING CANCER DROP-IN CENTRE

7

he Lifestyle Renault team is looking to raise funds to pay for the Pickering Centre’s rent for a full year – this generous move would give vital support to the organisation which provides valuable information, treatment and a social centre for people affected by cancer.

me even more determined to run and raise as much money as possible.” The team has had to battle through terrible weather, injuries and the festive period in order to continue their training and even though it has been a struggle, they are well on their way to being able to complete the run.

The target is a significant £17,500 – to donate please visit: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/teamlifestyle or drop into the dealership at Mount Ephraim, Royal Tunbridge Wells, TN4 8AG. Alternatively, call the team on 0844 844 6514. Team member and Sales Director of Lifestyle, Paul Murrells, comments: “We’re on the home straight now as far as our training is concerned, and we’re looking for that final push to raise our target of £17,500 for the Pickering Centre. “Sadly, my uncle passed away on New Years Day from this disease and living down in Dartmoor, he didn’t have access to facilities like Pickering’s. So, as you can imagine, it has made

The Pickering Centre, in Tunbridge Wells, is a self-funding charity, staffed entirely by volunteers. It provides valuable information, treatment and a social centre for people affected by cancer and has become a charity close to the heart of all those at Lifestyle. The Centre relies entirely on grants and donations, supported by its own fundraising events. To find out more about its work please visit pickeringcancercentre.org.uk. The Lifestyle Renault Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon takes place on February 27 at 10am, with the scenic loop taking it through Bidborough, Penshurst, Fordcombe, and Langton Green. Entries are now open and will not be accepted once the limit of 2,500 is reached. There will be no entries on the day.

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TUNBRIDGE WELLS

FEBRUARY 2011


MOTORS

WORDS JONATHAN CROUCH

8

nveiled at a party thrown to celebrate the Range Rover’s 40th birthday, the Evoque is more than just a new model, it’s key to the brand’s evolution. Although it will have the smallest footprint of any Range Rover (both physical and carbon) and compete in a much lower price sector, it won’t scrimp on the traditional luxuries. The aim is to hook up people who may never have considered a Range Rover before and there seems little doubt the funky design will hold more appeal for a younger clientele than even the Sport versions of the regular vehicle. The Evoque is a long-awaited three-door ‘baby’ Range Rover derived from the striking LRX concept first shown at the 2008 Detroit Show and the big shock is, it looks almost exactly the same. It will be available in two and four-wheel drive and joined, later, by five-door versions. Conceived as a ‘global’ car, the plan is to sell it in 160 countries. Launched in 1970 the original Range Rover was, to put it mildly, a sensation. It made a connection between go-anywhere off-road ability (hitherto the preserve of utilitarian Land Rovers, Jeeps and the like) and the necessities of a smart urban lifestyle that, over time, has seeded the remarkable profusion of SUVs, SAVs, ‘soft roaders’, crossovers available today. It was a great drive on-road, more comfortable than many saloons and looked sharp and contemporary. ‘Iconic’ is almost too small a word. It’s probably true that there’s still nothing quite like a full size Range Rover when it comes to marrying awesome mud-plugging ability with limo-like comfort and luxury, but the market trend has veered strongly towards servicing on-road duties, with muddy field jaunts relegated to the periphery. So it’s perhaps understandable that, despite sharing underpinning with the Land Rover Freelander, the Evoque is basically a tarmac deal with the lifestyle image.

Breathing commercial life into the LRX concept and making it the smallest, lightest and most fuel-efficient, low emissions Range Rover ever, should ensure a long queue forms when it goes on sale next Summer. Although based on the Freelander (and to be built in the same plant at Halewood on Merseyside), the Evoque should provide a much more dynamic driving experience. Its track is 20mm wider and numerous components, including suspension knuckles and control arms, are made of aluminium, lowering unsprung weight to the benefit of agility. The car, which will also be offered with front-wheel drive, is chasing sporty hatch standards of handling and ride and the BMW 1-series was among the cars used as a benchmark when developing the chassis. Front-drive will also help the Evoque’s eco credentials, giving a headline consumption figure of 58mpg and CO2 emissions of below

FEBRUARY 2011



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LLY LAND ROVER HAS FINA BROUGHT US A SMALL G ITS IN G IN R B , R E V O R E G N A R T TO STUNNING LRX CONCEP UE. LIFE AS THE NEW EVOQ BUT DOES ITS SMALLER ATE PROPORTIONS TRANSL TO A LESSER LANDY?

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TUNBRIDGE WELLS

130 g/km from a modified version of the Freelander’s 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine, though the 4x4 models should be good for around 50mpg, too. And no, these aren’t misprints. Stop/start is standard and extensive use of aluminium and plastic in the body make the Evoque up to 150 kg lighter than the Freelander. There are two versions of the 2.2-litre diesel engine, in 148bhp and 187bhp tune. They are available with manual or automatic transmissions, both six-speeders. The only petrol engine is sourced from Ford - a direct injection four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbo with twin variable valve timing from the new ‘Ecoboost’ family - and it will come mated to a paddle shift auto with no manual option. It should be brisk with a claimed 0-62mph time of 7.1s. There’s little to no chance that the Evoque’s SUV-cum-coupe styling won’t go down well with its intended customers. Reaction to the LRX concept shown at the Detroit Show in 2008 was extremely positive and remarkably little has changed for production. In making the journey from show stand to showroom, the bonnet line has been raised by 20mm to improve pedestrian safety. The roofline is taller by the same amount, the body marginally narrower and conventional door handles have been added. Otherwise the LRX’s strikingly crisp lines and athletic stance are perfectly preserved. A precise pricing structure has yet to be announced by Land Rover but the Company has said that the Evoque range will start at around £30,000 for the 148bhp front-wheel drive model with the most basic ‘Pure’ trim pack. Further up the range hierarchy are the ‘Prestige’ and ‘Dynamic’, the latter toting 20-inch wheels and a full body colour exterior rather than the dark trim lower section of the other models. In keeping with the exclusive image of the Range Rover brand, standard equipment levels are high and there’ll be plenty on the options list for those who really want to go for broke, including a full-length glass roof and a premium 17-speaker sound system. Cost of ownership is where the Evoque will turn the idea of Range Rover ownership on its head. There’s only so far you can trim the bulk, weight and feeding habits of a full-fat Range Rover. Incremental efficiency gains are all very well but it is what it is: big, thirsty and expensive to run. The Evoque, on the other hand, should be kinder on the wallet than the Land Rover Freelander on which it’s based. And if the idea of a front-wheel drive Range Rover raises the hackles of Land Rover purists, there’s no doubting its contribution towards re-writing the SUV rule book: It wasn’t so long ago that 50mpg and 130 g/km of CO2 was the preserve of eco-tuned city cars. Commensurately low taxes, sub-prestige servicing costs and the promise of robust Range Rover residuals will help make the Evoque a compelling ownership proposition. Finding the right mix of ingredients in the right proportions to make a convincing baby Range Rover was never going to be an easy task, but the LRX concept seems to have been an excellent starting point and shrewdly adapting Freelander running gear to hit price, economy and emissions targets a clever, if obvious, ploy. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the Evoque is the unique blend of qualities it brings to the small SUV sector: high style, low fuel consumption, emissions and running costs and the kudos of the Range Rover brand. It will be a surprise if the company doesn’t have a major hit on its hands. 62

If you would like further information about the New Range Rover Evoque and would like to be invited to the Harwoods Land Rover launch celebrations. Please email your details to: bwalker@harwoods.uk.com



FEBRUARY 2011

Facts at a glance: Model: Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Engine: 2.2 litre diesel Power: 187bhp 0-62mph: 7.1s Price: From around £30,000


BUSINESS

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S L L E W E G D I R B N TU S S E N I S IN BU

7+($*(1'$ Here’s a couple of questions: Will small business and start ups form the backbone of recovery? Which begs the other question: Are we definitely going into recovery? Adverse weather hitting seasonal purchasing, VAT rises and “unknown unknowns” could easily see us marking time. Whatever happens we will continue to live in interesting times. Who, though, will make the break for us locally? Pledged support from the banks and government is unlikely to provide the major stimulus and the old bugbear of ‘be safe do nothing’ is likely to hinder chances of a speedy bounce back. However, there’s a lot to be celebrated in our region by comparison with others. We have not been spoilt by the previous government and have maintained an independent ‘can do’ attitude which will stand us in good stead to recover faster than others. But can that weight be taken up by SME activity alone? Not in all sectors but certainly in some. Technology start ups have been seen to buck the trend although a good idea alone is not enough to give up the day job. The time needed to develop a concept to a realistic enterprise has grown as the banking and professional sectors have become more cautious. Businesses that have found new routes to market have also done well and we have seen a revolution in how recruitment can function in the digital age. Let’s be honest, the recovery will not be driven by the £2,000 grant for unemployed people to start their own businesses, which is unlikely to have much impact in West Kent where the blight of long term unemployment is relatively unusual. The Federation of Small Business has lobbied for better incentives and help for the SMEs they represent and there are around 4.8 million of them in the UK. Locally what differences can be made? Could councils give holiday periods to new business with regard to rates and rents? Could they improve the ability for firms to do business? It is sometimes easier (cheaper) and faster to get to London from Sevenoaks or Tonbridge than into Tunbridge Wells. How much is the congestion really costing us as businesses? What can established businesses do to help grow the sector that we all depend on in some way? New business is exciting in its very nature, but that means that established businesses will have to rediscover what risk is all about too. Let’s hope we can all enjoy the rewards of a well supported innovative new business sector. If we all help just a little we can expect a faster recovery than the rest of England.

Guest Editor of the Business Section is Mark Rosser, Senior Partner at Warners Solicitors

FEBRUARY 2011




62

TUNBRIDGE WELLS

BEYOND

THE MOON BY CREATING A GOOD WORKING ENVIRONMENT, BEING DECISIVE AND HAVING A DETAILED BUSINESS PLAN SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS WILL INCREASE THEIR CHANCES OF SUCCEEDING

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ick Jenkins established Moonpig in 2000 and the online greeting card company has gone from strength to strength. The company has amassed over 90% of the online card market, has expanded into different countries and has over three million customers with an annual turnover of ÂŁ30m. Moonpig founder Nick Jenkins offers us his top ten business tips: Prepare a detailed business plan Before I developed Moonpig I wrote detailed business plans for four other ideas. In the course of writing the plans I realised why the ideas wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t work. That saved me a fortune. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t give away equity unnecessarily at the beginning. Very often businesses start with a conversation in a pub between two friends. One has an idea and after a beer-fuelled discussion they decide to go into partnership. Partnerships can sometimes work but you need to be convinced that each partner adds something unique otherwise you have simply given away half of your business on day one. Similarly start ups often try to pay for things with equity. â&#x20AC;&#x153; If you design my website I will give you ten per cent of the businessâ&#x20AC;?. If you really believe your business will grow this will prove to be very expensive. Leave plenty of time to raise money You need to think about raising money well before you need it and you need to aim to have more than one source. If an investor knows that you will run out of money next month and he is the only funder, you have no leverage left and the price will fall. Be decisive It isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t necessary to be right all of the time, but it is critical to keep taking decisions to move the business on. Provided you are right more than half the time it is better than analysis paralysis.



FEBRUARY 2011


BUSINESS

62

Hire good people and let them get on with the job The salary difference between hiring a good person and a mediocre person is quite small. Aim to hire people whom you trust to take decisions. Some people cripple their businesses by insisting on signing off on every major decision, which limits the growth of the business to the number of decisions one person can make in a day. Cultivate a great working environment I have always preferred working in a friendly, happy environment. In your own company you have the opportunity to create the environment of your choice by choosing the right people and cultivating the environment. Before we hire a manager we explain how we prefer to work and emphasise that we don’t tolerate heavy-handed management styles. I have sometimes heard managers in other companies, usually men, taking pride in being difficult to work for. To me that is like taking pride in struggling to hang onto friends! It helps to think about creating a cheerful comfortable place to work. After all we spend half of our waking hours in the office. We spend a long time training people, and most people take a few months to become useful. The happier they are, the longer they stay, the more we benefit from the build of knowledge in the company. Help people learn from their mistakes Mistakes happen in any business. It is important that staff don’t cover up mistakes for fear of being found out. This will happen if there is a culture of fear in the office. A conscientious employee will beat himself up over a mistake far more than a few harsh words from a manager. It is usually far better to be understanding and helpful. Of course if they keep repeating the same mistake again and again you need to find them something less demanding to do, preferably in another company. Use your management accounts as you would the dashboard of a car There are many entrepreneurs who have a blind spot when it comes to accounts. They just want to see the number at the bottom of the page. Learn how to read and use accounts and establish a discipline of issuing monthly management accounts, including all the key performance indicators for the business and then ensure that all key managers understand the part of the accounts that measure their performance. Keep a business plan up to date Every year we re-write our business plan taking into account everything that has happened over the year. It keeps us on track and makes us review and question what we are doing. Use your own time sensibly Many people have the impression that running your own business is about working all hours of the day. It doesn’t have to be that way. Once the business is profitable it isn’t necessary to do anything yourself that could be easily delegated to someone else. Work out what it is that you, and only you, can contribute to the business and focus on doing that. For more information visit www.moonpig.com FEBRUARY 2011




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BUSINESS

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THE CHAIR MAN SINCE JOINING VEHICLE SEAT DISTRIBUTOR TEK SEATING AT 18 MD PAUL FLEMING HAS SEEN THE BUSINESS GROW YEAR ON YEAR. WITH ITS AQUISITION OF SITSMART SIX YEARS AGO, THE TUNBRIDGE WELLS COMPANY IS NOW PUSHING FORWARD WITH NEW IDEAS INCLUDING BLAST PROTECTION SEATS THAT WILL SAVE LIVES IN CONFLICT ZONES AROUND THE WORLD What qualities do you need to succeed in business? I think you need to have an open mind, be able to listen to others and have confidence in your own thoughts. You need to go your own way and a thick skin helps. A positive approach and attitude – that is hopefully replicated by your team. If you haven’t got confidence and pride in what your company is doing, don’t expect anyone else to. What gives you the biggest buzz at work? The whole business ‘thing’ gives me a buzz. I have been with TEK Seating since the age of 18 and, if anything, I get a bigger buzz now than I did then. We have consistently increased turnover year on year for the twenty-eight years I have been involved with TEK (2009 being the exception). Seeing the hard work and commitment of my team, producing the results and rewards, that’s the buzz! What is your biggest regret in business? There is no one big regret, there are things that I wish I had done differently and there are things I wish I hadn’t done at all, but that’s business! What is your most memorable moment in business? I haven’t had it yet! I hope it will be when we finish the production of our Blast Protection Seat for the military vehicle market and it starts to contribute towards saving lives that are currently being lost to IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices). On a personal and commercial level, this would have to be the ‘big one’. What does 2011 hold for your business? On the vehicle seating side of the business, 2011 sees us

moving into two new exciting markets. Military vehicle seating has huge potential for us and, after investing quite heavily in 2010, we have just secured our first orders for this year. We are also developing new product for the rail industry and we’ve already had a very positive response from the major operators. SitSmart, the ergonomic office seating part of the business is focused on increasing our presence locally and expanding our business in London. Which famous business figure would you most like to work with and why? I used to love watching the TV programme where Sir John Harvey-Jones visited various businesses and made suggestions on how to improve business and take things forward. I seem to remember a particularly lively visit to Morgan cars! It would have been great to sit down with him for a long lunch (which he looked like he was no stranger to) and discuss my business. Sadly, as he has now passed away it would need the intervention of a higher power... What four words describe your personally? Optimistic, driven, focused, fun. 62 FEBRUARY 2011




62

TUNBRIDGE WELLS

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BUSINESS

62

LEARNING THE WHAT, IF ANY, HAS THE WORLD OF BUSINESS LEARNT FROM THE 80’S 90’S AND NOUGHTIES? THE GUEST EDITOR THIS MONTH OF OUR BUSINESS SECTION, MARK ROSSER, SENIOR PARTNER AT WARNERS SOLICITORS, LOOKS BACK ON THE ‘OTHER’ RECESSIONS

I

have been living and working in Kent since the early 80’s and my overriding feeling is that, no matter what sector, business has overall become harder. That is not to say that the old days were the best - there were a number of recessions to survive - but for most businesses, particularly SMEs, the sheer weight of regulatory compliance places a heavy burden on businesses already operating on slender margins.

Statistics show that 10% of jobs people work at today simply did not exist ten years ago. By and large, they are web based and internet driven jobs but this figure highlights the pace at which business now develops. My own daughter has one of these “new” jobs and after four years and much explanation, I am still somewhat in the dark as to what she actually does!

LESSONS concentrating on what the general public would regard as one of their main functions, namely, providing finance for businesses. I am encouraged, however, to read that one of the banks in the South East has stated it has more than £350 million net increase over the next 12 months to lend. Let’s hope that some of our local SMEs are the recipients. In relation to business owners who have been seeking to retire or simply exit from their businesses, the last few years have been frustrating. By and large, only purchasers with their own war chests have been in the marketplace which for a number of reasons, including lack of competition, has driven the potential business value down from what were previously admittedly high expectations. However, potential sellers have now received a few more years reasonable income from their businesses, and with no more than minimal growth expected in the foreseeable future, their expectations are today perhaps more realistic. Accordingly, we would expect to see more activity in the Mergers & Acquisitions market over the next year. And in this connection, we and others are well placed to assist both buyers and sellers of businesses in the South East without the need for expensive professional support and advice from the City.

There is little doubt that businesses that do not adopt the leaner, meaner and greener business model will have slight chance of survival in the long term. Unfortunately this is likely to mean a reduction in personnel in many instances given that people and premises are by far the most expensive recurring outgoings for most enterprises. The previous recessions are difficult to compare. The early nineties and the dot com bubble were so different from the banking based recession; there are undoubtedly different lessons to be learnt from each one. While I hope that the banks and others have learnt lessons I am concerned that from the lending perspective institutions have determined that they can run a perfectly profitable business without FEBRUARY 2011




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

2XWORRN

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CARL ASTORRI FROM COUTTS’ INVESTMENT TEAM LOOKS AT THE ECONOMIC OUTLOOK FOR 2011

:

e expect 2011 to be another positive year for financial markets as the global economy continues to heal, although a repeat performance of 2010’s strong returns from most asset classes seems unlikely. Consumers and governments in the developed economies will maintain their focus on reducing debt, which will keep growth slower than it was in the pre-crisis years and more reliant on corporate spending and exports. Consumers and banks are about halfway through reducing their excessive debt, while governments are just beginning this multi-year process.

Carl Astorri

The pain of fiscal austerity - spending cuts and tax increases - is most acute in the euro-zone, which is facing the lesson of history that no single currency across sovereign nations has survived without the combination of both monetary union and a united fiscal policy. We believe a solution involving much greater centralisation of fiscal policy is the most likely outcome to the current crisis, but the potential for pressure to penetrate to a core euro-zone country such as France or Italy is a key risk to our positive 2011 outlook. However, while fiscal austerity will curtail economic growth and employment in the near term, it is important to keep in mind the longer-term benefits of reducing government spending. Putting the public finances back on a stable footing will lighten the burden of interest payments and make room for cutting taxes on incomes, investment and profits. This is likely to eventually boost the average rate of economic growth as well as equity valuations. But a tough few years will have to be navigated first. Stronger growth in emerging markets will heighten the attraction of equities and currencies in these regions, as well as developed-market companies with substantial revenue from these faster-growing areas. In sharp contrast to major Western economies, emerging and Asian consumers look set to be the drivers of global growth. Reshaping growth toward domestic consumption will be an increasing focus of policy-makers in these regions who will be mindful of the risks of depending on exports to the debt-laden West. Sector and regional performance within emerging markets is likely to favour areas benefitting from the shift toward domestic consumption. Yield is likely to continue to attract investors in the major

John Goss developed markets, where inflation is currently falling and official interest rates are unlikely to rise in 2011, supporting government bonds, corporate bonds and commercial property. Prime property in developed markets will also be prized for its secure income stream. While deflation is a more pertinent near-term risk than inflation for developed markets, the seeds of a longer-term rise in inflation are being sown. The US Federal Reserve is determined to avert a slide into prolonged deflation by boosting long-term inflation expectations. Given this backdrop, inflation-linked bonds are likely to outperform conventional government debt, particularly in the US. Equities are attractively valued relative to fixed-income, with greater scope for returns, while also offering greater protection against long-term inflation risks. Due to its equitylike characteristics, high-yield debt is likely to outperform both lower-yielding, though higher-quality, investment-grade corporate bonds and government debt. Looking much more locally, the key differentiators when determining the impact of government spending cuts are the relative importance of both public-sector employment and private-sector production that is dependent on government spending. Based on these factors, the three British regions we identify as most vulnerable are Wales, the North East and Scotland. By contrast, London and, reassuringly for those in and around Tunbridge Wells, the South East region is the least exposed, suggesting its housing market could outperform other regions. 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 FEBRUARY 2011




O D H U  $WZHHW IN OUR CONTINUING BID TO CATCH UP WITH THE PEOPLE WHO MOST INFLUENCE OUR TOWN VIA THE SOCIAL NETWORK SITE, WE TWEET WITH WILLIAM BENSON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF TUNBRIDGE WELLS BOROUGH COUNCIL Morning William, how are you? Ready to start your first ‘Twinterview’? Ready to go!

That’s pretty good considering the weather! You’re Chief Exec of the council... what does that mean? It means that I am Head of Paid Service responsible for staff & for supporting the Council in shaping & delivering its priorities & services

What are the company’s aims and objectives? Difficult to phrase in 140 characters! “To promote economic, social & environmental wellbeing of RTW, Southborough, Cranbrook and P Wood” …Also to unlock development opportunities, to provide a financial return, to deliver high quality architecture & design, provide public realm

That’s reassuring. Obviously, these are difficult times for the council (leadership, civic centre, cuts). Are calmer waters on the horizon? Hopefully! We worked hard to prepare for 30% budget cuts to keep services running well. TWRC dominates but much more to Council than that.



FEBRUARY 2011

Excellent. What’s your plan for the day? I’m very well. Feeling a little bit virtuous as I cycled in this morning and have still managed to keep my New Year’s Resolution on track! …Unusually, I have a relatively clear day. I am meeting Martin Wilson (police chief) later for our regular 1:1. Otherwise catching up on e-mails …We also have an important series of meetings coming up in Feb in which the Council will be setting its budget and priorities for yr ahead

...And you’re also Director of the Tunbridge Wells Regeneration Company (TWRC) - what does your position entail? I’m appointed by the Council to pursue the Company’s aims & objectives (set by the Council). There are 4 directors. None of us are paid.

Isn’t it possible that a conflict of interests could arise between a private company’s objectives & the council’s need to get the best deal? We built protection in to the Shareholder Agreement meaning that if we don’t get best consideration we can take a site to the open market.


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TWITTER

With the loss of the Civic Centre consultation documents, when might we finally see a decision for the town hall complex? Consulting in lots of ways & are at a v early stage in process. Will re-drop docs & deadline now 14 Feb I would expect a dec in March/April.

We’ve seen proposed cuts to staff in Manchester today. How many redundancies have there been at TWBC & what sectors are most affected? We saw cuts coming & prepared early. We took out 10% staff last yr & saved £1m. 1/3 saving in senior mgmt. Also moved from nat to local pay.

That’s encouraging. People are sure to be vocal on the subject! What are your opinions on the current site & what would you like to see? I want to hear what residents have to say. Need to recognise that not all site belongs to TWBC & was built when public svcs were v different Here’s a question we’ve put to all our ‘Twinterviewees’ - If money was no object, what five things would you change about the town? Transpt infrastruct (inc A21 & rail), tackle grot spots (inc cinema), pedestrianise Mt Pleasant, improve cultural offer & get cinema in town

Great. Once again, we agree. Well, we’d better let you get back to ensuring TW stays great. Hope you enjoyed the interview. Thanks! It’s been a great experience tho have struggled to address qs in 140 characters! TW is a gt place & am absolutely cmtd to keeping it that way

All fair points, though we do have @ trinitytheatre in the centre. And what five things do you love about the town & would staunchly defend? Surrounding countryside, Commons & parks, its heritage & built environment, the Pantiles & the sense of pride & community amongst residents.

Gd stf!

Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/ SoTWMag and follow William Benson at twitter.com/twbc_ChiefExec If you think you know someone we should interview on Twitter, get in touch!

FEBRUARY 2011




ASSEMBLY HALL THEATRE

COMING SOON February Highlights Tuesday 1 – Saturday 5 Sunday 6 Friday 11 Saturday 12 Monday 14 Tuesday 15 Wednesday 16 Thursday 17

Horrible Histories Jimmy Carr (returns only) Van Morrison Songbook In The Flesh – The Pink Floyd Show Jethro Rollermania – An Evening with Les McKeown (Bay City Rollers) Fairport Convention Lenny Henry: Cradle to Rave

March Highlights Wednesday 2 Ed Byrne - Crowd Pleaser Thursday 3 Flawless Friday 4 – Saturday 5 G*Mania – inspired by the TV hit, Glee Sunday 6 Chas & Dave Tuesday 8 Wednesday 9 Thursday 10 Saturday 12 Sunday 13 Monday 14 Tuesday 15 Wednesday 16 Friday 18 Saturday 19 Monday 21 Wednesday Thursday Friday Sunday Monday 28 – Tuesday

23 24 25 27 29

Neil Morrisey Ben E. King , Great American Soulbook 10cc The Bon Jovi Experience The Big Ballet John Bishop (returns only) Mary Wilson of The Supremes John Beatty - Wild Vision The Dubliners Charlie Landsborough The Naked Truth starring Michelle Heaton, Maureen Nolan & Claire King The Chippendales Sarah Millican (returns only) Bjorn Again Joe Brown Live in Concert English Touring Opera (Puccini & Mozart)

Book online at:

www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk Box Office: 01892 530613/532072

ASSEMBLY HALL

THEATRE


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OUR FRIENDS AT TRINITY THEATRE ARE WELL KNOWN FOR THEIR ON STAGE OFFERINGS, BUT HAVE YOU EVER POPPED IN TO CATCH A FILM? AS THEY EXPLAIN, THERE ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH REASONS TO GO TIME AND TIME AGAIN

7

here can’t be many cinemas where your surroundings are as beautiful as what’s on screen. With up to four films a week showing in Trinity’s theatrical main auditorium, Decimus Burton’s imposing architecture is a world away from your standard soulless multiplex. And as Tunbridge Wells’ only town-centre screen, Trinity is greener than a multiplex too – it’s easily reached on foot or by public transport if you prefer not to drive. Like the best independent cinemas, Trinity offers an eclectic mix of top-class movies. The Spring 2011 film programme runs from pure Hollywood entertainment (Angelina Jolie in The Tourist, Sunday January 30 and Tuesday Feb 1) to classic golden oldies (Some Like It Hot, Sunday Jan 23) and award-winning indie flicks. With the church roof soaring above you, there’s nowhere more atmospheric to watch Cannes Grand Prix winner Of Gods And Men (the true-life story of tragedy at an Algerian monastery, Wednesday March 9), or the eerie U.S. remake of Sweden’s hit tale of the undead, Let Me In (Tuesday February 8). So whether your taste is thoughtprovoking international art-house, all-star blockbusters, or both, the Spring film season is guaranteed to more than satisfy. And for those who want to continue the discussion over a pint in the bar, why not meet up with Trinity’s relaxed, sociable Film Club? A free information leaflet

designed to stimulate debate is given out before the film, and audience members meet at the bar afterwards to deconstruct the evening’s entertainment. This season’s Club films include The Kids Are All Right, The Illusionist (L’Illusionniste), The American, Of Gods And Men, Blue Valentine, On Tour (Tournée), Black Swan and Biutiful. Come on your own or with a friend – you can sit with the Film Club group, or just join us post-show. It’s also easy to make a night of it and meet friends in the foyer’s Divinity Café for a light meal or coffee and cake before the film. For a really civilised evening, take your drink with you into the auditorium. Enjoy a sherry along with The King’s Speech (Sunday April 3) or sup a beer with Blomqvist when you catch The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest (Tuesday Mar 8). Reserved seating means you can specify a centre or convenient aisle seat (alternatively choose the front row of the balcony for its handy shelf to rest your wine glass on!). As your local, independent cinema screen, Trinity offers a relaxed, personal film-going experience – a real Tunbridge Wells gem. We hope to see you there soon...

Tickets from £4 to £7.50. Special rates for Trinity members and friends (plus Friendsday Wednesday two-for-one offers) .To book visit trinitytheatre.net, call 01892 678 678 or, to see a friendly face, visit the box office between 10am and 3pm Monday to Saturday.

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+HOOR & ongratulations! If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re reading this then the chances are youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re getting married or, at the very least, know someone who is. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a wonderful thing and a very special day, so of course you want it to be memorable â&#x20AC;&#x201C; for all the right reasons! Over the following pages youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll ďŹ nd plenty of tips and ideas on how to help the day run smoothly, look spectacular and make it the most cherished event of your life.

Tunbridge Wells is a fantastic place to hold your wedding with a plethora of classic, contemporary and picturesque venues to play host. With beautiful castles, country houses, golf course hotels, how do you choose? We highlight some of the best in each sector to help you make the right decision. There are some, however, whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d prefer the guarantee of sunshine on their big day. With that in mind we talk to Tracy Pearcy of The Travel Concept, who gives us the lowdown on weddings abroad and, of course, offers a few nuggets of advice on arranging honeymoons. But itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not just where you hold the wedding thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll affect how stunning the day looks â&#x20AC;&#x201C; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also down to what everyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wearing. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so much to take into consideration that, once more, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got some excellent ideas to help it all come together. There are also tips on how to choose the right ďŹ&#x201A;oral arrangement for the big day, plus a listing of the local companies, so thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no reason it canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t all fall into place by the time you â&#x20AC;&#x153;walk down the aisleâ&#x20AC;?.

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WE ALL WANT OUR WEDDINGS TO LOOK AS AMAZING AS THEY CAN, BUT DON’T RELY ON THE DRESS AND THE TABLE SETTINGS TO CARRY THE DAY. EVERY MEMBER OF THE WEDDING PARTY NEEDS TO LOOK THE PART The Bridal Gown

Of course, we all know how important the bridal gown is to the big day; it’s the difference between the ceremony beginning with swoons of admiration or gasps of despair. But with so many styles and fabrics available, plus the erosion of out-dated traditions, how can the bride-to-be choose a style that’s perfect for her and the style of celebrations?

Once the consultant is aware of your theme, timing and venue options you can start to take your own opinions into consideration. Begin trying on dresses, even if you’re unsure of them on the rail, and narrow down the search! Make sure you’re clear about your budget and feel free to try out new ideas; leave any preconceptions about what suits you at the door. Many brides find their wedding gown is something they would never have considered when they first started looking.

Firstly, the most important thing to remember is that for the perfect final result – and to ensure nail-biting is kept to a minimum – it’s essential that the bride takes plenty of time. Also important is to visit a number of bridal outlets and find one that feels right, where not only the dresses look the part, but you also feel comfortable with the staff.

These days, the colour is an important decision. With icy blue-whites and warm ivories, hues of just off white continue to offer a variety of choice and brides are even more bucking tradition and getting married in coloured dresses.

Remember that good bridal outlets usually prefer you make an appointment with a consultant, which can take up to two hours. Busiest times are Fridays and weekends, so perhaps opt to visit on a weekday so you can take your time and aren’t flustered into make rash decisions.



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As traditional etiquette loses its grip, the white dress has increasing competition with soft pinks, glimmering golds, and even dramatic reds. And in the world of white there is a wonderland of shades to choose from – remember that the white most flattering to the skin is not necessarily the crisp and cold variety we associate with a traditional wedding.


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The Bridal Gown Of course, we all know how important the bridal gown is to the big day; it’s the difference between the ceremony beginning with swoons of admiration or gasps of despair. But with so many styles and fabrics available, plus the erosion of out-dated traditions, how can the bride to be choose a style that’s perfect for her and the style of celebrations. Firstly, the most important thing to remember is that for the perfect final result – and to ensure nail-biting is kept to a minimum – it’s essential that the bride takes plenty of time. Also important is to visit a number of bridal outlets and find one that feels right, where not only the dresses look the part, but you also feel comfortable with the staff. Remember that good bridal outlets usually prefer you make an appointment with a consultant which can take up to two hours. Busiest times are Fridays and weekends, so perhaps opt to visit on a weekday so you can take your time and aren’t flustered into make rash decisions. Once the consultant is aware of your theme, timing and venue options you can start to take your own opinions into consideration. Begin trying on dresses, even if you’re unsure of them on the rail, and narrow down the search! Make sure you’re clear about your budget and feel free to try out new ideas; leave any preconceptions about what suits you at the door. Many brides find their wedding gown is something they would never have considered when they first started looking. These days, the colour is an important decision. With icy blue-whites and warm ivories, hues of just off white continue to offer a variety of choice and brides are even more bucking tradition and getting married in coloured dresses.

All bridal gowns courtesy of Charlotte Balbier

As traditional etiquette loses its grip, the white dress has increasing competition with soft pinks, glimmering golds, and even dramatic reds. And in the world of white there is a wonderland of shades to choose from – remember that the white most flattering to the skin is not necessarily the crisp and cold variety we associate with a traditional wedding.

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Best Bridesmaids Today, the bride’s attendants are expected to look as dazzling as the bride herself and, far from fading into the background, should complement the overall aesthetic of the wedding. Time was, in the not too recent past, when bridesmaids were never expected to make an entrance. Far from having an impact on the overall look and feel of the event, they’d be swept into the shadows by the shimmering silks and satins of the bridal dress. But times they are a-changing and more brides than ever are realising that the choice of their attendants’ attire is key to

achieving a stunning total look for the entire event. Let’s face it; a self-conscious bridesmaid who has had her confidence crushed by an unfortunate choice of gown does nothing for either the atmosphere or for your wedding photos. If the bridesmaids’ dresses look terrific they will complement that of the bride – who will look better than ever. Although it’s the bride’s privilege to select the colour and fabric of the bridesmaid’s gowns, it’s crucial that consideration is given to the attendants’ individual styles, preferences and figure types too.

Motherly Love The wedding day is a chance for the mothers of the bride and groom to wear something more elaborate and beautiful than they might have worn for years. It’s a chance to step up the attire and really shine – even with a flamboyant outfit. Make sure the mothers are taken into account and are given plenty of attention before the day as they’ll no doubt be busy with various behind-the-scenes work having (most likely) been through the wedding event first hand already. Ensure you visit a few outlets that have expertise in special occasion wear – they’ll be able to give specific advice on styles, colours, shapes and accessories. To avoid clashes, it’s worth both mothers taking time prior to the day, to discuss with each other what they are planning to wear. Most important of all, it’s imperative that mothers feel as happy and confident with their clothing as the bride. Mother of the bride collection courtesy of La Belle Femme

Good Grooming The gents are also important to get right on the big day – and we all know how difficult it can be to get some of the guys out shopping. However, there are plenty of tailors out there who can do the task with their eyes shut and can make the task a surprisingly painless affair. Despite this, whether you’re hiring an off-the-rail suit or opting for bespoke tailoring it is, once again, important to allow plenty of time. As with brides, try different options and listen to the advice of your tailor or outfitter – they know what they’re talking about. Morning suits with tails are perfect for achieving a look of effortless elegance, but a tailored two-piece creates a more up-to-date and fashionable look. As ever, consider the colour, cut and style to ensure it matches the rest of the party. And remember, a double-breasted jacket really only looks dapper on the tall and slim, while a single-breasted option is sleek and fashionable for gents of all shapes.



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The Best of the Dress Since 1997 Tunbridge Wells’ The Pantiles Bride has been one of the premier bridal shops in the area. With a range of styles and designers on the rails you’re sure to be able to find that perfect dress, however to get even closer to the people who know best, the outlet is holding a number of meet the designer events. On Saturday February 5 Sassi Holford will be visiting, followed by Kate Sherford on Saturday March 26. Pop along to get truly expert advice. Booking an appointment will be necessary, see pantilesbride.com or call 01892 514 515.

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WE’VE GOT THE KNOWLEDGE ON WHERE TO SOURCE EVERYTHING FOR YOUR BIG DAY - FROM JEWELLERY AND DRESSES TO SOMEONE TO STYLE YOUR HAIR

Bespoke Beauty For the last 15 years Burrells the Jewellers have been Tunbridge Wells’ premier purveyor of contemporary fine jewellery. Specialising in the finest quality engagement and wedding rings which are made in their own workshops, the master craftsmen can realise whatever you desire for your special day. Burrells stock a large collection of classic designs, as well as some more individual and unusual engagement and wedding rings in 18 carat gold or platinum. However, the workshops can manufacture any design to your specification. For more information visit their two shops in Royal Victoria Place or call 01892 519 840.

Seamless Style The Gallery, in Southborough, offers fantastic hair dressing and styling packages for wedding parties prior to, and on, the day. The bridal service includes a two hour hair and make-up design trial, plus a luxury conditioning treatment, facial and manicure before the day of the ceremony, that leaves hair, make up and a nail file and polish when it comes to tying the knot. Grooms can also enjoy a tailored luxury treatment schedule, as can mothers of the bride and bridesmaids. The bridal service is £300, grooms £75 and mothers and bridesmaids £100. Visit thegallery.me or call 01892 514 900.

The Ring Thing Looking for contemporary wedding ring designs? A satin finish is increasingly popular, either alone or combined with a polished finish for a pleasing contrast, and often embellished with diamonds or an engraved surface design. Peter Jenner, with his shop on The Pantiles, unites expert traditional craftsmanship with cutting-edge technology to create these rings of magnificent simplicity and timeless design - ‘modern classics’, if you will. See peterjenner.com or call 01892 521 796.

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WEDDING SPECIAL

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WE’RE BLESSED, IN THIS PART OF THE WORLD, WITH A HUGE SELECTION OF BEAUTIFUL SETTINGS FOR WEDDINGS AND RECEPTIONS. BUT WITH SUCH A RANGE AVAILABLE, YOU’LL BE FACING A TOUGH DECISION – HERE ARE SOME OF OUR FAVOURITES

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s with many parts of the modern wedding, much has changed with regards to the venues for ceremonies and receptions. Many places in the local vicinity are on hand to host your day and help you celebrate in style, but which is right for you?

of Henry VIII. In Winter months you can marry in the Castle and the atmosphere is intimate, inviting and warm with roaring log fires. In Summer you can marry outside overlooking the stunning lake in the ornate Italian Gardens with 2000 year old sculpture surrounding you. And the flowers in Spring are a real spectacle offering an amazing backdrop for your day. If you’d prefer to host your celebrations a little closer to home, then Tunbridge Wells itself has a number of venues that’ll more than cater for your needs. The Old School House at The Brew House Hotel offers a chic setting in which to hold a reception. This, coupled with the contemporary ONE Restaurant and bar truly makes for an amazing package. Since its opening just over a year ago, the Old School House has become a pivotal space for hosting top-end events in the town.

Leeds Castle, too, certainly has the royal touch, with its 900 year history as home to six Medieval Queens and preferred residence

For a more traditional setting, head to The Spa Hotel. Set in an elegant 18th Century Mansion on the western edge of Tunbridge

Hever Castle

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Perhaps you’re after a classically styled event; if this is the case why not opt for one of the local castles? Hever can boast some 600 acres of land with 120 formal acres of gardens which were voted the Most Romantic Garden in Kent by Gardeners World. And that’s without mentioning the stately grandeur of the castle itself. The country house atmosphere of the Astor Wing, the stunning lakeside location of the Guthrie Pavilion and the sweeping views from the Golf Club’s Princes Suite make for an amazing setting whether you are planning an intimate gathering or a larger event.

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Wells, it’s nestled in 14 acres of beautiful landscaped gardens and grounds. It’s also fully licensed for civil ceremonies and partnerships and the Hotel offers a fine selection of elegant suites catering from 20 to 300 guests, plus extensive health club facilities, spa treatment rooms and a contemporary bar and orangery. We’re also spoiled for choice when it comes to stately homes in the local area, with beautiful backdrops as well as excellent facilities. Salomons, in Southborough, is a historic Victorian mansion set in 36 acres of Kent countryside offering sumptuous wedding breakfasts and a choice of licensed ceremony areas. Weddings of up to 230 people can be accommodated for in grand oak-panelled theatre, as well as more intimate gatherings of up to 65 in the Gold Room. With Pimms on the terrace and croquet on the lawn it’s the ideal venue for Summer, as well as any other season. In a similar vein, Ashdown Park Hotel is nestled at the heart of the Ashdown Forest. Surrounded by manicured lawns, a lake, secret garden and woodland trails it’s another stunning place to host your wedding. The hotel exudes opulence and is everything you would expect from a luxurious English country house hotel. With 186 acres and 106 bedrooms, Ashdown Park can cater for weddings from just 10 guests through to 150. With a resident wedding co-ordinator, Lisa, you can be guided every step of the way, from the initial telephone enquiry right through to tying the knot.

The Spa Hotel

Salomons

Just a half hour drive away from Tunbridge Wells is Lingfield Park Racecourse. With the recently completed four star Marriott Hotel & Country Club with 116 rooms plus 450 acres of parkland and manicured gardens surrounding the site, you’ve got stunning backdrops for your photographs. There are also 22 function rooms and the ability to cater for 450 guests. The Breathe Spa offers a place for guests to relax and rejuvenate and there’s an 18-hole golf course, not forgetting the racecourse itself with over 80 meets a year. As you can see, within the Weald you’re in good hands for your big day. 62

The Old School House, The Brew House

CONTACTS: Ashdown Park Hotel 01342 824 988 ashdownpark.com The Beacon 01892 524 252 the-beacon.co.uk The Brew House Hotel 01892 520 587 thebrewhousehotel.net Hever Castle 01732 861 800 hevercastle.co.uk Leeds Castle 01622 767 813 leedscastleweddings.com

Ashdown Park Hotel

Lingfield Park Racecourse 01342 834 800 lingfield-racecourse.co.uk

Lingfield Park Racecourse

Salomons 01892 507 630 salomonscentre.org.uk Spa Hotel 01892 520 331 spahotel.co.uk Leeds Castle



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TUNBRIDGE WELLS

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WEDDING SPECIAL

MORE PEOPLE ARE CHOOSING TO GET AWAY TO DREAM DESTINATIONS FOR THEIR WEDDING CEREMONY. FROM PERFECT BEACH BREAKS TO CITY-BASED TRIPS TRACY PEARCY OF THE TRAVEL CONCEPT TELLS US HOW TO PLAN YOUR WEDDING ON FOREIGN SHORES

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wedding abroad can be the perfect way to get away from it all and, of course, up your chances of enjoying sunny skies for your big day. From beach weddings to city breaks, incorporating some travelling into your marriage will ensure that the most memorable of days will stay with you forever.

Arranging a wedding is stressful at the best of times, so curating one on foreign shores can be a daunting task. At The Travel Concept we know the locations where you can truly have an exclusive wedding day and we can also organise a wedding co-ordinator so that your day goes without a hitch. We can also organise your family and friends to join you wherever you choose to celebrate because our aim is to give you your dream wedding wherever it may be. The Caribbean offers stunning tropical locations, gorgeous beaches and with many hotels offering complimentary weddings there is plenty of choice for everyone’s tastes and budgets. With some 7,000 islands the hardest thing will be to actually choose which one you want to visit.

With 300 days of sunshine a year Cyprus is a little closer to home, but still offers the promise of hot, sunny weather and a huge variety of settings. From crumbling forts to modern hotels, Cyprus, and to a similar degree Greece, offers so much just a few hours away. Asia is another great destination for marriages. If you’re considering Thailand, the paperwork is easy and there are so many paradise islands to choose from. This, coupled with the exceptional Thai hospitality and high standard of accommodation on the larger islands, means it also offers fantastic value for money. Malaysia is also a great choice, but thanks to its lesser popularity, once you are there you can expect the entire beach to yourselves! Finally, a city break to somewhere like New York could be the perfect trip for your wedding. Especially those of you who want something a bit different, with alternative locations from Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park the feel is relaxed and casual. Plus, there’s no language barrier! If you can’t get away for the big day itself, make sure you book a fantastic honeymoon you’ll remember forever. We’re also experts in creating bespoke honeymoon trips, so you’re in good hands.

Top tips for a winning wedding abroad: Q Get a realistic budget in mind before you meet with an advisor, this will ensure you don’t start planning something that’s out of your price bracket QMake sure you start planning well in advance, especially if you want to tie the knot on a specific day QWeddings are complicated with lots of paperwork and legalities – wedding planners can help steer you through QMake sure your clothing, especially the dress, is cared for when travelling. Companies like The Travel Concept can assist in this The Travel Concept 01435 866 555 thetravelconcept.co.uk

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TUNBRIDGE WELLS

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ADJ;FG WEDDING SPECIAL

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6D\LWZLWK WEDDING FLOWERS CAN BE A CREATIVE TOOL OF SELFEXPRESSION AS WELL AS THE EMBODIMENT OF THE BEAUTY AND SYMBOLISM OF THE RITUAL

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hether your wedding is shabby chic (think converted barns and rambling roses), or the epitome of unadulterated urban style, your choice of flowers should reflect the whole theme and feel of your special day – injecting it with colour, aroma and sensual beauty.

From the smallest buttonholes to table arrangements of unbridled extravagance, there is no point in seeking out the help of a florist until you have decided upon colour, cost and theme. Establish your budget and consider your concept. Are you a minimalist couple, for example, or are you longing for an uber-romantic Gatsbystyle affair? Consider the season also. Although many flowers are now available all year round (such as roses, lilies, orchids and gerberas), for quality and a little cost-consciousness, it always pays to look at blooms that are in their normal flowering season. Amaryllis, for example, in shades of green, white and pink, make lovely long and slender arm bouquets (as well as table decorations), for winter weddings; and Marilyn Munroe chose a stunning posy of white cymbidium orchids for her January wedding to Joe DiMaggio in 1954. You might also like to weave a little sentimentality into your floral choices and consider their actual meaning. Apart from the classic red roses (that symbolise love), there is ambrosia for love returned and forget-me-not for true love. Apple blossom represents hope, freesias innocence, and lily of the valley happiness.

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BRIDES IN BLOOM But when it comes to deciding upon blooms, ďŹ rst thoughts inevitably go to the bride â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and quite rightly so â&#x20AC;&#x201C; because the choice of ďŹ&#x201A;owers she carries can make or break her total look. It doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t matter how designer that show-stopping dress may be, a bad bouquet will undermine even the most tasteful gown. A concept favoured by a great deal of English brides is to match the head piece and details on the gown to the bouquet but, as a general rule, the more elaborate the dress, then the more simple the bouquet should be. Colour is key when it comes to choosing a bouquet. If you are wearing white, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a good idea to select colours that coordinate with the bridesmaidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; dresses. If your dress is coloured you could pick ďŹ&#x201A;owers in toning shades (for a complementary effect), or in strongly contrasting colours for a bolder statement. Or why not opt for white? Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s almost nothing quite as stunning as a bouquet of smooth, white tulips held against a coloured dress. The types of bouquets to choose from can in themselves be overwhelming and this is where a good and experienced ďŹ&#x201A;orist will be happy to assist. Hand-tied posies of roses, tulips and peonies can be just right for more informal ceremonies, but you might prefer a graceful, chic wrist corsage, a pinned corsage (incredibly ďŹ&#x201A;attering on high-necked and off-theshoulder gowns), or a statement bouquet thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s artistic, ďŹ&#x201A;amboyant and that really puts your ďŹ&#x201A;oristâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s creativity to the test â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a challenge that would certainly not phase the team at The Style Workshop. Offering a personal service to the bride and groom, The Style Workshop will help interpret your ideas and develop a design that is speciďŹ cally tailored for your day. Representing the top-end of ďŹ&#x201A;oral design in the area the company are able to produce the most stylish and fashionable weddings, to ensure your wedding day will be distinctive and memorable. Drop in to see their vast array of ďŹ&#x201A;owers and arrangements, or call to arrange an appointment. 62



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CONTACTS: The Style Workshop 39 High Street 01892 529353 thestyleworkshop.co.uk


WEDDING SPECIAL

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Sponsored by

TUNBRIDGE WELLS

Secret TunbridgeWells

WORDS NICK WOODROOF

'LVJXVWHG127 THIS MONTH WE REVEAL HOW A COPY OF THE “FILTHIEST” NOVEL OF ITS ERA – LOLITA – COULD BE FOUND IN ONLY ONE PLACE IN THE WHOLE OF THE LAND. GUESS WHERE?

7

unbridge Wells; the bastion of conservative Middle England, where retired colonels spend their days on bowling greens and their evenings playing bridge, while discussing the latest political scandal.

Although now – and perhaps always – an inaccurate stereotype, the mid-1950s saw the peak of such caricaturing, prompted by the emergence of the now immortal pseudonym, ‘Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells’. Meanwhile, the novel Lolita, the infamous creation of Russian-born American author Vladimir Nabokov, was due to be published in the UK in 1955, after months of dominating bestseller lists across the Atlantic. Noted for its themes of illicit desire and patent sexuality, the storyline is about a middle-aged man’s obsession with a teenage nymphet, its publication in France earlier that year had been marked by widespread condemnation from literary academics and the public. Notwithstanding this apparent setback, it soon became an underground sensation, with British novelist Graham Greene (no stranger to controversy himself) describing Lolita as one of the best books of the year. Intrigued by this statement, John Gordon, the then Editor of the Sunday Express, ordered a copy from Paris and promptly called it “about the filthiest novel I’ve ever read”. Set against the background of an ensuing public spat between Graham Greene and John Gordon, the book began to be circulated around British publishers. Many rejected it on the grounds of its perceived dubious literary merit – one supposedly tore it up in disgust. Eventually, one publisher, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, agreed that it would bring out Lolita in Britain.



FEBRUARY 2011

However, there still existed one major stumbling block: British law enabled police constables to seize copies of literature deemed obscene or prosecute any purveyors of such material. Furthermore, any copies of Lolita entering the country were to be confiscated by customs officials. A Bill was proposed in Parliament, advocating that prosecution should only occur if a piece of literature as a whole was judged to be obscene, rather than individual sections. Having been revealed as the publishing firm to have taken on the job of distributing the controversial text, Weidenfeld and Nicolson came under severe criticism for their decision. While the row raged on, it was discovered that there was just one copy of Lolita available for public consumption in the UK. Where? In the public library of Tunbridge Wells which, with remarkable foresight or perhaps merely by fortune, had ordered a copy from Paris three years before the public furore. But, even with the book receiving huge amounts of publicity and no attempts to prohibit local distribution of the novel, Lolita did not seem to be raising the eyebrows of the Tunbridge Wellian masses. The assistant librarian at the time was quoted as saying: “Demand has never been particularly high… Our top favourites at present are Doctor Zhivago, Monty’s Memoirs (World War II Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery) and The Life of King George VI.” Weidenfeld and Nicolson eventually published the book in the UK in 1959. Although the passing of time has seen a gradual realisation and acceptance from the public of the true nature of Tunbridge Wells, there are still those who stand by the cliché of ‘Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells’. Perhaps a look into the colourful, quirky history of the town, as evidenced by this particular incident, might convince these people otherwise… Warners Solicitors, ‘discretion assured whatever the secret’ warners-solicitors.co.uk


So Tunbridge Wells Feb11  

A distinctive town deserves a distinctive magazine...

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