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THE Magazine for Norfolk & North Suffolk





celebrities | food | travel | fashion | homes & gardens | theatre ISSUE 45

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SeASoN’S GReeTINGS from all of us here at places&Faces® and the very best wishes for a peaceful – and prosperous – New Year.

Our festive issue does not ignore the big event, although if you are like me, you’ll at some point wish that you could escape the whole affair! Food is at the heart of most family celebrations and we have our usual selection of mouth watering recipes and plenty of suggestions as to accompanying drinks. Andy Newman tells us all about Norfolk Blacks – the Rolls Royce of turkeys which are farmed by the Peele family near Dereham. If you’ve never tried one, then, wow, you are in for a treat –especially if you follow Roger Hickman’s fool proof recipe. Mark Dixon, from the Imperial Hotel in Great Yarmouth, has a typically cheeky pudding while Franck Pontais gives a little French ooh la la to the big day’s main meal.

Emma Outten has been in her element sampling various cocktails at Adnams (and do ask her how she fell over while looking around the distillery!) and also takes a look at a few boozy gift ideas. Most of us enjoy a bottle of something a bit special as a pressie – I know I always like some sort of fizz! We’ve also a few hamper suggestions, including one priced at a rather special £20,000. Can you guess where it comes from? Enjoying a Christmas show is another real treat, and our region has everything from great pantos to a musical extravaganza – and just about everything in-between, including a couple of gigs by legendary Lowestoft rockers, The Darkness. I hope you have your catsuit ready! Many thanks, as always, to our great columnists including Ian Russell, Richard Barr, Poppy Seymour, Benet Catty, Joff Hopkins and Mark Nicholls – and our designer, Scott Nicholson. And if it all gets too much, read what Andrew Bell from Norwich Airport has to say about jetting away to somewhere exotic from your local airport. Tempted? Do keep in touch and remember the best possible present – a subscription to Places&Faces, of course!

Have a great month and do follow me on Twitter @H2CreativeSarah


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Benet Catty is left feeling under nourished at a performance of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the West End

ceLeBRitieS 12 Norfolk actress Miranda Raison talks about

her first West End role – in a killer thriller 20 Lowestoft’s finest, The Darkness, come back under the spotlight 22 Carry on Cleo icon Amanda Barrie talks about bathing in asses' milk and more before she plays the Fairy Godmother at the Marina Theatre



It’s time for a Christmas cocktail – or two!

FASHiOn & BeAutY

Andy Newman and Roger Hickman talk turkey

29 Lady In Red – festive fashion ideas 33 What beauty treats would Sarah Hardy like in

her Christmas stocking this year?


WHAt’S On 38 Our regular monthly guide to the best events

in our region 42 A new book recalls Norwich in the swinging

1960s 46 Find out more about Nelson’s connections with a leading north Norfolk hotel – and enjoy a few new recipes from their kitchen 58 Don’t miss our round up of the best Christmas shows in the region

Carolyn Bowden dreams of a White Christmas at London’s Winter Wonderland

Joff Hopkins talks to soldier turned singer song writer James Blunt – the man behind the anthem, You’re Beautiful


HOmeS & GARdenS 48 Our property of the month is an awardwinning barn conversion which nestles in the quiet south Norfolk countryside. It is simply dreamy… 52 Look to Scandinavia for Christmas inspiration for your home – with gorgeous wreaths, candles and the odd splash of seasonal red! 55 One Norfolk farmer’s quest to get us kissing under the mistletoe

ReGuLARS 103 Our seven pages of High Society events

lead off with a VIP private viewing of The Masterpieces exhibition in Norwich 110 Norfolk food expert Jon Gay on candy floss, Norwich City and real ale – who needs more in life?


Editor's Choice Editor Sarah Hardy picks her choice of the latest happenings and openings in December 1

74 Yes, Chef! Mark Nicholls dons his apron in Italy

cOLumniStS 26 Ian Russell looks back on a busy, busy year 87 Richard Barr has a novel plan to create his


own power supply – find out more

FOOd & dRinK 68 Poppy Seymour has a favourite port of call this Christmas 77 Our French chef Franck Pontais gives his Gallic take on the big day’s main meal 80 Mark Dixon offers us a chocolate heaven of a dessert 82 Fit for a king - our restaurant reviewer visits The Westleton Crown

BuSineSS 88 Come Fly With Us says Andrew Bell, Norwich Airport boss

mOtORS 98 Iain Dooley road tests the Range Rover Evoque 100 Iain Dooley road tests the new Ford Fiesta

BeST BooK My old colleague Keiron Pim has his first book out – just in time for Christmas. Called the Bumper Book Of Dinosaurs, it is pretty much what it says of the tin. A really comprehensive look at these amazing creatures, it should be a perfect stocking filler for all ages. It is published by Vintage at £18.99.

BeST eVeNT Those Christmas Day swims. Brrrh! Lowestoft, Cromer and Hunstanton are favourite spots to charge into the North Sea – wearing a Santa hat, of course. Check your local press for full details.

BeST MoVIe The second - of three - Hobbit movies opens on December 13. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug sees the return of Ian McKellen as Gandalf and Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins. Directed again by Peter Jackson, it follows them on their adventures through Middle Earth. Watch out for superlative special effects.



14 The Xtraordinary Gary Barlow and his take on music, pressure and talent shows

You’ve got to head to Edinburgh, haven’t you? With the biggest street party in Europe, pop acts, a torchlight procession – and 80,000 people determined to enjoy themselves, what’s not to like? Visit www.

BeST FAMILY oUTING The Christingle at Norwich Cathedral on December 14 is a lovely traditional event. With carols, oranges and candles, you know that the big day is drawing near! Visit for more.

BeST SpoRTING eVeNT Enjoy a flutter at Fakenham Racecourse on December 17, with racing starting at 12.50pm. It is usually bracing there so wrap up. More details at

BeST pReSSIe How about the James Bond 007 Gold fragrance – a limited edition just out for Chrimbo? I wouldn’t mind Daniel Craig in my stocking on Christmas morning! However, the fragrance is of sandalwood and, err, apple and costs £32. Perfect for the chap in your life.

1. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug; 2. James Bond 007 Gold Fragrance


From Soldier to Singer Songwriter

James Blunt talks to Joff Hopkins about his latest album, protecting the Queen and that song! JOFF HOPKINS, presenter on norwich 99.9, The Beach and north norfolk radio

JAMES, THE LAST TIME WE MET UP you had just released Some Kind of Trouble – that was three years ago. Here we are with your new album Moon Landing – what’s the inspiration behind the title? Well, really because it’s been a long journey making it! I went back to Los Angeles and recorded with the producer who recorded my first album Back To Bedlam. I used to be an indie artist signed to an independent record label called Custard Records. I recorded with Tom, who is an indie producer, who did other indie artists like Beck and Badly Drawn Boy. We made an indie album called Back To Bedlam, and on it was a song called You’re Beautiful which stripped it, maybe, of its indie roots and took it to a dirty place called mainstream and that’s taken me on an amazing journey – three world tours, three albums, recording with amazing musicians and in incredible studios – but, after all of that, I wanted to get back and not hide behind those musicians and that production, but record something stripped down, raw and personal to me, that meant something to me. In many ways, this album is the album I would’ve recorded if Back To Bedlam hadn’t sold in its millions. do you think you might’ve liked to stay in that ‘indie’ category? No, I think I’ve had an incredible journey! The world tours have been an amazing experience – but I think when I was starting to write songs on my third album with an audience in mind, it’s not as rewarding [as writing] for yourself. I was imagining what you would want to hear, rather than what I need to say. I gather the actress carrie Fisher has had a helping hand in your new album. What’s her role been in your career? Yes, very much. When I went to LA to record my first album, I met her in a restaurant and she said: ‘If you need a place to stay, come and live with me.’ So she put me up, and she put a cardboard cut-out of herself as Princess Leia from Star Wars outside my bedroom

10 | december 2013

to protect me at night. So, going back to record with Tom again, I went to live with her again – and I would go into the studio at 11am, and come back at 1am, she’d still be up, writing away on her bed – she’s a writer now – and play her the songs, so she’s been the first person to hear this album and been my critic along the way. Bonfire Heart is the first single off the album – what can you tell me about it? It’s a song I wrote with a friend called Ryan Tedder, who is the lead singer of OneRepublic. I went to go and write with him while he was on tour – I jumped on his tour bus and travelled round Europe. We wrote the song in Amsterdam and Luxembourg; I was like a groupie to the band! There’s an amazing video that accompanies the song, too. We filmed it in Wyoming and Idaho in the USA, and I love motorbikes – so I took a motorbike across these two states where you don’t have to wear a helmet. Hang on! How did you get the risk assessment sorted out for that? I know! Health and safety have gone mad! So there I was, cruising around without a helmet – good for a video, not good for real life, so don’t try this at home – singing into cameras and driving round at 65mph behind a film crew truck. It looks a mash between Top Gun and Brokeback Mountain. The best thing for me was that I didn’t use actors – I just wanted to use real people – the song is about a genuine sense of what all humans need, wherever you’re from. The most amazing part was the final scene as I pulled into a car park to film – we didn’t realise that in the bar of the car park was a wedding, and this wedding party saw us. They spilled out, 80 of them, asking what we were doing, so I pulled out my acoustic guitar and I played to the bride and groom in the car park. They were going ‘oh my God, you’re THAT guy who plays THAT song’ - and then we played Bonfire Heart, and, surrounded by their friends and their family, and then our crew and all the people


Moon Landing is out now on Atlantic Records. He plays the Royal Albert Hall on April 19, 2014.

we’d met and picked up along the journey, the bride and groom spontaneously had their first dance, in the car park, and that’s what we filmed. That became my music video – although in many ways it stopped being my music video and became their wedding video – which I’ve stuck up online! Your family are well-known in Norfolk, aren’t they? My family’s all from Norfolk – along the way, my father owned Cley Windmill, which is an amazing old building. He spent years looking after it, renovating it, the whole community had to get behind it to support it, to keep the new sails up, and it’s now this amazing building in an amazing part of the country. It’s a bed and breakfast now, I think… Yes, exactly – my dad, in order to keep it going, made it into a B&B. For the guy who sang ‘THAT song’ 10 years or so ago, you come across as someone who’s almost a complete antithesis to the style of that sort of record. I definitely have songs including that one, and even more so Goodbye My Lover, that are, at times, over-emotional and over-wrought – but as a singer-songwriter, what are you supposed to do? You’re supposed to put emotion into songs, aren’t you? A painting without emotion is just wallpaper. I put emotion in songs; it doesn’t mean that

I'm in the pub, crying into my pint with my mates but I try and write songs that are about personal experiences, and I suppose, in many ways, like the soldier I once was – I was a reconnaissance officer, I’d be out there ahead of my commanders, using my eyes and ears, being aware – as a singer-songwriter, the word would be ‘sensitive’ – to the surroundings; absorb it all, and report the dangers back to my commanders. What I do as a musician is absorb everything I can around me and write a song about it, and report it back to an audience from the stage. You were on the front line in Kosovo, amongst other places – your guitar strapped to the back of the tank – but I gather you were also involved in the funeral of the Queen Mother. I’d come back from Kosovo and I’d gone up to London to do ceremonial duties, which is an amazing and weird and wonderful experience. Sadly, it was when the Queen Mother died, and I was part of that whole ceremony going on. You’re mostly in the States or on the road these days – do you have any plans to come back to the UK and go on tour? I start my fourth world tour on New Year’s Eve in China, in Shanghai, and I start the UK leg about March-April time. I'm really looking forward to that, another year on the road! | december 2013


{Raison d’Etre} norfolk actress Miranda raison stars in her first West End show – a nail biting thriller. Sarah Hardy hears all about it


miranda raison | CELEBRITY INTERVIEW


here are some great West End

shows on this winter and one that is attracting plenty of interest is Strangers On A Train. It has a stellar cast, including longlegged Laurence Fox, he of Lewis and being-married-to Billie Piper fame. But, as often happens, there is a strong Norfolk presence with Jack Huston and Miranda Raison part of the cast. Jack has solid Norfolk credentials, being part of the north Norfolk Cholmondeley clan on his father’s side - and interestingly, although for another day, his mother’s side includes legendary actress Angelica Huston – his aunt! And there’s more, with Miranda explaining: ‘We are cousins, I think, so we have lots of conversations about how great Norfolk is!’ Miranda, who you might know best for her role as all-action MI5 officer Jo Portman in the hit BBC1 series Spooks, was born in Burnham Thorpe in north Norfolk. Her mum, Caroline, is well known to us as she used to present Anglia telly’s news programme and this early access to the world of performance seems to have inspired a young Miranda. ‘I used to go to the studios sometimes and they’d sit me on a chair, swirl me around, and put a little make up on me! It was great fun!’ she laughs. Miranda, seemingly something of a livewire when a youngster, attended several schools, including Gresham’s in Holt, and it was here that she took part in her first play. ‘It was at Gresham’s Prep and I was in A Tomb With A View – mum and dad still talk about, I must have been about nine. ‘My parents have been great, they have never doubted me or told me that I have to get a proper job or anything like that.’ She won at place at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London and has worked solidly since qualifying. And one of the things I have noticed about Miranda is that she is one of those actresses who can look really different in different roles. When she chatted about some of the shows she’d been in – such as Silk with Rupert Penry-Jones, which was one of my favourites (who doesn’t love a courtroom drama?) – I was like: ‘Ahh, that was you, of course!’ So, just for the record, her back catalogue includes Married, Single, Other, Vexed, Plus One and Lewis – back to the lovely Laurence! But now Miranda is starring in a new stage version of Strangers On A Train – and really enjoying herself. ‘Yes, this is my first West End show and I did have a moment when I was sat in my dressing room, with the lights around the mirror and just thought how lucky I was. I remember that I called my mum! I know I have been really fortunate and I have got much better at not worrying about everything and wondering where the next job will come from.’

She continues: ‘It was quite daunting, taking on this role. But this play is more like the original book by Patricia Highsmith from 1950 than the Hitchcock film – which everyone knows. It is much darker and there is a crucial difference but I had better not say too much. But people will be surprised. They might think they know what is going to happen but there is definitely a twist.’ Miranda, now in her early 30s, is keen to keep mixing up stage and television work, saying: ‘I think it keeps you sane – and makes you a nicer person. Theatre work is incredibly grounding, you realise that all actors are the same – we’re all rushing to the loo half an hour before the start!’ She adds: ‘And I would certainly go to America for work, I’d love to do a film. I love travelling so to combine that with work would be fantastic.’ The show is scheduled to run until the end of February and then Miranda thinks she might have another TV series lined up. ‘You can never say too much about things in case they don’t happen.’ As with many in the acting world, Miranda is now based in London because of her work commitments but she does have a cottage near Aldeburgh where she enjoys spending as much time as possible. ‘It doesn’t take too long to get there, mum often comes down as she is in Holt these days, and I just love it there. All that fresh air – and the sea.’ She has also taken up golf and plays at Aldeburgh Golf Club. ‘My grandfather was captain at Brancaster so it is a family thing. And yes, sometimes it goes well and sometimes, not so well. I do need to work on my consistency!’ She is very keen on keeping fit, seeing it a vital part of her job and goes running, practises yoga and will get out fitness DVDs if all else fails. ‘I don’t drink which I think helps my fitness and I just feel so much better if I keep in shape.’

Strangers On A Train runs at the Gielgud Theatre, London. Call 0844 4825130 or visit | december 2013


Gary Barlow is a man who needs little introduction – from the rise, fall and re-rise of Take That, to mentoring the next generation of stars on national TV – and he’s never been happier. Joff Hopkins meets him JOFF HOPKINS, presenter on norwich 99.9, The Beach and north norfolk radio




t’s been three years now since Take That released their last album – but it’s been nearly 15 years since you last had any solo material out. What made 2013 such a good time to release Since I Saw You Last?

GARY BARLOW'S new album, Since I Saw You Last, is out now on Polydor.

I went out on tour last Christmas; it was the first time I’ve toured by myself in 12 years – and I had an absolute ball, I really did! I went up and down the country, I played theatres, little venues – it was bloody brilliant, it really was. The tour finished, and I thought: ‘oh, maybe, it’s time to put some of this down on a record now’, and that’s what I did. I went to the studio, and I got very excited about the record, and this is it. And you know what? The one thing I didn’t have in my plan was how much fun I would have doing it! I guess that’s what it is all about. I’ve really enjoyed it, worked with some great musicians, I think I’ve written some cracking songs on there. When you think of all the success you’ve had with Take That, the bar has been set really quite high. Did the pressure bother you particularly?

It is there – but I don’t lose sleep over it. The one thing I do know is that you can’t be number one forever; you just can’t be; no-one ever is. There comes a point where you’ve got your audience and you just sell records to them. I don’t know when that is, I don’t know if it’s already happened. I don’t really spend much time thinking about it. At this point, I just want to make the best record possible, give people some nice songs to either tap their foot to or get emotional to, and just open your mind – this is a solo record, so it’s my thoughts, my lyrics, where I’m at in my life, and hopefully people will relate to it. So would you say this has been an album for you?

It has been for me, this record, it really has. I had a lot of subjects I wanted to write about, trying to bring up questions in people’s minds, and I know who my audience are. I’ve got a very, very faithful audience who followed us [Take That] for years, and they’ve grown up with me. This is me, grown up, 14 years after the last one, and I think people will hear that. That period in the mid- to late-1990s was quite a turbulent time, with Robbie Williams departing Take That, the group’s eventual split… the pressure on you back then, personally, must have been unimaginable.

We didn’t know what was going to happen – I look back now and I think: ‘What were we worrying about?’ – you don’t think that then. You feel like you’ve had your big chance in life, you’ve made it, you want it to last forever, but, somehow, it’s slipping away from you. I don’t have many nice memories of that point where it all went wrong for me, and it took me years to recover. I know I didn’t sing a note for seven years – so it probably took eight, nine years to get that confidence back to standing up on stage, to writing songs for myself, for my voice. When I got it back, it was so beautiful and it’s been so beautiful for the last six years. I want to keep working hard and keep hold of it! Well, you look pretty good today!

I feel pretty well! I’m excited! I really am. And it all goes full circle because I gather Robbie has written one of the songs on your new album.

We’ve had a funny situation because my album was released a week after his. I’ve written a song on his record, and he’s written one for mine. I guess, what we’re saying, is that it’s ‘professional rivalry’ – it doesn’t go any further than that. You’ve also teamed up with Elton John for a track – how did that come about?

I’ve known Elton for about 20 years, and three or four times a year we catch up and gossip about people. When I started making this record, I did have a song where I thought: ‘God, it would be amazing if I could get Elton to duet on this’. We’ve never duetted before on a record, ever – and so I called him, and I told him I’d email him this song. Literally, within an email, he was back saying: ‘Let’s book a studio, let’s get in there and do it!’ What was great was that I got three hours with him, which apparently is good with Elton! I knew it’d take 10 minutes, so as well as recording the song, we shot the video at the same time. When you see the video, it’s actually us recording the song! » | december 2013



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» And the lead single Let Me Go – I think it’s got a bit of a country feel about it!

I guess so! At the time when I was pulling the record together, I was listening to a lot of singer-songwriters – in particular, I’ve gone back to a Johnny Cash-era, so that tempo comes from there. The ‘folk’ thing has always been there with me. If you listen to songs like Back For Good, there’s a folk element in there, it’s just that they’re all mixed in with a lot of pop songs as well. This, to me, is quite a good area for my voice, it’s a good area to tell a story during a song, it’s got some good lyrics, and it feels right. It feels like something I’ve never done before, really.

whole format of the show. He did very, very well – and the great message I wanted my contestants to see was how hard he’s worked since the show. Really, there’s no substitution for that. It’s the first thing I want to kill off with any of the contestants. ‘If you think you’ve won a golden ticket – forget it. There isn’t one. It’s called hard work and determination.’ He’s the poster boy for that! Was it best you didn’t have Robbie?

In my first ‘Judges House’ I had Robbie, and we’ve got to share these people round! during the pre-recorded stage of the show, did you sit down and watch it every weekend – and did you ever think: ‘Why did

After all the success with Take That, you joined The x Factor

I say that?’

panel three years ago – how nerve-wracking was it, knowing

No – the kids did it for me! ‘Daddy, what are you doing? You’re so embarrassing!’ I got it in the neck!

you were taking Simon cowell’s seat?

Yes, there was that…! I’ve been on TV a lot in my career, but you soon realise that you haven’t ever been on TV in that kind of a role, and it’s a very… I don’t know… it’s very exposing, that role. Your opinions and how you behave, it’s all on camera for people to watch on a Saturday night. What I learned really quickly was you’ve got to be yourself, because audiences aren’t stupid at all! They would see straight through it if you tried on an act and be something you’re not. I learned very quickly I’ve got to be how I am at home, and just try and translate it to TV. It’s been a lot of fun! In particular, I’ve had more fun this year than the last two combined. It’s been brilliant.

What’s the best thing and the worst thing about being a judge on the x Factor?

The worst is the bad news – no-one wants to do bad news – I wish I didn’t have to! You’re given a role to do on a show and I think people want to hear what you think. If I think, compared to everyone else, you weren’t that good – that’s what everyone’s thinking at home, and that’s why I’m there. The best thing is going ‘that was the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen’. You’re almost brought to tears. That’s the magic. That’s what I joined for. To try and nurture people to be even better than they are. You seem to be the voice of reason – the other members of

We’ve watched you mentoring the ‘groups’ on TV – I don’t

that judging panel are quite fiery characters!

think I’ve seen so many people in tears since Take That split

You’ve got to be, really. It’s hard work and all the rest of it – but I’m just sat there telling people what I think on a Saturday night. It’s not hard to do – I do look back and think I know quite a lot about this industry. I would’ve loved someone to tell me when I was 17 what I should’ve done. I’d have loved that. I do see the really talented ones, they really want to know.


You’re probably right! It was very emotional. If you were to speak to anybody who was in the audience, it was really dramatic. While Sharon was doing hers, I was like an audience member. Who’s she going to choose! I think it was great TV. There’s 50 per cent of me that’s aware that there’s a cruel side to it, especially for the youngsters – but they know what they’re in for when they go on the show. That’s the only way I can defend it really.

If Take That went onto a show like The x Factor, would you put them through?

Oh, definitely! Absolutely! That lead singer? He’s brilliant! Who is that guy?

Robbie staying with Sharon, and olly Murs went with you to

Looking ahead – what’s the situation with Take That? When

America. He’s obviously been through the show before – so I

can we expect any new material from the band?

imagine he had plenty of advice for your groups?

Soon I hope! I want to get everybody into the studio in 2014 and tour the year after. That’s the plan!

He was a good guest for me, just because he’s been through the


during the ‘Judges Houses’ stage, we saw your bandmate | december 2013


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THE The Darkness play sell-out gigs at The Nick Rayns LCR at UEA on December 16, and The Aquarium at Claremont Pier, Lowestoft, on December 18. Tickets for the December 19 gig in Lowestoft are on sale at





Ten years after their debut album Permission To Land took off, The Darkness have cause for celebration. Emma Outten speaks to Dan Hawkins in advance of their sell-out homecoming gigs in Norwich and Lowestoft


decade ago, The Darkness didn’t need permission to land. They were in the arrivals hall before you could say air traffic control. The Lowestoft rockers, consisting of brothers Justin and Dan Hawkins, Ed Graham and Frankie Poullain, landed on the rock/pop music scene in 2003. Their number one debut album Permission To Land, which featured the brilliant I Believe In A Thing Called Love, garnered three Brit Awards plus an Ivor Novello Award for Songwriters Of The Year. ‘It was a magical time,’ recalls songwriter Dan. And yet, speaking from his home in a small village near Wymondham, he has an admission to make. ‘I can’t really say I’ve listened to the album much, since we did it.’ The day before our interview he had been for an outfit fitting for the forthcoming sell-out tour. ‘I was forced to listen to it yesterday in London. I was in a retro clothes shop and they were playing the album. It was bizarre. The thing that struck me was how rough and ready it is.’ Regardless, it was a commercial success. ‘I think people liked the fact that we were from Lowestoft and we were a bit old, even by the time we had some success. We’d been trying for years and were complete misfits. It all just added up. People like the underdog.’ Although he adds: ‘When we stopped being the underdog that’s when things started to be a bit different for us.’ Fame landed at their feet. ‘We didn’t take the fame thing seriously at all,’ says Dan, before recalling: ‘I was looking back through some old photos the other day - because I was cleaning out my shed - and in every single photo I just look really hungover - probably because I was, and it was all a bit of a blur. ‘A lot of the boozing element of it came from, I don’t know, trying to numb the senses to what was going on because maybe it was all a bit too much.’ After extensive touring in support of the album, by 2005, Frankie had left the band, and second album One Way Ticket To Hell And Back was, perhaps, prophetic: it would be fair to say that lead singer Justin, in particular, had overdone the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. But Dan says: ‘I’m still proud of the second album and the hardcore fans really like it, but realistically we probably should’ve taken a year out.’

The Darkness disbanded, with the remaining members forming Stone Gods, and Justin – almost inexplicably – representing the UK in Eurovision Song Contest, before fronting his own project, Hot Leg. Then, in 2011, the news fans of The Darkness had been waiting for: reunion shows, and Frankie back in the band. Third album, Hot Cakes, was released last year. Back in the day they were touted as glam rockers. Nowadays they describe themselves an ‘East Anglian rock-based-pop-musicband’. Dan has remained the most local, with Ed in Norwich, Frankie in London and Justin in Switzerland. Dan adds: ‘I go back to Lowestoft a lot. One of my favourite beaches is Winterton-onSea. We had some really nice weather over the weekend so we threw the kids and the dogs into the car and headed down there for the day.’ He has become the family man with his partner and their two daughters, Matilda, three, and Darcy, two. He finds that there is an upside after all the touring: ‘I get to spend weeks with my kids, literally just having fun.’ This month, The Darkness play Norwich and Lowestoft. Unbelievably, it will be the band’s first homecoming gig. ‘Unfortunately there wasn’t really a venue that was big enough, or kind of appropriate, for us to play,’ says Dan. Could any venue have coped with the ‘carnage’? ‘And that was just the band,’ muses Dan. Opening the shows will be The River 68's playing as an acoustic duo (Dan has produced their debut album). He says: ‘I find similarities in their music and ours, in the way that it’s two brothers: one sings and plays great lead guitar and the other is a rhythm guitarist, kind of song-writer figure.’ Wasn’t he also a great guitarist? ‘I’ve never really considered myself a lead guitarist,’ says Dan. ‘I’m more of a holding it down kind of guy.’ This could be a good self-description. ‘I’m kind of producing the band as well and writing the new album.’ The album should be released ‘some point next year,’ he says. Today’s gigs sound relatively sober affairs, although Dan emphasises: ‘They are probably more energetic, solely because all our energy goes into the show whereas previously all our energy went into what happened after the show.’ And he adds: ‘I think we are a lot more confident on stage than we used to be - I certainly am.’ Times have changed. ‘We take care of ourselves,’ says Dan, before adding: ‘Justin and I are kind of gym freaks.’ The Darkness has dubbed this the ‘Intimate Outreach’ tour - apt when you consider that the band was the opening act for Lady Gaga’s The Born This Way Ball world tour last year. ‘There were just some amazing, amazing moments on that tour,’ recalls Dan, before saying of the lady herself: ‘She was very good to us and was a great host.’ Back in more intimate surroundings, family (Dan and Justin’s parents live in Corton) and friends will be out in force at The Aquarium on Claremont Pier in Lowestoft. ‘I don’t think you’ll be able to move for them!’ ‘It’s my favourite time to tour’, says Dan. ‘People are in the Christmas spirit.’ Dan normally spends Christmas at ‘the in-laws’ but says of this: ‘I think it will be our first Christmas at home.’ Ten years ago to the month they were making a charge at the number one spot with Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End). These December gigs will be the perfect time to unleash the Christmas classic. ‘That’s always handy, isn’t it?’ he agrees. Peace and goodwill prevail. ‘I think we are all a bit older and wiser,’ he concludes: ‘It’s far less turbulent.’ | december 2013


Amanda’s New Alma Mater She became known to millions worldwide for her iconic role as Cleopatra in classic film comedy Carry on Cleo. And yet Amanda Barrie, Fairy Godmother in Cinderella at the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft this month, is far too modest to bathe in the glory, as Emma Outten finds out

Amanda Barrie stars as the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella at the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft, from December 17 to January 4. Call 01502 533200 or visit

22 | december 2013



HoSe oLd STAGe-HANdS at the Marina Theatre appreciate an iconic image when they see one, even if it is from the big screen. An image of Amanda Barrie in a bath of asses’ milk has been licensed by the Theatre to publicise the fact she will playing the Fairy Godmother in this year’s most easterly pantomime, Cinderella. She sounded somewhat surprised on the phone: ‘Have they really? Well blow me down!’ Carry on Cleo was a massive box office hit in 1964 and is today regarded by critics as the best Carry On film of the 30 produced. Amanda says: ‘We didn’t know it would be a success at the time, but I think those early Carry On’s were really good.’ Not to mention saucy! Files revealed last year that the British Board of Film Classification had demanded the cutting of a shot where Mark Antony, played by Sid James, falls on top of Cleopatra. This was news to Amanda. ‘I didn’t know that - how funny!’ Her role would go on to attract a most surprising fan, although Amanda discreetly adds: ‘I don’t know if you should quote me!’ The original posters were even reproduced by the Royal Mail on stamps to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Carry On series, in 2008, and yet, endearingly, the potency of the image is lost on this stalwart of stage, screen and television. ‘It never occurred to me that there was anything in the least bit attractive about it. ‘I was just trying to be amusing - I didn’t realise that anyone would’ve thought it was quite sexy. The penny had not dropped. ‘I always thought I looked terrible,’ reveals Amanda, who felt against type at that time (‘everybody was sort of blonde with big bosoms’). Looking back though, she concludes: ‘I wouldn’t mind waking up, looking like that!’ Cleo hasn’t been her only career defining role, however. Amanda is known to millions as one of Coronation Street’s best loved characters: Alma Sedgewick (later Baldwin). She spent more than a decade in The Street before her final episode, in 2001, was seen by over 15 million viewers, responsible for more than 400,000 kettles being switched on afterwards and creating a power surge on the National Grid. ‘I’m very lucky I’ve had two iconic things,’ says Amanda. ‘Coronation Street took up a great big chunk of my life.’ Around the time of her exit it was reported that Amanda was angry with the way her character was killed off by cancer. ‘I’m sorry that I did kick up a bit, but on the other hand I do think, with health matters, that it’s really important that you get it right.’ Recently, Hayley Cropper, played by Julie Hesmondhalgh, was also diagnosed with terminal cancer and will depart in January in a 'right to die' storyline. ‘I think they are handling it very well, so far,’ says Amanda. ‘I fully approve.’ She adds: ‘I still watch Corrie – it’s the only one I do watch! It’s like watching family – in the old days I didn’t watch it because I didn’t like seeing me come on.’ Following Corrie, she went on to appear in the ITV hit series Bad Girls as Bev Tull, and latterly she has become a dab hand at playing the Fairy Godmother, having appeared in the pantomime adaptation of Cinderella every year since 2007, bar last year, as she explains: ‘I’ve had a problem with my foot so I couldn’t do it last year - I was hopping about on one leg.’ She enjoys working at this time of year. ‘I always think it’s the most Christmassy thing you can do,’ she says. ‘You have your sort of little Christmas pantomime family then.’

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Warming to her theme she says: ‘I think everybody’s Christmas ought to be defined by panto. It should be compulsory that the entire family go.’ On a personal note, she adds: ‘There’s one rider: I always try and go somewhere by the sea. I avoid any dates inland because it’s like a holiday when we all set off.’ By ‘we’ she is including her partner, the crime novelist Hilary Bonner, and their dog. Amanda says: ‘She’ll be writing away and I’ll be hopping about on the stage.’ Amanda came out as bisexual in her autobiography: It's Not a Rehearsal, ghost-written by Hilary, a former Fleet Street journalist. Amanda explains that she thought it better to 'out' herself, rather than let the Sunday papers do the job for her. She recalls the press office calling her at the end of each working week. ‘I used to dread it on a Friday night,’ explains Amanda. ‘I was a shaking, quivering mass because I never knew if that would come out when I was in Coronation Street.’ Time has moved on, of course, and in recent years she has attended Gay Pride receptions at Downing Street along with other gay celebrities. Amanda is looking forward to spending Christmas in our most easterly town. Not that she plans to do much. ‘Oh darling,’ she exclaims, ‘it’s the only date we get off right there in Lowestoft; I won’t be moving!’ The only question left to ask was whether or not Gordon Ramsey was on her Christmas card list. ‘He’s not darling!’ Amanda was one of the celebrities who took part in that pressure cooker of a reality TV show: Hell's Kitchen, in 2004. Whilst on the show, she became so frustrated with Gordon, that viewers saw her try to slap him across the face (a 12-second YouTube clip has been seen by more than a million). ‘Oh dear,’ she says, ‘I went in there to cook, and what did I do? I ended up attacking Gordon Ramsey.’ By way of explanation, she says: ‘I was so innocent about reality shows.’ Although she admits: ‘I was just badly behaved really.’ Well, she was a one-time Bad Girl, after all. Never mind, Amanda, you can redeem yourself by sprinkling fairy dust and goodwill over the good people of Lowestoft this Christmas! | december 2013




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TIME TO REFLECT Ian Russell looks back on the last 12 months and can’t believe that it’s Christmas-time already!


o all of a sudden (or so it seems), it’s December and Christmas is around the corner once again; where did the year go?! 2013 has been a fantastic year for so many reasons, not least because of our lovely, sunny summer and, of course, Andy Murray’s well-deserved win at Wimbledon. He’s done wonders for British tennis (being the only British man to win the men’s singles title since Fred Perry back in 1936) and his success has put the country firmly back on to the world tennis stage. Of course, the England football squad didn’t do too badly, either, with a rather nerve-wracking 2-0 win over Poland at Wembley in October seeing Wayne Rooney and captain Steven Gerrard secure England’s place in the World Cup in Brazil next year; great news both for the country and for our numerous hospitality businesses. All of this may seem quite distant, but the point is that we need to keep putting on new events and embarking on new challenges to keep things fresh and in the public eye. East Anglia has always been pretty good at this and there have been some fantastic initiatives again this year. The GoGoGorillas! trail in Norwich was a knock-out success, with over £272,000 raised for Break and The Born Free Foundation, and no doubt a host of charities now looking to ape their success (I’ve heard that next February’s Dragon Festival, organised by Norwich Heart, for example, will include a dragon trail, as it’s clear that this formula works). Another bright idea during the GoGoGorillas! trail was

the production of playing cards depicting the gorillas, which were so sought-after that they simply couldn’t be printed fast enough. There was also the BBC’s irresistible Great British Bake Off series which spawned baking events up and down the country and, closer to home, the fabulous Norfolk Food & Drink Festival (including our popular Scone Competition) which was even bigger and better this year, thanks to new activities such as Feast On The Street, the street food festival outside The Forum, as well as established events such as The Moveable Feast. I, for one, am particularly looking forward to next year’s Food Festival as, incredibly, the event will celebrate its 10th birthday in 2014 and so no doubt a host of extra activities will be cooked up for that. It’s always wonderful to have cause for celebration and 2013 was a particularly special time for Wroxham Barns, as we celebrated our 30th anniversary this year. The highlight for me was the dinner we held on the eve of the anniversary, when family, friends and fellow tourism professionals got together for an evening of fine food and wine. It was also an honour to have James Berresford, the Chief Executive of VisitEngland, with us, and to hear him praise the work that’s going on in this part of the world. I am a director of VisitEastAnglia and a committee member of the Norfolk Tourist Attractions Association and we also work closely with Visit Norfolk, Visit North Norfolk and Visit Norwich, as well as Broads Tourism. Each of these bodies has an important part to play in promoting the area to a wider audience and with so much going on, their job is made all the more interesting. The recent Houghton Revisited exhibition at Houghton Hall (the magnificent art collection of Britain’s first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole), and the current Masterpieces: Art and East Anglia exhibition at the UEA are just two of the incredible draws that have been on offer this year. Visit Norfolk’s There’s Nowhere Like Norfolk TV campaign succinctly summed up what this area has to offer, too. At Wroxham Barns, there’s always something going on and we try to aim our events at visitors and locals alike. This December, after 25 years, we’ve said goodbye to our Christmas Customer Evening, and have decided to hold a series of family-friendly festive Sundays instead. So on December 1, 8, 15 and 22, Father Christmas will be flying in to visit us and there’ll be seasonal music from Hellesdon and Sprowston Brass and complimentary mulled wine for everyone. Please come along and enjoy yourselves and join me in raising a glass to what this wonderful area has to offer – cheers and Merry Christmas!

Ian Russell MBE owns Wroxham Barns. For more information, visit or telephone 01603 783762.

26 | december 2013



To magic away the stress of shopping Saks is holding a Christmas party extravaganza evening on Wednesday December 4th from 6.00pm onwards. With expert advice and demonstrations on party season

hair and nails from the best in the business. With nibbles, a glass or two of fizz and an array of glittering gifts specially selected from the best names in hair and beauty including GHD, Kerastase, L’Oreal and Redken.

PLEASE CALL 01493 853855 TO PURCHASE YOUR TICKET. Only £15, £30 back to spend on the evening. Includes free entry into raffle, all proceeds to ‘Willow’s Journey’. Please book early as tickets are limited. Raffle tickets on sale now. Terms and conditions apply.

festive red | FASHION

Per Una dress £150, M&S




R E D zA L E R T


Red is always the colour for Christmas, says Sarah Hardy as she selects these stunning dresses to help you celebrate the festive period! Enjoy!


1. Framboise dress £129, Damsel in a Dress, visit

2. Beaded peplum dress £59, Very,

3. 200 Collection Jenny Packham dress £300, Debenhams

4. Goat dress £440, Coleen & Clare, Southwold

5. Ted Baker skater dress £129, John Lewis


A Pampering Paradise

tHe centRe’S HAS A 25m SWimminG POOL


It is instantly easy to understand why customers love the charming Rosie McGraine, owner of two signature salons in the area. She is calm and kind – and absolutely bang up to date with the latest happenings in the world of hair and beauty. Her latest venture is in Lowestoft where she runs the aptly named Rosie’s at the town’s rather snazzy Waterlane leisure centre. It is a very attractive day spa where Espa products are used and a wide range of treatments is available. ‘We are constantly looking at new developments and attending training sessions,’ says Rosie. ‘We want to make sure our customers have the latest – and best – treatments.’ Rosie, originally from Bungay where she attended the local schools, trained at City College, Norwich, and now lives in Kessingland. She started her career as a mobile beautician but quickly realised she needed a salon and opened one, called Rosie’s, in Beccles in 2011. ‘It is in a lovely little cottage, right in Beccles and we have been really successful. So when I heard that there was this opportunity in Lowestoft, I knew we could make it work.’ She took over the salon in June this year and has really put her own stamp on it, as well as offering a great choice of treatments and packages – more of which later - which are highly popular.

RoSIe’S BeAUTIcIANS ANd dAY SpA, Waterlane, Lowestoft, tel 01502 532546, visit Also at Old Market, Beccles, tel 01502 470803.

30 | december 2013


There are five treatment rooms and a double one, where couples or mums and daughters can experience their treats together! The majority of the rooms have their own showers – vital if you have had a scrub or similar body treatment – and all have their own air conditioning, music and light control systems. Rosie’s offers something a bit more adventurous, too, as clients have private access to the centre’s thermal spa where you can enjoy the steam and sauna rooms, the ice cave and relax on one of the several loungers. And, of course, take a dip in the centre’s 25m swimming pool.

‘It is a great facility, and we find that people can really make a day of it all,’ Rosie says. Overall, the salon has a very contemporary feel, with a luxurious colour scheme of purple, lilac and cream and there is a lovely spacious relaxation room where you can tuck yourself up in a fluffy blanket and just chill out on one of the loungers after your treatment. ‘We work with the café here so people can order their lunch or a snack and eat it in the relaxation room,’ she adds. But what of the actual treatments? Rosie says that nail treatments are always popular and the salon uses Jessica, Minx and Shellac products as well as Rockstar – pure glitter polishes that are very ‘now’. ‘They are perfect for parties,’ says Rosie, who won the prestigious Beautician of the Year Award in the English Hair and Beauty Awards in 2012. She also says that eye brow treatments are very popular, with the Duchess of Cambridge inspiring us all. ‘We have developed our own custom-made HD effect treatment and people do have regular maintenance programmes.’ Add in spray tans using Sienna products, make up lessons, waxing, manicures, pedicures, massages, facials, ear piercing, detox wraps and you’re starting to get a flavour of the variety of treatments on offer. The salon also offers sports massages and physiotherapy sessions, which are very useful in a leisure centre. Rosie, who splits her time between the salons but does have a manager, Rose Marshall, in Lowestoft, says that pamper packages are a key part of the business. ‘Our hen heaven packages are great as are our princess pamper parties for five to 12 year olds. We can tailor them to suit what people would like.’ And, if running two salons wasn’t enough, Rosie is a lecturer at Lowestoft College, passing on some of her knowledge and experience to aspiring beauticians. | december 2013


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Sisley eau du Soir christmas 2013, Limited edition, £178 This is an update on one of Sisley’s signature scents – and very few bottles, just 10,000, are going to be produced! Floral and fruity, it is very engaging, a real Rolls Royce of Christmas scents in a fabulous bottle, too. Look out for it in John Lewis.



TREAT OF THE MONTH The Art of Beauty Facial, La Prairie, House of Fraser, Intu Chapelfield, tel 01603 691884 La Prairie is a top-of-the-range skincare company from Switzerland who produce terrific anti-ageing goodies – often using caviar! Their facials, undertaken by their leading Norfolk consultant Lorraine, define the word treat! Lasting an hour in all as the consultation is fairly lengthy, your skin is given a thorough, tailormade treatment which, in my case, left my complexion feeling firmer and looking much more radiant. It was cleansed, toned, a masque was applied, it was massaged and, finally, various serums and moisturizers were applied. And you’re given a hand massage, too. All for £40, redeemable against a purchase. One of the best bargains in the city!

Festive Favourites

Sarah Hardy lets you into the secret of what beauty treats she’d like in her Christmas stocking this year




1. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion, £29.50; 2. Mac Opulash mascara, £14; 3. Paul Mitchell Lavender and Mint Moisturizing Shampoo, £13.50; 4. Body Shop Body Butter, £13; 5. Origins A Perfect World BB, £28; 6. Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss Trio, £29; 7. Elemis Tranquil Touch Body Polish, £21.50



images Lowestoft College’s brand new hairdressing and beauty therapy salons were officially opened last month. Emma Outten was treated to a pamper day by the hairdressers and beauty therapists of tomorrow PictuReS BY JAMeS FLeTcHeR

34 | december 2013


ancy a fantastic hairdo at a fraction of normal salon prices or a manicure that won’t chip away at your finances? Of course you do! This is exactly what is on offer at Lowestoft College after its new Images Salons for hair and beauty therapies were opened in November, by internationally renowned hairdresser and ‘long hair expert’ Patrick Cameron, along with Chris Taylor from professional skin care company Eve Taylor. What’s more, Images Hair Salon was presented with a Wella Centre of Excellence Award by Paul Oscroft from Wella, in recognition of the excellent facilities and training offered at Lowestoft College. By picking up the award, Images becomes one of just over 30 colleges in the UK to receive the recognition. The funding for the salons, relocated to the ground floor of the Horizon Centre, came from a pot of £2.9million which was awarded to Lowestoft College through a capital package announced by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) earlier this year. Mary Pretswell, Curriculum Manager of Creative Studies, says: ‘I’m really pleased that the event went so well as it is the start of a new era of Hairdressing and Therapies for Lowestoft College - with the excellent facilities which give the students a real sense of the industry they are training for.’ The upshot is that the salons have been brought right up to date and now offer spacious and modern surroundings for students training for careers in the hairdressing, beauty and complementary therapy industries.



Perhaps more importantly, from a readers’ perspective, the salons are run as commercial salons and can offer salon treatments at very reasonable costs. I went a week after the official opening for a pamper day, involving a two-hour conditioning treatment in the hair salon in the morning, and a 45-minute manicure in the therapies salon in the afternoon. Images Hair Salon, a kaleidoscope of mirrors, was busy with industrious hairdressing students and their clients on the day I went. My hair was in the hands of Level 2 stylist Sophie. Because students are training on the job, services can take longer than normal, which – in a sense – can only add to that feeling of being properly pampered. The salons are fully supervised by professionally qualified tutors, all of whom have experience within the industry, so tutor-of-the-day Diane was on hand to help Sophie. After shampooing my hair, she used TIGI Bed Head Re-energise Conditioner Urban Antidotes #1 for the conditioning treatment, but, depending on the condition of your hair, the treatment could involve Henna Wax or Hot Oil treatments. The salon also stocks ranges such as Wella, Goldwell and Global Keratin. My treatment involved a very relaxing massage so the conditioner could really get to work on my hair. This was followed by styling and finishing. And all for £5! Even better, there’s also the Hair Miles reward scheme: for every five services you pay for, you receive the sixth similar service absolutely free. The pamper day was punctuated by a three-course lunch in the on-campus East Restaurant, again at a very reasonable price of £12. After lunch, it was time to return to Images, but this time to the beauty therapy side of things for a manicure with Rebecca, a Level 3 beauty therapist. But do check out the Lowestoft College website as all sorts of treatments are now available, including Body Massages and Eve Taylor Essential Facials.

cALL IMAGeS HAIR on 01502 525139. Do check the website as opening times will be increasing as of this month. cALL IMAGeS THeRApIeS on 01502 525142. Appointments for Aromatherapy, Reflexology and Sports Massage should be available after Christmas. pLeASe NoTe that the salons will be closed for the Christmas Break (December 23 to January 3). VISIT

Or else you could have your skin smoothed and toned with Microdermabrasion and Microcurrent treatments, on offer at a fraction of the cost charged in commercial salons. And there is even an Et for Men range which allows the facial to be specifically tailored to male skin. Rebecca used the Kaeso range of products for the manicure, including a delicious Mulberry and Pomegranate Sorbet Hand Scrub. And, as if that wasn’t enough, the polish is yours to take home as it’s included in the price of the treatment (again just £7!). There’s also a Luxury Manicure which takes an hour and costs £8. Again there is a loyalty card scheme (collect a stamp for each treatment you have and once you have eight, your ninth treatment will be free). Staff and students at Lowestoft College certainly have good credentials. For example, beauty therapy lecturer Haley Wagner had cause to celebrate earlier this year after being awarded a distinction in the prestigious Pearson Teaching Awards. Then there’s Rhia Bowles, a 28-year-old aromatherapist who trained at Lowestoft College, who was busy proving that she’s at the top of her game at the WorldSkills UK National competition last month. With therapists such as Rhia having honed their skills at Lowestoft College, then it is certainly worth considering Images salons for your next treatment.


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Perfect, if you fancy a fabulous Christmas party with a difference!


Having a ball for the rnli Did you know that the Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Branch of the Ladies' Lifeboat Guild is one of the most successful fundraisers for the RNLI in the country? Emma Outten finds out why



hairperson of the Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Ladies’ Lifeboat Guild, Carol Horne, comes to our meeting armed with the original book of minutes, which began in 1926, and her all-important gavel. She needs the gavel to keep the very chatty ladies in order! The book is fascinating, complete with the first invitation to the first annual ball - when it was known as an Old Fashioned Christmas Dance. It was held at the Queen’s Hotel in Great Yarmouth, in 1938. Tickets were 5/- (and that included refreshments). The sum of £15 was raised, thanks to the 153 attendees at the dance. Obviously, time has moved on and nowadays the black tie event is held in the Ocean Rooms (as Carol says, ‘it’s the only venue in the area that can take the numbers’) and ticket prices for this coming January will be £45. They hope to top last year’s fundraiser, which raised around £7500 for the RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea. The ball features a popular tombola, premier function band Scratch the Cat and, new for next year, the catering will be done by the very hospitable City College, Norwich. As ever, up to 500 people are expected to attend. The annual event is the lynchpin of the fundraising year for the RNLI station based in Gorleston, and is one of the biggest balls for the RNLI. It follows on from other special events such as a Casino Night, a Golf Day, an Art Exhibition and a Cafe Cabaret day. And if you take into account the retail shop run by volunteers, various coffee mornings, a presence at the Maritime Festival, store collections and a Flag Day, this could help explain why the Guild is one of the most successful at fundraising in the country (outside London, the Guild is second only to Southend, apparently). Carol explains why the Guild is so good at what it does. ‘We work hard and we are well supported - we are very grateful to the local community for that support.’ The first Gorleston lifeboat station was established by the RNLI in 1866, then, in 1881 a new, replacement boathouse was

built (Gorleston No 1) followed by a second (Gorleston No 2) built alongside in 1883. This second boathouse was closed in 1926 and Gorleston No 1 station was renamed Great Yarmouth and Gorleston. In 1996 Princess Alexandra officially named the station's new and current Trent class lifeboat, a big off-shore boat called Samarbeta (Swedish for Working Together). The boathouse was extended in 2002 and is home to the Atlantic class Seahorse IV, the on-shore boat, as well as a gift-shop, and a museum which includes a former Gorleston lifeboat. Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Lifeboat Station is a discovery station – headed by coxswain Paddy Lee - and is open to the public at certain times. And behind every station is a good Guild. There are around 30 Ladies Guild members in all, four Honorary members, President Anne Cowan MBE and Chairperson Carol. The morning we met, we had to reconvene at the Cliff Hotel in Gorleston as the flood gates had closed at the station. Carol has been a member of the Guild for 40 years, and has been chair for the past decade. She recalls: ‘I started to help raising money, by doing house to house collections and it snowballed from there.’ Nowadays, she notes: ‘It’s a nice social group and it’s very worthwhile – it’s lovely to meet the crew and see the way they work.’ Each year, the Guild raises between £50,000 and £70,000 a year. And legacies can add £100,000 to that total. Any opportunity to raise money for the Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Lifeboat Station and, rest assured, the ladies will be there: the Lifeboat Demonstration at Gorleston Pier in the summer being a good case in point. ‘That’s what we are about – rattling buckets,’ says Carol. The lifeboat money boxes, needless to say, raise thousands more. But, as she adds, ‘the ball is the big one.’ Member Ann Sturzaker summed up the feeling of the Guild: ‘We are all a bit obsessed by the lifeboats and are just passionate about making money for them,’ she says, ‘it does become a big part of your life.’

The Lifeboat Ball, by the Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Branch Ladies’ Lifeboat Guild, in aid of the RNLI, takes place on January 18, 2014. Visit


cathedral choir


Join Norwich Cathedral Choir for a feast of festive music including traditional carols and Christmas music by candlelight, on December 13. Tickets include a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie. Call 01603 630000, or visit

Loddon Mill Arts Christmas Comedy show takes place on December 20 with top international comedian Pierre Hollins as headliner. He’s joined by Iszi Lawrence (Time Out recommended comedian), Laurence Tuck (one of Channel 4's brilliant new talents) and the evening is hosted by Alan Francis. Call 01508 521800 if you would like to go on the reserve list or visit www.loddonmillarts.


Holkham Hall is set for Christmas Celebrations on December 7 and 8 and December 14 and 15, when the magical splendour of the Marble Hall will set the scene with carol singing; Candlelit Tours will take place from December 11 to 13 and December 18 to 20; plus December 21 and 22 features two days of Christmas Theatre with two separate productions performed by the Baroque Theatre Company. Visit www.holkham.



This year’s Deepdale Christmas Market will be the biggest to date, welcoming almost 80 stalls mainly Norfolk producers - on December 7 and 8. You won’t find a better place to start and possibly finish your Christmas shopping, with plenty of inspiration from both the stalls and the permanent shops of Dalegate Market. Visit


Dragon Hall has two special events to really get you into the Christmas spirit: a Medieval Christmas on December 1, when children have the opportunity to visit Uncle Holly in his medieval grotto to receive a medieval themed gift, followed by the Medieval Christmas Market on December 7 and 8. Call 01603 663922 or visit


Original members of Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band, John ‘Drumbo’ French, Mark ‘Rockette Morton’ Boston and Denny ‘Feelers Rebo’ Walley, appear at Norwich Arts Centre on December 7 for one of only six UK dates – the first time they’ve been in the city since 1974 when they played UEA. Call 01603 660352 or visit www.norwichartscentre.

38 | december 2013

© nAtiOnAL tRuSt

The National Trust knows how to do Christmas events, which includes Taking Back Christmas at Blickling on the weekends to December 15. See beautiful decorations from down the ages and chat with the people who enjoyed them, plus there will be a craft fair, gift shop, Christmas food, entertainment and the all important man in the red suit. Visit www.nationaltrust.

What’s On

We are feeling festive for our final round-up of the year

ALAddin At BuRY St. edmundS

SAntA iS At JOHn LeWiS in nORWicH




This year’s pantomime at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds is Aladdin, involving the welcome return of James Nickerson as Widow Twankey, until January 12. There will be a Gala performance on December 15 – ticket includes live music before the show, icecream, programmes, goody bags for the children, drinks, sweets and snacks. Call 01284 769505 or visit www.theatreroyal. org.


The Assembly House in Norwich is gearing up for the festive season with an exciting Christmas Exhibition planned at The Noverre Gallery until January 6. Printmakers from across the UK have submitted their work, with images from Norfolk’s Vanessa Lubach, as well as Diane Griffiths from Suffolk. Call 01603 728992 or visit


RutH WALL - PictuRe BY SteVe tAnneR

John Lewis has a number of Christmas events, including Tea with Santa on December 12, in the Place to Eat restaurant. It will be a chance for children to enjoy a very special Christmas tea with Santa. Booking in advance is essential. Included in the price is a food and drink box, plus Santa will present each child with a small gift. Call 0844 693 1710.

The Marble Hall at Holkham Hall will be resonating with festive music when two concerts take place to celebrate the Christmas season: on December 6 the 2013 season of Chamber Music concerts concludes with a performance by Till Fellner on piano; and on December 14, in a special festive concert, The Three Harps of Christmas. Call 01328 713111 or visit www.


Christmas celebrations get off to an early start for Norwich’s music fans when the Albion Christmas Band bring their special seasonal concert to the Maddermarket on December 7. It features the combined talents of Simon Nicol (founder member of Fairport Convention), Kellie While (Albion Band), Simon Care (Edward II), and the Guv'nor himself, Ashley Hutchings (Steeleye Span). Call 01603 620917 or visit

© miKe diXOn At St SeRAPHim'S tRuSt



St Seraphim’s Trust is staging a groundbreaking exhibition, Praying with Icons – The Work of the Walsingham Iconographers, at The Hostry, Norwich Cathedral, from December 5 to January 1. It is the first exhibition of work of the late Fr David (d 1993) and Leon Liddament (d. 2010) of the Brotherhood of St Seraphim, featuring 30 icons. Visit or call 01603 218300. | december 2013


Benet Catty’s chocolate craving isn’t entirely satiated by the new musical of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, directed by Sam Mendes


oBodY coULd cLAIM an absence of range in this year's new musical offerings. We have Irish romance (Once); fairy tale (The Light Princess); the Profumo Affair (Stephen Ward), World War Two (From Here to Eternity) and, sadly now closed, The Colour Purple. There have been many great family musicals over the years. Starlight Express and Joseph introduced generations of young people to the theatre (including me) in the 80s and 90s. Disney's Beauty and the Beast brought Las Vegas spectacle to the Dominion. The Lion King showed people of all ages what imagination could do. Matilda, most recently, has been the biggest monster hit from this country since Mamma Mia. No wonder the Roald Dahl back catalogue seemed like a safe place to look for possible stage material. Think again. There is little in Charlie that equals anything in any of those previous shows. One of the great set designers of the last 30 years, Mark Thompson, provides plenty of spectacle, albeit mostly in the second half, but induced more wows with Joseph or indeed Bombay Dreams than he is able to do here. Thrills were much more plentiful in Starlight. Children were given more treats by Beauty. And everyone was much better served by The Lion King. Charlie's two weaknesses - from which all the others come are easily identifiable. The first is that Dahl's great children's book, a favourite of many generations of children, has very little plot. A poor boy wins a golden ticket to a famous chocolate factory along with

52 40


Factory THE DARKNESS Charlie o the Chocolate

four variously disagreeable children. (That's Act One.) They all get shown around the factory, four of the children come to sticky ends and Charlie gets to take over the factory. (That's Act Two.) This does not justify two and a half hours of stage time and so the show moves at a snail's pace. The famous 1971 film (in which Gene Wilder made a definitive Willy Wonka) made changes to the story to give it more life (the villainous Slugworth sub-plot, Charlie's naughty moment in the factory that he needs to redeem later). Matilda developed stories and characters for all the protagonists far beyond anything Dahl wrote. It was faithful, not slavish. Without a strong narrative, few musicals can satisfy. The second disappointment is the writing. Mark Shaiman and Scott Whitman (much praised for their work on the hit musical Hairspray and the TV drama Smash) provide a collection of generic patter songs and pastiches which would better suit Smash and few of which suit the story or tone. The lyrics (when you can hear them) add little. Only the Act One finale, It Must Be Believed To Be Seen, lodges in the memory. And what David Greig, a wonderful playwright, thought he was doing with his almost invisible script (which provides three gags in the whole evening) is a mystery. Again, Dennis Kelly did infinitely better with Matilda. Charlie's shortcomings are no reflection on the terrific cast, lead by the ever-great Douglas Hodge who injects a vaudevillian quirkiness to his Wonka. Nigel Planer as Grandpa Joe (in a role which reminds us how long ago The Young Ones was) is charming and charismatic. Amongst the other adults, Paul J Medford, one of the original Five Guys Named Moe 20 years ago, remains a dazzling dancer and singer, making one yearn for him to have a show to himself. Sam Mendes, lionised for Skyfall and Oscar-winner for American Beauty, shows little of the flair that has made him so successful in both theatre and film. Act One is 80 per cent one static scene in which almost nothing happens. Act Two is

a series of set pieces. Mendes' work doesn't even approach the quality his production company achieved on Shrek at the same address, or his production of Oliver! in the 90s (revived much since) or The Fix or even Company. Charlie is a lesson in how some of the great books do not necessarily make great shows. Unusually, though, it doesn't make the usual mistakes of most bad musicals. Flops are usually distinguished by sentimentality, slushiness, cheesiness or cliche. This is none of those things. Thinking that something is ‘good enough’ is usually a way of making sure it isn't. Willy Wonka wouldn't settle for that. Audiences shouldn't have to either.

cHARLIe ANd THe cHocoLATe FAcToRY runs at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, tel 0844 858 8877 or visit www.charlieandthechocolate | december 2013

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Norwich in the 1960s by Pete Goodrum is published by Amberley Books.

The Swinging 60s Pete Goodrum, writer, marketing consultant and best-selling local history author, has his latest book out and it’s already topping the local charts. We catch up with him

norwich | BOOK 3

Pete GOOdRum


1. davey Place in 1961 2. Kosy Korner Kafe 3. Westlegate

There’s quite a bit about the clothes, dance halls and music in the book.

IT’S JUST oVeR A YeAR SINce your book Norwich in the 1950s came out. So, this is the sequel?

Yes, I suppose it is a sequel. Norwich in the 1950s did very well, staying at the top of the local best seller charts for almost 20 weeks, so it was obvious that there’s a real interest in looking back at the city’s relatively recent history. I really didn’t take much persuading to write Norwich in the 1960s. Are there any particular aspects of the decade you wanted to explore?

It was tempting. In a way that’s the odd thing about the 60s. There are different views of the decade. For some it’s Mods and Rockers. For others it’s the whole ‘Summer of Love’ hippy thing. It’s definitely the decade of The Beatles. What I wanted to do was look at Norwich as a whole and see what had happened to the city during the 60s. What emerged as the big changes?

So much of what happened was to do with traffic. There were more cars, and the city had to adjust to a new era of planning. Pedestrian streets were introduced, multi storey car parks were built, the inner ring road with its flyover arrived. Some of this was to do with keeping the traffic moving, but a lot of it was about protecting the buildings. Although some buildings disappeared, of course. You make it plain in the book that new buildings arrived though?

They did. County Hall, the swimming pool, the Library, the UEA, and lots of houses to replace slum clearance, were all products of the 60s.

Yes. It’s a vital part of the 60s. Two major musical events were The Beatles playing here, and Jimi Hendrix. It’s astonishing that The Beatles, who were already in the charts and about to become the biggest band in the world, arrived here in a Bedford van. As to the clubs and dance halls, it was a great time for the city. You mentioned clothes and fashion. The 60s of course changed everything in fashion and I think a lot of people will enjoy being reminded of shops that sold the latest styles. I’ve also included the places where you could buy records and record players. I think the names Wilmotts and Dansette will strike a chord with those of a certain age! Just as you did in the 1950s book, you’ve included some great vintage advertisements from the time.

I love doing that. I love advertising, but to include ads from the period is really interesting. We all like to see what things cost back then, but more than that it’s an insight into what people were doing. What they were buying. Clothes, music, cars and eating out were all very much part of the 60s and the ads show it! And sport?

Hmm. I’m afraid the 60s did not hold such a glorious moment for the Canaries as they’d seen in the 1959 cup run! I’ve covered a couple of notable encounters for them though. And speedway was big here then. So too was wrestling. Saturday afternoon TV had made it a national obsession. Why does everybody remember their grannies loving it? You paint a great picture of the city in the 60s - does anything in particular stand out for you?

I was a teenager in the 60s and I have some wonderful memories of the city then. I was surprised when I did my research as to just how much it had altered in those 10 years. If I’ve got a regret it’s that I didn’t see The Beatles! | december 2013


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The Hoste at Burnham Market has long been a landmark hotel; a focal point of the north Norfolk village and popular with visitors to the Royal Coast of Norfolk. Now, its long and distinguished history has been captured in a new book which not only chronicles the illustrious development of the building over five centuries of hospitality but also brings to life its links with some of the county’s famed mariners such as Admiral Lord Nelson and Sir William Hoste, who was one of Nelson’s protégés and the maritime figure who gave his name to the hotel back in 1811. The hotel’s rich and colourful history has been documented in a new 100-page book written by maritime author and Places & Faces travel writer Mark Nicholls. Entitled A History of the Hoste and its association with Admiral Lord Nelson and Captain Sir William Hoste, it reveals how Nelson visited The Hoste regularly to read his dispatches during his period of unemployment ‘on the beach’ without a ship from 1788 to January

A HISToRY oF THe HoSTe and its association with Admiral Lord Nelson and Captain Sir William Hoste costs £15 and is available exclusively from The Hoste reception or by ordering it through The Hoste website

46 | december 2013

1793 and how the hotel was named in honour of Captain Sir William Hoste after he won a notable victory at the Battle of Lissa on March 13, 1811. The book looks at the history of the building, which was originally the manor house of Burnham Westgate Hall and built in about 1551. The first records of it being a hotel were in 1651 when it was owned by the Pitt family and known as the Pitt Arms. A wellknown coaching inn and the first stop from Wells-next-the-Sea on the way to London, it housed the livestock auction market and later the Assizes, where the famous ‘Burnham housewife murderers’ had their preliminary trials before being sentenced to death at Norwich prison. Now, as a result of extensive research, Mark has uncovered and described a clearer picture of the 18th century world, which existed around the two famous sea captains and The Hoste. He says: ‘This was an interesting book to work on because of the important role The Hoste has played in the community and the history of Norfolk over the years, and continues to do so to this day. It was fascinating to dig into the history of the building and the wider community in which it stands, as well as highlighting the strong maritime connections to the hotel through Lord Nelson and Captain Hoste. ‘I was also surprised to discover just how influential the Hoste family were in north Norfolk at the time and the strength of their connections to the main families and the great estates of that part of the county.’ The book also looks at the community in which The Hoste stands, highlighting the vivid history of the other ‘Burnhams’ beyond Burnham Market, including Burnham Thorpe where Nelson was born in September 1758. It also discusses local attractions, the stunning landscape of the Royal Coast of Norfolk and the stately homes of the area including the Sandringham estate – once owned by the Hoste family – and Holkham Hall and Houghton Hall which were closely associated with Sir William Hoste and his family. The book reflects how The Hoste has changed since being taken over more recently by Brendan and Bee Hopkins, with the addition of the new Garden Suite, the extension of the fabulous spa and other developments. It also deliciously conveys the flavour of the present-day Hoste with 40 beautifully illustrated recipes compiled by The Hoste’s Head Chef, James O’Connor.

the hoste | BOOKS Ingredients (serves 6)

Herb crust 80g Gruyere cheese 175g fresh breadcrumbs 50g parsley, chopped 5g thyme, chopped 125g butter salt freshly ground pepper 6 150g halibut portions 200g broad beans, cooked and de-shelled 200g peas 300g clams 3 spring onions, thinly sliced 3 shallots, peeled and sliced 1 bunch of chives, chopped 200mI white wine (150mI for the sauce and 50ml for the clams) 100ml cream 250g butter (210g for the sauce, 20g for the butter sauce and 20g for the spinach) 1 lemon, juiced 300g spinach, washed 3 plum tomatoes, peeled, de-seeded and diced

Halibut with Soft Herb Crust and Clams, Broad Beans and Butter Sauce Method Put the shallots and 20g butter into a pan and cook on a low heat. Once the shallots are cooked, add the white wine and reduce down to a syrup, then add the cream and bring back to a simmer. Add the butter, a little at a time, constantly stirring, until all the butter is incorporated, then add lemon juice and correct seasoning, pass through a sieve, discard what is left and leave the butter sauce in a pan. Place all the ingredients for the herb crust into a food processor and run until fully combined. Place onto the seasoned halibut, put the fish on an oiled tray and place in an oven at 170째C for seven minutes. Heat up a pan and add the clams and white wine, placing a lid on top to allow the clams to steam open. Once opened, drain off half the liquor and discard; then add the butter, sauce, spring onion, tomato, peas, chives and broad beans; bring back to a simmer. While the fish is cooking, cook the spinach in the butter. Place the spinach evenly between six plates, then place the sauce around the spinach and put the halibut on top and serve.

Seared Wood Pigeon with Polenta Method Place the milk in a pan and bring to a simmer, then add thyme, garlic and a drizzle of olive oil. Add the polenta, stirring continuously until creamy for five minutes (if a bit thick add extra milk). While the polenta is cooking in a hot pan, sear the seasoned pigeon breasts on both sides then add the mushrooms and cook for two minutes, then add parsley and red wine sauce. Once brought to a simmer, set aside. Add the parmesan to the polenta and take out the thyme sprigs, then place an equal amount on each of the six plates. Take out the pigeon breast, cut into five and place a breast on each plate. Pour over a little of the sauce/mushroom mix and serve. At The Hoste we serve the pigeon breast rare. If you prefer it cooked more add a little extra red wine sauce and cook for longer. We also add rocket and crisp pancetta to the dish.

Ingredients (serves 6) 6 pigeon breasts 200g polenta 600ml milk 2 sprigs of thyme 3 garlic cloves finely chopped extra virgin olive oil 50g parmesan grated 100mI red wine sauce 10g chopped parsley 100ml mixed mushrooms | december 2013



A Storming

A south Norfolk barn seamlessly blends the old with the new, discovers Sarah Hardy as she visits the stunning conversion

48 | december 2013


arns usually mean one thing – space and light – and 3, Hall Farm Barn does not disappoint. Sitting in gentle countryside, with lush lawns and its own stream, it is a fabulous example of a grade two listed building converted with plenty of imagination. The very first thing that strikes you is the height of the vaulted ceilings – gosh, is this house airy! And then the amazing main reception area, with its staggeringly beautiful central chimney breast, really hits you between the eyes. Do look out for a double fronted wood burner where you can roast chestnuts (and toast your toes!) this Christmas. An oak staircase, with wrought iron railings, leads off this central spot and takes you up to a further extensive room, just the place for a family party, surely, with plenty of fizz? Make sure that you take in the sweeping views over the surrounding countryside from these upper windows. Back down that eye-catching staircase and the space continues to stretch out, with a state-of-the-art kitchen plus a further dining area, all linking together to form a substantial living area. But what of that kitchen? Always at the very heart of a home, this is a high tech version with granite work surfaces, limestone flooring, a large island bench complete with breakfast bar, and an impressive cooking range. Numerous appliances, from a coffee machine to a dishwasher, are tucked away and there’s also a utility room, perfect for those muddy boots and yet more of life’s necessities such as a washing machine! The dining area looks out over a courtyard garden, complete with shingle and paving areas plus a slate roofed oak framed pergola.

ESTATE AGENTS Fine & Country, Central Office, 7 Bank Plain, Norwich, NR2 4SF, Tel 01603 221888

3, hall farm barn | PROPERTY OF THE MONTH

Also downstairs is a fabulous garden room, with floor to ceiling bi-folding doors providing access to the delightful grounds. A Scandinavian wood burner adds to the contemporary feel and the room actually won a Design Award from South Norfolk Council in 2009, in the Existing Building category. The current owner, who had a lot of say in how the barn was designed as it was being built, remarks: ‘We have a choice of reception rooms so we can spend time together, sharing family meal times, yet still have our own space if we want to read a book quietly or watch something on the television while our nieces and nephews play.’

AS KIN G pri ce £87 5,0 00

Factfile Grade Two Listed Barn, first floor family room, stunning main reception with central chimney breast, five bedrooms and four bathrooms, spectacular garden room, two acres of land

There are five bedrooms, and four bathrooms, with the master suite set slightly apart so there’s plenty of privacy. This suite comprises a bedroom, shower room and dressing room – plus it is close to the barn’s gym where you can keep yourself in tip top condition. Throughout the barn is a cool colour scheme, much use is made of under floor heating, there are many exposed timbers and brickwork and lots of oak flooring, all adding up to a highly luxurious home, bursting with character. As the owner says: ‘The high ceilings add a real wow factor but the house still retails a comfortable, welcoming feel. We think it’s a winning combination.’ Parts of the barn date back to the 18th century and it is one of three in a small complex so you are not too secluded. The owner says: ‘It is a quiet, peaceful setting but we have a few neighbours so it’s not isolated.’ 3, Hall Farm Barn boasts two acres of land, with the landscaped gardens created with considerable flair. There are countless features including summerhouses and bridges over the stream, a Koi carp pond within a courtyard garden and a further pond in the manicured grounds. Access to the property is via a shared drive with a five-bar gate which leads on to a private drive with an open-fronted garage and shingle area. The barn nestles just outside Deopham, a small south Norfolk village which has good access to Wymondham, which does, of course, have great rail links to Cambridge. And also to Norwich, our fine county capital, which offers great shopping, a fine theatre and much, much more.


Take the worry out of winter at Barchester care homes

Pop in and pick up our Free Winter Recipe Cards With another cold winter upon us, there's no better time to make sure your loved ones are in the best possible care. At Barchester keeping our residents happy, warm and actively engaged is paramount. From delicious home-cooked meals, to fun activities, there need never be a dull moment. Every day is an opportunity to make new friends and enjoy a wide range of entertainment – knowing that qualified staff are always at hand. • Nursing care • Residential care • Dementia care • Respite care • Day care • Short breaks

Let us take the worry out of your winter this year. Please contact your local Barchester care home to find out how we can help. Ashfields

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BECCLES Guide Price £425,000

WRENTHAM Guide Price £315,000

• A stunning Grade II Listed Town House dating from the 16th Century with Georgian additions in the centre of the vibrant Market Town of Beccles • Four Bedrooms ; Two Bathrooms/Shower Rooms • Four Receptions ; Cellars • Breakfast Kitchen with Separate Utility • A wealth of Period Features can be Found Throughout • Garage ; Off Road Parking • Walled Courtyard Gardens • The Accommodation extends to 2,346sq.ft

• An idyllic Grade II Listed Thatched Cottage in the village of Wrentham • The Property has been Renovated to a Very High Standard • Three Bedrooms ; Loft Room/Attic Bedroom • Two Bathrooms ; Downstairs Cloakroom • Breakfast Kitchen ; Two Receptions • Single Garage • Garden and Courtyard • The Accommodation extends to 1,792sq.ft

BUNGAY Guide Price £675,000

TOFT MONKS Guide Price £330,000

• A Stunning Grade II Listed Georgian Town House in the popular pretty town of Bungay with a Two Bed Annexe (850sq.ft) and a Two Bed Cottage (698sq.ft) • A wealth of Period Features can be found throughout including fantastic Fireplaces • Four Bedrooms ; Two Further Unconverted Loft Rooms • Two En-Suites ; Family Bathroom ; Two WC’s • Four Receptions ; Cellar • Fully Fitted Catering Kitchen • Stunning Walled Garden and Courtyard • The Accommodation extends to 3,377sq.ft

• A Detached Single Storey Residence in the hamlet of Toft Monks • Three Bedrooms ; Two Bathrooms • Breakfast Kitchen with Separate Utility • Two Receptions ; Conservatory • Double Garage ; Ample Parking • Finished to a Very High Standard with Quality Finishes Throughout including Under Floor Heating • The Accommodation extends to 1,436sq.ft • Energy Rating: D

Norwich: 01603 221888 South Norfolk & North Suffolk: 01379 646020



candlelight is a must for adding warmth and atmosphere throughout the season and helps create a cosy, welcome for guests. Place chunky church candles in lanterns to highlight a key area or group together to make a focal point. The Christmas table should always be embellished with candles and I love the clever but unfussy design of the Nordic Light candle holder by Design House Stockholm. This design classic can be shaped any way you like - the four arms are connected with an iron spindle, and after use the candleholder is easily folded together to take up less space. 1. Culinary Concepts lantern £47.50 2. Design House Stockholm Nordic Light candle holder £65 3. iittala Taika large plate £19

A S candinavian


Spread some festive magic throughout your home with beautiful decorations and stylish accessories inspired by the clean, crisp air of a Scandinavian winter. Hayley Philpot serves up a smorgasbord of ideas for your most stylish Christmas yet

Jarrold 1-11 London Street, Norwich NR2 1JF 3

A beautiful door wreath will ensure guests get a warm welcome to your home and help set the scene for the festive cheer to be found inside. Natural materials such as twigs and pine cones give a fresh from the forest look, in keeping with the effortless Nordic style. Winterflora door wreaths: 4. twigs £50, 5. pine cone £25

ALL ITeMS AVAILABLe from The Granary,

5 Bedford Street, Norwich, NR2 1AL








Natural, rustic materials and a simple colour palette form the basis of this look; pared down elegance triumphs over glitz and glamour to give an effortless, charming appeal. In winter, daylight hours are short, so the use of white and light neutrals inside the Scandinavian home is the key to creating a bright and airy feel - it’s Christmas though, so the injection of warm red is essential for festive cheer. There is an abundance of beautiful decorations to adorn your tree – which should be a real one, of course! Choose simple rustic pieces inspired by nature, or add a touch of frost with intricate glass designs. 6. Design Ideas tree decorations from £2.45, Broste red papier mache tree decorations, £4 each 7. iitalla set of 2 glass baubles, £18


Add extra touches of warmth and comfort to your home with plenty of luxurious accessories. Tactile throws and piles of cushions will make fireside gatherings all the more cosy - so sit back, relax and enjoy this magical time of year.

HAYLeY is the Gift and Homewares Buyer

at Jarrold's and The Granary

8. Klippan: moose throw £150, Design House Stockholm grey throw £145, red throw £70



christmas offers the perfect opportunity to add touches of fun and humour to your home and these alpine reindeers from Design Ideas ooze Nordic charm. Made from sturdy birch ply and dyed a seasonal shade of red, they come in three sizes and look their best when grouped together as a family. I also really like this wall mounted reindeer head!



9. Parlane reindeer head £35, Design Ideas alpine reindeers: 10. small £2.95, 11. medium £7.95, 12. large £9.95 | december 2013


Glyn Bensley luxuryfittedkitchens

Sales Diary 2014 Fine Antiques with Clocks & Watches 20th & 21st May 25th, 26th & 27th Nov

Luxury Established over 30 years

01493 856 114 | 07860 634 785

Antiques with Clocks & Watches 7th & 8th Jan 4th & 5th Mar 22nd & 23rd Jul 16th & 17th Sep Antiques with Collectors & Militaria 4th & 5th Feb 1st & 2nd Apr 17th & 18th Jun 19th & 20th Aug 14th & 15th Oct

East Anglian Art 28th Nov Selected Quality Pictures 14th Mar 4th Jul 12th Dec

Book Sales 30th & 31st Jan 27th & 28th Mar 29th & 30th May 31st Jul & 1st Aug 25th & 26th Sep 20th & 21st Nov Country Sale Every Monday (Tuesday after Bank Holiday)

Ornithology 5th Sep Picture & Prints 7th Feb 17th Apr 18th May 8th Aug 3rd Oct


Aylsham Salesrooms, Palmers Lane, Aylsham, Norfolk NR11 6JA

01263 733195



Inspirational gifts for gardeners Beautifully created HAMPERS made on site to suit all tastes & pockets... don’t forget the wild birds, we’ve got hampers for them as well!

HOLLY WREATHS, homemade & individually decorated

Super selection of HOUSE PLANTS

Our usual huge choice of SEASONAL INTEREST PLANTS to bring colour & winter wonder to your garden.

Wonderful selection of CHRISTMAS TREES, cut or pot grown


Winter Opening Times

Monday - Saturday 9am to 4pm


Jay Lane Lound Plant Centre just 300 yards off the A12




Jay Lane, Lound NR32 5LH

Tel: 01502 731431



M Mistletoe is as much a part of Christmas as mince pies and mulled wine, says Sarah Hardy as she meets one Norfolk farmer who is determined to grow this seasonal delight Find out more about How Hill Holly at

ost of us have a sprig of mistletoe

hanging in our hallway at Christmas and an expectant smile! Kissing under the mistletoe is now one of our great Christmas traditions yet few of us realise just how tricky and time consuming growing this seasonal speciality is. Nicky Coller, who farms 400-acres at How Hill in Broadland with his uncle Peter Boardman, is, he thinks, the only farmer attempting to grow the plant on a commercial basis in the county. ‘I tried about 10 years ago and then started again about two years ago and in say another four years, I might have enough to start selling!’ he laughs. ‘It is currently growing on about 30 apple trees, on Bramleys as they are the strongest. You never used to be able to grow mistletoe further north than a line from say Bristol to Norwich but, with climatic changes, we are now managing.’ He thinks mistletoe prefers to be on the north side of a tree for shade and on the underside of a branch, where it is a little wetter. ‘It is trial and error, we are learning all the time but we are getting there, we have pieces reaching about half an inch!’ He harvests the berry seeds around Easter, which, he says, really means just squashing them back on to the bark. ‘They attach themselves to the tree and take water and nutrients from it. ‘And we prune the trees very carefully as we don’t want to disturb the mistletoe.’ Nicky, who is service director at Pertwee and Back Ford dealers in Great Yarmouth, produces wheat, barley, potatoes and sugar beet. ‘We have five acres of apples, planted in the 1930s, and five acres of holly so mistletoe seemed a logical thing to try and grow.’ He continues: ‘We have about 120 varieties of holly and produce about five tonnes a year which goes to markets in London, Christmas shops and so on.’ And, in case you are wondering Nicky doesn’t have a Christmas tree in his house during the festive period. Rather he has holly tree, fresh from the farm. And masses of mistletoe, of course! | december 2013



St George’s Theatre is a Registered Charity No. 1081752

The Woodyard, Reedham Road, Acle, NR13 3DF

WWW.RHINOBDS.CO.UK 01493 751762

Great gift ideas £8.99

Head torch


Tool box

Jumbo bags of seasoned firewood Perfect to keep the festive fire roaring throughout Christmas!





Emma Outten gets her fill of a sumptu ous selection o f Christmas ha mpers this mon th (but you migh

t need £20,000 for one a spare of them!)


4 3


1. 2013 The Foodies Christmas Hamper, £225, 2. John Lewis Christmas Extravaganza Leather Trunk Fresh Hamper, £800, John Lewis 3. Waitrose Duchy Originals Christmas Hamper, £85, Waitrose 4. Afternoon Tea Hamper, £25, Jarrold's 5. Fill-Your-Own Byfords Hamper, £20, Byfords, Holt Alternatively, you could always check out Harrods’ Christmas Hampers, including ‘The Decadence’, costing no less than £20,000! | december 2013





ith an audience grand totalling 130,000, it would be fair to say that the Thursford Christmas Spectacular is the largest Christmas show in the country, and one of the largest in Europe. Running until December 23, the show has a budget of around £3m and is a three-hour fast-moving celebration of the festive season featuring an eclectic fusion of the seasonal and sacred with famous chart topping pop favourites being sung alongside traditional carols. With a cast of around 130 professional singers, dancers and musicians the range covers everything from solo singers, to full choral numbers with amazing dancing and costumes.

58 | december 2013

Producer and Director John Cushing tells P&F: ‘This year’s Thursford Christmas Spectacular is alive with dollops of life enhancing Christmas joy encased within a vibrant performance full of colour, light, sound, razzmatazz, glitz, solemnity, humour - all with a heart.’ But Thursford is not the only show on the road in this part of the region at this time of year. It’s time to polish those glass slippers and get ready for everyone’s favourite pantomime as Cinderella takes to the Theatre Royal Norwich stage from December 17 until January 19. With a cast including Sheila Ferguson, Matt Milburn, Christopher Ryan and Richard Gauntlett, this feast of festive frolicking is sure to banish the winter blues and make Christmas just that bit more magical. Do visit the P&F website - - if you missed our recent interviews with Sheila and Matt. St George’s Theatre in Great Yarmouth has a good few festive offerings: there will be a Festive Concert presented by The Chorus of St Cecilia on December 12; Tigerlilys present Step into Christmas on December 13; then the professional family pantomine - Jack and the Beanstalk – takes place from December 20 to January 5. Marketing Manager Ryan Holt says: ‘This Christmas St George's Theatre has something for everyone: from Tigerlilys all singing, all dancing extravaganza, to something more traditional, The Chorus of St Cecilia. And to top it off, we have our very own fun filled professional family pantomime.’ For an exciting alternative to traditional pantomime there is the Christmas Hippodrome Circus and Water Spectacular in Great Yarmouth, which starts on December 14. The huge spectacular with over 50 artistes runs until January 12. Add


Christmas Shows



Visit Visit Visit Visit Visit Visit Visit or call 01328 878477. or call 01603 630000. or call 01493 331484. or 01493 844172 or call 01493 662832. or call 01263 512495. or call 01263 822347.

to this the amazing skills of the Chermond Circus academy in Norwich, the Dance Estelle kids and you have a show that has everything, fun, thrills, excitement and spectacle more like a new blockbuster Las Vegas show than anything else in the whole of Europe. Hailed as East Anglia’s mini Albert Hall, it is one of the town’s hidden treasures, nestling as it does, on a road behind Yarmouth’s Golden Mile. Towards the end of the show the venue comes into its own and as if from nowhere the floor gives way to create a pool where swimmers perform a synchronised swimming display.

Meanwhile, the Pavilion Theatre Gorleston has a couple of Christmas crackers, quite literally. Christmas Crackers 2 runs until December 1: join Stage Door Youth Theatre for a delightful showcase of everyone's favourite shows and plenty of festive theatre performances. Then Nigel Boy Syer, Lisa Marie and Leon James return for one night (December 7) with their Smile It’s Christmas Show 2013; and Ohyesitiz Productions return to present the pantomime Goldilocks and The Three Bears, from December 11 to January 4. And it’s another Cromer Christmas cracker at the Pavilion Theatre, Cromer Pier when Olly Day returns for another year in the Cromer Christmas Show, which takes place until December 29. Di Cooke, the show’s devisor, director and choreographer says: ‘This year’s show is packed full of Christmas tradition but we have added a few surprises.' It sounds as though audiences can expect the unexpected with the Olly Day’s unique version of a Christmas Fairytale! Di adds: ‘The very funny Martyn James and our two vocalists Jane Watkins and Eddie Bushell, along with our Christmas dancers, bring magic and sparkle to the show while the Youth Choir will ‘Take you to Heaven’ and the children will Mambo with Santa.’   Last but by no means least, Snow White runs at Sheringham Little Theatre from December 13 to January 4. Once again, it is written by West End star Killian Donnelly, whose year has included a performance at the Oscar ceremony in Hollywood following his role as Combeferre in the Les Misérables movie. If they are not good enough credentials for a pantomime playwright to have, I don’t know what is! So from Christmas spectaculars to pantomimes, let the shows begin. | december 2013


Project2_Layout 1 21/10/2013 17:11 Page 1



tHe mAGicAL ice KinGdOm

BeLOW: tHe uK'S LARGeSt OutdOOR ice RinK

winter wonderland

london | TRAVEL


inter Wonderland is one

of those ideas that sounds great on paper, but in reality is rather different. The promotional material for London’s vast Christmas spectacular, which takes place in Hyde Park until January 5, makes the event sound out-of-this-world, and it certainly boasts enough attractions to make a day of it. Besides more than 100 rides - both traditional and modern – there’s a circus, an ice rink, ice sculptures and a Ferris wheel, but what the promotional material doesn’t tell you is how many people will also be there, vying to see all these things themselves. When we went along, the place was heaving and was even a little scary at times. Although it’s billed as an event for all the family, this isn’t a day out for very little ones, as it’s vast, crowded and noisy, and not somewhere you’d want to be pushing a buggy (although we saw lots of people attempting to do that). That’s not to say that it isn’t worth a visit, though, as it is, but the key to an enjoyable day out here is definitely in the planning. Apart from the many rides, this vast festive event also features a Christmas market, a Bavarian village and a host of cafes, restaurants and bars, selling everything from mulled wine to Bratwursts, candy floss and doughnuts. Entry itself is free, but every ride is individually priced, costing a certain amount in tokens according to whether it’s for children, adults or adrenalin-junkies. The children’s rides start at £2 and general rides from £3 per person. Do stock up on tokens at one of the many token booths before you venture round the site, as the queues for tokens can be lengthy and you don’t want to spend valuable time in a queue. The Christmas spectacular also boasts four main attractions – Zippos Circus, the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink (at 1600sq m), an Arctic experience called The Magical Ice Kingdom and a 60-metre high Observation Wheel.

All four can be pre-booked online – in fact, organisers strongly recommend it – and entry is then by E-ticket (you simply print your tickets out at home). We had Reception-age children with us and so pre-booked tickets to the circus, which was fun for 45-minutes and a welcome breather from the crowds outside. It was great to watch the jugglers, clowns and aerial displays and to warm up in the heated marquee, and the show is reasonably priced, with adults £11.50, children £8, concessions £10.50 or family tickets £32. And if you haven’t got children with you, you might like to book for Cirque Berserk, an evening show aimed at adults featuring knife-throwing, high wire and fire-based acts, again bookable online. We met a group of friends, some of whom had been before, and their advice was to go early in the day or to choose a day when crowds are less likely, such as New Year’s Day, when many wouldbe visitors are still sleeping off the previous night’s festivities. If we go again, I’d definitely book ahead for The Magical Ice Kingdom (£9 adults; £7 children; £8 concessions; family tickets £28), the walk-through ice and snow sculpture experience which sounds amazing. Created by Wimbledon-based Hamilton Ice Sculptors, who worked on Norwich’s Ice Sculpture Trail some years ago, this is a trail on a different scale, using 200 tons of ice and snow to form ice bears, wolves, stags, owls, foxes and rabbits, not to mention an ice castle! You choose your time slot when you book and it takes around 15 minutes to walk through this frozen kingdom, which is kept at a chilly -8C, so remember to wrap up warm! If you do brave the event with toddlers in tow, there’s Santa Land with all sorts of rides and activities aimed at little ones, plus the chance to meet the big man himself, and for exhausted parents there’s an array of food (hog roast, fish and chips, hot dogs and the like), plus mulled wine, beer and music from the festive oompah bands. So, shoulders back and be ready for a ‘big day out’ – and when the place is lit up at night, it really does look spectacular.



The world’s best gin is made in Southwold so who better to mix up Christmas cocktails for P&F than Adnams Head Distiller John McCarthy? Emma Outten went to the Swan Hotel in Southwold as a very willing taste tester ACCORDING TO THE JUDGES of the international Wine & Spirits Competition, Adnams Copper House Distilled Gin is, officially, the world’s best gin. no surprise, then, that Adnams Head Distiller John McCarthy, who hand-crafts the whole range of spirits, chose to include the world’s best gin in his special selection of Christmas cocktails for P&F at the Swan Hotel in Southwold - but more of that later. One wonders if he has one the world’s best jobs? Originally an engineer by training, John – along with Chairman Jonathan Adnams - has travelled around the globe seeking knowledge and inspiration on the art of micro-distilling, and both trained in the United States. Since his initial training, back in 2010, John has been instrumental in developing the range of Adnams Copper House Spirits. He has also been known to head to the capital’s cocktail hotspots, such as Shoreditch, to seek inspiration for his craft. nice work if you can get it. Before the cocktail master-class, we had a tour of the Adnams Distillery (it turned out to be quite a trip!) and

his very own micro distillery, which is full of intriguing botanicals. The Adnams Distilled Gin botanicals, for example, consists: juniper berries, orris root, coriander seed, cardamom pod, hibiscus flower and sweet orange peel. The Distillery team has launched a range of Seasonal Spirits, such as Winter Spiced (a warming liqueur made from Adnams Copper House Barley Vodka, Pimento berries, or allspice, and a touch of demerara sugar) and Sloe Gin (made from Adnams Copper House Gin, sloes, almonds and sugar) so expect both to be included in John’s Christmas cocktails. Plus he has included Spirit of Broadside, a unique ‘eau de vie’ distilled from the famous Broadside beer, and northcove Vodka. Also, this month - December 5 - sees the timely preChristmas launch of two spirits which will formally be classified as whiskies - Single Malt Whisky (aged in French Oak) and Three Grain Whisky (aged in American Oak) - having spent three years and one day in barrel. And, John adds: ‘We have more products including a 100 per cent rye Whisky coming out in the future.’ For the cocktail master-class, however, John has concocted a couple of warm cocktails and a couple of ice-cold cocktails, which are, nonetheless, warming. ‘They are more comforting and warming and less refreshing and citrusy,’ he notes. referring to ‘Southwold Calling’, he says: ‘Personally i stir all drinks which contain only alcoholic ingredients (shaking ones with citrus, egg, etc). Stir carefully to chill and dilute the drink without breaking the ice, until the correct dilution (personal taste) is achieved.’ And, because it only contains alcohol, John points out: ‘This one is for night time!’ The wintry Spiced Flip, on the other hand, is rather like a liquefied ‘Christmas cake,’ notes John. This one would be good to sit and drink in front of the fire, whereas the warming ones would, of course, be good straight after a long wintry walk. So what makes the perfect Christmas cocktail? ‘in my opinion a Christmas cocktail should be warming (although not necessarily hot) and unctuous, giving you that seasonal glow!’ says John.



Southwold Calling 2 shots Adnams Copper House Gin 1 ½ shots Adnams Sloe Gin ½ shot Sweet Vermouth 2 dashes Angostura Bitters STIR all ingredients with ice and strain into cocktail glass Garnish with twist of orange zest


2 shots Adnams Winter Spiced Liqueur 1 whole egg, ½ shot cream ½ shot sugar syrup (sugar syrup can be made easily, heating 2 parts sugar, 1 part water until fully dissolved. Allow to cool) SHAKE Liqueur and egg together first (this emulsifies the egg), then add cream, sugar and ice to shaker and shake again. Fine strain into cocktail glass. Grate fresh nutmeg to garnish

Hot Buttered Broadside 1 shot of Adnams Spirit of Broadside 1 level tsp unsalted butter 1 level tsp granulated sugar Top up HOT water Stir to dissolve butter and sugar Garnish with fresh nutmeg or cinnamon (optional)

northcove coffee

1 shot Adnams Northcove Oak Aged Vodka Top up with HOT Coffee Float whipped cream on top


CHRISTMAS SPECIALS STARTER Homemade Broccoli & Stilton Soup with Chunky Bread & Butter 4.90 Kiln Roast Salmon on Spicy Potato Salad 5.50

CHRISTMAS! The Blue Boar gastro pub warmly invites you to eat, drink and relax in the atmospheric surroundings of the 17th Century former Coaching Inn, which has been lovingly restored. Contemporary chic meets historic charm to create the perfect backdrop to enjoy a drink at the bar, a delicious meal in the restaurant or bespoke celebrations in our private dining room – The Piggery.

Duck Liver Paté with Red Onion Marmalade & French Toast 5.50 Baked Figs with Brie, Parma Ham & a Port Reduction 5.50 MAIN Traditional Roast Turkey served with Chestnut Stuffing, Chipolata & Bacon Roll, Roast Potatoes & Seasonal Vegetables 9.90 Slow Roast Belly Pork, Mustard Mash, Creamed Savoy Cabbage & a Suffolk Cider Sauce 14.90 Pan Fried Fillet of Seabass with a Parmesan & Crayfish Crust, Sauté Potatoes & Peas & Pods 14.90 Deep Fried Halloumi on Sweet Chilli Risotto 10.90 BLUE BOAR PUDDINGS Traditional Christmas Pudding with Brandy Sauce 5.50 Mincemeat Bakewell Tart with Pouring Cream 5.50

For reservations please call 01502 572160 Oulton Street, Oulton Village, Lowestoft, NR32 3BB See the full menu on our website:

Poached Pears in Mulled Wine with Toasted Almonds & Mascarpone 5.50 Chocolate Brownie Based Vanilla Cheesecake 5.50 Assiette of Parravani Ices £5.50 Selection of Brie, Stilton & Applewood Smoked Cheddar served with Crackers & Suffolk Chutney £7.20

t e n i rW W ond erlan d Santa’s grotto

ping Christmas shop anta* S h t i w st BreakfaT US CONTAC ILS FOR DETA

Highway garden & leisure


’s rein

deer *


ing r


50 ft bou ncy snow man

01508 494665


selected dates



WHISKY GALORE, OMORE We’ve got whisky O other Christmas drinks all wrapped up

WHISKy 1. Jack Daniels Frank Sinatra Select

£150, 2. Highland Park Loki

£133, 3. Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Limited Edition Gift Tins, £34 to £39, available in most supermarkets 4. The English Whisky Company Chapter 13

£66.60, The English Whisky Company, (The English Whisky Company can also be found in Jarrold’s, including 5. Chapter 9, £40) 6. Adnams Whisky

Single Malt No 1 and Triple Grain No 2 - will be available for sale on December 5 online ( and in their Cellar & Kitchen Stores.

PORT 7. Graham’s 1970 Vintage (75cl)

£150, available from Berry Bros & Rudd,

CHAMPAGNE 8. Taittinger Brut Réserve NV

£38.99, widely available 9. Charles Heidsieck Armchair Gift Box




5 4






Much More Than An After Dinner Drink This month our wine writer Poppy Seymour celebrates the festive period with a seasonal glass or two of port

Port wine grapes in the Douro region


POPPY IS AN INDEPENDENT wine consultant offering expert advice on which wines to buy, whether for a celebration, investment purposes or simply quaffing! She will be delighted to hear from you so please feel free to contact her on 07760 793996 or poppy@belle-epoque-life. com for more information.


he first time I drank port was the day my grandfather died. I was 17 and shared a bottle of 1955 Taylor’s with my father. It was memorable but, boy, did I have a headache the next morning! Apart from the shooting fraternity, most of us only really think about port at Christmas so it seems like a good time of year to take a look at this unique style of wine. Viticulture in the Douro Valley dates back to Roman times although it wasn’t until around 1670 that port wine was first created. It was discovered that the addition of brandy to wine during fermentation permitted better storage and facilitated more efficient transport to export markets. Little did they know where this revolutionary practise would lead. This new fortified style of wine certainly appealed to the English palate and in the late 18th century when we were at war with France it was forbidden to drink French wine, leading us to look further afield for liquid refreshment. Port is produced in the Douro region of Portugal, a World Cultural Heritage site since 2001. The region comprises a long sequence of schistous mountains and hills with high slopes and it is this unique ‘terroir’ that gives the grapes the high concentration of sugar and tannins required for the production of fortified wine.



tHe dOuRO RiVeR And VALLeY

The Douro River flows through the beautiful wine-growing area of the Alto Douro, lazily making its way through around 60 miles of terraced slopes until it reaches the Atlantic at picturesque town of Vila Nova de Guia. Here the cooler, humid conditions offer perfect storage conditions and the finished wines mature here in vast warehouses known as lodges. The main grapes used for port production (although more than 100 are permitted) are tinta barroca, tinta cao, tinta roriz, touriga frencesa and touriga nacional. Of these, touriga nacional is the most temperamental but, typically, the most desirable for growers and winemakers alike. One of the true family businesses still retaining its independence today is the house of Niepoort, where they have notched up five continuous generations of production. Current encumbent Eduard ‘Dirk’ Niepoort runs the business together with his sister, Verena. They work in tandem with a family of masterblenders, the Nogueiras, also in the trade for five generations. Between them they produce a vast range of different styles of port, aiming to appeal to all palates and markets. The selection starts with Niepoort Ruby: fresh, young, fruity port of great character that is made for drinking young and does not benefit from ageing. The blenders say that the colour is inspired by ruby gemstones. In the same style is Ruby Reserve: an easy drinking, very approachable wine with a modern youthful style and benefitting from between three and four years ageing. Tawny port is aged in oak casks for three to five years, producing a fresh, lighter style of wine that’s finely balanced and has soft, sweet tannins. It is a really good all round port with a slightly nutty character and no sediment. It keeps well but does not improve with age. It may sound like sacrilege, but I promise you its worth trying chilled or over ice cream! White port is a different animal altogether, made from malvasia, viosinho and gouveio grapes. The juice is fermented as a ‘normal’ white wine until the process is stopped by the addition of pure grape brandy. After spending one year

in large wooden vats the wine is transferred into 500 litre oak barrels known as pipes (hence the expression ‘a pipe of port’) where it is aged for a minimum of three years prior to bottling. White port is traditionally drunk as an aperitif and, again, works rather well chilled especially with a dish of plump, juicy olives. Probably one of the most popular ports of all is Late Bottled Vintage, which is made from grapes of a single vintage and aged for four to six years in old oak casks. Never mind the cheeseboard, this makes a perfect partner for chocolate desserts. The thinking behind Late Bottled Vintage was to create a port that bridges the gap between Ruby (made to drink young) and Vintage (requiring decades to really show its colours). So, from an initial experiment some 50 years ago, a style was created that would produce a deep, concentrated port along the lines of Vintage but with a more mature character at an early age. Crusted Port completes the collection. Traditionally it is a blend of vintage quality wines from two or three harvests that are bottled with no fining or filtration. Crusteds are only released three years after bottling. Vintage port, naturally, is the jewel in the crown of any producer but it’s such a vast subject that we’ll take a look at that on another occasion. Meanwhile, feel free to email if you need ideas for Christmas drinking or pressies and don’t forget to leave a glass out for Santa!


peeLe’S SeLL MoST of their turkeys direct, both at the farm gate and via a thriving online business at www.peelesblackturkeys. Some birds are also available from Archers Butchers in Norwich. Production is limited, so early ordering is advised. Peele’s can be contacted on 01362 850237.

Talking Turkey This month, food writer Andy newman visits the farm which saved one of norfolk’s most famous breeds, while top norfolk chef roger Hickman comes up with a recipe which would satisfy the most demanding Christmas gourmet PictuReS BY ANdY NeWMAN ASSocIATeS, NoRWIcH



our county to name one food for which Norfolk is famous, and chances are that the answer will be turkey – principally thanks to a certain poultry tycoon and his ‘bootiful’ 1980s TV ads. But as food scandal after food scandal has gradually eroded trust in mass-produced meat, interest has boomed in the more traditionally-reared, artisan produce, with the Norfolk Black Turkey in particular enjoying a resurgence in demand. So it is particularly striking to discover that the breed nearly died out altogether after the war – and was largely saved thanks to the efforts of one Norfolk farming family, which is still today the leading producer of these fine birds. When you meet James Graham, owner of Peele’s Norfolk Black Turkeys, you soon realise that here is a man who is passionate both about how he rears his birds, but also about the quality of what will end up on your plate. Allowed to roam on organic meadowland; littered with home-grown straw; fed on a mixture of wheat, barley, oats, beans and whole corn grown on the farm; naturally-bred; reared slowly in small groups; hand-plucked and hung for a week – this is the antithesis of the big-scale factory farming methods which account for so many of our Christmas dinners.

70 | december 2013

The family has reared turkeys for more than 130 years, with James’ grandfather Ernest Peele, with his brother George, first sending a consignment of birds to London in 1880. They moved to their present farm in Thuxton, near Dereham, in 1932, an era when many farms raised poultry on a small scale for Christmas. But after the war came a drive for cheap white meat, and a move away from both traditional varieties and human-scale rearing. ‘The new varieties had much quicker growth rates and so produced larger birds more quickly,’ says James. ‘Also, when they are plucked, white birds don’t show any sign of the feather, so they were thought ‘cleaner’ than darker birds, and so the traditional varieties fell out of favour.’



“The family has reared turkeys for more than 130 years, with James’ grandfather Ernest Peele, with his brother George, first sending a consignment of birds to London in 1880.”


Fortunately, James’ grandfather Frank Peele didn’t agree. A traditionalist through and through, he had a soft spot for the Norfolk Black, and in, particular what they deliver on the plate. Largely through his breeding efforts, the variety was saved from extinction, and even today, pretty much every genuine Norfolk Black can trace its DNA back to the farm. So what makes a Norfolk Black so distinctive. The first thing is how they look. Unlike an industrial bird, which has been bred to grow so quickly that its meat balloons up, with a Norfolk Black you can clearly see the breastbone – this is an indication of a more natural and slow growth, imparting a much deeper flavour. It is that flavour which means that once tasted, there is no going back. The meat is surprisingly light – the black feathers mean little sunlight gets through – but it is the good fat coverage which keeps the meat moist and gives the depth of flavour. James describes it as a ‘deeper turkey flavour’, and he is right – this is how you imagine Christmas dinner tasted before the process became industrialised. Of course, this all comes at a price. The lack of additives, growth promoters and antibiotics means that the birds need far longer to reach the right weight, and even then they are generally smaller than factory-farmed birds. But processing a small bird costs just as much and, because Peele’s birds are hand-plucked, the cost is higher. Having saved the breed when it was out of fashion, Peele’s is very much flavour of the month today. Named by Rick Stein as one of his Food Heroes, and by listed by Delia as one of her suppliers, this is artisan food at its best – demonstrating that passion and belief can create a strong business as well as producing great food.


Roger Hickman’s Roast Turkey Breast Rolled in Potato with Pigs in Blankets SERVES FOUR

INGREDIENTS 4 turkey breast fillets, cut to about the size of a chicken breast halved lengthways, 2 large Desiree potatoes, rapeseed oil, butter, 100g of sausagemeat, 15 rashers of smoked streaky bacon, 2 shallots ( finely diced), a handful of thyme leaves, 20 chanterelle mushrooms, 500g of sprouts, 5 cooked chestnuts, 2 parsnips, a few rosemary leaves, 50ml of while wine, 200ml of dark chicken stock Peel the potatoes and then slice them thinly with a mandolin, before chopping the slices into thin ‘matchsticks’. Roll the turkey breast fillets, and then carefully wrap the potato around each fillet like a lattice. Melt some oil and butter in an oven-proof frying pan, and cook the fillets over a low heat for 10-15 minutes, turning frequently, until the potato is golden brown. Finish in the oven at 180°C for 10 minutes. Sweat one of the shallots in butter, and then add some of the thyme leaves. Mix this into the sausagemeat, and divide into 12 small balls. Roll each ball in a rasher of bacon, and cook on a try in the oven at 180°C for 15 minutes. Take the leaves off the sprouts and then shred them, discarding the woody stalks. Put them in a pan of boiling water, bring back to the boil, and then immediately remove them and refresh them in ice cold water to stop them cooking further.  Chop up the remaining three rashers of bacon into small pieces, and likewise four of the chestnuts.  Fry the bacon in a pan with a little rapeseed oil; when they are crispy, add the sprout leaves, and then the chestnuts and a little salt and pepper.  Cook on a high heat only until everything is hot. Chop the parsnips into batons, discarding the woody centre. Roast on the hob in butter and rosemary for 10 minutes, turning frequently, and ensuring the butter is foaming. Sweat the chanterelles in butter until soft. Blanch the remaining chestnut, then chop into small pieces and sprinkle on the mushrooms. To make the jus, put the remaining shallot and thyme leaves in a pan, and cover with the wine. Reduce to a syrup, and then add the chicken stock. Reduce this in turn by about half, and pass the jus through a sieve.

Roger Hickman is chef-proprietor at Roger Hickman's Restaurant in Upper St Giles, Norwich. More details at



Step out of the norm, leave the mundane behind and plunge into a day of thrills, adrenaline and heart-pumping action… Grand Prixs & Team Endurance Children’s Parties (Food Available) Corporate Events


Benacre Road, Ellough, Near Beccles, Suffolk, NR34 7XD

Tel: 01502 717718

SPARKLING CHRISTMAS GIFTS RECEIVE A FREE £100 GIFT VOUCHER towards any bespoke commission with any purchase of £100 or more during November & December 2013*. Please quote promotional code ‘P&F44’.

14-16 Dove Street, Norwich, NR2 1DE 01603 625533 *T&Cs One voucher to be used per commission, which can be made in platinum, palladium or any type of gold (new metal only).

F o o d G all e ry : R estaurants & F ood produce


Dabs n Crabs


The Albatros, which is moored at Wells-nextthe-Sea, is a 100-year-old Dutch clipper, built in Rotterdam. The beautiful vessel was built for Johannes Muller from Middelhanis, Holland, where she remained until being sold to a Danish owner, believed to be Captain Ramussen, who used her as a cargo ship to export grain from Scandanavia. In 1983 Ton Brouwer bought and fully restored her. The Albatros is a Dutch-style café bar and restaurant serving sweet and savoury pancakes and other Dutch specialities. Have your meal alfresco on the main deck and enjoy the views of the harbour. Fully licensed bar, real ales, live music and bed & breakfast. Private and corporate parties welcome.

Dabs n Crabs is located in Scratby, on the main road, between Caister-on-Sea and Hemsby. The shop stocks a large range of fresh fish, smoked fish and shellfish. It also has a selection of frozen seafood. All products are locally sourced wherever possible, with the added advantage of Tracey’s father being a local fisherman, so his catch can be delivered directly from his boat to the shop. Xmas time is a wonderful time to include fish on the menu, Dabs n Crabs can supply local cod, skate, herring, mussels and much much more, including luxurious sides of hot smoked salmon and all varieties of shellfish and smoked fish. To order your xmas fayre please call in or telephone the number below.

Christmas at Cozies As well as our extensive menu we will be serving a festive three course meal for £16.95 between December 2 to 24. Bookings only.

Open: 12 noon until late A: Quayside, Wells-next-Sea, NR23 1AT T: 07979 087228 W:

We also specialise in outside catering, BBQs and hog roasts. Open: Seven nights a week from 5.30pm. Lunchtimes Wednesday to Friday; 12-2pm A: 28 Baker Street, Gorleston T: 01493 651065 W:

Open: Every day except Mondays. A: Hemsby Road, Scratby, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk T: 01493 731305

Courtyard Café

Orchard Farm Shop

Number 1 Bar and Kitchen

Situated within Pensthorpe Wildlife & Gardens, the renowned Courtyard Café offers a wide variety of high quality, locally sourced meals. Even if you do not have time to explore the wonders of the Pensthorpe reserve, the fully licensed Courtyard Café is well-stocked with a great variety of teas, cakes and pastries; making it a perfect place to stop for delicious home-cooked food or a cup of tea and a slice of cake.

We look forward to you visiting us at Orchard Farm Shop. We now stock beef as well as the pork reared on the farm which is butchered in our shop, along with local lamb. Gluten-free sausages as well as pork burgers, and low fat sausages are also available. Our free range eggs are collected daily and we stock a lovely selection of local jams, chutneys, honey, rape seed oil and juices. We also have a new range of glutenfree jams and pickles from Orchard Fruits. Low food miles and friendly service. Orders taken all year, and Christmas is coming!

Come and try our very popular evening MEAL DEALS!

Find us on the A146 five miles south of Norwich.

Great choice, great value, great food! Call in for full details.

Open: Thursday 10am-6.30pm; Friday 9am-6.30pm; Saturday 9am-4pm A: Orchard Farm Shop, Holverston, Norwich NR14 7PH T: 01508 480369 W:

A: 1 Pier Walk, Gorleston-on-Sea, NR31 6DA T: 01493 650065 W:

Open: Every day from 9am-5pm (food served 12-2.30pm) A: Pensthorpe Wildlife & Gardens, Fakenham, Norfolk, NR21 0LN T: 01328 851465 W:

Monday Fish & chips Tuesday Burgers Thursday Pie Night All the above meal deals 2 for £11! Great choices every evening! Wednesday Pizza Meal Deal. Large home baked pizza just £7.95 Great for sharing.




74 | december 2013

VineYARd in emiLiA ROmAGnA

THE CRUMBLY CRYSTAL TEXTURE of parmesan, bitter sweet syrup of balsamic vinegar and the subtle flavours of Parma ham are tastes that speak volumes of Emilia Romagna. Combine that with delicate wines grown on sloping vineyards with medieval castles soaring beyond and the operas of Giuseppe Verdi, and you have a true sense of Italy at its best. This is the landscape surrounding the beautifully-preserved cities of Parma, Piacenza and Reggio Emilia, all strung across the map of central Italy like equidistant knots on a taut length of rope. Not only is this one of the more affluent areas of Italy, at a time of economic uncertainty, it is a region which has a history rich in culture and the finest cuisine. These compact destinations at the heart of Emilia Romagna were once Roman strongholds but are now fascinating medieval cities of intriguing palaces, galleries and museums. They vividly illustrate the thinking behind Roman engineering and military strategy; settlements spaced the distance a Roman legion could comfortably march in a day – some 30km - before setting up camp or seeking refuge in a secure location. The close proximity of Parma, Piacenza and Reggio Emilia within Emilia Romagna, which derives its name from the Roman road connecting Rome to northern Italy, adds to the attraction of visiting this region with each city having its own distinct ambience but united by superb food and history. Parma remains famed for its cheese, ham, aroma of violets and the music of Verdi and his wonderful operas of La Traviata,

Rigoletto or Aida. His monument stands near the Palazzo Della Pilotta and is given an annual scrub down for the Verdi festival, which took on a particular importance this year on the bi-centenary of his birth. History oozes from every square and street corner; the late 12th century Baptistry, with its massive font carved out of a single piece of marble and ornate frescoed roof in 16 sections, is a highlight. Close by is the cathedral and its magnificent pulpit and wall decorations with the undisputed masterpiece of the Deposizione, a stone marble carving from 1178 by Benedetto Antelami, with the Virgin Mary caressing her face with the hand of Jesus Christ on the cross. Food is such an important part of the region, so we shouldn’t be surprised to discover La Scuola Internazionale di Cucina Italiana (ALMA) – which trains chefs from around the world in the art of Italian cooking – based nearby. The invitation into the main kitchen to prepare, serve and eat a five-course meal under the guidance of chef Cristian Broglia was a chance too good to pass for our group. Duly fitted out with white tunic, apron and hat we were assigned specific courses – mine was to deliver a cold mushroom salad using three different types of mushroom, porcini, charlotte and ovoli, with a herbal dressing, while my fellow cooks produced an amuse bouche, tortelli, a main course of guinea fowl with truffle, onions and pepper, Parmigiano Reggiano (parmesan from the Reggio area) and Strolghino salami and a chocolate dessert. The food was served with a mesmerising selection of wines including Malvasia di Candia La Carra di Casatico and Sangiovese di Romagna Bissoni 2010, along with 12-year-old balsamic vinegar from Reggio Emilia.



It was a realistic cooking environment, guided by Cristian’s humorous but firm instructions, where ultimately the answer to every question he asked was: ‘Yes chef!’ Between Parma and Piacenza, the fields are red with ripe tomatoes, with roadside verges stained rouge from produce spilt from overladen tractors. Piacenza, founded in 218 BC, is one of the real gems of the region and stands on the Via Francigena pilgrimage route to Rome. Occupied by the Estruscans and Gauls, Piacenza is where Hannibal famously defeated the Roman army. The city is now adorned with the grand buildings of the Farnese family; structures designed to overawe and impress their subjects. Piacenza city hall is considered to be one of the most beautiful, while the Palazzo Farnese now houses the city museum with its artwork - particularly Botticelli’s Madonna and Child - a carriage collection and Etruscan artefacts. Dominated by a cathedral that took a century to rebuild after crumbling in the earthquake of 1117, its two-tone exterior of Verona marble and local limestone reveals the point where the reconstruction money ran out. Round pillars line an interior best described as medieval minimalist, with the guilds of craftsmen – cloth merchants, shoemakers, skinners, leather workers and clog makers - carved into them. Outside, the cathedral square has been a marketplace for centuries and a measuring line carved into the wall, for medieval shoppers to check they were not being sold short on cloth, is still visible. Nearby are shops selling the cured meats the city is famous for - coppa, salame piacentino and pancetta and its pastas and cheeses. In the surrounding landscape, with the River Po flowing through, are vineyards (some open for tastings) and a line of castles, such as the impressive Castell Arquato, which dominates the nearby village and Arda Valley, or the San Pietro in Cerro Castle. Another ‘day’s march’ away – or a short drive - is Reggio Emilia, known as the City of the Tricolour and famed as the birthplace of the modern Italian flag. It has busy squares overlooked by church towers, museums, galleries and shops which underline the affluence of the region. Reggio Emilia has some marvellous restaurants such as the superb Ristorante Il Pozzo, where the cuisine is exquisite. With tastes that include Parmigiano Reggiano (the undisputed king of all cheeses), carefully-aged balsamic vinegar, fine wines, cured meats and irresistible tortelli, what more do you need from Italy. Emilia Romagna has it all.

centRAL SQuARe in ReGGiO emiLiA

TRAVEL INFORMATION Mark Nicholls flew from London Gatwick to Bologna with easyJet and stayed at the Hotel Stendhal (www. in Parma and the Hotel Posta (www. in Reggio Emilia. Along with parma, Piacenza and Reggio Emilia, the region includes Bologna and Motor Valley where Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Ducati are based, and reaches over to the Adriatic Coast at Rimini and Ravenna. For more information visit:

tHe RiVeR PO

01692 581099

Christmas Tasting Menu Glass of Fizz on Arrival Split Lentil, Smoked Suffolk Ham & Chestnut Soup Peppered Holkham Vension Carpaccio & Chicken Liver Mousse with Melba Toast & Shaved Granny Smith Apple Lowestoft Smoked Salmon & Mackerel Terrine with Shellfish Vinaigrette & Red Pepper Foam Pan Roast Citrus Guinea Fowl Breast with Honey Roast Parsnips, Pancetta Braised Savoy Cabbage, Fennel Duxelle & Herb Wine Jus Assiette of Winter Fruits & Mrs Smith’s Christmas Pudding Fine Cheese Board with Handmade Biscuits & Fig Chutney (optional with supplement of £4 per person) Americano, Cappuccino or Latte & Truffles £34.95 for six courses | £10 deposit per person

Country Inn & Fine Dining


County Inn with 5 En Suite Rooms The Ingham Swan has a converted two storey stable house containing five cosy en-suite rooms for those who wish to extend their dining experience, visit the local area or whilst on business. HOW TO FIND US: The Ingham Swan, Sea Palling Road, Ingham, NR12 9AB (Turn at Tesco Stalham on A149 and follow signs for Ingham).

Michelin Bib Gourmand 2013

The Ingham Swan




Turkey ‘Ballotine’ with red Cabbage and Caramelized Fresh Figs


Ingredients 350g of turkey 4 Cumberland sausages 3 slices of Parma ham ½ red cabbage 100g Brussels sprouts 6 fresh figs 2 tbsp of redcurrant jelly 200ml of chicken stock Icing sugar, to dust 10g of flaked almonds 10g of unsalted butter 1 tsp of vegetable oil Seasoning



wrapping up all the ingredients tightly

For the cabbage

in order to form a ‘sausage’. Poach the

Finely slice the cabbage and cook in

‘ballotine’ in simmering water for 25

a saucepan. Cover on a low heat for


15 minutes with 100ml of the chicken stock, and 1 tablespoon of redcurrant

For the figs and redcurrant sauce

jelly. Season to taste.

Cut the figs into two and place them on a tray, the flat side facing up. Dust

For the ‘ballotine’

them with icing sugar. In a non stick pan

Place some cling-film on your work

and on a medium to high heat, place

surface and lay the slices of Parma ham

the butter and oil together. Wait until

on top. Scallop the turkey and lay on

the butter has melted and place the

the Parma ham. Arrange some cooked

figs face down in the pan. Caramelize

cabbage in the centre and lay the

the figs for three to five minutes and

sausages on top. Season well with table

deglaze with the chicken stock, add the

salt and ground white pepper. Using

redcurrant jelly and cook for another

the cling-film, make the ‘ballotine’ by

two minutes. Reserve the figs and pass the sauce through a sieve - reduce if necessary.

Let our French chef cook for your private dinner parties, and for those who really enjoy cooking, he also offers master classes, for all abilities, in your own home. More information is available at

To plate up Cut the chicken ‘ballotine’ into slices and serve with cabbage, a few Brussels sprouts, the caramelized figs, redcurrant sauce and flaked almond.



ONE AMAZING VENUE. ONE GREAT NIGHT OUT. 7 course meal with champagne and canapés on arrival Live entertainment Free buffet and bubbly at midnight for all


Arrival from 8pm, seating at 8.30pm. Advance bookings only.

The Grosvenor Casino Great Yarmouth 01493 850444 | Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth, NR30 3JG Over 18s only. Photo ID is required.


California Tavern Great food • Great beer • Great atmosphere • Great music

November Fri 29th

Ed Zachery Band

Sat 30th The Glamtastics

December Fri 6th

Grooveapolitan Band

Sat 7th

Umgawagagooga Ska Band

Fri 13th

Claire Barker Band

Sat 14th Doozoot Fri 20th


The region’s


zMusic z venue

Sat 21st

The Glamtastics

New Year's Day Carvery £7.95

Fri 27th

Nigel King Band

(bookings only)

Christmas Party Nights

New Year's Eve

Sat 14th Fully booked

Party night with White Heat, firework

Sat 21st

Spaces available now!

Christmas Events Christmas Eve Grand Christmas Draw Boxing Day Carvery £7.95

display and free buffet. Children welcome, family room open. Free entry.

Sunday carvery & food specials every week!

WWW.CALIFORNIATAVERN.CO.UK | California Road, Great Yarmouth, NR29 3QW · 01493 730340


Wedding Floristry

A specialist in wedding floristry for over 16 years. I work on a purely one-to-one basis, free no obligation visits during days, evenings and weekends. I cover both the Norfolk & Suffolk areas with consultations being free of charge, plus I offer free delivery and setup on your big day. I work from home and am therefore available for visits Monday to Saturday between 9am and 9.30pm, and Sundays from 10.30am to 6.30pm. Bridal bouq

uet Attendan ts & bridesmai ds

Buttonho les Corsages

Church or wedding ve nue arrangem ents Reception arrangem ents

Tina Wilson, 3 Heather Road, Belton, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk NR31 9PR 01493 789969 or 07846 951725 路

Picture by pAUL SHReeVe

rich dark chocolate mousse with mulled spiced cherries and brandy snaps chocolate mousse 1. Whip the cream to a soft peak, then refrigerate. 2. Combine the chocolate, butter, and, if using, liquor or coffee, in a metal bowl over lightly simmering water (bain-marie) stirring frequently until smooth. 3. Remove from the heat and cool until the chocolate is just slightly cooler than body temperature. 4. Once the melted chocolate has cooled slightly, whip the egg whites in a bowl until they are foamy and begin to hold shape. Then sprinkle the sugar and beat until soft peaks form. 5. Stir the egg yolks into the chocolate, then gently add one third of the whipped

80 | december 2013

cream. Fold in half of the whites just until incorporated, and then fold in the remaining whites, and finally the remaining cream. 6. Spoon or pipe the mousse into serving bowls.

Mulled cherries 1. Drain the cherries. 2. Place all ingredients except the cornflour in a saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes. 3. Slowly add a teaspoon of water to the cornflour until it thickens the liquid. 4. Slightly simmer again for 3 minutes on a low heat and then chill.

Brandy snap 1. Preheat oven to 180째C. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper. 2. Melt the butter, sugar, brandy and syrup in a saucepan. 3. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in flour and ginger. Set aside to cool. 4. Drop teaspoon sizes of mixture onto the baking tray and space wide apart. 5. Bake 6-7 minutes. 6. Meanwhile oil the handle of a wooden spoon, and place 2 tins (bridge) underneath. 7. When the snaps come out of the oven, leave for 1 minute so you can handle then place on the spoon and curl round spoon. Leave to cool then slid off.

imperial hotel | RECIPE



chocolate mousse 130g of good quality dark chocolate, chopped 2 tbsp of butter 1 cup of double cream 3 large eggs, separated 1 tbsp of caster sugar (Optional) 2 tbsp of alcohol liquor or espresso coffee


Mulled cherries 425g tin of pitted black cherries in light syrup 1 cup of good red wine 1 orange, zested 1 lemon, zested 2 star anise 2 cloves 1 cinnamon stick 50g of brown sugar 1 tbsp of cornflour

Brandy Snap 115g of butter 115g of caster sugar 4 tbsp of golden syrup 2 tbsp of brandy 115g of plain flour 1 tsp of ground ginger


2010 Mas Amiel, Maury Nick Mobbs, director and wine expert at the Imperial Hotel, says: MATCHING WINE WITH CHOCOLATE can be particularly difficult as the oils in the chocolate can clash with the flavours in the wine. My favourite match with chocolate dishes is a Speyside malt whisky, but there is a wine from the Languedoc Rousillon region of south west France that works just as well. My choice of wine to go with the mousse is from Mas Amiel, Maury. The winery was originally won in a game of cards by Raymond Amiel from the Bishop of Perpignan in 1816. The estate is now owned by Olivier Decelle who is the leading producer of sweet dessert wines in the area. The wines are all ‘Vins doux naturels’ which means that fermentation is stopped by the addition of a neutral spirit which kills the yeast yet leaves the sugars in the wine. The Mas Amiel is a red dessert wine made from the Grenache grape. The wine is rich and sweet with silky black fruit flavours and is perfect with dark chocolate as it has the structure and sweetness to stand up to the richness of the chocolate.

• A team of brilliant chefs • Superb wine list • Laid-back atmosphere The perfect restaurant for dinner or Sunday lunch. At the Imperial Hotel, North Drive, Gt Yarmouth, NR30 1EQ. To book call 01493 842000

Sunday 12.30 - 2pm Monday - Saturday 6.30 - 10pm The Terrace is open daily. For opening times & menu go to

by royal appointment Fans include the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge no less but it’s the unassuming charm of The Westleton Crown that makes it a firm favourite with Lesley Rawlinson

The Westleton Crown, The Street, Westleton, Suffolk IP17 3AD T: 01728 648777

82 | december 2013


he Westleton Crown is an inn for all seasons. In the spring and summer the cleverly terraced and well nurtured gardens are a seamless extension to the restaurant and in the winter there are few better places to cosy up to than beside the roaring fire in the ever welcoming bar. On this occasion, we’d chosen to visit at lunch time to review the new menu and meet new Head Chef Robert Mace. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited, and indeed stayed overnight, earlier in the year when they attended a friend’s wedding nearby. The Crown achieves a perfect blend, for me, of feeling special – a treat - but retains a relaxing and casual quality that just makes you want to settle in and stay. Although sometimes you are lucky enough to ‘stumble’ on a great venue it is generally the reputation of a place which drives an initial visit and after that, once one’s own opinions have been formed, it’s the hope that every visit be as good the last. Over the last few years The Crown, under previous Head Chef Richard Bargewell, has gained an enviable reputation as a consistently excellent culinary destination with hearty yet sophisticated food. So, with a change lead in the kitchen, we were intrigued to see if there would be a noticeable difference to the menu or the experience.


The Westleton Crown

We switched tacks when it came to our main meals with the fish dishes competing for my vote while Mr R was in meatloving heaven. I’d seen an impressive plate of fish and chips, complete with jalapeno tartare sauce and pease pudding, pass us en route to another table, and was certainly tempted but decided instead on a rich and flavoursome combination of pan fried sea bass fillet, herb potato cake and wild mushroom fricassée. The crisply seared skin of the fish was a perfect From our initial look at the menu, as we sipped our textural contrast from its buttery river set high on an island of Adnams Spindrift, it was apparent that the good reputation fluffy potato, neatly bringing the dish together. and character of The Crown are safe in his hands. With an Across the table it was the battle of the heavy weights – impressive pedigree and extensive local knowledge, Robert braised Blythburgh pork belly, ham hock and mustard croquette has developed a menu that continues to hold true to the values with braised greens all in an Aspall cyder sauce, (sure to deliver we’ve grown to expect, with every element created from all it promised), or the seasonal game choice of roast Bunwell scratch, using only the very best locally sourced and ethically Wood partridge. Said bird duly arrived with a quite wondrous sound ingredients. root vegetable gratin that looked as though WARMING WINTER WEDNESDAYS His ethos, and in fact the ethos of the you’d need an art degree to recreate it and, In addition to the main menu, every whole Crown team, is that they want to build alongside the red cabbage, some sweet pieces Wednesday until the end of March, on the hotel’s reputation, making sure that of quince. Declared a winning combination, enjoy the delicious Winter Warming each visit is not just as good as your last but you really can’t beat seasonal local produce. Wednesdays set menu, for lunch or hopefully even better. It was clear from our At this stage I should add that The Crown dinner, from £14.95 (two courses) conversation with Robert that ‘local’ is key is one of the few pubs or restaurants I’ve or £18.95 (three courses). (Excludes Christmas and New Year period) and that shone through immediately. visited offering a separate vegetarian menu. Visiting, as we were, in a month ending in With at least three starters and three main ‘er’ (and supposedly the best for shellfish), steamed Simpers courses the curse of the ever present mushroom risotto, which Deben mussels leapt straight from the menu and I could have seems to have become the vegetarian staple, is banished and saved my husband the bother of reading through the other a collection of well thought out choices, again using Suffolk’s rather enticing choices – it was clear he wouldn’t be able to best, supersede it. resist. Cooked in a leek and cream sauce, finished with Aspall I know, it was lunch time – and we’d already indulged in two cyder, the aroma from the dish alone gave me a pang of the courses – but frankly it would have been rude not to sample dreaded food envy. Mopping up the juices from his bowl with the desserts. The steamed Bramley apple sponge pudding light and fluffy rosemary and sea salt focaccia he certainly with blackberry compote and crumble and custard ice cream resembled the cat who’d got the cream! was an obvious front runner and my husband described the I found the remaining starter choices equally inviting and pudding as ‘surprisingly light’, infused with sweet apple after much deliberation it came down to oak smoked chicken flavour throughout and offset perfectly by the sharp berry breast with sage and onion slaw (what a clever idea!), seared accompaniment. scallops with cauliflower purée and onion bhaji or the eventual My classic English dessert plate; treacle tart with clotted winner – soy and chilli braised pork cheek, wasabi mash, cream, trifle and a baked rice pudding (all in miniature of sesame, ginger and coriander. This zingy concoction truly course) were a revelation. I wouldn’t have chosen a whole demonstrated Robert’s belief that respect for using as much of portion of any one of them after such a substantial meal but the any butchered animal as possible is paramount with the slowly idea of a little of each was too good to miss and rounded off the cooked cheek meat melting in the mouth. entire experience beautifully.




At Harwood Flooring we are a family business with over 20 years in the domestic and commercial flooring industry. Visit our showroom for a superb range of carpets, laminates, luxury vinyl tiles and hardwood flooring. Free home visits, quotes and measuring service. Open Mon-Fri 9-5.30 · Saturday 10-4 137 Beccles Road, Bradwell, Great Yarmouth, NR31 8AB 01493 604548 · Ample free parking outside the store


Merry Christmas from all at TRS! With over 50 years experience in the Oil industry, our professional and friendly service has made us East Anglia’s No.1 Tank Supplier and Installer.

High quality signs and engraving for more than 50 years. Commercial



• • • •

Replacement tanks in plastic or steel, in stock now. Full installation service by our own fully-trained staff. Your old tank taken away and your oil transferred. Anti-theft protection devices to make your oil secure.

We cover the Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex area.

Work carried out by OFTEC approved Engineers

Call 01362 687144 Church Farm, Station Rd, Wendling, Dereham, NR19 2NE l

01493 843300

Engravers to Engineering, Shipbuilding, Oil and Electronics Industries.


Festive Food Tips

PLANNED TO PERFECTION Our ‘5 Minutes With’ interviewee, food expert Jon Gay, has provided P&F with his Top 10 Festive Foodie Tips You can also read them on his website blog, by visiting


Perfect Planning Without planning you are destined for festive food failure. Decide in advance the dishes you want to cook, be it turkey or goose etc, and make sure you have the cooking times noted and any recipes printed out and ready to go. Without these you are making life harder for yourself.


A Helping Hand A full roast dinner is no mean feat and there is no shame in asking for help with peeling, mashing or doing the washing up. Just make sure everyone has clear instructions on their role in the kitchen. By involving family and friends, not only will your workload be lighter, the whole process will be more fun!


Chill Out The fridge is your extra helper. All vegetables can be blanched and chilled before the big day. On Christmas Eve, ideally, get all the preparation done. Bring the vegetables to the boil in salted water before plunging them into ice cold water when almost cooked. Chill overnight and then on Christmas Day your cooking times will be reduced and your life made an awful lot easier.



Bang Tidy De-clutter your fridge and kitchen. As nice as all those kitchen knick-knacks are, it’s best to store them away until the festive season is over. Work space is essential as you’ll need lots of room to manoeuvre! Tidy the fridge too to make more room (…chuck out that old jar of pesto, it’s way out of date!).


Delicacies to the Door Lots of shops, including independent butchers, will deliver everything you could need to your door. This will help save all sorts of hassle and hurrying.


Foil Turmoil Make sure you have a good stock of foil, cling film and greaseproof paper to last you the season. You don’t want those mince pies welded to the oven tray…


Keep it Simple Leave the experiments to scientists and stick to the recipes you know. Don’t be tempted to use dry ice and liquid nitrogen in your cocktails or cooking! Sometimes less is more.


Have Fun! And last, but not least, enjoy your Christmas! After all, it is the season to be merry!

Hit List Don’t wing it! Make sure you list everything you need to buy and everything you need to do.


Sharpen Up Having sharp knives to chop the carrots and trim the turkey are essential. Ultimately it will save you additional effort on the big day. Take them to your local cook shop to have them sharpened if you don’t have a knife sharpener at home. | december 2013


Christmas Party Nights Perfect for office parties

Dec 7th

Dinner Dance £37.00 Dinner + B&B £57.50

Dec 14th

Dinner Dance £38.50 Dinner + B&B £60.00

FREE HALF LITRE OF WINE FOR EACH COUPLE! Excellent cuisine – four course dinner, silver service ~ Coffee, mints and festive crackers ~ Wine waiter service during dinner ~ After dinner entertainment and dancing until midnight ~ Heated indoor pool with spa ~ Personal touch of a family hotel

If your group is 40 people or more, please contact us to discuss arrangements… North Drive, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk NR30 1EG

01493 844568 | For Accommodation, Functions, Weddings, Parties, Evening Meals, Sunday Luncheons and Bar Snacks.

n ncheo ay Lu le Sund g Advisab in k o Bo Table d’ote menu Three courses and coffee Large choice of Fish and Roasts served to your table

Free parking available - ask at reception North Drive, Great Yarmouth, NR30 1EG Tel: 01493 844568 Email:




‘We’ve got to do something about this. It cannot go on. It must stop.’ So! What is our Richard ranting about this month?


f one national newspaper is to be believed, by the time you are reading this the country will be plunged into the coldest winter in decades, with birds falling frozen out of the air, ice parties on the Thames (and even the Wensum), and brass monkeys throughout the region suffering traumatic castration. This predicted big freeze coincides with the iniquitous decisions made by one power company after another to put up their charges by 10 percent or more. This has particular relevance for us at the moment as we have just had an electricity bill so large that if it had it been received by one of the Eurozone countries, it would have caused another Euro crisis. Sadly we do not have the luxury of that nice Ms Merkel to bail us out. As we have a disabled member of the family and a hydrotherapy pool to heat, our power bills have never been cheap, but now they are through the roof. If we had a choice about power suppliers (not just the opportunity of switching between equally expensive utility companies) I would not be so concerned. But none of us has any effective choice, so I am on a mission. I have a double motive for saving on bills: to avoid bankruptcy and to decimate the profits of the greedy. Here’s how. At night our house used to look like an ocean liner about to set sail. Now, if you can see the glimmer of a low wattage bulb through any window it means we have too many lights on. The tumble dryer has been disconnected and we now have one of those racks on pulleys that enable damp clothes to drip on you as they dry. We are re-learning the noble art of washing the dishes without help from the mothballed dishwasher. As we live in a thatched house we have drawn the line at candles, so we creep around with torches. The ghosts and the cats are intrigued. An apple tree blew over in a gale recently. Our normal response would have been to cut it up and dispose of it. Not now. We have built a log store out of discarded pieces of timber. It leans slightly but will keep the rain out and in about two years time we will have some nicely seasoned logs. During the cold weather we plan to dress as Eskimos and may build an igloo in the living room. The house has such poor insulation that whenever we try to get warm we merely heat Norfolk. We considered going back a few hundred years and inviting our sheep in to the house to snuggle up to us. But we have other plans for them...

We would all be much more healthy (I tell myself bravely) if our homes were a lot colder. Germs love central heating just as much as the rest of us, but if our homes are like iceboxes those little microbes will soon become discouraged. There is other science behind this too. Recent research suggests that bright light in the evenings or night upsets our bodies’ production of the hormone melatonin which in turn can increase the risk of diabetes and cancer. And it is not only house lights that are the culprit: tablets and computers have the same effect. So, the advice is: turn down those lights in the evening and switch off your computers. Others have bolder ideas for doing down the power companies – such as a power off strike by consumers for a whole 24 hour period: nice idea but unfortunately impossible to achieve because many people (the elderly, the disabled, the ill) must have power. We must find other ways to reduce their profits. Enter the Barr Plan. We have a dozen fit sheep. They are (or claim to be) permanently hungry. At a secret location in Norfolk a giant treadmill is being constructed with 12 harnesses and buckets and an interesting arrangement of gears connected to a generator. When it is finished the sheep will be put into the harnesses. The buckets will be filled with their favourite food and placed just out of reach. Even intelligent sheep such as our own will not be able to resist. In no time the treadmill will be revolving at full speed. At the same time the lights in the house will glow bright and fan heaters will blow out heat. And speaking of blowing out, here is stage twoof the plan: sheep are also very good at producing natural methane. A development of this scheme will also involve tapping this extra source of power (though politeness prevents me from describing the exact way the methane will be harvested). All I will say is that my project will add a whole new meaning to the expression ‘wind farm.’ Warm wishes for Christmas! | december 2013


88 | december 2013

andrew bell | BUSINESS PROFILE



HE’S BEEN THREE YEARS IN THE JOB AND ANDREW BELL, CHIEF EXECUTIVE AT NORWICH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, IS BUSIER THAN EVER. SARAH HARDY HEARS ABOUT HIS FUTURE PLANS IT BecAMe A BIT oF RUNNING JoKe – the absolutely fabulous view from his office. Andrew Bell, the very friendly and open boss of Norwich International Airport, must have the best view from any office in the county. It takes in the entire airfield and, as we chatted, planes took off and landed, helicopters buzzed around and you couldn’t help but sit and gawp at all the action! Andrew, originally from Kent, seems to be in his prime as he reels off all the latest happenings at the airport which is a much loved part of our county’s fabric. He took over the airport at about its lowest ebb. There had been the boom years, as passenger numbers rose from 400,000 to 800,000 in the years 2005 to 2007 but from 2007 to 2010, they crashed down again to 400,000. Now, says Andrew, passenger levels are on the rise. ‘We should see a modest rise, to 450,000 passengers this year. We’ve had a good summer, around 100,000 people went on holiday with us which compares to 70,000 people last year.’ One of Andrew’s key aims is to get more airlines to use the airport. ‘We have to compete not only with the 40-odd airports in Britain but the many hundreds more in Europe. We do want to offer more destinations and we have the capacity. I would like to see routes to mainland Spain, Portugal, Paris, and maybe another Scottish city – there are plenty of options. ‘But it is up to the airlines – we can offer competitive deals and do all we can to attract them but they make the decisions – not us. ‘They have to take the number of passengers they might get and the price they will pay into account – they need to make money!’ Andrew explains that the airport is split 50/50 between business and leisure travellers and admits that the oil and gas industry provides a solid backbone. ‘Norwich is only second to Aberdeen in the number of off-shore flights it has,’ he says. He is keen to safeguard the future of the airport and has three main projects on the go that should ensure its survival - and make good use of the airport’s considerable grounds. The first, Andrew explains, is the creation of an aeropark – an aviation version of a business park – on the northern side of the airport. ‘We have planning permission and the first company has signed up. Air Livery, who repaint planes, are going to occupy five new-build units which is a considerable investment. ‘It is very exciting. 150 jobs are going to be created from just this first business and we hope, as part of the 10-year plan, that

well over 1000 jobs will be created. ‘Obviously this will be great for the local economy and the development of the Northern Distributor Road will give us great access. Though the aeropark is not dependent on this new road, we certainly support its development.’ The second major development is the launch of an aviation academy where the highly skilled mechanics, pilots, air traffic controllers and so on of tomorrow will be trained. ‘It is an ambitious project and we are working with many local organisations such as the UEA and local councils. We want to provide a workforce for the future. ‘It will be something unique here in Britain and we have been working on it all for about the last two years. We now hope to see the first students enrolled late in 2015.’ And, finally, Andrew is delighted that a new engine testing facility, i.e. a great big, sound proofed open building, should be ready for use next year. ‘It is a state-of-the art £1.5m building where you can test engines – at full power. It is obviously something which needs to be done and we are delighted to be able to offer this.’ There is much more that Andrew touches on – the airport development charge which he admits is unpopular but essential as it helps to pay for the running of the airport and the close working relationship the airport has with the Dutch airline KLM including, of course, those regular flights to Amsterdam which allow Norwich travellers an easy gateway to countless other destinations across the world. And he plans to keep customer service at the top of his agenda, too. ‘We are offering a more personal service, we realise people like to talk to real people, not machines!’ Andrew lives in Aylsham with his wife and two children, aged six and four, and yes, you’ve guessed it, likes travelling. He hasn’t got his pilot’s licence and doesn’t seem too tempted but you never know! So, if you are anything like my family, as Christmas Day comes and goes and the weather starts to get you down, you’ll be thinking of that much loved summer holiday! The new 2014 brochure for Norwich Airport will be available early in the New Year and Andrew hints that there might be a few surprises. ‘We are offering the same destinations as 2013, Turkey is popular, the Balearics, and we have several irons in the fire which we hope will come good, so it is a question of wait and see!’ he says.

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Santa Breaks All The Rules

However, ever pragmatic, the law recognises implied consent to certain classes of people to enter for legitimate purposes, such as the postman or lawful visitors. Does this apply to Santa? Not only is the method of entry unorthodox but so is the time, in the dead of night. In certain parts of the world such

Julian Gibbons wonders how Father Christmas would fare if he ever had to appear in court!

an intrusion would be met with a nervous homeowner waiving a shot gun. Suddenly, the Santa role is starting to seem rather unattractive. But one should forgive these technical issues, as he comes with a warm heart and the best of intentions. His aim is to brighten the lives of the children to whom he delivers his presents. Yet, ever suspicious, one has to consider issues of

Every year I become cynical around October. Some would say that is nothing unusual and it doesn’t apply to just October. The cause is the early appearance of Christmas tins of chocolate, wrapping paper and baubles on supermarket shelves. It seems to highlight the crude commercialism which accompanies the festive season. Despite this, few will be immune to the pleasurable side of the holiday when it finally arrives. It triggers in many of us a nostalgia for the simplicity of childhood and for things as they never quite were, but which we like to imagine them to have been. For children, nothing exemplifies Christmas more than Father Christmas himself. As a modern idea he is an amalgam of two characters: a medieval figure who encouraged eating, drinking and merriment to celebrate the birth of Christ, and St Nicholas of Myra, a fourth century bishop who, legend has it, was a secret giver of gifts to local people. The modern Santa Claus, to give him his other name, has rather taken off (literally) as a commercial idea and is the subject of many Christmas films. His operations have, of course, had to adjust to the modern world where, for example, many homes lack that traditional mode of entry to a home, namely the chimney. Despite modern spin, Santa Claus is largely rooted in a different universe, where the mundane rules of modern life do not apply. If they did, his operations would in all probability be banned. Leaving aside the issue of flying a sleigh through heavily congested airspace without apparently any clearance from air traffic control, there is the matter of his intrusion into private homes. Usually, unless you have permission to enter someone’s property you are a trespasser and trespass gives the home owner chance to claim damages against you, especially if your property suffers physical damage, such as sooty footprints on

liability. There is no contract between Santa and child or its parent, as the making of a gift does not generally give rise to a contractual relationship. Of course, if one of these gifts is a bit on the cheap side (and no doubt Santa too has to cut back in these straightened times) and does cause an injury then Santa could be liable in negligence. He has undoubtedly assumed a duty of care towards the recipients of his gifts. From a practical perspective, enforcing this duty, if it were to be necessary, becomes complicated, as he appears only to be in the country one day a year and for the rest of the time live outside the jurisdiction of the English courts (in fact, people seem generally vague about where he actually does live). One really wonders though whether Santa is today off the mark and whether blanket gift giving is really necessary in a culture where we all seem to have so much available to us all year round. Of course, that is not quite true, as whilst many seem to enjoy all year round Christmas, others certainly do not. That seasonal favourite, A Christmas Carol, was written at a time when the Industrial Revolution had resulted in large urban ghettos, where people lived in squalid conditions. The themes Dickens invoked were those of consideration and obligation toward those less fortunate than ourselves. Through his story of the moral redemption of Scrooge, he sought to open the minds of large sections of the population to the injustice and deprivation suffered by many. In this he succeeded and that stirring of conscience became part of the great wave of reforming legislation of the 19th century, which alleviated the living and working conditions of millions. This Christmas, we could do worse than remember and reflect on the lessons given out by Dickens so effectively that, since its publication in 1843, A Christmas Carol has never been out of print. Its message is as relevant today as it was then.

that expensive carpet or displaced roof tiles. | december 2013


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The Taxman’s Target Kevin Bunting warns owners of homes with a hefty price tag to beware of a new tax As I write this article the tax due under ATED (Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings) becomes payable. Whilst the charge was announced with plenty of gusto there has been very little public profile to the charge ever since. It may not seem the most exciting of topics for the festive season but if you own a property worth more than £2m it is worth reading this article to make sure you haven’t missed a reporting requirement, or are considering an arrangement which may cause you to be caught in future. What is it? It’s best to start with why we have the charge. Over recent years companies have been formed to hold UK property to save on taxes (mainly Stamp Duty Land Tax). ATED creates an annual tax charge to combat the avoidance and try and make it unattractive for companies to hold such property. The charge is a tax on companies which hold high value residential property (a dwelling). It came into effect from April 1 2013 and will be payable each year. You'll fall within ATED if all of the following apply: • Own a dwelling (see definition later) • Which is situated in the UK • Has a value exceeding £2 million on April 1 2012, or at

How much is the charge for dwellings caught? Property caught within the regime triggers a tax charge based on the market value. The bandings are: Banding


£2m to £5m


£5m to £10m £35,000 £10m to £20m £70,000 £20m +


If you only own the dwelling for part of a year, or you change how you use the property so that it moves in or out of ATED, then the charge is reduced on a proportionate basis. What’s the disclosure? ATED runs for a period covering April 1 to the following March 31. An ATED return is due in advance for each period by April 30. For example, the period to 31 March 2015 will require the return to be filed by April 30 2014. A return must be completed to calculate the charge, but more importantly, to claim any relief/exemption. If a property falls within the regime during the period the return must be completed within 30 days of acquisition. For example, a purchase on July 1 2014 will result in the return being due by July 31 2014. For the period to March 31 2014 an extension to the filing date was granted. The return had to be completed by October 1 2013.

acquisition if later

• The dwelling is owned, completely or partly, by a company,

Hotels, guest houses, boarding school accommodation, hospitals, student halls of residence, military accommodation, care homes and prisons are not deemed to be dwellings, so don't come under ATED.

a partnership where one of the partners is a company, or a collective investment vehicle

There are some reliefs which cancel the tax charge but these need to be claimed on the ATED return. It is not enough to simply qualify for relief, the owner must notify of its claim for relief. A good example will be a construction company which purchases a dwelling as trading stock. It must claim the relief by completing an ATED return. What is a dwelling? The word is very widely drafted and basically covers residential property physically located in the UK. A dwelling for this purpose can be all or part of a residential or mixed-use property and includes properties 'capable of being a dwelling'. Sometimes a dwelling is part of a larger, mixed-use property that has parts not used for residential purposes. A dwelling includes gardens and grounds and any building within them.

When do I pay the charge? The charge is payable on the same day as the return is due for submission. For the period to March 31 2014 an extension was granted so the charge became payable on October 31 2013. What does this all mean? The rules are intended to counter the avoidance of tax by creating a structure to own property. Such rules always have to be widely drafted otherwise the opportunity to fall outside the regime exists. In many cases I expect a relief can be claimed to cancel out a charge but it is very important this is established. Basically, if you own a property which is worth more than £2m you should be checking with your adviser there is no reporting requirement or tax to pay. It goes without saying that if you are looking to restructure the ownership of property (say for Inheritance Tax purposes) you must consider these rules to ensure a saving of one tax doesn’t give rise to another. | december 2013



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Dabs ‘n’ Crabs is a local fishmongers, run by Tracey Wrightson and her family. It is located in Scratby, on the main road, between Caister on Sea and Hemsby. The business has been trading for the past seven years and prides itself on the variety and freshness of its fish.





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The shop stocks a large range of fresh fish, smoked fish and shellfish. It also has a selection of frozen seafood. All products are locally sourced wherever possible, with the added advantage of Tracey’s father being a local fisherman, so his catch can be delivered directly from his boat to the


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Where There’s A Will… Denise Littlewood stresses the importance of making a Will


e will all die having left a direction as to whom our assets will be passed to. What type of direction you leave does, of course, depend on whether you have chosen to write a Will, or whether you have left this task to the

State under what are called the rules of intestacy. If this is the case then the State will determine how your estate is divided up, which is unlikely to match your intentions.

Making a Will is crucial for anyone wanting to protect their family from unnecessary anxiety and expense after they die. Only with a valid Will can you be certain that your estate will go to the right people. If you do not draw up a proper Will, you run the risk of depriving your spouse or partner of their home, increasing the inheritance tax (IHT) burden and leaving parts of your estate in the wrong hands.

To receive a complimentary guide covering Wealth Management, Retirement Planning or Inheritance Tax Planning contact Denise Littlewood Financial Adviser on 01493 384255 or email

Not leaving a Will can also mean extensive legal costs for your beneficiaries; failing to provide for a partner or dependant will mean they will have to consult a lawyer to contest the State's decisions, with no guaranteed result. It is particularly important for unmarried couples to draft a Will - an unmarried person will receive nothing if their partner dies intestate, regardless of how long they have lived together or whether they have children. The complexity surrounding Wills does not stop there. There is an old saying in the legal profession: ‘Where there is a Will there is an argument; or better still, litigation.’ However, this does not mean that there is no point in making a Will; it simply refers to the fact that too many Wills contain elementary mistakes. Many people opt for a so-called do-ityourself Will, which can cost as little as £10 from your local supermarket. But, perhaps not surprisingly, many people who opt for the DIY route make basic errors. These mistakes may mean disgruntled relatives can challenge the Will after your death, helping generate more work - and fees - for the legal profession, so seeking advice from a lawyer, who is an experienced practitioner, is, in the first instance, always the most sensible approach. First and foremost, a Will needs to be accurate, unambiguous and comprehensive. Arranging a Will which specifically sets out your wishes, will give you the certainty that your assets will be passed to your intended recipients. Importantly, if there is any change in circumstances once the Will has been drawn up, for example, if you divorce, have more children, or your financial situation changes, then your Will must be updated accordingly. Bereavement is a distressing time so it is crucial to do all that you can to ease the upset and worry. Seeking specialist legal advice when arranging your Will, is one of, if not the most important aspect of estate planning. | december 2013


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The Soft Roader IAIN DOOLEY TEST DRIVES THE RANGE ROVER EVOQUE D E A L E R D E TA I L S Hammond Land Rover Ltd Norwich Road Halesworth, Suffolk IP19 8HX | T: 01986 834700

98 | december 2013

WHeN LANd RoVeR STARTS to embrace the growing trend for front-wheel drive SUVs you know the concept isn’t some flash in the pan gimmick. In truth, there’s a lot to be said for a twowheel drive ‘soft-roader’. Many 4x4s never see a muddy track and the economy savings of a two-wheel drive will be of great benefit to many owners. There’s a new breed of buyers out there now. Cars like the Range Rover Sport have shown that popularity is not just about ability. Brand image and the whole lifestyle package are equally important to an increasing number of owners. Providing a slightly more affordable alternative is the Evoque. A bold-looking compact SUV, it’s already created a stir and won numerous awards, and in four-wheel drive guise is surprisingly capable. Predictably, a front-wheel drive variant was an inevitable addition to the range. There are cynics who believe such a car dilutes the brand, but company bosses will point to real world benefits: improved fuel consumption, lower CO2 emissions and reduced weight. And if you want to buy into the Range Rover image but aren’t overly fussed about a car’s mountain climbing abilities, this two-wheel drive Evoque ticks more boxes than the detractors would care to admit. By removing 75kg of excessive weight – that’ll be the part of the transmission that’s no longer needed – plus fitting a 150 horsepower version of the Evoque’s 2.2-litre diesel complete with engine stop-start, this two-wheel drive car boasts a creditable 129g/km CO2 in three-door Coupe form and 57.6mpg. It’s a fraction more in five-door trim, but still better than the all-wheel drive model’s extra 20g/km CO2 penalty and 8mpg higher fuel consumption with the same engine.



Range Rover Evoque


Immediately it’s easy to see the car’s on-paper appeal, and such a performance easily plays into the wallets of company car drivers. For many SUVs are completely off limits, although this Evoque’s front-drive status and car-like economy should boost its chances when fleet managers compile their new lists of qualifying vehicles. This Evoque isn’t just a model for company car drivers, though. For the private purchaser it offers the same stunning looks, quality cabin and practicality as its all-wheel drive cousin. On the road it’s near-identical in its ability to tackle the concrete jungle; the lofty driving position and easy access rear load space complete this car’s rounded performance. Engine-wise the entry level 148 horsepower 2.2-litre diesel offers ample power and plenty of torque, with the short shift manual transmission proving to be anything but a compromise. Quiet around town yet punchy enough for spirited driving, the car’s modest on-paper performance figures mask the engine’s willing character. And while you might sacrifice Land Rover’s now familiar Terrain Response system to help you traverse tricky surfaces, the two-wheel drive car is surprisingly capable when the going gets slippery. Granted, its limits are modest by the standards of a seasoned off-roader, however the car’s various electronic traction and stability aids are smart enough to kick in early if they detect wheelspin. For many, though, this particular Evoque will live almost exclusively in the real world, one full of poorly surfaced roads and congested city streets. And in this environment the car excels, boasting a supple ride and very little body roll despite its SUV dimensions. The car’s electric power steering – another fuel saving technology – offers a good blend of accuracy and assistance at all

A SeRIeS oF NeW TecHNoLoGIeS is to spearhead the Range Rover Evoque’s 2014 sales charge. It will be fitted with the world’s first production ninespeed automatic gearbox, built by specialist transmission maker ZF. The same company is responsible for the superlative eight-speed automatic gearbox in many cars from Bentley to BMW. The new nine-speeder is said to have a wide spread of ratios for better efficiency at all speeds, as well as being quieter and offering better acceleration when called for. It is joined, initially only on the Si4 petrol engine, by an ‘Active Driveline’ four-wheel drive system that decouples the rear axle under steady driving over 22mph. It reduces drivetrain drag and provides a tangible boost to fuel economy on long cruises. These and further, smaller enhancements are claimed to give the new Evoque 11.4 percent lower fuel consumption and up to 9.5 per cent lower CO2 emissions. Elements of automated parking assist systems have been made available for the first time. If specified with Park Exit the car will automatically exit a parallel parking bay for you, but courtesy of Perpendicular Park, bay-parking is the only type the system is capable of automating yet. Closing Vehicle Sensing and Reverse Traffic Detection help to warn of traffic approaching out of sight when exiting parking spaces. This is especially handy here because of the poor rearward visibility available in the Evoque. Having become a desirable car for thieves, the Evoque also has a Thatcham Category 6 security system far in advance of almost anything else on the market. An inbuilt tracking device connected to the new Land Rover InControl Secure system is monitored by a third party company to help prevent theft and aid recovery of the car. In addition to the new technologies, there are detail changes to the Evoque’s exterior, new interior colour options, four new alloy wheel styles and a new style of Land Rover badge on the grille, wheel centres and tailgate.

speeds. On a similar note the engine’s stop-start feature also works well, shutting down and firing up the motor with the minimum of fuss. If you need an Evoque that will take you (almost) anywhere the all-wheel drive version will surprise you with its abilities. For many who have no such requirements but still want to be part of what has become an increasingly attractive brand, the two-wheel drive car will not disappoint. Crucially there’s no hint of a compromise when it comes to the ownership experience. From its rakish looks to the wealth of standard and optional equipment – especially the stunning panoramic glass roof – it’s hard to find fault. And when you factor in the fuel, emissions and potential tax savings, you realise that beyond the badge there’s real depth to this particular Evoque’s abilities. In summary, the Range Rover reputation stays intact despite the car’s lack of genuine, go-anywhere ability. As the brand moves towards satisfying both traditional and new customers, with the latter possessing a markedly different set of expectations and requirements, the company has taken care not to sacrifice its core values. | december 2013




D E A L E R D E TA I L S Ludham Garage Ltd, High Street, Ludham, Norfolk, NR29 5QQ | T: 01692 678 215

100 | december 2013



FACTS AT A GLANCE Model: Ford Fiesta 1.0 Zetec Ecoboost 3dr, £13,145 on the road. There is also another £500 off this price if you arrange your finance through Ford Credit. Engine: 1.0-litre petrol unit developing 100bhp. Transmission: 5-speed manual transmission as standard, driving front wheels. Performance: Maximum speed 112mph, 0-62mph 11.2 seconds. CO2 emissions: 99g/km. Economy: 65.7mpg.



ontRary to the old saying, growing up appears to be anything but a hard thing to do in the car business. This trend is most obvious in the supermini sector, where once small, feature-poor cars have been transformed into mature and capable all-rounders. Of all the usual suspects to have experienced this transformation, Ford's Fiesta has surfaced with its engaging driving dynamics and sharp looks intact. In its defence, this latest generation small Ford was fortunate to have been engineered right first time. Blessed with sophisticated ride qualities and a cabin designed and built to emulate the high class ambience of the Focus and Mondeo, it had a clear advantage from birth. Come refresh time and Ford's designers clearly took the plunge and went with the bold option, as the revised car sports a wide, dominant grille that mirrors some of its maker's more glamorous North American offerings. Inside, the Fiesta's cabin remains largely as before and it's changes to the centre console that are likely to generate the most headlines. In a bid to continually drive down emissions and fuel consumption, small capacity three-cylinder petrol engines are starting to gain traction in the marketplace. Ford's decision to install its first effort in the larger Focus resulted in heaps of critical acclaim and proof that the 'small engine-big car' combination works without any significant compromises. That engine has finally found its way into the Fiesta. Predictably the 125 horsepower unit delivers a useful slug of power and proves refined at speed. More interesting is the 100 horsepower version. The obvious question is whether sacrificing 25 horsepower in the name of economy and asking price results in a poorer driving and ownership experience. The simple answer is no. For all the Fiesta's upmarket cabin ambience and big-car equipment, it remains an obvious choice for urban motoring with the occasional longer run thrown in for good measure. In five-speed manual gearbox trim, this Fiesta boasts a welljudged set of ratios to deal with all types of urban motoring. Brisk acceleration is easily achieved without any major effort from the driver or engine, while the latter's off-beat three-pot thrum is surprisingly endearing and only really becomes audibly vocal

when pushed hard. Still, the upsides easily outweigh any negative experiences; with a lightweight engine under its bonnet the Fiesta changes direction with ease, the fast-acting turbo motor ensures a quick response at the urban traffic light Grand Prix while the on paper economy and emissions figures (99g/km CO2 and 65.7mpg) should please your bank manager if not the tax man. For keen drivers, Ford's ability to make a good car better should be applauded but the revised Fiesta's also been updated to please buyers seeking a rewarding ownership experience. Safety kit from the Focus has trickled down to the Fiesta, with Ford's low speed auto brake function helping drivers react quicker to, say, a pedestrian or car pulling out in front or stopping suddenly. Creature comforts that you'd find on larger cars - parking sensors, heated mirrors - are also available depending on the trim level. An improved multimedia package is also offered, which boasts a tighter integration with your mobile phone and a more intuitive user interface. Dubbed 'Sync', it was first rolled out on Ford's American market cars and is now appearing on European models. Adding to its appeal is an SOS function, which is activated after an accident and alerts the local authorities. If that doesn't grab you then, as a parent, Ford's MyKey innovation offers parents and other concerned owners some control over how someone uses the car. For example, if you want to minimise distractions whilst driving you can preset a low audio volume limit. To ensure your little darling doesn't accidentally run out of fuel it's possible to increase the threshold before the low fuel warning kicks in, and you can also set a speed limit to keep enthusiastic driving at bay. And that’s what is so good about this revised Fiesta: the cosmetic enhancements have allowed the car to regain ground lost to more recent, youthful-looking rivals and the inclusion of the trick creature comforts should boost its appeal among featurehungry buyers. In three-door trim it’s big enough to double as a family car if your brood is on the small side, but the Fiesta never feels bloated when driven with enthusiasm. Overall, then, the Fiesta's slew of revisions have done much to help maintain its lofty position in the marketplace. For downsizers there are no real compromises to speak of, while those on the way up the car buying ladder will no doubt warm to the various creature comforts on offer. And, there's no getting away from the fact that Ford's three-cylinder petrol motor is a gem of an engine. | december 2013







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Masterpieces Exhibition, Sainsbury Centre of Visual Arts The Masterpieces: Art and East Anglia exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre of Visual Arts opened with a VIP private viewing. Curated by Ian Collins, the collection features 250 objects celebrating the artistic heritage of East Anglia including paintings, furniture, textiles and jewellery. Pictures & words by


Nelly Hipain and Andrea Titchiner

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Kate Birch and Rebecca Ivatts

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Joachim Jacobs, Moya Willson and Ian Collins

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Garden Party, Old Vicarage, East Ruston, Stalham Guests attending a summer evening party at East Ruston Old Vicarage marvelled at the beautiful garden rooms and plant collections from around the world, created by Alan Gray and Graham Robeson. Enjoying glorious weather, glasses of wine and canapés, guests wandered at will among the 32 acres of gardens – including the new triangular Jubilee walled garden. They asked questions of their hosts, bought plants and listened to entertainment by the Norwich Community Choir. Pictures & words by


Graham Robeson and Alan Gray, owners of the Old Vicarage Gardens

Peter and Janet Smith with Melvin and Vivienne Bowen-Jones

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Lifeboat Charity Golf Day A RNLI golf tournament was held at Caldecott Hall Golf Club, near Great Yarmouth. The Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Ladies Lifeboat Guild hosted the charity day where 72 golfers enjoyed a champagne brunch and a BBQ prize giving supper.  The winning team was Acle Car Centre/ Broadland Country Sports and £4500 was raised for the local RNLI Station. Pictures by


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Scarlet’s Champagne Opening, Norwich Kathryn Parry and Mandy Baird launched their fabulous boutique, Scarlet, at 1a Guildhall Hill, Norwich, with a buzzy champagne reception. Scarlet sells exclusive fashion labels including Religion, Anna Scott, Miss Baron, Salsa Jeans and YaYa and the boutique is dedicated to providing a designer experience at affordable prices. Enjoy!

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Almary Green Awards Presentation Event Norwich based Independent Financial Advisers, Almary Green, presented their annual charity awards at a reception in the Hostry, Norwich Cathedral. Twenty East Anglian charities and good causes benefited from this year’s £10,000 award scheme. More than 70 guests attended and each award-winning organisation was invited to tell the assembled guests about their cause. Carl Lamb, Managing Director, promised that another £10,000 will be made available in 2014.

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Sandringham Flower Show The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall made their traditional call at the marquee of the Sandringham Association of Royal Warrant Holders (SARWH) at this year’s Sandringham Flower Show. Membership of the association is exclusive to businesspeople who provide services to the most senior members of the Royal Family. SARWH members and their guests enjoyed a delicious lunch of salads, cold meats and quiches and an array of desserts, in the marquee sponsored by Calor Gas. Pictures & words by


HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall

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Norfolk Community Foundation Love Norfolk Event, Norwich More than 200 guests attended Norfolk Community Foundation’s fourth annual Love Norfolk event at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, to celebrate the Foundation’s achievements and enjoy an evening of art and culture. Guest speaker Peter Wilson, chief executive of Norwich’s Theatre Royal, spoke about the importance of the arts in educational attainment. Pictures & words by


Nigel Cushion, Clare Eason and Frank Eliel

Andrew and Philippa McCullough

Belinda Ashton, Corinna Fulford and Robert Ashton

Jane Jones, Jane Anderson, Becky Newman and Fergus Anderson

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Norfolk Community Foundation - Jenny Bevan, Helen Tuttle, Ashleigh Joubert, Olive Thompson and Rita Douglas

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Jon Gay Food expert Jon Gay has a surprising confession to make. His ideal day out in Norfolk involves nothing better than a face full of candy floss!

describe your job to us. I'm lucky to have such a varied job with Jon Gay Food - from providing a seven course tasting menu, teaching an interested foodie the art of chocolate; or a group of overexcited 16-year-olds some simple cookery to demonstrating recipes at a regional show - my job lets me do it all! Are you Norfolk born and bred? Yes, I was born a city lad before moving out 'to the country' - I love the beauty of the Norfolk country side, the peace, quiet and all that goes with it - but have recently relocated to Norwich city centre. What’s your ideal day out in the area? A perfect day out in Norfolk would have to involve watching Norwich City win at Carrow Road, and a walk on the Norfolk Coast before a delicious dinner with my girlfriend. Which iconic Norfolk characters do you most admire and why? Norfolk has been home to so many iconic characters from Boudicca to James Blunt and Jake Humphrey. But in terms of admiration Stephen Fry or Sir James Dyson would be high on my list. Both have achieved lots the county can be proud of. What’s your favourite pub in Norfolk and what do you like to drink there? That’s a tough one - but if I'm going to pick just one I'd have to say the Belgian Monk in Norwich. There's an incredible selection of Belgian beers and ciders and the mussels are great too! Where do you like to eat out in Norfolk and why? And what do you order? I love eating out, there’s something about not having to do the washing up yourself that makes it just taste that bit better... I am a lover of simple

great tasting food, so any independent restaurant with fresh ingredients will be right up my street! I normally opt for seafood where possible. What do you miss most when you leave the region? Probably the friendliness of the area - in general Norfolk folk are a fantastic bunch, always more than happy to advise, offer support and help out whether it be a business need or directions on the street! What are you reading at the moment? The most recent book I have read was the fantastic Tom Kerridge cookbook, packed with fantastic recipes, and some great pictures. I have a huge love of food books, from food history, to the science side of flavours, to a good recipe book. Would you prefer a day on the Broads or a day at Yarmouth’s pleasure Beach? Why? The Broads is a stunning feature of Norfolk and something to be incredibly proud of - however, I will be honest and admit, a day at The Pleasure Beach would be my preference. Bumper cars, ghost trains, a face full of candy floss and bubblegum ice-creams make it a fantastic day out... Oh and popping coppers in the 2p machines. opera, musical, drama or movie - which would you prefer to watch? And what was the last production/show you saw? I suppose I'm more of a movie fan, than opera or musical. The last theatre I went to was the Norwich Puppet Theatre, a great alternative evening out! Sum up Norfolk in three words. Inspiring, home, beautiful Sum up yourself in three words. Ambitious, passionate, creative

JoN IS BASed IN NoRWIcH, and is available throughout the East of England and London. For more information, visit or call 07780 453821.

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The Audi Q7 S line Plus For superior grip both on and off the road, the Audi Q7 has our unique quattro® all-wheel-drive technology at its heart. And with exceptional interior build quality and luxurious leather upholstery, it’s as eye-catching on the inside as it is from the outside.

Solutions representative example from Audi Finance based on 10,000 miles per annum† for the Audi Q7 3.0 TDI 245PS quattro S line Plus tiptronic Duration 35 monthly payments of Customer deposit Centre deposit contribution Recommended on-the-road price Amount of credit Optional final payment Total amount payable Total amount payable by customer Acceptance fee* Option to purchase fee** Rate of interest Representative APR

3 Years £559.00 £9,768.22 £6,000.00 £51,475.00 £35,706.78 £21,251.42 £56,644.65 £50,644.65 £125.00 £60.00 5.9% fixed 6.2% APR

The Audi Q7 range available from: £38,415^

Norwich Audi 17 Meridian Way, Norwich, Norfolk NR7 OTA 01603 709200 Official fuel consumption figures for the Audi Q7 3.0 TDI 245PS quattro S line Plus tiptronic in mpg (l/100km): Urban 32.8 (8.6), Extra Urban 42.2 (6.7), Combined 38.2 (7.4). CO2 emissions: 195g/km. Standard EU Test figures for comparative purposes and may not reflect real driving results. Retail sales only: *Payable within first payment. **Payable with optional final payment. Centre deposit contribution is only available when purchased with Solutions from Audi Finance. †10.80p per mile excess mileage charges apply. Further charges may be payable if vehicle is returned. Indemnities may be required. Subject to status. Available to over 18s from participating Audi Centres only (subject to availability) for vehicles ordered before 31 December 2013 and delivered by 31 March 2014. ^The price shown is the Recommended on-the-road price. The quoted ROTR prices and finance examples shown reflect the current rate of 20% VAT. Audi Finance, Freepost Audi Finance.

Offer expires on 31 December 2013

Norfolk p&f december 2013 45  
Norfolk p&f december 2013 45