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MAY 2017

The magazine for North & West Norfolk










Sara Cox








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CONTRIBUTORS: Brenda Arthur, Richard Bainbridge, John Bultitude, Benet Catty, Lucy Downing, Kayla Dunne, Robert Fayers, Andrew Florides, Judy Foster, Carl Lamb, Clare Millar, Eliza Miller, Nick Mobbs, Mark Nicholls, Franck Pontais, Marie Reynolds, Nathan Smith, Danielle Sparks, Simon Wainwright, David Wakefield


Sara Cox with her pet dog Beano - photograph by Jeff Moore



T: 01493 742091 M: 07775 858862 E:


Thanks to its fantastic theatres, historic houses, art galleries and outdoor spaces, East Anglia attracts all sorts of exciting events and a wealth of household names. This month we’re fortunate to feature an interview with popular TV and radio presenter Sara Cox who’ll be racing into the region this summer, when she’ll be the disc jockey at Great Yarmouth Racecourse’s glamorous Ladies’ Night. A keen rider herself and a lover of all kinds of music, from the 1980s to the present day, we have an exclusive interview with Sara who tells Places & Faces® why she’s looking forward to DJ-ing at this popular seaside course after the horseracing earlier in the evening. Meanwhile, during the month of May itself, famous faces in the region include Aussie favourite Jason Donovan and singing sensation Alexandra Burke, who’ll both be appearing at the Norwich Theatre Royal, along with “The Voice” – terrific tenor Russell Watson – who’ll be performing at Potters Resort in Hopton. Meanwhile, Ward Thomas, Sam Bailey, Bruce Foxton, Hayley Moss, The Real Thing and Sir James Galway are just some of the other stars gracing the Norfolk and Suffolk stages (turn to the What’s On pages to find out more). Other star attractions this May include a glut of gorgeous open gardens. We have some lovely gardens in this region, but my favourite has to be the dazzling display of azaleas and rhododendrons at Stody Lodge near Holt. Fashion is also hotting up, with some sensational new summery looks. Flamingos, pineapples and palm trees are among the on-trend design accessories and we have a wealth of ideas for what to buy this Whitsun. There are also plenty of fun events for the whole family, such as the Crab and Lobster Festival in Cromer and Sheringham and, of course, the terrific Norfolk & Norwich Festival which will come into its own over the next few weeks. Much as we would like to, we simply can’t include everything that’s happening, so if you know about other events and activities, don’t forget to mention them on Twitter and we’ll do our best to re-tweet them for you (we’re at: @PlacesandFaces and are nearing 6,000 followers). Thanks for your help and have a great May!

Colin Huggins PS. Congratulations to Tessa Newcomb from Wenhaston who is the lucky winner of dinner for four at the Grosvenor Casino Great Yarmouth – well done!


call Jane on 01493 742088 or visit our website at magazine-subscribe




Humberstone House, 47 Englands Lane, Gorleston, Norfolk NR31 6BE T 01493 742088


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Copyright on all content is with H2Creative Media Limited. Reproduction in part or whole is forbidden without the express permission of the publishers. All prices, events and times were correct at the time of print, and you are encouraged to contact the businesses and venues prior to making bookings. All expressions and opinions demonstrated within the publication, are those of the Publisher including contributors. Places&Faces® is a registered Trade Mark of H2Creative Media Limited.

CONTENTS COVER STORY 34 Saddle up for a great night with Sara Cox!

PERSONALITIES 39 Watch Russell Watson’s performance at Potters

40 Why Jason Donovan is one in a million

42 Alexandra Burke has still got the X Factor 84 Brenda Arthur on the Norwich & Norfolk Festival

65 34

FASHION AND BEAUTY 48 Sunshine yellow 51 Life’s a beach!

53 How to get that summer glow 55 Make the most of the menopause

57 Casual weekend wear for men 59 Summer shoes for guys

WHAT’S ON 13 Where to go this Whitsun 17 Fabulous events to look forward to



24 Why it’s well worth a visit to the West End

72 42

75 Cromer and Sheringham are cracking places to visit!

TRAVEL 29 Palm Springs is back on the map

HOMES AND GARDENS 15 Hot spots for holiday lettings


79 Contemporary cooking

10 Property of the Month: The Old Post Office in Edgefield

FOOD AND DRINK 61 Create a sunny cocktail

62 Superb seasonal asparagus 65 Heavenly halibut

66 Sensational summer salmon 70 Restaurant review: The Erpingham Arms 72 Restaurant review: The Dabbling Duck

COMPETITION 36 Win VIP tickets to Great Yarmouth Racecourse

BUSINESS 83 Looking at tax liabilities




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| MAY 2017



arnolds keys

Stamp of

approval The Old Post Office on The Green in Edgefield is bound to get a big thumbsup from viewers. Full of character, this five-bedroom detached house occupies a prime position in this lovely village which is located just a few miles south of Holt



his detached, imposing, period village house is centrally located within the sought-after community of Edgefield, just a short drive from the charming, Georgian market town of Holt. The property itself dates back to the mid-18th century and benefits from wonderful period features that include inglenook fireplaces and exposed ceiling beams. It was completely refurbished in 2011, when it was rewired, re-plumbed and equipped with new fittings throughout. The internal accommodation extends to some 3000sqft and consists of three main reception rooms (a dining hall, sitting room and snug), a stunning kitchen/diner, large utility/boot room, downstairs shower room, wine cellar, five double bedrooms, two with en-suite shower rooms, and a family bathroom. There is also ample off-road parking as well as a pretty, fully enclosed, landscaped rear garden. Downstairs, the entrance door leads into the dining hall which is 13’ 9” x 13’ 2” (4.19m x 4.01m). This room has a wooden-framed, double glazed window to the front aspect, engineered oak flooring, an inglenook fireplace with a tiled hearth housing a wood-burning stove, exposed ceiling beams, a built-in storage cupboard and a radiator. The dining room leads into the sitting room which is 21’ 1” x 13’ 9” (6.43m x 4.19m). This attractive room has three wooden-framed, double glazed windows to the front aspect, two of which are bay windows, exposed ceiling beams, an inglenook fireplace with a tiled hearth housing a multi-fuel stove, a built-in storage cupboard and three radiators. From the rear hallway there’s a door leading out to the rear garden. The hallway has engineered oak flooring, a staircase leading to the first floor, an understairs cupboard with stairs leading down to the wine cellar, and a radiator. Off the rear hallway is the snug which is 16’ 2” x 14’ 5” (4.93m x 4.39m). This lovely room has a wooden-framed, double glazed window to the rear aspect, solid wood flooring, exposed ceiling beams, an inglenook fireplace with a tiled hearth housing a multi-fuel stove, and a radiator. On the other side of the rear hallway is the kitchen/breakfast room which is 14’ 5” x 13’ 4” (4.39m x 4.06m). This spacious room has a wooden-framed, double glazed window to the rear aspect, a tiled floor, exposed ceiling beams and a Shaker-style fitted kitchen. There is also an exposed, brick-built inglenook fireplace housing a four-oven, oil-fired Aga, butler’s double sink and space for a dishwasher and fridge/freezer.

IN A NUTSHELL The Old Post Office in Edgefield is an impressive period property. This 18th century building is steeped in character and offers internal accommodation of some 3,000 sq ft and generous grounds and gardens. Centrally located within this sought-after, North Norfolk village, it was extensively renovated throughout in 2011 and consists of: Three main reception rooms Stunning kitchen/diner Large utility/boot room Downstairs shower room Wine cellar Five double bedrooms, two with en-suite shower rooms Family bathroom Large, integral garage Ample off-road parking Attractive, fully enclosed, landscaped rear garden

The adjacent utility/boot room is 13’ 6” x 14’ 2” (4.11m x 4.32m) and has two wooden-framed, double glazed windows to the rear aspect and a door leading out to the rear garden. There is also a very useful pantry (9’2” x 4’7”), oil store and shower room. The first floor galleried landing provides access to the loft space and has a built-in storage cupboard and radiator. The master bedroom is 14’ 9” x 14’ 5” (4.5m x 4.39m) and has a wooden-framed, double glazed window to the rear aspect, a feature fireplace with a tiled hearth, two built-in cupboards and a radiator. There is also an en-suite shower room. The second bedroom is 14’ 8” x 14’ 5” (4.47m x 4.39m) and also has a wooden-framed, double glazed window to the rear aspect, a feature fireplace with a tiled hearth, two built-in storage cupboards and a radiator, and another en-suite shower room.

Bedroom three is 16’ 5” x 10’ 5” (5m x 3.18m) and bedroom four is 13’ 1” x 10’ 1” - both have wooden-framed, double glazed windows to the front aspect, a feature fireplace with a tiled hearth and a radiator. Bedroom five is a little smaller at 10’ 4” x 10’ 4” (3.15m x 3.15m) and also has a wooden-framed, double glazed window to the front aspect and a radiator. There is also a family bathroom which is 7’ 5” x 7’ 1” (2.26m x 2.16m). The cellar stands at 13’ 8” x 7’ 1” (4.17m x 2.16m) and offers plenty of dry storage, while there is also an integral garage/workshop (29’ 4” x 8’ 7” (8.94m x 2.62m)) with a pitched roof, three Velux roof lights, two timber stable doors to the side and double timber doors to the front. An external store housing two oil tanks and the controls for the drainage pump completes the accommodation. The gardens and grounds are extensive. The property is approached from the roadside on to a shared driveway which leads on to an offroad parking area for up to four cars. A pedestrian gate leads to the fully enclosed rear garden which has a combination of flowerbeds with lawned, patio and raised decked areas and a raised vegetable bed. The Old Post Office needs to be viewed to fully appreciate the accommodation and space on offer as well as the beautifully refurbished and finished interior.

ESTATE AGENTS Arnolds Keys Collection, 4 High Street, Holt, NR25 6BQ Tel: 01263 713966 | | Viewings strictly by appointment only.


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north norfolk weekends

Nip to North Norfolk With the May Days and school holidays coming up, take advantage of the long weekends, warmer weather and lighter days to visit the coast, countryside and the unique Broads National Park, says Kayla Dunne from Visit North Norfolk May and June are great times to visit the Norfolk

Broads with its emerging spring wildlife and its Outdoor Festival where you can try out different activities in and around the water. Winding its way through the stunning Norfolk countryside, with over 125 miles of lock-free waterways, the Broads can be explored by bike, boat or foot. Surrounded with pretty towns and villages along the way, there are plenty of places to stay and all sorts of restaurants in which to eat. The man-made Norfolk Broads were created in the 12th and 13th century when peat was dug out to provide fuel. The holes left behind filled with water, forming the beginning of the Norfolk Broads, and they are now home to over quarter of the rarest plants and animals in the UK. What’s more, this is the only National Park with a city in it! If exploring on two wheels or by foot, choose from over 300km of footpaths through attractive landscapes and nature reserves. The Broads Outdoors Festival takes place from April 30 to May 21 and features a vast range of activities to enjoy throughout the Broads National Park. You can try your hand at canoeing, follow nature trails and take guided walks and tours. Plus, there are boat trips along the tranquil waterways when you can enjoy the changing landscape along the way. The Broads is also home to many nature reserves and is an excellent place for birdwatching. The nature reserves are ripe for exploring, with expert staff on hand to answer questions and to provide tips on what to look out for. Surrounding the Broads National Park is the stunning north Norfolk countryside and nearby coast where you can enjoy plenty of activities over the long weekends and school holidays. In May, head to Holkham to explore its wonderful estate with a tractor trailer tour through the landscaped parkland and historical architectural landmarks. The Field to Fork Experience is also worth popping into as it’s a fascinating look at where food comes from. Nip along to the Crab and Lobster Festival on May 20 and 21, a celebration of the seafaring heritage of the two coastal towns of Cromer and Sheringham (more at:

This packed weekend features live music, a concert, walks and talks, stalls and chances to try the local seafood. If that’s not enough to whet the appetite, why not visit the Reepham Food Festival over the Spring Bank Holiday on May 27 and 28? Experience the wares of local producers, cookery demonstrations, family entertainment and more. And if you’re a foodie, you’ll also enjoy the fabulous farmers’ market held on the first Saturday of each month at Creake Abbey, not far from Wellsnext-the-Sea and Fakenham, which has over 50 stalls selling local produce. The market is housed in barns so makes a great day out, whatever the weather. For family fun, there are plenty of beaches along the 45 miles of unspoilt coastline. Visit the vast sands and brilliant rock pools at Hunstanton with its striped cliff backdrop. Wells-next-the-Sea with its pinewoods and colourful beach huts is a beach with great views or head to West Runton beach, on the Deep History Coast, where the 600,000-year-old mammoth bones were discovered. This was the most complete specimen of the species to have been found in the world and the oldest mammoth skeleton to have been found in the UK, and some of its bones can be seen at Cromer Museum. Beachcombing along the shores of West Runton is fun for all ages and is often rewarding with ancient finds dating back millions of years, including fossilised hyena dung! And if you are lucky enough to find a fossil, you can take it to your local museum for identification. So if you’re looking for great days out, family entertainment or weekends away, nip to North Norfolk and enjoy naturally good fun.

FOR INFORMATION about what’s on, where to stay, what to do and to watch films about the area, see Visit North Norfolk is the official visitor guide for the area. #niptonorthnorfolk


Thinking of letting your holiday home?

Norfolk Hideaways has over 300 self-catering properties from cosy cottages to luxury retreats; close to beautiful beaches, in rural hotspots or in the middle of quaint market towns. If you own a holiday home or are considering buying one, we’re here to help you every step of the way. From providing you with an initial rental forecast, guidance on how to renovate your property to supplying names of trusted suppliers. With no joining fee, no restrictions and a targeted marketing strategy to direct as many people as possible to our website to generate you bookings, you’re in safe hands. Email us at

Call Norfolk Hideaways on 01485 211 022 or visit

We’re so much more than just a holiday cottage agency.... • • • •

25 years of leading occupancy for owners • 400+ delighted owners • Cancellation protection scheme Fully-graded VisitEngland portfolio • 44% of owners with us for 5+ years and 74% for more than 2 years Feefo Gold Trusted Service Winners • Local, family company • No.1 on Google for key search terms Fully-managed, tailored service available • Sector leading marketing and insights • Open and honest

Please contact us if you have a special holiday property you’d like us to share

01263 715779


holiday letting

LoCaTIon, loCaTIOn, lOCATIOn Each month, experts from Norfolk Country Cottage and Norfolk Cottage Care – both part of The Original Cottage Company based in Reepham will give advice on holiday letting in the county and how to make the most of your investment. This month, Lucy Downing of Norfolk Country Cottages reflects upon the pivotal subject of location…

Never before has Norfolk’s tourism economy

been so buoyant. At an estimated value of more than £3 billion, it is surprisingly bigger than that of Cornwall and Devon – both worth £2.4 billion each. Currently celebrating our 25th anniversary, we are also experiencing our busiest year on record so far, and that’s against a record-breaking 2016. So, with Norfolk tourism on the increase and the county welcoming more year-round visitors than ever before, 2017 could be the ideal time to invest in a holiday home. But where? As Kirsty Allsop and Phil Spencer have hammered on for years, location is paramount when purchasing a home, and holiday properties are no different. Destination-wise, there is no doubt that the North and West Norfolk Coast is a massive draw. With wide stretching sands, big dramatic skies and breath-taking vistas, you can see why. In this area, the most popular destinations for Norfolk Country Cottages in terms of bookings are Holt, Wells-next-the-Sea, Cromer, Sheringham, Burnham Market, Weybourne and Stiffkey. Cromer, with its allure of Victorian nostalgia, continues to grow in popularity year-on-year, whilst Heacham and Cley also attracted more visitors in 2016 than ever before. Purchase a property in these hotspots and you can be confident of a wise investment. When it comes to location, The Broads and East Coast are not to be overlooked. With its new status of a National Park, the county’s rare and wildlife-rich magical waterland is being looked at through fresh eyes. Memories of the 1970s’ days of chock-a-block, back-to-back hire boats are vanishing, and in their place are more natural pursuits of birdwatching, canoeing, cycling and boating for peace and true escapism. Nearby, the recent historical finds along the East Coast are attracting attention. Architectural discoveries including 850,000-year-

old human footprints and a complete mammoth skeleton mean that this area is now of greater historical importance than that of the Jurassic Coast down south. Add this to the Blue Flag, family-friendly beaches, excellent rock-pooling and fossil-hunting opportunities at West Runton and the newly-extended National Coast Path, and you can see why visitors would want to book a holiday here. Swap the coast for the city, and Norwich has huge appeal for city breaks. It’s an UNESCO City of Literature, boasts a medieval street plan, two cathedrals and exceptional shopping. Although the majority of our bookings are for weekly stays, the demand for short breaks is continuing to rise. Therefore, if you decide to invest in a holiday home in Norwich, you need to set this up for short break bookings of two nights or more from the outset. Parking is also something most people specify when searching online, so take this into consideration too. Finally, but by no means of lesser importance when looking at the location of a property, remember to ask what else is nearby. According to the most recent visitor survey carried out by Visit Norfolk, the main reason people holiday here is for the outdoors, with heritage coming in second. So check out which walks, footpaths, cycle-ways, stately homes and heritage sites are nearby, and if these prove a major draw for the property, then seriously contemplate providing cycle storage and drying facilities for clothes and footwear - it’s these little things that make all the difference. On reflection, be sure to place location at the top of your criteria – put yourself in the mind of a visitor and choose somewhere you find attractive that would tempt you to book. That way, you’re sure to be on to a winner.

If you’re interested in investing in holiday letting, perhaps weighing up a selection of potential properties or already own a holiday home, you can always ask for advice. With 25 years of experience and a trusted reputation, the homeowner team at Norfolk Country Cottages – the county’s truly local and leading holiday cottage agency - is always more than happy to visit you and talk through the options. Their members of staff give honest advice and realistic income forecasts – all free of charge and without obligation. You can call 01263 715779, email: or visit their website for more details at:




ANDY LOVELL - LAND, SEA AND ALL BETWEEN An exhibition of monotypes and screenprints - including work inspired by Norfolk - from one of the UK's finest printmakers

6th May - 24th May 2017

EXHIBTION AT: 60 St Giles, Norwich NR2 1LW 01603 761900 The Gallery Norfolk is also at 3 Church Street, Cromer, NR27 9ER 01263 515745






What’s On May is a marvellous month for getting out and about, with some great spring gardens and some fabulous festivals

BROADS OUTDOORS Having begun at the end of April, this year’s Broads Outdoors Festival continues to May 21 with three weeks of events celebrating the Broads National Park. Walk, pedal, motorboat or sail your way round this beautiful part of the country, with something to suit everyone thanks to more than 90 different activities. More at:

SHAKIN’ STEVENS TAKES TO THE STAGE Shaky steps out from behind the ‘Green Door’ to drive his fans crazy in ‘This Ole House’ when he performs at the Norwich Theatre Royal on Sunday, May 7. Shakin’ Stevens: Echoes Of Our Times will be on show at 7.30pm. Box Office: 01603 630000 and online at: WARD THOMAS Fans of country music duo Catherine and Lizzy Ward Thomas get the chance to see them live at Norwich OPEN on Friday, May 5 as part of a nationwide tour. When they topped the UK album charts with their second studio album Cartwheels, they became the first UK country act to achieve the feat. On top of that, the album stayed in the top five for three weeks. Tickets are £17. Visit or call 01603 763111.

CALLING ALL GAMERS! The Norwich Gaming Festival is back for its fourth year and promises to be even bigger and better than before! A staggering 50,000 visitors came along to the festival at The Forum in Norwich last year for a week of free gaming fun, learning and creativity. Indie, mainstream and retro games, seminars, talks, workshops, demos and shows wowed crowds of gaming fans who want to do it all over again this year! Aimed at all ages, this fun and informative event runs from 10am to 5pm from Monday, May 29 to Saturday, June 3. More at:

CREATIVE IN CRINGLEFORD A weekend festival of creativity will take place in Cringleford, Norwich, from Friday, May 5 to Sunday, May 7, with artwork springing up for the area’s first-ever Art Trail. This new outdoor event aims to bring people together and offer opportunities for new experiences. More at: 17

ART FOR EVERYONE Norfolk & Norwich Open Studios, from Saturday, May 27 to Sunday, June 11, is a county-wide celebration of the arts and a key event in Norfolk’s visual arts calendar. Artists across the region take part each year, inviting the public into their private studios to reveal where and how they work, and the event attracts thousands of visitors. Artists have the opportunity to promote their work and meet their audience, and visitors get to see artwork as it happens. More at: SEAFARING FAMILY FUN This month Cromer and Sheringham host the eighth Crab & Lobster Festival with a wealth of activities for all ages. The event begins with an Opening Concert on Friday, May 19 at Cromer Pavilion Theatre with a night of seaside fun, folk and comedy. Hosted by Olly Day and Nigel Boy Syer, the evening will feature the Sheringham Shantymen and local dance group, Marlene’s School of Dance, and is set to start the Festival in style. The weekend continues in Cromer on Saturday, May 20 and in both Cromer and Sheringham on Sunday, May 21 when there will be an array of local food and drink stalls, superb seafood, scintillating entertainment, seafaring crafts, music, comedy, film, art, crab dressing competitions and the World’s Best Crab Sandwich competition! Get your claws into this event at: 18



LAND AND SKY: RICHARD LONG AT HOUGHTON Houghton Hall in West Norfolk will become the focus of the art world again this summer with a major exhibition by the internationally celebrated British sculptor Richard Long. Until October 26, the grounds of the hall will feature specially commissioned new works by the renowned conceptual and land artist. More info and prices at:


FESTIVAL FEVER The largest arts festival in the East of England descends on the region this month, with a line-up of spectacular acts. Running from Friday, May 12 to Sunday, May 28, the Norfolk & Norwich Festival “transforms the city and county with magical and inspirational artistic experiences,” as artistic director William Galinsky explains. This year’s programme is as varied as ever – take a ride on a giant mechanical jellyfish; spend the night at a choral sleepover; relax on a deckchair at night under the Museum of the Moon; or enjoy a piece of theatre on a double-decker bus tour of Norwich. As always, there’s a fantastic outdoor programme, a Garden Party in Chapelfield Gardens and a full programme of concerts and performances. Add in circus, dance, theatre, visual arts and the famous Adnams Spiegeltent and you’ll see why this is a highlight of so many people’s cultural calendars. Visit: for full details and for an interview with Festival chair Brenda Arthur, turn to the back of this magazine.



| MAY 2017


THE REAL THING With million-selling hits such as You To Me Are Everything, Can’t Get By Without You, Feel The Force and You’ll Never Know What You’re Missing, The Real Thing were a hugely successful 70s pop phenomenon. Featuring the original members Chris Amoo, Eddie Amoo and Dave Smith, The Real Thing appear at King’s Lynn Corn Exchange on May 21 to perform their best-known songs and many other soul standards. Tickets are £27.50. Call 01553 764864 or visit


SEE X FACTOR STAR SAM BAILEY Former X Factor winner Sam Bailey is delighting fans around the country on her Sing My Heart Out Tour and on Friday, May 12 she will be wowing audiences at Kings Lynn’s Corn Exchange with her powerhouse vocals and support from upcoming star Lucia Mills. Then it’s on to Lowestoft’s Marina Theatre where, on Saturday, May 14, she’ll be appearing with rising star support act Josh Taylor. Following a successful second album of the same name, Sam is back with her 32date tour and said: “For me, nothing is more rewarding than getting the chance to share my music with my fans live.” King's Lynn Corn Exchange Box Office: 01553 764864 and at: and for tickets at Lowestoft’s Marina Theatre Box Office: 01502 533200 or For more information, visit:

EXCEPTIONAL TASTE Enjoy a celebration of local and international food and drink at the Bakers & Larners Food Fair from 6pm to 9pm on Thursday, May 4. Covering all areas of the store’s multi award-winning food hall and fine wine department, visitors can expect a range of wares from suppliers near and far, and the opportunity to sample a wide range of food and drink. Tickets £5 including a finger buffet and samples. For featured suppliers, more details and tickets, visit:, call 01263 712244 or pop into the store at 8 Market Place, Holt. BOUND FOR BURY This year’s Bury Festival spans 10 days, 13 venues and 59 events. This fabulous celebration of music and arts takes place from Friday, May 19 to Sunday, May 28, with flautist Sir James Galway, guitarist John Williams, keyboardist Rick Wakeman and actor and writer Tim Brooke-Taylor just some of the star names who will grace the stage. Festival brochures are available from The Apex in Bury St Edmunds and other locations around the town, and a full line-up of events can be found at: Box Office: 01284 758000. GET PEDALLING! Sky Sports cycling correspondent Orla Chennaoui will be a special guest at the Pedal Norfolk Cycling Festival which will take place at Holkham Hall, near Wells, from May 27 to 29. Raising funds for Walking with the Wounded via 20-, 50- and 100-mile cycling routes, there will also be cycling-based events and activities. More at:


DASH OF COLOUR Join East Anglia Children’s Hospices at their final Colour Dash in Norwich at Eaton Park on Sunday, May 14. Run, walk or jog 5kms with friends, family or colleagues and get showered in coloured powder paint at every kilometre! Every finisher will receive a medal and paint to help celebrate at the charity’s giant paint party to music at the end – it’s a lovely family event for some messy fun in the fresh outdoors. This event is raising money to support children living in Norfolk with life-threatening conditions, and vital support for their families. More at:

DUXFORD AIR FESTIVAL Thunderous jets, powerful military helicopters and dynamic parachute displays offer aerial excitement at the Duxford Air Festival at IWM Duxford on Saturday, May 27 and Sunday 28. Commemorating the centenary of IWM Duxford, aircraft appearing include the Eurofighter Typhoon, Apache attack helicopter, The RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team (Saturday only), de Havilland DH88 Comet and B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B. An adult weekend pass is £42.50; for more ticket information visit:

CITY OF ALE The annual City of Ale festival returns to Norwich for another year from Thursday, May 25 to Sunday, June 4 with special beer-related events and activities at pubs and venues across the city. Cheers!


JAM SESSION From the Jam, featuring former The Jam bassist Bruce Foxton alongside vocalist and guitarist Russell Hastings and drummer Mike Randon, celebrate the 40th anniversary of the band’s debut album In The City with a special series of shows including a performance at The Waterfront, Norwich, on Friday, May 12. The Jam exploded on to the punk scene in 1977, going on to become one of the biggest-selling bands in British music history with hits such as The Eton Rifles, Going Underground, Start, That’s Entertainment and A Town Called Malice. From the Jam will be performing a selection of songs from the In the City album as well some of the band’s greatest hits. With Foxton revealing he is “looking forward to playing some of the songs live that we originally never did get round to playing all those years ago”, there could be a few surprises on the night. Ticket are £24.75, for more information visit or call 01603 508050.

QUEEN OF THE NIGHT A celebration of the music and life of Whitney Houston, Whitney - Queen of the Night, at King’s Lynn Corn Exchange on May 20, takes the audience through three decades of her hits including I Wanna Dance with Somebody, One Moment in Time, Greatest Love of All, I will Always Love You, and many more. It features rising West End star Rebecca Freckleton delivering a powerhouse performance as Whitney. Tickets are £22 to £24, call 01553 764864 or visit:

CREAM TEAS AND PRIMULAS See beautiful primulas and enjoy a cream tea at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden on Wednesdays throughout May. The Primula Tour and Cream Tea takes place at the attraction in School Road, South Walsham, on May 3, 10, 17 and 24 from 2pm to 4pm, with the head gardener showcasing thousands of candelabra primulas and their care and propagation. Then it’s on to scones, jam and clotted cream! Entry £11.50 (£5 Fairhaven members), call 01603 270449 or visit PLANT LOVERS’ DAY OUT Creake Abbey’s popular Plant Lovers’ Day on Saturday, May 27 gives visitors the opportunity to view an array of plants and question East Anglia’s leading horticulturists. Now in its 10th year, perennials, exotics, bulbs and rare or specialist plants, shrubs, climbers, trees and vegetables will all be on offer and the Creake Abbey Café & Food Hall will be open as usual. The site, three miles south of Burnham Market, opens from 10am to 4pm. Admission to the plant fair is £3.50, under-16s free, and the rest of the site is free to visitors. Visit or call 01328 730399. 90 YEARS OF GLORIOUS GARDENS The National Garden Scheme is celebrating its 90th anniversary with a range of gardens in Norfolk open for the Bank Holiday Weekend of May 27 to 29, along with 400 gardens nationwide. Norfolk gardens include those at Long Gores in Hickling, described as a “semi-wild garden on the edge of a wetland nature reserve.” You can also visit Bank House in Marshland St James; the garden of The Old Rectory at Brandon Parva; Warborough House, Stiffkey, with seven colourful acres which include a woodland walk; and Chestnut Farm in West Beckham. Several gardens will be offering home-made teas and plants for sale. The National Garden Scheme supports a host of charities. For opening times and more info, visit: 20

CLASSICAL MUSIC AT CARROW ROAD Soprano Hayley Moss will be back at Carrow Road on Friday, May 26 and this time she will be joined by tenor Benjamin Lake. Inspired by the famous musical events in Vienna, enjoy an exclusive pre-dinner concert of classical music followed by a three-course dinner designed by Delia. VIP tickets include drinks on arrival, premium concert seating and wine during your meal. VIP tickets £65; standard tickets £45; Season Ticket Holders and Members £40. For full terms and conditions, please see: and to book your tickets call 01603 218724 or email:

WALK FOR PARKINSON’S Following the success of last year’s event, a second Walk for Parkinson’s is being held at Blickling Estate near Aylsham on Saturday, May 13, with the aim of increasing support and funds for Parkinson’s UK in Norfolk. With a 2.5-mile and 5.5-mile walk to choose from, the organisers say there's no minimum sponsorship required to take part, but suggest that walkers aim to raise at least £50. For more information call 020 7963 3912 or go to:


WYMONDHAM TOWN BUSKING DAY From 11am to 2pm on Saturday, May 27 musicians perform all over the town centre creating a wonderful atmosphere. Individual musicians and groups are very welcome and should register in the Market Place from 11am, or call 01953 333500. Event organised by Wymondham Music Festival:

SPACE LIGHT COLOUR Bangladeshi-born artist Rana Begum’s work is featured at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich from Friday, May 12 until Sunday, October 1. Renowned for her 2D and 3D work, which takes inspiration from urban landscapes and the geometric shapes found within Islamic art and architecture, the Space Light Colour exhibition will feature various installations to create an immersive exhibition. Tickets are £7; concessions £6. Visit FABULOUS FOOD & DRINK The third Beccles Food & Drink Festival will be held on Saturday, May 27, offering a fun day for all the family. Running from 10am till 4pm, this free town centre event will feature more than 50 stalls selling cooked and raw food, pickles, preserves, oils and other condiments, confectionery, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Plus there’ll be cookery demonstrations and stalls in the Public Hall, more stalls in St Michael’s Church, as well as buskers and children’s entertainers. There’ll be a free Park and Ride facility from Beccles Quay, and a printed food trail round the various sites, all within easy walking distance of each other. More on Facebook and at:


SPECTACULAR STODY LODGE GARDENS Make a note in your diary this May to visit the gorgeous gardens at Stody Lodge near Holt, when this beautiful place once again welcomes the public through its gates. Over 200 varieties of rhododendrons and azaleas make up the riot of colour here whose intensity is softened by beautiful magnolias, camellias, ornamental and specimen trees, late daffodils and bluebells. Stody’s exceptional two-acre Azalea Water Gardens, filled with meandering waterways, gravel paths and bridges, are also well worth visiting. Plus the popular Family Fun Day returns this year on Sunday, May 7. Open from 1pm to 5pm on all Sundays in May, from Tuesday May 23 to Friday May 26 inclusive, and on Bank Holiday Monday, May 29. Entrance £6, children free, dogs welcome. More at:

TRUE STORIES Norwich Arts Centre’s intimate monthly storytelling event, True Stories Live - where ordinary people tell their own anecdotal stories to a friendly audience celebrates its first birthday with a special guest appearance from comedian Sarah Pascoe on Sunday, May 14. The evening is hosted by Norwich-based scriptwriter, poet and performer Molly Naylor and starts at 7.30pm. Visit: or call 01603 660352. WORTH A LOOK The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts is showing a fascinating exhibition of work by celebrated war artist Paul Nash. Plus, you can see Antony Gormley’s new life-size installations at the UEA and join in the debate. More at:



the time for food, friends and sunshine

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 | MAY 2017

full of

Grace An American In Paris

provides a constant visual spectacle, as West End theatre critic Benet Catty discovers



an american in paris


sometimes complain in these pages about musicals that have been overpraised by the London critics - the execrable School of Rock and the middle-of-the-road The Girls being two recent examples. An American in Paris has so far had 21 five-star reviews. You'll get no argument from me on this one. Having recently concluded its 18-month run on Broadway, during which it won awards for its choreography, design and star Robert Fairchild (who plays here until June), An American in Paris is unarguably the classiest show in London.

Based on the 1951 film of the same name which starred Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron, the light but involving story sees three men - a former GI (Jerry), a failed composer (Adam) and a closeted singer (Henri) - hook up in postwar Paris and variously become entranced by a ballerina (Lise). Jerry indulges his passion for painting, the composer wins a commission to write a ballet, and Henri tries in vain to keep his passion for singing away from his overbearing parents. As all of them paint, sing or dance their way to more hopeful futures, Lise has to decide whom she loves. Her answer is not surprising but her journey to it is beautiful. An American in Paris is much closer to a ballet than it is to a typical musical, even with the gorgeously-arranged dozen Gershwin songs plus orchestral numbers which weave their way through the evening. British director/choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, with the ever-great designer Bob Crowley (currently also represented in London by The Glass Menagerie and Aladdin), gift us a production that



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Mon 1 - Sat 6 May SISTER ACT Alexandra Burke stars in hit musical comedy £8 - £50 Sun 7 May SHAKIN’ STEVENS Echoes of our Times Tour £8 - £35


Tues 9 - Wed 10 May NABUCCO & AIDA Verdi’s operatic masterpieces £8 - £36.50 Thur 11 May THAT’LL BE THE DAY Classic pop hits and comedy £8 - £26 Sat 13 May BREAKIN’ CONVENTION International and local hip hop dance theatre £7 - £24 Mon 15 - Tues 16 May SUPER SUNDAY* Super fun circus daredevils £7 - £24 Thur 18 May CHOTTO DESH* Bewitching dance and animation £7 - £20

Sun 21 May COUNT ARTHUR STRONG Cult comedian £7 - £22.50 Mon 22 - Sat 27 May MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET Elvis, Jerry Lee, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins £8 - £35 Sun 28 May IAN WAITE & NATALIE LOWE Strictly’s favourite couple £8 - £26

Fri 19 May PHILIP GLASS & LAURIE ANDERSON* Musical giants of the avant-garde £8 - £58 Sat 20 May DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER* Leading jazz vocal star £8 - £28

Tues 30 - Wed 31 May BEN & HOLLY’S LITTLE KINGDOM Children’s TV favourites live on stage £7 - £15




sumptuously blends art, ballet and music just as the story does. Not since The Phantom of the Opera 30 years ago has any London musical moved so fluidly from tableau to tableau as we see here. The set dances and spins with the actors, and 59 Productions' dazzling projections sketch images before our eyes one minute and then give us big block colours the next. Most musicals have three or four big visual moments; An American in Paris provides them constantly for nearly three hours. First among equals, Robert Fairchild is dazzling as Jerry, embodying the show's signature style of maximum dance detail with minimum visible effort. He flies around the stage with a lightness of physicality and a charm of personality that would make one wonder why Lise didn't just go for him in the first place were it not for the talent of Adam (David Seadon-Young) and the nerdy showmanship of Henri (Haydn Oakley), who has an amusing line in Franglais that may remind British audiences of 'Allo 'Allo. Meanwhile Jane Asher, as Henri's deadpan mother superior, proves surprisingly unable to bring the comic relief which the part is meant to offer. Many of Gershwin's great numbers: They Can't Take That Away from Me, I Got Rhythm and But Not For Me lace the story, as indeed they did for the last Gershwin extravaganza to transfer from Broadway 25 years ago, Crazy for You, which made the name of its then little-known choreographer

an american in paris

Susan Stroman. Like that 1991 production, this looks and feels like the essence of a Broadway show despite its AngloIrish director/designer team. But where Crazy had wise cracks aplenty, this is an altogether gentler show with grace trumping razzmatazz at every turn. When the show goes for broke, it really dazzles. The three best dances are in the second act: Fidgety Feet, a great Broadway show dance; Stairway to Paradise, in which Henri moves from singing on a little cabaret stage into a dazzling dream sequence as part of a Busby Berkeley-style chorus line and then back again, and the final 10-minute ballet which is the longest and most dazzling dance sequence in any musical in decades. One of the men tells Lise at the curtain call of the ballet that displays her brilliance and could determine her future: "Love is even more important than art.� This wonderful show blurs the distinction and gives you both. AN AMERICAN IN PARIS is at London’s Dominion Theatre, 268-269 Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 7AQ. Book online at: or call 0845 200 7982.




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palm springs

Glitz and glamour Enjoy some decadent days in the sundrenched desert –Palm Springs is back to its glory days. Clare Millar pays a visit to this oasis of pure bliss

| MAY 2017


ITH DESERT SUNSETS, stunning mountain views and year-round almost perfect temperatures, it’s no wonder that California’s Palm Springs was long the playground for Hollywood’s Rat Pack and film star elite, popular with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Elvis and Marilyn Monroe. Nowadays it’s dusted off its faded heyday glamour and is a much-visited travel destination with something for everyone. Even the Obamas chose Palm Springs for their post-presidency trip, so it must be good, right? This was our first visit to this arid Southern Californian resort and we encountered stunning modern architecture, a plethora of amazing outdoor activities, an array of restaurants serving up sublime meals and a desert warmth that simply enveloped us. Palm Springs boasts a vast concentration of mid-century modern architecture and is also the date (as in the fruit) capital of the world. You're going to want to pack your swimsuit and some sunscreen, but don't forget your hiking shoes and perhaps even a jumper if you plan on going to the top of San Jacinto Mountain. From Elvis's Honeymoon Hideaway to some serious shopping opportunities, we had more fun under the sun than we ever could have ever imagined. P L AY

Take in the views from the Palm Springs Ariel Tramway ( where you’ll climb aboard the world's largest rotating trams as you embark on a 10-minute journey scaling the sheer cliffs of Chino Canyon, passing through several climate zones. Once you reach the top, diversions include hiking or guided nature walks if the weather is warm, and cross-country skiing or snowshoeing during the winter. Lunch and dinner are served at the Peaks Restaurant and Pines Café, both offering breath-taking views. Keep in mind that, even when temperatures are baking down below, it can get nippy up on top of San Jacinto Mountain. 30


palm springs

Take an architecture and design tour with Palm Springs Mod Squad ( Palm Springs is the perfect destination for those seeking a hip, architecturally cool city to explore. It boasts a large concentration of mid-century modern architecture and, since the early 1920s, many of the top visionaries have designed sleek, modern homes for the rich and famous. Take a year-round guided tour with a knowledgeable guide to get an up close and personal account of designs by Donald Wexler, E. Stewart Williams and John Lautner. You’ll see some of the most stunning mid-century modern landmarks: marvel at Liberace’s home; check out the house where Elvis and his new bride Priscilla spent their first year of marriage; and stop by the iconic Tramway Gas Station, an Albert Frey and Robson Chambers original, which now serves as the official Palm Springs Visitors’ Centre. We loved our mini-van tour with Kurt who regaled us with fascinating tales of architecture and Hollywood. Getting out into nature is easy in Palm Springs, and the surrounding desert communities offer miles and miles of scenic hiking trails. The best can be found in the Indian Canyons — Palm Canyon, Andreas Canyon and Murray Canyon. Each offers its own attractions, from marked footpaths and rambling creeks to groves of palm trees and excellent bird-watching. Be on the lookout for resident bighorn sheep, mule deer and darting lizards. E AT

Palm Springs enjoys one of the America’s largest restaurant scenes per capita. Hipsters and trendsetters have rediscovered Hollywood’s hideaway in the desert and Palm Springs’ new eateries are one-of-akind gems, from retro diners to industrial-chic spaces. Located just outside of Palm Springs in a neighbourhood called Palm Desert, Keedy’s Fountain Grill (keedysfountaingrill. com) has been going strong for 60 years. Known for their awardwinning pancakes and considered one of the best classic diners and

luncheonettes in America, this vintage diner remains true to its roots with the original Formica tables, counters, stools and fountain it had back in 1957. Its mid-century interior and its mouth-watering menu certainly pull in the crowds. Don’t miss the old-fashioned, handscooped ice-cream milkshakes, malts and soda fountain. Your eyes will almost always be bigger than your stomach! Cheeky’s ( is a small café and popular breakfast joint with exciting dishes such as sourdough French toast, breakfast quesadillas and chilaquiles (a Mexican dish made up of corn tortillas with salsa). Known for its brick oven make-your-own pizzas and specialty pies, Bill’s Pizza ( is a casual dining spot and takeaway popular with the locals. We loved the great crust, fresh toppings and signature pizzas such as the Elton John and Bada Bing. The in-house diner at The Ace Hotel, King's Highway (acehotel. com/palmsprings/kings-highway), is a safe bet and offers delicious and colourful plates for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Opt for brunch outside on the poolside patio – it’s a winner – and why not add a Palm Springs classic date shake too? You’re on holiday after all! SLEEP

The Ace Hotel & Swim Club ( is somewhat of a legend and rightfully so. This place is just so chilled and gorgeous to look at; everything is low-key and of impeccable design. The common areas are generous and inviting with fireplaces and huge sofas to chill on, perfect for stargazing under the desert skies. There are two fantastic swimming pools where you can sunbathe and soak. Oh, and on weekends there’s a DJ by the main pool. Talk about a pool party! What's not to love?! The rooms are decorated with a minimalist, modernist, rock ‘n’ roll holiday feel. In fact the whole place has a mid-1970s nostalgia about it, but is bang on trend as being hipster cool. Many of the bright, cool, 31


palm springs yet cosy rooms come with the ever-essential vinyl record player whilst others have balconies or outdoor fireplaces and sitting areas. The resort also boasts a fully kitted-out gym and a Feel Good Spa. And it’s a foodie-paradise too, with the Amigo Bar and the King’s Highway Diner offering a wide array of artisan cocktails, coffee specials and healthy fusion treats. The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn (thewillowspalmsprings. com) sits just a short stroll from the centre of downtown and around the corner from the Palm Springs Art Museum. It’s a charming 1924 Mediterranean villa with just eight rooms, hillside gardens and a pool overlooking the mountains. The building, which was originally occupied as a private residence, has been meticulously restored into an upscale bed and breakfast and is one of the oldest structures in the city. Each guest room is unique and features beautiful, hand-selected antique furniture alongside all the mod cons you’d expect from a luxury abode. The inn is incredibly intimate, so if you are looking for an exclusive desert hideaway, be sure to book early to secure your stay. SHOP

Head to the uptown district for an eclectic mix of vintage, chic boutiques and arty shops. If designer labels are more your thing, make your way to Desert Hills Premium Outlets, home to brands such as Burberry and Marc Jacobs. Or, for something a little different the Palm Springs Village Fest is a street fair held every Thursday night on Palm Canyon Drive in downtown Palm Springs. It features three city blocks of art, entertainment, food, and shopping, and traders include antique dealers, arts and crafts-makers and food vendors. GETTING THERE

Major carriers including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic fly daily from the UK to Los Angeles where you’ll need to pick up a car to make the drive east to Palm Springs, reached in less than two hours. Alternatively, fly into Las Vegas with Virgin Atlantic and spend a few nights in Sin City before driving the 230 miles through desert landscapes to reach Palm Springs. You’ll flirt with Route 66 along the way and the desert vistas will have you wanting to stop at every layby to snap some photos.

FOR HELP PLANNING your trip, more ideas and inspiration head to:



| MAY 2017

Lancashire. • Born December 13 1974, Bolton, • Former model. quiz show • Modelling led to casting for a TV nnel 4’s Cha on r ente pres TV a me – beca The Girlie Show. nt the • Joined Radio 1 in 1999 to co-prese a B. Emm with show e htim Saturday lunc ay Sund her for rd awa • Won a Sony Gold . show ery Surg o1 • Took over from Zoe Ball on Radi breakfast show 2000 to 2003. Sounds of • 2014 switched to Radio 2 to host . show t nigh the 80s Saturday of the • Other TV appearances include Top British t Grea the and t kfas Brea Big , Pops Pottery Throw Down. venues, • Has taken her live DJ shows to big . Ibiza and ury tonb including Glas ed • Her pet Maltese terrier Beano pass join to test ty safe and th heal BBC a her at work.

Jockeying Around Star DJ Sara Cox will be bringing her very own mix of dance music to Great Yarmouth Racecourse this summer



sara cox


assy TV and radio presenter Sara Cox

is saddling up for a great night out in the region this summer. The well-known broadcasting star will be at Great Yarmouth Racecourse on Wednesday, July 19 for Ladies’ Night, when she will be hosting the “after party”, following the four-legged excitement on the track. A keen amateur horse rider as well as a professional DJ, she will be hosting a night of 80s to modern-day music at this popular seaside course’s special event. It’s a real coup for the Racecourse, as Sara is famous for her festival DJ-ing as well for her Sounds of the 80s show on BBC Radio 2; also for her superb live 24-hour danceathon which raised more than £800,000 for Comic Relief on Red Nose Day in March this year. The former model and celebrated disc jockey is also a firm fan of equestrian sports. Sara has ridden in charity races at Goodwood and beat world-famous jockey Frankie Dettori – a regular rider at Great Yarmouth – in training ahead of the QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot. Sara also took part in a fun show-jumping competition, Only Fools on Horses, for BBC Sport Relief in 2006. Now fully recovered, four years ago she broke a collar bone in a riding accident, so she has certainly earnt her stripes! A farmer’s daughter from Bolton, married mother-of-three Sara, 42, presented the Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 1 in the early Noughties. In addition to her current show, Sounds of the 80s, on Radio 2, she is also a regular stand-in on the station’s Chris Evans Breakfast Show. She has also presented a number of TV shows, including The Great Pottery Throw Down, The Big Breakfast and Too Much TV. At Great Yarmouth Racecourse she will DJ after an evening of flat racing and play a set featuring dance music from the 1980s up to current chart hits. The Ladies’ Night meeting is also special because a new race for female jockeys will take place that evening. Part of a pioneering eight-race Silks Series aimed at providing high profile racing opportunities for amateur and female jockeys, the new race will also support Cancer Research UK. The series has a £100,000 prize purse across nine racecourses run by ARC, including £10,000 to be won at Great Yarmouth. The Racecourse is also supporting the prevention, diagnosis and treatment work of Cancer Research UK through a 75p donation from each race day ticket sold (the charity will also be present on race day). The series will be presented with the Tufnell Trophy at the final race on September 14 at Doncaster. The cup is named after Britain’s first female champion jockey Meriel Tufnell who achieved the feat in 1972 and 1973 and who founded the Lady Jockeys’ Association. Those interested in following the race on social media can do so @SilkSeries on Twitter and “thesilkseries” on Instagram.

But back to the hats and high heels of Ladies’ Night – one of the most glamorous events on Great Yarmouth Racecourse’s calendar. In this exclusive interview, Sara Cox tells Places&Faces® why she’s looking forward to DJ-ing at this exciting evening event: Is this event your Perfect Day? Two of your favourite things – 80s dance music and horse racing. Are you looking forward to it? I can’t wait. I’m lucky to get to hang around the parade ring and look at the beautiful horses then I get to round off people’s day by playing them my favourite tunes. What can people expect from your set? Just great music - I aim for three main things when I play - for people to sing along, to really throw themselves into some serious dance moves and, at the end of the set, to limp away from the dance floor looking slightly dishevelled and shellshocked but happy. Why do you love 80s music – and who are your favourite artists? 80s is the best ‘cos there’s such variety - from the last of disco through synths to new romantic to house music to awesome pop and a scattering of indie. My favourites are Prince and Pet Shop Boys. Have you been to Great Yarmouth or Norfolk before? Not enough. Just to Elveden Centerparcs! Tell us about the buzz you get from big DJ-ing gigs such as Glastonbury? Just making people dance is really exciting - when the tune drops and you know you’ve got it right and the crowd erupt it’s the best feeling. Your love of horses presumably stems from your childhood as a farmer’s daughter. What have been the highlights? I’ve been so lucky - I’ve played polo at Cowdray, taken part in an endurance ride called the Dartmoor Derby, been taught to show jump by Tim Stockdale and raced at Goodwood, but I’ll never forget beating Frankie Dettori (even though he let me, ha ha!). You broke your collar bone in a riding accident. How and when did that happen? 2013, training for Goodwood. I did my knee in too. I got married [to long-term boyfriend Ben Cyzer] six weeks later and was slightly limping up the aisle. Do you have any unfulfilled music or horse riding ambitions? Lots of my musical heroes have died in recent years so a few dream interviews will remain unfulfilled. Riding-wise, I’d love to work on a ranch, moving cattle. Does your family share your love of horses and music? Yes all the kids [Lola, Isaac and Renee] absolutely love music and my eldest daughter is a pretty good rider. Sara Cox will be at Great Yarmouth Racecourse for Ladies’ Night on Wednesday, July 19. Tickets and packages (£16 to £34, with group discounts for 15 or more) and information are available at: and by calling: 01493 842527. Turn the page for your chance to win a Premier Pink Package for Two at Great Yarmouth Racecourse’s glamorous Ladies’ Night! The winners will also get to meet and greet star DJ Sara Cox!



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great yarmouth racecourse



Yarmouth this summer – with a stable full of classic dance tunes. Radio 2 and BBC TV presenter Sara Cox, a keen amateur horse rider as well as a professional DJ, is hosting a night of music at the seaside course’s Ladies’ Night on Wednesday, July 19. Racecourse executive director Glenn Tubby said: “Ladies’ Night is always a special event in our summer calendar but Sara’s dance music will really be the icing on the cake. “We are hoping fans of 80s music will turn out in force to enjoy their favourite sounds after an evening of racing action.” At Great Yarmouth Racecourse she will DJ after an exciting evening of flat racing, when she will play a set featuring dancedriven music ranging from the 80s up to today’s chart hits. Sara said: “I’m really looking forward to my visit to Great Yarmouth racecourse. I’ll hopefully get to see some magnificent race horses before getting the Ladies’ Night crowd dancing with tracks from some of my favourite bands and artists from the 80s. Who doesn’t like 80s music? It was the soundtrack to my generation, with classic songs from music legends. Don’t miss it, Great Yarmouth!” A range of Ladies’ Night tickets and packages is available, including group discounts, and more information is available at and on 01493 842527. Places&Faces® has teamed up with Great Yarmouth Racecourse to offer two complimentary Premier Pink Packages for two. These include: Premier Enclosure tickets, a Raceday programme, a glass of Pimm’s, strawberries and cream and a £2 Tote betting voucher.


When will Sara Cox be at Great Yarmouth Racecourse? Send your answer and contact details by email to: Alternatively, send your answer by post to: Places & Faces, H2Creative Media Ltd, Humberstone House, 47 Englands Lane, Gorleston, Norfolk, NR31 6BE (closing date: end of June 2017). GOOD LUCK! TERMS & CONDITIONS The above prize is only valid at Ladies’ Night on Wednesday, July 19 2017. Entrants must be over 18 and there is no cash alternative. For full terms and conditions, please visit:


Sunday 4 June, 2017 T I C K E T S AVA I L A B L E N OW

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russell watson

the people’s Ahead of his appearance this month at Potters Resort in Hopton-on-Sea, Russell Watson talks to Danielle Sparks about new albums, dream duets and Nessun Dorma


fter starting in the pubs and working men's clubs of the north-west of England, Russell Watson has notched up unprecedented chart success on both sides of the Atlantic, has sung for the likes of George W Bush and the Pope, and has performed more times at Wembley than David Beckham! Russell Watson’s debut album The Voice established him as a major international tenor and he has since won four Classical BRIT Awards and sold over eight million records worldwide. He is also the first artist to hold simultaneous Number Ones in the USA and the UK.

Having bounced back from a benign brain tumour a few years ago, Russell Watson is once again at the top of his game. He is touring the country this May and will be appearing at Potters Resort on Sunday, May 21. The UK’s biggest-ever-selling classical artist, he recently released a new album – True Stories - and was described by The New York Times as a performer: “Who sings like Pavarotti and entertains the audience like Sinatra.” The married father of two, who turned 50 last November, tells us more about his True Stories album… Bob Rose is a legendary album producer and I worked with him and my record label on the album, and it was a mixture of their suggestions and my own ideas. Bob has worked with Roy Orbison, George Harrison and David Bowie, and he is quite simply a gem of a producer. I learnt a lot from him and the album has an eclectic feel to it. We recorded the album in Italy in Ennio Morricone's Forum Music Village Studios in Rome with the 75-piece Orchestra Italiana Del Cinema, which is the orchestra Morricone uses for all of his movie scores. La fleur que tu m’avais jetée is from Carmen and you have to make sure that you get it right when you’re singing in another language or people will notice! How does it feel being the UK’s biggest-selling classical artist? I think that I paved the way for many classical crossover artists when I first started out. It was 1999 when I released my first record, and I think that the public took to me and had a connection with me because of my working class background. The first album was a million-seller and I’m very proud of it.  Do you have to do any training with your voice? Yes, a lot, as it’s a muscle you need to look after. You have to sustain it and even when I had a few weeks off at Christmas, I still had to do my scales. What is your top career highlight? There have been so many… dinner with the Emperor of Japan, where we drank champagne and talked about the football, singing for the Pope at the Vatican, performing at the Commonwealth Games in 2002 singing to an audience of one billion, and performing at the Nou Camp Stadium for the 1999 Champion’s League Final with Montserrat Caballé. I’ve also sung for four Presidents of the USA.

What will you be performing when you’re at Potters? Songs from my new album, as well as a mixture of songs from my repertoire over the years. I like to adapt for the audience, and it’s me and a piano, so it’s OK. Do you feel pressure to always sing Nessun Dorma? Yes, and if I haven’t covered it by the time we get to the encore, then you can guarantee that when I say: “And the last song of the night will be…” that everyone will shout it out! So yes, I will be performing it. Any singers you’d like to perform with? I’ve been really lucky as I’ve sung with people like Meat Loaf, Pavarotti, Lionel Richie, Natalie Cole and Lulu. I have such respect for Adele as she is an amazing singer so would love to sing with her, and it would be two roaring voices together! Celine Dion is definitely up there too on my dream duets list. Is there something that people would be surprised to know about you? I would play tennis every day of the week if I could. I love it! I also like having some PlayStation time and the last game that I got was Final Fantasy XV. Any unfulfilled ambitions? I’m really pleased with my career and have been very fortunate to have had a long one to date, and I’m just happy with my lot. I’ve even been able to do a few bits of acting too. I have got a new venture I’m now embarking on in the US and have had two hit songs there, so I’m hoping to do more over there soon. The one-night break with Russell Watson at Potters Resort in Hopton-on-Sea on Sunday, May 21 starts from £169 per person including accommodation, a five-course dinner with wine, midnight dish, breakfast, live evening entertainment and use of the Resorts’ facilities. For more information, visit: or call 0333 3207 497. 39

| MAY 2017

ONE IN A MILLION Jason Donovan continues to capture the

hearts of audiences everywhere with his performance in the smash-hit musical Million Dollar Quartet which is currently touring the country. It arrives in Norwich this month…


ASON DONOVAN will play legendary record

producer “The Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll” Sam Phillips in the Broadway and West End smash-hit musical Million Dollar Quartet which blasts its way on to the Norwich Theatre Royal stage this May. This red-hot, rock ‘n’ roll extravaganza is on its first-ever UK tour and will be springing into action in Norwich from Monday, May 22 to Saturday, May 27. Inspired by the true story of the famed recording session where Sam Phillips brought together music icons Johnny Cash (played by Robbie Durham), Carl Perkins (Matt Wycliffe), Jerry Lee Lewis (Ashley Carruthers) and Elvis Presley (Ross William Wild), Million Dollar Quartet brings that legendary night to life, featuring more than 20 rock ‘n’ roll hits, including Blue Suede Shoes, Hound Dog, I Walk The Line and Great Balls of Fire. Jason Donovan has an impressive musical theatre background, including leading roles in The Rocky Horror Show, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Sweeney Todd and, most famously, Priscilla Queen of the Desert. A household name, the Australian heartthrob was launched to stardom when he appeared as Scot in the hit Australian soap Neighbours alongside Kylie Minogue. His hugely successful pop career has seen him sell millions of albums and top the charts worldwide and he has recently been visiting venues around the UK with his Ten Good Reasons and Great Hits tour; he also presents a show every Sunday on Heart FM. Here he tells us why he’s looking forward to starring in Million Dollar Quartet:What are you most looking forward to about being in Million Dollar Quartet? I’m looking [forward] to the music. I’m looking forward to the character, playing Sam Phillips. It’s quite dialogue-heavy and story-driven, so it’s quite a challenge for my memory. But I’m looking forward to telling a story and playing something different than what I’ve done in the past. What’s your favourite thing about performing on stage? The audience, always the audience. And the fact that you never quite know how a performance is going to go and each performance is different – it’s the chemistry between the actors. It’s exciting. It gets your adrenaline going. What do you think the biggest challenge will be? Well, definitely being on top of the words and the dialogue and the character each night, because it’s meaty in its dialogue and I’m really the driving force of the story. That requires a lot of concentration! What have you/will you be doing to get into character? Spending many hours on my own, wandering around the streets of London, learning lines. And, you know, looking up


clips of Sam Phillips and just getting a sense of the person, working on the American accent, and just finding within the dialogue the character. Which three words would you use to describe Sam Phillips? Smart, passionate, and he’s someone who’s willing to accept and look at the bigger picture The show is all about four rock n roll icons – what’s your favourite song in the show? I Walk The Line - Johnny Cash’s classic. What else can audiences look forward to about the show? I just think it’s going to be a great piece of entertainment. I think for those people who don’t know that era in music, it’s very uplifting. The 50s were a massive change in America and throughout the world, and I think I’m just looking forward to the interaction with the songs and the story. Million Dollar Quartet is written by Tony Award nominees Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux and produced by Simon Friend, Mark Goucher, Tom O’Connell, Laurence Myers and Gavin Kalin. Olivier-nominated Ian Talbot OBE, renowned for his tenure as both artistic and managing director at The Open Air Theatre in London’s Regent’s Park, directs. Million Dollar Quartet will be in Norfolk from Monday, May 22 to Saturday, May 27. For more information and ticket prices, contact the Norwich Theatre Royal on 01603 630000 or online at: Nb. Jason Donovan will be back in East Anglia in the autumn, as part of a 34-date UK tour. Jason and his Amazing Midlife Crisis – An Evening of Musings, Music and Mischief – will be at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds on October 9, at the King’s Lynn Corn Exchange on November 3, and at Lowestoft Marina Theatre on December 1. For more about this “in conversation” style show, which will be filled with stories, laughter and music spanning Jason’s amazing career, and for tickets for the tour, see: And don’t forget to read Places&Faces® again for more information nearer the time!



jason donovan


| MAY 2017



alexandra burke

Sisters are doing it for themselves From Saturday night TV superstar to stage sensation, Alexandra Burke is fast becoming a leading light in theatres across the country. Fresh from wowing the nation in The Bodyguard, she now takes on another iconic stage role in Sister Act. She tells John Bultitude how she’s fallen in love with Deloris, the joy of creating a new musical and why helping good causes keeps her grounded


LEXANDRA BURKE does seem to have cornered the market in playing divas in peril. After around two years in the role of Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard, she is now playing a second equally iconic character on stage. This time around though, it is a lead role that requires a slightly lighter touch in the shape of Deloris Van Cartier, the sassy singer who witnesses a gangland murder and is placed out of harm’s way in a convent. Thus begins Sister Act which takes to the Norwich Theatre Royal stage from Monday, May 1 to Saturday, May 6. Once again, Alexandra is set to play a character loved by many. She admits she took a little bit of persuasion to bring Deloris to life. She recalled: “The producer Jamie Wilson offered me the role and I actually wasn’t too sure about saying yes although it was a fantastic opportunity. I didn’t know if I was made for the role. I think it is a confidence thing. “I was the same when I was offered The Bodyguard. Again, it was an issue about me not having enough self-confidence.” But Jamie gave her the soundtrack, script and the film to watch while she mulled over his offer. “I watched half of the movie and I listened to the soundtrack and it was actually the soundtrack that made me say yes. The songs are just so beautiful and I thought it would be a privilege to sing them,” she added.




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“I always want to put my own spin and my own interpretation on anything that I do. In fact, I have deliberately not watched the whole movie” Alexandra also believes this stimulates her in lots of new ways. The mix of comedy and drama in the musical as well as the challenges her character faces made it a role she felt she had to take. “Deloris is a very interesting character and very different to Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard but I am looking forward to taking on this journey and this new adventure because it is such an honour to play her. “It allows me to even more open than I was playing Rachel and playing this role means I have to just let go and allow myself to trust my instincts. That is always something I have always been afraid to do because I always want to be perfect at everything.” She has also won praise from director/ choreographer Craig Revel Horwood for the way she has embraced the comedy elements of the show (Alexandra blushes: “It is great he is saying those kind words.”) and from the rehearsal process onwards, she feels Sister Act has helped her open up more as a person. “Everyone in rehearsals has said there is no such thing as making a mistake. It is just creating a different interpretation. I am just having a really good time creating a role with a team and they are creating their roles too and we are all on the same journey,” she explained. 45



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alexandra burke You expect Alexandra to exude confidence after being at the top of her game for so long. After winning Saturday night’s must-see TV talent show The X Factor back in 2008, her debut single Hallelujah became a European record holder for single sales, shifting a massive 105,000 copies in 24 hours. Concert tours, hit albums and West End success followed, but with it came a hugely strong work ethic to ensure every aspect of her performance is spot on. As well as giving her all, Alexandra is also keen to create a new characterisation of Deloris and not just copy the iconic performance of Whoopi Goldberg in the global movie hit version of Sister Act. She said: “I always want to put my own spin and my own interpretation on anything that I do because everyone has different ways of bringing a character out of them regardless of what role they are playing. In fact, I have deliberately not watched the whole movie.” One of her great joys is being able to perform the songs which fuse a Motown influence with a strong gospel base. Alexandra explained: “I would say it is more of the gospel aspect that is appealing to me and just being able to be un-restricted in what I do. The creative team are allowing me to take the journey and do whatever happens naturally. There are no restrictions, which is great, and we are able to just be ourselves and just sing. I say that for everyone. Those who have their own solo moments can take advantage of them because we can all just be ourselves and be free with the music.” Alexandra believes having such experienced colleagues to work with is a joy. She said: “I am learning so much and it is great to soak in everyone else’s characters. Everyone brings a different energy. Every day is different because we are all discovering loads of different things. What I also see with this team is that everyone supports each other. It is a very loving and family-oriented type of vibe. Everyone is there for each other and there are no egos.” Above all, she is still excited to be winning roles like this over eight years after winning public acclaim through The

X Factor. A very humble Alexandra said: “I feel very fortunate to still be working hard for what I want in life. It is a privilege to be offered these kinds of roles and they are very iconic. “I have learned so much over the past couple of years, especially doing The Bodyguard and now Sister Act. It is also hard work keeping the energy up when you are doing lots of shows in a week. I have a major respect for people who do theatre. I don’t think people realise how hard it is if they don’t experience it.” Despite a hectic work schedule with Sister Act, off stage Alexandra also remains focused on supporting good causes. She is a celebrity ambassador for WellChild which helps seriously ill children and their families across the UK as well as supporting Breast Cancer Care and Diabetes UK. She said: “For me, doing charity work is something that I feel lucky to do and I am lucky to be in the position I am in. If I do something I want it to be for the good. Charity is where it all starts and giving back is really important to me and my family. I always want to make time for charity work if I can.” There is a downside to touring, however, as Alexandra admits she misses loved ones although that is compensated for partly by being part of a show like Sister Act. “I do the touring because I want to play the role. What makes it great is performing and nothing else can give me that feeling when I come off stage. I just hope I can make people laugh, cry and smile when they see the performance more than anything. “It is also fantastic to have so much fan support. I am very grateful and it is overwhelming getting such support from them. I have a good grounding as well from my family and friends and they are always there for me.” So it is a thoughtful and appreciative Alexandra who is relishing the chance to once again bring a classic character to life and leave audiences across the country with a smile on their face as they experience the drama, joy and laughter of Sister Act.

SISTER ACT is at the Norwich Theatre Royal from Monday, May 1 to Saturday, May 6 at 7.30pm, and Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. Tickets from £8 to £50 (concessions available). Box Office: 01603 630000 or online at: www.theatreroyal


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BLACK! Add some sunshine to your wardrobe with this invigorating and uplifting colour. Donna Titcombe has selected some lovely yellow pieces available this season


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Mildred Blazer, £495 Smythe Floral Fit & Flare Dress £145 Karen Millen

Striped Panelled Clutch £65 Jaeger Fiji Spring 17 Collection Nail Lacquer £12.50 OPI


Carrie Bolero £49 Hobbs


Naomi Necklace £59 Hobbs


Kalia Black Silk Skirt £225 LK Bennett




Sunglasses £240 Prada


Ditsy Scarf £16 Oasis


Spring Mac, Yellow £225 Gant


Ivy Floral Strap Watch - Yellow £100 Orla Kiely


Harambee Yellow Necklace £180 Bimba y Lola


Alifair Bow Detail Peep Toe Courts £130 Ted Baker



Dryden Debby Hobo smooth cowhide yellow £239 Ralph Lauren


Yellow Block Striped Dress £130 Karen Millen

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Jacquard Jute Bag £35.99 Mango Fringed Straw Tote £119 KAYU


Bali Beach Tote, £39 Accessorize


Women's Beach Bag - Multi £18 Brakeburn



Toquilla-straw frayed tote £266 Sensi Studio Debbie Stripe Beach Bag £55 Phase Eight


Breton Stripe Foldaway Bag, Navy £55 Cath Kidson


Cove Beach Bag £49.95 Barbour



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Sisley White Ginger Contouring Oil for Legs £115


Elemis Exotic Frangipani Monoi Body Oil £35


Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil £40




L'Occitane Almond Supple Skin Oil £34

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REN Skincare Moroccan Rose Otto Ultra Moisturising Body Oil £34


Clinique Deep Comfort Body Oil £25


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The angel cloth is kinder than muslin or flannel which can be too harshh and over exfoliate the skin. Our angel simply exfoliates and leaves the newly formed skin conditioned, fresh and undamaged, so no tightness or dry patches.


managing the menopause operation so was already underway for the healing process and my wonderful mother prepared my own recipe of the ‘Menopause Magic Nutribullet’, which I have listed below. The menopause causes various changes to the texture and elasticity of the skin – oil production drops which, in turn, contributes to creases and wrinkles. The skin starts to lose 2.1 per cent of collagen every year throughout the menopause, resulting in a 30 per cent decrease overall, bringing a loss of elasticity, tone and suppleness. Hormonal shifts can also result in menopausal-related acne which can be distressing. This time of life also causes the drying of mucus membranes which means that everything dries up! However, an increase in omegas (rejuvenated aliol supplements are a rich source of marine omegas) and glucosamine will protect the skeletal system. So here are my very own top tips for a menopausal body and skin: Every morning I have a Menopausal Magic NutriBullet, which is just that – magic! It consists of:

Time for a

change Skincare and wellness expert Marie Reynolds shares her experience of the menopause and advocates tackling it head-on

Small handful of spinach leaves (rich in nitric oxide, which is good for endothelial health (walls of blood vessels)); ½ cup of frozen berries (blueberries/raspberries/redcurrants), rich in antioxidants and flavanoids; ½ an avocado – rich in omegas; teaspoon of chia seeds – rich in omega 3; three to four walnuts – a hormonal balancer and great for neuro-transmitter function; teaspoon of Yellow Macca – this is great for all hormonal issues; ½ teaspoon hemp seeds – another great hormonal balancer; two slices of raw beetroot – an excellent kidney tonic, great for elimination and energy; six to eight red grapes, rich in flavanoids; one spoonful of Collagen Shots*; almond milk (fill to the line on your Nutribullet) – rich in calcium. I also take the following supplements: MicroActive CoQ10 – this provides support to all of the body’s cells. It is especially supportive of the heart and liver, periodontal tissue, and the immune system. Liquid Vitamin D3 DIM – derived from cruciferous vegetables, this helps balance and detox estrogenic toxins in the body and helps restore natural hormone levels.


Hormone-balance harmonised water fter having a radical hysterectomy a couple of years ago, I was thrown into the menopause by the scruff I have to say that I have been fortunate not to have experienced any of my neck fretting that I would come out the other hot flushes or mood swings (although my family may disagree!) but I side of surgery a depressed, sweating mess! Especially also recommend Black Cohosh for hot flushes and Agnus Castus for after foolishly reading menopausal forums that mood swings. promised a whole heap of trauma, from hot sweats to For topical application of skincare products, I use and love Osmosis. dark thoughts, extreme mood swings and lack of libido, not to mention They are results-driven and abundant in intelligent ingredients that sagging skin and drying up of mucus membranes – all there lurking for give the skin just what it needs. my journey into the next phase of womanhood. So for any of you who are dreading the menopause, think about Bad idea! People are very quick to tell you their horror stories, but it this way – you have no choice, it is coming for you. However, the remember that every experience you have is yours and yours alone. menopause is not the end of your life as a vivacious woman, it is A classic example of this is when you are about to have a simply another adventure. Embrace it head on and arm baby and the world and his wife tell you how horrific and yourself with great treatments, products, nutrients and painful it is. supplements, together with a strong, positive mental Well, the hysterectomy forum was much the same and attitude. It is a journey that you load you down with all the best thing I did was to ‘unsubscribe’. sorts of emotional, mental and physical baggage, but I, for The operation went ahead and the advice was to rest for one, choose to travel light. Good luck! up to six weeks with no lifting and, of course, you should always follow your consultant’s advice. So please note that what I write about here is from my * The reason I use Collagen Shots is because it has more natural own personal journey and experiences. I am usually pretty marine collagen than any other brand on the market and it does For more good dealing with things mentally but, as this was a pretty not contain any nasty sugars or preservatives, unlike some of its information on big deal, I decided to do as much research as possible. competitors. Bearing in mind the reduction of collagen during the pregnancy skin, you My first plan of action was to integrate plenty of menopause this product is a must! Apart from the obvious skin can check out a blog nutrients, supplements and homeopathic remedies into benefits, it is also so important for ligaments, tendons and fascia entry at: www.marie health, which dehydrates and is made up of – you guessed it – collagen. my regime. I had been taking arnica a few days before the 55

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You can soak up the sun in style with these summer essentials. Kick back and relax in a short-sleeve shirt and Chino shorts. Whether you’re jet-setting or just chilling at home, Donna Titcombe has chosen this cool look for a warm summer's day

Player Toyo Trilby Hat - Tan £48.95 Stetson

Short Sleeved Shirt £79 M&S

cool casual

4165 Justin Black 622 8G 55mm £99 Ray-Ban The Selvedge Shorts £60 Quiksilver



Hike Waffle Short-Sleeve Shirt £45, Charlie Chino Trousers £45 White Stuff


Jouer Deck Vulcanised Boat Shoes £65 Lacoste


Prices correct at the time of going to press. Items may be available from various retailers and prices may vary so please check online for a full list of local stockists






S I R C L I V E WO O DWA R D Friday, 9th June 2017 Norfolk Lounge, Carrow Road Delia’s Canary Catering welcomes former England Rugby Union player and coach, Sir Clive Woodward to Carrow Road. During the evening you will enjoy a three-course meal designed by Delia and delve into the key moments of the life and career of the only coach who managed the England Team to victory in the 2003 Rugby World Cup. The evening will allow you an exclusive opportunity to get up close and personal with this iconic sporting personality.

TICKETS VIP £99 Standard £65 Season Ticket Holders & Members £59* VIP tickets include a pre-dinner drinks reception with canapés in the company of Sir Clive, wine during your meal** and premium positioned seating. * Standard ticket only, limited availability. T&Cs apply. See website for details. ** Half a 750ml bottle per person.

To book your tickets: Call: 01603 389043 Email: Visit:

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Prices correct at the time of going to press. Items may be available from various retailers and prices may vary so please check online for a full list of local stockists


From lace-ups to loafers, a pair of comfortable casual shoes is a must for your summer wardrobe. Choose from this super-cool range, selected by Donna Titcombe



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Brixton Weave Lace, Tan Navy Hi Shine Leather Casual Shoes £44.99 Office


Eastside Lace Khaki suede shoes £69.99 Ask the Missus



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S E m o c E r He

The SuN!

is a e Month for May The Cocktail of thst perfect for the better ju lovely, long drink your very own take on weather. Enjoy here in the UK! tropical life right

gORLESTON TROPIC • 25 ml Amaretto • 25ml Archers Peach Schnapps • 75ml orange juice • Dash of lemonade • Dash of Grenadine (we use Monin) • Dash of lime juice 1. In a shaker three-quarters filled with ice, add the Amaretto, Archers, orange juice and lime and shake for 15 seconds. 2. Take a glass to serve the drink in (we use a highball glass) and pour a dash (around 1cm) of Grenadine into the bottom, then add crushed ice to fill the glass. 3. Next, pour the mix from the shaker into the glass and then add some lemonade to the top to create three layers. 4. Decorate (we use a slice of pineapple) then serve and drink with a smile! Created by ace Porterhouse mixologist

Nathan Smith

In association with the

Porterhouse Bar & Grill

4-18 Lower Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth, Gorleston-on-Sea, NR31 6BT Tel: 01493 600889 •



smells like spring! Last month was a great time of year for me, as April is the birthday month of my daughter, Holly, Big John, one of the chefs at Benedicts, my Mum, and, finally, me. However, as a chef, May is also a time to celebrate, as it represents the light at the end of a very long, cold, dark tunnel of parsnips, swede and Brussels sprouts. However, baby lambs have been appearing in the fields for a few weeks now and everything is starting to look green and alive again - a bit like me, really! What’s more, a walk through the woods can start so many ideas for the kitchen, with wild garlic everywhere and morel mushrooms popping their heads up left, right and centre if you are lucky enough to find them. In May chefs’ minds are waking up, and so smelling and finding wild garlic is almost like the alarm clock of the season.

The other big highlight of spring is the abundance of British asparagus. When April arrives, and the first of the new season asparagus starts to pop up, the phone calls start between chefs and restaurants: ‘Have you seen or heard of anyone with asparagus yet?’ But although, of course, you want to help everyone get some, it is still a bit of a race to see who is first to get it on to their menus. Now that the asparagus season is in full swing, however, these lovely green shoots should be plentiful and you should find bundles of fresh, fragrant asparagus in your local farm shops, markets and roadside stalls as well as in the mainstream supermarkets. So good luck with this great dish that simply sings about spring!

NEW SEASON ASPARAGUS · 5 spears asparagus per person


· 2 sprigs of fresh mint

· 2 egg yolks

· ½ a lemon · Pinch of salt · Knob of salted butter · Sea salt and white pepper for seasoning METHOD

Peel each spear from the top down evenly and lightly, but take care not to lose the vegetable’s classic spear shape. Place a large pot of water on to a high heat with a good pinch of salt, the mint and the lemon. Once boiling, add the asparagus and boil for two minutes or until just cooked (firm to the touch). Remove the asparagus from the water and place it in a bowl with a good knob of salted butter. Season with the sea salt and cracked white pepper and serve warm.

· 100g wild garlic

· 1 tbsp cider vinegar · 1 tsp Dijon mustard · 200ml olive oil · 200ml sunflower oil · Salt and pepper METHOD

Place the egg yolks, vinegar and mustard into a food processor and blend (this should come together nicely to a smooth purée, at which point you can start to add the oil until completely incorporated). NB. If your mayonnaise becomes too thick, just add a little boiling water. Next add the wild garlic and blend until smooth and bright green. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


May is the perfect month for a new menu, with all sorts of lovely new produce popping up ready to be transformed into delicious spring dishes. Richard Bainbridge explains why this is one of his favourite times of year

richard bainbridge


Richard Bainbridge

is the chef proprietor of Benedicts Restaurant in Norwich or call 01603 926080.

APPLE JUICE REDUCTION · 500ml clear apple juice METHOD

Place the apple juice into a large pot on a high heat. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and reduce the liquid by threequarters or to a glaze. Once done, place in a bowl or bottle until needed.


Place the apple in the freezer whole 24 hours before needed.


Place a spoonful of the wild garlic mayonnaise on to the plate and add a tablespoon of the apple reduction, then arrange the five asparagus spears as you like. To finish at the table, grate frozen Granny Smith all over the dish using a microplane. 63

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2 Warwick St, Norwich, Norfolk NR2 3LD | 01603 627687 |

Follow Franck Pontais’ recipe for a great, seasonal meal that’s simple to make and easy on the eye METHOD Make the dressing 1. Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for about 20 seconds, then peel and de-seed them. Dice them and place in a bowl. 2. Drain the capers and add them to the tomatoes. Then add the diced red onion, chopped olives and chopped parsley and mix them together. Add the lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and seasoning and mix well together, reserving until needed. Fish and asparagus 1. Bring a large pan of salty water to the boil and plunge the asparagus in the water for two minutes, then rinse under fresh, cold water, and put on one side until needed. 2. Season the fish well, coat the fillets with a drizzle of olive oil and then place them in the oven at 220C for 10 to 12 minutes. 3. Whilst the fish is cooking, pour some vinegar into a bowl and break the four eggs into it. Bring a medium pan of water to the boil and whisk the water in order to make

Photography by ANDREW FLORIDES


This attractive dish looks more complicated than it is.

HALIBUT with asparagus and poached eggs

franck pontais



it swirl around then, whilst this is happening, gently pour the eggs and vinegar into the moving water and poach them for two to three minutes. Drain the eggs and keep them to one side. 4. Re-heat the asparagus in the oven and, once warm, place this on the bottom of the plate ready to serve. 5. Place the fish on top of the asparagus and gently add the tomato and olive dressing. 6. Add the poached eggs to the top of the dish and then add the bread wafers and the Tahoon cress. Serve the dish with a few sun blushed tomatoes – easy!


• 600g halibut • 24 shoots of green asparagus • 100g blushed tomato • 1 punnet Tahoon cress or watercress • 4 medium eggs • 4 bread wafers • 1 tsp cider vinegar • Salt and pepper

tais cook for ch chef Franck Pon Let our Fren who really enjoy parties, and for those

your private dinner abilities, in your own master classes, for all cooking, he also offers at le ilab ava is tion home. More informa

For the dressing: • 2 medium plum tomatoes • 1 tsp fine capers in brine • 50g black olives (pitted and diced) • ¼ bunch fresh, flat parsley (chopped) • 10g diced red onion • 150ml olive oil • Juice of half a lemon • 1 clove chopped garlic • Salt and pepper to taste


ct appetiser e rf e p e th s e k a ish m s This fresh fish d family and taste r o s d n ie fr h it for lunch w ight, r w in a W n o im S looks. just as good as it perial Hotel in Im e h T f o f e h c d executive hea w to make it o h s u s w o sh , Great Yarmouth

SEA NICK MOBBS, director and wine expert at The Imperial Hotel, says:

Wine Notes

2014 Beaujolais Villages, Louis Tête Salmon is rich in oils and, thanks to its big flakes, for me it has a rather meaty texture.

I know that we have the adage: “white wine with fish and red wine with meat” but I think this dish can stand up to a light red. So I am going to go down memory lane and recommend a Beaujolais Villages.

This wine is hardly ever requested now, yet 35 years ago, when I started working, it was all the rage and there was always great excitement on Beaujolais Nouveau day. Like many things in the wine business it became oversold and the wine public moved on to other tastes. Will that soon be the fate of Pinot Grigio, I ask myself?

However, Beaujolais made from the Gamay grape is a light red wine that will work really well with this salmon. Beaujolais Village is a wine that will not have many tannins due the way it is made - by a process called “carbonic maceration” which extracts the fruit flavour of the grape without the harshness of tannin. This particular wine is light purple in colour, with an elegant, fresh intense nose of soft red fruits. The palate is equally open and fleshy with lots of fruit and very little tannin. It is wonderfully soft and accessible, with plenty of character backed by good balancing acidity, and it works so well with the flavours of this dish. The French often drink their Beaujolais slightly chilled, so just pop it in the fridge for an hour before serving for the perfect way to enjoy this wine on those warm days and evenings that we enjoy here in Great Yarmouth.

• 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

with red cabbage, fennel & carrot salad, fried noodles, citrus vinaigrette

METHOD 1. Slice the red cabbage, fennel and carrot as finely as possible (using your attachment on your food processor to shred them) then reserve these in a bowl with the chopped coriander, coriander seeds and salt and pepper. 2. Combine all the ingredients for the citrus vinaigrette, apart from the olive oil, in a food processer. Start the food processer and then add the olive oil gradually to form a dressing. 3. Pour this over the salad and leave to marinate, reserving four tablespoons of the vinaigrette for the garnish at the end. 4. Meanwhile heat a griddle pan or, if you don’t have one, a frying pan. Leave on the heat for five to 10 minutes or until red hot. 5. Take a deep frying pan or deep fat fryer. Add 1cm vegetable oil to the frying pan or heat your deep fat fryer

to 170˚C. Once hot, fry the ready-to-eat noodles in two or three batches till brown and crispy and then season with salt and pepper. TO SERVE: 6. Once your griddle or frying pan is hot, fry your four salmon portions for 45 seconds on each side if you require pink-in-the-middle salmon or longer if you require it to be cooked further. 7. Leave the salmon to rest for one minute and then season with salt. 8. Meanwhile, divide the salad between four plates and sprinkle the noodles over this. Place the salmon on top and finish with the left-over citrus vinaigrette.



imperial hotel

SIMON WAINWRIGHT, executive head chef of the Imperial Hotel in Great Yarmouth


• Four 170g portions of salmon loin • Oil for frying the salmon • Small red cabbage • 1 fennel bulb • 2 carrots • 2 handfuls of coriander, chopped • 30 coriander seeds • 1 pack ready-to-eat noodles • Salt and pepper


• 1 cup extra virgin olive oil • ¼ cup white wine vinegar • 2 tbsps lemon juice • 3 tbsps orange juice • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard • 1 tbsp honey • 1 extra tbsp oil for the salmon


FINE ALE PUB AND RESTAURANT We have over 30 Gins for you to try including Norfolk Gin, Rhubarb Gin, Indian spiced Gin, Herbaceous Gin and Camomile and Honeysuckle Gin Serving fresh locally sourced food 7 days a week including our traditional Sunday roast. We are a dog friendly pub, we also have our very own dog menu for your faithful friends!






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The Cliftonville Hotel, Seafront, Cromer, Norfolk, NR27 9AS 01263 512543 •

Luxurious accommodation combined with delicious food, local ales and miles of unspoilt beaches. What other reason do you need to visit.

Red Lodge Core Principles Respect • Love • Value

Home of Country Living & Gourmet Food A warm welcome awaits you in this traditional Country House reminiscent of days gone by. Roaring fires, comfy sofas, country walks and the feeling that you’re not so much a guest as a welcome friend come to visit. Red Lodge has an impeccable pedigree. Dating from the late 1800’s we form part of Narford Hall, one of Norfolk’s oldest Landed Estates with over 1000 acres. 1500 acres of which is wonderful and actively managed with the restored Parkland and Avenue. Bespoke private dining experience available at Scarletts@Redlodge. Dine in our Georgian dining room.


Tel: 01760 339 525

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GREAT FOOD AND GOOD TIMES BY THE SEA Please book a table to avoid disappointment | tel: 01493 657001 Jay Jay's at The Beach Cafe


| MAY 2017

A foodie’s paradise Truly fabulous food can be hard to find, but head to North Norfolk, as Rob Fosbrook did, and you’ll discover it on the menu at The Erpingham Arms



the erpingham arms So, two courses done and dusted and so far, it was full marks from us. The starters are priced at around the £6/£7 mark and the main courses range from around £15 to £20, while the desserts are mostly £6.50. There are also two cheeseboards: an Erpingham cheeseboard featuring three local cheeses, home-made chutney, grapes, apple, celery and crackers at £7.50, and another featuring blue cheese with a glass of late bottled vintage port, home-made chutney, grapes, apple, celery and crackers at £8.50. However, we decided to go for something sweet and chose a triple chocolate cheesecake and a Baileys bread and butter pudding as our desserts. Both were extremely indulgent and very, very satisfying. I got a chance to chat to Jamie Moore who explained that the menu is changed on a monthly basis to keep it fresh and seasonal. Jamie served his apprenticeship in a number of Norfolk restaurants, the most recent being The White Horse at Neatishead, and now here at The Erpingham Arms he has the freedom to develop his own style. General manager Frank Queen offered us some coffee to finish off our meal, but we declined and decided to just sit in the bar for a little while longer and finish our drinks, making the most of the relaxed ambience exuded by this charming, 18th century place. Incidentally, if you like real ale, you’ll be well catered for here. The pub actively sources its real ales from all over East Anglia as well as further afield. There are five hand pumps with an ever-changing lineorfolk is home to an abundance of fabulous up from breweries such as Lacons, Woodforde’s, Elmtree, Humpty food destinations, with more and more eateries Dumpty, Buffy’s, Norfolk Brewhouse, Golden Triangle and many opening all the time. However, despite this glut others. of restaurants, cafés, bars and gastropubs, truly The pub is located in the heart of Erpingham, a picturesque little top-notch food can still prove elusive, so when village that is steeped in history. Situated between Aylsham and you find it, it’s worth sharing the Cromer, just off the A140, it is around seven miles news with everyone you know. from the North Norfolk coast. This lovely place is ERPINGHAM ARMS, My partner, Maria, and I paid named after its most famous inhabitant, Sir Thomas Erpingham, Norfolk, NR11 7QA a visit to The Erpingham Arms in Erpingham (c.1355 to 1428), an English knight Tel: 01263 761591 or visit North Norfolk on a beautiful, spring day recently and whose family lived there for many generations and were blown away by the food – put simply, it was very, who is famous as the commander of King Henry V’s very good indeed. longbow-wielding archers at the Battle of Agincourt The food there is built on local, seasonal produce and head chef (and who features in William Shakespeare’s play, Henry V). Sir Jamie Moore and his kitchen team have created a contemporary menu Thomas Erpingham began the construction of the Church of St Mary that includes a few clever twists along the way. in the village and also had a cathedral gate (the Erpingham Gate) built We ate in the bar area which is decorated in a rustic style – all at Norwich Cathedral in 1420 (he is buried in the cathedral itself ). flagstone flooring, wood burners and scrubbed pine tables. It’s worth The Erpingham Arms is a great community pub and visitors have noting that the bar is also dog-friendly, as are the pub’s front and rear the option of eating in the bar itself or the main dining room (I’d patios, and water bowls and dog biscuits are readily available. With the advise booking ahead, however, as the place proved very popular on village popular with those walking along the Weavers Way, it’s good to the day we were there). know that our four-legged friends are made so welcome and, although There is a large car park and, on the way through to the bar, a large we had left our springer spaniels at home on this occasion, next time function room on the left which, Frank told us, can accommodate we’ll make sure we bring them along. up to 100 people and can be booked for breakfast, lunch and dinner But back to the food, which was truly memorable. In addition to a events. It’s also ideal for birthday parties, weddings, club and society main menu, there’s a list of daily specials and most starters can also be gatherings and so on. served as main courses, so if you spot something you’d like to see more The Erpingham Arms also holds many special events throughout of, this shouldn’t be a problem. the year, from tapas evenings and live music to medieval banquets and Maria chose the crab and lemon pâté to start while I choose the ham a soul and Motown dinner dance. Simply check their website or give hock bhajis, and while waiting for these to arrive we were given some them a call to find out more. fresh, warm bread rolls and butter to nibble on. The crab and lemon Whatever you decide to do – whether simply popping in for a bite pâté was served with an avocado mousse and for crunch and contrast, to eat or hiring out the function room for a family event, you can be some crostini. The pâté was fresh and light and had a delicate crab sure of a truly memorable meal. flavour which was lifted by the citrus hit of the lemon. The avocado mousse was creamy and complemented the dish perfectly. Meanwhile, my ham hock bhajis sat on top of some coriander yoghurt and were crispy outside and beautifully soft and rich inside. There was also a picante piccalilli purée to give the whole dish balance. For my main course I chose seared duck breast which was served pink, just as it should be, and which came with carrots, potatoes roasted in duck fat and a delicious red wine jus. There was also a crispy filo roll on the side stuffed full of confit duck and hoisin sauce. Each element of the dish was expertly cooked and was bought together by the rich, dark sauce. Maria chose the roast chicken supreme with pomme purée, Savoy cabbage and a tasty chorizo jus. She enjoyed it all, but declared the best thing to be the crispy round Kiev which sat in the centre of the plate: it was full of minced chicken and garlic and I managed to convince her to give me a taste – it was a real triumph.


 | MAY 2017



David Wakefield seeks out a village in mid-Norfolk that has history of a sporting and military nature, but also food served in style and with considerable taste



the dabbling duck


aving lived and worked in Norfolk for close came with a virtual sea of mixed vegetables but without the amount on half a century, it never ceases to amaze me of liquid one is often served in some establishments. just how vast and varied this fine county is. Although the menu is not huge, choice is difficult because of all We love the North Norfolk coast and visit it the temptations on offer! For instance, a sage, chestnut and ricotta frequently; but, only a few miles inland, is an gnudi (a bit like gnocchi) comes with pickled apples and barbecue area into which, until recently, we had never quince; or there is a classic Red Poll burger with all the trimmings. ventured. If you really want to splash out, then try the 16oz Norfolk Ribeye at Turning off the A47, through Beeston, £23! Litcham and Longham, there are whole new And so to puds. We were tempted by the Malt Teaser (malt areas to explore. One is the pretty village of Great Massingham, and shortbread, Tia Maria crisp and malt parfait, Horlicks hot there are two reasons why I regret leaving it so long. One I shall talk chocolate) but decided to share the baked white chocolate brûlée, about later in this article; the other is the Dabbling Duck and its with poached chamomile pear, pear gel and chamomile sorbet exceptional cuisine. (£6.50) which was just right, being fairly light and also fairly This pub/restaurant with rooms has only survived because of delicious! three men who stepped in to buy it when it was threatened with It’s also worthy of mention that the wine list is very reasonably redevelopment 10 years ago. Two of these are local farmers; the priced, with a good choice under £20 a bottle. third is Mark Dobby, who was brought in to manage it in 2013. Earlier, I spoke about another reason for wanting to visit Great Mark runs the Duck with his wife Sally, and it was she who greeted Massingham. A few miles from the village was RAF Great my wife and I warmly, offering us a nice chilled glass of New Massingham, which closed in 1945, but has special significance Zealand Sauvignon and then giving us a quick guided tour of a setbecause of some of its wartime personnel. up of which she and Mark are obviously, and justly, proud. Two of the pilots are mentioned in hushed tones by cricket fans; It is unashamedly gastro pub in style – scrubbed one was the England, Middlesex and Norfolk wooden tables and so on – but has a relaxed and all-rounder Bill Edrich; the other was a personal THE DABBLING DUCK, homely air to it. What used to be the band room has hero, the legendary Australian all-rounder Keith 11 Abbey Road, Great been converted into a comfortable dining room, which Miller, who flew Mosquito night fighters from Massingham, Norfolk PE32 gives the pub a deceptively large capacity including, Massingham before, in 1948, touring England as a 2HN if required, private dining areas. It also offers nine member of Bradman’s “Invincibles”. Tel: 01485 520827 comfortable bedrooms, and an extensive garden area A third wartime flier, the then Flight Sgt Kenneth for families. Wolstenholme, became the main BBC football Sally, who has been co-owner of a local bistro for five commentator, forever remembered for his words at years, is also a professional photographer, and some of the end of the 1966 World Cup final “They think it’s her work can be seen in the rooms. all over… it is now!” First impressions were good: a glance at the menu indicated that In case anything should think that these are just the musings of the food could be equally impressive, and so it seemed. My wife, someone interested in military aviation, they are not. Three of wanting to save room for pudding later, opted for the homemade the Dabbling Duck bedrooms are named, simply, Wolstenholme, soda bread with whipped butter (£1) as a taster while I couldn’t Edrich and Miller. And that’s just as it should be. resist the beautifully named Mozzarella puff ball (£6.50) which turned out to be a mini masterpiece. CHEF Presentation, as viewers of Masterchef will know, is what it’s about DALE SMITH, HEAD in today’s restaurant market, and my starter, served on a board, was just that. The delectable cheese was joined by mushroom pâté, truffle honey pickled mushrooms and a rye cracker, the whole thing beautifully arranged and topped by more mushrooms, this time dried into delicate tracery. For mains, my wife choose the pan-fried fillet of stone bass, served with orzo nero, rainbow chard, mussel popcorn and fennel pollen beurre blanc (£14.50). Once again, the tasty combinations and imaginative presentation lifted this dish well out of the ordinary. Although tempted by the spice mixed bean falafel burger I, unusually for a lunchtime, chose the Rogan Josh chicken curry. This comes with poppadum, coconut mixed basmati rice and mango chutney, and you can choose your own “heat”. I opted for medium, which was just about right; the chicken, moist and tender,



Come along and see our

– a mix of traditional and contemporary styles designed for the way you live today

WHY CHOOSE SILVER AND WARD SOLICITORS in 2017? “It’s a recurrent misconception that a larger firm is better.” I am Clare Mayell and I own Silver and Ward Solicitors in Sheringham. I am an extremely competent and experienced solicitor. As I have worked for two larger local firms I know what clients want and expect. My charges are significantly less than other solicitors in North Norfolk or Norwich and I provide 22 years of expertise and exceptional service. I pride myself on being one of the only solicitors who offers a FREE FIRST APPOINTMENT so clients can come in and obtain some initial advice, discuss costs and make an informed decision. At a larger firm you just pay more. When a client rings or walks through the door, they invariably get to speak to me as this personal and direct approach is very important. I ensure complete confidentiality is an absolute priority. I advise new clients to “shop around” as I know that my charges are significantly less than other solicitors but I can offer the same expertise, if not better. I have and can act for clients across Norfolk and the country, with Skype, emails, etc enabling me to act for clients further afield. The reason that clients near and far instruct Silver & Ward is because of my expertise, exceptional service and competitive costs.

“I would say to any potential client with a legal issue or worry in 2017 to come and meet me face-to-face for a FREE FIRST APPOINTMENT, as you have nothing to lose but all to gain.

Home visits can be arranged or appointments made outside of office hours, including Saturdays. 01263 823465 or email

A Fresh Approach To Law….

Free Parking Silver and Ward, 15A Cromer Road, Sheringham, NR26 8AB Disabled Access


cromer and sheringham

beside the


Mark Nicholls spends a couple of days in Sheringham ahead of this month’s popular Crab and Lobster Festival


Photography by CHRIS TAYLOR,

UCCULENT CRAB, FRESH SEAFOOD and delicious lobster are the very essence of North Norfolk coastal cuisine. Even today, a number of vessels still set out at dawn from the beaches of Sheringham to catch the prized crab and lobster and deliver it to be served in restaurants, pubs, or street-side stalls within a matter of hours. Whelks, cockles, mussels and shrimp are also regularly brought ashore and make a delicious snack, as we discovered during our recent stay. It is great to see that this heritage is being celebrated in the annual Cromer and Sheringham Crab and Lobster Festival. A relatively recent phenomenon, the festival – to be held this year on Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21 – is dedicated to promoting the local seafaring heritage and active fishing community, and is growing in popularity.


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5 Station Road, West Runton, Norfolk Tel: 01263 837611







Photography by CHRIS TAYLOR,

cromer and sheringham

The two resorts of Cromer and Sheringham have always had a rivalry, in fishing and for tourists, but more recently have set the competitive edge aside as they celebrate a joint heritage. The Crab and Lobster Festival features concerts and stalls, a variety of activities and seafood in abundance, plus chances to watch demonstrations on how to prepare and cook it. That long association with the sea enjoyed by Sheringham is reflected in its motto: “Mare Ditat Pinusque Decorat” meaning “the sea enriches and the pine adorns”. While the beach can be a little rocky when the tide is in, a lovely stretch of sand opens up as the tide goes out and at one time more than 200 fishing boats launched from this shore. The fishing industry peaked in Sheringham in the late 19th and early 20th centuries with the coming of the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway which made it possible for fish to be transported quickly to market. As fishing along the north Norfolk coast focused on crabs, lobsters and whelks, the local fishermen became major suppliers to the London fish markets. Sheringham has much to thank the railways for – in the past and also the present too. Not only did the railways transport the catches further afield and widen the market for the fishermen, but they also brought affluence to the town and created a seaside resort. Years ago, special trains carried holidaying factory workers and their families from central England along the tracks of the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway to the resort for a breath of bracing sea air. They came in their hundreds of thousands over the years and continued to do so when the railways were overtaken by buses and cars as the favoured mode of transport. Among those visitors surging east for a week by the sea in the 1950s was Monty Python star and global traveller Michael Palin who recalled family holidays – for the best part of a decade – spent in the crab and lobster fishing town. “When I was growing up in Sheffield, no one really travelled very far and going to Norfolk was like going to the ends of the Earth,” he recalled. “We always went to Sheringham, on the Norfolk coast, and we’d paddle in the rock pools, play cricket on the beach and eat crab sandwiches.”

Today, that rail legacy remains and the tell-tale billow of smoke wafting over the resort from the departing locos of the North Norfolk Railway is a reminder of that. While we were there, we hopped aboard one of the daily steam services which run along the hugely-popular Poppy Line via Weybourne and Kelling for an away-day to Holt. Additionally, regular scheduled passenger services run to Norwich and on to the mainline network to London. But the wider attraction of Sheringham is clear to all who visit: beaches, a row of attractive beach huts on the promenade, cliff-top walks, friendly pubs such as The Lobster and Robin Hood, restaurants, seafood, shops, the picturesque, vast, National Trust Sheringham Park to wander through and, of course, Sheringham Little Theatre for entertainment. For those who want to find out more about its history, the story of the town, its people and its lifeboats and fishing fleet is told in Sheringham Museum where historic vessels are displayed in the galleries along with photographs, social history items, agricultural and fishing artefacts. Walk around the backstreets among the small cottages and you’ll notice a plaque on one – this marks the first place to take a hit from a WW1 bomb in 1915, dropped by a Zeppelin airship. One of the most enjoyable walks is along the Norfolk Coast Path to Cromer and over Beeston Bump, which rises above Sheringham. A geological SSSI, it was also the site of one of the Second World War secret Y-stations which intercepted enemy signals. In terms of accommodation, Sheringham has a wide selection including seafront hotels, self-catering cottages and plenty of bed and breakfast guesthouses or nearby caravan parks and camp sites. We rented a comfortable six-bedroom flint townhouse for a few days, which was perfect for an extended family group. And we made sure that we bought some fresh crab to enjoy for lunch – a must, however long you stay and wherever you choose to reside in Sheringham.

FOR DETAILS of the 2017 Cromer and Sheringham Crab and Lobster Festival on Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21 and the programme of events and activities visit or for further information on Sheringham and the North Norfolk coast see: and



arcadia home interiors

The appliance

Eliza Miller from Arcadia Home Interiors looks at the latest kit for kitchens


AVING GROWN UP in a home with an Aga, I have always

loved its charm and simplicity – and still do. It makes perfect sense that it was originally designed in the 1920s by a Nobel Prize-winning physicist as a cooker for blind people (no complicated dials to read) and this no-nonsense oven defies the test of time and still epitomises classic style. But goodness me, how times have changed, and the kitchen – once a purely functional place to prepare food – has become something of an arena for culinary experimentation as well as the social hub of the home and the perfect place to socialise and entertain friends while eating delicious food (and drinking delicious wine!). Since working for an interior design showroom that showcases incredible kitchens and bathrooms (among other things), I have become a little demoralised about the state of my kitchen at home. I bemoan the lack of a combi-steam oven for example, or the fact I don’t have a retractable, integrated downdraft ventilation system to immediately eradicate the smell of fried bacon when my two teenage sons have embarked on a massive fry-up (our house is open plan, so that smell follows me around, and no amount of scented candles can out-whiff fried bacon!). Gaggenau, the German manufacturer which has been creating precision appliances for over 300 years, has got this particular innovation down to a tee. Gaggenau’s downdraft ventilation system would be perfect for my open plan kitchen – as it extends up from the worktop when needed and then retracts again when not in use, having efficiently cleaned the air. Another option is the Bora cooktop vapour extractor (both of these options negate the need for an extractor hood), a nifty compact unit built into your hob surface that completely recirculates steam, grease and smells. Seeing one of these in action is great fun; when we cook on this in the showroom we theatrically place my glasses directly above a frying plan full of sizzling vegetables and the glasses do not steam up and are not spotted with oil. After all this cooking and frying, a cup of tea is clearly the order of the day, but in our busy lives, do we really have time to wait for the kettle to boil?! Many of my friends now have boiling water taps, rising from the surface like a phoenix from the ashes, ready at any given moment to spout forth 100C boiling water at the touch of a button – or chilled and filtered drinking water, or sparkling water – the options are endless. You guessed it, I now don’t understand how I can live in my

of science

house without one of these, so I’m going to do some research, but the Zip hydro tap and the Quooker fusion tap both look like good options. Pancake Day (a few weeks ago) is always a highlight; there’s something about the combination of batter, sugar and the nervous thrill of attempting to flip them ( just high enough that it is deemed a proper flip, but not so high that they stick to the roof ) that is so enjoyable. Always eager to try out different cooking methods, we decided to cook our pancakes on a Teppanyaki – the traditional Japanese style of cooking directly on a smooth, metal plate. This one is integrated next to an induction hob, with two cooking zones powered by 1,500 watts, so food can be prepared or kept warm on all or half of the surface. With temperatures up to 240C possible on a precisely controlled surface, even heat distribution ensures efficient cooking – and fab pancakes, even though I say so myself! It’s really easy to clean too (ice cubes and lemon juice, no need for horrid, abrasive chemicals) – this definitely gives the wok a run for its money. So if I chose to redesign my kitchen, what would my priorities be with regards to appliances? All of the above! But my current favourite is a steam oven – you can have one plumbed in with a permanent water connection and drainage providing endless cooking options, or one with a water reservoir that you simply refill when needed. I love to steam rice and vegetables at home, and salmon too, and this would really transform my life, not to mention make us all healthier, so I am For more ideas and convincing myself that a steam oven is a examples, see: medical necessity! www.arcadiahome

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“Whatever your assets may be, it is important to ensure that you take advantage of all the possible opportunities to mitigate tax”

A POSITIVE APPROACH TO TAX WE ALL NEED TO PAY OUR TAXES TO KEEP THE WHEELS OF UK PLC MOVING. HOWEVER, THERE ARE GOOD, APPROVED MEASURES YOU CAN ADOPT TO MITIGATE YOUR TAX LIABILITIES. CARL LAMB LOOKS AT SOME OF THE KEY TAX PLANNING AREAS… THE TAX FRAMEWORK IN THE UK is certainly complex. Depending on what we earn and what we own, we pay tax on our income from earnings, property and dividends, our profits from buying and selling and on the money we leave to our heirs. However, it’s not all bad news. There is a whole range of tax exemptions and reliefs that we can use – all granted by the Government and so legal and approved. Firstly we all have a tax-free personal allowance for income tax purposes. The allowance for most individuals for the 2017/18 tax year is £11,500. There are exceptions – married couples where at least one partner was born before April 6, 1935 have a possible alternative rate, for example. Some couples may have opted to transfer a tranche of one partner’s personal allowance to the other, for tax planning purposes, although this is only normally appropriate where one partner is a nontaxpayer. Basic rate taxpayers also have a personal savings allowance which gives each individual up to £1,000 of savings income free of tax. Higher rate taxpayers get a £500 allowance but additional rate taxpayers don’t get a personal savings allowance at all. Those with shares in companies can also benefit from the Dividend Allowance. This stands at £5,000 for the 2017/18 tax year but is due to drop to £2,000 on April 6, 2018. Inheritance Tax (IHT) at 40 per cent may be payable on the value of an estate when someone dies. Every individual has an IHT-free allowance of £325,000, known as the Nil Rate Band. Anything you leave on death to your spouse or civil partner is

free of IHT and your Nil Rate Band, if unused, can be passed on to your spouse/civil partner so that on his or her death, there will be a combined Nil Rate Band of £650,000 to be applied to the estate. Since April 2017, a new exemption has been added to the Nil Rate Band to give a further exempt amount if you are passing the value of your home to your direct descendants. This stands at a maximum of £100,000 for the 2017/18 tax year and will increase gradually to £175,000 per person in 2020/21. Any unused Residential Nil Rate Band can also be passed to your spouse or civil partner on death. ISAs provide tax-efficient savings with growth and returns largely free of tax. The annual limit that can be saved in an ISA in 2017/18 stands at £20,000. More sophisticated taxefficient savings routes might include Venture Capital Trusts and Enterprise Investment Schemes. These are tax-efficient solutions that provide investment to developing businesses and are only suitable for some investors, as they carry a certain level of risk. Investing in pension savings is another tax-efficient way of growing your wealth. Pension contributions benefit from tax relief, increasing the value of your investment in your pension pot. In addition, when you come to access your pension savings, you will normally be able to take up to 25 per cent of the value of your pension pot free of tax. The above are just a few examples of the importance of tax planning. Whatever your assets may be – income, property, savings, investments, pensions – it is important to ensure that you are taking advantage of all the possible opportunities to mitigate tax. A financial planner can help you identify, and so manage, your present and future tax liabilities. The value of an investment and the income from it could go down as well as up. The return at the end of the investment period is not guaranteed and you may get back less than you originally invested. The tax treatment of investments depends on individual circumstances and is subject to change.

Carl Lamb

Almary Green Chartered Financial Planners | 01603 706740

For independent financial advice, contact Almary Green on 01603 706740 or email Please remember that the advice here is generic and we recommend that you get individual personalised advice.


raised the profile of the Festival to such extent that it is now the fourth largest in the country. I will never forget people spending a day building a cardboard St Peter Mancroft outside The Forum only to knock it down with joy and delight at the end. William brought us the spectacular ‘Howl like an Angel’ and some breath-taking circus. He has brought more variety, cutting edge and sometimes challenging pieces to Norfolk and Norwich for which we have to thank him. Are you from Norfolk? No, I came to Norfolk from Birmingham in 1969, so I have spent more of my life here than anywhere - living in Norwich since 1972. Which Norfolk characters do you most admire? Historically, Elizabeth Fry deserves respect for all she did in terms of prison reform. But I also admire all those volunteers in local communities who quietly work away, not looking for any thanks, but daily making such a difference to people’s lives.

5 minutes with…

Brenda Arthur Brenda Arthur became a Norwich city councillor in 2008 following her retirement as Chief Executive of Age Concern Norwich, a role she had held for 17 years. She was Council Leader of the Labourcontrolled authority from 2011 to May 2015 and later served as Lord Mayor, having been Sheriff of Norwich in 2005. She is currently chair of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival. What do you enjoy about being Chair of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival? It is good to be part of a great team of trustees, staff and volunteers, all of whom work hard to ensure the Festival is as good as it can be. I chair the board meetings and on occasions represent the Festival. So recently I and representatives from other arts organisations met Nick Serato, the new chair of Arts Council England, to share our concerns about possible cuts in funding and how we can work more closely together to make sure that arts remain high on the Government’s agenda. Arts and culture enrich our lives, help us understand each other better, make a significant contribution to the economy, employ a significant number of people (5,800 in Norfolk and Suffolk alone), and can raise aspirations and change lives. What will be the Festival highlights? I always enjoy the free events in the Tarmac Outdoor Programme which everyone can be a part of. So this year I’ll be outside The Forum looking up at the ‘Museum of the Moon’ - a giant, inflatable moon detailed with NASA imagery of the lunar surface. While there, I’ll be able to hear the wonderful cathedral choir singing. I have my tickets for the Philip Glass and Laurie Anderson concert in the Theatre Royal, while ‘Driftwood’, the circus act in the The Adnams Spiegeltent, is another not to miss. And the garden party in Chapelfield Gardens always offers something for everyone. William Galinsky is stepping down as the Festival’s artistic director - what has he achieved during his tenure? William has brought us some international pieces which have


How would you spend a day off? I love the North Norfolk coast and enjoy visits to Cromer or Cley. Also visiting any of the Norfolk Museums from the Castle to Time and Tide, or I might spend the day cooking a meal for friends. What’s your favourite Norfolk pub? I don’t really have a favourite pub; there are so many good ones to choose from. But my drink would be rhubarb gin and tonic. How about your favourite local restaurant? Perhaps Café Britannia at the Prison for breakfast, East Twenty Six for a tapas lunch, The Assembly House for a delicious afternoon tea and the Maids Head for dinner. For a more leisurely lunch, The Dial House in Reepham is a favourite. What are you reading at the moment? I’ve just finished Sarah Waters’ Paying Guests and am now reading an Ian Rankin, The Black Book. I’m also dipping into the Tim Peake book with images of his journey around the Earth (I attended a live link-up with him during my mayoral year and it was such a privilege to see him speaking to us from the space station). Any other interests? I enjoy being a grandmother and having fun with my grandchildren. My husband and I go to the theatre as often as we can and I enjoy walking in one of the many lovely parks in Norwich. Sum up Norfolk in five words A great place to live. Sum yourself in five words I want a better, fairer future for everyone but I’m not sure how I translate that into five words so I’ll have to say: impatient, collaborative, wife, mother, grandmother. What are your future plans? I’m not sure I have ever planned too far ahead. I’m now on my second retirement, having retired from Age Concern when I was 60. I didn’t know then that by standing to be a local councillor I would have another new, challenging but most rewarding political career which lasted for eight years. So now I’m trying retirement again but am still trying to make a difference as chair of the Festival, a trustee of Norwich Consolidated Charities and a trustee of the Theatre Royal. But at the same time, I need to make space for family and friends because they are the most important parts of my life.

For more on the Norfolk & Norwich Festival, visit:

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Places&Faces® North Norfolk 02 May  

Places&Faces® North Norfolk 02 May

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