Rutland Pride January 2015

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JAN 2016






Wishing all of our readers a very Happy New Year!

Our Restaurant of the Year Winners EXCLUSIVE

SARAH RETURNS TO RUTLAND Rutland adventurer’s incredible charity bid Page 24

ALL CREATURES GREAT & SMALL The exotic animal sanctuary with some unusual inhabitants... Read about Pam Mansfield’s menagerie. From Page 34


This Month: TV actress Sherrie Hewson - read our exclusive interview...


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From the whole Rutland Pride team, allow me to wish you a very happy, safe and prosperous new year. We’re especially glad of the safe return to the county of Sarah Outen, whose 25,000 mile round-the-globe charity journey we celebrate later in this edition. Well done Sarah, and congratulations on your incredible achievement!


Also in this edition, we look at the life of one of Stamford’s most famous - and fullest - figures, Daniel Lambert. Speaking of famous folk, we’ll also meet this year’s best panto villain, Sherrie Hewson, and concert pianist Angela Hewitt, who’s performing in the county this month. We’ll also introduce Pam Mansfield, adopted mum to over 350 animals in need, and founder of the area’s Exotic Pet Refuge. Meeting Pam was a slightly surreal but hugely enjoyable experience!

Elsewhere in this edition, we’re also celebrating our Restaurant of the Year, bistro or coffee shop and ‘food hero’ winners, as voted for by our readers. Thank you very much for all your votes!

ROB DAVIS, EDITOR 01529 469977,


JAN 2016






Our Restaurant of the Year Winners EXCLUSIVE

SARAH RETURNS TO RUTLAND Rutland adventurer’s incredible charity bid Page 24

ALL CREATURES GREAT & SMALL The exotic animal sanctuary with some unusual inhabitants... Read about Pam Mansfield’s menagerie. From Page 34

This Month: TV actress Sherrie Hewson - read our exclusive interview...


We’re always looking for beautiful images for our front covers. Email your county scenes to the above email address if you’d like to see your photograph on our front page!

And finally, we’ve the latest fashions for gents courtesy of one of the area’s newest fashion retailer, Stamford’s Gagliardi. We hope you have a very happy new year! Julian Wilkinson, Publisher

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JAN 2016






Our Restaurant of the Year Winners EXCLUSIVE

SARAH RETURNS TO RUTLAND Rutland adventurer’s incredible charity bid Page 24

ALL CREATURES GREAT & SMALL The exotic animal sanctuary with some unusual inhabitants... Read about Pam Mansfield’s menagerie. From Page 34

This Month: TV actress Sherrie Hewson - read our exclusive interview...

With best wishes from the Rutland Pride team Managing Director and Publisher: Julian Wilkinson. General Manager: Ian Bagley. Executive Editor: Rob Davis. Features Editor: Tilly Wilkinson. Graphic Designer and Customer Care Manager: Mandy Bray. Accounts Manager: Sue Bannister. Sales Manager: Zoie Wilkinson. Sales Executives: Liz King, Roberta Hall, Carissa Clay, Emily Brown, Lauren Chambers & Sarah Allen. Distribution Manager: Joe Proctor. Why not follow us on Facebook? You can keep up to date with any news we may have for our lovely magazine! Follow us on Twitter so you can read our tweets. We’ll let you know what’s going on and keep you well informed! By supplying editorial or adverts to Rutland Pride you accept in full the terms and conditions which can be found online at In the event of an advert or editorial being published incorrectly, where Pride Magazines Ltd admits fault, we will include an advert of equivalent size, or equivalent sized editorial, free of charge to be used in a future edition, at our discretion. This gesture is accepted as full compensation for the error(s) with no refunds available.

Enjoy Rutland Pride, read it cover to cover. Pick it up, put it down and when you have finished with it pass it on. When everyone has had a good read, pop it in the recycle bin!

Pride Magazines Elm Grange Studios East Heckington, Boston Lincolnshire PE20 3QF Tel: 01529 469977 Fax: 01529 469978


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January 2016

Start the new year with NEWS and events on our What’s On pages, with pantomimes galore in Rutland and the surrounding area.

Panto fun with SHERRIE HEWSON this month - meet the TV actress and Loose Woman to find out about her ‘wicked’ new role.

Meet explorer SARAH OUTEN, whose return to the county after a 25,000 mile journey has raised over £1,000,000 for charity. There are wild things everywhere at the area’s EXOTIC PET REFUGE, run by philanthropic nature lover, Pam Mansfield.

A celebration of local food and drink this month with our RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR winners. Plus, we visit The Olive Branch. This month, we also celebrate the legacy of ‘larger than life’ DANIEL LAMBERT, with local historian Philipa Massey.

Meanwhile, our FASHION & BEAUTY pages feature gents style from Stamford’s Gagliardi, and beautiful dresses for New Year’s Eve.

Create a NEW YOU, THIS YEAR, with our guide to wellness, featuring advice from local experts on how to look good and feel great.

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County News High Sheriff Launches Winter Charity Campaign Surviving Winter invites more affluent Rutlanders to donate their winter fuel allowance to less fortunate

Rutland’s High Sheriff has joined forces with the Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation to promote this year’s Surviving Winter appeal. Surviving Winter started as a way to pass on Winter Fuel Payments to those in need. Many people felt they didn’t need additional money and wanted to pass it on to others in the local community. The campaign has also grown to include other donations an amount equivalent to a monthly fuel bill or a basket of groceries. Donations will support families and the elderly in crisis for everything from food parcels, hot water bottles, heating bills to help with leaks or boiler repairs.

Sacrewell Farm’s 100,000th visitor

Rutland Farmers Receive Grants to Protect Owls

Sacrewell Farm in Peterborough’s highest footfall ever...

Owls across the East Midlands will have a home thanks to a grant recently secured by the Hawk and Owl Trust to install them on Rutland farms...

Peterborough’s Sacrewell Farm, part of the William Scott Abbott Trust, celebrated its 100,000th visitor of 2015 last week and welcomed her with an award of an annual membership. Hayley McAllister, visited on a rainy day with her son Toby McGuinness, four, and came away with a very sunny smile on her face.

She is already a member so it’s been extended. She said how delighted she was that she’d won and tries to attend all of their events, like the Spooky Spectacular at Halloween.


One in seven households are currently suffering from fuel poverty and in Leicestershire and Rutland, there has been a fivefold increase in the number of people and children who have needed help with food poverty in the last two years. High Sheriff, Andrew Brown, is leading the campaign in Rutland and all money raised through for Surviving Winter through The High Sheriff of Rutland’s Fund will go towards Age UK Leicestershire & Rutland and Charity Link to support those in Rutland. n Call 0116 262 4916 to request a donation form, or visit and select ‘High Sheriff of Rutland Fund’ to make a donation this winter.

East Midland’s Hawk and Owl Trust has recently secured a grant from the Cory Conservation Trust to supply and build owl nest boxes to farmers and landowners in Rutland.

The members of the group visit anyone interested and assess the suitability of the surrounding habitat for the birds, giving help and advice on how to create a perfect habitat should one not already exist.

These boxes, should the suitable sites with willing farmers and landowners be found, will be supplied and erected free of charge. n If you’re a farmer or a landowner in Rutland interested in receiving a box, please call Simon Dudhill, Chairman on the Hawk and Owl Trust in the East Midlands, on 07798 713735. Visit for more info.

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Send your press releases and county news to: Features Editor via

Rutland Pride’s Pyjama Day for Children in Need!

Fond Tributes Paid to Local Hero, John Copeland

Last month at Pride Magazines, the team enjoyed a ‘comfy clothes and cake day’ to raise (and gain) a few pounds for Children in Need...

Tributes have recently been paid by locals in Stamford to John Copeland, former chairman of the Royal British Legion... Stamford has recently lost a great man who was at the heart of his community.

He was loved dearly by the town for doing “anything for anyone.” John Copeland died at the age of 67 on 29th October, after his battle with cancer.

His selflessness, wit and charming personality, particularly whilst he was chairman of the Stamford branch of the Royal British Legion, placed him in the hearts of all the people he knew.

Rutland Pride held a ‘pyjama day’ recently with the whole team involved, baking each other all sorts of delicious treats from banoffee pie to tiramisu. However, this wasn’t just a day for us to enjoy homemade cake. We were raising funds for the fantastic charity, Children in Need, raising almost £100, setting up a small bake sale in our boardroom. People across the BBC were involved in the telethon. The massive annual event is broadcast live, with The One Show raising millions with an annual challenge involving presenter Matt Baker and his team.

We’re very proud to be a part of such an incredible charity and proud to be able to donate so much to a great cause.


We discovered what the charity has been able to do for our local community across Lincolnshire and children have benefited immensely from the money raised for Children in Need.

A phenomenal £99,189 was donated to COPE at the Laura Centre. The project supports children affected by the death of a close adult or sibling. Through counselling sessions and group support it will reduce anxiety, increase self esteem, reduce effects of trauma and increase communication channels in families.

It was a great opportunity to get involved and help such a good cause, and a chance to wear our pyjamas and eat cake all day!

n If you’d like to raise money for Children in Need, visit the website

His family recently paid tribute to John, known for being someone who’s made such an impact on the Stamford Community, raising money for a great cause too.

“Even from a young age, when we walked around Stamford, it would take hours because he knew everyone,” says daughter, Alison Collinson. “You would turn a corner and someone else

would say ‘hello.’ Everyone he met would take to him. He was just such a people person, very down to earth and always up for a joke.”

John was an engineer who served in the Royal Air Force for five years. He used to work on the tower cranes in London and his main target, as his children remember, for his practical jokes, was the railway station ticket office attendant.

“Dad always carried a bag of exploding bangers with him. He knew the man in the ticket box always had his head down, so he would put a banger in his wallet so it went off when the man opened it. He would make the whole station laugh.” John was hit by lightning at the top of the tower cranes once, but that didn’t alter his attitude to life which was to help anyone who needed help. He made sure people got the Legion’s help.

Community Sports Awards enjoys record-breaking nominations The Active Rutland Community Sports Awards has seen a record in local sportspeople nominated...

Rutland’s Active Community Awards celebrate the incredible achievements of local sports people, clubs and teams. In addition to these, it celebrates coaches and teams who work extremely hard behind the scenes of Rutland’s sports stars.

Organisers made 14 different categories for the awards to be issued and received more than 130 nominations.

The winners of the categories were announced last month. Visit for information on winners.

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This handsome property has stunning features and a contemporary interior that combines classic character with stream-lined, modern style. Fitted with high quality materials such as Travertine stone and solid oak doors, the double doors from the Hall into the main living areas give an easy flow to the ground floor and result in a spacious, airy home. Benefits include zoned under-floor heating, a bespoke Rot Punkt Kitchen and contemporary bathrooms, and there are wide country views throughout. EPC Rating: B.



A stunning contemporary property with superb views towards Stamford and open-plan living spaces that are flooded with light. Sliding glass doors open the house seamlessly to the garden, whilst the interior design features a ‘floating’ oak and glass staircase, Italian lighting, a ‘Cesar’ designer kitchen and an impressive Pool Room. The integrated sound system, under-floor heating, solar panels and air-source heat pumps also make this an energy-efficient property. EPC Rating: B.

Fine & Country 2 St. Mary’s Street, Stamford, Lincs PE9 2DE Telephone: (01780) 750200 Email:

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Ideally located, close to Stamford and with views over the Welland Valley, this stunning Grade II listed property has been refurbished and extended to create a stylish, spacious, light-filled home with a mix of open plan living space and cosy family rooms. Features include vaulted ceilings and original beams whilst the stunning contemporary Kitchen & Family room has French doors on both sides opening to the secluded grounds. EPC Rating: Exempt.



With views over open countryside, this handsome three storey house is set in sheltered, landscaped gardens. Inside, the house has elegant, spacious rooms and extensive accommodation designed and fitted to the highest standards with features including solid oak doors, double-glazed timber frame windows and under-floor heating. It is beautifully presented and a particular feature is the sunny Kitchen & Breakfast room that opens out to the terrace. EPC Rating: D.

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GUIDE PRICE £199,995


GUIDE PRICE £335,000

A pretty Victorian semi-detached two bedroom cottage with sizeable garden, beautifully presented throughout and centrally located in this ever popular Rutland village.

A substantial and well finished four bedroom executive stone built family home in a popular Lincolnshire village offering good sized and flexible accommodation.

A rare opportunity to purchase a substantial five bedroom family home with a range of oubuildings, in need of some updating and modernisation, offering huge potential for future owners.

A charming family home situated in the centre of the village, offering spacious and flexible accommodation over three floors with pretty gardens and many outbuildings.


GUIDE PRICE £575,000


GUIDE PRICE £775,000

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MANTON Guide Price £785,000 A spacious stylish executive family residence with stabling set among secluded gardens and grounds of approx. 0.65 acres on the edge of one of Rutland’s most picturesque conservation villages. Reception Hall, Lounge, Dining Room, Breakfast Kitchen, 4 double Bedroom, all with en-suite Bath/Shower Rooms. Outside: south-facing Gardens, detached dbl Garage, ample parking, 3 Stables, Tack Room. Energy Rating TBC.

A beautifully appointed and elegant 1930s family home set on a large plot enjoying uninterrupted views across the Welland Valley in the much sought-after location on the edge of town yet within a few minutes' walk to the town centre. 3 Reception Rooms, charming Kitchen, 4 Dbl Bedrooms, En-suite, Family Bathroom. Outside: large single Garage, ample parking, mature gardens of generous proportions. Energy Rating E.

UPPINGHAM Guide Price £540,000 Superb, large Grade II listed period house situated within a short walking distance of town centre and providing spacious accommodation which has undergone a thorough refurbishment programme whilst retaining a wealth of original character. 2 Reception Rooms, Country Kitchen, 4 Bedrooms, 2 Bath/Shower Rooms. Parking, outbuildings, south-facing gardens. EPC exempt.

WING Guide Price £485,000 A spacious five bedroom Barn Conversion offering extensive family accommodation in one of Rutland's most sought-after villages. The accommodation is arranged over two storeys providing a good deal of flexibility. Large Sitting Room, spacious Living Kitchen, 5 Dbl Bedrooms, 3 Bath/Shower Rooms. Outside: single Garage, patio style garden to front. Energy Rating D.

WING Guide Price £395,000 An attractive single storey Barn Conversion situated in one of Rutland's most delightful villages and offering spacious and well proportioned family accommodation. Good sized Dining Kitchen, spacious Sitting Room, 3 Bedrooms, En suite Bathroom, Family Bathroom. Outside: area of hard landscaped garden to front bounded by timber fencing, a store and 2 off-road parking spaces. Energy Rating D.



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To view and purchase photographs from The Event visit

Spire Healthcare

Opening Night of New Clinic in Stamford... Spire Healthcare Leicester hosted a launch party to celebrate the opening of their new Stamford outreach clinic recently at 12 Broad Street, Stamford. Local business people, GPs and sports clubs were invited to attend the celebrations at 8848 Restaurant, next door to the clinic. Spire Leicester Hospital are the official healthcare partner to the Leicester Tigers and the party was joined by four players, Seb De Chavez, Harry Thacker, Jack Roberts and Oli Bryant. The Spire Stamford clinic is offering services by private GPs, Physiotherapists and Hospital Consultants including Orthopaedics, Sports Injuries, Urology, Cosmetic and General Surgery. In addition to the regular clinics, the Spire Stamford clinic is hosting a programme of 10 minute free mini consultation evenings. n To find out more about Spire Healthcare’s private GP services, call 0116 272 0888 or see

Feature your event in our magazine. Call 01529 469977 and speak to our Events Desk...

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Purchase photographs from this event online. Visit

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Wickedly FUNNY

From long-suffering Coronation Street wife of some of the Street’s most memorable rascals, to wicked queen, via a very prim-and-proper hotel manageress... Sherrie Hewson has been on stage and screen for over 40 years. This season, TV’s Loose Woman makes her debut at Leicester’s De Montfort Hall... RADA Training is still an impressive boast for any aspiring actor. For Nottinghamshire actress Sherrie Hewson though, it was key to securing some of the best roles in the 1970s and 1980s as well as the means to take to the role of panellist on ITV’s daily chat show, Loose Women. What has really distinguished Sherrie Hewson from other actresses, though, is her ability to break from the usual RADA oeuvre to tackle not just roles in period and TV drama, but comedy, too. This month, she’ll juggle one of TV’s most popular daytime shows plus a forthcoming filming schedule for Benidorm in the spring with an appearance in pantomime in our area.

too, whilst my father was a crooner, Ron Hutchinson, who worked mostly around the Midlands.” Sherrie is from the village of Burton Joyce, and achieved a scholarship to RADA from 18 years. “In those days, you had to get your equity card - a red card initially - then work for 42 weeks and get a blue card.”

“In order to secure my blue card I went into film, and joined the Carry On cast for the

The Slipper and The Rose with Richard Chamberlain and Love for Lydia, as well as comedy roles too.”

Appearing in The Russ Abbott Show, and in other sitcoms like Home to Roost, Home James! and Never the Twain, Sherrie’s career in this period peaked with In Loving Memory, in which she starred alongside Thora Hird right up to 1986.

Sherrie was also on our screens starring alongside popular comedians like Les Dawson, Stanley Baxter and Cannon & Ball before taking on a role in Coronation Street.

“It was quite an unusual move because RADA was a classical drama school, lacking the diversity of opportunity it does today...”

Trouble is, with such a pleasant and sunny manner, how’s the Loose Woman supposed to take on the role of a wicked queen...?

“I’ve appeared on stage since the age of four, singing and dancing to an audience,” says Sherrie. “We’re an outgoing family, my mother was a model, my brother a model 18

Words: Rob Davis.

filming of Carry on Behind and the Carry on Laughing TV series.”

“It was quite an unusual move because RADA was a classical drama school, lacking the diversity of opportunity it does today. To cross over and work in comedy and drama roles was unusual. It was great for me though, as I had the opportunity to take on period drama roles, lots of drama films like

He accident-prone wallflower character, Maureen Webster suffered comedic oppression at the hands of an overbearing mother, Maud Grimes. Things improved little for her character with disasterous relationships with Reg Holdsworth and larger than life butcher Fred (“I say, Fred”) Elliot. Taking a break from Coronation Street between 1997 and 2006 allows Sherrie to take on roles in the reboot of Crossroads, and

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Emmerdale, but not before she was enlisted as a panel member for ITV’s daytime current affairs programme Loose Women.

“I”m really lucky in my career in that I’ve never stopped - I’ve always been really busy, which I’m grateful for.”

“I’ve been doing Loose Women for over 14 years now, and I don’t think there’s a programme on UK TV like it.”

“The show achieves something like 1.3m viewers, which, for a 12.30pm daytime slot is really impressive.”

“I think the appeal of the show is its honesty and its uniqueness. We’ve designed it to seem ad-libbed, but in fact there’s a lot of planning that goes into its production.” Today, Sherrie lives in Lancashire, close to her daughter and two grandchildren Mollie, four, and Ollie, aged nine.

Her personal life and role on Loose Women also tessellates with her latest comedy role as hotel manageress, Joyce Temple Savage in ITV’s glorious carnivale sitcom Benidorm.


The show is now in its eighth year, and Sherrie says she was a big fan of it long before being asked to join the cast.

“The script is hilarious and I used to watch it with tears of laughter in my eyes, so to receive a call asking me to take on a role on it was incredible.”

“Derren Litton is the writer, and as soon as I read the script I could hear Joyce’s voice in my head. She’s a brilliant character, hard-faced, someone who stands up for herself, the opposite of, say, Maureen in Coronation Street. At the same time though, she’s also larger than life, always making mistakes, so there’s strength in the role, but also the chance of some really good comedy moments.” “It’s a case of ‘pride comes before a fall’ with Joyce, and there are some great characters as sparring partners, not least camp hairdresser Kenneth Du Beke

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and Joan Collins, who plays her manager, Crystal Hennessy-Vass.”

“As a place to work, Benidorm is an absolutely fantastic location. We’ve a huge studio in the country, and both British and Spanish film crews.”

“The hotel, though, does exist. It’s called the Hotel Sol Pelicanos and we use the area surrounding the pool for outside shots. The guests love it, as they can watch the filming from their balconies, and appear as extras. The crew will indicate when they can look and when they have to turn away and ignore the cameras.”

“We’re out there for five months from March until July. The place has a real charm about it and has the best beach. We film from about 5.30am in the morning when it’s relatively cool right up until 7pm in the evening, six days a week.”

“I’m really lucky that I have a member of the production team who can look at my filming schedule and release me long enough to carry on with Loose Women, so I’ll be out there for, say, six weeks, then back for four weeks here.” This month sees the screening of series eight of the comedy series, and though Sherrie won’t be drawn as to the exact storylines, she promises plenty of fun, especially with Crystal.

As Benidorm prepares to air, Sherrie will also take on her 12th pantomime role as the Wicked Queen in Leicester’s De Montfort Hall, 2016 pantomime, Snow White.

“I was inspired into pantomime by my grandchildren, really,” says Sherrie. “It’s a cliché to say that a pantomime is usually a child’s first introduction to the theatre. But it’s true.”

“Pantomimes are a great tradition and they appeal to everyone. They leave children of any age spellbound and adults love reliving their childhood.”

“I’m really looking forward to appearing at De Montfort too - it’s an absolutely brilliant theatre, an old building, really unique. A pantomime reconnects you with what performing to an audience should be in a way that TV doesn’t, and pantomimes at De Montfort are always well-attended and well-supported. There’s going to be all of the usual panto fun, I just can’t wait!” n Sherrie will be appearing in Snow White at De Montfort Hall, Leicester from 12th December to 4th January. Tickets £10-£15, call 0116 233 3111 or see The eighth series of Benidorm will screen on ITV later in January.


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Sarah Outen’s story is truly incredible, and one that will inspire so many. Recently seen on national news, Sarah has completed her four year journey from London to London via the world using just a rowing boat, a kayak and a bike.

The trip had ups - like her proposal via Iridium satellite phone in her rowing boat to fiancée Lucy - and downs - like her boat being destroyed in a typhoon; she simply couldn’t carry on and had to make a short detour home. A week after her return by kayak under the Tower Bridge in November, we spoke to Sarah from her current home in Oxfordshire about the awe-inspiring journey and how it felt to know she’d completed it. “It was an extremely special moment for me and it was rather overwhelming to arrive in London under the Tower Bridge a week ago today,” says Sarah. “I’m still catching up on sleep but I think it’ll take a couple more weeks to fully recover from the journey just yet.”

“I’m getting sports massages to try and get my muscles into a happier place, I’m starting to reconnect with family and friends and I’m working through my

to-do list of getting back into civilisation. The decompressing process takes quite a while, I have to say!”“I didn’t get a great deal of sleep on the expedition and the emotional and physical demands of

Main: Sarah uten crossing the Gobi Desert in Mongolia on her bike.

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the journey means that you’re constantly running on ‘empty’ so there’s definitely an energy deficit to pay back.”

“My diet would depend on which part of the journey I was on. On land sections, I would simply buy food from shops and whilst on sea sections, I would take all of the food I would expect to need for the entire crossing.”

“When kayaking, it’s a case of working out what you need before you go and obtaining re-supplies to different points along the way.” “This was specifically difficult when travelling from Asia to Alaska. It meant I had to take 150 days worth of food with me.”

Sarah is the first person to have rowed from Japan to Alaska and the first woman to have rowed West to East across the Mid Pacific. This is an incredible achievement, but it meant spending 150 days with nothing but ocean as far as the eye can see.

“I didn’t feel lonely on my journey. For me, loneliness is a state of unhappiness at the fact that you’re alone, so I embraced the solitude at the points where I had to face solitude. That’s not to say that at times, I didn’t want a hug! But being alone is a big part of the journey, so I simply embraced this.”

“At times, I could call my friends and family when I had signal and sometimes, I could connect to them via email. “I usually looked at recent pictures of them that they’d sent through, but in general, I just had to get on with it like all things in life. You just have to accept that you’re


Not only were there a few unhappy moments when Sarah missed family and friends back in Rutland, there were also a few scary moments, too. “There were quite a few moments that were life-threatening,” says Sarah. “Going under the bow of a container ship was probably the most terrifying.”

“Coming face-to-face with a bear in a stream in Alaska was also a very scary experience. Road traffic was a constant and very real threat too.”

“The experience that probably did the most damage to my equipment and myself was the tropical storm in 2012 on the Pacific Ocean.”

“The weather had damaged my boat so severely that I couldn’t carry on. I came back home and put together a


campaign to get back to the trip the following year.”

Learning from this mistake, I was picked up earlier this year when I was on my journey from Cape Cod back to the UK because Hurricane Joaquin was headed my way.”

“There’s been many times where I’ve come out the other side of it thinking ‘I am lucky to be alive.’”

“The logistics involved are quite complex; I can’t carry my bike whilst I row and I certainly can’t tow the rowing boat as I cycle or kayak.”

“We have to plan quite far in advance. I can get myself around the world, but moving everything I need to take with me is quite a challenge.”

“There was 15 months of planning the expedition in total before I set out and it’s an ongoing planning exercise as well

because you can’t plan what’s going to happen and how long it’ll take. There were many changes to the route.”

“There was quite a severe route change in 2013 on the Pacific Ocean when extremely bad weather meant that I had to take a detour to the Aleutian Islands. This meant I had to do an extra 1,500 miles of kayaking and another few hundred miles of cycling in 2014.” In total, Sarah has completed over 25,000 miles in four and a half years.

She kayaked from London to France, cycled 11,000 miles across Europe and Asia, kayaked from Russia to Japan, rowed across the Pacific Ocean to Alaska, kayaked 1,500 miles along the Aleutian Islands and cycled 4,500 miles through Alaska, Canada and the United States in one of the harshest winters the country has seen. Of course, she’s fully supported and celebrated by friends and family back home in Rutland for her incredible achievements, as they’ve supported her throughout.

On her arrival home there was so much of Rutland there to greet her. The Rutland Canoe Club kayaked down the Thames with her under Tower Bridge; fitting, since Sarah learnt how to kayak in Rutland.

Rob Persani from Rutland Radio was there. She had lot of support from the wider local area too. Stamford School kids visited her at Tower Bridge, Ben Jackson from BBC Radio Leicester and Sarah Teale from East Midlands Today were all there to support her as well.

“I lived with my mum in Rutland before this journey, and I missed her dearly throughout the expedition. She had two dogs so I missed those a lot too. Coming back home after the Aleutian Islands in 2013, I suddenly became very allergic to animals, so I haven’t seen them for a long time.”

“There was plenty of encounters of wild animals on the journey too. Out in the middle of the ocean, you’re surprised with the amount of life you’ll find. The most amazing wildlife encounter for me was hanging out with

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Top: Sarah in her cabin of her rowing boat. Encouraging messages from friends and family are written on the walls. Above: Sarah in her rowing boat, covering in encouraging messages to keep her going. Far Left: She celebrated with champagne on her arrival back to London, completing her four and a half year journey. Left: Cycling in China after crossing Kasakstahn. Opposite: Kayaking with a breathtaking view of Alaska is Sarah’s fondest memory of the journey.


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“I MISS PEOPLE, BUT I DON’T MISS OBJECTS. I APPRECIATE HAVING HOT WATER AND BEING ABLE TO CHOOSE WHAT FOOD I CAN EAT, BUT I DON’T TEND TO THINK ABOUT THE SMALLER THINGS IN LIFE AND INSTEAD I TRY TO FOCUS ON THE BIGGER PICTURE...” four sperm whales on the Atlantic ocean swimming around 10 metres away from my boat. I saw probably thousands of dolphins too.”

“The most amazing place for me in the world would have to be Alaska. Kayaking through Alaska was an amazing experience. It’s absolutely beautiful, but so is the deep ocean.”

Putting myself in Sarah’s shoes, there would be times where I would really miss my creature comforts like a cup of tea or perhaps an episode of Strictly in front of the log burner, but Sarah’s frame of mind is very different mine.

“I miss people, but I don’t miss objects. I appreciate having hot water and being able to choose what food I can eat, but I don’t tend to think about the smaller things in life and try to focus on the bigger picture.”

“As I say, I miss people especially my mother who lives in Rutland. I visit when I can. I clearly haven’t visited as

regularly in the past four years! But as I start to get back into normality, I’m sure I’ll be spending quite a lot of time in the county.”

“The most contact I’ve had with humans in the past few years is with my support crew! They were mostly not with me - they’re mostly at home, wherever home may be for them, but I did see one or two of them on the journey to carry out the general logistics I couldn’t have done on my own.”

“Only at certain stages do I have people with me. At the start and end of the ocean sections, my safety manager usually comes out to help me prepare the boat, and in the kayaking legs, I was usually joined by my support kayaker, Justine Curgenven. Other than this, I’ve been alone.”

“For the time being, my support crew and I haven’t got any big expeditions planned any time soon! We’ll all be taking a well deserved break, I believe!

I am, however, getting on with slightly smaller projects in the meantime.”

“I’m getting married in June to my fiancée, Lucy, who’s also been my chief of engine support on the journey, so we have that to plan. I proposed to her from the middle of the Pacific Ocean via video satellite!”

“I’m also writing my book, ‘Dare to Do,’ which will be published in May. This is the story of my adventure and inner journey, and also a call to action, to redefine your own boundaries, to be courageous, and to dare to do.”

Sarah’s previous book, ‘A Dip in the Ocean: Rowing Solo Across the Indian Ocean’ about her record-breaking solo row was published in 2011.

Buy your copy of her latest book this year to be inspired, or you can donate to the charities involved in appreciation of Sarah’s incredibly hard work. n Visit or call 07812 216288 for more information.


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Find out What’s On this month with events taking place in many different venues across the county. There are still so many pantomimes running through the month and hobbies you can enjoy this year... THE WINTER’S TALE

Sunday 10th January Shakespeare’s tragic comedy is reimagined in a new production co-directed by Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh, and starring Judi Dench and Tom Bateman. Live screening at the Key Theatre, Peterborough. 01733 207239


Saturday 16th January One of the world’s leading pianists, Angela Hewitt regularly appears in recital and alongside major orchestras throughout Europe, America and Asia. She’s performing in Uppingham School Memorial Hall. 01572 820820


Sunday 17th January Featuring sparkling soprano Samantha Hay, Johann Strauss Dancers in glorious costumes of the period and the Johann Strauss Orchestra, The Johann Strauss Gala will be coming to De Montfort Hall in Leicester. 01162 333111


Friday 22nd January A piano concert that welcomes artists of international repute in performances featuring the concert grand piano donated by ‘Old Huntingdonians’ at Hinchingbrooke School in Huntingdon.

01480 375678


Sunday 24th January Following in the footsteps of Billie Holliday and Diana Ross, singing superstar Rebecca Ferguson is back, showcasing her smoky vocals on her third album Lady Sings the Blues and touring throughout the UK. 01162 333111

Scottish Dance Classes in Peterborough



Saturday 2nd January Harmonica master Steve Lockwood continues to write and deliver workshops to Stamford Arts Centre. Whether you’re a complete beginner or more advanced, play pop, rock, or the blues and jam along.

01780 763203


Tuesday 5th January Peterborough & District Royal Scottish Country Dance Society hosts weekly Scottish country Dancing Classes on Tuesdays throughout the month. No partner needed and beginners are welcome. 01778 560417


Saturday 9th January On this two day course on Oakham Road, you will have a brief introduction to the ancient art, learn what it involves, when to hedgelay and how. You’ll lay your own section of hedge. Organised by Rutland Water. 01572 770651


Tuesday 26th January Join the nation’s favourite ballroom couple, Anton du Beke and Erin Boag, when they return with a new show to dazzle audiences on their tour ‘Just Gotta Dance’ across the UK and locally at De Montfort Hall, Leicester. 01162 333111


Tuesday 26th January The Queen is dead. After a lifetime of waiting, Prince Charles ascends to the throne. This controversial show by Almeida Theatre will be at The Curve in Leicester after a sold-out run of the show. 01162 423595

Angela Hewitt, Pianist...


Friday 29th January Roger Dean is a celebrated Johnny Cash tribute act who perfectly captures the artist’s spirit. The legend’s music is in safe hands so book early for a musical journey you will not want to miss at Key Theatre, Peterborough. 01733 207239

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Send your press releases and events to: Features Editor via


Saturday 30th January Celebrating the queen and king of country, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers tribute acts have a show stacked with country music’s greatest hits. See them live at the Key Theatre in Peterborough. 01733 207239


Saturday 30th January Go outside and explore with the family by going to the nature reserve the day before New Years for a walk to learn how to identify the more common water and garden birds around Rutland Water. 01572 770651


Saturday 30th January Sunjita Sinha is one of India’s leading Kathak artists. Known for her technical expertise and immense artistry, her vision is to bridge the gap between classical and contemporary dance. She’s performing at Leicester’s Curve Theatre.

01162 423595


Thursday 4th February Showcasing the finest in traditional circus craft and skill, Cirque Berserk brings this treasured form of live entertainment to the theatre. Performed live at the Curve in Leicester.

01162 423595

Cirque Berserk at the Curve...

Snow White at De Montfort Hall...



Saturday 12th Dec - 4th January This year’s pantomime at De Montfort Hall is Snow White, with an all star cast of Sherrie Hewson - from ITV’s Benidorm, Loose Women and Coronation Street - Britain’s Got Talent finalist Jon Clegg and BBC Radio Leicester’s Martin Ballard in Leicester’s De Montfort Hall. 01162 333111


Saturday 3rd Dec - 3rd January Expect music, madness and a lantern full of magic mixed in with slapstick humour and an abundance of audience participation, at this year’s Key Theatre pantomime in Peterborough. 01733 207239


Saturday 3rd Dec - 3rd January From 27th November through to January, the Curve will be providing a fantastic performance of Oliver! The Musical with an extremely talented cast. 01162 423595


Saturday 3rd Dec - 3rd January From Roald Dahl’s novel, The Witches, this performance is well worth a watch with Roald Dahl’s humour throughout. 01162 423595


Saturday 3rd Dec - 3rd January Performed by Oundle School. It’s Wonderland, but not as you know it.

01832 273930


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A dog is for life, not just for Christmas. But what about other creatures, great and small? Unfortunately, they too can be cast aside by owners who have misguidedly purchased them on a whim, either at this or any other time of year.

In our area, some of the more exotic examples have ended up at Peterborough’s Exotic Pet Rescue, a sanctuary founded and run by Pam Mansfield whose menagerie is somewhat diverse to say the least, and numbers over 350 animals.


It’s impossible not to warm to Pam. She’s absolutely lovely, but, in the nicest possible way, a little bonkers... you’d have to be a little bonkers to preside over a household where the most unusual animals co-exist surprisingly peaceably.

A grey day in November was very quickly warmed up, as we were invited into Pam’s cottage, by a cheerful ‘hello’ not from Pam herself, but from a bright red parrot. Immediately I reciprocated with a bemused ‘hello’ and went through to the living room where a small spider monkey called Steffy was enjoying CBeebies; specifically an episode of Waybuloos, cuddling her teddy. “She’s just had her breakfast, she likes to watch the TV whilst I’m getting all of my jobs done,” said Pam.

What does she eat? Fruit? Berries? I asked. “Oh no, she likes a bowl of Coco Pops,” Pam replied, “But fruit and berries too.” >>

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Top: George the alligator. Far Left: Capuchin monkey. Left: Corey Ringsell and Emma Clough with a crested gecko and white corn snake in the reptile house.


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Pam doesn’t have favourites as a rule, but she has hand-reared Steffy from just a few hours old, and many species of monkeys have a strong imprinting instinct.

Originally from Northborough, the next village along, Pam’s grandfather was both a farmer and an animal lover. He’d bring home injured animals and so the family always had cats and dogs but also acquired animals like injured kestrels, hedgehog and a few fox cubs.

Pam and husband Mel married and moved into their cottage 40 years ago and gradually became an animal sanctuary, adopting not just all creatures great and small, but the name Exotic Pet Refuge, too, running their four acre smallholding as a charity on Mel’s birthday - 20th May - in 1984, registering as such a decade later.

The centre rarely turns away animals and has a no destruction policy, but Pam’s love for animal and keen sense of ethics does mean she has had to accommodate some unusual new residents over the years... That’s meant not just the odd monkey with a penchant for preschool TV and breakfast cereals starring monkey characters, but the likes of the sanctuary’s terrifying-looking six-foot alligator, George, which enjoys the solitary life in a vivarium of its own. The centre is home to 30 monkeys (Capuchin; marmosets; lemurs; spider monkeys and vervets); 22 tortoises (the beefiest weighing five stone) plus assorted terrapins and reptiles galore, from snakes and spiders to bearded dragons and monitor lizards.

Pam has found a home for no fewer than 10 parrots, a couple of emus, and miscellaneous birds of prey including owls and hawks. There are seven racoons, five meerkats, and as I was taking a photo of a couple of parrots in the house, I felt something climbing up my leg. Looking down with a slight sense of alarm, I was delighted to see it was just Hope the Coati (a sort of racoon who’s very cute and playful).

Along with a couple of ponies, and Maisy & Daisy, a couple of kunekune pigs, rescued from an owner who mistakingly thought they were buying ‘micro’ pigs, there are also a couple of larger, more exotic animals. I was especially enthralled by Inca, the sanctuary’s lynx, photographed on our opening spread, and its ocelots. Pam has two conventional cats, plus five dogs, and remarkably, all of the animals get on very well indeed. Inca was playing a great


game with Pam’s German Shepherd cross, running back and forth along the pen, making the excited dog chase her.

It’s a menagerie which makes Noah’s Ark look somewhat limited in the number and variety of its animals, and doubtless, it’s a labour of love for Pam, but it’s one which demands an incredible commitment too.

Above: Pam has been running the centre for over 40 years; as a charity 1984, registered since 1994.

“The cost of keeping the sanctuary running is £70,000-£80,000 each year,” she says. “We open six times a year throughout the summer, but we don’t want to open any more frequently than that because we’ll have to really increase our facilities to accommodate visitors.” “At the moment, we’re a ‘sanctuary,’ not a ‘zoo,’ which suits us, because we don’t want to be a tourist attraction, or to have to adhere to zoo legislation like subscription to expensive databases and compliance with

>> 37

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the multitude of health and safety legislation that would entail. My son Darren is extremely devoted. He has a full time job, yet still manages to create all of the pens, paddocks and buildings on site, as well as helping with the maintenance.”

“On top of that we have Darren’s partner Charlotte and his father-in-law Michael who are a real godsend. Apart from that though, we’re staffed solely by volunteers who all work really hard, so we’re really grateful to them.”

Pam’s days tend to begin at around seven o’clock each morning. If you’re ever felt irritated by the necessity of feeding your own cat or dog each morning, spare a thought for Pam’s morning routine of enjoying a strong cup of coffee before feeding the cats and dogs, then feeding and cleaning out the parrots, lorikeets and watering Hope the Coati, then setting about looking after the frogs, and spiders in various vivariums.

Next, it’s time for Steffy to have her cereal, then there’s usually a trip to one of several local suppliers to fetch straw and bedding for the larger animals.

Pam’s local branch of Sainsbury’s is a godsend, providing her with out of date fruit, salads and vegetables, and with errands run, afternoon shift at the sanctuary is taken up by cleaning out habitats and feeding each of the sanctuary’s 350 animals. The upkeep of the estate is also a large part of Pam’s life, working with Darren and with the help of companies like Baston’s Cemex, which is kind enough to donate excess cement which Pam can use to create pathways through the sanctuary. Whilst she’s resisting the need to become a ‘zoo,’ the place is still dependent on visitors during six open days in the summer months, which provide around a third of the sanctuary’s annual running costs.

It’s a 12 hour day, and, of course, animals are a seven day a week undertaking, Pam hasn’t had a proper holiday in nearly 20 years, but she’s remarkably comfortable with that fact, happy presiding over an the animal kingdom she has created with the help of a team of volunteers.

“We’re always looking out for volunteers to feed and tend the garden - not just cleaning out the enclosures, but the chance to cuddle some of the animals too - and for sponsors of each animal. At £24/year, this provides an invitation to visit at any time of the year by appointment, as well as photographs and newsletters of the animal throughout the year.”

Unfortunately, Pam does expect an influx of new arrivals after the festive season. Puppies and kittens are the UK’s most common pets to be rejected after Christmas, but whilst the public, she says,


are becoming better educated. Unfortunately, ‘fashionable’ pets still compel the public to make ill-informed impulse buys they later come to regret.

Following on from the success of the Harry Potter franchise, for example, white owls resembling the young wizard’s owl Hedwig, were popular purchases. Likewise, with the emergence of ‘micropigs’ people were keen to purchase small breeds which would be kept easily. Many novice owners chose the wrong breeds, or cross breeds, and ended up with huge unwieldy animals instead.

“It’s a bit of a shame, a reflection that we’re such a throw-away society,” says Pam. “The animals we’ll see the most of after Christmas are reptiles, like bearded dragons.”

“A bit more education and a lot more responsibility before making a purchase will help about making mistakes, but I think the problem is getting better.”

“Sometime it’s hard not to judge, because I really am concerned with the welfare of my animals, it’s a love which runs deep.”

n Exotic Pet Refuge is based on Station Road, Deeping St James. A registered charity, donations are always welcome; call 01778 345923 or see

Above: Pam enjoys a close relationship with her 350 animals. Opposite: Steffy the spider monkey.

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- FOOD -

ST RM a p U g n Cooki

As we swung through the gates of Stapleford Park and crunched over the gravel car park, the overcast skies and odd spot of rain suggested a storm was about to arrive. We were right; and his name is Luke Holland, former marine and the hotel’s new head chef. Like any good storm, he’s clearing the air and bringing fresh inspiration to the hotel’s two-AA rosette dining room...

Sweeping through the gates of Stapleford Park, the 500 acre country estate near Melton Mowbray, the skies were a gloomy shade of grey. Spots of rain were falling and the wind was picking up. We thought a storm might be coming and we were right.

His name is Luke Holland, and like any good storm, he’s keen to clear the air. Every new head chef is keen to breathe new life into a role, but Luke’s winds of changes will be rather more gusty, as the chef blows away all of Stapleford Park’s previous menus in favour of dramatically simpler dining options and more seasonal ingredients. It’s quite a challenge for the 28 year old chef, but as a former marine, with combat


Words & Images: Rob Davis.

experience in Afghanistan, Iraq and Sierra Leone, we think he’ll be determined enough to improve even Stapleford Park’s excellent dining.

Raised in Boston, Luke left the military in 2001 and worked at The Poachers near Boston, then at Peterborough’s Orton Hall and Wansworth’s Haycock Hotel. He then spent some time at Ryhall’s Wicked Witch, Stamford’s Bull and Swan, and eventually as a private chef to the Peterborough United first team, before joining Stapleford Park in late October.

For the uninitiated, Stapleford Park is just 30 minutes from Grantham, Stamford or Bourne, and just 15 minutes from Oakham. It’s well worth the trip. There are 48 individually themed but really pretty rooms, a golf course landscaped by Capability Brown and designed by Douglas Steel, plus a luxury spa situated in the hotel’s former stables. The hotel is large and luxurious, fairly pricey, but extremely good value for the standard of dining, surroundings and level of service.

Inset: Three hour cooked duck egg with girolles, scorched shallots and smoked duck breast.

Above: Pan fried Barbary duck breast with onion bhaji, pak choi, crispy leg and plum wonton with sesame jus.

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ew Chef: Luke Holland has taken over the two AA Rosette Grinling Gibbons dining room at luxurious Stapleford Park.

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- FOOD -

“We’re going to cease lunchtime trade in the main hotel,” says Luke. “There’s a good, albeit less formal, provision of food during lunch service at The Pavilion - Stapleford Park’s golf course clubhouse.”

“We’re reserving the hotel’s Grinling Gibbons dining room for evening and Sunday lunch service. We’re also providing private dining in our Harborough dining room and in the Billiards Room and Old Kitchen with its vaulted ceiling.”

“We’re also doing away with our private dining menu, too. We’ll reinstate it, but only when I’m happy with the dishes we’re creating for our new à la carte menus.”

The hotel itself is Grade II listed, dates back to 1633 (with later additions) and was converted into a country house hotel in 1988 by US entrepreneur Bob Payton, before being taken over by its current owner Shuif Hussain in 1994.

Today the hotel offers, in addition to accommodation, golf breaks, spa breaks and country pursuits like shooting and archery, exceptional dining, and it’s Stapleford Park’s reputation that Luke and his brigade of 10 chefs has to both maintain the consistency of and improve upon.


“Dishes for each course will be reduced to just five starters, five main courses and five desserts. As a brigade we’ll create these relentlessly until I’m happy that we’ve got each one perfect. Only once I’m happy with these will we reinstate a tasting menu.” “I’m also really keen to add a great deal of seasonality into the menus, and to use more local suppliers. Currently we’re talking to a

Above: Luke has stripped back the hotel’s à la carte menu and is streamlining the Grinling Gibbons restaurant at Stapleford Park.

Below: Three hour cooked duck egg with girolles, scorched scallops and smoked duck breast.

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Sample Dishes STARTERS


Beef carpaccio with quail egg, horseradish panna cotta, Parmesan, pickled onions and mushrooms.


Duck Egg




Cooked duck egg with girolles, scorched shallots and smoked duck breast.

Native lobster with heritage carrots, buttermilk, carrot purée and black truffle.


40 day aged rump steak with confit heritage potatoes, charred leeks, cèpes and bonemarrow sauce.


Line caught seabass with cauliflower and almond granola, mussels and mussel stock dauphinoise.



Duck Breast


Pan friend Barbary duck breast with onion bhaji, pak choi, crispy leg, plum wonton and sesame jus.

DESSERTS Hazelnut Cake

Hazelnut cake with almond milk, chocolate sorbet and caramel gel.


Malted milk and maple crème brûlée with honeycomb, shortbread and seasonal sorbet.

Crème Brûlée


Cheese Board


Selection of British cheeses to include e.g.: Cote Hill, Lincolnshire Poacher, Colston Basset Stilton.

Find Out More:

Stapleford Park Country House Hotel, Stapleford, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire LE14 2EF.

Tel: 01572 787000 46

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- FOOD -

“PRESENTATION IS FLAWLESS BUT AT THEIR HEART, EACH DISH’S ELEMENTS ARE SKILFULLY COMBINED TO MARRY NUANCED FLAVOURS...” meat supplier, Organic Farming, which also provides Michel Roux, Gordon Ramsey and Sat Bains with Longhorn cattle.”

“We’re sourcing fruit, veg and dairy from Northamptonshire’s HG Collins, and hope to grow more veg on the estate.”

Evening service at Stapleford Park sees diners enjoying pre-dinner canapés, homemade bread, amuse bouches, homemade sorbets or ice creams and homemade petit fours served with coffee.

Service is exceptional, as is the wonderful selection of wines the hotel’s 215-bin wine list has on offer.

Our visit saw us enjoying dishes from Luke’s new menus, with starters of native lobster with heritage variety carrots, a three-hour cooked duck egg with girolles, and main courses of line-caught seabass and Barbary duck.

Opposite: Native lobster with heritage variety carrots, buttermilk, carrot purée and black truffle.

Naturally presentation is flawless and each dish is beautifully embellished, but at their heart, each dish’s elements are skilfully combined to marry nuanced flavours. The result is predominantly modern British cuisine with international influences - like

our duck dish’s pan-Asian elements - which all taste as good as they look.

Taking the reins of Stapleford Park’s kitchens is a tough undertaking but fortunately, Luke’s modus operandi seems to be one of going back to basics and ensuring fewer dishes are perfect, rather than just adding new features to the hotel’s provision of à la carte dining. That should provide a stable basis on which to make improvements in the future.

Keen to allow his brigade the change to flex their creativity, we’re already hugely impressed with Luke and his brigade’s talent, so this will doubtless be the beginning of a new era for the hotel... one where its already impressive dining credentials are improved even further. Under its new direction, the brigade will, we think, very soon be cooking up a storm. 47

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Find Your Valentine’s Day Gifts at Gates is Month...

...and don’t forget to enjoy fresh coffee and a home made cake in our cosy coffee shop!

Gates Nurseries

& Garden Centre Somerby Road, Cold Overton, LE15 7QB 01664 454309 |

Restaurant Bursting with fresh flavours and exciting produce we have captured the essence of the season. In addition to our Restaurant Menu we also offer traditional Bar Snacks and Light Bites with specials board, too. en, treat yourself to one of our mouthwatering home-made desserts...

Hotel Why not stay in the beautiful and idyllic countryside? Whether your stay is for business or indulgent relaxation, our dedicated staff will take care to ensure your every need is catered for, leaving you to simply relax and unwind.

Grill Night e warmest welcome and the juiciest of steaks make Steak Night at the Old Pheasant a perfect midweek treat. With a choice of steaks and grills you will be sure to make this a regular Wednesday date. Book early!

Main Street, Glaston, Oakham LE15 9BP Tel: 01572 822326 ,


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A Wint er of


It’s one of the most popular pub restaurants in Rutland, and it’s easy to see why. Enjoy beautifully conceived and flawlessly implemented food in the relaxed environment of The Olive Branch this month... Images: Robin Stewart.

It’s a winter of content, not just for the owners of Rutland’s Michelin-starred gastropub, but for its owners, too.

In October 2015, The Olive Branch in Clipsham won a Sawday’s Fabulous Food award – one of just three British winners. A few months earlier it was named Best Leicestershire Pub or Restaurant in the Great Food Club Awards, and the previous year it was awarded the title of UK Pub of the Year by the Good Pub Guide. And not so long ago Beech House, The Olive Branch’s B&B accommodation across the road from the pub, won the Good Hotel Guide’s Cesar Award, too. So just what is it about this Rutland pub and its rooms that attracts so many prestigious national awards and attention? Co-owner Ben Jones thinks he has part of the answer: “There’s something special about The Olive Branch’s location.” Main Course: Whole roast Yorkshire grouse, traditional accompaniments.

Each step of the route towards the pub seems to relax you. After the A1 you reach a lovely tree-lined avenue, then you park up 51

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“Above all it’s the food and the service that make The Olive Branch such a winner – both are consistently top quality, and it’s this relentless consistency over the past 15 years that marks the pub out as one of the UK’s best...”

Left: Honey glazed duck breast, puy lentils, roast pumpkin, pickled shitake mushrooms, chicory. Opposite: Thai style mussels.

It’s relaxed and welcoming but with an air of well-drilled professionalism and busyness. This emanates from the fleet-of-foot front-ofhouse team and the kitchen crew, who send out a conveyer belt of great food from behind a constantly swinging door beside the bar.

As Fiona Stapley, joint editor of The Good Pub Guide, says: “The Olive Branch in Clipsham is a very special place and a first class all-rounder. It’s civilised but warmly friendly, has a carefully chosen range of drinks, offers exceptional food and lovely bedrooms. As one of our readers aptly says, it’s ‘the ultimate pub experience.’ You can’t get better than that!”

and walk through a tranquil, pretty, traditionally English front garden. By the time you reach the bar you’re completely serene.”

But that’s only part of the story. There’s great attention to detail, too. Not many pubs make the effort to transform an old broom cupboard into a nice little pub shop selling wonderful wines, spirits, home-made preserves and more; neither do average places tend to convert outbuildings into superb private dining rooms containing bar billiards tables and vinyl record decks; or have the creativity to recycle old Champagne crates and use them to hide the loo cisterns.

Meanwhile, over in Beech House the rooms are stunning and highly individual, featuring beautiful antique beds with hand-stitched mattresses, Egyptian linen sheets and duck-down duvets; the bathrooms have deep double-ended baths and power showers... and then, there’s The Olive Branch’s ambience.

But above all it’s the food and the service that make The Olive Branch such a winner – both are consistently top quality, and it’s this relentless consistency over the past 15 years that marks the pub out as one of the UK’s best.

It’s no coincidence that co-owners Sean Hope (head chef) and Ben Jones (in charge of the front-of-house team) began their careers at Hambleton Hall near Rutland Water – a place that has done more than any other in the region to train our best local chefs and hospitality professionals.

“We learnt a huge amount at Hambleton Hall,” says Ben, “and that still comes through in what we do today, although we’re certainly less formal than Hambleton Hall at The Olive Branch.”

“The whole concept here from the beginning has been to have one menu throughout the pub that lists everything from sandwiches to seabass, and for people to be able to come in and sit wherever they want and eat whatever they want, wearing whatever they like.” If Ben learned the art of front-of-house at Hambleton Hall, it was there that Sean first started to hone the kitchen skills that have

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Main: Heritage carrot cake, cardamom ice cream, butterscotch sauce. Left: Honeycomb mousse, chocolate texture, buerre noisette ice cream.

“The Olive Branch keeps on winning national awards as it offers a sense of occasion alongside creative, interesting menus...” made him one of the best pub chefs in the country. His style of cooking is perfect for The Olive Branch – he doesn’t choose to chase a fine-dining approach but rather specialises in taste-packed classics, skilfully working with flavours that naturally go together rather than trying to reinvent the wheel with novelty. This straightforward yet impressive cooking philosophy goes beautifully with the laid-back but stylish environment at The Olive Branch. Sean and his team’s love for great food also goes into the pub’s greenhouse and allotment, where they grow heritage


tomatoes, herbs and vegetables, which are used in many seasonal dishes. The head chef ’s regular cookery demonstrations (each session includes a demo of three recipes, lunch, a glass of wine and recipe hand-outs), plus his new butchery courses also add something extra to the pub. They combine to send the clear signal that this is a pub that’s passionate about good cooking and prepared to go above and beyond to deliver it.

So it’s no surprise that The Olive Branch keeps on winning national awards. It’s a pub that offers a sense of occasion alongside creative and interesting menus, and it consistently delivers delicious food in a comfortable yet stylish setting. Most people who visit will head home through the Rutland countryside feeling cosseted, satisfied and happy.

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Sample Dishes STARTERS



Treacle-cured salmon, pickled fennel, dill crème fraiche



Duck Terrine


Honey roast parsnip soup, parsnip crisp.

Confit duck and beetroot terrine, pickled walnut & pomegranate salad.

MAIN COURSES Fillet of Bream

Fillet of bream, sautéed wild mushrooms, confit salsify, white wine sauce, truffle potato purée.


Shoulder of Lamb


Pearl Barley Pudding


Braised shoulder of lamb, swede potato boulangère, grilled radicchio. Pearl barley pudding, roast heritage carrots, black garlic, mustard sauce.

DESSERTS Poached Pear

Red wine poached pear, buttermilk ice cream, sablé biscuit.


Warm white chocolate tart, with hazelnut ice cream.

White Chocolate Tart


Goat’s Cheese


Whipped goat’s cheese, honey, roast fig, rye bread.

Find Out More:

The Olive Branch, Main Street, Clipsham, Rutland, LE15 7SH. Tel: 01780 410 355. Web: 55

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Rutland The Great Taste of


Winner: Praline Parfait with marshmallow, rhubarb & citrus at Hambleton Hall, winner of this year’s Restaurant of the Year title. Image: Hambleton Hall.

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Above: Chris Hurst (right), General Manager of Hambleton Hall takes our top award. Right: Paul Freeman and Ed Burrows, Barnsdale Lodge. Opposite: Marquess of Exeter.

It’s congratulations to Tim Hart, Aaron Patterson and the team at Hambleton Hall, whose efforts have earned them the gratitude of our readers, in the form of our Restaurant of the Year title.

The Michelin-starred fine dining room, which was established by Tim and Stefa Hart, celebrated its 35th anniversary this year and has won our Restaurant of the Year title for four years running, so it’s clearly a firm favourite with our readers, as well as the Michelin inspectors; it has held a coveted star for 22 years!


Nearby Barnsdale Lodge is less formal but equally committed to quality. The former farmhouse, created in 1989 by the current owner, is managed by Ed Burrows and Paul Freeman, and this year enjoyed the addition of a new garden room overlooking its courtyard.

Its dining provision really is first class, with both excellent à la carte provision, but also, good value promotions too, like this month’s game casserole or fish & chip menus for £10/head including wine.

Our third winner is The Marquess of Exeter, the excellent pub restaurant owned by Brian Baker, a well-known Rutland chef with a stunning CV. Look out for Brian’s cookery demonstrations at various country shows and events throughout the summer.


OF THE YEAR 2015 Hambleton Hall, Hambleton Barnsdale Lodge, Exton

Marquess of Exeter, Lyddington

The Olive Branch, Clipsham Stapleford Park, Melton Mowbray The Fox, North Luffenham The Coach House, Luffenham Lake Isle, Uppingham The Berkeley Arms, Wymondham The White Horse, Empingham

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Above: Leo Sugden, Otter’s Smokehouse. Opposite Page and Right: Gates Nurseries, Oakham.

The next category in our food awards commends places suited to morning coffee, lighter bites or casual dining. The winner in this year’s bistro and coffee shop category is Otter’s Fine Foods, on Oakham’s Mill Street.

Is Otter’s a quality deli specialising in smoked meat and cheeses? Or a bistro popular for lunchtime dining? Or a coffee shop on the best street in Rutland for shopping? In fact, it’s all the above, with exclusive produce personally sourced by Leo Sugden.


Otter’s is definitely a place we can recommend, especially if you’re a connoisseur of smoked salmon or duck at this time of year.

Our second recommendation is a new entry - just a year old. Gates Nurseries opened a brand new and greatly extended restaurant at their Cold Overton site.

It’s absolutely packed on a Sunday lunchtime, popular for afternoon tea, and goes well beyond its remit as a garden centre restaurant. Cosy wood burners and great views over the centre’s lakes only increase its appeal further. Give it a try!

And congratulations to Medbourne’s Café Nevill, in the Nevill Arms. Excellent for brunch, or light lunch, with options like Eggs Benedict.

COFFEE SHOP OF THE YEAR 2015 Otter’s Fine Foods, Oakham

Gates Nurseries, Cold Overton Café Nevill, Medbourne

Baker’s Yard, Oakham Castle Cottage Café, Oakham Don Paddy’s, Uppingham Baines, Uppingham Beans/Coppergate, Uppingham Wellies Coffee Shop, Manton Harbour Café, Rutland Water 61

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Left: Harish Khanderia, Oakham Wines and Nick Brake, Rutland Charcuterie. Above: Sean Hope, The Olive Branch, Clipsham.

~Finally, we asked our readers to nominate a ‘food hero;’ a Rutland or Stamford person who they feel contributes to either the food or drink culture of the county.

Our winner is a regular in the list and probably the most well-known chef in Rutland. Sean Hope of Clipsham’s Olive Branch, and Stathern’s Red Lion, takes every opportunity to champion local food at his restaurants, and regularly appears at events throughout the summer to host his cookery demonstrations and talks.


Another of our food heroes is the husband and wife team of Nick and Nicky Brake of Rutland Charcuterie. The couple established their business in 2009 having lived in the Alps.

Unable to find mouthwatering charcuterie, they created their own range, which now includes delicious Rutland Smoky, duck prosciutto and hot smoked duck perfect for winter!

And finally, we’re delighted to see a mention for our own wine writer Harish Khanderia. Definitely a trusted source of information and suggestions, and a stockist of some absolutely beautiful wines, he should be every Rutlander’s first port of call if you’re seeking a bottle for any occasion!


OF THE YEAR 2015 Sean Hope, The Olive Branch

Rutland Charcuterie, Braunston

Harish Khanderia, Oakham Wines Julian Carter, Hambleton Bakery Brian Baker, Marquess of Exeter Hambleton Farms, Oakham Nelsons Butchers, Oakham Grainstore Brewery, Oakham Grasmere Farm, Peterborough Nigel Moon, Whissendine Mill

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Valentines Celebrations

DRINK, EAT, STAY DINNER, BED & BREAKFAST OFFER FOR TWO Glass of Prosecco on Arrival Three Course Dinner Overnight Stay with Breakfast SATURDAY 13TH FEBRUARY £150.00 SUNDAY 14TH FEBRUARY £130.00 Why not stay in one of our Suites for an additional £20.00 Booking Essential

52 Main Street, Lyddington, Uppingham LE15 9LT Call for bookings: 01572 822 477 Lunch & Dinner 7 Days a Week | 17 Modern Bedrooms | Four AA Star Rated


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. . . o t e d i u G s ’ t a e h C e h T


Words & Photos: Rob Davis.

made in-house, which I think is only right when people are expecting restaurantquality food.” “When you’re at home, though, there are a few short-cuts you can take to provide results that are almost as good, with considerably less effort.”

Get it right, and a canapé can be incredibly enjoyable for your guests, but there’s no denying that producing good canapés is quite time-consuming and fiddly.

Fortunately, there’s a Rutland woman whose canapés are the best we’ve ever tasted. That’s little surprise; Morcott based Sarah Rivett is The Rutland Gourmet, an experienced chef who produces over 30,000 plates of food each year, for weddings, social functions and corporate events.

Sarah caters for anywhere between 10 and 700 diners, and has even catered for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

With a huge array of field catering equipment, Sarah says the secret to being able to cater to such a high standard and to be able to do so literally anywhere is organisation, and to that end, she’s providing us with a selection of her favourite canapés, and a few tips on how to take some crafty short cuts for those with limited time over the festive season and New Year.

“Canapés should be small - there are few things more irritating than biting off more than you can chew at a party.”

“Ideally, they should be a single mouthful it’s annoying to take a bite of one, only for the rest of it to crumble into the palm of your hand.” 64

“Canapés don’t lend themselves to being created very far in advance, but all of the elements opposite can be prepared in advance, then assembled just before your function.”

“I’m not one for much decoration on serving platters - flowers and so on.”

“Because they’re so small, there should be a powerful flavour element, too, and of course, the flavours you choose should suit the Champagne or wine you’re serving them with. I tend to avoid onions and garlic for obvious reasons, too!” “When I create my canapés I don’t take any short cuts; the Yorkshire pudding and filo baskets pictured opposite, for example, are


“As a rule, canapés present well when you’ve a number of different ones on a single plate or tray rather than a platter of exactly the same canapé - it also allows your guests to choose their favourite.”

“Canapés are one of the fiddliest foods to prepare, but they’re incredibly rewarding, lending any party a sense of occasion and allowing you to treat your guests to something colourful, pretty and packed with flavour.” “To my mind, that makes them worth every bit of effort in preparing them, and your guests will definitely appreciate your hard work!”

n Sarah Rivett is founder, owner and head chef at The Rutland Gourmet, providing outsider catering for weddings, private and corporate functions for anywhere from 10-700 diners. Call 01572 747909 or see

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Making it Easy: Sarah’s best canapés, complete with shortcuts for the home cook... Mozzarella in Parma Ham

Dill Pancakes with Cream Cheese, Chives and Smoked Salmon

Sarah says: Really easy to create; simply wrap a leaf of fresh basil around a mozzarella ball, then wrap in Parma ham. The basil will prevent the mozzarella making the ham moist.

n Cheat’s Tip: Mini-mozzarella balls are more convenient than trying to divide up a large portion evenly.

Filo Basket with Tiger Prawns

Sarah says: I make my own filo pastry and guacamole, then add a tiger prawn some flat-leaf parsley and a little chilli. Be aware that the guacamole will make the filo pastry moist, so serve these fairly promptly.

n Cheat’s Tip: Make life easier with ready-made filo baskets and guacamole.

4Mini Yorkshire


Sarah says: I make my own Yorkshire puddings in mini-muffin tins, then prepare my own creamed horseradish and cook my beef rare to create these very popular options. n Cheat’s Tip: Use pastrami instead of cooking your own beef, and - gulp - ready made Yorkshire puddings if you can find small ones.

Sarah says: These are probably the most complex canapés, requiring me to make my own pancakes, chop and stir in the dill, then combine each element in layers. One benefit of this canapé, though, is the ability to prepare it in advance, roll your pancakes up and store them in the fridge. Before you serve them, just remove them from the fridge and cut them into individual canapés before adding a sprig of dill. They’ll still look freshly made! n Cheat’s Tip: Use ready made pancakes and sprinkle your filling with dill.

Quail’s Egg Nest

Sarah says: I make every element of this canapé from scratch, from the bread basket, to the creamy hollandaise on which the boiled quail’s egg sits.

n Cheat’s Tip: Cooked and ready-peeled quail’s eggs are available from supermarkets, as are pastry nests. You can also purchase ready-made hollandaise.


Crostini with Creamed Stilton

Sarah says: I pipe creamed Stilton over a homemade crostini to create these, though you can just use a small dollop. Add a leaf of rocket and a sliver of poached pear. n Cheat’s Tip: Crostini are available in supermarkets, and you can use tinned pears in their juices rather than poaching your own.


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The Wine

This month our newly awarded Rutland Food Hero Harish Khanderia has chosen a staple selection of winter warmers you simply must have to hand when celebrating the season. From turkey-friendly red and white options to fizz for Christmas or New Year, to a couple of spirits designed to lift yours...

1. Chassagne-Montrachet Vieilles Vignes, Vincent & Sophie Morey, £49.85

The newly formed domaine is a fusion of two family holdings. A white burgundy that’s compatible with turkey, enjoyable with friends and beautiful with a smoked salmon starter. Highly aromatic when young. Quite feminine wine of great delicacy – elegant and well-rounded.

2. Champagne Drappier, £29.99/standard.


A Pinot Noir-based champagne of style and finesse, Delicate aromas of white peach, quince and a touch of spice. The dry, elegant palate shows an impressive degree of concentration, along with fine bubbles and a long, crisp finish. Available in split, half, standard, magnum and methuselah sizes

3. Dicky’s Flask Filler, Sloe Gin, £call.

This sloe gin is a superb tipple when hunting or shooting. Great besides an open fire, too! Take it neat or mix it with ginger liqueur, featured opposite, for a very naught winter treat!

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Cellar... 4. Quinta do Porto 10yo Tawny Port, £24.95

A nose characterised by an excellent balance between the floral and ripe fruit aromas of the grapes themselves and the spicy, dry fruit aromas of long ageing in barrel. The palate shows the classic, fresh Ferreira style, achieving a fine balance and a long finish. Also available; White, Ruby, LBV 2010, 20/year old and many more.

5. Kings Ginger Liqueur, £26.96

Gingerbread and nutmeg on the nose, a little dash of orange zest and digestive biscuit. Lovely Tangy lemon peel mixes well with fresh ginger, also stem ginger in syrup and tasty spice. Simply on the ice or with champagne or with single malt whisky. Great for cocktails too!

6.Château Batailley 2007 Pauillac, 5ème Cru Classé £39.99

A lovely Burgundian wine with a deep ruby/purple colour with elegant blackberry and blackcurrant and truffle flavours, notes of cigar box, pepper and spices lead to hints of liquorice and earth on the finish. Batailley goes very well indeed with turkey!

n Each of our wines have been recommended by Rutland Food Hero, Harish Khanderia of Oakham Wines - visit Harish on High Street, Oakham LE15 6AH. Call 01572 757124 or visit 67

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The Hidden

HOME Words: Tilly Wilkinson.


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Ketton may be a small village but upon further inspection, you soon realise it’s home to so much more. The same is true for Warren Barn, a beautiful conversion in the village of Ketton, home to a family of four.

Nikki Young and husband Chris moved to the county ten years ago after Chris’s career led him to Peterborough. The couple originally lived in Surrey and having always lived in ‘one off properties,’ Warren Barn seemed to be the perfect opportunity for them. “We were attending a viewing on a property down the same road as Warren Barn when we were house hunting,” says Nikki. “Sadly, the property wasn’t for us but after passing the Barn, we just couldn’t stop thinking about it. It was perfect for us.” “Initially we didn’t realise it was on the market, but after a bit of hunting around we found the place and loved it the moment we viewed it.”

“The property had been converted around eight years before we moved in, so in 1997 1998. The owners now live in the property we first viewed, funnily enough.

Above/Main: The open plan sitting room, breakfast room and kitchen is enjoyed by all of the family and it’s the general hub of the house.

“Ketton may be a small village but upon further inspection, you soon realise it’s home to a great deal more. The same is true for Warren Barn...”

Our property was originally two cattle sheds, and the previous owners did an incredible job of erecting glass walls along most of the property and at the entrance.”

“It’s a property divided into two wings essentially, joined by a conservatory area. The first wing is the most lived in. This is where you’ll find the kitchen, sitting room, breakfast room, utility, three out of the four bedrooms and the main bathroom.” “The second wing is home to the drawing room, study, bathroom and fourth bedroom which is a mezzanine guest suite. What’s ideal about this layout, especially for families, is the ability to throw a party, particularly in summer, you can hold it in the drawing room. Because it’s separate to the main part 71

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of the house, you can put the children to bed and celebrate with friends and family in the drawing room, without the threat of waking them up.”

“It’s such a lovely guest room as well. With the whole of the second wing having vaulted ceilings and glass panes in between beams, it can be completely dedicated to guests, giving them a little bit of privacy first thing in the morning.”

“We can’t take credit for the beautiful glass walls the previous owners introduced to the barn, but we can take credit for changing the bathroom, the kitchen, the flooring and the second wing quite substantially.” “With the help of the best carpenter I know JMS Carpentry, based in Ketton, we opened up the kitchen, separated two of the rooms in the second wing, and redesigned the bathroom. We wanted the kitchen to be a little more open plan, because the way it was planned when we arrived made it look very small.”

Above/Main: The main bedroom features a large double bed with three separate wardrobes. The drawing room leads to the guest suite.


“We wanted the kitchen to be a little more open plan. It looked very small when we first viewed the house.”

“We decided to open it up to make the breakfast room, sitting room and kitchen merge into one. It’s a lovely living area and as a family, we spend most of our time here, especially in the sitting room.”

“For the second wing, we did quite the opposite. It was such a vast space, and we felt like it was wasted and that it could easily be separated into two sections. With the help of JMS Carpentry, we erected a wall reaching up to the beam with glass panes, dividing the wing into a drawing room/dining room and a study with the mezzanine guest suite next to this.” “The walls make the property look quite unique. As the original stone walls are blended in with more contemporary walls, you’re reminded of the history behind the property whilst also enjoying a modern, relaxed environment.”

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“Because of the thick walls and the log burner in the sitting room, it’s such a cosy living space through winter. However, in summer, we get just as much out of it. Most of the glass wall opens up and lets in so much light, so for barbecues and garden parties, it’s wonderful.”

“My husband is the editor for the RHS’s magazine ‘The Garden,’ so you can imagine how hard he works in the garden. We have a greenhouse with raised vegetable beds and various areas to sit and enjoy the surroundings.”

“We also have a car port, store room and workshop in a separate building.”

Above: The gardens are beautifully landscaped by RHS in-house magazine The Garden’s editor, Chris. There are various areas to sit and enjoy the surroundings, like the one above, perfect for a summer barbecue party.


“It’s currently being used as a store room, but this could be converted to another guest suite as planning allows.”

“The location of the house is one of the best things about it. It’s extremely private, accessed through a lane off the main road, but at the same time, it’s within walking distance of a fantastic village shop, the primary school which is one of the best in the area, two pubs and a sports complex. The village and the neighbourhood is very friendly too. We’re three miles from Rutland Water and three miles from Stamford. It’s the perfect location.” The family are leaving the home very reluctantly. Chris is looking for a new adventure, horticulturally, so they’re on the search for a property with a little more land.

After ten years of living in Rutland, they believe it’s time for something new, and with one of the children now in secondary education, it’s the perfect time to do so.

Warren Barn, Ketton

Location: Stamford three miles, Rutland Water three miles.

Style: A stunning barn conversion laid out over two separate wings with glass walls introduced to one side and a conservatory-style entrance.

Receptions: Currently arranged as breakfast room, kitchen and sitting room, and a separate drawing room.

Beds: Four; principal bedroom, twin bed room, third room and guest suite.

Other Features: Car port, workshop, store room and mezzanine guest room. Guide Price: £625,000

Find Out More:

Estate Agency: King West Tel: 01780 484520


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Bespoke and Handmade Kitchens • Over 30 room settings on display including the latest finishes

• C o nt emp or ar y , mo de r n, tr ad itio nal & h and made b es po ke ki tch en s

• Special discounts and unrivalled service

The Area’s Largest Independent Kitchen Showroom

The Maltings, Barnack Road, Stamford PE9 2NA

T: 01780 756514 or 755855



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New Year, New INSPIRATIONS $ 2# 0 ** 2&# % ' $ 2 % ' 4' ,% <,# "' ,' ,% ," &0' 12+ 1 . 02' # 1 5# 0# 0# "7 2 2 )# 12-!) -$ 2&# 7# 0 . 12 ," 12 02 $ 0# 1& 32* ," 0' "# 0# "# *' % &2# " 2- 1.# ) 2- ,, & 30! , 1# " 2 2&# 5# ** 0# ,5,# " 1&50+ $ <,# ' ,2# 0' -01 Furleys -$ )& + # 0# 0# 1-+# -$ ,, &;1 127*' 1& ' "# 1 2 0# ( 34# , 2# 7-30 &-+# $ 0

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Furleys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

Furleys is based at 7 High Street, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6AH, Tel: 01572 755539

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New Season Style for your


This month, Stamford and Rutland’s leading interior design and soft furnishing houses are taking delivery of books featuring their new collections.

Iridescent fabrics, botanical prints, and strong colours feature in many fabric houses’ collections. popular colours this season include chartreuse, grape and red over silver and grey.

Look out, too, for ‘country’ elements, especially in our county, with animal motifs from brands like Voyage Maison.

Above: Hannah Turcan in the studio at Furleys. Main: Harlequin’s Palmetto in chartreuse and ink at J&L Ball Interiors. Right: Clarke & Clarke’s new Anatolia collection with its botanical iridescence.


Centre: Ongoing project to restore staircase in period property by Elizabeth Stanhope Interiors. Far Right: Zoffany’s new Winterbourne Collection is now available at Sarah Harding Interiors.

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Luxurious: Window design by Hannah Turcan at Furleys.

>> Our advice when furnishing your home is to seek the guidance of one of the area’s dedicated interior designers.

An investment in longevity for your room, the county’s professionals are able to create bespoke window treatments, bespoke furniture covered in fabrics to your specification, as well as supplying fabric and wallcoverings so supplement your choice of furniture.

In addition, you’ll gain the project management and interior design skills of your chosen professionals, and their knowledge of where to source antiques and accessories to give your home a well-rounded look with finishing touches from different periods. Before you begin to work with your chosen designer, compile as many ideas as possible

COMPILE A MOOD BOARD OF IDEAS GLEANED FROM INTERIORS MAGAZINES AND ADVERTS IN RUTLAND PRIDE TO BEGIN CREATING YOUR NEW PROJECT... in a scrapbook or on a ‘mood board.’ This will serve as a good starting point when you start to look through the new season’s books and begin to create your room together.

A good designer will work with you and facilitate your ideas, rather than arbitrarily imposing their own ideas.

OUR RECOMMENDED LOCAL SUPPLIERS... Elizabeth Stanhope: 27 Mill St, Oakham, Rutland LE15 6EA, 01572 722345, Furleys: 7 High St, Oakham, Rutland LE15 6AH, 01572 755539, J&L Ball: 16 North St, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 1EH, 01780 481416, Oldrids: Gonerby Junction, A1, Grantham, Lincolnshire NG32 2AB, 01476 590239, Sarah Harding Interiors: 6 Market St, Uppingham, Rutland LE15 9QH, 01572 823389,


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2. ■

1. ■ 3. ■

WOOL Winter Warmth with - HOMES -

4. ■

It’s the naturally hypoallergenic material that promises to give you a better night’s sleep - enjoy exclusive products and the luxury & warmth of wool this winter at Stamford’s Wool Room... Words: Adam Hirst.

5. ■

6. ■

1. Chatsworth baby alpaca throw cappuccino, 100cm x 130cm, £129.99. 2. Lambswool scarves in red; Pately in teal; indigo scarf £21.99/each. 3. Sofa throws, autumn colours, 140x185cm, £59.99. 4. Deluxe wool bedding set - super warm. Deluxe Duvet in your chosen weight, Deluxe Wool Mattress Protector and two Deluxe Wool Ball Pillows, £262.47/double; £321.97/super king. 5. Luxury 9000 bed, £1,959.20/king; Luxury 9000 mattress £1,839.20/firm, medium or soft. 6. Alpaca sofa throw 130x200cm, £149.99. 7. Chatsworth baby alpaca throw grey, 100cm x 130cm, £129.99. All of our featured products are made of naturally recyclable, sustainable, biodegradable, hypoallergenic 100% local wool. Wool prevents dust mites and other allergens by providing an unsustainable environment for their food source, and is a better material for wicking moisture away from the body, making it cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Visit The Wool Room, Star Road, Stamford or call 01780 461217;


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7. â–


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Conservatories, Porches Double glazing, Composite Doors, Car Ports Extensions, Renovations Fascias, Soffit & Guttering


Bear Lane, Pinchbeck, Spalding

01775 712398

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New Year, New Look for your Home...



The Showrooms, Great North Road, Markham Moor Retford DN22 0QU Telephone: 01636 822000

Open daily Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm. Free parking. Please call us if you are making a special journey


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A buy-to-let property can provide healthy returns on investment and a good source of income for your retirement, says Oakham property expert Grant Murray.

He should know; Murrays has been trading in Rutland for over 200 years and his family has had an involvement in the business since the 1930s – the business originally known as Royce, and established in 1812 by David Royce, cousin of the car maker.

The firm has three offices in Oakham, Uppingham and Stamford, and employs 25 staff. The firm works as Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agents, dealing with all aspects of property consultancy and agency including residential sales and lettings, commercial property agency and rural land agency, as well as RICS valuations... and a very active residential lettings department. With over 500 rental properties under their management, the firm has seen interest in buy-to-let properties rise as a result of changes to pension rules that scrapped the need to purchase annuities.


in Rutland...

Rutland is generally considered a place with many high value properties. But, says estate agent Grant Murray, with its fair share of expensive homes, it’s also replete with a brisk residential lettings market, ideal for buy to let investors both young and old. Changes in pension rules and historically low bank interest rates are helping to bolster the buy to let market, as investors look for alternative havens for their wealth either freeing up some of their pensions or for the younger generations looking to provide a secure income for their future retirement... 90

“Rutland has a reputation for higher than average property prices, so the market in our area is brisk,” says Grant. “We see many properties that we think are excellent buy-tolet prospects, and provide advice for those seeking to either purchase a single investment property or establish a buy to let portfolio providing an attractive yield and good prospects for capital growth. Typically a £170,000 buy to let property can generate a 4% annual rental yield, and conservatively 3-5% capital growth per annum. Putting both the rental yield and capital growth together, this could generate a total return of around 8% per annum, which is pretty attractive looking at alternative investments.” A partner like Murrays who can help you to achieve your investment goals can bring their expertise, in both residential sales and lettings, to light for those seeking secure and attractive investments.”

“Meanwhile, our property management services ensure your investment is managed correctly and in safe hands.” n We asked Grant and his team to identify some of Rutland’s viable buy-to-let properties for those seeking to make an investment in property.

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Wise Investments: Grant Murray’s pick of Rutland’s buy-to-let bargains...


1. Wensum Close, Oakham

2. Mallard Court, Oakham

The Property: David Wilson mid-terraced property with two bedrooms, bathroom and additional cloakroom.


The Property: Modern three-storey, three bedroom home, modern kitchen/bathroom, cloakroom, plus utility and en suite.

The Prospects: Good kerb appeal with room for young professionals or a young family. Two parking spaces and garden will appeal to rental market. The Price: £169,950.


The Prospects: Well-suited to growing families, a third bedroom, utility and garage provide plenty of space. The Price: £179,500.



3. Snelston Close, Oakham

The Property: This two-bedroom mid-terraced property has front and rear gardens, modern kitchen and bathrooms and off-road parking.

The Prospects: This is an ideal buy-to-let proposition for young professionals, with two parking spaces and low-maintenance gardens. The Price: £165,000.



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4. The Sidings, Oakham

The Property: First floor apartment with two beds and allocated parking space. Turret sitting room provides space and a pleasant outlook.


5. The Pastures, Cottesmore

The Property: Three bedroom semi-detached in cul-de-sac location with garage and gardens to both front and rear.

The Prospects: A village location, practical layout and good proportions render this property ideal for families. In need of some general modernisation, a modest amount of work will further increase the viability of The Pastures as a buy-to-let prospect. The Price: ÂŁ174,995.




The Prospects: A really good prospect for those seeking their first buy-to-let, this would appeal to young professionals seeking a rental property, with good provision of space and some unique features like the unusually shaped living room. The Price: ÂŁ127,500

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6. Bridle Close, Oakham

The Property: Bridle Close is an ‘almost new’ property, detached, with two double bedrooms. The house has gas central heating, uPVC double glazing and solar panels. There’s a south-facing garden and off-road parking.

The Prospects: A recently-constructed property, this is a sound investment prospect for growing families. There’s plenty of living space, plus low energy bills courtesy of solar panels. Kitchens and bathrooms are modern, and an enclosed garden will make it secure for those with small children. Two reception rooms, plenty of built-in storage and dedicated parking makes day-to-day living for families. The Price: £187,500.



Find Out More: All of our featured properties are currently available through Murray Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agents , Rutland and Stamford’s residential sales and lettings specialist for over 200 years. For more information on any of the featured properties, and the Murrays Rental Management service, please call 01572 755513, email:, see or visit one of the agent’s offices on Market Street, Oakham; Red Lion Square, Stamford or High Street East, Uppingham.



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New Season



Part of the Oldrids group, Downtown Superstore on the A1 junction at Gonerby has a wealth of new season style ideas for your home.

There’s also a Boundary Mill Stores area on the ground floor of the Superstore and Lincolnshire Co-Operative Travel on the First Floor of the Garden Centre.

The store has 400,000sq ft of home and garden ideas, with leading brands in all departments. In addition, Downtown has two coffee shops creating a true destination shopping experience.

Both sofas are highlights of 2016 collections at the Gonerby Junction store, open seven days a week, with over 200 years experience in providing an exceptional customer service.

We’ve asked the store’s Victoria Jackson to provide her pick of the latest products available in store to furnish your home for the forthcoming spring season.

LET THERE BE LIGHTS 1. Fotograph Floor Lamp £299. 2. Cerclee Table Lamp £139.

3. Ethan Wooden lamp with chrome top complete with natural shade £29.

4. Derna Driftwood Lamp with Natural Tapered Rect Shade £69.

5. Maori Small Floor Lamp £199.


Shown above is Maison’s Amelie, a large two seater with on-trend plush fabric in platinum, £1,459. Adjacent is Collins & Hayes’s Conley large sofa in grey, £2,039.

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>> Ted Baker’s Pure Peony features lavish blooms with a nude colour palette creating a romantic and dreamy feel, perfect for any bedroom decor. Ted Baker - King duvet cover £99, housewife pillowcase pair £35

Creating a luxurious look with layering...

Callista linen comprises of a subtle jacquard weave with a soft-to-thetouch plain cotton sateen. It comes with a matching diamond-quilted decorative throw perfect for those cooler nights, and can be teamed with the Riviera quilted cushion and throw for a luxurious layered look. £145/super king duvet cover, £25/Oxford pillowcase, £225/90x90cm curtains.

Above: Ted Baker Jet 18cm x 30cm Filled Cushion, £45. Right: Aubrey Cushion, £45.

n Featured items on this spread are available from Downtown, A1 Junction, Gonerby, Grantham, NG32 2AB. Call 01476 512333 or see 97

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FLOORS n g i s e D







1. Beautiful rich flooring Sherwood, £40/m2 - £120/m2, from Uppingham Carpets, 01572 821581, 2. Classical York replica flagstone, from Super Ceramic Services, Uppingham, 01572 821119, 3. Karndean is a luxury vinyl tile available from Home Choose Carpets, Market Deeping, 01778 346918, 4. Fine Persian Kashan c.late 1880s, from The Rug Studio, Uppingham, 01572 829927, 5. Striped stair runner by Crucial Trading, available at Welland Flooring, Corby, 01536 265195, 6. Local limestone flooring, quarried near Stamford, honed finish from £55/m2, 01780 740970,


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1. Porcelanosa’s Madagascar range is a porcelain tiles with gentle undulations to provide interest with texture whilst maintaining a crisp white colour scheme for rooms like bathrooms.

2. British Tile Company’s Elite range is contemporary yet rustic, urban yet traditional, Elite offers unsurpassed beauty and a quality of natural tile that is second to none.

3. Cottonwood by Laura Ashley adds textural interest to an all-white colour scheme with a subtle gloss linear effect. 4. The Dover range from Porcelanosa provides mismatched textures and geometric designs to give a contemporary look to bathrooms in a range of colours.

5. British Tile Company’s Artisan range emulates the style of traditional kitchens in a range of cool stone and grey colours, perfect for traditional kitchens.

6. Keystone by British Tile Company emulates natural stone but with greater durability, without the hassle of sealing or working around any natural variations.

It’s a family run business, established for over three decades, with a huge number of satisfied customers and a good old fashioned approach to working in your home. You’d expect, then, that the products stocked by Super Ceramic Services would be as traditional as its approach to customer service... but you’d be mistaken. In fact, the tile retailer can supply or both supply and install, anything from ceramic to porcelain and marble to glass tiles, in anything from fairly traditional styles to dramatic designer tiles for more contemporary rooms. “We’re installers of both bathroom and kitchen tiles, working in both commercial and residential properties, using trusted fitters to ensure your installation is to the same quality as the products themselves,” says the firm’s Sam Hathaway. “So we can offer the best of both worlds traditional values of customer service and tradespeople you can trust, but also, a superb range to suit both traditional rooms, as well as up to date styles that look really dramatic!” For more information visit: Super Ceramic Services Ltd, 40 North Street East, Uppingham, Rutland, LE15 9QL. Call 01572 821119 or see



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n e d r a G e In Th SIX JOBS FOR JANUARY CABIN FEVER AFTER BEING COOPED UP FOR CHRISTMAS? ENJOY THE FRESH WINTER AIR AND GET TO GRIPS WITH THESE ESSENTIAL JOBS... Plant Bare Roses You can plant bare roses now for spectacular summer displays. David Austin roses are available from the county’s independent garden centres, and should be planted around 4-6in deep, then water in well.

Plant a Clematis If your garden is looking a little stark this month, plant a winter flowering clematis such as Winter Beauty or Cirrhosa. Prune this month to tidy up and promote new growth in spring.

Refresh Hellebores Remove all of the old, tatty leaves from hellebores in advance of them flowering in the spring.

Alstroemeria Add some colour to your borders by planting a Peruvian Lily - more commonly known as Alstroemeria. Shown here is Saturne. Plant in a glasshouse in winter, transfer to the garden in Autumn and mulch well.

Pep Up Your Pansies Remove any faded flowers from your winter pansies. Deadheading them will prevent them from self-seeding.

Pruning Wisteria Cut back summer growth to two or three buds to keep your wisteria nice and neat.

n Our recommended Garden Centres in Rutland are Gates Nurseries, Cold Overton, 01664 454309,, and Welland Vale Garden Inspirations, Uppingham, 01572 824930, 103

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On The Farm A Summary of the Year

Barry Poston explains the position of root growers in the past few months, how blackgrass has had an effect on crops this year, the nationwide final yield of wheat, what the four sugar beet factories across the UK are doing this year, and the struggles onion growers have had to suffer with this year..

Most arable and root growers were happy with the spell of fine weather in September and October, when potato and sugar beet are mostly harvested. Drilling of rape and wheat took place in good conditions except where farmers delayed early sowing to help control next year’s blackgrass population. Early rape had a severe attack of cabbage flea beetle and most crops had to be sprayed against the pest besides having seed dressing applied.

Most main crop potatoes will be harvested by the start of November when soil conditions deteriorate rapidly, however such is the efficiency of modern day harvesting, potato crops will be safely in their temperature controlled stores.

“Most crop potatoes will be harvested by the start of November when soil conditions deteriorate rapidly...”

The nationwide final yield of wheat for 2014 was 6% up on last year and most growers feared that the abundant supply will increase pressure on the market.

It is most noticeable to see many fields of next year’s wheat have been held back in sowing due to most farmers’ efforts to help control the obnoxious blackgrass.

It is most noticeable how little damage has been caused to the crop this year, which has very little scab on the skin.

The sugar beet factories, now only four across the UK in total - at Cantley in Norfolk, Wissington in King’s Lynn, Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk and Newark - started processing a little later this year.

The crop yield and sugar content is better than expected and many farmers will miss their crop return next year, with British Sugar Corporation reducing its price and tonnage. It is hoped that world demand for

sugar should increase and that prices and tonnage increase accordingly.

Growers of onions this year have had a very tiring season. With most crops grown on light sandy land, severe winds in the late spring caused considerable blow, taking not only the light sand but also the chitting seed, which had to be redrilled and in some cases twice. Fortunately the crop recovered with reasonable yields although there was a quantity of ‘thick neck’ at harvest.

It is good to hear a recent report, whereby most small to medium growers supplying a large supermarket were going to be paid for their produce on an earlier time scale, with the various incentives likely to be discontinued. Barry Poston is the area’s foremost farming expert with a long history working in both arable and livestock environments. During his career he has seen a great many changes in the farming industry. 105

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Schools Colleges...

This month, we’ve a round-up of the best schools and colleges in the area for those seeking high quality education for children, teenagers or for adult learning opportunities...

The Peterborough School...

The Peterborough School is the city’s only independent day school for boys and girls from Nursery to Sixth Form.

Situated on one campus in the centre of Peterborough, the School and ‘Outstanding’ Nursery enjoy extensive grounds and have access to excellent transport links.

The School is a vibrant place, with small classes providing boys and girls with the individual attention, opportunities and confidence to exploit their natural potential within a happy, caring and friendly community.

In the Preparatory School, the children are encouraged to be independent and inquisitive learners and develop many important skills through the 106

extended curriculum and extra curricular clubs available.

Senior School is for boys and girls from 11 to 16 and Sixth Form for post 16 education.

Students’ unique talents are identified and developed, whether they are in the classroom, in the creative arts or on the sports field. Given the small numbers, academic performance can be closely monitored, enabling students to achieve levels higher than those originally expected.

Their pastoral support is second to none and they believe that children cannot learn well unless they are happy.

They would be delighted to welcome visitors, either during their Open Days in Spring and Autumn or at an alternative time by appointment.

n More information can be found at the school’s website or you can call 01733 343357.

to 25 metres. The image can be Wrates seen on the ground on a laptop and the photographers take the School picture when they’re happy. occasion may mark some Photography... The special event at the school.

Wrates photographers have been in the school photography business for over 60 years and have been producing pole-it pictures for around 10 years, and they have proved to be a hit with the schools.

It is a unique concept where the whole school - staff, children, building and grounds - can be captured in a fun and momentous occasion.

The photographers mark out the design, as specified by the school, on the playground, and the children are escorted to stand in allocated zones, maybe colour coordinated or in age or height order. The camera is fixed onto a telescopic pole from their specialised vans and is elevated

Wrates have done the Olympic rings, stars (a favourite with schools) the anniversary year of the school and many other wonderfully creative ideas as requested by individual schools.

In addition to pole-it pictures, Wrates Photography offer easy and secure online ordering with a very quick turnaround.

They provide excellent customer service and of course a chance for the children to meet the very Humpty Dumpty that starred in many TV shows across the 70s and 80s with A-list celebrities.

Plus there’s always someone on the other end of the phone during school hours…try it!

n Visit , for more information or call the friendly team on 0800 028 8221.

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Uppingham School Sports Centre...

USSC swim school offers a variety of different swimming lessons and courses for children and adults. Offering something for complete beginners to advance techniques, lessons are available for all levels.

Following the Aqua Quack swimming scheme children’s swimming lessons to develop skills and techniques around all swimming strokes. Techniques developed during the initial and progressive phases are the building blocks upon which teachers improve strokes, style and stamina. With smaller class sizes, children benefit from focused lessons and progression can be seen through the stages within the scheme.

As well as the main swimming lessons, USSC also offer crash

courses for children during the school holidays that offer a fast track way for children to learn to swim.

Helping children to progress quickly and efficiently, these lessons are great for building water confidence for children age four and above.

For children who can already swim and looking improve skills, an intensive course is offered during holidays which emphasises on developing skills in deeper water.

Adult lessons are offered during the year and available for total beginners to intermediates, advance stroke techniques and competitive swimming. Taught in small groups by their friendly instructors, they are a great way to progress within swimming. If you have an interest either for yourself or your child, enquire their reception team.

n Call 01572 820830 or visit for more information.

Stamford Endowed Schools...

Stamford Endowed Schools’ students are their best ambassadors with the Good Schools Guide describing them as the most ‘open, highly articulate and warm’ pupils they have encountered.

Stamford Endowed Schools place a great emphasis on ensuring that pupils are stretched and their imaginations nurtured.

The schools are fashioned in a diamond structure format allowing pupils a personalised education at every level.

Students are taught together at junior school, separately at senior school and brought back together again for sixth form. Proven academic results and tradition are the reasons behind their co-education system, where tailored teaching and learning

methods can be used to maximise students’ potential.

Their three schools, Stamford School, Stamford High School and Stamford Junior School, form a strong bond where students can work in harmony throughout environments deeply embedded in the community’s roots.

Students are actively pushed to pursue opportunities outside of the classroom, be it sporting or academic, so they can leave the schools with a wide range of experiences preparing them for whatever path they chose in life.

Teachers dedicate themselves to ensuring pupils wellbeing is their highest concern whilst inspiring intellectual curiosity. Through their experiences at Stamford Endowed Schools students go on to exceed expectations in whatever they do. n Visit or call 01780 750311 for more information. 107

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Harington School, Oakham... Harington School is a new government-funded Sixth Form school that opened in September 2015 to welcome its first ever cohort of A Level students.

“Life and learning at Harington continues at a fast pace,” says Head Teacher Mrs Dyl Powell, formerly Head of Stamford High School. “Starting from new has presented a unique opportunity to build our community, set standards high and forge traditions.”

“We are now a thriving school, focused on the academic but offering opportunities to embrace the wider aspects of education such as leadership roles, societies, Duke of Edinburgh, trips, sport and volunteering.” 108

“The whole community is excited by the architects’ plans for Harington School’s permanent facilities from September 2016.” “This new building will be situated next to the Catmose College campus on Huntsmans Drive, close to Oakham town centre.” “The facilities will provide a high quality learning environment enabling Harington students to receive a rich and relevant education, helping them to feel confident about their future in a changing world.” “Following on from a successful open evening in November, applications are invited from those looking to continue their education in an academic, nurturing atmosphere that is focused on everyone working together for success.” The deadline for applications for September 2016 is 15th January. n For more information, please contact 01572 772579 or visit

Scallywags Day Nursery & Pre School... Scallywags Day Nursery & Pre School in Oakham are committed to maintaining high quality early education all year round, ensuring all children reach their potential and are well prepared for school.

Children are encouraged to develop through free play and structured play, together with a learning environment that is tailored to their needs.

The nursery provides music lessons from a qualified music teacher; and children in the pre school enjoy learning French in a fun way, with a qualified teacher.

Over the last year Scallywags have invested significantly in a new building, play area and in

technology. A state-of-the-art pre school with a large outside play area and garden has been installed. The new outdoor facilities include a vegetable patch, where the children enjoy growing sunflowers and producing fresh vegetables.

There is also a large covered outdoors teaching area to be used in any weather, a barked play area and new toys and outdoor equipment.

The nursery has gone digital by providing new tablets for staff and using the Tapestry online learning journal, to ensure parents are involved in their child's development, providing an interactive platform.

The nursery boasts qualified nursery nurses and teachers, with professionals dedicated to provide the finest childcare and ensure children are well prepared for Primary School. n For more information, please contact 01572 723810 or visit

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Nene School of Dancing... Janina Mossman is a qualified IDTA examiner and is the Principal of the Nene School of Dancing. She has over forty years of experience teaching Ballroom and Latin dance to all abilities and ages.

The popular programme ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ has inspired many to start dancing which not only helps you keep fit but is a great activity for couples to do together. All classes are fun and sociable.

Join the new 12 week Absolute Beginners course starting on Thursday 21st January from 7pm - 8pm if you wish to learn the basics of the Cha Cha Cha, Rumba, Jive, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Waltz and Quickstep; £7.50/person.

Stamford Welland Academy... Stamford Welland Academy saw a strong Ofsted report and both GCSE results and pupil numbers rising; it’s an exciting time to be a part of the school.

In September 2014, Stamford Welland Academy officially opened under Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT), a trust that exists to provide support and champion high-quality education at the heart of local communities. Over the last 12 months, as a member of the CMAT family, they have sought to do just that. In June last year, they received a glowing report from Ofsted which praised leadership across the Academy from the Principal through to heads of subjects, for bringing about ‘rapid

Feel you know the basics? In that case, join one of the currently running Friday Improvers Classes that build on all of the Beginners’ dances and introduces the Slow Fox Trot, Tango and Samba.

Choose from a 7.30pm or 8.30pm start. All classes are run at the Stamford United Reformed Church Hall.

To practise, Janina holds regular Saturday evening So cials and Sunday afternoon Tea Dances in the beautifully restored Ballroom at the Stamford Arts Centre where you can not only dance but have a sociable time with your friends. Take a minute to look at the Nene School of Dancing website for more information on classes available. n To enrol for the new class please contact Janina on 01778 590655 or 07931 214 211 or email Visit

improvements to the academy.’

The positive comments of the Ofsted report were confirmed in the summer when they saw a great outcome in their first set of GCSE results, in which 52% of students achieved 5 A* - C GCSEs (including English and Maths), a 17% point increase in their first year.

As they move into their second school year as an Academy, the positive news continues – they have seen pupil numbers double since opening in 2014, as a result of the hard work of teachers, staff and leadership, as well as the great support of the Stamford community and their students; who are their greatest ambassadors. As they look to the future, they hope to continue to provide the students of Stamford with the high-quality education they deserve, including the prospect of bringing a sixth form to the community. n For more information, call 01780 751011 or visit


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Rutland has seen many incredibly inspiring characters cross its borders. From actors, to adventurers, to artists, it’s surprising how many people have visited Rutland, giving that it’s the smallest county in the country.

No matter how many awe-inspiring people we welcome, their talents are unique, and diverse.

A Canadian classical pianist is among those with unique passions. Angela Hewitt OBE is visiting Uppingham this month to share her skills with some of the school’s music students.

Angela will be playing Sonatas by Scarlatti, Bach: Partita No.2 in C minor, BWV 826; and Beethoven: Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 81a (Les Adieux) in Uppingham School’s Memorial Hall, on Saturday 16th January. The following day, she will also be providing a masterclass for the students.

After speaking with Angela, I discovered that she’s visited the county on previous occasions and is very fond of Uppingham.

“I played in Uppingham almost 30 years ago,” says Angela. “I performed there with the Royal Philharmonic and Norman Del Mar CBE. I’ve most likely played in the area since, but I do hundreds of performances every year across the globe so it’s very hard to remember them all!”

“I’m touring the globe constantly, playing solo recitals, playing as soloist with orchestra, the odd masterclass here and there and I have my own festival in Italy in the summer which takes an awful lot of planning.” “It’s definitely more than a full time job - it’s two full time jobs! But I love it.”

Angela has always loved playing the piano since she was three years old with music always being an important part of home life. Angela’s father, Yorkshireborn Godfrey Hewitt, was choirmaster and organist at the Anglican Cathedral in Ottawa, Canada for 50 years.

Angela assured me that her interest was not just in becoming a pianist as a child. She was also a ballet dancer for 20 years 112

dancing with names like Nesta Toumine, she studied the violin with Walter Prystawski, she sang and played the recorder, but piano was always what she did best.

“Unfortunately, I don’t get enough free time to carry on these interests. I have to devote myself entirely to the piano now. Although, I’m very happy that I had that training because I believe it’s important, especially for a pianist, to experience playing instruments that produce sound in a different way. When you play a wind instrument, you have to breathe, and when you dance, you have to express music a different way. Everything I used to do, influences the way I play piano today and people notice that in my performances.”

“I believe that the proudest moment in my career, would have to be performing and recording the complete works of JS Bach, so 18 CDs in total. That’s a lifetime’s work, and not many people have ever achieved that. I believe, so far, I’m the only woman to ever record as much Bach. So that was definitely the achievement that made my career and it’s what I’m most well-known for.”

From this moment on, Angela went on to receive many awards for her talents In 2000, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada (OC), the second highest honour in the country and she was awarded the National Arts Centre Award two years later.



“The tours never really stop. For example, I was touring Canada and the United States for a month, I came back to my home in London, and within four days, I was giving another concert, so you barely have time to get over the jetlag!”

“Everyday, I have to plan all of my performances as well and I still have to practice during the day. If I do happen to get a free day because of a cancellation or for some reason I have nothing scheduled, I’ll do eight hours practice.”

Angela was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2006 and Gramophone Artist of the Year in 2006. She received the MIDEM Classical Award for Instrumentalist of the Year in 2010, and was awarded the first ever BBC Radio 3 Listener’s Award (Royal Philharmonic Awards).

She is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and has honorary degrees from the University of Ottawa, the University of Toronto, Queen’s

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Main: Angela’s preferred Piano is the Fazioli, quite a new model, only around 30 years old, handcrafted in Italy.


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“WHAT I ENJOY MOST ABOUT PERFORMING IS CONNECTING TO THE AUDIENCE. I LIKE TO GET ACROSS ALL THE EMOTIONS AND THE MUSIC TO THEM...” University, the Open University, Mount Saint Vincent University, the University of Saskatchewan and Carleton University.

“Meeting the Queen was a very special moment for me. I’ve met her on several occasions, but the most memorable was when she awarded me with an OBE.”

“When I’ve met her at other receptions, mostly at the Canadian High Commission and at Buckingham Palace, where she seems like a very approachable person. When you talk to her she’s actually very interesting and I was surprised at how easy she was to talk to.”

“What I enjoy most about performing is connecting to the audience. I like to get across all the emotions and the music to them. I like to allow them to feel things they might not experience in their daily lives.”

“When they walk out of a recital of mine, I hope they feel elated having spent two hours in a different world. So communicating to the public with music is what I enjoy most.”

It really is amazing the sound of a piano can produce and Angela strongly believes it depends on the type of the piano, and not just the pianist. The craftsmanship is very important. “I have a preferred piano that’s crafted in Italy, made by Fazioli, but there aren’t many in the world as it’s quite a recent piano in the history of the instrument, at only 30 years old.”

“I play whatever the hall has, so one just hopes that it’s in good condition and when you’re a professional and you’ve been playing for as long as I have, you know how to adapt to every type of instrument.”

“It’s also down to the music you play as well. I have to say, if I was to narrow it down to one symphony, my favourite is the Goldberg Variations by Bach, naturally. It takes an hour and 20 minutes to play non-stop. It consists of no fewer than 30 variations.”

“I made a CD recording of that piece 15 years ago but I’m re-recording it in December in Germany because it’s a piece that I’ve performed the most throughout my life, and one which has grown with me. If I had to name only one piece that is my favourite, I guess that would be it.”

“To name some places I’ve performed in, the Royal Festival Hall in London, the Royal Albert Hall, I’ve played in Escala, Milan, the Sydney Opera House - many, many famous halls.” “I love playing in Wigmore Hall in London. I play there very often and have done since 1985. It’s the most beautiful recital hall I’ve performed in.”

“But it’s definitely not just the hall. If I’m performing in somewhere a little less famous, but the audience is really warm, and listens attentively in total silence, that’s what’s important to me.”

“I’m looking forward to my recital in Uppingham. I also have many other exciting events lined up next year. I have my festival in Umbria, Italy called the Trasimeno Music Festival which I always look forward to. It brings music lovers and musicians from all over the world together in the most beautiful place in the world. That’s from the 30th June to the 6th July.”

“I also have recitals across the globe this year including China with Sir Neville Marriner (conductor) who’s now 90 years old, so that will be quite an experience. Every year brings different people to get to know and different places to go, and also different symphonies to learn. I’m constantly refreshing my repertoire. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot from Uppingham students, as I always do with schools.” n For more information on Angela, and to find what events she has lined up in 2016, visit To see more information on her performance at Uppingham School, visit


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Larger than

The full figure of Daniel Lambert is one that has long been associated with the town of Stamford, but how much do locals actually know about the man? Local historian Philippa Massey aims to educate townsfolk about a figure who was definitely larger than life… Words: Rob Davis & Philippa Massey. Images: Philippa Massey.

A prodigy in nature. That’s the somewhat triumphal way Daniel Lambert is described on his grave in the grounds of St Martins’s church. Today, obesity is more commonplace and is regarded more disingenuously, as the subject of cruel TV documentaries and ill-feeling tabloid rhetoric.

Who knows what Daniel would have made of our attitudes to weight these days, because, by all accounts, the historic figure around Stamford both presented himself well-enough to be well-regarded as an affable figure in the town, but also defended himself robustly against any rude comments about his size.

The local historian worked at Stamford Museum until it was mothballed by the county council in June 2011.

Her role was one of curating the museum’s exhibitions, education activities and the interpretation at the museum for adults. Philippa also curated the museum’s lecture programme and gives lectures on local history, including the life of Daniel Lambert, too. The next such lecture will take place in

His family were hardly gentry, but his father was a gaoler at Bridewell Prison, one of two houses of correction in the town. Unlike the other Leicester jail, Bridewell was a debtor’s prison. Daniel’s father was called John, not Daniel, as less reliable sources record, and Daniel would later follow his father into the same profession.

In the interim though, he was apprenticed to a die sinker and engineer in Birmingham, completing four of his seven years in the role before leaving. It’s not sure why Daniel left his apprenticeship and followed in his father’s footsteps.

“Philippa has given lectures on the life of Daniel Lambert. A chance, she says, to get to know the man a little better...”

Many Stamfordians are aware of the man, but few know the details of his life. He wasn’t, for example, a resident of the town – indeed, evidence that he visited Stamford often is sketchy, although it’s a likely fact. Lambert was, in fact, a Leicester man, and merely died in the town, back in 1809.

Historian Philippa Massey has probably spent more time than anyone else researching the life of Daniel Lambert.


March and will be organised by the Great Easton History Society. It’s a chance, Philippa says, to get to know the man a little better.

Daniel Lambert was born on Leicester’s Blue Boar Lane, and was raised in a lowermiddle class household. He was not a child of obese proportions and, by all accounts, was a keen swimmer.

It was, though, at this time that his weight slowly increased, reaching 32 stone in 1793 when he worked alongside his father before taking over the gaol in 1797.

Daniel Lambert was very active and even when he began to grow obese, managed to walk the seven miles from Woolwich to London, as well as maintaining an interest in teaching swimming to other children. His father had been the huntsman to the 4th Earl of Stamford, Harry Grey, and Daniel

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throughout his life with a demonstrable interest in country pursuits, being one of the region’s foremost experts in the breeding of gundogs, maintaining an interest in cockfighting and horse racing.

e was a strong man and, on one occasion, was watching a bear fight in Blue Boar Lane whereupon the animal attacked one of Lambert’s dogs. Daniel asked his keeper to restrain the animal so he could recover his pet, but the keeper refused and even removed the bear’s muzzle so he could fight the stricken animal. Lambert punched the bear’s head, knocking it to the ground to afford the dog the opportunity to escape.

It’s documented that Daniel, despite reaching 52 stone and 11lbs in weight, never ate an enormous amount. Indeed, he abstained from drink too. His parents were not obese, although he is said to have a ‘large’ aunt and uncle. There’s no obvious explanation for Daniel’s size; gluttony or a medical condition, for example. He was also considered to be in good health throughout his life, rarely afflicted by colds. In 1806, though, Daniel Lambert’s weight was beginning to affect his day-to-day life. He was not too large to climb stairs and was considered unable to perform his job at the gaol.

Around Easter 1805, Daniel left his role at the gaol, presumably on good terms, since he was pensioned off and given an income of £50/year – a sum which in those days would have afforded him a good standard of living. This also coincided

“SOCIETAL ATTITUDES TOWARDS OBESITY WERE SOMEWHAT DIFFERENT AT THE TIME, MAKING DANIEL AN ATTRACTION RATHER THAN SOMEONE TO BE RIDICULED. HE WOULD DRAW UP TO 400 VISITORS EACH DAY...” with the amalgamation of Bridewell with the county jail with magistrates wishing to employ prisoners for labour.

Still though, Daniel struggled to maintain his lifestyle and, unemployable because of his size, withdrew into himself. At this time, visitors would come to his house on various weak pretences, expertly deflected by Daniel Lambert.

Despite sensitivity about his weight and shyness, Daniel nonetheless left his home and headed to London, where he kept a home on Piccadilly. He would make appearances and charge the public a shilling (something in the region of £5 today) to see him.

Societal attitudes towards obesity were somewhat different at the time, making Daniel an attraction rather than someone to be ridiculed. 118

He would draw up to 400 visitors each day, and would talk to his audience with a comfortable air belying his sensitivity.

Occasionally a member of his audience would make a tactless comment, like the woman who questioned how much his suits cost him. Such questions were expertly deflected; “If you’d like to buy me one, you’ll find out!” he replied to the former. Spending five months in London, Daniel mixed well with all people, especially the upper classes and even met King George III. His personality, reported the Leicester Journal, was one of affability, with intelligence and a pleasant nature. Becoming disillusioned with London, he left in 1806, returning to the area a wealthy man, returning to his interests of breeding sporting dogs and attending sporting events.

Nowhere is there a definitive record as to how often Daniel Lambert visited Stamford. It is known that he visited the town to attend cockfights at The George.

His last visit, though, was in June of 1809, when Lambert came to the town, taking up lodgings in The Waggon & Horses on St Martin’s.

Unable to climb stairs, he took a ground floor apartment, and sent out to the Stamford Mercury to set and publish hand bills announcing his presence in the town and ‘his desire to see company.’ Lambert took to his bed ‘fatigued with his journey,’ but otherwise in good health. He died at around 8.30am on the morning of Wednesday 21st June 1809, with some reports suggesting a barber arrived to shave him. Soon the practicalities of burying the man would soon become apparent.


aniel’s 52 stone body was so heavy that it was necessary to remove the window and wall of his room in order to remove his body. A coffin was created for him that resembled more of a chest, 6ft 4ins long, 4ft 4in wide and 2ft 4ins deep. it was made of 112sq ft of elm and four wheels were added to move him.

The Waggon & Horses was situated at 47-50 High Street St Martins. Today it’s a terraced row of private houses, but one of three windows was recreated following Daniel’s removal. Nobody is certain which is the window in question, credit to the craftsmanship of the mason, perhaps.

Daniel’s coffin was, according to the Stamford Mercury, drawn by eight men. It was impossible to take him into the church, so a service took place outdoors on Friday 23rd June 1809, at the ‘new’ burial grounds to the rear of St Martin’s Church. The Leicestershire Journal carried an obituary on the same day, with the Mercury reporting Lambert as; ‘A goodly, portly man i’faith and corpulent, of a cheerful look, a pleasing eye and a most noble carriage.’

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has seen her unearth copies of a number of different newspapers in order to try to establish the veracity of reports and determine fact from fiction.

A very large concourse attended his funeral, including one of his two sisters, Lucy and Elizabeth. Again, Daniel’s size made it impossible to simply lower him into his grave; ‘[the coffin] is built on two axle wheels and four clog wheels; and upon these the remains of the poor man will be rolled into his grave; which we understand is to be in the new burial ground at the back of St Martin’s Church.’

Daniel’s eldest sister was married in 1786, his younger sister in 1790. Philippa has traced Daniel Lambert’s lineage to as recently as the 1911 census. The historian believes that at this time there were family connections to both Leicester and Scarborough.

‘A regular descent will be made by cutting away the earth slopingly for some distance.’

Philippa has noticed, though, that his grave is always neatly planted up with forget-me-nots and other flowers.

Daniel’s grave is easily spotted, created in Swithland slate which has a distinctive blue-grey colour. Upon the headstone is inscribed Altus in Animo in Corpore Maximus; noble in soul, greatest in body.

Daniel was, it seems, popular among the townsfolk, but despite controlling his image closely when alive, his posthumous image was different. In the Pickwick Papers, published by Dickens in 1837, the character the fat boy is also referred to as Daniel Lambert, whilst reference to him is also made in Thackeray’s Vanity Fair, published in 1848. Pubs have also borne Daniel’s name in Stamford, Leicester and in London. Hanging in Stamford’s Town Hall is one of just two portraits of Daniel Lambert. The Benjamin Marshall oil painting is considered the seminal representation, having been painted from life rather than from other images.

The Town Hall also has a set of Daniel Lambert’s clothes, and the town is in possession of his specially constructed

Someone regularly tends the grave and keeps it in a neat condition... it’s a bit of a mystery, leading one to wonder if a relative of Daniel Lambert still exists in the town.

chair, but specific biographical information on Daniel is thin on the ground, with much of the information about his life obtained posthumously from hurriedly produced obituaries such as The Life. Philippa’s research has taken her to records offices, the county archives and



Historical reports all acknowledge Daniel Lambert’s convivial personality, The Life reporting humour, his intelligence and above all his quick-wittedness.

hilippa grew up in the town hearing stories of Daniel Lambert, but acknowledges the patchy and occasionally inaccurate sources of information surrounding the man. Her research has been concerned with separating fact from fiction, and in doing so, the historian has managed to weed out misinformation to allow the town to remember a man who was definitely larger than life. n Philippa’s talk, In Search of Daniel Lambert, will take place on 18th March 2016, venue to be confirmed, for the Great Easton History Society. The historian’s full biography of Daniel Lambert can be purchased by calling 01780 751269.


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Love blossomed over the kitchen table after Chris and Zoe’s houseshare turned romantic. This month the Rutland couple, who say they’re the best of friends, share the secret of their happiness and describe a wedding that takes place around the water and on the Hambleton peninsula... Photography: Geoff Kirby, 07793 110297,


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Weddings are the most beautiful, the most themed and the most enjoyable occasions, a chance for bride and groom to celebrate their love another and start thier lives among friends and family.

When a couple both enjoy the same things, there are no compromises needed, which means they should look forward to a well thought out day that they both enjoy planning together.

Zoe and Chris’s wedding was just that, and you can understand why the couple match so well. Zoe put an advert in the local paper for a female housemate, only to get a call from Chris who seemed friendly enough over the phone. They soon became housemates and then really good friends. 122

“We’d been living together for three years as genuinely really good friends,” says Zoe. “It seemed to be the right time and place where we suddenly felt differently for each other.”

The couple live in south Nottinghamshire. Zoe is the director of a film company, Zeddy Productions, and Chris is a product specialist in broadcasting.

“I’ve been visiting Rutland since I was just a child,” says Zoe. “I love the place, and I cycled with Chris regularly. We were enjoying a holiday in a camper van there for his 30th birthday and he took me down to the side of Rutland Water and proposed!”

“So, Rutland Water became a very special place for us and Normanton Church was just the perfect place to get married.”

“We’d been living together for three years so we were the best of friends. It just seemed to be the same time and place where we suddenly felt differently for one another...” Photography: Geoff Kirby, 07793 110297,

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“For the party, we dedicated a day to searching around Rutland for the perfect reception venue. The first place we went to was the Finch’s Arms, and we loved the place. We visited a few venues afterwards but knew it had to be the Finch’s in Hambleton.”

So the couple booked a venue - they just needed to decide on a theme, and since they are adventurous people, they wanted the day to reflect their personalities.

“We wanted a relaxed, summer wedding. So the next thing we booked was the Rutland Belle, to enable friends and family to enjoy Rutland Water. We also did this because we’ve been sailing and windsurfing there a few times over the years.”

“With regard to my dress, I didn’t have a clue what I wanted! I was never the girl that dreamed of what her wedding was going to be like so I’d had a look online and found Helen Skelton’s dress. Her wedding dress had lace at the top half and she just looked beautiful so I had that style in mind.”

“I visited three dress shops and finally settled for one that wasn’t far off Helen’s!”

“Our cake was a very personal touch. Not only was it a complete reflection of us and

our wedding, featuring Chris and I cycling around Rutland Water with our little dog, Frank, in the basket, it also featured the Rutland Belle and Normanton Church!”

“It was made by a baker called Sue Marshall who made my 18th, 21st and 30th cakes, my sister’s wedding cake and my parent’s 50th and 60th birthday cakes, so that made it even more special.”

“The colour scheme wasn’t planned, but I had blue in mind. It all suddenly fell together once we’d bought the bridesmaid’s dresses. The coral colour was beautiful, so we started tying things in with them like the flowers and decorations.”

Once it had all been planned, the only thing left to do was to walk down the aisle.

“It was an out-of-body experience,” says Zoe. “That’s all I can describe it as. It didn’t feel real. The cliché advice from friends and family, ‘hold onto the day,’ couldn’t have been more relevant. From that moment on, the day flew by!”

“Once I’d walked down the aisle and reached Chris, it was fine. He’d been my best friend for years so I just felt very relaxed to be standing there with him.”

“The clichéd advice from friends and family, ‘hold on to the day,’ couldn’t have been more relevant. The day just flew by..!”

Main/Above: Chris chose on-trend petrol blue suits for his groomsmen.


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Left: The couple’s ‘Rutland’ cake. Above: The bright and beautiful wedding was captured by colleagues of Zoe, who runs a film company.

Photography: Geoff Kirby, 07793 110297, www.geoffkirby

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“The day went very smoothly. There was one point when Chris accidentally insulted the bridesmaids in his speech!”

“Unaware of what he’d said, he received a room full of boos and obviously felt awful after it had been explained to him!”

Because Zoe owns a film company, the couple had a giant drone flying over the Rutland Belle and a camera crew walking around throughout the day. You can just imagine how amazing the wedding video is!

“After the wedding, we had a honeymoon to the Norfolk coast in a camper van. We love the vehicles so much, the transport to the wedding was my dad’s red camper van!”

“We spent good quality time together for two weeks along the Norfolk coast as our honeymoon, and a number of days in a luxury spa hotel, playing tennis and swim-

ming. It was a relaxing and well needed break, and a nice time to reflect on the wedding.”

“If I was to offer advice to other brides-tobe reading this, I would give the clichéd advice that so many people told me: slow down and enjoy the day because it goes so fast! I really wish I’d prepared for how fast it did go!”

“I would also advise couples to make their day reflect their personality Looking back at the videos and the photos from Geoff Kirby, you can remember so many different things like why you’re smiling in that shot and why we booked this or that.”

“It all means something special to us and that’s important when you’re planning your wedding, from the cake to the colour of the bow ties, it’s nice to have a story behind every little element.”

Zoe and Chris’s Wedding

Wedding Venue: Normanton Church,

Reception: The Finch’s Arms, Hambleton

Wedding Dress: Grace Couture, 0115 9811821,

Hair/Makeup: Real Hairdressing,; Monika Kurdziel,

Flowers: East Leake Flower Shop,

Photographer: Geoff Kirby, 07793 110297,

Videography: Zeddy Productions, 07990 574475, 125

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Andrew J Musson

Bespoke Tailor of Lincoln

Bespoke & Made to Measure Suits by Savile Row Tailor, Andrew Musson


39 High Street, Lincoln LN5 8AS Tel: (01522) 520142 |

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If you’re planning a wedding this month, you’re not alone. Over a quarter of all proposals take place on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. When the initial excitement is over and it’s time to begin planning the day, choosing your venue (and consequently, the date), is the first step.

If you’re seeking to marry in one of the county’s smartest hotels, our recommendations are The George of Stamford (01780 750750, with its 1,000 year history and coaching inn charm, or Hambleton Hall (01572 756991, with its waterside location and exceptional fine dining courtesy of Aaron Patterson.

Meanwhile, Melton Mowbray’s Stapleford Park (01572 787000, is a 500 acre country estate perfect for weddings with beautiful grounds, including its own private church of St Mary Magdelane, and its spa for pre-wedding pampering. Meanwhile, Northamptonshire’s Rushton Hall Hotel (01536 713001, is a Grade I listed hotel with three rosette restaurant and spa with stunning grounds.

Remaining on a country house hotel theme Kilworth House (01858 880058, www.kilworth near Market Harborough is set in 38 acres, and is a beautifully restored country mansion.


Rutland’s Barnsdale Lodge (01572 724678, provides both a beautiful country house venue, but also access to nearby Exton Estate and to Fort Henry, the estate’s Grade II listed folly, civil licensed with a lakeside location; host your day reception in a marquee adjacent to the folly. The county’s newest wedding venue is Rutland Water Golf Club (01572 737525, www.rutlandwater whose new marqueelined barn provides a self-contained venue for bespoke weddings.

Finally, Peterborough’s Grange Farm (01780 782459, is a versatile marquee venue in the heart of a working equestrian estate. Perfect for couples who love the country!

Top: Kilworth House. Above: Stapleford Park, Melton Mowbray.

Left: Fort Henry, Rutland Water Golf Club’s new marquee-lined barn. Below: Rushton Hall. Opposite: Ben and Lisa marry at Rushton Hall - image by Simon Harvey, 07796 338877, www.simonharvey weddingphotography

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DRESS s s e r p im To 130

With 301,254 brides-to-be tying the knot each year, the demand for beautiful wedding dresses is greater than ever. This month we’ve a preview of 2016’s new wedding dresses from the catwalk of the National Wedding Show... Words & Images: Rob Davis

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The National Wedding Shows are held in London, Birmingham and Manchester. They’re among the UK’s largest wedding shows, showcasing the newest dresses on the event’s catwalk shows... Opposite: House of Mooshki at The Dressing Room, (, and Peter Posh grey morning suit with check waistcoat. Above: Alfred Angelo decorated basque wedding gown (alfred and black suits by Youngs Hire (

Wedding dresses are more imaginative and more beautiful than ever, and 2016’s dresses include trends like feather designs, faux fur for winter weddings, and 3D appliqué florals.

The National Wedding Show catwalks provide brides-to-be with an opportunity to preview designers’ newest wedding dresses, and Pride was there to see them too, as part of our work

with our sister company,, the wedding planning website which last month celebrated its 10th anniversary.

The National Wedding Show takes place in Lincoln, Birmingham and Manchester, with discounted tickets available to brides through

n See national-wedding-show


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Main: Debenhams Ben de Lisi (www.debenhams .com/weddings) and suit by Youngs at Debenhams. Right: Berketex column dress (www.berketex Below: Grace by Qiana bridal (www.qiana


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The National Wedding Shows feature catwalks comprising 80 outfits from designers’ latest collections...

Above: Short dresses with lace embellishment and A-line gown by Qiana Bridal (( Left: Mother of the bride outfits by Jaques Verts (far left; left and Phase Eight (right; far right).


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Far Left: Justin Alexander at Shades of White (www.justin alexander Left: Allure Bridal’s fishtail dress (www.allure Right: Susan Neville (www.suzanne with cutaway front. Below: Sottero and Midgely fishtail gown.

Find Out More: All of our featured wedding dresses are part of the 2016 collections previewed at the National Wedding Shows. The Spring 2016 shows take place on 20th/21st February Manchester Central; 26th-28th February London Olympia; 4th-6th March NEC Birmingham. For tickets see


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Rutland Pride’s sister company, wedding planning website, is 10 years old! Here are a few things we’ve learned from our 550,000 members... DURATION OF WEDDING


PLANNING 6 Months: 6% 1 Year: 23% 2 Years: 33%

3 Years: 15% Longer than 3 years: 23%

Time spans indicate duration of engagement.

301,254 weddings took place last year

Christmas Eve: “I Do!”

51% of brides marry in their own town/city

24% of all marriage proposals in the UK take place on Christmas Eve.

82% of couples will live together in the same home...


13% of couples will move into a new home when they marry...

Popularity of weddings by days and months 15,062 12,050 12,053 21,087 60,250 162,677 18,075 5%


January 6,025 (2%) February 9,037 (3%) March 12,050 (4%)



April 24,100 (8%) May 30,125 (10%) June 36,150 (12%)



July 42,178 (14%) August 45,192 (15%) Sept 39,162 (13%)



October 24,100 (8%) November 18,074 (6%) December 15,061 (5%)

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“Where there money goes...”



Based on an average spend for a UK wedding of approx £12,000 with no contingency budget

VENUES ChuRCh 36% hotEL 15% REGIstER offICE 13% MaRquEE 12% CastLE 5% abRoaD 7% othER 12%

64% Civil Ceremonies 36% Religious Ceremonies



£50 for register office, £450 church/civil ceremony

£4,000 for venue, three course wedding breakfast...



£1,000 for wedding dress, £400 for groom’s hire...

£600 wedding bands, bride’s accessories, veil...



£300 for wedding cake or chocolate fountain...

£500 for ceremony flowers, bride’s bouquet, buttonholes



£1,000 for photography and/or videography

Disco, band, fireworks, budget approx £600...



£300 for, e.g.: invites, table plans, ‘save the day’ cards...

Couples budget between £3,000 and £4,000...


the wedding industry is worth around £3,600,000,000 each year, based on 301,254 weddings with an average spend by couples of £12,000 per wedding.


Each couple spends over £12,000 creating their perfect wedding day. that includes a spend of £3,000-£4,000 on a honeymoon.

Popularity of Marriage by

UK REGION South East 16%, North West 12% East of England 10% South West 9% West Midlands 9% East Midlands 8% Yorkshire & Humber 8% London 6%, North East 4% (Scotland 9%, Wales 6%, Northern Ireland 3%)


increase in weddings from previous year 2014: 301,254 2010: 280,000 2005: 287,000

Figures indicate percentage of couples marrying in each UK region...


0-50 Guests 10.6%

33 31 Average age of brides and grooms in the UK

50-100 Guests 46.5%

100-150 Guests 29.4%

150+ Guests 13.5%

n UKbride is the wedding planning website for brides-to-be in the UK. Data obtained from the website’s 550,000 members. See 137

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This Page: Lanficio Flli Cerruti navy chalk stripe suit £365. City shirt £65 available in single/ double cuff & slim/tailored fits. Italian wool tie £30. Single monk shoes £150.

A Work, Life BALANCE At just six months old, Stamford menswear retailer Gagliardi has brought a sense of style to local gents’ working week and their leisure time. The first UK store under the Italian brand, we this month present a few style ideas to help you achieve a work/life balance in your wardrobe... Words & Images: Rob Davis.

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Gagliardi as a brand is over 50 years old, but just six months ago, the name came to Stamford in an independently run shop providing locals with tailored weekend jackets, suits and shirts for work, and accessories like ties, pocket squares, cufflinks and shoes by Loake.

“At around £300-£350, our suits are competitive, especially so as they use the very highest quality Italian fabrics produced for us, by mills who create fine tailoring sold under some very expensive designer names,” say Richard and Gayle Wailes.

“We’ve jackets for suits and more casual weekend jackets in sizes from 38-48, with weekend trousers in slim and contemporary fits, which provide Stamford and Rutland gentlemen with access to unprecedented style.”

Here, we provide a flavour of Gagliardi’s style and quality, modelled by Richard himself.


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Large Image, Opposite Page: Fabio mill wool check jacket £285. Knitwear in range of colours £65. Straight leg jeans in three washes £75. Small Image, Opposite Page: Italian wool scarf £30. Italian silk tie £30. Left: Ermenegildo Ing Zegna mix & match suit £405. Slim fit dobby shirt £75. Italian silk tie £30. Single monk shoes £150.


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Right/Below: Italian wool brown check jacket £285. Sky City shirt £65. Italian brown wool tie £30. Cotton elastane stretch chinos available in three colours & two fits £85. Pictured with Ruby the Cairn Terrier.

Find Out More: Featured items are from Gagliardi, 34 St Marys Street, Stamford PE9 2DS. Call 07850 178028 or see /gagliardistam/


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Right/Below: Shelby wears white slinky-fit dress with encrusted collar and unique jewelled back detail shown below; £365. Clutch bag £45, bracelet £25. All dresses available to purchase from Red Carpet Ready (

Glamour for Any - FASHION -


Whether you’re still seeking that dress for New Year’s Eve, or you’ve a young lady seeking a beautiful prom dress, you’ll find yourself Red Carpet Ready with help from the area’s premier dress specialists... Words & Images: Rob Davis.

Red Carpet Ready is one of the UK’s largest dress specialists in the area.

Stocking over 29 brands & over 1,500 dresses any customer would be spoilt for choice with dresses for every budget, age and size across short, midi and long lengths.

There’s also a range of matching jewellery, shoes, clutch bags, plus hats and fascinators.

Due to the retailer’s rapidly growing customer base, it has recently opened a second Dress Showroom within its current location offering even more choice and diversifying into outfits perfect for wedding guests and the races during the summer months.

“Red Carpet Ready is unique, we offer the biggest selection of dresses, at the best prices in a


really amazing & unique location. In our two years of opening we have over 30,000 followers on Facebook and reading the daily reviews on their page supports this statement,” says the firm’s Kirsty Gale.

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Left/Below: Rhiannon in royal blue bow dress with jewelled back £390. Also in navy, white, black and red. Shelby in one of the retailer’s Swarovski scattered red dresses £545. Also in black, olive and royal blue. All dresses available to purchase from Red Carpet Ready (


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Right: Fitted lace dress in black with subtle detailing, capped sleeves and open back, ÂŁ485, also in ivory, red and blush. All dresses available to purchase from Red Carpet Ready (www.redcarpet


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Left: Rhiannon in premium embellished fishtail dress with cut-out sides, as worn by celebrities including TOWIE’s Lucy Mecklenburgh £545. Also stocked in gold and navy. Shelby in silver sequin oneshoulder split dress £360. All dresses available to purchase from Red Carpet Ready (www.redcarpet

Find Out More: Featured dresses are from Red Carpet Ready, Lincoln. Open seven days a week until 9pm by appointment call 01522 793777 Alternatively visit, see RedCarpetReadyLincoln or carpetreadyltd. Makeup Artist: Jade Fraser, The Glamour Lounge, Newark. Hair: Jessica Turk, Salon Two, Lincoln. Styling: Kirsty Gale, Hayley Gawne, Red Carpet Ready.


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“Happiness makes people more sociable,” says Whissendine-based Kim Thomas. She’s a hypnotherapist and psychotherapist who believes mental health is just as important as physical well-being.

“Being happy, being mindful, increases how much we like ourselves and others. It improves the ability to resolve conflict and strengthens the immune system.”

“Given all the benefits of being happy it’s not surprising we all would like a bit of it in our lives.”

“Researchers suggest that to be happy you need to know how to use a pencil, how to keep a perfect diary, how to carry our small acts of kindness and how to develop the gratitude attitude.

Tip 1: “Spend a few minutes each day writing a diary. This helps make sense of what is happening in your world helping you work towards a positive solution.”

Tip 2: “Write a gratitude list. Research has proven that people who express gratitude

end up happier, more optimistic about the future, and physically healthier.”

Tip 3: “It is better to give than to receive. Science has shown that people become happier after providing for others rather than for themselves. So a few small acts of kindness is a great investment, as it will significantly boost your happiness.”

Tip 4: “People smile when they are happy, they also feel happier because they are smiling. If you don’t feel like smiling hold a pencil between your teeth make sure the pencil does not touch your lips. This has forced the lower part of your face into a smile. Research shows you experience the motion of your expression. A new take on grit your teeth and get on with it.”

Tip 5: “Happy people move in a different way to unhappy people. So act like a happy person, walk in a relaxed way, swing your arms a little put a spring in your step. Wear more colourful clothing, use positive words.” n Kim’s ‘Beat the Winter Blues’ course is an introduction to mindfulness workshop, and will commence from eight weeks in January. Call 01664 474966.




Whilst beauty may be skin deep by proverb, the psychological effect of doing something to improve your appearance can be just as beneficial. You can make superficial changes with a new wardrobe, or a change of hairstyle (Glow at Barnsdale Lodge, 01572 720611, or a change of glasses frames (Simmons of Oakham 01572 756434, www.simmons, The Stamford Eye Clinic 01780 767403,

For a more dramatic change, consider a treatment at Glen Eden Medical Aesthetics (01476 550056,; their latest treatment is Silhouette, a non-surgical ‘facelift’ from around £1,560.

Alternatively, a range of cosmetic treatments are available from Peterborough’s Ramsay Fitzwilliam Hospital (01733 261717, or Spire Hospital Leicester (0116 272 0888,

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5. ENJOYING SUPER FOODS Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and eating a healthy one needn’t be an arduous task.

3. RELAX BOTH YOUR BODY AND YOUR MIND What’s good for your mind is generally good for your body too. Superficially, a spa visit may be a treat, but the benefits of de-stressing shouldn’t be underestimated.

Stapleford Park’s spa is due to be refurbished and relaunched in spring 2015 (01572 787000,, whilst Rushton Hall Spa just half an hour from Oakham or Uppingham (01536 713001,, promising both luxury and beautiful surroundings.

A visit to a local spa is not only a treat, it’s also good for de-stressing, which benefits your health too...

To continue your relaxation, if you suffer fatigue or anxiety, Lulu Ferrand (07887 506163, is a practitioner of Craniosacral therapy, a gentle, hands-on therapy which works with the body’s natural energy, whilst Pilton-based psychotherapist and coach Lesley Gough (01780 720660, www.chater is pioneering equine-assisted therapy as just one tool in her complement of behavioural therapy and counselling tools.

There’s an easy way to create a whole week worth of superfood breakfast smoothies. Simply use a 500g bag of frozen berries, 500g fat-free yoghurt, and add 100ml semi-skimmed milk, and 25g porridge oats... for a sweeter smoothie, you can also add 2tsp honey. Whizz the ingredients together with a full-size goblet blender, or use a stick blender, then divide up into five portions, one for each day of the week. Supplement your superfood breakfast with a slowenergy-releasing banana mid-morning for a daytime diet that’s easy to sustain.

4. TURN ‘KEEP FIT’ INTO ‘KEEP HAVING FUN’... How many calories does your hobby burn off? Rutland is a good county for those who enjoy walking or cycling, but in the winter months, you can enjoy racket sports and gym workouts at venues like Uppingham School (01572 820830, Here’s what you can burn per hour of workout, whilst turning keep fit into ‘keep having fun...’












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MENOPAUSE... Helping you t hrough t he


In European and American culture, menopause - the time when a woman’s menses gradually cease, which normally happens between age 35 and 60 - is often accompanied by flushing or hot flushes, mood swings, depression, insomnia, which in Western medical practice, is treated with ‘hormone replacement therapy’ (HRT): a regimen of prescription synthetic hormones.

Yet according to our research at Rutland Pride, in the Chinese culture, hot flushes are uncommon. So, why do some so many Western women experience uncomfortable emotional and physical symptoms during menopause, yet Chinese women don’t? We asked Jo George Stamford acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist to give us her view.

According to Jo, China uses acupuncture for many different ailments, including menopause which they have found to be incredibly effective for women. There is a different mindset between Western and Eastern medicine. Acupuncture is a form of a holistic health care system in China, called Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and has been practised in China for more than 5,000 years.

It is still the medicine of choice in the country today, although Western medicine is practised alongside it. In China, Asian women use this holistic healthcare system as an alternative to artificial hormone replacement. Interestingly, it is found that only 10% of Asian women experience noticeable menopausal symptoms compared to 75% of women in the UK and United States! Acupuncture, in conjunction with the proper diet and herbal medicine has been shown to be effective for the Chinese women. Use these approaches to alleviate menopausal symptoms naturally, Chinese women do not fear this stage in life, possibly because they do not experience the adverse symptoms as the American women do. They do not consider it 150

something to develop anxiety over nor is it an ‘illness’ needing some medication. This stage of change is embraced and found to be deeply valued as they enter the new stage of life.

The steps that a practitioner of TCM such as Jo George typically take in order to help women going through various menopausal phases are quite simple: diet, acupuncture, and herbs.


n Eat fibre-rich carbohydrates that have a low glycaemic index such as brown rice, oatmeal and beans. Eat adequate protein in the form of poultry, fatty fish, eggs, low fat dairy produce, beans, tofu, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Create a diet that is plentiful in fresh fruit and vegetables.

n Eat the good fats. These include monounsaturated fats found in olives, avocados and olive oil. Also polyunsaturated fats present in oily fish, flax seeds, vegetables, grains and nuts. Avoid bad (saturated) fats; butter, cheese and animal fat are associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease. Trans-fatty acids (fats which have been chemically altered) are also bad news. n Boost your intake of phyto-oestrogen containing foods like soya and flax seeds.

n In combination with Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture has been found to be the most effective level of treatment. Studies have shown that this method is effective and offers an alternative to hormone replacement therapy.

n Use Chinese Herbal Medicine – Jo can tell which organs in the body are most affected by the change in hormone levels from the deficiency and will work to address the problem with herbal remedies. Herbal medication is specially prepared for each patient. The herbs are usually drunk as an infusion from powder once or twice a day, though many can be taken in tablet form.

n Jo George is a fully registered and insured member of the BacC and RCHM which are the leading regulatory body of acupuncture and herbs in the UK. Jo George is highly trained professional to Masters (distinction) level, and very experienced practitioner with over 14 years clinical knowledge. Jo George MSc (Distinction) Chinese Herbal Medicine, BSc (Hons) Acupuncture; Dip. Acu (China); Two Dips Chinese Herbal Medicine (UK).

For a free informal preliminary chat with Jo call 07914 851995. For appointments please contact The Broad Street Practice, Stamford on 01780 480889. For further information on Jo's work go to

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AWARD-WINNING SALON GROUP P.KAI NOW OPEN IN MARKET DEEPING... The award-winning P.Kai Salons are headed up by Kai Wan, an experienced all-rounder renowned for his styling and dressing. Kai has worked extensively as a platform artist and been shortlisted for the British Hairdressing Awards in the Newcomer and Eastern categories, as well as scooping the ghd Innovation Award and the Your Hair Eastern Salon of the Year title. With successful salons in Hampton and Westgate, Kai is now bringing his exemplary salon experience to Market Deeping. The new unisex salon houses a colour bar in its beautiful interior, which will focus on delivering Couture Colour, an exclusive service in the area. A Guest Artist for Wella Professionals, Kai and his experienced team are always among the first to offer the

latest techniques and products, and will launch the brand new System Professional range in the new year. Stylists will take their clients through a consultation on the iPad which will then create a unique coding for every client. The salons themselves complement their high end services with affordable prices and convenience for their clients, including online booking services when the salons are closed and convenient opening hours. Market Deeping will offer a 25% senior citizen and student discount on Wednesdays and of course, free consultations to all clients prior to cuts and colour. n Book your appointment now at P.Kai, 10/12 Market Place, Market Deeping, PE6 8EA Call 01778 300558 or see


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VISION The Opticians with a Clear Words & Photos: Rob Davis.

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Frame & Fortune

A vision for customers. That’s what The Stamford Eye Clinic’s Malvinder Singh Hanspal and Kirpal Singh have for customers seeking high quality eyecare.

Malvinder chooses this season’s new designer frames for both gents and ladies...

With over 20 years experience the two established the business in June 2015, providing an alternative to multinational eyecare centres.

“As a practice we want to put the emphasis on quality and a really good experience,” says Malvinder. “We take our time to ensure the experience for our customers isn’t rushed. It’s a nice, bright practice with a good ambience. Customers are served fresh coffee and we really take our time to ensure everyone receives the kind of service we would want too.”

The Stamford Eye Clinic specialises in both glasses and contact lenses, and has state-ofthe-art testing equipment including an Optical Coherence Tomography scanner which provides a 3D scan of the retina and can help to monitor a customer’s general health as well as their eyesight.

“We choose our brands on the basis of quality, and try to provide customers with unique names they won’t find elsewhere. Often these incorporate the latest materials like carbon fibre, which is both light, and strong.”

New for this season is a range of Moscot frames, which join other brands including Face à Face, Tom Ford, Blac and Maui Jim sunglasses.

“We pair these with lenses from names like Zeiss and Essilor whose new lenses include DriveSave low-light and anti-glare enhancements. We can also incorporate cutting-edge features like freeform design, where lenses are fabricated with computer technology to provide consistent vision across your field of vision.”


n The Stamford Eye Clinic is based at 32 Saint Peter’s Street, Stamford PE9 2PF. Call 01780 767403 or see

Above: Face à Face acrylic frames with ‘high heels’ incorporated into the arms.

Above: Black frames, created using a carbon fibre composite for lightness and strength.

Below: Garrett Leight retro frames with pouch and clip-on sunglasses element.

“Our philosophy is one of combining the power of technology with traditional values of excellent customer service. We want to ensure customers return to us time and again, trusting us to look after their sight throughout their lives.”


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Now stockists of Moscot - a New York brand renowned for over 100 years... Handmade using the highest quality materials, Moscot is one of the world’s best eyewear brands.


It’s free to join, just visit 154

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Do you remember the last time you opened a bag of chips or a box of chocolates while watching TV or doing something else? The next thing you knew, you have finished the lot. Then a little while later, you’re searching the cupboards for more… You go to bed at night feeling guilty and you tell yourself that you will never do it again. However, the next day the cycle starts again and again…

If you feel that your snacking is getting out of hand, Contact kim Thomas at A New You and Stop Emotional Snacking NOW say GOOD BYE to the old bad habit and become the NEW YOU!

We all know that weight loss takes effort but hypnosis can really make the task much easier. If you are overweight, you are almost certainly making one or more of the following mistakes

1. Eating too large a portion at meal times

2. Perhaps eating everything on the plate even though you were full after the first few bites

3. Snacking when you are not really physically hungry

4. Eating an out of proportion amount of unhealthy, low nutrition foods

5. Avoiding healthy, nutritious foods.

6. Not doing enough if any form of exercise

So what has hypnosis got to do with all these things that we know already but can’t seem to do anything about?

We tend to assume that these problems are purely physical in nature and that if we find the right diet and exercise program we will reach our goal

weight. If there was such a diet or exercise program this may be true. However, how many diets or exercise programs have most people already tried and eventually failed?

Most people have tried many. Some diets may be very healthy and some not. The problem is that no matter how much potential the diet or program has to help us lose weight, we have to first stick to it. And sticking to it is a mental and not a physical problem. This is why hypnosis is so effective with people who have really decided they wish to lose weight and get control of their lives. Without dealing with the mental aspects of the challenge we find ourselves on a roller-coaster of emotion caused by temporary success followed by failure. If we are doing well but then make a mistake by eating what or when or how much we shouldn’t, we get so down on ourselves we feel hopeless. We think, “I’ve been here before and here I am again”. We send ourselves into a negative spiral which rather than making us eat less and exercise more, actually makes us eat more and exercise less. After all, what do many of us do when we get down? Of course, we eat… and eat some more… and just a little bit more…. And just a little bit more. It’s the classic hand mouth comfort reflex. Remember that we do this to make ourselves feel better. And, how do we actually feel once we have done it? 100 times worse than before we ate it.

Now we feel really bad…“Maybe I can just fit a bit more in….” It’s true that at this point we are feeling and acting like a loser but unfortunately not a weight loser. If we are going to succeed, we need to feel, and therefore act like a weight loss winner. We have to get into the frame of mind of

the person who easily maintains their perfect weight. Hypnosis helps us to do that, despite the odds and despite history you can become the winner and the master of your body through your mind.

You can learn to relax into a positive state of mind where food and temptation are powerless to control your actions — if you want it.

Hypnosis can help us to overcome the old negative habit patterns and replace them with positive ones.

Picture in your mind the scene from Monty Pythons “The Meaning of Life” when the extremely overweight man is fed one more mint and then explodes.

Hypnosis helps the mind to get control of the body.

Hypnosis helps you to remember what you already know and to put that knowledge into practice.

It gives us very positive ways of dealing with the stresses and reactions that cause us to reach for food when we are emotionally hungry but not physically hungry.

It helps us to get into the positive winning frame of mind which is essential to success. The mind is the most important part of the challenge to change. Think a little Change a Lot. If you would like more information on how hypnosis can help you lose weight in 2016 contact Kim Thomas at A New You Therapy. 07944 268 368: Happy New Year



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A Spectre of DB9: The current incarnation of Aston Martin’s mid-range GT car, the DB9, is bowing out, and its final huzzah is this special edition, themed around its affiliation with 007 as Spectre reaches cinemas.

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IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO FEEL ANYTHING BUT SHAKEN, OR STIRRED, BY THE UNMISTAKABLY SLIPPERY SHAPE OF A HAND-BUILT ASTON MARTIN GT. A PROTOTYPE OF THE FIRM’S DB11 MODEL DEBUTED LAST MONTH IN SPECTRE, BUT THE OUTGOING DB9 MODEL BOWS OUT WITH A MODEL CELEBRATING AN AFFILIATION WITH THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS SPY... James Bond is synonymous with Aston Martin motor cars. But it wasn’t always so. In the Ian Fleming novels, the author’s grittier, darker Bond drove pre-war Bentley cars, not the Aston Martin which featured in the first movie. That technicality aside though, 007’s long affiliation with the DB5 and with the V8 Volanté, Vanquish and DBS has endured.

In Spectre, the 24th film in the franchise, Bond drives a DB10 which, says Aston Martin, will serve a preview of the DB11 model which is due to replace the current DB9.

Aston Martin says that the DB11 will replace the DB9, and has increased the car’s nomenclature by two numbers to reflect that the new car will be ‘two generations’ ahead of the current model. The DB10, then, will remain a movie only model. Meanwhile, the DB9 is long overdue for replacement. It first went on sale in 2004 and so, in motoring terms, it’s pretty long in the tooth..

Its swan song is likely to be this special edition DB9, badged the ‘Bond Edition,’ and designed, one presumes, to placate fans of the brand desperate to put in an order for the DB11. Just 150 models will be produced, priced at £165,000 and available to order as Pride goes to press. The company describes the car as offering ‘discreet sophistication,’ which is patently untrue given that its 6.0V12 engine develops 540 brake horse power, and can reach 183 miles per hour on a track, achieving 60mph on UK roads in less than 4.5 seconds. Which is hardly a resounding working definition of discretion at all.



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>> The Bond Edition commands a premium of around £30,000 over the standard DB9, so what extra appeal does the run-out model have over conventional models? Ejector seats, perhaps? Missile launchers or machine guns? Adaptive camouflage like Bond’s Vanquish in Die Another Day, or the ability to travel through the water like his Lotus Esprit in The Spy Who Loved Me?

Unfortunately not. In fact, a more powerful state of engine tuning aside, the car’s additional features are limited to a special edition Omega Seamaster wristwatch and a Globe-Trotter 21” suitcase. Hardly worthy of Q-Branch. The DB9’s infotainment system features a model-specific Bond Iconic: Sean Connery helped to give the DB5 its status in popular culture with its debut in Goldfinger.

IT MAY BE A BEAUTIFUL CAR, BUT THERE’S VERY LITTLE TO SEPARATE THE DB9 ‘BOND EDITION’ FROM THE STANDARD CAR... Edition start-up screen, and there are numbered sill plates when you open the doors, but apart from that, it’s all pretty standard issue.

The car’s default colour is Spectre Silver, and there’s discreet Bond Edition badging, but there’s very little to separate this version from the standard car.

A VULCANIC PERFORMANCE Is the DB9 a little too tame for you?

If so, Aston Martin’s other new release in 2015 was the Vulcan. Named after the Cold War bomber, it’s a track car powered by a 7.0 V12 engine generating 800bhp. Availability may be an issue, with just over 24 units being produced, and the cost of the car - £1,800,000 - may prove prohibitive given that it isn’t even road legal and can only be used on a track!

The standard DB9 is, of course, a beautiful motor car. A facelift in 2013 modernised the centre console and updated the sat-nav to a more modern system. It added adaptive dampers and a modern sophisticated shiftby-wire automatic gearbox, but there’s no


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getting around the model’s biggest issue; this is a cosmetically updated version of an old car, whose rivals offer more sophistication.

compared to the standard car, its additional features don’t really justify the premium over the standard car in our opinion.

Mercedes’s S-Class AMG Coupé features a slew of features like adaptive cruise control with steering assistance, and night vision, Q-Branch features which make the DB9 seem pretty unintuitive and dim in comparison.

For a car that’s more modern and easier to live with on a day-to-day basis though, we think you’re better off with the S-Class coupé, which offers a more usable cabin and boot, more standard equipment and a softer ride.

The DB9 is still a fine car, but it’s losing ground to more modern cars, which benefit from more recent design and the latest technology.

Top: The DB9 is still a fine car, but it’s getting on a bit. Aston will skip the DB10 and release a DB11 in December 2016.


Above: Allying itself with the release of the 24th Bond film Spectre, the ‘Bond Edition’ DB9 features bespoke sill plates.

If you’re keen to secure a DB9 before the model is discontinued, the Bond Edition is a good bet. As to whether the special edition DB9 retains its value more than the standard car; that remains to be seen, but whilst it does offer a little something extra

If you’re seeking a GT oriented towards performance, not luxury, you’re better off with the DB9 than the Mercedes.

Alternatively, you might want to wait until more information is released about the availability of the DB11... an Aston Martin for the Spectre generation that will doubtless leave fans of the brand, and the movie franchise, both shaken and stirred.


James Bond’s DB5 will always be synonymous with the spy, but he’s driven plenty of other brands, too...

BMW 7-Series

Bond battled media mogul Elliot Carver in 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies. His BMW 7-Series had some impressive optional extras.

Lotus Esprit

The Spy Who Loved Me in 1977 saw Bond driving a Lotus which could convert to a submarine. It seemed to impress Barbara Bach.

AMC Hornet

In the 1974 film The Man with the Golden Gun, Bond outran Scaramanga and performed a corkscrew jump in an AMC Hornet.

Land Rover Defender

Bond called upon another great British marque in Skyfall and drove a Land Rover Defender, just as the car’s production ended.


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Crosswords CRYPTIC CROSSWORD Test your lateral thinking skills with this month’s Cryptic Crossword. Each puzzle has a set of perplexing clues to unravel, and as every lover of logic knows, the frustration is all part of the fun!


1. French composer’s freedom restricted by returning offspring (7) 5. Group of schoolchildren stumped by paper (6) 9. See 10 10,9. Economist, one foregoing Keynes, famed in Republican manoeuvring (6,8) 12. PROFIT? (7,5) 15. Foul reek — old and new sewers produce it (10) 17. Novelist lacking close friend (3) 19. Online paper shows amphibian (3) 20. One raising issue about letters backing the legislators (10) 22. Borderline character with impudence remains wild (12) 26. Novel that’s hilarious, one getting thanks (6) 27. Complaint about jerk being an MP (8) 28. Filthy place was first to be knocked into shape (6) 29. Stop media manipulation happening! (7)


1. Take off from party with maximum volume (4) 2. Frenchwoman's distant, a bit of a cow, perhaps (4) 3. Very hot in Spain, the poor young socialite’s overcome (8) 4. Eastern mystic’s morning in the Belgravia area (5) 6. Model having shoots (6) 7. Old pet, heard outside, is set free (10) 8. Car goes around in gear just over bottom (10) 11. Police trap criminal with heart of gold (6) 13. How 10’s 18 25 starts abrupt current decline (5,5) 14. Whence one gets milk and a sandwich very regularly (3,7) 16. Starbuck’s first found here, healthier and with topping (6) 18. Garden is planted in March (8) 21. Woman eating cheap products displays figure (6) 23. What journalist wants — Sun to shut up (5) 24. See 25 25,24. What one makes up for depraved sentence (4,4)

1. Secret listening devices (4) 3. Opposite of legato (8) 8. Nose (slang) (4) 9. Diminished (8) 11. She’s expecting (6-2-2) 14. Drink of the gods (6) 15. Bother (6) 17. Canadian province (4,6) 20. Fiddle-faddle (8) 21. Scottish dance (4) 22. Plant with a two-year life cycle (8) 23. Lifeless (4)


1. Comme il faut (8) 2. Study of heredity (8) 4. A score (6) 5. Bogart movie (10) 6. Skin complaint (4) 7. Likelihood (4) 10. Hurry up! (3,1,4,2) 12. So to speak (2,2,4) 13. Remembered (8) 16. Use an a’ (anag) (6) 18. Rebuff (4) 19. Formerly (4)





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