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A Happy New Year to all of Our Readers Our best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2020...!

Raise a Glass to Fantastic Fizz

Our Champagne Recommendations to celebrate New Year’s Eve... £4.50

Our Good Food Awards Winners

We crown our Local Restaurant of the Year...



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iving in the countryside affords us the luxury of realising that every season has its own unique charm. Winter, whilst damp and cold, at least brings a countryside bejewelled with crystals of ice, cosy nights by the fire and of course, a large glass of red in your hand, enjoying hearty winter food in a local restaurant.

And speaking of such, in this edition we’re delighted to reveal the winners in this year’s Good Food Awards winners, including our flagship Restaurant of the Year title for Rutland and Stamford. Congratulations to all who receive one of our awards and thanks to all of our readers who have submitted their votes for the area’s best places to dine. In this edition, we’re enjoying winter across the region with some poetic inspiration for the season from Stamford’s Peasant Poet John Clare. We’re meeting gunsmith Mark Knezevic and we’re enjoying a meal at Stapleford Park, returning to also celebrate the launch of their exclusive new gin on our High Life pages. Finally, we’ve fine furnishings for your home and stylish boots made for walking courtesy of Fairfax & Favor.

Our best wishes for a wonderful month!

Executive Editor 3


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131 52


NEWS It’s a happy ‘news’ year in

Rutland & Stamford this January.


WHAT’S ON The best January events in Rutland & Stamford.


JOHN CLARE POETRY Reflections on winter from the area’s peasant poet.



finest pubs and restaurants as voted for by our readers.


properties for a rewarding lifestyle investment.

EDUCATION The area’s

FOOD & DRINK 56 62 4

best schools and colleges.

DINING OUT Exceptional dining at the truly beautiful Stapleford Park.

CHAMPAGNE Fine fizz for New Year.



WELCOME HOME Enjoy a short break in a beautiful property.

HOMES Keep it country with cosy soft furnishings, and Aga-proof cookware from Le Creuset.


WEDDING DRESSES Stylish dresses for 2020 brides.

124 WEDDING Anna and Ben tie the knot at Holywell Hall.

131 FASHION Boots and accessories

from luxury brand Fairfax & Favor.

141 COSMETICS Striking Midnight.


147 HIGH LIFE Smith Eliot’s charity gala,

plus gin and jazz to launch Stapleford Park’s new gin.

154 MOTORS Porsche all-electric Taycan.

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Pride Magazine is delivered free of charge, via Royal Mail, to high value homes in the county. Our circulation is to properties in the top three council tax bands - homes which are predominantly worth over ÂŁ300,000. This guarantees the magazine has an affluent readership commensurate with our content. In addition the magazine is also sold in supermarkets and newsagents including Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, WHSmith, Tesco, Asda, Co-Op and Morrisons. Our in-house distribution team also works hard to hand-deliver the magazine to selected hotels and restaurants, doctors, dentists, executive motor dealerships and golf clubs. This helps to ensure we have a continued presence, right across our catchment area. Our magazines also have more social media fans than any other local magazine, and we are available to read free of charge, online on your tablet, computer, laptop or mobile phone via our website and via the Readly and Issuu platforms. If your business would benefit from being showcased to the wealthiest people in the area, please call our friendly sales team on 01529 469977.

To read the latest edition and all of our back editions online, free of charge, visit LEGAL DISCLAIMER

By supplying editorial or advertising copy to 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. Selected images in our content may be sourced from

Pride Magazines Ltd., Elm Grange Studios, East Heckington, Boston, Lincs PE20 3QF


Managing Director: Julian Wilkinson. Production Director: Ian Bagley. Sales Director: Zoie Wilkinson. Sales Manager: Charlotte Daubney. Executive Editor: Rob Davis. Chief Photographer: Dean Fisher. Illustrator: Jocelyn Lawman. Features: Laurin Dempsey, Carissa Smith. Customer Care Manager: Mandy Bray. Distribution: Joe Proctor. Office Managers: Sue Bannister and Melissa Trestrail. Sales Supervisor: Cydney Dyson. Sales Executives: Cassy Ayton, Emily Brown, Jade Cox.

Tel: 01529 469977 Fax: 01529 469978 |


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Hambleton Bakery Expansion...

NEW MOVE WILL GROW JULIAN CARTER AND TIM HART’S SUCCESSFUL BAKERY OAKHAM 12 years after it was established, Hambleton Bakery has announced plans to expand into the site of the former Ram Jam Inn near Stretton to provide more production space for one of the county’s most successful businesses. Hambleton Bakery is home to Julian Carter, former pastry chef at Hambleton Hall. Coming from a baking background, Julian approached Hambleton Hall owner Tim Hart with the idea of creating ‘proper’ bread for the area’s pubs and restaurants. Hambleton was awarded the title of Bakery of the Year in 2012 and an award in the 2013 Baking Industry Awards. Now the firm is planning an expansion of its Exton bakery, with the addition of a café, whilst moving its main production facilities to the former pub and motel adjacent to the A1.

Setting up on the former site of the Ram Jam will provide more space for production as well as good transport links - essential given that the firm now has shops in

Sir Alan Duncan to stand down after 27 years as MP


Oakham, Oundle, Stamford, Market Harborough and West Bridgeford. Hambleton Bakery produces an excellent sourdough loaf, as well as cakes and savouries, serving

both the domestic customer but also serving many pubs and restaurants across the area... including Hambleton Hall itself ! n

RUTLAND Sir Alan Duncan, MP for Rutland and Melton, is to stand down ending a career as Member of Parliament which has spanned over 27 years. Now 62 years of age, his retirement ends a role which first began with his election to the constituency in 1992 and remained uninterrupted right up to the last election, where he achieved a majority of more than 23,000 votes. “There is no right time to go, but I feel I’d had a good run over my 27 years. Seven shadow cabinet jobs, seven years as a minister of state, two years on the Intelligence

Committee, heaven knows how many leadership campaigns, and two bypasses funded in the constituency.” “I have worked with some fantastic people in so many areas of life locally. I have had three very fulfilling decades which I hope have improved the lives of lots of constituents.” “Rutland and Melton is a fabulous constituency and the best place to live in the UK, so I’ll not be moving!” The selection process is currently underway for Sir Alan’s successor... but they’ll have some pretty big and very well respected shoes to fill. n


PETERBOROUGH Ever dreamed of getting married in the great outdoors under blue skies, surrounded by family and friends? Well that dream has now become a reality at Orton Hall Hotel & Spa. Thanks to a newly constructed gazebo, nestled in the beautiful parkland setting of Orton Hall, you and your loved one can now say ‘I do’ in a romantic ceremony outdoors.

The elegant wooden structure sits sympathetically on the lawns with the magnificent 17th century hotel as its backdrop. The perfectly placed flower boxes allow you to add a touch of colour to the proceedings whilst your guests look on in awe. Orton Hall and hotel can cater for up to 140 guests for an outdoor civil ceremony. n See

Rutland’s Invictus Captain


Big win for Felicity Francis in Small Business Awards...

STAMFORD Felicity Francis has won Business Personality of the Year for 2019 from The Small Business Awards which covers businesses in the Stamford area. “Winning the award was absolutely amazing. “The reason the judges gave is the support and help that I give to business and that means the world to me!” Felicity set up Talk Networking and has spent the last five years providing that networking really does work. n

RUTLAND Rachel Williamson, of Rutland, has been named as Captain of Team UK at the 2020 Invictus Games in The Hague. Rachel joined her teammates for the first time at the Honourable Artillery Company in London. The athletes, 89% of whom have never taken part in an Invictus Games before, will now undergo training camps delivered by Help for Heroes to ensure they are best prepared for the international sporting competition later in 2020. Rachel is a former physical training instructor and medic in the RAF who was medically discharged after an incident playing rugby. n

£29.4m Investment

Great Outdoors...

RUTLAND IS TO GAIN A £29.4m WINDFALL to assist in the re-development of St George’s Barracks. Chancellor Sajid Javid revealed that the investment will come from the Housing Infrastructure Fund to create infrastructure around the 2,215 new homes due to start in 2021. n

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It may be cold outside but spring and summer will be here before you know it, so now’s the time to book your space at the 2020 Rutland Show. The 2019 show enjoyed another successful year with fabulous entertainment, great shopping, delicious food & drink and beautiful weather ensuring the show was jam-packed with visitors once again. Organisers are inviting applications for trade stands, craft stands and stands in The Larder food area as well as Community Stands which are available to local clubs, societies or associations in the dedicated area. The 2020 show will take place on Sunday 31st May 2020. Main ring acts and flagship attractions will be revealed in spring. n


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Haircut for Historic Yew Trees...

YEW TREE AVENUE’S 150 TREES ENJOYS A NEW YEAR MAKEOVER IN CLIPSHAM OAKHAM Yew Tree Avenue, the iconic topiary avenue of more than 140 trees, is making a comeback! The Clipsham Yew Tree Avenue Trust (CYTAT) organised the restoration works on the 200 year old yew trees. It has been more than five years since these famous architectural trees were last trimmed. “The cutting of the trees is a job needing professional expertise and we have commissioned Euan Mclaren Tree Services to carry out this important task,” says Sue Thomas, Trustee. “The work took approximately six weeks to complete the reinstatement of the original shapes of the trees.” Funding to restore the trees has been raised by the Trust from individual supporters and sponsorship. “The cost (over £10,000) will need to be raised each year to


wonky walkways to be blitzed by cobble wobblers

Stamford is to benefit from a £50,000 investment in specialist cobble wobblers who will attempt to smooth out the paving problems in the town centre. It follows controversy of whether Stamford’s traditional uneven paving should be replaced by a smoother, but less characterful surface. n


keep the trees trimmed and in good shape. In the longer term, Clipsham Yew Tree Avenue Trust plans to restore the topiary designs on the side of the trees which is one of

the reasons why this site is so important both for environmental and cultural reasons. Quite simply, there is no other site quite like this in the whole of the UK.”


There are around 150 trees on the site, which once formed part of the main driveway up to Clipsham Hall, the family seat of the Davenport-Handley family. n STAMFORD Live Promotions, organiser of Truckfest, has recently signed a license agreement with the East of England Arena and Events Centre for the Truckfest event, up to and including 2024. Colin Ward from Live Promotions said: “We have so many happy memories since first bringing Truckfest to the East of England Arena in 1984 and we look forward to many more in the future.” The 2020 date for Truckfest will incorporate the VE Bank Holiday celebrations with the event taking place on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th May. n See

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Tel: +44(0)1780 750200 Email:

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A new step in the New Year Are you looking ffor or your next move? For a free valuation of your proper tyy, please contact: Stamfford:: +44(0)1780 750 200 | Rutland:: +44(0)1572 335 145 E:        & Countr y Rutland,, Stamfford Fine ord and South Lincolnshire          , Rutland,    Seaton,,Uppingham, , LE15 9HT     

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Guide Price £750,000

Offers Over £730,000

Holly House, Wymondham

Stoneleigh, Barsby

A high-quality, Brown & Jones, five-bedroom detached property beautifully presented throughout and sitting in a quiet location within this popular Leicestershire village.

A handsome, Grade II listed, red-brick village property with generous and characterful accommodation, a separate one-bedroom cottage, all within approx 1.7 acres of grounds.

Guide Price £650,000

Guide Price £600,000

Sauvey Castle Farm Cottage, Withcote

Markham House, Caldecott

A significantly extended, four-bedroom character property, fully renovated throughout, sitting in beautiful countryside surroundings with off-road parking and flexible open plan living spaces.

A handsome four bedroom iron-stone property, offering well-proportioned accommodation and sitting in a peaceful location within the village of Caldecott.

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Manor House, Thorpe by Water

A beautifully restored Grade II* Listed Manor House superbly positioned on the Rutland/Northamptonshire border


Edward Brassey 01858 438 723


Guide Price £1,200,000

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An executive contemporary 5 bedroom home set on a brand new, exclusive, gated development of only 3 dwellings set in a highly regarded village close to Oakham and enjoying open countryside views to the rear. The property is finished to a demanding specification and offers spacious, energy efficient family accommodation which benefits from air sourced heat pumps, underfloor heating to the ground floor and bathrooms and LED lighting throughout. Energy Rating: TBC.

Thorpe By Water


An opportunity has arisen to acquire a redevelopment site to erect a substantial Country House, Stabling and Outbuildings with an adjoining grass paddock extending in total to approx. 6.0 A, in a rural location within the Welland Valley, close to a picturesque Rutland picturesque village. The site has full Planning permission to demolish the existing house and other ancillary accommodation and erect a substantial dwelling with equestrian facilities. Energy Rating: TBC.



Prices from £525,000

Welland Heights is a new gated development of just five substantial detached dwellings sitting in an elevated position adjacent to the Gretton Conservation Area and enjoys views over the Welland Valley and surrounding countryside. The properties on the development have been thoughtfully designed to offer spacious family accommodation and are being constructed to a demanding specification by a long established local building firm. Energy Rating: TBC.



Stunning stone-built detached character cottage occupying exceptionally large grounds and enjoying views over the adjacent Laxton parkland. The property has a valid Planning Permission for an extension to provide an additional bedroom and garage. 2 Rec. Rooms, Kitchen/Diner, Utility, 3 dbl Bedrooms, Shower Room, Bathroom; delightful Gardens. Energy Rating: F.




A spacious, detached period property offering substantial family accommodation appointed to a high standard throughout and set in the heart of a highly regarded, picturesque village. 3 Reception Rooms, bespoke Kitchen, Utility, Clkrm, 4 Bedrooms, luxury En-suite Bathroom, Family Bathroom; parking, private garden. Energy Rating: D.

Greetham, Rutland


A fantastic opportunity to acquire a substantial character property comprising 4-bedroom stone cottage with an adjacent superb recent single-storey barn conversion providing selfcontained 1-bedroom accommodation capable of producing a useful rental income as an air B & B or conventional let, or alternatively to accommodate a dependent relative. Energy Rating: Corner Cottage E, Toll Cottage C.

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Bespoke Property. Bespoke Advice. ER R D E UN FF


An individually designed and impressive modern family home with flexible living space and ample parking options within walking distance of Stamford town centre.

A secluded 5 Bedroom home in the centre of this sought after Rutland village with a private south facing gardens and plentiful parking all within striking distance of Stamford & Oakham.

• Reception Hall • Drawing Room • Family Room with further separate Study and Hobby Room • Kitchen / Breakfast Room with bi-folding doors to garden • Games Room / Gym

• Entrance Hall / Dining room • Study & separate w/c • Sitting room • Kitchen & Garden/Sun room • Principal Bedroom with en-suite Shower room • Four Further Double Bedrooms, one with en-suite shower room

• Principal Bedroom with Ensuite and dressing area • 3 further Double Bedrooms and family bathroom • Private west facing rear garden • Private Driveway with Large Double Garage • No onward chain





A wonderful stone built modern property with three bedrooms, parking and a west facing garden. Situated in a bespoke development by a renowned local builder. • Built by Simon Boon Homes in 2015 • High standard fixtures and fittings • Detached stone modern home • Flexible open plan living • Small bespoke development • Principal Bedroom with en suite • Off-street parking for two cars • Two further bedrooms and family bathroom • Impeccable accommodation throughout • Low maintenance garden with terrace


• Family Bathroom • Double Garage & further off-street parking • Useful outbuilding / potential annexe accommodation (stp) • Private rear Garden with southerly aspect in Central Village location



Large four bedroom home, situated in the ever popular Exeter Gardens close to the heart of Stamford. The house boasts a large garden, garaging and significant scope to expand. • Built circa 1965 with just under 2,000 sq ft of living accommodation • Close to the heart of Stamford & local amenities • Four double bedrooms, one with ensuite, and family bathroom • Large, mature garden with large patio

• Breakfast kitchen with pantry, boot/utility room • Separate dining room and drawing room • Reception hall with cloakroom, WC & rear porch • Large single garage with off-road parking for 2-3 other vehicles • Scope to significantly expand property (STP)

STAMFORD – OIEO £750,000

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ExpErt carE for you and your baby antenatal preparation classes for groups and couples. Hypnobirthing tuition. postnatal support in the home.


Maternity nursing. baby Massage. breast-feeding support. ‘Surrogate Granny’ Service.

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At Wellhead IFA, we charge fixed fees, based on the work to be undertaken.

At Wellhead IFA, we employ non–contingent charging.

At Wellhead IFA, we only offer products and services that demonstrate added value.

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Winter Sale!

Starts Friday 27th December @ 9.30am at 17a & 27 Mill Street

Fabric Furniture Lighting Cushions Lifestyle accessories

10% off all orders of fabric, wallpaper, trimmings and floor coverings

27 and 17a Mill St Oakham Rutland LE15 6EA 01572 722 345


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WINTER The Peasant Poet’s

A trio of poems from one of Stamford’s  most  famous sons, John Clare,  the area’s so-called Peasant Poet...


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e Winter’s Spring e winter comes; I walk alone, I want no bird to sing; To those who keep their hearts their own e winter is the spring. No flowers to please, no bees to hum, e coming spring's already come. I never want the Christmas rose To come before its time; e seasons, each as God bestows, Are simple and sublime. I love to see the snowstorm hing; 'Tis but the winter garb of spring. I never want the grass to bloom: e snowstorm's best in white. I love to see the tempest come And love its piercing light. e dazzled eyes that love to cling Snow-white meadows sees the spring. I love the snow, crumpling snow at hangs on everything, It covers everything below Like white dove's brooding wing, A landscape to the aching sight, A vast expanse of dazzling light. It is the foliage of the woods That winters bring—the dress, White Easter of the year in bud, That makes the winter Spring. The frost and snow his posies bring, Nature's white spurts of the spring. n

John Clare (1793-1864) 23

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Image: Rutland Water in Winter.


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Winter Evening e crib stock fothered, horses suppered up, And cows in sheds all littered down in straw, e threshers gone, the owls are left to whoop, e ducks go waddling with distended craw rough little hole made in the hen-roost door, And geese with idle gabble never o`er Bait careless hog until he tumbles down, Insult provoking spite to noise the more; While fowl high-perched blink  with contemptuous frown On all the noise and bother heard below; Over the stable-ridge in crowds,the crow, With jackdaws intermixed, known by their noise, To the warm woods behind the village go; And whistling home for bed go weary boys.

John Clare (1793-1864). 25

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>> Tucked away between Stamford and Peterborough lies the village of Helpston, the home of John Clare (1793-1864), the area’s Peasant Poet. Clare grew up during a period of massive changes in both town and countryside as the Industrial Revolution swept Europe. Many former agricultural workers, including children, moved away from the countryside to over-crowded cities, following factory work. The Agricultural Revolution saw pastures ploughed up, trees and hedges uprooted, the fens drained and the common land enclosed. This destruction of a cen26

turies-old way of life distressed Clare deeply. His early work delights both in nature and the cycle of the rural year. Poems such as Winter Evening, Haymaking and Wood Pictures in Summer celebrate the beauty of the world and the certainties of rural life, where animals must be fed and crops harvested. Clare was alive from 1793 to 1864 and lived in the thatched whitewashed cottage with its half acre of gardens until 1832. Latterly he was committed to several mental asylums with bipolar behavioural tendencies. During his life Clare wrote in excess of

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Winter’s Come Sweet chestnuts brown like soling leather turn; e larch trees, like the colour of the Sun; at paled sky in the Autumn seemed to burn, What a strange scene before us now does run— Red, brown, and yellow, russet, black, and dun; White thorn, wild cherry, and the poplar bare; e sycamore all withered in the sun. No leaves are now upon the birch tree there: All now is stript to the cold wintry air. See, not one tree but what has lost its leaves— And yet the landscape wears a pleasing hue. e winter chill on his cold bed receives Foliage which once hung oer the waters blue. Naked and bare the leafless trees repose. Blue-headed titmouse now seeks maggots rare, Sluggish and dull the leaf-strewn river flows; at is not green, which was so through the year Dark chill November draweth to a close. Tis Winter, and I love to read indoors, When the Moon hangs her crescent up on high; Main Image: Stamford’s town bridge, built in 1849 photo by Uplands Wolf on Flickr. Left: John Clare by William Hilton, oil on canvas, 1820.

3,500 poems and published four volumes of work. In 2004, a trust was founded by Dr Paul Currie to purchase and maintain the cottage using HLF funding. By 2013 that funding was paid back and now the trust-run Clare Cottage is curated by David and Janet Dykes as well as 24 volunteers Widely regarded as one of the most prolific of the English poets, John Clare lived in the village for his first forty years from 1793 until 1832. Clare’s biographer Jonathan Bate states that he was ‘the greatest labouring class poet that England has ever produced. n

While on the window shutters the wind roars, And storms like furies pass remorseless by. How pleasant on a feather bed to lie, Or, sitting by the fire, in fancy soar With Dante or with Milton to regions high, Or read fresh volumes we've not seen before, Or oer old Burton’s Melancholy pore. n

John Clare (1793-1864)


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Truly Independent Financial Planning • Efficient Portfolio’s Charlie Reading • Author of The Dream Retirement

What Are Your Options at Retirement? Retirement is a hugely emotional stage in life and can even be a painful one too. Most of us spend the bulk of our existence earning money, and then suddenly we to need to turn off that steady and reliable income stream and live on what we have accumulated. is can be an incredibly scary concept. Will you run out of money? Will you be able to even afford to retire? Will you be too worried to enjoy your retirement and end up dying the richest person in the graveyard?


ITH MANY OF US spending in excess of 25 years in retirement, it should be a time of happiness, new adventures and enjoying the fruits of our labour. But what options do you have?

Whilst it is not my place to tell you how to spend your hard-earned cash in retirement, I would advocate some careful and strategic planning to maximise your pension pot, minimise your tax, and ensure you don’t run out of money during your lifetime. Retirement is about enjoying the proceeds of your success, and I am all for people ‘front loading’ their retirement by ticking off the bucket list, but much better to do so with clarity on the future and otherwise you are rolling the retirement dice!

Future planning is the greatest weapon in your retirement arsenal. Imagine going bowling blind-folded. Yes, you might hit a few pins, but wouldn’t your odds be increased if you could see where you were aiming? Retirement is just like this: If you don’t look ahead now and start to think about the type and amount of income you may need, how will you know if you are going to have enough? Back in 2014, the then Chancellor announced a huge shake-up to the world of pensions. is meant that pensioners could finally do whatever they wanted with their hard-earned savings, whether that be taking a steady income or drawing the lot as a lump sum. Flexibility over how and when you draw your pension has many advantages, especially when it comes to protecting your wealth more effectively against tax, estate and legacy planning, and seeking out more suitable investment opportunities. is change in legislation is a huge opportunity for retirees, but with flexibility comes complexity, and the opportunity to make some big mistakes. As well as taking care of the tax and investment advice needed around retirement, at Efficient Portfolio we use something called ‘Lifetime Cash-Flow Forecasting’, which hypothesises various scenarios, such as drawing 25% of your pension (which is currently tax-free), buying a new house, market crashes and lowered income, and illustrates what these events could do to your wealth. It is by no means a crystal ball, but it does help to identify what planning opportunities could work for

“ Flexibility over how

and when you draw your pension has many advantages

you, and what areas you need to improve upon now, so that you could have a more secure future.

n If you would like to know more about what options you will have in retirement, we are able to offer a free online tool called ‘e 4 Minute Retirement Plan’, which can be found on our website is simple questionnaire will give you a brief overview of where you stand and give you some general tips on what you could do to improve your situation.

We also use this technology to plan ahead for some of the more enjoyable elements of retirement, such as dream holidays and gifts to your loved ones. Filling your retirement with the things you love and having the confidence in knowing that you can afford to them, is psychologically crucial. Charlie Reading created Efficient Portfolio to offer entirely independent financial advice and helping people clarify and realise their dreams and goals through financial planning.

Call 01572 898060, see or visit Portfolian House, 30 Melton Road, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6AY


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Fresh categories, but the same philosophy... we asked all of our readers to name their favourite restaurants, to ensure our Good Food Awards are an unbiased reflection on the area’s favourite restaurants and pubs...! Main Image: Stapleford Park, Pride’s Chief Photographer Dean Fisher. Words: Rob Davis.

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Petros Psyllakis, Service Manager, Executive Head Chef Paul Reseigh, Head Chef Mark Alsop at The George of Stamford.

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Restaurant of THE YEAR 1. The George of Stamford 2. Hambleton Hall, Hambleton 3. The Olive Branch at Clipsham 4. Barnsdale Lodge, Exton 5. The Wicked Witch, Ryhall Previously, we’ve asked our readers to name their favourite restaurant, which was a pretty broad brush stroke, given the wide range of styles and preferences in diners across Rutland and Stamford. So, last year, we changed the way our awards were structured to provide more specific categories for our Good Food Awards. The results have been interesting, but still in our flagship Restaurant of the Year award, our readers have determined that more formal dining experiences - like that of The George of Stamford’s wood panelled dining room, or Hambleton Hall - and less formal but equally satisfying restaurants - such as the determinedly pubby Olive Branch and Wicked Witch - are equally well-thought of. The conclusion we draw is that formality matters less than quality, to our local diners. This idea is supported by the presence of five very different but equally exceptional dining experiences across the area. At number one is the traditional, formal but always welcoming hotel, The George of Stamford, which endures in 2019’s awards even in an era of modern pub restaurants.

What can be said about The George apart from the fact that it’s one of the longest established and most satisfying dining experiences in Stamford and Rutland; always a treat, even if you’ve been there a number of times. Hambleton Hall, another perennial favourite in our list, is always well thought of, not just by virtue of its impressive looking food and air of formality, but because the team owners Tim & Stefa Hart; head chef Aaron Patterson; Restaurant Director Graeme Matheson; Sommelier Dominique Baduel and General Manager Chris Hurst never fail to cut through the hotel’s formality with friendliness and a lovely, welcoming vibe which puts everyone at ease. The team ensures Hambleton Hall is thoroughly and consistently recommendable. Less formal but absolutely rewarding with every single bite, Clipsham’s Olive Branch is also brilliant; 20 years old this year, and better with every single visit. Likewise, Barnsdale Lodge offers the perfect welcome, plenty of choice from its menus and a great experience whether you call in for a coffee or enjoy à la carte dining. n


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Best Restaurant FOR FISH 1. Hambleton Hall, Hambleton 2. Barnsdale Lodge, Rutland 3. The George of Stamford 4. Candlesticks, Stamford 5. Loch Fyne, Elton

There’s nothing fishy about the restaurants nominated in this category, as our readers have revealed Hambleton Hall to be their choice venue for fish.

A peep at the restaurant’s sample menu reveals a few exemplar dishes, like lunchtime starters of salmon gradvalax with wasabi ice cream and ginger caviar, to sea trout niçoise with a bouillabaisse sauce. Starters during evening service include slow cooked octopus, or Cornish crab salad, a precursor to a dedicated fish course of pan fried seabass with risotto and cèpes.

A couple of those dishes will also be included in January and February’s Lunch for Less promotion, too. So, if January leaves you needing to lift your spirits, that generous promotion really is the only excuse you need to pay Hambleton Hall a visit.

This Page: Restaurant Director Graeme Matheson with some of the Hambleton Hall restaurant team, and one of their delicious fish dishes!

Traditionally Hambleton, The Olive Branch, and Barnsdale Lodge enjoy a tussle for the

top position in our awards, and Barnsdale Lodge fares well in our fish restaurant category thanks to dishes like king scallops, Rutland Water trout, trio of Cornish mackerel, sea bass and roasted monkfish on its menus. Also on this list is the George of Stamford, whose fish dishes include lobster, Brittany platter, bouillabaisse and Dover sole.

A mention, too, for Stamford’s Portuguese restaurant Candlesticks, with its Maquereau Fume, Espada Preta and Sole Portuguese. n 35

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Best Restaurant FOR STEAK 1. The Falcon Hotel, Uppingham 2. The Crown Hotel, Stamford 3. The Olive Branch, Clipsham 4. The Wheatsheaf, Greetham 5. The Fox & Hounds, Exton

High stakes, for restaurants serving steaks, as restaurants battle to find and present the best cuts for diners. Uppingham’s Falcon Hotel is a definite recommendation according to our readers. The hotel’s steaks are sourced from Aubrey Allen, grass fed and aged for 21 days.

What also swings it, certainly for us, is the availability of Minute Steak. If, like me, you like your steak like you like your wine - glistening crimson and French in origin - you’ll appreciate the accompanying Café de Paris butter (rarely seen as it’s so labour intensive) and frites, on the menu as an alternative to the hotel’s enormously thick-cut chips.

Stamford’s Crown Hotel is also lauded by locals. Little wonder, because Knead Pubs, of which The Crown is a family member, sources their Lincoln Red beef from their own farm at Tallington, served with triple cooked chips and beer battered onion rings.

Opposite: Steak is served at Uppingham’s Falcon Hotel, aged for 21 days and served with hand-cut chips!


Mentions, too, for The Olive Branch and for Greetham’s Wheatsheaf, the latter home to a fine bavette steak, with homemade chips and a green peppercorn and tarragon butter. n

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Best Restaurant FOR SUNDAY LUNCH 1. Hitchen’s Barn, Oakham

2. The George Hotel, Stamford 3. The William Cecil, Stamford 4. The Olive Branch, Clipsham 5. The White Horse, Empingham

Adjacent: Enjoy a beautiful Sunday lunch in the Stamford and Rutland area. Above: Louise and Neil head up the kitchen at Oakham’s Hitchen’s Barn.

If the winner of our Sunday lunch category seems familiar, it’s because last year’s winners in the category were Louise and Neil Hitchen, formerly of The Berkeley Arms, Wymondham. No sooner had we awarded the title did the couple decide to open their new venture, Hitchen’s Barn, in Oakham. Their customers, and the couple’s reputation followed them, and chef Neil’s Sunday lunch has been warmly welcomed in the town, with roast sirloin and loin of orchard pork complete with the usual accompaniments both bringing joy to locals.

The George’s party piece of carving sirloin from under a silver dome at your table is clearly still popular with our readers, as is the William Cecil’s Roasting Pot - a sort of ‘carve your own’ option, served with roast potatoes, root vegetables, Yorkshire puddings & red wine reduction. Congratulations, too, to Clipsham’s Olive Branch and Empingham’s White Horse, both of which bring a relaxed, familyfriendly, chilled out Sunday vibe to two of the finest dining out opportunities in the Stamford & Rutland area. n


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Best Restaurant FOR DESSERT 1. The Olive Branch, Clipsham

2. Hambleton Hall, Hambleton 3. Kilworth House, Leicestershire 4. The Finch’s Arms, Hambleton 5. The Wicked Witch, Ryhall

Top: Chefs at The Olive Branch at Clipsham with this year’s award.


The dessert course is synonymous with pleasure. It’s when we hang the diet on a coatpeg, suspend any protestations of ‘I couldn’t possibly’ and indulge in gooey hypnotic brownies and tart fruity puddings.

Taking our top spot in this category is The Olive Branch not, we reckon, just because it’s a dining room equally predicated on pleasure as the dessert course itself, but because of the sheer imagination of its desserts. Beetroot curd, white chocolate & horseradish ice cream, frozen blackberries, beetroot meringue, anyone? There are a few perennial favourites, too, like a sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce, but the Olive Branch is adventurous, and built on a robust foundation of brilliance.

It also creates its own truffles, pastilles, ice creams and sorbets, so those with a sweet tooth will never be left wanting. Kudos, too, to Hambleton Hall for its beautifully presented and indulgent desserts, like Aaron Patterson’s Hambleton tiramisu.

Kilworth House, whilst out of the area, still received votes in our awards by virtue of stunning puddings like its raspberry soufflé, or its strawberry and elderflower baked Alaska, served with chilled strawberry consommé. Our readers’ interest was also piqued by Hambleton’s Finch’s Arms, with its Lemon Posset & Raspberry Sorbet and with a classic crème brûlée pudding served with passion fruit sorbet at Ryhall’s Wicked Witch. n

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Best Restaurant for

AFTERNOON TEA 1. Stapleford Park, Melton Mowbray 2. Rushton Hall, Kettering 3. Barnsdale Lodge, Exton 4. The George of Stamford 5. The William Cecil, Stamford What is it that estate agents say? Location, location, location? Well, a good afternoon tea also depends on a pretty swish setting, which may in part offer an explanation as to why our readers have voted Stapleford Park the area’s best for afternoon tea. Actually we’re visiting Stapleford in this edition to enjoy its Grinling Gibbons dining room and

to celebrate the launch of the country house hotel’s own gin, produced in partnership with Brentingby.

But if afternoon tea is your main draw, you’ll delight in an ability to take tea in the pretty lounge, on the terrace or in one of the private dining rooms in the Grade I listed 17th century building. There’s a vegetarian afternoon tea option, a vegan one, a gluten-free one, a traditional afternoon tea and one served with a glass of either Champagne or Prosecco.

As if that wasn’t choice enough, there’s a tea menu too, with six black teas plus fruit tea options. Meanwhile, you can read in the menu about the origin of afternoon tea as a ritual and find out how tea is made from plant to pot. An education, as well as an indulgence. And speaking of indulgence, we can segue nicely into a discussion about Rushton Hall’s

main selling points... and before anyone points out that the country house hotel is half an hour from Oakham or Uppingham, we do accept that. But having championed the hotel in the magazine before, we also think it’s worth the inclusion, geography aside.

Another Grade I listed hotel, its main drawing room once welcomed Charles Dickens who used it as the inspiration for Satis in Great Expectations. It’s a breathtaking room, the perfect backdrop for chef Adrian Coulthard’s and his brigade to present their traditional afternoon teas.

A mention, too, for Barnsdale Lodge who offer - in addition to their conventional afternoon teas - a farmhouse tea, and a ‘gentleman’s afternoon tea’ option, too. n Below: Head Chef Tony Fitt and his brigade preside over a wealth of afternoon tea options to take this year’s award.

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What makes us different?

Experienced team of vets and nurses providing quality healthcare at a sensible price. The practice is fully equipped with excellent facilities enabling us to offer in house blood results, microscopy, digital X-ray and ultrasound. We have a large modern operating theatre. Our spacious separate dog and cat waiting areas and kennels also ensure your pets feel more relaxed whilst visiting us. A team of animal lovers, we treat and care for your pets as though they were our own and make the time to get to know you too. Guaranteed same day appointment for any pet if the owner thinks it is needed. Owners can stay with their pets while sedated before routine operations. We offer and encourage open visiting for hospitalised patients during opening hours.


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Ensuring that true craftsmanship endures and that country  folk have a true specialist on their doorstep, Rowland Watson Gunmakers’ Mark Knezevic is a real big shot in the county... Words: Carissa Smith. Images: Pride’s Chief Photographer Dean Fisher.

Rowland Watson is a big shot. with a traditional cotton apron and oil-scented workshop, it’s one of the oldest gunmakers in the country, with a proud legacy stretching back over three centuries and an enviable location at the engine yard retail village at belvoir castle. headed up by remarkable gunsmith, mark knezevic is reviving the historic company and hopes to preserve the artisan trade of gunmaking with the opening of his store this year on the estate. it’s rare to have a gun shop and a full gun repair service in one place, so mark has created a truly unique business. since its birth in 1723, rowland watson gunmakers has been at the forefront of the birmingham gunmaking industry with nearly three centuries of history. it is this history, along with his passion for craftsmanship, that drew mark to the role. mark has been in the gunsmith industry for over 34 years and even before mark became a professional gunsmith, it was always a hobby. “my father used to shoot with the duke of devonshire. my father was an engineer by trade, and he would repair guns.”

“he had a workshop in our garden - this was before the days of health and safety legislation when laws changed - so i would watch him repair the guns and i became fascinating by the process.” “at the age of about 11 i began to help my father and made parts for the guns he worked on. my father and i soon realised i had a natural talent for this.” after leaving school mark studied mechanical engineering. “if i lived in london,” he explains, “i would probably have begun an apprenticeship with a london gunmaker. instead, i worked as a mechanical engineering apprentice and now i am a qualified engineer. but it wasn’t until i was, sadly, made redundant that i turned my hobby into a full-time career, a real example of turning tragedy into triumph.” rowland watson gunmakers, is that greatest of clichés; a ‘one stop shop’ for those who pursue shooting as an interest, offering a selection of guns, ammunition and shooting accessories. e restoring, renovating and repairing of guns is the core of mark’s business though and with his experience and skill, he can repair all types of guns from flintlock pistols to modern day guns. >> 45

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>> repairing such guns is a work of love for mark and it is a skilled craft. “i am very proud to be a gunsmith. a large amount of time and skill is needed to reproduce a part for a gun which could have been made 120 years ago before the existence of precise machines, standardised components.” “ere are no part lists or components available, so i have to make all parts in store by hand. my ethos is that a repair is only truly successful if a customer can’t tell that a repair has been carried out.” “at’s what i strive for with all repairs. some of the guns i repair are historically important and it’s also important to ensure repairs are within keeping of the date of the gun, preserving its provenance.” “i often work with guns over 100 years old and completing a sympathetic restoration is the favourite part of my job. if a customer brings in a gun or i purchase one 46

“A repair is truly successful if a customer can’t tell that one has been carried out...”  which isn’t aesthetically pleasing i enjoy restoring it back to its original condition. at doesn’t mean i want it to look ‘new’ but it should present a condition commensurate with its age or the fact that it has served a practical purpose. i want it to feel and appear as it would have done all those years ago. i love achieving that balance.” even though, we know mark to be extremely accomplished and skilled in guncraft, we’re surprised that he still refers to himself a gun apprentice. “i am always learning something new, so i call myself a gun apprentice.. albeit one with lots of experience!”

“i enjoy a challenge, so it is always a good day when a customer brings in a problem with a gun i have not seen before. within guncraft you are always learning how to fix new problems and make new parts.” from our first conversation with mark his passion for his store and craft was apparent. even as a gun novice mark taught me about the different guns available and the beautiful craftsmanship behind these artefacts. e store is open to all customers and mark will give any experienced or novice gun user free advice. especially interesting is the store’s archive, which contains record books that serve as a working history of guns stretching back hundreds of years. gun owners from all over the world can trace the history of their antique pieces. “we are a retail store, of course, and the business is my livelihood. but i always say the running of the business comes second to the passion i have!” says mark.

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“i am always happy to give advice and guidance to customers, novice or experienced. ere aren’t many gunmakers around so i am proud to be one and i want to preserve that knowledge.” mark’s clients range from just 14 years of age to his oldest customers, the most senior of whom is now 92. he has worked with guns priced at a modest £200 to those worth many hundreds of thousands of pounds. “i don’t have a favourite gun. but i do like side-by-side traditional guns and i have a particular soft spot for the gunmakers w r Pape, formerly of newcastle upon tyne.” “i prefer provincial makers rather than a london maker. even though, london makers such as James Purdy and sons are the some of the best in the world, i prefer provincial makers such as w r Pape, rowland watson, westley richards and charles rosson of norwich.

rowland watson offers small and complex renovations and repairs of guns. mark is also pioneering the removal of lead in ammunition to help make is more environmentally friendly. marks also sells traditional outdoor country clothing from tweed jackets and moleskins to hunting boots, as well as accessories from gloves and socks to glasses and leather bags. “is is an exciting time for this business. the belvoir estate is renowned for its shoots, e gun trade was - still is - very competitive. so there really is no better place for us to be. everyone needed to compete with london i’m very proud to be continuing the trade.erefore, provincial gunmakers had to rowland watson legacy and want to do all work much harder and i believe that their i can to preserve this artisan trade and keep traditional gun making skills alive. i’m also craftsmanship is especially phenomenal.” very proud to be making our home here with “when you see these historic guns, you have the support of the duchess of rutland.” to remember these were built before electricity and everything would have been done by n Rowland Watson Gunmakers is hand in candlelight which would have made open Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm them much more difficult to produce. it was in the closed season with out of hours low-tech, relying solely on craftsmanship, and appointments upon request. Call 01476 879177 or see i think there is something special in that.” 47

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What’s On... EGLETON


saturday 4th January

hedge laying weekend for beginners

saturday 18th January

live with tony blackburn

On this two day course you will have a brief introduction to this ancient art, learning what it involves, when to hedge-lay and how. Learn the old language associated with this art at the same time as laying your piece of hedgerow in the local Midland style using mainly hand tools such as axes and bill-hooks and more modern tools such as bow saws and loppers.

An evening with the silliest, funniest, warmest and wittiest man in radio! Welcome to this superb evening, hosted by Radio 2’s legendary DJ, Tony Blackburn of 60s classics performed live by the Sounds of the 60s All Star Band & Singers. Every week, more than a million people tune in to BBC Radio 2 to hear Tony Blackburn wax lyrical about the biggest stars of the 60s. With stories and songs from this most loved decade, come along and spend the evening with Tony, as he brings Sounds of the 60s from the studio to the stage!

n Rutland Water, 9.45am-9pm. Tickets £90. Call 01572 77065 or Visit STAMFORD

friday 31st January

the hounddogs

n DeMontfort Hall, 7.30pm. Tickets £31.50-41.50. Call 0116 233 3111 or visit

New Year, New Words...!



thursday 30th January

susie dent: the secret lives of the words we use

Join English lexicographer and etymologist Susie Dent to hear her selection of the funniest moments from her 25 years on Countdown and Eight Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, as well as some startling results from eavesdropping on a group of waiters. The evening will include some of Susie’s favourite words from the towns and regions she visits, and she’ll be asking the audience for their favourite Countdown moments. n Tickets £23, 7.30pm. Call 01780 766455 or visit


The Houndogs are quite simply one of the best Rock ‘n’ Roll bands in the UK. The band was formed by the three Wilson brothers nearly 15 years ago, and since then they have built up a wide reputation for their exhilarating live performances.

n Mama Liz’s Bar, Restaurant & Voodoo Lounge, 8pm. Tickets £11. Visit OAKHAM

saturday January 4th

rutland ePiPhany carol concert Returning to Rutland for the fourth time, Choral Scholars from Cambridge will perform a programme of beautiful music for Epiphany, featuring works by Britten, Howells, Rutter and Warlock in aid of Cancer Research UK’s Brain Tumour Research.

n Church of All Saints, 7.30pm. Tickets £12. Visit

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Send your press releases and events to: the Features Editor via



wednesday 1st January

stamford Pantomime Players Present dick whittington After last year’s successful Pantomime - Sleeping Beauty Stamford Pantomime Players brings you.... Dick Whittington. This is the family friendly story of Dick from Gloucester, who goes to London to seek his

tuesday 14th January

wine tasting & light lunch at hambleton hall

Philharmonia orchestra

Visit Hambleton Hall where you can enjoy a light lunch and sample eight examples of fine Riesling wines from Germany, Austria, France, New Zealand, Australia and America that affable bon vivant Tim Hart and Sommelier Dominique Baduel will compare and contrast.

fame and fortune. Along with his faithful feline companion, he battles King Rat and his army of ‘Ratlings,’ takes a ‘sea voyage’ to visit foreign shores, and of course falls in love! Will Dick get the girl? Will they survive the sea journey? 70+ strong cast from your local community bring you a show full of singing and dancing. n Tickets £11/adult, £9/child, £36/family. From 2pm/7pm,

Spine-chilling theatre based on hit Hollywood movie...



saturday 18th January

Esa-Pekka Salonen makes a welcome return to Leicester for an evocative programme culminating in Stravinsky’s timeless masterpiece, The Firebird. Concert Master Zsolt-Tihamer Visontay takes centre-stage and casts its spell with soulful melody, rhythmic power and flights of virtuosity.

n Hambleton Hall, from 12 noon. Tickets £80 per person. Call 01572 756991 or see

n DeMontfort Hall, 7pm. Tickets from £13.50 to £37.50. Visit



sunday 26th January

thursday 30th January

learn to meditate

The town of Oakham’s Funhouse Comedy Club returns for another great night of laughter, a great way to chase away the January blues! n Grainstore Brewery, doors

The meditations taught here by Buddhist nun Kelsang Rak-ma are within the Buddhist tradition but are suitable for anyone and everyone. Beginners are warmly welcomed... enjoy mindfulness!

n Stamford Arts Centre, 2.30-5pm. £17 per person. Call 01780 763203. LEICESTER

monday 20th January saturday 25th January

the woman in black

A lawyer obsessed with a curse that he believes has been cast over him and his family by the spectre of a Woman in Black engages a sceptical young actor to help him tell his terrifying story. Millions of theatre goers worldwide have experienced ‘The most brilliantly effective spine-chiller you will ever encounter’ (Daily Telegraph). Continuing its record breaking run in London’s West End, The Woman in Black

January laughs!

6.15pm. Tickets £10. Visit

now embarks on a major UK Tour and Susan Hill’s acclaimed ghost story comes dramatically alive in Stephen Mallatratt’s ingenious stage adaptation. This gripping production, directed by Robin Herford, is a brilliantly successful study in atmosphere, illusion and controlled horror. The hit film which inspired the production, and starred Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe, was actually filmed on location just outside Rutland at Cotterstock Hall! n The Curve Theatre, 2.15pm, 7.30pm. Tickets £10-35. Age 12yrs+. For more information see


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Silver Swans in Oakham...


January 2020

silver swans ballet in oakham

This month a new ballet class especially for the over 55s will launch in Oakham, bringing gentle exercise and dance to the area as pat of a national initiative championed by Angela Rippon. Ballet is a wonderful way to develop & improve your fitness, posture, co-ordination, musicality & self-confidence. It’s also a great opportunity to learn, be inspired, have fun & make friends. It’s class affiliated with the Silver Swans programme created by the Royal Dance Academy,

with former newsreader and Come Dancing presented Angela Rippon as ambassador. Angela says: ‘I’m absolutely delighted to be the Ambassador for Silver Swans, having been involved in dance for many years, both professionally and in my private life.” “On my BBC programme How to Stay Young, we proved scientifically that dance is the exercise which ticks all the boxes, to give you the full mind and body workout. That really convinced me that dance is a way to ensure a long and healthy life; it keeps you supple, it’s an aerobic exercise, it gives you spatial awareness, it makes you use your brain, and it

gives you some kind of social contact as well.

“Silver Swans classes have been specifically designed for the over-55s, but whatever your age, if you are looking for a new way to keep fit & active our ballet classes will put a spring in your step. Whether you've never danced before or want to get back into the swing of it, our classes have something for everyone.” “The RAD developed this programme based on research into dance for older learners classes are only taught by Silver Swans Licensees.”

n Call 07765 407323 or see


thursday 16th & friday 17th January 2020

andre rieu 70 years young The Maestro, the Composer, the man himself! André Rieu is celebrating a landmark birthday and is inviting cinema audiences all over the world to his party! 70 Years Young is André Rieu’s ultimate concert featuring musical highlights chosen by the maestro himself from his illustrious career so far. This unique commemorative celebration will take you on an unbelievable journey around the world to André Rieu’s most amazing concert locations, including Schönbrunn Vienna, Radio City Music Hall New York and the Coronation Concert in Amsterdam. Bring your friends and kick off the New Year together in style, in the comfort of the cinema, with the most wonderful music from the birthday boy – the King of Waltz! Hip hip hooray! n From 2pm, Stamford Arts Centre satellite screening. See www.stamford

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Enjoying Life

on the LAKES Images: Chief Photographer Dean Fisher.


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Any plans for summer? How about relaxing with a glass of wine in your luxurious holiday home... and best of all, there’s no travelling or departure lounges involved! Alternatively, Tallington Lakes’ properties are spacious, modern and maintenance-free homes for those looking to free up equity. ey’re available from £70,000-£250,000 and include modern features with brand new contemporary lodges being released in 2020... Fancy a holiday home without the hassle? Then look no further, and travel no further, than sunny Stamford’s Tallington Lakes. The 205 acre site, just ten minutes from Stamford, is home to sailing, fishing, waterskiing and kayaking - as well as its dry ski slope and climbing wall. But that’s not all.

It’s also home to around 350 lodges, a private gated community of lakeside homes you can enjoy with 365-days a year residency. If you’re looking to downsize from a larger property, retain a property in the area whilst living elsewhere in the UK or abroad or if you’re looking to invest in a holiday home you can enjoy as a family and derive a rental income from, Tallington Lakes could be your key to a great life.

Properties at Tallington Lakes can be purchased as existing homes or commissioned as new properties on your chosen plot. New for 2020 is a range of new contemporary designs, and you can choose from two or three bedroom properties with en suite bedrooms, luxurious and fully appointed kitchens, even rooftop terraces. “The properties are really popular with those seeking a luxury lifestyle either for retirement or following downsizing as extra accommodation for when the family visit. They’re solid, warm and well-insulated with bi-fold doors, wood burners and the option of purchasing fully furnished lodges.” “We’ve an older population than ever, and there’s a newly emerging demographic of fit and active ‘younger, older’ people from, say, 50-70. They’re ready to make their life easier with smaller gardens that are easier to manage and enjoy more leisure time.”

“But this new demographic are not ready to downsize to really small properties. Nor are they ready to consider retirement homes. They’ve time; they’ve an estate from which they’re ready to begin to release equity; they’ve connections in the area which they’d like to retain. It’s exactly those people who have discovered Tallington not just as an investment or a new home, but as a new lifestyle opportunity and a new community, too, for a new chapter in their life!” n

n Tallington Lake’s Lodges is represented by Mark Shrosbree. Visit The Good Life Lodge Company at Tallington Lakes, PE9 4RJ, call 0800 564 2266 or see 53

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Christmas Covered at Queensgate For a festive day out, Queensgate’s the place to be. Tick off your gift list, lose yourself in twinkling lights or find your perfect Christmas party outfit. With a magical grotto, shops galore, plentiful parking, and great restaurants, you won’t need to look much further for a brilliant Christmas...

John Lewis and Partners

Beauty Heaven: From Lush, Mac and Boots, to The Body Shop, The Perfume Store, John Lewis and Partners, and M&S, Queensgate has everything a beauty lover could want, whatever your budget.

to Christmas candles at Yankee Candle, cake essentials at Lakeland, and gift wrap at Paperchase, Queensgate will make this your most marvellous Christmas yet.

Sparkling Jewels: Head to Pandora, Swarovski, Warren James, Beaverbrooks or one of Queensgate’s many other jewellers to find a special glistening gift to put under the tree this year.

All the Tech: If it’s technology you’re after, Queensgate’s brilliant selection can be found at stores including 3, Carphone Warehouse, EE, Vodafone, John Lewis and Partners, and Argos – make a tech-lover’s Christmas!

Christmas Magic: From festive food at M&S and cards at Clintons or The Card Factory,

Westgate Arcade: Support your local indie stores at Westgate Arcade! Order your

Fashion Central: Kit out a fashionista or find a glitzy party outfit at Next, New Look, Topman, Topshop, Schuh, Primark, River Island, Accessorize, or one of Queensgate’s many other fashion stores for men and women.

Toys and Stocking Fillers: Grab your stocking fillers at Claire’s, Tiger, Smiggle, Menkind, Game, and Calendar Club. Or, for bigger toys and gifts, head to Argos, John Lewis and Partners, or M&S.

Your stunning new John Lewis and Partners is now open across three of its four floors, thanks to a £21 million revamp. Featuring a Style Studio, an Experience Desk, a Beauty Studio, two eateries, and a Dyson Shop, it’s a shopaholic’s dream.

turkey at Grasmere Farm, find edible stocking fillers at The Choc Box, and choose unique gifts at The Right Time, Clues, FashionFlair and ElsaRose.

Perfect Pit Stops: Christmas shopping’s exhausting, so get a quick caffeine or sugar fix at Costa Coffee, Pret, Krispy Kreme, or Auntie Anne’s. Or grab something more substantial at Tap & Tandoor, Turtle Bay or Handmade Burger Co. For the person who has everything: For that impossible-to-buy-for person in your life, it’s got to be a Queensgate gift card which can be spent in more than 90 shops and restaurants. Buy it on the Queensgate website or at the customer information desk. n

n Visit Long Causeway, Peterborough PE1 1NT. Call 01733 311666 or click on


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Stapleford Park

COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL This month Rob Davis begrudgingly shares Stapleford Park with those seeking beautiful dining in an exquisite setting. If there’s one New Year’s resolution you’ll find easy to keep, it’s a pledge to visit this 500-acre, four red star, country house hotel… Words: Rob Davis. Images: Pride’s Chief Photographer Dean Fisher.

A little fantasy is harmless. In fact Albert Einstein himself once said that ‘fantasy is everything, since imagination is the preview of life’s coming attractions.’ One particular fantasy I enjoy every time I visit Stapleford Park is the one where I’m returning to my own private country residence, rather than a four-star Grade I listed country house hotel, set in 500 acres of parkland. Crunching up the gravel driveway through Capability Brown landscaped grounds to the mansion’s front door, I imagine it’s mine all mine, and that my chauffeur will open the car door and my personal butler will welcome me home and take my top hat (yes… I wear a top hat in all of my fantasies. What of it?).

The reality, unfortunately, is that Stapleford Park is rather more open to the public. Its 55 bedrooms, its Grinling Gibbons dining room and terrific menu, its library, lounge, its private dining rooms, that health spa tucked away in the stables, and its



championship golf course are not ‘mine all mine’ but are in fact, available to anyone fortunate enough to know of its existence. The place dates back to 1066 with later additions in the 1500s, 1600s, 1700s and 1800s. It was the home of the Gretton family for much of its life but was purchased by larger than life Chicago born restauranteur and hotelier Bob Payton in 1988.

Food History: Worked in Norfolk and London at hotels including the Dorchester and Waldorf.

Food Philosophy: Teamwork is the most important aspect of a well-functioning kitchen! Food Heaven: Venison!

Food Hell: Peanut Butter! n

Deciding that Stapleford rather than his native US city was ‘his kind of town,’ he relocated and embarked on a huge refurbishment and threw the doors open not just to guests, but to names like Wedgwood, Turnbull & Asser and Crabtree & Evelyn to help with the redecoration. That’s in between purchasing the Criterion in Piccadilly and misguidedly attempting to


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>> open a chain of fish and chip shops in the states… unsuccessfully, given a transatlantic tendency towards food philistinism.

And so, from the late eighties, yours truly was forced to begrudgingly share Stapleford Park’s dining experience and its trappings with other diners.

During the day you’ll enjoy the Drawing Room with its - I hate the phrase but it’s quite applicable - quintessentially English soft furnishings, huge vases of flowers, mullioned bay window and afternoon teas.

OPEN FOR FOOD Dinner: Served daily between 6.30pm - 9.15 pm.

Lounge Menu: A lighter menu is available daily from 12 noon - 9pm. Sunday Lunch: 12.30 - 2pm.

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Cured salmon, Brentingby gin lemon purée, cucumber and Avruga caviar £11. Squab pigeon, pancetta, and sweetcorn pearl barley £11.50. Main Courses

Loin of venison with sloe gin and blackberry glaze, pressed potato, artichoke & parsnips £31. 160g Hereford beef fillet, braised short rib, wild mushrooms and butternut squash £32.

In respect of the latter, there’s a dedicated afternoon tea menu with plenty of variation including a children’s version, a vegan one and a traditional version with optional Champagne.

During daytime service there’s a bar lounge and brunch menu in addition to afternoon teas. Sunday lunch service provides a dedicated menu with beef striploin - not sirloin - duck fat roasties and proper big fat Yorkies. Private dining takes place in rooms like the vaulted Old Kitchen, with room for 36 diners or the adjacent Billiard Room or Harborough Room for parties of up to 25.

Once you’ve enjoyed an aperitif and the odd canapé in the library bar, diners are invited through to the Grinling Gibbons dining room. It’s named after the Dutch master of wood carving and is suitably grand and comfortable. Evening dining provides guests with a choice of the à la carte menu with seven starters, seven main courses and four desserts. There’s also an all singing, all dancing, all amazing tasting menu, too.

With 500 acres surrounding the estate, Head Chef Tony Fitt and his brigade can forage for ingredients like wild garlic and mushrooms. Other local suppliers are used where possible too, from Belvoir Ridge Creamery which supplies Colwick cheese, and Bloomsbury Bakery.

Other local suppliers allied to Stapleford include Brentingby Distillery which has recently allied with the hotel to create a bespoke gin utilising botanicals foraged from around the estate. The hotel has also formed a partnership with Maison Gardet and will be launching a bespoke house champagne as Pride goes to press. Something to celebrate, plus an appropriate fizz with which to toast the news.

A little fantasy, then, stirs the spirit, but not as much, we conclude, as a visit to Stapleford. The place itself might be grand but beauty isn’t skin deep. Service, the choice and quality of dining and the general feeling of hospitality are all flawless. It really is better than even a furtive imagination’s fantasy would suggest. n

Creedy Carer duck breast with burnt onion purée, pumpkin and spinach £28.

Poached halibut with watercress, mussels and charred leeks £29.50. Dessert

Assiette of apples from the estate (tartin; sorbet; panna cotta) £11. Clementine bread pudding, cranberry and white chocolate ice cream £11.

Selection of cheese, £16. NB: Featured dishes are subject to change.

n Stapleford Park Country House Hotel, Stapleford, Melton Mowbray, LE14 2EF. Call 01572 787 000., or see 59

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2 courses £23.95 3 courses £28.95


Traditional Scotch broth & Griffin bread

Smoked haddock & clam chowder Chicken liver parfait, onion chutney & toasted brioche Pear stuffed with blue cheese, cream cheese and walnut


Traditional turkey roast & seasonal trimmings

Beef & carrot bourguignon, creamed potato & rich gravy

Fillet of hake, wilted greens & crayfish beurre blanc

Wild mushroom & Parmesan risotto with basil & truffle oil Beetroot falafel, petits pois, spinach & mint


Traditional Christmas pudding & brandy sauce Duo of homemade mince pies & brandy butter Chocolate brownie & honeycomb ice-cream Apple tart & cream or ice-cream Selection of local cheeses, fruit, chutney & biscuits (£2.50 supplement)


All of the Griffin team wish you a Very Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year Please ask for vegetarian/vegan options and other dietary requirements. *TIPS: We are very happy to promise that all those who have worked so hard to make your evening an enjoyable one, receive all tips whether by card or cash. Michael and Jamie


01476 550201 | |

Look forward to seeing you at The Griffin Inn Irnham


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Forever Flowing

BuBBLeS is month Carissa Smith explores the finest fizz and raises a glass to Dom Pérignon in the spiritual home of Champagne, the Abbey of St. Peter in Hautvillers... Words: Carissa Smith.

Champagne is synonymous of luxury, a drink to mark those special life moments. Many people use the term Champagne as a generic term for sparkling wine however Champagne more accurately describes wine produced in the designated Champagne wine region in northeast France and created using méthode champenoise. Of all the Champagnes there is one name which is truly iconic – Dom Pérignon. Dom Pérignon is one of the most recognised Champagne brands of all time, named after Benedictine monk Dom Pierre Pérignon. Legend has it on the 4th August 1639 Benedictine monk Dom Pierre Pérignon invented champagne after tasting the results of a botched batch of wine, with his famous statement, ‘Come quickly, I am drinking the stars!’ Sounds to us like he’d already had enough...

master at the Benedictine Abbey in Hautvillers, not far from Epernay in the Champagne region of northeast France. Hautvillers is thus generally considered to be the birthplace of Champagne.

Since bubbles in wine occur naturally, nobody could be really be credited with the invention of sparkling wine. However Dom Pérignon perfected the art of producing a clear white wine from black grapes by clever manipulation of the presses; enhancing the tendency of Champagne wines to retain their natural sugar in order to naturally induce secondary fermentation in the spring... and Dom Pérignon was a master at deciding when to bottle these wines in order to capture the bubble.

Sparkling Conversation

The monk also introduced cork fastenings, instead of wood which was originally used to seal the bottles. The cork were fastened to bottles with hemp string soaked in oil in order to keep the wines fresh and sparkling.

Prosecco from the Veneto region of Italy and Cava from Catalonia and English sparkling wine - all use méthode champenoise, but can’t be called Champagne as they lack Champagne’s Geographic Indication status.

Like many historical claims, unfortunately ‘the night they invented champagne’ is more fiction than fact and the first documentation of this statement was published in a Champagne advert dating from the 1880s, rather than the 17th century.

However, while as the date of the invention of Champagne may be unknown we do know Dom Pérignon made an enormous contribution by developing the techniques that finally produced a successful white wine from red wine grapes, something vintners had been trying to accomplish for years. Dom Pérignon (1963-1715) was the cellar

The first vintage of Dom Pérignon was produced from the grapes of 1921 and was only released for sale in 1935. In 1935, 300 bottles of a 1926 vintage precursor to Dom Pérignon were sold to Simon Bros. & Co., the company that imported Moët to UK.

While these bottles were almost identical to the subsequent Dom Pérignon releases, they did not display the Dom Pérignon name, rather ‘Champagne specially shipped for Simon Bros & Co’s Centenary 1835-1935.’ 63

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“Dom Pérignon is a prestige cuvée, or tête de cuvée, which is the top Champagne that a producer will make. Dom Pérignon is always a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.” >> The wine received immediate attention in the marketplace and 100 boxes of the 1921 vintage were shipped to the United States shortly thereafter, this time displaying the Dom Pérignon name.

Until the 1943 vintage, Dom Pérignon was produced from regular vintage Moët & Chandon Champagne that was transferred to the special 18th century-style bottles after extended cellaring. It was, thus, effectively an ‘oenothèque’ release of Moët & Chandon Vintage Champagne in a different bottle. From the 1947 vintage, Dom Pérignon has been produced separately from the start. Dom Pérignon is always a vintage Champagne. To be a vintage each bottling contains grapes only from a single year, showcasing that vintage’s unique characteristics. Thus, means Dom Pérignon is not made in weak years.

From 1921-2009 Dom Pérignon Champagne has been produced in 42 vintages. Richard Geoffroy, who is the current chef de cave of Dom Pérignon and has been since 1998 will only make and release the wine in vintages that will age more than 20 years. As a rule, Richard produces no more than six vintages each decade. Dom Pérignon is aged for a minimum of seven years in bottles before release, but some releases are aged for much longer. Dom Pérignon releases each vintage three times. The first release is typically around

nine years, the second around 18, and the third around 25.

This ageing gives the wine complexity and richness. Most bottles of Dom Pérignon are first-release bottles, but if a bottle has ‘P2’ or ‘P3’ on the foil, you’ll know that it’s a second or third release, respectively. As of September 2019 the current release of Dom Pérignon is from the 2009 vintage. The number of bottles produced in each vintage is not precisely defined, and the production numbers are a guarded secret but educated guesses are around four million bottles per vintage. In 1959 a rosé version of Dom Pérignon was first produced. The rosé is often more expensive than the standard Dom Pérignon, and 26 Rosé Vintages have been produced until 2006, with the 2006 vintage being the current release.

Dom Pérignon is made by Moët & Chandon and the quality comes from specific vineyards and the fact they choose whether to make the wine each year. Dom Pérignon is a prestige cuvée, or tête de cuvée, which is the top Champagne that a producer will make. Dom Pérignon is always a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The percentage of these two key grapes changes from vintage to vintage however is it usually somewhere between 50/50 & 60/40 favouring one of the grapes. Each bottle of Dom Pérignon always contains a blend of grapes from the original plot in the Abbey of Hautvillers and grapes from Grand Cru vineyards, all from the Champagne region. Dom Pérignon has the perception of being the best; it is unique, delicious and expensive. The most expensive bottle of Dom Pérignon is the 1959 vintage. This bottle is now very rare and finding one is like a searching for a needle in a haystack. The last bottle of 1959 Dom Pérignon sold for just over £33,000. n


Far Left: Statue of Dom Pérignon (1639 - 1715) at Moët et Chandon, in the town of Sainte-Menehould.

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Richard Geoffroy, the long serving chef de cave of Dom Pérignon prefers to drink Champagne from a proper crystal stem glass as it gives the wine room to expand rather than a flute tulip or other dedicated champagne wine glass. Champagne mustn’t be served too cold. Around 10 degrees is the ideal temperature, even up to 12 degrees, as it allows the aromas to fully express themselves. You do not remove the foil around the cage of champagne, as bottles have a traditional antique foil which is meant to remain adhered to the bottle. Instead, just pull the tab through the foil and remove the cage as if the foil were not there. Everybody knows Champagne and salty food go hand in hand. Moët & Chandon cellarmaster Benoit Gouez says, “If you want to fine-tune a match with Champagne, you have to play with salt.” The reason is salt and fat tend to coat the palate; Champagne bubbles help to break these flavours up. Benoit adds that foods with a lot of texture, like crunchy chips or tiny beads of caviar, mimic the wine’s bubbly nature and can make the drinking experience more enjoyable, ensuring salty food is always a safe pairing for Champagne. n

Top/Left: Dom Pérignon vineyard in Reims and the Abbey of Saint Pierre d’Hautvillers, home to the finest French fizz. Cheers!


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Let’s Get Fizzical New Year’s eve is nearly upon us and if there’s one sound you’re practically guaranteed to hear it’s the popping of champagne corks. Toast 2020 as we get fizzical and celebrate with our top 10 Champagnes... Consumed & Written by: Carissa Smith.

1. Champagne Dom Perignon Vintage 2008

(Left) The Champagne of Champagnes, with a wonderful mixture of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir, with white flowers, peach and honeysuckle flavour.

2. Möet & Chandon Grand Vintage 2009

£137, 75cl, 12.5% ABV

(Right) The 2009 vintage year was a season that started badly, with lots of rain. But this all cleared by mid-July, and the rest of the summer was hot and dry, resulting in a particularly good Pinot Noir vintage and a Champagne that’s more lemony and fresh.

£53.99, 75cl, 12.5% ABV

3. Bollinger Special Cuvée

(Left) Special Cuvée is the purest expression of Bollinger’s house style. Its biscuity nose is endowed with hints of white fruit perfectly balanced by fresh acidity. £34.99, 75cl, 12% ABV

4. Chapel Down Non Vintage Reserve

(Right) a classic example of quality English sparkling wine with aromas of red apple, citrus fruits and freshly baked bread together with hints of strawberry and quince on the palate and fine persistent bubbles. £23.99, 75cl, 12% ABV


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5. Krug Vintage Champagne 2004

(Left) The 2004, named Luminous Freshness by the House, is a blend of Chardonnay (39%), Pinot Noir (37%) and Pinot Meunier (24%); it’s quite unusual for having so much Chardonnay. A very balanced Champagne on the palate, light notes of brioche and honey gives way to an array of fresh citrus, including oranges and lemons. £265, 75cl, 12% ABV

6. Pommery Rose Brut Champagne (Right) There is some honest and measured precision to this wine, with fresh and mineral peach, pear and nectarine tones. £47.99, 75cl, 12% ABV

7. Perrier-Jouët 2008 Belle Epoque Champagne

8. Moët & Chandon Rosé Impérial

(Right) Exuberant strawberry, with creamy, toasty biscuity notes, Möet’s Imperial Rosé provides a fine creamy mousse, lots of berry fruit, creamy yeasty length. £49.99, 75cl, 12% ABV

(Left) This 2012-vintage Champagne from Perrier-Jouët has been made with a combination of 50% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir and 5% Pinot Meunier grapes to emphasise the unique character of its vintage. The nose is delicate and floral, hints of lime blossom and acacia sweetened by gentle honey. £130, 75cl, 12.5% ABV

9. Champagne Laurent Perrier La Cuvée

10. Lanson Black Label

(Left) Impeccable style of creamy richness, blossom scents and toasty length. A high proportion of Chardonnay and reserve wines, plus at least four years ageing in the cellars, ensure a very fine mousse. £29.99, 75cl, 12.5% ABV

(Right) Brilliantly straw coloured with glints of amber and fine bubbles. Fresh aromas of flowers and honey combine with ripe fruit and delicate citrus notes. £32.99, 75cl, 12% ABV


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This month we present a delicious coffee cake with a moist mascarpone cream filling and a scattering of crushed walnuts...

COFFEE CAKE with Mascarpone Cream and Crushed Walnuts

Preparation time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 25 minutes. Serves eight to ten. Ingredients: (for the cake) 225g self-raising flour • 1tsp baking powder • 225g light brown Muscovado sugar • 225ml sunflower oil • two large free range eggs • 6tsp espresso coffee or 5tsp instant coffee granules mixed with 1tbsp water • 75ml whole milk • (for the filling) • 100g butter, at room temperature • 100g light brown Muscovado sugar • 125g Mascarpone cream • 50g walnut pieces, roughly chopped Preheat the oven to 180°c. Firstly, grease and baseline two 20cm cake tins.

Place the flour, baking powder and sugar in a mixing bowl and mix well. Using a handheld electric whisk beat in the oil, eggs, four teaspoons of the coffee and the milk. Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for five minutes before turning the tin upside down and the cake out onto a

wire rack. Remove the paper and make sure you leave the cake to cool completely.

For the mascarpone cream, put the butter in a bowl, add the sugar then use an electric whisk to beat together until light and creamy. Slowly add the mascarpone then gradually beat in the remaining coffee.

Place one of the sponges onto a serving plate and spread over half the mascarpone cream. Place the other sponge on top pressing down gently and then carefully spread the remaining mascarpone cream. Sprinkle with the walnut pieces and serve. n

Recipe: Waitrose,

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Aged 23 Years For the Best Laid Evenings...

Wine of the Month

The perfect treat for Burn’s Night: Glenfiddich’s Grand Cru luxury whisky

Champagne Gremillet Blanc du Noir, 100% Pinot Noir, France £38.95 / 75cl / 12%

My best advice when selecting whisky is firstly to stick to Speyside and thereafter to never drink a whisky younger than your children. After all, they’ve probably driven you to reach for a whisky in the first place. Following my advice, Glenfiddich last month launched this flagship, premium, top of the range 23-year old Speyside. Apple blossom, brioche, sandalwood and the finest oakiness thanks to being aged in French Champagne casks. Toast Robert Burns on 25th January. £220 / 70cl / 40%.

Toast the arrival of 2020 with this wonderful, less-well known but more rewarding Champagne. We may not be living on the moon, we may not have flying cars or robot butlers, but by gosh, if 2020 has brought us anything, it’s gifted us ruddy good fizz! Pale golden colour with hints of amber, this Champagne is full of fine bubbles, aromas of quince and spicy almost peppery notes. Rich, full-bodied and voluptuous.


PROTEST VOTE: Three knockouts from Burgundy to protest the tyranny of Dry January... 1. This enviable Pauillac is full of spice and peppers, a medium to full bodied super trooper of Burgundy designed to help you power through winter. £90 / 75cl / 13% ABV. 2. For a really heavy flavour, this Cabernet/Merlot blend affords Les Griffons a certain weight and dignity. Sweet red plums, liquorice and tobacco for a warming palate and a satisfying finish. £24.99 / 75cl / 13.5% ABV. 3. And last, but by golly, not least. Château Climens 2009, Barsac Premier Cru Classé. A sweet sauternes that’s a perfect partner to a winter pudding after Sunday lunch! £110 / 75cl / 13.5% ABV.

n Available from www.wriggly Join as a King’s member to get this bottle for just £29.

New Year, New Gin Stapleford Park launches exclusive own brand tipple

We’ve known for a while that Stapleford Park is one of the area’s finest country house hotels, and one of the little joys of staying in one of its 55 beautifully appointed bedrooms was always the little bottle of complimentary sloe gin left in the room for guests to enjoy. Well now the hotel has gone a little further by commissioning its own bespoke gin in association with local distillery Brentingby using botanicals foraged from the 500 acre estate. Juniper, lavender, rose petals and nettles. It’s available both from - and at - the hotel! n £47.50 / 70cl / 40%

n Our featured wines are available from the best local independent wine merchants, supermarkets and online, prices are RRP and may vary from those stated.


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Schools & Colleges Stoneygate School, Leicester

Brooke Priory School

Stoneygate School is unique. It is a small school that has retained its important heritage and ethos and yet it is now part of the large Leicester Grammar School Trust.

Established in 1989, Brooke Priory is an independent co-educational Preparatory School based in Oakham, Rutland. Currently celebrating its 30th Anniversary, Brooke Priory creates a unique environment where childhood is cherished and children are encouraged ‘to be the best they can be.’ Family pervades all we do within the school by valuing hard work and ensuring each day is special for every child.

“Co-educational school for pupils from four-16!”

Pupils here are busy. We have a long day- pupils tend to leave at 5.30pm and it is filled with learning, discovery and fun.

Pupils are never bored here. Personal development and participation are our strengths: we encourage and expect pupils to join after school clubs from tap dancing to Gothic literature; from Tae Kwon Do to gardening. We want pupils to be inquisitive and not to rely solely on technology for the answer to everything.

We want our pupils to ask ‘why?’ Millions saw the apple fall, but only Newton asked ‘why?’ We want our pupils to be 72

bold- to learn from experiments, from drama, from play... from their own mistakes. From a young age pupils are taught by specialist teachers with a passion for their subject. Our School ethos is based around the Four C’s; staff and pupils are caring, creative, curious and committed.

We are fortunate to teach and learn in such beautiful settings, but this does not make a great school. Committed staff and eager pupils do-something we have in abundance.

n The Leicester Grammar Trust Open Morning takes place on Saturday 10th October 2020. Personal tours can be arranged throughout the school year by the admissions office on 0116 259 2282. You can also visit

“An enviable reputation in the East Midlands...”

We teach children to become independent, reflective learners and selfmanagers. Knowledge and skills are applied individually in the pursuit of excellence; we foster excellent relationships with our pupils who succeed and thrive in an environment of mutual respect. Whilst academic distinctions are a priority we also offer an

active and varied extracurricular programme including a minimum of five sessions of sport per week. Opportunities exist to take part in mindfulness activities such as yoga and pilates as well as music and creative arts. We encourage a healthy mind and body promoting nutritious snacks and outdoor countryside pursuits via our Welly Days. Happy, healthy children learn better.

We recognise that some children will require greater support to increase their emotional literacy than others. Children perform better if their emotional needs are addressed and we have an ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) programme developed and supported by educational psychologists.

n To find out more and to arrange a visit, phone 01572 724778 or email

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Scallywags Day Nursery

Copthill School, Stamford

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

There really isn’t another school like Copthill in the area. In an age where parents worry constantly about how much exercise their children are getting, or how addicted to their phones and iPads they are Copthill School, near Uffington, is a perfect solution to those concerns.

“A happy and rewarding experience...”

The nursery includes a state of the art Pre-School with a large outside play area and vegetable patch, where the children enjoy growing sunflowers and producing their own fresh vegetables.

Scallywags continue to make improvements to the nursery environment, which help to support children’s development.

During 2019, improvements were made to the pre-school, bathroom areas, and staff room.

The Nursery practitioners support development in children’s literacy and mathematical skills, by provid-

ing suitable and stimulating activities. The children also enjoy stories, during a recent Ofsted inspection it was quoted: “Children of all ages enjoy looking at books and listening to stories. Staff read to children with enthusiasm which overall captures their attention well.

Children show excitement as they listen to familiar stories and join in with some words and actions”.

Scallywags boasts professional qualified nursery nurses and teachers including degree and masters level qualifications, with professionals totally dedicated to providing the finest childcare and ensuring children are well prepared for Primary School.

n For more information call 01572 723 810 or visit the school’s website at

“Curiosity, excitement & desire for 50 years!”

It has the most amazing 300acre grounds, which hide the sorts of delights and challenges which will make any child forget Fortnite in an instant.

Whether its building rafts on its gorgeous stretch of the Welland, learning about World War I in a purpose-built trench, or playing all sorts of sports on its astroturf pitch, Copthill provides opportunities for children that inspire their imaginations and kick-starts a passion for learning. But it’s not just about the Forest School, wooden fort,

farm with live animals, outdoor kitchens and any other number of other outdoor marvels. Academic attainment and Copthill’s indoor educational resources are of an extremely high standard too. There’s a fully kitted out laboratory for science, all the classrooms have state-ofthe-art digital teaching facilities, while music pods and a studio cater for the arts and of course, as you would expect at a school with such a strong health the dinner hall is a bastion of fresh, healthy eating. The next Open Morning is on Thursday 13th February from 9.00am - 11.00am (no need to book) as it’s an informal morning where the Copthill children, will show you their Copthill School. n Copthill Independent School for children age 2 - 11 Years, Barnack Road, Uffington, Stamford PE9 3AD Tel: 01780 757506 or visit


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Little Angels Uppingham

Laxton Junior School

Little Angels provides flexible childcare solution for children aged six weeks to 11 years old. Celebrating 10 years in 2020, the nursery has 16 members of staff, and a total of 170 children on the register - thankfully not all requiring childcare at the same time!

Laxton Junior School is more than just a school: it is an engaging and inspiring experience that fosters the confidence and resilience children need to develop in the most fantastic ways across and beyond the curriculum. Children and their learning, care and happiness are central to all that happens at Laxton Junior School and, as a result, they bound into school every day excited to interact with the multitude of opportunities available.

“A flexible childcare solution for busy families!”

The result is reliable, professional childcare with degree-level practitioners who are all invested in the care of your child, whether you’re seeking before or after school care, full-time baby or preschool childcare.

Prices are fully inclusive of freshly cooked meals, snacks and drinks. If fact, in Little Angels most recent customer satisfaction survey 100% of respondents said the food was exceptional. The nursery is open from 7.30am to 6pm for 51 weeks of the year 76

(excluding bank holidays), and offers the flexible solution to the working demands on parents than modern life dictates. Five-hour flexi sessions allow you to choose a start time that works to meet you and your child’s needs.

In December 2018 the Ofsted Inspector said of the nursery: “Children are confident in the setting. They settle quickly on arrival, seeking out their friends or member of staff if needed. Children are enthusiastic, curious and are learning good skills to help them move on. The youngest children respond to staff ’s interaction with smiles and sounds, and some are beginning to use words. Staff are good at making use of spontaneous opportunities to help children learn.”

n For more information call 01572 823680 or see

“Learning is at the centre of all that we do...”

In fact, some of the children were asked what they considered to be so special and magical about the Laxton Junior School experience and this is how they captured it: Sophie, in Reception, said: “I like to play outside on the grass best because I can play catch with my friends”; whereas Jack, in Year 3, spoke of the “kind and helpful teachers; they listen to what we say and show us how to get better.”

Henry, in Year 4, explained that “it’s great how boys and girls can play every sport at LJS; boys can play rounders and girls can play cricket, I’m really looking forward to this exciting opportunity next term”; whilst, for Gabriella, in Year 6, “having a suggestion box where we put our ideas for the School Council is something I really enjoy; I like that we have a voice and can help make our school a better place.”

n If you would like to find out more about Laxton Junior School, you are more than welcome to organise a meeting and a tour with the Head, Mr Sam Robertson, who would be delighted to introduce you to some amazing children and give you an insight into how the School designs an individually tailored experience around them; this can be organised through Mrs Lesley Taylor, the Registrar, by calling 01832 277159 or email

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Oakham School, Oakham

The Peterborough School

Oakham School’s new Headmaster, Henry Price, started at the School last September, following Nigel Lashbrook’s retirement.

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

“A new school year and a new Headmaster!”

Henry studied Classics at New College, Oxford University, and has previously taught at Rugby School and Sherborne School.

Henry moves to Oakham following four years of Headship at Wellington School in Somerset, which like Oakham, is a co-educational day and boarding school with a strong emphasis on the total curriculum. He joins Oakham at an exciting time, when the Lower School (for pupils aged 10+) enters its second year of developing and implementing the internationally celebrated IB Middle Years Programme (IB MYP).

The IB MYP is much more than just a set of subjects: it is a framework for learning that helps pupils to develop the essential knowledge, aptitude and skills they will need to thrive and succeed in the world of 2030 and beyond. Pupils are now able to benefit from this highly regarded approach to learning before they study for their GCSEs.

To meet with Oakham’s new Headmaster and to learn how the IB MYP would offer your child the very best start to their senior school education, join one of our Open Mornings.

n Contact Admissions on 01572 758758 to book onto one of our Lower School Open Mornings on Saturday 29 February 2020 or Saturday 16 May 2020. Keep up to date with all of Oakham’s news at , or follow us on Twitter @OakhamSch.

“Modern outlook and traditional values...”

Small class sizes are key to us unlocking every child’s potential academically and vital soft skills are developed by our extended curriculum.

Our ‘Outstanding’ Nursery gives children the best possible start in excellent facilities, which include three garden areas as well as access to the school’s sports hall, fields, IT suite and auditorium. Pupils are happy and safe in our Prep, Senior School and Sixth Form. We aim to develop a passion for learning in all areas and success is celebrated throughout. Our consistently strong A Level results show high

value-added scores, meaning children do better here because of the excellent teaching and high levels of individual attention.

Our new Library and Sixth Form Centre, opened last September, have provided Senior pupils with high-tech and comfortable environments for studying and socialising. The Peterborough School was founded in 1895 and is a member of the Woodard group of schools, which is the largest collection of Church of England schools in England and Wales and one of the principal educational charities in the UK.

n Visitors are very welcome to look around our productive, friendly and happy school during our Open Days or by appointment. Tel: 01733 343357, email:, 77

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LUXURY A Stay in Country



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It’s always lovely to have a short break, but as hotels limit guests to just a room or a suite, they never feel as luxurious or as comfortable as a stay in your own home. Barefoot Retreats are working to change that with one of their latest properties the Old Rectory sleeping 20 people. The gorgeous Norfolk manor house is 157 years old and has been refurbished to an unbelievably high standard.

Team Pride was lucky enough to experience this incredible place for themselves, blown away by the level of quality and attention to detail in every element of the property from the service to the design. Above: Team Pride testing the tennis court and the main hall to the property.


Main: The stunning kitchen with all the latest fixtures and fittings. Right is snug.

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The drive into the property immediately revealed its grandeur and history, but its ancient façade can be deceiving; inside, this property is beautifully modern.

They have managed to retain the Old Rectory’s original features and charm like the fireplaces, old servant bells and staircase, but have added some fantastic modern features like the Sonos sound system, Rangemaster cooker and three wood burners.

Its modern appliances are just the beginning; the design of this property has been carefully considered, ensuring every room is greeted with a ‘Wow.’ We were welcomed by a Barefoot Retreats Welcome Hamper - complimentary with every stay in a Barefoot Retreats holiday

“Stay here on the coldest of winter nights by the log burner in the snug or the warmest of summer days playing tennis or drinking Pimm’s...” home - filled with everything you need for a weekend away including basics like tea, coffee and milk to treats like Prosecco, cake and chocolate. It’s a property you would want to stay in on the coldest of winter nights by the log burner in the snug, or the warmest of summer days strolling around the extensive

manicured grounds or playing a game of tennis. In fact there is so much to enjoy and entertain in this property that we never left, except for an exquisite meal at the Hoste in Burnham Market on Saturday night, just a 10 minute drive away. Of course, if you do wish to explore the area, you’re just a short distance from the beautiful coast – go crabbing at Wells-nextthe-Sea, stroll down Cromer’s pier or enjoy fish and chips at Hunstanton.

Burnham Market is also a location we recommend exploring, filled with independent shops and restaurants in a stunning rural village setting. Our most honest recommendation however would be to invite all your friends and family


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for the weekend or a week’s break, play tennis in the property’s own court, have barbecues in the evenings in the fairy-light lit courtyard, spend rainy days in the annexe to the property playing pool and table tennis, and colder evenings playing board games, watching films or reading books - all provided - in the cosy snug. No one will draw the short straw when it comes to the bedrooms either; they are all absolutely stunning.

If you’re looking for a place to spend some quality time with your whole family, we don’t think you’ll find anything better than this Barefoot Retreat Norfolk holiday home just an hour’s drive away.

Left: The pool table in the annexe. Above: One of the many gorgeous bedrooms. Right: The entrance to the property and Team Pride! Top Right: One of the bathrooms.


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We would like to thank Barefoot Retreats for allowing Team Pride to experience this beautiful place for the weekend and providing such a fantastic service so close to Stamford & Rutland. We implore our readers to try it out for themselves; you will not be disappointed! n



In numbers: 10 bedrooms, six bathrooms, three log burners, one tennis court, 20 guests.

Features: Annexe with pool and tennis table (and second kitchen), tennis court, spacious grounds, gas BBQ , Welcome Hamper, home theatre system and bathrobes. Priced From: ÂŁ3,000

Find Out More: Barefoot Retreats has hundreds of other properties to select from too, all finished to the same high spec with the same attention to detail in its fittings and furnishings. Just visit or call 01485 512245 for more information. Price depends on time of year, length of stay and other factors.


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Seasonal Greetings from the QKS Team • Contemporary, modern, traditional & handmade bespoke kitchens • Affordable, quality kitchens and the latest designs on display • Over 60 appliances on show

• Review our recent jobs on our website or visit our Facebook page • 25 large room settings in our extensive showroom

The best quality, best value and best service from a company fitting kitchens since 1981

THE AREA’S LARGEST INDEPENDENT KITCHEN SHOWROOM The Maltings, Barnack Road, Stamford PE9 2NA T: 01780 756514 or 755855


Open Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm. Sat, 9am-3pm, closed all day Sunday


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STONE The Beauty of Natural

Words: Rob Davis.


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Beautiful, limestone from the heart of Rutland is a product for your home that’s been thousands of years in the making. Its new ambassador is Stamford Stone’s Karen Jackson, who introduces us to its natural charm & quality... Natural. Beautiful. Hard-wearing. Natural limestone, from beneath the Rutland countryside, is one of the most understated of the county’s local produce - a term more usually reserved for food and drink but equally applicable. Stamford Stone has operated Clipsham Medwell quarry since 2001. After buying the Clipsham Quarry Company last year, it gained Clipsham’s Bidwells Quarry on Bidwells Lane, giving it the exclusive supply of Clipsham limestone worldwide. Karen Jackson, who has extensive experience working in the home improvement sector, and has now joined the company to champion local limestone. “I’m used to offering people quality products to improve their homes, but local limestone from Stamford Stone has a whole other dimension,” says Karen. “It’s developed over thousands of years to create beautiful flooring, staircases, fireplaces and so much more too.”

“It’s difficult to think of a material that’s more versatile nor, with the proper care, one that is as hard-wearing. Looked after, stone will withstand family life and will continue to look better as it ages.” “Our showroom is located on the quarry at Swaddywell. It may sound like a tough environment, but in fact we have really light comfortable space in which to display all the versatility our products offer. Of course, the coffee’s always on, but if you’re so inclined you can enjoy a tour and see your own stone actually being quarried!”

“Clients can discuss their project and can take advantage of our technical knowledge and familiarity with the product, as well as our excellent customer service. We also have the ability to put them in touch with our own sub-contracted installers to really get the best out of the material, whether you’re looking to create a beautiful floor, an architecturally impressive staircase, a beautiful kitchen or bathroom, or architectural stonework inside or outdoors at home.” n n Visit Stamford Stone Co at Swaddywell Quarry, PE6 7EL. Alternatively, call 01780 740970 or see 91

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The term magnificent is much overused in daily life, but is a fair narrative for the trophy which appeared at the Golding Young weekly valuation day in Stamford. The massive silver chest which contained this beast of an item gave a slight indication of its proportion, but still one could only gasp when the heavy bound lid was lifted and the Glenda Spooner Perpetual Challenge Trophy (later the Ponies UK Patrons Cup) came gleaming back at me. It is up there with some of the more famous pieces seen in the world of sport, coupled with its most famous of Victorian makers James Barclay Hennell and its association with one of the most astute names in the history of equine welfare, writing and judging, it will appeal to many people when offered in a forthcoming sale at Golding Young Grantham.

Glenda Spooner (1897-1981) was associated mainly with the welfare of horses and ponies, but applied her hand to a great many projects: she was the chairperson and secretary of the Ponies of Britain Club, helped run the Old War Horse Memorial (later the Brooke) Hospital and wrote many books both fiction and non fiction regarding the welfare and technical aspects of all levels of horse breeding and ownership, her name remains associated with a welfare farm in Somerset and she even won this trophy three times between 1958 and 1960.

The trophy itself is a mixture of Victorian skill and excellence from one

of the great silversmiths James Hennell. In 1851 he was described as a 23 year old silver plate worker, by the production of this trophy in 1880 he was at the forefront of Victorian design and quality, he was taken over by Holland, Aldwinckle and Slater in 1887 and this piece was produced at the pinnacle of his powers.

The trophy oozes class. It has a hallmarked horse finial and was always an equine related piece; only becoming the named cup in what appears 1958. It exudes a razzmatazz of style and elegance, its size 71 cm and weight (with base) nearing 200 ounces coupled with the repousse and chased decoration of swags, masques, scrolls, flower heads and acanthus leaves is showing off the skills of this great producer, it is truly sensational.

In determining a value, it really shouldn’t be anywhere near a weighing scale as it is a talking piece, typical over the top Victoriana which dominates a room and would be difficult to match. My advice is to come and see it, this is what Victorian silver is all about, illustrating the skill of the producer and having the association with famous makers and famous names in the world of showing ponies. In a nutshell magnificent may be overused, but is apt for this heavyweight piece. n Find Out More: Craig Bewick is an antiques specialist with Golding, Young & Mawer: The Bourne Auction Rooms, Spalding Road, Bourne PE10 9LE, 01778 422686; The Grantham Auction Rooms, Old Wharf Road, Grantham NG31 7AA, 01476 565118; The Stamford Valuation Office, The George Mews, Station Road, Stamford PE9 2LB, 01780 751666 or The Lincoln Auction Rooms, Thos Mawer House Station Road, North Hykeham, Lincoln, LN6 3QY, 01522 524984. Alternatively, see

Here for all your needs... Free Auction Appraisals We offer free professional advice on items you wish to sell.

Free Home Visits Our valuers will help with house clearance advice or large collection dispersal.

Advisory Days We have regular days at our Bourne, Grantham, Lincoln, Louth & Stamford offices.

Do not hesitate & contact us now! The hallmark of a professional auction house offering executor client advice & The Grantham Auction Rooms The Bourne Auction Rooms The Lincoln Auction Rooms & private services for valuation, auction sale &01522 property clearance 01476 565118 01778 422686 524984 92

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Bespoke Joinery


Fitted Wardrobes

Sliding Wardrobes

01733 844292 Unit 1, Mereside Drove, Ramsey Mereside, Huntingdon, PE26 2UE. SHOWROOM OPEN: Mon to Fri 8am – 5pm. Evening & weekends by appointment.


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This spread: Lismore from Sanderson in indigo/silver colourway is the feathery motif seen here on the cushion. Curtains in Juniper Pine, Forest colourway.


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COUNTRY for those giving serious consideration to hibernation, we present a series of country fabrics for soft furnishings and upholstery designed to ensure you’re cosy in the country... see you in spring! Words: Rob Davis.


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Juxtaposing traditional prints and modern neutral colours can create a fresh take on the classic ‘country’ look... Top: Chaise sofa finished in Zoffany’s Darnley with rich colourways inspired by aristocratic stately homes. Above/Right: Elysian from Sanderson is inspired by impressionist watercolour images of nature. Right: Another Sanderson fabric from the Elysian collection, Bryndle check in russet colourway.


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Forest fruits, flowers and birds are captured in great detail in the Abbey Gardens family of fabrics from Prestigious Textiles.


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Osborne & Little’s Laghetto is a painterly underwater composition of fish and plant life printed on pure linen. The name means a small lake in Italian.

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Above: A dreamy feathery leaf motif from Osborne & Little, Paraggi in blue. Right: Pietra Damask from Zoffany is a soft floral design shown here in La Seine colourway. Above/Right: Evesham Deer fabric and Elysian Fig wallpaper from Sanderson.

Local Suppliers...

All Things House, 0333 210 7288, Corner Farm, 01778 561333, Delcor Interiors, Stamford 01780 762579 Elizabeth Stanhope Interiors, Oakham 01572 722345 Furniture Loft, M/Harborough, LE16 7PT, 01858 435500, Furleys, Rutland 01572 755539 H Works, Stamford 01780 754605 Hunters Interiors, Uffington, Stamford PE9 4TD, 01780 757946 Lumison Lighting, Oakham, 01572 724600 Portess Furniture Melton Mowbray, 01664 565336 Sarah Harding Interiors, Uppingham, 01572 823389 n


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FANTASTIC REDUCTIONS IN ALL OUR RANGE OF CARPETS, VINYL & WOOD FLOORING Heavy Domestic Polyprop Tonal Twist 4 metre wide – in two colours

100% Wool 4 metre wide with Scotchgard

Normal £16.00 Price per sq m

Normal Price £22.00 per sq m

SALE PRICES £8.00 per m2

SALE PRICES £8.00 per m2

50oz Wool Twist in 4 metre two colours

5 Metre Wide Heavy domestic Wool Twist

Normal £26.00 Price per sq m

Normal £22.00 Price per sq m

SALE PRICES £10.00 per m2

SALE PRICES £12.00 per m2

Call Oundle Carpet Weavers on

01832 275009 104

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THE WINTER SALE Starts Saturday 4th January 2020 Axminster and Wilton’s


in 90cm, 1.80m 3.65m and 4 metre wide 100% Wool Extra Heavy Domestic

Vinyl tiles in tile and wood look Includes Polyflor and Forbo

Normal £65.00 Price per sq m

Normal £26.00 Price per sq m

SALE PRICES £15.00 per m2

SALE PRICES £8.00 per m2



2 and 3 metre wide. All suitable to Heavy domestic areas

Normal £16.00 Price per sq m

90cm, 1.35m & 1.50m wide

SALE PRICES £8.00 per m2

SALE PRICES from £79.00

CUrTAIN FAbrIC FrOM STOCK SALE PRICES from just £2.00 per m2


Units 4/8 Eastwood Road, Oundle, Peterborough, PE8 4DF Open: Mon to Fri 9am – 5pm, Sat 9am – 4pm 105

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Le Creuset Heritage Dish 32cm, tough enough for the oven, pretty enough for the table £50.

Salt & Pepper Mills Sold separately, £32/ea or both for £45.

Round Silicone Cool Tool Anti-slip pan mat, pan holder, work surface protector, 20cm, £15.

Round Casserole Dish Redesigned with 45% larger handles., 18cm, £99.

PURPLE REIGNS Proof that purple reigns supreme with Le Creuset’s most dramatic colour, Ultra Violet!


Stoneware Classic Teapot 1.3 litre capacity, for four cups of tea £45.

Chef ’s Apron 100% cotton, pre-shrunk, heat, oil and steam resistant £42.

Grillit Cast Iron Grill Satin enamel, no seasoning required, great for sealing meat £125.

Stoneware Plate Rugged, to withstand family life, 27cm, £18, mix and match colours! 107

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Making the most of your garden by creating new “living rooms� for your relaxation & pleasure. We offer a full design across your entire garden, through to upgrading a bed or part of your outdoor space. You get the garden you want, an investment in your property and improved well-being through the pleasure of your enhanced outdoor living areas and plants.

Call Soo on 07545 007323 for an initial chat. Email See our portfolio of work and client testimonials at


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What a difference a door makes! Stay safe, sound and warm behind classical timber doors. With the winter upon us and winter to close in now is the time to think about changing your doors... The oldest doors in the world were made of timber and still there and working. You can see on many of our finest heritage buildings be they churches, colleges or other fine institutional facilities how magnificent the doors look because in the main our heritage is protected and now in public ownership or private trust and are kept up to date with good regular maintenance. This is a far cry from the cheap doors brought in from the far east to fund an explosion in private house ownership in the 1960s through to the very recent times.

In the 1970s, the British Wood Working Federation launched a campaign aimed at the consumer named ‘what a difference a door makes.’ Timber entrance door production in the UK increased because of this and peaked at volumes close to 3 million units and manufacturers values of £400m by 1986.

Since then however we have had the explosion of the plastic revolution. This wiped out the huge market share that timber enjoyed to the extent that in windows nearly 80% was lost to the plastic products by the beginning of 2000. Timber doors held a higher market share in this move as it was and is always felt that a solid timber door does provide good security and is generally more efficient at keeping the prevailing elements at bay. The rise of composite door constructions have made huge inroads into the entrance door market and now probably account for more than half of the UK demand

which is now measured at some £600m and growing at more than 5% pa. Security has been provided by the strength of the door core and the combination and use of decent ironmongery with espagnolette systems that can lock all three leading edges using shoot bolts or hooks with a central controlling arm handle. In 2017 however a new requirement under the building regulations was introduced and is now in force Part Q which demands even greater security standards for external fenestration products. Current market research suggests that the major driving force for consumers when purchasing new doors and windows is security and energy conservation, but also adding beauty and real value to the house.

It is little wonder then that the Timber Door complete with all the appropriate ironmongery and factory assembled and finished is now leading the way again to dominate the choice for new door designs and mechanics that more than satisfy todays demanding new standards.

Timber is the most versatile of all materials and can be easily finished with modern waterborne paints or stains from a huge range of colours and wood stains which are expected to last for up to eight years before new decoration needed. Products made by and installed by The New Window Company at Frieston Heath Caythorpe near Grantham all meet the very high standards demanded today. n

Find Out More: New Window Company is based at Elms Farm, The Old Barn, Frieston Heath Lane, Grantham NG32 3HD. For a free no obligation discussion about your property’s needs call 01400 272538 or see


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A Day in the Life of a Therapy Dog...

Oakham Grange is the name of Ardale’s first home, a £9m investment in the local residential and nursing care sector, creating 200 jobs for the area. Happily the home will also ensure gainful employment for Therapy Dog Brabham!

“Hello I’m Brabham, I am going to be Oakham Grange’s Therapy dog. I currently work at Oakham Grange’s sister home The Marbrook Centre in St Neots where I have worked for three years. I visit people who live with dementia or who have had a stroke or sustained a brain injury. So this is what my day looks like!” “When we arrive, I put my yellow Pets As Therapy bandana on so I and all the staff know it is ‘work time’. I really enjoy my visits so can’t help but wag my tail vigorously as I come into the reception. Although I’m here to spend time with the residents, staff know me so well, they come over and give me a stroke and say hello.” “My fist visit is to Peter who is new here. He experienced a Stroke a few weeks ago and spent some time in hospital. He had heard I come in once a week and is keen to meet me.”

“As I lean into his chair for a cuddle it’s difficult for Peter to communicate how much he missed his own dogs while in hospital. I like to think that some of the tears welling up in his eyes are happy and he is enjoying this opportunity to share this time together.”

the picture of the two of us on her bedside table. I am told I have an amazing effect on Jean; she is often sat silent in her own world, but with me next to her, memories flood back and she happily shares stories of the dogs she has owned as a farmer’s wife.” “Jean sometimes goes on to tell me all sorts of past tales, sharing times when she used to sing on stage... even memories of past boyfriends!”

“After a quick walk and a drink, I pop in to introduce myself to the new staff starting their induction training. Even those that have seen pictures of me on the home’s website and Facebook page are surprised how tall I am and how soft my coat is... I have been described as a ‘racing sheep!” “Later I go and see Paul. Paul used to be an amateur boxer and used to run with his own dog when we was training.”

“I really enjoy seeing Paul as his family brought in some dog treats for him to give me. We both enjoy a regular routine; I sit and we shake hands, first with my right paw then my left, before I get a biscuit treat. Paul lives with Multiple Sclerosis which means he now finds it difficult to walk, but I stay by the side of his wheelchair as we both move into the coffee lounge for a drink.”

“Although I always want to go to work, by the end of the day I am quite tired. As my Therapy Dog bandana is removed, I curl up in the back of the car and sleep all the way home. Once we open Oakham Grange there will be more work than I can manage so if you have a friendly dog please take a look at; I can’t wait to meet you all!” n Opening in spring 2020, Oakham Grange will be based on Wheatfield Way, Oakham. Call 01572 33 22 11 or see

“Next I go and see Jean who is an old friend of mine. As we knock on her bedroom door and go in, Jean breaks into a broad smile. Although Jean’s dementia means she often forgets my name, she smiles as she points to


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Robins can be surprisingly amenable to human contact.

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January brings the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch providing an important insight into how our wildlife is faring. Whether its ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’ or ‘Hello House Sparrow’ the RSPB’s Big Garden birdwatch is the world’s biggest wildlife citizen science project! Words: Carissa Smith.

Gardens are great places in which to watch birds and many people, including me enjoy spending time watching these delightful visitors. If you add up all the gardens in our county this is a significant resource and the RSPB are inviting you to join in the Big Garden Birdwatch which happens over the last weekend of January. is event has been running since 1979 and began when the RSPB joined forces with BBC’s Blue Peter and called on children to let them know what birds they saw in their garden. Today the event is a chance for people of all ages to count the number of birds that visit their garden helping the RSPB build a picture of the nation’s birds.  Last year marked the Big Garden’s Birdwatch 40th year and half a million people across the country took part counting an impressive 7.5 million birds. e Big Garden Bird Watch is the world’s biggest wildlife citizen science project. Mike Clarke, RSPB chief executive, said: “Everyone has a role to play in saving nature and protecting our wildlife. Big Garden Birdwatch participants have made a significant contribution to monitoring garden bird numbers over the past four decades. It’s an enjoyable, easy, inclusive activity that anyone can do and a great opportunity to connect with nature.” For the Big Garden Bird Watch participants are asked to spend an hour on Saturday,  Sunday  or  Monday  recording  their  local  birds  and  sending  the  results  to  the  RSPB.  As well as garden birds participants are also asked to look out for out for frogs, toads, grey and red squirrels, foxes and badgers, as well as muntjac and roe deer. e garden of 1979 was filled with glossy gangs of starlings, the atonal chirp of sparrows and the tap-tap of song thrushes breaking open snail shells. However, in 2019, you were more likely to hear the screech of a ring-necked parakeet, the ‘coo’ of a collared dove or the ‘woo’ of a woodpigeon.  >>

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The house sparrow remains at the top of the rankings for the 16th successive year with almost 1.2 million sightings with starlings holding on to the second place closely followed by the blue tit and the blackbird.

The woodpigeon flies in at number five, followed by the goldfinch, great tit, and Britain’s National Bird, our cheeky friend, the robin is at number eight. These top eight garden birds are in the same position as 2018 however in ninth place for 2019 is the chaffinch whereas this position was taken by the long-tailed tit in 2018 and the magpie has crept in at number ten. Even though the house sparrow is still the top sighted garden bird they are seen in much smaller numbers now compared to when the Big Garden Birdwatch started and shows a 56% decline. This trend has slowed in the past ten years which is good news and gives us the hope that at least a partial recovery may be happening.

Other garden birds which have not fared as well include long tailed tits and wrens. There sightings were down by 27 per cent and 17 per cent, respectively, from 2018.

Populations of the long tailed tits and wrens may have been affected by last year’s ‘Beast from the East’ but it’s too early to say if this is a one year blip or the beginning of a trend. The Big Garden Birdwatch has also alerted us to the decline in song thrush numbers.

Back in 1979 song thrushes comfortably occupied the number ten spot, but numbers in gardens have declined by around 70% over the last 40 years, and they have dropped to 27th in the rankings.

This is a change that Ian Barthorpe, the Visitor Experience Office at RSPB recognises in his own experiences of the Birdwatch.; “I always enjoy seeing a song thrush and love listening their song. They were always in the top ten seen during Big Garden Birdwatch but more recently they have dropped out, and we don’t see so many.”

While many of the population trends are caused by forces beyond gardeners’ control, including climate change and an intensification of farming, people can make their backyards and green spaces more bird-friendly. The RSPB recommends keeping gardens chemical-free, allowing bushes and thick hedges to grow, and providing bird food, water and north or east-facing nest boxes.

Martin Harper, the RSPB’s Director of Conservation said: “Our garden birds should be a part of our everyday life. For many people they provide our only connection to the natural world and bring enormous joy. To have hundreds of thousands of people spend an hour watching the wildlife in their garden doesn’t only help us build up a picture of how our garden birds are doing, but people who take part feel better.” n

Find Out More: To participate in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch from 6th January and 21st February 2020, visit

The Blackbird is still in abundance amid the decline of other domestic bird species.

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Winter berries make a great snack for the Song Thrush, but their numbers have declined by 70% since 1979.

The area’s most popular bird remains the house sparrow.

A family of Great Tits enjoy a winter feast.


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Ladybird Plus Size

n Martina Liana is a designer who specialises in offering a wide variety of styles. Often it’s clear to see what kind of style a designer prefers but with Martina Liana, she has tried to

n Sofia Bianca designed this dress with a slightly pink hue, capped sleeves and a translucent fabric that really accentuates the detail of the gown. 118

cater for all variety of brides. This stunning boho bride style has flared sleeves, plenty of lace, a sweetheart neckline and a subtle blush hue.


Opulence Bridal is part of the Romantica group, featuring a huge variety of really gorgeous gowns like ‘Batiste.’

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Paolo Sebastian has opted for Hollywood glamour in the latest collection with a Marilyn Monroe and Art Deco style mix. We love it!

Rebecca Ingram’s latest style is very classy and modern. The sweetheart neckline, exposed corset look and fishtail on this dress is very on-trend for 2020.

Mori Lee

Mori Lee’s dress to the left is gorgeous with a subtle hint of blush. Right is Lazaro’s ‘Hanna’ gown with a unique neckline. www.jlm

Mori Lee,


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Romantica ‘Auralia.’

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Blackburn Bridal Couture

Sottero and Midgley

Timeless Chic

Julietta, Mori Lee


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And the bride almost said “Je Fais!” Initially this month’s couple were certain that they wanted to get married in France... but when Anna and Ben saw Holywell Hall they knew they could have the wedding they had imagined closer to home! Photographer: Lee Daniels Photography,

Anna and Ben first met through mutual friends in London six years ago. Both bride and groom live and work in the city, Anna as a PR director and Ben thriving in private equity real estate, however Anna grew up in Stamford. And as her parents still live here, that’s how they came across their wedding dream venue... close to home.


Ben proposed to Anna over dinner one evening. “It was low key, romantic... and delicious too as Ben is a great cook! We started planning about six weeks after.”

Anna looked stunning in a wedding dress by Rime Arodaky, a French designer who makes chic, classic wedding dresses with a twist.

“When I first started looking I knew what I didn’t want - strapless or ballgown - and I knew I wanted something that had a modern twist but that wasn’t so fashionable that it would date quickly.” “Other than that, I was open to trying lots of styles. I loved shopping around but my

“They were helpful, flexible and delivered exactly what we were looking for within the agreed budget.”

“Holywell Hall was a dream venue. It is a stunning listed 17th-century country house which has been expertly refurbished by its current owner Dawn.”

“For the first three months we were pretty sure we were going to get married in France, and very nearly put a deposit on a venue there. We then heard about Holywell Hall and thought we’d check it out as we were worried some of our guests would find it difficult to get to France.”

“Luckily the moment we saw Holywell Hall, we knew it was perfect - a version of the wedding we’d imagined in France but closer to home. And breathtakingly beautiful! We ended up with a quintessentially English wedding and we loved it!”

dress was in pole position throughout the search. All of our wedding suppliers were brilliant and I would wholeheartedly recommend any of them to couples planning their wedding.”

“We had use of the beautiful gardens, the orangery and a conservatory with an amazing 1920s inspired bar.”

Venue: Holywell Hall 01780 411911,

Stationery: Orange Pippin, 07805 361149, Flowers: Blue Sky Flowers, 07973 601045

Hair and Makeup: Rebecca Chantrell, 07841622366

Marquee: The Stamford Marquee Co, 01780 897980, Catering: Beetroot Catering, 07921 672076 n

“My bridesmaids and I stayed onsite in the gorgeous converted stables - complete with sauna and steam room - and cottage on the night before the wedding and my parents stayed next door at Rose Cottage, also in the grounds. Ben and I stayed in the bridal suite in the stables on our wedding night.” “We love Lee’s photography and he was very easy to work with making everyone feel relaxed in front of the camera. He really captured the emotion of the day. He worked brilliantly with the beautiful grounds too creating perfect backdrops to our photos.” Anna and Ben chose Orange Pippin for all of their stationery. As Helen grew up in Stamford Anna expressed that it was really nice to use someone who had a local link.

“She interpreted my vague ideas into some gorgeous hand painted designs and beautiful calligraphy - she was so helpful when it >> 125

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“Rebecca made everyone look naturally beautiful, managed to disguise tell-tale signs of minimal sleep and our hair and make-up lasted all day. She is a genius...!” >> came to navigating printing and paper stock. She was very easy to work with!”

“I came across Blue Sky Flowers through the Holywell Hall suggested suppliers list. I love all of Liz’s work. She really understood the look I was going for. I love how Liz used lots of texture and contrasting pops of dark foliage.” “Rebecca Chantrell came highly recommended from some very discerning ladies my mum knows in Stamford!” says Anna. “Rebecca made everyone look naturally beautiful, managed to disguise tell-tale signs of minimal sleep and our hair and make-up lasted all day. She is a genius!” “There were so many special moments throughout the day. Walking into a church full of friends and family and seeing each other at the end of the aisle was pretty special and quite momentous.” “We went to Japan in September for our honeymoon - well before the Rugby world cup kicked off !”

“We wanted a trip of a lifetime and to explore a different culture. It was an amazing holiday and a fascinating country.”

Anna and Ben’s advice to other couples getting married would be to “Enjoy the whole process. There will inevitably be moments when it feels very stressful or overwhelming but once it is all over, you will probably miss it a bit!” n 126

Photographer: Lee Daniels Photography

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n Handed out by the Church of England n We deliver by royal mail to brides-to-be using, the number one wedding website n Handed out by our advertisers and at local wedding fairs

Advertise your wedding business in the 2021 edition of Bride & Groom Magazine, call 01529 469977 and speak to one of our friendly team members or visit


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Fairfax & Favor A Brief Encounter with

is month we enjoy a brief encounter with luxury accessories brand Fairfax & Favor whose winter ranges include beautiful boots, faux fur and stunning leather goods... This Page: Gavin wears Trafalgar Brown Leather Ankle Boot £235. Kajsa wears Elizabeth Tan Toscana Gilet, £450, and Regina Tan Suede Boot, £325.

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kajsa wears belgravia knee high black suede stretch boot £325.

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regina mahogany leather boot, £335.


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kajsa has madison chocolate croc Print leather cross body bag £250.

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Top/Left: Monte Carlo Navy Suede Driving Shoe in navy, £155. Top/Right: Trafalgar Brown Leather Ankle Boot £232. Bottom/Left: Desert Boot Chocolate Suede Boot, £196. Bottom/Right: Chelsea Chocolate Suede Boot £215. n

For local stockists and more information see or call 01760 338 199.


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Louis Vuitton City Streamer in noir rouge, grained calfskin £2,330.

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Aspinal Clutch Purse Distinctive lizard-skin finish, zipped compartment and pockets, £175.

Bottega Veneta Daisy Daisey croc-effect leather shoulder bag, £1,775.


Bienen Davis Glossed textured-leather clutch, £1,500.


Chanel Large Flap Bag A timeless example of Chanel style with metallic finishes, £4,120

Mulberry Mini zipped Bayswater, classic detail including postman’s lock, £895.

If you’re seeking the ultimate handbag we present the perfect showstopping accessories to embrace your inner confidence and authority... every well-dressed woman should have at least one red handbag in her collection! Edited by: Carissa Smith.

Kate Spade New York half moon cross body bag, £225.

Valentino Garavani VRING small leather shoulder, bag £840.

Louis Vuitton City Streamer Shown here in ruby with crocodile leather finish, £21,300. 139

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Striking Midnight


1. Sweet dreams thanks to Charlotte Tilbury... If your idea of a satisfying New Year’s eve is a little more homely, you’ll appreciate Charlotte Tilbury’s essential kit for ensuring a head start on a 2020 of fresh looking skin. With a lavender-infused sleep mask, night cream and Magic Cream with hyaluronic acid, and bionymph peptides, a night in with this will ensure you wake up looking fresher faced than those night owls on 1st January! £75; 50ml/15ml.

2. Sure Foundations

La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Essence-InFoundation. An ideal light-coverage foundation on its own or an ingenious on-the-go complement to Skin Caviar Concealer Foundation. Available in six shades. Buildable light to medium coverage for a seamless finish. £160 / 1.5g.

3. Blue Harmony

Dior’s Colour Gradation eyeshadow palette from Dior that perfectly harmonises four colours based on blue. Inspired by the beauty of nature with enchanting glory as standard. £30 / 4.5ml.

4. Thyme to Shine

Get Rid of Thyme is an inky, indigo shade from spa-manicure favourite Opi, whose Infinite Shine range includes this amid a total palette of 30 colours. Lasts up to 10 days, no soak-off formula. £14.50 / 15ml.

5. Be the Envy of All with Estée...

Envy may be one of the seven deadly sins, but you’ll be forgiven for choosing Estée Lauder’s Pure Colour Envy in one of seven shades. It saturates lips with undeniably daring matte colour - in one stroke. Lightweight, ultra-creamy formula glides on effortlessly, covers evenly. Sensually soft and smooth, luxuriously comfortable. Available from John Lewis, the lipstick bullet case feels like luxury in your hands. And with one click, case closed. £21.60 / 3.5g.

6. A duet of roses thanks to a Jo Malone cologne... Spring will be along soon but if you can’t wait that long, this is a sensual floral scent with a mysterious character. Some may even describe it as magic. Luminous magnolia and a duet of roses, blooming and enchanting. Alive under inky skies and the moon’s silver glow. A decadent heart of sweet and petals of Rose de Mai, warmed by Rose Damascena. £104 / 100ml.

n All our beauty products are available from local independent stockists unless otherwise stated, please note that prices stated are RRP and may vary according to retailer. 141

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Mr Yewlett, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, at Avicenna Clinic Explains Frozen Shoulder WE ARE DELIGHTED to welcome Mr Yewlett, consultant orthopaedic surgeon, to the Avicenna Clinic in Peterborough. He brings cutting edge diagnostic and regenerative techniques which are not widely available on the NHS to Avicenna. This complements our ethos to deliver world class treatments and care under one roof. Mr Yewlett is an experienced Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon specialising in both surgical and regenerative treatments of shoulder, elbow and hand conditions and sporting injuries of the same. He studied medicine at Imperial College London and graduated with a first class honours degree in 2004, obtained a higher degree in Trauma Surgery with the outstanding performance award, awarded the national British Elbow and Shoulder Society Leadership fellowship and Pump priming grant. In 2019, Mr Yewlett became the first and only named shoulder surgeon approved by the major insurance group (Alliance) to perform wideawake office based diagnostic arthroscopies on their corporate patients in recognition of his international expertise with the “Mi-eye” device.

With winter approaching it seems apt to mention “frozen” shoulders! This is one of many conditions that Mr Yewlett treats at the Avicenna clinic.

Despite its name a frozen shoulder, (“adhesive capsulitis”) is not related to the temperature. It is a painful, disabling condition of the shoulder characterised by increasing stiffness of the joint. It typically goes through three stages.

An initial, very painful, inflammatory phase (approximately 12 weeks), followed by a less painful but stiff frozen phase (12-36 weeks) followed by a thawing phase (36-52 weeks) during which movement is recovered. What causes frozen shoulder? Frozen shoulder usually comes on “out of the blue” but occasionally it can follow a 142

The whole process, however, from onset of pain to recovery of function and resolution of pain can take up to two years. Once you are in the ‘frozen’ phase then gentle physiotherapy can be helpful. If you are experiencing a lot of pain then an injection into the shoulder joint can be very helpful at reducing the pain and it may shorten the time to recovery. In severe cases surgery may be beneficial. What injections can be given and how? It is critical to inject the right anatomical location and as such Mr Yewlett advocates mi-eye guided glenohumeral joint injections. This ensures the injection is correctly placed as well as allowing a “hydrodilatation” procedure to be performed in selected cases. This is an out-patient procedure and does not require hospital admission. minor injury of the joint. It is not known what triggers a frozen shoulder but the capsule (the lining) of the joint becomes very inflamed and then gradually scars leading to a contracture. It is the inflammation that causes the intense pain, particularly at night, and the contracture of the capsule that causes the restriction of movement.

How is it diagnosed? The diagnosis is confirmed by taking a careful history, particularly around the onset of the symptoms and the sorts of activities which cause the pain. One of the classic features of a frozen shoulder is that the passive range of motion is equal to the active range of motion. Imaging by X-ray, ultrasound and/or MRI may help to exclude other conditions that may be confused with frozen shoulder such as rotator cuff impingement or tear, inflammatory condition or a more serious pathology as cancer. What are the treatment options? Frozen shoulder is usually a “self-limiting” condition. This means it will generally get better by itself.

What is a hydrodilatation procedure? Hydrodilatation is a procedure that aims to improve the movement of the shoulder joint and decrease pain in the shoulder. It involves stretching the capsule of the joint and reducing the inflammation within it by injecting a mixture of sterile saline, local anaesthetic and steroid. Mr Yewlett provides a “one” stop shoulder diagnostic clinics at Avicenna Clinic.

Avicenna clinic specialises in pain management and minimal invasive intervention. The clinic has a range of specialist consultants, operating theatre for surgical procedures and superior in-house imaging facilities – including state-of-the-art MRI, ultrasound and X-ray scanning equipment. We can assess and diagnose all cases of acute and chronic pain quickly and deliver comprehensive treatment plans tailored to you. n To book an appointment with Mr Yewlett at The Avicenna Clinic in Peterborough please call 0330 202 0597. For more information about the clinic please visit the clinic website

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A Happy New Year for SMITH ELIOT Raising £106,342 for charities ensures that Oakham-based Smith eliot Financial Management’s beneficiaries will enjoy a Happy New Year. But to ensure you’re just as fit for the future, make a resolution to review your financial future with the firm too... Photos: Rob Davis.

Sssh... there are a few sore heads at Smith Eliot following the Oakham based financial advisers’ recent Charity Event in aid of Solving Kids’ Cancer.

The firm raised £53,171 from the event for their 2019 nominated charity, and as they are a Senior Partner Practice of St. James’s Place Wealth Management, St. James’s Place will also match that achievement by contributing the same sum to their own charitable foundation. That means a total of £106,342 raised for charity by Smith Eliot’s 15-strong team... so we’ll forgive them a hangover, right? If you’re similarly afflicted, though, when you

awake on 1st January, you can ensure that your hangover is the one of overindulgence, not a financial hangover, by making a New Year’s resolution to visit Smith Eliot for a review of both your shorter and longer term financial plans. “Self-Assessment has been around for over a decade now, and everyone recognises the January deadline, but it’s tempting to satisfy that shorter term goal without keeping an eye on your longer term circumstances.”

“We specialise in investment planning, as well as retirement planning, tax, trusts and mortgages. We sometimes see people looking to the short term without planning further 145

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ahead. Self-assessment has many ramifications for the pension contributions you make and for longer term wealth management.” From minimising tax liabilities, to increasing pension contributions or building a better pension pot, to establishing or growing a property portfolio, Smith Eliot’s services can help with any aspect of wealth management with the backing of FTSE100 St. James’s Place and the reassurance that Smith Eliot founder Stephen Smith has over 35 years experience working in the sector. “One thing we do well is to ensure we’re approachable,” says Lisa. “As well as hosting charity events for clients, we always take the starchiness away from finance. Our clients report that we’re easy to talk to, easy to deal with and that they feel a rapport with us.”

“We believe that’s because we’re a family firm with values such as respect, honesty and trust. Earning the long-term trust of our clients has been a guiding principle since this firm was established, and as a family we understand how a client’s needs and those of their loved ones change according to their ages and circumstances.” “That adaptability and ability to relate to different goals throughout a client’s life ensure we’re always able to provide tailored investment solutions that are right for you.” “There’s no better time than the New Year to come in for a review of your circumstances. It’s a great way to check your long-term financial health, look at how your investments are performing and to secure your future.” n

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. The value of an investment with St. James’s Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds you select and the value can therefore go down as well as up. You may get back less than you invested.

The levels and bases of taxation, and reliefs from taxation, can change at any time. The value of any tax relief depends on individual circumstances. n Smith Eliot is based in Market Place, Oakham, call 01572 759759 or see for more about the firm’s range of services.

Trusts are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Smith Eliot Financial Management Ltd is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the group’s website The ‘St. James’s Place Partnership’ and the titles ‘Partner’ and ‘Partner Practice’ are marketing terms used to describe St. James’s Place representatives.

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to feature your event call 01529 469977. our magazines are free to read online, so you can share the magazine with your friends. visit 147

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Gin & Jazz Evening at

STAPLEFORD PARK LAST MONTH saw an opportunity to enjoy a brand new local tipple with the official launch of Stapleford Park’s own exclusive gin, created in partnership with Brentingby Distillers. A Gin & Jazz evening celebrated the launch of the drink, which utilises botanical foraged from the 500 acre estate on which the hotel is located. e evening welcomed over 100 guests to the estate with a complimentary gin and tonic, with canapés and live music throughout the evening too. Stapleford Park is one of the area’s smartest hotel, with wonderful dining, a Capability Brown landscaped golf course, stableyard spa and country pursuits on site. e Grade i listed mansion was built around 1500, extended in 1670 and converted into a hotel by Bob Payton in 1988. n

words & images: Rob Davis.


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Celebrating the County:

Discover Rutland

DiSCOveR RuTLAND is used to celebrating the county, but last month the tourism group celebrated its own success in helping to raise awareness of the county to others. e group held the second Discover Rutland Ball, rather unusually on a Sunday evening. e unconventional date is designed to allow restauranteurs and hoteliers to enjoy a well-deserved night off and to network with others in the tourism sector who help to promote Rutland. e event was held at Rutland Water Golf Course, and included a drinks and canapé reception, three course meal, and live music courtesy of local band Real Monsters. “e ball has been created to offer local people in the tourism industry an opportunity to come together to celebrate our county and recognise the hard work that goes into providing such wonderful attractions, accommodation and places to eat,” say organisers. n

Photos: Rob Davis.

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Charity Gala 2019 Smith Eliot’s Solving Kids’ Cancer

OAkHAM firm Smith eliot Financial Management Ltd recently hosted its annual charity gala at knossington’s Ladywood estate. Organised by the firm’s Charlotte Smith, the event was attended by around 300 guests, with fire dancers, singer songwriter Astraea, plus music from DJ Dos Tiempos, as well as a gin bar with over 65 different gins. e event’s Champagne reception was hosted in association with Pragnell Jewellers, and a raffle included an estimated £45,000 of prizes including an 18ct gold diamond star pendant provided by Pragnell, the Leicestershire & Mayfair firm. “Smith eliot Financial Management is a family business, that’s why we believe it’s important to support beneficiaries like this year’s Solving kids Cancer, which fights for a future where no child dies of neuroblastoma or suffers due to its treatment,” says Charlotte. “We’re very grateful to our sponsors, which this year included Pragnell, Rutland Aesthetics, Coe & Coe, NGi Stamford and Rutland Water Golf Club, as well as More Productions.” n Photos: Rob Davis.

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You’ll be quite ‘Taycan’ with the prospect of owning this month’s featured motor. at’s because Porsche is taking on Tesla with a four door, four seater super-saloon to rival Elon Musk’s Model S model. How does Porsche’s new Taycan stack up? Brilliantly. In fact, it may be the best electric car on the market today! Words: Rob Davis.

RIGHT NOW, I’m writing this on an Apple iMac computer. We’ve been using them in publishing  since  the  1980s,  because  back when  Microsoft  Windows    had  yet  to  be  invented and most computers’ interfaces were indecipherable  screens  of  text  and  obscure commands, Macs were different.  ey  had  icons,  menus  and  you  could  use  a  ‘mouse’  to  draw  on  screen.  It  made  the  Apple Mac computer far easier to use than its rivals and especially suitable for graphics and publishing. Many think that Apple invented the mouse but in fact, the boss of Apple at the time, one Steve Jobs, saw it demonstrated at Xerox, and... well... nicked the idea. How  on  earth  does  this  relate  to  the  new  Porsche Taycan, the firm’s all-new, all-electric sports saloon? Well, Apple didn’t invent the mouse, nor were they first to market. ey did, however, execute the technology better than any of their rivals. Likewise, Tesla  was  first  to  market  with  a modern, four-door, all-electric sports saloon, with the first European deliveries in 2013. Porsche’s Taycan may be late to the party, but it’s a better executed and much more desirable product. Sound familiar? e idea of a four-door Porsche was ridiculed, until the Panamera proved everyone wrong, selling about 10,000 a year in the US alone. And though the Panamera was also available as  a  hybrid,  the  new  Taycan  is  the  first

Porsche designed from the ground up as an electric  car,  which  makes  it  the  first  in  a  completely new generation of car from the venerable sports car manufacturer. ree models are available. ere’s a Turbo (680ps  power,  £115,858),  and  a  Turbo  S 761ps, £138,826). e nomenclature is a bit misleading, given the fact that neither model has an internal combustion engine, let alone a turbocharger.  Newly  released  though  is  the  entry  level model, the Taycan 4S. Entry level sounds a bit  dispassionate,  but  in  fact  the  4S  is  still good  for  530ps.  For  comparison,  a  Range Rover  Sport  with  a  5.0V8  supercharged  engine generates 525ps. Charge the car up and you’ll drive anywhere from 206 to 252 miles and of course you’ll emit not a single gram of carbon.  Best of all the 4S undercuts the other models in the Taycan  range, costing £83,367. Whilst that remains a considerable sum of money, it’s cheaper than either of the Turbo models, and should  be  cheaper  to  run  than  a  petrol  or diesel car, especially as a company car, which serves to offset that price further. Stylistically  the  Taycan  is  close  to  the  Panamera,  albeit  a  little  smoother  and  with sleeker flush door handles. Blue is rapidly being adopted as the indicative colour of their electric vehicles, and you may prefer the optional Frozen Blue rather than the white of our demo car. >>


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Power to the People: Plug-in Performance Cars...

Jaguar iPace HSE £71,500: Jaguar’s first electric vehicle, designed from the ground up to be powered by motors. iPace has been deliberately designed to look conventional in order to not ‘scare off’ customers, and its SUV appearance is on-trend with the models which are selling well in today’s market. Leather seats, navigation, rear view camera and park assist are all standard in range topping HSE trim. It’s a touch slower than the 4S, but only on paper, reaching 60mph in 4.5 seconds, and will achieve 292 miles before charging. n

Tesla Model S 100kWh Long Range £81,745: The Taycan’s closest competitor, given that the Model S is a four door, four seater saloon, not an SUV. The Long Range version of the S 100kWh, however, has a whopping 379 mile range. It’s also slightly quicker than the Porsche, reaching 60mph in 3.7 seconds, though you’re unlikely to consider yourself short changed in a Taycan. Heated steering wheel & seats and navigation are standard. For £5,800 you can specify full self-driving, which will see your car automatically drive to meet you at the entrance to Waitrose via its ‘Summon’ feature! n

>> Fancier paint jobs are a ubiquitous option on even premium motors these days, the blue in question weighing in at £800 - quite reasonable - although a deep crimson red which is perhaps our favourite colour commands a wholly premium £1,683.

Audi E-Tron £82,310: Audi’s E-Tron is another sports utility vehicle like the iPace. In budget against the Taycan is the Launch Edition 55 Quattro flagship. 124mph top speed and 60mph in 6.6 seconds, it’s slower than the 4S but still very brisk. It has four wheel drive, four seats and a range of 221 miles. In this First Edition version, electric heated seats, panoramic roof, leather, climate control, powered tailgate, navigation, Virtual Cockpit, 360° camera, adaptive cruise control and keyless entry are all standard. n


You’ll need to delve into the options list too for a rear view camera (£480); adaptive cruise control (£1,238); or fancy leather trim (anywhere between £2,500 and £4,100). However, standard kit on the 4S includes heated part leather seats with electric adjustment, sat nav, climate control and cruise control, digital radio, powered boot lid and park assist front and rear.

In terms of its interior design, the Taycan is truly ‘next generation.’ Two large screens

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“The Taycan’s synchronous front and rear electric motors also provide four wheel drive for more reassured handling...” where you’d expect infotainment and climate controls to be situated replace physical controls, whilst a configurable digital display in place of conventional dials are modern and crisp. You’ll struggle to fund a physical button anywhere but on the steering wheel.

Quite deliberately though, we’re saving the Taycan’s best ‘til last. Even modest electric vehicles feel rapid by virtue of their power being full and instant, rather than building power gradually with increased revs as is the case with conventional engines.

The 4S reaches 60mph in just four seconds and it would reach 155mph where legal, but the urgency isn’t as impressive as the comparative silence which makes all of that performance seem effortless.

The Taycan’s synchronous front and rear electric motors also provide four wheel drive for more reassured handling. And of course, being a Porsche driver engagement is unsurpassed, making the 4S all the car you need if you’re seeking practicality, luxury, sportiness and eco-friendly credentials. n

PORSCHE TAYCAN 4S Price: £83,367 (available to order now, first deliveries February 2020).

Drivetrain: 530ps 79.2kWh motors front and rear, automatic transmission, all wheel drive.

Performance: 0-62 mph: 4.0 seconds. Top Speed: 155mph. Range: 252 miles before charge. Equipment: Part leather seats, sat nav, cruise and climate. n 157

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BENTLEY Bentley’s all-new Flying Spur saloon has been awarded ‘Luxury Car of the Year’ by car buying site Carwow at their annual awards evening. The award winners were chosen by Carwow’s team of in-house reviewers and writers, led by editorial director Mat Watson. “The Bentley Flying Spur is rich in luxury. From the

powerful yet elegant design, the impeccable cabin, the lavish materials and the hand-built boutique ambiance that makes you feel super special when you climb aboard. And it’s as enjoyable to drive as it is to be chauffeured in.” The all-new Flying Spur was launched earlier this year, and has been praised by many for its drive dynamics paired with uncompromising luxury. n


VW Passat is the UK’s best company car for business fleets... VOLKSWAGEN Attention fleet buyers, the Volkswagen Passat saloon and estate has been named best company car, offering low lease rates, good economy and the availability of plug-in hybrid models. Estate models have a huge boot and all models are generously equipped. Auto Express magazine and its German sister title Auto Bild awarded the car the title and described the Passat as roomy, well-made and safe. The plug-in GTE model is £36,390, and has leather seats and adaptive cruise control. n

ASTON MARTIN Ahead of its spring 2020 reveal, Aston Martin’s hotly anticipated DBX crossover is set to go head to head with top versions of Porsche’s Cayenne and the Bentley Bentayga. Spy shots of the car have revealed high haunches, a rear end carried over from the brand’s GTs, plus DB11-inspired exterior details like flush pop-out door handles and striking LEDs lights. The interior will feature a new rotary controller for the car’s infotainment, and handstitched leather. Options will include a Pet Pack with luxury blanket, snow pack and Touring Pack with bespoke luggage. n


NEWS In Brief


exPect new car models aPlenty, throughout 2020 Car manufacturers are lining up some of their most eagerly anticipated models. If you’re seeking a practical, go-anywhere 4x4, look out for the shorter (90) and longer (130) versions of Land Rover’s new Defender, Aston Martin’s DBX luxury off-roader (see left) plus large SUVs from Alfa Romeo and a Maybach branded luxury Mercedes GLS likely to cost £200,000. If you’re seeking a sports car, look out for Tesla’s all-electric roadster, Aston Martin’s new Vanquish and a Volante soft top version of the current Vantage. Naturally there will be plenty of electric cars, plugging in, turning on and tuning in throughout 2020, with a plug-in version of Mitsubishi’s Outlander and Mercedes’s GLC. Tesla will also produce a smaller SUV sibling to its Model X, imaginatively badged the Model Y and designed to compete with smaller all-electric 4x4s. Expect next-generation motoring from Mercedes’s S-Class, which traditionally preview the technology that will filter down to other cars over successive years, plus an all-electric EQS version of the car and a new Rolls Royce Ghost later in the year. New manufacturers set to be big in 2020 include Polestar, the all-electric premium sub-brand from Volvo, and E-Tron, the electric Audi sub-brand. n


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Let the Pride Team Create or Update Your Website

An online presence is essential for any business, so for web design you can trust, talk to the team behind Pride Magazines to be assured of the highest quality of service and design, whether you’re seeking a simple brochure website or a complex national site... Words: Rob Davis

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We can create anything from a simple brochure website to a complex national website...

If you’re reading this... you already know we’re a success. As magazine publishers, we have 35 years experience creating the area’s finest magazines. What you may not realise, though, is that we have created, from our offices, the UK’s number one wedding website; In fact, we can create anything from a simple brochure website to a complex national website like UKbride. The great news is that now, we’ve decided to make our creative teams available to you too.

That means you can utilise the skills of the same web developers who created UKbride, which is ‘Facebook for brides,’ a complex website with three million pages. In addition, our photographers, 3D tour developers, copywriters, graphic designers, photographers, videographers and illustrators can all bring their skill to bear too, helping you to bring your online needs to fruition. You already know that Pride Magazines are the finest county magazines, and now the same team is available for you and your website development needs. We promise a great experience with no jargon, just common sense marketing and a team that’s easy to work with.

Left: Pride Magazines’ Sales Executive Emily Brown liaises with web developer Joe Proctor.

n For more information on creating your new website or marketing your business call our friendly sales team on 01529 469977 or email


For almost 18 years the Pride Team have worked solely on producing the finest magazines in their areas. We now feel that the time is right, having a proven track record for quality, that our clients should receive the benefits of our professional marketing team too. If you require any of the following services for your business please get in touch. We are reasonably priced and of course you already know the quality of our work by the magazine you are holding in your hands!




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The Directory To advertise here call our friendly team on 01529 469977


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Profile for Pride Magazines Ltd

Stamford Pride January 2020  

For more information call 01529 469977.

Stamford Pride January 2020  

For more information call 01529 469977.