It’s always a bit strange at the iK office when we flip our calendars to September; we have to get into the Christmas spirit extra early to plan our best issue of the year. Needless to say, we’re more than ready to break out the Christmas tunes and decorate our tree when December finally rolls around! When do you unpack your festive décor and start listening to Jingle Bells? As I write this in late October, the shops are filled with Christmas gifts, sweets and decorations, so I guess it’s safe to say the season has officially begun. This issue of insideKENT is packed with all sorts of Christmas goodies, from festive food to winter fashion, and of course, gifts! One of my favourite parts of planning our Christmas issue is finding the best pressies for men, women and kids. We’ve even found some pretty fun stocking fillers too. See our 18-page Christmas Gift Guide on page 45. As it’s the season of giving, we’re featuring our biggest competition yet where one winner will wake up to over £2,000 in prizes under their tree. The 2012 Great Christmas Gift Giveaway includes a luxury night at the ABode Canterbury, DVD collections, panto tickets, jewellery, inspirational days out, restaurant vouchers and lots more. See page 118 for the full listing and details on how to enter.
executive chef Andrew McLeish, who also provided some fantastic recipes - perfect for adding a gourmet twist to your Christmas menu. See our full feature on Chapter One and chef Andrew on page 78. In addition to our special Christmas features, you can still enjoy our regular features such as health and beauty, the season’s best fashions, great days out, motors (the stunning Bentley GT V8), and of course our cover story featuring Leonardo DiCaprio. Alongside this issue, we’ve also published our second annual insideKENT Restaurant Guide, this time featuring over 50 of Kent’s best eateries. Grab your copy wherever you pick up insideKENT, or see it online at www.insidekentmagazine.co.uk/restaurantguide. All of us at insideKENT wish you a very merry Christmas and happy New Year. Enjoy your time with family and friends, and take advantage of our beautiful county of Kent. Here’s to making 2013 the best year ever! Feel free to get in touch with comments, questions or ideas at email@example.com.
Have you made any Christmas party plans yet? Christmas time is the best time to don all your bling and hit the town to eat, drink and be merry. Whether you fancy a quiet dinner by a roaring fire, or an all-night disco, we’ve listed some top spots for Christmas and New Year’s dos have a look on page 26, or see page 126 for even more Kent Christmas and New Year’s events. I recently had the opportunity to dine at Chapter One Restaurant near Bromley. If you’re looking for a place to impress friends and family this season, Chapter One is the place to do it. Flawless service and incredible dishes make this Michelin-starred restaurant one of my new Kent favourites. We had the privilege of interviewing Chapter One’s
Donna Martin / Editor Don’t miss a beat. Follow insideKENT on Facebook & Twitter. www.facebook.com/insidekent www.twitter.com/insidekent
C O N T E 78
KENT NEWS What's going on in the Garden of England
MITCHELL AND PEACH The perfect Kentish Christmas gift
BUSINESS insideKENT talks to Jane Cadle of Nuffield Health
WINTER BEAUTY Q&A Your top questions answered
BUSINESS Best Practice Tax Planning
COUNTRY ELEGANCE at Rowhill Grange
EDUCATION St Michael's Prep School
COVER STORY Unbridled success: Leonardo DiCaprio
CHRISTMAS PARTIES Kent's top seasonal events
THE WINDMILL BY RICHARD PHILLIPS Pub fare at its finest
IT'S A WRAP! Our favourite gift wraps
RECIPE FROM MICHAEL CAINES MBE Linguini with king prawns, mussels and clams
STAY WARM THIS WINTER with Heat Design
EDIBLE GIFTS For the hard-to-buy-for people on your list
HAVE A MERRY GREEN CHRISTMAS Reduce your Christmas carbon footprint
WOMEN'S FASHION insideKENT's Holiday Fashion Gift Guide
SPECIAL FEATURE: CHAPTER ONE The magnificent Chapter One Restaurant, plus an exclusive interview and recipes from Chapter One's executive chef Andrew McLeish
2012 CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE Our top picks for men, women and kids
AFTERNOON TEA at Eastwell Manor
N T S
68 45 32 78 104 26 112
COVER STORY: LEONARDO DICAPRIO 2012 CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE WARM YOUR HOME WITH HEAT DESIGN CHAPTER ONE RESTAURANT EUROPEAN CHRISTMAS MARKETS CHRISTMAS PARTIES IN KENT THE BENTLEY GT V8
WIN OVER £2,000 IN PRIZES IN THE insideKENT GREAT CHRISTMAS GIFT GIVEAWAY! PAGE 118
A FUSION OF SPICE at Everest Inn
ESCAPES Stone Green Farm
CHRISTMAS FOOD The story behind the traditions
GETAWAYS The Athenaeum, London
WINTER WARMERS Hearty homemade soup recipes
TRAVEL Hotel Los Monteros, Marbella
insideARTS insideKENT interviews Kent novelist Mark Oldfield
MOTORS The Bentley GT V8
HEVER CASTLE Bringing history to life
MOTORS The Aston Martin Vanquish launch
A MAGICAL CHRISTMAS at LaplandUK
WIN OVER £2,000 IN PRIZES in the insideKENT Great Christmas Gift Giveaway
TOWN SPOTLIGHT Spotlight on Rochester
LONDON EVENTS View London's top picks for winter fun in the capital
THIS ART OF MINE Create perfect Christmas gifts
KENT EVENTS What's happening in your neck of the woods
EXPLORE KENT A walk with Charles Dickens: Higham
10 BEST 10 best chocolate creations for Christmas
EUROPE'S CHRISTMAS MARKETS Celebrate the magic of Christmas
KENT inside www.insidekentmagazine.co.uk @insidekent
Editor Donna Martin firstname.lastname@example.org Publishing Director Adam Ready email@example.com Design Manager Dave Leo Yogore Project Assistant Alex Perseval Fashion Editor Molly Neznanski Gil Finance Manager Charlotte Ready Account Managers Greg Bettles Paul Martin Terry Crawford Contributors Gemma Dunn Sarah-Jane Stenson Luke Yates Mike Swan Charlie O’Brien Nigel’s Eco Store Molly Neznanski Gil Daniel Clark Explore Kent Katie Sumner Sarah Whelband Photography Luke Yates Russell Harper Publisher
Sideways Media Ltd The Oast Stone Green Farm Mersham Nr Ashford Kent TN25 7HE firstname.lastname@example.org www.sidewaysmedia.co.uk @hellosideways
For all advertising enquiries, contact Adam Ready on 07824 882086 or email@example.com
When you have finished with this magazine, please pass it on to a friend or recycle it. © Copyright 2012. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher. Neither the publisher nor any other person associated with the production and publication of this magazine make any guarantees, warranties or claims as to the accuracy, currency or truthfulness of any of the contents of this magazine. No part of this magazine may be copied, reproduced or transmitted in any form without the publisher’s written consent. No responsibility is taken for unsolicited editorial, images or photographs published. While every care is taken, prices and details are subject to change and the publisher takes no responsibility for omissions or errors. Publisher is not responsible for any variation in image colour due to printing processes.
Cover photo: © Armando Gallo / ARGA Images, Camera Press London
JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS – DWELL OPENS AT BLUEWATER The UK’s leading high street furniture retailer, dwell, has opened a new store within the Bluewater Shopping Center just in time for Christmas. The new dwell at Bluewater will house the brand’s wide range of furniture and accessories and will be one of the first locations to receive the new products in the Autumn/Winter collection. Highlights will include the new sophisticated walnut furniture collection teamed with muted geometric accessories, funky bed linen featuring everything from beautiful peacock designs to diamonte cross motifs and embroidered angels’ wings, plus dwell’s first curtain collection including bold geometric designs and glamorous chandelier prints. Dwell is the ultimate high street home store offering an eclectic mix of furniture and accessories for all areas of the home, from stylish sofas and dining tables to statement lighting and glamorous bedrooms. www.dwell.co.uk
LaplandUK RETURNS TO BEWL WATER TO OFFER ‘THE ROLLS ROYCE OF CHRISTMAS EXPERIENCES’ Now in its 6th year, LaplandUK will once again enchant thousands of children, parents and grandparents as they travel from all over the UK to Bewl Water in Kent to visit Father Christmas, his Elves and Mother Christmas, at this highly authentic and magical Christmas day out. LaplandUK opens on Saturday 1st December and closes Christmas Eve - to allow Father Christmas and his reindeer to embark on his epic journey around the world! Over 96% of previous visitors declare LaplandUK ‘The most magical Father Christmas experience in the UK’, and Mumsnet says ‘LaplandUK is the Rolls Royce of Christmas experiences.’ Tickets can be purchased from www.laplanduk.co.uk.
OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF THE FOLKESTONE BOOK FESTIVAL PROGRAMME 2–10 NOVEMBER 2012 Pam Ayres, Judy Finnegan, Sir John Major, Mary McCartney, Robert Skidelsky and many more are coming soon to Folkestone as part of this year’s Book Festival. The Creative Foundation is delighted to officially announce the programme of this year’s Folkestone Book Festival. Curated by Geraldine D’Amico, it includes an array of subjects, authors and special events for people of all ages and backgrounds. Geraldine explains, “History will play a huge part of the festival, from the very history of our planet through the Romans, the Normans, forgotten Queens, to the Raj and the Gentry and the history of music hall told by Sir John Major. Fiction also makes a strong appearance with
Judy Finnegan, from the Richard and Judy show, presenting her new novel Eloise; Sandra Howard and Jon Canter and two Polish writers on the troubles in their country. We even have two festival reads: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach, as well as music events with the magical Piers Faccini and the Canadian band The Fugitives, laughter with Pam Ayres, sport with golf addict David Godwin, food with Mary McCartney and James Wong, free events offered by UCF and fun activities for children.” Alastair Upton, new chief executive of the Creative Foundation says, “It’s our aim to transform Folkestone and make it all about books
and the exchange of ideas for those days every November. This year we are spread across the town from the Saga Pavilion through to our base in the Quarterhouse, taking in the Leas Cliff Hall, The Grand, Googies and the Glassworks on the way. We have a programme for all ages starting with pre-school and writers for all tastes.” For the full programme please visit www.folkestonebookfest.com or pick up a brochure from the Quarterhouse. Tickets for all events will be available to purchase from the Quarterhouse box office and online www.quarterhouse.co.uk.
NEWS Taste of Kent Awards 2012 winners
VOTING FOR THE TASTE OF KENT AWARDS 2013 IS NOW OPEN The public voting is now open in Kent’s most popular food and drink awards – the Taste of Kent Awards 2013. The Produced in Kent competition, which is now in its ninth year, is expected to receive more than 10,000 votes via the online voting site on www.tasteofkentawards.co.uk before the public vote closes on 2nd January 2013. Speaking about the 2013 competition, Stephanie Durling of Produced in Kent said, “The awards are seen as a benchmark of food and drink excellence in our county. For the outstanding companies that win an award, it is an acknowledgement of their status as the county’s ‘food and drink heroes’ and a stamp of approval from Kent consumers. This is the general public’s golden opportunity to vote for the food and drink producers with that ‘X factor’. So no matter who tickles your taste buds, or floats your culinary boat, do make sure you add your votes for your favourite food and drink producers and the most outstanding dining pubs, restaurants and farmers’ markets in Kent.” Last year’s brand new overall sponsor, Vertex Law, is backing the 2013 event once more together with more than a dozen other companies sponsoring the individual categories. The Taste of Kent Awards have become a much sought after hallmark of quality, with some of the county’s leading companies keen to support and sponsor the wide range of categories. This year Produced in Kent already welcomes the sponsorship support from Barclays Bank, Biddenden Vineyards, Chapel Down Winery, Hadlow College, Kent Downs and High Weald AONB, KCC (Kent County Council), Archant Kent Life, kff (Kent Frozen Foods), NFU Mutual, Opies, sff (Stephen’s Fresh Foods), Wilkins Kennedy, Shepherd Neame and Visit Kent. The Taste
of Kent Awards is also delighted to have the media support of BBC Kent, insideKENT and Archant KOS Media. Voting for the following categories is now open – place your votes at www.tasteofkentawards.co.uk
Kent Butcher or Meat Producer of the Year Best Kentish Beer Best Kentish Wine Best Kentish Cider or Perry Best Kent Juice Producer Kent Local Food Retailer of the Year Kent Fishmonger of the Year Best Kent Food Product of the Year Kent Artisan Food Producer of the Year Kent Restaurant of the Year Kent Dining Pub of the Year Kent Farmers’ Market of the Year Produced in Kent Award Kent Downs and High Weald AONB
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CHARLIE’S CHAT I’ve just spent the last ten minutes of my life looking for my back catalogue of insideKENT Magazines (all located and in immaculate condition may I add) just to prove to myself that a year really has passed since I last wrote about Christmas. I actually can’t quite believe it. But it’s true, and I think we all welcomed the changing seasons with surprising warmth and dignity in Kent this year. Perhaps something to do with a rather soggy, and at times chilly summer. It’s at this time of year we all tend to look back on what we’ve done and achieved over the past 12 months, even if it does bear more than a striking resemblance to the year before. For me personally, my hair has finally grown long again (thanks Ahead of Beauty in Maidstone for looking after my highmaintenance locks!). I’ve moved home again, and I’ve almost survived two years of Heart Breakfast with James and Charlie. I say ‘survived’ merely because of the early alarm call. It has in fact, been a privilege and joy. A lot has been achieved this year. We’ve had some great and increasing listener figures – thank you for tuning in. We also got nominated for our first Sony Radio Award, and Producer Matt is now most definitely part of the furniture. He even has his own 6.30am feature – Hot Sausage and Mustard, which appears to be gaining cult following status! I’ve also been really busy in and around the county doing bits and bobs over the past 12 months. Some of my highlights: hosting a series of fashion shows at Bluewater, feeding howler monkeys at Port Lympne, introducing Olly Murs on stage at Quex Park and watching the Paralympic Road Racing at Brands Hatch. It’s been a brilliant year. Christmas will be another busy one with Christmas light switch-ons all over Kent, and of course the return of Xmas Factor when schools will battle it out for the highly coveted title, and the chance to come in and see me and James in the studio. I’m hoping a few cosy winter lunches will be on the menu as well. The breakfast team discovered TV chef Richard Phillips’ latest venture the other day – The Windmill in Hollingbourne (which happens to be featured on page 73). I can’t wait to go back on a crisp day for a glass of red in front of the roaring log fire – stunning food and location. Oh, and my radio husband James is staying in Kent for Christmas for the first time in years and cooking the dinner. I’m wondering if there might be room for one more?! (Don’t forget I’m veggie though James – nut roast for me). See you in 2013 (2013? Now that looks ODD).
Listen to Heart Breakfast with James and Charlie every weekday morning from 6am-10am, or online at heart.co.uk You can also become a Facebook fan – facebook.com/heartkent Follow Charlie on twitter @charlie_radio To contact or for event bookings find her at www.charlieobrien.co.uk
ASHFORD CYCLISTS PEDAL FOR CHARITY Ashford cyclists Matthew Ball and Neil Wood have cycled over 300 miles from Lymm in Warrington, Cheshire to Ashford in four days to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital and Steps Charity. The group, calling themselves the Kings of Lemon Cycling Team – which also included Tim Hughes and Paul Davies – started their epic ride on 8th September. They had raised nearly £2,700 at the time of riding, but are still looking for more sponsorship for the charities in recognition of the help they have given Matthew's son Joshua and his family. Joshua was born with PFFD (Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency), which affects his bone structure especially on his right hip and leg. Joshua in time will need more operations as he grows, so this ride was to highlight awareness of his condition and hopefully raise funds for both the charities. The ride started at Steps HQ in Lymm, Cheshire and visited GOSH on route before finishing in Ashford. The ride went well with day one from Lymm to Burton on Trent – a total of 74 miles. Day two was windy and hilly with a little detour around Milton Keynes, which totalled 84 miles; while day three saw them reach Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. From there, they pushed on to return home to Ashford, exhausted but elated at the money raised by their efforts. Matthew said, "It means so much to have achieved this and to know that these two charities will continue to benefit from our efforts. I want to thank everyone for all of their support on our journey, and for the generous donations we have already received, and continue to receive." You can see how they got on at www.kolcyclingteam.wordpress.com and if you would like to donate please visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/KOLCyclingTeam
Ashford International Hotel Ashford, Kent
Celebrate the festive season in style this year. Our team have years of party experience and will take care of every last detail to ensure your festive celebration is extra special!
Christmas Day Lunch NYE 2012
Take some time out this festive season and enjoy a delicious two-course festive lunch in Horizon Restaurant.
Treat the family and enjoy a delicious three-course Christmas Day buffet with a visit from Father Christmas for all the good girls and boys!
See in the New Year in style with our Gala Ball or Family Celebration. Enjoy a delicious meal and evening disco - with entertainment for the little ones. NYE Gala
£99.00 per adult £15.00 per adult £55.00 per adult Celebration £7.50 per child aged 6-12 £27.50 per child aged 6-12 Family £59.00 per adult Children aged 5 and under eat free. Children aged 5 and under eat free. £29.00 aged 4-12
Children aged 3 and under eat free.
*Terms and conditions apply. Offers subject to availability.
Tel: 01233 219988 Email: ashfordevents@QHotels.co.uk www.QHotels.co.uk/xmas
Bridgewood Manor Rochester, Kent
Celebrate the festive season in style this year. Celebrate the festive season in style this year at Bridgewood Manor. Our team have years of party experience and will take care of every last detail to ensure your night is extra special!
Xmas Tribute Nights
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Your night includes a delicious three-course meal followed by fantastic entertainment until late.
Do something a little different this year and enjoy a tribute night with three-course meal and entertainment.
Book before 31st October 2012 and receive 1 free party place for every 15 booked!
£25.00 per guest
£35.95 per guest
Contact us now to book! 01634 201 333 bridgewoodmanorevents@QHotels.co.uk www.QHotels.co.uk/xmas
insideKENT MET WITH JANE CADLE OF NUFFIELD HEALTH TUNBRIDGE WELLS HOSPITAL TO ASK ABOUT THEIR LATEST TREATMENTS AND SERVICES.
How long has Nuffield Health Tunbridge Wells been open? The hospital opened in 1968 and is an established part of the local community. The hospital is conveniently situated on the northern outskirts of Tunbridge Wells, close to the town centre, the railway station and with easy road access from all directions. It has an excellent reputation for clinical care, expertise and efficient friendly staff. What makes Nuffield Health Tunbridge Wells stand out from other hospitals in Kent? Nuffield Health is the UK’s largest not-for-profit healthcare organisation, and the Tunbridge Wells Hospital is the only one in Kent. The company is unique, providing joined up, clinical, fitness and well-being services to the community. We are a charity and therefore all of our profits are invested, in perpetuity, back into our services to meet our charitable objectives for the benefit of those we help and to ensure accessibility to what we do. You recently renovated the hospital. What renovation work was carried out? We have just completed a multi-million pound refurbishment that encompassed the entire building from top to bottom. We have installed leading-edge clinical facilities, which will enable the development of pioneering new specialties, including a state-of-the-art operating theatre complex – one of the most advanced operating theatres in Europe. This will provide a first-class environment for treatment and recovery. Our new private rooms and public areas have been designed to meet the standards set by the very best hotels. We also have brand new office facilities for administration departments including a conference room with the latest audiovisual equipment. What has the feedback from patients been to the renovation? Both patients and consultants have been overwhelmingly encouraging since the builders left in August. Patient satisfaction scores have now even exceeded our previous ratings. What treatments does Nuffield Health specialise in? Orthopaedics: The hospital provides treatment for a range of orthopaedic and musculo-skeletal disorders, including hip, knee and shoulder replacement, other joint arthroplasty surgery and
sports injury treatments, along with x-ray investigations, including MRI, CT scanning and Dexa scans (osteoporosis). These treatments are all fully supported by a team of experienced physiotherapists, both as in and outpatients. Gynaecology: We perform a range of laparoscopic minimally invasive, surgical procedures (keyhole), with many of the treatments performed this way to help patients recover more quickly. We also offer a ‘rapid access’ one-stop gynaecology service where patients are seen and sometimes treated in the one appointment. Breast & Onco-plastic Surgery: We run a rapid access breast clinic for any type of breast problem, that’s accessible to both men and women. Our breast and onco-plastic surgeons are able to perform mastectomy with immediate breast reconstruction surgery within one operation.
Where do you see Nuffield Health Tunbridge Wells five years from now? Nuffield Health is a very ambitious company and as such believes that it should make accessible fitness and wellbeing facilities ultimately integrated with our clinical health services. We aim to increase our gym and well-being centres for both public and corporate centres into Kent.
Nuffield Health Tunbridge Wells Hospital Kingswood Road Tunbridge Wells TN2 4UL 01892 552932 firstname.lastname@example.org www.nuffieldhealth.com/tunbridgewellshospital
Urology: We are able to offer treatment for prostate cancer including the minimally invasive option for laparoscopic radical prostatectomy using a robotic camera that is controlled through a headset, which allows greater precision. Oncology: The hospital has an oncology suite within which chemotherapy treatment is provided for ongoing cancer care. Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery: The hospital offers a broad range of cosmetic surgery, performed by some of the country’s leading plastic surgeons. All the surgeons are members of the British Association of Plastic and Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS). Weight Loss Surgery: There is a highly experienced multi-disciplined team, who offer a range of surgical procedures for people with severe obesity. Procedures include gastricbanding, gastric by-pass and sleeve gastrectomy. How do you ensure patients are made at ease and get the best service? People come to us for help when they are often feeling vulnerable and uncertain. Helping to comfort and reassure our patients is our highest priority. Connecting on a human level is also about giving them information and respecting their dignity. We all know when we experience that and every patient deserves it.
OPEN DAY To celebrate the completion of their multi-million pound refurbishment, you are invited to view Nuffield Health Tunbridge Wells’ new-look hospital on SATURDAY 17th NOVEMBER 2012 BETWEEN 10am-2pm OPEN DAY Take a tour of the hospital, including the state-of-the-art operating theatre, where you can test your skills as a trainee surgeon. Discover some interesting facts about your local private hospital, learn about the services on offer, whilst enjoying complimentary refreshments. EVERYONE WELCOME. For more information call 01892 531111
BEST PRACTICE TAX PLANNING NO ONE LIKES TO THINK ABOUT TAXES AND TAX PLANNING. BUT THE REALITY IS THAT PROPER AND BEST PRACTICE TAX PLANNING IS NOT ONLY IMPORTANT, BUT IT CAN SAVE YOU A LOT OF MONEY AND HEADACHES IN THE FUTURE.
Hiring a good tax accountant or financial planner is money well spent, especially for those that run their own business, own property or have substantial investments. But everyone can make good use of best practice tax planning by reducing taxes paid, or by properly utilising tax credits offered by the government. The motto should be maximise income and minimise taxes! Tax planning can come in many shapes and forms, but the main goal of tax planning is to minimise the amount of taxes you pay. As you may know, the government levies numerous taxes on its residents, not only income tax. And since taxation laws and credit change year-to-year, it is best to seek professional advice. Tax planning should not be mistaken with tax evasion, which is illegal. A good tax planner will help you figure out legal ways to minimise your tax liability. Best practice in tax planning means that the accountant or financial planner is utilising the most up-to-date tax and ethical codes to give the best advice to clients. Since tax codes and rules change fairly frequently, it is important to find a company that firmly believes and follows best practice policies. TAX PLANNING FOR BUSINESSES For potential business owners or start-ups, best practice tax planning is important at the initial establishment phase. Business structure is probably the most important factor when it comes to tax matters. The amount of tax levied and how much control you can assert will vary greatly between structures such as partnerships, sole proprietorships or companies. The type of business structure will also determine the degree of control or
ownership of the company as well as legal status when it comes to law suits or other hurdles a business may face. TAX PLANNING FOR INDIVIDUALS For individuals, best practice tax planning can be part of an overall financial or estate planning package. Accountants and financial planners can advise on how income tax can be reduced in a best practice and legal manner and advise on what, if any, tax credits may apply. Tax planning becomes especially important for reducing inheritance tax, making a will, charitable giving and the establishment of financial tools such as trusts. TAX PLANNING FOR INVESTMENTS AND PENSIONS Best practice tax planning also comes into play when considering investments, retirement and pensions. For investments, you want to maximise your returns and minimise the amount of tax you pay on your profit or income. A tax accountant can advise you on tax-efficient investment schemes or utilise tax relief, which will help you realise the highest rate of return possible on your investment. The same applies to retirement and pensions. At the age of retirement, as your income declines, you really want to maximise the income you will receive from your pension and investments and minimise your tax liability. In this day and age, it is no longer wise to rely simply on a state pension. This means that many people have private investments or pension plans to supplement their state pension income. In best practice tax planning, it is important to see what your income will be post-retirement and to adjust your investment and pension schemes to maximise the money that will physically go into your pocket.
To discuss your business or personal tax planning issues, please contact Mike Swan on 01233 629255 or email@example.com and he will be happy to discuss your tax planning credentials.
KENT COMPANIES TRIUMPH IN THE BRITISH CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE NATIONAL 2012 REGIONAL AWARDS
OF THE NINE WINNERS IN THE REGIONAL FINALS FOR THE BRITISH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NATIONAL AWARDS, FIVE WERE FROM KENT AND MEMBERS OF KENT INVICTA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. A fencing and access control specialist that celebrates its 65th birthday this year has secured a prestigious achievement for Kent after it was announced as the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) Chamber Awards 2012’s Business of the Year for the South of England (sponsored by Westfield Health). Jacksons Fencing, based in Ashford, beat off competition from across the region to land the prestigious title, impressing judges with its ability to bounce back from recession through diversification, innovation and excellent customer service. Nova IT Solutions, with offices in Maidstone and Canterbury won the Excellence in Customer Service Award. Nova IT offers tailored IT solutions to customers 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Minimise Ltd, based in Rochester, walked away with the South East Most Promising New Business. Minimise, based in Rochester, was established to promote, sell and install energy-saving technologies initially in the UK and then internationally through joint ventures in strategic markets. Ashford-based MPR IT Solutions won the Commitment to People Development Award. The IT services and support business showed outstanding commitment to their staff and customers which has resulted in the growth of the business. Quorum Technologies Ltd, received the Achievement in International Business. With its Head Office in Ashford, Quorum has a worldwide client
The Kent winners with Jo James (left) and next to her Mark Dance, KCC Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development.
base and are a market leader in the design and manufacturer of sample preparation equipment for electron microscopy. Jo James, Chief Executive of Kent Invicta said, “It is fantastic that five of the nine regional winners come from Kent, and all are members of Kent Invicta Chamber. It just goes to show what an entrepreneurial business community we have in our county and I wish them all the best for the national finals in November.” The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Chamber Awards 2012 is committed to finding the best businesses in Britain through a series of regional heats followed by a National Final, due to be held at London’s Guildhall on 29th November. The Chamber Awards 2012 is supported by the RBS Group, BT Business, Dell, DHL Express, Westfield Health and Acua Limited.
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St Michael’s Prep School, OTFORD ST MICHAEL’S PREP SCHOOL, OTFORD IS A THRIVING COEDUCATIONAL PREP SCHOOL CATERING FOR PUPILS FROM THE AGE OF 2 – 13. THE SCHOOL WAS FOUNDED IN 1872 AS AN ORPHANAGE FOR A DOZEN BOYS. THE SCHOOL MOVED TO OTFORD IN 1925, THEN A BOARDING SCHOOL HOUSING APPROX 50 BOYS.
The St Michael’s Prep School that you will find today is rather different. The school now has approx 450 confident, happy children enjoying a 90-acre site tucked away from view in a curve of the North Downs up above Kemsing. What kind of pupils enjoy St Michael’s Prep School? The best way for you to judge this is to come and visit us. For the academic pupils, there are superb facilities including two fully equipped science labs, inspiring lessons including French being taught throughout the school, and afterschool activities enabling you to be stretched beyond the classroom - in between the sport and the creative activities that you will be enjoying as well. For our pupils who love sport, the grounds have been levelled to provide extensive playing fields and the sports department benefits from the new 25m swimming pool and sports hall. These facilities enable us to ensure that every single child in the school represents the school in competitive teams every term. For our pupils who are creative, there is a new art department, and pupils have the opportunity to participate in an extensive programme of art, DT, animation and pottery. All St Michael’s pupils have drama lessons and take part in drama productions. The music department, through weekly lessons and after school activities, encourages pupils to participate in choirs and orchestras, string groups and brass groups. What do the pupils say about St Michael’s Prep School? “I have been at St Michael’s Prep School for four years. I have made lots of friends. I am captain of the 1st rugby team and we have just returned from a sports tour to Jersey, which was a great experience. During my time at St Michael’s the school has supported me with my drama and frequent trips to London for auditions. St Michael’s Prep School has something for everyone.” ED PIERCY, Year 8
“I knew that it could be hard going from the French to the English system at the start of Year 7 so I needed the right school to help me. I have certainly found it – St Michael’s is a school with a fantastic spirit and a welcoming feeling. The teachers are amazing. I couldn’t have done it without them – thank you.” KATIE DUDNEY, Year 8 What do the parents say about St Michael’s Prep School? “We have had children at St Michael’s for the past 11 years. All three have been extremely happy there, from the cosy nurturing environment of the pre-prep to the academic rigours of preparing for Common Entrance exams. The school offers something for everyone: terrific teaching, strong sport, music and drama, and good pastoral care in a relaxed atmosphere and in a stunning setting. It produces happy, confident children. All of mine have made fantastic friends there, who I hope they will keep in touch with for many years to come.” JANE SACKVILLE-WEST, parent “My son has a wonderful time at St Michael’s and so do I! I get to have a brilliant time creating art work, stage sets and costumes and this provides me with a great deal of fun and satisfaction. The school kindly permits present and past mums to play badminton after school ‘drop off ’ twice a week which is fantastic, nohassle fitness.” CLAIRE EDWARDS, parent “St Michael’s Prep School was more to us than just a school; it felt like an extended family. After 13 years at the school we were sad to leave, but at the same time happy that my son gained a major academic scholarship to Sevenoaks School. We are very grateful to all the staff, who helped him achieve this award.” ROSEMARY WEDDERBURN DAY, parent
were that the school is outstanding (the highest judgement) in every area. The full report is available on the school’s website, but a selection of comments includes: “The quality of the pupils’ personal development from the Early Years’ Foundation Stage onwards is outstanding and is supported by excellent pastoral care.” “The pupils’ outstanding achievement is strongly supported by the high quality, broad and interesting curriculum.” “The school promotes excellent links with parents, who responded extremely positively to the preinspection questionnaire.” “Within a Christian framework it strives to develop self-confidence, a sense of responsibility and consideration for others, as well as tolerance and respect for the diversity of the world.” If you would like to come and see the school for yourself, please phone to book an appointment. Main points of entry into the school: Nursery, Year 3, Year 7 Spaces may become available in other year groups.
For further details, please contact Judith Yarnold, Director of Admissions firstname.lastname@example.org 01959 522137 www.stmichaels.kent.sch.uk
What do the inspectors say about St Michael’s Prep School? The ISI judged St Michael’s Prep School recently and the inspectors’ judgements across the board www.insidekentmagazine.co.uk
‘Tis the Season for Christmas Parties! DECEMBER JUST WOULDN’T BE COMPLETE WITHOUT ATTENDING A FESTIVE CHRISTMAS DO (OR TWO). WHETHER YOU WANT TO HOLD YOUR OWN MERRY BASH, OR WOULD RATHER LEAVE THE PLANNING TO THE PROS, THERE ARE PLENTY OF KENT VENUES FOR HIRE, DELECTABLE DINNERS TO ENJOY AND JOY-FILLED EVENTS READY TO GET EVERYONE INTO THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT. insideKENT has searched the county for some of the best places to get your Christmas do fix. For more information on each venue’s seasonal events, menus and booking info, visit the website provided.
5 4 6
Hempstead House Country Hotel & Spa London Road, Sittingbourne ME9 9PP www.hempsteadhouse.co.uk
Wallett’s Court Country House Hotel
Westcliffe, St Margaret’s-at-Cliffe, Dover CT15 6EW www.wallettscourthotelspa.com
1 – Christmas Parties 2 – Christmas Menus/Meals throughout December 3 – Christmas Day Lunch/Dinner 4 – Venue Hire Available (subject to availability) 5 – Short Break Packages 6 – New Year’s Event
Dover Marina Hotel
Abbots Barton Hotel
Oakwood House Hotel
The Bell Hotel
ABode Hotel – Christmas with Caines
Maidstone ME17 1PL www.leeds-castle.com
36 New Dover Road, Canterbury CT1 3DU www.abbotsbartonhotel.com
The Quay, Sandwich CT13 9EF www.bellhotelsandwich.co.uk
Dover Waterfront, Dover CT17 9BP www.dovermarinahotel.co.uk
Oakwood Park, Maidstone ME16 8AE www.oakwoodhousehotel.co.uk
30-33 High Street, Canterbury CT1 2RX www.abodehotels.co.uk/canterbury
Hever, Nr Edenbridge TN8 7NG www.hevercastle.co.uk
The Marquis at Alkham Alkham Valley Road, Alkham CT15 7DF www.themarquisatalkham.co.uk
The Secret Garden Restaurant
Mersham-le-Hatch, Ashford TN25 6NH www.secretgardenkent.co.uk
Canterbury Cathedral Lodge
The Lodge at Prince’s
Sandwich Bay, Sandwich CT13 9QB www.princesgolfclub.co.uk/the-lodge
1 Warwick Park, Royal Tunbridge Wells TN2 5TA www.thebrewhousehotel.net
Ashford International Hotel
Chilston Park Hotel
Chives on the Green
Mercure Tunbridge Wells Hotel
G Casino Thanet
The Precincts, Canterbury CT1 2EH www.canterburycathedrallodge.org
Simone Well Avenue, Ashford TN24 8UX www.qhotels.co.uk/hotels/ashford-internationalkent.aspx
Broome Park Golf and Country Club, Canterbury Rd, Barham CT4 6QX www.chivescaterers.co.uk/broome-park
Eastwell Park, Boughton Lees, Ashford TN25 4HR www.eastwellmanor.co.uk
8 Tonbridge Rd, Pembury, Tunbridge Wells TN2 4QL www.mercure.com/festive
The Brew House Hotel
Sanway, Lenham, Maidstone ME17 2BE www.handpickedhotels.co.uk/hotels/ chilston-park
Margate Road, Broadstairs CT10 2BF www.grosvenorcasinos.com/local-casinos/thanet
Elvey Lane, Pluckley TN27 0SU www.elveyfarm.co.uk
The Spa Hotel
Mount Ephraim, Royal Tunbridge Wells TN4 8XJ www.spahotel.co.uk
Xmas Parties at Rowhill Grange Hotel GET IN THE PARTY SPIRIT! Whether you are planning a corporate, social or family Christmas Party the expectation is the same - to get together and enjoy a memorable evening. For this year’s gathering to be the best yet means hosting your event in a venue that promises a gorgeous feast, glittering entertainment and a warming atmosphere that party goers will appreciate. Rowhill Grange Hotel is a venue where celebrations alight. Their Xmas Packages, which range from Afternoon Tea parties to private hire events, are filled with sparkle and designed to mark this important occasion.
Lunch & Festive Tea Parties
If you prefer an afternoon celebration, Rowhill Grange provides a selection of lunch menus in a festive environment. Or perhaps this is the year for a new Christmas Tradition, so why not exchange secret Santa gifts during an Afternoon Tea party! With both options staring from as little as £17.50 per person, diners can expect a great feast at great value.
There is no better way to mark the end of a busy 2012, than to celebrate in your very own private party venue. Dedicated to you and your guests, Rowhill Grange Hotel offers a handful of private dining areas to suit from 4 to 150 guests. For those looking to give their party an extra special sense of occasion, the hotel can also be booked as an Exclusive Use venue.
Christmas Party Nights
Christmas & Boxing Day Luncheons
Available on selected dates throughout December, party lovers can enjoy a four course meal plus evening entertainment from only £32 per person. Accommodation can also be arranged from only £69 per person including breakfast and full use of the hotel’s Utopia Spa facilities (perfect for the morning after the night before!)
With Chef Luke Davis and his brigade leading the festive Luncheons, you are guaranteed to receive a wonderfully relaxed and enjoyable Christmas feast. Available as a 4 or 6 course lunch option in RGs Restaurant or the Clockhouse Suite, Christmas at Rowhill Grange promises to be special.
For further details on Rowhill Grange Hotel’s Christmas Parties, menus and booking enquiries, please call 01322 612 778.
HEADED UP TO
'Kent's Big Night Out' POSITIONED ON THE EUROLINK INDUSTRIAL ESTATE SITTINGBOURNE, CENTRAL PARK STADIUM IS THE HOME OF SITTINGBOURNE GREYHOUNDS. Racing takes place every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the year with a couple of additional meetings on Fridays in December to cater for the Christmas party season. November Race Days Thursdays 1st race 6.28pm Saturdays 1st race 6.28pm Sundays 1st race 6.11pm December Race Days Thursdays 1st race 6.28pm Saturdays 1st race 6.28pm Sundays 1st race 6.11pm Additional meetings Friday the 14th and 21st â€“ 1st race 7.30pm Boxing Day December 26th 1st race 11.00am Christmas Party Nights Friday December 14th and 21st Saturday December 1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd Wine and dine in the Eurosuite restaurant whilst enjoying the racing, and immediately after racing enjoy a disco with resident DJ Danny Ball till late. Friday night Christmas Party Nights include Whippet and Afghan racing along with Greyhound racing to make it an extra special night. www.sittingbournegreyhounds.co.uk 01795 475547
It’s a wrap! HERE AT insideKENT, WE ALL AGREE THAT GIVING GIFTS AT CHRISTMAS IS JUST AS GOOD, OR BETTER, THAN GETTING THEM; AND HALF THE FUN OF GIVING IS MAKING YOUR WRAPPED PRESENTS LOOK FABULOUSLY FESTIVE. HERE ARE A FEW OF OUR FAVOURITE GIFT WRAPS FOR 2012, SURE TO MAKE ANY FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER FEEL JUST A LITTLE BIT GUILTY ABOUT RIPPING INTO IT! Festive Pudding Gift Wrap £4.50/3 sheets, www.dotsandspots.co.uk
50s Christmas Wrapping Paper From £1.95, www.dotcomgiftshop.com
Do Not Open Gift Wrapping Range From £3.00, www.tch.net
Mistletoe Gift Wrap Set £24, www.giftwrappedandgorgeous.co.uk
Belle & Boo Christmas Gift Wrap Pack £12, www.sistersguild.co.uk
Birds & Berries Gift Wrap Set £24, www.giftwrappedandgorgeous.co.uk
Happywrap Luxury Fabric Gift Wrap £3.95 www.happywrap.co.uk
Boxed Baubles by Ella Doran £1.75 www.masqueonline.com
STAY WARM THIS WINTER with
2012 HAD THE WETTEST SUMMER FOR 100 YEARS WITH A MINI HEAT WAVE IN SEPTEMBER, BUT WHATEVER
THE SKIES THROW AT US NEXT A TRIP TO HEAT DESIGN IS SURE TO HELP YOU KEEP PREPARED AND - MOST IMPORTANTLY - warm this winter.
With another cold winter on the horizon there has never been a better time to consider your heating options. With friendly, passionate and independent advice, heat design in Canterbury has everything you need to get your family ready for the winter. As a way of heating your home the humble wood stove has come on a long way. Modern models are highly efficient, safe and beautifully designed. Clean air technology allows many wood stoves to be used in a smoke control area reducing their environmental impact through advanced engineering to a minimum. The efficiency of the burn means lower fuel costs and more heating for your money. Traditional model design to futurist, Heat Design stocks models catering to every taste: with top brands such as Chesney, Hunter Euroheat,
Barbas, Dovre, Yeoman, Stovax, Rais and Woodwarm. At the Heat Design showroom on Roper Close Canterbury you can see the wood stoves, gas and electric fires live on display, Heat Design can cater for wood stoves in places such as shepherdâ€™s huts, conservatories and summer houses larger models can also heat hot water. If you are considering an open fireplace, Heat Design offers surrounds beautifully handcrafted in stone, marble and solid timber, from brands such as Chesney, Montpellier Marble and Farmington if you want to restore a period house to its former glory or create an authentic look for a more modern home you can be confident that you will find what you are looking for. You can choose a simple timeless design to blend in with any decor or select a mantelpiece faithfully reproduced and hand finished for a classic period
feel to suit your room. A surround can be used to create a traditional, classic setting with a wood stove, period insert or an open fire. The gas fire provides a centre piece for a room and push button convenience in creating light and warmth. Contemporary gas fires can be turned on and off, up and down at the touch of a remote control, combining ease of use with great modern flame effects. From the traditional cottage to the ultra chic apartment our huge range of gas fires means that there is a gas fire to suit any interior. There expert staff are always on hand to guide you to the right choice and help you through the whole process of buying and installing a new gas fire. Heat design also stock a range of the latest gas fuel efficient fires from top brands such as Gazco and Bellfires.
Woodstoves • Gas Fires • Fireplaces Range cookers • Solar
A beautiful range cooker can be a focal point of the kitchen at the centre of the home; full of warmth, they provide an efficient way of cooking delicious food and can even provide central heating for the rest of the house. At Heat design, they do everything they can to help you choose the range cooker best suited to you. They stock a selection of range cookers from the best manufactures including Aga, Rayburn, steel Cuisine and Big Blue. The best known range cooker is the iconic AGA This classic design has had a 21st Century overhaul in the new AGA Total control. The Total control is soon to become internet connected with an iPhone app that allows you to turn the oven on on your way home from work or you can set a timer from your sofa. The AGA cookers sister product, the Rayburn allows you to integrate the range cooker into a hot water system and heat your home as well as cook. If you are considering in purchasing a Rayburn, Heat Design’s in-house heating engineer can guide you through installation into existing systems. As an Aga and Rayburn authorised Stockist, Range cookers from Rayburn and Esse allow you to connect them into a hot water system. There are plenty of other inventive heating ideas; Solar thermal allows the positioning of discreet panels to harvest the natural energy of the sun converting it into hot running water. Biomass boilers utilise renewable fuels to heat your home and provide running hot water. The flexibility of this concept allows it to be used in homes or businesses large of small. So be inspired this winter, and view Heat Design’s range.
Roper Close Canterbury CT2 7EP 01227 457643 email@example.com www.heatdesignkent.co.uk
Roper Close, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7EP 01227 457643 | www.heatdesignkent.com
SPOILT FOR CHOICE with
SHIPTON £1,566 INC VAT
CHESNEY SALISBURY 5KW £980 INC VAT
ESSE ELECTRIC COOKER £4,395 INC VAT
SHOREDITCH £1,674 INC VAT
STUDIO 1 IN POLISHED STAINLESS STEEL FRAME £2,028 INC VAT
ensures that they use experienced HETAS registered installers to fit your stove. HETAS is the body which governs the installation of solid fuel and woodburning appliances. Check the efficiency of your chosen appliance in the HETAS guide (www.hetas.co.uk). Have your chimney swept annually by a NACS (National Association of Chimney Sweeps) registered chimney sweep. Seek advice for the output you need for your room size. HARMONY EVOLUTION 33 £2,479 INC VAT
All of these fires are on display in the Heat Design showroom, or visit their website at www.heatdesignkent.co.uk
Have A Merry Green Christmas Save money, reduce your Christmas carbon footprint and have a more eco-friendly and sustainable noel with these top tips from Nigel at NigelsEcoStore.com. Don't forget to turn off your fairy lights
Christmas cards from charities and donate up to 20% to less fortunate people at the same time.
Recycled wrapping paper There's no point recycling rubbish if you don't buy recycled products! It's estimated that 83 square kilometres of wrapping paper end up in our rubbish bins each year, that's enough to wrap up Guernsey, so I also make sure that I use recycled wrapping paper. And try to wrap presents with ribbon or string instead of sticky tape. Try our designer recycled wrapping paper, by Lisa Jones.
Candles Ever since I found out that 15% of household electricity is wasted by leaving TVs, Hi-fi's and other appliances on standby – costing each of us an average of £37 per year – I make sure I turn things off when I’m not using them. In general, lighting accounts for 15% of household electricity, and 100-string Christmas tree lights left on for 10 hours a day over the 12 days of Christmas produce enough carbon dioxide to inflate 60 balloons, so make sure you get energy saving light bulbs for your house; and at Christmas, try some solar powered rope lights or outdoor solar powered Christmas fairy lights for some winter sparkle without adding to your carbon footprint.
Christmas cards An estimated 1.7 billion Christmas cards are sent each year in Britain – the equivalent of 200,000 trees – and around 1 million Christmas cards are thrown away every year. I try to send recycled Christmas cards, but you could make your own, or send texts or e-cards instead. After the big day, make sure your Christmas cards don't go to waste – recycle them! I like to buy recycled
Paraffin candles are made from petroleum residues, so neither do your health or the environment any good. Soy, beeswax or natural vegetable-based candles are better because they biodegrade, are smoke-free, and are so much more eco-friendly.
Deck the halls with real holly Instead of spending money on artificial Christmas decorations that won't biodegrade, let nature decorate your home. House decorations can be made from organic, recycled and scrap materials.
Try popcorn, dough, cinnamon sticks, bows, gingerbread, holly, seasonal berries, ivy and evergreen branches. Once you have finished with them, you can put them in the composter. You can also get Christmas decorations made from recycled CDs and computer parts from us!
Christmas trees If you've been wondering which is better, the simple answer is that real trees are the more ecofriendly choice. Although artificial trees last for many years, they are made from metal and derivatives of PVC, which requires large amounts of energy to make, and also creates by-products such as lead which can be harmful to both the environment and human health. The average life of an artificial tree is just 6 years and given that they are not naturally biodegradable they will potentially pollute a landfill site for many years to come. Most artificial trees sold in the UK are now made in Taiwan and China and so have additional energy costs associated with transport. Real trees are carbon neutral, absorbing as much carbon dioxide as they grow as they will emit when burnt or left to decompose. They are also a wildlife habitat and a naturally renewable resource, and generally feel much nicer in your home. They can be planted in your garden after Christmas, and even used again next year. In 2006, six million Christmas trees took pride of place in British homes and offices. Of these only 10% were recycled and fewer than 5% planted to be re-used next year. Tree Buying Tips • Buy from a small-scale sustainable grower and/or make sure the tree has Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) accreditation. You can go to www.soilassociation.org/christmas for a list of producers. • Choose a tree with roots so it can be replanted. If replanting isn’t an option, most local councils run Christmas tree recycling schemes. Contact yours or go to www.letsrecycle.com.
Be battery wise
Buy an organic turkey
10 million turkeys are eaten every Christmas. If you can, try to make sure it has been reared in humane conditions. Organic turkeys taste better too. I try to buy my Christmas food locally, shopping at farmers’ markets or buying direct from the farmer is far cheaper than buying organic in the supermarket. Think of the benefits – the taste of chemical-free food, the reduction in food miles and CO2 emissions, and reduced dependence on oil. Buying locally produced food also boosts rural jobs.
Recycle your unwanted presents
Families can get through a lot of batteries, particularly at Christmas. Batteries contain toxic chemicals, don't biodegrade and are difficult to recycle. Instead, use rechargeable ones, or you could try our AA size USB rechargeable batteries. By opening the cap and plugging into a USB connector, you can recharge them pretty much anywhere there's a USB socket. You'll never have to search for a charger again.
Unfortunately everyone receives at least one unwanted gift at Christmas. I often recycle my unwanted presents to charities. Local hospitals and hospices are often very pleased to receive unwanted smellies to give to patients. Or you could try our regifting forum - and swap them for other people's unwanted gifts!
Winner of a Yahoo Finds of The Year Best Shopping Site, Nigel's Eco Store
an award-winning online retailer of resourceful eco friendly products, homewares and gifts that can help you reduce your carbon footprint, conserve resources, save money and still enjoy your life! The store carries home furnishings, kitchenware, gadgets, office products, kids' toys and energy saving devices. www.NigelsEcoStore.com
View Nigel’s free guide, How to Have a Good Christmas, from your smartphone:
Give a charity or environmentally friendly gift
Sponsor an animal or give a membership to a charity or environmental organisation for Christmas. Or of course, you could buy an eco-friendly gift from Nigel's Eco Store!
OAK OAK BUILDINGS
OrlestoneOak Tailor-made Oak Joinery and Oak Flooring
SOLID OAK & ENGINEERED FLOORING prices from £24/m2
www.orlestoneoak.co.uk 01233 732179
NEW! Phone for our 52 page brochure
HOLIDAY FASHION GIFT GUIDE
HOLIDAY SHOPPING DAZE COME COMEOVER OVERYOU YOUAND AND YOU CAN’T SEEM FIND THE HAS A HOLIDAY-SHOPPING-DAZE YOU CAN’T SEEM TOTO FIND THE insideKENT’SHOLIDAY HOLIDAYFASHION FASHIONGIFT GIFTGUIDE GUIDE PERFECT MAVEN PERFECTGIFT GIFTFOR FORTHE THESTYLE STYLE MAVENININYOUR YOURLIFE? LIFE?insideKENT’S MAKES IT EASY TO FIND UNIQUE PIECES THAT SHE’S SURE TO LOVE. SHOPPING FOR YOURSELF? FIND YOUR STYLE BELOW AND SHOP AWAY! ‘TIS THE SEASON!
SPORTY AND ACTIVE INSPIRE THE OUTDOORSY AND ACTIVE SOUL TO HEAD OUT ON NEW ADVENTURES! THESE FINDS TAKE WARM, WATERPROOF, AND FUNCTIONAL TO A WHOLE NEW HEIGHT. Quilted Button Gloves £15 Marks & Spencer
Taupe Multi-strap Boots £115 La Redoute
Coral Neon Wellington Boot £16.99 Internacionale
Light Green Quilted Gillet £18 Bonmarche Autograph Manitee Shopper £99 Marks & Spencer
Ladies Waterproof Ceramic Bracelet Watch £199 Rotary Watches
Khaki Waxed Gilet £99; Stone Georgette Shirt £59; Skinny Cargo Jean £69 Mint Velvet
XPG Grey Hooded Zip Thru Jacket £28 Debenhams
J Jeans by Jasper Conran Canvas Kettle Bag £49 Debenhams
FEMININE FINERY LOVERS OF ALL THINGS GRACEFUL WILL SIMPLY MELT FOR THESE SOFT AND ROMANTIC PIECES. WITH DAINTY PRINTS, GIRLY RUFFLES, TINY ACCORDION PLEATS, POLKA DOTS AND GOLD ACCENTS, THESE SWEET FINDS WILL HAVE HER SWOONING.
Fearne Cotton Heart Jumper £29 Very.co.uk
Animal Spot Fur Collar £25 Marks & Spencer
Jung Ee Eun Bold Gold Necklace £31 Botticca
Red Herring Pleated Skirt £30 Debenhams Wide Brim Fedorah £25 ISME
Paris PeplumTop in Mulberry £39.99 Fever Designs
Freida Faith £68 Debenhams
Talullah Blouse £18 boohoo.com
Lace Front & Sleeve Blouse £29 Littlewoods.com
Love Label Chiffon Sleeve Playsuit £35 Very.co.uk
Nude Skinny Chain Handle Tote £14.99 Internacionale
FASHION URBAN CHIC A BIT GRITTY AND A LOT STYLISH, THESE LUXE PIECES ARE PERFECT FOR THE URBAN FASHIONISTA WHO LIKES A BIT OF EDGE WITH HER LOOK. SHE’LL SNATCH UP THESE STATEMENT PIECES WITH METAL HARDWARE, LEATHER AND LOTS OF ATTITUDE. Wilma Belted Jumpsuit £99 Phase Eight
Miso Aztec Tube Skirt £16 Republic
Lexie Marble Beige Blazer £209 Scaline London
Bar Chain Elastic Belt £12.50 Marks & Spencer
Rock Star Hair Fork by Ficcare £49.50 Stone Bridge
Ben de Lisi Stripe Canvas Tote £39 Debenhams
Open Stripe Blazer Jacket in Black £19.99 Pilot
Bryony Studded Zip Ankle Boot £90 Schuh
Glamour Hobo £49.50 Marks & Spencer
FASHION CLASSIC TAILORING THOSE WITH TIMELESS STYLE WILL ADORE THESE REFINED PIECES THAT ARE TAILORED, LUXURIOUS, AND ETERNALLY STYLISH. UPBEAT COLOURS AND UNEXPECTED DETAILS KEEP THESE POLISHED PIECES FUN.
Tweed Lady Glove £29.50 Marks & Spencer
Refer Coat £45 ISME Watson Coat, Duck Egg Blue £114.99 Fever Designs
J by Jasper Conran Colour Block Clutch £35 Debenhams
Maeve Floral Placement Jumper £69 Phase Eight
Red Belted Tunic £35 Marisota
YOUNG AND EDGY NOT FOR THE SHRINKING VIOLET, THESE FUN, FUNKY AND FEARLESS PIECES WILL INSPIRE THE YOUNG AND EDGY FASHION FIEND. WITH GUTSY PRINTS AND POPS OF COLOUR, SHE’LL HAPPILY CONTINUE SETTING TRENDS AND TURNING HEADS.
Anabel Campbell Navajo Cuff £145 Bottica
Scribble Heart Scarf £6.99 Internacionale
J by Jasper Conran Navy Drawstring Waist Parka Jacket £85 Debenhams
Grey Tassel Boots £25 Fifty Plus Clutch Bag Black £65 La Redoute
Skull X Bone Print Legging £9.99 Pilot
HAVE A FASHION QUESTION FOR OUR FASHION EDITOR? TALK TO MOLLY NEZNANSKI GIL ON twitter @lolachiffon AND GET ANSWERS!
THE PERFECT SHAPE FOR THE PARTY SEASON
SAVVY FEMALE SHOPPERS HAVE LONG EXTOLLED THE MERITS OF A GOOD PIECE OF SHAPEWEAR FOR TRANSFORMING THE WAY THEY LOOK IN CLOTHING, BUT SINCE THE HUMOROUS EXPLOITS OF BRIDGET JONES HIT OUR SCREENS TEN YEARS AGO, THE SHAPEWEAR PHENOMENON HAS GROWN STEADILY EACH YEAR. There are a myriad of different products claiming to work the areas of your body with varying intensities but unless you do a little research or ask for advice you could well end up with something that makes you look worse rather than better.
Body Wrap shapewear is designed without seams and therefore provides a smoothing and shaping effect without showing through to your clothing at all. This is ideal if you are brave enough
Everyone wants to feel and look their best all year round, but at Christmastime when the party season swings into action with family gatherings, office parties and various get-togethers, the need for some great staple underwear is paramount.
are the Naomi & Nicole garments: the Hi-Waist Long Leg Panty, or the thigh slimming Torsette. Both choices provide leg cover to about midthigh so will help to smooth and reduce the hips and upper thigh areas which will help your trousers to hang perfectly from your waist. They both cover the tummy areas as well so if you have a bulge you would rather banish then these are the underwear for you. The difference with the Torsette is it has straps which help to provide even more support and comfort. It is also a wear your own bra style so you can still choose that pretty lacy number you had lined up.
Whether you’re slipping into a sexy little black dress for the office party or going for something more daring on a night out with the girls, a correctly fitting piece of shapewear will turn your favourite outfit into a stunner! If you have chosen your dress or two-piece and feel you could benefit from a ‘drop a dress size’ piece of underwear, then the ideal solution is the Waist Cincher from Miraclesuit. This works
to wear something clingy or tight fitting and want to up your confidence with a little smoothing! There are plenty of styles to choose from within the Body Wrap ranges depending on your chosen outfit, from briefs through to bodysuits, but a great piece to invest in is the full slip which has detachable straps so however your dress is designed the slip should fit underneath without any visible lines showing through. If you choose to wear it strapless there is a non-slip band to hold the slip in place.
Shapewear can really be your best friend if you choose correctly. Remember that just because it will help you to appear slimmer it doesn’t mean that you have to buy a size below your regular size. You will just end up with bulging areas at the top and bottom as you squeeze yourself into it. Choose your normal dress size and if possible try it on in store. Remember shapewear will be a snug fit in its very design, so don’t expect it to slide on and off with ease. Always step into your garment (never put on over your head) and pull up the body slowly adjusting it as you go. You will end up with a firm and comfortable fit that allows you to move and breathe with ease but makes you look a million dollars.
particularly well if your outfit is waisted with either a belt or a divide of some sort as the Waist Cincher will achieve a great hour glass shape and can help you lose around three inches off your waist (tested by models on This Morning). This garment provides dramatic results and you’ll be amazed as your figure is transformed. It is designed with seamless, inner-double-panel construction and side release panels which help it to offer the extra firm control and remove inches from your waist. However not all shapewear garments are designed to drop a dress size and often you may just be looking for a more smoothing effect.
Hi-Waist Long Leg Panty
If you are a fashion lover you may choose to opt for a jump suit this Christmas. An all-in-one outfit like this can be unforgiving if you have a few lumps and bumps you would rather not highlight, so a great option for under an ensemble like this (or any trouser-based outfit) is the high waist long leg style of shapewear. Again you have plenty to choose from, but two great possibilities
The final tip for buying shapewear: always choose nude shapewear if you are going to be wearing it under a white or light coloured outfit. White underwear will show under white clothing but nude won’t. Happy shapewear shopping and Happy Christmas! www.shapewear.co.uk
2012 CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE
Gifts For Her Freeze 24.7 Miracle Set An anti-aging kit that gives you flawless, age-less looking skin, delivering instant results and longterm benefits. Works miracles on fine lines, wrinkles, laugh lines, furrowed brows, crow’s feet, dark circles, uneven skin tone and more. £75.00 www.debenhams.com
Native Heavenly Bath Collection
Pandora Grand Pearl Stud Earrings
Pearl studs are a must for every girl's jewellery collection. These stunning earrings from the AW12 collection feature freshwater cultured pearls and a sterling silver cradle. £45 www.pandora.net
Di Palomo Orange Blossom Range
A divine selection of bath and body treats from the Heavenly range. Combining the subtle scent of sandalwood with sweet orange and woody frankincense to conjure up an intense, exotic aroma. £30 www.nativegifts.co.uk
Sili Forever White Ice Watch Ice-Watch is the ‘must have’ fashion accessory. With designs based around the descending tones of the chromatic line you can choose from all the colours of the rainbow. £71.25 www.fitzgeraldjewellers.co.uk
Eyezone Eye Massager Fight back against eye bags and wrinkles with the Eyezone Eye Massager. The Eyezone Eye Massager uses a trio of therapies to combat tension in the eye area, whilst also tackling those pesky bags and wrinkles; it can even relieve headaches and sinus discomfort. £12.95 www.gizoo.co.uk
Made in England, inspired by Italy – the Di Palomo Orange Blossom with Wild Honey & Olive range is perfect for any picky lady on your list. The rich, luxuriant products contain natural extracts of orange blossom, honey and olive, known for their soothing and nourishing properties. From £7-£22 www.dipalomo.com
Handcrafted Sterling Silver Textured Cuff by Alexandra White Alex is always designing new and individual pieces with maximum impact in mind. This one-of-a-kind handcrafted sterling silver textured cuff would compliment any outfit. Check Alex’s website for more of her custom pieces. £150 www.alexjewellery.co.uk
Pandora Multi-Twist Ring This statement ring features delicately intertwined ropes crafted from sterling silver with sparkling pink rhodolite. A beautiful part of the AW12 collection. Team with the matching earrings to complete the look. £85 www.pandora.net
Personalised Silver Bookmark with Tassel A very good quality silver bookmark that is perfect for engraving a message on. It is available with a blue, pink or black tassel. Measuring 4" in length and weighing approximately 14g in weight, this lovely item will last a lifetime. £48.50 www.notonthehighstreet.com
Brix Chocolate Gift Set Set to challenge cheese as the afterdinner treat of choice,Brix Chocolate has been specially formulated to pair with wine. The blocks of choc are even designed to be fractured like hard cheese and come with a special knife and chopping board. This luxe package includes two blocks of stupendously delicious high quality chocolate (medium dark and extra dark), a chopping board and paring knife. £31.99 www.firebox.com
Virgin Experience Days Multi-Choice ‘Scarlet Collection’ Voucher Ok, so you know you want to buy her an experience but you can't quite decide which activity she'd prefer. The solution is simple – leave it up to them! With the Scarlet Collection voucher, she can choose from over 90 experiences including Breakfast with Big Cats, a Garden Design Day, a Thai Cookery Course, a Relaxation Day for Two and many more. £100 www.virginexperiencedays.co.uk
Sleep-in Rollers Mega-Bounce Gift Set Velcro rollers you can sleep in! These original revolutionary rollers are the celebrities’ only choice of roller and have been designed to flatted like a sponge when you lie down, letting you sleep in complete comfort. £35 www.velcrosleeprollers.com
Heaven Bee Venom Gift Set For a stunningly youthful looking face and hands, this is the perfect set. The Bee Venom Mask - the natural alternative to Botox - will tighten and lift the skin whilst firming out wrinkles. Includes Bee Venom Mask, Vanilla Pod Hand and Nail Cream and Affection Candle.
12 Days of Christmas Wine A selection of 12 delicious quarter bottles of wine – one for each day of Christmas! Wines from California, South Africa, Chile, Spain, France and Italy provide this great range of different styles and grape types. £33.95 www.wineandhampergifts.co.uk
artisan du Chocolat Liquid Salted Caramels No 1 Often emulated by other chocolatiers, artisan du chocolat's original salted caramel is still leader of the pack. This is because, the pure untreated grey salt, harvested by hand from clay marshes, holds a wealth of minerals an d trace elements that enrich its taste. It is the balance of flavours - sweet, saline and mineral - and of textures - crunchy, liquid and velvety - that make these salted caramels our most famous creation and bestseller. £25 www.giftvault.com
CHRISTMASGIFTGUIDE Acorelle Rose Perfume Happiness in a bottle, this elegant floral and fruity infusion captures the smells of childhood memories and the fresh scent of a bouquet of flowers. A balancing perfume with harmonising notes, it promotes a happy, content mindset for an increased sense of wellbeing.
Kindle Fire The powerful new Kindle Fire is perfect for any book lover on your list. Move seamlessly across apps and open titles quickly at a touch. Kindle Fire comes with 8GB ondevice memory, so you can download your favourite titles to view offline, anytime. £129 www.amazon.co.uk
Indiana Studded Shopper If you're looking for a unique handmade gift for someone special, then this exclusive Bohemia design is just for you. Completely handmade 100% premium leather, 100% brown cotton lining, and all fittings are of superior quality brass. Approx size W45 H40 D14 cm. £165 www.bohemiadesign.co.uk
Coffee Joulies Make burnt tongues a thing of the past – these ingenious beans make blisteringly-hot coffee (or tea) drinkable, but also keep it hot for longer. Rather than waiting for your cuppa to cool, then completely forgetting about it, drop a Coffee Joulie in to enjoy slurp after slurp of perfect temperature tea or coffee. £49.99 (set of 5) www.firebox.com
Cashmere & Wool Hot Water Bottle Lovingly made in England, the beautiful collection of Cashmere and Wool Hot Water Bottles will warm the chilliest of evenings. The small cashmere hot water bottles are plain with a tie top detail. The large lambswool bottles (shown) are striped and feature the tie top detail.
Menu Glass Kettle Teapot Stylish glass kettle teapot by MENU of Denmark featuring glass construction with tea egg. Now you can brew your own tea in style and wait until the colour is just right before pouring – no more guess work! £44.95 www.stangerscookshop.co.uk
Small Cashmere: £52 Large Lambswool: £50 www.thefinecottoncompany.com
Take Away Spa Day Gift Box Does the lady in your life wish she could take some time off and have a lovely spa day, but is too busy to even contemplate it? Well bring the spa to her, with this fabulous Take Away Spa Day! The box contains everything she needs to enjoy a totally relaxing day and more at home alone.
Handcrafted Sterling Silver Cocktail Ring Part of Luke Goldsmith's stunning 1920's modern twist Cocktail Collection. Visit their boutique in the heart of Canterbury to see this unique range, along with other truly inspiring Handmade Collections. Perfect for Christmas and not to be missed. £85 www.lukegoldsmith.com
£38.50 www.shoponyourdoorstep.com www.insidekentmagazine.co.uk
Gifts For Him X Rocker Vision Gaming Chair The X Rocker Vision 2012 Edition is the best way to get the ultimate surround sound experience. Compatible with XBOX, PlayStation/PS2/PS3, PSP, Wii, GameBoy, 3DS, TVs, DVD players, MP3 players, smart phones and more. £199.90 www.play.com
Darth Vader Apron Officially licensed Lucasfilm Ltd apron, perfect for any cook who has crossed over to the dark side. 100% cotton apron with matching presentation gift tube. £12.99 www.totally-funky.co.uk
The Original Scratch Map The perfect way to show off where you’ve travelled, Scratch Map is an amazing, high-quality wall map featuring a gold top foil layer that scratches off to reveal a whole new world below. £15.95 www.scratchmap.co.uk
The Bluebeards Revenge Aftershave Cologne This refreshing fragrance opens with ozone notes accented by Sicilian bergamot and Ligurian basil. The heart features a rich blend of jasmine, black tea and watermint, while the rich base notes include Madagascar vanilla highlighted by sandalwood and patchouli along with oakmoss and musk. £19.99 www.bluebeards-revenge.co.uk/shop
Leatherman Charge AL Multi-tool The Leatherman Charge AL Multitool takes the idea of a multi-tool up a notch. It includes bit drivers for versatility, diamond-coated files for fine-point work, pliers, scissors, screwdriver, knives and more. £149.95 www.whitbyandco.co.uk
appWheel Universal The appWheel uses your smart phone or media device together with any driving app to create an unbelievable driving experience. Simply slot your device into the appWheel, select your game and the wheel will maximise your racing experience! £9.99 www.iwantoneofthose.com
The Kraken Black Spiced Rum Named after a mythical sea beast, The Kraken is a spiced Caribbean rum aged and enriched with exotic spices including cinnamon, ginger and clove. Enjoy the dark pleasures of The Kraken neat over ice, with cola or in mixed drinks. £22.99 Available at Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and ASDA
The D3100 is designed for newcomers to D-SLR photography. A range of automatic settings means the camera will do all the hard work much like on a compact camera: Live View with Scene Auto Selector selects the mode that best matches your shooting situation; Scene Recognition delivers sharply defined images by analysing the scene and optimising the camera settings immediately before the shutter is released; and Guide Mode will take you step-by-step through the process of how to get the picture you want. £329.99 www.amazon.co.uk
iPod touch It weighs next to nothing, yet it’s no lightweight: it still does all the gaming, surfing, messaging and everything else you love, more powerfully than ever. The new Retina display got taller but not wider, which means everything you do on iPod touch can remain a one-handed operation.
Philips SensoTouch RQ1180cc For men who only want the very best, Philips has designed a range of SensoTouch electric shavers that offer the ultimate shaving experience. The RQ1180cc’s combination of revolutionary technology and high-performance design gives you a comfortable dry and refreshing wet shave. £114.95 www.amazon.co.uk
From £249 http://store.apple.com/uk
Makita LXT600 18V LXT Lithium-Ion 6Piece Kit Spoil your DIY enthusiast this Christmas with the Makita LXT600 6-Piece Kit, complete with combi-drill, circular waw, impact driver, reciprocating saw, angle grinder, torch, 3x 3.0Ah Li-ion batteries, fast charger and carry bag. £729.95 www.toolstop.co.uk
QR Custom Message Silver Cufflinks Personalised sterling silver, hand engraved QR cufflinks. These are made by hand, then each square pixel is hand engraved to create a recess, which is then oxidised black and the front face is given a satin finish. £175 www.chris-parry.co.uk
Big Box of American Beer Fossil Keaton Leather Watch He’ll definitely stand out from the crowd with this stylish Keaton stainless steel and leather watch from Fossil. The smoky case perfectly compliments the thick, grey strap. £135 www.fossil.co.uk
This collection of 15 beers is sourced from a number of upstart young firms busy making waves in the US of A and includes an assortment of delicious IPAs, rich Brown Ales and creamy Porters among others. The collection will change regularly based on seasonal considerations and flavour experiments from breweries such as Brooklyn, Anchor Steam, Odell, Sierra Nevada, Goose Island and Flying Dog. £49.99 www.firebox.com
Laguiole Vailhourles Steak Knife Gift Set
Seeberger Scarf Uniquely styled steak knives with combined stainless steel wooden handles, stainless steel blade with the Laguiole bee detailing. This gift set contains six quality knives.
Fashionable soft men’s scarf, 100% wool. Great look, highquality with a soft and supple rib knit. £79 www.peterhahn.co.uk
CHRISTMASGIFTGUIDE HITMAN: Absolution Video Game The North Face E-Tip Gloves The North Face E-Tip Glove is a form-fitting, four-way stretch glove that offers warmth and maximum dexterity for use with touch-type gadgets. For urban wear, you can comfortably work your phone, MP3 player or laptop mouse pad with warm fingers. £30 http://uk.thenorthface.com
Betrayed by those he once trusted and hunted by the police, Agent 47 finds himself caught in the center of a dark conspiracy and propelled through a corrupt and twisted world. Donning the suit of this legendary assassin, you become a deadly marksman with the ability to blend into plain sight, kill with your bare hands, and fashion weapons from almost anything. Available for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. £37.50 www.amazon.co.uk
Man of Kent Hamper Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac The scent of choice for the Savoy Hotel’s men’s restrooms, Feuilles de Tabac is a unique woody fragrance infusing Cuban cascarilla oil and pimento berries with pine needles, velvet sage, creamy tonka bean and Malay patchouli. £62 (50ml Eau de Parfum) www.millerharris.com
Quality hamper packed with 500ml bottles of Masterbrew, Spitfire Premium Kentish Ale and two 500ml bottles of seasonal ales. Also included are a Shepherd Neame glass tankard, a jar of Spitfire mustard, a handy Shepherd Neame multi tool, a greeting card and a 1698 bottle opener/key ring. £30 www.shepherdneame.co.uk
Gifts For Kids Smencils Gourmet Scented Pencils (10pk) ‘Draw’ children’s attention with these gourmet-scented, environmentally friendly pencils. Scents include Cinnamon, Bubble Gum, Orange, Watermelon, Tropical Blast, Cotton Candy, Very Berry, Grape, Root Beer and Black Cherry. £9.99 www.learningresources.co.uk
Mini Micro 3in1 Scooter Voted Best Toddler Toy 2012 at the Nuremburg Toy Fair, the Mini Micro Scooter is perfect for kids aged 1-5 years. The clever design allows kids to use it as a ride-on, small scooter and finally a Mini Micro Scooter. £74.95 www.micro-scooters.co.uk
Crayola Catwalk Creations House of Fashion Design and create two unique summer and winter fashion ranges, using the fabric swatches and accessory elements to bring them to life then create your very own store to showcase your fabulous creations to the world. £29.99 www.amazon.co.uk, or call John Adams for stockist details on 01480 414361
BRIO Deluxe Railway Set
Guinness Book of World Records 2013 Guinness World Records 2013 is crammed with new and updated records, and neverbefore-seen photography. Meet the new shortest living man and a slam-dunking parrot, and witness the fiercest predators in the ocean. You can even see them in 3D with the new augmented reality app! £9 www.amazon.co.uk
Build, explore and store, and discover a complete world of railway favourites. Go for gas at the fuel tank station, drive through the mountain tunnel and load goods from different loaders. 76 pieces of play including a battery powered engine. £215 www.amazon.co.uk
Nikko VaporizR Amphibious RC Car Flip ‘n’ Tip Fred from WOW Toys Recycling has never been so much fun! Use Fred’s bucket to tip waste into the truck or sort the bins and flip them into the rear. Drive off using his powerful friction motor with realistic engine sounds. £33.50 www.amazon.co.uk
Rubik’s Race Go head-to-head with your opponent to match the pattern of nine coloured squares. Shake up your tiles and whizz them back into place as quick as you can to beat your opponent. Can you handle the pressure of Rubik’s Race? £17.26 www.amazon.co.uk, or call John Adams for stockist details on 01480 414361
Any terrain will do for the Nikko VaporizR – land, water, snow…the VaporizR is up for the challenge. Ready to run out the box, the VaporizR has full function control powered by two motors; it is a true four wheel drive vehicle. Spin around in a 360 degree burn out or tackle the toughest terrains! £45.99 www.iwantoneofthose.com
Hexbug Nano Glow in the Dark Habitat Designed to foster children’s creativity, develop fine-motor skills, and fuel hours of imaginative playtime, this set contains two extremely rare glow in the dark HEXBUG Nano mutations, four easy connect glow in the dark curved pieces, three easy connect glow in the dark straight pieces, and three easy connect glow in the dark hexagon pieces, offering users a variety of configurations. £29.99 www.hexbug.com
• QUALITY WORK AT FAIR RATES • CHIMNEYS LINED AND INSULATED • TWIN WALLED CHIMNEYS • FINE STOVES AND RANGES • SHOWROOM/WORKING MODELS
PIVINGTON MILL PLUCKLEY, ASHFORD TN27 0PG TEL : 01233 840 473
CHRISTMASGIFTGUIDE Lego Duplo Disney Princess: Cinderella’s Castle This set features everything a princess could want in a castle. The two-level castle has tall towers, a warm fireplace, pretty chandeliers, comfortable beds and lots of detailed features. It comes with 77 chunky pieces for little hands to build, and includes Cinderella and Prince Charming figures. £33.79 www.amazon.co.uk
Ryman 91 Piece Art Set This Ryman 91 Piece Art Set has everything you need to create fun works of art, including watercolour paints, sketching pencils and colouring pencils. With 91 pieces and presented in a wooden cantilever case, this deluxe art set is a perfect gift for any budding artist. £9.99 www.ryman.co.uk
Telestrations Telestrations is the hilarious new sketch, pass and guess game. Players simultaneously draw what they see and guess for uproarious laughter – unpredictable outcomes every time! £26.99 www.amazon.co.uk, or call John Adams for stockist details on 01480 414361
Paper Jamz Guitar Now you can hit the stage and perform like your rock heroes for real, impressing the crowd with sounds and effects you normally only get on a fully kitted electric guitar such as a working ripstrip and a built-in accelerometer. Download the Paper Jamz Pro App and you can customise and add your own music, plus install different guitar sounds. From around £8 www.amazon.co.uk
Skylanders Giants Starter Pack Travel to Skylands with this Skylanders: Giants Starter Pack. Join forces with the Giants and go to Skylands to engage in the ultimate battle. The Starter Pack includes the Skylanders Giants video game and plenty of other cool items, like a Portal of Power, Skylanders figures, and much more. Are you ready to face Kaos? Available for PS3, Wii, Nintendo 3DS and Xbox 360. £52.97 www.amazon.co.uk
LEGO Ninjago Epic Dragon Battle The epic battle of good versus evil has begun! The Great Devourer has been awakened and threatens to devour the world of Ninjago. Only you can decide the outcome of the final battle between good and evil! £69.99 www.amazon.co.uk
Polaroid X800E 8MP Waterproof Digital Camera The Polaroid X800E Digital Camera records on SD and is the perfect piece to take along when going beaching, swimming etc. It's waterproof up to 3 meters, and can even take video clips as well. It includes features like Face Tracking, Blink Detection, and only requires 2 'AAA' batteries. £49.99 www.polaroid.co.uk
LeapFrog Shapes and Sharing Picnic Basket The Shapes & Sharing Picnic Basket helps little learners explore shapes, colours, manners and more! Over 30 audio responses encourage pretend play, and the 14piece set helps children build motor skills as they sort, match, stack, empty and fill. Parents can connect to the online LeapFrog Learning Path for customised learning insights and ideas to expand the learning. £15.49 www.amazon.co.uk
Ingenious Board Game The strategy game for the whole family, Ingenious is easy to learn, quick to play and beautifully made. The game has an infinite number of strategies and because of the clever scoring system, every game will pose a unique challenge. £19.79 www.amazon.co.uk or purchase from Waterstones
Stocking Fillers Tiny Tim Book Light Small, but perfectly poised, this miniature articulated lamp puts light just where you need it. 13cm high and with a powerful LED bulb this battery-powered lamp comes complete with a miniature on-off switch, so it’s ideal for reading, working or anything where you need a little extra light £7.99 www.totally-funky.co.uk
thumbsUp! Killer Keys Don’t mess with these two; they're armed, dangerous and ready to open any door! Slip your door keys into these rubber key fobs and you can pretend you're reaching for your pistol every time you open the door.
Zippo Hand Warmer Having a Zippo Hand Warmer is like having a mini radiator in your pocket, giving lovely heat without a flame. Simply remove the lid, light the burner, wait for the indicator bar to turn red (there's no flame), place it back into the protective warming bag. Result? Lovely warm hands. £15.34 www.amazon.co.uk
Strawz This ingenious DIY kit allows you to construct your own ludicrously convoluted drinking straw set-ups. Forget about puny figure-of-eights and simple loops. With Strawz you can create maze-style, multi-drink straw systems with more bends than the bendiest road in Bendyville. £6.99 www.firebox.com
Credit Card Underground Map Detailing Zone 1 and its immediate surroundings, the stylish stainless steel Credit Card Tube Map is a must-have accessory for any London-based commuter. It's also a great gift for anyone visiting London who doesn't want to look like a tourist. A quick glance in your wallet or purse and you'll be on your way. £7.99 www.firebox.com
thumbsUp! iPhone 4 Doodle Case Get creative and customise your iPhone 4 case with your own designs. Draw your doodle, then simply wipe off when you want to start afresh! £12.99 www.menkind.co.uk
Magic Wand Salt and Pepper Shakers Sprinkle some magic onto your food with these Magic Wand style Salt and Pepper Shakers. These plastic shakers hold salt and pepper which can be released with a shake of the wands as if casting a spell. Become your kitchen's very own food fairy! £7.99 www.iwantoneofthose.com
Vacu Vin Candle Lighter and Snuffer A stylish 2-in-1 solution for lighting and putting out candles, with no matches to light or wax spills to worry about. The lighter has an adjustable flame, then use the snuffer to extinguish the candle. Lighter is refillable with butane gas. £15.99 www.lakeland.co.uk
Hang-Out Hammock This great hammock fits nicely in your handbag, rucksack, beach bag and manbag, and can be used almost anywhere. All you need to do is ensure that you attach it to something strong so that it is sturdy enough to take your weight. £7.95 www.prezzybox.com
THE PERFECT KENTISH CHRISTMAS GIFTS FROM
MITCHELL AND PEACH
JOD MITCHELL'S FAMILY HAS BEEN TENDING THE LAND AT FOXBURY FARM, NEAR SEVENOAKS, FOR 100 YEARS EXACTLY. THE FAMILY HAS GROWN PRETTY MUCH EVERY CROP UNDER THE SUN AS FOOD TRENDS HAVE COME AND GONE, FROM ARABLE TO STRAWBERRIES AND COBNUTS AND CURRENTLY, OUTSTANDING ENGLISH APPLES AND PEARS.
Containing almond oil and natural vitamin E, this oil is highly fragranced, so little is required. Skin is left soft and scented. £39 (100ml)
These highly fragranced, handwrapped soaps are triple-milled for smoothness and produce a wonderful creamy lather. £28 (4x100g)
This indulgent body cream, containing honey, organic cocoa and vitamin B5, rubs in easily without stickiness. £36 (180ml)
This hand wash contains highly nourishing ingredients of vitamin E, wheat protein and English honey that acts as an anti-bacterial. £19 (300ml)
This invigorating shower wash contains nourishing, natural English honey, vitamin E and wheat proteins. £20 (250ml)
This formula contains Shea butter, vitamin E, English honey and delicately fragranced with Mitchell and Peach’s signature fragrance. £19 (60ml)
ON insideKENT’s WISHLIST: KENTISH COBNUT SCRUB
Three years ago, Jod Mitchell, the youngest son of the current owner, introduced a new lavender crop hitherto unknown, and along with using local artisans and the finest ingredients including locally sourced English honey, violet-root, rose and hand blended natural fragrance unique to the Mitchell family, he made soaps, skin cream and bath
The Kentish Cobnut, a variety of cultivated hazelnut, was bred in around 1830 by a Mr Lambert of Gouhurst, Kent. Larger than the traditional hazelnut and with a unique flavour, they were much prized as a delicacy by the Victorians who consumed them with Port after dinner. The Mitchells have cultivated Kentish Cobnuts for over 50 years and recently discovered that the shells make an excellent exfoliant when ground to a fine powder, effective at sloughing dead skin cells gently, revealing the radiant complexion beneath. Exfoliating can dry out and damage the epidermis as the new skin needs to hydrate. Here, Mitchell and Peach have added English honey, from the farm, to act as a natural humectant (it holds water next to the skin so that it can be absorbed) leaving the surface firm and plumped.
oil, lovingly composing each compound until it was as rich, luxurious and nutritious as his team could make it. The results speak for themselves – a simple, sophisticated, natural collection with a heavenly scent from the Garden of England.
Lavender from the farm - in this case, a fine, minty English lavender (lavandula augustifolia) is combined to provide both the delicious perfume and act as a natural antiseptic to prevent blemishes. To nourish the skin and keep it supple and elastic, natural oils of Coconut, Sweet Almond and Palmarosa have been added, while Ylang Ylang essential oil will balance sebum and stimulate new cell growth Finally a sprinkle of sugar, which is crammed with glycolic acid, helps to moisturise the skin and protects it from a variety of toxins. This luxury scrub can be used all over body, including the face, and the skin will literally come alive beneath the fingertips, feeling soft and youthful. Use once a week for optimum effect.
Q&A B Y
G E M M A
D U N N
The cold spell is upon us and it can only mean one thing: winter has well and truly arrived! But just how winter-wise are you when it comes to your beauty woes? Read on for answers to your mostasked beauty questions to ensure the season doesnâ€™t rain (or snow) on your beauty parade.
Year after year I suffer from chapped lips. Where am I going wrong? You are not alone. Exposed to the cold, dry air of winter, it stands to reason that your lips are accustomed to painful drying and chapping; but the good news is that this is preventable. As the colder months take their toll on your skin, ensure you are protecting your lips by drinking plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Avoid exfoliating your lips in a bid to remove dry flaky skin as this will do the opposite and break down the barrier you need to lock in moisture. Instead, shield your lips by treating them to a beeswax- or petroleumbased lip balm, applying regularly throughout the day or overnight to allow an elongated period of repair.
My limp hair seems to have a mind of its own in winter! Why has it suddenly lost its bounce? Breakage, lifeless, static, cant-do-anything-withit-hair just scratches the surface of our winterinduced hair woes. Firstly, if you are experiencing limp locks and a flaky scalp, it is more than likely you are suffering from dandruff, caused by a change in the weather. Address this condition by switching to a specialised shampoo that can free your hair follicles of buildup and diminish flakes in weeks. If it is the low humidity in the air that is having an adverse effect on your hair, shun excess styling products and instead invest in a leave-in oil or intensive conditioning treatment to lock in moisture and maintain unruly hair. A top post-shower tip
is to allow your hair to dry off slightly in a bid to maintain the nutrients from your shampoo and conditioner, rather than infuse it with a hairdryer straight off. Simple but effective, you have regained a sense of control over your hair this winter! I have a lot of Christmas parties to attend, and am worried about having to constantly re-apply my makeup. How can I look partyready all night long? Primer is the key ingredient to everlasting makeup, and vital this Christmas to achieving a flawless party-ready look that will last until the early hours. Much like a moisturiser, this silicone gel-based product has the unique ability to fill in fine lines and wrinkles, creating a barrier between your skin and foundation. As well as easing smooth
application, primer also works to extend the life of your foundation, whilst preventing shine and diminishing dark spots; all a stepping-stone in your bid to achieve skin perfection! To reap the benefits, ensure you are considering skin type when selecting your primer. Try an oil-free foundation or tinted moisturiser for that ‘melt-proof’ effect, or specifically use an eye primer to your elongate eye makeup. So, for a look which lasts beyond your desk well into the night, stock up this Christmas and be the freshfaced envy of your friends. My skin gets so dry over the winter. What can I do? Dry skin affects all of us throughout the year, but it is at its most prevalent during the winter months as the season proves to be the most demanding on your skin. A drop in moisture is to blame for this dry skin spell, as are strong winds, low temperatures and humid conditions. An increase in exposure to indoor heating will also detract moisture, causing skin to feel tighter and in some cases, flaky and itchy. So it seems a simple solution, as moisture is depleted, it must be actively replaced and sustained. The best time to do this is post-shower on damp skin. Keep in mind delicate areas such as shins and elbows that may need a heavier application and opt for a cream that contains a preservative element to block moisture loss. My dark circles are really getting me down. Is there anything I can do? Bags under the eyes are significantly darker due to lack of sunlight in the colder months and therefore emphasized by paler, sun-starved skin. Fatigue is also prevalent during the winter months due to a decrease in vitamin D, usually generated by the body through sunlight. Unfortunately, there is little you can do to banish those dark circles, but you can implement ways in which to reduce them. One great way in which to soothe tired or worn eyes is to use a cool compress – cold cucumber slices are inexpensive, but effective in reducing ‘puffy’ eyes. Eight hours sleep a night, with optional power naps, is also
crucial. Alternatively, eye creams which contain vitamin K or retinol can help to relieve dark circles. If I want to continue to shave my legs throughout winter, how can I still maintain that silky summer finish without irritation from the cold weather? As you pack away your summer dresses until next year, we can all too often seize the opportunity to retire the razor until next season too. However, smooth legs are in style all year round, and so the bid to achieve sleek and smooth legs is once more. Remember, regular shaving helps to keep skin healthy via exfoliation. To achieve a silk finish, ensure you are shaving in the shower as the steam works to open the pores, making hair removal easier. Minimise irritation by using a nourishing shave gel or alternatively use a razor such as Gillette’s Venus Divine with built-in intensive moisture strips and multiple blades for a close shave. Finally, with winter comes dryer, thirstier skin so ensure you are using a moisturiser after shaving to relieve dry skin and give that party-ready finish every day. I usually have healthy, strong nails, but winter seems to take its toll on them each year. What can I do to prevent them breaking? As winter is in full swing, it is imperative you take care of your nails as the testing combination of indoor heating and the drop in temperature will make your nails brittle, and therefore more prone to chips and breakages. With a cut in circulation, you will also find that your nails grow a lot slower in the colder months. To defy this, purchase a nail growth treatment that can be massaged into the nails and cuticles daily to aid growth. In addition, it is imperative you keep your nails and cuticles moisturised. To do so, invest in a cuticle cream and use daily in order to hydrate and stop them from breaking. If applying polish, nail strengthener is a must either applied on its own or before or after colour.
C O U N T R Y
E L E G A N C E :
BY EMMA BATES
NESTLED BETWEEN THE QUIET VILLAGES OF HEXTABLE AND WILMINGTON NEAR DARTFORD, LIES THE STUNNING COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL, ROWHILL GRANGE HOTEL AND UTOPIA SPA.
The grange was first built as a summerhouse in 1870, but don’t let that fool you; the Victorians weren’t big on subtlety and this ‘summerhouse’ is about as big and grandiose as they come. Walking to the entrance, through the mature grounds you’d be forgiven for thinking that you were entering a very traditional hotel. In fact, the romantic exterior belies a stylish and very modern interior. Each of the hotel rooms are individually designed with absolute luxury in mind and with painstaking attention to detail. Some rooms feature four poster or sleigh beds fitted with deep filled mattresses. All offer the finest Egyptian cotton sheets, plush pillows and personally selected designer fabrics. Shortly after checking into our suite, my guest and I visited the Utopia Spa which boasts 19 treatment rooms, a hair salon, exercise pool, therapy pool, spa pool, sauna, steam room and gymnasium. I was absolutely bowled over by the spectacular Roman bathhouse interior of the spa, complete with Tuscan frescos and fallen stonework. Here stands a little piece of Italy right in the middle of Kent which has to be seen to be believed. The cleverly detailed wall paintings have you standing in the middle of a crumbling roman bath with ivy climbing the marble columns and with the odd lizard sleeping lazily on the warm stonework. The therapy pool is surrounded by a fallen colonnade and from which can be found buttons to activate the various jets and bubbles in the pool. Despite the typeface on the wall, ‘Romani Quiden’ meaning ‘Italy indeed’, the showerheads on the far side of the six-metre diameter pool are actually of Japanese design. These high pressure jets of water are designed to deeply penetrate the muscles in the back and shoulders. The centre of the pool is home to another jet which is designed to massage the lower trunk,
and at the edge of the pool, with an area made for perfect relaxation, are the air beds. Hidden under the portico next to the therapy pool is the spa pool. This is much like a Jacuzzi and recommended as the last pool to visit because the temperature is much higher than the others. The second floor houses the main pool. This area and even the walk up past the stone balustrade is as magnificent as the first; the walls having been painted with stunning Tusan frescoes and more wonderfully evocative stone pillars and Italian statues. After using the spa facilities I booked myself in for a 25-minute back, neck and shoulder massage. This was very relaxing and a real treat after a day working from my desk. Later that evening we had a table booked at RG’s restaurant. Executive chef Luke Davies and his team pride themselves on using only the best Kent produce from local suppliers. To begin our meal we ordered both the roasted scallops, and the smoked Weald salmon. My scallops, with air-dried ham and pickled applesauce, were fresh and cooked to perfection and my guest was equally impressed by the freshness of the salmon and the accompanying crunch of the pickled cucumber salad. Just the rich reds and caramel browns of my main course were enough to make my mouth water. The roasted saddle of Kentish lamb was extremely tender and the saluted red cabbage and potato purée with red wine sauce made for a beautiful mouthful. Not to be outdone, my guest’s mixed grill of rump steak, lamb chop, sausage and chicken was divine served with hand-cut chips, mushroom stuffed tomato and fresh picked watercress. To round up a most appetising meal, our hot chocolate fondant and ice cream was delivered along with the rhubarb soufflé with
thick custard ice cream. As I cut into the fondant the hot sauce oozed out and was absolutely delicious. Utopia Spa at Rowhill Grange has been named as one of the World’s top 50 Spas by The Mail on Sunday, has been awarded Elite Spa of the year in 2007 and 2008, and Best Hotel Spa of the Year in 2005. But despite the prestigious awards, amazing scenery, wonderful food, fantastic hospitality and total relaxation you would imagine from an elite spa only open to the privileged few, Rowhill Grange Hotel and Utopia Spa is still as welcoming as the summerhouse it started life as. For more information on Rowhill Grange’s Christmas events, see page 28.
Rowhill Grange Hotel & Utopia Spa Wilmington DA2 7QH 01322 615 136 firstname.lastname@example.org www.rowhillgrange.co.uk
DiCAPRIO ARRIVES AT THE J. EDGAR OPENING NIGHT GALA IN LA. © LIONEL HAHN/ABACA USA/EMPICS ENTERTAINMENT
BY GEMMA DUNN
FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS TO RETAINING THE TITLE OF ONE OF THE MOST RESPECTED ACTORS IN THE WORLD, VERY FEW HAVE HAD A CAREER AS DIVERSE AS LEONARDO DiCAPRIO. VERSATILE AND ONE TO DEFY CONVENTIONS, DiCAPRIO HAS SUCCEEDED IN HIS REFUSAL TO CONFORM TO THE HOLLYWOOD CLICHÉ AND TODAY STANDS AS ONE OF THE MOST CHALLENGING WORKING ACTORS TO DATE.
and Ridley Scott’s Body of Lies. DiCaprio also reunited with Kate Winslet for 2008’s Revolutionary Road – a pairing which brought him his seventh Golden Globe nomination. DiCaprio continued to shine into 2010, after pairing with director Martin Scorsese to star in psychological thriller Shutter Island and later in the same year the critically acclaimed sci-fi Inception, one of the biggest commercial successes of DiCaprio’s career to date.
As an only child, Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio was born in Los Angeles to his mother, Iremelin, a legal secretary, and father George, an underground comic artist and producer/distributor of comic books. The inimitable name ‘Leonardo’ was chosen after his pregnant mother was looking at a Leonardo da Vinci painting in an Italian museum, when he first kicked. Following his parents divorce at just a year old, DiCaprio remained in Los Angeles dividing his time between the two nearby neighbourhoods in which they lived. Residing in the land of dreams, and with a bona fide name most Hollywood hopefuls would dream of, it seemed inevitable DiCaprio would grow up to find success on the path many had taken before him. With the impressionable Hollywood on his doorstep, it wasn’t long before he had his first taste of the limelight.
Up until the present day, DiCaprio is often linked to a number of potential films debuts, but rightly so; he is selective, which is why there has occasionally been years between films. However, at this time it is notable that his presence seems somewhat endemic. A film that cannot have taken much deliberation is Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, released this winter. DiCaprio has teamed with the writer and director for the first time to star as the iniquitous Calvin Candie, a brutal plantation owner in the Deep South. This film is set to triumph – inundated with a line up of actors and actresses at the top of their game.
DiCaprio’s early career was marked by frequent appearances in television commercials and educational films, until his first real break in 1990 that saw him cast in the brief Parenthood series. It was this opening, in addition to his reoccurring stint on the famed daily soap opera Santa Barbara, that earned him a nomination for Best Young Actor at the Young Artist Awards. Not only did this appointment give his early work the recognition it deserved, but furthermore it paved the way for DiCaprio’s big screen breakthrough, as it was not long after that he was cast as the lead role in Michael Caton-Jones’ 1993 screen adaptation of Tobias Wolff’s autobiographical drama This Boy’s Life. Handpicked out of 400 young actors, DiCaprio’s first feature film role could not have been more apt for the bright lights of Hollywood as he starred alongside Ellen Barkin and the great Robert De Niro. That same year, DiCaprio co-starred as Johnny Depp’s mentally handicapped brother in Lasse Hallstrom’s What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, a comic yet tragic depiction of a dysfunctional family that comes up against the odds. A huge critic and financial success, DiCaprio’s intense performance was acclaimed ‘show stopping’, earning him his first Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for his portrayal. In addition to these accolades, DiCaprio won the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor as well as the Los Angeles Film Critics Association’s New Generation Award. Not bad for his first notable critique.
DiCAPRIO ARRIVES AT THE 69TH ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS SUNDAY, 15TH JAN 2012 IN LA.
© CHRIS PIZZELLO/AP/PRESS ASSOCIATION IMAGES
RESPECTED AS ONE OF THE GLOBE’S LEADING ACTORS, LEONARDO’S MODESTY IS ENCAPSULATED THROUGH HIS ALMOST RETICENT DEMEANOUR. catapulted to international fame. The first was Baz Luhrmann’s screen adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (1996), in which DiCaprio played the male lead of Romeo opposite Clare Danes, an employment that secured him the Best Actor Award at the Berlin International Film Festival.
In the years that followed, DiCaprio continued to obtain gradual recognition for his work, taking on a variety of supporting roles that would test his capabilities as an actor. First up in 1995 was Sam Raimi’s Western effort The Quick and the Dead, in which he played Gene Hackman’s alleged son. After mixed reviews, DiCaprio went on to star in Agnieszka Holland’s Total Eclipse – the fictional account of a homosexual relationship, in which he played troubled poet Arthur Rimbaud. Finally in the same year, DiCaprio was amassed praise for his performance as unstable drug addict Jim Carroll in the biopic drama The Basketball Diaries.
Yet even more astounding was DiCaprio’s casting as Jack Dawson in James Cameron’s Titanic (1997) alongside Kate Winslet. Cameron’s belief in DiCaprio’s talent proved well invested, and it was this marvel that transformed DiCaprio into a global movie superstar. The blockbuster film shattered every box office record and rightly won 11 Oscars, with DiCaprio nominated for a second Golden Globe. On the back of the Titanic phenomenon, ‘Leo-mania’ took off and the young star was recognised as not only one of Hollywood’s finest actors, but also a heart-throb to many young girls and women all over the world – a state of popularity DiCaprio has since insisted he “does not expect to achieve again.”
What was to follow could not have been anticipated, as 1996–1997 proved to be two of the pinnacle years in DiCaprio’s career, in terms of the speed at which this fine young actor
Subsequent film work included Woody Allen’s Celebrity, dual roles in The Man in the Iron Mask, The Beach, Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can, Gangs of New York, The Aviator, Blood Diamond,
With speculation rife of upcoming projects, there is one in particular that is on everyone’s radar: The Great Gatsby. Perhaps one of the most exciting and eagerly anticipated screenplays, DiCaprio takes the title role as Jay Gatsby in Baz Luhrmann's upcoming adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel. With prized Luhrmann’s imagination and Leonardo’s captivation, amongst a stellar cast, this 3D screenplay is predicted a huge success. Due for UK release in summer 2013, it seems DiCaprio will continue to grace our screens well into next year. Another of DiCaprio’s next jaunts sees him reunited with Scorsese for The Wolf of Wall Street; a true story based on the life of Jordan Belfort, a stockbroker who served 20 months in prison for refusing to coperate in a security fraud case in the late 1990s. Due on our UK screens in 2013, this is one to watch. In addition to his acting work, DiCaprio has also set up his own production company, Appian Way, under which he has written, produced and narrated acclaimed productions such as the suitably themed environemental documentary The 11th Hour. Others produced by the company are Shutter Island and The Aviator, as well as Gardener of Eden and Orphan. A talented actor, writer and producer, there is no denial that DiCaprio is relentless in his talent-driven bid to retain the success that he has gained and so rightly deserves in every capacity. Absorbing such information as the above allows us to feel better connected with the feign self that is ‘celebrity’, however, away from the camera lens, out of the perennial glare of publicity, it is how and where you project this level of fame that really counts. Admirably, DiCaprio opts to stay out of the scandal of celebrity culture, and instead uses his positive recognition to broadcast subjects close to his heart. A commendable trait which depicts the charm and integrity we often see on screen, and rarely off of. In this case, it is evident in both of DiCaprio’s characters. A committed environmentalist, DiCaprio has received much praise from environmental groups worldwide for his activism and personal dedication via the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) to
LEONARDO DiCAPRIO PORTRAYS J. EDGAR HOOVER, LEFT, AND DAME JUDI DENCH PORTRAYS ANNIE HOOVER IN A SCENE FROM J. EDGAR.
© AP PHOTO/WARNER BROS. PICTURES/KEITH BERNSTEIN
ADMIRABLY, DiCAPRIO OPTS TO STAY OUT OF THE SCANDAL OF CELEBRITY CULTURE, AND INSTEAD USES HIS POSITIVE RECOGNITION TO BROADCAST SUBJECTS CLOSE TO HIS HEART.
conserve the planet. Established in 1998, LDF dedicates itself to a variety of environmental and humanitarian issues. Set up by DiCaprio and his family, the Foundation’s underpinning ethos is to ‘support efforts to secure a sustainable future for our planet and all of its inhabitants.’ Focal areas of the cause include wildlife protection, forest preservation, healthy oceans, disaster relief and climate change. At a time when each of these issues have become all too common a concern in our current society, fronted by DiCaprio, LDF admirably spearheads campaigns to alter the way in which these problems are communicated via the public. As one of Hollywood’s elite, DiCaprio’s personal stake and time spent on this project is a testament to his character. He currently serves on the board of the World Wildlife Fund, The Natural Resources Defence Council, The International Fund for Animal Welfare and Global Green USA. As well as campaigning for change worldwide, DiCaprio also makes it his duty to implement environmental change closer to home. In the past, it has been noted that he has opted to fly on commercial airlines rather than chartering a private jet. In addition, his car collection consists of electric buys only and he has had solar panels fitted to each of his houses. Honourably, DiCaprio makes it his obligation to use the platforms available to him in a bid to do what he can whilst he can. In many of his interviews when questioned on such intentions, DiCaprio has no qualms in reciting the permanence of such problems, with
global warming, he says, “the number one environmental challenge.”
of mainland Belize, on which he is planning to create an eco-friendly resort.
DiCaprio’s desire to assist those in need does not stop at implementing future precautions; he also uses his wealth to aid those who need it in the now. As one of Hollywood’s highest compensated actors, he is frivolous with good intent. In 1998, DiCaprio donated $35,000 to rebuild a computer centre in the LA Public Library after it was destroyed by the Northridge earthquake of 1994. He later donated $1,000,000 to relief efforts in Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010, and a further $1,000,000 to the Wildlife Conservation Society at Russia's tiger summit. In 2011, DiCaprio joined the Animal Legal Defence Fund's campaign to free Tony, a tiger who has spent the last decade at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana.
It is fair to say that DiCaprio’s distinct rise to fame can be mapped out over the past 20 years, but it is the way in which this journey has imprinted on his sense of self that is intriguing. Respected as one of the globe’s leading actors, Leonardo’s modesty is encapsulated through his almost reticent demeanour. Always having showed exceptional grace to his successes, DiCaprio is one of Hollywood’s finest exports that has not succumbed to a celebrity downfall.
When it comes to DiCaprio’s personal life, it is somewhat a quiet affair in comparison to many in Hollywood. Admirably, DiCaprio tends to keep his private life private. Still firm friends with actor Tobey Maguire from the audition days of Parenthood, DiCaprio seems to have strong loyalties to a select few, of whom he champions regularly. Although his romantic relationships have been widely covered in the media, it is not via DiCaprio that they are reiterated. Not one for the scandal of Hollywood, DiCaprio has been dating Erin Heatherton since December 2011. With residences in both LA and New York, DiCaprio splits his time between these two pastimes when he isn’t off filming elsewhere. His lastest addition to his property list is an island off
In terms of his work, he is arguably the movie star of his generation, with achievements at the age of 38 that many in his game would only dream of. Celebrated for the way in which he embraces his character roles on screen, DiCaprio refuses to be defined by a typecast or emblematic part in any one genre. Instead, he has done the opposite and created a body of work that parades his versatility as an actor, from the weak male self in Revolutionary Road to the insane in Shutter Island. Hollywood may be renowned as the ‘land of broken dreams’ for many, but for DiCaprio, persistence paid off and he can now reap the rewards with pick of the lead roles. All we can hope from this side of the water is that after expressing his love for the UK in a recent interview, DiCaprio sets up base over here too. I don’t think ‘Leo-mania’ is over just yet!
Richard Phillips’ Restaurants Thackeray’s
The Windmill by Richard Phillips
Richard Phillips’ first restaurant, Thackeray’s in Tunbridge Wells, is well known as one of the best restaurants in Kent. In the ten years since it has been under Richard’s leadership Thackeray’s has won numerous accolades and currently holds a Michelin Star and three AA Rosettes for culinary excellence, and was awarded ‘Best Gourmet Restaurant’ in the Kent Restaurant Awards in 2009. www.thackerays-restaurant.co.uk Twitter @ThackeraysRest
Where distinctive character, real ales, fine wines and good wholesome food combine to create the ideal pub environment for thirsty passers-by to avid foodies alike. The Windmill is very much a community pub whilst retaining a welcome to tourists and those in search of a great night out; a place where local and seasonal fare are as much of the experience as the proud heritage of the village. The Windmill is a totally different Richard Phillips experience, but retains the quality, passion, and attentive service for which his restaurants are known. www.thewindmillbyrichardphillips.co.uk Twitter @TheWindmillPub1
Hengist In 2004, Richard took ownership of Hengist in Aylesford, near Maidstone. The building is packed with almost as much history as Aylesford itself, which is one of the oldest towns in Britain. Dating back to the 1560’s, Hengist takes its name from the Anglo-Saxon king of Kent, Hengist circa 449 AD. The restaurant offers modern European cooking coupled with Richard’s passion for style and sophistication. He has created in the Hengist, an elegant and intimate dining experience. www.hengistrestaurant.co.uk Twitter @HengistRestaura
Pearson’s Arms by Richard Phillips With Richard’s knowledge and understanding of the growing sophistication of Kent diners, he opened his first pub/restaurant in December 2010 offering customers the finest beers to match a menu that reflected the coastal location. Sited on the beach at Whitstable, Pearson’s Arms by Richard Phillips offers simple, but great tasting British food, sourcing ingredients from the best of Kent’s countryside and sea. The pub is the perfect complement to his group of restaurants. www.pearsonsarmsbyrichardphillips.co.uk Twitter @Pearsonsarms
at Oakwood House
Red, the most traditional of festive colours, is the inspiration for our fantastic 2012 party nights. Bring a group, large or small, to join our pantomime event or party evenings. If you would prefer a quieter or more intimate function we offer private dining/function rooms for Christmas lunches, dinners or parties throughout December.
tSunday 2 December - Family Pantomime & Disco - £15.00 adults, £10.00 children Our fun afternoon starts with the all-time Pantomime favourite ‘Cinderella’. There will then be a break for tea, squash and a cake, followed by an hour of dancing, singing and party games for children of all ages. tFridays 7, 14, 21 & Saturdays 1, 8, 15, 22 December - Christmas Party Nights - £42.50 per person Enjoy a superb 3-course festive meal with coffee and mince pies and then party the night away with our DJ playing a mixture of traditional and modern songs.
tThursday 13 December - Live Band Christmas Party Night - £39.50 per person With a selection of new and old tracks of all genres, “The Somebodys” are a versatile group sure to keep everyone happy and up on the dance floor. A festive 2-course meal and DJ are included.
tThursday 20 December - ‘The That Take Experience’ Tribute - £39.50 per person Back at Oakwood House by popular demand, the Take That Experience will be performing some of the band’s most popular songs and Christmas tunes. A festive 2-course meal and DJ are included.
Dates quickly selling out - call us today on 01622 620720 for more information or to book your places Oakwood House, Oakwood Park, Maidstone Kent ME16 8AE 01622 620720 email@example.com
the windmill by richard phillips
Hidden away in sleepy Hollingbourne, not but a stone’s through from beautiful Leeds Castle, is a restaurant almost as beautiful: The Windmill by Richard Phillips. The popular Kent resident and celebrity chef has opened yet another sublime restaurant in the county, turning his hand to the gastro pub market. BY GREG BETTLES In truth, from the outside The Windmill looks like a lovely ordinary pub in the Kent countryside; however, don’t be fooled by this, as one step inside and you are transported to this wonderful warm cosy restaurant, which has all the star qualities of a fine dining restaurant but the cosy atmosphere of a country pub.
words, “perfection in my mouth.” The haddock was flaky and moist, the new potatoes soft and tasty, and the hen’s egg added a new twist to the dish I myself would never have thought to put together.
Our waiter introduced himself with a warm smile and took our orders as we settled down to enjoy some freshly baked bread. Our starters, including the Dorset crab on toast; and York ham on toast with fried egg and mushroom, were simply divine. The York ham, fried egg and mushroom was a real treat – not only did it consist of ingredients I adore, but together it created by far one of the best starters I have ever had. It was simply exceptional, with the flavours and textures complimenting each other beautifully.
Though our starters and mains were delicious, the real treat of the day came when our desserts were served. I chose the raspberry crème brulée, and my colleague chose the lemon soufflé. The crème brulée was exceptional – the perfect firm-but-smooth consistency with a slightly cinnamony crunchy top layer. The taste was so sweet and smooth; it was one of the best brulées I have ever had the pleasure to enjoy. My colleague’s soufflé – cooked to perfection (as we knew it would be by the menu side-note informing us of a 20-minute wait) – was fabulous. The sharp lemon worked well with the soft, sweet soufflé – the dish just left you wanting more and more, although to my disappointment I was only given two spoonfuls!
My colleague started with the Dorset crab, which must have been a popular dish as I noticed quite a few crab orders being delivered to other tables. The crab and toast combined for a perfect taste – it was not overpowering, just fresh and light.
On reflection, I believe it is important to stress that although the food is of a very high standard, the price remains affordable and in this day and age, that is what makes The Windmill by Richard Phillips a ‘must-try’ eatery in Kent.
After a small break to let our starters, our mains were served; my choice being grilled aged local sirloin with garlic scented mushrooms, Dauphinoise potatoes and café de Paris butter. The sirloin, cooked perfectly medium, was juicy and tender; the steak cut with ease and melted in my mouth – the taste with a hint of lightly dusted mustard was magnificent. The Dauphinoise potatoes with melted blue cheese were gorgeous alongside the steak and mushrooms – overall a hearty, classic dish but with that fine dining touch. My colleague’s dish of poached fillet of smoked haddock, soft poached hen’s egg, new potatoes and grain mustard butter sauce was, in his own
The Windmill by Richard Phillips 32 Eyhorne Street Hollingbourne Maidstone ME17 1TR 01622 889000 firstname.lastname@example.org www.thewindmillbyrichardphillips.co.uk
L I N G U I N I
with King Prawns, Mussels, and Clams in a Fresh Mint, Basil and Tomato Sauce Serves 4 • 300g linguini • 24 mussels • 24 clams • 8 king prawns • 16 queen scallops • 400g chopped tomatoes • 50ml olive oil • 100g onion, finely chopped • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped • 25g chopped basil • 20g chopped mint • Salt and pepper Firstly, cook the linguini and refresh with cold water. Meanwhile, cook the onions in 25ml of the olive oil until soft and transparent. Add the garlic and cook for a further two minutes, then add the tomatoes and cook for 20 minutes. Season and when cooked set to one side for later use. Place the remaining olive oil in a hot pan and add the mussels and clams and cover with a lid. After one minute shake the pan and after a further two minutes remove the lid and add the tomato sauce. In a separate pan, fry the prawns and scallops for 1–2 minutes, until just cooked. To serve, add the mussels, clams, tomato sauce, prawns and scallops to the cooked linguini and finish heating through. Stir in the chopped herbs and serve immediately.
CHRISTMAS WITH MICHAEL CAINES A glittering gala wine dinner hosted by Michael himself is being held in the Michael Caines Restaurant at ABode Canterbury on Tuesday 18th December 2012. Michael Caines MBE, two-star Michelin chef at Gidleigh Park, and director and partner of ABode, will ensure that your holiday celebrations commence in great style. The evening begins with a Champagne and canapés reception, an opportunity to meet Michael who will greet each diner personally. Michael will introduce his Executive Chef Jean-marc Zanetti, who together with his talented team, is charged with preparing an exciting menu of regional foods devised by Michael himself. Steve Edwards will also co-host the evening introducing and presenting a stunning array of wines, port and Cognac to accompany Michael’s cuisine. This is an occasion above all of great foods, great wines, and good cheer amongst friends. Michael will entertain you in his inimitable style with stories and anecdotes, as well as introduce each course of a magnificent tasting menu while Steve will give background information about the wines that he has carefully selected to complement each dish. The cost for the evening is £120.00 per person which also includes a boxed bottle of port. Dining Club members receive 10% off the cost of their table booking. To book your place please contact our events team on 01227 826677 or email@example.com
Christmas with Caines
Christmas with Caines 17th December 2012 ‘Christmas with Michael Caines’, a glittering gala wine dinner hosted by Michael himself in the Michael Caines Restaurant at ABode Canterbury on Monday 17th December 2012.
Christmas Day in Michael Caines Restaurant Christmas is a time for everyone to enjoy and we have the perfect recipe for keeping the whole family happy. With sittings at 12.00pm and 3.30pm, enjoy our sumptuous 5-course menu for just £85.00 per person. 10% discount for dining club members and their guests. ✶✶✶✶✶✶✶
The evening begins at 7pm with a Champagne and canapé reception, followed by an exciting 6- course menu of regional foods devised by Michael himself. Steve Edwards, Group operations manager for Brownsword hotels, will also co-host the evening with Michael, introducing and presenting a stunning array of wines, port and Cognac to accompany Michael’s cuisine.
New Year’s Eve in Michael Caines Restaurant Celebrating the arrival of 2013 in style with our new year's eve gourmet dinner. The evening begins at 7.30pm with a Champagne and canapé reception followed by a gourmet 6-course fine dining experience in the elegant Michael Caines Restaurant for just £90.00 per person. 10% discount for dining club memebers and their guests. Dress: Black Tie/ Lounge Suit
£120.00 per person. 10% discount for dining club members and their guests.
ABode Canterbury High Street, Canterbury CT1 2RX Tel: 01227 766266 / Fax: 01227 784874 www.abodehotels.co.uk
Michael Caines Restaurant Reservations: 01227 826677 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.michaelcaines.com
The Old Brewery Tavern Stour Street, Canterbury CT1 2RX Tel: 01227 826682 www.michaelcaines.com
DINING PERFECTION AT
I HAD HEARD NOTHING BUT GREAT THINGS ABOUT CHAPTER ONE IN LOCKSBOTTOM. CREATIVE (AND DELICIOUS) DISHES PAIRED WITH A CASUAL BUT UPSCALE ATMOSPHERE; SOUNDS LIKE MY KIND OF PLACE, BUT I MUST ADMIT I WASN’T EXPECTING TO BE BLOWN AWAY. I WAS EXPECTING WHAT I ALWAYS DO FROM A ‘NICE’ RESTAURANT: GOOD FOOD, GOOD SERVICE, AND SOME FANCY FURNITURE. YES, CHAPTER ONE HAS ALL THOSE THINGS – BUT THAT’S JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG. I CAN SAY, HAND ON HEART, THAT CHAPTER ONE WAS NOTHING SHORT OF DINING PERFECTION. BY DONNA MARTIN
During my own personal culinary adventures in Kent, I’ve found that most ‘nice’ restaurants have a flaw or two. Perhaps the waiter hovers a bit too much, or the poached egg is a little overcooked. Sometimes there’s too much time (way too much time) between courses, or they’ve run out of something I particularly fancy.
I’m a picky person. Some of my friends tell me I’m almost a psychotic perfectionist. I’m the person that always finds something wrong with everything. It’s not a trait I’m particularly proud of, but I can’t help it. Well, I guess I could help it, but perfectionism isn’t a bad thing, is it? At least it means the end result is as good as it possibly could be.
Whatever the flaw, I’ve found there’s always at least a few things that could be improved upon. Up until the end of 2012, I had yet to find a restaurant in Kent that I couldn’t find any faults with.
Obviously, Chapter One’s executive chef, Andrew McLeish, has this same mantra. The only difference between Andrew and me is he seems to achieve perfection effortlessly (and probably without the psychotic bit). I’m sure Chapter One’s Michelin star and four AA Rosettes didn’t come without effort, but they have somehow achieved the perfect balance of exclusivewithout-being-stuffy service and blow-your-socks-off food without breaking a sweat.
That’s until I visited Chapter One.
Andrew has been with Chapter One for over 12 years, and his culinary experience spans over 20 years, so it’s no wonder the restaurant seems to run like clockwork. I hope after working at my profession for over 30 years, I might lose some of my crazy perfectionist tendencies and be more like Andrew – churning out perfection with grace and consistency. After enjoying a lovely glass of bubbly upon arrival, Chapter One’s manager showed us to our table. Expecting to feel that slightly uncomfortable ‘this restaurant is too fancy for me and it’s too quiet in here’ feeling, I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was a nice hum of chatter from nearby diners, including some boisterous laughter (which is something that might not be appropriate at other ‘nice’ restaurants). I also noticed the diners weren’t overdressed – some men even abandoning their trousers and ties for smart jeans and jumpers. This all added to the atmosphere which made me feel like I wasn’t out of place – that I, and anyone else, would be more than welcome to enjoy what Chapter One has to offer. Having learned a few interesting things about chef Andrew before visiting Chapter One – including the fact that he shoots all of the game served at the restaurant – I was looking forward to perusing the menu. One of the dishes on offer that evening using fresh game was a starter of fricassée of wild rabbit with roast gnocchi, pancetta, brochette of loin and butternut squash. I’ve never been particularly impressed with rabbit, so instead of opting for the game, I chose the risotto of butternut and chorizo with parmesan and crème fraîche. When describing food, adjectives such as ‘delicious’, ‘tender’, ‘delectable’ and ‘mouth-watering’ are often used, but for this dish, I couldn’t possibly do it justice with these simple phrases. It was so good, I could have licked the bowl. So good, my guests
(who all stole a taste) joked about having it for their main course. And dessert.
dessert be the doom of our perfect gastronomic experience?
The other starters served – velouté of pea with a ham hock raviolo; treacle cured Loch Duart salmon with leeks, beetroot, coriander and lemon mayonnaise; and smoked haddock kedgeree with local squid, red vein sorrel and curry mayonnaise – were equally as extraordinary.
One of my dining companions is a chocolate fondant connoisseur, having sampled this divine confection at many different restaurants across Kent. If it’s on the dessert menu, she orders it, regardless of the other temptations on offer. Some of the fondants have been bad, most have been good, but the majority have been lacking that je ne sais quoi.
Our first course, though faultless, wasn’t the only thing to note at the beginning of our Chapter One experience. I’ve never experienced such well-executed attention from restaurant staff. Someone was always there when needed, but nowhere in sight when we wanted privacy. It’s like the staff could read our minds, and knew exactly when their presence was welcomed, and when it wasn’t. They were there, but invisible. They popped by to deliver valuable meal and wine recommendations, and disappeared quickly without notice. They brought unexpected prestarters and pre-desserts for our tasting pleasure, and left us to enjoy. First impressions clearly made, we eagerly anticipated the arrival of our main courses. Without a doubt, the star of the show was my guest’s Josper grilled USDA prime rib-eye steak with twice cooked chips and béarnaise sauce. As the whole evening had been flawless so far, we were half expecting the steak to be slightly overcooked, tough or flavourless. But, we were wrong; Chapter One wowed us with perfection yet again. My Gloucester old spot pork was melt-in-mymouth good, and the accompanying garlic potato purée with truffle butter was something I would pay good money to learn how to make. Why can’t my mash taste even remotely as good? By this point, though our expectations had been surpassed at every turn, we were waiting for at least one little flaw to rear its ugly head. Would
Seeing the hot valrhona chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream on the dessert menu, there was no question as to what she would order. Expecting the same ol’ satisfying-yet-lackingsomething dessert, she found herself speechless when the fondant proved to be the best she’s ever had. My organic yellow tart with apricot and yoghurt sorbet and a crispy almond bricelet was gorgeous, as was the iced peanut parfait with golden lime sorbet and black cherry pearls. Amazingly, we couldn’t find a single fault in Chapter One’s food or service, and after our post-dinner chocolates and coffee, and a brief chat with chef Andrew himself, we not only found no faults, we all left agreeing that Chapter One is – in our humble opinions – the best restaurant in Kent. My fondant-loving friend even remarked if she could have one last meal, it would be the risotto, rib-eye and chocolate fondant from Chapter One.
CHAPTER ONE Farnborough Common Locksbottom BR6 8NF 01689 854848 email@example.com www.chaptersrestaurants.com
insideKENT I N T E R V I E W S
Chapter One’s E X E C U T I V E
C H E F
McLEISH Praised for his classic flavour combinations and culinary excellence, it is no surprise that Chapter One's highly acclaimed executive chef, Andrew McLeish, has earned the restaurant one Michelin star and four AA rosettes. insideKENT spoke to Andrew about his passion for the food business and his early inspirations. INTERVIEW BY GEMMA DUNN Can you give us a brief background on your career? How did you get to where you are today? I began my career working alongside renowned chef Nico Ladenis at Chez Nico in London’s Park Lane, before moving on to the Ritz Hotel, London and later Thailand, working for the Mandarin Oriental Group for a two year period. After this post I was head chef of the Dining Room at London’s Landmark Hotel up until the year 2000, in which I took up my current post at Chapter One. A year later Chapter One received its first Michelin star, and by 2004 it was named Restaurant of the Year and became the proud holder of four AA Rosettes. Today Chapter One has continued to go from strength to strength; I am excited by the business and the fact that the team of chefs we have there possess such a variety of talents between them. Did you always want to be a chef? I have wanted to be a chef ever since I was a little kid. However, back then at school, boys were not involved in cooking, it was just for girls. I remember my parents really fought with the school to get me onto the home economics course – yet once I was in I found it horrific as I was the only boy in the class! After leaving school I went on to catering college and really enjoyed it. For as long as I can remember cooking is all I have wanted to do. Is there a particular person or a certain memory that inspired your path in the food business? Years ago at school I watched a TV programme called Take 6 Cooks, in which Nico Ladenis, the celebrated three Michelin star chef, starred. I later worked with Nico at Chez Nico in London’s Park Lane and it was his immense passion for food, as well as his unique ideas and philosophies
that really proved my greatest inspiration in the business. You have been praised for your classic flavour combinations and adventurous presentation. What factors do you always have to take into consideration? I like the food I cook to be real. I don’t tend to produce dishes that are too modern or too out there. Purposefully dishing up ingredients that go against each other is not my style; I like customer-friendly food so that in the restaurant the customer will look at the menu and want to eat five or six of my dishes. To me, the starter and main are fundamental, as we can only really accept two to three flavours on the palette at any one time. You’re known as a ‘chef’s chef’, and shoot the deer yourself for the venison served at Chapter One. Are you this ‘personal’ with all the foods you include in your menu? How so? This would be the ideal. I enjoy hunting and do a lot of my own shooting for the restaurant produce. I pursue the animals in the wild and humanely kill them. I know they have had a good life as I always watch the animals prior to shooting and as with any meat I cook at the restaurant, I know the farm it has come from, how it was reared and the abattoir it went to. What would you say is the most essential item in the kitchen? The thermo-mixer! In every dish, be it a starter, main or dessert, something goes through the blender at some stage. What has been your biggest disaster in the kitchen?
Mother’s Day. As a result, the restaurant had to be closed and the customers evacuated as we were left with no electricity. For the next two weeks, the restaurant had to cope with temperamental generators. It’s fair to say that was a bit of a disaster. How important is it to you that you use local suppliers? How do you choose them? I like to meet the suppliers we use as much as I can. For example, six years ago we met our vegetable supplier down the road and we have now built a great relationship; they know what I want and I know what they can supply. I try not to use butchers for my meat, instead opting for farms and shooting myself. Fish I source from suppliers at our local South Coast ports.
Chapter One is known as being one of the best restaurants in Kent. Does this put more pressure on you to always have inspiring dishes on the menu? What is your thought process when planning your menus? Quite often is it our suppliers that drive my inspiration as they notify me of the amazing seasonal produce they have. This then conjures up ideas and inspires dishes which can make use of this. In terms of pressure, I don’t put it on my inspiration but instead I find pressure is led by consistency. If my customer orders a meal for a second time, I want them to enjoy it just as much as they did the first time four weeks earlier. Each visit needs to be just as impressive as the last so that their first impression does not disappear. So for me, there is no pressure to be adventurous but the pressure is very much in my own consistency. Follow Andrew on Twitter @andy23471
This year one of our customers reversed into our electric mains cupboard at the restaurant on
Music and Gourmet Food Fill the Air at
The Bull in Wrotham Ask any of us what makes a perfect Christmas and we’ll probably all have several ingredients on our menu. Whether it’s family and friends gathered around a roaring log fire, delicious and tasty festive food, the best wines saved from the cellar, or the sound of traditional Christmas carols ringing in the air. There’s a beautiful place tucked away in the picturesque village of Wrotham in Kent that might just tick all the boxes on your Christmas wish list this December. The Bull’s AA Rosette chef and his team of elves have gone in search of the finest local ingredients and matched tradition with originality to provide everything from a threecourse Dinner Party Menu for just £27.50 per person, to a five-course Christmas Day Lunch (for just £35 children and £79 adults). Whether you prefer traditional turkey with all the trimmings followed by The Bull Christmas pudding with crème anglaise, or a culinary winter adventure with slow roast shoulder of lamb, pan fried loin of venison, grilled wild cod, or the fabulously original and tasty vegetarian cuisine, the menus have been ‘topped and tailed’ by a mouth-watering selection of starters and desserts.
carols and festive hits; but they also delight in variety, exploring and experimenting. This is evident in their AA Rosette awarded kitchen, as well as in the music, where they also celebrate local quality and excellence. Beyond the fabulous foods, wines and festive ambiance, the owners have matched a programme of some of Kent’s finest musicians and singers. Lunch guests will be serenaded with a live pianist (3 course lunch £22), whilst a delicious three-course dinner (starting from just £34 per person) has been matched with the best local acts to create a number of sparkling evenings throughout December. From festive fun with ABBA and Elvis, to a more traditional Carol or Black Tie Opera Night, there’s something to suit everyone’s tastes.
For a full programme of Christmas menus, corporate options and live music visit www.thebullhotel.com
Cosy Christmas Dinner & Music At The Bull, they love a good sing along and have a soft spot for all number of Christmas
A GOURMET CHRISTMAS
Chapter One’s executive chef Andrew McLeish shares some of his delicious recipes – perfect for adding a gourmet twist to your Christmas menu.
Baked Wild Sea Bass in Salt Crust with Grilled and Spiced Vegetables (serves 4) • 1 (2kg) whole wild sea bass (get your fishmonger to scale and gut and remove the fins) • 2kg rock salt • 500ml egg white • 1 zest of lemon • 2 bulb of fennel (sliced into 4-5 thick slices) • 1 lemon (cut into 4 thick slices) • 500g tender stem broccoli • 2 Tbsp olive oil • 1 large red chilli (sliced)
For the sea bass 1) Preheat oven at 180˚C. 2) Place the salt into a large bowl and gradually add the egg white until you achieve the consistency of wet sand, then add the grated lemon zest. 3) Take a large roasting tray and pour a little of the salt onto the tray into the rough shape of the sea bass. Place the fish on top of the salt, pour the remaining salt over the fish and smooth to totally cover. 4) Place in the pre-heated oven for approximately 25-30 minutes until the crust is a golden brown in colour. Check by inserting a knife into the thick part of the flesh and ensure it has reached 38-40 degrees. For the vegetables 1) Whilst the bass is in the oven, preheat one saucepan with salted water and one griddle pan. 2) Slice fennel into 4-5 thick slices, cut lemon into four thick slices then lightly oil. 3) Once water is boiling, blanch tender stem broccoli for two minutes and then cool. 4) Place the lightly oiled fennel and lemon into the preheated griddle pan. Ensure a good colour by turning occasionally. When the fennel and lemon is coloured and soft, remove from the griddle and keep warm. 5) After removing the fennel and lemon, add the tender stem broccoli to the griddle pan until slightly coloured. 6) In a separate preheated pan add the olive oil. Slice the chilli then add to the frying pan of olive oil. Next add the fennel, lemon and broccoli season and fry for a few minutes.Serve with a little rock salt and pepper. 7) Remove the fish form oven and place in the centre of the table. The crust will be very hard and can be broken and removed in front of your guests. The smell and presentation is amazing. A truly simple but impressive way to serve a perfect fish.
Black Forest Gateaux (serves 4-6) Cocoa cake with no flour • 155g unsalted butter (at room temperature) • 420g caster sugar • 8 eggs (at room temperature) • 130g cocoa powder 1) Preheat oven at 180˚C. 2) Cream butter and sugar in a mixer fitted with a paddle for five minutes. 3) Add eggs one at a time, making sure to incorporate each one before adding the next. 4) Add cocoa powder in three or four additions, then mix until fully incorporated, making sure to scrape the sides every so often. 5) Bake the mix on trays lined with parchment for 10-15 minutes depending on your desired thickness. Once cool, cut the cake with a 24cm metal ring and freeze.
Kirsch milk chocolate mouse • 1 sheet gelatine • 1 Tbsp water • 120g milk chocolate • 74g whole milk • Pinch of salt • 1/2 tablespoon Kirsch • 70g double cream 1) Soak the gelatine and the water, leave to rest for 10-20 minutes. 2) Melt the milk chocolate. 3) Heat the milk and add in the pinch of salt. Then melt the gelatine, including the additional water and add to the heated milk. 4) Pour the hot milk into the melted chocolate in three or four additions, working with a rubber spatula to ensure a smooth paste. After adding all the milk, use a stick
blender to emulsify the mixture for two minutes. 5) While the chocolate cools down to body temperature, whip together the Kirsch and double cream, ensure soft peaks of consistency. Fold the cream into the chocolate and set into the lined 12-inch metal ring. Freeze immediately.
Dark mirror glaze • 8 sheets gelatine • 80g water • 280g whipping cream • 400g caster sugar • 80g water • 140g cocoa powder 1) Soak the gelatine into the first measurement of water and leave to rest for 15-20 minutes. 2) Heat the cream, adding sugar and second measurement of water. Then boil for two minutes. 3) Remove from heat and add both the soaked gelatine (including the water) and the cocoa powder. Blend with a stick blender until smooth and shiny. Keep in the fridge up to two weeks and heat in the microwave to a lukewarm temperature before using.
To assemble: 1) Brush the bottom of the frozen cake with melted chocolate so it won't stick to the plate, then return to the freezer. 2) Warm the glaze to body temperature and use it on the cake. Cake must be well frozen at this point. 3) Garnish the surface with cherries and allow a couple of hours to thaw.
Afternoon Tea at EASTWELL MANOR insideKENT recently had the privilege of enjoying afternoon tea in the cozy and resplendent tea room at the beautiful Eastwell Manor, Ashford. BY MOLLY GIL After arriving at Eastwell Manor, we were warmly greeted by the reception staff, who kindly took our coats and led us to our table in the luxurious and refined tea room. We took our seats and settled in; admiring our sumptuous surroundings of wood panelled walls, fresh flowers, comfortable leather chairs, and a warm, crackling fire in the large fireplace. We were promptly greeted by our server, Ken, who explained the wide variety of quality teas available from around the world, as supplied by the local family-owned Kent Tea and Trading company, and helped us make our selection. We chose the Manor ‘Eastwell’ Afternoon Tea, a blend of 50% Darjeeling and 50% Milima (Kenyan) Teas. After Ken brought us glasses of champagne, we sat back and sipped slowly, while relaxing and admiring our surroundings.
Shortly after, Ken presented us with our tea tray filled with a delicious arrangement of classic tea fare. We started with homemade sandwiches including egg, mayonnaise and cress; smoked salmon and cream cheese; cucumber, dill, and cream cheese; and ham, tomato and turkey. The sandwiches were light and full of flavor, each with its own subtle and distinct savoury taste. Next, we tucked into berry and plain scones with preserves and clotted cream. The scones were of the freshest quality, and it was obvious that they were made that very day. With a fluffy feather-light texture, they were delicious alone, but with the cream and preserves, they were utterly exquisite. Lastly, we reached the delicious pastry tier which included strawberry tartlets, lemon cupcakes, and chocolate-layered cakes topped
with decorative gold leaf. All of the decadent pastries were to die for – masterfully prepared and artfully presented. After we finished our tea, we enjoyed a stroll around the Manor’s beautiful grounds including the impeccably manicured lawns, serene gardens, and spectacular views. The elegant Eastwell Manor is the perfect place to enjoy a lovely afternoon tea and a quiet conversation, while getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Looking for the perfect holiday present? Consider giving an Eastwell Manor gift voucher for everything from afternoon tea, fine dining, spa services, and more. Visit www.eastwellmanor.co.uk for more information.
A FUSION OF SPICE COMES TO ASHFORD
BY DANIEL CLARK
After the local success of their Hythe restaurant, Everest Inn – a fusion of Nepalese and Indian cuisine – opened its doors in Ashford, bringing the same quality and exotic tastes to the town centre. Everest Inn just celebrated its first birthday with the opening of Everest Connections just up the road, selling everything from traditional Nepalese outfits to trips to central Asia.
My guest and I arrived at Everest Inn, just a stone’s throw away from Ashford International Station, and were happily greeted by general manager Jeeb Pandey and his team. We were taken to our table, walking through a very busy restaurant with a great atmosphere and contemporary décor.
Shortly after sitting down our waiter brought to the table papadums and a selection of dips including mango chutney, yogurt mint sauce, lime pickle and shredded carrots. These were a tasty appetiser which gave us plenty of time to look through the varied menu which had a wide range of fish and meat dishes. My guest enjoyed the chef’s signature dish of scallops marinated in chilli, cumin and sweet
& sour Nepalese chutney cooked in the tandoor. They were fresh, tasty and the spice-infused sauce complemented them perfectly. As a big fan of lamb, I ordered the tandoori lamb chops, beautifully marinated and cooked in the tandoori oven served with fresh mint chutney. The chops were tender and had a beautiful flavour to them. To our surprise our waiter brought over the Nepali choyla lamb, which was tender and full of flavour and served on a bed of crispy dried rice. He explained the process of how the traditional Nepalese dish was made. The tenderness of the lamb and the crispiness of the rice complemented each other and I will be looking out for this dish whenever I visit a Nepalese restaurant again. We also ordered a bottle of red Chianti wine to complement our meal. The wine list had plenty of options, plus there was a well stocked bar to cater for every taste. The delicious starters set us up nicely for our mains. I chose the Nepalese hansh bhutwa which was a marinated breast of duck cooked with green herbs, spices and spring onions. The duck was an enjoyable dish and I recommend it highly. My guest went for the tandoori mixed grill – the perfect choice for any meat lover with a big appetite. A selection of tandoori lamb chops, sheek kebab and chicken tikka served with a naan and pan-fried onions. We both shared
side dishes of mushroom rice, Bombay potato, Saag Aloo and mushroom bhajee. The staff were faultless and always on hand for any questions or to clear the table after each course. The meal was so filling it left no room for desserts, but we did enjoy a nice glass of brandy in the comfortable seating area at the bar. If you’re in Ashford or Hythe, Everest Inn is a restaurant not to be missed. Its fine food, fantastic atmosphere, friendly and knowledgeable staff and competitively priced menu was a sentiment shared by other diners we spoke to on the night. It is more than understandable why Everest Inn has been awarded the Best Nepalese Restaurant of the Year in both 2010 and 2011, and winner of Asian Curry Awards 2011, beating competition from thousands of other national establishments.
Everest Inn 113 Station Road Ashford TN23 1PJ 01233 643 647
32-34 High Street Hythe CT21 5AT 01303 269898
For all your festive chocs, including hamper and gift boxes, come and see us at our new look shop
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and indulge yourself this Christmas! X 153a High Street, Hythe, Kent CT21 5JL mail: firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 01303 267236
The Fox & Hounds OVERLOOKING THE KNATTS VALLEY REGION AND CLOSE TO THE PILGRIMS WAY, THE FOX & HOUNDS HAS BEEN THE FOCAL POINT OF THE ROMNEY STREET AREA FOR OVER 400 YEARS AND IS STEEPED IN HISTORY AND FOLKLORE. The Fox & Hounds is an ideal starting and finishing point for a glorious country walk or hike or just to meet friends for lunch or a drink. With ample FREE parking for our guests, the Fox & Hounds is also a dog friendly pub. Our food menus have been revamped to provide seasonal fresh daily produce coming from local suppliers but still keeping the firm favourites such as traditional home battered fish and chips. Our beef, lamb and pork is locally reared and final butchering takes place on our premises. Our Game is also locally reared. Wherever possible, our vegetables and salads are delivered daily from farms within a twenty-mile radius. The main bar area has the open fireplace making the winters snug and cosy and in the summer the restaurant leads out to the lovely beer garden and covered terrace area. A wide variety of functions can and have been held in the garden including weddings, Christening parties, music and beer festivals.
We have a great selection of draught beers and real ales which include our very own locallybrewed Knatts Valley Fox from the excellent Goachers Brewery based in Maidstone. Other guest ales include Tonbridge Coppernob and the ever popular London Pride. Ciders include the excellent Biddenden Bushells and Addlestones Cider. Fox & Hounds is the ideal location at any time of year.
The Fox & Hounds Romney Street Sevenoaks TN15 6XR 01959 525428 email@example.com www.foxnhounds.co.uk
THE STORY BEHIND
Traditional Christmas Food
Christmas is a time of year that is steeped in tradition, especially when it comes to festive food. It’s time to get your tastes buds warmed up in anticipation for a culinary celebration. Year in and year out, we follow the same conventional rules for a Christmas feast, however, do you know the historical values behind these traditions? BY SARAH-JANE STENSON
TURKEY Most people would say that Christmas isn’t Christmas without a perfectly roasted turkey to complete the family occasion. As traditions go, it does seem a little odd that come December, the only possible meat option on the menu is turkey! According to historical legend, this festive bird first made its appearance on the British Isles in 1526, thanks to a Yorkshire gentleman named William Strickland. He was an adventurer, and was part of the early voyages to explore America. On one of his trips, he acquired six turkeys from American Indian traders, which he sold for a tuppence each in Bristol upon his return. At this period in time, turkey would have been a rare and exotic commodity, therefore it wasn’t until the Victorian era that it really gained popularity. Queen Victoria’s successor, Edward VII, made turkey-eating fashionable, thus this bird became a staple food in wealthier households. As time went on, turkey became more readily available to all classes, gradually becoming the dominant Christmas dish up until the present day. Prior to this turkey tradition, traditional Christmas fayre included roast swan, pheasant, peacock, and goose, or event rabbit among poorer families. Turkey has evolved to become the embodiment of Christmas and the crowning jewel of the family dinner table. MINCE PIES Christmas is the best time of year for anyone with a sweet tooth, as all things sugary become obligatory consumption. There’s no better way to tell that the festive season is on its way than when the mince pies hit the shelves. The original mince pie used real meat and had various names such as mutton pie and
Christmas pie. There is much speculation about the significance behind mince pies, with some viewing this sweet treat as Catholic idolatry, whereas other interpreted the oval shape as representative of Jesus’ manger. In the middle ages, the custom was that if you ate a mince pie everyday from Christmas to Twelfth Night, you would be granted with happiness for the next year. Along with a varied meat content, this pie also contained a range of fruits and spices such as cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. The modern day mince pie no longer contains meat, however, clings onto its aromatic spiced fruit roots. Many also have a star as part of the design of the top of a mince pie, which has been said represents the Christmas star that led the shepherds to Bethlehem. CHRISTMAS PUDDING After a hefty Christmas dinner, the all-time classic dessert has to be Christmas Pudding, or rather, Plum Pudding as it was originally called. It initially originates from a 14th century fruit porridge called ‘frumenty’ and was also a traditional fasting meal prior to the Christmas celebrations. Towards the 1600s, frumenty began to take on a different and thicker consistency, which more resembles today’s Christmas Pudding. In 1650, this sweet treat became a customary Christmas dessert, however, in 1664, the puritans banned it due to its overly indulgent ingredients. Fast-forward to the reign of King George I in 1714, and Christmas Pudding was once again reinstated at the Christmas dinner table. As with many traditional Christmas foods, superstition pervades their nature from a long culinary past. Some say that Christmas Pudding should be made with 13 ingredients, each to represent
Jesus and his Disciples, with each member of the family taking a turn to stir the pudding with a wooden spoon from east to west, to honour the Wise Men. This day came to be known as ‘Stir-Up Sunday’, the Sunday before Advent Sunday. Another age-old custom of this dish is putting a silver coin in the pudding. The finder of the coin in their pudding is said to be granted with good luck. MULLED WINE One of the best things about the mandatory cold Christmas weather is the warming mulled wine to cheer you up! The word ‘mulled’ simply means heated with spices, and is most typically associated with wine, or even cider and port. In Medieval times, mulled wines were conventionally named Hipocris, after Greek physician, Hippocrates. In these times, mulled wine was deemed as healthy, and more sanitary than water. Throughout the years, this spiced wine grew to embrace a festive spirit and is now another Christmas essential. Christmas brings with it an abundance of food traditions – some with religious significance, or some that purely have come into existence through time such as roasting chestnuts or finding a tangerine in the toe of your stocking. Tradition has that warming feeling of familiarity, therefore it is no wonder that so many have found their home in Christmas. As you sit around the table this year with your family in anticipation of your Christmas dinner, spare a moment to appreciate these customs, which are a comforting reminder of our unity at Christmas.
WINTER-WARMING WINTER WARMING SOUP RECIPES As winter is in full swing, and the dreary blanket-laden evenings are a-calling, what could be more fitting than a bowl of hearty homemade soup to warm your cockles? More than any other time of year, winter is the season in which we tend to crave home comforts, with no dish more apt than a big bowl of thick soul-warming soup. The perfect antidote to banish those chills, these soups will not only work to generate body
heat and preserve energy levels, the vitamin packed content of your homemade formula will also aid the immune system in a bid to prevent any unwanted winter ills. Perfect.
flavoursome recipes? Simple and inexpensive, the goodness of this homespun comfort will be the only prescription needed this winter.
So why not thaw your winter blues this year and rustle up one of the following
Broccoli and Stilton Soup with Cheddar Toasts Serves: 4-6 Ingredients: • 1Tbsp olive oil • 25g unsalted butter • 1 leek, approx 100g, trimmed and finely sliced • 400g Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and cubed • 1.3 litres vegetable stock • 350g broccoli, cut into florets • 4 small bread rounds, sliced from a crusty white baton • 60g cheddar, thinly sliced • 50g Stilton • 80ml double cream Method: 1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the butter, leek and potatoes. Cook for 10 minutes. 2. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Add the broccoli then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool a little. 3. Crumble the Stilton into the soup, before blending in a food processor until smooth – you may need to do this in batches. 4. Return to the pan, stir in the cream and season. Cheddar Toasts: 1. Preheat the grill to high and toast the bread on both sides. Top with the cheddar and grill until golden and bubbling.
To serve, reheat the soup on the hob, divide between warmed bowls and top with the cheddar toasts.
Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup Serves: 4-6 Ingredients: • 900g vine-ripened tomatoes, halved • 2 red peppers, quartered and deseeded • 1 medium red onion, finely sliced • 1 garlic clove • 2Tbsp olive oil • 1 vegetable stock cube • 1Tbsp sweet chilli sauce • 1Tbsp Worcestershire sauce • 4Tbsp double cream • 2Tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley Method: 1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C (180˚C fan). 2. Put the tomatoes, peppers, onion and whole garlic clove in a roasting tin and drizzle over the olive oil. Toss the vegetables so that they’re well coated. Cook in the oven for 50 minutes, turning halfway through. 3. Dissolve the stock cube in 500ml hot water. Purée the roasted vegetables with the stock in a blender or food processor (you may need to do this in two batches) then pass it through a sieve if you prefer the soup without the tomato seeds and tiny flecks of skin. 4. Pour the soup into the pan, before adding the sweet chilli sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Reheat gently, before serving with a swirl of cream and chopped parsley.
Pea and Ham Soup
Chorizo and Chickpea Soup
Sweet Potato and Squash Soup:
• 1 onion, chopped • 1 medium potato, peeled and chopped • 25g butter • 125g ham, chopped • 1.3 litres ham or vegetable stock • 450g frozen peas • 4Tbsp double cream • 1 pinch of nutmeg • Flatleaf parsley (optional)
• 400g chopped tomatoes • 110g pack of chorizo sausage (unsliced) • 140g wedge of savoy cabbage • 410g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed • 1 chicken/vegetable stock cube • Sprinkling of dried chilli flakes • Crusty bread/garlic bread (optional to serve)
• 50g butter • 1 large onion, finely chopped • 1tsp ground coriander • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks • 600g squash, i.e. Butternut or pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks • 1.5 litres hot vegetable stock • 200g crème fraiche • Fresh chives (optional garnish)
1. Put a medium pan on the heat and tip in the tomatoes, followed by a can of water. 2. While the tomatoes are heating, chop the chorizo into chunky pieces (removing any skin) and shred the cabbage. 3. Pile the chorizo and cabbage into the pan with the chilli flakes and chickpeas, then crumble in the stock cube. 4. Stir well, cover and leave to bubble over a high heat for 6 minutes or until the cabbage is just tender. Ladle into bowls and serve with crusty or garlic bread.
1. Soften the onion and potatoes in butter for 5 minutes, add ham and stir for a further 2 minutes in the pan. 2. Add stock and peas into the mix; simmer for 15 minutes until the potatoes are cooked. 3. Take off of the heat and liquidise until smooth. 4. To To serve, serve, add add cream, cream, fresh fresh ground ground black black pepper and nutmeg. Decorate with flatleaf parsley to garnish.
Method: 1. Heat the butter in a large saucepan and fry the onion gently for 10 minutes until softened. Add the coriander and fry for 1 minute. 2. Add the sweet potato, squash and stock. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 25 minutes, until the chunks of the squash and sweet potato are completely tender. tender. 3. Cool slightly, then in batches use a food processor to blend the mix until smooth. 4. Return to a clean pan and stir in two thirds of the crème fraiche. Heat gently until piping hot and check the seasoning. Serve with a swirl of crème fraiche on top and sprinkle with finely chopped chives.
insideKENT INTERVIEWS KENT-BASED AUTHOR
KENT WRITER, MARK OLDFIELD, HAS RECENTLY EMBARKED ON A NEW JOURNEY AS HIS NEW NOVEL, THE SENTINEL, HIT BOOKSTANDS IN OCTOBER. insideKENT CAUGHT UP WITH MARK TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HIS BACKGROUND, HIS INSPIRATION AND OF COURSE, WHAT HE LOVES ABOUT KENT. central theme in the book. The Civil War was very violent and very dark – hence the Guzmán character. On the other hand, Spain has changed a lot since those times so the character of Ana María Galindez is somewhat lighter. (A bit) Like me, she uses her criminological skills to further her investigation but unlike me, she is also tough and feisty and won’t be intimidated by anyone. Which is just as well, considering what’s going to happen to her…
What is The Sentinel about, and would you say your background as a criminologist or your love of Spain most influenced you to write your new novel? The Sentinel is the first of three books set in Spain (Madrid mostly) and has two main characters whose activities take place in two different time periods – 1953 and the present day. The story begins with the discovery of 15 bodies in an old mine shaft near Madrid. A young Guardia Civil forensic scientist, Ana María Galindez, is dispatched to examine the bodies which she believes date back to the Spanish Civil War. She learns that the dead men were actually killed in the 1950s and that the suspected killer was a Secret Policeman, Comandante Leo Guzmán, the head of a death squad created to track down enemies of the Spanish Dictator, Franco. As Galindez carries out her investigation, the reader is taken back to Madrid in the dark snowy winter of 1953 where we meet Guzmán and his squad. Madrid is an impoverished and beaten city, full of shadows and fear and Guzmán takes full advantage of his position to make life more comfortable for himself. But even someone like Guzmán has secrets, and against the background of important trade talks with the United States, Guzmán finds his comfortable life starting to unravel and must fight if he is to remain in post. In the present day, Galindez begins to discover some of Guzmán’s secrets but in doing so, she has unleashed dark forces from the past, and disturbed the secrecy of many people who have good reason to keep Guzmán’s activities – as well as their own – secret.
One reviewer of The Sentinel said, "I fully believe that [The Sentinel] deserves the same kind of success as Larsson’s bestseller!" How does it feel to have your novel compared to the worldwide literary phenomenon The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? Well, if The Sentinel had only a fraction of the success of Dragon Tattoo I’d be a happy author! It’s immensely flattering to be compared with Dragon Tattoo, although I wouldn’t like The Sentinel to seem like some clone of Stieg Larsson’s work because the ideas and the plot are somewhat different. On the other hand, there are similarities: Galindez is a strong female character and the Guzmán character has been very well received by reviewers and people in the publishing trade – although he is ruthless and violent, he is also strangely attractive as a character. One publisher who read the book said Guzmán sounded like he would be great fun on a night out! Unless you upset him, of course… I think that people who enjoyed Dragon Tattoo will enjoy The Sentinel: there’s an ongoing, elaborate plot, lots of action and suspense and a few surprises as well.
How did you become a writer? Is there anything specific that ultimately pushed you to write The Sentinel? I have always wanted to write fiction and when I was 20 I moved to Paris and then Spain in order to further that ambition. I wrote a novel while I was abroad but it wasn’t really any good and my writing tailed off as I started studying – I did a PhD in Criminology, which gave me a lot of skills that I later have applied to writing fiction. When I decided I really wanted to write a novel, I looked around for ideas that would excite me as a reader. I wanted to incorporate Spain – where I’ve been a regular visitor for 30 odd years. The Spanish Civil War had always interested me and I’d talked to a lot of Spanish people about it, so I wanted to have that as a
The Sentinel is part of a trilogy - when can we expect to see the next book in the series, and can you give us a glimpse into books two and three? The second book is finished and should come out round about this time next year, with the third book scheduled for October 2014. The second book is set in the Madrid and in the Basque country and the characters face challenges in new settings and locations. There are also new characters who introduce new complexity into the story. I won’t say too much because not everyone survives the first book! The third book brings the story together and brings it centre stage into events in Spain at the moment. I’m really excited about this book, it is going to be the end of a long and tiring
journey for the characters who actually make it to book 3 and I’ve been working very hard to get the atmosphere and tension just right! The ending, I hope, will be very satisfying for readers. Being lovers of Kent, we have to ask: where are some of your favourite places to visit/spend time in Kent? I live in Tunbridge Wells which is always a nice place to be. But one of my favourite places in Kent is Winchelsea Beach. I love walking along the shingle and watching the tide come in and go out. And splashing around the petrified forest further along, at Pett Level is always fun. That, followed up by lunch at the George in Rye is a great day out and sets me up for writing.
What will you be reading this autumn? One author will definitely be Mavis Gallant, a Canadian short story writer who has lived in Paris for the last 50 years. This woman can say more in a sentence than many writers can in a page. Her writing is exquisite and I’m only sorry I didn’t know about her years ago! Another writer I can’t get enough of is Roberto Bolaño. We recently took the train from Paris down to the Spanish border and at times, it was difficult to keep a straight face while reading him. A fabulously inventive and intelligent writer, utterly hilarious and yet enormously compassionate and touching as well.
Buy The Sentinel on amazon.co.uk, read the first two chapters online at www.headofzeus.com/books/sentinel.html, or follow The Sentinel on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MarkOldfieldSentinel
BRINGING HISTORY TO LIFE AT
I recently had the pleasure of visiting the breathtaking Hever Castle, which is located in the Kent countryside in the village of Hever. Our visit to Hever Castle was nothing short of thrilling. The castle and grounds are stunningly beautiful and the building’s historical significance, dating in parts back to 1270, is both intriguing and impressive. BY MOLLY GIL The castle’s main claim to fame is that is was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, the second and ill-fated wife of Henry VIII, and mother of Queen Elizabeth I. Henry and Anne’s passionate romance actually began at Hever Castle when, after their first meeting, Henry became infatuated with Anne. He had been growing increasingly frustrated in his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, who had failed to provide him with a son. Also, Henry had grown tired of his former mistress, Anne’s sister Mary. The romance that blossomed out of this first meeting at Hever Castle became part of the one of the most famous historical sagas in the history of the English monarchy. Henry's passion for Anne led him to reform the Church of England, placing himself at its head, in order to divorce Catherine. However, Henry and Anne's life together did not end happily as he became enraged with her, as he had with Catherine, for not providing him with a male heir. In 1536, Anne was arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London on a charge of high treason based on claims of adultery and incest. Anne was executed on 19th May 1536, and Henry went on to marry another four times. During our visit to the castle, we purchased the valuable audio tour which led us through each room with fascinating commentary including stories about the people and events that made history within the castle walls, and interesting information about artifacts and artwork. The castle’s vast collection includes priceless antiques, elaborate furniture and a collection of sixteenth-century Tudor portraits that is second only to the National Portrait Gallery. We saw Henry VIII’s armorial tapestry which carries the Hampton Court label hanging above the fireplace in the Dining Hall. Also in the Dining Hall, we saw Henry VIII’s gilded locks that he brought with him for use during his visits to the castle to ensure his safety and avoid any assassination attempts while he was in residence.
In the Council Chamber, we viewed the grim and impressive collection of historic swords, armour, and instruments of execution, torture and discipline. The Book of Hours Room contains prayer books inscribed by Anne Boleyn from 1450, one of which is believed to have been carried by her to the Tower of London before her execution. While we toured the castle, an actress playing Anne Boleyn appeared several times, wearing a lovely green dress and Anne’s famous ‘B’ necklace. She welcomed our questions, and stayed in character as she shared her vast knowledge of her childhood home and life with us. She was a vibrant reminder of the woman that once lived there, and truly brought the castle history to life. After touring the castle, we made our way to the Moat Restaurant for lunch. The restaurant offers an excellent variety of hot and cold choices from beer battered haddock and chips, salads, and fresh soup, to a wide selection of cakes and biscuits. One of our favourite things about Hever Castle is that it isn’t just for history buffs – it’s also a great place for families. With our stomachs full after lunch, we decided to explore the castle grounds and made our way to the kids’ adventure playground. The kids explored the adventure park while we sat and enjoyed the fresh air while discussing all of the amazing things we had just seen inside the castle. The park has all kinds of equipment for kids to play on, even a zip line for the more adventurous types. Next, we headed off to explore the castle’s four acres of mature and formal gardens from Anne Boleyn's Orchard, the Rhododendron Walk, the Rose Garden, the spectacular Italian Gardens, and the picturesque 38-acre lake. Hever Castle boasts one of the few full hedge mazes in the country, as well as a unique water maze. Both the adults and kids had a great time exploring the mazes, which are both beautifully laid out and full of surprises.
Our visit to Hever Castle was memorable and full of adventure – it offered much more than we expected. The castle’s rich history, vast collection of antiques and art, beautiful grounds and extensive gardens make it an excellent destination for a day out with family and a fascinating trip back in time.
CHRISTMAS AT HEVER CASTLE 1-16 December (Wed-Sun) 17-24 December (Daily) Step into a magical grotto this Christmas with the castle traditionally decorated with sparkling lights and welcoming log fires. As dusk falls, the gardens will be transformed into an illuminated wonderland.
Santa’s Grotto Your children will be able to visit Father Christmas when he arrives at his magical snowy grotto. He'll present them with a gift of the same value as their ticket price.
Evening Specials A magical winter wonderland awaits with Father Christmas, snowy grotto, carols, brass bands and elves. Indulge in some last minute Christmas shopping and festive food to help make it a perfect evening out.
For more details on Hever Castle’s Christmas events, visit www.hevercastle.co.uk
DAYSOUT FOR THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS EXPERIENCE IN KENT, VISIT
LaplandUK PROMISES A UNIQUE AND UNFORGETTABLE CHRISTMAS JOURNEY FOR ALL YOUNG CHILDREN, TRANSPORTING THEM INTO A FAIRY-TALE WORLD OF WONDER.
Having travelled along the Elves’ magical forest pathways with their LaplandUK passports freshly stamped, visitors arrive in the snowy wonderland where first they visit the Toy Factory to help the Elves before moving on to Mother Christmas’s Kitchen to decorate gingerbread and gather for storytelling. It’s then skates on for LaplandUK’s ‘Ice’ Rink located in the Elf Village before meeting LaplandUK’s resident huskies and reindeer. A very special personalised meeting
with Father Christmas in his snowy woodland home, where he will give each child this year’s newly designed collectable soft toy husky dog, tops off this highly magical day out for the whole family. The popular ‘Elf Jingles’, the official currency of LaplandUK (which visitors can use to make purchases) will be back for 2012, as well as the Husky Heaven clothing range for the soft toy huskies.
Dates Opening date: 1st December 2012 Closing date: 24th December 2012 (Christmas Eve) Ticket booking On sale 10am Thursday 27th September 2012 www.laplanduk.co.uk
Admission Tickets priced at £44.50-£64.50
S P O T L I G H T
BY GEMMA DUNN
STEEPED IN HISTORY, THE ANCIENT CITY OF ROCHESTER IS JUST AS ILLUSTRIOUS FOR ITS ORNATE VICTORIAN CHARM AS IT IS FOR ITS ARCHITECTURAL AND HISTORIC INTEREST. FORMERLY A CITY IN ITS OWN RIGHT, BUT NOW PART OF THE MEDWAY UNITARY AUTHORITY, ROCHESTER HAS REMAINED A PLACE OF STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE DUE TO ITS POSITIONING ON THE SOUTHERN MEDWAY BANK, AND ONCE NAVAL DOMINANCE ON THE RIVER. MUCH OF THE TOWN’S EXISTING SUCCESS IS A TESTAMENT TO THE WAY IN WHICH IT SUCCESSFULLY BLURS THE BOUNDARIES BETWEEN THE PAST AND THE PRESENT TO DISTINGUISH A MIDDLE GROUND OF BRILLIANCE.
Originally derived from the Roman word Durobrivae, commonly cited as ‘stronghold by the bridge’, Rochester has fittingly possessed a number of iconic crossings over the years. The first, a Roman construction, was built after relentless battles fought over the river crossing. It was destroyed in the late 14th century and replaced by a medieval bridge, and later a castiron Victorian structure. Since, the arches have been reworked to allow a wider clearance for shipping and an additional bridge known as the ‘new bridge’ has been erected. Just 30 miles south of London and 47 miles to Dover, these two bridges still remain integral transportation links today. As Rochester boasts a captivating and colourful past, it seems only apt that the town is brimming with tales to tell, and what better tale than one told by one of Rochester’s most eminent associations: the Victorian novelist Charles Dickens. After favouring Rochester as a child, and later having resided in nearby Gads Hill Place, Higham, Dickens’s admiration and intent on celebrating this town’s culture has evolved into some of the most influential literature of our time. This inspiration has not been short lived and can be embraced fully by visiting the town’s new and applauded temporary exhibition, A World Made Real: Dickens and Victorian Life. If you are visiting for the day, create your own path and take a glimpse at the many famed buildings on which Dickens based his work.
A must see is Restoration House and Garden. This beautiful Elizabethan city mansion sits just off of the high street and boasts a fascinating and decorative interior. Much like many of Rochester’s buildings on which Dickens incorporated his fictional characters, Restoration House is Miss Havisham’s ‘Satis’ house from his notorious Great Expectations. As well as obtaining a permanent influence on the town’s buildings, Dickens is also commemorated via the bi-annual Dickensian festival which takes place during the months of June and December every year. In addition, there is plenty of joy to be had at the legendary Sweeps Festival which encapsulates Rochester town every May bank holiday. Both events play on the characters in Dickens's novels, with the latter in particular recreating the traditional holiday of the Victorian chimney sweep. Both highly acclaimed, the carnivalesque atmosphere seems incomparable with many other events, as here, the Dickens influence creates a sense of childhood nostalgia amongst the degree of generations that attend. For me, Rochester has the right formula as it captures the needs of the modern day, whilst maintaining its original Victorian charm – an ubiquitous blend that makes for a reputable town. And as a town with such cultural finery, it would be impossible to imagine, as a visitor especially, your trip would not constitute a stop off at one or both of the magnificent landmarks: Rochester Castle and Cathedral. Within such close proximity to one another, these foundations are
unquestionably two of the best preserved examples of Norman architecture in England. So, whether it is a flying or extended visit, both town treasures are well worth a visit. Strategically placed on the highest part of Rochester’s Roman city wall alongside the River Medway, Rochester Castle was originally built in order to defend England’s south coast from invasion. However, following a rebellion in 1088, the castle was besieged and as a result the medieval first build no longer stands. Yet 700 years on, a second stone castle was built by Gundulf, the Bishop of Rochester, some of which still remains today even after a further three sieges. This grandeur beauty is not one to be missed as the castle itself exudes a presence that is very much entrenched in the town and its local community. Whilst the stunning grounds prove a popular choice for a spot of al-fresco dining, the breathtaking views from the top of the keep promise an unforgettable trip. However, this is not the only cultural attraction to dominate the Rochester skyline. With thousands of visitors through its doors every year, Rochester Cathedral is one of the most significant and sought after sites in town. Infused in history, this archaic gem is England’s second oldest cathedral founded in 604 AD by Bishop Justus. It was during the 13th century that this Saxon splendor also first became a place of pilgrimage, an element which still remains reminiscent of
visits today as guests endeavor to climb the worn pilgrim steps that lead to the shrine. If you are intrigued by architectural excellence, you won’t fail to spot the Norman influence on the nave, as well as one of England’s earliest Romanesque facades. Equally impressive, the artwork and décor inside is unmatchable. Look out for John the Baptist’s Fresco, the first to be created in an English cathedral for 800 years. Remarkably so, despite numerous restorations spanning over the centuries (the most recent being led by George Gilbert Scott in 1872), the cathedral is very much still celebrated today as a daily place of worship over 1,400 years since its build. If you want to learn more, book one of the audio tours at either attraction and explore every element with the specially trained guides. Alternatively, why not pursue the story at your own pace at Rochester’s fantastic free Guildhall Museum, located just off of the main high street. Founded in 1897, Guildhall was originally set up in honour of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Today, with increasing collections of historic artifacts spread across two separate buildings the museum is as popular as ever. Exhibits include a Dickens Discovery Room, regalia from Medway’s past, Victorian memorabilia and much more. If museums aren’t your penchant, and your plan is a light afternoon of shopping and lunch, Rochester is both charismatic and more than accommodating. Whilst nearby Medway town
Chatham plays host to the recognisable high street chains, Rochester is acclaimed for its eclectic mix of independent boutiques and quaint gift shops – the perfect vicinity if you’re looking to take home that unique gift or quirky household buy. From antiques and books to alternative fashion retailers, you are sure to find what you are looking for. On a street where history and shopping intermingle, it is to be anticipated that the choice of eateries follow suit. Local cafés and tearooms are aplenty for the daytime pit stop. Why not head to Pegotty’s Parlour, a Victorian inspired tearoom, serving an array of delicious lunch options including prized homemade baked delights. Alternatively, head to Tony Lorenzo’s for a comfortable, modern setting and choose from a wide range of sandwiches, savouries and patisserie to satisfy your hunger. If you are staying for the evening, there is no shortage of places to go. From French restaurant Elizabeth’s of Eastgate, and Italian Don Vincenzo, to your traditional English pub, there is an assortment of eateries to suit all tastes and every occasion. Overall, it is evident as to why Rochester has proved and continues to prove to be a popular choice for visitors, as well as local residents. Brimming with character, there is no doubt this city sustains its charm and personality; and whilst it allows certain elements to become accustomed to modern day society, it never loses sight of its origins.
AUTHORS INCLUDE: Pam Ayres Artemis Cooper Judy Finnegan John Hegley
Sandra Howard Caroline Lawrence John Major Mary McCartney Deborah Moggach Christopher Priest Robert Skidelsky John Suchet Rosie Thomas Alison Weir James Wong
2ND â€“ 10TH NOVEMBER 2012 BOX OFFICE: 01303 858 500 www.folkestonebookfest.com Q u a r t e r h o u s e , M i l l B ay, F o l ke s t o n e , Ke n t , C T 2 0 1 B N
CREATE PERFECT CHRISTMAS GIFTS AND DECORATIONS AT
This Art of Mine
GIVE CHRISTMAS A PERSONAL TOUCH WITH THE HELP OF THIS ART OF MINE , NEAR MAIDSTONE. THE SMALL ARTS AND CRAFTS STUDIO AT LITTLE BUDDS FARM IN THURNHAM IS BRIMMING WITH IDEAS AND WORKSHOPS FOR ALL AGE GROUPS. THE STUDIO’S BUSY FESTIVE PROGRAMME INCLUDES THE OPPORTUNITY TO DESIGN AND SEW AN EVERLASTING FABRIC WREATH, STENCIL AND PRINT FUN CHRISTMAS CANDLES AND GLAZE YOUR OWN TREE BAUBLES TO KEEP OR GIVE AS GIFTS.
The busy programme begins with open weekends throughout November and December where every member of the family can drop in and spend a few hours painting and glazing This Art of Mine’s gorgeous Christmas ceramics. These mini-masterpieces make ideal party gifts or end of term treats. For budding young designers there is a wonderful elf-themed workshop taking place in December, while if you want to keep busy and creative throughout Christmas and the New Year the studio has its own range of craft gift kits that make wonderful presents.
FESTIVE FELT WREATH MAKING Saturday 1st December 10am-5pm One-day workshop showing you how to make a beautiful fabric Christmas wreath for your home. Easy to follow steps include stitching and sewing the leaves before adding colourful dyed felt corsages as decoration. This workshop is guaranteed to get you in the festive mood. All materials and refreshments are provided. Price £45.00
CERAMIC BAUBLE PAINTING Tuesday 11th December 7-9 pm A relaxing evening painting ceramic baubles with glazes, festive stamps, stencils and specialist ‘snow’ glazes. You don’t have to be arty to get a great result; staff will be on hand to offer guidance and demonstrate easy to apply techniques. Workshop includes refreshments. Price £10 per bauble
CANDLE DECORATING Friday 14th December 7-9 pm Print snow scenes and other festive designs on candles and create simple gifts for Christmas or unique decorations for your own home. A fun and easy workshop for ages 12+. Session includes two candles, students are welcome to bring extra from home. Workshop includes refreshments. Price £20.00
ELF ACCESSORIES Saturday 15th December 10am-5pm Just for children, this fun session combines sewing with lots of sticking and decorating as each child stitches and decorates miniature elf hats, gloves and Christmas presents. The finished items are then displayed in a festive frame ready to go on show at home. Recommended for eight years old and over. Workshop includes refreshments. Price £45.00
This Art of Mine is run by mother and daughter team Kate and Gemma Blacker who are always on hand to help and teach. The studio is open every weekend Throughout November and December. To book and for further information visit www.thisartofmine.co.uk
ď€Žď€ž ď€€ď€žď€&#x;ď€”ď€?ď€˜ď€?ď€–ď€€ď€—ď€žď€Ł ď€Ąď€€ď€&#x;ď€›ď€”ď€?ď€Ąď€”ď€€ď€¤ď€˜ď€Ąď€˜ď€˘ď€€ď€žď€Ł ď€€ď€Ľď€”ď€‘ď€Ąď€˜ď€˘ď€”ď€€ď€ž ď€€ď€’ď€?ď€›ď€›ď€€ď€ƒď€„ď€ˆď€†ď€‡ď€€ď€‰ď€Šď€ƒď€‡ď€…ď€„ď€‚ ď€Œď€˜ď€’ď€šď€”ď€?ď€Ąď€€ď€?ď€ž ď€›ď€“ď€ ď€€ď€žď€Ł ď€€ď€”ď€Śď€’ď€˜ď€˘ď€˜ď€?ď€–ď€€ď€˜ď€?ď€“ď€žď€ž ď€€ď€¤ď€˜ď€Ąď€˜ď€˘ď€ž ď€€ď€’ď€žď€œď€&#x;ď€›ď€”ď€Śď€€ď€‘ď€?ď€Ąď€”ď€“ď€€ď€? ď€žď€Łď€?ď€“ď€€ď€˘ď€—ď€”ď€€ď€›ď€˜ď€•ď€”ď€ ď€€ď€‘ď€žď€žď€šď€Ą ď€?ď€?ď€“ď€€ď€˘ď€˜ď€œď€”ď€Ąď€€ď€žď€•ď€€ď€‹ď€—ď€? ď€›ď€”ď€Ąď€€ď€Œď€˜ď€’ď€šď€”ď€?ď€Ąď€‚ď€€ď€?ď€”ď€€ď€˘ď€?ď€šď€”ď€€ď€§ď€žď€Łď€€ď€žď€?ď€€ď€?ď€€ď€•ď€?ď€Ąď€’ď€˜ď€?ď€?ď€˘ď€˜ď€?ď€–ď€€ď€™ď€žď€Ł ď€?ď€”ď€§ď€€ď€˘ď€žď€€ď€Œď€˜ď€’ď€šď€”ď€?ď€Ąď€¨ ď€?ď€ž ď€›ď€“ď€€ď€?ď€Ąď€€ď€§ď€žď€Łď€€ď€Ąď€˘ď€”ď€&#x;ď€€ď€‘ď€?ď€’ď€šď€€ď€˜ď€?ď€˘ď€žď€€ď€?ď€Łď€˘ď€—ď€”ď€?ď€˘ď€˜ď€’ď€?ď€›ď€›ď€§ď€€ď€˘ď€—ď€”ď€œď€”ď€“ď€€ď€Œď€˜ď€’ď€šď€”ď€?ď€Ąď€˜ď€?ď€?ď€€ď€?ď€?ď€–ď€›ď€?ď€?ď€“ď€‚
ď€ƒď€Œď€ˆď€?ď€Šď€?ď€’ď€€ď€†ď€?ď€‘ď€Žď€‰ď€€ď€‚ď€‹ď€Œď€Žď€‰ď€‘ď€Šď€?ď€•ď€’ď€€ď€„ď€”ď€Šď€?ď€“ď€’ Dick Whittington Pantomime Throughout December! Produced in association with Lucinda Ryan Productions.We are proud to announce that this yearâ€™s spectacular will be family favourite, Dick Whittington! Tickets ÂŁ8.00 per child and ÂŁ13.00 per adult. Includes a hot dog and soft drink before the show!
ChristmasPartiesLasVegasCabaretNights2012 Lucinda Ryan Productions in Association with Dickens World presents Music, Dance, Circus & Cabaret! meals Doors open at 7:00pm, ď€Œď€˜ď€’ď€šď€”ď€?ď€Ąď€€ď€?ď€ž Show starts ď€›ď€“ď€€ď€?ď€¤ď€”ď€?ď€˘ď€Ą served from 7:30pm. at approximately 9:30pm. DJ in the theatre after show until late. Early Bird Price ÂŁ42.50pp (Over 18s only)
ď€ ď€‘ď€Œď€“ď€‡ď€?ď€?ď€Œď€‡ď€€ď€…ď€‹ď€Šď€‡ď€“ď€‘ď€Šď€€ď€„ď€”ď€Šď€?ď€“ď€’ The Big Fat Christmas Jongleurs Party!
New Years Eve Extravaganza
Fri 30th November 2012 Laugh the night away with some of the top comedians in the land!
Come and join us to see in 2013 in style and enjoy the wonderful surroundings of Dickens World.
Tickets from ÂŁ18.90. Strictly over 18s event. Doors open at 7:30p.m, comedy starts 8.30p.m. DJ after party until late.
Tickets from ÂŁ70pp. 4 course Christmas Banquet, Live Cabaret Entertainment,Toast at Midnight, Casino Games and Disco until late!
Scan the QR code with your smartphone to visit our website now or find us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with all the latest news and offers from Dickens World!
Leviathan Way, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4 4LL (for sat nav use Leviathan Way) For all information and online bookings call 01634 890 421 or visit www.dickensworld.co.uk
Annual Passes now available from just ÂŁ10
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Maidstone's biggest ever Christmas Lights switch on!
With two stages featuring music and entertainment, street theatre, Santa, real life reindeer and one of the best selections of shops in Kent - it's going to be a night to remember.
Thursday 22nd November from 3.30pm to 9pm For more information www.visitmaidstone.com/whats-on/christmas
In association with
MAIDSTONE MUSEUM AND BENTLIF ART GALLERY MATISSE : DRAWINGWITH SCISSORS
BENTLIF OPEN ART PRIZE 2012
20 October - 17 November
24 November - 9 February
An exhibition of 35 lithographic reproductions of the famous cut outs, produced in the last four years of his life. Feature many iconic images including The Snail and the Blue Nudes.
A stunning display of talented local artists with many works available to purchase. Merrie Curtiss-Fuller, Upward Glance,
CHRISTMAS AT THE MUSEUM
Highly Commended 2006
Shop for Christmas presents New gift ranges include jewellery, toys and local Kent produce.
St. Faith’s Street, Maidstone ME14 1LH Monday to Saturday 10am – 5pm Tel 01622 602838
Visit our Kentish Deli- Café Freshly made sandwiches, hot savouries and cakes. Delicatessen foods to take home. Christmas Craft Fair 3 November
C E L E B R A T E T H E M A G I C O F C H R I S T M A S
AT ONE OF EUROPE’S MANY SPECTACULAR
WITH CALAIS – THE GATEWAY TO EUROPE – ONLY A QUICK 35 MINUTES FROM FOLKESTONE ON EUROTUNNEL, THERE’S NEVER BEEN A MORE PERFECT TIME FOR A WINTER TRIP TO ONE OF THE CONTINENT’S MANY CHRISTMAS MARKETS. LOAD UP ON FESTIVE GIFTS, GLORIOUS FOOD AND PLENTY OF MERRY MEMORIES AT ONE OF insideKENT’S TOP PICKS FOR CHRISTMAS MARKET MAGIC.
BELGIUM Bruges Christmas Market 23 Nov 2012 – 1 Jan 2013 Simon Stevin Plein and Market Square, Bruges There will not be many settings more beautiful at Christmas than medieval Bruges, with an abundance of cobbled streets, historic buildings and horses and carts plodding by. Numerous illuminated Christmas Markets are located on Simon Stevin Plein and Markt Square, forming a ring around an open-air ice rink. Each of these markets displays individual Christmas gifts and specialities. Brussels Winter Wonders 25 Nov 2012 – 1 Jan 2013 Place Sainte Catherine and the Marché aux Poissons Winter Wonders is a 2 km long series of joyful moments that make the hearts of 2.5 million visitors beat harder. From the Grand Place to the Marché aux Poissons, this new edition proposes the Electrabel Nights and Rendezvous, a Food Plaza opposite the Bourse, a MicroMarket, a sunny Moroccan medina on the Place SainteCatherine, Flocoton for the little ones, a mysterious marquee with music, 240 various chalets, a sleighing run, the ice rink, the big wheel and lots more.
SWITZERLAND Zürich Christmas Magic 22 Nov – 24 Dec 2012 ShopVille RailCity At the traditional Christmas markets and in Zürich’s shops, both locals and visitors find inspiration for gifts and can treat themselves to delectable delicacies. The Christmas circuses are as much a part of the season as the New Year’s Eve Magic with its legendary fireworks display hosted by the Zurich Hoteliers’ Association. A unique shopping atmosphere can also be experienced at the five traditional Christmas markets. Zürich’s oldest Christmas market in the middle of the Old Town guarantees a romantic ambience and shopping bags bursting with Christmas gifts. The 160 quaintly decorated market stalls transform the immense hall at
Zürich’s Main Railway Station into the Zürich Christ Child Market, and the centrally-located Christmas market in the heart of the city also offers a diverse range of toys, tasty Christmas goodies and trendy fashion accessories. Basel Christmas Market 22 Nov -23 Dec 2012 Barfüsserplatz & Münsterplatz Basel, located in the three countries corner of Switzerland, France and Germany, is the centre of one of Europe’s most exciting Christmas regions. Basel has a deep-rooted tradition as Switzerland’s most beautiful and largest Christmas city, and its annual Christmas market is now being held not only on Barfüsserplatz, but also on Münsterplatz for the first time – one of the most beautiful squares in Basel. On both locations and in about 150 stands and wooden huts, traders and practitioners of art and crafts from all over Switzerland and the Basel region offer their goods and give a demonstration of their skills.
FRANCE Amiens Christmas Market 24 Nov – 31 Dec 2012 Amiens City Centre Amiens hosts the largest Christmas market in the north of France. The whole of Amiens city centre immerses itself in the imaginary world of Jules Verne for the occasion, and visitors can explore this world of dreams and festivities. 150 chalets will be set up across the city centre brimming with gift ideas, arts and crafts, decorations and delicious delicacies – in an atmosphere fragrant with the typical sweet smells and flavours of Christmas. Lille Christmas Market 21 Nov – 30 Dec 2012 Place Rihour Lille (northern France) is the place to dream and to do some Christmas shopping! Over 80 wooden chalets of the Christmas market are open every day. They offer Christmas decorations and festive food, as well as arts and crafts. A Ferris Wheel turns on the main square, which is transformed
For more information on these and many more Christmas markets, visit www.christmasmarkets.com
into a winter wonderland, dominated by an 18meter high Christmas tree. Shop windows compete to be the most original, and the 3900 shops in the city offer something for every taste and every budget.
GERMANY Nuremberg Christmas Market, Germany 26 Nov – 24 Dec 2012 Main Market Square in the Heart of the Historic Old Town The world-famous Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg has a special charm at any time of the day. The Old Town is decorated in its Christmas regalia and permeated with the tempting aromas of mulled wine, sweet roasted almonds, Nuremberg sausages and gingerbread creating an unforgettable atmosphere. The Christkindlesmarkt lies right at the heart of the city which is steeped in more than 400 years of tradition providing an international showcase for all Franconian and German Christmas Markets. Frankfurt Christmas Market, Germany 26 Nov – 23 Dec 2012 Römerbert, Paulsplatz, Mainkai If you’ve ever wanted to experience the wonderful wintertime charm of the old world, then the Frankfurt Christmas Market is the place for you! More than 200 lovingly decorated stalls invite locals and visitors to a leisurely stroll, offering not only unique gift ideas, but also a delicious variety of culinary specialities. Feeling the chill? Warm yourself with a cup of the famous Applewine, served piping hot. Next, try a “Bethmännchen”, Frankfurt’s popular marzipan delight. Do you like Christmas music? There’s plenty of that as well! The tower horns are played on the balcony of Old St. Nicholas’ Church every Wednesday and Saturday, immersing the Römerberg in the beautiful sounds of the yuletide season.
Market information may change – please check with individual event organisers for current information.
For great value fares to France on EuroTunnel, visit www.eurotunnel.com
5-STAR TRADITIONAL KENTISH LUXURY AT
Stone Green Farm
BY KATIE SUMNER
Fifteen years ago, Stone Green Farm was a derelict, empty shell of a house surrounded by equally sad and neglected buildings. Now, after many years of restoration, love and attention by its owners, Caroline and Geoffrey Fletcher, it is a beautiful family home and thriving bed and breakfast business. Stone Green Farm is a traditional 15th century Kentish farmhouse set in seven acres of garden, fields and woodland in a quiet rural setting on the outskirts of Mersham village just east of Ashford. It combines country living with the ease of great access to London, all motorways and the Continent. Caroline and Geoffrey, together with their sons Charlie and Will, have been running their successful bed and breakfast business for the past four years. The accommodation is traditional with the emphasis on quality and comfort for their guests, one reason they have been awarded the high accolade of a 5* Silver grading by Visit England. Anyone researching a stay at Stone Green Farm won’t be disappointed if they read the Trip Advisor reviews. It is an ideal location for anyone wanting to explore the wide ranging attractions Kent has to offer, as well as those travelling to or from the Continent. With two pubs in the village – The Farriers Arms and The Royal Oak – guests can easily eat and drink locally. Business guests are well catered for with complementary wireless internet access and a quiet environment in which to work or relax. Guests are welcome to arrive early by prior arrangement, a bonus for anyone who may be attending parties or weddings. In the summer, visitors can enjoy their tea and homemade cake, served on fine bone china, sitting on the terrace in the garden before having a game of croquet on the lawn. The football pitch and trampoline always prove popular with the younger guests (and parents!). A walk around the field and wood, planted with indigenous species in 2000, to visit the resident sheep and see the chickens helps revive travel weary guests too.
The extensively oak beamed guest sitting room is comfortably furnished with leather chairs and traditional furniture making it a lovely room in which to relax. In the winter it is particularly welcoming with a roaring fire in the wood-burning stove. Toys and games make it a haven for children if the weather doesn’t allow them to go into the garden. The farmhouse is one of the oldest buildings in Mersham and parts have been dated back to 1485. Guests will find themselves in one of three well-appointed bedrooms, all with TVs, tea and fresh coffee making facilities and fluffy robes for relaxing at the end of the day. Complementary toiletries come from the local, award-winning Romney Marsh Wools. The Bosworth room with its super-king sized bed and private shower room is in the oldest part of the house and is a magnificent room under the eaves. It has proved very popular with bridal couples with its romantic feel, particularly when it is decorated for the occasion with petals and hearts. Many guests enjoy watching the cricket from the window too! The Doodlebug room, also on the second floor, is a newly refurbished super-king double or twin room with ensuite bathroom overlooking the neighbouring fields of ponies. The Doodlebug room is named after the V1 bomb which exploded in 1944 blowing part of the house down. Guests can find the remains of the bomb in the field. The third guest room at Stone Green Farm is the PLUTO room which is located on the first floor with views of the wood. With its king sized bed and additional single bed, couples or families will enjoy the generous sized en-suite bathroom. Breakfast is obviously a large part of a stay in a B&B, and Caroline and Geoffrey were
awarded a Visit England Breakfast Award in 2011. Using as much locally sourced produce as possible, Stone Green Farm guests are offered a wide selection each morning. Guests struggle to choose between the full English breakfast including Coopers of Aldington pork and hop sausages, freshly made scotch pancakes with maple syrup, or perhaps the French toast with a hint of cinnamon! These are in addition to the fresh fruit, local apple and pear juices, organic yoghurts and cereals that are always available. Breakfast is served communally at the long oak refectory table and many new acquaintances are made whilst enjoying a leisurely meal. Caroline and Geoffrey pride themselves on providing a professional but friendly and relaxed environment for their guests. Their mantra for the bed and breakfast has always been to “exceed people’s expectations” and be part of their guests’ visit rather than just the place they happened to stay.
Take a few minutes to look at Caroline and Geoffrey’s website, www.stonegreenfarm.co.uk, and book a stay. You won’t be disappointed.
LUXURY IN LONDON
MAKE YOURSELF AT HOME AT THE ATHENAEUM, THE SMALL FAMILY-OWNED 5-STAR HOTEL IN MAYFAIR, LONDON WITH A BIG PERSONALITY. IT'S A LUXURY HOTEL IN CENTRAL LONDON LIKE NO OTHER. BY ADAM READY What a year it has been for London, with the Queens Diamond Jubilee in June and the recent success of the 2012 Olympic Games. We sometimes forget that living in Kent we are very much spoilt with the close proximity and transport links to our historic capital of London. It was nice to have left the car at home for a change; we arrived at Ashford International Station at around 3.30pm on a Friday afternoon and boarded the next train to London, travelling at speeds of up to 140mph on Southeastern’s amazing High Speed 1 service into St Pancras. This journey remarkably only took 37 minutes, helping us arrive at our destination in Mayfair in just over an hour after a short tube ride and fiveminute walk from Green Park underground. After arriving at the stylish reception area of The Athenaeum, our bags were taken to our room while we enjoyed a soft drink in the lobby. After our quick drink, we travelled up to our room on the 6th floor and felt straight at home. The room felt much bigger then it actual was; a clever illusion down to the many mirrors in the room and across the hotel. We had a great view from our floor-to-ceiling window overlooking Green Park, and everything we needed was in our room to make this a relaxing stay – even a pillow menu to get as soft or firm a pillow as required. We were quite impressed by the extras which are set as standard at The Athenaeum, such as free Wifi, Nespresso coffee and all soft drinks and nibbles from the mini bar. Each room has a Bose docking station and we soon connected our iPhone to listen to our favourite music. After unwinding we headed down to the spa and gym area in the hotel’s basement. The gym is small but has a good range of equipment to keep
your fitness levels up, and the wet area has two hot tubs, sauna and steam room – all well maintained and clean. The spa also offers a range of bespoke REN treatments to spoil you even more. Dinner was served in the 2-Rosette-awarded restaurant, and the food and service was truly exceptional. Whilst looking over the menu, a sack of fresh homemade bread rolls arrived. For my starter I ordered the smoked salmon confit with avocado mousse, cucumber and crème fraiche. My guest opted for the beetroot and mozzarella tart with roasted pine nuts and balsamic dressing. Both were well-presented and tasted amazing. Staying with a fish theme, I was drawn to the seared stone bass with polenta cake, braised purple carrots, carrot purée and brown almond butter. The fish was cooked perfectly and the butter not overpowering. My guest had the Regent’s Park honey glazed pork belly with celeriac, apple purée, bacon, shallots and red wine sauce and was speechless by the fine flavours on the plate. We just about had room for desserts – and were glad we did – as the crème brulée and sticky toffee pudding were divide. The dim lighting gave the restaurant a real ambience to accompany the great food on offer. After dinner we relaxed in the whiskey bar which hosts over 270 whiskeys from the Scottish Highlands to Japan before popping out to see the bright lights of London at night. After a good night’s sleep we visited the restaurant for breakfast. Due to the hotel being at capacity there was a small wait to be seated, but the staff did everything they could to make the wait as easy as possible by serving coffees and offering
newspapers. A continental or fully cooked breakfast is available with everything you could think of to get you started for a busy day of shopping or sightseeing. The concierge team will be on hand to coordinate fun-filled days out in the parks or other popular activities including boating on the Serpentine, horse riding, tennis and much more. Bikes, kites, jogging maps and birdseed are also provided free of charge. Earlier this year, The Athenaeum was awarded the Top London Afternoon Tea prize by the Tea Guild. The menu begins with a selection of 13 different teas from across the world including infusions of Bella Coola, Bingo Blueberry, Rooeis, Jasmine flowers tea and Niagra Peach tea. To accompany this, a selection of finger sandwiches are served, followed by floral inspired cakes and pastries.
The Athenaeum 116 Piccadilly Mayfair London W1J 7BJ 020 7499 3464 www.athenaeumhotel.com
LUXURY ABOUNDS AT
Hotel Los Monteros, MARBELLA
SOUTHERN SPAIN’S ANSWER TO ST TROPEZ, MARBELLA’S MOTTO IS ‘A WAY OF LIFE.’ JUST A TWO-HOUR FLIGHT FROM THE SOUTH EAST, THIS PICTURESQUE RESORT TOWN OFFERS GORGEOUS BEACHES, EXCITING ENTERTAINMENT, DELICIOUS FOOD AND SOME OF SPAIN’S MOST LUXURIOUS ACCOMMODATION, INCLUDING THE 5STAR HOTEL LOS MONTEROS. BY SARAH WHELBAND It’s one of the busiest tourist cities on the Costa del Sol, and is particularly popular with the rich and famous from all over the world. If you’re into golf, or own a yacht, you’re in good company – especially if you drive a Ferrari or Porsche. Aside from the glitz and glamour, there’s a wealth of offerings to a visitor. The pretty old town has a maze of back streets with all sorts of shops to wander around, and the beaches stretch over many kilometres. There’s also no shortage of restaurants, bars and nightclubs to keep you entertained from dusk to dawn. The 5-star Hotel Los Monteros is approximately four kilometres from the centre of Marbella, in the beautiful Los Monteros district, in the heart of the ‘Golf Mile’. It was one of the first hotels to open in Marbella, and has retained much of its traditional Spanish charm and elegance over the 50 years that it has been operating.
Entering the beautiful reception area, which leads onto an open-air square with rooms surrounding a peaceful seating area, it seems any visitors are in good company. On the wall next to the reception is a plaque with a list of celebrities that have graced their presence at the hotel over the years – Sir Sean Connery, Antonio Banderas, Melanie Griffiths, Michael Jackson and Enrique Inglesias to name but a few. Each of the 173 rooms is spacious, bright and comfortable, with views of the extensive gardens, the sea, or overlooking the centre of Marbella. All rooms are air-conditioned with either a balcony or terrace, and have complimentary high-speed internet access. There are a range of rooms on offer, from classic and superior double rooms, right up to the decadent deluxe and royal suites with whirlpool baths and separate living/dining rooms.
The hotel offers a variety of dining options. Overlooking the hotel pool, Bar Azul specialises in Mediterranean cuisine in a relaxed environment, suitable for bar snacks and light meals. The Flamingo restaurant offers light meal options, and hosts the extensive champagne breakfast buffet. The star of the show is the El Corzo restaurant, which is renowned for its cuisine, and is often visited by local residents treating themselves to a night out. Its traditional décor is reflected in the sumptuous regional and international offerings. The hotel also offers extensive facilities for the corporate customer, with six meeting rooms, offering capacities of up to 400 people. With additional facilities such as a gift shop, hairdressers, fitness and wellbeing centre offering massages and other treatments, it’s hard to
leave; and to top it off, the hotel has an exclusive beach club just a few hundred yards away. La Cabane offers sun beds for one or two people, and VIP beds with champagne. Directly on the coastline, guests have the option of taking a dip in the sea, or in the swimming pool within the complex. There’s also a bar and restaurant on site, offering fresh fish and seafood, as well as pastas and salads. The Club also has the capacity to host events – whether it be a conference, dinner, or even a wedding; it’s the perfect setting for a beachside event. For those that want to take advantage of the Golf Mile, the hotel offers links to all golf clubs in the area, and offers preferential tee times and shuttle service. Also just launched are detox and weight loss packages for those that want to ‘boot camp’
in style, without the military men shouting at you. The packages, either for 7 or 14 days, offer nutritional consultations, body composition study, educational talks, personal diet plans as well as spa treatments and sports activities with personal trainers; a perfect way to lose weight whilst on holiday. For those that want to book for their summer holiday next year, the hotel is currently developing an on-site spa, which will be open in time for the summer season, offering a range of facilities and treatments, making this a truly decadent stay in one of the most luxurious resorts in the Costa del Sol.
Hotel Los Monteros www.monteros.com
The calm before, during and after the storm With all the performance and reliability you’ve come to expect, the latest Freelander 2 sets new standards for driver and passenger comfort, with a remodeled interior. Features such as touch-screen audio and phone, a redesigned centre console, and improved stowage for small items, make the Freelander a pleasure to travel in. Call us today to book a test drive.
Barretts Land Rover Canterbury
Barretts Land Rover Ashford
01227 475475 www.barrettskent.co.uk
01233 506070 www.barrettskent.co.uk
Broad Oak Road, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7PQ
The Parade, Orbital Business Park, Ashford, Kent TN24 0HT
Official Fuel Consumption Figures for the Freelander 2 range in mpg (l/100km): Urban 32.5 (8.7) – 39.8 (7.1) Extra Urban 48.7 (5.8) – 52.3 (5.4) Combined 40.4 (7.0) – 47.1 (6.0) CO2 Emissions:185 – 158 g/km. Freelander2 133x190mm Dealer Ad v3.indd 1
Bentley GT V8
WORDS AND PHOTOS BY LUKE YATES
RIGHT – CARDS ON THE TABLE NOW. I'M NOT GOING TO MENTION FOOTBALLERS IN THIS REVIEW, AS IT'S A CLICHÉ PUT ABOUT BY THE TABLOID PRESS AND IN MY OPINION, TOTALLY UNFITTING TO THE CAR I AM ABOUT TO UNVEIL TO YOU.
There is an old saying: “you can't buy good taste.” Observing via the same scummy tabloid press the sort of antics that new lottery winners get up to with their newfound wealth tends to prove this right. Fortunately I am 100% certain that such people would totally overlook a car like the Bentley GT V8, opting instead perhaps for a stretch white limo with a swimming pool inside, or a neon pink Rolls Royce. The Bentley GT V8 has to be one of the most stylish and un-vulgar luxury cars I've ever had the privilege to witness; indeed it exudes class from every pore. As insideKENTS's Adam Ready rolled up in it outside my shop, my initial thought was ‘Oh dear, I'm a bit scruffy today!’ Well, I may not be a smart man, but I know what style is. The outer design of the V8 is stylishly minimalistic – you won't find over-branding here. There is no inference of a need to brag on every available surface with spec badges boasting engine size/type or overused logos on this car. A simple red button ‘B’ logo on the bonnet, boot and wheels is all the classification the V8 needs. Other than that it looks like a piece of sculpted shimmering black metal resting perfectly on four magnificently huge 20" alloy wheels, and finished off with two elegant figure-8 exhausts. Nothing
out of place, nothing overstated; nonetheless when you behold this car, you will gasp in awe and wonder. It is truly beautiful. But this car is more than just looks. It's really, really, very clever too. Your attention is first drawn to this fact when you stick your thumb over the sensor on the door handle and are given access to a wondrous interior. As you sit back in the plush black leather seat (taking a moment to sigh in delight at how comfortable it is and how beautiful the dashboards and panels are) your attention is drawn to a gentle whirring just behind you ear, as the car quite literally hands you a seatbelt. It reminded me a little of Tony Stark's robotic devices for putting on his Iron Man suit. In effect, the Bentley is telling you politely but firmly to ‘suit up!’ – an ingenious safety feature indeed and far preferable to an annoying beep and flashing dashboard light. As well as its stunning Contrast Portland stitching and black leather, each front chair also has an array of controls to ensure your maximum comfort, and even includes a massage feature, so you don't have to waste time and money sitting in one of those coffee-stained faux-leather chairs at Maidstone service station. It's amazing to think just how much effort and development Bentley
must have put into developing this feature, which works incredibly well. Behind the scenes engineering in the V8 is just as intelligent. Developed in collaboration with Audi, this car is 40% more efficient on fuel that its bulkier W12 predecessor, and yet manages to be almost as fast (top speed of around 190mph) and nearly as powerful. One of the key factors in this miraculous efficiency, which results in an impressive 27mpg, is the cylinder deactivation tech, which means that when the V8 is cruising with a light load on the engine, four of its eight cylinders are effectively switched off until required. This process is so well implemented, to be honest it's practically impossible to notice. Some may wonder why somebody who could afford a car costing £142,531.19 (on the road) would care about fuel consumption. I would suggest that somebody with the good taste and good sense to buy the V8 decides so to do with head and heart. Besides, who wants to get out of such a great car, just to buy more petrol. Less stops, more driving. Works for me!
THIS CAR IS MORE THAN JUST LOOKS. IT'S REALLY, REALLY, VERY CLEVER TOO.
And then there's the noise...oh boy â€“ I have to tell you about the noise.
Bentley GT V8
FINISHED IN ONYX BLACK WITH BLACK LEATHER INTERIOR
PRICE: ÂŁ142,531.19 ON THE ROAD TOP SPEED: 188MPH 0-62MPH: 4.6SEC ECONOMY: COMBINED 26.9MPG ENGINE: 3,993CC, 8-SPEED AUTOMATIC, CONTINUOUS ALL-WHEEL DRIVE TORQUE: 500BHP @ 6,000RPM / 487LB-FT @ 1,700RPM CO2: 246G/KM
It's true to say that the V8 boasts a fantastic sound system, delivered via a very ergonomic 8-inch digital screen, and with speakers smartly positioned and configured to ensure that music is delivered perfectly. Any audiophile will be best pleased with what is offered. Though both Adam and I are big music fans, we ended up switching the radio off. Quite frankly, its V8 twin-turbo 4.0-litre engine was playing far better tunes. A symphony of low-end explosions and roars imitating a beast under the bonnet, whilst at the top end its harmonious screams of power and precision delivered an epic movie soundtrack as it thundered down the road, leaving us in awe but yet with no concept of the immense acceleration it boasted as it went from 0-60mph in under 5 seconds. As we drove the rickety tracks into Dungeness, the Bentley felt as if it was riding over the bumps and potholes on a cushion of air. In most mortal cars, any sort of enthusiastic driving over such a surface would surely result in total disintegration, similar to the clown cars you get in the circus big top show. But the Bentley seemed entirely unbothered as it roared its mighty engine roar and flew along the track. When conjuring up a Bentley in my mind, I always have in my mind a giant chauffeur-driven car designed to cruise in straight lines, but as usual, my somewhat blinkered stereotype was way out,
and this Bentley handled like a dream. With a sharp turn-in and excellent feedback through the steering, the V8 is well balanced indeed, and far less nose-heavy than some of its larger relatives, resulting in a car that you won't want to ride in the back of, but will insist on driving yourself. The ride and handling of the V8 can of course be played with and carefully configured via the central touch-screen console, adding even more driving versatility and comfort. Set against the bleak desolation of the Dungeness coast, the Bentley seemed more than ever to radiate power, reliability and elegance. Cars as magnificent as this serve as a beacon of hope that even in the stormy times we live in, those of great and rapid change, and uncertainty, some things will always remain constant and faithful. The Bentley V8 is a very modern and entirely relevant take on a legendary car that has been the benchmark of class and style for almost a century. It does its heritage proud and I am certain the legend will continue for many years to come.
Bentley Kent 92 London Road Sevenoaks 01732 314072 www.kent.bentleymotors.com
THE LAUNCH OF
photos by Russell Harper
WHEN WE WERE INVITED TO EXPERIENCE THE LAUNCH OF THE NEW ASTON MARTIN VANQUISH, RECENTLY ON TOUR ACROSS THE UK, WE DIDN’T TAKE LONG TO CONFIRM OUR ATTENDANCE. OVER 100 GUESTS WERE AT THE EVENT AT THE ASTON MARTIN SHOWROOM IN SEVENOAKS, WITH A VERY WARM WELCOME INCLUDING GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE AND ORANGE JUICE ON ARRIVAL, AND BEAUTIFULLY PRESENTED CANAPÉS WHICH WERE BROUGHT AROUND TO VISITORS DURING THE EVENING.
The presentation had an epic feel about it, with dramatic background music to accompany video images which represented the powerful and artistic design of the model. The audience was eager to watch as the cover was slowly pulled off of the stunning car, but it was well worth waiting for. There was no doubt that the manufacturers had done a remarkable job with the craftsmanship. The interior came as a shock at first – a blood-red leather material which stood out among everything in sight which definitely showed the car as sexy, dominant and powerful. The carbon fibre exterior was elegant and stylish; a pure touch of class. The Vanquish sits at the pinnacle of the Aston Martin Range.
For more information on the new Aston Martin Vanquish, visit www.astonmartin.com.
GREAT CHRISTMAS GIFT GIVEAWAY
HERE YOU’LL NOT ONLY FIND THE HOTTEST CHRISTMAS GIFTS, BUT FOR ONE LUCKY KENT RESIDENT THIS COULD BE THE CHRISTMAS OF A LIFETIME. YOU COULD WIN OVER £2,000 IN FABULOUS GIFTS AND GOODIES, FROM OVERNIGHT BREAKS TO HOME DÉCOR TO INSPIRING DAYS OUT. WE’VE SEARCHED NEAR AND FAR FOR THE BEST PRESSIES FOR 2012, AND YOU COULD BE THE RECIPIENT OF EACH AND EVERY ONE OF OUR TOP PICKS. HOW’S THAT FOR CHRISTMAS SPIRIT? FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN ALL OF THE PRIZES BELOW, ENTER ONLINE* AT www.insidekentmagazine.co.uk/giftgiveaway
The Jabra CLIPPER is a stylish, convenient and functional clip-on device – an ideal accessory for the music-lover on the move. As gadgets get bigger and office workers opt to put all their music on the same device, whether their iPad or iPhone, the CLIPPER enables users to listen to music wirelessly and effortlessly flick between calls and music. The CLIPPER is a very handy, stylish and reliable little gadget for every music-lover. Available in pink, blue, white, orange and black, the Jabra CLIPPER offers a colourful and functional design at fantastic value. Prize value: £49.99 / www.amazon.co.uk The Great Christmas Gift Giveaway winner will one white Jabra CLIPPER.
A Luxury Night at the ABode, Canterbury
Want to give something extra special? Give a luxury night’s stay at the fabulous ABode, Canterbury. A night in one of their Enviable Suites, followed by a full breakfast the next morning is bound to make a lasting impression this Christmas. Prize value: £250 / www.abodehotels.co.uk/canterbury The Great Christmas Gift Giveaway winner will receive a one-night stay for two in an Enviable Suite at ABode, Canterbury including breakfast. Subject to availability.
‘Leopard’ Cow Creamer Jug
‘Leopard’ is one of a dynamic herd of porcelain Cow Creamer Jugs, each entirely hand painted in a limited edition, sophisticated design of Caroline Hely Hutchinson. Presented in a luxury pink and black box, the vivacious cow is an original and versatile gift; she can be used as a jug, when the milk pours from her mouth, or serve as a playful, small vase or ornamental table centrepiece. Caroline’s expanding range celebrates life through colour and design; she now offers an exciting collection of tableware, home accessories and gifts, always characterised by exuberance, originality, quality and design. Prize value: £65 / www.chh-design.com
£50 Voucher from CobWebKnits
CobWebKnits make stunning designer baby knitwear and colourful clothing. Handmade in Dorset and inspired by nature, they produce gorgeous woolly hats in fruit, flowers and animal designs. There are stripy hats too, complete with tassels and tails. Their T-shirts and bodysuits feature colourful appliquéd motifs. As well as the botanical themes, the collection includes Christmas, zoo, farm, bug, seaside and play-day ranges. And there’s something for grown-ups too – tea-cosies, egg-cosies and beautiful vintage inspired aprons. All products are packaged in pretty, rustic, straw-filled presentation boxes. And if you still can’t decide, CobWebKnits has the perfect solution – gift vouchers. Prize value: £50 / www.cobwebknits.co.uk
HF 200 Ionic Air Purifier from Heaven Fresh
Ideally designed for regular size rooms, HF 200 is an incredibly effective air purifier which fills an entire room with health-beneficial negative ions getting rid of dust, pollens, pet dander, allergens, mould spores, bacteria, tobacco and smoke smell and many other airborne pollutants. Cleaning is a snap! Simply turn off the ionizer, remove the collector plates, wipe them carefully with a damp clean cloth and return the dry, clean plates to the housing. That’s it! Prize value: £54.99 / www.heavenfresh.co.uk
The Ultimate ESPN Boxing Collection
Celebrate everything you love about ‘The Sweet Science’ of boxing with this sumptuous collection of DVDs showcasing the very greatest boxers, the most iconic ﬁghts and the fascinating stories that lie behind the headlines. Straight from the archives of ESPN – ‘The Worldwide Leader In Sports’ – and featuring contributions from numerous former champions, trainers, journalists and boxing historians, this superb anthology combines over 34 hours of programming with page after page of beautiful sports photography and insightful analysis of the greatest ﬁghters of all time. Prize value: £149.99 / www.amazon.co.uk
*No purchase necessary, must be 18 or over and a Kent resident to enter. Only one entry per person. Entries must be received by 1pm on 14 December 2012 to be eligible to win. Winner will be chosen at random and notified by 16 December 2012 via email. Terms and conditions apply - individual terms and conditions (if any) are listed below each prize’s description.
Pair of Kensington Candelabras from Vintage Vibe
A3 Framed Typographic Map
A pair of beautifully made high-quality five-arm table aluminium candelabras. Perfect as table decoration for a wedding or function or for your sideboard or dining table at home. Vintage Vibe is Kent’s own online boutique for classic home accessories, furniture and iconic Christmas gifts – all at great prices. Visit and enjoy Vintage Vibe’s new rebranded website featuring quirky gifts for him and for her. You’ll love their range of Art Deco influenced objects d’art, French style and shabby chic furniture. Vintage Vibe’s ‘Pay and Collect Centre’ in Tonbridge enables customers, to arrange a viewing of the products and save on delivery costs. Prize value: £69.90 / www.vintagevibe.co.uk
SilverShine Composable Bracelet from Nomination
Nomination is the original creator of the Composable Link Bracelet, a modern take on the traditional charm bracelet, with ‘charm’ links that clip together to create a unique and special bracelet. Each link is interchangeable so you can create a personalised gift for all your friends and family this Christmas. Made in Italy from hypoallergenic stainless steel, each link is decorated with handmade details in sterling silver, colourful enamel and dazzling cubic zirconia stones. Prize value: £69 / www.nomination.com
The Great Christmas Gift Giveaway winner will receive one SilverShine bracelet as shown.
Globees are beautifully illustrated globes of the world’s most beautiful and romantic cities. Each depicts all the major streets, landmarks and historic buildings of the city and comes complete with a fact packed booklet and quiz about the places depicted. A great gift to evoke the best memories of that special visit. From just £14.95. Globees are also available as night lights! They are 6” in diameter, battery operated and have energy-efficient LEDs which don’t get hot even if they are left on all night. Plus they have a built-in sensor so the light goes off when it becomes daylight. Just £24.95 they brighten up any child’s room. Prize value: £54.90 / www.globee.co.uk The Great Christmas Gift Giveaway winner will receive one 9” Globee and one Globee night light of their choice.
This stylish Typographic Map of London, or ‘London Sat Nav’, is designed using area names in and around the city. Adrian McMurchie, an architectural illustrator, offers a variety of maps ranging from Manhattan to France and the British Isles. He has been illustrating and designing buildings and cityscapes for magazines and newspapers such as The Independent and British Airways' Highlife Magazine since 1995. Each map can be personalised by picking out certain areas in a different colour. Prize value: £65 / www.amcmurchie.com The Great Christmas Gift Giveaway winner will receive one framed A3 Typographic Map of their choice (London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Ireland, Manhattan, Scotland, France or the British Isles).
Family Ticket to Aladdin Panto at the Stag Community Arts Centre
Ahead of Boyzone’s 20th anniversary tour next year, Irish superstar Shane Lynch will be starring as the villain Abanazar in this year’s Christmas pantomime Aladdin at the Stag Community Arts Centre, Sevenoaks, which starts on December 8 and runs through to January 6 2013. Shane will be joined by acting heavyweight, the Olivier-nominated Tony Haygarth, and the lead roles of Aladdin and Princess Jasmine will be filled by the winners of the nowfamous X-Factor-style open audition competition broadcast as an online TV series, The Panto Factor. There will truly be something for everyone this Christmas at the Stag. Prize value: £46 / www.sevenoakspanto.com The Great Christmas Gift Giveaway winner will receive two adult and two child tickets for one of the following dates (subject to availability): 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 Dec; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Jan.
UEFA presents The Official Archive Films
Family Ticket to Leeds Castle
Combining 900 years of history and 500 acres of beautiful parkland, Leeds Castle in Kent is the perfect backdrop to your day out. Open all year round, a blend of heritage and history, glorious gardens and attractions, licensed restaurant and fun-packed programme of events allows you to create your own special memories, whatever you choose to do. This Christmas season, avoid the Christmas rush and visit Leeds Castle’s shops where you can browse at leisure and purchase unusual, quality gifts for friends, family and even find some glittering decorations for your Christmas tree. Prize value: £74.50 / www.leeds-castle.com The Great Christmas Gift Giveaway winner will receive a family ticket to Leeds Castle which includes two adult and two child tickets.
Since the birth of UEFA in 1954, European football has produced some of the most magical moments and greatest players in the history of the game. For the ﬁrst time ever, these incredible memories from the archives of the European competitions have been captured in a series of ﬁlms that will enrapture football fans across the world. This fabulous set includes 21 action-packed DVDs with more than 24 hours of official UEFA programming, 39 UEFA films and a 50-page pictorial retrospective of European football. Prize value: £149.99 / www.amazon.co.uk
GIFTGIVEAWAY Eastwell Manor £50 Gift Voucher
With its origins dating back to the Norman Conquest, the Manor has many interesting features – carved panelled rooms, massive baronial stone fireplaces, in a quiet and tranquil atmosphere. The Manor features 23 tastefully decorated and furnished en-suite rooms and suites, offering space, elegance and sumptuous comfort. The Pavilion is one of the finest luxury leisure and spa experiences in the South of England and embodies the very best in health, beauty and fitness in keeping with the unique quality of Eastwell Manor. Use your £50 voucher towards the restaurant, rooms or spa. Prize value: £50 / www.eastwellmanor.co.uk
Ultimate Bluebeards Grooming Kit & Cologne
Thousands of men all over Kent share a common problem – they suffer from tough stubble that defies the attentions of every shaving product known to man, and blunts the edge of even the keenest razor. These men are known as ‘Blue-beards’ and they have suffered for eternity down to their masculine beard growth, but they can breathe a sigh of relief, as there is finally a shaving solution that works! The Bluebeards Revenge is the only shaving brand on the planet that contains a unique ingredient that can reduce beard growth by around 40% in 60 days. Prize value: £54.99 / www.bluebeards-revenge.co.uk The Great Christmas Gift Giveaway winner will receive the Ultimate Bluebeards Grooming Kit including a tub of shaving cream, post shave balm, ‘travel sized’ shaving brush, anti-perspirant deodorant and aftershave cologne.
£50 Meal Voucher at Everest Inn
Everest Inn offers fine, upmarket Nepalese and Indian Cuisine set in comfortable, fresh and modern interior with soft lighting and warm ambiance. Diners can enjoy a variety of dishes from an extensive mouth-watering menu. Their dedicated chefs continually refine and develop the recipes to the highest standards set by Everest Inn. Open 7 days from 12 -3pm for lunch and 5.30 to 11pm for dinner; Sat/Sun open all day from 12pm to 11pm. Take away and home delivery available. Prize value: £50 / www.everestinn.co.uk
G Casino Experience Package for 4
Enjoy an exciting package at G Casino Thanet for you and three of your friends including a three-course meal, drink from the bar, £5 gaming chip, £5 slots voucher and gaming tuition. T&C apply. Valid between 26 Dec 2012 – 31 March 2013 excluding New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day. Prize value: £120 / www.grosvenorcasinos.com/local-casinos/thanet The Great Christmas Gift Giveaway winner will receive an experience for four. Dates subject to availability. Contact G Casino for more information.
Champagne Afternoon Tea for Two at Rowhill Grange
We are all searching for that perfect present to give someone at Christmas. Whether you want to say ‘thank you’, ‘I appreciate you’ or simply; ‘Merry Christmas!’ finding a gift that means a little more isn’t always easy. Rowhill Grange Gift Vouchers are far from ordinary; they come beautifully packaged and can be purchased for Spa Days, Dining Offers and Overnight Breaks. This year they have a selection of the hugely popular Afternoon Tea Gift Vouchers, starting from as little as £33.90 for a traditional Afternoon Tea for Two! Prize value: £45.90 / www.rowhillgrange.co.uk The Great Christmas Gift Giveaway winner will receive a Champagne Afternoon Tea for Two people at Rowhill Grange. Dates subject to availability.
‘A Wild Year’ Family Ticket to Howletts Wild Animal Park
Finding the perfect Christmas gift for the animal lovers in your life couldn’t be easier! Passport tickets for Howletts Wild Animal Park are a pleasure to give and a joy to receive! For the cost of only £23.95 for adults and £18.95 for children (3 – 15) the annual Passport entitles the holder to enjoy visits to Howletts for a whole year. Howletts Wild Animal Park offers a fun-packed and interesting day out for the whole family. Howletts is an ideal place to meet friends for a coffee or visit with the kids at any time. Combine this with the action-packed lineup of events and the increasingly active breeding programmes, there will always be something new to see and do. Prize value: £85.80 / www.aspinallfoundation.org The Great Christmas Gift Giveaway winner will receive two adult and two child passports to Howletts Wild Animal Park.
Family Ticket and Lunch at Ightham Mote
Ightham Mote is a National Trust moated manor dating from 1320 featured on Channel 4's Time Team back in 2006 during a £10 million renovation. The house and gardens reflect seven centuries of history, from the medieval crypt to a 1960s library. Owned by knights courtiers to Henry VIII and society Victorians. Highlights include the great hall, drawing room, Tudor painted ceiling, Grade-1 listed dog kennel and apartments of US donor as well as estate walks, lakes and gardens to explore plus explorer maps, eye-spy games and the discovery den for our younger visitors. Prize value: £60 / www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ighthammote The Great Christmas Gift Giveaway winner will receive two adult and two child one-day tickets to Ightham Mote including a two-course lunch (main course and dessert) in the Mote Restaurant on any open day from 1 March 2013.
Full Day ‘Big Cat’ Photographic Workshop
Wildlife Heritage Foundation is nestled in Headcorn Road, Smarden. Still only a small and relatively unknown local charity in Kent, it is also known worldwide as a center of excellence for photographing big cats. WHF Direct Photographic Workshops are aimed at photographers of all levels (beginner to advanced) wishing to learn and take the best pictures of both big and small cats in a relaxed atmosphere. Winner will receive a full day workshop for one including morning coffee, initial photographic tuition, full tour, buffet lunch and further tuition in the field. Prize value: £149 / www.whf.org.uk The Great Christmas Gift Giveaway winner will receive a full day ‘big cat’ photographic workshop for one person. Dates subject to availability.
Gadget Bundle from HOTcraze.co.uk
Luxury Faux Fur Dog Blanket
The Stylish Dog Company specialises in UK handmade dog accessories that complement your home. Whether you live in a country cottage or an urban pad, they have the widest range of luxury dog beds and dog accessories to complement any interior style. This luxurious faux fur blanket is equally as popular with dogs and dog owners alike; indeed anybody who wants to snuggle up in total comfort in sumptuous faux fur backed with cuddle soft velboa. Prize value £98 / www.thestylishdogcompany.com
The Great Christmas Gift Giveaway winner will receive an X-Large size (120x120cm) faux fur blanket in the stylish Mushroom Taupe colour shown.
Handmade Silk Bag
HOTcraze is a website that stocks the hottest gadgets, gizmos and toys that range from the functional, such as digital photo frames and iPod docking stations to the downright frivolous such as instant expanding snow and light-up shot glasses. This is a Kent-based family run website which prides itself on the very highest customer service and pledges to be on a constant search throughout the world to find products that are inspirational, quirky, bizarre and fun. The HOTcraze Great Christmas Gift Giveaway winner will receive a bundle of gadgets worth £140 which includes: A Magic 8 Ball, Smartphone Holder, LED Message Board, Backwards Watch, Automatic Water Pistol and The Ultimate USB Stress Ball. Claim 10% off your next HOTcraze order using the code KENT10%. Prize value: £140 / www.HOTcraze.co.uk
Niche Accessories is an online store offering accessories for you and your home that are a little bit different. This prize, for example, is part of their range of 100% silk bags that are designed and handmade here in the UK. They are luxurious for that special occasion, but with practicality in mind. What usually happens, ladies, when you’re dressed up to the nines? You want a bag that adds the finishing touch, which usually means a clutch, but that’s too small to take a mobile, keys and the other half’s wallet! This little beauty even has room for a pair of flats when the heels get too much, but doesn’t compromise on looks. Prize value: £60 / www.nicheaccessories.co.uk
LONDON IN ASSOCIATION WITH
WHAT’S GOING ON IN LONDON Christmas in London
November 2012 – January 2013
November 2012 – March 2013
With or without snow, London is no busier and full of cheer than at Christmas. As soon as the lights go on, the capital is filled with festivals, and this season sees a plethora of seasonal events that will keep you in the Christmas spirit throughout winter. Family is at the heart of the Christmas season, so why not see some of the many pantomimes around the capital. With Peter Pan, Snow White and Aladdin, it’s easy to find a spectacular laugh-out-loud pantomime to get you in the mood for a fun family holiday. For many people, Christmas shopping is a bore so why not make an exciting day of it at some of the most enjoyable Christmas fairs and markets that the city has to offer. The Southbank Christmas fair is once such place where you can enjoy a range of creative workshops and make your own presents for friends and family, or buy some quality gifts from the Maker’s Market. If a traditional, spiritual Christmas is your thing, why not watch (or join) a carol singing choir? For those who feel Christmas is a Humbug, check out some of the more alternative celebrations out there, such as the performance of A Little Match Girl by the cabaret sensation, Meow Meow. www.viewlondon.co.uk/christmas.aspx
Looking to get your skates on this Christmas? Well look no further than this comprehensive list of the capital’s very finest ice rinks, enabling you to take to the ice to glide elegantly with poise and considerable grace. Or scrabble around before falling over. London has plenty of great places to skate, with sumptuous settings, famous backdrops and loads of festive cheer to get you in the mood for the big day. London landmarks such as Hampton Court Palace, Somerset House and the Natural History Museum are all hosting rinks this year, and there’ll be another huge one in Hyde Park as part of Winter Wonderland, so there’s plenty of choice for skaters across the capital and beyond. And just to make sure you’re well stocked with Christmas spirit, most of these ice rinks serve up hot food, mulled wine and great viewing galleries, so if you’re the type that just wants to watch your friends make fools of themselves, you’ll be well catered for too. www.viewlondon.co.uk/whatson/ice-skating-london-feature-335.html
Pantomimes November 2012 – January 2013 London has a marvellous tradition of bringing some really rather splendid pantomimes to town, from am-dram stuff to the incredibly popular, star-studded annual panto at the Hackney Empire. However old you are, pantos are always a surprisingly amusing way to celebrate the yuletide season and Christmas 2012 witnesses another fine selection of classic tales making their way onto stages across the capital. The renowned Hackney Empire pantomime sees plenty of famous faces once again tread the boards for a unique take on the tale of Dick Whittington; expect something just a little bit subversive, as usual. The Shaw Theatre panto – another of the capital’s favourites – welcomes the tale of Beauty and the Beast, whilst Eastenders’ Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) leads the Beck Theatre cast as Captain Hook in their family-friendly Peter Pan panto. Other pantomime highlights include Lilly Savage in Aladdin at the O2 Arena, and amusing productions of Snow White, Potted Panto and many more. So there should be just about enough innuendo-based buffoonery to keep panto fans very entertained this Christmas. www.viewlondon.co.uk/whatson/christmas-pantomimes-london-feature1457.html
Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park 19 November 2012 3 January 2013 Running from November till January, the Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park promises to be a very special festive event with a range of new and traditional events taking place. Glide across the ice rink and practise some bold skating moves, or perhaps go for an awe inspiring panoramic view of the park on the giant observation wheel. Children get the exciting opportunity to meet Santa Claus himself and tell him personally what they want for Christmas. Be entertained with them by the many acts in the wonderful Zippos Christmas Circus and later on, why not watch the Zippo’s death defying Cirque Extreme stunt show that will have you gasping in awe. Take a stroll down the traditional German Christmas market, where you can try some mulled gluhwein or a chilled Bavarian beer. Buy some quirky gifts from the many craft stalls and listen to the beautiful carols sung by choirs bathed in candlelight. If that wasn’t enough, there will be a wide range of fun rides, games and food to keep you and your family wrapped in the fun and magic of Christmas. www.viewlondon.co.uk/winter-wonderland-tickets.aspx
FOLKESTONE BOOK FESTIVAL // 2-10 NOVEMBER
Pam Ayres, Judy Finnegan, Sir John Major, Mary McCartney, Robert Skidelsky and many more are soon coming to Folkestone as part of this year’s Book Festival. The Creative Foundation is delighted to officially announce the programme of this year’s Folkestone Book Festival. Curated by Geraldine D’Amico, it includes an array of subjects, authors and special events for people of all ages and backgrounds. Box Office: 01303 858500, www.folkestonebookfest.com
AERIAL VIEW EXHIBITION AT MARGATE GALLERY // 2 NOVEMBER 2013
Artists Quona Bullivant, Mandy Quy-Verlander, Letitia Tunstall, Brian Hodgson, Neil Bottle, Gerry Buxton, Andy Tuohy and Lucy Bainbridge display an array of artworks based on architectural and industrial structures, in various media. Evoking a strong sense of place and memory, the works on show make reference to buildings, landscapes and cityscapes that have been designed for production and industrial purposes. Opening times: Mon-Sat 11am-5pm, Sundays 12-4pm. Closed Christmas Day and re-opens on Friday 4th January 2013. Margate Gallery, 2 Lombard St, Margate CT9 1EJ www.margategallery.co.uk
LEEDS CASTLE FIREWORKS SPOOKTACULAR // 3-4 NOVEMBER
Following on from a spooky Halloween, the Leeds Castle Fireworks this year will combine a spectacular show of visual projections on the side of the castle, lighting, music and incredible fireworks for the whole family to enjoy. There will be a wide range of refreshments available. Come for the evening performance or arrive early to catch the afternoon entertainment which includes a magic show for children. The castle itself is closed to the public. Tickets: Adults £18; Child (under 16 years) £10; Group rates (15 or more) Adult £15, Child £9.00; Under 4s free (must be reserved at the time of booking). Leeds Castle, Maidstone ME17 1PL www.leeds-castle.com / 01622 880008
CHRISTMAS SHOPPING AT PENSHURST PLACE AND GARDENS // 5 NOVEMBER - 24 DECEMBER
Visit the Christmas Gift Shop, open daily 10.30am - 4.30pm including Christmas Eve, with late night shopping Wednesdays from 21st November – 19th December until 8pm. Do some peaceful shopping, with 10% off all purchases made over £10 on late night evenings (excl stamps, tickets and vouchers) and for our season ticket holders, 10% off all purchases made over £10 in November on production of your valid season ticket. Penshurst Place & Gardens www.penshurstplace.com/ 01892 870307
PAUL TONKINSON ON TOUR IN TUNBRIDGE WELLS // 10 NOVEMBER
Double Time Out award winner Paul Tonkinson will be coming to Trinity Theatre in Tunbridge Wells on 10th November. On TV, he’s most recently appeared on BBC One’s Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow and Comedy Central’s The Comedy Store and The World Stands Up. He was also recently a contestant on the hit show Celebrity Come Dine With Me (Channel 4). Trinity Theatre, Church Road, Tunbridge Wells TN1 1JP www.trinitytheatre.net / 01892 678678
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST BY OSCAR WILDE // 13-14 NOVEMBER
The Importance of Being Earnest has delighted millions since its first London performance in 1895. A scintillating comedy of manners, Oscar Wilde’s best-loved work overflows with dazzling wordplay and comic invention. (+ 1pm showing on 14th November as well) Tickets: Full £12/ GulbCard £10/ Student £8/ GulbCard Student and Gulbenkian Education Network £6 Gulbenkian Theatre, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NB www.thegulbenkian.co.uk/ 01227 769075
WINTER WONDERLAND AT BLUEWATER // 16 NOVEMBER - 13 JANUARY 2013
Make your Christmas truly magical this year with a visit to Bluewater’s Winter Wonderland. A dazzling outing for all the family, Santa and his elves will greet you in the biggest ever Grotto and invite you to experience a world of winter magic with the stunning ice rink, exhilarating snow slide, festive rides and amusements and much, much more - all inside Glow, Bluewater’s unique new events venue. Bluewater, Greenhithe, Kent DA9 9ST www.bluewaterwinterwonderland.co.uk
CHRISTMAS CAKE DECORATING // 25 NOVEMBER, 9 DECEMBER, 16 DECEMBER
Learn how to marzipan, ice and decorate your own cake to wow friends and family at the Christmas dinner table, or give your loved ones a special present. All courses 9.30am-12.30pm. 25th November - Traditional Christmas Cake Decorating 9th December - Traditional Christmas Cake Decorating 16th December - Novelty Christmas Cake Decorating www.catering4kent.co.uk / 01233 463298
PETER PAN AT CHURCHILL THEATRE // 30 NOVEMBER - 6 JANUARY 2013
This Christmas, join the magical adventure with Peter Pan, Wendy, The Lost Boys and Tinker Bell! But watch out for the infamous Captain Hook and the pirates behind you! Boo! This year’s panto Peter Pan stars the beautiful Jennifer Ellison (Dancing On Ice) as Peter Pan, EastEnders’ evil Dr Yusef Khan Ace Bhatti as Captain Hook, Balamory’s PC Plum Andrew Agnew as Smee and CBBC presenter Gemma Hunt as Tinker Bell. Churchill Theatre, High Street, Bromley BR1 1HA 08448 717 620
ROYAL TUNBRIDGE WELLS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA // 2 DECEMBER
Violinist Nicola Benedetti, who has captivated audiences with her dynamic, energy-filled performances, will take centre stage in two contrasting French pieces including the well-loved, sparkling Rondo Capriccioso by Saint-Saens. This Christmas concert, conducted by Roderick Dunk, will also contain a stocking-full of seasonal surprises by Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev, plus music from E.T. by the legendary film composer, John Williams. 3PM, Tickets from £11 - £20 Assembly Hall Theatre, Crescent Rd, Tunbridge Wells TN1 2LU www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk / 01892 530613
CAROL CONCERT AT CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL IN AID OF DEMELZA HOSPICE CARE FOR CHILDREN // 6 DECEMBER
at 7pm, they will be performing ‘Britten and Mozart by Candlelight.’ Internationally acclaimed orchestra Chamber Domaine perform with tenor Nicky Spence. Programme includes Britten Serenade and Mozart Serenade Notturno Tickets: £20 and will be available from www.musicatmalling.com and on the door.
HANSEL AND GRETEL AT CHARLTON PARK // 16 DECEMBER 4PM
Fairgame Theatre Company sponsored by Applause Touring with live music. Banished to the woods by their cruel stepmother, Hansel and Gretel must outwit the witch and find their way home in this dark and tender production of Grimm’s classic fairytale. Live music and physical performances bring this classic tale to life. Suitable for Children 7+ years. Tickets: Adults £9 Children £6 Bookings: 01227 831355 Charlton Park, Charlton Place, Charlton Park Bishopsbourne CT4 5JA www.charlton-park.org / 01227 831355
SPECIAL DICKENS’ CHRISTMAS DINNER AT THE HISTORIC DOCKYARD CHATHAM // 8, 13, 19 DECEMBER
A wonderful experience combining Dickens’ Christmas stories with sumptuous festive dining. Characters from Dickens’ tales will welcome and entertain you with short stories between courses. Victorian dress optional. £30.00 per person. Price includes welcome drink, optional mini ghost tour of Commissioner’s House, three-course dinner and Dickens’ tales. Cash bar available until 11.30pm. All dates are subject to minimum numbers. Booking can be made for groups of 20 or more on other dates, subject to availability of rooms in Commissioner’s House and the storytelling guides. 01634 823846 / firstname.lastname@example.org
FATHER CHRISTMAS AT PENSHURST PLACE AND GARDENS // 22-23 DECEMBER
Featuring the choir of Canterbury Cathedral, directed by Dr David Flood, organist and master of choristers. Traditional carols and guest readers. 7.30pm, Tickets are £12 for adults, £6 for children and £30 for a family ticket. www.demelza.org.uk / 01794 845204
CHRISTMAS THROUGH THE AGES AT CANTERBURY HERITAGE MUSEUM // 7-9 DECEMBER
Step into a magical Christmas experience at one of Canterbury's most beautiful and historic buildings and enjoy a memorable start to the festive season. Meet colourful characters, visit Santa in his grotto and take part in a festive quiz. Canterbury Heritage Museum, Stour Street, Canterbury CT1 2NR www.canterbury-museums.co.uk / 01227 475 202 / email@example.com
CHRISTMAS CONCERT AT ST MARY’S CHURCH WEST MALLING // 15 DECEMBER
Thomas Kemp, whose festival, Music@Malling also organises a Christmas concert at St Mary's Church West Malling. This year on December 15th
Step through the garden gates into Father Christmas’s magical grotto. Tickets £5 and no booking required. Should snow descend, on the weekends ring 01892 871256 to confirm Father Christmas has arrived safely (last year his reindeer got him there every day!). Tickets £5.00 and no booking required Penshurst Place & Gardens www.penshurstplace.com / 01892 870307
WINTER WALKS AT HEVER CASTLE & GARDENS // 27 DECEMBER - 1 JANUARY 2013
From 27 December - 1st January, wrap up, blow away the cobwebs, and work off the Christmas pudding with a lovely winter walk around the Winter Trail in the gardens. For those feeling more energetic, a bracing walk round the lake and an opportunity to place New Year’s wishes on the Wishing Tree might be preferred. Whatever you decide, the Moat Restaurant will be available to warm you up with hot seasonal meals. Hever Castle & Gardens, Hever, Nr Edenbridge, Kent TN8 7NG www.hevercastle.co.uk / 01732 865224
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Board Meetings Office Christmas Parties AGMs & Dinners
Wedding Receptions Civil Weddings Special Occasions
Charlton Park Christmas Fair
Friday 16th Nov 2pm-8pm & Saturday 17th Nov 10am-4pm Over 25 stalls of Gorgeous Gifts and Christmas Treats Entrance £2.50 Under 16 Free “Custard Capers” Whizz Bang Pop’s hilarious Christmas Show 3-11 yrs Sunday 9th Dec 2pm “Hansel & Gretel” Fairgame Theatre sponsored by Applause Touring 7+ yrs Sunday 16th Dec 4pm
Bookings: 01227 831355 www.charlton-park.org CT4 5JA
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A Celebration of Christmas at Canterbury Cathedral
Thursday 6th December 2012 at 7.30pm Featuring: • The Choir of Canterbury Cathedral, directed by Dr David Flood, Organist and Master of Choristers • All proceeds to Demelza To book tickets
Tel: 01795 845 204 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
www.demelza.org.uk Registered Charity Number: 1039651
ANTON & ERIN GO TO HOLLYWOOD // 23 JAN 2013
Anton du Beke and Erin Boag announce their return with a sensational new show Anton & Erin Go to Hollywood as the King and Queen of the ballroom take to the road for an extensive nationwide tour in 2013. Anton and Erin Go to Hollywood, promoted by Raymond Gubbay, will see the UK’s favourite dance duo pay tribute to the Golden Years of the film musicals. Sassy tunes, sensational choreography and sparkling costumes conjure up all the fizz and razzmatazz of glamorous Hollywood presented by Anton and Erin with their trademark charm, wit and ballroom magic. Showtimes at 3pm and 7.30pm, tickets £17.50-£47.50. Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury www.marlowetheatre.com / 01227 787787
New Year’s Events NEW YEAR’S EVE IN THE FAIRFAX HALL AT LEEDS CASTLE // 31 DECEMBER
Celebrate New Year’s Eve in the beautiful 17th century oak beamed Fairfax Hall, with views to the castle. Enjoy champagne on arrival followed by a delicious dinner and dancing until midnight when you will be able to move outside onto the terrace to watch a stunning fireworks display over the moat. Dinner: £110 per person. Stable Courtyard Bedroom: £200 per room. Call 01622 767855 to book or enquire.
Octaves – a modern four-piece group with a vocal harmony twist. Why not become a VIG for the night and book our VIG Dining Experience? You can enjoy a luxury five-course menu which includes a glass of Laurent Perrier Champagne, seating in our restaurant all evening, plus a glass of bubbly at midnight and entertainment. All for just £50pp (includes entrance). Dress code is strictly smart, VIG Dining Experience must be booked in advance, tickets first come first served. Grosvenor Casino, Margate Road, Broadstairs, CT10 2BF www.grosvenorcasinos.com/local-casinos/thanet / 01843 579999
ADULT’S NEW YEARS EVE PARTY: WINTER WONDERLAND AT WINTER GARDENS MARGATE // 31 DECEMBER
NEW YEAR’S EVE GALA DINNER AT BRIDGEWOOD MANOR // 31 DECEMBER
Adult New Years Eve Party: Winter Wonderland in the Winter Gardens Queens Hall. Celebrate the New Year in a magical winter wonderland setting including a male vocalist and table magic. DJ till late. 8pm. £18.50 including basket meal. Winter Gardens Margate, Fort Crescent, Margate CT9 1HX www.margatewintergardens.co.uk / 01843 296111
NEW YEAR’S EVE GALA BALL AT MERCURE HOTEL MAIDSTONE // 31 DECEMBER
Celebrate the New Year with this tribute to the stars. There is an impressive line-up of live music to help you welcome 2013 in style. Kir Royale reception at 6.30pm; dinner will be served at 7.30pm promptly when the entertainment begins. This year’s sensational line up of tribute artists are: Karen Carpenter tribute performing a selection of their well-known hits; followed by a Blues Brothers tribute to get the night underway. Back by popular demand will be a Rod Stewart tribute act, and finally The Riverias, a great band to take you through to the early hours. Drinks reception from 6.30pm; dinner will be served at 7.45pm, carriages at 1.30am. Dress code is black-tie for gentlemen and cocktail dresses for ladies – over 18s only. 6.30pm. £99.00 per person or £106.00 per person including 1/2 bottle of red or white house wine. £50.00 per person deposit required at time of booking. Mercure Hotel Maidstone, Hollingbourne, Maidstone ME17 1RE www.mercuremaidstone.co.uk/ Tel: 0844 815 9045
NEW YEAR’S EVE AT G CASINO THANET // 31 DECEMBER See in 2013 in style with a sophisticated New Years Eve Party. Dress to impress and be part of the best party in town! Tickets are just £10pp and include a free glass of bubbly at midnight, DJ, disco and live band The
Welcome in 2013 at this fabulous New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner. Your evening begins with a Kir Royale Champagne reception, followed by a delicious four-course gala dinner. After your meal, enjoy entertainment from the fantastic cabaret act before dancing the night away to party classics from the resident DJ. £85 per guest. 7.30pm welcome drink, 8pm dinner served, 10pm entertainment, 2am carriages. Black tie – dress to impress! Over 18s only. Bridgewood Manor, Walderslade Woods, Chatham ME5 9AX 01634 201333
NEW YEAR’S EVE EXTRAVAGANZA // 31 DECEMBER
Following on from the success of last year, The Russell Hotel has another spectacular event with a lavish six-course meal, disco until late, good food, good company and good entertainment. Come dressed to impress with as much bling as you can muster. Suit and tie. £89.00 - £109.00 per person. Best Western Russell Hotel, 136 Boxley Road, Maidstone ME14 2AE www.therussellhotel.com / 01622 692221
NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATION AT THE GRAND, FOLKESTONE // 31 DECEMBER
A Grand Celebration to finish off your year in style with exclusive table magic by the talented Mr. Tim Decker and back by popular demand superb live musical entertainment Mr. Ian Towers. Arrive at 7pm for a ‘Grand Welcome’ with Bucks Fizz and canapés and to be serenaded by the resident pianist. Tickets £75.00 per adult, available from Reception. Black Tie Event. The Grand, The Leas, Folkestone CT20 2XL www.grand-uk.com / 01303 222222
Chocolate Creations for Christmas
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8 1) The Cocoa Mistress Christmas Selection Box £9.95 www.thecocoamistress.com
4) Booja-Booja Hazelnut Chocolate Truffles £24.95 www.chocolatetradingco.com
2) Conscious Chocolate Cherry Christmas £3.12/bar www.consciouschocolate.co.uk
5) Montezuma’s Organic Chocolate Library £12.99 www.montezumas.co.uk
3) Green & Black’s Conversations £6.49 www.greenandblacksdirect.com
6) Demarquette Cobnut Pebbles £9.75 www.demarquette.co.uk 7) James Giant Chocolate Christmas Tree £55.00 www.jameschocolates.co.uk
8) Chococo Christmas Cocoa Pod £21.95 www.chococo.co.uk 9) Bettys Handmade Champagne Truffles £15.95 www.bettys.co.uk 10) Chocolate Deli Cocoa Dusted Truffles £6.50 www.chocolatedeli.com
insideKENT Issue 15 - Nov/Dec 2012