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VISIT HOLT The market town gets into the festive spirit

CHRISTMAS DINNER Norfolk turkey is on the menu this month

COMPETITION Win a meal at The King William IV

NIGELLA LAWSON The queen of home cooking has a new book


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Issue 60

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Jonathan Horswell @JonathanHorswel




The latest goings-on, from Cromer to Sedgeford

10 | OUT & ABOUT It’s Deepdale Christmas Market this December


15 | CELEBRITY INTERVIEW Food writer Nigella Lawson launches her new cookbook

23 | TOWN FOCUS We’re in Holt for the annual Christmas lights switch-on




For your Norfolk turkey, choose family-run Godwick Turkeys

30 | 3 OF THE BEST Dinner table accompaniments to enhance your festive meal

34 | RECIPE OF THE MONTH Chef Richard Bainbridge prepares Norfolk quail scotch eggs


Be inspired to book a break in Melton Mowbray or Woodbridge



Stylist Sarah Morgan usually shies away from all-out red!

Here at Norfolk On My Mind, we are passionate about fresh, locally-sourced ingredients available from the Norfolk larder, and the next few months won’t disappoint! When shopping for your Christmas turkey, be sure to choose a Norfolk Bronze or Norfolk Black from family-run Godwick Turkeys (p28). With high praise from celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson, you’ll be guaranteed a most delicious festive feast. Speaking of celebrity chefs, we bring you an exclusive peek inside glamorous Nigella Lawson’s new book… The perfect present for every domestic goddess – and god! (p15). Plus, don’t miss Norfolk chef Harry Farrow putting our county on the map in Channel Four’s Four In A Bed this December (p32).

Fancy a home-cooked meal minus the washing-up? Don’t forget to enter our Christmas competition to be in with a chance of winning a two-course meal for two people at The King William IV in Sedgeford… Good luck (p53)!

50 | THEATRE TIME It’s our favourite pantomime dame, Richard Gauntlett

Win a meal for two people at The King William IV

It’s another glorious edition that our wonderful team has successfully pulled together, with fabulous features on Deepdale’s annual Christmas market (p13), Thursford’s Christmas Spectacular (p19), and the Holt Christmas lights (p23), as well as must-read articles from all our amazing regular writers. Turn to page 26 for photographer David Morris’ interesting report on the Norfolk winter, page 45 for wedding extraordinaire Liddy Goodrum’s latest blog, or page 47 for personal stylist Sarah Morgan’s winter fashion advice – it’s red hot!

And if all the Christmas madness is getting too much, treat yourself to a leisurely break away at Ragdale Hall in Leicestershire, or perhaps you’d prefer to take it easy at the historic Crown in Woodbridge (p41)?




ust where has the year gone? It seems like only yesterday that I was writing my Editor’s letter for 2016’s bumper Christmas issue. And here we are again… Wow!



Wishing all our readers a very merry Christmas and all the best for 2018.


Daniel May @danielmaydesign


Luke Keable

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Tom Dick

Sue Huckle

David Morris

Liddy Goodrum

Harry Farrow

Sarah Morgan

Richard Bainbridge

Judy Foster

Malcolm Duffey


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Disclaimer All rights reserved. No part of Norfolk On My Mind may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any other form, or by any other means, electronic, mechanic, photographic, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the owner of Norfolk On My Mind. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of material published in Norfolk On My Mind. However, the owner cannot accept responsibility for the claims made by advertisers or contributors, or inaccurate material supplied by advertisers. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Editor. Although all reasonable care is taken of material, photographs and transparencies submitted, the owner cannot accept responsibility for damage or loss.



CHRISTMAS AT CROMER PIER The Cromer Pier Christmas Show returns after a hugely successful and recordbreaking year in 2016. Guaranteeing a whole heap of festive fun, it is fast becoming one of Norfolk’s top family Christmas shows, promising laugh-out-loud comedy, amazing dance routines, and glitzy costumes. Now in its 13th year, the 2017 show will star Olly Day, Norfolk’s very own funny man. Olly is joined by music man Leo Shavers and vocal sensation Emily Yarrow. Emily will be reunited with Summer Show 2016 star Rob McVeigh, returning from a year-long cruise contract, together with the sensational Seaside Special dancers and children from Marlene’s School of Dance. Why not complete your Cromer Pier experience and treat yourselves to a fabulous festive meal above the waves in Tides Restaurant, or take a peek in the gift shop for festive gifts and goodies? Plus, December marks the return of the Father Christmas experience on the theatre stage. He will be here every Saturday and Sunday before Christmas, 9am to 12pm, priced £8 per child (includes a special age-appropriate gift from the man himself).

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE KING WILLIAM IV The King William IV in Sedgeford has a very special early Christmas present for you – an exclusive photographic exhibition of Norfolk and other mysterious places by celebrated local photographer David Morris. Delight in a hearty, home-cooked meal in the gallery restaurant while admiring the stunning photographic works adorning the walls. Sea Horses & Other Stories comprises a series of remarkable images, together with the unique stories behind them, from the Household Cavalry on their yearly jaunt up to Holkham, to the result of a daring paddle in a canoe up a quiet Norfolk waterway. David prides himself on exploring the places that are a bit out of the way, and sometimes a little tricky to reach. His iconic photographs of the Household Cavalry at Holkham impressed the colonel of the regiment so much that he was commissioned to photograph their annual Christmas card. If there’s a print that catches your eye, why not make a purchase and take it home with you?


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© National Trust/ Kenny Gray

Get into the festive spirit with our rundown of unmissable Christmas events.

FESTIVE FOOD FAIR Holkham Hall, Holkham, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk NR23 1AB. Tel: 01328 713111. Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th December, 10am to 5pm. Free admission (£3 car parking charge redeemable on purchases of £12 or more in the courtyard gift shop or café).



Blickling Hall, Blickling, Aylsham, Norfolk NR11 6NF. Tel: 01263 738030. Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th December, 11am to 4pm. Adults (£12), children (£16).

Felbrigg Hall, Felbrigg, Norfolk NR11 8PR. Tel: 01263 837444. Sunday 17th December, 3pm to 4pm. Free admission.


ith the countdown to Christmas upon us, join Father and Mother Christmas at Blickling Hall over one weekend this December for a truly exclusive treat. Meet the mischievous elves in the Great Hall then climb the grand staircase up to the Long Gallery for Christmas storytelling and a chat with the man in red about what’s on your all-important list this year, before being given a gift. The sight of the Christmas trees lining the driveway is spectacular, and promises not to disappoint. What’s more, the shops and café will be open for unique gifts and seasonal food, whether you fancy a mince pie or a Christmas lunch.


St Nicholas Chapel, St Ann’s Street, King’s Lynn, Norfolk PE30 1NH. Tel: 01263 738030. Sunday 10th December, doors open at 7.30pm. £25 each.

Various locations in Wells-next-the-Sea. Tel: 01263 738030. Saturday 2nd December, 10am. Free admission.

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hat has now become a Felbrigg tradition, you’re invited to gather in the Stable Courtyard on the afternoon of Sunday 17th December for a funfilled sing-song that guarantees to get you in the festive mood. Carols will be accompanied by The Cromer & Sheringham Brass Band, so make sure you sing your heart out! Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome and warm clothing is strongly advised. A fantastic free event that is open to everyone to attend, why not treat yourself to a glass of mulled wine after all the singing?


raditionally a time for reflection and celebration, what better way to glorify the season than to join the Mediaeval Baebes for a remarkable evening of music, dance and theatre in one of King’s Lynn’s most magnificent buildings? Escorting you through a magical journey inspired by a time where poetry and music conspired to invoke sensory pleasure, the group will perform Christmas carol classics, as well as the haunting and uplifting title theme from TV’s Victoria, for which they have become internationally renowned. The ultimate Christmas experience, audiences can expect to be enchanted. Issue 60


feast for the senses in The Lady Elizabeth Wing at Holkham Hall! Head to Holkham this December for a delicious collection of food and drink from the best local and regional producers, ensuring a truly magical Christmas food event you’d be crazy to miss. Stock up on ingredients for your Christmas dinner or find plenty of treats for food lovers’ stockings. ‘It’s Not All About Turkey’, a cookery theatre with a difference, will feature demonstrations from local chefs, while yuletide musical entertainment means you’ll leave feeling well and truly ready for the big day itself.


he first Saturday in December will see Staithe Street and Wells Quayside come to life with fun and frolics for Father Christmas’ annual visit to the town. The town’s main shopping thoroughfare will be sprinkled with festive stardust, while a host of street entertainment events will take place all over the town. Things will start to get really festive at 5pm with the traditional turning on of the Christmas lights followed by a lantern parade to the quay, where crowds will assemble in readiness for Santa’s arrival by boat, the opening of his grotto, and a fabulous fireworks display.

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DEEPDALE CHRISTMAS MARKET Dalegate Market, Burnham Deepdale, Norfolk PE31 8FB. Tel: 01485 210305. Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd December, 10am to 5pm. Free admission.

Photos by Jon Clifton


ow in its ninth year, the wonderful Deepdale Christmas Market returns from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd December for an action-packed three days of shopping, eating, drinking and festive entertainment. Visitors will be able to shop for not-on-thehigh-street presents, as well as sample delicious local fare from over 120 of Norfolk’s artisans and producers. Look out for wreaths, cheese, penguin pictures, soaps, homewares, biscuits, chutney, jewellery, toys and much, much more – something for every taste and budget! Plus, you won’t go hungry or thirsty with plenty of places to refuel along the way.


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STAND Champion of home cooking, Nigella Lawson, launched her new book with a special signing at Jarrolds in Norwich.

Christmas Day and Christmas Party Menus Available OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK 12:00 - 23:00

Tim and Koi offer a warm welcome at The New Forge, Aylsham, a restaurant of English and Thai Fusion. Serving freshly prepared Thai and English food 7 days a week, the extensive menus cater for all ages and pallets. Booking is always recommended as despite being able to seat over 130 people we do fill up quickly during peak periods – however, we will always try to find you a table as soon as possible if you don’t have a booking during these times. On warmer days, our covered patio area and our extensive garden offer additional seating for that relaxing outdoor experience, and our children’s play area offers entertainment for the younger ones.

Food served: Monday - Thursday: 12:00 - 14:30 / 17:00 - 20:30 Friday - Saturday: 12:00 - 21:00 Sunday: 12:00 - 20:30

01263 734275 The New Forge, Norwich Road, Aylsham, Norfolk NR11 6UD


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At My Table: A Celebration of Home Cooking is priced £26 (hardback), published by Chatto & Windus, and available from Jarrolds. For further information, call 01603 660661 or visit


isitors to Jarrolds department store on Tuesday 31st October met food writer and television personality Nigella Lawson at a ticket-only signing, where they received a signed copy of her latest cookbook, At My Table. Celebrating the food she loves to cook for family and friends, the new recipes are warming, comforting and inspirational, from new riffs on classic dishes – including chicken fricassee and sticky toffee pudding – to adventures in a host of new dishes and ingredients, from aubergine fattet and white miso hummus, to garlicky roast potatoes with oregano and feta. Nigella said, “Our lives are formed by memories, and the focus of mine is the food I’ve cooked and the people I’ve cooked for, the people who have sat at my table, as well as the other tables I’ve eaten on, from the blue Formica of my childhood, to the mottled zinc that is the nexus of my life now.” Nigella has long been a champion of the home cook, creating recipes that are approachable, achievable, and above all, delicious. At My Table embraces her passion for home cooking and includes over 100 new recipes that she has shared with family and friends at her table, with dishes to inspire all cooks and eaters. These include hake with bacon, peas and cider; apple pork chops with sauerkraut slaw; rump steaks with anchovy cream sauce; Indian-spiced chicken and potato traybake; and chilli mint

lamb cutlets. These are united with a host of colourful vegetable recipes such as eastern Mediterranean chopped salad, and carrots and fennel with harissa. Plus, no Nigella cookbook would be complete without crowd-pleasing cakes and desserts, and At My Table is no exception, with Victoria sponge with cardamom marmalade and crème fraîche; emergency brownies; white chocolate cheesecake; and a wonderful version of queen of puddings. And as with all Nigella’s work, this is a book to read and savour as much as to cook from. She said, “This book, like all the books I’ve written and all the cookery books I’ve read, is not just a manual, but a collection of stories and a containers of memories.” Engagingly written, the recipes include anecdotes, stories and advice from Nigella that are as entertaining as they are nourishing. Nigella adds, “At its core, it answers that important, everyday question, ‘What are we going to eat?’.” Having written 10 bestselling cookbooks including the classics How To Eat and How To Become A Domestic Goddess – the book that inspired a whole new generation of bakers – the food in this latest contender is sure to be served and savoured at kitchen tables around the world. As Nigella concludes, “Happiness is best shared.”


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Written by Tom Dick

Feature writer Tom Dick takes a look at the history of one of the country’s most popular Christmas shows.


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t is difficult to comprehend that the tiny village of Thursford, seven miles from Fakenham and with a population of only a few hundred, is one of the busiest places in the county over the festive period, with 5,000 visitors a day arriving to enjoy the Thursford Christmas Spectacular. This unique event is possibly the largest show of its type in the world. It began in 1977, getting bigger and more spectacular each year. During the run, some 180,000 visitors are expected, with some from as far afield as Australia and the USA.

HISTORY It all started back in 1904 when George Thomas Henry Cushing, the son of a farm labourer on Laurel Farm, Thursford, was born. At the age of 12, he left school and started to work as a farmhand. In 1920, he changed direction and joined the local council staff in King’s Lynn, driving a steam roller and starting his lifelong fascination with these amazing steam-powered vehicles. With his savings, he eventually bought a 1913 Aveling and Porter steam roller from the council for £225 – the first vehicle in his collection. George eventually set up his own sub-contracting steam roller business, and by WWII, he owned 15 steam rollers and wagons, which were housed in Laurel Farm, now owned by the Cushing family.


During the 1930s, steam power was rapidly being replaced by diesel, and fearing that all the wonderful steam-powered vehicles would be scrapped, George bought as many as he could, adding fairground steam-driven organs to his collection. It continued to grow over the years, with the addition of fairground


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carousels including a magnificent gondola ride made in Victorian times by Frederick Savage in Norwich. This is decorated with the carved heads of Queen Victoria and her extended family including Kaiser Wilhem II of Germany, and is the only known example of this ride in the world. THE THURSFORD COLLECTION Opening in the 1970s, The Thursford Collection is a museum of steam traction engines, steam rollers and fairground organs. The jewel in its crown is a magnificent Wurlitzer organ, which was rescued from the Paramount Theatre in Leeds in the 1960s. The fourth largest in Europe, with three keyboards and 1,339 pipes, this magical instrument features in the Christmas Spectacular. There are also regular recitals by resident organist Robert Wolfe. The original museum had limited opening times, but the addition of a café/restaurant and gift shops resulted in daily openings during the summer from the 1980s onwards. During the summer months, up to 70,000 visitors visit the collection each year. THURSFORD CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR This world-class show actually began life in the early 70s as a carol concert for local people, but in 1977, George Cushing, son of the founder of the collection, opened the first Christmas Spectacular. It is now produced and directed by his son, John Cushing. The show is quite simply a superb example of the old-fashioned variety show, once so popular throughout the country. Almost a year in the planning, ideas for the 2017 show started back in February, not long after the curtain went down on the last show of the 2016 season. The result is a heady mixture of dancing girls, a comedy compere, speciality acts, and a Vegasstyle spectacle, lasting almost three hours. The cast of 130 professional dancers, singers and musicians are assembled from all parts of the country, and spend two months in rehearsal before opening night. Each show requires more than 3,000 costumes, incorporating over 1,000 ostrich feathers and

10,000 glittering rhinestones. All this does not come cheap, and production costs are in the region of £1.8 million. To complete the atmosphere, the collection is carefully lit with a seasonal theme around the periphery of the barns, as well as a stunning light display to add to the Christmas feel. The shops and boutiques enter fully into the spirit too, providing plenty of opportunities for Christmas shopping on site. Running alongside the Christmas Spectacular, Father Christmas makes a stop at Thursford with Santa’s Magical Journey. A visit to Santa includes a present for the children, but on the way to meet him, guests journey through the wonderful world of Santa’s artic friends, from penguins and polar bears, to hardworking elves and, of course, the snowman family. WILL I ENJOY THE SHOW? The simple answer is yes. A traditional allsinging-all-dancing variety show, the Thursford Christmas Spectacular is truly unique in today’s modern culture, and even more unique considering that it takes place in a small country village. For a few weeks every year, Thursford glitters with Christmas spirit, offering a wonderful opportunity for people to visit and immerse themselves in the spectacle of live variety theatre.

Thursford Christmas Spectacular runs from Wednesday 8th November to Saturday 23rd December. Tickets sell out fast. For further information, call the box office on 01328 878477 or visit




Feature writer Tom Dick looks forward to one of his hometown’s annual yuletide attractions.


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wedding and bespoke cake company, specialising in producing delicious cakes for any occasion, The Sugared Rose Cake Company in Holt makes all its creations by hand, tailored to your exact requirements.



enowned throughout the county and drawing visitors from across the UK, the Holt Christmas lights will be switched on at 6.30pm on Wednesday 15th November. From the Methodist Church at one end of the High Street, to the Market Place and beyond, the stunning display of white lights outlines the windows, rooflines and gables of Georgian Holt, continuing into the many lokes and yards leading off the main thoroughfare. White has always been the traditional colour for the Holt lights, with the only official coloured lights adorning the tree at the Market Place, where there is one red light for each name on the war memorial as a mark of respect. This year, the children of Holt can meet at the Community Centre on Saturday 11th November between 11am and 3pm to

make their Christmas lanterns under the guidance of The Fairyland Trust children’s charity. A fantastic local charity, The Fairyland Trust organises workshops designed to inspire children and their parents or carers with the wonders of nature. The lanterns will be used in a procession between the Methodist Church and the stage next to the war memorial for the big switch-on, led by a vintage tractor towing a float carrying Father Christmas, the Virgin Mary, Joseph, and the Archangel Gabriel. North Norfolk Radio will act as comperes (and broadcasters) for the procession, which will be followed by a short nativity play on the stage, a Christmas message, carol singing, the switch-on, and a spectacular 15-minute fireworks display. The theme for 2017 is pantomime, and visitors will be treated to a pantomime horserace from the Market Place to Benbows Greengrocers and back again.

Interested participants should contact the organisers of Holt Christmas lights in advance to register their entry and arrange the hire of their two-person costume.

From celebration cakes for birthdays and weddings, to traditional fruit cakes, chocolate cakes, tunis cakes, marzipan fruits, Christmas cupcakes and jars of mincemeat, there really is something for everyone with a sweet tooth!

If you would like to place an order in time for Christmas, please note that the last date is Sunday 17th December, so get your orders in!

The pantomime theme will also be reflected in many of the town’s shops, which will be open on the night, and assistants will be dressed up as their favourite pantomime characters. Do pop in and say hello!

The Sugared Rose Cake Company is at 3 Bull Street, Holt, Norfolk NR25 6HP. For further information, call 01263 502416 or visit Thesugaredrosecakecompany

As always, there will be lots of food available for the revellers including the legendary hog roasts, together with street entertainment to add to the festive spirit. But, even if you miss this year’s switch-on, it is still worth a visit to Holt during the Christmas season to enjoy the spectacular beauty of these unique lights. For Further information on Holt Christmas lights, visit


The Sugared Rose Cake Company 3 Bull Street, Holt, Norfolk

A wedding and bespoke cake company, specialising in producing delicious cakes for any occasion

Call 01263 502416 /Thesugaredrosecakecompany 17th December is last date for Christmas orders


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OFF THE WALL Edge of the woods

Snow Gunton Park


Photographer David Morris embraces his inner poet.


remember our English teacher reading out Robert Frost’s poem to us when we were at school and being struck immediately by the magic of it all. Here was a poet who seemed at ease with everyday words. He wasn’t afraid of using such an unpoetic word like ‘snowy’ in a poem that didn’t seem to have much to say for itself anyway. The poet had stopped his little horse by some neighbour’s woods to watch them fill up with snow. That’s about it really.

His last two lines are a repeat, as if he couldn’t think of anything else to say. ‘And miles to go before I sleep And miles to go before I sleep.’ But, in just a few stanzas, he captures that moment of magic we all seem to have felt. When I was a kid, I remember listening to the silence, as huge snowflakes fell gently without a sound out of a big, brooding, blueblack sky. That feeling of tranquillity comes

suddenly back to me whenever I see woods filling up with snow in the evening light. Small wonder Frost’s poem is so terrifically popular; it taps into our common experience. But not for much longer I think. We don’t seem to have the cold, hard frosts and snow-covered winters that we used to get. You can blame it on man-made pollution, or say it’s just our natural climate evolving. I don’t care, I just miss the stuff. So, I’m thinking

of giving up on Norfolk this year and heading north in a campervan. Yorkshire? Scotland? Not sure yet. Some place where they have snow, and lots of it, not the meagre ice-dusting we’ve been given these last few winters.

appropriate headline. And then, of course, the sudden rush of pain as you finally get into somewhere warm and the blood returns to your frozen mitts. But I wouldn’t have missed the experience for the world.

I remember taking the photograph, ‘Snow Gunton Park’ some years ago, and feeling like I was working in a deep freezer. When I got back to the car, I couldn’t open the lock with the keys. ‘Photographer’s body found in woods, wife fails to show any surprise’ felt like an

Maybe all is not lost. I’ve heard reports that we may have an unusually cold winter this year, a return of the weather we once knew. Snow drifts,

abandoned cars, cut-off villages… All that lovely stuff! But I’ll take that with a pinch of salt. Snow and ice don’t just freeze the view in front of us, we too are stopped, frozen for a moment, making us look at our world again, like a poet.



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BON APPÉTIT! For the main event for your Christmas Day dinner, be sure to choose an award-winning free range Norfolk turkey from family-run Godwick Turkeys.


edicated to providing the best environment for the birds to thrive, the approach adopted by Godwick Turkeys provides a truly unbeatable product, as testified by their many awards. A deep, cosy bed of fresh barley straw and clover-rich paddocks, in which they can roam freely, mean the turkeys have a happy life, and you can really taste the difference! Growing at their own pace and expressing their natural behavior, the Godwick philosophy has earned the company a lot of loyal customers, and increasing recognition including a Great Taste award three years in a row.

turkeys for over 50 years. Dry-plucked by hand and hung for 14 days in the traditional way, Norfolk has been synonymous with rearing high quality turkeys for a very long time, and Godwick Turkeys works hard to keep that tradition going. As well as the free range turkeys, Godwick Turkeys also produces geese, lamb, game, and their delicious low-fat turkey sausages and burgers, prepared to their very own special recipe. With the option to deliver to your door, or collect from the farm, the last order date for delivery is Monday 18th December, or Wednesday 20th December for collection. All products are freshly prepared and dressed prior to dispatch in their own branded delivery boxes, which include ice packs. The tried-and-

A family-run business with owner Robert Garner at the helm, Godwick Turkeys has been supplying families with succulent Christmas

tested fully-insulated packaging means it is perfectly safe to leave your turkey in its box for up to 24 hours after delivery, in a place that’s not too hot. Refrigerate afterwards, or refreeze the ice packs to use the box as a temporary fridge.


Among their customers is celebrity chef Anthony Worrall Thompson, whose feedback is testament to Robert and his family’s hard

Celebrity Chef Anthony Worrall Thompson


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work; “I just wanted you to know what a splendid turkey you sent me for Christmas. The bird was lovely, flavoursome and moist, and cooked very well. All the best.” Godwick Turkeys is at Godwick Hall Farm, Godwick, Tittleshall, King’s Lynn, Norfolk PE32 2RJ. For further information, call 01328 700540 or visit






llands Farm Foods, local purveyor of fine handmade jams, marmalades, jellies and chutneys, has created a deliciously different savoury jelly that tastes the business when united with succulent roast turkey. The Redcurrant Jelly is a classic dinner table accompaniment, particularly enjoyed at Christmastime, and is made using fresh, locally-sourced fruits picked from the Norfolk orchard. All products are lovingly made by Kim and Mary Ann in their own purpose-built kitchen in Happisburgh, employing traditional, open-pan methods, and producing small batches of their products to guarantee each jar is perfect. As well as making their recipes from home, they also label and package them themselves, ensuring a truly local, home-based industry. Visits to the kitchen are available by appointment only, so if you would like to collect your order in time for Christmas, do get in touch to arrange a convenient time.

ACCOMPANIMENTS Perfect partners for your scrumptious Norfolk turkey, either served hot or cold.

Ollands Farm, Short Lane, Happisburgh, Norfolk NR12 0RR. Tel: 01692 652280. Priced £3.75 per 225g jar.



smooth, sweet, hot mustard, infused with garlic and chillies, Jubberwacky’s Bandersnatch Mustard tastes amazing with pies, meats and cheeses. Founded by Ali, who lives in Sustead near Cromer, a love of kitchen gardening and cooking led her to develop an inspired range of jams, chutneys and mustards, having been disillusioned with the lack of choice on the market that didn’t contain artificial flavour enhancers, bulking agents or preservatives. A small, family-run company, Jubberwacky goes to great lengths to source Norfolk ingredients wherever possible, working closely with a long list of fantastic local producers. The company’s deliciously unique products make superb gifts at this time of year, as well as fab store cupboard staples. Be sure to enhance your simple Boxing Day turkey sandwich with a heathy helping of Bandersnatch Mustard! Pear Tree Cottage, Aylmerton Road, Sustead, Norfolk NR11 8RU. Tel: 01263 761525. Priced £3.50 per 200g jar.



n original Candi’s Chutney recipe, the Parsnip & Chilli flavour remains an enduring favourite with customers, both old and new. With a mantra for keeping her products regional, seasonal and original, this sweet parsnip chutney just sings Christmas, bursting with an initial pop of spicy red chilli to tantalise those taste buds. Particularly flavoursome when combined with roast and grilled meats, Candi has been a professional chef for over 20 years, and in that time, has perfected her signature chutney recipes. Passionate about using the best quality ingredients that have been grown in East Anglia, Candi now offers a variety of great-tasting chutneys, which she presents at many exciting markets and events throughout the year, as well as supplying our county’s farm shops and delis. If you would like to try a sample, drop Candi a line and she’d be happy to help. The Chutney Bar, Unit 12, Bayfield Brecks, Cley Road, Holt, Norfolk NR25 7DZ. Tel: 07867 398517. Priced £3.95 per 284g jar.


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‘TIS THE SEASON Written by Harry Farrow @HarryFarrowChef

The Anchor Inn is open from 9am until 11pm daily, serving food from 12-3pm and 6-9pm.

Chef Harry Farrow of The Anchor Inn, Morston and The Hero, Burnham Overy Staithe has Christmas all wrapped up.


t may come round only once a year, but we start planning our December Christmas menu and themes for our legendary New Year’s Eve parties back in September. It’s one of our favourite times of the year – everyone has a smile on their face, even when the weather is on the miserable side. After all, we offer a cosy place to linger before the roaring log fire with a glass of something special in hand to keep the cold at bay. Our seasonal mulled wine is definitely worth a try, or why not sample one of our made-to-order winter cocktails? Both pubs are ideal meeting places for family, friends or work colleagues to come together and raise a glass or two, as we see out 2017 in style. If it’s a delicious festive meal you crave, our traditional Norfolk turkey is served with all the trimmings. A bona fide Christmas classic, you can’t beat an authentic British roast! What’s more our mouth-watering Brancaster mussels are still on the menu, so make sure you enjoy them while you can. Both pubs will be closed for food on Christmas Day, but we will be opening The Anchor Inn on Christmas

We serve high quality local fish, game, meats and vegetables, cooked to perfection.

01263 741392

morning for our annual Christmas drinks. Why not take a leisurely morning walk on the stunning North Norfolk coast, basking in all its winter glory, followed by a celebratory glass of fizz at your friendly local? The Street, Morston, Norfolk NR25 7AA

We are hiring! Visit our website for details

The year ahead already looks to be another busy one, with the return of our popular themed nights, as well as bookings being taken for our Anchors Away outside catering service. If you are planning a summer wedding in 2018 and have yet to arrange your wedding breakfast, do get in touch to find out how we can help make the biggest day of your life one to remember. We provide bespoke food options, whether you’re a pizza lover or a fan of the current trend for street food, along with a fullylicensed bar stocked with all your favourite beverages. What’s more, my business partner Rowan Glennie and I have just returned from filming Four In A Bed for Channel Four, promoting The Hero’s three gorgeous guest rooms. Look out for us on TV during the week before Christmas!

“IF IT’S A DELICIOUS FESTIVE MEAL YOU CRAVE, OUR TRADITIONAL NORFOLK TURKEY IS SERVED WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS” For further information on The Anchor Inn, call 01263 741392 or visit For further information on The Hero, call 01328 738334 or visit


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Written by Richard Bainbridge

Richard Bainbridge, chef-proprietor of Benedicts in Norwich, shares his take on this popular little delicacy.


omemade scotch eggs are a world away from shop-bought versions – and these little beauties are extra-special because they are made with Norfolk quail eggs. A British dish in its origins, the London department store, Fortnum &

Mason, claims to have invented scotch eggs back in 1738. Simply boiled eggs wrapped with seasoned sausage meat, they are great when served at dinner parties, or combined with a salad for a light supper. Sauce Bois Boudran provides the perfect accompaniment.



6 quail eggs 500g sausage meat 5g salt 10g mixed herbs (pick the herbs you like the most) 1g white pepper 25g Dijon mustard 50g plain flour 2 eggs (broken into an egg wash) Bread crumbs (for coating)

85g tomato ketchup 50ml white wine vinegar 100ml Norfolk rapeseed oil 100g chopped shallot 20g chopped chives and parsley 1 drop of tabasco

METHOD Put a pan of water onto the stove top and bring to the boil. Once boiling, drop your quail eggs in the water. After two and a half minutes, transfer the eggs into ice water, or very cold water, with a few drops of vinegar. Let them rest and chill completely. Take your time to peel your eggs, as the middle will be lovely and soft, so a little fragile. Once finished, place on a cloth to dry. Place all the other ingredients into a bowl and combine well. Roll the quail eggs in flour, and using the sausage meat mixture, cover your eggs completely with a thin layer.


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Dip into the flour again, then the egg wash mixture, and finally into the bread crumbs. Rest in the fridge for 10 minutes at least (they will keep in the fridge for a day or so). Once ready to serve, heat a pot of vegetable oil (enough to cover the scotch eggs) to 180°C and carefully place the scotch egg into the hot oil to fry for two and a half minutes. Remove from the oil and rest on a kitchen towel to drain. Place on a plate and serve with a big bowl of Sauce Bois Boudran.




iving the dream of owning a holiday home in Norfolk is both a delight and a hassle as Calvin and Debbie Fisher discovered when they bought a listed farmhouse in the Norfolk Broads in 2014. Realising that taking care of their house in Cambridge, as well as their dream house in Norfolk, meant that precious holiday times in Norfolk were filled up with organising chimney sweeps, boiler servicing and renovations instead of relaxing and enjoying the countryside with the family, this got more complicated when major renovations needed doing urgently. “We were faced with the dilemma of taking time off

work to oversee the renovations or to leave the keys out and keep our fingers crossed that our builder would do things as we’d discussed. We were lucky that they did but it was more stressful than we’d hoped” reflects Debbie. “We realised that this was something that lots of people who own property and especially those who own property at a distance must also be going through, wanting someone to take care of the practical aspects of home management so that their time can be better spent. So when we decided to move to Norfolk permanently we set up Norfolk Home Management and put our many years

of professional property management to good use in Norfolk. We provide a range of services from providing access, organising servicing and maintenance, carrying out regular property checks while the property is empty (which is often a requirement for your home insurance to be valid and people don’t realise!), ad hoc visits when the English weather is causing havoc to check all is well, project management oversight of the fitting of that new kitchen or major renovation that your home needs. We believe time is precious and you should spend it on things you enjoy, so why not let someone else take care of the hassle of looking after your property.”



here is a product available for just about every eventuality nowadays. How many bottles do we have lined up under our kitchen sinks – and how many do we never use? During World War II, soap was rationed – but then life started getting easier with washing machines and vacuum cleaners. We have TV programmes asking us how clean our house is, and books telling us how much better we will feel if we get down to some serious de-cluttering. However, on my travels, from small flats to grand country houses, I have had some surprising insights into how people live. When I visited one property, the owner was washing her horse’s stirrups in the dishwasher. They were gleaming, but the house definitely wasn’t! It was strewn with horse blankets and bits of tack, which were much more important to the owner than her household possessions.

For more information, call 01493 701444 or visit

Taking details as I walked around another large house, I was surprised to find the fifth

bedroom occupied by several parrots – this was their ‘cage’ and needed quite a lot of cleaning before anyone could view the house. The owner was happily unaware that potential purchasers might be a bit put off! Many years ago, I was deep in Norfolk going to value an old rectory. It was overgrown outside – and inside! There was ivy growing through a window frame, which was used as a Christmas decoration each year. There had been no electricity for years, and the owner showed me around holding a candelabra! I peered into the cellar, and just as I started to go down, rather worried about the safety of the steps having seen the window frames, the owner casually said, “Mind the ducks. The cellar fills with water in the winter and the ducks love it.” How do you put that in a set of details? Visiting a pretty Georgian house in midNorfolk, I was greeted by cats everywhere. They were very comfortable indoors, but the owner lived in the garden in the summer

months in a large decorated tent. She was oblivious of muddy paw marks on the worksurfaces, cat fur on the furniture, and scratched paint on the doors. When selling your house, first impressions are last impressions. Remember ‘kerb appeal’, with a neat front garden and tidy paintwork, and don’t forget to move those piles of dirty laundry awaiting transportation from your teenager’s bedroom to the washing machine!

With 35 years of experience, Malcolm operates Norfolk Property Search. For further information, call 07434 934 579, email or visit

COME TO THE NORFOLK PROPERTY EXPERTS Are you looking for a home in Norfolk and want to make it a reality? The Norfolk Property Search Team has over 35 years experience in the Norfolk Property Market. If you are looking to purchase a property in Norfolk, we are the property experts on the ground. Whether it is a dream beach holiday getaway, a village retreat or a family home, we can help you to find the perfect property. Norfolk Property Search is committed to providing a professional, friendly and reliable service for people looking to search for:

Offering second home owners peace of mind

Town, Country and Coastal Property

We are here when you can’t be


01493 701444

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Second Homes

Country Houses Barn Conversions

Buy-to-let Property Executive Rental Properties

Tel: 07434 934 579


Family Homes

Email: Visit:

To advertise call 01953 456789


BRINGING A FRESH FINE ART EXPERIENCE TO NORWICH When you next walk into Norwich, you’ll see a new addition to the High Street. Located on Orford Place (just off Haymarket, and behind Debenhams) is a stunning new destination from which to secure art, Gallery Rouge.


ou may not have heard of them before, but with over 10 years’ experience, Gallery Rouge are no newcomers to the fine art scene. The original gallery was opened in St Albans, Hertfordshire in 2007, with a second gallery created in Harpenden, Hertfordshire. So, the natural question Owner and Director Kuldip Chohan is frequently asked – why Norwich? “I visited Norfolk on holiday and was immediately captivated by the surroundings. I felt the residents of Norfolk and Suffolk would welcome a contemporary art gallery with a varied choice, so I thought why not!” What can you expect? Firstly, with representation of over 60 artists, Gallery Rouge certainly has an enviable collection to choose from. With a large selection of overseas artists, you’ll find works which they exclusively represent not just in the UK but in Europe. A large proportion of their works are affordably priced originals, alongside a discerning selection of collectible Limited Edition Kathryn Callaghan – Accomplish - Original Ink & Gel on Paper - £995

works. For those looking for investible artwork, the gallery can certainly assist you too with internationally renowned artists part of their ensemble. Next is the gallery itself. Spread over two floors the gallery boasts 1,500 square feet of pristine display space. Crisp lighting perfectly highlights the nuances of each piece. Knowledgeable consultants are on hand to assist you in identifying and selecting artwork which creates just the right feel for your home. The gallery will be hosting regular events and exhibitions, providing you with an opportunity to meet the artists and get up close and personal, whilst enjoying the launch of exclusive new collections.

Katy Jade Dobson – Koi – Signed limited Edition on Paper - £395

JJ Adams – Who Wants to Live Forever – Signed Limited Edition on Paper - £540

So if you’re looking for artwork for your home or office, why not visit Gallery Rouge when you’re next in Norwich! 3-5 Orford Place, Norwich NR1 3RU. 01603 762211. Monday - Saturday: 10am - 5.30pm Sunday: 11am - 5pm

Nigel Cooke – Westminster Sunrise – Original Acrylic on Board - £995


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Allan Morgan – Rouge Fields – Original Oil on Board - £850

Gallery Rouge are one of the UK’s most progressive art dealers. With physical galleries in Hertfordshire and Norfolk, we pride ourselves on identifying talented artists from around the world, and displaying them in superb surroundings. Our unrelenting devotion to client service has garnered us an enviable reputation.

01603 762211 •


HOME FROM HOME Enjoy a relaxing break at one of these blissful retreats for a spot of all-important me-time.


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Ragdale Village, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire LE114 3PB. Tel: 01664 434831. For spa breaks, spa day packages, special offers and events, please contact Ragdale Hall directly, or visit the website to check availability.

The Thoroughfare, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 1AD. Tel: 01394 384242. Bed and breakfast is priced from £125 per room per night based on two people sharing.



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rivately owned Ragdale Hall is set in an idyllic rural hamlet nestling in the heart of the rolling Leicestershire countryside. From the moment you step foot inside, you are greeted by friendly reception staff, who are dedicated to making your experience a restful one, with valet parking and hotel porters available to take your luggage to your room. The VIP treatment doesn’t stop there! After having been served a welcome drink along with an introductory chat, you can opt for a tour of the building, which is an absolute must in order to become fully acquainted with all the fabulous facilities on offer. Perhaps the pièce de résistance, Ragdale’s state-of-the-art thermal spa, provides an oasis of tranquillity in which to calm the senses, surrounded by water features and fountains, with five pools and 11 heat facilities including a candle pool, an indoor and outdoor waterfall pool, colour flow cave, volcanic salt bath, rose sauna and scented room. Let your cares slip away as you indulge in a delicious bubble bath courtesy of the luxuriating massage jets of the outdoor pool!

class? The weekly timetable is packed with a variety of classes for every ability, from Pilates and Tai Chi, to aquatone and studio cycling, and you don’t even need to book in advance for certain activities.

If you wish to invigorate both body and soul, the 25-metre swimming pool provides the perfect environment for a few laps, while the fully-equipped gym has instructors on hand to ensure you make the most of your work-out. Why not take part in a fitness or relaxation

And after having had your wellbeing restored, you’ll be itching to return to Ragdale Hall. Discounts are available for repeat bookings, while the Christmas offers and gift vouchers mean you can make a loved one very happy this festive season.


contemporary and stylish inn situated in the quaint Suffolk market town of Woodbridge, The Crown provides a cosy place to stay, with 10 individually appointed guest rooms in which to relax and unwind. Styled by London designer David Bentheim using cool, coastal colours, along with quirky touches and a variety of textures, these serene sanctuaries have been designed to offer a guaranteed good night’s sleep, united with luxurious goose-down pillows and crisp cotton bed linen... Pure heaven! Plus, if you’ve forgotten to pack something in your suitcase, the hotel has thought of everything, with 30 different items available from reception, ranging from toothbrushes and batteries, to stain remover and painkillers.

If you feel you’ve earned some unadulterated pleasure in the hands of an expert therapist, a luxury face or body treatment is guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed. There are 50 treatment rooms offering both traditional and holistic therapies, as well as a dedicated manicure/ pedicure room and a hair studio. And after you’ve been preened and pampered, you’ll be ready for dinner! A healthy but tasty candlelit dinner is served in the opulent dining room. With no dress code, you can choose to wear your dressing gown or a favourite dress, whatever makes you feel most comfortable. A sumptuous hot and cold buffet lunch is also served here, while breakfast can be taken in the comfort of your bedroom, or in the light and airy Verandah Bar. Be tempted to head to the Verandah Bar post-supper to sample the special cocktail of the week. Anyone for a spiced apple and ginger Bellini?

A popular meeting place for locals, the impressive bar is covered with a high glass roof, providing a unique atmosphere in which to whet your whistle. An original Suffolk wooden Windermere Skiff rowing boat hangs above, perhaps once used by local fishermen on the River Deben. Whether it’s an exotic cocktail mixed to order, a thirst-quenching local ale, or a freshly brewed coffee, the bartenders take pride in everything they do, serving an extensive array of high-quality drinks that cater for every taste and occasion. To complete your stay, be sure to treat yourself to dinner in the award-winning on-site To advertise call 01953 456789

restaurant. Recommended in the latest Michelin Guide, head chef Darran Hazelton is passionate about using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients to create great British classics with his own unique twist. Suppliers include Blythburgh Pork, Pinney’s of Orford and Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses to name a few, while the restaurant’s delicious homemade bread is well-worth a try. Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, an exclusive private dining rooms can accommodate up to 20 diners for a range of private and corporate events including wedding breakfasts, business meetings and family gatherings. So, why not make your next special occasion one to remember? For guests seeking a little extra attention, beauty treatments are available at the nearby Bathsheba Spa. A modern, boutique day spa providing the perfect opportunity to recharge those batteries in pure, understated luxury, special packages combine an overnight stay at The Crown with an indulgent spa experience. Choose from a range of gorgeous treatments and REN skincare products... Just what the doctor ordered! Planning to celebrate a birthday or wedding anniversary? Check out the hotel website for exciting upcoming events before planning your next visit, as well as keeping up-to-date with all the latest offers, promotions and packages for your chance to unwind in ultimate style.






owestoft Town Football Club has already felt the benefit of its relationship with Lord Russell Baker and Amber Dew Events, with an increase in followers since the partnership began, as well as a wealth of ideas for future fundraising events. Amber Dew Events has also benefitted from the partnership, being mentioned in most club content, including fixtures, interviews, and magazines such as Fine City, Suffolk On My Mind and Norfolk On My Mind. Sponsors of the club reach out to around 12,000 followers on Twitter and Facebook, plus 15,000+ attendees to home matches. That’s not forgetting regular pictures and content via regional print media and radio stations, so companies and brands such as Amber Dew will have their name represented all over Norfolk and Suffolk by getting involved with Lowestoft Town.


Russell & Gary Keyzor Amber Dew Events Stadium

Russell & Management

If you would like to find out more, email Club Director Sam Hossack on

Written by Liddy Goodrum @littlehorsebox



Liddy Goodrum, owner of The Little Horse Box mobile wine bar, says the options are endless when planning your winter wedding drinks.



t has been such a busy summer for The Little Horse Box team. From seaside weddings to garden ceremonies, we have been lucky enough to witness some fabulously unusual wedding days. But, each of our happy couples has something in common – a love of the great outdoors. Summer is the most popular season for tying the knot, but I happen to adore winter weddings. I may be a bit biased, as I myself was a Christmas Eve bride, as it also happens to be my husband’s birthday, but there is something so magical about a December wedding – the excitement that Christmas brings, festive aromas, the seasonal colours, open fires, the chance of snow...

We cater for special events such as weddings, theatre trips, proms, sports events, concerts and other special occasions that require special transport services. will ensure that you arrive at your destination in style and comfort! Tel: 01328-853636 Email: Visit:

I don’t know about you, but certain scents and smells remind me of different events and people in my life. Only a few days ago, my husband was drinking some mulled apple juice at an event we were attending, and he asked me what it made me think about. It was our

wedding day, of course. We have been married almost 15 years, and drinks-wise, we served mulled wine as our reception drink. There were a few sore heads the morning after, and my father-in-law has not drank alcohol since! The smell of cinnamon still takes my husband back to that day... How wonderful! This just goes to show that the drinks you give your guests can do so much more than just quench their thirst – they can create memories. Getting your winter wedding drinks right can set the tone for your day. My biggest tip is to show your personality through your drinks choices, but also factor in the season. You will have key ingredients you love that can be incorporated into your signature wedding cocktails, or perhaps a warm homemade punch will ensure a personal touch? For me, I love nothing more than sitting around a log fire during the colder months with a glass of something warm in hand. Hot spiced apple cider is an enduring favourite, but how about really spicing it up by serving it

in apple cups? Or, go retro with a snowball cocktail, which was popular during the 60s and 70s. What’s more, drinks can also act as wedding favours. Kilner jars filled with marshmallows and all the ingredients to make hot chocolate, with a mini bottle of Baileys on the side, are sure to impress your guests. Keen to keep local? You’ll find some fabulous seasonal drink surprises. This winter, The Norfolk Brewhouse has put a modern twist on an old ale by adding chocolate to the brew – and even strawberries! – promising a great talking point with your guests. And if that isn’t enough to get your taste buds watering, there’s the Moon Gazer Winter Porter, a Christmas beer in a bottle. Enjoy a smooth dark ale, lightly smoked and infused with orange and coriander... Yum! In my book, a winter wedding is so romantic, and who knows, you might even get a sprinkling of snow… Imagine the photos!

“GETTING YOUR WINTER WEDDING DRINKS RIGHT CAN SET THE TONE FOR YOUR DAY” For further information on The Little Horse Box, call 01362 420491 or visit


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A ladies fashion shop with a difference, Turnaround stocks once-loved designer fashions and accessories from all your favourite designer labels.


rom gorgeous Stella handbags and vintage Chanel suits, to hats and dresses for every occasion, there is something for every discerning shopper who likes to keep a close eye on all the latest fashions – without having to pay the hefty pricetag!

An ever-changing display of beautiful clothes, bags and shoes means you can always find something to steal your heart. So, what’s on your Christmas wish-list this year? Turnaround is at 9 Fish Hill, Holt, Norfolk NR25 6BD. For further information, call 01263 711393 or visit

ARE YOU READY FOR RED? Arista Low Back maxi dress, £109, at Monsoon


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Written by Sarah Morgan @SarahLoisRelove

Personal stylist Sarah Morgan warms to the festive season’s hottest colour.




’ve always avoided wearing red at Christmas. It seems such a cliché – those links to Santa and a prominent reindeer’s nose.

Amy Long Red Asymmetric Ruffle dress, £139, at House of Fraser

Ruffle Sleeve red dress, £50, at Wallis

will ensure you’re ‘seen’. And I’ve experienced this first-hand. I’m an introvert; I put myself ‘out there’, but it’s not my natural place.

But, this year, it’s everywhere, and like berries on holly, it’s growing on me.

Recently, I decided to ‘do different’, and wore a red dress to a dinner dance, a departure from my usual palette of neutrals and muted tones.

There’s no doubt a ‘lady in red’ will turn heads. Red is stimulating, and we’re programmed to notice it. Think stop signs and traffic lights.

Oh my! Complete strangers spoke to me, invited me to dance, and I had a lot of fun. It occurred to me that they assumed that, as I was wearing a ‘stand-out’ colour, I must be self-assured.

It’s the colour of attraction, and its positive associations include power, passion and love. Women wearing red on Internet dating profiles are more sought-after, and waitresses who wear red get bigger tips.

Which, in turn, made me feel more confident.

Sarah Morgan is a personal stylist and owner of Lois Reloved boutique dress agency. For further information, call 07919 608692 or visit

I believe that we should always dress to suit our style ‘essence’, be it creative, natural, fiery, earthy or refined.

But it can also be seen as aggressive and arrogant. A red tie can make a chap seem forceful – great in business, but I wouldn’t advise it on a first date. If you’re an attention-loving extrovert, red is your happy place.

But we can also dress for our ‘intention’. Wearing red will send out the message that you’re ready to be noticed. And what we put out, often comes back.

But you can use it to your advantage too. If you’re a quiet soul, wearing even a small dose

So, wrap up in red this Christmas. Who knows what might happen!

Gather Me Tender tunic dress, £79.50, at Oliver Bonas J by Jasper Conran red trousers, £60, at Debenhams

Lena Pleated scarf, £22, at Accessorize


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Silk Front Stitch Detail top, £79, at Jigsaw

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SLEEPING BEAUTY Written by Judy Foster

After 16 years at the helm of Norwich Theatre Royal’s pantomime, director, writer and panto dame Richard Gauntlett has forgotten what it’s like to spend Christmas anywhere else.


very Christmas since 2001, Richard Gauntlet has packed his car with frocks, wigs and props and headed for Norwich to bring some festive sparkle to audiences at the city’s Theatre Royal. In that time, he has either performed as or shared the stage with one Mother Goose, two Aladdins, three Jack and the Beanstalks, two Peter Pans, a couple of Cinderellas, Dick Whittington, Robin Hood, and two Snow Whites. This year’s show will be his third Sleeping Beauty, although one back in 20042005 saw him in the director’s chair.

on for five days and you work for one night, and the rest of the time I can sit on a balcony overlooking various seas of the world and write.”

But while the multi-talented performer loves to don a host of dame’s frocks for a family audience, Richard has many more strings to his bow. He said, “After panto, I usually go on a couple of cruises, which is very nice work. Then I have been writing for two new children’s television programmes, which are still under wraps. I still do stunts when they need a specialist. I don’t jump off anything anymore, but I did a bit of tightrope walking for a film and a commercial.”

No doubt they provide a rich seam of material for panto too, and the creative process can be a long one. Richard explained, “We actually started talking about this year’s panto when we were doing last year’s. We start a year in advance. Myself, the production manager and the executive producer get together and we talk about budgets and what we can do and can’t do. I give my wish-list to the production manager for various routines and set pieces, and he works on those with the set people. The script is still in pieces in September, but in October, I have to pull it together and present it.”

Richard has also been involved with The National Gilbert & Sullivan Company for around 10 years. He explained, “It is traditional Gilbert and Sullivan with full orchestra and chorus. About 10 years ago, they were looking for a new comedy baritone and a director friend of mine mentioned me. I have been there ever since. Every summer, I toddle off and do the festival and then we do a small tour. It’s fabulous fun.” Although some may describe it as oldfashioned humour, Richard points out that it still gets great laughs. “They were the beginning of British musical theatre – they were the first book musicals that were done. There’s a wealth of tunes that people have in the back of their heads and they say, ‘Oh that’s where it comes from’.” Richard loves performing in variety too, and one of the advantages of doing the cruise ship shows is the valuable time it gives him to write. He said, “I can write while I’m on board because they lock you in a cabin. You’re


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His show afloat is just him and a band. Richard added, “I sing a couple of numbers, do a couple of magic tricks, tell a lot of old jokes, and get out of a straight-jacket whilst ballet dancing. It’s a silly show but it goes down well. The Americans seem to appreciate vintage British humour, and so they put me on all the big American ships.”

His frock count for Sleeping Beauty is currently up to 11 grand dresses and he has treated himself to some new wigs. Richard laughed, “They will be making their debut appearance this year. My wigs took longer to put on last year because some of them were falling apart. I didn’t realise I would still be doing dames 17 years later from when I first joined the Theatre Royal, so I’ve treated myself to some new wigs!”

And he’s pleased to be picking up his partnership once again with comic actor Ben Langley, who will be appearing in his fourth consecutive panto. Richard said, “Ben is brilliant. Ben is a comic that I really get on with. We have got the same sense of humour, so we make each other giggle a little bit, and he’s intuitive on stage. He thinks like I do, so as we go through things, we improve and embellish. It’s very much easier for me to write if I know who I am writing for. We do have a lovely relationship on stage – he’s my son!” As to what the duo will get up to on stage, Richard did reveal that there would be an element of water. He said, “We will be getting very, very wet, but I can’t divulge any more because I’ll be shot! We will be throwing sweets again, we’ll have a nice song sheet, and there will be a little bit of flying this year, I’m sure.”

Sleeping Beauty is at Norwich Theatre Royal from Wednesday 13th December to Sunday 14th January. For further information, call the box office on 01603 630000 or visit




BY ROYAL APPOINTMENT Norfolk On My Mind has teamed up with The King William IV in Sedgeford to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a two-course meal for two people worth £50.


ucked away in the historic North Norfolk village of Sedgeford, The King William IV combines traditional, English hospitality with the natural beauty of our county’s prize coastline. Whether you’ve enjoyed a peep inside nearby Sandringham House, a relaxing walk on the beach at Snettisham, or a shopping trip to the unique boutiques of Burnham Market, a delightful meal in one of the inn’s stylish restaurants is sure to satisfy the most peckish of diners.



Norwich’s biggest shopping centre features a stunning giant Christmas decoration across all three floors this winter. he star-shaped design at intu Chapelfield is a beautiful sight for shoppers, with baubles, lights and butterflies cascading down.

It will also help raise money and awareness for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), as visitors can buy limited edition glass baubles for their own Christmas trees. Each of the baubles contains a handmade origami butterfly and gold lametta, a tag etched with the bauble’s unique number, and comes in a purple satin-lined presentation box. The EACH Butterfly bauble costs £30, and for an extra £5, you can select a specific edition


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number to remember a special date or event, making it an ideal Christmas gift for a loved one.

The nook, as a purpose-built central hub, will enable the charity to give both at the same time.

All proceeds will go to EACH’s nook appeal, a £10 million campaign to build a new hospice just five miles south of Norwich, in Framingham Earl, and transform children’s palliative care.

Christmas is a stressful time for many of the families EACH supports, and particularly for bereaved ones, as they remember their child who is no longer with them.

EACH has outgrown its current hospice in Quidenham, and the charity, which cares for 50 per cent more children and young people at Quidenham than at its other hospices in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk, often has to cancel much-needed short break care to provide end of life care.

The extensive menu boasts something for everyone, with friendly staff on hand to help advise on any special dietary requirements. Choose from the delicious à la carte menu, or why not try one of the tasty seasonal specials, from fresh local mussels served with crusty bread, to head chef Chris Marshall’s ever-popular Snettisham Park venison? The kitchen team prides itself on using only the best locally-sourced ingredients to create

Relax in the comfy seating of the dog-friendly bar area, warm chilly hands before the roaring log fire, or admire the artwork adorning the walls of the welcoming Gallery Restaurant, where you will enjoy a rolling exhibition by local artists and photographers. Currently in residence, Norfolk photographer David Morris presents Sea Horses & Other Stories, a photographic exploration of our county and other mysterious places. It’s the ideal spot for an intimate family meal, a romantic supper for two, or a special celebration with friends. Plus, if you don’t fancy driving, you can even stay overnight in one of the inn’s nine en suite double bedrooms. Sweet dreams! To find out more about The King William IV, call 01485 571765 or visit

ENTER THIS COMPETITION To enter, send your name, address and daytime telephone number on a postcard to: Norfolk On My Mind, Queens House, Queens Square, Attleborough, Norfolk NR17 2AE

EACH hosts Christmas parties, so families can meet others in a similar position and relax in a supportive environment.

or email your details to: Competition rules: 1) One winner will receive a two-course meal for two people (excluding drinks) to the value of £50 to be taken before 15th March 2018, Monday to Thursday (excluding Christmas, New Year and bank holidays). The Winner will be notified after the closing date of Sunday 31st January 2018. 2) There is no cash alternative, non-transferable or refundable, and subject to availability and booking restrictions. Pre-booking is essential. 3) Open to residents in the UK aged 18 or over. 4) Only one entry per person. 5) The Editor’s decision is final. 6) Winners are selected at random from entries received before the competition closes. 7) Correspondence may be entered into unless marked ‘no offers’.

To buy an EACH Butterfly bauble, visit the information desk at intu Chapelfield. For further information on EACH, call 01953 666767 or visit

mouth-watering dishes for its customers, and the proof is in the pudding, as they say.

To advertise call 01953 456789


Image by Steve Flanagan



Richard and Lesley Ellis, founders of Norfolk Country Cottages, share their passion for all things Norfolk. How did Norfolk Country Cottages come about? A. We were looking for a business to do together and felt there was room for a locally-focussed self-catering agency in Norfolk. We didn’t have any properties to start with, not even our own. We started the business in one room in our own Norfolk cottage.

Q. How many properties are now in the company’s portfolio? A. We have over 450 in Norfolk and over 4000 in England and Wales. Norfolk Country Cottages gave rise to Original Cottages, our family of agencies that we have built through acquisition. We stay true to our original values and have local offices with local people wherever we have an agency. Original Cottages is based in Reepham, where Norfolk Country Cottage was born, and now employs 65 staff. Norfolk Country Cottages is now based in Holt, whilst its little sister, SALT Cottages, is based at Holkham. Q. Why do you think people choose Norfolk Country Cottages? A. Ours is a people business. At the end of the day, people want to deal with people. Holiday cottage owners value the local connection, local knowledge and experience that our people bring, as do our holidaymakers. With everyone so busy these days, our local offer extends to full property management (cleaning, laundry, maintenance, gardening etc) for property owners. Q. Where do you like to go on holiday? A. Out of season, we might explore somewhere very different such as Antarctica or Bhutan, but it takes a lot to beat this country – and this county in particular! We are usually in Norfolk in the summer, or possibly just over the border in Southwold. Q. Which essentials do you have to pack in your suitcase? A. Walking boots! Little beats a good walk with the dogs for a pub lunch at any time of year. Also some good books and binoculars. Q. How will you be spending the Christmas period? A. At home with the family. Having so many of the family involved in the business means that we are blessed with all six grandchildren living locally. Q. What do you love about Christmas here in Norfolk? A. The wonderful local produce, the Holt Christmas lights, a carol service, great hostelries with roaring fires – and a beach walk on Boxing Day to one of those hostelries for lunch!

For further information on Norfolk Country Cottages, call 01263 715 779 or visit 54

Issue 60

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Norfolk on My Mind Magazine - Winter 2017  

The 2017 Winter Edition of Norfolk on My Mind Magazine covering North Norfolk