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Limewire ISSUE 2

Wild

Imaginings Not Just Organic The Ghost of Tables Past


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Limewire 01 04

18

09

W

ith the ever-changing New Forest as our backdrop, the Lime Wood Group is all about celebrating the seasons, which for the second issue of Limewire means the autumn (for many the best time of the year to be in the forest) and the winter, an ideal excuse to curl up by a fire with a book, or retreat to the Herb House’s spectacular sauna. The big news this autumn was the opening of The Pig, our new kitchen, garden and restaurant with rooms, just down the road from Lime Wood, which has already won plaudits for its micro-seasonal food, mismatched interiors, and modest prices. We’re also delighted to announce exciting additions to Portetta, our fantastic collection of hotel rooms, lofts and mountain lodges in Courchevel 1650; the larger lodges each have a new outdoor hot tub and five-star ratings, the hotel a new, sun-baked outdoor terrace bar overlooking the slopes, ‘Fire & Ice’. For (armchair) travellers whose thoughts tend to drift more to the ocean than the slopes at this time of year, we have a feature on Mozambique; on the Portuguese legacy on Ilha de Moçambique and a new beachfront lodge where you can dive for gold. Local, seasonal food is at the forefront of what we do, so we are indebted to the excellence of local suppliers such as Ridgeview Wine Estate in Sussex and Sunnyfields Farm in Hampshire, both of which are profiled in this issue. If you want to know more, sign up for a tour and tasting, or head to Sunnyfields’ Farm Café on a Saturday for breakfast. There are more local people to meet and places to visit on page 21, plus an interview with one particularly intriguing local personality, Simon Mann, who recently launched his autobiographical thriller, Cry Havoc, at Lime Wood. If you want to know what it feels like to be back in Hampshire after a stint in Equatorial Guinea’s Black Beach prison, turn to page 13.

Contents 02. 04.

Wild Imaginings Tales of the forest and a New Forest reading list.

Green and Sparkling Land English fizz is proving a serious contender to Champagne, as the rise and rise of Sussex producer Ridgeview has shown.

07. 09.

Limewire Debate Can Apple survive without Steve Jobs?

Not Just Organic Sunnyfields founder Ian Nelson is proud to run an organic farm, but he’s even more passionate about championing a sustainable, local economy.

10.

Skiing by Numbers Courchevel: why 1650 is the new 1850 and where to eat, drink, sleep, spa and ski when you’re there.

13.

Soldier of Fortune Three years ago, Simon Mann was serving a 34-year prison sentence in Equatorial Guinea’s notorious Black Beach prison. Now the British mercenary’s autobiographical thriller is set to become a Hollywood movie.

14.

The Ghost of Tables Past Why the vintage tableware at The Pig is striking a chord and where to bid for crystal and glassware in the New Forest area.

17.

Herbal Lore The herbs in Lime Wood’s rooftop Herbery don’t just smell good; they are vital ingredients in the menus of the Raw & Cured food bar and indirectly, the Herb House Spa.

18.

Treasure Island Thanks to a new luxury retreat, the island that gave Mozambique its name – and its haunting colonial legacy – are now much easier to visit.

21.

Forest Bumf What to do and where to go in the New Forest this season.

Published by: The Lime Wood Group, Beaulieu Rd, Lyndhurst, SO43 7FZ. Publisher: David Elton. Editor: Lisa Johnson (lisamariejohnson@mac.com) For advertising enquiries contact: Victoria Gibbs on: victoria.gibbs@limewoodgroup.com Emma Cripwell on: emma@angelpublicity.com Design and production: www.strattons.com © Lime Wood Group 2012


Wild

Imaginings TALES OF THE FO REST

Last autumn, I cycled through the New Forest National Park from Lime Wood to what is now The Pig. The sun was shining through the leaves and I felt free and happy. As the afternoon wore on and the sky clouded over, however, I grew anxious. Hadn’t I seen that turning before? And was that humble woodman really what he seemed?

A ride or walk through the woods doesn’t just feel good on a physical level, it can help to restore emotional balance, putting individual concerns into a universal perspective. It can also go deeper than that, as stories of the forest and their impact on the imagination rise to the surface. Think of fairy tales such as Hansel and Gretel or Little Red Riding Hood, where the forest is a realm of nightmares, a place of cannibalistic witches and predatory wolves masquerading as kindly grandmothers. Or of melodramatic Gothic novels, such as Ann Radcliffe’s Romance of the Forest, where a ruined abbey haunted by bats throws up one unspeakable horror after another. In the classic English children’s tales The Wind in the Willows and Winnie the Pooh, there is a frightening ‘Wild Wood’ (Berkshire’s Bisham Wood) and a ‘dark and mysterious forest’ (part of Ashdown Forest in East Sussex), but these are counterbalanced by enchanted clearings evocative of old rural England. The same is true of Tolkien’s The Hobbit, where The Shire – believed to have been inspired by a Roman site in Gloucestershire’s Forest of Dean – is regarded as a sanctuary (as it is for Robin Hood and his merry men). This dichotomy is apparent in Shakespeare, too. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the forest is a magical place of fairies and dreams, while for guiltridden Macbeth it is a source of terror, particularly when he sees ‘Great Birnam Wood’ (soldiers camouflaged by tree branches) marching towards him at ‘high Dunsinane Hill,’ as the witches’ third prophecy is fulfilled and the natural order of things restored. Macbeth isn’t the only tale in which the forest is symbolic of nature reasserting itself; in other stories, it’s a place where characters feel free from the constraints of society and primitive instincts come to the fore. It’s in the forest that Thomas Hardy’s favourite heroine Tess is raped and Lady Chatterley meets her gamekeeper. Underpinning much of this is the forest’s symbolic association with the unconscious, sometimes as a path to a higher wisdom. It is this, as the Austrian-born American psychologist and writer Bruno Bettelheim pointed out, that Dante evokes at the beginning of The Divine Comedy when he says, ‘In the middle of the journey of our life I found myself in a dark wood where the straight way was lost.’ and it is in the dark wood that he finds Virgil, who takes him on a trip through hell to purgatory and heaven.

Photography: Tatiana Stratton


A New Forest reading list The Children of the New Forest by Captain Frederick Marryat (1847). The story of three children brought up by a gamekeeper during the Civil War and Commonwealth, after their Cavalier father is killed by the Roundheads. ‘It was written for children but is a slightly old-fashioned read, so better suited to adults these days.’ Phil Stevenson, Bestsellers. The Forest by Edward Rutherfurd (2000). A novelisation of the history of the New Forest, taking in the death of William Rufus (who was killed by an arrow while hunting in the forest) through to the trial of Lady Alice Lisle, executed after harbouring fugitives following Monmouth’s attempt to overthrow King James II. ‘All the historical characters you’d expect from the 900-year history of the forest are there, but with fictional characters to fill the gaps. It reads as a thriller.’ John Hudson, Fordingbridge Bookshop. Bestsellers is at 47 Brookley Road in Brockenhurst (01590 622327) and Fordingbridge Bookshop is at 15 Salisbury Street in Fordingbridge (01425 653725). Both books are available at both shops.


Limewire 05 R ID GEV IEW

Green and

Sparkling Land ENGLISH FIZZ IS PROVING A SERIOUS CONTENDER TO C HAM PAGNE, AS THE RISE AND RISE OF SUSSEX PRODUCER R ID GEV IEW HAS SHOWN.

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n 12 October, Sussex wine producers Ridgeview received some exciting news; their Grosvenor Blanc de Blancs 2007 had won best sparkling wine in the International Wine and Spirit Competition. Nor was it a fluke; they’d won the award before, for their Bloomsbury 2002 in 2005 and it came on top of another prestigious trophy for best sparkling wine in last year’s Decanter World Wine Awards, beating Taittinger and Charles Heidsieck in the process. Ridgeview founder Mike Roberts explains: ‘The International Wine and Spirit Competition takes in all wines of the world, with the significant exception of Champagne. However, the Decanter award, which is as big as any worldwide competition, includes everything and 2010 was the first year it didn’t go to a Champagne.’ The Ditchling Common wine estate has received some 150 trophies in total, as well as being distinguished in other ways. In May, Ridgeview’s Fitzrovia 2004 rosé was served by Her Majesty the Queen in honour of President Obama’s visit and a month later, Mike Roberts was presented with an MBE for his services to the English wine industry. It all adds up to prove that English fizz can be as good as, if not better than, Champagne – as well as being more affordable. As Roberts points out, Ridgeview may have been the runner-up in this year’s Decanter award, but it was beaten by a Champagne that costs £145.00 a bottle as opposed to £24.95. There is a sort of justice to all this. In 1662, one Christopher Merret presented a paper to the Royal Society of London – unearthed by Tom Stevenson, author of Christie’s World Encyclopedia of Champagne & Sparkling Wine – which documented the process of making traditional sparkling wine and reported that a ‘gay and brisk sparkling wine’ was being drunk in London 30 years before the technique was documented in Champagne. (To celebrate this, Ridgeview calls its member’s only wine-tasting club Circle of Merret and names its wines after areas of London.) In 1994, when Mike and his wife Christine founded Ridgeview, most English winegrowers were focusing on German grape varieties, and England was the ‘most negative marketing term’ you could put on a wine bottle. ‘We thought this was ridiculous when our closest neighbour, only 88 miles to the south, had a reputation for producing the most important appellation in the world,’ explains Roberts. ‘It made sense to produce Champagne in everything but the name.’

According to Roberts, the geology and climate of Champagne and Hampshire, Sussex and Kent are remarkably similar. ‘Champagne is a huge area, but we both basically have topsoils of chalk, limestone and sandstone on a sand, limestone and clay base. And Sussex is officially a continental climate, not a maritime one. It gets 600mm of rain a year – about one third as much as Australia’s sparkling wine region, the Yarra Valley.’ Leading wine writer Jancis Robinson also holds that southern England is the only place in the world that replicates the particular growing circumstances of Champagne. Ridgeview also uses the same grape varieties – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier – as the majority of Champagne producers and abides by the same rules. There are differences, however, which Roberts feels play in England’s favour. ‘The South Downs are one degree of latitude further north, which gives us a slightly longer growing season. That makes it easier for us to produce fully ripe grapes, which show more fruit characteristics. In Champagne, the grapes are picked when they’re slightly less ripe.’

Ridgeview also uses taller trellising systems than Champagne, which keep the plants away from the cold ground and danger of frost in the spring and also, potentially, mildew. ‘Another not insignificant point is that the working height of our systems is around the waist and not the ankles,’ adds Roberts. ‘And the French have acknowledged that we’re getting similar yields.’ One particularly appealing aspect of the Ridgeview story is that it’s very much a family business. While Mike directs the winemaking and his wife, Christine, manages the estate, their daughter, Tamara, is Ridgeview’s general manager, their son, Simon, does the physical winemaking and Simon’s Australian wife Mardi looks after sales and marketing. There’s even a dedicated Ridgeview nursery, attended by Mike’s four grandsons and children of other Ridgeview employees, ‘who also feel part of the family.’ It’s a family that is likely to grow – already, more than 20 per cent of Ridgeview’s business is dedicated to making wine for partners, including Waitrose and Direct Wines. Nor is the winery an isolated case: Nyetimber Manor in West Sussex, which predates Ridgeview, is another big English fizz success story, sparkling rosés from Hush Heath Estate in Kent are winning awards and others are coming on stream. In fact, according to Stephen Skelton’s UK Vineyards Guide, there are now more than 400 vineyards in the British Isles, many of them making sparkling wine, while Dutch businessman Eric Heerema, the new owner of Nyetimber, has said he believes England has the potential to become the leading sparkling wine region in the world. ‘English wine,’ says Roberts, ‘is now a great marketing brand.’ Plus the French have taken note. Just as Veuve Clicquot and Moët & Chandon own vineyards in the New World, Champagne names such as Louis Roederer and Duval Leroy have shown interest in buying land in southern England. As to what is his favourite Ridgeview wine, Roberts says it depends on his mood. ‘When the sun’s out, I favour the brightness of the Chardonnay blends, in Ridgeview’s Bloomsbury, for instance and when it’s more wintry, I prefer the Pinot varieties such as Cavendish.’ He describes a new 2008 Saignée rosé blend, which the Ridgeview team have just tasted for the first time, as ‘absolutely wonderful’, before adding that – much to his wife’s disgust – they don’t actually drink their own wines that often, ‘because we’re so genuinely short of them.’ For more information, see www.ridgeview.co.uk


Limewire 07

Limewire Can Apple survive without Steve Jobs?

S

teve Jobs, the visionary and creative genius that made Apple the product and success it is today, passed away recently aged 56. His legacy is untouchable but many ask what next for Apple? Can they thrive without their iconic impresario?

FOR

AGAINST

Graham Staplehurst director of Brandz says “even without Jobs… as long as Apple continues to deliver on its brand ideal and promise of creative, innovative products, the Apple brand will remain in rude health.”

In The Daily Telegraph Robert Colvile believes business leaders queue up to hymn Jobs’s praises as a guru. Yet the downside of the “Cult of Mac” is that the company has come to be identified with the man.

Jon Abell on Wired.com insists the legendary Apple CEO has left his company in fine hands and... “The lines of succession and responsibility have been carefully crafted and are as sleek as any piece of hardware Apple has ever designed.”

Wilson Rothman on MSNBC argues “The danger is that eventually Apple becomes more like Sony. The company once synonymous with technological innovation has been cripplingly complacent since the demise of its co-founders.”

The Times technology reporter Murad Ahmed argues “Investors and employees have been impressed with Mr Cook. That should not be a surprise. Mr Cook has been groomed for the role for the past five years.”

On CNET, Josh Lowensohn says “The panache, the ‘vision thing’ will be hard to replace. The loss of a founder can take years to have an influence for the negative, and it's ‘typically a more subtle one’.”

In TIME Michael Schuman believes “There is a long history of entrepreneurial companies not only surviving their charismatic founders, but thriving after they passed on. Ford, Disney and now Apple which will remain a major player without Steve.”

At Reuters Miyoung Kim and Hyunjoo Jinsay say “Steve Jobs' creative spirit was so closely tied to the fortunes of Apple that his death raises questions about the companys ability to keep its pipeline of transformational products running at such a fast pace.”

BBC Business reporter Rebecca Marston thinks that such talk seems to suggest Mr Jobs has left behind a rudderless ship without a captain, which is patently not the case.

The Daily Mails Geoffrey Levy says: “Think of Britain without Churchill; Manchester United without Sir Alex; now Apple without Jobs. And this at a time when competitors are snapping at the heels.”

This debate is taken from In-Debate Magazine. Visit www.in-debate.com to sign up to their weekly Fully Briefed newsletter.


Limewire 09

Not just

Organic SUNNYFIELDS FOUNDER IAN NELSON IS PROUD TO RUN AN O RGANIC FARM, BUT HE’S EVEN MO RE PASSIONATE ABOUT C HAMPIONING A SUSTAINABLE, LO CAL ECONOMY

O

n the home page of its website, Hampshire farm Sunnyfields describes itself as a ‘one-stop shop for food with a difference.’ ‘We are greengrocers, farmers, butchers, shopkeepers, cooks and more,’ runs the strapline, ‘with a vision for the future.’

A big part of that difference lies in being organic – Sunnyfields has been a certified Soil Association organic farm for 25 years. However, for Ian Nelson, who runs the Totton-based farm with his wife, Louise, local and seasonal are more likely to grab the headlines now. ‘From a marketing perspective, it’s more about the story behind the produce.’ he says. ‘The passion that goes into it, how fresh it is, the people you supply to, an old production method, a particular variety. Ultimately, it’s about provenance – and trust.’ Sunnyfields certainly has the credentials, with clients including The River Café, Sting and Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen in London. Nelson’s background inspires confidence, too. He grew up in Manchester, but his family spent their holidays camping on farms in the Peak District and the Lakes and his grandfather taught him how to grow fruit and vegetables and preserve plums and damsons for winter. At 15, the young Nelson had a ‘vibrant business looking after people’s gardens’. After studying horticulture at Writtle Agricultural College in Essex, he found himself on the shores of Lake Malawi, working as a horticultural development officer on a two-year stint with VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas), while his future wife Louise, whom he’d met on a VSO training course, taught science at a nearby secondary school.

Back on UK soil, he and Louise, who were now expecting the first of their two children, settled at Sunnyfields, which a friend had turned into an organic farm and decided to start their own business. With help from The Prince’s Trust and other schemes, they launched Naturally Best Foods in 1989, buying and selling local, seasonal, organic foods from a ‘unit the size of a garage’ in the village of Netley Marsh. Two years later, they took over the tenancy of the farm, which was facing financial challenges. They went on to invest £1.5 million in infrastructure and equipment and to develop the many and varied aspects of the business that Sunnyfields encompasses today.

around the world requires large amounts of oil, while the organic alternative of clover lays, animal manures and a mixed and balanced growing system does not. Thirdly, many supermarket fruits and vegetables are grown for how much they yield and how well they can be stored, rather than for taste.’

‘At our heart we’re still farmers.’ says Nelson. ‘We do have more livestock than we used to, chickens, turkeys, pigs and cattle, plus we have added a lot of value to the process. We have a farm kitchen, where we make sausages, burgers and black pudding, soups and pickles. We have a farm café that opens on a Saturday for breakfast and lunch. Also we have hosted weddings and a music festival, Pulse, for two years running, raising more than £15,000 for the Ocean Children’s Ward at Southampton General hospital in the process.’

As for the future, his primary focus lies elsewhere – on sustainability. ‘We can’t assume the challenges facing us will simply sort themselves out,’ he argues. ‘Food production is linked to energy prices, water availability, climate change, world markets and a growing population. Two years ago, the eminent think tank Chatham House stated that, “the UK can no longer take its food supplies for granted.” We need to make positive changes.’ Another problem is food security. ‘The UK is losing farm workers and skills like there’s no tomorrow,’ explains Nelson. ‘I’d like to see local food businesses connected more closely to other local businesses to stimulate local economies.’ According to Nelson, we are far from reaching this goal. ‘Hotels say it’s hard to buy local produce because the quality is inconsistent. The popularity of farmer’s markets is plateauing and even falling because people don’t shop there, they graze and just go home with a tiny piece of cheese. The recession is a factor, too, with people buying on price.’

It’s a time he remembers with affection. ‘I immediately broke my leg falling down a storm drain while playing Frisbee, so turned up for my first day at work on a pair of fluorescent-topped “Malawi against Polio” crutches, which caused some bemusement. Later, I had a house right on the lake, so could listen to the waves from my bed.’ It was also an important job. ‘The locals relied on maize and cassava, so if the crops failed, they went hungry.’ he explains. ‘My role was to encourage them to spread the risk by diversifying into other crops such as tomatoes and teach them about resistance to pests and water effects and how to sell and dry their produce. I built demo gardens next to schools and hospitals and helped the villagers to procure seeds.’ Not surprisingly, Nelson says he learnt as much as he taught.

Still, Nelson still wouldn’t describe himself as ‘an organic stalwart’ – although everything Sunnyfields grows is organic, and the chickens and pigs are free-range and grown to organic standards, the animals are not given organic feed, largely because it’s too expensive.

Nelson is still a passionate advocate of organic, which he describes as ‘food that is produced by working with the environment and not by dominating it.’ While conceding that ‘the safety of non-organic fruit and vegetables is much higher than it was,’ he says there are still some black marks against non-organic farming. ‘For one thing, it relies on fertiliser containing soluble nitrates, which feed the plant and not the soil and end up polluting the watercourses,’ he explains. ‘Producing this fertiliser and moving it

Yet his argument is compelling. ‘In 2002, The New Economics Foundation found that while supermarkets spend just 11 pence per pound in the local community, a proper local pound can generate 11 additional pounds. We need to strip away the middlemen, the packaging and all the boats, planes and unnecessary oil consumption. What I’d like to see is a map of Britain like those you see on Election Nights, gradually turning colour to highlight all the fields producing local food – grown locally, processed locally, employing local people and consumed locally. If this happened across the whole of Britain, it would be fantastic. Just think: we import £12 billion worth of food into Britain that we could grow. No wonder our economy is in a mess.’


10 Limewire

Skiing by Fire & Ice Basking in the sun with a vin chaud, keeping one eye on your kids at the ski school and the other on that exotic beauty you secretly suspect to be a spy, is as much part of the ski experience as zigzagging down the slopes. With its sheepskin-covered seating and stunning valley backdrop, Portetta’s new ski-in outdoor terrace bar, Fire & Ice, is the biggest suntrap in Courchevel and unlikely to remain a secret in the wider Trois Vallées area for long.

The Spa After a day’s skiing, a good massage seems more like a necessity than an indulgence and the in-house spa at Portetta ticks both boxes, offering muscular treatments for aches and pains and a candlelit relaxation room furnished with chic, snow-white sofas. Hardworking massages in treatment rooms with private showers are complemented by kiwi and pomegranate facials and shea butter and wheat wraps courtesy of French luxury skincare brand Darphin; there’s also a sauna, steam room and gym and a 20% discount on treatments between 9am and noon.

Numbers F

or many people, Courchevel is Courchevel 1850, the post-war French ski resort that rose to become the St Tropez of the Alps.

Named very approximately after its altitude, it has Louis Vuitton shops, Michelin-starred restaurants including Le Chabichou, ritzy nightclubs such as Les Caves, and in the wooded Jardin Alpin area above the centre, some of the glitziest luxury hotels in the Alps (two of them now with France’s new six-star ‘Palace’ ranking). The skiing’s upscale too, encompassing the most extensive and varied network of pistes in the whole Trois Vallées area, as well as north-facing, well-groomed slopes, an efficient lift system, famously impressive snowmaking and ski-in ski-out accommodation to the biggest linked ski area in the world. So it’s hardly surprising that Paris’ jet set, British royalty and Russia’s nouveau, bling-clad riche flock here in early January and briefly in March. Besides that time the resort is traditionally dominated by the Brits and the French with plenty of smatterings of just about every other European country – it is a truly international and cosmopolitan destination! Happily, there is an alternative, as a more discerning French and wider European clientele is discovering. Two hundred metres down the road, above 1550 and 1300/Le Praz (the site of the 1992 Olympics ski jump) is Courchevel 1650, a quieter, more authentic village with appealingly retro 1970s chalets, more affordable restaurants, shorter lift queues and emptier slopes. In response to its growing popularity, it is smartening up its act, timber cladding its less prepossessing hotels, shielding skiers from the through traffic and improving access to lifts and gondolas.

The Boot Room Store rooms don’t generally invite much comment, but Portetta’s boot room has been heralded as ‘the most civilised this side of the Atlantic.’ This is largely because it’s so big, which means you can tug off your boots without propelling yourself onto a stranger’s lap. It also doubles as an in-hotel ski-hire shop, which is only two minutes from the main lift area. Skiing in and out couldn’t be easier.

This is the setting of the refurbished Portetta Hotel, which stands on the nursery slopes in the attractive centre, overlooking the Parc national de la Vanoise. As well as 38 rooms (doubles and family rooms for six with a choice of piste or valley view), the hotel has six lofts, a Darphin spa and a restaurant serving Savoyard or French dishes based on the best local seasonal produce available. Alternatively, book one of the collection’s luxurious Mountain Lodges, or Petite Marmotte, its unique Alpine hideaway for two. Then head out onto the slopes for some seriously sublime skiing. Doubles at Le Portetta Hotel cost from £147 half board; family rooms from £169 half board (00 33 479 080 147; www.leportetta.com).


s

Limewire 11 The Lofts Loft accommodation usually implies superior views and an above-average amount of space and Portetta’s six lofts are no exception. Situated on the two top floors of the hotel with the requisite crackling open fires, the lofts were conceived like chalet accommodation for families or parties of friends, but with the added value of access to the hotel’s facilities, including its spa, in-house ski rental and restaurant serving Savoyard or French dishes with a twist. Sleeping from three to six each, with sofa beds for overspill, the lofts come with en-suite bathtubs or showers and/or balconies on which to savour an après-ski hot chocolate. At £5,910 B&B for six sharing, the price is reasonable too (00 33 479 080 147; www.leportetta.com).

The best runs in Courchevel Courchevel is a fantastically diverse area, with great runs for every level of skier.

Beginners Portetta Hotel stands right on the nursery slopes, which means you can watch your kids at the ESF ski school as you sip your hot chocolate. Skiers also rate the instruction given by British-run outfit New Generation. Great green runs include Belvedere 1650 and Verdons, while Biolley and Marquis are the best of the blues.

The Mountain Lodges Complementing Portetta’s Loft accommodation are four sumptuous mountain lodges for larger (and smaller) groups in Belvedere, a five-minute cab ride above Courchevel 1650 (or a 20-minute moonlit walk back). Named Chamois, Blanchot and Marmotte and Petite Marmotte after alpine animals (a blanchot is a mountain rabbit), the quartet of lodges sleep 16, 12, 10 and just two guests, respectively. They have already raised the bar for chalet accommodation in the area, by being the only chalets to have won five-star (‘luxury with exceptional comfort’) and four-star (‘top-of-the-range with superior comfort’) ratings from the French National Prefecture. And there’s nothing behind or in front of them but the snow. The larger chalets come with brand-new outdoor hot tubs, a hammam or sauna and views down the Parc national de la Vanoise, as well as other luxurious touches such as wooden floors, plaid throws, antique chests and Bose sound systems. However, the star of the show is unquestionably Petite Marmotte. A hay-store-turnednewlywed’s hideaway with a wooden staircase leading from a firelit, sheepskin-clad snug to an en-suite bedroom, it could be the most romantic retreat in the Alps. Nor do you have to leave it to enjoy the best cuisine in Courchevel, either: for mountain lodge guests that require it, Portetta has an arrangement with the catering arm of 1850’s two-Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Chabichou. From £8,370 full board for the larger chalets and £1,255 full board for Petite Marmotte. Book through Laure Moreaux (00 33 6373 43875; laure.moreaux@leportetta.com).

Intermediate The Courchevel area is especially good for intermediate skiers. Top red runs include Marmottes from the top of La Vizelle and Loze, both in 1850, and the Combe de la Saulire before it gets busy.

Advanced For challenging black runs, head to Chanrossa and Grand Couloir, both in 1850. For a first offpiste experience, try the Tour du Rocher de l’Ombre, accessed from the left of the Combe de la Saulire piste. The Chanrossa chair lift leads to more great off-piste skiing.


Duncan Hamilton poses with his Maserati 4CLT, as 2-year old would-be racer Adrian Hamilton ponders life in the fast lane

For over 60 years we’ve been quietly making dreams come true in our role as one of the world’s foremost dealers in premium historic road and competition cars. In that time we’ve handled a significant proportion of the most exotic motorcars ever made. So, if you have some automotive ambitions of your own, why not give us a call.

Above: Below:

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Limewire 13

Soldier of

Fortune

Three years ago, Simon Mann was serving a 34-year prison sentence in Equatorial Guinea’s notorious Black Beach prison. Now the British mercenary’s autobiographical thriller is set to become a Hollywood movie.

F

or most people, the curious story of Simon Mann began when the ex-SAS officer was arrested on a Harare runway in March 2004, en route to a planned coup against President Obiang of Equatorial Guinea.

Mann finally returned to the UK in November 2009, following a five and a half year prison ordeal in Zimbabwe and Equatorial Guinea and a presidential pardon – accompanied with the extraordinary revelation that, far from torturing and eating him, Obiang had arranged for Mann to be served hotel food and receive private medical treatment. Back home in Hampshire, the Old Etonian has kept himself busy – writing Cry Havoc, an autobiographical account of the failed coup and its aftermath and pitching the tale to Hollywood, where Ridley Scott’s production company has taken an option, with Scott as director and Scottish heartthrob Gerard Butler as the lead. Mann is cautious, but excited. ‘Making a Hollywood movie is a massive process, but we have the powerful CAA Creative Artists Agency behind us and pitching to the studios with Robert Edwards, who will write the script, has been great fun.’ Mann hopes to be involved as a technical consultant as he was on Paul Greengrass’s 2002 film Bloody Sunday, when he also played British Colonel Wilford, the ‘chief baddie’. It’s a very different outlook to his dark days in Zimbabwe’s Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison, when Mann started Cry Havoc as a ‘love letter’ to his wife Amanda, to ‘tell my seven children who I was and why I had done these things’ and perhaps make some money for them too. Written as an adventure thriller, the book makes some white-hot claims – that the CIA compromised the coup to gain access to Equatorial Guinea’s oil, that the British government approached Mann to suggest ways of engineering a justified invasion of Iraq – but Mann insists his intention was not to set the public record straight. ‘I just want people to enjoy the book and say, “wow, so that’s what happened,”’ he explains. ‘I wrote it to entertain, but I didn’t bend the truth to make it more thrilling and I wasn’t trying to excuse my actions.’ What Cry Havoc does do is offer a fascinating insight into the world of mercenaries – an ill-defined term, says Mann, that covers a range of meanings. ‘The mercenaries that went to the Congo and Biafra in the 1960s did awful things,’ he concedes. ‘But the mercenaries in Housman’s poem, Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries, written about the British Expeditionary Force of 1914, were professional soldiers [as opposed to conscripts] who joined the army for pay, just like any regular soldier today. A soldier leaving the British Armed Forces and working as a mercenary for Aegis in Afghanistan would find the transition very easy.’ Mann has a strong military background: his grandfather and father were Scots Guards who fought in the Great War and World War II (both also captained the English cricket team) and Mann served with the Scots Guards and later in the Gulf War, before restyling himself as an oil man and heading up mercenary operations in Angola and Sierra Leone. He’s quite clear about what drove him to attempt the coup in Equatorial Guinea. ‘It offered the perfect double whammy,’ he explains, ‘an opportunity to take down a nasty tyranny and make a whole load of money in the process.’ He claims he tried to have a moral map in all three African operations, but allows that some people will say it was a ‘lousy map. Or that I’m a lousy map reader.’

There were secondary reasons, too, he says, one of them being that the head of the Equatorial Guinean opposition, Severo Moto, who has political asylum in Madrid and the principal London-based backer of the coup – named ‘The Boss’ in the book for legal reasons – approached him, which was flattering. ‘And then there was the promise of adventure,’ he adds, ‘the mountain to climb.’ Mann helped to secure his pardon in Equatorial Guinea by providing detailed information on the run-up to the attempted coup, but claims there was no ‘quid pro quo’ surrounding his release. He has a good relationship with Obiang’s government now: he’s been back to help the police authorities ‘who want to prosecute Mark Thatcher and also have a case against Lebanese businessman Ely Calil.’ He is not, however, a paid security consultant, nor does he have business interests in Equatorial Guinea. ‘These days, I’m focusing on promoting Cry Havoc and the film, perhaps developing a computer game and writing more fiction,’ he says.

Family Mann There’s a surreal moment in Cry Havoc when, in the run-up to the attempted coup in Equatorial Guinea, Mann goes to his ‘local B&Q in Southampton’, to cost up the software needed for the operation. ‘The idea at the time was to buy a boat in the Baltic and call in at Southampton for stores,’ explains Mann. ‘Military software means axes, saws, spades and building materials – anything that’s not weapons.’ The passage brings home how strange it must have been for Mann living parallel lives – as a mercenary in some of the most dangerous countries in Africa and a family man in Hampshire. He has four children with Amanda and three from a previous marriage. His eldest sons Peter and Jack have both done tours in Afghanistan and Jack, a Blues & Royals cavalry officer, rode in the royal carriage behind the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their wedding day. ‘It can get a bit weird,’ he concedes. ‘You’re all excited. You’re whole being is elsewhere. And then a child needs help with his or her homework.’ When Mann and Amanda moved to Hampshire in 1997, they initially lived on the banks of the river Beaulieu and recently moved to near Lymington. When Mann returned to Hampshire, he says it was amazing to see The Solent again. These days, he loves going boating with his children, including Arthur (now six), who he met for the first time when released from prison. ‘We’ve got a little motorboat and we go mackerel fishing. Freddy (15) is also an accomplished sea bass fisherman and Lily (13) loves swimming in the sea – even in winter. The girls also have their ponies. That’s their main love, especially for Bess (nine).


Limewire 15 The Ghost of

Tables Past Why the vintage tableware at The Pig is striking a chord

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he big story at The Pig is the menus, which change hourly depending on what is brought in from the walled garden or forest. However, guests have also been taken with Judy Hutson’s (pictured right) shabby-chic interiors; the glorious, jewel-coloured patchwork floor tiles in the Victorian greenhouse restaurant, the mismatched crockery, the bone-handled cutlery and multi-coloured vintage glassware. Additionally, the almost hidden ‘Potting Shed’ by the pond is a real gem of a discovery in the grounds and is actually a minuscule spa in disguise! Hutson says the idea was to make The Pig feel as if it has ‘evolved organically’ over a number of years. ‘There is an eclectic mix of old and new, as you might have in your own home, where items have been bought at different times or handed down through the family.’ she explains. She thinks guests are responding well to the ‘non-matching, not overprecious and not over-designed look’ for the simple reason that they feel comfortable with it. There are other reasons behind the continuing vogue for mismatched chic; the impact of the recession, the growing popularity of eBay and an interest in recycling fuelled by concerns over global warming. Nostalgia for tea at grandma’s, or a time when a special dinner service came top of a wedding list, may also play a part, along with a desire to show an appreciation of family history. Hutson is keeping her sources close to her chest, but given that such interiors are supposed to be personal, attempting to copy The Pig would miss the point anyway. Ideally, you need to start with a few choice items purloined from mum, auntie, grandma or great-grandma; some square bonehandled cutlery from the 1900s, a 1928 Carlton Ware purple lustre and gold-leaf coffee set, a 1930s Jade Green and Pink Floral Aynsley tea service, some 1950s Hock glasses on different coloured stems and a 1950s Twintone Poole pottery cruet set (preferably in Sky Blue and Dove Grey). Then mix in some new designs by contemporary craftsmen or head out to local auctions, fleamarkets, antiques shops and those fantastic little bric-a-brac shops you sometimes find on high streets and back streets and see what else you can rootle out.

Where to bid for crystal and glassware in the New Forest area •

Woolley & Wallis in Salisbury is ‘arguably the most exciting provincial saleroom in the country’, according to the Antiques Trade Gazette. Glass is sold about six times a year through the saleroom’s English and European Ceramics and 20th Century Design departments. ‘Ruby-flashed Bohemian drinking glasses made in the18th or 19th century could feature in the former,’ says Clare Durham, ‘decorative items by Whitefriars (a London-based company previously known as Powell & Sons) in the latter.’ Items fetch anything from the low £100s to the low- to mid-£1,000s, ‘Interest in the glass market has declined over the past decade, but the best pieces are still making money.’ www.woolleyandwallis.co.uk

Andrew Smith & Son at Itchen Stoke near Winchester holds crystal and glassware auctions every six to eight weeks through its ceramics section. ‘Interest in high-quality cut-glass drinking glasses by names such as Waterford, Edinburgh Crystal and Stuart Crystal is increasing’ says Janice Smith. ‘It tends to be unused wedding presents of 20 to 40 years of age. With the current fashion for less cluttered, fussy interiors, interest in lower-quality items has dropped, but bidders are still interested in 19th century Bohemian coloured glass. Whitefriars vases attract competitive bidding, as does some stylised Scandinavian glass. And there will always be a market for 18th century drinking glasses, particularly those with air-twist stems.’ www.andrewsmithandson.com

Bulstrodes Auction Rooms in Christchurch hosts general sales every week. ‘We tend to have affordable pieces such as Waterford drinking glasses and Victorian decanters,’ says Kate Howe. ‘That said, an amethyst glass claret jug went for £700 recently because of its colour.’ www.bulstrodes.co.uk

Crystal Gazing Glass has been produced for 6,000 years and became a thriving industry from the 13th century. While the Venetians focused mainly on coloured glass, the French and Germans added potash and lime to the basic ingredients, the Bohemians pioneered cut- and etched-glass and the English added lead oxide to the mix, giving cut-glass its distinctive sparkle and ring. One of the historic centres of English glassmaking is Stourbridge in the Midlands, where glass has been manufactured since the arrival of Huguenot glassmakers from France in the 17th century. In 1861 there were numerous glass factories in the area, but most have fallen victim to globalisation, including Stuart Crystal (closed 2001), Royal Brierley (closed 2000) and Royal Doulton (now produced, along with Waterford Crystal, Wedgewood and other brands in other parts of Europe, by WWRD Holdings Ltd). Tudor Crystal (aka Plowden and Thompson), Brierley Hill Crystal (owned by third-generation master cutter Darryll Hemmings) and Staffordshire Crystal (founded 1983) are still making and cutting glass in the Stourbridge area, while the Broadfield House Glass Museum houses a world-class glass collection and regularly stages glass-blowing demonstrations. For more information, see www.tudorcrystal.com, www.brierleyhillcrystal.co.uk, www.shirecrystal.com and www.glassmuseum.org.uk


VOYA AT LIME WOOD ORGANIC EFFECTIVE ANTI-AGING Award Winning Organic Seaweed Spa Treatments and Retail Products. Take an organic approach to well being with the exclusive VOYA spa and retail line. Formulated using hand-harvested seaweed from the pristine Northwest coast of Ireland, our treatments have been popular since 1912 when the first seaweed baths opened in Sligo. VOYA products and therapies are the result of 8 years work by the Walton family to bring you the world’s first range of USDA and Soil Association certified organic seaweed based products. Derived from the seaweed bath tradition which has been popular for over 300 years in Ireland. We have combined our traditional knowledge of the therapeutic properties of seaweed with the scientific expertise of the best cosmetic scientists, marine biologists and dermatologists. VOYA products contain as much organic ingredients as possible, especially chosen to complement the natural properties of our seaweed. All of VOYA’s products are made without harmful ingredients and are suitable for sensitive skins. We use biodegradable or recyclable materials in all our packaging and our manufacturing is done with sustainable energy. VOYA’s exclusive award winning treatments include our luxurious ‘Organic Seaweed Leaf wrap’ where the body is wrapped from head to toe in giant freshly harvested seaweed leaves.

www.voya.ie


Limewire 17

Herbal Lore T

he rooftop Herbery at Lime Wood isn’t just an aromatic backdrop for yoga, meditation and forest watching - its collection of herbs is extensive and all selected for a reason. Both the rooftop Herbery and the gardens surrounding the Herb House were designed by David Elton (also one of the Lime Wood Group Directors) and his vision was simple; “to create simple and comfortable, unfussy outside areas - ‘garden rooms’ if you like, that reflect the interior and continue the theme of Herb House using living herbs outside complimenting and extending the treatments and therapies received inside. The goal was to provide a totally immersive experience of visual, smell, touch and texture that would also reflect the natural position leading into the ancient forest.” Planting for the rooftop Herbery has been focussed on a carpet of thyme, incorporating over 15 varieties interspersed with thrift, sage and rosemary. There are seating areas, each one hedged with different varieties and colours of lavender and nepata (catmint) and you will even find a camomile lawn for that ultimate luxury - treading on it barefoot when fresh with an early summers morning dew and releasing that wonderful fragrance! A central avenue of bay trees and pyramids leads to the ‘mintarium’ - a glorious forest facing sun deck - marked with ancient olive trees and surrounded by beds of mint - not just your every day common or garden mint, (although they are there) but here are 15 varieties of mint including basil, pineapple, chocolate and banana! All of these herbs are vital ingredients in the menus of the Raw & Cured food bar and in many of the treatments offered in Herb House, not to mention an endless source of fascination. ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS Rosemary is a traditional symbol for remembrance (think of Ophelia in Hamlet) and love (Aphrodite is said to have been draped in it when she emerged from the sea and medieval brides would wear rosemary head wreaths). It is high in iron, calcium and vitamin B6 and contains antioxidants. Raw & Cured uses it in its broccoli and avocado dip, raw cheesy crackers and the rosemary vinegar that dresses its Not Your Mother’s Lentil Salad dish. At Herb House, it’s a key ingredient (along with lemon, cedar and cinnamon) in the Bamford Signature Treatment Body Polish, which is warming, invigorating and detoxifying and can help to improve circulation and reduce the appearance of cellulite. LAVANDULA The Romans scented their baths with lavender; its late-Latin name came from the verb lavare (to wash). The oil has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties and it is traditionally believed to soothe and heal insect bites and burns, while lavender pills are thought to aid sleep. At Herb House, staff decorate treatment rooms with lavender to aid relaxation and the essential oil is added (with geranium and peppermint) to Bamford’s Geranium Body Oil. The lavender de-stresses, the peppermint refreshes and the geranium eases tired muscles and joints.

MENTHA Mint is used worldwide to revive the body and spirit. The Roman naturalist and philosopher Pliny encouraged his students to wear it to ‘exhilarate their minds’ and it is still a popular decongestant. Try spearmint in Raw & Cured’s Tablouleh, fresh mint tea and a cucumber side dish served with smoked mackerel pâté. At Herb House, peppermint tea is offered to aid digestion. MATRICARIA RECUTITA Chamomile is widely used to relax and reduce anxiety and is offered as a herbal infusion at both Raw & Cured and Herb House. Bamford’s Chamomile Body Oil, a blend with lavender and tea tree oil, is also used in the spa – in the Bamford De-stress Massage and in the Bamford Chamomile Body Oil and Body Cream, which soothes the nervous system and is gentle and nourishing for dry skin. THYMUS VULGARIS The ancient Egyptians used thyme for embalming; for the ancient Greeks (who burnt it in their temples) and medieval knights (who were given gifts containing thyme by their ladies), it was a source of courage. The essential oil contains an antiseptic. At Raw & Cured, English thyme is added to smoothies made with plums and lemon juice. ALLIUM SCHOENOPRASUM Chives were believed by the Romans to alleviate sunburn and to act as a diuretic; they are still regarded as having antiseptic and diuretic properties. They are rich in calcium, iron and vitamins A and C and the stems are widely used in cooking. Raw & Cured adds both the stems and flowers of chives to its Herb House Salad and the stems to a tahini ‘cheese’ (tahini, chives, coriander and lemon juice), served with a courgette wrap. FOENICULUM VULGARE Fennel has a starring role in Greek mythology; it was with the stalk of a fennel plant that the Titan Prometheus stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mankind. Today, the seeds are a popular ingredient in oriental cooking and eaten as a digestive in parts of India and Pakistan. At Raw & Cured, fennel, apricot and caraway seeds are added to a compote, which is served with smoked duck.


18 Limewire

Ilha de Moçambique The island that gave Mozambique its name – and its haunting colonial legacy

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n a dusty square on Ilha de Moçambique, two local boys are trying to interest us in some antique coins and coloured beads. ‘1880,’ says our Dutch hostess, Alex. ‘Not bad. Although you can still find Dutch coins from 1592. The glass beads were once used to buy slaves. They’re still being washed ashore. The locals string them into bracelets.’

Ghosts are everywhere on Ilha: from 1530 until 1907, this tiny island off northern Mozambique was the capital of Portuguese East Africa; in 1975, it was dramatically abandoned following independence. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is full of colonial buildings – a hulking, 16th century fortress, a restored governor’s palace, the grand shell of a massive hospital – set against a backdrop of crumbling coral stone, peeling paint, boarded-up windows and searing heat. The dark history wields a spooky fascination – and there’s more to discover yet. ‘On wreck dives, you can see the anchors of galleons that went down 100 to 400 years ago carrying treasure from India and China,’ says Alex. ‘Our Brazilian dive master recently found an iron chest; when he prised it open, there were empty whisky bottles inside.’ Alex and her husband Bart run Coral Lodge 15.41, a ten-chalet luxury retreat on a private nature reserve on the mainland, ten minutes by boat from Ilha. Named after its geographical coordinates, it’s a unique addition to this wildly beautiful stretch of coastline, which has also become more accessible thanks to new Air Kenya flights to Nampula (two and a half hour’s drive away). You can sunbathe beside an infinity pool, swim off a tidal beach, snorkel in a lagoon (looking out for boxfish, pipefish and lionfish) and kayak through a mangrove. The shuttered, wooden chalets are minimalist in style but spacious and comfortable, with air-conditioning, four-poster beds, oval stone baths and Arab-style lighting; seafood medleys are eaten under a night bright with stars; and Alex and Bart are as likeable as they are competent and knowledgeable about local history and culture. When Vasco da Gama first came to Ilha in 1492, the Muslim Sheikh Mussa Bin Mbiki (who gave his name to the country as a whole) sent him to Cabaceira Pequena on the mainland for freshwater. When the locals refused to give it to him – so history has it – he burned the place to the ground. Today, the Muslim village (population 1,500) boasts a 12th century mosque, the grave of the sheikh and the well of Vasco da Gama. Most of the lodge’s 40 staff come from here, as do its ducks, guinea fowl and local vegetables. The community also receives a US$2 bed-per-night levy, which goes towards projects in schooling and health education.

remote Muslim community, 16th century Nossa Senhora dos Remédios still holds mass; the visiting priest administers to a congregation of six. As for the summer palace, it’s a majestic two-storey building with gorgeous views, but the windowpanes have disappeared and vegetation is reclaiming the stone, leaving the imagination to fill the gaps. Back across the bay on Ilha de Moçambique, the governor’s winter palace, São Paolo, has been splendidly restored; the contrast between the decrepit state of the island as a whole, and the velvet drapes and intricately carved Goan furniture on display here, is surreal. The palace also houses an engrossing naval museum, showing gold nuggets, Ming Dynasty porcelain and bronze cannons retrieved from a 1558 shipwreck by Madeiran archaeological divers (Arqueonautas) in 2001. Outside, the sun beats down relentlessly over the formidable limestone fortress of São Sebastão, erected by the Portuguese between 1546 and 1583, twice attacked by the Dutch and then again by the Omanis. While the latter finally succeeded in ousting the Portuguese from Mombasa’s Fort Jesus in 1698, Ilha’s fort remained impregnable. Inside, UNESCO has restored the irrigation channels that once fed water to the central cistern and is keen to move onto the next phase of the restoration, but the Mozambican government is stalling. The problem is, that while the northern half of Ilha is covered with colonial buildings in various states of repair, the southern half, known as the Makuti or Reed Town, is essentially a slum. Instead of investing in sanitation and education on the island, however, the government wants the locals to move to the mainland. The dilapidated hospital – which Alex describes as ‘the finest in Mozambique at the beginning of the 20th century’ – is in a shocking state. ‘There were plans to rehabilitate it but they couldn’t get the permits and others to turn it into a five-star hotel, but they couldn’t find the money,’ she explains. Outside the secondary school, children sing the Mozambique national anthem, Pátria Amada. As we try to get our head round it all on the boat back to the lodge, we pass a striking lighthouse with distinctive peach-and-cream stripes – called the ‘Goan Lighthouse’ after the ships that sailed here on the trade winds from Portuguese Goa. It’s in this treacherous strait that undiscovered treasure from ancient sunken galleons may lie. As well as diving and snorkelling, Alex and Bart can organise sunset dhow cruises and humpback whales pass through from July till November. Alternatively, just wander along the tidal beach, watch the egrets, chase the ghost crabs and comb the coconut shell debris for antique coins and coloured beads. How to get there: To Escape To (0207 060 6747; www.toescapeto.com)

Cabaceira Pequena’s bigger sister, Cabaceira Grande (population 5,000), is a different story. Here, among the fluorescent green palms of a coconut plantation, is the oldest church in the southern hemisphere and the haunting ruin of the Portuguese governor’s summer palace. Extraordinarily, in this

Local Life

Boat Life

Local children playing in Ilha de Moçambique.

A traditional dhow and warehouse ruins on the shore of Ilha de Moçambique, seen on the way back to Coral Lodge 15.41


Limewire 19

Colonial Buildings Historic harbour master's house on Ilha de Moรงambique.


Limewire 21

Forest

Bumf L

ime Wood and The Pig make great bases for exploring the local area, whether you’re here to explore the forest on horseback, mountain bike or your own two feet, or enjoy the winter wildlife and seascapes along The

Solent. There’s a full programme of arts and cultural events, too, from exhibitions by local artists to theatre productions, antiques markets and – particularly at this time of year – crafts fairs. For more information, see www.thenewforest.co.uk

Hanger Farm Arts Centre

New Forest Events

From Copse to Coast During 2011 Andrew Stock chose two specific areas of The New Forest to study and paint the wildlife and landscape, working in oils and watercolours. At the northern end of The New Forest, Andrew spent time in and around Hale Purlieu painting the typical rolling heathland and abundant wildlife including the Dartford Warbler and the Hobby. He also spent time working along the Beaulieu River and the coast near Lymington, again sketching a variety of birds as well as the views across the Solent. Andrew lives in Dorset and is a member and past President of the Society of Wildlife Artists. This exhibition, which is a selling exhibition, runs from 17 March to 28 April at the St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery in Lymington. 01590 676969; www.stbarbe-museum.org.uk

The Phoenix and the Carpet A stage adaption, with puppets and live music, of E Nesbit's classic from Forest Forge and the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton. Join four children on their adventures as they are whisked away on their new magical carpet, with help of a mysterious phoenix! (16 March to 18 March, 2.30pm and 7.00pm, Nuffield Theatre)

Swan Lake by The Russian State Ballet and Orchestra of Siberia at The Anvil, Basingstoke, 26 to 27 February, 7.30pm. 01256 844244; www.anvilarts.org.uk

‘Live At’

T

he history of this West Totton site is rather poignant; used as a farm since before the Norman invasion, it was abandoned in the 1950s and fell into disrepair. The story ends happily, however, because it’s now home to a community arts centre housed in a converted, Grade II-listed 18th century barn, with a gallery, rehearsal room, main theatre space and 200-seat auditorium. As well as showcasing work by students at Totton College, a centre for higher education and adult learning, it hosts music productions such as Liam White and The Bublé Experience (11 February, 8pm) and Rock The Barn with Wide Awake &

These Days (3 March, 7pm). There are also exhibitions such as Nicole Angela Pacifico, who was born on the South Coast of England and drew inspiration from The New Forest (7 February to 2 March). Alternatively, Take a Breath... discover your Ultimate Outcome, is a one day coaching workshop, full of inspiration, revitalisation, and discovery, allowing you to take a breath and get back in touch with what's most important to you. There are coach-led activities, a Yoga session, a takeaway toolkit and a one hour phone coaching session after the workshop. (11 February, 8.30am to 5.30pm, www.my-ultimate-outcome.com) 023 80 667 683; www.totton.ac.uk/hangerfarm

We are excited to tell you about ‘Live At’, our new live music sessions, featuring performances from up and coming bands! The Slow Show will be playing at The Pig on Sunday 20th May and Stereofixx will be at Lime Wood on Sunday 17th June. More bands will play at The Pig in July and October and at Lime Wood in September and November. In addition, we'll also be producing our very own Smoked & Uncut CD box set, containing three CDs of live performances. More details to follow in Issue 3, so watch this space...

Heartbreaker Run Festival at Sandy Balls Holiday Park, Godshill, Fordingbridge. Run 10km, 14 miles or a full 26-mile marathon through the forest, beginning and ending at Sandy Balls Holiday Centre with its Jacuzzi and sauna. 26 February, 9am to 3pm (10km and 14 mile runs start at 10am). 01725 513668; www.racenewforest.co.uk

INSPIRIT: Three Artists in the Forest

Take a Breath...

Nicole Angela Pacifico

The work of three artists capturing the spirit of the Forest through different senses takes place at the New Forest Centre in Lyndhurst from 11 February to 11 March. Isobel Ross uses the sound of language to evoke a scene and the memory of it, whilst Caz Scott captures fleeting visions of her surroundings through quick and colourful sketches. Joan Scott, on the other hand, creates work that is imbued with a sense of place as captured whilst out walking. All three artists use a variety of medium to express their own very personal responses to the Forest. 023 8028 3444; www.newforestcentre.org.uk

Get the Most Out Of Your Veg Garden at Minstead Study Centre, Minstead. Illustrated talk from Somerset farmer and author Charles Dowding, who has grown organic vegetables for almost 30 years and was an early pioneer of veg boxes. 3 March, 2.30pm. 023 8029 2531



Lime Wood Limewire Issue 2