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i n t e rv i e w s

Warwick Davis on panto Kim Gavin on Take That & Thames Ditton Katie Melua on growing up in Redhill competitions

Gourmet trip on the Cathedrals Express to Bath A family ticket to the Magical Lantern Festival

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Editor Claire Mahoney T: 07812 106992 E: Designer Paul Buckley T: 01484 660090 E: Advertising sales Tania Toohey T: 07702 619941 E: Publisher Paula Winchcombe Surrey Occasions T: 07766 257776 E: Printed and distributed by Bishops Printers T: 02392 336917 E: Contributors Anthea Turner Becky Dickinson Cora Lydon Karen Glaser Lucy Alexander Olivia Greenway This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or in part without written consent of the publishers. © Surrey Occasions 2016. The views expressed in Surrey Occasions magazine are those of its individual authors, not those of Surrey Occasions and its editors and publishers. While precautions have been take to ensure the accuracy of the contents of the magazine, and neither the editors, publishers or its agents can accept responsibility for damages or injury which may arise there from. About Surrey Occasions Surrey Occasions is a courtesy glossy, lifestyle magazine with a circulation of 12,500. The quarterly title is distributed within selected high-quality residential and commercial areas. It is circulated through quality independent newsagents with the Sunday newspapers, to affluent homes, and by hand to readers across Surrey.  Areas covered include Weybridge, Walton, Virginia Water, Cobham, Tadworth, Claygate, Oxted, Oxshott, Thames Ditton and Guildford. Golf and country clubs, health clubs and spas, top hotels and other chosen venues receive numerous copies of the magazine to share with guests and visitors.

Welcome Tis the season to be jolly! At Surrey Occasions we are very happy indeed to be bringing you a packed issue to see you through to the end of 2016 and welcome in the New Year. First off, we have all the inspiration and ideas you need for a fabulous festive season in Surrey. For food, our resident foodie expert, Olivia Greenway kindly braved the annual Christmas food & drink previews in July to find out which goodies you need to ensure are in your Christmas cupboard come December. She’s also gathered the best in seasonal Surrey produce to help you get the best from local suppliers. Christmas is, of course, probably the busiest time for those working in the food and hospitality industry. But how do they celebrate once the hard work is over? Turn to p24 to find out. We are also delighted this issue to welcome property expert, Lucy Alexander, on board who will be writing a regular advice column on improving your home. See p38 for her first instalment on keeping out the chill this winter. Christmas isn’t Christmas without a panto and we are spoilt for choice in Surrey with a great line-up to choose from – oh yes we have! If you haven’t got your tickets yet, there is still time, so turn to p16 & 17 for our pick of this season’s top shows. Plus, we speak to Hollywood actor Warwick Davis who will be treading the

“We are very happy indeed to be bringing you a packed issue to see you through the end of 2016 and welcome in the New Year”

boards in Woking this year playing ‘Prof ’ in their production of Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs. Wise men are generally told to follow stars at this time of year – so that is exactly what we have done and are thrilled to bring you an exclusive interview with legendary choreographer, creative director and Thames Ditton resident – Kim Gavin. You may not of heard of Kim, but he is the man responsible for some of the biggest events ever held in the UK – including, The London 2012 Olympics closing ceremony. He is also the person who helped turn Take That into one of the world’s biggest boy bands. He is now back working with Gary Barlow on a new talent show for the BBC called Let it Shine. You can read all about it on p10 & 11. As the year draws to a close, many of us start thinking about making changes to our lifestyle for the New Year ahead. Well if you have a bucket list and want to tick off a few items from that list in 2017, turn to p44 for some inspiration and find how what amazing adventures you could have while raising much needed funds for some great causes. And don’t ever think we don’t know how to practice what we preach here at Surrey Occasions, as the team, including myself, have signed up to do a sky dive in March in aid of St Raphael’s Hospice. I’m not a fan of heights but my mantra for 2017 is going to be ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’. Tweet to us @surreyoccasions and tell us what your New Year’s mantra will be and what challenges you are setting yourself for 2017. Happy New Year!

Claire Mahoney Editor 3


42 16


Two premier dining tickets on the Cathedrals Express to Bath!


Dinner for two plus Champagne at Galu Restaurant


A family ticket plus ice skating at the Magical Lanterns Festival Chiswick

On the cover: The Church of St Peter & St Paul Godalming


this issue


Winter 2016

24 44 28 10 38



SO Welcome


SO Noteworthy News, views and updates from around the county


12 SO What’s On

We pay a visit to Dorking discover its a bit of a shopper’s paradise

26 SO Food & Drink

Olivia Greenway selects the best food and drink for the festive season

28 SO Travel

Claire Mahoney explores the lesser known areas of the Cotswolds as it celebrates its 50th year as a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

31 SO Rural life

Liane Jarman of the Surrey County Agriculture Society explores some of the wonderful wildlife you can discover in the winter landscape

34 SO Wellbeing


Theatre, music, events and exhibitions coming up over the next few months

20 High street heroes

Can hygee make you happier? Karen Glaser finds out

44 Charity Challenge

36 SO Interiors

10 Interview

Comfort & Joy – How to introduce a bit of hygee into your home

40 SO Bathrooms

w i n t e r f e at u r e s

Interior designer Charlotte Conway tells us why baths are back big time Insta-glam – quick beauty fixes for the festive season

43 SO Review

Surrey Occasions samples Sunday lunch at PennyHill Park in Bagshot Our regular series on the work of Surrey Hospice Shooting Star Chase

50 SO Secret Surrey

10 things you might not know about Godalming

We round-up the best Panto’s in Surrey this season and speak to actor and Epsom boy, Warwick Davis about playing ‘Prof ’ in Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs

Olivia Greenway meets four of Surrey’s food and hospitality workers to find out what Christmas dinner is like at the coalface?

32 Nordic Walking

Becky Dickinson speaks to the Surrey Striders about why Nordic walking should be part of your New Year fitness resolutions

Claire Mahoney meets the husband and wife team behind the Surreybased fragrance and toiletries brand, Heyland & Whittle columns

23 Growing up in Surrey

24 My Christmas Dinner

47 SO Charity

48 Local business

16 Pantomime special

42 SO Beauty

Claire Mahoney speaks to choreographer and creative director Kim Gavin about his work with That That and life in Thames Ditton

Make 2017 the year you tick something off your bucket list and raise funds for a Surrey charity writes Cora Lydon

Singer-songwriter Katie Melua tells us about how growing up in Redhill inspired her music

38 Property with Lucy Alexander

In the first of a new series property expert Lucy Alexander gives her advice on heating your home

46 House proud with Anthea Turner

The perfect housewife is at it again – with her top tips for a fabulous festive table 5

SO News & Updates

Noteworthy News & updates from around the county

Book launch for Misfit

Room with a view Five sculptors and designers were recently commissioned by Surrey Hills Arts to create sculptural benches at viewpoints along the Greensand Way as part of a project called Inspiring Views. The works are sited at: Gibbet Hill, Reynards Hill, Holmbury Hill, Winterfold and Hascombe Hill. At Winterfold, Giles Miller created ‘Perspectives,’ (pictured) a shelter nestled within the woods with a clear view

towards the South Downs offering a space for contemplation. The artist’s team created a surface of wooden shingles engraved with words and messages from local people and visitors which encapsulate their thoughts and feelings of the area. For more information on this and the other sculptures in the project visit:

Christmas gifts Chocolate treats for Christmas If you love chocolate you mustn’t miss paying a visit to the Heart Shopping Centre in Walton-on-Thames between now and 24 December where the Amazing Chocolate Workshop who make the most mundane items into chocolate treats and gifts – anything from cheese, the sewing kits, horseshoes and hammers – all entirely made from chocolate. Perfect for stocking fillers and more of a talking point than a 6

Adventure, time travel and history meet in this new novel by local author Francis Gimblett. It’s 1682 and Max, a young man in postCromwellian Haslemere, has been framed for two murders he didn’t commit. His only chance of escaping the gallows rests on the shoulders of a failed wine merchant called Travis. There’s only one problem: Travis won’t be born for another three hundred years. A murder mystery three centuries in the making, Misfit is a time shift thriller told with a historian’s eye for detail. It whisks readers from the gallows of Hindhead, to Wealden iron works, through Haslemere’s bustling market and inns, to its thrilling conclusion in the shadow of Blackdown. Francis Gimblett, local wine presenter and cheesemaker, spent five years researching the area, to help to provide a faithful portrayal of life in the hills around Haslemere during the period. ‘At first the idea was just to have an understanding of the town I’d come to call home when I moved here in the nineties,’ said Gimblett. ‘Then the place began to develop layers and take on a life that I felt an urge to write about.’ Francis will be signing copies of the book on 10 December at the Haslemere Book Shop. The Misfit is available in paperback at £5.99.

chocolate tangerine! You can also order online: visit: Pandora comes to Guildford Stuck for a Christmas gift idea for the lady in your life? Then head to the newly opened Pandora store in the Friary Guildford. The fashionable Danish jewellery brand’s latest shop can be found opposite Zara on the ground floor. Visit:

SO News & Updates REVIEW

New skills for the New Year If you are looking to learn a new skill or craft in 2017, then you are bound to find something that takes your fancy at RHS Wisley, as it has 110 adult education courses to choose from. Take your pick from garden design, photography, creative crafts & horticulture or learn to grow your own wedding flowers. New courses at Wisley also include, Designing Gardens for Dementia, Botany and Beer, or you could study Social Media for Gardeners or Understanding Your Soil. You can download Wisley’s Courses and Workshops 2017 brochure from the RHS website, or email to request a pdf or posted copy. To book a place on any of the 2017 courses, Tel: 020 3176 5830.

Surrey house buyers are savvy Over the past six months, savvy homebuyers in Surrey have saved, on average, £11,800 off the original asking price, according to the latest data from looked at the top six performing agents in Surrey and compared their asking prices with the final sale price – and found that on average they achieved 97.4% of the asking price. Against the backdrop of average house prices of £443,000 in Surrey this means that homebuyers, on average, saved £11,800 by negotiating.

Were you naughty at school? Good or bad, you can’t fail to be captivated and delighted by the repulsive characters, the jaw-dropping special effects and the cringe-worthy moments that you will encounter whilst watching Matilda the Musical, based on the book by Road Dahl. Celebrating five years in the West End, this fabulous award-winning production is based on the story of Matilda Wormwood, a miracle child with the ability to think like an adult and divulge Dickens and Dostoyevsky books, at the age of five.  Born to a self-obsessed mother and a crook for a father, she is sent off to Crunchem Hall, a school run by a dreadful disciplinarian, Miss Trunchball, who takes every opportunity to ‘swing a naughty child into space by their ears’ which is represented in the show with remarkable effect. Currently at the Cambridge Theatre, London, the show has announced the arrival of some fresh new talent to its casting line-up and extended bookings to October 2017. Four young performers share the title role of Matilda. On the night that Surrey Occasions was invited to attend, newly cast Sara Sheen played Matilda. Sara holds centre stage on her own, quite often, and in fine singing voice. Her monologues are strong, powerful in places, and meaningful. Sara’s confidence shines through, with no sign of the enormous responsibility she has as the lead role in this well-told story. I’m sure the same can be said of the other Matildas: Abbie Vena, Zaris-Angel Hator and Clara Read. Playing the extremely despised headmistress Miss Trunchball is Craige Els, who has been in the role since 2014. As you would expect, like any ‘baddie’, his presence is intimidating at first but the joy of the caricature soon overshadows any real fear.  Mr Wormwood, played by Michael Begley, and Mrs Wormwood, Rebecca Thornhill, do not disappoint. They play their characters with gusto, with comedy and charm, but most importantly, with respect to Dahl’s story-telling. Both parents and children will enjoy being appalled by their behaviour. Matilda the Musical is produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, with fantastic music and songs that you will still be singing when you leave the theatre. It will transport you to a wonderful world of naughty children and even naughtier adults. To find out more and to book tickets, visit

Boys allowed at St Ives Having run a very successful co-education nursery for many years, St Ives school in Haslemere is extending its offer to boys into Reception and Years 1 and 2 from September 2017. Headmistress Kay Goldsworthy said: “Our nursery is very popular with local families who send boys and girls here to

enjoy their first experience of education. We are always being asked whether we could allow boys to carry on from the nursery into our Early Years and recently we have seen increasing interest from parents who are looking for somewhere great to send their sons to for their first years of school.”

@SurreyOccasions 7

SO News & Updates

Budget blowing bucket lists up to

£10,000 the amount people willing to spend on bucket list

Watts Gallery – bicentenary celebrations 2017 marks the bicentenary of renowned Victorian artist George Watts who was born in 1817. His life and contribution to the art world will be celebrated though a busy programme of events taking place at the Watt’s Gallery – Artists Village in Compton. Dr Nicholas Tromans, curator of Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village, says: “Watts was a unique artist. During this bicentenary year, we intend to decisively reinvigorate the artist’s reputation, and to achieve this the Watts 200 programme offers everyone fresh opportunities to enjoy the work of this wonderfully charismatic figure.”  Watts who was called ‘England’s Michelangelo’ by his close friend, Frederic, Lord Leighton was a multi-talented artist in a variety of mediums. Not only was he considered a great painter, he was also a talented sculptor, proficient draftsman and notable muralist.  Launching on Watts’s birthday, 23 February, highlights of the 2017 programme include a display of the artist’s epic murals, an unparalleled exhibition of masterpieces by Watts from public and private collections, a concert of music beloved by the artist and his eminent friends, and a conference focusing on Science and Art in Victorian Britain.  Watts became a cultural icon who championed a new role for art as a means of symbolically expressing the progress of humanity, and as a tool to assist in philanthropic projects. By 1884, when he was lauded as the first living artist to have a solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Watts had achieved international fame. For more info visit: or follow the gallery on twitter@ WattsGallery or Facebook/ wattsgalleryartistsvillage      


Going on safari (£5,600) and walking the Great Wall of China (£1,139) both appeared in the top five bucket list activities and visiting the Grand Canyon (£1,181), going whale watching (£2,000) and taking an American road trip (£3,365) also made the top ten wish-list, according to the survey by For more ideas for your bucket list see our Charity Challenge feature on p44

Esher is self-build hotspot Esher has topped the list as the best self-build town in Surrey, followed by Weybridge and Reigate. In all three areas self-builders looking to knock down an existing property to make way for a new one will require an increase in floor space of less than 31% for the project to be viable, according to research from developer Searchfield Homes. In Esher, self builders purchasing a plot for the typical price of £1.4m, will require consent for a 26.8% increase in floor space to break even, with the new house costing them around £2m to build, inclusive of the plot, SDLT and mortgage interest. The most affordable location in the top 10 is Shepperton where you can build your home for circa £1.1m.

New ale puts Dunsfold on the map A new ale, Dunsfold Best, has won a coveted Society of Independent Brewers’ (SIBA) Gold Award, just days after its creation at local microbrewery the Crafty Brewing Company. Luke, who founded the Crafty Brewing Company only two years ago said: “Winning the award from SIBA means an awful lot to me. I have been brewing for several years but the move from homebrewing to commercial brewing was much more challenging than I had expected. However, winning the award has given me the confidence that I must be doing something right!”


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SO Interview

Could it be magic?

Claire Mahoney speaks to Kim Gavin, choreographer, creative director and Thames Ditton resident about his role in Take That’s rise to fame and why he is back working with Gary Barlow on the BBC’s new Saturday night talent show – Let it Shine If anyone knows how to do spectacle – it’s Kim Gavin. You want a 30ft mechanical elephant to start a show? You got it. How about a giant bust of John Lennon’s face centre stage that is constructed out of a giant human jigsaw to the tune of ‘imagine’? Churchill on top of Big Ben? No problem. Gavin has been the creative force behind some of the biggest and most inspirational shows of the last twenty years, including, Party at the Palace for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, The Rugby World Cup 2015 opening ceremony and most notably, The London 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony, which featured the aforementioned bust of John Lennon. He has choreographed and worked with likes of Darcy Bussell, Katherine Jenkins and Coldplay. It you need something magical and musical on a grand scale – Kim is your man.


Not that you would know all this when speaking to him at his Thames Ditton home. He is, to put it mildly, rather modest and incredibly pragmatic. But then you probably have to be when your job involves telling thousands of dancers, actors and lighting technicians what to do. He describes doing the Olympic closing ceremony as: “Going down the English channel on the biggest tanker you have ever been on, knowing that you can’t turn back.” The final show had a £20 million budget, much less than the opening ceremony and ran for nearly three hours. When it was over, all Gavin wanted to do was to go back to grass roots. “I suppose my ultimate aim when I came out of the Olympics was to do something smaller. It was all so vast, even the volunteer schedules had to be put together a year in advance and so I just wanted to do the flip-side of that – like a twoman play with some music in a community centre. I wanted to go back to working closely with and developing an artist.” It is perhaps this love of developing artists through performance that is at the heart of his most enduring working However, it wasn’t until his 20s that relationship – with Gary he started choreography properly. His Barlow of Take That. Kim has first musical theatre show was ‘Oh! worked with Gary since the Kim working with Gary Barlow in rehearsals for Let it Shine What a Night’ which starred Kid Creole early days of Take That before and toured the UK for ten years, with they even had a top ten hit performances in Sydney, Melbourne and Hamburg. In 1992 he was and helped develop them into the chart-topping pop phenomena invited to choreograph the Children’s Royal Variety performance they ultimately became. He also worked on their comeback tours where he first met Take That. including Progress and Circus which wowed audiences with their “What I loved about choreography was that I would have a new many spectacular theatrical elements. challenge every week. I just knew that I wouldn’t be able to be in This year Kim has again been working with Gary on BBC’s new a show and do the same thing every night. I realised that I like to Saturday night talent show – Let It Shine. The show, which broadcasts tell stories and have a reason for doing something. And that’s the in January, aims to find five lads who will ultimately perform in a great thing about ‘The Band’ idea and ‘Let it Shine ‘- there is a real musical called the ‘The Band,’ based on the Take That story. story running right the way through it. It’s very exciting and I love “I’ve been very blessed with Take That,” he says “Back in their musical theatre for that very reason.” early days, the band’s manager needed someone to organise them Kim and his family (wife and two young sons) have lived in and rehearse them and provide a structure for them to respond to. Thames Ditton since 1997. Obviously Kim is required in town They were big personalities, but the difference was they did want a lot so the convenience of good trains links is a bonus. He said to be organised so it was very much a collaboration from the start. the family also moved to Surrey to get a bit of space which the I don’t think everyone is of that mould and it’s one of the reasons surrounding countryside, parks and their large garden provides. “I why Robbie left because he is the type of character who just wants think my son kicked a ball around in the garden the whole time we to walk on stage and make it up. I think the other four liked the were viewing the house,” he laughs. discipline and that is why it worked.” When not working Kim enjoys walking their dogs and enjoying It was Kim’s background as a ballet dancer that provided him local arts and culture. “We love to go to Hampton Court and pay with an understanding of the discipline sheer hard work needed for regular visits to The Rose Theatre in Kingston and the Everyman in performance. At the age of 11 he won a place at the Royal Ballet Esher. The Rose always has something good on.” School in Richmond Park where he trained for five years. He soon When asked about the work he is most proud of Gavin is realised that a career in ballet wasn’t going to be for him and it was typically humble and pragmatic but admits much of the satisfaction in choreography and directing that his skills lay. comes in retrospect when the work is over. “You put so many ideas “I knew I wasn’t going to be the principal dancer – I just wasn’t together that you forget a lot of them,” he says. “ Then you go back loose enough. But they did these little choreographic competitions and think that was a good idea, I might re-apply that. Or you watch and I did very well in those, so from a very early age I started to something you’ve done and think – wow that was stunning. The realise that I could construct and realise a process. So I left and went thing is you don’t remember it as stunning. You just remember being to London and got work on a TV show called Search for a Star – exhausted and having to get it done.” which is weird in a way as Search for a Star was in the 80s what Let it Shine is today. “

“I suppose my ultimate aim when I came out of the Olympics was to do something smaller”

Let It Shine is to be broadcast on BBC 1 in January

@SurreyOccasions 11

SO What’s On

National Trust

Celebrate Surrey’s National Treasures this Christmas Over the festive season, National Trust places in Surrey will be decked out with Christmas sparkle. There are decorated houses, exhibitions, Father Christmas, atmospheric estates and wintery countryside all bringing festive fun and Christmas to life through the ages. Make your Christmas that extra bit special in these winter wonderland locations. Here are our favourites and remember every single visit this Christmas will help the National Trust look after special places in Surrey throughout the year.

A 1930s Christmas party at Polesden Lacey

What’s On fa i r s

December c o n c e rt s

11 December Main Chance Carols at Christmas Carols and readings presented by celebrities including Eleanor Tomlinson, Beatie Edney, Simon Shepherd, Jenny Seagrove, Damien Edwards and many more. Including the obligatory appearance by the shetties. Church of St Peter & St Paul Godalming Time: 5pm Price: £10/£5 Tel: 01483 351526


11 December Vintage & Collectables Fair Denbies Wine Estate Dorking Time: 10am to 4pm Price: Free Tel: 01306 876616 13-17 December Gift Market Bourne Hall Ewell Time: 10am – 5pm Free entry

18 December Christmas at Guildford Castle Explore this very special Winter Wonderland as for the first time ever we bring Christmas to the Castle. Come and explore Guildford Castle and enjoy the traditions and treats of Christmas time past and present. The event combines craft and food stalls with festive fun. Time: 11:30am to 3:30pm Price: £3.20 (£1.60 concessions) Tel: 01483 444751

1 to 23 December daily, 10am to 4pm. The sights, sounds and aromas of a sparkling 1930s Christmas party are yours to enjoy. From the 18ft Christmas tree in the hall and giant wreath at the entrance way, to Italian Renaissance nativity paintings in the picture corridors and piano playing in the gold Saloon, imagine you’re a guest at Surrey’s most glittering Christmas venue. Children have their own Christmas trail in the house and can write a letter to Father Christmas. Take a romantic horse and carriage ride in the grounds (weekends only) and do some relaxed Christmas shopping experience from our wide range of National Trust gifts. Christmas lunches with all the trimmings are available in the Granary café, advance booking recommended. Free entry this year for National Trust members. Little donkeys and more at Hatchlands Park Weekends from 3 to 18 December, 11am to 3pm, outdoor trail (free) and Father Christmas (£5), advance booking essential. Hatchlands Park is the place for a really family-friendly outdoor experience at Christmas. Families love meeting Father Christmas in his cosy vintage living room, snuggling up to the farm animals when they visit, singing carols and exploring the trail around the woods. The new trail tells the touching story of resident donkeys

Morris and Callum enjoying their first Christmas. Have some mince pies in the historic café, or try a donkey-shaped decorated biscuit, and stop off for some Christmas shopping. It’s all in the spirit of Hatchlands’ last private owner, H.S. Goodhart-Rendel, who used to throw Christmas parties for the village children at Christmas in the 1950s. 17 and 18 December: Animals in the courtyard 18 December 12noon and 2pm: Family Christmas Carol concert in the music room. Cut your own Christmas tree at the Devil’s Punch Bowl Hindhead Commons and the Devil’s Punch Bowl offers you the chance to explore a majestic landscape and pine-clad hilltops with a variety of amazing views across Surrey. On 3, 10 and 11 December, harvest your very own Christmas tree. On 17 and 18 December there will be a Christmas choir, seasonal food and donkey rides, plus the chance to meet Mrs Christmas. Free entry, small charge for activities.   Creative wreath making at Box Hill, Claremont Landscape Garden, Landbarn Farm, Runnymede, Winkworth Arboretum and the Witley Centre Get creative this Christmas in good company. Join our festive workshop and we’ll show you how to make a wreath from the beautiful materials nature provides, such as holly, old man’s beard, butcher’s broom and snowberry gathered locally on the National Trust estates. Landbarn Farm: 2 & 12 December, Witley Centre: 4 & 12 December , Winkworth Arboretum: 4 December, Claremont Landscape Garden:  5 December, Runnymede: 7 December, Box Hill: 12 & 13 December Prices vary, see website for times and details: surrey

SO What’s On


8-15 December Young Curators: Henry Moore The Lightbox Chobham Young Curators is for 13-19 year olds who are interested in learning more about art and how galleries and museums work. Young Curators will explore the work of Henry Moore and learn how to create sculptures inspired by his love of natural forms. Working with professional artist Russell Jakubowski, you will use clay, plaster, and wire, so be prepared to get messy. The sculptures created will then be displayed alongside the ‘Henry Moore: A Natural History’ exhibition. Time: 4:30pm to 6:30pm Price: £25 Tel: 01483 737800 17 December Christmas Family Activity Dorking Museum Families are invited to take a break from the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping and get creative.  Join us to make a Christmas decoration for yourself or as a gift. Dorking Museum’s Family Activity Saturdays are held on the third Saturday of each month.  Ideal for

families with children up to age ten. No need to pre-book – just drop into the museum any time from 2pm to 3.30pm (we close at 4pm).  All materials are provided.  All children must be accompanied.  Time: 2pm to 4pm Price: £2 / £1 / £4 Tel: 01306 876591 shows

20 December The Andy Williams Christmas Extravaganza starring the Osmonds G Live Guildford Treat your entire family to this award winning variety production featuring nostalgic footage of the legendary Andy Williams from Christmases past. Sing along to your favourite Christmas Classics including Silent Night, Last Christmas and Merry Christmas Everybody to Sleighride. The Osmonds will also perform their mega hits made famous during more than five decades of entertaining around the world. Time: 7:30pm Price: £39 Over 60s £33.50 Tel: 01483 369350

21 -23 December Santa Saves Christmas The Electric Theatre, Guildford Times: Wednesday: 1pm & 4pm, Thursday: 11am, 1pm, 3pm, & 5pm Friday:10:30am & 12:30pm Price: £9.40 Family Ticket £34 Tel: 01483 444789

joining walk leader Pete Lambert for a brisk walk and take in the beautiful views along the River Wey. Meet at The Parrott in Shalford at 10.30am for an 11am start. Free


v i s i t s a n ta

wa l k s

21-24 December Santa’s Victorian Parlour Haslemere Museum Come and visit Santa as he takes times out before Christmas to relax in his charming Victorian parlour. Your little ones can tell him all their special Christmas wishes and each child will receive a gift to take home.  Don’t forget the museum shop will be open too so get Christmas all wrapped up and find the perfect gifts for all your friends and family! Time: 10:30am to 4:30pm, 12pm to 4pm & 10:30am to 12pm Price: Members: £4 / non members: £5 Tel: 01428 642112

01 January New Year’s Day Walk Claremont Garden and Belvedere Tower Esher Bring family and friends to walk off the excess of the holiday season with a stroll around the garden, and see stunning winter views from the Belvedere Tower. Time: 10am to 4pm Price: Normal garden admission 01372 467806

wa l k s

27 December Shalford Walk off your Christmas pudding by

02 January New Year Walk at Winkworth Winkworth Aboretum Meet at the kiosk for a seasonal guided walk around the Arboretum to start the year in style. Time: 2pm to 3pm Price: Normal Admission 01483 208 477


20 January Omid Djalili: Schmuck For A Night Dorking Halls Award-winning comedian and actor Omid Djalili is returning to Dorking with his brand new tour Schmuck For A Night. As a stand-up and acclaimed actor, Omid’s credits range from Hollywood movies and television to live productions on the West End stage. He has appeared on UK and US TV, and starred in films such as the recently Golden Globe and Oscar nominated Shaun the Sheep Movie, Mr Nice, Gladiator, Sex And The City 2, The Mummy and The Infidel. Omid has also just been cast in Disney’s new live-action production of The Nutcracker, which he will be filming alongside the tour. On TV recently, Omid has been seen in the BBC Four series Going Forward with Jo Brand, as well as making appearances in Dickensian for BBC1 and Stan Lee’s Lucky Man for SKY1. This August Omid produced an Edinburgh Fringe show called Iraq Out & Loud, which saw almost 1500 comedians and members of the public read the entirety of the Chilcot Report for 24 hours a day, over 12 days. This memorable production was awarded the prestigious Panel Prize at Edinburgh Comedy Awards, and later TV Bomb’s Zeitgeist Award. Time: 8pm, Tickets: £25, Tel: 01306 881717

@SurreyOccasions 13

SO What’s On


12 January The Bowie Experience The New Victoria Theatre Woking The Bowie Experience is a spectacular concert featuring all of David Bowie’s hits - celebrating the music of the world’s greatest pop icon. An unforgettable journey of sound and vision through David Bowie’s golden years from Space Oddity through to Let’s Dance. Times: 7.30 pm Price: £27.50 Tel: 0844 871 7645 exhibitions

14 January – 25 February Colour: Print by John Hoyland and Class by Paul Stopler New Ashgate Gallery Farnham The New Year brings a riot of colour through sculptural glass by Paul Stopler, a recent graduate of the Royal College of Art. Alongside which there will be a selection limited edition John Hoyland prints. John was one of the leading British painters of his generation, influenced in the 50’s and 60’s by American Abstract Expressionism. Time: 10am – 5pm Free entry workshops

14 January Introduction to Papermaking The Lightbox Chobham Enjoy a hands-on introduction to papermaking with artist Jane Ponsford. Discover the differences between Eastern and Western papermaking and try out casting sheets of paper using a variety of different fibres from cotton rag to Lokta. Time 2-4.30pm Price £20 Tel: 01483 737800 nat u r e

14 January – 05 March Butterflies in the Glasshouse RHS Wisley Woking Our exotic Glasshouse paradise is perfect for flamboyant butterflies from warmer climes. Come and be entranced by their vibrant colours and magical flight, and learn all about them. How many different ones can you spot? Learn about the life of butterflies in our interactive education zone. Pre-book your timed slot for the busy times – all


details will be on our website. Sculptor Alison Catchlove will return to the Glasshouse Gallery with her animal sculptures at the weekends. Time: 10am to 3:45pm Price: Normal Admission Tel: 0845 2609000 musicals

17 -21 January Thoroughly Modern Millie New Wimbledon Theatre Actress Michelle Collins joins the cast of this popular musical based on the 1967 Academy Awardwinning film. Taking you back to the height of the Jazz Age in 1920s New York City, when ‘moderns’ including a flapper named Millie Dillmount were bobbing their hair, raising their hemlines, entering the workforce and rewriting the rules of love. New Wimbledon Theatre Tickets: wimbledon t h e at r e

18 January No Man’s Land - Live Harlequin Theatre Redhill Following their hit run on Broadway, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart return to the West End stage in Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land, broadcast live to cinemas from Wyndham’s Theatre, London. Also starring Owen Teale and Damien Molony, don’t miss this glorious revival of Pinter’s comic classic. The broadcast will be followed by an exclusive Q&A with the cast and director Sean Mathias. Time: 7pm Price: £16 / £14 Tel: 01737 276500 30 January – 4 February A Judgement in Stone Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Guildford A Judgement in Stone is a performance of Ruth Rendell’s brilliant book rendering of character, plot and motive, as a lifetime of deceit, despair and coverups exposes a shocking revelation, almost as grizzly as murder itself. Times & prices tbc Tel: 01483 44 00 00

February music

4 February French Opera St Mary’s Church

Guildford Opera concert celebrating the works of the French masters of opera, including arias through to full scenes. Time: 7.30pm Tickets: £15 (children 5-16 free) Tel: 01483 444334 wa l k s

5 February Explore Dorking A brisk guided walk around this lovely market town. Meet at Dorking Main Station at 10.30am for an 11am start. Free t h e at r e

4-25 February Julius Caesar Holy Trinity Church Guildford Guildford Shakespeare Company turn their attention to Shakespeare’s great tragedy – Julius Caesar to be held in this stunning venue. Times: 7.30pm Saturday matinees 2.30pm (11, 18, 25 Feb) Wednesday 22 Feb matinee 2.30pm Tickets: £15 - £25 Tel: 01483 304384

w i n e ta s t i n g

13 February Wine tasting Cellar Wines High Street Ripley A special tasting evening of sparkling wines, cheeses and chocolates Time: 7.30pm Tickets: £45 each Tel: 01483 610 610 or email tours

15 February Torchlight Tour at Brooklands Weybridge A special tour of the museum as night falls. Warm clothes, sensible shoes and a torch are highly recommended. Includes hot soup and roll on arrival. Tickets: £16 adults/seniors, £13 children (12 -16 yrs) Time: 6pm To book contact:  s p o rt

6-11 February Not Dead Enough Peacocks Centre Woking On the night Brian Bishop murdered his wife, he was sixty miles away, asleep in bed. It soon becomes clear to Detective Superintendent, Roy Grace, that love can be dangerous Tickets & Time: TBC Tel: 0844 8717645

18 February London Welsh Vs London Irish London Welsh Rugby Club Old Deer Park Richmond Come along and see the London Welsh rugby vs the London Irish in the Greene King IPA Championship Time: 14.00 Tickets: from £15 Children under £16 free Tel: 020 8940 2368

half term


11-19 February Whatever the weather – Butterfly themed activities RHS Garden Wisley Woking Times 10.30 – 15.30 Prices: Normal admission prices apply da n c e

12 February Valentines Tea Dance Denbies Vineyard Dorking Traditional tea dance with afternoon high tea & sparkling wine. Time: 3.30pm Tickets: £17.25pp/Loyalty Club £4.95 Tel: 01306 876616

24 February Rock n Roll Charity Event Farnham Rugby Club Monkton Lane Farnham Rock ‘n’ Roll evening at Farnham Rugby Club for Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice and British Kidney Patients Association. Prizes for best 50s & 60s attire. Time: 8-12pm Tickets: £8 Tel: 07853040172 markets

26 February Farnham Farmers Market Farnham A selection of stalls selling home grown and local produce. Time:10am – 1.30pm Info:



Kid’s Club Every Second Sunday of the month from 10.30am to 4.30pm Come along and register for our brand new Club for children in Epsom The children’s entertainments are not supervised playschemes and parents are requested to stay with their children and join in the fun.

The Ashley Centre

Shop smarter. Shop local theashleycentre @ashley_centre

Have fun with Ashley the Bear

SO Panto Season

That’s entertainment! Surrey theatres know a thing or two about great family entertainment – oh yes they do – here’s a round up of what pantos are showing over the festive period

the harlequin

9 – 31 December

Cinderella Warwick Quadrant, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 1NN  Prices from £15 To celebrate its 30 year anniversary, the Harlequin Theatre is revisiting its first ever pantomime. Pop legend Chesney Hawkes proves he really is the one and only – the one and only Prince Charming that is, when he takes the lead role in this stunning performance of Cinderella. Redhill favourites Abigail Welford, Neil Wheatley and Simon Bashford are returning as Cinderella, Buttons and the Fairy


Godmother respectively, for this classic rags to riches story. Expect horrible step sisters, pumpkin coaches and true love on this riproaring ride to romance.

y vo n n e a r nau d t h e at r e

9 December – 8 January

Aladdin Millbrook, Guildford, Surrey GU1 3UX Prices from £20 Have your raincoats at the ready for this glittering performance of Aladdin, as Jamie Brook – in his alter-ego of Wishee Washee – will be armed with water

pistols and custard pies. He’ll be joined by ultimate panto villain Kit HeskethHarvey as Abanazar, while fresh from her engaging performance in the West End production of War Horse, Emma Thornett will be taking on the role of Aladdin. Eagle Radio’s breakfast show host Peter Gordon will be donning an array of fabulous frocks as Widow Twankey in this story which promises to bring wishes to life.

e p s o m p l ay h o u s e

16 December – 8 January

Aladdin Ashley Avenue, Epsom, Surrey, KT18 5AL Prices from £16

SO Panto Season

Promising to take you to a whole new world, the enchanting tale of Aladdin is brought to life at the Epsom Playhouse. All that’s needed to transport you to the exotic tale of Aladdin is one rub of his lamp. Expect magic and mystery to prevail in this family fun-packed show. This Genieous performance tells the most magical story of all – about a boy who finds a magic lamp which houses a genie, expect fun and frolics to ensue.

haslemere hall

13 – 21 January

Peter Pan Bridge Road, Haslemere, Surrey GU27 2AS Prices from £8.50 The swashbuckling spectacle of Peter Pan sails into town and the whole family can join Peter, Wendy and the Lost Boys as they bravely take on the dastardly Captain Hook and his band of menacing pirates. Will Peter ever grow up? Will Wendy have to stay in Neverland… all will be revealed at Haslemere Hall this New Year. There will be songs, adventure and of course a generous sprinkling of fairy dust courtesy of Tinkerbell.

dorking halls

17 – 28 December

Dick Whittington Reigate Road, Dorking, Surrey, RH4 1SG Prices from £14.50 With fantastic sets, jokes, catchy tunes and plenty of audience participation, this family friendly performance of Dick Whittington is sure to delight all ages. Melissa Suffield

– most well known for her part as Lucy Beale in EastEnders – will be appearing as Alice Fitzwarren, while CITV’s Hi-5 Presenter Chris Edgerley is set to star as Dick Whittington. There is, of course, the obligatory panto dame – expertly played with humour by Richard Aucott. Our hero Dick will be joined by his trusty cat on his journey to London to seek fame and fortune. r i c h m o n d t h e at r e

2 December – 8 January

Sleeping Beauty The Green, Richmond, TW9 1QJ richmond-theatre/ Prices from £17 The timeless story of Sleeping Beauty will be played out at Richmond Theatre, with none other than Maureen Lipman in the role of the Wicked Fairy. With an Olivier award, two Royal Variety awards and a CBE you can be sure this year’s panto is in safe hands with Maureen at the helm. Joining her for his third year in a row at the theatre is CBeebies presenter Chris Jarvis, who will be playing Chester the Jester after overwhelming popular demand. There will be plenty of big song and dance numbers to keep the audience on their feet, gorgeous fairytale costumes and of course a happily ever after.

@SurreyOccasions 17

SO Panto Season

Warwick Davis’ mum didn’t have big acting ambitions for her young son when she sent him the The Laine Theatre Arts School in Epsom. She simply wanted him to burn off some energy. “I had a lot of energy and enthusiasm as a child and my mum needed to channel that,” says Warwick. “She sent me to Laine Theatre Arts as a way letting me vent off that enthusiasm. Little did she know that it would put me in good shape for a career.” “When you are very short in life you tend to turn up the volume on your personality and your voice,” he adds. You’re funnier, you’re louder. You are trying to be bigger than you actually are and that in turn made me a bit of a performer.”

Hi ho, Hi ho, it’s off to Woking we go.... Surrey Occasions speaks to actor, Warwick Davis, about his Surrey roots and his role as ‘Prof’ in Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs Panto at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking Going to Espom every Saturday was the highlight of Warwick’s week - but that wasn’t entirely down to drama school. “Epsom High Street had at the time just opened a new branch of McDonalds,” says Warwick. “We are talking the early 80s, so McDonalds had just come to the UK, so being able to going there after drama class was a really big deal.” It wasn’t long before Warwick left some of the delights of a regular childhood behind, as by the age of eleven he had got his first role in George Lucas’s Return of the Jedi. The role came about after his grandmother heard a radio announcement calling for people under four feet tall to appear in the new ‘Star Wars’ film. “I was a massive fan anyway so for me personally it was probably the best possible thing that could happen to an 11 year-old.” Warwick’s gestures were so characteristic of George Lucas’ vision of an Ewok, that he was recast as ‘Wicket’, who became one of the film’s lead creature characters. Two year’s later he appeared in the title role of Willow, written specifically with Warwick in mind. He has of course gone on to star in all subsequent Star Wars films, as well as the Harry Potter series of movies as well as

Panto for big kids The ever-popular Adult Panto by Guildford Fringe Theatre Company is back after three years of sell out productions Robin’s Wood is your stereotypical  pantomime except for the fact that no children are allowed in, it’s full of rudeness and it’s in the back room of a pub! So, on reflection, it’s nothing like your stereotypical pantomime! Nick Wyschna, Artistic Director of Guildford Fringe says: “Christmas isn’t just for kids, it’s for big kids too! I love watching


TV roles such as Life’s Too Short and Idiot Abroad 3.  This winter he is back in Surrey playing ‘Prof ’ in the New Victoria Theatre, Woking’s production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. But what will he bring to the role? “My Prof will be a a bit like Captain Mainwaring of Dad’s Army,” says Warwick. “He has a lot of pomp about about him as he likes to think he’s in charge – but of course, he’s not really.” Warwick has been doing panto since 1988 and is really looking forward to performing on stage. “There’s nothing nicer than jumping up on that stage and doing a bit of live theatre. It makes you disciplined again. When doing TV and film work, you can become a bit lazy, as you always have a chance to do another take. So it doesn’t matter if you don’t get it right first time. On stage, you walk out there and have to deliver that performance perfectly, the first time and the second time. And that is what is so exciting about it.” You can see Warwick as ‘Prof’ in Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs from Saturday 10 December 2016 – Sunday 8 January 2017 at the New Victoria Theatre Woking. To book visit:

the audience’s reaction when they come in to see the Adult Panto. They don’t know quite what to expect but slowly lose all their inhibitions and really embrace the hilarious experience.” Robin’s Wood is written by West End star Scott Garnham who has appeared in shows such as Les Miserable; Made in Dagenham and Billy Elliot. Robin’s Wood the Adult Panto runs from 1- 31 December at The Back Room of the Star Inn, Quarry Street, Guildford. Evening shows will be at 8pm and Saturday matinées at 3pm. Tickets are priced at £17.50 and £16.50 concessions. To book visit:

Sportsman Hospitality Events

A unique opportunity to come to events hosted by John Inverdale with high profile guest speakers from the world of sport. Entertain clients, colleagues and friends with delicious food and off the record interviews at venues such as Bengal Clipper (London Bridge) and Le Petit Nantais (Hampton Court) Events include wine tasting, race days, Burns Night, summer ball and golf days

WATTS GALLERY ARTISTS’ VILLAGE Galleries • Chapel • Artists’ Home & Studios NEW ACQUISITION Watts’s portrait of Violet Lindsay on display until 19 February 2017

Register your interest in these events by calling 01932 220 295 or email • 01483 810235 • Guildford, Surrey



On Tuesday 21 March 2017, The Cathedrals Express will stop at Woking to take locals on a steam-hauled trip to Bath and Gloucester and you too could be on board. We’ve teamed up with The Cathedrals Express to offer one lucky reader a pair of Premier Dining tickets for the trip, worth £430. The winners will board The Cathedrals Express at Woking at around 10:10 and will enjoy a champagne breakfast, as the train, hauled by steam locomotive, 61306 Mayflower, makes its way to Bath. Passengers can either spend the afternoon here or stay on the train to visit Gloucester. The winners will re-join the train at 16:45 (17:45 from Bath) and will be served a delicious four course meal on return journey. Tickets are available in four classes, ranging from £115 in Premium Standard up to Pullman Style Dining at £255. For more information call: 01483 209888 or visit:

Two Premier Dining Tickets worth £430 for Cathedrals Express from Surrey to Bath & Gloucester To be in with a chance of winning two Premier Dining tickets worth £215 each: visit and click on the link to the competitions page and answer the following question: Which steam locomotive is scheduled to haul The Cathedrals Express to Bath and Gloucester on Tuesday 21 March? Entries close on 31 January 2017

Steam Dreams Competition Terms and Conditions 1. The prize is 2 x Premier Dining tickets worth £215 each for The Cathedrals Express trip to Bath and Gloucester on Tuesday 21 March 2017 2. The prize is non-transferable and non-refundable 3. The times stated are subject to change. Final times will be released by Network Rail 2-3 days prior to the trip and will be listed on the Steam Dreams website 4. Tickets will usually be sent out to the winner by email 3-4 days prior to the trip 5. Should the trip be cancelled for any reason, the winner will be offered tickets to the same value for an alternative trip 6. Steam Dreams reserves the right to change locomotives, destinations or routes to facilitate the completion of the tour 7. The Steam Dreams chef is happy to cater for specific diets. Should the winner have special dietary requirements they should notify Steam Dreams (Emily Watkinson on or call the office on 01483 209888) up to one week before travel. We try our best to cater for allergies or severe dislikes of some foods, but cannot guarantee that all our food will be totally nut, garlic or gluten free as it is prepared in kitchens where traces of nuts, garlic and flour may be found.

SO Shopping Supporting Surrey’s High Streets

High Street


St Martin’s Walk St Martin’s Walk Shopping Centre has a great selection of well-known brand names and luxury independent retailers including Marks & Spencer, The Body Shop, Vodafone, Cote, Bells Boutique, Calliope, Timeless Beauty, Aya Boutique and Capelli. It is a beautiful setting to enjoy a cup of coffee or light lunch with plenty independent coffee shops, as well as dining for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Each Friday morning the centre also hosts Dorking’s market, which has been running for 700 years. Find out more at:

The Boardroom A one stop shop for skateboard enthusiasts, stocking a wide range of skateboards, longboards and balance boards as well as clothing, shoes and accessories from all the top brands. Get in touch: 01306 887187 or


The bustling market town of Dorking lies nestled between Surrey’s famous Leith and Box Hills. A delightful mix of old and new, its busy centre seems to have something for everyone. Whether you are an art and antiques lover, a fashionista or food lover - you’ll probably find it here. We’ve picked just a selection of some of the shops and eateries that make Dorking well worth a visit

Dos Bandidos Mexican Restaurant Lying in wait where the Old London Rd north meets Dorking’s High Street and Reigate Rd, Dos Bandidos have snared more than a handful of unsuspecting diners with their explosive mix of Mexican cuisine, drink, and atmosphere. Casual dining is rewarded with a bounty of starters and tapas to start – the kitchen lets you mix and match if you’re indecisive. Following this warm-up you’re going to be running the gauntlet between nachos, tacos and quesadillas before the showdown proper has even begun. Hefty fajitas and gaucho-style steaks await those who can handle the heat or cool your boots with a Mexican cocktail. Featuring live music from Monday to Saturday. Tuesday is Ladies Night with 2 for 1 on cocktails. Get in touch: 01306 6898083 or

SO Shopping

The Bakehouse If you are interested in quality garments, dressing individually with style for your lifestyle at affordable prices, this friendly boutique offers that and more. Doors open at 9am - 5.30pm six days a week, pop in and be sure of a warm welcome. Get in touch: 01306 888866 or

Dorking Stoves If you are looking to keep the chill out of your home during the winter months then pay a visit to Dorking Stoves. They stock an extensive range of woodburners - both modern and traditional, along with open fires, logs baskets and accessories. Get in touch: 01306 883201 or

Dorking Flowers The team behind this family business make sure you have the freshest flowers each day by driving to New Covent Garden Market in the early hours of the morning. They also have daily deliveries of Dutch imported flowers so there is also a large fresh selection of exotic flowers as well as seasonal varieties in the shop. Get in touch: 01306 876 776 or

The Old Quarter - West Street Over the years Dorking’s West Street has become synonymous with antiques and renowned for the wide range and collectibles on offer. In recent times the street has adapted, evolved and changed to offer a much more varied shopping experience. Intermingled among the antique shops are an array of other retailers and specialist shops offering everything from interiors, fabrics, homewares, kitchens, jewellery, ladies fashions & lingerie to vintage sweets and specialist beers. The street proudly boasts the Dorking Museum and what is believed to be the only surviving house of a Pilgrim Father, William Mullins. If all the shopping leaves you in need of refreshment, there is a selection of establishments offering food, drink and relaxation. Enjoy one of the friendly restaurants, welcoming pubs, cosy cafés or tea shops; the choice is yours. Find out more at:

Vintage shrewd

Kings Head Court  

This treasure trove of vintage fashion began life eight years ago and today is listed as one of the top 100 shops outside of London by Vogue. Its two floors are filled to the brim with dresses, jewellery, furs and accessories from days gone by, so you are bound to find something that takes your fancy. Get in touch: 01306 88 90 99 or

Kings Head Court is home to a pretty cluster of shops in some of the town’s oldest buildings, a number of which date back to the 1600’s. You can enjoy coffee and cake in the Courtyard Cafe, or pop next door to Michele’s Dress Agency to peruse her collection of pre-loved clothing and accessories. For late Christmas gifts, there is the Fig Tree, which stocks a stylish mix of handcrafted furniture, ceramics, bed linens and toiletries, both from well known brands and local artisans. Get in touch: 01306 877994 or

The Dorking Butchery A warm and traditional welcome awaits you at this exciting new butcher’s shop in the heart of Dorking High Street. They have a strong passion for high quality British produce and values and will supply only the best meat Britain and Surrey has to offer. Specialising in dry aged beef, matured for four weeks to ensure maximum tenderness and flavour, they hold time honoured techniques above mass produced supermarket offerings, bringing long established traditions back to the high street. The Christmas range is a must to see! The Dorking Butchery recently achieved the best new butchery business of 2016 in a national competition sponsored and recognised by industry professionals Get in touch: 01306 640517 or

Victoria’s Little Bra Shop Driven by the passion for exquisite lingerie, mother and daughter team Vanessa and Victoria Legg opened Victoria’s Little Bra Shop in Dorking in November 2013. The quaint two-story store holds a sumptuous range of lingerie in all styles and sizes. Brands include: PrimaDonna, Marie Jo, Empriente. Lise Charmel, Fantasie and Freya. Get in touch: 01306 743338 or @SurreyOccasions 21

Live music for funerals, carefully tailored for each service Congregational hymn leading • Solo singers • Duets • Choirs • Entry/exit music Instrumental accompanists/soloists • Organists • Readings by professional actors

T 07807 990 447 E @LFuneralSingers Enquiries welcome for services outside of London

For audio samples visit WWW. LONDONFUNERALSINGERS .CO.UK

SO Growing Up in Surrey

Growing up in Surrey

I do think that growing up in Surrey shaped me as an artist. After we lived in Sheen we spent about four or five years living in Redhill; that was where I lived with my mum, dad and little brother when my first album came out. I remember I wrote four songs for my first album, and two for Piece by Piece, all in Redhill. We had a house on Nutfield Road and it overlooked the Surrey Hills, it was a really inspiring, beautiful view. I recently went back to Redhill on the way to Gatwick airport, to show my husband where we used to live. That was a really nice experience, it brought back lots of good memories. As a teenager I used to go to the Searchlight Youth Centre in Norbiton. I went to Nonsuch High School in Cheam, and I never went out in Sutton because I was always just a little bit too young. I’ve never been a big going out kind of person (as you can probably guess!) At home I grew up listening to Queen and Led Zeppelin, then I discovered Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon and Leonard Cohen. Now I’m mad about Bill Withers. The documentary about him blew my mind.

Chart topping singersongwriter Katie Melua tells Surrey Occasions about her teenage years spent in Redhill

I had to go to the bathroom and have a conversation with myself during a meeting with my record label to get the courage to walk back in and say ‘I really want to have a go at producing this new record myself ’. I had such a clear vision about this record that I had to try. Producing is a very different experience; I’ve been in the studio making six albums as an artist, but it’s a whole different thing when you take on the responsibility of being the decision maker. The whole success of the project depends on the decisions you make. I developed the whole idea of a winter album, then found the Gori Women’s Choir on Spotify and was so inspired by them. Their passion for this project made me feel like I was making my first record, reminded me how incredible it is to make music and to have a chance to put it out and be heard by the world. I had a great coproducer in Cecil Bartlett, he was brilliant on actually running the gear and mixing the choir. He’s also great at maintaining the

atmosphere. Finally, I had a great choral composer in Bob Chilcott. I’ve chosen the songs that I love and feel belong in this listening experience. I considered the album as if I was the listener and thought ‘what do I want to hear?’ That’s why I felt it wasn’t too crazy an idea to have a Rachmaninoff piece and an original piece and a Ukrainian winter carol all on one album, because I was looking at it like a listener. One of my best friends is also a recording artist, so it’s interesting to go through the industry with her. We’ve experienced different sides of the business, but it’s great to have a friend I can chat to about things that some don’t understand.

Even though it seems like in the record industry artists have a lot in common, it’s actually difficult to connect - the structure of the business seems to isolate people, the artists at least. I’m working with the Featured Artists Coalition, an organisation to try to have one voice for featured artists. We’re in the middle of restructuring things at the moment at the FAC. So watch this space. There is a date on my forthcoming tour in Guildford, it is the only Surrey date, and I’m really looking forward to it. London is always intimidating and wonderful but Guildford will now always be my second home gig on any tour. In Winter, the new album by Katie Melua, is available now

@SurreyOccasions 23

SO Food & Drink


Christmas Dinner

The pub manager


t h e p h e a s a n t, i n

Buckland near Reigate is just coming up to its first birthday and Bethany Wells is gearing up for a very busy Christmas. The pub is open over the whole Christmas period. “We only have three tables left on Christmas Day and the clocks haven’t gone back yet!” she told SO. “It starts to get busy around midNovember. The pub is open (for shorter hours) on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. “Christmas Eve, we always finish late. Being on a Saturday this year, it’s going to be really busy. After a few hour’s sleep, I have to be up early on Christmas Day to set up for lunch. When everyone has finally been served their food, at about 4pm, I can slip away with Chip, my spaniel puppy to Woking for my own Christmas dinner.” At her mum and step-dad’s home, Beth is joined by her sister and brother. They eat a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings. “My mum’s a brilliant cook, so we are lucky. They all wait for me, which is nice. Mum makes the Christmas pudding in October, but my step-dad can’t resist it and demolishes it before the big day. So we usually have something chocolately or cheese and biscuits for dessert. I have to be back at work in the morning to set up for Boxing Day lunch.”

The butcher


ja m e s l a l ly, m a s t e r butcher, has had a shop in Shepperton for 18 years, moving to a prime position in the High Street in 2014. In his early career, he supplied restaurants and caterers but about ten years ago decided to focus on quality, preferring free range meat and concentrating on provenance. James knows all the farms his meat comes from and visits them regularly. Beef is making a comeback, both rolled rib and sirloin. “At Christmas we sell well over double the amount of beef we normally do. People like it because we age it ourselves for 21 days.” James also sells turkeys – lots of them. “I probably sell 350 over Christmas.” James’ shop now has a deli counter stocking their own filled pies and pastries. He also runs butchery courses for amateurs, popular with groups where meat is discussed (and eaten) along with a glass of wine or two. During Christmas week, he serves mulled wine and mince pies to his customers. “We are very busy but there is a good atmosphere. I suppose we do a normal month’s takings in that week. When we close around 2pm, we are all exhausted.” So what about his own dinner? “We do like a nice turkey, so that’s what we have, a whole bird. My wife Katie does all the cooking. She doesn’t mind as she knows I work so hard. Around the table is my teenage son and younger daughter. Pigs in blankets are an essential. At some stage we’ll have a rump roast that I’ve matured for a week longer, perhaps the next day. But before I know it, I’m back at work, planning for New Year.”


SO Food & Drink

While most people have a break over Christmas, for hospitality workers and those involved in food and drink, it’s their busiest time. So what is it like working at Christmas – and what do they do for their own Christmas meal, assuming they have the energy to eat it? Olivia Greenway finds out

The Fishmonger


w i l l i a m s a n d bu n k e l l fishmongers have been in Claygate for over 30 years. Shop manager Mark Bean has worked there for 18 of them. They specialise in quality traditional fish, sourced from all over the country. “Providing the order is placed by 10am, we can source any fish – from the Highlands of Scotland to Cornwall – by the next day. We stock fresh fish such as brill, turbot, wild sea bass and Scottish halibut and then there’s smoked fish such as smoked salmon, smoked haddock and smoked salmon pate. Salmon and haddock is oak smoked on the premises and hand sliced. Smoking takes 12 to 24 hours, depending on the weather. Mark is a master salmon slicer, having practised the craft for 16 years. The business has won a two star rating from the Great Taste Award 2016 for its smoked haddock as well as one star for its smoked salmon. “Orders for Christmas are taken from the beginning of December, with collection on Christmas Eve or the day before. During Christmas week, we start work at 4.30am and it’s not unusual for us to finish at midnight.” When the doors finally close at around 4.00pm on Christmas Eve, Mark can look forward to his own Christmas dinner. “Fortunately, I don’t have to travel far; I go to my mum who lives locally. She always cooks a traditional turkey. Naturally, I love fish, especially smoked salmon, so we’ll have that as a starter or maybe prawn cocktail. It’s a day or two off, depending when Christmas Day falls, then it’s back to work.”

The chef


g r e at f o s t e r s i s a Grade One listed Tudor fine dining hotel near Egham. Its first Michelin star in October 2016 has planted it firmly on the foodie map. Marc Hardiman, Executive Head Chef joined in 2014 and is passionate about building on its success, focusing on quality and consistency. “The build-up to Christmas starts around mid-November when I sit down to work out orders and quantities. Being organised is key. Christmas dinners start on 5 December – these are extra menus in addition to our normal menus rather than substitutes – so there is a lot of extra work. Christmas Day lunch normally attracts over 150 guests and the splendid Boxing Day buffet a similar number. Around 60 staff sit down to have their own Christmas dinner at about 6pm on Christmas Day. “All the senior staff work over the whole Christmas period until New Year. We try to get the junior staff to have some time off so they can be with their families.” What about Mark’s own Christmas plans? “I’ve been a chef for 21 years and worked every single Christmas Day and Boxing Day. If you work in the industry, you have to accept it. I have two families really, my work family and my real family. I try to get away to my parents just outside Bristol, on a weekday in early December or in January. My mum cooks the dinner. And I prefer not to have turkey, since I will have seen 5,000 turkey dinners before Christmas is over. I like beef or lamb. We still have the traditional Christmas pudding, though. It wouldn’t be Christmas without it.”

@SurreyOccasions 25

SO Food & Drink

FOOD & DRINK ROUND-UP Food & Drink editor Olivia Greenway picks her Christmas crackers for food and drink lovers this season

One stop shop

If you can’t get out to the shops or are pressed for time, a new online speciality food service has just launched. Caprera is named after the Italian island on which Garibaldi (the great, great grandfather of the founder) lived and where he spent his last 30 years. Caprera only stocks top products from independent producers – including The Garden Cider company’s delicious single vintage cider produced only from apples in the Petworth area. Take a look also at their Christmas hamper which for £25 gives you squidgy old-fashioned Horsham gingerbread, pear and walnut chutney, cranberry chutney, seed and garlic crackers and garlic and black pepper salami. They also do a gluten free version. Delivery is £3.99, free over £50. To guarantee Christmas delivery, last orders are at 11am on 21 December.

Say cheese

Sweet treats Caracoli Delicatessen, with branches in Guildford, Farnham and Haslemere, bake delicious mince pies, their mincemeat prepared three months beforehand, so it has time to mature. Try one with your coffee in the shop or buy them in packs of four for £5.25.


Cheese is a must on most Christmas tables, if not on Christmas Day, on Boxing Day. Secretts Farm shop near Milford stocks 300 varieties. They sell Colston Bassett and Long Clawson stilton as well as lesser well known blue cheeses such as Brighton Blue. Small whole cheeses (truckles) of cheddar are available, along with a huge variety of chutneys and cheese biscuits. They close around 4.30pm on Christmas Eve.

Talking turkey Sweet items sorted, the big question is where to get the turkey? Aficionados claim a home reared free range turkey has the best flavour. Bramble Farm in West Horsley has been run by the Joy family since the 1930s. Although they supply butchers and farm shops in the area, you can collect your turkey direct from the farm on Thursday 22 or Friday 23 or by midday on Christmas Eve.

Bel and The Dragon, Godalming

Centrally situated, the venue itself – as with all Bel and The Dragon venues – has the instant wow factor. Fling open the double entrance doors and you are in a converted church. The company have just launched their new ‘Root to Table’ scheme. All their suppliers are as local as possible and the small group has three of its own kitchen


gardens. The semi-open kitchen features a Jospar grill (charcoal) and rotisserie. The menu features best-selling suckling pig with crispy crackling and spiced apple chutney, or half-grilled Atlantic lobster. Lemon sole was exquisite with the best triple fried chips we’ve tasted.

Supermarket sweep Christmas time is the busiest time of year for supermarket food retailers and they all vie to get our business. On a boiling hot day in July, I attended various Christmas food fairs for journalists and from a strong field I whittled it down to the following:

Aldi Champagne This Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut tastes just as good, if not better, than the more well known brands. It’s dry with a satisfyingly elegant length. And at only £9.99, it’s a steal. And dishes of delicious maple fudge (£1.49 per 150gm bag) won’t go amiss either, indistinguishable from home made. Tip onto your prettiest small plates for maximum effect. Available in Guildford, Walton on Thames and Camberley.

Tesco puddings Add a bit of theatre to your Christmas dinner with their Reveal pudding, or save it for Boxing Day. Ideal also for those who don’t like Christmas pudding, you pour over the warmed fudge sauce, and the gooey inside of the spongy chocolate pudding is revealed. (£12, serves six.) Their Igloo kit cake is a great idea for kids wanting to make something, but is safe and relatively easy. It just needs a short (supervised) time in the microwave to cook. (£3.99, serves 6.) Both available now in all Surrey branches of Tesco.



A three-course meal for two – plus a bottle of Champagne at Galu – Surrey’s most elegant restaurant Galu serves contemporary Mediterranean cuisine in relaxed yet elegant surroundings in the heart of the Nork, Banstead.

Choose from A La Carte favourites such as Lobster raviloli, fillet steak, fresh fish and mouth watering deserts.

Galu is the perfect place to celebrate that special occasion or simply enjoy an after work drink or weekend cocktails at our Galu bar. To book: Tel: 01737 351 266 Email: or visit 30 Nork Way, Banstead SM7 1PB


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SO Travel

England’s glory It’s 50 years since the Cotswolds was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Claire Mahoney heads away from the tourist hot spots to discover the area’s lesser known hidden gems

The Cotswolds is very pretty, there is no doubt about that. Brimming with honeycoloured houses and rolling hills. But it is also much bigger than you think. In fact, it is the largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England, covering some seven counties and an area of 790sq miles. It is easy to see why many visitors who automatically make a pilgrimage to its picture-perfect tourist towns such as Bourton-on-the-Water and Upper and Lower Slaughter, may be missing out, as on the outer reaches of the Wolds, lie traditional Cotswold villages and towns that are as abundant in beauty and heritage and are perfect for a winter escape.

Great Tew and Duns Tew. Oxfordshire In the Cotswold’s eastern county of Oxfordshire are a fine crop of picturepostcard villages, grand estates and lovely pubs. For quintessential English countryside


SO Travel

head to Great Tew which edges the Cornbury Estate with it’s postcard-perfect rows of ironstone and honey-coloured thatch cottages. Oxford’s dreaming spires are a short drive away as is the shopper’s paradise that is Bicester – perfect for the January sales. For bed, breakfast and dinner, visit Duns Tew, home to the White Horse – a charming pub with hearty and quality food and eleven comfortable rooms. After a hard days exploring, this is just the type of place you want to grab a pew and enjoy a fine selection of local ales or tuck into some hearty traditional, seasonal food. Expect warming winter fayre such as braised lamb shoulder, olive oil poached cod, and generous cuts of rib-eye and flatiron steak cooked to perfection. Bed & breakfast at the White Horse starts from £75. Visit:

Cirencester and the south Cotswolds Further south into Gloucestershire the countryside changes and becomes more undulating. The villages are less about thatch and leaded windows and more about rough-hewn stone and character. No more is this more evident than in the Cotswold capitol – Cirencester. Amble through the lanes and alley ways of its narrow streets or take in the wide vistas and views of the city in the magnificent Cirencester Park. If you fancy a stop over, a short drive away near Michinhampton, is The Ragged Cot, a quirky pub with stylish rooms and top notch dining. Given the name of this 17th century inn, it’s no surprise to discover that it has a spooky past. The place is thought to

be haunted by the wife of former landlord, Bill Clavers, who in the 1760s caused the death of both her and their child by pushing them down the stairs in a fit of pique. Don’t let that put you off though, there were no such visitations when we stayed and any ideas of ghostly apparitions are soon banished while tucking into their flavoursome menu which contains a mix of modern British and modern European favourites. Bed and breakfast at the Ragged Cot starts from £80. Visit:

Stratford-upon-Avon 2016 marked the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, so no visit to the Cotswolds would be complete without a visit to Shakespeare’s home town. New Place, which opened this year, is the aptlynamed site of what was Shakespeare’s family home for the last 19 years of his life. Here you can trace the footprint of his family home in a contemporary landscape setting. The Royal Shakespeare Company has also commissioned a new self-guided tour that involves eight locations alongside Stratford’s historic spine. Shakespeare’s Steps starts at Shakespeare’s Birthplace and includes locations such as New Place, Guildhall, and Holy Trinity Church before finishing at the RST. If you are staying over in Stratford, Q Hotels has two properties here – one in the town (The Stratford) and recently re-furbished Straford Manor, a 10 minute drive away with parking onsite and a bus service into the town if you want to leave the car behind. After all that walking Stratford Manor also has a large pool and recently refurbished spa facilities to help you unwind before a nightcap. Spa breaks from: £109 per night. Visit:

@SurreyOccasions 29

SO Travel

Tewkesbury and Gloucestershire In the Cotswolds’ western edges where the River’s Severn and Avon meet is the charming, historic town of Tewkesbury with its imposing Abbey, once the site of a monastery. There are lovely walks along the edge of both rivers and the town has a great selection of pubs, cafes and vintage shops to while away an afternoon in. On the hill overlooking the village is the newly renovated Tewkesbury Park Hotel. This grand manor house hotel and golf club commands some of the best views in the area and on a clear day you can see right over to the Malvern Hills. The hotel’s


recent £4million renovation has turned it’s classic building into a contemporary and stylish boutique retreat. As part of the revamp, which includes the addition of two new spa rooms, the hotel has made the most of this historic connections with all of its nine, new lavish suites named after key players in the 1471 Battle of Tewkesbury which took place in the ‘Bloody Meadow’

at the bottom of the hill. As you walk through the meadow, the peace and quiet is an eerie reminder that thousands fought and were killed on this very spot. Rooms at Tewkesbury Park start at £122 for a Just Right Room. Suites start from £230 for an Indulgent Suite, up to £350 for an Opulence suite, including breakfast. Visit:

SO Rural Life

Surrey has some of the most stunning countryside to be found across the UK, from woodland to water meadows and each season reveals a different kind of beauty. Much of this treasured land is owned and managed by our farmers and incorporates a network of footpaths and bridleways for us all to enjoy. While our farmers will still be busy throughout the winter, bringing in cattle, ploughing, spraying and preparing for the lambing season we can still delight in the great outdoors and start to appreciate the valuable role farms and farmers play in supporting wildlife and nature. Whilst out and about you may encounter farmers undertaking winter activities such as hedge cutting, ditch clearing and protecting watercourses. These will all help to enrich and protect breeding and feeding habitats for birds, mammals and insects by enhancing the landscape and improving the quality of air, soil and water. The farmers benefit as managing a farm in a way that helps the natural environment is good for business. Providing a range of habitats can benefit crop pollination, pest control, soil management and profit. Through the toughest part of the year nature benefits, the farmer benefits and so do we. Winter can be an easier time to spot wildlife as trees and hedges are bare and mud and snow can reveal rarely seen footprints from fox, deer or badges. Animals are also more likely to be seen in the daytime finding their food before the evenings draw in. Binoculars are a handy tool plus a wildlife and plant guide so you can identify your finds as soon as you discover them. Keen photographers are in for a treat too – the light in winter can be perfect for capturing detail and colour like never before. Here are a few of our favourite sights and sounds. Roosting birds such as starlings, rooks, jackdaws, crows and ravens can be a truly spectacular sight as they twist and turn making fabulous shapes against the winter skies. Stand for a moment and listen to the distinctive sound of a woodpecker searching for food and establishing its territory. Be patient and you may also see this handsome bird silhouetted against the sky. Ducks, geese and swans are more present in the winter months and their plumage can be brighter. Owls too are more vocal in the colder months. Song thrush, robins, blue tits and grey wagtails grace our landscapes and on warmer days you may encounter frogs, bees, bats and hedgehogs. Grey squirrels are busy – and noisy – through the winter, looking for food and chasing potential mates. And it’s

Winter wonderland

Don’t be despondent as winter settles in. It can be a beautiful and exciting time to explore and discover the glorious Surrey countryside, says Liane Jarman of the Surrey County Agricultural Society

“Winter can be an easier time to spot wildlife as trees and hedges are bare and mud and snow can reveal rarely seen footprints from fox, deer or badgers” not just our two and four legged creatures who can fill the senses. There are many fascinating plants to be discovered during the winter months including fungi, lichens, the first hazel catkins and early lesser celandine. Holly, ivy and mistletoe all provide berries, not only a colourful sight but also a valuable food source for birds. If exploring Surreys farms, woodlands and meadows on a cold and frosty day is a step too far, you can of course bring winter wildlife into your own garden. Providing bird feeders with fat balls and oil rich sunflower seeds will invite fieldfare, bullfinch and redwings and make a real difference to their chances of survival. Winter is also the ideal time to put up a

bird box as blue tits and great tits will use this season to search out nesting sites. Or why not plant trees and hedges such as hawthorn and rowan to provide precious berries in the winter and places to nest in the spring. The Surrey County Agricultural Society is a small charity that exists to promote agriculture and good farming. We welcome new members throughout the year. Join today and enjoy complimentary admission to both the Surrey County Show and the Surrey Game and Country Fair at Loseley Park in September, with use of the members’ facilities and other benefits. Visit or call 01483 890810 @SurreyOccasions 31

SO Fitness

Pole to Pole If you love walking in the Surrey countryside and want to take your fitness to the next level without stepping inside a gym, then Nordic walking could be for you. Becky Dickinson reports


SO Fitness

This latest Scandinavian export transforms everyday walking into a full-body workout, and is said to be the fastest growing fitness activity in the UK. The technique, in which walkers propel themselves along using a pair of poles as additional legs, was developed in Finland in the 30s as a summer training exercise for cross-country skiers. But it’s not just out-of-season skiers who can benefit. Nordic walking uses 90% of the body’s skeletal muscles and burns almost twice as many calories as ordinary walking. Yet it’s remarkably low-impact, making it an ideal workout for people of all ages and abilities, including those with certain health conditions. And with some of the UK’s finest countryside on our doorstep, it’s no wonder that more and more people in Surrey are discovering the benefits of Nordic walking for themselves. Julia Tilbury is the founder of Surrey Striders (surreystriders. and runs regular guided Nordic walks, courses and workshops. She says: ‘’We are so lucky in Surrey to have so many accessible footpaths and the views are outstanding at any time of the year. Some of my favourite areas are Newlands Corner, Reynard’s Hill, Colyer’s Hanger in Albury, Norbury Park, Leith Hill and the North Down Way.’’ Julia, a former teaching assistant, first discovered Nordic walking in 2009 after a back injury forced her to give up running, a sport she’d previously enjoyed. In her quest to find an activity that combined her dual passions for fitness and the countryside, but wouldn’t hurt her joints, she took up Nordic walking. Not only did it ‘’do wonders’’ for her back, it also lead to a whole new career. ‘’I loved it so much and got a real sense of well being whilst walking in nature, so I decided to set up my own business and share my love of the countryside and the activity with others,’’ says Julia, who trained as an instructor seven years ago. ‘’It’s a great sense of achievement to see my walkers achieve their goals and become fitter.’’ The benefits of walking and being outdoors, for both physical and mental wellbeing, are well documented. Research shows linking exercise with nature can aid depression, anger, fatigue and mood disturbances. Nordic walking retains all these benefits, with the extra advantage of providing an all-over workout, thanks to the addition of poles. When used correctly, the poles increase the use of the upper body muscles, ensuring they work as hard as the legs. As you walk, you swing your arm forward from your shoulder with your elbow straight and plant the pole into the ground, creating a full body movement. You then ‘propel’ yourself forward in a motion which activates your core muscles. Although not difficult, a certain amount of co-ordination is required, and it’s important to learn the proper technique from a qualified instructor. ‘’It’s an enhancement of ordinary walking and uses your natural walking gait,’’ says Julia. ‘’I teach people how to

Local Nordic walking groups - Nordic walks across Surrey - Nordic walks in Bushy Park - Nordic walking sessions throughout Surrey

Nordic walk over a series of sessions on a beginners course and offer taster sessions.’’ But she says: ‘’If you can walk, you can Nordic walk.’’ It’s also important to use the correct poles, which are different to those made for trekking. Nordic walking poles are specially designed with an ergonomic handle and a boot-like tip. Julia provides poles for all her walkers, or they can be purchased for around £60. Although the poles increase the level of exercise, they also provide support by taking the weight off the knees and lower body joints – making it feel easier. This makes it suitable for people with joint conditions or who are overweight. Julia adds: ‘’Nordic walking is ideal for people of any age and any fitness level, it can also include those with medical conditions if they have been cleared by their GP to take part. I also work with walkers who have Parkinson’s and those recovering from injuries.’’ Gill Stewart, director of Nordic Walking UK, says there has been a 60% increase in people joining classes this year across the UK. This is partly due to a rise in the number of instructors, but Gill, who is the author of The Complete Guide to Nordic Walking (Bloomsbury Press) says, it’s also due to the sport’s widening allure. ‘’Nordic walking is beginning to appeal to the younger population and to men. It used to be pigeon-holed as something for the elderly which is totally untrue – it’s a whole body exercise similar to being on a cross training machine in the gym and it turns every step into a workout,’’ says Gill. But as Julia Tilbury points out, Nordic walking has many additional benefits, besides burning calories. ‘’Most of my walkers initially try Nordic walking for fitness and health objectives. Not only do they become fitter and healthier with weight loss for some, but they build friendships and the social and relaxed ethos of my groups, encourages them to continue. I’m often referred to as the ‘Pied Piper of Surrey.’’ she laughs.

“We are so lucky in Surrey to have so many accessible footpaths and the views are outstanding at any time of the year”

@SurreyOccasions 33

SO Wellbeing

Find out more about Hygge The Art of Hygge: How to Bring Danish Cosiness Into Your Life, by Jonny Jackson Hygge: A Celebration of Simple Pleasures, by Charlotte Abrahams

Give yourself a

Hygge: the Danish Art of Happiness, by Marie Tourell Soderberg The book of Hygge: The Danish art of Living Well, by Louisa Thomsen Brits The Little Book of Hygge: the Danish Way to Live Well, by Meik Wiking How to Hygge: The Secrets of Nordic Living, by Signe Johansen


Want to feel happier in 2017? Then take a tip from the Danes and make your life more ‘hygge’. Karen Glaser explains Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for most of the last twelve months, you’ll know that this has been the year of “hygge”, the Danish art of trying to achieve everyday happiness through living well and staying cosy. If that sounds a bit woolly, it’s because there is no direct translation of a word which is about the feeling of wellbeing you


get from, for example, blowing the froth off a couple cappuccinos by an open fire in your favourite cafe. Or from putting on clean, dry socks after a bracing walk across a rainswept Gatton Park. Or from lighting scented candles in your snug living room as you and your besties, chunky, knitted blankets thrown about your persons, sit down to watch three episodes of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ on your super comfy sofa. “It’s a special atmosphere of a special moment,” explains Marie Tourell Soderberg, a Danish actress whose new book ‘Hygge’ is sure to find its way to under many a Surrey Christmas tree. “It’s where everything just falls into place. Where the company is right, where the temperature is right, where we feel comforted, safe, warm and happy.” The craze for hygge, pronounced, roughly, hoo-ga, is also a riposte to the slew of clean-living, detox titles that have dominated lifestyle publishing for what feels like a very long time. Put another way, if you fancy a cup of molten chocolate in your favourite Guildford café, go ahead and quaff one. Living well doesn’t means cutting out treats, according to the Nordic philosophy. Not convinced? Well, with apologies to Shakespeare, there is seemingly very little that’s rotten in the state of Denmark. Earlier this year, the World Happiness Report declared Denmark the world’s happiest country. Might hygge play a part in that contentment? It can’t, surely, all be down to the country’s strong social security system, low income gap and strict 37-hour working week?

According to Marie, it’s precisely because Danish society functions so well that Danes have time to enjoy meaningful personal and social lives. They have time to be, not merely survive. So, how might you Surrey folk introduce a bit of hygge into your lives this festive season and thereafter in 2017? Spend more time outdoors, for starters. The Danes believe that fresh air and long walks are central to a healthy life, and with its extensive network of footpaths, it’s easy to embrace the great outdoors in this verdant county. So, wrap up warm (that’s very hygge) and enjoy the heathland and chalk downland of the Headley Heath on Christmas Eve; try the four-mile circular walk through some of Box Hill’s glorious scenery on Boxing Day; and do a serious hike along the North Downs Way, taking in the breath-taking Surrey Hills, on New Year’s Day Try, too, to emulate the conviviality of the Christmas dinner table every day of the week. Eating hygge-style is about kinship with friends and family, and Danes try their best to do sit-down family dinners every day. The food can be very simple: it’s being together that counts. Finally, forget coffee’s bad press and enjoy a caffeine shot, ideally with a delicious pastry, whenever you feel like it. Scandinavians are the world’s biggest coffee drinkers and, crucially, research has found that they are also the least stressed. That new coffee house you’ve spotted on your local Surrey high street? Go and enjoy a flat white and a squidgy chocolate brownie there, now!

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A family ticket to London’s Magical Lantern Festival London’s annual Magical Lantern Festival is back, with an all-new show transforming historic Chiswick House Gardens into a fairytale world of light sculptures, Chinese arts, Virtual Reality, games & food with a funfair and 600 square metres ice rink, from 19 January - 26 February 2017. The restored 18th Century gardens in West London will see its 65 acres packed with over 50 illuminated, brand new installations, celebrating the Chinese New Year of the Rooster. Displays will include a 15-metre illuminated sculpture of the Houses of Parliament.There will also be a 30m ice rink, fairground rides and Chinese bamboo lantern riddles for visitors to solve. The festival theme for 2017 is the ancient Silk Route, which saw China trading its precious silk and commodities with a huge transcontinental network during the 206 BCE - 220 CE Han Dynasty. As well as Ancient Egypt’s exotic pyramids, sphinx and camels - India, Persia and Ancient Rome will also be up in lights, with a stunning re-imagining of The Colosseum and a giant fire rooster proudly crowing in the end of winter.

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SO Interiors

3 2


Mike Evans







SO Interiors

Comfort and joy 1

Lounge round

Curl up in retro-style in this natural rattan chair. The Kubu Round has been kept in its natural colour making it an environmentally friendly as well as very stylish piece of furniture. Price: £229 from 2

Wrap up

These merino wool throws are incredibly light and soft against the skin - perfect for wrapping up on the sofa with a good book or a movie. Available in three pastel shades from UK-based curators of Danish and Scandi homewares, Price £119.99 each. 3

Fireside companion

This hemp log basket from Decorators Notebook is perfect for homes with more compact fireplaces, yet it will hold enough logs for a whole night snuggled by the fire. Price £49.95, 4

Glass act

British designer Jo Downs’ handcrafted work is inspired by the coastal setting of Cornwall where she lives and works. Her range of beautiful glassware such as these snowflake hangings, also include bowls and mirrors as well as statement interior pieces such as wall panels and art frames. Jo Downs galleries can be found in Ripley, Surrey, Twickenham, Middlesex and in Cornwall. Snowflake hangings, £20 each. Visit:

Bring a little more Hygge into your home this winter with these stylish ideas that will not only look good but will make you feel good too


Hang fire

Would you like a real fire, but prefer not to have the mess? Then this flueless, smoke-free, environmentallyfriendly option might be for you. The Cocoon Aeris is a suspended fireplace that uses denatured ethanol, a sustainable biofuel derived from plants, to give off an ambient heat. Price: £3,000, 6

Light and Shade

Keep lighting subtle with candlelight or accent lighting. Fairfax lampstand and Lucille shade from £120, Aldwych side table £175. All from 7


tips to make the ultimate hot chocolate

Hygge and hot chocolate go hand in hand. So we asked Gary Durrant, Head Chef at Hunter 486 a boutique London hotel, The Arch, to share his tips on how make the best cup of cocoa ever

Ditch the kettle Replacing boiling water with hot whole milk is a better alternative. A splash of single cream at the end can give it an even creamier and smoother finish.

Use good quality chocolate Use grated real chocolate (I recommend 70% cocoa solids) instead of powder to give it a more intense flavour. You will need to add sugar to taste to balance out the bitterness of the chocolate.

Don’t add it all at once Mix the grated chocolate with a small amount of milk to create a paste. If you gradually add the rest of the milk to the paste while simultaneously stirring you will find the hot chocolate is a lot smoother.

Spice things up When it comes to spices, a winter favourite is cinnamon. However you can always mix things up by adding cardamom and orange instead.

Add a Christmas tipple The addition of spirits and liquors can turn it into an adult guilty pleasure. Baileys, Disaronno and Cointreau all work well in a hot chocolate.

Winter warmer

You can’t beat wool for natural warmth underfoot. This Natural Berber Twist carpet from Cormar is made from 80% pure new British wool will keep you cosy underfoot. Prices from around £28 per sq m. For stockists visit: 8

Delight the senses

These soy wax candles from Ecoya have a truly long-lasting fragrance. The new Mini Madison gift set features elegant fragrances - Lotus Flower, French Pear and Sweet Pea & Jasmine. Price: £39 from Liberty and John Lewis.

@SurreyOccasions 37

SO Interiors Heating

Warm welcome In the first of a new series, property expert Lucy Alexander advises on how to keep cosy this winter without compromising on style When the cold sets in, most of us will start thinking about ways to not only keep the house warm, but also save a few pounds in the process. Whether you are looking to upgrade existing radiators, incorporate some underfloor heating, or are considering a complete overhaul, there are plenty of options to consider when it comes to fending off the winter chill. It’s about finding a middle ground that results in a home that’s cosy, but with a resulting energy bill that won’t break the bank. During my time on Homes Under the Hammer, many home owners had purchased renovation properties and heating had been a crucial priority in order to save money long term. Whether starting from scratch or just updating an outdated heating system, the twenty-first century has brought with it some cost effective, energy efficient and aesthetically pleasing options for tackling the extremities.

Radiators Radiators are quick to warm up, highly effective and simple to control, making them a first choice in most homes, and, if you are considering updating your radiators the options are endless. Traditional steel convector style radiators are reliable and there are numerous options available. Whilst they are typically not very easy on the eye, radiators need not be an imposition on the room. New models are now increasingly more creative in style, form and colour. Aluminium options are lightweight and sleek, and cast iron column radiators look stylish and can maintain their heat long after the heating has been switched off, making them extremely cost effective. Salvaged, reconditioned and period radiators can look beautiful and are ideal if you want your radiators to be in keeping with the rest of the property. They

can often be a lot more cumbersome and imposing, but equally striking. The down side is that due to their age, old radiators can suffer the test of time with cracks and cold spots appearing that will need repairing in order to work efficiently.

Underfloor heating If you are looking for an alternative option to heat your home, then underfloor heating is certainly regarded as a more energy efficient form of heating. This is something I have incorporated into my home renovations and most definitely pays dividends in the long run. This is no quick and easy process and is ideally suited to home owners that are considering a larger scale renovation as it involves raising the existing flooring and embedding the pipes into the concrete/screed to achieve the best results. It works by essentially turning your entire floor into a giant radiator, making it particularly cosy under foot, but equally heating the room efficiently, using less energy as it runs at a lower temperature than traditional radiators. There are two options for underfloor heating, either a hot water system in which water is pumped through plastic pipes, or an electric mat system which can be rolled out and connected together via cables. The latter offers a cheaper outlay, but can be more expensive long term compared with the running cost of a water system. Ultimately, underfloor heating is less expensive to run than standard radiators and not visible within the property, freeing up space and it doesn’t spoil the overall finish of your home. Lucy Alexander presents Homes Under the Hammer on BBC TV. Follow her @ LucyAlexanderTV.


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SO Interiors Heritage Bathrooms’ Hylton freestanding bath available in stunning metallic gold, copper and stainless steel effect. RRP £2550. For more info visit:

Surrey stockists include: CPL Guildford Wood Bridge Park Estate, Guildford 01483 537131 The Farnham Bathroom Company 2A Bridge Square, Farnham 01252 727415 CPS Walton On Thames Winchester Road, Walton On Thames 01932 233100 Cranleigh Bathroom Studios 246 High Street, Cranleigh 01483 272727 Other bathroom suppliers: Walton Bathrooms Hersham 0208 481 7979

Baths are back Despite the fact that over 80% of us take a shower every day, baths are now making a big comeback. Interior design consultant Charlotte Conway explains why These days people are looking for a luxury haven of escapism and the bathroom is the perfect environment for creating an invigorating ambience for a relaxing soak at home. We are saying goodbye to the once popular sterile and minimalist bathroom décor in favour of more dramatic boutique hotel inspired designs. In recent years the focus on the bathroom has been


about clever space optimising, and fitted baths have seemingly been the only solution. Now however, there are more freestanding bath options on the market than ever before, making it accessible for a broader spectrum of consumers - with bathroom sizes spanning cosy and compact to large open family spaces. From baby versions of classic roll-top designs to a wider selection of acrylic versions - homeowners now have greater design possibilities to achieve a luxury look, while adding a practical feature. Freestanding baths aren’t now just reserved for bathroom spaces that can support the weight of a cast iron or metal option. Acrylic versions are

now plentiful and combine a convenient and lightweight material with a stunning period look, and they also have a more affordable price point. As natural materials and warm metallic tones continue to make a splash across all home-wares, it’s no surprise that bath designs are also following suit and adopting more textured and tactile finishes. As well as classic metal and cast iron designs, homeowners are starting to embrace more distinctive surfaces, including marble, concrete and metallic effect acrylic. More tactile natural surfaces are perfect for pairing with exposed wooden floors and polished tiles for a dynamic and eclectic overall look.

b o o k at bat h - t i m e

Peter Hirsh author of the Ultimate Bathroom Book gives us some fun facts about the most important room in the house ...

Archimedes the ancient Greek mathematician discovered the theory of displacement whilst taking a bath. He observed that the water level rose as he climbed in. He realised that a submerged item would displace the amount of water equal to its own volume.

The Cadogen Hotel in Knightsbridge, London offers a bath to guests with 84 litres of champagne in it (that’s 120 bottles). The cost will depend on the champagne chosen. You can bathe in Louis de Custine Brut for £4,000 but if you choose Dom Pérignon Vintage a bath will cost you £25,000.

Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson gave his first wife, Robin Givens, a gold bathtub as a gift for Christmas one year. They divorced just over a year later after well-publicised marital troubles.

The Ultimate Bathroom Book: Everything you ever wanted to know about the bathroom but were afraid to ask is available at at £14.99.

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SO Beauty

Joan Collins’ five tips for looking festively fabulous

I N S TA - G L A M Get festive looking in five minutes with these go-to glam-inducing beauty steals – perfect for the party season

Eyes right Fake eight hours sleep the morning after with this new hero product from Remescar that tightens, de-puffs and de-bags in just two minutes. Available from Boots for £29.95.

1 Make your lipstick last longer while sipping cocktails by blotting your lips after application

2 A good base is the secret to amazing makeup and will disguise ageing

3 For a sultry, smokey eye look for the office party, double up your brow pencil by using it as an eyeliner and smudging it across the lids


Nail it

Clutch bags are limited for space, so use a lipstick as a blusher and blend it out onto the apples of your cheeks

Get gel-wear style nails with these new Nailed London manicure kits which will keep nails looking groomed long after the party is over. They come in Classic Red or Nude available from Harvey Nichols and Priced from £19-£24


Golden glow No time for a self-tan appointment? Then let this Cocoa Brown Shimmer/ Matte Bronzing Gel do the trick. It goes on like velvet and gives you a glorious streak-free, healthy glow. £3.49 from Superdrug

Good as gold Rock some 70s glamour with these gorgeous rose-gold drop earrings from Calvin Klein. Price: £70 from


To finish spritz with my new Ten Effects Skin Treat & Make-up Fixer (£20) to lock your makeup in place ready to dance the night away. This rose-scented spray contains seven active ingredients to plump, re-juvinate, tone, hydrate and minimise pores.

High shine This Hydrate Me Oil Mist from Batiste gives hair an instant hydration hit that will tame frizz, dry ends and will freshen up hair after a long day at the office. Available from Boots at £4.49.

Lashings of glamour Give your eyes a fuller flutter with these Wispie lashes from Ardell which have an elongated centre for a eye-opening look and come with a free mini DUO lash adhesive. £5.49 from Boots

SO Restaurant review review

Surrey Occasions finds that the tradition of Sunday lunch is well and truly alive at the newly refurbished Brasserie restaurant at PennyHill Park in Bagshot Sunday lunch out at a restaurant or hotel is a wonderful British tradition which has stood the test of time and still remains a favourite excursion for many families and couples . It is something that is engrained in us from childhood and whilst so many of our other traditions have disappeared, Sunday lunch remains an untouchable cornerstone which is as popular as ever.

Whether you go as a couple, family or group the recently refurbished Brasserie Restaurant at PennyHill Park, is the perfect spot for Sunday lunch – and the buffet provides more than enough to class as a feast! The refurbished restaurant is a mixture of modern and traditional that works well. There are soft blue and neutral tones throughout and cream pendant lights made up of elegant china petals add to the ambience. Table heights and shapes vary, and are made from a combination of black steel and weathered solid timber. Three interactive cooking stations provide an enjoyable and unusual dining experience and head chef Roman Zalaba has created a brand new menu using fresh, seasonal ingredients and contemporary and classic techniques. The food is buffet style with the emphasis on five star quality. To start there is a wonderful selection of traditional hors d’oeuvre and seafood including king prawns, mussels, prawn cocktail and smoked salmon; asparagus and hens eggs; various salads and soup of the day all accompanied by a selection of homemade breads. For the main course choose from a selection of traditional roasts: sirloin beef with large Yorkshire puddings, roast pork with seriously good crackling and turkey with all the trimmings, plus fish or a vegetarian dish of the day – and to accompany all this a choice of traditional Sunday roast vegetables. Crispy roast potatoes, oven cooked parsnips, chunky carrots with real flavour, fresh beans and cauliflower – plus real gravy for the roast made by the chef in the traditional manner. For those who still had room, the delightful choice of hot and cold desserts include favourites like cinnamon and apple crumble; pear and praline tart; fresh fruit and, if that was not sufficient, there was also a small cheese board with some interesting cheeses to sample. And as you would expect from a serious five star hotel, there is a quality wine list to meet all tastes. As a bonus, every Sunday the Brasserie buzzes to the sounds of the fabulously talented Jubilee Jazz Trio, the perfect accompaniment to your traditional Great British Sunday lunch. You’ll find the Brasserie restaurant at Pennyhill Park Hotel on London Road, Bagshot GU19 5EU. Available from 12.30 to 2.30 pm on Sundays, lunch is £39.50 per person; £18.50 for under-twelves and £10 for underfives. Children in highchairs are not charged. To book your table call: 01276 486150 or visit

@SurreyOccasions 43

SO Fundraising

Challenge yourself for charity

Looking to tick something off your bucket list in 2017? From treks and climbs to adrenaline-fuelled antics. Cora Lydon explores some of the amazing charity challenges you can join

Fundraising has come a long way since the days of sitting in a bath of cold baked beans – today charities are wooing supporters with the opportunity of the trip of a lifetime. How do you fancy trekking Transylvania, scaling Morocco’s Atlas Mountains on bike or dog sledding in Lapland in the name of charity? Most people already know which charity they’d like to support, so your first port of call should be your chosen charity to ask what events they have in the pipeline. If however, you want more flexibility on the type of challenge, while still supporting a Surrey charity there are organisations that coordinate challenges where you can pick who benefits. Challenges range from the moderately demanding – like tackling five of England’s most testing peaks in a day – through to the extreme – such as seeing your name added to the short list of people who have journeyed to the North Pole. It goes without saying that while the challenge will be tough, the training you’ll need to do in advance will also put you through your paces. Target your training programme to the challenge you’ve signed up for and make sure you start at least four or five months in advance. Find out if the organisers have planned any training weekends - these expertled sessions give you the chance to hone your fitness and meet other challenge participants. how to boost fundraising

Set goals Challenges normally take up to a year to plan, which allows plenty of time to fundraise. Set financial goals throughout the year to keep on track.

Get online Using Justgiving, Everyday Hero or Virgin Money Giving set up an online fundraising page. Outline your

connection to the charity, how tough the challenge is going to be and what sponsorship will mean to the charity plus add pictures.

Use social media Did you know that 50% of donations made through Justgiving were as a result of a Facebook post? Use social networks to raise

awareness. Don’t over share – twice a month is enough to pick up new sponsors.

Get creative You can organise smaller events and activities to maximise efforts. Think cake sales, raffles, car boot sales, pub quizzes, coffee mornings, nonuniform days at work – every penny counts.

Be inspired… Trek The Great Wall of China for St Raphael’s Hospice, Cheam This September 14 brave volunteers headed to China for a charity event that was both physically and mentally challenging. The volunteers included Surrey Occasions’ Sales manager, Tania Toohey, who signed up for the demanding eight-hour days of walking over remote mountains and woodland. Tania and the volunteers were able to donate £54,000 for St Raphael’s Hospice, which supports patients and families in Sutton and Merton. Next September the hospice will again be taking volunteers to trek the Great Wall, while in March 2018 its challenge is Peru’s Inca Trail.

Death Valley Cycle for Age UK Surrey Have you got what it takes to survive the Death Valley cycle challenge? This challenge is one of many organised by and you can pick the charity that benefits from a long list – including Age UK Surrey. You’ll be conquering 420km of the South Californian Desert by bicycle and in the process get to see some awe-inspiring scenery before ending up in Las Vegas to celebrate your success.

Mongolian Horse Ride for the charity of your choice You’ll get to explore 160km of mountain ranges and open grasslands of one of the highest countries in the world on horseback. You’ll spend six days on horseback, travelling through areas of Mongolia largely untouched by tourists, living with the locals and sleeping under the stars. Money raised goes to the charity of your choice including 18 Surrey-based charities like Jigsaw Trust; Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust; and the Starburst Foundation.

Surrey 5 peaks Hikeathon for Surrey Care Trust This annual walking challenge through the Surrey Hills has been happening since 2004. If you’re new to challenges it’s a great one to try as the challenge is tough without being extreme. You can walk either 12 or 24 miles and will tackle five peaks. Money raised goes to Surrey Care Trust, which provides learning, training and mentoring to young adults to improve their lives.


Skydive Day

Experiences of a lifetime team Join the us and help 30 e celebrat spice o h f o year’s e r a c

25th March 2017 Tick it off the bucket list and raise funds by completing a 10,000ft skydive! Sign up to our team day in March for some much needed support from fellow St Raphael’s jumpers. Be part of this unbelievable experience!

London to Paris Tour de France Edition! 19th–23rd July 2017 London to Paris is an iconic challenge. The 295 mile, 4 day bike ride takes us through the beautiful Kent countryside to Dover, before crossing the Channel to Calais. Our route takes us along quiet French country lanes, through traditional market towns with views of the rolling, green fields of northern France, passing the war memorials and cemeteries of the Somme. The pièce de résistance of this challenge will be the final cycle up the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe, following in the tyre tracks of the cycling greats, before watching them cycle the same route the next day in the finale of the Tour de France!

Contact Emily Nicholls for more information:

020 8254 2463

SO Homes



Anthea Turner gives us her top tips for creating a stunning festive table this Christmas

Don’t have anything too high on the table You want to be able to see your guests. I always stock up on lots of lovely low clear glass flower vases from Ikea. You can fill them with flowers or decorations or even candles.

Use what’s already out there

Make the most of what is already available in winter. Pine cones for example are wonderful paired perhaps with a few baubles that didn’t make it onto the tree. Spray them gold or silver, or cover them in glitter. They also make fantastic place markers as you can easily slot the place cards into their grooves.

Let there be light

Fairy lights create an instant ambience. Don’t worry about wires and plugs and use the battery operated ones. Fill vases with them or wind them around your decorations. Go for a warm, white glow for something more natural-looking.

Love colour

Classy crockery

Nature’s bounty

Side orders

When it comes to colour – take your cue from your home. Red and greens are great if you have a more traditional home, but for the modern home, I find that bright colour combinations can look fantastic. I particularly love ice blues and lime greens and don’t be afraid of pink.

Ivy is a wonderful addition to the christmas table, but make sure you buy or pick it late and keep it outside until you need to pop it on the table. I also love making the most of fruit – big juicy oranges and bright red apples look fabulous together and when you are done you can use them for freshly squeezed juice or a super-healthy fruit salad.

As for crockery, I always use white. Then add in some festive flavour with some fabulous green goblets or coloured glasses. Forget tables clothes, why would you want to cover up a beautiful table particularly if it is wood. I used rush matts and let the decorations take centre stage.

Keep the food off the table and on a side table, or even better, a fold-out table that you can then put away when it is not in use. This way you’ll have more space for any condiments and crackers.

And finally

Remember Christmas dinner is basically a sunday lunch with a cracker. We all have enough to juggle with as it is, so take as many short cuts as you can. One of my favourites was given to me by Mary Berry. She advises that you roast your potatoes the night before. Then, in the morning, pop them back in the oven when you take the turkey out. They will only need around ten minutes and they will be beautifully crisp. Anthea will be playing the Good Fairy in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Royal Theatre Windsor. Her book: ‘The Perfect Christmas’ is priced at £16.99.


Instagram: @AntheaTurner

Twitter: @AntheaTurner1

SO Shooting Star Chase

Home from home Zainab’s two-year-old son, Adnan, was diagnosed with rare life-limiting condition, Mucolipidosis type 2, at just a few weeks old. His condition leaves him developmentally delayed and unable to walk, and he has bone abnormalities, hearing problems and difficulty swallowing. Adnan and his family are cared for at Shooting Star Chase’s Hampton-based hospice, Shooting Star House – and this year the family are looking forward to a Christmas to remember thanks to the children’s hospice charity. “We found out about Shooting Star Chase shortly after Adnan’s diagnosis and we didn’t think a hospice was for us,” says Zainab. “But we got to know a family who had benefitted from their support who said what a fantastic place it was, and I kept receiving invites for events at the hospice so I decided to go along to a mums’ pamper day. “Adnan went to the day care room while I had my nails done, a facial and a massage, which of course was lovely. But the best thing was being able to meet other mums going through similar things. One of the hardest parts of our journey is feeling like we’re on our own, and suddenly, after visiting the hospice, I knew we weren’t. I came home and told my husband we had to go back!” Two years on, Zainab and her family have regular short breaks at Shooting Star House and Adnan goes to day care. “The hospice is like a second home to us and the staff are always amazing. Adnan gets one-to-one care which I know he wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else, and they love him like he’s their own. They take down every detail about Adnan’s routine and there’s someone looking after him constantly. The facilities, such as the sensory room and the hydrotherapy pool, are really good as well. “But it’s not just Shooting Star Chase’s care that makes a massive difference. The life expectancy for Adnan is anything between three and seven years old, so we cherish every moment with him – and the hospice do everything they can to create special memories for us as a family, particularly at Christmas.

“The life expectancy for Adnan is anything between three and seven years old, so we cherish every moment with him” “I remember getting upset watching a children’s nativity on TV last year because it dawned on me that I’d never see Adnan perform in anything like that. But the very next day I unexpectedly got a DVD in the post from Shooting Star Chase and it was a nativity play they had filmed, and Adnan was in it! He was dressed as a shining star and I was so overwhelmed - I was able to see him in a nativity that I thought I’d never get to see. It made my Christmas. “We’ve also been to Christmas parties at the hospice that are catered specifically for children like Adnan, and it was so nice to see him taking part in all the festive activities that are usually so difficult for him. I had got to the point where I couldn’t take him to other children’s parties because they were all running around, and Adnan was just on the floor and couldn’t get involved - but at the hospice we don’t feel different. “This year we’re really looking forward to going outdoor ice skating with Shooting Star Chase, which would be really difficult for us normally, but they make arrangements so he can go on the ice in the buggy. We also want to go the family carol concert the hospice puts on, which I know Adnan will be able to participate in. Experiencing these special festive moments people can take for granted becomes much harder when your child has a serious illness but Shooting Star Chase give our family – and many others – a Christmas to remember.” Visit: to hear more of Zainab’s story.

@SurreyOccasions 47

SO Local business

A nose for business Their home in the Surrey Weald provides a constant source of inspiration for husband and wife team Ursula and Paddy Heyland, who in 2003 founded the soap and home fragrance brand Heyland and Whittle

“We have found the perfect home for our busy lifestyle”

If you love the smell of an English country garden on a summer’s day, then you will most likely adore the fine fragrance combinations created by British soap and home fragrance company Heyland & Whittle. Inspired by their original location on a farm near Reigate in rural Surrey, Heyland & Whittle produce a range of handmade soaps in the traditional cold-processed method, using only natural ingredients. All the soaps are cut, filled and decorated by hand and all the fragrances are based on essential oils, herbs and spices so that they are completely sulphate and paraben free. Neroli & Rose, Jasmin & Lilac, Citrus & Lavender are just a few of the fragrance combinations that form the heart of their range. “When we bought the business it was operating out of a Nissan hut in Watford, in very cold and uncomfortable working conditions,” says Ursula. Eight months later they were able to rent a barn on a farm near Reigate and the business grew from there until the farm had run out of barns for them, so they moved their manufacturing to a site in Crawley. Keeping the business close to home is very important for the couple. “We have always aspired to owning a manufacturing company, of growing a British business in a happy inclusive working environment and our achievements are exactly that. Surrey is a beautiful county and we have enjoyed running our business here with help from local loyal staff, many of whom we have employed from the beginning.” The business is only 12 minutes drive from home in the village of Outwood in the Surrey Weald. They have an apartment in a large country house which has been split into five residences. “We are happily installed on the first floor with all the old features, huge sash windows open fires and staggeringly wonderful views across the Surrey Downs.” says Ursula. “We have found the perfect home for our busy lifestyle. We can see the sun rise and the sun set from our wonderful kitchen. The gardens which surround the property have sweeping lawns and an arboretum. Deer graze by day and owls hoot by night and we have a family of friendly robins and many woodpeckers.” They also have beautiful walks on their doorstep and not far away is the local pub,The Bell at Outwood, which they supply with their hand washes and lotions for the washrooms. The company works closely with leading fragrance houses who present them with the fragrance trends for the next twelve months. For 2017 they will be introducing a new fragrance called Lily & Ylang Ylang – a delicate, sophisticated floral combination. But before anything reaches the market it must pass under the noses of the Heyland & Whittle team. “We have a group ‘sniff in’ with our in-house team of four ‘noses’ to decide which we feel will be successful for the coming year. We then include all the staff to see which their favourites are. So before it goes to market it has been approved by up to 30 noses.” You can buy Helyand & Whittle products from John Lewis, Fortnum & Mason, Liberty of London as well as hundreds of independent boutiques around the UK. The company has also produced a special range of festive fragrances for Marks and Spencer in Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. Find out more at:



Sssshhh... The Secret


If you look in the mirror and all you can see is someone who looks like an older, grumpier version of yourself, but which disappears when you smile, then you probably have marionette lines. Also known as puppet lines, these are the lines that run from the side of the mouth downwards along the chin, and they develop as you get older, due to the natural ageing process, hormonal changes and genetics. When

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combined with naso-labial lines (which run from the corner of the nose to the mouth) the overall effect is not a good look and apart from a surgical face lift there’s nothing you can do about it.

Not so fast! That might have been the case in the past, but advances in cosmetic surgery mean that those pesky lines can be erased by the PDO Lift… a gentle-yet-effective lift, conducted under local anaesthetic… using mini threads combined with a light touch of muscle - relaxing injections and filler. The procedure takes just under an hour and there is minimal downtime. It costs £1500. The PDO Lift has been developed by Dr Aamer Khan, who is renowned for his delicate touch in rejuvenating tired faces. In fact, so gentle is his technique that no-one will know that you have had anything done, so no need to tell anyone… just wait for the compliments!

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SO Secret Surrey

1 3

The village has a prosperous and industrious past in clothing, leatherwork, paper-making and the quarrying of Bargate Stone. At one point the town had 16 quarries. The last clothing factory there closed in the 1960s.

In 1726 a Godalming maid servant called Mary Toft caused a national scandal when she pretended to have given birth to 16 rabbits. She was later found out after been seen smuggling rabbits into her home.


In 1881 Godalming was the first town in the world to have a public electricity supply. A Siemens AC Alternator and dynamo were installed and powered by a waterwheel at Westbrook Mill on the river Wey. They reverted back to gas power some years later due to issues with flooding.


The name Godalming is of Saxon origin and is referred to in the will of King Alfred the Great in 899 as ‘Godhelms Ingus’. This translates as ‘the family of Godhelm’ who were thought to have been lords of the manor during this time.


Godalming 5 6 7

The town has 138 listed buildings including a number of Tudor-framed and 17th century brickwork houses. It’s most famous building is its old town hall – known at the Pepperpot or Pepper-box because of its shape. Other significant buildings include the Red House by architect Edwin Lutyens’s and the well-known public school Charterhouse.

Charterhouse School was in fact where Peter Gabriel and Tony Banks met and formed the band Genesis.


Godalming was the first town in the country to have its own independent lottery. Set up in 2008 the by the Go-Godalming Association, GOLO has raised nearly £20,000 for local projects. Tickets are £1 and a draw takes place on the last Saturday of every month.

10 50

Russian Czar Peter the Great visited Godalming in March 1698 and stayed overnight at the Kings Arms Inn in the High Street. A bronze plaque with a bust of the Czar and his crests in relief is proudly displayed on the front of the building.


Famous residents of the town include garden designer Gertrude Jekyll, mountaineer George Mallory and Jack Philips, who was the chief radio controller on the Titanic. He is commemorated in several places in the town including a memorial fountain, cloister and garden walk near the village church. The Wetherspoon’s pub in the town also bears his name.

Godalming is not an erogenous zone,” says Reggie Perrin to secretary Joan in David Nobb’s book The Return of Reginald Perrin, which was made into a popular TV series. The book contains a footnote by the author which states: “It is believed that this book mentions Godalming more than any other book ever written.”




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Surrey Occasions | Winter 2016  
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