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Vale Life

w art w music w people w places w homes w gardens w theatre w food w fashion w Beauty w health w travel w

Your free magazine for Aylesbury, Thame and the surrounding area

Take me home


Nov/Dec 2011

See our new website at:


Free listings for events and businesses

il ty! r deta r a P as 50 fo m t e s hri e pag C fe se e Li 2nd: l a V c The ay, De Frid


Going for a Swan: Antiques and more in Tetsworth Quacking place: Duck Farm Court is Aylesbury’s hidden gem Cocoa Loco!: Rumsey’s have a way with chocolate Simply irresistible Risborough boutique is a box of delights Penny, Ruby, Matt and much, much more... Cover image: Models on the catwalk at Friars Square Aylesbury’s Autumn Fashion Show photographed by Danny Higgins:

w Kitan Moroccan bag and necklace w Twilight Limited Edition Styling set w w Meal for Two at the RusselL Arms w A pair of Merrell Origins boots w


Top Prices Paid In Cash For Your Scrap Precious Metals Including Unwanted Jewellery, Coins & Watches. Part Exchange Available


11a, St Aylesbury Buckinghamshire HP201SH 1SH 11aHigh High Street, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP20

01296 423198 Tel: 01296Tel: 423198 Web:

Chiltern Fireplaces

Up to 50% off on production of this ad - Showroom refit SALe l Over 70 fireplaces and fires on display l Gas and solid fuel fires and stoves l Electric fires, stoves and suites l No Chimney? ...No problem!

Bowman’s S ta i n e d G l a s s

For all glass repairs including: w Leaded Lights w Conservatories w Mirrors w w Sealed Units w Bespoke Windows and Doors w w Restoration of Metal Casements w

Fan powered or balanced flue fires l Chiltern Fireplaces will install your fire if required, or supply only if preferred. l HETAS registered, GAS SAFE registered 47 Frogmore Street, Tring, Herts. HP23 5AU Tel: 01442 822595 Website: Email: Open: Tuesday-Saturday: 10am to 5pm

Studio 4, Fleet Marston Farm, Aylesbury, HP18 0PZ Telephone: 01296 651777 Mobile: 07703 536931 Website: Email:

For all your stone needs... Currently celebrating the first anniversary of our internal stone Gallery at Thame

External stone at Great Milton and Bracknell

Stoneworld is a family-run, independent company offering help and advice on all aspects of stone purchase and use


Our extensive range includes: l Over 30 different natural stone paving options l Variety of finishes including hand cut, tumbled, sawn and honed l Natural stone block paving l Cobbles and pebbles l Over 50 different ornamental gravels l Rockery stone l Natural stone walling l Feature stones and water features l Swimming pool edging l Range of interior stone for floors, walls, worktops l Bespoke digital masonary service l Stone clean and reseal service; internal and external 4

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

For all your stone needs

t Great

Internal stone Great Thame Milton The Gallery, Views Farm

43A Upper High Street, Thame, Great Milton to Oxon, OX9 2DW. Oxon OX44 7NW Great TEL 01844 279274 Milton Tel: 01844 279307 Email:


to Great Hase

External stone

Views Farm, Great Milton, Oxon, OX44 7NW. Tel: 01844 279274 Email:


to Little Milton

If it’s crafted in Cumnor, or handmade in Haddenham, whittled in Wheatley, or stitched in Stadhampton. Textiles from Tetsworth, or decor from Dinton, chutneys from Chalgrove, or pastels from Postcombe. Candlemakers in Longwick, or sculptors in Stone, it’s time for a place where your talent is shown.

If you’re from round here and make beautiful things for the home, there’s now a beautiful home for those things. It’s called ‘From’. The new store opening soon in Thame. It’s there to sell what you can make, because we want you to make it. Visit and show us what you can do.

Telephone: 01844 353388

iPhone App now available to download free from The App Store

40 Oakley Road, Chinnor, Oxfordshire, OX394ES (to rear of Claremont Automatics) Email:

Telephone: 01844 353388 l Bosch Car Service Centre l MOTs including Class VII (3.5 tonnes) l Servicing, repairs, tyres, exhausts and air conditioning for cars and light commercials l Diagnostics: we have the most up to date workshops and equipment in the area l High ceilings and long ramps enable us to service long wheelbase vans, campers and trucks

DENT REMOVAL SPECIALISTS • High Quality Cost Effective Repairs • Free Estimates • Fully Trained Technicians • Master Craftsmen • Mobile Service & Workshop Facilities Tel/Fax: 0800 977 5347 Email: Unit 9 Weston Way Ind. Estate, Lower Road Stoke Mandeville, Bucks. HP22 5XB

Taking Away Life’s Little Knocks... ® 6

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Great rates Amazing results To advertise in Vale Life Magazine Call Charlie on 07702 006218

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Spread the word across The Vale: see: for details


Paving the way


Ginger spice


Going for a Swan


Seeing is believing

The art of gifting


Hair today...

15 Jolly good show!


Sparring partners

The heat is on


Opportunity knocks!

Irresistable delights


Cottage Industry

Snowed under


Winter wondering



Sticklers for tradition

Can fitness be fun?


Food and Drink

The perfect gift


Chequered past

Learning process


The art of cake

Tooth conservation


Cocoa loco!

Quacking place


Doing the twist

Twist and stripe


Country style


16 17 19 20 21 22 23 24 26 26

A year in The Gallery

Best antiques centre is a great place to eat An original piece for someone special? Beautiful decorations and a whole lot more Are you coming to the ball? Ladies like Chocolate!

Santa’s coming to Haddenham Bronzing in Broughton

Zumba and more from Stronggirl Jane Book in now for a pamper and preen On course for a new career Dentists say ‘look after what you’ve got’ Duck Farm Court uncovered What’s cool in the world of carpet

C’est La Vie!


hew! What a busy time we’ve had! Since the last issue it’s been all go at Vale Life we’ve had festivals to attend, a new website to launch, craft fairs to visit and a lot of very interesting people to meet and write about! Thame Food Festival was an amazing success. Noticeably bigger than last year and estimated to have attracted around 5,000 people it featured a fabulous selection of stalls


ongratulations to the following Sept/Oct edition competition winners! Hopefully your prizes will have arrived by now, let us know if not. Commiserations to those who weren’t

Looking for something different? Visit the spec-specialist

IPL those whiskers away BJJ and a new martial arts club Penny Harper gets the X-Factor Bespoke carpenters enter new era Gardening time with Naomi MacKay Festive fare and Winter Ale

Ruby, Matt and tales from the farm Flagging up our award-winning pub Sara’s making edible art Treat yourself to a Rumsey’s choc Meet the Spread’s new chef Fashion tips from Kimblewick Hunt

and demonstrations. See: for pics and video footage. The Friars Square fashion show in Aylesbury was fun too, (see front page pic), with five girls and a guy on the catwalk modelling new lines from the centre’s stores. Back in Thame the Arts and Literary Festival went well once again - particularly popular was Sophie Dahl, who sold out at Towersey Manor. It has also been the real ale season

with cracking beer festivals in Aylesbury, Thame (Chinnor Rugby Club’s Oktoberfest) and Chinnor. There’s barely been time to draw breath but we have managed brief moments of respite. A Sunday lunch at the Crown, Sydenham was superb, the most tender lamb ever! While a coffee at the Flowerpot in Long Crendon is to be highly recommended. Happy reading,

so lucky - read on though for more competitions inside this edition, including the chance to win: dinner for two with a bottle of house wine at The Russell Arms, Butler’s Cross; a PRO Beauty Tools Twilight Limited Edition Styling Set, a styl-

ish Kitan Moroccan bag and bead necklace and a pair of Merrell Origins boots! Last issue’s prizewinners were: Aromatherapy Associates Skincare Kits: Joanne Barbray, Haddenham and Lisa Rutland, Aylesbury.


Charlie Trott: Editor

Raymond Blanc explains the finer points of French cuisine to local food fan, Amanda, at Thame Food Festival

Earth Now book: Natasja Dumay, Aylesbury. Meal for two at the Crown, Sydenham: Fiona Siddle, Henton. £250 voucher for CC: Mrs Pamela Clark.

Front cover picture: Photograph taken at Friars Square Fashion Show by Danny Higgins ( Vale Life Magazine is designed and published by House of Mouse, 23 Glenham Road, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 3WD Telephone: 01844 261579 Mobile: 07702 006218 Website: Email: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of Vale Life. We cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies, omissions or late changes. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the publishers. Printed in the UK by The Magazine Printing Company

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011


Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Gallery paves the way A year since opening its striking internal stone gallery at the converted methodist chapel in the centre of Thame, Stoneworld is pleased to report that the project and collaborations with local businesses are proving a great success for all parties...


t’s a year since Stoneworld opened its striking internal stone gallery in the old methodist chapel on Thame’s Upper High Street. The company still has its workshops, yard and external stone outlet at Great Milton but has found the Thame gallery a much more suitable environment in which to display the stunning range of internal stone flooring, hearth and worktop options they offer. It is not just a gallery of stone though. On the first floor Watermark, designers and suppliers of quality fitted kitchen and bathroom products, has a selection of room sets showing off some of its range teamed with Stoneworld flooring, while downstairs there are stoves by Manor House Stoves, glass art, paintings and a selection of home accessories. “The Gallery is an ideal setting in which to display our Stoneworld range,” says marketing manager Val Chaplin. “It’s a pleasure working here, the surroundings are lovely and really enhance the stone displays. There’s a nice balance, the combination of the art, tillynilly’s beautiful glass vases, Watermark’s range, the stoves, they go together very well and bring in a broad range of customers. We’re right in the heart of Thame and people are

The Gallery Stoneworld in Thame welcome to come in just to look at “Who could ask for more?” she the art and they do, but then they says. “Striking surroundings, a discover us too. It has definitely warm welcome and lots of inspirahelped introduce us to a wider tion! We started with some decoraclientelle. tive items to personalise “It’s a nice place for arWatermark’s kitchen chitects and designers to showrooms upstairs, and bring their clients, when now also display a range deciding on stone for of our products, particutheir projects. We have larly our beautiful glass actually had customers and decorative pieces who have bought a paintdownstairs as well. ing, flooring, a stove and “Our clients have fireplace and then gone been able to visit The to look at our outdoor Gallery and browse range too! at their leisure. The Tracy Nielsen of tilly tillynilly glass vase Gallery staff have been nilly ( soft very helpful, assisting visitors with furnishings and home accessories more information on our range of is very much enjoying her involveproducts and services, and now also ment with The Gallery Stoneworld: with purchases.

Jessica Ecott glass jewellery

“We congratulate the Gallery team on a great first year and look forward to continuing our excellent relationship with Stoneworld.” Artist and designer Jessica Ecott has a selection of her fascinating glass panels on display (www. “Exhibiting at Stone World has brought me a broader range of customers,” says Jessica, “people who might not have considered using glass as part of their overall interior design plans. When they see my work displayed in the beautiful surroundings of the gallery they talk to Val and she has been an amazing ambassador for me and my work. She is knowledgeable about the way I work and how the glass panels and architectural pieces might complement a newly designed room. “My work is best seen in a light clean environment, and Stoneworld’s showroom works very well as an exhibition space - it’s dramatic, yet inviting and the staff are very approachable. “I very much hope that in the coming year word spreads that this creative space and gallery has a home in Thame.”

l Stoneworld, 43A Upper High Street, Thame, OX9 2DW. Tel: 01844 279307. Email: Web: Sterling Silver, Gemstone & Pearl Jewellery


Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Ruby Moon is not one, but two boutiques, tucked away on Thame’s Buttermarket. While one specialises in candles, incense and novelties the other has a fascinating collection of bags, homeware, jewellery, lighting, ladies’ fashionwear, hats, fascinators, masks...


ownton Abbey is to blame,” laughs Ruby Moon owner Pauline Dowden, pointing at her delightful selection of 1930s style cloche hats in a variety of colours. “They’ve suddenly become very popular!” Pauline stocks a fascinating array of interesting, unusual and fashionable items for you and your home at her Thame boutique. “I’ve a very wearable range of clothing in by Anonymous at the moment,” she says. “A nice selection of long sleeved tops and dresses in weightier materials that don’t crease or crumple and the reversible coats are great, two coats in one, nice colours and patterns inside and out. “And we’ve some lovely knitwear - crochet style cardigans and wraps and knitted jackets with fur collars.” Ruby Moon contains such a mixture of stock that it is hard to pigeon-hole. Lamps, ornaments, scarves, bangles and trinkets jostle for space on Chinese lacquered cabinets. There’s notebooks and pens, mirrors, china dogs and glowing ‘egg lights’ plus some lovely chandeliers. “I’ve a new range of fascinators,” says Pauline. “I think more people are wearing them nowadays than hats. They are a lot easier to wear and don’t flatten your hair!” There are several cabinets of jewellery including a range of Rosie Fox vintage style

Bags by Smith and Canova

costume jewellery inspired by classic designs from the 40s and 50s. They are quite affordable, some feature crystals while others have gemstones and pearls, many are quite sparkly and ideal for party wear. “You can probably tell I like bags,” says Pauline. “We sell fashion bags and Italian leather, big and small. We’ve some lovely little eelskin clutch bags from Smith and Canova and beautiful Italian bags from Gianni Conti - the Ostrich effect ones are very in at the moment. “We also do men’s scarves, wallets and

cufflinks. Next door we’ve got Christmas candles, Yankee candles, reed diffusers, silk top hats, sparkly bow ties, cuddly toys and fun bits and pieces. We’ll be open seven days a week through December. “I’m looking forward to Christmas. I particularly love the last week when all the men suddenly realise they’re running out of time and come rushing in looking for gifts! l Ruby Moon, 4-5a Buttermarket, Thame, Oxfordshire OX9 3EW. Tel: 01844 212561. Website: www.

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011


Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

National Antiques Week takes place from November 14th - 21st - what better time to find out more about the award-winning Swan at Tetsworth, twice voted ‘Best Antiques Centre ’ at the British Antiques and Collectables Awards and boasting a lovely restaurant to boot... General Manager Rita Woodman


The old ballroom

t is only fitting that the stunning range of historic artefacts, antiques and collectables on display at The Swan at Tetsworth Antiques Centre and Restaurant, are housed in a Grade II listed Elizabethan Coaching Inn, that boasts an impressive heritage of its own. The centre has twice won the British Antiques and Collectables Awards (BACA) category for ‘Best Antiques Centre in Britain’ and is currently enjoying its 17th year of business. Today it boasts displays from more than 80 top-quality antiques dealers across some 40 showrooms - once bedrooms at the former hotel, on Tetsworth High Street near Thame. The Swan’s late 17th century facade of chequered brick conceals an older and smaller building. The original house, a timber-framed L-shaped building of two stories and attics, with three brick chimney stacks, was probably


Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

built around 1600, although it is thought a Swan Inn was originally founded on the site in 1382 by the monks of Thame, renowned locally for their brewing skills! The inn became a popular coaching stop on the main London to Oxford road; Queen Elizabeth I stayed in the 1580s and in 1644, during the Civil War, King Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria stationed themselves at Tetsworth while setting up headquarters in Oxford and the French Ambassador stayed at The Swan when his coach broke an axle on the way to Oxford. In the 1660s, after a brief spell as ‘The Sedley Arms’ under the stewardship of Sir Charles Sedley, The Swan was extensively remodelled turning the ‘L’ into a ‘U’ with the addition of a ballroom, now a showroom, and the chequered brick facade. In 1832 Princess Victoria visited Oxford with her Mother and stayed at The Swan on her return journey, but by the 1840s, due to a decline in road traffic in favour of rail travel, extra income was needed and part of The Swan was converted into a post office. The inn had grown in size over the years and was run as a hotel up until the 1980s. The M40 opened in 1974, bypassing the area, business declined and the hotel eventually closed in 1988. Jason Abbot of local company Jason Abbot Gunmakers and business partner Dick Rose saw potential in the site and bought the old building in 1994 with the idea of opening an antiques centre, restaurant and bar. General Manager Rita Woodman was recruited to help

set up and run the antiques side of the business and on January 1st, 1995 after extensive building works, The Swan at Tetsworth Antiques Centre was launched. “It was in quite a sorry state previously,” says Rita, “We had a team of builders in for about six months to complete the renovation. It quickly established into a successful business and has twice been voted Britain’s best antique centre. The award hasn’t been contested since, so we still hold the title today! “The building lends itself perfectly to what we do. All the rooms that were bedrooms are now showrooms and ideal for displaying our antiques. We represent over 80 antiques dealers in 40 showrooms and display a large selection of good quality English furniture, from the early Georgian period through to Art Deco, as well as a good range of French and decorative antiques.” The Swan is indeed a fascinating place, a real labyrinth of nooks, crannies, creaky staircases, crooked corridors and half landings full of furniture, ornaments, maps and pictures, glass, mirrors, bottles and ceramics, rugs, silver, brass, vintage clothing and textiles. There’s cabinets of antique jewellery, porcelain and pottery, busts and vases, old telescopes, globes and screens - the stock is constantly changing! “We aim to have something for everyone,” says Rita. “You can spend as little as £10 on a silver spoon, a few hundred pounds on a beautifully crafted chest of drawers, or for those who like to entertain in style, maybe a wonderful Georgian dining table for £10,000.

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Art Deco selection The Swan

Deli platter

Restaurant Manager Sam Stonehouse “We work with dealers who know their business well and most importantly supply extremely good quality antiques. “Fashions do change - painted French furniture has been very popular, however there are always people looking for good quality antique furniture for period properties and increasingly for modern homes too. It’s a good buy, as it’s unique, it will hold its value and it is a green option - it’s recycling, if you like. “There’s also workmanship and craftsmanship involved that you don’t find in today’s mass produced items. “What you see you can buy and take away, or have delivered. We can ship anywhere in the world. “We are happy to find specific items for customers too. If you cannot find what you are looking for, we can make a note of your requirements and we’ll have our dealers locate some choice pieces for you to view. “We felt it was a good idea to have a watering hole for our clients. Whether people have come from near or far to visit, they can enjoy, coffee and cake, lunch, brunch, or afternoon tea. The restaurant is open seven days a week and in the evenings

for special events and private functions. “We recently hosted a sellout evening with antiques expert Eric Knowles. Guests had a private viewing of the centre and Eric gave an entertaining talk on the Victorian Decorative Arts, followed by a delicious three course dinner in the restaurant. “The Swan used to be a social centre for the area. In the 50s the restaurant was more of a bar and the ballroom, at the opposite end of the hotel, the venue for a weekly dance with live music.” Samantha Stonehouse has recently joined The Swan as restaurant manager and is already building on the current daytime offering with fun evening events. Originally from Henley, where she trained as a chef alongside current Swan chef Paul Silver, Sam moved into events and catering and has worked for the Hurlingham Club, Kew Gardens and Madame Tussauds. “The restaurant is a beautiful room,” says Sam. “There’s a lovely atmosphere day or night. We’re serving freshly-cooked dishes of locally-sourced, seasonal produce at reasonable prices and do a great Sunday lunch too. It’s friendly and informal, family

Jazz dinner

The restaurant parties and children are welcome! “In addition to our popular jazz dinner evenings (next one Nov 11th) we are planning a ‘Champagne and Food Matching’ evening, a ‘Cryptic Crossword’ evening and a Christmas wreathmaking lunch with local florist Helen Hobdale (Dec 9th). “We have a Christmas join-aparty evening on December 13th with dinner and dancing, and a Christmas party menu available for parties of eight or more from Dec 1st to 24th. There’s also a special Christmas shopping evening on December 7th, when the antiques centre is open until 8pm and the restaurant will offer the option of a special ‘shoppers’ menu for the evening. “We can cater for weddings,

parties and family celebrations, up to 70 seated, or 100 standing. It’s a lovely, cosy intimate restaurant and works as well for smaller gatherings as for larger parties.” The Swan is a fascinating place, a fun destination for a trip back in time, complete with great coffee and cake! It also has a useful website where you can keep up to date with events and see samples of stock. Although very much in touch with the past, The Swan is looking to the future! l The Swan at Tetsworth, High Street, Tetsworth, Oxon, OX9 7AB Tel: 01844 281777 Email: Restaurant tel: 01844 281182 Email: Website: Open every day, 10am to 6pm Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011


‘tis the season...

“Unashamed luxury this Christmas can be found at Gallant and Gallivant. Be seduced by our cool and sophisticated collections and accessories, which make perfect gifts for loved ones ... and maybe find an unexpected treat for you too”

Gallant Menswear, 10 Greyhound Walk, Thame, Oxon 01844 218400


... to be inspired GallIVANT LADIEswear, 6 Greyhound Walk, Thame, Oxon 01844 218097


toke Mandeville’s Obsidian Art is one of the largest art galleries in Buckinghamshire. It’s not just art to stand and stare at though, there’s a huge range of paintings, prints, sculpture, glass, ceramics, jewellery, photography and craft by some of the best British artists and makers, it’s available to buy and it’s all extremely affordable. Obsidian is now in its tenth year and runs an exciting programme of exhibitions, so there is always something new to see. There’s even an outside sculpture garden full of fabulous sculpture, planters and garden furniture. A unique handcrafted item makes a lovely gift at any time of year, but with Christmas approaching a wander round Obsidian could help solve many a festive present problem! The gallery is open daily from

10am to 5pm (Noon to 4pm on Sundays) right up to Christmas with a ‘Winter Wonders’ exhibition packed full of wonderful original art, designer craft and jewellery by selected British artists and makers, plus beautiful Xmas giftware. All work is for sale - there’s something to suit all pockets and the gallery offers a full picture framing service. Obsidian Art is just behind the Bucks Goat Centre and it’s handy café, with plenty of free parking right outside. See for more details or call Trisha, Teresa or Emily at the gallery on 01296 612150. l Obsidian Art, Layby Farm, Old Risborough Road, Stoke Mandeville, Bucks, HP22 5XJ Email: Tel : 01296 612150 Website:



vintage crockery hire

creative home interiors Shop online for home, garden and gifts

New hand blown art glass now on display and available for purchase in The Gallery Stoneworld, Thame Bespoke Design Service includes: Made to measure blinds, curtains, cushions and covers To make an appointment 01844 220035 or email

tillynilly Thame 01844 220035 14

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

There’s nothing lovelier than an English summer afternoon, the retro charm of a village fete, the friendly allure of a traditional country fair, or the simple pleasure of a lavish picnic on the village green. Now you can hire our collection of Vintage Floral Crockery, for a taste of freshly brewed nostalgia any time of year. So, whether you want to create a touch of timeless romance at a wedding, hold a vintage-style high tea for a special someone, or hold a quirky business meeting that gets the conversation flowing, let us help bring some old-fashioned magic to your event. We’ve lovingly hunted down pretty china and tablecloths from far and wide. Plus we’ve created unique handmade bunting and napkins in pretty floral fabrics. Tel: 07875 552132 Leafield, Lee Road, Saunderton Lee, Princes Risborough, HP27 9NU

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011


ing Canute couldn’t hold back the sea and we too are powerless to stop the waves of glad tidings that are washing this way... Bah! Humbug! You might say but even Scrooge found that he enjoyed some festive fun. ‘Dec the halls’ sings the choir ‘tis the season to be jolly’ and what could be jollier than a trip to the White Hart Studio where Jane’s new Christmas barn is festooned with seasonal decorations that glitter and sparkle by the light of her cosy woodburner - all you could need to trim the tree, your home and garden too! In the studio there’s three rooms of gifts, homeware and clothing to consider. Lovely, chunky knitwear and stylish ladies fashions from Bohemia, Culture, Goose Island and more, pretty jewellery, beautiful vases, fun toys and gifts, cards, mirrors, vintage signs, scented candles and Orla Kiely creams and lotions... lovely gifts for the whole family and all in one place, now I feel jolly!

l White Hart Studio, 15 Churchway, Haddenham, HP17 8AB Tel: 01844 292308 Open Tuesday to Saturday 10am-5pm Sundays: 11am-4pm Late night opening to 9pm on: Thur, Nov 17th & Thur, Dec 8th

Vale ValeLife Life::Sept Nov //Dec Oct 2011

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Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

As reported earlier this year, a team from Destiny Hair Design in Fairford Leys is fundraising for an amazing African challenge. The girls will be travelling to Ubombo to build a community centre at an orphanage and need to raise over £17,000 for building materials...


racey Gascoin and a team of seven from Destiny Hair Design in Fairford Leys are setting out on a never-to-be-forgotten journey next May. They will travel to Ubombo in a remote part of Africa to build a community centre on the site of an orphanage which is home to 19 children. Their journey is called Destination Africa, but before it goes ahead they need to raise at least £17,600 for building materials. The fundraising started in May this year and they’re now well over a third of the way towards their target. Their latest fundraising venture was the London ‘Run to the Beat’ half-marathon. The course started and finished at the O2 Arena taking the runners around Greenwich past 16 different musical stations along the way. The hottest October day in history didn’t deter the

Help the Ubombo orphans

heroic Destiny team! They all completed the course, raising a brilliant £315. A ‘Danceathon’ held at Waddesdon Village Hall last month also raised a magnificent £300 The girls are now looking forward to the big fundraising event of the year! It’s a Grand Ball and Auction on Saturday, November 26th at The Spread Eagle Hotel in Thame. A fabulous evening awaits including a champagne reception, three-course banquet

with half a bottle of wine included, live music from highly-rated local band ‘Who’s Got The Dog?’ and a charity auction. Tickets are £55 per person and can be reserved by calling Destiny Hair Design on 01296 337555. Award-winning Destiny Hair Design is known for its creative hairdressing, high standard of customer service and friendly atmosphere. If you haven’t visited the salon before, make a £10 donation to Destination Africa and enjoy a fabulous Cut & Style free of charge! Destiny Hair Design are very grateful for all your support. l Destiny Hair Design, 7 Hampden Square, Fairford Leys, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. HP19 7HT. Bookings 01296 337555. Website:

Hair letting you down? Treat yourself to a new look at Destiny Hair Design... Not only will we give you a style to shout about, we’ll also cut the price with two fantastic offers.

50% off

your first visit Cut & Style*

50% off

Colour for existing clients*

*Simply mention the offer when booking and present this advert on your arrival. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. Cut & Style offer only available for new clients on their fi rst visit with selected stylists from Monday to Friday. Colour offer only available for existing clients with selected stylists when taken with a full price Cut & style on Mondays and Fridays until 5th December. Bookings 01296 337 555 Destiny Hair Design | 7 Hampden Square | Fairford Leys | Aylesbury | Buckinghamshire | HP19 7HT 16

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Clothing boutique Chocolate is celebrating six months in business and looking forward to its first Christmas with a shop packed full of delights. Well, ladies do like chocolate...


hocolate Boutique on Princes Risborough High Street, opened earlier this Summer. Elegant and stylish, the shop offers an exciting collection of designer labels such as Anna Scott, Bohemia, Desigual, Oxmo and Yumi plus a distinctive range of contemporary, affordable clothing, colourful jewellery and exciting accessories. “It’s gone really well,” says owner Jo Louis. “We’ve been busier than we expected to be and we already have quite a number of regular customers, both local and from further afield, all ages too. “We’d like to say a huge thank you to local people for their custom and support. Every day has been exciting, especially when new customers discover us and find something unique that really suits them. “Princes Risborough has a great high street with a Marks & Spencer, W H Smith and Costa Coffee as well as lots of exciting independent shops and cafés. Saturdays are our busiest day, there’s quite a buzz here now. “We’ve gradually increased our range Juno and Suzy Smith handbags are now proving popular and we have Suzie Blue and Girls and Pearls jewellery (nice bold colours and unique designs) which is reasonably priced and makes for nice presents. Our bags start at £15 so there are some great gift ideas. “For Christmas we have a range of fragrances, lotions and hand creams, woolly hats, scarves, boots and gloves and we are also offering a gift wrap service to save you some time. We’re planning some late night shopping evenings in December too. “Our Anna Scott range has done very well, and Spanish label Desigual is

stunning with some gorgeous bright colours. We try to have something for everyone from party wear and dressier pieces to leggings and casual wear. “We have coats by Desigual, Oxmo and Anna Scott and some exciting new brands due in the new year too. “We’ve held some fun evening events on colour coding and makeup, which have been great fun and we are planning another on Thursday, December 1st, when we will re-open our doors at 5.30pm with drinks and nibbles and provide some inspiring gift ideas for Christmas. So come along and join us! If you’d like to be kept informed about future events, please email jo@chocolate l Chocolate Boutique, 19 High Street, Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, HP27 0AE. Email: Website: www. Open: 9:30am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday.

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011


SHOP Ôtil you drop! 10th Anniversary  charity  event  

Thu 10  Nov  12oo-­‐8pm  

(our 10th  Anniversary  is  being  opened  by  Ma7  Brown,  Heart  FM’s  breakfast  DJ,  who  is   being  aucConed  off  as  an  aEernoon  tea  date  –  last  bids  @  1pm,  Thursday  10  November,   aEernoon  tea  @  2.30pm  same  day  –  place  bids  beforehand  with  Jane  on  07711  043199)  

Body & Soul

59 Westmorland Avenue Aylesbury HP21 7HS 01296 434216

Christmas at Body & Soul Come and celebrate Christmas with us and treat yourself to a glass of mulled wine and enjoy a mince pie or two. Thursday 17th November & Thursday 8th December from 5.00pm until 8.00pm We have goodie bags for the first 10 customers, a lucky dip and a raffle PLUS we are giving 15% off* any treatments that are booked in November and December (including Gift Vouchers).

Fri 11  Nov  9am-­‐4pm   Spread  Eagle  Hotel,  Thame   £3  entrance  fee  

These beautiful Elemis Christmas bags will be available to buy from the beginning of November so why not treat yourself or that special person this Christmas?

in aid  of  

*Treatments must be paid for on the Christmas evening.

sponsored by  

Many more offers and products will be available throughout November and December so please visit our website or our Facebook page

The Tythe Barn

The Tythe Barn at Christmas

Find something different this Christmas

Opening: Thursday to Saturday 10.00am - 5pm, Nov 10 – Dec 17

Decorations and gorgeous gift ideas, locally sourced produce and visiting alpacas

The Tythe Barn, Manor Farm, Church End, Haddenham, Bucks, HP17 8AH tel: 01844 291063 web: email: 18

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

The first flakes have yet to fall but Haddenham Garden Centre is already buried under an avalanche - of Christmas goodies...


he Hawkins family loves Christmas. It’s just as well, as they have to start preparing a year ahead visiting trade shows and showrooms to decide what they will stock. This year at their garden centre they’ve really gone to town, with four separate areas of themed Christmas displays: ‘Poetic Style, Heartwarming, Creations and Winter Garden: “Everyone has been involved,” says Kate Hawkins, “even the office staff and it looks brilliant, they’ve done a great job.” Each area has its own distinctive look and colour scheme, giving four completely different takes on Christmas styling. From tinsel and baubles to twinkling lights, fragrant Christmas trees, angels, cushions and beads, cuddly reindeer and cheerful santas, you’ll find everything you might need to make your Christmas the most magical yet.

Festive Fun Weekend Sat 26th & Sun 27th November l Santa’s Grand Arrival l Visit Santa in his Grotto l Balloon modelling l Face painting l Food Tasting l Children’s Farm on Sunday Santa’s grotto will also be open weekends of 3rd/4th, 10th/11th and 17th/18th of December run by Haddenham Rotary Club with all proceeds going to local charities

l Haddenham Garden Centre, Stanbridge Road, Haddenham, Bucks, HP17 8HN Tel: 01844 290395 Website:

Four themes for Four themes for Christmas at t a s tma s i r h C r o f Christmas at s e m the

Poetic Style



Winter Garden

Stanbridge Road, Haddenham, Bucks, HP17 8HN. Tel: 01844 290395 Web: Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011



Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Customers are leaving Aylesbury’s Body Beautiful with big grins and a healthy glow. It’s not just the tanning booths though there’s a range of new treatments from therapist Sophie...


Vale Life Magazine £5 OFF any treatment


ody Beautiful first opened 11 years ago as a tanning salon. Angie Labross and husband Carl took on the Parton Road premise with their daughter-in-law, Suzy, running the salon. “Carl and I used to suffer from prickly heat whenever we went abroad on holiday,” says Angie, “and we found that using a tanning machine beforehand stopped it happening. “We saw the unit was available in the parade at Broughton and thought we’d start a tanning business as the treatments worked well for us. There was enough space to offer beauty treatments as well, so my daughter-in-law got a beautician friend to join her.” After 18 months Suzy left to have a baby and Angie took over the running of the salon and reception duties. “I was a section manager for Boots at the time,” says Angie, “I’d intended to join the business eventually but it turned out to be sooner rather than later!” “We have two treatment rooms, two tanning booths and a spray-tan room for St Tropez treatments. A lot of our customers use the tanning booths before they go on holiday to avoid prickly heat, like we do - it really does work. It can help with psoriasis, eczema and backache too and also those people who suffer with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) from the lack of sun in the winter.” Angie is from Aylesbury and went to Quarrendon School. Her first job was in the photographic department of the Bucks Herald. After a career break to have children she worked for Marks and Spencer and then for Boots before starting her own business, so has plenty of retail experience. Therapist Sophie Dunning has recently joined the salon. She is Champneys trained

£5 Off any treatment costing over £10

at Body Beautiful with this voucher

Book and enjoy a facial, manicure, massage, pedicure, waxing, or any treatment over £10 before Dec 31st, 2011 and get £5 off with this voucher. One voucher per treatment only. Mention voucher when booking and present at salon for discount.

Angie and Sophie

Alison emerging from tanning booth and is offering a range of services including: facials, aromatherapy massage, Swedish body massage, waxing, manicures, pedicures and Indian head Massage. Sophie comes from Aston Clinton and went to John Collet School and Amersham and Wycombe College, before completing a British Confederation of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (CIBTAC) and the internationally recognised CIDESCO qualification in Beauty Therapy, at Champneys. “It was a hard year,” says Sophie, “there was a lot of science involved, but I really enjoyed it. I’d always wanted to do beauty therapy I love meeting people and doing the treatments. “Although our tanning prices are very reasonable, we have the best machines,” says Angie, “and take care to change the tubes regularly and keep them in good order. People say they are very happy with the results here, we have a lot of regular customers. The Cosmolux tubes give a nice dark tan. “People start on three minutes and work up to six when they’ve got used to it. Regulars do six minutes and a maximum of three visits per week. You can pay as you go at £1 per minute or buy a block session whereby you get 60 minutes for £45, or 30 minutes for £25 and

Alison Stuart, above, lives in Wendover. She’s been tanning at Body Beautiful for eight years. “You get a really good colour here,” she says. “I enjoy the tanning it relaxes me if I’m stressed. It definitely makes me feel happier. I’ve actually recently been on holiday, so I’m just topping up now!” Della White has been tanning regularly for just over a year. “I used to come before I went on holiday because I am quite fair skinned and would burn easily. Now I don’t seem to have that problem I just go brown. It’s nice to have a bit of colour and it saves money on makeup!”

we tick off the minutes as you use them. “We do gift vouchers for tanning, or for treatments, or for money amounts so you can redeem them against anything you like.” Body Beautiful is open Mon: 10am-8pm Wed/Thur: 9am-8pm Fri/Sat: 9am-6pm and Sun 10am-4pm. Closed Tuesday. To book a treatment, tanning session or find out more call: 01296 422701. l Body Beautiful , 40 Parton Road, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP20 1NG Tel: 01296 422701

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Zumba classes are just one way to stay healthy says fitness fanatic Jane Owens. - the personal trainer runs regular classes in the Aylesbury area and believes it’s never too late to get in shape...


itness instructor Jane Owens has always been an active girl. Brought up in North Wales she started dancing at five and at 16 was accepted by the Elmhurst Ballet School in Camberley to study dance full-time. “I wanted to work in musicals,” says Jane, “So I took a musical theatre course at the Guildford School of acting and then started performing, I did musicals, national tours, cabaret shows, summer seasons, anything to keep working really.” The work was never consistent enough though and in her rest periods Jane started to teach dance and exercise to music: “That was about 20 years ago,” she says “when step, rebound and aerobics were really popular. I taught a circuits class too. I’m a firm believer in fitness. It’s not just about the body, it effects every aspect of your life. If you’re not fit you don’t feel as good inside and out. It really is a body, mind and spirit thing.” Jane wanted a regular, secure job and in 1993 joined the Metropolitan Police: “I’d previously auditioned, unsuccessfully, for the Bill TV series,” she laughs, “but I had better luck with the real thing!” Jane saw the police as a temporary job but has just taken a career break after 18 years.

Zumba Fitness Classes

She worked in various branches including CID, domestic violence and child protection. She has always loved teaching though and while in the force qualified as an instructor and started teaching selfdefense for women and officer safety. “ I really enjoy teaching,” says Jane “and helping people to make the best of themselves, it’s very fulfilling. I love standing in front of a class and seeing the enjoyment on people’s faces. To have someone come along and try a class for the first time and then come back and gradually get in shape is just very satisfying, it gives me a real buzz.” Already a qualified gym instructor, a certified Zumba instructor and a teacher of boxercise, circuits, aqua and aquazumba, Jane has set up a fitness business, Stronggirl Fitness (www.stronggirl-fitness. and is running Zumba classes in Aylesbury and offering personal fitness instruction. She is also going to be teaching

a women’s self-defence course: “It’s not martial arts or a fighting discipline,” she explains, “it’s about survival and assertiveness. “I hope my maturity and experience will inspire others to give it a go. I’m in my early 40s now and I can do it. It’s not too late to start, you just need the desire to change your lifestyle and start looking after yourself. Great things can happen after that. “There have been times in my life when I haven’t been in good shape and I know how much better I feel when I am fit and healthy - it’s the same for everyone.” Jane’s Zumba classes are great fun! It’s really just dancing to Latin beats, it’s easy and enjoyable and really burns off those calories. Go on your own or take a friend, there’s no need to book. All classes are £6 per person. For more about Jane’s fitness services and classes see her website at: l Jane Owens, Stronggirl-fitness. Tel: 07724 861750. Email: Website:

Monday 6.15pm - 7.15pm, Aylesbury College Sports Hall, Aylesbury, HP21 8PD Tuesday 8pm - 9pm, Fairford Leys Community Centre, Aylesbury, HP19 7HT Wednesday 6pm - 7pm, The Grange School Gym, Aylesbury, HP21 7NH Thursday 9.30am - 10.30am, Fairford Leys Community Centre, Aylesbury, HP19 7HT Saturday 9am - 10am, Aylesbury College Sports Hall, Aylesbury, HP21 8PD Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011


Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Don’t be left scratching your head on Christmas Eve! The ideal pressie may not be a trinket or jumper, but an invitation to be pampered and indulged...


t can be difficult finding the right gift for a friend or loved one. Although the thought may be appreciated, often the gift itself will end up in the back of a cupboard or on ebay! The enjoyment and memory of a relaxing therapy or refreshing treatment will stay forever. It may be something the recipient regularly undergoes, or has never tried before. The Belmore Centre, the Home Counties leading complementary health care and beauty centre, has a huge variety of amazing gift ideas. There’s gift vouchers for a range of relaxing therapies, indulgence days and treatments, plus high quality products and gift sets from Clarins and St Tropez, Christmas novelties and much more.

Call 01296 612361 for details or visit. l The Belmore Centre, Lower Road, Stoke Mandeville, Aylesbury, Bucks HP21 9DR Tel: 01296 612361 Email: Website:

Who’d like to try a Dr Fish Pisces Pedicure, or a session in the floatation tank? We can all enjoy a massage, facial, reflexology, or beauty therapy... Therapies and treatments are great for both men and women alike and make the perfect present or stocking filler.

Are you worried about your weight? CV HEALTH PRIVATE MINOR SURGERY SERVICE Chiltern Health and Vale Health, operating jointly as CV Health, are delighted to announce a new self-funding minor surgery service available at clinics in Aylesbury and High Wycombe. The following examples of lesions are appropriate for removal by trained GPs working for CV Health: Seborrheic keratoses Solar keratoses Cysts or lipomata (lumps and bumps on the body) Benign naevi (such as moles and birth marks) Cutaneous horn (hard dry out-growths of skin) Nail wedges Nail excisions Skin tags Warts: advice on ongoing self-treatment plan

If you are Cambridge Weight Plan could be the answer. Together with your Consultant, you will work out a plan that suits your lifestyle – helping you achieve your goals.

Your Independent Cambridge Consultant:

Tanya Clark 07900 806169 01296 681477

Why not make a positive decision to change your life and contact me today.


The price for our service is £220 which includes: Pre-surgery counselling and advice Removal of up to two lesions Histology analysis of up to two samples After-care advice Follow up appointment to remove any stitches, if required Ask your GP for further information or telephone/e-mail direct:

01494 555204/5 or e-mail

Drop a dress size at your Rosemary Conley class

Membership and Diet Pack* worth £35.

TUESDAY Haddenham Village Hall, Banks Road, Haddenham, HP17 8EE 10:00 - 11:30 am (Slim & Aerobics) Other classes throughout Aylesbury & Surrounding Villages! Call Joanna on 01296 485933

You can also find information about this new service on Vale Health and Chiltern Health websites: or


Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

*When you pre-pay for 5 classes. New members only. Valid until 10/12/11. Class Fee £6.00 ZUMBA®, ZUMBA FITNESS®; and the Zumba Fitness Logo are registered trademarks of Zumba Fitness, LLC, used with permission.

The Belmore Holistic Training Centre offers a variety of internationally recognised therapy courses, from Anatomy to Hot Stone Therapy and Sports Massage. Taught on a part-time basis, they could be an enjoyable sideline or the passport to a new career...


rincipal tutor Ruth Wright set up The Ruth Wright Belmore Holistic Training Centre in oversees a 2003. In 2005 it gained ITEC status manicure class (International Therapy Examination Council) and is now an established accredited college offering internationally recognised holistic courses. Based at The Belmore Centre in Stoke Mandeville, a leading complementary health care and beauty centre, The Training Centre is currently offering part-time diploma courses in: Anatomy and Physiology (starts Jan 4th, 2012), Holistic Massage (starts Jan 4th, 2012), Aromatherapy, Reflexology (starts Jan 17th, 2012), Indian Head Massage (starts Mar 29th, 2012) and Beauty Therapy. An ITEC Level 3 Sports Massage Course is due to start on Nov 17th plus ITEC Level 2 courses begin next year in Waxing (Jan 17th) and Pedicure (April 17th). “Our courses are part-time and designed to There are also a number of workshops, introfit around your current lifestyle. After qualifying ductory and special interest courses taking place: you might become a mobile therapist, work from A introduction to Indian Head Massage, Reiki 1 home, or work for a spa or health farm, or in a and 2, Hot Stone Therapy and Baby Massage for beauty salon. You could also go on and do teachmums and babies. ing and examining.” “We run bespoke courses in a nice, quiet, Ruth is originally from Kent. holistic learning environment,” After school she studied beauty Ruth demonstrates Indian says Ruth. “There are no more therapy at the London ColHead Massage than 12 on a course. The lege of Fashion for two years courses involve guided learning and then got a job in a London in theory and practical and then beauty salon. students sit a theory and a prac“I went on to teach and ended tical exam at the end, or have up at Aylesbury College,” says an assessment by an external Ruth, “running a course on examiner. beauty therapy, we did: facials, “They are flexible courses manicures, pedicure, waxing, with daytime, evening, or weekmedia makeup, photographic end lessons, which start with makeup and lots of shows, it was the basics - Anatomy, Physiolgreat fun. ogy and a therapy and then you “It was at that time that I met can add therapies to that, say, massage, sports Caron who now owns the Belmore Centre - she massage, reflexology, beauty therapy... Anatomy trained with me. and physiology is the core though. “After a spell in Yorkshire I came back to the “Students should have five GCEs, be able to area and worked at Aylesbury College again and read and write and have an interest in working at Champneys College of Health and Beauty. I with people. ran the beauty therapy school at Aylesbury - I “We also run introductory courses to give was there for 24 years in total! an insight into a subject, there’s Body Massage “I thought I’d have a complete change and left (8 weeks), Indian Head Massage (6 weeks) and the college but I had one student who wanted to Reflexology (6 weeks) which are all hands-on.

continue training with me and chatting to Caron one day the idea of a training facility here at Belmore came up. “I started with a partner and eight students and it’s grown from there. I now have about 50 a year, it’s quite small but we have very high standards and a 100% pass rate. “We started nine years ago with Iain Rennie nurses who were being funded to do Reflexology and Aromatherapy and wanted an ITEC qualification which Aylesbury didn’t offer. It’s just built from there, mostly by word of mouth and recommendation. Our students often come back to study further courses too. “We get all ages: older people who are looking to change careers, they may have worked in IT or been stuck at a computer screen and want to get out of the office and work with people instead. We get mums, therapists who want to update their skills, all sorts really. “It’s very friendly and relaxed here and we really look after our students. We care about what happens to them and offer extra tuition if required, if they miss something or to help with problem areas.” In addition to Ruth the Training Centre has two other teachers: Laura Axford and Sue Smith plus specialist tutors for some areas such as Laser Therapy and Pulsed Light. “Sports Massage is a new course we offering with an eye on next year’s Olympics,” says Ruth, “when there may be opportunities for those with the right skills.” “Our courses mostly run until early summer on a part time basis, say 6 to 9 months of oncea-week three hour sessions with half term and holiday breaks.” If interested in finding out more prospective students can see the website (, or phone Ruth (01296 429005), and pop in for a chat. Course fees include a Belmore uniform and are usually payable with a deposit and then three monthly instalments. l The Belmore Holistic Training Centre The Ranch House, Lower Road, Stoke Mandeville, Aylesbury, Bucks. HP21 9DR Tel: 01296 429005 Email: Website: Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011


Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Modern dentists are keen to emphasise the importance of oral hygiene, but at one Aylesbury practice ‘looking after what you’ve got’ has been a focus for over 30 years! Vale Life opens wide...


ylesbury’s Tavistock House Dental Practice, next to the Majestic Wine Warehouse on Tring Road, was established over 30 years ago. The previous practice had been bought by dentist Peter Gellatley in 1973 and in 1975, when dentist Paul Fuller joined him as a partner, they renamed the practice Tavistock House, as they both had ties to the West Country. Peter still treats patients, as does his practice partner Paul Fuller. In 2007 they handed over the reins to Carlton Morris BDS, a younger dentist who had joined them in Aylesbury a few years earlier and was thoroughly enjoying being part of the Tavistock team. “It’s a nice place to work,” says Carlton. “The building was originally built as a house in the early 1900s. It was converted some 40 years ago but still has a homely feel. “It’s light airy and spacious and we’ve a couple of relaxing waiting/sitting rooms with comfortable sofas that help people feel more at home. We’ve tried not to make the place too clinical, to help nervous patients feel at ease and our staff are welcoming and trained to help patients feel more comfortable. “We are a very friendly, very caring practice with the emphasis on conservation - looking after what you’ve got toothwise - maintaining your teeth and good oral hygiene. “The philosophy of the practice has always been one of quality care and workmanship combined with the latest materials and techniques. Add in oral hygiene and you have the key to long-term dental health.


Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Standing: Paul Fuller, Ria, Maggie, Anita , Hilary, Laura, Peter Gellatley Sitting: Patricia Cambell, Sue, Carlton Morris and Lesley

“This is not new at Tavistock - there’s been a hygienist here since 1974, which was quite unusual at that time. It’s always been a focus and a belief here that by encouraging patients to come in regularly and visit the hygienist, while motivating them to look after their teeth, everything would last a lot longer. “We now have four hygienists working here and a high proportion of our patients see one regularly. Consequently they don’t have to have fillings replaced very often.” Tavistock Dental was recently awarded membership of the British Dental Association’s Good Practice Scheme, emphasising the practice’s ongoing commitment to the highest standards of care for patients. “We are constantly updating our training and procedures to make sure we offer the very best care,” says Carlton. “Many of our patients have been with us since they were children, and we are thrilled by the number who choose to stay registered with the practice, travelling some distance to visit, even after they have moved, and by those who rejoin the practice when they move back into the area once again. “We even have patients who live overseas:

in Kenya, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, who come back to the UK regularly and visit us for a check up and to see the hygienist regularly! It is very flattering and nice to know they appreciate what we are doing. “Many of the staff have been here for some time. Maggie Treadaway, one of our hygienists, has been working with Mr Gellatley since 1977 and our receptionists Lesley and Hilary have been at the practice for almost 40 years between them! Sue Loftus started off here as Dr Fuller’s nurse, left to train as a hygienist and rejoined the practice as part of our hygiene team. “Our focus on hygiene is especially good for families - the idea of prevention rather than cure and getting youngsters used to regular check-ups and hygiene visits. “We can cater for implants, bridges, veneers and whitening, but we are really trying to help patients look after their teeth, so they remain in good condition and won’t need these remedies. We don’t actively encourage ‘smile makeovers’ for patients with otherwise healthy teeth, but we can provide cosmetic dental treatment, when needed, along with most

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Ria, Laura, Hilary and Lesley with British Dental Association’s Good Practice Scheme plaque

Tavistock House

What their patients say ‘I have been a patient at Tavistock House for over 40 years and have always been pleased with the treatment I have received. The staff are always very helpful and friendly and the quality of treatment is excellent.’ ‘I’ve always been a very nervous patient. You didn’t hurt me at all! Thank you for making the experience so painless’ ‘I am very pleased with the work you did on my front tooth. You can’t even see the repair!’ ‘I cannot recommend Tavistock too highly. I am 95 and Maggie and Peter have done such good dentistry that every one of my original teeth are still there’ ‘Many thanks for the quality care taken by the team. If only everything was this reliable!’ ‘Friendly, professional service with high standards of care’ ‘Caring, friendly, made at ease always’ ‘First class treatment’

other advanced treatments, including: dental implants, porcelain veneers, white fillings, tooth whitening, crowns and bridges. “Between the four dentists here we have a special interest in almost every discipline and can refer certain items of advanced treatment to each other if necessary, ensuring our patients benefit from the most specialist knowledge.” Carlton was born in Malaysia but grew up in Leamington Spa. He qualified as a dentist at Guy’s Hospital in London in 2000. At school he had been considering a career in engineering but decided he’d like to work with people, possibly in healthcare, in a hands-on position that wasn’t desk-based. Dentistry seemed a good option although these days he has a fair bit of paperwork to cope with anyway! After qualifying he worked in East London for a year and in Bromley for a further five, before hearing of an opening at Tavistock. Whilst in general practice, Carlton has furthered his skills by gaining additional training and certification in a wide range of disciplines including cosmetic veneer and aesthetic restorative courses. He also successfully completed a year long implantology course

in Manchester, learning to place and restore a number of leading brands of implants. In 2006 Carlton proved he’s a useful man to have around in a powercut, by making a voluntary trip to Tanzania with Bridge2Aid, to teach local clinical officers how to take teeth out without electricity or running water! “I love being a dentist,” says Carlton. “Every day is different. I like dealing with patients and using my hands in my work. There’s always new developments and new things to learn, new techniques and materials and courses to keep up with so we can do the best job we can for our patients.” Recent recruit, Patricia Campbell joined the practice last year. She qualified from Guy’s, King’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London in 2008, and now also teaches at King’s College once a week. She worked for two years in general practice and at King’s College Dental Institute, which involved a variety of work from A&E, to treating children and anxious adults and taking out wisdom teeth. Patricia has a special interest in endodontics (root treatments) and in restorative dentistry (fillings and crown and bridge work) and is currently waiting to start a two year part-time

course in endodontics at the Royal London Hospital in 2011. Having grown up in Cologne, she also speaks fluent German. Paul Fuller qualified in 1972 from the Royal London Dental Hospital. He joined Peter at Tavistock House as a practice partner in 1975. He has developed interests and skills in numerous disciplines over the past thirty years, including crown, bridge and cosmetic dentistry. For several years he has worked closely with the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, furthering his skills in sleep apnoea and antisnoring appliances and is currently expanding his experience in the field of dental implants. “Tavistock is a private practice run on a pay as you go basis,” says Carlton. “We offer early morning and late evening appointments from 8.30am to 8pm and we have tried to price reasonably and to give good value and the very best standards of care and advice. “Conservation begins at home - look after those teeth!” l Tavistock House Dental Practice, 77 Tring Road, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP20 1LE Tel: 01296 481615 Email: Website:

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011


Duck Farm Court

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Built on the site of an Aylesbury duck farm, Duck Farm Court must be the town’s most attractive retail park. The units resemble barns set around a central courtyard and house a unique range of independent retail, service and lifestyle businesses, there’s even a handy café...


t is easy to miss Duck Farm Court despite the fact it is only a few hundred yards from Market Square. Those that drive down Station Way to Morrisons will pass the entrance but most town centre shoppers will be focused on the other side of Friarage Road. Refurbished in 2008 Duck Farm Court has a slightly vintage look and feel, in keeping with its heritage. The buildings look pleasingly rustic with large barn doors allowing plenty of daylight and there is free parking in the central courtyard. Many of the businesses don’t rely on passing trade, selling via the internet or offering specialist services: there’s an angling shop, a party shop, computer clearance, an African supermarket, hair and beauty salons and much more...

Duck Farm Court

Twist and stripe


ast issue we featured Charles Huntington Flooring. The company’s stylish showroom is on the upper level at Duck Farm Court and cleverly shows a stunning range of carpets and floorings on neat easy-to-view wall displays. We asked owner David Castellano what the current trends are and whether his customers are embracing the move to more adventurous flooring: “Bold stripes for halls and stairways Brockway Vogue Fusion Carpet


Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

are very in,” says David “and flat weaves are proving popular too - that’s a short loop-piled carpet which is very hard wearing. It’s like a carpet version of sisal but smoother under foot and good for lounges, landings or stairs. New Way, Carpet Classix and Crucial Trading all do a nice selection. “Brockway do great stripes, both bold and more subtle ones and some beautiful textures. They do an 80/20 twist in a stripe, which I prefer, whereas most stripes are a 100% wool loop. “For those who’d like to make a statement but don’t want to go as bold as a stripe, there is always a flat weave hall or stair runner with contrasting taped edges and stair rods, which look very smart. “We’re selling a few stripes at the moment but also a fair amount of plain carpet as a contrast, there’s some interesting textures too. “Wool Classics and Western Hammer have very ‘Farrow and Ball’ style colours so are popular for period homes. “We do ranges for all budgets and purposes, so we can also supply a great value 100% polyprop manmade carpet, which may be ideal for your daughter’s bedroom if she’s

The Brockway Savile Row collection is inspired by suit fabrics likely to spill makeup all over it! “Wood flooring is still very popular, we do floating engineered floors - I’ve a fabulous 20mm brushed oak, stained and scraped board that shows off the grain of the oak beautifully, while Project Floors does vinyl tiles that look like wood or stone. They are great value for money, hard to tell from the real thing and ideal for kitchens, bathrooms and hallways as you can mop them clean. “If you would like new flooring by Christmas there’s still time, but don’t delay!” l Charles Huntington Carpet and Flooring Specialists, 23 Duck Farm Court, Station Way, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP20 2SQ. Tel: 01296 337181 Mobile: 07767 370067 Email: Web:

Duck Farm Court

Ginger spice

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Clare Jones is no wannabe, she’s a successful ‘mumpreneur’ with an expanding homeware business and she’s on the telly too...


Tulip lamps

n my dining room table, I have a ceramic, naked, yoga-balletbuddha lady doing the splits,” laughs Ginger Interiors owner Clare Jones. “I can’t help taking the odd item home!” That does sound a particularly odd item, as Clare, who is originally from Great Barr near Birmingham, usually shows impeccable taste while selecting items to stock at her successful interior accessories and homeware business. Clare started in retail when she left school and worked her way up to be manager of the Laura Ashley store in Birmingham. She got married and moved to London, where she managed the Kingston branch of La Senza. With newborn Maddy and two-year-old Oliver in tow, the couple moved to Aylesbury and while Clare was at home, being a mum, she started selling items on the internet for her brother-in-law, who was importing furniture. “I’d never been on a computer before,” she says, “but I seemed to be quite good at it. I was selling stuff on ebay at first and then helped him set up his website - his business has since gone from strength to strength! “I enjoyed the challenge and once my children were both at school I thought I’d open my own furniture shop and website,” says Clare. “It started as a furniture shop, but it’s evolved from selling furniture and a few accessories to mainly accessories with the occasional piece of furniture! “I looked around for a while to find the right place and eventually took on a unit at Duck Farm Court in 2004. It was half the size of this one - we moved in here two years ago but now we’ve outgrown this as well! “Duck Farm Court is great though, there’s a real community, everybody helps each other out. The free parking is good and you’re not tied into a long lease, which can be daunting if you are setting up a new business. “A lot of my business is on the internet. Our Ginger Interiors site is listed on Amazon and it takes a lot of maintaining - orders come in 24 hours a day! I’d been going about a year before I was approved by Amazon. There’s a couple of other businesses at Duck Farm Court that are on there and they said it would be a good thing. It’s quite time consuming, taking pictures of all the items and listing them with descriptions and prices, but I still remember selling my first item, a clock for

Clare Jones Thomas kent Clocks

£8.95, it was very exciting! “I try and stock items that are a bit different, a bit quirky and unusual and that you can’t get on the high street. I buy from importers and aim for fair trade products and responsibly sourced and produced items. “Moroccan lamps are popular, we’ve some lovely contemporary, metal, wall art, some of which is exclusive to us, Indonesian homeware, shabby chic clocks and mirrors, vintage signs, Santa salt and pepper pots, fireside sets, and an unusual lighting selection - the Lolita handpainted glasses are probably my best seller! “We offer a giftwrapping service and always make sure that what we send out looks nice and we have special tags for any gift messages. We could operate from a warehouse but it’s nice to meet people and get feedback and ideas from our customers. “We’re still very much a small, local business and very much appreciate the support and custom we get from local people. Clare was recently asked to go on a new reality TV show called ‘May The Best House Win’, on which contestants go into each other’s homes and judge the interior styling! “I crammed mine full of gear from the shop,” laughs Clare. “But you’ll have to watch to find out what the outcome was!”

Moroccan lamps

l Ginger Interiors, 8 Duck Farm Court, Station Way , Aylesbury , Buckinghamshire, HP20 2SQ Tel: 01296 415035 Email: Website: Open : Mon-Fri 10am-5.30pm, Sat 10am-4pm and Sun 11am-4pm Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011


Duck Farm Court

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Seeing is believing


op Specs, on the upper level at Duck Farm Court, is not, as one might assume from the name and the pairs of glasses on display, an optician, but a manufacturer of glasses. The service, run by Brian Cammack and wife Nikki, with help from staff member Ruth, moved to Duck Farm Court from a workshop in Wendover about three and a half years ago. The aim was to develop the retail side of the business and they now have a comfortable shop in which glasses can be chosen and fitted and a workshop where lenses are cut to size and fitted to frames. “We don’t do sight tests,” says Brian, “but because we are not on the high street and don’t employ an optometrist, we can supply very competitively priced glasses. “We machine the lenses to fit your frames here, so it should take less time for a prescription to be processed and glasses supplied. Most high street opticians will send your prescription away to someone like us. “Frames are mass produced but lenses will be made for the individual, to suit their sight and the frames they have chosen.

Nikki checks the optical centres of a new pair of lenses

Brian Cammack “Bring us the results of your sight test, (prescription) and we’ll make new lenses to fit your existing frames, or you can choose new frames and we’ll make sure they fit properly and have the right lenses correctly installed. “Styles do change. Frames got very small a few years ago but are getting slightly bigger again now. Some are rimless and you hardly notice them, while others make more of a statement with wide sides in bold colours. “We offer the highest standards of quality and service but at very reasonable prices. We have a good range of frames, around 300, from budget ones at £19.99 up to designer brands for £170 and can order other makes in, if a customer has a specific model in mind. “Lenses are supplied ground to a client’s prescription and we then cut them to fit the

Hair today...


ucked away at the side of the top end of Duck Farm Court is Movements. Run by Mo McCallion the salon offers Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) hair removal, Colonic Irrigation and beauty treatments. Mo grew up in Aston Clinton and Ayesbury and did a variety of jobs including working as a travel rep, running a pub and working in customer service for Motorola. While working abroad in Slovakia for ON Semiconductor, she tried colonic irrigation

to relieve constipation and was amazed by how good she felt afterwards. Once back home Mo thought she would find out more and took an I-ACT approved Colon Hydrotherapist course at the West of England school of Colon Hydrotherapy in Taunton. She qualified and set up her salon at Duck Farm in March 2008. Colon Hydrotherapy introduces warm filtered waters into the colon to cleanse the body by removing toxic waste. Clients report feeling rejuvenated and

IPL hair removal


Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Mo McCallion

frames and finish and fit them by hand.” Brian lives in Bedgrove but is originally from Norfolk. He came to the Aylesbury area when an opportunity arose to set up a glazing laboratory servicing the local optical industry. “I enjoy the work,” he says. “It’s very satisfying making a really good pair of glasses. You can buy glasses off the internet, but without trying them on and having them properly fitted, the chances of them feeling comfortable and giving the best vision are not good. It’s much better to find a frame you like and have them fitted for you personally. l Top Specs, Duck Farm Court, Station Way, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP20 2SQ Tel: 01296 484222 Email: Website:

experience increased energy and a decrease in toxic symptoms following a course of colonics. As you can see from the picture, below right, there is a slim pencil like tube which the client inserts while lying on a special bed-come-bath. It is quite discrete and not at all painful. You are covered from the waist down at all times. There are more details on the Movements website, or phone Mo and she will explain the procedure and benefits. “We get men and women,” says Mo, “it’s very hydrating so you can feel great afterwards. We get boxers preparing for a fight. Ladies preparing for a diet, detox or healthy eating plan and people who are just a bit blocked up and

feeling sluggish and tired. Some ladies come for a good clean out before they go away on holiday!” The IPL treatment can target the base of hair follicles preventing further growth. There may be a tingling or stinging sensation while the root is being zapped but after a course of six treatments the hair is unlikely to grow back. It’s ideal for unwanted facial and body hair and for people who have been waxed and are getting ingrowing hair problems. IPL is also good for a variety of skin rejuvenation treatments. l Movements, Duck Farm Court, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP20 2SQ Tel: 07910 744175 Email: Website:

Mo prepares a client for colonic irrigation

Duck Farm Court

Sparring partners


he latest addition to the Duck Farm Court flock is a martial arts club. Run by local firefighter and British Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) Champion Kevin Capel and his partner Yasmine Wilson, (silver medalist at this year’s BJJ World Championship) The Roger Gracie Academy Buckinghamshire is one of only a handful of BJJ clubs permitted to fly the Gracie flag. Three times world champion Roger and his father Mauricio are legends in the sport - acknowledged grand masters who run an academy in London where Kevin, Jasmine and son Keenan have trained for several years. Born in Aylesbury, Kevin joined the army at 16. When he left he wanted to stay fit and discovered martial arts. He trained in Jeet Kune Do with Neil Mcleod and then in BJJ with Roger and Mauricio from 2001. Kevin holds a 1st Dan Black Belt in Judo and a black belt in Jeet Kune Do. He has won three BJJ European Championship silver medals and is the current British BJJ

Yasmine, right, in action

Kevin Capel

The Duck Farm dojo

Champion. He is also a qualified fitness instructor and fitness assessor. “I’ve been teaching for nearly four years,” says Kevin, “but it’s difficult to find premises for a gym that don’t need planning permission for a change of use. “No Limits gym was moving out of Duck Farm Court and the space is ideal for what we want to offer. “We’ll teach BJJ from beginners upwards and we’re aiming to do some self-defense courses too. There’s courses for people who want to do BJJ for fun and fitness and training options for the more serious who wish to compete professionally.” The Academy has a large matted ground floor area and a first floor with a rest area, changing area and personal firness room.

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“We’ve a fitness trainer, Karl, doing classes in Pilates, Yoga and TRX (suspension training),” says Kevin, “and a personal fitness trainer Adam who has a fitness room upstairs. “We are currently offering beginners a first class for free, to find out what BJJ is all about. Everybody is welcome, it’s a healthy, friendly atmosphere, you can do it for fun and fitness, you don’t have to become a fighter. “At the moment we have participants from 15 to 70, so come along watch a class, try a free class and see if you want to carry on.

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26 Temple St, Aylesbury HP20 2RQ Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011


l Column: Penny Harper - thoughts of a small town girl

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Penny Harper


My name is Penny Harper and I am a Strictly-aholic. It’s been 24 hours since my last ‘Strictly’ fix and I am poised with a cup of tea, waiting for the next instalment to come on. I’m blessed with a partner, Mr P, who indulges my obsession; perhaps keeping in mind that it’ll only last until Christmas. I’ve also been lucky enough to see two of the live shows AND I met Karen Hardy the other week when she launched a new dance school. Sometimes the lines of journalist and stalker become somewhat blurred. I thought I was pretty well behaved, given the circumstances. Strictly’s just about the only show in that genre that I watch though. I shun the X-Factor because I can’t bear the sob stories and discordant wannabes who’ve been egged- on by producers. I can’t watch

Scott Cole in mid Samba!

Skating on Ice because I’m petrified of decapitation. I’m also a bit cut-throat when it comes to competitors. When voiceover man says ‘singing for survival’ or ‘skating for survival’ I just think, wouldn’t it be a much better show if that’s what it really meant?! You can’t tell me there wouldn’t still be half a million people willing to risk the chop, just to get on telly. I’d particularly like that tactic to be deployed on the celebrity

versions of all these so-called ‘talent shows’. I guarantee you’d still get Keith Chegwin and one of the Hamiltons willing to face their doom for a comeback. I’ve been lucky enough to watch Thame’s Got Talent for the past two years and whilst never tempted to enter (I’m not sure being able to get your entire fist in your mouth constitutes a talent) I have no qualms about spending a Sunday afternoon being entertained. Surely Thame has more than its quota of people with genuine skill? That would explain why every time the X-Factor goes to Birmingham, it’s slim pickings. Gary Barlow et al would be better off heading to the Spread Eagle and listening to the singers in there. Some of those performers are fearless. Mr P always asks why I don’t at least learn to dance. With Brendan Cole’s brother Scott

Small Town


running classes in Thame, I don’t know what’s stopped me. Looking a twonk I suppose. I was forced into a tutu a couple of years back when I lost a bet that I couldn’t learn ballet in two weeks. Still, as they say in one of my favourite films ‘Strictly Ballroom’ (what else?!) ‘A life lived in fear is a life half-lived’. This time next year I’ll be amazing…dah-ling!

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Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

There’s a team of three powering Quainton Cottage Furniture now founder Jeff Curtis has retired. That adds up to six experienced hands in total though and in the world of bespoke furniture, it’s the hands-on approach that counts...


uainton Cottage Furniture was established by Jeff Curtis more than 30 years ago. With a small, friendly team and workshops just across the tracks from The Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, near Quainton, the company has developed a reputation for quality, craftsmanship and customer satisfaction. Many clients have returned time and again, while new customers are often accrued through recommendation. Working primarily in wood the firm has become known for quality home improvements, bespoke kitchens, traditional handmade furniture and high-class purpose-made joinery. Jeff was originally an engineer but started making tables as a hobby and his business grew from there! At 70 he has decided to retire and is passing the business on to his employees, Dave Cooknell and Carmine Catena, who have worked alongside Jeff for many years. Joiner Stuart Jaycock completes the team. Dave comes from near Banbury and originally trained as a joiner with Hinkins & Frewin. He’s worked for several firms including JP Charles & Sons, Queen’s College, Oxford and for Intertec in Long Crendon. He now lives in Bicester and joined Quainton Cottage Furniture some eight years ago. “We make anything from wood,” says Dave. “There’s only three of us at the moment but we’ve a good workshop with all the equipment we need and years of experience in the trade between us making dressers, tables, chairs, window frames, doors, kitchens, you name it.


Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Carmine and Dave “We get asked to do a lot of traditional styling rather than the latest trends. Much of our work is in older country properties and the client will be going for a more classic look which will stand the test of time. “They may want a top quality handmade bespoke kitchen and we can do that, whereas with some firms ‘handmade kitchens’ turn out to consist of standard units fitted by hand and the sizes won’t necessarily be ideal for the spaces they are going in. With us it really is made to measure from scratch to suit your individual requirements. “A good traditional wood kitchen will never go out of fashion! We can incorporate timber, granite or laminate work surfaces. We don’t really have a range as such, as each of our kitchens is a one-off. “It can take two or three weeks to make a kitchen and then another week to fit it - so there is often a fair bit of work involved.” Carmine grew up in Aylesbury and became an apprentice wood machinist at 16. “I worked in Risborough and went to Wycombe College,” says Carmine “and then joined Stuart Linford, the bespoke furniture maker. I was there for about ten years and I’ve been here at Quainton now for about 12. “It’s interesting work, you never know what’s likely to come in. We’ve done whole

houses from floors and doors, to seats and stairs and we’ve just made a pair of doors for a church in Chesham.” “Freestanding furniture and kitchens are my particular favourites,” says Dave, “although I do like a flight of stairs, especially if it’s something out of the ordinary that takes a bit of thought and working out. There’s a lot of job satisfaction when you stand back at the end of the job and see what you’ve achieved and how pleased the client is. “You will obviously pay more for a handbuilt, made-to-measure bookcase from us, than you would for a factory produced or flat-pack version but people understand that they are paying not only for quality and workmanship, but for something unique and long lasting.” Prospective customers are welcome to visit the Quainton Cottage workshops. They have a small showroom with a kitchen set and a variety of furniture on display, but most of their best work is installed in their clients homes so viewable in photograph albums and on their website. l Quainton Cottage Furniture, Brixton Buildings, Station Road, Quainton, Bucks, HP22 4BX Tel: 01296 655726 Email: Website:

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Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011


l Column: In the Garden with Naomi MacKay - Winter Wondering


s the frosts come upon us and the – don’t forget to check bonfires before lighting nights draw in, spare a thought for in case a hedgehog has decided to settle in for the wildlife that can’t snuggle up by the winter. Toads, too, find them attractive hiding the fire toasting marshmallows, but places. instead has to get itself ready for what is gearing You might want to try introducing a hedgeup to be a harsh winter. hog box into the garden. You can buy these In autumn, the hedgerows (or those that have from garden centres or pet shops, or make your been left standing at any rate) are full of berries own. Bury it under a pile of leaves and include that provide a feast for birds. a tunnel and entrance small Suirrels are now busy burying And if you have space you enough to deter predators food for the winter months could think about planting such as foxes. your very own fruit hedge. For smaller mammals Hawthorn and rugosa roses and amphibians, a piece of are good choices, as are corrugated plastic or metal brambles, if you can squeeze covered with moss and earth them in. Pop in an elder and can make a cosy spot away you can pick a few of those from the winter chills. elderberries or flowers for It’s not all about birds wine making or cordial if and mammals over winter you wish! And it will bring though – leave some of your a wealth of birds into your perennials standing, rather garden. than cutting back and the A hazel tree will delight benefits are numerous. the squirrels too – my five Not only will you have year-old and I have spent a one less job to do, but benhappy few minutes over the eficial insects use them to past few mornings watching our one resident burrow into over the winter. squirrel busily collect and bury the nuts from our They can also provide seed sources for the hazel tree in the garden (I just hope he hasn’t birds and look fantastic when covered in frost dug up all the bulbs I spent hours planting!) or snow. Verbena, teasel and fennel are just three Many mammals are getting ready to hibernate such plants that come to mind.



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Vale Life : Sept/Oct 2011

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Naomi MacKay is a freelance writer and editor who has worked on Garden Answers, Garden News and Garden Trade News. She also helps businesses to create or improve their websites, run social media campaigns, and produce business publications. Naomi is offering a 10% discount to Vale Life readers who quote the code VLNOV. Call 07802 426594, email: naomimackay@ or log on to

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Probably the largest old pine shop in the region, we sell beautifully restored genuine antique pine furniture, which we import from all over Europe. All of our furniture can be seen in our warehouse and on our website. We are committed to keeping our website up to date, our prices as low as possible, and can deliver anywhere in the UK. We are open Fridays 10am - 4pm, Saturdays 10am - 5pm, and any other time by appointment.

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Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

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Tel: 01844 202418 Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011


Food & Drink

Your guide to the best local venues

To feature your pub or restaurant call the editor on 01844 261579 email: Listings from £15 per issue The Akeman, Akeman Street, Tring Herts HP23 6AA. 01442 826027 The Angel, 47 Bicester Road, Long Crendon, Bucks HP17 9EE. 01844 208268. The Bell, The Green, Chearsley Bucks HP18 0DJ. 01844 208077 The Chequers, 35 Church Lane, Weston Turville, Bucks HP22 5SJ. 01296 613298 The Crown, Aylesbury Rd, Cuddington Bucks HP18 0BB. 01844 292222 The Crown, Sydenham, Oxon OX39 4NB 01844 351634 The Farmers Bar, Kings Head Passage Market Square, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP20 2RW. 01296 718812 Five Elms, Stockaway, Weedon Aylesbury, Bucks HP22 4NL 01296 641439.

The George and Dragon The Green, Quainton Aylesbury, Bucks HP22 4AR 01296 655436 The Dinton Hermit, Water Lane, Ford Aylesbury, Bucks HP17 8XH 01296 747473. The Hop Pole, 83 Bicester Road, Aylesbury, Bucks HP19 9AZ 01296 482129. Le Bistro, 4 Pound Street, Wendover Bucks HP22 6EJ. 01296 622092 Lions of Bledlow, Church End, Bledlow Princes Risborough, Bucks HP27 9PE 01844 343345.

Olive Limes, 60 High Street, Tring, Herts HP23 5AG . 01442 828444

Shoulder of Mutton, 20 Pound St, Wendover, Bucks, HP22 6 EJ. 01296 623223

The Peacock Country Inn, Henton, Oxon OX39 4AH. 01844 353519

Spice Cottage, 57 Tring Road, Wendover Aylesbury, Bucks HP22 6NU. 01296 625202

The Pheasant Inn, 39 Windmill Street Brill, Bucks HP18 9TG. 01844 239370

The Thatch, 29-30 Lower High Street, Thame, Oxon OX9 2AA. 01844 214346

The Red Lion Hotel, 9 High Street, Wendover, Bucks HP22 6DU. 01296 622266

The Six Bells, 43-44 High Street, Thame , Oxon, OX9 2AD. 01844 212088

The Rockwood, 32 Kingsbury, Aylesbury, Bucks HP20 2JE. 01296 423849

Mia Capri, 87 High Street, Thame Oxon OX9 3EH. 01844 213016

Rose and Crown, 2 Oxford Road, Stone, Bucks HP17 8PB 01296 748388

The Millwrights, 83 Walton Street Aylesbury, Bucks HP21 7SN 01296 393711

Rose and Thistle, 6 Station Road, Haddenham, Bucks HP17 8AJ. 01844 291451

Mole and Chicken, Easington, Bucks HP18 9EY. 01844 208387

Seven Stars, Stars Lane, Dinton, Bucks HP17 8UL. 01296 749000

Celebrate Christmas at

The Six Bells

The Valient Trooper, Trooper Rd, Aldbury, Tring, Herts, HP23 5RW. 01442 851203 The Village Gate, 225 Aylesbury Road, Wendover, Bucks HP22 6BA. 01296 623884 The White Swan, 18 High Street, Wendover, Bucks HP22 6EA. 01296 622271 The Woolpack, Risborough Road, Stoke Mandeville, Bucks HP22 5UP 01296 615970

Win a meal for two at The Russell Arms


Festive Menu (available from Dec 1st to 23rd) Two courses £18.95 per person Three courses £23.95 per person Spiced pumpkin and butterbean soup, rosemary croutons Walnut and Stilton risotto with roasted squash and port sauce Natural smoked haddock, bubble and squeak, poached egg, creamy Dijon sauce Baked Cheddar cheesecake, rich tomato sauce Ham hock terrine, mulled apple and pear chutney, toast Pan-seared turkey escalope, bacon, chipolatas, herb gravy, Winter greens Game stew, herb dumplings, seasonal veg Fig and chilli lamb, sautéed Brussels sprouts with smoked pancetta, chestnuts Roasted butternut squash and chestnut mushroom risotto, rocket Plaice en papillote, crushed new potatoes, fresh basil The Six Bell’s retro roly poly, cranberry jam, custard Mango and raspberry semi-freddo, raspberry coulis The Six Bell’s Christmas pudding made with Fuller’s London Porter Chocolate and chestnut truffle torte, crème fraîche ice cream Cheese board

Christmas Day Menu: five courses (see pub for details) £65 per person, (children under 12, £30)

Book now: deposit & pre order required for Festive and Christmas day menus 44 Lower High Street, Thame, Oxon, OX9 2AD Tel: 01844 212088 Email: Website: 36

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

he Russell Arms at Butler’s Cross, near Wendover, sits at the foot of the Chiltern escarpment, overlooked by Coombe Hill. It is only a mile or so from Chequers, the Prime Minister’s official country residence once owned by the Russell family from whom the pub takes it’s name. Owners, Lee and Neale Meder, aim to offer a quality country pub experience with good dining and are doing just that. The pub offers a great selection of real ales, wines, real coffee and good food in an attractively furnished dining area which overlooks the pretty garden. Head chef Lee Trevor also has a share in the business and creates the mouthwatering menu. ‘Make sure you leave room for dessert’ is the caution here, as his puddings have been described as truly unbelievable! Devon crab and salmon fishcakes, tender, juicy steaks, melt in the mouth lamb fillet, lavender creme brûlée - it sounds good, doesn’t it?!

If you’d like to be in with a chance of winning dinner for two with a bottle of house wine at The Russell, simply email your name, address and telephone number, along with the answer to the following question to: Who is our prime minister? Winner to be drawn at random and notified by email by Nov 30th. l The Russell Arms, 2 Chalkshires Road, Butlers Cross, Ellesborough , Buckinghamshire, HP17 OTS Tel: 01296 622618 Website:

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

When your cockles need warming this Christmas, there’s no better way than a glass of Winter’s Ale at the King’s Head. And while you’re there a little festive fare may also go down a treat...


f you were planning a theme park in the USA or Japan and wanted to recreate the perfect English Christmas pub setting, there would be no better inspiration than The Farmers’ Bar in the historic King’s Head pub at the top of Aylesbury’s Market Square. Wooden floors, highly polished dark wood tables, deep comfy armchairs, inviting inglenooks, soft lighting and rooms seeped in history dating back to the 15th century, all help to create the most wonderful ambiance. What makes the Farmers’ Bar truly special though is the fabulous selection of awardwinning ales from The Chiltern Brewery (Buckinghamshire and The Chilterns’ oldest independent brewery), the fine range of carefully chosen wines - many from the neighbouring Waddesdon Estate - the sumptuous food, (much of which utilises the brewery’s beer) and the warm welcome. Christmas lunch in The Farmers’ Bar is a classic festive experience. The Chiltern Brewery was founded in the 1980’s by husband and wife, Richard and Lesley Jenkinson and it is now their sons, George and Tom, who have inherited the fine traditions and brewing know-how that sets them apart as acknowledged experts in their field. They are delighted to have The Farmers’ Bar as the brewery’s ‘tap’ in which to showcase their very special locally produced real ales and their flair for innovation: the robust and full flavoured draught Three Hundreds Old Ale, a brewery seasonal draught, is to

George & Tom Jenkinson

be re-launched in wooden casks; a unique innovation. 400 bottles of Vintage Buckinghamshire Ale, aged 4 years, another brewery first, will be available in December. It is being released to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the King James’s Bible, part of which was translated by a local man. Draught Winter’s Ale, that ‘warms the cockles of your heart’ will also be available in that month. The Christmas lunch menu promises butternut squash soup, game paté, traditional locally reared turkey with all the trimmings and a Christmas pudding made with Lord Lieutenant’s Porter, to be enjoyed with brandy butter. Locally made cakes and coffee are available in the mornings throughout the year and their excellent lunches make use of bread, cheeses and pickles produced using the beers. To book a table or find out more call: 01296 718812, see: or follow them on Twitter: @Kings_Head

l The Farmers’ Bar, King’s Head Passage, Market Square, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP20 2RW Tel: 01296 718812 Email: Website: Open: Mon to Sat 11am to 11pm Sunday 12noon to 10.30pm Lunch Served: Mon to Fri 12noon to 2pm Sat & Sun 12noon to 3pm

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011


l Column: Ruby Moukli

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Aylesbury’s own American foodie

Our farm diary from Richard and Rosemary Hilsdon who run Boycott Farm, near Stowe, with its popular farm shop and restaurant.

Two gold stars for Boycott Farm sausages!


e’ve had an award-winning time here at Boycott Farm of late. Two of our sausages won Gold Awards in the Legendary British Banger Competition. We have always known our Traditional and Gloucester sausages were winners but it was good to have this acknowledged by a panel of experts. For the third year running we have reached the finals of the FARMA (Farmers’ Retail and Markets Association) awards, in the Own and Local category. Ninety percent of what we sell is produced here on the farm or locally, so we are really proud to be recognised for this. Richard is still waiting for his knighthood for his outstanding work with cattle, pigs and chickens, but no sign of it this year! Back in October, Richard and his son Philip spent a sleepless night protecting straw bales out in the field. Some barns from the neighbouring farm were on fire and the strong wind was blowing embers dangerously close to the 20ft high pile of straw. Meanwhile, Rosemary spent the evening with several firemen which was not as exciting as it first sounds! They were kindly parked in the courtyard keeping watch, in case the farmhouse went up in flames. Thankfully, the wind changed direction so Boycott Farm and the family were unharmed. Our flock of hens which joined us in the summer are doing well and now laying up to 95%. They are a different breed from those we had before and we have decided they are more intelligent – relatively speaking in chicken terms! When Dasher, our dog, helps to round them up at bedtime, they like to play games with her and literally run rings around her until they are ready to go into the chicken shed. They definitely have a cheeky side to their feathered personalities. Now the animals are safely tucked up for the winter we can concentrate our thoughts on Christmas. On Saturday 26th November we will be holding our annual Christmas Tasting Day. We invite customers to join us to sample the range of foods we have available for the festive season. It is also an opportunity to place any orders for Christmas foods, poultry and meats. Richard will be demonstrating how to carve a turkey “The Boycott Way” and will be giving tips on glazing ham. A glass of mulled wine and some delicious Boycott Mince pies will help to add a little festive spirit to the day!

l Boycott Farm, Welsh Lane, Stowe, Buckinghamshire, MK18 5DJ. Telephone: 01280 821286. Email: shop@ Website: 38

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011


he last Thursday in November is the most important holiday in the American calendar: Thanksgiving. On the busiest travel weekend of the year in the US, everyone rushes home to sit down with family and enjoy a huge, gut-busting meal, usually followed by sprawling on the sofa in a tryptophan-trance watching a football game. Of course, no Thanksgiving feast would be complete without the ubiquitous pumpkin pie. As your token American, I know you’re expecting me to give you a recipe for one and, well, I’m sorry to break it to you but I don’t like pumpkin pie. Perhaps that’s because it’s often made with tinned, processed pumpkin and tends to be cloyingly-sweet. Still, I feel the weight of my responsibility towards you, so am instead offering up my own version: pumpkin cheesecake. I make it with fresh pumpkin, delicately-spiced and not overly-sweetened, and a sharp, ginger biscuit crust. And it’s no-bake, so it’s dead easy to put together. The taste is similar to pumpkin pie, so it will fit right in with your festive meal, be it Thanksgiving, Harvest Festival or Christmas.

No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake What You Need: Crust: 1 250g packet Ginger Nuts, (blended to yield 2 cups fine crumbs) Zest of 1/2 small orange (or tangerine) Zest of 1/2 lemon 1/4 cup (60g) butter, melted Topping: 1/2 cup (125 ml) double cream 1/4 tsp vanilla extract Zest of 1/2 small orange/tangerine Zest of 1/2 lemon

Filling: 300g light cream cheese, softened 1 1/2 cups peeled, steamed and drained pumpkin (or other sweet squash), blended to yield 1 cup (240 ml) purée 1/4 cup (60g) brown sugar 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg Pinch allspice Pinch ground ginger 1/4 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 cup (125 ml) double cream

What You Do: 1. Make the crust by mixing the biscuit crumbs with the zest and butter and pressing into a 10-inch (25cm) pie tin. Chill while you make the filling. 2. Mix the cream cheese with the pumpkin, sugar and spices until well-blended. 3. In a separate bowl, whip the cream with the vanilla into firm peaks, then gently fold into the pumpkin mixture. 4. Spoon filling into chilled crust, spread evenly and chill overnight. 5. Just prior to serving, whip the cream and vanilla for your topping and pipe it onto the cheesecake to make a decorative pattern. Sprinkle with lemon and/or orange zest and serve.

l Ruby Moukli is a local writer, photographer and author of popular food blog Tomayto Tomaaahto, which you can read online at

l Column: Matt Brown - One Hungry Gent


y most dearest of darlings and loveliest of lovelies, I do hope the autumn finds you in snorting good form. Owing to the nature of the printing process I am in your past and you in my future. As I sit here typing it is currently October the 18th, 2011 but you could be reading this in November or December. What manner of things will be realised in your future? Perhaps you will be reading a neuro-implant version of Vale Life that has been hardwired into your brain by robots. You could be perusing this column from the comfort of your automatic hovercar, whilst eating a food pill. Or perhaps you’re shivering in a cave in some post apocalyptic post-industrial wasteland. If the last scenario comes to pass then I promise I’ll do a recipe for rat carpaccio in the next edition. In the meantime, it is the time of year for my favourite festival, Bonfire Night. I love November the 5th because it’s a chance to make merry with kith and kin without any of the present-buying awkwardness of Christmas. It’s a chance to focus on two of life’s most important

Matt Brown

ONE Hungry Gent

l Listen to Matt Brown on Heart Breakfast With Matt and Michelle (weekdays 6-9am 102.6FM). Tweet Matt at

pleasures; food and fireworks. For me November the 5th is mostly about eating. I picture steaming mugs of soup with hunks of bread for dipping, warming the cockles whilst you wait for dad to light the roman candles. I have vivid memories of eating hot potatoes straight from the bonfire, buying huge bags of the sweetest honeycomb and almost breaking my teeth trying to crack the homemade toffee apples. However, it is always to the sausage that I must return for the

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

perfect firework treat. Bangers with bangers as it were. Sausages are a doddle to cook. Just buy the best you can afford and roast them slowly in the oven until they are golden brown. My personal recommendation is for a plain pork sausage - see your local butcher, he’ll have some crackers. However, I am sick of having lovely sausages accompanied by greasy onions black around the edges and raw in the middle. So, here’s how to do perfect onions to go with your bonfire sausages. Put an inch wedge of butter and a couple of tablespoons of oil into a heavy bottomed saucepan that has a tight-fitting lid and put it over a medium heat. I have one of those enamel, French named casseroles for this, which is perfect. They are expensive but I’ve had mine for twelve years and it is still as good as new so they are a good investment. Next add to the pan four large onions that you have skinned and thinly sliced. Coat them in the melted butter and oil, put the lid back on and leave it alone. Check every ten minutes or so and give them a stir but don’t stir too much. The onions will soften and start to go a deep, dark caramel brown.

As they colour they lose their harsh flavour and begin to develop an incredible sweetness that will bring out the salty, porkiness of the sausage. The onions will take about 40 minutes to cook so leave plenty of time. When the onions are cooked you can serve them with the sausages in hotdog form or you could do a couple of other things. Firstly after 40 mins you could add some chopped garlic and cook that for a couple of minutes. Then add a tablespoon of flour and stir until the flour has been incorporated with the butter. Cook that for a couple of minutes and add a wineglass of whatever wine you have to hand (red or white) or beer or cider and cook again until it bubbles away nicely. Then add a bit of chicken stock and salt and pepper and you have the perfect gravy for sausage and mash. Or you can add more stock and have an easy onion soup. Whatever you do you will now be able to enjoy November the 5th without the worry of having horrible onions and that has to be a huge weight off your shoulders. l Hear the latest story from The Creepy Valley here...http://

Celebrate Christmas at The Angel

The Angel offers the perfect combination of superb cooking, ambience and unobtrusive service in relaxing surroundings. Our three course Christmas Party menus include coffee, mince pies and homemade chocolates and are available at £26.50 per head for lunch, £35.50 for dinner. For details contact The Angel or see our website.

Our three course Christmas Day menu includes Bucks Fizz and canapés on arrival, Champagne sorbet and coffee, mince pies and homemade chocolates and is available at £95 per head. For details contact The Angel or see our website.

Our four course New Year’s Eve menu includes Champagne and canapés reception, coffee with homemade chocolate truffles, Champagne at midnight and dancing and is available at £85 per head. For details contact The Angel or see our website.

47 Bicester Road, Long Crendon, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP18 9EE

Tel: 01844 208268

Restaurant open: For Lunch, Monday - Saturday: 12-2.30pm, Sunday: 12-3pm For Dinner, Monday - Saturday: 7-9.30pm, Sunday Evenings: Closed. Bank Holidays open as usual. Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011


Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Dritan and Ranka Lani are perfectly placed to confirm the root of their pub’s name. The couple grew up in Italy where hundreds of years earlier the Romans used pieces of checked cloth to tot up their sums and chequered signs were often hung outside pubs which doubled as banks...


he village of Weston Turville between Aylesbury and Wendover dates back to Saxon times. Weston means ‘western homestead’ and Turville comes from the Turville family who were Lords of the Manor there during the reign of King John in the 13th century. The pretty Chequers pub, tucked away on Church Lane near the village’s 12th Century church dates back to 1640 and sports even older beams which were originally ships timbers from the 1500s. The pub was a brewery until about 30 years ago but now houses an elegant split level restaurant, where the dray horses were once stabled, and a cosy flagstoned bar with an open fireplace. Those hunky ships timbers are still standing firm and The Chequers has been comfortably and sympathetically furnished and decorated with simple but stylish tables and chairs that complement the solid oak floors. In the upper dining area rattan flooring and contemporary prints add a sophisticated modern flourish. The pub is run by chef Dritan Lani and his wife Ranka. The couple met in London in the mid 90s while working for Café Uno on Trafalgar Square. They had much in common - both were born in Croatia and brought up in Italy having moved there when quite young. They


Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Dritan and Ranka Lani

continued to work in catering, Dritan as a chef and Ranka front of house and eventually returned to Italy, got married and in 2001 had a daughter Maya. The couple had enjoyed their time in England and when a friend called saying there was a job for Dritan in Dunstable, they decided to come back over. They worked for a variety of restaurants including Loch Fyne in Beaconsfield and Brasserie Gerard in Berkhamsted and then,

about three years ago they decided it was time to set up their own venture. “We’d been looking for our own pub for some time,” says Ranka, “and the Chequers came up, just before Christmas 2009. “It’s a beautiful village,” says Dritan. “We liked the pub straight away. It didn’t need any major work doing and within a few weeks we’d moved in!” “The first six months were quite tough,” says Ranka. “We were commuting from Dunstable, twice a day as Maya was at school there. “We didn’t have cellar experience but we trained and won our Casque Marque approval, certifying the quality of the beers here, within five months.” “My experience was as a chef,” says Dritan, “I got my first restaurant job at 18 and I’ve never stopped! I just love it. I learnt how to cook in South Italy in the Naples area and then moved North and worked near Parma for the Italian Chefs Organisation. I’ve worked for many restaurants, in Italy and London, in Italian and French restaurants and for some chain restaurants. “I’ve gained experience in a variety of kitchens and felt it was the right time to run our own place. The Chequers has everything we want. We can seat 65 in the restaurant and 25 in the bar area and there is enough space to

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Upper dining room cater for parties, which we enjoy very much. “We had a wedding party recently, we put up a marquee and did an Italian style nine course menu. The couple were confident that we would serve food they’d enjoy, so they left the menu to us. They didn’t know what they’d be having until it arrived! The feast started at 3.15pm and finished at 9pm, we had over 100 eating.” “We have done eight weddings so far and have two booked for next year,” says Ranka. “We are used to catering for large numbers, we’ve done it a lot in the past and we are happy to do more. “We can also cater for smaller business lunches. We have wifi and the dining room is split into two areas, so we can close off the top area for more privacy.” “We have come a long way and we are building our reputation, but we still have a lot of work to do,” says Dritan. “Quality is paramount, I use tried and trusted suppliers. I refuse to compromise on quality, price is not an issue. It would be a lot cheaper to buy things ready made but we are aiming to produce the best food here, so we make everything ourselves and people can appreciate the difference. “We started with a shorter more basic menu but have developed things gradually to give a finer dining experience. “There will always be some Italian dishes

and some French and English dishes too, with a balance of seafood, meat and vegetarian choices. “We don’t like to rush people,” says Ranka, “if you are here for the evening, we want you to spend several hours enjoying your meal. “A fine dining experience should be relaxed, friendly, with good service, good food and comfortable surroundings. “We vary the menu regularly,” says Dritan, “and cook everything fresh, from scratch, we make our own bread, pasta, mashed potato, desserts... we have different Lower dining room specials six days a week and a pub menu with lighter meals from 12pm to 6pm that includes ciabatta sandwiches, fish and chips and burgers as well as pasta, salad or risotto.” The main menu has a mouthwatering selection of delights from starters such as: Gamberoni Piccanti - shelled tiger prawns pan fried in extra virgin olive oil with chopped tomatoes, chilli, garlic and parsley, served with garlic bread, or a sharing House Platter of Parma ham, jarret de jambon à la gelée de cidre and piccalilli, hot smoked salmon rillette with mixed olives, fresh mozzarella and tomato slices - served with toasted ciabatta and mains that include: Lamb Cutlets served with cave-aged cheddar Dauphinoise potatoes and a red wine, thyme and port reduction.or

Bream and Scallops served with wasabi mash and a light creamy sauce, or Tender Medallions of Beef fillet pan-fried and served with a creamy wild mushroom sauce and creamy garlic polenta. Desserts include a decadent Dark Chocolate and Chilli Parfait, Pear and Rhubarb Crumble with Vanilla Custard and Eton Mess among others! “We are a village pub too though,” says Dritan. “We have a bar area with a cosy fireplace where villagers pop in for a quiet pint.” Dritan and Ranka feel that the quality of their staff and the service provided at the Chequers is of particular importance. “We have taken great care selecting the right staff,” says Dritan. “It’s very important. Several of our old colleagues have joined us here, many were trained by Ranka, so they know just what she expects and I have an excellent team in the kitchen. We have five front of house and four in the kitchen. “We have both trained with quite strict companies and expect everything to be 100% perfect for the customer.” The couple live above the pub now and their daughter Maya is going to school nearby, so things are much easier “It’s such a pleasure to come down the stairs and walk straight into work,” says Ranka. “No more driving backwards and forwards all day!” By the look of the pinboard in the back corridor Dritan and Ranka are getting things right at The Chequers - it is covered with emails and letters complimenting the couple on their food and hospitality. Last year the pub was voted winner of the ‘One to Watch’ category in Aylesbury Vale’s Village Pub of the Year competition and this year won the ‘Best Food Pub Award’ category! The Chequers has a website with details of menus, including their Christmas party menu, Christmas Day menu and New Year’s Eve menu and a handy location map. Dritan and Ranka may not be offering financial services at the pub these days, but you can bank on the quality of their food and drink, making a meal at the Chequers a sound investment indeed! l The Chequers Inn, 35 Church Lane, Weston Turville, Bucks, HP22 5SJ. Tel: 01296 613298. Email: Web:

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011


Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Cheeky massage bed cake

If Leonardo Da Vinci had been a baker he would probably have changed the world’s perception of cake. It would no longer be hungrily chomped down at parties but revered as works of art...

Sara Allen


ara Allen makes edible art. There’s no other way of describing her amazing baking and decorating skills. One of her ‘bag’ cakes was so realistic its handles were pulled off by a party guest clearing the table to, oops - ‘make room for the birthday cake’! To produce her masterpieces Sara combines cookery skills with artistic talent, although she claims not to be sure where either ability comes from. Sara grew up in Thame as did her father before her. Her mother though is from Cyprus. She came to the UK in 1959 and met Sara’s dad, Mike Crowdy, roller skating in Haddenham! “You can always walk into my mum’s house and be fed,” says Sara. “She was always cooking and I’m the same.” Sara met husband-to-be Paul Allen, when they were only 15 and they got married at 18. They now have three children, a dog, a yard full of chickens, some sheep, ducks and occasionally pigs. Sara is a trampolining coach and runs The Thames Valley Trampolining Club based at Aylesbury College, with help from daughter Leah, (22). She coaches from beginners to national level and has several Olympic hopefuls in the club. “I did lots of baking with the girls when they were younger,” says Sara, “I used to do special birthday cakes and take hours decorating them. As they got older I stopped doing elaborate creations. Then about six years ago my sister-inlaw got remarried and I made the wedding cake. It turned out really well, it was the first cake I’d done for years and it was beautiful. It was a confetti cake with flowers. “My son Harvey, who was only six, was impressed and asked for a Super Mario cake for his birthday 42

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Make-up bag cake

Musical fan cake later in the year. He knew exactly what he wanted, so I was under some pressure, but I made him his Super Mario cake and he loved it. Of course then requests started coming in from his mates! I put some pictures of the cakes I’d made on Facebook and an old friend saw them and asked me to quote for a corporate cake to serve 350 people! “It was huge with a large logo on it. I did the logo a week before, so it would have time to dry, only to get a call saying they wanted a new, special, anniversary logo instead. It was so complicated - interlocking blocks of overlapping colour and transparent overlays - I wasn’t sure I could do it. I cut out coloured gelatine and overlayed all these ovals it looked great and I went to bed really happy. “In the morning I went to have a look and it had all collapsed into a gooey mess! “I ended up hand-painting the logo on with Going travelling cake

food colouring and it looked brilliant. I used to do a lot of painting in watercolour and realised I could use my painting skills on cakes. “That was six years ago and I’ve been painting cakes ever since!” Sara’s edible art has proved so popular she is now hiring out her cake making skills. She is soon to launch a website, (www.saraallen and is offering a friendly personal service making imaginatively crafted homemade cakes for all occasions, handcrafted to your requirements. l Sara Allen Cakes, Sharnley, Thame Road, Longwick. Bucks. HP27 9SW Tel: 01844 347555 / 07740486868 Email: Website:

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

‘Life’s like a box of chocolates,’ said Forrest Gump, but if it was like a box of Rumsey’s chocolates it’d be a heaven on earth...


igel and Mary Rumsey opened their first Chocolaterie in Wendover on Valentine’s Day, 2004. Nigel had been producing high quality, handmade chocolates and petits fours at their home in Hartwell since 1991 and supplying local businesses such as Waddesdon Manor. They realised that they needed their own outlet to be able to create a viable business though and so, inspired by the film Chocolat, they opened their first chocolaterie in a delightful former bank in the centre of Wendover. It is a relaxing environment in which to eat lunch, drink coffee and choose from a wonderful selection of truffles, ganaches, pralines, creams and petit fours, each with their own distinct flavour. “It’s a popular meeting place for Wendover people,” says Mary “and we feel very much part of the community there. “People would come in and see a chef in the theatre making chocolates and ask if they could have a go, or if we did classes. “A school of chocolate seemed a great idea but there wasn’t enough space at Wendover, so we looked for another outlet and discovered our premises in Thame. It seemed ideal, but while making a lovely chocolaterie, when fitted out, it didn’t have the room for teaching groups of people. “The Cocoa Pod, our centre at Stone seemed frighteningly large at first, but works really well for production and conferencing. We have kitchens in which to make our chocolates, ice cream and patisserie, a demonstration kitchen and a large space for courses, talks, demonstrations, hen parties, children’s parties and so on. There’s full details of the workshops and courses available on

Nigel and Mary Rumsey our website at They make great presents for chocolate lovers!” Mary grew up in Aylesbury and worked as a teacher and for Rothmans and Alfred Marks. She met chef and patissier Nigel, who is from London, through a chef friend of her sister’s. They married in 1979 and now have two grown up sons, Will and George. While Nigel is head chef at Rumsey’s and spends hours with Pawel and his production team preparing the delicious cakes, pastries, ice-creams, tarts and hand-made chocolates for the two chocolateries, Mary, Karen and her team keep the business running smoothly. “We’ve just changed production to focus on our Christmas chocolates,” says Mary. “Our Hallowe’en chocolates all sold out. The Strawberry and Orange flavoured chocolate Pumpkins were particularly popular! “We are now making lots of lovely goodies based on a ‘Christmas fairy tales and children’s

stories’ theme. You’ll soon find lots of different sized chocolate teddy bears, chocolate Christmas trees, the witches house from Hansel and Gretel, chocolate clogs, chocolate logs, bags of stars, star lollipops, chocolate Snowmen, and chocolate Santas! “We are also about to change to our winter menu offering: mulled wine, freshly made mince pies, and old favourites such as Caribbean banana cake, ginger and pear cake and new to the menu, a Nutella ice cream! “Nigel has also perfected an Iced Praline Parfait – which is a delicious addition to our range and on the chocolate side of things we have Rumsey’s own plain chocolate Mexican vanilla, and a cinnamon chocolate truffle. “We’re a small family business but we’ve got a great team of very lovely, loyal staff,” says Mary. “We’re not aiming to go into mass manufacture, we are happy being good locally and producing the very best chocolates.” l Rumsey’s of Wendover, The Old Bank, 26 High Street, Wendover, Bucks, HP22 6EA Tel: 01296 625060 Open: Mon to Sat: 8.30am to 6pm, Sun: 10am to 6pm l Rumsey’s of Thame, 8 Upper High Street, Thame, Oxon, OX9 3ER Tel: 01844 260303 Open: Mon to Sat: 9am to 6pm, Sun - 10am to 5.30pm l Website: Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011


Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

The Spread Eagle’s new head chef promises top quality English cuisine with a difference. He knows what he’s talking about too, having cut his teeth in kitchens where AA Rosettes and Michelin Stars were de rigueur. Regulars at ‘The Spread’ are already nodding their approval...


lmost a hundred years ago John Fothergill, the eccentric proprietor of the Spread Eagle in Thame, introduced haute cuisine to the provinces. He chronicled the experience in his amusing book, ‘An Innkeeper’s Diary’. John would no doubt have approved of the hotel’s recent renaissance. Locals have certainly noticed the eye-catching decor and boutique style of the bar and restaurant makeover. What is not so obvious, to the eye, is the difference the new head chef is making, mixing tradition and creative flair, (as befits the hotel’s history), in the kitchen and delighting diners in the restaurant. Chef Marcin Worzalla is originally from Poland and came to ‘the Spread’ from the Crazy Bear in Beaconsfield. He grew up in Gdynia on the Baltic Coast near Gdansk. “My grandfather was a baker,” says Marcin, “Growing up I was always in the kitchen with him and it seemed natural to go to catering school and college. I Marcin ‘flambés’ did a degree in hotel some mini burgers catering but enjoyed the cooking side most. “I first came to England in 2003 on work experience. I was in the kitchens at Studley Priory in Horton-Cum-Studley, under head chef Simon Crannage. “It was a three AA Rosette restaurant and I really learnt a lot about cooking and presentation. I followed Simon to Gilpin Lodge near Windermere in The Lake District. The restaurant had a Michelin star at the time. I spent a year there and really enjoyed it, we did good food, to a very high standard and with a little Scottish influence in the dishes too, which was interesting. “I worked in Cornwall at the Mullion Cove Hotel. Being on the coast we cooked a lot of fresh fish, straight from the sea. I got to go out on the boat with the fishermen one time, 44

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

The restaurant, inset Marcin which was a great experience.” Marcin was also senior chef de partie at Charlton House Hotel, in Somerset, at the time renowned for its food and boasting a Michelin star and three AA rosettes. “It was a big property,” says Marcin, “serving really excellent food and we did a lot of weddings and functions too.” More recently he was chef at the Crazy Bear in Beaconsfield where he worked alongside David Hodson, now the manager of The Spread Eagle. “David asked me if I might be interested in the head chef position here,” says Marcin. “It’s a great opportunity to do something really special. We both have a similar vision for how things can be here. It’s a gradual transition. It takes time to move a restaurant into a new direction but we are getting there. “In the kitchen we are making all our dishes from scratch, from fresh, good quality ingredients. We look to source products locally where we can, but sometimes the best quality comes from further afield, or the quantities are not available nearby. Our steaks are particularly

good, they are Aubrey Allen 21 day, matured, organic, Scottish Highland beef. I like a good steak myself and these are some of the best. “We are serving traditional English food but we aim to offer something that is different too. We will be adding little twists and touches to keep things interesting and make us a little special. Our braised ducks legs are like an English take on the French confit of duck for example. The duck is tenderised in brine for three days and then slow cooked in chicken stock so it is very tender and tasty.” If having Steak Diane flamed at your table, Beef Wellington, Chateaubriand, Lobster Thermidor, or Pumpkin Risotto sounds of interest, pop in and peruse the menu. There’s a great value 2 course lunch for £12.50, an amazing ‘brunch’ and a classic afternoon tea for £14.50 - sandwiches, scones, cake - not so much of a twist here though, just a huge spread! l The Spread Eagle Hotel, Cornmarket, Thame Oxfordshire OX9 2BW Tel: 01844 213661 Email: Website:

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Although fox hunting is no longer allowed, hunting is still a popular sport across the Vale and a colourful part of country life. The Kimblewick Hunt in their tawney yellow livery meet several times a week and visitors and newcomers are always welcome...


imblewick Hunt was formed in 2002 as an amalgamation of the Vale of Aylesbury Hunt and the Garth and South Berks, which were already combinations of the Garth, the South Berks, the Old Berkeley, the South Oxfordshire and Hertfordshire Hunts! The area covered is huge, from Luton to Basingstoke, about 60 miles by 40. The hunt goes out several times a week and employs a full-time huntsman, Gerald Sumner, who looks after the hounds at kennels in Kimblewick, near Aylesbury. Gerald is assisted by whipper-in Edward Shere and Countryman David Berry. Stud groom Kate Robertson and groom Jennifer Dewhurst are responsible for the horses. “Hunts have been around for hundreds of years, says Gerald. “and are an important part of social life in rural areas. They’ve had to evolve to cope with the proliferation of roads and railways, world wars and changes in attitudes but a lot of people enjoy hunting and believe it to be a positive part of country life. “People from all walks of life take part nowadays, from train drivers to solicitors, DJs, plumbers, doctors, nurses, it’s not just the landed gentry! And not everyone has their own horse - you can hire one for the day. We have foot followers too, who just come along to watch. Different locations will suit different riding abilities, you don’t have to be an expert. Get in touch and arrange to join in one of our newcomers days.” It is not cheap to run a hunt and most have to be organised on a subscriber basis. The Kimblewick Hunt has regular subscribers who will sign up for so many meets a year but it also generates income by staging point to

Picture of Kimblewick Hunt taken at Standalls Farm, Bishopstone by John Bell point meetings at Kingston Blount and Kimble and holds fundraising events such as the hunt ball and the forthcoming Countryside Fashion Show at Haddenham. Hunting is now ‘trail hunting’ or ‘drag hunting’. Both involve scent trails being put down for the hounds to follow. Drag hunting lays a single line from A to B, while trail hunting is more complicated with several people laying lines within a given area, to mimic the unpredictable trails a fox might leave. At the hunt’s kennels in Kimblewick, Gerald has over 100 hounds to look after. “We bring in new hounds at this time of year,” he says. “and we’ll have more than 50 in the pack. Most do nine or ten seasons having started at about 18 months.” The Countryside Fashion Show takes place at Haddenham Village Hall on Friday, November 18th. Stylish new ranges from brands including Joules, Toggi and Timothy Foxx feature. See panel, right, for details. l Kimblewick Hunt Email: Tel: Holly Birch on: 07775 697052 Website:

An evening NOT to be missed!

Countryside Fashion Show Friday, November 18th, 2011 at Haddenham Village Hall, Haddenham, Bucks Clothing and Accessories for Men and Women for Shooting, Equestrian and General Country Wear. Big names include: Joules, Toggi, Timothy Foxx etc Tickets £25 including hot supper and a ‘glass of bubbly’ on arrival. Fully Licensed Bar available. Doors open 7pm Entrance by ticket only, to book call: Nyree Fitzgerald 07795 630207 or online at (payment via Paypal)

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011


Win a Kitan Moroccan bag and bead necklace


brand new exclusive clothes venture has launched online inspired by the style, flair and vibrant colour of Morocco. Kitan ( is the brainchild of Japanese-born, Mai Yamazaki, who fell in love with the glorious shades, textures, fabrics and accessories available in Marrakech. Kitan has been two years in the making, and during that time Mai has formed close relationships with the skilled and creative women who work on her unique range of hand-crafted clothes, jewellery and accessories. “The clothing range is simple, and elegant, and crafted from beautiful fabrics such as the finest cotton, linen and cashmere,” she says. “The lines are graceful and easy-to-wear, and the fine, hand-crafted detailing adds a distinctive touch to each item.” “I never commission many pieces in a particular style or colour, so my customers know their purchases are unique.” The name Kitan comes from the braid used for the piping on the edges of garments, for accenting seams and for decoration and embellishment -

Mai Yamazaki, Kitan founder, with one of her beautiful hand-crafted garments a beautiful touch that is used widely in Mai’s collection. The Kitan range now encompasses jackets, coats, tops, tunics, trousers, bags, jewellery, scarves and shawls. If you’d like the chance to win one of Kitan’s stylish bags and a beautiful necklace, simply email your name, address and telephone number, along with the answer to the following question to: Q: What does the name Kitan mean? Winner to be drawn at random and notified by email by Nov 30th.

Christmas TURKEYS

Free-range slow growing Bronze-Feathered Turkeys

d Reared and processed on our Gubblecote farm d Traditionally matured for an exquisite flavour and firm succulent textured meat. d Oven-ready, with cooking instructions

Find us at: Tring Berkhamsted & Wendover

Farmers Markets

Farm shop and tea rooms specialising in home produced and locally sourced produce Avoid the hassle of shopping for Christmas fruit and veg by ordering in advance - we’ll have it boxed and ready for pick up. Local turkeys available too plus a great selection of seasonal speciality foods. We stock a wide variety of local produce including our own beef and lamb, local sausages and cured bacon. Local pickles and preserves and quality fresh fruit and vegetables are always popular as is our Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Rapeseed Oil which cooks the best roast potatoes ever! We sell pre-packed coal, kindling and seasoned logs, prepared on the farm, plus pet food and Heygates Animal Feeds for all farm livestock including: poultry, cattle, pigs, goats, sheep & horses Tea room and gift shop: Enjoy a tea, coffee or juice with a light lunch, homemade cake, or pastries PE Mead & Sons Farm Shop, Wilstone Green, Wilstone, Nr Tring, Herts, HP23 4PA Tel: 01442 828478


Gubblecote, Tring HP23 4QG 01296 662462/ 07725 091428 order online at 46

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

We Are Located On The B489 Just Outside Of Wilstone

Website: Open from 9am-5.30pm Mon-Sat and Sundays: 9.30am-4.30pm

01442 820739

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Registered Charity No. 1140386

Newly merged charity Iain Rennie Grove House Hospice Care (IRGH) is calling on local communities to support its festive fundraising to help give patients facing life-limiting illness across Herts and Bucks the choice to be cared for at home over Christmas, New Year and beyond... “


magine how hard it would be to spend Christmas away from your friends and loved ones,” says Paul Parrish, IRGH Acting Director of Fundraising and Marketing. “Through the services we provide in our day hospice, our support services for families and our 24/7 nursing call out service, we make it possible for patients to stay at home for as long as they wish, whatever the time of year. “To do this we need help, as the service costs us over £6 million a year to run and only around 15% of this is funded by the NHS.  “The rest has to come from fundraising, so by joining in some of our Christmas events this year, Vale Life readers will be helping to keep loved ones together at this special time. Imagine the difference that could make to a family Christmas.” Light Up a Life services play an important part in this fundraising and offer local people the opportunity to take time out to remember a friend, or family member, who is no longer with us. By making a donation to the charity, you can choose to dedicate one or more lights, on any of the charity’s commemorative Christmas trees, to a loved one. Special services mark the illumination of the lights on the trees and although it is not necessary to attend the service to make the dedication, for many they have

£7.50 including Reindeer ears, a flashing nose and a medal. Both events promise to be wonderful family occasions offering music and refreshments to add to the festive cheer. To sign up please visit the Events and Activities section of the website at: Letter from Father Christmas What could be more special for a youngster this Christmas, than to receive a letter from Father Christmas himself!? IRGH is combining with the Picture by Anita Ross-Marshall/Bucks Free Press Pepper Foundation to offer everyLight Up A Life services will be held this year as below: one the chance to make Christmas Hemel Hempstead: Sat, Nov 19th, 6.30pm High Street, Old Town magical for the children in their Tring: Sun, Nov 20th, 4pm, St Peter & St Paul’s Church, High Street lives by arranging for a signed and Princes Risborough: Sun, Nov 27th, 4pm, Duke Street Gardens personalised letter 2011 to arrive from C3P colour quarter page ... Wednesday, 20 July 16:28 Beaconsfield: Sun, Dec 4th, 4pm, St Mary & All Saints Church the man in red at the North Pole. 1 6th 7pm, Prestwood Village Hall Magenta Yellow Black Cyan Prestwood:page Tue, Dec In return for a donation, there is High Wycombe: Sun, Dec 11th, 3.45pm, Union Baptist Church a choice of letters tailored to differSt Albans: Sun, Dec 18th, 4pm, outside Alban Arena ent ages and orders can be placed Tylers Green: Thur, Dec 22nd, 7.45pm, on the Common online until Friday, Dec 9th at: become a really comforting part of in a Santa suit or a 1km All profits will be equally split the Christmas season. Reindeer Run. between IRGH adult nursing All services are free to attend and The 5km Dash is open to teams and the Pepper children’s family and friends can simply turn runners aged 10 years and over. nursing team. up on the night. See above for serv- Entry costs £15 and includes a A Christmas catalogue with ice times. Full details can be found Santa suit and a medal, while the a stunning range of Christmas at Reindeer Run is open to all ages cards and virtual gifts to buy is Festive fun runs: Fast-moving and costs £7.50 including Reindeer available from all IRHH shops; Santas will take centre stage in High ears, a flashing nose and a medal! call 01442 827699 or visit Wycombe and St Albans at special In St Albans, the Jingle Bell Jog sponsored runs in December. will take place on Sun, Dec 11th at Every penny raised will help The Rye Park in High Wycombe Waterend Barn. The entry price of provide much needed support will be hosting a Santa Dash on £15 for the 5km Jingle Bell Jog services for patients and their Sat, Dec 3rd, offering people the includes a Santa suit and a medal. families over the Christmas period. chance to join in a 5km run dressed The 1.5 km Reindeer Run costs Join in a Santa Dash or Reindeer Run!

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011


Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Each Christmas the decorations at Waddesdon Manor take on a new theme. They are currently being inspired by the European countries in which the founding sons of the Rothschild dynasty made their fortunes and this year la dolce vita will be in evidence as Italy is the influence...


aron Ferdinand de Rothschild had Waddesdon Manor built towards the end of the 19th Century (1874-89) in the style of an early 16th Century French château. It’s a beautiful setting at any time of year but particularly magical at Christmas which makes the special events all the more tempting: carol singing, special evening openings, Christmas Gift Fairs and Food Fairs. This year the decorations throughout the East and Bachelors’ Wing will reflect all that we love about Italian culture, art, fashion, food and fun. The front door is to have olive wreaths. Inside the Manor there will be Cypress trees bearing the Italian flag and terracotta pots with wonderful fragrant herbs. The majestic Christmas trees will be decorated with Italian themed decorations; masks, glass and gondolas. Leonardo de Vinci is the inspiration for the decorations in the Blue Dining Room. For children the characters from Pinocchio will feature in the Bachelors’ wing including the Blue Fairy, Geppetto and Jiminy Cricket! The kitchen corridor, leading to the Manor Restaurant, will be decorated with sumptuous vines bearing gold grapes and magically lit with tiny lights. The Manor Restaurant will be serving traditional Christmas fare and some Rothschild specialities. Booking is highly recommended. The Manor shop will be full to bursting with fabulous gift ideas for all budgets, from stocking fillers to unique vintage finds and antiques. The new Royal College of Art collection inspired by Waddesdon will have just arrived: designs for luxurious hand woven scarves, printed calico bags, and beautiful ceramic beakers and vases.

A Magical Evening of Christmas Carols and Circus Fun Friday, 9th December, 6pm – 8pm Enjoy the fun of a circus and carol concert. Jugglers, fire-eaters, street performers, music and the Reindeer Trail in the special atmosphere of a winter’s evening. £7 adults, £3.50 children, under 3s free A selection of festive food will be available at the Stables 48

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Waddesdon’s celebration of Christmas extends beyond the House into the Gardens where, this year, twinkling lights and bells will guide you on the willow reindeer trail though the woodland playground to the Coach House at the Stables. Here, younger visitors will be able to write a letter to Father Christmas. There will be trails and quizzes, lucky dips and special food on sale in the Stables Café. At the Stables Shop a nostalgic world of beautiful toys and games for children awaits, with old fashioned sweets, chocolate and Waddesdon’s very own home made fudge. Waddesdon Plant Centre will provide a natural celebration of Christmas with hand made

Floodlit Evening Openings Thursday 24, Friday 25, Sunday 26 November, 6pm Experience the magic and splendour of the Manor on a winter’s evening. Enjoy the decorations in the East Wing, local dancers from the Kandeez Dance School, musicians from the Aylesbury Music Centre and Cameo Opera. £17 adults. £15 NT members. £10 children. £8 NT children. Afternoon tea served from 4.30: £13.50. Supper, 2 courses: £17.50, three courses £21.

wreathes, ready planted pots, beautiful decorations and a botanically inspired selection of gifts for those who love plants and gardens. The Christmas season at Waddesdon begins on Wednesday 2nd November with the shops festively decorated and full of inspiring gift ideas. The East Wing opens for Christmas from Wednesday 16th November to Monday 2nd January 2012. See the panels below for details of special events taking place over the festive period. l Waddesdon Manor, Waddesdon, Nr Aylesbury, Bucks, HP18 0JH Tel: 01296 653226 Email: Website:

Christmas Food Market Waddesdon Plant Centre

Saturday 3rd & 4th December and Wednesday 7th to Sunday 11th December 10.30am – 4.30pm each day Our longest running market. There is something for everyone including fresh ducks and local lamb, homemade Christmas cakes, sweets and biscuits, chutneys and specialist cheeses, fresh pies and puddings.

Normal admission charges apply to Waddesdon Manor


Aylesbury Town

Vale / Dec 2011 ValeLife Life: :Nov Nov/Dec

FREE Christmas Events

Christmas Lights 17 Switch On NOV THU

from 5.30pm

Festive Dates Festive Datesfor foryour yourdiary diary Tuesday, 15th November Christmas Antiques Valuation Day and Collectibles Market Market Square, 11am – 2pm Raid your attic and bring your small collectibles for a free valuation, including coins, jewellery, books, stamps, silverware, chinaware, postcards and glassware.

Thursday 17th November Christmas Film and Craft Sessions Queens Park Art Centre & Limelight Theatre from 7pm After the light switch on warm up at Queens Park Centre with a free film and crafts session. QPC is opp Aylesbury Grammar School near Tring Rd Tesco. 01296 4234332


UNFUN Tuesday 22nd November Farmers’ Market Market Square, 9am – 2pm Buy some fabulous local produce.

Sunday 27th November Christmas Speciality Charity Gift Market Market Square, 11am - 3pm A selection of brand new goods to find that unusual gift. With festive entertainment.

ury Town Aylesbury Town

Society, songsheets are provided and festive hot food and drink will also be on offer.For more information see www. Saturday 17th December Live Festive Music Market Square, 11.30am - 2.30pm Festive music with a silver band. Sunday 18th December Victorian Christmas Market Square, 11am – 4pm The perfect way of getting into the traditional Christmas Spirit. With Victorian themed hands-on activities for children, demonstrations, entertainment, music, craft stalls and festive food & drink. For more information see www. Monday 19th December Christmas Special Farmers’ Market Market Square, 9am – 2pm Come to the festive market this month for all those luxury items that make your Christmas dinner stand out from the rest! Buy some fabulous local produce and you automatically have the chance to win a festive hamper! Look out for other Christmas markets in the Square this week.

stmasFREE Events Christmas Events Thursday 22nd December Sunday 4th December Market Square, 11am - 3pm Christmas Speciality Craft Market With a wide selection of unique Christmas gifts, this is the ideal opportunity to buy that extra special pressie! There will also be festive entertainment. Sunday 11th December Aylesbury Santa Dash Vale Park, 12noon start For more information on this 3.5km dash around Aylesbury, go to www. or call 01296 744360. Thursday 15th December Town Centre Carolfest Market Square from 6.30pm Take part in Aylesbury’s big Carol Singing Experience under the Christmas lights! Accompanied by Aylesbury Choral

Christmas Holidays Fun Kingsbury, 11am – 3pm Have a kick around with a difference, and challenge your friends to a game of human table football! Thursday 22nd December Christmas Story Time Aylesbury Library, 10.30 – 11.30am Christmas Stories and Festive crafts. Thursday 28th December Christmas Holidays Fun Market Square, 11am – 3pm Have a kick around with a difference, and challenge your friends to a game of human table football!

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Popular event providing free family entertainment from 5.30pm with festive music and fun with the Mix 96 roadshow. This year’s entertainment includes the The Choice Band, Gemma Aguilar Market Square: Thursday, November 17,offrom 5.30pm and members Aylesbury Glee Club. The lights Popular event - free family entertainment, festive and on funatwith the Mixby96 roadshow. will bemusic switched 6.50pm Jonathan This year’s entertainment includes The Choice Gemma Aguilar andyear’s members Wilkes,Band, who is appearing in this PantoofDick Aylesbury Glee Club. The lights will be switched on at 6.50pm by Jonathan Wilkes, who is Whittington, followed by more music and fireworks. appearing at Waterside in Dick Whittington, followed by more music andand fireworks. There is also a small funfair the opportunity to There is also a small funfair and late nightdoshopping until 8pm. some late night shopping until 8pm.


Sunday, November 20, from 10.30am


Christmas Lights Switch On

Santa’s Parade

A firm family favourite! See Santa and his friends parade through the town from the High Street, around Market Square and into Friars Square. Children can visit Santa’s Grotto after the parade and right up until Christmas Eve (except Mondays). There will also be animal SUN petting and free face painting after the parade from 11am until 3pm in Market Square. Town Centre and Friars Thursday Late Night Christmas 10.30am start with NOV Square,Shopping Thursday, November 17 until Thursday, December 2211am – 3pm activities Why not come to Aylesbury and do your late night shopping until 8pm? A firm family favourite. Santa and all his friends There is free car parking in Aylesbury Valeparade Districtthrough Councilthe town centre Friars town fromcar theparks High and Street, Square shoppers’ car park from 4.30pm. around Market Square and into Friars Square. Enjoy the street entertainment and a wideChildren range ofcan independent cafés, pubs andthe restauvisit Santa’s Grotto after rants to relax in after your Christmas shopping. parade and right up until Christmas Eve (except Come and enjoy traditional Christmas shopping in this friendly market Mondays). There will also be town. animal petting and


Santa’s Parade


Changes to December shopping hours: Times are subject to vary between shopping centres and selected stores Mon, 12th Dec - Fri, 16 Dec: 9am - 8pm Sat, 17th December: 9am - 5.30pm Sun, 18th December: 10.30am - 4.30pm Mon 19th - Thu 24th December 9am - 8pm Christmas Eve: 9am - 5.30pm Christmas Day: Closed Boxing Day (26th Dec): 10am - 5pm FREE Christmas Bank Hol, Tue 27th Dec: 9am - 5.30pm Wed 28th - Sat 31st Dec: 9am - 5.30pm New Year’s Day: 10.30am - 4.30pm Mon, 2nd Jan: 10am - 5pm

free face painting after the parade.


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Aylesbury Town Events

Sun, Nov 20th to Sat, Dec 24th Santa’s Grotto Friars Square Shopping Centre 11am-4pm (closed Mondays) Visit the big man himself in his Candy Cabin grotto (Free).

Vale Life : Nov/Dec 2011


Win a pair of Merrell Origins Boots!

hues, fabrication and style are a nod to the past while continuing on a spirited pursuit to develop products with a contemporary appeal.


dam Ant and The Good, The Mad And The Lovely Posse perform at Oxford’s O2 Academy, Cowley Road on Thursday, November 17th With his band Adam and the Ants and as a solo artist, Adam had ten top 10 singles - three reaching the UK No. 1 spot - in a career spanning some 35 years. Adam has performed hundreds of UK shows since 1977 and has toured throughout the United States, mainland Europe, Australia and Japan. Throughout the 80s and 90s he took up acting on stage, TV and film (Love Bites, Slam Dance and Nomads) whilst still writing and producing music. With 8 albums behind him expect to hear all the old hits plus songs from his new album due out in Jan/Feb 2012.

Merrell Solo Origins


Merrell Eagle Origins

hues, fabrication and style are a nod to the past while continuing on a spirited pursuit to d products with a contemporary appeal.

The brand heritage can be errell was founded by Merrell Eagle Origins traced back to 1981 when a Clark Matis, Randy custom cowboy boot maker by the Merrell and John Schweitzer in 1981 name of Randy Merrell decided The Origins range is every bit the product of Merrell’s brand heritage which can be traced back to to expand with a shift into hiking and has provided outdoor enthu1981 where a custom cowboy boot maker by the name of Randy Merrell decided to expand with a Thecrafted highonequality, siasts with performance shift into hikingquality boots. The high quality, custom-madeboots. boots were pair at a customtime, each made bootsBoot were crafted onehas footwear ever since. carrying a six-month waiting The’s Following the launch of the Merrell Company, the brand continued to deliver new, innovative footwear designspair and technologies a widercarrying audience ever at a time,toeach a philosophy is based on encouraging since. and equipping everyone to six-month waiting period. Following the launch of the Get Outside and seek adventure, exhilaration and new experiences. Merrell Boot Company, the brand For further information and product samples please contact: has continued to deliver new, Merrell is celebrating 30 years Leigh Ireland design excellence, performinnovative footwear designs and technologies to a wider audience. ance and1703 innovation by launching 0207 940 If you’d like to be in with a the Origins collection and has chance of winning a pair of Origins consulted with Japanese design counterparts to reinvent the iconic boots, simply email your name, address, telephone number and Eagle Origins lightweight hiking shoe size, along with the answer to boot and Solo Origins shoe. - ENDS The mix of colour hues, fabrica- the following question to: editor@ tion and style are a nod to the past while continuing on a spirited Q: Who founded Merrells? Winner to be drawn at random pursuit to develop products with a and notified by Nov 30th. contemporary appeal. Merrell Solo Origins

Merrell Eagle Origins

Merrell Solo Origins

The Origins range is every bit the product of Merrell’s brand heritage which can be traced

1981 where a custom cowboy boot maker by the name of Randy Merrell decided to expand

shift into hiking boots. The high quality, custom-made boots were crafted one pair at a tim

carrying a six-month waiting period. Following the launch of the Merrell Boot Company, the bra

continued to deliver new, innovative footwear designs and technologies to a wider audien since.

For further information and product samples please contact: Leigh Ireland 0207 940 1703

- ENDS -

The Vale Life Christmas Party

Live music from Planet Funk 70s soul, funk and disco tribute

Friday, December 2nd

Stables Bar, The James Figg, Cornmarket, Thame, 8pm-1am, £10, Tickets from The James Figg or Vale Life Magazine 01844 261579 / 07702 006218


Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

The sad absence of a hobble on the Aylesbury cobbles this year will be partly made up for with a mini festival at Waterside Theatre in February. An impressive line up of local talent and international stars is to combine in an eclectic musical mix that really will have something for everyone...


he rumours are true! Organisers of Buckinghamshire’s largest free all-day music festival, Hobble on the Cobbles have set a date, at Aylesbury’s Waterside Theatre, for a very special live-music event on Sunday, February 26th, 2012. ‘HOBBLE at the Waterside’ will, like its counterpart, feature and promote a number of talented local bands of various genres, something we have not seen much of at the Waterside Theatre to date. This event will run from 12.30pm till 11pm, and feature acoustic singer-songwriters, rock guitar bands, local pop and rock original and cover bands, and will be headlined by the very popular 70s soul, dance and disco band Platform Soul – plus, there are a few very special guests performing as well. Event organiser and Managing Director of local events company, Aylesbury Showcase, Stuart Robb explains: “We were approached by Waterside Theatre to organise and host a ‘Hobble on the Cobbles style’ event, to specifically promote and feature local bands. “We thought this was too good an opportunity to miss, especially as we were unable to hold a Market Square Hobble this year, due to funding difficulties. “We are also extremely proud and pleased to announce the involvement of the British Guitar Academy at this event. Academy spearhead Steve.Rothery, guitarist with multi-million selling rock band Marillion, is hoping to inspire and educate guitarists and music fans, not just about the guitar and live performance, but also about the

Platform Soul

Music Industry as a whole, through the work of the Academy and will be featuring in an all-star band on the night.” Other performers at this very special event include: Tin Spirits (featuring Dave Gregory, former XTC guitarist), Katie Buckhaven, Lost Minute, Gravity Blue and a whole host of other great local bands, plus a few surprise guests as well. “Unlike HOTC, this event is ticketed,” says Stuart. “but we’ve kept the cost as low as possible so as to be accessible and enjoyed by everyone.” Entry is free from 12.30pm to 4pm and £14 from 4pm-11pm. Friars promoter David Stopps, who put Aylesbury on the map musicwise with concert promotions at the Civic Centre during the 70s and 80s said: “It’s great that Aylesbury Showcase are putting live bands on at the Waterside. I very much hope this gig will get the support it deserves”. Tickets are available at the Waterside Theatre Box Office. Don’t delay though, numbers are limited. For more information visit the official websites: l HOBBLE at the Waterside, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre Ticketline: 0844 8717607

Tin Spirits



HOBBLE at the Waterside featuring...

Also featuring: Lost Minute The Measures Gravity Blue Lu Cozma

Steve Askew (Kajagoogoo)


Zealey & Moore Almost Midnight

... and

The British Guitar Academy ‘All-Star Band’

featuring Steve Rothery (Marillion) & very special guests

... and

Tin Spirits

Katie Buckhaven

Evaney James Manders Bustin’ Loose Mike Carroll *plus more artists to be announced

SUN 26 FEB 2012 –––––––––––––––––––––



from 12.30pm – 4pm –––––––––––––––––––––


4pm – 11pm –––––––––––––––––––––

0844 871 7607 (bkg fee) (bkg fee)

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011


The T-factor The Speen Group’s Annual

in support of local hospices at the

King William IV Hampden Road, Speen HP27 0RU

Friday 11th November 11am - 4pm & Saturday 12th November 11am - 3pm

Charity Christmas Cards • Wonderful Gifts • Jewellery • Cakes • Raffle Bucks Fizz breakfast & food available all day THE

Speen G R O U P


We support Florence Nightingale House • Helen & Douglas House • Iain Rennie Hospice at Home • Sue Ryder Care Nettlebed • The South Bucks Day Hospice


ple as part of the Charxcitement is mounting as ity raffle on the day. Local companies the eagerly awaited already lending their support to the event Thame’s Got Talent include Crash Records, (TGT) 2011 event draws ever closer. Orsum Events, Frank Millar Photography, Numerous acts have signed up to contest Kismet Jewellers of Thame and Black Frog this spectacular showStudios. case for local talent, in aid of the Florence Last year’s event Nightingale Hospice helped to raise over £2,000 for the Florence Charity (FNHC). Nightingale Hospice Street Dancers, Charity, which provides singers, rock and roll groups and magic acts comprehensive care are set to go head-toOne of last year’s and support through head on Sunday 20th contestants Vikki in-patient and at-home November, in a battle Dawson in action services to local families affected by life-limiting to win some fantastic illness. prizes, including a day in a recordTo find out more visit: ing studio and a cash prize of £200. or: The event, now in its third year, If you are a local business and is being held once again at the would like to get involved in this Spread Eagle Hotel in Thame, year’s TGT please contact Karen which has also kindly donated a on 01296 429975. raffle prize of dinner for six peo-

Christmas extravaganza Get into the festive spirit at the home of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. Enjoy a wide selection of Christmas stalls and entertainment, and meet some life-changing hearing dogs.

Stagecoach Aylesbury 01296 747758

Saturday 19 November 2011 10am – 4pm Hearing Dogs for Deaf People The Grange, Wycombe Road, Saunderton, Buckinghamshire HP27 9NS Entrance £3 including a glass of mulled wine or soft drink and a mince pie For further information, please contact Bev Pettiford: T 07769 901305 E W Meet Mrs Mr and as Christm gical ma in their tto! gro

Registered charity in England and Wales no: 293358 and in Scotland no: SC040486 • Royal Patron HRH The Princess Royal


Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011

5.4 million households are living in fuel poverty and elderly, vulnerable people are dying as a result. This year the government’s £200 winter fuel payment will be eaten up by energy price increases, so those who can are donating some or all of their own fuel payment to help those in need...


he Buckinghamshire Big Heat Appeal is part of the national Surviving Winter campaign which encourages people to make donations to help elderly and vulnerable people affected by fuel poverty this winter. The campaign was inspired by people who wished to donate their Winter Fuel Payment from the government to elderly and vulnerable people less fortunate than themselves. Community foundations all over the UK are co-ordinators of the campaign and all donations made in Buckinghamshire will help Buckinghamshire Community Foundation to support those groups in the county providing warmth, companionship and support to vulnerable elderly people during the winter months. The grants and outreach team is already working hard to identify those community groups which will have the biggest impact in addressing needs. With rising fuel bills and the prospect of another cold winter, the elderly and vulnerable are at risk. 5.4 million households are living in fuel poverty. Almost half of those living in fuel poverty are aged over 60. Energy price rises since 2009 will have pushed that number up further. It is estimated that a 10% increase in energy prices plunges a further 600-700,000 households into fuel poverty, and the recent announcements from the energy suppliers show that this autumn, gas prices will increase by about 20% and electricity by about 10%. Ofgem estimated in January 2011 that the annual cost of energy for an average house was £1,032, so these forthcoming increases will absorb most, if not all, the £200 that pensioner households receive as their Winter Fuel Payment. Around 20,000 more people aged 65 or over die each year in winter months than in other months. Last winter there were an estimated 25,400 excess winter deaths. Cold weather exacerbates coronary and respiratory illnesses - illnesses associated with older people. For every winter-related death there will be dozens of people suffering illness and hard-

ship - the choice between eating and heating, isolation and depression are all factors. All of the money raised will be used to provide support to elderly people who are suffering because of fuel poverty. Buckinghamshire residents Terry Wogan and The money will be directed to those most David Jason are backing the Big Heat Appeal in need of help to make sure they can afford to stay warm, eat well and remain mobile, as “It would be great to think that all those well as to help them in practical ways, such people who are in a position to forego part, or as ensuring they can make doctor’s appointall of their own winter fuel payment, will join ments, get to the shops, and maintain an this great scheme and spread a little warmth.” active social life. The Winter Fuel Payment is paid automatiThe Big Heat Campaign in Buckinghamcally to all eligible older people. For many shire has some high profile local supporters: people, this is a vital payment, but if you feel Sir Terry Wogan is backing the campaign that you’d like to give some or all of your and said: “I’ll certainly pass my payment on, payment to help other local, older people, and encourage everybody who can, to conplease contact Buckinghamshire Community tribute towards it.” Foundation. Sir David Jason agreed: “When the idea of those more fortunate ‘handing on’ their winter l Anyone wishing to support The Big Heat Fund should download a form from fuel payments to local, vulnerable people was or phone Richard Dickson, presented, I wanted to pledge my payment to Director of the Community Foundation on The Big Heat Fund. 01296 330134, or email Buckinghamshire Community Foundation donated £500 towards the cost of exercise classes to help older people stay active at the Holmer Green Lantern Club for stroke and dementia sufferers. Members are pictured enjoying the warmth, company and exercise

Vale Life : Nov / Dec 2011


eden @berryfields a new beginning


stunning two bed show apartment and three bed home to view.

££44 33,, 75 0*

PPu sstta urrcchha arrt a s t ffr see p room prri m o icce onnl ess lyy

Thursday to Monday 10am to 4pm


Bicester Road, Aylesbury, HP18 A stunning collection of stylish and spacious 1 and 2 bedroom apartments and 2, 3 & 4 bedroom houses. Offered on a part-buy/part-rent basis, starting at 35%.

To register your interest or for more information call 0845 601 7729 email or visit *Represents a 35% share in a one bed property valued at £125,000. Property prices are correct at time of print and subject to change. Priority will be given to those who live or work in the Aylesbury Vale District Council area. A discounted monthly rent is payable on the portion of the property that is not purchased. A monthly service charge is also applicable. Terms and conditions apply. Images are of a typical Catalyst show home and are for illustration purposes only. Catalyst Housing is a charitable housing association.

New barbershop - Walter’s Ash Open Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri: 9.30am to 5pm Saturdays: 7.30am to 4pm Shear Madness, 245 Main Road, Walter’s Ash, Bucks, HP14 4HT. Tel: 07742 361711 Email:

43b Buckingham Street, Aylesbury, HP20 2NQ Tel: 01296 423233 / 0800 298 8514 Email: w Weddings w Corporate w Special Occasions w w Birthdays Parties w Sympathy w Gifts w w Soft Toys w Wines and Champagne w Innovative, contemporary and traditional designs

Cwikclean Cleaners No job too big, or too small...

End of let / tenancy cleans Office cleans and building work cleans l Exceptional standards l Fully insured l Free quotations l l

Cwikclean Cleaners, Wingrave Tel: Karen on 07515 998391 or phone/fax 01296 681577 Email:

Quality Plastering and Ceilings

Do You trust ANY Government with YOUR Children’s Inheritance?

Perfect results every time John Wiggins & Son Plastering Services

Ceilings, coving, repairs, insurance work

Same day, or next day quotation Call: 01296 612074 Mobile: 07905 833190 Email:

Care Fees, Inheritance Tax and Other Loss Can Savage Your Children’s Inheritance Make Your Will (or update your old Will) in the comfort of your own home A standard Will can say who gets what. The “Right” Will and planning can help ensure that the MAXIMUM possible goes to those you love... and not those you don’t!! It all starts with a standard Will FROM £49.95 + vat To arrange a Home Visit or for more information call 0845 0568796 today or visit


72 Worlds End Lane, Weston Turville, Aylesbury

Allguard Legal Services – High Wycombe We have our own Expert TRUST LAWYER and SOLICITOR Vale Life : Aug / Sept 2011


Whatever the weather may bring, let us bring you warmth this winter • Trusted supplier of domestic, agricultural and commercial fuel • Reliable and friendly service • Flexible payment options • Automatic Top Up service • Online Ordering and Payment service

Order your Home Heating Oil before the cold sets in by calling our sales team on:

01296 568242

Vale Life Magazine Nov-Dec 2011  

Lifestyle magazine for Aylesbury Vale area

Vale Life Magazine Nov-Dec 2011  

Lifestyle magazine for Aylesbury Vale area