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Dorking & Villages • April 2014

VANTAGEPOINT VANTAGE POINT YOUR COMMUNITY  YOUR VIEW

MAGAZINE

Also inside: JOTTINGS COMPETITIONS DORKING HALLS POLESDEN LACEY

IT IO ED T RS FI

Follow in the steps of our great cyclists and take to the road in the Surrey Hills

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GET CYCLING!


TO THE POINT Welcome to VantagePoint, a brand new magazine for the Dorking and villages area. The magazine is delivered the first week of every month by Royal Mail to 19,112 local homes and supports local businesses, charities and community organisations in addition to being, we hope, a good read and a useful resource for events and more. Tracy Carroll from Local Food Surrey has written an interesting article this month about how important it is to support our local food shops, which appears on page 28. She quotes a very interesting statistic that for every £10 spent at a local food business, £25 is generated for the local community, compared with just £14 if that tenner is spent in a multinational.

This information came from a report carried out by the New Economics Foundation which has studied local economies and has come up with 10 steps to save local communities. Their first suggestion is to rebuild local economies by plugging the leaks that are draining local money away to other parts of the country. How money circulates in an area is just as important as the amount of money flowing into it, which means that we should all be encouraged to spend our money with local shops, farmers’ markets and tradesmen. This goes for businesses as well. We should all be dealing with local suppliers wherever possible. Buy stationery from your local supplier. Use a local accoun-

tant. Work with local companies, who may already be doing their bit by advertising in the locally produced newspaper or magazine such as this one. To quote the report, “the income gets passed on from local business to local business, over and over again. This is the same money, but every time it changes hands, it creates local wealth”. Keeping our local economy as vibrant as possible is vitally important. Local businesses, shops and markets (and, of course, charities and organsiations) must be supported if we want to retain our distinctive local communities, which is often the reason we choose to live where we do. So let’s all keep it local! Stefan Reynolds, Editor

VantagePoint is the local magazine produced by local people for the local community, and is published by Vantage Publishing, a Godalming based magazine business established in 2009. We now publish five community magazines which are delivered monthly by Royal Mail to 107,277 homes across the South East, which gives us the largest local circulation in the local area, all with guaranteed delivery by your postman. Please visit our website or contact any of us below if you need any more information.

Vantage Publishing Limited 6 Chestnut Suite, Guardian House, Borough Road, Godalming, Surrey GU7 2AE.

For more articles and Jottings, visit it us online at

vantagepointmag.co.uk

T: 01483 421601 W: vantagepublishing.co.uk

THE VANTAGEPOINT TEAM Stefan Reynolds Editor & Publisher 01483 421601 stefan@vantagepublishing.co.uk

Carol Martin Sales Executive 01483 418141 carol@vantagepublishing.co.uk

Marcus Atkins Sales Director 01483 420173 marcus@vantagepublishing.co.uk

Angie & Nick Crisell Jotters 01483 421601 jottings@vantagepublishing.co.uk

Contributors: Elizabeth Carlos, Tracy Carroll, Andrew Crisell, David Gillott, Penny Kichen, Patrick Le Mesurier, Mark Pittick, Matthew Pottage, John Walter Print: Polestar Stones Cover: Alan Tomlinson

The contents of this magazine are protected by copyright and nothing can be reprinted without prior permission of the publisher. The publisher has tried to ensure that all information is accurate but does not take any responsibility for any mistakes or omissions. We take no responsibility for advertisments printed in the magazine or loose inserts that might be delivered alongside it. © Vantage Publishing Limited.

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A revealing past Inside the private apartment of Polesden Lacey’s illustrious owner

P

olesden Lacey is a magnificent house and gardens in Great Bookham, Surrey, which is looked after by the National Trust. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mrs Greville, the woman who owned Polesden Lacey and left it to the National Trust in her will. In April a new display opens at her former home revealing the interior design secrets of her private apartment, along with some surprising stories. In her early 20th century heyday, the formidable society hostess, Mrs Ronnie Greville, boasted that in one morning three kings had been sitting on her bed. Mrs Greville undoubtedly attracted controversy. She was described by some as: “one of the greatest of all hostesses” but also as “a galumphing, greedy, snobbish old toad.” In 1906 society couple Maggie and Ronnie Greville bought Polesden Lacey. The newly remodelled house was just what they were looking for, a relaxed country villa fitted out with every modern luxury. The house had been substantially re-built between 1903 and 1905 by the architect Ambrose Poynter for Sir Clinton Dawkins. Poynter’s new building contained all the specialised rooms needed for entertaining and family life. This house was a machine of Edwardian hospitality; luxurious guest suites were served by a skilled army of staff. 8

Left: Mrs Greville. Above: Polesden Lacey from the front. Right: Conservation work in the bathroom of Mrs Greville’s apartment, with the bathroom shown above.

On the surface Maggie and Ronnie left the house much as it was, only extending and improving several of the bedroom suites and creating bow fronts on the eastern wings. Under the surface however there was a thorough re-working of the interiors. Both the purchase and the improvements were funded by Maggie’s father, William McEwan. With his financial help Maggie and Ronnie employed the architects Mewès and Davis architects of the Ritz Hotel. They worked with society decorators White Allom & Co who specialised in the use of architectural salvage. This partnership would turn Polesden Lacey into the glittering power house of one of the greatest hostesses of Edwardian high society, fit to entertain kings and maharajas. vantagepointmag.co.uk


A reporter from The Onlooker in 1910 gushingly described Maggie Greville, who was now widowed and known to her friends as ‘Mrs Ronnie’, as ‘one of the leading and most successful London hostesses’. Polesden Lacey, they said, reflected ‘her own striking personality’. By 1910 Mrs Greville had transformed the interior of the house and extensively remodelled the gardens. Her apartment was one of the few which also had a physical extension. Throughout the first floor rooms, Mewès and Davis had used their considerable skill and experience to bring Ritz style to the country. In her own apartment Maggie Greville chose a fusion of styles from Mewès and Davis’s repertoire. The bedroom took inspiration from the 18th century designs of Robert Adam, but was furnished in the chinoiserie style. The boudoir was Jacobean in style, and the bathroom was decadent, marble-clad Edwardian elegance. Mrs Greville was pleased and used the firm again when redecorating her London town house. She wrote to Davis in 1915: ‘I do not think it would be possible to find an architect more courteous, more obliging and clever than you.’ She also apologised for being late with her bills, so may have felt a bit of flattery was in order. When Mrs Greville died in 1942 one of the greatest bequests was all her major jewels to Queen Elizabeth, who we know today as the Queen Mother. This included an incredible Boucheron tiara and Marie Antoinette necklace. Today they are in the royal collection and on state occasions can be seen worn by Camilla Parker Bowles or the Queen. At the time of the announcement, James Lees-Milne, secretary of the National Trust is noted to have said: ‘Everyone in London is agog to learn the terms of Mrs G’s will’. James Lees-Milne was one of the first to hear that Mrs Greville had left Polesden Lacey and her valuable collection to the nation. Around the same time the news was broken to the royal family. In 1914 Mrs Greville had promised to leave Polesden Lacey to Prince Albert, now King George VI, and the royal family were still expecting the legacy. Queen Elizabeth, said in 1942: ‘I’m not sure that this isn’t a very good idea because it is a very difficult place to keep up.’ In the midst of war the relatively young National Trust needed to make decisions about how to use this generous bequest. This Spring, visitors are invited to see Mrs Greville’s private apartment for themselves. It is a fascinating Edwardian interior and includes a rare surviving marble bathroom. Thanks to a two year research project, the unfurnished April 2014

apartment can be seen, along with personal items that have been tracked down. There will be digital graphics and an interactive display showing how the apartment used to look, based on inventories and photographs in the archive. “The funds for this project were raised by our visitors, and we hope our work casts new light on the private world of Mrs Greville,” says Vicky Bevan, House and Collections Manager. FIND OUT MORE

These and many more surprising facts about Mrs Greville are revealed in a new book by Sian Evans called: Mrs Ronnie: The society hostess who collected kings, published by Anova and available from the gift shop at Polesden Lacey. Mrs Greville’s apartment at Polesden Lacey is open from 1 April 2014, seven days a week. Open 12.30pm to 5pm Monday to Friday and 11am to 5pm weekends. Normal house admission fees apply.

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Historic Venue Thriving in 21st Century Dorking Halls has achieved that rare combination of being a charming historical building while providing a distinctly 21st century service. Built in 1931, the venue retains much of the Art Deco charm of that era, but is equipped with the very latest facilities and equipment so that it can cater to the needs of contemporary customers.

of Richard II on 17 April and a concert by the Berlin Philharmonic, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, on 20 April. Future treats already selling well include ‘The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time’ and Alan Ayckbourn’s ‘A Small Family Business’.

Everyone agrees that there is a real buzz around Dorking Halls at the moment, and it is certainly busier than at any time in its history. This is due in no small part to the quite extraordinary range of activities that take place in the venue. As well as an impressive programme of live entertainment, Dorking Halls is also a multi-screen cinema and hosts hundreds of business meetings, fairs, dances and other events each year.

Dorking Halls continues to develop its reputation for presenting many of the top names in comedy. Popular comedian, Lee Mack, is playing three dates in April, though these have been sold out for months. This is closely followed by Ed Bryne on 26 April, for which there are still some tickets available. Jimmy Carr’s May date is long since sold out, but a second date has now been added for 1 August. Also in August is a visit by the king of traditional comedy himself, Ken Dodd.

Recent investments at the venue mean that it now has three digital cinema screens and shows a range of new films all year round. The developments include 3D technology and the latest satellite broadcast equipment. These improvements mean that since the end of last year Dorking Halls has been able to screen live broadcasts of performances by some of the world’s leading arts organisations. General Manager, Keith Garrow, commented: “Our Event Screenings have been incredibly popular, which is perhaps not surprising when you consider the amazing productions we have been able to present. We have been very fortunate in forming partnerships with the National Theatre, The Globe Theatre, The Royal Opera House, Royal Shakespeare Company, Glyndebourne Opera and The Bolshoi Ballet, among others.” “The Royal Opera House keep a ranking of which cinemas have the highest attendances for their screenings and we are so far always in the top 8. This is fantastic when you consider there are over 350 other cinemas screening their productions throughout the UK.” Event screenings coming up in April at Dorking Halls include another chance to see David Tennant in the RSC production

April 2014

Dorking Halls is also becoming quite a hub for local businesses. As well as hosting hundreds of conferences and meetings each year, the venue now runs its own Business Breakfast Club. The group has over 20 members and has become an important fixture on the local business networking scene. The group provides an opportunity for local business leaders to meet informally and discuss issues relevant to them. Members find that it provides a great opportunity to form collaborations and build potential leads. The group meets every other Wednesday morning. Anyone interested in joining should contact Danielle Chapman on (07757) 323557. FIND OUT MORE

For further information about events and films at Dorking Halls, contact the box office on (01306) 881717 or visit www.dorkinghalls.co.uk.

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Get CYCLING

Mark Pittick offers some advice for serious cycling in and around the Surrey Hills Cycling has become the new national obsession, fuelled by the success of the GB track cycling teams’ Olympic gold medal hauls and by success from the recent Tour de France wins by Sir Bradley Wiggins (2012) and Chris Froome (2013). Surrey is the most wooded county in the UK and has hosted some of the worlds’ major road cycling events, including the Olympic road race and key stages of the Tour of Britain. There has never been a better time to be inspired by cycling, to get fit and enjoy the best countryside Surrey has to offer. The Surrey Hills is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, encompassing a hilly area of the North Downs and taking in Cranleigh, Dorking, Farnham, 14

Godalming and Haslemere. This area is a cycling paradise, for both mountain and road cycling. Cycling is a great way to get around and enjoy the wonderful landscape, and a chance to test yourself up some of the world famous climbs, including the iconic Box Hill and Leith Hill (highest point in the South East). You can ride for miles in this small area, never climbing the same hill twice and enjoying fantastic vistas covering the South of England from the top of Leith and Holmbury hills. Using local train services, you can also get here farly easily. Having lived and cycled in the Surrey Hills for many years, I have a good understanding for how you can get the most out of cycling in the area. Whether you just have an old bike you’d like to dust off or are already an accomplished cyclist looking to challenge yourself on the steepest climbs the area, I have compiled for you some useful tips for an enjoyable ride along with a couple of routes, including a short introductory ride and a tough test on the “The Tour of the Surrey Hills”. vantagepointmag.co.uk


The following lists my top five tips to getting the best out of your cycling, whether cycling in the Surrey Hills or elsewhere: 1. Safety Always follow the Highway Code and ride ensuring you are considering other road users. Ride single file and not in long drawn out trains or groups of riders, as this can aggravate local motorists in the Hills as there isn’t much room on the narrow roads to pass cyclists. I always ride with flashing lights on front and back of the bike as this gives early warning to motorists in the dark lanes of the Hills. If you see horse riders then slow right down, give them a verbal “hello” so they know you are there and if safe to do so, pass. If the horse looks skittish, then stop and wait until the horse rider gives you the ok to pass. 2. Bike fit Ensure your bike fits you properly, even if it is an old banger! Ideally get a professional ‘bike fit’ at one of the many local bike shops, who will measure you and adjust your bike to fit you properly. This will ensure you have the most comfortable and efficient ride possible. 3. Clothing. Wear the best Lycra cycling shorts with a padded insert that you can afford and ensure you don’t wear any underwear (yes you need to go commando!). This will ensure you don’t get nasty saddle sores, caused by friction between you and the saddle. Please always wear a helmet too; I’ve never met anyone who came off a bike and said “I wish I hadn’t had a helmet on”. 4. Fitness The key to building fitness is to start gradually and build up the mileage and introduce hills as you get fitter. If you are new to cycling, then a 16km run on flat terrain is a good start for an hour ride, ideally completing this at least three times a week. If you purchase a bike and then head straight for Bar Hatch Lane as your first hill, your lungs will feel like they are going to exit your chest when it ramps up to 20%, and it will probably put you off cycling forever. Box Hill is a much better starter hill as it is not very steep, at an average gradient of about 5%. April 2014

5. Nutrition Take water bottles and some energy food to eat along the way for any ride over an hour. If you attempt to ride for four hours on fresh air alone, you will probably get “The Bonk” after about two hours (this is where you simply run out of gas due to depleting all your energy stores). So drink plenty of water (or better still an energy drink) and eat regularly during the ride (flap jacks etc. will do nicely). Please do take your litter home with you, discarded wrappers and bottles don’t add to the natural beauty of the area. The great thing about cycling is that you can travel quite large distances and see a lot of the local area, whilst burning a lot of energy and building fitness. Cycling is also very kind on the body, not overly stressing the knees, back or other parts of the body. A steady paced ride will burn between 600 and 800 kcalories per hour; adding up to about 4,000 kcalories on a

ride of four to five hours. For those of us who are looking to manage our weight, then cycling is an ideal way to burn off those unwanted pounds (3,500 kcalories equates to about one pound of fat). > 16 15


When cycling in the Surrey Hills, you will no doubt soon be keen to improve your times up the climbs. One of the biggest influences on your climbing time is how much you weigh, as unfortunately this has a big impact on how hard it is to cycle up a particular hill. This is why cyclists can seem to be a bit obsessed with how much they and their bikes weigh. As an example of how your weight affects climbing times I have produced the table below, which shows how your climbing time would vary up Box Hill: Assumptions: sustained power you can generate on bike equals 200W, hill 2.5miles long, bike & accessories weigh 15lbs and gradient averages 5%: Personal weight Average Speed 126lbs/ 9 stone 15.9mph 140lbs/ 10 stone 12.9mph 154lbs/ 11 stone 11.8mph 168lbs/ 12 stone 10.9mph 182lbs/ 13 stone 10.2mph

Time to climb Box Hill 9.4 minutes 11.6 minutes 12.7 minutes 13.8 minutes 14.7 minutes

You can see from the above, that a difference in weight of four stones means a climb time difference of over five minutes; or put another way, it takes 54% more time for a 13 stone person to climb Box Hill versus a nine stone person. If you want to lose weight, keep fit or just see our fabulous local countryside, there has never been a better time to start cycling, so go on, get that bike out and enjoy the Surrey Hills! If you want to get more out of your cycling and this article has whetted your appetite, then you can learn everything you need to know about road cycling from Surrey Hills’ resident, Mark Pittick’s ,book ‘Zero to Hero: The Fast Track Guide to High Performance Cycling’. This book expands on the subjects shared in this article, starting from ‘bike fit’, clothing for all weathers, through to bike choice, fitness and fitness plans, weight management, nutrition, competing in Cycle Sportives and much more besides. Inspired by writing this article, I embarked on writing a second book on cycling! This book covers 11 cycle routes in Surrey, Hampshire and Sussex, and is entitled ‘World Class Cycle Routes in Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire’. I have cycled over 100,000km in the area and these rides are the refined best routes that the area has to offer. The book has routes divided into three categories, short (up to about 50km), medium (up to about 100km) and epic (up to 200km). Each route has a summary description of the route and key places on route and some pictures of the local area. At the end of each route there is a link to mapmyride.com, where a file is available to download to a cycle navigation computer i.e. Garmin 800. Using the route file you will be able to retrace the whole route easily without referring to a map or written instructions. Available for download via www.amazon.co.uk/kindle (or just type in “Mark Pittick” into amazon.co.uk and it will pop up). 16

A selection of

CYCLE ROUTES Introductory ride in the Surrey Hills

(32km with four climbs including Leith and Holmbury Hills). The first route detailed here is a taster of what the Surrey Hills has to offer the road cyclist. Go directly to the Garmin website using this link for the route details: http://connect.garmin.com/ course/5640216 At the end of the ride, stop in the Hurtwood Inn for well-earned pint or a cup of tea and slice of cake from Peaslake village stores.

The Tour of the Surrey Hills

If you are reasonably fit and can ride up 16 challenging climbs, gaining a total of 2,400m in vertical ascent for 115km, then this ride is for you. Every year the Audax cycling organisation runs a non-competitive ride out of Shere in August, showcasing the best cycling the area has to offer (Box Hill, White Down, Bar Hatch Lane, Leith Hill, Holmbury Hill, Coombe Lane…..). You can join this ride for about £5 by applying to the Audax organisation in the UK, or alternatively just turn up whenever you like and have a go yourself. The fit types here will complete this ride in about four hours, whilst it can take others over six hours so beware. Go to the Audax website and find the turn-by-turn directions starting from Shere community centre: www.aukweb.net/event/detail/12-356

Two local rides

We also have a couple of rides for you to try. One is on page 40 and covers Peaslake, Coldharbour and Westcott. The other covers Chiddingfold, Haslemere and Blackdown and appears in our Haslemere and Farnham editions and can be seen online at vantagepointmag.co.uk.

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The Art of

GLASS

Gwyn Phillips, the co-founder of AppArt, meets an artist who has just relocated locally to Surrey West Horsley, nestling in the shadow of the North Downs is the location chosen by Adam Aaronson, one of the UK’s leading studio glass makers, for his new studio. Adam was faced with a difficult decision when he was given notice to quit his London premises due to a re-development plan in Earl’s Court some 12 months ago. Having lived and worked in London for more than 25 years this was going to be a big wrench and he had some doubts as to whether he would find any suitable alternative property. London was prohibitively expensive so a move to the countryside seemed likely. However the setting has to be right and his requirements for mains gas and three-phrase electricity meant that ‘soulless lots’ on industrial estates looked to be the only option. This was something that Adam would not contemplate as the environment is a key inspirational factor in the creation of his work. A chance meeting eventually led to the discovery of a disused agricultural building just off the A246 on the fringe of West Horsley that fitted his requirements. So Surrey has a new addition to its pool of highly talented artists and already people are discovering the beauty and fascination of studio glass. Adam’s interest in glass started many years before when, having graduated from University (reading International Relations), he worked with his mother at their London gallery which specialised in antiques, glass and ceramics. An invitation by artist Peter Layton to join his weekend glass courses provided the catalyst and confirmed the career direction Adam would take in the future. Studio Glass Art was only just beginning to be established in the 1970’s and glass artists were under represented. In 1982 Adam opened a specialist gallery of contemporary British glass, initially at their Highgate gallery, but soon after in Piccadilly, where it gained an international reputation. A glassmaking studio followed in 1986 and this was established to enable glass 20

artists, without their own premises, to pursue their work. By then, Adam had decided he wanted to produce his own work so this selftaught glass maker was on his way. Adam specialises in free-blown glass. He is a colourist and subliminally influenced by the natural world and especially the play of light on water and the landscape. The impressionist painters Turner, Whistler, Monet and others have been a significant inspiration for his work and this can clearly be seen in his “Reflected Light” series. When asked which type of work he most enjoys he replied: “The piece I have just made”, as he gets great joy and satisfaction every time he creates and works with glass. Working with glass requires painstaking preparation and hundreds of subtle actions during the creative process. The first stage is the selection of a palette of colours and then molten clear glass is drawn from a furnace and gradually worked, with colour being added at different stages of the process. Repeatedly the glass is reheated before more work and then it is placed in an annealing kiln to cool down slowly, sometimes over several days. Each piece created is unique and the process is highly intuitive with minute changes leading to variations in the colour effect and shape produced. For larger pieces, Adam has a team to assist him and he likens his role to the lead violinist in a string quartet in the evolving composition of the glass. vantagepointmag.co.uk


A visit to his studio reveals the great variety of the work produced. There are one-off artworks, such as “Strata” and “Watercolour”, commissions for individuals and trade orders where a range of work is produced and repeated for sale to galleries and museum shops. Adam has to maintain a balance between the different types of work in order to ensure the sustainability of the enterprise. In addition to producing glass, Adam is keen to pass on his experience and joy in working with glass. He is a natural teacher and mentor, as evidenced by his courses for beginners and specially arranged workshops and demonstrations. In the half-day course,

April 2014

complete novices are guided through the process of creating glass objects and for those that want to go further there are tailor-made courses available in free-blown glass making. The studio is usually open from Thursday to Sunday 10am to 5.30pm when individuals and groups can visit and more details on workshops and course can be found on the studio’s website. FIND OUT MORE

Adam Aaronson Glass Studio, Foxbury Barn, Epsom Road, West Horsley, Surrey, KT24 6AR. Tel 01483 375035, visit adamaaronson. com, or email adam@adamaaronson.com. AppArt is holding an Easter Art Exhibition and Sculpture Trail at Prior’s Field School, Godalming from the 5th to 18th April. Visit appartonline.co.uk for more information.

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Refurbished, Revitalised, Relaunched….. …..That’s Dorking Sports Centre, with refurbished gym full of brand new equipment, revitalised with new cycling studio and more staff, relaunched by leading leisure provider, Places for People Leisure Ltd The enlarged gym has been fully refurbished and equipped with ‘state-of-the-art’ equipment including Technogym® Kinesis, TRX® and ViPR™. The fully-qualified fitness team has been expanded to provide greater guidance, support and motivation and to deliver personal training programmes specific to individual customer’s training needs. The new, dedicated cycling studio, at the front of the building, offers 19 brand new bikes with 15 cycling classes every week. The revised timetable, for all group training classes, is available on the website www.dorkingsportscentre.co.uk or on the App GYMJAM. The cycling studio and the gym will also both see the introduction of MYZONE® - an accurate training monitoring device that wirelessly streams realtime data and uploads exercise data stored to a member’s physical activity belt. It measures calories, heart rate and effort and is designed to reward effort rather than fitness. Most importantly, MYZONE® is specifically designed to maximize the potential of each user; see www.myzone.org for detailed information. High-tech SWIMTAG™ is a valuable addition to a swimmer’s experience motivating and encouraging them to reach their goals. Swimtag provides key analytical data that you can access after your swim allowing you to track your training, analyse peaks and troughs during the sessions, and then through training phases. Data such as distance-per-stroke and stroke rate is particularly valuable showing where improvements can be made in the stroke by analysing the data. This gives newer, competitive club swimmers the confidence to experiment with stroke rate and distance-per-stroke in their own time to find out what best suits them.

April 2014

A Poolcam system has been installed to help reduce risk and increase the safety of swimmers in publicly accessed pools. The primary function of Poolcam is to provide live, visual help to the lifeguard for the early detection of a swimmer in potential difficulty. Relax in the new coffee shop ‘Cafeology’ which provides a place to relax and socialise - as well as train. Here you will find all your favourite styles of coffee and a varied menu of sandwiches, wraps and much more. You can now enjoy all this in dedicated, seated areas with free access to wireless broadband. Opening times are Monday – Friday 9am-7pm and 9am – 6.30pm at weekends. Password is: Dorking WAP. Enjoy!

FIND OUT MORE

For further information, call 01306 870180 or email enquiries@dorkingsportscentre.co.uk.

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Do’s and Don’ts of

Lawn Care Mowing Mow once a week through spring and summer, try to keep the grass at as close to one and half inches in height and avoid cutting more than a third off at any one time. If the grass is cut too short, it can put stress on the grass sward, while grass left to grow too long can allow for unwanted weeds and meadow grasses to spread. Tip – for a stripy lawn use a cylinder mower with a roller. Spring Apply a balanced lawn fertiliser to help the grass to grow stronger and healthier and apply a selective herbicide to eradicate unwanted weeds in your lawn. Summer Avoid mowing in very dry conditions as this will cause stress to the grass sward. Drought During prolonged conditions of drought try to water the lawn when possible, ideally water the lawn twice a week with a good coverage. During a hosepipe ban ask a lawn care professional about water conserver solutions. Autumn/Winter If your lawn is covered in leaves, try to remove them frequently, as leaves covering the grass starves it of sunlight and nutrients and can contribute to lawn diseases. Flooding. Aeration (forking or machinery aerating) prior to flooding improves drainage, helping to prevent moss growth and allows more nutrients to reach the grass roots. Moss Apply a moss solution to kill the moss, which will allow more moss to be removed upon scarification. 26

Bumps These are regularly scalped by lawn mowers. Do not try to roll out bumps as this will generally make the area more unsightly. Dig out area and re-turf in autumn or spring. Hollows Small hollows can be gradually filled by working in sifted soil no more than half an inch at a time. Pet Scorching If you have bare patches from where your pet has urinated, train your pet to do its business off the lawn. If this isn’t possible, hose down the area with a good amount of water. Great British Lawns, based in Dorking, Surrey has won a Scoot Headline Award in the national campaign to find Britain’s most successful companies. They competed against more than 400 others nominated and won the award in recognition of their dedication to customer service and providing personalised lawn care solutions to customers throughout Surrey, West Sussex and North Hampshire. Treatments are child and pet friendly and applied by fully qualified and experienced lawn specialists in a safe and competent manner. Offering a wide range of services that are on a pay as you go basis (no contract) means trust is built with every treatment. FIND OUT MORE

For more information, please visit the website at www.greatbritishlawns.co.uk.

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The

Book REVIEW

Our pick of some good reads, both new and old. For more information, please contact carol.farley@farleypart.com

A272 - An Ode to a Road If you need to go west from this part of the world - and let’s face it, we can’t go too far east - you will almost inevitably at some point find yourself on the A272. You’ve used it a million times, I’m sure, and probably been quite unaware of it. Put simply, the A272 is the road that runs the 90 miles from Poundford in East Sussex to Winchester in Hampshire. However, to a Dutch couple, Pieter and Rita Boogaart, it means so much more than that and they have been travelling along this road on holiday for many years. What Pieter and Rita truly love about the road is the fact that it “epitomises England”. Of course, you may feel that, as you live in England, you already know what epitomises England thank you very much and that you don’t need two Dutchmen to tell you about it; but I think you’d be wrong. Because the road means so much to them they have taken an interest in its buildings, people and landscape that we, as natives, take for granted and

ignore. This, the third edition of this travel classic, opens our eyes. Rita and Pieter follow the A272 from east to west celebrating the good, the bad and the ugly, the beautiful, the trivial and the glorious. Past Uckfield and Cuckfield, Wineham and Twineham, past Littleworth and Fittleworth towards Pittleworth. Past Ovington and Avington. And in the distance they look at places like Lewes, Brighton and Chichester, at Barcombe and Balcombe, Duncton, Runcton and Buncton, Havant and Lavant, Walderton, Walberton and Warbleton. What is just a road to us is a joy to them. We can share their enthusiasm: this book encourages us to explore, by giving fascinating insights to the landscape, the places, the people and their stories. I can guarantee that you will discover so many fascinating things in this book; things about places that you have probably passed by, or through, many times without ever really ‘seeing’. It has taken this Dutch couple to

By Pieter and Rita Boogaart Published by Pallas Atheness Non-fiction Paperback £19.99

make me take the time to open my eyes and properly to ‘see’ the very special places and people along this ordinary road. This is an original and fascinating book that is particularly special to we who live here and will inevitably be users of the A272. Nick Farley

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck Greg Heffley’s on a losing streak. His best friend has ditched him and taken up with Abigail, and Greg’s discovering that finding new friends in middle school is a bit trickier than he’d imagined.

hook on my project. “My Sources Say No.” See, THIS is what’s been missing my whole life. Now that I’ve got something to help me make all the LITTLE decisions, I’m free to focus on the IMPORTANT stuff.

To change his fortune, Greg decides to take a leap of faith and turn his decisions over to chance. Will a roll of the dice turn things round, or is Greg’s life destined to be just another hard-luck story?

This is latest edition in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by American author Jeff Kinney. If you don’t know these books they are part comic strip, part novel and are very funny. Boys, who apparently do much less reading than girls these days, in particular seem to love them – so much so that the series has sold over 115 million copies worldwide. I liked it even though I’m not a boy.

Extract: I started by asking the Magic 8 Ball if I should take a shower and if I really needed to finish the outline for my Science Fair project. I got a “Yes” on the hygiene issue, but the Magic 8 Ball totally let me off the 28

Carol Farley

By Jeff Kinney Published by Puffin in November 2013 Fiction, hardback For age 9+ years £12.99 vantagepointmag.co.uk


BOOKS The Cazalet Chronicles

The Light Years, Marking Time, Confusion, Casting Off You might have caught an abridged version of these books on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. I heard a snippet and was intrigued: not sufficiently intrigued to go out and buy volume one, but to order it from the library (it took ages to arrive and I’d forgotten all about it) and I’ve been hooked ever since and bought them all, including volume five in hardback – I couldn’t wait until the paperback release this month. The Cazalets are a well-heeled family who live in scruffy grandeur in London and, at weekends, in Sussex, near to Tunbridge Wells. (Note that these fictional Cazelets are nothing to do with the real Cazelets who live at Fairlawne House near Tonbridge.) The tale starts in the late 1930s with three generations of Cazalets. The patriarch and two of his sons are timber merchants in London. These two – both married and with children – have been through the First World War, Hugh still suffering from shellshock and the loss of a hand, his womanising brother, Edward, unscathed both mentally and physically. The youngest son, Rupert, is an artist, who was too young to have been called up and is married for the second time (his first wife having died giving birth to their second child) to a flibbertigibbet, Zoe, who largely ignores her stepchildren.

As the family gather in the rambling Sussex house, calmly run by Mrs Cazalet senior (‘the Duchy’) and an army of servants, they await the outbreak of the Second World War, their numbers swelled by cousins, aunts, family friends and their old governess. The narrative focuses on each character in turn; long, boring summer afternoons captured so perfectly through the eyes of the children; the bone-numbing cold of winters with prewar lack of heating and not very plentiful hot water (queues for baths), the helpless inertia felt by the women as the war looms and rationing, clothes coupons and lack of domestic help start to take effect. The adults all smoke and drink a great deal, dress for dinner and go dancing in London whenever the opportunity arises, often clad in dresses made from curtains. Howard’s eye for detail is delightful and her tone uncensorious. Edward’s daughter, Louise, is undoubtedly based on her – beautiful, unhappy in her first marriage (Louise to a society portraitist, Howard herself to naturalist Peter Scott), a total lack of maternal feelings, unfulfilled ambitions. The books track the family through the war, into the austere Fifties and onwards. The younger generation largely migrate to London - the homeschooled girls totally ill-equipped

By Elizabeth Jane Howard Published by Pan Fiction Paperback £8.99 Final volume, All Change to be released in paperback April 10 2014

to find any interesting work. By this time the characters are so familiar the reader is immersed in, and intrigued by, their different problems. Howard wrote these wonderful books at the end of her life – she died recently aged 90 having only just completed the fifth volume. They are a fitting memorial. Caroline Boucher

Squeezing the Orange

By Henry Blofeld Published 2013 by Blue Door Non-fiction Hardback £20

April 2014

Henry Blofeld is a bit of a gem. In a world of bland people, Blowers is an effervescent and convivial companion, both on air and in print. A long-time and popular commentator on Test Match Special (TMS), his mellifluous tone radiates bonhomie and a deep knowledge of his subject, alongside his famous observations of passing buses and the everyday goings on beyond the cricket pitch. Blofeld was a schoolboy cricketer, but his exceptional career was cut short by a serious accident in his late teens, although he did go on to play for Cambridge University.

A relative managed to get him a job in merchant banking which was not to his taste and he soon drifted into sports journalism for both local and national newspapers. In 1972 he was invited to join TMS where he remains a favourite for his legion of fans. While I’m not a great follower of cricket (I blame my French genes), I enjoyed this book immensely. Blofeld is such a joyously optimistic adventurer that you cannot help but be seduced by his exuberant tales of a life well lived. Stefan Reynolds 29


Let’s eat the

HIGH STREET

Will our local economy go hungry as we vote with our food pounds at the supermarkets? Local food specialist Tracy Carroll explores. A Google search for statistics about small shop closures throws up a disturbing - yet unsurprising - set of results. ‘7337 high street shops closed down in 2012,’ and ‘More than 320 independent shops will close every week in 2013,’ jump from the screen. Closures such as these drain diversity from the high street and slice deeply into our local economy. Indeed, a study by the New Economics Foundation in London found that for every £10 spent at a local food business, £25 is generated for the local economy, compared with £14 for each tenner spent at multinationals. Consider it. The farmer buys a meal at the local cafe; the cafe owner buys tomatoes from the local greengrocer; the greengrocer gets his shoes heeled at the local cobblers; the cobbler buys a pie from the local bakery; the baker buys meat for his pies from the local farmer. When buying from national businesses or even those tens of miles away, money leaves our community. Let’s not knock them; supermarkets employ local people and are a godsend to many, including time and cash strapped parents, disabled people and the elderly. They have their place, yet I find the shopping experience somewhat shallow.

A study by the New Economics Foundation in London found that for every £10 spent at a local food business, £25 is generated for the local economy, compared with £14 for each tenner spent at multinationals. Browsing the aisles, I meet images of smiling farmers cuddling a chicken or leaning against a cow, the picture of rural contentment - really? I’ve noticed the word ‘market’ crops up a lot in supermarkets these days, too, whether it’s ‘Market Street’, ‘market fresh’ or ‘market value’. So, as someone who is immersed in the local food scene, I find it interesting to see these gigantic companies, which turn over millions each week, doing their utmost to conjure up a ‘local’ shopping experience while competing with business owners who are doing it for real. April 2014

Identikit high streets monopolised by multiples (however heavily disguised as ‘local stores’) make me sad. That’s one of the reasons I set up my networking websites (Local Food Surrey and Local Food Sussex). By bringing together independent traders, we can make some real noise as well as connecting chefs, producers, retailers and consumers to keep those vital food pounds close to home. We’re now producing films, telling the stories of people who work jolly hard to keep their businesses thriving. Comment to these folk about all the money they must be making, and you’re likely to be met with an ironic smile and a roll of the eyes. Because, truth is, unlike the big names in the food industry, none of the independent business owners I’ve talked to are doing it for the money. ‘Passion’ is a word that has become over used on food labelling, but I use it here without apology; these people prove their passion by working long hours in order to keep their shops open, make artisan products, then stand there in the rain at farmers markets - smiling. So, shall we support them by spending a few pounds each week at local businesses? We must. FIND OUT MORE

Tracy Carroll is managing director of LocalFoodSurrey.com and LocalFoodSussex.com. Please visit the websites for more information. 31


DIAMONDS Dominic Sakakini on why they are resilient through the ages

Diamonds have always been a glittering show of taste and wealth, and size does matter! Diamonds are rare gems but are far more globally available than ever before. The demand for diamonds in every shape and colour has increased year-on-year and because there have been no significant diamond deposits discovered for the last 20 years, the diamond is set to become as rare and as coveted as in years gone by. The best thing about a good diamond investment is that there is no need to put your investment into a safe, you can turn it into a beautiful piece of jewellery which can be worn and enjoyed before selling it and cash in. With demand from countries such as India and China on the rise, diamonds will become more and more difficult which will result in the demand far outweighing the supply. The end result being the continued rise of an already bright star. Over the past five years diamonds have provided annual returns of roughly 12% and forecasters are predicting an annual increase this year of anywhere between 10% and 50%, depending on the category. With the gold price fluctuating wildly over the last few years and the worldwide economy coming under pressure, diamonds are beginning to attract wealthy individuals seeking high returns. Investors are tired of achieving negligible returns on investment and traders are predicting that diamonds have a glittering future. As far as the actual investment, diamonds are judged on three criteria only: carat, clarity and colour. Do not take a chance, each stone is unique and you need to know what you are purchasing. Your investment diamond should be no less than two carat, as the bigger the stone the higher the return could be. At this point it would be good to find a friendly jeweller who is willing to deal with the public as a wholesaler. When you purchase a diamond from a normal retailer, you are 32

not just paying for the diamond, the cost is greatly elevated to cover the high street store’s overheads. As your local friendly jeweller, and indeed the only jeweller in Horsham prepared to wholesale diamonds to the general public, I believe that a special kind of relationship is necessary when investing in your future. To this end I have created the Diamond Club as a means of purchasing available jewellery and diamonds for investment and creating an atmosphere conducive to in-depth discussions relating to investment potential. I am freely available for questions and advice at events that are planned for members of the Diamond Club. The opportunity that diamonds are providing to secure your financial future right now, is as unique and exciting as choosing the diamond itself. So, if you have a minimum of £10,000 to invest, then why put it in low yield interest accounts? Diamonds have worked harder than your standard ISA, the potential return is huge and there is no maximum investment limit. The future is indeed bright and glittering and it seems that diamonds are not just a girl’s best friend! FIND OUT MORE

For more information about the Sakakini Diamond club or diamonds as an investment why not pop in to see Dominic at Sakakini Jewellers, 45 Carfax, Horsham or call him on 01403 250200 or email info@sakgems.com.

vantagepointmag.co.uk


A locally inspired Easter meal Three of our local chefs offer up a special three-course meal for Easter

Warm Asparagus Hollandaise Ingredients 20 asparagus spears 400ml vinegar 4 free range eggs Seasoned butter in which to toss asparagus in - prepare this by mixing some butter at room temperature with salt and freshly milled black pepper. If you are using salted butter, you may not need to add more salt. Le Mesurier Hollandaise Sauce Rocket leaves for garnish Serves 4 Le Mesurier sauces are available at local food shops and delicatessens and at local farmers’ markets. For more information, look online at lemesuriers.com.

This recipe for a light and tasty starter comes from Patrick Le Mesurier, the Godalming-based chef behind the Le Mesurier condiment range. Ready in minutes, it showcases the delicate, nutty flavour of British asparagus, which traditionally reaches the shops towards the end of April. “Easter cooking is all about fresh, vibrant flavours”, says Patrick, who trained with the Roux brothers. “British asparagus is the best in the world; a prized culinary gem. In fact, it’s so precious that none of it is exported – we British quite rightly keep it all for ourselves.” 1. Trim the asparagus spears so they are all the same length. 2. Plunge them into boiling water and cook for about 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a warmed dish. Keep warm. 3. Have a high-sided pan just coming to the boil, add the vinegar, stir the water and break the eggs into the vortex. Cook for 3 minutes until softly poached. (Or if you wish you can use an egg poacher.) 4. Open a jar of Le Mesurier Hollandaise Sauce and warm as per instructions. 5. Toss the asparagus in the seasoned butter and line up 5 on each plate.

6. Remove softly poached eggs and place on top of the asparagus. 7. Spoon the warmed hollandaise sauce on top of the egg, and garnish with a few rocket leaves.

Chocolate and Caramel Tart Ingredients 375g shortcrust pastry (either bought or home-made) 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract Flour, for dusting 100g 70% plain chocolate 100g white chocolate 6 tbsp melted butter 2 eggs, plus 3 egg yolks 4 tbsp golden caster sugar Icing sugar and single cream, to serve (optional) For the caramel 150g sugar 50g water Serves 10 34

Chocolate is a must for an Easter menu, so we asked Chef David Gillott of Ashtead’s Four Gables Food Academy to come up with an extra-special dessert. In this recipe for a makeahead dessert, a caramel layer sits under a rich chocolate topping – definitely a family favourite! 1. Cut the pastry into rough pieces and put in a food processor. Drizzle over the vanilla paste and blitz until it’s well mixed throughout the pastry. Tip out onto a floured surface, bring together into a dough and knead until well combined. Roll out to line a 23cm tart tin (leave any overhanging pastry and then you can trim it away after cooking). Chill for 30 minutes, to allow the pastry to rest.

2. For the caramel, place the sugar and water in a pan and bring to the boil, then reduce down until it starts to turn golden brown. Be careful not to burn it! 3. Heat oven to 180˚C. Line the pastry with cling film (yes cling film – don’t worry, it won’t burn and it’s the best way to blind bake a tart). Fill with rice, bake blind for 15-20 minutes, then remove the cling film and rice and bake for 5-10 minutes vantagepointmag.co.uk


FOOD Slow Roasted Shank of Lamb with Port and Redcurrant Jus For the main course, we consulted John Walter, Head Chef and Manager of The Lakeside Restaurant at the University of Surrey. An enthusiastic supporter of seasonal ingredients, John has chosen the sweet and tender meat of new season lamb, preferably from the South Downs, and teams this with purple sprouting broccoli and new potatoes for an exquisite Easter Sunday lunch. 1. Pre-heat the oven 190˚C. Chop the celery, onions and carrots into large chunks and lay in a flameproof casserole or roasting tin. 2. Nestle the seasoned shanks of lamb on top of the vegetables then add herbs, spices, peppercorns, wine and port. 3. Cover loosely with ovenproof foil and bake for 1.5 hours. 4. Remove the foil then cook for another 30 minutes. 5. Transfer the meat and vegetables to a large, warmed serving dish and keep warm, leaving the juices in the roasting tin 6. Meanwhile, boil potatoes with a sprig of fresh mint until tender. Keep warm. 7. Place broccoli in a pan with two cups of water and a knob of butter, season and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook over a medium/high heat for

5 minutes until the broccoli is tender. 8. Drain the broccoli cooking water into the tin containing the lamb roasting juices, then place the tin over a medium heat on the hob to release the caramelised juices before stirring in the redcurrant jelly and more wine as needed; simmer to create a rich jus. 9. Arrange the broccoli and potatoes around the lamb, pour the jus into a warmed jug and serve.

more until pale and golden. Carefully spread the caramel over the base and set aside while you make the filling. Lower oven to 160˚C. 4. Break the chocolate into pieces and carefully melt in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water before adding the melted butter and stirring to combine. Put the eggs, yolks and sugar in a large bowl and whisk for 10 minutes - it may be easier to use a machine! You will know the mixture is ready when it turns pale and leaves a trail when you drag a spoon through it. Using a large spoon, gently fold in the melted chocolate, being careful not to knock out the air. Transfer to the tin. 5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the

surface is set and risen – it will still wobble slightly. Cool, then chill overnight, before dusting with icing sugar and serving.

April 2014

Ingredients 4 sticks of celery 4 medium carrots 2 medium onions 4 shanks of spring lamb, seasoned with salt and freshly ground pepper Sprig of fresh thyme Sprig of rosemary 2 bay leaves 4 allspice berries 4 crushed juniper berries 4 black peppercorns Glass of full-bodied red wine (allow extra for gravy) Glass of ruby port 1 tbsp redcurrant jelly To serve Purple sprouting broccoli New potatoes Mint and butter for cooking Serves 4

FIND OUT MORE

All our featured chefs are members of Local Food Surrey, where you can discover the finest local food and drink from Surrey, cookery classes and the very best restaurants, pubs and caterers serving delicious local produce. Visit localfoodsurrey.com to find out more.

35


Rage against the

Machine

Andrew Crisell recently made a list of potential gripes and was horrified to discover that virtually everything irritated him, the classic symptom of a dreadful old fogey. In the first of an occasional series, he tackles one of them.

O

ur sarcastic young editor calls me Gog, which stands for ‘Grumpy Old Git’. But I’m actually very nice. I’m kind to animals (understandably, children are a step too far), and although my wife says I’m a bore I’ve livened up many a dinner party by bringing along all the train spotting guides I’ve kept since boyhood. But I do admit that certain things get my goat, and since the editor says you’re the brightest readers in the country, I’m confident they get yours, too. So until he fires me, I’m going to share them with you from time to time, and we can be grumpy together. My goat-getting topic today is automated telephone answering. You know the sort of thing I mean. Your internet connection fails and you want to talk to your service providers, because a word of advice could help you fix it straightaway. But when you unearth the booklet they gave you, you can’t find a

I once liked Vivaldi, but now I’d readily take a chainsaw to him

contact number. They don’t actually want to talk to you, you see, they’d prefer you to email. But how are you supposed to email when the connection is down? Finally, you locate a number hidden in the inner pages, dial it . . . and receive a warning: ‘Calls will be charged at x pounds a minute and local 36

rates may apply’. What those are is anyone’s guess, but the gist is clear: like the patient of an old-fashioned physician, you’re going to be bled. Then you’re told, ‘your call may be monitored for training purposes’. Training purposes? Does the company’s staff need to be trained how to say ‘Hello, what’s the problem?’ Where does it recruit them from – Kyrgyzstan? Next comes a galaxy of options. ‘To hear about our exciting new range of products and services, press one on your telephone now. To upgrade to Openretch RubberBand, press two. To take out insurance against your system crashing, press three.’ And so on. This way of forcing us down different channels as if we’re laboratory rats is apparently known as an algorithm. It’s probably short for ‘algorithm-and-blues’, because you’re offered anything but the service you want. So you just hold, and suddenly Vivaldi’s Four Seasons crashes into your ear. I once liked Vivaldi, but now I’d readily take a chainsaw to him, and my only hope is that the eternal summer created by global warming will render his work extinct. The music fades. Are you at last going to talk to a real person? No. ‘You are 23rd in the queue, but you will be answered as soon as possible.’ Then, to add insult to injury, ‘Your call is important to us’! At this sarcastic effrontery, you feel the despair they intended and ring off. Companies will now do anything to avoid having to deal directly with their customers. But give us a bell and tell us what you think of Gog’s brilliant new column. Your call is important to us. You’re 67th in the queue. Meanwhile, fancy a spot of Vivaldi? Do you agree with Andrew? What irritates you these days? Please let us know at editor@vantagepublishing.co.uk. vantagepointmag.co.uk


GARDEN

What to do in

April

With Matthew Pottage, Garden Manager at RHS Garden Wisley

Turn boring blobs into naturalistic drifts April is a good time to review early spring bulbs that have finished their flowering displays and are now in leaf. Some of the earliest, such as snowdrops, should now have pretty much completed their active growth cycle for this year but will still be visible above ground. This makes it the best time to lift any big clumps, split them apart and replant in whatever formation takes your fancy. Bulbs physically ‘bulk up’ by adding smaller bulbs alongside the parent bulb, which, after many years can lead to some congestion and pulling these apart re-invigorates them. While it may seem laborious the best way to create a carpet effect is to re-plant

smaller bulbs singularly but in close proximity to each other. This is also a good time to think about which bulb combinations to plant to give you longer displays – at Wisley we have a bank of early crocus that are peppered with the white Leucojum venustum and Cyclamen coum – the whole area is a tapestry of spring colour and lasts well over a month. Plant spring bulbs under trees or mature shrubs where you are less likely to disturb them.

Left: Livting and dividing Galanthus elwesii after flowering, while still in leaf. Above: Cyclamen coum

Sneaking through the winter? April is usually about the right time to start un-wrapping any plants that have been protected for the winter. The warmer spring days will initiate growth, and while a late frost may clip softer growth, it won’t cause you any serious problems. It is also a good time to crack on and start planting half-hardy ornamentals such as Penstemon, which can cope with the cooler nights. We have a super collection of Penstemon at Wisley. They will fit with most planting styles and can be an ideal way to fill in edges in traditional cottage borders, or, if you’re after something more adven38

turous, some of the bolder cultivars will blend nicely into more subtropical bedding displays. I’m a real fan of P. ‘Stapleford Gem’ with its almost two-tone blue/ purple flowers (left), though I see from the propagation lists my teams put together that they are very fond of the striking, pink flowered P. ‘George Home’ which has a white throat. It is quite an old cultivar, but never fails to perform. If you’re lucky, some of your half-hardy plants like Verbenas and even some Helichry-

sum will have survived the winter and by now should be in need of a tidy up. Get out the secateurs and take the stems back to vigorous buds or re-growth. Apply a dressing of balanced fertiliser once the risk of frost has passed, and they’ll continue growing like winter never happened. FIND OUT MORE

RHS Garden Wisley is the flagship garden of the Royal Horticultural Society, the world’s leading gardening charity. RHS Garden Wisley, Woking, Surrey, GU23 6QB. Visit rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley to find out more.

vantagepointmag.co.uk


Peaslake, Coldharbour and Westcott Ride into the picturesque village of Shere, climb to Coldharbour, one of the highest villages in the county, and sample cafés and traditional pubs along the way. The route runs through the heart of the Surrey Hills along winding leafy lanes, over hills with heady descents and boasts far reaching views to the South Downs. Visit the National Trust Rhododendron Wood, ablaze with colour in spring, admire the carpets of bluebells on Leith Hill’s slopes and see Jack, the blacksmith, strike the hour on the famous Abinger clock. Go online to vantagepointmag.co.uk for a Blackdown cycle in our Haslemere edition.

The cycle Turn L out of the station approach, and turn R into Wonham Way, a footpath only, immediately after the bridge. Soon turn R into a bridleway at the bend and follow NCN22 signs all the way to Shere. Go under the bridge, bear L and in ¼ mile go straight ahead to cross Queen’s Street into a driveway. Fork R into a bridleway and in ½ mile Shere church spire comes into view.

box into Lower Breache Road. In ¾ mile, at the end of a lefthand bend, turn R onto a bridleway through woods, ignoring a byway and a farm lane. Turn L by a cottage into Pond Head Lane. Soon pass a pond where you should see resident swans. Cycle ¾ mile on the bridleway. The last gate is electric and operated by a button on a post, well before the gate. Turn L and go to the attractive Parrot Inn. You can sit at a table outside and relax overlooking the cricket green.

At the end of the track turn R to explore the picturesque village of Shere. Go past the church to the square and see the clear Tillingbourne stream with its ducks and then enjoy a coffee at the Lucky Duck or visit one of the pubs. Take the road upwards past the William Bray.

Turn R at the major road, the B2127, and soon L onto the B2126, SP Holmbury St Mary. In 1/5 mile, at the top of the rise, turn R into Tanhurst Lane to climb the lane to the Rhododendron Wood, on the slopes of Leith Hill.

Climb the hill and at the top go over the railway bridge, leaving the NCN22. Turn L towards Peaslake. In a mile turn R into idyllic Jesses Lane. In a further mile turn L and soon bear R towards Peaslake village. This is a veritable biking mecca with a bike shop and the aroma of cheese straws drifting from the village stores. Alternatively you can sit at a table outside the Hurtwood Inn whilst you watch the world go by. Take the major road, SP Ewhurst via Coverwood. In ¾ mile the road bends sharply to the right and climbs to pass the Duke of Kent school. Enjoy some glorious views as you ride along the ridge. Descend to the T-junction and turn L to sail down the hill towards Ewhurst. Perhaps pause at the Bull’s Head and rest in the garden with its bright flower borders. Ride through the village on the B2127 and, at the corner, turn L (ahead) towards Ewhurst Green. In ⅓ mile turn L into Plough Lane. Go over the hump-backed bridge and turn R by the post 40

Cycle on to the junctions and go ahead towards Coldharbour for 2 miles. There you can pause to gaze at the views or perhaps rest at the Plough. Continue for a further 2 miles as you enjoy the downhill run towards Dorking, but watch for Logmore Lane where you fork L at the end of the woods. Close to Westcott, fork R past the church and turn R into the A25. Soon turn L into Westcott Street, unless you are visiting the Crown Inn, ⅓ mile to your right, a good stop for those who enjoy home-made food. The lane bends towards the A25 but turn R into a bridleway. Pedal past farmland for 1½ miles. The track narrows to a path and, looking back, the spire of Ranmore church can be seen to the north-east. Cross Abinger Lane and continue on the track through woods, the NCN22, and over Abinger Roughs. In ¾ mile there is a large grass area with a seat which makes an excellent picnic spot. Keep straight on into a narrow path. Turn L into Hackhurst Lane to cycle down to the A25. To your left is the Abinger tea rooms where you can have a light meal or sample Annie’s delicious cakes. Notice the famous Abinger clock on the corner. Turn R from Hackhurst Lane onto the A25. In a short distance turn L into the bridleway to pass Southbrook Farm to Wonham Way. Turn R and go down to the A25 by Gomshall station. vantagepointmag.co.uk


CYCLE

The route There are quiet lanes and some bridleway riding to avoid the A25. This is in the midst of the Surrey hills so expect an ascent such as Forest Green to Leith Hill, where you climb the pretty but steep lane for ½ mile. Equally there are some good downhill runs, e.g. from Pitch Hill into Ewhurst and from Coldharbour to Wotton.

DISTANCE: 20 miles OS MAPS: OS Landranger 187 Dorking and Reigate, OS Explorers 146 Dorking, Box Hill and Reigate, 145 Guildford and Farnham (GR TQ088478). GRID REFERENCE: SU 933478 STARTING POINT: Gomshall station, 5 miles west of Dorking on the A25. REFRESHMENTS: In Shere there is the White Horse, the William Bray and the Lucky Duck cafĂŠ. In Peaslake try the Hurtwood Inn or the village stores for drinks and snacks. In Ewhurst, Forest Green, Coldharbour and Westcott there are pubs and at Abinger there is a tea room.

This cycle is taken from On Your Bike: In and Around the Surrey Hills, published by Countryside Books. Visit countrysidebooks.co.uk for more information. Neither the publisher nor the author can accept any responsibility for any changes, errors or omissions in this route. Diversion orders can be made and permissions withdrawn at any time.

April 2014

41


The local magazine produced by local people for the local community

Celebrating 5 years of local magazine publishing • January

2014

T GEPOIN A T N A V GEPOINT VANTAVANTAGEPOINT Farnham

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Getting out with the children in Cranleigh and Godalming

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The local team behind Vantage Publishing want to thank all their advertisers, contributors and readers for their support since 2009 and we look forward to supporting local businesses, charities and organisations over the next 5 years and beyond. Contact us to find out how we can help you further. vantagepointmag.co.uk - 01483 421621 - editor@vantagepublishing.co.uk April 2014

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EAT Two to Four is situated in West Street covering three floors of a Grade II listed building. It is co owned by Jill Pickett and Chef Rob Gathercole who have been working together for three years creating dishes with the emphasis on fresh, locally sourced produce. I visited for dinner with my husband and immediately loved its cosy yet contemporary feel. We were welcomed and shown to our table by Jill and were served a selection of breads; lemon and thyme, harrissa, and beetroot and cheddar served with creamy homemade butter. We chose our starters from the a la carte menu. Spiced crab and tiger prawn fishcakes with sweet chilli dip, pickled cucumber salad and coriander cress for me; seared scallops with black pudding fritters, parsnip and fennel purée, Granny Smith apple salad with curry oil for my husband. Both starters were delicious, in fact my husband declared his to be one of the best he has ever eaten, being especially impressed by the inspired use of curry oil infused with nigella seeds which worked brilliantly in the dish. Jill recommended a Chilean white wine, Elki Pedro Ximenez, Vina Falernia 2012, to complement our food which was a perfect choice. Our main courses were similarly impressive. I chose from the set menu, red wine braised lamb shoulder, roasted beets, celeriac, sweet potato and baby spinach. The lamb, which was rich and flavoursome had been slow cooked, taken off the bone and beautifully presented. My husband had pepper crusted fillet of beef, celeriac purée, green beans, baby onion and pancetta jus which was cooked rare to his taste and which he pronounced to be delectable. I can 44

Two to Four, Dorking agree as one of the joys of dining with him is that I give myself a licence to poach from his plate! Having seen some served to another table, we were tempted by a side dish of crispy courgettes which were light, well seasoned and really tasty; I think even my vegetable resistant son would approve. For dessert we ordered vanilla and yoghurt pannacotta with blood orange and honeycomb and a homemade peanut ice cream. Both were perfect. We were later invited to meet Rob who has an instantly recognisable flair and passion for culinary creation. He is constantly developing and refining his menu, taking inspiration from nature and seasonal produce. The restaurant also prides itself on being able to cater for customers with specific food allergies or intolerances. Jill and Rob are passionate about their craft with extremely impressive results. I would love to return, perhaps to try a Two to Four Gourmet Night (a six course tasting menu with wine from selected producers) or for lunch to try one of Rob’s homemade burgers and to show my son that courgettes can be delicious! Elizabeth Carlos TWO TO FOUR 2-4 West Street, Dorking, Surrey RH4 1BL Phone: 01306 889923 Web: 2to4.co.uk vantagepointmag.co.uk

VantagePoint Magazine April 2014 - Dorking & Villages  

The local magazine produced by local people for the local community