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Vine’s 8-page Christmas guide to the best gifts in town

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Artists works including: Raymond Campbell Richard Firth Stephen Hawkins Edward Hersey Andrew Grant Kurtis Ronald Charles Mitchell David Morgan Stephen Park Wayne Westwood

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• W W W. V I N E D I G I TA L . C O. U K

• YO U R

FAVOURITE

SEVENOAKS

MAGAZINE

What’s inside? December 2011

19

Welcome to Vine

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30

14 EVERY MONTH 08 HEADLINES 12 MONTHLY MUSTS 14 YOUR VINE 28 FAMILY AND KIDS 58 WHAT’S ON? 62 MUMBLINGS

VINE DINING 22 FOOD FOR THOUGHT Our resident forager and foodie Benjamin James of the George & Dragon, Chipstead has been unearthing the best in season this month 25 WELCOME BREAK AT BROWNS Take time out to get a little jolly, with fantastic food and a cheeky cocktail or two at Browns Bar and Brasserie in Bluewater PLUS We visit the White Horse in Sundridge for a spot of Vine Dining this month

FEATURES

CHRISTMAS

16 PRINTS CHARMING Fascinating local artist Melvyn Evans opens up his studio to Vine readers, sharing his creative processes, why Knole is so special to him and how he became an award-winning artist

30 FESTIVE GIFT GUIDE We round up the best pressies in town with this handy guide PLUS We visit Dominic Walmsley, Cabbages and Kings and Estella Cupcakes to see what they’re up to this season

44 FESTIVE FASHION Vine gives the guys and gals essential wardrobe wear from party frocks to country casuals this season

32 THE TOWN JEWELS London Road is thriving as smart shoppers learn they can get the best buys so close to home – Christmas shopping has never been easier!

54 THE REAL DAD’S ARMY Vine discovers the real Dad’s Army through Colonel Rodney Foster’s private diaries, with tales from the Home Guard based at Hythe during World War II Cover shot: ‘Roots and Branches’ lino print by Sevenoaks artist Melvyn Evans

HOME & GARDEN 48 A MODERN MAKEOVER Dr Diljit Uppal invites Vine into his home to find out what makes Potts Kitchens and Bathrooms so good PLUS We find lasting and ethical pieces for the home from Raft Furniture

The festive season is upon us and what a great way to end the year! This issue is packed with festive treats and we hope that in between scoffing mince pies and all that Christmas shopping you’ll grab a chance to sit down and read the magazine... I have always loved the work of local artist Melvyn Evans and was lucky enough to snoop around his studio and have a good chat about the inspiration behind his striking prints – if you love our cover; you should read our feature on page 16 and pop down to his studio, only a few minutes from town! We also take a trek around the London Road in search of the best offerings this Christmas. With the high street sadly losing its shops too often these days, it’s great to support these hardworking, individual retail owners who really do offer a service you can only find in a community town like Sevenoaks. I also enjoy a visit to The Chinaman and Dominic Walmsley, both great for gifts too. If you’re looking for somewhere to put visiting relatives this Christmas, Cabbages and Kings, a beautiful bed and breakfast that is also a tea room and gift shop, is definitely your best bet and it’s a great excuse for a delicious brunch in a bit of peace and quiet during this chaotic season. We also discover the real Dad’s Army; stories from the home guard in Hythe told through the private diaries of Colonel Rodney Foster, likened to the well-known Dad’s Army character Captain Mainwaring. It’s a captivating story and well worth the read. We’ve also got a great selection of food and fashion to set you up for Christmas, from cupcakes to festive frocks – you can’t say we don’t look after you! Merry Christmas!

Charlotte Luxford

Editor charlotte@vinedigital.co.uk

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HEADLINES

Aladdin to hit The Stag

Historical Halloween at St Michael’s

Following this year’s successful staging of Snow White in January and Guys and Dolls in June’s Summer Festival, premier local group Sevenoaks Entertainers will present its annual family pantomime – an all-singing, all-dancing, comic re-telling of Aladdin – at The Stag Theatre in Sevenoaks from Thursday to Sunday, January 26 to 29. Expect a sensational cast boasting last year’s panto dame, Dave Waller, as the evil Sultan Abanazar; Mark Grist as the hero Aladdin; Nichola Ross as the beautiful Princess Jasmine; David Johnston as the magic lamp’s disgruntled Genie; and newcomer Lauren-Jean Reeves as the stroppy Slave of the Ring. Magic and mayhem ensue, along with classic panto fun, as Aladdin’s mother, Widow Twankey, and brother, Wishee Washee, played by comedic actors Andy Boyden and Andy Platt, outwit the hapless pair of Peking Policemen, Ping and Pong, played by Ollie Hay and Jack Young. Rebekah Platt, as Jasmine’s companion So-Fa, and Ray Russell as Emperor, complete the talented cast, which also features the Young Entertainers and young members of the Dance Studio. Directed and choreographed by Jess McEwen, and with a lively musical score provided by Musical Director Isobel Platt leading the Entertainers’ Showband, Aladdin, with its fantastic cast and trusted creative team, promises to be the pantomime of the season designed for the whole family to enjoy.

Instead of sweets, St Michael’s Prep School in Otford received a heavy dose of history this Halloween. Local author Christopher Lloyd was a guest speaker for the school’s young students in the daytime, and with the help of some pint-size volunteers, told them about 7 billion years of the history of the universe from his What On Earth? Wallbook. Come 6pm, the school’s front reception became a hive of activity as the school hosted October’s Grapevine, Vine’s very own Sevenoaks-based networking event. As well as the fantastic nibbles, drinks and buzzing atmosphere, Grapevine guests got to enjoy the second visit of the day from Christopher Lloyd, who told an abridged 4.5 billion years’ worth of the universe’s history in an astonishing 15 minutes.

n Tickets are £10 (full) and £9 (concession) for opening night, Thursday January 26 at 7.30pm, and £11 (full) and £10 (concession) for 7.30pm on Friday January 27, 1.30pm and 6.30pm on Saturday January 28 and 12 noon and 4pm on Sunday January 29. Family of four tickets at £37 (maximum two adults) are also available for the Friday and Saturday evening performances. n Call 01732 450175 or visit www.stagsevenoaks.co.uk for tickets or www.sevenoaksentertainers.co.uk for more information

n Visit www.vinedigital.co.uk or call 01732 760823 for more information about Grapevine, or to book your place at the next event. Visit www.stmichaels.kent.sch.uk for information about the school

EDITORIAL & ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES

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VINE PUBLISHING LTD PUBLISHING DIRECTOR

Send us your stories Email your interesting and exciting stories, snippets and pictures to hello@vinedigital.co.uk or call the news desk directly on 01732 760823 and you could see your story in print

Christmas cards for a cause

Sevenoaks swim scheme

Council’s green gift

Put some thought into it! Sevenoaks’ Card for Good Causes Shop, which sells cards in the weeks leading up to Christmas to increase awareness and funding for various charities, will be open from 10am – 4pm in the Kaleidoscope Library until December 17. Visit www.cardsfor charity.co.uk

Sevenoaks swimmer Xander Alari-Williams, who is currently ranked number one in the country for both the 100- and 200- metre breaststroke, is backing an initiative to get local children more active. The package is only valid for 14 to 18-yearolds anytime at Sevenoaks Leisure Centre. Visit www.senico.org.uk

For the environmentally conscious, discounted compost bins are now available from Sevenoaks District Council. Composts, which allow for uneaten food waste and cardboard to be recycled, require bins which are usually priced at £39. They are now being sold for £15 plus £5.49 for shipping. Visit www. getcomposting.co.uk

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Vine is published monthly in the UK by Vine Publishing Ltd. (Company reg no: 7195338) with a total circulation of 15,000. 8,500 land on the doormats of selected Sevenoaks households. An additional 6,500 are available through our extensive distribution network of over 150 pick-up points across the district. Printed in the UK. Please recycle Vine. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions relating to advertising or editorial in Vine. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the prior written consent of the publisher. © 2011. All rights reserved.


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HEADLINES

London Road Leader Martin Cozens of Beaux Bagels in the heart of Sevenoaks is once again leading the coalition of London Road shops in an effort to retain Sevenoaks’ custom in the face of the ongoing threat of larger chain stores. Martin, who initiated this shared publicity scheme this May with Vine’s Break The Chain feature, is urging Sennockians to really think before they travel out of town to shop this Christmas: “If you take into consideration the price of fuel and the hours you use up getting there, if you haven’t saved over ten pounds then you haven’t saved.” Martin also wants the community to be aware of the fact that if individual shops keep shutting down, then the town as a whole will suffer. “There are only two butchers left in town and no fishmongers, but there are lots of good businesses left on London Road and we need to give them our attention.” Read all about what London Road has in store on page 32.

Pink week results The numbers are back from October’s Pink Week for Breast Cancer Care! In association with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, crime writer Martina Cole hosted an event with Rush hair salon that raised nearly £11,000 and Sevenoaks’ shop windows got tickled pink to raise a total of £2,398 for the charity. n Visit www.breastcancercare.org.uk

Her Majesty in Margate Her Majesty the Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh paid a visit to Kent’s own Turner Contemporary gallery on November 10. Located in Margate, the event was held in celebration of the gallery’s hugely successful opening, welcoming over 300,000 visitors in its first seven months. n Visit www.turnercontemporary.org

Olympic Torch through Sevenoaks Sevenoaks will become part of Olympic history on July 20, 2012 as the district has been included in the course of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay. Residents will get a once in a lifetime opportunity to view the Olympic Torch in person as it passes through Seal, Sevenoaks, Riverhead and Bessels Green from 12pm before being taken onto Surrey. Starting at Land’s End in Cornwall on May 19 2011, the Olympic Flame will be carried by 8,000 Torchbearers through 1,000 villages, towns and cities as part of its 70-day journey across Britain. n Visit www.london2012.com

Anti-Bullying Week Local schools participated in an anti-bullying week from November 14-18, which highlighted bullyingrelated issues for pupils and teachers. Sevenoaks School received a visit from aliens who come from a planet where bullying doesn’t exist, and Kemsing Primary school, which has an ongoing kindness campaign, gave out it’s weekly ‘care and consideration cup’ on the Friday.

Send us your stories Email your interesting and exciting stories, snippets and pictures to hello@vinedigital.co.uk or call the news desk directly on 01732 760823 and you could see your story in print

Parking charges frozen

Stag’s tea time

Indie film donation bid

Acting Up in Sevenoaks

In the festive spirit, Sevenoaks District Council has decided to freeze parking increases for the coming year until April 1. This decision also sees two days of free parking on Sevenoaks’ streets and car parks on December 10 and 17 for the run-up to Christmas. Happy shopping! Visit www.sevenoaks. gov.uk

Enjoy the foxtrot, jive and waltz over a spot of tea at The Stag Theatre on Saturday, December 10 from 12 to 3pm. Socialise with friends and get your feet moving to the sounds of Chris Mannion and his famed tea dance organplaying skills for some good old-fashioned festive fun. Tickets cost £5. Visit www.stag sevenoaks.co.uk

Emily Greenwood, an award-winning writer and director from Sevenoaks, is searching for donations to complete her production campaign for Cold Warrior, her new film asserting the issue of sports abuse. Donate in exchange for ‘perks’ that range from Twitter shout-outs to tickets to an exclusive launch night. Visit www. emilygreenwood.co.uk

The Acting Up Theatre Company brings the timeless tale of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe to the New School at West Heath in Sevenoaks from December 12. All proceeds from the production will go to the student theatre company. Tickets are £5. Visit www.west heathschool.com


Dreams that take shape At Kitchen Design of Sevenoaks we have over 30 years of experience in designing both contemporary and traditional kitchens. Choose from innovative features and inspiring technology to make your kitchen dream come true. Showroom Opening Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9.00-5.00 Saturday 9.00-3.00 Closed Wednesday and Sunday

118 London Road, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 1BA Email: info@kdofsevenoaks.com www.kdofsevenoaks.com

01732 741100

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MUST-SEE Christmas

MONTHLY

MUSTS A roundup of trends, what’s new and must-have buys from your local area

Take your pick of traditional Christmas pantomimes this year: Mother Goose is showing at The Stag, featuring Dirty Den from EastEnders as the Demon King. Or there’s Sleeping Beauty at The Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, with Glynis Barber as the bad fairy. Whichever takes your fancy, you can’t help but meet an exEastEnder this season! n Visit www.stagsevenoaks.co.uk or call 01732 450175 Visit www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk or call 01892 530613

MUST-LISTEN The locality is buzzing with Christmas concerts this season. Head to St Nicholas Church on December 4 for the traditional Christmas Celebration show, fronted by St Nicholas Choir and St Nicholas Drama Group. Alternatively, expect Christmas classics and poor cracker jokes with an American twist at The Mick Jagger Centre on December 18. When is a door not a door? Anyone?

MUST-DO From January, Foxy Burlesque – the burlesque school pleased to teach the art of tease – will be hosting eight-week beginner courses in Sevenoaks to run alongside lessons in Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells. Whether you’ve always wanted to try your hand at the art of striptease, are tempted into discovering a love for burlesque, or just want a chance to show off your raunchy side, this fantastic course won’t let you down. Now ladies... shimmy! n Visit www.foxyburlesque. co.uk or call 07711142642

n Visit www.eynsfordconcertband.co.uk

MUST-VISIT Olympic ice skater Robin Cousins has opened Tunbridge Wells’ very own ice rink in the beautiful Calverley Grounds this Christmas. It’s the perfect setting to round off a day of gift shopping and mince pie scoffing, not to mention fun for all the family. Book your slot on the ice now for festive frolics – you might even come away with the prize for ‘Best Bambi on the Ice’! n Visit www.tunbridgewellsatchristmas.com or call 01892 554173

MUST-HAVE

MUST-TASTE Whether you’re after a unique gift idea or just filling the larder with hearty local produce, Stuffed and Spoilt is the answer. In a delicious bid to preserve the rich heritage of British baking, cookery and crafts, it draws on fresh, seasonal and inspiring produce from The Garden of England. And, when the goodies are all eaten up, you’re left with a delightful wicker picnic hamper for summer. It’s a sure fire way to make sure you stay on the 2012 Christmas card lists. n Visit www.stuffedandspoilt.co.uk or call 01634 399177

Nothing says ‘authentic Christmas’ like gathering the family to decorate a real Christmas tree. Pick up yours from Stonepitts Farm at Seal Chart, along with mistletoe and holly wreaths for those who really are going to dec those halls. Choose from the Nordman Fir – a popular choice because of its nondrop needles and fragrant forest aroma – or the Norway Spruce, the original species of Christmas tree adorning homes for hundreds of years. n Visit www. stonepitts.com or call 01732 762983


El Matador wishes everybody a very Merry Christmas and a joyous and prosperous New Year. We look forward to celebrating our first Christmas with you. Celebrate the season in style with a SpanishArgentinian twist at El Matador Book Now! Enjoy our special 3Course Menu for £25.00 p.p

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All 18 pupils at Russell House in Otford who sat the 11-plus exam in September 2011 passed with an average mark of 411, and: One third of our pupils gained the top score of 420 Three-quarters of pupils gained full marks in the Verbal Reasoning paper One half of our pupils gained full marks in the Non-Verbal Reasoning paper

For Boys an Girls age d d 2 to 11

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60 OND

The page that’s all about you

Top tweets

Catch Vine on Twitter @VineMagazine

Our pick of the best local tweets this month

Could kiss the Waitrose Sevenoaks branch manager for changing our hours so I get an hour longer in bed!

@luccylastic

How great to see Dorton House, Sevenoaks featured on #childreninneed tonight. Amazing place where we worked some time ago.

QJinspiration

We left v posh shoe shop in Sevenoaks abruptly today after George said loudly ‘it smells of smelly feet’. Woman trying on shoes not amused!

@lizmpower

SEC IEW V R E INT Every month we interview a notable member of your community

Chris Beeny The traditional pantomime comes to the Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall theatre this Christmas in the form of Sleeping Beauty. Leanne Rice catches up with Chris Beeny of Upstairs Downstairs, who plays the role of the King What’s involved in the process of a pantomime rehearsal? Everything is involved! There can be as little as six days’ rehearsal, up to two weeks. The best audience in the world is children – in a wonderful land of make believe.

QUIZ THE MP with Michael Fallon MP

Q. What issue will dominate the political agenda in 2012? A. The big political issue of 2012 will be the economy. We need it to grow in order to provide new jobs, especially for our young people. Government itself can’t create jobs but the government has to do everything possible to help businesses to expand, and new ones to start up. That means reforming the banking system so that banks lend more to smaller companies. It means improving skills: some 400 youngsters are now on apprenticeships in the Sevenoaks area. It also means helping British companies to grow exports in new markets: though Europe has stalled and the US is stuttering, the other half of the world economy continues to grow rapidly, especially India and China. Economic recovery also depends on restoring our public finances. Countries like Greece and Italy can no longer afford to pay interest on their debts.

How does playing theatre roles compare to TV roles? They’re two completely different mechanisms. The primary thing for actors is the theatre – you have complete feedback. You go from being looked after on TV to theatre, where you’re on your own kid. What would you have been doing if you didn’t act?

Here we inherited such a large deficit from the last Labour government that we are paying £120 million a day on servicing it – money that could have been used to spend on schools and hospitals. Bringing public spending into line with the revenue from taxes is essential to reduce the cost of borrowing and to keep interest rates low. This year I have visited many small companies in and around Sevenoaks. They agree that confidence is the key: they want ministers to cut unnecessary regulation and let them grow their businesses as they know best. If we want to have enough jobs in the future for our children, all of us have to back business now. n Have a question for the MP? Please send to editor@vinedigital.co.uk

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I would’ve liked to have been something medical – treating people and looking after them. Do you have a favourite role that you’ve played? I’ve never done two of the same, I can’t compare! And what about the musical scene? I’ve done a few musicals. The last thing I did was Lark Rise To Candleford, which was country singing, so I got away with that. What is a typical Christmas day for you? Family getting together, friends coming over and back to work on Monday. Chaotic, is the word I’m looking for.

n Listen to the full interview with Chris Beeny at www.vinedigital.co.uk n Also visit us on Twitter @Vinemagazine for the latest news and updates from the Vine team


IS THIS YOU?

READER REVIEW Set in the grounds of a large medieval deer park, Knole House is home to the Sackvilles and the setting of Virginia Woolf ’s novel Orlando. Dating back to the 18th century, many of the rooms remain and can be viewed as they were then, including the furniture and portraits of notable political figures and royals from Tudor and Stuart history. In the park the deer roam freely and are incredibly tame; I got the feeling they were actually posing for the many cameras pointing at them. The place was very family friendly and being able to see the deer so close was

Win two tickets to The Stag Cinema If this is you, walking through the High Street on Wednesday November 24 2011, simply send us some form of photo identification and you’ll win 2 tickets to a film at The Stag Theatre. Aren’t we nice! Prize available until 31 December 2011

enchanting for children. They also have a charming little tea room, an essential part of any historical day out. The grounds themselves are free to enter or just £4 to park the car for the day if you aren’t a National Trust member. I would strongly recommend Knole for a family day out. Even if you aren’t NT members and want to avoid costly entrance fees, then pack your bikes and a picnic and just go along and enjoy a day in the vast grounds with the free roaming Bambis, but don’t feed them! Review from CharlotteO, via Qype

COMMUNITY STAR Oli Dillon of Otford snagged his first professional acting role at the tender age of seven by playing Lumpy Hephalump in the My Friends Tigger And Pooh videos. Now at 13, he’s gone on to play a multitude of roles including gang-leader Fizzy from the Sparticle Mystery (which he had to shave his hair off for!) and Freddie from the BBC’s The Gobetweenies, where he acted alongside the Doctor Who star David Tennant. Oli also happens to have Cystic Fibrosis, one of the UK’s most common life-threatening inherited diseases. And what Oli has done to aid the CF Trust is probably some of his most impressive work yet. Oli produced an animated series associated with the CF Trust called Getting Nosy About Cf With Oli And Nush which aims to answer some of the questions young people living with CF and their families and friends might have about the disease. If you know of a school that would like to educate their students on CF and maybe raise ‘£600 in six weeks’, contact the CF Trust on 0300 3731100 or email events@cftrust. org.uk

DID YOU KNOW

710 IN

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The number of dogs that get Christmas gifts from their owners CHRISTMAS

special

Vine’s 8-page Christmas guide to the best gifts in town

822 The number of homes Santa visits every second to deliver all his presents

£ 33

The average amount spent per person on last-minute purchases

33.3 % The percentage of UK households that will have a real Christmas tree

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What did we get right? What did we get wrong? Send your 250-word review to: editor@vinedigital.co.uk. Or you can post letters to Vine, 3A Lakeview Stables, St. Clere, Sevenoaks TN15 6NL Visit www.vinedigital. co.uk or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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FEATURE

PRINTS CHARMING

Fascinating local artist Melvyn Evans opens up his studio to Vine readers, sharing his creative processes, why Knole is so special to him and how he became an award-winning artist WORDS: CHARLOTTE LUXFORD


FEATURE

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n a humble studio tucked down the tranquil Hitchen Hatch Lane, artist Melvyn Evans is quietly creating his next piece of art. This modest artist is one of Sevenoaks’ greatest assets and you may well recognise his work from some of the local galleries, but while generally keeping a low profile, Melvyn’s art has received very high praise. He has exhibited in some of the best galleries in London such as the Bankside Gallery, studied at the Royal College of Art and won awards for his illustrations. Despite his talent, there’s no pretentiousness to Melvyn’s art; his work is simple yet striking. “I like developing ideas using lino relief printing; this form of printing places limitations upon the artist because of the inherent restrictions of the medium. It necessitates a focused consideration as to what is essential in conveying an idea, how the composition, tone and colour work in harmony. Colour interests me a great deal, the Scandinavian and northern European use of colour, the greys and whites, the colour that is inextricably linked with tone and light.” Melvyn’s work reflects his personality, consciously or not; there’s a quiet sense of thought and compassion that goes into his illustrations, which is conveyed in particular through his print series of a little character with no name. His story is one of insecurities and worry as he embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Eventually the timid character gives up the ‘worry’ that he had been carrying around in his bag for so long. Melvyn’s work is chiefly based around stories such as this one that he has created through continuous detailed sketching, giving his work substance and meaning. It is undoubtedly Melvyn’s relationship with the Kent landscape that makes his work so special, however. There is certainly a focus on capturing the essence of the British countryside and its spirit. “I am drawn towards exploring the landscape’s figurative representation, and then looking deeper into aspects that interpret the mystical and spiritual elements of its nature, conveying a sense of history and folklore into a narrative, and imputing the image with a sense of place.” This can clearly be seen in Melvyn’s series on Knole Park. Fascinated by the ancient forest of the deer park and the complex beauty of light and shadow amongst the trees, Melvyn has really captured this enchanting landscape that is an important part of Sevenoaks’ heritage. Melvyn recalls: “Time seems to stop when you walk into the park; you feel different and there’s a sense that it’s a very special place. I am especially drawn to the dew ponds; I think they’re fascinating, especially those in ancient woodland. Their age and shape give them a mystery, their reflections are a window into another world.” While Melvyn is now doing what he loves best, it hasn’t always been this way. Under the influence of his naval father, Melvyn began his early career as a marine engineer working on submarines and destroyers, but underneath he always had a burning desire to become an artist. After his five-year apprenticeship he took the plunge and left the dockyard to study art in Wales at Carmarthen College of Art in 1981. Completing a BA in illustration at Exeter College of Art and Design, Melvyn moved on to Goldsmiths College London and afterwards attended drawing classes at the Royal College of Art. As a young artist Melvyn kicked off his artistic career at a design company and began illustrating in 1992 with

From top to bottom: ‘The Worry’ linoprint; Melvyn in his studio; Preparing the lino for print

vinedigital.co.uk December 2011 vine 17


FEATURE a commission by Chatto & Windus to create the artwork for the cover of Indigo by Marina Warner. This started a creative foray into publishing, which has included commissions from Channel 4 to illustrate a poetry anthology Visible Voices; Duncan Baird Publishing for a series of books Positive Business and Ebury Press cookery books by Amy Wilcock. “I was young and had no ties so I worked on everything I could. I have illustrated for all sorts of companies from the big magazines like Elle, Red and Cosmopolitan to Waitrose, Halifax and Vodafone. I even did a commission for the Church of England – I was asked to create a ‘modern’ illustration that turned out to be rather controversial; even The Times got wind of it!” Melvyn’s work certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed; perhaps one of his most notable pieces is his illustration ‘Thames People and Tides’ for the Transport for London competition. Harking back to the great travel posters designed by the likes of Edward Bawden, Edward McKnight Kauffer and Paul Nash, Melvyn’s busy London scene sits well amongst these modern classics and he has truly captured the spirit of 20thcentury poster design. Melvyn’s artwork was used to advertise and promote the awards event at the London Transport Museum and won an Association of Illustrators’ silver award for the illustration this summer. While Melvyn finds it difficult to pinpoint where his inspiration comes from, mainly drawing on the natural landscape around him, key 20th-century artists do play a part in how he approaches his work. “I admire

First page: top left: ‘Thames People and Tides’ digital print; top right: ‘Upon Reflection’ lino print: bottom: The studio Second page: top: ‘The Copse’ lino print: bottom: ‘Swallows Leaving’ lino print


FEATURE

the work of John Piper; David Jones; George Henry, especially his oil painting ‘A Galloway Landscape’, 1889; James Dickson Innes; I love John Craxton’s work; and the Glasgow School. There are so many, but all their printing and artistic processes are so different.” Despite the influence of 20th-century artists, Melvyn’s work has a unique contemporary edge while continuing the ever-popular demand for traditional printmaking. With such a print resurgence, now is the time to invest in contemporary artists who have embraced printmaking as their primary medium. To look forward to in the New Year, Melvyn will be opening up his studio to the public as part of the established South East Open Studio event in June and he will also be exhibiting a new selection of work at Knole next autumn. If you fancy a go at printmaking yourself, Melvyn will be offering a two-day lino-printing course at Chart Farm from January 20-21 and Art Angels now stock affordable Christmas cards displaying Melvyn’s work. If you’d like the real thing, why not commission Melvyn to create your own piece of art, whether it’s for you or a gift. One thing’s for sure; it will be a timeless piece of art worth keeping. n Visit www.melvynevans.com


THE WHITE HORSE IN SUNDRIDGE A relaxed country pub setting with an emphasis on simplicity, honesty and quality 01959 562 837 www.whitehorse-sundridge.co.uk

Tempura king prawns, pickled samphire and sweet chilli sauce

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braised red onion and new potato hash is that they’re not. In the coveted spot by the ecember means a lot of things equally well received, leaving us to ponder, fireplace surrounded by old framed pictures to the people of Sevenoaks; why on earth hadn’t we been of Sundridge, White Horse owner Steve Hall endless gift lists, neurotic inthere before? speaks openly to us about the pub: “We’re laws, and, for me, the perfectly The White Horse has not pretentious or exclusive, we cosy country pub. While some perfected the pub classics, that like that our customers feel they pubs might make you feel as if is for certain. A true testament can come in for a pint or a family you’re imposing if you’re not a local, as soon to this is with the final course; dinner, it’s up to them.” On top as I walk into the White Horse in Sundridge I was not fully despite the knowledge that Jason of the seriously delicious food, it’s I am pleasantly greeted by Peter, the pub’s prepared for what I that good old-fashioned honesty makes all of his desserts from manager, who speaks with me as if I’d been am still convinced in the form of their prices, scratch, I was not fully prepared having Sunday lunch there ever since my for what I am still convinced was school days as he kindly guides us to our table. was a piece of pure portions and service that makes a piece of pure heaven on my a truly great little pub. And An affair of cream and dark olive, the pub’s heaven on my plate itglancing plate. I am talking, of course, at their festive menus for interiors reflect its sentiment for classic about the sticky toffee pudding. Christmas Day (£49.95 for three simplicity, a theme which the chefs have Made according to a top secret courses), New Year’s Eve (£39.95 no doubt taken on board in their cooking. Hungarian recipe and presented for three courses, Champagne Nothing overly frilly clutters the menu and to perfection, the tall wedges of the moistest and a late-night bacon sandwich!) and for starters, my guest and I are spoilt with warm sponge are lovingly drizzled with a Christmas fare for the month of December a refreshing and colourful bright pumpkin marriage of fresh cream and toffee sauce then (£16.95 for two courses, £19.95 for three), soup served with fresh soft chunks of white topped with a garnish of strawberry and fig, a I might just be making myself the White and brown bread, perfect for dunking, and real heartbreaker if I’ve ever tasted one. Horse’s newest local. an immense seafood sharing platter of fresh What is so refreshing about the White prawns, mackerel, smoked salmon, silver Horse is that they aren’t trying to be anything words: Ashleigh Togher anchovies and fried scampi served on a rustic oak slab. Worthy of note, when dining at the White Horse do not ignore any of your accompaniments. One of chef Jason Silverton’s homemade chutneys, a red ale, apple, onion and currant creation that very nearly passed me by, might just be the best I’ve ever tried. Though tempted by our neighbouring table’s classic White Horse burger for my main, the roughly stacked hand-cut Owner Steve Hall, manager Peter Vials chips taunting me from the and chef Jason Silverton (L-R) plate, I eventually go for the slow-cooked lamb shank, a truly amazing cut of Reader offer meat that slides off the bone with thick chunks of Mediterranean ENTIRE BILL vegetables and butter from 6pm onwards beans served in a rich tomato sauce. My starting December 1 Their heavenly sticky toffee guest’s choice of duck Quote Vine when you book pudding with cream and breast, accompanied by Valid on main menu only toffee sauce Warm and inviting: The White Horse’s interior Offer ends 01/02/2012 a delicious red currant jelly,

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food for thought VINE DINING

with Benjamin James

Christmas time, mistletoe and wine! How quickly winter seems to have taken hold and now the thought of a white Christmas is a very real one. The George & Dragon, Chipstead has been fully decked out in garlands and fairy lights and now all that is left is to hang the stockings by the fire and wait for the big man in red to pop down our large and inviting chimney

On the forager’s trail What a delight November turned out to be for the eagle-eyed among us we were blessed with a late crop of mushrooms springing up all over the countryside. Quince, pears and apples have all had bumper crops, along with the famous Kent cobnut which seemed to be in every wood I walked in this year. Back at the George & Dragon, Chipstead we try our best to use the ingredients I find on my travels along with ones exchanged over the bar for a pint of Westerham’s George’s marvellous medicine or glass of merlot. Most recently, our talented chef ’s made a fantastic spiced quince jelly to accompany our infamous cheese board and a wonderful celeriac and apple gratin, all of which featured ingredients donated to us by green-fingered locals. Our Kentish Blue, pear and walnut salad is a hugely popular dish which combines a great local cheese with one of my favourite fruits, which has also had a bumper year. Easy to make at home, this is the perfect recipe to create if you want to use up the last of your pears: For two people: 1 Pear peeled and cored 150g Kentish Blue cheese 50g Walnuts 25g Kent cobnuts 80g Mixed salad leaves 10ml Vinaigrette dressing

A delicious Kentish Blue, pear and walnut salad

Fresh from the farm

With game season underway, local farm shops and butchers are the best place to visit for an alternative to chicken, lamb or even beef. Both Coldbreath butchers and Chart Farm in Seal have a great selection of game, offering a wonderful seasonal variety to any dining table. Why not try some, rabbit, venison, pheasant or partridge with a nice bottle or red! If you’re stuck for ideas of what to do with your purchase, pop in to see me at the George & Dragon, Chipstead, and over a coffee or glass of red I’d be happy to share some of our recipes and tips with you. n Visit www.georgeanddragonchipstead.com or call 01732 779019 for details about what’s on at The George & Dragon, Chipstead this Christmas

After-dinner treat

For me there are only two viable options for cocktails in December: sparkling champagne cocktails add fizz to any party or deliciously creamy after-dinner cocktails add the finishing touch to great dinner parties. The ‘grasshopper’ has always been a popular after-dinner cocktail at the George & Dragon, Chipstead; the subtle mix of mint and chocolate is just the right balance to be enjoyed without being sickly sweet.

Carefully peel the pears, slice in half, remove the core and slice lengthways. In a bowl place your mixed salad leaves and add the pear, crumbled blue cheese (small dice-sized pieces), and roughly crumbled nuts all into the bowl. Drizzle over the dressing, gently toss with your hands and transfer onto a plate. When transferring don’t worry too much about the nuts and cheese staying in the bowl; if this happens arrange the leaves then scatter the nuts and cheese over the top. Finish with a little drizzle of reduced, aged balsamic.

25ml Crème de menthe 25ml White crème de cacao 25ml Double cream 25ml Milk Cocoa powder to dust Vigorously shake all the ingredients with cubed ice. Using a tea strainer, strain the liquid into a martini-style glass and discard the ice. Sprinkle over a little cocoa powder and serve immediately.

Grasshopper Cocktail


Hurry and get your turkeys! Deadline: 10th December Hurstwood Farm’s Kentish Cobnut Oil was awarded the title of SUPREME CHAMPION in the 2010 Great Taste Awards

Come in and try our prime cuts of beef, local free range sausages and our home-reared venison

Now taking Christmas orders - Turkey, Goose & Venison

SHOP

Open Tue through to Fri 9am - 4pm & SatOur 9am -Own 3pm. Also open during Selling Home-Reared Christmas week Chart Farm Shop

TS STYANS

LANE

We are now pleased to announce the launch of the first Walnut Oil to be made from UK-grown walnuts. Hurstwood Farm’s ‘Kentish Walnut Oil’ is a unique product made from nuts grown and pressed on the Farm.

Ve and Other Locally Sourced, Fine M 5 mins from Sevenoaks town/just off A25

BOX

BOTT

PINT PATTER

from The Padwell words by local Rob Merrills As The Padwell welcomes new head chef Hervé Willems into its culinary team, Vine seeks to find out what this means for the pub and it’s grub

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here’s been yet another great leap forward at The Padwell, Stone Street as celebrity chef Hervé “La Grenouille” Willems has now taken up the challenging role of head chef. With over two decades’ worth of experience in Europe’s most prestigious restaurants, and several years’ experience consulting and teaching, Hervé says: “I will let the food speak for me.” With previous incumbent Sam Coleman now under Willems’ sage tutelage, The Padwell can promise the same wholesome, locally sourced food you’ve come to expect from The Padwell with an intriguing fine-dining twist. Allow yourself to be surprised

with what Hervé can serve up given staple Kentish fare to work with. Of course, The Padwell will still be offering the classic local favourites, just now with occasional twists and flourishes as befits a chef of Hervé’s experience and flair. The Padwell is resolute in its role as an unassuming country venue, albeit one with an unwavering commitment to providing superb beer, a growing reputation on the folk arts circuit and now a firm-footed place on the culinary map. n Call 01732 761532 or visit www.thepadwell.com to check out Hervé’s Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day menus.

PILLAR

ROAD

for details and to place your order

A25

SEVENOAKS

SE CHURCH RD

www.cobnutoil.co.uk

OM

We will be offering Kentish Cobnut Oil and Walnut Oil in gift packs for Christmas. Please see our website

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OA

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AD

BOROUGH GREEN

Free Farmyard Parking Open Tue, Wed & Fri 9am - 4pm & Sat 9am - 3pm Chart Farm, Seal 5 mins Sevenoaks town/ju Chart,from Sevenoaks, Kent TN15Seal 0ES Chart, Chart Farm, t: 01732 761672 Sevenoaks, Kent TN15 0ES m: 07976 726 469 T: 01732 761672 / 07976 726 4 www.chartfarm.com www.chartfarm.com

NOW TAKING ORDERS FOR YOUR TAILORMADE CHRISTMAS TURKEYS, GOOSE AND GAME

Williamsons Butchers & Graziers All sourced from Williamsons’ family-owned Warren farm in Otford or local Kentish farms Also offering a wide selection of delectable local cheeses and beef traditionally hung for 21 days Director: G.C Williamson 20 LONDON ROAD, SEVENOAKS, KENT, TN13 1AJ

01732 453189 vinedigital.co.uk December 2011 vine 23


VINE DINING

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etween finding the perfect tree, an epic turkey with all the trimmings and that gift for mad Aunt Linda, shopping for Christmas can get seriously stressful. Well, thank goodness there’s a place where we can relax, unwind and leave all that chaos behind: Browns Bar and Brasserie in Bluewater. As my guest and I make our way out of the cold, I could swear we’ve entered one of Paris’s most elegant night cafés. A warm, buzzing atmosphere accompanies the sound of soft Parisian jazz, making for a really alluring ambience. My guest and I sit at a brasserie-style table between the grand piano and the bar before we are taken to our table, giving us a chance to pop in some of their beautiful chilli and garlic marinated olives and peruse their tempting drinks menu. A bit of a gin snob, my guest goes for a classic gin martini which is customised to his desired dryness and is apparently “spot on”, while I choose a ‘Skinny Margarita’ made with Don Alvaro Tequila, fresh lime and Agave syrup instead of sugar, for a tipple I don’t have to feel so badly about. We are taken to the intimately-lit dining room, which is spacious and high-ceilinged like the rest of the restaurant, where we are looked after by an extremely courteous and efficient waiter who answers all of our questions about the menu. The à la carte menu is a stunner in itself, with tons of options for vegetarians such as the gorgeous-looking goat’s cheese filo parcels served with sweet potato, crushed peas and mixed leaves, and a commendable collection of meats and Browns’ classics from shepherd’s pie, with slowly braised minced lamb cooked in rosemary and garlic and served with curly kale and sweet potato dauphinoise, to a twice-roasted leg of duck served with star anise spiced plum sauce, traditional faggot of duck and peppered parsnip mash. After a good 15 minutes of “umming and aahing” we place our orders and to our delight, our starters come out almost right away. Seeing as my guest is quite a wellmannered one this time, I agree to share our first course and am pleased I do. I kick off the meal with panseared scallops dressed delicately in a lemon sauce paired with a refreshing beetroot relish and crushed peas and move on to the more unusual crab and avocado stack finished with mildly spiced crème fraîche, coriander and chilli salsa. Our lovely waiter then brings us the wine he recommended to complement our mains, a complex and full-bodied Italian Montepulciano Riserva with an exceptional length I’ll be thinking about for days. Sipping the wine and soaking in Browns’ relaxing atmosphere, I almost jump when I am presented with my main course, a beautiful cut of chargrilled rump steak simply served with seasoned chips. This dish usually comes with a sauce of lemon, parsley and peppercorn butter, but I decide to go without in order to experience the full flavour of the dish’s main elements. The steak is lean and cooked to perfection while the chunky chips are crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, getting the seal of approval from me, a selfproclaimed chip connoisseur of the highest standard. From his growing silence it is obvious that my guest’s main of succulent Scottish venison medallions served with flat mushrooms, tomato confit and those showstealing chips are going down well, to say the least. We wash down our last mouthfuls with that glorious Montepulciano Riserva and though we definitely don’t

24 vine December 2011 vinedigital.co.uk

welcome B R E A K

AT

B ROW N S


VINE DINING

A warm, buzzing atmosphere accompanies the sound of soft Parisian jazz, making for a really alluring ambience

Without sounding like too much of a scrooge, Christmas is a holiday that demands a lot from us. So it’s important we take the time to get a little jolly on our own terms; ideally, with fantastic food, wonderful wine and maybe a cheeky cocktail or two at Browns Bar and Brasserie in Bluewater WORDS: GERALDINE K I N D E

have room, turn our eyes to Browns’ dessert menu. For love nor money, I can never resist a good cheesecake, so I select the New York style classic vanilla cheesecake with a crunchy biscuit base and a smooth, creamy body with an added compote of caramelised banoffee that together is just absurdly delicious. My guest goes for some very inviting profiteroles filled with fresh cream and smothered with warm chocolate sauce, and the one he kindly puts on my plate finishes me off, leaving me extremely content and grinning like a buffoon.

Though we’ve been here for two-and-a-half hours and I’m full to the brim, I’d quite like another course so we can stay a little longer. Maybe I’ll brunch here with friends this weekend; hold a festive soirée in their private rooms later this month; or perhaps grab a Sunday lunch with the whole family sometime soon. As my mind plays with all of Browns’ dining possibilities, my smirking companion suggests “same time next week?”. Curiously, I think he already knows the answer.

n Browns Bar and Brasserie in Bluewater is open Monday – Saturday 10am – 11pm and Sunday 10am – 10.30pm. Call 01322 422880 or visit browns-restaurants. co.uk

vinedigital.co.uk December 2011 vine 25


VINE DINING

WHO IS

Estella?

Ashleigh Togher heads to a country kitchen tucked away in the heart of Sevenoaks to find out more about the woman behind Estella Cupcakes

I

Chocolate Cookbook. In addition, Natalie, f you haven’t tried an Estella Cupcake who also happens to be one of the yet, you are seriously missing out. loveliest people you’re ever likely to meet, These tiny treats have been stealing has recently been appointed ambassador hearts since their debut in January of Mermaid Bakeware. 2010 and here’s betting with your first Claiming to have always been bite you’ll be smitten too. The closest fascinated by the beautiful, Natalie is things I’ve ever seen to perfection, Estella committed to giving you the cupcake Cupcakes are painstakingly decorated by arrangement of your dreams or teaching Natalie Seldon who hand-makes all of you how to do so yourself ! the heartbreakingly pretty She is now inviting aspiring bows, hearts, butterflies and bakers to come inside flowers you’ll see adorning Estella’s country kitchen the tops of her gorgeously These tiny treats for cupcake masterclasses frosted cakes. But unlike have been stealing where she will teach you many fad bakeries of the minute who churn hearts since their the tricks of the trade and spoil you senseless out batch after batch of debut in January with Champagne and, of quaint-looking cupcakes 2010 and here’s course, a whole lot of cake. that disappoint flavour-wise; Estella Cupcakes taste just betting with your Having been scouted for her cupcake mastery by the as incredible as they look. first bite you’ll be Grove Hotel in London, Maybe Natalie’s smitten too Natalie provides her visiting background is the reason bakers with all of the she’s got it so right; having finest, organic and locally studied art in school and produced ingredients she starting out as a fashion uses herself, as well as a designer in the world gift bag chock-full of Estella of couture for Alexander McQueen, essentials for when your she has always had an eye for design. sweet session comes to Deciding that the cut-throat world of an end. fashion wasn’t exactly her cup of tea, So whether Natalie had a stint at Leith’s School of you’re searching Food and Wine in London followed by for some perfect a position at Easy Living magazine and party treats then at the award-winning Sainsbury’s or looking to magazine where she rubbed elbows become a cupcake with the likes of Jamie Oliver, Nigella creator in your Lawson, Heston Blumenthal and Delia own right, Estella (or Smith. As she chats away to me in her Natalie) is your girl. constantly delicious-smelling country Now the only question kitchen, I notice her own paintings of is Virtuous Vanilla, Lively Lemon, garden vegetables hanging on the walls; it Cinnamon Cream or Rich Red Velvet! becomes obvious that she has a genuine passion for both food and the creative arts, naturally combining the two. As if constantly creating bespoke, fit-for-a-princess cupcakes to suit her customer’s every whim doesn’t leave her busy enough, Natalie is also a food writer and food and prop stylist whose most recent projects include Jo Malone’s Christmas 2012 advertising campaign and Green & Black’s The New Collection

26 vine December 2011 vinedigital.co.uk

n Visit www.estellacupcakes.com, call 07770 306832 or email info@estellacupcakes.com for more information


CHART FARM’S CHRISTMAS CLASSICS

Y

ou already know Chart Farm for its beautiful cuts of ethically produced venison, the perfect Christmas meat alternative, but now also available in store are those festive classics you’ve been waiting for all year. For the main event, Chart Farm will be taking orders for the perfect free-range turkeys from the conscientious Kent-based farm Appledore Turkeys in Romney Marsh. Traditionally reared, you can be sure these turkeys have been well taken care of, as the taste is bound to reflect. But turkey isn’t the only beloved bird this season; impress your guests with one of Chart Farm’s partridges, pheasants, or ducks for the centrepiece of your festive dinner party. Also create warming winter lunches with some freshly baked French bread and Chart Farm’s gorgeous sausage selection featuring favourites such as wild

boar and apple, Lincolnshire and the very best venison. At Chart Farm the team knows how seriously you take your Christmas dinner and, with a reputation like theirs, you can rest assured your family and friends will be getting the best. A family-run business since 1981, Chart Farm sells only the finest ethically and locally produced meats on the market, so there is no need to shop around. So gather the trimmings, get everyone round and tuck into a Chart Farm special this Christmas. n Visit www.chartfarm.com or call 01732 761672 for more information. Open Tuesday through to Friday from 9am – 4pm and on Saturday 9am – 3pm.

Kentish Cobnuts • Almonds • Chestnuts Walnuts • Christmas Cobnut fudges, brittle, gifts and hampers Walnut trees also available

Contact Alexander Hunt on

01732 882734 St Mary’s Platt • near Sevenoaks• TN15 8NR

www.kentishcobnuts.com www.walnuttrees.co.uk

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vinedigital.co.uk December 2011 vine 27


pinboard y il m fa s k a o n e Your Sev

Olly Murs sings with RLSB children Singer and Xtra Factor presenter Olly Murs delighted patients and staff at the Royal London Society for Blind People’s (RLSB) award-winning Dorton House Nurser y when he visited on November 4 with BBC’s Children In Need programme. The nursery, which treats blind and visually-impaired children, has a strong emphasis on music and its utilisation as a therapy, an activity which has repeatedly been recognised as outstanding by Ofsted inspection. Olly sang and played instruments that were donated by the charity to the children. Dorton House nursery manager, Maggie Bindon said: “Our kids adore music and had a great time singing with Olly. All of us at the RLSB are really grateful to him for the visit and we’re all looking forward to seeing the Children in Need appeal.” n Visit www.rlsb.org.uk or call 01732 592500 for more information or to donate

Santa at Bedgebury Pinetum Santa Claus is coming to town! Or, more specifically, to Bedgebury Pinetum and Forest from December 3-16. Bring the kids along to the visitor centre from 12.30pm onwards for a chat, gift and professional family photograph for £7.50 per child. After Santa, why not have a nosy round their ‘Festive Food Grotto’ displaying a selection of the yummiest seasonal soup, hot drinks, mince pies and goodies galore. Or for £5 more, your child can enjoy a lovely two-course dinner in the candle-lit Pineatery café overlooking the lake from 4.30pm. This package includes a visit to the big man himself with the standard gift and photo and an additional cracker-maki ng activity. Not to exclude the parents, adult meals are available for £15 and a licensed bar is available. Charities associated with the Forestry Commission at Bedgebury National Pinetum will receive a donation from every ticket sale. n Visit www.pineatery.com or call 07877 871715 for more information

28 vine December 2011 vinedigital.co.uk


Amherst’s card collection in Sevenoaks are selling unique The artistic bunch at Amherst School h-needed new roof over muc a Christmas cards to raise money for hand-drawn entries, 100 over of Out l. poo ming the school’s swim Hobson, Katie Uttley, Jodie – ents the designs from four talented stud were chosen to grace the Amber Warrender and Holly White – year’s grand total of £1,000 last cards. The school is hoping to beat s of eight and £3.50 for pack for £3 at s price raised and have set printed are available for been packs of 12. The 5,000 cards that have s. noak Seve over all s shop purchase in local

n Indiroo and Lily By Sebastian Stockton

Arriva buses. Her e to

take you there.

Go Christmas shopping with Ar riva

Local buses into Se venoaks from Kem sing, Seal, Riverhead an d Dunton Green l Take the 402 to Bromle y or Tunbridge Wel ls l Go to Bluewater and Gra vesend direct by Service 308. For more details call 0844 visit arrivabus.co 800 4411, .uk or pop into Sev enoaks Bus Stati on. l

arrivabus.co.uk

Hever Castle’s Christmas experience Come and experience Ch ristmas in the historic chil dhood home of Anne Boleyn at Hever Castle from Novem ber 30 – December 24. Expect trad itional Christmas decoration welcoming log fires and twi s, nkling fair y lights throughou t the castle and gardens as well as the chance to meet Santa in his grotto for £8 a child plus admission if you boo k ahead. If you’re just showin g up on the day, children can also visit Santa in his cabin for £10 plus admission and enjoy a short donkey ride to the stable for £3 per chil d plus admission. Adults and children alike can browse the beautifully decorated Hever Christmas shops and dine in Hever Castle’s award-winni ng restaurants for great sea sonal meals, mince pies and Ch ristma for the whole Christmas exp s lunches. If you’re looking erience and then some wh y not head down on Decem ber 8-9 and 15-16 from 5-9.30pm for entry to the castle, the snow-dust ed grotto with Father Christma s, brass bands and a children’s carousel squeezed in Reader offer between some festive shopping and food for £12.50 for pre-booked adults and £6.20 for preAs a special Christmas gift, booked children. Hever Castle is giving away five n Visit www.hevercastle free family tickets. Just email . co.uk or call 01732 865224 win@vinedigital.co.uk for your chance to win

VINe

5 FREE TICKETS

vinedigital.co.uk December 2011 vine 29


OWEN PINE & OAK

furniture experts

A huge selection of contemporary, reproduction and antique pine and oak, and many exciting gifts and paintings CHRISTMAS GIFTS NOW IN STORE

FULLY STOCKED FOR PRECHRISTMAS DELIVERY

Owen Farm Well Hill - Chelsfield Orpington - Kent - BR6 7PW

01959 534645

www.owenpine.co.uk

Traditional Magical Christmas

Francis Jones JEWELLERS

The childhood home of Anne Boleyn

We specialise in beautiful jewellery & silver including Trollbeads, Hot Diamonds and New for Christmas, The London Road Collection. Come and see us for the perfect Christmas Gift

30 November - 24 December Wednesdays - Sundays Christmas at the castle, sumptuously decorated with twinkling lights and crackling log fires. As dusk falls the gardens will be transformed into an illuminated winter wonderland. • Father Christmas* • Donkey Rides* • Bands & Carousel* • Evening Specials* 8 - 9; 15 - 16 December • Snowy Grotto • Christmas Shopping • Festive Food • Illuminated Gardens

*For full information on open days, times and to pre-book visit our website or call 01732 865224 Hever, Nr. Edenbridge, Kent, TN8 7NG In the event of adverse weather, please check for the latest update on 01732 865224 or www.hevercastle.co.uk

30 vine December 2011 vinedigital.co.uk

01732 454629 64 High Street, Sevenoaks


GIVE this Christmas We all run around looking for the perfect Christmas present when we could be giving the best gift of all – the gift of life. Katie Barron interviews director and local man Ben Paine of Medair about the charity’s ethos and the ‘Big Give Christmas Challenge’

M

edair is definitely a charity with a difference. Despite its name, Medair is not a charity which solely gives medical help, nor does it have any association with flying. Responding to the world’s forgotten crises, it actually provides healthcare, water and sanitation services and infrastructure to the developing world. Founded in Switzerland in 1989, Medair is now also established in France, Germany, The Netherlands, the US and the UK. “Our mandate,” says Ben Paine, Development Director for the UK, “is to go to the places where people are dying the fastest, but which have no media coverage.” Born in Kenya, but brought up in Tonbridge, Ben attended The Skinners’ School and lives in Hadlow. Unlike many other international organisations, Medair is not media-driven: “Grinding, chronic, extraordinary poverty is not media-friendly,” as Ben explains. The charity spends almost nothing on marketing and remains relatively unknown outside the charity sector. However, it has an unparalleled reputation in its field. Assessors from Intelligent Giving have rated Medair the number one charity of its kind for the last three years, ahead of well-known charities like Oxfam and The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC). “Many charities are led by wonderfully compassionate people, but relatively few of them have the necessary wisdom to apply this and help people,” says Ben. Medair uses its experience and local knowledge to help over two million people a year. Working in eight countries, it

lives out its core values of integrity, hope, compassion, accountability, dignity and a Christian ethos. “One of our best success stories was in Northern Uganda,” recalls Ben. In 1999, driven by fear of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), 1.8 million people found themselves in camps for internally displaced persons. The only charity operating within the camps, Medair provided sanitation facilities, improved infrastructure and built health clinics. It also gave psychosocial support to children who had been abducted by the LRA to be used as sex slaves or child soldiers. Today, the LRA has moved out of the area, and Medair has handed over to the local people, as well as supporting the thousands who have been able to return to their communities. So, what does the future hold for Medair? Ben sees the recent formation of South Sudan as an independent country as exciting, but not without its dangers and difficulties. Medair has been in Sudan since the 1990s, and is now providing water and sanitation facilities to those displaced by the ongoing conflict. Closer to home, the first week of December marks an exciting time for the charity, as they take part in The Big Give Christmas Challenge. Medair’s system of funding means that a £20 donation can deliver up to £100 in aid, as international governments and organisations such as UNICEF fund the remainder. By donating to Medair on www.thebiggive.org.uk, from 10am on December 5, your donation will be matched pound for pound, raising more funds for this extraordinary charity.

Many charities are led by wonderfully compassionate people, but relatively few of them have the necessary wisdom to apply this and help people

n Visit www.medair.org

vinedigital.co.uk December 2011 vine 31


CHRISTMAS

THE

town You may recall our last visit to London Road back in May with our ‘Break the Chain’ feature, when Vine showcased the shops of Sevenoaks that are sometimes overshadowed by larger chain stores. Now, with Christmas coming, London Road is thriving as smart shoppers are learning that they really can get the best buys and unique gifts so close to home – Christmas shopping has never been easier!

THE CHOCOLATE SHOP

THE COMPACT DISC

Run by Tina Fenner and Sarah Salisbury, The Chocolate Shop is your one-stop-shop for everything chocolate-related. With over 300 different varieties of English and Belgian chocolates, as well as traditional sweet shop treats, there’s something for every sweet tooth. Does your neighbour like salted caramels but detest Turkish delight? No problem! Create personalised Christmas gifts by hand-picking your own chocolate range and beautiful gift box. Gluten-free, diabetic and dairy-free chocolates are also available and all chocolates can be delivered locally through the mailorder service so no one has to miss out this Christmas.

Whether you’re looking for a track in the top 40 or an obscure DVD you can’t find anywhere else, Martin Salisbury and Phil Drown at the Compact Disc will have it in store or will source it for you. The only specialty blues and classical shop in the area for miles, they have an immense selection of DVDs, including a new box-set from legendary mime artist Jacques Tati for £42. For soulful stocking fillers snag Caro Emerald’s new album, Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor for £14.99 and imported from Brooklyn, New York, signed copies of April Smith’s album, Songs For A Sinking Ship, for £17.99.

n 59 London Road 01732 742350

SEVENOAKS HABERDASHERY With the slogan “the only thing old-fashioned about us is our service”, the Sevenoaks Haberdashery has everything the modern sewer, knitter or crocheter could ever need. However, if you’ve never even held a needle or simply wish to improve your skill owner Elizabeth Jebson and her expert team of staff hold group and individual classes at around £20 per session for ages 11 upwards. Looking for a present for a budding seamstress? The haberdashery can compile the perfect tailored gift set chock-full of essentials; just name your price! n 5 London Road 01732 459708

SEVENOAKS COMPUTERS Sevenoaks Computers is your convenient local source for computer advice, the latest laptop and PC models, accessories and a range of software services. With an in-store workshop and a new remote support service with savvy experts on call for £40 a year, Sevenoaks Computers is dedicated to catering to all of your computer-based needs. Just in time for Christmas, they are now selling the Lenovo Z370, a lightweight 13.3” laptop available in hot pink or electric blue for £449, as well as their standard stock of iPods, iPads and other Apple products. n 11 London Road 01732 466666 www.sevenoakscomputers.co.uk

n 57 London Road 01732 740 889 www.bluesandjazz.co.uk

JAMIA Formerly Sargeant gifts, Jamia, which is run by brother and sister partnership Ann and David Sargeant, is a funky little gift shop selling everything from phrase-embroidered cushions to tissues that look like £20 notes. With a selection for every occasion, Jamia, named after David’s four-year-old son Jamie and two-year-old daughter Mia, is the go-to present place for that special wedding, christening, birthday and everything in between. So, naturally, Christmas is covered without question; come in for lovely festive plush toys, decorations and trinkets galore. n 26 London Road 01732 457304

FLOWERS AND SPARKLE Lisa Reynolds’ brightly stocked (and beautifully scented!) flower shop is a must-visit for all of your floral musings. Handmade posies, bouquets and arrangements are available year-round and for any occasion; especially for weddings they offer bridal consultations, bespoke wedding stationery and an extensive range of chair covers. This Christmas the experts at Flowers and Sparkle are offering Christmas tree and home decorating services, as well as homemade wreaths, garlands and centrepieces available in classic tartans, reds and golds or any combination you come up with. n 30 London Road 01732 741927 www.flowersandsparkle.co.uk


BEAUX BAGELS Probably the best value-for-your-money breakfast, lunch or brunch in town, Beaux Bagels’ Martin Cozens serves up 40 ready-to-go genuine Brick Lane bagels at unbeatable prices. Pick up the paper, grab a drink and choose a fresh Panini, sandwich or bagel with a classic filling like their salmon and cream cheese combo, or go for a more festive turkey and cranberry selection. A seasonal, freshly made soup will be available daily throughout the winter as well as lovely sweet treats from Kat Jones of the Half Moon Bakery. Any way you slice it, it’s a great way to break up your London Road shopping! n 24A London Road 07931 340259

PATMORES Are you tired of faceless manufacturers who forget about you the minute you’ve purchased? Well, a solution is closer and easier than you might imagine. A family-run business for over 50 years, Patmores offers a wide selection of home products from top-of-the-range six-slice toasters to the latest flat screen Panasonic and Sony televisions at extremely competitive prices. But it is the service that’s the real ticket; the team at Patmores will deliver and install your device and make up to two courtesy visits all completely free of charge. In addition, the staff are the nicest bunch of people around: it certainly beats chasing shop assistants around a department store any day. n 67A London Road 01732 456247 www.patmores.com

WILLIAMSONS BUTCHERS The seventh generation Williamson butcher to run this 200-year-old shop is Gary Williamson, who proudly sells a wide selection of meats and cheeses from only the best local sources (try Duddleswell Organic sheep’s cheese!). Incredibly knowledgeable and with a real zeal for cooking, Gary is happy to give advice and share his personal cooking tips and recipes with his customers. The shop is now taking orders for your Christmas turkeys, geese and game from the Williamson familyowned Warren Farm in Otford, and as an expert butcher, Gary welcomes even the most elaborate requests (he serves a fowl stuffed with eight birds for his own Christmas dinner!). n 20 London Road 01732 453189

MAISIE K Full of sparkle, fine furnishings and quality European design for you and your home, Maisie K is one of those shops you can’t help but get giddy about. After eight years of Maisie K success in Cranbrook, owner Clare Horrell recently opened up a Sevenoaks branch due to popular demand and after taking a peek inside, it’s not hard to see why. Her slogan “gorgeous gifts and goodies for little girls and big girls” is spot on: step in store now and you’ll enter a Maisieesque winter wonderland with elaborate candelabras, frosted glassware, fabulous jewellery, bags and scarves for starters. n 24 London Road 01732 743500 www.maisiek.co.uk

THE ANCHOR INN Looking for a tipple? The Anchor Inn is your convenient stop for a cheeky beverage and good pub grub served with a healthy dose of character. Stick around on a Wednesday night for the ‘Blues with Bottle Club’ and soak up the best live musical acts in town. And, if you consider yourself a bit of a wine-o, then check out the inn’s new wine list or join their wine club free of charge and enjoy weekly taster evenings. Also available throughout the festive season is their Christmas lunch menu; and at £13.95 for three courses, this is one meal deal that’s seriously not to be missed. n 32 London Road 01732 454898

ZAPATAS With a beautifully rustic Mexican interior and deliciously authentic dishes to match, Zapatas transports its guests to South America from the middle of Sevenoaks! Expect amazing offers like these dinnersfor two: Chilli de la Casa for £24, a double chicken fajita for £25 or paella especial for £24.50 with a free bottle of house red or white thrown in. Also check out their Christmas menu at two courses for £15.50 and three courses for £18.95 and their early bird special at £8.95 for two courses before 7.30pm. Look out for their 2-for-1 cocktail hour and a new tapas menu, coming in 2012. n 42-44 London Road 01732 464545 www.zapatas.co.uk/Sevenoaks

THE HARDWARE CENTRE Between the two shops on London Road, the Hardware Centre has everything you need for home maintenance and DIY. Their kitchenware store stocks top-of-the-line cooking products at killer costs such as sought-after Le Creuset collections at one third off their original market price. Especially for the season, they are also offering amazing three-for-two mix and match offers on an extensive line of products and gifts. And don’t forget to stock up on snow shovels, rock salt and sledges for the chilly months ahead! n 43 London Road 01732 450363 www.hardwarecentre.co.uk

SEVENOAKS ART SHOP As a major stockist of Winsor & Newton and Daler Rowney, the shop not only has good quality materials but it also employs staff who know a thing or two, many being creative types themselves. As well as an on-site workshop for framing, the shop stocks a huge range of unique cards, readymade frames and local maps and scenes. Its fantastic gallery holds original paintings and limited edition prints including the work of Quentin Blake, Graham Clarke and Rob Ryan among others. n 45 London Road 01732 452551 www.sevenoaksartshop.co.uk


Glass Bell Jar £30 Bring It On Home 0208 166 8741 www.bringitonhome.co.uk

'Two of a Kind' cushion £15 Bring It On Home 0208 166 8741 www.bringitonhome.co.uk

The Chocolate Shop

Handmade Chocolates, Truffles, Stocking fillers and Christmas Boxes 59 London Road, Sevenoaks Phone: 01732 742350

Patek Philippe Ladies Nautilus Watch £22,070 G Collins and Sons www.gcollinsandsons.com

Ralph Lauren, Tan Leather Tote Bag, £780 available from House of Fraser, www.houseoffraser.co.uk

Homespun Plump Felt Robin, £5 House of Fraser www.houseoffraser.co.uk

ALL I WANT FOR

Christmas Vi ne 's fe st iv e gi ft gu id e

Shambala bracelets £38.00 each Lolleys 01732 763700 www.lolleys.co.uk

34 vine December 2011 vinedigital.co.uk

Child's Pettiskirt From £35 to £55 (other colours available) Curly Locks in Locksbottom 01689 860490 www.curlylocksclothing.com

Death Comes To Pemberley £14.99 (RRP £18.99) Sevenoaks Bookshop 01732 452055 www.sevenoaksbookshop.co.uk

Large wooden toolbox £42.50 22 x 32 x 7.5cm, for ages 6 + Bramble Corner www.bramblecorner.com 01342 826800

One-of-a-kind electric guitars handcrafted from biscuit tins From £275 www.theguitarsmith.com mark@theguitarsmith.com

Beautiful beaded tree decorations, prices start from £4.95 Beads Amore,The Shambles, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 1AL 01732 740 925 www.beadsamore.co.uk


Annual subscription to local history magazine Bygone Kent (six issues): £26 (printed magazine), £15 (digital edition) www.bygonekent.org.uk 01227 469060

A Fabulous Fix Tasting Case – six bottles £128.84 Chapel Down www.chapeldown.com

d'Orsay Paris’ Candle Bois de Coton £45 available from The Bathroom Shop www.the-bathroomshop.co.uk

Exquisite and original drawings of the moving figure by Karen Summers Prices range £150 – £1,000 www.karensummers.co.uk 07978934336

Hunter Regent Hurlingham Boots £195 available from Hoads Shoes www.hoadsshoes.co.uk

Roksanda Ilincic, Navy Faux Fur Gilet £99 Debenhams www.debenhams.com

‘Guardian Angel’ from the Circle of Life collection £990 Moorcroft www.thechinaman.com

Leather friendship Watch £11.95 Be Charmed 01732 883365 www.be-charmed.co.uk

Unique Leather Bracelet with rose gold plated clasp £21 Be Charmed 01732 883365 www.be-charmed.co.uk

Fair Isle Men’s Sock Slippers £10 John Lewis www.johnlewis.com

Evoke Mio Digital and FM Radio £150 Orla Kiely www.orlakiely.com

Paddie Bow iPad Case in Deep Pink £35 Ted Baker www.tedbaker.com

Laura Oakes, Bird Nestles Chair Cushion, £75, Rye, www.lauraoakes.co.uk

Boxing Day comes early for Chilstone Hares. This delightful group of two bronze resin hares is just one of the charming range of animal gifts available from Chilstone of Tunbridge Wells.The hares are made in the West Country and are 11" tall and are a snip at £127.64 + VAT 01892 740866 www.chilstone.com

vinedigital.co.uk December 2011 vine 35


curiouser Just as Alice stumbles across the captivating Wonderland in Lewis Carroll’s tale, Charlotte Luxford discovers the weird and wonderful happenings at the extraordinary Cabbages & Kings in Halstead. Intrigued? Read on...

T

o those of you who have already discovered Cabbages & Kings in Halstead village, I apologise. I know that if I had been acquainted with this place sooner I would also want to keep it under wraps. The truth of the matter is, this tea room-cum-gift shop-cum-bed and breakfast is the best-kept secret in the area and I hasten to add, in the whole of Kent. Possibly the littlest hotel in the country, this gorgeous 19th-century flint cottage based in the Old Post Office used to be the home of Jane Whitby, before she decided to renovate the house entirely by hand from the panelling to the paving. As a former interior designer specialising in soft furnishings, Jane has an incredible eye for detail, which gives this place its unique charm. The key to Cabbages & Kings is in the name, however, inspired by the famous line in Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland: “The time has come to talk of many things: of shoes – and ships – and sealing wax – of cabbages – and kings”. As Jane explains, the building houses “many things” and like the Mad Hatter’s tea party, there’s always a lot going on, yet somehow it is perfect chaos. Jane’s ethos is always to achieve the very best: “Aim higher, and land upon the stars. If you can make something fabulous, then do it!” Her passion and enterprise can be seen especially in the kitchen, where her renowned apricot and pecan scones disappear before afternoon tea has even begun and her cakes are stupendously scrumptious – there’s such a punch of flavour and a moist, light texture, meaning they never lack in taste. Jane describes her food as “rustic comfort food”; she never pretends it’s fine dining and that’s not what it’s about; it’s really delicious, fresh hearty food, from the macaroni cheese with leeks and bacon to the gourmet salads, homemade quiches and eggs Benedict with homemade hollandaise for brunch. There are new things in the pipeline too: Jane has employed a baker to bake fresh artisan bread on site in the new year and she is also looking to create her own tea blend, while providing other unique flavours – perfect for enjoying with her renowned afternoon teas. It’s not just the food, but the environment in which it is served that makes this place special. Browse around the carefully stocked and beautifully arranged gift shop on a peaceful mid-week morning before sitting down in a cosy chair to read a book with a coffee by the crackling log fire, or come with the whole family for a relaxing Sunday breakfast which will set you up for a walk around the spectacular surrounding countryside. If you’re not up for a ramble, why not sit in Cabbages & Kings’ pretty garden? Enjoy an afternoon among the flowers in the tranquil country garden. Cabbages & Kings has such a reputation that it has become a

36 vine December 2011 vinedigital.co.uk

bustling haven for relatives and friends to meet for a catch up and it certainly has its following of loyal locals. For those from further afield, its pull is the three stunning rooms available for a minimum of two-night stays at £85 per night, with those little extras like coffee and cake on arrival and a substantial breakfast menu – even Santa stays here. Yes, that’s right; you may well see Santa enjoying his breakfast before he heads off to meet the children at Polhill Garden Centre round the corner. After one year, Jane has achieved so much yet she’s always on the lookout for ways to improve her miniature empire, but I think it’s perfectly imperfect. n Visit Cabbages & Kings at The Old Post Office, Church Road, Halstead TN14 7HE or call 01959 533054 Opening times are 9.30am – 4pm every day except Tuesday

From top to bottom; extensive gift shop; cosy bedroom interior; snug tea room; an eclectic mix of homeware; the flint cottage


RIGHT up your street Uninspired by high street shopping this Christmas? Need that unique gift for the person who has it all? Jeweller Dominic Walmsley based in Riverhead may have just what you’re looking for, says Charlotte Luxford

CHRISTMAS

GIFT IDEAS DIAMOND PLATINUM DRESS RING A stunning platinum dress ring set with 2.30ct of sparkling diamonds £7,200

DIAMOND HOOP PENDANT A glittering 18ct white gold pendant featuring 1.04ct of icy white diamonds £2,200

R

ecently, Vine has been talking about the increasingly fashionable area of Hollybush Lane, with Rafferty’s, Deli on the Lane and Lady Butterworth’s being firm local favourites, but now this trend for stylish independent shops has spread to Riverhead. New businesses are cropping up left, right and centre, such as The Square, Oakwood Beauty and The Skin Clinic, just confirming that these quality parades of shops are where it’s at. One shop owner certainly supports this theory anyway, and that’s Dominic Walmsley. An established jeweller in his own right, and a Freeman of London, Dominic extended his successful London business to the Sevenoaks area, moving more recently to the popular Riverhead location in April this year. Dominic prides himself on offering the high-end service expected of a London jeweller (the head office is based in Clerkenwell), but with the personal service you’d expect of a thriving boutique shop in a quaint market town such as Sevenoaks. His fresh, contemporary style literally shines from the gallery-style cases of rich coloured cocktail rings, strikingly simple silver designs or sparkling diamond rings, which he is known best for. Despite his range, the one thing that remains constant in his work, however, is the quality of material and craftsmanship. Dominic trained as an apprentice through the renowned Goldsmiths’ Company, thereby retaining the traditional methods of working with metal while also introducing his own flair for design. His bespoke jewellery ranges means you can avoid the uninspiring mass-

produced offerings of the high street when looking for that special gift – especially if it is an engagement ring. His contemporary designs are refreshingly different, yet totally wearable and with a workshop on his doorstep, he can offer commissions and a personal service that is second-to-none. The shop has a relaxed atmosphere about it and none of that stuffiness that is often experienced in a high-end jeweller: Dominic will chat with you about what you want, draw detailed designs and do plenty of research to make sure you get the end result you desire. He is also happy to take your old jewellery and create a new commissioned piece, so it’s worth taking in your old gold jewellery and getting something made that is truly personal to you or a loved one. Commissions range from ‘fingerprint’ rings and pendants, which include the name of your choice and a little diamond (a whole family came in once to get them made for each member), to eternity rings and glamorous dress jewellery – in essence, anything is possible. If you’re quick, Dominic may still be able to create you a commissioned piece just in time for Christmas. It doesn’t have to be an expensive affair though and despite Dominic’s quality and impeccable service, you can pick up an affordable gift from £36. This includes the ever-popular friendship bracelets and select designer pieces, such as the Bjorg collection worn by A-List celebrities such as Rihanna and Kelly Rowland, and Van Peterson’s designs. Whatever your price range, Dominic has something to suit every taste and you can bet that you won’t see anyone else wearing it on the high street – if you don’t believe me, pop by the shop and see for yourself.

TANZANITE RING This eye-catching ring was commissioned by a private client who provided Dominic with the Tanzanite bought on her travels. Dominic then designed and made the complementing diamond setting and band

FINGERPRINT CUFFLINKS A fabulous gift for him! Personalised cufflinks hand engraved with your children’s or a loved one’s fingerprints. Available in sterling silver, white gold and yellow gold from £320

GOTHIC GARNET RING Silver and silver gilt with set of three garnets £220

VINe

Reader offer A FREE silver Robin pendant worth £55 with every purchase throughout December Quote Vine when purchasing Offer ends 24/12/11

n 3 The Square, Riverhead, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2AA n Call 01732 779555 or visit www.dominicwalmsley.com


gift

A RARE While the high street faces economic difficulty, The Chinaman is one shop that is standing strong in the face of it all under the new ownership of the Donnelly family. Charlotte Luxford went to meet them to find out about their future plans

T

he Chinaman is somewhat of a Sevenoaks institution and with so many shops closing their doors in these tough times, it’s refreshing to see ambitious couple Mark and Di Donnelly embracing this business opportunity. Previously under the ownership of Janette Copp and Yvonne Stuart, The Chinaman has been open for around 40 years and the pair worked hard to make it a popular destination for quality china and glassware during their 11-and-a-half-year tenure. After meeting Mark in the shop, it is comforting to hear that he appreciates their efforts and loyal clientele: “Everyone is so relieved that the shop is staying here; we want to keep the community spirit alive and Janette and Yvonne set the bar high, so we will be keeping up the standard that regular customers expect.” What you can expect is top-quality glass and china from Lladro, Nao, Moorcroft and Royal Worcester among others. Mark has maintained the well-established relationships with these top names, even visiting Moorcroft and Lladro in Valencia to show them he was

up to the job. As a specialist business, a large majority of the wares stocked are sold to The Chinaman exclusively. Royal Copenhagen, for example, has a very selective distribution and The Chinaman sell their ‘2011 plate’ and figurines that you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else in the country – even Harrods can’t get hold of some of the pieces. While Mark and Di will still be stocking classic tableware from names like Villeroy & Boch, Portmeirion and Royal Worcester, they are planning to make the shop more of a destination for specialist giftware to suit collectors and special occasions. Gifts range from mugs under £10 to Moorcroft vases at £3,000 and limited edition Lladro pieces. There’s something for younger generations with the crisp, monochromatic Re-Deco range or for distinguished collectors there’s still an ample selection of established names like Wedgwood and Waterford Crystal. So there’s plenty on offer for the customers, but what was the pull for Mark and Di? While searching from London to Canterbury for the perfect place to set up shop, they found they had an instant connection with The

BEST OF THE BRANDS LLADRO: CHERUB OF LOVE Limited Edition 3,000 pieces globally £1,600

MOORCROFT: ANEMONE TRIBUTE Designed by Emma Bossons, £295

Chinaman and the surrounding community. “We both had a background in retail, that’s how we met, but then went along different career paths and always wanted to run a business for ourselves. We just fell in love with The Chinaman; the atmosphere was fantastic and it was a lovely store – the perfect opportunity for setting up our own family business.” And that’s really what it is; you’ll see Mark’s teenage daughter Sophie working as the Saturday girl, Di’s mum Joan during the week, and the family also kept on expert parttime staff Janice and Sue. This Christmas, the family are offering a free gift-wrapping service with the option to donate to Hospice in the Weald and will also be open for late-night shopping. Look out for various promotions including a free gift from Dartington stemware if you spend over £100 and the chance to win a £500 Lladro voucher if you spend over £100 on Lladro. So whatever you’re looking for this Christmas, you’re bound to find it in The Chinaman. n Visit www.thechinaman.co.uk or call 01732 454937 for more information

PORTMEIRION: ‘ROYAL WORCESTER’ SERENITY, 20-PIECE BOX SET special offer £50 (RRP £150) DARTINGTON: GLITZ CRYSTAL CHAMPAGNE FLUTES £35 a pair VILLEROY & BOCH: TOY’S DELIGHT CAKE PLATE £39.95


a creative

CHRISTMAS

Looking for a unique present this Christmas? Why not draw inspiration from Sevenoaks Art Shop, with its eclectic mix of gifts to suit everyone This fascinating print is a high-quality giclee reproduction by Edward Hasted entitled ‘The Hundred of Codsheath’, dated 1797. Codsheath consisted of Sevenoaks and nine other parishes and the print covers the Sevenoaks and Shoreham area. For just £80, including a mount ready for framing, this couldn’t make a better present for a proud Sennockian or local history enthusiast. Sticking with the Sevenoaks theme, for a great stocking filler buy this ‘I’d rather be in Sevenoaks’ fine bone china mug: perfect for Sevenoaks relatives or those who have moved away but miss the town. Sevenoaks Art Shop got these made especially, so if you want one, head here. At only £8.50, you can’t go wrong.

ST MARKS of LONDON BUILDERS AND DEVELOPERS OF HIGH LUXURY INTERIOR DESIGNED HOMES

35 Burgate,Canterbury CT1 2HA - Tel: 01227 464 789 12-14 Gabriels Hill, Maidstone ME15 6JG - Tel: 01622 753 150

For jetsetting couples and avid travellers, this fun ‘scratch-off ’ map of the world is the gift to get. The top layer of the map is gold foil for easy scratching, which then reveals the gorgeous detail underneath. It comes unframed, packaged handily in a tube; it’s an original Christmas present and very affordable at £15.95.

info@gcornell.co.uk - www.gcornell.co.uk

St Marks of London BUILDERS AND DEVELOPERS OF HIGH LUXURY INTERIOR DESIGNED HOMES

Budding artists will really appreciate this quality Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolour box set: with 12 tubes, two brushes, a pencil and charcoal, a putty rubber, blending medium and palette, all in a lovely wooden box, this makes the perfect gift at £35. Sevenoaks Art Shop is a premier stockist of Winsor & Newton, so if it’s not watercolour, the shop has plenty of different gift sets to suit everyone from beginners to masters. Don’t forget: framing makes a brilliant gift for those special photos that have sat in drawers far too long or those prints that have remained rolled up in tubes. If you’re quick, the team should still be able to do bespoke framing before Christmas, if not; there is always a selection of readymade frames available. In addition, look no further for stylish Christmas Reader offer cards that are a little different; the selection of V & A cards are a good bet.

VINe

10% OFF

n Visit www.sevenoaksartshop. co.uk or call 01732 452551 for more information. 45 London Road, Sevenoaks

The Framing Price of ‘The Hundred of Codsheath’ Print

St Marks

of London

BUILDERS & DEVELOPERS OF HIGH LUXURY INTERIOR DESIGNED HOMES

Developments • Design & Build • Interior Design

01732 464348 tender@stmarksoflondon.co.uk www.stmarksoflondon.co.uk

Quote Vine when you order Offer ends 30/12/2011

vinedigital.co.uk December 2011 vine 39


COLOUR ME BEAUTIFUL

STYLE

Vine chats to the resident colourists at Matthew Cross about why they love what they do and what colours are getting their attention this season

PARTY LOOKS Turn some heads this festive season with our pick of pretty party looks

HIGHLIGHTS: £95 – £125 TINTS: £60

SPARKLE

At the salon: Wednesday – Saturday I joined as a senior colourist three years ago, bringing with me 20 years of London West End experience. I have been lucky enough over the years to have coloured numerous celebrity heads from Ivana Trump to Penny Lancaster. The thing I most enjoy about colouring is using my experience to change a client’s colour with minimum fuss while engaging in a good old chat. Magazine pictures often influence a person’s colour choice; it’s always good to have a starting point of reference. Cheryl Cole is popular, sporting a natural look with a rich and sun-kissed, healthy chocolate brown. I think brunette is fast becoming the new blonde.

Natasha

HIGHLIGHTS: £80 – £100 TINTS: £60 At the salon: Tuesday, Friday and Saturday

Laura

All things that sparkle and shine are bound to work their way into your beauty regime this winter. Start with a neutral palette of nude glossy lips and frosty eyes, then add a touch of glittered-up glam like these fabulous diamanteembellished falsies from Shu Uemura for £15. Or get on board the creative nail trend with Andrea Fulerton Stripe and Sparkle Paint in ‘Brooke’ for £4.99. The super-skinny brush gives you total control to paint on your initials, spots, stars – it’s up to you!

I joined the team five years ago as an assistant and while training I decided my chosen path as a colour specialist. I love the variety colour brings to the table, from enhancing a client’s complexion to completely and dramatically changing their overall look. As summer meets autumn and then touches winter the urge to change your colour arrives. I love to see blondes add a richer, darker-tone low light for real depth to replace the dimension lost by the summer sun. For darker shades of colour I love to see a tint or a vegetable colour to enhance tonal richness and a healthy shine, like Kate Middleton.

STAIN

Let deep, indulgent colours stain lips and cheeks for scene-stealing party style. Warm up the look with a mossy-gold eye shadow and a clean sweep of mascara, then splash on this Smashbox favourite Limitless Lip Stain and Colour Seal Balm in ‘Berry’ for £21.50. Or look all a-flush by applying bruised windwhipped hues like this Bobbi Brown Shimmer Blush in ‘Plum Wine’ for £18 to the hollows of your cheeks.

HIGHLIGHTS: £60 – £80

smoke

At the salon: Tuesday – Saturday I started my training at London’s Joshua Galvin Academy, founded by the brother of Daniel Galvin, then moved to Matthew Cross before qualifying. Now qualified, I feel I’ve found something other people rarely do in a career that I love. You can’t beat the feeling you get when you make a client smile by getting their colour just right to match their skin tones and lifestyle. Being here with a great team of colourists with vast experience behind them makes me feel lucky; I have all the help I could need to learn my craft. I admire Jennifer Aniston as a style icon who always wears her colour well with subtle changes. You can see Jennifer has worked with some great colourists over the years.

Harriet

n For a free consultation or to book an appointment call 01732 461 988

Get your guests’ undivided attention with simply smouldering eyes this party season. Dare to be dramatic with the help of Urban Decay’s Naked Eyeshadow Palette for £35 in 12 trendy shades from subtle champagnes to the deepest midnight blues. Play with flicks of liner on your top eyelid with RMK’s Ingenious Gel Eyeliner for £23 and boldly outline you’re eyelids’ crease if you’re feeling a bit modish.


WELLNESS 69 London Road Sevenoaks TN13 1AX

Private, Doctor led skin clinic specialising in advanced facial aesthetics, dermatology and minor skin surgery.

Rehabilitate your hair this Christmas!

Treatments include: • Wrinkle relaxation with Botulinum • Dermal fillers (cheeks/lips/face) • Chemical peels and skin rejuvenation • Dermaroller™ treatments • Mole checks • Mole/skin tag/wart removal • Dermatology consultations • Prescription only skin care products eg OBAGI

OPENING EVENING 14th December, 6–9pm Come and meet Dr Johanna Ward, watch treatment demos and browse through our skin shop for all the latest skin nourishing goodies

15% OFF

cosmetic treatments throughout 2 The Square, Riverhead, December Sevenoaks, TN13 2AA

www.theskinclinic.org.uk

01732 462844

We stock special Christmas gift packages from these brands: Alterna hair care • Prive hair products • Cloud Nine straightners • Beever hair care for men Racoon hair extensions

01732 455531 www.rehabilitateyourhair.com RehabHairSalon

@ReHaBHairSalon1

Visit our Sevenoaks store: 6 Bligh’s Court, Bligh’s Meadow. TN13 1DD. Tel: 01732 455 360. Mon to Sat: 9:30am-5:30pm, Sun: 11am-5pm.

www.jojomamanbebe.co.uk 0871 423 5656 Quote VIS12 at website checkout when ordering

Vine Magazine Sevenoaks Nov 1

10/11/2011 16:50

vinedigital.co.uk December 2011 vine 41


OU R SERVICES

WELLNESS

Personal Training one to one Personal Training small group Weight Loss Nutrition Tailored Classes Rapid Transformations Sports Performance Individual Athletes

THE TEAM

EXTRA CARE

We have a friendly and dedicated team of graduate and postgraduate qualified exercise specialists and physiotherapists to cover your every requirement.

Physiotherapy

ASK JASON Injury Rehabilitation Over Sixties

Teenage Fitness

Jason Crow

Tiffany Cole

Chris Wharton

Steve Fusse

Lucy Curtis

Fitness professional Jason Crow answers your exercise dilemmas

Teams & Clubs Schools & Colleges

Q: How do I enjoy my Christmas without adding a stone in weight? Lauren, Biggin Hill

AWARD WINNING HAIRDRESSING www.thechapel.co.uk tunbridge wells 01892 549 900 islington 0207 5200 460 sevenoaks 01732 759 839

A: First of all, I want you to really enjoy your Christmas; it is one of my favourite times of the year. Now we just need to make sure that you can do this without having to diet and work out like mad in January. So here are a few of my tried and tested Christmas hints and tips: 1. Pre-arrange training sessions with a trainer or training partner over the holiday period. You are less likely to miss them if you think you are going to let someone down. 2. Make sure you don’t go to a party thirsty to avoid consuming excess alcohol. Keep up a good water intake instead of quenching your thirst the calorific way.

3. Also, apply the same rule to parties as you do to the supermarket; don’t go to them when you are starving hungry. Have a healthy protein-based snack before you leave. 4. Party hard. Who said exercise wasn’t fun? An 11-stone person will burn up to 500 calories in an hour of dancing. 5. Eat lean in-between. Try to go for the leaner cuts of meat, fish and vegetables when you get the chance. This will give you a little bit of scope when it comes to enjoying the large family meals. Now go forth and have a fantastic Christmas and a brilliant New Year, from all the team at the Better Body Shop. n If you have any questions on this or any other health and fitness areas please send them to jason@betterbodyshop.co.uk

BBS Vine 90 x 121 Rapid advert:Vine 90 x 121mm Rapid Ad 25/08/2011 13:32

SEVENOAKS

AESTHETICS

Sevenoaks Aesthetics offers a wide range of cosmetic skin rejuvenation treatments to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, improve complexion and add volume and contour, without the need for invasive and costly surgical procedures. Dr Richard Warwick, a member of The British Association of Cosmetic Doctors, and his team are based in Sevenoaks and hold regular practices at locations across West Kent and Sussex.

S E V E N O A K S U LT I M A T E B O O T C A M P

2 week transformation course

We are even able to supply your food for every meal.

Lose up to11/2 stone in just 2 weeks

For more information and to book your free, personalised, no-obligation consultation, please contact the team on:

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www.sevenoaksaesthetics.com

BETTER BODY SHOP - SEVENOAKS Unit 3, Sevenoaks Enterprise Centre, Bat & Ball Road Sevenoaks TN14 5LJ. Opposite the Bat & Ball station

Call Alison on

01732 451 979

W W W . B E T T E R B O D Y S H O P. C O . U K 2X WINNER BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE & BEST LEISURE COMPANY

42 vine December 2011 vinedigital.co.uk


We stock all the latest brands in tennis as well as squash, badminton and racquetball and an extensive range of shoes

Prestige Pro Junior

Our on-site tennis re-stringing service is extremely popular, please ask about our 24 hour re-stringing service

£29.99

THE RACQUET ACADEMY

Wilson US Open Balls

£5.99 Also available is a huge stock of grips, balls, clothes, luggage and accessories

OVER 500 rackets and shoes in stock

K-SWISS Defier Mens shoes

£52.99 4 Sevenoaks Road, Otford, TN14 5PB

01959 525441 www.racquetacademy.co.uk

vinedigital.co.uk December 2011 vine 43


FESTIVE fashion

FOR

This festive season is all about the faux fur, chunky Christmas knits and country casuals with a twist – we dare you not to ask Santa for these fabulous winter staples...

HOLLYWOOD GLAMOUR This flattering camel-coloured coat with gorgeous faux fur trim effortlessly glams up any outfit while keeping you toasty warm. Throw it over your contemporary ball gown-style ‘Raul Dress’ by Ted Baker, put on your sky high red velvet heels and Cinderella shall go to the ball!

+

+ Kurt Geiger, £195

Ted Baker, £399

Topshop, £110

=

ALPINE CHIC For the easy alpine look, go for this cosy ski jumper from quintessentially British brand Aubin and Wills and don’t forget to keep the essentials toasty warm with this cute Clements Ribeiro pom-pom hat and glove set. Complete the look with this easy-to-wear cross body bag with faux fur trim – think you won’t be tempted to stroke it?

+

+ Clements Ribeiro for John Lewis, hat £28, gloves £25

Aubin and Wills, £165

= Topshop, £35

COUNTRY CHRISTMAS For a more contemporary take on the traditional tweed, wear this casual country field coat in ‘Angus Tweed’, which is timeless and feminine. For an edgier look, team with these lace-up biker boots from Hobbs and skinny mustard jeans.

+ Joules, £199

+ NW3 Hobbs, £269

= Zara, £39.99

HER


The modern man must be many men throughout the festive season; a homebody, explorer and sophisticate all in rapid rotation. Vine’s personal picks help you look and feel the part with plays of on-trend texture

LORD OF THE MANOR Nothing’s better than Christmas at home, so make sure you celebrate it in comfort and style with this wool shawl-collared Henley and a pair of cropped tweed trousers for an unexpected take on the classic country look. Pop on this more modern-looking hunter’s jacket to complete the ensemble, perfect for that post-Christmas lunch stroll.

+

+

J. Crew, £86.72

Beretta, £225

= Gant Rugger, £150

MOUNTAIN MAN In every man there lies a love of the wild. Look good and explore the great outdoors at the same time with this rugged man’s essential down-filled hooded coat with a pair of functional (and totally fetching) suede and leather boots. Throw on a tartan scarf for extra warmth and festiveness.

+

+

=

Rag & Bone, £515

Gant Rugger, £300

Fred Perry, £45

WELL SUITED Look and feel sharp as a tack with this debonair dotted black suit and these old school-looking tassled leather loafers. Take the look to 2012 by pairing with this contemporary take on the traditional dinner shirt, complete with pleat detail and branded collar bones.

+

+ Aubin & Wills, £95

Richard James, £785

Paul Smith, £380

=

FOR

HIM


BMW Winter Tyres

www.bmw.co.uk/ winter-tyres

YOUR PRE-PRESS PROOF IS READY FOR APPROVAL FOUR OF THIS SEASON’S MUST-HAVES.

VIN

The Ultimate Driving Machine

AS TEMPERATURES FALL BELOW 7°C, BMW WINTER TYRES WILL PROVIDE n YOU A low resolution pre-press proof of your insertion into our OPTIMUM GRIP TO KEEP SAFELY ON THE ROAD. PLEASE CHECK CAREFULLY FOR THE ACCURACY OF SPELLING, TELEPHO PLEASE CHECK CAREF July 2011 edition is attached. Please approve for press by return.

Many drivers don’t appreciate that the performance of their tyres is affected when temperatures drop below 7°C which, let’s face EMAIL DETAILS ALL OTHER ELEMENTS OF YOUR ADV Unless we hear wheels from you withwith amendments ACCURACY OF SPELLI it, is on most days in a typical British winter. A setADDRESSES, of winter and tyres their specialAND rubber compound and grooves * is available from £700 RRP per set , and or is by far the safer option in these colder months. To make life easier for you, we’ll even new copy before ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR ERRORS BEYOND THIS S NUMBERS, ADDRESSES store your standard wheels and tyres for just £30 until it’s CANNOT time to switch them back again in spring.

MONDAY JUNE AT 5PM AND DRIVE. ALL OTHER ELEM AS THE SEASONS CHANGE, SWITCH20TH TO BMW WINTER TYRES FOR A SAFER we will proceed to press with this artwork.

ADVERT/EDITORIAL AS

the production studio, who will be very happy to help:

ACCEPT RESPONSIBILI

For more information on using winter tyres in colder conditions, or to locate your nearest dealer, please visit www.coopersevenoaksbmw.co.uk call us on 01732 464154. queries, please contact If you haveor any problems or technical

Cooper Sevenoaks

The Vestry Estate, Otford Road, Sevenoaks, Kent TN14 5EL 01732 464154 www.coopersevenoaksbmw.co.uk tel: 01732 760823 Winter wheels and tyres are available on selected models and subject to availability.

email: chris@onlinevine.co.uk

BEYOND THIS STAGE.

*Recommended retail price of £700 is based on steel wheel style 12, tyre dimension 195/55R16 87H and one set of wheel covers for BMW 1 Series. Wheel shown is alloy wheel style 141, tyre dimension 205/50R17 89H, recommended retail price of £1,540. All prices are for a set of four wheels and tyres, prices include VAT but exclude fitting.

23010_bs97484 cooper seven winter tyre 130x190 1

13/10/2011 10:00

DO YOU OWN A RENAULT? IF SO, YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT US Independent Renault technical experts who specialise in Renault

ALL MAKES AND MODELS CATERED FOR Does not invalidate any Renault warranties General/major servicing Repairs and MOTs Local collection and delivery service Courtesy vehicles available (subject to status & availability)

VERY COMPETITIVE RATES Also serve commercial vehicles

WINTER CHECK For all makes and models

£30 + VAT

www.ren7oaks.co.uk

46 vine December 2011 vinedigital.co.uk

Tel: 01732 761372 Fax: 01732 761336

• • • • • • • • • •

MOT Tests (Cars & Diesels) Servicing & Repairs to all makes of Car Full Diagnostics Air Conditioning servicing Servicing & Repairs to motorcycles Free Collection & Delivery within a 10 mile radius Courtesy Car available by arrangement Friendly Helpful Staff Parts & Labour Guarantee Member of RMIF Quality Control Program

9 West End, Kemsing, Sevenoaks, Kent

www.kemsingmotorco.co.uk

UNIT G2, CHAUCER BUS’ PARK, WATERY LANE KEMSING, SEVENOAKS, KENT TN15 6HU

01732 761 200

Kemsing Motor Co.

VOTED ONE OF THE TOP 5 GARAGES FOR 2011


OFFSET

raises the bar

With only two and a half years passed since Offset Architects opened its doors to the Sevenoaks people, it has established a solid reputation for its architectural services, so much so that it is up for awards. Vine takes a look at what makes Offset so successful

S

ince featuring in Vine in March 2010, Offset has gone from strength to strength, building up an impressive portfolio of clients and new projects across diverse sectors and building types. The success of the practice has not only resulted in the company growing from five to 11 staff in just 12 months, but Offset has recently made it to the finals of the West Kent Business Excellence Awards in the Best Growing Business Category. In fact, as Vine goes to print, the team will be crossing their fingers at a glittering awards ceremony held in Tunbridge Wells. It’s not all glitz and glamour however. Offset has worked incredibly hard to obtain its swift success and despite the economic climate making it incredibly difficult for smaller businesses, Offset has made it work. The secret to the company’s success lies in its clientfocused approach; with the four partners, Paul Hagell, Rob Ranson, Paul Grattan and Rob Colley, offering a personal service that is second-to-none,

earning themselves repeat business, recommendations and an excellent reputation. Due to its size, Offset can pay real attention to each client, lending itself to the high-end residential and commercial market. Recent projects include a variety of new houses and flats in the south-east; a contemporary pre-school shortlisted for an award; an award-winning barn conversion; high-spec alterations to existing prestigious homes, as well as two regional hotel projects and three A-list restaurants in central London. The firm is passionate about working with clients from the outset to fully understand their brief, provide them with detailed designs to help clients realise their potential sites, and to see the project through to fruition. In addition, Offset’s sound construction advice and its track record for delivering approved planning consents, coupled with the ability to handle large technical projects, has made Offset the company to watch in the forthcoming year.

We feel privileged in this current economic climate to be so busy and we sincerely thank all our clients for their continued support and recommendations

words: Charlotte Luxford

n Call 01732 452111 or visit www.offsetarchitects.com for more information

vinedigital.co.uk December 2011 vine 47


HOME & GARDEN

A MODERN

makeover

Doctor Diljit Uppal invites Vine into his home to find out what Potts Kitchens and Bathrooms has done to deserve his high praise

D

words: Ashleigh Togher

iljit Uppal and his family are entertainers. On the weekends the Uppals’ family home becomes buzzing with family and friends who delight in their culinary explorations and catching up on the latest news. But before going to Potts they found their gettogethers hindered by their home. As Potts’

Ann Geering, the Uppal family’s kitchen designer, says: “The kitchen is at the heart of everything; it’s where you eat, drink and socialise – you spend most of your time there”. So, if you’re not happy with your kitchen, the chances are you’re not happy with your home. Realising this Diljit, who has used Potts for home projects over the past 25 years, knew exactly where to go to begin creating

SO WHAT MAKES THE UPPALS’ KITCHEN SO GOOD?

the kitchen of his dreams. The Uppals visited Potts’ award-winning showroom in East Malling to choose from their extensive selection of top-of-the-line kitchen and bathroom models to kick-start their renovations. They then met with Ann who worked with them to create the design concept and guided them through the entire renovation process, from initial planning to installation and completion.

FABULOUS FINISHES Ditching its original dark wood furnishings, Potts completely reworked the floor, walls and ceiling with brand new creamcoloured marble tiles and the cabinetry with a dual gloss lacquer and walnuteffect laminate. Gorgeous granite worktops were also installed throughout, creating a sleek-looking interior.

EFFICIENT USE OF SPACE The Uppals had a big, previously separated plot of space for their kitchen and utility room that Potts combined to create the clean and open multiuse kitchen. The Potts team also converted the pre-existing window into a set of beautiful double French doors for instant access into their lovely garden on the other side.

TOP-OF-THE-RANGE APPLIANCES As a kitchen-come-utility-room, Potts installed a fully integrated washing machine from Neff for some inconspicuous cleaning for when guests are round. Also cleverly hidden in the kitchen are two radiators and a back-up electrical radiator for the winter months ahead. Out in the open, Potts proudly placed stainless steel taps and sinks: one for cooking and one for hand washing, for the perfect modern finish.

Utilising innovative German designs, Potts completely renovated the Uppals’ formerly dark, wood-based kitchen and utility room into the open, ultra-modern hub for activity that it is today. Singing Potts’ praises, Diljit said: “They’ve done an excellent job, the team of workers were clean, efficient and helpful, they took their time and didn’t rush the job and it shows – we’re extremely happy with the outcome.”

48 vine December 2011 vinedigital.co.uk

n Visit www.potts.ltd.uk or call 01732 848444 for more information


Garden House Collections Official premier partners and sole stockists of Neptune’s stunning handmade kitchens, bathrooms and interiors

01732 351866 187 High Street, Tonbridge www.gardenhousecollections.co.uk

Invicta Plumbing Services making green energy work for you GET READY FOR WINTER SPECIAL Optimise your Central Heating and help reduce your winter fuel bill. Bring your central heating system back to life. Power Flushing from just £275. We also offer bespoke renewable heating and power installations.

01732 550250 info@ghpworks.co.uk www.ghpworks.co.uk

Quality careful plumbing for your home

• No Call out charge • Fully Qualified • Public liability insured • Bathroom installations • Kitchen sinks • Radiators • Leaks and blockages • Hot and Cold water systems • Repairs and maintenance

01732 762 549 07853 112 855 info@invictaplumbing.co.uk www.invictaplumbing.co.uk

vinedigital.co.uk December 2011 vine 49


WINTER TRENDS Step away from the tinsel! This year Vine shows you how to decorate your home for the festive season in classically gorgeous winter trends – and without a strand of synthetic fibre in sight

PIGS in BLANKETS

Rich browns, creams and blacks are all well and good but don’t shy away from celebrating the season with punches of bright colour. Mix scarlets, fushsias and canary yellows with plush textures for bursts of style, like this show-stopping pink velvet buttoned French walnut armchair from Couch GB for £950. Throw this Linum Marcel petrol blue velvet cushion into the mix for £45 and turn on this £85 hot pink silk lampshade from Je Vous En Prie for a home that exudes festive fun.

TEXTURED brights

Make your home the warmest in the neighbourhood (or the warmest-looking at least!) with irresistibly soft furnishings. Think vast tartan blankets like this Deansgate design from Aubin & Wills for £129 mixed with luxurious fur pieces for a Scottish highland feel. And for those seeking the seriously snugly, snap up this cashmere cable throw from Ralph Lauren for £450 and this hand-made fairisle cushion for £59 from Not on the High Street for good measure.

woodland wonderland Whimsical and wintery woodland-inspired pieces are stealing the show this season. Look out for items with spindly metal branches, sparrows and stags to work into your home like this beautiful ovalshaped ‘Bird on Branch’ wall mirror from Oliver Bonas for £32. Be bangon trend, even while eating your bran flakes, with this embellished china bowl from Urban Outfitters for £8.

50 vine December 2011 vinedigital.co.uk


LOCALLY GROWN, FRESHLY DUG

CHRISTMAS TREES GATE HOUSE NURSERY Christmas pot plants Flowers and wreaths

TREE SURGERY

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COLDHARBOUR LANE, HILDENBOROUGH WE ARE HERE Volvo Garage

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07703 195 800 www.prestigetreecare.co.uk

Garden Management and Design

WEALDEN Country Landcraft For all your design, construction and maintenance requirements, contact: Adam Sutton BSc (Hons) Environmental Science | Tim Playfoot BA (Hons) Garden Design Tel:01892 722699 | Adam:07979 362241 | Tim:07990 751353 | www.wealdencountrylandcraft.co.uk

vinedigital.co.uk December 2011 vine 51


HOME & GARDEN

RECLAIMED & fabulous Sometimes it seems impossible to find great-looking furniture that will last, especially if you’re looking for pieces that have been responsibly and ethically sourced. Raft Furniture’s FSC-certified reclaimed teak furniture and handmade English sofas break the commercial mould WORDS: ASHLEIGH TOGHER

A

re you a conscientious shopper who’s looking for something unique for your home? Then don’t settle for generic-looking models from less-than-reliable sources: put Raft Furniture in Bromley at the top of your list. Made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) 100 per cent recycled teak and certified sources in Indonesia, Raft furniture is designed and manufactured in Raft-supervised warehouses ensuring quality care and Raft standards are retained throughout. Bought from collapsed buildings, bridges and ships that would otherwise go to waste, each piece of up to 100-year-old teak has a unique story and is designed to last a lifetime. With no two pieces of furniture alike, and with Raft’s in-house team of innovative designers, you can be sure you’re getting something that won’t pop up on the high street. Take for example the teak root dining table with a breathtaking solid wood teak base topped with a 15 mm-thick, hand-cut piece of toughened glass. Stunning, and yet simple enough to be used every day, this statement dining room piece is an investment in style. Or for a more subtle but equally exciting addition to your home, take a look at their selection of teak hidden bookcases. Like the root dining table, this piece has been a real head-turner from the start, and has since been converted into two different sizes to keep up with huge customer demand. The medium version shown is a very sturdy piece of solid wood furniture with a contemporary look and extremely functional design. The unit hides four pull-out drawers and side compartments, allowing for a secret stash of anything

from your iPod to your favourite bottle of vintage port. But it’s not all about the teak: Raft Furniture is also known for it’s range of sofas which are entirely handmade in the heart of England. Choose your favourite fabric or leather design and Raft can customise your sofa from armchairs to corner units in order to match your family’s size and taste exactly. As great as they look, these sofas are built to withstand the wear and tear that comes with constant use and will actually become more beautiful as time goes on. It’s also not only about the big purchases; Raft offers many home accessories that make for perfect Christmas gifts. Take a peek at their gorgeous teak bowls for an inventive way of storing anything from vegetables to potpourri and there are also candles, cushions, vases and rugs to name just a few. So whether you’re looking for unique wood furniture, sofas or accessories that are both striking and built to last, Raft Furniture has everything you need from sources you don’t need to think twice about.

Teak Root Glass Top Dining Table

n Call 0208 208 7175 or visit www.raftfurniture.co.uk

Embassy 4-seater Selvaggio Hare grade 2 leather

Medium Hidden Bookcase


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including low needle drop Nordmans ÂŁ1.00 per tree sold goes to Demelza House hospice for children enquiries@complete-plumbing.co.uk www.complete-plumbing.co.uk

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vinedigital.co.uk December 2011 vine 53


When I say British Home Guard, what do you think of? Most likely the British television phenomenon Dad’s Army as well as a barrel of catchphrases like “Don’t Panic!” “We’re doomed!” and “You stupid boy!” spring to mind. But the Home Guard was an actual service and a respectable one at that. Vine discovers the real Captain Mainwaring and his band of men through Colonel Rodney Foster’s private diaries WO R D S: A SH L E I G H TO G H E R

© RODNEY FOSTER ARCHIV

E

E

verybody recalls the chaps from the Home Guard as they were portrayed in the BBC’s legendary television programme, Dad’s Army. Amusing viewers for nine seasons from 1968, these boys were certainly a farcical lot; among others there was Pike, the eternal school boy, Frazer, the pessimistic Scotsman, and Godfrey, the mild-mannered fool undoubtedly past his sell-by date, all of whom made up the loveably ineffectual last line of British defence. But how close this much-loved programme was to the reality of Home Guard life was unknown –until an extraordinary recent discovery came to light. In January, 2009 antiques dealer Shaun Sewell was trawling the web looking for gold, or his personal equivalent,

54 vine December 2011 vinedigital.co.uk

antique war diaries. After purchasing the illustrated World War I diaries of Thomas Cairns Livingstone in a shoebox at an auction in 2005, and then publishing them with HarperCollins in two successful editions, Tommy’s War and Tommy’s Peace, Shaun was on the hunt again for another fascinating buy. He then spotted on eBay a product described as an eight-volume-long series of World War II diaries, and got that flurry of excitement that comes from being on brink of something big yet again. Shaun made a bid at £900 and then started to feel the heat, “It’s always a risk and £900 is a fair bit of money”, but after the precious package was delivered to his Northumberland home, Shaun was put at ease: “I knew I’d made a good decision; eight full volumes of solid diary from a character like that – they were fantastic.” A character he was indeed; almost mirroring Dad’s Army’s principal role of the pompous yet well-meaning Captain George Mainwaring, the diaries’ author and real-life platoon leader of Hythe’s Home Guard described the daily aspects of a wartime existence with meticulous detail, refreshing wit and a Dad’s Army dose of superiority. In the very first entry of the book, September 1 1939, his tone is typified:


FEATURE

Though vivid, this figure remains nameless throughout and therefore left Shaun, and his editor Ronnie Scott, with the difficult task of identifying this enigmatic diarist. Armed with an insatiable interest for these diaries, the double team fit the puzzle pieces together to eventually come up with the name that is now emblazoned on the front cover of Penguin’s hottest November release: Colonel Rodney Foster. Along his path of research Shaun managed to contact Rodney’s next of kin, Anne Kingston, who played an integral role in piecing together his story. News of the diaries came as a complete shock to Anne, who was oblivious to their existence due to unfortunate family circumstances. Rodney’s daughter, Daphne, had suffered from dementia and when she died in 1980 her family home in Kent was seized and sold along with the entirety of its contents, including Rodney’s diaries. Having lost all of her family history, Anne was delighted when Shaun rang her up and told her of his discovery: “It’s sort of a balm for what happened: it’s a gift to have this big loss and then this amazing history coming back.” A former Lieutenant-Colonel of the Indian army, Rodney was described by Brigadier H. J. Couchman, the Surveyor General of India in 1932, as “a steady, painstaking officer of imperturbable temperament” before he settled into his retirement in Upper Fold, Hythe. He was also a surveyor and cartographer of the Survey of India, which explains the highly detailed maps and battle drawings featured in the book’s content. But most notably he was a prolific writer who painstakingly detailed the day’s events on both a militaristic and extremely personal level, and included news clippings and current events allowing for a uniquely broad account of the war. Although Shaun insists that diaries do not have a determined worth, he marvels at their uniqueness: “The diaries are full of interesting entries that he wrote in every day without fail, including his reactions to the most noteworthy events of the war like the Battle of Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain and German raids.” These times of extreme significance are marvellously mixed in with the extremely commonplace, as he wrote on September 4, 1939: A false alarm on the east coast early this morning. The Germans have sunk a passenger ship with 100 Americans on board (SS Athenia). All saved except those killed in the explosion. First blood as far as we know. The advance parties of the British Expeditionary Force have landed in France. Mrs Matheson, her companion and Bessie Surtees to tea. What is very telling of Rodney is the forbidden circumstances in which he kept these diaries. Any written accounts of the war were strictly banned by the British government for fear that they might end up in German hands and therefore become a threat to national security. But as Shaun says, “I don’t think Rodney could help himself, he was a natural-born recorder and hoarder and in experiencing these momentous times in history, surrounded by destruction and near-death experiences – I think he just had to.” And though Rodney’s diaries and the BBC programme share a Kentish town setting and a mish-

© EAST KENT ARCHIVE

© RODNEY FOSTER ARCHIVE

Daphne’s birthday. Phyllis out to board meeting in the afternoon and I had my usual afternoon with my father-in-law. In the evening we sat in our blacked-out house. Very stuffy, inconvenient and depressing.

This page: (above) the frontispiece page of Rodney’s wartime accounts, which he donated to Hythe Council and currently resides in the East Kent Archive. Opposite page: (top) Spitfires blow up V-I rockets as they approach the Hythe coastline (bottom) Colonel Rodney Foster’s military identity card

mash of volunteers who struggled to find supplies and fell asleep on duty, The Real ‘Dad’s Army’ tells of an actual army-trained community of men who, although comical, were genuinely prepared to defend our national freedom. In his diaries, Rodney is gloriously brave and multifaceted as the old British empirical soldier, a fantastic narrator with an inspiring sense of duty. But it is his and the platoon’s embodiment of the quintessentially British spirit of ‘just getting on with it’ that makes his account so worth the read.

What is very telling of Rodney is the forbidden circumstances in which he kept these diaries. Any written accounts of the war were strictly banned

Available now from Sevenoaks Book Shop n The Real ‘Dad’s Army’ (Penguin) is available from Sevenoaks Book Shop at the special price of £14.99 (RRP £16.99). Call 01732 452055 to place your order

vinedigital.co.uk December 2011 vine 55


THE STAG:

not just for theatre

Sure, The Stag in Sevenoaks is known for providing Sevenoaks with quality entertainment, but it is also a hive of community and youth-based activity. Check out for yourself why more and more young people are heading to The Stag every month and why this Christmas the perfect day out could be a whole lot closer to home than you might think

MAKING SOUNDWAVES Parents and teenagers across Sevenoaks are sharing a sigh of relief as there’s finally a place where young people can go that’s just for them. Safe, supervised but also very cool; I am, of course, talking about Soundwaves, a monthly event held at The Stag Theatre that showcases young musical talent from around the Sevenoaks area and further afield. Soundwaves was initiated by the Sevenoaks Town Council in February in response to an opinion held by the Sevenoaks Youth Council that the town needed more youth-based discos and events for young people. As a series of events for the under-18 set exclusively, Soundwaves at The Stag welcomes around 100 attendees every month who come from all over the county for a good night out. The featured musicians always cause quite a fuss, with local amateur acts and signed bands from all over the UK gracing The Stag stage as part of the UK’s Breaking Acts Tour, including the likes of Britt Love, the former singer of pop duo Mini Viva whose hit ‘Left My Heart in Tokyo’ stayed in the top ten for four weeks. This month’s instalment of Soundwaves on December 2 features the soul-singing stylings of Brit-award winner Nate James as well as

performances from Chameleon, New Excuse and Purple Sky. Nate, who has sold more than a quarter of a million albums worldwide to date, is a big fan of The Stag and, after seeing and loving last year’s pantomime Jack And The Beanstalk, has since landed the role of Colin Goose in this month’s Mother Goose. Though the music is definitely the main attraction, there’s more to Soundwaves than just good tunes. There are easily approachable teen advice counsellors at the event, and with tickets priced at just £2, as well as cheap-but-cheerful snacks and drinks, The Stag is fast becoming the most fun and affordable community-based youth hotspot in Sevenoaks. The Stag is also currently making plans for a youth café with pool tables to be introduced within the next year or two, which will act as a constant space for young people to hang out. Gabrielle Stapleton, The Stag’s Marketing Manager, comments on their efforts: “We are very proud of what we have achieved; the young people that come to these events are really diverse and not just from Sevenoaks. We provide a safe, issue-focused and fun place in the centre of town that I think is really needed.”

The Stag is fast becoming the most fun and affordable community-based youth hotspot in Sevenoaks

Nate James

Teens enjoy Soundwaves 56 vine December 2011 vinedigital.co.uk


S E V E N O A K S O N S K AT E S

T H E S TA G I N T H E N E W Y E A R Must-see shows and events coming to The Stag in January THE STAG YOUTH THEATRE Young actors aged 7-18 have the chance to learn more about acting for theatre, film and television every Monday during term time. The termly fee is £80, and there’s a free taster session coming January 6.

OUTSIDE THE BOX COMEDY CLUB Host Matt Brown shows Sennockians aged 16 and older some of the best comedy acts in the UK. Laughs on January 5 will be provided by Milton Jones, Paul Sinha and Andrew Bird for £14 a ticket.

Get into the Christmas spirit smack-bang in the centre of Sevenoaks! This December, there’s no need to travel further afield for your festive fix, as The Stag’s skating rink assures fun can be had for the whole family. Suitable for kids aged three years and older and adults, the skating rink in The Stag’s Plaza Suite will be open from December 19-24 if you’re looking for a wholesome winter activity in the countdown to Christmas. Again, the economyconscious team at The Stag has set entry costs at very competitive prices. Where else can your child go skating for only £3.60 a pop? Entry prices for adults are £6 each, including skate hire, and group bookings for your church, charity or extended group of friends are also available from 10am – 1pm, with your 11th member skating for free! And if you’re thinking of sacking in the lame games and tired party food for a Christmas party that your staff might actually enjoy, then why not pick up a slot at the rink for corporate hire from 7.30 – 9.30pm on selected dates at £10 per person or £15 per person with food included. Also, be sure to visit the man of the minute, Santa, from 2-4pm at £4 a go, and get the moment snapped up by sponsor and expert photographer Russell Harper. Christmas lists for the big man himself can also be posted from The Stag box office from November 25. The Stag has received sponsorship from Tonbridge Audi, Chevening Financial Services, Warners Solicitors, Sunflower Lettings, Russell Harper Photography, Taywell Ice Cream and the Sevenoaks Chronicle to make this local attraction possible, and, again, take pride in the project’s community-based nature. Gabrielle says of the rink: “Families just don’t have the budget anymore, so we’re giving the community a Christmas atmosphere they want without having to spend a lot of money.” The Stag is big on supporting local trade and between Santa and skating, encourages Sennockians to grab a bite to eat or go for a sneaky shop and soak up all the Christmassy goodness Sevenoaks has to offer. Dr Zhivago

CLASSIC FILM CLUB Grab some popcorn for £1 a bag and catch an oldie but a goodie on The Stag’s big screen. This January 3 see Omar Sharif and Julie Christie star in the 1965 film, Dr Zhivago. The latest movie releases are also shown seven days a week.

BELLA’S CUPCAKES Learn how to make five-minute cupcakes, mouth-watering buttercream and the ins and outs of piping icing with this cupcake decorating masterclass for £35 a ticket starting January 11.

For more information visit www.stagsevenoaks.co.uk

vinedigital.co.uk December 2011 vine 57


WHAT’S ON?

THE UNRIVALLED SEVENOAKS LISTINGS GUIDE.

ART

www.4networking.biz

School, Witches Lane, Riverhead

Hatch. www.nationaltrust.org.uk

n 04 Dec. Oil Painting Workshop. 10:00-16:30. Sevenoaks. £47. www. paintwithrose.co.uk

n 07 Dec. 1st Wednesdays Business Networking event. 10:30-12:00. Plaza Suite, Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. Free. Chamber of Commerce 01732 455188

CHRISTMAS – BOXING DAY

n 17 Dec. Traditional Family Carols. 15:00, 19:30. Tonbridge School Chapel. Adults £13, OAPs £11, students £6. Tonbridge Philharmonic Society 01892 530423, 459352 www.tonphil. org.uk

n 06 Dec. Pottery Painting for adults. 19:00-22:00. Croc’n’Craft, Cobden Rd, Sevenoaks. www. crocncraft.co.uk n 06 Dec. Sevenoaks Visual Arts Forum. 19:00-21:00. Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. 01732 450175 www.stagsevenoaks.co.uk

ART EXHIBITIONS n 01-04 Dec. Wildlife Art Exhibition. Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, Bradbourne Vale Rd, Sevenoaks. www.kentwildlifetrust. org.uk n 01-10 Dec. Self Portraits exhibition. Tue-Thu 10:00-17:00, Fri & Sat 11:00-16:00. Mascalls Gallery, Paddock Wood. Free. n 01-18 Dec. Paintings exhibition. Sat & Sun 12:00-17:00. Quebec House, Westerham. n 01-03, 06-10, 13-17, 20-24, 27-31 Dec. Art of Colour exhibition. 10:00-17:00. Portico Art Gallery, 25 London Rd, Riverhead n 01-31 Dec except Sun & Bank Hol. Art exhibition. Kaleidoscope Gallery, Sevenoaks Library, Buckhurst Lane, Sevenoaks. 01732 453118 www. kent.gov.uk/libs

BUSINESS n 01 Dec. Business Networking Event. Knole House, Sevenoaks. Vine Magazine 01732 760823

CHILDREN

n 26 Dec. Morris Dancing. 12:00. Black Horse pub, Stansted. Free. Hartley Morris Men 01622 685960 www.hartleymorrismen. org.uk

n 04 Dec. Weekly till 18 Dec. Family Roller Disco. 14:00-16:30. Leisure Centre, Suffolk Way, Sevenoaks. £6.50. 020 8656 0513 www.rocknrollerdisco.com

n 26 Dec. Morris Dancing. 13:15. Rose & Crown pub, Wrotham. Free. Hartley Morris Men 01622 685960 www. hartleymorrismen.org.uk

n 02 Dec. Soundwaves Youth Bands Night for under-18s. 19:00-22:00. Plaza Suite, Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. £4. 01732 450175 www.stagsevenoaks. co.uk

CHRISTMAS – CARDS & GIFTS

CHRISTMAS – GENERAL n 01-24 Dec. Christmas at the Castle. Hever Castle near Edenbridge n 02 Dec. Christmas Event. 15:15. Seal School & Church. Know your Neighbours 01732 763727 n 03-04 Dec. Georgian Christmas. 13:00-17:00. Quebec House, Westerham. 01732 861161 www.nationaltrust.org.uk n 03-09 Dec. Christmas Tree Festival. St Johns Church, Meopham. 01474 813106 www. meophamfestival.co.uk n 10 Dec. Kent Christmas day school. 09:50-16:15. Salomons, Southborough near Tunbridge Wells. 01227 863458 www. canterbury.ac.uk n 18 Dec. Kids Church Nativity. St Johns Church, Meopham. 01474 813106 www. meophamfestival.co.uk

n 01-17 Dec except Sun & Bank Hol. Charity Christmas Card Shop. 10:00-16:00. Sevenoaks Library, Buckhurst Lane, Sevenoaks. Cards for Good Causes 01264 361555 www. cardsforcharity.co.uk n 01-24 Dec. Christmas Gift Shop. 10:30-16:30. Penshurst Place & Gardens, Penshurst near Tonbridge. 01892 870307 www. penshurstplace.com n 07 Dec. Weekly till 14 Dec. Late Night Christmas Shopping. 16:30-20:00. Penshurst Place & Gardens, Penshurst near Tonbridge. 01892 870307 www. penshurstplace.com

n 02 Dec. Fortnightly till 30 Dec. Business breakfast. 08:0010:00. Old Eden pub, Edenbridge. £10. Business 4Networking 0845 123 4444 www.4networking.biz n 07 Dec. Fortnightly till 21 Dec. Business breakfast. 08:00-10:00. George & Dragon pub, Chipstead. £10. Business 4Networking

58 vine December 2011 vinedigital.co.uk

n 25 Dec. Christmas Day Lunch. Beacon, Tea Garden Lane, Tunbridge Wells. 01892 524252 www.the-beacon.co.uk n 25 Dec. Christmas Day Lunch. Gavin Greggs

CHRISTMAS – CRAFTS n 02 Dec. Ladies Christmas Craft Evening. 19:30. Town Church, Mill Lane, Greatness. £1 including refreshments. 01732 454456 www.townchurch7oaks. org.uk n 16 Dec. Christmas Laurel Nest floristry workshop. 09:30. Coolings Garden Centre, Rushmore Hill, Knockholt. £25 including lunch. 01959 532269 www.coolings.co.uk

DON’T MISS!

Starting January are 8 free African drumming sessions for over 50’s. Fridays at St Luke’s Church Hall, 30 Eardley Road, Sevenoaks. 20th January – 16th March 15:30 – 16:30. Free tuition and drums provided. Booking advisable, spaces limited. Contact us on 07979886335 or sarah.hale@ageukwestsussex.org.uk Restaurant, High St, Sevenoaks. 01732 456373 www. gavingreggrestaurant.com

CHRISTMAS – DECORATIONS

n 05 Dec. Christmas Carol Concert. 19:30. St Nicholas Church, High St, Sevenoaks. Tickets £10 (students £5) from Temenos Chamber Choir 01732 762606 www.temenoschamberchoir.org.uk

n 25 Dec. Christmas Day Lunch. 13:30. Doors open 12:30. Kings Head pub, 2 Westerham Rd, Bessels Green. Adults £58, children £29. 01732 452081 www.kingsheadsevenoaks.co.uk

n 01 Dec. Ladies Lunch & talk on Christmas decorations. 12:30. Brands Hatch Place Hotel, Fawkham. Hospice of Hope 01959 525110

n 07 Dec. Carol Singing. 18:00. Penshurst Place & Gardens, Penshurst near Tonbridge. 01892 870307 www.penshurstplace.

n 25 Dec. Christmas Day Lunch. Montrose restaurant, Southborough Common near Tunbridge Wells. 01892 513161 www.montroserestaurant.co.uk n 25 Dec. Christmas Day Lunch. 12:30-14:00. Royal Wells Hotel, 59 Mount Ephraim, Tunbridge Wells. £55-65. 01892 511188 www.royalwells.co.uk

n 02-03 Dec. Christmas Market. Fri 10:30-16:00, 19:00-22:00; Sat 09:30-15:00. Village Hall, Penshurst www. vinedigital.co.uk

n 25 Dec. Christmas Day Lunch. Antonias Italian restaurant, 160 High St, Tonbridge. 01732 368877 www.antoniasrestaurant.co.uk

n 25 Dec. Christmas Day Lunch. White Hart pub, Tonbridge Rd, Sevenoaks. 01732 520022 www.whitehartsevenoaks.co.uk

CHRISTMAS – CAROLS

CHRISTMAS – BAZAARS/ MARKETS

n 03 Dec. Christmas Bazaar. 14:00-16:00. Amherst

CHRISTMAS – CHRISTMAS DAY LUNCH

Lunch. White Hart pub, Brasted. £65. 01959 569457 www. whitehartbrasted.co.uk

n 25 Dec. Christmas Day Lunch. Salomons, Broomhill Rd, Southborough near Tunbridge Wells. 01892 515152 www. salomons.org.uk com n 08 Dec. Carols around the Tree. 19:00. Village Hall, Riverhead n 09 Dec. Community Carols with Brass Band. St Johns Church, Meopham. 01474 813106 www.meophamfestival. co.uk

n 25 Dec. Christmas Day Lunch. Spread Eagle pub, 119 Forest Rd, Tunbridge Wells. 01892 525414 www. thespreadeagle.net n 25 Dec. Christmas Day Lunch. Weavers pub, London Rd, Southborough near Tunbridge Wells. Adults £45, children £22.50. 01892 529896 www. theweaverspub.com

n 10 Dec. Sackville Singers Carol Concert. 18:30-19:30. Tonbridge School Chapel. Rockdale 01732 458762 www. rockdale.org.uk

n 25 Dec. Christmas Day Lunch. Best Western Donnington Manor Hotel, London Rd, Dunton Green. £67.50. 01732 468510 www.donningtonmanor. com

n 10, 16-17, 19 Dec. Christmas Carols. Ightham Mote near Ivy

n 25 Dec. Christmas Day

n 10-11, 17-18 Dec. Decorated House. 13:00-17:00. Quebec House, Westerham. 01732 861161 www.nationaltrust. org.uk

CHRISTMAS – FATHER CHRISTMAS n 01-23 Dec. Write to Santa. 11:00-16:00. Chartwell near Westerham. 01732 861161 www.nationaltrust.org.uk n 03 Dec. Christmas Fayre & Father Christmas. 14:00-16:00. Kemsing School PTA n 03 Dec. Christmas Fair & Father Christmas. 13:00-16:00. Village Hall, Leigh. Leigh Primary School www.leigh.kent.sch.uk n 03-04, 10-11, 17-18 Dec. Father Christmas. 10:30-12:30, 13:30-15:30. Penshurst Place & Gardens, Penshurst near Tonbridge. £5. 01892 870307 www.penshurstplace.com n 03-04, 10-11, 17-18, 21-23 Dec. Santa Special. Spa Valley Railway, Tunbridge Wells West. 01892 537715 www. spavalleyrailway.co.uk n 17-18 Dec. Santa. 11:00-15:00. Chartwell near Westerham. 01732 861161 www.nationaltrust.org.uk


n 19-24 Dec. Santa’s Grotto. Plaza Suite, Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. £4. 01732 450175 www. stagsevenoaks.co.uk

CHRISTMAS – FOOD & DRINK n 07 Dec. Cupcake Decorating Masterclass. 19:00-21:00. Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. £35. 01732 450175 www.stagsevenoaks. co.uk Bellas Cupcakes 07802 795846 www.bellascupcakes. co.uk n 01 Jan. New Year’s Day Lunch. Montrose restaurant, Southborough Common near Tunbridge Wells. 01892 513161 www.montroserestaurant.co.uk n 01 Jan. New Year’s Day Walk & Brunch. Chartwell near Westerham. Adults £22, children £12. 01732 861161 www. nationaltrust.org.uk

CHRISTMAS – ICE SKATING n 01 Dec-02 Jan except Christmas Day. Ice Skating Rink. 09:30-21:30. Calverley Grounds park, Tunbridge Wells. 01892 530613, 532072 www. tunbridgewellsatchristmas.com n 19-30 Dec. Ice Skating Rink. 14:00-19:00. Plaza Suite, Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. Adults £6, children £3.60. 01732 450175 www.stagsevenoaks.co.uk

CHRISTMAS – LIGHTS n 04 Dec. Light Up a Life memorial service. 18:30. St Marys Church, Westerham. www. westerhamparishchurch.org.uk n 04 Dec. Light Up a Life memorial service. 15:00. Methodist Church, The Drive, Sevenoaks. Hospice in the Weald 01892 820508 www. hospiceintheweald.org.uk n 07 Dec. Trip to see London lights from Westerham. Tuesday Club 01959 563448, 561181

CHRISTMAS – MUSIC n 09 Dec. Crash into Christmas concert. 19:30-22:00. Pamoja Hall, SPACE Performing Arts Centre, Sevenoaks School, Tonbridge Rd, Sevenoaks. £7. 01732 467765 www.sevenoa ksschool.org n 10 Dec. Christmas concert. 19:30. Methodist Church, The Drive, Sevenoaks. Tickets from Sevenoaks Bookshop or Darent Valley Choir 01959 523279 n 10 Dec. Light up your Christmas concert. 19:30. St Marys Church, Kippington Rd, Sevenoaks. £10. Kemsing Singers 01959 523752

n 15 Dec. Crooner’s Christmas. 19:30. Plaza Suite, Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. £15. 01732 450175 www.stagsevenoaks. co.uk n 17 Dec. Brandywine Christmas Party gig. Rock Plaza, Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. Brandywine Music 01732 450175 www.brandywinemusic. co.uk www.stagsevenoaks.co.uk n 23 Dec. Beethoven, Strauss & Mendelssohn Christmas Concert. 19:30. St Nicholas Church, High St, Sevenoaks. 0845 644 4712, 4713 www.lydian. org.uk

CHRISTMAS – NEW YEAR’S EVE n 31 Dec. New Year’s Eve party. White Hart pub, Tonbridge Rd, Sevenoaks. 01732 520022 www. whitehart-sevenoaks.co.uk n 31 Dec. Caribbean Night. Royal Wells Hotel, 59 Mount Ephraim, Tunbridge Wells. 01892 511188 www.royalwells.co.uk n 31 Dec. Fran McGillivray & Mike Burke New Year’s Eve blues. Anchor pub, London Rd, Sevenoaks. Free. www. blueswithbottleclub.co.uk n 31 Dec. Live Music. Spotted Dog pub, Smarts Hill near Penshurst. 01892 870253 www. spotteddogpub.co.uk n 31 Dec. New Year’s Eve. Beacon, Tea Garden Lane, Tunbridge Wells. 01892 524252 www.the-beacon.co.uk n 31 Dec. New Year’s Eve dinner. Royal Wells Hotel, 59 Mount Ephraim, Tunbridge Wells. 01892 511188 www.royalwells. co.uk n 31 Dec. New Year’s Eve dinner dance. Best Western Donnington Manor Hotel, London Rd, Dunton Green. £74.95. 01732 468510 www. donningtonmanor.com n 31 Dec. New Year’s Eve dinner dance. 20:00. Doors open 19:00. Kings Head pub, 2 Westerham Rd, Bessels Green. £38. 01732 452081 www. kingsheadsevenoaks.co.uk n 31 Dec. Shanghai Night Chinese buffet & disco. Salomons, Broomhill Rd, Southborough near Tunbridge Wells. 01892 515152 www. salomons.org.uk

CHRISTMAS – PANTOMIMES n 09 Dec-01 Jan. Mother Goose pantomime. Times vary. Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. Adults £15.50, OAPs/children £13.50. 01732 450175 www. stagsevenoaks.co.uk Magic Beans www.sevenoakspanto.com

n 10 Dec-02 Jan. Sleeping Beauty pantomime. Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells. 01892 530613, 532072 www. assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk

CHRISTMAS – PARTIES n 02 Dec. Magical Illusion Party Night. Salomons, Broomhill Rd, Southborough near Tunbridge Wells. 01892 515152 www. salomons.org.uk n 03 Dec. Party Night. Bull Hotel, High St, Wrotham. £25. 01732 789800 n 07 Dec. Weekly till 14 Dec. Christmas Party. Loch Fyne seafood restaurant, 63 High St, Sevenoaks. £22.95. 01732 456456 www.lochfyne.com

CHRISTMAS – SHOWS

stagsevenoaks.co.uk Outside the Box Comedy Club www. outsidetheboxcomedy.co.uk n 04 Dec. Jerry Sadowitz. Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells. 01892 530613, 532072 www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk

COMMUNITY

n 11 Dec. Farmers’ Market. 10:00-15:00. Coolings Green & Pleasant Garden Centre, Main Rd, Knockholt. Free. 01959 534386 www.coolings.co.uk

n 07, 21 Dec. Lunch Club. 11:25-13:30. Social Club, Dunton

n 11 Dec. Farmers’ Market. 09:30-13:30. Sovereign Way

DON’T MISS! From January 2012 - WEA courses for adults. Creative writing; The cathedrals and greater parish churches of England; Queens and commoners: women’s involvement in gardens; The History of gardens from Romans to the present day; Songs from Broadway and the West End; Art in Tuscany: The emerging Renaissance; ‘Outsiders’; Brothers and sisters in literature; For information visit www.wea.org.uk or contact: Susan Gidman 01732 454222, sevenoakswea@hotmail.com Green. Age UK 01959 523157

n 01-03 Dec. Wind in the Willows. 20:00. Westerham Hall, Quebec Avenue, Westerham. Westerham Amateur Dramatic Society www.wads-web.net

n 21 Dec. Women’s Institute. 14:00-16:30. Village Hall, Brasted. 01959 562355

n 12-14 Dec. Lion, Witch & Wardrobe play by CS Lewis. 18:30 (+ 13:30 on Tue & Wed). New School at West Heath, Ashgrove Rd, Sevenoaks. £5. 01732 460553

n 17 Dec. Steam Train trip to Bath or Bristol. Departs Tonbridge 08:30, Orpington 08:50. Returns Orpington 20:50, Tonbridge 21:20. £85-225. Cathedrals Express 01483 209888 www.cathedralsexpress. co.uk

n 14 Dec-01 Jan. Secret Garden play by Francis Hodgson Burnett. Trinity Theatre, Church Rd, Tunbridge Wells. 01892 678678 www.trinitytheatre.net www.trinitysthesecretgarden. co.uk

CHRISTMAS – WALKS n 01-31 Dec except Mon & Tue. Reindeer Winter Tracker Walk. 11:00-15:00. Chartwell near Westerham. 01732 861161 www.nationaltrust.org.uk n 14, 17 Dec. Holly Hike. 10:30-13:00. Chartwell near Westerham. £5.50. 01732 861161 www.nationaltrust.org.uk

DAYS OUT

n 22 Dec. Steam Train trip to White Cliffs of Dover & Christmas Lunch. Departs Edenbridge & Tonbridge. Cathedrals Express 01483 209888 www.cathedralsexpress. co.uk

FARMERS’ MARKETS n 01 Dec. Weekly. Farmers’ Market. 09:00-11:00. St Giles Church, Shipbourne. www. kentfarmersmarkets.org.uk n 01 Dec. Farmers’ Market. Village Hall, Stansted. www. kentfarmersmarkets.org.uk

n 26 Dec. 5-mile country walk. Meet 10:00 Stubbs Wood car park, Goathurst Common near Ide Hill. Sevenoaks Society 01732 459001 www.sevenoakssociety. org.uk

n 03 Dec. Farmers’ Market. 09:30-12:00. Penshurst Place car park, Penshurst. 01892 870666\nwww.edenvalleykent. org/markets.asp www. kentfarmersmarkets.org.uk

CLUBS

n 03, 17 Dec. Farmers’ Market. 09:00-14:00. Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells. www.kentfarmersmarkets. org.uk

n 05 Dec. An Evening with Patricia Jones. 20:00-22:00. Mencap Hall, 71 Hitchen Hatch Lane, Sevenoaks. Camera Club www.sevenoakscameraclub. org.uk n 17 Dec. Monthly. Ballroom & sequence dance. Westerham Hall, Quebec Avenue, Westerham. Stragglers Social Club 01959 700788

COMEDY n 01 Dec. Stand-Up Comedy. 20:00. Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. £14. 01732 450175 www.

n 10, 24 Dec. Farmers’ Market. 09:00-14:00. Town Hall forecourt, Tunbridge Wells. www. kentfarmersmarkets.org.uk

n 04 Dec. Farmers’ Market. 09:00-12:30. Fitness & Tennis Centre, Meopham. www. kentfarmersmarkets.org.uk n 04, 18 Dec. Farmers’ Market. 09:30-12:30. Westerham. www. kentfarmersmarkets.org.uk n 06 Dec. Weekly. Farmers’ Market. 09:00-11:00. St Johns Church Centre, Hildenborough. www. hildenboroughfarmersmarket. co.uk www.kentfarmersmarkets. org.uk

car park, Tonbridge. www. tonbridgefarmersmarket.co.uk n 17 Dec. Farmers’ Market. 09:00-13:00. Market Yard Car Park, Edenbridge www. kentfarmersmarkets.org.uk

FILMS n 06 Dec. In the Name of the Father film. 14:30, 19:45. Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. 01732 450175 www.stagsevenoaks.co.uk n 20 Dec. White Christmas film. 14:30, 19:45. Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. 01732 450175 www.stagsevenoaks.co.uk

WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE YOUR EVENT HERE? email full details to tic@ sevenoakstown.gov.uk. Edited by Bob Carpenter. Guaranteed insertions cost just £35 + VAT. Call us today on 01732 760823.

SEVENOAKS TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRE Stag Theatre, Plaza Suite Tel: 01732 450305 Email: tic@sevenoakstown.gov.uk

WE SELL: Souvenirs • Books on local history • Stamps and postcards Maps and guidebooks • Theatre Tokens • National Express tickets

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What’s on in the area • Walking and cycling in the local countryside Holiday guides for the UK

WE PROVIDE: Photocopy service Accommodation advice and bookings

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Holly Seddon has the last word

© JAMES BENN

D

62 vine December 2011 vinedigital.co.uk

on’t mind me, I’m just waistband...and from there to a couch LIMBERING UP. to a 5K iPhone programme (yes, 5,000 Don’t pay any attention metres of running – I know!) to a or anything, but I’m gym membership and a regular gym just PUMPING IRON. attendance record. I now know what And there I am, five times a week. SPINNING is, but you don’t hear me Pulling my Arnold Schwarzenegger going on about it... faces on the weights machine and You know how you hate people who pestering other gym users. go on and on about their running and “So, what you ‘lifting’, 15, 20kg? their carb loading and their Dukan Oh, 50kg, yeah, that’s pretty much diet and their body combat class? what I lift too...” Yeah, you really, really hate them. I’ve spent a small fortune on exercise You hope they twist their ankles while clothes, starting with loose billowing doing a smug, sweaty lunge and that jersey things (in grey – I soon regretted they blow off during that the moment I started Hatha Yoga... to sweat) and moving on You know Until that is, you to tight fitting, sweathow you hate become one of them. wicking neon numbers And suddenly you’re the people who and Capri pants. I know, smug irritant rattling a sweat-wicking, yuk, it’s a go on and on fundraising tin all over whole new world when about getting Facebook for one of you actually put enough fit? Yeah, you your charity flex and effort in to get sweaty. really, really bend-a-thons. I’ve even bought And suddenly, it’s like hate them. myself some hot pink you’re the first person Until that is, you and black trainers, just to ever realise that if to really draw attention you put less food in your become one of to the fact that I’m them. Suddenly exercising. trap and move a bit more, you’ll lose weight. you’re the smug Because that’s the It’s a revelation. point, isn’t it, really, if irritant rattling “Oh wow, if I stop I’m honest. That’s why a fundraising eating man-sized I’m writing this now, now tin all over portions three or four I finally feel I’ve done times a day, I’m a little this habitually enough Facebook for less ENORMOUS! to claim a proper life one of your Why didn’t anyone tell change. That’s why I charity bend or wear my gym kit for me about this whole flex-a-thons ‘eat less, work out, the whole day before lose weight’ SECRET, actually going there. why isn’t it on the cover of say, every And that’s why people who work woman’s magazine on the shelf ?” out, run races, forgo weekday booze So now, after years of absurd diets and stop standing at the open fridge (whole cucumbers and maple syrup door, shovelling bits of cheese in and anyone?), punishing one-off attempts pretending that eating standing up at getting fit (military bootcamp? never somehow negates the calories, that’s again) and aborted jogging efforts that why they talk about it all the time. accidentally offend local villagers (Vine, The health benefits are the most November 2010), I think I might have important thing, but the praise is what finally done it. keeps us going. It started back in March. A few more walks, a little less food, a looser Catch Holly on Twitter @hollyseddon


WA R

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NNIN

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by

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MOBALPA KITCHENS

RUACH DESIGNS

CREATED FOR LIVING, DESIGNED FOR LIFE

vinedigital.co.uk December 2011 vine 63


64 vine December 2011 vinedigital.co.uk

Vine | December 2011  

Vine | December 2011

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