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YOUR FAVOURITE SEVENOAKS MAGAZINE w w w . v i n e d i g i ta l . c o . u k

f e b r u a ry 2012

i s s u e 56

Vine takes a look back at Otford’s secret palace 1 4 - pa g e e d u c at i o n s p e c i a l


fashion forec ast


v a l e n t i n e ’ s d ay g i f t g u i d e


community & news

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

• YO U R




What’s inside? February 2012


Welcome to Vine




VINE DINING 24 FOOD FOR THOUGHT Our resident foodie Benjamin James of The George & Dragon in Chipstead reveals what he has in store for the pub in 2012 and shares his favourite monthly recipe PLUS we meet the Kent couple behind the cheese specialist The Cheese Harp Cover shot: A view of Otford Palace taken in 1934, courtesy of the Ed Thompson Collection

FEATURE 14 VINE’S VALENTINES GIFT GUIDE Handselected gifts for your loved one this Valentine’s day 18 HIDDEN SPLENDOUR An unassuming ruin in the small village of Otford may not look like much on the surface, but its foundations tell the story of 4,000 years of local history and it was once a magnificent Tudor palace that outshone Knole 36 14-PAGE EDUCATION SPECIAL Vine’s roundup of the best local independent schools 56 FASHION FORECAST This spring it’s all about injecting some colour into your wardrobe, from vibrant yellow to neon brights, but we’ve thrown in a few classics for you too

WELLNESS 35 VINE STYLE Use Vine’s essential guide to looking fabulous this February PLUS we visit the secret beauty spa that is Reef Hideaway and burn away the carbs at Kent Boot Camps

HOME & GARDEN 52 INTERIOR TRENDS We take a look at the interior trends that are stealing the show this forthcoming spring, with everything from laceinspired accessories to playful retro furniture

PROFESSIONAL 27 LEGAL MATTERS Regular legal advice from the team at Warners Solicitors PLUS recruitment company Ten2Two helps mums get back to work

February is the month of love, but rather than just focusing on ‘his and hers’ gifts we look at other things that are closer to your heart – your children and their education. Our comprehensive education section covers a wide selection of the best independent schools, each with their own unique approach to education, meaning you can find the right school for your child. Our community pages also cover the current hot topic – the potential for a Sevenoaks grammar school – and we also look at how and why social media has such a great impact on our children’s lives and why it is important that we keep up with them in this fast-paced digital age (page 49). We’ll be offering parents the chance to join us for a social media training day on March 6. Another thing that we Sennockians feel passionate about is our local heritage. With the National Trust desperately needing substantial funds to merely maintain and preserve Knole, it is more important than ever that we support this fine asset which is so central to our community. A little further away stands the remains of Otford Palace and although it is now a ruin, it remains an equally vital part of our heritage; it was once a magnificent Tudor palace that was in fact larger than Knole. While the scheduled monument has backing from the immediate local community, it too needs help to protect what is left for future generations. I would like to hear from local residents who have fond memories of celebrating the Queen’s Coronation in Sevenoaks.

Charlotte Luxford

Editor February 2012 vine 7


Knole House may face public closure The 600-year-old historic building Knole House may be forced to close its doors to the public after considerable signs of deterioration including crumbling walls, leaking roofs and an infestation of insects threaten the future of the iconic house. The former residence of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I has been accessible to the public since the 17th century and has closed only once before, during riots in 1884. An urgent appeal for £2.7m has been made to ensure the survival of Knole. For more information, or to make a donation, visit

Hospice teams up with insurance company Local insurance broker Chris Knott Insurance has lent a helping hand to The Heart of Kent Hospice who desperately needed financial support to cover its huge running costs of £3.6m a year. Chris Knott has decided to offer a unique alternative to traditional fundraising methods by donating a quarter of the policy’s earnings to the Kent hospice, meaning Hospice supporters will now have the chance to see their insurance policies going to a good cause. The Kent charity, which supports terminally ill patients and their families, is mainly dependent on the generosity of its local community. Neil Franklin, MD of Chris Knott Insurance said: “We love helping local charities to raise funds in this way and I’m personally delighted to be working with The Heart of Kent Hospice.”


we’d love to hear from you EDITORIAL & ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES

01732 760823 Vine Publishing Ltd 3A Lakeview Stables, St Clere, Heaverham, Sevenoaks Kent TN15 6NL


Charlotte Luxford t: 01732 764508 HEAD CREATIVE


Yuri Tamburrini Rachel Eaton MARKETING EXECUTIVE

Nic Lapham



Celine Cozler SUB EDITOR

Amanda Hayden

Send us your Sevenoaks stories Email your interesting and exciting stories, snippets and pictures to or call the news desk directly on 01732 760823 and you could see your story in print

This month’s Grapevine networking event will be held at: The Chapel Hair Salon on Monday February 20. Call 01732 760823 for your free invite


Owen Hunnam t: 01732 764509 CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Seasonal walks in Knole park

Beware of card conmen

A Fyne fundraiser

The season of Knole walks begins next month. Take a gentle stroll through the picturesque woodlands and see the delightful roving deer. There are various walks to choose from and the first bi-monthly walk, which includes lunch, starts on February 29. The programme then runs from March 12 – October 30.Visit www.

Fraudsters claiming to be bank workers have recently put elderly Sevenoaks residents at risk. Victims are asked for their bank details before a man posing as a courier arrives to pick the card up. Three cases have been reported in the area to date and police are advising residents to be cautious.

Sevenoaks’ Loch Fyne restaurant is holding a black-tie fundraising dinner, in aid of The Tunbridge Wells Hospital’s neonatal ward, on February 29 at 7.30pm. Live music and dancing will follow a three-course dinner and £10 from each ticket sold will go towards the intensive care unit. Tickets cost £35. To book, call 01732 467140

8 vine February 2012

Charlie de Rusett t: 01732 764501 Find us on Facebook and Twitter

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. © 2012. All rights reserved.

Many people don’t realise that there are several options available to them when they decide to separate. The main options available to divorcing couples are:

Collaborative Law

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This is when couples negotiate their own agreement, it is often the cheapest and easiest way to reach a settlement.



You don’t have to go to court!

A mediator will meet a couple together, will identify those issues which are not agreed and will assist the parties in trying to reach an agreement. Mediators are neutral and do not take sides. They are not advisors and will not give advice.

Traditional Negotiation

This process involves appointment of a solicitor who focuses on your interests and negotiates with your spouse/their solicitor on your behalf.

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Two specialist lawyers are appointed to work with the separating couple as a team and during a series of meetings will work together to find a suitable solution for the family as a whole.

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It’s all about... modern thinking traditional values February 2012 vine 9


Gatwick expansion sparks fears of air pollution Gatwick Airport’s plans to build a huge passenger hub have been met with disapproval by Sevenoaks District Council. It argues that the expansion plans will see a rise in exhaust fumes, polluting the district. The M25, M20 and M26 would become busier than normal and all of the motorways stretch the distance of Sevenoaks. The council has responded by suggesting that the expansion would have a huge impact on the district and that the residents’ needs must be taken into consideration. But they also concede that the airport is a major part of the economy and provides employment opportunities for Sevenoaks residents. If the expansion goes ahead, the council has stated its desire to see an increase in public transport links throughout Sevenoaks to take some of the traffic away from the major roads.

Future’s bright for Biggin Hill pub The Aperfield Inn in Biggin Hill has reopened its doors after a major investment by owners Mitchells & Butlers. A refurbishment has combined flashes of the contemporary with traditional features such as the log fire and oak beams. Customers can now enjoy dining in modern comfort while still enjoying the rustic appeal of the building. n Visit

Local Olympic hopeful backs health scheme Great Britain’s rising race walker Tom Bosworth is supporting ‘The Healthy Passport’ initiative, which encourages members to complete 150 minutes of exercise each week. Tom, who is from Sevenoaks and is currently training for the 20km race-walking event in London 2012, said: “I am delighted to be one of the ‘health heroes’ supporting the club which helps make moving more and exercising fun and rewarding for everyone.” n Visit

n Visit for more information

M&S in new store talks Marks & Spencer are in talks over the possibility of opening a new store in Sevenoaks. The retail giant could be planning to build a new department store on the site of the former Sevenoaks Social Club, off London Road. Although negotiations remain secretive, it is widely expected that a large department store is due to start developing in that location. An M&S spokesperson refused to reveal the particulars but confirmed the company is always looking for ideal locations to open new stores. The possibility of a new store seems to be largely welcomed by Sevenoaks residents, with potential advantages including a wide range of quality products and it would also present new employment opportunities.

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

Launch of Portico Art Prize Budding young artists are being offered the chance to exhibit their work professionally. Students in years 10 to 13 from across schools in Kent are challenged to create their work based on the theme of Knole House. There will be prizes for winners and runners up and students are urged to submit their entries by Tuesday February 21. n Visit

Shape up your garden

School debate planned

Olympian bodycast sculptor

Mayor holds Bond evening

Godinton House has a new programme of gardening workshops for 2012, so if you want to take on some fresh new ideas to spruce up your garden make sure you attend. Rose pruning starts the programme on February 4, where you will be offered a hands-on session as well as advice. Visit

The Sevenoaks Action for Community Children are putting together a panel debate to take place in February and plan to issue a survey to all local parents of primary school children and below. The group aim to ensure that any new education provision meets the needs of the community. Visit www.facebook. com/sevenoaksace

World-leading body-cast sculptor Louise Giblin is raising money for charity by working with some of the UK’s best sportsmen and women. Wadhurst resident Louise will be producing sculptures of Kriss Akabusi, Kelly Holmes and Sally Gunnell in a great exhibition which will be launched in May 2012. Visit www.

Town mayor Margaret Crabtree is holding a Bond-themed show at The Stag on Saturday February 4. Four beautiful Bond girls will perform every theme song to the films. All proceeds from the event will go to the mayor’s two charities – New School at West Heath and Spring House. Visit www.

10 vine February 2012


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Adding a Persian Rug to a room is a great way to give that room a new look, provide warmth and add colour. Find a rug that you love and use it as inspiration to decorate the space around it. Hand made rugs are easy to move from room to room. You can put rugs in different rooms of your home to create fresh looks.

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February 2012

If you’ve ever marvelled at beautifully decorated cupcakes and wished yours could look just as fabulous, learn from an expert at a new cupcake decorating masterclass from Bella’s Cupcakes. Budding cake makers will learn secret tips for the perfect buttercream frosting and icing, how to pipe like a pro and how to create eye-catching designs for any occasion. Visit for classes in Sevenoaks and Chislehurst and those coming soon to Tunbridge Wells. Private parties and children’s birthday parties are also available on request.



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

n Visit

MUST-LISTEN The Cranberries have the great ability to produce an album which depicts every kind of emotion. Their rock-cum-Irish-folk melodies are trance-inducing and their new album, Roses, does not disappoint. Lead singer Dolores O’Riordan is at her best delivering spinetingling vocals. Scroll through the tracks and rock out with the air guitar, lay back and watch the world go by, scream into your hairbrush or play it in the background over a candlelit dinner. The album caters for every setting. Roses is out on February 27. n Call the Compact Disc on 01732 740889

MUST-READ Just when Hadley Richardson has given up on love, the shy 28-year-old meets writer Ernest Hemmingway. After a whirlwind romance, they marry and move to France. But in 1920s Paris, a gossip and alcohol-laden city bursting with ambitious writers soon drives them apart. Paula McLain’s fine novel, The Paris Wife, details the challenge of preserving love against the forces of burning ambition. Available from Sevenoaks Bookshop at £7.99. n Visit

MUST-VISIT Calling all brides and grooms! On February 26 The Stag Theatre will play host to hundreds of bridal couples in a stunning wedding fair, featuring some of the region’s most popular wedding suppliers. From wedding planning and wine tasting to celebrity cake makers and cool classic cars, create the wedding of your dreams in the sumptuous surroundings of the Plaza Suite. Beat the queues and pre-register at www., or turn up on the day for what promises to be a stunning event. The event runs from 12 – 4pm and admission is free. n Visit 12 vine February 2012

MUST-SEE Ever wondered what it was like to have been present at King Henry VIII’s court? On February 18, Ightham Mote is staging an amazing one-woman show which will be held in the 14th-century great hall. Listen to tales from the ladies of Henry Tudor’s court and find out what truly went on behind closed doors. Watch the performance and then be treated to a two-course supper. Enjoy the evening for just £22.50 a ticket. n Visit

MUST-TASTE El Matador is appealing to more adventurous taste buds this month with its exciting new tapas and dessert range, consisting of everything from parmesan ice-cream to basil-flavoured panna cotta with strawberry coulis, topped with pink champagne ice. Two new tapas and two new desserts will be added each month, so keep an eye out for new flavours. El Matador also has some tasty treats up its sleeve this Valentine’s Day, with its delectable two and threecourse menus (£25 for two and £29 for three), both with a complimentary glass of champagne. Book your table for a date between February 11-14. n Visit










ANY PIZZA PASTA See restaurant for terms and conditions

SOFA at LOUNGE49. 2STEP – Nujazz – Bosa Nova with D.J Dephzac FRIDAYS D.J Matt Neave plays 70’s, 80’s and old skool house SATURDAYS Barrio Latino every last Saturday of the month. Other Saturdays, various D.Js playing the latest club sounds. Subject to terms and conditions. Certain events at Lounge49 may be affected due to private parties. See restaurant or website for details. Programmes start 7.30pm onwards

01732 460284 49 London Road • Sevenoaks • Kent • TN13 1AR February 2012 vine 13



Jewellery is always a good call for Valentine’s day and Francis Jones Jewellers has a wide range of beautiful gifts for ladies and gents, at prices to suit all pockets. It is one of the longest-established businesses in Sevenoaks High Street and specialises in stunning jewellery, both traditional and modern, and new and antique silver. A large part of its business is bespoke fine jewellery and repairs, which are carried out on the premises by owner Gary, a jeweller with over 40 years’ experience. n Francis Jones Jewellers 64 High Street, Sevenoaks, TN13 1JR (Next to the new Waitrose). Call 01732 454629


A DOZEN RED ROSES FROM £60 There’s nothing quite like receiving flowers – especially on Valentine’s Day! This gorgeous, hand-tied bouquet of Red Naomi roses has been filled with seasonal foliages, bright green hypericum berries and lovely branches of catkin. You can send a dozen red roses from £60 or there are lots of other gorgeous flowers available, with Valentines hand-ties starting at £35. n Flower and Glory, 12 Black’s Yard, Bligh’s Meadow, Sevenoaks. Call 01732 743419 or visit to arrange collection or delivery within Sevenoaks’ local areas

Treat your man this Valentine’s Day with this Duchamp silk floral tie (£69) and Swarovski cufflinks, also by Duchamp (£105), from independent menswear shop Harveys. Based in the centre of Sevenoaks, Harveys is a convenient and stylish destination for men’s clothing from smart workwear to casual wear. As a stockist of labels such as Gant, Hugo Boss Black, Canali, Eton and Delsiena, Jackie Harvey and her expert team are bound to find something to suit your style. n Harveys Menswear, 4 Well Court, Bank Street, Sevenoaks. Call 01732 459454 or visit


VALENTINE BOXES PRICES TO SUIT EVERY POCKET Show just how much you care this Valentine’s Day by giving your own individually chosen selection of luxury chocolates. The Chocolate Shop will arrange them exquisitely for you in a beautiful heart-shaped box or a classic ballotin, finished off with lovely ribbons and hey presto! No further wrapping needed. They’ll even deliver them for you for free if within the Sevenoaks area*. You can buy pretty little foil chocolate hearts, lollipops, table place settings – everything imaginable for a perfectly chocolatey Valentine’s Day. n Visit The Chocolate Shop, 59 London Road, Sevenoaks or call 01732 742350 *TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY

Dominic Walmsley is renowned for his contemporary fine jewellery that is traditionally crafted. He is particularly highly regarded for his diamond work, using the highest quality stones and working alongside his customers to create stunning, unique and timeless pieces. Dominic can also transform your unworn, unfashionable jewellery into beautiful modern pieces that you will enjoy wearing while still being able to retain any sentiment. Dominic’s silver and silver gilt Conjunctus Semper (Together Always) collection is an excellent gift idea for Valentine’s Day. The pendant is £65 and earrings are £55. n Visit Dominic’s website to see more of his work at

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Our pick of the best local tweets this month

In Kent we have #Sevenoaks. In California they have Thousand Oaks. #typical

Definitely didn’t know #Sevenoaks comes from Saxon word “Seouenaca”, the name given to a chapel near 7 oak trees in Knole Park



Going to say hello to #knole house #sevenoaks later today. Family lived there earlier this century (no.... they were servants!)



I am very excited to hear that discussions are taking place about potential new secondary schools in Sevenoaks – my only hope is that the urgency of this requirement does not result in a hasty decision without full consideration being given to the needs of the whole community. What we need is to come together as parents and ensure we understand all the options available and really think, objectively, about what type of secondary school will be right for Sevenoaks and its surrounding villages. There are so many questions to consider. Will the proposed faith school meet all the requirements that our increasing young population demands? What type of grammar school could be set up, so that local children are sure to benefit from the places on offer? How do we ensure that Knole Academy is supported by local families? What we need, right now, is a healthy debate involving all the interested parties – including the Free School team, Knole Academy, Kent County Council, MPs and local government. That’s why I’m supporting Sevenoaks ACE – a group of objective parents who are striving to achieve the best solution for our community – let’s make sure we get this right first time rather than leave an ongoing legacy of secondary education difficulties in Sevenoaks. A concerned Otford mum Sevenoaks ACE is a local community group working to ensure that there are sufficient secondary school places in the Sevenoaks area that meet the needs of the community. It is organising a series of consultative activities, open meetings and a survey to generate a community action plan to achieve this. For more information call 01732 743956 or visit www.

with Michael Fallon MP

Q. Will Sevenoaks get a grammar school? A. Kent County Council is considering opening a new grammar school in Sevenoaks. If the plans go ahead, this would be the first new grammar in the UK for 50 years. Kent is able to propose this following new school admission rules published by the Education Secretary Michael Gove. Kent has a grammar school system but Sevenoaks is the only one of its districts without one. Pupils in my constituency have to travel north to the Wilmington or Dartford Grammars, or south to Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells. There is a huge cost in making over 1,000 pupils travel backward and forward each day, and a lot of lost time. And there’s a growing shortage of places. With at least 300 places going to children from outside the county, and an increasing birth rate, unless we take action now, Sevenoaks children face being allocated places as far away as

READERS’ PETS Sittingbourne, Maidstone, and Ashford. This isn’t an ideological issue. Kent has a duty to provide sufficient secondary school places, both at all-ability academies such as Knole Academy and at grammar schools. Parents have the right to choose. So far, over 1,500 parents have signed a petition calling for a new grammar in Sevenoaks: we should respect their views. We need to get on now with the practical work. Finding a suitable site, selecting a partner school in Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells, and earmarking the necessary funding. With the support of the council and local parents, I am optimistic that Sevenoaks may finally get the grammar school that we need. n Have a question for the MP? Please send to

OWNERS: Neal, Lesley, Ashley and Justin. LIKES AND DISLIKES: Likes: to chase squirrels around the garden. Dislikes: frogs and fireworks. FAVOURITE TREAT: He loves jelly beans.


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Vine takes a look back at Otford’s secret palace 14- pag e e d u c at i o n s p e c ial

16 vine February 2012



fashion fo recast


va l e n t i n e ’ s

d ay g i f t g u ide



& news




In the middle ages young men and women would wear the name of their Valentine on their sleeve for a week after drawing a name from a bowl




of Hawaii becoming a state was that it could celebrate the holiday of Valentine’s Day




the year that England’s King Henry VII officially declared February 14 the holiday of St Valentine’s Day

60 OND

SEC W RVIE E T IN Every month we interview a notable member of your community

Stephen Venables Stephen Venables, mountaineer, writer, broadcaster and public speaker tells the story of legendary explorer Eric Shipton at the Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall theatre on Sunday April 1. Chris Bennett speaks to Stephen, the first Briton to climb Everest without supplementary oxygen What can we expect from the talk ‘The Legend of Eric Shipton?’ An evening of entertainment and inspiration, using my own experiences on four continents to bring to life the adventures of one of the world’s greatest explorers. Admired by explorers and loved by women: could you say that Shipton was the James Bond of mountaineering?

Richard Cadbury, founder of Cadbury’s, invented the first Valentine’s Day candy box

COMMUNITY STARS Two local women, Lyn and Imogen, are currently cycling 1,000km across Uganda, climbing the Rwenzori Mountains to a height of 2,500m, travelling a further distance than from Land End to John O’Groats, to raise money for Another Brick in the School. The self-funded mission aims to achieve the funds to build a permanent school for the 171 children at Kooki Masindi and allow an additional 300 children to attend the school. Lyn and Imogen started their challenge on January 19 and will continue to cycle for three weeks, aiming to reach their target of £50,000; at the time of this publication going to print, the total was just under £21,000. The money raised would provide a brick-built school building, three classrooms, a sanitation block, a library and all the books, school furniture, teaching equipment and teacher training needed for the next two years. For more information, or to donate visit www anotherbrickintheschool. com

Not really. He was fairly quiet and reserved and people described him as a bit of a dreamer. However, he could also be extremely charming, particularly to women. Above all, he lived the life of his choice. You followed in Shipton’s footsteps, climbing Everest without supplementary oxygen. Can you tell us a bit about your experience? I like to think that Shipton would have approved of our trip. We had a small team of just four climbers. We carried all our own loads on the mountain and we managed without supplementary oxygen. Success was never a foregone conclusion and there was a real sense of adventure. What is your favourite memory? How long have you got? Too many to remember. But the morning when we got down from Everest, nine days after setting out, was one of the great moments of my life. Is Shipton the person you admire most? If not, who? There are many mountain explorers I admire, but Shipton seems to have achieved more than most. And, having talked to people who went on his expeditions, I get the feeling that he was

very good company. Have you got any phobias? Going underwater. Where would you most like to visit? Antarctica. I’m going there next year. What annoys you the most? The people who put those infuriating sticky labels on everything you buy. Even apples! We know you are a keen skier. Do you enjoy any other sports or hobbies? I love rock climbing. It’s probably the most enjoyable activity ever devised by mankind. I love pottering in the garden and I like playing the piano. Which one do you prefer: writing books, broadcasting, public speaking or climbing dangerous mountains? Writing books is the hardest work. Television is fun, when you get the work, but doing my own theatre show like this gives me much more scope to say what I want to say. I also love the buzz of a live audience. As for dangerous mountains, I prefer to climb safe mountains! n Tickets are £13. For more information visit February 2012 vine 17


An unassuming ruin in the small village of Otford may not look like much on the surface, but its foundations tell the story of 4,000 years of local history and, in its heyday, it was once a magnificent Tudor palace that outshone its neighbour Knole WORDS CHARLOTTE LUXFORD


veryone who knows Sevenoaks tends to associate it with Knole House before any other landmark. What many people do not know, however, is that it was in fact the village of Otford that was one of the main centres of both Royal and Ecclesiastical power in England. The hub of all this activity was focused in particular around Otford Palace – a magnificent building that not only pre-dated and rivalled Knole in size and splendour, but also the legendary Hampton Court. On May 21 1520 the palace was busy making the final preparations for the eagerly anticipated arrival of the young King Henry VIII – an event that would shape the destiny of the palace for years to come. The then-Archbishop in residence, William Warham, had recently converted the manor-house into a fine Tudor palace, spending £33,000 “of his worldly wealthe and mis begotten treasure” according to writer William Lambarde. Henry arrived at the palace with his wife Catherine of Aragon, plus an impressive entourage of around 4,000 men. He was on his way to France to meet King Francis I, a gathering that would later be known as the Field of Cloth of Gold. The tents and costumes displayed so much ‘cloth of gold’, an expensive fabric woven with silk and gold thread, that the site of the meeting would be named after it, where huge feasts, jousting, music and games took place over the course of a few weeks. Henry was clearly impressed with the newly renovated Otford Palace and the time he spent there. Warham apparently knew how to entertain; his friend Erasmus (the eminent Dutch Renaissance humanist) reported that Warham gave sumptuous banquets to hundreds of guests and the Papal Nuncio, Cardinal Campeggio, was entertained here two years prior to the King’s visit, “during which time the archbishop made him good and great cheer.” Warham didn’t do it for himself though: Erasmus apparently said that Warham ate frugally and rarely tasted wine, with reading as his preferred occupation. Warham’s desire for such a grand palace was largely instigated by his rivalry with Cardinal Wolsey, who was also in the process of building Hampton Court at around the same time Warham had Otford Palace built. While construction on the palace began a year earlier in 1514, Hampton Court swiftly followed. When looking at the plan and design features of both palaces, the similarities between the two become clear. Both properties were built on the sites of existing manor houses and the famous main gatehouse of Hampton Court was nearly identical to that of Otford. In addition, the long galleries and accommodation buildings flanked the courtyards of both Otford and Hampton Court. Despite these resemblances, and numerous others, one important fact remains – Otford Palace was certainly the larger of the two, built on such a scale that it compares favourably with the largest contemporary palaces in England. Despite Warham owning the larger property, it was actually the fact that it was built on low land that gave Wolsey the upper hand in their longstanding quarrel, or so he thought. In a letter written by Warham in 1522-3, he wrote from Knole (his other property) explaining how his physicians had considered him unfit for the travel involved in attending on Wolsey. He also thanked the cardinal for his advice to live on high and dry ground as

(left) A view of Otford Palace taken in 1934; (top) the interior of the gatehouse containing three Tudor fireplaces; (bottom left) a portrait of William Warham; (bottom right) Hampton Court as it stands today February 2012 vine 19

at Knole (rather than at Otford which was boggy and wet), and for his offer of accommodation at Hampton Court – clearly a provocative remark to imply that Hampton Court was far superior to Warham’s Otford. However, despite its faults, Henry VIII was very keen on the palace after his stay. Warham died in 1532 (two years after Wolsey’s own death) and Henry’s trusted advisor Thomas Cranmer was then appointed archbishop. However, Cranmer’s time at the palace was brief: he was forced to hand it over to the Crown in 1537 during the reformation. Cranmer’s secretary, Ralph Morice, recorded the moment when Otford Palace was handed over to the King: “I was by when Otteford and Knolle was given hym. My lord mynding to have reteynid Knoll unto himself, saied that it was to small a house for his majestie. ‘Marye (saied the king) I had rather have it than this house (meanying Otteforde), for it standith of a better soile. This house standith lowe, and is rewmatike, like unto Knoll [it] standeth on a sounde, perfaite, holsome grounde. And if I should make myne abode here, as I do suerlie mynde to do nowe and than, I myself will lye at Knolle, and moste of my house shall ly at Otteforde.’ And so by this meanes bothe those houses were delivered upp into the kingis handes...” And so, Henry took over both Knole and Otford, spending vast amounts of While what is left money on their upkeep and maintenance. While payments for repairs on Knole, is only a fraction Otford and another property, Panthurst, of the architectural are lumped together, it is difficult to say splendour that how much was spent on each, but the total mentioned for Otford is at least once existed, the £400 and could be even double that. ground on which Henry died in 1547 and despite his Otford Palace investment in the palace, the building had already fallen into decay within two stands has seen years of his death. According to a survey, centuries of history, one gallery at the upper end of the great from Romanohall had actually fallen down, while the hall itself was “ready to fall”. By the time British farmers, Henry’s daughter Elizabeth was on the via medieval throne, the cost of repairing the palace archbishops and had increased from £106 in 1548 to £1,629 in 1573. Elizabeth claimed she Tudor royalty to could not pay the bill and even though she today’s scheduled was offered the generous sum of £1,868 monument for the repairs by Sir Henry Sidney (who owned the nearby property of Penshurst), she rejected his offer. The palace quickly fell into ruin and most of it was pulled down in the 17th century except for the gatehouse, which was being used as a house. Despite the palace’s rapid fall from grace, the land around the castle had served the Archbishops of Canterbury long before the Tudor period. Cenulf, the King of Kent, gave it to the church in 821 and on this (top) A view of the Tudor land there was a large manor house in which successive northern range, from an archbishops lived for centuries, only being dramatically 18th-century engraving transformed in the 16th century when it became Otford by I. Bayly; (middle) Palace. Otford flourished under the Archbishops of Photo taken in 1885 Canterbury throughout the middle ages, including showing a thatched Thomas Becket, who was endowed the rectory of Otford single-storey range of (as it was called then), although it is believed he didn’t buildings and an ivy-clad reside there. There are two wells close by, fed by springs Otford Palace; (bottom) from the chalk upland above Otford and the one on During WW1 much Castle House’s land is called Becket’s Well. Legend has it of the surrounding that the priest ‘smote the ground with his staff ’ and out land was cultivated for poured fresh water from a spring. Later excavations have food crops revealed, however, the existence of a Roman bath-house

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on the site. The spring would have fed the medieval fishponds which would have been well-stocked with trout and other freshwater fish when the manor was moated. The site of the medieval moat is now where private housing lies between houses 5 -11 on Bubblestone Road. To this day the north-west tower still stands and, although derelict, much is being done to try and preserve what is left of this magnificent building. As a scheduled monument, Otford Palace is supported by the Otford Parish Council with backing from the Otford Society, with some remedial work taking place last year – notably the removal of several trees, which had grown up the walls of the tower. However, more needs to be done according to local historian Cliff Ward. There are three Tudor fireplaces that desperately need preservation and the light roof that was added now needs attention due to rotting. As further research goes into finding out more about the palace, it has been recently discovered that the tower would have been five storeys high, rather than the squat three as it stands, which would have been typical of palaces of the period. While what is left is only a fraction of the architectural splendour that once existed, the ground on which Otford Palace stands has seen centuries of history, from Romano-British farmers, via medieval archbishops and Tudor royalty to today’s scheduled monument – and it’s certainly worth preserving what’s left for the future. n For more information, or to see a model giving an impression of what the palace may have looked like, take a trip to Otford Heritage Centre at The School House, 21 High Street, Otford TN14 5PG. Call 01959 524808 for opening times PHOTOGRAPHS ARE COURTESY OF THE ED THOMPSON COLLECTION, CLIFF WARD AND THE NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY

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(top) Open day at Becket's Well in 1953. The Otford and District Historical Society began excavations in 1950 and completed them four years later; (middle) a view of Otford Palace today with privately-owned cottages attached; (bottom) a model created by Rod Shelton of what Otford Palace may have looked like during the Tudor period




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food for thought VINE DINING

with Benjamin James

Our resident foodie Benjamin James of The George & Dragon in Chipstead reveals what he has in store for the pub in 2012 and shares his favourite monthly recipe

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One of the delicious seasonal dishes that can be found at The George & Dragon in Chipstead


Ben’s favourite monthly recipe: parsnip gratin In these articles I would like to share with you one of my favourite recipes and a seasonally inspired cocktail; this month I’ve chosen a deliciously different parsnip gratin which we accompany with seared duck breast and braised red cabbage here at The George & Dragon in Chipstead. It is worth taking the time to make this gratin, similar in construction to potato dauphinoise; it slices easily when cold so is perfect for eating hot or as leftovers. For four people 4 x parsnips (peeled) 400ml of double cream 1 x whole egg Thyme leaves 1 tsp honey 1 x finely chopped garlic clove Salt and pepper

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Finely slice the parsnips (ideally lengthways). Line a baking dish with greaseproof paper; lay out the parsnips, slighting overlapping each other, in tight rows covering the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, chopped garlic and thyme leaves. Repeat this process until all of your parsnips are used, ideally you will have four or five layers. Mix the cream, honey and egg together and pour over the layered parsnips. The liquid will spread down between the layers. Use a wooden spoon to press down the top to ensure all layers are tightly packed. Cover with tin foil and bake in an oven at 180°c for around 45 minutes until the mix is set with a slight wobble.

It has been two years to the month since we started penning these Field to Fork articles. In this time we have covered various topics from foraging for mushrooms to hunting out the best local suppliers, all in our quest to ensure that The George & Dragon in Chipstead serves the very best locally sourced food, that reaches your table freshly prepared by our team of talented chefs. Our ethos here at The George & Dragon in Chipstead is a simple one, we only use fresh, seasonal and where possible local produce. Our menus change daily to reflect the best of what is available seasonally and our focus is on great quality ingredients treated simply and cooked perfectly. I’m also proud to report that our commitment to exceptional food over the last two years has been recognised by customers and critics alike. We now appear in Alistair Sawdays’ Good Pub Guide, Harden’s Best Restaurants 2012 and came runner up at the Taste of Kent awards 2011. Perhaps as a nation we have all become accustomed to chain restaurant food, but new customers are always pleasantly surprised to hear that 98 per cent of our menu is made from scratch in our kitchens. Everything from our delicious terrines and chutneys to our innovative desserts and the bread we bake twice a day. This is the only way we can guarantee real quality and taste, and there is nothing more rewarding as a chef than to create something from scratch and be able to count a dish’s ingredients on one hand as opposed to the long lists, including many preservatives, found on the back of products in most supermarkets’ equivalents.

Cocktail of the month: the chocolate truffle With Valentine’s Day approaching a chocolate truffle-inspired cocktail is a decadent accompaniment to any romantic meal and can be flavoured with your favourite spirit. However, the ingredient list is a little long for your average home spirit cupboard, so I have decided to offer Vine readers an exclusive discount, which I hope will encourage you to come and visit us at The George & Dragon in Chipstead to try one. n Visit the pub at 39 High Street, Chipstead, TN13 2RW and for more information or to book, call 01732 779019 or visit

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TASTES LIKE SUCCESS Seeing a gap in the market, Kent couple Bobbie and Simon Akhurst recognised the secret to success was their passion for cheese. They decided to set up The Cheese Harp, a specialist cheesemonger selling award-winning cheeses and artisan breads, which has proved to be very popular in its first six months


he Cheese Harp is Sevenoaks’ only specialist cheesemonger and purveyor of over 70 local and regional artisan cheeses made from cow, goat, sheep and buffalo milk. Housed in a quaint 400-year-old building at the top of the pretty Six Bells Lane, this haven for cheese lovers is flying the flag for wonderful British cheeses. Many of these national award-winners are handcrafted through traditional methods, some using processes that are almost completely carbon-footprint free. The shop also stocks a great special selection of continental cheeses according to season – so

there is always something to try. Independently owned and run by Bobbie and Simon Akhurst, who are great lovers of cheese and good food, this ‘shop for cheese lovers’ sells preservativefree chutneys and pickles; speciality biscuits for cheese; Paul Hollywood (From the BBC’s The Great British Bake Off) artisan breads; gift vouchers; cheeseboards and knife sets. The shop also specialises in bespoke

cheese wedding cakes, cheese platters for parties and events and supplies seasonal cheeseboards to local restaurants. Cheese tasting talks and events are on the menu for spring 2012 in the shop’s new first-floor tasting room and can also be booked for groups.

Reader offer Receive 10 per cent off purchases during February with this article. (Offer ends 02/03/12)

n Visit The Cheese Harp at 37 High Street, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 1JD. Call 01732 452277, email or visit our website, www.thecheeseharp. for more information. Also follow The Cheese Harp on Twitter @TheCheeseHarp

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MUMS: TEN2TWO WANTS YOU Are you a professional woman who has taken some time out, but who is now looking to get back into the world of work? Ten2Two offers a specialist recruitment service which helps you find your ideal job locally with hours to suit you


any of us decide we want to get back into our careers after having taken time out to have children, yet we can’t necessarily slip back into our old routine and with those late nights, long commutes and mountains of paperwork, we might not want to either. An innovative recruitment company called Ten2Two, run by like-minded local mums and franchise owners Andrea Starbuck and Kirsteen Allen, specialises in bringing professional women and businesses together in West Kent. The aim is to find members rewarding jobs with hours and locations that are suited to their

home and working lives. It’s not just 10am to 2pm, but also freelance, flexible, contract, full days and part days. By applying their expertise on reduced hours, this untapped pool of talented, professional women represent an affordable way to resource local business. Registering as a member is easy and free. You can either become a full member if you are actively looking for work, or an associate member for those who want to be kept in the loop for when they are ready to start work. All members will receive access to activities, newsletters and are sent regular updates with new opportunities. Since launching

26 vine February 2012

last September, Ten2Two has become incredibly popular as it’s more than just job hunting – it’s a way to socialise too. There’s the chance to get together with other members at regular meetings where you can discuss your goals with Andrea and Kirsteen, who provide regular workshops on subjects like writing your CV and interview preparation. There are now over 200 members, with professionals ranging from lawyers to web designers. The franchise will also be branching out to Tunbridge Wells and Bromley later in the year. One member, Karen Wisdom, said: “When I tried to find a full-time job nothing fitted around my family commitments yet I needed a regular income, so I set up my own freelance business. When I first met

Andrea she quickly got in touch and directed me to a contact who needed social media support in Sevenoaks. I now work on a contractual basis with her. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Ten2Two; they’ve filled an important gap in the market for professional women who are used to being in positions of responsibility. Many recruitment companies fail to tap into our experience. Andrea and Kirsteen are totally passionate about what they do and that counts for a lot.” n Visit, or call 01732 759849 for more information

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LEGAL MATTERS The team at Warners Solicitors offer regular expert advice on topics relevant to our everyday lives. This month Chris Eriksson-Lee discusses the benefits of preparing your will with a solicitor’s expert guidance


Will is possibly one of the most important documents that anyone makes during their lifetime. It allows you to specify who you want to deal with the administration of your estate and who you want to benefit, whether it be friends, family or charity. For parents with young children a Will allows you to appoint legally recognised guardians and for those keen to mitigate inheritance tax, it can be a useful instrument. The overriding benefit however is perhaps the peace of mind that comes from knowing your affairs are in order, which ultimately minimises the distress caused to those around you at what can be a difficult time. What happens if I die without a Will? By not having a Will your estate will pass according to the rules of intestacy and those who you wish to benefit, might not. The intestacy rules also specify who deals with the administration of your estate following your death, which may mean that the job is given to someone that you feel is unsuitable for the task. Why use a solicitor?

a Will yourself or instruct an unregulated Will writer to prepare one for you, solicitors are legally trained, professionally qualified and bound by a stringent code of professional conduct rules, making them best placed to prepare what is a complex legal document. Solicitors are also trained to give advice on related aspects such as trust law, property law and tax law, all of which may have a bearing on how your Will should be drawn up. Updating your Will Reviewing your Will every few years with the help of a solicitor is always a good idea, as the law or your own personal circumstances may have changed. It is important to bear in mind that certain events will automatically change your Will, such as marriage or divorce. A Will can be reviewed at any time and changed by either making a new Will or alternatively by making a Codicil if only minor amendment is needed. n For more information, call Chris Eriksson-Lee on 01732 378972 or email c.eriksson-lee@

While it is possible to prepare

Chris Eriksson-Lee Associate & Solicitor Tel: 01732 378972 Email: Areas of Expertise • Wills • Estate Administration • Lasting Powers of Attorney • Inheritance Tax Planning Professional Memberships • Student Membership: Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners • Member of the Law Society Probate Section Likes: Sports generally, trekking, travelling, rock climbing, military fitness and honey Dislikes: Rain, especially on bank holiday weekends! February 2012 vine 27

ily pinboard m fa s k a o n e v e Your S

Town offers NVQ in football Sevenoaks Town FC is now offering 16 to 18-year-olds the opportunity to gain an NVQ through a football apprenticeship. It is an exciting opportunity for passionate footballers who will gain a great insight in the sport. During the first six months each student will gain an NVQ Level 2 in maths, employment law, activity leadership, football refereeing, emergency first aid, English and safeguarding children, The scheme, which takes place at Greatness Park, will require 24 hours of work a week and each apprentice will be expected to participate in classroom activity, football training and work experience. Not only will the footballers get the chance to hone their skills on the pitch, but they will also gain valuable coaching experience as well as academic teaching. The apprentices will earn £60 a week and have the opportunity to progress from a Level 2 NVQ through to Level 4. n Visit

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Wrotham School is top of class Wrotham School are currently top of the class after finding ent themselves in the top 3 per cent in the countr y in an assessm the in elves thems found school proud of pupil progress. The is for great position after the Government’s Repor ting and Analys report This ). (RAISE n aluatio Self-Ev school Improvement through of pupils is based on statistical data which assesses the progress . school ary second at during their time spent

reak? ive st t a e r atured ac to be fe k have s d g l i in t h c in r pa s you ings or vinedig @ n Doe in their draw in t s ju rd. nd pinboa If so, se on the e r e h right

SWIM DISCOVER YOUR ABILITY TO L OO WITH ANGELA’S SWIM SCH crashBook your child’s place for our rm. course in the February half-te receive the Book now for February 2012 and Swim School first lesson free. Join Angela’s lessons for all now. Small group and private 4 months ages and abilities starting from a range Our classes are conducted at pools. ped of modern Private well-equip Locations are: be Bank St Michael’s School Otford, Com ns include School Sevenoaks, other locatio d Cobham, Gravesend and Dartfor k your place email For more information or to boo or call 07990 570423


Free days out

Families can apply fo this year’s My Kent r free tickets to Kent’s greatest at tractions in Big Weekend wh ich 18. Ightham Mote, Knole House, Eagle will be on March 17 and just some of the 108 attractions. Re Heights and Char twell are sidents can apply household and tic for two per ket application is live now n Visit www.myk .uk

If you have some exciting news about a school or pupil in Sevenoaks or you’d like to feature your business on the pinboard email February 2012 vine 29


0871 423 5656 Visit our Sevenoaks store: 6 Bligh’s Court, Bligh’s Meadow. TN13 1DD. Tel: 01732 455360 Mon to Sat: 9:30am-5:30pm, Sun: 11am-5pm * Free delivery to UK and Ireland. See website for full details.

Vine Magazine Dec.indd 1

12/12/2011 17:32

HOLIDAY HAVEN CLOSER TO HOME Tucked away behind an unassuming door on the London Road is the ultimate spa sanctuary – The Reef Hideaway. Vine heads down to Sevenoaks High Street to see why it’s already so successful


magine for a moment: a de-stress scalp massage on arrival; fluffy gown and slippers; a cosy heated bed; unlimited refreshments; afternoon tea; not to mention the huge choice of spa treatments. Interested? Read on... Successful mother and daughter team Clare and Annette Cockell have over 40 years of combined experience in the beauty industry and Clare was shortlisted for ‘Young Entrepreneur’ in 2010. The salon and spa has also been recognised as one of the most desirable salons in the UK for the flagship salon and spa in Maidstone. Open for only a month in Sevenoaks

High Street, it’s already been discovered by savvy Sennockians who are flocking back for more treatments. The spa’s ‘pick and mix’ options allow you to tailor your spa day, choosing from several treatments under the sections ‘relax, unwind and enjoy’. Perhaps start with a Lazy Lemon Body Massage, followed by an ‘instant result’ relaxing facial for ‘bright and plump’ skin and lastly a Mandarin Silky Softening

30 vine February 2012

Pedicure. You can enjoy some real ‘metime’ on a mini-spa day, or get friends involved and make a day of it with afternoon tea and champagne; perfect for hen parties or birthday celebrations. The spa itself has a luxury boutique hotel feel, designed to make you feel like you’re on a tropical island – not in the middle of busy Sevenoaks. There are four spacious and atmospheric treatment rooms (one is a double, so it can be shared with a partner or friend) and also a manicure and pedicure room. Recommended by the ‘Good Spa Guide Spy’, they say: “My entire morning had been spent in a state of pure bliss. I actually had no idea how long I had been away, transported to my own little world. I was advised to take some time in the relaxation room in order to wake up slowly and that my lunch would be brought up in a while. Instead of waking up, I fell into a deep sleep. I awoke to find that my lunch was ready. Brilliant!”

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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.


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

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Q: Is the world conspiring to make me fat? Pat, West Kingsdown A: Yes. We have been told the risk factors to our health for the last 30 years but they have either been said really quietly or we are not listening. Here is one example you might remember: men with a girth diameter of more than 102cm greatly increase their risk of adult onset diabetes! The main reason for this is that, in the world we live in, the food industry is huge and powerful with a marketing machine that has come to dictate our palate and how we reward ourselves. Much of the food available to us is price-sensitive. The cheapest way to make things taste good is to use fat and sugar together. This is also the most effective way to store fat. The sugar elevates your insulin that transports your fat straight into storage and then causes you to be hungry almost

immediately afterwards. Sound familiar? It’s why you can eat a Mississippi mud pie directly after a large pizza. I am sad to say that much of the health and fitness industry has gone the same way as the food industry; it is run by business men and shareholders. There are hundreds of books, gyms and boot camps providing us with ‘as seen on TV’ short-term solutions. However, like the sugar in the pizza, it’s great at the time but we will soon need more. Thank you Pat for this question; it is more relevant than you may realise. The world has changed drastically over the last 30 years and the existing health and fitness solutions are going to have to change as drastically to meet the challenge. n If you have any questions on this or any other health and fitness areas please send them to

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BURN FAT WITH KENT BOOT CAMPS With gyms relying on 80 per cent of their members not turning up, perhaps it’s time to rethink the way we exercise. Kent Boot Camps is cost-effective, fun and most importantly, totally effective


ucked away in a beautiful walled garden based in Hildenborough you will find Kent Boot Camps, a team of trainers who have over 25 years’ combined personal training experience. Set up by Dan Tiley and Frank Gorman, considered among the elite of strength and conditioning trainers and weight loss experts in Kent, the Kent Boot Camp team have worked with a vast range of people; from famous actors and top athletes to full-time mums and business people. The ‘boot camps’ are designed to guide and motivate you in a fun and sociable environment, offering something different from

your usual boot camps - you can expect tractor tyre flipping, kettle bells, tug of war and sprint relays as just some of the exercises designed to give you a total body workout. Classes are open to all ages and abilities and the 45-minute sessions are structured to be somewhere between fitness classes and personal training sessions. With small group numbers of around 10-15 per class, you’ll get the attention you need. Running over a sixweek rolling programme, you’ll get fatburning workouts, dietary and lifestyle advice, weight assessment, seminars, discounted health products and

ANGELA ALEXANDER’S STORY: services and support Like many whenever you need people, I’ve it. The team are so always battled confident that you’ll with my weight. see results that they I tried the gym and fitness DVDs but just offer a full moneycouldn’t stick with it. However, after a close back guarantee after friend recommended Kent Boot Camps last 30 days, so it’s a winSeptember, I haven’t looked back. win – certainly I have been astounded by my weight loss worth a go! and how my body has changed in a short period of time; I have lost 19lbs and 8in off n For more my waist in just two months. information or to There is a selection of workouts for all book, visit www. fitness levels and as a part-time working mum with two young children, it was great or call 01732 808429 to have a choice between morning and evening sessions. Trainers Dan and Frank keep you motivated; when I find an exercise challenging they encourage me to keep going, they give me advice when needed, and I have also made new friends who I enjoy training with. I am asthmatic and for the first week I needed to use my inhaler 10 per cent off of a 12-week regularly, but I now only need to programme. Quote Vine when booking use it occasionally. I never used to go (Offer ends 02/03/12) anywhere without it, but now I don’t even think about it!

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Whether you’ve got a romantic evening lined up for Valentine’s Day or are simply heading out for a night with the girls, use Vine’s essential guide to looking fabulous this February

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A ‘pupil-eye’ view of THE GRANVILLE SCHOOL While the inspectors, teachers and parents are very happy that The Granville School strives to do everything to give their children the best education, what could be more important than the views of the pupils themselves? Vine meets them to find out what they really think of their school The Granville School in Sevenoaks is a highly achieving independent day school for girls aged three to 11 and boys of three and four. The school’s aim is to develop the full potential and natural talents of each individual child in order to prepare them for a fulfilled, happy and productive life. Granville has a caring family atmosphere

which thrives at all levels of the school. At Year 5, the class divides into two classes of a maximum of 15 pupils in preparation for 11+ examinations for entry into state and independent schools. The school especially welcomes applications for this year group.

The excellent curriculum contributes to the high standards of achievement

Read what the pupils say about their school and their favourite classes:



Daisy in Reception Class says:

In Nursery Class, Joe and Tommy say:

“I felt very grown up going into Reception Class because I can wear a smart uniform. I have made lots of new friends and everyone is very kind. Our classroom is bright and has lots of pictures on the wall that we have drawn. I really love being a Granville girl.”

“We play with Robert Robot on Mondays. We hold the remote control to tell him what to do. He moves backwards and forwards and he lies down and sleeps. Sometimes he turns over. He looks at us and his face lights up. He is very funny!” Zofia, in Transition Class says: “I like using the computers. I use the mouse to choose what I want. If I click on a submarine I go into the ocean and I can play games there. If I click on the stars I go into the Solar System and when I click the piano I can make up a tune. I love learning IT. It is so much fun and I have learnt how to operate computers and now I am good at it.”

ART AND DT Grace in Year 1 says: “At Christmas we made pine cones and painted them white to look like snow. We stuck the cones onto a hoop and made a big decoration. We made red hearts too. We put loops through them so we could hang them as decorations.” Freya in Year 1 says: “We made owls too, out of clay, and we baked them in a special oven and then painted them. I keep mine at home now. I love making things in Art and DT.”

Pupils’ attitudes to learning are exemplary



“Bonjour. Je m’appelle Harriet.” “Je m’appelle Heather.”

Lauren in Year 3 says:

Harriet and Heather say: “In Year 2 we learn French and we sing lots of French songs. Our teacher, Madame Condren, is very nice and she makes our French lessons fun. We love learning French and when we go to France we can practise speaking French.”


“Science is one of my favourite lessons and I am a science monitor. Last term we learnt how we digest our food and about foods that are healthy for us. We also did an ‘eggsperiment’ on egg shells to test which foods damage our teeth. This term we are going to learn about how plants grow and about different metals.”


Georgie and Laura are in Year 5. Laura says:

Year 6 Sports Captains Annabel, Ella and Louisa say:

“My favourite subject is Maths. Maths is taught in a fun way that makes it easy to understand and there are lots of visual aids. Georgie says: “I love English and enjoy writing stories. English is linked to ICT, History and Art. We are learning about the Tudors at the moment and next term we will go to a museum dressed in Tudor costume. Granville makes our learning very exciting.”

“Granville has a great range of sports to choose from and everyone has the opportunity to be part of a team in lots of matches and tournaments. The PE teachers are also really supportive and very knowledgeable.”

DRAMA AND MUSIC Jemima in Year 4 says: “Later this term we are going to perform a play of Dick Whittington. We are all excited about it. Thea is going to be Dick Whittington. I am going to be a sailor on the high seas, as well as fortune teller in London. There are a lot of lines to learn. We are really looking forward to going on stage and presenting the play to our families.”

n For more details and a tour of the school with the Headmistress, please contact the school office. Call 01732 453039, email the Registrar at or visit the website for more information

Reflecting on 26 years at KING’S ROCHESTER Vine speaks to the longest-serving Head of an independent school in the country, Dr Ian Walker of King’s Rochester, to find out about his achievements, his thoughts on education and why he will miss the school to which he has dedicated 26 years of his life ALL CHANGE: FACILITIES AT KING’S Much has changed since Dr Ian Walker began as Head Master in 1986. With progress always at the forefront of his mind, one of his first undertakings was an extensive refurbishment and re-building programme. The once very unsightly 1950s Prep School building had a flat roof and an adjacent outside toilet block. Ian decided to alter the building so it was more in keeping with the historic aspects of the school and the Edwardian buildings in King Edward Road in particular, building six classrooms, two storage rooms and perhaps most importantly, indoor loos – a vast improvement for the eight to 13-year-olds! Another long-standing tradition at the school is its association with the armed forces in the form of the Combined Cadet Force (CCF). Last year, the school celebrated its CCF centenary, marked by a special parade inspected by Dr Walker, who is Honorary Colonel of the Cadets for CCF at King’s. Dr Walker prevailed upon the army to fund the refurbishment of the CCF offices and firing range at no cost to the school, enabling students to enjoy a wide range of CCF activities on Friday afternoons, where they develop valuable lifeskills, teambuilding and leadership qualities. Facilities have been greatly improved during Dr Walker’s time at the school and boarding houses have benefited particularly. King’s has a flexible approach to boarding (parents can opt in and out) and the rooms are especially useful and popular for day-pupils to move in for concentrated study during public exams. Other additions include the much-loved ‘Bob Doubles’ café at the site of the Old Bursary. This bright, airy coffee bar is open to pupils and staff but also to King’s parents, providing them with the perfect meeting place before the weekly Cathedral services to which parents are always invited. Dr Walker also campaigned hard in 1988 to raise an impressive £350,000 for a new 25m indoor heated pool, used extensively for swimming lessons, galas and also kayaking training. In the same year, Satis House was

refurbished and turned into the senior school office, relocating teaching to other classrooms within the Cathedral Precinct. Dr Walker said: “I was concerned for the safety of our children. By implementing this change we prevented the children from having to cross St Margaret’s Street unnecessarily. I also campaigned for the zebra crossing on St Margaret’s Street and speed ramps in Vines Lane, both of which have been in place for some time. This proved to be a monumental battle with the council, but I was determined that this should be done!” Foreign language provision is a key part of King’s education, with pupils as young as three learning German as part of their everyday lessons. All

Dr Ian Walker with his portrait by Simon Davis

languages taught may be studied up to A Level and it was thanks to Dr Walker that the school was awarded two substantial grants from the Wolfson Foundation to build language laboratories enabling the teaching of a broad range of languages including German, French, Russian and Latin. Dr Walker also founded King’s PrePreparatory School, allowing pupils to join King’s from the age of three and to be able to continue their education, unbroken, all the way up to 18. The Pre-Prep and Nursery are now housed in Chadlington House, built in 2000 with the assistance of a generous donation from King’s old boy, Lord Chadlington of Dean. But whilst Dr Walker has made many improvements to the facilities at the school during his 26-year headship, he says, “Buildings are just the shell of a school; the people are its soul.”

EDUCATION CO-ED IS BEST Dr Walker recollects: “In my second year, I changed the transfer age from the ‘Junior’ to the Senior School from 12 to 13, the standard Preparatory School entry age, and I introduced the post of Headmaster of the Prep School and heads of departments throughout the school. “In 1992, King’s became co-ed in one fell swoop throughout the school – although girls had been admitted into the sixth form since 1977. This greatly changed the nature of the school – and doubled our potential market! “I think co-education offers many benefits: I have taught at single-sex schools and boys are certainly more oafish without the girls and can be more troublesome. Typically, females have more common sense, stability and intelligence and they certainly are a calming influence. Maturation of the school came about with the advent of girls and I am really pleased about that and glad that I did it.” A THOUGHT ON EVER-CHANGING LEGISLATION “I have enjoyed teaching Classics at A Level, Divinity, GCSE Classical Greek, English and History and coaching the Colts rugby team – teaching about four lessons per week. However, the nature of the job has changed over the years. Due to ever-changing legislation, which I strongly believe is injurious to education, I am no longer able to be as hands-on as I once was. So much of my time is taken up with the paperwork and red-tape generated by changes in the education system and in employment law – and this separates me from the children. I feel that trust has been replaced by legislation – we have bureaucratised employment,” says Dr Walker. “Education legislation went barmy, starting

with the National Curriculum introduced by Kenneth Baker in 1986. He changed O Levels and introduced ridiculous coursework and modular exams, which resulted in a loss of about a third of each year’s teaching. At King’s, we have therefore encouraged the advancement of the more rigorous International GCSEs (with no coursework or modules). “1992 saw the introduction of league tables in The Daily Telegraph and from that time on ‘Mickey Mouse’ subjects have appeared in every school’s curriculum except King’s. I steadfastly refused to do so – it wasn’t good for education and didn’t result in Russell Group university offers for those schools that did. King’s was one of very few schools which refused to fall in line – and our pupils enter top universities every year with solid A Level results in the traditional subjects which those universities demand. “Before 1986 examinees were challenged. For example, in a Religious Studies A Level Old Testament paper, I remember that pupils even had the option to answer in Hebrew, or, Greek in a New Testament paper! Exams were three and a half hours long and two to five essays had to be completed. Now, they tick boxes…why? To demonstrate that the policy is working they make exams easier. Every year the grades go up…we have lost sight of what education is about: that is to learn, not to pass exams! Fortunately, the Coalition is reversing some of these idiocies. “We are the most examined country in the world and, if we are not very careful, we will lose sight of the fact that education should be about learning and how to live, not just about exams. At King’s we try very hard to maintain that balance but the fact that schools have to struggle to do this is probably one of my greatest regrets.”



on March 15 where children will be able to explore the plot and characters followed by a matinée performance in the Cathedral.

King’s Rochester is opening its doors to a wider circle of visitors, not just at the termly Open Mornings, but also at a variety of speciallythemed events to give children an opportunity to experience first-hand what a King’s education has to offer. Forthcoming events include an ‘Under the Sea’ activity afternoon for children who will be of Reception Class age in September together with their parents and also fun activities days for pupils currently in Years 5 and 7 who will be aged 11+ and 13+ in September 2013. In addition, King’s official Open Mornings in March and May will provide an opportunity to meet Principal elect, Mr Jeremy Walker, who will take over from Dr Ian Walker who retires in July 2012 after 26 years of distinguished service. A spectacular performance of Dido and Aeneas will be performed by King’s senior pupils in the sublime setting of Rochester Cathedral on the evenings of March 15 and 16 and an enthralling Dido workshop has been organised

Dr Walker reflects on his time spent at King’s: “King’s pupils are invariably lovely, good company; thoroughly decent people – culturally, ethically, spiritually and morally – and this is the real joy of the job for me. This is not significantly different to 26 years ago; however, the more formal environment then was not so conducive to happy relationships as it is now. “I am proud of the way children make friendships at King’s which last a lifetime. It is glorious to see and I have always been delighted to see them when they come back to visit. “I have liked being my own boss – no two days are ever the same. However it is the pupils and the teaching which I will miss most of all together with the enjoyment of the company of my colleagues. “King’s always was, and continues to be, a wonderful school. I will miss it but I leave it in good shape and I can’t imagine handing it over to a better man...” (Mr Jeremy Walker will take up the post of Principal at King’s Rochester in September 2012)

DATES FOR THE DIARY: Under the Sea: February 10, 1.30pm – 3pm Senior Instrumental Concert: March 1, 7.30pm Open Morning: March 3, 9.30am – 12 noon Which GCSEs? Evening: March 6, 7.30pm Which A Levels? Evening: March 7, 7.30pm 11+ Activities Day: March 9, 9.30am – 3.30pm 11+ Assessments: March 10, 9.30am – 12.45pm Dido and Aeneas: March 15, 2pm & 7.30pm Dido and Aeneas: March 16, 7.30pm Open Morning: May 12, 9.30am – 12 noon 13+ Activities Day: June 21, 9am – 3.30pm n Come and experience King’s Rochester for yourself at one of the many events planned this year n For more information call 01634 888590 or visit February 2012 vine 39



Kent College Pembury In the second series instalment celebrating Kent College Pembury’s 125th anniversary, Vine looks back at how the school coped during the tough war years and the dramatic changes of the 1950s and 1960s which led to the school’s success

Hawkwell Place, 1940

Hockey, 1970s

1939: A new home at Pembury and war strikes

new set of Pembury day girls began to join.

The move to Hawkwell Place

“The large house and grounds were considered a safe place to be at the time of the Battle of Britain. We did not realise then that we were actually in the flight path of the German Luftwaffe on the way to bomb London, both day and night, and then we had the scourge of the Doodle Bugs – many were shot down in Kent before reaching London.” (Shirley Sinclair, nee Paine) During the Battle of Britain, the reality of war struck Kent College Pembury when British Hurricane Flight Sergeant Leslie Pidd’s plane was shot down in the grounds by a German Messerschmit. “One night there was a great noise – the scream of an aeroplane diving, in this case, out of control. The machine plunged into the small plantation into the grounds, somewhere near the Peter Pan and Wendy Pool. The pilot was killed. The matron wrapped his body in a sheet for a shroud.” (Rene Hatfield) Despite the war and its perils, there were some fonder memories of this time. One student recalls: “Rabbit stew was a great treat during the winter terms and there were always pails of preserved eggs. Two full-time land girls were resident at the school and grew all our vegetables and fruit in the large kitchen garden. Pembury Hall, the next largest house, was occupied by a soldier, who became quite a source of interest to us ‘cloistered’ girls!” Ester Spanton, nee Dunn remembers: “Summer was a lovely time; occasionally having lessons in the garden, plenty of sport,

After a brief move to Cornwall, the school set its sights on the beautiful, rural location of Hawkwell Place at Pembury, described by then-Headmistress Miss Walker as being “a perfectly beautiful home for the school where they would be able to carry on, come what may, in happiness and safety.” Hawkwell Place was built 60 years earlier on the site of the former Church Farm, later known as Spring Grove. In 1887 the poet Browning’s son married at Hawkwell Place and famous owners of the property prior to the school’s purchase include Sir Leonard Lyle of Tate and Lyle, W Mewburn Esquire, Chairman of the South East and Chatham Railway Company, and William Vernon, a Liverpool flour miller. Following Vernon’s death the house came on the market providing the school with the perfect opportunity... The auctioneer’s brochure described the 17bed property as “A fine, modern Elizabethan residence”. In the established grounds there were tennis courts, a swimming pool, squash courts, a lake, boathouse, a kitchen garden and an orchard. The site, deep in the West Kent countryside, seemed ideal for the school’s future security and progress, and with 80 acres of land it was bought for £8,000. The numbers in 1939 stood at 60: the lowest than at any other time since 1890. Understandably, many Folkestone day girls withdrew and it remained at this level until a

A safe haven?

swimming in the pool (fish pond!) with frogs and other creepy crawlies… I well remember at the end of the first autumn term on the last Sunday we made ourselves comfortable with blankets and pillows listening to Miss Walker telling us the Christmas story and singing carols by torchlight; quite magical for a 10 year old. The war years at KC were very happy ones, Miss Walker was a strict headmistress but a very fair one. I had great admiration and affection for her.”

1942: The founding of Aultmore Junior School In 1942 the kindergarten, which had been abandoned in Folkestone, reopened and this part of the school grew rapidly. By 1943 Miss Walker and the governors had started to look for additional accommodation. In 1945 Aultmore on Kingswood Road, Tunbridge Wells was purchased at a price of £9,000. Miss Walker announced that this would be the junior section of the school for all pupils aged up to 12. “My first year at Aultmore was the first year

Gymnastics, 1946

it opened. My first night there, I remember Miss Higgs the Headmistress said for us to say goodnight in the Eskimo way and to rub noses! I also remember picking sweet chestnuts off the front lawn and in winter sledging on kitchen tin trays in the snow and skating on the pond in the wood.” (Anne Radford) Aultmore was very successful and had day girls and boarders. In 1945, both Aultmore and Kent College Pembury were thriving with high pupil intakes – 160 in the school as a whole. In 1955 Miss Welbourn began her Headship: “During my years at Aultmore, the pattern changed. Fewer parents worked abroad now the Colonies were decreasing; no longer did local authorities foster children under their care at boarding school and gradually weekly boarding became more popular. In 1976 it was decided to offer only weekly boarding to the younger ones and to restrict full boarding to the top forms. Full boarders would then spend weekends at the senior school.”

Dramatic changes were needed and the 1950s saw the beginnings of a new era.

1950s & 1960s: A time for change

Foundations for the new school house were laid in 1954 and, in 1960, governors approved plans for a gymnasium/assembly hall (on the site where the Theatre is situated) which was completed in 1961 at a cost of £30,000. With the new hall and gymnasium, PE lessons were transformed: “As we clamber on the ropes, climb the wallbars and swing on the trapeze, I am sure we all think how lucky we are.” The stage was excellently equipped and allowed the drama department to flourish with productions led under Miss Janet Senior (Young), who joined in 1962, including ‘The Rivals’, ‘The Boy With The Cart’, ‘Romeo And Juliet’ and ‘Puss In Boots’. Miss Tilley’s academic achievement in encouraging the senior girls to work harder was encouraged by the Government Inspection in 1954. Inspectors found much to 1949: The legendary Miss Tilley dared praise and approved of the new Miss Tilley building schemes, describing to change the the school as a “very happy Miss Tilley succeeded Miss school song, she community” and the staff as a Walker and brought with her dared to say that “loyal and hardworking team”. great experience of Methodist schools. She was one of the prefects should give One student who was at the during this time recollects: Heads who had worked under more concentration school “I remember laughing until Miss Hargreaves at Hunmanby to their work and we cried at very silly things; Hall, which gave her the sufficient tools to “lead the less to the laundry the midnight feasts; revising in bathrooms, after lights out, school through its considerable room and surgery the for O Levels; the biology lab expansion over the following queues and lessons surrounded by old years”. (M James, 1986) specimen jars with very odd “Miss Tilley dared to change specimens in them (!) and not the school song, she dared to say being fazed. Mr Browning the that prefects should give more biology teacher in his bright concentration to their work and green Harris Tweed suit: we were all terrified less to the laundry room and surgery queues of him – he would fling the board rubber and and she instilled in all pupils the need to spend once asked me whether I was going to do a more time on their work and prep. It was a day’s washing, as I had rolled my sleeves up beginning of a move to stress the importance as it was so hot! What we were used to as little of academic results in an age when, for the ones! I also remember Miss Ashby (the games first time in British history, free university mistress) teaching us the cha-cha in the gym places and career prospects stood before girls to Dusty Springfield’s ‘I only want to be with of the day.” (Prefect, 1949) you’! Also Nurse and Sister and being given “I came to KC in 1952 from a boarding Gee’s Linctus for every ailment – probably school in India when I was 12 years old not, but it seemed that way! I don’t remember so you can imagine that Pembury, with its rain, only sunshine and snow – I loved the green grass, woodlands, trees, squirrels and place.” rabbits, was really quite different. Miss Tilley was a gem and in charge of my shopping. The 1980s: Academic success She was fun to shop with, interested and very indulgent. One day I said to her that I By the 1980s the sixth form had reached 80, needed a bra, to which she replied that you with the majority of girls working towards only needed one for special occasions. This their A Levels and by 1982 the school had news that Miss Tilley only ever wore a bra on reached 360.The number of day girls was special occasions spread around the school like increased by the East Sussex Education wildfire. At prize givings, sports days, anything Committee’s policy of taking up a number special, we’d nudge and wink at each other of ‘selective 11+ places’ at Pembury in 1967, saying, ‘Miss Tilley’s wearing her bra’.” (Jenny and for some years from 1970 there was a Lewis, nee Ezra) shortage of grammar school places. This also 1949 was not an easy time to take up a new brought to the school a larger proportion of post. The war had been over for four years, all girls with good academic ability. At this point sorts of restrictions and shortages remained it was decided to introduce the Common and little had changed in Hawkwell Place. Entrance which was used from 1968 until

1977, when Kent College began its own entrance examinations. The changing concept of women’s careers was now an important part of school life and, the school appointed a careers mistress. 1971 was a particularly successful year when two candidates to Oxford were successful, the first since the achievements of Miss Brunyate before World War I. In the 1980s the focus of the school became more about enriching the community and the range of activity in and out of the classroom with over 60 extracurricular activities to choose from. Senior boarders were allowed more freedom and on Saturday evenings would attend a dance or disco at a neighbouring boys’ school, or ice skating, to a concert or play. On weekdays after school, sixth formers would take driving lessons, go swimming or take part in sporting activities or Duke of Edinburgh – all of which still continues today. In 1989 during Norma Perry’s Headship, and following the need to update the Kingswood Road school, Aultmore Junior School moved to the Kent College Pembury site to join the Senior School. This wise move enabled the school to save substantial costs and to build a purpose-built Preparatory School which provided much needed facilities for Aultmore. “I remember Old Aultmore as a lovely building with gardens full of thick rhododendrons and places to hide. On the last day before we moved to the new Aultmore, and they tore the old building down, my mother made me stand on the landing to memorise the William Morris wallpaper.”

Swimming in the lily pond, 1940s

n For more information visit or call 01892 820237 n Open Mornings: Prep School Open Mornings are on February 4 and 7, Early Years is March 19 and Senior School Open Mornings are on March 14 and May 9. Call 01892 822006 to book your place n 125th Anniversary celebration dates:

• Theatre production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and theatre re-opening: 20–24 March 2012. Call 01892 822006 to book

• Music in March – Messiah – March 27 2012 • Kent College Film Festival: June 15–17. For a film programme and tickets, call 01892 822006 in April

• 125th Summer Ball: July 7 2012

THE LAND OF OPPORTUNITY for students With such a hike in tuition fees in the UK, savvy sixth formers are looking further afield for university placements. Studying at a US university has overwhelming benefits and American-born SAT tutor Elizabeth von Nardroff can make this a reality


ith UK tuition fees up to £9,000 per year, UK students are becoming more savvy about what they can get for their money. It is believed that a quarter of sixth formers at leading UK independent schools will be applying for US universities in the next four years. To apply for an American university, students must take the US SAT exam, a combination of maths, critical reading and writing. But once you’ve made the decision to go to a US university, how do you prepare for the SAT exams in the UK? Typically, you’d have to travel to London and pay a small fortune for

tutoring, but luckily we have a specialist SAT tutor right on our doorstep. Elizabeth von Nardroff has been tutoring for over 15 years and moved from the US to the UK a few years ago. Recognising the new demand for SAT tutoring, and having been through the American education system herself, she decided to offer her services over here, with great success. One of her pupils, Jasmine Horsey, is now off to Yale. Jasmine says: “Finding a good tutor is key and I was greatly impressed by Elizabeth’s knowledge and experience. My accuracy on the maths sections of the SAT greatly improved as a result of Elizabeth’s tutoring and I was able to approach test day confidently. I wholeheartedly recommend Elizabeth – it’s rare to find someone with such expertise outside of London.” Leading universities such as Yale are not as out of reach as you may think. Many offer scholarships and high fees are offset by high levels of means-tested support. The benefits of studying in the

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US are huge; there’s a Get a free SAT assessment broad range session with Elizabeth, simply email her or call to book of courses (Offer ends 02/03/12) on offer and you don’t have to choose the subject you want to major in until the end of your second year, not to mention the international experience you gain, making you a hot prospect for employers. So if you want a quality education where you have more freedom to choose, US universities offer great value and the SATs aren’t as daunting as they might seem with Elizabeth’s help. n Call Elizabeth on 07863 618681 or email




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Joint efforts at


I I am particularly pleased because the students who participate in this project are demonstrating a very strong sense of community, supporting and encouraging each other to achieve their very best

Once again Caterham School is at the top of the table for its A Level results. So what’s the secret to the school’s success? Hard work of course, but its award-winning learning initiatives also have a large part to play, as Charlotte Luxford discovers

t is no wonder that Caterham School was ranked as the top independent 11-18 co-educational school in England, with the school’s A Level students achieving an astonishing 76 per cent A* and A grades last year. With success like this, the future looks bright for the younger students, especially with the recent awardwinning Student Lead Learner Programme, headed by Director of Learning and Teaching Kim Wells. The Independent School Award for Education Initiative of the Year was well deserved for the school’s ‘study buddy’ scheme, which was set up by Kim Wells back in 2009 with 28 sixth formers taking part. Sixth form students volunteer to be trained in coaching and mentoring skills and are then paired with younger students to assist in academic work. The scheme has taken off since then, with around 60 per cent of sixth formers taking part and over 300 students participating. The students meet formally once every week in the sixth form centre (considered quite a privilege among the younger students) for 20 minutes to discuss everything from how to memorise vocabulary to managing longterm projects. But the bond between them tends to go further than that, especially as around one in five board, giving them time to develop friendships outside the boundaries of the classroom. Third-year student Georgie Waterman is paired with Georgia Feldmanis who has a place to read Classics at Cambridge: Georgie says: “I really think the scheme has worked. It has boosted my confidence and I can go to Georgia when I have problems with my homework – maths just didn’t stick before Georgia helped me and I wasn’t expected to get a good grade in physics, but I got 70 per cent in the end. My grades have gone up in all but one of my subjects this year and I think Georgia has helped me a lot. It’s also good because we both play Lacrosse so we have that in common and I’ll see her on the pitch and have a chat.” Georgia agrees and finds it satisfying playing the role of teacher, coach and mentor. “I think it’s rewarding,

Georgia Feldmanis and Georgie Waterman in their study buddy sessions

(Above from left to right) Georgia Feldmanis, Georgie Waterman and Maisie Bayley with The Independent School Award for Education Initiative of the Year knowing that you have established a friendship and, more importantly, the scheme has broken down barriers between sixth formers and younger students, helping maintain the school’s strong sense of community.” Sixth former Maisie Bayley, who is hoping for a place at Durham, says the key to success is making friends with your buddy first. “They can be a little intimidated to start with so you have to put them at ease and also speak to them on the same level. You’ve got to build a relationship before trying to give them advice.” Harry Wandless is currently Maisie’s study buddy: “It is very helpful being able to look over work I have completed with my buddy and look at how to improve on it in future. Maisie has been there and done GCSEs recently so she is full of good advice.” The scheme isn’t just for students who need additional help to reach their potential; it’s also for extremely talented pupils who will benefit from mixing with sixth formers who are on a similar academic level. Maisie joined Caterham in the sixth form: “I think I would have benefited greatly from a scheme like this at my old school – it’s also about getting another person’s perspective on the same piece of work. Someone else can suggest something you hadn’t thought of and it can be really eye opening.” To underline the positive impact of the scheme, all 34 of the fifth year students who had been ‘buddied’ in their GCSE year of 2010 volunteered to become buddies themselves on entering the sixth form. Headmaster Julian Thomas said: “I am particularly pleased because the students who participate in this project are demonstrating a very strong sense of community, supporting and encouraging each other to achieve their very best.” n Visit or call 01883 343028 for more information February 2012 vine 43

On a roll at

RUSSELL HOUSE Already this school year, children at Russell House have launched a CD of choral music, triumphed in the 11-plus exam and have won an impressive selection of sports trophies


All pupils who sat the 11-plus exam in September 2011 passed One third of the children gained full marks of 420 Over the past five years, the 11-plus pass rate averages at 93 per cent


­ ssell House School in Otford is having u a fantastic school year. It started last October when the school’s U9 footballers won the Sevenoaks School tournament; was followed with success for each child who sat the 11-plus exam (average score 411); and continued through musical excitement and more sporting victories. For a school which describes itself as ‘where the remarkable happens’, such achievements are very much part of school life. “We set our sights high and so do the children,” says Headmistress Alison Cooke. “Spurred on by high expectations and an atmosphere which builds confidence, children rise to challenges and achieve more than many people would imagine possible. “For example, our 11-plus successes are exceptional, and not just this year. The fact that our average pass rate over the past five years is 93 per cent is just as impressive as the single year results, especially when you remember that Russell House is a non-selective school.” What is really remarkable about Russell House, Mrs Cooke believes, is the way this small, friendly school encourages children to become involved in so many fields and to develop talents and interests from a very young age. Music at the school provides an excellent example of the Russell House philosophy in action. Mrs Cooke herself runs a weekly music group for toddlers in school, even before they are starting to walk! Then, once children join the school from the age of two, they have regular music sessions which, by Year 1, include the chance for every child to learn a stringed instrument in small groups in class. Then, by the age of seven, nearly every child chooses to come to school early to sing with the choir. “Music is part of the life-blood of our school,” says Mrs Cooke. “Children sing together, they learn instruments and play in our orchestras and chamber groups. It gives them a great boost when they go to secondary school and quickly slot in to orchestras and groups there.” Russell House has long been known as an ideal choice for parents who want their children to move to grammar or independent school at 11. The school’s friendly atmosphere and pursuit of excellence make for impressive, wide-ranging achievements. n You can experience the activities and friendly atmosphere at Russell House for yourself. Come to the school’s open morning on Saturday March 17 between 9.30 and 12 noon. Call 01959 522352 for details or visit

44 vine February 2012


From Year 1, more than three quarters of children learn an instrument Around 50 children play in school orchestras Nearly every child from age seven chooses to sing with choristers every morning before school


2011 U9 Sevenoaks School 5-a-side Football Tournament winners 2011 boys’ tennis championship winners at Kent Schools Tennis event 2011 individual trophy winner and seven medallists at Kent County Schools Biathlon


Family and friendship at


2012 is an exciting year for Sevenoaks Preparatory School. Continuing the school’s strong values and ethos, new Head of Junior School Nik Pears speaks to Vine about plans for the junior school, new facilities and helping the community and beyond


ead of the Junior School Nik Pears has been instrumental in building the close-knit relationships enjoyed at Sevenoaks Prep, along with Headmaster Luke Harrison, to give the school a true sense of community. Nik has been involved with the school for over 12 years prior to taking on the new position last September and previously acted as head of music before taking time out to develop his own business. When offered the new role, Nik jumped at the chance to join the school once more and has always had an active position and influence at the Prep. “I want to continue to build on the fantastic foundations that are already in place at the school and the heritage and core values of the Prep are incredibly important. The school is very much like a family; my son goes to the school and so do Luke’s children. I have also taught across many areas of the school in the past 12 years so I’m used to working with all age groups and bringing the older and younger pupils together,” says Nik. Nik took the initiative to set up the Social Entrepreneurs Project (SEP) back in 2003 after a conversation with his Year 8 form on global issues prompted the students to ask what they could do to help those in need. Already having contacts at the charity HopeHIV, Nik

Sevenoaks Prep students raise money for HOPEHIV through the successful Social Entrepreneurs Project

arranged a scheme whereby students are given ‘seed capital’ and then asked to come up with creative business ideas that they believe will help raise money for the charity. The first 26 students in his form raised £5,000 and now the scheme is carried out in other schools such as Wellington College, Tonbridge School, Marlborough College and KCS Wimbledon and even further afield to Belgium, Malta and Australia. The SEP also has recently retired England Rugby captain Lewis Moody and fashion designer Karen Millen on board as patrons, making it a truly successful enterprise and beneficial for all involved. While the school is keen to help developing countries, the students are taught from an early age to appreciate what they have and that there are others around them who are not so fortunate. The junior school students decided to support the work of The Salvation Army this Christmas, supporting families in New Addington by participating in the Sevenoaks Prep Christmas Angels Toy Appeal. Children bought toys to put under the school Christmas tree to be distributed by the charity and the Prep also made a financial contribution to The Salvation Army’s work, helping to supply food as well as gifts. Harvest is also a time at which the Prep gives back to the community; the students often visit Age Concern in Hollybush with food parcels and sing Harvest songs at the drop-in centre. For the students, there is a real sense of fun at the Prep and the new play equipment and tree house situated in the 25-acre grounds make welcome additions to the Prep this New Year. The junior school is privileged to use the senior school facilities such as the computer suites and large hall for performances. The school also encourages the older and younger children to interact with each other so when it comes to approaching the senior school, the transition is seamless. “The Year 7 students will actively spend time playing with the juniors and building relationships with them; it gives the little ones people to look up to and the older students get a sense of responsibility which they really enjoy.” As an incentive for good behaviour, children in the junior school have the chance to sit on the ‘Top Table’ on Friday lunchtimes with

Sevenoaks Prep Christmas Angels Toy Appeal

Nik sits with pupils at the ‘Top Table’ Nik and a select few pupils who have shown exceptional table manners during the week. Complete with serviettes and table decorations, children enjoy the chance to sit with the Head and feel special. It is clear that Nik and Luke both have excellent relationships with the students and there is a sense of respect and belonging as well as friendliness. One parent said of the Prep: “We have so appreciated the nurturing atmosphere of the Prep and the open door policy, alongside its striving for excellence. The mix of academic, extracurricular and sport has really enhanced our son’s time at the school – especially in rugby! Sevenoaks Prep has been such a positive experience for him.” n For more information call 01732 762336 or visit February 2012 vine 45




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Registered Charity No: 307925

Hilden Oaks School & Nursery

Your children will love being here

Bursaries are available for children born between September 2004 and August 2005. See the website for details.

These hour long tours give you an insight into what it takes to grow these irresistible plants TIMES: 11:00am & 2:00pm

For generations, children have passed through the bright red door of Hilden Oaks to discover a vibrant world of learning. We have created a very special environment to ensure all our children enjoy school, learn well, and develop their strengths. When it’s time to move on to the next stage of education, they arrive confident of their capabilities and secure in their individuality.

Take a Tour red iste Reg

DATES: 18th & 19th February 2012 25th & 26th February 2012 3rd & 4th March 2012 OUTSTANDING

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Frida y 3 rd Fe bru a 1. 30 to 3p m ry Sat u rda y 4th Fe 9. 30a m to 12nbooru a ry n NO AP POINTMEN T NECESSAR Y

For more information or to arrange a visit please...

Call: 01732 353941 or visit: Hilden Oaks School & Nursery, 38 Dry Hill Park Road, Tonbridge, Kent

Quality education for boys and girls from 3 months to 11 years

46 vine February 2012

PRICE: £3.00 per person

FIND US: Broadview Gardens Hadlow College Hadlow Kent, TN11 0AL 01732 853211

A term in the life of


WALTHAMSTOW HALL 2011 ended with another action-packed term at Walthamstow Hall Senior School; here Vine takes a look at the highlights

TOP 100 SCHOOLS Following another year of outstanding examination results The Sunday Times ranked Walthamstow Hall as one of its ‘Top 100 Independent Senior Schools’, published in November.

MUSIC The superb Christmas concert and carol service rounded off a wonderful term of music in which the school celebrated Walthamstow Hall musicians winning places at the National Youth Orchestra, National Youth Wind Orchestra, Junior Guildhall School of Music and the second round of the BBC’s Young Musician Of The Year.

FURTHER AFIELD Sixth formers answered the call for ‘Friends, Romans and Culture Vultures’ and enjoyed a trip to Rome. Closer to home, English literature students took their research to Wuthering Heights on a trip to Haworth, home of the Brontës, and sixth form chemists travelled to Ecton to perform experiments out in the field.

REPRESENTING COUNTY AND COUNTRY NICHOLAS NICKLEBY The school production, The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby, was a stunning tour de force full of breath-taking chameleon-like performances from every actor.

Walthamstow Hall girls put in excellent performances in the sporting arena too. The U16 netball squad were finalists in the Kent Schools Tournament while the U14 lacrosse team won their Kent Schools Tournament in September. In all, 25 girls played their sport at county or national level last term, most recently Year 11 Angharad Ward represented Great Britain in Curling at the inaugural Winter Youth Olympics in Innsbruck.

n To see Walthamstow Hall in action on a normal school day please join the school on its Open Morning on Thursday May 10 from 10am to 12 noon. For more information and for admissions, visit or call 01732 451334 February 2012 vine 47


KNOLE ACADEMY Building Ambition 2012 is an exciting time for Knole Academy: with an £18m development, community and charity initiatives, not to mention its excellent arts programme, there is plenty to talk about this year. Vine takes a look at what’s in store

NEW BUILDINGS Knole Academy is very excited about its forthcoming building which has £18m of funding from the Department of Education. This will include an extension of a brand new expressive arts and Sixth Form centre with sports hall and AstroTurf, which is due to be available for community use in the evenings and at weekends. There will be a state-of-the-art performance space with a suite of music rooms and a recital room; a four-court sports hall; multi-gym and dance studio and a new suite of Business Studies and Science classrooms. The extension will also provide new Design and Technology and arts and graphics spaces. Academy students are working with architects and designers to create some of the outdoor spaces and give their ideas about the academy of the future. It is planned that the building will also incorporate renewable energy sources.

TWELFTH NIGHT Knole Academy has an amazing track record of high-class professional quality productions. This year is no exception. Rehearsals are in full swing with a talented cast of 22 players who are rising to the creative challenge of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Professional theatre designer Jenny Saunt has designed a magical set with an exciting animated backdrop and the Elizabethan costumes will set the standard of dramatic action to perfection. Talented students have worked on set painting, animation and stage fighting and a troupe of minstrels will add musical magic. Performances will be from Wednesday 14 March to Friday 16 March.

Birds Eye View The Knole Academy

ROOM TO READ The school community is uniting behind a major fundraising campaign for the charity Room to Read. The challenge is to raise £12,000 by 12.12.12 to provide the funds needed to build a library for a Zambian school. The money raised will pay resident builders to use local materials and locally produced books to create a much-needed reading space for the children who currently have no books and nowhere to read. This is no mean feat but the school has set up a Rotary Interact Club to focus its efforts and drive the campaign forward. An inter-house talent show was held in January and, with an inter-house quiz in April and a summer event, the charity reps are hopeful that their target will be reached. Nearly £2,000 has been raised so far.


Our choir and art students visited Sevenoaks’ twin town Rheinbach in Germany in October and plans are now in place for a trip to Pontoise this October. Links with the schools and local communities there are important to Knole Academy. Closer to home, from an initial project on communication last year with Valence School, Rockdale Housing Association, Dorton House School and First Steps Nursery, strong links are now firmly established and flourishing. Another highlight in this term’s calendar is our involvement in the Sevenoaks Community Theatre production Journey To The Throne at the Stag (February 8–11). Some 30 dancers will be taking part in this impressive multi-media show which tells the story of the Queen and our times from 1926 to 1953 through drama, dance, music and photography.

n Visit or call 01732 454608 to arrange a tour of the school

Combe Bank School Nursery Preparatory Senior Sixth Form •

A ceNtre oF excelleNce For girlS’ educAtioN From 3-18 yeArS



Join Vine at this special workshop, designed exclusively for local parents

Open Day

10am -12noon No appointment necessary

Saturday 12 may 2012

truly impressive independent “ Aschool where girls of all ages and ability excel ” year 9 Parent

Master the major websites including Facebook & Twitter Leave the day armed with the tools and knowledge to keep your children safe online Learn how to control what information your child makes public Discuss ideas and share experiences with other local parents

Tuesday March 6 10am – 2.30pm Includes a light buffet lunch and refreshments

combe Bank School, combe Bank drive, Sundridge, Sevenoaks, Kent tN14 6Ae. contact our registrar on 01959 567166 or

Places at this event are limited but future dates are available. Call now to book: 01732 764500 or email

AROUND HALF OF BRITISH CHILDREN UNDER 13 USE SOCIAL MEDIA: WHICH HALF IS YOUR CHILD IN? There are around 800 million Facebook users in the world. Many millions of those will be under the user age limit of 13. So, how do you protect them? Vine looks at the perils of social media and how to overcome them


he internet, mobile phones and social networking have totally transformed the way in which we live. Children are among the early adopters of new technologies and have access to unlimited content at the touch of a button, moving effortlessly from iPad to smart phone to communicate, interact, create and share content with family and friends. According to a study last year, while 77 per cent of 13-16 year olds and 38 per cent of 9-12 year olds in the EU have a social media profile, a quarter of them have their profile set to public. This means that anyone

can view their personal information. There is no doubt that all this technology offers tremendous opportunities for children; however, as with any environment there are also risks. Risks associated with the internet, mobiles and social networking sites include: cyberbullying, grooming, identity theft, exposure to inappropriate content including self-harm, racism, hate and adult pornography, not to mention those stories where teenagers have invited hundreds of friends to house parties via Facebook for it all to go horribly wrong. Last year one girl organised a house party via Facebook and accidentally invited millions of Facebook users, resulting in 1,600 gatecrashers and over 100 police officers to break it up. Some of these potential risks can be a continuation of the risks children and young people experience offline. However, they can be increased because many children also fail to realise that the internet is a public place. You therefore

your child’s computer, it is extremely difficult, and not always the best solution, to completely shelter your children from social media and, like with most things, they will find a way to continue using it if they want to. Therefore, it is better to be educated in it yourself in order to protect them, making sure that it remains fun and safe for them to use.

have an important role to play in keeping your child safe online and encouraging the responsible use of the technologies. Stopping short of pulling the plug on

n For more information on social media and how to protect your children, Vine is running a oneday social media training session for parents. See above advert for details.

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MASTER IN THE MAKING Sevenoaks-born artist Anthony Garratt will be holding his first solo exhibition this month at Claremont Antiques and Modern Art. Vine finds out why the work of this exciting young artist is so sought after


een art collectors will have a feast in store this month with the advent of rising star Anthony Garratt’s first solo exhibition starting on February 24 at Claremont, 9A London Road, Sevenoaks. Now in high demand after his appearance on BBC 2 programme Show Me The Monet, and after displaying his work at last year’s Royal Academy Summer Show, Anthony Garratt will be the name to watch this year. Garratt’s rise in the last year has been nothing short of meteoric. As well as the BBC and RA events, he was chosen as the ‘face’ to promote

Winsor and Newton’s acrylic paint range; voted by the public through to the final of the Saatchi Showdown; sold out at Battersea’s Affordable Art Fair and was chosen to exhibit at the Royal College of Arts. He is also a regular exhibitor at the RWA, completed a number of films and managed to fit in study trips to Marrakesh and Istanbul. Garratt’s stunning semi-abstract landscapes are immensely atmospheric and powerful works that will appeal to art lovers and investors alike. His main inspiration is his emotional response to the harshness of the climate and he is never more at home than

when working on location in one of the remotest corners of the country in the most extreme of conditions. While his prices have risen in the last year, his works are still surprisingly affordable and offer exceptional value for money. There will be a private preview on Thursday February 23 at 6pm with a rare opportunity to meet the artist himself. The exhibition will continue until March 15 and you can also view the gallery’s vast collection of over 200 contemporary paintings by English artists such as Gerald Green and Steve Slimm, and some of the most outstanding emerging artists from Russia and

Ukraine, which are exclusively represented in the UK by Claremont – artists such as Angelica Privalihin, Andre Inozemzev and Rustem Stakhursky. In addition, Claremont also stocks a beautiful range of antique French and Scandinavian style painted furniture from coffee and farm tables to sideboards and dressers. Claremont will be exhibiting at the Chelsea Art Fair in April; for complimentary tickets, please contact the gallery. n For more information or to RSVP to the exhibition preview, visit www.claremontantiques. com or call 01732 456976



This month, we take a look at the interior trends that are stealing the show this forthcoming spring, with everything from lace-inspired accessories to playful retro furniture

Friends of the forest

St Marks

of London


Developments • Design & Build • Interior Design

Animals seem to be on the agenda when it comes to soft furnishings this season – in particular, foxes and pheasants. The lovely Katie Mosa, who offers ‘Tweed with a Twist’, has come up with this playful ‘Game On’ linen cushion (£20, Katie Mosa) and Becky Baur has created her own cheeky-looking fox who is a frequent character in her range of interior goodies (cushion £45, plate £20, Hunkydory Home). n Visit, and

01732 464348


Vibrant 70s While the 70s were garish, graphic and mainly mustard, the trend is creeping back with an updated and fresh take on the era. This statement ‘Juno Armchair’ in burnt orange from has a cool, classic feel and this bold floral print in mustard by Mini Moderns is a refreshing twist on the more lurid prints of the 70s. (£45 for a 10m roll). n Visit and

Ladylike lace 8/9 Tubs Hill Parade, London Road, Sevenoaks, TN13 1DH

01732 464450

52 vine February 2012

Just as it’s making a big impact on the catwalk, lace is also inspiring homeware this season. This pretty table lamp would look great on a bedside table alongside crisp linen (£45, John Lewis) and this Edwardian lace cup and saucer by designer Stephanie Earl (£35, would make any afternoon tea feel like a special occasion. n Visit and

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 | February 2012 vine 53

of the month Discover the Otford scale model of the Solar System and spectacular views over lush green fields and golf courses on this 5.3 mile (8.5km) circular walk DETAILS Location: Otford Public Car Park, Otford, TN14 5PG Distance: 5.3 miles (8.5km), allow 3 hours OS Explorer Map: 147 Parking: Otford public car park opposite the Bull public house Step count: Approx 10,600

n From the car park opposite the Bull pub, turn left along high street. After a short distance, turn left to take path between The Forge House Restaurant and Antiques shop. There are views along this path on the left as you pass the end of the recreation ground. Here you can also see the Otford Solar System model. n Follow path through gate. n Follow path through tree line – crossing the Darent Valley Golf Course. Keep to enclosed path at all times. On reaching a road crossing, cross over to take path bearing Darent Valley Path waymarkings. n Come to end of path and on to a cricket ground. Follow around edge to kissing gate on other side. n Look right before crossing fairway. Continue along path until you come to a main road (Station Rd). n Turn right and follow road to junction with main road A225 (turn left if you want to explore Shoreham), passing golf course entrance and under railway bridge.

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n Cross road to follow gravel path to the right of building (Copt Hall). n When you reach a forked junction, bear left to take the signed footpath in to the woods (do not continue straight on to follow the bridleway). As the path winds through woodland, it becomes steep. n Come to the end of the wooded area and into a field. Head across, to left of farm buildings. Once at farm buildings, observe waymarking to follow route taking you between buildings out of farm through a gate, travelling downhill on a track. n Bear left to take footpath through a gap into a field. Follow path across field, following arrows, until you reach wooded boundary. Go through gap and follow path travelling downhill. Cross over stile to emerge from wooded area on a fairly steep hillside overlooking a golf course. Continue downhill to stile at bottom. n Follow enclosed path crossing the golf course. Emerge from the path into a field. Keeping to the left, continue uphill. Near the top there are views to the left and behind you. Go through the

treeline to cross a short grassy area and go through gap into a field. Continue straight ahead, bearing right as you go uphill. Aim for the right side of the house ahead, which becomes visible as you near the top of the slope. n Cross stile at right side of house to follow footpath. Take the first path (bridleway) on the right after coming to the end of the path (do not continue following the wall straight on). n Go through gate at end of path and bear left to follow path over a stile into field. Follow track on left boundary of field. When track begins to bend sharply round to the left do not follow round but cross stile on the right. Cross another field and go over another stile to head down slope on an enclosed path until you reach a road (Eastdown House should be on the right). n Turn left and follow road uphill to sign posts on right. Cross over stile into field and follow path, heading for edge of trees straight ahead. Reach gate and cross over stile into another field. Follow path downhill to woods. Cross over stile into woods and follow fenced woodland path until you reach a road. Turn right and follow road. n Come to a road junction and cross island in middle. Cross road to climb over stile near gate signposted as North Downs Way. In this field, follow path along left hand boundary entering into wooded area after approximately 350m. As the path emerges it begins downhill with steps in places. There are some good views of Otford through trees ahead. n Reaching the end of the path you will be at a road. Cross over to pavement and turn right following North Downs Way sign. At road junction bear left (following North Downs Way sign). This will take you back to Otford crossing over the railway bridge, past a pond, pubs and shops, back to the car park where you started.

n For more walks, visit or call 08458 247600



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f you own a Citroën or Peugeot and live in the Sevenoaks area, you need to know about Kemsing Motor Company if you don’t already. They are now able to offer dealer level diagnostics for both Citroën and Peugeot. The new diagnostic equipment covers a wide range of electrical systems within the vehicle, such as ABS, air bags and fuel injection. Kemsing Motor Company feels that while catering for their existing customers who own Citroëns, they could also be of help to other local owners. So why not save the hassle of travelling long distances to a main dealer and let Kemsing Motor Company help with repairs to your Citroën. The company is offering free winter checks for all makes at the moment which is a quick and

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FASHION OREC AST FFASHION CHINOS Chinos are a must for spring and these khaki cotton delights from Gant (£75) will give you all the versatility and style you need. Light and comfortable with four pockets, they can be worn casually and also to formal events. For her, try these stylishly slimming navy chinos with a straight leg from Crew Clothing (£60) which can be turned up for a more casual look.

This spring it’s all about injecting some colour into your wardrobe, from vibrant yellow to neon brights, but we’ve thrown in a few classics for you too

YELLOW With such a dreary start to the year, it’s no wonder that yellow is the colour of the season. Bounce into spring with this easyto-wear jacket from H&M (£34.99). For something a little bolder, this dandelion dress from Jaeger perfectly captures this season’s nod to neon brights, complemented by contrast navy trim detailing (£260).The guys might not want to go the whole way, so subtle flashes of yellow may be the way to go: brighten up a grey suit with this pocket handkerchief from Joules (£8.95) or show a flash of ankle with these striped yellow rugby socks from Tommy Hilfiger (£13).

COLOUR BLOCKING Clean lines, block colours and piping are all in and a great way to create a silhouette that will slim your figure.Try this gorgeous modish lambswool dress with flattering black piping from Hobbs’ NW3 range (£129). Men: this is your chance to be bold and bright by colour blocking – if you’re brave enough, try these blue turquoise trousers from Tommy Hilfiger (£80) and team with a coral-coloured shirt or polo for something more casual – this Hugo Boss basic polo shirt (£65) should do the trick.

BROGUES Brogues are still very much in this season, but try something a little lighter rather than the standard tan; suede and neutral colours for both men and women are popular.These Noah brogues in light brown from Kurt Geiger make for a good compromise for men (£175) and these pretty lace-up shoes from H&M are a practical and feminine alternative to the heavy, masculine brogue of past seasons (£24.99).



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n 01 Feb. 8 weeks. Art History – interpreting abstract art course. 10:00-12:00. University of Kent, Tonbridge. £100. 01732 352316

n 25 Feb. Bike Ride to Blindley Heath. Meet 09:30 Tesco, London Rd, Riverhead. CTC 01322 220212 www.

n 20 Feb. Intermediate Oil & Acrylic Painting course. Weekly. 13:00-15:30. Adult Education Centre, Hatton House, Bradbourne Rd, Sevenoaks. £173 for 15 weeks. 0845 606 5606


n 20 Feb. Oil Painting for Beginners course. Weekly. 19:30-21:30. Adult Education Centre, Hatton House, Bradbourne Rd, Sevenoaks. £138. 0845 606 5606 www. n 20 Feb. Life Drawing & Painting course. Weekly. 10:0012:00. Adult Education Centre, Hatton House, Bradbourne Rd, Sevenoaks. £164 for 15 weeks. 0845 606 5606 www.

ART HISTORY n 09 Feb. Talk on Nelson through Portraiture. 20:15. Ship Theatre, Walthamstow Hall School, Hollybush Lane, Sevenoaks. Sevenoaks Decorative & Fine Arts Society 01883 625877, 01732 463859 n 17 Feb. World of Islamic Art & Architecture study day. Kippington Centre, St Marys Church, Kippington Rd, Sevenoaks. Sevenoaks Decorative & Fine Arts Society 01883 625877, 01732 463859

BIKE RIDES n 11 Feb. Bike Ride to Tilburstow. Meet 09:30 Tesco, London Rd, Riverhead. CTC 01322 220212 www.

n 03 Feb. Blood Donation Session. 14:00-16:30, 17:3020:00. St Andrews Church Hall, Maidstone Rd, Paddock Wood. 0300 123 2323 www.blood. n 08, 28 Feb. Blood Donation Session. 14:00-16:30, 17:3020:00. United Reformed Church Hall, St Johns Rd, Sevenoaks. 0300 123 2323 www.blood.

CHILDREN – MUSIC, DANCE & DRAMA n 03 Feb. Soundwaves live bands for under 18s. 19:30-22:30. Plaza Suite, Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. £4. 01732 450175 www. n 13-14 Feb. Twist & Pulse half-term dance workshops. 11:00-16:00. Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. £50 per day. 01732 450175 www.stagsevenoaks. n 22 Feb. Mencap drama club. Weekly. 19:00. Plaza Suite, Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. £2. 01732 450175 www.

CHILDREN - SHOWS n 01-04 Feb. Horrible Histories. Assembly Hall, Tunbridge Wells. 01892 530613, 532072 www. n 18-19 Feb. Alice in Wonderland. Sat 14.00, 18.00; Sun 15.00. Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. £12 (concessions £10)


Church, High St, Sevenoaks. £3. Sevenoaks Historical Society



n 02 Feb. 8 weeks. Seven Ages of Man – psychology course. 19:00-21:00. University of Kent, Tonbridge. £100. 01732 352316

n 04 Feb. Acoustic Strawbs. 20:00. Rock Plaza, Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. £15. 01732 450175 www.stagsevenoaks.

n 18 Feb. Internet Research for Family History course. 10:0015:30. Adult Education Centre, Swanley. £35. 0845 606 5606 n 24 Feb. Literature – madness & medicine study day. 10:0016:00. University of Kent, Tonbridge. £30. 01732 352316

COMEDY n 16 Feb. Omid Djalili standup comedy. Assembly Hall, Tunbridge Wells. £19. www. n 20 Feb. Stand-Up Comedy. 20:30. Crown pub, Otford. £3. 07976 637804 www. n 29 Feb. Jethro. 19:30. Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells. £19. 01892 530613, 532072 www.

FILMS n 07 Feb. Breakfast at Tiffany’s film. 14.30, 19.45. Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. 01732 450175

n 22 Feb. Dolly Parton Story. 19:30. Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells. £16.50. 01892 530613, 532072 www.

MUSIC - CLASSICAL n 01 Feb. Lunchtime recital. 12:30-13:00. St Lukes Church, Eardley Rd, Sevenoaks. Free.

n 21 Feb. Grow Your Own Vegetables course. Weekly. 19:30-21:30. Adult Education Centre, Hatton House, Bradbourne Rd, Sevenoaks. £46 for 5 weeks. 0845 606 5606

n 26 Feb. Berlioz, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius concert by Sevenoaks Symphony Orchestra. 15:00. Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. £12-13 (concessions £1). 01732 450175

n 07 Feb. Medieval Animals – friends, food & fiends lecture. 13:00-15:00. University of Kent, Tonbridge. £12. 01732 352316 n 21 Feb. Workhouse Poverty – image & reality in 19th century England lecture. 14:00-16:00. University of Kent, Tonbridge. £12. 01732 352316 www.kent. n 23 Feb. Talk on History of Gypsies in Kent. 20:00. Undercroft, St Nicholas

PHOTOGRAPHY n 06 Feb. Talk on Taking & Making Great Photos. 20:00-22:00. Mencap Hall, 71 Hitchen Hatch Lane, Sevenoaks. Camera Club www. n 13 Feb. Print Competition. 20:00-22:00. Mencap Hall, 71 Hitchen Hatch Lane, Sevenoaks. Camera Club www. n 20 Feb. Audio-Visual Competition. 20:00-22:00.

Witness the awakening of spring and follow the Snowdrop Trail through the stunning grounds of Hever Castle. After your walk, head to the workshop centre where the children can enjoy activities and listen to interactive stories of spring. Stories and workshop from February 13–19. Visit


n 22 Feb. Talk on trees at Kew Gardens by Tony Kirkham. 19:00. Booksigning & drinks 18:30. Pym Hall, Hadlow College near Tonbridge. £10 (students £4). 01732 853211

n 29 Feb. Hamsters gig. 20:00. Rock Plaza, Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. £15. 01732 450175 www.stagsevenoaks. co.ukchildren £3.60. 01732 450175 www.stagsevenoaks.


n 18 Feb. Haydn, Schumann & Brahms concert by Petrof Piano Trio. 19:30. Ship Theatre, Walthamstow Hall School, Hollybush Lane, Sevenoaks. £15. Sevenoaks Music Club 01732 451581 www.

n 20 Feb. Singing in the Rain film. 20:00. Doors open 19:30. Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. £10. Christian Aid 01732 456094


58 vine February 2012

n 18 Feb. Andy Vickery & Max Pepe gig. 20:00. Doors open 19:00. Lounge 49, El Matador Argentinian restaurant, 49 London Rd, Sevenoaks. £5. 01732 460284 www.elmatador. co www.paulduntonandguests. com

MUSIC - JAZZ & BLUES n 01 Feb. Halstead Jazz Club Big Band. 19:30. Pamoja Hall, The Space, Sevenoaks School, Tonbridge Rd, Sevenoaks. £12 (concessions £8). 01732 467765 thespace n 22 Feb. Dinner Jazz & Blues. Padwell pub, Stone St near Seal. 01732 761532 www.thepadwell. com

MUSIC - ROCK & POP n 25 Feb. Absolute Bowie tribute band. 20:00. Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. £15. 01732 450175 www.stagsevenoaks.

Mencap Hall, 71 Hitchen Hatch Lane, Sevenoaks. Camera Club www.sevenoakscameraclub.

PLAYS n 06-09 Feb. Holes play. Sackville Theatre, The Space, Sevenoaks School, Tonbridge Rd, Sevenoaks. £9 (concessions £7). Sevenoaks School Theatre Company 01732 467765 www. n 25-29 Feb. How the Other Half Loves play by Alan Ayckbourn. 20:00 (Sun 15:00). Oast Theatre, London Rd, Hildenborough. £10 (Sun £9). 01732 363849 www.

SHOWS n 08-11 Feb. Journey to the Throne - Queen’s Diamond Jubilee show. 20:00 (+ Wed matinee 10:30 & Sat matinee 14:30). Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. £5-30. 01732 450175 www. n 12 Feb. Everyone’s A Winner song & dance show. 16:30, 19:30. Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. £18 (concessions £14). 01732 450175 www.stagsevenoaks. n 24 Feb. A Funny Stage show. 21:00. Beacon Hotel, Tea Garden Lane, Tunbridge Wells. £10 (concessions £8). 01892 524252 n 26 Feb. Wedding Fair. 12:00-16:00. Plaza Suite, Stag Community Arts Centre,

FEBRUARY EVENTS AT THE ASSEMBLY HALL THEATRE London Rd, Sevenoaks. Free. 01732 450175 www. www.

SOCIAL EVENTS n 05, 12, 19, 26 Feb. Sunday lunch. 12:00-14:00. Chartwell near Westerham. Adults £15, children £8. 01732 861161 www. n 09 Feb. Bring & Buy Sale. 14:00. Red Cross Centre, Town Council Offices, Bradbourne Vale Rd, Sevenoaks. Sevenoaks Active Retirement Association 01732 455564 n 10 Feb. Quiz Night. 19:30. Ellenor Tea Room, Otford. £12 including supper. Hospices of Hope 01959 525110 n 20 Feb. Grapevine business networking. 18:00-19:30. Chapel hair salon, London Rd, Sevenoaks. Free. 01732 760823 www. n 24 Feb. Torchlight Dinner. Hever Castle. Hospice in the Weald 01892 820536 n 26 Feb. Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon. Tunbridge Wells Harriers

WALKS n 02 Feb. Brunch & Trek. Ightham Mote near Ivy Hatch. www. n 09 Feb. 5 mile country walk. Meet 10:00 West St car park, Wrotham. Sevenoaks Society 01732 457351, 01732 459001 n 20 Feb. 5 mile country walk. Meet 10:00 Chevening Church car park. Sevenoaks Society 01732 465110, 01732 459001

WILDLIFE n 02 Feb. Talk on Bird Identification. 19:45. Village Hall, Otford. £3.50. RSPB n 03 Feb. Deer Park walk. Meet 11:15 Sevenoaks Library upstairs lounge, Buckhurst Lane, Sevenoaks. National Trust 01732 462100

SEVENOAKS TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRE Stag Theatre, Plaza Suite Tel: 01732 450305 Email:

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


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

Assembly Hall Theatre • Crescent Road • Tunbridge Wells • Kent TN1 2LU Ticket office: 01892 530613/532072 HORRIBLE HISTORIES: THE TERRIBLE TUDORS THE VILE VICTORIANS Wed 1 – Sat 4 February 10.30am, 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 7pm £10 - £14

So it’s time to prepare yourselves for HORRIBLE HISTORIES live on stage! Using actors and groundbreaking 3D special effects, this astounding show is guaranteed to thrill you and your children. Historical figures and events will come alive on stage and hover at your fingertips. S4K: ROMEO AND JULIET Mon 6 February 10.30am & 1.30pm Tickets: Adult £16.50, £10

The Shakespearean Rom-Com with a tragic twist. It’s love at first sight for the only two teenage children of the best of enemies. In Verona, Italy over just four hot summer days, they meet, fall in love and secretly marry, but their new-found love turns tragic. This hugely popular, easy-to-understand Shakespeare 4 Kidz musical adaptation of the most famous love story in the world ‘disneyfies’ Shakespeare for everyone. AMERICAN ANTHEMS Wed 8 February 7.30pm £21

Star Guest – John Parr (St Elmo’s Fire) The show encapsulates the most iconic American music featuring artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Eagles, Elvis, Bryan Adams, Michael Bolton, and including such songs as Walking In Memphis, We Built This City, Bat Out Of Hell, Born To Run, America, St Elmo’s Fire, Sweet Child Of Mine, Proud Mary, and many more. THE SENSATIONAL 60’S EXPERIENCE Thurs 9 February 7.30pm £23

All the original hits performed by four of the most popular bands of the 60s, starring The Tremeloes, Herman’s Hermits, The Union Gap UK, The Dreamers. Hosted by Alan Mosca from Freddie and The Dreamers.

THE DOLLY PARTON STORY Wed 22 February 7.30pm £16.50

A fantastic show featuring faithful versions of Dolly’s classic songs. Nine To Five, Jolene, Here You Come Again, Islands In The Stream, I Will Always Love You, Coat Of Many Colours, Two Doors Down, Love Is Like A Butterfly.

REGINALD D HUNTER (EXTRA DATE) Fri 24 February 8pm £20

Sometimes Even the Devil Tells the Truth. In just over a decade since he began performing, Reginald D Hunter has become one of the UK comedy industry’s best-known and most distinctive performers. His work is often brutally honest, frequently controversial but always meticulously measured and thought out.

MAYORS’S INVITATION Sun 26 February 3pm £7, £3

An event featuring a variety of performances by local children. Proceeds will go to Fegans, a charity which seeks to counsel and support children through difficult times.

PAUL CARRACK Tues 28 February 7.30pm £28.50

The legendary Sheffield-born singer, songwriter and former frontman of Ace, Squeeze and Mike & The Mechanics returns to the Assembly Hall Theatre. With a back catalogue of hits including How Long, Tempted and The Living Years, Paul’s marvelously soulful voice is known to millions around the world; he is undoubtedly a key figure in British pop history.

JETHRO Wed 29 February 7.30pm £19

It’s laughter all the way. Cornwall’s ambassador of comedy will once again take you on a fun and wild journey, in only a way that he can! Be sure to hold onto your seats, hats and horses as you are entertained by one of the funniest storyteller’s to date.

OMID DJALILI Thurs 16 February 8pm £19

Multi-award-winning stand-up television and movie star, Omid Djalili is back on tour with his brand new comedy show. A firm favourite at the Edinburgh Festival with his legendary performances, Omid’s stand-up awards include: Time Out Award for Best Stand Up, and the EMMA Award. He has also been nominated for the South Bank Award and the Perrier Award.

Omid Djalili

FAIRPORT CONVENTION Fri 10 February 7.30pm £20

Hailed as the originators of British folk-rock music, Fairport Convention remains one of the most entertaining bands on today’s concert circuit. Their sell-out gigs always attract critical acclaim and delight audiences. Whether you are a long-time fan or a newcomer to their music, book now to enjoy an evening with Fairport Convention. February 2012 vine 59

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An independent, family run business

Est 1953 We inspect: CCTV inspections and reports We install: Multi-fuel stoves • Traditional fireplaces • Hole in the wall gas fires Ceramic lining in-situ • Woodburners Bird Guards • Pots • Cowls • Liners


“Put the gleam back in your oven!” A Member of the Association of Approved Oven Cleaners Single Oven £35.00 Single Large Oven (90cm wide) £42.00 Small/Oven Grill £17.00 Hobs from £12.00 Extractors from £12.00 Aga's, Ranges priced accordingly Oven cleaning specialists for your oven removing fat, grease and burnt on carbon (only caustic free cleaning materials used in your home)



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Holly Seddon has the last word



62 vine February 2012

t eight, I was very shoulders of my peers and declared excited about attending the next Vanilla Ice or, dare to dream the primary school it, MC Hammer. barn dance (this was in “I didn’t know you knew Japanese,” Somerset), whereupon said the head in a spectacular display I launched into my of jovial 1980s xenophobia, just loud customarily enthusiastic country enough to carry over the tidal wave of dancing, much to the amusement of hysterical laughter. some oiks in a huddle nearby. I was on the periphery of cool for a “I’ll not have that,” I thought, and split second aged nearly 10. I started a instead of slinking off home/blaming band. This being the 80s it was called an evil twin, decided to bust out of ‘New Street’. I was yet to find out that my dosey doe and freestyle. Growing was the name of the main train station up in the 1980s, we were bombarded in Birmingham. I was soon ousted with images of dance from a performance role overcoming adversity into the job of manager. After a and I worshipped this I organised a band trip couple of ideology evangelically. to the museum. No one After a couple of Kevin Kevin Bacon showed up. I was asked to Bacon high-kicks, leave. high-kicks, I I finished my solo I blame my parents. outburst with a slide I know, it’s a modern finished my along the floor, doing disease. But I really do. solo outburst Why didn’t they crush the double-thumbs up like Kenickie from Grease my spirit? Why didn’t with a slide – the worst dancer from they pull me to one side, the T-birds. remove the beret (really) along the It was a spirited from my head, pause the floor, doing display. To think, I was Big Fun single on the always mystified that I record player, tell me to the doublewas picked on at school. put down the worm I thumbs up Even after I carried a was rescuing and gently dead bee around school like Kenickie explain to me that I was all day so I could give it making a fool of myself a proper burial at home. from Grease and bringing the family I remained oblivious into disrepute? to my ailing social standing throughout How damn lucky I am that every this era. Instead, I tried my hand at time I go to collect my daughter from rapping. I’m sure we all did, making school she’s practically being highup rhymes in the back of the car and fived out the gate by a gaggle of fans. laughing merrily in a show of noPerhaps her double-helping is universe seatbelts 80s optimism that said, “The payback for my lack. Either way, it’s future is ours!” But I’m sure where I a good job that she’s so effortlessly differed was recording myself rapping cool; if she was as socially derelict as I and insisting that the headteacher was, short of trying to ‘dance it out’, I play it in assembly. I was, as you can would be entirely ill-equipped to help. probably now imagine, genuinely shocked not to be hoisted on to the Catch Holly on Twitter @hollyseddon

It’s time to switch The digital switchover is now happening across London. We can help you make the switch and tune into a whole new viewing experience. With the digital switchover now underway, there’s never been a better time to upgrade your television. This transition means that if you are using an analogue television then you will no longer be able to receive channels via a traditional aerial, typically BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, Channel 4 and Five. Instead, you will need to add a freeview box to your television or upgrade to a superior, digital set, such as any Bang & Olufsen television. We can advise you on all your options and should you wish to move up to a Bang & Olufsen television, then we can make it even more appealing with our attractive trade-in promotions on the impressive BeoVision 10 and BeoVision 7 television families*. Simply trade-in any working television at our showrooms before 31st March 2012 – no matter the age, brand or model – and you will benefit from a minimum trade-in allowance of: -

£1,000 towards any BeoVision 7 £700 towards BeoVision 10-40 and 10-46 £400 towards BeoVision 10-32

For further information on how the digital switchover will affect you and our exclusive trade-in offers, please call our showrooms. Make the switch today – while you can.

Bang & Olufsen of Bexleyheath 155 Broadway, Bexleyheath, DA6 7EZ Tel: 0208 303 2760

*Terms and conditions apply. Please ask in-store for details.

Bang & Olufsen of Bromley 62 High Street, Bromley, BR1 1EG Tel: 0208 466 8080

Bang & Olufsen of Tunbridge Wells 66 Mount Pleasant Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1RB Tel: 01892 527 525 February 2012 vine 63

over 250 beautiful designs & colours

view our full range


complete design & installation service









. . .

64 vine February 2012



complimentary aftercare service



To discuss your ideas, contact us call Freephone 0800 0185797 visit visit our showroom Westerham Trade Centre

Vine Magazine | February 2012 | Issue 56  


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