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at Knole New orangery to host local exhibition

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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? April 2011


Welcome to Vine




FINANCE 14 INVESTMENT MATTERS Civil unrest and devastation leave the global economy in a fragile state. Full Circle Asset Management guide us through the changes

FIELD TO FORK 18 SPRING HAS SPRUNG This month, Benjamin James from the George & Dragon, Chipstead meets Steve and Karen Reynolds of Iden Manor farm and their ‘healthy, happy cows’ that will produce fresh milk for their Kentish Blue cheese



23 PAN-TASTIC PRODUCTION From fairy dust and shellencrusted mermaids to circus performers and rowdy pirates, Knole Academy’s performance of Peter Pan certainly had the magic, says Charlotte Luxford

24 OUR FAMILY PINBOARD Take a look at what is pinned to our pinboard this month PLUS Vine discovers what St Michael’s Prep School is like today on page 32

36 THE MAIDSTONE IGUANODON Robin Brooks reveals one man’s fascination with this unusual creature and why it caused such a stir in the 19th century 38 VINE WEDDING SPECIAL We’ve searched high and low to bring you the best local dresses, flowers, venues, cakes, jewellery and gifts to make your big day extra special Cover shot: ‘View from the Orangery into the Gardens of Knole’ painting by Mariusz Kaldowski. Exhibition at Knole from May 17 to June 12 2011

WELLNESS 29 SALON OF THE MONTH Charlotte Luxford visits Sterling Hair salon to talk about their loyal customers and plans for the future PLUS Jason Crow helps you to firm those buttocks

GOLF 53 A WELL-DEFENDED JEWEL In the second instalment of our series on Hever Castle Golf Club, golf writer Henry Lord takes a swing and a prayer at Hever’s very own ‘Amen Corner’

This month I have some of my own news! After launching Vine from my bedroom four years ago and overseeing 46 editions of the magazine, I will be stepping down as editor from next month. Thanks to the support of an amazing team and thousands of devoted readers, I am deeply proud of the love and loyalty for Vine we fostered so quickly. I won’t be going too far, remaining as Vine’s publishing director, and can still be contacted directly – my details are on page 10. I am delighted to announce that Charlotte Luxford, our bright and talented deputy editor, who has been responsible for a big section of our editorial output over the last year, will be taking the editor’s chair, kicking off with a revamped May edition. Our core editorial values will be unchanged and deeply rooted in what we do. We will remain committed and focused on producing our winning blend of Sevenoaks-focused features, news, views, events, history, art, culture and interviews. We’ll also be introducing a raft of new ideas, updates and improvements to the magazine. If you’d like to meet the team and join us for tea and cakes at our new monthly reader focus group or you have suggestions, comments and feedback on how we can make Vine better, call Charlotte on 01732 764508 or email Finally, don’t forget to take a look at our brand new website www. Updated daily and brimming with the best from the Vine feature archive, plus all the details about how to advertise and get involved with the magazine, it’s worth a click! Enjoy the issue…

Owen Hunnam Editor April 2011 vine 7


The Wonderful World of Spiders n Possibly not for those with Arachnophobia, ‘The Wonderful World of Spiders’ talk by Kent Wildlife Trust conservation officer Greg Hitchcock on April 8 at 7.30pm aims to dispel myths about these unpopular and misunderstood creatures. Tickets for the event at the Jeffery Harrison Visitor Centre at the Sevenoaks Reserve cost £3 for adults and £1 for students.


New minibuses aid transport needs

n Victory belongs to Shipbourne Farmers’ Market once again, after winning Taste in Kent’s ‘Best Farmers’ Market’ category at a ceremony at Leeds Castle. The evening’s host, John Warnett from Radio Kent, said: “The winning market has continued to improve the shopping experience for its customers and was commended for its good choice of stalls, friendly atmosphere and pleasant stallholders.” Due to the popularity of the market, parking has become a problem, according to market manager Bob Taylor, so it is intended that it will open for an extra half hour in the summer months. The market is known for its Shipbourne Pounds, which customers can purchase from the Chaser pub. Bob says: “Our stallholders make additional sales, our customers don’t go home empty handed and the Chaser benefits from additional customers; in fact their Thursday morning ‘Farmers’ Market Breakfast’ is fast becoming a local institution!”

Barry Manilow’s Copacabana n Barry Manilow’s Copacabana celebrates its 21st anniversary as a stage show with a new production at The Stag Theatre showing April 27-30. Produced by Petts Wood Operatic Society, which has a 75-year history of quality shows behind it, claims its new production promises exciting dance numbers and colourful costumes combined with Barry Manilow’s music. Tickets from £15. Call 01689 820448 to book.

£170k grant aids community groups n Community and voluntary groups are set to get a helping hand from Sevenoaks District Council after it set aside over £170,000 in funding to help with their important work across the district. The council is supporting 25 groups through the Community Grant Scheme which helps to fund voluntary services. The scheme aims to help vulnerable residents, community safety, youth work, health improvement, arts and sports.Visit www. for more information

Shipbourne market ‘Best in Kent’


▲ The hand over: District Council Cabinet member Cllr Avril Hunter hands over the keys to Stephen Elsden, Chief Executive, Compaid with KCC Cabinet Member Cllr Brian Sweetland n Voluntary groups, Kent County Council and Sevenoaks District Council have joined forces to provide local transport for old and vulnerable people from April. Six minibuses will be given by Sevenoaks District Council to Compaid, Rural Age Concern Darent Valley, Voluntary Action Within Kent (VAWK) and the Stangrove Area Community Action Group in Edenbridge. In addition, Kent County Council will be extending its Kent Karrier dial-a-ride service within the Sevenoaks district from April 4. The Kent Karrier will be operated by Compaid in Sevenoaks and the south of the district and by Kent Top Travel in Swanley and the north of the district. This will ensure that residents in rural areas or those with mobility problems can access essential services; eligible residents will be able to access shopping trips every week through the service. Cllr Avril Hunter said: “Volunteers and the voluntary sector already play a vital role in helping some of the district’s most vulnerable residents with their transport needs. Giving our minibuses to these four local organisations will complement these services, ensuring older people and vulnerable people can continue to get out and about.”

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.

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Play the Arsenal way this Easter n Got a budding Fabregas at home? Your child could have a chance to play at Emirates Stadium plus the opportunity to be selected for the Arsenal Soccer Schools’ 2011 Advanced Trial Centre. Arsenal Soccer Schools will be holding training programmes in Kent, giving local youngsters the chance to learn to play the Arsenal way. The courses, which are open to boys and girls of all abilities between the ages of five and 14, are inspired by techniques used by Arsenal Manager Arsène Wenger to develop young talent. Although not every youngster may be destined for a future playing career at Arsenal, every participating child will be in with a chance of running out onto the famous Emirates Stadium turf, as they’ll be automatically entered into a competition to represent their region in the Arsenal Soccer Schools 3v3 World Cup 2011 at Emirates Stadium on Saturday, May 21. Additionally, players enrolled this Easter have the chance of being selected to attend the Advanced Trial Centre in 2011. In previous years Soccer School attendees have progressed through their development programme and been signed for the Arsenal Academy. n For more information visit www.playthearsenalway. com/kent-surrey-sussex or call 01474 874937

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Easter fun at Penshurst Place

n Families can look forward to an exciting Easter holiday as Penshurst Place hosts children’s Easter activities and events. The stunning 14th-century manor house and its beautiful Tudor gardens is the perfect place to enjoy a fun family day out in the most vibrant of seasons. Young visitors can get creative by trying their hand at Easter craft activities; there is adventure on offer with a spring trail; Aardvark Productions will be entertaining visitors with a tale of derring-do and there will be enchanting storytelling with the tale of St George and the Baby Dragon. n Events are free from Saturday April 9 until Easter Monday April 25; normal garden ticket admission prices apply. Visit

Fight to save sport in our schools

St George’s Day laughs at The Stag n Celebrities, comedians and musicians are set to make The Stag’s St George’s Day Gala a fun-filled event, held on Saturday, April 23. Sevenoaks Town Mayor, Cllr Simon Raikes, will play host to the variety performance with Terry Alderton, fresh from BBC TV’s Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Road Show, headlining the event. He will be joined on stage by a host of talented stars including The Stag’s best-loved pantomime villain, Graham Cole, who will act as Master of Ceremonies. The entertainment will also feature Panto Factor winners Lucy Ely, who played Jack Trott, and Olivia Walmsley, who played Princess Apricot, in The Stag’s recent professional pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk. They will be joined by Laura Joely Regan and talented youngsters from Bullfrog Productions Musical Theatre School, Sevenoaks Players and Sevenoaks Symphony Orchestra. A rare treat, the Stag Trio, are also preparing their debut on the stage especially for the evening. For Stag regulars, this will be an exciting and much anticipated moment. The Stag Trio comprises staff members Kelsham Buckman-Drage and Adam Jones, the technical experts, who are usually well hidden behind the scenes, and the jolly box office manager, Tony McEwen. Mayor Raikes said: “As a nation we have been through some gloomy times recently, yet there is so much to celebrate as well. I am indebted to those professional and amateur performers who are giving their time to support the mayor’s charities by taking part in the gala. What a wonderful way to celebrate our national day, and to set the mood for that special wedding shortly afterwards!” n The St George’s Day Gala will be held on Saturday 23 April at 7pm and tickets cost £10 (concessions £7.50). Call 01732 450175, or book online

Save our sport: School sports co-ordinators Colin Hunwick’s and Clare Strange’s jobs are under threat

n A campaign supported by schools, parents, clubs and Sevenoaks District Sports Council to save sport in Sevenoaks primary schools is now underway. The two-year campaign aims to raise £100,000 to keep the work of The Sevenoaks and Malling School Sports Partnership going, serving 18 infant and junior schools in the area, organising tournaments, dancing events and introducing young people to new sports. The partnership has been run by Colin Hunwick and Clare Strange for the past seven years, both of whom have dedicated unpaid hours and whose jobs are under threat due to the risk of funding cuts from September. The pair mentor primary school teachers as well as teach the children and play a large part in organising inter-school events, tournaments, galas, coaching and sports development, and have crucial links with local sports clubs.

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Head teacher of Amherst School Derry Wiltshire said: “I personally feel that they will be a tremendous loss to the local schools and the work that Clare has done with Colin will be lost – just as we are about to host the Olympic Games!” Sevenoaks Sports Council member, former Sevenoaks Prep School head and St John’s Primary School governor Edward Oatley said: “The different sports, including dance and music, which Colin and Clare have introduced are expertly varied to cater for the abilities of all children, so bringing out their natural talents. “We must not let all this good work disappear; as a community we must be determined to help in providing the money for continued funding for primary school sport for the sake of our children and our grandchildren.” The sports council has already donated £2,000 to help the cause, but campaigners are calling on businesses and the local community to help what they believe to be a worthwhile investment in the future of children’s sports in Sevenoaks. n To donate or for more information call 01732 465905


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

EDITOR & PUBLISHING DIRECTOR Owen Hunnam t: 01732 764509 CHIEF EXECUTIVE Charlie de Rusett t: 01732 764501 DEPUTY EDITOR Charlotte Luxford HEAD OF DESIGN Christopher Porter MARKETING EXECUTIVES Valentina Osborn Nic Lapham DESIGNER Justin Kemp WEB DEVELOPER Celine Cozler SUB EDITOR Amanda Hayden

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 by Acorn Web Ltd. Please recycle Vine. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions relating to advertising or editorial in Vine. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the prior written consent of the publisher. © 2011. All rights reserved.

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

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Spring concert from local choir n The Darenth Valley Choir’s spring concert will be held at St Martin’s Church, Brasted on April 16 from 7.30pm. The programme will consist of Purcell’s ‘Dido and Aeneas’, Motets by Bruckner and Fauré’s ‘Cantique de Jean Racine’. For more information visit

Sevenoaks Prep head to leave n Surprise, sadness and admiration were the overriding sentiments of parents at Sevenoaks Prep School on hearing of Philip Oldroyd’s decision to step down as headmaster of the successful prep school. Philip has been a local resident since 1973 and teacher at the school for 17 years (head for the last six) and is moving with wife Niki and two sons to Norfolk to enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle and spend more quality time them. Philip said: “I believe the school has come a long way over the six years of my tenure and has kept true to its ethos.” He is expected to remain as head until at least January 2012.

The place for mums-to-be n Parents-to-be can now learn from the new Natural Pregnancy Support Team, the largest group of pregnancy, birth and newborn specialists and therapists in Kent – all under one roof. The event at Crofton Halls, Orpington offers free demonstrations, taster sessions and talks from complementary therapists. The next event is on April 19 and they run every third Tuesday of each month. Visit www.


Young achievers receive awards

Inspiring rower to motivate students

n The Young Achievers Award presentation evening at Lady Boswell’s School last month launched an appeal for Japan, organised by Sevenoaks Amherst Rotary Club. Knole Academy student Jenny Healey presented the awards alongside rotary president Tony Kemp to the young achievers. Jenny was sent on her own Tall Ships experience in 2009 and a Rotary Youth Leadership Award Course in 2010. The awards were presented to children who have demonstrated exceptional talent and achievement in the face of difficulties, disabilities or hardship. The money raised at the event is part of a community project to raise funds for the work of World Vision, a charity which helps children at risk. Ask at your local school if you wish to donate.

n Alistair McKean, the two-time World Champion rower, will be visiting Hadlow College on April 28 to inspire both able-bodied and disabled children to engage with sport. The visit is part of the Sky Sports Living for Sport initiative, for which Alistair is a sporting mentor. Alistair, a talented junior rower before being seriously injured in a road accident, has since risen to the challenge of rowing for the GB Adaptive Rowing Squad, winning gold at the World Championships and bronze at the 2008 Paralympics. Alistair says: “The initiative provides a great opportunity for young people and athletes to empathise with each other and break down barriers. It can help young people feel they are not in isolation and they do have a voice. “Since my accident, I’ve had to overcome many physcological and physical barriers. When I discovered a sport that I could take part in competitively (adaptive rowing), I grew in confidence which subsequently led me to my academic, life and sporting achievements.” Alistair will take students through three separate sessions during the day including an introduction to the Sky Sports Living for Sport programme, team-building and setting personal goals.

n For more information email Tony Kemp on kemp336@

Council offers new graduate scheme n With the unemployment rate among university leavers at an all-time high, a new internship scheme running exclusively in the Sevenoaks district could be the answer for many local graduates. Voluntary Action Within Kent has teamed up with Sevenoaks District Council to launch the Springboard to Success scheme, which aims to bring graduates and employers together for their mutual benefit. Graduates looking to boost their future job prospects and get a foot on the career ladder will gain unpaid work experience within the voluntary, community, private or public sector for between three and six months. Successful applicants will be supported in their placement and offered on-the-job training and mentoring opportunities with senior managers. Employers will have the chance to harness the potential of bright young people, maximising the benefits for their organisation. Cllr Carol Clark says: “Internships can provide real-life work experience, let graduates try their hand at a possible career and prove themselves to a potential employer. This type of experience is priceless and a genuinely useful opportunity for graduates and businesses alike.” Deputy Chief Executive of Voluntary Action Within Kent Mandy Wynne adds: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Sevenoaks District Council on this exciting new project and look forward to helping a new cohort of Sevenoaks graduates this summer.” n For more information call Liz James at Sevenoaks Volunteer Centre on 01732 454785 or 07775 873013, email or visit

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Beauty of the National Trust

n A series of stunning National Trust properties have been captured in the dramatic paintings of Kent artist Mariusz Kaldowski, who will be exhibiting in Knole’s atmospheric orangery in Sevenoaks. The Beauty of the National Trust exhibition will consist of some two dozen views of Knole and its neighbouring National Trust properties in the south-east, from May 17 to June 12. Those who can’t stretch to an original work of art can buy cards specially printed for the exhibition. The Westerham-based artist makes sketches and takes photos of the property and then paints the image on to canvas. This enables him to retain the atmosphere of the properties, “making them recognisable while at the same time not losing the mysterious beauty of nature that surrounded them, captured in particular moments in time.” n For more information visit Our flexible service includes: Airports and ferry ports Local and long-distance New business accounts welcome Executive cars available MPVs and up to 8 seaters Pre-bookings taken 24/7

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nvestors are becoming more risk adverse, with just cause. The FTSE 100 having exceeded 6,000 on Christmas Eve is, at the time of writing, back to 5,600 and volatility is rising. Emerging stock markets topped out near the end of last year and developed equity markets began to show weakness prior to Japan’s devastating earthquake. The terrible events in Japan have received the main media attention; as far as the financial markets are concerned it must make an already deteriorating situation worse. The outlook is not improved by the growing prospect of a civil war in Libya where, after 39 years, Gaddafi is reluctant to give up power. It has contributed to the spike in the oil price with Brent crude on March 17 trading at $113pb, after hitting $120pb earlier in the month. Already, Libya is exporting some one million barrels of oil less per day and Saudi Arabia has indicated it is ready to meet any shortages. However, the troubled North Africa and Middle East region produces 40 per cent of the world’s production and possesses 57 per cent of estimated reserves. Oil experts are concerned that the disturbances will spread and if they gain traction in Saudi Arabia, which has already experienced some demonstrations, it will send the oil price substantially higher, with some analysts suggesting $200pb, a serious challenge to already-weakening global economic growth. The higher oil and other commodity prices are pushing the inflation rate higher. The Bank of England says that inflationary pressures should ease by the end of the year. Nevertheless, the

Libyan crisis: Oil prices have increased rapidly since the civil unrest in Libya

IMF has warned that food prices could stay high because of the improving diets of consumers in emerging countries. Three out of the nine members of the Monetary Policy Committee in February voted for a rate rise, but this may not come until early summer, because of the hesitant UK recovery, which is still to feel the full force of the austerity measures. With higher retail prices and weak earnings growth, the UK consumer will be severely stretched; higher interest rates might make it unbearable. Because the Middle East and North Africa (and now Japan) crises have taken centre stage, less is heard at present about the risk of a sovereign bond default by one of the peripheral members of the eurozone. The interest

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burden that these countries face is heading higher at an alarming rate. This is a big worry because of a still very weak banking sector which would face major and damaging write-offs if a eurozone state restructured its debt. The unpopularity of the measures taken by the Fianna Fáil government in Ireland has seen it lose the general election and the new government is seeking to renegotiate the bail-out terms. Interestingly, the Irish are very unhappy at the 5.8 per cent interest burden on their bail-out funds even though this actually represents the long-term (200 years) average interest rate in the USA. Ireland is mired in a deep recession, has the liability of its own banking system, suffers from a dwindling talent pool and is under pressure from the EU to

raise corporation tax rates. The truth is that Ireland simply cannot afford to fully honour its debts, full stop. The political solution of postponement is being tried first, but even the placid Irish temperament might find it too hard to bear. US monetary stimulus in the form of QE2 (‘quantitative easing 2’) is due to end in June; the market is anxiously asking the questions, who will buy the bonds? What happens next? If QE2 was the main reason that the ‘all powerful’ American economy was dragged out of the great recession, is the US strong enough to survive without it? In our opinion it is not. Like an athlete that can perform with a pain-killing injection, it may find that when the medicine wears off the damage is done and their career is over. Ludwig von Mises, the famous Austrian economist, knew only too well and warned of the dangers of loose monetary policy when he said: “There is no means of avoiding a final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as a result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.” The world is a dangerous and volatile place; investors need to remain vigilant and cautious. n Full Circle Asset Management Ltd, St. John’s House, Suffolk Way, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 1TG. T: 01732 746700. F: 01732 452013. E:

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of the month Dust off your walking boots and step out into fresh the spring air, but don’t leave your jacket behind just yet! Helene Brett takes us on a walk that features the tranquil woodland of Hosey Common and the attractive historic centre of Westerham


acing The Old School Lodge, proceed to the far right-hand corner of the car park. Look for the yellow waymarked path by a small ‘Commons Act 1899’ sign and a gate. Beyond the gate the clearly defined path passes through mixed woodland and after a while follows a boundary line of old trees. At the end of these trees by a Kent County Council waymark post continue straight on, ignoring a left fork. Maintain direction, over a crossing track, until reaching a T-junction and turn right onto the waymarked Greensand Way. Soon coming out to a lane, cross straight over, ignoring a right fork. The enclosed path leads downhill through trees with views of Chartwell lake to the left, eventually coming out to a road. The entrance to Chartwell (National Trust) is on the left. Cross the road to the footpath opposite, climb steps and follow the waymarked Greensand Way through woods, ignoring any other paths. At the top of the initial steep incline, bear right to follow the path for some distance as it winds

Marvellous views: look out for beautiful daffodils bursting into spring life

DETAILS Map: OS Explorer 147 Sevenoaks and Tonbridge Start & finish: Hosey Common car park Distance: 4 miles Time: 2 hours + shopping Grade: Easy with one short uphill section

16 vine April 2011

through the trees. On reaching a wide crossing track continue straight ahead on a small path, shortly coming to a wooden fence where you turn right and soon go downhill to a road. Cross to a wide track leading to April Cottage. Immediately past the gated entrance and at a fork, bear right leaving Greensand Way. This section can be very muddy at this time of year but there is a mud avoidance path running parallel at the top of the slope on the left. After a short while the path follows the fence of a house on the right. At the end of the fence cross a stile to a meadow. The path soon follows the boundary of a wood on the left with beautiful views ahead to the North Downs in the distance. It is here at the head of this shallow valley that the River Darent emerges. At the end of the wood on the left, cross a stile by a metal gate and maintain direction, shortly ignoring a wide track to the right leading down through the valley. Continue uphill soon to arrive at the top and a short distance on, go through a metal kissing gate on the right. You are now back on Greensand Way. To the left is Squerries Farm nestling in the valley. Pass through an open area of trees, through another kissing gate and maintain direction over a field to another gate leading onto an enclosed grassy path. From here are extensive views towards Westerham. Stay on the enclosed grassy track leading down into the village. At the bottom of the hill the path merges with a path from the right. Maintain direction, soon reaching a tarmac lane with a pond on the left. Ignoring a path on the right that crosses the river, take the next track on the right at a footpath sign. The path passes between buildings, first as a track and then as a narrow tarmacked path between fences to a lane on which you turn left. Past a row of quaint cottages turn right into Westerham High Street shortly to arrive at the green. Halfway along the green, between the two statues of General Wolfe and Sir Winston Churchill, turn right at a Greensand Way signpost, up steps into Water Lane. Continue on over a low stone stile and via a kissing gate to a field. Go straight ahead uphill to a stile. Behind is a fine view over the old centre of Westerham with the tower of St Mary’s church. The path bears left slightly towards a house and hedge on the left. At the end of the hedge and before the next boundary fence, turn left through a squeeze stile. The enclosed path leads between fences to a road, on which turn right to arrive at the car park.

Knole: real or fake? The National Trust's most exciting and surprising conservation experiment is happening at Knole. While we renovate our beautiful Reynolds Room we've replaced walls, pictures and furnishings with a panoramic replica so real we challenge you to tell the difference. Come and see the whole picture at Knole this year Call 01732 462 100 for details knole April 2011 Registered charity No. 205846.

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pring has sprung! Almost overnight the daily ritual of chopping wood for the large open fire which has pride of place in the bar area of the George & Dragon, Chipstead has been replaced with scrubbing the outdoor tables and putting up the large umbrellas in the pub’s English herb garden. I always look forward to spring, with its abundance of new produce that awaits the keen forager; young dandelion flowers are great in salads and wild garlic adds interest to soup. The fields around Sevenoaks and all over Kent are coming alive with new life: lambs, calves and even piglets can be seen frolicking in the spring sunshine. As a member of Produced in Kent, an organisation dedicated to promoting local food, drink, products and services in Kent, the staff and I at the George & Dragon, Chipstead are always excited at the prospect of working with new suppliers and local ingredients. So when I found out that Steve and Karen Reynolds had just delivered their first Holstein Friesian calves of the year, I took the opportunity to visit them and find out more about their delicious blue cheese, the Kentish Blue. At their farm, Iden Manor Farm, just outside Steve walks me Staplehurst in the Weald of Kent, Steve and Karen through the set up Kingcott Cheese milking parlour to Ltd Kentish Blue, a little a year ago. Iden the adjacent barn, over Manor Farm have been where a group of milking from their herd of newly born calves Friesians for over 20 years, but their move to produce are busy nuzzling blue cheese came from a their mothers for need to diversify as well as Steve’s passion for this milk particular type of cheese. Since opening the George & Dragon, Chipstead I have met many farmers and producers who have shown me that passion often equals excellence and Kentish Blue cheese is no exception. The morning before I meet Steve they had been busy cutting the fresh batch of Kentish Blue. My afternoon began with a tour of the farm and the process behind making cheese. Steve explains that consistency and quality is vital in the art of cheese making. Iden Manor Farm currently milk 120 Holstein Friesian cows, which are fed mainly on a diet of homegrown grass and maize. Milked twice a day in a modern herringbone parlour, a system that supports shorter milking sessions allowing the animals to spend more time eating, drinking and resting, the cows go out to graze from April to October in fields that have not been artificially fertilized. Iden Farm is a ‘closed herd’, meaning all the young calves are reared from established cow families already on the farm. Iden Manor Farm is farm-assured under the Red Tractor Dairy Farm Assurance Scheme. Animal welfare and comfort is top priority because happy, healthy cows naturally produce better quality milk. Steve walks me through the milking parlour to the adjacent barn, where a group of newly born calves are busy nuzzling their mothers for milk. Lying quietly in the sunshine next to its mother is the

This month, Benjamin James from the George & Dragon, Chipstead meets Steve and Karen Reynolds of Iden Manor Farm and their ‘healthy, happy cows’ that will produce fresh milk for Kentish Blue cheese this spring

18 vine April 2011 Steve Reynolds

Contented cattle: Milked twice a day in a modern herringbone parlour, the system allows the animals to spend more time eating, drinking and resting The George & Dragon, High Street, Chipstead. t: 01732 779019 www.georgeand Kingcott Cheese Ltd, Iden Manor Farm, Staplehurst, Kent TN12 0ES t: 01580 892 478 Are you a local food supplier in Sevenoaks? Email us at editor@

has Baked field mushroom, wild garlic, spinach & Kentish Blue

newest addition to the herd, a 12-hour-old heifer (below right) – a scene truly representative of Iden Manor Farm’s ethos. Each producer’s recipe is a closely guarded secret and Steve’s Kentish Blue is no exception, but I do discover that the method used at the farm is a classic technique that has remained unchanged for decades. Quality is measured by hand and expertise rather than scientific equipment; the few secrets Steve shares reveal that they only use ‘morning milk’ because it contains higher levels of nutrients, adding to the flavour of the cheese. This milk travels a mere 20 metres from the milking parlour to the purpose-built cheese dairy and, as it is used immediately, there is no need for it to be cooled for storage or reheated. After churning, vegetarian rennet is added before turning the curd out, salting it and allowing it to mature. The cheese is then regularly turned by hand to allow even distribution of moisture and blue veining to develop and it is then matured for around three months. I leave the dairy with a nose full of pungent but delicious aromas. Steve explains that they only use Kentish distributors, so Kentish Blue can be purchased from a range of farm shops, butchers and delicatessens in and around the area. Closer to home, Batchelor’s Butchers in Riverhead, as well as various farm shops and delis, sell the cheese. Of course it now also has pride of place on the menu at the George & Dragon, Chipstead. Its colour and mellow taste not only make it a perfect addition to our cheeseboard but it also works beautifully with this month’s seasonal dish of baked field mushrooms, wild garlic and Kentish Blue.

Ingredients 4 large field mushrooms 200g baby spinach 75g wild garlic leaves 160g Kentish Blue Cheese Sprig of thyme Clove of garlic finely chopped 25g butter Salt & pepper

1 day old

68 days old

Method Brush the mushrooms with a damp cloth. Peel the outer layer from the mushrooms and place them spore-side up on a roasting tray. Sprinkle the chopped garlic, thyme, salt and pepper onto the mushrooms, drizzle a little olive oil and bake at 180˚C for 15-20 mins. In a hot pan place the wild garlic leaves, baby spinach and butter; stir above the heat until the leaves wilt. Divide the spinach mixture between the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt and pepper and put around 40g of Kentish Blue cheese on each. When required, place under a grill for 4-5 mins until the cheese has melted. Place on a plate and finish with a scattering of toasted pine nuts and basil oil. April 2011 vine 19

IDEN MANOR FARM producers of

KENTISH BLUE CHEESE Iden Manor Farm is a family-run dairy farm just outside Staplehurst, in the heart of the Kent countryside. We use milk only from our own farmassured, closed herd of Holstein Friesian cows.

Kingcott Cheese Ltd Iden Manor Farm | Staplehurst | Kent | TN12 0ES

01580 892 478


Finalist in Taste of Kent Awards 2010 "Dining Pub of the year" Organic & local from field to fork Visit our website for menus and to find out more 39 High Street Chipstead Sevenoaks

01732 779 019

20 vine April 2011

The Rose and Crown, Halstead Address: Otford Lane, Halstead, Sevenoaks, TN14 7EA Cheapest Pint: £3.00 Tel: 01959 533120 Opening times: 12 noon – 11.30pm, seven days a week Food: : Good, honest food with all the pub favourites and a great selection of real ales In a sentence: A perfect example of a wholesome British pub, tucked away in a beautiful village

PUB of

the month

words: Charlotte Luxford

A I see my childhoodself in a young girl, all of about three, enjoying her orange juice, chanting ‘chicken dinner, chicken dinner!’ as she waits in anticipation for her food

s a small girl I remember really enjoying trips to the local pub with my aunt and uncle when I stayed at their house. I’d take my favourite selection of board games and playing cards, sit on the velour seats and sip a half-pint of lemonade, soaking up the atmosphere of a proper traditional pub. When I arrive at the Rose and Crown and walk through the door of this grade II-listed flint building, this memory came flooding back. This is an untainted, traditional British pub. As the landlord Paul Bates says: “It’s an alehouse that serves food, not a restaurant that serves ale.” That’s not to say that food isn’t a focal point here; they do a legendary Sunday roast, cream teas and, of course, pub grub (the venison pie is Paul’s signature dish). As I step in, a regular is tucking into a huge plate of ham, egg and chips, while simultaneously concentrating on The Times

crossword. I see my childhood-self in a young girl, all of about three, enjoying her orange juice, chanting “chicken dinner, chicken dinner!” as she waits in anticipation for her food. It’s certainly a local haunt and if you’re lucky enough to stumble upon the pub, (Paul calls it West Kent’s best-kept secret as it is tucked away in the beautiful Halstead village) you will experience something of a dying breed – a pub that’s simply just a pub. It’s not about gastro or uber-contemporary interiors; it’s about honest traditional pub food, a good pint of ale, darts, timber frames, log fires and a decent beer garden. If you are after award-winning real ales – the pub features in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide – this is certainly the place to go to. With Larkins Traditional and a choice of five other guest ales, the variance in choice and tastes is superb. The pub is holding a beer festival on the Easter weekend, with a jazz band, BBQ and hog roast, as well as traditional Sunday lunch, with an Easter egg hunt for the children. June 5 is also an important day for the pub, as they support Halstead Open Gardens to raise money for Cancer Research UK. Special cream teas, ploughman’s lunches and dinners will be available all day. The pub’s own garden is something to be proud of; it’s a large area with fitted heaters for the chillier evenings, but it lends itself to BBQs on glorious summer days. There’s a great play area for kids, one I’m sure I would have taken pleasure in as a young child. As well as enjoying food al fresco, the newly refurbished restaurant area provides somewhere for a relaxed evening meal, a leisurely lunch or afternoon tea. If you like what you see on the menu and want something easy for a night in, you can take advantage of the pub’s takeaway service. A special seniors two-course lunch is available Monday to Friday between 12 noon and 4pm for £6.25, offering excellent value. If you want a pub that’s a breath of fresh air, without pretence but with good, honest food and a traditional feel, the Rose and Crown certainly fits the bill. n April 2011 vine 21

Dinner parties Themed parties Garden / Tea parties Canapés & buffets • Bijou Catering specialises in bespoke dinner parties & tailor made events • Sophisticated & delicious homemade food • Bringing together locally sourced ingredients • Tailoring our service to your individual requirements • • 07804 052161




EASTER BIJOU Easter is a time for celebration and provides the perfect opportunity to get family and friends around the table. If you want to invite quite a few loved ones, but don’t want to go out, having a caterer do the work for you in your own home can be a nice stress-free option. Sevenoaks-based Bijou SHOP Catering offers anything from Open Tue, Wed & Fri 9am - 4pm a delectable brunch buffet to & Sat 9am - 3pm a memorable afternoon tea, leaving you more time to search 5 mins from Sevenoaks town/just off A25 for the Easter bunny and hunt for eggs. Open Tue, Wed & Fri 9am - 4pm All food is homemade with Chart Farm, Seal & Sat 9am - 3pm selected seasonal and local Chart, Sevenoaks, products. 5 mins from Sevenoaks town/just offBijou A25Catering will Kent TN15 0ES prepare delicious meals to your Chart Farm, Seal Chart, specifications, whether t: 01732 761672 Sevenoaks, Kent m: 07976 726 469 TN15 0ES its bunny-shaped bread rolls, 01732 761672 / 07976 726Easter 469 tartlets, gluten-free nibbles, spring soup or scrumptious carrot cake.

Come In and Try Our Own Home-Reared Venison and Other Locally Sourced Fine Meats

Selling Our Own Home-Reared Venison and Other Locally Sourced, Fine Meats Chart Farm Shop


















22 vine April 2011

So get into the garden and out of the kitchen this Easter to celebrate the weekend with friends and family, while Bijou Catering prepares, delivers and serves any treats and eats you would like to provide for your special guests, leaving your kitchen as tidy as before. n For more information visit or call Sophie on 07804 052161

From fairy dust and shell-encrusted mermaids to circus performers and rowdy pirates, Knole Academy’s performance of Peter Pan certainly had the magic, says Charlotte Luxford


t has been a long time since I watched Peter Pan but I remember the sheer delight I experienced watching the Disney version, so when I went to watch Knole Academy’s performance I wondered whether its magic would be lost on me as an adult. However, when I arrived at the entrance, it soon became clear this wasn’t just any school play. Greeted by fairy-lit trees at the entrance and well organised usher staff in specially designed T-shirts, I was escorted to the VIP room (being press has its perks) and enjoyed a glass of wine and a flick through a well-designed programme before taking my seat. With the performance staged in traverse, the audience were close to the action and children and parents alike waited eagerly for the performance to begin. The play opened with a big musical number (all the music was written especially for the production by Michael Grant) accompanied by a theatrical dance performance. Performing arts were a large part of the play, with expressionist and modern dance routines and circus elements, including stilt walkers in full Indian costume. The set design was fantastic, and included a pirate ship with all the rigging (there was a small moment when this dropped accidentally, but the cast did well to act around it!) which also doubled up as the nursery bedroom. Opposite the stage was Neverland with a spectacular forest of green plants. Difficult elements of the production – like flying – were cleverly overcome using handcrafted puppets, dressed to look like the characters, which glided over the rooftops of London (children joined together to represent buildings).

While all the cast were great, the character that stood out for me was Smee, played by Pascal Humbert; Humbert gave Smee a camp persona, quite like Little Britain star Matt Lucas, and there was good banter between him and the very deep-voiced Hook, who played his part with gusto. Equally amusing were the sinister and seductive mermaids, more like Macbeth’s three witches, with fantastic costumes encrusted with shells, shiny blue and green fabric and relatively scary blue lipstick. Wendy, played by Zoe Maxwell, had to fight off many jealous women for Pan’s (Harry Bond) affections, including the feisty yet tiny Tinkerbell (Florence Birtles), complete with fairy dust and bells. The relationship between Peter and Wendy was played well, with a touching duet in which Bond came into his own, with a spectacular and very humorous ‘Titanic moment’ at the front of the ship with the back curtain lit up with stars. The chorus of Lost Boys, Indians and pirates did a fantastic job too, often providing surprising comedic moments. Every moment of the play was painstakingly thought out from the elaborate Indian costumes to the lighting, music and set design and most of all, you could tell each actor and actress was enjoying their moment on stage. The vibe of creativity was inspiring and I left feeling uplifted, reminiscing about my childhood days, as I’m sure many parents did too. n April 2011 vine 23

family Your Sevenoaks

A healthier Easter with Kikodo n After eating all that chocolate over Easter, Kikod o offers the chance to keep your children fit as well as enter taining them over the holidays. For the feisty, there’s the Kids’ Combat Training Camp for eight to 13-ye ar-olds from April 11 to April 15, with a fun-packed progr amme including everything from mini-circuit training and rock climbing to kickboxing and self-defence. If your child is more creative, they could try the meditation and creative activities, including energy work, guided meditation and more on April 6 and April 13. Spark Combat Stage School running from May 31-June 3 combines martial arts skills with stagecraft techn iques; this course for kids aged six to 12 cover s simple kicking and punching skills as well as working with padde d weapons to create a scene straight from your child’s favourite martial arts movie!


CE N A G, D ool in


h e sc rt... stag ys a pa t n e pla end dep ry child n i , e ly e ev iend A fr d wher our r ok y ION o b S Otfo S o t E now LS A I Call R T

973 9 5 2 4 2427 3 7 01 73 2 1 078 E


n To book call Kikodo on 01732 451839 or visit


Combe Bank girls investigate n Vine dropped down to Combe Bank School to witness their CSI investigation in action as part of a special Science Week last month. The children successfully solved the myster y of who stole the paintings from the head teacher’s office, trying their hand at chromatography, fingerprinting and investigating blood types. Other activities included hour-long workshops on ‘Fundamental Forces’, ‘Crazy Chemistry’ and ‘Light, Colour, Action’ as well as witnessing the hatching of new chicks, which turned out to be a well-received surprise for the students!

24 vine April 2011

CT! A &

Last chance to win scholarship worth £780! g n It’s your last chance to show your child is a buddin arts ming perfor leading east’s souththe of one with star schools, Jigsaw Arts. Vine has teamed up with the school to offer one scholarship place worth £780, but entries need to be in no later than April 26 in order to take advantage of this fantastic oppor tunity. Open auditions and interviews for the scholarship will be held at The Knole Academy on the morning of April 30; children aged between 7 and 18 may apply. Last year’s winner Mia McKenna-Bruce said of the scholarship: “I learnt so much, mainly singing techniques and exercises as I didn’t sing professionally before – it was a really fun experience.” The performing arts school’s scholarship will be based at Knole Academy in Sevenoaks and will cover fees for three terms, with the summer term running from May 7 – July 16. Jigsaw Arts runs on Saturday mornings from 10am – 1pm, with the three-hour session including an hour of singing, an hour of dance and an hour of drama, all with specialist coaches. Students work in three age bands and rotate between the three practices. To register your child to attend the auditions, accompanied by a parent, please email your child’s name, r date of birth, your name, address and telephone numbe 2011. 26, April by k to enquiries@jigsaw-ar n For more information or a prospectus, call 020 8447 4530 or visit

All The Right Ingredie nts For Cookery Fun! • Cookery Clu bs • Easter Wor ks

• Across Kent ,

East Sussex and Surrey

Call Catherine on 07748 715644 or email info@cookieskit


Parties • Clubs • Workshops





n Get your kids busy baking this Easter with Cooki es Kitchen’s Easter workshops. There’s the chance to make sumptuous Easter cakes for the Junior Cookies (aged 5-10 years) at Underriver Village Hall from 10.30am-12.30pm on April 12 and for the teens there’s Creative Cooks’ Bakewell tart session at Tonbridge Adult Education Centre on April 14 between 10.30am-12.30pm. Look out for news on Cookies Kitchen’s latest venture as participants in a new ITV1 series called There’s No Taste Like Home airing this summer. n Visit


ge 5 Benjamin Gubb, A

Cookies Kitchen Easter workshops


• Parties






020 8447 4530 April 2011 vine 25



Ever wanted to have complete control of your own home at your fingertips? While it can’t control the kids, iSmart Home Control can help control almost everything else, from heating to a full home cinema


3D-HD TVs we are constantly asked to deliver better quality video and audio from multiple sources, better distribution of the sources to multiple rooms and even how to reduce the clutter of wires around the house! This has led to more advanced set-ups and complete home cinema systems being designed and built.” The couple have recently started work on a property in Otford as part of an on going major renovation project, incorporating some of the latest home automation technology to enhance and simplify the property, including the ability to control the whole house using the iPhone or iPad. The family detailed their requirements at an early stage and iSmart Home Control recommended which products would meet their criteria, keeping budget in mind. The owners were keen on controlled lighting and heating, multi-room audio and video and a dedicated home cinema with a motorized projector screen in the loft space.

ouldn’t it be great if you could control everything in your home with the touch of a button, from the lights left on in your kid’s bedroom to the Sky+ player when you’re having a relaxing evening in? One family who realise the potential of being able to do this is husband and wife team Balj and Sam Thandi. Self-confessed gadget enthusiasts, they know the benefits of having one system that controls all technological devices in your home. iSmart Home Control is their answer to this, a family-run company which specialises in the areas of automation, home cinema, multi-room audio and visual, and lighting. The company materialised after they were involved in the installation of Rako lighting, Opus multi-room system and a home cinema set-up in their own property. Due to their 25 years’ IT and consultancy experience, they have been inundated with enquiries from family and friends on how to make better use of products, starting with common devices such as DVD players, games consoles and satellite TV. Balj says: “With the mass arrival of Blu-ray and

n For a free consultation call iSmart Home Control on 07900 697496 or visit

Martin T. Hobbs

Christopher Tems

Sarah Dickinson

BSc, BVetMed, CertSAS CertVDI, MRCVS

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FULL HOUSE INTEGRATED CONTROL Control your full audio, video, lighting and internet from a tablet-based device such as an iPad, giving you total control anywhere in the house SMARTPHONE LIGHTING CONTROL Want to control your lights from anywhere in the world? That’s easily achieved by simple software and a smartphone such as an iPhone HOME CINEMA ROOM A home cinema is now an affordable product and can be designed and built to your specifications. Unused loft space, a basement or a snug make for the perfect cinema experience

Care and Excellence Professional and compassionate veterinary care for all pets, horses and farm animals

Competitive Prices

Monthly Offer for April Buy a year’s supply of wormer for your cat or dog this month and get 25% off! That’s a whole dose free of charge!

For appointments, visits and emergencies, telephone:

01732 740999 26 vine April 2011

104 Seal Road Sevenoaks TN14 5AU

Consultations by appointment Monday to Friday 8.30am – 7.30pm Saturday 9.00am – 5.00pm

Vinead(March):Layout 1 09/03/2011 09:14 Page 1

The three aaaghs

Arra ge a visin t find o to moreut

Reading, writing and arithmetic. Maths and English Study Programmes Kumon can help your child progress with their maths and English studies, boost their confidence and help them shine. Kumon programmes: • work at a pace tailored to your child’s needs • give their confidence a real boost • develop invaluable study habits and concentration • establish a solid foundation for academic success • complement the school curriculum Every day Kumon helps children of all ages and abilities to realise their true potential. With over 600 centres nationwide, it’s convenient too. Contact your local Instructor today.

Sevenoaks Study Centre Mandy Yarnold 01342 851221

Otford Study Centre Maki Bates 020 8333 9550


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25/03/2011 13:41 April 2011 vine 27

Monday 9:30-8:00pm Tuesday 9:00-5:30pm Wednesday 9:30-8:00pm Thursday 9:00-5:30pm Friday 9.30-3.00pm Saturday 9:00-4.00pm Sunday closed

a holistic approach to your wellbeing At the dental spa, our ethos is to provide a stress-free journey from your very first visit to us. An experience that is positive, unique and that you will look forward to again and again.


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For more information call us on 0207 929 7911 or visit

28 vine April 2011


SALON of the MONTH Styles may change but loyalty sticks – Sterling Hair has cut the hair of generations of local families and nothing is holding them back for the future, reports Charlotte Luxford


hile hairstyles have changed dramatically in 20 years, from Friends star Jennifer Aniston’s ‘Rachel-inspired’ 90s haircut to pop star Rihanna’s recent fiery red hairdo, one thing that has not changed at local salon Sterling Hair is its loyal clientele. Owner Geoffrey Larsson set up the salon in Sevenoaks High Street around 20 years ago with manager Paul May by his side for over 25 years. Geoffrey admits that when he started there were nowhere near as many salons in the high street as there are now, but he is not concerned. “We often have families of three generations return to the salon, which is lovely to see, but equally we’ll have people come off the street for the first time and they always come back because the girls offer an excellent service and we do good haircuts at reasonable prices.” Sterling Hair has always been a staple for its customers, with experienced and well-trained staff that are incredibly devoted – the fact that the staff have stayed at the salon for many years or even come back to the salon after trying ‘greener pastures’ speaks volumes. Senior stylist Cara has returned to work after maternity leave and Jackie who worked at the salon for many years is back at the salon after a three-year absence. More often than not, when you go to a salon, especially a chain, the stylists will have set guidelines and ‘trends’ to follow and your hair ends up becoming a symbol of

Sterling Hair is the perfect salon for all of the family and has many loyal clients

their branding rather than what you wanted, but not here. Geoffrey is insistent that the staff listen to your needs and it doesn’t matter if you don’t want flashy hairdos (especially pricey ones) and they unashamedly cater for ‘middle-of-the-road’ clients. The hairdressers often take regular refresher courses to keep their techniques sharp and to learn about new products, such as the increasingly popular Brazilian blow-dry treatment which offers a longer-lasting solution to maintaining straight hair. While over half their clients are women, Paul offers a traditional barber service, which means men can get a decent cut upstairs while women can enjoy a stylish cut and blow-dry downstairs. The salon also offers bridal packages carried out by experienced stylist Debbie Price, which include a trial run before the big day and also the opportunity for family members to have their hair styled too for the special occasion. The salon is certainly one for families and there are perks if you remain loyal: new clients get a loyalty card which offers cash discounts on services; you and a friend can receive a 20 per cent discount if you recommend a friend; students receive 20 per cent off and seniors get good deals at the beginning of the week. All prices are very competitive and the salon is conveniently open six days a week (closed on Sundays) and stays open late on Thursdays until 8pm for the busy working types.

n Call 01732 458527, 01732 452634 or visit 159 High St, Sevenoaks TN13 1XJ to book an appointment

EXCLUSIVE VINE READER OFFER Vine has teamed up with Sterling Hair to offer a 20% DISCOUNT on all cut and blow-drys. Offer ends May 14 2011 April 2011 vine 29

BEAT THE DAILY GRIND Getting fit and healthy with the pressure of the 9 to 5 daily slog can prove challenging, but osteopath Ashley Ridout from Kikodo is on hand to give advice on how to make this achievable Getting yourself into full working order can be a difficult and sometimes a confusing task with so many different opinions on how to approach it. Kikodo’s osteopath and naturopath Ashley Ridout can help you regain your energy and aid pain-free movement. More often than not, one of the problems of today is that we have forgotten what it feels like to feel good! Highly stressful jobs, long working hours and poor posture are just a few things most of us are guilty of in our day-to-day lives. We become tight and stiff in our bodies and many of us end

up with various aches and pains. Combine these physical burdens with a lack of energy and concentration and your job can become a misery. A health practitioner such as an osteopath can help restore your body’s physical balance and work on your nutrition to ensure you are at the top of your game and ready to achieve your best. Osteopaths work physically on your body, stretching, mobilising and sometimes manipulating your muscles and joints so that full function can be restored, allowing your body to regain its natural balance. Ashley has experience with many structural complaints such as lower back pain and shoulder injuries. He also lectures about health and nutrition at various gyms around London. n For more information visit or to book your full hour consultation with Ashley Ridout, please call 01732 451839 or email

FIVE TIPS FOR GETTING HEALTHY AT WORK: 1. Get your desk ergonomically set up by your occupational health department or a postural specialist 2. Get up and move or stretch every 30 to 60 minutes 3. Drink water throughout the day – aim for somewhere between 1.5 to 2 litres 4. Eat good nutritious food with a balance of protein, fats and carbohydrates. Your afternoon energy slump is most likely due to what you ate at lunch! 5. Find a physical activity to take part in during your free time in the week – go to a gym class, do some gardening, walk the dog etc

GET A SMILE MAKEOVER Do you dream of a smile makeover, but worry about how it’s done? Charlotte Luxford meets with Dr Ian Brignall BDS, DPDS from Atkinson Brignall Caring Dentistry to discuss the benefits of cosmetic dentistry We all know that a beautiful, healthy smile is one of the best investments you can make in yourself. A selfconfessed perfectionist, Dr Ian Brignall is dedicated to giving people the smile they deserve and set up the cosmetic arm of the practice, Sevenoaks Smile Studio, with this in mind. He is currently part way through the very first UK-based MSc in Aesthetic Dentistry from Kings College, London. He says: “At Sevenoaks Smile Studio, our aim is to provide you with the highest quality cosmetic and implant dentistry treatment and care. We also realise that tooth structure is precious; when enamel is gone, it is gone for good. For this reason we believe in being as conservative as possible with any treatment provided.” Ian is a full member of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr Mac Ogretme has also been formerly trained in cosmetic dentistry. Cosmetic dentistry treatments are designed to improve your dental health, function and the aesthetic appearance of your teeth, to give you the perfect smile to match your face. “You are always in control,” explains Ian, “many proposed improvements can be simulated with computer imagery or tried as a ‘mock-up’ in the mouth for your approval.” Whether you desire a complete smile makeover, have

30 vine April 2011

missing teeth, would like a whiter smile or just white fillings, Atkinson Brignall can help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted. Treatments available include: Inman aligner orthodontics (from £1,100), Invisalign, tooth whitening, composite veneers, porcelain veneers, all ceramic crowns and onlays, dental implants to hold crowns, bridges or dentures.

n 1st Floor, Lady Boswell House, 42-44 London Road, Sevenoaks, TN13 1AS. Call 01732 459222 or visit www.atkinsonbrignall. for more information Inman Aligner treatment after 12 weeks

Layered composite veneers with no tooth preparation

Porcelain veneers, crowns and implant

Personal Training one to one


Personal Training small group

Injury Rehabilitation

Weight Loss

Over Sixties


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01732 458614 Rapid Transformations Sports Performance Plymouth Drive, Individual 3RP Athletes Sevenoaks TN13 Teams & Clubs

Operated by Sevenoaks Town Council

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

ASK JASON Teenage Fitness

Chris Wharton

Jason Crow

Tiffany Cole

Steve Fusse

Lucy Curtis

Fitness professional Jason Crow answers your exercise dilemmas

Schools & Colleges

Raleys is a small and friendly centre offering a variety of classes for both adults and children. Classes include:

ADULT’S CLASSES • Body conditioning • Yoga • Pilates • NIA dance • Total body workout • Aerobics • Circuit Training

CHILDREN’S CLASSES • Judo – beginners to advanced • Gymnastics – pre-school to advanced • Pre-school Dance

•Raleys • Gymover Zumbais holding courses for children Totsthe first week in August including gymnastics, pre-school gymnastics, mini tennis, Join judo us over Easter Holidays 15th April)on the gym tots, andthe netball. Free places(12th are –available Gymnastics – Pre-school Gymnastics Gym Tots space gym tots and pre-school gymnastics so please book your Call 01732 458614 our website for more information todayorasvisit places are limited!

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TIME FOR SOME REARGUARD ACTION! Q: I have lost weight and now want firmer, less saggy buttocks. What is the best way of achieving this? Jane, Otford

your buttock workout, such as front squats or dumbbell walking lunges. Walking with a correct posture will also help to tone your buttocks due to the pivotal A: Great question, Jane, and roll that the gluteus muscles not one that I get asked very play in preventing your pelvis often, but it does cover one of from sagging. my personal bugbears about diet Due to the functional role without exercise. of the gluteus, they have a Using diet alone to lose weight high-endurance capacity, will not leave you with firmed, which means that you can do toned buttocks, especially if you a little bit of work on your are following a very low-calorie buttocks every day and gradually or low-carbohydrate diet. build them up. The reason that I don’t get When you are working your asked this question often is buttocks, you don’t need to use because our weight-loss clients any gym equipment. And if tend to enhance the shape you don’t believe me, check and firmness of their buttocks out our fabulous new video on 89x136mm base strip AD:Layout 1 04/01/2011 Page 1 and through a balanced combination the subject.15:40 Visit YouTube of focused exercise and eating. find The Better Body Shop This allows them to reduce fat ‘2 Minute Butt Workout’ and rather than muscle tone. Here our Tiffany’s no-equipmentareNo a few yearly helpful pointers: needed buttock workout. gym What muscles make up firm To all our existing clients, I membership just say congratulations – you are buttocks? The two main muscle groups that make up the visual living proof of these buttock shape and tone aspect of the toning points. And to all of you buttocks are gluteus maximus who are new to The Better Body and gluteus medius. These Shop, I invite you to pop down muscles are responsible for and try a free 30-minute buttock moving the leg out and away toning workout. from the body, extending, Now there’s a challenge. rotating and stabilising the hip. n If you would like help with Due to the nature of the losing weight, you can call movements carried out by the one of our professional trainers gluteus, you can firm your Physiotherapy • Personal Trainingincreasing • Nutrition at the Better• Body Shop in buttocks without 1-to-1 or group training • Sports Performance • Injury Rehabilitation confidence on 01732 451979 the size of your thighs. I would • Weight Loss • Individual Athletes • Over Sixties or see our website at: advise you to put some bottom • Tailored Classes • Teams & Clubs • Teenage Fitness exercises, using your legs, into


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a sense of belonging

St Michael’s Prep School is a very different school in 2011 from the boy’s orphanage it was a century ago. In the second part of our series, Vine looks at St Michael’s today with viewpoints from the school, students and parents


n 2011 you will find St Michael’s Prep School to be a very different school from the one described to you in last month’s feature on the school’s historical background. Instead of the 40 boys of the 1930s, the school now has 460 girls and boys aged two to thirteen. It was in the 1980s that the school went under dramatic change and expansion when then-Headmaster Father Paul Cox introduced both a pre-prep section in the old stable block, and girls. Boarding was finally abandoned in the early 1990s and the expansion of the school continued. The grounds were landscaped to accommodate several pitches and new buildings including a new sports centre, an indoor 25m swimming pool, a dedicated art and design technology suite, science labs and a number of new classrooms. Under the popular headship of Keith Crombie the school is flourishing. From 1925 to 2011, St Michael’s Prep School would appear to have changed considerably and yet so very much remains intact in terms of values, traditions, high expectations, high academic achievements, sporting success, loyalty, friendships and an overriding sense of belonging. “My experience at St Michael’s Prep School has been incredible. I started in the nursery and have worked my way up through the years, enjoying every moment of my school life, from the fascinating explosions in science lessons to the story-writing in English. To me nothing could be better than St Michael’s Prep School.”

“Music at St Michael’s is fun! We sing, dance, act and perform in French and English. Children from the prep school came to visit us, even the Headmaster has played in assembly. We have workshops and school trips to concerts and plays and take part in nativities and musicals.”



Keith Crombie, Headmaster

“One of my main aims at St Michael’s is to involve as many pupils as possible in everything we do, from musical activities, a part in a play, representing the school at sport, taking their own initiatives in supporting charities like Red Nose Day, to giving as much back as they get out of the school. This helps create an energetic, vibrant school with busy, ‘all-rounded’ children who also apply themselves in the classroom.”


Academia past and presen

el’s 0s, pupils from St Micha Back in the 1930s and 194 College g’s Kin as h suc s ool sch Prep School left to go to ils, rist’s Hospital. Today’s pup Taunton, Lancing and Ch t jus h wit s, ool sch al loc to more however, mostly move on s ool sch ing places at grammar under half of them achiev , aks eno ools such as Sev and the others going to sch y ll, Kent College Pembur Ha w sto am lth Tonbridge, Wa lity abi ed mix a is el’s cha St Mi and Sutton Valence. As o the number of pupils wh school, it is very proud of se tho as ll place as we achieve a grammar school places at their first choice e iev ach ays alw rly who nea es on scholarships. etim independent school, som of subjects and methods The curriculum, range 0s, jor changes since the 194 of teaching have seen ma n atio rm info and ign des , art with the introduction of ion cat edu lth al, social and hea technology, music, person , ive lus inc allis ool at the sch (PSHE). Sport and drama in ool sch the ing ent res rep en with all prep school childr half of in an annual play. Over matches and taking part play in or g sin and l instrument the pupils learn a musica . ups l gro the choirs or instrumenta for rn in the economy, demand ntu dow the h wit en Ev its g cin for rein r, strong as eve entry to St Michael’s is as . ment you will ever make’ est inv t bes e ‘th is it w thatApril 2011 32vievine

‘Picture This’: a week to remember “When someone suggested that we should hold a theme week, ‘creativity’ obviously sprang to mind first. As Head of English I could not resist the opportunity to focus on a topic that would fire the children’s imagination. All the arts were involved in the week from painting (a whole school picture based on Magritte’s ‘La Condition Humaine’) to dance, calligraphy, creating characters, writing stories about flights of fantasy or Arctic adventures, finding the end of the rainbow with prisms in science, making flickbooks, dream jars, flying machines, stained glass pictures, puppets, doors to imaginary worlds and even ‘For Sale’ signs advertising the strangest and most unsaleable items possible. So with the timetable written, the authors booked, the resources boxed up and the staff briefed we set out on a week’s adventure into a different world. The impact was amazing – the children lapped up every moment, relishing the fact there were no boundaries and the pleasure that they could just design, craft, listen, write, draw, paint and there were no answers! It was truly a week to remember – and one I hadn’t pictured would turn out like this.” CAROLINE FORGERON, Head of English

n St Michael’s open mornings will be on Tuesday May 17 and Saturday September 17. For more information visit

Reminisce with the Old Michaelians

Leavers and Achievers

The Old Michaelians’ Association is the oldest Prep School ex-pupils’ association in the country. In 1947, Donald Cormac (Headmaster) was instrumental in organising the unveiling ceremony for the Memorial to Old Boys who had been killed in World War II. It was whilst tracking down old boys to invite to the event that the idea of forming an Old Michaelians’ Association came to him. The association still meets twice a year. There is an annual dinner and an annual cricket and rounders match held in the school grounds every summer. The history of the school and the links with Old Michaelians is very important to the present St Michael’s Prep School. If you attended the school and would like to re-establish your links please contact Judith Yarnold: Old Michaelians are invited attend the school’s open mornings; bring your family, reminisce about your past and find out about our future.

“My time at St Michael’s was simply brilliant. Especially when I escaped during the lunch break to explore the school’s superb grounds, and in particular to search out rare orchids! St Michael’s strengthened my enthusiasm for all things green and I’ve never looked back!”

“I have been at St Michael’s Prep School for four years. I have made lots of friends. I am captain of the 1st rugby team and we have just returned from a sports tour to Jersey, which was a great experience. During my time at St Michael’s the school has supported me with my drama and frequent trips to London for auditions. St Michael’s Prep School has something for everyone.”

TOM HART DYKE, former pupil. Tom created ‘The World Garden’ at Lullingstone Castle “St. Michael’s taught me many things, not only on the educational side of things, but more importantly about friendship, loyalty and belief in your ambitions. When I left I wasn’t a very sporty child but as I grew, I realised my potential and succeeded in the world of athletics because of the confidence St. Michael’s had given me as a young boy.” TOM BOSWORTH, former pupil. Tom represented Great Britain at the 2010 Commonwealth Games “Many schools are simply places where you learn to read and write, make friends and, if you’re lucky, learn a few worldly-wise tools and manners to help in later life. St Michael’s Prep School is an institution in its own right. It offers a sense of belonging and is a lifelong friend. I learnt that everyone can be brilliant at something, you just have to have the confidence to try crazy things – like bob skeleton!” LIZZY YARNOLD, former pupil. Lizzy represented Great Britain at the 2011 Bob Skeleton Junior World Championships

ED PIERCY, Year 8 “I knew that it would be hard going from the French to the English system at the start of Year 7 so I needed the right school to help me. I have certainly found it – St Michael’s is a school with a fantastic spirit and a welcoming feeling. The teachers are amazing. I couldn’t have done it without them – thank you.” KATIE DUDNEY, Year 8 “We have had children at St Michael’s for the past 11 years. All three have been extremely happy there, from the cosy nurturing environment of the pre-prep to the academic rigours of preparing for Common Entrance exams. The school offers something for everyone: terrific teaching, strong sport, music and drama, and good pastoral care in a relaxed atmosphere and in a stunning setting. It produces happy, confident children. All of mine have made fantastic friends there, who I hope they will keep in touch with for many years to come.” JANE SACKVILLE-WEST, parent “My son has a wonderful time at St Michael’s and so do I! I get to have a brilliant time creating art work, stage sets and costumes and this provides me with a great deal of fun and satisfaction. The school kindly permits present and past mums to play badminton after school ‘drop off ’ twice a week which is fantastic, no-hassle fitness.” CLAIRE EDWARDS, parent “St Michael’s Prep School was more to us than just a school, it felt like an extended family. After 13 years at the school we were sad to leave, but at the same time happy that my son gained a major academic scholarship to Sevenoaks School. We are very grateful to all the staff, who helped him achieve this award.” ROSEMARY WEDDERBURN DAY, parent

Charity begins at home St Michael’s School was founded in 1872 in Hatcham to house “24 fatherless boys from the age of 8 to 14 who needed a good education”. From its charitable roots the school is now in a position to offer its support to children in need of a good education St Michael’s Prep School is the major sponsor of St Michael’s School in Nepal . One third of the money we have raised each year has staffed and equipped this school and as a result of our efforts over 250 children are now receiving “a good education”. Our 24-hour sponsored events have raised in excess of £50,000 over the past seven years. In addition to supporting the school in Nepal we are able to support numerous local and national charities. Recent events have included a 24 hour hill climb, a relay race and a triathlon. Pupils, parents and friends are involved throughout the 24 hours with hundreds of people camping overnight in the grounds. Recent fund-raising efforts have also enabled us to sponsor three guide dogs for the blind. It is fitting that St Michael’s Prep School started out as a charity and we are now in turn able to support so many charities ourselves. April 2011 vine 33




In Vine’s new monthly political column, Michael Fallon MP explains that Sevenoaks means business when it comes to supporting smaller companies

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mall and medium sized companies (SMEs) are the backbone of the UK economy. When they do well, Britain thrives. They are the main creators of new jobs and are at the heart of the coalition’s plan for growth. I have good grounds to be optimistic about Sevenoaks. Even during the recession Sevenoaks registered a net increase in SMEs, bucking national trends. The south-east is the biggest and most dynamic economic region outside of London and Sevenoaks has dozens of successful small firms tucked away on its industrial estates. I meet regularly with local business leaders who share this confidence. They frequently point to the strength of community here as well as the ideal location, close to London and Gatwick. Throughout the downturn, Sevenoaks residents continued to support their local tradesmen and women, shops and firms. What is the government doing to help? Firstly, we have stopped the increase in National Insurance, the so-called ‘jobs tax’. We have doubled small business rate relief for one year and we’re cutting business red

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tape – two things I have long campaigned for. We have secured a minimum 15 per cent increase in bank lending to SMEs this year. We are also cutting the tax on small business profits to 20 per cent. In addition, the new Enterprise Allowance offers anybody unemployed up to £2,000 in mentoring and funding to launch their own business. What more can be done? I’d like to see a ‘buy local’ campaign, encouraging people to use our small independent retailers and traders. I also support the idea of ‘concept shops’ – medium-sized premises, housing half a dozen or more small starter shops, thus spreading the cost of rent and rates. Too many shops lie empty for months at a time; we need to put more pressure on landlords to get new leases in place. Bigger stores have the edge in offering free parking: it’s up to the district council to keep its charges reasonable. Sevenoaks has the location, people and skills. It’s a perfect area for starting up a new business. After all, look at Vine magazine… For more information visit


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maidstone IGUANODON The

Ever wondered what that strange creature is on Maidstone’s coat of arms? It is possibly the most unusual creature ever to feature on a town’s insignia – the prehistoric ‘Iguanodon’. Robin Brooks reveals one man’s fascination with this unique animal and why it caused such a stir in the 19th century WO R D S RO BI N J BROOKS

36 vine April 2011



closer look at the civic coat of arms for Maidstone will reveal that it is emblazoned with the imprint of an Iguanodon. While the coats of other towns incorporate more mundane creatures associated with their area, it was the prehistoric plant-eating, bird-hipped ornithopod that placed Maidstone firmly in the zoological history books. The study of prehistoric animals has fascinated man for centuries and never more so than at the beginning of the 19th century. The lifestyles of these giant creatures had an immediate impact on Professor Gideon Mantell, an eccentric man who became totally engrossed in his fossils to the neglect of all else. His first contact with the creature that we now know as the Iguanodon came when he was travelling by stagecoach from London to Lewes in Sussex in the spring of 1822. Accompanied by his wife, he was attending a conference on the very subject of prehistoric life. While the horses pulling the stagecoach were being rested at Cuckfield, Mrs Mantell wandered off into some bushes beside the road. After several minutes she came across some large teeth lying between several rocks and, picking them up, returned to show her husband. Upon examination, Mantell found they were unlike anything that he had seen before. Full of curiosity, he showed them to his colleagues when they reached Lewes. They could not shed any further light upon the teeth and, on his return to London, he sent them to the world’s greatest expert of the time to find out what animal they had come from. It was suggested they were the teeth of the rhinoceros, but Mantell felt that it was something far larger and far more exciting. Visiting a friend at the Royal College of Surgeons in London, he came upon some similar teeth belonging to a small American lizard known as the Iguana. Recognising the similarity between these specimens and his own, he realised that these teeth were indeed gigantic versions belonging to the giant plant-eating reptile. He named it ‘Iguanodon – Iguana tooth’. With the realisation that he had discovered the teeth of a creature which no one had even seen a drawing of, Mantell returned to the area in Sussex in an attempt to find fossilised remains of the creature. He had already realised that it was a plant-eater for the teeth had shown a great deal of wear. Having discovered them in Sussex, Mantell was convinced that if he continued looking in that area, he would eventually find further remains. He had in fact reached Brighton in his search when word reached him of a very important discovery at

Maidstone in Kent. It was in 1834 during the excavation of a quarry in the Queen’s Road area of the town that a partial skeleton of an Iguanodon was found. It came to light during a normal blasting operation in the quarry owned by Mr W H Bensted, who resided in a large house on the edge of his business in Queen’s Road. When the dust from the explosion had settled, a quantity of substance, resembling petrified wood, was observed in some of the stone. Upon closer inspection it turned out to be a fossil bone belonging to an animal of tremendous size. Bensted himself came to observe the bone and, realising that he had something of great interest, began to collect various other pieces of bone that had been scattered in the blast. He was able to piece the bones together and erected a covering over the area. Bensted began to chip away the stone, following the outline of the fossils. When this was done he realised that he had a partial

skeleton of a huge animal that had been buried in the bowels of the earth and probably in the earliest ages of its existence. The collection consisted of the hind limbs and feet, some parts of the forelimbs, some vertebrae and rib fragments together with a part of a tooth. News of this wonderful find quickly spread across the nation and it was reported widely in all the country’s newspapers. Many people came to Queen’s Road to see the collection, but no one could really tell him from what animal they came. So describing the fossils as best he could, Bensted wrote to Mantell inviting him to Maidstone in the hope that he could identify the bones. Accordingly, Mantell arrived after arranging to stay at the Mitre, a public house in Maidstone. He arrived on June 4, 1834 calling at Bensted’s house before going on to the quarry to see the fossils. In Mantell’s own words: “They are from the lower extremities of the creature and being such a magnificent group, I have no doubt they are of an Iguanaodon. With such excitement I confess I went to bed very late.” As a collector it was obvious that he wanted to own the fossils and after several days’ stay in Maidstone, with further visits to the

quarry, he offered Bensted £10. This was refused as he had already been offered £20, but was looking at the princely sum of £25! Eventually Mantell agreed the price and some days later after his return to his house, the bones arrived. For many years after his acquisition of the Maidstone fossils, Mantell became a famous speaker on the Iguanodon, yet no one as yet really knew just what the creature looked like. Restorations were made from the fossil bones and were put on display at the 1851 exhibition in London. It did not, however, resemble in any shape or form the Iguanodon as we know it today. In fact, it was not until 1878 that information came to hand as to what it did look like. In that year, coal miners in Belgium suddenly found themselves digging through fossil bones instead of coal. They had by chance cut their way into a pit or ravine into which a herd of Iguanodon had fallen millions of years before. They found 31 skeletons, all complete. This proved once and for all how the creature looked in life. With two legs, it was about five metres high and about 11 metres long, weighing up to four to five tons. It had powerful back legs and a massive tail that helped it to balance when reaching up to eat foliage from trees. On its front legs it had small hooves, proving that it sometimes walked on all fours and, as Mantell had suggested, it was indeed a plant-eating animal. Sadly, Mantell never lived to see what his Iguanodon really looked like; after his wife and children left him in 1839, he spent his last years very much alone. In 1841 tragedy struck when he suffered a very severe injury to his spine in a carriage accident from which he never fully recovered. He was awarded the honours of the Royal Society in 1849 for all his work and died peacefully one year later. In order to help his financial position in his later troubled years, he had finally and reluctantly decided to sell his museum, including the bones of the Maidstone Iguanodon, to the British Museum. He had hoped for £5,000 but finally settled for £4,000 and his collection went to its new home, where it can be seen today under the banner ‘The Mantell Collection’. The modern epilogue to the story of this amazing discovery is that in 1946, the leaders of Maidstone Borough Council applied to the College of Arms to have their famous Iguanodon incorporated in the civic coat of arms. The request was granted and attested in the citation of 1949: “I, the said Garter Principal King of Arms, do by these presents further grant and assign to the Borough of Maidstone the Supporters following, that is to say: on the dexter side an Iguanodon proper Collared Gules suspended therefrom by a chain or a scroll of Parchment.” Thus I think it can be safely said that Maidstone is the only town in the country to have such an unusual civic coat of arms. v April 2011 vine 37

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Wedding special

It’s the start of the wedding season, and while everyone else is focused on April 29, here’s a wedding section just for you. We bring together the best products our local suppliers have to offer, including spring-inspired outfits, flowers, entertainment and jewellery and we also tell the extraordinary tale of one bride who had a truly white wedding... CANTERBURY: 35 Burgate, CT1 2HA - 01227 464789 MAIDSTONE: 12 - 14 Gabriels Hill, ME15 6JG - 01622 753150


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We’re all talking about it – April 29 – the Royal wedding. Renowned hairdresser Matthew Cross gives Vine his interpretation of how Kate might style her hair on the big day and has a chat with Bea Das from Bea Couture about the all-important dress

Matthew says: “I have worked with the hair of many brides during my career, but never a Royal wedding, the crown in any hairdresser’s career. I always give the bride an honest opinion and take a caring approach in creating their individual look for the big day. I would start with an in-depth consultation and say to the bride-to-be: “This is your day, and you have to look back at these pictures in years to come without cringing and saying ‘This looks nothing like me so please hide them.’” It’s got to be a style that won’t date and you want to look back at your photos with pride forever. I believe on the whole that simplicity is better; it may be that the bride just needs a simple chignon or a coconut twine in her hair, let alone a tiara. “Remember it’s not just about the hair but the total look,” a fashion editor from Condé Nast Brides magazine once told me on a bridal shoot. So based on this, the look I see on Kate Middleton is classic, young, Oscarwinning and fit for a Royal.”

Bea says: “Kate Middleton has a clean, simple and elegant dress sense and I somehow feel she will avoid the fuss of frills and flounces on her big day. Designers such as Bruce Oldfield and Alexander McQueen spring to mind. She will probably go for a corseted bodice and then a full circular skirt, with a separate train to follow. The train will be long but not 25-feet long as previously worn by Princess Diana. The veil will be of fine silk veiling, sitting perfectly over her train. While she is a modern girl she is also someone who won’t break protocol, so she will probably reinstate a strong sense of English heritage by having her gown created by English craftsmen who will do unique hand embroidery. She will wear diamond jewellery and possibly an heirloom from Prince William for her tiara.” n Hair styling by Matthew Cross 01732 461988 April 2011 vine 39


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YOUR Making your big day perfect isn’t just about the ceremony, it’s about keeping your guests entertained too – Hotwax Associates knows more than most when it comes to delivering entertainment that’s out of the ordinary


The wedding ceremony is all well and good, but for your guests, it’s all about the entertainment – something that can determine whether your big day is a hit or a flop. One company, Hotwax Associates, knows the importance of entertainment, going far beyond the playlist to make your day special. Glen Herbert and Bradley Watson are experts in their field, having provided discothèques, lighting and production services for clients like Take That and Lionel Richie and also entertainment at big corporate events from The Royal Courts of Justice to the London Dungeons and even 10 Downing Street. Closer to home, they are recommended as the primary supplier for West Heath School, providing the discothèque, outside feature lighting, ambient up-lighting and sound systems for many weddings held at the venue. Glen says, “We work closely with the bride and groom, wedding coordinators, venues and caterers when providing the sound, lighting and power requirements and pay close attention to detail. The lighting can be matched to the bride and groom’s colour scheme; the building façade can be lit to highlight the architecture and wonderful features inside these venues. “As for the disco, which is our main business, we

discuss the playlist at length with the couple; obviously everyone is different and we will ask them to provide a playlist of songs they want played and equally those they don’t! We’ve been in the business a long time and we aim to keep the dancefloor busy all night, but we also spend a lot of time keeping our musical libraries up to date. We can take as little or as much control as our clients want.” Unlike many discothèque companies, Hotwax isn’t an agency, meaning all the entertainment and equipment is provided in-house with four employed DJs in total. The pair have been working together for 15 years, but both have a deep background in the industry. They ran a club in London for 10 years and Glen started at the ripe age of 16 playing music at his friends’ parties. If it’s a smaller, private event you want to organise, there’s a dry hire service where a sound-system can be set up in your home so you can DJ yourself, and they can provide a simple lighting package for intimate parties. But whether it’s a family birthday party or a grand corporate function, Hotwax can adapt their services to accommodate the wildest of possibilities. n Call 01322 868888 or visit for more information


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White wedding Many brides-to-be spend months fretting about how to make their big day perfect, but what if it doesn’t all go to plan? Aptlynamed local newlyweds Lark and Martin Snow decided to brave the elements for a wedding day they would never forget WORD S CHARLOTTE LU XF O R D


chool teacher Lark and her husband Martin got married on December 18 last year. While the couple now live in Beckenham, Lark wanted to get married where she grew up in Kemsing and she was looking forward to a traditional church wedding. However, with snow falling heavily all week, the couple were worried about how their day would turn out. Some people cancelled their wedding day that day due to such adverse conditions, but Lark and Martin stuck it out for what they believe was a perfect day in its own right, and certainly a memorable one. “I pretty much spent that entire morning looking out the window; my friends and family had to drag me away!” recalls Lark. “Many of my guests were staying at the Holiday Inn nearby and the wedding was due to start at 2pm. Some of them were also stuck on the motorway as the M25 was shut and many eventually turned up in jeans and wellies because they had to walk to the church. “Our photographer Juliette Harrison was fantastic as she got stuck at Bat and Ball and eventually abandoned her car, just making it on time for the ceremony at Kemsing Church. The vicar was fantastic and allowed us to put back the wedding an hour to allow more guests to arrive. Martin was a bit jittery though as he was in the church alone with only one guest sat in the church for quite a while! The candlelit ceremony was beautiful with a Christmas theme – it was really special and I was glad all our close family and friends managed to make it, which was all that mattered. “A lot of people who arrived early stopped at The Bell pub in Kemsing while they waited for others to turn up

– the landlord was great and offered to do 100 scampi and chips if it all went really wrong and the caterers couldn’t make it! Luckily they could; although only three of the original nine planned catering staff from Pantiles Catering managed to turn up, they were fantastic and it all went to plan. “We had our reception at St Michael’s Prep School, which isn’t a typical venue, but we didn’t fancy a hotel reception – we wanted to make it our own. We had fairy lights, a purple and gold theme and a marquee set up within the dining hall, draped from the ceiling. The school were brilliant and the caretakers in particular were incredibly helpful as they had cleared the driveway with a snow plough, so I could stick with my L K Bennetts rather than wellies! It was beautiful and it felt like we were in a country manor house. We had champagne on arrival, there was a huge Christmas tree in the hall and the big open fire was certainly welcome to most! “The day was an adventure – if I knew it was going to be like it was I still would have had the same day again; because it was snowing everyone was in high spirits and each person has a story about how they got there, which makes it more memorable than a run-of-the-mill wedding. The effort that everyone went to was incredible and we were so grateful and relieved it had gone so well despite everything! However, we did have to spend our wedding night on the floor of Gatwick Airport before we could finally get a flight to Malaysia!”

The big day: Lark (second from right) with her father and bridesmaids. (Below) The ceremony taking place in Kemsing Church April 2011 vine 41


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42 vine April 2011



Gorgeous flowers will make your wedding day even more magical: Deborah Arpino of Flower & Glory offers her 10-step guide to achieving floral perfection


Build a scrap book – keep an eye out for anything that inspires you. If you’re looking for vintage style, inspiration could come from an old tea cup or a beautiful pair of shoes. If you are looking for a more contemporary style, your inspiration could come from a boutique hotel. Make a scrap book of ideas and colours – your florist will find this really useful when you meet up.

2 3

Reflect and complement – think about your personal style and the other decisions you have made so far; your dress, the venue and your colour scheme. Your flowers should reflect and compliment all of these. . Find the right florist – one that’s easy to talk to, really listens to what you want and gets excited about creating something wonderful for you. The right florist will turn a handful of ideas into something magical. Talk to friends who know the area or have recently married.

4 5

Book your wedding flowers – you will have to book your florist at least nine months in advance. You should have an initial consulation with your florist and a second one nearer the wedding to finalise details. Think about your budget – give your florist an idea of how much you can afford. This is generally10 per cent of your overall spend. If your choice of flower is expensive and means that you cannot meet your budget requirements, your florist will be able to suggest alternatives that give a similar look for less money.


Imagine your bouquet – very important! Your bouquet will take centre stage with you on your wedding day, so it’s important that it is perfect and reflects your style. If you are wearing a simple ballerina style, a trailing bouquet of orchids could look stunning. If your dress is a full skirted gown with a train, then a shower of roses, calla lilies and ivy would look fabulous. A posy of just roses will look gorgeous with a simple A-line dress.

Flower &Glory 7 Beautiful flowers for all reasons

Work with the seasons – it’s great to stick to seasonal flowers.They’re likely to be less expensive and better quality and you’ll be doing your bit for the environment as they won’t be specially imported from overseas.


Recycle your flowers – be creative when it comes to recycling your flowers. Pew ends from the church can be turned into chair backs at your reception and pedestal arrangements from the altar can be set up at an entrance to a marquee. Ushers are great for helping transport flowers between locations!

9 10

Share the cost – speak to the church and see if anyone else is getting married the same day as you. It’s possible to share the cost for church flowers. If you choose a neutral scheme of white and green, it could work well for all.

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Choose something special – it’s a lovely idea to inject some extra significance into your wedding flowers by incorporating something really special or personal to you. Perhaps a flower that your mother incorporated in her wedding bouquet or a scent that holds a special meaning to you. n For more advice or to book a consultation, call Deborah Arpino from Flower & Glory, Sevenoaks on 01732 743 419 or visit for more information

20/10/2010 15:09 April 2011 vine 43


Inspired by the Royal Wedding, House of Fraser have put together a selection of exclusive bridal dresses from the relaunched Biba label. This Biba Bride ‘Chloe’ dress is a steal at £695. Visit

For a striking outfit with a difference try Any Occasion’s large range of occasion wear and for an equally unique accessory, bespoke milliner Mille Fleurs’ handmade hat with a shot velvet and silk organza flower is a real show-stopper. Any Occasion, £195. Visit or call 01892 521177 Mille Fleurs, £220. Visit or call 01959 525501 Three-tier cakes are popular and this one with quilted side design and sugar roses is a great classic design.

For the ultimate bridal gown, Bea Couture offer stunning British gowns, made-to-measure in house, such as this ‘Santorini’ design with hand-appliquéd French Chantilly lace and hand-embroidered flowers. Prices start from £1600. Visit or call 01732 740 959


Visit www.sharonlordcakes. or call 01959 562274

The Royal wedding is not far off, so here we bring you our own spring-inspired essentials for your big day For the ultimate open-top car experience, this Beauford Tourer with matching piped blue over cream leather upholstery couldn’t be better on a spring day. Visit www.weddingcars4you. or call 01689 852168

This dramatic bridesmaid’s dress is a great choice for a classic and sophisticated wedding. Any Occasion, £225, Visit or call 01892 521177

Accessorise your outfit with these ‘Tulip Drop’ earrings and ‘Diana’ floral-embellished shoes from Monsoon’s bridal range. Earrings, £12, shoes, £70. Visit

44 vine April 2011


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46 vine April 2011



PART 2WO In the second instalment of our three-part guide to successfully extending your home, we focus on the tender process itself and start by considering the clients’ responsibilities


GETTING YOUR OWN HOUSE IN ORDER Begin by preparing a full set of documents for each builder such as planning drawings, building regulations drawings, structural engineer’s drawings and calculations, working drawings, construction details and the detailed specification document you have already produced. It should be the client’s responsibility to collate this – builders spend time and money pricing work and will not take kindly to being asked to pay to print your plans. You should also include a letter inviting the builders to tender, setting out the key elements for which you require confirmation including: price (inclusive of VAT where applicable), availability or start dates, anticipated duration and insurance requirements as well as an invitation to contact you if the builder has any questions. Also state that you require a fixedprice quotation (not an estimate which can vary) and that the builders must clearly specify any items they have excluded from the pricing and the reason for doing so. Ask them to provide documented evidence of their membership to any trade bodies they refer to and independently verify this yourself – unscrupulous builders falsely claim affiliations. Ensure you clearly state the date you require a comprehensive response by but give the contractors at least two weeks (preferably four) in which to prepare their

submissions, particularly in the spring and summer months as this is when builders are busiest and the longer they have, the more positive your likely outcome. Having set a date, be sure to stick to it unless a builder contacts you beforehand to agree an extension to the time. If you approve an extension to time, be fair to everyone and notify each contractor. Any that fail to meet the timescale should be dismissed from the list and if necessary, new candidates sought, even if that means a delay in obtaining prices. Says Paul Fowler of PF Design: “If you have taken the trouble to prepare a construction pack you have the right to expect the common courtesy that a builder running late should contact you. In my experience, builders that make false promises and fail to deliver a timely, comprehensive response have already demonstrated a lack of respect for their prospective client at the outset and their attitude rarely changes if appointed. After all, if they can’t be sufficiently organised to even price the work in time, what kind of service are they likely to provide thereafter?” n Next month, we will look at how to evaluate the tender responses n Paul Fowler provides building design services and can be contacted on 01622 730719

Design & Build Extensions New Homes Design Design & & Build Build Extensions Extensions New New Homes Homes

'Highly Commended„ in the 2010 FMB Master Builder of ‘Highly Commended’ in the 2010 FMB Master Builder of the Year Awards, ininrecognition of “outstanding quality 'Highly Commended„ the 2010 FMB Master Builder of the Year Awards, in recognition of “outstanding quality and excellent customer service” for a the craftsmanship Year Awards, in recognition of “outstanding quality craftsmanship and excellent customer service” for a period property the heart of Sevenoaks craftsmanship andextension excellent in customer service” for a period property extension in the heart of Sevenoaks period property extension in the heart of Sevenoaks


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Get some real inspiration this spring by visiting Jacksons Fencing’s three new show gardens, soon to be unveiled by celebrity gardener Joe Swift Show gardens that wouldn’t look out of place at Chelsea or Hampton Court are due to be displayed in all their glory after garden designers competed for a sought-after space in Jacksons Fencing’s show gardens. Three new show garden winners have been announced and there will be a timely ‘celebrity grand opening’ by TV celebrity gardener Joe Swift on May 21, just prior to the Chelsea Flower Show. The new gardens, which will be added to the four already in place, are designed as inspirational showcases for Jacksons and other top quality companies’ products, great for a visit to get ideas for your own garden and for anyone who’s never been lucky enough to go to the big garden shows. Marketing manager Louise Tomlin said: “I was even more impressed with the standard of the designs this year, so much hard work and thought had gone in to the designs and the presentation was amazing. We asked for quite a lot of detail, I thought, but many of the designers went beyond the call of duty.” The three winners include ‘The Fragrant Front Garden’ by Justine Jobson, ‘The Chill Out Garden’ by Helen Elks-Smith and ‘The Paradise

Garden’ by Mary Ann Le May. Justine was one of only two designers who thought to use a front garden as a theme, using Jacksons’ steel products to create a sophisticated and urban feel with beautiful, fragrant flowers. Helen’s garden focused on a space to relax, with a wild flower lawn, a hammock and even a foot bridge. The Paradise Garden, however, is not for the faint-hearted – it comes complete with five colourful water windows, ripples in the sand and a chute running down to a reservoir where the water is then recycled. The newest edition of Jacksons’ Good Fencing Guide is now published, which not only introduces Jacksons’ quality fencing and gates, but also features their Secret Garden Collection. The collection includes stunning structures such as pergolas, the zone shelter, trellis, decking and balustrade and Jakwall – Jacksons’ unique raised bed and walling system for the garden. All perfect inspiration for planning garden makeovers or refurbishments of your outdoor areas. n To visit the show gardens or to receive a free copy of The Good Fencing Guide call 0800 41 43 43 or visit

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n With the uncertainty of the current property market making it difficult to move up the housing ladder, more and more homeowners are looking to improve and invest in their current properties. A popular way of creating space and adding value is to install a glass extension, such as an orangery. Hampshire-based Glass Houses pays great attention to detail producing fine, bespoke timber conservatories, orangeries and pool houses with a timeless quality. The company is unusual in offering a fixed price up-front with a 10-year guarantee and full project management, from groundwork to final finishes, for customers in the south-east. “A well-designed conservatory or orangery will change the way you live,” says Jeremy Uglow of Glass Houses. “Not only do you gain extra living space and an abundance of natural light but you will have year-round views

of the garden to enjoy, even during the cold months.” Clients can take advantage of the exceptional value Glass Houses offers if they choose to replace their windows and doors to match their property’s glass extension. n Visit or call 01420 520009 April 2011 vine 49





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Newcomer Heather Appleton and renowned Chilstone of Tunbridge Wells will be causing a stir at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show, says Charlotte Luxford Alan Titchmarsh praised the ‘Christian Before Dior’ garden sponsored by Chilstone at last year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show and this year is set to be another triumph. The new garden will be created by award-winning garden designer Heather Appleton. Her innovative ‘urban’ design will comprise of a number of unusual features, including everything from vintage furniture to outdoor carpets, challenging the perception of ‘typical’ outdoor environments. While Heather is new to Chelsea, she has delighted many garden judges with her fresh take on the use of outdoor space. Her first design for the Harrogate Flower Show in 2006 won her a Silver-Gilt and the next year she was awarded Gold and Best in Show at RHS Tatton Park with her stunning ‘Bubble Garden’, followed by a string of other awards. However, Heather is modest about rising to success so quickly. She says: “I feel that show gardens are a window for the design world. They are

about the profession not the designer.” Keeping the busy urbanite in mind, she has created the ultimate space to unwind after a hectic day’s work. A specially commissioned Chilstone Garden House will take centre stage, supporting a suspended vintage 1970s Perspex Eero Aarnio chair. For ultimate relaxation, the garden is designed with a cool enigmatic pool, perfect for dipping your toes in to on a summer’s day with a glass of something chilled in hand. Conventional paving is replaced with a non-slip shag pile outdoor carpet – a first for a Chelsea show garden, designed especially for the unpredictable British weather. Cool coloured planting accentuates the chilled-out atmosphere of the garden with snowballs of alliums, cow parsley and Baltic parsley. Established in 1953, Chilstone has produced ornaments for some of the finest

English institutions, including Kew Gardens, English Heritage and the Royal household. The pieces are meticulously handmade in the company’s workshops, based in Chilstone’s 35-acre show gardens near Tunbridge Wells. n For more information call 01892 740866 or visit

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52 vine April 2011

A WELL DEFENDED In the second instalment of our three-part series on Hever Castle Golf Club, golf writer Henry Lord takes a swing and a prayer at Hever's very own ‘Amen Corner’


ever Castle Golf Club was born on a beautiful stretch of parkland belonging to its ancient namesake, blessed with the creation of some truly excellent golf holes: the challenging 18-hole Championship Course and the small, yet stately, ninehole Princes Course. The Championship’s opening holes skirt the perimeter of the club property and form a solid introduction. The round begins with a friendly downhill par four, helping to get play away and into the rich golfing country beyond. The 2nd is a clever two-shot hole with a fairway that bottlenecks towards the green, forced in from the right by trees and from the left by a small lake. This early introduction to water gives a taste of things to come; much like the nearby castle's moat, water plays a large part in the course's defences and features on over half of its holes. Standout moments on the front nine include the 5th hole with its picturesque green, heavily guarded by a gully stream; the short par-three 6th fringed by yet more water; and the long one-shot 8th playing from a raised tee across a swale to a high plateau green on the opposite side. Badly struck shots are normally deflected into one of the flanking greenside bunkers. Most notorious, however, is the run of holes on the

back nine from 11 through 13 – Hever’s answer to Augusta’s ‘Amen Corner’. The first of these is a great two-shot test of golf, with a fairway running downhill to a lake and stream that is dangerously in reach for big hitters. The rolling green lies elevated high beyond the water, shelved into the bank on the opposite side of the valley and calls for a heroic approach shot. The intimidation continues at the 12th, a short, pretty par three that from its high tee can look terrifying. The shallow green is framed by deep water to the front and right, while thick rough and hungry bunkers lurk behind. Only the correct club hit with belief will do. To round off this remarkable trio of holes is the 13th, a tight par four with water running along the entire left side of the fairway before a brook cuts across in front of its small raised green. As mature trees encroach the right-hand side of the fairway, two very accurate shots are needed if the green is to be hit in regulation. Despite being routed through impressive woodland, Hever Castle enjoys a feeling of spaciousness on most holes, and the greens, though subtle, feature clever slopes. There is no denying that the variety and quality of the layout make a round at this well-defended jewel highly recommended.

Amen Corner: The 12th is Hever's prettiest but most dangerous short hole.The tee view at the brilliantly protected par four 13th hole (above)

n For more information visit, call 01732 700771 or email mail@hevercastlegolfclub. April 2011 vine 53

Expert garden design and construction. Outdoor Creations deliver stylish and affordable gardens. From concept to creation, we produce the garden of your dreams. Our strong design ethos is at the heart of everything we do and we deliver even the most complex projects with exceptional quality and workmanship. Our garden designers will take into account your chosen style and how you intend to use the garden to put together an inspirational design that meets the criteria of your brief, budget and expectations. Over the years, our teams of experienced landscapers have completed hundreds of gardens to very exacting standards. We will work with you to create a beautiful and functional space tailored to suit your lifestyle. Call your local branch: Kent: 01732 844700 SE London: 0208 229 6326 54 vine April 2011

POSTBAG your letters

Dear Vine,


We’d love to know what you think of this month’s Vine. What did we get right? What did we get wrong? Send your 250-word review to Or you can post letters to Vine, 3a Lakeview Stables, St Clere, Sevenoaks TN15 6NL And for all the behind-the-scenes action, gossip and news from Vine HQ between editions, you can catch us on Twitter and Facebook...

Thank you so much for that fab review of the kids from Bullfrog doing RENT recently. I agree with you they were/are all amazing. I think it helped because they all know each other so well that they could pull off the rather difficult subject matter so brilliantly. They are all also ‘RENT-heads’ like yourself and have been itching to do this show for ages. Generally the senior students can’t show their true potential as the shows usually have to include all the little ones but, hey, they were all little once too. They are champing at the bit to do the show again so your review will go a long way to help promote it to various possible sponsors. I think it would be a great show to put in front of any sixth form. My daughter, Georgie, played Alexi Darling


and I thought she was the best answer phone machine ever – but then I am biased. She has been cast as Mrs Darling and a pirate in their next production Peter Pan at end May/beg June – but only in the East Grinstead shows as someone else is going to get the chance with the Sevenoaks cast – both of which I also hope you will help support. They are keen to raise enough funds for flying equipment for example. Many thanks again – and I speak for the whole cast and production team. The cast of RE NT Alison Drury, via email


Win two tickets to the Stag Cinema

Can you match up these Sevenoaks couples?

If this is you, walking through the High Street on Thursday March 24 2011, simply send us some form of photo identification and you’ll win 2 tickets to a film at The Stag Theatre. Aren’t we nice! And if you know who it is, make sure you tell them so they don’t miss out! Prize available until May 6 2011.

PLEASED TO MEET YOU Every month, we have a natter with one Vine reader

This month: Sascha Eden, 18, Rotherfield

What’s your favourite place in Sevenoaks? Knole Park, it is so beautiful in the summer and perfect for dog walking. Why do you like Vine magazine? I like the fact it makes recommendations of local restaurants so I don’t have to find out

the hard way which ones to avoid! I also like the variety of front covers, they are always so alluring. Your ideal way to relax would be: Riding my horse Minnie to the local pub on a summer’s evening for a non-alcoholic Pimm’s! If you were stranded on a desert

island, what three items would you take with you? An unlimited supply of cashew nuts, a ‘Mumford and Sons’ album and if Jude Law wasn’t available, some sun cream! If you’d like to be featured in this section, send a brief note to: or call 01732 760823

Answers on page 56

READERS’ PETS Here at Vine we love our pets and we know you do too! To see your pet featured send a picture to: April 2011 vine 55

WHAT’S ON? Art exhibitions n 07 Apr-07 May. Local Artists exhibition. Kaleidoscope Gallery, Sevenoaks Library, Buckhurst Lane, Sevenoaks. 01732 453118

of Ethiopia. Ship Theatre, Walthamstow Hall School, Hollybush Lane, Sevenoaks. Sevenoaks Decorative & Fine Arts Society 01883 625877, 01732 454575 www.

n 09-10 Apr. Knockholt Art Club exhibition. Coolings Garden Centre, Rushmore Hill, Knockholt. 01959 532269 www.

n 04 May. 19:30. Talk on Jamaica stamps. Red Cross Hall, Town Council Offices, Bradbourne Vale Rd, Sevenoaks. Free. Sevenoaks Philatelic Society 01892 529154

Arts & Crafts


n 05 Apr, 03 May. 19:00-21:00. Sevenoaks Visual Arts Forum. Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. 01732 450175 www.stagsevenoaks.

n 07 Apr, 05 May. 20:00. StandUp Comedy. Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. £14. 01732 450175 Outside the Box Comedy Club www.outsidetheboxcomedy. co.ukt

n 23-24 Apr. East Surrey Woodturners Exhibition & Craft Sale. Coolings Garden Centre, Rushmore Hill, Knockholt. 01959 532269 www. n 02 May. Friends of Stag event. Plaza Suite, Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. 01732 450175 www.

Bike Rides n 09 Apr. Bike ride to Wateringbury. Meet 09:30 Sainsbury’s café, Otford Rd, Bat & Ball. Sevenoaks CTC 01322 220212 n 17 Apr. Bike Ride to Lewes. Meet 08:30 Badgers Mount. West Kent CTC 01732 453823 www. n 23 Apr. Bike Ride to Yalding. Meet 10:00 Otford Pond. West Kent CTC 01689 852871 www. westkentctc.

Classes, courses & workshops n 15 Apr. 09:30. Floristry Workshop. Coolings Garden Centre, Rushmore Hill, Knockholt. £25 including lunch. 01959 532269 n 17 Apr. 10:0017:30. Floral Oil Painting Workshop. Sevenoaks. £47. www.paintwithrose.

Clubs n 14 Apr. 20:15. Talk on Landscapes, Legends & Archaeology

n 18 Apr. Stand-Up Comedy. Crown pub, Otford. £4.50. 07976 637804 www. n 29 Apr. Stand-Up Comedy. Wheatsheaf pub, West Malling. £10. 07976 637804 www.

Community n 06 Apr, 04 May. 10:30-12:00. ‘1st Wednesdays’ Business Networking Event. Plaza Suite, Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. Free. Chamber of Commerce 01732 455188 n 10 Apr. Sevenoaks Triathlon. Sevenoaks Triathlon Club

Dance n 12-16 Apr. Swan Lake ballet on ice. Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells. 01892 530613, 532072 www. assemblyhalltheatre. n 30 Apr-02 May. Dancing round the Maypole. Hever Castle near Edenbridge

Exhibitions n 01 Apr-07 May. Different Worlds of HG Wells exhibition. Sevenoaks Museum, Sevenoaks Library, Buckhurst Lane, Sevenoaks. 01732 453118

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes: Fleapit Cinema Club at Westerham Hall on Friday April 15 at 7.30pm

56 vine April 2011

The unrivalled Sevenoaks listings guide. n 04 May. Pram Race exhibition opens. Eden Valley Museum, 72 High St, Edenbridge. Free. 01732 868102

Mother’s Day

n 03 Apr. Mother’s Day. Oriental Buffet, 96 High St, Tonbridge. £6.45-10.95. 01732 361666


Fairs & galas

n 03 Apr. Mother’s Day. La Casa Vecchia Italian restaurant, 70 The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells. £19.99. 01892 544700 www.

n 23 Apr. 19:00. St Georges Day Gala. Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. Tickets £10, concessions £7.50. 01732 450175 www. Town Mayor in aid of Sevenoaks Area Youth Trust & Stag Charity n 30 Apr-02 May. 10:00-18:00. Kent County Fair. Hop Farm Family Park, Beltring near Paddock Wood. £12.80. 01622 872068

Swan Lake on Ice

Films n 05 Apr. 14:30, 19:45. Rebel without a Cause film. Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. 01732 450175 www.stagsevenoaks. Stag Film Club n 15 Apr. 19:30. Doors open 19:00. Gentlemen prefer Blondes film. Westerham Hall, Quebec Avenue, Westerham. £3.50. Fleapit Cinema Club 01959 561501

Gardening n 16-17 Apr. Alpine Society display. Coolings Garden Centre, Rush-more Hill, Knock-holt. £3. 01959 532269 www.coolings. n 17-18 Apr. 11:00-17:00. Spring Fling Plant Fair. Great Comp Garden, Comp Lane, Wrotham Heath www.greatcompgarden. n 28 Apr. 09:30. Behind the Scenes with our Experts. Coolings Garden Centre, Rushmore Hill, Knockholt. £3. 01959 532269 www.coolings.

History n 13 Apr. 19:30. Talk on Sea Britain. Community Centre, Cramptons Rd, Bat & Ball. Sevenoaks Area National Trust Association 01732 452607 n 21 Apr. 13:45-15:00. Talk on Priam’s Treasure - the Gold from Troy. Community Centre, Cramptons Rd, Bat & Ball. Knole Decorative & Fine Arts Society 01732 780453 n 28 Apr. 20:00. Talk on Ypres 1914-39 – holy ground of the British Army. Undercroft, St Nicholas Church, High St, Sevenoaks. £2. Sevenoaks Historical Society

n 03 Apr. Mother’s Day. Beacon Hotel, Tea Garden Lane, Tunbridge Wells. £27.50. 01892 524252 n 03 Apr. Mother’s Day Carvery Lunch. Hop Farm Family Park, Beltring near Paddock Wood. 01622 872068

Music – general n 20 Apr. Community Choir rehearsal. Church Hall, Kemsing

n 05-09 Apr. 19:30. Merry Wives of Windsor play. Sackville Theatre, SPACE Performing Arts Centre, Sevenoaks School. Tickets £12 (conc. £10) www. 01732 467765 www.sevenoaksschool. org/whats-on Sevenoaks Shakespeare Society n 07-09 Apr. 20:00. Two Weeks with the Queen play. Oast Theatre, London Rd, Hildenborough. Adults £8, students £5. 01732 363849 www.oast-theatre-tonbridge. n 18 Apr. 16:30, 19:30. The Vanishing Horizon play. Sackville Theatre, SPACE Performing Arts Centre, Sevenoaks School, Tonbridge Rd, Sevenoaks. Tickets £8. 01732 467765 www.


n 30 Apr. Robbie Williams tribute band. Donnington Manor Hotel, London Rd, Dunton Green. £29.99 including dinner. 01732 468510 www. n 21 Apr. 13:45-15:00. Talk on Priam’s Treasure - the Gold from Troy. Community Centre, Cramptons Rd, Bat & Ball. Knole Decorative & Fine Arts Society 01732 780453

Music – classical n 15 Apr. 19:30. Alan Adler ensemble concert. Pamoja Hall, SPACE Performing Arts Centre, Sevenoaks School, Tonbridge Rd, Sevenoaks. Tickets £6 (concessions £3). 01732 467765 whats-on n 16 Apr. 19:30. Purcell, Bruckner & Faure concert. St Martin’s Church, Brasted. Tickets from Sevenoaks Bookshop or Darent Valley Choir 01474 815591, 01959 523279 www. n 07 May. 20:00. London Conchord Ensemble. Tonbridge School. Adults £15, students £5. Tonbridge Music Club 01732 838698

Photography n 04 Apr. 20:00-22:00. Projected Image competition. Mencap Hall, 71 Hitchen Hatch Lane, Sevenoaks. Sevenoaks Camera Club www.sevenoakscameraclub. n 11 Apr. 20:00-22:00. Print competition. Mencap Hall, 71 Hitchen Hatch Lane, Sevenoaks. Sevenoaks Camera Club www.

To see your event here, email full details to Edited by Bob Carpenter. Guaranteed insertions cost just £35 + VAT. Call us today on 01732 760823.

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This summer you can enjoy all-singing, all-dancing entertainment at The Stag Theatre. Here is a selection of highlights from The Stag’s jam-packed What’s On guide this season, which includes Sevenoaks Summer Festival dates ST GEORGE’S DAY GALA Join the town mayor at this variety performance you will never forget. Stars from TV include comedian Terry Alderton, our lovable Panto villain, Graham Cole, dance sensation Twist & Pulse, soul singer Nate James, magician Kev Orkian and some of our top local performers who will wow you and have you dancing in the aisles. Taste our new Dragon’s Breath ice cream created specially for this fundraising occasion, commemorating our patron saint and The Stag’s second year anniversary.

THE STAG PREVIEW CARA DILLION Cara Dillon’s crystalline, angelic voice is an instrument of rare beauty, capable of melting the sternest of hearts. She has a rare, extraordinary talent that you only come across a handful of times in your life. She is an emotive and captivating performer at the very top of her field. n May 27, 8pm. Tickets £20.

DANNY SCHMIDT Austin, Texas-based singer/songwriter Danny Schmidt has rapidly ascended from underground cult hero to a widely recognised artist of generational significance. With lyrical depth drawing comparisons to Leonard Cohen, Townes Van Zandt, and Dave Carter, Danny is considered a pre-eminent writer and an artist whose earthy poetry manages to somehow conjure magic from the mundane.

n April 23, 7pm. Tickets £10, £7.50.

n July 2, Plaza Suite, 8pm. Tickets £12.


Cara Dillion

Described by The Guardian as “the finest instrumental duo on the traditional scene” and twice-winners of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Duo, Spiers and Boden have made the genre of spontaneous, punky English folk very much their own stomping ground. Loud, proud and with just a few acoustic instruments, they create a multitude of textures upon which they present traditional stories and dance music which have taken them onto the main stages of major festivals. n May 12, Plaza Suite, 8pm. Tickets £14.

CHANCE TO DANCE 2011 – SUMMER PERFORMANCES Chance to Dance has once again invited dancing schools to come together and perform on a professional-sized stage. This year we are pleased to include schools slightly further away who will be performing with us. n June 27-29, July 4-5, 7.30pm. Tickets £9, conc £8.

58 vine April 2011 David Schmidt

PETER PAN THE MUSICAL Peter Pan, like its namesake, is a tale which never ages. Children and adults alike have all fallen under the spell of Neverland, a place where children can fly and exciting, frightening adventures happen every day. The ever-popular characters are still there – Peter Pan, Wendy, the dastardly Captain Hook and his sidekick Smee, the Lost Boys, Nana the pet dog and, of course, that scary crocodile. n May 30, 31, 7.30pm. June 1, 3pm & 7.30pm Tickets £13, conc. £11, Family ticket £43

RUSSELL KANE LIVE! Winner of the 2010 Edinburgh Comedy Awards. Don’t miss this opportunity to see 2010’s winner of the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award and co-host of ITV2’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here NOW! A new You Tube sensation with his Beyoncé Knowle’s ‘Crazy in Love’ routine for Let’s Dance for Comic Relief, Russell will be performing a preview of his much anticipated, brand new show. “A seriously good comedian,” says The Times. n July 2, 8pm. Tickets £16.

AMY WADGE & PETE RILEY Amy Wadge is one of the country’s most successful female singer/songwriters. Her voice is simply amazing with breathtaking range and emotional impact and her songwriting continues to excel. Amy has teamed up on this tour with Pete Riley, a brilliant guitarist and singer who has performed throughout the world. n May 26, 8pm. Tickets £10.

THE YARDBIRDS By now, everyone knows the Yardbirds legend, if not their music – they were the bridge between the white R & B of early 60s London and the pastures of fuzz-toned psychedelia and power-chorded heavy metal of the 70s. Yes, the Yardbirds laid the groundwork for rock guitar as we know it. n June 11, 8pm. Tickets £19.50.

Peter Pan

Amy Wadge

GUYS AND DOLLS Sevenoaks Entertainers

SOUNDWAVES Soundwaves is a monthly night of live music for under18s, showcasing up and coming local talent. To register for our under-18s Soundwaves nights, which includes updates, offers and info please text “STAG1” to 60777. n June 3, 7pm. Tickets £2 or £4 on the door.

FLYAWAY KATIE – LONGNOSE PUPPETS Long Nose Puppets are back by popular demand! Flyaway Katie is an inspiring flight of fancy about the power of imagination based on the popular children’s book by Polly Dunbar with music by Tom Gray of Gomez. Katie is all alone and feeling grey. The birds in the picture on her wall look so colourful – if only Katie could be as bright as them, who knows what might happen? n June 18, 11am, 1pm, 3pm Tickets £1

Building on recent panto success, Sevenoaks Entertainers present this award-winning musical. Set in Times Square, Broadway, Guys and Dolls is a comic morality tale set to a hot jazz score, a love story filled with memorable songs punctuated by razor-sharp dialogue. It features an improbable mixture of Miss Sarah Brown, a Salvation Army girl, and Nathan Detroit, the operator of a floating crap game. Unforgettable numbers: include ‘Luck Be A Lady’, ‘If I Were A Bell’, ‘A Bushel And A Peck’ and ‘Sit Down You’re Rockin’ The Boat’. n June 22-25, 7.30pm. Tickets £12, £15, Family ticket £50 on the door. t: 01732 450175


01732 450175 April 2011 vine 59

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Holly Seddon has the last word



ould like to friends, one in particular I would call meet... women a firm friend. An absolute treasure; we or men, aged help each other out, our kids get along between 25 and we have a shared interest in tea and 45 for fun, and gossip. But that’s the exception, friendship and not the rule. definitely nothing more. Must have And it wasn’t a great love of music, GSOH and like eating, drinking, or a shared obsession with something mid-90s comedy references, precool or funny that brought us together. 2005 music and sitting around in No, we were up the stick at the same comfies. And maybe a little mutual time and our boys were born the babysitting.” day after each other. That’s the new There are no two ways about it, the shared interest, that’s the new glue: older you get, the harder it is to make parenthood. friends. Meanwhile, other friendships (with Sure, you make the ‘first name only’ friends you couldn’t have imagined friends, those listed in your phone as ever being prised from) flake away ‘Henry’s mum’ or ‘PTA until there’s little left seemed Jenny’, but when it comes Food, but dust. Friends whose You’ve got who essential piled to actual friendship, the you’ve got andup lives are so polarised pleasure cruise sailed a from your own that they on the conveyor unless you’re long time ago. You’ve seem to view yours like belt, thea)lady in either very got who you’ve got and a TV show, there to be the cashier’s hot unless you’re either a) critiqued and ridiculed. lucky or b) seat turned to my very lucky or b) one of And sometimes, those one of those those oddballs who can friendships become very husband and I oddballs who create a conga line out British battlegrounds, and said: “I don’t can create a of a funeral, you’re stuck where you nervously think with it. Or them. await the next catch-up congayou linetwo out look 25” I’m very fortunate because you know you’ll of a over funeral, to still have a brilliant be left either angry or you’re stuck network of friends that humiliated. with it. Or them I met through school, At school, these college and, in a handful tense exchanges – lit of cases, work. But they are literally by hormonal teenage touchpaper that: a network. About as scattered – would have exploded with a and hard to organise as the National playground cat fight or a series of Rail network in fact. We have a ridiculous handwritten notes. In your ‘Midlander’s Meet’ (guess where most 30s though, they fizzle out with an of the group live now) every summer alarming lack of fanfare. But what at our house. Without fail I spend the of the vacancy they create? Short of day afterwards sobbing and moping getting pregnant or joining a book around. club, I don’t know. I meet up with my oldest school As the old adage goes, you can’t friend (as in a 20-year-friendship choose your family, but you can not an octogenarian pal) every other choose your friends: you just have to month and spend the day after that find them first. grizzling about the 60 days I have to Holly Seddon runs the community site wait until the next time. I have been lucky to meet a couple Catch her on twitter too @hollyseddon of ladies locally who I would count as

62 vine April 2011


Opportunities for you – 2011 courses out now!

Would you like a fresh start this year? Do you want to make a difference to your life? Take a look at our new and exciting courses and see what’s on offer to you in 2011. Be inspired. Fulfil your dreams and discover your hidden talents. Don’t miss out. Enrol on a course today with Kent Adult Education

ENROL NOW! Telephone: 0845 606 5606 Website: Think again, look what you can experience with us! April 2011 vine 63


DESIGN d CONSTRUCTION d MAINTENANCE We offer a full garden design and build service. Our team of skilled designers, landscapers and horticulturists ensure that every project is carried out to the highest professional standards. From hard landscaping to planting schemes, our creative designers can transform any outdoor space into a living work of art, be it traditional or contemporary. Bespoke gardens are our speciality. For more information on any of our services or for a free consultation please call

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64 vine April 2011

Vine | April 2011 | Issue 46  

A monthly celebration of everything that's great about Sevenoaks. Full colour pages bursting with interesting, exciting and intelligent loca...

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