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ABSOLUTELY Blackheath & Greenwich

JUNE 2014 £3.95

GOLDEN WONDER

In the studio with jeweller Alex Monroe

ON YOUR BIKE

The ultimate local cycle route

HORTICULTURAL HOTSPOTS South East London's most glorious gardens

Step into

SUMMER S T Y L I S H . I N T E L L I G E N T. E L E G A N T. A B S O L U T E LY COVERS JUNE Greenwich 2014.indd 1

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Meet the property experts If you live in Greenwich, Blackheath, Lee, Westcombe Park (or any of the surrounding areas), it’s quite possible that you – or one of your neighbours – has bought or sold a property through us. Our success is built on the fact that many of our clients have either used us before, or were recommended by friends or family – in fact, 99%* of our clients said they would recommend us.

We have been established in the local area for nearly 40 years, and our managerial team have nearly 90 years industry experience between them. We have 25,493** people registered with us right now looking for property. Why not call us today for a free market appraisal from the property experts. Visit johnpayne.com for more information. *From over 270 clients reviewed via independent site, referenceline.com **accurate at 6th May 2014

Chris Wadeson Lee Manager 119 Burnt Ash Road, Lee SE12 8RA 020 8852 8633 lee@johnpayne.com

Pat McManamon Westcombe Park Manager 11 Stratheden Parade, Westcombe Park SE3 7SX 020 8858 6101 westcombe@johnpayne.com

Doug Norris Greenwich Manager 227 Greenwich High Road, Greenwich SE10 8NB 020 8858 9911 greenwich@johnpayne.com

Lee 119 Burnt Ash Road, Lee SE12 8RA 020 8852 8633 lee@johnpayne.com

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Richard O’Toole Blackheath Manager 1 Montpelier Vale, Blackheath SE3 0TA 020 8318 1311 blackheath@johnpayne.com

Westcombe Park 11 Stratheden Parade, Westcombe Park SE3 7SX 020 8858 6101 westcombe@johnpayne.com

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Belmont Hill, London, SE13 Guide Price £1,500,000 Freehold Occupying an impressive plot, this fine and elegant 1920’s five bedroom detached family house is conveniently located for Blackheath Village and internally offers a wealth of charm and character, a large, beautiful south facing garden and in-out drive and garage. Contact Blackheath Office on 020 8318 1311

Greenwich 227 Greenwich High Road, Greenwich SE10 8NB 020 8858 9911 greenwich@johnpayne.com

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Blackheath 1 Montpelier Vale, Blackheath SE3 0TA 020 8318 1311 blackheath@johnpayne.com

› › › › › ›

Five bedrooms Three reception rooms One bathroom Treble aspect reception Many original features EPC rating: D

johnpayne.com 12/05/2014 15:57


Suppliers and installers of Quality Wood Burning and Multi Fuel Stoves from traditional to contemporary. Fire baskets, Fire Screens, Companion Sets and Accessories.

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CONTENTS J U N E

2 0 1 4

7

EDITOR’S LETTER

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ABSOLUTELY LOVES Absolutely’s top picks this month

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CYCLE SPECIAL

Local route map

24

PROFILE

Alex Monroe talks memoir and making

C U LT U R E 11

WHAT’S ON

22

DRAMA ON DECK

June's diary

The Cutty Sark's reincarnation

STYLE 32

FASHION SHOOT Gilding the lily

INTERIORS 49

OPEN GARDENS

This summer's horticultural hotspots

53

IN TENTS

Our take on the bell tent bonanza

F O O D & T R AV E L 56

THOMASINA MIERS

Shares recipes from her new book

59

FOOD REVIEW

Chapters, Blackheath

61

TRAVEL: USA SPECIAL Tales from across the pond

PROPERTY 82

IN THEIR OWN WORDS

84

SPOTLIGHT

ON THE COVER ABSOLUTELY Blackheath & Greenwich

JUNE 2014 £3.95

GOLDEN WONDER

In the studio with jeweller Alex Monroe

ON YOUR BIKE

The ultimate local cycle route

HORTICULTURAL HOTSPOTS South East London's most glorious gardens

Step into

SUMMER S T Y L I S H . I N T E L L I G E N T. E L E G A N T. A B S O L U T E LY COVERS JUNE Greenwich 2014.indd 1

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Cover: Lickerish

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ABSOLUTELY MAGAZINES

ACTING EDITOR Pendle Harte ASSISTANT EDITOR Alexandra Jones EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Catherine Hales ADVERTISING ACCOUNT MANAGER Fay Williams COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR Gavin de Carle PROPERTY DIRECTOR Andy Elmer PROPERTY EDITOR Lucie Pearce ART DIRECTOR Ray Searle SENIOR DESIGNER Pawel Kuba PRODUCTION MANAGER Stewart Hyde MID WEIGHT DESIGNERS Gemma Isteed, Tahir Kapucu DESIGNERS Andrew Mavin, Ekrem Yilmaz JUNIOR DESIGNER Rebecca Noonan COPY CONTROLLER Christine Mann FINANCE DIRECTOR Alexandra Hvid FINANCE MANAGER Marianne McFadden DIRECTOR Alexandra Hunter DIRECTOR Greg Hughes MANAGING DIRECTOR Sherif Shaltout For editorial enquiries please email: info@zest-media.com For advertising enquiries please call 020 7704 0588 or email: advertising@zest-media.com Subscriptions are available simply by emailing marianne@zest-media.com You can receive an online subscription for FREE or a postal subscriptions for 12 months, ÂŁ30 respectively (to cover postage and packaging). Please email us with your preferred option and details. Published by ZEST MEDIA PUBLICATIONS LTD, 213 WESTBOURNE STUDIOS, ACKLAM ROAD W10 5JJ WWW.ZEST-MEDIA.COM T: 020 7704 0588 F: 020 7900 3020 Zest Media Publications Ltd. cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts and photographs. While every care is taken, prices and details are subject to change and Zest Media Publications Ltd. take no responsibility for omissions or errors. We reserve the right to publish and edit any letters. All rights reserved.

www.zest-media.com

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Ab sol u t ely Jun e 2014

Editor’s letter The soul cannot thrive in the absence of a garden,’ wrote Sir Thomas More, trusted Chancellor to Henry VIII (trusted, that is, until his unceremonious decapitation in 1535). And if that’s the case, space-starved Londoners must be a soulless lot. Well, north Londoners anyway, because here in South East we’re blessed with plenty of gardens and parkland. Not sure what to do with your own small plot? June is the perfect time to get inspired, thanks to so many green-fingered locals who are throwing open their gates to the public in aid of the National Gardens Scheme. There are literally hundreds of beautiful, usually private, gardens in our area for you to visit but turn to page 49 to find out which six we’ll be heading to in the coming weeks.

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @ABSOLUTELY_MAGS

EDS Letter_Greenwich June.indd 7

We’ve continued the outdoorsy theme with this month’s fashion spread, which puts a modern twist on florals, and have devised a South East cycle route that takes in all the best sites in the area. See the map on page 18 Of course, it wouldn’t be a summer issue without a nod to travel. This year we’re exploring the USA with city escapes to Miami and Las Vegas. Whatever you do this June though, head outside, if not for the good of your soul, then at least for the good of your suntan.

Pendle Harte Editor

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LOOK US UP There’s more to Cutty Sark than meets the eye

New for Easter 2014

, Meet the crew ps ho ks or w e creativ & family trails

Book now RMG.CO.UK/CUTTYSARK Members and Under 5s go free Cutty Sark

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Farrow & Ball Satchel The clever clogs at Cambridge Satchel Co. have created a limited edition range in Farrow & Ball's Stiffkey blue. Two British institutions come together and it is bea-u-tiful. From £115; cambridgesatchel.com

Roy Robson SS14 German car design is second to none and as it turns out, their clothes aren't bad either. Head to Raffles to pick up some seriously stylish togs care of premier German menswear designer, Roy Robson . 49 Montpelier Vale, SE3

Absolutely

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This eyecatching number from Joy is ideal for summer and will make checking the time a lot more fun (even if you are late). £55; joythestore.co.uk

Claire Swindale Scarf Look closely, do you recognise the bench printed on this eye-popping silk scarf? Local designer Claire has turned a humble Greenwich Park bench into a work of high fashion. We love! £125; claireswindale.com

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Butterfly Domes

Collections of butterflies in antique glass domes made to order

www.butterflydomes.co.uk butterflydomes@btinternet.com 07951 110147

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Ab sol u tel y Ar ts & Culture

DIARY J U N E

THE TRIALS OF OSCAR WILDE

14 May Greenwich Theatre

hursday 14 February 1895, the triumphant opening night of The Importance of Being Earnest and the zenith of Oscar Wilde's career. Four days later, he received a card from the Marquis of Queensberry accusing him of being a sodomite. Wilde took legal action against the Marquis who was arrested for criminal libel. The next few months saw Wilde go from prosecutor to defendant to disgraced prisoner in less than 100 days. Written with Merlin Holland (Oscar Wilde's grandson) the play is based on the original words as spoken in court. Crooms Hill, SE10; greenwichtheatre.org.uk

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BROMLEY DOGS' DAY OUT

7 June Mottingham Recreation Ground Dog-owners assemble! A fun day out for families and dogs alike, animal welfare will be there to offer advice and dog training tips, free dog micro-chipping and pet tag engraving. Court Farm Road, SE9; bromley.gov.uk

THINGS WE DO FOR LOVE

The Summer Fair 14 June Chislehurst Common

Its that time of year again, when we throw caution to the wind and put our faith in the British Summertime by erecting tents and staging fĂŞtes. Chislehurst is getting in on the action with their very own Summer Fair, organised by the Rotary Club of Chislehurst which will include all day entertainment featuring dance, music and theatre. A fairground and food and drinks tents will also be in evidence making this the perfect community event. Chislehurst Common, BR7; rotary1120.org/chislehurst

9 - 14 June Churchill Theatre Written by Alan Ayckborn and starring Aussie actress Natalie Imbruglia this bittersweet and well reviewed nineties comedy has stood the test of time and is well worth a watch. High Street, Bromley, BR1; atgtickets.com

OF LAND AND TONGUE

19 June Greenwich Dance Theo Clinkard's show goes from 'nuanced and detailed dance, to visceral and kinetic physicality that rips across the floor at the audience's feet.' The Borough Hall, Royal Hill, SE10; greenwichdance.org.uk

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Ab sol u tel y Ar ts & Culture

DOLLY PARTON

27 - 28 June The 02

hen asked by a journalist if she ever got tired of being labelled as a dumb blonde, Dolly Parton responded, ‘Honey, you know I ain’t dumb and I know I ain’t blonde.’ The Queen of Country, still going strong at 68, will be working 9 to 5 (actually, more like 6:30 to 8) at the O2 this June as part of her Blue Smoke World Tour. Peninsula Square, SE10; theo2.co.uk

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MATISSE CUT-OUTS

3 June Greenwich Picturehouse

I WISH I WAS LONELY

4 June The Albany

f audience participation sends you diving for cover, a trembling mass of jelly, then this is not the thing for you. I Wish I Was Lonely is a participatory show, exploring communication and the impact of mobile technology on our lives. It’s skilfully crafted and deeply thoughtprovoking – and probably the one show in Britain where you are asked to keep all mobile devices switched on. Douglas Way, SE8; thealbany.org.uk

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he new exhibition of Matisse’s iconic cut-outs has taken London by storm with people queuing for hours on end to catch a glimpse of some of the artist’s most famous work. If you don’t fancy the long lines but are still desperate to explore the exhibition, Curzon Cinemas will be screening a one-off live tour of the display at the Tate. Cinema audiences will be treated to an intimate, behind the scenes peek. 180 Greenwich High Street, SE10, picturehouses.co.uk

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HAVEN'T STOPPED DANCING YET 7 June Prendergast School et ready to don your lycra and leg-warmers, platforms and flares for an unashamedly retro evening of non-stop boogying to mark the end of this year’s Brockley Max festival with Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet! - the legendary local 70s & 80s soul, funk and disco night as featured on BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live. The ultimate 'old school' night marks the last night of the Brockley Max arts festival, which is making a welcome return from May 30th- June 7th after a year off. Hilly Fields, Adelaide Avenue, SE4; brockleymax.co.uk

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Ab sol u tel y Ar ts & Culture

MY SALINGER YEAR BY JOANNA RAKOFF

1996. Joanna Rakoff takes a job – her fi rst – at one of New York's oldest literary agencies. On her fi rst day, her boss – a commanding woman in her sixties who has been there for three decades – gives her a stern talk about someone named 'Jerry'. She is never to give out Jerry's address or phone number, or talk to reporters about Jerry, or to call him with questions. It is only then she notices an entire wall of books containing myriad editions of the works of J. D. Salinger that she realises it's that Jerry. This is a compelling coming-of-age story as well as an insight into a lost world of publishing. £16.99; Bloomsbury

ELIZABETH IS MISSING BY EMMA HEALEY

The lead character in this warm, engaging novel is an 80-year-old grandmother with dementia. However, this is a brilliantly written mystery as well as a thought provoking story of loss, of memory and identity. The story is told through Maud's unforgettable voice and she really is a very sweet and loveable person who you feel for and who will make you stop and think. Healey’s wonderful prose as the mystery unfolds humanises a condition most of us find incomprehensible and frustrating. £12.99; Penguin

Well Read JUNE'S SELECTION OF SENSATIONAL READS. ENJOY!

st mu ad e r

HER

BY HARRIET LANE This unsettling psychological thriller from the author of Alys, Always is surprising to the very end. Two women, two different worlds. Emma is a struggling mother who has put everything on hold. Nina is sophisticated, independent and entirely in control. When the pair meet, Nina generously draws Emma into her life. But this isn't the fi rst time the women's paths have crossed. Nina remembers Emma and she remembers what Emma did. But what exactly does Nina want from her? And how far will she go in pursuit of it? £12.99; Orion

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Reconciling safety with beauty and elegance

BY APPOINTMENT TO HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN MANUFACTURERS OF HATS PATEY (LONDON) LTD

Showjumping, Eventing, Dressage and Hunting The New Patey Corne Riding Cap is the first of Patey’s line of traditional riding caps to be certified and kitemarked by the British Standards Institution.

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The elegant and robust cap conforms to BSI EN 1384 standards, meaning for the first time ever a Patey cap will be available to Pony clubs worldwide. All of Patey’s riding caps are also approved by the MFHA, so your new Patey is ideal for hunting and competition riding.

08/04/2014 14:47


Ab sol u tel y Ar ts & Culture

GET ON YOUR

BIKE… With the Absolutely cycling special ILLUSTRATIONS BY LUCIE CONOLEY

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RIDE THE BLUE BRICK ROAD Absolutely has devised the ultimate cycle tour of South East London. Follow the blue brick road to visit the dinosaurs in Crystal Palace Park, the boating lake in Dulwich Park, the Horniman museum’s Aquarium, the Cutty Sark in Greenwich and then cycle south along Waterlink Way, riding the banks of the rivers Pool and Ravensbourne. What better way to spend a Sunday? LUCIECONOLEY.COM

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Summer time at Greenwich Market Love Your Local Market 2014 Fri 23, Sat 24 and Sat 31 May Pop by and support local young entrepreneurs. Art, craft, vintage and charity fund raising.

Park It in the Market Thurs 29 May 7.30pm to 10.30pm Classic car and bike meet in Greenwich Market. Street food and late-night shopping. Fun for all the family.

Gem of a Pop-Up Shop opens Sat 7 to Mon 30 June Three talented young jewellers open up shop in Nelson Road – winners of the Win a Gem of Pop-Up Shop for Jewellery Week 2014

Summer Fashion Show Wed 11 June 7.00pm It’s show time in SE10 – inspirational fashion and accessories hit the catwalk in Greenwich Market. Music, food and late night shopping.

Jewellery Market Quarter Sat 14 June A sparkling new quarter joins the food and craft traders to celebrate Jewellery Week 2014

Market opening times Seven days a week & bank holidays, 10am – 5.30pm

FRONT DOORS REINVENTED

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14/05/2014 16:27


Ab sol u tel y Ar ts & Culture

THEATRE REVIEW:

VENICE PRESERV'D

By Thomas Otway Directed by Charlotte Westenra Paynes & Borthwick Wharf

tyle over substance’ is a well-known expression that needs no explanation. ‘Substance over style’ is lesser-used but still equally selfexplanatory. Then there’s an expression that I am going to invent which goes like this: ‘substance with a style that doesn’t need its style.’ And it is this, which I would apply to Venice Preserv’d. Venice Preserv’d is an English Restoration tragedy, written by Thomas Otway in the 1680s. It tells the story of the noble, impoverished Venetian, Jaffier, who has secretly married the recently cut off Belvidera, Senator Priuli’s daughter. To get back at Priuli, Jaffier’s friend, Pierre, convinces Jaffier to enter into a plot against the senate of Venice; Pierre has bait with the senate too, for the corrupt Senator Antonio covets Pierre’s mistress, Aquilina, and pays her for sexual encounters. As the plot thickens, a destructive chain of events sparks leading to inevitably dire consequences (as you would expect from a right ‘n’ proper tragedy). If it were just about the performances of these fated characters, I would say the Spectator’s Guild’s production is strong. Ashley Zhangazha conveys Jaffier’s weak indecision with apt believability, while Ferdinand Kingsley’s lithe persuasiveness, as Pierre, would have had me signing away my spouse as collateral too. Similarly, Ayesha Antione

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(as Aquilina) wins the audience in the rather comical ‘Nicky Nacky’ scene, difficult to achieve as the absurd emasculatory roleplay of Antonio (Pip Donaghy) has the easier job of it. So yes, I liked the acting. The staging, however… The production is billed as an ‘immersive’ experience, but actually the more that happens the less you want to be involved in it. And that’s because you don’t really feel ‘immersed’. You are invited to imagine you are in Venice, with little plausible assistance. The Thames doesn’t become a Venetian canal because the production wills it to, nor does the courtyard of new housing development Paynes and Borthwick Wharf look anything like the surrounding vistas of Venice, because a makeshift scaffolding bridge has been scantily clad in a Venetian landscaped banner and plonked in the middle of it. The chorus that mill around, making eye contact with you as you wander the various locations watching the show, don’t make you feel part of the action but frightened of it; we’re British, and unless every other audience member is included in the singling out, we like to be left alone. When it rains and you’re watching the outside scenes in a poncho that takes you 10 minutes to get into, you feel like an idiot. And if you followed the show’s advice of dressing up, you also look like an idiot (I saw devil horns and even a clown suit). The performances were strong enough to have gathered acclaim through a traditional staging: proscenium arch, fourth wall, audience. As such, it would have been simply stellar. But the bells and whistles proved too noisy and distracting for me. And thus I left wishing this Venice Preserv’d would just ditch its style, to allow its more than ample substance to shine. By Edwina Langley

Until 8 June, Residents of Greenwich get tickets for £25 with proof of address. Other tickets from £35, Paynes & Borthwick Wharf, Deptford, SE8 3JF, 020 7193 7937; venicepreserved.co.uk

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KARINE POLWART

Ship

shape Since the terrible fire of 2007, the Cutty Sark has reinvented itself as an education space, a musuem and now a theatre. Pendle Harte hears the story from Richard Doughty, its Chief Executive

I had no mobile phone reception at home at the time,’ says Richard Doughty, recalling the events of May 2007. ‘I got a call on my landline at about 4.30am from a Radio 4 researcher asking me to comment on a fire at the Cutty Sark and my inclination was to disbelieve him. But when I leaned out of the window with my phone, the only way to get a signal, and saw all the messages and missed calls, the news was that the ship was alight from stem to stem.’ Immediately he

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set off, forgetting his train ticket and wallet in his haste, and had to beg a cab driver. ‘I said “Please take me to Greenwich, my ship’s on fire!” and from Deptford Creek you could smell the Stockholm Tar from the inside of the ship.’ It was a terrifying time. ‘The fire brigade let me stand on the burning deck to assess the wrought iron structure.’ Luckily, things weren’t as bad as they appeared. Much of the original ship wasn’t even there because over half of it had been dismantled and removed for

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Ab sol u tel y Ar ts & Culture

conservation work off-site. In the end, though the fire blazed for several hours, only around five per cent of the original ship’s material was lost. Public response was so intense that in the four days following the blaze, over two million pounds appeared in donations from all over the world, and over the next six years the ship underwent a huge £50 million refurbishment project. ‘It was dismantled, conserved and put back together,’ explains Doughty. And now the ship’s future is altogether different. A new focus on sustainability and earning its keep has resulted in the stylish – though controversial – new raised dock that leaves the ship apparently resting on a glass structure, with much of the museum underneath it. The resulting space is used to house an education centre and a café, offering more scope for visitors and allowing for a more immersive approach to the ship’s history. And at the beginning of this year, the ship unveiled its own 80-seat theatre in the lower fold. ‘From day one there was the idea to have a performance space,’ explains Doughty. And when one of the trustees, theatre producer Michael Edwards,

suggested they do it properly, a fully-fledged plan to use the ship ‘when it would otherwise be dark,’ evolved. Now named the Michael Edwards Studio Theatre, the intimate space (flanked by original teak planks that travelled to the South China Seas and back) has already attracted a new demographic to the ship. Over half of the audience for Ross Noble’s sell-out shows hadn’t visited before at all. So far the programme has featured comedy with Noble, Alan Davies and Richard Herring, as well as Griff Rhys Jones talking about his love of wooden ships, music from the Trinity Laban Conservatoire and various folk music performances. There are plans for acclaimed folk singer Karine Polwart to write some material inspired by the Cutty Sark after her performance sold out in two hours and another programme of character-based events is in development – the ship’s cook is set to tell his story alongside the original owner and builder telling his. The ship celebrates its 145th birthday this November, so expect more events then.

ALAN DAVIES

The intimate space (flanked by original teak planks that have travelled to the South China Seas and back) has already attracted a new demographic to the ship

Rmg.co.uk/cuttysark

GRIFF RHYS JONES

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Natural

treasure Alexandra Jones meets jeweller and South East Londoner, Alex Monroe to talk nature, memoir and the art of making

he day that I meet Alex Monroe is one of those that makes you really rather glad to be in London. One of those hazy sunny days in spring that is crispy but not too cold, where rays follow you from behind buildings and your shadow wobbles long over cobbled streets. We bump into each other outside Alex Monroe HQ, a pretty, oddly shaped, rabbit den of a building that houses the shop (think: glinting trove of loveliness, stacked with display cases of gold and silver jewellery), a workshop, various small offices, a meeting room and a roof terrace. He is locking up his bike and I am running late thanks to a delayed overground train. During the course of our chat he explains that it is the only way he travels, brushing off my jitteriness: ‘you just have to be careful, you know? Don’t do stupid things like ride with earphones, people who do that shouldn’t be allowed on the road.’ And assures me that when you cycle regularly you realise ‘how seldom it rains. Actually I prefer cycling in the rain,’ he adds conspiratorially. ‘All the other buggers stay at home.’ Much taller than I’d imagined (in my head I had pictured a delicate jeweller stooped at a workbench, squinting through a monocle: a miniature man, working in

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miniature), Monroe is gregarious, loquacious and expansive in his compliments of his staff. And despite being a creative, an artist, he talks about most things as about cycling, with a blithe practicality. He explains, for example, that he became a jeweller because when he tried to be ‘arty’ and to get work into galleries, he realised it would never make him any money. ‘I made some earrings and I sold them to a shop. They gave me sixty quid; I remember it was a cheque. I cashed it, went to the pub and had a few pints and some curry sauce and chips. I drank and ate that night and I thought, well this isn’t rocket science, I can make stuff and sell it.’ It is fitting then, that his memoir, a wonderfully readable 240 pages entitled Two Turtle Doves: A Memoir of Making Things was never really meant to be anything so fanciful as a memoir. Rather, it was meant to be an exploration of the thought processes of a maker, taking the reader through the rich webs of inspiration, from those first intangible sparks, through layers of design and re-work, to the final shiny product. ‘I’ve read books

that have transported me to the world of a sailor or a sportsman or a housewife or a gardener or a chef,’ explains Monroe. ‘I love Nigel Slater’s Toast, that really let me into the mind of a foodie, of someone who lives through food. But I’ve never read a book that transported me into the world of a maker. The bits of memoir were just supposed to…support that.’ On both counts the book is a huge success. And no, I’m not being unnecessarily complimentary when I say this. On the one hand the reader is invited behind the curtain, to see how his work comes into being. We find out, for example, how the bee necklace – now wildly popular, Monroe’s calling card, even – was carved from a solid silver rod, how he added textures, how he soldered on the legs and delicate wings. On the other hand, the reader is given a glimpse into the whys of each object’s creation, through anecdotes from his own past as well as family history. The fact that his past – growing-up in an ‘un-parented’, ramshackle household, semi-wild in Suffolk – is particularly book-worthy certainly helps. All is described with great lucidity and the two

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Greenwich 135 Creek Road, SE8 3BU, Tel: 0208 6923148 Orpington 247 High St ,BR6 0NY, Tel: 01689 898923 Also find us in: Norwich ,Braintree, Chelmsford, Watford, Southend ,Leigh on sea, Tonbridge ,Maidstone, Canterbury, Basildon, Romford and in-store at Harrods Cycles UK_July 2012.indd 1

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Ab sol u tel y Ar ts & Culture

Aquamarine ring, £1,200

Bumblebee, £150

modes (making and memoir) run together seamlessly to create a finished product that has that rare quality which makes you desperate to keep reading on, despite telling yourself that ‘no, you must go to bed at the end of this chapter.’ When I ask how it feels to have the book so well received (I read him a quote from The Spectator’s review: ‘a highly-wrought achievement...it’s difficult to think of a text that better describes the way in which lived experience is translated by high craftsmanship into art’) Monroe bristles happily. ‘It’s really, just, well, it’s brilliant. The thing is, it’s so much bloody work, writing a book!’ Monroe’s regular writing hours were between 9pm and 2 or 3am each night, after which he would wake-up at 7am each morning to go to work. ‘I wrote ten times more than ever made it into the book,’ he admits. ‘It was exhausting.’ But he would write another one? ‘Oh yes, I have some ideas, maybe a fiction but still centred around the workshop, it’s all I know really.’ As well as another book, Monroe mentions that he’s thinking of getting a business qualification, a degree of some kind, to brush up on the nuts and bolts of managing a business, the bits that, he explains, don’t come so naturally to someone who, if you cut him in half, would be a maker through and through. Here again Monroe’s practical side is much in evidence. So too when he attributes his success as a jeweller to the fact that, when he was starting out, instead of making the highly conceptual, minimalist pieces that were in vogue in the late 80s and early 90s, he decided instead to make pretty, wearable, whimsical jewellery that he knew would be more widely popular. This made him a name in foreign markets, Japan in particular, but for a while not so much at home. And from reading his memoir you get the sense that, had his up-bringing not been quite so poor, had this not made it necessary for Monroe

Bunch of Keys, £180

Gingerbread Man, £180

Peacock Earrings, £174

Teeny Tiny Bee, £465

‘...if I see a photo of Northern Canada, where there isn’t a human being within a thousand miles, I just long to be there.’

to be quite so practical, his knack for keeping an eye on the commercials of the business might have been subsumed by the artist in him. And he is an artist. A fact that is never more obvious than when he talks about his relationship with nature, the obsession with which has been the driving force for so much of his work. ‘I think it’s in the blood. I cycled Land’s End to John O’Groats with a couple of mates a couple of years ago and they were driven to distraction: I would just stop every two minutes because I thought I’d heard a particular cricket or I’d be half in a hedgerow, picking leaves. I always, always press flowers, which isn’t a particularly macho thing to do! They kept going ‘oh mate, what’re you doing?!’ because there we were, three blokes on bikes and I’d be like ‘Oooh! There’s a primrose, let’s stop for it!’ ‘Some people love Glastonbury,’ he explains. ‘They get excited by the idea of ten million people, all sitting in a field. If I even see a photo of Glastonbury I start to break out in cold sweats. But if I see a photo of Northern Canada, where there isn’t a human being within a thousand miles, I just long to be there. There’s almost a need to be a part of that kind of boundless nature.’ Here, I think to myself, I have found the part of Monroe that is not even a bit practical. Here, I think, I have found the topic that best brings to the surface his artistic soul: the wilds of nature speak to his most creative self. ‘But then, the trouble is, you can’t have that and have a nice decaf latte, so when the weather’s like this,’ he gestures round ‘you can’t beat London, really.’ Or maybe not.

Two Turtle Doves: A Memoir of Making Things £16.99, Bloomsbury

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FULL PAGE.indd 2

03/04/2014 16:31


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PHOTO FINISH CATCH THE CAMERAS THIS MONTH WITH OUR TOP PICKS TO WEAR TO THE RACES

OUTFIT 01

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OUTFIT 02

OUTFIT 03

TED BAKER Feabee dress, £199; tedbaker.com

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Gilding the

Lily

Add an edge to the season's florals with voluminous shapes and metallic finishes Photography: James Lucas Styling: Emma Savill

Fashion Shoot_JUNE.indd 32

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Emma Vivian top, £250 Topshop Unique skirt, £42 Vintage braclets, stylist's own

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M&S floral shirt, £35 Beulah Iris trousers, £250 Emma Vivian leather jacket, £680 Topshop earrings, £8.50

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Beulah bisque rose gold oil print dress, price on application Zara wedges, £70 H&M jacket, £39.99

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Topshop jumper, £70 Emma Vivian skirt, £280 Zara leather bag, £80 & Other Stories shoes, £45 Topshop socks, £3.50

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Emma Vivian dress, £380 Vintage beaded bag, stylist's own Emma Savill London necklace, £120 Topshop earrings, £8.50

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Blue dress Hana Beulah, £420 Topshop necklace, £10 Zara hat, £19.99 Anklet Topshop, £6.50

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Beulah cameo orchid jacket, £495 Topshop shirt, £35 H&M skirt-dark pink, £29.99 H&M skirt-light pink, £34.99 Topshop anklet, £6.50 Orelia horseshoe earrings, £10 Nike trainers, £62

STOCKISTS Beulah; beulahlondon.com Emma Savill London; emmasavill.com Emma Vivian; emma.vivian@outlook.com H&M; hm.com M&S; marksandspencer.com Nike; nike.com Orelia; orelia.co.uk Topshop; topshop.com Zara; zara.com/uk & Other Stories; stories.com

Fashion Shoot_JUNE.indd 39

Photographer: James Lucas Styling: Emma Savill Model: Lidiia at Leni’s Model Management Makeup & Hair Stylist: Alice Oliver using Bobbi Brown and Bumble and Bumble Production: BeautyandPro.com

14/05/2014 12:27


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Ab sol u tel y Health & B eauty

1 NARS Contour Blush in Olympia, £30; narscosmetics.co.uk

3 bareMinerals Warmth All Over Face Cover, £19; bareminerals.co.uk

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2 Benefit Sun Beam Golden Bronze Complexion Highlighter, £19.50; benefitcosmetics.co.uk

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14/05/2014 10:59 14/05/2014 16:30


Ab sol u tel y Health & B eauty

The perfect

fit

Ellie Brown of Greenwich Runners offers some ideas on getting fit with the kids this summer

hose of us who have a passion for health and fitness tend to be a bit evangelistic about it – and rightly so! After all, it’s not just about keeping yourself active but also about encouraging your family and friends to stay fit. The benefits of regular exercise are well known: it improves balance, coordination and strength while also developing and maintaining flexibility. But it’s not just adults who need to improve these skills; they’re just as important for children’s physical and mental development, so they need to hone them too. Adults play a crucial role here, since it is also well known that parents and carers are role models in encouraging their children to be active – so finding activities you can do together is key. The question is, what does regular exercise mean? The government recommendation is for children and young people to participate in 60 minutes of physical activity every day, ranging between ‘moderate-intensity activity’ and ‘vigorous-intensity activity’ such as fast running and tennis. Three days a week, they should also engage in ‘musclestrengthening activities’ (such as push-ups) and ‘bone-strengthening activities’ (such as running). School-age children will be doing a lot of this at school but with half-term and the summer holidays fast approaching, it may be a good time to gather a handful of ideas that family and friends can participate in together.

Let's start with one of the sports that has continued to inspire since our success at the 2012 Olympics. Cycling has become hugely popular, with potential Chris Hoys leaping onto saddles all over Britain. Finding cycle paths is not always easy, but the Thames Path is a natural cycle route, taking in many of the Olympic ‘legacies’. To access the greener belts, Map My Run offers great cycle routes around the area of Chislehurst and Bromley. And if you feel a little more adventurous, the forest trails at Bedgebury Pinetum, Kent, are a must. Swimming is a great way to stay strong and fit, but swimming outdoors is much more fun than swimming indoors. The newly refurbished Charlton Lido has swimming lanes for the serious swimmer alongside leisure areas and a designated children’s pool, which makes swimming there an activity that appeals to all. There may be fewer lidos now than there were in the 1950s, but the Brockwell Lido in Herne Hill is another popular destination. Tennis requires agility and coordination, both of which can be

learnt at Bromley Tennis Centre, which offers quality tennis activities for players of all abilities in the local community. If you want to just pick up a racquet and give it a go, the Rangers courts and Zenith Tennis, both in Greenwich Park, are great places to go, with courts being booked out by the hour. The Bolt/Farah phenomenon continues to draw more and more people to athletics clubs. The local clubs (Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC, Cambridge Harriers and Kent AC) offer training for adults and youngsters alike in all the athletics disciplines. Finally, at Greenwich Runners we now hold a family fitness session in Greenwich Park every Bank Holiday Monday and every Monday of the school holidays. These sessions are incredibly popular and bear out the truth of the point, made above, that children do love exercising with their family and friends. Those targets of 60 minutes a day might seem a bit of a stretch, but remember: the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. greenwichpilates.co.uk/greenwichrunners

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iss may.indd 2

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Ab sol u tel y Kids & Educ ation

Monsoon's gorgeous children's swimwear range includes these gorgeous two-pieces with just a hint of a frill. monsoon.co.uk

Little miss Anyone who noticed the Biscuiteers Willy Wonka installation in the window of Waterstones in Greenwich will love the new Mr Men range from the cleverest biscuit bakers in town. biscuiteers.com

st mu ve ha

Young at Heart

Mini Rodini's fabulous giraffe print collection spans swimwear, tops and this darling dress; £33; minirodini.com

ENTERTAINING THE AREA'S TINIEST

or’s e d it ck i p The children of Greenwich are being taught the tricks of the trade in a new series of magic lessons at the Greenwich Theatre . The Simply Told magic school is the brainchild of SE10's Jon Armstrong. Sign them up fast. greenwichtheatre,org.uk

The lovely people at Anorak have brought out their third Happy Activity Book, packed with beautiful illustrations, quirky activities and stylish things to colour in. £5, anorakmagazine.com

Fans of Tom Gates have ben eagerly awaiting the seventh installment and A Tiny Bit Lucky proves to be everything they were hoping for. £10.99, Scholastic

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Ab sol u tel y Kids & Educ ation

GODOLPHIN AND LAYTMER IN HAMMERSMITH DECLARES ITS THRESHOLD FOR BURSARY APPLICATIONS IS £100,000

NUMBERS GAME Schools are bending over backwards to offer bursaries to the bright but broke. But, as Amanda Constance discovers, finding out if this means you is an altogether trickier question our child is bright but you are broke, or at least you think you are. Does this mean a private education is out of your reach? Not necessarily. The good news is that private schools are offering more assistance with fees than ever before. The difficulty is in trying to work out if you qualify for any help. Susan Hamyln, Director of the Good Schools Guide Advice Service, says that, in the past few years, she has seen such an ‘explosion in demand’ from parents investigating bursaries that the GSG has now set up a dedicated Scholarship and Bursaries Service to help parents navigate a confusing system. One of the first questions she is always asked is: ‘Do we qualify for help?’ The answer, frustratingly, is that it depends. ‘What qualifies you for a bursary

Y

in London is different from the rest of the country,’ says Hamlyn. ‘Broke in London is far richer than broke in Yorkshire.’ Bursaries are certainly more plentiful than they were. The recent census from the Independent Schools Council (ISC) trumpeted that more than one third of private school pupils now receive assistance with fees, the amount of relief rising by 5.6% in the last year. This is partly because schools are bending over backwards to justify their charitable status with the Charities Commission. As Barnaby Lenon, former head of Harrow and now chairman of the ISC explains, there has been a drift away from providing scholarships to bright children to providing bursaries for the less well-off. So what about Londoners; do the capital’s day schools offer decent bursaries, too?

Hamlyn says the general rule is that the richer the school the better the bursary, which is why the older public schools can seem extremely generous. Hamlyn established the Scholarships and Bursaries Service following a talk by Tony Little, headmaster of Eton, about making public school education open to the most disadvantaged children. Most schools make it clear that bursary applications are treated on a case-by casebasis. It’s not simply income that affects fees assistance but the value of your house, car, investments, even holidays. In collating what information is available into a central resource, the GSG has uncovered a huge disparity in provision. If you want a bursary at City of London School, for example, don’t bother applying if your gross household income is more than £45,000. Ditto Lady Eleanor Holles, where an income in excess of £50,000 is unlikely to qualify for assistance. In contrast, Godolphin and Laytmer, once proud of its assisted-places scheme but now popular with the offspring of oligarchs, declares its threshold for bursary applications is £100,000. Most schools, such as Latymer, St Paul’s Girls, Dulwich College, King’s College School and UCS state that bursaries are offered

on the basis of a student’s performance in entrance exams and interviews. And there’s the rub with bursaries. Applications for fee assistance can only be made after your child has been through the rigorous academic selection process. Only the most academically able will be offered a bursary, as schools can cherry-pick the best and competition in London is especially fierce. Hamlyn cautions that she frequently deals with the parents of a bright child who contact her with a view to getting a bursary but whose income renders them ineligible. Nevertheless, they put their children through the entrance exams for academically selective schools, only to find they don’t qualify for a bursary, can’t afford the fees, and the process has been in vain. ‘That’s an awful position to put a child in,’ Hamlyn says. ‘If you do look at highflying academic independent schools with your eye on a bursary, you must be very clear with your child that you are taking a chance and you need a good state school as a back-up,’ Hamlyn adds. ‘Be realistic about your child. Just because he or she is in the top 10% at their state primary, doesn’t mean they will cut it in some of the most selective academic independents.’ This can be squeamish territory for the middle classes. We might joke over dinner about how rich, or poor, we are but we rarely like to lay bare the numbers. Our hopes, fears, pride and status are all tied up in where our kids go to school. But with independent education beyond most salaries, there is less of a stigma now on asking for help. And, who knows, you might be able to get your child the very best education money can buy. The Good Schools Guide Advice Service, 020 3286 6824, goodschoolsguide.co.uk or email advice@goodschoolsguide.co.uk

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www.bronzewoodlondon.com BRONZEWOOD.indd 1

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Ab sol u tel y H ome & Garden

In the

OPEN

EACH YEAR THOUSANDS OF PRIVATE GARDENS THROW THEIR GATES OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AS PART OF THE NATIONAL GARDENS SCHEME, IN THE NAME OF RAISING MONEY FOR SOME VERY WORTHY CHARITIES. THERE ARE HUNDREDS TO CHOOSE FROM IN SOUTH EAST LONDON BUT HERE ARE 6 OF OUR FAVOURITES

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41 Southbrook Road,

LEE, SE12 8LJ

What to see: This large South East London garden has been lovingly developed over 10 years. It has a formal layout, wide mixed herbaceous borders packed full of colour and interest. The garden is surrounded by mature trees, framing sunny lawns, a central box parterre and an Indian pergola. The ancient pear trees, survivors of the orchards which once surrounded the Manor House, are festooned in June with clouds of white ‘Kiftsgate’ and ‘Rambling Rector’ roses. You can spot fishes and damsel flies in the two lily ponds and discover many places to sit, including a small classical garden building, the perfect spot to relax and enjoy home-made tea and cakes. When to go: Sun 15 June (2pm-5.30pm). Visitors also welcome by appointment June to Aug (2pm-5:30pm). Admission £3.50, children free

White Cottage, Crockenhill Road,

KEVINGTON, BR5 4ER

What to see: Traditional box, clipped hedging and reclaimed materials give structure to this informal garden surrounding a Victorian gardener’s cottage. Colour themed beds contain grasses, perennials, shrubs and fruit trees. There is a small but productive vegetable garden, a pond, rare chickens and bees. Wildlife promotion is a priority. There are plenty of places to sit and enjoy the garden. Produce for sale. When to go: Sun 8 June (2pm-5.30pm). Visitors also welcome by appointment May to Sept. Admission £4, children free

22 Kelsey Way,

BECKENHAM, BR3 3LL

What to see: Multiple-award-winning garden. Colourful herbaceous borders with many tropical plants including bananas, colocasias, alocasias, cannas and several different varieties of brugmansias. Displays of potted plants and a conservatory with a magnificent bougainvillea. Extensive and varied vegetable garden with a large fruit cage. When to go: Sun 8 June (2pm-5.30pm). Admission £3, children free

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Ab sol u tel y H ome & Garden

Tewkesbury Lodge Garden Group

FOREST HILL, SE23 3DE

What to see: These four very different hillside gardens are within a short walk of each other with spectacular views over London and the North Downs. Discover a sculptor’s creative courtyard ‘container’ garden crammed with unusual plants and the artist’s sculptures and ceramics (for sale). A small SE-facing garden has borders with rich colours within formal outlines to complement a modern extension, plus mini meadow and a tranquil vegetable garden, with seating, greenhouse and compost area. The front garden of another, inspired by Beth Chatto’s Dry Garden, has stunning borders in soft mauves, yellows and white, interspersed with drifts of red and purple poppies. A hilltop country garden is in two sections, with deep informal flower borders under mature trees, raised vegetable beds, a fruit cage, greenhouse, chickens, and wildlife areas to encourage diversity. When to go: Sat 31 May (5pm-8pm); Sun 1 June (2pm-6pm). Evening admission (combined) £7, children free

35 Camberwell Grove,

CAMBERWELL, SE5 8JA

What to see: Plant-packed 120ft x 20ft garden with charming backdrop of St Giles Church. Evolved over 29 years into a romantic, country-style garden brimming with colour and overflowing with pots. In June, spectacular roses stretch the full length of the garden, both on the artist’s studio and festooning an old iron staircase. The artist’s studio is open and Lynette (who has earned her living by pen and brush throughout her life) has painted the garden obsessively for the past 20 years. When to go: Sun 8 June (12pm-6pm). Admission £3.50, children free

212 Langley Way

WEST WICKHAM, BR4 0DU

What to see: Not your average suburban back garden! Enter through an old oak door, go under a brick arch into a cool white courtyard garden. In contrast, [there you’ll find a] fiery Mediterranean terrace with a marble fountain, fish, and a pergola with vines. [This is a] natural cottage garden, [with a] tree house in rainforest garden, vegetable area with raised beds, greenhouses, fruit trees and chickens. Everything is grown organically with emphasis on wildlife. When to go: Sat 14 & Sun 15 June, Sat 23 & Sun 24 Aug (11.30am-5pm). Admission £3, children free For more info and a comprehensive list of open gardens go to ngs.org.uk

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14/05/2014 10:39


Ab sol u tel y Home & Garden

Perfect pitch Most people would never consider pitching a tent in their back garden. Why not? asks Pendle Harte, who has discovered a stylish outdoor shelter

HERE'S HOW WE'VE USED IT

As a spare room More guests than you have beds for? Put them in the garden. Even if you do have enough beds indoors, why not put them in the garden anyway?

As a party room You’re having a riotous party, but some guests need somewhere to chill out. Fill the tent with cushions and fairy lights and everyone will move inside it, guaranteed.

As a smoking den Smokers love nothing more than huddling together to share fumes.

As a playroom What child can resist a play tent? Fill it with toys and sweets and they’ll be entertained for hours.

As a garden studio Instead of a bed and cushions, install a desk and chairs. Make sure your wifi signal is strong enough, and say hello to your own home office.

As a rain or sun shelter Rain again? Zip up the door and you’ll be safe. Heatwave? Roll up the sides and the tent becomes a floating sun shade.

ast year, we went to Bestival and didn’t take a tent. For us there was no lugging equipment from car to pitch; no time wasted setting up camp and no sweating over ropes, poles and pegs. Instead, we rocked up to Hotel Bell Tent, confirmed our reservation, and fell in love with our beautiful five-metre canvas palace. For comfort and style, there’s no competition. Festival or campsite, tent life doesn’t have to be about sweaty synthetics and garish colours – the spacious canvas option wins hands-down for aesthetics as well as practicality. A bell tent is easy to pitch, waterproof and it looks pretty too. So now we’ve stayed at the hotel, the obvious next step is to acquire our very own bell tent. But is it worth it if we’re only going to Port Eliot? And will it create a storage problem for the rest of the year?

L

Not according to Bell Tent UK's Tobyn Cleeves, one of the country’s most charismatic bell tent enthusiasts, responsible for kicking off the trend in 2006. He reports more and more enquiries from people wanting bell tents not to take away, but to put up at home, in their London gardens. And the more I think about it, the more sense it makes. Because what lovelier view from a window than a bell tent decked out in bunting and tea lights, filled with cushions, rugs and throws and kept toasty by a wood burner? And what better way to make use of your garden, rain or shine? As long as you have a patch of grass big enough to take a four or five metre tent (remembering the extra couple of metres all round for ropes) and the vision to transform your garden into a magical and useful space, you could pitch one for a weekend or the entire summer.

ACCESSORIES BUNTING

Bell tents and related equipment is available at belltent.co.uk

You need this. There’s a vast selection at dotcomgiftshop.com. We like the spotty stuff, £12.99

POUFFES

THROWS

The more the better. Try the Donna Wilson Field Day throw, £225, scp.co.uk

For a Moroccan-inspired look try these in all colours, including gold, £74.99, moroccanbazaar.co.uk

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Westcombes Fireplaces and Stoves From Inspiration to Installation The area’s biggest selection of stoves and fires on show - spring offers now available. South East London’s only HETAS-approved retailer for stoves and fires.

Open Monday- Saturday 10am - 6pm

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Lordship Lane Carpets East Dulwich

131 Lordship Lane SE22 8HU 020 8693 8728

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As featured in BEST FLOORING SHOPS IN LONDON 24/04/2014 14:30

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Ab sol ut ely In ter iors

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Abs o lu t ely Xx x x x

Little lime possets with chillitamarind curd hese indulgent pots have an ethereal lightness and an addictiveness that I put down to the classic Mexican flavour combination of sour tamarind and hot chilli. The silky, slightly spicy tartness of the curd contrasts beautifully with the creamy underneath. What is more, you can make everything the day before.

T

FEEDS 6: 500ml double cream • Juice and zest of 5 large limes • 150g golden caster sugar • 1 tsp vanilla essence FOR THE CURD: 1 medium egg plus 3 medium yolks • finely grated zest and juice of 3 limes • 4 tbsp tamarind paste • 130g caster sugar • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes • 150g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

SPICE GIRL Thomasina Miers’ new book is all about the chilli. Here’s a taster

1 To make the posset, put the cream, lime zest, caster sugar and vanilla essence in a pan and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Lower the heat and leave to bubble for a few minutes, stirring from time to time. Whisk in the lime juice then remove from the heat. Sieve the hot cream into 6–8 glasses and chill in the fridge. 2 To make the curd, whisk the eggs, lime, tamarind, sugar and chilli together in a saucepan over a low heat, then add the butter, one cube at a time. Let the curd cook for 10–15 minutes, stirring regularly, until it is thick and custardlike, but at the first sign of the mixture erupting with a ‘plop’ remove from the heat. 3 Strain the curd through a sieve into a clean bowl and allow to cool. Spoon a layer of the curd over each of the set possets, return to the fridge and leave to set overnight. I love to serve these with [an] almond biscotti...and a glass of pudding wine or aged tequila.

TIP: This batch of curd is a little big for the recipe, so eat the leftovers on toast. Or double the recipe so that you have plenty: it’s great with vanilla ice cream and will keep for a week in the fridge in a sealed container.

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Ab sol u tel y Food & Travel

Prawn tostadas with avocado and spicy peanut oil hese are inspired by Sabina Bandera’s incredible sea urchin tostadas that I tasted at a food festival in Oaxaca. Bandera’s street food stand, La Guerrense, in Ensenada is spoken of in hushed tones by Mexican food enthusiasts – it is famous throughout the Americas – and when I tasted these, I understood why. The combination of toasted peanuts, hot peanut oil, creamy avocado and seafood is inspired.

T

FEEDS 4–6 250ml olive oil or vegetable oil, for frying • 8 large corn tortillas • 40g peanuts • 1 large onion, peeled and finely sliced • Juice of 1 (juicy) lime • 1 avocado • 2–3 tbsp hot and fiery peanut oil (recipe below) • 150g (MSC certified) raw prawns • 2–3 tbsp mayonnaise • 2 baby gem, cut into fine ribbons • Hot sauce, for splashing (optional – see Tip) 1 Heat 250ml of oil in a small saucepan until it is shimmering hot. Meanwhile, cut out small circles from the tortillas, keeping the off-cuts to fry for salads or snacks, and test one in the hot oil. If the oil bubbles up vigorously, then it is up to temperature. If the oil doesn’t move very much, wait for the temperature to rise further. 2 Fry the tortillas in batches so that you are not bringing the temperature of the oil down too much, until crisp and golden. Drain the tostadas on kitchen paper. Reserve the oil. 3 Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and toast the peanuts for about 5 minutes until pale golden all over. Remove them and roughly chop. Add a few tablespoons of the frying oil to the pan, followed by the onion and a good pinch of salt, and cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until the onion is soft and sweet-tasting. 4 All of this prep can be done a couple of hours in advance. Remove and set aside. 5 When you are ready to eat, peel, de-stone and cut the avocado into quarters, then squeeze over the juice of half the lime. Heat the frying pan again and when it is smoking hot add a few splashes of the peanut oil followed by the prawns. Toss the prawns in the oil for a few minutes until they have turned from translucent to pink. Add the onions, most of the rest of the oil and the nuts

and briefly stir to heat through. You do not want to overcook the prawns. Squeeze the rest of the lime juice over the prawns. 6 Serve the tostadas with a smear of mayonnaise, the shredded lettuce, prawns and onion and top with the peanuts, avocado slices and more peanut oil drizzled over, scooping some of the delicious sediment from the bottom of the bottle over the prawns. TIP : Sabina serves these with a roast habanero sauce. Try the Wahaca one or scatter over a tiny pinch of deseeded and finely chopped habanero chillies if you are a glutton for heat. Having made this oil once I now find it indispensable in my store cupboard arsenal, a real heavy hitter. It transforms even the simplest plate of food, keeps for ages and makes a great present. Toasted peanuts give the chilli oil a complexity that makes it pretty unusual. It is great drizzled over grilled prawns, chicken or lobster, or keep a bottle of it on the table for ladling over anything from tacos and tostadas to salads and stir-fries.

©Thomasina Miers. Recipe taken from Chilli Notes by Thomasina Miers (Hodder & Stoughton £25) Photography ©Tara Fisher

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eating out

Ab sol u tel y Food & Travel

REVIEW:

CHAPTERS My mum used to say that if there’s too much left, then it wasn’t good and if there isn’t any left then I didn’t make enough.’ This phrase, my friend and I agree, has sealed it. We’ve officially met London’s most amiable waiter. He nods sagely at our plates as he takes the remnants of our main (a few slithers of venison and some mash left, in case you’re wondering). We smile, patting our stomachs and puffing out our cheeks in the international sign for ‘I ate too much’. ‘Did you see how quick he was with the wine?’ My friend gestures to her full glass. ‘I know! And did you see how he recommended exactly the desserts that we would have wanted anyway? Like Yoda!’ I shoot back. Alright, we might be a bit pissed. This does not take away from the fact that he is a particularly pleasant waiter – quiet but warm, knowledgeable but not officious – and (quite obviously) attentive with the wine. He keeps up a friendly and unintrusive patter throughout the meal so that by the end - well, see above. One can only assume that the particularly jovial atmosphere in Chapters (lots of people, lots of laughing) is down not just to the food, which I’m getting to, but also to the quiet enthusiasm of the staff. Our starters are a salad of chicory, pear and walnuts with a blue cheese dressing, which crisp and fresh as it is, doesn’t come close to the plate-

'

lickingly good scallops with celeriac and apple purée and chorizo jam. The former is a good dish, the latter a great. For main we share the day’s special - a haunch of venison - which comes with an appropriate amount of fanfare for such a handsome piece of meat. At one point we’re even congratulated on choosing it, hurrah for us. Languishing pinkly on a wooden board, surrounded by generous heaps of mash, cabbage and veg and accompanied by three different sauces, it is full of bold, arresting flavours. The rich gamey meat is the star of the show, just bloody enough to be succulent but sufficiently cooked-through so as not to put off someone like me who isn’t the biggest fan of red meat. This is a delight of a dish which made even a Wednesday-nightwith-a-mate meal seem like a special occasion. Put your coat on and go to Chapters right now in the hope that they still have it on the specials board. Go, now!

Chapters 43-45 Montpelier Vale SE3 OTJ 020 8333 2666 chaptersrestaurants.com

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Ab sol u tel y Food & Travel

CIT Y OF BLINDING

LIGHTS Las Vegas is synonymous with sleaze and debauchery, but Gemma Billington discovers Sin City’s desert oasis

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clammy, five-anda-half-hour coach journey through endless parched land and rocky hills and we find ourselves dumped in a car park behind a garish, 'fairytale' castle. Excalibur Hotel & Casino is Disneyland meets Saint Basil’s Cathedral - with a dash of tacky faux medieval fare thrown in for good measure. Well, that’s what you get for a $25 return from Downtown Los Angeles. It’s an awful building, but the perfect emblem of where we’ve arrived; Sin City itself, Las Vegas. After 10 minutes of trudging our cases aimlessly through the desert heat we give up and take a taxi to the Mandarin Oriental, which is situated almost slap-bang in the middle of the Strip. If Excalibur, The Bellagio, Caesars Palace and Paris are among the icons of the Strip, then the Mandarin Oriental

Once the sun has set and Vegas is ablaze, it's impossible to resist its debauchery

is the very antithesis of it; an oasis of tranquility and sophistication. You won’t find a single slot machine here, nor a sprawling seafood buffet. That’s not to say that you’re cut-off from the Vegas experience, only the sleaze and chaos of it. Ostensibly it’s an unusual addition to the Strip, in that its discretion contrasts with the other dominating, humungous hotelcum-casinos. But its design, which incorporates the brand’s oriental roots and aesthetics, makes the 5-star hotel both subtle and spectacular. With girlish excitement my friend and I boarded the one-stop lift to the Sky Lobby located on the 23rd floor to check in. The floors are elegant black marble and the sumptuous tea room situated next to the reception is festooned with enormous, Japaneselantern style lights and an intricate blue and red carpet. The bar, with fabulous views of the Strip, stands temptingly around the corner. Our room is impressive but sedate, with

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Ab sol u tel y Food & Travel

the ubiquitous enormous bed plus remote controlled curtains that reveal a spectacular vista. It is here on the 19th floor, before we’ve even set foot in a casino, that I begin to develop a fondness for Vegas. It’s really quite beautiful in an urban and completely bonkers way. Traffic is six lanes wide either side (it’s near impossible to walk anywhere) and animated billboards pop up like mushrooms – all vying aggressively for your attention. The blue canvas sky is never blemished by clouds, and it means that you can watch Las Vegas come to life, once the sun begins to set, for miles and miles – beyond the Strip and all the way to the barren desert and mountains. Slowly everything begins to light up – even the road markings are made up of bulbs – from the famous ‘Eiffel Tower’ to the twinkling Planet Hollywood hotel sign. Once the sun has set and Vegas is ablaze, it’s impossible to resist its debauchery. Unless you’re planning an excursion to the Grand Canyon, which is doable but only really if you’re staying for longer than 2-3 nights, then I wouldn’t really stray far from the hotel during the day. For one thing, the glittering decadence

The blue canvas sky is never blemished by clouds...'

of the night before will reveal itself to be smoke-tinged and garish the morning after. Indulge the inevitable hangover with a lavish breakfast and hang out by one of MO's two pools on the 23rd floor, with views of Monte Carlo casino from one end and ‘New York’ on the other. It’s worth having a vague plan of where to go at night, bearing in mind that it really is difficult to walk anywhere (even when everything looks so close) as the footpaths are suddenly cut off by malls that you have no choice but to walk through. There are endless live shows, casinos, buffets and every kind of Vegas ‘must do’ experience, and even for a gambling dunce such as myself, you can’t help but get into the spirit. Waitresses will (slowly) serve you free drinks at slot machines (you have to tip them amply, of course) and you can ease yourself into the gambling scene with machines that charge no more than 40 cents a pop. We took a cab to Freemont Street, which is home to the famous Golden Nugget casino and a less pretentious and more affordable night out than the Strip. But even after two nights here, we had barely scratched the surface of Vegas. However, the hangover we endured during that wearisome coach ride back to LA felt like the ultimate badge of honour from a weekend in Vegas and, in the end, totally worth it. Until next time.…

Rates at Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas start from £150 per night on a B&B basis. For further information and bookings please call +1 (702) 590 8888 or visit www.mandarinoriental.com/lasvegas

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Psychic Medium

John Edward @psychicmediumje

Live in The UK!

Search for venues and tickets at atgtickets.com or call the Box Office 0844 871 3001 *Reading not guaranteed

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Ab sol u tel y Food & Travel

StreetStyle Colourful and cultural, Leo Bear explores the gateway to the American art world: Miami

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n the run-up to Art Basel Miami Beach, where collectors, gallery owners, artists and celebrities congregate to admire pop-up art installations and swap digits at swanky private parties, and I’m here to get a taste of what Miami has to offer the layman. I’m told more private jets land in Miami on December 3rd than anywhere else in the world – and that the incoming crowd are dropping more than $1m a night on works of art. In other words ‘it’s great fun; eight days of intense debauchery,’ says Philip Hoffman, CEO of the UK’s Fine Art Fund. ‘Make sure you take sunglasses.’ The thing is, I’m early to the party. Art season spans December to March (peaking in December) and it’s November – but nonetheless there’s a palpable sense of excitement in the air. At my hotel, The James Royal Palm, the staff are gearing up to host a cocktail-cum-spa-lounge conceived by ex-Ralph Lauren creative Mark Cunningham. But before I dive into the art scene, I need to get my bearings. This is my first trip to Miami and I’m keen to explore my surroundings of South Beach. I start by booking an architectural bike tour with Dragonfly Tours.

He used to tour with nine inch nails but gave it all up because the crew lacked hygiene

A couple of hours later I descend to the lobby and pray the tattooed man sitting in the corner isn’t my guide. He’s in surf shorts, mismatching Converse and has a braided beard. He springs up and introduces himself as John, my guide. He’ll be showing me all of Miami’s architectural wonders – and really he’s a wonder in himself. It turns out he used to tour with Nine Inch Nails but gave it all up because the crew lacked hygiene. Anyway, showing tourists around suits him and with John by my side, I begin to feel uncharacteristically ‘street’. Miami is grit, glamour and gorgeous buildings. Freewheeling down Collins Avenue with the sun on my handlebars, I’m quickly seduced. Lined with low-rise pastel buildings decorated with coral

from the Everglades, the traffic-free boulevards are dotted with palm trees, giving a laid-back campus-like feel to the area. South Beach reminds me of Westwood, a village-y suburb of Los Angeles known for its 1950s cinemas, grassy sidewalks and goodlooking undergrads. John describes the architecture as ‘tropical deco’. I’m not sure if he’s made it up, but it’s apt either way. The city has certainly come a long way. In the seventies it was the cocaine capital of the world, notorious for cars blowing up by the side of the road and daylight shootings. Later came a spell as ‘God’s Waiting Room’, when kooky retirement settlements prevailed. Today it’s a breezy coastal paradise populated by hip outdoorsy types who skateboard to work. During our bike ride, we visit glorious art deco buildings including the Lincoln Theatre (now an H&M), the Jackie Gleason Fillmore Theatre and the Betsy Hotel. The tour is an education; new words start to enter

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my vocabulary like ‘eyebrow ledges’ and ‘ziggurats’ (the trademark stepped effect found on many an art deco rooftop). Along the way I consume my first-ever pastrami sandwich at Jerry’s Deli, an establishment that has remained unchanged since 1939 – booths, columns, chandeliers and all. We finish up on Ocean Drive outside the beleaguered Versace mansion. Recently acquired by the owners of the neighbouring property Hotel Victor, plans are in motion to convert the late fashion designer’s home into a jazzy oceanfacing restaurant. Not that Miami is short on great places to eat: Joe’s Stone Crab, MeatMarket and Catch (an outpost of the glamorous NY eaterie) are all hotspots well worth a visit. While the architecture is worth the airfare in itself, I’m actually here for the art. Home to an array of internationally renowned galleries including MoCA, Noma and the new fabulous Pérez Museum designed by Swiss duo Herzog & de Meuron, I’m keen to see something truly unique to Miami. So I hail a cab to the Wynwood district. A short hop across the Julia Tuttle causeway and we pull up outside Wynwood Walls, a small, gated area devoted to street art and graffiti. It’s here that street artists such as Retna, an LA-based artist who counts Hermès and Louis Vuitton among his clients, flock to leave their mark. The result is an explosive mix of bold and distinctive murals. But there’s much more. The Walls lie at the heart of a wider ten-block area boasting great swathes of spray art, op-art and roll art – sometimes covering whole buildings – as well as more than 50 art galleries.

A formerly stagnant area of vacant warehouses, Wynwood now sparkles with the kind of intrinsic attitude you find in New York’s Soho and London’s Shoreditch – but with a much more vivid colour palette thanks to the year-round Floridian sunshine. You can wander around solo or join a guided walking tour (these take place every other Saturday), and when your eyes need a rest, make a pitstop at Wynwood Kitchen and Bar, an al fresco Venezuelan café that does an excellent line in chicken empañadas. Of the galleries, the Rubell Family Collection, one of the largest private displays of modern art in the world, is a must-visit, and for emerging talent, try the Bakehouse Art Complex, a former bakery now home to 65 studios occupied by budding young artists. Here, you can buy something to take home or commission something original that won’t break the bank. What’s remarkable is that Wynwood’s ascension from down-and-out to downright cool has all happened in the last ten years – stimulated in large part by the Miami Basel Art Fair. Offshoots of the fair now take place in Wynwood,

generating a lot of speculation and hype, so it will be interesting to see how the area continues to evolve. Tanked up on art and architecture, I head back to the comparatively historic district of South Beach for some much needed R ‘n’ R. Most of the hotels on this 8.5-mile stretch of soft yellow sand have private beach clubs attached to them, and The James is no exception. Horizontal on a sunlounger admiring the breaking waves and buff bodies this town is famous for, I feel incredibly content. The Atlantic breeze mercifully muffles squeals from a nearby ‘bachelorette’ party and as a male model in bright-orange shorts brings me a hamper of fruit and Fiji water, I smile as I remember an earlier encounter with one of Miami’s most eminent gallery curators. Conrad de la Torre of Gary Nader Fine Art, who lives and works in Miami, told me: ‘Miami is the gateway to the American art world. If you want to do well, you have to come here… Where else can you hang out in fivestar hotels and buy million-dollar pieces of art in shorts and sandals?’ And that pretty much sums up Miami. It’s very cool. Even for art novices like me. Virgin Holidays (virginholidays. co.uk) offers five nights roomonly at The James Royal Palm (jameshotels.com) for £1,499 per person including flights with Virgin Atlantic from Heathrow and car hire.

For more information about Miami, visit miamiandbeaches.com. Art Basel 2015 runs from December 4-7 (artbasel.com/miami).

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DULWICH & SYDENHAM HILL GOLF CLUB www.dulwichgolf.co.uk

Dulwich & Sydenham Hill has been a private members’ club since 1894. The 6,100 yard course (par 69) is set among mature oaks on the slopes of Sydenham Hill, with spectacular views of the city. The course is framed by wonderful mature trees and features undulating fairways and fast greens, which require very careful reading!

APPLICATIONS ARE INVITED FOR: • 5 day (weekday) membership • Full (7 day) membership (limited availability) • Junior Membership (age 9 yrs and above) • Social membership is also available

To find out more please contact the Club office on 0208 693 3961 or e-mail info@dulwichgolf.co.uk

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23/04/2014 17:13


JUNE 2014

ABSOLUTELY

PROPERTY

Russett House, BR1 Russett House is the last remaining 6 bedroom home at the highly sought after development Roxbugh Place in Bickley. This imposing 5349 sq ft house is truly stunning and you cannot fail to be impressed by its surrounding within this exclusive community. If you are looking for space and style, Russett House has it all.

ÂŁ1,950,000 Acorn New Homes incorporating Langford Russell / 020 8295 4900; langfordrussell.co.uk

2 PFC.indd 2

09/05/2014 11:18


Completely at home in South East London.

Our services Sales and Lettings Property Management Block Management Property Solicitors Chartered Surveyors Financial Services Visit kfh.co.uk

With a network of 17 branches in South East London and over 50 across the Capital, our local knowledge and London network will ensure we achieve the right result for you. Our dedicated South East London branches include • Blackheath • Bromley • Chislehurst • Lee

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Set in a prominent location on the Cator Estate in Blackheath is this beautiful and elegant early Georgian home steeped in history offering exceptional living space.

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Six double bedrooms Double fronted Four bathrooms Large kitchen/diner Double reception room Two additional receptions Utility room

15:37 08/05/2014 09:05


Dowanhill Road, Catford, SE6 OIEO ÂŁ675,000 A stunning double fronted Victorian Corbett house which offers period features, three bedrooms, three reception rooms, utility, cellar, rear garden and off street parking. Located near Lee and Hither Green train stations. Freehold. EPC rating E. Lee 020 8857 9494 Email sle@kfh.co.uk

Welbeck Avenue, Bromley, BR1 ÂŁ550,000 Presented in exceptional decorative order throughout is this exquisite four bedroom contemporary 1930s house which is situated on a pleasant cul de sac close to Grove Park mainline station. Freehold. EPC rating E. Bromley 020 8460 6066 Email sbr@kfh.co.uk

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Occupation Lane, Shooters Hill, SE18 £2,200 pcm Unique architecturally designed five bedroom detached house offering two reception rooms, kitchen/breakfast room, two en suite bathrooms, office space, conservatory and outstanding panoramic views of London. Furnished. EPC rating D. Blackheath 020 8297 0181 Email lbl@kfh.co.uk

Foxbury Road, Bromley, BR1 £1,250 pcm Charming two double bedroom cottage with kitchen/diner and a pretty rear garden. Situated close to Sundridge Park train station. Furnished or unfurnished. EPC rating D. Bromley 020 8464 5353 Email lbr@kfh.co.uk

£210 tenancy agreement fee per property. Other fees apply, visit kfh.co.uk/lettingsfees

09:05

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ABSOLUTELY Property

Property Round up Manager of Alan de Maid, Bromley

� 020 7129 7008; alandemaid.co.uk

Most satisfying transaction... There have been so many but most recently a property that appeared to be a small Victorian cottage, but was in fact 3,700 square feet of luxury accommodation. We had to ensure our marketing reflected all that the property had to offer and we were successful in achieving two full asking price offers at £900,000, one from a local buyer and one from a London buyer, our client also found a property in Keston Park through Alan de Maid.

HOUSE HUNTING

Teresa Hiscoke

Most interesting property... The Corner House in Shortlands - we have been lucky enough to market apartments that now form part of this unique Grade II listed building which is brimming with local history. The Corner House is today considered is steeped in history and has a beautiful orangery a building of special architectural interest and was which opens out onto the award winning ornate designed by renowned architect Richard Norman Victorian Gardens. Shaw in 1868. Most unusual interior… A French gentleman’s The property I would most like on our books… 1930’s semi detached house, decorated white The enchanting Harcourt House, a Grade II listed from top to bottom, interior and exterior, property situated in Bromley North. The property floors, ceilings, walls, staircase, furnished also

with white leather sofas and white dining furniture, the bathroom was the only exception which was black including the w.c., unusual and bizarre. I never thought I would see… House prices rising at such a fast pace and substantially exceeding previous ceiling prices for roads.

JDM ESTATE AGENTS LAND & NEW HOMES

Plaistow Lane, BR1 Prices from £1,440,000 to £1,580,000

A

collection of just eleven impressive five bedroom detached residences each with a garage. Hampton Grange is a new development on the edge of the attractive Sundridge Park, amongst extensive mature grounds offering a limited collection of beautiful

detached houses, period cottages, stylish new-build apartments and stunning conversion apartments, all presented with a specification that epitomises the elegant character of this desirable neighbourhood. The listed school conversion apartments will be a stunning feature of the development and will be released for sale at a later date.

� 020 8295 2505; jdmonline.com

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ABSOLUTELY Property FOXTONS, GREENWICH

‘‘

LANGFORD RUSSELL LAUNCH NEW ORPINGTON & WEST WICKHAM OFFICES

Join us on 31st May - 1st June to celebrate the launch of our brand new Orpington & West Wickham offices!

� Orpington Office; 01689 661 400 West Wickham Office; 020 8432 7373 langfordrussell.co.uk

‘‘

T

£750,000

West Grove, SE10 � 020 8879 2179; foxtons.co.uk

I

deally situated on Blackheath, this two bedroom flat offers both charm and elegance, with a bright and spacious reception room, smartly fitted kitchen and a roof terrace. Both of the rooms are en suite and the south-facing master bedroom also features a walk-in wardrobe. West Grove overlooks the green expanses of Blackheath, whilst the local pubs and restaurants of Royal Hill and boutique shops on Lee Road are only moments away. The nearest public transport links are available via Greenwich and Blackheath.

he Directors of Langford Russell are pleased to announce the launch of our new Orpington & West Wickham offices. We will be holding an open weekend on Saturday 31st May 9.30am - 5.00pm & Sunday 1st June 11.00am - 4.00pm and would be delighted if you could join us at either branch for a glass of Champagne. We also have an indulgent chocolate fountain so why not bring the kids along! Whether you are considering a move now or in the future, our launch event will give you the perfect opportunity to discuss market conditions with our skilled and friendly team in an informal setting. You can also take part in our exciting prize draw in association with local businesses, as well as receiving special discounts on our fees

when you register your details. We look forward to seeing you there.

Orpington Office 280 High Street, Orpington, Kent BR6 0ND

 suggests:

W

e all know that moving home can be one of life’s most stressful experiences. But preparation is key. Begin by clearing the approach to your home as this is where first impressions are made – and before anyone has stepped through the front door. By tapping into the good weather and using the additional daylight hours to work on tidying up the front garden, you can bring some sunshine into your home and maximize your selling potential.

£350 Per Week

West Wickham Office 7 High Street, West Wickham, Kent BR4 0LP

BENHAM & REEVES RESIDENTIAL LETTINGS, GREENWICH

New Capital Quay, SE10 � 020 3440 7010; brlets.co.uk

S

ituated on the fifth floor of the new residential development, New Capital Quay in the heart of Greenwich, lies this modern one bedroom apartment only moments from the River Thames and the Cutty Sark DLR station. The bright property comprises; a light reception with access to a private balcony, separate fitted kitchen equipped with integrated appliances, bedroom with ample storage and smart bathroom. Porter services are a bonus for the accommodation, as are the nearby amenities of Greenwich.

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Spring into action for a hassle-free summer move

GODALMING

Catteshall Lane GU7 1NP 3 & 4 bedroom homes from £485,000

• Part Exchange† your way to the perfect location for you and your family • A premier development of luxury homes, set among quiet tree lined avenues close to the banks of the River Wey

Marketing Suite and Show Home open daily 10am – 5pm

• Within walking distance of Godalming town centre • High specification throughout, including modern, fully integrated kitchens • Help to Buy* also available for a money saving move

QR scan me now

0844 488 1968

lindenhomes.co.uk/riverside

YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE OR OTHER DEBT SECURED ON IT. Credit is secured against your home. *Subject to

status, Help to Buy Terms & Conditions and available on selected properties in England only. Eligible applicants will be offered an equity loan up to a maximum of 20% of the purchase price (based on the open market value). Applicants are required to fund at least 80% of the purchase price by means of a conventional mortgage, savings/deposit where required. The equity loan is provided by the HCA and held as a second charge. This offer is not available in conjunction with any other promotion. Full details will be provided on request. †On selected homes only. Subject to status, terms and conditions apply. Not available in conjunction with any other offer. Price and details correct at time of going to press. Photographs show typical Linden homes. This kitchen, bathroom and bedroom include upgrades from £1,000 to £10,000 depending on the size of property.

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ABSOLUTELY Property

Showcase Living room

Exterior

A stunning three bedroom double fronted Victorian Corbett house. �

T

he property is rich in period features and boasts a fantastic garden, cellar, off street parking, a utility room, a fitted kitchen and three receptions, a stunning bathroom and off-street parking. The nearby transport links at Lee and Hither Green stations are less than a mile away.

SPOTLIGHT

Details

ON BR2

Dowanhill Road, SE6 OIEO £675,000 Freehold

Average asking price - £888,306 Average asking rents - £1,512 pcm Average property value - £417,345

Contact

KFH, Lee 020 8857 9494; kfh.co.uk

Data provided by

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FOXTONS DPS_JUNE.indd 2

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SELL YOUR HOME

FOR FREE WITH FOXTONS! *

To celebrate the opening of our two new offices in Greenwich and Beckenham, Foxtons is delighted to offer 0% commission to the first 200 people who instruct these offices to sell their home

GREENWICH OFFICE NOW OPEN

BECKENHAM OFFICE NOW OPEN

0% OFFER ENDS 14TH JUNE 2014 CALL NOW 020 8879 2179

0% OFFER ENDS 28TH JUNE 2014 CALL NOW 020 8613 6262

Download our free property apps...

* This relates to estate agency fees and does not include solicitor’s fees or the cost of a legally required Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and is only available on a sole agency basis. The property must fall within the office boundary and must be placed under offer and lawyers instructed before 5pm on 14th June 2014 for Greenwich and 28th June 2014 for Beckenham. Full terms and conditions available upon request.

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ABSOLUTELY Property

IN THEIR OWN

WORDS ANDREW ROBERTS

Branch Director of Langford Russell, Chislehurst Photography: Rebecca Noonan8

I

t seems like only yesterday; I was 16 and being bundled onto a train to central London by my despairing father. My protests, that lots of my friends had no idea what career they wanted, fell on deaf ears. Three hours later and after various psychometric tests and apparently seeing a leaping dolphin in an inkblot... the results were in. I would either be a travel agent or an estate agent! Rewind back four years to 1976 and I was at my aunt and uncle’s in Yorkshire for Christmas. My cousin was about to be picked up by her boyfriend to be taken to the pub. The distant reverberation of a four stroke motorbike drew closer and then stopped outside the front gate… and there, sitting astride a gleaming Triumph Bonneville, dressed in black leather and sporting Robert Plantesque blonde hair beneath his crash helmet, was possibly the coolest man I had ever seen. Later I asked my cousin what her boyfriend did for a job... “he is a chartered surveyor” she replied. Back at the job shrink I put two and two together and came up with my chosen career and I have never looked back. Having worked in various parts of the Capital, for the past 18 years I have been working in the largest London borough, Bromley. Home to over 350,000 people, Bromley is becoming increasingly popular with buyers who are looking to find value for money and commutability. With 26 mainline train stations in the borough offering frequent services into the City, Canary Wharf and the West End, the commuting links are excellent. Bromley also offers a wide variety of property to suit all needs. Whether you are looking to buy a purpose built flat in Beckenham or Bromley, or a detached mansion in Chislehurst or Keston, Bromley Borough has it all! My office in Chislehurst, a particularly green and leafy village suburb of Bromley, offers a tranquil idyll

away from the hubbub of town life. Living in Chislehurst is always exciting with a wide variety of properties to appraise and a well supported mix of shops, boutiques and restaurants to enjoy, but for me the most rewarding side of my job is dealing with the people. Most of my day is spent meeting with clients to assess their property needs. As I am in my fiftieth year, I have moved quite a few times myself, including a stint advising expats in the Middle East! I can completely empathise with buyers and sellers and the trials and tribulations that can sometimes affect a move, particularly where children are involved. I have four myself, so appreciate that a family’s requirements today are quite different to when I was growing up. I am always keen to advise my clients on how to present their homes to maximise the value and in some cases will assist in obtaining planning consent to improve the existing property. I am proud to have sponsored some wonderful organisations over the years including Sundridge Park Golf Club, Bromley High School for Girls and Eltham College where we sponsored the first XV rugby team and juniors. My passion for rugby continues with our recent support of Old Elthamians Rugby Academy, who have had their most successful season to date, reaching the final of the National Colts Cup. I will never forget my first boss’s words to me when I started in Estate Agency... “Andrew, always remember, we don’t sell houses, we move people.” This has been my mantra ever since and I feel it is more important today than it has ever been. Do I ride a Triumph Bonneville now? Sadly not, but there is still time!

� 020 8295 4900; langfordrussell.co.uk

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ABSOLUTELY Property

Spotlight on Blackheath Through the Keyhole...

7

7 Drawing rom A stunning treble aspect room with leaded windows, feature Adam-style fireplace with marble hearth and ornate ceiling cornicework.

Kidbrooke Grove, SE3  £2,600,000 Freehold

A

Richard OToole Group Sales Director, John Payne

7 Family bathroom

7

� 020 8318 1311; johnpayne.com

truly stunning treble-fronted six bedroom, four bathroom family house which occupies an impressive corner plot on this highly regarded broad tree-lined residential road. The property has been the subject of a thorough and sympathetic programme of modernisation and improvement including a very spacious loft room and en suite shower room, a superb kitchen and a fabulous feature bathroom.

Completely remodelled with large stand alone bath, underfloor heating, impressive storm shower and fully tiled walls and floor.

7 Exterior

7

Externally the landscaped mature gardens screen three sides of the house and offer a timber loggia, plentiful lawned areas and attractive terracing.

Public knowledge

Graham Lawes Associate Director of Residential for JLL

� 020 8852 8383;

joneslanglasalle.co.uk

BEST SCHOOL

RAINY DAY

SPORTS & REC

FUN FOR FREE

The independent Blackheath High School for Girls has been in the area since it was founded in 1880, and it’s still going strong. It’s been rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted & the ISI.

Blackheath Village is home to Age Exchange, the centre for reminiscence arts. Number Eleven is the perfect place to enjoy a cappuccino or grab a book from the community library service.

Blackheath is one of the largest areas of common land in Greater London. You can walk across its two hundred acres of protected heath or visit one of the delightful pubs facing it.

Window shopping in the bustling village, or walk to the heath and watch people fly their kites. There’s a pond where enthusiasts sail their miniature boats and the resident swans and ducks watch.

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langfordrussell.co.uk

Join us on 31st May and 1st June to celebrate the launch of our brand new Orpington & West Wickham Offices! The Directors of Langford Russell are pleased to announce the launch of our new Orpington & West Wickham offices. We will be holding an open weekend on Saturday 31st May 9.30am - 5.00pm & Sunday 1st June 11.00am - 4.00pm and would be delighted if you could join us at either branch for a glass of Champagne. We also have an indulgent chocolate fountain so why not bring the kids along! Whether you are considering a move now or in the future, our launch event will give you the perfect opportunity to discuss market conditions with our skilled and friendly team in an informal setting. You can also take part in our exciting prize draw in association with local businesses, as well as receiving special discounts on our fees when you register your details. We look forward to seeing you there. Orpington Office

West Wickham Office

01689 661 400

020 8432 7373

orpington@langfordrussell.co.uk

westwickham@langfordrussell.co.uk

280 High Street, Orpington, Kent BR6 0ND

7 High Street, West Wickham, Kent BR4 0LP

Incorporating

Offices Also In: Beckenham, Bromley, Chislehurst & Locksbottom.

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Smart searches whilst on the move. Find nearby properties for sale & to rent

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07/05/2014 04/04/2014 11:37 15:18


ABSOLUTELY Property

The Insider  Nothing’s

better than the inside scoop. Local agents give their recommendations...

Hangout

Chislehurst has it all! From National chains such as Café Nero for a cappuccino and Ember Inns for a pint, to local cafés like The Chestnuts and Wrattens for great food and company.

Steven May

Branch Manager at JDM, C hislehurst

Interior Inspiration

I love the Tigers Head which is a very traditional but ornate pub with wood burners and beautiful detailing. It’s not your usual interiors inspiration spot, but I love the cosy feeling it inspires.

Laura Knight-Smith Sale s Manager at Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward, C hislehurst

Local Street

The most desirable street, in my opinion, is Blackheath Park. It is a highly regarded area and home to the Cator Estate, a designated Conservation Area with acres of beautiful gardens.

Graham Lawes

Associate Director at JLL , Blackheath and Greenwich

020 8325 8000; jdmonline.com

020 8285 9900; kfh.co.uk

020 8858 9986; jll.co.uk

Time Out

Kids

Fact

You can’t beat Greenwich Park for a run or a long walk. I also love the Thames Path for a scenic stroll along the river and Blackheath with its 85.58 hectares of protected land.

Mark Wellington Manager at Benham & Reeve s Re sidential Lettings, Greenwich

020 3440 7010; brlets.co.uk

East Greenwich Pleasaunce runs a yearly Easter egg hunt for children of all ages, whilst the British Music Experience, based at the O2, is the UK’s only interactive museum of popular music.

Christopher Venter Sale s Manager at Foxtons, Greenwich

020 8879 2155; foxtons.co.uk

The Royal Bell Hotel (just off Market Square) is referred to in Jane Austen’s celebrated and much loved novel Pride & Prejudice and was home to both the prolific writer HG Wells & geologist Charles Darwin.

Russell Sinclair

Director of Sinclair Hammelton

020 8464 5566; sinclairhammelton.co.uk

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Our doors are always open... to landlords and tenants alike Benham and Reeves Lettings have been serving landlords and tenants in London since 1956. With 11 well placed lettings branches including our nearby office in Greenwich, we are able to give tenants a wide choice of locations and properties. For landlords... we offer a full lettings & property management service, furnishing packages and refurbishment service,

making us your one-stop rental property partner.

Instruct us now on 020 3503 0529 or email info@brlets.co.uk or visit www.brlets.co.uk

Benham and Reeves Residential Lettings

BR_CORP.indd 2

brletsuk

DUBAI | HONG KONG | INDIA | LONDON | MALAYSIA | SINGAPORE

12/05/2014 15:41


INNOVATIVE MORTGAGE ADVICE

elysianfinance.co.uk

ELYSIAN_DULWICH_SEPT.indd 2

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HOMES TO VIEW TOWER VIEW LONDON E1W These five luxurious apartments and fabulous penthouse are superbly designed to the highest specification, providing a rare opportunity to live in a central London residence, alongside the Thames. With breathtaking panoramic views over Tower Bridge and some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, Tower View will captivate you. ¡ Close to the restaurants of St. Katharine Docks, Wapping High Street and Shad Thames ¡ Easy connections to the City of London and Canary Wharf ¡ Bespoke internal specification ¡ Two bedroom apartments and a three bedroom penthouse with roof terrace 020 7768 3403 wapping@cluttons.com

cluttons.com

CLUTTONS_GREENWICH_JUNE.indd 2

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WAPPING 020 7768 3403 wapping@cluttons.com

TOWER VIEW E1W Prices from £1,850,000

‘ These apartments are one of London’s finest river-fronted properties and have been finished to the highest standard throughout.’

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Letting or selling your home.

WE MAKE IT EASY. Opening soon in Blackheath.

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07/05/2014 16:21

BLACKHEATH & GREENWICH JUNE 2014  

Zest Media London publish local luxury lifestyle magazines that target the wealthiest residents in London. Each of our titles captivate its...

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